June 10, 2012
Here’s my prediction and the tactics I expect to see…
i think that if Djokovic can make Nadal grind too much then Nadal may use up too much of his energy. Djokovic has ability to stay looser under extreme pressure. I think they both really enjoys the big moments however Djokovic smiles more! If match is a toss up then I give edge to Djokovic. Nadal will have to beat him.
Nadal will win in 3 straight and it’s not going to be as close as you’re predicting. My prediction Nadal 6-4 7-6 7-5
I would be shocked if Djoker pulls it off.. I’ll take Nadal in 4.
I say Nadal in three or four. I just can’t see Djokovic winning or even pulling it to five sets. Nadal has played so well lately- not losing a set and only losing serve once. Djokovic just doesn’t seem to be playing on the same level as last year.
It will go 5 sets and be a toss up.
I’m predicting Djokovic to take it in four sets.
I hate Nadal
Interesting insight, Will. Nole will need to play better than he’s been playing make it a 5 setter. He seems like he’s been getting really winded after long exchanges.
Any thoughts/insight about the semifinal match between Rog and Nole? I was disappointed that it wasn’t a better match. I was hoping that, at least, Roger would have made a better showing.
Djokovic almost lost, Nadal has not lost a set, and possibly won’t. He is a sitter to take the French.
Will, I like you man, but have you been following this tournament? Rafa has been as sharp as ever. Destroying… DESTROYING Ferrer – who was the ONLY player to come CLOSE to taking a set from Rafa on Red clay this year. Rafa’s quality has not wavered the whole tournament. He lost ONE service game in his FIRST MATCH and hasn’t been broken since. Nole had his serve broken like 20 times. Both fed and Djoker played HORRIBLE in the SF until the 3rd set, when Nole started to hit some better shots, but even Fed said in his presser that he gave up hope after 2-0 sets, so Fed made it easy for Novak. I’m thinking this looks more like 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 for Rafa. Expect the 2nd break of Rafa’s serve of the FOpen to come when he gets tight serving at 5-1 in the 3rd, to break for the championship at 2-5. Rafa is back in 2008/2010 form and outside of injury, will take Wimby back, maybe the Olympics.
Une classique à Roland Garros avec Rafa en 4 …. l’observation en regarde du 1.5 à 3.0 m haute sur le net est vrai sur la terre battue!
Also, a slow, high bouncing surface, like at the French, favors Nadal more than Djokovic while a slower, low bouncing surface, like at he AO, favors Djokovic (it’s the only slam he’s won more than once). Considering how close Nadal was at the AO this year (that missed backhand pass by an inch or two in the 5th set that would have given him 4-2 40-15) and that they’re playing on Nadal’s turf instead of Novak’s turf suggests this will be a blow out.
agree with what you say about the french. wimbledon and olympics too early to say
Djoker will have to win to prove he’s truly numero uno. I’m for him as he had a much tougher childhood than both Nadal and Fed and thus what he’s accomplished is even higher on my scale of achievements than the other 2.
Great analysis, and I would agree with everything except the prediction. Nadal in no more than 4 sets. Your comment about the historical nature of this match makes me think of the upcoming major (Wimbledon). More precisely, the historical effect of the All England Committee’s decision to “slow down the game” by changing the ball and/or surface. It is my contention that, had this (lame-brained) decision not been made, Nadal’s record there would more closely resemble Sampras”s record at the French Open. In other words, there is no way he would have ever won Wimbledon if the conditions had remained as they were during Becker’s and Sampras’s glory days. What do you think, Will?
Djokovic in 4.
I find it somewhat amazing how many of the errors I see players make are the ones that can be resolved on the fundamental level. Tennis is not an art to me, it is a science, it is teachable and anyone can attain the necessary skills to defeat any opponent. For Nadal, whom I have been supporting since he became pro, I would advise him to make his backhand a more threatening shot. I learned my backhand on the premise that my opponents would always send me one, and I had to learn how to combat that. Nadal can just as easily make his backhand a shot that his opponent cannot resort to. Best of luck to Nadal. I will agree with some of the predictions I’ve read here, and say that Nadal is going to win it in 4.
Good analysis. You need a red clay board for next year.
My prediction is Nadal in 3 sets, 7-5, 6-4, 7-5.
