Novak Djokovic: Wimbledon Champion, King of Tennis
by Sean Randall | July 3rd, 2011
  • 259 Comments

You have to tip your cap to Novak Djokovic, he is far and away the king of the tennis world. Today, Djokovic once again manhandled Rafael Nadal beating the Spaniard 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 to capture his first career Wimbledon title.

“It’s really hard to describe this with words but it is the best day of my life,” Djokovic said. “I’ve always dreamed of this. Thank you all for coming and making this day even more special. That’s probably my best match on grass. I would like to congratulate Rafa for having a great tournament.”

Djokovic, who I thought would be a little off his game following his big win to gain No. 1 in the semifinals Friday, showed no such loss of focus. There was no lapse. No letdown.

Just as Djokovic had dominated Nadal on clay and beaten him on the hardcourts, he was able to do it on the grass as well, to my surprise.

I’ve said before, Djokovic matches up extremely good against Nadal and today he showed again why. Like in his four prior wins this season, Djokovic was able control many of the baseline rallies and go after the Nadal second serve. Djokovic’s backhand, forehand and speed really does neutralize the Nadal groundies.

I thought going into the match Nadal would have some help with the grass but it wasn’t to be.

“I just want to congratulate Novak and his team for the victory today and his amazing season,” said Nadal. “Always Wimbledon for me was the most special tournament, just to be here is a dream. When I won here in 2008 the emotions was very high, so I can imagine how he is feeling. I will try another time next year.”

And of the two, it was surprising to see Djokovic at the net much more than Nadal. Also, Nadal’s serve just wasn’t that effective like I thought it be on the grass. When he needed free points he couldn’t get them off this serve, and that’s in large credit to Djokovic’s superior return game.

As for the numbers, they are scary. Djokovic has won 48 of 49 matches this season. And he’s now won five straight over Nadal.

Wimbledon is already his eighth title of the year and with the hardcourt season around the corner, it’s hard to see him slowing down anytime soon (maybe the heat will get him?), especially against Nadal who he owns completely on the court and between the ears.

Tomorrow Djokovic becomes No. 1 in the world, and for good reason. He’s the best. No joke.


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259 Comments for Novak Djokovic: Wimbledon Champion, King of Tennis

tennisfansince76 Says:

i thought the grass did help Nadal. hhe served well today. on HC this match would have been like 3 1 and 1.


tennisfansince76 Says:

i am middle aged so i i should be bigger than this but where are all the 13 year old Nadal fan posters??? a big shout out to my man Ben Wade!!!!!


El Flaco Says:

Skorocel, Montecarlo, Rick, Queen where are you?


tennisfansince76 Says:

congrats to Nole nd all of his fans. great day. he was almost winning two easily after sets 1 and 2. did anybody see his eyes get wide at the beginning of the third. when i saw that i knew the pressure was getting to him. that was a tough hold at the beginning of the 4th. if he got broken there it might have gotten really tight.


gordon Says:

Congratulation to Novak, his family and the fans who beleived in him through a rough time. He deserved to be called the best player in the world!!!


jane Says:

Nole! First grass title = Wimbledon! Not bad. ;)

Sean, I fully agree about Novak’s net game. I said on another thread that one of the postives of this Wimbledon for Djoko, win or lose, is the improvement in his net play. And he can still improve from here. He won 19 of 26 net approaches today for 73% (and surprisingly Rafa came in only 9 times, winning 6 points up there). I was very impressed in the last game when he served and volleyed to earn match point. Intelligent and brave. Good match for Nole. He dipped in the third and Rafa really made a push with the momentum of the third into the fourth but Nole’s belief and confidence helped him hold his turf to finish in four. Had it gone five, who knows. But it didn’t, which is all that matters.


Mila Says:

Commiserations to all Rafa fans. He is a good guy for sure.

But this year Novak is better than anyone. And I hope it stays that way for many many years to come!
I am very happy and wish I was in Belgrade tonight!!!

Congratulations to all Novak’s supporters on this site, no need to list you – you know who you are.

PS
The clown calling himself “jamie” is not among them ;-)


fed is afraid Says:

roger fans must be ecstatic
now rafa has someone in his head.
congrats to novak!!


al Says:

A great win for Nole for sure! In retrospect it’s kind of better that he didn’t get his number 1 ranking by Rafa losing to Federer in FO, but by his own effort getting to Wimbledon Final, and winning it!


jane Says:

Here’s a pre-final interview with Nole’s coach, Vajda, by the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/13968181.stm


lkg Says:

After the delpo cheating incident, i rooted heavily for novak today. I was in the stands and I was really delighted to see the cheater lose.


mrmilbury Says:

We have a very unusual and exciting situation in men tennis now.
The former n°1 (and ’til tomorrow still the n°1) has not the game to stop or to trouble the future number 1°.
The two handed backend is the key that Federer wasn’t ever able (and he will not be able to) to use against Nadal but is the key that will made almost impossible for Nadal to beat Djoker again.
At the same time we have the number three of the world who have the play to beat Djoker but not to beat Nadal.
I think the only one who can, at this Wimbledon, stop Djoker run was Federer. But at the moment it seems (and I said this as a huge Fedex Fan) he had some lack of concentration.
Anyway, this second part of the year will be very interesting.


montecarlo Says:

IMHO Level of tennis was unbelievable in 1st set but it was really bad in sets 3 and 4. BTW Its certain now that Nadal got a mental block against djokovic. He tries to play way too agressive. In majority of the points today Nadal was under control and djokovic was defending incredible and then Nadal missed sitters when djokovic was able to retrieve just one more extra ball (something which nadal uses against all other opponents).

Also the mental problem sky rockets when nadal has to serve behind. AS soon as nadal chose receieve after winning the toss i knew he will choke at 3-4,4-5 or 5-6, its something that he has done again and again in last 4 defeats against nole. Also he was again serving behind in 2nd set and immediately got nervous. I was praying that djokovic gets double break so nadal can serve ahead in 3rd. And he did well in 3rd set coz he was serving ahead but that double break in 3rd set meant djokovic serving ahead in set 4th and I knew nadal will choke out at 3-4, 4-5 or 5-6 and he did.

In short, Nadal shouldn’t get impatient and attack too much against nole and whenever wins toss atleast serve first. Receiving works against others but not against Nole coz Nadal is way too nervous.

If nadal doesn’t make changes nole may soon overtake him in h2h.

BTW congrats to nole, my second most favorite player won.


Brando Says:

I think heading into US open dl potro, federer, Murray in that order have the best chance to beat djokovic. Nadal atm seems to have djokovic in his head. Djokovic is making him serve at over 70%, do alot of running, go for the lines and be the aggressor and all these things nadal doesn’t usually have to do and he still ends must be HEARTBREAKING for nadal who we all know is about heart and fight more than techinical genius. :-(


jane Says:

montecarlos, commiserations firstly. I wonder if Rafa gets nervous due to the pressure Nole puts on his (or basically anyone’s) serve? In other words, Rafa knows the strengths (and weaknesses) of other players well; it isn’t necessarily that Nole is “in his head”? Just a thought. Although Rafa himself said he was “mentally” a bit weaker versus Nole when J-Mac interviewed him. Maybe Rafa should quit saying that.


jane Says:

oops, no “s” on your name.


Aravind Says:

Sean, I went for Nadal before the match began. But I always felt that if Djoker started well, the 4 consecutive losses will start telling on Nadal. That is exactly what happened. Djoker beat Nadal today using the same tactics in his last two victories on clay. Keep hitting to the Nadal backhand. Return Nadal’s serves back with venom and by outdefending Nadal. I thought that the Nadal slice would be a good weapon on grass, but everytime Nadal sliced, Djoker simply hit it back with topspin to the Nadal BH. Facing a relentless barrage, the Nadal BH simply broke down. Nadal made way more errors than usual, simply because he was just not winning the rallies and was forced to push harder than he usually does.
As a Federer fan, I am delighted to see that Djoker is well and truly into Nadal’s head. Nadal looked helpless and lost during times in the match. Djoker, even when he was losing the third set, maintained a good body language. He lost concentration briefly in the third set, otherwise it would have been a straight sets demolition.
I think Nadal is going to be hit hard by this loss. He moves from here to his weakest surface and the going wont get any easier. Look out for Del Potro in the summer. During moments in the QF and his match against Djokovic in the French open, he looked genuinely scary. He is not back to 100%, when he does, I think he pushes one of Murray or Federer from the top 4.

Here are my predictions…
1. The easy one – Djoker ends year end number one.. He has simply accumulated too many points and I think he will defend most of the points in the hardcourt season(and potentially add in WTF and US open)..

2. Nadal will not beat Djokovic in a slam assuming both are fit. Sorry if Nadal cannot win against Djokovic on his weakest surface, he stands no chance. The last US open win was an aberration. Djokovic came off an emotional high by beating Federer in the SF after being on the losing end for three straight years and just could not match the intensity required to beat Nadal in the final. I thought that he needed to figure out how to beat Nadal in a slam once. He started off by winning 4 straight finals albeit in Masters series, with the first two on his favorite surface and hte next two on Nadal’s favorite surface. He gathered enough confidence to finally beat Nadal in a slam.

3. Federer will not add to the slam count. Federer is “ageing” slower than most tennis players. I just don’t see how he will win another slam with Djokovic, Nadal, Murray all in their primes and dangers like Delpo lurking.. He needs to beat 3 really good players and I just don’t see it happening..

4. Nadal will not beat Federer’s slam count. There are signs that his game is not what it was once and the competition is now intense. He is not a favorite in a hardcourt slam(having won only two in his peak). Well, grass and clay have gotten a lot harder. I think he ends at 13 or 14.

5. Delpo will not be a one slam wonder. There is something special about a guy with as much power as he has and as much heart as he displays(to come back from 457 to top 20 in the rankingss). I think he has a chance to get back to the top ten by end of the year and with a flourish, maybe qualify for the year end tournament. what a story that will be!!


Ike Says:

lkg
I am aware that Rafa and his coach (Uncle Tony) have been accused of cheating re. coaching & challenges during the matches. But I didn’t watch the Delpo match, what happened?
To be honest I am strong supported of “legal” on-court coaching during the match, it will only improve the quality of the sport!


Kenny Says:

Djoker #1 in the world!!! Unstoppable!! Can’t wait for the hard courts to come!! I can smell a US Open victory!


Brando Says:

Montecarlo, spot on. What rafa needs to do is serve first if he can. In today’s final, Rome and Madrid he was serving second bringing additional pressure to his service games. He was also making uncharacteristic errors especially on the forehand side, he needs to go for less against djokovic- if anything go back to his former game and get djokovic to be the one going for the lines and being aggressive.


Ike Says:

mrmilbury
indeed it’s very interesting time in tennis. It’s true “trivalry”, I hope Murry and Delpo can join to make it, i don’t know what to call it….”fivalry”!


Ike Says:

fed is afraid
just curious who do you really root for?


Ike Says:

montecarlo
i was surprised that Rafa chose to receive in the first set, maybe he was thinking of breaking Nole serve right away, the ways Tsonga did in semi, and then control the set, but he should have served first. Probably in the end it wouldn’t have mattered but still what if……


Ike Says:

I think Serbia can celebrate tonight like 4th of July in US!


Ike Says:

Aravind
bit surprised to see you giving up on Fed. I think he has one GS
Agree, that Rafa most likely won’t have more than 15 GS (you said 13-14)
I disagree with ur opinion that Rafa won’t beat Nole in GS, he will figure out a way to win.
Delpo will have few more GS, his career tally might go up to 5 GS


Nina Says:

Ole ole ole, Novak is the Wimbledon champion and nº1 player in the world! He finally did it and he earned it on the court like real champions do. What a great great day for all nole fans… duro, jane, ike, dari and the rest! Let’s have a party!


jane Says:

Nina!!!! :))))) How wonderful, right? Cheers girl!


Dory Says:

No offense whatsoever to Murray fans but I think he is not in the same league as Djoker, Federer or Nadal. May Del Potro will catch up and take the No.4 spot. Can’t wait for August to arrive. 2 Masters 1000 and US Open! Imagine Djokovic dominating everyone else again and not losing any matches. It truly would be the best season anyone has had ever.

And Roger is not finished. He has more than one Slam left in him. He will always keep giving himself opportunities. His real obstacle is Nadal but with Nadal no longer being No.1, the draw can change and he may not have to defeat Nadal to win a Slam. Roger vs Djokovic is always very close, always very evenly matched. Roger will win more Slams.


Aravind Says:

Ike, I am a big Federer fan and will never give up on him. But the odds are too stacked against Federer. He is 30 this September. That is geriatric in tennis. I hope I am proved wrong.

About Nadal figuring out a way to win, I thought the same about Federer Vs Nadal. That he would figure out a way. It did not happen that way. Nadal was a player in the ascendancy and Federer was on a downward path. I see similar equation between Novak and Nadal.


Ike Says:

Aravind
I have detailed spreadsheet re. how many grandslams have been own by “great” tennis players (Conors, McEnroe, Edberg, Vilander, Lendl, Agassi, Sampras, etc)…it’s 6 !
I had done the analysis to prove my point last year before USO (when Fed had just turned 29, to be accurate his birthday is August 8), that Fed doesn’t have many grandslams left in him, I had guessed (back then) 1 or 2. Now I am saying 1 max!


Ike Says:

Aravind
As we all know Roger had major disadvantage of having one handed backhand against Rafa, and Rafa exploited it.
I don’t see any major flaws in Rafa’s forehand or backhand (or serve), I think he will figure out a way to bit Nole.
Btw, I am Nole fan, so I hope Rafa won’t be able to figure out how to beat Nole :)


Dory Says:

jane, nice link to interview by Vajda. He’s the man behind the scenes. :)

I still can’t believe Novak has won Wimbledon. Can he make it three Slams this year? He or Roger has to win US Open.


Ike Says:

Dory
mark my words…Murray is going to beat at least one of top 3 guys in USO!


Ike Says:

even though I am Nole fan, I would love to see Murray win this years USO.
Murray, Nole, Delpo would be preference to win USO.


Peter D Says:

Let’s see whether my prediction of Murray finally not being in Nadal’s half this USO will hold. I think Murray and Djoko both will be in one half and Roger and Nadal in the other.


Aravind Says:

Ike, Nole has repeatedly shown the weakness and broken down the Rafa BH over the last 4 matches. Nadal will lose a step in the next 1-2 years.


