A fitting culmination between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will close out the 2013 ATP season. The two top ranked players will clash for an Open Era record 39th time on the professional tour and will battle for high stakes as Nadal is looking to win arguably the biggest title missing from his cabinet of trophies. The 2012 year-end champion Djokovic will be looking to successfully defend his title and remain in hot pursuit of Nadal and his no. 1 ranking.
“I’m trying to take a lot of positive energy out of this confidence and out of this run that I had,” Djokovic said. “I won against him in the finals of Beijing in straight sets and I played a great match. I liked the way I improved in our matches. I like that I changed a few things that allowed me to win against him. That’s something that I will definitely try to use [in the final].
Djokovic admits that Nadal has worked hard to make sure that indoor surfaces are no longer his weakness and has improved greatly on hard courts in general. The reason behind this, Djokovic belives, is that Rafa has improved his serve percentage on this surface and aggressively attacks the net, which is uncharacteristic of the old Nadal.
“He has immensely improved on hard court. Comparing to all the other surfaces in our sport, this is probably his least preferable, but not this year. This year he has had incredible success. He’s more aggressive. He’s using his serve better.”
Considering Nadal’s dramatic improvement on the indoor surface, Djokovic believes there is not favourite in their match this afternoon and that they will likely do three intense sets. Calling Rafa his biggest rival, Djokovic will be motivated to end his season in the best possible position.
“No clear favorites in the final tomorrow. It’s always expected that we go the distance …Whenever we play each other, especially in last few years, there is a lot on the line, and there’s so much to play for. It’s a huge motivation for both of us to win against the biggest rival. It’s very tense. We push each other to the limit.”