Novak has a much better chance vs Nadal tomorrow than most people think

Does Novak have a chance to do the unthinkable at RG


  • Total voters
    78

TennisFan3

G.O.A.T.
It's sports, anything can happen. If anyone can beat Nadal here, it's Novak.

I just don't get how the same people who said the same things last year could have watched that final, learned absolutely nothing and gone back to pushing the same talking points just 8 months later. Just sit back and quitely enjoy the match, maybe something crazy actually will happen this time. But pressure, ambition, fitness, form and conditions were the exact same reasoning why Novak supposedly was going to be a nightmare matchup for Rafa last time around and it couldn't have been more wrong.
Some points are new this time such as Novak's serve and all the pressure on Nadal. Meaning Nadal comes in as the favorite to this match and is expected to win. These are FACTS.
Why? First, Serving of Novak has improved Statistically.
Second, "Favorites" are determined by bookies voting and Odds. RG 2020 - Novak was the favorite. Nadal the underdog. Now it's reverse. RG 2021 Novak the underdog and Nadal the favorite.
Hence all the pressure on Nadal.
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
I think Djokovic will be silly if they are under a lot of pressure for this game.

I hope he plays soft, tactically. Last year, as good as Nadal played, Djokovic lacked tactics.

In Rome he improved a lot, Nadal won in detail. The bull won just 3 points more than the Djoker.

The last memory should be Rome 2021, not RG 2020.
That never worked for Dominic Thiem.
Thiem beat Nadal FOUR times on clay, including THREE of them in straight sets.
Nadal won 12 of their 13 sets at Roland Garros....
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
Some points are new this time such as Novak's serve and all the pressure on Nadal. Meaning Nadal comes in as the favorite to this match and is expected to win. These are FACTS.
Why? First, Serving of Novak has improved Statistically.
Second, "Favorites" are determined by bookies voting and Odds. RG 2020 - Novak was the favorite. Nadal the underdog. Now it's reverse. RG 2021 Novak the underdog and Nadal the favorite.
Hence all the pressure on Nadal.
But Nadal plays better when he's under pressure, in case you haven't figured it out yet........look at him tying Borg's RG record........passing Borg's RG record........and tying Federer's slam record........and look at him down a break in the 5th Set at 2013 RG vs. Djokovic.....
Also, Nadal will bagel or breadstick Djokovic if Djokovic repeats that 1st Set vs. Berrettini....
In the 1st Set (which Djokovic won 6-3)........Djokovic got 74% of 1st Serves in........but Berrettini had Break Point in THREE of Djokovic's service games, and Deuce in FOUR of them.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
I'd bet on Djokovic to win. He is certainly capable of an upset. And it would be a victory for the ages. The last FO was also not a good indicator of what he can do in the here and now.
 
Novak has to play at the top of his game or close to it to have any chance. I feel he needs the first set too and has to hope Rafa is slightly off like was the case in early part of matches against Diego and sinner.

Eveb then it’s still gonna be tough for djoko but that gives him the best chance possible. It’s much more important for Novak to get first set than Rafa.
 

RVAtennisaddict

Professional
I don't think that this match matters as much in the grand slam race... it would raise the number needed to be the leader by 1, but Djoker is legit fav in 3/4 slams. His game and health also favor more years of future play than Nadal.

This match does matter in the "GOAT" debate, because beating Nadal at RG helps exponentially more in that debate than winning another USO or W or AO. Even if when he ends with more slams.

I still think Roger is GOAT but more because of his style.. he is like an artist. Nadal is power lifter and Djokovic is the Robot.

But they are all amazing. I am RF and Djoker fan, but to be honest would love for one of them (even Nadal) to step up and take it to the other in their "houses" asserting dominance over the other... unlikely to happen
 

Beckerserve

Legend
Here's why Novak has a good shot vs Nadal at the RG 2021 SF. The match will be very close at the least, and may result in an upset as well.
  • Zero Pressure: Nadal won RG 2020 in straights. Everyone expects him to win. Novak had way more pressure during RG 2020 - now he can just swing for the fences without any pressure.​
  • Ambition: Novak is man possessed. After having lose to Nadal in RG 2020 - he's made it his life goal to beat Nadal in Paris again. Hence the huge war-cry after winning the SF vs Matteo. He wants this way more than Nadal.​
  • Novak's serving: 2021 has been a revelation. Serving far better than he did in 2020. Broken only thrice in this tournament.​
  • Fitness/Match Time: Novak is FRESH into this final: RG 2020 he came from a long 5 setter. Rome 2021 - he played 2 matches and 5 hours the day before. He hasn't played Nadal fresh in a major clay match for a while.​
  • Conditions: Cooler evening time conditions drifting into the night. The earliest match start is 5:30 PM- but will likely be quite a bit later. Nadal's spin and bounce will be easier to handle in such conditions.​
  • Nadal's Vulnerability as he Ages: In losses to Rublev, Zverev, MP down vs Titspas and losing 1-6 set vs Novak in Rome - Nadal has shown vulnerability this clay season. No one better to take Nadal's legs away and exploit any dips in form.​
I am not saying Novak will win for sure. But the match would be very close. It will likely to be closer to their F.O 2013 SF Epic.
The winner will likely be the player who gets lucky at a few key points - similar to the AO 2012 F and Wimb 2018 SF.
In theory you should be right. However in practice we know Djokovic is ultra stressed as his reaction after QF showed he is. And it has been talked about so much as has his mental state it now gets worse.
Conditions have been bouncing high at any time. Rafa was getting it up high v Gasquet at 11pm. The court slows down around 8pm it seems though. That actually helps Nadal as it dilutes Djokovic serve.
Finally a lot i feel depends on 1st semi. If tistispas rolls over Zverev quickly im not sure Djokovic will fancy a war with Rafa as he would lose to Tsitispas. Tsitispas has ran him close on clay in slower conditions so in these conditions Tsitispas would fancy his chances v Djokovic. He will against Nadal btw as well.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
Would be fun if Rafa beats Eggvax 62 61 60. Or wins in five tight sets. Either of the two extremes would be ideal. Then administer a beatdown on NextGen finalist which will push TTW over the edge.
 
