Novak Djokovic: “Physically I’m Stronger, I’m Faster, Mentally I’m More Motivated”
by Staff | January 30th, 2011, 8:47 am
  • 90 Comments

Novak Djokovic won his second Grand Slam title Sunday defeating Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 to win the 2011 Australian Open men’s title. Djokovic swept his last three matches defeating Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer and then Murray in capturing his second title in Melbourne.

Q. Do you think you could play any better than this? Is it a perfect match that you expected, that you dream of, or not?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: This was a great match. From the start to the last point, I did what I intended of doing tactically, what I talked with my coach, what I prepared for. Physically I was very fit. I had two days between the semifinals and finals match, which was important at this stage of the tournament.

Because I was aware of the fact that I am going to yeah, bring it to me. (Laughter.) That will have long rallies and I will have a player who doesn’t miss a lot, a very talented player who is one of the best returners in the game.

And, yeah, you know, I had to step in. That was the key. When I had the chance to step in and try to move him around the court, that’s what I did. Probably the turning point was the last game of the first set where we had some incredible exchange from the baseline, long rallies, and some passing shots that turned the match around.

You know, when you have a set advantage, it’s much different, you know, instead of getting into the match.

Q. Is there a sense sometimes when you do feel a bit indestructible? Whatever he can do, you have an answer for it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t think of myself in that way. I just try in those moments to maintain the good feeling on the court and feeling comfortable. Yes, in some ways I felt today that I could get any ball and I could make a fast transition from being defensive to being offensive.

I used the serve in crucial moments quite good. I was opening the court, serving wide, so I can have the other part of the court open for a winner. I was patient when I needed to be. You know, I was changing a lot of rhythm, changing pace, because I know that he likes more pace. He likes to be the one who is going to control the match. I didn’t want to allow that.

Yeah, to be able to win in straight sets against a player like Andy Murray in the finals of Grand Slam, it makes my success even bigger.

Q. When you got the match point, your celebration, you didn’t do a lot. Was that sort of out of respect for the friendship you’ve got with him?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, in a way, as well. You know, it wasn’t easy, of course. I understand how he feels. It’s his third final and he didn’t get the title. It’s a tough one.

But as I said on the court I’ll repeat it again I really have big respect for him and his game, because I think he has everything what it takes to become a Grand Slam champion. You know, I’m sure that very soon he will be.

Q. You said he’s the best returner.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: One of the best, yeah.

Q. In the first two sets he made only six points on your serve. How do you explain? You were serving very well or he wasn’t returning that well?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t think I was extremely well serving. I was just trying to place my serves well. And the first shot after the serve in the rally was important. It was important for me to start off the point and having the aggressive role in that points. That’s what I did.

As I said, you know, that was kind of a tactic, you know, to try to open up the court more, spread him out, and then get to the net.

Q. It’s been three years between getting one of those. Do you feel like now that you’re older and more experienced, it won’t be as long the next time?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I feel like more experienced player. I feel a better player now than I was three years ago, because I think that physically I’m stronger, I’m faster, mentally I’m more motivated on the court. I know how to react in certain moments, and I know how to play on a big stage.

It’s the best way that I could ask for to start a season.

Q. Especially beating Roger and Andy, two good players?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, both of those guys play their best tennis on the hard courts, as well as I do. But to be able to win against those players in straight sets is incredible.

Q. How did you fix your serve?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, hitting thousands and thousands of balls on the practice. It’s all about hard work and patience, I guess, dedication to the hard work which in the end pays off. That’s the situation. There is no secrets.

Of course, I was aware of what I do wrong. But once it gets into your head, it’s really hard to get it out of your habit. Everybody was, you know, criticizing me, Why did I change my serve? I didn’t change it intentionally. It just came like that.

I worked hard the last 10 months, and now it’s back.

Q. You took a tough loss here last year, Roland Garros obviously, and then even Wimbledon. Did something happen in between Wimbledon and the hard courts where you regained confidence?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Something switched in my head, because I am very emotional on and off the court. I show my emotions. This is the way I am. Everybody’s different.

The things off court were not working for me, you know. It reflected on my game, on my professional tennis career. But then, you know, I settled some things in my head. It was all on me. You know, I had to try to find the best possible solution and try to get back on the right track. That’s what I did.

Q. Can you talk about some of those secrets that you discovered about yourself that helped you get back on track?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, you know, something switched in my head. It’s been a big mental struggle, because I was trying to separate my, of course, professional life from my more private life.

But, you know, if somebody’s emotional we’re all humans. It’s not possible. If something isn’t working off court, then it’s going to reflect on the court. I managed to solve that problems.

This is all part of life. Of course, everybody’s facing difficult situations in their lives. To overcome the crisis and to stand up and try to still dedicate yourself to the sport was a big success for me as a person.

Q. But professionally for a time you were using two separate coaches.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah.

Q. From outsiders looking in, you seemed to be confused. You were getting two different messages.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it’s not working, you know. I’ve tried. But with all due respect to Todd Martin, which I think he was a great player, he’s a great coach, but it just didn’t work. You know, it’s really hard to compensate and have two coaches traveling with you. I tried.

Of course, I tried a lot of things. And if you don’t try, you don’t know. Now I know that it’s not working.

Of course, Marian Vajda will always be a part of my team. He’s just more than a coach. My physio, Miljan Amanovic, my fitness coach, all of these guys, put incredible effort into my development, into my improvement on the court, off the court. I owe them a lot definitely. It’s them who deserve a lot of credit, as well.

Q. You said you were sure Andy would win one one day. What makes you sure?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I just said. He’s, first of all, a very talented player and he’s a hard worker. He’s been in finals three times, and he just needs to make that final step.

Of course, it’s not easy. You could see his struggle and frustrations tonight, because he felt his chances to win a first Grand Slam trophy tonight.

But, you know, it’s a learning process, I guess. It wasn’t easy for me, as well. I know how he feels. I’m sure that he knows how he feels the best. He’s still young. I’m sure he’s gonna have more chances to win it, so…

Q. Three sets to Federer and three sets to Murray. How different were you feeling against Federer and Murray? When you were more worried?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You’re always worried, the semifinals and finals of Grand Slam. You have your own worries and little pressure and expectations and things that you feel during the match.

But, you know, you work hard to be mentally prepared for these moments and physically fit to overcome the long five setters. You know, both of those matches were different, because I played against two different types of players.

You know, I take always one match at a time. I try not to look who I’m going to play, you know, in the later stages of the tournament, even though maybe as a top player I’m expected to.

But, you know, it’s always been like that. I always try to take one match at a time.

