10 Things I Think I Thought About Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic And The US Open
by Sean Randall | September 12th, 2016, 7:40 pm
  • 122 Comments

With the US Open over some closing thoughts on the final Grand Slam of the tennis season….

1. Stan Is The Man
When the given the chance on the biggest stages, Stan Wawrinka will take it. Don’t believe it? He’s won Slams beating THREE No. 1s (three of the Big 3!). That in itself is hard to do; how many Slams has Andy Murray won beating the Big 3 Yeah, not that many.

And when he gets to these big finals he wins. He’s now 3-0 in finals – remember Murray who started 0-3 or 0-4!

And he’s now just one Wimbledon away from completing the career Slam. I don’t think he’ll get it – his game just isn’t suited for grass – but with Roger Federer out and Rafael Nadal no longer the star he was, Stan could actually win a few more these. And why not?

2. The Match
The match was kind of a microcosm of what we had seen all summer, and I’m talking Djokovic here with the Serb c struggling with his serve, failing to hold. The difference was in Canada we saw Kei Nishikori, Gael Monfils and others unable to take advantage of that.

Stan did take advantage. And he overpowered Djokovic keeping Novak on the defense and well well behind the baseline at times. Stan attacked, went for broke and more often than not he connected.

And most of all, unlike just about everyone else in the locker room, Stan wasn’t afraid. He’s won these titles before and he’s beaten Djokovic in big-time matches. And when it came to crunch time he played like a guy who had been there before.

3. Novak’s Niggles?
The last week we saw Djokovic deal with te shoulder(s), the elbow, the wrist, the toenail and in final cramping. Did I leave anything out?

On top of that, he has the personal issues with his wife. To me, that’s the real problem here because I didn’t see any wrist problem in New York and honestly I didn’t see much of anything that was limiting him physically during the the few matches he did play except at the end of the final when he was hobbling about.

Tennis is a mental game. And when you are not right in your head (read: personal issues), guess what happens? Your serve goes to crap and your game falls apart. In my mind, that’s the Novak’s real problem.

4. Djokovic’s Also Facing Father Time
Djokovic’s has played a lot of tennis. He first played the US Open at age 18 in 2005, the same year Stan did. But Stan at 31 is younger than Novak on the tennis court having played more than 200 fewer matches than the No. 1.

And Murray, who’s the same age as Novak, has played more than 100 few matches tan Djokovic.

So for Novak’s age he’s an old 29 and the style he plays is more physical, a grinding baseline type of player than maybe a Federer.

But he’s still got some tread left in those tires. So he’ll win some more Slams. Djokovic will probably rack up another Australian next year but that’s his last Slam before he turns 30.

How many did Federer win after 30? Nadal after 29?

I do think it’s too early to signal a decline (because I think a lot of this sub-par summer is due to the issues at home), but it can’t be dismissed.

5. What Happened To Murray?
Watching that final, Murray must have been kicking himself because I think he too would have beaten Novak. But he was gonged-out by Nishikori in the quarters, and after that maybe he doesn’t beat Stan in the semifinals (though I think he would have).

I know Andy played a lot of tennis, but let’s call it what it is, he played TWO events this summer – Rio and Cincinnati. Is that too much these days?

Since when did winning the Olympics give you automatic pass? If it is that exhausting, then don’t play Cincinnati.

During the summer of 2008, both Federer and Nadal made the Wimbledon final (greatest match ever?) then played Canada, Cincinnati, then flew to Beijing to win gold medals and returned to the U.S. and Federer went on to win the US Open.

Didn’t Kerber play more (also played Canada), yet she was able to win the US Open?

But Andy is a special flower I guess. I wonder what Mr. Lendl thinks.

6. Kerber’s Claim To No. 1
Speaking of Angelique Kerber, good on her for reaching No. 1. Someone had to finally dethrone Serena.

The WTA has been a wasteland the last 2-3 years with no one stepping up to challenge Serena until Kerber this season. Kerber’s isn’t a true great – she doesn’t have a game that makes you go “wow!” and I don’t think she stacks up well against the better players of say 10-15 years ago, but to her credit she’s taken advantage of a pretty think WTA field.

Will she be No. 1 a year from now? I don’t think so. Maybe Simona Halep makes a push or Madison Keys realizes her potential or…

7. Karolina’s Climb
This year it’s Kerber, might next year be the season for Karolina Pliskova? Kerber’s 28, but Pliskova is only 24 and she has a big serve and now she has confidence off the ground. That makes her an instant threat at just about every hardcourt and grass event.

If she can add some better movement to her game – a very big ask – she could be a multiple Slam winner down the road.

And to mentally pull off that win over Serena says a whole lot. Many of the other top names on the WTA would have crumbled, she didn’t.

8. Serena Sayonara
Serena Williams is about to be 35. Talk about miles on your feet, she’s been playing for 19 years! And I think next year is her last.

She won one Slam this year, reached two finals, a very good season, especially for someone her age. But I just don’t think she’ll want to stick around being second or third or even fourth best, because that’s what I think is going to happen.

She’ll still have highs but there will be more lows and more injuries and niggles. And as we are starting to see the younger players like Garbine Muguruza, Pliskova and Svitolina are piling up the wins on her.

And heck, she might never win another Slam. And as the fear factor wears off and as she continues to age, it’s going to be that much tougher.

9. Juan Martin Del Potro Is Back!
So happy to have him back. He was hitting the ball well, got some good wins and best of all it looks like he’ll be part of tennis going forward.

10. The State Of Men’s Tennis
Right now, I have to say it’s pretty weak. Even Del Potro couldn’t believe that he could come back to the tour and do this well so quickly. But when the tour is weak – a lot of guys are hurt or no longer at their best – this is what happens.

As I’ve said before, 4-5 years ago there is absolutely no chance Wawrinka would have been able to win a Slam. He’s not beating Federer or Nadal. Of course, he might beat Djokovic and maybe Murray, but he’s not winning any Slam titles.

But this summer confirms the transition from the Big 4 to the whatever is next underway.


