Rafael Nadal Meets Novak Djokovic For The 2013 US Open Title, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | September 8th, 2013, 12:10 am
  • 81 Comments

The best rivalry in tennis resumes Monday night at the US Open when the top two players in the world, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, collide for the final Grand Slam on the tennis calendar.

Not only is a second US Open crown at stake for both guys, but in my mind the winner will eventually finish as the No. 1 ranked player on the season.

Before I get to my pick, here’s my quick recap of the semifinals.

First, as expected Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka turned out to be the bruising, physical battle as billed with Novak coming out just ahead in this knife fight 2-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Wawrinka came out hot while Djokovic, perhaps due to the early noon start time I think, was awfully flat.

Playing his first Slam semifinal, Stan dominated the contest for the first hour or so before Djokovic woke up in time to grind out a second set breaker. Stan figured to fade at that point, but credit to the Swiss for staying the course. Wawrinka continued to crack his serve and slug winners when the moment was right. And that was often.

Meanwhile, Djokovic remained out of sorts at times. He got warned for coaching, he occasionally looked in disbelief after Stan continued to pop that backhand for winners.

But in the fourth with momentum back with Stan that’s when he blinked. Djokovic broke early and eventually broke Wawrinka’s thigh muscle.

Despite the injury, which forced Stan off the court for over five minutes, he didn’t close up the shop. He kept at it culminating by outlasting Djokovic to win a 21-minute third game. But that was it. Unfazed, Djokovic went right back to work holding easily then breaking Wawrinka for a final time to lead 3-2. And that was it.

I thought Stan was the better player on the day but in the end he just couldn’t put Novak away. And Novak did just enough to get through the challenge.

That’s why Djokovic’s in No. 1 and Stan, for all his heft and power he showed, will likely never crack the Top 5.

“I tried to be close to the line,” Djokovic said. “But I wasn’t managing to find my rhythm. That’s what frustrated me. I wasn’t hitting the ball well. A lot of unforced errors. But it was one of those days, you know, where even if you don’t feel well on the court you have to be tough and believe that you can win. And I have done so.

“I just tried to hang on and fight and be mentally tough and believe all the way through I can actually win. And I sincerely believed that as the match progresses and longer it goes, I felt I have maybe that physical edge over him, and that I also, being in particularly these kind of matches and situations, playing on a big stage in semifinals.”

Said Wawrinka, “Today I had the feeling when I was still fit, when I was still healthy I had the match in control. I think I was playing better than him. I was doing much more things than him. But he’s not No. 1 for nothing.”

In the late semifinal, Nadal also took care of business in typical Nadal fashion. Rafa broke Richard Gasquet in the Frenchman’s first service game and that pretty much marked the end. Gasquet played well at times – and honestly I think he did better than I thought he would – but despite finally dropping serve Nadal enjoyed a nice day at the office with a 6-4, 7-6, 6-2 victory.

It’s Rafa 24th straight win on hardcourts and he’s remarkably won all 20 this year. Not to mention 12 finals in 13 events with nine titles! Really, who would have believed that back in February when he was coming off seven long months of rehab to fix that ailing knee, he would go on to put up these kind of numbers. And it’s worth asking, is he better now than ever? I’ll leave that for another post.

So the dream final is set.

Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal
On Monday they’ll meet for a 37th time, most among any rivalry in the Open Era. And it’s a good one. It’s appointment TV.

As we’ve seen these two are best in the game off the baseline, the best in terms of defense and the two fittest guys in the game. And that spells longs, tough matches. And because of the extra day off I think Monday will be no different.

“He’s the ultimate competitor out there,” Djokovic said of Rafa. “He’s fighting for every ball and he’s playing probably the best tennis that he ever played on hard courts. He hasn’t lost a match on hard court this year, and we all knew that over the course of last six, seven, eight years, hard court hasn’t been his favorite surface. He has got injuries, many injuries on this surface, but now he looks fit.

