Novak Djokovic: That Was Definitely One Of My Best Matches
by Staff | January 27th, 2012, 10:23 am
  • 104 Comments

Novak Djokovic is back in the finals of a Grand Slam for a third straight time following an epic 5-set win over Andy Murray. The rematch was nothing like Djokovic’s prior only win over Murray coming in the 2011 final won by the Serb in straight sets.

Murray was far more aggressive and offensive than previous meetings in this series which Djokovic now leads 7-4, 2-0 in Slams.

Djokovic’s win puts him in a third straight final against rival Rafael Nadal. Djokovic beat Nadal six times in finals last year including after a 5-set win over Roger Federer in the US Open semifinals.

Djokovic will have to recover in time for Sunday’s big showdown.

Here’s what Djokovic said in his post-match presser following the bug semifinal win:

Q. During the match, you got messages coming in from around the world people wondering how you managed to look so dead in the second and third sets and still managed to come through. How did you manage to come through?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You have to find strength in those moments and energy, and that keeps you going, I guess. At this level, very few points decide the winner, as it was the case tonight.

I think we both went through a physical crisis. You know, him at the fourth set, me all the way through the second and midway through the third. Had some chances in those sets.

But it was a very even match throughout, from the first to the last point. As I said on the court, I think we both found it easier to break each other’s serve rather than just, you know, serve it out and keep our serve going.

We both have great returns, and it was very difficult because we put a lot of pressure on each other’s serve. So even though I was 5­2 up in the fifth, I knew even playing against the wind on 5­3 I’m not the favorite in that game, you know. It’s proven to be the truth.

But I held my composure. I was happy to react the way I did and win in the end.

Q. This breathing problem, are you seeing a doctor about it or is it related to hayfever or something?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I’ve seen doctor and I’ve talked with some people. I don’t know. I’ve talked with couple of players that have a little allergy problems this year in Australia for now reason, ones they didn’t have in last couple years but they had reactions this year.

I suppose that’s my problem, as well. I’ve been trying to, you know, do everything possible to clear that out. But, you know, we are all surrounded with the flowers. It’s really difficult to take that away. But still, you know, I mean, no excuses.

It was very physical from both sides, from both players all the way through the end. For these kind of matches, you really practice all your life to be able to be a winner out of five sets.

Q. You played many tough matches in your career. Where do you rank this one?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Definitely one of the best ­ under the circumstances. I had a couple matches in New York against Roger in last couple years which can be compared to this one.

But time­wise, I think this was one of the longest, if not the longest, that I’ve played in the later stages of a Grand Slam.

Yeah, I have to be satisfied. I have to be happy. As I said, as a tennis player, you practice hard every single day knowing that you will get an opportunity to be part of such a great match and on such a high level.

Q. You know Andy pretty well. Have you noticed a difference in his attitude compared to last year’s final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. He was more confident on the court. He was taking his chances. He was being more aggressive. I think he was playing better.

Q. What effect do you think it will have to have spent so much physical energy and have to play Nadal?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There is no secret it is going to be physical again. I will do my best to recover. I have a day and a half. I will try to get as much sleep and recovery program underway and hope for the best.

I think that’s going to be crucial, you know, for me to recover and to be able to perform my best, because Rafa is fit. He’s been playing well. He had an extra day. He definitely wants to win this title.

Q. Do you take any encouragement from the fact when Rafa won it here a couple years ago the role was reversed?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, we are all different so we all have different scheduling, different programs that we respect with our teams. We all have different bodies that require more or less time to recover, so I can’t really compare that to him.

But I have been in similar situations, let’s say, before where I had the long matches and I’m supposed to play, like, for example, a couple years back with Roger I had a very long match, and then the next day I was supposed to play finals.

So, you know, we are familiar with these kind of conditions and situations, so we will try to take the best out of it and recover.

Q. What will you do for the next 48 hours to get yourself ready?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, try to get as much sleep. I don’t think I’ll practice much. I think I had enough time spent on the court. Now it’s all about recovery.

Q. You had a great run against Rafa whenever you met him last year. What, if at all, will that play on your mind or on his mind?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That’s something that we are about to see, you know, on Sunday. Yet again, I’m repeating that physically I need to be fit. I know that I maybe have a mental edge because I’ve won six finals the five or six times we played in 2011 and I’ve had lots of success against him.

On the other hand, it’s a new year. It’s a new challenge. It’s a different situation. As I said, he has maybe a day advantage over me for recovery and for getting ready for the finals.

That’s going to be my main priority and concern the next day and a half, to physically be able to perform my best and be ready to play five sets.

If I am able to do that, then I can believe that I can win.

Q. Were you ever scared in this match, a thought that ever came to you that you might lose this match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Definitely. It was so close. Both of us believed that we can win, and that’s how we played. We played with courage a lot of shots. In decisive moments we were aggressive and wanting to win this match.

I think crowd enjoyed as much as we did in competing. It could have easily gone the other way. He was couple of points away from winning the match, so I was lucky to go as a winner.

Q. Comparing him to when you saw him here a year ago, is his forehand a very much more aggressive shot?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

Q. Technically changed, as well?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, you can’t significantly change in technique a stroke, especially if you’re at this level. He’s already a complete player. Even last year he was.

It’s a matter of, you know, having a little bit of luck combined with a choice of the right shots at the right moments, and that’s it.

I mean, he’s so close to winning the Grand Slam. He’s one of the best players in the world, that’s for sure.

Q. Did he give you a reminder that as No. 1 it’s going to be very, very hard for you to keep your No. 1 ranking, let alone stay in the top 3?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m very much aware of that fact. Obviously there is Rafa, Roger, and Andy who have been probably my biggest rivals in the last couple years. I managed to get to the No. 1 place, win a couple of Grand Slams last year, and have the best year of my career.

I’m aware now that everyone wants to win the major title, get that No. 1 spot. It’s normal. It’s something I’m prepared for. I’ve been working hard in the off­season.

The year is long. It’s a great way for me to start the year, playing finals in the Australian Open, first Grand Slam of the year. It’s going to be huge confidence boost for me to continuation of the season.

Q. You had some breathing problems in the middle of that match. How do they compare to some previous matches you’ve had in the past? Was it worse or about the same?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, we both had some physical crisis and felt the difficult physical moments probably end of second and beginning of the third. I mean, that reflected a little bit on my game. I wasn’t taking my shots any more. Every time we got to a longer rally, I made mistakes. That’s what happened with him in fourth.

So it’s normal to expect that. We are competing on a very high level where each points goes to 10 and plus rallies. You have to expect that you have some ups and downs throughout the match.

Q. How do you solve it, with medication during the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. You try to get energized in every way. A lot of liquids, try to eat something, as well, that gives you energy.

Q. Your girlfriend was in a lovely red dress today. She stood up many times cheering for you in crucial moments. You were looking at her, as well. Did that help you that she was here and she was standing up there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course. She is my love and my big support. It’s great to have her around. You know, we had lots of success together. She’s been present at the US Open and Wimbledon and many other tournaments that I have won.

Actually, she was present at the first tournament I ever won in Amersfoort in 2006. We have a long relationship and understanding, so it’s great to have her there.

Q. Do you think missing the warmup tournaments here in Australia has been a help to your fitness?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Could be. You know, I’ve said before that my goal was physically, mentally to prepare for the Australian Open. I played so many matches in 2011 that I didn’t need any, you know, warmup events or any first­week events in 2012 seasons.

I played in Abu Dhabi couple matches against top players, so I felt that I am ready.

Q. Have you seen Rafa’s matches during this tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

Q. What do you think of his play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, the last one I’ve seen is obviously against Roger. It was a fantastic match I think from both of them. Roger started off really well. It was an incredible effort from Rafa to come back and some incredible passing shots. That’s why he’s a champion. That’s why he’s one of the best players to ever play this game. He’s never giving up. He has a fighting spirit. He has very few weaknesses.

Yeah, I mean, he’s very much eager and motivated to win the title ­ as much as I am. It’s the final. It’s unpredictable what’s going to happen.

Q. The four of you have real clear water between the other players behind you in the sense that you’re always in this point of the tournaments. Has that been contributory to each of you keeping each other honest, motivated, and the desire of winning in an era when there are yourself and three others?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s great for the sport to have I think more candidates to win the major titles; whereas maybe three, four years ago it was only Roger and Rafa. It was only two, and now we have four.

I mean, it’s great. I wouldn’t exclude Berdych and Tsonga. Tsonga played finals of the World Tour Finals.

There are more players in that group. There are more players that are really believing they can win against the top four. But it’s an incredible effort. It takes a lot of effort for top four to be here where we are.

Obviously that confidence and maybe mental advantage and experience that we have in the major events, playing on this high level, helps us to be where we are.


Also Check Out:
Roger Federer Wants More 5-Set Matches On The ATP World Tour
Rafael Nadal: Beating Novak Will Be Very Difficult, He Takes Me To The Limit Of My Game!
Poll: Novak Djokovic Or Rafael Nadal, Who’ll Win Their French Open Semifinal Showdown?
Novak Djokovic Says Nadal Has Become More Aggressive, Especially In His Return Game
Novak Djokovic: That Was One Of The Most Thrilling Matches I Have Ever Played!

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104 Comments for Novak Djokovic: That Was Definitely One Of My Best Matches

Humble Rafa Says:

Murray choked when it mattered. I know it is a pretty harsh assessment, but there is no other way to put it.

This is going to hurt for a while. I was hoping these guys will play till 70-68 in the 5th set.

I guess I have to deal with the Egg Lover on Sunday. Not too happy about it. He is so far deep in my head, I can’t even begin to describe.


kriket Says:

I hope Nole will have an easier job playing against Rafa, since he appears to be the easiest opponent for Novak of all the top 4. I’m always more concerned when he plays Federer, or Murray who proved to improve his game and psychology on court. Nadal was the easy big match for Nole throughout 2011. So, I guess I’m somewhat releived, now that he made it through to the finals where he meets Rafa. Any proved to be tough and opponent, as would Roger, had they met. But now, for the final match, I’m quite sure, Novak has the game to win over Rafa for the 7th time in a row. Go Nole, ‘Ajde Nole!!! :)


andrea Says:

wow. sounds epic!!! congrats to both players. i still didn’t think murray would pull it off, but what a fight!


vox777 Says:

Nole played without 1st serve for set and a half against No.4 and remained competitive in both sets! That is what amazed me! Some impossible shots from Murray, congrats to him and his fans, terrific display, mentally very stable… But Noles game has no weaknesses, so even if one part fail (as serve today) he can pull it off… And that stamina… My oh my! Never thought that someone could wear down Nadal or Murray or even Ferrer… But he did! He is like a Tomas Muster in that way with an addition of almighty arsenal and variety of shots… oh yeah, his fitness trainer used to train Muster! :DDD


Skeezerweezer Says:

Nole gave a class on court post match interview Courier. Could really hear his breathing issues though. Hope those allergies aren’t a factor going forward.


Humble Rafa Says:

i still didn’t think murray would pull it off, but what a fight!

