Novak Djokovic: I Believe I Can Go All The Way And Win The French Open
by Tom Gainey | May 17th, 2013, 10:15 pm

A routine win turned into a nightmare today for Novak Djokovic. Playing Tomas Berdych, a player he owned 13-1 in their head-to-head, Djokovic led 62, 52 before losing five straight games and eventually the match 26, 75, 64. Djokovic now enters the most important event of the year with the bitter taste of this collapse and aside from Monte Carlo, very poor results since February.

Afterward, Djokovic, who blamed the choke on a lapse in concentration serving at 53, still says he’s playing well.

“I am playing well and I shouldn’t allow these ups and downs in the match especially with Paris coming up,” Djokovic said. “But I have some time to prepare and I am disappointed as I was playing really well up to 62 52 but its a sport and he is a top 10 player and he proved that today.

It is not the result I was hoping for but I am positive and the days go by and I will take some time off and get ready for Paris which is the most important event in the year for me,” he added. “I know I can play well on clay so I shouldn’t allow myself to have these drops and let’s hope it wont happen for the Roland Garros.”

A win in Paris would give Djokovic the coveted career Slam. And with his preparations now completed, the pressure shifts to Roland Garros which will make or break his season.

“I can go all the way and it’s a long tournament,” he said. “Two weeks long but I don’t want to make predictions and I need to get ready and hopefully I’ll make it.”

The Serb who began the year winning his first 17 matches, is 11-4 in his last 15.

With Rafael Nadal also winning today over David Ferrer, Djokovic will go into Roland Garros behind Rafa in 2013 points. Djokovic, though, will still be the top seed when the tournament begins a week from Sunday.

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40 Comments for Novak Djokovic: I Believe I Can Go All The Way And Win The French Open

Mila Says:

Of course he will say it is “due to sudden loss of concentration”, he couldn’t say “I did not really need to continue being in Rome – I’m aiming for RG and don’t want to overexert myself for few ranking points when I’m leading by several thousand”. That would be the truth. I’ll repeat my post from the previous thread since it more appropriately belongs in here:

It would be dumb of Novak to play Rafa before RG. He played him first set in Monte Carlo and saw where their matchup is at. Why reveal more and give a chance to Uncle Tony to analyze and adjust.

Today, Novak tested his game for about an hour, and after that decided it is enough and it is time to move on to Paris with some rest and fine refinement of few details and further ankle recovery. During set and a half today Novak was rifling his shots and Tomas was helpless, at the end of the second set Novak started to push balls and continued like that till the end of the match. I’ve re-watched the match and the difference in his shots between first hour and rest of the match is obvious.
What would have Novak gained had he beat Tomas today 6-2, 6-3? A couple of hundred points, an exhausting match with Rafa, more fatigue and tough match against Roger in the final, also further strain on his body and his tender ankle. The smart decision (albeit not fair to the Rome audience) was to let Berdich win and start his preparation for RG while watching Rafa and Roger slugging it out for a couple of hundred points in Rome (actually Rafa won’t gain anything since he defends the last year title).

Rafa is overplaying and it will catch up with him by RG time – he played two 2.5 hr matches last two days, and is in for two more tough and likely long matches.

Conclusion – Novak is in great position before RG, whoever thinks he is out of form, wait 10 days and see him in Paris. He’ll be even more dominant than in Monte Carlo final. Mark my words…

jamie Says:

Nole is right.

2013 is his year to win RG.

You heard it here first.

Joe Says:

Djoker will have zero chances to win RG! These losses have a huge impact on the player’s confidence and level of play especially when playing big fish like Rafa. Rafa is hungrier than ever and has much more to prove this time around. Prediction: Djoker will not even make it to the final at RG!

Bada Bing Says:

Mila- that thought has crossed my mind. He got what he wanted-the MC masters. Now he has a bigger goal and I hope he can get to the final and win it. If not this year, I think he can next year for sure.

skeezer Says:

Joe/ aka giles says,

“Djoker will have zero chances to win RG! ”

You heard it here first from the Rafa fan club!

jimmy Says:

He has a bad form now. Don’t think he can even make to the French final, considering losses to delpo, hass, babyfed, and now birdman.

Nadalista Says:

@mila, you forgot to post the other part of the conclusion. According to you Novak tanked the match. He dragged his mother and recuperating father to watch a match he intended tanking. He tanked to avoid playing Rafa. This is what you are saying, not me.

