Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic
I said earlier today I feared I'd be disappointed by the result today - and I was correct. Novak Djokovic won in four sets.
But it's fair to say Djokovic did win the match; on the day he played better tennis than Rafa did. It's a rare bird that can out rally Rafa and out audacious return Rafa, today Djokovic did both. Rafa didn't play his best tennis and did make several uncharacteristic mistakes, but a lot of that was because he had to try that little bit harder to try to match and beat Djokovic.
I can see now just why Djokovic has only lost one match this year and why he had beaten Rafa four times in finals this year. He really is a completely different man and player this year. He didn't let Rafa into the match until the third set. There were times he made Rafa look like an ordinary player. Rafa's forehand was off and he made more unforced errors than he normally does, more I think than any other match in the tournament, but so much of that was caused by Djokovic making him have to hit another shot and another and . . . Yes, he did to Rafa what Rafa does to just about everyone else.
I'd thought the pressure would be slightly on Djokovic more than on Rafa, but it was the other way round. Djokovic did win the mental battle; I'm sure the four losses this year did play on Rafa's mind - again that showed in Rafa' forehand deserting him.
I dared to hope when Rafa won the third set, but deep down and in my head I called it as Djokovic in four - darn I hate bring right. Ah, well, plutos_revenge's got the number of sets right, just not the winner *Eyes her closely* But it really was Djokovic's day.
It wasn't a truly stellar match, it wasn't like 2007, 2008 and 2009 - it was excellent in parts, some superb rallies and great play by both men. It was a good match, better than last year, but not the match people were hoping for and expecting.
Both men made nice speeches, both very complimentary about the other player and about their respective teams - which is always good to see. Courteous and respectful in defeat as well as in victory.
Kudos to Novak Djokovic, he deserved the win. And again he did win - despite Rafa not being at his best, Djokovic beat him, Rafa didn't lose the match.
Just one more match to go now, the Mixed Doubles' Final.
Well done Novak Djokovic on the day he was the better player.