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Will it be Djokovic more likely (only he shows up), Rafa more likely (only he shows up), equal they both show up, or equal they both don't show up??
 

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Djokovic will play the US Open, but I wouldn't be surprised if Nadal chose the clay. He probably doesn't want to miss Madrid and Rome. Djokovic's schedule will most likely be Cincinnati, US Open, and then Roland Garros.
 

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Can one realistically play Cincinnati, USO, Madrid, Rome, AND the FO?? That's 7 weeks in a row!!
 

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I predict Nadal's schedule will be Madrid, Rome, and Roland Garros. He will skip the hard courts. Djokovic will play Cincinnati, US Open, and Roland Garros.
 

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Djokovic will play the US Open, but I wouldn't be surprised if Nadal chose the clay. He probably doesn't want to miss Madrid and Rome. Djokovic's schedule will most likely be Cincinnati, US Open, and then Roland Garros.
I highly doubt Rafa would skip USO, it just doesn't make sense. He's the defending champion, and defending 2000 pts, and he would just walk away from it? Why would anyone want to trade the opportunity of playing grand slam for a masters event? Most likely Rafa would play Cincy, USO, then RG. Rafa doesn't need tune up for clay season; Rafa IS the clay.
 

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Because he has way better chances to gain points on clay than on hard court. He could potentially not have any competition at Madrid and Rome considering Djokovic and Thiem will play the US Open and will likely skip the clay masters.

Also, as long as Djokovic is healthy, Nadal's chances to win the US Open are zero. He hasn't taken a set against Djokovic on a hard court in seven years. So, maybe he will just focus on clay.
 

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Well Madrid and Rome add nothing to Rafa's legacy at this point. Dude needs slams, just like Novak and Roger. If Rafa skips USO just because he thinks he has zero chance against Novak, then it's not the Rafa I've known for the past 15 years. Last time they met at USO, Rafa was victorious, and Rafa is the defending champion. Also Rafa has more USO titles than Novak, why? Because Rafa is simply better player than Novak at USO, simple as that.
 

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Well, Flushing Meadows is hosting both US masters (Cincinnati) and US grand slam (US Open) in three weeks, this year.

As far as Rafa is concerned, Rafa should play both grand slams. If he plans to skip events, he should skip one or two masters 1000s. If he plans to skip one masters, it should be Madrid, which would amount to 3 weeks of tennis, rest for a week, and 3 weeks of tennis again. If he plans to skip two masters, they should be Cincinnati and Madrid. Rome's clay surface and conditions are closer to Roland Garros than Madrid; so, it would be wise to prefer playing Rome over Madrid.

Can one realistically play Cincinnati, USO, Madrid, Rome, AND the FO?? That's 7 weeks in a row!!
They did take rest for almost 7 months in a row, did not they? They can play 7 weeks in a row and actually, call it a year, since they will be playing the most important events left/salvaged in the year so far during those 7 weeks, bar ATP finals.
 

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Well Madrid and Rome add nothing to Rafa's legacy at this point. Dude needs slams, just like Novak and Roger. If Rafa skips USO just because he thinks he has zero chance against Novak, then it's not the Rafa I've known for the past 15 years. Last time they met at USO, Rafa was victorious, and Rafa is the defending champion. Also Rafa has more USO titles than Novak, why? Because Rafa is simply better player than Novak at USO, simple as that.
I don't think he is. I think the draws were very kind to him over the years. There are rumours that Nadal will just focus on clay, but nothing has been confirmed.
 

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I don't think he is. I think the draws were very kind to him over the years. There are rumours that Nadal will just focus on clay, but nothing has been confirmed.
You make your own luck. Rafa is a better player at the US than Djoker. Djoker could of course address that by winning the US again this year, but I expect Thiem to take the title.
 

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You make your own luck. Rafa is a better player at the US than Djoker. Djoker could of course address that by winning the US again this year, but I expect Thiem to take the title.
I would love to see Thiem or Zverev win the title. I hope you're right. We shall see. My prediction remains Djokovic because he has won five of the last seven slams and is close to breaking Federer's records, which he is very motivated to do.
 

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I don't think he is. I think the draws were very kind to him over the years. There are rumours that Nadal will just focus on clay, but nothing has been confirmed.
USO surface suits Rafa style very well, and if Rafa were to have any better chance at beating Novak on a hard surface, it will be USO.

That being said, draw is very important, yes, not just for Rafa but for Novak as well. Whoever gets Thiem on his half of the draw would have to pray Thiem gets knocked out early otherwise it's going to be a grueling SF, which means little energy left for the final. If Novak gets Wawrinka and Thiem on his half, then I highly doubt Novak would even make it out of it. Same goes with Rafa, Meddy and Thiem at QF and SF would leave Rafa with nothing left for the final, that is if he can make it out of it.
 

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both will #slamcount both will do their best to prevent the other from adding to their total. i mean it seems like an "easier" draw should not all the top players show up, so it is a good opportunity. nobody can deny it.
 

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I am pretty sure both of them will play. Too much at stake, both are chasing Federer's record, 2000 points to defend (Nadal) 1820 to gain (Djokovic), plus the money.. No way they are not playing.
 

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This year’s USO surface is Laykold which has been described resembling AO’s former Plexicushion more than the previous USO Decoturf & w/ the difficulty Nadal had disposing Medved on his preferred Decoturf surface, doesn’t bode well for Claybots like himself & Thiem.
 

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This year’s USO surface is Laykold which has been described resembling AO’s former Plexicushion more than the previous USO Decoturf & w/ the difficulty Nadal had disposing Medved on his preferred Decoturf surface, doesn’t bode well for Claybots like himself & Thiem.
former Plexicushion? What do you mean? Are you referring to the Rebound Ace courts (1988-2007)?
 

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Because he has way better chances to gain points on clay than on hard court. He could potentially not have any competition at Madrid and Rome considering Djokovic and Thiem will play the US Open and will likely skip the clay masters.

Also, as long as Djokovic is healthy, Nadal's chances to win the US Open are zero. He hasn't taken a set against Djokovic on a hard court in seven years. So, maybe he will just focus on clay.
The US Open has always been a different story in this rivalry.
Rafa has beaten Djokovic TWICE at the US Open, while Djokovic only beat Rafa ONCE (and it was 2011, when Rafa had no confidence in the rivalry and couldn't even beat Djokovic on clay, whereas Rafa beat Djokovic easily on clay in 2017, 2018 and 2019).
 
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