You're almost there, Roger. The finish line is in sight. Now is your time. This is the year for you to take Roland Garros.
It has been a long time coming. Rafa has been banished by an upstart Swede and sadly is no longer in the tournament to defend his title, but you're still there. Hang in there, and stay strong!
Think on these numbers, Roger...
Soderline : 9 wins, 0 losses
Gonzalez : 12 wins, 1 loss
Del Potro : 5 wins, 0 losses
Not to mention you have beat all of these players on clay. This is your opportunity to win Roland Garros for the first time. The stars have aligned for you this year at the French Open. You can silence the negative press (for awhile anyway), answer the naysayers, and most importantly, make history.
Its ironic that the possibility for tying Pete Sampras with fourteen Grand Slam wins would come with a French Open victory, but what a sweet victory it would be. Just as Rafa was rewarded with a Wimbledon win last summer after three tries, this would be your reward after making it to the finals three times.
Right now Roger is vindicated for all the ink spilled on whether or not he should have a coach. He can embrace a certain pride in the fact that the counsel he has had has served him well over the years, but in the end it was just him and the player across the net from him that he had to deal with, and he dealt with it in style.
Even though a win in Roland Garros would draw Roger level with Pete Sampras in Grand Slam wins, I would like once and for all to table the Greatest of All-Time debate. I'm a Federer fan, and even I would not lay that mantle on him yet. Just let Roger's career unfold, and lets see where his path takes him. Let's just declare that he's a great tennis player, period. He can take his place beside the greats in the game, both past and present.
Right now, it's imperative for Roger to focus on one thing...winning the next two matches at Roland Garros. Oh, and Roger...if you happen to encounter someone named Soderling on the way, you have my permission to sweep him aside.
Carpe diem, Roger! Allez!!!