Novak Djokovic Becomes New No. 1 in Tennis After Reaching Wimbledon Final
by Staff | July 1st, 2011, 11:18 am
  • 237 Comments

Novak Djokovic made history today. Not only did the Serb advance to his first career Wimbledon final, but in doing so Djokovic is guaranteed of the ATP No. 1 ranking on Monday.

Playing composed, efficient for much of the three hour affair, Djokovic ended the run of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Wimbledon semifinals today 76(4), 62, 67(9), 63 .

But things took a harrowing turn just as Djokovic closed in on the win. Djokovic led by a break 4-3 but was broken. Then Djokovic scraped another break to serve for the match at 6-5 but again was denied.

In a tense tiebreak, Tsonga saved two match points on his serve at 5-6 with an easy overhead put away and another at 7-8 with an ace.

Could Tsonga, who overcome a two set deficit to Roger Federer a round earlier, do it again? He couldn’t.

Novak didn’t let his third set collapse deter him and remained focus. Djokovic raced out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth set to seal the match and the top ranking on a service return miss from Tsonga.

By reaching the final, Djokovic realized a life-long dream of becoming the No. 1 tennis player in the world.

“It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had on a tennis court – my dreams are coming true,” said Djokovic. “Hopefully more celebrations will come.”

Djokovic has won seven titles this season and will bid for an eighth against the winner of the Andy Murray-Rafael Nadal match to follow. Djokovic rise to the top position ends Nadal’s run of 56 straight weeks at No. 1, 102 weeks overall.

In the new July 4 ATP rankings on Monday, Djokovic will be No. 1, Nadal No. 2 and Federer No. 3. Djokovic becomes the 25th player to ranking No. 1 in the history of the rankings.

“It feels amazing,” said Djokovic. “When I finished the match I didn’t know how to show my emotions. I was really happy. This is one of those moments where you can’t describe it with the words. You remember all your career, all your childhood, everything you worked for, you know, that comes true now.

“It’s definitely one of the most important achievements and days in my life, in my career. We are all dedicated to this sport hundred per cent. When you know you’re going to be the best in the world and you’re reaching the finals of your favorite tournament, it’s something special.”


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237 Comments for Novak Djokovic Becomes New No. 1 in Tennis After Reaching Wimbledon Final

puckbandit Says:

Is there place to watch Murray-Nadal live in US? Streaming on-line or broadcast?

Anyone know?


margot Says:

Congratulations to Nole, the new No1 Wheeeeee!
jane, stu anna and all Nole’s fans….celebr8! :)


James Berg Says:

Tsonga was so much fun to watch! He made up for the sadness of not seeing Fed on grass in the semis.. Miss his beautiful tennis on a (fast) grass court. But Tsonga played with so much passion, he’s got a few new fans after wednesday and today!


pro rafa Says:

well done nole!!!! loved watching u battle tsonga in a tense semis…. coming back brilliantly in the first set after having conceded a break was superb
good luck for the finals :):)
hope rafa makes it to the finals now


Dan Martin Says:

I think Novak oddly will have less pressure on him in the final than he had in the semi. To twice be up a break in the 3rd set and twice have match point in terms of nearly achieving a life long goal, had to be nerve destroying. I think if he plays with hunger, but no pressure he has a great chance to become a Wimbledon champion.


jane Says:

This was on the other thread but belongs here.

July 1, 2011 = Nole @ #1!

The main thing for me is that it was one of Nole’s childhood ambitions to some day be the number one player in the world, and he did it. Even more, he had to squeeze, push and – at times -bludgeon his way in between two of the greatest players in tennis history to get there. I could care less how long he stays at number 1, although it would be nice if he could stay there for a little while. What matters is that he got there and who he’s had to surpass to get there. He started this season as number 3. He took number 2 from Fed at IW and number 1 here. That’s a lovely accomplishment for Nole and I am proud of him.


jane Says:

margot, woot! and now another nail-biting coming down the pipes.
Go Muzzzza!


margot Says:

jane, I’m literally shaking, hope Andy isn’t as nervous.
Last post till it’s all over, far too tense. Everybody who likes Andy please send positive vibes.
Come on!


Twocents Says:

Jane,

Your nails should look perfect :-)). And I’ll pop up a bottle today for a new no.1 who plays beautiful tennis — even our sky will have fireworks this weekend!

Great fight, Jo. Keep up your attacking tennis!


skeezerweezer Says:

borg? Ms Wade? Queen Mirka3? Nadalista? Hello anyone out there? Must be still busy posting stuff on Fed……Congrats Novak #1!!!!. Exciting stuff ;)

Congrats to Hard Core Nole fans, Duro, sar, stu, jane, dory, (Sorry if I missed anyone)


jane Says:

Nails Twocents? What nails? I guess I will be biting my fingers for the next match, lol. :)

margot, I understand. Not a peep for me during Nole’s match until the fat lady sang. Now, let’s hope for an encore.


kriket Says:

Novak – new World No.1, cheers!

Now, in order to be spotless he needs to win the Wimbledon title. Let’s hope he can manage to do that :)


Twocents Says:

Djok’s a well-deserved no.1. As my broken record sings: he never got enough credit for stopping Fed’s 10 slam final runs — on hard court no less.

margot, Murray will get you guys at least 1 WO even if it’s not in 2011. No worry!


dari Says:

Checkmark the vibes, margot.
Go Andy! all in!


Ben Wade Says:

Mrs.Skeezer

When the retards like you can post even after the drubbing Federer is getting for the last 2 or 3 years, we can be proudly be here with Rafa as he is still holding a minimum of two slams.


dari Says:

Awww just looked at pics of nole celebration- means so much. Gladly welcome him as a new #1 with all the terrific tennis he’s given us this year!
Nole!


Ben Wade Says:

Congrats to Nole as he has done fabulously to get to No.1.
Its quite a feat since the world no.2 is still holding three slams.


Twocents Says:

If I were Tim Phillip, chairman of AELTC, I’d ban any British journo’s to watch Murray matches, for the sanity of British tennis. Tim’s retired last year?


jane Says:

Ben Wade, Nole has won a slam and 4 masters this year (the most masters titles won in a year, ever, is 4, and Nole has already tied Fed and Rafa, the other two to do that), not to mention the fact that to this day Nole has lost but ONE match on the year!! He deserves this number one spot even if he loses tomorrow. This year, he has been the best player. Of course, Rafa had built up a nearly insurrmountable lead in points; it is astonishing that Nole managed to surrmount it! I hope that even though you are a Rafa fan you can appreciate the effort it took for Nole. Rafa is a very very very tough guy to beat! We all know it! :)


Ben Wade Says:

Mrs.Skeeze,
R u and ur hubby federer busy cheering for Murray to protect his legacy ??


Ben Wade Says:

jane,

My post is not a dif at Nole….infact its a whole hearted compliment.
Its such a difficult feat when the world number is still playing great and holding 3 slams.

If you remember last year Rafa got to no.1 quite easily just by winning one slam against an average player


dari Says:

Wade, you gotta give Murray a little credit that ppl aren’t just cheering for him as anti-nadalites.
Andy is a talented enough player to garner fans regardless of whatever is going on with Rafa


dari Says:

Andy was spanking the ball pretty good until that last error


jane Says:

I wasn’t sure Ben. Anyhow, nothing against Rafa. :) It’s just that Nole is my fave and Murray is my second fave. But Fed and Nadal are two of the greatest players ever to play, so it’s tough cheering for the two “underdogs” and also exciting to see one pull ahead in the race for a while.


dari Says:

Ridiculous shot from Rafa


Dan Martin Says:

I remember an interview with Jimmy Connors in a 1987 Tennis Magazine. It was during a slow time of the season and the writer got a look at his bare feet. Jimmy’s “good foot” was described by the writer as having bruised blackened skin under most of the toe nails. Jimmy described his “bad foot” as having bone spurs and shooting pain during his matches. In case we needed to hear more about hurt feet and the mileage that every grinder (Murray included) likely puts on their feet.


Humble Rafa Says:

My play no good, no?

Making careless mistakes.


Dan Martin Says:

Both guys look to be in form.


Duro Says:

I was exactly 6 months late after claiming: “Novak Djoković, the world number 1 in the world by the end of 2010″, but the destiny of the golden boy came through. He became what he was born for.

Congratulations Novak, to you, your family and your devoted tortured fans.

In the age of 24, in the era of the two GOATS, you became the world number 1 in tennis! Can it be bigger than that? No.

Super No1-vak, the pearl of the tennis game!

Thank you, dearest, dearest champion! God bless you for ever.

Skeez, thank you for your congrats. You’re a real fan and a friend.

Margot, you too.

Maxi, I know you are pleased.

Thank you all who congratulated.

No1-vak Djoković, the newly crowned king of tennis.

Cheers.


Humble Rafa Says:

Can anyone explain this crap what everyone is popping out…

At the age of 24…..

Who gives a heck? Whether he is 95 or 125. He is number 1 and well deserved. The age non sense is getting under my skin.

Rafa is 25. You need put your “24″ in perspective.

congratulations to the new no. 1


Humble Rafa Says:

In the age of 2 GOAT…one GOAT is about 30 years old and hasn’t won a grand slam in 2 years. Funny, how people fudge facts to make their guy look good.

You could atleast say, a number 1 who doesn’t pick his butt.


Jimbo Jones Says:

Ndal the career spin server suddenly starts popping in the high 120′s at 75% on first serves. Did he get some gama radiation from Bruce Banner last night?


Ben Wade Says:

dari,

who were you cheering for at the 2010 AO final ?


Humble Rafa Says:

After I “recovered from a broken bone in my foot” in 12 hours, I practiced some big serves.


Dory Says:

Anyone thinks Nadal is playing a hundred times better at Wimbledon than Roland Garros?


marrisv Says:

@Dory i do… I think he plays his best tennis at Wimbledon every year. RG – He plays a dfensive game barring 2008 where he was dominant at RG


Duro Says:

Humble, I’ll explain it to you:

He still has years in front of him!

Now get it? Number 1 in the ideal age for it and the two GOATS still in the game! That’s an accomplishment in the age of 24.

Cheers.


Dory Says:

So far both are spectacular on serve.


Ben Wade Says:

Its a huge achievement when you consider the fact that he has taken the top spot from a player who is still playing absolutely great tennis holding three slams on three different surfaces.


marrisv Says:

here is murray’s chance 0-30


skeezerweezer Says:

Ms Wade,

Fed was holding 15 Slams while he was #1, forget about #2!!

BTW, kudos to you fo finally posting something that didn’t have to do with Fed, since your obssessed by him, you must also fear him, even in decline? I was wrong about you, kinda. ;)

Novak #1


EdgarCayce Says:

Congratultions No.1 Novak Djokovic! Love you, Nole!

