French Open 2011: 5 Keys for Roger Federer To Take Down Rafael Nadal in Final

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French Open 2011: 5 Keys for Roger Federer To Take Down Rafael Nadal in Final
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

When the tennis world focused in on Roland Garros for the 2011 French Open in May, much was made of Novak Djokovic's astounding win streak, and Rafael Nadal's dominance on the French clay.

So naturally, it was almost a forgone conclusion that Djokovic and Nadal would meet on Court Philippe Chatrier for the men's final.

And as the top four seeds filled the semifinals, the Djokovic-Nadal matchup seemed almost unavoidable.

But, quietly making his way through the draw without dropping a set was Roger Federer.

Never before has the 16-time Grand Slam champion been such an afterthought. And never before has Federer played this well at Roland Garros.

After Nadal beat fourth-seeded Scotsman, Andy Murray, Federer and Djokovic took Chatrier for their semifinal match. Federer dominated from the start, playing aggressive and taking advantage of every Djokovic miscue. Federer won 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), ending Djokovic's consecutive win streak to start 2011 at 41 wins, putting the clamps down on Djokovic's chance to take over the No. 1 ranking from Nadal.

Leave it to the great ones to prove everyone wrong. Is it really a surprise that Federer and Nadal will meet in yet another Grand Slam final?

Here are five keys for Roger Federer in his quest to take down Nadal for the first time at the French Open.

 

Josh Rosenblat is a high school student from Chicago looking to find a way to break into sports journalism. He often writes about the NBA (primarily the Chicago Bulls), as well as the MLB, college basketball, Tennis and the NFL. You can email him at joshua.m.rosenblat@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @JMRosenblat. Feel free to send him comments

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