This time, he needed no heroics, no closing of his eyes to save two match points, no miraculous shots to extend the match.
This time, Novak Djokovic needed three sets of superb play to show the world he has surpassed Roger Federer as the No. 2 player in the world. And with Rafa reeling, maybe this is the year Novak climbs to No. 1.
What a funny start to this tennis season. Just when we all thought Federer was ready to challenge Rafa for No. 1, a new rivalry of 23-year-olds meets in the finals, one that could greet us for the next decade or so: Djokovic v. Andy Murray.
Here, we have the have done, the masterful under pressure, against the have not, the over-thinker in the big matches.
Djokovic against Murray: Two of the game’s best set to better their rivalry as we ring in the 2011 Slam Season.
Just like we predicted, right?