Will, I like your comments, but I don’t understand why you pick Nadal. Is it the physicality? Nadal hasn’t had to play anyone who can actually push him back the way Soderling did (admittedly an injured Nadal, but nevertheless). Those guys are Del Potro, Tsonga, Berdych, Murray, Federer and Djokovic. Clearly, Del Potro, Tsonga (although he almost did it against Nole) and Berdych are not steady enough to pull it off against this version of Nadal. Murray on his good days is good enough to do it, but he has to be 100% physically and have a good day; even then, it would be a great stretch for 5 sets on red clay. Federer is just not steady enough to deal with Nadal on the red clay in 5 sets. The one guy who can back him up and hang with him for consistency is Djokovic. And his down-the-line backhand is a great shot and certainly superior to Nadal’s… as you pointed out. I’ve said since last year that Nadal had to come back with a stronger backhand, a deeper forehand and a bigger serve to compete not just with Djokovic, but the other guys that were giving him a hard time the end of last year. Rome is a good argument, but I think 6 hours of Australian is a better one. And I think Djokovic is rounding into form. He’ll keep the dtl backhand deep enough that when, inevitably, Nadal goes crosscourt, Djokovic will be able to move up and punish him with his forehand. Djokovic had that extra day of rest after the quarters and he will be fine.
as far as who wins… i hope nadal, i predict nadal, but the djoker is in his head a bit. we shall see.
as for tactics… i’ve been hoping nadal would start pounding the ball down the line on sitters with his forehand. he has historically loved to hit that beautiful inside out forehand from the backhand court, but that has haunted him against nole. from the forehand court ,in the few times he tried the down the line, he has looped it and given way too much time for one of the quickest men in tennis and got burned on the crosscourt. he almost never hit the power shot down the line from his backhand side when he got the sitter. i was so thrilled to see him hit these shots against ferrer. ferrer had no answer for the multitude of possibilities from the weaker shot handled by nadal’s forehand. it was fantastic. look for that against the djoker. if that is working, it will be a short day at the office. if it isn’t, i feel we are in for a long day.
My take is Djokovic in 5 even if he lost the first 2 sets. That’s what makes him a champion.
djoker in 4
i predict nadal wins in 4 sets because djokovic has not been playing as good in this year’s french while nadal is at the top of his game on his best surface
I have to say Nadal to win in this one. He has had tremendous success at the Roland Garros and I believe he will follow through again. He’s playing some of his best tennis right now. I have Nadal in 4 sets. 6-4, 7-5, 6-7, 6-3.
nadal is going down whatsoever
Novak in 5 sets.
I think it will be Nadal in 3 sets. If he does end up losing a set, it will be in a tiebreak. My predictions for the sets are 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 7-4.
That last set shoul be 6-4
Good analysis, Will.
Nadal is in top physical form this year. His backhand looked really good against Ferrer and his forehand has been rock solid during the whole tournament (i’d be really curious how many unforced errors he had on the forehand this year – for me, it looked like he didn’t miss any all tournament).
I expect to see him run around the backhand a lot to hit forehands – the slow bounce on the clay courts gives him enough time to do this and recover afterwards.
Djokovic on the other hand had a lot of problems in earlier rounds, both with Seppi and with Tsonga. He won the semifinal easily, but I don’t think that is relevant – Federer had a really bad match.
I’d say Nadal will win this in 4. The only time I can think of when he was in such shape was the year when he also won Wimbledon.
Ha ha nice t-shirt! Vamos Rafa!
the fact that nadal has won 11 out of the 13 matches on clay makes him the favourite. They have played 3 x 5 setter matches on clay hence Roland Garros with nadal winnning all three comfortably. Their last French Open match was on clay in 2008 (4 years ago) a longtime ago. Djokovic has worked on his own game and improved leaps and bounds from 2010 onwards. Djokovic had an immense year in 2011 playing and beating nadal 2/2 on clay but these were only 3 setter matches. They have played 2 matches thus far on clay this year with Nadal winning both. This brings a mouthwatering tie today wish is also a historic tie with nadal hoping to record his 7th French Open title. Djokovic also hopes to make history with his first career grand slam and 1st player ever to play win 4 consecutive grand slams against the same other player. I agree with you fuzzy yellow balls that it will go all the way this one. Yes Nadal hasn’t dropped a set yet and yes Nadal is best player on this surface but that counts for nothing on the day and he is playing the current world number 1 and they both want want this so much. Nadal isn’t unbeatable and i am going with Djokovic to win this one in a very close encounter. Djokovic is keeps on delivering and delivering. The pressure is on Nadal as he is the favourite on this surface. Djokovic has won the last 3 slams so he will go in to this one brimming with confidence. Robin Soderling has proved it can be done and so can Djokovic. Nadal is not a machine – he’s human and can be beaten!
