Originally Posted by pds999
Bit of an out-of-date analysis to be honest. If you watched the 2012 clay court season unfold, you would have seen Nadal stop using that crosscourt forehand into the backhand and instead either slice down the middle or hit the forehand down the line into Djokovic's forehand. Djokovic had very little answer to that for the whole clay court season until the rain came in RG, and very little again the next day. Nadal figured him out. Djokovic now needs to find the answers when they next play.
Djokovic played at 60% of his level in the clay court season IMO. He didn't play well at all at RG. His performances against Seppi and Tsonga prove that. Even still, he ran Nadal nearly ragged in the final and had Nadal basically just defensively pushing balls back in many of those rallies. Djokovic 2011 would've been an entirely different specimen altogether. Will be interesting to see if Murray, Del Potro, Federer and some surprises pop up this year on clay.
I didn't find Nadal all that dominant against Wawrinka in Monte Carlo last year and he got crushed by Verdasco in Madrid, blue clay or not. Could be some surprises in store this season.