"Rafael Nadal is the greatest player ever." That's an opinion that will gain momentum if the 24-year-old Spaniard can complete the career Slam and become the first player to win the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in the same year since Rod Laver 41 years ago.
Standing in his way is the 23-year-old, hardcourt specialist, Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Djokovic, who reached his second Open final by outlasting Roger Federer in five sets yesterday (5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5), is looking for his second Major championship. "The Joker" hasn't always been the favorite of the New York crowds, and he stunned them by staving off two match points in the fifth set and derailing the Federer-Nadal dream final.
Nadal and Djokovic have met 21 times as professionals, with Rafa holding a 14-7 advantage. However Nadal has been dominant only on clay, and Djokovic has won seven of their 10 hard court meetings, including three straight-set victories in 2009.
However, Rafa will be favored having tweaked his serve to produce more pop and improving every match of the Open. Also in his favor is the fact he has yet to drop a set all tournament, while Djokovic is coming off a grueling five setter that may leave him physically and emotionally drained.
Djokovic may be doing rain dances in the locker room before the match. The weather is threatening to grant Novak a reprieve from taking the court only 20 hrs after he beat Federer.
If both players can bring their best, and the weather holds, it will be an athletic final full of fleet feet and tremendous shot-making.
I'll be breaking down the action and giving constant updates on the weather and play on this live blog!