Can Djokovic stop Nadal?
Posted by tennisplanet on September 12, 2010
Taking into account just two of the myriad of factors working overtime in this encounter – the hard court H2H and the lack of fuel in Djokovic’s tank – Nadal has to beat Djokovic by more than a hair. Add the fact that Nadal is playing for history and a few reasons that transcend his own personal goals and aspirations and you know he will be like a possessed man held by his throat by the books already beginning to etch his name.
But Djokovic could be quite close to where Nadal was at the AO final against Federer after that five-hour plus semis against Verdasco. Djokovic is suffering from an itch that’s as irritable if not more than not having any Slam at all – the One Slam Wonder label. With a live exhibit moping around the tour already, he knows how depressing and humiliating it can be to end the career with that branded on your behind. This is as good an opportunity for him to move up than any. He has his favorite surface, he has the lucrative last phase of the tour, a confidence-boosting win over Federer and maybe an eventual shot at No. 1 down the line.
Besides, for Djokovic to win this after all the baggage he brings in from his semifinal match, it will be as sweet a win as it will be for Nadal – for totally different set of reasons.
However, for all that to match Nadal’s tangible and intangible package is near-impossible if not totally ridiculous to even imagine. Unless the foot problem Nadal aggravated in his match against Youzhny becomes an issue to the extend that it hampers his movement, Djokovic is in for a straighter – with a bagel.