Sunday, August 12, 2007

No Djoke: He really did beat Federer!

OK, I didn't really see that coming. I thought it would take Novak Djokovic a little while to play Roger Federer that tough, much less beat him. But beat him he did, in a third-set tiebreak, which I always think is a kind of tricky result because at that stage of the match anything can happen. It was a great tournament for Djokovic, though. Knocking off the top three players is a pretty rare feat. It'll be tough for him to pull that off at the U.S. Open, I feel. Federer beats him in four sets in the finals there.

"Wait Van, how do you know they'll meet in the finals when the draw won't be out for another week or so?" you may be asking yourself. Well Novak'll more than likely be going in as the number three seed, meaning he'll probably be in Nadal's half of the draw. (Two and three are usually matched, with one and four on the top half.) I think he can handle Nadal comfortably on a hard court.

I was telling my U.S. Open-going companion this last night: Novak's strokes are flat enough and he's big and strong enough to punch through Nadal's heavy spins on faster surfaces, even though Nadal's gotten better playing guys like that on quicker stuff, as evidenced by his Wimbledon run. I think Federer has too many options for Djokovic to handle--he can hit flat shots with him, loop, cut under the ball--or at least that's usually the case.

One more post-Montreal note: I'm not too convinced on the job the Roddick coaching braintrust is doing. There's only three guys ahead of him in the rankings and those guys are waaay ahead of him. And sadly, I don't see him beating either one of them anytime soon.

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