Q. You know him very well obviously. You talked about the way he plays the game. When playing against him, what’s your number one imperative to impose your style of play onto his?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first of all, we haven’t played for a long time because we were 3 and 4 in the world. Most of the times we were in different parts of the draws. It’s strange that we haven’t played for a long time, because we were making it to the later stages of all the tournaments, most of the times.

But, you know, of course, we had Roger and Rafa who were very dominant in men’s tennis. You know, last two, three times he won on the hard courts. But since then we both improved a lot. Of course, I was analyzing his game, trying to implement some things what I intended to with my coach tactically, and I did it really well.

I get into the match aware of the fact that he is going to give me a lot of balls back in the court and we going to have a lot of long rallies, so I need to be patient in some ways. Yet again, if I get a short ball, I need to attack. That’s more or less it.

Q. You have so much in common. What’s the difference between having two Grand Slams and not having one? What’s the difference between you, do you feel?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s hard to say. What do you mean?

Q. Do you feel for him it’s a mental issue in the big matches? You looked very confident and strong out there tonight.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it is in some ways a mental issue when you are facing a situation, playing the finals of a Grand Slam, being so close to winning a title. Every time you get it there, you know, you want to win it badly, but some things go wrong. You’re thinking too much. You’re worrying too much in your head. It’s a mental battle, definitely. Bottom line is that this is a very mental sport in the end. Everybody is very fit.

I think tennis has improved so much in the last couple of years. It’s incredible. To compare the tennis from 2007, ’8, to the tennis of 2010, ’11, I have the feeling the ball is traveling much faster, they’re big hitters, big servers.

So in order to keep up, you have to be always dedicated professional and consistent with your success.

Q. You got your game to this level against the best players. Do you have the sense you need to make the most of it and win the big tournaments now?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s the best possible start of the season, very short off season, but I was building up my confidence, and taking the Davis Cup title, taking that confidence into the preparation for Australian Open.

And, of course, during this tournament I was feeling great on the court. The Davis Cup win may have a big role in my great performance here in this tournament. After we won Davis Cup title I was feeling great on the court, just eager to compete.

Q. There are a few people saying now that because Rafa and Roger went out before the final, the tide is turning, a changing of the guards, so to speak. Do you feel that’s the case?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Still Rafa and Roger are the two best players in the world. No question about that. You can’t compare my success and Murray’s success to their success. They’re the two most dominant players in the game for a while. All the credit to them.

It’s nice to see that there are some new players in the later stages of Grand Slams fighting for a title. That’s all I can say.

Q. Some of your footwork was outstanding. At the end when you took your shoes off to throw them into the crowd, you took out the insoles. Do you have to have special insoles?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. That’s the secret to my footwork. You got me there (smiling).

Q. The Davis Cup win and now this, the last two months, has this been the best period in your life so far?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: On the tennis court, yes. Yeah, Davis Cup title and another Grand Slam title. I’m living the dream of a tennis player, definitely.

Q. Are you more focused than ever on your game?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I’m very focused. Yes, I have been more focused and dedicated to the sport than I have ever been before.

Q. How will you celebrate tonight? Is it going to be a big night, do you think?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, after winning a Grand Slam title, what do you think? Of course celebrations are part of the success.

Q. There are only two players but Nadal and Federer that have won two slams, you and Hewitt. Hewitt when he did it, he stopped. What do you expect from yourself, to win many?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t want to stop here. Definitely I want to keep my body healthy, fit, and ready for some more challenges to come. I feel that I have a good game for all the surfaces. I have proven that in the past.

Q. Which ones?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Hard court. Hard court is my favorite surface. Two finals in US Open and two finals here. It’s obvious; results are showing everything.

But, still, I feel I can do well at French Open and Wimbledon.

Q. You’ve driven yourself to the point of exhaustion, overplaying, in previous seasons. How do you avoid doing that again this year?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think you’re getting wiser by the time of being a part of this sport. You are more aware of the things that you should do and not do. I was spending too much energy on the things I shouldn’t spend on.

I mean, it’s school, a learning process. That’s why I have a big team around me of people who are organizing my time and making me feel a bit released and making me perform the best that I can on the court.

Q. Are you going to play doubles with Andy on the court?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We talked about it, yeah. I don’t want to ask him anything now, obviously. But when the time passes, I will ask him. So we will see.


Also Check Out:
Novak Djokovic: My Injuries Are In The Past, I Am Fully Recovered Physically and Mentally
Victoria Azarenka Sounds Mentally And Physically Exhausted
Serena Williams v Jelena Jankovic in US Open Final
Roger Federer Looks Back 10 Years
Novak Djokovic: It’s Always Tough Playing Rafa, But I Know I Can Win Against Him

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90 Comments for Novak Djokovic: “Physically I’m Stronger, I’m Faster, Mentally I’m More Motivated”

Huh Says:

“Q. When you got the match point, your celebration, you didn’t do a lot. Was that sort of out of respect for the friendship you’ve got with him?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, in a way, as well. You know, it wasn’t easy, of course. I understand how he feels. It’s his third final and he didn’t get the title. It’s a tough one.

But as I said on the court I’ll repeat it again I really have big respect for him and his game, because I think he has everything what it takes to become a Grand Slam champion. You know, I’m sure that very soon he will be.”

This is so sweet of Nole! :P
For such kind words, I wish that if Fed cant win the FO this year, let Nole have it. Best of luck for FO 11 in advanc Nole! :)
Such sweetness is the reason peopl lik Nole so much!


johhny Says:

Andy Murray is much better player than Novak Djokovic ….. BWAHAHAHAHAHA


grendel Says:

“I get into the match aware of the fact that he is going to give me a lot of balls back in the court and we going to have a lot of long rallies, so I need to be patient in some ways”.

And yet one of my predominant memories of this match was the amazing way Djokovic could switch rapidly from defence to offence – on a par with Nadal, I’d say.

“It’s a mental battle, definitely. Bottom line is that this is a very mental sport in the end. Everybody is very fit.” That’s very interesting, and I hope Andy Murray is listening. The point is, anyone who is a natural athlete can become as fit as he wants. There’s no secret to it. It’s just endless hard work, and a good backup team helps if you can afford it.