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122 Comments for 10 Things I Think I Thought About Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic And The US Open

lakie Says:

Good analysis


jane Says:

sean, are you in a bad mood!? a bit snarky today to say the least, haha

stan did beat fed and nadal at slams of course: AO14 nadal, FO15 fed. and in those years rafa won the french, and fed reached 2 slam finals. stan’s playing so well now because of magnus not “weak era”.


Andrew Miller Says:

Agree but see Serena pulling two more slams. Pliskiva is interesting also.


Andrew Miller Says:

Don’t see it as weak era but a transition era where big four giving way to something else. Not sure if Rapnic would make wimby final in early and mid nineties, but otherwise a lot of players playing good ball like minfils.


Travis Bickle Says:

“On top of that, he has the personal issues with his wife. To me, that’s the real problem here…”

Agree with this one, Sean.
See my theory on another thread.


skeezer Says:

“10. The State Of Men’s Tennis
Right now, I have to say it’s pretty weak”

Agree with this one, Sean.
See my theory on another thread.


Margot Says:

Thanks Sean, Andy is extremely special indeedy. Please see my multiple posts on multiple threads…..;)


Daniel Says:

Priceless Skeeze and Margot😜


elina Says:

“10. The State Of Men’s Tennis

Reminiscent of 2002-07.


elina Says:

Roger must be kicking himself. His level in last year’s final would have easily beaten Novak’s or Stan’s this year.

2006 all over again.


David Sachs Says:

(this is copied and pasted from an ‘in moderation’ post, sorry if it appears twice)

Good write up, but I just don’t buy these excuses for Novak. This match was very similar to the French finals. Novak was playing textbook perfect tennis, he served well, returned well, especially eating up Stan’s second serve. The difference was, as at the French, Stan was aggressive and Novak was defensive, especially on the big points. The physical problems at the end were a predictable outcome of the bludgeoning Stan was giving. There was nothing the matter with Novak’s legs for the first three sets, that;s for sure. His defense and defense-to-offence transitions gave some of the most WOW moments of the tourney.

It was mental in so far as Novak didn’t take the risks on those points that Stan did. He hoped for a Stan miss. But these were not choke points. There were no cringe-worthy errors. It was passive play and Stan’s nerve that did him in.

Del Potro’s performance, as great as it was, puts an exclamation point on the weak field theory. I don’t call it a weak era, because our #1 is a definite all time great. But how does a player take most of 6 years off, and come back to take an Olympic silver and then a Slam QF (losing only to the champ-in-waiting)? And this with an obvious weakness in his backhand, which he was afraid to even put his left hand on for most of his match with Wawrinka.

Whatever the merits of that theory, Andy is at least closer to Novak than he’s been in years, Stan is a clear threat at least at the Slams, Thiem is catching up and Del Potro will solidify his backhand as his confidence in the left wrist grows. If Rafa and Roger can come back to compete at that level, we should have a competitive period ahead.

I feel like I’ve written that a dozen times, and then Novak goes on a 3-slam run… we’ll see.


ulysses02 Says:

“As I’ve said before, 4-5 years ago there is absolutely no chance Wawrinka would have been able to win a Slam. He’s not beating Federer or Nadal. Of course, he might beat Djokovic and maybe Murray, but he’s not winning any Slam titles.”

Can’t prove an alternate history or a contrafactual, so this filler item was best left out. Too many uncertain factors — chief amongst which is Magnus Norman and Stan’s maturity — to determine what if. Claims that the tour is so weak is one pretty heavy slight to the guys working hard out there, trying to compete week-in week-out. It is never easy.

People aren’t understanding Wawrinka’s ascent well enough. Norman and him are proving that there’s a different path to success in tennis: embracing inconsistency to lessen the agony when you do lose. Take it as trial and (small) error, exposing yourself to positive mistakes (good form at a tournament) and never letting the opportunity of good form go to waste. Serena Williams used to employ this earlier in her career. She would have walkabouts, refresh the mind, doing fashion etc. Look how much longer a career she’s been able to have. Stan’s method should be embraced by all the other mere mortals so obsessed with becoming the next Fed, Nadal, Djoko, Murray. It won’t happen, so embrace inconsistency and the idea that on some day, you’re good enough to crush them.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

“Norman and him are proving that there’s a different path to success in tennis: embracing inconsistency to lessen the agony when you do lose.”

Excellent insight. I haven’t thought or heard of that before but it is a really good analysis.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

You can’t overstate Norman’s importance: just listen to Stan talk. Every other sentence is about Norman settling him down. Every time he hits a winner he looks to Norman with that finger to his head, like a kid saying, ‘See Dad? I did it!’

Any other power player, with the exception maybe of DelPo, would have been psyched out of their game by the error-strewn first set and Novak’s immaculate play. It is a huge feat that Stan stuck to his guns.


AndyMira Says:

WoW!Sean attacked Andy like there is no tomorrow!Well..not to discredit Stan because i like Stan very much and he played superb in the final but he happened to win two of his three slams through an injured opponents..But Andy won all his three slams by playing a very healthy Novak,and Milos!Just saying Sean!


django Says:

Is Novak getting a divorce, Sean?


Khb Says:

Absolutely weak. Let’s bring Roddick back on tour.
Such an “entertaining, underrated player”.
A dignified man that posed in a photo with a celebratory trophy in his hands, next
to Laver, Borg, Fed, etc.
We can’t forget Hewitt, Ljubicic and Blake, the former #1, #3 & #4 players.
Always peaking for gracious defeats!


elina Says:

django, only Sean would know as no one else has stated it their rumoured marital problem innuendo as fact the way he has.

He must have the inside information!

khb, you forgot Agassi.


Margot Says:

Hi Kath! Hope you have a good time at the Davis Cup. I went last year in London and it was such great fun. The French fans were immense. Am sure the atmosphere in Glasgow will be fantastic.
OKgiel and Willow: hope you had excellent holidays. Hope you caught the travel bug OK!


J-Kath Says:

Taa Margot: They want all UK fans to wear blue….I’ve got a large blue towel….and a retro decollete cocktail dress…mix and match?


