Djokovic Stunned; Raonic Sick; Sick Friday Line-Up at Aussie Open
by Staff | January 19th, 2017, 8:54 am
  • 72 Comments

There was only one seeded upset on the men’s side Thursday at the Australian Open, and it was a doozy.


Unseeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, who was 1-33 against Top 10 players in his career, turned that around when he ousted No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic in a match that went the full distance 7-6(8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in Melbourne.

“I didn’t expect what I’m doing now and what I did on the court,” said the dazed 30-year-old, who needed a wildcard to get into the tournament, after the match. “I like the way I am playing. I mean, I feel just tired. I don’t think about that I win against No. 2 in the world.”

Djokovic, up two sets to one, let the fourth set slip away in a tiebreak then went down an early break in the fifth. In his post-match conference he faced reporters who questioned his intensity during the match.

“There was intensity, of course,” Djokovic said. “We played four-and-a-half hours. It’s just that it’s one of these days when you don’t feel that great on the court, don’t have much rhythm, and the player you’re playing against is feeling the ball very well…All the credit to Denis for playing amazing. He deserved to win. No doubt, he was a better player in the clutch moments. He stepped it up, played aggressive. Served very well, very precise. There’s not much I could do.”

With the bottom section of the draw now wide open, Istomin will next face No. 30 seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who defeated Brit Kyle Edmund 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. Other winners Thursday in that section were No. 15 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 18 Richard Gasquet, who will next face off. Dimitrov defeated South Korea’s Chung Hyeon 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, while the Frenchman rolled through Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

Top 10 players through to the third round were No. 3 Milos Raonic who out-served Gilles Muller 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4); No. 6 Gael Monfils who needed four sets to subdue the Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 6-0; No. 8 Dominic Thiem who held off Aussie Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-4; and in the final night match No. 9 Rafael Nadal who defeated old foe Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

Raonic revealed after his match that he’s fighting off illness.

“I started feeling a little bit of a cough, but I didn’t think much of it, two days ago after my match, right before bed,” he said. “Yesterday I was okay. I practiced normally and everything. I thought, ‘Okay, maybe I’m on the way up from this.’ Then this morning, I felt pretty bad waking up. Didn’t warm up much. Just came out with the sort of idea of put everything into the match, try to solve it, understand the importance of the mental side of things in that situation.”

Into the third round were additional seeded winners No. 11 David Goffin who buried Radek “The Worm” Stepanek in straights, No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 20 Ivo Karlovic, No. 21 David Ferrer, No. 24 Alexander Zverev, No. 25 Gilles Simon, and No. 32 Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Raonic will next meet Simon, and Nadal will have a delicious challenge for fans against the German riser Zverev.

“It’s going to be a spectacular night,” Zverev said regarding the prospect of playing Nadal, after roughing-up American riser Frances Tiafoe in straight sets. “I’m looking forward to that match.”

Raonic says he’ll attempt to stay out of the Frenchman Simon’s web of long rallies and off-putting cadences.

“He’s going to be there really trying to get me to play at his speed, his rhythm,” Raonic said. “Obviously he tries to slow things down, play low. I won’t have the opportunity to get too many swings at many shots. I’ve got to serve well and I’ve got to be aggressive and I’ve got to take it to him. The last thing I want to do is get into this sort of game of playing long rallies with him.”

Friday in Melbourne will offer a smorgasbord of top-seeded tests including (10) Tomas Berdych vs. (17) Roger Federer, (4) Stan Wawrinka vs. (29) Viktor Troicki, (12) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. (23) Jack Sock, (1) Andy Murray vs. (31) Sam Querrey, and (27) Bernard “The Tank Engine” Tomic vs. Brit Daniel Evans.


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72 Comments for Djokovic Stunned; Raonic Sick; Sick Friday Line-Up at Aussie Open

Tennisfansince1976 Says:

Wow what a surprise! When I turned in last night Novak was up 2 sets to 1. I wake and find he has lost in 5. Not expected to say the least. A year ago at the AO Novak was all but invincible, a year later he is bounced in round 2. It was an outdoor match and from what I saw he had that flushed, dazed look he gets when affected by the heat. For the big picture, much like Wimbledon for roger and the French for Rafa, the Australian open formed the cornerstone for Novak’s year. This certainly opens up the draw for Murray and anybody else who might like to win the Australian open. Also he still looks too skinny.


