French Open 2013: Rafael Nadal Won't Be Denied 8th Title

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IMay 15, 2013

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 11:  Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy in the men's singles final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during day 16 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 11, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Not that he needs it, but Rafael Nadal is going to add another title to his impressive legacy at the French Open.

Nadal has won seven of the past eight majors at Roland Garros, as he's rolled to an unbelievable 52-1 record in the grand tournament. 

However, things will be a bit different for Nadal coming into this French Open. Nadal has spent much of the past year rehabbing his knee. He had a seven-month layoff with a knee injury. 

As a result, he has fallen in the world rankings to No. 5, and he will not get a seed above his rankings. 

French Open tournament director Gilbert Ysern, as Reuters notes, discusses the fact that the notion of Nadal receiving a higher seed was contemplated, but it will not be a reality.

This will give Nadal a tougher path to the finals, but does it really matter? No one is going to beat him on the clay courts.

Any player hoping to edge out Nadal at the French due to rust accumulated during his layoff better place their hope somewhere else. 

Nadal has played seven tournaments since his return. He's made the final in all seven, and he's won five of them. 

Babolat celebrated that fact with this tweet:

Babolat @babolat

7 tournaments. 7 finals. Believe in #VAM8S. @RafaelNadal. http://t.co/d4YXDkCShQ

One of his finals losses came to Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters. That was on clay, and Djokovic prevailed in straight sets: 6-2, 7-6 (1).

Djokovic looked fantastic in that match, and it should help give him confidence should he meet Nadal at this French. However, that was almost a month ago, and Nadal is playing even better now.

Nadal just took the Madrid Masters on clay, and he made it look relatively easy. He needed little more than an hour to dispatch of Stanislas Wawrinka in the final, 6-2, 6-4.

In that run, Nadal looked as good as ever. His booming forehand was on point, but even more importantly he was attacking the court with aggression. He was quick and explosive and showing no physical or mental effects from his knee issues. 

That was all I needed to see to know that Nadal will not be beaten at the French. 


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