But the mental side? First, I should have thought, you have to admit there is a problem. Now of course Murray is not going to come out in public and admit to this, and nor should he. But will he be honest when amongst his own? Is he capable of it? Are they prepared to be candid? No idea, but you can’t help suspecting there is a very stubborn, mulish even, streak in Murray. That can be helpful sometimes, in the short term, but in the end it will hold him back.


margot Says:

Stopped watching two games into second set! We went for a walk and a pint instead.
Am far less upset than I was last year. No tears here, just a deep sigh or two because it wasn’t even close and a) becos I love Nole b) becos as Cindy-Brady says, you should go on form rather than sentiment, and Nole has been the in form player of this championship, only dropped one set. So while Andy fans dared to believe he might bring some magic to the court, I think deep down we felt he wouldn’t.
Andy needs to sack Corretja and bring on board someone who can win slams, oh and a shrink….but that won’t happen.
As for Nole, he has hit some form and if I were a Rafa fan, I’d be a bit nervous. I really fancy Nole for FO, he’s always been a class clay courter. Where’s that new bracket ;)


margot Says:

grendel: if you’re still there, asked you b4, who is Andrew Cotton? BTW really like him, probably the voice ;)


Nina Says:

Classy interview by Nole. :))))
I agree with everything he said, the way the analyzed the match, perfect.
And I’m confident like him that Andy has it in him to win not one but many slams. Once he wins the first, it will get a lot easier. I’m really sorry for Murray, what can i say. I didn’t want a demolition like this. I fear the pressure and insults he will get now, poor kid. :(((


margot Says:

Nina: fantastic, if horrible, quote just heard “Andy no longer has a monkey on his back, he has king Kong.” You’ve got to laugh…..


Dan Martin Says:

Hand it to Novak! I am going to break my writing hiatus dealing with Novak. This is a column I have been shaping in my head for a long time. I was going to write about Novak after the Davis Cup, but did not feel it quite matched what I was trying to convey about Novak.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Novak Djokovic: “Physically I’m Stronger, I’m Faster, Mentally I’m More Motivated”

Title couldn’t have described it better.

He sure was, and is!

Congrats Novak!


nadalista Says:

Sorry…this is off-topic but……..

http://www.menstennisblog.info/2011/01/roger-federer-and-rafael-nadal-to-play.html

Personally, I am getting fed-up with Roger and Rafa’s love-in……..and why couldn’t they wait until after the day Nole wins his second grand slam BEFORE making this announcement?

They are beginning to sound/look like attention-seeking babies now……..


stu Says:

*greedy fan alert*

Maybe Nole can do a clean sweep of the HC tournaments this year? :D. Okay just the Slam and the Masters. Let’s do it, Nole! I say pull out of Rotterdam….let Muzz have it so he can be #4 again :)


Hypnos Says:

Congratulations to Djokovic on his mental and physical strength leading to a new title.

However, I’m sad that such a boring style of play led to a Grand Slam title. The muffed overheads were especially sad — Sampras must be rolling over in his grave.


Kimberly Says:

Summary of some thoughts/highlights for the tournament:
1. Defensive tennis does not win Grand Slams
2. Rise of the next generation, Raonic, Tomic, Dimitric, Berankis.
3. The slumpers seem to be regaing some form, at least Berdych and Verdasco. Davydenko and Cilic not so much.
4. Janko Tisparevic and DeBakker chokes. The worst.
5. Ferrrer is one gritty admirable player.
6. Rafa again suffering illness/injury. Needs to evaluate why and focus on staying healthy. The sweating in the red shirt was not sexy.
7. Federer struggles with Simon and does not bring his best tennis against anyone but Wawa. Djoko played great but Federer was not playing his A game. Good news for Fed is until toronto very few points to defend.
8. Roddick struggles with defensive play. PMac and Brad Gilbert think he needs to reevaluate his game. Less fitness work and more hitting through the court.
9. The the B Squad american performance was dismal. lets hope Roddick does in fact improve.
10. Venus Williams injury in horrible dress.
11. Sharapova, Jankovic, Ivanovic contunue to struggle.
12. Second Straight Wawa quarter final.
13. Na Li is the bomb!
14. Unless Serena returns CLjsters is essentially unstoppable until she breaks for baby #2.
15. Nadal should request never again to play during fireworks of Australia day. 2 years in a row of disaster.
16. Djokovic essentially dismantles everyone.
17. Soderling does not look like a candidate to win AO ever. For some reason he never brings his best tennis.
18. Dolgopolov has one funky game that tends to win some matches.
19. Raonic has one vicious serve.
20. Caroline Wozniaki needs a game plan other than returning the ball.
21. Andy Murray does not “bring it” to slam finals.


Kimmi Says:

sad for muzza. stopped watching early in the second set too margot. urg!

but the man of this tourny is novak. what a way to win this by losing only one set. he did like rafa at the USO. Congatulations to novak and his fans.

Duro, i have egg all over my face!!

depending on who plays well in the next tournaments (fed and djoko). no. 2 is up for grabs.

Federer please fight for it!


Kimmi Says:

Kimberly – so true. great summary.


grendel Says:

margot – sorry, no idea. No relation of Billy, I don’t suppose? I can’t watch tennis on BBC so long as they insist on employing that Andrew Castle, although at Wimbledon, no choice. Still, I did look in on the post match comments by Henman and Becker. They were both essentially putting on a stiff upper lip w.r.t. Murray’s future prospects – funny to see a German doing that.

I do agree with you about Djokovic at the French. I’ve thought for some time that he’s a realistic challenger to Nadal at RG – and the only one, unfortunately, although del Potro is an unknown at this point.

nadalista – I agree with you, why would anyone want to watch any more of these exhos between these two. Look forward to seeing Federer against Nadal at Wimbledon – that’s the proper venue.


ckr Says:

Congratulations to Djokovic. He is finally playing to his full potential. I think he is the best player right now and has all aspects of complete Tennis player (forehand, backhand, serve, movement) and also beautiful to watch.

Murray’s first serve ditched him. He can’t rely on 80mph second serves against the best returner in the game. Still not bad, reaching GS final is no joke. Keep knocking the door and one day, it will open (ask Lendle/ Agassi).


grendel Says:

” He can’t rely on 80mph second serves against the best returner in the game.”

Maybe that’s right, I mean D being the best returner (Ferrer? Nalbandian was….). But in this context, I couldn’t help being tickled by Djokovic’s gentle correction of the interviewer:”Q. You said he’s the best returner.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: One of the best, yeah.

Don’t think the comparison with late slam winners Agassi and Lendl works. Both those two were a)ferocious hitters and b)very determined.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@Kimberly,

Great summary:)

# 1 sticks out to me, maybe cause it was the last match. I thought in both the semis and finals, Novaks opponents played too defensive to start, which gave Novak “practice” time to hone in on his groundies and get a rhythm. Maybe Fed and Murray knew something we didn’t. That Novak tends to break down if you just keep the ball in play. Not!

