Djokovic Ends Strong, Outslugs Federer For Second ATP Finals Title
by Sean Randall | November 12th, 2012, 7:43 pm

The final ATP match of the season more than lived up to hype. In a battle of the two best players in the world, Novak Djokovic outslugged Roger Federer 7-6(8-6), 7-5 to collect his second career ATP Finals title.

“It’s very satisfying for my team and myself to conclude this fantastic season with a World Tour Finals win,” said Djokovic after the 2-hour, 15-minute affair. “I never got to the finals of this tournament in London. The furthest I got is semifinals a couple years ago where I lost straight sets to Roger. I wasn’t really feeling this surface very well in past couple of years. But this year has been different. I got motivated, got a little bit more physically fresh. I wanted really to fight and I really wanted to get as far as I can in this tournament. Winning all the matches I played makes it even more special.”

Just a week ago Djokovic was dealing with the illness of his father, now he finishes on top of the world grand style, something Federer is more than familiar with.

“Today we had times where we had longer rallies, we had times where we had shorter rallies,” said Federer. “We had some great stuff out there. It was good playing such points. I think the quality was good. I shouldn’t have been broken as often as I was broken today. But then again, that obviously has something to do with Novak, as well. It was extremely close today.”

As was the pattern yesterday, the player who seized control early eventually let go, and that happened again.

Federer opened the match playing a blistering brand of tennis. Showing no signs of a 31-year-old on court for a third straight day of tennis against stiff competition, Federer jumped all over the 25-year-old Djokovic winning the first NINE points of the match. In a blink Federer led 3-0 and seemed to have the opening set in the bag with points for 4-0, but it wasn’t to be.

“I was just trying to hang in there,” said Djokovic, on being 0-3 down in the first set. “It’s not the first time that Roger started against me so well. I’ve experienced before his aggression, really trying to put his mark on the match. I didn’t know in which direction the match would really go, but I tried to convince myself that I would make a turnaround and I will fight.”

Fight he did.

Unshaken by Federer’s flying start, Djokovic dug in by mixing up his game. He had withstood the initial Federer charge and then, in the first of many momentum swings, mounted his own offensive improbably reeling off five of the next six games.

Then the tide turned again as Novak, serving for the set, couldn’t convert a set point.

The two settled and stayed even, forcing a breaker. Djokovic led early, Federer responded and then with the set in the balance the Swiss came up with a remarkable cross court retrieval winner to level again, 6-6. With the tennis world on its feet and Djokovic in disbelief at Federer’s shotmaking, the Serb shrugged it off, went back to work and as if nothing had happened coolly won the last two points to steal a set he had no business winning.

With Djokovic breathing easier, Federer again jumped out in front, though not for long. With Federer serving for the second at 5-4, 40-15, it seemed for certain we’d go three. Not so fast. Just when you think you have this match figured out, you don’t.

Djokovic woke up from his second set slumber just in time to crack the Swiss once again. Novak broke back, leveled then broke Federer again to take the title in an entertaining finale to the season.

“I was playing really great tennis throughout the whole week,” Djokovic said. “Tonight, whenever I needed to, to I came up with some really good shots. Really focus myself to get every ball back in the court. So I cannot be more thrilled than I’m feeling now.”

In conclusion, Federer was better at the start, Novak better at the end. And in sports it’s how finish that counts and Novak finished strong going undefeated in the event.

“I think there were too many to really pinpoint one because any one of them, obviously, could have thrown the match into a different direction again in the first, and in the second, too,” said Federer remarking on the swings in the match. “More so in the first maybe because there were more twists and turns. Maybe a bit of regret because I had the lead twice, first before him.”

Novak’s win gives assures him of the No. 1 ranking after the Australian Open and if there really was any dispute over the Player of the Year, that’s over.

For Federer, it’s a tough loss – hell, he’s a few in his career! – but he once again showed that even into his 30s the magic is still there. Unfortunately with the way Djokovic and Andy Murray are playing, not to mention Rafael Nadal and the return of Juan Martin Del Potro, he’ll need to conjure more of that in the next season to stay a realistic No. 1 threat.

Sixty days until Australia. It should be fun.

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229 Comments for Djokovic Ends Strong, Outslugs Federer For Second ATP Finals Title

Brando Says:

So we are finally done after a roller coaster year!

Congrats to nole once again on a deserved win- and as sean said, player of the year and undisputed no.1.

Fed? Loss hurts, BUT fact is he is 31 and this year he’s been no.1, won wimby, 3 MS, silver at olympics, RU @ WTF- that is an OUTSTANDING year by any mean’s, and then when you consider his age you just got to tip your hat to fed since the others (nole, rafa, muzza, delpo) MOST LIKELY will not be doing any such thing at that age.

Muzza? As he said himself- a CAREER BEST year.

Delpo? As he, and others have said, MUCH to look forward to next year.

Then there is Berdych, Janowicz- potential GS spoilers.

And finally, we can all (hopefully) look forward to the return of a certain Rafael Nadal……..

MUCH to look forward to in 2013!

Sidney Says:

Roger just completed his 15th year as a pro. Year end number 1 for 5 of those years.

Rafa his 13th year, 2 as year end number 1.

Nole his 10th year (already?), 2 as year end number 1.

Amazing! Many more years for these greats! Nobody in the rear view mirror, so should be a few more years of the greatest era in tennis. We are lucky!

TomA Says:


First set was 7-6(6), not 7-6(8).

Fed had 40-15 at 5-4 in the second set, not at 5-3. Novak broke to level. Then held for 6-5, then broke again to win.

Marina Jacobs Says:

I did not expect this win by Djokovic to be honest. Just knew Federer would make this his third Championship title and his 77th crown. He was a favorite for me. Disappointing but no respect lost. Still a great Finals.

Michael Says:

Hearty congratulations to Novak. He was the favourite to win and he lived up to the expectations. I think Roger played a very good match and the straight set loss is betraying the close contest on ground which was decided by just a single point in the first set tie break when Roger mishit that backhand awfully after making a miracalous cross court volley the previous point. Novak won because of the way he served. It was written all over that unless he serves well, he stands little chance against Roger. But as Champions normally do, Novak raised the level of his serve which proved to be the difference in the end. All in all, Novak began the year well and is ending the year on a high note. As regards Roger, he has achieved everything in his Sport and considering that his sixth WTF title was already unprecedented, the seventh would have been just an added bonus. It was not to be. But there is no regrets. At his advanced age, if he is still able to compete it speaks volumes about his endurance. He has already won Wimbledon and three Masters titles. So, it was a good year for him too. A tough loss nevertheless for Roger, but he can pacify himself that he was not the reason for it. He gave his best, but Novak proved too powerful in the end.

Michael Says:

As regards the rest of the top players, Andy had a momentous year when he won his first major and also graced it with his Olympic medal win. While Nadal was a huge disappointment despite his usual exploits on Clay. Ofcourse, he is expected to bounce back strongly once he recovers. The tower of Tandil, Delpo is just 23 and has tremendous potential to be in the top Five and not to forget David Ferrer had a cracker of the year when he won 7 titles the highest by any player. Considering all these, 2013 is going to get more interesting with the likely return of Nadal.

madmax Says:

This was a great match and so, so close.

96 points to 95. How much closer can you get?

Congratulations to Novak. A brilliant come back. Am so proud of Roger though. So proud. I hope Novak’s father recovers quickly. What pressure he must have been under to play that match, but equally, what a target to aim for, for his dad.

Novak Djokovic: “It is always a privilege and a challenge to play you Roger so congratulations on an amazing year. Thank you for all your support, I want to thank my team, I couldn’t have done it without you. I love you.”

Roger Federer: “Congratulations to Novak on an amazing tournament and an amazing year. You are the best. It has been an amazing year for me to and I would like to say thank you to my team who have followed my round the world. We broke the million-barrier with the fans here I think this year, thanks to all of you too.”

Class to the very end, Federer also remembers to thank umpire Lars Graff who is retiring after this tournament.

Can’t wait until 2013 now. But boy, do these players deserve a break!

I’m going to watch the match all over again tomorrow.

Michael Says:


Just that one point in the first set tiebreak proved to be the difference when Roger misfired that backhand. But that is what the Sport is all about. So anybody who is in it will have to live with it. It is the way it goes luckily for some, and unlucky for others.

jane Says:

madmax, I gather Nole dedicated the win to his Dad.

Hope you enjoyed your time at O2.

The Great Davy Says:

What a tank. Roger wins the awards for “Lack of best effort 2012” the new awards by the ATP.

Sidney Says:

Very seldom mentioned, by fans and sports columnists alike, are how brilliantly Nole performs when most of the crowd is rooting for the other guy! That’s got to be tough!

Bet he does it so well, it mind-boggling to me. Can’t say he doesn’t hear the crowd, especially in Arthur Ashe, which could be really rude sometimes.

How does he do it? And still win? Amazing! Unbelievable!

And, of course, Roger was a class act. Very gracious in defeat. Well-done.

Sidney Says:

That wasn’t a tank job by Roger. He said he gave his best, and I believe him. He’s human. His best on a single night might not be his best ever tennis performance. But as long as he gave his best effort, which he did, I can’t say it’s a tank job.

And it’s not in his DNA. The man competes to win, and win a lot he does because of it.

The Great Davy Says:

He is SO not human, why can I never beat him!? THE Great Davy! They call me a machine when their biggest fans of the roboFed.

The roboFed has no batteries included. His energy source it GOAT milk.

skeezer Says:

Thanks for all the Novak fans who handled his victory with class and still giving all respect to Fed. Record turnout and great media coverage.
Nole is clearly POTY. Congrats to his 1rst WTF, a record Rafa after almost 10 years cannot grasp. Too bad Rafa fanantics don’t have the “class” that Nole fans have. Jealousy exposed again. TT’ers unite.

What has Rafa have to do with this? You’re right, nothin. Its the WTF.

#ttloveshashtagscuzitswhat? Uyabadabada!

Tennis Fan Says:

Federer actually showed more skill and ability out on the court tonight. His first serve was sporatic towards the end and that was the difference. At 31 he still shows more skill than anyone on the court.

And Djokovic … of all the top 10 players he is the most unlikeable. Applauding almost in a mocking fashion when another player his a great shot … and acting like a the Djick he is if he wins a match. You should be ashamed to be a supporter of this loser. Cheers.

marko Says:

@Skeezer Actually, Novak won the WTF in 2008, but it was in China back then.

@Tennis Fan, take a chill pill..

The Great Davy Says:

Rafa has everything to do with this because I am the best.

Arun Says:

A great match played by both players the winner being tennis.Looking forward to an exciting 2013.Federer will stillbe among the best next year as welll though no matter what his critics say.Federer will still have some goals he’d like to achieve in 2013 like winning Monte Carlo and Rome(after which he’ll have won everything) and tying Sampras in no of YE #1’s.I know some of you will call me delusional but i think the great man still has one more run to number 1 left in him.His success in the indoor season in 2011 proved to be one of the factors why he wasnt able to get the YE#1 this season but this year he hasnt won any title since Cincinnati and that should hold him in good stead for one last final assault for the YE#1 in 2013.And i still think he will add another wimbledeon or USO win to his resume next year.He’s Federer after all!

Arun Says:

And oh i forgot to mention,congratulations to all the Djokovic fans here!

tennis coach Says:

Congrats Nole! Well deserved win! Tough match, Roger played well, however Novak tenacity and calm nerves prevailed.

@ tennis fan, I am proud Novak’s fan as well as 2,45 millions around the world!

grendel Says:

Good summary of the match, Sean. I would only add two points. 1)Djokovic’s serve was available when he needed it, Federer’s was so only very occasionally. As a matter of fact, considering how over the years Federer has sometimes owed his survival to his serve, it is remarkable what a close contest he made of it. However, we should note that if Federer had taken one of his 2 set points, there still would have been a 3rd set. Would Federer have had the stamina to compete here?

2)These were two bonny fighters.

Has Djokovic finally emerged from Federer’s shadow? Yes, I think so. He will surely now go from strength to strength. I don’t think Murray is ready yet to challenge him, though there is hope that he will in time.

The joker in the pack, of course, is Nadal.

Mila Says:


Djokovic clearly needed his serve in the second game of the first set, just after Roger won his game in 55 seconds with 2 aces. Was it available? No.

Djokovic really needed his serve in the first game of the second set that lasted more than 11 minutes. He served many, many times in that game. Was his serve available then? No.

