Novak Djokovic: I’m Already Surprised By Where My Game Is At
by Tom Gainey | December 28th, 2012, 12:42 pm
  • 51 Comments

It’s just an exhibition to the start the year, but Novak Djokovic is already making a statement that he is in mid-season form. After trouncing David Ferrer 60, 63 to reach the Abu Dhabi final, the world No. 1 declared he’s surprised by his level of play.

“The way I was playing in the three matches here [last year] and today, I am definitely surprised with my game considering the fact that this is the first match of the official season for me,” the Serbian star told the Gulf News.

“This is a great surface when preparing for Australia.”

Ferrer agreed. “He has all the shots. Novak is playing very consistent, he is in a very good moment now, very confident,” Ferrer said.

In the final tomorrow Djokovic will meet Nicolas Almagro who replaced Rafael Nadal.


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51 Comments for Novak Djokovic: I’m Already Surprised By Where My Game Is At

jamie Says:

Nole will win the AO.

Since 2006 the AO winner:

2006 #1 seed
2007 #1 seed

2008 #3 seed

2009 #1 seed
2010 #1 seed

2011 #3 seed

2012 #1 seed
2013? #1 seed


alison Says:

All the signs are ominous i would just give Nole the AO trophy now,i dont even think he will lose a set,todays exho against Ferrer just cnfirms that belief even more for me.


jamie Says:

This year Nole will be gunning for a flawless AO and not drop a set like Federer in 2007.


Brando Says:

Not surprising really and people should NOT read too much into it for the following:

1- It’s and EXHO- remember what they are!

2- Nole ALWAYS talks a good game. Rafa plays down his chances for example and nole always plays up his. NO surprise there then.

3- It’s ferrer- nole has ONLY lost one mere set to him in career v Ferru on HC, and that too in windy conditions at NY this year!

ONLY 3 players can challenge him at AO, they are IMO:

1- MUZZA
2- FED and DELPO (tie)

The rest? Book your tickets fellas as you have NO CHANCE v nole!


jane Says:

I didn’t get to see the match, only the highlights, but Nole’s forehand was looking fabulous! Especially down-the-line.


alison Says:

Jane hope you had a nice christmas,your gonna have a cracking January too,when young Nole lifts the AO title for the 4th time,ominous form IMO,no one else stands a chance enjoy.


jane Says:

alison, very nice thanks; hope yours was good as well. Nole’s played only one match so it’s too early to tell anything imo. I’m going to wait and see what happens! Andy and Fed, plus Delpo, Tsonga, Berdych are all contenders or dark horses.


jamie Says:

Nole is looking ominous. 4 AO and 3 in a row(never done in the open era by a male player) would make him the open era AO GOAT.


alison Says:

Jane very nice here too,usual ate too much,drank too much,spent too much as you do lol,anyway your very nice,and and i dont know if your just been polite here,but im with Jamie in that i cant even see Novak even losing a set,but thats just me,Delpo has still to prove he can beat a top player in a GS since his return from injury,Tsonga seems to choke against Nole at slams ala the FO,Andy will have to beat both Fed and Novak back to back,Berdych has a crap record against Novak,im not seeing it sorry,and for good measure i think this will be the year Novak wins the FO and completes the career GS,JMO.


mat4 Says:

I think it is a bit to early to speak of Nole winning the AO: Federer, Murray, Del Potro, Berdych, all of them could have a good day, even Ferrer.

But Nole played well today. His FH looked good, his BH worked quite well already.

I am disappointed Rafa won’t play there.


Danica Says:

Jamie,
pray tell, how are the stars aligning for Nole @ AO and FO :).


Wog boy Says:

I will disagree, Roger and Andy are upthere with Nole for AO title. Betting odds were just befor Xmas were:

Nole $2:40
Andy $4:20
Roger $5:50
Rafa $8
DelPo $15
Ferrer $41

jane,

It was joy watching Nole last, he is getting better and better, though still doesn’t feel very confortable on the net. Ferrer did everything he could, he was really frustrated in second set when he broke Nole just be broken back and lose another three games. He was very honest at the and: ” I just cannot beat Nole, he is The Best, I will try next time.” Was what he said.
Spectators were on there feet quite a few times.
I didn’t expect to play so good his first match, mind you, Ferrer did his best but that was nowhere enough.


alison Says:

Mat4 hope you had a lovely christmas, your all been very nice and polite here,but i repeat what i said to Jane, Delpo has not beaten any top player in a GS since his return from injury best of 5 over Nole in a GS most unlikely,Murray unlikely he will beat both players back to back which is what he will have to do,Berdych has a crap record against Nole,Tsonga likewise,Ferrer no chance,Fed hmm a possibity i suppose,but i cant see it with the way Noles playing on HCs these days,i can see i suppose why Noles fans would hedge their bets and play down their chances just in case, so not to be left with egg on their faces,in the unlikely event of a Nole AO loss,sorry just saying.


alison Says:

Wogboy hope your well too,hope all tennis x posters had a great xmas,you just summed it up with that post Nole is deffinetly the man to beat at the AO.