Side note about Nole;

One can argue since the USO he moves better than anyone on the court. Bar none. And this was the guy not too long ago that seemed health fragile?


blank Says:

jane and all Nole fans,
Congrats to you all! You must be proud of how your guy played today. He would have beat anybody in this form! Feel bad for Andy though. Still he could have put on a better show. He was a bit too passive for my liking…was always waiting for Djoko to make a mistake…and his current form, that absolutely proved to be a bad strategy.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@nadalista & grendel,

Re; Fedal exhos. Agreed. WTF already? , 3 in 3-4 mos?


Kimmi Says:

Looks like Nike wants to make some money..I see serena and sharapova in it too. At least it tells us serena is coming back soon. she is needed for women tennis.


Dave B Says:

Novak played superbly throughout the tournament. I think he’s on a high from the David Cup. He certainly deserved to win. The only false note to me were his comments about Serbia at the end. WTF happened to Murray. He was pathetic. If he continues to play with that attitude he will never win a Slam


stu Says:

Why were his comments about Serbia a “false note”, Dave B?


Andrea Says:

Oh Andy….quel bummer.

Nicely done Novak. Commanding to say the least.


jane Says:

Cheers all. Liked Nina’s comment, and agree Murray can win a slam. Of course! Maybe grass? Hope so, hope so. Also liked the talk about Nole on clay, very encouraging. Would be great to see Nole challenge there. Stu, agree with you that Nole should pull from Rotterdamn. I think the best thing for Andy M, however, is get right at it and put the rest behind him at the moment. Hopefully, in time, he will find the right coach margot. Am all for sacking curse-man. : / Djoko can relax a bit until Dubai. Very happy with his performance, and thanks to everyone for the kind words, Kimberly, blank, blah, huh, etc. Lots of ups and downs and growing pains since he broke through in 2007, but it does some like something has clicked for him, and his maturity shows to me. Much calmer on and off court, much more considered in his comments, yet still fun loving, kind, imo. Somehow, whatever switch he found in his head (per interview) that he turned on, or off, it has made an clear difference.


jane Says:

“seem” like something has clicked, not “some”

Also Kimberly, nice summing up list! Me like! Cheers again for getting us all on the bracket. Have to go check how I ended up. It is especially fun for the early rounds somehow.


WTF Says:

Murray has some kind of mental block when it comes to finals. 0 sets won in 3 finals, against guys he would have fancied his chances against. He is capable of playing better than this, and had it not been a final, dare I say it, he probably would have beaten Djokovic.

Djokovic deserves full credit however. I’ve learned quite a bit from watching this match. Previously I thought Murray was one of the best defenders in the game — very fast and gets everything back. Djoker’s defensive abilities are impeccable and might be even better. And his defensive lobs are the best I’ve seen. Hardest shot to land and not once do I recall him missing one, or any landing short. His return of serve is also among the best in the business.

The only weakness in his game is physical conditioning in the heat. But he was helped by a miraculous change in weather — it dropped from a blistering 38C to a comfortable 28C in the space of 10 minutes and the roof had been closed the whole day so the court temperature remained cool. The night session was absolutely not in Murray’s favor. Murray practices in Florida and goes to Australia early to acclimate himself to the heat, hoping to be able to withstand the taxing Melbourne summer conditions better than his opponents, but it didn’t help this day.

Murray’s too good to never win a slam though. He’ll be back. He has a duck to break and will not break it until he gets a pushover opponent who flukes his way to a final like Rainer Schuttler and Arnaud Clement did for Agassi. And also David Nalbandian at Wimbledon.

Congratulations to Novak who is now a dual grand slam winner. Murray has a lot of soul searching to do now. The only thing worse than being a “one slam wonder” is being the “best player to have not won a slam”. He’s been hyped for many years, and even Del Potro beat him to a slam. At Murray’s age, Nadal had already claimed 6 slams on 3 surfaces.

But who knows. Perhaps he’ll put it together at some point. Agassi lost his first 3 finals before he won 8 and completed a career slam. I hope he does because until then it’s difficult to consider him as part of an “elite 4″ when he is missing a key piece of silverware.


contador Says:

Kimberly- great list. i would add:

22) big disappointments, especially to my bracket, davydenko : ( will hw come back?
23) nalbanian don’t give up. get fit
24) get healthy baghdatis and robin haase
25) best wishes to delpo. i still love you, man.
26) simon is stronger than ever. allez frenchies
27) i read on the chat from a latvian fan that gulbis was devastated by his loss. maybe that’s a good thing.

mostly….Duro, jane, sar, stu, nina…all djokovic fans: you man played monster tennis….rolled federer and murray and after watching him beat federer, i believe he would have redeemed himself from us open loss with a win over nadal. he had the killer instinct i was afraid he wouldn’t.

he’s grown up, he’s a class act and the question is no longer: will he be #1 but when. ajde nole!!

to murray fans…i feel your pain. murray can still beat ANYONE on hc in the masters 1000. maybe he can win wimbledon? definitely he could win us open or ao. obviously, he has to figure out the key to bringing his best and confident tennis to a GS final. making a GS final is huge in itself but i doubt a talented player like murray that will be enough. i think he’ll rally. he didn’t lose to federer or nadal…he lost to his buddy nole. so hoping he doesn’t go awol after this loss. c’mon get right back on and fight andy murray!


WTF Says:

Those exos with Nadal, Fed, Serena, and Sharapova are fund raisers for charity. Come on. It’s not attention seeking whoring. They’re doing something good.

“This tennis exhibition will benefit each of the four athletes’ charitable foundations and will be hosted at the University of Oregon’s new facility.”

I guess you guys only want to see the sport be played for personal glory and achievement, and not for humantarian aid.


jane Says:

Hey just thinking that Nole didn’t seem to have any family there and nor his girlfriend. Just focused on the tennis. Even his photo in the locker room – just him sitting with his trophy knee taped (noticed shoulder was taped too when he threw shirt to fans), grinning exhuberantly. This is worlds apart from his earlier slam win locker room photo. He really has evolved.


stu Says:

yeah, thanks for the bracket Kimberly…i couldn’t be happier that i’m not even close to winning :)


Dan Martin Says:

Also, that exho was announced by Nike as far as I could tell. Nike is smart to announce then as tennis is getting a lot of press today, but won’t again until May.