It looks to me that your observations are a bit biased and result of seeing the match through the eyes of Roger’s fan. Several times Roger erased break points by aces; Novak was saving his break points not by serves but by rallying mostly.

I think more realistic assessment would be that both guys’ serves had similar availability to use your expression. Match statistics (for serve %) point to that direction as well…

Giles Says:

skeezer You are a sore loser trying to vent your frustration on the Rafa fans for Fed’s loss. What do you know about “class”?your comments expose YOU dragging Rafa and his fans into something that has nothing to do with Fed’s loss! I feel sorry for you and Fed as it happens, Fed had the match on his racquet and blew it!! #fact

Margot Says:

Many, many congratulations to Nole and his lovely fans on here, jane, Wog boy and all :)
Terrific match I thought, very high quality.
Nole was brilliant, would not yield.
The Hudini of tennis, the Iron Man, the best player of the year, the No 1.
Nothing else to say :) *claps and shouts* :)

TennisFan2 Says:

Roger should really have won that match he had chances being a break up in both sets. All he had to do was to maintain his serve. Easy for us spectators to say but true none the less.

To me he has nothing more to prove. He has won everything that there is to win. Anything now is a bonus as far as I am concerned.

Anna Says:

Yes, Tennis Fan, i agree with you. He has the most annoying, serley attitude when the other opponent loses. Quite uncalled for in my opinion, – no need to go overboard ! As you say, most unlikeable, no wonder there are more cheers for Roger when he enters the arena!! I believe he dedicated his win to his ailing father – very sorry to hear he is ill, but in all honestly ALL FANS, just how often have we seen his parents amoungst the crowd to support him??? As far as I can remember, — only once, and then he apparently walked off in disgust because Novak was in a losing mode! Just an observation.

Wog boy Says:


When you, after great match played by greatest ever and great player, visit TX to see the posts about great match and all you can see is name calling “barbaric,” “monkey,” “ape” “boring,” “no class” you name it, about the best player in the world for the last two years and you expect to see posts from Fedfans like dari, grendel, skeezer, madmax, Polo, Leon and the others that I respect but they are not coming, the only reaction is “knee jerk reaction”, to use skeezer’s line. When you have to put up with that spin doctor that condon racial slurs and using every chance to rubbish Nole, his mother, father his country and his background and yet you expect that fedfans are going to distance themselves from that coward that is hiding behind a computer, no response but from a few and they know who they are, I might forget somebody, instead they are patting him on the back and some idolizing his spinning stats, what else do you expect from somebody who had to put up with that week after week.
I challenge you to find any disrepect towards Roger, spectators or tennis in his celebration after the match that lasted mearly 10-15 seconds, he walked straight to Roger and then he walked, didn’t run…didn’t jump… to his box gave them hug and kiss to his darling Jelena who almost died and walked back to his chair. We have a 25 year old man who worked his a$$ off to be where he is now, it was giant mental battle between these two, as you said, all what he did was let the steam out instead of blowing the fuse. How come when the others are rolling on the court after win, jumping, crying, climbing in to boxes it is OK, as long as there name is not Novak Djokovic? We have a Rafa fan who is calling Nole “barbaric” and just few months ago his man was climbing the stands of RG to reach his box and celebrate 7th RG title. Was that “barbaric” or “no class”? No it wasn’t, it was a young man who hasn’t seen any life but tennis balls, courts and airplanes and worked his a$$ off to achieve that landmark of 7 RG titles, he deserves to celebrate, but if his name is Novak Djokovic then it is “barbaric,” “classles,” etc etc.

Do I regret posting what I did post? No, not at all… do I wish that I have seen grendel’s, dari’s (warmest post by a mile), skeezer’s, madmax post before I posted, yes I do because in that case I would be able to ignore sore losers and Nolehaters and wouldn’t post it.


somehow I have a feeling that you put me in the other group of Nole fans, I can live with that, as a matter of fact I am happy to be there considering the criteria that you are aplying ;)

Tennis coach,

More than proud to be Nole fan, who achieved what he achieved against all the odds, he wasn’t supposed to be where he is now but he is and he will stay there for while just in spite :)
He has more than 2,4 million followers, that is only from FB. I can tell you whenever I go to pick up my daughter from her high school, all her girlfriends when they see me start to scream..Nole…Nole….Nole. Last year in Nole’s shop in Belgrade I bought two of them singlets. Do I have to tell you how big he is in China, Asia or Eastern/Southern Europe? The world is a little bit bigger than some people tend to think.

Wog boy Says:


Thanks very much, you should be proud of your man too.

grendel Says:

Wog boy

you make a powerful case, just for your information, and not to make an argument, I’ll tell you what I think people mean when they object to Djokovic’s celebrations. It’s not the clambering up to the stands, it’s the screwing up of the face in what looks like a particularly aggressive manner – and the immediate impression is:”I’ve screwed that Federer bastard once and for all – no one can deny I’m the best now!”

What? All that? Absolutely, facial expressions, probably for Darwinian reasons, are incomparably more powerful than words, and they go straight to the heart. Reaction is instantaneous.

However, there is a problem. Facial expressions can easily be misinterpreted – one reason to have language. And I think we project our own feelings into our response. We’re all sore losers, you know (what’s the difference between a good loser and a sore loser? the good loser does his ranting in private, the sore loser is less discreet), and in the heat of the emotion generated by a difficult loss (close matches are always the most difficult), clearsightedness flies out of the window.

I now accept that my primitive reaction to Djokovic’s spontaneous facial contortions was entirely subjective. I did say that part of it was letting off steam – I agree now that all of it was.

Speaking purely personally, I’ve always had a problem with that kind of intense reaction – that’s why I disliked the early Hewitt, Nadal and even when Federer does it, I don’t like it. It’s why I loathed McEnroe at the time (whilst regarding his tennis as simply the best), though I like him now. I’m not exactly sure why, there’s got to be a pathological element of some sort here.

Anyway, you should enjoy your man’s time in the sun. I think he will be there for many years. As for the slurs which some people compulsively throw onto Djokovic, try not to take it personally. They would do the same to anyone who threatened Federer. There is a certain sort of quasi worship of an individual which is akin to the worst kind of religious adoration. Federer has been the focus of this kind of madness more than anybody, but it is not limited to Federer, how can it be when we are talking about an aspect of human nature.Which means, I suppose, that we all have a little bit of that tendency to unthinking adoration. But with some, it gets hopelessly out of control. C’est la vie, mon ami!

Meanwhile, Djokovic is a great, great player. Who knows what heights he will reach? Enjoy him while you can!

Sidney Says:

Very nice post. You’re 100 percent correct!

IMO, most of the Nole haters see Nole as the most serious threat to Roger. Of course they’ll deny it. But the HURT he’s inflicted on Roger the past 2 years are many and great!

I guess they don’t trust Roger to be able to handle that type of adversity by himself. So Nole haters had to do their part. I feel their pain.

I love Roger, but not that much so as to put someone else down. I love tennis more!

Skorocel Says:

Congrats to Novak! Yesterday vs Fed & on Sunday vs JMDP, he once again proved that, if there’s any player on the tour other than Nadal who can turn even the bleakest looking matches around, it’s him!

As for Roger, well, a bitter end to an otherwise surprisingly good season…

grendel Says:

Mila (I once had a cat called Mila, the name being a contraction of Milarepa, a Tibetan saint) –

Whilst paying my due to general tennis stats, I’ve always maintained that their value (if unsupplemented with further information) is quite limited, since they cannot take account of the particular. Occasionally, they can actually be grossly misleading.

I have deleted my recording of the match, and I didn’t rewind, analyse and so on on this occasion – but I do accept your corrections.

“It looks to me that your observations are a bit biased and result of seeing the match through the eyes of Roger’s fan”. This is probably true, nevertheless, I don’t think I was completely out. In this tournament, Djokovic has had a good serving rhythm, and it was fine last night it seemed to me – considering the troubles he has had with the serve, that is important. Federer, on the other hand, has not on the whole being serving well – although I must say, he’s done some smashing second serves, I love that one swinging out wide. Naturally, he will have saved his bacon with an ace on one or two occasions, he is too good a server not to do that. But the point is, there was a time when his serve was lethal, almost Sampras like. I don’t know whether those days are gone. He has always relied on placement, but really, one ace was at 89 mph! – a clever variation of speed you might say, but he is generally serving slower these days, for whatever reason.

His fh was rather wobbly. I don’t see why one should not point these things out. Tennis players are human, and it is rare that everything is functioning at top notch. Maybe that is the definition of a successful player – one who can consistently bring his best or near best in all or nearly all departments of the game all or most of the time.

peter Says:

Djokovic roars right after winning the match point. OK, fair enough, he’s delighted with his win.

Then he roars again. And again. Very loud. He’s VERY delighted, apparently. But wait, he suddenly switches off his joy, talks calmly with Lars Graf presumably about his retirement, for quite a long time. Then he suddenly roars once more, as loud as he can, and once more, switching it on just like that.

Then he walks calmly (switch-off) and slowly towards his team (not climbing the stands, God forbid!) and then, out of the blue, roars again. And again. They roar back. He roars some more.

This was the least spontaneous and the least genuine celebration I’ve ever seen. Switch on – switch off. No real joy and happiness. Only gloating and spite towards the loser and all those who have ever doubted him.

Djokovic was not celebrating, he was rubbing it in.

Wog boy Says:


It is hard to argue with you but joy to read your posts even if we disagree, thanks I am going to enjoy Nole but also tennis because I love it, it is much bigger than Federer, Nole, Rafa, Andy…if I am free to say, tennis made them who they are, not the other way around.


Thanks, agree about tennis:-)

Brando Says:

‘and the immediate impression is:”I’ve screwed that Federer bastard once and for all – no one can deny I’m the best now!”’


That is the same impression I had at the time.

I DON’T blame nole for what he did- BUT this is the vibe I got from his reaction- a kind of ‘ I own this guy, and do NOT be fooled into thinking someone else other than me is no.1!’

IMHO it now seems like nole has SURPASSED RAFA as fed’s worst match up in the top 4!

Bad news indeed, IF true!

Wog boy Says:

“rubbing it in”

If so then how do you call Federer waving finger after he beat Nole last year at FO?
He was lucky he didn’t have Roddick or Safin on the other side of net, that finger wouldn’t last long, he would end up with one finger salute from either of them.

peter Says:

Finger-waving was gloating as well, of course. But that was a brief, genuine reaction.

Whereas Djokovic overdoes things, as always. He repeats his bellowing over and over again, with strange long pauses in between, maybe afraid that some might not get it the first few times around.

And he’s ALWAYS performing, always looking for effect, all the while checking the reaction from the public. That’s why he looks & feels insincere and phony.

Wog boy Says:

I guess we all see the things the way we want to see them, that is the way you want to see it but it is not the way I see it. What makes you think you are right? Just because you dislike him or his way of celebrating, pathetic. Do we all have to do things same way, to show emotions same way, to talk or to walk same way?
Just because waving was shorte doesn’t it is less offensive. What goes around comes around, end of story.

Wog boy Says:

“waving finger was shorter” should say

Sidney Says:

Have you considered that maybe you’re just imagining things? Or imagining what you want to imagine?

volley Says:

i think it’s safe to say that some of the roars could have been directed towards the crowd. the majority were certainly against him. it’s a testament to his fighting spirit that he not only overcame a great champion but a crowd willing him to miss, DF, lose, etc.

Wog boy Says:

BTW, you just did what I said in my first post, when somebody else does something, in this case Roger, even if it is not nice it is still “genuine reaction” if Novak does something then it is “calculated”, you just proved that I am right with my statment, no need to talk any more.

Daniel Says:

I do ‘t see how Djoko owns Federer from now on as he was coming from a 2 straight loss, 4 sets loses in a row and won the first in a tiebreak. He is 3-2 this year. For Fed with Nadal is different, really match up and mental issues but Nadal will have to prove his mental fortitude once more when he retunrs. Djoko’s celebration was over the top as he was venting emotions after a tense match when he felt/know he could have easily lost. This match was together with AO 2012 (after 4 set) Djoko’s closest match of the year.

