Novak Djokovic ‘Serb Slam’ at French Open? Why He is Tennis’ Lone Star
by Jeremy Davis | January 31st, 2016, 11:28 am
  • 329 Comments

It’s time for Novak Djokovic to get the respect he deserves.


Djokovic last year had a better record than Serena Williams, but the American sucked all the air out of the room with her quest for a calendar-year Grand Slam, raking in numerous Athlete of the Year accolades.

But now it’s time for the Serb to enjoy the sole spotlight as the greatest player on the planet. And time for rumblings of the Serb going after a calendar year Grand Slam.

The world No. 1 on Sunday dissected Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(3), equaling Roy Emrson’s six Australian Open titles while sending Murray to a less-envious record, 0-5 in Australian Open finals.

DJokovic’s 11th Slam title brings him closer to his rivals Rafael Nadal (14) and Roger Federer (17).

“I’m very honored to be mentioned alongside legends of our sport like Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver, and to win as many Grand Slams as they did,” Djokovic said. “I can’t lie and say I didn’t think about it. Of course it was in the back of my mind. Coming into the court I knew that I had a chance to make history.”

Last year Djokovic won three of the four Slams, losing in the French Open final to Stan Wawrinka. Williams won the first three Slams and lost in the semifinals of the US Open. Djokovic’s third consecutive Slam title in a row now puts him in line for a “Serb Slam,” a fourth in a row at the upcoming French Open.

“We worked very hard to be in this position, and we should enjoy it,” Djokovic said of himself and his team. “No doubt that I’m playing the best tennis of my life in the past 15 months.”

Murray fell to 9-22 career against Djokovic, making a match of it after the 6-1 first set blowout. The Brit beat Djokovic in the 2012 US Open final, but hasn’t seen a win over the Serb in more than three years.

Djokovic in the second set secured a crucial break in the 11th game, and in the third set each player had a break of serve before leading to the tiebreak where two double faults my Murray helped seal his fate.

“I think I didn’t hit my forehand particularly well at the beginning of the match,” said Murray, who is 2-7 in Slam finals and joins former coach Ivan Lendl as the only men to lose five finals at a Slam.

“I started to hit it better in the third set. But that was it…I was starting to have quite a lot of opportunities in the second. I had a few chances there when I got the break back I think. That was a tough game to lose. Then obviously in the third I felt like towards the end of the set, after I got the break back again, that I was creating a few chances.”

Djokovic is undefeated in 2016, capturing the Doha title and now the Australian Open to start the season. Indian Wells and Miami will next bring all the big dogs together to test the world No. 1. Then all eyes will be on Roland Garros and step No. 2 in the Serb’s Grand Slam march.


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329 Comments for Novak Djokovic ‘Serb Slam’ at French Open? Why He is Tennis’ Lone Star

Gypsy Gal Says:

If the FO were to start next week,you would bet your life on him to complete the set of GS,even though i think he stands a better chance than anybody else,Rafas off form,Fed and Andys form is about average on clay,and are not upto a Novak challenge,only Stan who blows hot and cold,but maybe he could defend the title,anyway alot could happen between now and then,but the safe money would be on Nole?….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Wonder where all the Novak fans are,get on here and get celebrating….


Milos Says:

Here we are GG ;)


Gypsy Gal Says:

Well Milos it aint what i want,as would prefer the GS and other titles to be shared out so sorry i dont exactly agree with you on that one….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Sorry Milos i misunderstood so big congrats anyway ;)….


Daniel Says:

Some stats of Big 3 in Slams:

- Federer:
302/50 (Win/Loss) = 85,80%
17/67 (Titles/Slams played) = 25,37%

- Nadal:
198/30 (Win/Loss) = 86,84%
14/44 (Titles/Slams Played) = 31,82%

- Djokovic
209/34 (Win/Loss) = 86,00%
11/45 (Titles/Slams played) = 24,44%

Pretty similar numbers but Federer’s percentage are going down last years due toto him not winning, same for Nadal while Djokovic’s are getting up with his latest success.

Seems they all will finish their careers with between 20-28% of winning rate per Slam played and above 80% Slam matches won.


courbon Says:

Hi GG-I celebrated a bit too much and I’m dead drunk-I can hardly type… I will write tomorrow
Thanks for all good wishes from all.


jalep Says:

GG, Many times you can be rewarded for placing early bets…if your horse wins. I lost each time I did that! (placing a bet on FO in February)


Milos Says:

Thanks GG :)


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jalep LOL….


J-Kath Says:

Yes, Novak fans….please celebrate…no doubt he is outstanding.


Gee Says:

In February 2015, Fedal trolls said Nole was too undominant, dull & uncreative to win the Slams like fedal did.
It’s how he ends his journey that makes him the #1 player.
Not what he did at 22-25 years old.
While Fedal & Fedal victims whine about their decline at age 28 in 2010-2015, Novak will be the most underrated, most inspirational & fun(and funny) champ.
Poor Hewitt retired 5 years too late with crappy tennis & Roddick is busy correcting his fans’ correct spelling on Twitter, Novak is celebrating in the locker room.


Tom Says:

We are celebrating! But posters like Giles and a few other are sulking. A bunch of Debbie Downers. It’s ok, we sulked as we watched Rafa and Feds collect awards all those years. It’s No1e’s turn and I’m enjoying every minute of it! Напред Ноле!!!! :-)


Okiegal Says:

CONGRATS to all the Novak fans in tennis land!!
Was not too surprised…….he is just playing too good. I will have to agree with another poster. at least we got to see one player put up a fight…….Giles Simon! I am sorry for all the Andy fans, but he had a great two weeks! I was so proud for him. I am liking Andy’s smiles on court when he has had a difficult moment…..he can be so funny!


jane Says:

gypsy, i think we’ve been sleeping? ;)
thanks for nice comments.
funny how that goes right, okie? guys like anderson and simon come so close to pushing novak out of a couple slams he’s won but he made it. he’s had some very tight matches.

but maybe that’s what happens over time – eventually they don’t come through those in each case, so we saw fed and rafa start to have some surprising losses at slams where maybe they’d've won those close encounters before.

father time … not friendly!


Wog Boy Says:

I don’t think we really can compare Roy Emerson six AO with Nole’s six, even Nole’s five AO. Were better than Roy’s six for obvious reason.
As for Andy’s fans, your guy fought bravely and only somebody who didn’t see the match can say it was an easy win. Just second set alone lasted 80 minutes, his BH was lethal but his FH let him down. Both of last two sets could go either way, it was literally one point here and one point there that decided second and third set. So heads up and again my commiserations.

JK,
You might be right, I am softie:)


Markus Says:

Djokovic is simply the best. No discussion needed.


Dan Martin Says:

Check out http://tennisabides.com for my takes on the aftermath of the Australian Open


Wog Boy Says:

@Dan Martin,

One correction, Borg did play AO 1974. and lost in third riund. He boycotted AO after that in order to prepare for the rest of the season, according to Borg scheduling of AO was bad and didn’t suit him, that was his bad since AO was played on grass until late ’80s so he could’ve won quite a few more GS, this is what he said about AO:

“Q: You have six French titles, five Wimbledons. In retrospect, do you regret not playing the Australian, giving yourself a shot at that title as well?

Borg: I have no reason for any regrets. When I boycotted the Australian, I was trying to make a statement. I had made my mind up. My point was that a player requires some time to himself, he can’t keep rushing from one court to another all the time without a break.

They all heard me say that, but no one did anything about it. So I did it myself, I skipped the Australian and gave myself the time I needed. That was the only way I could think of, to do it. I have always played my tennis and lived my life on my own terms, I have no regrets. ”

If you ask me, Nole already has better results and records overall than Bjorg.


Markus Says:

There are different circumstances for everybody. The best that one can do is to be the best he can be during his time. These great tennis players from Laver to Djokovic did just that. My big salute to all of them.


Daniel Says:

Agree Wog Boy, it’s like Brog was only able to achieve what he did in RG-Wimby because he skipped AO. We don’t know had he played AO, even on grass, if he would won there but would sacrifice some of his RG-WImby.

Djoko proud again and again that he can play well all year, From January to November, his 6 AO and 5 WTF proves that.

Also, just realize that Novak is now 1 HC Slam title shy from Federer’s record 9 (5 AO and 4 USO). Seems is just a matter of time for Djoko to get there and even possibly have 10 or more HC Slams titles. 2 more and he became sole lead with 10 HC Slam titles. That would impressive and hard to surpass.


Daniel Says:

^Djoko proved..^


chrisford1 Says:

Dan, I think your breakdown of GOAThood into 4 related, but different categories is a good analytic tool.
Consistency, longevity, and being the best in a moment or several blocks of time time matter a lot.
The 4th category, Trophy Count, or “accomplishments” does need to be weighted by wins or high placement sans trophy….beyond just the 4 events, as you note. The Masters 1000s, the WTF, Davis Cup, Olympics. All matter a lot. And though it has been a long time since Mac did it. being the top rated doubles player and wins in doubles at major events should be weighted. And I think accomplishments and consistency are impacted by the level of competition.
Strong era, weak era. The time perhaps when someone dominates one surface and disrupts and obscures the consistent excellence of other worthies – like Pete on grass courts and Rafa on clay, needs to be dealt with. And maybe trophy count and stats are padded if you ignore the competition level.


skeezer Says:

Markus,
I always take time to read your posts as they never come with propaganda. BTW you almost quoted Gandalf.


chrisford1 Says:

Looking at vids, a short 7 sec one done by Jelena Djokovic of their son in 1st set. Tyke sees ma-ma daddy in far court, walks up to screen which cuts to a closeup of Andy. Their son looks for an instant, and then he runs away, rather fast…(wonder who he got that from!)

That scary Scot!!

https://twitter.com/JelenaRisticNDF/status/693720792601862144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw


Michael Says:

I would say Novak is in a much better position than even Roger or Rafa because he literally has no one to challenge him and is in a formidable position over and above the competition standing like a Phoenix.

Even last year, he was unlucky to have not won the Rolland Garros (the only major missing in his trophy cabinet) stopped by a resurgent Wawarinka who had one of his supreme days on court where he plays invincible shots. It was such kind of a special Tennis which is required to stop Novak now-a-days and even in his off days, he some how finds a way to win.

And Novak doesn’t play even swashbuckling Tennis on court or he is aggressive. He just plays percentage Tennis wherein his opponents just are overawed by his dominance and the mental block that he is formidable which makes them lose the edge once they are pitted against him.

Sky is the limit for Novak if he stays injury free. I think this year, he would realize his ambition of winning the Rolland Garros title for which he is most deserving being the only player apart from Soderling who has beat Rafa at that venue and that too in straight sets.


danica Says:

Wog Boy,
I agree with you regarding Roy Emerson. Let’s be objective here. The only slams worth counting are the Open Era slams since the tournaments before that were clearly NOT the same. I am not going into Rod Laver’s achievements now, the majority of GS tournaments being played on grass and tennis being professionally played in a handful of countries while the others (Soviet block) forbid their athletes to compete. (Navratilova addressed that at one point saying that in the mid ’70-ies, there was this East German player who, no doubt in her mind, would have been multiple Slam champion if only given the opportunity).

AO simply was not the same tournament in Emerson’s time. Whether it was called “Australasian Championship” or “Australian Championship”, it was a tournament that forbid people of color to take part. Pretty much, it was “open” only for Commonwealth and American players, and a handful of West Europeans. One Arthur Ashe would have not been allowed to take part in the late ’60-ies. So when someone is equaling Emerson’s count with Nole’s, they are counting apples and oranges.

Similarly, but with the opposite argument, I feel that Masters tournaments are what used to be called Grand Prix tournaments so, when counting the Masters titles of a player, one should count the pre 1990 players who won a bunch of GPs. Changing of the name or changing of the sponsor does not mean the tournament is different.


Pauly Says:

Pity Nadal is no longer playing great tennis
No one can beat him on clay at his best
I don’t care how good anyone is playing
Nadal is king of clay forever


danica Says:

Pauly,
I don’t think anyone is questioning that. Rafa is indisputable King of Clay. His matches and his results show that.


Pauly Says:

Danica

Rafa won’t win anymore majors which is the saddest part … I think Nole would rather win the French open the hard way by beating in form Nadal … It would be more satisfying


danica Says:

We don’t know that (that Rafa won’t win any Slams). He very well may. But even if the doesn’t, his legacy is too strong. No one can take his titles, records, achievements from him.


Wog Boy Says:

For Nole fans, Nole taking Jelena out on their first date:

http://youtu.be/Fvu-AKr4dgA


Wog Boy Says:

Nole talking about some childhood memories:

http://youtu.be/DsrczQoiza4


Van Persie Says:

Even if I am a Nole fan, we cannot say he is better then Emerson…it is like comparing Michelangelo with Picasso. Different times and circumstances.
I also do not agree with GOAT as expression. We have more all time greats: Rod Laver, Emerson, Borg, Sampras, Federer, Nadal Djokovic


Wog Boy Says:

Van Persie,
Nole is better than Emerson, Emerson won most of his GS titles agains amaters, not against the bests (Rod Laver and the rests) who were banned from playing GS tournaments when they turned professionals.


Van Persie Says:

WB, I have a lot of respect for U, but I still cannot compare the 2…as I cannot compare Federer (as shot maker) to Nole (best returner ever).
I guess in 50 years the “nasty things” said by Federer about Nole will be forgotten, and they will be mentioned together with Nadal as the 3 greatest tennis players from the Golden Era.
We cannot compare the Open Era to what was before, like I would not compare Margaret Court with Navratilova, Steffi or Serena.

But it’s only my opinion..


Wog Boy Says:

Van Persie,

Same here, mutual respect, but nothing to do with comparing eras, just that Roy Emerson wasn’t best in his era, he was lucky that best players turned professional and as such were banned from playing GS tournaments so Roy Emerson was piling GS titles beating amaters, not the best players of his time, that was my point about him. You will never here me saying that Nole is better than Rod Laver, due to injustice that was done to him, not being able to compate in GS when he was by the best player in the world.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ by far best player in the world.


AndyMira Says:

Hi Van Persie..i bet you’re feeling on top of the world now after last night..and you deserved it..by the way,i want to ask you a question..is it true pep guardiola has eye man u move?I read somewhere that his wife already made VIP man u tour a couple of days ago?


danica Says:

Oh, but we can compare Michelangelo and Picasso. Michelangelo was better :)


Wog Boy Says:

Yes Danica, Michelangelo was more versatile, better shot selection and could mix it up better, Picasso was more of the claycourter but very innovative, no?


Van Persie Says:

Hi Andy Mira: I am really happy that Nole won, but I have to be honnest and say, that I am looking forward for the FO :)

Regarding Pep Guardiola: I have no idea regarding what you wrote, I even do not like him. I liked Jupp Heynckes more.
I am not very, very interested in football, I am watching only the important matches.


Van Persie Says:

Danica, If you say this, it has to e the true. I can only assume you are an expert in paintings ;)


danica Says:

The only thing going for Picasso was that he was a pioneer which is, I admit, a big thing. However, Michelangelo was not just a fabulous painter, he was even better as sculptor. He is unsurpassed. His Pieta is a heavenly work of art, done when he was only 24 years old.


danica Says:

I am :)


danica Says:

PS:
WB, I love your metaphor ;)


AndyMira Says:

Van Persie..you’re very funny..i mean you’re moniker is one prolific player on earth and yet you said not very very interested in football..he!he! okay..by the way i also looking forward to FO..gotta see how’s rafa gonna fare there..last year was different than this year..let’s see..


Van Persie Says:

I know, that Michelangelo was also a sculptor

I still would not compare the best painters of Renaissance with best painters of art moderne…this was the idea.


Wog Boy Says:

I have to admit, I’ve been in Sistine Chapel and was blown away by Michelangelo’s paintings, and I’ve seen his statue of Moses in St Peters in chains church in Rome and was blown away again, to much of blowing in one day for somebody who doesn’t know much about art:)


Van Persie Says:

Well Andy Mira, I was not very serious, when I have chosen my moniker…wanted something funny :)


AndyMira Says:

Van Persie..i used to like him when he still at arsenal..when he is on the field..he can almost guarantee will score the goal..he is one true goal scorer..


Van Persie Says:

Yep Andy Myra, he is an “opportunist” like Müller von Bayern. He’s always the right man at the right place


Wog Boy Says:

This is the quote from Australian Men’s Health magazine:

“If you were to build a perfect tennis player from scratch, you’d end up with Djokovic”

The title of the article is:

“Is Novak Djokovic the fittest athlete of all time”


Giles Says:

Probably with the help of the EGG of course. He sits in it and watches movies.
Time this controversial piece of equipment was banned.
Hello WADA!!


