For the past two years Rafael Nadal has remained undefeated in clay and has been considered “The King of Clay” until Novak Djokovic started dominating this year. Since his win in the Davis Cup, Djokovic has had the longest winning streak including beating Rafa in two straight wins in the surface he is most proficient, Madrid and the match in Foro Italico. Nadal had lost only one match in six years in the Italian Open in Rome. Much as he did at Roland Garros and Monte Carlo, Nadal owned Rome. Novak also made history by becoming the second player (Nikolay Davydenko) to beat the nine-time major champion four times in a row.
Rafa has managed to remain the top-seeded as push forward to the French Open but it looks like Djokovik will be doing everything to ensure that Rafa does not get hold of the French Open trophy for the 6th time. And the numbers that will take away the No. 1 position from Rafa is also getting smaller and smaller. I do feel that Rafa’s illness has something to do with that. Since he got sick I don’t think he has truly recovered. Though Noval believes, Rafa is still the man to beat. It is believe that this was the first time in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 history (since 1990), the same two players met in four finals in same year.
And it looks like the Djoker is being very serious about becoming World No. 1 this year. He now works with two trainers including one who worked with former No 1 player Thomas Muster who has won most of his titles in clay. Seems like all the training he got from this is working as Djokovic is continuously moving forward. Not satisfied with being No 3, not even No 2, with more than $5 million he has already won this year, the best sports gear and sports apparel, off-court endorsements deals, Novak is still aiming for more and it looks like everything else is conspiring to give him the chance.