Margot Says:

You rock girl! Sounds fab! Hope you’re taking the cocktails to go with the frock….;)


Willow Says:

Margot yeah ive had a fabulous year career wise, personally, and spiritually, couldnt have been better CHEERS ;-)) ….


Frank frankovich Says:

always liked joker, but those TWO timeouts for toe blisters are NOT injuries ! he was cramping and we all knew it.


jane Says:

elina, django – indeed, inquiring minds want to know!

someone said about novak, “he served well”
yeah, no.
his ground game was good; his serves, not.
see this:

————————————

Craig O’Shannessy
‏@BrainGameTennis

#DJOKOVIC #USOPEN SERVING = very off this year.

2016
Aces = 17
DF’s = 22

2015
Aces = 48
DF’s = 13

2016 #AUSOPEN
Aces = 60
DF’s = 12

——————————————

i think elina’s right – it’s likely fed would’ve beaten novak this year.

i too like ulyssey’s theory about stan. another friend was talking about his “high risk / high reward” style of tennis. and it is interesting how that might pay off more over the long haul of best of 5 (where he seems to do so much better) as opposed to best of 3.

@frank, not what his coach said. http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sp3q4n


J-Kath Says:

Margot

I’m so shocked….you know how anti-booze the Glaswegians are..tut tut.


elina Says:

1 Thing I Think I Thought About The Title Of This Story.

Who puts “I” in the title of a sports story?


skeezer Says:

I mean “really?” about all this!!
Who cares?
ATP Tour doesn’t.
Take all this circus and sell it to Days of our Lives. They need a new plot.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Jane, those stats are tournament long and include the awful serving performance of the JJ match. In the finals, Novak served well though not great, almost identically to 2015, except for a slightly worse 1st serve %

2016: 6 aces, 7 DF, 1st serve 51%, avg 1st serve 115, avg 2nd serve 89

2015: 3 aces, 5 DF, 1st serve 62%, avg 1st serve 115 mph, avg 2nd serve 90 mph

The story was not on Novak’s serve. It was on Stan’s. Stan had far fewer break points this year than Fed had last year.

Novak break points 2016: 3/17 (18%)
Fed’s breakpoints 2015: 4/23 (17%)


elina Says:

Nah 50% first serve and 3 of 17 bps not gonna get it done.

Novak was tight. Stan wasn’t.

Therein lies the difference.


skeezer Says:

elina, and who are u talking too this time?


jane Says:

overall, t.v., i don’t think novak served well. he had some good patches in matches, but he had no rhythm on that shot throughout the USO. he had to change his motion to compensate and thus he couldn’t quite serve with any ease. but yeah, he sure sucked on bps!


Margot Says:

Rea pleased for you Willow. Enjoy the moment :)


Margot Says:

Or even “really pleased” lol.
EDIT button please!


Ahfi Says:

This computer hacking business is going to create lots of problems for the various authorities. Now, they will be throwing names of American athletes out there since it is the U.S. that is being targeted at this time. Sooner or later, names or European athletes will also come out and then nobody will be laughing.. In fact, the tennis authorities may be forced to release names of all players who have been approved the use of certain medications. That would probably be the fair way to go about it. Of course, they do not have to say which medications are being taken.


Wog Boy Says:

Good on them, long live the hackers, if they are all clean as they claim, they shouldn’t be worried, no?

Of course, some are allowed to take “medications” legally due to their “health” conditions (guess where are they from), on the other side Sharapova is crucified for taking substance that was never proven to be PED, and was legal until January 2016!

Long live Assanges and Snowdens…


Ahfi Says:

I am no Stan supporter but I think people are under rating Stan. I have watched him carefully and he really wears people down even if not playing his best. Delpo does that in another way. One has to be very very patient to overcome these two. I agree that Fed’s level last year would have won him something but then again, you never know who else could have been playing well… So many factors at play these days.


Ahfi Says:

Wog boy, trust me, more names will come out. They started with those just to sensationalize the situation. Sharapova should have sought approval.


Wog Boy Says:

Ahfi,

Why should she asked for approval when it was legal until January this year?


Wog Boy Says:

^^^ and I’ll repeat, it was never medically proven that it is PED, the only reason they banned it was because of the number of sports people who were using it..and of course majority were Russians or Eastern Europeans..


Van Persie Says:

Disgusting! They made such a circus about the meldonium, but they are allowing others to take amphetamine and other BS…because they are sick since childhood.


Van Persie Says:

Proud of Halep that she did not participate to the Rio BS!


Giles Says:

Rio was not BS. Rio held the Olympic Games an event that takes place every FOUR years. Just because your fave got dumped in the first round is the reason you’re referring to it as BS. Grow up!


Van Persie Says:

You are right here, Giles.
Rio is not a BS.

But WADA and ITF are managing to turn the Olympics into BS. According to them, some are allowed to dope, if they fill some papers.
Cannot forget the Olypmic Games from Sydney, where they have taken the Golden Medal from Andreea Raducanu, who took Ibuprofen, because she got the flu.


rognadfan Says:

On your second ‘thought’ Sean,
Given the scenario that both Stan and Novak play well. Everytime Nole fails to penalise stan’s weak return, he is likely to loose. I mean his service performance was not horrible, like he, at one point, had (remember 2010?). But Stan’s return game is very weak, to say the least, compared to all other aspects of his game. In this final, Novak could not put Stan on the defense in his own service game. And I think that was not because of his serve. He was just not that agressive on the first ball that Stan blocked back to him. That’s where the problem starts for him because Stan is the only guy on the tour with whom Novak is less likely to win those longer rallies.
Of course, that is when stand is hitting consistently.
That said, Stan was also clever, either taking time on the returns (on the BH side) and hitting a deep topspin return to start the point at neutral, or returning a short-angled slice. Nonetheless Novak should have been able to exploit Stan’s forehand return.

Now what happens when you can’t win points on your bread and butter play (long grueling rallies)? What you get from that is mental frustration and eventually MUSCLE CRAMPS. And that cramp forces you to take an MTO for toe injury. ;).


django Says:

You can use banned substances as long as you are American.

Why does Serena need prednisone and methylprednisone, oxycodone and more?


