Destiny Fulfilled, Indefatigable Djokovic Outlasts Nadal for First US Open Title
by Sean Randall | September 12th, 2011, 9:41 pm

It’s still Novak Djokovic’s world! Just an hour ago Djokovic finished off his 2011 Grand Slam season in perfect style capturing his first career US Open title with a grueling 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1 win over rival and defending champion Rafael Nadal.

If you’ve seen their prior battles this year, today’s final was more of the same. Head-scratching rallies, wild angles, marathon points, 15+ minute games, slow tension-building play and mostly breathtaking wonderment.

Djokovic was just too strong for Rafa early on seizing the first two sets, but it was no where as easy as indicated by the score. Djokovic then had a chance to serve for the match in the third at 6-5 but let it slip. Nadal capitalized, won the ensuing tiebreak and suddenly, with Djokovic receiving treatment on his back it looked like the outcome was far from over, in fact maybe tipping in favor of a fired-up Nadal.

But in blur, Djokovic recharged and rushed a tired-looking Rafa 6-1 in the final set to win his fourth career Grand Slam title.

“It really sounds unreal, it’s an incredible feeling. I had an amazing year and it keeps going,” Djokovic said after the 4-hour, 10-minute slugfest. “Every time I play Rafa it’s a big challenge. I want to congratulate him on a great tournament again. I wish that we will have many more tough matches in the upcoming years. It’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of the very few players that have won this trophy throughout history.”

And he’s one of a very few players to have a season like this. Ten titles, 64-2 record and three Slams. And after cracking that forehand return winner down match point Saturday against Roger Federer, it was indeed destiny.

What strikes me is Djokovic just outlasted Federer in five sets on Saturday and today he reduced Rafa to resignation and exhaustion. Just amazing from a guy a year ago who was so brittle,

For Nadal, it was his sixth straight loss to Djokovic, and honestly it doesn’t appear that he’s any closer to solving the Joker riddle.

“Obviously I’m disappointed,” said Nadal. “This guy is doing unbelievable things, so I just want to congratulate Novak. What he did this year is probably impossible to repeat. I tried my best in every moment.

“These kind of matches are very difficult, they bring your body to the limit,” Nadal added. “I think I tried to play aggressive, but he always made a fantastic comeback. I’m happy about what I did. I ran to every ball. I fought until the last ball. This year I’ve lost a lot of finals against him. I have to accept I won a lot in the past and the only thing I can do is to try my best every day to keep improving.”

Against Djokovic, I think Nadal has to improve his serve, especially his second. We saw Djokovic again pounce on Nadal’s second delivery. And when Djokovic was serving in the fourth at 3/4 pace, Nadal was content to just return it back into play instead of go on the offensive. Those are two areas Nadal needs to address against this new version of Novak. Otherwise more losses are to come.

The two are about even from the ground and in terms of speed – Djokovic’s backhand really nullifies the Nadal heavy forehand-to-backhand exchange. The difference really comes in the serve and return of serve – Djokovic broke Nadal 11 times!

And what a difference a year makes not just for Novak for the landscape of tennis. Twelve months ago were talking about Nadal, his dominance and the possibility of a “Rafa Slam”. Just look how quickly things change. Now it’s Novak’s turn.

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206 Comments for Destiny Fulfilled, Indefatigable Djokovic Outlasts Nadal for First US Open Title

Humble Rafa Says:

Congratulations to Novak.

I totally blame the Arrogant One, The GOAT, Roger Federer for my misery. How the hell do you choke on match points?

Krishna Says:

Great article Sean! I think Novak was serving in the 3rd set at 6-5 for the match, and then got broken right? I was following the live score at work, and was looking at tennis-x and other blogs to see what everyone was saying :) Sounded like an awesome match..too bad I missed it..

Kimberly Says:

Sean what’s up? I was kind of counting on your jinx! How could you have failed me?

blank Says:

Well done Djokovic!

How close is Novak to achieving the best win-loss ratio and highest number of ATP ranking points? At least one of those two records will fall this year I guess, if not both and many more!

Krishna Says:

Watching the GOAT go down was very sad :( 2nd straight year, same venue, two blown match points ..only this time on his serve..that will hurt even more..

But given how much Nadal is in Fed’s head.. I wonder if Fed would have won today even if he had beaten Novak…also USO surface is slower compared to previous years, so Nadal would have had an even greater chance against Fed..

Swiss Maestro Says:

Sean :

what do you make of this turn around in novak’s fitness? do you really believe it is the gluten allergy? your thoughts on the egg? or do you think that God just loves novak more like all these hole, sorry nole fans, think?

blank Says:

Same here. Sean happily picks Federer to lose and Federer happily obliges. No jinx.

What will it take to return you to old form…say 2.5 yrs ago? I will do my best to get you back there ;-)

Krishna Says:

As far as records go blank I think the best one is John McEnroe at 81-3 and then Federer at 81-4 in 2005..

blank Says:

Thanks Krishna. It’s hard to imagine Novak won’t lose at least 1 more this year. But no one expected him to go 69-2 or something either!!

El Flaco Says:

Next year Djoko will get the French.

Krishna Says:

Yeah blank it is pretty insane what he has done.. pretty much the only guy who can beat him or come close to beating him at the Slams is Federer who is 30 now :( ..I hope Fed gets him back at the WTF :) lets see..

Mila Says:


Congratulations to Rafael Nadal – the true warrior and classy guy in both victory and defeat.

To all Rafa fans (excluding “mem” who is not really a fan), keep believing. A guy like Rafa is worthy of admiration.

Condolences to pathetic loser and profanity filled hater “swiss maestro”. Hope you toss and turn all night long in your misery. :-)

Kimmi Says:

thanks blank. good to see rafa interview posted early :)

Kimberly Says:

i posted interview on other thread! Rafa is classier than me I admit.

Mila Says:


For the sake of accuracy, you should correct the third paragraph. Novak was serving for the match in third at 6-5 and not 5-4 as you wrote.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I wonder if Rafa will catch the replay of Novak mocking his fist pump. Seemed kind of ridiculous for a guy who celebrates as Novak does. Just a few points later he did a stare down with his arms spread wide after a great shot that I’m sure Rafa wouldn’t have appreciated.

Nole is on track for the best season since Laver, but could still fall behind both Fed and Mac. After all, Fed has 3 Slams plus one final, plus WTC. So if Nole wants to go down as THE greatest year ever, he’s still got a tough few months to go.
But he has certainly shown he is heads and shoulders above the crowd, week in and week out, right now.
I think both players can play better than they did today, but maybe the sheer brutal physicality of the first set took away a bit from their stroke making from then on.
Anyways, a tremendous and really resounding victory from Novak. He is again showing that he can out-Rafa Rafa with his defense and consistency. Rafa will have to really play on edge, going for winners like in USO ’10, to compete.

Humble Rafa Says:

Dear Arrogant One,

I hope this letter finds you in good spirits. Thank you for choking away match points and making my life hell. Thank you for everything.

Remember how life used to be. You used to cry a lot. I used to be humble. You were my b*tch for 4 months of the year. You would lose tournament after tournament final to me on clay. Those are the times. In the off season, stop playing with the twins (no not Mirka’s, I mean the real twins) and practice hard. As you know, Novak and you are like stick on Sh*t, inseparable, so both of you will be in the same half at all gradslams. I need to become GOAT and you are my gateway.

Have a good off season practicing. Pass on my regards to your best friend Chewy.



Tennis Vagabond Says:

Kimberly- another classy interview from Rafa, particularly of how proud he is to make the finals, and his channeling of Kipling’s attitude to victory and defeat.

Swiss Maestro Says:

I was right j-mac has the record. Novak is on course to beat this record.

