Del Potro Stuns Djokovic At Rio Olympics; Nadal, Murray Sharp In Wins
by Staff | August 8th, 2016, 12:05 am

Novak Djokovic suffered his second shock in as many months. In July, Sam Querrey stunned the Serb in the Wimbledon third round. And tonight, Djokovic’s dream of a singles gold medal Olympic this year came to a crashing end at the powerful hands of Juan Martin del Potro.

The Argentine who a year ago was teetering on retirement, used his massive forehand to crack 29 of his 41 winners in his fourth win over Djokovic 7-6(2), 7-6(4) victory.

“It was a great atmosphere and a great match for me,” del Potro said. “I hit my forehand as hard as I can, I hit a lot of winners, I served well and my backhand was okay. I tried just to put in court the ball and put in good slices as well. I didn’t expect to beat Novak tonight. It’s an amazing night for me.”

It was Djokovic’s third straight loss in the Olympic singles event with the last two to del Potro in straight sets.

“Delpo was just a better player and he deserved to win, that’s just sport. At decisive moments he came up with some extraordinary tennis and I just have to congratulate him,” Djokovic said.

“It’s obviously very sad and disappointing to go out in a tournament this early but on the other hand I am glad a good friend of mine and someone who has struggled a lot in the last couple of years is back and plays at this level.

“No doubt it is one of the toughest losses in my life and in my career, it’s not easy to handle especially now just after the match, the wounds are still fresh, but you gotta deal with it, it’s not the first time I am losing a match but Olympics Games is completely different.”

While Djokovic left in tears, he will still have a chance to win a gold in the men’s doubles and the mixed if he so chooses.

Meanwhile, former gold medalists Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray both cruised in their openers.

Playing his first match since the French Open, Nadal crushed Federico Delbonis 6-2, 6-1. Nadal later won again in doubles but the wrist, he said, is still not at full strength.

“If there was not Olympic Games here I would not be competing,” Nadal said. “The wrist need a little more time to be 100% recovered. It’s only one chance every four years and is something unforgettable. I missed London so I didn’t want to miss this one. I am enjoying a lot, I am happy, I am doing the best thing I can do every single moment to be ready for the action and today was a great feeling on court.”

Murray won his eighth straight over Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-2 in his gold defense opener.

“I’m not defending the gold medal – I keep that, I don’t have to give it back,” Murray said. “It’s trying to win another medal is what builds the pressure and wanting to do something here is the pressure I am putting on myself. I’m not thinking what happened four years ago, which was an amazing experience for me. Having the Olympics come so soon after Wimbledon, which was a big win for me, it would’ve been easy to have a bit of a lull after that, but that’s not going to happen with the Olympics.

“It’s worked out extremely well and I hope I can have another good run here.”

On tap Monday, del Potro is back along with Kei Nishikori, Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Centre Court
starting at 10:45
(11) KVITOVA Petra (CZE) vs WOZNIACKI Caroline (DEN)
not before 12:00
BOUCHARD Eugenie (CAN) vs (2) KERBER Angelique (GER)
SOUSA Joao (POR) vs DEL POTRO Juan Martin (ARG)
not before 18:45
(1) WILLIAMS Serena (USA) vs CORNET Alize (FRA)

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75 Comments for Del Potro Stuns Djokovic At Rio Olympics; Nadal, Murray Sharp In Wins

Humble Rafa Says:

The wrist need a little more time to be 100% recovered.

I don’t want to ever give the impression that I am 100% fit. That will not be the truth.

Genscrh Says:

Amazing DelPo….Finally someone putting the drama joker to earth…Very happy!

AndyMira Says:

Hey you guys…forget the animosity,envelope the humanity..this is soooo beautiful..much like Serena and Angelique at AO and Wimby…

Laver Rules Says:

