Mats Wilander reveals that one strategy of Pete Sampras will work against Rafael Nadal but not against Novak Djokovic
Mats Wilander recalls Pete Sampras' comment on how to play against Rafael Nadal on clay, compares it with Novak Djokovic.
Mats Wilander, Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Swedish tennis legend Mats Wilander has his say on Pete Sampras’ strategy of playing Rafael Nadal on clay. Adding to the comment, he said that the same cannot be done against Serbian World No.5 Novak Djokovic at all. He was citing Pete’s comment about not allowing Nadal to play more than one ball in a rally on a clay court.
As Wilander said: “Watching him, I remembered the day I asked Pete Sampras how he would play against Rafael Nadal on clay and he said, ‘I wouldn’t let him hit more than one shot per rally. You can’t do that with Novak, because he doesn’t let you hit more than once. He’s super, super-aggressive, his confidence is sky high and he looks unbeatable, that’s for sure.”
Continuing his train of thought, WIlander reflected upon the confidence level of Serbian at the Australian Open 2023, “Unbelievable. His way of hitting the ball is absolutely amazing. The tactical moves he makes here and there, how he can shorten the point on the forehand and backhand, he throws a second serve harder than the first he just hit. I mean Novak’s self-confidence right now is just amazing.” (source: We love Tennis, translated via google)
Novak Djokovic is six sets away from incredible records
The fans of Novak Djokovic have already started celebrating on social media. The confidence level they have in him is quite understandable. The Serbian is playing flawlessly in the Rod Laver Arena. If things go as planned, Djokovic will equal the most astonishing record of 22 Grand Slams with Rafael Nadal this Sunday. In addition to this, the 10th Australian Open title and World No.1 rankings are also on the cards for him.
Djokovic will face American World No.35 Tommy Paul in the semi-finals. Considering the level he displayed against Australian World No.24 Alex De Minaur and Russian World No.6 Andrey Rublev in the pre-quarterfinals and quarter-finals, the semi-final could be be a cakewalk for the nine-time Australian Open champion. The lop-sided scorelines were respectively 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in the previous round matches.
A peak Novak Djokovic on a hard court is almost as unbeatable as Rafael Nadal on clay. Nadal won his 22nd Grand Slam at his favorite French Open. Djokovic also will most probably win his 22nd Grand at his favorite — Australian Open.
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