The finals of the 2010 French Open is set to begin on Sunday and will feature a compelling rematch between Rafael Nadal and Robin Soderling after both won their semifinal matches on Friday. Nadal is looking for his fifth French Open title, but must get past the only player ever to beat him at Roland Garros. Nadal has an almost perfect record, 37-1, at this tournament with his only loss coming at the hands of Soderling last year.
“I never believe [in] revenge,” Nadal said. “I will be as happy or as disappointed if I lose to Robin or to any other player. I don’t think this is going to change the way I’ll approach the match.”
Now, Nadal is looking to become the second player to win at least five titles at the French Open behind Bjorn Borg who has won six. He is perfect on clay courts in 2010 with a record of 21-0. Also, entering the tournament as the No. 2 seed, he has won all 18 sets in this year’s tournament and a win on Sunday would give him back the No. 1 ranking from Roger Federer.
“Believe me, if I win on Sunday, it’s going to be the last thing I think,” Nadal said. “The important thing is the tournament.”
Soderling returned to the finals this year after beating No. 15 seed Tomas Berdych, sweeping the last four games. A knack for upsets in Paris seems to be an advantage he might possess. He upset Nadal a year ago in the fourth round and went on to face Federer in the finals. Soderling also ousted Federer in the quarterfinals this week. He does realize that he is capable of beating him again, but every year is different.
“It’s always good to have beaten a player before,” Soderling said. “I know that I can beat him. I showed it. But every match is a new match, and every match is different.”
Soderling displayed his big serve and forehand ability against Berdych which could pose problems for Nadal as he looks for his seventh Grand Slam title. Nadal realizes that accomplishing this feat will be difficult on Sunday.
“He’s playing at an amazing level, very aggressive,” Nadal said. “He’s a very, very dangerous player. He’s one of the best of the world. It will be a difficult match.”
On Sunday, Nadal will have the opportunity to avenge his loss from a year ago to Soderling. Tennis sportsbooks believe he will do this and have him favored to win the finals at the 2010 French Open with a moneyline set at -450. Soderling, last years’ runner-up, has his set at +330.