Brando Says:

I think federer will be the last one to dominate completely. Djokovic, despite this form, knows that federer, del potro and Murray are dangerous, hungry potential opponents at the US open. And then rafa, well never rule him out


dari Says:

Hi, guys, did not see the match but saw the score and wanted to pop in to say
WOW!!!!
HUGE congratulations to novak djokovic. I will be excited to watch the replay after the weekend and see how he did it!
What a dream weekend. Getting to #1 and winning Wimbledon! I never questioned if he “deserved” #1 whether he won this match or not, but what a champion spirit to stomp that talk out before it could even begin!
So very happy for this guy and the amazing tennis this season.
Nina, while I do love novak, I don’t know if I belong on your list. Novak is my #4 after fed, Murray, delpo [I really love so many players, just nadal crushed my spirit at 2008 wimb and never forgave ;)], but there are so many great “true” fans of his that stuck through the low times and now can celebrate these astronomical high ones! I wouldn’t want to list names cause I will leave someone out, but happy day for you ALL!
NOLE!!!
For nadal fans, novak is pretty much the only guy who is better than yours this year, so there is very little to worry about :)
And happy 4th to those in the us.
Serbian flag is red white and blue, no? ;)


jane Says:

Tignor thinks the key difference in the Rafa versus Nole match up is Nole’s backhand. Nole’s effort to break at the beginning of the second set was pretty fab, imo.

Here is Tignor’s summary:

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/43625445/ns/sports-tennis/


Kimmi Says:

definetely BH jane. we kind of all knew that. Djoko backhand and speed is the key to dominate rafa. Murray BH is good but he hasn’t been using it to his adv against rafa.

Hopefully he is leaning.


V Blacklabel Says:

I think right now for both of these guys, it’s all in the head. Here’s my take on the men’s final at Wimbledon: http://bit.ly/leIhCg


Kimmi Says:

ha-ha its funny. some would say how can nadal be the GOAT when djokovic has dominated him 5 straight times? That works the same with fed GOAT debate. how can fed be GOAT when somebody else is dominating him? ha-ha. this is good stuff. I want to start the GOAT debate :)


Dory Says:

I also admit this victory is double sweet for me, as a Nole fan but also a Federer fan. Players should be remembered for their achievements as a whole, not just head to head and what Nadal did to Federer left Federer fans with a total heartbreak. Nadal is great no doubt but Roger is the greatest of all time and I take this moment to state it once more.


puckbandit Says:

Congrats to Nole and all his fans! If it couldn’t be Murray in the final, I was happy to see Nadal and Nole. Really have no favorite between those two, like and admire both. (Though Nole’s parents can get on one’s nerves.)

IMHO Nole played just a little bit better across the board.

Rafa looked so sad afterwards, my heart broke for him.

Best part of season steill ahead of us (for me anyway) North American hard courts and then US Open. Can’t wait.


jamie Says:

Fedal won’t win anymore slams.

Take it to the bank.


jamie Says:

3. Federer will not add to the slam count.
___________

ditto.

fed is done.


Dan Martin Says:

So I will ask again on this more active thread. Do you guys want me to get back to writing for tennis-x on a monthly basis or should I just hang it up?


jamie Says:

4. Nadal will not beat Federer’s slam count. There are signs that his game is not what it was once and the competition is now intense. He is not a favorite in a hardcourt slam(having won only two in his peak). Well, grass and clay have gotten a lot harder. I think he ends at 13 or 14.

__________________

Or maybe he runs away at the end of the year likr Borg at 25, no?


jane Says:

Of course it is up to you Dan, but I for one always enjoy your articles because of their “big picture” historical slant.


Mary Carillo Is Afraid Says:

I wonder whether biased pundits like Mary Carillo would say something like: ‘how can Nadal be considered the greatest of all time in the future when – at his peak age — he isn’t the greatest of even his own time???’ Nadal and Djokovic are the same generation in terms of age, while Nadal and Federer are a generation apart.

Nadal’s bubble was once again burst today. Twice Nadal lost the number one ranking in his prime, now he’s lost his aura of invincibility as well as the myth that he is the best on grass. Federer still has the better record of accomplishment in major titles and No. 1 ranking compared to Nadal in the six years since the Spaniard’s first grand slam title (2005 French Open).

Nadal is not as mentally tough and as undefeatable as some pundits pretend that Nadal is. Once again Nadal broke down mentally to lose five consecutive finals to Djokovic on the Serb’s worst surface (Djokovic never won a grass court tournament in his life). Djokovic could have won in three sets today. Had Djokovic played Nadal at the French Open final, he probably would have beaten Rafa as well. It’s quite possible that Djokovic would have beaten Nadal at the 2010 US Open final had he not been mentally and physically drained from his titanic five set come-back against Federer. Nadal has been winning some of these grand slam titles because he has been getting favorable draws — Federer and Djokovic have been drawn in the same half in 13 of the last 15 grand slam tournaments since 2008 Australian Open. So Nadal avoids meeting the other top two players until the final most of the time. Only once has Nadal faced either Djokovic or Federer in his half since the 2008 Australian Open.

Federer has the most successful grass court record in ATP history. Nadal at his peak is not the equal of Federer at his peak on grass. Nadal could have lost to Federer had they played in today’s Wimbledon final, given how close the French Open final was (Federer had actually won more total points at the start of the fourth set). Nadal might have also lost to Tsonga the way the Frenchman played those last three sets against Federer. Federer is also the onlyplayer with a winning record (5-4) over Djokovic over the last 18 months since the start of 2010.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Reliability-Zone/Reliability-Grass-Career-List.aspx


Max Dwight Says:

Dethroned world number – NADAL official king of gamesmanship – loses his Wimbledon title as well, ha! Losing to Djokovic – the dark prince of timewasting – in the finals, AGAIN!!! NOW, five in a row this year, oops. Duh!!!!! And losing also on grass – to Djokovic – will be beyond devastating. And let’s not forget Nadal was very lucky Djoker’s level dipped in the 3rd set. Else it would have been a bad 3 set beatdown. Not only will that loss connect the dots starting with the Indian Wells defeat, it will highlight the already visible and surviving asterisk Nadal’s Roland Garros title currently bears. Gosh, five times being outplayed by cocky Djokovic, huh, that’s really one bitter pill to swallow! It will be interesting to watch Nadal under immense pressure(and growing!), if he may able to alter his game to conquer his serbian nemesis. After five failed attempts I’m curious if he can discover some intelligent tennis and not just go on with old pals: grinding, phushing and trying to overpower Djo-Devil. I don’t like either of them but it’s feeling good that some justice, even so brought on by another shady figure of tennis, has been done eventually to Mr. Nadal’s cheating habits. Love it !!! Thanks, and we all know for sure that evil foot – of course – denied poor Nadal his victory. So, let it heal and we all wait for brandnew injuries & MOTs at the US-OPEN, later this year. Like Wimbledon it seems to be almost another old tradition.


Brando Says:

Wow! Nadal in the press conference says that he believes that djokovic is the only player to beat him this year as he wasn’t 100% healthy against davydenko, ferrer and tsonga. He believes that djokovic outplayed him in Madrid and Rome but he says that he is upset he lost in Indian wells, Miami and today because he feels it was due to him “mentally collapsing” at important moments. Shall put link up for others, but personally I agree and I am glad that he is frank and honest to admit that he has a mental block against djokovic


margot Says:

I enjoy your articles too Dan.
Ike from the other thread, hope your right about Andy. Was so upset by his performance in semis, I had to put my head in a bucket for a few days.
Took it out to watch Petra and Nole :)


Huh Says:

CONGRATS NOVAK DJOKOVIC!!!
Congrats Mrs. Jane, Duro, Sar, Stu, i am it, Nina, Danica n all othr Nole fans!!! Novak is phenomenal!!!
Hav got lot to say but no time, would post about it later. However, so far as who stands chances vs Nole at USO’s concernd, I wud say Fed n JMDP, Muzza not. However, I’m most thrilld about Tomic right how, he’s definitely goin to win slams in near future n I certainly wish he doesnt land in Fed’s side anytim soon in slams. The fact dat even Nadal wasnt abl to
mak Nole look as nervous as Tomic mad him look in the qf tells me that Tomic’s dat much
mor dangerous! And for those searchin for that young lion to challeng Rafa for some time
now(myself included), its Bernard Tomic IMO.

BTW Daniel, Kimmi, Gordo, Gannu etc., for me as a
Fed fan its a pleasant day to see someone preventin rafa from inchin further closer towards Fed’s GS tally.

Last but not d least, my commiserations to Nadal fans like sweet aleish, mindy, kimberly etc.

N oh, Ben Wade, Rick, queen n othr anti-feds., just suck it up down ur throat! huh!


Dan Martin Says:

On the slam count thing, winning 6 or 7 takes a lot of time obviously. Rafa’s previous 7 were won from FO 2008 – FO 2011. Does he have 3 or 4 dominant years left? I know he missed a chunk of 2009, but it still would take at least 3 more years for Rafa to get 6 slams I would think. I think he can do it, but the will he is huge. Also, Roger while clearly needing some help from a kind draw (aside from 2 players I think everyone needs some draw help to win a major these days), is 15-3 in Slam matches this year. He could very well tack an extra slam or two on to his total as he is not as far gone from contention as Pete was when he shocked the world to add #14.

I think this is Nole’s day though. He is playing at an unreal level and to have 2 of 3 majors and 4 Masters series events in this portion of 2011 is insane. He is going to be favored to win the USO.


Ike Says:

Dan Martin
i didn’t know that you used to write for tennis-x, i started on this site about a year or so ago, and most of the blogs are from Sean Randall.
I would say, yes, please post some blogs, let’s see how it goes. I for one will definitely read your blogs with attention.


Dan Martin Says:

It should be FO 2007 – FO 2011 for Rafa’s last 7 majors. He won 6 from FO 2008-FO2011.


margot Says:

jane, just for you: WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


Ike Says:

huh
where you been???
btw, eventually someone will break Fed’s GS tally record, it’s just matter of time!


Dan Martin Says:

Ike and Jane,

I will write more. I had kind of slipped back into fan mode only, but I think I can throw out some historical stuff. The site I used to write for I did a break down of the week’s action and preview of the upcoming week. The columns wrote themselves more or less. Sean thankfully gives us a lot to chew on throughout tournaments etc. I need to find my angle and go with it though.


Ike Says:

probably the only reason why i think Nole won’t win USO this year is because of the fatigue caused by number of matches he would have played by then this year. I am not sure if he can sustain this grind for 2 more months, i hope he can.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@ Dan

Write on! You have my vote.


Huh Says:

By the way those who think rafa’s 2011 win has asterisk due to him not facin nole in the final are eithr downright silly or are very mean n disrespectful to both nadal n federer. I mean, come on, just give some credit to federer for beatin nole fair n square in d semis n in turn, also plz giv som credit to nadal 4 beatin a playr as great as federer to win his 6th FO, no less, Nole
still has only 0 fo final appearances for goodness’ sake! dont u think nadal n fed deserv a bit more respect at least for havin playd so many fo finals n havin pickd up 7 fo titles between them!!


i am it Says:

After the victory, Djoko eating grass was a pleasing sight. I found it an original way, however impromptu, of celebrating a win of that proportion.

Next, listening to his interview on the ESPN studio, it felt like Djoko went through the same process as his fans did (Jane, welcome to chip in on this): Like us, he said he had doubts a couple of years ago that he would be dominating the field in a landmark way and be able to get ahead of Fed and Rafa any time soon, but with the experience and improvement in his game, physique, and some of the mental aspects, he has arrived here a little sooner than he and many of us truly believed with certainty.

I’d not trade this ride with any other’s even if there were many (there actually were quite a few) moments of disappointments and frustrations.


Huh Says:

Ike:
I would personally becom the fan of whoever breaks fed’s gs tally, thats not the matter! but i would personaly hate due to my human nature is fed’s biggest rival nadal doin it!! hope u understand me. i cant tolerat fed bein the second best in his generation to a guy like
nadal who not just is fed’s nemesis, but also has such a physical styl of play(dat i couldnt just warm up to despite tryin my level best) in comparison to fed’s brilliant natural style which i most love!


Huh Says:

Dan Martin, U Rock!!! :D
KEEP WRITING… :)


jane Says:

i am it, remember when Nole won his first AO and threw his first racquet to the crowd? I loved how today he tossed four racquets out there. Ha, that was sweet.

margot, ya silly, puttin your head in bucket, lol. No need. Murray has had his most consistent slam year yet. No early upsets, nothing but last four or better. He will win one. And then you can toss that bucket out with the trash. :)


Mila Says:

After being beaten in straight sets at AO semis in January this year, Federer was asked by a Serbian journalist if change of guard in tennis was happening and what he thinks of Novak emergence.

In his typical manner, Roger replied “let’s talk again in six months”.

Well Roger, six months have passed and I am wondering what you have to say… You promised us the talk.


jane Says:

huh, thanks, and very true about FO, Even if Nole did win in the semis versus an on fire Federer, who is to say he would’ve beaten Rafa in the finals? No slams, imo, should have asterisks because the winner beats who is in front of him or her: sometimes the path is more difficult than others, but a slam is a slam is a slam…


Mila Says:

And yes, Andy Murray deserves a slam! Hope he gets it soon…


Lou Says:

What a story it has been so far. The no. 2 seed has won the title since 2008 and todya was no different. Djokovich defeated Nadal so easily that you could see that Nadal was lost. Nole had gone into his head. Who would have imagined this at the start of the year:
Quoting one wrtier who said on Saturday:
Who knows tomorrow history repeats itself and Nole does to Nadal what Nadal did to Federer in 2008 epic final.

How true it has been. Nadal was demolished by Djokovic today. have been reading this writer’s article and the predictions for Nole has come true everytime.
http://healthnsports4u.blogspot.com/2011/07/djokovic-demolishes-nadal-to-become-new.html


Dory Says:

I just feel very good after seeing this as far as Djokovic is concerned: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_ATP_World_Tour#Titles_won_by_player

but equally sad as far as Roger is concerned. Nothing left for him to win by Rafa and Nole.


i am it Says:

With JMac, Djoko said he cannot wait to come to New York. Me, too.
Like he said he wants to win USO and FO next, and I believe him. When? I don’t know. Obviously, at the earliest, he may win the USO this year and the FO next year to complete the Career Slam. I think that is an achievable, career goal that he can reach, before he hangs up his racket. It is not time yet to think about 10 or 16 Slams.


