This should serve as the first true test if indeed Novak Djokovic will be the next number 1. If he defeats Rafa Nadal on clay, on his favorite surface in the finals ofMadrid then count me in in expecting that the Serbian star will be the next number 1 player. There are a number of sub-plots at work here, after Rafa Nadal defeated Roger Federer in the semi-finals, and Djokovic defeated an upstart in the other semifinal match. One such story line is the debate on how ready is Djokovic to wrest the number 1 spot from Nadal. Another story line is the winning streak of the two players; Djokovic’s commanding 33-match winning streak and Rafa Nadal’s 37 match winning streak on clay. Now who will be the strongest person, and wins the title this weekend? I am excited for this match; two of the current best players in the circuit will slug it out once again, and many things are on the line. And yes, Rafa Nadal has more to lose on this match. Djokovic is riding high on his history-setting momentum. But will Rafa simply roll and give the match? I expect Rafa to play grinding tennis on clay once again, and I believe that Rafa Nadal will win in three sets. If not, it will be a sad and un-inspiring week for me. Vamos, Rafa!
Just an update: Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal to remain undefeated this year. This is an important victory for Djokovic considering the fact that this was played on clay and in Madrid! This was certainly a big letdown and disappointment to Rafa Nadal and his camp, but in a statement Rafa said that he was just overpowered by the more stronger player this year. With the win, Djokovic gains momentum for this year’s French Open. And I must say, he is the favorite, and he could end up as ATP’s number 1 player soon.
What I learned this week: It’s now a race between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic; Roger Federer is showing his age; Andy Murray will continue to be a under-performer and Andy Roddick is done.