Given the conditions, Djokovic played the BEST that he ever could. The court was playing a little faster and there isn’t much that a natural baseline retriever can do given the Delpo like, havoc wreaking circumstances; because when Delpo is on with that highly wristy cross-court forehand of his, he is next to impossible to stop. However, I did not expect that forehand lightening to strike again with such precision and devastation after 6 years! I remember how the stubborn federina lost the 2009 open by constantly trying to take Delpo out on the Forehand side and got struck by Delpo’s cross court lightning bolt every time. But Fed’s refused to change his strategy and kept doing it and kept getting punished for it. Fed believed that Delpo’s backhand was the steadier of the two wings and that his forehand was superior to Delpo’s and paid the price for it. And, perhaps he was right as Delpo’s backhand is indeed very steady but, when on, his forehand is far too damaging.And as in the 2009 US Open it was so damn on today! Feds learnt it the hard way and since his 2009 US Open match began slicing the ball and sneaking up to the net a lot more against Delpo and had great results thereafter. Djokovic and Nadal can try the sneak-in stuff but they are just not too comfortable or natural and therefore good at it. The only other player, who has the variety to contain an on Delpo is my favorite Murray, but his mind goes walkabouts mostly and it’s a miracle that, courtesy Lendl, he has won 3 slams, whereas based on talent alone he should beat Djoko 9 out of 10 times!

Now all you biased, half baked, never held a tennis racket in your life, couch potatoes Federina and Djoko lovers just go and check out this blog for an update on Murray’s chances at these the Olympics. BTW somebody has got to ask Becker to stop picking his nose for the cameras. How the hell does he manage to time it so perfectly? It’s disgusting.

Lifetime Tennis Fan Says:

For nationalists, Djokovic haters and fanatics, it may have been a big deal that he lost. Likely he will never win an Olympic Gold. But historically Olympic does not count as a big prize within tennis (and almost all professional sports). It is a short-lived emotional prize at best, and it shows your worldview is truncated by national agendas if you are overemphasizing it.

I think Djokfvic’s loss is certain to ensure his health and plenty of time to prepare for the US Open. That should be more than enough to count as one of the rarest and most dominant years in tennis.


Indeed a shock, but novak is young enough to come back for the next olympics, if he keeps his fitness and motivation to a high level.

AndyMira, the photos were indeed beautiful. I can’t take Chris Chase seriously though. He is a dreadful journalist, so I don’t know whether he is being sarcastic. I think he is as this is his style.

No one can argue that Novak is the most gracious loser. How he does that through all of the emotion, shows what a guy he is and his appreciation of Del Potro, will be genuine. Del Potro has to be the most liked player on tour.

AndyMira Says:

Oh!Really MM? that case,we just have to use what the photo and live telecast tell was beautiful moment when they hugged at the moved me greatly..but then novak always gracious no matter how hard he has to endured the pain from the of the several quality that i admired the most..hope we will still see the both of them in Tokyo in 4 years time..

Markus Says:

Interesting spin, Lifetime Tennis Fan. “Olympic (sic) does not count”, yeah right and that’s why Novak was bawling his eyes out. Or are those crocodile tears for dramatic effect. I am glad his hypocritical fans continue to view his losses are being good and healthy for his career. What kind of garbage are you trying to sell? LUcky for you, there are plenty of Djokovic fans here who’ll buy that.

Alexandra Says:

anybody who thinks an olympic medal doesn’t count is strange. Then why even go there??

Of course for the regular tour other tournaments are more important, but winning a gold medal is indeed a great thing for every sportman or woman. Not surprised though to see this reaction after a loss.

Milos Says:

What a bunch of Nole haters here. Disgusting …

Stefan Says:

interesting 2 matches from 2 top players in the world. murray played really a bad match and he won in 2 sets. novak played a good match and lost in 2. the medal winners will be so draw dependent at this OG.

Khb Says:

Novak became the GOAT after learning from losses in matches & life.

Federina, well, became a hypocritical, lucky, bully Roddick-loving coward. Wagging his sanctimonious finger at Novak.
Fed believed he was the people’s champ but he was a bully bitch.
He needed a decade long media propaganda & several bullies to win matches.
Trash such as Pat Mc and John Mc tried to annoy & stop Novak from breaking tennis records.
Fed the sycophantic greedy lil liar (like Taylor Swift and her fanatical 12 year old trash fanatics).

Novak may not be the most physically strong & lucky, but he’ll
always be a better player & person than Federina and his weak era muppet Roddick.
After all, Novak gifted “wins” to Federina and that fluke nobody (violent thug) Roddick,
and they’re still boasting of hurting Novak. ️
Fed says he “enjoyed” Roddick’s bullying at the GOAT Novak.
Pathetic! LMAO💩😹

leo Says:

Not a Djoko fan, so was glad to see someone play so fearlessly and fluidly against him like Delpo.