Gypsy Gal Says:

He has the body thats perfect for an atlete no question,however if he was a normal guy walking the streets i would say its not really healthy to be that thin,a few years ago he looked better with more meat on his bones,granted he changed his diet went glutten free,became a lean,mean,unbeatable machine,success is all very well but at what cost to your health,he took his shirt off yesterday and my hubby said to me,you can see that guys ribcage,sorry Wogboy just saying?….


Gypsy Gal Says:

I will say this though the guy has a nice handsome face,nice eyes,and nice hair,and a great personality….


Pauly Says:

Wog Boy

I thought Nadal was the fittest player I ever saw after Thomas muster


Gypsy Gal Says:

I wouldve said Nadal was probably the fastest,WAS being the operative word,and Roger probably the fittest….


Wog Boy Says:

GG & Pauly,

I am not an expert, but to me “fittest” means being able to outlast everybody else without damaging your body on the long run and staying healthy. Nole is lightest out of all “big four” but yet outlasting all of them. GG, obviously Nole has perfect weight and is managing to take best out of his body without damaging it, and that’s where we are coming to Rafa, it is only one year difference between these two but Rafa doesn’t look as good, fitness wise, as he looked just two years ago for whatever reason.
Pauly, agree about Muster, he could play two consecutive five setters and go for a beer, but guess who is Nole’s fitness trainer for the last 6-7 years, same one that was Muster’s fittnes coach, Gebhardt.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Wogboy all true,but you missed the point my friend,i still believe hes too thin its gross….


Wog Boy Says:

GG,

Yes, we are talking about two different fittnes things, sports one and ladies one;)


Wog Boy Says:

Talking about Gebhardt, he was missing in Malbourne?


Gypsy Gal Says:

Wogboy its not about been a woman and cor what a sexy body he has etc,i say the same thing about women if they also look too thin,there was nothing wrong with his body pre NO1E IMO….


Wog Boy Says:

I have to clarify in my previous post the meaning of “ladies one” since it can be understood wrongly, what I meant is “body fitness that is preferred by ladies”… Does it sound better or I dug myself into deeper sh!t..?


Martin rivkin Says:

on hard courts novaks serve improvement and placement and 1st and 2nd serves has made him the great player he is now at first people questioned becker becoming his coach well look at him now serve improved , volley improved and more solid in every area than ever!missed oppertunity for many before novak as becker would have made a lot greater and was wasted as a commentator! On the clay serve less effective but based on ground strokes alone no one is close anymore! stan the man almost popped blood vessels playing out of his mind at french last year and that wont happen again. No one seems close to Novaks return skills or any other shot anymore even his serve on par with the greatest now at 28 novak will surly win over 20 slams.


Wog Boy Says:

GG,

In that case I am your type, instead of six packs I have one solid (beer belly) pack..


Gypsy Gal Says:

Wogboy lol,ive seen a picture of you remember?,and you look great beer belly or not,anyway i cant stand men or women that are so obsessed with what they look like,its whats on the inside that counts ;))….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Sorry went off the beaten track a bit there lol….


BBB Says:

GG, I think men can afford to have a much lower body fat percentage than women. For sure Hantuchova had an eating disorder, and it interfered with her ability to play. Whereas I think Djokovic has calculated that being as lean as he can get away with is what allows him to be fresher in the fifth set.

I wonder to what degree Nadal’s more bulked-up physique has contributed to his early physical decline. That’s a lot of mass to drag around for a very physical style of play.


chrisford1 Says:

Danica – On a previous post, you had a couple of things said I think are factually wrong. And a couple things I agree with.

1. The first being Australia forbidding people of color from competing. Not true. Same in other sports and Australia was no different than the US, Canada, Russia or East Asian Nations for that matter. They did have a mindset that it wasn’t imperative to get Negroes in all sports events – didn’t go to sleep crying about the lack of black players at ping pong events, none on the Red Army hockey team, the “all white!!” US swim team or Canadian hockey leagues. But also didn’t obsess about the lack of Asians or whites allowed to be in sprint finals in track.

2. Arthur Ashe was competing at the AO in the mid-60s. I know liberals preferred if the narrative was their pet superstar Ashe was crippled from being the GOAT by racism, but for the most part it didn’t exist in tennis. Ashe was never a #1 rated player. What impacted sport was just socioeconomic handicapping. The number of blacks in tennis was low, the number of white Appalachin coal miners sons in the sport or Indian farmers was low as well. Ash was good, but he wasn’t great..a Rosewall level player. Liberals tend to give sainthood to “protestors” that want things and march and agitate for them, with the exception of brownshirts. Before Ashe, Althea Gibson was playing and winning Slams inc the AO, in the 1950s.

3. Yes, there is less competition involved in past eras. Smaller pool. But even with that, the paradox of being less competitive in the more limited number of athletes playing – while at the same time highly, highly competitive sport within that constraint.(Think ‘all-white’ Canadian hockey with blood covering the ice or “this is war!!” Euro skiing sports of the 60s) But odds are, yes, a Federer would have cleaned house had he played in the 1950s. And same with Pete, Andre, Nole, Rafa…and we should go there …Tomas Berdych would have been a demigod of tennis had he been taken back in time to play in the 1930s.

4. Tennis is not the only sport that changed when big money started going to pros. American style pro football up to the 60s was blue collar guys paid very little who did it as a part time job to make a little money on the weekends and their factory bosses also ‘properly compensated’ -paid or comped with tickets by the NFL to let their employee off for travel days and thus losing a day’s work. Even in the 70s, some US football players had to work other jobs in the off-season to make ends meet.

5. Agree the stats rags people have to do a better job of not allowing past players to be removed from their precious stat lists because ‘things have changed’. Things like Ivan Lendl was a Grand Prix demon, yet many lists on who has the Most Masters exclude him simply on the renaming of the events. And some stats books leave out Connor’s 27 straight QFS on grounds the French owners of that Slam barred Connors from one French Open on a contract dispute in the middle of his streak.


kriket Says:

Some guy on metro.co.uk has written an article arguing that Đoković already is the greatest ever, analyzing his claim in 6 arguments.

http://metro.co.uk/2016/01/28/why-novak-djokovic-has-overtaken-roger-federer-as-the-greatest-tennis-player-of-all-time-5649557/


jane Says:

taste is very subjective of course, gypsy.. wheni look at novak i see, lean and fit but not “gross”. i don’t think if i saw him on the street he’d look way too thin? he’d look rather normal. but i haven’t ever seen him so i don’t know for sure?

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaHO0nHWAAEXAr7.jpg

roger is also quite lean.

not sure it’s unhealthy. health is such a top priority for players and it seems to me these guys must have great doctors so they’d know if they weren’t well, etc.

but like i said, as far as what we find attractive, that is totally a matter of preference. i have always preferred lean over too muscular.

oh… i meant to say on the other thread, well done on the bracket coming in second!


Dan Martin Says:

Thanks for all the feedback. I will make the Borg AO correction. I have my first power ranking of the year up at http://tennisabides.com now too.


skeezer Says:

Dan,
No Rafa in the top 10?


MARY Healey Says:

Congrats to NOle!!!!!!!!!!! It’s about time he gets the recognition he has deserved for some time now.
He’s an asset to the Tennis world and to the world in general. Just a wonderful human being. It’s hard to imagine how any of us would behave being #1 and earning millions. He doesn’t “beg” the crowd for applause, and as yet does not seem to have the “entitlement-personality” demonstrated for so long by others. I just love him.


kriket Says:

It’s just absurd to claim that the fittest player around is unhealthy looking. I’d say fitness and health go hand in hand, apart from when fitness comes from PEDs. But Đoko’s fitness comes form training only, and it’s not only fitness, it’s his injury free fitness that could not come from an unhealthy regimen. Injuries are a telltail about something not being right in a player’s regimen.
Fed and Đoko are injury free players.


jane Says:

being prone to injury is probably somewhat genetic too


RZ Says:

Saw this article on how to beat Novak (or rather how to coach a player to try to beat Novak). http://www.sbnation.com/tennis/2016/2/1/10875658/novak-djokovic-untouchable-andy-murray-roger-federer-stan-wawrinka


RZ Says:

Thanks Jane – that was fun. I got 13/15.


kriket Says:

jane, agreed the genes play a part in a persons overall physical abilities, it’s called genotype afterall – the influence of genetic (hereditary) information, on an organism’s properties.
The other thing is called phenotype, it’s the influence of everything else.


Lapinroyal Says:

@CF1
“white’… “Canadian hockey leagues”
I’m a big fan of Carey Price 1/2 white and 1/2 native…
PK Subban one of the best defensor of NHL…

Just saying… ;-)


kriket Says:

just take a look at what marathon runners look like. They look so thin that you’d think they would fall over if you’d slap them. Only they’re just about the most fit of all track & field athletes. And that’s about as fit as it gets.


chrisford1 Says:

Lapinroyal – Appreciate the recent update, but I was responding to the idea the Australian Open and tennis itself must be racist in the past and that only racism held back the great protest hero, Arthur Ashe, from greater glory.
As part of that, my point was 30-50 years ago, Canadian hockey and US swim teams and hostile all white Euro-skiing, and Chinese at the sport of ping pong existed as fairly pure white or Asian place. But highly competitive.
That scattered whites are now very good at ping pong, or as part of some Holy Grail integration quest there are a little bit black ancestry swimmers around is commendable, and its no doubt wonderful to many Germany has a black tennis player, “racism!” has little to do with how hard it is to compare eras of sport. Better players and more competition.
That is driven by money. Money making more time to train and hire coaches and physios possible, and a wider pool of people seeking money from a sport with a lot more participants at a lower level than was the case 50 years back.
And still the Jamaican sprint team has no white or Asian runners!!
Racists!!


Van Persie Says:

Danica,

Not to misunderstand me, i will reiterate in a more clarifying fashion:

I bow to you and your expertise in art for Picasso was probably not a sculptor (for his role in modern sculpture alongside Brancusi, Duchamp is neglectable to say the least ) nor a poet and probably not to good of a painter after all. What is this stupidity of mixing different kinds of mediums and calling it art anyway?! it blurs my vision of intelligible art…. OH! WAIT! That is exactly what Michelangelo did in the Sistene Chapel, applying elements of sculptural theory to a 2D chromatic representation of Biblical events… that is actually where his genius lies…. I feel really stupid now…
OH! Thank you! now i can really understand what you meant, indeed you can compare renascentist art with modern art especially the DaDa movement …

I also apologize for bringing together a non painter with a wannabe architect (making a few sketches and a pope’s tomb doesn’t quite make you an architect, now does it?) but let’s not go there for the rabbit hole is too deep… at least for some.


Wog Boy Says:

CF1,

Not to undermine your posts, but when it comes to Australia, Aboriginals were considered subhumans and didn’t have right to vote until 1967, that is when they got right to vote in the land thay lived for 40.000 years and that was taken from them and now make hardly 3% of the population. The kids from Aboriginal mothers were taken by force until 60′s and were given to white families to have better upbringing, that is now officially called “stolen generation” in that kind of environment racism in sport was quite normal.


Wog Boy Says:

^^^ It should say ….”better” upbringing…


MMT Says:

Roy Emerson’s titles are (unjustly, in my opinion) discounted because they were won during the period of the touring professionals. The assumption has been that they would have won the majors that they were excluded from, but I’m not so sure. The first Open majors was the French Open in 1968, where all 4 semi-finalist were professionals, however the first US Open final was 1968 contested by two amateurs (Arthur Ashe and Tom Okker. In that tournament 5 of 8 quarterfinalists were amateurs – Laver lost in the 4th round.

He did much to cement his reputation and the reputation of all the professionals by winning the 1968 Wimbledon and all 4 majors in 1969, but he never won another after that. I don’t think on the basis of Laver and Rosewall one should infer that professionals would have won all the majors during the schism between the ILTF majors and the touring professionals. It’s not like the amateurs were juniors – they too were professionals in the sense they were paid (albeit under the table) to play.

I think it’s unfair to Emerson who was a great champion.


skeezer Says:

^Absolutely!


Wog Boy Says:

MMT,
You don’t really have argement there, out of 12GS titles tha Roy Emerson won 10 were during the 1963/67, won two before and nothing after ban was lifted, if had his titles spread before, during and after the ban you would have an argument, if he was so good he would have won something after 1967.
Nobody is saying that Rod, Ken and others would have won everything during that period, but Roy Emerson definitely wouldn’t have won 10GS titles, particulary not 5 AO. Roy was great champion but not in league of Rod, Ken snd others.


Travis Bickle Says:

“… i still believe hes too thin its gross….”

Old haters’ recipe – when you cannot say anything about a player’s game, arrack his looks! Tsk, tsk, tsk, Alison… I feel sorry for you.

You try to sound polite in your posts, but every once in a while your pure hate to Novak comes through. BTW, I also think his wife is too skinny as well, his son is so short it is gross, and every single fan of his is physically ugly. Don’t even get me started on his parents and siblings!


chrisford1 Says:

Wog boy = My post was to debunk Danica’s claim Australia was so racist that tennis forbade people of color from taking part, so Emerson had it much easier without black or other race people competing. Which wasn’t true. In tennis or any other Australian sport.

I don’t want to veer far off topic into the intractable matter of Australian aborigines and how unsuccessful they are overall, as a people, and whites there obsessing “what else can be done to uplift them??”.
Australia is of course far more leftist than America and on a major guilt trip about the poor aborigines and trying to exalt them as equal in every measure – but kept back solely by “racism and discrimination” . “Rabbit-Proof Fence” movie and so on.
But on an individual Aussie level, from those I met on visits to Australia, the attitude seems to be on an individual level to throw hands up in the air and exclaim “What else can we do for them? Few are going to be skilled or educated on a par with whites or Asians here.”

In tennis, though, it’s just too big a gap between Emersons day and that of the Big 4, to do comparisons of players, especially by stats that vary wildly terms of the nature of the changing game at a point in time, the change in level of competition, the role of equipment, money, changes to medical/equipment/transportation/sports equip technology. Each easier or harder to come by as a function of times of the sport.
But we should respect the past and honor the men and women from it in all sorts of endeavors, living or dead. The accomplishments of the Emersons and langleys and Margeret Courts.., The architects of taking the game pro at great sacrifice to their personal tennis stats, including Rod Laver.

The players of course can best understand all this. Why Federer and Djokovic, among others, always honor the history of the game and past athletes. Kinship. And why during Novak’s speech, you saw momements of Laver and Rosewall choking up on Novaks fine words homage to other players like them and Andy – his talk of the past, present and future of tennis and what is important to each pro. The venerable Aussies “got it”. After all, they lived to, too.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Travis Bickle if you think that about me then fair enough its you with a problem not me, and frankly i dont give a damn, as ive talked up for the guy many,many times,no need to feel sorry for me either,as i lead a great life….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jane i dont think i shouldve said anything,ive talked up for the guy many times,and ive been called some secret fan,i actually asked Chris Ford1 to re-post the link of pictures of Novak walking barefoot on the ground and tree hugging,as its very spiritual and something i also do,and he also does Tai Chi and Yoga and so do i,and i said he and i are very similar in that regard,tell me honestly would i have said that if i hated the guy so much?which to be quite honest im tired of defending myself when people say that to me,and surely ive been here long enough for you to know me better than that by now,to be honest i dont care for men too muscular either,i just find it unhealthy to be too thin is all,and BTW thanks for the congrats on the bracket challenge PEACE ;))….


kriket Says:

It’s not unhealthy to be thin. It’s unhealthy to be fat.


jalep Says:

GG, it’s no fun is it, getting it from both sides: you aren’t enough Rafa fan for the hard core Rafa fans but enough Rafa fan to peak snarling suspicions of a poster with burning anti-fan ambitions.

I don’t mean to be a bad influence – you have your studies and don’t have a lot of time. But have you read this blog? I like it for the focus on daily picks and current tournaments, which is right up my alley, so to speak :D

http://tenngrand.com/


chrisford1 Says:

Missed your request, GG. I’ll give you the link my next post!
Meanwhile, Adidas and Nole exchanged tweets. Adidas sent congrats after Nole tossed 2 pair of his Adidas shoes, inc the one he was wearing, down to a baying mob of Aussies and Serbs from an interview he was doing above them.

“You better send me some new ones, lucky fans are now admiring their perfection and I’m going back home barefoot :)
“adidas @adidas
We create the shoes. He creates the history.
@DjokerNole takes the #AusOpen”


jalep Says:

Kricket. The point is – she’s not a Nole hater. Those of us that know her know that.

Agree lean is healthy – unless it’s a mental health issue. Novak imo is the perfect build for tennis before 2011. And he just keeps getting better. Federer has gone leaner as well.


jalep Says:

sorry, kriket, not Kricket.


