Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rafa-Djoko Rivalry Taken to Grass

The stage is set for yet another Rafa-Djoko clash but this time it's on new turf and it's tough to tell who will prevail.

World number 2, Rafael Nadal, and number 3, Novak Djokovic, will face off for a 4th time this season as the two are set to fight for the Artois Championship title on Sunday, which would be the first title on grass for either one of them.

The tournament's top 2 seeds have shown incredible form on grass this week as they both overcame tricky opponents including former champions like Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick.

Rafa's latest obstacle before the final was third-seeded Roddick, who has been a champion at the Queen's club four times in the past five years. The American is known to be brilliant on grass and has reached the Wimbledon final twice before, but that didn't seem to shake Rafa as he came through 7-5, 6-4 to set up his showdown with Djokovic.

Truth must be told that Roddick came into the semis benefitting from two retirements from Mardy Fish first, then Andy Murray in the quarters, which could have given him more of a disadvantage with the lack of match practice compared to Rafa. The world number 6 is also coming off an injury that forced him to miss the French Open. So maybe Rafa wasn't really playing the real Roddick after all?!?!

Djokovic on the other hand, crushed fourth-seeded David Nalbandian, a former Wimbledon finalist as well, 6-1, 6-0. The Serb has continued to show amazing form on grass as he earlier eased past Lleyton Hewitt 6-2, 6-2.

Rafa and Djoko have met on grass on one previous occasion last year in the Wimbledon semis, where Rafa got lucky and moved on to the final as Djoko retired when he was trailing 3-6, 6-1, 4-1.

Both players are playing well, both players have a lot of confidence coming into the final and both players have a Grand Slam to their name this season... but I must say am sensing Djokovic might have a little bit of an upper hand tomorrow. His brutal victory over Nalbandian is definitely far from good news for Rafa. So let's wait and see what's gonna happen.

If anyone knows where I can find this match on tv, please let me know.


The no-longer absent, Reem

Glad to be back :)

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