And by the way, Djoko is yet to beat Fed on grass. I hope they have another cracker at Wimbledon. If Fed loses to Djoko he would have lost in all Slams to Djoko. This may be a record only Djoko will possesse:)

Daniel Says:

Wog boy

Eveb though youare trying to defend Novak, but c’mo. Finger waving for 2 seconds is not the same at roaring at an audience. People have different interpretatios, but one is way more offensive to the majority than the other. We are basically debating how the majority and most people would react. It was over the top, but under the circunstances he was totally in his right to do so, specially since we saw this celebration from him before, it wasn’t a first timer. We know that after a match like this he will vent, samaas Nadal. But is not acceptade by the majority of tennis follower, removing players name aside

Brando Says:

‘If Fed loses to Djoko he would have lost in all Slams to Djoko. This may be a record only Djoko will possesse:)’

I know- so true.

MAYBE with luck rafa beats fed at USO, then he can join nole in this exclusive club too! :-)

LOL, jokes aside and everything: I still MAINTAIN that fed arguably could have and possibly should have won the match in straight sets himself.

He could have been 4-0 up in the 1st set, certainly had chances to clinch that set for sure.

His sudden missing 1st serve and charitable UEs let novak back into that set- fatally.

Then again in the 2nd set he should have sealed- YET the UEs just came back again to haunt him!


I think this loss shall hurt fed ONLY because he knows he had REAL chances to win the match himself- and in this poster’s opinion, he should have.

I think the old fed would NOT have allowed those oppurtunities to go past him. This 31 y/o fed, unfortunately for him, does let such things happen to him.

It REALLY could be that age is catching up on him!

Brando Says:

P.S: From now on, I think we can expect fed to serve and volley ALOT more than he has done so before.

It is a good tactic in order to avoid the long rallies.

nadalista Says:

@Giles 4:04am.

Well said! Fed loses, take it out on an absent Rafa, and his fans.

Do not underestimate the effect Rafa “the bogeyman” has on these people…………

Brando Says:


Just IGNORE it.

This loss has NOTHING to do with rafa or his fans.

In fact NOT A SINGLE rafa fan on this thread said anything insulting towards fed at all after this loss.

YET some are SOUR and decide to attack rafa and his fans with PATHETIC, PETTY pot shots!

Well, let them be- this loss is their problem, NOT rafa or his fans!

Daniel Says:

Agree Brando,

We underestimate age. If Fed had won he second he would probablylose the thirs 6-2 or 6-3. Unless he decided to gave his all (last match) and test his limits. But one have to wonder he was getting tired.

I am 31 and don’t recover as fast and I have a pretty intense workout routine. hit gym 4-5 times a week, run 2 times and play tennis at least twice a month, sometimes more. And I feel muscular pain everyday, even s e x endurance is not the same. LOL
I just keep remembering Danny Glover Lethal weapon quote: “I am too old for this s$&@t “

the DA Says:

@ wog boy – “When you, after great match played by greatest ever and great player, visit TX to see the posts about great match and all you can see is name calling”

I feel your pain as I’m sure do other Murray fans. Unfortunately a strong tribal mentality is pervasive and and entrenched in players’ fan bases. Add youth and anonymity into the equation and it often makes for unedifying discourse on internet forums.

On the whole the Nole fans here (with one notable exception) have reacted with grace in his losses and unbridled joy in his triumphs without resorting to name-calling or attempts to discredit the players who defeat him. Let’s always try to take the high road.

Cougar Says:

Novak is the most pathetic player.He pretends to be all sportsmanlike but he isn’t.When he wins he celebrates in a barbaric way and clearly shows contempt towards other players and the crowd.Its almost like he wants to say to the crowd through those celebrations“Hey look your player lost losers!”He knows he will never get the support that Nadal and Federer get.Djokovic didn’t win the final,Federer lost.Its as simple as that.He came back from those defecits not because of some stallar play by himself but poor play from Federer who couldn’t get those first serves in and also committed some silly unforced errors.He got lucky.The same can be said for four of his slam wins as well.AO 2008-Federer had mono and clearly wasn’t in good shape plus Nadal lost to Tsonga.He wouldn’t have won Wimbledon if Roger hadn’t choked against Tsonga.The US Open obviously was another fluke with that shot at match point and with Djokovic using his usual gamesmanship tactics to unsettle Federer and finally the AO 2012 where he won since Nadal choked a break advantage.There are many examples of his gamesmanship which i wont cite here.And finally the MAIN reason why Novak has been successful.The CVAC pod.He openly admits to using it and dosent have the guts to admit he’s cheating with the WADA clearly saying it violates the spirit of sport.He started using it since late 2010 and lo and behold! The slam wins followed.Once the WADA bans it the Djoker’s slam winning days will come to an end.A complete disgrace to the sport thats what he is.

Brando Says:


LOL, Daniel- why did you have mention your exercise work out?

Your making me feel bad- a poster who considers getting up and going to the fridge to grab some nice strawberry yoghurt (don’t you love yoghurt? I just adore it!)as past of his so-called ‘exercise routine’!

But seriously, i think age plays a MAJOR part. For example, in my mind there is NO DOUBT that fed was serving and volleying alot near the end due to tiredness.

And I agree with you, had it gone into the 3rd fed could have lost 6-2 or 6-3 since how much energy would he have had left in the tank?

Not alot i imagine.

As nole himself said, his strategy was to get as many long rallies going as he KNEW it would favour him. Why?

Not because fed cannot handle long rallies- he can.It’s just HIS AGE means they take ALOT out of him.

Age 25 fed would have ZERO PROBLEMS with long rallies. Age 31 fed, unfortunately, does have a problem with consistent long rallies!

wilfried Says:

Congratulations to Novak and his fans.
Novak’s way of celebrating a win is sometimes a bit too exuberant for me, but on the other hand Novak is also very gracious in defeat (which I can’t say of all top competitors).
Anayways it was a great match to watch.

jamie Says:

Federer and Nadal are done winning slams.

You heard it here first.

Brando Says:

Jamie is batsh!t crazy to believe everything a argentinian psychic tells him!

You heard it here first!

mike Says:

Sadly the best player in this Final, Lost

i am sick and tired of watching Nadal and Djokovic simply thieve these matches from the other player by just running and retrieving every single ball at the business end of each set and getting their cheap rewards from it, Federer is the far more swashbuckling player and he is taking all the risks – in some ways i am proud his career is FAR greater than those two, as its vindication for how far a better player he is than them, but still annoying how they can steal matches like this from him

speed the fucking courts up next year

jamie Says:

2013 will be the year of Nolandy.

Brando Says:

‘speed the fucking courts up next year’

Mmmmmm…… either the moderator agrees with that thought or Tx’s moderation is AWOL!

jamie Says:


Bad news for Federer and Nadal fans…. The stuff I just read is really grim for both Federer and Nadal fans. Apparently they have no more slam wins in their future..

Bottom line, Federer and Nadal have already won their last slams…

Nadal will retire with 11 slams like Borg and Federer with 17 slams and the undisputed GOAT.

Brando Says:


‘ The stuff I just read is really grim for both Federer and Nadal fans.’

NO jamie, it’s just really grim for your MENTAL HEALTH to go and read that stuff!

jamie Says:

Nole and Andy are going to split the 4 slams in 2013.

You heard it here first.

skeezer Says:

Let each man have his own way of celebrating, at the end of a set or match. Not fist pumping cause they just won there first point in 5 games.

the DA Says:

“…or Tx’s moderation is AWOL”

AWOL? It has been non-existent for as long as I’ve read these blogs.

mike Says:

Murray is the best player, out of the 5 majors this year he won 2…. US Open and Olympics

funny how Djoko needed an exhausted Del Potro to blow himself out in that London Semi final, only way he was gonna win that match

jamie Says:


It will suck to be a Federer or Nadal fan from now on. No more slams. The slams belong to Nole and Andy from now on.

Brando Says:

‘Murray is the best player, out of the 5 majors this year he won 2…. US Open and Olympics’

I DISAGREE with that statement.

I think NOLE IS the best based on his result.

HOWEVER, I HONESTLY believe that nole, rafa, muzza and even fed were ALL TARGETING the olympics this year more than WTF!

I BELIEVE that given the choice between WTF or Olympic gold BOTH fed and nole would choose the gold!

Either way, Andy has done well for himself this year for sure!

Brando Says:


‘It will suck to be a Federer or Nadal fan from now on. No more slams.’


Being a fan of a guy who is the UNDISPUTED GOAT, just finished RU at WTF aged 31!

A guy who is ONLY on a decline- IF he is so- due to his AGE.

I wonder what nole or andy result’s will be like aged 31?

Ask your psychic on that one!

And being a fan or rafa- well he is ONLY 1 year older than them and he ALREADY is 11 time GS winner, olympics gold medalist, ALL TIME record holder of MS, career slam, seen by MANY as an all time great etc- shall i go on?

YEP, it DOES SUCK being their fan!

jamie Says:

Andy will win Wimbledon and a HC slam in 2013.

Nole will win Roland Garros and a HC slam in 2013.

You heard it here first.

jamie Says:

Fedal are ovah! Yesterday’s news!

the DA Says:

@ brando – mike and jamie are trolling. They want indignant reactions and squabbling amongst top 4 fans.

Margot Says:

Wog boy: Nole was/is terrific.He has had another wonderful year. Forget the rest :)
As the DA says, us Murray fans sure feel your pain, often we are targeted by the slings and arrows of outraged fans, but NOTHING and I mean nothing, can take away the joy of the Olympic Gold and USOpen.
NOTHING should take away your joy either.

Brando Says:

@the DA:

They are- i’ll ignore them.

Tootie Says:

I’m happy Novak won. I just wish he would understand that living apart from Jesus will not bring him peace. He is living in sin with his girlfriend which sets a bad example for everyone but especially for young people.

Brando Says:


With all due respect, can we please leave religion out of this?

Especially on a tennis forum?

I think it would be for the best JUST to comment on the sport itself!


Hope others refrain kindly and not make a comment regarding religion- as on a tennis forum it is NOT necessary nor the place to do so.

skeezer Says:

@WB re 6:41

Wrt to “where was I”, I actually was out on a date day with my Fiance with lunch and a movie (btw, Skyfall was great). I DVR’d the match. Yes, Love does overtake Fed in a final. Proof that I am not Fanatical, ha! I would have posted earlier otherwise.

Congrats to your man, he will carry the top spot well. Be proud of the fact emotions ran high on this blog after the match. It seemed to mean the stakes were high. And your man won! Thats all that really matters.

the DA Says:

@ brando – thought you’d like this. Nole responded to Nadal’s tweet yesterday:

“Gracias Rafa! Hope you recover fast and we see you on the court in Abu Dhabi or Australia! Vamos”

Nole/Rafa/Andy have quite the bromance. Andy said the best tweet he received after the USO was a congrats from Rafa.
If only all fans could follow the example of the players they support.

Giles Says:

Here is an interesting comment by Fed “There’s argument that Rafa was best player of the year cause we do t know how he’d have played in the remaining six months”. Hmmm.

Giles Says:

^dont not do t.

jane Says:

There are some really nice and thoughtful posts here! Super happy for Nole.

And really the top ten as a whole, and especially the top 4, have plenty to be glad about after the 2012 season; it was a very spread out year in terms of the titles and successes.

jane Says:

Wog boy, hang in there. I think your post is very honest. If Nole celebrations are too loud for some, well, so be it. It was probably a combination of fighting through a match when he wasn’t at his best (that’s how I saw it yesterday), through a tournament when his dad was sick, and through a crowd mainly cheering for his errors and opponent. I’ve noticed that Nole tends to really roar when he’s had a difficult match or tough path (whatever those reasons are) to winning a title. For example, a few times with roars at the end were at Paris in 2009, when he had to fight through double faults; at the AO this year, due to the marathon matches and keeping 4 slams in a row possible; at Roma last year, because of the streak and all the pressure building from that, and then yesterday. He doesn’t do it all the time because the stakes aren’t always as high for him personally. It seems like his catharsis to me. Anyhow, that’s just my take. We all see it differently for many reasons, too.

Giles Says: Rafa hasn’t yet hit the practice court and tournaments are chasing him! #SoPopular

the DA Says:

Here’s an interesting quote from that article:

‘He’s somebody that is very aggressive, that likes to finish points very quickly,” Djokovic said. ”But I managed to get a lot of shots back into the court, being passive, a couple meters behind the baseline. … That was one of the goals tonight, to always try to get him into the longer rallies where I think I had the better chance.”

This certainly contradicts a poster’s recent view that Nole always attacks. Players employ different strategies against certain players.

volley Says:

from Fed’s press conference after yesterday’s match-

“I love playing against particularly young guys as well just because to many sometimes I’m an idol, which is very strange to me, to be honest.”

roger is morphing into pseudofed.


trufan Says:

17 slams, 302 weeks at No. 1, 6 YEC.