Finally. A New No. 1, Hooooooooray!!


marrisv Says:

Murray 7-5


Dan Martin Says:

I think Nadal is playing better than he did in Paris, but he sort of has to. His vanilla game on clay is money vs. anyone not named Djokovic so why go for a lot when he was going to be able to ride his vanilla clay game to wins against all 7 people he faced. On grass, he can’t do that so he has to go for more and hence look better.


Jimbo Jones Says:

The foot will start hurting soon. Tape will need adjusting. Maybe he fears another loss to Nole.


skeezerweezer Says:

Didn’t Rafa just take a bathroom break? “Uh oh”


Ben Wade Says:

Mrs.Skeeze
Dont feel so insecure that I am talking about your dear hubby federer.
Btw how was Federer holding 15 slams then and Rafa 2 now ??
Can you explain that with your sparrow brain ??


kriket Says:

Murray is playing outstanding. Hitting the lines with great confidence. 1st set he totally outplayed Nadal. I fear Murray would be the greater challenge for Novak than Nadal. Same as it was in Rome or Madrid, can’t remember, where Murray took a set from Nole in the semi, whereas Nole won Nadal in straights in the final match.


margot Says:

Andy had to take the first set to have any chance…and he did! Come on!


Dan Martin Says:

I think Murray is one of the few guys who can win a running endurance match with Nadal. Rafa down a set after both guys put a lot of physical and mental energy into the first set has to make some choices that a less quick and fit opponent would not present to Rafa. Interesting and compelling tennis so far.


Ben Wade Says:

And Mrs.Skeezie….Federer says he is peaking….but u say he is in decline….u r way too funny….LOL


Jimbo Jones Says:

Nadal will perhaps become an artist and paint with his magic foot. Oh yeah, that already happened and was captured in the movie “My Left Foot.” So far Brave Heart > Don Quixote


Daniel Says:

Murray missed an easy ball that would have set him 15-40. Now it’s 2-2. H has to forget it pretty quick and keeps serving great and return great as He is 90% on returned serves.


Miki Says:

I agree Dan Martin. Murray often looks exhausted even in the beginning of the match, but we know better, it’s not fooling anyone, he is as fit as Nadal, he just doesn’t look that way on the court. I remember the first time I saw Nadal tired, leaned against his racket and trying to catch some air, and it was against Murray. If I remember correctly, it was a SF at US Open 2008.


EdgarCayce Says:

It’s already a happy day for tennis! Nole, Nole no.1!


Dan Martin Says:

Unbelievable from 15-30 forehand sitter to missing an overhead to prevent going down a break. Murray needs to have short term memory loss or this will impact the whole match for him. Rafa’s powers of concentration are off the charts. He has looked worried and edgy, but has only had a few misses. Murray has had two bad (BAD) misses that have changed the tide of the match.


margot Says:

Oh no, old Andy is back :(


Dan Martin Says:

I think for most players going against the world #1 and the defending champion, this turn of events would be very bad. Murray with the expectations of the Empire and the poor displays in 3 slam finals this could cause mental collapse. I hope he recovers his form as it was an excellent match.


Jimbo Jones Says:

Murray you need to find your inner Harry Potter and beat Lord Pickamort


Adam Says:

why cant i find this match live right now?????


andrea Says:

good for novak. someone else that is number #1 aside from nadal and fed for what…6 years? that’s worthy of a celebration.

ah, nadal just breaks murray in the third set….c’mon andy.

well, if novak beats nadal in the final that might be the worst crushing defeat for nadal this year.


Dan Martin Says:

Is there a mercy rule? This is crazy. I know in my head Murray is not out of it even if he loses this set, but good grief he has fallen off the rails.


kriket Says:

Shame that Murray is choking bigtime, he had the game in the 1st set, then he started rushing a little bit, losing his patience while Nadal improved his game. Now it is a one man show yet again.
Let’s hope Murray can get over himself mentally and come back into this match.


Dan Martin Says:

He has a great return game so this set is not out of reach yet, but wow biggest collapse I have seen in a semi in a long time.


jane Says:

Come on Murray, you guys are still one set a piece. You can come back.

BTW, here is the youtube video of the Nole-Tsonga incredible diving point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIlUq6IiWzA


Jimbo Jones Says:

Murray is making Groundskeeper Willie cry


Ben Wade Says:

It was Samprass-Henman then and now Rafa-Murray.


Dan Martin Says:

Ben good analogy – the tennis Murray played in the first set was maybe the highest standard anyone can produce in the world right now, but he can’t sustain it as of yet.


Dan Martin Says:

It is getting late early …


margot Says:

Match over. Andy being completely outplayed.
Congratulations to Rafa and all his fans :(


Ben Wade Says:

Rafa was playing way too many slices in the first set and got killed by Murray.
But now he is using the slices just as a change up and got back into the match.


jane Says:

Murray is too passive though. At least he could try harder to go toe-to-toe with Rafa in rallies. Rafa did raise up a gear or two, indeed, and Murray didn’t match him. If anything he dropped a gear lower, esp on the serve. He served so well set one.


jane Says:

Rafa is the obvious favorite to win the title, let’s face it. He has two Wimbledon titles, a Queens title, and It will be his fifth Wimbledon final. Nole has just today reached his FIRST grass final. Talk about a hurdle, lol.

I thought with Murray’s 2 Queens titles he would have a pretty good shot at the upset, but nope.


Dan Martin Says:

Murray needs one break to get the crowd into it again; still Nadal’s iron will deserves all the credit.


Dan Martin Says:

Was Nole ever a Halle runner-up (2009?)?


Dan Martin Says:

Nole was Queen’s runner-up in 2008 I think.


EdgarCayce Says:

C’mon Murray!


Dan Martin Says:

Business might be picking up – 2nd break point this game.


gonzalowski Says:

Yes!
Nadal maintains it

congrats to Nole. It would be great match against Rafa,on one side Rafa has proven more in grass, on the other, Djoko could be in his mind (and in his way of play)


Humble Rafa Says:

Not only my will is iron, my knees have some iron too. more iron on the way to my body!


jane Says:

Dan, Nole has been runner up at both Queens and Halle, and he won the Queens double title last year (partner’s name eludes me at the moment), but the key is experience. I just think Nadal has a lot more. FIVE finals to Nole’s first!!! Nole is the under-underdog, even though he has had an amazing year and earned the number one fair and square.


gonzalowski Says:

Humble,

Nadal comes to my city (Vitoria, Basque country) to “put iron” in his knees. I’m proud of it! :)
Moreover, it’s the clinic where I was born

He’s coming in a few days, again


Humble Rafa Says:

Thanks for that very useful information. Every little bit helps – iron, MTOs, butt picking, etc.


Humble Rafa Says:

Murray needs to improve his forehand. His current forehand belongs in the women’s game, not men’s. Just saying.

Also, please shave atleast every other day. It is the most basic qualification to be British (along with bad teeth).


Ben Wade Says:

Every little things hurts these FEDTARDS…iron, MTOs, butt picking, etc.
These fedtards really love Rafs’s butt.


Humble Rafa Says:

not FEDTARDS – Anybody but NADALTARDS


jane Says:

Congrats to Rafa for his fifth Wimbledon final.

Muzza, first set shows you something, that you are getting closer.

Here’s something Nole said re: reaching number one:

“It’s definitely one of the most important achievements and days in my life, in my career,” Djokovic told reporters. “We are all dedicated to this sport 100 percent. When you know you’re going to be the best in the world and you’re reaching the finals of your favorite tournament, it’s something special…Both [Nadal and Federer] are incredibly consistent with their success and so dominant the last couple years. They don’t give you a lot of chances to become No. 1. So I guess you need to lose only one match in seven months to get there. If you can do that, then well done…I think every child has a dream to become something in his life. We live for those dreams. We were going through some really difficult periods. You know, our country had wars and stuff. So it wasn’t easy to hold that desire and really believe in yourself. But I always did.”


Ben Wade Says:

My deepest condolenses to Federer, his fans, fedtards, specially Mrs.Skeezie
Let us hope Sunday brings dawn for us.


aleish17 Says:

Congrats to Novak for getting to the top.

Congrats to the new world #2!!! Congrats Rafa!!!


Dan Martin Says:

I think if Nole can show up with no let down it will be a great final. If he has a let down, it could be a drubbing. Nadal is iron willed and as you note Jane he has experience.


Ben Wade Says:

I think Murray will have his best chance to win his first slam in 2015 wimby when Rafa will go for his 18th and sixth at wimby.


dari Says:

Thought Murray had a chance, and he did for a while. Disappointed in how he faded after that missed fh.
Even though he was beating up one of my fave, I did enjoy nadal tennis today.
Haha, nice part in the middle of that quote
Yep, all it took was losing only one match in seven months
Easy as that ;)


Jimbo Jones Says:

I know why Murray declined. It was not nerves. It was ecoli from Rafa’s butt sweat on the tennis balls. Murray’s immune system went into overdrive early in the 2nd set.


Ben Wade Says:

Rafa is back to no.2 to extend his world record for the highest no of weeks at 2.


Dan Martin Says:

Murray showed he can only win as a front runner vs. the top guy. Had he gotten the early break in the 2nd set who knows, but he gave up a hold after the easy miss. He did not give up a break until he blew the overhead. Why should giving up a hold cause a player to fold? Murray’s forehand and mental toughness need work. Maybe a diet of rattlesnake egg omelets and spending time with Jimmy Connors would help.


gonzalowski Says:

London’s crowd much more polite than people from Paris


Humble Rafa Says:

Ben,

I would be happy to pass your condolences to my FEDTARD friends. So, what do you do for a living? Passing condolences to people….ha ha.

My knee is hurting. Need to rest. later.


Dan Martin Says:

London never quite got that Davis Cup environment going. Murray faltering at 7-5, 2-1 and 2-2 did not help the crowd.

PS – Jumbojones you are an idiot


EdgarCayce Says:

Best of luck to a new, refreshing no. 1 in tennis. May he win his 1st Wimbledon on Sunday as he so deserves! Novak Djkokovic FTW!


jane Says:

gonzalowski, I agree re: Wimbledon crowd.

dari, “Haha, nice part in the middle of that quote
Yep, all it took was losing only one match in seven months
Easy as that ;)”

No kidding hey dari? I know some people are going to say Nole doesn’t deserve number one if Rafa wins on Sunday, it is inevitable, but it’s not like he didn’t win a slam and almost eveything else in sight to get it! ;)


funches Says:

How could anyone think Nadal has any chance of drubbing Djokovic? Did those four consecutive victories (three relatively one-sided) in the finals of tournaments make no impression?