SG1 Says:

Wow Sean! Bashing Stan’s accomplishments already. So sad.


chrisford1 Says:

1. Sean is saying Djokovic’s marriage on the rocks is now gospel truth. Whats the evidence backing the rumors?
2. The Academy of German Diet&Nutrition experts has just come out against the Vegan lifestyle, saying it comes with increased risk of decreasing a person’s overall health and athletic ability. The lobby of “new lifestyle diet” groups, PETA, and American nutritionists saying anything that cuts sugar and fat intake has to be supported disagree.
3. 4-5 years ago, Djokovic was the Man, not Fedal. Stan made Roger look better in their matchups back then because Stan had an intense inferiority complex regarding the “Maestro” and almost came across that it was his proper duty to lose to Roger.
4. What’s the junk dissing on Andy??? Murray has had a brilliant year. Look at the ranking points, no one else is even close to Djokovic. Made 3 Slam Finals, got a gold medal, went deep in multiple Master’s 1000s. He’s not supposed to be tired after that??? Look at the number of matches he played, and it’s not like some young player with a similar number of matches bouncing around in rounds 1-3 in a large number of tournaments.
5. Concur, Sayonara Williams Sistas in 2017! For all the talk here, I don’t think as big a group of fans are sick of the male stars as they are with 20 years of Woman’s tennis in thrall to the Williamses. Sure, there are some fans each year in the grip of “Young Gun Fever” – Jerzy! Popsicle! Dominic! Milos! Kei, kei, ke! Sock is the One!! But not near the number of fans want to see Roger or Rafa or Feliciano Lopez depart – that want to see the end to 20 years of all Williamses, all the time. Or the end of Screamapova, for that matter.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

The hacked info on American athletes is nothing more than a retaliation smear. Before freaking out on BANNED SUBSTANCES, take the time to consider that WADA has regulations and process for granting exemptions for health reasons. This has been public knowledge. Those exemptions are also kept secret in compliance with the principal of medical privacy.

So we’ve always known that there were athletes competing with exemptions. Now we just learn a few names. Of people who have followed a legal process that was publicly known.

Sharapova, whether she has been fairly treated or not, broke the rules. These athletes FOLLOWED the rules, and had WADA’s permission to use their drugs. There is no equivalence.


Van Persie Says:

TV, Do not know, but when you are so sick, you should not perform at such a high level. It is unfair for the others. It is legal doping, nothing more.


Giles Says:

Is joker having an operation on his toe? Anybody know? How will that affect his tennis?


Van Persie Says:

A banned substance should be banned for all, or allowed for everybody…


Van Persie Says:

And honestly, I am impressed. Did not know, that American Athletes are so fragile…


skeezer Says:

TV,
Spot on.


chrisford1 Says:

TV – Agree, all too often, people throwing stones at Russia’s glass house and leaking personal info fail to consider they live in glass houses too and Russians are great rock throwers and top computer hackers.

As for Sharapova, I have far less sympathy for her, than for a Russian swimmer or track star told meldonium is OK that lost their one real good shot at the Olympics.What bugs me the most is Sharapova knowing something was shady and on the down low, and refusing to tell her doctor, team physio, other doctors treating her, the WTA, and her sponsors she was a regular user. No one knew but her business agent.


chrisford1 Says:

BTW, news on Sharapova is that she will hear the result of her court of arbitration appeal in October. Even if they re-instate her after 1 year time (I think she will get 18 months), it is going to be a pretty bad situation for her. Zero points, sponsors she deceived not likely to pick her up again. 29 and no longer a “golden girl”….new sponsors may not flock to her banner. Organizers, realizing she is detested by most women in the WTA and not missed that much by fans, will be unlikely to give her wildcard tickets outside the Moscow Open.

Viktor Troicki, who didn’t use drugs but violated a testing rule, took over a year to come back to his past rankings average, got very little money and was going to places like Tashkent, Cali, and Moldava trying to build his points back – and he had wildcard help from lobbying by players that thought since he was clean and drug free despite his “rules breach”, he got a raw deal…Djokovic, but also players like Nadal and Ferrer supported his return with racticing with him, getting him wild cards. The suspension and next year in the “minor leagues” and challengers had Troicki contemplating retirement several times.
Sharapova, BTW, in terms of marketability, is pushing 30 and younger attractive WTA athletes have largely replaced her in “glam” endorsement. With her wealth, does she really want to go back to ITF/Challengers from 30 to 31, without a huge entourage, in the tennis backwaters??


Van Persie Says:

No worries CF1, when she will be back, she will dope legally and everything will be fine


Travis Bickle Says:

Tennis Vagabond,

“Sharapova, whether she has been fairly treated or not, broke the rules. These athletes FOLLOWED the rules, and had WADA’s permission to use their drugs. There is no equivalence.”

While you are technically right, any fair observer would see that something is rotten here. Rules are not always fair and simply following them doesn’t make one morally right and vice versa – some dumb rules could be violated by a truly good person. I am not sure of your knowledge of legal terms and how aware you are of the differences between ‘malum in se’ and ‘malum prohibitum’.

Feel free to look it up, but I’ll just tell you that Serena’s actions, while definitely not ‘malum prohibitum’ could be easily seen as ‘malum in se’, because one can reasonably question is it morally right to ask for permission to use not one, not two, but 4 banned/performance enhancing substances, while most of your competitors are not allowed to use anything to enhance their performance…
If you were so ill to need 4 performance boosting drugs (oxycodone, hydromorphone, prednisone and methylprednisolone) to treat your various illnesses, should you be competing at all? For instance, I happen to know prednisone personally – my sister had mono 7 years ago and after being prescribed prednisone went from being so exhausted and sleeping for 3 days straight to literally bouncing off walls after taking prednisone!

On the other hand, we don’t even have a valid scientific evidence that Sharapova’s substance (meldonium) is performance-boosting, and it was banned only this year…

And finally, the WADA’s statistics for therapeutic use exemptions (TUE), i.e. the “rule” Serena is legally using from WADA are stunning: 36% of all TUEs granted by WADA have been granted to US athletes
(https://twitter.com/dodo938/status/775739974905917440)
Either US have the sickest athletes in the world by far, or there is something fishy (albeit technically legal) going on in the world of doping control – and that “fishy thing” is giving a big time advantage to US athletes.

Also, I am waiting these hackers to release TUEs on British athletes, especially on Mo Farah. I have a feeling he is a very ill guy who needs lots of performance boosting drugs to treat his various illnesses. No proofs on my end, just a gut feeling ;-)

I am giving you benefit of doubt TV and hope that you are just naive in calling this hack “a retaliation smear”. I also may be wrong and you could be a biased man with agenda…
Nevertheless, I think the hack is a good thing which will expose WADA rules and these TUEs to the court of public opinion, which is the ultimate court in deciding what is “malum in se”, and that is all that really matters!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I like your reply Travis, but you broke me up with the ‘agenda’ comment. Really? What agenda could be pushed in posting to Tennis-X? You think I’m a front for USTA? And they’re relying on the critical Tennis-Xer response? Or is there something more insidious? Does it involve 9/11, the Smoking Man from X-Files, and/or the Bilderberg group?

In terms of the actual substance of your point, you could be right that WADA has some kind of favouritism to the US, OR that the rules are themselves unfair and those medically requiring PED’s (and TUEs) should just not be allowed. I don’t know, and maybe the hacking will help expose that if that’s the case. However, that is still not enough to say the athletes can be accused of cheating for being ON RECORD following the process.

You are incorrect that 36% of all TUEs were given to Americans. 36% of all adverse findings involving TUEs came from USADA. There’s a big difference there: in fact, it could mean that USADA is testing more thoroughly than other agencies, or that they have more athletes under their purview, more frequent testing, etc. We’ll have to wait for the next hack to find out how many TUEs were actually granted to Americans.

Thanks for the offer to look up Latin terms! I’m off to spread misinformation in service to my agenda on other sports blogs. Darn, I probably shouldn’t have said that.


Willow Says:

I Dont think Olympics is BS, Andy and Rafa were delighted to win gold medals for their countries, Novak was in in tears when he lost to Delpo, so Rio obviously meant alot ….


Travis Bickle Says:

I like your comments too TV, and that is why I gave you benefit of the doubt.
But your statement of “retaliation smear” for something which is merely an act of (factually) exposing public to all the details and intricacies of WADA’a policies, could be seen as strange…

Feel free to disagree, and to divert it to 9/11 and X-files, but once someone calls exposing objective fact “smear campaign”, I immediately vomit in my mouth a little.

I wonder what you think of Manning leaking the US Baghdad air-strike showing how we killed innocents folks and two Reuters journalists among them. Note that Manning did that ILEGALLY and was severely punished for it! Do you think that showing of facts US military didn’t want to be seen by public is some kind of Manning’s attempt of “smear campaign” against US military? Perhaps you do…

I see it as the same thing as these hackers did to WADA’s TUEs. The same thing!
That is why I support all folks who leak true facts (Serena’s leaked TUEs appear to be true) and would never call them “smears” – I leave that name calling to conspiracy theorists and/or folks with various agendas, including good old Cold War/ anti-Russians / McCarthyists older folks that are frequent even on otherwise benign sports forums.

I just said it is not inconceivable you could be among those ranks, based on your specific comment. Various agendas are being pushed all the time, sometimes even unknowingly by human ‘drones’ influenced by biased media. One doesn’t have to be on a spy-agency payroll to push agenda on a sports forum – just to mention one (latent racism) – there are many folks who spread it on talk forums nowadays…

Note that I started by saying I was giving you benefit of doubt and assuming you are being simply naive. Listening too much to media, combined with lack of education made this continent and its inhabitants pretty easy place to manipulate…


Van Persie Says:

Welcome back, Willow,

Nice to see, that you got the quintessence of todays discussions on this thread :)


Wog Boy Says:

Thanks VP and TB for your opinions.

If you are really sick, big if, and your take medicine that contains banned substances you should not be allowed to compete, as simple as that, since you are having unfair advantage on the others who can’t use it, as simple as that.

Somehow I can see Sharapova sentence being drasticly reduced, good job Fancy Bear, keep the ba$tards honest.

Willow, you and not surprisingly Giles, missed the VP point completely, nobody is talking about Olympic Games as such, but I don’t have time to explai it to you and Giles, it would take some time to do so.


Wog Boy Says:

For Nole fans and some haters, few of which I had “nice” discussion recently, Nole has to have surgery on not just on the toe nail but other ones too on his right foot, injury is more serious than they originally believed, Bejing hasn’t been cancelled, not yet, Nole team will play by the ear.


Khb Says:

There’re double standards in the wta, considering how so-called newsmakers &
experts desperately try to demolish the #1 male player’s life to please their idol Fed.

I find it hard to believe that Sharapova was so distracted
and victimized. She’s meticulous about advertising herself.
She’s eager to travel, create ads & model, yet
she supposedly had no idea about repeated drug tests after 14 years.

She’s Serena’s turkey. Serena had such an easy Slam
career, therefore Maria lost interest in winning.
Her ego’s big, since she’s so rich. Her press conference
& actions afterward didn’t prove she was heartbroken over the ban.
She clowned around with the TV host Chelsea Handler
& had big vacations.

So, she doesn’t care that there are Russian athletes who
lost chances to win big competitions.
Some are treated badly even when they never cheat or mistakenly use banned substances.
Maria affected the Olympics big time.
Only 1 Russian, a track and field athlete was
allowed to reinstate in the Olympics, months after she was banned
despite no wrongdoing Sadly, she didn’t do well this time and was too stressed
because the arrogant Sharapova and others didn’t care about drug ban lists.


J-Kath Says:

Does Maria really care if she comes back to Tennis at all?. Yes, she’d like to be cleared but she’s carving out an easier life as we talk.


