Fantastic performance by Novak today. He served well, and most importantly, he had great decision making on the court. He knew when to go for his shots and when to pull back, all the while staying aggressive. And against Rafa that is the key. Because of his movement and shotmaking, Rafa keeps you constantly under pressure. If you go for too much at the wrong time you hit the UFE. If you're too passive, Rafa will just rope-a-dope you until you're gassed. Nole did a great job of managing his game today to keep Rafa off-balance.
As Killer Cahill mentioned during the broadcast Nole's straight set win draws him back in to the "Top 3" conversation. He's been understandably omitted from that conversation since his early loss at Wimbledon, and his play has been overshadowed by Fed's slump and Rafa's quest for #1. Well he's officially back in the mix and if anything, this win made clear that his game is on track and he is still the best hard court player on the tour.
If he can apply the same game plan tomorrow against the surging Andy Murray he should grab his third Masters trophy of the season. But I wouldn't count Murray out. He's a great returner, scrambles with the best of them, and beat Nole for the first time in his career last week in Toronto.