Django Says:

Wog boy
They have a famous aboriginal woman actress who is half Serbian and is a Nole fan. Ursula yovich.


J-Kath Says:

GG…are you Alison? or is it Okiegal….excuse me, please remember my brain is off-tilt at the moment..that’s the nicest thing to say about it.


Django Says:

Pauly
Gritsch used to train muster.


chrisford1 Says:

https://www.facebook.com/NovakDjokovicLovers10/photos/
a.256351407817367.54675.255641717888336/860377144081454/?type=3&theater

Picture and quote of the tree-hugger tennis champ.


Django Says:

Cf1
Good one


Wog Boy Says:

Django, I didn’t know you know her, she is great singer too, check her here:

http://youtu.be/NK6kLKLHTSQ

There is also writer Sreten Bozic Wongar, who spent all his australian life living amongst Aboriginal tribes, fighting for their rights and protection of Dingoes, he lives now in the bush not far from Melbourne with a pack of Dingoes.


MMT Says:

Wog Boy Says: “….if he was so good he would have won something after 1967.”

That is an arbitrary hurdle, based on nothing more than the assumption that because Rosewall and Laver did, he should have. There could have been a number of factors that contributed to him failing to win majors after open tennis started, from age to injury to whatever else.

The fact remains that there were only 4-6 full touring professionals during during that period: all the other best players in the world were playing majors, so discounting his results is unfair to him.

Laver won majors in only the first 18 months of open tennis – after that he didn’t win anything. And only 3 former touring professionals (Laver, Rosewall and Gimeno) won majors in open tennis.

I’m not saying Emerson was better or worse than Laver and Rosewall – I believe both of the benefitted from the professional tours in ways that other players did not – if Emerson become a touring pro, there’s no way to predict how it would have impacted his game. What I do know is that he beat 128 of the best players in the world 12 times, and that’s nothing to dismiss on the basis of historical consensus that could just as easily be completely wrong as even partially correct.

By the way, are you aware that only two of Laver’s final opponents had been touring professionals in 1969 – the other two had been amateurs. In fact 3 of the 4 semi finalists at 3 of the 4 majors in 1969 had been amateurs (all but Roland Garros where it was 2 & 2). That mean in 1969, in the second year of open tennis 11 of 16 semifinalists had been amateurs.

My point is that the amateurs were amateurs in name only – they weren’t the pushovers that historical consensus would have you believe.


MMT Says:

And one last historical anecdote – do you know who Emerson beat for his first two majors in 1961?

Rod Laver


Wog Boy Says:

MMT,
Andy beat Nole for his first and only GS titles, does that make him better player than Nole?

You can spin it anyway you want, fact is tha he was inferior player to Rod and Ken.


MMT Says:

Wog Boy: I don’t spin anything – I merely offer facts to challenge historical consensus which is not based on anything but perfunctory analysis. It’s not a fact that Laver or Rosewall were better players than Emerson – that’s your opinion, which is also based on nothing substantive.

And you’re comparing apples and oranges with Murray and Djokovic. They are contemporaries who’ve played the same pool of players throughout their careers. One didn’t go off and play a separate pool of players in a different format during the best years of his career. And all three are completely different ages, etc, so there’s really no basis for comparison at all.


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath……Alison is Gypsy Gal and Okiegal is a die hard Rafa fan from Oklahoma. My given name is Jan.


skeezer Says:

The wog is spinning again. MMT has never spun. He’s a quality writer and knows his stuff. Read his blog and learn. Now a chris ford or a TB to spin some more about stats and tennis history and we have a complete melt down of over the top Nole lover spinola.


Wog Boy Says:

MMT,

I noticed that you like arguments for the sake of argument, just to keep it going.
All what I said is backed by facts, I’ll go through them again and after that you will have to find somebody else:

Roy Emerson (1936) won 2 (two) GS title playing with Rod and Ken and 10 (ten) GS titles playing second tiers, after Tod and Ken were allowed back Roy Emerson won nothing and he was active player until 1983. That comes to 2 (two) GS whith Rod and Ken in the draw.

Ken Rosewall (1934) won 4 (four) prior he was banned and 4 (four) after he was allowed back. That comes to 8 (eight) GS whith Emerson in the draw.

Rod Laver (1938), won 6 (six) GS prior he was banned and 5 (five) after he was allowed back. That comes to 11 (elewen) GS with Emerson in the draw.

Now let me recapture what I said. Rod Laver won 11GS, Ken Rosewall 8 and Roy Emerson 2 while playing against each other. This is not my presumption but facts. There is no injustice done to Roy, just facts, even here in Australia he is never mentioned alongside Rod and Ken as equal nevertheless better player. Arenas in Melbourne and Sydney are named after Ro and Ken …not Roy who won more GS titles either of other two.
Sorry, but I can’t do much more than this for you:(


Wog Boy Says:

skeezer,
Are you MMT’s representative, you are really piece of work, nasty one too.


Travis Bickle Says:

Comparing Emerson’s 6 AO titles with Djoker’s 6 is waste of time since Novak had to beat ALL the best players in the world whereas Emerson had to bet mostly his compatriots.
For example, the 1961 AO was contested by 6 (six) non-Australians!!! 2 of them were from UK, 2 from Malaysia, one German and Sergio Tacchini from Italy. So Emeson did not even get to play a non-Aussie on his way to the title.
Therefore, equalling Emerson’s AO record with the Novak’s one is a poorly disguised attempt to diminish Novak’s legacy and is also very disrespectful to the best player on the planet! It’s not surprising this effort is being spearheaded by Fed worshipers such as MMT. News flash for you – in 3-4 years, when Novak receives his 18th GS trophy, we will lobby heavily that Federer be there to hand him a trophy ;-)


skeezer Says:

“Are you MMT’s representative…. ”
No. Why? Are you Nole’s fan base representative?


Travis Bickle Says:

Compulsory read for Fedal crowd:

“Federer, Nadal and the one who defied us all”
by Hugh Clarke, 2 Feb 2016 from Roar

It takes two to tango, as they say, and only two. Three’s a crowd and if you’re it, don’t expect anything except the cold shoulder and a nod to the door.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the funny guy, or have good intentions, it doesn’t matter if you can play some of the most jaw-dropping tennis the world has ever seen, you’re too late.
We only need two, buzz off.
We have two. Two perfectly working greats that compliment each other very well and have given us more than enough to cheer about for the last decade.
One guy, his name’s Roger. He’s a great guy, is Swiss and he’s got a smooth backhand reminiscent of the honey that dribbles on your morning cereal. Watching him is incredibly relaxing and delectable for the eyes. You just know this is how nature intended the body to move, fluid and pure in every instance.
The other guy, we call him ‘Rafa’, humble and unassuming, yet put a tennis racquet in his wrong hand and he’s 100 per cent high-octane, nonstop raw athleticism, the yin to Roger’s yang.
They play back-and-forth in their own unique way. Each swivel of the head takes you to a fresh and exciting scene, a shot that is both stimulating and dividing, in a good way.
You don’t know it, but the first time you watch Federer play Nadal, you unconsciously take the ‘Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal character trait test’.
Through a complex sequence of grunting uppercut forehands, pendulum-timed backhands, fist pumps and steely stares, you involuntarily gravitate to one of these two very appealing choices, and then you become a fan. And that’s it.
That’s all we need for a tennis party. That’s all we want. There’s not enough space for three, not enough titles either.
As fate would have it, Novak Djokovic came knocking on the door hours after the party had started. Tall and cleanly cut with short black hair, his eastern-euro accent did little to warm the sentiments of tennis’ western guests despite his athletic and slinky style.
Good-humored player imitations made him a YouTube hit, and early success at the Australian Open in 2008 put him right in the spotlight, but the people’s hearts were already taken.
It seemed, at the time, that Djokovic’s fate was to be the sideshow distraction. The talent was there, and the desire was too, we just didn’t know it. He was the laughing stock of the tour in his early days due to frequent retirements during matches. To everyone watching from outside the Djokovic camp, ‘tough’ was a word that didn’t fit well.
Tough as nails he was. Growing up in war-torn Serbia, he sometimes had to abandon practicing in his makeshift court in the bottom of an empty swimming pool, to take refuge in bomb-shelters while NATO fighter jets flew overhead.
His childhood coaches all gushed at the young Serb’s determination and professionalism from such tender years. Upon arriving at practice as a pre-teen kid, Novak would have a bag packed as neatly as any seasoned OCD professional.
This job-like approach to the game has helped him collect plenty of silverware and pay the bills, but hasn’t stolen the hearts of loyal fans whose support for Federer and Nadal only grows stronger as they approach their final years on tour.
Crowd support or not, Novak Djokovic simply cannot be stopped. This is a man who gears every facet of life towards improving his tennis. A gluten-free diet and stretching routines of an Olympic gymnast ensure that his ultra-trim rubbery mass stays primed for the hardest on court endeavors.
Improvements have been made where only a nook and cranny weakness existed, and the hunger and desire to win has not waned an inch despite unprecedented success in 2015.
Federer and Nadal took tennis to extraordinary peaks during the height of their rivalry several years ago. Dusty records were brushed aside on an almost weekly basis it seemed, and both made strong cases as the greatest player ever, a title that usually only needs addressing every 15 years or so.
And yet, just as their party is winding down, and they are meant to be enjoying their twilight years with the odd slam or two, their own records are in danger of not collecting any dust at all.
It’s their own fault, really. Like the schoolyard bullies who picked on the little kid one too many times, Djokovic has come with a vengeance.
Forged in the crucible of the Federer-Nadal rivalry, Djokovic has fashioned a game style as flexible as his own sinew. A constricting, suffocating thick fog that covers the baseline as far as one can see.
Opponents drown in a pool of their own errors as they push their limits looking for a visible weakness. It must feel hopeless. To know it’s not a match so much as an interrogation of your own game, and that Djokovic will waterboard you with relentless groundstrokes until you crack in a heap.
It’s fitting then, that the blue courts of Rod Laver Arena reflect this puddle that the six-time champion operates so fluidly in. Very few players have tread water well enough to beat the Serb down here.
Who would have thought, that Novak ‘no guts’ Djokovic would become the unstoppable juggernaut we are witnessing today. The work this man has put in to get where he is today is almost unfathomable.
How can you not love this bloke? Rising through the ranks as a talented lamb for regular semi-final slaughtering, he has become the very lion that once consumed him.
And once again, despite the crowd willing on old heroes with nostalgic fervor this tournament, this young man from war-torn Serbia simply didn’t crack.
Now 11 slams and counting, Djokovic understands his place in the game is after, and still behind, Nadal and Federer. He pays homage to them even now, when he crushes them at the peak of his powers.
He has done everything a professional could possibly do to have a legion of fans that loyally support him in the biggest matches of his life, yet achieved everything a professional could possibly realise in their absence.
The adoration and respect for this guy can only grow, as he humbly forges his own incredible career in pursuit of those still playing against him.
As a tennis fan, I now reckon the best things come in threes.


Wog Boy Says:

Are you so stupid, you did come here to talk on behalf of MMT, I was talking for myself, you really have a big problem, and I can’t help you with that one, you have to see behavioral specialist, there is probably good veterinarians around you, go and see one, or somebody can take you there, they might be able to help you.


MMT Says:

Wog Boy: I don’t like it when I state facts that you mischaracterize it as “spin”. I don’t spin anything.

As for your facts: there was, in fact, narrow overlap in their careers. Rosewall didn’t play “against” either of the others when he won his first 4 majors. Laver’s first year in the majors was Rosewall’s first in the pros. Emerson only had one year overlap with Rosewall’s amateur majors (he is described in this article – http://www.si.com/vault/1955/02/14/668453/lively-juniors – from 1955 as a “junior”. You’ve listed their years of birth as though their senior careers coincided – they did not). They were different ages and different stages in their careers so I don’t think comparing their results in those rather narrow periods of overlap is insightful.

Laver got the better of Ermerson in 1962, but not so in 1961. Nobody knows how it would have gone had they all been swimming in the same pool throughout their careers, but they didn’t so that’s speculation.

What’s named after whom isn’t analytical – it’s merely a reflection of historical consensus, which I believe is unfair to Emerson based on assumptions that I don’t find convincing.

His amateur titles were over other amateurs (in name only) that competed and sometimes won majors at the start of the open era, so I don’t think they should be dismissed. They were still among the best players in the world, and he beat a hell of a lot of them. In fact, no amateur in the history of tennis won more majors than Emerson.


Markus Says:

I don’t know how the argument about Emerson and Laver and Rosewall started but I found it very interesting and informative. It made me read more about these guys especially on Emerson. I thought he was a so-so player based on a comment that said “…if he was so good he would have won something after 1967…” Oh was I surprised! Emerson was an amazing player with enormous achievements some of which have remained unequalled even today. He is fully deserving of a place among the greatest tennis players ever.


MMT Says:

Travis Bickle: You’ve made the leap from Emerson (who’ve Ive clearly stated I hold in very high regard) to Djokovic or Federer. I have in fact made no mention of either of them, and my intent is to raise the profile of a forgotten champion, not denigrate Djokovic.

If you analyzed it logically, you would see that by elevating Emerson, I could only be holding Djokovic in as high regard or higher. The premise of your attempt to discredit me (the weakest form of argument, by the way) is illogical.

It IS fair to argue that the Australian championships were not as international as the other majors, but this would reflect on Laver as well…and by your logic, anyone comparing Laver to Djokovic would also be denigrating Djokovic.


MMT Says:

Markus Says: “…Oh was I surprised! Emerson was an amazing player with enormous achievements some of which have remained unequalled even today”

Thanks for putting so succinctly! This is precisely what I hoped would be interpreted from my less than clear narrative.


MMT Says:

skeezer: I’m glad you enjoy the blog – there’s a new post on Serena’s loss and on the evolution of Djokovic’s serve.


chrisford1 Says:

Skeezer….I know it is tough. Fed’s time is slowly wrapping up and but for Djokovic stopping him, he’d have a lot more “Sacred Slams”. Slam count being the prime “Greatness” argument used by Pete than Fed fans. As the only stat that mattered.
In a way, that fixation drives much animosity between fans. By such logic, there are only 4 tennis events that really matter at all, and each one won by some other player supposedly “takes” greatness from the fave. Only 4 slices to the pie that 300 or so professionals of each respective sex can vie for to matter at all in their career. And those fans of players that get more than a couple -thus becoming the stars who all must hate one another because the pie never grows – to match fans hate that 25% of the pie that could be taken from their man or their Queen when they actually play one another a scant 4 times a year.

***That seems a twisted, stunted view of a sport that is global and actually should have made more progress since the 60s. Given fairly easy and fast global transport and global telemedia. 4 events in 4 old “1st world nations”.***

While I believe the tennis pie is expanding can be huge if cost is lowered. The future may be of tennis as a much lower cost to play, more egalitarian sport, with lower cost standardized equipment.

In the interim, though, the healthiest thing is to develop a number of stars, give other events more importance and respect to grow the pie..and pool of players globally that fans follow. “There Can Be Only One!!” is a line from a cheap sci-fi movie franchise. And not just pros. More participants, like being an Indian who makes a modest middle class Indian income, but has the money to afford 50 dollars worth of equipment, play on concrete slabs or hard dirt with a plastic net and cheap fencing in the park to help get great cardiovascular fitness and fun in the process. Make it nearly as affordable as global football or basketball..

I happen to like Rafa a good deal (mainly as a person and not a player), then Andy, and Roger maybe the least due to what I see as arrogance – but still think he is a good guy and champion worth oodles of respect. But one reason I like Djokovic is that he is a person of ideas, of advocacy of a way of life and thinking. Tennis now has it’s Philosopher King.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Hi Jalep i have a short break now,before i have to knuckle down and do another three units,and i have a maths and english test at the begining of March,the english bit doesnt bother me so much its the maths im dreading,anyway yeah thanks for the links,as i too like to focus on new tournies,and always look forward to whats happening next,and thankfully long time posters like yourself know im not some hater,and they are the ones that matter to me the most CHEERS ;))….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Chris Ford1 thanks for the picture ;))….

Kriket@6.51pm neither are healthy,i was ill once and didnt eat,and my weight dropped to six and a half stone,people said how good i looked but i didnt as i looked ill,now i weigh eleven stone,im small and chunky,and probably a little overweight for my height,but im taking various medications,so sometimes these things are medical….

Anyway short of writing it all in blood theres not much else i can say,but i will once again say im not a hater,i feel theres enough of that going on in the real world,so i dont bring it into sport….


Gypsy Gal Says:

TennisGuy if your reading,same post to you….


