Federer Smacks Down Teaching Pro; Djokovic Wins, Thurs. Previews
by Jeremy Davis | June 29th, 2016, 6:08 pm
  • 121 Comments

Another day of limited play due to rain saw only eight matches completed at Wimbledon, where Brit teaching pro Marcus Willis had his day in the (semi-) sun before being dispatched 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 by No. 3 seed Roger Federer.


Federer kept himself entertained during the beatdown by pondering the historic significance of the match.

“As I was playing, I was thinking, ‘This is definitely one of the matches I’ll remember,’” Federer said afterwards. “I’ll remember most of the Centre Court matches here at Wimbledon, but this one will stand out because it’s that special and probably not going to happen again for me to play against a guy 770 in the world. That’s what stands out the most for me — the support he got, the great points he played. This story is gold.”

Willis said he had earned himself a beer after making it through the pre-qualifying, qualifying, and then a main draw match before facing Federer.

“I was so nervous. I played OK. He’s class,” Willis said. “Came out firing, put me under the cosh. He’s tough. He makes you feel like you’ve got no time. It was all just a blur. I did enjoy myself even though I was getting duffed up. I loved every bit of it — not the duffing bit. I loved getting stuck in, fighting hard.”

The pudgy 25-year-old is now left to ponder his future in the game, getting in shape, perhaps being thrown a few wildcards and we’ll check back in around the US Open.

Taking second stage Wednesday was world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who navigated a tricky meeting with fluent grasscourt Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5).

Mannarino, even before the match, was blunt in summing-up his chances against the world No. 1. “There is no chance. There is no solution.”

Djokovic now awaits the winner of Sam Querrey and Thomaz Bellucci.

Top 10ers finally completing first-round matches on Wednesday were No. 8 Dominic Thiem working past German Florian Mayer 7-5, 6-4, 6-4, and No. 10 Tomas Berdych avoiding a five-setter with Croat Ivan Dodig 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(2).

Thiem’s win was revenge for earlier this month in the semifinals of Halle where Mayer bested him.

“I had a lot of respect from him,” Thiem said of the match. “I was really, really happy when I made the match point, because he won a 500 [tournament] on grass. Beat five really good players on the way. It was for sure one of the toughest draws in the first round for me.”

Thiem will next face Jiri Vesely, and Berdych will battle Benjamin Becker.

In lower-seeded first-round matches completed, No. 19 Bernard Tomic topped Fernando “Mild Sauce” Verdasco in five 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, and No. 24 Alexander Zverev straight-setted France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Tomic’s match was a carry-over from a rain delay the previous day, which made him happy.

“I was a bit tired in the fourth set and was happy to get the chance to stop,” he said. “But it also makes it tough because you have to go to sleep with one set to go and then you need to come out playing well.”

Highlights of Thursday’s schedule at the All England Club include (2) Andy Murray vs. Yen-Hsun Lu, (16) Gilles Simon vs. Grigor Dimitrov, (18) John Isner vs. Marcos Baghdatis, and (13) David Ferrer v. Nicolas Mahut.


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121 Comments for Federer Smacks Down Teaching Pro; Djokovic Wins, Thurs. Previews

Wog Boy Says:

High quolity match, Mannarino threw evrything at Nole, great grass court game, tricky lefty with accurate serve, particulary out wide, not easy match at all. Nole had to stay focused until end. Nole always has trouble with players he hasn’t played before, it was interesting watching Mannarino serve and tossing the ball, towards the end of the match Nole was reading his serve better, if the toss was going left Mannarion was serving out wide and Nole was there, but they were so accurate becouse of Mannarinos position during serve that Nole has to be extremly quick to return after he was pushed farvout of court. Last point was a gem, another accurate out wide serve, but nole there with his killer return open stand BH, Mannarino didn’t stand a chance when ball came back with interest at his shoelaces.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Article mentions a couple guys named Federer and Djokovic. I just can’t decide which is GOAT. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Aside from that, can’t wait for Stan vs DelPo/ I’m going camping Friday midday Quebec time and worried I’ll miss it.

I enjoyed Federer’s moment at the net with Willis, and the comments here.

Tomorrow, Simon v Dmitrov and Mahout v Ferrer are interesting, on paper. You couldn’t pay me to watch them, but I’ll be interested in the results. And they’re the highlights. well, Friday should be great.


Wog Boy Says:

As for the match that followed , the only thing I remember is…Willis sister..


Travis Bickle Says:

I’m not going camping on Friday, but will be going to a tupperware party in Staten Island. Never been on one, but have heard from reliable sources they could be fun…


jalep Says:

You’ll love the Tupperware party. Think about all the possibilities.


jalep Says:

TV -
Have fun camping! That sounds fun.

I’ll be on that Stan v Delpo match.

Go Thiem Go!! He hears me.