Neither did your Humble Highness. Once you have a choking disorder, it is like a disease that won’t go away.

But as you know, fans of the Lady Forehand are like the Arrotards. Every tournament, they will come out and predict the Master Choker to win the tournament. Life goes on..


Markl Says:

When will people realise that Djokstrap is a cheat and a faker! One minute he is squatting pretending he is tired and the next minute he wins the game. One minute he is limping and the next minute he is sprinting. No doubt he will be nestling in his EGG for the rest of the weekend. He was even seen popping pills under his towel. Classless Serbian cheat!!!


Skeezerweezer Says:

HR

Oh yeah, that disorder like your 6 straight lossese to Nole in finals?
Give it a rest


Dory Says:

It is really very simple on Sunday. Novak’s game and mental strength is now better than Nadal. If the physical side stands up and Novak doesn’t end up getting super-exhausted and recovers well, he will win. If his performance is affected like the 2nd and 3rd sets today, Nadal will win. Very simple. Nadal can no longer beat a fully fit Djokovic. (Never thought this would happen or that I would say that but it’s true). Just like Federer cannot beat a fully fit Nadal on the big occasions when it matters. Djokovic was the best thing to happen to protecting Federer’s records of Slams and everything and slowing down Nadal.


Humble Rafa Says:

Oh yeah, that disorder like your 6 straight lossese to Nole in finals?

I admit freely that the Egg Lover is deep in my head. But I also have 10 grandslams. I am one of only 2 active players to win all 4 slams.

Now, what has the Master Choker achieved? Choked in all 4 slams in the same year?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

He doesn’t think he’ll practice much. Classic.
Great interview, sounds quite determined not to let fatigue be an issue.


Angel Says:

Now comes the easy part for Novak, straight sets victory in the final against the mummified mule.


Kimberly Says:

Humble Rafa—perhaps your fans have this disorder as well. I actually think you have about a 30% chance to win this match when all evidence shows otherwise.


johhny Says:

Well done Nole, now go for the 7th victory!


Humble Rafa Says:

I actually think you have about a 30% chance

More like 10%. I will win 1 set, lose at least 2 sets at 6-1 or 6-2, assuming my knee doesn’t pop.


mat4 Says:

Sunday, it will be a dog fight. Djoko needs to play the way he played in the fourth set against AM or the third against David Ferrer, otherwise he will lose.


Mark Says:

@Angel. Hope you eat your words come Sunday! The Serb is a cheat and a faker and I hope his actions on court come back to haunt him! He cannot play a single match without faking! Well what do u expect from a classless person!!


tennisfan Says:

After today’s performance it’s very clear that right now, in men’s tennis, nobody is mentally as strong as Nole. He has now won critical matches in tremendous pressure against Federer, Nadal & Murray.And on sunday we have the most awaited match of the tournament-Djokovic/Nadal. It will be a true battle of minds between both these players…whoever will be strong mentally will win. Here is an insight into how Nadal can turn the tables on Sunday: Not Tennis Anymore, It’s Officially Battle of Minds – Djokovic & Nadal http://bit.ly/nFnutP


Ajet Says:

Hopefully djoker will produce better tennis than rafa and win! GO DJOKER!!!

And btw, to tell you guys the truth, I’ve always liked djoker brand of tennis(which is less physical, more efficient and bit more aesthetically pleasing and effortless) than nadal, not to mention, more aggressive too, yet effecetively full of solid defense too!


Krishna Says:

Humble Rafa: You are so funny :) lol..

What is your strategy for beating Egg Lover on Sunday? :O


Ajet Says:

Nadal however is a brilliant fighter, that is why he owns a mentally strong federer so easily. I think nadal has actually spread the rebellious anti-federer tennis and others have learnt it or learning it, and are a pain in the @$$ of fed now! Kudos to nadal for doing some justice to tennis after all otherwise fighters like roddick would have been talked much lowly than fed, which’d have been an insult to the spirit of tennis! all players have weaknesses, and all players have some strengths and uniqueness. thus all deserve respect, not just mr.federer! federer has also surprisingly dominated equally talented guys like safin, which’s so lucky of him! now at least someone is taming fed and making him look normal or else some stupid divinity mighta been attached to fed, which’d have not been proper! and when, nadal was himself started to be talked of something divine, djoker brought him to ground! if someone didn’t check fed’s progress, then all his peers including the great former champions like sampras, borg, laver, etc. would have been put to the sidelines, which’d again have been so improper, even ridiculous! thanks to nadal, that didn’t happen!
now talking of nadal, a talk has started in 2009 itself as if nadal is the mythical hercules/atlas finally getting some real form! even a great champion like federer was outrightly and outrageously being called as the 2nd greatest of his generation, merely because of one stumbling block in his path in the form of nadal! it was becoming unbearable and more and more sick! but again, nature had djoker in store to rein nadal for a while at least, thus making nadal look as human and as simple as he actually is! these things were necessary! ver very necessary! that is the beauty of nature, which always balances in its mysterious ways!

let the game begin! let nadal keep checking federer’s pride and let djoker keep in check rafa’s! and for sure let some guy like murray discover himself or let delpotro rediscover himself as potent forces to form perfect tools of checks and balances! tennis would be so enjoyable then, as it would be beautiful, naturally.. every fan of tennis would have

something to cheer and
something also to fear!
and hero-worshipping or boredom
would be nowhere near!


margot Says:

I would rather drown in a pool of false hope than wallow in a sea of cynicism.


Mark Says:

What was Djokstrap popping in his mouth under the towel?


