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Djokovic slays the Nadal dragon and wins Madrid

Djokovic slays the Nadal dragon and wins Madrid

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by Jonathan Morgan

Rafael Nadal brought his 37 match clay win streak into this match while Novak Djokovic countered with his 33 (now 34) match win streak on all surfaces. The first set, Djokovic jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

He served very well, played extremely aggressively, put Nadal on the back foot, and took control. Djokovic went up 4-0 pretty quick. But as usual, Nadal fought back. The Spaniard dug in and forced Djokovic into errors. Nadal came all the way back to 5 all before Djokovic impressively held quickly to go up 6-5.

Then, Nadal got tight in the next game and Djokovic stepped up to win the game 7-5. Early in the second, Djokovic served in the first game and was broken. During the game, Nadal hit an impressive between the legs lob that you'll surely see on replays with a quick trip to youtube.

However, Nadal was unable to sustain that break lead and gave it right back. The rest of the second set was just really tough hitting from the baseline by these guys. Very similar to the finals of Indian Wells and Miami. Nadal on more than one occasion needed to work hard just to hold serve.

A crucial point came with Djokovic serving at 4-4, 30-30. Djokovic had just lost the last two points and the momentum was possibly turning. Djokovic hit a great serve wide, pulled Nadal wide the other way, and whipped a backhand up the line to get to 40-30 and hold one point later.

At 4-5, Nadal served and missed many first serves. Djokovic crushed a few backhands on the line, forced Nadal into a missed slice wide on the final point, and took the match 7-5, 6-4. Djokovic has now won 34 matches in a row and is closing in on the #1 ranking.

He might even get it next week in Rome. .

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