Ronn Says:

Way to beat a club player, Federer! Congrats for your monumental victory!


Margot Says:

Camping and Tupperware, there is no end to the excitement that tennisxers seek during the lull between tournaments….


Anki Says:

Glad Novak won in straights, Mannarino is good on grass courts. How many DF’s by Novak though, yikes. Getting broken while serving for the match, some things will never change. The TB was high quality tennis and that slip by Novak, rofl. Good thing that he is like rubber, could have been an injury for any other player. Seems like Querry is going to be his R3 opponent.


skeezer Says:

Ronn,

Re; Club player

“His place on Centre Court was earned the hard way, after winning seven successive matches in the tournament’s pre-qualifying and qualifying rounds, and beating Ricardas Berankis, ranked 54″.

And he was an entertaining Bloke nonetheless.


Van Persie Says:

Lol Margot :)

Well, TV and TB wish you both a lot of fun. I see you are both “Mother nature” lovers :)


Margot Says:

@VP
Glad you get my somewhat “dry” humour darling. Don’t think many do….;)
But ANDY WOULD too…… You are in good company. :)


Van Persie Says:

Margot,

Hehe, thanks for the good company ;)

I like some dry things: dry humour, dry wine…etc


BBB Says:

TV – you raise an interesting question. But I have to be honest – I prefer discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It’s 4,526.


calmdownplease Says:

‘but will be going to a tupperware party in Staten Island. Never been on one, but have heard from reliable sources they could be fun’

Well TB, your post was certainly fun so I hope it is!
lol!


Ronn Says:

Skeezer, I can’t stand matches like this. Willis went out there giggling to himself before the match and obviously seemed happy to take a picture with Federer and just to be there. He didn’t look like he even cared about winning and it’s just pathetic. Ok, the guy gets his $80,000 or whatever and he’ll probably write a book about his experience some day to milk it for all it’s worth, but from a tennis perspective, this is terrible. The only positive from this is that the British fans got their feel good story to talk about but if you are on the outside looking in, this is the kind of match you never want to see again.


Ronn Says:

Anki, Djoko is still trying to find his way on the grass. COmes the 4th round he’ll be more comfortable and that’s when he traditionally finds his groove. I agree with you that Djoko’s “elastic” body has saved him from injurues so far and he’s lucky to have what I think is the perfect tennis body- perfect height, good weight, strong legs and strong forceps.


madmax Says:

The pudgy 25-year-old is now left to ponder his future in the game, getting in shape, perhaps being thrown a few wildcards and we’ll check back in around the US Open.

Exactly Jeremy Davis.

Skeezer,

If you could have heard and seen the build up this side of the pond, trust me, you would have thought he was the British Number 1.

I get really irritated with the British Press who over egg the pudding with people like him who come out of the woodwork. No dedication to tennis at all. Now? Perhaps. But he will have to earn the respect of serious tennis fans. There are plenty of fans out there already, but for all the wrong reasons.

The guy has not been dedicated to this sport for over 10 years.

At 25, you think he is suddenly going to give it his all?. Can’t see it myself. But may be I will be wrong.

Ronn, I actually agree with you in terms of your post. He did not show the temperament to respect Roger’s presence. Why should he? Because yesterday, it was all about him? He was everywhere on TV. Giving interviews, his mates were giving interviews, (like football fans). Horrible is what it was.

Tasteless and classless.

Great to have fun, no doubt about it. He even said in interview, he had a game plan. His plan was to “continually hit to Roger’s back hand”, and to “break him down” and to “win the match”.

Way to go Willis!


madmax Says:

And, you know what was even worse. His ‘story’ was continually fanned all morning, by Sam Smith, Andrew Castle, (can’t stand this guy), Sue Barker, you name it, they were all on the case. Rarely did I hear a compliment for Roger.


Dave Says:

This match didn’t exactly help Roger either. Roger didn’t play the match the way he normally would. He stuck in rallies longer, knowing that this inexperienced guy would make mistakes. And his tactic worked. Roger gets another easy player in Daniel Evans, ranked 91. I have seen him play, he won’t have anything that can hurt Roger at all. Another easy match for Roger coming up.


Anki Says:

@Ronn, I swear the way he slides, those splits and the fall yesterday. It would have been a season ending injury for anyone else. Novak is ridiculously flexible, true gymnast ;)


Van Persie Says:

Willis was fun to watch yesterday. He reminded me a bit on Eddie “The Eagle”. Have seen only one documentary about Edwards, but it was interesting :)


BBB Says:

Madmax – dunno. Mardy Fish got the fitness bug later in his career.


Dan Martin Says:

Given Roger’s back easy matches plus the day off before & after each match will be key to arriving in the 2nd week with hopes of good health and good form. I think his plan for this year has to simply be peak at the right time and hope it is enough. Novak looks like Mt Everest at the moment.