Those 3 pretty much define Federer. Neither of them is likely to be broken anytime soon, or maybe not for a long time.

He’s GOAT.

We’ve seen the last of him now. I don’t see him posting a strong season in 2013, let alone winning another slam., or coming back to No. 1, or winning another YEC. He doesn’t need to either.

If he does, that would be his most unbelievable feat to date (any of the 3 above).

Seems like its Djoke’s time next year, with Murray closer on his heels. Delpo hopefully moves up if he stays fit. There’s nothing else out there for 2013. Only thing is will Nadal continue to defend the French Open.

mat4 Says:

Finally I got a connection to join my dear fellow posters on Tennis-x.

Unfortunately, I watched only the highlights of the match, but it seems that it was a tough encounter, disputed to the bitter end.

jane Says:

“Players employ different strategies against certain players.”

Very true the DA! In fact, Nole came to net 25 times versus Andy, trying to shorten points, but then against Delpo he stayed back and absorbed his power, preferring to wait for his chances to turn defence into offence. Nole used a similar strategy against Fed. Another thing Nole does against Fed, which he’s done most matches since AO 2008 – the commentators noted it even then – is that Nole goes to Fed’s forehand. A lot of players, but most notably Rafa, target Fed’s backhand. I think Andy tried to do that in the latest match too, but Fed’s backhand was working well. And that left the forehand side more open too. Nole tends to do the opposite, and with success some of the time; Fed had only 8 forehand winners but 24 forehand errors yesterday, if I am remembering the numbers correctly. I was reading somewhere that Nole uses the backhand dtl shot so Fed is stretched out wide on his forehand side and can’t time it quite as well. Of course when Fed’s forehand is timed well, look out!

Anyhow, definitely they try different strategies for different players and matches – that’s what makes it interesting.

Giles Says:

trufan. You sound very morbid. Believe me there’s still plenty of life left in the ole lion. I do believe he will still be a contender in all the major tourneys next year. He could and should have won last night but it was not to be. #ThisIsSport

Brando Says:


Thanks for the articles.

– Re Fed article: I AGREE with roger- more variety would be nice. This is something i have long believed. However, like fed himself acknowledged, it seems that we shall have more of the same in the future, i.e. LACK of difference in surfaces!

P.S: For this reason, i think it is somewhat IMPOSSIBLE to compare generations, since so much changes with each passing generation, e.g. SIMILARITY in all surfaces now more than ever, different racquet’s, greater focus of fitness etc. NO ONE truly knows how Laver would have done in this era, or how Novak would have done in the 60’s.

YET people push their own views as facts- somewhat of a mystery there!

– Re Rafa: I would PREFER if rafa play’s in Doha as that gives him 5 possible matches instead of 3, PLUS they are competitive matches. Still, nice to see rafa is wanted by tournies! :-)

– Re Fed quote: He’s got a POINT. FACT is prior to his injury, rafa was a SOLID no.2, LEADING the year race, LEVEL with fed on trophies won so far, 3 successive wins v nole suggested MENTALLY he is improving there, RU and 2 MERE GAMES AWAY from winning AO, with results reading: SF,RU, SF, SF, W,W, R16 (Madrid), W,W- prior to grass season.

Long story short, as rafa HIMSELF said he was playing VERY WELL! Then, unfortunately, his knees gave way! :-(

BUT, make no mistake that there is ZERO DOUBT in my mind that nole is the deserved no.1 of this and ALSO player of the year! Well done to him for that!

Brando Says:


It is interesting that HEWITT’S child fav player is rafa, fed’s daughter point to poster and say ‘rafa’, Andy calls rafa his FAV player etc.

Shows that rafa is not all that unpopular after all!:-)

Giles Says:

Brando. Have they announced the player of the year yet

skeezer Says:

”What you don’t want is that you hit 15 great shots and at the end, it ends up in an error,” Fed (speed of surface)

Or maybe fans want to see;

“you hit 15 great shots and at the end, it ends up in a winner”

Or maybe;

“You just hit winners”


Nina Says:

I will just say this used to be an enjoyable site, now not so more, so I will refrain from commenting any further.

Rick Says:

Better for the s

Brando Says:

@the DA:

Thanks for that- like it? I LOVE IT! :-)

‘Nole/Rafa/Andy have quite the bromance. Andy said the best tweet he received after the USO was a congrats from Rafa.’

RAFA, NOLE & ANDY ALL seem to GENUINELY like one another and respect each other. Their rapport for one another DOES NOT seem to be something for the camera’s or public at all!

Andy has said he sees rafa as a GENUINE FRIEND, something which rafa seems to feel likewise.

Andy and nole also have said that they are friends with one another for a while.

Rafa and nole too seem to have friendhsip: they both went to watch Roma play together once, went to Broadway during USO also- and nole was the one rafa asked to help out in the Madrid exho match. These 2 also seem to get along very well, since they seem to share similar interests of the court as well as possessing similar game’s and characteristic’s on the court!

As nole HIMSELF said, it’s tough to hang out with such a major rival BUT he definitely respects them and can see them hanging out together once their career’s are over!

‘If only all fans could follow the example of the players they support.’

I do not know about you, but RARELY- IF EVER- do rafa fans have a problem with nole or muzza fans, or muzza fans with nole fans!

For example, NOT ONCE did a nole fan say novak owns rafa during the 7-0 streak!


Nor did ANY rafa fan here say anything bad about nole during the recent 3-0 turnaround!

Why? As their is a REAL MUTUAL respect between the fans for the other set of fans and their respective fav!

USUALLY the trash talk comes from a DIFFERENT direction- as rafa, nole and muzza fans DO NOT trash the other player or their fans!

P.S: I am on about the REGULAR posters, not the guest appearance trolls!

Nina Says:

Exactly Brando. I’m seeing a lot of those guest trolls lately… it’s ruining this site which in my opinion was the only safe haven for tennis connoisseurs. A shame really. Where are the mods?

Brando Says:


I don’t think so.

IMO, it should go to NOLE- he’s the player of the year for me!

HR mention would go to fed for having an OUTSTANDING season for a 31 y/o and Muzza for a BREAKOUT year!

Rick Says:

SEAN! Federer was better from the start? Shouldn’t you be saying that he choked? That was nothing new from him, for leading in the fiirst set. But ended up, losing it.

Brando Says:


Please stick around- I like many here enjoy your posts!

I AGREE with you about this site- I have NEVER ONCE posted on any other site, since I loved the lack of bias, spite and genuine fairness that was on display on this site.

So many knowledgeable, fair posters were here- so I NEVER felt compelled to look elsewhere!

There STILL are alot of those here- THANKFULLY! BUT, yes, unfortunately the guest appearance TROLLS seem to pay a regular visit!

Re Moderation: Was there EVER one in place?….

PS: congrats on your fav winning the WTF- well deserved considering the fight he showed THROUGHOUT the tourny!

Rick Says:

A disgrace! They had to made everything best of three sets to help an old man, and easy draw for Federina to get to the final. He could got into the final, because he was being placed in group with player like Ferrer who are also his age. And he beat Murray was worn out by players in his grouis, and he often choked playing at home, I expect him to make Federina cries if they play elsewhere.

mat4 Says:

Interesting stat. This year:

170h30, 175,91 km Novak;

147h08, 143,22 km Roger.

grendel Says:

Giles – w.r.t.your link, commented on by others, I’ll extract 2 quotes from Federer:””I think some variety would be nice, some really slow stuff and then some really fast stuff, instead of trying to make everything sort of the same,” and “I think it would help from time to time to move to something a bit faster. That would help to learn, as well, for many different players, different playing styles, to realize that coming to the net is a good thing, it’s not a bad thing.”

Now you imply this is purely self-serving on the part of Federer. But whether it is or whether it isn’t hardly matters, the question is: does what he says make sense? Surely, from the point of view of the spectator, it does. He is, after all, asking for variety. Any spectator worth his salt would like to see the players tested on different surfaces. It was always fascinating to see if Federer could master Nadal at the RG if only once. He couldn’t – well, we learnt something. It was interesting to see if Nadal could handle the faster surface at the US – and once he did, and his reputation is enormously enhanced thereby. And so on.

Brando Says:

For NOLE fans:


Nole thinks this year is BETTER than 2011 for him- I AGREE WITHOUT HEISTATION!

WHY? 3 Reasons:

1- Rafa played MUCH BETTER tennis this year than 2011. Most rafa fans would AGREE with that.

2- Fed played MUCH BETTER tennis this year than last year. Fed fans will say that.

3- Muzza played WAY BETTER this year than last year. Andy will call it a CAREER BEST YEAR.

So the competition was BETTER and TOUGHER this year than lasy year IMHO!

YET, Nole- DESERVEDLY so- ended as YE NO.1 and winner of 6 major titles! Plus most people’s PLAYER OF THE YEAR!

It’s just a BIGGER ACHIEVEMENT to do that when the competition is SO TOUGH and the expectation for you (Nole) is very high.

Last year, NO ONE expected him to be No.1, he was RIDING a ONCE in a lifetime kind of form and the others (rafa, fed, muzza) were NOT as good as this year- so it was EASIER to dominate than this year, in that sense!

So, ULTIMATELY, his 2012 season is more impressive than 2011 season- EVEN THOUGH statistically that season was a knock out one!

Rick Says:

Federina was beaten by the young man in his group, and his other wins are from vets like himself. Federina’s days come to an end. He is old, even the roof can’t help him!

grendel Says:

Nina – there have always been trolls and obsessives of one sort or another on this site, and perhaps on any site. Look around you. Funny old world, you know. A tennis site can only reflect what is out there. One thing, though: as Djokovic becomes more famous, and starts to pile up the records, he will inevitably come in for more flack or adoration as the case may be. Goes with the territory.

Meanwhile, your posts have always been agreeable to read. Please don’t stop.

b.t.w. congratulations to Colin. He got it right early on about Federer not winning the tourney – although of course, he absolutely was not predicting. Perish the thought….

the DA Says:

@ grendel

I agree with your post. I think if 2 or 3 of the HC Masters tournaments switched to faster surfaces it would shake things up in an entertaining way. I remember when Bercy had a fast surface in 2010 it was refreshing. A number of players relished it such as Llodra & Fed, and it allowed them to play old school tennis. Others were forced to adapt – it certainly sorted out the men from the boys. The clay court specialists were all at sea.

A distinctive memory was Andy’s match vs Nalbandian. Nalby was running away with the match and suddenly Andy switched to s & v in the 2nd set and regained control and won. I thought at the time: “more of this please”.

Daniel Says:

Agree in part Brando,

This year was establishment for Novak, kind of recognition.

But 3 Slams in a year was monster. Follow the ‘aura’ when he simply refused to lose was magnificent, follow his Nadal deconstruction was exclent as well. Nadal could have achieved tennis pantheon for good last eyar but Novak was the one who denied him, same with Federer this year. Novak denied Fed a 6 Year End #1 and a 7 WTF. Hard to pick…

this year he made his point and now will be chasing records as well any time he plays, just as Fed and Nadal. Chasing past greats records and his own records: 3 AO in a row, another player with career Slam (winnig RG), winning Monte Carlo and Cincinati (he will win it eventually)to complete a Masters sweap, possible third year YE#1, stay #1 for a whole season (every week of a year), surpass 100 weeks as #1, increase his Grand Slma tally. He is going for it and next year he will be 25-26, which means it is his last total peak form year. On 2014 he will be 26-27, when players start fading slowlly.

So, 2013 holds a lot for him, as for the other top 4 as well, but mostly, we all expect 2013 to be another Nole year.

Rick Says:

By the way, Tennis-X is run by the communists! Definitely, they are definitely not following the American freedom of speech values, so the Fedtards are all commies???

rogerafa Says:

Most fans were expecting a Novak-Andy final and, by inference, did not think Roger would win. Even for the final against Roger, Novak was widely regarded as the favorite. He is generally a very safe bet these days and understandably so.

Daniel Says:


I think you and other Djoko fans are suffering frm spotlight syndrome. It feels bad at first, but it passes, the important thing is, your guy is THE man right now, the one everybody wants to beat, #1. Fed and Nadal are living legends, and Djoko may reach that status in 2-3 years, that’s the price of success.

We Fed fans and Nadal fans have to face it for years now. It comes with success, last 2 year, Djoko come out of Fedal shadow, hence the hamering.