Daniel Says:

Ike,

Fatigue may plaY a bigger role on Nadal since he played the most.

Djoko is 48-1 – 49 matches
Nadal is 51-8 – 59 matches
Federer is 38-9 – 47 matches


EricB Says:

It was a great match and Djoker is clearly the best player this year. I watched in 3D in a local theater and it was FANTASTIC! Would like to hear other comments about it and whether they’ll maybe do it again at the USO. One criticism: The announcing was the WORST ever! (worse than Dick Enberg…and I didn’t think that was possible!).


Dc Says:

Nole has beaten the Nadal on finals in hard, clay and grass tournaments.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Mila,

Don’t think Fed needs to be asked that question now, isn’t it obvious?


Mila Says:

Sure it is Skeeze.
I am just reminding us all that he wanted to be asked the question in 6 months, which is now.


grendel Says:

A few days ago, Funches expressed amazement that anyone could think Nadal favourite to beat Djokovic. A man ahead of his time….

There was nice camera shot of the Nadal box after he’d broken with that lucky net chord. One of the elder women was shown grinning gleefully at her younger friend, who presumably was splitting her mouth wide open. Meanwhile, quick shot to Nadal’s girl friend, whose hands were covering her face. They couldn’t quite hide the smile, however, which peeped areound the edges. I must say, in the battle between Nadal’s girl friend and Djokovic’s, Nadal’s wins hands down. Not only is she very pretty, as you would expect, but it’s a face full of character.

I thought the key to the endgame came in the 7th game which Djokovic served to love. He was in a good mental place, after some nervy games, to push forward. There were 2 donations from Nadal to bring up 0-30 (3-4) before the Spaniard served hard down the T. Good defensive response from Djokovic, neither man with the advantage until Nadal unleashed a finely angled cross-court bh. Djokovic, with his now trademark slide got a difficult ball back respectably. Nadal had his chance, it seems to me, but he was just a little too defensive. Djokovic kept putting the ball back into play, nothing special until he coaxed the error from Nadal to gain 0-40.

The camera shot to Nadal’s dad (I think), sinking his head into his rested arms in despair. A little later, dad gave the arm rest a vicious slap, disgust and anger etched on his face. Nadal clawed back a point, but it was too late. For the actual break, following a ding-dong rally Djokovic threw in a soft one (deliberately? accidentally?), it seemed a nothing sort of shot, but it had the effect of disturbing Nadal’s rhythm, his ball sailing high over the base line. And that was it.


i am it Says:

Mila,
Federer question or “promise” is irrelevant. And plus it depends on how you want to interpret or on the vantage point you choose to view the world from. You could also say one cannot see without certain lenses, and those lenses also influence what you get to see, sometimes spontaneously, other times ignorantly and innocently. Speaking through this lens, if you may a lens within a lens, I did not even remember Federer today, did not miss him, so the reminder from you was not pleasant to me. Vengeance is not always pleasant even if certain form of sadism is idolized and ritually practiced.
Sorry for my rant. Just was in a mood to say something. I tried. That’s it.


Miki Says:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jcFOol59Hk

Did anyone saw this video? I don’t remember seeing it here, so here it is.

Since 99% percent of the posters here don’t speak Serbian, I’ll translate it roughly for you.

When asked does he play, like does he play with other kids and with toys, he said that he plays at night, because during the day he is practicing and goes to school, and in the evening, after the training session he does his homework and only then he plays. Just shows how serious he was.

Also when asked is tennis a game for him, or an obligation, a job, he said it is a job for him.

The last question was: what’s your goal in tennis? He responded: my goal is to be a champion, a number 1.

And he was only 7. Just wow.


tfouto Says:

“smopop Says:

If rafa come through this match expect a different rafa in the finals serving 70%-72% to win the title”

Well Nadal had 78% on 1st serves and Djoko still won it right? I told you so.

The strange thing to me is how on earth Nadal won 1 set. Its simple after winning easily the second one Djokovic knew he’s was going to win and all the pressure and dreams fullfil him. Even on 4 set he wasn’t at the same level then the first two, but it was enough.

@Ben Wade my comiserations for Nadal lost.

@Sean you have always give Nadal the edge over Djoko. On Madrid Nadal would win because of clay. On Rome Djokovic was too tired from the SF against Murray, today it was 5 sets. Until when you realise that the #1 is the really favourite?

To all who say that this (Djokovic-Nadal) is the real rivaltry, because Federer is ‘always’ loosing against Nadal, i say that Nadal is ‘always’ loosing against Djokovic.


HGHeinz Says:

Congrats to novak, he really has rafa figured out. Nadal is my favorite player, and I had full faith in him after he took the 3rd set that he was going to be the first in 90 years to come back from two sets down. Did not happen today.
Roger federer answered that “we’ll see in 6 months” question in his press a few days ago after he lost. the opportunity to bring that up in spite was at that time, not now when we have plenty about rafa and novak to talk about.
now rafa will get the rest that he needs and will only be energized for the hard court season. VAMOS


i am it Says:

History:
Djoko becomes the 1st player to debut at No. 1 after winning a Wimbledon victory.
(he would be even if he had lost but with the win, a record has been established)


madmax Says:

Mila Says:
After being beaten in straight sets at AO semis in January this year, Federer was asked by a Serbian journalist if change of guard in tennis was happening and what he thinks of Novak emergence.

In his typical manner, Roger replied “let’s talk again in six months”.

Well Roger, six months have passed and I am wondering what you have to say… You promised us the talk.

July 3rd, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Mila,

that’s not what fed said and please, don’t twist things. If you read Federer’s presser at the time, (which clearly you didn’t), the question was directed at him (FED) about HIS (FED’s) game after losing. Fed was talking about HIMSELF, and NOT novak. Why have you come on to disrespect this man? There is no need to do that. He credited novak plenty of times but the question was specifically about Federer. Novak’s ‘emergence’ was an aside to the main question.

God, people like you, alwasy ready to bash. Don’t you get fed up?

Federer respects Novak’s position and many times has supported him. You only have to read what is written out there.

Another fed hater.

Sar,duro and Jane, you know the score.


Kimmi Says:

gendel – ah, wish i could have seen those expressions. I have a recording, I will definetly watch it again later.

When nadal ball went long in the 4th set, 0-40 i was going crazy. not exactly watching but jumping up and down screaming “this is it nole”. seriously, this was a clinical performance by nole. to beat rafa in GS final, the last time anyone did that was federer, when nadal was not the nadal we know. Nadal had a reputation that he can never lose in best of five, unless injured. well, nole did it and he did not need to go to five sets.

Hope for great things for djokovic. so glad he is able to realize his potential.


Kimberly Says:

COngrats to Jane, Duro, Sar, Nina, Stu, Mila and all other Djoko fans. Amazing performance.

And don’t worry Rafa fans, good news is he is making it to all of the finals, beating everyone else on tour, I am confident that he will figure Novak out eventually (even if it takes a few more depressing losses)


Kimmi Says:

OK, let me gloat a little bit :))

BTW, I won hands down the wimbledon bracket challenge. thanks to djokovic bracket. Murray bracket did not do bad either :) The federer bracket is my worst..ha-ha poor fed, i still believe in him.

The secret is to make a bunch of brackets and hope for one of them to come good :)

Kimberly – thanks for creating the bracket challenge. it was fun to play. Give my congrats to your boys, they did great too.


Twocents Says:

Bow to the new king!

I’m speechless, your Majesty.


skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats Kimmi!!!

Winning the biggest bracket challenge ever!

Thanks Kinberly for all your efforts, it was fun :)


Kimberly Says:

I came back from the beach exhausted and forgot to congratulate you kimmi! I think i came in third!

Reasons Rafa lost the match:
1. My kids wore bathing suits instead of nadal outfits
2. We were at the beach (loss to soderling in 09 while we were at the beach too)
3. Kaiser cheering loudly against him (cabana has a tv)
4. SEAN RANDALL JINX!!!!

Hahaha, no excuses right!


Kimmi Says:

ha-ha kimberly. love your “reasons”. i think the SEAN JINX is the biggest.

Thanks everyone. was great to play, and follow the results everyday in the last two weeks. Now we have to wait for ATP challenge in Montreal. I am guessing most will pick nole as the winner, right?


grendel Says:

Huh, I agree, there should be no asterisk about Nadal’s RG win. Nor should Federer’s victory over Djokovic – a heroic one in the circumstances – be underplayed.

However, I think it’s ok to speculate what might have happened if etc. The what ifs of history tend to be beguiling. Useless speculation in the eyes of some, an attractive way of shooting the breeze for others. Never conclusive, of course. Supposing Djokovic had won RG, he might have set in motion a train of events leading to a shattered Nadal winning Wimbledon. That is an unlikely but possible pathway. Or, instead, we could have had Djokovic marching steadily towards a complete Grand Slam.

I think it is natural to spend a bit of time thinking like this, about almost anything actually, but certainly about things important to you. Oh, if only….hard to avoid that one, for a lot of us anyway, I’d guess.

But you are right. There is always the danger of not giving credit, which is silly apart from anything else. Because luck, to some degree, inevitably has its role in any chain of events (such as a tennis tournament). So strictly speaking, you could end up qualifying anything whatever. That way lies madness.

You are very honest, Huh, in admitting you don’t want Nadal to end up overhauling Fed’s g/slam total. I feel exactly the same. To this end, I hope at the US Open that just for once Fed is drawn to meet Nadal in the semis. If he can beat Nadal, well and good; if not, at least there will be somebody else in the final ready to have a crack. One poster said how childish or something this attitude was. I fully own up to having a whole plethora of infantile streaks clouding my existence…….Never mind, eh?


skeezerweezer Says:

I am it,

Shaaaammmmoooonnn!!! ;)


Twocents Says:

Disclaimer:

It’s not that I did not believe Djok could win the big WO from Nadal. He had the game and the confidence, and all mileages of playing Fed in slams. It’s just the fact that I’m a Fedtard of 1st degree, I always doubt any my judgement against Nadal is biased without self-recognition.

Beauty prevails, again!


trufan Says:

Nadal is 12-2 on Federer and 9-2 on Nadal on clay. I hope people start to get it now – his dominance is still largely limited to clay.

32 out of his 46 titles are on clay. 6 our of 10 slams are on clay. His winning percentage on clay is almost 90%, and less than 75% outside of clay. The only top player he has dominated outside of clay is Murray. But then Murray may not be a top player! I think Murray could retire NOT winning a slam.

Nadal made hay beating a 5 year older opponent (Federer) with a one-handed backhand. None of these two hold true for Djokovic, hence the beatdown.

We will NEVER see a top player again with a one-handed backhand. It just doesn’t work anymore with all the racket technology at the opponents disposal. Federer was the last one. Look at the top 20 and tell me who else has a one-handed backhand. And then tell me if they have any reasonable shot of winning a slam.

As for USO, Djoke and Fed are the top two contenders, followed by Del Po if he is healthy, followed by Nadal and Murray. Raonic, Tomic, Dolgopolov, and still Soderling, Roddick and Tsonga are capable of an upset.

Lets see how Nadal gets even close to 16 slams. Doesn’t seem likely, Now that he finally has an able opponent his age (actually one year younger). NAdal will NEVER have the age advantage over Djokovic, so will lose to him often in the future. On all surfaces.

I still think Federer could take the USO. he has a better shot there than even Wimbledon.

Djoke should certainly end No 1 for this year. Very unlikely Nadal can overtake him, impossible for Federer.


grendel Says:

@trufan:I reported a few weeks ago Wilander expressing the view that one of the next big things in tennis would be players learning to be equally adept at using both the single and doublehanded bh. Since then, I noticed Tsonga used the single bh occasionally (not slice) and very effectively too. I also saw Federer, involuntarily I suppose, using the doublehanded bh. It was actually like a lefthanded French cricket shot, I don’t know if anyone knows about French cricket (certainly the French don’t – dunno why it’s called French). It was an awkward half-volley to his left. Even so, it set the mind thinking: perhaps Fed could develop this…..

Gasquet? – he was close once to a slam. Dimitrov has chosen the single bh – foolish, or is he in with a shot? I know less than nothing about the technology of tennis rackets, but I can at least imagine a scenario in which the power embedded in a racket is so awesome that using two hands to wield it is redundant. Sci-fi? Or a plausible future?


Miki Says:

grendel, watching Nadal and knowing he isn’t a natural lefty, an even crazier idea came to me. Players plying FH with both hands. That of course, just like using different kinds of BH, can’t be used all the time. In a fast paced point, you wouldn’t have enough time to make the switch, but in situation when your opponent just stretches and slices a slow ball, you have enough time to make it. For most players, FH simply has more power, I guess it’s just the anatomy, it just seems more natural then BH.


Miki Says:

I just read my post and realized that I’m maybe not clear enough. When I said players playing FH with both hands, I mean using a one handed FH, with switching hands, when there’s time to make a transition.


Huh Says:

U r welcom grendel. :)


i am it Says:

Finally, long-awaited ATP ranking has been updated to reflect the colossal change and Djoko at the top with 13,285 pts. against Rafa’s 11,270. And my homeboy DelPotro is within top 20. Hopefully by the end of US series, he gets back into the top 10. Good time for tennis, for most.


trufan Says:

Nadal is not as mentally tough as people make his out to be. Nole is right left and center in his head, and he can’t do shit about it right now.

Nadal made up his credentials by winning the French repeatedly, and by beating a 5 years older Federer repeatedly ON CLAY, to create this stupid Mary Carrillo type comments.

Now see how quickly Nadal fades away. In 2013, he won’t be a contendor for slams. He is already a quarter step slower than last year. A hald step lower and 10 other players will beat him regularly. He doesn’t have Federer’s game to still be a slam contendor, finalist, YEC champion, and No 3 at age 30.


trufan Says:

And as for GOAT – Nole ate grass today (quite literally) – didn’t let Nadal eat it.

Nadal may be CLAY GOAT. But not overall GOAT.

16>10. Actually 16>>10. Its as simple as that. Everything else is secondary.


Brando Says:

I think nadal’s best chance to djokovic is arriving soon. From here onwards djokovic is the number1, clear favourite against nadal due to his wins and also because it is hard courts. This shall take some pressure of nadal and hopefully he can win. I agree with nadal’s view that the losses are mainly due mental collapses by him at key moments. In Miami and today at important moments he made some uncharacteristic mistakes that cost him badly


Brando Says:

Just watching the match again and the errors nadal made were just so uncharacteristic


tfouto Says:

@Brando, because Djokovic was just outplaying him. Plain and simple.


