Rain interrupted an historic milestone at the French Open yesterday, delaying the match between the number 1 and number 2 players in the world, NOVAK DJOKOVIC and RAFAEL NADAL. The weather snafu itself marked history, as it was the first time in 39 years a winner wasn't crowned on the final Sunday of the two-week tournament.
At stake was the seventh championship for NADAL, who has owned this tournament, played on the red clay to which he is so accustomed. BJORN BORG once dominated the French Open in ways no one ever could have imagined would be bested, winning 6 titles in his day. RAFAEL has an amazing 51-1 record at Roland Garros, losing only to ROBIN SODERLING in 2009 in the 4th round, which opened the door for ROGER FEDERER to win that year. It has been all NADAL, but for that brief moment interlude.
Meanwhile DJOKOVIC has won 27 consecutive grand slam matches, and owns the other 3 titles. A win against NADAL and he would become only the 3rd man ever to hold all four championships in succession. DON BUDGE did it in 1938, and ROD LAVER did it twice, in 1962 and 1969, an amazing feat to be sure. Furthermore, those gentleman did it in the same calendar year, for the ultimate title-The Grand Slam. DJOKOVIC'S slam would be over two seasons, and he would still have the chance at a Grand Slam in 2012.
All this history and no talk of ROGER FEDERER? How could it be that the man who rewrote the history books every time he took the court is suddenly irrelevant? That's how eventful the men's game has become these days. What a treat for fans. FEDERER, by the way, lost in the semi-finals to DJOKOVIC. An interesting note, In 2007 and 2008 RAFAEL NADAL prevented FEDERER from holding 4 consecutive slams. ROGER still holds a record 16 grand slam titles, among many other records, but at this pace, how long can that mark stand.
NADAL, who did win his 7th French Title, on this Monday morning, beating DJOKOVIC in 4 sets, 6-3, 6-1. 2-6, 7-5, now has 11. DJOKOVIC, who has dominated the game, has 4. FEDERER might be reduced to a footnote bu either of these guys. And that boggles the mind.
ROGER need only look to an aged BJORN BORG, who was on hand in Paris, as RAFAEL NADAL hoisted his 7th trophy, and in the process, erased a champion once thought to be uncatchable, a record intouchable(that's French for untouchable). That is history in the sport of men's tennis.