I’ve got my predictions for day 4 up at http://tennisabides.com


Madmax Says:

BBB..not so.Mardy fish IS a different kettle of fish. And he has worked and worked, come back from injury, in a different league.


jalep Says:

Hey Madmax. You are making me laugh. What you say could very well be true — and more likely than him repeating the feat of being in Wimbledon main draw next summer; or being in any main draw ATP in the future.

… tasteless and classless? I hope the dentist dumps him if that’s the case. Anyway I enjoyed your opinion on him as much as the opposite one. The love at first sight story though…come on. Can’t I hope 😉 cheers.


RZ Says:

Margot – if TV is going camping, can I stay home and watch matches?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Send scores by smoke signal.


MMT Says:

Mannarino is one my favorite players on tour – he has great hands, his footwork is outstanding, he’s very cerebral, and he is surprisingly athletic. If you want to learn how to Improve your game, watch this guy play – it’s a thing of beauty.

On a side note, I heard one of the McEnroe’s say yesterday that there were 16 french players in the singles draw this year…apparently an open era record.


Margot Says:

RZ: Tsk! Tsk! Of course you can’t trump TV’s camping card, he is not an Andy fan! Now if the DA had said he was going camping it might be open to negotiation, but as he hasn’t….
In fact Andy made such a slow start I think you must have been peeping! Fess up, or else….;)
Ferrer out, definitely on the slippery slope, and Muguruza in all sorts of bother.


BBB Says:

madmax, Fish himself said he was a slacker. IIRC, when he met his wife, he cleaned up his diet and fitness routine.


calmdownplease Says:

Margot!

I thought you would be off reading FADED old copies of ‘The Guardian’ in your cellar or something dear!
As you do I’m sure!
So ‘informative’ aren’t they?
Arent they begging for money now as they’re 50 million quid a year in debt?
;0)
Anyway, Lu’s attack on the Muzz defences lasted approximately 3 games, er until the end there
But the serve returned (just about) again
Nice one!
And Set ONE.


Willow Says:

Margot im going camping, for one of our rituals, but not for another 3 weeks yet sorry ….


Margot Says:

Lol CDP, isn’t it a bit early to be drinking?
@whatonearthareyouwitteringabout?


calmdownplease Says:

‘for one of our rituals’

Any human or animal sacrifices, or is this some kind of pikey Wedding you’re attending W?


calmdownplease Says:

It’s never to early

@ithinkitwasprettyobviousyoureanaturalguardianreader

You always link to the Guardian here anyway


Willow Says:

CDP No nothing sinister, its all about celebrating the changing of different seasons ….


Margot Says:

@CDP
1) No cellar and if I did would have alcohol in it not musty old papers, not an OCD hoarder me. I am a chucker outer.
2) What’s with the “reading old newspapers” baloney? Paper is soooo last century.
Keep up dear….;)


calmdownplease Says:

I just stick to the FT
It’s still a globalistic banking overlords and EU type thing (like The Guardian!), but I’m into economics so it mostly works for me.
And online!
Anyway, Muzz is playing really well but I still think he is adjusting to the grass,
perhaps his greater involvement in clay this year could have been the reason….


calmdownplease Says:

another break and that actually should be that


Daniel Says:

Djoko will face Querrey, than most likelly Mahut R16 (who ousted Ferrer, who is done and dust me thinks) and Probably Raonic QF, 3 big guys back to back with big serves. Not much baseline practice for him from now on.

Fed got Evans and probably Dimitrov R16 before Winner of Cilic x Kei R16. Pretty aure he makes second week and a very big chamce of making semis. Cilic beat him in a Slam before but doesn’t look super sharp, neither Kei.


J-Kath Says:

You’re on a roll, Margot, coinciding with Andy getting his ass in gear perhaps?


calmdownplease Says:

3rd set is pretty much where he should be if he wants to win this title (while still improving, naturally)


jane Says:

mmt, i can see why. i thought he played v. well yesterday, very flat, lots of variety. i wonder why he doesn’t do better consistently.

feeling bad for thiem with the scheduling and delays. hope he gets through today.


Van Persie Says:

Well, Thiem….selber schuld, with his bad scheduling, he cannot have great expectations here, my pov.


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/bbctennis/status/748557459778736128
The mad Serb. Did anyone see this guy’s tantrums on court today? He’s learning from his superior. Lol


jane Says:

van persie, that’s what i am beginning to think. which is unfortunate, really. but we’ll see. maybe he’ll still surprise us.


Van Persie Says:

Jane,

Maybe he will surprise us. But he looks tired, he’s not very efficient, and it is only the 2 round….


