So. Um. Novak Djokovic. Yeah. He's, like, playing well and stuff. I heard. A bit well. He's, like, winning stuff. Lots of stuff. And beating people. A lot. And not losing. At all.
I don't normally pay Novak many compliments, on the grounds that I find him deeply, desperately irritating, but kudos have to be given for this tear that he's on. He is playing absolutely, outstandingly well. MC Hammer 'can't touch this' well. Even if you're Rafa, and it's clay, and it's Spain.
That's what's crossed the line from awesome to scary for me - beating Rafa in Spain on clay. Sure, Rafa played like poo in this match, but that's not taking anything away from how scarily well Djokovic played - and is playing. He's got just about every player I can think of in the world on a string at the moment. He's figured out everyone and everything and his game is - well, there aren't really words for how well he's playing at the moment.
The one thing I'm worried about, if I'm Novak, is not Roland Garros coming up, but Rome. If I'm him, I'm seriously considering skipping. Winning means playing a lot of tennis, and Novak's played a lot of tennis lately. He's won the Djokovic Open and now Madrid, and it's not a stretch to think that he might win Rome as well. So going into Roland Garros, he'd be on a winning streak, but he'd also be on 'I have played unbelievable amounts of tennis' streak. We saw what happened to Rafa in 2009 at Roland Garros (though, to be fair, he did also play Monte Carlo as well). That's not the way Novak wants to go down.
And then if he plays Rome and loses, that's a big downer right there. Losing to Rafa in the final of Madrid would have been one thing - losing in Rome another thing entirely. The last thing you want going into a Slam is a comedown.
So yeah. It's an interesting one. Time will tell, I guess.
I think Rafa's going to take a long hard look at himself after this match. I think we're going to see a new energy with him. I read somewhere this morning that Rafa plays better as the hunter than the hunted, and I think that's totally true. He's going to feel like the underdog after this match, and that's just where he wants to be. If he plays Novak again in Rome, I will be veeeeeeeery interested to see who comes out on top...
(I hope it's Federer!)
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago