Novak Djokovic: This Is The Best Year Of My Career, Better Than 2011, No Question About It!
by Tom Gainey | October 19th, 2015, 10:13 am

Novak Djokovic reiterated yesterday that he thinks this year surpasses his incredible 2011 season when he won three Grand Slams in 10 titles.

After winning Shanghai yesterday beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 62, 64, Djokovic added his 9th title of the year and that includes his three Slams.

“It’s the best year of my life,” Djokovic asserted. “No question about it. Everything is working great. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be able to play this well, to be successful.

“I don’t want to get carried away by success obviously because I want to be playing on this level for many more years to come. I know that one of the things that you have to do in order to keep playing on a high level is stay committed and stay determined to this lifestyle that is obviously not easy, traveling all the time. Now that I’m a father, that makes it a little bit more difficult.

“I have the support of the close ones, my wife, the most important one, but my brothers, my team. Everybody is behind me on the quest of being the best I can be.”

And it’s hard to argue otherwise. Since his loss to Roger Federer in the Cincinnati final, Djokovic has been perfect. He’s won 17 straight matches and his last 24 sets. And in his last 22 sets during this Asian run, only twice he lost more than three games!

“I think in terms of the two tournaments back‑to‑back weeks, this has been the best two weeks of my life, my career,” he said. “I think I’ve played the best tennis ever in these two weeks in terms of back‑to‑back. Honestly, that’s how I felt.”

With all the momentum in the world, Djokovic heads to Paris and then to the ATP Finals to finish his season.

“Next step is recovery and spending some family time, quality time,” he added. “That’s as important as the working process or competition time. So going to recover. Plenty of time to get ready for the indoor season where I haven’t lost a match the last couple years.

“I’m not thinking about being unbeaten till the rest of the year. But, yes, that’s an option. It’s a possibility. But I’ll still try to keep the kind of a philosophy and approach where the next match matters.”

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191 Comments for Novak Djokovic: This Is The Best Year Of My Career, Better Than 2011, No Question About It!

brando Says:

Disagree. 2011 the competition was stronger, more competitive and you were more lethal and consistent especially mentally. That was a bigger achievement easily. Agree: this China swing has been your best ever performance. Prior to that though: 2011>2015.

elina Says:

Best year on tour in the modern era of any player bar none.

elina Says:

2011 was second best.

jane Says:

what i think is better about 2015 is that novak has reached all slam finals, winning 3: no one had done that since fed in 2007. novak also reached 13 straight finals which is “wow”. in addition, the fact that he is still fresh post-USO is testament to the good scheduling and his fitness at this point in his career. in 2011, he was injured starting from canada and the end of his season was anti-climactic.

in 2011 what stood out was how he climbed over first fed to take number 2 and then rafa to take number 1. he also beat fed and then rafa back to back to win the USO. and then there was the winning streak to begin the year.

but 2015 just seems more calibrated, a more mature, consistent performance.

both were spectacular from my perspective.

Ben Pronin Says:

10 match wins from having the single greatest season ever.

elina Says:

Already has greatest single season ever on points both in terms of numbers with 14K+ and percentage possible (currently 80%).

He holds the best two years of all time.

Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t care about points, it’s about results. If he wins Paris, he’ll have the record for most Masters in a year. And winning WTF is just the necessary cap off. Federer’s 06 was better than Djokovic’s 11. Not by much, but overall. McEnroe’s 84, Wilander’s 88, Nadal’s 10 and 13, and Federer’s 04, 05, 07 are all up there, too.

AndyMira Says:

Enjoy while you can dude!because it won’t last long..

elina Says:

I don’t think so.

They both did the same in slams Roger in 06 and Novak in 2011 and this year and both years Novak has already five Masters to Roger’s four.

Nadal’s years are up there with Roger’s too but none are better than 2011 and 2015 the latter not even finished yet.

The points is just a way of quantifying that given he already has more titles.

Vami Says:

Yep, the huge Cilic/Dimitrov threat is just around the corner.
The combined H2H is only 19:1; that Madrid crowd win must be a huge confidence booster that winning is somehow possible.

Ben Pronin Says:

Federer was 92-5, 12 titles, 3 slams, 4 Masters, 1 WTF while failing to reach 1 final all year.

Djokovic in 2011 was 70-6, 10 titles, 3 slams, 5 Masters, 1-2 at WTF, and failed to reach the finals at least 3 times.

The only thing Djokovic has better here is 5 Masters to 4 but I think winning WTF is more important than an additional Masters.

Djokovic in 2015 can max out at 11 titles with less match wins. But I’d rate it higher than 2006 still because it’d be 6 Masters to 4 with finals reached at EVERY Masters played (video game stuff right there) and WTF won. Either way it’s already better than 2011 up to this point even with 1 less title.

So, 10 match wins away from the best ever.

elina Says:

I respect your opinion but I don’t think so.

Many of those match wins came at smaller tournaments as well as two of those tournaments were smaller events.

This is why points are a good comparison even with “inflation”.

Yes 2015 is already better than 2011.

So, 0 match wins away from the best ever.

The rest is all gravy baby.

Daniel Says:

The only thing hard to compare this years is beacuse Federer had to win his Masters in 2006 best of 5 finals, including WTF.

But even so, id Djoko reaches finals of the next 2, loses Paris but win WTF with 10 titles his year will be right there with 82-6 record. If he wins Paris and WTF with 6 Masters, 11 titles and 83-5 I think it will be the greater year

Daniel Says:

3 Slams and 1 Slam final beats 3 Slams and semis any day. 1 Masters more doesn’t change that.

And 3 Slams + 1 Slam final + WTF + 4 Masters is Better than
3 Slams + Slam semis no WTF + 5 Masters. Hence 2006 is better than 2011. It shows that tou can sustain the hogh level throguh out. There is more players who won 3 Slams a year than there is the ones who reach all 4 finals and 3 Slams. You can count them with 3 fingers: Laver, Federer and Djokovic. Even Sampras who didn’t manage 3 per season, won 3 straight. In a 52 weeks spam you have: Mc Enroe, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Laver all with 3 Slams in a row but missed the other.
2015 it’s right there so far with 2006 but as Ben said, he needs WTF. Paris would be for the record of Masters but WTF makes it the greater year of all time.

elina Says:

Mmmm, not in this case.

Roger made the finals at the 2006 by a retirement in the semis against Nalbandian.

Not a significant difference to Novak losing to Roger in the semis in 2011.

No, for me, the two best years in tennis are 2015 and 2011 in that order.

Daniel Says:


Subjective opinion. Results shows 2006 is still THE year. If Djoko doesn’t win WTF he would have misses 2 out of the most 5 to win whereas Roger won 4 of the top 5, missing only RG final. Plus, he wiuld have less wins and more losses compared to 92-5. The big difference was that in 2006 Fed played Halle, Basel and Tokyo which were not 500. He played Doha whoch would be the same 250 as of now. Let’s say Tokyo in 2006 equals to Beijing 2015 so Fed has more wins because he played Halle and Basel so that’s why I don’t think number of matches matter most. But the main events os the focus. If Djoko finishes with 81-6 or 82-6, losing Paris semis or final won’t change much as long as he wins WTF.

Daniel Says:

Finals is final, semis is semis. Huge difference regardless if they had 1 or 2 walkiver in the process. There was one Miami Djoko won, think was 2014 when noth Berdych and Kei withdraw from their semis that he had another walkover that year. He won Miami with 4 matches but is not less specialthan any other of his Miami titles. Again, subjective view. Resulta in the end is what matter not assessing “stronger comeptition” or beating Nadal 6 finals just because he never beated Nadal in finals prior to that. In fact when you have a loopsided strake like this kinda of diminishes the feat because for one to lose 6-7 straight matches at the level they play it clearly became a mental issue.

