Sunday, May 24, 2009

TYFV: Djokovic the biggest threat to Rafa on clay

Welcome to the first edition of the Thank You For Voting segment, or TYFV.

According to the poll I had here on G,S,M about who could be considered the biggest threat to Rafael Nadal on clay this season, the majority came in favor of none other than the world number 4, Novak Djokovic.

The former Australian Open champion, who is currently experiencing an incredible clay swing, reached the finals at both Monte Carlo and Rome, made it to the semis in Madrid last week, and won the title at home in Belgrade.

Before Madrid, Djokovic was the only one who had managed to take a set off Nadal in a clay-court match this season, and in the Madrid semis, Djokovic held several match points against the Spaniard but ended up losing 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 in a match where he proved he could truly compete against the best on clay.

Of course up until the Madrid final, many people believed that if anyone was going to trouble Rafa at Roland Garros, it would definitely be Djokovic, but then Roger Federer dropped the bomb on the home crowd at the Spanish capital, as he dispatched Rafa easily in straights and got himself in full contention for the "who could steal the Roland Garros crown from Rafa?" race. Well the Swiss is definitely in that race but according to G,S,M readers, he's not in the lead.

Here are the complete poll results:

Roger Federer 23% (25/107)
Fernando Verdasco 5% (6/107)
Novak Djokovic 29% (32/107)
Andy Murray 13% (14/107)
No is even close 25% (27/107)
Someone other than those mentioned 2% (3/107) (am wondering who those 3 people are & who were they thinking of...)

Thank you all for voting and stay tuned for some thorough Roland Garros coverage.

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