AndyMira Says:

CF1..1:28pm..I don’t know why but you always wrote something that match my thought completely..Thank you so much for that..In this case..it’s your no 4..I understand,Sean maybe soooo overwhelmed by Stan’s win over Novak but at the same time,is it necessary for him to downgraded what Andy already accomplished so far?So,Andy got this meltdown or the so called mental block at the most important moment in his matches..so what??That’s Andy weaknesses and i’m pretty sure he’s working really hard to overcome that negative side of his game..It’s not fair for Sean to wrote that but i’m also pretty sure that Sean wrote everything’s here on purpose..you know..just to provoke us[fans] to give some angry reactions or something..and i can’t help but feel that he enjoyed it so much!D@#$ Sean!


Travis Bickle Says:

It appears Sir Bradley Wiggins won all those olympic gold medals while being a seriously ill man requiring treatment for many conditions.

He was taking 4 (four) performance enhancing drugs from WADA’s banned list. Of course all that was done LEGALLY since he needed all of those to treat his various illnesses. And, according to WADA’s rules, he was allowed to use them because there were absolutely no other drugs (that are not performance enhancers) that could treat Sir Wiggins’ conditions. Poor chap :(

He got his knighthood mostly due to his medals. Well deserved, Sir!


AndyMira Says:

@WB..5:17pm..I am sorry to hear that about Nole..But i guess he needs that surgery and i hope he will recover fast and comeback to the tour immediately..It’s not the same without him..


lakie Says:

cf1 at Sept 14,2:37 pm

“Viktor Troicki, who didn’t use drugs but violated a testing rule…..”

How do you know that Viktor Troicki did not use drugs? In fact the fact that he refused to take the test practically proves he was doping….


Okiegal Says:

A certain poster on this forum has been getting up on the wrong side of the bed lately…….😠😠😠😠


lakie Says:

Djokovic suffers from asthma.It is likely ITF is allowing him to use beta-2 agonists which are considered Peds. I think while ITF may allow TUE, it should be publicly stated and usage monitored. Some of the athletes allowed such exemptions have been caught using more than the prescribed dosage. In fact those given TUE should be checked at every grand slam and masters and not just on random basis.


AndyMira Says:

Hey Okie..I heard from across the pond that you’re having a gooooood time?is it true ma’am?if so,keep doing that please..i’m veryyyyy happy if you’re happy Okie..Btw..i’ve just sent you an article bout Rafa..it did not sound good..


Margot Says:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/infosys-murray-improvements-september-2016
AM and ChrisF: No worries, whenever anyone disses Andy I just re-read this, and I’ll re-post it too ;)
So Nole needs an op on his foot, sorry to hear that. As Jelena is being held to account for all his tennis woes, I expect to read somewhere that she stamped on it……..


courbon Says:

Margot: Jelena probably did stamp on his foot! Same as my wife couple of years ago on mine…did I blame my poor work perfomance, in that period, on my wife? Nah, I was a jerk…I deserved it. (-:


J-Kath Says:

AMira

You refer to Wogboy’s comment @ 5.17pm re. an operation for Nole – I’m darned if I can spot it….was it on this thread or another?


AndyMira Says:

JK…When i first read about Nole’s ops..it’s from Giles post up there who asked whether it’s true or not..and when i go down a little bit,then i found WB’s post[who i missed earlier]..but,i’m surfing the internet since last night but not found one single news about Nole and his ops..so,i just trust WB news about Nole..

PS]..M..Ha ha..very spot on about Jelena..I’m very sympathy with her actually..Nobody knows what happen but she get the blamed!So sad..

PS2]..Thanks for give that link M..i will read it and keep on read it and keep on read it..


Willow Says:

Wogboy i might well have missed the point, as the discussion evolved into doping, i realize that now, but still no need for the sarcasm, this forum is full of people who miss each others points, so im far from being the only one ….


Willow Says:

Furthur more i aint no hater either, pretty sick of being reffered to as that, just because i happen to want or be happy because another player happens to win something, Novak is an amazing player that broke the hedgemony of Fedal and deserves all the plaudits he gets, hell he will probably go on to be the greatest ever, but did i enjoy Andy and Stan winning a GS this year ? hell yeah because its great for the game, and tennis is about more than any one player ….

BTW I Looked on Novaks site, and didnt see or here of any news about him having / needing to have surgery, but im sorry if he does anyway, looking at him its plain to see something is not right, i wish only the best for him, whether others choose to believe that or not, which theres nought i can do about that CHEERS ….


J-Kath Says:

AM – OK, Taa.

I haven’t yet seen an article re. Nole and surgery but there’s a lot of buzz about it on Tennis.com. and noted WB’s comments. One kinda needs one’s feet when playing tennis – Nole could be kinda hobbled for a bit.


AndyMira Says:

Yeah JK…Hope the injury is not very serious..And Nole really depends on his feet and toes more so than anyone because of his sliding technique..


Okiegal Says:

@Willow……He took a hit at me too……something about me knowing the rules better than the chair umpire. Well I don’t…..coming straight from the horse’s mouth neither does Novak…..Novak being the horse. He brought Rafa into the conversation about breaking the rules. There is a difference in breaking rules when knowing them and not knowing the rules period…..which was the point I was trying to make. I was just surprised Novak admitted it.As per usual you get accused of being a hater……I know better and everyone else on this forum should know better too! Have a good rest of the week and I am so happy for you and all of your accomplishments. I am having a great vacation and going to tour Washington D.C. today. Haven’t hugged a tree yet but I am going too!

Regarding Stan and this thread…….he has managed 3 grand slams …..but is inconsistent overall. But hey, that’s beside the point, he had a great tournament beat the best the world atm and got the trophy. Some don’t think he played that good and won because Joker didn’t play his best but I think he was playing so good that Joker got very put off by his great play and got all nervous and anxious and it went downhill for him. I know how his fans feel I remember 2014 all too well. I hope Novak gets his feet well and is back up to par. I know about foot injuries too. I have a bunion, not fun…..but wasn’t really referring to myself but to another player……


Wog Boy Says:

JK,

Vajda passed information to Ben Rothenberg who twitted it further . This is from state TV and is pretty reliable, you can google translate it, but what is basically said is that injury is more serious than originally thought and it is not only one toe involved, Vajda is quoted at the end:

http://www.rts.rs/page/sport/sr/story/38/tenis/2452884/djokovic-mora-na-operaciju.html


Giles Says:

Article says surgery is not necessary. Wish Vajda wouldn’t dramatise!!!