Daniel Says:

It’s your opinion that 2015 and 2011 are greater regardless of WTF result, but not a consensus.

Daniel Says:

Agree wih you in one thing though: 2015 is beter than 2011 by one match: RG final!

chris ford1 Says:

Since there is no season per year for tennis, I tend to think the rolling 365 day sum is important, not just for ATP points as it is now – but an assessment of accomplishment over time.
In terms of Slams, I see no additional difficulty winning 4 in a row starting at any of the Slams vs only in Australia. A non-calendar year Slam is just as huge (to me at least) as a calendar year Grand Slam that must start in Australia. And should anyone be lucky enough to win 5-7 in a row that is non-calendar because the Slam streak started at the French Open – that is a far bigger thing than a calendar year Slam.

Which leads to Djokovic. Look at what he has done from a non-calendar year perspective.

*He has gone a solid year making it to the Finals of every event he entered save a warmup 250 pt event in Doha.
*Since his streak actually started with his Paris Win he now holds the most points in the history of the Open era on the 365 day basis used to determine rankings.
*And since titles gained are not lost until the event repeats, Djokovic now owns the best 365 day title accumulation and overall performance in the Open Era. 3 Slam titles, The Championships. Owns 6 of the 9 Masters 1000 trophy titles now. 1 500 event. And the finals of the only two other Masters 1000s he entered, the French Open final, and Dubai 500.
I repeat – Djokovic has already had the best 365 days in pro tennis history.
I repeat – Djokovic has already had the best 365 days in pro tennis history.

Now he is fighting to translate what he has already accomplished into the same records for calendar year’s end.
And keep this awesome level going longer after 2015 closes, already setting up his 2016 schedule.

Ben Pronin Says:

If you start nitpicking wins by retirement we can sit around for the next few years determining exactly what makes what the best.

Federer winning smaller events in 2006 can’t be something that hurts his case. Federer in 06 and Djokovic in 11 won 8 of the big events.

But that’s almost irrelevant. By Djokovic’s own standards, his fall season in 2011 was absolutely horrible. He was great, virtually unbeatable, for 3/4s of the season. But then he wilted in the end. In 06, there was no wilting from Federer. He dominated from start to finish. That’s why it’s overall better. That’s why 2015 is already better than 2011, because Djokovic isn’t wilting this time. Winning 2 titles already surpasses the crap-show he put up in 2011. I think it’s too big of an asterisk to be the single best season, or second best.

Ben Pronin Says:

Except that there is a season per year in tennis. But yeah I agree that he’s had the best 365 days ever (still holding Paris and WTF).

Gee Says:

Fed was fresh as a daisy, not for a few days, but for 2004-2008. The poor health that novak suffered was the reason for fed’s major luck. Fed and his fans try so hard to deify roddick and lucky hewitt. Safin also didn’t love tennis and roddick got away with his verbal and violent streaks because he choked badly (not contended) in slams.

It so happens that roddick and fed had to face novak the Best Player (now and forever). It’s laughable that the media and fans claim that fed is forced to play and save tennis with his “old, damaged, worn body”. The clown didn’t even play davis cup until wawrinka became a warrior. He said he wished his opponents lost early in all events.
Fed clearly was not dominating tennis in october 2011-april 2012, but he said he did, then he lost his so-called #1 rank. What a coincidence, his nemesis novak and the unlucky injured raffa were not on court with him when he beat the mental midget del po.

chris ford1 Says:

One adder. People close to him have shared that Novak loves being the top ranked player and the champ, and has no intent of kicking back after 2015 ends.
Typical is Djokovic’s countryman, sometimes rival, and good friend Janko Tipsarevic who said of Nole after Wimbledon this year, paraphrasing:

“I’ve played tennis with him since we were kids. We have done many things together, off court. I know him well. He wants to be #1 a long, long time.”

Ben Pronin Says:

Ljubicic said the same thing a few years ago. I think Novak felt some pressure in 2012 but he was pissed as hell when he lost it in 2013. But like Federer, he just loves being the top guy. Definitely contrasts with Nadal who seems to relish the challenge of getting to the top rather than staying there.

django Says:

Good news cf1
I would be happy with a nole slam and masters set

elina Says:

There once was a consensus that the world was flat too!

Best year is by its very nature subjective.

It all comes out in the points and Novak has more than any player ever did (including inflation) and the year isn’t even over yet.

He currently has 14285 points (because of all of his high level tournaments won at the ATP and ITF level of a possible 16085 points. That’s 89% of the maximum he could have if he was undefeated.

In 2006, Fed won 87% of the maximum.

In 2006, runner-ups in slams and masters 1000 earned 70% of the points of the winner whereas today they only win 60% making Novak’s highest percentage of 89% that much more impressive because a loss is more expensive against your possible maximum.

2015 is the best year of all time in my opinion.

Rahul Karodia Says:

I believe 2011 was better given the players he toppled along the way. 2015 will be better if he gets WTF. 2011(difficult wins) and 2006(more wins) are almost equal for me. 2015 will be unrealistic if he remains unbeatable. If the season were to stop today(which won’t, so Novak will either win or lose), all three are equal. Assuming Novak doesn’t win any more titles, 2006 ~ 2011 > 2015. If he wins any one(preferably WTF), the equation will reverse immediately. If both, unrealistic as I said. :) On other hand, his 52-week record as of today stands alone.

Daniel Says:


The pont is the psychological effect on a “regular” season there is no vacation it has a start and a finish, from January to November, that is why it os more hard to do it.

Looking on rolling ranks there is no play for about 45 days with nobody breathing tennis or that urge that tournaments are taking place and somebody else can top tour raboing or any orher standard from competiton to compare. They are basically on No tennis mindset. Who ever regroups better to start the year strong the best for him. That is why we count time. Human beings are rotine beings.
You ahev this opinion because you look only one aspect of “holding 4 Slams at the same time” but as much as you don’t to accept it, there is a difference of winning the 4 Slams in same calender year than winning 4 straight. Ir shows that tour mental resolve was greater from start (January) to finish (November) with no breaks in between to think it out or “rest”. Ask Serena and the pressure she felt. Twice she was able to do the 4 Straighr major wins but couldn’t handle the pressure of 4 in the same season losing to a playee she should beat 19 out of 20 times. Mental burnout plays a factor, win 2, gave a 45 days-2 months vacation ans than win 2 more is way different than winning 4 with no breaks in between with the weight of tour. You can even “fix” a physical lingering in this spam and recharge no so in a regular season. My two cents

Ben Pronin Says:

You just proved why points are a useless metric, they keep changing the system.

I really don’t care how many points someone gets for winning a slam or being a runner up. What matters is the result.

There are 9 Masters, 4 slams, and the year-end championships. In 06, Federer won 8 of the 15 biggest titles. Djokovic did the same in 2011. Right now, Djokovic has 8 again. So you could say that he only needs to win Paris or WTF, rather than both. But it would be anticlimactic if he didn’t win WTF.

10 wins away.

jalep Says:

1:05pm says:

“In terms of Slams, I see no additional difficulty winning 4 in a row starting at any of the Slams vs only in Australia. A non-calendar year Slam is just as huge (to me at least) as a calendar year Grand Slam that must start in Australia. And should anyone be lucky enough to win 5-7 in a row that is non-calendar because the Slam streak started at the French Open – that is a far bigger thing than a calendar year Slam.”

Yes indeed, hard to argue with what you say on the subject. Maybe you could write to the ATP, contact media, etc. and make your case – write a strong opinion manifesto about assessing accomplishments in tennis and get it distributed a tout le Monde. It’s going nowhere but to the same sets of ears here over and over.

Berdych has it down to a science of how to do as little as possible and still qualify for WTF in the race ranking.

chris ford1 Says:

Ben – I just don’t see tennis as having a true season. Much as there is no boxing season or golf “season”.

