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Agassi, Courier Predict Nadal Will Beat Federer at French Open

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal of Spain. Photographer: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal is the favorite to win his sixth French Open title in today’s Roland Garros final against Roger Federer, former champions Andre Agassi and Jim Courier said.

Switzerland’s Federer beat No. 2 Novak Djokovic in four sets to advance to the French Open tennis final. Top-ranked Nadal overcame Andy Murray, the No. 4 seed from Britain, in the other semifinal.

Djokovic’s loss ended his winning streak to start the season at 41 matches, one away from John McEnroe’s 1984 record. It also prevented the Serb from replacing the Spaniard as the No. 1 player in the ATP World Tour rankings unless Nadal loses the final.

“You would have to favor Nadal because he tends to be more comfortable against Federer than Federer is against him,'' Agassi, a winner of eight Grand Slam singles titles, said at a press conference at Roland Garros yesterday. ``Really, tennis is about how you are on the day and how you deal with the pressure of that moment.”

Jim Courier, who won the French Open in 1991 and 1992, agreed.

“Roger surprised me that he was able to take Novak Djokovic out,” Courier said, sitting alongside Agassi. “Roger played beautifully and aggressively. It’s the kind of tennis he’s going to need to play again against Rafa. It’s a match-up conversation and Rafa has had the better end of those match-ups.”

Federer last beat Nadal in a Grand Slam final in 2007 at Wimbledon. The two last met in a major final at the 2009 Australian Open, which Nadal won in five sets. Federer, who trails the Spaniard 16-8 in career meetings, has lost three previous French Open finals to Nadal.

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