First Impressions of the New Year

Leye Aduloju

The Doha Destruction


Confidence is an amazing thing, isn’t it? Rafael Nadal doesn’t believe he can hold a candle to Novak Djokovic, while Djokovic thinks he can blow Rafa away with his left hand and eyes closed.

To attribute Djokovic’s victory in Doha solely to Rafa’s mental frailties would be doing the Serb plenty of disservice- he is playing tennis at another level at the moment, and even a Nadal at full tilt- physically and mentally- would have struggled to get games on Saturday.

Tennis is all about match-ups, and Novak Djokovic is a horrible match-up for Rafa Nadal. Nadal’s undying habit of directing most of the traffic into the right-hander’s backhand is like a death wish against Djokovic. And until the Spaniard finds the courage and skill to consistently mix up his forehand, he will always be a sitting duck against the super Serbian.

So Djokovic is the clear favourite for the Australian…

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