Kimberly Says:

This was the biggest surprise to me since Robin Soderling beating Rafael Nadal in 2009. When I looked at the score this morning I thought there must be a web error, same as I thought then.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

What a shocker! The fact that this was just his 2nd loss in 7 years to someone outside the top 100 (and the other was resurgent JMDP), his first first week loss in ten years, reigning champ, 6 time champ… it adds up to one of the biggest upsets of the decade.

I may have been the last one on the site to acknowledge this, but ok: Novak’s problems are officially more than a blip.

I only saw highlights, so I’d appreciate insight/ corrections from others who watched closely, but from what I saw:

1) Serve just doesn’t look threatening
2) Speed and footwork did not seem to have the usual eye-popping magic. A couple points his footwork looked clumsy
3) Ball striking looked great, but perhaps he wasn’t going for the offensive shots enough?
4) Some really ill advised drop shots from the baseline

This is a huge opening on this side of the draw. You just know Rafa and Raonic are going to move into another gear with the belief that they belong in the finals. If Rafa makes the finals, this tournament could change the course of tennis history.

I believe Rafa can challenge for Slams again, but I also believe his best days are long gone. If Rafa, Fed and Novak are all playing at a significantly lower level, even if they are competitive, it doesn’t just open opportunity for Andy. Those four have sucked all the oxygen out of the tour for years: every Masters and Slam finals has been dominated. We could get a much more interesting, chaotic year – or we could see Milos or Thiem or Zverev step up and take their place.


lyle nubbins Says:

Miami/IW are critical for Nole. Clay court season is not a good time to not be into competing.


rognadfan Says:

WOW! Definitely one of the biggest upsets.
Who would’ve thought! Watched the match until Djokovic broke in the third set. I though that was the beginning of the end for Istomin, especially after failing to capitalize on the set point opportunities. Until that point he was actually hitting great, just staying with Novak shot after shot on both sides, really. Amazingly he held his body and his nerves. One of the surprising things for me was that how Novak was simply unable to impose his BH on Istomin’s BH. I thought that would be the weapon that Istomin was incapable of defending effectively. But boy! There was no sight of such weakness on Istomin’s groundstrokes yesterday. Though my assessment is based on the first 2 sets, I didn’t think Novak played very poorly. It’s just that the other guy refused to go away, it seems.


madmax Says:

Well, this could happen to any player. I remember it well with both Roger at Wimbledon and Rafa at Wimbledon, a huge upset. But let’s be clear. Every No. 1 will suffer some kind of upset whilst they are in transition.

I think the loss of Boris to Novak’s game (though I do not like Boris), will take a while, as it did initially with Murray and Lendl, Phase 1. He seemed a bit lost out there, though I actuallly think he played well.

Novak’s mindset is not as it was, but like all great champions, he will return. Sometimes you get these big players with the big game, who blow you off the court and then they fade, the next match.

Let’s see.


rognadfan Says:

@TV
I agree on the dropshots; it worked pretty oftern (until the 3rd set) but then Istomin likely got the hang of it, I guess.
On the serve, probably true but to me the serve itself wasn’t totally poor either. Yes there were more double faults than may be his normal but, his most important strength is his groundstrokes, right? He just couldn’t gain ground in the rallies which, I think, dragged down his service win points.
Like you said, baseline strokes seemed great for Novak yesterday but just were not able to finish off Istomin. Amazingly, he went toe to toe, even more surprisingly, on both sides, not just the FH.


BBB Says:

Djokovic doesn’t have a killer instinct at the moment. He has been letting people off the hook for awhile. He should have been up 5-0 in the first set tiebreak, but ended up losing it – a bit of a template for how he’s been losing of late.


rognadfan Says:

@madmax,
Couldn’t agree more on what you said! I am very much doubtful Istomin will win his next match. But only time will tell.


