Novak Djokovic: I Won’t Put Too Much Pressure On Myself To Win The French Open
by Tom Gainey | March 14th, 2015, 11:19 am
  • 72 Comments

Ahead of his title defense at Indian Wells, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic talked about what’s looming at the French Open in a few months.

“The difference now in my approach to my goals is that I don’t put too much pressure on myself now,” Djokovic told the Desert Sun on Thursday. “I don’t want to take away too much energy on thinking about will I make it or not. The French Open of course is the Grand Slam that I’ve never won, but I use these losses as a way to grow mentally and emotionally. This kind of approach allows me to enjoy my time there instead of going on the plane to Paris and thinking about will I make it this time or not.”

Djokovic is playing his first Masters event since the birth of his son, Stefan. And the family made the long trip.

“[Stefan is] here actually and both dogs are here,” Djokovic said. “It’s amazing to be a father… to become a parent, to share that joy of raising a child with your wife. Of course, the dogs are there. We consider them children… They love Stefan and Stefan loves them back… We work as a big family.”

Djokovic begins his bid to become the first man to repeat here since Roger Federer in 2004-2006 tonight against Marcos Baghdatis.

“I try to enjoy what I do, and I’m aware of the fact that there are many children around the world who are looking up to me, obviously following everything that I do, everything that I say,” Djokovic added. “So that’s something that’s always in the back of my mind and I try to serve as a good example of an athlete of somebody that takes things in a bit lighter way in life.”


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72 Comments for Novak Djokovic: I Won’t Put Too Much Pressure On Myself To Win The French Open

sienna Says:

2 more realistic chances.
Bummer that it is just when Nadal is playing for slamtotal to overtake Fed.
Nadal needs to win both coming RG to do so.


jane Says:

good. just play your best nole; it’s all you can do.


Hippy Chick Says:

Nice attitude,all you can hope to do is your best,im just wondering if shock horror neither Rafa or Nole win the FO then will the world end,does the FO solely revolve around these two players,whos to say that someone else wont be a factor this year,like they were at last years USO??


Giles Says:

He says the same thing every year!


chris ford1 Says:

Hippy Gal – The truth is as it has been for 3-4 years now. There are a few players that can “take” NOle, the 2nd best clay player of this era. Raonic almost did, Stan can, Roger did in 2011.
But when Raphael Nadal is in good health and form, only one man can beat him on slow clay. Novak Djokovic. Everyone knows this.
It is thus not a wish that someone else wins if Rafa is on one side of the Fremch Open Final, because only if that player is Djokovic, can it realistically happen.
To me, that is the glorious thing about Federer, who was the 3rd best clay courter in this era as well as Nole. They didn’t care if Rafa was so gifted on clay that they would always be the underdog – the Quest was to beat him. The Quest in itself was the glory, perhaps one day capped with a win against Rafa on slow clay.
Never happened for Federer, but has happened with Djokovic a few times.


Hippy Chick Says:

Chris Ford1 oh well,personally i dont believe that just because never has necassarily means never will but thats just me,life as they say is full of surprises,especially when it comes to sport….

By the way liked the Hippy Gal bit,not sure if was a compliment or an insult been as weve not really seen eye to eye on this forum much,but thanks anyway if it was?….


madmax Says:

chris ford1 Says:

The Quest in itself was the glory, perhaps one day capped with a win against Rafa on slow clay.
Never happened for Federer, but has happened with Djokovic a few times.

March 14th, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Hamburg 2007?
Madrid 2009?

But then I guess they are “fast clay courts Chris, right?”.


autoFilter Says:

chris ford1,

I’m not sure how you’re defining ‘era’, but ultimately I’m curious to know if the implication is that you rank Djokovic as above Federer on clay overall.

Personally, I do not. However, I do think Djokovic is certainly better against Nadal.


jane Says:

according to this, novak ranks higher, but i guess it’s a matter of opinion:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Performance-Zone/Performance-Clay-Career-List.aspx


Hippy Chick Says:

Personally i just think both are beatable,Mat4 said a year ago the only player that can beat Rafa is Nole,but Nole could get eliminated by somebody unexpected,its just when it comes to these top players some people seem to think they are invincible and will never be beaten,a bit too OTT with the hype at times….