And BTW, this site used to have fights every day in the old days. It had less trolls, I will acknoladge that, but the fight was intense, Jane and grendel are here for a long time as well and they know what I am talking about:)

jane Says:

Daniel, ha ha “spotlight syndrome”, that’s classic. :)

jane Says:

Nina, stick around! :)

Brando Says:


I agree with your point’s also- very valid. And it’s true: stats say 2011 was better. But for me, this year was more impressive by nole.

– ‘Nadal could have achieved tennis pantheon for good last eyar but Novak was the one who denied him’

It’s TRUE that had nole not been there rafa could have delivered a 2010 repeat, BUT in reality has his status changed much in tennis history due to nole much?

I’d say NO- it’s pretty much the same as before.

I may be in the MINORITY here but personally i think nole shall and has IMPROVED rafa as a tennis player. Once fed was the BENCHMARK for rafa and he had to improve, and now its nole- and as a seasoned rafa tennis fan, I believe rafa’s tennis this year, prior to injury, was improving due to NOLE.

Nole could turn out to be A GOOD THING for rafa, as rafa LIVES & THRIVES on a challenge- in nole he has one.

ULTIMATELY, time will tell- BUT i honestly see nole as a GOOD THING for rafa.

-‘same with Federer this year. Novak denied Fed a 6 Year End #1 and a 7 WTF.’:

LOL- how many records does fed need? No point crying over spilt milk- fed status and legacy is UNAFFECTED by nole and the things he did not achieve this year!

-‘we all expect 2013 to be another Nole year.’:

I DISAGREE. For me, 2013 is the year that POTENTIALLY sees the rise of Del Potro into a SOLID top 5 player, GS contender (possibly more).

It COULD see the rise of Andy Murray as a top 2 AT LEAST, possible new world no.1 (maths are in his favour), and DEFINITELY a MAJOR GS contender at AO, USO, Wimby- he ARGUABLY has as good a chance as NOLE in Wimby and USO!

Then there is FEDAL:

– 2013 could be a MAJOR COMEBACK year for rafa- it certainly is a POSSIBILITY! He’s 26, and shall come back FULLY FIT and with a MUCH NEEDED 6 months- he could be MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY FRESHER than ever- certainly more so than in the last few years!

– Fed COULD snatch another MAJOR title. KEY for him is scheduling (LESS IS MORE for his body) and tactics- MORE SERVE AND VOLLEY could help? Either way- write him off at YOUR PERIL!

So what about nole?

He is looking for MORE OF THE SAME plus more slams- YET the competition, as shown this year, COULD come back STRONGER and MORE DIFFICULT than before!


Nole is the FAV, MAN TO BEAT- BUT also he is the guy EVERYONE is gunning for now. He’s the TOP DOG.

The chasing pack includes the HUNGRY & AMBITIOUS Rafa, Muzza, Fed and Delpo – ALL can DOMINATE IF they are fired up and playing their ABSOLUTE BEST!

For this poster, nole has some SERIOUS CHALLENGER’S to contend with next year.

MARK MY WORDS on that one!

Senthil Says:

Nina, Please stick around

Senthil Says:

Federer needs to announce the Retirement by End of 2013. it is really painful watch him loss matches to Djoker or Murray.

Senthil Says:

Hope Nadal will never win WTF. He was lucky to win 2009 Aussie open and 2010 Us open. He is plain and simple – Natural Surface genius.

Giles Says:

Brando. Great summary of what we can expect in 2013 .

Daniel Says:


I like Murray game a lot, but he won US Open facing one Top 4, Fed won Wimbledon facing 2.

I rather see how Nadal will retunr and if Murray can really beat him in hardcourt Slams or Wimbledon. Biggest challenge for Murray was Nadal, he always got some victories over Fed, that’s why he is 10-9 and Djoko as well, but Nadal he folded and resume into ‘old Murray’. I want to see if New Murray can beat New Nadal (which we don’t know how he will be).

Fed will be 31-32, DelPo as much as he has the game, I am afraid he will never have the fitness level to endure all year, Nadal himslef doesn’t have it, so everything is pointing towards Djoko, and this years he finished the stronges ever, wins in Toronto, Beijing, Shangai and WTF. Finals in Cincy and US Open. Only toruney after grass he didn’t deliver was Paris, which no one did. He improve in later season and really was the only player who could sustain basically the same level all year, Fed had up and downs, Murray had a great span of 2 months, Nadal had knee problems. Djoko was the one who could play after Olympics full calender.

I believe it will be hs year again. To be hones, if Nadal manages to win Slams and get #1 again after a 6 month sabatical with his style of play when 26 and a half I think will be similar to Fed Wimby and back to # 1 this year. He really was in a high level before Rosol ,atch, but to resume to that level so quickly, I don’t think has ever being done in tennis before.

Giles Says:

Senthil. “Hope Nadal will never win WTF.” Why is that?

Brando Says:


‘To be hones, if Nadal manages to win Slams and get #1 again after a 6 month sabatical with his style of play when 26 and a half I think will be similar to Fed Wimby and back to # 1 this year.He really was in a high level before Rosol ,atch, but to resume to that level so quickly, I don’t think has ever being done in tennis before.’


IF rafa is able to win a slam or two and get the 1 ranking back- then for me it would be his CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT!

6 MONTHS OFF, age 26/27, dominant nole, rising muzza & delpo, ever dangerous fed (NO ONE takes him lightly at all- on his day he can still beat ANYONE) all of this and YET IF he were to end up a no.1 for a 3RD TIME, to win a couple of slams to get to 13- THAT WOULD BE PHENOMENAL!

It would SEAL his legacy completely! For some he would be a REAL top 5 of ALL TIME contender then- IF he isn’t already!

As the man himself say’s:

‘ Impossible? NO, difficult? YES. BUT IF i play my best tennis…..’

And that though ALONE is enough to make this fan eager and excited in anticipation of how this great player tackles this great CHALLENGE!:-)

Brando Says:


Thanks. :-)

Alok Says:

I’ve just finished watching the match, due to bad timing at work on projects, which prevented me from watching it live.

It appears that Fed had so many chances to break Djokovic but did what he’s been doing for about 2-3 years now, he just cannot convert on his BP opportunities. If he did that, he could have won that match 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic was persistent and did what he does best, retrieve every ball and put it back in play. Fed had to run too much IMO, and that took his legs from under him.

The running, and playing 3 days in a row, plus bad scheduling, playing late at night, which comes with the territory when one is a star, took its toll on Fed. He looked very tired and my heart sank as I saw his distraught and tired looking face. IMO the match was Fed’s had he been able to capitalize on his BPs.

Margot Says:

the DA @ 1.07pm
Yes, I too remember with pleasure that serve and volleying Andy. He’s so good at it, why oh why doesn’t he do it more often?
Daniel @ 2.03pm
I used to think Andy had too much respect/liking for Rafa, but seem to remember, at what I think was their last meeting in the Autumn of last year, that Andy beat him rather handily.

Alok Says:

I agree with Daniel on fighting. It’s on every site, and it’s to be expected. Sometimes, I try to read old blogs due to comments from posters who allude to what went on previously here, and all I can say a lot has changed with the fighting. It appears some posters have mellowed.

On trolling for comments and trolls, it’s something I’ve always not understood if one goes by the definition of the word ‘troll’, which apparently means one who keeps putting out nonsensical questions and comments repeatedly, overshadowing, and trying to have the spotlight on only that one person, commenting the molst on every topic.

Perhaps my English translation is incorrect, but if my understanding is correct, how can a poster whose comments expresses their true feelings, although not what others want to read, be a troll? For me, I see them as just saying it like it is on what’s in their mind, and not looking to form a group or be the focus of attention. There are many who we see as ameanable posters whose comments are multitudionus on every thread, so would we call them trolls also, just because they write to our heart’s desires and draw us in their discussions?

I guess I’m wrong, but that’s how I sort of see things.

Sorry, if I’m not expressing this in the right way, but it’s on this sort of thing, that my English writing expressions are very challenged. It shouldn’t happen though because my MOm is Irish American, and I was born here, but moved away to my Dad’s country at age 4, and then returned at age 17 to attend college, etc. I guess I’m a lot like Fed in this respect growing up with his parents speaking two different languages

Alok Says:

Fed, on some occasions tried to end the long rallies by going to the net, and I now wonder why didn’t he do that more often throughout the match. Although it’s a death wish playing like that, as he could get passed a lot, from the top players, but it’s worth trying all the same.

Nina Says:

Thanks for your comments guys, I will stick around. Apart from many knowledgeable tennis fans on this site, the conversation is usually intelligent and elegant. Of course discussion is welcome, but without excesive bias or hate towards a player. That’s common trend in every other site and it would be a shame if tennis-x followed.

However, I follow all your comments with attention, i always learn a thing or two.

By the way, I don’t think it’s the spotlight syndrome, lol, I’ve followed Nole since 2007 and even when he was an upcomer he was in the centre of heated discussions. Nothing new.

For one thing I’m grateful. Maybe thanks to Nole’s domination in 2011 and then also Murray’s, the Fedal neverending wars seem to subside, which i think it’s good. A few years ago it was impossible to have a sensible argument without someone having a dig at the other. Things look calmer now.

I’m very happy with Nole’s win yesterday, though Federer could have won it all the same. I think the match was tense, dramatic, hilarious at times, with impressive shotmaking from both… but to be fair it was also an errorfest, specially the second set. I don’t think I’ve seen these two formidable guys error so much in one set. Probably it was the tension which was very present.

It’s a testament to Federer’s longevity and fantastic game that he still can compete with these younger players who, in my opinion, are the most complete in history.

volley Says:

@ alok

‘On trolling for comments and trolls, it’s something I’ve always not understood’

definition of a troll (from wikepedia):

”In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

Alok Says:

“-’same with Federer this year. Novak denied Fed a 6 Year End #1 and a 7 WTF.’:”

We are aware of that stat I’m sure.

“LOL- how many records does fed need? No point crying over spilt milk- fed status and legacy is UNAFFECTED by nole and the things he did not achieve this year!”

As many as he wants and can win. BTW, who’s crying?

madmax Says:

If the poster here thinks it was painful to watch federer, then what a missed opportunity to watch this wonderful, wonderful match. It was a great match.

Giles Says:–ten.html. OK Fed, anything to assist you to win! Whatever you say boss!

November 13th, 2012 at 11:11 am

Seriously Giles, I know you are missing rafa, but can we just quote properly. Its got nothing to do with assisting federer to win. His shotmaking on the court and game plan preparation, might have something to do with it. But then I guess you wouldn’t take the basics into consideration.

grendel Says:


on the whole, trolls on tennis sites are so absurd and predictable they do no harm, most people don’t bother even to read them. I believe in some walks of life, though, like politics, trolls can be a serious menace. So I have heard, anyway.

the real problem has been put well by the DA at 8.59 am:”strong tribal mentality is pervasive and and entrenched in players’ fan bases. Add youth and anonymity into the equation and it often makes for unedifying discourse on internet forums”

skeezer Says:

^to add they usually are not regulars either. They come, drop some nasty poop, and then are to chicken to hang around cause they don’t like there own poop smell. Which reminds me, time to take the Dog for a walk.

Alok Says:

I’m confused now. I see some people who are called trolls for just expressing an opinion, because it’s not full of praise for a player. I think at those times the poster is being truthful, but is saying something that a fan doesn’t want to hear.

Fritz Says:

I have been posting on this site for about four years now and have never been bothered by trolls. Actually, I find crazy anti-Novak posts, especially the ones that complain about his “barbaric screams”, very amusing and entertaining. It may be due to my Montenegro/Serbian gene combination but I enjoy when “the crowd” is against me or my guy, similar to Novak who seems to play better when audience cheers his errors like yesterday.

Comments like some earlier ones on this thread are briliant from this Nole’s fan perspective> Few examples:

Troll #1: “i am sick and tired of watching Nadal and Djokovic simply thieve these matches from the other player by just running and retrieving every single ball at the business end of each set…”

Troll #2: “Novak is the most pathetic player.He pretends to be all sportsmanlike but he isn’t. When he wins he celebrates in a barbaric way and clearly shows contempt towards other players and the crowd…He wouldn’t have won Wimbledon if Roger hadn’t choked against Tsonga.The US Open obviously was another fluke with that shot at match point and with Djokovic using his usual gamesmanship tactics to unsettle Federer and finally the AO 2012 where he won since Nadal choked a break advantage.”