RZ Says:

Just wow. I figured that Novak was back on track to win when he got the 2nd set. Lots of credit to Istomin, who won a wild card play off to be in the Australian Open. But also a lot of credit to Novak for his classy post-match interview.


RZ Says:

So who gets to the semifinal now? I would say Dmitrov, though Gasquet looked sharp yesterday.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Milos or Rafa.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rafa has become a very mindset-dependent player. He doesn’t have that everyday confidence he used to, and when he doesn’t have it his balls land short and the legs lose a gear. With Novak out, I believe Rafa is going to get a huge mental boost.


jalep Says:

My brackets are both destined for the bottom — that is, if tournytopia ever gets around to updating. And the updating is strange. Almost as soon as it happened Novak’s path updates in RED but Kyrgios has yet to update. There’s some real shenanigans going on ;)

Very happy for Denis Istomin. Didn’t see the match and I have nothing to say except ‘fluke result’ unless DI wins a GS. Kyrgios makes me sad – keeps digging himself a bigger hole.


Truth Says:

He clearly didn’t deserve all that money when he didn’t want to win.
Qatar meant nothing and I was right.

He acted like people should’ve bowed down and let him win with no effort.
That’s not giving a good try.
Almost 20 minutes of bullshit in the first game and staring at his coach like he should be hugged & worshipped. Then death in the tiebreak.
Should’ve been 3 set win.😴 Career suicide.
He should retire. There is no moving or running, just standing around the same place & surrendering.
Istomin had a broken back in a horrible car crash and was weakened by that for a decade. He gave up vs. a weakened, non-dominant inconsistent guy.
When you want players to hug and kiss your ass, you should retire and get humiliated. No excuses.
I don’t care of you’re married and have a child.
You’re treated like a princess when you don’t deserve the praise.


Truth Says:

Of course, it’s a classy gibberish interview. We’re here for hugs and acceptance that you stink.
Obviously, 100th ranked guys always play well when Nole hugs them.
What a shock. Really…


jalep Says:

Agree with TV about Rafa and the boost to Rafa. I still don’t know if that will be enough to take down Milos but Rafa is going to be tough to beat, my guess, for the next two matches anyway. And if he does take down Milos…the sky is the limit!


Giles Says:

He bounced the ball 17 times during the TB in the first set.


RZ Says:

@TV – I don’t disagree that Rafa or Milos is most likely to make the final, but they are in the other quarter. I was pondering specifically about Novak’s quarter.


RZ Says:

^ didn’t finish my sentence. I was pondering specifically about who from Novak’s quarter would make the semifinal


Margot Says:

It’s a very interesting quarter RZ. my money would be on Thiem or Dimi.
In my challenge in that half I had Milos coming all the way through to the final.


Zeke Says:

Novak just didn’t look aggressive out there. He didn’t approach this match with the same intensity as the Verdasco match.

In terms of his serve, I have seen Novak crank it up when he needs to. In Doha, through the semis, his serve was so-so. But in the finals against Murray, he took it up a notch, and that was great to see.

Going into this match, he underestimated his opponent and he paid the price.

I’m going with Stan and Raonic/Zverev in the finals.


Zeke Says:

Novak just didn’t look aggressive out there. He didn’t approach this match with the same intensity as the Verdasco match.

In terms of his serve, I have seen Novak crank it up when he needs to. In Doha, through the semis, his serve was so-so. But in the finals against Murray, he took it up a notch, and that was great to see.

Going into this match, he underestimated his opponent and he paid the price.

I’m going with Stan and Raonic/Zverev in the finals.


Vince Says:

Many more defeats to come..

Roger 2013, Rafa 2015, Nole 2017


Daniel Says:

Also had Zevrev getting past Nadal. He is due for a big win ayt a bg stage and nothign better than getting a still undercooked Nadal, who is just finding his game.

RZ, agree, Dimi or Thiem in semis replacing Novak, agaisnt Raonic/Nadal/Zverev. If Nadal loses early, there will be a first timer AO finalist, and a young one (Raonic at 26 is the oldest).


Vince Says:

Roger 2013, Rafa 2015, Nole 2017


Okiegal Says:

Novak doesn’t act like his hearts in it. I do believe something serious is going on with him….. seemed distracted at times. What a saw from the match was a very patient and focused Denis the menace…..at least he was menacing yesterday……my two cents.


