No, I don’t mean if he can call him or not. What I’m talking about is excellent tennis writer Steve Tignor’s article called the Big 4 O where he starts like this:
This past Sunday, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic officially entered middle age together. It was their 40th meeting—the Big 4-Oh—though from a competitive standpoint it was one of their least memorable. For the third straight time, Djokovic was by far the better player. Last fall, in both Beijing and London, he beat Rafa 6-3, 6-4; in Miami he closed him out even more rapidly, 6-3, 6-3. It was one of the most comprehensive wins by either man since they first met at the French Open eight years ago.
The head-to-head is currently 22-18 in Nadal’s favour, but as Thriding points out:
In the current era the balance on clay is almost equal – and that makes the fact that Nadal won both of their French Open matches in it note-worthy
In the current era Djokovic is highly dominant on outdoor hard courts – and that makes the fact that Nadal won the US Open 2013 final even more note-worthy
The momentum is thoroughly heading towards an equal head-to-head: roughly over the next couple of years we might expect Djokovic to win 8 of the next 12 meetings, to balance the head to head at 26-26 – but are we really expecting nothing to change in the next 24 months?!
It’s obviously a tight rivalry and even for a Federer fan more exciting than the Fedal “rivalry” which too often ends in a completely expected outcome although the matches are sometimes very entertaining.
Watching the last three matches Nadal and Djokovic played against each other you’re thinking that maybe Djokovic has finally found the ultimate strategy against the Spaniard and that he will win 80% of the matches from now, but with Nadal I feel it’s impossible to count him out. He works on every chink in his game to come back stronger and beat Djokovic, regardless of the surface, and going into the clay season, the odds are (imho) in favour of the “king of clay”, especially when it comes to the physically and mentally gruelling five-setters at Roland Garros.
But maybe, maybe this is Djokovic’s year and the time where he will finally wrestle La Coupe des Mousquetaires from Nadal’s hands? Who knows? And that’s why we love tennis.
Do you think Djokovic has found the secret key to Nadal’s game? Please comment below!