Well this was a superb match by Djokovic, at so many different levels. Firstly, he managed to run around despite his ankle!
No, seriously. Firstly, he just blew Nadal away for the first 5 games of the match. We are talking Nadal, mind you, the Maestro of clay & of MC. He did it by diffusing any ability by Nadal to play to his strengths. Frankly, hats off to Nadal for getting a break against Djokovic in this set & holding a serve. Losing it 2-6 was a good result, it could easily have been 0-6.
The second set was bound to be a better contested one. Djokovic would have been conserving energy, and Nadal was on the attack. Yet, Djokovic got his break back not once but twice & took it to a tb. Nadal simply failed to consolidate any advantage in this match. When he got broken for Djokovic to take it to a tb, I knew it was over for Nadal. The result in the tb, 7-1 speaks for itself.
This win shows why Djokovic is such a complete player. It isn't just the superb attacking ability & the formidable defensive powers, it is the ease with which he goes between the two. And his ability to be creative. This is the game I like to see him play - to his strengths. Some of the angles he got were just breathtaking.
Congratulations are due to Djokovic for showing how beautifully clay court tennis can be played, and for the manner in which he dismantled Nadal today. Apparently, Cincinnati is the only 1000 series event that eludes him now.
Having said the above, I must also commiserate with Nadal. He has attained legend-hood on this surface & in this event and should be proud to get to another final. He was bound to have lost at some stage & there is no dishonour in losing to the world number one playing some of his very best tennis. I'm sure Nadal will make his mark on clay this year again - there is still a lot of tennis to be played.
I see the Bryans are up 5-4 & serving for the first set against Zimonic / Benneteau.