RZ Says:

Van Persie is still leading the ATP bracket. However, not all round 2 matches from the top half have been updated yet.


Daniel Says:

I checked each by each and leader will be with 95 pts after second round update. I will be 93 tied with a few others.


Van Persie Says:

RZ,

Thanks for the update, but that does not count for me anymore. My champ is out :P
Rooting now for Thiem and Zverev Jr. :)


Truth Says:

He needs to get a psychological test because he isn’t normal from one match to the next.
Bipolar and manic depressive?


J.S. Says:

I am beting on RAFA….Experience and Will – Nobody has what Rafa has!!


Daniel Says:

Vince, those were the years of doom for Fedal at least.


J.S. Says:

“betting”


Truth Says:

Fedal were beaten. They weren’t manic depressive, as Nole is.
You don’t beat murray and fedal and suddenly cling onto a guru and quickly lose almost 9000 ranking points unless you’re mentally gone.
This is about “getting slow & old and not able to play”. This is mental illness.


RZ Says:

@Van Persie – you are in good company with picking Djokovic to win. We have a lot of similar picks so I’ll hang out with you in the middle or the bottom of the bracket. :-) But Zverev Jr. could save your bracket!


courbon Says:

Truth, can you send me a package of the stuff you smoke…
My adresse is:
courbon
P.O. Box 171412
France


Ahfi Says:

Well, it doesn’t matter if Istomin fades in the next match or not. That will be nothing new. If I used all my energy just to win one match, I will fade in the next match too. I am surprised that people still talk about this ‘fading in the next match’ business. The fact of the matter is that, these four people – Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray – take a lot out of you before they lose to you. So it just makes sense for that ‘lucky’ winner to fade in the next match. Not all of them fade but to me, it is kind of expected. If the person fades in the next match it doesn’t mean it was a mistake that they beat a top 10 player in the previous match. They won because they played well. Or?


Travis Bickle Says:

Djoker was, as usual, gracious in defeat but there was something different than usual I noticed at the yesterday post-match press conference.
For example, after losing to Nadal and Wawrinka at FO finals in 2014 and 2015, he was gracious and classy in defeat, said some truly nice things but I could see the anguish on his face, the feeling that those defeats really hurt. Not this time, however! He was nice, gave credit to Istomin, polite and patient with jourbalists, but I didn’t get impression he was hurt very much. It looks to me the famous “Djoker-desire” and his killer instinct is not there anymore! After all, he said himself after FO last year that he liked other things in life and tennis was not the priority any more. I kind of ignored it when I heard it thinking it was just a rhetorical game to throw journalists and media off his back, but it appears he was serious about it…

Technically speaking, his tennis level is still solid. He clearly didn’t have his A-game last night, but even Djoker’s B-game should be enough to beat Istomin (who played at very high level). Even with his B-game, Djoker should have played more inside the court and have a bit more pop in his groundstrokes, which would have prevented Istomin from setting his feet to hit his forehands and backhands down the line. That’s all. Djoker’s B-game could easily do that, and despite weak serving and too many DFs, he would have ended up the winner like truly elite champions usually do. It is indicative last night that Istomin, even after 4 hours of play, looked like one of the world best movers (e.g. Murray or Nadal), and we know he is not even close to that level – Djokers shots were lacking that extra pop that would have forced Istomin to run around and defend and not being able to execute his attacking shots. Bottom line – it is now clear to me that Djoker does not care too much about his tennis any more and is not putting himself fully into it – and consequently his killer instinct required for winning big titles is not there. It may be temporary and it will come back and we’ll see the old Djoker who cares deeply about winning/losing, or this is permanent and this “philosophical” Djoker will milk sponsorship deals for a few more years and experience many similar defeats by low-ranked players. I guess only he knows the answer to that and, frankly, it is his business only!