čestitka to Novak!


stu Says:

those photos remind me so much of his AO2008 photos, jane (the champagne, the locker-room celebration, kissing the trophy by the melbourne sign on the court). is it possible that he seems even happier?

man srdjan’s brother looks just like him!


jane Says:

Maybe I saw different ones stu. Is his family there? Were they in the locker room? I didn’t see them. I just saw the shot of Nole with the trophy.


contador Says:

just listening to the winners and runner up speeches again on ESPN2.

well done in a tough moment Andy Murray.

novak, your tennis gave me a thrill….esp. those cartwheel 1st serve returns. in most cases those murray serves would have been unreturnable. best returner in the atp? i think so. also aggressive and took command of GS final.

loved your winners speech NOLE! thankyou for having the presence of mind to remember flood victims. great heart. he’ll be a super #1, if he can wrest another slam or maybe 2 from nadal, federer, and murray. not an easy task.


stu Says:

the photos on Novak’s website. not much family, just “the best team in the world” and his uncle…


Duro Says:

Dan Martin, you’re the man! Bravo and thank you.


Dory Says:

Very mature interview. Repeating the success he got only once before at Slams would do wonders to his confidence, motivation and mental strength. Hope his wins come closer to 9 and 16. :P


jane Says:

Nice job Judy Murray:

“… Judy, who last year had to console a tearful Murray after his defeat by Roger Federer in the final, found the time to send a nice note via Twitter to Djokovic – “Well done Nole. So solid. Great ambassador for tennis”.


skeezerweezer Says:

@WTF

For me it’s not that, but always a Fedal? I am not one to go boo hooin Charitable events, that is awesome, but can the tennis stars mix it up a little? I really enjoyed the impromptu thing for the Aussie floods they did, if anyone saw it, it was a a lot of goofy fun and me for one would have liked to have been there. Mix it up..Doubs, Mixed, make some fun out it since it doesn’t count anyways? Maybe that is what this exho will have in it with the women playing?
Maybe I am actin lame about it…and maybe we should all be thankful they do it at all……but just sayin..


skeezerweezer Says:

contador

“The list”

And why was Gulbis 27. 27….on your list? :-)

@Dan

I don’t know what “čestitka” means but knowing that Novak just won it’s probably good :).

So what do you think Novak and Ana are doing tonight? :)Dinner perhaps?


Dan Martin Says:

congratulations in Serbian or at least that is what the translator I found via google says congratulations is in Serbian


Nina Says:

jane Says: Hey just thinking that Nole didn’t seem to have any family there and nor his girlfriend. Just focused on the tennis. Even his photo in the locker room – just him sitting with his trophy knee taped (noticed shoulder was taped too when he threw shirt to fans), grinning exhuberantly. This is worlds apart from his earlier slam win locker room photo. He really has evolved.

In a way, Jane, it felt slightly anti-climatic the whole thing. Being his buddy Andy on the other side and they way he had played, Novak didn’t do much celebration after the match. I felt some excitement was missing. I’m not saying that he didn’t feel joyful but he celebrated just like any regular day at the office. I think he did it out of respect to Andy and because the match was not tight or contested. It was anti-climatic somehow. And not seeing his family cheering for him or even his girlfriend made me a little bit sad because I’m sure they would have loved to be there in that moment and hug him. I don’t know why they didn’t come. Maybe Nole didn’t want them there? Who knows…


jane Says:

Nina, to me it seemed a little more business-like on Nole’s end. He didn’t allow cameras/journalists to watch his warm-up; he didn’t have his family or girlfriend there, just his team (though who knows what the reasons were for this, could have been personal; i noticed Andy’s girlfriend wasn’t there either); he didn’t over-celebrate out of respect for AndyM (that’s what he said in his interview); he was just focused on the tennis. That to me signals a more mature side to Nole. He also talked about working out personal life things and professional things. Maybe the two don’t mix well for him, while other players don’t have a problem with it. Either way, still very happy for his win.


dAri Says:

Awesome, scary tennis from novak. Look out top 5! Awesome attitude, awesome speech.
Kimberly- is what we see on the bracket the final standings?! Dint get the afternoon email from tourney topic today. Thabks for the fun with the bracket!
Ps, I also posted a link about that Nike exho with the caveat to check it out after the real tennis was played. Sure, we have been full of fedal exhos lately, but this one has Maria and SERENA. It’s more of a serena watch thing than a fedal thing.
IT DOES NOT TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM THE TENNIS AT HAND.
Way to go, novak.


dAri Says:

Also, did you guys see/hear the commentary about only 4 active players holding 2+ majors- fedal, Hewitt, Djoko? What a slim club. Shows how tough the tennis climate has been considering that hewitts last was… what, before roger’s first?
All the more Congrats to nole.


stu Says:

Nole needs to win a lot more majors to make up for all the what-ifs of the past few years –

What if -
he had won one of seven set points against TMF at USO 07
he had not been booed off court at USO 08
court temperatures had not reached record highs at AO 09
he was less deferential to Safin at Wimb 08 and Fed at USO 09
he held on to his two-set-and-a-break lead against Melzer at FO 10
he met Rafa more at HC Slams and Roger more at the French

Sigh, new Nole. No. More. Excuses.


sheila Says:

djokovic overpowered & outplayed federer in the semis, but murray came DOA to finals. this guy has a gr8 game but so passive. i think djokovic is the most dangerous threat to nadal, but until djokovic wins nadal in a slam best of 5, imo nadal is still the guy 2beat. my guy is federer and always will be but lets face it, hes 6yrs older than most of these players & doesnt have the consistency he once had. i hope wimbledon will be #17 for him. with his variety, grass suits his game as it does murrays. djokovic being mentally stronger w/this 2nd major win should mean he’ll play more consistent than when he won his 1st major. i still think nadal is the guy 2beat in majors & until ic that, djokovic et al will not be #1 anytime soon.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@shiela,

What if Fed was 6 yrs younger now? That would be fun :-)


jane Says:

That 39 stroke rally in set one that set up “set” point for Djoko was great! Offense to defense, back and forth, over and over, until finally it was won. Crowd loved it. Really seemed to take it out of Murray for a while though, and swung momentum.

stu, who knows if any of those “what ifs” would’ve changed the outcomes though? I guess what matters is what he does from now on and also his 2 slams. Every player has a lot of what ifs. Not much you can do about it. :)


stu Says:

yeah, jane that’s exactly my point. if he truly has developed a champion’s mentality, which i think he has, these things won’t get to him anymore. no more narrow misses. how great would that be!


contador Says:

skeezerweezer -

well…#27 is not of much interest except to me, i imagine. had to mention him anyway.

for me it’s like “where’s waldo.” i gotta find EG after he went out in that semi in sydney and 1st round AO. i fear atp losing an interesting character and a huge talent. as we know he could disappear cos he doesn’t need to play tennis. who knows. hoping these loses get him to work harder. c;mon Gulbis in 2011!

the latvian tennis aficionado on fromsport chat told me the losing the semi in sydney really had him down….then lost motivation for AO. but the good news is that he’ll be in rotterdam! : )

don’t give up Ernests!

also get info on nastjia sevastova, dolgo and berankis from same source. berankis will be in san jose. berankis works very hard, apparently.

now to go find where dimitrov is playing. challengers, qualifiers….?? can’t find him so far.


stu Says:

the more i think about it (while watching the match live i was focused on Muzz), the more i appreciate how well djokovic played. muzz wasn’t coming into the net because djokovic was passing him effortlessly. SIX perfect on-the-line lobs, i counted, that i thought were luck but were probably all by design. brilliant DTL backhands and forehands, positioning and movement. maybe he should play rotterdam so as to not lose this momentum!


