After all of the injury concerns and some early struggles in the opening rounds, some thought No. 3 Rafael Nadal might not make it here -- to the finals of the 2013 French Open at Roland Garros -- but that's exactly where he is now. Nadal, the defending champion at the tournament, will take on No. 4 seed David Ferrer to determine this year's tournament.
Nadal has many things going for him in this matchup, outside of the fact that he's famously known as "The King of Clay." For one, he holds a 19-4 record against Ferrer, going back to their first match in 2004. That record includes a 16-1 mark on Clay, and a 2-0 mark at Roland Garros.
Ferrer has bested Nadal in Grand Slam action before, winning once at the U.S. Open and once at the Australian Open, so the pressure isn't likely something to get to him, but the series is still well in favor of Nadal. This is also Nadal's attempt at an eighth French Open title, while Ferrer is making his first appearance as a finalist.
That said, Ferrer is playing the best tennis of his career at this point. He's made the semifinals in four of his last five majors and hasn't dropped a single set the whole tournament. On Friday, he took down Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who has been playing well, 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-2. He's set to pass Nadal in the rankings on Monday, whether he wins or loses.
Nadal was pushed to five sets in his last matchup, though he was taking on the world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Nadal won the match, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 9-7. A day of rest shouldn't factor into things much, but it's just another piece of evidence that Ferrer has been more impressive throughout this year's French Open.
But Nadal is the favorite, and for good reason. Ferrer will have to be at his absolute best to overcome Nadal on clay, as evidenced by the fact that Ferrer's only clay victory against his compatriot came in 2004. Ferrer has openly referred to Nadal as the best on clay in the past, but that doesn't mean he's infallible. Surely, that's seemed the case for most Nadal matches at Roland Garros, but Ferrer will do everything he can to prove otherwise.
Television coverage of the match will be carried by NBC. Their coverage begins at 9 a.m. ET, though the match will not play until the Women's Doubles final is completed.
Men's Singles Final
No. 3 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 4 David Ferrer
Women's Doubles Final
No. 1 Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci vs. No. 4 Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina