Can Nadal Beat Djokovic In Montreal? A Canadian Will Await In The Final
by Sean Randall | August 10th, 2013, 12:18 am
  • 138 Comments

The very best rivalry in all of tennis resumes tomorrow in Montreal. Of course I’m speaking of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal who’ll clash in a battle of the No. 1 player overall against the No. 1 man this year.

The last time these two collided it was an epic 5-setter in the French Open semifinals. The last time they faced off on a hardcourt they played nearly six hours with Djokovic coming out ahead in a pulse-pounding Australian Open final in 2012. Now they meet again in a match that won’t be, can’t be that long, can it?

Nadal leads 20-15 in their series winning four of the last five. But all those matches were on clay, not on hardcourts which is Novak’s ground of choice and he leads Rafa 11-5 on it, winning the last four. And Djokovic has also dominated this Montreal event winning 13 straight matches at the Canadian Open the last two years with two titles.

What’s nice is both players come in injury-free and playing relatively well in this their first event since Wimbledon. After a shaky performance against Denis Istomin Thursday, tonight Djokovic destroyed a weak-minded Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-2 in a rematch of their 2012 Toronto final. Nadal looked equally sharp punishing Australian qualifier Marinko Matosovic and the Spaniard is the only remaining player yet to drop a set.

“I am happy the way that I am playing this week,” Nadal said. “I am gonna fight for the match tomorrow. I am excited to play against a very tough opponent, one of the best, the best today. I need to play my best tomorrow if I want to have any chance.”

Added Djokovic, who spoke before knowing who he’d play on Saturday, “For me it’s very important to try to start well tomorrow against whoever I play. You know, if I’m playing as well as I did today, I think I have a chance to really win against anybody on this court.”

With way Djokovic has looked since Dubai – good but not consistently great – Nadal has a real shot here. But I think Djokovic, if he plays well, will prevail.

I said at the start of the week Rafa would be content if he were to lose to Novak in the semifinals. Nadal’s been through a lot with the injuries, the early Wimbledon loss and hardcourts really isn’t what he builds for. So he’s got to pleased with his week. The knee has been good. He got fought through a tough match with Jerzy Janowicz. Win or lose I think he’s feeling good, feeling healthy and I wonder if he does got all out to beat Novak – remember they play long, grinding, physical matches – might he re-injure his knee?

Whereas for Novak, he absolutely needs this title. And he needs it more than Nadal does. I’ve mentioned before that Novak has just the one title since Dubai (Monte Carlo, beating Rafa) and the last two times he’s played Top 5 players he’s lost – Murray at Wimbledon and Nadal at the French. For a guy ranked No. 1 who hopes to finish the year on top that has to change.

That said, if Nadal were to beat Novak and go on to win Montreal, I think he’d have the mental edge over Novak going into the US Open, assuming Nadal doesn’t lose to him next week in Cincinnati (my guess is if Nadal wins Montreal he’ll skip Cincinnati anyway.)

Still, though, with much more on the line for Novak I give him the very slight edge here.
The pick: Djokovic in two

In the earlier 3pm semifinal, two Canadians will have the place rocking as the surprising Vasek Pospisil meets his good friend Milos Raonic.

The 22-year-old Raonic might be younger by six months but he’s is the higher ranked player and the better overall talent of the two. I recall watching Pospisil play a summer or two ago in Canada and he reminded me of a lightweight Tomas Berdych. And Thursday he showed some of that raw talent beating one Mr. Berdych.

But Raonic’s serve is such a monster weapon that if it’s firing I think he wins. That single shot is the decider in this match.

Both guys, though, might come in a little tired. Pospisil enters having played and won nine matches in the last 10 days or so (he won the Vancouver Challenger over the weekend), but he enjoyed a nice break today when Nikolay Davydenko abruptly retired three games in with a respiratory issue.

Raonic, who was embroiled in that controversy with Juan Martin Del Potro Thursday night, struggled at times today in an ugly 3-set win over Ernest Gulbis. (I have to admit Gulbis, despite hitting 4 double faults to hand an early break to Raonic in the third, actually played some very nice, very smart tennis at times. Maybe there’s hope after all?)

Raonic and Posposil, who played doubles together in 2010 Toronto beating two guys named Djokovic and Nadal, also played together in juniors.

“He won,” Raonic said. “He won most of them as a junior, if not all of them… Most of the tournaments came down to us. There was also another junior back then that was playing really well. Most of the events were between the three of us.”

Now though it’s the seniors and if Raonic wants to be a big star and live up to the potential he’s got to win here. Like Djokovic, I’ll go with the guy who needs it more, and that’s Milos.
The pick: Raonic in three

In the women’s semifinals, no surprise it’s Serena Williams who’s the favorite among the final four in Toronto. Serena will meet Agnieszka Radwanksa. In the other semi it’s Li Na against Sorana Cirstea.

ESPN2 will have coverage starting at 1pm with Toronto then the 3pm Canadian battle from Montreal. Nadal/Djokovic will be under the lights at 8pm.

SATURDAY MONTREAL SCHEDULE
CENTRAL start 13:00
[3] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)

Not Before 15:00
[WC] V Pospisil (CAN) vs [11] M Raonic (CAN)

Not Before 18:00
[6] R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) vs C Fleming (GBR) / A Murray (GBR)

Not Before 20:00
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [4] R Nadal (ESP)


Also Check Out:
Roger Federer Withdraws From Montreal
Watch Genie Bouchard Give The Weather Forecast In Montreal [Video]
Rafael Nadal Could Skip Cincinnati, Roger Federer Might Miss Montreal
Uncle Toni: Nadal Confirmed for Montreal
Former Champions Nadal, Murray And Djokovic Were All Practicing Friday In Montreal, Here’s Video

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138 Comments for Can Nadal Beat Djokovic In Montreal? A Canadian Will Await In The Final

metan Says:

Sean,
Nice wrapped up. We will see how Rafa fares Nole tomorrow. Win or lose , I am happy with what he has done so far.
And my double happiness is you don’t pick Rafa .☺☺ Being honest I am pretty freak out with your chosen winner.


Legend Says:

Sean,
Thanks a lot for the astute analysis and a favorable pick.


nadalista Says:

Can Rafa beat Novak today? Yes he can.

Will Rafa beat Novak today? I do not think so. Novak looks in imperious form going into the semi. Rafa, otoh, is still re-discovering his form.

I certainly do not want Rafa going all out to beat Novak, the bigger prize is the USOpen.

I will go with Sean’s pick, cheering my guy on and hoping for an upset.

Vamos!!


metan Says:

Nadalista. LOL !!!


Michael Says:

Rafa vs Novak should be a very interesting match and I am keeping my fingers crossed. Both are playing near their best and it should only be a toss up. However, considering that it is hard courts, you can give a slight edge to Novak, may be 55:45 in my judgement. However, it will all boil down to the way they both serve and shots happening in important moments of the match. Nevertheless, it should be an engrossing match and the only dampener is that it is not a finals.


nadalista Says:

“However, it will all boil down to the way they both serve…..”

Thanks @Michael, this is what tipped it for me in going with Sean’s pick. Rafa’s first serve percentage has been a little low so far and this is a key stat for him as his second serve tends to be quite vulnerable.

I can see what he is trying to do, be aggressive, even with his serve so I hope this strategy starts bearing fruit closer to the USOpen, it has served him well so far.

Vamos Rafa!!


Faleye o kehinde Says:

Kneel or no kneel, Injury or no injury,Win or lose,Rafael Nadal makes this game of Tennis more exciting than any other on the tour and without himTennis looks bouring to me personally


Giles Says:

Vamos Rafa!!


Brando Says:

Agree with Michael. Nole is fav and more than likely winner. A good week for Rafa though first tourny back.


Michael Says:

Nadalista,

Well as you rightly said, first serve holds the key. Rafa’s first serve percentage is near about 70% in this tournament which is good in my opinion. Not many players do that on a consistent basis like Rafa. But, I think Rafa’s chances will be more if he gets aggressive with his shot making rather than being timid and defensive. His bludgeoning forehand should start firing right from the start.

Brando,

Yes, even if Nadal gets beaten in the semis, it has been quite a fruitful tournament for him considering that it came after a break. But, knowing Rafa, he will be fighting on the court till the last point and his opponent too has similar characteristics. So, the two best fighters in the game taking one another. A treat to watch.


nadalista Says:

Is that Rafa’s first serve stat for the whole tourny so far, 70%? That’s not too shabby, I thought that was only for yesterday. I think Rafa is still adjusting to the fast courts, hence the rather high UEs. He looked a little rushed in his ball striking.

I expect him to be in the groove come USOpen.


Brando Says:

I for one completely agree Rafa: Rafael #Nadal: “Janowicz is … the next top 10, top 5, he’s a future Grand Slam winner I think.”


James Says:

@nadalista, he’s been serving well the whole tourney so far. He can still improve on it though. He made a few DFs yesterday. Hope it’s just 0-2 DF against Novak.

Agree with others that Novak has the slight edge going into the match, like 55-45. They both looked sharp in their quarter final matches. Novak’s was the more impressive of the two. The world no.1 is in some scary form at the moment. But I think Rafa’s ready for their battle. Rafa came out yesterday and played aggressive right from the word go. Matosevic, unlike Gasquet against Novak, held his nerves and tried to fight back. He got 62% of his first serves in play against Rafa yesterday. Gasquet against Novak could only get 39% of first serves in. Matosevic tried but he was never going to outplay Rafa who’s beginning to play well.

I have no doubt that Rafa is going to try his best to beat Novak for the first time on a HC since the 2010 US Open final. He might not need the Montreal title as much as Novak does but he needs to beat no.1 guy if he is to overtake him in the ranking at some point. Whoever wins this match will most likely win the title too. The Montreal crowd’s gonna love this showdown.


James Says:

@Brando, I don’t think Jerzy’s gonna consistently dominate the men’s tour but he’ll always be a difficult opponent for most players. I agree he can win a Slam at some point in his career. Perhaps in the next 2-3 years?


metan Says:

James,
Win or lose is #3,♡


Giles Says:

Joker fans via twitter suggesting if he beats Rafa he should rip his shirt and then dance!
#RealClassyBunch
#NOT


James Says:

metan, true. He was ranked 4-5 only because he hadn’t played for 7 months last year. I hope he can find his 2010 form and play Novak the way he did that year at Flushing Meadows and WTF.


James Says:

“I have no doubt that Rafa is going to try his best to beat Novak for the first time on a HC since the 2010 US Open final.”

Oops! Rafa last beat Novak on a HC at O2 Arena WTF in 2010, not US Open final.


James Says:

@Giles, the Djoker’s the slight favorite for tonight’s match. But in case he loses to Rafa, will he still show off his dance moves, you think?


Brando Says:

@Giles: Relax Giles. Don’t even bother with it. IMHO in the world of fandom you will find full of @@@@ fans on all sides. NO one fanbase is better or worse than another. And IF you hear voices propogating the brilliance of one and awfulness of another: ignore them as those voices generally tend to subscribe to no perception of reality but to their own prejudice against other fan groups (eg daily episodes on here). We are here since we love the game and that’s played by some wonderful players who are all the same in the main: nole is as wonderful a character as any and as full of @@@@ as any. No better or worse, just like the rest. Besides: NONE of these guys are seeking to become the next Pope so saintly behaviour is not expected nor desired really. I love to see non conformist behaviour on show: even if it pisses a few people off- as long as I’m not one of the peeved bunch. So nole: keep your shirt on buddy as it usually means bad times for the one’s I root for, and Rafa: vamos like crazy as if it’s the last time you’ll ever get to say such a thing on court!:-)


Giles Says:

@James. Dance moves only if he wins. So let’s hope he is off the court as quick as dammit! Lol
@Brando. If only I could relax, that’s just asking too much. But am going to try my best, no?
V A M O S R A F A!!


Faleye o kehinde Says:

Knee or no knee, Injury or no injury,Win or lose, Rafael Nadal is still the best player around because he makes this game of Tennis so


Dan Martin Says:

I have my WTA and ATP predictions for the day up here – http://www.tennisabides.com I think Novak wins today as a small measure of revenge, but I think Rafa is also pointing toward NY. If Rafa wins this event he will be hard to catch in the 2013 rankings race.


Kimberly Says:

the dolphins won their pre-season game yay! Picked Djokovic to win this in my bracket and it is probably the right pick but would be delighted if Rafa can make it a great match at the very least. I hope Rafa wins and condemns me to the worst bracket in history but I agree with Sean’s orginal analysis. However, I don’t think Rafa will be delighted with a semi now. If you asked at the beginning of the week he would have taken it but now that he is there I am sure he wants the tittle. that’s how champions are


AD Tennis Says:

Sean’s analysis sounds just about right. I think Raonic in 2 and Djokovic in 3.


Jimmy Says:

What is going on in Djokovic’s head? So close at the French and Wimby, two big disappointments.


Giles Says:

@Kimberly. Will your boy Colin be sporting Rafa gear tonite?


gonzalowski Says:

I’ll follow my heart and vote for Nadal..
And 2 reasons for this:
- I see him enjoying the game, and without serious physical problems; in those conditions he is the world’s best, IMO.
- I consider that the mental issue is on his side, at this time.

Vamos Rafa!


James Says:

@gonzalowski, Novak is a safer bet in today’s match. Having seen both their matches yesterday, Novak was more impressive playing near perfect. But Rafa’s ready for the challenge imo. Will Rafa beat Novak tonight? I dunno. Can he? Hell yes! Vamos RafA!


Ben Pronin Says:

What happened to tennis talk?


tennis x hippy chic Says:

I would love for a Rafa win here,but my heads saying Nole with this been a HC,i hope its an open and well contested match whatever the result,Nole IMO is the one under more pressure,he surely wants to reassert his aurthority over his rivals,and his no1 ranking could be under threat from his rivals,also he wants to make a mark ahead ahead of the USO,my two cents.


Ben Pronin Says:

Great article skeeze. They should just legalize doping. Make it available to all athletes.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Ben its great to be having some proper tennis disscussion,for a change instead of the trash talking and personal inults,not only about the players,but also to each other.


Long Live The King Says:

H2H: 11-5 on hardcourts. Djokovic won last 4 on hardcourts.

Nadal is definitely the underdog here, but Djokovic has to bring his best to get one over Nadal. Djokovic in 3.


nitesh Says:

I hope rafa wins but nole is no push over the only way i see nadal winning in punishing grinding three set otherwise its nole in two sets

cant wait for live action !!!!


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Rafa has done the smart thing getting some HC match practice ahead of the USO,he went to Wimbledon cold turkey with no GC matches under his belt,which was not a good idea as it turned out,dont know about his chances at the USO,but if he gets on a good run he could be a dark horse.


Long Live The King Says:

Outside clay, Rafa is on a terrible run. He has won 1 title in almost 3 years. [going back to October 2010 when he won Tokyo]

He really needs to win more titles outside clay – we already know he is the King of Clay.


mem Says:

Ben,

do you realize the implication of “legalizing doping?” like i said before, the word “integrity” doesn’t mean anything anymore. it’s shameful to even think such a thing, but then, i guess, this is what the sport has been dragged down to. how about raising the bar demanding that athletes play by the rules or suffer the consequences.


Rick Says:

Sean will jinx Nole for picking him as the winner!


Ben Pronin Says:

Mem, I don’t know. I’m guessing you read the article. The testing will never catch up to the doping. Testing positive is nearly impossible. Not only do players know how to cycle on and off, but there are masking agents as well. There’s also the substances that, I know, players are taking now that are legal but will probably be illegal in 5 years. What do we do about those? I don’t know. If they legalize doping, then maybe they can actually regulate it. Perfect the drugs so that they help but don’t hurt. I mean come on, isn’t a protein shake technically performance enhancing?


courbon Says:

@ Brando: Your post at 7:10 is just brilliant!
My man…( with heavy Brooklyn accent)


mem Says:

Ben,

you are very myopic in your reasoning. to be honest, your comments sound scary. i don’t think you understand the implications of what you are suggesting.
regardless of how you word it to sound logical, it’s a sad day in tennis or any sport when people start considering “legalizing drugs” to solve the problem or to increase chances for all players to perform better. what has happened to discipline and hard work? what has happened to morals and values? do you understand that athletes earn millions and millions of dollars to win on their own merit. im sure you, like some others are searching for an easy way out. no one said that catching cheaters is going to be easy, but sports make billions of dollars that enable them to set in motion strategies to help expose deceivers/cheats, while simultaneously sending a message to other athletes that cheating will not be tolerated.

quite frankly, you sound like Job’s wife, plain foolish!


courbon Says:

So, the big day arrived.
If Novak wins-Big for Novak,and also to get monkey off his back ( maybe is more proper to say-Spanish bull off his back?)
If Novak loses….hmmmm.I don’t know what will be the worst-Novak loosing points, Rafa getting in to his head and probably loosing his No1 ranking by the end of year? Or seeing 1000 VAMOS from Giles and Steve27 next two days? Probably later….