“He had seven months off. He lost three matches this year. With no doubt he’s the best player in the moment this year, no question about it. So the way he’s been playing he’s very confident, but, you know, I know how to play him. Hard court is the surface that, as I said, is my most successful surface. I have played him already here twice in the finals. I know what I need to do.”

Nadal has the big lead in this series 21-15 but on hardcourts Novak has the advantage 11-6. However, Nadal has won five of the last six including two recent crushing blows at the French Open and Canadian Open semifinals where he hit Novak in the face.

Novak had chances in both losses as those bad patches crept in at the wrong times, and Nadal took advantage. And that what I see happening Monday.

Mikhail Youzhny got a set. Stan got two. Nadal’s leaps and bounds better than both, what’s he going to do?

In this matchup I’ve often giving Djokovic an edge in the serve-return game. Because of his exceptional return of serve, Novak can really attack Rafa’s weak second serve. But here this week Nadal really been popping that serve of his while Djokovic return game suddenly isn’t as reliable as it once was.

If Novak’s having trouble returning Rafa’s serve it’s going to be a long night for the Serb.

Also missing of late from the Djokovic arsenal is that lethal down-the-line backhand of his. If he can’t hit his backhand to Nadal’s backhand then big edge to Rafa.

This summer Novak’s appeared reluctant to hit that shot. He’ll need it on Monday if he wants to win.

For me those are the two keys to the match and they do reside with Novak because on a quick hardcourt if he’s at his best, that’s better than Rafa’s best.

So based on recent form Nadal’s clearly been better of the two. Novak’s looked sluggish all summer. He’s played well in patches but I just don’t see the consistency that I do with Nadal who seems to stay at that top level much longer.

With Rafa there are just so few bad streaks, so few lapses. And now just three sets from the finish I can’t see him letting down now. When Novak was at his peak it was a pick ‘em match in this rivalry, even on hardcourts. With the Serb now off those lofty levels and Nadal never better on this surface, the choice is clear: winning breeds more winning…
The pick: Nadal in four

As for the women’s final Sunday, I think Victoria Azarenka keeps it close but Serena gets revenge for Cincinnati.

CBS will have live coverage of the women’s final Sunday at 4pm and the men’s final Monday at 5pm.


Also Check Out:
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Del Potro Dominates Nadal, Will Duel Djokovic In Shanghai Final; Who’s The Pick?
Poll: Who’s More Likely To Finish 2014 No. 1, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic?
Poll: Who’s Most Likely To Finish In Top 2: Murray, Nadal Or Federer?
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81 Comments for Rafael Nadal Meets Novak Djokovic For The 2013 US Open Title, Who’s The Pick?

Michael Says:

Well, I agree with Sean pick. Rafa really has the edge. But it may not be four sets, it might extend to five. Still, Novak is in with a real chance if he produces his best Tennis which he is capable of. Who knows, it is the finals for which Novak has preserved his best Tennis and if he unleashes it then he might pick his seventh slam. Basically it will all boil down to the respective form of the players on the D day.


Slice Tennis Says:

Congrats to Nole and his fans for his 7th GS title.
Rafa is doomed by Sean.


metan Says:

Sean, agree with your pick, but not 4.


metan Says:

Slice Tennis,
Rafa needs proper excorcism to counter Sean jinx, no. Can we help him with a little prayer??


Michael Says:

Slice Tennis,

Oflate, the Sean jinx is not performing upto its potential. There have been many predictions by Sean which proved right. May be he was wrong in picking Andy to lift the title. But, he did pick Novak in five and Rafa in three in their semi final encounters.


skeezer Says:

The best defense will win.

How pathetic the Tennis game has become.


WTF Says:

When did the US Open end super saturday and move men’s finals to a Monday? Doesn’t that make no sense at all, since Monday is a business day?

