Young Novak Djokovic on beating Rafael Nadal on clay: 'It's not Mission impossible'

Young Novak Djokovic on beating Rafael Nadal on clay: ‘No mission is impossible’

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were the players to beat in Monte Carlo in 2009. The Spaniard and Serb defeated all rivals to contest the title fight, their seventh encounter on clay. Novak was hoping to topple the clay king for the first time on his beloved surface.

He was confident about his game and looking positive after the semifinal win over Stan Wawrinka. When asked about the last meeting, Novak didn’t think beating Rafa on clay was impossible. Otherwise it would have been pointless to even step on the pitch and fight.

Djokovic defeated Wawrinka 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in two hours and 27 minutes, toppling the Swiss for the sixth time in eight encounters and fourth straight Masters 1000 series. Novak lost serve twice and secured five breaks from 14 opportunities to move on top and set the title fight with world No. 1.

1 needle. Stan had more winners and forced more errors from Novak. Still, he ruined his chances after spraying 50 unforced errors. Djokovic clinched victory in the longest shots as nothing could separate them in the shortest and medium shots.

Wawrinka saved four break chances in the first two service games of the encounter, hitting a forehand winner 3-4 to prolong the fight. Novak struggled on serve in the ninth game. He hit a double fault on Stan’s fourth break chance to go behind and allowed the opponent to claim the set with his serve a few minutes later.

Novak Djokovic faced Rafael Nadal in the 2009 Monte Carlo final.

Djokovic recovered with a break in the second game of set number two and fired a forehand winner for a 3-0 advantage in the next game. The Serb broke again in game four with a volley winner, saving a break point in the next and finishing with a service winner.

Novak held at 15 in game seven to close the set and initiate a decider with a boost by his side. Wawrinka took a 2-0 lead and missed a slight forehand that could have given him a 3-0 lead. The Swiss suffered a break that kept the Serb in contention and Djokovic won the set 6-3 to advance into the title fight.

“I knew it was going to be a fight for both of us. Stan is physically strong and he had momentum after beating Roger Federer. I started slowly and waited for Stan’s mistakes instead of chasing my shots. He used his chances judiciously , to grab them the sentence.

In the second, however, it was a different story when I increased my first serve percentage and played aggressive tennis. Playing against Rafa is not a mission impossible. In this case, I shouldn’t go to court. You can’t beat Rafa if you don’t believe in yourself.

I’ll try to hit him; It’s the final and I think I have a chance. That’s the only acceptable stance against him on this surface. Rafa has improved his game even more compared to last year. His backhand is stronger now; he intervenes and defends that wing more efficiently.

Rafa’s serve is better too and he’s a complete player. Still, it’s the final and anything is possible. I’m motivated and the pressure should be on Rafa because he’s the favourite. I’ll try to be aggressive because that’s my style,” said Novak Djokovic.

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