Djokovic is no lock, but tennis is all about matchups, and right now, Djokovic goes ahead on almost every point after the first shot (serve/return of serve) against Rafa. He also moves better than Murray. It won’t be as easy for Nadal to play as freely as he did in the second, third and fourth sets on Sunday.


Humble Rafa Says:

Tough to call who wins. Nadal has the experience and the will. Djoker is on a roll. Who knows?

There is one thing I do know. There is no way Djoker can defend all these points. Enjoy it while it lasts. If he loses 5 times next year, he would have had a year 5 times worse than the previous one.


nadalista Says:

skeezerweezer Says:
borg? Ms Wade? Queen Mirka3? Nadalista? Hello anyone out there? Must be still busy posting stuff on Fed……Congrats Novak #1!!!!. Exciting stuff ;)

Who the heck is Fed?………………Oh the guy who wasn’t good enough for the semis……

Sorry, I have better things to do….like watch el toro hand out a grass-court masterclass to poor Muzza…….

Love you, Muzza……….better luck next year.

Sunday…….true rivals meet in the final!!

Vamooooooossss!!!!!


jane Says:

But really. Who cares if he doesn’t defend all those points?! Not me. He is the only player on the planet to have broken through the Federer Nadal duopoly of seven and a half years in order to reach the summit of the ATP rankings. He had to go for it with total abandon, and he did it. Woot for that! :)


Ben Wade Says:

nadalista Says:

Sunday…….true rivals meet in the final!!

Vamooooooossss!!!!!

July 1st, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Yes….u r right….true rivals……not like 17-8.


newman Says:

Murray: “Rafa doesnt feign injuries, everyone dealing w/
something this stage of season. Hes
played max amount since clay season
started’

That’s what andy said when asked about rafa’s and his niggles…i’d rather believe him then some sour fans here who know nothing but bash rafa…and it’s a funny thing that only federer fans…not nole,andy,or del potro fans bash rafa….too worried for federer huh??

VAAAAMOS


Ben Wade Says:

They r just scared of the raging bull.


jane Says:

margot, commiserations. : / After set one, I really thought Muzza would do it. Nadal stepped it up a gear or two and got on a roll. He looked sad sitting on his chair waiting for Rafa so they could leave the court, made me sad seeing that.


jane Says:

They do all have niggling injuries this time of year, half way through the season. Nole has his knee taped, Nadal his foot shot up, Muzza his hip worked on, maybe something was up with Fed too. etc.

Was just thinking that the top four have dominated the slam finals: Rafa and Nole have been in two each, and Muzza and Fed have each been in one. Pretty amazing.


tfouto Says:

Will the #2 get the first against Djokovic this year after 0 sets won on his favourite surface?


tfouto Says:

*first win


WTF Says:

If Nadal finishes the year with 3 slams and still finishes no.2 to Djokovic with 1 slam, it would seem kinda weird and one might even question the legitimacy of his no.1.

It is of course a big assumption that Nadal can win 3 slams. I was speaking only hypothetically, as even if it did happen it seems very likely Djokovic would still remain no.1.


Humble Rafa Says:

I don’t have niggling injuries. My injuries are not the shy, inconsistent type. They show up with abandon while I am losing.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ms wad

8 – 17 = 16 slams for Fed, and only 1 bathroom break. Lol


Nikola Says:

How do people keep their “Nole will fall” crap? Face it he said the truth in the Serbian part of the inteview:

“Wheater people like it or not,a Serb is number one” – translated.


tfouto Says:

WTF:

Masters 1000 worth half of a GS, so this talk of legitimacy is just pointless.

How Djokovic might dont deserve this no.1? 1 loss this year, and 4-0 games against the no. 2.


jane Says:

Thank you tfouto. :)


tfouto Says:

you welcome Jane :)


jane Says:

I think one positive besides the obvious one for Nole is that he has gotten better at the net. I have really seen it this fortnight.


Kimberly Says:

Congrats to Novak for taking number one. More impressive since Nadal didn’t lose it, Novak took it. In this tournament and in general. Nadal still played like a top player, 1GS, (another GS final) 1 Masters, 1 500, 4 masters Finals. Since Australia he has played great. Only one guy is playing better. I see this as a accomplishment for Novak and not really as a loss for Nadal. The guy has lost one match in 7 months. If that is not taking number one i don’t know what it.

Congrats to Jane, Duro, Stu, Sar, Nina and all other big time Djoko fans who stayed with him (even after the FO Meltzer QF) thru thick and thin, wins and losses. You guys have earned the right to be proud.

HOWEVER, with love and respect for all of you, I hope my boy kicks his ass on Sunday! No 5 losses in a row!


Dan Martin Says:

I think if Novak can get into more return games than Murray did today he is at worst 50-50 on Sunday. If Nole comes in with a let down from getting to #1, Nadal can be crushing out there.


marrisv Says:

Congrats to Novak and Novak fans…. Great job to get to Number 1. He totally deserved it this year…

Very glad that Rafa came through after that first set. I hope it is a belter on Sunday and of course hope Rafa gets the win.


Daniel Says:

Murray’s return is overated! He return a lot of serves, but doesn’t have the Quality and deprh of Djoko and a few others. Several times he had second serve on His forehand and HD just aúnes midle center court. Nadal imediately webt for His forehands. Djoko and Fed attack Nadal’s BH way more From the return. Murray hardly misses by deprh. Djoko in the other hand overhit some returns, because He forces the opoonent in the back of the court. Nadal played All time ínsid of the court. I never was a fan of His Style but this match HD was awesome on grass. Topo several on the rise and didn’t conceed the base line. Even missed on the net due to flat strokes.

Djoko won’t allow him to play inside the court. But Djoko’s first serve is more returnable thaan Murray’s. Djoko has to serve above 60 to have a shot. To me is 52-48 in Djoko’s favor due to 4 wins. No one knows how Nadal will behave If the match start lookinh like last 2!


WTF Says:

Humble Rafa Says:

“I don’t have niggling injuries. My injuries are not the shy, inconsistent type. They show up with abandon while I am losing.”

They show up when he’s winning too. For example against Del Potro and Muller.

tfouto Says:

WTF:

“Masters 1000 worth half of a GS, so this talk of legitimacy is just pointless.

How Djokovic might dont deserve this no.1? 1 loss this year, and 4-0 games against the no. 2.”

I know how the rankings are calculated. Thanks. But remember when people questioned the legitimacy of the no.1 status of Safina, Jankovic, and Wozniacki? They didn’t win slams. Serena would win 2 or 3 slams and still not be no.1. And people find that odd. As far as I’m concerned, they got their ranking fair and square. It’s still an odd thing to see though.

It’s the same story here. Except for the fact that Nole DOES have a slam. But the no.2 has 3 of them in his rankings sheet. Ask anyone, ANYONE whether they’d rather have 3 slams vs 1, or be ranked 1 at the end of the year, and they will choose the former.

Again, I am being hypothetical. The (unlikely) scenario is that Rafa ends the year with 3 slams. Were this to happen it would still be very likely that he finishes no.2.

Yes, I know how the rankings are calculated. ATP1000 are worth half a slam. But maybe they should be weighted differently?


Humble Rafa Says:

Dear Fans,

Don’t worry about Sunday. You know, if we can’t win this Wimbledon thing legally, we can always resort to all kinds of gamesmanship.

Djoker, if you bounce the ball 32 times…well, I will take a MTO between your first and second serves. Just a warning.


jane Says:

LaRosa on whether Nole deserves number one: “Particularly if his inevitable coronation doesn’t come at the hands of his own win but because of a Nadal loss, it’s important to embrace what this man has done over the last six months.  He helped net Serbia its first ever Davis Cup title in 2010, and thanks to the fuse that lit he utterly dominated 2011, taking the Australian Open, Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Belgrade, Madrid and Rome. It took the very best of Roger Federer to stop Djokovic in Paris, and he’s right back in the semis of Wimbledon. The guy is 48-1 in 2011. One loss. One. Respecting that is respecting all the guys he took out along the way. I don’t know much, but I can tell you this: Rafa and Roger don’t lose to no chumps. ”

Source: http://m.tennischannel.com/mobile/news/NewsDetails.aspx?newsid=9250


Colin Says:

Well, Margot and other Murray fans, that’s all I can stand. He’s all yours. I love to watch him when he’s playing well, and unlike some folk I actually like the guy, but I am forced to the conclusion that he has some mental block that prevents him from sustaining his form throughout a really big match.
It’s just too painful to watch him missing shots he was making a few minutes earlier. Against ordinary players he can come back from these dips in form, but the top few won’t allow it. When, if ever, he does win a major, I’ll start watching him again, but until then I shall carefully avoid all his matches. Maybe I’ll watch Tomic!


Kimberly Says:

And Congrats to Rafa on making final #5 with a very tricky draw! (of course raonic and berdych no-showed) but Murray and Delpo worthy opponents. Awesome achievement, so proud!

Please don’t forget to vote for Rafa on ESPN as best male athlete even if you don’t like him it would be great for a tennis player to win it! And CERTAINLY don’t want heat slayer Dirk Nowitzki!


WTF Says:

Colin,

“I am forced to the conclusion that he has some mental block that prevents him from sustaining his form throughout a really big match.”

it’s not just Murray. His opponent lifted his game as well. Nadal made 7 unforced errors in total, and 4 of those were in the 1st set!

When Nadal hits 37-ish winners and 7 errors to go with it, there’s not much Murray could have done about it. If you look at the stats, Murray actually played well. He had more winners than errors. Most of the time that’s enough. Just not when your opponent’s winner to error ratio is +30.

He only had one look at a Nadal service game in the first set. I really don’t think that even if he maintained his level of play in the first set for the entire match it would have been enough to beat Nadal, because Nadal had other gears to raise to, as he showed in sets 2 and 3. I don’t think Murray could have played much better than he did in the 1st set, which wasn’t enough.

He was simply beaten by a better player (at least on this surface). At the US Open he has a better chance of beating Nadal.

Novak will need a good serving day, with a high first serve % because if Nadal keeps his +30 winners to errors, Nadal wins the title.


Kimberly Says:

poor murray going to get shredded by the media, again.


Lou Says:

I think Both rafa and nole played brilliantly today. But special praise should go to Nole for doing the unthinkable. He became the first player to become no after Federe/Nadal since Feb 2004. That needs some guts and awesome play.
Read a great article on his journey:
Novak Djokovic:New World No.1: How he joined the league of Federer/Nadal
http://healthnsports4u.blogspot.com/2011/07/novak-djokovicthe-new-world-no1.html


Colin Says:

Jane, Mr LaRosa means well, but I’m getting to the stage when I feel anyone who even uses the phrase “deserves No 1″ should be put against a wall and shot.
For the millionth time, a ranking is not a subjective opinion, like the score awarded by an ice-dancing judge. It is not any kind of statement of the player’s quality. It is simply an arithmetical result of the points the player has accumulated. So if anyone doesn’t like a ranking, they should attack the points system, not the ranking and certainly not the player.
Sheeesh!


