Djokovic v Nadal
They have played 7 times in the last 2 seasons. 5 times on clay (Nadal 4-1) and twice on hard courts. Djokovic won in 5 sets at the Australian Open in 2012 and Nadal won their most recent encounter in 3 sets in Montreal last month.
My only slight concern here is that Nadal has lost just 1 set and it could be argued that he hasn’t been tested. However having watched the Gasquet match this morning, Gasquet pushed him very close for the first 2 sets and probably played the match of his life.
Djokovic was awful against Wawrinka and I have to say that he was saved a little when Wawrinka had the groin problem which needed treatment. That knocked Wawrinka off his stride for several games but he was still able to make the 5th set very close. Djokovic wasn’t being aggressive and almost looked scared to lose at times. For a set and a half he hardly hit any winners yet whenever he was aggressive he won the point. Something wasn’t quite right with the world number 1 in that match.
In contrast Nadal has played a very aggressive style of tennis in this tournament and in fact in this season as he seems to be trying to get matches over quickly to protect his body and in particular his knee.
I don’t really see fatigue being an issue for Djokovic as he has had 2 days to recover and always has his magic chocolates if he gets tired.
Rafa is the better player right now although if Djokovic is still around for a 5th set I’d say he would be slight favourite.
I am going for Nadal in 4.
Update: A great final. Maybe not a classic but some of the play was out of this world!
Nadal started slightly better and it looked like just a matter of time before he broke. He started well in the second btu it was Djokovic who nicked the set. Djokovic then started to look much stronger in the 3rd set and Nadal’s level dropped a little but having been broken early Nadal recovered to 3-3 and found another break to win an unlikely set. Djokovic’s spirit was shattered and the fourth set was a stroll for the Spaniard.
Nadal won 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.