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Madrid Masters: Novak Djokovic vs Grigor Dimitrov Match Preview
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Reads: 751, Comments: 0
World No.1 Novak Djokovic will be in action today for the first time since ending King of Clay Rafael Nadal’s eight year reign in Monte Carlo last month. The Serbian is perhaps the favorite here as well, despite it being Rafa’s own backyard.
What is most alarming about the aforementioned is the fact that it doesn’t seem alien any more. Flashback a year, thinking that Novak would come into a clay court event the favorite ahead of Nadal, would be scoffed at let alone actually writing it. But what has triggered this new, perhaps even abrupt school of thought is that one match in Monte Carlo. Djokovic completely annihilated the Spaniard at an event where Nadal had been invincible for almost a decade. Inflicting a 6-2, 7-6 defeat to the King of Clay in conditions that the Spaniard thrives on is no mean feat.
Furthermore, Nadal has looked hungrier and maybe even desperate to play this year having missed almost 8 months of tennis till February. Novak’s strategy of keeping the rallies short and not letting Nadal take control with some power hitting was just one part of the jigsaw. The second part was even more surprising as the Serbian’s fitness which has been nothing short of sensational in the last three years took the World No.4 by surprise as believe it or not, Djokovic actually won more 10 plus shot rallies than Nadal in the match.
In this kind of form, hardly anyone can debate the Serbian’s status as the favorite. The World No.1 has already won 26 matches and 3 titles this year.
Opposite him stands the talented Bulgarian – Grigor Dimitrov. His style of play has an uncanny resemblance to that of 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer's, earning him the tag of ‘Baby Federer’. Grigor put in a spirited performance in Monte Carlo as he ousted Janko Tipsarevic, and then went close to upsetting Rafa in the quarterfinal. Nadal later lauded his performance and called the Bulgarian ‘top ten material’.
He has a win-loss record of 14-9.
Head to Head: Unsurprisingly, Novak has a 2-0 lead over his Bulgarian counterpart.
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