Preview: Djokovic aims to set record straight against Nadal in US Open Final

Novak Djokovic Forehand

It's the most played fixture in the open era of men's tennis but will tonight's US Open final between Nadal and Djokovic be another classic?

It's the greatest rivalry in Tennis, and that's official, when Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal stride out onto court in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows, New York later tonight for the US Open Men's final it will be the 37th time the pair have met on the main tour, eclipsing the record set by John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl.

It's a mouth-watering match-up that sees the top two players in the world clash in what could be one of the classic finals.

It seems hard to believe that after nearly 12 months out of the game with injury, Nadal has once more scaled the heights that has seen him lift 12 grand slam titles, but the hard work has paid off and according to his opponent he is the best player in the world.

When asked about the match Djokovic said: ""With no doubt he's the best player in the moment this year.

"It's always the biggest challenge that you can have in our sport now. I mean, he's the ultimate competitor out there.

"He's fighting for every ball and he's playing probably the best tennis that he has ever played on hard courts."

The final will be the third in which these two foes have contested against each other and the score stands at one- apiece, but bookmakers make Nadal the favourite to come out on top and lift his 13th major, at around 4/6.

The head to head record between the pair stand at 21-15 in Nadal's favour including wins in 5 of their last 6 clashes. It is worth noting however that whilst most of those wins have come on the clay, the 27 year-old Spaniard is in great form and has won all 21 of his hard court games since returning from knee problems.

Nadal is however, wary of the talent which his opponent possesses saying:"When you have the chance to win against the most difficult players, it's true that the victory is more special.

"But not in a final of the US Open. In the final of the US Open, what's really is important is to win the tournament, not the opponent."

In my opinion I'd be siding with Djokovic on this occasion and for a betting man the odds of 6/5 for the Serbian superstar to win might be on the generous side, especially when Djokovic appears in equally good form, battling hard to win his semi-final in five sets against Andy Murray's conqueror Stanislas Warinka.

When asked if he feared Nadal the answer away a resounding no and he suggested that he has a game plan to win in New York once more saying:"The way he's been playing he's very confident, but I know how to play him.

"Hard court is the surface that is my most successful. I have played him already here twice in the finals. I know what I need to do.

"Now it's of course easier to sit here and say, 'I know what I need to do,' but I've got to do it on the court. I'll be ready to give everything I have for the trophy."

Whatever the outcome of the final, we are in for a great game, between two of the fiercest rivals and greatest players the game has ever seen.

Who will you be supporting?

image: © Mark Howard Photography