Forty-three and counting

 062015 novak DjokovicROLAND GARROS, Paris

[CR1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [CR7] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Forty-three, the number of times they have competed against each other. Three times have been in quarterfinals and Nadal has won two of those. Nineteen times on clay, of which Nadal has won fourteen.  Yet, the statistics are somewhat irrelevant as Nadal is at the lowest point in his career and Djokovic is at the peak of his.  Their last three encounters were on clay and Djokovic won two out of three.

05262015 RafaTo keep his hopes alive to win a tenth French Open title, Nadal needs to develop short-term memory loss.  Forget the recent streak of unsatisfactory results.  Remember that you have been blessed with 9 titles, a feat no one else can claim now and may never claim in the future. Avoid dropping the ball too short in the court and expect that Djokovic is going to attack you with pace on the forehand side.  Stop playing so far back in the court, you give up too much territory, which allows Djokovic to dictate play.  Go on the offense. Spin is great; however, periodically flatten some of your shots to push Djokovic back.  Djokovic is quick/fast, hit behind him and/or go for some angled shots of your own. Buena suerte et aussi, bonne chance!

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