Wog Boy Says:

JK,

Disregard previous news, they already changed it to “”surgery is not necessary, only rest is required”, you can’t even trust the state TV network anymore:)


J-Kath Says:

Wogboy: My head’s spinning…. “to be or not to be…..”
Anyway it all sounded pretty horrible – I’ll bet Nole’s a happy bunny again.


J-Kath Says:

Andy and Jamie Murray’s grandfather has died. They are both still going to play Davis Cup. If they get a win, I’m guessing they will dedicate it to “grandpa”.

Andy’s also doing quite a bit of charity work in Glasgow next week. He’s keeping too, too busy in my non-humble view.


Honfleuraise Says:

Rumour and counter rumours abound. The whole saga of the bleeding toenails has been exaggerated in an attempt to legitimise the questionable MTO. There was nothing wrong with his footwork leading up to the request for the physio and he was jumping around like a bunny after the pedicure(s). I saw the close up of his foot which revealed a callous under the big toe. Hardly surprising given how little time he’d spent on court prior to the final.


AndyMira Says:

Yeah JK..I just read about Andy’s grandfather..sorry for their loss..Are they very close to their granddad?


elina Says:

To be fair Hon, the umpire confirmed bleeding from the toes.

That picture was from one angle only.


django Says:

TB I missed who this ill guy Wiggins was in the first place .
Only the evil russkies take banned substances, I thought. :-))


James Says:

There’s no Big 4 or Big 5. Over the last 3 years, Novak has cleaned up half the slams (6) – Stan is the next best with 3. Everyone else is way behind. Fed managed 3 finals, but no wins. Murray managed a few finals, but just one win. Nadal barely won the 2014 French, and then nada.

Novak’s body has finally started to show strains of playing 900 or so matches, many of them long with grinding rallies. Plus he is nearing 30. That’s about as sure a path downwards as there ever is.

Stan has been a surprise – I think he was still relatively fresh at the start of 2014 (not that many matches in his career till then), and being so physically AND mentally strong, he finally realized his potential. Fed is too stubborn, otherwise he should have learnt something from Stan about how to make your backhand a weapon. After all, he has known Stan’s backhand for as long as it has existed.

What’s in store for 2017? Who knows. but it seems unlikely that status quo will continue. The biggest question for me is whether Murray’s wimbledon win was a fluke, or a sign of things to come with Lendl in his camp again. Second question is whether Stan can manage another slam (he is, after all, inconsistent). Third question of course is whether Novak can win multiple slams next year (or even one??). Fourth is whether any of these young midgets can win anything. I am talking about Thiem, not raonic, since raonic is not really a winner.

Gosh, they need to go back to lower bouncing courts and balls, at least for some tournaments, if they want to revive variety and offense in tennis. Otherwise its just going to keep going down the monotonous path of mindless rallies ending in unforced or forced errors – which is how 80-90% of the points are won today – rather than through winners.


Willow Says:

Okie yeah i know, and great post too, neither you or i have ever claimed at any point that Rafa was a saint by any stretch of the imagination, sure he has abused the rules, but talk about posters missing the point, well theres a grand number of posters that do that here ….

Anyway i hope your enjoying your break, as youve been through the mill this year, and really deserve it, weve been to lots of places too this year, and some rally awesome camps celebrating the elements, you would love tree hugging and walking barefoot on the ground getting closer to nature is what i love, seems you and i have lots in common with Novak, who enjoys doing the same thing in his spare time, and yet we are such haters lol, go figure, ANYWAY LOVE AND HUGS OKIE TAKE CARE AND ENJOY ;-)) XX ….

And BTW Thanks for all the congrats, it means alot ;-))….


Dan The Man Says:

I think this win for Stan will hopefully put an end to underestimating him. When he won the French in 2015, everyone acted so surprised and even this time, a lot of the talking heads called him a clear underdog in the final against Novak. Well guess what – in the last 3 years, Stan has won 3 of their 4 slam matches. In 2013, the year before that, Novak beat Stan in the Australian and U.S. Opens, but they were both 5 setters (12-10 and 6-4 in the fifth). No one should be underestimating him now. Clearly Stan raised his game in 2013, and he now has the experience to win most of them. Watch out to everybody else.


James Says:

Dan The Man, good point about Stan The Man!

I think his BH DTL is one of the sweetest shots I have ever seen. And very effective – it really perplexes Nole when he is pushed out of the court on his backhand. If he goes to the middle, Stan can create a vicious angle to Nole’s forehand. If he goes to Stan’s backhand, that DTL shot rifles back at 80 mph and is nearly impossible to defend. And Stan hits is a bit earlier than Fed hits his backhand – which gives him more power (less control, but that is something he has worked on the last few years) and doesn’t let the ball bounce so high that the one-hander becomes a liability (like it does for Fed).

Like I said earlier, Fed should hire Stan as his backhand coach during the off season. Though its too late now for the old man.


Honfleuraise Says:

Elina
OK point taken. There was a plaster with some blood on one toe but he said afterward his toenails (plural) were actually “hanging off” -– an OTT exaggeration – compounded by Vadja’s comments in the aftermath. For me there will always be a credibility gap regarding the severity of his injuries especially as they never seem to cause him to be sidelined from matches.


James Says:

When you have real injuries, you stop playing for a period of time, even extended period of time. When you are running like a rabbit for some time, hitting outrageous shots, and then suddenly say you have injuries, it just doesn’t sound real enough.

Reality is – Djokovic got beaten fair and square, yet again, by Stan The Man. Doesn’t matter if its 5-19 overall H2H. What matters is its 3-1 H2H in slams the last 3 years. Stan is in Novak’s head, big time, since twice Novak has lost to him in a slam final AFTER winning the first set.


J-Kath Says:

James:

My heart goes out to you, poor wee man.


J-Kath Says:

AMira:

My reading of Andy/Jamie’s family is that they are unusually close for families nowadays. Given the horror at the lads school family support must have had to be extensive. Early years matter a lot. Then there was Dad & Mum divorcing – grandparents may well have been the stability for a longer than usual length of time.