WTF Says:

You’re right about that Colin. If a player wins 4 GS for 8000 points and doesn’t play anything else, he loses to someone who wins 7 ATP1000′s and 3 ATP500s in ranking. The second player needs even fewer titles to displace the GS winner if he gets decently far in the slams. But everyone knows who the real #1 is.

It’s still an extraordinary feat to go 7 months unbeaten. He has earned it through solid results. But like I said earlier, I’d be happy to be #2 if I win more slams than the guy at #1. Djokovic will bury the issue if he wins Wimbledon though.


Kimberly Says:

Nadal on Djokovic taking #1:

“Today I lost the No. 1. One guy played unbelievable the first half of the year so he’s the new No. 1,”, said Nadal. “We just can congratulate him because what he did this first part of the season is something really impressive, really fantastic. I am happy about how I did. I think in normal conditions I would be No. 1 or have a lot of chances to keep being the No. 1, because my results are really good the first part of the season, too. But one guy did unbelievable, and congratulations.”

Classy as always!


didi Says:

I heard on ESPN today that if Rafa wins the final he will the GOAT. Are you kidding. If he wins he is still behind Roger on GS by 5, Roger has won 5 end of year Masters Cup to Nadal zero, Roger 285 weeks at number one to Nadal 102. More GS won on various services while Nadal dominated clay. Not sure how anybody can say this who is thinking with a brain.


jane Says:

Colin, “It is not any kind of statement of the player’s quality. It is simply an arithmetical result of the points the player has accumulated.”

In my opinion, these two sentences contradict each other; a player can accumulate points only based on quality play resulting in wins, which, when playing in the Fedal era, has to be spectacular in order to accumulate the amount of points Nole has this year.

To my mind, this is different than Serena holding a number of slams while other women players held number one. The reasons are that a) those other women had never won slams at all (Nole has two now) and b) Serena hardly played during the rest of the year and rarely went deep at any other events, even Masters events, EXCEPT at the slams.

By contrast, Nole beat Rafa in four Masters finals this year, he beat Federer and Murray at the first slam, which he won, and he beat Fed on two other occasions, including the Dubai final. In addition, Rafa has actually played even more events than Nole has this year, as Nole pulled out of Monte Carlo and Queens.

So, it is a different situatuon than with the WTA.


jane Says:

But, having said all that, I said it then and stand by it now: those ladies earned number one by being consistent and playing well not only at slams but also throughout the season. I believe all of them (Safina, Woz and Jankovic? Was she number one?) had all been in at least one slam final too.

Anyhow, I done.

I think a better way to say it rather than saying Nole deserves number one is to say he earned it, through an incredible season. One loss up to the finals of Wimbledon.

Kimberly thanks for posting Rafa’s comment.


jane Says:

Typo *I’m (not, I done).


Cherry Says:

Congratulations to Djokovic for ranking no. 1. I am a bit sad for Nadal though. http://www.tennisround.com


skeezerweezer Says:

Kimberly,

Congrats on your fav getting to the finals. And you are right, no one should complain now about a “cupcake” draw for Rafa. He had one of his toughest draws he’s had in a long time at GS.


Miki Says:

WTF, there is something very wrong about the statistics this year regarding unforced errors. So I don’t believe Rafa had only 7 UEs. Statistics say that he had 3 UEs against Muller. Highly unlikely I say. And Roger had only 9 when he played Tsonga, which was a 5 set match. And I remember Djokovic making 2 unforced errors in the first game of the match, which were not labeled as UEs. I don’t buy that Rafa had only 7 unforced errors.


jane Says:

Here is an interesting analysis of Fed’s, Nole’s and Tsonga’s return games in their QF and SF matches. Fed fans might be interested in the key point – about clustering return points won to get the breaks.

http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2011/07/01/djokovics-many-happy-returns/


EdgarCayce Says:

Thrilled for Nole, Ole Ole Ole!! No. 1, AO Winner and 4-0 over Nadal in 2011 :p

GO NOLE! Win your 1st Wimbledon! You can do it!


grendel Says:

I think what Colin meant is that you can’t deserve a particular ranking place. You automatically earn it if you do such and such. And this applies to #1 or #250. Whether or not a player is a worthy #1 is then another matter, and naturally up for discussion. I think most people would agree that Djokovic is a worthy #1. He doesn’t bring the ranking system into disrepute.

I quoted in a post yesterday Murray’s opinion that he had to “believe”, and I expressed scepticism about such self-exhortations. If you look at Nadal, if you get a chance, when he’s not playing, what comes across is what an ordinary guy he is. I’m not talking about the “humble” stuff, either to agree with it or to mock it. He just comes across as Mr.Ordinary, the guy next door. Whilst Murray, for instance, seems rather unusual, slightly eccentric, possibly a bit of a nerd (I believe he was pretty good at maths, hope he pursues it one day).

But put Nadal on a tennis court, and he is transformed. (Murray, strangely, isn’t particularly, although under pressure his immature qualities tend to stand out). I suppose most of us have fantasy selves, good job noone can mind read them. But Nadal doesn’t need one, on a tennis court he becomes a totally different person. Never in a 100 years can you imagine him saying “I have to believe”. He just does. And more, he enjoys scrambling in the dirt. He has a boxer’s mentality. Hit him, hit him hard – take a set, for example – and it’s as if some light has been turned on inside him, and flicks him into action. This is what he lives for, what he has trained for, how he finds expression: the glorious excitement of the hunt.

When Murray put that easy volley long to miss out on double break point, I instantly suspected that was it. When he missed the overhead smash in the next game, I knew the match was over.

Djokovic seems to be a much more rounded sportsman than either Nadal or Murray. I don’t think he’ll crumble against Nadal. Whether he has the ability to defeat him on grass remains to be seen, but if he loses it will be a fair and square loss.

Poor Murray.


Kimberly Says:

bracket people should congratulate colino6, he got both the finalists after getting hosed by Roddick, and has for sure defeated his father and brother regardless of the outcome of sundays match and is #12 and very proud of himself. he says he is “really good” on grass.


Miki Says:

And regarding the ranking system and whether it is a valid representation of a players quality, I say it is. But to a certain point. There is consistency and there is overall quality. And there is also a factor of time. It represents how a player performed during a span of a year, but it doesn’t show if player had patches of bad form, or injuries and what he won, so it has to be interpreted along with the real results and the facts surrounding the player. The ATP and WTA cannot be compared right now, because WTA doesn’t have a real leader or leaders right now like ATP has, like Nadal, Fed and Djoko now. There is no player with Grand Slam quality that is also consistent and injury free. I don’t have anything against Woz but she is simply not a champion in the way Williams sisters or Clijsters or Henin are. She is consistent, which is also important but there are very consistent players on the ATP that are no where near being No.1

This talk about how 7 masters titles give you more points than 3 slams is ridiculous, who ever won 7 masters titles in a year? Well, no one. It’s not like players winning 3 slams in a year happens often, but it does happen, we saw it last year. The more likely comparison would be that 3 masters are bigger than a Slam in terms of points, or that 4 of them equal 2 slams. And as far as I know, 4 is the number of most masters titles won in a year. Which Djoko did, and he also has a Slam, an ATP 500 title, and an ATP 250 title.

You have to put the whole season in perspective. Of course Slams are the most important tournaments and that they divide champions from just players, but the smaller ones also matter. Lets say Djoko lost in a final or semi-final in Dubai and withdrew from Belgrade, or just lost any of those ATP 1000 finals, would he now be the new No. 1, probably not. So we can say that if he lost just 2 matches in the period before his first loss of the season, he wouldn’t be No.1. And that really shows how hard is to be No.1 in Fedal era, and how hard Djokovic worked for it.


Miki Says:

And I forgot to say, I am really sorry for Murray. It’s not so much of a problem that he lost, but the manner of the loss is. I mean, he was starting to dictate play, just won the first set and had a chance to go up a break in the 2nd. And then, in an instant, he faded away. Unexplainable, at least to me.

Nadal as always was doing his thing, having no mercy at all. No one does it like him. If the opponent is down, Nadal will finish him, he doesn’t let himself lose any focus, no matter what.


jane Says:

Miki and grendel, enjoyed both of your posts. Found myself nodding a lot.

Miki “And as far as I know, 4 is the number of most masters titles won in a year.” Yep, correct. The three guys to have won four Masters in a year are tied: Fed, Nadal and Nole. And Djoko actually has a pretty good chance of breaking that threeway tie /record if he can win one of the remaining masters, all of which are on hard courts, Canada, Cincy, Shanghai and Paris.


jane Says:

Kimberly, how great for Colin06! Since I am not on the bracketa this time, please extend my congrats. He is “good on grass.” ;)


Humble Rafa Says:

Murray needs a new forehand. Period. The current lady forehand designed by Ms. Judylicious is not going to cut it. Break down too much.

In many ways, it is like Roger’s backhand. Except Roger won 16 GS titles, Murray has zero.


Miki Says:

Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed. And now that Novak is No.1, we should be really happy for him. It was difficult to be a fan of him at times, but this year only makes up for it.

I guess tomorrow he’ll make the front page of most Serbian newspapers :)


Humble Rafa Says:

I don’t know about making the front page of Serbian newspapers. He will definitely make the front shirt of a certain somebody from Serbia.


Miki Says:

Hahahha, so true :D


jane Says:

Humble Rafa, ha ha. Lol’d at that one. :)


Anna Says:

Congrats to Nole for the #1 ranking. I agree with Jane that it’s been a remarkable feat after so many years, to step it up and take it. I don’t think anyone would have thought a year ago that Nole would be in the position he’s in now.

Margot – I was just thinking this morning that once Andy wins one of these things, he’s gonna go on a roll. I still feel that way. The good news is that every few months there’s a slam and the top four are closer than they’ve ever been before.
Just seems like he catches Nole when Nole’s playing lights out, and then the same for Rafa. One of these days he’s gonna do it.


jane Says:

i agree with you Anna about Murray. He was closer today. As I said before, it took Nole three fails against Fed at the USO before Nole won on the fourth try. It is so odd that Murray has beaten Nadal at slams two or three times and Nole has beaten Fed three times but not Rafa. Tennis is so much about match ups. Anyhow maybe hard courts are Andy’s best surface, and he always said USO is his fave slam. Maybe that will be the one. He has been in three hard court slam finals. Didn’t he win USO as a junior too? So yeah. Anyhow, he will get there!!