Brando Says:

@tfouto djokovic deserved it, no question but from nadal’s point of view he did play awful a the most important moments making unforced errors that were uncharacteristic.


Miki Says:

Exactly, people forget that the number of errors is only half the story. Making flat-out errors and being off like Murray did on Friday is one thing, but making errors because your opponent makes you play more in a point, and systematically forcing an error is a different thing. Prolonging a point means that chance that your opponent will make an error grows.


Kimmi Says:

federer does the same thing when playing rafa, errors and more errors. So yes, i think its all mental.


jane Says:

Kimberly @ 6:04, what a funny and good spirited post! LOL. You are hilarious. i must have been the beach! :) Seriously, though: commiserations. Rafa has ten slams, though, and is as tenacious a Champion as we’ve seen in tennis, so I am sure he will work hard to come back to number one and/or defend the USO.

trufan, are you suggesting Nole is the real goat because he eats grass? Ha ha, nearly spat out my coffee when I read that. I am just happy Nole solidified his number one ranking with some extra points, and that he fulfilled his dream at the same time as winning a slam beyond the Australian Open. Wonderful day for him.

Really, we are spoiled. The ATP has, perhaps, never been better with the fab top four, and so many solid guys, including renaissance play by some of the older guard at Wimbledon (Ljuby, Baggy, Hewitt, etc), and now, after a lull, a number of possible up-and-coming young guns seem poised to break through as well. To top it off, with a bit of a jolt, the WTA is truly on the upswing, imo. The Williams sisters are back, so is Sharapova, and as far as I know, Clijsters isn’t re-retiring just yet; in addition, Vika & Lisicki made their first slam semis (or was Sabine in one before injury?), Na Li won her first slam, and Petra Kvitova is an utter revelation to me. She is wonderful. Tennis is looking brilliant right now to my eyes.


jamie Says:

Nadal now is saying he has a fracture and will be out for 6 weeks. This is a sore loser excuse to justify his loss to Nole. “I lost because of a fracture”. He should have withdrawn after the Del Potro match instead of doing this now to find an exuse for his loss in the final….


Kimmi Says:

jamie – where is the link for that fracture?


jamie Says:

Quote:
Although The Times has learnt that Nadal had a hairline fracture in the left foot that he hurt against Juan Martín del Potro in the fourth round and may not play for six more weeks, he put up no excuses for his defeat, his third in five Wimbledon finals.

http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=185884&page=9


Brando Says:

It does look to be a mental issue for nadal and he has admitted it to be so. I think his best bet is that somebody else beats him or his level drops but he has to face him again at some point and right now it looks bad for rafa.


tfouto Says:

http://www.tennis.com/articles/templates/news.aspx?articleid=13070&zoneid=25

Just an ‘normal’ Nadal excuse…

He probably has this facture since he lost to Djokovic in Indian Wells…


tfouto Says:

*fracture


El Flaco Says:

Nadal is skipping Davis Cup. He will have plenty of rest until the 1st masters 1000 in August.

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2011/06/27/nadal-to-skip-davis-cup-blasts-schedule/


jane Says:

That’s too bad about Rafa; I thought the MRI after the Delpo match showed nothing, though, but I suppose these things are tricky. How much to reveal, and so on. I do know he was having the foot shot with cortisone or similar.

I kind of wish Nole would skip DC too, but he has the Sweden tie on his schedule still.

There are some cute picture on his twitter account with Nole and Petra and their trophies. Petra’s hair looks awesome! :) It’s nice to see two new Wimbledon champions; here’s one where they switched trophies!

http://www.whosay.com/novakdjokovic/photos/43779


Kimmi Says:

thanks jane, i was waiting for the ball picture because i wanted to see kvitova. thanks for posting it. yes, she looks beautiful and the hair is great.

I saw some her pictures from previous years and she looked like she has lost a lot of weight already. Some people thinks she should lose some more, i think so too. I think she will..now that she knows what has given her success. She needs to get fitter and increase her mobility.


jane Says:

Kimmi, yeah, maybe she could lose just a little, 5-10 pounds, for movements sake. But her serve, her groundstokes, are amazing. She truly won me over this slam. I know I am late to the party, but I am happy to be at it nonetheless. ;)

Love these quotes from Nole on Fed and Rafa and how to possibly wiggle his way in:

“Well, we all know the careers of Nadal and Federer. We don’t need to spend words again. They have been the two most dominant players in the world the last five years,” Djokovic said after his win today. “They have won most of the majors we are playing on.

“So sometimes it did feel a little bit frustrating when you kind of get to the later stages of a Grand Slam, meaning last four, last eight, and then you have to meet them. They always come up with their best tennis when it matters the most.

“But, look, you know, it’s a process of learning, a process of developing and improving as a tennis player, as a person, and just finding the way to mentally overcome those pressures and expectations and issues that you have.

“I always believed that I have quality to beat those two guys. I always believed I have quality to win majors, Grand Slams, and that was the only way I could be here in this position, you know. I mean, I have full respect for those two guys, what they have done. Anytime I play them, I mean, it’s a great match. But the mental approach has to be positive. You know, (you tell yourself) I have to win this match. There’s no other way.”


grendel Says:

This idea that Nadal can in time “work Djokovic out” the way he did Blake, Tsonga, Soderling etc seems to me a pure nonsense. I’ve been watching the match again and the level of Djokovic’s skill in the first two sets, especially the second and occasionally the 4th is simply staggering. Personally, I derived immense pleasure of the aesthetic sort in watching again some of this play. This is what Nadal has to say, using Kimmi’s link:”"Today my game don’t bother him a lot. He’s playing better than my level. And find solutions, that’s what I have to try. When I was healthy, I only lost against him. Probably the mental part is little bit dangerous for me. To win these kind of matches, I have to play well these kind of points [that] can change the match. I didn’t play well these moments. That’s what happened in Indian Wells, that’s what happened in Miami, and that’s what happened here. I don’t want to count in Madrid and Rome because he played much better than me. And to change to be little bit less nervous than these times, play more aggressive, and all the time be confident with myself. That’s what I gonna try next time. If not, I gonna be here explaining the sixth [loss].”

That strikes me as an honest assessment. In the circumstances, very honest actually. Of course, it’s absurd to think Nadal won’t beat Djokovic again. But when he does, it won’t (imo) be when he’s worked him out but when Djokovic’s level drops, as it is bound to do. And Nadal makes this very point:
“My experience says this level is not forever.Even for me when I was last year winning three Grand Slams, my level of last year is not forever. Probably the level of Novak of today is not forever.”

I was watching again that serve and volley in the final game, and an elementary question occurs to me. I kept replaying it, and so far as I could see, Djokovic’s approach was ever so slightly tentative, as if he wasn’t entirely sure of the wisdom of the move. But anyway, the serve was so well directed (into the corner) that Nadal was fully occupied in getting his racket onto the ball, and actually spun round so that he was unsighted preparatory to receiving the next ball. It was, therefore, a very easy put away for Djokovic. My question is: why can’t this sort of thing be done more often? It is said that conditions do not allow for s and v (except as a surprise tactic) because racket technology has made passing relatively easy. I find this dubious. Could Nadal have played Djokovic’s serve otherwise? I mean, suppose he had known D was going to serve and volley, could he have prepared a killer passing shot? I honestly don’t know, but it didn’t look like it. In which case – etc, etc.


Brando Says:

Djokovic fully deserves his success he and his family made alot of scarifices in order to attain it. As for rafa, well who knows what next i think the difference between rafa-djokovic and rafa-fed is that rafa is only a year older then djokovic at 25 and aside from his losses to djokovic this year is possibly at his peak, so i hope he gets the win he needs against djokovic in order to give him the belief.


Brando Says:

@grendel, i agree that rafa needs djokovic to drop his level- lets face it he is beating everyone on the tour without any exceptions, something that no one in my memory has done before. even federer at his peak, better than everyone EXCEPT for nadal on clay. djokovic atm has no EXCEPTS that makes what he is doing truly outstanding.


jane Says:

Re: serve & volley, 30 all, last game – I have watched it a couple of times too, grendel, admittedly, perhaps obviously, ha ha. Anyhow, it was such a good serve out wide to Rafa’s backhand, that all Rafa could do was chip it back, and it sailed slowly, and with adequate height over the net, making the volley put away more possible. Surely so much depends on the serve in this case. Placement has to be perfect.

I will say again – Nole’s net play over this fortnight actually improved as he went along. I think thanks are due, in part, to the Tsonga match! Tsonga forced Nole to come on and to dive and just get comfortable up there. He kept rushing the net, and Nole didn’t just try to stay back; he joined Tsonga up there for some fabulous points.

Sad for Tsonga, in fact. Two of my favorite matches of the entire tournament were Tsonga vs. Dimitrov and Tsonga versus Nole, even though the latter nearly gave me a heart attack during the 3rd set tiebreak. But those matches, that keep us on the edges of our seats, well, for me anyhow, they are what we love about watching tennis.


grendel Says:

margot, thought you might be interested in the following from Boris Becker and Greg Rusedski, questioned by smoothie John Inverdale (d’you think he’ll take over the Sue Barker slot – he seems a natural for it). If you have already heard it, well some others might be interested.

“What [Inverdale asked] does Murray have to do to get from here [Inverdale sticks out his paws] to here [Inverdale raises said paws a couple of inches]:
Becker:”just do the replay of the first set and a half against Nadal. That was the winning recipe. It has to become second nature. He has to play like that all the time. Overall, I thought he played the best I’ve ever seen him play. That’s it, you’ve got to continue doing it”. Rusedski signalled his agreement, adding:”stay with the team he has right now. Darren Cahill is an excellent coach and so is Sven Grunveld (?) – they’ve only worked with him for 6 weeks and they’ve made a massive change. Imagine a year’s time from now if he stays on that same path. He’ll maybe able to play 2 or 3 sets like that”.

I hope they are right. I know I have pooh-poohed the idea of coaches and so on making much difference – but, you know, one comes up with this stuff, and if it turns out to be completely wrong, that’s fine as far as I’m concerned.

Kimmi, in watching match again, I inevitably came across the expressions in the Nadal box again. I had underestimated the extent of the scenes of jubilation. For apart from the people I mentioned, Papa Nadal was having a quiet little snigger, whilst Mama Nadal – in her dignified way – was allowing herself just the hint of a smile. It all reminded me of an incident in the Hewitt/Soderling match. This time, Hewitt got the lucky net cord, and he instantly put up his arm to signal apology. The camera swivelled to the crowd where the Hewitt tribe, all in yellow, was gathered. They were all stood up, arms raised in apology. Meanwhile, a couple of them were periodically rotating their wrists giving the thumbs up. It was a delightful scene with a kind of sardonic touch characteristically Aussie.


Kimmi Says:

that s&v point from nole was so easy, taking into account how big the point was. 30-30 serving for the championship…rafa was looking to pounce. suddenly an easy put away to give him the championship point. very clever from nole. i agree, should do more often.

i remember this murray v rafa match at the ao, where murray won after rafa retired. there was some great s&v from murray on big points…2 or 3 consecutive points i think, to save a 15-40.


jane Says:

This, i mean, what fun!? It has everything. Great serve, great return, defense, scrambling, diving, backhand saves, lobs, volleys, rocketing forehands, sheesh. :)

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


grendel Says:

just out of curiosity – what needs moderation?

Yes, jane, I assume the placement is key (which it didn’t used to be did it, obviously, when s and v was routine), but why only do it once? he had plenty of other serves going wide into the corner. It occured to me that if Nadal had been at least on the lookout for s and v, he might have been able to deal otherwise with the ball. My point was: it didn’t particularly look as if there was anything much he could have done otherwise. If this is the case, the sparing use (to put it mildly) of serve and volley is hard to understand.


Kimmi Says:

isn’t it ironic that nole finds easy to beat rafa now. rafa who he couldn’t beat that easily before. a lot of nole wins against rafa this year has been a first. But federer who they have exchanged wins and loses regularly is the guy who probably more dangerous to him….


jane Says:

Geeky stats for Nole fans, or anyone else.

Nole’s points: won at net /approaches /percentage won:

Chardy: 8/10 – 80%
Anderson: 15/18 – 83% * highest % won in this match
Baghdatis: 14/26 – 54% * lowest in this match (still over half)
Llodra: 15/19 – 79%
Tomic: 18/32 – 56%
Tsonga: 25/39 – 64% * most approaches/points in this match
Nadal: 19/26 – 73%

Total for tournament: 114 / 170 = 67% points won at net.


Brando Says:

FEDERER and MURRAy are djokovic biggest threat at us open. federer has a 10-8 record i think on hard court’s against djokovic (3-1 at USO) and murray 3-4 inc the only GS meeting they had this year. Because of the ranking’s now djokovic will most likely get murray at USO at the semi final stages. Murray can beat him, he can play the tomic style game that clearly frustrated djokovic at wimby, and he would be motivated to do so but as always will he be fine mentally?


Brando Says:

1 further point. rafa most likely shall face federer at the semi final stages now and that maybe a better draw for him at the USO than say murray yet federer is best equipped to djokovic than murray i feel, so if he were to get past federer, then it’s djokovic and umm…..


grendel Says:

Oh, yeah, one last point before I hit the sack.
Obviously this point has been made before, but it seems to me to be worth repeating in the light of recent experiences.
Djokovic was supposed to find grass a problem – and he certainly looked uneasy once or twice in the tournament. But his second set in particular today contradicts this notion. del Potro, too, looked pretty much at ease on a surface supposedly foreign to him. Federer played his best matches on clay – reputed to be his worst surface.

Can we assume, then, that the days of surface specialisms are more or less over? Anyone can beat anyone anywhere sort of thing?

So why does my 9.31 comment need moderation? Just curious. I talk too much anyway – but, curious. Night.


Kimmi Says:

“Because of the ranking’s now djokovic will most likely get murray at USO at the semi final stages.”