As for his fans, we are left to ponder few oddities such as:
1. Why is he emphasizing family so much? It’s almost as if he is the only person in the world who has wife and kid. You don’t hear Murray or Federer talking that much about how they love their wives and kids (and I’m sure they do). Honestly, Djoker looks to me as if he did something horribly wrong to his wife and kid and now has his entire life purpose to try to fix it…
2. Why was only his wife absent at AO? All other married players had their spouses supporting them (Fed, Murray, Cibulkova, etc…). Especially after he was at Doha which was half-way from Europe to Australia and he had to come back to Europe for a SINGLE day to see his wife and kid! I would totally understand if he did that, so they could travel to Australia together. But this way, it looks like he had to make way to much extra traveling just to see his wife for a day. If they are so full of love how about being all together at AO?
3. Why is he suppressing his true self by trying to be all philosophical about love and meaning of life, etc…? All his fans fell in love to “tough warrior” Djoker who, against all odds, single-handedly ended Fedal era and denied both of them potentially astronomic levels of historical greatness. If you’re not yourself, you cannot be great, very simple! And Djoker is not himself last 8 months or so…

Finally, I will always like the guy for all the moments of joy he has given me by destroying Fed/Nadal media hype. For instance, beating poor Rafa in 7 or 8 consecutive finals in 2011/2012 basically crippled Rafa’s career – Rafa could have had 20 slams by now had Djoker not done that. Or, famous return against Fed at 2011 USO and Fed’s sore-loser press conference afterwards, followed by denying Fed Wimbledon titles in 2014 and 2015, culminating with “This is Sparta” win at USO 2015 when everyone and their mum fanatically wanted Fed to win. And as a cherry on top – the most dominating beating of Federer in AO semis last year – which essentially ended Fed’s belief that he can ever beat Djoker again.
Those just some of moments of joy Djoker provided his true fans with, and with that he in my eyes deserved to do whatever he wants of his life and career, and his fans should not complain.

I just hope he doesn’t do Federer and play next 5 years without winning a single slam. Djoker is too good to have such sorry fate.
If he is not fully into tennis and doing it for sponsorships and $$$, I’d prefer him retiring and leave the spotlight to younger guys who deserve it more…


courbon Says:

Okiegal: Hi there.Big day in USA.Are you gonna watch ceremony?


RZ Says:

@Ahfi – very true. And there’s also the emotional let-down when they go from playing a top player to another journeyman.

That’s why someone like Robin Soderling can be thought of as underrated. He could do it and then still win matches. (Granted, he became a top 10 mainstay so he should have won those subsequent matches)


Chrisford1 Says:

Travis – The game is still there. The heart may not be.
He still can play that “A” game. He showed that in Doha against Murray. But only after he drifted into 5 match points against Fernando Verdasco.
Whatever is messing up Djokovic, wife troubles, his vegan diet, his desire level, that he would rather become a feelgood guru himself preaching love and the need to hug trees than be a pro tennis player – continues.
He unraveled after the French Open. No signs to me that he has overcome that chunk of crap that lodged between his ears and is putting himself back together.
Buy the guy a cheeseburger, I say. On a gluten-free roll, each and every day.


J-Kath Says:

As Travis indicated – there was acceptance by Nole in his loss to Denis. But don’t necessarily see that as the end of Nole as a very top player.

2017 has a long way to run.


Gordon Says:

Travis,

I too have great memories of Djokovic’s ascent to becoming #1 and how he has had his time playing out of this world tennis.

But don’t go denegrading other players in your praise for Nole. They are all human and sometimes emotions take over. Yes, Fed was petulant over the way Djokovic beat him in that SF at the US Open. But are you forgetting Djokovic getting booed off the same court two years earlier after berating the crowd?

Now he is an outstanding good sport; gracious, polite, complimentary of all opposition and a true exams of how a top flight athlete should behave. But just like his slide on hard courts he had to learn that; where early career examples of bad behaviour from Fed, Nadal and Murray are few, there’s a reason Nole was not beloved at majors until he finally got his behaviour and attitude fine tuned.

Don’t get me wrong, giving the finger to the crowd, berating ball boys, swearing in your native tongue and smashing racquets is colorful and were mainstays of Nastase, Connors and McEnroe. But remember Djokovic used to subscribe to those types of antics as well.