James Says:

J-Kath, are you high on something? Your post makes no sense.


elina Says:

Hon, he was sidelined by injury from Cincy just last month.


J-Kath Says:

Think about it James.


Honfleuraise Says:

I was not up to speed on tennis news most of last month and didn’t know he had skipped Cincy, But my point remains: considering the extremely physical nature of his game and the punishing schedule he has remained remarkably free from any serious long term injuries.


J-Kath Says:

Cheers All

Will be interested in your Davis Cup views when I get back lateish Sunday evening. Please keep them civil…………..
personally not counting on anything.

PS: Margot/Willow – will try not to forget to take a couple of crystals with me.

A bientot.


Khb Says:

Novak’s the biggest tennis charade. A mirage. A fraud so why isn’t he faking his energy level and adrenaline pumped body? all these unfortunate Andees, Rogers and Rafas will be forgotten when a new ballet player assumes position for the GOAT crown.
novak is the fakest of all players. yeah. That’s it. that’s why Fed won Sportsmanship awards.


Markus Says:

This is what happens when his idolaters claim 4 straight non-calendar slam is the best thing that could happen to any player, better than a real grand slam, they claim. I bet they said that to cushion loses for the rest of the year. So Novak loses the next 2 slams and the Olympics. I wonder how happy those rabid fans of his still are. Nadal is still better than their boy.


Okiegal Says:

@Willow 12:05….You are so welcome!am glad you are enjoying your retreats! I am certainly enjoying my time in Washington D.C.. I watched changing of the guard today at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier….when Taps was played I lost it……tears were flowing. I hope to go to the Smithsonian Institute tomorrow…..Willow. I still wish you would set up a Facebook account….I really think you would enjoy it…………think about it!!


mat4 Says:

Djokovic doesn’t suffer from asthma, never did.


mat4 Says:

@markus:

Until March 2012, any 4 straight were the “Grand Slam”. Martina Navratilova earned 1 M dollars to win any four straights.

Novak’s 4 straight are something never achieved in the past in the men singles. He was the only one facing pros from the first round, while in Budge’s time half of the draw were club players, and it was very similar in Laver’s time.

The degree of difficulty of Novak’s achievements is unparalleled. He’s a great champion, and with the years, he has learned humility.

You should to.


lakie Says:

mat4 on Sept 16th, 12:15 am
Taken from the internet:
In a new book, Novak Djokovic reveals more about the diet and regimen … “My allergies abated; my asthma disappeared; my fears and doubts ..

I haven’t actually read the book but the above is supposed to be a quote from it. It is also well known that Djokovic had breathing problems. So in probability he has asthma kept under control with diet/exercise and possibly beta 2 agonists.
TB thinks anyone who gets TUE is a ill person and should be barred from playing. But TUE maybe needed in the short term for recuperation from serious problems ( when one may be out of competition i.e. not playing. Anti doping rules apply even when not playing) or long term for chronic conditions like asthma.


lakie Says:

mat4 sept 16th at 12:23am

Whether Novak faced unparalleled difficulties or benefited from the injuries /old age of the other 3 is debatable.


Van orten Says:

They all dope.


lakie Says:

mat4 , sept 16th at 12:23am
ITF revised ( temporarily as it turned out) in 1982 the definition of Grand slam from calendar year to any 4 consecutive slams and Navratilova was the beneficiary in 1984. But subsequently ITF reverted to the calendar year definition and Serena’s feat was not recognized as a Grand Slam. Do not know from where mat4 got 2012.
The calendar year slam is more difficult because it has to be achieved in one season and also a non calendar consecutive 4 is 3 times more likely than a calendar 4 consecutive.


mat4 Says:

@Van orten:

Of course. Especially Saturday evening in the pub.


Willow Says:

Okie i have theres a picture of me wearing a medieval dress, cloak, and coloured braids in my hair, which is my profile picture, im still finding my way around the whole thing at the moment ;-)) ….


Willow Says:

What Novak achieved winning four in a row is fantastic, i dont know if its more difficult than four in a calander year, but four in a row is still four in a row, whichever way you cut it, however im happy that other players Andy and Stan have also won a GS too, it gets tiresome when everyone else is any one particular players play things ….


Okiegal Says:

@Willow….that’s great! Just make sure you tell me the name your FB account is in. I always used Byron’s……you can find me by searching Byron Rowsey. I am so glad you are finally doing this. Keep me posted!! Or have you already set up an account??? Allison with two LLs or one ??


Okiegal Says:

@Willow….read your post again and you have set up one…I will search it out!! Yippy Skippy!


Willow Says:

Okie one L nd surname is Hodge, i dont reveal personal stuff on there though ….


Okiegal Says:

@Willow……Yes I don’t blame you about personal stuff. But I was lookin for you with the wrong spelling!


Santhuru Says:

This comment is a bit late, but compelled to do so after reading the article here which I felt was biased. I agree with Jane and a few others here that its not ‘weak era’. Novak has simply been dominated by Stan, full stop. Luckily for Novak he was able to beat Stan by the slightest margin in AO 2013, otherwise I am quite certain Stan would have won that title too in 2013.

I am not sure if Novak will ever be able to recover from his losses to Stan. The damage Stan did to Novak is like what Rafa did to Roger and what Novak did to Rafa.

Also, I believe Stan would care less to defend his US Open title next year, but direct his focus on Wimbledon 2017 instead.

Now, lets discuss STan’s talent. Its his lack of self believe that has handicapped him, but Magnus has changed all that. Though Stan’s game plan is very simple, we need to appreciate his ability to consistently hit so close to the lines, forehand (btw, Stand did not go for broke with his shots, he knew what he doing) and back hand with pace. Look at his mental strength, look at his AGE, look at the tattoo on his arm, his disappointment when he lost to Djokovic in AO Open 2013, look at his comeback. How can you possibly discredit his win over the big four? If at all anyone has been lucky with the GS wins, I think I it will be someone else among the big four, certainly not Stan. Stan’s was all talent and pure hard work and he deserves it.

Don’t get me wrong I like all the big four players, but Stan deserves some credit and respect here.

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