Nadal is safe for now

Yesterday winner would be #2 on the rankings that are updated tomrrow. Novak and Rafa battled for over 3 hours and here are some key points;
First of all, compared to last year’s match at RG, Djokovic was a lot closer on all terms. I even think he would have won the match had he turned the two break points at 3-0 into 4-0. He might have helt to 5-0 and taken the first set. Instead Nadal was allowed back to 3-3. “allowed” is probably incorrect, because Nadal played a very good match and was able to defend as well as he is able to.

Djokovic was in turn, very good when attacking. I was actually amazed he didn’t hit more errors. He went for his shots all the time in every rally. Naturally the errors increased, and winners decreased after that second set. In fact, it looked like that was the deciding factor of the match. Djokovic was not able to run around the same way as at the start og the match. In the last game, he either gave up, or had no more to give physically. 4 drop shot attempts, in the same place, making it worse every time, was One indiciation. That’s how the match ended; a missed drop shot from Djokovic.

But thinking that they ran around for more than 3 hours on slow humid clay… I was impressed with both of them. Had the conditions been faster Djokovic might have taken it.

Federer got through with an still impressive win over Seppi. I don’t know if Seppi liked the cold humid conditions, but both players seemed ready to fight their hearts out. Federer was better on almost every aspect of the game and is continuing his great record in Hamburg.

Nadal might be safe for now regarding #2 spot, but is he safe against Federer today? Nope
I think Federer will pose a greater threat to Nadal. First of all, Nadal played a long and stressful match. Must have been tiring mentally as well. Another great chance for Federer IMO. I’m seeing that the forecast is partly cloudy and only around 61 or 62F, about 17C. Sun may help speed the court up, but the temperature won’t. So fair conditions perhaps.

I think the question wil still be whether Federer can serve well. This does not mean having a 90% first serve, but using it wisely like he has this week. He needs to be smart about the second as well and Nadal might be the perfect opponent to attack even on the second serve. With enough pace and spin, which Federer is known for having, he can go to the net on some second serves. In addition, he must be creative on the backhand side. He has had little problems with the backhand this week, but no player has hit with the heavy top spin he will get today. Lastly, he must be able to attack Nadal’s serve. Go in on the few second serves and try to get to the net on the weaker first serves. Sometimes this is more than enough to win some important points that might turn out to be key.

Nadal.. well it’s impossible to change tactics. He just needs to defend his ass out all the time. I would also think that hitting heavy topspinny balls to the Federer forehand more often might turn out good. We have seen that Federer is moving better when changing direction to the left (backhand) rather than to his right (forhand). But if I were Nadal.. I would stop defending on every point and trying to attack. Has has the volley feel, why doesn’t he use it more often?! Mix it up, RAFA!

Federer wins in 3?!


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One Response to “Nadal is safe for now”

  1. Tim Says:

    Nadal wins in 2 sets. 6-4, 7-6

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