With Monday’s U.S. Open victory, Novak Djokovic captured his third major of the the year posting an inconceivable 64-2 record on his way to the most dominating individual campaign in tennis history. How’s your year been? Novak proved once again why he’s the best tennis player in the world, running defending U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal ragged in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 decision.
The score really isn’t indicative of the quality of play exhibited by both players in what was the most entertaining match I’ve seen since the Roger Federer/Rafael Nadal epic 5-setter in the 2008 Wimbledon final.
In just four sets these two were able to rack up an astonishing 4+ hours of epic tennis, which is closer to the expected length of a match that goes the distance. Every other rally seemed to exceed 20 shots. I’ve never seen Rafa look tired on the court, but by the end of the match it was clear he was gassed. Here’s a sample of the insanity:
This year Djokovic has been Nadal’s kryptonite, beating him five times in tournament finals. Novak is having more recent success against nemesis and arguably the GOAT, Roger Federer, as well. It wasn’t too long ago that Nadal was the clear number one player in the world, but a lot has changed over the past year.
Tennis is a game of matchups, which is why in the past Fed would beat Novak, Rafa would beat Fed, and Novak would beat Rafa. In Sunday’s issue I’ll analyze why exactly this was so and how Djokovic’s game has evolved since then, lifting him to new heights.