OK, here we go again re: the draw. Number 1 and 2 are placed on opposite side, 3 and 4 are drawn against them. Its not guarantee who will get who…

even as i write that i can’t stop laughing coz everybody now believes the draw is fixed. not me though :)


Kimmi Says:

“So why does my 9.31 comment need moderation? Just curious. I talk too much anyway – but, curious. Night.”

hmmm! strange. keep talking though coz I love to read you :)


jane Says:

Yeah, we like your posts. But if you have a link or two sometimes that puts it in moderation queue. Or are you cursing again grendel? ;)


Kimmi Says:

“3 and 4 are drawn against them”

this does not make sense to me now. i should have said “3 and 4 are drawn from the hat”


Brando Says:

”Its not guarantee who will get who…”

True, no doubt but based on the previous years then it does seem like djokovic-murray, which would be good as they have not played often enough as say nadal-federer, nadal-djokovic. i think murray has the game to trouble djokovic more than others- except for federer- on a hard court as he has the best record against him for the top players. if he can have a good montreal and cincy masters then i think he can be the one to derail the djokovic train since it won’t be nadal on hard, del potro’s never beaten him, and federer is a plausible threat but if he is on rafa’s side then who knows….


trufan Says:

people with hairline fractures can’t run like that.

If its TRULY six weeks, that weeks Nadal won’t play either of the two masters tournaments in North America.

He will play both. There is no fracture.


mem Says:

guys,

don’t throw a pity party for nadal. he’ll be just fine. this is tennis! nadal is use to overcoming obstacles and this is no different.

i read the following post on tennis.com. nadal will probably be out six weeks, possibly longer; if so, he will miss the masters in cincy and montreal. if that is true, i’m thrilled that he has learned to take care of his health better. just the news i wanted to hear; he deserves some time off. good move for him. i’m hoping he won’t return until the usopne. the break is much needed.

Hairline fracture may sideline Nadal for six weeks
Ticker – Sunday, July 3, 2011

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Rafael Nadal may be out for six weeks with a hairline fracture in his left foot, the London Times reports. Nadal hurt his foot in the fourth round of Wimbledon against Juan Martin del Potro and used an anesthetic to dull the pain for the rest of the tournament. If he is out for six weeks, it would mean that he would miss the Masters Series tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati. Nadal said in Spanish after his loss to Novak Djokovic in the final that he would not return to the practice courts until he was completely healed physically and mentally.

tfouto,

i suggest you read nadal’s interview (it’s posted as a thread on this blog) and i think you will find that he said nothing about his foot as an excuse. Also, you might want to check with the London Times to see where they get the information.


WTF Says:

Time for me to acknowledge that right now, and at least for the next few years, Novak Djokovic is well and truly the best player in the world. No dispute about it, he has earned the #1 ranking.

His transformation at the end of last season is Federer-like. I’m not sure what he did in the off season, but it’s worked well. He is a lot fitter than before. Even as recently as last year, I saw him panting and out of breath. That doesn’t happen anymore. What happened to his asthma? Whatever he did during his off season, he should have done it ages ago. He’d have at least 6 majors by now.

He is probably the best defender in the business, getting everything back and not hitting errors, forcing Nadal to go closer to the lines and drawing the error from Nadal. This is something Nadal used to do to other players quite effectively but now he’s been given a dose of his own medicine.

Mentally he has an edge. He has Nadal’s number, and pretty much everyone else’s. He handles pressure well.

The second set was all Djokovic, and third set all Nadal. But in the first and fourth sets, both players were competitive until the end of the set when Nadal was first to croak. You wouldn’t have expected that from him, but it’s all credit to Novak. Admirably, Nadal when down break points continued to go for it. He knew that if he just played safe instead of trying to win the point, Djokovic would destroy him. The simple fact is he can no longer beat Djokovic in rallies, or hit the ball through him. He used to be a master of doing this, but now Djokovic is more than his equal.

It’s hard to see Nole not being favorite for the US Open and any other slam from here on if he keeps his level up. No one else has answers to his game if he keeps gets every ball back and refuses to hit errors.

Only a few days ago, Sean asked “Is Federer finished?”. With Djokovic in the ascendancy, I’d like to ask, “Is Nadal finished?” I don’t think he is (there are still French Opens to be won) but it’s certainly a fair question.

One has to wonder who will be the next player to step up and take it to Djokovic. The ’11 Djokovic is better than Nadal ever was, and I would say is about equal to Federer in his prime.

Well done Nole. I salute you. Respect.


Brando Says:

@mem i also hope he stays out until the USO. he’s won montreal twice already, cincy realistically is the toughest tournament on tour for him to win, but he has 2 semi final losses there. he should forget chasing the year end no1 as djokovic is 2000 plus ponts ahead already and has less to defend than rafa for most of the remaining season. he is a clear no.2 (2000 plus points on federer) and if he misses montreal/cincy he loses 540 points but gains 500 in august for barcelona. so, its best that he takes the time out to rest and regroup.


El Flaco Says:

Grendel says,I was watching again that serve and volley in the final game, and an elementary question occurs to me. I kept replaying it, and so far as I could see, Djokovic’s approach was ever so slightly tentative, as if he wasn’t entirely sure of the wisdom of the move.
——————————————-

Excellent observation Grendel. This is one of the subtle strategies that most people don’t notice when Djokovic plays against Nadal. Most of his net approaches against Nadal have a slight delay which disguises his intentions. The upside is Nadal won’t realize until the very last moment that Djoko is approaching the net. The downside is your net positioning will be poor if the opponent hits a good shot. Davydenko perfected this strategy against Nadal on hard court. Nalbandian is very good at doing this.

That serve and volley at 30-30 in the final game by Djoko was delayed. He only committed part way so that he could jump on a floater or move back if Nadal hit a solid return. Djokovic also delayed his approach to the net on match point. He used his normal footwork on the forehand then after it was struck he decided to move forward. Nadal saw this at the last possible moment and made a poor attempt at a passing shot.

I can’t remember when, but on another point Djokovic angled a cross court forehand then moved into the net late. Nadal saw it at the last moment and couldn’t change from his slice so he tried to hit it low down the line. Djokovic was able to angle a cross court volley that Nadal ran down and pushed down the line. Djoko cut it off for an open court forehand volley winner.

Federer almost never disguises his net approaches against Nadal. I can tell you before he even strikes the ball based on his footwork and forward momentum that he is coming to the net and Nadal certainly knows as well.


jane Says:

WTF asks: “Even as recently as last year, I saw him panting and out of breath. That doesn’t happen anymore. What happened to his asthma? Whatever he did during his off season, he should have done it ages ago.”

————————————–

From my post today @ 1:!5, the link to BBC’s pre-final interview with Vajda, Nole’s coach:

“”Yes, we also worked hard on the physical side. Novak needed to improve his endurance. He was not able to stay on the court for a long time. He would manage five sets but it would take a lot of energy away from him for the next match. Now he’s able to maintain that because he’s far better technically and physically.

“We did a lot of running and a bike work but, in addition, he improved his health. We found he had a gluten allergy and since he’s cut that out of his diet, he is able to breathe better and take in more oxygen. His body is much healthier and this is the key.

“But most of all, when you have a good serve you shorten games and hold easily – and that makes you stronger mentally. There are still areas to work on – he can improve his approach to and position at the net – but he’s getting better and better.”"


mem Says:

Brando,

as much as i love to watch nadal play, i would never ever want him to jeopadize his health or his chances at the usopen just for masters events. he’s been in 8 finals already this year. only one player(Novak) has done better than him. as good as murray is he hasn’t won one title this year, and roger has won one.

nadal has had a great season considering all the points he had to defend. so, it won’t hurt him to let novak or some other player win cincy or montreal. that way, after he rests, if all goes well, he can start preparing for the usopen. you know, he won’t back down regardless of how many times he’s beaten. it won’t break his spirit. that’s a given!

anyway, i’m happy that he has made a decision to take time off. wishing him all the best. his fans will miss him during the break.


Dan Martin Says:

I think during rallies Novak was able to really find a weak spot with Nadal by hitting into the forehand corner a lot. This takes a great backhand and court coverage, but it has been odd for me to see a bit of a gap in Rafa’s ground game if you can get to his forehand (so far in his matches with Novak only – Murray comes to mind as a player who should try to copy this gameplan vs. Rafa).

Novak was panned last year when he let Todd Martin (no relation) go. Um … Todd Martin is not on top of anyone’s list to coach at this moment.

Maybe Roddick should split with Larry S. and try to do a back to basics, big serve, big forehand last dash for glory by hitting so many winners (and errors) as to give his opponent no rhythm. Who knows?


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Grendel respectfully disagree w/ you about DP. he slipped alot during the match w/ Nadal including the one where he injured himself. w/out sure footing he was not able to always hit w/ max power allowing nadal to take initiative in the rallies moreso than i feel he would have been able to on hard courts.


Possum Says:

Novak looked very shaky in the forth set but Rafa uncharacteristically could not capitalise; instead he was the one to wilt, gifting Novak the break. When Novak served for the match he was definitely nervous; the first point was a sure sign of his tenseness – but again, Rafa could not exploit. Had Rafa won the forth, there’s no doubt in my mind he would have won the match. I think 5 straight losses has Novak playing tricks with Rafa’s head, same as Rafa does with Roger’s.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Grendel in regards to Djoker on grass by the end of the big W the strip along the baseline is worn to dirt. the footing is much better than early in the tournament.


El Flaco Says:

As I was watching Djokovic repeatedly bounce the ball before each serve I was amazed at the sound. It really sounded like he was bouncing the ball off pavement. You can’t hear it on the internet, but on NBC it was very pronounced. It did not sound like grass at all.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@El Flaco i agree I always thought Fed telegraphed too many of his net approaches to Nadal. I thought he should be more deceptive about it. show rush and back off. or come in on delays.


Dan Martin Says:

Possum, I agree the 4th set was odd. I think Novak serving first did put some pressure on Rafa (he’s down two sets and serving at 0-1 or at 3-4 and a break could be all it takes). Still, I did not think either man hit full stride in the 4th. Nole was setting an unbelievable standard the first two sets. The second set was maybe the best tennis I have ever seen a player play in a big situation.


tennisfansince76 Says:

serve and volley can only be used in the modern game as a surprise tactic. if you give a consistent target you are toast. although some players have had some success w/ it on grass still. Llodra had a nice run at Wimby this year until he ran into Djoker.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Dan Martin. i didn’t think the 4th set was that odd.i thought Djoker’s nerves got the best of him in the 3rd set and extending into the first service game of the 4th set which he almost gave away w/ mistakesis and weak play. once he escaped from that service game he firmed up. his level came up. not quite to where it was in the 2nd set but good enough to win.


Michael Says:

If there is any player who got the measure of Nadal, it is Djokovic. What a year this man is enjoying ? Really spectacular !! Beating the Matador five consecutive straight times in Masters and major finals is no ordinary feat. It is an achievement which even the Greatest Federer couldn’t manage. Djokovic has done exactly that and he has once again got the better of Nadal in his least favoured surface when almost all critics and commentators have written him off. It goes on well to explain that no player is unbeatable. What matters is perfect execution on the Court. Give it to this guy, this man knows how to play against Nadal and make him succumb to pressure. He returns with ease even the best of Nadal’s first serves and tames the vicious forehand of Nadal. He makes him run hither and thither and just outpaces him in the Court. Hats off this Champion !! If this is the result in a Grass court, I shudder to think about the Hard Courts which is Djokovic’s most preferred surface ??


Michael Says:

I do think that Murray’s dream of winning a major is as good as over. He has too much players to contend with today. There is Nadal, Djokovic, Federer (aging but still a threat), the irreprisible Del Potro and the dancing Tsonga. Things are getting a little bit tougher for the Scott. He has to take a leaf out of Djokovic’s regimen to come out successful.


Michael Says:

Actually it is Federer who Nadal should thank for beating Djokovic at the French. If not, Djokovic would surely got the better of him in the finals. I for one think that Djokovic plays well against Rafa on Clay Court more than the hard court. His Straight sets victory at the Madrid and Rome Master finals is testimony to that. So for No.10, Rafa ows Federer a lot !!


Dan Martin Says:

Nole is among good company with the two time hard court Aussie Open winners – Lendl, Becker, Sampras, and Courier. Throw in a Wimbledon title, taking the #1 ranking from a dominant champion, a Davis Cup title and a an Olympic Bronze in 08 and is Nole the most accomplished Serbian athlete?

Look at who Nole has beaten in the semis and final of his 3 slam titles – Federer and tsonga 2 X, Murray and Nadal. He did not exactly get any of those 3 draws to break wide open.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Just wanted to say great reading up here today from all angles.

After watching Nole up close practicing for 1 1/2 hrs in between matches up close at IW this year I have to say I am not surprised. Pounding the ball from both wings, stinging volley workouts, overhead ,slice, approach, going extremely hard. He looked fantastic. He worked out harder than most, and he looked determined and steely eyed all the time having fun. The scary thing was he still looked like he could improve. The game that they builtt for him has a very solid foundation. Classic stroke production, but uncanny ability to hit hard from any position. His march to #1 is legit, and very well deserved. IMHO, it was just plain old hard work, and that is a good thing.


mem Says:

Michael,

do you mean the same way roger owes soderling for taking out nadal 2009 roland garros? are you saying that roger owes soderling a lot for #16?

that’s the nature of the sport. players don’t control who they play. we can only spectulate as to what would have happened,IF! too bad we will never know.


madmax Says:

mem,

did you actually watch RG in 2009 and the way Federer played. You only play the oppoent before you. The match against Haas? Delpotro? It’s not federer’s fault that nadal couldn’t make it to the final. In fact on many occasions when rafa hasn’t made the final, and fed has won the tourny, that’s rafa’s problem not fed’s.

Appreciate it for once. (impossible I know).

As for the fracture and nadal NOW saying he has a fracture, what about the ‘Everything is fine, there are no problems statement?’ I am 100% fit, does this not all sound a bit like sour grapes/

There really was no need for it to be fair. Rafa lost. Novak Won. That’s it.

If you are fit enough to enter the match on the day, don’t come out with excuses when you lose. It’s poor sportsmanship.

I don’t think there is any love lost now. I watched the body language at the end at the net. Novak all wide eyed, like he had seen snow for the first time as a child. No hug, nothing. This was Novak’s FIRST WIN at wimbledon.

Go back to 2008, when Rafa won his FIRST wimbledon and how heartbreaking that must have been fo Fed, yet look at the end of this match. The warm hug, the understanding.

Rafa’s fracture excuse is no better than David Haye’s, I had a broken toe. Not the done thing.

