Nadal and Barty win the French
It was an exciting, but sometimes frustrating two weeks at the French Open. The frustrating piece of this year’s French Open was the lousy weather, which I feel really disrupted the quality and outcome of some of the matches. The second week was basically marred by rain delays and terrible winds that hindered players from really shining. Nobody was more affected by the wind in my opinion than Roger Federer in his semifinal with Nadal. Perfect conditions may not have mattered and Nadal may have still prevailed, but the wind was a factor in his inability to play his aggressive game, which is what he needs to do to beat Nadal.
In the other men’s semifinal, Djokovic complained about the wind as well, but to no avail from the officials. In the end, the men’s semis were pretty terrible to watch, not just because of the wind, but also because of the start and stop nature of the affair.
In addition, there was the fact that they threw the women’s semifinal matches in the secondary show courts. The WTA complained, but to no avail. All of these issues will be fixed with the addition of the roof which will debut on the center court next year – finally! I think the fans are sick of all the problems with the weather. I also think the players are sick of all the crazy schedules just to try and get matches in.
At the end of it all though, two worthy champions prevailed. Nadal won his 12th French Open, while Ashleigh Barty, the 23-year-old Australian broke through to win her first French Open. Like I’ve said in previous blogs, Barty is a crafty, smart and athletic player. It’s no surprise she took advantage of the depleted French Open field in the last week. It will be interesting what the future will bring for Barty, but you’d have to believe that she has the game to remain a top ten player in the women’s game for years to come.
On the other side, you have Nadal. He won his 12th French Open. His story line at the French is becoming slightly ridiculous. Every year he walks in, after having some sort of injury issue which calls into question his fitness, and every year he wins the tournament. Most of the time, it’s not even close. He just ripped through the draw. He looked amazing throughout. He looked unbeatable. Is there any reason to believe he won’t be able to add a couple of more French Open’s before he ends his storied career? He’s got 18 now, two less than Roger Federer, who’s considered the greatest of all time. However, what happens when Nadal reaches number 20 and also holds a better head to head? Their head to head is now 24-15 in favor of Nadal. The next three years will be interesting to watch. I can’t imagine Roger can win another slam. However, Nadal most certainly can add another two or three.