Jamie Says:

Psychic predicts Djokovic to win the final. As you know, she is never wrong. 100% correct all the time. She also told me Federer will not win anymore slams. She sees 16 slams as his final number.


green900 Says:

Well Jamie, Psychics are phonies for the matter of the fact. It is all nonsense.


Ajet Says:

”green900 Says:
Well Jamie, Psychics are phonies for the matter of the fact. It is all nonsense.”

CORRRRRRECT!!!


Humble Rafa Says:

Just curious, what does the psychic stay about your Humble Highness?


Jamie Says:

She predicts:

AO Djokovic(duh)

FO Nadal

Wimbledon and USO is where it gets exciting for Murray. She thinks he might win both and become #1.

Murray will become Nole’s new nemesis and beat him many times. AO is a just a preview of Murray’s future. He will only get better. Great times for Murray fans in the second semester of 2012. She thinks Del Potro might win a slam in 2013.


Fred Says:

Psychic predicts Djokovic to win the final. As you know, she is never wrong. 100% correct all the time. She also told me Federer will not win anymore slams. She sees 16 slams as his final number.

Omg 100% correct sure…stop it with this psychic crap already lol. Why not just go to your psychic and not watch tennis at all.Lmao.


Ajet Says:

jamie:

don’t be so monotonously repetitive for tennis’ sake!


Raj Says:

I know Indian astrology to some extent.

AO – Nadal

Saturn’s recent transition from Kanni(Virgo) to Thulam(Libra) on Dec 22nd,2011 favours Nadal. but with hardwork only..

Things would change for all when Jupiter transition happens in June 2012.

Excuse me for indian astrology terms.


Aruna Says:

Raj,
I’m a Rafa fan here, u made me curious,the above what u said is it based on Rafa’s horoscope or in gereneral, Coz I had read the “Bad Joke” is having the best yoga of his life since last year “Buddha Adhitya Yoga” which is y he will be very successful until May 2012. Hope u’ll explain. Thx!!!


ckr Says:

Raj –

What did the astrologer say about the Indian cricket team’s chances in Australia?

Go Novak…


Raj Says:

@Aruna,
Its based on Nadal’s horoscope. Budha Adhitya yoga is generic yoga most of people will have it. Both mercury and sun must be in same bava(place).
Also, mercury must be certain degree away from Sun in order to enjoy the full benefits of this yoga. I didn’t go thru degreewise details.

Yes, around May 2012, Jupiter transition happens from Mesha(Aries) to Rishaba(Taurus). I need to check how it benefits for Nadal and other players.


Raj Says:

@ckr,
Indian cricket team must be in 7 1/2 sani period:-)


Aruna Says:

Raj,

Joker is having that yoga now. But for Rafa please see his horoscope in detail, I dont want this discussion here, If you dont mind we can do it thr email. Let me know!! Thx for ur response!!!


Raj Says:

Aruna, sure I will check in detail and let you know. My email id is raju.muthur at G


S Bizaki Says:

Congrats to Murray! He actually won that SF against Djokovic at the AO 2012. Djokovic truly stole the match from Murray by intaking inappropriate substance (at the face of how many million TV viewers ?)to enhance his physical performance after the 3rd set.

What a JOKE this Djokovic is ! That’s totally against the whole spirit of sports competition. Both players face the same competitive reality, hence should be intaking the same kind of stuff to see themselves through it.

You sure have lost all respect here, the DJOKE !


Jamie Says:

Aruna Says:

I had read the “Bad Joke” is having the best yoga of his life since last year “Buddha Adhitya Yoga” which is y he will be very successful until May 2012.

_________________________________

That is why after May, Djokovic will not win more slams in 2012. AO is his best chance. After May that will not be happening. FO, Wimbledon and USO will be won by other players, NOT Djokovic.


Humble Rafa Says:

This has become a astrology/voodoo forum. Can your psychic tell me which part of your Humble Highness will be hurt next? I want to buy insurance :)


Kimberly Says:

Am I the only one setting my alarm for marias match? Actually don’t need to. We sleep with tv on and when they start hitting sure their shrieks will wake me up. Hope some of you are around to chat during the match


Kimberly Says:

I wore Maria’s dress today in support of her when I played.


Veka Says:

Humble Rafa, you are hilarious…absolutely one of a kind


Aruna Says:

Raj,

Thx!! Have emailed you :-)


Humble Rafa Says:

We sleep with tv on and when they start hitting sure their shrieks will wake me up.

You will get strange looks from your neighbors tomorrow morning. Turn the TV off and set alarm. Wake up, put TV on MUTE and watch the match. I’m serious.


Wog boy Says:

I just read statistics from AO SITE, and found that in every aspect but first serve, which is 61% : 63%) Nole was better, ue, winners etc. ect ….just ablut everything. That looks good before Sunday match :-)


Wog boy Says:

^ just about ^


Dan Martin Says:

I feel bad for Murray but this should be an excellent final. Novak has more rest than he did between the USO semi and final and Novak played at night so I don’t think he’ll be dead for the final despite a grueling match.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Sorry, Kimberly, I can’t stay up for Maria. I have a 9 AM appointment tomorrow. Will root for her in my dreams!


Nims Says:

Just wondering how come people think Novak is going to beat Rafa this final. Rafa is coming off with his FH in excellent form. When that shot clicks, I doubt Novak has any weapons to hurt NAdal.

I doubt Novak will play a patient game and try to outrally Rafa after his gruelling match. He will come out swinging with hit or miss approach. Probably he has a 20% chance of taking match to 4 sets.


jamie Says:

Slam predictions

Federer 16

Nadal 11

Nole 8

Murray 4

Del Potro 2

As always, new players will emerge in the future and win slams. Tomic and young guns born in the nineties.


tennis coach Says:

Get a life Bazooka! Novak is hiding nothing, his win is fair and square. Are you not allowed to have energy bar??? It is no different from Andy’s energy drink. His fitness coach also put something in his drink and he was sipping it between points. What was that all about!?


