Probably the match which really launched Nadal‘s pro career.

Playing his first full season on the ATP Tour, Nadal won his first title in Sopot, Poland and was one of only four players to beat Roger Federer.
He made his Davis Cup debut in the first round of Davis Cup 2004 against Czech Republic, losing the first match against Jiri Novak but winning the decisive fifth rubber against Radek Stepanek and qualifying Spain for the quarterfinals.
Nadal was decisive once against in semi vs France: he beat the pair Clement/Llodra partnering Tommy Robredo, and he replaced Moya for the reverse singles and beat Arnaud Clement to clinch Spain’s victory.

Spain (Ferrero, Moya, Nadal and Robredo) faced the USA (Roddick, Fish, Bryans) in final on the red clay of Seville.
98 Roland Garros champion Carlos Moya defeated Mardy Fish in straight sets in the opening rubber.

The lowest ranked Spaniard (n°51), Nadal had only been expected to play the doubles alongside Tommy Robredo but he was named to replace Ferrero in singles.
2004 was a nightmare season for’03 FO champion Juan Carlos Ferrero: despite making the Oz Open semies, his ranking dropped from third to 31st. He didn’t win any title that year and finally, he was overlooked in favour of the 18-year-old Mallorcan.

Arrese’s decision proved to be the right one as Nadal beat world number two Andy Roddick 6-7(6) 6-2 7-6(6) 6-2. It was the second meeting between those two as Roddick won easily 3 months earlier in the second round of the US Open.

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gEHBhd2c1s[/youtube]

Sam Stosur advances to the semifinals : she could have won easily 6-2 6-3 but she missed the occasion and Serena came back. The Australian saved a match point at 5-4 (30-40) in the third and defeated the world number one 6-2 6-7 8-6.

Two little videos of Sam Stosur, 2007 French Open:

[flickrvideo]http://www.flickr.com/photos/tennis-buzz/2400251237/in/set-72157603930017545/[/flickrvideo]
[flickrvideo]http://www.flickr.com/photos/tennis-buzz/2400286533/in/set-72157603930017545/[/flickrvideo]

This afternoon, Sam Stosur will meet Jelena Jankovic, and Elena Dementieva will face Francesca Schiavone.

Other surprise today: Jurgen Melzer beat world number 3 Novak Djokovic. The Serb lead 2 sets to love and a break but Melzer worked it hard and won in 5: 3-6 2-6 6-2 7-6 6-4.
Big desillusion for the Serb who should focus on his game instead of playing the drama queen.

Stat of the day: 1
Of all the 8 semifinalists, Rafael Nadal is the only one to have already won a major.

I had one of my best Roland Garros experience in 2007. I had bought tickets for the Benny Berthet Day but couldn’t attend it, and for the second Wednesday.
Usually, I avoid Wednesdays, because the stadiums are overcrowded and full of kids everywhere, but I really enjoyed that sunny day at Roland Garros.

Trophée des légendes
First match on the Suzanne Lenglen that day, an under 45 Legends Trophy match: Leconte/Pioline vs Champion/Cash.

A two time Grand Slam runner up (US Open 93, Wimbledon 97), Pioline won his biggest title in Monte Carlo in 2000. He is now co-director of the Paris Bercy Masters Series tournament.

Cedric Pioline

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May, 20th:

Produced by Wieden + Kennedy, Nike Football presents their “Write The Future” commercial.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSggaxXUS8k[/youtube]

“NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) today unveils an action-packed film that brings together some of the world’s greatest players to inspire football lovers and sports fans around the world. The epic three-minute “Write the Future” film takes people on a journey that dramatically captures that one moment when headlines are written from a single pass, or one strike can bring a nation eternal happiness, while bringing others to their knees.

Some of the world’s best players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Fabio Cannavaro, Franck Ribery, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott, Patrice Evra, Gerard Pique, Ronaldinho, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Thiago Silva, are featured. Special guest cameos are made by tennis legend Roger Federer and basketball superstar Kobe Bryant. Homer Simpson completes the star-studded cast of appearances. The film will be shown on TV for the first time on May 22nd during the European Club Final.

Directed by renowned Hollywood director and producer Alejandro G. Iñarritu (21 Grams, Babel), this epic football journey unfolds through a match of goal line clearances, game-winning tackles and lightning footwork that literally send a ripple effect across the world.”

Enjoy!