Giles Says:

Jeremy Davis
Just noticed the opening line to the article,
Lol. If only we all got what we deserved we’d all be happy or in some cases very unhappy, bunnies, no?


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/luisgattwi/status/693845859415539712
Hey Jane. Do you still think Boris adds an aura to joker’s team after looking at this picture? Gross, just gross. Lol


kriket Says:

jalep, I don’t remember saying she was a Nole hater, infact the only true hater with mental issues around here is Giles. So, I’m not sure why would you tell me that specifically.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Kriket,Jalep would speak for herself,but i think she was just generalizing about me anyway when all and sundry are saying it or implying it,anyway for the record i do give give alot of credit to all the players,but i dont think any of them are perfect,or make big issues about each and every little thing they do either,including my favorites….


MMT Says:

Travis Bickle: And one more thing – if Djokovic (or Nadal) reaches 18, then they will necessarily become the GOAT. The accolade isn’t/wasn’t reserved for Federer…or Sampras.

There are issues with using majors won as the standard the GOAT debate, but other measures are even more problematic. Majors won is the best measure we have.


Markus Says:

Whoever reaches 18 will have the strongest case for the GOAT title. But for now, 17 will do.


Markus Says:

May I butt in about the Gypsy Gal/Kriket discussion about thin/sickly/healthy discussion. I don’t think they were really fighting. One thinks Djokovic looks to thin and unhealthy and the other one says he’s just fine and offered some explanation. Case over. Apologies not even necessary.


Daniel Says:

cf1, Slam are the ones that matters the msot. mmtBand Wog Boy interesting discussion of past history were about what: Slams!

You keep repeating id ad infinitum kind of you need to roove it to yourself that Slams is not the main thing. Everybody knows they are and this won’t change just because you think so no matter how many tims you post it here, almost 1 a day. I find your post very good (apart frok the wear era, as I am with MMT on that one) but this non stop Slam thing is too much. We ALL know you what hou about it. And nobody is buying it. History judge Slams. Players play to win Slam.

Do you thibk Wawrinka or Federer give a damm that they never beat Nadal on clay? All that matters is that they won 7 matches in Roland Garros, something Djoko is yet to achieve, whihc I thibk he’ll do it in a few months. But if he doesn’t and beat Nadal there 2016-17-18 but loss to other players and don’t win RG it will matter. In the end and long run all fhat willbe said is that he missed that trophy just like with Lendl. I don’t know who he loss to in Wimby or who he beat in route to finals, just know he didn’t won one!


Daniel Says:

Oh, and one other thing, what is the maim criteria you yourself use to judge weak era in Fed’s best years?! ….drums….SLAMS!! Ta ta


Van Persie Says:

Giles, You are a mistery for me. May I assume, that you are 14-15 years old?


Van Persie Says:

You are mean, naughty…but sometimes even funny (for Giles)


Gypsy Gal Says:

Markus lol,absolutely true….


Markus Says:

Very well said, Daniel, although I cannot say the same about all those misspellings. Slam’s the thing and it does not really matter who you beat to get them. A slam won against anybody is worth just as much as a slam won against anybody. A complete set also helps to feel well, complete.


funches Says:

I don’t know what I think about the Emerson debate, but I do know Murray beat Djokovic last summer. Not sure where Jeremy got the idea that is has been more than three years since the Djoker lost to him.


chrisford1 Says:

Daniel – Fixation on the 4 events in the hands of non-ATP old money, vs the events the ATP can shape, serves to limit the growth of tennis in new developed and emerging nations. If you wish to widen the pool of participants and open the sport up you cannot keep insisting that all roads must lead back to 4 “prestige events” – the hoary old locations where tennis was strongest half a century to a century ago.
The global popularity of tennis at the Olympics suggests that the potential is there for many other nations to up their involvement. It is also a sport that benefits strongly from not being dominated by a single race or body type.
So when a group of Indians suggest a new league or Djokovic asks why Indian Wells can not be upgraded to Slam level points and prestige, or the Championships, for that matter – it is met by horror in many quarters.
Other innovations are suppressed while equipment manufacturers are free to put more and more expensive playing and training product out that requires more and more expensive lessons to master , along with rackets that require constant restringing. You have a cadre of stats lovers that see any change, from tiebreaker to Hawkeye to elimination of let cord or match speed up measures with horror – because the basis of their stats would be altered.
You even had strong opposition to having end of year championships, even the Olympics – because they would “taint” the sport by taking focus away from the privately owned Slams.

That is my position. I think tennis is by it’s nature a very flexible sport that can fit all sorts of niches globally where it is not present today – with cheaper equipment, faster time of play. In the pro game – revenue diffused better so top junior prospects in non-1st world nations aren’t sleeping in cars or train stations because they can’t afford a hotel room, let alone a coach. It will play havoc on the statistics, though.

As for Fed and Slamcount and Weak Era – the argument extends past Slamcount to as I have said before, the drop in his productivity in Masters and ATP 500 events parallels his drop in rate of Slam wins. Others only fixate on Slams, but there is more to the picture than rate of winning Slams. All the stuff, not just Slams, gave him 234 straight weeks at #1 with no real challenger, until Rafa expanded his abilities past clay and did to Roger what Roger had done to the 80 weeks as #1 unchallenged Leyton Hewitt, once Fed got his whole game together.
The change from the weak era is obvious most at the ATP 500 and Masters events as Nole and Andy joined in the fun. And of course, the shift in eras is obvious at the World Tour Finals as Leyton Hewitt had his two championships after Sampras day, then Fed came along and won 6. His reign extended because Rafa hated the surface and it being indoors then of course the weak era ended as Novak contended then regularly won it.


skeezer Says:

Daniel,
Spot on. Apparently some here need to study and research more about tennis records and achievements before having a reason to try to give an authoritative opinion. Records will always be written, weak era arguments won’t and the historians don’t care. A record is a record.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overall_tennis_records_–_men%27s_singles

You see a lot of RF at the top of these lists and hardly any Novak.


Markus Says:

This so-called weak era theory can, with the use of good imagination, be applied to any year where the current leader is not to your liking. Federer’s achievements are being denigrated by his naysayers claiming that all his achievements happened not because he was really good but rather by pure luck that he came during the time when there were no worthy opponents. Nadal gave some opposition but that was mainly on clay. And Djokovic has not yet come of age. Now, what can stop me from using some creative writing myself and apply this weak era theory to Djokovic? What can you say about this man whose domination came at the time when his main opposition is already in his twilight years? A man six years his senior. What can you say about this era where players who are currently in their prime years could not even get pass this 34 year old man? Would you blame me if I consider this a weak era, too? Perhaps even weaker than during Federer’s time. It does look like that, doesn’t it?


Wog Boy Says:

First comes first, check the names of Roger’s oponents in his first 10/11 GS wins, then go and check the names of Nole’s oponents in his first (and only) 11GS wins, then you are free to make your own conclusion abou weak era. By saying this, I’ll reapeat what I said before, it is just fair that for Nole’s next 10GS wins he has oponents of the same quolity as Roger’s first ten, that will even the things,no?


Ben Pronin Says:

Wog Boy, why does it matter?


Matt Says:

Wog Boy,
I’m actually about to write a breakdown (because it interests me in light of everyone beating their bandwagon into the ground) of the flaws of each of the big three.

They’re all flawed, all three. To think otherwise is a incoherent.


Dave Says:

Everyone can have an opinion about who is the greatest ever. That is why you have to go to strictly numbers and see who ends up on top. Nole could very well be on his way to being the greatest ever, but until he has the numbers that put him at the top of each list, majors, masters 1000′s, WTF’s and weeks at number 1, he will not be known as the greatest ever. That’s the only way to get a clear cut answer, instead of going into this weak era, strong era debate. I have spent way to much time going into that with people in the past and I realized it’s literally a never ending discussion that has thousands of opinions thrown into the bucket. Some biased, some not so biased. But opinions nevertheless. The only other factor that could start to put Nole ahead as the greatest of all time earlier, is if he wins the French this year and or wins the calender slam. Either of these would be a first in the open era. These are also things that will be looked at, at the end of their careers.


Markus Says:

It does not matter to me if Djokovic beats nothing but qualifiers in winning 7 more slams to reach 18. Just get there and I will call him the greatest without any reservation and no asterisks. If by then some sourgrape bitter fan creates any hypothetical scenarios to discredit Novak, I will be the first to defend him.


mat4 Says:

Sorry, but I guess that I probably don’t have an opinion who was the best player ever.

I have an opinion about players I watched, in the last 41 years now, and the least I can say is that it is complicated, and, with the technological shifts occuring every decade until 2000 (roughly), the changes in the popularity of the sport, the money involved, the structure of tournaments… etc., etc. it’s very difficult to assess and to compare.

Here is the list of players I feel are among the best ever: Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Sampras, Federer, Djokovic.

If I had to ranked them, it would probably be: 1. Borg/Federer, 3. McEnroe/Djokovic, 5. Sampras, 6. my all time fav, Connors, 7. Lendl.

Players like McEnroe, Connors, Sampras saw their careers at the very top shortened be technological shifts — the advent of carbon racquets for the first two, and by synthetic strings for Pete.

I believe that players like Wilander, Edberg, even Becker, paid the price to racquet changes at the end of the 80ties, and to the changes in tournaments structure, something they, unfortunately, initiated themselves.

Anyway, it’s very complicated, and, IMHO, it isn’t very relevant.


Markus Says:

There are some Djokovic fans or non-Federer fans who are in a hurry to call him the greatest. It may happen but wait until that time comes. How easily have they forgotten Nadal. Rafa used to beat Novak more often than not. He was once a legitimate and the greatest threat to Federer. Then Rafa had all those injuries which derailed him. He is only one year older than Novak. Without those injuries, who’s to say if he would not have taken away some of those slams away from Novak? So, to Djokovic fans, or shall I say, Federer detractors, slow down and wait until it happens.


mat4 Says:

@MMT:

I also read you’re column regularly. And more attentively than you read my posts…

@Skeez:

The other day I heard that players were allowed to rise the front foot when serving in 1958. I thought it was later. What’s the truth, here?


Wog Boy Says:

I don’t think that presumption that Nole must reach #17 in order to be called the best ever is quite correct. There is the other records and achievements that can push him over the line even if he is on #15, like noncalendar slam, olympic gold medal, h2h, number of masters and few more records that he might get, I am not saying he will get them, but if he does that makes him worthy candidate for goat hood, and it will be alway personal opinion like it is growing opinion around the tennis world that Nole is playing best tennis ever seen on tennis courts, that’s good enough for this Nole fan.


Wog Boy Says:

Matt,
Thanks gor info, I like your style, sharp and crisp, looking forward to that article.


mat4 Says:

@Hi, WB.

@Matt:

Federer and Djokovic are the most complete players I have ever seen, with Wilander perhaps. They probably have flaws — who hasn’t — but I would really like to know which one.


Matt Says:

“If I had to ranked them, it would probably be: 1. Borg/Federer, 3. McEnroe/Djokovic, 5. Sampras, 6. my all time fav, Connors, 7. Lendl.”

I like agreeing with you, Mat4.
I like Sampras a bit higher perhaps, but glad to see Mac and Lendl up there. Solid list.


Matt Says:

Thanks, Wog Boy.


Dave Says:

Nadal not being in the top 7, doesn’t quite work for me. Federer’s one handed backhand will go down as a weakness in the end. Nadal and Djokovic have exposed it on many occasions when they really needed a point during the match. Federer can have matches where he is very rock solid, but if you hit it there enough times, you will be rewarded at some point.


James Says:

Ultimately, slams is all that people remember and rank players by. Nobody talks about Becker being No 1 just for 12 weeks – or that Roddick was No. 1 for longer than Becker. Becker had 6, Roddick had 1. That’s it.

I am not saying that’s all that SHOULD matter. But that’t how it is.

If there’s a tie – like Nadal and Sampras – then other things enter into the picture – so Nadal>Sampras since he won all 4 slams.

Fed is at 17. Nadal is unlikely to equal that, or even reach 16. Djokovic might – lets see. Remember, when players are winning slams, they appear invincible. Then suddenly when they stop winning, they just stop winning. Its always sudden, never slow. Remember McEnroe in 1984? Never won another slam. Or Lendl after 1989. Even Fed after 2010 AO – at that time, having just won No. 16, everyone was saying he will exceed 20. He barely won his 17th, and might not win the 18th. Same thing could happen to Djokovic late this year or some time next year. Though Djokovic does have the advantage of no great young players on his heels – an advantage Fed never had.


Wog Boy Says:

“Though Djokovic does have the advantage of no great young players on his heels – an advantage Fed never had.”

But Federer had advantage at the beginning of his career that Nole didn’t have, he didn’t have to go through Federer, Nadal, Murray..to rich the top. On the long run life always evens the things up.


Wog Boy Says:

Hi mat4.


Markus Says:

I’m too lazy to check but how many slams has Djokovic won since Federer turned 30 and Nadal started getting all his injuries?


Wog Boy Says:

I’m lazy to check, but how many slams Roger won before Rafa, Nole and “even Andy” matured? How many after they matured?


chrisford1 Says:

It’s all early to say, and there is a danger with Nole fans counting chickens before they hatch. He could get ill, have an accident, decide to run for President..or find some new player is his match. But right now, anyone who is not blind can see the potential. for most of Rogers records to fall to Djoker. And given the weak era, it is not going to be a “cased closed” – if Roger gets 17, and Rafa and Nole 15 each in Slamcounting. YOu have to throw in weighing Masters 1000s, H2H, dominant seasons, Davis Cup, level of competition, consistency, all surface ability, etc.


Markus Says:

Roger won about 17 and then Djokovic matured. I don’t remember Murray beating Federer in a slam final. Nadal is the only one who faced them all in all stages, mature and immature. Unfortunately, we don’t really talk about him due to injuries. I guess nobody is in a mood to count Djokovic slams after Federer turned 30 and Nadal started suffering from all those injuries. Interestingly and coincidentally, Federer at 30 and Nadal’s injuries commenced at around the same time. Hmmm…


mat4 Says:

@MMT:

I read your article about Novak’s serve, and I don’t agree. I find it a bit simplistic.

First, you didn’t analyse Novak serve when he played with the Wilson racuet. It’s easy to check here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrYAhlBCBxo

He serves often at 205-210 kmh, and he hasn’t developed the flawed motion he had just one year after. BTW, his serve was mainly developed by Dejan Petrovic, and Mark Woodforde who worked on his serve, especially second serve, in 2008.

The changes in the physiognomy of Novak’s game started in 2009, after he changed racquet and switched from Wilson to Head. It was probably the biggest mistake he made in his career, since he needed two years to find an adequate racquet (at the end of 2010, and it was his old LM Radical, with Innegra; meanwhile they added a bit of graphene). He never played again the federesque kind of game he had until 2009. He lost 2009 trying to find a new racquet and to adapt, he developed a glitch in his serve motion at the end of the year, and then, he found Todd Martin…

In the video you linked to, it is obvious that Marian’s Vajda English is, at best, rudimentary. Ubaldo Scaganatta did most of the talking, while Vajda repeated “yes, yes, yes” and the only thing he really said was: “Contraproductive”. I guess you overstated what he said.

Your assessment of this interview is not motivated enough for another reason, since you don’t know what Vajda and Djokovic has done in the following months.

Then, Novak’s serve problems culminated while working with Martin, in Dubai.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0Z4xMs1JE0

In WB, there was no progress yet, but at the USO, we could notice a little change. It’s only at the AO that he reverted to his motion from 2011, with a adequate trophy position, although without enough hip rotation.

I don’t know if he worked again with Mark Woodforde, or he started listening to Vajda (who explained that he had a serious talk with him after Wimbledon, and that they had hard times together), but, to me, although I don’t believe that Martin did anything especially wrong (I knew beforehand the videos you linked to), I don’t believe that he was especially useful either. The main problem was probably the lack of coordination with Vajda, a problem that didn’t arise with Becker.


Daniel Says:

James,

Nadal>Sampras… That is subjective. If they remain tied, to me Sampras is better because of his number 1 records: 6 “straight” (probably never to be repeated again) YE#1, sole record holder of that and 285 Weeks as number 1, second only to Federer.

This are the ones who are talked the most: Slams and #1 records, because they represent consistency, important tournaments *you won;t be Year End #1 if you are not winning most of the tournament, beating most of the players and winning more titles).

#1 rankings are pretty accurate, In the last 15 years all Year End #1 were “deserving”. In the few years that there was contest, the player on top sure had his virtues, as Roddick in 2003 (won Canada, Cincy and USO), Djoko 2012 (all Slam splits but he won more titles and reached more finals). You can be #1 for a period but to be Year End #1 you prove you were the best of that year.