Federer has 3 entries in the top 10, followed by connors, lendl and borg with 2 years each [ though borg will be having only 1, once novak enters this line up at the end of the year!]

Kimmi Says:

it is surprising to see that rafa admits he was tired in the 4th set, very strange this is coming from rafa himself. We are used to see other players falling to pieces but never rafa.

it could be because this match was too taxing compared to all matches rafa has played in the past??? the rallies in this match today were insane. rafa the bull could not keep up for 4 sets. amazing!

skeezerweezer Says:

How does a 4 set match with a 1 set breaker last 4 hr 10 min? Just saying….c’mon umps…avg of 1hr = 1set…..horrendous…..( but a good match ….lol )

Swiss Maestro Says:

mila, your half-@$$ed comments at wit her pitiful. Duro/jamie/kriket seem smarter compared to you.

when did you start watching tennis, tell me that. do you know any players in the 90s, 80s? or do you know only serbian players?

Do you know that fed/rafa both have more slams and have winning records than jokeb!ch? i will drink very happily to that and leave you to wallow in your ignorance along with your other dimwitted friends duro and co.

Ben Pronin Says:

Considering the score of 2 of the sets was 6-2 and 6-1, and it lasted 4 hours… yeah, pretty crazy. But the average rally was like 10 shots. One word: ridiculous.

Mila Says:

@swiss maestro

go to bed loser…

and toss and turn in your misery while having dreams about that fifth set and your Rog serving at 5-3, 40-15…

Novak tennis could be described with only one word – sublime.

And now, it’s your bed time hater – go! Nightmares await…

Kimmi Says:

I heard j-mac record had only one slam. I dont think you can compare his record to novak or fed who won 3 slams..both pass j-mac hands-down imo.

It is not just about the record, it about who you beat and what you have accomplished. Djokovic could as well go and play few 250 this year, win them all and pass the record. Would that be the best record?

Swiss Maestro Says:

SW & Ben :

This is how it lasts 4hours. someone posted this link in the other blog.

very pathetic really.

Daniel Says:

Swiss Maestro,

Novak Djokovic 64-2 0,970 It is already the best if he stops right here!:)

scoreboard66 Says:

Seems as though I missed a great match, but will watch the replay.

Congrats to Novak and his fans on his 3rd GS title for 2011. What a year he’s had.

@Kimmi, I’m not surprised Rafa was tired. Don’t you remember that the bottom half of the draw players got very little down time and had to wait around every day hoping for play to resume? The top half had some days off between R16 and the QFs. Then they also got an extra day to rest coz of super Saturday. Due to all of those problems for Nadal, it’s understandable why he’d be tired.

@Swiss maestro, you seem to be having a great day. I only skimmed over some of the comments but your name keeps cming up every time I scorlled down:). what a pity our guy couldn’t have been one of the finalists.

Swiss Maestro Says:

mila/duro/jamie/kriket :

Your guy won a major. If you had any brain, you would be celebrating that instead of trying to argue with me, but I guess creatures like you donot have a brain. i will reply to you when you get a brain transplant.

El Flaco Says:

To make these matches quicker there are 2 options. Strictly enforce the time limit between points and/or speed up the game by tweaking the surfaces and/or balls so players won’t feel as much of a need to recharge for the next point.

As that article states Nadal is front and center when it comes to taking too much time between points. Djokovic bounces the ball too many times. Even Dick Enberg gets annoyed by it. Other players that regularly take too much time include Isner, Fish, Delpo and Gulbis.

Swiss Maestro Says:

Daniel :

Radek stepanek once won his 1st match of the season and had a 100% record then. if he stopped playing that year, should we put him on top of that table?

all the guys in the list played a minimum of 80 matches. get the drift? dont spend too much time with @$$holes like novat@rds like mila. such people’s stupidity gets contagious at times!

Michael Says:

The most depressing thing for Nadal to take from this defeat is that Djokovic was not playing well. His serve percentage was pathetic and he made a lot of unforced errors. But despite such a lacklustre performance from Djokovic, if Nadal could’nt extend him then it doesn’t bode well for Nadal and his Team. Actually, Djokovic should have won the match in straight sets, but he made a mess of his service game at 6-5 and played a passive tie break handing over the edge to Nadal. But in the fourth set when the momentum was supposed to be with Nadal, he tamed down meekly to the fire power of Djokovic. Any way congratulations to Novak. Although is win against Federer was a fluke, yet he has once again demonstrated that he is a true Champion by beating Nadal in another major. Now he has the opportunity to complete a Grand slam if he wins the Australian Open. An achievement which was not possible for Federer or Nadal. Although it cannot be counted as calendar Grand slam, yet if Djokovic goes on to win the Australian Open coming January, he will go on to make history.

Swiss Maestro Says:

sb66 :

dont worry about Roger. he will win a couple more slams at the least. here is a statistical and mathematical analysis why (note novak fans, it is beyond your IQ level)

all federer fans, you can read it and have fun.

scoreboard66 Says:

ElFlaco, don’t you think the older players, Sampras, Agassi, Fed, Roddick, Safin, Hewitt, Juan Carlos, etc., and the generations before them who are ‘old school’, played very quickly. I noticed Fed recently began playing faster whenever he’s behind in the score, instead of trying to take his full quota of time and use it to time to think strategy. I think in his SF with Novak, he could have taken a little more time on those two match points. Agassi and Roddick did the same whenever they were behind also. I wonder why?

Swiss Maestro Says:

“An achievement which was not possible for Federer or Nadal. Although it cannot be counted as calendar Grand slam, yet if Djokovic goes on to win the Australian Open coming January, he will go on to make history.”

michael, rafa won the french, no?

Michael Says:

I am sorry. It is not a grand slam. Djokovic lost the French. But he definitely has the opportunity next year.

El Flaco Says:

Michael Says:
Now he has the opportunity to complete a Grand slam if he wins the Australian Open.

If he wins AO and FO next year then he will have a non-calendar grand slam holding all the majors at the same time. It is something that Rafa was competing for at the AO this year because he won the FO, Wimby and USO the previous year.

Swiss Maestro Says:

@El flaco :

if my opponent bounced the ball more than 5times i would whip him with my racquet. i cannot imagine the added stress off being in the crouching position for double or triple the time like novak does to his opponents.

I am sure connors/mac would have flogged this guy in public if he did cr@p like that. rafa/fed or atp is being too nice. in that sense, it is more pathetic than time delays.

the atp really needs to do better than this.

scoreboard66 Says:

@Swiss Maestro, thanks for sharing that article; greatly appreciated.

I think Fed with definitely win another slam, but he’ll need some luck and help from the lower-ranked players who meet the top guys in R16 or before to take them out. Recently, Fed’s been having to play some tough R16 and QFs opponents.

Brando Says:

”  He’s doing well.  He always did well in these kind of surfaces. I always had big trouble to beat him here in this surfaces in the past.  It’s not an exception now, especially because he’s doing better than ever. But you know what?  I go back home knowing that I am on the way.  You know, I like to fight, I want to enjoy about this battle against him.  Six straight loses, for sure that’s painful. But I’m going to work every day until that changes.  So I have a goal, easy goal for me now.  It’s going to be tough to change the situation, but the goal is easy to see.  To have a goal always you know how to work every day.” VERY GOOD 2 hear rafa go away from the match with such thoughts, VAMOS!

Mila Says:

s-wuss maestro said:

“Your guy won a major. If you had any brain, you would be celebrating that instead of trying to argue with me, but I guess creatures like you donot have a brain.”