Troll #3: “Whereas Djokovic overdoes things, as always. He repeats his bellowing over and over again, with strange long pauses in between, maybe afraid that some might not get it the first few times around. And he’s ALWAYS performing, always looking for effect, all the while checking the reaction from the public. That’s why he looks & feels insincere and phony.”

For me these comments are sure sign that Novak got it made. I love it and am fairly sure Novak himself would love to read them. I realize some Nole fans here are offended by it, and it is too bad, but I say bring the entertainment on!

Alok Says:

@Fritz, what you state is what I’m trying to define. Why would an anti-Novak comment make someone a troll? Just because a poster does not like him, Fed, Nadal, etc., does not make them a troll. They’re being honest. I prefer such people more than those who pretend to like a player just to be popular.

Fritz Says:


Of course that anti-Novak comment does not make one troll. What makes one troll is showing once in a blue moon at a site with overly negative personally-themed comments without any tennis-related commentary. And that is exactly what the three trolls are quoted above did.
That is why they are trolls and not simply for being anti-Novak or any other player for that matter.

But, as I stated earlier, I love those comments and wish there is more of them. There is a hint of that over-the-top craziness in the comments similar to some of Monty Python bits, except in these cases humour is, sadly, not intended.

Michael Says:

Well, on this debate about the outburst of emotions by Novak after a victory, well eventhough it looks overplayed yet he compensates that with his sporting behaviour when he loses. I see this as a rare gesture in today’s competitive Sport.

jane Says:

mat4 Says:
Interesting stat. This year: 170h30, 175,91 km Novak; 147h08, 143,22 km Roger.


Hi mat4, do you have the match numbers to go with these? I mean, you’d need those to make the comparison clear.

Margot Says:

@ Fritz 6.23pm
Gr8 attitude :) Note to self: copy :)

Giles Says:

madmax. All I am saying is that it is a well-known fact that Fed prefers a faster court. And yes, I am missing Rafa but that has nothing to do with my comment on Fed’s take on the speed of the courts! One might say that his comments were slightly mis-timed bearing in mind they were made after his loss at the WTF!

TJ Says:

Only a m0r0n would pick any shot other than dimitrov’s in that selection [ which clearly is an abysmal selection of shots. djokovic has hit atleast 5 better shots than the one shown in the list. rafa’s shot is something that the top players hit on a routine basis. federer/djokovic would have hit atleast 10 such shots]

TJ Says:

Apologies to any m0r0ns I might have offended by comparing Giles to them!

grendel Says:

Giles, far be it from me to plug my own posts but, plugging my own post for just a minute (Nov 13, 12.40 pm.), I did point out that regardless as to whether or not Federer’s point was self-serving, it made complete sense from a spectator’s point of view (more variety) and also from an ambitious player’s (more tests to pass, more potential glory).

Furthermore, Federer was not asking for faster courts as such, but was making a plea for both slow and fast courts. And he couched his request in a pretty restrained manner.

What was so hard to understand about it?

grendel Says:

Further to the above, Tipsarevic remarked last week: “You look at the game of tennis, in my opinion the point which improved or the level that increased in the last 10 years is not the offence, it’s the defence. Even the tall guys like (Juan Martin) Del Potro, (Tomas)Berdych and (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga are defending incredibly well. If you look at Sampras and Agassi, all these guys before, they used to be very aggressive, but couldn’t really defend.”

Following Sampras/Ivanesevic shoot outs, courts were slowed. The wheel has now turned full circle, and time for another change. Not all the way back – more like a modification.

Giles Says:

Grendel. Maybe they should have a vote?

skeezer Says:

The vote. Yes!! Great idea!

ATP Players: more variety
Rafa: No. More Clay, and more slow.

skeezer Says:


Excellant @7:43. Astute analysis, spot on imo.

Giles Says:

skeezer. Shhhhh. No more bilge. You have surpassed yourself in that regard!! #NastyNasty

Zora Says:

Well, Fritz, let me disagree. The fact that there are negative things said about Djokovic cannot be only attributed to “tall poppy syndrome” or as we say “good horse raises dust” – a lot of those negative comments are simply true, including those 3 from “trolls” you quote.

I disliike his behaviour and attitude and I always have, ever since he first appeared, although I’m his connational. And no matter how much he wins in future, this won’t change.

He behaves erratically on court: at one moment all needy and pathetic, then all spiteful and obnoxious. It’s the same off court: he act & talks all PC, boring like a cardboard cutout and then he plays a clown with his very lame impersonations.

Some people approve of him presenting himself as a gracious loser, hugging a winner sometimes even against his will. But he doesn’t know a more important thing: how to win graciously.

We have another saying for that: U pobedi se ne ponesi, u porazu se ne ponizi. [In your win, don’t get carried away; in your loss, don’t degrade yourself.]

Let’s see if I covered all aspects: he plays a physical brand of tennis that some people like and he looks weird and ugly, therefore ridiculous in advertising efforts.

Nina Says:

Zora, to own his/her opinions. But I could say the same things for your favorite player. None is classier than the other, it just looks that way to the fan and the hater. So try to discuss tennis and leave emotions out of it as everyone has them and everyone shows them in a different way. X player will connect with x fan for many reasons, mainly emotional. What you think is depicable behavior and only focus on the negative without really giving yourself the chance to see the positive which always outweights it, as I believe that there are far more positive things about a player than the negatives. And what’s more… what is bad for you might be good for another person. The world is not black and white and the players are humans as well.

Nina Says:

By the way the last bit is a hateful statement which is utterly ridiculous and false. It just shows you’re another troll with only hateful comments. Do you have something really interesting and positive to add to the debate? or you are just here to bash the players you don’t like?

madmax Says:

Furthermore, Federer was not asking for faster courts as such, but was making a plea for both slow and fast courts. And he couched his request in a pretty restrained manner.

What was so hard to understand about it?

November 14th, 2012 at 5:32 am

grendel, your post above…what I was trying to say, but you said it better! Thanks…giles, are you taking note? This is what I was trying to say. You really do have to be fair, well actually, you don’t have to because we can see how unfair your comment was, but of course you are entitled to your opinion.

On another note,

the best shot of the year, HAS to go to Fed’s pick up shot – it really was subliminal. The audience’s reaction says it all and so does Novak’s which, to be fair, was hilarious, especially in slow motion!

Joe W Says:

I’ve always admired Novak’s mechanics and movement. Even with his bouts of asthma (which apparently his new diet/regime has solved) he is the best pure athlete the tour has ever had. Better than Fed. Better than Rafa. Better than Yannick Noah, Monfils, etc..Can’t say that I like his behavior all the time, as other posters have noted, but then again to each his own. BTW, nobody mentioned the 2012 AO final, where after the last point Novak is seen ripping his shirt off and stalking the court like an NBA player.

Did you know that the “E” in ESPN stands for entertainment?

mat4 Says:

I am a bit confused: watching the matches, it seemed to me that the court in the O2 Arena is slow, but I read that it is fast.

What do you think? Skeezer, Grendel, TL, TF76, anybody who was there?

mat4 Says:


Sorry, I couldn’t answer you question before. It was a stat from the end of the match. I presume that it is for this year. So it would be 87 matches for Novak and 85 matches for Roger.

But I can’t calculate any average now, because they played in best of two, in best of three matches. It is very difficult to make accurate conclusions from this stats.

mat4 Says:


I also think that some small modifications could make the game more palatable. It doesn’t have to be the speed of the court. The balls are important too: they could be more lively, or just rebounding less. The rebound is also important. So, it wouldn’t be difficult to make some adjustments.

My own solution would have been to revert to natural strings. No luxilon, no synthetic of any kind. But it seems impossible now. It is already a big industry.

jane Says:

Hey mat4, no worries; I was just curious.

Polo Says:

When Federer retires, so will my interest in watching this game. I can’t bear watching points that go on forever. I love how Federer’s every strike of the ball has meaning. The new crop of players’ main tactic nowadays is just to retrieve and return the ball until the other players makes an error out of boredom. Or simply drop dead from exhaustion.

Isha Says:

I definetly didn’t expect this win by Djokovic but they both definetly played a good match! Rodger didn’t need to win this match though because he has nothing to prove. He has been a pro for 15 years and 5 of those years he was number 1, so we already know he is a legendary tennis player. Both did absolutely amazing this match though!

Sidney Says:

Roger had and still has a good baseline game. He really plays more from the baseline, than say serve-and-volley. It’s what’s got him up to this point of his career.

Unlike in the days of Johnny Mac, et al, where you have serve-and-volley all the time. I mean all the time. I hated it. It was so boring. Every point was over before any excitement could be created.

I like the current style of tennis. It is more like other sports: it’s about stamina, strength, guile, and style, all employed within a single game. I love it. It’s exciting tennis. I guess a lot of the fans out there like it, too. Very good crowds at the big tournaments in the last few years support this theory.

skeezer Says:

^you mentioned everything but shotmaking. The very best part of Tennis.

skeezer Says:


I am with you re; Fed. I’ll continue to watch however and give it a chance for awhile. But we won’t see the type of style, substance, shotmaking, and extraordinary skill that Fed brought to the game for a very long time.

The game has changed to ropa a dope. Defense is here to stay, until someone can penetrate it on these slow courts. Fed can and has, but he has to be “on”, as first strike tennis in todays game is high risk, and the UE’s must remain fairly low. The slower surface allows players to get balls back, simply running to the ball and retrieving. Shame.

skeezer Says:


You tube lsat years WTF vs this years and you’ll see the difference…..

Alok Says:

If I might add to Polo’s comment on every strike of the ball Fed hits having meaning.

Fed’s returns are purposeful. He just doesn’t stick his racket out and slap the ball back into the court, with a hit or miss mentality. His return is calculated and purposeful. He’s like a chess player, thinking and anticipating, his opponent’s next move thus making his game/return to be strategic.

I believe when Fed retires we will see a huge drop off in attendance. It goes withoin all likelihood will happen, because he’s got the largest fan base. Like it or not, Fed IS tennis. And, Fed and tennis are synonymous, similar to Tiger Woods and golf. The majority of people think of Fed whenever tennis is mentioned.

I’ve the feeling that ATP is anticipating the huge drop-off in attendance problem whenever Fed calls it quits. And, it’s probably the reason they are encouraging and catering to the newer type of tennis that we are now seeing, so that there won’t be a void created by Fed’s departure.

Alok Says:

Speed has now become very important more than shot-making. Hewitt made a weapon out of his quickness, and we see David Ferrer using it to his advantage also. However, there are serious draw-backs, as has happened with Hewitt. When the injuries begin piling up and the speed begins to diminish, then the player’s effectiveness on court also diminishes.

Alok Says:

@2:50am, ‘It goes withoin all likelihood will happen, because he’s got the largest fan base.”

I meant to say,

It goes without saying that in all likelihood that will happen, because he’s got the largest fan base.

Giles Says:

@grendel. Going back to your comment “and he couched his request in a pretty restrained manner” and thereafter quoted by @madmax, the operative word being “restrained”. I would not expect anything less from Fed other than to be “restrained”. Do you think he had an option??

volley Says:

to paraphrase slightly, the rumours about the impending death of tennis are greatly exaggerated.

grendel Says:

mat4 – looked pretty slow to me. A player would hit the ball really hard, and his opponent would appear to have all the time in the world to get in place to return. It was almost surreal, like watching slo-mo in films. Yeah, good idea about the balls.

Giles – yes, you are right, Federer pays attention to PR like all the top players. Doesn’t affect the validity of his point, though.

No one is bigger than the game. People watch tennis because they like tennis. Of course there are crowd pullers. Always have been, always will be. And somewhere in the world, a little boy is growing up who will eclipse Federer’s records and match his genius.

TJ Says:

I would suggest using lighter tennis balls. One of the bryans mentioned that the ones they use on WTA are lighter! This explains Serena’s super dominance on grass and USopen. Raonic/anderson/tsonga/berdych would be absolutely lethal with those lighter balls, I am guessing.

Imagine football being dominated by some defensive team like italy! Good offence should always trump over good defence [may be even great defence] to make sure a sport doesn’t get boring. Do we really want ping pong rallies on a tennis court? we already have clay courts for that kind of cr@p.

Grass and post wimbledon hardcourts have to reward aggressive play much more than they do now. There is nothing more pathetic than a player looking like he is caught in the headlights when he is at net. [applicable to all top 20 players except Fed, tsonga, murray]

Wog boy Says:


Zoro “Srpkinjo,” there is another saying from the time when we were occupied by Ottoman empire that applies to you:
“Ne plašim se Turčina koji priča Turski no se plašim Turčina koji priča Srpski,” since you are “Serbian” you will understand the meaning, Zoro “Srpkinjo.”