Nole just got let off again. Two times he’s faced Nadal in the US Open final now, where he’s played a 5 set semi final and wasn’t meant to get a day of rest before the final but rain saved him. And now he gets lucky again.

If they’re going to end women’s finals being played on saturday, why don’t they condense round 1 to 2 days instead of 3?


WTF Says:

Nole is a tough customer. He has the winning advantage on hard courts.

It’s true that Rafa has beaten him recently more times than he has lost, but we have to look at the stats.

Cincy he won 7-6 in the 3rd. That could have been Nole’s. French Open he again barely won, this was 9-7 in the 5th set, on his best surface no less. Monte Carlo, Djokovic actually won in straight sets, on Nadal’s best surface.

He did beat Nole 3 times in 2012 also but they were on clay. And at the French Open that year Nole should have leveled it to 2 sets all. The game was postponed when Nole was up a break in the 4th set. When they resumed he got broken back and Rafa clinched it in 4. Had there not been a delay, I think Nole would have brought it to 5. He was carrying the momentum and might even have seen it through.

So really, in recently memory the only confidence Rafa has to draw on is his Cincy win a few weeks ago, where it was only a 3 setter and ended in a third set tie break at that, which is not even proof he can beat Nole in 5 sets on hard court at this stage.

I think I give Nole the edge, simply because on hard courts he plays better than Rafa does when they meet (11-6 record).


roy Says:

‘The best defense will win.

How pathetic the Tennis game has become.’

if you think djokovic is a defensive player you know nothing about tennis.


Zeljko Says:

I am really afraid of Nadal. I wish for a clean body of Nadal. I really wouldn’t want to hear, after 10 years, the same story as in the Armstrong case.

Novak obviously has a first serve problem and if he can’t perform 10 aces and 70% first serve in the final he is probaly runner up.

I wish Novak all the best and I will be rooting for him.


Slice Tennis Says:

Jokes apart, I should say that Sean’s analysis and previews are mostly spot on.
He also never makes stupid picks. He picks based on sound reasoning and not far away from bookies favorites.
He is just not lucky with his picks.


Slice Tennis Says:

skeezer Says:
The best defense will win.

How pathetic the Tennis game has become.

September 8th, 2013 at 1:48 am

What to do Skeezer, our world number one is just a pusher.

Hope Federer makes a good comeback and completes the Calendar slam in 2014.


Slice Tennis Says:

Sean,
Can you please include Federer also in your poll ?
Federer fans will feel slightly better if he wins this poll.


Zeljko Says:

@WTF
If they’re going to end women’s finals being played on saturday, why don’t they condense round 1 to 2 days instead of 3?

You are absolutely right. There is no reason to strech first two rounds for that long. Monday is not for the final. Friday is for semis and Sunday for the final.


Michael Says:

Well nobody can call either Rafa or Novak as defensive players. They are experts in retrieving but combine aggression with steady and solid defense. They know that indiscriminate hitting of balls from the baseline can make your game error prone, inconsistent and so they follow calculated and methodological aggression on court. Seeing that ferocious forehand from Rafa and calling him a defensive player is really speaking out of mind.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Somehow looking at the quality of tennis played by both players, it’s more advantage Rafa than Novak.

During last match, Novak could not hit through the ball throughout the match. He had many mid court balls which he could not take advantage of.

The shot which I thought seperated him from the rest during 2011 was his FH. He had always been great on BH, but it was his CC FH which made all the difference against Roger and Rafa. His FH to Rafa’s BH was the pattern which made him beat Nadal consecutive times and on big matches. That FH is not firing anymore as it used to be.

Looks like based on past performance in the tournament, it would be advantage for Nadal. But you never know with Novak. Can he get his game back – Both CC FH and CC BH.


Thomas Says:

Djokovic’s BH DTL has been crap all tournament. IF he somehow starts finding the range of that shot(instead of running around his backhand constantly to avoid hitting it) I think he has a great chance of winning. If he doesn’t, I think Nadal will stomp him.


rafaeli Says:

WTF Says:

“Nole is a tough customer. He has the winning advantage on hard courts.