Skeezerweezer Says:

contador

I just thought knowing u and Gulbis you would have him #1 on your list :). And why not? :)

Where’s Waldo, lol!


Pat Leser Says:

We could see the new level of fitness required of top players last year with the Nadal/Verdasco match. The best players had to see that and step it up. I believe Nole did that more than Andy has, as seen by his incredible retrieving and when he took his shirt off and showed his six-pack – if you got it, show it! haha Someone, maybe Nole, is gonna be ripped and add whole-body equivalent muscle as Nadal’s left arm and take the game up another level.


Kimberly Says:

Watchingnthe replay on espn. Poor Murray. The British tabloids are already roasting him. Not a Murray fan to put it mildly, kind of feel for the guy.


jane Says:

Kimberly, I hope Murray ignores all that crap.


Kimberly Says:

The British press can be brutal. Makes tennis x posters look kind. Andy should be above it, but I imagine it’s easier said than done.


Kimmi Says:

contador – on the other thread i sent you a link re: dimitrov. maybe you didnt see it. look at the last comment.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2011-01-30/6260.php


WTF Says:

skeezerweezer Says:

“@WTF

For me it’s not that, but always a Fedal? I am not one to go boo hooin Charitable events, that is awesome, but can the tennis stars mix it up a little? I really enjoyed the impromptu thing for the Aussie floods they did, if anyone saw it, it was a a lot of goofy fun and me for one would have liked to have been there. Mix it up..Doubs, Mixed, make some fun out it since it doesn’t count anyways? Maybe that is what this exho will have in it with the women playing?
Maybe I am actin lame about it…and maybe we should all be thankful they do it at all……but just sayin..”

Those players weren’t picked only for their drawing power, but also the fact that they run charity organizations of their own… As far as I know, Murray and Djokovic don’t have their own charity group. Fed, Nadal, Sharapova and Serena do. Nike just organized the whole thing to get them all together, because it probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise, unless big tragic stuff happens.


WTF Says:

dAri Says:

“Also, did you guys see/hear the commentary about only 4 active players holding 2+ majors- fedal, Hewitt, Djoko? What a slim club. Shows how tough the tennis climate has been considering that hewitts last was… what, before roger’s first?
All the more Congrats to nole.”

Hewitt was a guy who came between two generations of tennis (Sampras and Federer) and collected some spoils along the way when they were left on the table. He is the same age as Federer, but Federer was a late bloomer relatively speaking, thus Hewitt’s ability to get the better of Fed early on. Once Fed ‘got it together’, Hewitt didn’t stand a chance, because he just isn’t of the same caliber so his days of winning slams were over.

Hewitt has only won two Masters 1000 titles, both at Indian Wells. Pretty hard to believe.

Hewitt’s last slam was Wimbledon 2002 at age 21. The real explanation is that Federer is just extraordinary and more of an outlier than the norm. If he (and Nadal) wasn’t around this generation there would be a lot more multi-slam owners than there are today.


Huh Says:

Let me say something:

I was loving the forehand winners of Nole, they were so good, so perfectly executed, skillfully hit. Felt Fed-like at times. No force to hit winner by Nole, but just technique and tennis talent. Loved Nole’s winners. And his court coverage was the best I’d ever seen from him in a long long time. It was Fedal like court-coverage, amazing n brilliant to say d least! That’s how tennis is played. Great Job by Nole. :D


Thomas Says:

This was a fantastic win for Nole. Murray ran into a buzz saw yesterday. Djokovic would’ve likely beaten anyone in the world today. The problem with Murray is this. He’s a reactive player, he lives off of forcing errors from opponents primarily. That kind “put the squeeze on ‘em” game works great in one week events. That’s why he’s won a lot of titles. Best of 3, plus it’s easier to catch the top guys off their best at smaller events. Murray will continue to reach Slam SF and F’s. But when the rubber meets the road, his games is still predicated off of what the opponent is doing. If the opponent comes out in very good form, and forcing the issue…in tennis, 95% of the time good offense beats good defense. Every Slam SF and F loss Murray has had has been because the opponent upped his level and basically hit him off of the court. That’s why I went with Djokovic this time. and I wasn’t shocked when he executed and dominated. Well, maybe the scoreline was more than I expected, but the outcome wasn’t shocking. Great offense beats great defense. That’s why as fast, and solid, and accurate ball strikers as guys like Chang, Hewitt, and Mercir were…they didn’t win a lot of Majors. At the end of the big events, there is usually a very good offensive player who is bringing his “A” game. This was an excellent win for NOle. His down the line shots were awesome yesterday, and his movement on hard courts is THE best in the world right now.


grendel Says:

Great post, Thomas, but just for the record, Mecir didn’t win any slams. We still remember him, though, as a quite unique player. Santoro, too, will always be remembered – well, everyone without exception will get

So I don’t think we have to be TOO fixated on slams. Tennis throws up all sorts of strange and interesting characters, and these people, few of whom ever win slams, are the life blood of tennis. Even if Murray never wins a slam, he has a solid foothold in the history of tennis as a man with a uniquely interesting game.


grendel Says:

“-well, everyone without exception will get forgotten in due course, but you know what I mean.”

That’s what I wrote. Some gremlin in cyberspace decided to censor it – wonder why, course you never know with gremlins, inscrutable creatures.


Nina Says:

Great post Grendel, I agree.
With Thomas and Huh too. :)))


Seth Says:

As a Fed fan, I have to say I’m slightly down about the way the tournament ended for him, but that aside, all congratulations to Novak. He played like he’s the best player in the world and sustained it throughout the championships.

And with Federer’s inevitable slow decline underway, I’m finding Nole’s a player I can cheer on more and more.


Nina Says:

Good for you Seth, but I believe Federer will give us more surprises in the future.


Rick Says:

So happy! Federer didn’t not making finals in the Grand Slams these days. I am expecting Djokovic continues to dominate Federer like Nadal does to him. And I am expecting Djokovic or Murray to be in the final of US Open. So the new era of tennis is here! Love it!


