The standard of the WTA games today doesn’t inspire me to post about them so i’ll do the Mens final and get back to the WTA tomorrow when the qualifying rounds have finished.
Djokovic v Nadal:
We are unlikely to see a match like yesterday’s womens final as I don’t think either of these players would dream of cheating to try to put their opponent off, abuse and disrespect the umpire or think they are bigger than the tour itself.
Nadal leads the head to heads 16-12 although Djokovic has won their last 5 matches with all of them being in 2011. The set count for 2011 is 11-3!
Djokovic’s level of play has dropped a little since earlier in the year but his hard work and self belief are just as high. His amazing come back against Federer where he was 2 sets down and in the 5th set was 2 match points down shows just was a fighter he is. Gone are the days when he would quit a match far too easily.
Nadal again made Murray look ordinary and the Spaniard is playing probably as well as he has done for a few months.
Over a best of 5 match the momentum will shift several times. In their last 3 matches it was Djokovic who won the opening set and always with a single break separating the players.
In 4 of their 5 matches this season Nadal has started as favourite. Today Djokovic is favourite at 1.67 which I think is a fair price. Unfortunately that means there is little value in their SP’s from a trading point of view.
Djokovic was understandably drained by the semi final whereas Nadal had a more straight forward win. However both men have had a full day’s rest so fatigue won’t be any sort of issue unless they go deep into a 5th set.
The American crowd will be backing Nadal. He is defending champion and they just don’t seem to take to Djokovic in new York. Djokovic is aware of this as could be seen by his gestures towards the crowd during the semi final where he was almost asking them what do I need to do for you to cheer me??
Nadal’s serve has been more reliable over the last few weeks but Djokovic’s serve comes good for the big points. It is so difficult to separate these 2 but Djokovic has achieved a few “firsts” this year and he will certainly want to get his first US Open.
Looking at their matches for the previous rounds they suggest that Nadal is in better form and physical shape. Djokovic struggled against Tipsarevic and had an MTO before Tips himself retired. However its very difficult to go against the 5-0 head to head this year.
Anything is possible as we saw yesterday but I think Djokovic takes this in 4 sets. Ideally Nadal gets off to a faster start and takes the opening set as I would rather be backing Djokovic over evens. I feel that if Djokovic takes the opening set Nadal will find it very tough in the second set. He will perhaps pull back to 2-1 but he has to believe he can beat the Serb this year. He has been watching video of his win in last year’s US Open final but that was against a very different Djokovic.
Update: Incredible tennis from start to finish! A the match wore on they were getting better and better. They were feeding off each others intensity and played points on a level that hardly anyone in the world could copy.
Djokovic took a 2 sets lead and as could be expected his level dropped just a little. That was enough to give Nadal incentive to work even harder and he took the third set in a tie break. However as predicted in the chatroom he used up so much energy, both mental and physical, in winning that set that he had nothing left. Djokovic was suffering with back pain and you sensed that he had to win the 4th set or he may run out of steam for a 5th. Djokovic gave it everything and it was a one sided set.
A well deserved victory for Djokovic and his first US Open title. It won’t be his last. 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1.