RZ Says:

@Margot – slow start for Andy? What are you, a BBC commentator? :-)


MMT Says:

Mannarino is cursed by two things – modern equipment, helping a whole lot of players who would otherwise be mincemeat for a player of his skill and intelligence (e.g. Lopez, Verdasco, etc), making it harder for him to get through the draw, and his relative lack of athleticism. Unlike the big 4, he can’t leg it out when he has to, and he doesn’t have the first-strike capability or the raw power to consistently put the ball where it would have to be to trouble his more athletic contemporaries (like Agassi did long past his athletic prime, allowing him to compete effectively well into his 30′s).

Against 99 out of 100 players, you’d never know that Agassi wasn’t a world class athlete (in the abstract in terms of speed, strength, stamina and agility). But he could consistently put the ball where it had to go (in a hurry) to mitigate that as a weakness. Mandarin did that well at times yesterday, hitting something like 75% of his shots in the first set to within 18 inches of the baseline, and he looked a good bet to take it to the tie-break. The low bounce, flat trajectory and placement prevented Djokovic with his extreme grips on both strokes from hitting through him, and Mannarino had an opportunity to impose himself in the most unexpected way.

But Djokovic, superior athlete that he is, has several plan B’s, including exceptional recovery, and the technique to belt the ball authoritatively when presented with a chance to do so. By getting more balls back, Mannarino had to take more risks to impose himself and made an increasing number of errors (particularly on the backhand side). This was facilitated by Djokovic’s move to put more height on his cross-court forehands than he normally does, thereby forcing Mannarino to hit even more on the rise on the backhand and take more risks. He also cleverly began to feed Mannarino as steady diet of slice backhands to Mannarino’s forehand, which can be hit with topspin, but not nearly enough from the low trajectory of the slice to impose himself. Mannarino thus had to hit up on that side, and Djokovic’s transition from defense to offense prevailed.

But he’s still a pleasure to watch.


jane Says:

yeah, but i am gutted for him van persie. thiem is a much more exciting player imo – vessly a giant servebot type. sigh. thiem has been doing so well this year. arrgh. if he hadn’t played late yday and late today maybe he would have had a chance. can’t see it now.


jane Says:

excellent thoughts mmt – thanks for that.


Colin Says:

Fashion notes:
Who on earth designed that thing Bouchard is wearing? It looks like a maternity dress.

Andy took a while to get going, but at least he isn’t tiring himself too much.

As far as I’m concerned, the best news in the UK at the moment is Boris Johnson’s abrupt withdrawal from tne Prime Ministerial race which, there being so many daft people around, he might well have won. He’s a clown, with no interest in the daily grind of government, a sort of cut-price Trump, concerned only with winning applause at public events, willing to say anything to get a laugh. As there is no shortage of unthinking voters in America, I fear the USA will indeed get a clown for a leader. The USA is probably rich enough to muddle through, but Britain isn’t well placed to deal with the results of Brexit.


RZ Says:

@Colin – there’s been a lot of talk about Nike messing up their signature dress this year. I also wondered about the flowing factor and how that would affect players. This article addresses that a bit. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/29/judy-murray-calls-for-rethink-over-revealing-nike-dress-at-wimbl/


jane Says:

nike collin – totally overrated imo. i like their shoes but their clothes can be uber-awful.

but that said, i am happy for genie. after her slump, then her comeback, and then that being truncated or halted by the strange fall at the USO, it’s nice to see her get some wins. not sure what this means in terms of her future – here or elsewhere – but it’s still nice to see.

thiem almost out. have i sighed yet?


Willow Says:

I Remember an outfit that Hingis wore one year, a dress or a skirt so short, and underwear that looked like a g.string, when she was told about it, she said i dont care i want to look good when i go on court, or words to that effect, she wouldnt have looked out of place in a Victoria secrets catalogue ….


RZ Says:

@Willow – I also remember one year where Venus wore an outfit that she had designed but had issues with the top. There was a slit in the top where there was an overlay in the fabric, but whenever she served she didn’t like how the dress adjusted. My reaction at the time (and still to this day) – how can a top pro not do a test run with their new outfits? This is for any sport, not just for tennis.


Willow Says:

RZ Exactly, its beyond irritating TBH, i just want to see players going on court looking like an athlete, rather than some jeweled up dolly bird, or one that wouldnt look out of place in a top shelf mens magazine ….


RZ Says:

And Thiem busts my men’s bracket (not that I was far from the bottom to begin with)


Willow Says:

^Me too, i enjoy these brackets, but im not very good at picking them, ce la vie ^ ….