Look at your sorry a@@, and then speak about others. Instead of enjoying a great match, you spent entire duration hating Novak and wishing for him to lose a match. Go review the comments you LOSER. I watched the match without posting because a true fan cannot post during the match – too excited.

Your fave lost a semi and you spent the entire duration of the wonderful final hating and wishing ill. Go to bed you loser. Everyone here can see through you. Nightmares await… 5-3 in fifth and 40-15, the goat serves… what happens next :-(

Oh yeah, lucky return, and more lucky returns and serves, more luck (no hard work), and more lucky shots… all the way to 7-5.

Go to bed, but first read Rafeel’s presser – that’s how true champions speak when losing.

Ben Pronin Says:

So because Federer’s a sore loser he’s not a true champion?

Kimberly Says:

Swiss maestro—I don’t know if you play but it can be ugly. I’ve had an opponent catch her toss four to five times before serving. I was so annoyed I asked her if the sun was in her eyes (it was a night match) she was doing it every other point.

scoreboard66 Says:

I think this USO weather messed up things for a lot of the players in the bottom half. Perhaps if it had gone on schedule, and Rafa had more time to rest, the outcome of the final might have been a lot different. Those guys who made it to the QFs, especially Isner and Roddick, appeared as though they ewere about to cave in from tiredness. It’s possible Rafa might have been gassed before he even took the court.

Ben Pronin Says:

If the women can somehow zone out their opponent’s grunts and shrieks and whatever other sounds they make, I’m sure most players don’t really notice Djokovic’s ball bouncing.

Swiss Maestro Says:


every GS winner needs some luck. fed will have to keep working hard. sports history is replete with athletes who have worked wonders while fighting against father time. time for fed to look upto connors, rosewall, agassi, rodlaver [won 2nd GS at 31yrs age]. do you know rod laver’s birthday is a day after rogi’s? terrific coincedence that 2 GOATs have birthdays just separated by a day. :)

Brando :

nice attitude from Rafa. this is very much like the connors’ statement about chasing borg to the ends of the earth.

Humble Rafa Says:

Go to bed, but first read Rafeel’s presser – that’s how true champions speak when losing.

Spoken like a true gentleman.

Think about it. What else could I do. Atleast the Arrogant one has a match point to choke. Not me. I was blown off court.

SG1 Says:

Swiss Maestro,

Not saying Fed will never win another slam but even you have to admit that this was a golden opportunity missed. When you think that both Novak and Rafa were not 100% going into this USO abd Fed was holding those match points, it’s hard to see how he’ll get better oppotunities going forward. He could benefit from a slightly easier draw at some point down the road. Djokovic or Rafa could be knocked out of his half early. Than again, there are other coming like DelPO, like Raonic, Isner etc. It won’t get easier.

El Flaco Says:

I have seen Federer point for the towel after he loses a big point, but it only adds a few seconds for him. He only dries off his forehead while others also dry off their neck, both arms and even shins! It probably isn’t even noticeable to his opponent. It’s just not in his mental make-up to take 30 seconds between points when the momentum starts to change. I think he gets nervous and wants to get the next point over with. At least that’s how I was in the juniors.

Some of the older players definitely played faster. Sampras didn’t use a towel most of the time. He would walk up to the line and before serving he would use his thumb like a windshield wiper to take the sweat off his forehead. Agassi would towel off from time to time, but he played fast as well. A little bit like Ferrer and Roddick. Always in constant motion. Their feet never stop moving between points. They never stop in the corner and towel off for 10 seconds.

andrea Says:

what a great achievement for novak. did not get to see the match but sounds like another battle.

nadal definitely needs to go back to the drawing board. what a year of losses against novak. and alright, maybe i am a teensy weensy little bit happy that he can suffer from the same frustration re; novak that he caused fed all these years. i’m not bitter about it, but it’s kind of just desserts in a weird way.

funny how we all marvelled that nadal was never the one to get fatigued and now he’s being out muscled even in the fitness department by novak.

what a year!

SG1 Says:

Rafa really is a great sportsman. His parents must be very of him. In his head he knows he’s a great player but he never flaunts it. There are not many good role models out there for kids in the sporting world. Not many, but Rafa is definitely one of them.

Swiss Maestro Says:

Mila : stop acting like a pu$$y to get my attention. You are an idiot who knows nothing about tennis except novak. talk to me when you have some tennis knowledge to contribute, else keep trolling tennis websites like duro/jamie or your other friends/aliases do posting some inconsequential cr@p about what psychics told them and keep yelling n0le or h0le a 1000 times like morons.

Kimberly : I do play and I totally get what you are saying. the 15 or 20 ball bounces over 3 sets? I would slap the guy and get kicked out of the tournament.

ben : do 2 wrongs make a right in your world? they should take action on the grunting/shrieking too. infact even rafa/novak were grunting today. am I mistaken or did I miss fed/sampras/ grunt? did borg/mac grunt? what about laver?

andres Says:

So, what were the best matches of 2011 US open. My top three are:

1- Novak vs Fed
2- Ferrero vs Monfils
3- Novak vs Rafa


El Flaco Says:

Kimberly Says:
Swiss maestro—I don’t know if you play but it can be ugly. I’ve had an opponent catch her toss four to five times before serving. I was so annoyed I asked her if the sun was in her eyes (it was a night match) she was doing it every other point.

Murray did that a bunch of times against Nadal who finally reacted by putting his arms up like WTF are you doing? I think Nadal thought Andy was sneaking a peek at which direction Nadal was hopping. If you focus on Nadal when the opponent is serving you will notice he sometimes hops in one direction or the other right before his opponent serves. It is anticipation ,but also gives the server a false sense of his position.

Ben Pronin Says:

Grunting is one thing, shrieking is a little different. And worse.

It’s pretty clear that the grunts that came from Djokovic and Nadal were just natural. They were exerting a lot of energy and it just came out from them.

funches Says:

Humble Rafa,

I come here and scan the posts looking for yours. You make me laugh almost every time.

scoreboard66 Says:

@SG1, I think Roger realized that he missed a golden opportunity in the SFs, and it’s why he’s so upset with himself. It was as though the stars were all aligned for him to get to the final and in a split second, it all changed. I think this will be a very tough loss for him to shake off, but he has to do that and move on, if he wants to be considered a contender at slams in the future.

I’m sure he’ll have another opportunity to win one more slam, but if he wins the Olympic gGld, I doubt he’d be hankering to win another slam and it would most probably be low on his list of priorities after winning the Gold. Who knows he might even decide to call it a day and retire if he gets the gold?

@El Flaco, I think a lot of the old school guys were taught to not waste time and get the game moving. If you notice they also don’t take MTOs as often as the younger guys and don’t like to mention their injuries, but try to conceal any niggles they might be carrying. When asked in pre-match interviews how they’re feeling, after an injury, you’ll always hear them say, ‘great’, and they’re ready to play. I think it all has to do with those habits being drilled into them in the early part of their training, before Juniors.

El Flaco Says:

@Swiss Maestro Says:

Yeah I know what you mean. I made an analogy a while back to baseball. When a pitcher stares at his catcher for the signal and assumes the ready position he has about 5 seconds to throw the ball or the batter calls time and backs out. I wouldn’t have a problem if players did that to Djokovic. THe problem is you can lose reaction time and focus if you stay in one position for too long.

Kimberly Says:

Scoreboard, the juniors play so dirty, so much cheating and grunting

Kimberly Says:

The grunting is related to breathing and rythum of the point. Most grunters are heavy baseliners. The new style of game.

