In the midst of Roger Federer's less than stellar results in the French Open and Wimbledon, people have begun to call for the curtain to fall on the Federer Era.
All the aspect has been on the negative aspect of the story—that is Federer's records and dominance swiftly ending.
On the other end, Rafael Nadal has quietly dominated in two consecutive Grand Slam finals and reached eight grand slams in his career.
He has the third best winning percentage in Grand Slams after Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg.
The two eliminations of Federer in quarterfinals seemed an opportunity to open up the men's game after seven years of Nadal and Federer dominance.
Nadal wasn't on anyone's radar. He was injured in 2009 that resulted in losing in the French Open for the first time in his career, skipping Wimbledon, being destroyed in the US Open semifinals, and having to retire in the Austrailan open against Andy Murray.
Nadal was undoubtedly the favorite going into the French Open, as he was regaining his game, but no one expected his dismantling of Soderling in the final as he avenged his loss in 2009.
He did the same thing to Berdych in Wimbledon. Both times he faced the opponents that had beaten Federer and shown them why this was a two man tour.
Nadal is yet to win on hard surfaces. He had already planned to take a break from the summer circuit to have his legs fresh for the US Open.
He'll still likely play a couple of matches to stay in form, but if Nadal can stay healthy and keep up the strong serving he had in the US open this seems like just the time for him to break through in one of the hard court majors.
He'll have to face Roddick and Federer, probably the favorites behind him.
It is unknown if defending champion Juan Martin del Porto will be able to play after a wrist injury.
Most of his success wil depend on Federer's health, who says his early exits have been in part due to an injured back and foot.
If that really is the only reason for his lower level of play, then Nadal's chances will be slim if Feder recovers.
Nadal may be confident, as he finally has a solid hold as the number one player in the world, to truly dominate the tour.
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