2021 Rome masters final :- (1) Djokovic [SRB] v/s (2) Nadal [ESP]

Win prediction poll


  • Total voters
    117
  • Poll closed .

weakera

G.O.A.T.
The better player will win - that should be Rafa on clay at this stage of their careers. Novak doesn’t seem to have the offensive firepower anymore from the baseline to trouble top players on clay and has to grind it out in almost every match. He certainly doesn’t look like the player who used to force Nadal into errors and beat him on clay between 2011-2016.

What happened to Djokovic’s outstanding serve form from the AO? I know it’s clay, but he is not trying to serve as big anymore and I didn‘t see him winning too many free points on service in the last couple of months. If he doesn’t get too many easy, quick points against Nadal, I doubt that he is going to outlast him like he does against other players on clay.

What strategy can Novak use to beat Nadal tomorrow? I don’t have the answer and I wonder if his coaching team does.

If he has a strategy to use to beat Nadal on clay, he's better off keeping it in his back pocket for RG and taking the L tomorrow.
 

Winner

Semi-Pro
Lol did you actually say that Tsitsipas is an easier player than Diego Schwartzman. That is preposterous. Nadal handled his semi final in Rome 2019 better. Plus you have yourself to blame if you take so long to dispose off Del Potro on clay (weak in USO 17 on hard but a gladiator in ROme 2019 on clay) and Diego.
Very good exposal. Tsitsipas and Schwartzman are labelled tough Semis for Nole but weak opponents for Rafa.
 

E36BMWM3

Hall of Fame
Like playing 5 setter against Tsisipas while Rafa played relaxed training match against Schartzmug, plus extra day of rest thanks to schedule...?
Djoker not good enough to end Tsitsi in 5 and somehow that gave Rafa the advantage hahahaha. That demolition job in the final was not due to a tired Djokovic
 

Winner

Semi-Pro
Like playing 5 setter against Tsisipas while Rafa played relaxed training match against Schartzmug, plus extra day of rest thanks to schedule...?
They both played the semifinal on Friday. Why does Djokovic need five sets to beat Tsitsipas?
 

socallefty

Legend
It is an important match in their rivalry. If Nadal wins, he will tie Djokovic with Masters titles and likely be favored to win that race in the future with his dominance on clay. He will also be within 1 win of tying the head-head record which is another metric that Djokovic has over him currently in the GOAT race.

Apart from the #1 weeks record, Novak will have less of an overall edge over Nadal if he clearly doesn’t finish ahead in the Masters race and head-head record IF they both are tied on Slams (ahead of Federer) possibly at the end of their careers. For me, the two Olympic golds neutralizes the 5 WTF titles which is the only other significant difference in their careers. Also, the unparalleled clay dominance over two decades (and several generations of players) should be celebrated rather than used as an excuse to diminish Nadal’s total Slam title count as being unbalanced.
 
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StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Seriously, Djokovic is annoying in Rome. Starting from 2008 he had just two relatively early losses, in 2010 and 2013 1/4 finals, both times lost very close matches. In all other years he reached the final, except for 2018 when he met Nadal in the semifinal. I hate this tournament because of him. He just appears in every final.
 

K-H

Hall of Fame
@Hitman what you thinking based on rafas level so far this tournament.

Any other year, I would favour rafa with it being on clay.

This year he hasn't been himself. It seems like he's slowly peaking for RG, but don't know if he's quite there yet.

2019 the whole tournament rafa was onnit. Cant say the same this year.

Rafa goes in as favourite, but don't think we'll be seeing any bakery products

Djokovic dialed in mentally it seems
 

Krish0608

Legend
Battle Royale. I somehow expect Djokovic to go hammer and tongs in this one. Expect Rafa to scrape through in 3 though. If this was RG, Rafa would have an easier time.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
It is an important match in their rivalry. If Nadal wins, he will tie Djokovic with Masters titles and likely be favored to win that race in the future with his dominance on clay. He will also be within 1 win of tying the head-head record which is another metric that Djokovic has over him currently in the GOAT race.

