'Novak Djokovic Doesn'T Have To Be 100% And...', Says Expert

‘Novak Djokovic does not have to be 100% and…’, says expert

After reaching the title clash in 2008, Novak Djokovic he was among the players to beat in Cincinnati again a year later. The Serb faced Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on his way to the title, and he cleared the first hurdle in style after defeating the Spaniard 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinal in one hour and 32 minutes.

Novak defeated Nadal for the fifth time in 19 meetings to advance to the 10th Masters 1000 final and set up the title clash against Federer a day later. Playing only his second tournament after Roland Garros and suffering from tendinitis in both knees, Nadal overcame three opponents to enter the last four.

However, he had no chance against Djokovic as the Serb had the advantage on serve and return from start to finish. Novak fired 21 game-winners and scored 15 more points than Rafa, defending the only break point he faced and stealing three times for a spot in the final.

The Serb built the crucial advantage at shortest range to four shots, and outpointed the Spaniard to end a losing streak against one of their biggest rivals. Novak broke in the fourth game of the first set with a backhand cross and fired one from his right wing a few minutes later to confirm the lead and advance 4-1.

Nadal missed a backhand in the sixth game and Djokovic clinched the opening set with a serve winner shortly after. Rafa saved three break point chances early in the second set and closed with an ace to end his slide. The Spaniard served in the fourth game and missed a backhand to break and push the Serb 3-2 in front.

Rafa came from behind at 3-4 and earned the first and only break point opportunity after Novak’s backhand error and squandered it after a well-constructed attack from Djokovic and a forehand cross.

Galimberti talks about Djokovic

In his current form, Novak Djokovic is virtually unbeatable, according to former Italian player Giorgio Galimberti.

«He started the year very well, objectively how he won the Australian Open, I won’t tell you either, without a doubt. The only problem for the others is Djokovic, if he’s okay, you can’t play. He won the final with a serious injury. For To beat Djokovic there has to be a combination of things: he doesn’t have to be 100% and the opponent has to play the game of his life. He’s complete and he does everything,» said the Italian.

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