Thursday, May 26, 2011

The French Open 2011: in retrospect

Rafael Nadal prepares to receive Roger Federer...Image via Wikipedia
written by Sullivan Alex Tan


Said to be one of the hardest tennis tournament to win, the French Open is where warriors of the game show their determination to win, to persevere and to show determination. Throughout it's glorious history, the French Open has seen many players of past and present fighting to reach one of the pinnacles of tennis greatness, that is to win a Grand Slam event.
In order to win this even, a player has to go grueling and torrid condition( and especially  the body) as the famous red clay of  Roland Garros will indicate the fitness and also the determination of the player. A player which personifies such qualities is none other than Spain's Rafael Nadal, from Mallorca. With the determination such as Nadal, it is no wonder he is called by his peers and tennis greats alike as the 'The King Of Clay'. With his swooping forehand and tenacious energy, he has won five times and  is gunning for a record equaling sixth French Open title set by Bjorn Bork from Sweden in the Open era.
The French Open also provides us with a fairytale ending of sorts to player who had journey through this tournament in multiples of defeats, and a player that fits this mold so badly is none other than the maestro himself, Roger Federer. His winning-less streak in the final dates back from the year 2006-2008. Time after time the genius of the tennis world looks second best against the maestro of clay which comes in the form of Rafael Nadal. Tennis bookies and fans alike begin to wonder if Federer can break the jinx of another legend which is Pete Sampras, which won multiple Slams on other surfaces, excluding the French Open. With unwavering resolution, he finally break the duck on the 2009 season when he won the French Open to seal a career grand slam. It was a like royal wedding ending  of sorts to the millions of people around that watched the final. The win was a bitter sweet moment and also a silencer as well to all that doubt the ability of Roger to win on the red dirt.
When reaching sports excellence, there is heartaches too. A good example of this is becoming second fiddle to an opponent in a final at the French Open. Robin Soderling has come second in both occasion back in 2009 and 2010. En route in shocking  defending champion Rafael Nadal in the 2009 tournament in the fourth round, the Swede manage to nudge himself into the final and is pitted against Roger Federer. Sad to say he lost that final is straights sets 6-1, 7-6, 6-4. In 2010, meanwhile Robin Soderling reached a back to back final but lost to Rafael Nadal also in straights sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
Being in a part of a prestigious tennis event would be a dream for many that played the sports. When one talks about having history and an air of prestigiousness, the French Open is not far from that. Known as the Internationaux de France back in 1891, alot have been change to the format of the game from the knockout format; to best of three sets from til 1902' 1903 and the introduction of the best of five sets afterwards . The winner of the men's singles will receive a replica silver gilt Coupe des Mousquetaires ( in honouring the 4 great musketeers of French Tennis: Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and Rene Lacoste) and in 2010  the winner received a total prize money of $1.5 million upping the amount of last year winner's prize money to reflect the changes in the economy and for the benefit of the players.
During its time on earth the French Open has proven itself that it can adapt to changes and be part of one of the most exciting tennis tournaments in the world. It's brings forth a uniqueness in the game and excitement to it like no other tennis tournament does. When we define what is the French Open words such as "determination/guts/grittiness/ fitness and mental toughness" will come into our minds. That is what is so special about this tournament.Enhanced by Zemanta

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