Ben Pronin Says:

Mem, I just don’t see a solution that’ll ever work. Again, a protein shake is technically performance enhancing. So is food. So is Gatorade. Is a cortisone shot performance enhancing? They could be. So can ibuprofen. We want to advance as humans, right? To me, that’s what pro athletes are, the next level of evolution. The things they take that allow them to perform the feats they perform, to recover the way they do (not just from physical performances but from injuries, too), they’re above us. Super human.

Do you know how little research has actually been conducted on anabolic steroids? We have some ideas on the harmful effects, but nothing definitive. It’s a hard thing to conduct experiments with. But maybe if there was more funding, they could figure out how to make them provide the boosting effects without all of the negative side effects (of which very few are known in the first place).

Sports make billions of dollars and yet the ITF has a budget of 1.5 MILLION dollars for their entire anti-doping system. Nothing can be done with that.


mem Says:

Ben,

i see where you are coming from. you choose to find reasons why it can’t be done, and i choose to find reasons why it can be done. of course it won’t be easy, but it is necessary to perserve the future of tennis! what is so scary to me is that you choose to plant this kind of dangerous seed in the minds of future generation athletes. do you understand that your kind of talk is harmful? you are sending a message to youngsters who are in the developmental stage of their chosen sport; you are sending a message to kids who are working toward becoming pro athletes that taking drugs to perform better is ok. if you have had any education at all about drugs, you would know full well that using one drug can potentially lead to using another and another until young lives are completed destroyed. this is the implication of what you are suggesting and the fact that you promote this kind of thing is quite disturbing.

we can discuss this until doom’s day and we will never see eye to eye on this particular topic. there are no statistics or dollar amounts that you can point to that will make your argument sound rational.


James Says:

Legalize doping in sport? Hell no! Sports should not become about science.

An hour and half more to go for Rafole semi final show down in Quebec. Gotta get done with this damn work first. Can’t wait.


Ben Pronin Says:

Mem, funny that you bring up younger generations. You know why I’m against doping? Because of them. I don’t care who’s already doping. Nadal, Djokovic, Lebron, Armstrong, whatever. Couldn’t care less. It’s the younger generation. I think it’s absolute bs that a kid plays tennis (or whatever sport) his whole life with aspirations of being a great player, then reaches a fork in the road where he either has to settle for mediocrity or no career at all OR start doping to catch up to everyone else so that he can compete with them. That’s my number 1 issue with doping. No, sports shouldn’t become about science, it shouldn’t be a medical race, and no one should have to be forced into this decision.

I’m just not seeing a light at the end of this tunnel. The more I learn about this stuff, the more I read about what’s going on, the less hope I have. Maybe Lance was “trying to justify” his doping during his career, but I think we all know cycling is just muddled with this stuff and he did what he had to do. He was okay with it. But not everyone will be. And not everyone should have to be. And yet here with are.


the DA Says:

Wow! Murray & Fleming annihilated Linstedt & Nestor 6-3 6-0 to make their very first Masters 1000 final. Of course they didn’t televise it. grrrr


Tennislover Says:

Neither player has looked anywhere close to their best. Raf looks a bit better though. Djok hasn’t looked very convincing given his high standards on hard courts. The Gasquet rout is not an apt indicator since Gasquet was woeful. I think Djok is a bit vulnerable at the moment and Raf is just the kind of player who could take advantage since I’d expect him to be more consistent and less error-prone. Djok has to raise his level and, of late, he hasn’t really been able to do so in big matches. I get the feeling that Raf’s chances are brighter than Djok’s. I hope this turns out to be a cracker because I don’t expect the final to be very competitive.


