2011 French Open: 3 Men Who Have the Least Tiny Chance of Beating Rafael Nadal
The first big question is as to whether anyone can beat Rafael Nadal on clay.
No one is betting against his current streak of more than 30 consecutive wins on the dirt. The King of Clay has already won two tournaments on his preferred surface this year, and he is the favorite for every single match on it! That explains the "least tiny" because that's the superlative of the chance you have of beating Nadal on clay.
The 23-year-old Serb has been fantastic in 2011, having five titles and being undefeated with four months already having gone by. Novak has already beaten Rafa twice this year, at Indian Wells and at the Sony Ericsson Open, both times in the finals.
Since 2010, he has made a transition from second-rate player and consistent quarter/semifinalist to major title contender. His overall game has much improved; his ground strokes have new topspin and pace, and his footwork is much more explosive. He is also a lot faster than ever before.
Ferrer is arguably the second best in the world on clay. Having already gotten to two finals (Barcelona and Monte Carlo) Ferrer is looking untouchable on clay, except for against Nadal, where he lost both those finals.
His mentality on clay is fantastic: pound the ball from side to side, until finally finishing off the opponent.
Soderling already beat Nadal at the French Open in 2009 (highlights are above) and that win will always be in the back of their minds every time they meet. The Swede's triumph in those particular quarterfinals will always give him confidence against Rafa.
Robin has already won three titles this year, and will be hoping to upset the King of Clay at the French.
Do these three really have a chance of defeating Nadal? Not really, but maybe!