Daniel Says:

Markus, After Fed turned 30 (2011 USO), Djoko won AO 12′, AO 13′, W 14′, AO-W-USO 15′ and AO 16 = 7 Slams to Fed’s 1 in W 12′

After Nadal start having problems: AO 14′ Djoko won W 14′, AO-W-USO 15′ AO 16′ = 5 Slams to Nadal 1 (RG 14′)

So, 7-1 after Fed turned 30; 5-1 After Nadal had injury in 14′ if you count Nadal injury in 2012 Wimbledon, than Nadal won 3 total (add RG 13′ and USO 13′) and add 1 more to Djoko in AO 13′ so, Djoko 6 to Nadal 3 since Wimby 2012 or Djoko 5 to Nadal 1 since AO 2014.


Daniel Says:

IF we cunt Nadal maturity after 2008 Wimby when he finally won outside Clay, than Federer won 12 to Nadal 5 at that point and Djoko 1. But Djoko didn’t mature than, his breakthrough was 2011.

Fed 16 to Djoko 4 after DJoko mature in 2011.

Murray mature in Wimby 2013, when he won his second. At that point Fed had 17 to Andy 2, If we go a year earlier Fed had same 17 to Murray 1 after USO 2012.

Note that Murray only matured when Federer was already 31. So there is a strong case they were never able to play each other at their peak. And the same case can be made for Federer, his peak ended in 2010 and Djoko’s began in 2011. We never had Fed and Djoko playing at their peak years at the same time.

Fed and Nadal the thing is different because from 2008 to 2010 they were both at their peak, Nadal won 6 Slams and Federer 4 in this spam, so not much difference, and this difference can be explained that Federer was entering the tail end of his peak year and Nadal was on his absolute prime.

Also judging by where Nadal stands now, no Slam after 28, actually his last with 28 and a few days and where Federer was at the same age, he only won 1 Slam after that age, we can say that both Fed and Nadal end their peak year at 28, contrary to what Djoko is showing now where he won 3 Slams once he turn 28. Murray also, so far, wasn’t able to win Slams after 28 (of course he has the most against him as he faced surgery at 26), but if Murray end up not winning more Slams (hope not), than Djoko will be the sole exception with multiple Slams after 28 from the Big 4.

That’s why I don’t buy the wear era argument, if we go by this argument, right now Djoko won 5 Slams in a Spam where Nadal, Federer and Murray won none, from Wimby 2014 to now. It’s like we need the other Big 4 to win Slams to validate Djoko’s result.

To me is pretty simple, Djoko is just better than all of them right now and they are not good enough to win while he is. If he keeps winning and the others don’t is not his problem, he is beating all 7 players in his draw and gathering the tournaments. But that is why I don’t Do weak era, because it is just not the names that matter, there is a whole lot f contest beneath. None can say, Fed and Nadal are the same players they were a few years ago. With Nadal is even more evident, due to his style. Fed’s game “deteriorate” less over the year and that’s why he is able to still be top 3 at 34 and a half.

And what is mind blogging is that if Djoko wasn’t around he could be collecting multiple majors after 30, even if he lost some matches to Murray (who is also losing to Djoko a lot), because both Fed and Murray are only losing to Djoko basically at Slams: Fed lost 4 of the last 6 to Djoko (W 14′, W15′ USO 15′ AO 16′) and so did Murray (USO 14′, Ao 15′, RG 15′, AO 16′).


Wog Boy Says:

In 2008 Roger was 26 years old, Rafa 21, Nole and Andy 20.

Until 2008, Roger won 12 slams, from 2008 onwards 5 slams.

Nole won 11 slams, Rafa won 10 and Andy 2.


mat4 Says:

This GOAT discussion is the 785th I read on these pages.

Things are very complicated, and we shouldn’t take them out of their context. I’ll take here a fresh example, the cases of Federer and Djokovic.

First, let’s mention a few things about the Fed-Novak H2H. It was always very equilibrated. Between Novak’s 20 and Fed’s 30, when they were both at their physical peak, it was 10-9 for Fed. They usually won 1 or 2 matches, then lost 1 or 2 matches. The only streak was Fed’s, in 2010, when Novak was still struggling with his serve.

Another thing is Federer’s physical peak didn’t correspond to his technical peak, for various reasons. On the other side, Novak regressed after 2008 and completely changed his game. I still prefer the kind of game he had in 2008, although he is again improving his game since 2014.

Both of them stagnated many years — Fed from 2007 to 2011 (then he lost part of 2012 and the whole 2013 because of his back), Novak from 2008 to 2011, then from 2011 to 2014. But still, Novak’s technical peak arrived roughly when he was still at the peak of his physical powers.

They both dominated the field in a similar manner. Novak needs another great year to be at Fed’s level, and if it happens, and they will both finish their careers at the top of every statistical category in the Open Era. Since their respective games were so different, to decide between them, then, would be like to decide between Mozart and Beethoven.

Last, but not least, those are the only two players I remember that have strived so much after perfection.


Daniel Says:

Agree Wog Boy, if Djoko has 15 or 16 Slams (getting the 4 in row this year, or even the Grand Slam), as long as he gets RG, tie or surpass Sampras 6 YE#1, tie or surpass Fed’s 6 WTF, passes 270+ weeks as #1 or even Fed’s 300, record Masers, Olympics Gold, than he will have a almost undeniable case for GOAThodd, only 1 or Slams against him. But maybe if he gets 2 RG in the process, with double career Slam that would do. First things first and is him winning RG, desirable this year to overlap last years final.


Daniel Says:

Agree mat4, been saying it for a while That Djoko is emulating Federer like numbers in almost all categories, He probably will get at least 1 more AO to have as HIS Slams at 7 or more, just Like Fed has Wmby and Nadal RG. But his SF, and QF will be close, on pair or above Fed’s if he keeps this pace.

He already has 2 triple Slam years, if he get 1 more, he is 1/3 of the way there, he will tie Federer on another record (3 Triple year Slams) most though will be hard to happen again, and it may took just 10 years (Fed achieved that in 2007).


Daniel Says:

CF1,

Djoko is at 83 consecutive weeks as 31, sure to be past 100 even if he doesn’t play more this year. Most likely any chance for him to lose that ranking will come after USO if another player happen to win at least 2 of the next 3 Slams and he doesn’t. So e has a pretty safe cushion of another 30-32 weeks, If he goes on for 200 straight (somewhere in 2018) and nobody happens to challenge him, I want to see you use the weak era argument as well. Because, for sure, if he is indeed to get to 200+ straight weeks as number 1 is because we will enter a weak era period. No one can dominate tennis for almost 4 years in a competitive era right?!


Daniel Says:

Now I understand why my post was under moderation, “count” without an N, LOL


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Sorry, you’ll think that I am against you, but I do believe that you’re wrong.

The heart of the greatest champion can be shattered. Fed’s inner belief was destroyed by Rafa, and it was mostly a question of tactics and match-up.

Novak destroyed Rafa after a fierce battle, where Rafa tried the same tactics he used against Fed (avoiding Novak on hard, preparing the time and the place, choosing his battles). Novak was on the edge himself in 2013. But he found Becker, who changed everything, and I am certain Boris doesn’t know how and why himself. Something just clicked.

And then, there’s time, too. Have you noticed that Novak started to be nervous in the first rounds of slams, and tournaments in general, while he plays at his highest level in the semis and the finals? Because players like Fed, Rafa, Novak, know they play for history, and every matches count.

Let’s mention another thing. In 2013, Novak’s stats were almost the same as his stats from 2011. But in 2011 he won three slams, and in 2013, he won only one. Sometimes, it’s just a handful of points that decide of the whole season: a great return in 2011, a point lost because the player touched the net in 2013, and everything looks completely different.

Novak is a great player, without doubt. But Federer is a great player too. Why argue about it? Who’s better? For Skeezer, it’s Fed, for you and me, it’s Novak. But we’re fans. It’s just a question of taste from a certain point.


Markus Says:

Thanks, Daniel. I’ll give you an A in accounting but a D in spelling. You’re the only one I know who can misspell a letter. It was O that you missed, not N.


jane Says:

daniel, i know you’re a fed fan, but i also know you’re a tennis fan first, and you’ve always cheered along the players to set their own records, maybe especially novak. thanks & cheers for that. :) but dear oh dear, you really DO occasionally have to check your spelling. ha ha.

i am just bursting with pride for what novak’s achieved. for me he is the goat, if there is such a thing. but it’s not only based on numbers. it’s based on all my years of watching tennis, he’s been my absolute favourite guy to watch.

on the ladies’ side, for me it’s still steffi. and again, it’s not numbers based although i know she holds records. it’s just because she was such a cool cat on the courts!


Markus Says:

Sleepy time for me now. It has been an interesting discussion. This only tells me how great these players are: Federer, Djokovic, Nadal. It does not matter who you choose, each will provide you with enough ammunition to carry you through any discussion. Goodnight to all. Wish me not to have any nightmare about Wog Boy. :-)


mat4 Says:

@WB: inbox.

@jane: hi, glad you’re here too.

For Wb and you, after the final:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE

and now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04854XqcfCY

I believe this is legitimate.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Mat4, very well said.

I’d add that, regardless of weak or strong eras, dominating in this fashion is incredibly rare. Every champion has had his career cover at least SOME soft patch in competition- but Sampras never dominated the way Novak and Fed did. Even Borg, Laver, McEnroe never reached this level of consistency for this long.

One difference between #1 Fed and Novak: Fed had one particular rival that held him back from perfection. Novak has no one (now) in any position like that. On the one hand, Novak has no one to fear in the draw as #1 Fed had. On the other, Novak is slightly more vulnerable to the other top players, whereas Fed really had just Rafa, over and over, stopping him from even greater glory.


mat4 Says:

And that’s my wish for this year (and the following ones)…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFDcoX7s6rE


Daniel Says:

I shouldn’t be blogging, too stressful day. I wanted to type the O but typed the N. Poor Nadal, he was the one who had the word close to his name:-0


jane Says:

thanks for all the queen, mat4, hurrah!

daniel, lol, no worries, but couldn’t resist pointing that out.

markus, that’s right … they’re all great.

there are a bunch of other tennis players in the past and right now that are fun to watch too. lots of young guns coming up. and, well, “even gulbis” won a match today! :D


Wog Boy Says:

Daniel,

Was that, just maybe, what they call Freudian slip?


Okiegal Says:

@Daniel…….You can’t win for losing…..you are funny……love it……. That typo was hysterical! Love it! :)


mat4 Says:

I had to check the dictionary to understand why you were all so cheerful… It’s not fair.


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,

All good.


jane Says:

the lyrics to “we are the champions” really are poignant aren’t they? i’d forgotten.


mat4 Says:

Yes, indeed. I prefer slightly “The show must go on”, but many of their songs have beautiful lyrics: Thes are The days of our lives, Breakthru, etc.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Mat4 i know they were for Novaks fans,but thanks for the Queen songs….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Okie lol agree…..


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jane left you a post at 5.45pm February 1st,dont know if you read it,or even cared about what i said,but the picture you sent was nice anyway….


Van Persie Says:

I would also like to dedicate a song to all the Nole fans. Please hear “Edith Piaf of the Balkans” :)

http://proxycgi7.appspot.com/u?purl=d2F0Z19iT
VNFZ0w9dj9oY3Rhdy9tb2MuZWJ1dHVveS53d3cvLzpzcHR0aA%3D%3D


Giles Says:

Oh just give it a rest you joker fans. Since when did this become a musical site?


Tennisfan Says:

Damn, Fed injured his knee at AO and is out of Dubai and Rotterdam! Hopefully this isn’t going to set him back for too long


FedExpress Says:

shit man. he had an surgery also. this doesnt sound good. i hope he gets healthy first.

rest isnt important.


van orten Says:

total bummer !!!!. but of course he will be back, it is just a torn meniscus. Routine procedure. so he will be back very soon , very rested


skeezer Says:

Read he hurt it off the court…..


Dave Says:

Exactly Skeezer. It says that he hurt it the day after the Australian Open Semi-finals. If Indian Wells is right after, I doubt he will take a chance of coming back to early. I think he will want to be extra careful. Especially because there is nothing else scheduled between Indian Wells and the French Open. He can always schedule some of the masters 1000′s on Clay into his schedule instead and rest up to be safe.


Humble Rafa Says:

skeezer Says:
Read he hurt it off the court

I touched a hot plate once and had to take time off. I still blame Uncle Toni for not “testing” the plate before giving it to me. That’s why I now travel with a reliable tester, in addition to the knee machine guy.


James Says:

Unfortunately, this could be career ending for Fed – especially at his age. this might be his last year on tour. He will probably return for the clay season and avoid hard courts in INdian Wells too – he has enough points to remain top 4 till wimbledon. returning on clay and then grass would be smarter. Hardly anyone comes back to full speed after even this type of knee surgery.

Looks like 17 is going to be his final number.


Dave Says:

James,

I’m not sure I agree. According to this information. I will copy it onto my message.

Rehabilitation time for a meniscus repair is about 3 months. A meniscectomy requires less time for healing — approximately 3 to 4 weeks. Meniscus tears are extremely common knee injuries. With proper diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, patients often return to their pre-injury abilities.

Sounds like he will be fine. Maybe you are right about the age factor. Not sure though.


Okiegal Says:

Why is every injury on here routine…Murray’s back now Fed….when you are put to sleep nothing is routine……good luck to Fed on his recovery….but I think his 17 is in trouble


Dave Says:

Okiegal,

I think players want to stay as positive as possible about situations like this. They don’t want to think worst case scenario ever. Also, they don’t want to let on that it could be end up being a bad situation and possibly slow them down forever. It would give other players a pyschological edge and also it would be bad for marketing the sport of tennis. People might thing, I don’t want to watch Federer if he is not the full version of Federer because of his injury. There are a lot of factors to this.


chrisford1 Says:

Mat4 – Very informative post on the history of Djokovic’s serve and how it affected overall style of play when it was good, when it was bad.
I appreciate you taking the time to write it. If you ever have the inclination and opportunity, love to see your thoughts on where Rafa was, and what changed to bedevil his game recently.

Mat4&Jane – In their day, Queen had some awesome stuff. I believe using just Queen sampling, you could assemble a very nice musical tribute to Nole. Something even Federer fans could enjoy. (Or maybe not!). His female fans could go with some lines directed at him from “You Take My Breath Away”, lines residing in the Nole personal could add things from “Somebody to Love” I work hard (he works hard) every day of my life
I work till I ache in my bones
.
Queen’s “We Are The Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” suffer from the same thing as “Hotel California”, though. Massive overuse on playlists and at events.


mat4 Says:

Chris,

I recently wrote a long post about the evolution of Rafa’s FH and serve since 2003, but in French, with a lot of links. As usual, the language is the main obstacle for me to write a coherent and concise post in a short time, something that would make sense.

But let’s say that in 2003 Rafa had a sound serve, from what I could see (the videos on yt are of bad quality). At Wimbledon, he served and volleyed often, and he used to hit his FH in a classical way, with the racquet finishing over his shoulder, and with much less spin. He looked a bit like the player that won the USO 2010.

Why did he change his motion? I don’t have a clue. He changed his leg position, then his motion became a bit similar to Novak’s, etc. I guess that he also had problems with his grip and with his toss. It all goes together, anyway.

On the other side, the evolution of his FH is more natural — just like many young players, he used the “lasso” motion when he was a bit late on the ball, and he discovered that it could be efficient on clay. What I don’t understand is why he doesn’t use a flat forehand today, when he obviously know quite well how to hit it.

I worked a lot lately with children, helping my son’s coach. He’s very knowledgeable but I refreshed my memories and read a dozen books, so it bcame a mutually enriching experience (that continues, btw, and we lately learned my son to hit a federesque forehand, with an almost eastern grip and pronation of the elbow). But the first thing I noticed was that, while it wasn’t too difficult to teach a specific motion, a shot to children, it was very difficult to avoid distortions and wrong execution by the pupils. You have to correct them time and time again, each and every training session.

I don’t want even to try to imagine how it is with adult pros, being myself unsuccessful with boys aged 10 to 14.


chrisford1 Says:

Mat4 – I’m sure you did enough, they undoubtedly learned a few things from you.

Nadal is a mystery at times. He has shots he is very good at but rarely uses, even when he should. He doesn’t go to net enough, but when he does on offense or is chasing down a drop shot, he is a good touch volleyer.

In the States, some tennis programs sort of ban the Rafa”lasso” or “bola” whipping motion as not a good thing for kids wrists.