Swiss Maestro Says:

SG1 @ 1104

I agree with your post. Fed will definitely need things to fall his way. the biggest asset fed has at this point of time is his efficient game which has so far kept him away from injuries. touch wood! almost 1000 matches and no retirements. 1 walk over and when has he even called MTOs? Fed haters you want to list the MTOs and make yourself useful? I remember 1 against murray in shanghai 2008 (his annus horribilis before this year)

He does take bathroom breaks but as far as I know those are taken at the end of the set and surely you donot want players pissing on the courts. particularly on the hardcourts. all the more so given the troubles usta had just with the rain!

scoreboard66 Says:

Kimberly, dunno what the juniors do, but I was talking about the old school guys, e.g., Sampras, Fed, Roddick, Agassi, Safin and Hewitt gneration, and those before them. I think they had to have been trained not to waste time, which is the reason why they play so fast. Look at Isner, who is new school, and college at that, and that’s the difference I’m talking about, which most probably accounts for his time wasting .

@Swiss M and Ben, On the grunting, I think the spanish players are taught to do that as a form of venting the tension they feel while playing. i saw an interview with Azarenka, who stated regardless of how she tries, it’s a behavior that’s now become part of her, and she can’t change. She also stated that the grunting did help her to relieve the tension, and when she’s in a tough point, it can get evcen louder, which is a sign of how stressed she’s feeling.

jane Says:

A little more than way through watching. That third game of the second set was amazing. 20 some minutes long! I notice both got time warnings in the second set, too. Couple of other things: Rafa hit the ball short a lot, so that helped Nole take control on some points. But, in almost the reverse of last year, Nole faced 25 break points last year and his serve was under constant pressure yet he could only generate 4 bps on Rafa’s 2010 serve. This year, Nole generated 26 bps, whereas he faced half the bps he faced last year (14). Also shocking is how many times Nole came into the net, and how successsful he was at net this match: he won 31 of 47 net approaches for 66%. Rafa kept fighting but he stayed too far back, behind the baseline, and came in 17 times (winning 76%). Like JMac said, Rafa is a great volleyer; he needs to come in more, although it is tough since Nole keeps his groundies so very deep. I think the “momentum” factor is big too: Nole goes for it on his shots, painting the lines, taking risks, probably largely due to confidence. Hard fought match what I have seen so far!

Swiss Maestro Says:

sb66 @ 1123:

great post.

SG1 :

I forgot to mention – this is definitely an opportunity lost for Roger, as was the 2009 and 10 USOs [he was up 2 sets to 1] against both players, but no shame in losing to future HOFs who are 6 or 8yrs younger than you, no.

You have to admire hor Roger keeps moving on taking these losses.

And let us remember, only rafa has beaten roger multiple times in a GS final. and he’s yet to lose a non claycourt GS final in less than 5sets. and rafa and novak are the only ones in top 20 to have beaten him multiple times in GS. such statistics even at the age of 30, means his chances are not that bad. he has to keep up his hardwork though.

El Flaco Says:

Good analysis Jane.

Swiss Maestro Says:

If I am not mistaken Wimbledon officials told seles she cannot grunt in her 1992 final against graf. seles lost that match 1 and 2. she was grunting till the semis [where she beat navratilova in 3 sets] but sabatini/graf and other players complained to wimbledon and seles was not allowed to shriek/grunt.

anyone can verify/confirm this?

scoreboard66 Says:

SM, a couple of the women commentators were talking about Seles and the grunting one day when Azarenka was playing, coz her shrieking was very loud. It was that same day they interviewed Azarenka who was brutally honest on the grunting, and I got the impression that she does try very hard, and is aware that it’s an annoyance. Also, she would stop if she could, but it’s something that’s taken root and is sort of second nature to her now. Sharapova, on the other hand, feels that there’s nothing wrong with her shrilly shrieks, and is unconcerned as to whether she’s disturbing anyone.

Eric Says:

The difference between the grunting, the shrieking, and Serena’s shout is that it’s arguably not hindrance to grunt when you hit the ball, especially for the ladies who do it almost every time. Shouting words is very different from grunting, as was the timing. Unlike a grunt, the “come on” was not with the stroke but rather just as Sam went for her stroke. Big difference on both counts.

That said, I think the shrieking is also hindrance if it’s loud. But eliminating it would have to start way before the players are adults on the pro tour.

Sean Randall Says:

Kimberly/Blank, don’t worry I won’t get them all.

Swiss Maestro, if I knew the reason for Djokvic’s turnaround I wouldn’t be bloggin!

Mila, thanks. I was watching football and working straight off memory. Corrected.

Kimberly Says:

Sean why bother watching a team with no defense and no quarterback. I could have told you the score before it began. Although I watched it also. My second loss of the night. Yes I’m bitter!

johhny Says:

don’t know why some are bringing federer into this thread????????????? this one is for novak and rafa. fedfarts back off.

Michael Says:

I think Federer plays Djokovic better than Rafa. Most of the matches he lost to Djokovic were close matches which could have gone either way. But on the other hand, Djokovic has blasted away in most of the matches including Wimbledon, US Open as well as the straight sets victory in Clay Courts.

scoreboard66 Says:

Just finished watching the entire match, and all I can say is the better man won. Those rallies were extremely long and hard on the body. I think one game lasted 17 minutes.

Yes Michael, roger does play Djokovic better than Rafa. Rafa seems to have lost his ability to drive the balls deep into the court for clean winners. Because Novak is so fast, even though it appears that Rafa has an outright winner, the ball comes back to him, and he has to play two more shots to end the point.

Michael Says:

Scoreboard66, I think Djokovic has some magic wherein he hurries Rafa to play his shots which is not being done by other players. I have never seen Rafa outclassed as he is against Djokovic not even against the GREATEST Roger. It is a tribute to Djokovic’s abilities that he is able to get the better of Nadal the last six times they have beat. Imagine to beat Rafa on the big Stage and in a major final. Only Federer was able to do that before twice. Now, Djokovic has emulated that feat. My hats off to this man. He is a true Champion and in my opinion one of the all time GREATS.

jatt Says:

I think everything happens for a reason.. Fed fans are sad that he blew 2 matchpoints to lose against the djoker..

But hmmm.. I think he’s lucky he lost because in the finals against Rafa, we all know what would be the result .. Rafa would have 11 slams to his name..

Michael Says:

Jatt, Even though Tennis is unpredictable, yet I need to agree with you. With Federer on the other end, Nadal would have found it more comfortable to his advantage. The very sight of Djokovic dimmed his confidence and normally shots he would make 9/10 times were missing the mark against Novak. It would be fair to say that Novak makes Rafa hurry his shots and his hitting at the edges of the Court makes Nadal absolutely clueless. His returns are razor sharp which bemuses Nadal to no end. Things are looking bleak for Nadal in Majors if he faces Djokovic once again even in the French Open.

jatt Says:

I don’t know, its hard to believe fed just let go the whole SF match..I don’t buy this thing..I think he knew he would have to face rafa in the final and that may have been doing some funny stuff with his mind. Right now I think he believes with age catching with him, it would be better for him not to face nadal in the finals and let djoker handle it because ultimately he wants to preserve his 16 slam title legacy and he knows this is one sure way to do it.

Michael Says:

Jatt, I would not agree that Federer gifted that match to Djokovic. Sure, he played badly and Djokovic was also lucky. But it will belittle a Champion like Federer is if we were to say that he gifted the match because he did not want to face Nadal ? That is too hard to digest. Federer cannot just imagine that Nadal would be in the finals because Murray-Nadal match was next and there was every possibility that Murray can beat Nadal particularly in hard courts. So the reason is not that. It was a combination of Federer’s bad play, Djokovic never-say-die attitude and tons of luck.

Peka Says:


“Against Djokovic, I think Nadal has to improve his serve, especially his second.”