Trufan,

‘We will NEVER see a top player again with a one-handed backhand. It just doesn’t work anymore with all the racket technology at the opponents disposal. Federer was the last one. Look at the top 20 and tell me who else has a one-handed backhand. And then tell me if they have any reasonable shot of winning a slam’.

I disagree.

If Federer can beat nadal with a one handed backhand, which was deadly at the WTF 2010, then he can do it again.

It’s the mental side of things that need the work.


Michael Says:

Mem, May be you are right. Federer owes Soderling for his #15. It is not that Federer is an inferior player to Nadal in any way. Infact he is a much superior player. But the problem was the terrible match up and the fact that Federer was beaten continuously by Nadal on his favourite Clay Court Surface which he carried over to other surfaces purely by mental instability on the part of Federer. Thus he lost many matches he should have won against Nadal especially the Australian Open 2009, when Federer was clearly the better player. A match he should have won in four sets, he lost in five clearly choking in the fifth. I salute Djokovic because he is the one player who can give Nadal sleepless night and can beat him in his own game slugging out from the back court. This has happened thanks to the match up and the fact that continous defeats made Nadal lose his mental strength which was tremendously hyped by commentators. If only Djokovic can keep his health, he will surely amass more majors.


margot Says:

grendel, cheers, had not seen that but must admit I am losing my belief, that Andy will win a slam, faster than a meteor falling to earth. Aren’t Inverdale and our adopted Brit, Greg, doing a typical Brit thing of “just a little extra push then we can do it……” Dunkirk etc. Not at all convinced myself.
Lloyd was suggesting Connors as a coach for Andy lol, don’t see that working.
Good job I love the beautiful game for itself, isn’t it…and Tomic is helping ;)
Am fine with Inverdale, but if it’s Castle would be forced to cancel my license!
Loved those jumps to the players’ boxes too. Especially Nole’s kid brother, living every point, wonderful! Apparently he is a better player than Nole! Another tennis dynasty?
Watching the match I thought, Nole is as fast as Rafa, as strong as Rafa and more accurate on the baseline than Rafa. Never in a million years did I think I would write all 3 about ONE other player. Astonishing.


stu Says:

Yes, SO thrilled with the serve and volley in the final game of the match, and his improved net skills in general!

And during the trophy ceremony, Djokovic STILL called Rafa the best player in the world…


tennisfansince76 Says:

one thing i would also like to point out is that winning Wimbledon is big, big big. i think of all the majors it is the one that the players covet the most. i don’t think any other tourney can make the knees so weak as Nadal’s did in one of the 2008 tiebreaks against Fed. big for Nole to have won more so than the AO


James Says:

Terrific match. Nole has had a handicap all these years and didn’t even know it! Once he figured out the allergy problem and got the serve working again… well, the results speak for themselves.


mem Says:

Michael,

i fail to see how one is different from the other. you said yourself, it’s about matchups. based on what we know, nadal matches up well with federer and djokovic matches up well with nadal. so, what’s the difference?

you are trying to separate the two to make it appear that roger beating novak at the french is more of a favor to nadal, then soderling beating nadal at the french as a favor to roger. none of this matters to me, because roger won #15 and nadal won #10 and we can’t change that. i’m just trying to figure out how you arrived at that conclusion.

we can make the argument that soderling did roger a favor by defeating nadal. we can also argue that roger did nadal a favor by defeating novak. in both cases, we are spectulating. there is no guarantee that either would have happened had they met. nonetheless, they both won titles after the player they struggle to beat was eliminated by another player. how’s is one different from the other? the results are the same.

btw, what does hype has to do with? do you believe everything commentators say to be the gospel? that’s what commentators do. they use their platforms to hype whomever they choose. they are human; they have their favorites too. listen to their commentary and you will figure it out. of course they are going hype nadal losses more, while simultaneously promoting novak. they need to promote novak. you have to understand the tactic behind the hype. fact is, novak is their last hope to save tennis from the rafa’s domination and to protect roger’s records from nadal too. of course, commentators are going to milk it for what it’s worth. it’s a mind game. novak is a just a pawn in the game. they need him to continue believe that he is better than nadal so that he will put forth every effort to prevent rafa from winning more slams and setting more records. don’t be naive! it’s all about psychology. simple as that!


Michael Says:

Mem, I never differentiated between the two in the first place. I maintain that as Soderling did a favour to Federer by beating Nadal, Federer did a favour to Nadal by beating Djokovic. Ofcourse I am speculating the result on what would have been based on past results, but it does make an interesting analysis. However,still I see a slight difference between the two given propositions. Nadal was not in the prime of his form at the French when he lost to Soderling and moreover he was injured whereas Djokovic is in the finest form and fully fit. We can also argue that Federer would have managed to defeat an off colour Nadal even if he had reached the French finals then. That would be certainly valid. But not here in this case when a fully fit Djokovic beat Nadal. Ofcourse our dissecting is not going to change any record. I do not buy your logic that all Commentators are Federerites. They comment based upon the situation then and this applies to a majority of them. But ofcourse there are black sheeps and a few commentators offer their views in a prejudiced way. By the way, Roger doesn’t need a Novak to protect his record. Everything is in the racket of Nadal. But matching Federer in majors is one thing and the way you pile it up is quote another. Common, you cannot win 10 French Opens and add it up to 16 by accumulating some more majors. That is not a decent record. On the other hand Federer major accumulation is wide spread – five consecutive wins at the Wimbledon and US and a quarret of wins at the Australian Open. That is not a small achievement by any means. Nadal can never match that in his life time.


madmax Says:

Mem,

Nadal owes federer one I think, for taking out novak in the RG semi final.

Going back to RG 2009, how can you say that Fed’s winning was due to rafa not being in the final? It’s just crazy. Rafa played and was fit enough to play, the fact that he got knocked out is not fed’s fault.

Fed has his own difficulties in getting through an in form Haas and a brilliant delpo. He earnt his win, fair and square. Because you don’t like the result, doesn’t really matter.

It’s the same old argument really.


Mila Says:

An article on the Wimbledon official site summarizes the situation the best, in my opinion. Especially the very first paragraph:

“So now we know. For all the post-match problems on the Centre Court with assorted microphones, one message was broadcast loud and clear from Wimbledon. The rankings are correct and there can be no argument any more. Novak Djokovic really is the best player in the world.”

Here is the link, if you wanna read more:

http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2011-07-03/201107031309701857094.html


ding dong Says:

Yip, not really a humdinger we have witnessed but nevertheless a tennis match. Credit is due to the champion for a lot of reason. Me personally feels tennis is dying a slow death for a lot of reasons but in particular the technological evolution.Skill has gone out of the window and tennis pitches had become annoyingly similar. RED CLAY, GREEN CLAY — same difference–so what the f******k. It is who is hitting the ball the hardest and not structuring a point and outwitting the opponent. Show me one brilliant NADAL or DJOKOVIC shot and I will kiss my own a****.

NADAL as a tennis player is no different than DJOKOVIC, they both try to hit the ball as hard as they could. No real change of speed or variation. Running a ball down and winning a point credits only your physical ability, nothing more. RAFA IS INTELLIGENCE WISE AS DEAD AS DJOKOVIC AND THE REST OF A LOT OF OTHER PLAYERS… WE WILL SORELY MISS THE SHOTMAKING,FINESSE,GRACE, and you name it– of FEDERER.

TENNIS AS WE NOW IT NOW IS DEAD…LETS WRITE THE OBITUARY.


tfouto Says:

well i will not say that Djokovic tennis is the same of Nadal. Or say its dead. I think that Djokovic also try to structure the point sometimes. But if we compare games to my eyes, the Djokovic-Federer SF on RG was a much better game then yesterday final. The shots were much much better or at least much beautifull to watch, that’s for sure.

To me the one-handed BH is a beauty of its own. Federer, Wawrinka and specially Gasquet.


Swiss Maestro Says:

Well done joker. time you stepped it up. interesting times in tennis.

It is like rock-paper-scissors with fed, nadal and joker. atleast i am sure most people who have a decent brain will understand that H2Hs are about match-ups and any amount of mental toughness cannot help you from being owned by another player if you donot match up well.

Federer nation will rest at ease for a little while now. In novak’s victory, he has stopped nadal from a GS and no.1 ranking. How do you say thankyou in serbian? novak fans, help me out…


Dan Martin Says:

I think we need some GOAT moratoriums passed by the UN. Djokovic is the best player in the world right now. He did not back into the ranking in any way either. Consider that Nadal has 3200 points from Wimbledon and the French Open and 3400 points this year from the Masters 1000 events to this point. Normally, he’d be #1 due to both this large point haul from 2011 and what he collected at the USO and YEC last year.

A lot of the accomplishments by Federer and Nadal really deserve the perspective of time to come into full relief. This streak by Nole falls into the same boat. Even if he drops his next match he would have gone 7 months with a 96% winning percentage! If he wins, 98%!

I did like Nadal’s sentiment about trying a 6th, 7th time … vs. Nole. It was not quite Connors vowing to follow Borg across the globe, but Nadal said the right thing about continuing to try. His answer of needing to play more aggressively while simultaneously producing fewer errors vs. Nole seemed a bit unrealistic. I think picking up aggression likely leads to more errors and cutting back on errors likely means less aggression. Then again I am a hacker on the court, and Nadal is certainly not that.

As for Ding Dong’s comments, well things change. people likely said this about Connors and then Borg “ruining” a predominantly one-handed backhand game in which most players played singles and doubles year round. Ljubicic played well as an old man with a one handed backhand. Tsonga, despite a two hander, recalls some of Becker’s explosive, acrobatic play. Dimitrov looks to be on his way up even if it took longer than expected. Tomic has variety of pace and placement. Feliciano and Llodra did well. Federer was one set from the semis.

Beyond all of that. Nadal has added solid volleying to his game over the years even if he did not venture forward that often. Versus Delpo, Nadal used a slice in ways he could not have in 2005 or 2006. Nole volleyed well yesterday. These guys have a lot of shots. I think players are very strong and fit today. Strings make passing shots a bit easier. This means fewer net approaches. Maybe the next string innovation will make it easier to chip the ball and keep it skidding or something. It is hard to say. Didn’t tennis ‘die’ several times with the advent of graphite, the huge serve movement (sorry Greg R.), the clay court specialist movement (sorry Alberto B.), ….


Rick Says:

He is not like Federer! He doesn’t choke with 2 sets lead over other players! lol


Rick Says:

Nadal is too modest, when he made comments about Novak of Federer. It made people feel that he is not very confident being number 1.


ding dong Says:

DAN MARTIN, sure things change, but the cliche is applicable here. ………THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME FOR SOME GUYS LIKE THE CYBORGS (NADAL AND DJOKO). MATCH UPS WORK WELL, but if i am like the next guy, what is there to match.ONLY HIS PHYSICAL PROWESS?????? Thats why Nadal has struggled in all these finals to Djoko. In Federer’s defence one might argue its his single backhand that let him down against Nadal. If you are trained in a one-dimensional way, the likelihood that you will change is zero (READ: RODDICK, MURRAY, NADAL NOW AS WELL etc etc etc) THE FEDS LONGEVITY is due to the fact that he has added every now and then something new to his repertoire, hence his long term success rate on the circuit.

Look at how Tomic troubled these hard hitters just with slight paste changes to his game. Thats what we need in tennis to enjoy and look forward to it. Thats why the public embraced Federer for so long. THATS WHY DJOKO WONT LAST LONG. NADAL IS SORT OF SHIFTED BACK TO SECOND PLACE. I THINK HE WONT BE REALLY A THREAT AS MUCH CAUSE DJOKER HAS MELTED THE PHSYCOLOGICAL ICEBERG FOR A LOT OF GUNSLINGERS ON THE NADAL TRAIL.

LET ME GIVE YOU A PREDICTION. NEXT GUY TO BEAT DJOKO WILL BE DELPO. HE HITS JUST AS HARD AND HIS COACHES WILL JUST WORK ON HIS MOBILITY ON OTHER SURFACES. THERE WILL BE NOTHING NEW TO HIS GAME. THE STYLE BECOMES GENERIC.


ding dong Says:

Federer – GOAT

Nadal – GOAT (Clay has skewed his success distribution from a statistical view point)

Djokovic – GOAT in one year

Murray alias “CHOKERVIC” – Greatest ckoker of all time

BEFORE I FORGET – Nadal is also the GOAT for MTO’s, pre and post-match excuses after a loss, gamemanship, on-court-training etc etc etc


Mila Says:

ding dong,

It is not necessary to use capital letters so much. Look how other posters do it, caps only for names and start of sentences.
Or perhaps you think no one would read your ‘wisdom’ unless emphasized like that.

I get what you wanna say – Federer is the best and anyone who beats him is robot and cyborg and their tennis is crap. You see it could e said without using caps and in much shorter paragraph.


ding dong Says:

Mila, thats exactly what my name implies. I am one for the BIG TIME.

GET IT???? HUH?????????? HUH????????HUH????????


mrmilbury Says:

Nadal in his post-match interview has wondered on how he will need to make some adjustment in his play style.
He needs to change something but the real question is: can he? In this last years the strategy of ‘hit one more damned shot to make the point’ has well done. In many matches Nadal seemes outplayed in the early games but in the distance it was always the same old story.
Maybe he could have lost a set or two (Haase or Petzschner docet), but in the end he is the one who stood still.
Width the Djoker is a different thing. But can Nadal find new way? Less rotation? More Federer-like playstyle? Not two meters behind the baseline but more aggresive with less time to strike the ball and to use is alien-like topspin?
I don’t think so.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Humble Rafa ,

Do you have a hairline fracture or not?

http://www.as.com/tenis/


Skeezerweezer Says:

@humble Rafa

Thanks for the link. Just remember however, when Rafa says ” impossible”, it doesn’t mean jack doo doo.

Interesting post on that link quoting Martina

“Martina Navratilova noted “(The Greatest Of All Time is) a combination of how many grand slams have you won, how many tournaments have you won, how many years you were number one and (Federer’s) got all those combinations. The body of work is phenomenal and now (Federer) has got that French Open and I think he can just go on and sip Margaritas for the rest of his life.”


trufan Says:

Nadal beat his opponents due to his incredible foot speed and stamina. He knew he could outrun and outlast anyone, and get almost anything back. That’s what gave him the mental edge too.

I have been saying this for a while – the first things to go with age are foot speed and stamina. He is already slower this year than last year (which will be seen as his peak – 2010, just like 2006 was Federer’s peak).