When you look at sports with a continuous or near continuous activity through multiple years, same with business and “trophy” show biz like Oscars, Emmys, Grammys where no season truly exists, what is a “season” is not obvious as it is with pro skiing, NCAA basketball, etc. It is assigned arbitrarily, often to synch with business tax cycles. A year in club football “starts”in July or August and runs to May to free up players for international competition in June -July.

Tennis just runs – Davis Cup ends the year on the last week of November some years. Brisbane starts 1st week if January. Players will put part of December into business, like doing ads and appearances commitments for their endorsement sponsors.

Sometimes seasons and binning accomplishments in a Calendar Year is totally appropriate. Especially in team sports, where team members and team strategies change and where a one year time block starting Jan 1st makes complete sense. The time the sport is active, it’s season is a well-defined portion of each year. While some sports like hockey and winter X sports have a defined season that falls 1/3rd in one year, 2/3rds in the next.

The argument is a familiar one in golf and tennis, where the Tiger Slam and Martina & Serena Slams happened and purists insisting that they “aren’t as big a deal” as a calendar year Grand Slam because only winning 4 big events that HAVE to start at the Masters or the Australian Open have “the most prestige”.
Recalling those arguments, notably with Tiger Woods achievement, I think the majority consensus emerged that the sports are actually rolling 365s, and the difficulty level was the same as for starting Jan 1, and the “prestige” should be identical. And record books should not hold a Serena Grand Slam as inferior to a Steffi Grand Slam.

elina Says:

They are directly comparable with the differences considered. As I said, Novak has a higher percentage of points won in 2015 than Roger in 2006 as is. If finalists received 60% of winners points in 2006 as they do today (as opposed to 70%), then that discrepency would have been even greater. Roger would have 85% of the possible maximum in today’s points.

So, on the contrary, I proved that the points can be directly compared (which directly contradicts your point, rather than your claim of proving it).

Novak’s 2015 reigns supreme.

Ben Pronin Says:

Going by points is dumb. It’s all about the results.

CF1, I think you’re talking about 2 separate things, though. There is a season in tennis. It starts early January and runs until the YEC (and sorta Davis Cup). The season exists because of the race. Technically everyone starts at 0 and at the end of the year, the rankings reflect the player standings for the season. That’s how you get a year-end number 1 (and why it’s always distinguished from someone who simply reached number at any point).

But as far as winning slams, I agree that winning 4 in a row is winning 4 in a row. It’s maybe cooler to win all 4 in a year? There’s just a certain flair to it. And I do think that, mentally, it’s tougher, as Serena showed. But I don’t think it diminishes the accomplishment. If you’re holding 4 slams at once at any point, you can’t really complain that they were won in different years.

Ben Pronin Says:

Great article comparing the years:

Two incredible players doing incredible things.

chris ford1 Says:

Ben, points are just not a “useless metric”. They can be normalized over time and thus mirror how well a player did at all events in 1992 or 2014. And are more comprehensive than Slam Count or yearly “winning percent” or total trophy count which especially in the early days of the pros included the “invitationals” that might have a Connors plus one other seeded player in a field of 32 or even 16 entrants.
Points accurately reflect performance and not just wins, but 3rd rounds , QFs, etc that the whole tour goes by. Where rankings and thus tournaments, invites, endorsements, place in each draw, getting byes are based on fairness and the total picture, for the most part. It’s been around 42 years. No one has come up with a better metric to assess a players performance, reward improved play, and demote and remove players less able to perform than they once did.

elina Says:

Berdych? No, at least he’s made it to one slam semi and never lost before the 4th round with QF or better in 7 of 8 Masters events this year going 14-4 in slams and 20-8 in Masters.

No, doing as little as possible and making WTF goes to James Blake in 2006 making a slam QF with three 3rd round exits and going just 10-4 in slams and 13-8 in Masters events.

Blake in 2006 did much less than Berdych this year. So did Ljubicic in the same year. Even Robredo’s best slam result in ’06 was 4th round and that was good enough.

elina Says:

The average interweb poster definition of dumb is anything that contradicts their opinion due to the lack of a solid argument.

You win tournaments, go deeper in bigger tournaments and the points are just a direct reflection of that.

Same slam count, already with more Masters and a higher percentage of points possible is good enough for me even though I sincerely respect all opinions here (when they are respectful).

2015 is untouchable for now.

Ben Pronin Says:

Can they be normalized between 1992 and 2014? Weren’t players awarded bonus points in the 90s for beating higher ranked opponents? And what about tournaments that don’t count and whatnot? You can only count 18 events or something. But what if someone did really well at an event that didn’t count because it simply equaled his other results?

Points are a dumb way to compare seasons. That Djokovic has the points record is just a fun bit of trivia. But why do we need the points when we can just look at the results themselves? Tournaments won, runner-ups, QFs, etc? We have this information. We don’t need the points to sum up the results.

Ben Pronin Says:

Well Robredo did win a Masters event in 06. But I don’t know what your post is in response to.

“You win tournaments, go deeper in bigger tournaments and the points are just a direct reflection of that.”

Sure except that the points system keeps changing so it’s pointless to use points to determine which season was better when you can just compare the result itself.

chris ford1 Says:

Technically, Ben, its a rolling 365. Players do not all start, effectively, at zero points Jan 1 . And draws for that year do not start purely randomly until the yearly points accumulate to slowly adjust the randomness into a rankings system into something that gets more accurate as the year goes on. Titles won in a year are not dropped on a magical Jan 1 date – but held for 365 days time and dropped as the winner of next contest there at Rome or Cincinnati or Wimbledon wraps up a new title. Non-winners do not see their hard earned points from a USO QF drop Jan 1, either. That is under a rolling 365 as well.

Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah but you still have a year-end number 1 (and year end rankings for everyone). And since it’s a 365 roll, this statement:
“dropped as the winner of next contest there at Rome or Cincinnati or Wimbledon wraps up a new title”
Is not true. Since tournaments are moved around sometimes, you’ll see points dropped before the event or even after (this is rare, but it happens).

Either way tennis has a season per year.

elina Says:

Because it’s subjective. A match win in a smaller tournament is not the same as a match win in a slam or Masters.

It’s not pointless because they changed between the two years in question when those differences can be directly converted.

Points between the two years in question are not subjective, they are quantified fact, regardless of what you attempt to classify or downplay as dumb.

Ben Pronin Says:

“Because it’s subjective. A match win in a smaller tournament is not the same as a match win in a slam or Masters.”

And I’ve been focusing on their Masters/Slams wins.

I don’t even get what you’re arguing at this point. 2006 was better than 2011. That’s over and done with. 2015 is arguably already better than 2006, but if Novak wins his next 10 matches then it will be unquestionable. It will be the single greatest season without any caveats. Do you not want Novak to win? I’m been nervous checking scores every day the past 2 weeks because I want Novak to do it. Your arguments are so dumb.

jalep Says:

The ATP rolling 52 week rankings have points dropping off every Monday as a way of updating and determining seed positions for upcoming tournaments. That’s their stated underlying reason for how those rankings are used.

The Race Rankings reset to zero – except for Davis Cup Final points after WTF and a bunch of ITF tournaments.

In any given season top 10 (well, lets say except for the very top positions) can be quite different in January than in June or September or even November. Put the hype on stand-by is a thoughtful position for a poster to take.

Just try your luck and see how you do naming Atp top 50 correctly in January vs October – games for that are out there. It’s better use of insomnia time than counting sheep.

elina, that’s your opinion – okie dokie? To me Berdych is a stagnate member of the WTF every year — would appreciate new blood in the top 10, my opinion.

elina Says:

jalep, never said otherwise on opinion but those results (in my opinion) speak for themselves.

Ben, repeatedly calling something dumb is pretty dumb. See? Meaningless.