It’s true that Rafa has beaten him recently more times than he has lost, but we have to look at the stats.

Cincy he won 7-6 in the 3rd. That could have been Nole’s. French Open he again barely won, this was 9-7 in the 5th set, on his best surface no less. Monte Carlo, Djokovic actually won in straight sets, on Nadal’s best surface.”

What about the near misses that Rafa has had against Djoker. principally, at the AO 2012? By the way, Rafa lead all the way at the FO until he was broken in the 5th set having served for the match in the 4th.


Margot Says:

@ Michael 5.55am
Completely agree with you regarding Rafa and Nole. And I feel Andy’s getting there too.
Courts plus technology means u have to be able to defend as well as attack.


Paradox Says:

Ha ha,after seeing Novak and Nadal play controlled aggression,which is the hallmark of success,calling it as defensive tennis confirms how naive this Skeezer is.If you want to hit every balls as winners,then popularity of tennis can only go down.Some fans lack proper reasoning.


Michael Says:

Margot,

Thanks. Yes, Andy is right up there. Nothing is permanent, but change. Who knows, volleying which is dead as an art today may return in future ? I hope it turns out so for the sake of the sport.


Andrew Miller Says:

If anyone can pull off the perfect summer it’s Nadal.

That said I don’t believe in perfection and think Novak Djokovic finds his game and beats Nadal. He woke up in the semis so he will too this time I think!


Karla Says:

Yes, Nadal did rest for couple of months where as Nole played without any brake. Nole deserves to be No.1 to this point because of his continuos effort. Nadal is not burned out as much as Nole is. This may give some advantage to Nadal in this final.
But even if Nole loses, he remans No.1. Then there are mostly Asian tournaments where Nole has more support. To me the most important thing is for Nole to remain No.1 until Oct. 7th and then he gets in tennis history ahead of Nadal with the total consecutive weeks as No.1.
The next year will be more equal situation and more fair comparison of the this two players. They will both play with the similar energy and they will both need to defend large number of points.
Nadal is all about power, Nole is about flaxable grace and belief. Nole’s discipline with his strict diet will allow him to have one of the longest careers in the tennis history.
Did you try to follow his diet just for 2 weeks? Try if you did not. You will feel heath inside and outside. You will understand the will and mindset of this man.


jamie Says:

Wow, Sean finally picks the right winner.

Nadal will win the final.


Giles Says:

Hahaha! Someone else trying to market Joker’s book! Nice try!!


queen Says:

Karla, I could not care less about his mindset or what he puts in his stomach. He follows the diet because certain group foods made him sick. Great that he discovered how to stay healthy. However, it is not going to work for everybody. I personally think gluten free is disgusting and should be used by people who cannot tolerate gluten. Vamos champ! Go for No 13!!


James Says:

Andy Murray tried the gluten free diet and said it made him feel weak.

“I tried it for a couple of months and felt awful,” Murray told reporters at the 2013 U.S. Open. “I lost all my energy and felt so weak. I didn’t feel it helped me at all, so I just went back to doing
what I did before. It was working fine for me.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/andy-murray-disses-novak-djokovic-s-gluten-free-diet-i-felt-awful


Giles Says:

@James. Interesting comments from Andy. So how come joker since being on the gluten free diet has suddenly become Superman? Strange to say the least. Andy felt weak and was devoid of energy but joker . …


Slice Tennis Says:

I am watching the Nole vs Wawa match again now.

It is quite clear that Nole doesnt have the depth, pace and accuracy in his shots to trouble Rafa.

I will be surprised if the match goes to the fifth set.

It could well be another straight sets embarrassment like the wimbledon finals for the Joker.