Hippy Chick Says:

Roger is down at 13,where Nole is at number 6,Nole is the better CC player now….


Hippy Chick Says:

As a fan i would love for Rafa to win a WTF,and im sure Noles fans want him to win the FO,just supposing neither happens,sometimes we dont always get what we want thats life im afraid?….


Yolita Says:

@Giles
No, Novak doesn’t say the same thing every year. This is the first year ays something like this. In previous years he always said that winning Roland Garros was his main goal. I think he wanted it so much that he put too much pressure on himself.
I’m very glad Novak has chaged his attitude.
Of course he wants Roland Garros, but he seems to have put it in perspective. That can only help him.
Just do your best, Novak. And have fun. :-)


jane Says:

that’s true yolita; this is the first time he’s saying, whatever happens, happens. he’ll try his best and that’s all. which is great!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Great quotes. Love this guy. Every year,we’ve watched him grow as a man, and its fascinating to see. I’m not his biggest fan as a player, but I admire him a great deal.
Hippy, I like your first post too.


autoFilter Says:

jane,

Given that you’ve linked the career index, that doesn’t surprise me. I see “overall” as a sort of theoretical projection, though. For an index like that to be (more) accurate, in my opinion, we’d need to see Novak’s percentage at 33 years old vs Roger’s at 33, for example. It’s difficult to compare on and index like that when two players are at different phases of their careers. And even at that point, I think we’d have to try to account for the overall level of competition on clay (how is the field on clay overall and how big is the contingent of clay court specialists etc?)…

But, yeah, I fully agree it’s a matter of opinion at some levels, for sure. Anyway, I think they’re pretty close. In many respects, really.


jane Says:

yes, i agree it’s pretty close; even in total titles autofilter, nole is at 9 and roger at 10. nole’s winning percentage and record versus nadal are better, but fed’s played more matches and for a longer period.


Okiegal Says:

@ Chick……..Hippy Gal…..cross between Hippy Chick and Okiegal, maybe??? Lol


autoFilter Says:

Yeah, their h2h on clay is pretty even too, jane, with Federer leading 4-3. I’d expect Nole to pull away, but then again I’d been expecting him to pull away in their overall h2h… I still think he’ll end his career with the most Masters of anyone ever, though.


jane Says:

nole can’t seem to pull ahead versus fed, or rafa for that matter, autofilter. he’s definitely cut the differential between the 2 of them but he hasn’t been able to pull ahead yet.

we’ll see if he does someday, but in general i tend consider all their matches (nole-fed, nole-rafa) 50-50 propositions, with the matches versus rafa on clay being the exception, for obvious reasons.

nole is 17-20 versus fed (37 meetings total)
and 19-23 versus rafa (42 meetings total)
and 16-8 versus andy (24 meetings total)

he has met ALL of his main rivals more than they’ve met each other, so in total he’s played them more as well.

103 times against the other big 3.

fed and rafa have met 33 times (23-10 for rafa)
rafa and andy have met 20 times (15-5 for rafa)
fed and andy have met 23 times (12-11 for fed)

76 times the other big 3 have played each other

fed’s played the others 93 times
rafa’s played the others 95 times
and andy’s played the others 67 times

it’ll be interesting to revisit these numbers once they’ve all retired.


chris ford1 Says:

Madmax – Yes, Madrid and it’s predecessor Hamburg were fast clay.
Play very different than Roland Garros whereas other slower clay venues like Barcelona, Estorial, Rome, and Monte Carlo are Rafa’s fave surface.

Hippie Gal came out, I was too lazy to go with Hippie Chick. And maybe “gal” these days is a little better flowing in social or professional company than “chick”.