Margot Says:

chrisford1
It’s a mystery because Andy is exactly like Rafa in this respect, doesn’t go to the net nearly enough, but when he does, like Rafa, shows what an excellent tough player he is.
In fact Lopez is the only Spanish player I can think of who zips to the net on a regular basis.
Now I’m wondering if this is the result of learning your tennis craft in Spain and/or prioritising clay?


Margot Says:

@mat
You “teach” past tense “taught” your son “learns” past tense “has learnt.”
Sorry to pick you up on that, your English is brilliant, believe me. Interesting very common mistake by ESOL students of all nationalities.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

I am a linguist, and I have learnt the past participles of irregular verbs. But to use them is another thing, and I am never sure which tense to use: past tense, present perfect, present simple? And then, when I try to post in a hurry — it’s a nightmare.

Then, the most glaring thing is the wrong choice of words. I try to learn from you, but sometimes…

From a certain point, reading (I do it all the time) and writing in a language is not good enough any more, and the only way to learn a language is to speak it everyday with native speakers. You also have to know the cultural references, the past, the geography, the music… My sister-in-law, Emma, helps me a lot when I am in France — she speaks in English with me, but I am too afraid to use that vernacular and I answer usually in French.

I speak a few languages, some quite fluently (to the point that I can’t be detected as a stranger), others with more difficulties. I read others as well. But, there is one thing that happens inevitably: using a foreign language not only reflects wrongly your personality, but changes it in a certain degree.

That’s why I hate my English — it’s simply not good enough, it’s not me. I was raised, and taught by my parents that every person is born noble, and has the duty to remain such. It should be reflected by a true kindness in one’s behaviour and in his words. I am unable to write that way in English — to remain true, earnest, to say what I thing — even when it’s not pleasant — and to show kindness and respect at the same time.

It’s much easier for me to do it in French, but there I have another problem. I understand quite well irony, “the second level”, but, unfortunately, I also understand “the third level”, it’s part of my formation.

Anyway, thanks for your kind words, Margot. I appreciate your friendly behaviour very much.


mat4 Says:

Chris, Margot:

A comment about Novak, Rafa, Andy, and their “comfort zone”. Their main problem is not how to play a volley — they all know it quite well, but when to go to the net — you have to make the first step forward even when hitting your previous shot.

First, Novak: he has changed in the last eight, seven years, and while he used to play mostly flat, with just a little bit of spin, today he likes to play very safe. It’s obvious when he is at the net: he seldom plays deep enough, or angled enough, and avoids risks whenever he can. (Let’s also notice that Novak sometimes forgets to change his grip on his forehand.) This need to play safe is detrimental when he tries to smash — a shot he has yet to learn, because you have to unleash it, you can’t always play it with a margin.

With Rafa, it’s a question of habits: for years he went to the net just to finish a completely won point, and it was usually enough to drop the ball over the net. Today, when he plays more at the net, he still rather plays a drop volley than a deep, directed volley.

Andy should probably have a better technique, although the differences, at that level, are small (although… a few years ago, when he was in his “baseliner” phase, Fed didn’t bend his knees enough at the net). But just like Novak, he doesn’t like to take too much risk, and in the final, too many times he watched first where his ball would land before rushing to the net. He was, of course, one step too late.

The “comfort zone” problem was the one thing Lendl managed to change: e.g., a fact I heard on the tennis podcast last week. Simon Cambers said that before the Lendl period, Andy’s FH was 118 kmh, during Lendl’s coaching, 122 kmh, and now it reverted to 116 kmh.

It makes me believe that Mauresmo coaching won’t be successful. Andy needs a fatherly coach to force him to use his full potential. He finally found it in Ivan Lendl, and it makes the task of finding a replacement even harder.


Okiegal Says:

@Dave 10:03……..Yeah, I’m sure this is true. I think it will take awhile to get back to normal after the surgery, however. Indian Wells??? I am not so sure about that……Good luck to him on a quick recovery!


Okiegal Says:

@Margot 1:39…….I “learnt” something today about the words learnt and learned. I did not think that learnt was even a word. Googled it and asked the question and to my surprise it is a word. In the states it is generally taught in school…he “learned” and not “learnt”. My answer said that learnt was the most common word used with British English…..never too old to learn!


MMT Says:

mat4: Regarding your post @February 2nd, 2016 at 9:07 pm:

I didn’t analyze the 2008 serve because the motion was worse in 2009 and 2010 was when they addressed a number issues in his game, including the serve.

Whether the serving issues were down the racquet is irrelevant – the point is that he had serving issues to be addressed, which he did.

The clip from his serve in 2009 is not at the end of the year, it’s from Miami (Key Biscayne), which you can also see here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh9koDTPyiE

But whether the serve was bad at the start of 2009 or the end (as would in fact be supportive of my analysis of Martin’s influence) is not the point. The point it prior to AO 2011 the serve was worse than afterwards, and Martin worked with him on the serve in Indian Wells at least. There used to be another clip of them working in Cincinnati, where Martin had him do his service motion adjacent to the back fence, forcing the arm straight up (without the stiff-arm, lest he hit the fence), but I cannot find it.

I didn’t overstate anything from the Vajda clip – that is a mischaracterization on your part. I said they addressed a number of issues in the 2010, including the serve, which is exactly what he said, and is exactly my point.

If the issues culminated in Dubai, as you say (in February), then it makes sense that they would work on it Indian Wells (in March per the clips in my article) which they did.

And I did state that he worked on the serve in 2010, and the motion was solid starting in 2011. There is a clear connection between what Martin worked on and the changes to the motion.

When you state that he reverted to a serve motion in 2011, it implies that he had this motion before: he did not have the 2011 motion prior to 2011. Even your clip from Djokovic’s match with Federer in 2008 has a stiff arm (albeit not as exaggerated as in 2009) and lacks wrist pronation. Both of which are addressed with the example exercises he did with Martin at Indian Wells.

You have a lot of speculation about what Woodforde and Vajda did to work on the serve. Please post clips of practice sessions with either of them showing them working on the serve, because I wouldn’t want to deny them the credit that has been denied Martin for the work he did. My point was only to give Martin credit for the work he did, not necessarily for all the improvements in the serve or his game, which ultimately are down to Djokovic himself and is my point:

If a player chooses to improve, he can do it – he simply has to commit to doing it and work on it until he sees the fruits of that labor.


Margot Says:

@mat4
Cheers. I’d much rather be “friendly” than “unfriendly” TBH even tho a certain person will no doubt leap up and down and claim this is meant to be a “dysfunctional” blog and what am I thinking of…..just joshing SG ;)
I’m not sure about Andy. In 2011/12 he was in pain and functioning on pain killers. I wonder if somewhere, at the back of his mind, he thought he might never play again, and this gave him an extra oomph?
@OK
English grammar/spelling is barking mad m’dear, no point even trying to understand it!
As France is closer to the UK than the USA, I gave mat good advice tho. ;)


mat4 Says:

@MMT:

First, despite the data on the site of the ATP, Woodforde coached Novak in 2007.

I’ll repeat that what you infer to Vajda was in fact said by Ubaldo Scaganatta, while Vajda was repeating “yes”, and the only word he said about the role of Todd Martin was “Unproductive”. It was obvious that Vajda’s knowledge of English was rudimentary, and you had to take it in account. But feel free to write whatever you want, of course.

Then, let’s recapitulate:

- in 2007 and 2008, Novak doesn’t use wrist pronation but he serves at 212 kmh and makes more than 500 aces a year (or almost);

- in 2009, at the end of the year, he still serves well, although not as well as he did with the Wilson racquet; his motion has deteriorated, and it caused problems to his shoulder at the end of the year;

- beginning of 2010: he started working with Todd Martin, and his serve became clearly a problem, although Martin improved his wrist pronation;

- from the middle of 2010 he stopped working with Todd Martin, and although Vajda knew nothing about serve, in the next six months he slowly improves his motion, although he still can’t serve as fast as he did once.

Your conclusion is that Martin improved his serve, and that the results were obvious six months later, while the fact that Novak’s serve clearly deteriorated while he was coached by Martin is irrelevant.

My objections are the following: it’s not clear why Novak’s motion deteriorated, and then radically changed; it’s not obvious what he has done to improve after splitting with Martin, and, while I am open to your hypothesis, there are two facts to take in account: he changed his racquet once again at the end of 2010, reverting almost to the racquet he used before switching to Wilson, and two, he was coached by Vajda, not Martin, when he finally recovered an efficient motion.

I didn’t find videos of him working with Mark Woodforde, although it is a known fact that Woodforde was hired to work on Novak transition, volley and serve. If you watch carefully his second serve against Federer, you will notice that his second serve speed was often close to 180 kmh, something Paul-Henri Mathieu stated after their match at Roland Garros in 2008.

And the most important thing: his main problem in 2010 was that his right arm, after the toss, was too far from his body. He tried then to compensate, and his elbow moved too low and too close to the body. It was obvious in Dubai, in IW… etc., and it was also the main problem at the USO, although his serve seemed more reliable. From one of the clips we can see that Todd Martin doesn’t even try to address this problem.

It’s a process that perhaps slowly started even in the middle of 2008:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwdwQ29Qae0

At the beginning of 2011, he has a good trophy position again, his right arm making a different, lateral motion to get there. But he doesn’t serve in the range of 205-210 kmh, the way he did in 2007/8.

Anyway, your blog post is well written, it is very interesting, unfortunately, it’s just an essay, pleasant to read, but mostly inaccurate.


MMT Says:

mat4: i did not say that Marian Vajda credited Martin for the serve – I credit Martin. Vajda listed Djokovic’s problems, and he included the serve. In fact he elaborated on the fact that despite the problems with his serve, Djokovic was still very competitive which was evidence of tremendous mental strength. I can’t understand how you can listen to him say that, and then claim that I’m putting words in his mouth that Ubalda said. That’s just dishonest. It is in fact you putting words in my mouth, because I didn’t say Vajda credited Martin for Djokovic’s serve.

My contention is that Martin worked on the serve, addressed fundamental issues, and over the course of a year it improved to the point where it was very effective starting in 2011.

The changes of racquet may create serving issues, but they still need to be addressed. I don’t see the point of that information – what does it matter if it’s his racquet or his shoes or his aftershave. Whatever is causing it, it has to be addressed.

Your contention that Vajda may have contributed to improving his serve is not exclusive of crediting Martin. But if you analyze the exercises Martin was doing with Djokovic and look at the changes to his motion, there is a clear connection.

And this argument that he served hard with his flawed motion is irrelevant. Venus Williams has fundamental flaws with her serve and she frequently serves 125mph+ and she has a number of fundamental flaws, and one of the reason’s why Serena’s serve (despite being slower) is better. Anyway it is not a boolean proposition that a serve with fundamental flaws cannot be effective some or even most of the time. So the premise of your argument is flawed.

The problem comes when you have to serve under duress against the top players, which he struggled with – again Vajda’s words, not mine (and not Ubalda’s)

Rewatch his US Open final in 2007 against Federer. He lost the first two sets in which he had set points on his serve. When is the last time that happened to him since 2011?

Blue martians may be living in my closet, but just because I contend it doesn’t make it so. You list a lot of facts and coincidences that don’t inform the one thing that matters: his service motion. Why don’t you discuss the serve motion (like Ben Bronin did when we argued about this before), rather than things that only speculatively could be inferred to affect…well, his serve motion?

And you can stop saying that I can write what I want – of course I can write what I want – it’s a free/open medium. But your attempts to discredit me, by suggesting that I write things independent of what’s in the videos and articles that I cite, is dishonest of you. I don’t write inaccuracies – and it is very manipulative of you to envelope a false critique (that I write inaccuracies) in a compliment (like my blog is pleasant to read and well written).

Disagree with what you disagree with, but you should be intellectually honest when you do so.


MMT Says:

LOL! Ben, I was typing very fast when I wrote that!


Wog Boy Says:

There is nothing Tod Martin can be credited with, he almost destroyed Nole’s career, Nole was on the verge of quitting tennis due to Tod Martin’ “improvements” of Nole’s game (serve). Stop writing nonsense for the sake of writing, and stop being arrogant , mat4 knows much more about Nole’s game than you will ever know, Since he has inside knowledge that you don’t have.
Sorry mat4, I had to tell that since I know but he (others) don’t. You have all the rights to be upset, but I am fed up with MMT arrogance, just because he is running the blog doesn’t mean he is right in everything he says. Anybody today can have a blog.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ to be upset with me


MMT Says:

Wog Boy: that was very insightful – full of examples and analysis, thanks for that.


Wog Boy Says:

My pleasure, anytime MMT.


jane Says:

this link shows novak’s 2007 serve as being very fluid, and i believe he had quite a bit of success with it in 2008 when, for example, he won the AO his first slam. but something went wrong in the interim and there has been debate both ways as to whether martin improved it or made it worse. this writer’s analysis that martin’s work to have novak try a more abbreviated serving motion hindered novak’s fluid motion and actually things went from bad to worse. indeed 2010 was novak’s worst serving year ever and it was in the clay season that year he fired martin. vajda is interviewed at the end of 2011, after the USO triumph but i think he was talking about the off season between 2010 and 2011 and what they worked on during that time. i don’t have the technical acumen to discuss the strokes. but in terms of timeline, it certainly seemed like novak’s serve was worse after martin. 2010 was a nightmare for us novak fans. ha.


MMT Says:

Thanks for the link Jane: I agree that fluidity is a key to a good serve, and his motion is certainly more fluid now than it was – even as far back as 2007. In the clip in your link he has a little over rotation and is using a backhand grip to put topspin to keep it from going long. The over rotation also makes it hard to actually see the point of contact. There is no stiff arm, but his trophy position is late in the kinetic sequence because the take back is elaborate.

Today the racquet head comes almost straight up, the trophy position is earlier in the kinetic sequence, so there is not over rotation and he can actually see his point of contact. This allows for a more accurate delivery, which he can hit with a continental grip, which gives him more options (like his slice up the T in the ad court – a very valuable serve when facing break point or game point).

In the clip in mat4′s post above – if you pause the clip at the point of contact you’ll note that he is actually watching the court and not the ball. His serve was more effective in 2007, but as I noted, it cost him the US Open that year, among other matches.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Yes, there were analysis in the time that Martin tried to learn Novak to use a motion similar to Roddick’s. I’ve read that link before, then watched Roddick’s serve many times, and I don’t quite agree with that assertion. But that Novak serve wasn’t flawed in 2007 is well known.

The best explanation about his serve improvement is the following:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KborDMXqV1w

The key is in synchronization. Novak’s right arm goes toward the back and then moves to the trophy position. It makes a loop. In 2007, at the moment of the toss, when his left arm is arosen (is it the right word?), the right arm is in the trophy position, at an angle of about 90 degrees, and his serve is excellent.

But in 2008, his right arm is already a bit late, and he still manages to serve well because he is very elastic. At the AO, it’s difficult to notice, but at Wimbledon, it’s already a bit more visible — although, one should also listen to JMac:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3ELqFO90fk


mat4 Says:

But let’s watch now how his right arm gets into the trophy position, in 2015 — it’s doesn’t loop back any more, but moves straight away, what I called laterally in my previous post:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYXtVUfbYds

And now, let’s watch him work with Todd Martin, who doesn’t correct his right arm motion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN1i37DzGzI

Finally, we can speculate all day long what were Martin’s intention and what he has done. But, like I wrote in my previous post, Djokovic had an excellent serve before 2009 (even when his motion was flawed), and his serve deteriorated when working with Martin.

I don’t agree that he lost the USO 2007 because of his serve. It’s just your opinion.


MMT Says:

That clip with McEnroe commentating, I have to point out that he is over-rotated and not watching the ball when he hits it. Also, the stiff arm is pronounced here – perhaps it’s the angle, or a one-off thing, but by 2009, it’s a fixture in his serve and his serve is definitely not good.

McEnroe’s initial emphasis is on the deep knee bend (which I agree with) but then he continues talking about his exceptional core strength which allows him to “…twist in a position that…most mere mortals would seem uncomfortable.”

That is precisely a consequence of the over-rotation I’ve been referring to repeatedly, and as with all fundamental flaws, it appears to me to have evolved to get worse until it was untenable in 2009 and 2010.

The clip from Top Tennis Training – I couldn’t agree more with it. All the things he indicates improved it are aligned with the sample exercises that Martin had him doing in Indian Wells (and I presume elsewhere). The simple take back, straight to trophy position. He doesn’t discuss the toss location or the grip change, which I think was the closing of the loop on the serve issues. I should point out that he is using both the Wilson and the Head frames in photos where the stiff arm is in play.

Ironically everyone agrees that the serve improved in 2011, the question is whether Martin should be excluded from credit for that – I don’t think he should based on the changes and what I can plainly see they worked on in practice.


