With Nadal boasting arguably the greatest forehand in the game and Djokovic having an unrivalled backhand and return of serve, it promises to be another epic meeting between the pair.
Nadal is undefeated on hard courts in 2013 and favourite to win the US Open, having won Masters 1000 titles at Indian Wells, Montreal and Cincinnati. Meanwhile, his opponent endured a frustrating time in both Montreal and Cincinnati having lost to Nadal and big-server John Isner respectively.
Having finally beaten Nadal in Monte Carlo (thus ending the Spaniard's eight-year wining streak at that event), many expected Djokovic would finally be able to conquer Nadal at Roland Garros thus joining Roger Federer and Nadal in becoming the eighth player to achieve the career grand slam.
The world number one was 5-3 up against Nadal and serving for the match only to controversially lose a point at 40-40 and drop the game allowing the Spaniard a route back in. Nadal won the final set 9-7 and claimed his record breaking eighth French Open title leaving the Serb to wait yet another year (at least) to complete his dream.
Losing the French Open has seemingly set Djokovic on a downward spiral with loss of conviction in big matches, his confidence was further dented by Andy Murray as the Brit beat him comfortably in a straight set win at Wimbledon. In 2011 Djokovic was near unbeatable even by the standards of Federer and Nadal but in the last two years he has not been able to maintain that form and others have improved massively.
History shows that the second set is often vital for the Serb in his matches. In both meetings against Stanislas Wawrinka in Grand Slams this year, The world number one was crucially able to win the second set and in both matches he went onto win, as was the case in the 2012 Australian Open final against Nadal. The Spaniard is often a quick starter and has never lost a two set lead in his career, a quick start is crucial for both players.
Prediction: Nadal to win 3-1
Nadal is definitely the fresher player and you have to go with the form book, Djokovic has played a long and tough season and isn't near his best. Both players are more or less evenly matched and it will undoubtedly come down to ability to play the big points well and hold serve, of which Nadal has shown more confidence in doing so ahead of the final. Fitness permitting, I think we will see a repeat of this final in Melbourne and more of a thriller when both players are fresher. These two are undoubtedly the best two players on hard courts (and clay) at the moment and the fascinating rivalry between the pair will undoubtedly continue into next year.
First Set: Nadal
Second Set: Djokovic
Third Set: Nadal
Fourth Set: Nadal
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