Novak Djokovic Calls Rafael Nadal Best Player In US Open Men's Final As Match Is Biggest Challenge This Year For Serbian

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Sep 09, 2013 01:26 PM EDT
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Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Stanislas Wawrinka
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during their men's semi-final match at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York September 7."

After an amazing five set match on Saturday, Novak Djokovic advanced to the finals at the US Open and he already knows how tough it will be to win against Rafael Nadal on Monday night, as he has seen what the Spaniard can do and has called him the best player in the world right now.

The matchup was sealed after Djokovic prevailed in a five set match against Stanislas Wawrinka and Nadal defeated Richard Gasquet in a three set match and now the two will play for the third time on tour this year, splitting the last two matches, including one that snapped a 46-match win streak for Nadal. According to ESPN.com, Djokovic told reporters his thoughts about Nadal ahead of their finals match at the US Open, saying that he is the best player "in the moment this year" and that it will be the "biggest challenge" to beat him on Monday.

Check here for a predictiion of the finals. (Hint: Rafa wins)

Both players have previously won the US Open and they also have gone head to head over 30 times and know what it takes to defeat one another. Nadal leads the all-time series over Djoker 21-15, but Novak is better on hard courts, but that could change this time around, as Nadal looks stronger than he ever has been since coming back from a knee injury that sidelined him from his very same tournament last year.

Nadal lost early at Wimbledon and did not let that bother him and now he is undefeated on hard courts this year after playing in 21 matches and now he needs just one more to get his second career slam in Flushing. Nadal has been fantastic on his serve and he has been impossible to sustain rallies against, but no player in the tournament can meet Rafa talent wise like Djokovic can. Despite playing five sets in the previous match. Djokovic is as fit as they come and he should be fine to play Nadal on Monday no matter how tired he is.

Depending on how the match goes, the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry could end up being looked at as even better than Nadal-Federer, as these two have played so many times before. Djokovic has bested Nadal eight times in the past 15 matches, but the Spanish star can tie things up with a win on Monday and he also could reach closer to the number one ranking. Nadal has won the French Open already while Djokovic won the Australian and with Andy Murray out after winning last year, there will be a new US Open champion.

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