MMT Says:

mat4: There is no instruction in this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN1i37DzGzI

It’s just Djokovic hitting serves in slow motion. In the clips from my article, you’ll see the instruction I refer to – the exercises of holding two racquets and serving from the knees.

That is instruction – I am not speculating about that – those are exercises that they did. You can’t show a clip where there is no instruction and then say he didn’t do anything to fix Djokovic’s issues.

That’s just dishonest.


mat4 Says:

MMT:

You made factual errors in your blog post: Martin stopped working with Novak after Miami. Novak’s motion changed mainly at the beginning of 2011.

Then, while his serve wasn’t optimal in 2009, it was a still a solid serve, far from the abysmal serve he had in 2010, while/after working with Todd Martin.

Your all post is based on nothing. You have three clips of Novak and Todd working together, and you assume that Novak has improved his serve nine months later thanks to Martin.

I believe that it is more rational to think that he reverted to the motion he had at the beginning of 2007, and that he did the exercises he learned with coaches that helped him improve — Petrovic, Vajda and Woodforde. And since he was working with Vajda in the inter-season, it would be reasonable to presume that Vajda was the one that changed his motion.


Travis Bickle Says:

MMT,

I’m not sure what your agenda is in harping how Todd Martin improved Novak’s serve, when it’s a known fact that Novak fired Martin after realizing Martin was making things worse.

Too bad Novak did not have you to advise him at the time of firing Martin because, according to you, had he kept Martin, his serve would have improved even more than it is by now. Novak serve is great at this time, imagine what could have happened had Novak kept listening to Martin’s valuable advice in the last 6 years… The first two sets against Fed at AO would have been 6-0, 6-0, instead 6-1, 6-2!!!
Alas, Novak apparently made a mistake in 2010 and fired Martin’s ass.


mat4 Says:

MMT (10:59 pm):

It’s not dishonest. Martin was watching Novak making the key error in his motion time and time again, and didn’t react. The first thing he should have done — and it’s well known — was to make Novak serve from the trophy position.

BTW, Rafa had the same problem — and it’s very instructive to see what Oscar Borras did to make him improve his serve.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IikkA1QJYyk


mat4 Says:

@MMT (10:54 pm)

Yes, I agree here with you — his serve has already deteriorated in Wimbledon 2008, like I wrote before. And one of the reason I wanted to show that clip is that sometimes it’s very difficult to assess what’s right and what’s wrong, how a player compensates for his shortcomings, something revealed by JMac comments.

Finally, once again, we are arguing about trifles — and most of the time, it’s rather a question of misunderstanding than of different opinion.

I didn’t quite understand a complicated sentence in your post, you made an error about dates, and it all started again, just like in the “Federer case”. There’s no reason for that.

While in the future I will try to ask what is not quite clear to me in your posts, I beg you not to forget that English is not my first language, and that I find it very difficult to write long, detailed posts.


MMT Says:

mat4: Facts:

Federer served down 30-40 at 5:5 and hit a high kick serve that Djokovic stepped in on, took at head height, and hit it 10 feet out. Federer then hit a first serve on the next break point at Ad Out that landed 3 inches from both lines. Of course Djokovic hit a magical return and broke, but Federer’s serve on both break points was excellent.

Contrast that with Djokovic who serving up 40:0 hit a second serve that landed 3 feet from either line which Federer stepped in on (with his one-handed backhand) and immediately took control of the point – his next shot was an inside-in forehand winner, but it came from a backhand return he came over because Djokovic’s serve was short with insufficient kick (unlike Federer’s).

He hit some unforced errors to lose his next three set points he had, but he then hit a double-fault on break point to lose the game. He also served a double-fault to lose the tie-break.

In the second set, down 15:40 (at 5-6), Federer served an ace then a 123mph serve square on the “T”: Djokovic hit another magical return, and lost the point on an error, but Federer’s serve on each break point was impeccable. He also won the game on a service winner – not as close to the lines as the break points, but a free point nonetheless.

Speaking of free points: Federer was up 5-2 in the second set tie-break: four of his points came from service winners. Djokovic, on the other hand went 2-1 (unforced error) on his serve with no service winners. So in the run of play he was better than Federer in the tiebreak – but he still lost the game because Federer’s serve was better. At 5-2, Djokovic misses another first serve and hits a second serve again 3-4 feet from any line, which Federer slices deep and wins the point with is second shot – an inside out forehand.

It is my opinion that his serve cost him the match, but my opinion is informed.


MMT Says:

“BTW, Rafa had the same problem — and it’s very instructive to see what Oscar Borras did to make him improve his serve.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IikkA1QJYyk

I know this story – I have discussed it extensively on tennis-x for years, and I have used it to prove my fundamental belief that all problems in tennis are technical and have technical solutions.

I would point out that both Nadal and his Uncle are resistant to the changes proposed by Borras – which according to you should have been instantly obvious to Martin, but somehow they escaped Toni Nadal for 14 years.

But I reiterate that there is no instruction in that clip you’re referring to. They are clips of Djokovic serving, not clips of instruction. The clips on my blog post are from the same practice and Martin gives him exercises to do precisely what you say he should have done in clips that don’t include instruction.


mat4 Says:

@MMT:

Your methodology here is fallacious: Novak served 53% of first serve, won 71% of these points, 56% of his second serves. His avg speed both on first and second serves was better than Federer’s.

Federer converted 3 BP out of 5, Novak 2 out of 9. Novak lost because he played a big final for the first time, and he choked in key moments. And, last but not least, Federer was still the better player then.


mat4 Says:

@MMT:

About Rafa — no, they probably didn’t escape Toni Nadal for years. While it’s easy to teach a young player how to develop a certain shot, stroke, but it’s very difficult to correct it when the player gets bad habits.

Then, we all made an error here, thinking that the interpretation of the narrator was the right one: we don’t clearly see in the film what Toni thinks and what his objections are, if there are any.

On the other side, I know that the quality of coaches can be very disputable.


mat4 Says:

@MMT:

A few days ago, you made me watch Rafa’s serve motion in 2003 — and his FH, BTW — and I still don’t understand the evolution of those shots.

I do agree that most of the problems are of a technical nature — but technical has a very broad meaning here, and encompasses a lot of things.


Alexandra Says:

What in heavens name is a serb slam? Just call it the career slam like always!

Personally to me, Djokovic is not a star in the true sense of the word. Of course he is a great player, no doubt about that. To me he is like Lendl in a way. And this call for respect has really become boring. Are people trying the talk fans into liking him?? Fans have their own favourites, and it doesn’t matter how much you try to change that. Just have to look at Becker, he was very popular and he wasn’t even close to being the best ever. But I hate when people try to up Djokers popularity by pointing to his success. Has nothing to do with that. His popularity is on a normal level, not overly popular though. It would also help him if he would be in a rivalry, and not dominating the way he is now. That is boring to most, at least to casual fans. Being part of a rivalry would surely up his name.

If Federer or Nadal win another slam, we will see. No one can look into the future. But even if they don’t, does it matter that much? They have won enough in their careers, same as Djokovic. All great players in their own right. No need to waste time with this constant goat talk. I feel a little sorry for Murray. Historically he will not be seen in the same space as the other three because he was not good enough in slams, even though he had enough chances.


Van Persie Says:

Alexandra, Nole fans really do not care how popular or unpopular he is. Nole fans only defend him, like Fed- and Rafa fans do for their favorite.
Personally I hope for the majority of Fed fans to search for another hero, when Fed will retire. I do not wan to have them on Nole side.


Van Persie Says:

I would only like to add, that it is the media or many fans of other players, who try to minimize Nole’s success, by pointing out how “unpopular or unloved” he is. I hope Nole will succeed in frustrating his rivals (because he has rivals) and their nice fans, like he did in the last years


mat4 Says:

Alexandra wrote:

“Personally to me, Djokovic is not a star in the true sense of the word.”

You’re right. Personally… and for you.


Giles Says:

Van Persie and mat4 doth protest too much.
Too funny.


Van Persie Says:

Glad I made you smile, Giles. I care a lot about your feelings :)


Wog Boy Says:

“Personally I hope for the majority of Fed fans to search for another hero, when Fed will retire. I do not wan to have them on Nole side.”

Van Persie,

Vast majority of Fed fans who are now Nole fans are doing that for two reasons, one is that Nole was the only one who could stop Rafa from breaking Roger records, what Nole did, two, they want to keep themselves in the winning circle. Maybe only 10% are Nole fans for tennis reasons.
At least Rafa fans never pretended, they won’t cheer Nole no matter what and I have more respect for them for that reason…except for that prick called Giles.
The truth is that in any discussion about Nole and Roger they will take Roger’s side what makes them still Roger fans no matter how hard they try to convince you they are Nole fans. Just check any argument here on TX and you will see it for yourself.


Wog Boy Says:

Alexandra,

You should have gone to “Specsavers”!
Nole is a star in his own rights, if you had a chance to be in Australia for AO you would have seen that with your own eyes, but first you have to visit “Specsavers” and change your Rafa (Roger) glasses for neutral one.


Van Persie Says:

WB, thanks for the explanation. I already felt these things, but you described them very accurate for me. :)


jalep Says:

“The truth is that in any discussion about Nole and Roger they will take Roger’s side what makes them still Roger fans no matter how hard they try to convince you they are Nole fans. Just check any argument here on TX and you will see it for yourself.”

Wog Boy, this is not truth or fact. This is your opinion and Van Persie, CF1, Travis Bickle and the opinion many more who hate Federer will favor. You don’t know what is in someone’s heart and mind.

Please don’t try to speak for me, will you?


mat4 Says:

“Alesandra wrote:

His popularity is on a normal level, not overly popular though. It would also help him if he would be in a rivalry, and not dominating the way he is now.”

But he has not one, but at least three big rivalries — it’s not his fault if his opponents keep losing!

First, he did his best in the final of the AO to lose a set, but to no avail. It wasn’t his fault Andy kept making double faults.

In the semi, he won three sets 1,2,3… Roger at least was grateful Novak gave him one.

Anyway, that theory about “rivalries” is wrong. Everybody watches tennis not to miss the day when Novak will lose. It’s stupid to miss the final of a tournament, since he won’t probably lose in the next six months. If he was losing regularly, there would be no appeal, tennis wouldn’t be interesting at all. That’s why we all watch Serena against Maria, or Novak against Andy, or Novak against Rafa. That’s why Simon is so popular right now — he made it to the fifth set. Imagine how boring it would be if Novak was losing more often.

;-)


Wog Boy Says:

jalep,

If you quoted my post in it’s entirety, and not just taking one sentence you would see I was talking about vast majority not all, I did say 10% are genuine Nole fans, didn’t I, and I don have to read anybody’s mind, I read their posts, that’s quite sufficient!
And as for you, frankly my dear lady, seeing you backing proven Nole hater Giles was enough for me to change my mind about you, what is next, you are going to back Brando who chased you away from TX, pity!


Giles Says:

The sh!te bag from down under strikes again. CLASSLESS!!


jalep Says:

Probably would back Brando if he came back, yes.

Bring out the specific posts all right? And let’s see them. I can guess which ones they are. And let me tell you, I watched and was a Roger fan during his prime. He’s not in his prime now. I think we’ve established that. What else?


jalep Says:

Giles is Tennis-X legend. I think Giles hates or hated Federer too, once upon a time.


jalep Says:

Shirley you jest? WB. Frankly.


mat4 Says:

@jalep:

“Giles is Tennis-X legend.”

You’re quite right. He’s the only poster that has never written a meaningful post. He’s just like the Hihglander: there can be only one… like this. He’s the legendary poster from legends… the furious one…

;-)


mat4 Says:

@jalep:

He even hates Anna Kournikova…


Wog Boy Says:

Jalep,

I’ll leave you with your friend Giles, you desrve each other.
I’ll rather have a drink with Van Persie, TB, CF1 and other genuine Nole’s fans.


jalep Says:

Well, I know how Wog Boy feels, mat4.

Have been very angry with him for many months.


jalep Says:

I see, Wog Boy. Because I don’t hate Federer…

Well, that’s too bad. Nonetheless, I am a Nole Fan. I doubt Novak Djokovic would mind me being his fan.

mat4, you and jane said months ago that you miss the old conty. And I miss the old mat4, jane, Wog Boy, ect…
2015 changed all of us.


Wog Boy Says:

“Well, I know how Wog Boy feels, mat4.”

I feel great, thanks very much:)


mat4 Says:

@jalep:

If I understood well, WB stated that you were an exception. And in those other fights, he wasn’t usually the one to throw the first stone, quite the contrary. Even TB — with the exception of GG, who he likes to make fun with — never attacks ad hominem in his posts, while the answer was vicious.

Lately you’re different. You weren’t true to yourself, to the poster I know for so many years in these last posts. I hope everything is OK with you and that our old jalep will come back soon, for my pleasure (pour mon plaisir — is it ok, in English?), at least.


jalep Says:

Okay. Leave Giles with me I’ll go take her for a drink. Or, him. I imagine we’d have a laugh.


Wog Boy Says:

“Because I don’t hate Federer…”

You are doing exactly what you were accusing me of, being mind reader, you are falling in your own trap. I don’t even hate your friend Giles, that feeling (hate) is not part of my DNA.


jalep Says:

Wog Boy, you told me flat out that you hated Federer. And, were anti-American and that I can understand more than anti-Federer.

I hate Super Bowl, so what?


mat4 Says:

The old mat4 is still here. Yes… from time to time I throw a low jab at Rafa, but I just can’t resist. But I still try to be balanced, and to show respect to other players. And since I know a lot of fans of other players that I am fond of, I avoid to write about other players, even Karlovic.

And you missed a few evenings when we were writing about poetry, music, films, jokes, when it was like a few years ago.

Yes, I miss Conty, and I don’t understand why he wanted to change, to become jalep.

Anyway, from now on I call you Dave again. Signed: Trig.


jalep Says:

mat4, Wog Boy didn’t state that I was an exception!


jalep Says:

Conty was never a “he”. conty, jalep, ratcliff, whatever username I design is a SHE!


Wog Boy Says:

“Wog Boy, you told me flat out that you hated Federer. And, were anti-American and that I can understand more than anti-Federer.”

That is flat out lie. What is wrong with you? DO NOT put the words that I never used in my mouth please. That is very cheap shot, not worth old Conty!


jalep Says:

Okay, I’ll go find the post Wog Boy. I don’t want to because I do love you, but you make it impossible not to by personal insult.


Wog Boy Says:

“mat4, Wog Boy didn’t state that I was an exception!”

I didn’t state any name, why would I, you were the last person I would put in those 90%, but since you came out of closet with your feelings towards, I am glad this turned the way it turned, I was always naïve in choosing my friends.


mat4 Says:

@jalep:

Of course he did, but you didn’t take in account the differences of culture and behaviour.

An educated Serb will never tell you, right in your face, that “you’re an exception”. He will tell (write), “I was talking about vast majority not all, I did say 10% are genuine Nole fans” — to make clear he never doubted that you were a true fan, since even doubt would be offensive.

Another example: in France, when you openly visually “scan” a lady and smile, she will return your smile and go on. You have to do it, even, to give her a silent compliment. Try to do this in Greece… Both behaviour — the watching, the smile — would be unacceptable.

The first time I worked as a guest-teacher in an international student’s camp I met a German in the shared showers. She stopped to chat with me, drying her hair, completely naked, while I was blushing utterly confused… So, misunderstandings are very common.


Wog Boy Says:

“.. personal insult.”

Which one? I don’t recall insulting, I wouldn’t do that for the sake of good old old times, even called me Toger/American hater. Dislike of Roger and American foreign policy, doesn’t qualify as hate, or does it?


Wog Boy Says:

“The first time I worked as a guest-teacher in an international student’s camp I met a German in the shared showers. She stopped to chat with me, drying her hair, completely naked, while I was to blushing utterly confused… So, misunderstandings are very common.”

Those Germans…why those things never happened to me, and I lived in Germany:((


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,

I’ll get back to you tonight, local time, I am out and about, but you are right, you know what I am talking about, don’t you?


mat4 Says:

@WB: I am good at chatting…


jalep Says:

Here is the thread. Wog Boy, you come in accusing me of being a blind believer, as in believing anything I read in news outlets like CNN…

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2015-09-22/20723.php

However, I doubt Wog Boy, that you would have even been ready to swing at me if I hadn’t made a comment on a different thread about a CF1 post – and I called CF1 out for being anti-Federer but didn’t name him. Wog Boy, you took it to mean I accused you of being anti-Federer.

This is when our copacetic Nole fan poster relationship began to go sideways. As far as I remember we were fine before this.