Miki Says:

Jane, Murray beat Rafa at HC slams, Novak met him only once on a HC slam, at USO 2010, where Nadal played lights out in that final. The other loses where on clay and grass. On clay Nadal is, well, Nadal, and it was 3 years ago, and once on grass, It was 2007 if I remember well, long time ago. I hope the trend of losing to Rafa in a GS is broken on Sunday :) But Djoko will have to bring his best.


grendel Says:

re Murray’s forehand – it was firing incredibly well against Roddick at Queens. What is one to make of that? Only 2 possibilities: 1)he had an unfortunate lapse today or 2) Roddick is in such decline these days that it hardly counts.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Novak has just written his own record. What a fabulous run, and the most difficult run to # 1 this poster has seen in this era. From # 3, he went on a fast streak of epic proportions, beating, thumping, crushing everyone in sight and continually beating the then # 1 into physic proportions. Rafa, desperate to do something against the streaking Serbian, resorted to ladies moonballing as there was nothing else he could do. He would not be denied. Victory over the then # 1, including twice on his best surface, 4 consecutive times in finals over 2 months, is not a fluke. Congrats Nole, no matter what happens Sunday, you truly deserved the #1 ranking. “best returner, and best groundies from both wings in the game”


Skeezerweezer Says:

To add, Nole has played 18 tourneys this year, Rafa 22.


grendel Says:

Skeezer – you might have pointed out in your summary of Djokovic’s achievements that he was dealt a scurvy blow by Federer at the French. Consensus seems to be that it is actually more difficult to beat Nadal at Wimbledon, these days, than at RG. It is reasonable to suppose that Djokovic would have beaten Nadal at the French.

Let’s face it, Djokovic has looked ill at ease against a few players this Wimby before asserting himself, and it’s quite difficult to see him beating Nadal on Sunday. A win at RG – on top of the other defeats of Nadal – would not just have been nice in itself but would have lodged him very firmly inside the Rafa cranium. That might have been worth more than a few points for tomorrow’s final. Bothersome Federer!


someone Says:

WE CAN ALL NOW CONCLUDE THAT RAFA’S FOOT INJURY WAS TOTAL BULLSHIT!


WTF Says:

Humble Rafa Says:

“Dear Fans,

Don’t worry about Sunday. You know, if we can’t win this Wimbledon thing legally, we can always resort to all kinds of gamesmanship.

Djoker, if you bounce the ball 32 times…well, I will take a MTO between your first and second serves. Just a warning.”

And what about that trainer Murray called very early in the first set which didn’t even go to treatment? Some hip flexor injury that didn’t seem to impair him enough to win the first set. Or the fact that as soon as he walked out onto court he walked back off it again for a toilet break and held everyone up?

Take off your shades. You are one bitter loser.


WTF Says:

jane:

“In my opinion, these two sentences contradict each other; a player can accumulate points only based on quality play resulting in wins, which, when playing in the Fedal era, has to be spectacular in order to accumulate the amount of points Nole has this year.”

True to an extent. He had to have played extremely well to get there, and it is what it is. It’s just that the rankings doesn’t distinguish quality play by venue all that much. Mathematically, winning two ATP1000′s is equivalent to one slam, but they don’t even come near to equating in my opinion. A player is always remembered by their slam titles. But 2 ATP1000′s here, or 10 there are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Nadal has something like 18 career ATP1000′s, but no one would equate that to being “like winning 9 slams” even though that’s how much they’re worth in points.

“To my mind, this is different than Serena holding a number of slams while other women players held number one. The reasons are that a) those other women had never won slams at all (Nole has two now) and b) Serena hardly played during the rest of the year and rarely went deep at any other events, even Masters events, EXCEPT at the slams.”

I think it is. Because like with Wozniacki and Safina, Djokovic won it on consistency rather than winning the biggest titles. It differs only in that he has one slam during this period over none.

Nole has ONE slam during this period, not two. The one he won in 2008 does not contribute to the ranking. Similarly, if Wozniacki had won a slam in 2006 or even four, it would not change the discussion about her current #1 ranking. It contains no slams during the current 52 week period.

This is in favor of Colin’s point. The ranking is just an arithmetic in some computer. It’s up to the viewer to subjectively determine which guy’s result is more impressive. Winning a bunch of ATP1000′s, or more slams? I certainly don’t think two 1000′s ought to carry the same weight as one slam, because it certainly doesn’t carry the same importance or measure of greatness. I never really commented on it until now because a situation like this hasn’t happened. A guy winning 2 or 3 slams a year has usually been #1 without another challenger winning more 1000′s to take that spot.

“By contrast, Nole beat Rafa in four Masters finals this year, he beat Federer and Murray at the first slam, which he won, and he beat Fed on two other occasions, including the Dubai final. In addition, Rafa has actually played even more events than Nole has this year, as Nole pulled out of Monte Carlo and Queens.

So, it is a different situatuon than with the WTA.”

He’s certainly had a standout 2011. He beat Nadal 4 times out of 4. But it’s not just 7 months that contribute to the rankings. It’s about the last TWELVE months, which include last year which Nole fans seem to conveniently forget.

When you account for 2010′s part of the 52 weeks, he lost to Nadal in the ATPWTF and the US Open final, the two biggest matches that counted. So over the last 52 weeks, it’s one slam and a bunch of Masters 1000 verses 3 slams and I think the situation is not that dissimilar to Serena.

It still doesn’t take away from the impressiveness of Djokovic’s 2011 however.


WTF Says:

Miki Says:

“WTF, there is something very wrong about the statistics this year regarding unforced errors. So I don’t believe Rafa had only 7 UEs. Statistics say that he had 3 UEs against Muller. Highly unlikely I say. And Roger had only 9 when he played Tsonga, which was a 5 set match. And I remember Djokovic making 2 unforced errors in the first game of the match, which were not labeled as UEs. I don’t buy that Rafa had only 7 unforced errors.”

He did hit more errors than that, but they weren’t counted as unforced. Sometimes it’s subjective whether an error was forced or unforced.

Perhaps someone else (such as yourself) counting the errors would find more than 7 UEs for Nadal, but then his opponent’s UE count would also be higher because some of theirs weren’t counted as unforced either.

But the same measuring criteria is being used for his opponents too, so if you don’t buy that Nadal hit “only” 7 unforced errors, then you also can’t buy that Murray hit “only” 39 errors — he had to have hit even more than that. 7 vs 39, or whatever the true figure it is that you count for yourself, the differential is massive and Nadal’s stinginess with errors is what won him the match, so it doesn’t change my point whatsoever.

Nadal wins by hitting far fewer errors than his opponent, no matter what the real count is.

By the same contrast, Djokovic’s win also came in 3 hours and he hit 13 errors according to the same statkeepers, which is also impressive, but double the amount Nadal hit and with fewer winners.

So in other words, it was a masterful performance against Murray, and if both players play at the same level as they did in their semi final wins, we’re in for a treat of a final.


Daniel Says:

I Just realised Nadal won 4 of the last 5 Slam (RG 10′, W 10′, US 10′ and RG 11′ – only missing AO 11′). If he wins on Sunday he will have won 5 out of last 6. The only other player to do better is, guess who?: Federer.
From Wimby 2005 to AO 2007, Federer won 6 out 7 Slams (W 05′, US 05′, AO 06′, W 06′, US 06′and AO 07′) only missing RG 06′.

Nadal will enter US 11′ with a shot of matching that.

Another thing, one of this two sentences will not be true after Sunday final:

1 – Djokovic never beat Nadal in a Slam

2 – Nadal never defended a title outside of clay

And some more:

- Nadal never lost a Slam final to anyone not named Federer, but the only finals he lost were in Wimbledon.

- Djoko has no titles on grass

This match is HUGE.

Nadal wants to make a case, I am not N.1 but hold 3 out of 4 Slams. And move closer to Fed in Slam totals, cement he as new Wimbledon ruler with 3 titles the last 3 times he played and 5 of the last 5 finals he played.

Djoko to win the most prestigious tourney in tennis and cement his N.1 ranking (literally dethroning the former) for the year and almost assure Year End N.1. Share last 4 Slams with Nadal, prove he is here to stay and be main rival from Nadal preventing him form GOAThood (same way Nadal did to Fed)out of 4 Slams with Nadal, each beating each other in one final (Nadal beat Djoko in US and Djoko beating Nadal in Wimby), with the other Slams by both beating the #3 and 4, Fed and Murray.

Fed said back in AO when argued about the change of guard and end of FEDAL era: we will see in 6 months. He didn’t do his part. Nadal did, so far.

But I am going wiht the hype, this is the changing on guard and Djoko will win his first Wimby, going for the summer hardcourts trying to match NAdal and FEd 3 Slam ay year and possibly having the best season since Mac 84′(or 83′??), above Fed 06′ and Nadal 10′.


Michael Says:

My hearty congratulations to Djokovic for this stupendous effort. He is the first player to break through the Federer/Nadal hold on the No.1 ranking for the past so many years. This is indeed a fantastic achievement. All the best to him and his team.


Michael Says:

Yesterday watching the two semi-finals, I feel that Nadal is in superb form at the moment and it will be quite difficult to dislodge him in the finals. Ofcourse, if there is anyone who can beat Nadal today at the centre Court, it can be either Federer or Djokovic. Djokovic can still make it. The difference between Djokovic and Murray is tenacity and I am sure it is this quality that seperates the two. Djokovic will not be overawed by the aura of Nadal and will try to unsettle him by his varied game. I hope Djokovic goes on to win the Trophy. Wimbledon needs a new Winner.


Skeezerweezer Says:

In the race for the best this year, this match isn’t everything. For Rafa, maybe. But Nole’s fav surface is HC. He has won AO, the winter /spring run on HC and Clay, and USO he has a great shot. If he wins USO, runner-up at Wimby, he is by far the best player of the Year. Nole has options, Rafa does not.


Ike Says:

Congratulations to Nole!
When he won Roger’s Masters – Montreal, Canada in 2007, I predicted him to win grandslams, and reach world No.1 before 2012.
Well, he has done it!

Btw, after Nole lost to Roger in FO – Semi, I commented that “it’s just matter of time before Nole reaches No.1 ranking”, smart tennis followers knew what I meant.
I had very strong intuition that he will get No.1 ranking with his performance in Wimbledon.
I also said that it’s good thing that he pulled out of Aegon. Well, he is in Wimby final, so that worked too.