I did like the UK Daily Mail pictures of Nole and Jelena Djokovic out and about in LA walking their dogs while a babysitter was with Stephan..And the nice pic from their ballet class. Both have matured into accomplished, interesting, and very attractive young adults with what seems to be “A” Character level judgment and values.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-2989727/Novak-Djokovic-takes-dogs-walk-wife-Jelena-Ristic-return-Davis-Cup.html

Other nice thing is Novak knows people in LA so he snagged some nice practice courts out at UCLA and ran into Serena who knows 20 times as many people and snagged her UCLA practice court next to NOle. So when an interviewer asked about Serena’s return, Novak knew the whole Nelson Mandela inspiration she drew on and said he talked with Serena about how he and others in the Balkans looked to Mandela and other great reconciliators. That barely 15 years have passed since the last Balkan conflict (Kosovo), and how proud he was that Serbs, Bosnians, and Coats are working to put the war and the deaths and atrocities in the past, lest they be repeated by hatreds from old history that never go away. That he said to Serena how proud he was of Serbs in a small heartland city welcoming the Croat national Davis Cup team just that past weekend, showing them true hospitality, showing them respect. And her good reception was coming at Indian Wells.


mat4 Says:

@Yolita, jane, CF1:

Thanks for the stats, and the links.

I hope that Novak will help rediscover the truth about the Serbs, that generous people, “The Guardians of the Gate” to quote Laffan.


jane Says:

tomic just won set one over coric.


mat4 Says:

Novak is playing quite well so far.

He is obviously practising some things from his training sessions.


mat4 Says:

Novak’s FH is devastating in this match. Anyway, in such kind of matches, where he is has a good opposition but nonetheless is relaxed (because of a good start, etc.) we can see the changes and improvements he made in the last year.


jane Says:

yes, and nice play at net, too.


jane Says:

nice to see marian for the first time this season. smooth sailing tonight.


mat4 Says:

Yes, Marian and Boris do a great job with Novak right now, and their cooperation is fruitful.

It seems to me that they work on on the following points:

- serve; the first serve precision and power, the second serve too;

- FH: played with an open stance now, with a lot of spin and more power than ever (the rotation speed of one the FH was 3600 r/m); Novak used the spin to attack the backhand with high bouncing balls, I noticed. It still isn’t perfect, but it’s better from matches to matches. Tonight, his FH was formidable.

- The BH has been improved, too.

- The transition game and volleying are much better, especially used in combination with the FH.

A lot of small steps.

I enjoyed the match.


mat4 Says:

The match lasted an hour, and Novak covert 700 m.

Baghdatis serve 71% of first serves in the second set, won 73% of those points, but even then was broken twice. Novak’s aggressiveness on the second serve return was extreme. He also knows Marcos very well, and carefully chose his spots.


mat4 Says:

the backhand SLICE is improved too…

Novak covered…


wilfried Says:

@Yolita March 14th, 2015 at 3:14 pm
Agree with you that Novak didn’t say such a thing every year, but perhaps what Giles is suggesting is that it’s not the first time we here Novak say this kind of stuff.
Novak talked about a different kind of approach and channeling his energy better before the start of the clay season last year, and how important it was of beating Rafa and Roger (and winning IW and Miami in the process) to gain confidence in the lead-up to Roland Garros.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2014/04/15/Monte-Carlo-Sunday-Djokovic-Preview.aspx


Wimbledon Says:

Interesting quotes from Home. Thanks for digging it up. He sees the rivalry with Rafa differently compared to that of with Roger and Andy.


Wimbledon Says:

Home -> Nole


sienna Says:

Wouldn’t 2nd best claycourter finished on top when offered opportunity?
I see 2011 as the decider for Djokovic and Federer on claycourts. both in topnotch form with Djoker on his winning and strongest period.


Hippy Chick Says:

TV Thanks its nice to hear that for a change from another poster,anyway yeah its as i say,i dont believe Rafa or Novak are both invincible like some do,yet unless your ready to fawn over everything they do its lost on some people….


Hippy Chick Says:

Baggy is a shadow of the player he was,and Vasek isnt quite there yet as player,so so far so good for Nole and Andy,as for Rafa hmmm lets see how he does this week,and Roger seems to always do well on this surface….


mat4 Says:

@alison:

I wouldn’t say that he isn’t the shadow of the player he was — it is a bit too much. I guess that he has problems with motivation, I don’t know who his coach is now, but his results seems a bit better this year.