Rick Says:

Grand slams are pretty difficult to win these days. Unlike the days when Federer was winning his slams from Roddick. Now there are multiple slams winners like Nadal and Djokovic. And Federer has been losing to young lions like Djokovic, Nadal and Djkovic. Well, I don’t think that he could wins his slams again. Except he is running into guys like Roddick, Soderling, Ferrer or Davydenko in the finals.


Polo Says:

Nina said, “…I believe Federer will give us more surprises in the future.”

I agree. It used to be that Federer losing in a major was the surprise. Now, Federer winning a major will be the surprise.


Rick Says:

That’s what I wanted to say too, Polo! And haven’t you noticed that, whenever he get beaten in the slams. That player is in the final. So I don’t buy the declining bullshits. Players are getting better these days. Especially the upcoming new players! Federer choked against Djokovic these days. Because Djokovic is in my mind like Nadal is.


Huh Says:

These so-called young lions of yours are already looking old in tennis terms sweetie.


Rick Says:

Huh? They are lions now! And they are chewing up on Federer now!


Rick Says:

I was calling them the young lions. Because I don’t want to give any disrespect to Federer. With your description, you are calling Federer a grandpa of tennis! lol


Swiss Maestro Says:

young lions really? not humans? i hope at some stage these animals will evolve into humans and definitely this pR!ck has to evolve into a human being, i think he has started off from a cell that started multiplying like a million yrs late.
he must be in some chimp kind of stage right now.

talking of chimps, what is the name of that chimp MJ had as a pet. Don’t tell me it is Rick! LOL


Swiss Maestro Says:

Only guy who must be disappointed with AO should be rafa. He was lucky djokovic played like a joker in the USopen final. If djokovic was any more sensible, rafa nadal wouldn’t have had a USopen right now.

Federer has nothing to fear. he’s sitting happily with 16GS, 5yr end no.1s, 22 GS finals, and i can list out gazillion more stats which must be looking farther away from nadal right now. let delpotro catch up to speed, nadal and his pR!CKs will be even more miserable then.

Go Young Lions ;) kill grandma nadal!


Swiss Maestro Says:

Slams are easy winning from roddick? really? didn’t djokovic have his behind handed to him on a platter for a while there? and murray losing in 2009 wimbledon semis?

and nadal? cannot forget his “mommy please take me away from miami look” in the 2010 miami semi-final.

these young lions have a lot to learn from roddick’s work ethics and never say die efforts.


jane Says:

“If djokovic was any more sensible, rafa nadal wouldn’t have had a USopen right now.”

As we know, Rafa is not easy to beat, perhaps especially in grand slam finals. He was playing lights out at the USO. You may disagree, of course, but I don’t know if even Fed could’ve beaten Rafa in that final! Maybe…

One caveat to add: at the USO Nole’s serve was not all the way back (like it is now, i.e., he can win easy points off it, and his second serve is highly reliable), so he had to stave off break points throughout that match, whereas Rafa’s serving was, in some ways, the story of the tournament. Nole could create only 4 break chances the entire match and Nole is one of the best returners in the ATP – usually he creates more chances than that, against even great servers. But Rafa’s “new” serve was a puzzle.

Not sure what this has or had to do with being “sensible” though. Nole fought hard to get to that final, and he played hard for at least the first 3 sets, perhaps capitulating in the fourth. But it was his serve, in my opinion, that let him down more than anything. He faced twenty-five break points, staving off twenty of them! That shows he was fighting, but the pressure on his serve was ultimately too much. It wasn’t until DC that he was serving with reliability. I watch him pretty closely: that’s my tale of the tapes w.r.t. the USO final anyhow.


Swiss Maestro Says:

jane:

djokovic wasn’t sensible in two ways. he broke out on the scene 3yrs ago and in a way, he has not really done any progress. the things i hear now, are what i heard and saw 3 years ago. that is a big waste of talent and opportunity.

secondly, he started the final of USO casually and with not much purpose. watching the match, he was not into the 1st set as he should have been. looking at the stats you mentioned, i agree rafa’s serve was too much for novak to deal with, so i guess there was not much novak could do when his own serve was not there.

i have no idea whether novak has become more sensible now or this was just another golden run like 2008 AO. as rafa says, we gonna see.

as i said, we have seen this movie before. novak has been at this point before. we will have to see, if he can step it up.


Swiss Maestro Says:

jane:

djokovic wasn’t sensible in two ways. he broke out on the scene 3yrs ago and in a way, he has not really done any progress. the things i hear now, are what i heard and saw 3 years ago. that is a big waste of talent and opportunity.

secondly, he started the final of USO casually and with not much purpose. watching the match, he was not into the 1st set as he should have been. looking at the stats you mentioned, i agree rafa’s serve was too much for novak to deal with, so i guess there was not much novak could do when his own serve was not there.

i have no idea whether novak has become more sensible now or this was just another golden run like 2008 AO. as rafa says, we gonna see.
as i said, we have seen this movie before. novak has been at this point before. we will have to see, if he can step it up.


jane Says:

Oh okay SM, but I thought you were talking specifically about the USO final.

Re first way: I tend to agree with you that Nole was stuck for a while after he won his first slam, for sure; I think most would agree. However, I do think he lacked maturity when he first broke through, at 20 years old, and he’s kind of been through a “school of hard knocks” since then, so maybe he’s more ready now than he was in 2008, growing pains hopefully over. (All players mature differently, and have different support systems; Rafa obviously handled things really well at a young age for example). Fingers crossed anyhow.

Re: second way, more specific to the final – well, Nole does sometimes start slow, and I am happy to say that is one mistake he DID NOT make in any of his AO matches; he came out of the blocks versus Berdy, Fed and Murray with one purpose – to win.

I don’t know what will happen next either, but gotta say – I hope he keeps this momentum rolling this time. I am somewhat optimistic because he is older and he’s learned some things, the hard way. Hopefully that takes him somewhere. :)


Polo Says:

I am looking forward to Djokovic’s next tournament to see if the maturity and single-mindedness which he displayed at the Australian Open is what he is now and not a sporadic case of lucidity.


steve-o Says:

I don’t think it has much to do with maturity, or lack of effort on Djokovic’s part. It has to do with the simple fact that sustaining the level of consistency needed to win and go deep into big tournaments, day in and day out, is really bloody hard.

The standard that Federer has set–23 consecutive Grand Slam semis, 10 straight finals, and 18 of 19 finals–is unparalleled. For over five years to make every major semifinal, and for five years to make all but one major final–that’s crazy.