SG1 Says:

I think it all depends on Nole’s backhand. If it’s on, I think Nole has the advantage. It’s really hard to say how this plays out as both players are pretty much in form. I give the slight edge to Nole because he has been pushed and has been forced to find a way to push through. Rafa hasn’t been tested yet. I think it helps players to face some adversity before the final. It seems to harden their resolve.


SG1 Says:

I’d like to see Rafa pull this one out but I suspect Nole will find a way through this match. I don’t think he’ll allow himself to lose the final of two consecutive slams. Even with Rafa in his way.


Dc Says:

I think Nole win win in four sets.
Rafa hasn’t been doing a lot of running since he came back from his break. He’s been agressive and hasn’t really played a five setter on hard court against a good defensive game. Nole will make Rafa run and run and am not sure if nadal is capable of defending the way he used to. The end result will boil down to who has more stamina and staying power.

Nole has the edge over Rafa with more stamina, better defense. Rafas offense is good against any other offensive player- but may not be good enough against noles defense


Okiegal Says:

This match is a toss up……….but Okiegal is pulling for the Spaniard!!

VAMOS RAFA!!!!!


George o Says:

Nadal to win in four.vamos!!!


queen Says:

Thanks Jaime. For some reason I have always believed in “these things”…


George o Says:

Its definitely gonna be a great match but i just have this feeling that nadal takes this in four.Really hope am right.cmon nadal!


George o Says:

Its definitely gonna be a great match but i just have this feeling that nadal takes this in four.Really hope am right.cmon nadal!!!


George o Says:

Uh uh! My bad.sorry guys for the double post


Slice Tennis Says:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0fbgU6MJYs

Rafa may not need to defend much. Rafa’s offense and variety is much better than that of Nole.

Rafa was dictating play at Montreal with his offense and Nole was able to hang in only with his defense. He was the one who was running around.


Ven Says:

Joker dominated 7-8 months in 2011 due to various reasons and facts

Rafa 60 to 70% fit in 2011
Murry and Fed are out of form
(not fully fit rafa reached to many major finals)
Joker confidence is very high due to weak field

Now the story is the different

Fit rafa,
murry is showing signs how to play in majors
Other field into compition (Delboy,Berdy,isner,ferrer..etc)

I can’t see rafa losing tomorrow final


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/ysfz7
Joker on coaching warning! Read the words!


rafaeli Says:

Andy is now vying with Ferrer for the #3 ranking.


Ben Pronin Says:

Giles, well if it isn’t the pot calling the kettle black. You should be a Federer fan, at least that way it would make sense for you to get upset about on court coaching. Toni and Nadal have admitted to it in the past.

You also don’t seem to understand what a gluten free diet is for. Murray feeling sick and Djokovic becoming superman don’t contradict each other in this case when one guy has to stay away from gluten and the other guy is just copying him to get his results.

Ven, you are hilarious. 60-70%? Interesting. How did you determine that? Can you tell me Federer’s current percentage of fitness? Or Novak’s? Is Nadal currently at 100%? It’s always a weak field if it’s Djokovic or Federer winning but somehow Nadal faces a magically tougher field even though he plays the exact same guys. Brilliant, really.

Sean, so, you’re picking Nadal to win. And if he does, we’re gonna have that talk you promised me.


Pitchaboy Says:

For Nadal fans, if he wins he is fit. If he loses, he is not. The seven pastings he got in 2011 were because he was not fit? Ridiculous.


Patson Says:

Djokovic in 4 sets.

Djokovic wins the first and second sets, Nadal wins the third, Djokovic wins the fourth. Nadal’s hard-court streak ends tomorrow. Djokovic is going to play like the champion he is. Djokovic is going to break Nadal’s serve again , and again, and again. That will be the story of the match.


