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View Full Version : Djokovic flying under radar; Nadal has tough few days ahead


monologuist
06-03-2006, 06:30 PM
Djokovic is flying under the radar right now, IMO. He has had as impressive a tournament as anyone this year. Against Gonzo, who has been in top 10 form this year, Novak nearly took him out in straights, took a couple of sets off, then pummeled him in the 5th. Then he proceeded to take out Haas in straights...given that Haas has struggled on clay, but overall, he is playing close to top 10 level this year as well. Earlier this year, he played Ljubicic tough in a close 3-setter, and lost to Stepanek in a tight 3-setter, and bowed to Fed in a tight 3-setter...he is right there, knocking on the door.

Djokovic seems to be a very well-rounded player : He has good power and accuracy on serve, has heavy groundstrokes off of both wings, has excellent footwork and moves well for his size, is comfortable playing consistently from the backcourt, seems to have excellent instincts coming to net, good volleys, plays with a nice balance of aggression and consistency (doesnt' seem to beat himself). He also benefits from anonymity at this point.

His main weaknesses at this point would probably be his fitness level (he is a bit of a string bean at this point, kind of a teenager's body still), lack of confidence (which is probably building by the week), and lack of match experience.

As fun as it would be to see him play Monfils in a rematch of his infamous "cheating" match at the USO last year, when he admitted to calling for the trainer despite not being injured, I am pulling for a Djokovic v. Blake match. If he can get by Blake, and Nadal takes Hewitt out, I think Nadal could be in for a tough day. Novak has all the tools to give Nadal trouble; he is comfortable taking the ball early and hits the ball deep, flat, and fast, he has a very solid 2-hh backhand, has a nice transition game and instincts at the net.

I think Blake will take Monfils out, so Nadal should be afraid, b/c he is going to have some really tough tennis ahead of him in the next few days, facing Hewitt, and either Novak or Blake. As much as I'd hate to see it (b/c I really want to see another Fed-Nadal rematch), I am feeling an upset loss for Nadal in the next 2 rounds.

Of course if he makes it out alive of the next two rounds, you can pencil him in for the finals with the likes of Martin, Benneteau, and Hidalgo waiting in the wings.

I don't think it's likely that Djokovic has the strength and stamina to get by Nadal this year, particularly in a 5-setter. But I also wouldn't be shocked to see him pull off a few more upsets and become this year's dark horse to get to the finals.

ACE of Hearts
06-03-2006, 06:34 PM
Roger also has a tough schedule ahead as well but i think he will welcome that challenge.He needs to give Berdych no hope tomorrow.

monologuist
06-03-2006, 06:39 PM
I could easily see a Berdych upset tomorrow. He is so streaky though. Roger took out Berdych with a vengeance at Hamburg last year, but that is a much slower surface.

arosen
06-03-2006, 09:33 PM
If he can get by Blake, and Nadal takes Hewitt out, I think Nadal could be in for a tough day. Novak has all the tools to give Nadal trouble; he is comfortable taking the ball early and hits the ball deep, flat, and fast, he has a very solid 2-hh backhand, has a nice transition game and instincts at the net.

I think Blake will take Monfils out, so Nadal should be afraid, b/c he is going to have some really tough tennis ahead of him in the next few days, facing Hewitt, and either Novak or Blake. As much as I'd hate to see it (b/c I really want to see another Fed-Nadal rematch), I am feeling an upset loss for Nadal in the next 2 rounds.

Of course if he makes it out alive of the next two rounds, you can pencil him in for the finals with the likes of Martin, Benneteau, and Hidalgo waiting in the wings.

I don't think it's likely that Djokovic has the strength and stamina to get by Nadal this year, particularly in a 5-setter. But I also wouldn't be shocked to see him pull off a few more upsets and become this year's dark horse to get to the finals.

That's a lot of ifs, mono. One thing for sure, Djokovic is playing out of his mind right now, but it takes a lot more than just a solid game to get past Nadal. I think that besides insane fitness ( weak spot for Djoko) great volley skills are required to come in and deal with Rafa's topspin passes. I'm not sure Djoko has the skills.