I did like Tignor’s article though. Especially the point I’ve made a few weeks ago when he says:

“The differences between the seasons are signs of the gradually changing—i.e., aging—times on the men’s tour. Djokovic’s peak, if it is his peak, has come in a year when he turned 28; Federer’s came in a year when he turned 25.”

This is why Novak has a good chance to catch Roger’s 17.

And when comparing competition says:

“While Rafa and Roger weren’t at their career peaks in 2015, Djokovic’s Top 10 competition leads in major titles 35 to 15.”

Cannot deny the numbers.

Boom, nailed it Tignor.

Ben Pronin Says:

So, Djokovic fans think Federer won in a weak era. Nadal fans think Djokovic is winning in a weak era. Haven’t heard the Federer fan base be too vocal about it but I don’t believe in the weak era nonsense anywhere. Yes, Nadal and Federer have more slams now, towards the ends of their careers, than they did in the beginning. That’s only logical. Like when Murray got thrashed by Djokovic at the AO in 2011 and everyone thought Murray was so bad for losing like that. But then Djokovic goes on to win everything else and in retrospect, the Murray loss wasn’t so horrible.

So taking the numbers out of context like that can create whatever narrative you want.

Djokovic having his peak year at 28 still doesn’t assure he’ll break Roger’s 17. Not only that, but why are you assuming he’ll even get to 14? It’s presumptuous.

elina Says:

Who said assure? And who said I assume he’ll get to 14?

That’s just strawman arguments again. No better than calling something dumb.

Repeat, I said a good chance. No assure. No assume.

Ben Pronin Says:

Define “good” in “good chance”. History is against him. The numbers don’t lie.

jalep Says:

Yep, I agree with Tignor as far as the possibility to catch and pass Roger; also Rafa, he’s progressing well right now, and still has time, too.

Don’t think anyone who follows ATP can help noticing the age thingy, elina – another subject that gets brought up nearly every day. It’s a matter of how far will it change. Rather wait and observe than predict. Tried predicting before but I have no inside track on what’s driving the change other than the usual talking points we hear in the media — it doesn’t add up — quite; just me being skeptical.

elina Says:

And where did I say Weak Era? Another straw man argument.

Even Tignor said it wasn’t weak and I agree.

However, it is natural for competition levels to fluctuate which is the point he was making. For competition to remain a static constant would be abnormal.

elina Says:

History shows that the average age in tennis continues to climb and Novak is the poster boy for why that has been happen and why it continues to happen.

Predictions are nothing but a bit of fun jalep. To each their own. I won’t rain on your parade, okie dokie?

Ben Pronin Says:

Dude, you clearly imply things all the time, even if you don’t outright say them. You’re not smart by claiming everything a strawman argument, especially when 90% of those claims are off. Stop hedging your arguments and stand behind something or piss off.

skeezer Says:

Apparently there is a plethora of straw men on this site. Where are the straw women?

skeezer Says:

3:22 post. Boom. Nailed it(mic drops).

elina Says:

No not everything is a strawman. Another strawman argument.

Just most of yours have been.

Maybe sheezer can give you a topspin lesson. That might help apparently. Oh, and less reading.

mat4 Says:

“Djokovic fans think Federer won in a weak era…”

Count me out, Ben. Then, btw, who are those Djokovic’s fans? Elina is a Rafan.

J-Kath Says:

Appreciate this is a tennis thread – just heard that the Referee from the Scotland v Australia match fled the field right after the end of the match. Has been proved that the penalty given against the Scots should have been given against the Aussies.

Let’s see if there is an honourable end to this. I would like to think had it been the reverse, the Scots would have withdrawn – if not I would have changed my nationality.

Appreciate that some unfairness exists in tennis – but to this extent?

Ben Pronin Says:

Is she?

Well CF1, for example.

elina Says:

I’m as much a Nadal fan as mat4 was ever a fedfan.

Ben Pronin Says:

Well you assumed mat4 was a Federer fan so I guess you’re a former-ish diehard Nadal fan?

mat4 Says:

I don’t agree with CF1 about that theory, although it is very difficult to assess — and Tignor just wrote something similar in his latest article.

I wrote about my reasons, so I won’t repeat them.

But, anyway, I wouldn’t mind if Novak continued to win slams against a weak field, although I doubt it will go that way.

elina Says:

No. He respects Roger but not his favorite.

Same for me re Nadal.

However I don’t hate any player.

Life’s too short too hate anyone less a tennis player of all people.

skeezer Says:

“Maybe sheezer can give you a topspin lesson.”
Ben doesn’t need a topspin lesson. He actually knows how to hit one…….elini.
Play more, read less.

peter Says:


Calendar year slam is 4 times harder than 4 slams in a row, because there are more opportunities to start 4 slams in a row than starting just at AO.

So calendar year slam is always more prestigious.

Wog Boy Says:

If it is four times easier to win noncalendar slam one has to wonder how come nobody did it in open era, not even Roger with his all court game (we all know that Sampras was hopeless on clay)?

Daniel Says:

Nobody also didn’t win 4 in a row in Open Era, just to show how dificult that is. But seema
S if we are ever gonna see it happen, we first will see 4 in a row, than 4 in a calendar year. Maybe Djoko can do both next year, but he sure will achieve non calender first😜

peter Says:

@wog boy

Laver is a lot greater than roger. Its not even close.

Laver dominated all his major rivals, and been 7 years no.1. He’s won 19 singles majors and 11 doubles majors.

The fact that nobody has even got 4 in a row in 60years shows how great his record is.

Wog Boy Says:


Laver is my honorary GOAT, no argument their, what I am saying it is extremely hard to do it either way, so far impossible in the open era, Roger had Rafa to stop him, Rafa had Ferrer (and injury) to stop him, though he would have still to go through SF and F to win it, and Nole had Roger and Stan to stop him. If Nole manages to squeeze that one, which I doubt it would equally worth as calendar one since nobody in open era managed to win either.

peter Says:


It won’t be the same, but it would be the greatest record for 50+years. Achieving 4 in a row will get him into top 3 greatest instantly. 5 in a row will make him arguably the greatest.

skeezer Says:

There is an argument for Laver on GOAT no doubt. Truly though an distant era long gone by. The great Laver was asked who he thought is the greatest player ever…….
“Roger Federer.”

jalep Says:

Congrats to 17 yr. old Taylor Fritz for jumping 462 places in ranking – he turned down remaining in school and is 100% committed to his tennis career, ripping it up in the Challengers since US Open.

jalep Says:

Congrats to 17 yr. old Taylor Fritz for jumping 462 places in ranking – he turned down remaining in school and is 100% committed to his tennis career, ripping it up in the Challengers since US Open.

Wog Boy Says:

Just for the record, Nole’s most important tournamen next year will be Olympic games, that is what he said in an interview just before he left for Beijing.

peter Says:


Indeed, in lavers ranking list federer is the top. AlthouGH he didn’t actually rank himself.

He must feel good knowing even the greatest player has not come close to beating his calendar slam record.

Statistics wise Laver is greatest, but obviously there are other, more subjective measures.

Okiegal Says:

@elina……Did you give me a new last name by chance….as in dokie? LOL

elina Says:

Okie if so all credit to Jalep who coined it first. :))

Wog Boy Says:


I have to correct you slightly, rugby officials confirmed that penalty given to Australia was wrong, correct decision was to give Australia scrum and not penalty for Scotland as you suggested, though in either case Scotland would have most likely won, since Aussies wouldn’t have time to do much out of scrum.