But Marcos played a good second set. His problems is that Novak simply hit too hard, too deep, too early. When his first serve was on, he won points. But he was decimated on his second serve. Just like almost everybody.


Hippy Chick Says:

JUST TO SAY HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL THE LOVERLY MUMS/MOMS,ON THE FORUM,HAVE A GREAT DAY WHEREVER YOU ARE IN THE WORLD ;-D….


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 true,but Baggy is one of those players i seldom here about anymore,and i often wonder is he still playing?a nice guy who has a wife and family now,but hasnt made an impression on the tour for a long time,not a player i would ever chose to follow with particalaly high expectations anymore,i dont know if thats just me who seems quite negative at times,im doing some Native American drumming this afternoon at a friends,maybe that will help me raise some energy,and put me in a positive frame of mind?….


mat4 Says:

About Pospisil:

I guess he plays as well as he can. I didn’t watch that first set when he served quite bad, but you can’t really expect that he has much chances against Andy.

Anyway, Baghdatis and Pospisil are ranked 59 and 60. Rafa has Sijsling who is ranked 129, then Chardy or Young, then Simon or Gasquet, after that perhaps Raonic, Dimitrov… Not even one of this player has the type of game to worry Rafa: Berdych, Wawrinka, Nishikori, all landed in other quarters. In the semi, of course, he has Roger, and it is a very good match-up for him on such a slow court. So, he has good chances. No reason not to perform well.

His draw is almost perfect to make the final.

Novak has a suprised opponent in the next round, then a big server (a kind of player he doesn’t like much), then Ferrer (here it could be easier if Novak plays well), then Andy or Kei, who both are able to beat him.

Of the top four, Federer and Murray have more difficult draws, especially Federer. Of the top 8, I guess that Raonic has the hardest path.


Hippy Chick Says:

Disagree ATM it seems everybody has the game that bothers Rafa….


mat4 Says:

I suggest you to listen some classical piano. The brain works better by 20%. That’s what I always do when I am depressive. A good glass of calvados could help, too.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

The truth is as it has been for 3-4 years now. There are a few players that can “take” NOle, the 2nd best clay player of this era.

This nonsense should stop atleast till Novak wins FO.


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 i havent got any,my late father had some classical LPs but they were given to charity when he passed away,i will have to stick to my Native American Soiux drum,i like Calvados though so thanks….


wilfried Says:

@Jane March 14th, 2015 at 2:30 pm
@autofilter March 14th, 2015 at 2:30 pm
We don’t have to wait till Novak is 33 years old to be able to compare their clay results.
Let’s look at it in another way by returning to Roger’s 40th career loss (as Novak’s current score on this index implies 40 losses on clay at ATP level).
Roger’s 40’th career loss at ATP-level came at Roland Garros in 2008 where Rafael Nadal gave him the biggest beat-down on clay of his career on may 25th 2008 (6-1 6-3 6-0).
Roger had a win-loss record on clay of 163-40 (75,46 %) at that moment.
Since that memorable loss, he played 97 more matches at ATP-level on clay (Davis Cup included).
You find his win-loss record down here in résumé:
Year wins -losses (Total number of matches played on clay by Roger Federer)
2009: 18 – 2 ( 20)
2010: 10 – 4 ( 14)
2011: 12- 4 (16)
2012: 15- 3 (18)
2013: 12- 5 (17)
2014: 8- 4 (12)
Total: 75 wins – 22 losses in period 2009-2014 for Roger Federer (total matches: 97).
Contrary to what you might have expected, the additional 97 matches on clay did increase Roger’s win-loss record on clay instead of make it go down. His current ratio is at 76,15 %, whereas in may 2008 it was only at 75,46 %.
Objective conclusion to this data: Djokovic’s overall win-loss record has always been slightly better than Roger’s index for win-loss on clay, even 6 years ago.


wilfried Says:

correction to my post at 9:25:
Roger had a 123-40 win loss record at moment (instead of 163-40 win loss)


Wimbledon Says:

The deal breaker is the FO. Till Nole wins an FO he is no way comparable with Roger on clay.


autoFilter Says:

Wilfried,

I understand your point. It’s still not an equal comparison, though, since the context of those win-loss records is largely disparate. That is my essential issue with using the index to make this call (given players whose careers do not perfectly overlap), particularly because the index shows such close numbers for both.

