Federer was beaten in a classic, while Murray went out with a whimper. Now the top two tennis players in world are preparing to square off on the world’s grandest stage.
Nadal stumbled through the first four rounds, but suddenly found his legs and his confidence in the quarters against Roddick. Djokovic basically cruised through the entire tournament until he ran into a red hot Roger Federer. But even when he was down two match points - Djokovic rose to the challenge.
Rafa versus Novak is such an intriguing matchup. Rafa was once the most CONFIDENT and most ruthless player in the world. He swung for the fences and was always ready to live by the sword and die by the sword. These qualities led him to ten major titles and he really should have won Wimbledon this year.
But then you look at Novak Djokovic – it was not his skill, but rather his confidence that propelled him past Nadal in the Wimbledon final. And as where Rafa once had that unbeatable swagger about him – it now is firmly in the hands of Djokovic.
Never was the Djokovic confidence more glaringly apparent than against Roger Federer in the semis of this year’s U.S. Open. Federer had Djokovic beaten – a comeback was not only unlikely, it was nearly impossible. On his second match point, Federer ripped a punishing serve wide to Djoko's forehand side – The legendary reply was one of most devastating forehand service return winners in the history of the tournament. You have to believe your own hype to take a swing like that to erase a match point with such authority.
That mind-numbing forehand told Federer all he needed to know – this match was over.
It’s hard for me to endorse a tennis player who was actually beating his chest for the crowd after his semifinal win. But just because Djokovic acts like he’s on a casting call for Return of the Planet of the Apes, doesn’t mean he isn’t best tennis player alive right now. Rafa is an amazing champion and a lion-hearted competitor – but he will need his best to have any chance to stop chest thumping number one player in the world – Novak Djokivic.
Unless Rafa can regain his swagger – take Djokovic in four sets over Nadal.