Greg Rusedski: Hard to separate rivals in all-time classic

How The Men Match Up


I'd say they are pretty equal. Nadal being the lefty has that small advantage of the slice out wide to the ad court, which we've seen him use once in a while to mix it up, and he can use that body serve that goes into the forehand to tie up Djokovic.

Return of serve

You've got to say Djokovic here. He has one of the best returns in the world on first serve, with Murray. On second there's minimal difference with Nadal, who also can really attack the second.


I'd give Nadal the better forehand and Djokovic the backhand, even though Nadal's is great too. Really, the whole final is so close in all these areas. Nadal probably plays the drop shot better.

Movement and fitness

These are probably the two best movers in the world. Nadal hasn't lost for 20 matches at Wimbledon and is maybe just a fraction more comfortable than Djokovic, who only looked happy moving on grass for the first time in the semi-final against Tsonga. That's been his problem at Wimbledon down the years, although when beating Tsonga he actually looked as confident as he is on the other surfaces and played the best grass-court match I've seen him play. Rafa didn't show any sign of a foot injury in beating Murray; the painkillers must be doing their job.


Djokovic has been sublime this year and occasionally sensational. In the semi-final on Friday he passed up two match points in the third set and went on to lose it, but didn't let it bother him and just steamrollered Tsonga in the fourth. Mentally that shows something. But I've never seen anyone in my entire life concentrate and focus like Nadal, even if he is carrying a little injury. He's a phenomenon both physically and mentally.


The key for Nadal is finding a winning formula against Djokovic, which has been a problem in their four matches this year. He needs to work out what he needs to do. We've seen him in the other matches lift the ball up high, which is a negative. On the other surfaces he's not been quite sure whether to attack or to counterpunch, and on grass he's got to go after it a bit more. Djokovic is the only man I've seen who can say to Nadal: "I can run with you, I can stay with you", and he won't feel the pressure because many pundits will say Nadal should win. But Djokovic is the new No 1 from tomorrow, he's only lost one match in 47 this season and beaten Rafa four times, beaten Federer, beaten Murray and won his second Grand Slam. In percentage terms I'd go 51-49 for Rafa. I think it could be one of the all-time classics, it could be electrifying. Let's hope so.

Greg Rusedski is commentating at Wimbledon for BBC Television

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before