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Take a wild guess which man will win this year's French Open tennis tournament. The first hundred guesses don't count. If you don't know the answer, you know nothing about tennis.

Rafael "Rafa" Nadal is your man. Yesterday he beat the world's best player, Novak Djokovic, in a five-setter.

Of course he did. This is the French Open. He has won this tournament more than a hundred times. Actually seven but it feels like hundreds.

No matter how many nagging knee injuries he has, no matter how many months he takes off between the French Open, no matter how many magazines he appears on the cover of, at this time of year he shows up at the Roland Garros venue in Paris and snatches the French Open.

Has anyone man besides this quiet but ferocious competitor won this tournament besides him during the past quarter century? Was Bjorn Borg the last one to do so back in the 1970s? Or was it Rod Laver or Tony Trabert?

No one, not even the great Djokovic and Roger Federer, can beat Nadal at this tournament no matter how great they are playing, no matter what their ranking versus Nadal's.  Regardless of who ranks first in the world, Nadal towers above all at the French Open. He owns Roland Garros.

Rafa's opponent tomorrow in the final round, David Ferrer, can forget about winning. He might as well go home now with the runner up trophy and take the day off, catch up on some reading. He will not beat Rafa.

This utter predictability, and therefore utterly boring situation, dampens enthusiasm about the tournament. Wouldn't it be interesting if someone else won it once every few years? Why even hold the tournament? Why not just send the trophy to his house every year on June1st.

On the women's side of the draw, however, things are more interesting; in fact, more scenic. Beautiful women from Russia and other countries near there play close matches What's not to like about Maria Sharapova? The same women doesn't win every year.

Tennis is about more than athleticism, winning, and losing. It's about taking in the scenery and greenery, the sometimes goofy yet often stylish hats worn by fans. It's about the cool sunglasses of onlookers.

Women's tennis is also about blasts from the past.

Paging Anna Kournikova.

 

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