Regarding Sunday’s final between Rafa & Nole:
To be honest, most of us tennis fans would agree that it’s a dream final.
I know many will argue that Rafa – Roger would have been better.
But let’s face it, no disrespect to Roger, but he hasn’t beaten Rafa in (any) grandslam since Wimbledon – 2007!
Between Rafa & Nole, this match could go either way. I think this is the closest you can get to 50-50 chance for either player in a grandslam final!
It’s very likely that Rafa might play match of his life this Sunday, to prove to himself (and to the world) that he is better than Nole, even though Nole has No.1 ranking coming Monday.
It’s also possible that Rafa has that slight doubt in his head that he just can’t beat this new improved Nole.
Not sure how the pressure will play tricks with Nole…he has the No.1 ranking sealed, but certainly wants the Wimbledon title to stamp his authority on No.1 ranking.

I am hoping for a 5 set final, (and Nole winning the fifth set crazy 16-14 something). But, I won’t be surprised if Rafa wins it.

Regarding Roger:
I believe that he can win one more grandslam, (even though I hope he won’t).
He hasn’t won a grandslam since Australian Open 2010, (that’s no title in last 6 grandslams). Last time he didn’t win grandslam in a year was 2002. I think he will give it all this USOpen.


Michael Says:

Yes the stakes are higher for Djokovic than Nadal. He has to prove to the World that he can outlast Nadal in a major as so far he is yet to register a victory against him in the majors. He has technically become the World No.1, but the Wimbledon Crown will give that ranking more sanctity. It is going to be difficult as Grass is not Djokovic’s preferred surface. Yet, I hope Djokovic can make a match out of it and his continous winning streak will stand him in good stead. Also, the four consecutive defeats he inflicted on Nadal will have a psychological effect.


Ike Says:

Skeezerweezer
totally agree with your post at 11:54

I think it’s very likely that all top 4 will make it to the semi of USO, and they will have a real Super Saturday!

It’s possible that Delpo or Tsonga might stop someone.


Ike Says:

Michael,
Agree with your comments.
I am hoping for a great 5 set final this Sunday.


Michael Says:

Yesterday Murray was completely outplayed by Nadal. It was a one sided match. Compared to that, atleast the last semis at Wimbledon between the two was much closer although it was straight sets. This time, Murray was just not good enough to counter Nadal. He wilted under pressure from Nadal and succumbed to his will. Most of the back court rallies went in favour of Nadal and the only opportunity available for Murray was by serving well. But even that didn’t click. Sorry to say this especially fans of Murray, but it seems Murray will never win a major in his career. He has the game but not the will.


Michael Says:

lke, if it is a five setter, Nadal has more chances. Djokovic if he has to win should finish the match in four. But to do it, Djokovic needs to raise the level of his game. A Tsonga-like performance might not be good enough against Nadal, he has to show the game that he displayed at Rome Masters. I am sure Djokovic has the game to outplay Nadal only he needs to execute it properly.


Daniel Says:

Yes, Djoko has options, but the only monkey on his back right now, is not even winning Wimby, is beating Nadal in a Grand Slam match. Thsi is THE final hurdle he has to overcome, delay will only be worst as this questions and inner demons will rise.

If he let go, satisfyed with the N.1 ranking, he can lose it before this year end.

He was on a mission during IW-MIami and the clay masters, had a Fedelities in RG and now, ready to battle once again.

I just think his mind is on beating Nadal, he can over think. HE just has to do it and period, otherwise everytime they meet in a Slam again, well, will always be finals, the pressure will be there, increasing, just as it is with Murray now, who can’t win a Slam after reaching his firts final in 2008. That’s 12 Slams and no title.

It may seems fine for Djoko losing and it is, but in the mental batle and locker room bathe, This match may decide the course of the history of this sport. If Djoko wins and crush Nadal’s spirit, Nadal may enter in a dark period, no one will know how he is going to respond. He was never in this situation before, losing 5 times, on 3 surfaces, in a row to the sma e guy who just stole his ranking. It will rise question to his RG 10, He only won because Djoko wasn’t in the final?

This match means more to Nadal, but if Djoko has long term plans, and not just the Awe and relief of this 2 days, he has to win.

He even mention, I hope there is more celebration to come. I bleieve him!


Michael Says:

Djokovic should well remember the 2007 Wimbledon when he had the upper hand against Nadal only to retire mid way during the match due to an injury. He needs to have the belief that he can beat Nadal. Rest will follow.


Ike Says:

Michael,
Re. Murray’s performance against Rafa: some of Murray’s unforced errors were totally amateur-ish, I mean I make those kind of errors!
He made 39 UEs (compare that to Rafa’s 7)!
There is no way Nole is going to make 39 UEs on Sunday.
I believe Nole can outlast Rafa in 5 sets. there is no precedence to that but remember the three set final between Rafa & Nole this year in Miami, Rafa seemed totally done!


Daniel Says:

Sorry, RG 11′. The typos was just too much to correct.:)


Ike Says:

Daniel,
I think importance of this Sunday’s final is equal to both Rafa & Nole. At first it may seem like Rafa wants it more, but I think Nole does want to win Wimbledon and stamp his authority on No.1 ranking.
I can’t wait for Sunday! I am hoping for a 5 set, 4-5 hour match, and Nole to win it!
But wouldn’t mind if Rafa wins it.


Ike Says:

Daniel,
I did catch your RG 10, RG 11 fumble, but I knew what you meant.


Ike Says:

Michael, Daniel,
Please give me one name in Men’s Open era (other than Murray) who had been consistently in quarters / semis / finals and never won a grandslam. I believe there is none!
Murray eventually will win few grandslams if he keeps playing for next 5 years.


Michael Says:

lke, May your words come true. But Djokovic is a different breed compared to the likes of Murray and Nadal senses that. I am still apprehensive as to whether a five setter will favour Djokovic, but you can never underestimate him. He is a tenacious fighter till the last moment. But I am sure Djokovic senses the importance of this match to their future battles. If Djokovic wins on Sunday, the psychological war would be won and he can ride on the path to greatness. Beating Nadal five times in a row is something unimaginable and out of the World. I hope Djokovic lives up to the promise.


WTF Says:

jane Says:

“But, having said all that, I said it then and stand by it now: those ladies earned number one by being consistent and playing well not only at slams but also throughout the season. I believe all of them (Safina, Woz and Jankovic? Was she number one?) had all been in at least one slam final too.”

I don’t dispute that they got their ranking fair and square by the system’s rules. The real discussion is on the issue of weighting, and I can see both sides of the argument here. If you value slams too highly no one will play or watch the other events. But that’s what the sporting world has come to. They measure greatness pretty much exclusively on slams. You can say that Pete’s 286 weeks at no.1 are a bullet point in his case for GOAT, but he got those consecutive years as no.1 from the massive haul of slams he took home. If a guy in his era were to consistently make the semis and finals of majors and WIN all the ATP 1000′s, he might actually finish no.1 ahead of Sampras, but it’s such a rare and freakish thing that it was never an issue to bring up. That is until now.

Just ask yourself this. If you could choose to have one player’s results over the past 52 weeks between Djokovic (world no.1, 1 slam, a bunch of 1000′s) and Nadal (world no.2, 3 slams, 1 10000) who’s results would you rather have? I don’t know anyone who would choose Djokovic’s season over Nadal’s. As long as that is the case, one has to question the arithmetic of the ranking system. That it happens so rarely it is never noticed is not a defense.

Of course, none of this will matter if Djokovic beats Nadal to win Wimbledon. That would put it at 2 slams apiece.

Perhaps the real problem is that the sporting world places TOO much value on major titles (slams)? As long as this is the case, greatness is measured in slams much more than anything else.

Everyone knows how many slams Pete has won. But how many people know off the top of their head how many ATP1000/MS/Super9 titles he has? How many care? ATP1000 titles are quickly forgotten. They are great titles to have, but no one picks their GOAT based on how many 1000s they have. In 10 years time when your place in the pantheon is assessed, no one is going to remember how many 1000 titles you have. They will only remember your slams, or the ones you narrowly missed out on.

Until people stop valuing slams as the holy grail of sports, this ranking system will every now and then be open for interpretation.

Note: In 2009, Nadal had the chance of ending the year no.1 over Federer despite winning only 1 slam compared to 2 for Federer. The race was decided at the WTF, but I remember clearly the same discussion as now taking place preemptively before that result was decided.

Note also: Nadal is being penalized for not playing enough ATP500 events last season. He won Barcelona this year, worth 500 points but is not getting any points from it. Had he played and tanked just one ATP500 late last season, Novak Djokovic would not be no.1 right now and this discussion wouldn’t be on (yet).


Daniel Says:

Another thing, Fed share a record of 8 consecutive years winning at least 1 Grand Slam with Sampras. If he wants to stan alone, he has to win this year US Open.

NAdal has 7 and may surpass this in the next 2 years.

Funny how Fed was quick to overcome and tie several Pete’s record in a short span, 10 years.

Nadal may do it even faster to Fed. But of course, hath of FEd’s record are unreachable for Nadal (total weeks as #1 -Pete’s, consecutive weeks as #1, finals in a row, semis in a row, quarters in a row, # of finals, YEC,..).
But some are reachable: consecutive years winning Slams, total Slams, single Slam most wins (he can win 8 RG), total masters)


Michael Says:

lke, I just pity Murray. He is such a good player but somehow things does not fall in place. I will be very happy if Murray wins a major or even more. He has the game, nodoubt about it, but what he is lacking is the will and motivation and he has this habit of wilting under pressure when faced with the likes of Federer, Nadal or Djokovic. Now with Del Potro too in the column, things are going to be pretty difficult for Murray in Majors. I hope Murray surprises me.


Ike Says:

WTF
I think having best of 5 sets final for Masters might be a great thing, (of course i.e. final only, and not the previous rounds). I don’t think they will do that, but it will be a good thing.

And maybe give it 1500 points instead of 1000.

By making these two changes I think they will only elevate status of Masters, I don’t think that will devalue Majors.

Plus having 5 set final for Masters means more business for organizers & TV :)
And of course fans will like it!


Ike Says:

Michael,
I hope Murray hires a really good coach, (and maybe a sports psychologist or something)
No disrespect to Judy (Andy’s mom), but I think he has to get her out of his coaching / mentoring team.


