World number one Roger Federer booked his third French Open final place as he saw off the challenge from Frenchman Gael Monfils to set up the dream final against Rafael Nadal at the French Open. Federer won the match 6-2 5-7 6-3 7-5 and takes his career record against Monfils to 4-0.
Although Federer looked good in the start of his match as he raced through the first set against the unseeded Frenchman Monfils, the world number 1 appeared to lose focus in the second set, allowing home favorite Monfils to win the second.
Roger Federer though is not the world number for no reason, the Swiss ace earned an early break of serve in the third set and never looked back. He went on to break again only to be broken back by Monfils, but Federer held out to win the set. Into the final set and after 9 games on serve Monfils bravely saved two match points at 5-4 in the fourth set to the delight of a Parisian crowd. though 2 games later at 6-5, he couldn’t repeat his early feats and Federer wrapped up the Match. After the Match Federer said,
The key was the first game when he allowed me to break and after that he was behind all the time. But he held on and battled hard and I am just relieved to have gone through. It was hard to play against him. He is such a great talent and now he has shown it on a big stage.
This was Monfils first ever grand slam semi final and with out doubt highlight of his short career to date. Since arriving on tour with much promise he has really failed to make any impact on the top 20. He has been floating around the 50 mark in the rankings and most had expected him to be up challenging with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic to be the new big players to make their mark. Murray and Djokovic more so have been putting the Frenchman in the shade to date.
This was something that seem to be forgotten on the British press this week as Monfil’s was rolled out as an example of what Andy Murray could not deliver as yet, a decent run in grand slam. The narrow mindedness of the British press neglects the facts that Andy Murray as inconsistent as he is has been consistently performing 40 places ahead of Monfils. From time to time everyone is allowed a good run at the French Open, don’t forget Henman made it to the French semi’s and his record on clay was far more questionable than that of Murray. Monfils must prove now that he can compete in the top 20 on a regular basis.
Federer will go into Sunday’s final very much the underdog and as long as Nadal turns up and plays to a decent level, Federer as little to no chance of winning.