I doubt that Nadal can improve his second serve. Second serve is a shot somewhat magical, either you got it (Sampras, dozens of aces off 2nd serve) or not. Nadal’s both first and second serve are weak and can be pounded hard by a prepared opponent.

For Nadal to improve his 2nd serve, it would be a similar task as if Federer would want to switch and play two-handed backhand against Rafa.

Wog boy Says:

For those who didn’t notice, Novak was clinical in 4th set. He knew exactly what he wants , and how to achieve it, under the circumstances. He was just superior. You can watch it as many times as you want , but that is fact.
It is 6pm and time to start celebration, ZUTA OSA( plum brandy) , meze, gibanica, piggy is on the table and Novak’s song from ChicagoBlackBullsBand is blasting through the house. Celebration can start ZIVELI-NAZDRAVLJE-CHEERS

Seth Says:

If you’re a Fed fan, how can you not rejoice at this? Another slam gone and another failure by Rafa to add to his Grand Slam total. I’m fine with it. At least Novak learned to play the game properly and doesn’t employ mutant form that is ridiculously over-dependent on magic string technology.

Swiss Maestro Says:


that is one way to look at things, i guess. will novak continue this for 3 years like roger or will rafa say not so fast. rafa’s response and novak’s ability to back these results will be the factors that will determine the GS race.

why the hell couldn’t novak step up 1 year earlier? LOL! beginning of 2010, the race was 16-6 in fed’s favour and rafa changed that in a jiffy to 16-10. will any 19 year old mount a challenge to rafa/novak like rafa did to roger? i cannot think of any 19-21 year old in the league of rafa/novak. delpotro is what? 22? the dude is yet to win a masters. novak and rafa had a few masters by that age. to quote rafa, “we gonna see, no” ?

Swiss Maestro Says:

@jatt :

I am sure Federer and his camp is much more mature and definitely more smart than you. If you have played competitive tennis or any sport for that matter, you would know that it is better to always have your fate in your hands and not give it up and place it in someone else’s hands.

If federer was as scared and insecure about losing his GS record or worsening his H2H, he wouldn’t have beaten novak in 2011 FO. let us not forget, federer-novak have genuine dislike for each other, like mcenroe-connors. both have huge champion egos and that would never allow fed to think so.

federer should know more than anyother that records can be broken in quicktime. sampras’ record was obliterated in 7 fcukin years. there might be some kid in the juniors and dominate and break roger/rafa records in similar time. i am sure if there comes a day when roger has to lose a match so that he can protect his records/legacy, he would rather retire and not play a match at all. federer could have cited some injury and pulled out of the tournament at any stage if he only had to reach the semis to tank a match. federer is much more smarter, not to mention too much of a professional to resort to such unethical tactics.

Max Dwight Says:

Outlast Nad !!??, please, 9 !!!! breaks for Djo alone!! Nadal couldn’t protect his breaks, got broke back all the time!! Come on, that’s painfull & tedious to watch. It felt like sometimes they played too passive even when the opportunity to be aggressive and finish the point came, hence at times (especially after Djo’s MTO) this match merely looked like a souped up version of a WTA match with two guys who could barely serve. Nadal was fingering himself all the time, and Djokovic was bouncing the ball until he made a hole in the court. Lots of rallies, sick ones too, all I have to say, but it sort me got me bored by the beginning of the 3rd set. And I couldn’t see the NEW Nadall match plan to conquer Djo, he played more or less the same stuff like in all the other finals, regardless which surface.

This uniformization of surfaces was annoying before, it’s getting ridiculous now…A few days ago Wilander remarked that the courts at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open are now much slower than they used to be. He’s right, and this lack of variety is not good for the sport. Yep fast courts please. That final match so boring, so predictable I was amazed the ones playing it themselves weren’t bored of what they were doing.

DjoDevil is beating Nadull easier each time. He even won that final set injured quite easily. Nadal’s going to go the way of how a soderling or roddick vs federer i feel. Novak quite frankly is more lethal off both wings and nadal is not an attacking player nor does his serve bother novak .

Wow, 6 straight finals losses!!!!!!! That’s devastating mentally for Nad. First D was just a nail in his head, now HE has become a full blown trauma…

Kimberly Says:

Notes and Observations on the 2011 US Open—

-Troicki is not ready for five set matches
-Golubev put on an epic choke and blew 7 set points against crappy playing Nadal and then repeated the feet by losing serve twice and when serving for the set in the third.
-petra kvtova and li na need to learn to back up their GR results
-American Teens look promising, Madison Keyes, Christina McHale, Irina Falconi, Jack Sock.
–Venus Williams reveals illness, withdraws from Lisicki match and leaves everyone wondering where she will be in the future.
-Monfils-Ferrero, one of the matches of the tournament
-Sharapova DF UE fests ultimately catch up to her
-Djokovic close to giving a triple bagel to Berloq but gets a heart. Never have a seen a guy so happy to get a game.
–Del Potro game not where it was two years ago this summer
–Donald Young, nice win over slumping Wawa in five but backed it up with a solid performance over Chela.
–Bryans out of sorts, 1st rd loss and then Bob and Liezel lost to teens Oudin and Sock
–Victoria Azarenka, unlucky draw to get Serena in third round. She deserved a better result.
—Mardy Fish needs to stop playing 250s, he looked exhausted at the end of the Tsonga match.
–Many many retirements on the mens side showing the impact of the long season on the athletes.
–Kirilenko Stosur, one awesome tiebreak.
–Djoko-Dolgo, another awesome tiebreak.
–Rain Rain Rain, messing up the schedule–uh get a roof?
–Player action over being forced to play on wet courts, Rafa and the Andys complain.
–Isner improving his game, beats Simon and tests Murray
–Roddick, gets revenge on Ferrer after drama over the bubbling court. and had some decent wins but then approached the net on loopy shots v. rafa and was passed all day long.
–Federer gets revenge on Tsonga, playing submlime tennis. Out of this world stuff v. Tsonga and Monaco.
–One quarterfinal match in the womens draw no one had any idea who either was. Kerber won, so there was one semi finalist no one knew. and….
–Poor scheduling by the open put a womens semifinal match on the grandstand! and no one knew one of the semifinalists.
–Unbelievable save MPs by Djokovic in epic semi-final. And Federer comes out on the wrong end. Two years in a row.(djoko-federer siamese twins of semi-finals, again)
–Murray loses to Nadal in 4 (murray-nadal, joined at the hip in semi finals, again)
–serena woz semifinal, woz not ready to take a slam, crap serve
–womens final–serena and the umps AGAIN over the interference, serena calls the ump a hater and tells are to look the other way if she sees her. Says “aren’t you the one who screwed me last time.” Unfortunately, incident getting more attention that Stosur’s sublime play to win her first GS.
–The last and painful comment–6 times in a row, Djoko beats at least a spirited Nadal in brutal body blow baseline exchanges to win his 3rd GS title of the year to cap a historic year in the history of this sport.

Feel free to add anything I forgot.

Swiss Maestro Says:

max dwight :

i am a roddick/soderling fan, but you do realise nadal HAS won 16 matches already against novak.

I agree with your slowing conditions down, maybe they need to realise they have gone a little too far slowing it down. good offense should always beat good defense for sport to hold interest.

think about italy winning 5 worldcups in soccer and not brazil. that would be a disaster.

Swiss Maestro Says:

Kimberly :

nice! great job. had fun reading them. i will chip in my thoughts gradually [what’s the hurry, we have a few days before davis cup starts]

here is one –

“Many many retirements on the mens side showing the impact of the long season on the athletes.”