Your other question is interesting since I don’t remember in any sport I am/was watching ever, that result of game was changed after the match due to referees mistake during the match or that any team or individual withdrew or handed victory to the team or individual who lost the match due to referees mistake, so I don’t see it happening in the future either.
I’ll tell you last example from Basketball World Cup in Turkey few years ago, SF between Turkey and Serbia, last second and last attempt by Turkey to change the score, Turkish player was nicely blocked by Serbian player, he stepped on the line with one foot to get to the positin to shoot and he scored, Turkey won, it was so obvious even without slow motion that one was his feet was fully on the line, referee was right in front of him looking at him, but neither referees nor match delegates wanted to change decision, I believe it had to do something with World Cup being played in Turkey;)

Wog Boy Says:

This is important part from the offical verdict about referee and his mistake and link too, according to protocol referee couldn’t send the case to video referee and had to rely on what he saw in a real time, thus he made mistake, (he can’t see it in slow motion and all the angles that we can see it on TV, he has to make his decision on the pitch in a split second)

J-Kath Says:

Yes WogBoy – I did hear that the Ref. couldn’t send it “upstairs” – but that need not have been accepted as “I’ll just have to rule on it myself” – there are other officials and other ways to handle it.

Frankly, if the Ref. made a genuine mistake, it stands to reason that he would/should have acted accordingly – he could have stopped the clock – because that was one of the problems – had there been 10-15 minutes left – it would have been less irresponsible — the result was he gave the match to the Aussies and got his guilty face off the field in wizard time.

Not your fault WogBoy — I do acknowledge that mistakes are made during matches and the Ref. is human – but this one stared everyone in the face, including the Ref. and the Aussie Captain – that, plus its timing makes it specially “horrible”.

Personally, I don’t think this is quite over yet – let’s wait and see –

mat4 Says:


The same thing happened in that famous 6th match between the Lakers and Sacramento Kings. It was later discovered that the umpires were ordered to help the Lakers win, but nonetheless, nobody gave that title to the Kings, who deserved it clearly.

Ben Pronin Says:

^It wasn’t discovered, that’s just a widespread theory.

Refs suck. They don’t even know what a catch is.

Wog Boy Says:

Nice article by Steve Flink about Nole, Rafa and Roger:

“As for Novak Djokovic, as astonishing as it seems, he is exploring a new layer and level of his talent. There is growing evidence that he can get even better, make minor modifications that could make a significant difference, and keep dominating tennis for a good long while.”

“The feeling grows that he will not be descending from the top of the tennis mountain any time soon.”

Here is the link for those who wants to read it:

skeezer Says:

Nole fans should have a good laugh with this one:

Don’t think Nole’s points will be usurped anytime soon lol….

elina Says:

Author just might have a highly (self-)regarded topspin and probably doesn’t read too much.

skeezer Says:

^feelings hurt much?
Play more, read less.

elina Says:

^^ God it’s KILLING me.


mat4 Says:

“Recently, Nick Kyrgios said of the legendary Roger Federer: “He’s the one role model I have…”


skeezer Says:

mat4, yeah I “read” that(eyes rolling back in head).

elina Says:

I’m not surprised given how both get along with Stan these days.

J-Kath Says:

Skeezer @ 9.53

The article is a classic example of using the odd fact and sprinkling moon-dust on it – a better approach could have been – Part 1:”It will take a trio-partnership to collectively defeat Nole”
Part 2: “Even then he’ll divide and conquer…”

skeezer Says:

it’s pretty awesome that your nearest competitor is 8000 points away from you….lol. Oh and Rafole? 12,000? Lol….Enjoy the ride.

Ben Pronin Says:

Honestly, I think we need to see Djokovic lose maybe 3k-4k points and see where those points are dispersed before we can say who’ll be the next number 1. If you judge it based on this year, I think Murray has been a little better against the field than Federer whereas Federer has been better against Djokovic. Being better against the field is more important with regards to your ranking but if they’re both playing Novak 5 or so times a year and Federer can win 1 or 2 matches more than Murray, that could make a big difference.

But we don’t really know where any of their games are gonna go next year, they’ll all be older. Federer could end up playing like 12 tournaments at most to preserve himself which almost automatically takes him out of contention. I think Murray is the most likely usurper (and I really thought he’d be competing for it this year). But Nadal could have a say in all of this, too. Plus some of the younger guys might start stealing some titles and that’ll throw everything out of whack.

chris ford1 Says:

Peter – “Calendar year slam is 4 times harder than 4 slams in a row, because there are more opportunities to start 4 slams in a row than starting just at AO.
So calendar year slam is always more prestigious.”

Sometimes pure happenstance of timing is mixed up with difficulty and level of achievement. It is a variant of logical fallacy.

Such as – “It is far harder to win the British Open in the 4th round on the day of a lunar eclipse than with no eclipse. Therefore a British Open – Lunar Eclipse combo is far more prestigious.”

“Francois Gabart shattered the record for uninterrupted global circumnavigation by one man in a monohull. The 29-year-old pulled off the feat on his way to the victory last month in the 2012/13 Vendee Globe yacht race, managing to lap the globe in just 78 days, 2 hours and 16 minutes.”

But somehow, if the race had only occurred in 2012 or 2013 purely – the difficulty changes? Therefore a calendar year circumnavigation in the same record time would far more prestigious?

Sometimes, like with tennis’s Grand Slam you have to go with the feat and not throw out qualifying asterisks like Laver played on only 2 surfaces vs. the 4 different ones that stopped Pete, Roger, Nole, and Rafa.
Or – the two Serena Slams happened in a less competitive time as well as being non-calendar ones. So slap asterisks on her.
Or, (Player X) won 6 Slams in a row starting with the French Open in Year Y and finishing in Year Z at Wimbledon. Alas, it was not a true, prestigious year Grand Slam, but a less prestigious feat, since all 4 in a year didn’t happen in either year of the 6 Slam streak….

SG1 Says:

Serena has won 4 consecutive majors twice, but when ultimately confronted with winning the Calendar Grand Slam, she choked. It’s clearly more difficult to win 4 majors in the same year. You can apply all the logic you’d like to it but the emotions and pressures a player feels going for that 4th major can’t be quantified and it’s these emotions and pressures that ultimately derailed Serena.

And a true Grand Slam, by definition, involves winning all 4 majors in the same year. You can’t just change the rules because you feel like it…(unless you’re reach enough of course :)

SG1 Says:

rich enough…not reach enough. oops.

elina Says:

… assuming all else the same
… aaand from a sample size of just two.

Just. No.

elina Says:

If Novak wins Australia and French Open next year, it will be just as impressive as a calendar Grand Slam.

Ben Pronin Says:

I agree with SG1. Winning 4 in a row is impressive no matter what but there’s definitely added pressure in doing it in 1 year. Serena proved this.

skeezer Says:

^Just. No.

skeezer Says:

^to 1:06.

skeezer Says:

Agree 4 in a row is monumental impressive, but it is NOT the Calendar Slam. The whole idea is it is 4 different Slams in 1 year.

kriket Says:

I’ll aay that the main difference between today and 2006 is that masters were best of 5 events, which is by definition much harder to win than best of 3.

I am a Novak fan (have to be as a countryman:), and I have great respect for Roger and Rafa and all the great players, because what makes a player great is the quality of opponents he faces and beats.

Winning in best of 5 is harder than winning best of 3.

jalep Says:

Actually, hadn’t given the 4GS versus Calendar Slam much thought until a couple people have started preaching it regularly.

One thing that comes to mind, other than the pressure, as we saw Serena fold under, is the timing.

AO — gap of 4 months — FO –gap of only weeks — Wimbles –gap of 2 monthes. This schedule does strike me as more physically difficult by a good margin than:

Securing 4 GS in a row by winning Wimbledon, US Open, AO, then FO. Probably the least difficult of any combination of 4 in a row.

At any rate, it’s a huge accomplishment. The Calender slam, just mo’ betta, imo.