Giles Says:

Hey TB. Joker is finished, just accept it dude. He’s been taken over by the Pepe cult


lyle nubbins Says:

I predict Nole retires this year. I think he’s done, kind of like Borg in that the motivation “spell” has been broken and he’s not going to get it back.


Markus Says:

Somebody must be really hurting to go to all that psychological babble to find some pseudo-metaphysical explanation. Djokovic lost. Somebody played better. Those things happen.


kjb Says:

Djokovic is going through what all the greats go through at that age. Fed was Novaks age in 2010 when he won the Aussie Open, had been to 23 straight semis, 18 of 19 straight Finals and then he lost to Soderling in the quarters of the french after dusting him the year before in the final, then lost early to Berydch at Wimbledon and he has won only 1 slam since. Nadal, at the same age won the 2014 French and hasn’t made it past a QF since. Sampras at this age had just won his 4th straight Wimbledon and 7th overall, the next 2 years he only made 2 GS finals, winning one and then he vanished. Age waits for no man, Novak like Fed, Rafa, and Sampras is never going to dominate the field for any extended period of time again. He can stay in the top 5 for the next 5 years and may win a few more slams along the way but its not going to get any easier for him. It really comes down to the passion that remains. Sampras had lost it and left. It remains to be seen if he will pull the plug like Pistol Pete or continue on like Fed and continue chasing their past exploits. IMO it would be a waste if he didn’t knuckledown for the next couple years and bag a few more slams.


lyle nubbins Says:

Good points kjb . . . my gut is he’s going to call it quits, just knowing his personality and the personal issues he’s got.


rognadfan Says:

All this ‘mind is not there’ is a sick excuse. He lost despite trying so hard. That’s the reality. People really think by just by giving some ‘family or whatever’ nonexistent excuse, they will elevate or maintain his stature? Just because he didn’t win doesn’t mean he is having issues. If you watch the match, the guy played lights out, so he won.

He was gracious for the most part. But then what did he mean when he said what Istomin did was a gamble? Was it really? It sure didn’t look like a gamble to me! He was playing solid from the very first game and kept the level through out.

Since someone inappropriately brought USO 2011 here, to me USO SF 2011 was not any less gamble than what Istomin did, if not more. Novak himself said after winning that SF, ‘that he closed his eyes and hit the ball as hard has he could without thinking (about the last few points). Sounds more like gamble.

Clearly many people get orgasms by seeing Novak not become #1 or win slams but by having belittling thoughts about his competitors. So, Come back in 2021 and see if Novak beats the then #1 guy couple times and reach 2 slam finals (2015).That will give you orgasmic moments for a lifetime fore sure.


Daniel Says:

kjb,

I was mentioning this age thing since 2015. When several people were discussing that Fed was “in his best years” in 2014-2105 in this 3 Slams against Novak. Me and several other said there was no way, Fed was past his prime, which I highlighted ended exactly where you point, AO 20120, and for Nadal RG 2104. As of now, we can say Novak hit he’s decline after RG 2016. Is 3 slams with no wins and f he doesn’t defend RG he will be Slamless in a year spam. Last time this happen to him was entering Wimby 2014, where he had no Slam in previous 4. But then he hit a second peak of his career (after 2011) and won 6 out 8 Slams from Wimby 2014 to RG 2016.

Remains to be seen if he is going to be the exception of the pattern for former greats who decline past 28-29 or if he will have a glorious 30s. As it seems now, he is following the same footsteps as the 3 you mentioned in Open Era, making statistics almost flawless.


Vince Says:

Reserve ur analysis for whole 2017 folks.. many more loses to come.


Tazman Says:

I am really saddened by how some people disrespect Federer because they ‘like’ another player! Why can’t those people just make comments about their favorite player and stop trying to take down a very classy guy that they can’t even come close to touching in tennis or life! Stop humiliating yourselves by showing that you are afraid of Federer’s abilities when you keep attacking a guy that will live on in Tennis History and HOF! SMH!


Zeke Says:

@Travis Bickle Mrs. Djokovic hasn’t made the trip out to Melbourne the last few years. It’s not unusual. Even in term of coaches, it was either Boris or Marian at Melbourne and not both.