Karla Says:

@Giles, queen and James

No one disagrees that gluten free food is not tasty. That is not the point. The point is that you resist this earthy temptations and take the control of your mind by achieving this state. No, I cannot do that, this is why I’m posting here to you my fellow Earthans. I’m trying his diet but with some of my weaknesses added to it (coffee, white wine..) and I feel great. I feel PUREr inside. I do not have a problem with gluten, but wanted to check what it does to my body. I did not buy his book, most of the recipes you can find on the net.
For example these wallstreet people felt good after trying it and they can tell you what they ate.
http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2013/08/25/serve-to-win-following-the-novak-djokovic-diet/

If you are younger, you may have chance to learn. But if you never listen to your body, because your mind prevents you, then is a sad story. You may instead want to be perceived like a beasty Nadal, in expense of not such a healthy life and shorter career. Or to be a woman who likes to follow this kind of beefy guys, which at the end is not the way to feed your soul.
That is why Nole is a creature from another dimension. I will be patient for you to take the time to understand all of that.

By the way, I do not see anything done to Nadal’s knees. Problem disappeared by itself? And he did not practice too much these 8 months? Hmmm.


queen Says:

Karla, you do not have to be on diet to feel healthy, happy, control mind (lol), etc. Just don’t put in your body what makes u sick. I think it is a general rule that has nothing to do with gluten free diet. Karla I do not see Djoko as a “creature from another planet” like u do. I am not a djokovic fan so probably that’s why I do not care to understand.


Anna Says:

Karla – Basically, what Andy was saying is a gluten free diet is very restricting and unless you have celiac disease or enjoy punishing yourself there’s really no need to go to that extreme to be healthy. I do agree that on the court Nole does appear to be a creature from another dimension when his tennis is on, but when his tennis is off he can appear pretty ordinary, as we’ve witnessed more than once this year. It’s always fun to see which Nole shows up. Rafa’s knees will never be 100% but with the aid of various therapies the last few years, they’re plenty good enough to allow him to compete at his best level for periods of time. Remember when Serena had bad knees and then she had surgery when she was like 28 and came back and won 5-6 slams. That could very possibly be Rafa’s route as well. He did say he was going to do everything he could to extend his career as long as possible.


Ben Pronin Says:

Anna, Serena had knee surgery when she was 21.

Besides PRP, what therapies has Nadal done?


Anna Says:

Ben – My point being, she had surgery and went on to win many more important tournaments in spite of on going knee issues over the years. She had foot, toe and lung surgery in 2011, regrouped and is continuing to win slams at 32. As I understand it, PRP/stem cell therapy has been Rafa’s most invasive therapy to date, but he’s undergone physiotherapy specifically for the knee as well. The last report I read regarding Rafa’s tendons is that they are 100% healed and in fact stronger
than what would be considered the norm. That doesn’t mean that he won’t continue to suffer from inflammation from time to time. Rafa’s team knows they have to manage his schedule in a different way than they have in the past. Much like Serena’s schedule. She takes flak for not playing many tournaments, but she’s still winning slams.


Seth Says:

Nadal sure has recovered well. Miraculously, even. Hmmmm

Well, Nole, only you can defeat the dark side and bring balance to The Force. Go to it.


Skeezer Says:

Ben,

Re; GILES 6:38 post

Lol, *Giles* Pwned! Hahahahhaa!!!

#soexposed
#whosyourdaddy?


Ven Says:

Ben Pronin

Simple ask yourself why only 7-8 months domination, why he is unable to produce similar dominations again(like Feb and Nadal)

I won’t belive in one short time domination


nitesh Says:

novak won in 2011 because of self belief
nadal is healthy now what treatment he got its his team’s headache
i am just waiting for match to start


Lou_tennisfan Says:

Pick: Nadal in four sets.

I am completely blown out by the way Nadal has made his comeback this year. Many players after such a long break have faded away in glory and failed to find their form back. But not Nadal. Although I am not an ardent fan of Rafa, I could not but feel genuine respect and praise for this champion.

To understand him better, I finally decided to pick up his book Rafa ( A bit late but better late than never) and to tell the truth, I have been completely mesmerized by the way he has explained his attitude. No wonder, he has been able to achieve what he has achieved after the seven month layoff.

