ATP Roland Garros Final Preview: Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic

Djokovic

The final showdown of 2014 Roland Garros is the one that almost everyone expected and personally, the one I wanted to see.  The top two players in the world, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will meet for the third time this year and for the 42nd time in their career.  Nadal goes in as the marginal favourite; the Spaniard has sailed through the draw, losing just one set to David Ferrer in the quarter-finals.  Nadal cruised past Andy Murray in the semi-finals, 6-3 6-2 6-1.  Djokovic has lost one more set this tournament than Nadal, but he’s looked very comfortable and there has been an inevitable feeling that no-one would be able to stop a Djokovic v Nadal final.  Djokovic defeated Ernests Gulbis in the semi-finals, 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-3.

I am looking forward to this final immensely, there isn’t a great deal though that I haven’t already said before about the Nadal v Djokovic match-up.  The Serb has won their last four matches including a three set win in the final of Rome.  Nadal though, has won their last three Grand Slam encounters.  At Roland Garros last year, Djokovic had the upper hand in the deciding set of their epic semi-final.  He led *4-3, but when approaching the net for a routine smash, he touched it, lost the point and soon the game.  It was a pivotal moment that saw the match turn around in Nadal’s favour.

I’ve felt during this entire clay court season that Djokovic is going to win Roland Garros and the Career Slam.  My view hasn’t changed.  This is a huge, huge, huge match for Djokovic.  He has the edge over Nadal in their recent matches, but of course, Rafa’s record at Roland Garros doesn’t need to be repeated.  If Novak were to lose this match, I think his confidence would take a huge pounding.  However I think he has what it takes to hand Nadal only his second loss at Roland Garros.  I’m expecting this final to extend well into the evening…

Prediction: Djokovic d. Nadal in 5 sets

Previews for Birmingham and Queens coming soon 🙂

9 thoughts on “ATP Roland Garros Final Preview: Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic

  1. Well… in the end there were no suprises, just a final that a lot of people predicted. I’m not overall satisfied with the men’s tournament, I really hoped that there would be a huge surprise in the end.
    Concerning the final: Before yesterday I would have gone with your prediction but today I’m not entirely sure anymore. Based on Nadal’s incredible form yesterday (yes, Murray has been flat but Nadal was just too good raising his level right in time…probably his best match on clay yesterday) and Djokovic’s performance against Gulbis (felt like the match was a litte bit boring) where he didn’t seem to feel well and all the pressure he is definitely putting on himself to win the carreer grandslam has changed my opinion. I go for Nadal in 5 but I desperately hope it’s the other way around!

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  2. I think Nadal is being underestimated just because his w-l record isn’t as good as last year’s. Well its difficult enought to repeat such a year esp with Djokovic as your main competitor but I also think Nadal has much less to prove this year. He had so many close matches the previous year vs

    Ferrer,Almagro,Gulbis,Dimitrov,Djokovic etc and to go through that again this year would be sheer foolishness . He no longer needs to prove to himself that he has returned from his comeback,no longer needs to fight to preserve his mental edge over his main competitors. They have gotten the better of him this year but I think its safe to say that he still has the mental edge.

    The danger for Nadal in playing this more laid back card is that he might not be bringing his top level of intensity in this situation-something which he’ll certainly need to beat Djokovic again. You would think Nadal understands intensity more than anyone but imo there’s still a danger he might be caught sleeping at least a little and that can cost him vs Djokovic. One indicator imo is that his draw hasn’t been very taxing for him-esp tactically. Ferrer presents plenty of tactical problems but winning a 5 setter was never in question.
    On the flip side Djokovic has never beaten Nadal in Roland Garros so there are plenty of doubts in his mind. among them is:how good is Nadal on clay…actually? He has closed the gap between Nadal-on-clay leading the way w his tactical innovations and others have followed suit. Yet, so far its still correct to say that Nadal is still the dominant force on clay? or not?

    Whoever tackles their issues by the horns will win this match imao.
    I imagine Nadal will show his best tennis so far this year in this final. Idk if it will be enough lol cuz I haven’t followed the clay season. I might be making yet another understimation of Nadal (like everyone else has consistently done over the years-fans/non-fans alike) by saying the answer resides more with Djokovic. But if I hear that he’s is bloating things up again putting pressure on himself like he did the last year, I’d go with Nadal. If he grabs the bull and all his ghosts by the horns he has the slight edge to win. If they’re both behind the 8-ball w their relative issues then its a coin toss. I’m guessing he’s still in some form of denial and not living up to his end of the bargain so at the end of the day its up to Nadal. If Nadal is able to bring his full intensity-something which he deliberately hasn’t shown this year yet, he should win no matter what Djokovic does. If he brings a drop or 2 less than that-esp in the beginning of the match, Djokovic has a good chance and most probably will take it. .
    Judging from Murphy’s post though I’d give the slight edge to Nadal and frankly I hope he’s right.
    1st set winner wins the match imao.

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  3. Joker isn’t 100%, surprised nobody is mentioning it. Allergies, heat, sickness, whatever he’s hiding, it ain’t good. Nadal’s form right now is > Joker but everyone keeps looking at Nadal’s recent losses but he’s a completely different player now. Nadal in 4 TOPS

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  4. Ronald H. Witt Illinois The odds tell me that something weird is happening. Rafa should be a 2 to 1 favorite and is only about -130. so I think maybe he’s hurt or there is something up because I see a novak victory here.

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  5. Ronald H. Witt Illinois I will go on a limb and say Novak in 5 sets. Before the tournament I may have said rafa but the odds look weird.

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  6. Nole to complete the Grand Slam… We all know he has the weapons to hit through Rafa on clay. Should be interesting, I’m hoping for a 5 set thriller!!

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