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Beckerserve

Legend
Novak has to play at the top of his game or close to it to have any chance. I feel he needs the first set too and has to hope Rafa is slightly off like was the case in early part of matches against Diego and sinner.

Eveb then it’s still gonna be tough for djoko but that gives him the best chance possible. It’s much more important for Novak to get first set than Rafa.
1st aet is not that critical who wins it more critical how long it is. Anything over an hour and if Tsitispas has beat Zverev easily im afraid both can kiss their chamces of winning event goodbye. Been looking in detail at the 4 players recent clay results. Tsitispas is primed. Massive threat.
 
1st aet is not that critical who wins it more critical how long it is. Anything over an hour and if Tsitispas has beat Zverev easily im afraid both can kiss their chamces of winning event goodbye. Been looking in detail at the 4 players recent clay results. Tsitispas is primed. Massive threat.
Got to agree with you on this. This semi isn’t the real final this time around. Both Tsitsipas and Zverev are looking amazing as well. Especially Tsitsipas and they will have the schedule advantage this time around. I just hope for 2 high quality matches and may the best man win the event.
 

Beckerserve

Legend
Got to agree with you on this. This semi isn’t the real final this time around. Both Tsitsipas and Zverev are looking amazing as well. Especially Tsitsipas and they will have the schedule advantage this time around. I just hope for 2 high quality matches and may the best man win the event.
Yes snap. At least there will be no mug winner. The scheduling advantage is massive. That i feel will affect Nadal v Djokovic match as they know a 4 hour war likely spells end of title hopes as for two guys their age recovery takes longer.
 

beard

Hall of Fame
Nadal will most probably win... I'm mostly happy to see what well rested Novak can do... Don't remember when Nadal hadn't schedule advantage, which is huge on clay...
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
People are also forgetting , that last years match could ADD pressure to Djokovic.

He knows he was embarassed, and will be worried that it can happen again.

I relate it to the way Nadal plays Novak on a HC. He is straight setted, and even if hes in good form, mentally i believe hes a mess before a ball is struck.

Novak might be a different animal in that respect, but he very easily could go into the match with little confidence on clay versus Nadal, then Nadal just has to hurt him early, and we could see Novak crumble.

We all saw what happened to Nadal at the AO 2019.

Nadal has won their last 5 clay meetings, and Djokovic hasnt had a win over him in 5 years on the surface. ( and even then, it was a 7-6, 7-5 scoreline against a not so great version of Rafa ).

If anyone can do it, its Djokovic, but Nadal will be very confident .
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Nadal will most probably win... I'm mostly happy to see what well rested Novak can do... Don't remember when Nadal hadn't schedule advantage, which is huge on clay...
I hope Nadal literally destroys him when i read stuff like this.

Its all that people can say when they look at this matchup.

Djokovic is probably one of the fittest athletes in the world, yet people complain about him having a few hours less rest, going into 3 set match finals. LOL
 

beard

Hall of Fame
I hope Nadal literally destroys him when i read stuff like this.

Its all that people can say when they look at this matchup.

Djokovic is probably one of the fittest athletes in the world, yet people complain about him having a few hours less rest, going into 3 set match finals. LOL
It wasn't a few hours, most of the time... This year its hours, and I don't complain on that...
Rome winner of the final in the last eleven (11) years was always the first semifinalist, since they established the evening match, which often continued after midnight...
You think its coincidence?
Let's go by the facts, please...

Will see how rested Novak will cope with Nadal... Long time since that happened...
 

Carax

Rookie
Of course that Novak has a chance. It won't be easy, but if anyone can do it it's him. Going all Goran and saying that he has no chance would be a bit careless, imo. Reality hits you hard whenever you're too confident and things don't go your way.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Yes Sir. First set far more important for Nadal than it is for Novak.
Novak is the fitter and stronger player who could play for 6 hours. Never seen him get tired.
Nadal needs to wrap up this match quick. Losing set 1 would put a lot of pressure on Nadal.
Yeah Rafa lost the first set to Novak in 2014 and won in 4, but I feel it's must-win for him this year.
 

Djoker11

New User
One of the few predictions in my life that actually aged well so fair play. I'm buzzing to see my guy win was brilliant but even I didn't think he had much of a chance. But it's well known that Novak is nadals hardest match on clay and off
 

WarriorRafa

Professional
Nadal wasn't consistent enough in this tournament. Amazing stuff at times, but also went off the boil for longer periods than usual. The warning signs were there.
People just assumed he'd win without actually paying attention to his level. Add the pressure of getting 21, equalling Djokovic in the H2H, the curse of #13 and this wasnt that surprising tbh
 

Kralingen

Professional
Hate to say I told you so. But this match had an ominous feel to it.

Nadal didn't play his best and then lost all the important points.
Credit where credit is due: you were calling this all along.

Re-reading my prediction I definitely didn't expect such a high UE count from Nadal. But you were 100% right on his fitness and also his consistency being issues. He just doesn't have peak level tennis for 4 hours like he used to, and Djokovic played out of his mind.
 
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