Djoko will still have a good chance next time around – and maybe even for doubles and mixed this time around. Overall he is still head a shoulders above everyone else on a week-in week-out basis.

James Says:

Murray has a great opportunity at the US open to make a move to finally get close to No. 1 ranking, and his 4th slam. Its clear Djokovic is not at the level he was last year – not surprising, he has played a lot of tennis the last 18 months, many pressure matches, and face it, he is also 29+ now. Murray is relatively fresher, less miles, and has Lendl back in his camp.

These two losses (Wimby and now) have gotto have dented Djokovic’s supreme confidence. Plus it gives hope to other players, which is the last thing he would want. It ALWAYS starts like this – the decline.

Rafa is a bit in Delpo territory now – wrist wise. Not even close to that bad, but once you have a wrist injury, you can never go 100% again. And he needs his topspin, that’s all he has in terms of shots.

The gods are smiling on Murray! I don’t like his game much, but he deserves it, he’s worked very hard for it.

James Says:

And BTW, Delpo is just the most remarkable talent ever. His game, circa 2009, was just unbeatable. Had he been injury free, with a bit more consistency (which always comes with experience), HE could have been the 10+ slam winner today. No weaknesses at all, plus strengths that even Federer or Djokovic don’t have (that kind of explosive forehand, and even his previous backhand). the higher bounce of today’s courts suits his 6’6” frame perfectly.


Not sure how many of our posters were around in the 80′s but are we about to witness a chilling reprise of Mcnroe’s sudden fall from grace in 1985 ? starting with a shock loss to Curran in Wimbledon S/F followed by a dumping in US final to Lendl … therafter the rot set in! Like now, the pundits were dumbfounded at the speed and causes of his demise. One wonders what we will be saying about Djokovic by Jan next year?

J-Kath Says:

J Pilko
Excuse my ignorance, but only vaguely heard of Curran. As far as Nole goes, I do think he has a grumbling or niggling injury around his neck/shoulder.


Agree entirely – there is definitely something there ! Question is – why is it been played down ?

Margot Says:

@Laver Rules
Another Murray fan on here? Wheeee! Welcome aboard.

BBB Says:

As others have pointed out, the surface was fast and Delpo was playing very well. I wouldn’t call the Grim Reaper just yet.

But if Andy wins gold and takes the U.S. Open, it’ll be an interesting year!

J-Kath Says:

J Pilko:

There appears to be two schools of thought:

If you confess to a weakness then it gives energy and hope to your opponents.

The other half of the coin is:

If your opponent starts off awed and nervous and are un-aware that you are far from feeling your best then that might work better for you.

Six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.

J-Kath Says:


Please go to Court and win the case.

BBB Says:

J-Kath, LOL. I feel for Djokovic – this has to sting – but I’m happy for any of the guys who chose to play this tournament despite the lack of points. And the game is just better when Del Potro and Rafa aren’t hampered by these injuries.

Pamela Says:

khb – Really? Sounds like you got up on the wrong side of the bed. Also, it sounds like you truly hate Roger Federer. What did he ever do to you? If you don’t like someone that’s your choice, but there is no reason to be so nasty… focus on those you like….. no matter what you say, Federer has won all those grand slams. nobody gifted them. he won them by himself. he won many major titles, has an amazing foundation and gives back…. truly a terrible person

Markus Says:

Why is there always an “undisclosed” injury when Djokovic loses? And why is it always his very smart physician-wannabee fans who detect it? Is that how they numb the pain? Or they really cannot face us to the reality that he is not a unbeatable as they think he is. Sad group.

chrisford1 Says:

Discussion of injury is bound to come as it has been many years since Djokovic crashed out early in a major event, now it is 2 in a row.
Troicki confirmed Novak has some shoulder problem.

Besides injury, all sorts of speculation will come up. Is his vegan diet weakening him, the cause of many kph bleeding off his forehand and serve? Marital woes? Burnout?
He regrouped after Wimbledon, at least for a Masters. Then came the Delpo match. Novak will be under scrutiny at Cincinnati and the USO. And may feel the need to disclose what is bugging him at a presser in the near future,

chrisford1 Says:

Pamela – ” no matter what you say, Federer has won all those grand slams. nobody gifted them.”