And for you, all the above are indicative of his genius, things to be proud of?


Michael Says:

A eagerly anticipatd Novak Vs Rafa clash has come to naught, thanks to Berdych who has foiled our plans. Now Berdy will meet Rafa in the semis and well, we all know what the result would be ? I do not see any shocks over there unless Rafa really has some physical complaints. He should easily manage to dismantle Berdych who is his bunny.

Michael Says:


I am at a loss to understand as to how Novak’s early exits in Madrid and Rome is going to help his case in Rolland Garros. Well you can argue that he will damn fresh. True, may be. But on the negative side, he will not be carrying with him the much needed confidence that is required to win at big stage. I am shocked at Novak’s loss to Berdych after leading by a set to love and a break up in the second. Berdych was not just Nadal’s bunny, he was Novak’s bunny too. To lose to him in such a fashion choking (may be a bit exaggerated if you attribute that word to a fighter like Novak) should certainly give jitters to Novak’s camp. As he himself put it, his ankle issue was not bothering him here. He was playing really well in the 2nd and third rounds and to collapse in this way is incomprehensible. Still, if there is any player who can give fright to Nadal on Clay, it is only Novak. He can well put these losses aside and turn a new leaf. But it is going to be difficult in my opinion. If Novak surprises me, well I will be very happy for him.

skeezer Says:

All respect Don’t agree. nole didn’t rest or avoid or strategize in 2011. He simply kicked a@@ every tourney he entered and was the baddest bad a$$ of 2011. So now he is saving something? Why?

Me thinks it is mental, and it is hard for any player to get to the top, and lead. This is why Rafa likes to chase, and not be the Favoirite. He will never be a leader,,,,,,,,Its a cross to heavy to bear, and this is what separates RF from the field in all time records. He is a natural born Leader, not afraid of the pole posistion in his career and his record proves it.

Nole has proven he can Lead with the #1 spot, hell, he’s still #1. He just needs to relish it and play like it, and he’ll be fine!

Michael Says:

Skeezer, I completely agree with you. It is pretty tough to be consistent as Roger. Period.

Michael Says:

Well, Roger has reached the semis. How nice it would be if he wins Rome, a tournament he has never won ! I am just having a dream of him lifting the trophy.

skeezer Says:

Leave it to a rafa koolaid drinker to twist the same ole adage saying players are “avoiding Rafa”.

The only avoiding playin Rafa reasons would be;

Who would want to touch the same tennis ball he plays with? You seen what he does before he touches a tennis ball before serve?
I mean, c’mon y’all, keep it real!


Margot Says:

Has a dynamic shifted? Everyone everywhere, well I exaggerate a tad, used to long for Fedal finals. Now, with one in prospect, it seems everyone would rather have seen a Rafle match.

alison Says:

It could just be possible that Berdych was actually the better player,i just dont think by the look on Novaks face he deliberatly tanked the match to avoid this player or that player thats BS,should he have got to the final and beaten Rafa then im sure he would have the one brimming with confidence holding the momentum going into RG,im not say he will or wont win RG because of this loss,but i think winning here in Rome would have been a huge confidence boost ahead of RG.

alison Says:

Roger has had a great week this week he has looked very good very sharp,more so than Rafa and Nole,should he beat Paire which is most likely,and Rafa beats Berdych i hope,Roger will head to the final the fresher of the two,im sensing if Roger were to win the final here,he would go to RG full of confidence as contendor for the title too.

Jimmy Says:

The jimmy commenting above was not this jimmy, just to clarify.

mem Says:


what’s really mindboggling is, why would any woman want to marry you? maybe it’s for your paycheck, because you are so silly, petty, bitter, and plain dense. good Lord, give it a rest! these posters are sick of you; they dont want to hurt your feelings, but someone has to do it. maybe you are too naive to recognize it, but they tolerate you because you are fixture here and apparently you don’t have anywhere else to go. you sound psychotic twisting every word that any rafafan says into something about rafa that you can harp on endlessly. i pity you!

