Former player-turned-coach, Emilio Sanchez Vicario believes that Rafael Nadal should do against Novak Djokovic what Roger Federer did against the Spaniard in 2017. 'The predictions about Rafa's new serve did not scare Djokovic because he is the best returner on Tour,' the Spaniard wrote in a column on El Mundo.
'Djokovic was putting him away on the forehand side. In that new position, Rafa was not able to get the ball back to dictate. He was out of the zone, he was falling short. It was a close match: Djokovic was putting Rafa away from the zone.
For Rafa, it was like having a wall in front of him. What is useful against all the others, against Djokovic it does not work. He has not been hurting him lately because he forgets his natural quality of the game, the one that made him win in New York, in 2013: Novak was dominating in the beginning, but working every point he managed to put him away from his zone to end up winning in a comfortable way.
This Sunday he had the worst feeling: playing against someone who, doing what you do well, doesn't work and changing your game, taking risks and making more errors. "Anyway, you have to congratulate Rafa and his team.
This improvement will help him to set a battle in other finals. I think that having won in a dominant way in the previous rounds did not benefit him; sometimes, winning hard matches helps you prepare for those difficult moments against your toughest opponent.
And you also have to keep your memory: Nadal had this advantage with Federer, and the Swiss's changes made it get balanced. You have to be persistent so that these changes can work with Nole."