Regardless, I appreciate your informative breakdown. Thanks for that.


autoFilter Says:

To add some perspective, from 2005-2011 Federer made the final at RG 5 times winning it once. The only person not named Rafa Nadal to have prevented Federer from making the final in that timeframe is also the only person to have ever beaten Rafa Nadal at RG. Thus far, Novak has made the final twice.

And, no, grand slams are not the only important tournaments or titles, but RG is absolutely without a doubt the most coveted title on clay. I mean, surely no one would even consider calling someone the second best grass court player for racking up a bunch of wins at Queens and making the Wimbledon finals a couple of times, right? (Obviously I’m being semi-facetious, but you get my point.)


jane Says:

wilfred, interesting stats. and i think if nole ever adds some smaller clay events, perhaps especially events where rafa isn’t playing, then he too would be able to increase his percentage even more as well. at the moment he plays only masters and roland garros.

autofilter, “The only person not named Rafa Nadal to have prevented Federer from making the final in that timeframe is also the only person to have ever beaten Rafa Nadal at RG”

this sort of reasoning doesn’t really work though. we know that just because player A beat player B, it does not mean that player A can also beat player C.

also, it has something to do with seeding and when nole ran into rafa, in terms of how many finals nole has been in.

how many times has nole been beaten by rafa at the french? maybe that’s a better question than how many finals has be made.

nole was drawn in rafa’s quarter or half in 2006, 07, 08, and 13. and then in the two finals (12, 14) nole also faced rafa.

fed never had to face rafa before then finals except for once i think?

nole has more notable wins on clay against rafa; he’s beaten him at all the masters. fed has beaten him at one. (2 if you count hamburg).

also in 2008, when roger suffered that bad loss in the final), nole was the only player to push rafa to a tiebreaker – the only one who even threatened to take a set off rafa that year.

so i don’t know if your point about how many finals fed has made is valid as a one-upper once you consider how many times each has lost to rafa there

“I see 2011 as the decider…”

sienna, nole was on a 40 something win streak. it’s possible that the pressure was getting to him by that point and even law of averages said he’d lose soon. i was following avidly, obviously, and nole almost lost to murray at rome just before the french. he was beginning to tire at that point: probably mentally more than anything.


madmax Says:

wilfried Says:
@Jane March 14th, 2015 at 2:30 pm
@autofilter March 14th, 2015 at 2:30 pm
We don’t have to wait till Novak is 33 years old to be able to compare their clay results.
Let’s look at it in another way by returning to Roger’s 40th career loss (as Novak’s current score on this index implies 40 losses on clay at ATP level).
Roger’s 40’th career loss at ATP-level came at Roland Garros in 2008 where Rafael Nadal gave him the biggest beat-down on clay of his career on may 25th 2008 (6-1 6-3 6-0).
Roger had a win-loss record on clay of 163-40 (75,46 %) at that moment.
Since that memorable loss, he played 97 more matches at ATP-level on clay (Davis Cup included).
You find his win-loss record down here in résumé:
Year wins -losses (Total number of matches played on clay by Roger Federer)
2009: 18 – 2 ( 20)
2010: 10 – 4 ( 14)
2011: 12- 4 (16)
2012: 15- 3 (18)
2013: 12- 5 (17)
2014: 8- 4 (12)
Total: 75 wins – 22 losses in period 2009-2014 for Roger Federer (total matches: 97).
Contrary to what you might have expected, the additional 97 matches on clay did increase Roger’s win-loss record on clay instead of make it go down. His current ratio is at 76,15 %, whereas in may 2008 it was only at 75,46 %.
Objective conclusion to this data: Djokovic’s overall win-loss record has always been slightly better than Roger’s index for win-loss on clay, even 6 years ago.

