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Having had a brilliant start to the year, Novak Djokovic faded in mid season as he failed to make the kind of impact he did have in Melbourne. At the Rogers Cup last week, Novak retained his title, but that could be construed as a false awakening, as most of the top players were already out of the event. Now in Cincinnati, Novak is back and will be hoping to go one better than last year, having lost in the final.
At the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Djokovic appeared to be back. Djokovic's backhand looked flawless for the first time since the Aussie Open in January, as the Djoker dominated and waltzed to victory. That could however be a case of “A big fish in a small pond”, as most of the top players were either not playing in the event or were eliminated early. And although his performance in the final was top draw, he must not dig too deep into it as Richard Gasquet is no where near the likes of the players that he will have to battle here in Cincinnati.
Last year when the Serb had come into the event, he was the man to beat. Interestingly, things have changed a lot over a season, as Djokovic has not been able to replicate his last season’s performance in the ongoing season. In fact, the Serbian looked way ahead of his opponents in the last season, but he is struggling to find that form this year. Though, he is not in the devastating form of last season where the Serb had last only two matches until this point of the season, the Serbian still has a stellar 50-9 win-loss record with three titles in his kitty.
On the flipside, Nikolay Davydenko comes into the tournament after a poor run of form. Now World No.50, the Russian is clearly ranked far below what his talents should reflect. Davydenko's best result this year came in Nice where he reached the semifinals only to be undone by Brian Baker from the US. His win-loss record this year stands at 14-16, and has put in a good show in this tournament so far. He has put on a good show in this tournament, overcoming Alexandr Dolgopolov and Florian Mayer in successive matches.
These two have played each other seven times and allof them have been played on hard courts. The Russian owns two wins over the Serb, but the World No. 2 has won their last three meetings.
TennisEarth picks an easy win for the World No.2 in this one.
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