Of course, being lefty really helped him against Fed, who, lucky for Nadal, has a one-handed backhand.

So many things had to come together for Nadal to win as much as he did. He is probably been more lucky than anyone else.

But now its done. He will probably be a strong contendor for the French next year. But other than that – he is just going to fade away fast, especially starting 2013.

I would bet on Federer’s 16 to stay. After Borg’s 11, it took 20 years for Sampras to beat it. Fed beat it soon after. But it doesn’t happen that often.


trufan Says:

As the bar is raised, it becomes harder and harder to raise the bar further. Some sports records last many decades (like Bob Beamon’s 8.90m long jump in 1968). Some last forever (like Don Bradman’s 99.96 cricket batting average). Federer’s 16 is perhaps in between.

Jack Nicklaus’s 18 golf majors seemed destined to be overtaken in 2008 when Tiger reached 14. Doesn’t seem that likely now.

It’s easier to come closer to such records. Very hard to go the last mile and overtake them.

16 majors. 23 slam finals. 10 consecutive slam finals (and 18 or 19). 23 consecutive slam semis. 237 weeks consecutive No 1. 24 consecutive finals wins. Doesn’t seem likely that these will be broken anytime soon.

Even with his incredible winning streak, Djokovic is at 3 slams, 5 finals, 1 consecutive final, 5 consecutive semis. Nadal is at 2 consecutive finals and semis.


Dan Martin Says:

I did think about Roger being 11-2 in his first 13 major finals and now being 16-7. Nadal is 10-3 in his first 13 major finals. I agree that players rise and decline. My guess though is that people were too quick to write obituaries for Federer and Nadal. I do think the field is getting deeper. There is a turning of sorts taking place. Federer may be the last of the New Balls generation to play in the top 5 (Roddick, Hewitt, and JCF look to be on the downside of things). The 23-26 year old players seem to be hitting their stride. Younger guys are taking some steps. How well JMDP can recover his 2009 form and how well Tsonga can build on his Wimbledon & Queen’s Club results seem like the two biggest questions heading into the USO.


Jimbo Jones Says:

Modern Top 10 Performers at each slam – Active Players * – Draw your own conclussions

Aussie Open – 1 Federer* 2 Agassi 3 Wilander 4 Edberg 5 Lendl 6 Sampras 7 Courier 8 Becker 9 Djokovic* 10 Safin

French Open – 1 Nadal* 1 Borg 3 Lendl 3 Wilander 5 Guga 6 Bruguerra 7 Courier 8 Federer* 9 Agassi 10 Ferrero*

Wimbledon – 1 Sampras 2 Federer* 3 Borg 4 Becker 5 McEnroe 6 Connors 7 Nadal* 8 Edberg 9 Ivanesivic 10 Agassi

USO – 1 Connors 1 Sampras 3 Federer* 4 Lendl 5 McEnroe 6 Agassi 7 Edberg 8 Rafter 9 Hewitt* 10 Roddick*

Titles was first consideration, then finals, then semis and then quarters


grendel Says:

Boris Becker on the importance of being among the top 4 seeds: “if you’re only #5 or#6 in the world, you’re going to hit them [top4] in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final: guess what, you’re not going to make it.”
Big Becker Beam amid chortles from Sue Barker.


margot Says:

jane and kimmi, how’s your curtsey going? ;)


Mike Says:

SO is wimbledon going to espn…meaning ABC, btw i find espn coverage awful. The best was with TNT remember?


mem Says:

Michael,

if you are sure that nadal can’t match roger’s record, then there’s nothing to worry about is there. well, i don’t have the ability to foretell the future like you.

i’m afraid you’re still missing the point. my point is, we can make an argument for both cases. they are similar in nature.

reasons like racket technology are irrelevant to the discussion because we were not discussing the impact of racquet strings, but rather that both players were eliminated and that may have potentially influence the outcomes. again, we have no proof. it’s just a logical argument, not a fact. anyway, it’s not a big deal. like you said, it’s just an analysis of opinions. we both perceive it differently. that’s it!


jane Says:

“It took two majors, eight titles, and one loss since November, but the 24-year-old Djokovic wrested control of No. 1 from the intractable duo of Nadal and Roger Federer. No two men had ever held the top ranking longer — 387 weeks.”

That quote really puts into perspective what Nole did, what he knew he had to do, in order fulfill his dreams at 24, an age when tennis players seem to be peaking. I wonder if any other tennis player has had such a difficult road to get to number one!? Rafa trying to catch Roger? But it seems to me that in the past, a couple of Masters titles and a slam would guarantee it. Maybe I am mistaken about that though. Looking at the top ten rankings today, the points spread between one and ten is remarkable, and even the top four. Of course the difficult part is always defending, but a player cannot think of that if she/he is winning.


funches Says:

The best Wimbledon coverage should have been on HBO, which had it for years. No commercials. Awesome.

One problem: Once HBO went live in 1993 (it had shown a two-and-hour tape job in the early evening up until then), it demonstrated it had no clue how to cover multiple matches, and the whole coverage had a taped feel even though it was live.

I can’t stand ESPN’s yackety-yack approach. They had what, 11 announcers, covering it, so everyone had to get a word in edgewise. That’s far too many voices. NBC had four people at Wimbledon.

If ESPN would cut down on the chatter and actually show matches, I could live with it being the full-time Wimbledon coverer. But the reality is we’ll probably see more than 11 people there next year, meaning even more studio time.


margot Says:

funches, a couple of matches on the beeb from court 18, had NO commentary. It was really strange watching a match on TV with only sounds being balls struck, umpire, crowd etc. and no yakkety yak.
And yes, I tuned into court 18 whenever I could ;)


jane Says:

I found the chatter on ESPN to be insufferable, but not only that. They also fail to show almost any matches in their entirety until maybe the quarters! The early rounds are probably difficult to cover as it is as there are so many matches happening. But they add to that difficulty with their endless studio analyses, interviews and clips, as funches points out. It is totally annoying. Forget the name of the leading commentator at the studio desk, but she drove me bonkers.


margot Says:

jane, no update on your curtsey practise…must be perfect…;)


jane Says:

margot, why would I be curtseying? O_o blink


Mike Says:

Yeah the qf tsonga and djoko was ruined by the cahill and announcer guy team. Also, i find the ball hard to see on ESPN.


madmax Says:

mem,

did you actually watch RG in 2009 and the way Federer played. You only play the oppoent before you. The match against Haas? Delpotro? It’s not federer’s fault that nadal couldn’t make it to the final. In fact on many occasions when rafa hasn’t made the final, and fed has won the tourny, that’s rafa’s problem not fed’s.

Appreciate it for once. (impossible I know).

As for the fracture and nadal NOW saying he has a fracture, what about the ‘Everything is fine, there are no problems statement?’ I am 100% fit, does this not all sound a bit like sour grapes/

There really was no need for it to be fair. Rafa lost. Novak Won. That’s it.

If you are fit enough to enter the match on the day, don’t come out with excuses when you lose. It’s poor sportsmanship.

I don’t think there is any love lost now. I watched the body language at the end at the net. Novak all wide eyed, like he had seen snow for the first time as a child. No hug, nothing. This was Novak’s FIRST WIN at wimbledon.

Go back to 2008, when Rafa won his FIRST wimbledon and how heartbreaking that must have been fo Fed, yet look at the end of this match. The warm hug, the understanding.

Rafa’s fracture excuse is no better than David Haye’s, I had a broken toe. Not the done thing.

Trufan,

‘We will NEVER see a top player again with a one-handed backhand. It just doesn’t work anymore with all the racket technology at the opponents disposal. Federer was the last one. Look at the top 20 and tell me who else has a one-handed backhand. And then tell me if they have any reasonable shot of winning a slam’.

I disagree.

If Federer can beat nadal with a one handed backhand, which was deadly at the WTF 2010, then he can do it again.

It’s the mental side of things that need the work.


skeezerweezer Says:

jane,

Saw this on CNN thought I would share,

http://www.cnn.com/2011/SPORT/tennis/07/04/tennis.wimbledon.djokovic.nadal/

Novak gives full credit to Fed/Rafa for his dominance. After playing them a combined 51 times in his career, YES, 51 times, you would think he has figured something out by now, and he has!! :)


Joe W Says:

Dan Martin: for what’s it worth, I enjoy your posts and consider you one of the pillar staff bloggers. Please continue.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Funches,

Agree with you about HBO, quality stuff. Also am missing the great story tellers Collins and Edberg during the tourneys. Enjoyed the culture of the country and the tennis stories they put together now and then. Showing my age ;(


margot Says:

jane…but, but..surely you’ve heard? It’s been all over our news…..;) Perhaps you prefer to bow?


margot Says:

skeeze @ 1.44 that gives me the teeniest, weeniest, far distant glimpse of something called…hope…but it’s kind of flickering a bit and could go out at any moment…. lol


jane Says:

I still don’t know margot? Unless you’re being facetious about Nole as “king” of tennis, lol. In which case, I’d rather party than curtsey or bow, ;) And I think Djoko would be okay with that, ha.


Joe W Says:

As far back as 2008, I always considered Novak to be the purest athlete on the tour, not withstanding the sports induced asthma. Wouldn’t it be interesting if, as a promo for their ubiquitous major tourney coverarge, ESPN held an ‘All Star Challenge” for the top ten tennis players in a format similiar to the NFL football player challenge. For the the tennis players: Shuttles, 20 yard dash, serve speed and accuracy, most crunches or squats in two minutes and some sort of low-impact obstacle course. I’d have my money on Novak, followed by Nadal, then Murray, Monfils, Federer, Ferrer, and then pick ‘ems for the remaining big guys (Roddick, Fish, Berdych, Soderling). What do you guys think? With such a short off season I’m not that you’d get buy off from the players.


jane Says:

skeeze, holy crap = 51!! Whoa! Thanks for the article. Usually, we see the head to heads of 9-14 or 12-16 but when put together, 51 matches. Phew. I don’t think (?) another player has been number 3 for a longer stretch of years (4 consecutive years ending at #3), so talk about feeling like a third wheel. No wonder Nole wanted to get out of that spot for a while and taste the air (grass?) a little higher up. ;)


Joe W Says:

Does anyone have a recommendation for a “wireless” ball machine? After recovering from four spine surgeries, I’m at a point where I’d like to pick up a tennis racket again and at least hit a few. Not sure about the running and ground pounding yet. I would be using the ball machine at public asphalt courts (with no electrical outlets).


andrea Says:

was away for the long weekend but caught up on highlights last night.

first of all, two brand new wimbledon winners! pretty cool.

after all the US-centric coverage in week one, focusing mainly on how the williams sisters would be a force this year – most even pegged serena at winning again! – it was refreshing to see an up and comer fulfill their potential (hello wozniacki, jankovic etc).

after rog got beaten by tsonga, my interest waned a little, but i have to get used to that. fed won’t be around much longer – another 1 or 2 wimbledon’s? – so i need to find some new faces to root for. not a massive fan of nadal or novak, but they play great matches so that is good enough for me. hopefully some of the next generation can make a play and spark some interest for me to avoid the ‘sampras era’…which is when men’s tennis was ho-hum for me.

that being said, novak played a great match; some of the points were just insanity. he held on and did it. things at the net post match still felt chilly and nadal looked very glumly stoic during t he ceremony.

props again to novak for his incredible season. he’s a deserving #1.


Joe W Says:

Here’s an interesting article on comparison of fitness levels between the J-Mac generation and the top players today…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wimbledon-2011-rafael-nadal-and-novak-djokovaic-set-to-battle-in-mens-final/2011/07/02/AG0SfjvH_story.html


Skeezerweezer Says:

margot

Hey now, hey now….

I was reading somewhere where Andy is now believing he can do the same seeing what Novak did, sooooo..wellll…there ya go ;)


mem Says:

madmax,

who am i to come up against someone like you. after all, you’re too intelligent for me. i can’t compete with you.

therefore, i will refer to the article just published on this site referencing the false report on nadal’s so-called fracture. that should clear things up for you. if not, check with The London Times, I’m sure they will provide you some satisfaction. I’m not the author of the report, all I did was read it and pointed it out to others.

the nadal interview that i read didn’t include any mention of an injury as an excuse. maybe i read the wrong interview. so, if you’re looking to solicit an excuse for nadal’s lost from me, i’m sorry you wasted your time, but you came to the wrong poster.

again, if it bothers you check with the source or you might want to call nadal or a member of his team. i’m sure they would shed some light on it for you. good luck!


Tootie Says:

I’m so happy for Nole. I just would like to see him get married and have a wholesome personal life–one that sets an example for people too.


jane Says:

margot, durrrr. Do you mean the impending “Royals visit” to Canada?! Ha ha, just clued in. Need to pull my head out of tennis tunnel for une moment.

Happy USA day to those to whom it applies. Saw some great fireworks here on July 1st, not to mention a new first. ;)


grendel Says:

@skeezer, 3.09 – http://sport.uk.msn.com/tennis/murray-inspired-by-djokovic-run

Only thing is, I recall Murray saying something very similar following one of the Fedal Wimbie finals. It inspired him, was going to work hard etc.


skeezerweezer Says:

^Neither him or Nole were consistenly beating Fedal at that time no? Now Nole is….


Kimberly Says:

re Andy, Nole…apparently what propelled Sampras to the top according to Kaiser was that he saw Courier break through. Noles success could inspire Andy and he could become as good or better according to this logic. He has a better serve.

However, after watching Murray I just don’t really know if he is as good as the top 3. I used to think he was but now I am honestly not sure. I used to watch him and say, why is this guy not number one? He’s fast as lightning, good forhand and backhand although FH lacks the sting of Rafole. Better 1st serve than either. But even on their worst most depressed PMS day I cannot see Rafa, Fed, or Novak losing to DOnald Young and Alexander Bogomolov in two successive tournaments. So I don’t know.


trufan Says:

Madmax,

agree with most of what you said. Except the one-handed backhand thing.

Nadal’s domination of Fed ON CLAY is PURELY due to the one-handed backhand having difficulty with high spinning balls.

Other than Federer, when was the last time someone won a slam with a one-handed backhand? And name another top player, playing today, who has a one-handed backhand and any chance of winning a slam. There’s nobody. Its just not optimal. Two hander is strictly more effective, reliable, and powerful. Especially when you never have to volley.