Ike Says:

I am signing off, good night all!


thark Says:

@WTF – i think the situation is a bit more circular: slams are the holy grail because they are the holy grail.

what i mean is this: a slam carries an incredible importance to players because the fan community has decided to place utmost importance on it. this importance is both tangible (ranking points) and intangible (history remembers slam winners and forgets others). so maybe this assignment of special value to certain tournaments and not others is arbitrary – it isn’t really important how the value got assigned – what is important is that now that these tournaments carry such value, people want to win them more. and what that means is that players and their teams throw every ounce of their resources at these tournaments – giving everything financially, physically etc. and because the players give so much, and because they want it so badly, and because the top players of the world would not dream of missing such an important event, it becomes much more difficult to win. and if winning really is that much harder at these tournaments, then it does seem like much more of an accomplishment, and it does carry much more prestige, and players really will want it more, and so they will throw all their resources into winning it, and the public will believe that it is a much bigger deal than a masters 1000 and celebrate it more fervently etc etc.

and so the cycle repeats.

but the most important aspect of all of this is that slams bring out the mental side of tennis better than other tournaments, and that is what people love about them. BECAUSE it is important, and PLAYERS KNOW that it’s important, the pressure is incredible – and because the pressure is incredible, only players with incredible mental fortitude survive at slams. and fans love that aspect of the game: the drama, the inner fight… and the players that can thrive in such an environment truly are special. they have strength within that transcends their physical game – and this is what we love about them.

the constant crescendo/descrescendo of a tennis match is so much of what keeps us glued to the screen. and i would suggest that the entire season has a similar effect on us, with small peaks leading to dramatic climaxes. as fans we can’t get enough of the roller coaster this sport provides. nothing could hurt the sport more than evening it all out, pushing small tournaments higher and big tournaments lower until there is barely any distinction.

a slam is special because we need it to be – because we crave such things – and so do the players.

slams are the holy grail because they are the holy grail…


Kimberly Says:

skeeze good luck in your tourney! bring home the trophy even if you are being mean to rafa today! I know you mean it at fans who are insulting fed, not rafa personally! Play some great tennis. I am off on Holiday but have booked court times sunday and monday unfort. only clay here but better than nothing.


sheila Says:

just finished watching nadal/murray semi on my dvr & i guess i dont get murray’s head. how does a top 5 player mentally disintegrate that quickly. r right murray didnt get the break in set 2 & then he goes on to lose fairly easily. i know federer was up 2 sets & god knows where he went, but rogers almost 30, looks weary compared to the young hungry guys. i guess how hungry is murray 2win a major. i feel he has the game 2win nadal. actually i think djokovic, tsonga, murray, delpotro, soderling & berdych have the physical game 2win nadal, but do they have the belief mentally & emotionally. i dont include federer in this because he is older than these other guys & quite frankly he doesnt have anything to prove. djokovic has won nadal in smaller events & obviously he believes but what about these other power hitters. i am & always will be a federer fan, but i am truly hoping djokovic pulls the upset on sunday. i would love 2c roger get some of his enthusiam back & somehow win uso(unfortunately i think thats doubtful)after watching him lose 2 tsonga, he seemed weary. it must b hard being on tour week after week & maintaining a high level. he looks spent whereas djokovic looks hungry. i guess 5-6 yrs difference in tennis says it all. its an incredible time for male tennis players, although i still think nadal is so dominant in majors.


Marijane Says:

Congrats to Nole for the #1 ranking and for winning the tournament. You deserve it. Long live the new king, king of all surfaces.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@k,

Thanks K glad you can see through that, I am very impressed you know me well :), not truly a Rafa hater. Nuff said on that, I have a blog rep to protect! Lol….. Have a great holiday weekend and thanks for the well wishes…will give it my all..if it doesn’t happen..there is always wine tasting in Napa :). This is why it is ok if you lose, there is always wine tasting and dinner in NV..:)

Ps, have not been at the bracket, you said Colin got near the top?


Borg Says:

Ha Ha. What a belting my man Rafa gave to the poor Murray. He just decimated him. That is the hall mark of a true Champion. Although the scorline suggest that it was a four set encounter, yet the ease with which Rafa won need to be underlined. Now we have Djokovic in the finals waiting for the Champion. Watching the manner in which Nadal eclipsed Murray would already have given goose bumps to Djokovic. I am eager to see the match and I am sure the stage if set for Rafa dominance. Although Djokovic is World No.1, it will not carry any credibility if he cannot win against Rafa in the wimbledon. Come Sunday, Rafa will show to the World as to who is the real king on Grass ?? Intelligent Roger saved himself the humiliation of facing Rafa in the finals where he would have been lynched if he had.


zola Says:

Congratulations to Djoko and his fans, Jane, Duro, Sar,…. for the number 1 ranking. Djoko played fantastic tennis, beating everyone during the past 7 months.This is something very special. A reward for all he has done.

Today was a tough loss for Andy Murray. He is a great guy. He played great but I agree with Boris Becker. Andy needs to improve his mentality. He has the game. There is no reason for him to get down on himself just for one shot. He is up there with Rafa, fed and Djoko. The British media put unneccessary pressure on Andy. He is not obliged to fulfill everybody else’s dream. He has to play for his own satisfaction. Once he wins his first GS and the pressure is off, he will win many more. I hope he wins this years US Open.

On Sunday however, I am hoping for Rafa to win his 3rd Wimbledon title.

VAmos RAfa!


jane Says:

WTF, “I think it is. Because like with Wozniacki and Safina, Djokovic won it on consistency rather than winning the biggest titles. It differs only in that he has one slam during this period over none”

Nole won the AO. That IS one of the four biggest titles. Also, unlike those WTA players, Nole beat the biggest champions, Fed and Rafa, repeatedly, to win all of his titles. Neither Safina nor Woz were beating Clijsters and Serena over and over and over. Those players didn’t come close to winning four consecutive masters titles, or having one of the longest winning streaks in the OPen Era either.

Basically, we just disagree. In my opinion, Nole is a worthy number one, *win or lose on Sunday.* Many other players in the history of this sport have been number one having only won only one slam in their careers. Nole has already won two slams and he just turned 24. Plus, Fed and Nadal are two of the greatest players ever, having amassed more slams than most in the history of this sport. That Nole broke through to become number one during their era speak volumes of his quality and efforts as a player.

I have nothing more to say on this issue. Others probably do, which is fine. My mind is at peace with Nole’s achievements. He rocks. :)


jane Says:

Cheers, zola. :)


jane Says:

Anyone in need of new underwear? If so, Borg and J-Mac have a limited edition line out right now. Better line up. ;)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/tennis/bjorn-borg-and-john-mcenroe-hawk-underwear-reminisce-at-wimbledon/2011/07/01/AGl14MuH_story.html


grendel Says:

Daniel says:”Yes, Djoko has options, but the only monkey on his back right now, is not even winning Wimby, is beating Nadal in a Grand Slam match.”

That’s why losing to Fed in Paris must have been so particularly irritating. He was strong favourite to beat Nadal in the final – but he forgot something. Before you can win the final, you must win the semi. His task tomorrow is more difficult. He will undoubtedly win Wimbledon one day, be a bit of a surprise if it’s tomorrow.

Murray denied that the missed easy volley was the crunch.Maybe not – but there is an obstinate streak in Murray. He also said that his was a high risk strategy and that those who criticise him for going for it would have lambasted him had he played safe – and Rafa then won the point. But those are not the alternatives, I don’t think. The opposite of passivity is not recklessness. He surely momentarily lost his focus when he went for that shot – it was TOO easy. He could have hit firmly, safely, and still put it way out of Nadal’s reach – that was my impression, anyway.


grendel Says:

Ike: “Please give me one name in Men’s Open era (other than Murray) who had been consistently in quarters / semis / finals and never won a grandslam. I believe there is none!
Murray eventually will win few grandslams if he keeps playing for next 5 years.”

You know, just because something hasn’t yet happened even though it usually does happen doesn’t mean that it therefore will happen. You have to treat these cases on their own merits. It may be that Murray is a natural also ran. For better or for worse, he doesn’t strike me as having a champion’s mentality. Whilst that arrogant punk (and delightful tennis player) Tomic does. Not sure if you can turn this sort of thing around.


Kimberly Says:

the other i would think of would be davydenko but he never really played any finals.


Ike Says:

grendel

Say whatever you (and probably over 90% of the tennis fans, including me) want to say about Murray and his “mentality”, but I still believe he will eventually snap out of this, he will win grandslams.
Only good player that comes close to this Murray’s “dubious” record of not winning grandslam is David Nalbandian.
I think Nalbandian will go down in the history of (at least Open era) tennis as the “best player never to win a grandslam”.
If you analyze Nalbandian’s career, it seems like he didn’t commit 110% to tennis.
I think Murray’s commitment to tennis is bigger than Nalbandian’s.
Maybe my analysis is wrong.
Btw, I still root for Nalbandian, if you had asked me in 2003-04 if Nalbandian will win a grandslam, I would have said definitively he will.
I would have used the same argument that I am making right now for Murray, that if you consistently keep making into the quarters / semi / finals of grandslams, you will win a grandslam.
You could say, see Nalbandian didn’t win a grandslam, Murray too won’t. But, I believe Murray will win grandslams.
You can see that I am not saying, Murray will win a grandslam, but I am saying, he will win grandslams!
If Goran Ivanisevic can fight his mental demons and win a Wimbledon, why can’t Murray?
Watch out for Andy (& Roger) this USO. I have a feeling that Rafa or Nole is not going to win this year’s USO, (even though I like Nole and Rafa more than Andy & Roger)


Ike Says:

Kimberly

I don’t think Davydenko himself (or others) ever believed that he could win against “big boys” in the grandslams.

He seemed like poor man’s Agassi :(


Humble Rafa Says:

Goran had “the serve”. All Andy has is the Judylicious Forehand. That is not enough.

Plus he is cursed because he is British. Expectation weight on him. 1 grandslam will make him close to a billionaire in his playing career.


grendel Says:

Yes, that’s right, Ivanesevic had what was surely the most effective FAST grass serve of all time. Would be kind of surprising if someone with that weapon didn’t win Wimbledon at least once – and as it is, he only just made it. I agree with Humble Rafa about the being British, too. I don’t pretend to understand it, but there is something about being British which acts as a huge handicap on a player before he even gets going….


Ike Says:

of course everyone knows Ivanisevic had “great” serve, but he lost three Wimbledon finals before winning it in 2001.
That’s what I was talking about, fighting the mental demons!
Goran admitted many times that he always felt like during the match against others, how much he was fighting with himself.


Ike Says:

grendel

Ivanisevic almost didn’t win Wimbledon, but the stars were aligned in 2001. He got a wildcard entry, Federer took Sampras out, Rafter took in-form Agassi out.
Not sure if Goran would have managed to beat Sampras or Agassi in that Wimbledon.


Ike Says:

grendel
I have entered our “can Murray win a grandslam” win a grandslam?” into my “Tennis – THE GREAT” excel spreadsheet. When Murray wins his first grandslam I will remind you of these posts / comments.
Of course, if Murray retires without winning a grandslam, I will do the same, (and admit that I was wrong).