JAMES Says:

mark u have problem with djokovic,he is number one and best player, result proves evrything,haha he drink pills under towell,murray was getting drink from coach as well,sorry u have reason to be unhapy NOVAK IS BEST PLAYER


Michael Says:

The edge is with Novak for sure. But, a lot depends on the physical part. Is Novak 100% after that gruelling match against Murray ?? He was somewhat uneasy during that match and showed signs of it. But once the match went to the fourth set, we saw Novak once again coming out firing all cylinders. If Novak is fully fit, he will beat Nadal in four no matter how well Nadal plays. But if the match is extended to five sets by virtue of Novak’s physical problems, then Nadal has that chance to overcome Novak.


Michael Says:

May be 2009 might repeat itself ? I mean, Nadal had just a day to recover after a gruelling match against Verdasco whereas here we have Novak in a similar bother.


JAMES Says:

WHAT A STUPID COMMENTS BY mark and bazuki, djokovic was drinking secret pills than win the match,so that secret pill put him on mumber 1,by all means, he is best player now,


JAMES Says:

mark just to remind u novak winn 3 grand slam last year and 7 other titles ,one of best in history of tennis,sunday is big day for serbians for sure, novak in finall,euro waterpolo final serbia vs monte negro and euro handball finall serbia vs denmark plus novak in final,not bad for small country of serbia,and now mark go eat burger and watch tv and have other complex of djokovic


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Nims you don’t think Novak has anything to hurt Nadal w/???!!?!?! good morning Rip Van Nims nice that you have woken up after sleeping thru all of 2011. in case no one has told Novak ground Nadal into hamburger for all of 2011. now given the extremely physical nature of Novak’s semifinal and the shorter turnaround i’ll give Nadal a 30% chance in tomorrow’s final otherwise i’d give him no chance.


jane Says:

No thread for the Ladies final? Is anyone watching it??


Wog boy Says:

Tennis-x, don’t you have any Novak photos younger then two years, that how long he is not with Adidas and I think three since he dumped Wilson.

Jane, Canadian boy is playing final against Aussie, third set one break down.


MrSerb Says:

MarkL:

Novak has more class the all of your red-neck family will ever have. Watch and learn, you retard.

Serbs have something that is unknown to you, and that is a pair of balls.

Serb Power all the way.


jane Says:

Yes, Wog Boy – close but no cigar. The Aussie won. Nice to have another Canadian boy making some noise though. :)


margot Says:

Looking forward to the final, as opposed to being a bag of nerves……Hope it’s a classic! :)


Mark Says:

Come on Rafaaaaaa. Beat this pill popping faker!!!


Michael Says:

I can see here Rafans full of hate for Novak. This is understandable considering the drubbing he held out to Nadal last year in all the important finals. Finally, we have a man who can challenge Nadal and his dominance in Tennis, just like we had Nadal previously challenging the dominance of Federer. It is such intense competition which makes Tennis more interesting as a sport


Skeezerweezer Says:

^ they say Fed is arrogant, his fans are tards. Then they say Djoker is a cheat and a faker. They come out only when there fav is winning, and hide behind it. Who are these people?


Nims Says:

@tennisfansince76 : I was lucky to watch all the matches between Novak and Rafa last year. I did see Rafa lost all those matches. But I also saw the way NAdal played in 2010 and 2011. There is a difference in the way NAdal was hitting the FH.

I think when his FH is working the way it is at this tournament, I can’t visualise Novak beating him in a 5-setter. Also I can see that Novak’s energy level and his GS do not have the same punch as it was last year. My opinion is based only on this AO, not based on Novak and Rafa’s form of last year. I know Novak was supreme. But he is not the same this year yet.


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

You obviously didn’t see my post two thread ago. I will repost it here in a few minutes. But come on, just do what I do: chose whose post you read, don’t bother, and get over it. Time will tell.

On another subject: I rewatched the match between Nole and Andy. Those who know my opinions know that I am deadly afraid of what Murray is capable, an after yesterday’s match, I felt really bad.

But… It was not what I thought. Although Murray did improved, the difference in result is more Nole’s fault than Andy’s merit. Djokovic played only one set and a half with his usual controlled aggression. I do agree that Andy tanked a few points in that fourth set, but the difference in level, when I rewatched it, was quite clear.

Another thing: the serve. It is obvious that Nole is following Roger’s steps with his serve. He tries to hit with more precision, and when he is weary, he has problems. Good serving in the second set would have made the key difference.

So, the margin is still there. But Andy has shown he can really contend for a slam this year.

About the draw: I am certain that Rafa and Roger will be in the same half at Wimbledon, and Nole and Andy in the other. But I am not quite sure for Roland Garros. I still expect Rafa/Andy and Novak/Roger in Paris.


Ajet Says:

May there be more reasons for Rafans to hate djoker even more tommorrow!!! ;)

GO DJOKER!!!


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

I didn’t found the post I thought about, except the one about the wiki, but I think you saw it.

I stopped writing on French fora and sites because of the intolerance, bad manners, and, sometimes, complete illiteracy of some posters, and I post now only here and, from time to time, in a Canadian moderated blog. I like the English “you”, because it doesn’t make a difference between “tu” et “vous”. I imagine it is always “vous”, with a touch of friendliness.

But sometimes I also notice individuals who don’t belong here. I like Djokovic, it’s true, but I like tennis first. There were other players before Djoko, there will be other champions after him. Time, in tennis, goes real fast.

