Sunday, 8 June 2008

The Latest Quest X

To put it mildly, the quest ended very badly for Roger Federer and very well for Rafael Nadal. Nadal won his fourth straight Roland Garros title and Federer still goes on questing for a career grand slam.

I was trying to posit that Roland Garros is not Federer's time and place for history. Wimbledon perhaps is. He's won five titles there and might well win his sixth straight in a few weeks. Perhaps when all is said and done at the end of his career, that will be his defnining achievement and not the career grand slam.

Andre Agassi won Roland Garros in 1999 to complete a sweep, he won eight grand slam titles in all and that feat of all four is his legacy in the annals.

I've also been trying to suggest that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will both win at all four venues in their time but neither are likely to repeat Federer's feat of five straight Wimbledons or four straight US Opens.

I'd love Federer to win at Roland Garros but I just can't see it happening. Nadal has looked the part since the start of the fortnight and he mashed up Federer in the final in a way that Federer can't mash him up at Wimbledon.

Stephen Bierley, the Guardian's tennis correspondent said to me last year after Roland Garros that Nadal was getting closer to Federer on grass than Federer was getting to him on clay.

So far at the 2008 tournament, that's been well and truly borne out. In a few week's time we'll see part two of that assertion.