Steve 27 Says:

Rafa should be using more the slice to interrupt the rhythm of Djokovic addition to risk his bh cc to force the Serbs to use his bh dl


Legend Says:

There is small hole in the armoury of Nole which Rafa exposed for the very first time during the FO semis and Delpo and Murray exploited more at wimbledon.

Nole is extremely fast in moving and also anticipate and start moving towards the ball much earlier…..thats his core strength…..but he is not that great in quickly changing directions.

When he is not sure which way the ball is going to come back he will be vulnerable to upsets.

If the normal rally shots directions are unpredictable Nole will come out second best.
He was slipping and sliding all over the place during the FO semis, wimbledon semis and finals.

Murray who has terrific court sense took advantage of it and made a mockery of Nole during the wimbledon finals.

Ofcourse it is not easy to just change directions at will. It requires a huge amount of skill and strength. Murray has the best tools to take advantage of Nole’s weekness followed by Rafa and Roger.


Jimmy Says:

I hate ESPN, forget Serena, show us Rafa and Novak!


James Says:

The players on court warming up. This is it!
Nole’s the favorite, but c’mon Rafa!


Legend Says:

Nole is tense….but Rafa looks sharp.

Breaks Nole straight away.


James Says:

Nadal breaks! First game. Novak DF on game point.


Legend Says:

Wow…Rafa saves 3 BPs in a row…with 2 second serves


Legend Says:

The start clearly shows that Rafa is now in Nole’s head


James Says:

@Legend, I wouldn’t say that but it does look like Novak is the more nervous of the two atm.
Good hold from Rafa. Almost gave back the break but saved all 3 BPs.


Legend Says:

James,
You are right. It is still early and it can change anytime.


tennisfansince76 Says:

Espn can suck eggs


Legend Says:

Rafa’s serve is clicking…even the second serve.


tennisfansince76 Says:

Good for Serena. Now get the right match on losers


Legend Says:

Nole is looking better…early nerves are settled.
But Rafa is on fire.


Legend Says:

Rafa breaks again….first set is almost in his bag.


James Says:

Rafa breaks again! 5-2 up! Novak DFs on BP yet again.


metan Says:

Yes James, his serves is click, far better.

Nice move Rafa..


Legend Says:

Nole breaks when Rafa is serving for the set.


James Says:

Novak breaks back. Still a break down. Will serve to stay in the set. 3-5.


tennisfansince76 Says:

More like it. Rafa on a string.


Legend Says:

Level of tennis is getting higher from both of them.


James Says:

Rafa to serve for the set again. Hold your serve this, amigo. No need to be too aggressive in this game. Play your normal game.


James Says:

*this time


James Says:

double SP and Rafa takes the first set 6-4! Keep it going…Vamos!


Legend Says:

Rafa takes the first with some dominant tennis.


Daniel Says:

Nadal came to play today. He’s hitting harder than usual.
Djoko’s weird 5 DF is very unusual and cost him this set.


metan Says:

Rafa gains a lot if points from second serve.
Sweet first set. Yoooohooo


the DA Says:

Rafa looks like he came out with a specific plan and it worked for most of that set. Nole looks like he’s gathering steam though. Tough to call.


Legend Says:

Rafa’s pace and depth of shots is bothering Nole.


James Says:

It’s not over ’til it’s over between these two. So, Rafa get the job done in 2.


tennisfansince76 Says:

Nole is missing slot of forehand today


tennisfansince76 Says:

Now that was a good point


Alex Says:

OMG…

Great Rally, match is getting super exciting!


James Says:

Djokovic breaks and will serve for the set 5-3. What happened to Nadal in that game? C’mon!


Daniel Says:

Umpire lost his track. Didn’t call last two points. Hahahahah poor fela


James Says:

Novak takes 2nd set 6-3. Unneccesary scoreboard drama there.


Daniel Says:

Match with few winners. Both very solid and not even having those long rallies as before. Seems both came with the same tatica of hiting deep. They are trying to
Hold each other back and center court.


the DA Says:

What a fiasco with the scoring. Rafa’s shots are getting the same depth as in the first set. This will favor Nole unless he hits deeper in the 3rd.


