Here we are at the semi-finals of the US Open series and we have our 1st big-boy match of the post Wimbledon season. With all the off-court drama happening in the tennis world, this match could not have come any sooner. It has been just over 4 weeks since Murray signed off SW19 with one of the biggest results in a very long time, but it does feel like 4years have passed us by. Without much delay, let’s take a look at what we can expect from Nadkovic hardcourt version 17.
This rivalry ties Lendl-Mcenroe for most matches played in the open era. Nadal leads the H2H 20-15. On hard courts this will be their 17th meeting. Djokovic has an equally dominating record on this particular surface. 11-5 to Djokovic on the asphalt. The last time these guys met, they gave us an absolute epic at the Roland Garros, 2013 – Nadal won that match 9-7 in the 5th. The last time these guys met on the hard courts, we have another thriller of a match, officially the longest Grand Slam final [in terms of time].
The last time these guys met in a 3 set match, Nole ended Rafa’s ridiculous Monte Carlo run by beating him in a second set tie-break. The last time these guys met in a 3 set match on hard courts, Djokovic beat Nadal in a 3rd set tie-break at the Miami Masters. I think we can safely conlude one or many or any of the following:
- This match has all the historical evidence to be a pulsating finale [sorry Milos Raonic].
- There will be a tie-break at the end of the match.
- Djokovic will beat his chest multiple times to show he is the alpha male of the tennis world, presently.
- Nadal will Vamos 36385388345 times to show everybody he is going to end this year as the alpha male of the tennis world.
I will not get this preview in before the match starts
The Here and Now…..
Getting serious, given the surface and their recent form, I will go with the world No.1 today. This is a surface on which he has superior record among active players [except the King of Tennis, himself]. He had started the week bad but his performance against Gasquet was terrific. “Close to perfection” to quote the man himself.
Nadal has been playing some real good tennis himself. It all depends on how well Rafa continues his new aggressive tactics and how well he can stay close to the baseline and not let Novak take control of the ground-strokes. I believe he will do that for a set or set and a half. If he can do it for 2 complete sets, he will get to the final and his 1st non-clay win over Djokovic since Nov. 2010.
Rod Federer’s prediction: Djokovic in 3 sets.
Enjoy tennis and life, friends.
16 thoughts on “36”
The match is just beginning to catch fire! Rafa started off like the bull he is. Djokovic was edgy and towards the end of the 1st set he started stepping it up to bring in his best game. Please don’t miss the point at 3-3, 40-30 in the 2nd set, point of the match, so far…..
This match deserves a 3rd set….. and I hope Nole doesn’t disappoint the tennis world.
Early days in 3rd set, but Nadal making use of the advantage of serving 1st in the final set. Djokovic better break him before it gets to the business end. Match is now on Novak’s racquet, as their history and form suggest. They are playing at a great level right now. A little too defensive, but that is to be expected – they both are slow-court era Champs!
Role reversal! Nadal doing better on 1st serve returns, Djokovic on the 2nd…. this match is interesting on so many levels. Kudos to both guys for turning up.
Djokovic doing better on returns now. Rafa needs to fend this off and let the pressure of serving 2nd break Nole down…….
3rd set, 3-3. 78-78 points won….. says it all, doesnt it?
Rafa has wasted so many opportunities, it is getting scary as a rafa fan! Reminds me of that miami match I had mentioned in my original blog. Unless Rafa snaps out of this funk, he is in danger of losing this match….
Rafa winning 69% points in 3rd set to Nole’s 72%…. Will that be the deciding factor in breaking the tie? 😉
tie-break time….. all signs pointing to a novak win…. rafa win…. who the eff knows…. nail-biter time folks…
Well done to Nadal and his fans. Nole lost this match in the 1st set. 5 double faults? You cannot get away with that even against a player you have the mental edge against. Let me know your thoughts folks….
Nice post, nailed it with the last set tie break prediction! Nice analysis. Even though I’m a Rafa fan, I’m disappointed that Nole played poorly in the tie break. I went from very scared to very relax in a second!
Welcome to the site Carlos. Thank you very much for your kind words regarding this blog and the wonderful perspective you posted in response to my post on tennis.com. Please watch this blog for my responses to you. I hope you will be part of our journey to make this blog into a good tennis site. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts. Our team will be more than welcome to address your thoughts/concerns or any questions you might be having. Enjoy Tennis and Life. Allez Federer! Vamos Nadal! Allmos Fedal 🙂 Long Live The greatest rivalry of our wonderful sport!!!!!!!
Carlos, Also thank you for the props on the last set tie-break. I am glad I got that right 🙂 and I am even more glad someone noticed it. 😉
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