Will be very happy if Novak wins the next AO and FO! He’ll have 4 in a row AND the Career Slam. Add a medal in the Olympics and whoopeee

(counting chickens before they hatch) perfectly satisfied right now with his 2015, though.

jalep Says:

Thinking about it further, I’m sure at this point team Nole has thought about it, if I have. It would be good if he took it a little easier in between AO and FO – more months gives more tournaments in which to wear yourself out.

Also, Novak cleaning up on the Asian Swing and Paris/WTF might not be a problem winning AO in 2016, as it could be in years to come. Speculating…

chris ford1 Says:

SG1 – “And a true Grand Slam, by definition, involves winning all 4 majors in the same year. You can’t just change the rules because you feel like it…(unless you’re reach enough of course :)”

Where is this rule written down? Was it something the sanctioning bodies and affected ATP and WTA players agreed to? Or is it just convention, based on some past unofficial belief by writers and some Aussie players thinking when tennis was not a year round activity, but done on an amateur and early pro era basis in discrete blocks well bounded by an annual calendar? And somehow counted the AO, back when if was not a bona fide Slam and mainly was won by Aussie locals?

There is no rule extant, as the Tiger Slam debate in golf also demonstrated.

Ben – “Winning 4 in a row is impressive no matter what but there’s definitely added pressure in doing it in 1 year. Serena proved this.”

That is just making Serena the exemplar of all of tennis, which is a bad mistake no matter where you try casting Serena as embodying the reactions of all players. Williams has had odd meltdowns on court before in a range of situations.
Roger, turned back twice by Nadal at the French Open from getting a Grand Slam, played like he was unaffected by pressure, and stated such. Nadal was just better than Roger on clay.

If pressure matters most, as some theories say, the arc of Djokovic’s career implies that the maximum pressure he will have is in showing up and finally winning the Big One he has never won, to get both a Career Slam and a Grand Slam. If he wins Australia, Roland Garros is the 4th.

The Tiger Slam was believed to be the maximum difficulty for Woods. The 2000 PGA Championship finished in mid-August. The 2001 Masters, his 4th, required 7 1/2 months of waiting. A long, long time to think about doing what hadn’t been done before.

courbon Says:

Stop Jalep, stop, stop….you are doing a jinx!

elina Says:

For years, the Australian Open sometimes was held in December rather than January. So what if the 1969 Australian Open had been held in December of 1968? Would Rod Laver’s Grand Slams be less impressive had that been the case?

It’s not the last digits in the year of a Slam that matter, it’s the accomplishment. And whether it was from January to September or June to January, the accomplishment is the same. Winning four consecutive Grand Slam events is a tremendous, incredibly rare and a meaningful achievement, no matter the year attached.

It isn’t the dates that are important; it’s what happens within those dates (in this case holding all four slams at once).

I hope Novak pulls it off.

In his case there would be more pressure on him to win the Novak Slam because he’d be going for his stated goal since 2011 of winning the French at the same time.

Goat worthy.

Giles Says:

IF I rule the world !!!!

jalep Says:

Get your heads together elina and Chris…Publish the Manifesto — change the way tennis is perceived around the World. If you start now, you could get somewhere before your time is up.

Meanwhile, I’ll be writing my visions for height categorized Tennis with adjustable nets :D

jalep Says:

Courbon, I know. Almost posted a really long one about the details of how Novak can get to 20 GS, including Calendar Slam opportunities and smashing all known I’ll shut-up.

FedExpress Says:

best season till date in the modern era is feds in 2006. end of discussion.

Ben Pronin Says:

Roger did play like he was unaffected by it. And I’d say Novak did, too, considering how awful he actually played during the 2012 French and still stumbled into the final.

But that was just to win 4 in a row. We don’t know how much pressure they’d feel going for the 4th at the US Open. Serena is the only player who’s come close since Graf, right? So that’s why I use her as the example.

J-Kath Says:


As far back as 2006 does end the discussion.

jalep Says:

By the time someone wins AO, FO, Wimbledon, and is going for US Open – there’s no where to hide as far as the hype fall-out.

Think about the pressure had Novak won FO this year. Would he have lost Wibledon? It’s tough to know. Seems it would be easier to steal 4 in a row…carefully, sneakily planned.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

The conversation has gotten a bit away from the topic, but I’ll just steer it back to throw my two cents in.


This is his best year. Stats wise, there is very little to differentiate the two. And it is true, in 2011, Novak was defeating a much tougher rival in Rafa than any he faced this year.

However, I’m gonna go subjective: Novak’s serve is much better. His net game is SO much better. And he seems more clever tactically, able to adjust his game based on his opponent, e.g. being more aggressive against Federer.

Is there anything he does WORSE than 2011? Novak is an absolutely superb all-round player now. Well, excepting the overhead.

As for Scotland: robbed. Robbed! I missed the last minute controversy- I had to go pick up my kids- but that knock on yellow card was absolutely awful, and that one DID go to TV review and they STILL screwed it up. Anyways, its all just about who gets to be destroyed by the ABs.

elina Says:

Jalep perish the thought of new ideas and thinking outside the norm.

Where would we be if we did that?

Ben Pronin Says:

Fedexpress, 10 matches away.

jalep Says:

I don’t know, elina. Still harping on Tennis-X or actually taking your new ideas outside this intertube blog?

Ben Pronin Says:

What new ideas? Believing that holding all 4 slams between 2 years is equal to holding all 4 in 1 year is not some kind of innovative idea. It’s just an opinion.

FedExpress Says:

even feds 2007 season is still better than noles 2011 and 2015 season (so far) cause he won the WTF in addition (masters cup back then)

jalep Says:

Well, didn’t know which new ideas and thinking outside the norm, she was talking about. Nothing against independent thought and questioning status quo. She was inferring that I was closed-minded.

Would think you know that I’m not closed minded, elina. I like to test both sides on about anything to see if it flies.

Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah but Fed only won 2 Masters coupled with some pretty bad early exits (including losing to Canas twice on hard) in 2007, so winning the Masters Cup doesn’t outweigh what Novak did in 2011 or 2015. But like I said, 10 wins away.

jalep Says:

5 wins in Paris and 5 wins at WTF, right?

chris ford1 Says:

Elina, that is an excellent point. Laver was before my time and I hadn’t realized that sometimes the then “Australian National Championships” but touted by many as the de facto 4th Slam, was sometimes played in January , sometimes at the end of the previous year. If Laver had played it in Dec 1968, would it have been any less difficult than playing it in Jan 1969. you ask…and I agree, no real difference.


Jalep – If you get anywhere with your net adjustment for height Crusade, say you bump into Federer and spout it out in an autograph session and he stops dead in his tracks – and says “What a fine idea! We need to finally address that at the ATP Council.” Then I’m on board with you!

It really is a good idea! Otherwise, we may be seeing nations trying to get a 7’4″ guy out there as an unstoppable serving machine…but a boring tall player with no game aside from the service game.

As for the 4 Slams in a row is a Grand Slam, starting at any Slam and not simply coincidentally at the AO debate – A few may find it an interesting hypothetical to discuss, but not a discussion the bulk of media and fans will get into as well – until it becomes an actual accomplishment on the men’s side. Then the fun begins!

jalep Says:

Don’t think I’d go that route, Chris. Have seen the crowds and security around Federer firsthand.

Did ask Jurgen Melzer to sign my RF cap as Roger Federer, once. Made him laugh. He needed a laugh after getting beat by Gasquet – 2011, Indian Wells.

But just wait until that 7’4″ player from China comes along…what was the basketball player’s name? Already have my eye on one coming up their ranks who is a teenager and 6’4″. Could still grow. Of course Reilly Opalka is scary at 6’11” and still growing. Gotta get my height categorized scheme ready.

elina Says:

Thanks cf1.

Regardless, if Novak gets the Nole slam in June, it will be the biggest achievement in men’s tennis in the last 35 years.

