Rafael Nadal vs.  Novak Djokovic
Let’s start this preview on a fun note with a casual Rafa-Nole conversation.
Rafa: Hey Novak, we are playing for the 40th time no?
Nole: Oh! Not again…grrrr
Rafa: I own you in H2H, no?
Nole: I own you on hard courts, you know!
Rafa: I kicked you off the no.1 ranking last year no, remember?
Nole: Didn’t win a set off me from then, you know!
Rafa: I am near to ‘Mission Impossible’, no?
Nole: I am a ‘Gladiator’, you know!
Rafa: See you on court holding the runner up trophy!
Nole: Ha ha…you’ll have to wait for the clay season to start!
Tennis season finally seems to be going normal as we are slated to witness #1 vs. #2 final in a big event after a Swiss surge surprised us at the beginning of the year. Miami is one of the few elite tournaments Nadal hasn’t won where Djokovic is a three-time champion. Crandon park is one of the successful territories for the world no.2.
Right from the classic Sampras-Agassi finals in mid-90s to last year epic between Murray and Ferrer, Sony Open is a renowned battlefield for excitement. This year is going to be no different as two of the fierce competitors the sport has ever seen will fight for the famed title.
Here are some of the memorable finals at Sony Open.
Rafa has been unstoppable in the route to the quarters dropping just nine games. Though there were hiccups to get past the Canadian missile Raonic in quarters, he hasn’t shown any signs of fatigue. But he would have liked to play Berdych before running into his great rival. Unfortunately it didn’t happen thanks to the Czech’s gastroenteritis that forced him to retire for the second time in last three meetings. Nevertheless, no one on tour read Djoker’s game better than him.
Playing in the absence of his nursing legendary coach Boris Becker, Novak hasn’t lost a match. He is on a 10-match winning streak with a title win at Indian Wells. Though not playing his best tennis, still good enough to bring his A-game when it matters the most. Similar to Rafa, Novak too didn’t get a match in the semifinals as Nishikori became the latest victim of Fed-curse, pulling out due to groin injury.
When it’s a Rafa-Nole match, no matter where it’s played, genuine entertainment is promised such is the legacy of this rivalry. Last time when these two played in Miami in 2011, Djokovic edged in a third set tiebreaker. Let’s wish this match also stands up to the expectations and may the better player win.
Epic moments between Rafa and Novak.
Prediction: Rafa to win Miami Masters in his fourth final in a three set thriller.