Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-3 in the Monte Carlo semifinals, having come back from 0-2 and chances to be a double break down in the first set. But how meaningful was that result for both players?
In the grand scheme of things: not at all.
As far as the Serbian is concerned, this result only serves to highlight even more how great his start to 2015 really is, and how difficult he is, at present, to vanquish. However, it would be premature to draw any conclusions as far as even the next tournament is concerned.
For now, indeed, Djokovic is nearly unbeatable, as he has shown once again this week, and as he is likely to show again tomorrow (after all, he leads the head-to-head 18-2 against his next rival, Tomas Berdych). But it is, in my views, premature to talk about the French Open, even more so about a potential Calendar Slam for the World number one. After all, Monte Carlo is the first Masters 1000 of the European clay swing, and there are still many weeks before the Parisian rendez-vous, and a lot can happen in the meantime.
Among those things is Nadal finding his rhythm back.
For if today’s result had no meaning, the match in itself held a lot of significance for the Spaniard. It was, without a doubt, his best so far this season, and we could see a glimpse of the “old” Nadal many times during this encounter.
Prehaps his confidence is not yet what it was until recently, perhaps his forehand was a bit off (maybe a direct consequence of his recent racquet change). But he put up an immense fight, and if he had reverted to his overly defensive style of old, it is, I think, because he is still looking for this piece of confidence which he is still missing.
Yes, Novak Djokovic won a battle today, but the war is far from being over.
After all, the clay swing is only just starting.