Who are you for NOVAK DJOKOVIC vs RAFAEL NADAL
He looked defeated from the start Friday against Rafael Nadal, and something worse after winning all of five games. Yes, Rafa's playing at an unprecedented level here at Roland Garros -- which is saying something. I'm not entirely confident Novak Djokovic can prevent Nadal from winning his record seventh title in eight tries.
But, we're straying into unprecedented territory here and, frankly, I feel like anything is possible. Certainly, Djokovic feels that way. Did you see him pounding his heart after beating Roger Federer in straight sets?
Thus, Djokovic won his 27th consecutive Grand Slam singles match. If that sounds like a lot, it is. He ties (appropriately) Federer for second place on the all-time list. No. 1 is a guy named Rod Laver. If Djokovic can conjure another great performance, he'll own all four major trophies -- something that hasn't happened since Laver won the calendar Grand Slam 43 years ago.
Greg, if you can ever say that a guy was ever a favorite against the field, even if one guy in it has more majors than anyone else and the other is ranked No. 1 in the world and is going for the career and current Grand Slam, it was Rafael Nadal here at Roland Garros. On Sunday, he will complete the quest and beatNovak Djokovic for his record seventh French Open title.
It isn't because Nadal finally can play the game without Novak Djokovic in his head. Nadal did beat Djokovic on clay both in Monte Carlo and Rome. It isn't because Djokovic struggled through even the pedestrian moments of this tournament, only to rally in the clutch. It isn't because even after escaping an epic match againstJo-Wilfried Tsonga, Djokovic played an average match against a worn and listless Roger Federer.
The reason is Nadal himself. He's the best clay-court player in the world, playing his best tennis of the year. If you take out the monstrosity that was Ion Tiriac's Madrid blue clay, Nadal hasn't lost a set on clay this year. During this tournament, he hasn't even faced a set point.
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