You would be quite right if the degree of competition an athlete plays against was non-existent, or a steady unchanging constant.
Ex: Div II basketball team is 20-1, 19-2, 21-0 under a brilliant coach. All the trophies were won, no one gifted them. Success leads school to go Div-I in the brutal SE Conference, and they recruit even better basketball players for the seasoned winning coach. First year, the field a much better team than in past years and go 5-16. Next year, they are 10-11. 3rd year back to 7-14.
What changed?
The competition got better. No longer in a weaker Div II league facing weak teams. No longer the big fish in a small pond.

jane Says:

i’ve read people reporting the courts -or CC- are slow BBB not fast. definitely the ball sits up really high, in strike zone of big hitters like delpo and petra. last night reminded me of soderling’s win over rafa at the FO.

(e.g. Live TennisVerified account ‏@livetennis 24h24 hours ago
.@andy_murray looks right at home on the slow hard courts in Rio! Opens #Olympics bid with 6-3, 6-2 win vs #Troicki.

Jack Bradshaw ‏@1992Bradders Aug 7
Murray looking really good here against Troicki, mixing up the pace well on this slow hard court. Set and break up. #Rio2016 #Olympics

James Lewison ‏@lewisonj Aug 6
Sad for Venus and wanted her to win so bad! The slow court def. helped Flipkens out. #Olympics #tennis #Rio2016)

Noonen Says:

I was so proud of Novak for being gracious to Del Potro at the net in Rio. Maybe he has already asked Jesus into his heart. Having peace and Joy for Jesus is more important than a gold medal. I am sorry for him, though, he really wanted that.

BBB Says:

Jane – that’s interesting. The ball seemed to fly through the court. Maybe DP was having a particularly spectacular night. Nole didn’t look slow to me, or off, but he couldn’t run down a bunch of those FHs, and he didn’t break either.

jane Says:

the ball was flying from the sheer power of delpo’s forehands methinks :) which he had a lot of time to line up. but look for nishikori’s point, where he had time to fall down and get back up again, and still win a point. could be, too, that the court plays slower or faster in the day or night, as is sometimes the case, due to temp drops, humidity, etc.

as for novak’s “imaginary injury” you can see quite clearly that his left wrist is taped in the post match photos (e.g. below); he’s been carrying something since the french anyhow, and those who watched toronto or his practices here saw him having physio. it explains why his backhand is compromised.

meanwhile, rafa’s continuing to win but he says his wrist isn’t 100%. the thing is, it’s actually quite possible – common even! – for players to play with injuries. fed did it throughout 2013, with his back; he also played wimbledon with a compromised knee. players do it all the time. why would such injuries be derided as “imaginary” i wonder?

J-Kath Says:

Del Potro takes 3 sets to beat Sousa. Tired? Or the buzz a bit deflated? Will be interesting to see how far he goes.

BBB Says:

JK, he seemed a bit tired.

jane Says:

and he still has to play doubles vs rafa today! horrible scheduling; he went from late night session, to day session. by contrast, for example, kei has had loads of time between his first match and his match tonight. i don’t get their logic (or whatever) with scheduling sometimes.

BBB Says:

Agree, jane.

Wog Boy Says:

Every match Nole and Delpo are playing is extremely taxing on their bodies, yesterday two set match was over 2.5 hours, todays three set match was hardly two hours. If they had to play three set’s yesterday they would get close to four hours if not four hours, either winner would be wasted for the rest of the tournament, glad it wasn’t three set match, at least Delpo can try to recuperate.

J-Kath Says:


Scheduling at Rio doesn’t exist….for anyone who is mostly interested in tennis it is a struggle to recognise any structure whatsoever, or any considerate planning for the players. Even the Andy Murray match of major interest to Brits. (and for others who are interested in the progression) was available for viewing on and off between the sequestrian contests. Some of this is of course the fault of the BBC but they seem to be struggling because of the timing and slight-of-hand changes.

BBB Says:

J-Kath – in a way, we are fortunate, because one of NBC’s affiliates here is dedicated to tennis. I actually haven’t watched much of anything else, which is shameful on my part….

Humble Rafa Says:

This gives Mr. Lady Forehand a perfect opportunity to choke. I mean, Arrogant One is resting his ego, The Egg Lover is still crying.

