18:00 – Nadal v Djokovic
Rankings are 1 and 2. Head to heads are 16-8 to Nadal.
This is a repeat of the Indian Wells Final from 2 weeks ago. Djokovic was the winner in 3 sets on that occasion with Nadal taking the first set.
Djokovic has continued his great recent form. He hasn’t lost a set so far and hasn’t really looked in trouble. He has had by far the easiest route to the final with only really an inform Mardy Fish who looked like he may be able to give him a run for his money. Unfortunately Fish couldn’t live up to expectations and lost quite tamely.
Nadal appears to be back to his best. He is serving well and his performance against Federer in the semi final was at times breathtaking. He made the former world number 1 look very ordinary. He also had to get past Berdych who found some inspiration to take the second set.
In Indian Wells I correctly tipped Djokovic to take the title but the improvement in Nadal’s play and a very slight drop In Djokovic’s this week means that I am going with the Spaniard to win it.
Both have served exceptionally well with Nadal posting better stats on points won on first serve, second serve and first serve percentage. Djokovic hasn’t been broken although that is down to the inferior opponents.
Djokovic has been very reliable whereas Nadal has had to increase his level of play. I feel that has prepareed him better for this final.
I see Nadal winning this in straight sets and will be backing him from the start. However, this will not be a straight forward match for either player. This is world number 1 against world number 2 so please be careful if following my lead.
Backing both on serve in the first set is also a good option. Don’t back after 4-4 as I expect any breaks to come in the latter games.