Well, I thorrrrrrroughly enjoyed that Rafa-Djokovic match, didn’t you? It was intense, physical, filled with drama and suspense and ended how I wanted it to – Djokovic will meet Roger in the final!
They have played four times and Roger has won all of the encounters. My favorite victory was the beat-down Rog gave the youngster at the Australian Open this year, after Djoky had riled up the media by saying it was time for Roger to get out of the way and let someone else take the victory laps. It was delicious seeing our man go out on the court and do his own form of trash talk, namely the 6-2, 7-5, 6-3, ass-thump he dished out in the Round of 16.
But Novak has changed in the past months, maturing before our eyes to become the legitimate No. 3 in the men’s game. He’s also changed his tune, playing the part of humbled competitor to perfection. Just take his comments re: Roger after his Australian Open loss: “Federer is virtually invincible and I think he will rule men’s tennis for years to come. It will take a monumental effort to depose him.” Since then, Djokovic has enjoyed some big wins, including this week’s victory over Roddick and two separate hard-court wins over Nadal. He’s also gained popularity and the reputation of being a fun-loving guy off-court. So now he comes to Federer with an improved attitude, reputation and game. Are these attributes going to add up to a victory over Federer tomorrow?
i think the match is going to be highly competitive and a lot of fun. I say “fun” because I’m almost positive that Rogers going to win.
Unfortunately for Djoky, the math is just too fuzzy. For starters, no one has ever been able to beat Nadal and Federer during the same tournament – an accomplishment almost beyond comprehension. Plus, Novak will be tired after playing such a hard- fought two-setter the night before he plays the final. Add to that the fact that players who give Rafa a hard time on a consistent basis (a la Youhzny, Blake, Berdych) rarely trouble Roger, and vice versa. So unless Djokovic discovers the fourth dimension, or something, there’s no way in hell he’s winning a second Masters Shield tomorrow.
And no, I don’t think I’m jinxing it.