Nadal gets another chance to stop Djokovic
If anyone can stop Novak Djokovic`s winning streak it is surely world number one Rafa Nadal.
Miami: If anyone can stop Novak Djokovic`s winning streak it is surely world number one Rafa Nadal and on Sunday, the top two players in the world face each other in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne.
Serbian world number two Djokovic has won 25 straight matches, going back to last year, and beat Nadal two weeks ago in the final of Indian Wells.
Nadal reached the Miami final with surprising ease against his long-standing rival Roger Federer on Friday, winning 6-3 6-2 and facing just one break point from the Swiss world number three.
Nadal knows he can expect a much tougher test on the Miami hard court on Sunday and only has to think back to his 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss at Indian Wells for a reminder of what he is up against.
"He`s winning all his matches very easily and he hasn`t lost a match this year. He`s playing fantastic tennis and I can only congratulate him on what he has done in the first three months of the season. It`s fantastic ," he told reporters.
"We`ll see what`s going to happen. I felt I had a chance in Indian Wells but I lost a little bit of focus and rhythm in the second set, I lost a bit of intensity - in the legs and in my shots and I started to play a little bit more defensively."
"Against a player like Novak, it is impossible win the match playing like that. So on Sunday I have to play very well all the match if I want to have any chance. I have to play aggressively and I have to play all the points, and that`s what I going to try to do," said Nadal.
While Djokovic is the man in the best form in the game at the moment, Nadal can boast a good record against the 23-year-old Serb.
Nadal has a 16-8 advantage in all meetings but while Nadal has won all nine meetings on clay and the two encounters on grass, Djokovic leads 8-5 on hard courts.
Nadal has won four of their five ATP finals, played out on three different surfaces.
Those numbers should act as a brake on any over-confidence that Djokovic may have as a result of his remarkable run of results this year.
But the Serb, a much more mature and focused individual than two years ago, does not appear to need much grounding at the moment, despite the headlines about him being "unstoppable" and `invincible`.
"I don`t feel invincible. I don`t feel that I can`t lose on the court," he told reporters.
"What I feel is big confidence. What I feel is that I`m playing best tennis of my life. It is as simple as that."
"I feel that I`m serving as best as I think ever and it is really important to have this advantage, obviously, because today there are so many great returners and movers, so to get a couple of free points on your serve is crucial."
"I don`t really think about how long this winning streak is going to go on for or who I`m going to lose to."
"I`m just thinking about my next opponent and what I need to do to win."