Giles Says:

I just can’t believe my eyes reading all the BS from some of the posters here. Joker had match point. I believe, which he squandered. He just wasn’t able to win the match which he had on his racquet. To me, that is just poor form against a player he normally trounces on court.
As for joker tanking the match is again BS. This man wants to win anything and everything. Wasn’t Rome supposed to be the final preparation for RG? He lost early in Madrid and in the quarters in Rome, which means he hasnt really had sufficient preparation for RG.
@skeezer the geezer. For the last time I am Giles and not aka anybody else. I don’t adopt different monikers like you. And why would I need to? If you had any intelligence, which BTW I know you are devoid of, you would stop harping on this non issue. You are just a spare part IMO who is trying desperately to switch camps at the expense of sounding more and more ridiculous in each and every one of your posts. To me you are just a bald headed geezer who likes to talk about Rafa’s @$$!!

Mila Says:

“skeezer Says:
All respect Don’t agree. nole didn’t rest or avoid or strategize in 2011. He simply kicked a@@ every tourney he entered and was the baddest bad a$$ of 2011. So now he is saving something? Why?”

skeezer, the answer is in your question. Did he win RG in 2011 when he played to win Madrid and Rome? No he didn’t. So this year, the focus is on Monte Carlo, Cincy and all 4 Grand Slams, but RG above all. That is why he is saving something as you put it above.

Mila Says:

“Michael Says:
To lose to him in such a fashion choking (may be a bit exaggerated if you attribute that word to a fighter like Novak) should certainly give jitters to Novak’s camp. As he himself put it, his ankle issue was not bothering him here. He was playing really well in the 2nd and third rounds and to collapse in this way is incomprehensible.”

Incomprehensible exactly! My post actually offered the comprehension of his loss. Novak’s camp is not concerned at all, this was confirmed to me by sources who had talked with Novak’s camp today. Like you said, he was playing really well in the 2nd and 3rd rounds as well as for the set and a half against Tomas. That was enough – that form was good enough to win RG, that was the consensus among Novak’s camp. There was no need for unnecessary fatigue and risk of injury by playing Rafa in semis for “small potato” points. The goal is RG, after that Calendar GS, and after that Cincy if possible. And the goal was also Monte Carlo which was accomplished in ruthless fashion. That form was also enough to win RG.
That is my explanation. I respect your opinion and right to disagree with my logic, but we can revisit this topic in 3 weeks and see what happened.
As I said in my original post: “Mark my words…”

Giles Says:

Why would anyone want to believe Joker’s camp? Madrid and Rome are two preparatory tourneys for RG and therefore two very important tourneys pre RG so to say Joker’s camp are not concerned with his pathetic results is absolute BS.

Roger Federer Fan Says:

Great post.

I love the way you bring in Rafa and his @ss into every possible discussion.

Giles Says:
Rafael Nadal wins GQ’s most stylish player Award for 2013
Yaaaay Champ, keep the awards coming
Vamos Rafa

Aon Says:

@ Giles

thanks for the link,

James Says:

This isn’t the first time Novak Djokovic has been eliminated early in a tournament this year. Nole camp should be worried and get him to train even harder for RG. Tomas Berdych beat him yesterday, and will now approach another match with Novak with a different mindset. He now knows he can beat him and will give his best to do so should they meet in Paris.

I have always been of this opinion that winning Rome is the best preparation for RG. Nadal has done that multiple times and I see no reason why he won’t do it again. Another Rafa-Novak match would be interesting. I hope Novak is good enough to make it to the RG final. I have my doubts though.

Michael Says:


If what you say does happen, I would be happy. Why not, if Novak completes the coveted Calendar grand slam and join the prestigious list. At this moment it is difficult to believe what you say like Novak intentionally losing the match. I can add nothing more. What I saw was a fighting Novak even when Berdych was serving at 40-0 at 5-4. It was only good serving in the end which bailed out Berdych.

Alex Says:

Picking on Skeezer again?

Typical idiotic jealous Nadal fans, cant talk tennis, just sh#t lol.

We all know you have different monikers Giles, so unfortunately wen people tell you to shut your pie hole, a new idiot appears…sad really.

I feel for you Skeez, by now you should of learned your lesson, with these corrupted droids:

#You cant flog a dead horse

Wog boy Says:

Giles Says:
Why would anyone want to believe Joker’s camp? …


Why would anyone want to believe Rafa’s camp that he was seven months out due to “heavy” injury?

What is eaiser to believe, first or second one? Jury is out on that one.

Giles Says:

I wonder how the supposed dislocated bone in Joker’s ankle was fixed? Or perhaps there was no such injury which Joker’s coach Vajda told Sky Sports existed. This BS story was just a ploy to lull his opponents into a false sense of security especially Rafa, but guess what Rafa didnt buy that story. Nice try Vajda.

