I do think we have a Nadal vs Djokovic final coming our way. Some thinking becomes conditioned.
A couple of things could prevent this from happening. Nadal may be “injured” and simply not have the physical health to compete. You know where I stand on that. Many people around the sport have a stand on his physical health. You heard Fognini (granted, not a big Nadal supporter) call-out the Spaniard’s injury claims. We just finished assessing his French foot drama and prior to Melbourne this year he was recuperating a rib (or was that this spring, as well?). I recall even seeing a note of congratulations from Federer about Nadal’s ’22 AO title that essentially said, wow: just a couple of months ago you were with me on crutches and now you’re holding the trophy. Federer’s no dummy.
A few doctors wondered about these mysterious “injections” surrounding Roland Garros. Sure this sounds like a campy soap opera with all sorts of whispers, poker faced press conferences, limping and wincing around the court, along with a few legendary humble brags.
Remember that all of this injury bullshit starts with the Spaniard. He doesn’t want to talk about his _______. Then we’re talking about it.
Shut up and play, Nadal. Or don’t play.
He has the Bo5 game to take-out Kyrgios who will likely gift a few games and perhaps even a few sets.
Keep an eye on the serve clock. Kyrgios has been a huge critic of the double standard that applies to Nadal. That could get the Aussie in all kinds of turmoil. Imagine what Nick does seeing Nadal’s 100mph FS. That could set-off the volatile bloke from down under, as well, who will respond with some under-hand serves and certainly a few tweeners for the crowd and this latest episode of Kyrgios social criticism.
All things being equal, Kyrgios has the game to beat Nadal. But he has to keep his head long enough to endure a likely five setter against an all-time great. That’s a tough ask. If Nadal sees his own chances going down, the injury (legitimate or not) will become a bigger issue and we could see the 27 year-old Aussie reach his first grand slam final.
But I seriously think Nadal prevails; remember: I’m rooting for Nadal to win the calendar slam. 🙂
Of course, Djokovic should get through to the final. He has looked quite good. I watched the last three sets of the QF. I watched him find a level to put away the tough Dutch talent van Rijthoven. I missed this lad’s run at ‘S-Hertogenbosch. He can play. But Novak looked quite good to finish that match and come back from 0-2 to finish the surging Sinner.
I am loving the Kyrgios run, to be fair. We’ve talked about this a lot over the years. An absolute talent with probably the best serve on tour (and I love his flat BH, his clever net play, etc). Mentally/emotionally, however, not so much. Great to see him “slow things down,” take the game and himself more seriously. Great stuff, indeed, from ole Nick.