Vince Says:

Hahaha, I am still enjoying Delpos victory . Tennis was pathetic like WTA for over an year.

Wog Boy Says:

Everything happens for a reason, the good thing out of this defeat is that Nole won’t retire for another four years, just to make sure that agony of those long suffering rats that crawled out of their stinking holes, after this loss, suffer for another four years watching him lifting the trophies.

AndyMira Says:

Oh..what a shame..Millman couldn’t take an advantage over Nishikori..he leads 41 at one point and also in TB but lost first set to Kei..

skeezer Says:

I wanted to respond to you in regards to the other thread about Russian doping and Olympics.
I would suggest you watch HBO REAL Sports S22, Ep7 and get back to me. There sports reporting has won awards for its integrity.

AndyMira Says:

Novak also lost in doubles to Melo/Soares..64 64..

skeezer Says:

^not surprising, Novak’s game was obviously built with singles only strategy.

Okiegal Says:

@AM I watched Rafa and Marc beat DelPo and Gonzalez via the internet. It was an exceptional live stream…..didn’t freeze up one time. A great entertaining 3 setter. Del Po, I am sure was worn out. Rafa/Marc were so excited to have won …….it was a tough one!

Daniel Says:

Is Djoko playing mixed doubles?

Vince Says:

Another great news, joker lost doubles too

AndyMira Says:

Okie..lucky you!Great news btw..can’t help but feel sympathy for DelPo for the unfairness of his’s interesting to see how he’s gonna fare in his next match..i hope he will going deep..he deserve it..

AndyMira Says:

Daniel…as far as i know,he’s only play singles and doubles..

MMT Says:

J Kath: There is 3rd school of thought (with which I happen to agree) that what a player says or believes has almost no bearing on the result:

BTW J Kath, Kevin Curren was a South African serve and volleyer who had a rocket server, a wristy and powerful forehand, and a lot of range. He wasn’t the quickest player in the world, but he defended the net very well. His serve was almost as fast as Becker’s, and hit 20+ aces in his quarterfinal defeat of Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon in 1985, then repeated the feat in semi final win over McEnroe, who was still #1 in the world at the time.

Curren’s serve was very hard to read because he seemed to hit the ball almost on the way out of his hand, and concealed the direction by twisting his back towards the target and swiveling through the point of contact. He was irascible (once suggesting that the way to improve the tennis center at Flushing meadow was to drop a bomb on it) and rarely smiled, but he was a very good tennis player who played the Australian Open final in 1984, which he lost to Mats Wilander. His weaknesses were his return of serve, his movement and his nerves.

jane Says:

Carole Bouchard Retweeted
“Djokovic out of Cinci. Only M1000 he hasn’t won. Seems Zimonjic confirmed Novak is injured. Rough.”

J-Kath Says:


In what kind of situation do you think that?

Ah yes, I can’t place Curren but I do now remember he was RSA. There was another South African player who did well for a while – I didn’t like him. I do like Anderson though….probably by now has become an American citizen.

J-Kath Says:

Saw that Jane. He must have some level of injury as usually the wisdom is supposed to be “if you fall off the horse you should immediately get back on”. However, he can get Cinci next year.

J-Kath Says:

Skeezer @ 9.11pm

Thanks. I’ll try later.

Laver Rules Says:

To all you nutcases on this blog-site, who have probably never held a tennis racket in their lives and behave like tennis pundits, here’s a link to an article in praise of the almighty God of Tennis:

And, here’s an excerpt from the same article:

“There are three kinds of valid explanation for Federer’s ascendancy. One kind involves mystery and metaphysics and is, I think, closest to the real truth. The others are more technical and make for better journalism.
Continue reading the main story

The metaphysical explanation is that Roger Federer is one of those rare, preternatural athletes who appear to be exempt, at least in part, from certain physical laws. …..”

Now, when a credible paper writes something even 10% as laudatory as this on Djoko, Nadal, or anyone else for that matter then you can speak of that other lucky person and Federer in the same breath. Who cares if Nadal beats the crap out of Feds and Djoko may end up with more slams. They are still perspiring, grunting, hard-working, battling retrievers and NOT “religious experience” or “poetry.”