So, just like Skeezer wrote, we have to give to any player what is his due. I was a Connors fan, but I missed Borg when he retires. I liked Wilander and his boring, but wily game, but I was very sad watching the end of Lendl career (and I hated that man, I hated him so much!). In the beginnings, Agassi looked so vain, so stupid to me, but I learn to enjoy his game. Because all those players made tennis, our favorite sport, what it is now, they contributed to his beauty and they raised his level.

And we have to respect our fellow posters too.


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer, @Grendel, @Jane:

A question for you:

I have the impression that Djokovic is copying not only Roger’s serve, but his patterns of play. What do you think?


Miki Says:

Hmmmm, interesting, I thought the same in some matches last season. But not just Roger, I see Djokovic as a hybrid of Roger and Rafa, not that he looks like them but influences of their styles are evident in his own game. But nothing so shocking about it, because after all, he became what he is because of them. And trying to play like Roger is not a bad thing for him, he could last longer on tour and on top.


skeezerweezer Says:

@mat4

thanks. I see a few similarities, but Nole himself has is own stuff that molded him to #1. His serve is similar in the mindset of placement. As far as the building of the point, yes, he creates windows to take the advantage of a point. But then I have seen him, just like Fed and Rafa, pull a ridiculous shot out of no where that blows away any strategy. I am more appreciative of his own style of game, with the perfect technique he has on his BH and FH. He has built a solid game, and its the type he can still build upon to become even better. Scary. No extra special heart or fight needed in this game, he has proven he already has it. He may or may not win this AO, it doesn’t matter. Barring freak injury(s) he will pass 10 slams as along as his mind stays the course.


Courbon Says:

Mark L, you said for Djoker that he is classless Serbian cheat.
First:No need to bring nationalism and stupidity to this forum.
Second:If you think that Djokovic would take dope while the whole world is watching, than you are more stupid then I thought.
Third:If you do not like Djokovis, thats fine( I do not like Federe but I respect him enormusly and as a tennis fan I thinks he is one of the best tennis player ever!) andIt’s your opinion but the only person that is showing no class, is actualy you, mate….


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

I always thought that Djokovic’s serve was difficult to read, but yes, his placement, in Australia, is closer to the T, and remind me, overall, of Roger’s serve. The motion is different, inherited from earlier days, of course, but I believe the intent is the same.

Then, there is the moving to the left to hit more balls with the forehand, and especially that willingness to play inside in rather than inside out (Djokovic played almost exclusively inside out until 2011).

Another novelty in his forehand is something Roger played routinely for years: the crosscourt forehand on the run with acute angle.

You can see Djokovic play a crosscourt slice, move to the left then unleashed a FH more and more often. That crosscourt FH on the run find his place in that combination too, but it is a signature pattern of Roger.


grendel Says:

mat4 – to add to skeezer’s excellent comments: Djokovic seems to pace himself more these days, like Fed does – and then suddenly will go into overdrive to win an important game. However, this can happen at any time in the match, whereas Federer tends to go all out at the start.
On the whole, I see more differences. Thus Djokovic is quite content to battle it out on the base line for as long as it takes – that is, he waits for the appropriate moment to go for it. That tends not to be Federer’s way, although you sometimes see him do it. Federer does like to draw his opponent into the net, I may be wrong, but I don’t often see Djokovic doing this.
I agree with skeezer, the boy has a bright future…Not sure about tomorrow, though. I think Nims has a point.


mat4 Says:

@Miki:

I believe that there was a “Nadalization” of Nole’s game when he changed his racquet, but he is reverting to his roots now. The intention go more often to the net and finish the points earlier, he and his coach MV announced, could also be a sign of this.


grendel Says:

“Then, there is the moving to the left to hit more balls with the forehand, and especially that willingness to play inside in rather than inside out ” – you see, I can easily visualise Fed doing that, it’s an awesome sight. But I can’t with Djokovic, and that’s simply because I am not sufficiently familiar with him. Sorry.


mat4 Says:

@Grendel:

If Nole plays well, fights bravely, who cares if he lose? As I wrote above, I like my players for their game and demeanour, the result is not primordial.

And yes, Rafa plays great, and I respect him very much, especially because he is so humble :-)

I believe that Nole will be at his best: Rafa’s game suits him well, he has won 8 times in the last ten matches, and he will have enough confidence to flatten his shots and go for the lines. There will also be less pressure on him because he is in a final, and has legitimated his ranking.


mat4 Says:

@Grendel:

The moving to the left in Roger’s and Novak’s cases looks quite different (although there were sequences in the USO match where it was copy/paste). The inside in FH is also different, but the pattern is there.

Roger hits the ball a bit earlier, he is usually jumping at that moment, and he hits flatter. Novak has more spin, his feet are on the ground, and he takes a bit more time to adjust.


Miki Says:

@mat4: Yes, I guess you are right. And I like him more that way. He will last longer playing aggressive, using every chance to attack, and dictating play. I just recently watched some old highlights, and particularly from the match between Novak and Roger at AO 2008. Novak was really young and really skinny but man he was hitting the ball hard and with conviction even back than. That is the player he should be, his improved fitness and defense should be considered an addition to that, but he shouldn’t rely on them to win all the time, especially at Slams, he will wear down his body way sooner if he doesn’t use the right balance between offense and defense. Part of the “Nadalization” of his game is maybe due to the fact that he became really fit and great at defense, and for a player it’s maybe hard to resist playing safe while slowly grinding your opponent down when you know you are good at it and that you can chase down just about any ball.


mat4 Says:

@Miki:

I think it had another cause: when he change the racquet, Nole was not able to hit flat any more. So he started playing with more and more spin. Since he couldn’t finish point the easy way, with a devastating FH, he had to grit.