If you take a look at the careers of Sampras and Agassi, they have periods of early losses at the majors. And those guys are on anyone’s shortlist of the best to ever play the game. But Federer blows both of them out of the water when it comes to consistency.

To expect other players to come close to that level is asking far too much. Part of what makes Federer remarkable is that he makes the achievement of that level seem effortless. But that also makes people think that others can easily replicate it, when that is not the case.

It’s like Excalibur–Arthur comes along and pulls the sword out of the stone and it looks so easy. Then everyone else tries and they find it’s impossible.

Only Nadal has been able to come close. But he can’t seem to sustain it for more than a year or so; he has a letdown.

The last time he simultaneously held three of the four majors he went out early at FO and went into a slump where he didn’t win a title of any kind for a year.

Only Federer has been able to win multiple majors year in, year out, and stay at the top, without letup.

In Sampras’ day one major a year was enough to get you the year-end #1 ranking, along with some good showings at other tournaments. In the era of Federer, you can win one major and perform well in other tournaments, and end the year at #3.

That’s how competitive it’s become, and largely because of the bar Federer’s set.

So if Djokovic doesn’t win any more majors this year, I wouldn’t be too hard on him. It’s not because he’s not trying, or because he’s immature. It’s because he’s being judged by impossibly demanding standards.


jane Says:

steve-o: good argument. I think you make a strong case for guys like Nole and Murray who have been struggling against those standards, even Roddick too, who has reached a number of finals but has always run into Fed.

Still, I do think Nole made some poor choices, which were perhaps a sign of his age/environment, and which he seems to have resolved. For example, the poorly timed racquet change; the fiasco at the USO in 08; the health/breathing issues, which he has now found a doctor to help him with, etc. Perhaps if he hadn’t run into those roadblocks or made those choices he wouldn’t've had to wait so long between slams. Maybe he still would have, for the reasons you list: i.e. Fed & Rafa being the ones to maintain unreal consistency. In fact, I believe no other player has finished number 3 for as many years in a row (07, 08, 09, 10) as Nole has now – which suggests he, too, has been rather consistent. Also I read a really interesting point about him the other day, which speaks loads: he played at least half of last year without a decent first serve and was putting in as many or more doubles as aces, and yet he STILL finished number 3! Says a lot about his return game and the rest. Otherwise he would have likely dropped a spot or two.

While I like that you’re cutting Nole some slack, steve-o, I hope he doesn’t cut himself any, and that he keeps his compete level up, esp. at the slams. Murray too.


steve-o Says:

Jane, I’m not cutting Djokovic any slack. I believe he is trying his best, but expecting him to match Federer’s standard is really asking an incredible amount.

It’s not just a question of being focused and mentally tough and hard-working. There are physical limitations that come into play. Plus the difficulties of adjusting to different surfaces.

Federer’s game is uber-efficient: his biomechanics are virtually flawless and he anticipates extraordinarily well, so he doesn’t have to do quite as much running. He has so many options at his command that he can often find a way past his opponents even when his usual game is off.

He can use his variation to outplay his opponents without having to expend energy in overpowering them. Instead of serving bombs, he can utilize placement and spin to get aces and unreturnables. He can tie up stronger opponents with a mix of spins and paces and prevent them from using their power. He can come to net and use drop shots to shorten the points.

All this contributes to his ability to maintain a very high level of play over a long period of time and on all surfaces.

You can’t expect others, even a great player like Djokovic, to be able to do all that. It’s not because they don’t try or work hard–they’re busting their asses out there. But they don’t have those resources, nor Federer’s uncanny ability to deploy them at exactly the right times.

Nadal can do so well throughout the year and on all surfaces because he appears to have reserves of stamina and strength that are essentially unlimited. If anyone else tried to play the way he does in Grand Slams–giving 100% effort on every point–they’d be dead on their feet after the first couple of rounds.

But even he can’t keep it up year-in, year-out, because his game depends so much on his being at absolute peak condition physically. He’ll just have that one bad day against a good player, and then there’s not much he can do except hope they tire before he does. He got a little lucky at Wimbledon last year: he had two bad days, but Haase and Petzschner were not quite good enough to capitalize. Ferrer was.

Again it is not reasonable to expect Djokovic to develop that kind of strength and endurance.

Djokovic’s health issues may not be gone. The weather at AO was unusually cool and wet and I think that helped him quite a bit. In the past he’s had problems with the heat and constantly changing weather, but this year the weather was much more forgiving of his constitution.

His strength is in power ball-striking, not endurance. It’s a lot better for him to play short matches; each time he won AO, he lost only one set along the way and never had to play a five-setter.

At other tournaments the weather could again affect him adversely, he seems to be sensitive to the ambient conditions, and that’s just something he has to deal with.

He could do really well this year and end #2 maybe, but it would take a lot.


skeezerweezer Says:

Steve-o

I have tried to be reserved to other posters opinion on your posts but in a all due respect. imo, you not only opininate but with solid reasoning..just my take. My only difference would be in your take on Novak’s health issues, as since USO and beyond. Taking that all into account, he is a “new man” of sorts, or, has “sorted it out”, as he has built a “balls to the wall” hit out magnamus technique, or “I hit balls now with no fear”, and “eat this groundie, sucker”. You have to admit, if he keeps this up, it is “scary” :)


jane Says:

True point about the weather/conditions at the AO being more favorable for Nole this year. He does have that new doctor,too, though, so maybe that’s working. Hoping so.


contemperory Says:

As everyone knows, during the 2010 post wimby period, Fed was in peak form and almost unbeatable. At the same time, we know that in 2011 Australian open, he was not in his peak form. Suddenly he is tagged as “vulnerable”, “beatable”, and all the talk of the “end of fed era” is a hot topic of discussion.
However what one doesn’t realize is that if Fed wins one Major this year, again media will come back to say ” the king is back”, blah blah blah. Ultimately it’s all decided by Media on who is playing well or not. People blindly follow what Media says without even thinking twice.
Again, if we take Nadal’s case, Nadal was a superman for 3 majors and now he has failed. Before this, he was almost a super man in 2008 and then he again was dormant in the second half of 2009.
There is a very high chance that the French-Wimby double is going to owned by Fedal in normal circumstances.
What has just concluded is one major and nothing more. Nothing can conclusively say that the Fedal era is over until others start beating them consistently in the majors. Just one failure is too early and idiotic to be judged. We don’t know if Djokovic can maintain his high standards, if Murray can start winning majors or if anyone else Soda/JMDP start winning big.

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Rankings
ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Marin Cilic8 Ana Ivanovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Caroline Wozniacki
10 Andy Murray10 Angelique Kerber
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