Yes it was a remark by me to CF1 on a different thread – a jab and you thought it was meant for you….hahahaha caught you there, WB. It wasn’t for you. Now I have to go find that one.


jane Says:

wait: who’s old and who’s new? i don’t get it.

all i know is jalep got upset at me one day when i answered gypsy’s post about who is fans of whom and how many, and it seems like she’s been mad at me since, which makes me sad.

i think some other issues began when fed and novak comparisons started; novak’s achievements brought him into conversations he was never in before, for e.g., “weak era” stuff, and so on.

remember the fed and rafa arguments for years? well now novak is in that mix. mostly i have tried to stay out of it because it’s fans’ opinions anyhow. but sometimes i’ll throw in stats to support my fave. so be it. i’ve always done that for novak, since as far back as sean calling him a garbage man here in 2008. no change.

it’d just be nice if the conversations here could happen with analysis, reason and less animosity.

moreso than any fan convos, my biggest irritation is with how the press writes about novak. that drives me bonkers! :/


mat4 Says:

@WB:

I understood you well.

@jalep:

jalep, Conty, and all those “others” are/were, for me, ethereal, human beings first, and, I used “he” to respect your anonymity, your wish to be “jalep”, or “contador”, “ratcliff”, whatever. It was in good faith.


jalep Says:

I’m out of time for this. But my memory is very good and there’s nothing wrong with me. I may be a lot of things but a liar isn’t one of them. I can’t make this stuff up…

…nor can invent myself as a Nole fan without it being genuine.


jalep Says:

Go find it, jane. I don’t remember that one. LOL

If I’m mad at you, it’s for a different reason. I do thank GG for including me in her lists, though.


Django Says:

So glad Nole got 11, one more than that louse big Bill.


Django Says:

Jalep, do they have a searchable archive here?


jalep Says:

mat4, stop putting this all on me like there’s something wrong with me, okay? I’m not the only one changed here — I said Nole fans on TX are over the top – too “rich” for me. That’s been since US Open especially. Previous to 2015 you guys weren’t so radicalized.


jalep Says:

If there is one, I didn’t see it, Django. Did it the hard way but I had time to kill, so…


jane Says:

jalep, can we just get past what you’re mad at me for then if i have misinterpreted? i have tried to understand. i have posted responses to you but then you haven’t answered so i scratched my head to figure out why. can you please tell me?


jane Says:

django, sorry to interject. there used to be one, i think (a search button), but not anymore.


jalep Says:

Of course, jane we can put it in the past.

I don’t remember anything specific. Not any more annoyed at you than at the Fed haters turned Nole fans whom I don’t consider tennis fans, but anti-fans. Can’t stand reading their bags of wind repetitive posts.

And anyway it’s so pointless.

What I miss is the days kimmi, you, and me would watch tennis matches together here. I liked it when there were more fans than just myself posting on tennis as a whole, not the tunnel vision it is now here. But oh well, come over to tenngrand…it’s hard to find anyone there either to talk WTA. At least Ricky likes to follow the current matches and his polls are legit and often amusing.


jane Says:

oh good jalep, let’s let bygones go. and yes, i would be happy to post during random matches like days of old; was following ernie’s results just this week. am off to walk in the rain right now though… ttul.


Wog Boy Says:

jalep,

You are yet to quote me that I am saying explicitly that I hate Roger and that I hate Americans, you either find my comment in which I said it or you owe me an apology.


Okiegal Says:

Wow, things have picked up on this thread since I have been busy with other things….searching for new furniture……Sounds like everyone is a feudin’, a fussin’ and a fightin’…(song lyrics) I am gonna wade through all of the posts and try to get to the bottom of this to see who started it!! :) I am way out of the loop…..

Boom Baby….Broncos Super Bowl Champions! Yes I am an American and love the Super Bowl and the cereal bowl…..lol


Okiegal Says:

You can read between the lines regarding the comments. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure who hates who and how deep the hate runs. I appreciate and respect Mat4 because he doesn’t beat around the bush…he will flat out tell you in no uncertain terms that he hates Rafa…….


Okiegal Says:

I have noticed one thing that upsets Novak fans more than anything…..If someone should happen to mention that he usually isn’t a crowd favorite when playing certain players. I made a comment once about how he seemed to beg for crowd support and it got a big fuss started. I have seen Novak play to the crowd by hand motions after he has made a fantastic shot wanting their approval. If I have picked up on that his fans should have too……just saying. I haven’t read all the comments yet to see what prompted this altercation…..


AndyMira Says:

Okie..beware! your head will be beaten in a second..don’t you know,we should never,ever mention novak in a negative way here..now..run for cover!!


Van Persie Says:

Okie, it is true that Novak is not the crowds favourite in many countries, but the fact that he is mentally so strong and wins in very important matches against biggest rivals, even when his double faults are cheered, prouves that he really do not care so much about his “so called unpopularity”. I also do not give a dann about that. It is the only thing at the moment, what can bring anti Nole fans some satisfaction, and it’s pityfull.


Van Persie Says:

Jalep, I do not hate Federer, I just don’t like him as a person. I have respect for his tennis skills. I guess I have the right, to not like him. I hope, we have the liberty to express ourselves on this site.


Van Persie Says:

Personally I also think that Rafa is done. I will appologize, if he will win one GS in the future


AndyMira Says:

@VP..that’s okay vp..unconciously many of us have the same thought..it’s just we don’t want to give up on him yet..maybe he will win 1 more gs or maybe not..everything happened for a reason..as humble as human being we are..we have to accept that..


Van Persie Says:

Dear Nole fans, I can only tell, that Nole is very, very appreciated in Romania and in Germany.


Okiegal Says:

@AndyMira…..EEEK!!


Okiegal Says:

@VP……I will have to disagree about him not caring whether he is popular or not…..I think he cares very deeply about crowd approval….You can tell that by his actions on court. I think the crowds are warming up to him more and more….but if and when he plays Roger…..no way! Roger is still the dominant one…….That will only be over when Roger retires imho!


Okiegal Says:

@AndyMira 11:18…….We Okies aren’t afraid of headhunters……:)


Django Says:

Will Roger still be playing if he drops to 5-6? That is the question in my mind.

Nole probably feels like, I’m gonna try and break any records I can and laugh all the way to the bank.
Zen thinking is -You can’t control all situations only yourself.
I think he is in a good place now.

You seem to be doing better, okie.


danica Says:

I think Novak craved crowd support much more before than nowadays. He matured and accepted that coming from a country that got very bad press would always follow him and make him a “villain” by association. If he was an American or from a pretty much any Western European country, the press would make a God out of him and sing praises.

As it is, he is the most popular player in China, very well accepted in South America, and I am sure, in what was previously known as Eastern Europe (which Yugoslavia was never a part of). So saying that he is not popular is not true. The world is not comprised of only the North America and Western Europe.

My personal opinion is that he outgrew that trivial want of being the most popular. He does not need that.


Okiegal Says:

@jalep 5:42….regarding the link you posted. I just now read a lot of the comments and some posters were skeptical about the guy being in a coma that long. I knew a little girl who got hit by a car when she was in grade school……I think she was in a coma over 10 ten yrs and one day she woke up! Amazing!!


AndyMira Says:

Glad to hear that okie..we don’t want to lose you..god knows there’s not many rafa fan here..by the way..don’t forget rafa start playing tomorrow..if he don’t get eaten alive by VERFOG or FOGVER[whatever]we should be able to enjoy watch him play..anyway HI OKIE!! GOOD MORNING AND GOOD TENNIS TO YOU..


Okiegal Says:

@Django…Thanks for making mention of me! I have been doing pretty good, but lonesome. Byron and I had a conversation about 6 months before he was sick about if something happened to either of us did we think we would ever date or marry again. We both said we never would. All I can say now is never say never……I never gave being lonely a thought. Have changed my mind totally. Still don’t think I would marry but a dinner date and a movie would be nice!!


Okiegal Says:

@AndyMira…I do know he is playing this coming week…hope I can find a link for the matches. I hope ESPN3 will be airing it…..that is the best link for me. Gosh I hope he is playing better, but who knows……Rafa can be worrisome for his loyal fans……


Okiegal Says:

@danica…My post that got things in a stir was probably 2 or 3 years ago……Like I said, the crowds are warming up to him more. Maybe it’s immaterial more now than it used to be. Will we ever see the crowd cheer for him over Roger?? I doubt it. Should that happen Novak can say he’s reached a milestone!! Novak is a wonderful player and is fun to watch when there is someone who can compete with him. When there isn’t, things can be boring….His level atm is over the top!


Van Persie Says:

Okiegal, I am sure Nole is not indifferent regarding crowd approval, but he does not suffer that much as some folks would love to ;)

Andy Mira, I respect the Rafa fans for stiil hoping, that is their “job” as fans ;)


Van Persie Says:

Danica, that’s right. Nole is very loved in China. That’s the reason, for which Peugeot wanted him as brand ambassador, because Peugeot needed his image in order to have more succes on Asian market ;)


Margot Says:

Hey OK. Glad you’re feeling a little bit more chipper.
Takes time darling, takes time.
And hugs to Kath too.Try to remember the good times amidst all your sadness.
And all this huryling of bricks towards Nole because, apparently, he’s not as popular in some countries as he should be. Scraping the barrell IMHO
Heck, before he won gold Andy wasn’t even that poular, in his own country. And even now….


Okiegal Says:

Margot, I am better. I hope J-Kath is too. She made mention the other day that she is starting paper work with Walter’s estate. I think I have gotten everything done with that.

I guess Andy is waiting patiently for the baby. I cant wait to see it…..Hope they share a pic or two. I would love to see a close up pic of little Stefan too. Roger was always good to show off his kids, but can see why some would be apprehensive about putting pix over the internet! Crazy folks out there!

Thanks Margot……


AndyMira Says:

@VP..at 1:46 am,ouch!that hurts..it does feel like eating an ice cream with plenty of needles inside..


Margot Says:

@OKiegal
Really glad for you.
Let’s hope babe has Kim’s beauty shall we? ;)


Van Persie Says:

Andy Mira, Sorry, did not mean to hurt you…


AndyMira Says:

VP..i knew you were going to apologize to me…i’m just kidding ok..anything that involving rafael nadal right now is hurt..we just have to get used to it..my son once asked me”mom..why don’t you cheers for novak instead..he wins a lot this days”..and i said..”adam..how can i?novak can’t do banana shot!only rafa can do that”..so yeah..hurt it is..


Van Persie Says:

Well I get you, AM. I will cheer for Nole as long as he will be on tour, perhaps also when he will be a trainer. It is hard for me also to think, that he will retire once…but I will accept it, when he will no longer be able to play at his best. Until then I will enjoy these years and his victories. For me he is the greatest, no matter what others would say…


AndyMira Says:

VP..i understand your sentiment and i wish you a very good luck in your future for you and for your man..novak deserved what he got today..enjoy it cause we didn’t know whether we still be able to do that tomorrow..things can turn ugly in a second in sport..and rafa is the perfect example..


mat4 Says:

@Okie:

You should well know that it is not a question of “hate” (although, I understand “hate” as “haine” in French; what’s the difference between “hate” and “hatred”? Is it in degree? Is “hate” lesser than “hatred”, kinda “dislike”?).

I will make clear my opinions about top players:

- Djokovic: in the first few years, I liked his game, but disliked his behaviour, his impersonations, his softness against adversity; but when he won that semi against Andy, in Rome, when he roared after the match and asked who’s the biggest dick, I understood that he has changed, and that he’s going to be the alpha male of tennis. The best moment was when he won the USO, last year, and gave his speech after the match: it was like — “you can do whatever you want, suckers, but I came, I won, and now, ta-ta…” Men have to be men.

- Murray: I like his game overall, but I reproach him his lack of aggressiveness on the court; but the most important is that he lacks toughness against adversity and he can’t really cope with that.

- Federer: I like the way he plays, the way he fights, but he’s very vain and he was soft; but he has matured, recently, when he faced real adversity and age. I respect him even more now. Some believe that he’s “delusional”, but I think he’s just brave.

- Rafa: I don’t like his game, but his behaviour is classy, the top. And he’s a fighter. But I suspect him so much being juicing for years and that’s the reason for a certain animosity I feel against him.

BTW, that’s what scares Rafans the most: they ask themselves the same question: is the actual, present-day Rafa the real Rafa? A top 5 player, losing early in slams, but able to win RG from time to time, with a good draw à la Ysern?

And yes, I don’t feel any reason to lie. When I root for Raonic against Murray, that’s because I feel that Novak can win easily against Milos, while it will be a tough fight against Andy. I don’t write that “it would be nice, Milos has deserved a final…” etc., because nobody deserves anything in sport, I admit I am just a selfish fan. I am not GG, who can’t stand Novak — because he beat Rafa so many times — so she will root for anybody but Novak (that’s OK with me and I like GG) and explain that it would be nice… a changing of the guard… new players… I think I am respectful enough toward other posters that I don’t need to be especially “nice”.

Anyway, Okie, it was a nice jab under the belt — to qualify me as an “honest hater”. To heal that wound, I will have to watch once again the Doha final. Rafa gave a great speech after the match, worth watching. Let’s enjoy while it lasts, since it won’t last forever.

;-)


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

“Heck, before he won gold Andy wasn’t even that popular, in his own country. And even now….”

There’s no way I can understand that…

In France, when Zidane deliberately lost the 2006 final, we made a god out of him… When I think now clearly about it, I can’t understand that either.


J-Kath Says:

Thanks Margot and Okiegal….in some ways the mess I live in and all the paperwork all over the place helps….but not all the time…..Habits are changing too…I used to read ferociously now all I do is watch a pile of rubbish on TV.

Another couple of months and I hope to have everything clear and tidy….and maybe I’ll hit the road. Last year nearly made it to the French Open..who knows.

Also waiting to see the beautiful Murray baby which I think they will share with the public.

Hope things go well with Rafa.
Hugs, K.


Giles Says:

jalep. Cheers. You’re one cool lady.


Okiegal Says:

@Mat4……I now am very confused…..hate, hatred….I thought once you said you hated Rafa or maybe had hatred for him?? Which is it….or is it dislike?? I didn’t mean to hit below the belt….or are you just teasing me? Sometime you say things in jest and us being from different cultures I don’t pick up on it. I know you always allude to Rafa and juicing…..maybe he is and maybe he isn’t….I don’t know. PEDs are Performance Enhancing Drugs…..if he is using his performances of late haven’t been enhanced much…..now Novak is a different story….maybe he is juicing?? Now that is below the belt…which was very much intended!! LOL I just had to say it Mat4, time about is fair play….but bottom line, I don’t really think Novak is…..it’s the gluten free diet which has taken care of his allergies. I talked to two ladies at a furniture store Saturday that said they were both gluten free and I asked them about their tennis game and they looked at me like I was crazy. I explained to them about Novak and how it had helped his stamina and his breathing issues and they both agreed that it would help with that particular ailment. They said they didn’t play tennis……..

So Mat4 maybe you just kinda hate him or kinda dislike him…..but I kinda know which it is….lol

Your opinion list of top players, paragraph on Djokovic……You hit the nail on the head, that is exactly why I don’t care for him…..I don’t hate him, I want to be perfectly clear about that and also it has nothing to do with Rafa and their head to head…….I formed an opinion about Novak long ago and it hasn’t changed. I can still see his wonderful tennis skills and appreciate them very much and love to watch him play when he has a competitive opponent…..which has not been happening very often. He is just whipping everyone soundly and making us like it…well, not really liking it….. But I sing his praises on TX quite often and so does GG…..and I disagree on one of your points….I don’t believe GG can’t stand Novak for reasons you stated either. Doesn’t Novak just have one win up on Rafa? Well, enuff of this …..moving on…

Margot….Kim is gorgeous…how did Andy get her?? Oh, I know, big named athletes get the pick of the litter! I bet he will show us pix, especially if he follows in the footsteps of the Prince and Kate!!

J-Kath , u r welcome….think of you often…we have a lot in common these days. My habits have changed too….have learned to go out and eat by myself…refuse to cook for one…no fun. I go to movies by myself, but that is nothing new, did that anyway, Byron hated going to movies. Was bored Friday nite , left the house at 10 and saw The Finest Hours, true story…there were 7 people in the theater…..excellent movie, btw. Yep, life is a changin’…….do miss him….


J-Kath Says:

Feel warmth from Okiegal and Margot. Don’t want outside contact at moment…hiding behind a locked door. Except I’m getting on my soap box on behalf of Syrian refugees and have sent request to Community Council (which until recently was a much
ignored member)- what we as a small community can seriously do to help (not naive in any way re. the problems)….


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath……Hide out all you want. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…..u r in my thoughts….

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