Apart from the #1 weeks record, Novak will have less of an overall edge over Nadal if he clearly doesn’t finish ahead in the Masters race and head-head record IF they both are tied on Slams (ahead of Federer) possibly at the end of their careers. For me, the two Olympic golds neutralizes the 5 WTF titles which is the only other significant difference in their careers. For me, the unparalleled clay dominance over two decades and several generations of players should be celebrated rather than used as an excuse to diminish Nadal’s total Slam title count as being unbalanced.
I concur with your logico-methodological analysis.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
Clay GOAT in straights, what else would make sense at this point?

I don't think Rafa's in the mood for freebies just before RG, he's gonna go hard on this match to make a statement.

It could help his mental game against Djokovic outside of clay too, imagine they face off at Wimbledon again that would be big.
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
Rewatch Rome 2016 and then come back to me. Biggest choke of Nadal's career, probably the lowest point he ever reached.
Yes, let's use one of Nadal's worst seasons against one of Novak's best. Sounds fair.

You have an aneurysm every time someone mentions a 2015 match, but 2016 is relevant?
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Seriously, Djokovic is annoying in Rome. Starting from 2008 he had just two relatively early losses, in 2010 and 2013 1/4 finals, both times lost very close matches. In all other years he reached the final, except for 2018 when he met Nadal in the semifinal. I hate this tournament because of him. He just appears in every final.
Nadal has been "annoying" in Rome since 2005 :D
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Yes, let's use one of Nadal's worst seasons against one of Novak's best. Sounds fair.

You have an aneurysm every time someone mentions a 2015 match, but 2016 is relevant?
It indeed was some of his worst tennis. Any better Nadal would have won this match. However, even this Nadal had chances in both sets, but just never stopped choking. He clearly has mental problems.

Also, let's not ignore that Rome 2018 was a close straight set win, Nadal struggled to close the first set from 5-2 up. Then in 2019 he choked the second set in the final after missing tons of break points. These are all signs of mental weakness. He got away with it in these 2 matches, but it doesn't mean he will get away with it again.
 

Nadal_King

Hall of Fame
What gives me confidence for rafa is win against Zverev,I feel currently Zverev is a tougher matchup on clay for rafa than djokovic. Zverev return of serve is quite good( not at level of djokovic) and his backhand certainly holds up well against rafa'forehand but rafa did quite well to win that match.
Also this match will be decided by how well djokovic serves for nadal service is directly proportional to how well he does in return games which is why you see those bagels and consecutive streaks of game he goes in. If djokovic can hang tight with his serve then on nadal serve you would see nadal being passive and nervy but if djokovic is getting hammered on his serve then it will be an easy victory for rafa.
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic wins this. Don't know if in 2 or 3, but he definitely wins it. They also moved the final a bit, so he will also have the advantage of a night session.
Are you sure about this? I’m trusting your judgement and expertise here
 

Rosstour

Legend
What gives me confidence for rafa is win against Zverev,I feel currently Zverev is a tougher matchup on clay for rafa than djokovic. Zverev return of serve is quite good( not at level of djokovic) and his backhand certainly holds up well against rafa'forehand but rafa did quite well to win that match.
Also this match will be decided by how well djokovic serves for nadal service is directly proportional to how well he does in return games which is why you see those bagels and consecutive streaks of game he goes in. If djokovic can hang tight with his serve then on nadal serve you would see nadal being passive and nervy but if djokovic is getting hammered on his serve then it will be an easy victory for rafa.
Yes--if Rafa had lost to Z, it would have been his 4th in a row, 2nd in a row on clay...and difficult questions would be asked.

Every time Rafa wins a match, we go right back to 'he's the GOAT and can't be stopped'.

Having said all this, I really don't know who's going to win. Djokovic seems less consistent these days, but I think he's currently capable of summoning a higher peak level than Rafa. But...maybe not on clay, not after what we saw last year at RG.
 