I would say it also shows players need to find a way to finish points quicker rather than going the WTA way of pummeling groundies after groundies without employing some touch/skill. also people like cilic/delpotro/berdych need to know how to improve their serve. for their heights, they should be at the least break-proof on serve.

skeezerweezer Says:


Nice summation ;)

And CONGRATS for winning the Bracket Challenge!!

Consolation quote: “No one beats Rafa 7 times in a row in Finals!” Look out Djoker. Rafa’s train is comin in next year and your not on it. Errrrrrr…….well Feds train is bigger, we all know that, but will he make it to the party? ;)

dari Says:

Haha, fed’ s train is bigger, I have no idea what that means but I’m going with it!
Has janko passed troicki in rankings after this? Dude needs tp get his first atp title under the belt, there are lesser players with titles he needs to start closing out in finals. Good run for him though!

jane Says:

Great list Kimberly, thanks for posting – also WOOT! on the bracket challenge. Least your wee boys didn’t beat ya this time, ;)

madmax Says:

Krishna Says:
As far as records go blank I think the best one is John McEnroe at 81-3 and then Federer at 81-4 in 2005..

September 12th, 2011 at 9:53 pm

92-5 I think for Fed, Krishna. 2007.

Mike Says:

Federer is incredible

even at 30 years old and past his best he is the only man who has stood up to Djokovic in this monster year, i mean, lets just say it.. he should have beaten him 2 out of 2 in Grand Slam matches but for ridiculous bad luck 3 days ago

and i think he would have beaten Rafa in the Final too

Humble Rafa Says:

To all the “experts” who say that I must improve my second server…

It is what it is. It has been optimized to the nth degree.

I like the “No one beats Rafa 7 times in a row”. Thanks for the love.

Note to The Arrogant One: “No one chokes 3 US Opens in a row”, except the GOAT.

Nikola011 Says:

I think the Swiss Maestro is actually Roger Federer him self. I wonder how old are u man? And i just asking,beacose i want know how many time is left to be hospitalised in some mental institution. let God be with u.

trufan Says:

I said many times in previous posts the importance of age, and how people have twisted Rafa beating a 5 year older Federer (and that too mostly on clay).

Now he gets smashed by someone just one year younger.

Nadal is 26 next year. That’s age every player declines. No way is he adding 6 more slams. Perhaps 1 or 2 more. That’s it.

Djoke could really add 4-5 more in the next couple of years. Fed will need all the luck to add one last one to make it 17.

I think Federer ends career at 17, Nadal at 13. Djoke? Hard to tell. Could be 6, could be 10, somewhere in there.

As for GOAT – going 12-2 on a 5 year older Federer on clay doesn’t make you GOAT. Nadal is STILL 5-6 outside of clay. And you gotto win a few YEC too.

As for best year ever – I am surprised nobody brings up Federer in 2006. 3 slams, all 4 finals, 92-5 (yes, 92 wins), and the YEC win. 3 of the losses were to Nadal on clay, including the 5 hour Rome final. I think in overall terms, Federer’s 2006 was better than McEnroe’s 1984, and so far better than Djoke’s 2011 (64-2). Now if Djoke can win another 20 matches in the rest of the season, AND the YEC, then it will be close.

alison hodge Says:

i would like to say congrats to nole and all his fans,jane,nina,duro etc,hes been the best player this year and was a deserved winner last night,and commiserations to rafa and all his fans,kimberly brando,myself,better look next time as i believe rafas getting closer and will figure nole out eventually,also @margot congrats to our oliver golding on winning the us open junior championship,hopefully a brit to watch out for the future,sorry i meant to post last night but my computer threw a hissy fit and i couldnt find a server.

MMT Says:

“Kimmi Says:
I heard j-mac record had only one slam. I dont think you can compare his record to novak or fed who won 3 slams..both pass j-mac hands-down imo.”

Just a clarification – McEnroe’s record season was in 1984, when he won Wimbledon and the US Open, so it was 2 majors, not 1.

Krishna Says:

madmax: “92-5 I think for Fed, Krishna. 2007.”

Hey madmax..actually in 2007 Fed was 63-7 ..

margot Says:

kimberly to add to your list, 3 British lads in US Open Junior semis and, as alison said, Ollie Golding takes it!
Come on :)

alison hodge Says:

i have been reading all the posts today and even though nole has had a superb year,im really loving all the positivity coming from the roger and rafa fans,especially fans like swiss maestro and sb66,who have such confidence in rogers ability to win more grand slams that they actually wanted rafa to win last night,and not like some fans who root for nole because they are scared of roger been threatened by rafa catching his grand slam record,which is a total copout,taking the easy way out,nothing ever did come easy in this world,have faith in favourites own abilities,not take the easy option,

alison hodge Says:

sorry i meant to say nothing worth while ever did come easy.

Brando Says:

@ Alison: I could not agree more with your post. I also respect federer supporters like madmax, Swiss maestro and skeezerweezer who all want federer to win regardless of who is on the other side of the net. When the so called federer fans favour one player over federer himself due to a lack belief in Feds ability or due to concerns for his records I feel that it’s rather pathetic. You rather be a true fan and want federer to extend his records as opposed to be being petty and hoping that djokovic beat federer, as you believe he can stop can nadal moreso than federer himself. It raises a question who do they support the player OR HIS RECORDS?

alison hodge Says:

thanks brando.

Humble Rafa Says:

Novak will end the season with 18000 points+.

Roger will fall to #4 behind Sir Andy “No Slam” Murray.

Yours truly, Rafa, will have health issues going forward.

Humble Rafa Says:

3 British lads in US Open

Lads..oh, them boys. 3 out of 4. What is is? Cycling? Bad teeth contest?

Skeezerweezer Says:


Nice post 12:53 :). You have to realize memories are short up here. I remember that year well.

I hope this puts to bed over the last couple of years how some ( note disclaimer; some ) Rafa fans claim that Rafa owns Fed, therefore he is GOAT. So what is Djoker now?

By the way Ben, this includes you.

jatt Says:

“Swiss Maestro Says:
@jatt :
I am sure Federer and his camp is much more mature and definitely more smart than you…”

So Swiss Maestro, what are you now ? I guess PR department for Fed. Your excellent profane language skills shows how much mature you are..

In other comment you mentioned..
“..also people like cilic/delpotro/berdych need to know how to improve their serve..”

I am sure they are much more smart and mature than you to understand their professional challenges.

jane Says:

Thanks for posting that El Flaco: I agree with a lot of what the analysis said. Court positioning is key in their match up. Because Nole camped on the baseline, he pushed Nadal back, which led to short balls from Rafa’s side, which allowed Nole to come forward more easily (though a player always risks getting passed if Rafa has the chance) and then Nole could win some “easier” points at net. The other key thing the article mentions is that Rafa’s serve wasn’t as good as it was during the 2010 USO and Nole’s serve was much better this year than last year. The serve is key, especially on hard courts (maybe not as much on clay). Not sure I agree about the mental toughness point thought: I thought Rafa was very mentally tough in the final. Even though his serve wasn’t working and he lost leads, he kept coming, and it was his fight/mental toughness that helped get him that third set. In the final set, however, he was tired while Nole was sore; thus Nole attacked relentlessly to end quickly. The second painkiller probably helped too.

I don’t know if the “gap” between them is so very wide. It seems like it, but Rafa had leads in both set one and two. If his serve was better, more like last year, he may’ve been able to maintain them. I am guess the key shot he will work on now is that serve.

Meanwhile I hope Nole continues to hone his serve too, and his volleying skills.

mat4 Says:

There is a lot of talk about the speed of the courts, but I am not certain that it is the main point.

Just look at the way Djokovic plays. Against Federer it looks like table tennis. You have the impression that they are playing on a very fast court. Then, against Rafa, it looks slow, so slow.

