Nadal vs Djokovic
SF in Rome between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Match N51 between these two giants in tennis and Djokovic is one of the few players who still has positive stats against Nadal- 26/24 wins for the Serb. Well, it looks like the difference will be shorten to only one. Nadal is fabulous on clay for another season and after he lost the 1st place in the ranking, he has the chance to take himself back to the leader position if he wins the title. The way is not easy- SF against Djokovic and final match against Zverev/Cilic, but he proved himself as a dominant player on this surface. He had some problems in the first set in his last match against the home player Fognini, out of nothing leading 4:1 he lost 4:6. Then he gave only 3 games to Fabio. What about Djokovic-Nishikori? Once and once, and once, and once again Nishikori couldn't win the match in his head, couldn't clear his head in the decisive points and games from all of the lost close matches against the Serb. I can't understand how can you totally outplay Djokovic in the 1st set- 6:2, everything went in the court, Nishikori was like a wall and when he took the advantage of a set ahead and knew he's closer to the SF with a real chance to eliminate Djokovic, he started with the mistakes and looked even scary to imagine he can be the winner. It's really untypical for an Asian to have such huge mental problems against the Serb. Djokovic wasn't so good, that was obvious and player like Nadal won't have the same problem like Nishikori to finish Djokovic if he got the chance to dominate from the start of the match.
In the last two years they have only one match in Madrid last season when Djokovic was not in bad form and still lost 6:2 6:4. I don't think the Serb is ready to face Nadal yet. I'm sure he realizes that the difference in their form is huge in Nadal's favor, also the Spaniard is highly motivated to take the 1st place back and to forget about the loss in Madrid by Thiem with the title in Rome and Djokovic is almost the last step till he reaches his first target. The main one, of course, is to win Roland Garros once again.
Djokovic will try to give his best at the moment, but Rafa is Rafa on clay and he is the big favorite not only in Rome, but also in Paris. I don't think Rafa will drop a set tomorrow as he did against Fognini out of nowhere. Straight set win for Rafa. Hope Djokovic fans won't make this pick full of downvotes :D
I don't underestimate Djokovic, but that's the reality at this stage of their career- the Serb needs more time with Marian Vajda trying to find his previous form before the surgery.
Nadal vs Djokovic prediction
|Nadal -1.5 Sets||Pinnacle||1.65||10||2-0 WON (+6.5 units)|