As was pretty much expected, Nadal and Djokovic joined Roger and Murray in the semis today with victories over Berdych and Roddick respectively. Nadal won 7-6(3), 6-1, while Djokovic beat Roddick 6-2, 6-3. It was a pretty dull day at the MC. I thought Berdych could give Nadal decent opposition, which he did in the first set, but he never really looked like a threat. On the other hand I did say that Nadal could win this routinely, which he did as well. There is just no way the mental giant that Nadal is was gonna lose to the mentally much weaker player Berdych in such an important event. I knew Nadal was getting better with every match and this was his best match so far. He has now once again played himself into the best possible form for his semi-final clash with Murray. And I for one don’t believe Murray will stop him.
Murray has beaten Nadal twice on hard court in slams but lets face it, Nadal wasn’t the player that he is now. I believe if Murray made the semi-finals at the US Open this year, Nadal would have beaten him as well. The only guy that could beat Nadal in that form is Roger, and he has to be in the zone. We now have what should have been the US Open semis, but this time it is a different ball game I feel. Even though I think Nadal will be too good for Murray, it will still be interesting to see how the two match up. Then you have a different Roger from what we saw at the US Open in my opinion. Nadal is playing the first match again tomorrow, but if he wins this time I don’t think it will put Roger off in any way. Roger admitted that at the US Open his thoughts was already on the final and that it put him off, although he didn’t go into specifics.
This time I don’t think it would make any difference. First of all it is not a slam which means there is a little less at stake, but most importantly I think Roger would actually like to play Nadal. I think Roger will be too strong for Djokovic once more, and he will prove once again that the US Open was an anomaly. These days it is of course not impossible that Roger’s evil twin will show up, in which case he could lose. But I will put my belief in Roger one more time here given what I have seen from him this week. So I’m pretty much leaning towards a Fedal final here, even though they keep avoiding each other of late. Interestingly, Murray has said the following about his match with Nadal:
“I’d like to play against Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.
“It would be an incredibly tough match. I’ve watched his matches here and he’s been playing unbelievably well.
“I don’t seem to beat those guys in the big matches. I’ll try and win. But I’m not sure I’ve got a whole lot of chance if I play against him.”
As you can see Murray has thrown in the towel already. I find that to be a disgusting attitude, and it is probably the reason why he has never won a slam. Nadal will see that and wonder how someone can have such a defeatist attitude for such an important match. It will also give him a boost before a difficult match, and he will see it as a license to kill. In a way tennis is very predictable at this point in time, and it has been that way for a while now. You have Roger and Nadal in a class of their own, winning pretty much all the slams. Then you have Murray and Djokovic who picks up the scraps from Roger and Nadal, and then you have rest. It is predictable, but at least you know you are gonna have the best guys playing each other in the important matches, and that makes it interesting. I am not going to preview a Fedal final now even though I think it will happen.
In tennis nothing is ever certain, so lets just wait and see what happens tomorrow. It should be two entertaining matches and I’m looking forward to it. If you’re gonna watch, enjoy!