RZ Says:

@Willow, I’ve been too lazy to do this, but I was thinking of doing a bracket purely by picking the higher ranked players for each match just to see how a “by the numbers” bracket would match up to everyone’s picks. I think it would have worked quite well at the Australian, and not so much for this year’s French or Wimbledon.


jalep Says:

That would be interesting, RZ. And easy – just submit an alias bracket in the ATP pool. A WTA one would be chaos for the most part. But I’d like to see it. I’ll do it :)


RZ Says:

@Jalep – easy but time consuming (I’d have to look up some of the players) if the bracket doesn’t show their rankings. If they show up, then very easy and quick.


jalep Says:

@ MMT

High quality/interesting post @ 2:26 pm. on Mannarino and Djokovic


jalep Says:

QRZ I’ll do one for both ATP and WTA USO – submit one into your ATP pool. And do one for WTA pool – in fact even if they’re my ‘real’ brackets the ATP one can’t be that much worse than what I came up with this time! It’s an experiment.

WTA on will be — well, hope Serena wins then. Oh yeah and I’d pick Novak anyway. I can do it – even down to the qualifiers :D


jalep Says:

Sorry meant @ RZ not QRZ


Willow Says:

I Enjoy MMTs posts they are always well thought out, a very knowledgeable man, and a good reader of the game, and i might say and very funny too when reading some of his blog ….


jalep Says:

Tourneytopia bracket doesn’t have the ranking listed, but I can use a printed draw – rankings on it.


jalep Says:

RZ
The seeded players are numbered and placed of course. Just looked at the brackets. As I said, It might turn out better than how I picked this time! Of course I think I picked the right winner and finalist #1 and #2. But picking Simon and Thiem deep — Ouch!


jane Says:

rz do you remember this (!!) the time venus wore that flesh-tinted undergarment so it looked like she was nude beneath her black lacy dress! :O risque to say the least!

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/replicate
/EXID27745/images/resized_venus_worst.jpg


chrisford1 Says:

Young gun infatuation:

Querry is gonna dominate. The next Sampras, I swear.
Jerzy! Jerzy! Jerzy!
I have seen young Tomic, and Australia will rule tennis again!
Grigor! Grigor! Grigor! He will have the success of Federer and dominate with his graceful one hand backhand.
Kei! Kei! Kei! on his march to many Slams. Could be the next Djokovic with his unfortunately not one-handed, but still good backhand.
Young Greekish guns are here to stay and win Holy Slam after Slam. Go Four-K, go Kyrgios!
I have seen the future of tennis, and the name is Thiem. The era of Dominic is Upon Us!
I can’t get excited about Roanic. Sure he might win Wimbledon some day, but he is too nice and boring. Not exciting…Krgios is exciting!!
OMGOD!! Zverev! Zverev! Ohhhhhhh! Zverev.

Eventually, the big 4 will fade away, but Andy and Novak appear to have 2-3 years left at the top as things seem to be shaping up, and with all Rafa’s physical breakdowns – another great run by him is not out of the question.

But it’s not too early to look around and start making picks on who could win something big in the near future, though they will not transform into a #1 rated record-making champion dominating the Old Order tomorrow. Nor vault to the top out of the blue and stay there a la Fed – the competition is just too strong these days.


RZ Says:

@Jane – I do remember that! Or rather, I remember that outfit but not that specific pic/instance.


chrisford1 Says:

Colin – He’s a clown, with no interest in the daily grind of government, a sort of cut-price Trump, concerned only with winning applause at public events, willing to say anything to get a laugh. As there is no shortage of unthinking voters in America, I fear the USA will indeed get a clown for a leader.

————
Ah, a political foray…..just a reminder that not everyone sees Boris, Trump as laughable clowns, but hold that the ones that damage our nations the worst are Fascist Leftists that Karl Marx would instantly recognize as enemies of the masses. Democracy is failing, as voters are being co-opted by a moneyed Mandarin Caste, their Eurocrat and US judge flunkies. And by a flood of low information voters now able to vote who contribute little and just want mo’ free stuff paid by others.
The right wing has a clown show going, but the Left has fascist “agents of change” that are just as corrupt and mendacious as Vladimir Putin. That seek to divide societies by culture destroying MultiKulti and PC in the West so they in the Elites can more easily manipulate the masses to get the money and power they crave. Prime example – she who Democrats call the “Presumptive President” despite her 30 years of scandals, incompetent bungling, and deceits.


Wog Boy Says:

jane,
Thanks, nice photo…tough not really suitable for tennis courts and minors watching it..


skeezer Says:

@6:03
You make a good weak era argument about todays playing field.


jane Says:

lol wog boy, you’re welcome; it was definitely surprising, a classic “trompe l’oeil”

rz, she wore those bottoms at a number of events: a quick google search is, er, revealing.

cf1, thiem already won titles on all surfaces this year and he reached the semis of the FO. were he not scheduled on back to back days, and late matches, perhaps he’d've made it through today. he seemed fatigued, making bad decisions. etc. as for some of the others in your post: kei, dimitrov, and zverev are all still alive and well in the draw. as are kyrgios and milos. they are all playing very well. as to whether or not they’ll win a big title, we have to wait and see. but we shouldn’t write them off so quickly, imho.