Rafael Nadal’s Secret behind His Successful Comeback http://tinyurl.com/ob37mlw


Giles Says:

Ben Pronin. I was not upset at Joker’s on court coaching, far from it. I was in fact highly amused. You types are always criticising Rafa’s on court coaching, and so you should, but don’t realise that it is rampant with other players as well, in this case joker! Just pointing out that even the man who is sitting atop the tree right now (hopefully not for long) and Vajda sway on the other side of the rules!!
#CVAC
#OnCourtCoaching


Giles Says:

VAMOS RAFA!!
Good luck for the Final!
Stay Healthy!


Michael Says:

I think the outcome of the final would greatly depend upon how well Novak returns Nadal’s serve and combats his ferocious forehand through his down the line double handed back hand. Although Sean has predicted a Nadal’s win in four sets, I anticipate this to be another marathon match. If Novak has the self-belief, he can win. But, everything will boil down to the kind of form Rafa is in the finals.


Steve 27 Says:

13 is coming.


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/o5bjp
Looks like the ATP have announced the result already!! Lol


hawkeye Says:

Skeezer Says:
Ben,

Re; GILES 6:38 post

Lol, *Giles* Pwned! Hahahahhaa!!!

#soexposed
#whosyourdaddy?

September 9th, 2013 at 1:09 am

Ah, so this is the fine posting with great tennis analysis that’s been missing according to those that have been complaining.

#PotMeetKettle
#Humb1e


hawkeye Says:

For me, Nole played by far his best tennis (some of the best tennis I’ve ever seen played) in the first eight months of 2011). It was simply amazing and breathtaking.

The question I have is what happened to that form? He’s been nowhere near that level since? The nly time I’ve seen form drop off to that degree is wither through injury or age.

What happened?


James Says:

For Novak to beat Rafa, he needs his amazing ROS and solid BH that’s not leaking too many errors. He also can’t afford to start as poorly as he did against Wawrinka.

For Nadal to beat Djokovic, he needs to serve as well as he can and play aggressive tennis right from the start.

What I think will happen:

First set:
For Nadal, winning the first set is very important in such matches. I expect him to come out all guns blazing. Novak, on the other hand, isn’t as confident as he was in 2011. He won’t be as good as Nadal in the first set.
Nadal wins 1st set.

Second set:
Nadal may not maintain his 1st set level. Novak will likely raise his game here and play his best tennis.
Djokovic wins 2nd set.

Third set:
Both players playing at very high level.

Prediction: Nadal in 4.


hawkeye Says:

Why I love Nole:

“No doubt that when you win a big match, the feeling is great,” Nadal said. “Novak is a great opponent. It is true we already play a lot of important matches for our career, so that makes this confrontation special. When you have the chance to win against the most difficult players, is true that the victory is more special. But not in a final of the US Open. What really is important is to win the tournament, not the opponent.”

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20130907/rafael-nadal-novak-djokovic-us-open-final/#ixzz2eOl1NDr0

#MayTheBestManWin
#StrongEra
#Vamos!!!


James Says:

Karla,

I’m glad the gluten free diet is working for you. From what I’ve heard, Novak had gluten problem and this diet has helped him to be fitter. Andy Murray OTOH, has no gluten problem but perhaps tried the gluten free diet to see if it could help him as it did to Novak. It didn’t work out well for him it seems from what he had to say about it. But if this diet is helping people stay healthy, be fit, that’s great.

I don’t know if you’re new here or an old poster, but it’s nice to see you posting here.


Ben Pronin Says:

“What really is important is to win the tournament, not the opponent.”

Isn’t it funny how Nadal always says this and his fans seem to go in the opposite direction?


James Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

“What really is important is to win the tournament, not the opponent.”

Isn’t it funny how Nadal always says this and his fans seem to go in the opposite direction?

September 9th, 2013 at 8:49 am
————————

Ben, but, is true, no? Winning tournament is more important. This is why Rafa still says Roger is the best in history. If Rafa wins as many slams as Roger, I’m sure he’ll stop saying Roger is the best.


skeezer Says:

@hawkeye
“Ah, so this is the fine posting with great tennis analysis that’s been missing according to those that have been complaining.”

Yep. That stuff got ruined along time ago by guess who?


hawkeye Says:

Somehow I think you were only a consumer of such substantive posts in the past lol.

Rafa is now widely considered to have the best volleying game in tennis.

Love this quote from Reeshard on Saturday:

“But it’s Nadal. That’s why he’s the best player, especially on hard.”

How times have changed, no?

#FindingSolutions
#ContinualImprovement
#KingOfTennis


Humble Rafa Says:

Public Service Announcement for Humble Nation

As we get closer to the finals, beware of imposters who claim to be suddenly Egg Lover fans. They frequently mention irrelevant numbers like “17″ of “1″or words that rhyme with “moat”, “Gimbledon”, etc. They also frequently talk in the past tense in a nostalgic way. Sometimes, they will mention that tennis is not interesting anymore, or that they are depressed or make comments from US open finals from 4 or 5 years ago.

Let’s go win for the good and Humble guys tonight.

Humble Highness
cc: Hero Worship Society
cc: Arrogant Seven Rehab Center, Basel


Polo Says:

I have lost my interest in tennis even though I find Rafa to be a great player and appreciate how well he plays better than almost everyone. Fortunately, Federer has more majors at 17 and has been number 1 longer than anyone. I miss those days when he enters any tournament and just about runs away with it. I feel a bit depressed about this open but the memories of his 5 previous open wins, especially the last one, still brings a smile to my face.


hawkeye Says:

That was known as the former weak era.

Hey, skeezer, feel free to chime in at any time with your more worthy posts lol.

#YoureWelcome


Humble Rafa Says:

I have lost my interest in tennis even though I find Rafa

Please refer to my post at 9:55 am.


andrea Says:

whoever wins, i hope it’s a good match. rafa does look scary good. had some easy matches all tournament, he must be fresh.

let the battle begin.


skeezer Says:

@hawkeye
chime, chime, chime.

@Ben,

“Isn’t it funny how Nadal always says this and his fans seem to go in the opposite direction?”

Shhh! No ruffling Rafafanatic kinky feathers here. Look out!

#H2H


hawkeye Says:

Polo Says:
I miss those days when he enters any tournament and just about runs away with it.

Polo, are you by any chance a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters? They have a winning percentage of over 98%!!!!

#GloryDays


Polo Says:

Too depressed to think, much less to answer, even less to argue.


rainbowsnflowers Says:

Oh I really hope both players win tonight!
They are both so nice and kind oh and terribly sweet,like all their lovely fans!


Ben Pronin Says:

^LOL, nice.

In all honestly I do hope we get a great match. Even though I didn’t like the result of their Montreal match, everything prior to the tiebreaker was pretty fantastic. They are the best rivalry in tennis because they consistently give us some of the greatest and most high quality matches we’ll see. I hope this match lives up and I really hope for a 5 setter.


WTF Says:

“What about the near misses that Rafa has had against Djoker. principally, at the AO 2012? By the way, Rafa lead all the way at the FO until he was broken in the 5th set having served for the match in the 4th.”

Rafa is expected to be in the lead, it’s his favored surface.

As for AO 2012, that was hard court. And significantly, Nole won it. This court will also favor Djoker more than Nadal.

Djoker has a way of finding his best when he needs to, at a GS. The Wimbledon loss to Murray was more of an abberation I think.

Top story: Isner Upset (Literally) In Washington; Serena Returns With A Roar In Stanford, Azarenka-Venus Tonight
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ATP - Jul 28 WTA - Jul 28
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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