I hate it, but Nadal Williams win in tour sets!
Can’t wait for this fantastic final – two real warriers, could go either way.
I predict Rafa Nadal will win 7-6, 7-6, 6-4.
I think a few more elements will be at play in addition to those Will mentioned. Rafa will hit more drop shot winners, and more angled crosscourt winners to the corner of the service box. Djokovic will make more unforced errors, going for winners and hitting the top of the net or just long beyond the baseline by an inch or two.
I think it’s going to be a tough match for sure. The 1 tactic that you left out is Nadal hitting alot of backhand slices down the line to try to slow the game of Djokovic down some. I think the big worry of Nadal is being overpowered by Djokovic. I think if Djokovic’s game is on then he is unbeatable. But if he isn’t 100% then Nadal is unbeatable on clay.
If Jockovic plays as he played in previous grand slams he is unbeatable, but if he gives Nadal a slight chance then Nadal will come on top.
Rafa has been untouchable so far at RG and Djokovic has struggled up until the semi where he brushed Fed aside. I’m not convinced Novak has quite the same self belief that he had last year, so Rafa in 4.
I really can’t predict how this will go, only that it will be an exciting match.
Rafa is confident on clay, but Djokovich is at the peak of his play – they are both very fit and can read each other very well, so I am expecting long rallies.
I think, perhaps Djokovic may sneak a win because he doesn’t let nerves get the better of him.
If match will last 5 set, then winner – Djokovic, no doubts. Nadal can win in 3 sets, maybe in 4. I have no doubts, that Djokovic able stay 5 sets in game and win. So Rafa, if he want to win, must be aggressive and finish this match in 3-maximum 4 sets. 5 setter will win Djokovich…
i think the winner is nadal
ridiculus Will. You’re no improving your analisyses, nothing new from last year and you obviously didnt even do your homework, otherwise you would have spoken about their rome match this year.
Nadal hasn’t been tested in this tournament yet. He’s been able to run around his backhand time after time to mop up short balls from inferior opposition.
He may not lose, but he’s going to have a much tougher ride than he’s had so far. Against Ferrer he had a huge psychological edge; nothing to get in his head and tighten him up. This is his nightmare match-up.
Djokovic may not be on his best form, but he will give Nadal problems.
I hope Djokovic wins. Nadal is becoming a little arrogant and starting to think he is bigger than the game and can dictate conditions.
Nobody is bigger than the game.
Nobody on this planet will beat the man from Manacor in the shape like Nadal has now. He looks and moves like 100% fit and seems to be so confident.
Winning in 3 sets!!!
Djokovic if he stays consistant and returns well, Rafa’s amazing
losing so few games that if Djokovic can rattle him like matches past
hes got it if not Rafa will dominate quickly
what about the ability of djokovic to flatten out the shot? will this factor into the outcome considering the surface? or does the surface render this ability null and void?
Arrogant? I don’t really think Nadal is getting arrogant and it’s a stupid thing to say that someone think’s he is better than the game. I hope that Nadal wins, and I expect him to win because in the last 2 meetings (and they were on clay too –> advantage Nadal) Nadal won quite easily but not only because of that, also because of the fact that Djokovic has been struggling in all of his matches until the semi’s where he beat Federer. Maybe I look a bit contra-djokovic, but that’s not true by the way. I think Nadal will win in 3 sets –> something like: 6-4 6-4 (or maybe 7-6) 7-5
Very interesting analysis.
I was surprised you didn’t mention Rafa,s greatly improved serve which is now allowing him alot more easy games on his serve.
I think his movement during the clay court season has been terrific and his speed has taken lots of time away from his opponent. It was evident with Ferrer when he won very easily in 3 quick sets.
For those reasons I expect Rafa to win in 4 maybe even 3 sets. There is just one factor that might throw that prediction out. That is if there are continual delays and the game never gets into a rhythm in which case it could be different.
Thanks again for the video.
Djokovic beats Nadal in 4 sets.
Recently Nadal’s been serving into Djokovic FH & body more than before, and having a lot of more success in his matches against him since the Aussie open. It’s definitely something to take notice of, particularly because he (Djokovic) isn’t as solid a returner on that side, plus Djokovic’s has been missing some FH’s that you would never have seen him miss in 2011, especially when he’s on offense.
Nadal appears to have improved his backhand this year compared to the past and is playing with great confidence. Nadal should be favorite but until Dj loses I would stay with him. The Almagro match would have been much different if Nico could have kept his down the line backhand in the court.