TJ Says:

Federer is a real leader unlike some dumbazzes who run away from responsibility and act like babies when they cannot have their ridiculous self-serving ideas supported by every one!

[2year rankings? LOL!]

You can see what happened at madrid – everyone was having fits, while the greatest tennis players in the game – fed and serena did their job and won the titles. madrid surface was supposed to be devil incarnate – yet more people suffered more injuries in monte carlo [ahem, we dont have any problems where we are winning for 8 years in a row, do we?] than madrid!

Giles Says:

^^^ Blue clay – Smurfs!!

Margot Says:

Volley @ 5.02
Well said :)

Giles Says:

@Alok. Fed and Rafa are not too far apart with regard to face book fans. Fed 11,849,000. Rafa 11,344,646.

bojana Says:

Wog boy,if “zora” is SRPKINJA I will change my nationality so I will not have enything in common with her.She said that she is Serbian just to make her statement more worth.
For me she is not worth to talk about.
Nina, thank You.

grendel Says:

@Superman 5.08

“Do we really want ping pong rallies on a tennis court? we already have clay courts for that kind of cr@p.”

This, of course, is a travesty of what clay courts can provide. Tennis can be boring on any surface, depends who’s playing or how they’re playing. But anyone who really follows tennis enjoys the special skills needed to master clay. It is, for instance, very interesting watching Federer on clay, and how he has to adapt his game. You can be a 100% certain he finds it interesting, too.

If you think of Nadal on clay, straightaway you realise how absurd it is to call him defensive on the surface. In fact words like “defensive” and “aggressive” are pretty meaningless at this high level. The very best move seamlessly from one to the other. Whilst we’re on about Nadal, Superman has again slurred him on the other thread, with the weary old charge of drugs.

This follows the bizarre comment about Nadal being “a one trick pony” . Hamza corrected this nonsense without even mentioning that Nadal has 4 non-clay slams, and all Superman could come up with in reply, apart from the drugs rubbish (when in trouble, raise the issue of drugs)was to say:”nadal will probably have lesser achievements outside clay, by the time murray/djokovic finish their careers!”

That’s funny, considering only a few posts earlier Superman had labelled Murray as “just a over-hyped bozo”. And this, b.t.w., puts in perspective Superman’s new found enthusiasm for Djokovic. In the end – and volley picked up on this – everything devolves to protecting Federer’s legacy. Djokovic is fine, so long as he knows his place – i.e.2nd to Federer. That is the critical thing.

On the business of fast courts, it’s a much more nuanced problem than Superman (who doesn’t really do nuance, does he) allows. There is a problem, and Federer has identified it. But there was also a problem with the Sampras/Ivanesevic type shootouts. Somehow, a happy medium needs to be found.

Giles Says:

Good news Rafa fans, Rafa will start practising next week!! #CantWait.

Polo Says:

TJ, I thought your tirade against long posters was really quite funny. Hahaha!

jane Says:

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function”.

Fast and slow, then? Ummm.

jane Says:

Defense and offence? Both good? Ummm.

Funny: Watch Novak Djokovic Imitate Serena Williams Yesterday! [Video] Says:

[…] Djokovic is all smiles this week and rightfully so after capturing his second ATP Finals crown on Monday. Djokovic followed up the big victory by taking part in the fifth “Tennis Classic” […]

skeezer Says:

“Defense and offence? Both good? Ummm.”

This type of defense in today’s game is relatively new. The game has evolved. Especially for the players in a defensive position to hit an offensive shot. Defense has been a good shot in the arm for tennis when it came in. However, the pendulum has swung into boredom. Tennis will evolve again. We can see hints of the offensive game coming back. Hopefully the 2 will clash in the near future to give us all more of a watchable game.

TJ Says:


who said that fitz guy was the ultimate authority on intelligence? maybe you want to 1st list out what qualifies him to comment on intelligence.

TJ Says:

right, Fed and rafa are close in popularity. that is why federer has 10 ATP fan favorites and rafa has 0. definitely makes sense!

mat4 Says:


Thanks for the advice. I already did it rewatching the Fed-Rafa final two years ago. Then, there were the stats: the number of aces, winners, which clearly revealed that the combination of surface and balls was slow.

There is a thing, there, that bothers me very much. In the last few years we could notice that the organizers of certain events changed the conditions to improve the chances of their favourites. It was obvious at the French Open: the Tsonga-Wawrinka match, the modification of the balls, the interruption of the final; it was obvious in IW too, where the courts were slowed down; it happened now at the WTF, where the slow courts disadvantaged mostly the two finalists. I won’t mention the fixing of draws.

I understand that money matters, but the WTF, the Masters, the Slams are not DC. It is a shame.

@grendel: I would like a very verbose opinion of yours on the subject, since I like to read them.

mat4 Says:


BTW, IMHO you walked into a mine field when you mentioned PEDs. Why do you think that Federer, Murray and Djokovic all ask for more blood testing?

grendel Says:


I was responding to the claims of the poster who now calls himself TJ – he tried Superman as a moniker a few months ago and maybe others – who said on the Why is Novak Djokovic Numero Uno?:”nadal can whatever he wants, but i am sure his doping /cheating will soon be out, just like happened with armstrong. atleast with all the cheating, armstrong dominated his sport. nadal with all his cheating is still an inferior player compared to djokovic!”

Even if Superman/TJ was correct about the PEDs, notice the dishonesty. He made a fatuous criticsm of Nadal (being “a one trick pony”), was taken to the cleaners for this by Hamza and of course was unable to make a reasoned response. So he tries to drag in Murray in support – having previously dismissed him as “just a overhyped bozo” – and makes the lame comparison with Djokovic. Of course, such a comparison if made for purely tennis reasons, is justified. But Superman/TJ is simply using Djokovic to wriggle out of a singularly foolish argument. And b.t.w., I repeat that TJ/Superman’s sudden discovery of Djokovic is bound up with his devotion to Federer. Djokovic is acceptable, in this scenario, so long as it is firmly accepted that he is 2nd to Federer.

Now, about the PEDs. I know nothing about these, but I know someone using a smear tactic when I see it and doing it purely to get him out of a hopeless position.

Judging by your comment and Polo’s, did TJ/Superman attempt a reply, and it’s been wiped or something? How disappointing.

mat4 Says:


I’d rather debate about the slowing down of today’s game, and I’d rather avoid mentioning PEDs in any way. Too much doubts, no proofs.

I hope also you will ignore some posters in the future. They really don’t deserve to be noticed in any way. I read some threads diagonally and I am, as always, shocked by the sheer malevolence exhibited by a few — is there a better word? — trolls. Please don’t waste your time on them.

What do you (it is a question for all the posters, jane, skeezer, WB, grendel, Margot, alison, TF, harry, alok, Dave, everyone who wants to give a thoughtful answer …) think, why does the process of slowing down still continue?

mat4 Says:

Because I don’t have a clue. In a certain measure, it is OK to neutralise part of the power generate by new racquet and strings technologies.

But it was already clear a few years ago that the balance was already altered. In the meantime, the process goes on.

The FO was very interesting in 2011, with livelier balls. But this year, they changed the balls once again. Why? I understand that Bercy has to adopt a type of surface similar to the one in the O2 Arena, but why did they change the surface in London? Why in IW, Miami?

volley Says:

> that fitz guy


Alok Says:

@Giles, FaceBook and actual crowds, viz., fans who pack the stadium is a whole different situation.

Also, those numbers show that if, or when, Fed retires, fans watching tennis will reduce dramatically, and interest in tennis will definitely drop.

Believe it, Fed and Nadal pack stadiums.

Alok Says:

@grendel, 12:12pm, Your fight with TJ is really none of my business, but does it matter what other previous monikers he’s used, and just maybe you could be wrong in your assumption that TJ is Superman? Also, aren’t posters entitled to change their monikers without being called out?

I ask this because of something I was unjustly accused of doing and incorrect information and/or assumptions used to back up that accusation, with someone else being wrongfully blamed.

Ben Pronin Says:

I have to say I’m just as flabberghasted by the slowing down of the surfaces as everyone else. It seems like every year we hear about a formerly fast tournament change to a slower surface with a higher bounce. A couple of years ago Paris was changed whereas it used to be one of the fastest tournaments. Now London. Are Dubai and Cincy the only ones that are still very fast?

Regardless of what particular players prefer, I think it’s a little ridiculous that everything is being slowed down over and over. It makes no sense that these fast tournaments are opting to reduce the speeds for seemingly no reason. The diversity of the courts is nearly dead at this point. And it hurts the players. We know Nadal prefers slow surfaces, but you have to think that if he was playing on fast hard courts and maybe suffering more losses, his knees would actually take less of a beating. Points can be extended to such an extreme now, and the players are just too competitive not to try everything they can, that they end up playing for so long and it hurts them in the long run.

Is it really favorable for a tournament to change their court speed to help their “favorite” win if that “favorite” will then be out of the game much sooner he should be?

mat4 Says:


glad you answered. But the fundamental question remains: why? We have seen, in London, that Djokovic, who hit most FH winners after Federer in Australia, just couldn’t hit trough DelPo for a set. And DelPotro’s monster FH often wasn’t efficient enough too.

Federer would hit the line down the T to see his serve coming back time and time again.

What’s the point?

Alok Says:

In all fairness the slowing down of the courts doesn’t help only nadal, it helps quite a few players, TBH.

It’s most probably due to fan preferences of wanting to see more tennis played . Look at how the fans react when they sense that a 3rd set might be possible in a match.I don’t blame the fans for wanting more tennis, but long drawn out points is not the way. The old format for 5 sets in the finals of an MS was much better than the 3 sets that’s now in place, and most probably why fans want to see more tennis. However, slowing down the courts to make the points longer is not the answer.

I personally find long rallies to be boring. And, this happens when 3 of the top 4 are playing each other. Fed ‘s losing a lot of these long-drawn out points because he becomes frustrated and gives up, much to his detriment. Fans claim it’s Fed’s concentration and mental toughness that accounts for those losses. I disagree. I feel it’s more his disgust of the situation that causes him to lose focus.i find that happening to me at work when I’m asked to do a project I feel is unnecessary. So too, Fed most probably loses interest and focus becomes impaired.

The serve coming back at a server is definitely due to the slowed courts. The players should protest, but would ATP listen? i doubt it, because huge amounts of money is at stake and ATP will go with the money-makers.

Ben Pronin Says:

Of course it helps more than just Nadal. And what I’m saying is that it actually hurts Nadal in the big picture. Why do so many people think Murray and Djokovic are headed down the same path as Nadal? Because they also retrieve like crazy and it could seriously hurt them down the stretch if the courts always allow them to play this way.

Alok Says:

@Mat4, I had mentioned previously that the slowed 02 Arena was very much a problem for the big hitters, Berdych, Tsonga and DelPotro, but some disagreed that was not the case. Their serves were ineffective against some of the other players. DelPotro had to up his FH hitting to win points. When I saw Delpo doing that I kept hoping that he wouldn’t We-injure his wrist.

Henman remarked that the balls at Wimby were progressively being changed. And, I can’t remember who mentioned that the same was happening with RG.

Alok Says:

I mentioned last night that some players are using their speed to win points, by getting to the balls faster, similar to what Hewitt used to do. However, eventually all that running will begin to show up as injuries and their longevity in the sport will be shortened.

Fed has lasted this long because his is not a physical game, using speed, etc. to outplay his opponent. I feel some serious shoulder, wrist and back problems will also be injuries that will face those players who are using brute force to win points. I only hope that ATP will do something for the better, and fast.

Tennislover Says:

mat4 – The WTF court has been, at least to me, always on the slightly slower side but the bounce has been slightly lower too. This year it appeared even slower but, more importantly, the bounce appeared slightly higher for the normal shots although the slice did tend to keep low. Some of the kick serves bounced really high. The higher bounce was one of the reasons Fed’s bh could be targeted more effectively as he found it difficult to be offensive with it. An indoor hard court like this would be ideal for Fed if the bounce were a bit lower and the surface were a wee bit quicker. At this age, with slowing reflexes and much poorer ROS than before, he’d be overpowered by the power hitters on a very quick court. This year the WTF surface seemed tailor-made for Djoko, Raf and Murray especially during the afternoon sessions. I think Raf would have done very well if he were fit.

