Rafael Nadal has celebrated a birthday, complained about the grounds and the weather, ran a five-set marathon with the world’s top ranked player, and avoided questions about his knee.
It’s fair to say Nadal has run the gamut of emotions and tribulations associated with the strive for excellence, and now he has the chance to become the first player to ever win a single major eight times.
The seven-time champion Nadal meets David Ferrer in an all Spanish championship in the French Open at Roland Garros Sunday.
The fifth-ranked Ferrer defeated No. 6 Jo-Wilfried in straight sets 6-1, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 in the semifinals to reach his sixth championship round of the year. Ferrer is 2-3 in finals this year, including an 0-6, 2-6 loss to Nadal.
Nadal owns the career head-to-head matchup with a 19-4 record, but could be weakened after his grueling five-set comeback victory over No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals Friday.
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The win gave Nadal an incredible 58-1 career record at Roland Garros, while Ferrer has yet to lose a set in Paris during this tournament.
Prediction: Nadal in four sets. He has the speed, skill, crowd advantage.
Betting Odds: Nadal is a -1000 favorite
Where to watch: The match will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern and coverage will be provided by NBC, and a free online stream of their coverage can be viewed at NBC Live Extra here.