Daniel Says:

Seems Nadal US Open 10′ serve is almost back. This is the best I see him serve in a long time.


James Says:

Good hold from Rafa. Now put the pressure back on Novak. Hope Rafa has enough gas left for the match. Less aggression from him in 2nd set.


Daniel Says:

I haven’t seen a single volley this entire macth. Bizarre! Nono leaves a short ball for the other to come in


the DA Says:

Whoa! Rafa pegs Nole in the face. The tension just went off the charts.


Daniel Says:

Bad blood between this 2 from now on. nadla
Jush hit a ball on Djoko’s cheak. You could see Djoko took a long breath, counted to 10 look at Nadal and turn his face. Drama!!


Daniel Says:

This was a game Djoko had several chances on some points. Let’s see if he holds after that hit and missed oportunities


Legend Says:

Nole has angered Rafa by not accepting his apology.
We all know what an angry Rafa can do….lets see what happens.


Daniel Says:

Nice drop volley by Nadal


Daniel Says:

Another game where Djoko missed oportunities. Seems some times he doesn’t know what shot to hit.
Tense times from now to the end. A break can be critical. I am hoping for a tiebreak. Most fiiting end for this tigh match.


Legend Says:

Tennis at its best.


the DA Says:

hehe…Andy’s watching:

‏@andy_murray – “Nole just took one in the face! This could get tasty now!”


Daniel Says:

This was a crucial hold for Djoko and may hive him the boost needed to close this out. Will see…


James Says:

great tennis!


tennisfansince76 Says:

A check not cashed by rafa


tennisfansince76 Says:

This is Olympian tennis


Daniel Says:

Great hold by Nadal, 15-30 and he unleashed 2 first serves to close the game. 1 game away from the final.


James Says:

Novak has better ROS in this match. Nadal needs to serve really well.


James Says:

Nadal holds 6-5. Now if he returns Novak’s serve better he can close the match here.


Daniel Says:

Nadal did his part and guarantee tiebreak. He can break Djoko and book his final ticket and the title as we all know this os the final and tomorrow will be formalities.

Irony will be if Nadal wins this tourney. He would have win IW and Canada. Only 2 hard court tourney he played.


Daniel Says:

Bizarre. This is pathetic ending for this macth. I few robbed;-)
Congrats Nadal and a supreme performance.


Ben Pronin Says:

Unfortunate finish, but classic match. Well played by both. US Open will be very interesting.


Daniel Says:

Also congrats to another MS titel and another on hard. Seems
He came to this torney to try new tatics: return more inside, flatter and harder BH and faster serve. And ot all paid off.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal with the finger wag.


metan Says:

VAMOS R A F A !!!!!


Daniel Says:

This makes the #1 race interesting. Nadal may enter US Open as #1 on race points if he wins tomorrow and depending on Cincy results.


James Says:

Vamos Rafa! What a match! Well played Novak too. A great champion indeed.

Now no one’s gonna say Rafa can’t Novak on HCs. The Spaniard still undefeated on HC this year.


the DA Says:

What a fantastic match – well worth staying up half the night for. The TB was a bit of a let-down but Rafa was a beast. Well deserved win. Commiserations Nole fans.


Daniel Says:

Yeah Ben I noticed that. Last time we saw that Fed became #1 in 2009. Will Nadal repeat it and return to #1 this year?!


Legend Says:

Q: Where is Rafa ?
A: Inside Nole’s head.

Leads 5-1 after AO2012.


Ben Pronin Says:

Daniel, Nadal has the number 1 ranking all but wrapped up. Djokovic’s forehand gifted it to him.


Brando Says:

@Courbon and nice Nole fans (Bada Bing, POV etc):

Sorry about the loss.

Most ESPECIALLY about Rafa hitting Nole. That wasn’t good to see.

Respect for Nole to giving a good hug at the net.

This changes ZERO for Nole at the USO.

1. He’s still the main man. PERIOD.

2. He’s still the KING OF HC.

3. He’s BETTER than Rafa on HC.

4. Rafa NEEDS to play extremely well to win.

I’m sure Nole do better in Cincy. Keep your head up Courbon!


