The rival Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal is for the Romantics. The Wimbledon 2008 final may rank among the biggest games ever played, but in most cases their dynamics have been crooked, aggravated by Nadal's 13-2 tip on clay. On the other hand, Nadal-Djokovic's association suffers from the fact that there have been few instances in which they played at each other's peak.
In terms of competition, nothing works better than the Federer-Djokovic duel. Djokovic leads Federer 25-22, but they are neck and neck across surfaces: it's 13-13 on the courts and 4-4 hard on the clay; Gokovic shades it 6-4 covered 2-1 on the grass. Each hit the other in all four corners. Reject of 7-6 (6), 5-7, 7-6 (3) Winning at Federer last week in Paris Masters was another repetition of the incredibly competitive nature of their games.
When they reached the ATP final of the season ended, in which two won 11 out of the last 15 editions, Federer's Six of Five, it's their potential clash which will take precedence. With Djokovic & # 39; s Ranked # & # 39; 1 and the Swiss No. 3, there was a chance that the two might be attracted to the same group. But with No. 2 Rafael Nadal pulling because of a stomach injury, meeting a high bet at the end of the business of the tournament is an option.
Even when numbers support them to stand shoulder to shoulder, this complementary styles enrich their aesthetics of tie. Federer is creative, and Djokovic is clinical. Federer is the master of the first act "tennis, serve, Djokovic's second, the return." Federer hits with exact accuracy, but Djokovic, at his best, can dismiss it like no one else.
The pace at which Federer plays and the pace he gets on the fast courts has never been to Djokovic's liking. The conditions at the end of the season in London are expected to be a little heavier, but inside the house, with no elements playing a part, the setting is ideal for Federer aimed at just a weapon. Federer has not really played well this season and has had itching past a lot of an opponent, but he has reasons to be optimistic.
"Novak rolls no doubt, you can feel it," he said after losing Paris. "He's a good defender of his job, I think I did it, and in the end it came to a few things, I'm just happy with my game, it's better than Basel, I won this tournament, I played in the semifinals and I needed someone from Novak To beat me, so it's okay. "
However, Djokovic, in the past five months, has proved that he has not lost any of his reenerative powers, especially the ability to shake off the defeats which would have devastated others. His rise to No. 1 place, after being out of the top 20 as recently as in July, has been meteoric. He's 31-2 since the start of Wimbledon, with two Grand Slam and two Masters 1000 titles and one Masters finishing top 1000.
The 31-year-old looked tired in his defeat to Karen, the great Russian Anubis in the Masters final, but there is no denying that he is returning to his elusive, protective, and opposing arm.
Perhaps the best match for this was the direct destruction of Federer to the Cincinnati Masters quick courts in mid-August. In Cincinnati, Federer has not lost seven final appearances and has not suffered from service since 2013. The 37-year-old even hit Djokovic in 2015 using his ultra-aggressive return tactic, a cute name called "SNR Attack" by Rogge (See below).
Does this mean that the other six men in the final scene will be reduced to supporting players or is there a pleasant surprise in the store like Grigor Dimitrov's victory last year? Kevin Anderson and John Isner, who are certified on the back of their career for the best years, are long shots. Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic, the players expected to follow Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, have shown no inclination to do so.
Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem, another section below, is still in development. In fact, the trio of Cilic, Zverev and Thiem collectively won two games from nine in the final 2017 and a round-robin crash stage. Bulgarian Dimitrov, who made her way to the No. 3 career tournament after winning last year's London, did not even make it, and slipped to 19th place in the world.
Swede Mats Whailander, champion of seven, and one of the most serious spectators in modern tennis, had an interesting explanation for the absence of breakout champions. "What we've found over the years is that if you have a few big players who win a lot of gear, the next generation usually suffers," he told Sports Illustrated. "These guys kind of erase a lot of Grand Slam winners by being a little better at breaking their safety.
"I look at the next generation, Nishikori, Reuni and Dimitrov, as someone who came after Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, and they were Litton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Marat Safin. [sic: Roddick won his after Federer’s first], But did not go too far.
"It seemed to me that Sampras and Agassi had to be out of the picture before Peter got the trust to win, he did win the Sampras at Wimbledon early but he did not really win as many great champions did, so that's what we're going to see a big star come through."
Until such a time, when a generation racing up in the rearview mirror of Nadal, Djokovic and Federer proves himself to be more than just an illusion, the big guns are here to stay.