I also thought that the court appeared to play faster during the evening matches. Just look at Fed’s semi and final matches in the evening as compared to his three RR matches in the afternoon session. In fact, look at any evening match and the difference is clear. We also must not forget that there is very little “breaking-in” of the surface because there are no qualies and very few matches are played due to the exclusivity of the event. The surface, therefore, is very gritty and resistance is greater. Hence the slight contrast with Bercy which appeared slightly quicker in comparison with WTF even though both events had the same surface this year. Even then, and I am guessing here, the surface did appear to get some traction for the last match of the day after the two doubles and one singles matches had been played. I think Murray alluded to the increase in heat due to the continued presence of spectators and a consequent increase in the quickness of the conditions.

I think that lowering the bounce(through the balls and/or the surface) is a much better option than increasing the surface speed too much although a variety of speeds is desirable so that different parts of the season suit different skill sets as was the case earlier. What we definitely don’t want, as grendel said, is serving shootouts. As for natural strings, that will be utopian although I agree it is an excellent solution.

As for the process of slowing down, I guess the reason – Fed alluded to it in the presser – is commercial(Live as well as TV audience) as most people would want good value for their money and not have a quick finish. The TV companies would want longer hours of live programming and the homogenization ensures that the top stars of the game reach the later stages of most events more often than not. It really has gone a bit too far though. The indoor season, which always had quick surfaces with lower bounce, is unrecognizable. Cincy seems to be, maybe due to the heat, the only consistently quick surface even though it is classified as only medium fast and not “fast” by the ITF. It is only in some Davis Cup ties that we see really quick conditions.

BTW, congrats on your man winning the WTF! I also replied to you the other day on the ‘Djokovic wins finals group A’ thread.

Ben Pronin Says:

Also, why did they get rid of carpet as a surface?

mat4 Says:


Sorry, didn’t see your answer until now.

You made me rewatch some old bouts, a bit of Stevenson, Savon, Shishov, even an emission about Popenchenko. Good ol’ times. On the other side, I never liked Tyson, although I thought he was an excellent boxer. I liked a few middleweights in the time — Hagler, McCallum, Calzague recently.

Tennis: Globally, I had the same impressions: it seemed that the surface was slow, but the rebound a bit lower. But Grendel mentioned the rebound of the serve, and it was possible to see that the kicker rebounded indeed very high, so I really got confused.

But anyway, it seemed to me that players just couldn’t hit through.

mat4 Says:

About the semi and the finals:

Those matches were quite strange, when I think of it. I watched them on youtube, with a clear mind, and I have no doubts that both Murray and Djokovic started with the wrong strategy, to break down Roger’s backhand.

Djokovic switched to his usual play of changing direction and spin and pressurizing the FH, and it brought him a difficult win. Murray, on the other side, lacked patience and got tense. I tend to believe that the complete hype in Britain — I often read insular journals — where nobody expected a Federer win, Murray’s victory in Shangai, made him expect an easier match. You could be quite right that he wasn’t mentally prepared enough for the dogfight he found himself in.

I am not sure if you’re explanation — about the difficulties a gifted players has to chose among his many options — is the right one. It should not be a problem for a player in the middle of his career, and Murray could be paying for his reluctance to work with a coach earlier. But Tsonga has the same problem, and he is older.

On another topic: about influences. It is most probably an illusion of mine, but I honestly believe that while Djokovic’s game is influenced by Federer’s in the last few years, Djokovic has a strong influence on Murray, from the diet to the choice of coach. But I have to check my facts first.

mat4 Says:

… if your explanation…

Daniel Says:

Also we have to consider technology permiting players to hit shots and do things that weren’t possible before.
Playing with this strings and racquets today you don’t injury yourself as it used to be. I remember playing at young age and you always heatd people who played tennis with “tennis elbow”. Nowadays I haven’t recall last time I felt any pain in upper body, but basically is around knees, legs and foot because with what they can do today they just keep pushing their bodies to corners never tried before.

Wog boy Says:


Few years back it was debate on Australian TV about the slowing down courts and they came to conclusion that it is necessary ti slow them down exactly for the same reason you and grendel stated. Due to new racquets and else it would end up in one-two shootouts, and they thought that was not good for a future of tennis.
AO changed from Rebaund Ace to Plexicushion in 2008 from different reasons, and according to Wiki, Plexicushion is a marginally faster ! take this! Rebaund Ace couldn’t handle Australian heat and to reduce the “stick” of the court and it is very similar to DecoTurf at USO. now, if you read all of this, you can check Wiki, makes me thinks how come AO is slower than it use to be? Just my take.

Wog boy Says:

The way I made sentence it can be understoand that Rebound Ace is similar to Deco Turf, that is not the case, they say Plexicushion is similar to Deco Turf at USO and marginally faster than old one, Rebound Ace and less sticky. That is why it doesn’t make sense to me that AO is slower than it use to be, as I said this is what Wiki and the others, more qualified than me, say.

jane Says:

mat4, I think part of Andy’s problems in the Fed WTF semi is that his first serve was not firing, and Andy always has a tough time when that shot is failing him. At one point, he was literally below 50%. That’s a tough battle to fight as his second serve can still be vulnerable. On top of that, I thought Fed’s backhand was working well this tournament so it’s a good thing, as you note, that Nole targeted the forehand instead.

By contrast, Delpo was able to serve *extremely well* versus Nole for the first part of the match – in set one his first serve percentage was 70% – not to mention those rocket forehands.

jane Says:

In fact in the Fed versus Delpo match, Hannah Wilks notes that it was a “serve-dominated affair”. She notes that at one point Delpo’s service percentage was in the 80s. Delpo’s serve and forehand were formidable weapons throughout the WTF.

Also, I didn’t find that there were excessively long rallies; it was a good mix throughout the tournament I thought.

TJ Says:

How is a high 1st serve percentage relevant to a speed of the court discussion? If anything, it reveals the defensive mindset of the player! [most probably brought about by most of his 2nd serves getting massacred!]

Sidney Says:

Changing conditions to favor certain brand of tennis over another is okay, as long as it is good for tennis.

We could argue about what constitutes what is boring tennis and what is exciting. We all have our own preferences.

But the fact is this: tennis has needs to survive. And for it survive, it has to appeal to people, to fans. Bottomline is the bottomline. Fans bring in money. Fans bring in sponsors. Fans bring economic stimulus for host cities/countries.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but there have been record crowds, if I remember it correctly, at tourneys these past few years. Stadiums are packed!

And they come because of the entertainment value that today’s brand of tennis provides. If people think there is entertainment out there better than tennis, you bet a lot of these fans will flock in that direction.

Again, it is okay to speed the courts up, or use lighter balls or put a roof over Ashe, or whatever. As long as it is good for tennis. Not to favor Roger or Rafa or Novak or Milos or Juan Martin, but to favor tennis.

Because what good is tennis if only a handful of people watch? When stadiums are 90% empty?

Let’s enjoy the tennis of today for what it brings. I’ve said it, and I’ve heard and seen a lot of people say it. We are lucky! Why change something that works?

jane Says:

mat4’s post was about “the semis and the finals” not about court speed; that’s what I was responding to.

jane Says:

Sidney that’s true; I believe the O2 set a record this year.

TJ Says:

there are more idiots in this world than smart people. so we should go about pleasing those dumbasses?

funny, these points were not made when rafa was busy whining about madrid. i am sure there were record crowds there too.

The record crowds are possible if you have tennis in any city with a population willing to spend money.

You have these tournaments in dubai/doha – you will get even more crowds than in london. It gives you no indication of the sport’s appeal.

I dont know any sport where they would say – let’s encourage something that promotes attritional game over game with flair. you do that, you are placing the sport on fast track to extinction.

Margot Says:

Ben Pronin @5.45pm
I believe Lendl is trying to get Andy to shorten the points expressly to lengthen his tennis life. Succeeding too, I’d say, Andy is slowly transforming his game. Anyone who doubts this should watch some of the old cringemaking stuff.
Indeedy, all posters have a recognisable style that inevitably re-surfaces.

mat4 Says:


The serve worked well enough, indeed. But don’t forget that DelPo served easily over 210 km/h. Murray also served in that range. The kicker on the backhand seemed effective, too.

I believe that DelPo, Berdych, with their “fearhands”, performed quite well in the 02 Arena, although Novak broke down Berdych’s FH the way he usually does.

I have the impression that Andy still needs to play within himself in close affairs, but his recent results speak against it.

mat4 Says:

In Novak’s case, there is the “Federer” effect — Novak starts always a bit nervous against Fed. But Andy is immune to this most of the time. But it was London, an important WTF, a few shocking points he played very well but lost, a different Federer… And the serve deserted him when he needed it the most.

mat4 Says:

@Margot, jane:

Margot, I don’t think it is a question of playing shorter points and career lengthening: Murray is just much more effective when he uses his power and dictates the rally.

There is my other explanation too: that he tends to fatigue in long rallies, and has less control on his shots then. It is perhaps a matter of time to correct — like grendel tends to think — or of weight and weariness, like I tend to believe. I don’t know. The truth is probably in the middle: he has to be more patient with his shots selection, and find the right moment to accelerate.

Tennislover Says:

Mat4 – It is quite interesting the way we saw things. I thought the bounce was higher than in previous years. It was very difficult to hit through the surface especially during the afternoon sessions. I also thought that Murray and Djoko were right in targeting Fed’s bh. The difference was that Djoko took the initiative whenever he thought he had an opening on the fh side. Murray rarely did that. I also thought Murray didn’t hit his bh with enough power. In general, Fed’s bh is reliable these days but there is a reason players target it and that is due to the fact that Fed is not able to attack with it except on low-bouncing surfaces. He may not shank much or make many UEs with it but his offense is neutralized easily. On the other hand, Fed’s fh, despite misfiring – the dtl and inside-in fh are quite unreliable now – more often than not these days, is still a big weapon when he times it well. It is a good strategy, therefore, to pin him in the bh corner and get him sufficiently out of position before hitting the fh in the open court. I thought both Djoko and Fed were a bit nervous and tense in the final and were reluctant to go all out with their shots.

My point about Murray was that his mind may still not be totally uncluttered and he tends to revert back to his default mode or comfort zone of several years and he is not yet 100% confident of his ability to attack all the time. He’d do it all the time if he didn’t have so many other options because he’d have no choice. Raf still sometimes tends to get back into his old mode but his game has more margin for error and his focus and intensity levels are in a different league.

I read somewhere that Murray also went glutten-free following Djoko’s example although I also have read that the importance of change in diet in Djoko’s transformation is hugely exaggerated. I still think Murray tries to leverage the physical advantage he presumably thinks he has now over the others and that is classic Rafa mode. Hence the disappointment I expressed on the other thread.

“Murray is just much more effective when he uses his power and dictates the rally.”

Consistency is the key here and there are evidently still some doubts there.

“he has to be more patient with his shots selection, and find the right moment to accelerate.”

This is a good prescription for most players but that is where focus comes in if you want to do it consistently assuming that you have the skills to do it in the first place.

mat4 Says:


There are just minor differences in our vision of things — I just didn’t describe what I think Novak’s main pattern of play is: Djokovic strategy against Fed and Berdych, e.g., most of the time IS to pin the opponent on the backhand and suddenly attack the FH on the run. But in their matches against Federer, both Novak and Andy were reluctant to change direction at the beginning.

When I say mention Novak’s usual strategy, it is basically a model thing: either from the backhand or forehand side, he tries to generate an acute angle, then to play down the line and wait either for a FH on the run or a sliced backhand.

When it is a defensive backhand, most of the time it goes CC, and Nole plays a FH winner, either with an acute angle CC or down the line. He is more cautious waiting for the FH on the run, and reacts according to the circumstances, sometimes resetting the rally to obtain a defensive backhand.

His strategy against Rafa is different, of course.

mat4 Says:

I also agree about Murray. He tends to play “within himself” when he is under duress, and that means to take less risks and wait for a mistake.

When he tried to change that pattern of play, against Federer, he just was a bit impatient and he went for too much too often.

But let’s not forget that he played against Federer, who was able to make him doubt and didn’t let him adjust.

mat4 Says:

About the surface of the 02 Arena>

Tennislover Says:

mat4- Thanks for that link. That is an interesting method of finding out surface speeds but I am somewhat skeptical because of so many variables involved. It is a pity that, as far as I know, there are no constantly updated official data about real-world court speeds from the ITF or the ATP. I am sure the kind of balls used, heat, humidity, indoor/outdoor, morning/afternoon/evening/night conditions all have a bearing on how fast or slow the conditions are.

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