12 months is 12 months.

Wog Boy Says:


I would like to see him on the court, can he run?

mat4 Says:

From an interview of JWT:

Au retour, vous n’avez pas réussi à prendre beaucoup de points. On le juge un peu mal, le service de Novak Djokovic, on le sous estime un peu ? Car il est tout de même très efficace.

Eh bien, déjà, il est très grand. Certes, il est longiligne, mais il est quand même grand, donc le service tombe d’assez haut et il va vite. Il est tout en timing, un peu comme Roger Federer. Ils ont des services qui vont vite, et ils savent servir partout. Ils touchent pas mal de zones, et en plus, ils ont un bon pourcentage. Ce sont des joueurs qu’il n’est pas facile de retourner.

Vous qui l’avez affronté 20 fois, où pensez-vous qu’il ait le plus progressé, de façon incroyable, au cours de ces années, parce qu’il est quasiment intouchable ?

Je pense qu’il a progressé en coup droit, vraiment. Il est capable de changer de rythme, ce qu’il faisait un peu moins bien avant. Il est aussi très sûr au niveau de sa volée. Ca ne le dérange pas d’enchaîner vers l’avant et de venir conclure les points au filet, alors qu’avant, il était un peu plus hésitant avant de monter.

mat4 Says:

Come on, boys, the gtranslation was awful, so I posted in French.

jalep Says:

Center in Basketball I think, Wog Boy? Never seen him run.

You think if they can grow them that tall, there’s a way to turn them out as reasonably good runners, maybe?

peter Says:

@elina and cf

What you are saying is 4 slams in arow is same as calendar slam. Think about this, is no.1 in august as prestigious as year end no.1? NO. There are a lot more people who achieved no.1 than year end no.1. This fact itself has made year end no.1 much more prestigious. The same applies to the calendar slam.

Humans categorise things by year. So you don’t have lists of peopLe at no.1 every day or month, but you have it by year. If a player won 4 slams in a row across 2 years, it doesnt even mean he dominated either year, coz he might even be no.1 in both years.

Dascochoke Says:

Lol, everyone is talking about Djokers great year. Im still stuck on the fact: Fed might be on 19 now! hahha this thought will maybe be permanent.

skeezer Says:

From Slam wiki;

“The term Grand Slam also, and originally, refers to the achievement of winning all four major championships in a single calendar year”.

Posters are acting like this just got invented. It didn’t. It’s been traditionally know as that for decades.

Nole has achieved 3 Slams out of 4 in a calendar year twice. Fabulous.
Fed has achieved 3 Slams out of 4 in a calendar year 3 times. Majestic.

Grand Slam tidbit: Only Junior to complete a Grand Slam in Boys Singles?

jalep Says:

What are you talking about, may I ask, mat4? @ 7:21 pm

Was looking for something in French.


mat4 Says:


A part of JWT interview when he was talking about Novak’s game is under moderation.

jalep Says:

I ‘read’ the link written by Thoreau, you posted on another thread, mat4. Was good, I thought. So not being certain of some of what I was reading, read the comment section, (Federer fans) lol…

Will give the Tsonga interview a try, thanks.

jalep Says:

Jo…Really hope he does well in Vienna and Paris, still, he’d need to pick up 1000 points to catch Ferrer. But no matter, he has such a great attitude. He’s going to try — if nothing else doing well the next 2 tournaments gets him better seeding for AO.

Too bad he was so tired in Shanghai – he believes he could have made it a better match – wasn’t a good serving day for him. Tough to play Novak!

He’s optimistic and has his priorities on GS, Davis Cup, Masters, and maybe 500.

Also caught the part about Novak’s forehand being improved. Did he say that Novak’s serve is becoming similar to Federer’s?

mat4 Says:

Yes, versatile, precise, and big %.

Remarks about the FH were interesting — “I think he has improved his forehand, really. And he is able to change pace, something he did less well before. He also has full confidence in his volleying. He doesn’t hesitate to go forward and finish the points at the net, something before he was a little more hesitant to do.”


“When I didn’t serve fast enough, or when I don’t have a good percentage of first serves, the ball comes back all the time deep. He plays extremely flat and extremely depp. It’s difficult to outflank him.”

Tennisfan Says:

He really has a good shot at the non-calendar GS because the AO is his best major and with Rafa still playing questionably (and Stan being inconsistent) he’s a huge favorite for RG.

Okiegal Says:

@elina….oops it was jalep who coined it first…My bad!!

FedExpress Says:

dont take anything for granted boys

noles decline could well begin next year. anything can happen.

one thing i am sure: feds chances for GS glory are gone. to lose 3 GS final in a row vs nole (and the way he did in the last final) has menatally weakened him. i have no expectation now.

Ben Pronin Says:

Fedexpress, are you the one who used to say Novak’s the worst number 1 in the last 10 years?

elina Says:

On the contrary you guys, Novak is quite likely the best No. 1 in the last 10 years given the quality of the field when he finished No. 1 in 2011, ’12 and ’14 especially and finishing by a record margin this year.

He has a good chance of catching Roger’s six year end No. 1 finishes.

However, it will be some time before anyone matches Sampras’ consecutive streak of six.

Ben Pronin Says:

Federer only has 5 year end finishes.

elina Says:

Novak will likely tie him next year.

Ben Pronin Says:

Always so presumptuous.

elina Says:

Likely. Please read more carefully to avoid straw man arguments.

elina Says:

Similarly, oddsmakers have Novak the likely favourite to win the Australian Open.

Nothing presumptuous about that.

Ben Pronin Says:

It’s still presumptuous and you don’t know what a straw man argument is.

elina Says:

No. It’s not.

When it comes to straw man arguments, you’re the expert admittedly.

Giles Says:

For goodness sake elina, the bookmakers have joker as favourite for every single tournament, even the French Open, so tell us something we don’t know!

Giles Says:

PS. Maybe I don’t read your posts too closely but I still don’t know who your fave is. Do tell.

skeezer Says:

Elina your “straw man” act is getting old. No one here invented that defense except Elini. When one can’t win an argument they start repeating the same ole line. It’s SOP.
Try a different shtick but don’t lose “Hey you guys!” ( Goonies )

elina Says:

Skeezer whilst I may disagree with you, at least you didn’t use a straw man argument.


chris ford1 Says:

FedExpress – “one thing i am sure: feds chances for GS glory are gone. to lose 3 GS final in a row vs nole (and the way he did in the last final) has menatally weakened him. i have no expectation now.”

The fact that Fed is making Slam Finals and still beating Nole on some very fast courts in the Masters 1000 and ATP 500 series at 33 and 34 years old is amazing.
Novak does indeed seem to have Fed under control at the two Slam events Roger has a shot at, but who knows, Djokovic loses to someone playing lights out tennis in the USO or Wimbledon semis – it all changes. Fed makes another Slam final, an achievement itself of the highest order at Roger’s age. And if Nadal is still not what he once was and is also gone before the final – who knows??
Unlikely, IMO, that Fed gets another trophy, but possible.
More Masters 1000s/ATP 500 wins are likely, IMO. Fed walking away from the O2 Arena or the Olympics with a trophy is unlikely. Getting #1 back from Nole is going to be close to impossible for Roger.

Still, Federer is having a run in his Senior Statesman days that adds even more to his reputation. He may not be “Winning the ONLY 4 Trophies That Matter!!”, as some casual Slamcount fans see it – but the guy is still dangerous, formidable, a true Top 5 player and I see no reason for him to stop next year. Not if he can play well for another few years and still enjoys it.

SG1 Says:


There are 3 different ways you can win 4 slams in a row. There’s only one way to win the Grand Slam. Winning a Grand Slam isn’t just about having 4 consecutive majors. There is the added condition of time.

