sport news Can Novak Djokovic finally drop Rafael Nadal in it ahead of the French Open ...

Can Novak Djokovic finally drop Rafael Nadal in it? The Serbian star is looking to put his art and soul into the French Open final as his Spanish opponent seeks his 20th major title A fascinating tug-of-war beckons between two natural baseliners on Sunday Djokovic has persisted with the dropshot and it may decide outcome of final Nadal will be seeking to win his 13th Roland Garros title and his 20th major 

By Mike Dickson for The Mail on Sunday

Published: 22:33 BST, 10 October 2020 | Updated: 23:41 BST, 10 October 2020

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The art of making a tennis ball drop just over the net like a snowflake has been as much a feature of this strange French Open as the chilly autumnal weather.

The two things are related. And not only has the unprecedented use of the dropshot been a hugely welcome feature for those watching, it may decide the outcome of the men’s final on Sunday afternoon.

Rafael Nadal will take on Novak Djokovic trying to win his 13th Roland Garros title and his 20th major, which would equal Roger Federer. A win for Djokovic and he will be coming up on the rails even faster, with 18.

Novak Djokovic has persisted with the dropshot at French Open and it may decide the final

Novak Djokovic has persisted with the dropshot at French Open and it may decide the final

If the past fortnight is anything to go by a fascinating tug-of-war beckons between two natural baseliners. They will be constantly aware of the dangers of standing too far back, lest they fall victim to the delicate manoeuvre of the dropshot.

The world No 1 heralded what was to come when he played 25 of them in his first round against Mikael Ymer.

They have been a constant feature since. French outsider Hugo Gaston played 58 dropshots to such effect against US Open champion Dominic Thiem that he almost upset the No3 seed and so exhausted him that he lost his next match against Diego Schwartzman.

After his first round Djokovic summed up why he intended to persist with the strategy, saying: ‘It’s important tactically to have it and to use it at the right time so you can keep your opponent always guessing what the next shot is.’

Rafael Nadal will take on Djokovic trying to win his 13th Roland Garros title and his 20th major

Rafael Nadal will take on Djokovic trying to win his 13th Roland Garros title and his 20th major

Its resurgence happily shows that the doomsayers who feared that artistry would die out in the modern era of power tennis were wrong.

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