March 15th, 2015 at 9:25 am

wilfred,

don’t forget that Roge has been in the final 5 times at RG, and yes, won one of them – that’s one more than Novak, and up against Rafa, I still would have wanted him in the final of RG, than not.

Federer is great on every surface.


Okiegal Says:

He’s just not greater than Rafa on every sur-frace..


Giles Says:

Okie. A big LOL!!


autoFilter Says:

“we know that just because player A beat player B, it does not mean that player A can also beat player C.”

You are of course correct, but I did not make that claim. To clarify, I’m NOT claiming that because Soderling beat Rafa it follows that Soderling can beat anyone Rafa can beat. I do think, though, that the fact that Soderling beat Nadal at RG shows that he is — or was :( — capable of an exceptionally high level of tennis on that surface.

Fair point regarding the number of times Djokovic lost to Nadal at RG. Also, I’m can’t recall if Federer was ever tasked with facing Jurgen Melzer en route to the final, so there’s that :p

I don’t know that I can get on board with discounting the value of the 2011 SF for tiredness. At what point in a streak is tiredness not a seemingly viable excuse? If he’d lost after 20 wins, he was probably mentally tired. If 30: tired. If 60? Tired. So I dunno.

That match was hotly contested and in that respect similar to many others they’ve played. I definitely can’t get on board with the “law of averages” saying anything at all since it’s essentially a fallacious generalization of the law of large numbers, which incidentally does not govern this realm (for evidence see Esther Vergeer).

Again, it is very close. Personally, I give Roger credit for slightly superior consistency at RG during his prime, but did I mention I think it’s really close?


jane Says:

“At what point in a streak is tiredness not a seemingly viable excuse? ”

well at that point he was on one of the longest winning streaks in tennis history, with only 2 people having gone longer – ever! so at that point, methinks it’s viable.

add to that he’d just completed a HUGE mental and physical hurdle by beating nadal in back-to-back clay masters events, unparalleled achievement.

true: nole does have 2 bad losses at roland garros in 2010 and 2011, but that’s irrelevant to his overall winning success imo. (p.s., fed too has lost to melzer on clay)

the point is, both nole and fed have been held back at roland garros almost entirely by rafa!

fed has lost there to nole, tsonga and soderling
nole has lost there to fed, melzer and kohls

fed won a title, but we all know that if rafa had made that year’s final, there is a very strong possibility he wouldn’t have.

but yeah autofilter… i agree with you that it’s very close either way you swing it. both fed and rafa have been great on clay, and both have been stuck right behind rafa for years.

and importantly, neither have ever shied away from the rata-on-clay challenge, which is another admirable quality they share.


jane Says:

^ sorry bad losses were 09 and 10. don’t consider the fed loss a bad one.


jane Says:

gah! so many mistakes “both fed and rafa have been great on clay, and both have been stuck right behind rafa for years.”

should begin “both fed and nole…”


Hippy Chick Says:

At least there can be no argument about who is the all time greatest ever clay court player,that is one tennis area that is Rafas, and that can not be taken away from him,ill leave it the others to decide whos the second best this era,or of all time etc or whatever?….


jane Says:

hippy, for sure. rafa is king of clay. :)


Hippy Chick Says:

Thanks Jane,HAPPY MOTHERS DAY BTW to yourself and all the others mums on the forum ;-)….


Daniel Says:

If Djoko beats Nadal and wins a French, he will than be better than Fed as second clay courter of this generation. If he wins the Frenck but somebody else beats Nadal (as 2009), he will be on par with Federer as second best (less finals than Fed and probably less wins there as well.

Fed is second only to Nadal at RG wins, above 60 matches won so another thing for his side. Djoko on the other hand has 3 different masters while Fed has only 2 and Djoko has 2 more wins over Nadal.

But until he wins the French, Fed is second best on this generation (last 10 years).


autoFilter Says:

“fed won a title, but we all know that if rafa had made that year’s final, there is a very strong possibility he wouldn’t have.”

