I know, it sounds like the impossible scenario or something totally fake (…like WWF wrestling), but it’s the truth. It happened! He lost 5-7, 4-6 against Novak Djokovic on Sunday!
How did this unspeakable event happen? Two reasons.
2 Killer Tennis Strategies Djokovic Used To Dethrone The Clay Master:
1. He BELIEVED he could win: “I always believed from the first moment when I stepped onto the court that I could win” was one of the very first statements taken from an interview immediately following the match (see video below). And it definitely showed.
The way Novak Djokovic was able to fluidly execute his shots, striking the ball with the perfect combination of power and precision, and his ability to really cover the court well proved to me that he really felt comfortable out there, despite being in a hostile place, with the entire crowd against him.
And Novak, at times, can be a pretty emotional guy and wear his heart on his sleeve if you know what I mean. Not this time. He kept himself together, was very focused on the task at hand, and looked toward the finish line (…something incredibly crucial in his development as a top player).
The reason why this is so important for tennis players everywhere is because self-belief generates confidence. And with that confidence, you truly can achieve anything you want in the game of tennis (…even beat Nadal on Clay). It’s really the core or the driving force behind your progress. You and your game will benefit tremendously
Just as I mentioned in the last video with Melanie Oudin. If you want any chance of winning a match, you have to realistically see yourself achieving that goal.
Do that, and your chances of getting the win will instantly sky-rocket. And Novak is living proof of that.
Failure to do so will make those chances virtually non-existent. Exactly, you lose. Same goes for Djokovic in this match. If he would have seen this as most fans did, as an impossible hurdle, he most certainly would’ve lost it, I assure you.
I take that back. He would have been DESTROYED!
2. He really brought it: He didn’t allow the thunderous power of Rafa’s shots to push him backward. Djokovic took the offensive road and was much more A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E.
Novak took a spoonful of Rafa-ade and gave him some of his own medicine. He kept his opponent scrambling and on his heals as much as possible, dampening Nadal’s ability to come and attack him.
If a player is used to attacking, but then all of a sudden isn’t able to do that (…and they’re the ones being attacked), it causes big problems for that player. It screws everything up. And Nadal knew it.
“I have to play more aggressive with the forehand.” Nadal said.
Now though Nadal did pick it up, the super-man of the clay court a.k.a the clay master, was unfortunately locking horns with something (…according to him) that’s more monster than human right now – Novak Djokovic’s tennis game.
“I came up against a great player obviously — he’s having a monster year,” Nadal said. “He was better, you have to accept that.”
Now, I’m not saying that the freshly surging Novak, by any means, stomped Rafa into the ground. Though the duel started off horrifically for Nadal, it ultimately turned into what everyone had originally expected, a real (…edge of your seat) nail-biter.
It seemed like every single point contained jaw-dropping shots, including an amazing eye-popping lob between his-legs by Rafa, that helped produce three break points in the first game of the second set.
In fact, “Every point took an average 10-15 rallies. I needed to work hard for my points,” Djokovic said. But though it certainly was a dog fight, Novak and his MONSTER game eventually secured the victory and the purse of over 800,000 smackers.
It was obvious that the cross-court backhand consistently gave Nadal problems throughout, and because of that, it resulted in 3 consecutive match points for his opponent. The Serb converted the 2nd one when Rafa sent a slice backhand wide after another lengthy rally.
After that… the trophy was in hand, and Novak was all smiles. Hey, who wouldn’t be after racking up close to a million bucks after a few days of work?
So yeah, although Novak wasn’t particularly a “people person” early on in his career and has been streaky at times, I’m now officially on the bandwagon.
My hat is off to Djokovic and his extraordinary success, the success that has given him the remarkable undefeated tag up to this point of 2011.
Is The Recent Success of Djokovic A Fluke Or The Real Thing?
Now, you might say, “Is this on-court dominance a fluke or for real?” I say this guy’s game has reached a whole new level and will only go up from here.
Because hey, Lord knows, not very many tennis players can beat arguably the most dominant player the sport has ever seen, on his favorite surface, AND practically in HIS HOMETOWN!
Oh, and just in case, you weren’t sure if Novak was aware of how a HUGE win like this could affect his career, he does! When he was asked how it felt taking out Nadal in front of his friends, family, and die hard fans, this was his reply.
“Probably it’s right at the top,” Djokovic said about beating Nadal on clay on Spanish soil. “Under the circumstances I was playing an unbelievable match.”
Djokovic spent the large part of the last few years as the 3rd guy on tour, kind of lurking in the shadows of Roger and Rafa. But now, he’s performing better than ever and becoming a real force.
So, watch out! We just may have a new world number 1 after the finals at the 2011 Italian Open. Yup, no more shadow. Novak is coming into the light.
Have a great day and an even better game!
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