I’m going with Rafa! He seems to be able to adjust his game, based on who his opponent is – especially on the red clay. Go Rafa!!!!!
Djokovic will beat nadal in two sets
will hamilton you are good …thumb up a great analysis
I pick djokovich in 4 this its the first time Nadal will be tested all of the other players he beat can’t beat him on any other surface anyway. Look for djokovich to change direction of the really and hit a loopy down the line forehand toopen the court and look for him to attack rafas backhand
Nadel is no.1 on clay dj is no.1 in the world! = dj will win and defeat rafa on clay simple math # 1 in the worked beats clay! Johnny mac
Based on their previous matches I’d say Rafa in 3. But if things get closer Rafa might win in 4.
One thing everyone forgets is unlike federer, Nole believes he can beat rafa
Nice analysis. Now that the plan is known for both players, no secrets are held, only the perfection of execution can change the course of the match for one player or the other. Hopefully : a 7th for Rafa.
Rafa hasn’t struggled at all to get to the finals and Novak has….so I go with Rafa because it will be a long match and he has more reserve left to continue to play at his top level.
Excellent analysis! Thank you very much. I will go for Djokovic.
I concur with your prediction, Will, that Nadal will take it all. Djokovic has had some lapses in the later rounds almost losing to Tsonga. If Nadal plays like he has been, it will go 5 sets but he will win!
Good to see your passion for the tennis Will. I share that with you. My advise to you: Keep your videos shorter Will so spectators don’t click it away. Talk less and come to the point earlier. In my opinion you talk so much, too much. All the best.
Since when does #1 in the world trump the #1 on clay at Roland-Garros. It didn’t all those years when Sampras was #1 or the 6 years that Federer was #1.
Thanks a lot for your professional point of view.
Nice analysis. I predict Rafa in 4.
Thanks! Will be watching!
You do not talk too much. You have to explain your reasoning as to why you think he will win. Keep up the good work!
great analysis. agree with the prediction
Nadal will win in 4 sets over Djokovic
6-3 6-3 4-6 6-4
Nadal is the in-form player. But I think Nole has scarred Rafa mentally. Djokovic in straight sets.
Thanks for your analysis. It will be fun to watch the match and see how your stroke analysis plays out and how these two champions adapt to the other’s game plan.
I’ve not seen an “arrogant” side to Nadal, in fact he is one of the most humble professional athletes out there today. His challenge with speaking English may contribute to some thinking he is arrogant, but if you listen carefully, Nadal is simply confident in his own abilities and doesn’t trash other athletes.
I’m pulling for Rafa, however, I agree that Nole is in Rafa’s head; much like Rafa is in Federer’s head. Those psychological holds are stronger than the actual physical game.
I thought this was one of the more to-the-point videos. Good analysis. Can already see some of the tactic from Djokovic in the first two sets.
Spot on will. Go Rafael
Will, without your guidance I am just another lost Tennis fan in the crowd! With this video my eyes can now see much more. I am
now watching the final RG battle between Nadal & Djokovic with a completely different attitude as if I am able to read their thoughts and strategies or if you like their next shot. Thank you for taking me to this higher level. Amazing! I think also Nadal shall come out with his 7th Title. Thank you!! B-)
I hope Rafa takes it. I think they both are great but if Nole does not overpower him and force short balls I think Rafa will need his serve to be spot on but he will win by running around the forehand and hitting winners when they are there and giving deep balls when they are not.
I love your Anakin tee shirt. very cool.
It’s simple physics.
As soon as the balls got heavy with moisture, Rafas balls aren’t bouncing as high from that vicious top spin. Novak then gets the edge, hits thru the ball. Rafa losess 8 games in row.
This match will be determined by the weather. If they try and finish today, Rafa will lose.
Clay and Hard court are very much a different beast Djokovic flat backhand is not as effective because it stop and bounce right in the strike zone while Nadal forehand kick up over shoulder and forward a lot more on clay.
I predict that Rafa will win in straight sets if he wins the first, in 4 sets if he doesn’t. He is the best of all time on the dirt.
It will be Djokovic’s match, 3-2.
Will what is the prediction now the play has stopped?
Heey ))) You probably just did not see the “REAL TOO MUCH TALK” tennis videos )))).
