Novak Djokovic was all smiles after winning his sixth Beijing title yesterday. And what made it even better was beating his rival Rafael Nadal 62, 62 to win it.
Djokovic still trails Nadal 23-22, but he’s dominated the Spaniard winning seven of the last eight and all seven sets this year including this most lopsided win in the rivalry.
Rafa, of course, has been mired in a slump this year, and Djokovic acknowledged Rafa’s isn’t what he use to be. But he cautioned Nadal could break out of his funk at any time.
“I think it’s obvious that he’s not having the great season this year,” Djokovic said. “Everybody has been talking about it because he had an incredible 10 years, set up such a high standard with results, winning at least one Grand Slam per year.
“I’m sure he understands what he needs to do in order to come back to that highest level, he added. “He keeps on working hard. He’s one of the most hard‑working guys on the tour. He spends a lot of time on the court. Sooner or later that will pay off.
“In terms of comparing his maybe level of the game from the last year or two years ago and now, there is difference. I can’t pretend that it’s the same because obviously results are showing that he’s not, you know, performing as well as he did in last couple of years, and is making more mistakes from the forehand side.
But it’s normal to go through some oscillations in your career, some ups and downs. If there’s anybody that knows and is able to come back, it’s him, because of all the history he has.”
Following the title, Djokovic now heads to Shanghai where he’ll face Martin Klizan in his first match.
“I know the conditions are slightly different,” Djokovic said of Shanghai. “I’m going to get a couple days of rest and practice and get ready. I mean, it’s not the first time I’m playing back‑to‑back weeks. Next week’s tournament is going to be even stronger because obviously all the best players in the world are there.
This positive week definitely encourages me and gives me a lot of confidence for Shanghai.
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