Ben Pronin Says:

The things CF1 says @12:55 is exactly why I think Federer can still win another slam.

Yes Federer is more susceptible to upsets from random players, with this year’s Australian Open being evident of that. He can also get blasted off the court against a hot player, but so can everyone else, including Djokovic, as seen at the French. But then he can still navigate through a draw and beat quality players (Murray, Wawrinka) to get to a slam final, and apparently he can do so twice in a year.

I think he would really have to turn back the clock to beat Djokovic in a slam. Like build a time machine and get himself from 2006 to play in his place kind of deal. But what if he’s not facing Djokovic (or Nadal, for that matter)? What if he gets a Murray or Wawrinka or someone else in the final? Suddenly his chances get pretty good. So yeah, he’d have to get really lucky with the draw AND play extremely well for 7 rounds. But I think it’s possible.

To sum up, I just wouldn’t count Federer out until he actually retires.

chris ford1 Says:

SG1 –
But it is called a non-calendar year Grand Slam. Emphasis on the last two words. And you continue to apply happenstance of timing into a performance difficulty factor affecting the actual achievement should a male player ever be fortunate enough to win 4 in a row on 4 very different surfaces.
And Elina made an excellent point earlier on the thread. In the days of way back when when Laver became the only pro to win 4 Slams in a row, the Australian National Championships were played in December or January. So would Laver’s feat be any less impressive if he did it starting his 4 in a row in Dec 68 vs Jan 69???

Gypsy Gal Says:

Its pretty simple really,if he wins AO and FO next year he will have a none calendar GS,if he wins all 4 next year he will have a calendar GS,if he all 4 GS next year he will have won 6 GS in a row,and 7 if he wins the AO in 2017,8 if he wins the FO,and so on and so on,pretty simple maths really and pretty plausible but only relevant IF it happens,that famous old word IFFFFFF….

Gypsy Gal Says:

IMO But the most impressive and most difficult thing to do would be to win all 4 in a year,4 in a row is amazing blahdy blah,but winning 4 in the same year is much harder as theres no extended breaks….

Anyway it wont go down too well,but im pulling for a new champion at the AO, and some other players having a share at winning some trophies,i think Andys been unlucky at that GS losing 4 finals there, so go Andy….

Ben Pronin Says:

“but winning 4 in the same year is much harder as theres no extended breaks”

Well, that’s not entirely true. The break between the Australian and the French is comparable to the the one between the US and the Australian. You have 4 Masters between the first 2 whereas you have 2 Masters and WTF between the other 2.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Not quite my point,tennis season closes, for a period after November and the WTFs,enough time for a break before practice starts again,anyway lets see hes won two in a row so far,and thats it so far….

Ben Pronin Says:

Novak’s halfway there and he’s been closer before. You’re on a Novak thread complaining about speculation? Is someone in a better position to win all 4 besides him?

Gypsy Gal Says:

Im not complaining,i was just giving my point of view,and YES hes in the perfect position to complete the career GS and the calendar GS,all i said was its simple maths is all….

Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t know about perfect…

J-Kath Says:

Ben – You can’t avoid being on a Novak thread – he’s so far beyond everyone else that it is impossible not to seriously take Nole into account – used to be the same with Federer – just is Nole is more poular and more recent.

What other threads are there – some – yes – it is as it is – Nole is the biggest news and although I’m an Andy fan – Nole deserves his time in the sun…

J-Kath Says:

Ben – Please give your views on my suggestion on the Taylor Firth thread….PS: I’m thick-skinned unless I’m unnecessarily insulted.

Gypsy Gal Says:

J-Kath right,it stands to reason that when a player any player is having so much success,then its inevitable that they will dominate the conversations on these types of forums,its also inevitable that some fans of other players wont enjoy it so much either,its Novaks time,hes on top of the world,his fans are busting their buttons,doesnt mean we all cant have a difference of opinion about some certain things….

Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t know, I don’t make the rules around here.

That thread seems to have really gone off the tennis track. I don’t mind or care, I don’t know what you guys are talking about over there so I don’t comment.

This thread has been about Novak and the calendar slam and whatnot. It’s largely been about speculating if Novak can do it and how “impressive” it’ll be. So saying it’s only relevant if it happens or whatever, well no kidding, but that’s what the discussion has been about. If it happens. Some people around here really hate predictions. So we can’t talk about them?

I’m not hijacking the other thread demanding you guys discuss Djokovic.

SG1 Says:

SG1 –
But it is called a non-calendar year Grand Slam.


“Non-Calendar Year” slam. LOL! This is a media-created phenomenon. Give me a break! “Serena Slam”, “Tiger Slam”, “Wham Bam Thank You Slam”…whatever.

So if a player wins one major, we won’t call this player a major winner. We’ll call this player a “1/4 Grand Slammer”. Is this really believable? Are we really going to demean the Lavers, Budges & Graf’s of this world by saying that 4 majors won over two seasons is as good (or better) than winning them all in the same season?

SG1 Says:

Look…it’s damned hard to win 4 majors in a row. No one’s belittling Serena or Novak or anyone for this accomplishment. It’s just not a true Grand Slam.

skeezer Says:

^Preach it. 👍

RF Says:

You can win a quarter grand slam or 3/8 of a grand slam or 7.2323232323 / 8 of a grand slam, but the GOAT prophecy was fulfilled when Fed conquered and eviscerated everyone from 2003-2007. The grand slam is immaterial. Fed’s dominance is unparalleled. Nobody could touch him; it was an era of utter dominance. That’s what differentiates the greats from the greatest.

All hail Roger Federer.

chris ford1 Says:

Magazine article on his son’s 1st birthday celebration and also his 10-years together with his now-wife. With Look Magazine, that pays for their pics, but the Djokovic’s donate all the proceeds to his Foundation.

Pictures and video and story are cute. Definitely taking to family life.

chris ford1 Says:

Hello Magazine. Wish there was an edit feature at Tennis-X.

elina Says:

No one said it was a grand slam. Straw man.

But it’s just as impressive.

jane Says:

mat4 thanks for sharing that link. i haven’t had a chance to read anything lately. will have a look later on. cheers!

Gypsy Gal Says:

Happy Birthday to little baby Stefan Djokovic ;)….

elina Says:

Great article from the best writer in tennis. He must have a very fine topspin (presumptuous as that may be).

“From the start, Djokovic has had a game that, to the untrained eye, can look more clinical than creative, more steady than stylish. His backhand is a compact, utilitarian two-hander, rather than a long and flowing one-hander. He doesn’t hit his serve or forehand with jaw-dropping pace, and he doesn’t win by blowing the ball past his opponent. His game doesn’t come with the flourishes of Roger Federer or the physicality of Rafael Nadal. His most devastating shot, his return of serve, is over so quickly that it can be hard to appreciate, or even see.”

danica Says:

not having Nole in that category says more about that funny award and those who nominate players, than about Novak.

peter Says:

Contrary to the “you cant win more than 2 slams after 28 according to history” theory:

Players who have won 3 slams in a year who went on to win at least 5 more slams (and still counting):

Roger federer won 12 slams by end of 2007.
Rafael nadal won 9 slams by end of 2010.
Novak Djokovic?? Heading to 15???

According to history, something has to give.

Daniel Says:

mat4, Jane,

Looking at his records that is one who can happen next year and will be very interesting. If he reaches semis in Roland Garros, it will be his 6th consecutive time, a feat not even Nadal was able to achieve. It will be weird a RG record whoch Nadal doesn’t posess. Alao he can break IW record as he is ties with Federer there. Also if he reaches another Masters final this season, he will further enhance his record of 7 to 8.

jane Says:

i hope he stays healthy and continues to like playing daniel. we never know what can happen next year, but it being an olympic year will make it a big one, and it could be the last olympics for fed and nadal, maybe even andy and novak.

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