Will, Thanks for the prediction. Takes a lot of courage to say it! Rafa’s downline forehand was the key to him winning the first two sets. He took Novak’s cross court forehand or CC Backhand and went downline very strongly. The key now that Nolo has found a way to win games is will Nolo or Rafa have the energy to win it. Nolo’s legs are too tired from two five set matches. Rafa will take it. What is impressive is how a tennis match can change drastically over some slight changes.
My condolences to the Bryan Brothers
the intangibles are in Djokovics’ corner, he will win more of the big points, especially break points, and everyone knows how hard it is to win the last point off Djokovic this year. He owns Nadal!!!!!
i agree, rafa in 5
Great video and analysis. It truly will be c.ose and exciting.
I think (hope) Rafa, with a drier courl, in 4 or 5.
Great analysis. Soooo even but I take Novac in 5.
Amazing how accurate your expected tactics were, after watching the four and a bit sets today! I think if they had played on, Nole would have won, since he won eight games in a row and Rafa looked tired and aggrivated, but tomorrow I expect that Rafa will be back to normal at this tournament and win.
I think the rain delay was great for Rafa and he will come back and finish the set and match off in 4.
Rafa got lucky with the rain delay. Novak was turning the screws big time. You could see the panic in Rafa’s face — he’s just not used to being put in that position.
Novak was in the process of wearing Rafa down to a nub, but with the suspension of play, the momentum will, most likely shift back to Nadal.
Enjoyed your comments, I want Novak to win, but, with the rain delay, Nadal seems to start off better and will probably win.
NAdal’s pattern is like this, he is the agressor at the start of the play and wins easily. Djoko is a late learner or late agressor the way he played with Seppi, and Tsonga he will go to his amazing zone with the two sets warm up. Oppossite happens to Nadal, the first two sets is his comfort zone. So, t the resumption of the game, he will finish the game in 4rth sets.
Your comments assume hard court. On clay, especially under damp conditions, Djoker’s cross court backhand is easily returned down the line by Nadal with little pressue. Time after time this match Djoker was caught on the wrong side of the court as Nadal ripped a forehand down the line.
Nole played like crap for over two sets. we only saw his best for a little while.
Rafa’s surge on Monday morning was impressive. Too bad the whole match wasn’t played at that level.
you should lift some weights – or not wear tight T-shirts
Nadal slicing his backhand down the line made djokovic`s next shot(mainly topspin but occasionally defensive underspin back up the line) far less effective and robbed him of control of the point. These comments came from Wallie Masur and Mark Woodforde commentators for the final.
Good analysis. It’s so unfortunate to not hear you mention touch shots like volleys, drop shots, lobs, slice backhands or moving a player up and down and not just side to side when you’re discussing strategy of the two top players in the men’s game today.
Yes, there is strategy in today’s game, but from your analysis, it’s limited compared to even just 8 years ago. Even as recently as the early Federer days, serve and volley were a viable strategy. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Even the great Federer, arguably the greatest player of all time, doesn’t volley, or serve and volley nearly as often. And he’s probably the best net player of the top ten men.
I blame the lack of strict controls with technology. The racquets, strings and even the courts. In terms of the court, why make Wimbledon grass slower and have the ball bounce higher? You might as well just get rid of the grass altogether like they did at the US Open.
As a life long player, I don’t like the current trend in tennis and it’s only getting worse because this trend to the baseline game with two-handed backhands has been going on for way too long.
There is no way the serve and volley (touch tennis) and one handed backhands will be taught to younger players now if the differing tennis associations don’t do something about better controlling the technology in tennis. Golf and Baseball do it and they still have equipment sponsors, so tennis can do it too.
I totally disagree with everything you said Federer is not top 1 volleyer at all Lodra, Tsonga, Raonic, Nadal are all better volley-er than federer.
Serve and volley tennis is the most boring type of tennis to watch if it’s viable to do it point after point. Who watch double tennis ? Nobody… Who would like player like Karlovic to be number 1 ?? tennis would be such a lame sport and it was the case at Samprass peak and it is why they slowed down the game because women tennis was way more interesting than men tennis witch is the complete opposite right now. Also you can see at least twice as much touch exchange with drop shot and lob and short angle than ever before.
Agree with Patrice Vezeau. Who wants to see serve-volley games except for a few old purists? I remember Raonic-Federer match at the slippery Madrid blue-clay this year, where the game went either ace or serve-volley for each point. If tennis is like that, I would never bother start watching it. Plus, why would a match like Federer-Nadal Wimbledon 2008 be considered as the greatest match of all time? Why not one of those Sampras finals?
A 23 y.o. guy
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