Having said all that, Murray is still my favorite and his time has just begun. I peg him for the Olympic Gold, and the US and Australian Open wins. I also think Djoko could win up-to 2 more slams before retiring, which will happen before he turns 33.
Also check this blog at to read more about some real tennis which includes a little of what you rabid Federer, Nadal and Djoko fanatics seek while glued to your TVs or laptops and munching whatever …… :)

J-Kath Says:


Tried to find the link but then was faced with multiple choice. If you can highlight it……?

J-Kath Says:


Can we call you Lendl please?

MMT Says:

J Kath: The other player you’re thinking of is Johan Kriek – he too was irascible, and surly, but an oustanding tennis player who won two Australian Opens in 1981 and 1982. He was short and stocky, and had tremendous core strength, and as such could hit his forehand and serve about as well as anyone, but he was also very quick around the court. He played a more all-court game than Curren, but was an effective serve and volleyer. I can’t put my finger on his main drawback as a player, but I think he was a player caught between two generic competitive strategies in the game: whether to apply pressure or absorb it, and so he was not so proficient in either. But he had a marvelous career, winning 14 titles, wins over all-time greats like McEnroe, Connors, etc., and was a good doubles player.

As for the mental game – it’s overrated. You have to concentrate and be committed, but the whole business about believing you’ll win, or having a lead before you walk on the court is, in my opinion, entirely baseless. Tennis is not chess, what you actually do is what matters, not what’s in your head.

skeezer Says:

I find your mental thing interesting. Care to elaborate? As an example, you say “Tennis is not chess, what you actually do is what matters, not what’s in your head.”
I would think that, once you have laid the foundation of your game technique wise, that it is all mental. It very much is a chess game.
”’what you actually do..”
What tells you to “actually do”?

Do you have HBO?

MMT Says:

I would point to the example of Nadal’s response to the question (from the press) of why he kept revealing to the tennis world that he lacked confidence – his answer was that doing so won’t change whether a player can beat him.

In other words, if you derive confidence from playing well, then you already have what you need to win matches. But no amount of confidence will mitigate technical limitations in your game, so if a player knows you lack confidence, but doesn’t have the game to take advantage of it, then it matters little that it was revealed.

I believe that’s Nadal’s reasoning, and I agree with him.

At the risk of grinding my axe I have a couple of pieces on the subject:

It’s an extreme view, I realize, but I still think it’s correct. I have experienced it myself. I have a group of guys that I play with 3-4 times a week, and when I started in the group, I lost to everyone consistently, but they all remarked that I had the game, and I just lacked confidence. I then decided to re-engineer my game to by changing my serve, improving my overhead, and stick to forcing errors, rather hitting winners, and suddenly I was able to beat everyone in the group – not always, but a hell of a lot more often than before.

So, I bought into the confidence/belief bit, and it didn’t help at all, and found it not at all compelling. However, when I improved my game, I got results, despite the fact that I didn’t believe in belief/confidence and frequently surprised myself with wins over the best players in our group.

J-Kath Says:

Skeezer: I got through to a pile of HBO’s simply going via Google – but could not identify the specific S22, Ep7. Asked on another link for you to copy and paste ????

J-Kath Says:

Skeezer – See I asked on this link….

J-Kath Says:


Not the name I was thinking of. I’ll look up SA players later and post. Off now.

skeezer Says:

I find that interesting, that your game went up another level because of one thing, confidence. It took you to re-engineering your game technique wise that then gave you the confidence to take on greater heights. I too had the same experience about my play, but came across a book that did pretty much the same thing, just in a different way ( The Inner Game of Tennis ). Once I got my mind out of the way, things soared. My technique in most areas was already there, so I discovered I had to get my mind out of the way to trust my technique. That said, I could now have a clearer mind to strategic and adjust my strategies during the match.
By the way, and I am sure you like this also, you are always striving and looking for ways to improve your game, no matter how many years you’ve been playing.

skeezer Says:


I did not see this on the Internet, it was on the Tele. I saw the info on the screen and it said S22, Ep7 ( Season 22, Episode 7 ). I think you have to have an HBO subscription to see it. Sorry for the confusion….I’ll dig around some more and see if I can find you a link…

Danica Says:

Hmmmmm, re mental strength and confidence. A certain fantastic Checz player comes to mind. Hint: top 10 for a number of years.

