King of Clay rules again


The slight tailwind directly made its imprint on the match. Both players were plainly dominating from that side, and succeeded in breaking each other in the middle of the first set.

The match quality and the tempo were awesome. It might be argued that Djokovic´ backhand errors appeared somewhat more frequently, which is also explained by the fact that no other player compels you to hit so many strokes at high altitude as Nadal.

At 4-5, Nadal served against the wind. In the ensuing rally Djokovic hit a ball on the outside of the line which incorrectly was called out. Not ending up in a set point for Novak, the ball was instead replayed – and Nadal won the point, and the game.

In the next game, at 5-5, Djokovic had 40-15 on serve and tailwind. Nevertheless he lost his serve, despite some good work. Nadal could benefit from his break and secure the first set 7-5.

In his special manner the Spaniard became more and more ball pin, the longer the match went. A harsh defense was combined with a phenomenal intensity, paying off in terms of an immediate break in the second set.

Compared to what happened in Monte Carlo the Serbian didn´t give up. Now he generated several  chances to break back, for instance 0-40 at 1-2. The trend, however, was crystal clear. Nadal didn´t give away a single ounce, and Djokovic´ frustration was growing. The outcome seemed inevitable, and Nadal won the second set 6-3 – and the tournament!

The crack in Nadal´s clay game, so successfully penetrated by Djokovic last year, is for the time being not possible to trace. The order is restored and The King of Clay is reigning again.