It was a pretty disappointing final in Monte Carlo today as Nadal destroyed Djokovic 6-3, 6-1. I was hoping for something a bit more special and that hopefully Djokovic would finally break the Nadal stronghold in Monte Carlo. Nadal won a record eighth Monte Carlo title though, the first time that has been done at any event ever as far as I know. He also won for the first time against Djokovic is their last eight meetings. I guess it had to happen sometime. Beating Nadal at Monte Carlo was just one too much for Djokovic, especially after he had a very emotional week with his grandpa dying. He just never really showed up in the match. After the first set I thought he would come back. He lost the first set against Dolgopolov and Berdych after all.
But I think he was just mentally drained from it all. Whether he could have won is another story. I think beating Nadal at Monte Carlo would have been very difficult anyway, especially since Djokovic is not quite on the level he was last year. It just goes to show how good Roger was that he could sustain that incredibly high level between 2004-2007. Djokovic won’t have a year like 2011 again. That was his absolute peak and there is nowhere to go but down. That doesn’t mean he isn’t still an incredibly good player. I just sense that he has lost the smallest of edges. The fact that Nadal beat him in Monte Carlo makes Nadal the favorite for the French Open now in my book. Djokovic has never won the French Open and I don’t think its is happening this year.
Nadal will be very hard to beat over the best of five sets where he has won the title six out of seven years. It’s ok though. We will give him that. If Djokovic wins the French then he will complete the non-calender slam anyway, and we don’t really want that. That would also give him a chance to win the calender slam. There is a reason that hardly anyone has ever won four slams in a row. These records have stood the test of time for a reason. It’s not impossible for Djokovic but he is not the favorite to me. He will still be very hard to beat at Wimbledon and the US Open. He is probably the favorite for those slams but I think Roger will win one of those. Even though Monte Carlo was pretty much unwatchable for me, I give Nadal credit for what he has achieved on clay.
With Nadal dominating so much, clay has become my least favorite surface to watch tennis on. But what he has achieved is simply unreal. If he wins the French this year he will have seven slams there, surpassing Borg. Then you would have to say that he is the clear clay GOAT, although he pretty much is already. I see Nadal is also playing Barcelona. That surprises me given that he had knee problems again recently, unless he is planning on skipping Madrid or Rome. I never quite understood Nadal’s scheduling. You would think that one of these days it will catch up with him again. Next up for Roger is of course Madrid on the blue clay in two weeks. I’m looking forward to see the blue clay and having Roger back at higher altitude. Just two more weeks!