The stage is set for the U.S. Open final, and there are some bold predictions that can be made based off the two players and their paths to the final match.
Rafael Nadal will take on Novak Djokovic in the last Grand Slam event of the year, and the two are quite familiar with each other. In fact, this will be their sixth meeting in a Grand Slam final.
I'm going to go ahead and make some bold predictions for this final match on Monday. They may be bold, but these predictions will be backed up with evidence. So, let's take a look at a few of these bold predictions.
The Match will Go On for at Least Four Sets
These two have faced each other a combined 36 times, and they always almost always play in thrilling matches. With how talented both of these men are, there's little doubt that this match will get dragged on for more than just three sets.
In fact, looking at some of their recent Grand Slam finals, the two have gone to four and even five sets every time they've faced each other in one of these matches. Perhaps their most famous bout came in the 2012 Australian Open, when Djokovic was able to take the title in five sets.
Each of these guys knows his opponent well, so both will be able to counter each other often. Expect a lot of back-and-forth and a tight match throughout. It's highly unlikely this match is over in three straight sets.
Novak Djokovic Will Appear Gassed Late in the Match
These guys are considered two of the best tennis players in the world, but Djokovic has taken a much more challenging path to the final match.
Nadal has cruised all the way to the final round, winning in three straight sets in all but the fourth round. Meanwhile, Djokovic was able to make it to the quarterfinals without a fourth set, but played in four there and then five sets in the semifinals, narrowly escaping defeat.
Both players will only have a day of rest between matches, so this could play a big factor in how Djokovic plays. If the match continues through four or five sets, Djokovic's long battles from earlier in the tournament will wear him down, and Nadal will have the opportunity to take him down.
Nadal Will Win His 13th Grand Slam
Fatigue will be a factor for Djokovic late in the match, and Nadal will be able to take advantage and take home the 13th Grand Slam of his career. Nadal's legs are fresh, and he's yet to be truly challenged throughout this tournament.
With how good both of these men are, it makes sense for Nadal to get his revenge and even the score at 3-3 against Djokovic in Grand Slam final matches. Nadal was unable to get past Djokovic in three straight Grand Slam finals from 2011 to 2012, but he was able to get his revenge in the 2012 French Open.
Expect that to help motivate Nadal just a little bit more.
This is truly one of the most intense rivalries in tennis, and it will be a great match to watch. Nadal is looking for his second Grand Slam this year, and he just might get it.