Dan Martin Says:

I’ve got my day 5 picks up at http://tennisabides.com – Thiem will need to work on his scheduling. He played a tournament right before RG and won, then played 6 matches in Paris, and then won Stuttgart. 4 straight weeks of play is one thing, but he then played Halle and traveled to Mallorca prior to Wimbledon. When he committed to these events he likely did not anticipate having that 4 straight weeks in 3 different cities of play, but once that happened he needs to learn it is okay to say no. As for Murray and Djokovic having 3 good years left, even if that is true younger players should be seeing some opportunities. Nature abhors a vacuum. Does tennis? We will find out if some of the players gobbling up points and titles fall off the radar.


BBB Says:

The tunic that Bouchard was wearing before his one was worse in terms of inappropriateness, IMO. The shorts were white and sheer.

I thought Serena had a problem with her skirt flying up in the wind – whether it was earlier this year or last year. Nike doesn’t seem to have learned from it.


Daniel Says:

Glad I picked Zverev over Thiem, my hunch payed of, so far…


chrisford1 Says:

Jane, I agree with you more than disagree. I’m just saying a “wait and see” approach is called for rather than head over heels enthusiasm for the next new thing (The Dog! The Dog! The Next Genius of Tennis!).

And as a fan of Djokovic, you know that he, Andy were in Slam Finals and winning Masters back in their teens. As a teen, of course, Rafa did even better.
Despite missing a year and a half of prep training due to war and sanctions, Djokovic rocketed up the rankings at 8 and was named the ATP Most Improved Player in 2006. The next year, he improved so much taking out the 1-3 top rated players in Toroto all in a row and getting the USO Final, the ATP voted him the Most Improved Player of 2007 as well. Right behind Djokovic was another fabulous teen that was just a skosh behind Novak in wins and results. The story of Andy’s life in tennis…

Rafa only got one Most Improved Player Award because he came, conquered in 2005 and was #2 and had no “big improvement margin” remaining.

Eventually, Rafa, Nole and Andy will make way for younger and better – but not this year, next year, or the year after, most likely. All 3 are fast, world class athletes. Top skills. Familiarity with winning through much experience.


Okiegal Says:

If Novak keeps winning slam after slam what can be concluded about the state of tennis atm??


mat4 Says:

@Okie:

Nothing. Only that Novak is that good.


calmdownplease Says:

@Mat4

I obviously disagree (albeit in a rather nuanced manner)

We need our tour back to continue watching this shebang!

Of course, that will fall on deaf ears with quite a few here for understandable reasons.
In fact, I fear I may understand those reasons better than they are willing to.
hehehe


Danica Says:

Exactly. It’s not that others are bad, it’s that he is that good. Simple. I really don’t recall anyone questioning the state of tennis when Roger was winning everything. Neither was anyone lamenting the mediocre play on clay by the whole field bar Rafa. The truth is that they were THAT awesome good. A testament to them.

If there were no Novak in the picture, Andy and Roger would reign supreme and again, no one would question the state of tennis.


Van Persie Says:

Well, a vote for Djokoexit is not possible, so we have to live with this hegemony :)


mat4 Says:

We have discussed many times this topic. The fact that one player dominates the field says nothing about the field, nor does it says much about the player.

We can take many other factors in consideration. A few examples: when Don Budge won Wimbledon in 1937, 64 players were British of 128, and at Roland Garros 1938, 46 players of 90 were French. In 1974 (I write by memory, this fact is from an argument with the “old” Dave), half of the top 100 were Americans. I don’t want to collect, analyse these data again — don’t have enough time — but tennis, today, is a much more global sport. Usually, a larger basis means more quality overall, but it doesn’t have to.

Tennis rating could be a way to compare eras, but tennis as a sport has changed, and modern tennis has started not before 1990, although I would argue that it changed dramatically with the introduction of new strings. The structure of tournaments was different, and there were much less tournaments where all top players would have to play. Exhos, tennis leagues were treated differently than today.

Domination across all surfaces is — as Fog Mountain tennis showed it clearly, with much better data than Jeff Sackmann — the consequence of the use of new technologies (more spin), not the uniformisation of surfaces, which is a myth.

So, it’s difficult to conclude anything.


mat4 Says:

The fact that tennis players play longer means nothing too. As long as the technology remained the same, players had long careers. It’s happening now for the first time since the eighties.


calmdownplease Says:

‘If there were no Novak in the picture, Andy and Roger would reign supreme and again, no one would question the state of tennis.’

If Andy Murray only had an ageing Federer as opposition then we would conclude it was a ‘weak era’!
Actually, it kinda reminds me of a rather recent period on the tour


mat4 Says:

Finally, my subjective take is that Novak dominates because he’s good.

Federer dominated too because he was that good. I believe that had he learned to play with a two hander, he would still be top two, and had more than one RG won. The change in strings was detrimental for him.