Rick Says:

TOLD YOU THAT SEAN WOULD JINX NOLE, WHOEVER AGREES WITH SEAN IS A FOOL! LOL


Legend Says:

“The Spaniard still undefeated on HC this year.”

Beating Nole, Roger, Berdych, Delpo and Gulbis on the way !!!!!!!!!!
VAMOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


metan Says:

Commisarianto Nole and all his fans @ Courbon, Jane, Wog Boy , POV.

Exrcelent Match by both!!!


Brando Says:

@Rafa fans:

VAMOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a confidence boosting win!

Rafa really played well.

Cannot comment more: past 3.30 in the AM here in the UK- too knackered!

The shot hitting Nole was BAD to see- but beyond that a near flawless match.

Will post more in the day for sure but for now: well done Rafa and enjoy it my fellow Rafa fans.

It’s been a while.

VAMOS! :-)


Rick Says:

Another final for Rafa!


Legend Says:

“Last time we saw that Fed became #1 in 2009.”

No Daniel….Federer did that after beating Nole at RG 2011 semis.


Brando Says:

PS: Re the SHOT:

PLEASE can non-Rafa fans show restraint on that point.

Others have done so in the past, recently ANDY MURRAY.

NO big ho haa.

Let’s NOT throw the kitchen sink because it was Rafa.

Wish it did NOT happen, sadly it did.

Rafa apologized.

Novak showed ACE sportsmanship and gave a warm hug at net.

Case closed.

Please do not detract from his win by harping one about ultimately ONE mere point.

Thanks in advance to those who stay cool on it and show understanding.


Ben Pronin Says:

Brando, Nadal didn’t do it on purpose. I think Djokovic was more upset about his shot selection. Plus everyone gets extremely pissed when they’re hit in the face or head when if it’s accidental. Novak accepted the apology at the net. It didn’t affect the outcome of the match. No point in discussing it further.


Rick Says:

This rivalry is better than Rafa and Fed.


James Says:

Re that shot on Novak’s cheek, I’m glad Rafa apologized again after the match. Nole was all cool then.
I’m very happy with Rafa’s win but let us not forget Nole is still the no.1 player in the world.


metan Says:

Ben, at 11.01 well said! Case closed.


Brando Says:

@Ben:

Thanks Ben! :-)

Also to everyone else: Just read the entire thread and folks showed great understanding and maturity regarding their reaction in real time to that point.

Kudos to all. Very nice to see.

Class act by all and TX STILL has some brilliant posters.

Fun reading the commentary of all. Agree with all views: very spot on in their assessment of the match.

Great match, and night all for now! :-)


Steve 27 Says:

Can Nadal Beat Djokovic In Montreal?
Yes, he can.
Thanks for the jinx again, Sean. Tomorrow or today choose the canadian, please. Vamos!


Daniel Says:

You are righr Legend and he got #1 yet again, 1 year later. But he did;-) so this is a sign Nadal will get #1 again this year.
Cincy outcome will be interesting.

Regarding Nadal undefeated on HC. He seems more focised than clau matches and he changes completely now for HC. Ok, hos core base still is counter punching, extreme defense and good margina but is evident the changes he made for HC. Clay he construct the point more calm. Here he has to pull the trigger sooner and qas wrong footong Djoko with some
BH DTL after slices on tht corner. He won all points after aplying this. His serve is faster, gping for more aces, he had 7. Return inside the court and he was smacking the ball. No wonder he is gettig the results. He is playing better on HC than clay.


Legend Says:

“You are righr Legend and he got #1 yet again, 1 year later. But he did;-) so this is a sign Nadal will get #1 again this year.”

This year it would be difficult. But after AO 2014 it is almost a given that Rafa would be number 1.

“Cincy outcome will be interesting. ”

The job is done here. I dont think Rafa will play Cinci.


Steve 27 Says:

Federer is smiling now!


metan Says:

If Rafa will play in cincy until Quarter only, it will help to sell the tickets and someone nerves increased, no.
Any way not bad to try super fast court, go all the way baby !!!


Margot Says:

Legend @7.50 yesterday
Very interesting comment about and a terrific compliment. Thank you.


Margot Says:

Lol about Andy, obviously…duh!

Top story: Rafael Nadal: I Am Not The Favorite To Finish The Year No. 1
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