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Udayan Nag
Saturday , February 04, 2012 at 08 : 54

Nadal's Djokovic jinx taking the men's game forward


As painful as it might be for 10-time grand slam winner, Rafael Nadal who lost his seventh successive final to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open title clash, the result in many ways keeps the monotony factor in check, thereby doing a world of good in maintaining the interest level of the sport.

In fact, Nadal's fate against Djokovic, mirrors the hold that the 25-year old Spaniard has had over the legendary Roger Federer over the years.

Rafa arrived on the stage at a time when there was no stopping Federer, and though things started with him denying Fedex success at Roland Garros, it has gone on to set a definitive pattern with the Swiss coming up short against his younger rival on other surfaces as well, more often than not in grand slams.

After Nadal completed his career slam by winning the 2010 US Open, the general consensus was that of his domination of the men's game in the years to come, before a red-hot Djokovic well and truly took over the show.

It has to be said though, injury problems have not helped Rafa's cause in the past twelve months, be it the shoulder, ankle or knees.

But a win or two for the 'Spanish bull' over his latest rival is surely round the corner, maybe on the red dirt should it not come in the upcoming hard court season; keeping in mind of course that two of Djokovic's seven victories over Nadal since last year were on clay, Madrid and Rome and that too in straight sets.

The fact however is that Nadal is not that far away from overcoming the Djokovic hoodoo, which was proved during his epic clash against him in Melbourne, which was ever so close to going the other way.

After all, despite the reversal of fortune against the Djoker in the last twelve months, Rafael Nadal still possesses the luxury of a 16-14 head-to-head advantage against the Serbian juggernaut.    


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