Miki Says:

@mat4:

You mean because of the racquet itself or because he needed time to adjust? I am not familiar with racquet technology so I don’t know what is the difference between his old and current one. But still, that may be the cause, but he is still sometimes very reluctant to attack and hit flat and we all know he can do it very well.


mat4 Says:

@Miki:

Djokovic said at the time that his new racquet generated more power. He wanted it, to be able to play well on clay, but on the other side, it seems he was unable to control the ball well.

It is not only a coincidence that his raise started when he changed his racquet again, with that so called Innegra technology.

But the last time I played tennis, it was still the time of wooden racquets.


Miki Says:

@mat4:

Well, it makes sense, I understand it better now. Didn’t know he changed it again, I guess he just made some adjustments.

Great article by the way, for all tennis fans, I don’t have the concentration and time to read it all right now, but I will. I wonder, do players sometimes read these articles? I guess not, but could be useful to get some perspective from someone who is not part of their team.


jane Says:

hi mat4 – I kind of agree with Miki’s point: ” I see Djokovic as a hybrid of Roger and Rafa”

Nole was maybe more aggressive initially in 2007, but when his serve became a liability in 2009, I think he had to become more of a grinder, winning points in long rallies and through great returns, somewhat Rafa-like. That’s also around the time he hired Muster’s former fitness trainer, so he added that element.

I think since he’s improved the forehand and is working on serve placement, I can see how these are similar to Fed. Nole also looks to pull the trigger in a rally as soon as he sees the opportunity.

I prefer watching Fed-Nole sometimes because Nole tends to play more aggressively playing Fed. Some of the long points between Nole and Rafa make me tired. Doesn’t Nole adjust to/for each player? Maybe that’s why it was tough with Muzza this time, in part because he’s changed his game somewhat, so adjusting wasn’t as clear-cut. Murray surprised him more perhaps?

I wonder if that could be a factor in the final? Will Nadal have something new? Nole hasn’t played him with the new racquet. Also Nadal will be more rested and Nole hasn’t looked as consistently sharp as he did last year when he was beating Rafa. He looks more like he did during the USO level, so somewhat vulnerable. He beat Rafa there but the court was much faster and Rafa wasn’t playing as well I don’t think. We’ll see.

But I agree with you mat4. Just reaching the final feels like a good start to the year. I hope Nole peaks for mid-summer.


jane Says:

hi mat4 – I kind of agree with Miki’s point: ” I see Djokovic as a hybrid of Roger and Rafa”

Nole was maybe more aggressive initially in 2007, but when his serve became a liability in 2009, I think he had to become more of a grinder, winning points in long rallies and through great returns, somewhat Rafa-like. That’s also around the time he hired Muster’s former fitness trainer, so he added that element.

I think since he’s improved the forehand and is working on serve placement, I can see how these are similar to Fed. Nole also looks to pull the trigger in a rally as soon as he sees the opportunity.

I prefer watching Fed-Nole sometimes because Nole tends to play more aggressively playing Fed. Some of the long points between Nole and Rafa make me tired. Doesn’t Nole adjust to/for each player? Maybe that’s why it was tough with Muzza this time, in part because he’s changed his game somewhat, so adjusting wasn’t as clear-cut. Murray surprised him more perhaps?

I wonder if that could be a factor in the final? Will Nadal have something new? Nole hasn’t played him with the new racquet. Also Nadal will be more rested and Nole hasn’t looked as consistently sharp as he did last year when he was beating Rafa. He looks more like he did during the USO level, so somewhat vulnerable. He beat Rafa there but the court was much faster and Rafa wasn’t playing as well I don’t think. We’ll see.

But I agree with you mat4. Just reaching the final feels like a good start to the year. I hope Nole peaks for mid-summer.


marko Says:

Hi everyone,

Just came across this AWESOME video on the Djokovic vs. Nadal rivalry on youtube (I didn’t make it). I thought I’d share in light of tonight’s match.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1mSQnAac0M&feature=player_embedded

This vid really got me psyched for tonight :)


Wheeler Says:

Another day. Another opportunity to see Nadal running like a bewildered frightened chicken defending against the attacking gameplay of the Djoker.


carlo Says:

jane, I too think Murray surprised Nole, especially after Andy played so well ultimately in the 2nd set tie-break.

Andy-Nole was a joy to watch because Andy made a match of it and together they have more variety; it wasn’t a match primarily dominated by the grind your opponent to death style of rallies. Andy beating Rafa in Tokyo is a little mini-preview of the future and how he can tame the beast in a GS. He showed a strange confidence, served well in that encounter and outlasted Rafa in physical rallies. Given time with Lendl and perhaps getting a 2nd serve weapon will be, :D My hopes are on my sleeve.

Fedal, since Wimbledon 08, has become one-sided in GS meetings, obviously. Rafa doesn’t want Djokovic having the upper hand every time they meet and if he doesn’t beat Nole this time, well…all this gives the match tonight more tension and appeal. Prior to the start of AO, I was all but sure Djokovic would win. Actually the idea of Rafa beating Nole barely crossed my mind when I picked Djokovic for my bracket, jane. But I’m a sucker for injuries or ailments and Nadal has appeared physically stronger. Also, it turns out, Nadal had the easier semi-final.

Back to Andy- Nole …

Andy taking 2 sets off Djokovic must have been mentally and emotionally draining and a blurry reality in the moment. Andy getting weak knees in the 4th, isn’t a surprise to me. In the 5th set, the outcome was somewhat in the air, appearing to go either way. The next time they meet is a very exciting prospect.

