Djokovic v Nadal:
There’s a lot at stake for both men here. Djokovic has the chance to hold all 4 Grand Slams at the same time. That’s something Nadal and Federer weren’t able to achieve when they had the opportunity.
Nadal has won 6 French Open titles. Today he has the chance to hold the record for the number of wins on his own and put Borg’s 6 titles firmly into second place.
Which player will feel the pressure from the record books more? if Nadal loses today he can come back next year and get the record. If Djokovic loses today he may never get another chance to achieve what hasn’t been done in the modern game.
The 2 players have had very different tournaments. Nadal has been broken once which was in the first round against Bolelli. Djokovic has fought back from 2 sets down. He has faced match points against Tsonga. Even though he beat Federer in straight sets in the semi final he had to come from behind in the first 2 sets.
They say that champions improve as the tournament progresses. The win over Federer certainly backs that theory up as far as Djokovic is concerned but if it also holds true for Nadal then the Serb is in trouble. Nadal’s semi final win over Ferrer, one of the best clay courters in the world, was about as close to perfect as you will see in tennis.
Nadal has won their last 2 matches which were both clay finals. He won both in straight sets. He has won 48 consecutive sets on red clay in 2012. I think Djokovic may take a set today but the weight of history sits heavier on Djokovic’s shoulders and despite his incredible self belief this will be 1 step too far.
Nadal to win in 3or 4 sets.