(15-Sep-2013 08:06 PM)Moxie629 Wrote: Djokovic is still #1, and is thousands of points ahead of most of the field, so I'm not sure how you see that he's 'not in the picture.' (Except perhaps if you have your "Nadal Goggles" on, and want it to be so.)
I was hoping for a more considered assessment. Novak has points to gain at IW, Miami, and after MC at every event, if he improves on his 2013. It's mostly going to be pick-axing, as he went deep enough in most events. But he will have to chop away at it.
Yes, somehow Nadal2005RG manages to answer a novak thread by talking exclusively about rafa.
This year, Novak would have to go undefeated and rafa borderline winless to get it back before the end. Last year Novak was in a roughly similar position (outside of losing the ranking), so I think there is real potential to use the fall and davis cup as a good bit of momentum. Truth be told after the AO, he defends virtually nothing in the masters events. He just needs momentum. Rafa and Nole are relatively equal as far as tennis goes (either guy can win any day on any surface), when they are at their best, right now rafa has the momentum. A year and a half ago, Novak had 7 straight wins on rafa, now Rafa has what, 6 out of 7? The pendulum will swing back and then probably back again.
I don't honestly think Novak is in panic mode (in a good way). He know theoretically how to beat rafa, he just has to do it and get belief back. Both guys are smart players, and both know this. 2011 Novak isn't gone forever(IMO), but this is a rough year. He probably won't have another 2011 season, but that level is still there.