Rafael Nadal has been unbeatable this year on hard courts and now he will face his toughest test yet as he takes on Novak Djokovic in the finals for the Men's Single's Grand Slam title at the US Open on Monday afternoon in Flushing.
The two stars are following the epic match between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka that went three sets and saw the American win her second straight title and now Nadal will try and win again in Flushing and he appears ready to do it. Nadal has been fantastic since coming back from a knee injury that kept him out of the tournament last year and after defeating Richard Gasquet in three sets, he could be primed to take down Djoker as well, who is ranked number on in the world.
Nadal had a rough time against Gasquet in the second set after things went to a tiebreaker, but eventually he pulled through and the Frenchman was tired out by the third set after playing a five set epic against David Ferrer to advance in the first place. Nadal won the US Open back in 2011 and now he will get the chance to win it again and it will be the third time the two players have faced off in the finals in Arthur Ashe, winning one apiece and now this one will tip the scales in someone's favor and I have a feeling it will be Nadal.
Nadal has had an easier run to the finals than Djokovic and while that can be an issue for players once they reach the finals, the two seem to bring out the best in each other and the way Nadal has been playing this year, it is only fitting that the number one player stands in his way. Nadal has won a number of tournaments this year already and is moving back up the rankings despite his early loss at Wimbledon, but that disappointment may have helped keep his legs fresh for this tournament and now he has the chance to add another title to his mantle.
The two have put together an amazing rivalry already and by the end it could be even better than Nadal-Federer, as the two have already played 36 times against each other, with Rafa leading the series with 21 wins. But on the surface of the US Open, Novak has the advantage and after playing three times this year, Nadal is up 2-1 after winning at the French Open and the Rogers Cup before losing at Monte Carlo and now Djokovic has the chance to even things up. The second set tiebreak against Gasquet was an easy one for Nadal and the fact that Djokovic had to play a tough match against Stanislas Wawrinka, winning 2-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, could mean that he is a bit fatigued by the end of things on Monday.
Nadal has been the best player in the world this year and he could set a record as the only player to get back number one three years after losing it and it could come with a victory at the final Grand Slam of the year. It will be a tough match either way, but Nadal will come out on top this time around.
Prediction: Nadal wins in four or five sets, with one of them being a tiebreaker with Djoker.