Wog boy Says:

alison,

Thanks, had a great Xmas, boxing day was a killer, still having a hangover … And this is just a beging of the festive season for me:)


mat4 Says:

@Alison: Thanks, I hope you enjoyed your holydays too.

WB: Do you think that Nole has played with the new racquet? I had the impression (probably false) that he has more pop in his FH and BH without pressing too much.


alison Says:

Wogboy lol serves you right self inflicted,no sympathy for you lol,i had to work boxing day,try running around after 27 old people with a hangover,seriously im glad you and your family had such a lovely day.


alison Says:

Cute pictures of Nole with all those little ones.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

I do think, he kissed raquet at one stage:)


mat4 Says:

@WB: :-)

@Alison:

In 1980, Borg ruled supreme. A year later, he was out of the game. After his 8th slam, Monika Seles looked like she would win 20: a few months later, his career was virtually over. Wilander won three slams, became no1, and disappeared.

So… I have good hopes Nole will play well at the Australian Open, but you really never know.


mat4 Says:

And I don’t why Murray couldn’t win against Novak and Roger back to back. He has the game, he likes the court. It is not impossible.


alison Says:

Mat4 i agree you never know,but i still stand by what ive said already,Nole is the man to beat at the AO,and in the unlikely possibility of a Nole loss,then i will be the one with egg on my face.


Brando Says:

@Mat4:

Nole is playing with a new racquet. According to its promotion it’s meant to provide ‘extraordinary ball speed’.

Debuts on 11/1/13 though!

‘And I don’t why Murray couldn’t win against Novak and Roger back to back. He has the game, he likes the court. It is not impossible.’

Completely agree to this.

With all due respect to fed and his fans, Andy now more than ever is capable of beating the 31 y/o fed at a slam.

And then nole- well if he could beat him at the USO where nole was EASILY the player of the tournament leading into the final, and that too after blowing a 2 set lead- then IMO he could also do so here!

He LOVES the AO, is 2 time RU and pushed nole to the brink here last year- so long story short:

Andy has AS MUCH a chance of winning here as ANYONE!

He may not be the favorite, BUT tags like those do NOT mean much come the end result!


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

What is a better places to try new racquet than two exhos, Abu Dhabi and Hopman cup, though officially they are suppose to present new racquet on January the 13th. Methinks.


mat4 Says:

I guess that if he wants to try a new racquet, he has to adapt before the AO.

Anyway, we can soon expect a paint job, no matter what racquet he plays with.


Wog boy Says:

OK,

There you go 11.01.13. I was close:)

“Extraordinary ball speed” not just that, I had a feeling the net clearance was lower too. Anyway, we shouldn’be carried away, you still need a human to hold it and play with it.


alison Says:

Ill just clarify,in that i dont think Murray can beat both Fed and Nole at this GS,both of them have stellar records at the AO,Murrays never won the AO,the other two have won it numerouus times,just saying.


Brando Says:

‘Anyway, we shouldn’be carried away,’

Completely agree.

It’s just a promotional gimmick really as rafa has a new one for the season, so does fed, andy etc etc.

Manufacturers do such stunts in order to generate sales.


Danica Says:

Monika Seles was STABBED and that’s why she stopped winning GSs (although, when she finally came back, she was able to win again). Most likely, she would have continued her domination over everybody, including Steffi Graf, she was THAT GREAT. Unfortunately, we will never know. Steffi profited from that incident and should be thankful for that lunatic fan of hers that basically attempted to murder Monika. So, having said that, I don’t know how Monika’s story fits into context here.

PS: Nole may be a slight favorite for AO but Andy is right there with him. Roger can not be discounted but somehow, I don’t see him outlast Nole or Andy.


mat4 Says:

@Danica:

I know that. I was a big fan of Monika Seles, and I watched that ugly scene in Hamburg.

It was just an illustration that nothing is certain. I could have written about Maureen Connolly instead.


Danica Says:

I am sorry if I sounded a bit harsh, it was not my intention. But you are right, nothing can be taken for granted. Nole seems to be dominant right now but that doesn’t mean he’ll win the AO. As one of his fans, I’d be thrilled if he does if not, well, what can you do, life goes on :).

Happy Holidays to everyone!


chrisJ Says:

“mat4: Do you think that Nole has played with the new racquet? I had the impression (probably false) that he has more pop in his FH and BH without pressing too much.”

I completely agree with you mat4, he was exploding on those shots with minimal effort. I also noticed that the racquet head appeared slightly larger than the previous one used in 2011/2012.

