It’s the US Open 2013 final with the world number one and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic to take on on second seeded Rafael Nadal. The match will be played on Monday, as an experiment by the US Open authorities but it will be back to being played on Sunday next time onward.
On paper, this is the best final one could have expected. The world number one Djokovic won the Australian Open last year and was the runner-up to Andy Murray in the US Open earlier this year.
Djokovic also managed to make it to the final at Wimbledon after being edged out by his opponent in this final, in the French Open semi-final.
In short, the Serbian player has shown consistency on all kinds of surfaces and will be a difficult man to beat.
One would have said that being the world number one, he has that slight edge over his opponent, had it been anyone but Nadal. The Spanish will be a different proposition altogether and it’s all to do with the manner in which he’s playing these days.
Nadal is yet to lose a match on hard court surfaces this year and in the process has won the Indian Wells Masters, Montreal Masters and the Cincinnati Masters this year. He has gone 22 matches on this surface without a defeat.
Djokovic has been scratchy. He came within a few points of bowing out of the US Open in the semi-finals and in the end, it was only his experience that won over a largely inexperienced player at that stage in Stanislas Wawrinka.
Nadal was broken for the first time in the tournament last match by Richard Gasquet but he did not drop any set and romped into the final.
This is the 17th time Nadal and Djokovic will meet in a final. The closeness of the contest can probably be gauged by the fact that the previous 16 meetings have ended in a deadlock at eight wins apiece.
In Grand Slam finals however, Djokovic has a slight edge, having won three out of their five matches. That said, it must be noted that Nadal’s form against Djokovic this year has been good and he enters the match having won five of their previous six meetings. Overall, Nadal leads the Serb 21-15.
It’s a difficult call to make but I would like to stick my neck out and say that Nadal will win this one in five.