Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic finished No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in 2013, but with Djokovic’s recent run what will happen next season? Who’s more likely to finish No. 1 between these two great rivals?
The case for Nadal:
- He leads Djokovic 22-17 in their head-to-head
- He’ll have a full season of play unlike 2013
- He missed the Australian Open AND lost early at Wimbledon and STILL finished No. 1
- Handed closest rival Djokovic two crushing losses at the French and the US Open
- Still the best player by far on clay
- Has a better record against Murray (13-5), who should be back in the fold, than Djokovic’s 11-8 mark against the Scot
- Has dominated his rivals and no one in the Top 40 has a winning record against him
- Motivated by tennis history – catching Federer’s 17 – and keeping Uncle Toni happy
The case for Djokovic:
- Ended 2013 on one of his best streaks
- Beat Nadal convincingly in last two meetings at Beijing and London by same 63, 64 scoreline
- Has dominated Nadal in past (2011)
- Is a year younger than Nadal – closer to prime?
- No real injury concerns unlike Nadal who has those iffy knees
- Still has the French Open motivation and did beat Nadal on clay at Monte Carlo and nearly again at the French
- Didn’t win any of the four outdoor hardcourt Masters in USA/Canada – can that really happen again?
- Motivated by French Open title, return to No. 1 and wedding at end of year
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