Edge to Rafa in 5.

I’ll be cheering,

Ajde Nole!


carlo Says:

edit: Andy played so well to win 3rd set tie-break not 2nd.


jane Says:

I hope Nole turns into the black swan tonight and puts in a perfect performance – maybe he needs to ditch the white? ;)


alison hodge Says:

hi jane hope you enjoy the final,hope its as good as the semis especially the nole/muzza final yesterday,unfortunatly i wont get to see it as i start work at 8.00am in the morning,but i will watch the recording when i get home,anyway good luck nole and rafa,may the best man win,no disgrace to either player,whoever comes out runner up,has nothing to be ashamed of,been a great fortnight for both,anyway enjoy.


carlo Says:

Hoping white is the new black, jane ;)

I won’t be surprised if Nadal has been holding something back. Ever since US Open 2010, it’s a thought. Team Nole will be ready. It’s the breathing issue making me have doubts.


jane Says:

Hi alison, that’s true. Both have done well. Enjoy the final yourself. :)

carlo, same here re: the allergies or stress or whatever Nole’s dealing with. Hope he can fight through it and serve well. But I am proud of him for surpassing and incredibly talented and spirited Murray, just like Rafa got past a very sharp looking Fed. Whatever happens, happens. I’ll just try to enjoy. May have to take up sweeping again to calm the nerves. ;)


Tennislover Says:

Carlo

“Prior to the start of AO, I was all but sure Djokovic would win.”

Same here. In fact I thought that he was the first such overwhelming favorite at a non-clay major since Fed’s glory days. However, the second weeks’ proceedings haven’t been all that great. He is safely through to the final but he appears slightly vulnerable physically as well as game-wise. He certainly has not appeared his usual solid or consistent self in the second week. It seems as if Nadal may finally be playing at close to his 2010 level while Djokovic is struggling a bit to find his best level. His serving woes in the second and part of the third set almost cost him the match against Murray. Andy, to my dismay, wasn’t ruthless enough to take control of the match at the time. All this will not be lost on Nadal. He will take encouragement and confidence from any tiny little straw.

However, if I were a Djokovic fan, I would still not be very worried going into a match against Nadal – as opposed to, say, a Fed – as long as he is not drained from his sf effort. Djokovic has shown such heart during distressful passages that one can not but admire him. If Djokovic is sufficiently recovered, he should still win it relatively comfortably. If he is not and that is possible, Nadal could start taking control early on until Djokovic’s stiffness goes and adrenaline takes over. Then, it will turn into a an absolute dog fight. I will be very surprised if Naddal wins easily. Nadal’s chances of beating Djokovic definitely appear to have improved going by recent happenings. However, it should still take a monumental effort from Nadal to prevail.

By the way, does anybody else think that Djokovic is now at least as big a warrior as Nadal if not better?


Tennislover Says:

mat4

I agree that Djokovic’s serve is difficult to read and he tries to go more for placement. I was going through his and Fed’s average serve speeds in the sf and I was a bit surprised to see how similar they were. In fact Djokovic’s first serves were quicker. Fed’s serve has definitely been better in the past. Maybe, the back issue had something to do with Roger’s numbers although, like everything else in his game these days, his serve has also become inconsistent.

I disagree generally about the patterns of play though. Fed’s objective is to come inside the baseline at the first available opportunity. As Hingis said the other day, less powerful players have no option but to keep moving forward. Djokovic doesn’t do it with any degree of consistency which, to me, is surprising because he has such huge groundies on both wings. He can certainly finish points quicker by being more aggressive and playing inside the baseline and avoid those lung-busting rallies. Even Andy, who is much more comfortable at the net and is a very good volleyer, was content being on the baseline in the sf. I guess each player has their own comfort zone which they are reluctant to come out of especially in crucial situations(big player/match/point) unless they deem it absolutely safe to do so.


mat4 Says:

@TL:

I think that the match against AM is not a good one to compare: against Murray, Djokovic is very cautious.

But I am convinced that in the long term, Djokovic wants to play like “Federer with a security bealt”. The match against Ferrer, in Abu Dhabi, could be a reference for what Djokovic is aiming to.

Unfortunately, when he is a bit off, when he is tense, he tends to play with too much spin and wait behind the baseline.


Wog boy Says:

To all of you that posted about Nole’s game, thank you. One can learn a lot by reading your posts, I definitely can. You know your names, no need to tell them, and Tennis-x should feel privileged to have you on this forum.

Cheers.
GO NOLE, DO YOUR BEST AND THE REST WILL BE FINE !


Michael Says:

I think this match will boil down to the return of serve capabilities of Novak. If he does good in this department as he does always, he will win no matter how well Nadal plays. Moreover, Nadal is having a very good first serve percentage all though this tournament and I hope that will get spoiled today just because of the law of averages. May be I am wrong, but this is my assumption.


JAMES Says:

lets wait and se,but i think serbian will win despite his previous match was almoust 5 hours,there is reason why he beat spaniard so many times last year, mentally edge is on djokovic side, there is joke about NADAL, he come home crying,his mother ask him,was it djokovic again?


JAMES Says:

as i say serbian is better player,mark u scumbag v can u say somthing now against djokovic,how many energy drinks he took today,congrats to both players ,novak proved why he is number one,even after 5 sets with murray he menaged to beat nadal,what else to say ,novak numero uno 1

Top story: Nadal Returns Tonight In Beijing, Djokovic Begins Final No. 1 Push; Serena Survives Scare
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