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Sunday, April 19, 2009
Novak Djokovic - Monte-Carlo
Image: © 2009 Wheat Images

Novak Djokovic Gives His All Against Rafael Nadal In Monte-Carlo

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - theirEarth took this excellent photo today of the No. 3 world ranked tennis player, Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Djokovic was battling hard against the No. 1 ranked Rafael Nadal of Spain at Sunday's Finals of the 2009 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. In the photo you can actually read the printing on the ball, prior Djokovic hitting it with his racket. Rafael Nadal was just too strong in the match with his skills, strategy and consistent point-by-point performance as he took the match (6-3, 2-6, 6-1). Djokovic lost the first set to Nadal (6-3), but he brought his game back to dominate and win (6-2) in the second set with strong returns, some aces, and a couple of well placed drop shots.

By the start of the third set, it looked like Djokovic was potentially set to win the Monte-Carlo final against Nadal, but as Djokovic said later in his news conference, Nadal makes you fight for every point and in the third set he put extreme physical pressure on Djokovic and at one point had him well past the base line returning volleys from the extreme ends of either side of the court. Djokovic said later, "He used his strength and his experience playing in the big matches and just waited wisely for his chances, then he used them."

Djokovic said this afternoon that even if he lost the match, he can see from his performance that he has the ability to beat Nadal on clay and the results from today's match further reinforce this belief in himself. Djokovic told a packed news conference, "I needed to step it up. That's what I did. And it was a very impressive second set... the break point in the first game (third set) when he got incredible drop shot and he made a winner, the other angle was just incredible. I think that's what kind of lifted him up, and I probably didn't participate that much anymore." 

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