It is not the court, but the racquet, and especially the string. You can put much more spin, now. It allows Rafa to slow down the pace whenever he plays. It is true he is covering the court very well, but he always has enough time, because his shots are very high, and gives him that time. But, although traveling slowly because of their curve, those balls are very fast, heavy, with a lot of rebound and side spin, difficult to attack.

So, when we have such a gladiator fight, it is because Rafa chose to fight this way. Roger too is bound to play slow against him. Modern string and play based on a lot of spin make the courts look slow, except when you serve.

About the serve: Rafa and Novak didn’t serve well because the rallies were so taxing that they have no strength to serve well. You often have problems serving hard after very long and wearing rallies.

Peter D Says:

This USO2010 Rafa serve is the bigger mystery to me. First, it appears out of nowhere (a simple change of grip, as far as I remember), Nadal manages to go UNBROKEN till the semis with Youzhny IIRC and keeps slapping those serves left and right in the final (losing just one set to Djoko the entire tournament!). I remember commentators talking about Rafa being “unbeatable” now with his new serve, the old serve being one of the few relative weaknesses of his game. Then, just as mysteriously, the serve disappears. Can anybody explain this to me?

mat4 Says:

Charles Lin wrote that shoulder problems made Rafa revert to the old motion, less taxing. But he is the only one to write this.

Lou Says:

What an impressive victory by Nole yesterday! But everyone of us are wondering how did this happen when he was defeated by Nadal last year:
looking at merely the stats can show us the reason behind this turnaround:
Reversal Of Roles at US Open: Djokovic & Nadal- How did it happen?

Brando Says:

Very interestings thoughts here! Personally what I feel rafa needs to work on during the off season as others have said already is the serve. Last year it was what won him the USO and give him the “invincible”. He needs it back ASAP. Secondly, he needs to flatten his forehand and backhand out more- he has done it before, so he can again. Thirdly- and possibly most importantly- ditch playing behind the baseline by 3 feet and just hog the line. He’s got the power and strokes to do so- as shown in set 3 last night. Overall, mentally he gained alot last night ad his present game his more than good enough for the rest just one player- and that isn’t a bad starting point from which to improve!!

skeezerweezer Says:

@Peter D,

I will take a go of it explaining the Rafa’s mystery serve gone awry. Please not it is only assuming what the facts are that I am aware of and some tennis playing knowledge….


Unc Toni & Rafa work hard on revamping his servem especially the speed, and bring it to USO.

Post 2010 USO I believe late fall early winter it was reported that he injured his shoulder and I believe he actually missed a tourney? Help someone on this?

Result; after that his new improved serve really never came back.

One could assume then the new improved serve actually caused his shoulder problem, or when he hurt it he has never been able to do it again because of it?. Just putting the timeline together, no? ……any ways my 3 cents…maybe others have more data on the matter I am just going by my memory as I am typing…

skeezerweezer Says:

^sorry for the typos…dang iPhone big stumps as fingers…..

dari Says:

He was out with shoulder just before wtf- Shanghai or Paris, maybe? Big risk paid w/ serve off, then they reigned it in after he won the career slam. That’s as good as any explanation I’ve heard. Shows rafa adjustments to always get the job done, which is why I was sure he would get novak this time

Kimberly Says:

skeezer, you are right, he missed Paris Indoors last year. He was serving big in Tokyo where he won the tournmanent and then looked spent in Shanghai where he lost early to Meltzer. Then he skipped Paris and played well in London even though he lost to a on fire fed, but I dont remember if the serve was there or not during the WTF.

If the shoulder is the issue, I wouldstill include the serve though, just as another tool…variety, don’t hit it every shot but at least once a game to mix it up and keep the opponent on their toes. He did hit a 133mph in his first match against Golobev. He obviously can do it, has the physiqe stregnth etc.

Another thing that comes to mind is the Indian Wells match where he was serving relatively big against Novak (first time all year) and then his serve went AWOL down to like 30% in the middle of the match? Someone else remember that?

At Wimbledon he was belting some too, only during the final v. djokovic in the first set and then the percentage dropped and the old serve returned.

In Rafa’s book Charlie Moya is quoted saying in practice Rafa hits the serves and shots dramatically harder than he does in his match but that he is tentative by nature. I will find the quote and post it.

skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks D & K,

My point is if his shoulder was injured as a result of the new foind serve it makes sense why he doesn’t serve that hard anymore. I don’t claim to know what is really going on just putting pieces together. Maybe he can’ serve like he did last USO as it puts too much stress on the shoulder? Have to ask mem to ask Rafa(lol). I have seen some 130 mph during matches also but just once in awhile btw….

Kimberly Says:

the reality is he does not need that serve to beat 99% of the tour 99% of the time. So why hit it if it stresses the shoulder. But he needs it in the finals against 1% of the the players so I bet he will try to figure out what he can do with it within the limitations of his body.

Duro Says:

First of all, congrats to No1-vak, the best tennis player in the world, for the exceptional achievement last night and in 2011 overall. We trusted in you for years, were right and now enjoying the sweetest moments of your glory and success. I kept repeating 2 years ago: “No1-vak Djoković, the world number 1 in tennis by the end of 2010. Amen”. I was about 6 months early, though…

Now, I am sorry I couldn’t participate more in the discussion last night, but when Nole plays no time for anything but his match for me. After the match I lost my internet connection and couldn’t even leave a congrats note to my fellow Nole’s fans and even Rafa’s for the unbelievable fight and effort he put in. They should be nothing but proud. He gave all, tried all, fought like a warrior and lost in dignity.

Now, why am I telling this… Can you believe, people, how a “poster” here addressed me:

Swiss Maestro Says:

“Duro :

Where are you b@st@rd? hiding in your mom’s pu$$y? Show me how i said anything that was not in the article? you pathetic low life.”

And this is a women, what’s worst of all! Or even logical if you think deeper…

Well, anyone who’s here a bit longer like myself and other steady posters, knows about one tortured soul. Certified schizophrenic, with manic depressive obsession of Novak, steeped in obsessive insatiable hatred towards him.

Mr. 21 in the world fan – Von! The four-headed troll, ashamed of herself so cannot post under her real nick due to her shameful and sad history at every site she entered. Crazy Von, or schizo if you prefer it. Now, only for those who are not here long enough to know, I’ll explain what four-headed troll means. Those four heads are positively detected and confirmed unanimously. I suspect there’s at least one more (supposed Novak fan provocateur), but some further analyses needed…

Here they are: Von – Cindy Brady – Scoreboard66 – Swiss Maestro. Four heads of one same creature, God have mercy on her.

Did you think, hydra, that I didn’t answer you last night because I didn’t know how to?

My internet broke, but maybe it’s for the best. I won’t answer you now, as well. I left a link so check out the proof of your stupidity once again.

Your quoted words above say everything needed about your mental state, pain you live in and with, your background of every kind, upbringing, manners etc.

You described yourself the best. No interference needed.

People, you choose who to communicate with. Your choice entirely; just a little help for precautionary reasons from me.


And for the end, of course:

In No1-vak we trust! Rightfully so.

Good night.

Kimberly Says:

dan, the answer is simple—-because the top players are now all court players and the surfaces are more alike.