I am really excited for the upcoming season!


Wog boy Says:

“slightly larger than the previous one”

I had the same impresion but then I thought i could be due to the colours?

But that court is pretty fast too.


jane Says:

Nole won but he sure wasn’t as sharp looking as he was based on the highlights of the Ferrer match. Nico actually played very well thought so it’s always a bit of both. I found Nole to be too defensive in this match, preferring to stay back, way back and run. Whereas from the Ferrer highlights it seemed he was more the aggressor. I hope he takes more of that approach in 2013!!


mat4 Says:

I read an article about that new racquet on tennis dot com, and it seems that my first impression was a good one:

Nole plays with more spin, has more depth, more speed, but his serve is suffering a bit now, just like at the beginning of 2009. It seems, though, that he didn’t lose much of his precision.

I don’t know if he will be able to adapt for the AO, but he should be ready for the FO, where this racquet could be a real improvement.


mat4 Says:

Hi, jane.

Watched the second and half of the third set (seen the last game, though).

First, Nico played very, very well. He is such an elegant player, and when he is not under mental pressure, he performs beautifully.

Then, Nole made a lot of errors. You could see sequences when his FH was terrifying, then, he would miss a few in a row. The problem I’ve noticed is that when he doesn’t hit crisply his FH or BH, the rebound is very high and Almagro managed to use it and hit marvelous FHs.

The second problem could be the serve. I saw a lot of aces, but Almagro doesn’t seem to be a great returner. The second serve could be vulnerable.

The good side: Novak’s CCFH and DTL FH are devastating. The bad one: his backhand isn’t crisp, his return doesn’t land that close to the lines, and he sometimes doesn’t know what to do.


Wog boy Says:

Let us say, Nole was experimenting and testing new racquet;)
Def/of options.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

I don’t know how much time he will need to adapt, and I am not certain that he is indeed playing with a new racquet, but…

If he manages to play with his usual aggression and consistency, with a forehand like that… he can make wonders. And when hit with conviction, his BH was deep, well angled, very fast too.


jane Says:

Yes, well. He won anyhow, and it’s true mat4, that Nico played lovely tennis at times, and he was pretty fast too. But I have to say I am worried. Why would Nole change his racquet? Is this good? The very mention of 2009-10 when he was double fault King makes me apoplectic! No way I can go through that again, arrrgh! Oh well, I guess we should not complain. He won, and he’s number 1 in the world, going on how many weeks now? GO Nole!!


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I am not sure. I believe that he could think he needs more pop, especially on clay. And the new racquet seems rather an evolution of the old one.

But I am worried too. It is always a bold move. He lacked consistency a bit, today. On the other side, when hit properly, his FH looked very improved. The question is: will he be able to maintain his consistency and precision, with more power in his strokes.


Wog boy Says:

Well, I haven’t seen second and third set, fell asleep but his FH did let him down pretty badly in TB. I don’t think they made big changes on his racquet, you don’t do that when you are #1. It is more marketing thing for Head, IMO.
Agree about Nole’s controled agression, all his big wins are when he was aggressive and the other way around,, particulary against Federer.
I think he wanted to give spectators more for their money, he is a good man:)
He should be here in Perth today, we will see him in Hopman cup, watched last night Haas and Tomic, Tomic won and he told us he is planing to crack top 10 by the end of next year, didn’t he say same thing last year?


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Very nice picture though I know our friend would like to see longlegged Russian blonde in this picture with Nole, but it is not gonna happen … though she is avaliable … but Nole isn’t !

Happy New Year


mat4 Says:

Yes, happy New Year to the staff and all the tennis fans on Tennis-x!

PS: WB – A question first: who pays for the dinner: Monica Belucci or you?

Then, I’ve got to admit you’re right: Nole isn’t available, and it won’t happen… again…


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

I am happy to pay but she is not returning my calls, so I guess it won’t happen :(

Anyway, we all have our dreams and she is mine, natural beauty ageing gracefully, one that is not going to come through :(

I am going to drown my sorrows tonight (NYE) in the restaurant with a bottle of Stolichnaya and Polynesan dancers and watching Sydney fireworks, on the second thought I don’t mind it …
Cheers

P.S. You think it did happen?


jane Says:

Happy New Years to All! Wog Boy, you’re a little ahead of the game – still 30th over here. Have fun!!! :))


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Thanks, I will.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

I have no doubts whatever. And it happened last summer too.

And finally, I don’t think he’s made the right choice.

Anyway… what do I know about the right choice?


mat4 Says:

To add to your sorrow: I tried to drink like a Russian lady a few nights ago… I was a folly, of course, but sometimes, it helps…

But not always.


Wog boy Says:

I hope dari is not reading your posts or you might find yourself “up sh$t creek without a paddle.”

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