Wimbledon Preview Nadal v Djokovic

Newly crowned world number one Novak Djokovic and reigning champion Rafael Nadal will meet in a grand slam final for the first time on Sunday.

Nadal leads the head to heads 16-11 but more tellingly Djokovic has won the last four of their encounters, all of which have been in finals.

The Serbian has proven himself a thoroughbred player over the course of this year and looked invincible at stages in his 43 match winning streak and has peaked just in time for the final this Sunday.

His semi-final win over Jo Wilfred Tsonga started patchy but he rounded off the match in a commanding manner.

Nadal though was transcendent in his victory over Andy Murray on Friday evening.

The Spaniard played with a precision and power towards the end of that match that it is difficult to see any player living with him when he reaches that level.

There is a remarkable similarity in the statistics of the two players’ routes to the final in areas which often seperate the top players at this stage of a grand slam.

Sets played
Nadal – 21 Djokovic – 21

Points played
Nadal – 677 Djokovic – 678

First-serve-in rate
Nadal – 70% Djokovic – 70%

First serve points won
Nadal – 79% Djokovic 78%

Second serve points won
Nadal – 61% Djokovic – 59%

Break points won
Nadal – 27 Djokovic – 30

Winners off receiving second serves
Nadal – 134 Djokovic – 136

How it will play out
Nadal is unlikely to depart from the brutal and unpredictable style that has got him here, he leaves opponents guessing until the last second what shot he will play.

His power too is something to behold and when all engines are firing Nadal is untouchable.

Djokovic is similar to Murray in that he is comfortable at the net but can grind opponents down with an unrelenting recovery game.

Against Tsonga, one of the best movers on the tour Djokovic returned shot after shot managing to turn what appeared to be hopeless situations to his advantage.

Nadal in four sets – With both men peaking in tandem it is hard to mark either out as favourite but if Nadal can match the form he reached towards the end of the Murray match he will take his third Wimbledon Championship and 11th grand slam on Sunday.

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