OK - I enjoy watching Roger and Rafa and would like to see both of these great players win a career grand slam. We are fortunate to be around to see this great rivalry - in fact we tennis fans are the winners here. However I thought I'd post this before tomorrow's final. Much as I love Federer's game I think he's going down in 3 (maybe 4) tomorrow (I hope I'm wrong). However based on their Semifinal performances yesterday there is no way Fed beats Nadal in a best of 5 sets on Clay (ever). Fed's clay court performance (& overall play) is down a bit since last year - too many shanks (inconsistent) and low serving % to trouble Nadal. I'll be surprised if he can defend his Wimbledon title this year (both Nadal and Djokovic will be real dangerous on grass this year). Yesterday was the second time Roger has been lucky to get past Davydenko in a major (their Australian open meeting in 2005 was also close). On current form they could play tomorrows final on grass and I'd still pick Nadal. Right now I see Djokovic as more of a long term threat to Rafa than Roger on clay - but still a huge gap. The big surprise will come (to some) when Nadal wins Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the US Open within the next year or 2. He can easily win the French for 3/4 more years. His performance last year at Wimbledon made me a believer that his game translates well to other surfaces. (Last years Wimbledon final was a lot closer than most realize - could easily have gone to 5 sets). In crushing Roddick at Indian Wells earlier this year Rafa sent a serious message to those who discount his hard court potential - (OK Roddick is not going anywhere these days). (You can forget about those earlier losses to Blake/Berdych on hard courts - that was then, this is now - no way Blake beats Rafa today - on any surface). Nadal has major weapons that work on all surfaces - speed, determination and remarkable consistency - he moves better, has more power when pulled wide and is better balanced that any other player on the tour. His serve is also underestimated by many - see Agassi's comments about trying to return Nadal's serve and how he could not handle it. Remember that speed is a huge weapon that does not go into slumps - the scary thing is that Nadal will get even stronger in the next couple of years - I doubt that he can get any quicker. His speed also intimidates his opponents - does anyone want to meet Rafa before the finals in any tournament? Let the flames begin - but keep it clean!