Remember when a Nadal-Fed final was the only thing to look forward to in the final weekend of a tournament? But now that Djokovic has muscled his way into the mix, the phrase “Roger-Rafa rivalry” sounds almost retro.
I PRAY that I’m not jinxing the Fed-Fish match, but I thought I’d jump ahead and review the head-t0-heads of the three top dogs.
Nadal leads Djokovic 6-2, but it’s hardly been that one-sided. Sure, Nadal beat him in their most recent match in Shanghai, but Djoky was so spent at that point that he would’ve lost to Camille Pin. Djokovic has had plenty of momentum lately and won’t feel intimidated by Nadal in the least. The fact that Nadal’s on a major revenge streak with big back-to-back wins over both Tsonga and Blake makes this matchup even more tantalizing. He’s going to be itching to beat his cheeky imitator and stretch the ranking points between the No. 3 and No 2. positions.
Nadal leads Federer 8-6, but Roger’s won five of the past seven meetings. Back when Federer-Nadal was the big thing in men’s tennis (think wayyyyy back to last year’s Wimbledon!), it seemed like Rog was finally figuring Nadal out. But with both Nadal and Roger working through their own versions of “slumps” and Djokovic chomping on the bit, it’s hard to figure where the rivalry would pick up again. I’m giving the edge to Rafa, since he’s not recovering from mono (or dealing with baby rumors).
Federer leads Djokovic 5-2, but this is another tricky statistic. Djoky’s won two of the last three meetings (all on hard courts), and we all remember how close the U.S. Open final could’ve been.
Good thing the tennis is bound to be excellent, otherwise a Fed fan like me might be tempted to stick her head under the sofa cushions.
The Women: I caught the Sharapova – Kooze match on FSN (taped, with games skipped for the networks “time constraints” i.e. infomercials) and thought it was really interesting. There’s been so much head shaking over these two player’s respective rankings – with people, including myself, thinking “How can Sveta be seeded No. 2 and Maria No. 4? Maria’s obviously the better player.” Perhaps us nay-sayers inspired the feisty Kuznetsova – I’ve never seen her in better shape. She’s taking the trophy home, for sure.