Daniel Says:

Murray site can win a Slam, but not in the next 2-3 years i think. He will sim when Fed fades, Nadal will be um His Last years, Djoko mentally tired after 4 years as n. 3 and battling Nadal for n.1 in 2-3 years. And the round guys will be inexperient.

Murray will have His Slam when 26-27.


Ben Wade Says:

Andy Murray’s chances of winning a slam is as not as gloomy as it is made out here.

As things stand he can easily take out anyone in slams not named Rafa or Nole. He just needs some stars alignment. Rafa and Nole are not like Federer in consistently making the second weekend in all grandslams. Now that fed is done….murray has a good chance.
I dont think Rafa and Nole will win all 12 grandlams in the next three years. Murray and Delpo will get the left overs.


Ike Says:

Ben Wade

thank god and you! finally someone agrees with me regarding Murray’s chances of winning a grandslam.

I am hoping he can win it as early as this USO! So, finally people, experts, fans will stop talking about how / why he can’t win a grandslam!


Ben Wade Says:

Rafa can get injured anytime…Nole has never shown the GS consistency of even Rafa…forget abt fed’s consistency.
Murray has a good chance.


Kimberly Says:

i think murray can win one a heck of a lot easier than #1 caroline wozniaki! USO will be tough for anyone with ROger, Murray Delpo, Nadal, Djokovic all playing well. THe ones that have seemed to slow down are SOderling, Berdych, Verdasco. THey can be dangerous for one match or two but i cant see them stringing 7 together. WOmens final is painful to watch.


jane Says:

Murray will win opa grand slam. It is a matter of time. Are there even players who have been to three slam finals who have never won a slam? I cannot think of any. Semifinals sure, maybe, but finals? Soda has been in two.


Daniel Says:

But by Now, Everybody on this site thought Murray would already have one, me included. He doesn’t have the mental fortitude and since Nadal and Djoko took it to Another level, will be even harder.

The positive os that this Last 3 Slams He only lost to eventual champion (I Hope tomorrow the trend ends). Reaching final, semis and semis, which is his best year Slam wise. He has to ímprove US Open, where
He lost early 2 consecutive years. But That’s the problem, U Open may be His best Slam, but is the most competitve, since hath the tour loves fast hard.


Daniel Says:

This is a sign: the lefty took over Wimby!


Daniel Says:

Congrats Kivitova, too bad Masha!


Ike Says:

All
We have lot of talk going about Murray and his grandslam woes.
Please please please remember Ivan Lendl was 24 years 3 months old when he won his first grandslam!

He had almost same issues, he was playing in the era of the greats, and mentally he wasn’t strong enough.

If you ever get a chance please watch documentary on Tennis Channel or somewhere, he mentions his mental toughness issues, lack of focus, not getting into the “zone” in the finals, etc. He lost not one, not two, not three, but four finals before winning a grandslam!

Andy will win grandslams! I think he is bit slow learner, he is on that learning curve, but he eventually he will get into the “zone”!


Ike Says:

I swear to god, when Andy wins that first grandslam I will post the link to this blog anywhere it’s possible to!


Ike Says:

see you guys tomorrow!


stu Says:

thanks for the wishes earlier, margot, and too bad about Muzz :(. will continue to pray for another Andole Slam final – preferably USO 2011!


WTF Says:

“This talk about how 7 masters titles give you more points than 3 slams is ridiculous, who ever won 7 masters titles in a year? Well, no one.”

How often is a guy holding 3 slams ranked 2 in the world? Oh wait. Nvm.


WTF Says:

jane,

“Nole won the AO. That IS one of the four biggest titles. Also, unlike those WTA players, Nole beat the biggest champions, Fed and Rafa, repeatedly, to win all of his titles. Neither Safina nor Woz were beating Clijsters and Serena over and over and over.”

That’s because Serena and Clijsters were rarely playing those events. Serena is known to tank or not take smaller events seriously, and then turn it on when the real events start. I would expect Woz, Jank, and Safina to get some wins over Serena if they played more often in smaller events. Kim does already get beaten in them.

“Basically, we just disagree. In my opinion, Nole is a worthy number one, *win or lose on Sunday.*”

You’re entitled to that belief, and I wouldn’t call your opinion wrong. It is legit. I just see the scenario as an abnormality. My point is, the ranking can’t be used as an end-all-and-be-all measure of who had the better season. It usually can, but this is a strange thing we’re seeing, and I’m not taking anything away from Nole when I say that.

“Many other players in the history of this sport have been number one having only won only one slam in their careers.”

Yeah but never has the #2 player held more slams than the #1 player that I know of. When everyone takes a slam each, as in 2003, it is quite normal for them to take turns at being #1. Note: Federer has never been #1 whilst holding only one slam.

“Nole has already won two slams and he just turned 24. Plus, Fed and Nadal are two of the greatest players ever, having amassed more slams than most in the history of this sport. That Nole broke through to become number one during their era speak volumes of his quality and efforts as a player.”

That he has. Though the computer that calculates the rankings does not directly factor in who he beats to win those points, as long as he wins them they can be against people outside the top 50 and his points would still be the same. If he never ran into Rafa or Fed, he’d still be #1 on consistency. And that’s not a bad thing.


WTF Says:

Ike Says:

“WTF
I think having best of 5 sets final for Masters might be a great thing, (of course i.e. final only, and not the previous rounds). I don’t think they will do that, but it will be a good thing.”

It used to be that way for some of the events, and then they changed it to best of 3.

Trivia: Miami final has only once been best of 5, and that was the one time Nadal lost to Federer while up 2 sets to 0. That would have been the title had they not experimented with it that year.

“And maybe give it 1500 points instead of 1000.

By making these two changes I think they will only elevate status of Masters, I don’t think that will devalue Majors.”

This wouldn’t devalue the slams, but it would devalue the #1 ranking because it will be a lot more possible to be #1 without holding a slam. i.e. the Wozniacki effect. There’s no practical way I can think of. My first thought would be to remove the slams altogether, but that would never happen for many reasons.

The effort of winning 2000 points in a slam will be disproportionate to winning 1500 for a Masters because you have to play for 2 weeks instead of 1, and play best of 5 sets, for a gain of only 500 points. The points would come much easier playing the ATP1500s.

“Plus having 5 set final for Masters means more business for organizers & TV :)
And of course fans will like it!”

I think scheduling was more difficult with the longer and unpredictable match lengths, and led to its removal. Even the WTF final used to be best of 5 until a few years ago.

Trivia: if they started going best of 3 WTF finals sooner, Fed would have won the title in 2005. He ended up squandering a 2 sets to 0 lead to Nalbandian.


jane Says:

What are the chances of going 47-1 and never running into anyone inside the top 50, lol. Nole beat top ten players at least 13 times.

Methinks you doth protest to much when you say, repeatedly, “And I am not taking anything away from Nole when I say that.” :) You think it is an abomination of the rankings system that he is number one. I think he earned it, fair and square, with slam wins (finals USO, win AO, semis FO, finals Wimb), the incredible streak, tying the record for most masters won in a season, beating Fed and Rafa seven times (who else has ever done that in one season? No one).

Anyhow this time I am really really really done. So you can debate Nole’s abnormal number one status with others. Have fun.


jane Says:

WTF, you seriously think Nole is on the same level of Woz and Safina? Really? I think you are mistaken. He is a worthy number one, and wow look at the strength of the ATP compared to the WTA the last couple years. Wow.


Ben Wade Says:

WTF,
“Yeah but never has the #2 player held more slams than the #1 player that I know of.”

In 2010 Rafa got to no.1 after winning FO. Rafa was just holding one slam (FO) and Fed was still holding 2 (Wim and AO).
But I get ur point.

Last year Rafa was no.1 with just one slam…..now he has 3 and ranked 2…..as u say its very abnormal.


marrisv Says:

Murray will most certainly be a major winner before he is done with his career. Although I don’t believe USO is his best chance. I think AO is his best chance followed by Wimby and then USO. AO being a slower hard court gives him a bit more time to set up especially on the forehand. USO – he can be overpowered by big hitters. Last two years, he didn’t make the quarters.


Daniel Says:

WTF says:

“Note: Federer has never been #1 whilst holding only one slam.”

You are wrong, after Wimby 2008 Nadal had 2 Slams and Federer only US Open 2007. He was Number until August 18th.

And someboy else already posted that Nadal took over N. 1 in 2010 only with a RG 10 win. Fed had AO 10 and Wimby 2009.

So it did happened, for both Nadal and Federer.


Skeezerweezer Says:

“How often is a guy holding 3 slams ranked 2 in the world? Oh wait. Nvm.”

That’s not how the system works. How did Rafa get # 2 by only winning all Clay court titles years back. Not a good argument. Rankings include All tourneys, not just Slams.

Nole fully deserves his # 1 ranking, he beat all comers on varied surfaces including a GS in a very short span in which he beat the THEN #1 in 4 consecutive finals. A total beat down to #1.


Skeezerweezer Says:

If Nole keeps his current mental state, he is the fav for USO. He may or may not win Wimby, but his current HC performance is scary. IMO the summer HC season will solidify the new #1 ranking, it is. His best surface by far.


Michael Says:

Today is the moment of truth for Djokovic. He should not let this fine opportunity go. If he wins against Nadal today in the Premier event, it will dramatically change the fortunes of this man. It will surely propel him to win more Majors for sure with the confidence that he gains through this victory. Yes, it is a tough task to beat Nadal in the finals of a major and it is worth remembering that the last time anybody beat Nadal here was Federer in Five. Yet, Djokovic can take heart from the fact that he has been able to trounce Nadal in his favourite Clay court events and that should instil more confidence into his game. I expect a tough five setter with Djokovic scraping through.


scoreboard66 Says:

Great for Novak attaining the No. 1 ranking which was shared between Roger and Nadal for over six years. However, that No. 1 ranking might be short-lived considering Nadal has 500 points to add to his tally in August. Novak also has tons of points to defend beginning with the AO in 2012. From my observation, it appears that no one likes a challenge and can step up to the task more than Nadal. Nadal seems to play better when he is being challenged and a goal is in sight. It’s similar to those players who play better when they’re down break-point. Anyway, for now, I hope Novak enjoys his new ranking.

Today’s match should be a fire-cracker if it lives up to the hype. I hope nadal’s foot holds up to the task at hand.


scoreboard66 Says:

I believe Murray will win his first GS when all the hype has died down and no one feels he has a chance anymore, then he’ll surprise us all. Somehow, he seems to freeze in the important matches because he realizes the importance of the occasion, and that adds enormous pressure.

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Rankings
ATP - Oct 27 WTA - Oct 27
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Ana Ivanovic
6 David Ferrer6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Andy Murray8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Na Li
10 Milos Raonic10 Angelique Kerber
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