J-Kath Says:

Ok Skeezer.

MMT: The player I was thinking of was Wayne Ferreia – he retired in 2005.

MMT Says:

J-Kath: how dare you reveal my age like that! ;-) Yes, Ferreira was a top player and never won a major, although he was highly touted coming out of the juniors and in the pro’s. Interesting thing about the RSA and tennis: Cliff Drysdale was a lifelong close friend of Arthur Ashe, who cries to this day when discussing him, and discouraged him from trying to play in S. Africa. In his words, “They’re never going to let you play [Johannesburg] Arthur.” He was a member of the Handsome 8, a failed experiment in contract tennis that created havoc at the dawn of the Open era when admission to majors was still controlled by the ITF and it’s member tennis associations. He never came close to winning a major, but will likely make the HOF due to his media career. On the other hand, Bob Hewitt, an outstanding doubles specialist easily made the HOF from his career. Unfortunately, he may be one of the most reprehensible people ever to play the game, frequently making racially charged comments to his opponents, during matches, as well as insulting his opponents’ mothers, sisters, and anyone else that would get under their skin. He was REMOVED from the HOF only after it was revealed that he was a serial pedophile who preyed on young women he coached at the end of his career.

His reputation, along with the the abhorrence of apartheid, was a principle reason why India refused to compete for the Davis Cup final in 1974, and probably cost them their last opportunity to win the coveted title, when they had top singles and doubles players (Vijay and Anand Armitraj among them). Armitraj Armitraj was so upset with the federation that he threatened to quit Davis Cup altogether – he didn’t, but had to wait another 13 years until 1987 before he participated in another final. By then, long past his prime, he lost 1 live rubber to Anders Jarryd and one dead rubber to Mats Wilander.

MMT Says:

Danica: Would that be Tomas Berdych? He is one the cleanest ball-strikers in the world, and moves exceptionally well for someone 6’5″…but he too falls in the no-man’s land between the two generic competitive strategies in tennis.

J-Kath Says:

MMT: Dedicated tennis fans know every player. .. look at all the knowledge that many can bring to discussions even before the so-called Open Era.

I lived in RSA for a few years and Wayne was still around when I returned to UK. He always struck me as a player who felt he should have won every match. He was not that popular in RSA and I was not a fan. However, he could play – so kudos to him.

J-Kath Says:

Yes you have to be a subscriber. I only got so far and got scared when they started to show my email address etc. etc. (after just having recovered from a scam and a long process with my bank…I decided to stop).

Thanks all the same.

MMT Says:

But Skeezer, don’t you see that even in your explanation, confidence is a side-effect of improving results, and not a cause? If you improve your game, you already have what you need to get better results – confidence is neither the cause nor needed.

For example, all the times that players who firmly believed they would lose a match, still win simply because they played better. If confidence (or its twin sister “belief”) RESULTED in success, those cases where a player who believes they are going to lose wind up winning, would never manifest. There’s never been a case of a player that didn’t have the technical tools winning, simply because they willed it so, no matter how often that is presented as an explanation.

It may be that one strives for the ethereal notion of confidence – perhaps the PURSUIT thereof results in improvements to one’s game. But I really believe (pun intended) that concentrating on confidence and belief is an incredible waste of time, and frequently that pursuit comes at the expense of doing the one thing that is guaranteed to improve results: making technical improvements.

elina Says:

Confiidence is YUUUGE in any sport, especially individual sport like tennis.

Lendl gives Murray instant confidence. No surprise that all three slams came under his coaching. Immediate results at Wimbledon this year.

That’s not physical. That’s mental.

Same for Fed in 2013. Yes he had injury but he said it caused him to lose confidence and it was difficult to regain long after the injury went away.

Same for Nadal. Huge confidence issues in 2014-15. He said so himself.

Not saying that’s the case for you MMT but I’ll trust the players and it makes perfect sense to me.

MMT Says:

elina: Lendl gives technical and tactical counsel that works – if Murray is (more) confident in his presence, it is only because he gives him tools that improve results. The confidence (assuming it matters – I am yet see any evidence that it does) is a result of technical and tactical improvements. I guarantee that the minute Lendl’s advice stops helping Murray, he’ll drop him like a hot potato, regardless of how tall he presumably feels standing on his shoulders.

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