Nadal dominated because he is also a great player.


calmdownplease Says:

there’s noting like suggesting that Djokovic is NOT the second coming to get the obsessed here…..really rather agitated
;0)


mat4 Says:

Of course, CDP distorted statements — Danica’s here.

If I remember well, the H2H is heavily in favour of the older player in the last few years. If we don’t count their encounters in 2014, Federer still won their last three matches.

Where I don’t agree with Danica is that I believe that, without Novak, Rafa would still be at the very top. Even with his patch of uneven results, he still is 2-2 against Murray since the beginning of 2015. I guess we shouldn’t dismiss him so lightly.

I’ll just add that Andy doesn’t belong to the same category as Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, for obvious reasons, although he is a great player himself.

And as a Nolefan, I don’t see why we should “need” “another tour”. The tour is what it is, it’s simply sport. When I want Novak to beat Andy whenever and wherever they play, it’s because I am a Nolefan — and Andyfans want the opposite. It has nothing to do with the “needs” of the tour. I won’t argue here that the tour needs somebody making the calendar slam, just because I am a Nolefan. But I, as a Nolefan, would enjoy it very much.


mat4 Says:

@CDP:

Nobody is agitated. I guess that Danica, just like me, wanted to make clear her opinion.

She was one of the rare posters in the “Land of Mordor, where the shadows lie” — I mean TT — who was always fair and mainly focused on her fav.


Van Persie Says:

The problem is not, that Novak keeps on winning. The others should raise their level.


calmdownplease Says:

There was no distortion whatsoever
just a response to the reasoning made.
(& more specious reasoning from a ‘legend in his own lunchtime’ like you, however)
disclaimer; I like Danica, she is a real Novak fan. Not one of these creepy losers looking to hitch a ride and vicariously through Novak’s ascension to martyrdom after ditching some other player.
A well known other player, that we are talking about now for the most part.

‘I’ll just add that Andy doesn’t belong to the same category as Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, for obvious reasons, although he is a great player himself.’

I don’t disagree with this (and my word, it has been parroted by endlessly by you and the fedovics for a long time now to the point where i think you might all be a bit thick).
Sooooo let’s hope ANDY MURRAY doesn’t start beating him regularly again, shall we?
The optics really won’t be good on THAT ONE


calmdownplease Says:

‘The problem is not, that Novak keeps on winning. The others should raise their level.’

BINGO
And i have never blamed Novak for being great when the others were not.


calmdownplease Says:

‘Nobody is agitated’

hehehe it’s very easy to get an avalanche of your wisdom that we have all heard here before about a squillion times
I know exactly what to do….


Van Persie Says:

CDP,

My feedback was more for Okies question:

“If Novak keeps winning slam after slam what can be concluded about the state of tennis atm??”


calmdownplease Says:

I still agree with your assertion, however


mat4 Says:

@CDP:

Sorry, but you’re wrong once again. Andy beats Novak quite regularly. Guess it’s not as often as you would like, but nothing is written in stone. Will Andy be able to beat him more often? Who knows.

And it seems to me that you are the one here that is lightly agitated. Novak has already won two slams this year, achieved a non calendar year grand slam, he has qualified for the WTF, and there are good chances for him to finish as the world champion for the sixth time in a row. He can’t win all the time, and Nolefans know it. If he loses… so what. He has won enough. Everything now is a bonus.


Daniel Says:

Danica,

Several were complainging about tennis when Fed was dominating, a lot of peiiple were the anyone but Federer typo and cheer other players because they were sick amd tired of Fed winning a lot. Bulk part of Nadal’s apeal was exaclty that, he could challenge Fed since 2005 in big finals until the tide shift for good in 2008.

Jane, skeezer was here long ago and they can attest that.

The same with Nadal and clay. I am one that could stand year after year Nadal winning almost all on Euro clay.

It’s just how it is. If some other player in 5-6 years starts dominating the ones who are not his fans will complain.


J-Kath Says:

Is anyone trying to watch Stan vs. Delpo on centre court?. I cannot believe that stupid BBC keeps re-directing viewers to channel 1 where the Somme Remberance is on and will continue for another hour.


Okiegal Says:

I posed the question and then tucked my tail and ran!! he he


Okiegal Says:

2nd set DelPo!!


calmdownplease Says:

‘Sorry, but you’re wrong once again. Andy beats Novak quite regularly. Guess it’s not as often as you would like, but nothing is written in stone.’

More nonsense.
To a non french person not in their dotage, 2 out of the last 15 matches is not “regular”!
I’m finding it harder and harder to take you seriously with stupid tone deaf comments like these.
No wonder you always think I’m wrong
Again, however, I’m going to say it
If Andy hadn’t gone under the knife I very much doubt it would as anything like that
For it wasn’t prior, that’s for sure
And I’m not agitated YOU are, all of you are….
You all want Novak to be the next Fed/GOAT (shudder)
And nothing must get in the way of that
Well, there’s a lot of tennis to be played still..
So not so fast


Margot Says:

@CDP
Yes I thought that statement was a bit strange too, “Andy beats Nole quite regularly.” If only, if only.
Agree with you about the knife too. A factor not given nearly enough credence by those who enjoy making snide comments about Andy.