“If,” indeed. But one could easily argue that “if” Novak was really only being prevented from reaching more finals because of frequently drawing Rafa, then Novak should’ve had a crack at the title that year as well. But he bowed out in Rd 3, which is something Federer hasn’t done since losing to former FO champion Gustavo Kuerten in 2004 and has yet to do again (though his loss to Gulbis was certainly close).

wilfried,

I am curious what you (and others) make of the fact that Federer’s winning percentage on clay has [albeit ever so slightly] increased even as it has decreased elsewhere. I could play devil’s advocate here and surmise that the level of competition on clay has declined to a greater degree than aging has compromised Federer’s abilities. Really, it could be a number of things.


Markus Says:

It is very hard to argue “ifs” because whatever point you raise to counter it will be answered by another “if”, until it just becomes a battle of the “ifs”.


autoFilter Says:

“If Djoko beats Nadal and wins a French, he will than be better than Fed as second clay courter of this generation.”

But, Daniel, Nadal now is not Nadal then. To use the parlance of this very blog, the Nadal of late is given to losing to any Tom (e.g. David Ferrer), Dick (e.g. Nicolas Almagro), or Harry (e.g. Fabio Fognini). It’s just not the same ask (better-suited to it,though, today’s Djokovic may be if given a time machine).


Daniel Says:

autoFilter, in a way you are right, but even so, beating Nadal and win RG would be something never done before:-)


metan Says:

Very good Nole, no need to win RG it’s belong to Rafa, you win only AO.😄 wimby gives to Andy, and USO shared, who is the best then win it.


wilfried Says:

I’ll reply to the different responses, later on, when I find the time to do it properly.
I like the topic.


Hippy Chick Says:

Agree with Wimbledons post@10.27am March 15th,its pretty simple Novak might now be a better CC player than Roger,but overall i would say Roger,as Roger has what all players want,and what really matters in that hes won the FO,something Novak has yet to do,and who knows if he will anyway,time will tell?


wilfried Says:

@autifilter
The career index sure isn’t a perfect instrument, but it is not that imperfect either, because it’s based on a bigger sample of data.
Besides, using other criteria will lead you most probably to the same conclusion.
For instance if we use as criteria “their respective slam results at Roland Garros in their first 10 years of participation at RG” (cfr. from a point of view of their age and career, Novak is with his 10 participations at RG at this point in the same place where Roger was before the start of the 2009 clay season), the comparison between their respective results will show you again that Novak performed slightly better in his first 10 years of participation at RG than Roger in the same span of time.
Ten years of Roland Garros participation gave Roger a combined record of 3 first rounds, 1 R3, 1 R4, 1 Q, 1S and 3 Finals, whereas 10 years of Roland Garros participation gave Novak the following combined record: 1 R2, 1 R3, 2 Q’s, 4 S’s and 2 Finals. Not only took it a lot longer for Roger to reach his first semifinal at RG, but his average performance at RG was only – and still is – quarterfinals, whereas Novak’s “average performance” at the same time is closer to semifinals.
As for the strength of their respective opponents in all those matches, I don’t know if there exists a way to examine whether the strength of the opposition on clay has declined or not during the last decennium. You could be right on that one, but after all you can only beat the opponent that’s in front of you.
By the way, Roger’s career index on clay was at its highest level at the end of 2009 (above 77 %) and is gradually decreasing since then.
@Wimbledon @Madmax @ Daniel
Agree with you all that Novak needs to win RG. But looking at Novak’s past result at RG, I think it is in the cards that he will win it someday, if not this year, than in the future.


autoFilter Says:

Wilfried,

I actually get QF as Novak’s average result when I do the math. And personally I would be more inclined to use the past 10 years for both players, since that is the actual time period that they played against the same field. In doing so, I find that Federer’s average performance is SF while Novak’s is QF.

I also think it is likely that Novak will win the French at some point (honestly, I’d thought he would last year until the match began and I saw what a mess he was).

Again, though, I think times have changed. As far as I am concerned, the single most significant thing to have ever happened to the clay field is Rafael Nadal, and, while he’s undoubtedly still capable of extreme heights, the greatest of his dominance is behind him. There is already vastly more opportunity for others on clay than there had been over the last decade or so owing to his uncanny prowess.


Matador Says:

he is toasted. he needs a Bruguera or Courier coach for the clay season.

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