2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals: Match Preview – Rafael Nadal versus Novak Djokovic

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2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals: Match Preview – Rafael Nadal versus Novak Djokovic
Third seed Serb Novak Djokovic plays his second round robin stage match today as he takes on the world number one and his archrival, Spaniard Rafael Nadal. The two professionals come into the match having won their respective event
openers. Djokovic did away with Czech Tomas Berdych whereas Rafa managed to turn the tables on American Andy Roddick after being one set down.
Rafa has enjoyed a superb season this year. Coming into the event, he had seven titles under his belt including three Grand Slams. With the exception of the Australian Open, Nadal lifted the trophy at all the Grand Slams this year.
His win at the 2010 United States Open won him the career Grand Slam. Having won all the major titles in his career, only the WTF title eludes him still. Although this is his sixth qualification for the season finale, he has managed a semi-final run only twice
in the year 2006-07 while his 2009 performance was downright abysmal since he failed to win a single match. Ironically, one of the matches Nadal lost in the last year’s season finale was against Djokovic. Maybe the Serb can repeat history this time as well.
After having secured a surprising win over Andy Roddick in the opening match, Nadal enjoys a win loss mark of 1-0 in the event. After being one set down in the opener, Nadal bounced back in the second set and winning the second
and third set secured a win for himself. The match score was 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. Nadal clearly put his 2009 demons to rest with this win.
This is the pair’s twenty-third meeting on the court with Rafa commanding an impressive 15-7 lead in their head-to-head score. This is, however, the pair’s second meeting this season. They met earlier in the year, at the final
of the 2010 United States Open. Nadal dismissed Djokovic then with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win to grab the Grand Slam title. However, of their eleven meetings on the hard courts Djokovic leads with seven wins. Keeping this in mind, and not to mention the difficult
win against Roddick in the opener, Nadal told the press, “Right now I have to play better. I have to play with a little bit more energy than last year."
Although Djokovic’s record for the season pales a little in comparison, however the Serb is in no way to be underestimated. Having won a title at Dubai and then at Beijing, the Serb enjoys a win-loss mark of 57-16 this season.
A major factor that the Serb has in his favour is the fact that he has defeated the Spaniard more times when it comes to hard courts. He also has a title win at the season finale, something the Spaniard has never secured before. Looking to reclaim his second
title this year, Djokovic is much motivated for a win and hopefully therein lays the difference.
When asked about his tactic against Nadal, Djokovic said, "You have to find energy. You have to find focus to perform as best as you can."
Although the statistics and season record favour the Spaniard, tennis fans may be surprised by the Serb’s performance in the match today.



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