Monday, September 12, 2011

U.S. Open Prediction (Men's Final)

I have to start this off by saying the match between Federer and Djokovic on Saturday afternoon was an absolute classic. You can make any analogy you want, but at the end of the day it was a heavyweight boxing match, it was two gladiators going toe-to-toe, heck it was the passing of the torch. Down double match point, 5-3 in the fifth set, the return of service that Novak hit had to be one of the greatest returns of all time. Perhaps a career-ending shot for Roger Federer, and a career stepping stone for Novak Djokovic. I know that may seem a bit extreme, but realistically this was one of the last legitimate opportunities for Federer to win another Grand Slam. I hope that he can prove me wrong, but I just feel like this match will have too much of a crippling effect on him going forward. 
See prediction for finals after the jump...

Nadal/Djokovic - 4PM EST
Five times the two of these guys have played in a final this year. Five times Novak Djokovic has been the one holding up the trophy. I don't care who you are, if someone has beaten you five times in a row that's going to take a toll on you mentally. Questions start creeping into your mind. Maybe you lose some confidence in matches against that opponent. Or maybe you just try to change your approach completely. 

No matter how you slice it, Novak has the upper hand going into this match. He is the one with all the confidence and quite frankly all the tools to beat Rafael Nadal. But something tells me that Nadal won't go down that easily. He's too tough a player, too good a counter-puncher to let Novak continue this dominance. I think Nadal can win this match if is he is the one taking risks and being the aggressor. He will need to serve big and dictate rallies with his forehand keeping Novak on his heels. Federer did just that for two sets, I think Nadal can do it for three. So as great a year as Djokovic has had, I'll be taking Nadal (+140) to win this match in what should be another absolute gem between two of the games all-time best. Either way, this has been a remarkable 2 weeks of tennis. 

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