All the superlatives you can think of, spring to mind when talking about last night’s US open final between Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal. It was an absolutely incredible match from beginning to end, with some of the greatest points, one of the greatest games, and definitely one of the greatest matches ever.
For the first two sets Djokovic played some of the most dominant tennis I have ever seen, he battered Nadal to the point of submission, where Nadal was just scratching his head wondering what he could try next to stop the onslaught. Nadal’s games all seemed to last ages, one game lasting over 16 minutes, as he lost his serve time after time. Nadal started the first two sets brightly by breaking Djokovic, then the Serb would come back and break Nadal two or three times to win the set. It was some of the best tennis I have ever witnessed.
By the time they reached the tie breaker in the third set, Djokovic had served for the match and both had played some astonishing tennis, then they played some rallies around the tie breaker that defied belief, one point I wondered how it was still being played, it lasted 21 shots but left like it had been 50, Djoks held off Nadal’s onslaught three times before losing the point. When Nadal won the third set, it looked as if they were going to go five sets as Djokovic’s body started to wilt under this immense pressure. Novak needed a time out to massage his back as he was starting to find it difficult to serve, everyone expected Nadal to come roaring back and take the fourth set. This was not to be the case, as Nadal’s excessive run of four matches in five days started to take their toll and he lost the fourth set 6-1.
If ever there was an ad for how amazing tennis can be this was it, it had everything, greats shots, great rallies, great games, great tie breaker, lots of breaks of serve, and played at an intensity which is hard to imagine. It was a pleasure to watch, it’s just a shame it’s finished.
Even though it was only four sets and not five, I would still put it up there as one of the greatest ever matches, no doubt, hands down. In a way the only thing that let the match down was the fact the guys had played so hard, and at such high intensity, after playing so many matches in quick succession, it meant it could not go five sets without one of them killing themselves. It is definitely up there with Wimbledon 08, as one of the best ever.
In a way it is a shame one guy had to lose, but overall Djokovic was just too good for Nadal, and the strangest of situations has presented itself, because really it should have been Federer in that final (if he hadn’t bottled it) and somehow I doubt Nadal would have lost to him. It just seems that Djoks knows how to beat Nadal, as Nadal knows how to beat Federer.
Now you have to wonder how Nadal recovers from this year’s battering off the Serbinator. One thing is for sure, you cannot use the form of Masters 1000 series matches to determine how well someone will do in a Slam. You can only use the last slam as a reference and you have to wonder how long Djokovic can continue to play this incredibly high standard of tennis, because if he can continue for another couple of years we may be saying he’s the greatest, can you imagine that.