Fedster Says:

This is where Federer stands out from the rest. Even when he was a clear No.3 in the world in 2011 he went on to beat Nole in FO SF and proceeded to face Rafa in the final. Nole doesnt even have an iota of the courage displayed by Federer.
Federer never tanked matches irrespective of his form or ranking !!!!

James Says:

I disagree with anyone saying Novak Djokovic lost gainst Berdych on purpose. He made a few errors and Tomas made him pay for it. Novak clearly tried to come back in the match butTomas just shut the door on him.
Despite this loss, Nole is still a dangerous player but I won’t be surprised if he gets taken out early at RG.

nadalista Says:

Tanking a match is throwing a match i.e. cheating, match fixing.

So, some of Novak’s fans are happy to tell the whole world that Novak is a cheat. To them, it is better he be classed a cheat than face Rafael Nadal in the semi final of the Rome tournament and thus “give his game away prior to RG”.

With fans like these, why does Novak need enemies?


skeezer Says:


So you don’t have anything to say for ions on this blog, but when u do that is what u have to say? “Why would any woman…”.? What a great tennis post. Maybe when you ask that question you should look in the mirror and ask “why would any man….”.

When someone, or anyone says anything critical about Rafael Nadal you types first knee jerk reaction is to personally attack them. Its your SOP. A sad, desperate attempt to respond back to the subject matter. Apparently you can’t disagree, so you feel you must attack the poster personally, not defend the subject nor or the player. Now that…is……pathetic.

contador Says:


I read you post last night (my time about 8 hours ago) and I get what you are saying. It is the same as Kimberly using the word “mulligan” in reference to her wish that Rafa would gift a match on purpose. The idea is far from shocking, really. Let’s be honest, we can all think of times when each of the top four have done it. A “lapse in concentration” is all that is needed to lose. We saw it when Federer lost to Tsonga in Toronto, (or) Rafa loses strangely to Feliciano Lopez on grass; or he loses to Verdasco on the blue clay. Take for instance the Atp exodus of top seeds in Madrid, 2012, due to the blue clay, and it was not all accidental. Sometimes it is best.

If one cannot play at their highest level or sustain concentration on the match at the level needed, they lose. There is not much to separate these top seeds and potentially dangerous contenders like a Soderling, or now Dimitrov, Gulbis, Janowicz, etc., on any given day. A drop in level either mentally or physically is all that is required. When a tournament is so close to a GS, it can’t help but be viewed as a warm-up event to those who have won the title before. Even someone like Berdych would bargain to lose in Rome ( he says jokingly) to win in Paris. He says it jokingly but there is truth in it.

I agree with your conclusion, Mila.

Wog boy Says:

First to make it clear, I would like if Nole won, but he didn’t , end of story. There something else, when I listen to people how Rome is important for FO, I cannot but lough. Nole won it twice and didn’t make even final of FO. Nadal won it six times but in his case it doesn’t make difference since he is always favorite to win FO. Federer didn’t win it when he won FO, so why on earth Rome is so important. Nole played and won MC, played Madrid and stuffed up, played few good matches in Rome and that is more than enough preparation for FO, plus another 10 days practicing in Monaco. That is same if we say Cincinnati, Queens or Sydney are most important for USO, Wimbeldon, AO. Nole won neither of those but won all three GS. So what if Nole doesn’t win FO or makes final, are we going to blame Rome? No, we are going to blame somebody who was better than Nole on that day, as simple as that.

harry Says:

@Wog boy (10:40) — That is a nice way of looking at it.

jane Says:

Cheers Wog boy & contador. Nice to “see” you both posting. Am on the road in the UK so haven’t watched tennis since Monte Carlo. Hope Nole is raring to go for the next slam!! Ajde! :)

DA, Margot, any updates on Andy’s back injury?

alison Says:

Just to add im sure Novak will be more fired than ever for another crack at winning the FO,tennis ebs and flows,best of 5 sets is a completely different animal to 3 sets.
Jane i hope your having a nice time here in the UK,which area are you visiting?maybe i will bump into you,you could come around to our flat for a cuppa tea? ha ha.

Steve 27 Says:

El Bufón is wating for his loss 20 in Roland Garros. He is clever, after all.

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