Wimbledon Final, CC

by: Peter Bodo | July 03, 2011

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TENNIS.com

Joker

Okay, let's cut right to the chase. Rafa vs. Novak on Centre Court, and you might have guessed it would come to this—although, in all honesty, I did not. I just had a strange feeling before Wimbledon started that neither Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal would wind up in this final. That I was right on the Federer front and wrong on Nadal just confirms something I've come to believe this week—that Nadal is the equal of Federer on grass. There were moments during Rafa's match with Andy Murray when I just couldn't suppress the thought: "Wow, there's no way Federer, even at his peak, wins four of seven grass-court matches from this guy."

For that reason, I'm picking Nadal to win in four sets. This seems almost insulting to Novak Djokovic, who posted such strong results over everyone, including Nadal, in recent months. But that's how it is in sports—you can ask Andy Murray, a fair to middlin' player who's had the misfortune to play in the Federer-Nadal era. Can Djokovic make it the Federer-Nadal-Djokovic era?  Maybe. If he wins today, it will be the biggest step he's taken in that direction so far. I still like Nadal to win, and if I'm wrong, Djokovic fans can gloat all they want.

Granted, Djokovic looked awfully good against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the other day, but Nadal is an entirely different animal, and the pressures and challenges of the situation today will be very different than they were in the semis. I like Rafa in four.

-- Pete

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