marc45

G.O.A.T.
@ozmo_sasa
·Novak: Rafa and I had a little laugh in the locker room after I won against Tsitsipas, like "the old guys are not giving up". I saw that he said that we are old, but I disagree, we are showing that we still have the energy (smiling).
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
@ozmo_sasa
·Novak: Rafa and I had a little laugh in the locker room after I won against Tsitsipas, like "the old guys are not giving up". I saw that he said that we are old, but I disagree, we are showing that we still have the energy (smiling).
Very cute, they are the best of friends :giggle:
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
Not a chance. They will put him as close to Djokovic as possible, like always.
The only thing that is a guarantee with the draw is that either Nadal or Djokovic will draw the Federer QF. I don't think they feel the need to force a Djokodal SF necessarily.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Come on, how is AO 2017 even similar to this? Nadal still had a day to rest and didn't have to play 2 tough matches in 1 day.
He played 5 hours in one day against a very in-form opponent, and the match ended late at night. A day of rest was for sure not enough. Funny enough, while Federer fans ignore that, they somehow make an excuse for Djokovic in RG 2020. (even though his match against Tsitsipas was not even comparable to the brutal Nadal-Dimitrov match in AO 2017. Leave alone the fact that he didn't have any tough matches before that)

Nadal has big mental problems against Djokovic, so he might easily find a way to choke this match away. Mentality matters a lot in tennis.
 

RoS

Rookie
The better player will win - that should be Rafa on clay at this stage of their careers. Novak doesn’t seem to have the offensive firepower anymore from the baseline to trouble top players on clay and has to grind it out in almost every match. He certainly doesn’t look like the player who used to force Nadal into errors and beat him on clay between 2011-2016.

What happened to Djokovic’s outstanding serve form from the AO? I know it’s clay, but he is not trying to serve as big anymore and I didn‘t see him winning too many free points on service in the last couple of months. If he doesn’t get too many easy, quick points against Nadal, I doubt that he is going to outlast him like he does against other players on clay.

What strategy can Novak use to beat Nadal tomorrow? I don’t have the answer and I wonder if his coaching team does.
Agree

But Nadal is not a spring chicken anymore too.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
He played 5 hours in one day against a very in-form opponent, and the match ended late at night. A day of rest was for sure not enough. Funny enough, while Federer fans ignore that, they somehow make an excuse for Djokovic in RG 2020. (even though his match against Tsitsipas was not even comparable to the brutal Nadal-Dimitrov match in AO 2017. Leave alone the fact that he didn't have any tough matches before that)

Nadal has big mental problems against Djokovic, so he might easily find a way to choke this match away. Mentality matters a lot in tennis.
It's not even comparable and you know this. Not like Federer didn't have his own difficulties and was also 5 years older. That's why this excuse is BS.
 
Poor tired and physically hampered Nole. He absolutely doesn't have a prayer against the fresh, healthy and well playing the organisers darling Nadal. The only question tomorrow is how many bagels Nole will receive this time around. :(
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
It's not even comparable and you know this. Not like Federer didn't have his own difficulties and was also 5 years older. That's why this excuse is BS.
Oh yeah, when Nadal loses, you will ALWAYS find an excuse. But when he wins, it is always unfair. Like you complained about Rome 2019 (where Djokovic didn't play 2 matches on the same day, he just played night sessions), but didn't say a word about Schwartzman being in the same position in Rome 2020.

Federer being 5 years older is irrelevant. He was fully rested in AO 2017, had more rest, and his 5 set matches were not nearly as physical. Nadal who showed up in the semifinal would have probably beaten Federer. (even though Federer fans will never admit it)
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
@Hitman what you thinking based on rafas level so far this tournament.

Any other year, I would favour rafa with it being on clay.

This year he hasn't been himself. It seems like he's slowly peaking for RG, but don't know if he's quite there yet.

2019 the whole tournament rafa was onnit. Cant say the same this year.

Rafa goes in as favourite, but don't think we'll be seeing any bakery products

Djokovic dialed in mentally it seems
I think Rafa has shown a lot of grit this week, very impressed with the mental approach to all matches, he has always seemed to be focused. His game was a little up and down more earlier on, but the quality was becoming more and more obvious with each match. A solid ending to Sinner match, good fight and hussle against Shaps, then really went up the gears on Zverev. He's here to make a statement.

He is ready for RG and tomorrow I expect him to show no mercy to Djokovic. He will want to make sure that not even a slightest amount of positive thinking manifest in Novak's mind about trying to beat Nadal in Paris. He will want him to have zero mometum, that includes not even giving a hard fought loss, that Novak could build on. Djokovic is playing, so not sure about bakery products, but he WILL be tired after playing over five hours of the highest quality, no way will he be fully ready, mentally he will want it, that much is certain, but don't think his body will help him tomorrow.

Nadal in straights, but I don't think Djokovic is eating bakery products tomorrow.
 
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