I think Nadal’s French train comes to a stop next year. Isner almost beat him this year itself. I think every player will be watching the Djoke tapes from last 5 matches, since the secret is now out – how to beat Nadal on every surface!


trufan Says:

Murray doesn’t have it. Federer will win another slam before Murray wins his first. Federer’s assessment of his game, after his first loss to him, was spot on – so many years later, its been proved right, he just doesn’t have the game to be attacking enough. When he tries to do it, makes too many errors, since its not natural to him. At 24, he can’t reinvent his game.

He could possibly retire as the best player never to have won a slam.


jane Says:

tfouto, good article, and good that Nole isn’t silly about things and knows full well that Rafa and Fed aren’t going anywhere, and that there are others, like Murray, who are contendors for slams too. I also like that he talks like he will win another Wimbledon, i.e., he isn’t content with eating SW19 grass just once.


grendel Says:

andrea:” novak played a great match; some of the points were just insanity.”

John Lloyd said that Djokovic’s display in the second set was the best he’d ever seen at Wimbledon. Lloyd is a deeply dull commentator – but he knows his stuff, has been in the final of a grandslam for instance.


Kimmi Says:

margot says “jane and kimmi, how’s your curtsey going? ;)”

ha-ha margot, i think for me i prefer to bow. but unfortunately they did not visit my town.
c’mon jane, the royals are everywhere in the news. But then you must be busy occupied with..the new king djokovic.. must have taken your time these few days. hale the new king *bow*


jane Says:

Kimmi, they are in the news, but brain was frozen or something. Wasn’t putting curtseying and royals together even though obvious. Besides which, margot, the royals are not coming to my neck of the woods either.


Kimmi Says:

So rafa is not injured, good. djokovic beat a healthy rafa in a grand slam final. so lets move on!


Nina Says:

The second set by Nole was the most compelling and brutal demonstration of tennis that I have seen on the lawn of the London English Club. Absolutely incredible, ruthless, flawless. I wish Nole could play like this forever and ever… sadly he seems to have a set where he always loses focus and concentration pretty bad.


Ben Pronin Says:

Kimberly, you know the old saying? You’re only as good as your second serve. Murray’s second serve is by far his greatest weakness, no matter how aggressive or passive the rest of his game is. That’s why he struggles so much, particularly when he’s playing bad.

Sampras and Federer had/have two of the best second serves in the business, especially at their respective peaks. Nadal is a lefty so what his second delivery lacks in speed it makes up for with that lefty spin and kick that’ll, also great placement. Djokovic, when he’s serving well, has great placement usually but he’s also willing to go for extra (nowadays).

So, in short, I don’t see Murray winning a slam anymore either. He just doesn’t seem to have what it takes, no matter how inspired and hard working he is.


grendel Says:

“old saying?” I always understood that was Sampras’ saying. But I admit, I couldn’t document that.
About Murray’s second serve. Considering how good his first serve can be, it’s quite a mystery why he cannot refashion it. I mean, he’s had plenty of time. What’s all this hard work he is reputed to do? What could be more urgent than addressing his 2nd serve?

However, for all I know, it is not so simple. Just because you have a good (sometimes) first serve may not mean you can develop a good second one. That’s a mystery to me, but I daresay it is so. Is it so? Perhaps Murray should take a leaf out of Tsonga’s book, and start firing down first serves as his second. Just take a bit off. What about that? Henin used to do that I think, and reckonned that the risk of double faults was worth it.


jane Says:

Well, Uncle Tony, Rafa and Novak all say Murray will win a slam. And with Uncle Tony’s prescience (witness: “Rafa you will play left-handed!”), coupled with the fact that Nadal and Nole have both played Andy several times, I am sticking by their assessments. Plus, Andy M has had his most consistent slam year ever so far this season: finals, semis, semis. He IS going to do it, imo. As Nole said, “he will have his party too.”


mem Says:

Nina,

this is ironic, i was telling my sister almost the exact same thing john lloyd said about novak’s second set. when nadal won the the third set 6:1, i told my sister that he had played such a compelling third set and carried the momentum into the fourth with break chances and that i couldn’t believe he didn’t take advantage of it. i was saying how he had novak worried and feeling pressure in the third. it would have been great if he could have continued with that kind of intensity in the fourth and possibly forced a fifth.

i guess great minds think alike after all. isn’t that something, here i am thinking like john lloyd. if that’s the case, i can’t be wrong.


skeezerweezer Says:

Kimberly,

Posted on the Bracket challenge site…..;)


Michael Says:

Considering the level of competition, Murray’s dream of winning a major will not fructify. He will be known as a player who made many semi finals and finals but never won a major. I would be happy if Murray defeats my prophesy.


Michael Says:

Does Nadal have consecutive winning streak in any of the majors apart from French ? When this is the case, it is funny when some critics label him as the GOAT. Compare this to Federer who has five consecutive winning streak at the Us Open and Wimbledon. Now who is the real GOAT ??


Dory Says:

Isn’t ANYbody pissed about Wimbledon’s sucky QF scheduling which is never gonna change? They keep 2 quarterfinals simultaneously on 2 courts so every year I miss 2 Wimbledon quarterfinals. Like this year I missed the Tsonga vs Federer match and Murray vs Lopez because they showed Tomic vs Djokovic and later Nadal vs Fish match. I couldn’t see how my beloved Federer lost at Wimbledon! I have download the match several days later via torrent to see how Federer lost. I couldn’t see how Murray came through to the semis! These Wimbledon officials need to be sued.


Borg Says:

You are King of Tennis Djokovic. But do you know who is the Emperor of Tennis, it is my Nadal.


grendel Says:

jane:”Well, Uncle Tony, Rafa and Novak all say Murray will win a slam”. I wouldn’t set any store by any of that. In their different ways, and from differing perspectives, they are all trying to be nice to a great player they like and respect but don’t believe constitutes any danger to them. That’s how I read it. When you’re on top of the mountain, you can afford to be generous. But I prefer the generosity of those at the bottom. They’re more likely to mean what they say.

Still, the jury is still out on Murray, and you never know. There always seem to be players like that. You’re not willing to rule them out, but as the years flit by, the opening gets ever narrower. Nalbandian – gone. Roddick another slam – gone. Hewitt to add to the two, at first a certainty but – long gone. Berdych – gone. Soderling – gone.

Murray definitely still around. But.


trufan Says:

Murray… gone.

Fed must be pretty relieved with 2011 so far. with Djoke pummeling Nadal silly, his GOAT status seems safer than it was 8 months ago.

If you compare Sampras and Nadal, who do you think has better GOAT claims? Its 14 versus 10, but Nadal has won all 4 slams. But then Sampras won the YEC 5 times. Plus 286 weeks no 1. Nadal has Olympic Gold. Both have davis cup.


Nims Says:

People who claim Novak’s 6-1 set is the best ever they have seen in Wimbledon should look at 6-0 first set between Roger and Nadal in 2006 finals.


trufan Says:

Or look at Becker’s 6-0 set over Edberg in the 1989 finals.

The Federer of 2004-06 was beyond sublime. No player, current or past, is even close to that level of play.

Federer lost 6 matches in 2004, 4 matches in 2005, 5 matches in 2006 (92-5!!), and 9 matches in 2007. Went 247-15 between 2004-06, and 315-24 between 2004-07 (with 11 slams in 4 years). No. 1 all the time, consecutively. 3 YEC, missed one in 2005 because of the ankle injury.

Nadal’s BEST year (last year), he went 72-10, did not win the YEC, nor made all 4 slam finals.

Nadal’s BEST year ever is worse than Federer’s 4th best year.

Djokovic might top that this year though. But not the 3 or 4 year mark.


Swiss Maestro Says:

If Novak is king of tennis and nadal its emperor, surely that swiss maestro must be the God of Tennis, no?

I find it utterly strange that tennis writers are missing an obvious narrative in this seismic shift of power in tennis. Djokovic has absolutely manhandled nadal this year. Right from the moment he won that final in indian wells, each of the matches including the “close” miami final had djokovic as winner written all over them, right from the moment the 1st shot was struck.

Imagine if djokovic was about 5yrs younger than nadal, do you think nadal would have ever got those 9 clay wins over djokovic? guessing from these 5 matches, one would have to be a rafatard to say yes to that!

Considering the above one must conclude that most tennis writers/analysts were wrong to point out that fed couldn’t figure out nadal in their rivalry. most of the matches in their rivalry (except 08 FO) went 5 sets outside of clay and atleast 4sets even on clay. Contrast that with rafa who won 1 set in the last 10sets played against djokovic. and djokovic is only a year older than nadal!

It seems fairly obvious that it is so much easier to be the “hunter” than the “hunted”. Rafa enjoyed that advantage against fed and now it is obvious the shoe is on the other foot with novak chasing rafa down.


Borg Says:

It is pathetic to see Federer supporters take refuge under Djokovic. They cannot explain the defeat of Federer against Nadal and the embarrassing H2H but to counter this they cite the Djokovic-Nadal rivalry. Remember folks, despite the five consecutive defeats, Nadal still leads Djokovic in their H2H and it is 16-12 in favour of Nadal. Their grand slam record stands at 5-1 in favour of Nadal. It is not like the lop sided Federer-Nadal rivalry where it is 17-8 and 7-2 in Grand slams. Nadal is not wary of Djokovic and I am sure by this time his team would have found out a way of countering Novak and we can always rely on Nadal who is a fighter till the last.


Borg Says:

It is joking when somebody call the Federer Vs Nadal as rivalry. What is rivalry – 17-8 ??? LOL !


Borg Says:

Federer is Nadal’s bunny just like Berdych, Verdasco, Almagor and Ferrer. It is as simple as that !! Hail Nadal.


trufan Says:

Looks like Nadal fans are very troubled now!!!

Oh boy, by this time next year, they may be tearing their hair apart. How the heck is their guy going to reach 16? Win 6 slams after turning 25? Hardly anyone has done that. Oh wait, his game is very physical, so is not even well suited to “old age” (a.k.a. past 26, in tennis years).

He now knows how to get a taste of his own medicine. Felt quite manly beating a guy 5 years older, ha? Now he gets beat by a guy just one year younger. Others are waiting. The recipe is out.


mem Says:

trufan,

i’m a nadal fan, and quite honestly,i think you guys are troubled enough for all nadal fans combined. if he loses, you guys are troubled about whether he’ll come back strongr. if he wins, you guys are troubled that he winning too much. fact is, the young man is just “popular” no matter what.

however, i can see why you guys worry non-stop. nadal does have everything!

this may help to settle you down and maybe you can get some sleep. check out beautiful, beautiful nadal on vacation.

yeah, right he looks really, really troubled in these photos. what do you think, trufan? is this what being troubled looks like? if so, i love it. what a gorgeous, charming young man!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2011757/Rafael-Nadal-licks-wounds-aboard-luxury-yacht-Ibiza-Wimbledon-defeat.html?ito=feeds-newsxml


skeezerweezer Says:

^Hunk a Hunk a burning Love. Sex Machine. Where’s the girls?


skeezerweezer Says:

borg,

Just an observation, your last 6 posts contain Federer 13 times or more, and H2H 4 times ( it was a rough count as I didn’t read every word ).


Michael Says:

Borg, By the way just stop your nonsense. What is the qualification you have to criticize a great champion like Federer ? You are nothing before him. Do you know this man and his achievements. He is the soul of Tennis. Even your idol Nadal will whack you left, right and Centre if he sees your post. Do you know, Nadal himself has acknowledged that Federer is the Greatest and therefore how much you cry it is not going to hold water and you can only be a cry baby. Henceforth stop whining by this H2H and belittle the greatness of Federer. Just imagine, 29 consecutive Quarters – it is inhuman and Federer has achieved that and has become immortal. It is hard to even imagine that somebody will break this record.


trufan Says:

Mem,

doesn’t seem to me that you understand written English well. I said Nadal FANS are troubled. Not Nadal. He is super rich, won 10 slams, which is a boatload given that other much more talented players (like McEnroe and Agassi) won much less. So he SHOULD be super happy.

Its his fans who seem to have their panties in a bunch, with all the beatdowns from Djokovic (5 finals in a row, all masters or slam, including 2 on clay in straight sets!!).

As for me – I have been saying for a while Fed is done. he is OLD. he won almost everything there is to win. 16 is the key number. He can retire satisfied. I don’t harbour any false expectations that he will win another slam – he might, if he is lucky. So I have nothing to be troubled about if Federer loses!

Of course, Djokovic beating the hell out of Nadal again and again is very pleasurable, I must say.

You seem quite troubled by that!!!

And wow, your adulation of Nadal seems so personal – you seemed charmed by him, attracted to him. You seem to be in love with him! So my condolences.


mem Says:

trufan,

doesn’t matter, the same applies. you do enough worrying for nadal, me, his 7+ million fans and everybody else, so, my advise to you is to give it a rest. he’ll be back soon and you can continue your “worrying spree.” until then, cheer up! nadal aint’ going nowhere.

i know this is hard for you to understand but i don’t have to be in love with player to respect and admire the ability and beauty of that person.
you have a one-track mind; try being a little bit more open-minded on different topics. you might like it.

although i must admit, his charm is breathtaking!

speaking about his charm, here is some interesting information on a poll conducted after nadal’s wimbledon defeat;

http://www.prurgent.com/2011-07-05/pressrelease181280.htm


dari Says:

Lol, nice poll mem!
Feliciano w/ only 6% is a shame though! :)
I take AI over Maria, though!


Kimmi Says:

Is this only women mem, or were there any men voting for rafa?

I am surprised ivanovic only got 16%.


trufan Says:

mem,

Inference certainly isn’t your strong suit.

I am not worried FOR Nadal. I don’t care a bit for ANY of the players! I don’t know them. I have a REAL life. Do you?

You seem completely smitten by Nadal. Propose to him yet? Charming, beautiful, gorgeous – these are the words you use to describe him, LOL! You seem pretty personally and emotionally engaged with this guy.

So I can certainly see why many of the posts on this forum would trouble you.

Federer loses every single match from now on, or nadal winning every single one – doesn’t affect my life one bit.

Though I must say I do enjoy Nole beating the heck out of Nadal!

As for predictions, certainly, Nadal has already overachieved, relative to his skills and potential. He isn’t getting to 16. Or even 14.


mem Says:

kimmi,

i don’t know if the participants were both male & females or just females. i thought it was interestisng read!

trufan,

call it what you like! as far as i’m concerned, rafa nadal is the “mr. tennis.”

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