J-Kath Says:

Daniel: Please have a look at your years – nobody’s great-great grandchildren will be alive to bear you out. Not being unkind but it rather nobbles your comments which end up being somewhat science-fiction based.

With a smile
K.


J-Kath Says:

Personally, I think we are all making woe-begone forecasts much too soon re. Nole. When Andy Murray returned from his back surgery he struggled as was natural to begin with. But then when he didn’t soon improve he was written off. I think it may be said when he was mentally and physically ready we saw a big difference.

I don’t think Nole is physically at his peak and as a result he is also dipping mentally – reasons may be different than Andy but results are much the same at this juncture. It may take another 6 months before a mentally/physically Nole returns. He still has time as do other committed players.

Where are Nole’s really devoted fans to give us a balanced view?


Truth Says:

Obviously, why should Murray fans care about Nole. Nole’s embarrassed that he beat the number 1 player and wishes he doesn’t steal match wins anymore.


sinha71 Says:

I watched the first set and could tell he was in danger.

Not because of his opponent or even his uncharacteristic unforced errors.

But because of his flat emotionless acceptance.

Always a bad sign for him like this in a losing moment.

Had he been engaged, he would have been seething and ripping his shirt in anger and frustration.

And he would have won.


sinha71 Says:

And Nadal is another who still fails to believe in himself.

He will fail to make semis because of this remaining doubt.

Don’t give up on Roger because he certainly hasn’t and that’s what matters the most at this level.

At 20:1, he’s the best betting value by far.


Chrisford1 Says:

Sinha – Roger and Eddie the Eagle the ski jumper are two instances where self belief slowly morphs into Man of La Mancha delusion.


sinha71 Says:

Great tennis minds think alike:

Boris Becker…

“Having watched the match today, I felt he tried and he played five sets and four and a half hours, but I didn’t see the intensity, didn’t see the absolute will to win, didn’t see him mentally going crazy.

“He always was very nonchalant about it, and that is not the Novak that I know. I’d rather see him break a racket or pull the shirt or something, for him to get emotional. I thought it was very even keel the whole match through, and that was unusual, and I don’t know what to make of that.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/sports/tennis/australian-open-novak-djokovic-boris-becker.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0


BBB Says:

Good grief. Do we want athletes to be robots? I hope not. Djokovic is a complicated guy with complicated motivations. The fact that he’s not able to just command victory after victory is what makes him human. I think it’s actually quite normal for a thoughtful human being to question whether WORK is the only thing that matters, even if work is tennis. I went through it myself, albeit I wasn’t chasing history. But does it matter? Is chasing history just a form of narcissism?

It’s kind of disgusting that people sit at home drinking beer and eating potato chips expecting other people to fulfill their dreams, and crapping all over them when they don’t. Make your own history if it’s so important.


lakie Says:

Face it guys. Djok lost. He will now find his true level which is below Fedal.


AndyMira Says:

@BBB….THUMBS UP TO YOU!!Agree with ALL you said…It’s not fair to criticized Novak when all he wanna do now just to be a normal human being again after been a robot and an alien from outer space for 5 incredible years..


Okiegal Says:

@Courbon……..Not watching…..too much tennis to be seen!!


jane Says:

BBB, touche. <3 (heart for you)


Van Persie Says:

BBB,

agree with Jane, touche indeed :D. Prefer wine to beer ;)

P.S. You wont find “history makers” on this sort of sites :D


Van Persie Says:

Daniel,

The actual leader has 97 points ;).


Margot Says:

BBB- right on!


Noonen Says:

“A virtuous wife is a crown to her husband; but a wife who does evil destroys her husband like a boring-worm, and like a termite.” Proverbs 12:4 Novak


Margot Says:

A virtuous poster is a crown to a tennis web site, but a poster who does evil destroys the site like a boring, very, worm, and like a termite. Proverbs 1:1 MR.


Willow Says:

Sinha 71 @ 19th January 8.21pm, Nadal not making the semis of this AO, hmm you were saying ! ….

Top story: Rafael Nadal Withdraws From China Events, Novak Djokovic In Prime Position For No. 1