Okiegal Says:

BTW when Fed started winning everything I stopped following tennis….then one day I was channel surfing and happened across the FO and saw this young Spanish dude win his first slam and I was hooked on tennis again!! He was able to beat Fed and often…..the best rivalry ever, imho……


Okiegal Says:

@Margot….I gave an eye roll to that statement too……I WISH!!!


Okiegal Says:

@Margot…the knife?? Well, you know how I feel about that too…..Any type of surgery will set you back for a good while…..


calmdownplease Says:

‘A factor not given nearly enough credence by those who enjoy making snide comments about Andy.’

They’re fedovics.
Andy is not good enough for them so he is treated with the contempt they had for him when they followed their true Idol.
Note the;
a.Immunity or flippancy towards the logic weak era arguments
b.Disdain for a ’2 slam wonder’ like Muzz
c.Their general obsequious idolatory towards a tennis player

Very cult like, and VERY Fed**ard like.


Margot Says:

OKiegal, everything crossed for darling Andy…..and mighty uncomfortable it is, indeedy…..;)


skeezer Says:

“The problem is not, that Novak keeps on winning. The others should raise their level.”
Ahhh…where are the weak era theorists? lol…


Okiegal Says:

@Margot……Indeedy! I learned that word from you….and I love it!!


Van Persie Says:

Skeezer,

Hello :)
Why lol? The same thing happened, when Fed was the dominator.


BBB Says:

JKath – ESPN is doing a good job of staying with this match. Stan is having his usual ups and downs.


jane Says:

daniel, it’s true: some fans definitely complained when fed was winning everything in 06-07. me being one of them, ha ha. :) now, the shoe’s on the other foot, but that’s okay. i don’t really see a need to argue. i am happy with novak’s success overall; it far exceeded my expectations. i mean really! let the others stew in their boredom/angst/hate/excuses/whatever. it’s not my problem. i am enjoying the tennis.

—-

speaking of which, i really wonder about nick kyrgios. he may be one of those victims of too much early hype? but we’ll see. still early in this match and his career.

meanwhile, delpo vs stan are a round behind and still duking it out, possibly going five. tough draw for them. and the winner will have to play again tomorrow as i understand it.


skeezer Says:

VP,
Just pointing out to all the weak era believers how that theory can bite you in the bottom.


BBB Says:

Kyrgios doesn’t seem to have any discipline. There was an interview with Roger Rasheed, and he explained that Kyrgios does not have a regime in place to allow him to match the top players. He also surrounds himself with apologists.

I hope he grows out of it. Reminds me of Agassi in that respect.


RZ Says:

How is Feli losing to Fogs on grass?


chrisford1 Says:

How do you determine if it was a weak era impacting dominance, or someone pulled ahead of rivals he had a long record against through improvements? (i.e. they did not weraken or decline, he just got better).

With Djokovic, it appears he pulled ahead of the pack of top competitors. That bears out given what noted coaches and players like Rafa say – the field has’t gotten bad – Fed, Andy, and Rafa*when healthy* still destroy the other opposition, just as they always have. But they are not at Djokovic’s level.

With Federer, he was in the pack, dramatically improved at 22-23, and dominated 2004-07. But as the other 3 members of the Big 4 arrived, they too destroyed Fed’s cohorts. Easy pickings. Fed held on against them as they grew into form, but by 2008, Rafa had learned how to win big ones off clay, Djokovic and Andy were beating Fed quite a few times. A stronger Era started. Fed now had competition.

That leads to the conclusion that 2002-2007 was weak.
The present day, not so.
Fed is the best argument to present. He is favored over anyone but other members of the Big 4, saying he is playing the best tennis of his life.
2008-16 s the Era of The Big 4. A strong Era. Add in a very good 2nd tier of players, who are better than Feds 2002-07 cohort.
Djokovic moved a bit ahead of the others in 2011. Kept improving.


Danica Says:

Daniel,
It’s one thing when we, the mere tennis fans complain. It’s a totally different thing when media does that.

Okie,
You were posting on TT too? I vaguely remember reading the same story on seeing Rafa the kid win his RG after flipping channels.


Danica Says:

As far as knife is concerned, the surgery absolutely affected Andy’s career. However, there’s a chance he wouldn’t have been able to play his best tennis with the problematic back. He sacrificed one season looking at the big picture and knowing that, in the long run, this was a great decision. If Nole loses today, I’m pulling for Andy. He is due another Slam.

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