Dan Martin Says:

Seems like a good answer to me Kimberly. I do think the Aussie Open moving off of grass and moving to January helped as well. 1988 Mats wins 3 slams and gets to #1 and Steffi wins the calendar year slam – that added some importance to the happy slam.

tennisfansince76 Says:

Congrats to Nole and all his fans. he played great. I wanted Fed to hoist the trophy but it was not to be. that was simply a physically brutal match. That was as physically demanding a match as i’ve ever seen. for a long time it seemed that Nadal had no physical limit to his stamina. at least that anybody on the tour could find. but last night we saw it. he was just gassed in the 4th set. so gassed that he couldn’t even take advantage of a clearly hobbled Djokovic.i wonder how long their bodies will hold up. props to Nadal he played and fought hard but could not beat Nole. well w/ Nole winning 3 slams the #1 ranking is sown up for the year. the rest of the year then becomes a chance to travel, get paid and shuffle the rankings a bit. there will be some tension over the WEC. but really the drama now is how well Nole can follow up his superlative year next year. can Nadal come back. how much does Fed have left in the tank? can anyone else make a move? Murray,anyone any youngsters?

Kimmi Says:

Congrats to TCloginChico for winning the toughest bracket challenge..WTA! Kimberly not too far behind.

BTW, who is TCloginChico here at tennis-x?

Kimberly and coli06 congrats for the ATP bracket. Kimberly and family had been rocking on bracket this summer. way to go! :)

Dan Martin Says:

I have to say the photo on this article is great. What age was Nole when that photo was taken?

dari Says:

I enjoyed reading this article about novak and tacchini by sports business writer on cnbc:

Debra Says:

Has anyone else ever hit number one while having a year like this? I shudder to think of defending all those points!

sar Says:

Adidas is regretting dropping Novak. Wonder what will happen.

sar Says:

duro, it’s terrible what was said to you. I hope it was deleted.

jane Says:

Did anyone see Nole on the US daytime TV shows today, and does anyone know if he is on Letterman tonight?

Thanks dari: interesting piece.

Mila Says:

A great piece of realistic journalism by the veteran European tennis commentator Simon Reed. My apologies if anyone posted this before:

Duro, thank for the explanation on s-wuss maestro. I wondered how someone could go that far in his/hers comments. Your post clarified it for me.

jane Says:

Wow Mila, that is very laudatory! Thanks for posting it.

Nole will be doing Fallon and Charlie Rose! He was on a bunch of day time shows today, too, but I cannot find vids yet.

Kimberly Says:

TCLoginchico- is CHico on tennis-x. And I defended my USO title from last year! Colin06 in second. He is proud to be a “grand slam finalist” at 6.

Swiss Maestro Says:

Again Duro,

stop spreading your stupid lies. No one except your coterie of stupid and dumb novak fans will buy it.

You called me a liar for quoting what rafa and murray said. I am still waiting for you to show me who the liar was. Ofcourse dumb@$$es like you cannot be expected to adhere logic.

you called me names without reason, i paid you back in kind. You get the treatment you hand out to others.

You can call me any number of posters who have brought you grief – i guess it is easy to imagine that there is only one person out there who dislikes novak. the truth is there are millions out there who think the dude is a jerk and/or that his fans are a-holes [ i think so]. i am yet to see a novak fan who knows something about the history of the game, save jane. all you guys like you/jamie/mila/ or any of your cohorts or your other ids talk about is stupid psychics and keep blathering hole/nole or whatever you call him endlessly.

If you have proof, speak about it. If you donot, then STFU. If you call others name, be sure that I can pay you back with more than the interest.

Next time, you make statements you cannot back up, I will not start with your mother but your ancestors.

Dc Says:

@Debra Says:
Has anyone else ever hit number one while having a year like this? I shudder to think of defending all those points!

Yes – Federer did and he defended it for a few years..

Swiss Maestro Says:

Dan @ 721:

I voted for ” a combination of factors ” on your poll. While I think slowing of Wimbledon has definitely helped, there is also the reason that these guys are as all-court as players can get. While they are no all-time greats at volleying, rafa and roger are quite well versed with volleying and novak is solid enough for it not to be a handicap.

sampras, as excellent as he was with serve and volley, never could consistently hang with the best of baseliners like agassi/courier and clay courters like bruguera and the likes. he has had a few matches here and there where he can show solid baseline skills, but over his career, his baseline play was a liability. same is true for becker, who was not even in the same league as sampras. he and agassi were a rung below sampras in the all-court department, though agassi was more versatile than sampras when it comes to different surfaces.

Looking at it another way, rafa and roger have dominated the field so mercilessly [ think about davydenko, youzhny, soderling, gonzo, blake, lubicic, even former no.1s like hewitt/roddick – this is only the players fed inflicted trauma on] that most players have never had that winning feeling. anyone who rises above such beatings like novak did [ his record against fedal before 2011 was 29-13, now it is 30-23] is going to be really tough as nails.

it also helps that these 3 are hungry through out the year. agassi didn’t care for australian open for much of his career. sampras/becker were as good as no-factors @ french for the most part.

stu Says:

Duro, I wouldn’t waste any energy on Von if I were you…

Kimmi Says:

djokovic should drop tacchini. go back to adidas or nike and earn some big bucks

Swiss Maestro Says:

How badly has Von traumatised these novat@rds? It’s like they crap in their p@nties when anyone says a thing or two about novak.

stu :

do you have any proof that mr. duro is not the liar? or did they teach you guys that you can blabber without any proof.

for anyone who has a brain, here is the article which quotes rafa saying ” novak returned the balls with eyes closed ” and murray saying that shot was hit more out of frustration than anything.

duro calls me a liar for saying what is in the article? what does this b@stard see in this that people with a brain cannot? sar? stu? can you explain your “special” friend’s logic? or am i to assume he is just a “special” person who needs to be cared for?

Swiss Maestro Says:

@kimmi nice pics.

thanks for posting. i personally love pictures which show players in action on the court.

Ben Pronin Says:

I’m a Novak fan and I have pretty good knowledge of the history of the game.

jane Says:

Kimmi! Thanks for those pics. Nole and “Buffy” – both slayers. ;) tee hee, couldn’t resist.

Swiss Maestro Says:

ben at 1109:

great ben and i am a delpotro fan. :)

Swiss Maestro Says:

getting serious though, you become a tennis fan when you admit novak has abused injury time outs in the past.

now let us see how many novaf@rts will accept that. stu? sar? duro? mila?

dari Says:

Awww, good stuff kimmi, Thx
I have enjoyed novak tennis a lot this USO, even in fed match hehe, will remember this USO for him and his dancing, too! He wont stop, too cute.
I wanna see some of these morning show clips… Jane?!

Daniel Says:

People, You have to stop pretending That Nadal is as good volleyer as Federer, PELEASE!!!
He knows how to do decent volleys when in a safe position, when he has to or drop volleys. But put his face on the net and improvise some volleys or win an exchange or volley against passNever saw it, he oly go to a 1 volley shot and that’s it. You people act as f Federer is a decent volleyer, he is a great volleyer, as good as you can get now a days, with only a few better the him. Cmon!!!

skeezerweezer Says:

@Ben 11:09 post

I am a skeezer fan and have immortal knowledge of the tennis game.

Swiss Maestro Says:

Daniel :

Federer was great at volleying till 2003. the past few years though he has struggled with volleys. he makes lot of errors or mediocre shots, on the forhand side, in particular.

rafa has improved considerably on the volleys. he is more than competent at the net, the last few years [by the standards of this era].

where fed scores over rafa is that he has an aggressive mindset and hence he makes better transition for a volley. nadal is fighting his natural instinct when he moves forward.

Michael Says:

Tennis is a mystery sport which makes it even more entertaining. How could you explain the fact that when Federer finds it difficult to dislodge Nadal, Djokovic is finding it very easy against him by more aggression. Infact Federer is a more aggressive player than Djokovic is but still records lie. Is it that the level of Nadal has dropped over the years ? Despite exhaustive analysis, I am unable to find answers ?? Sure, Tennis Commentators will struggle to explain this phenomenon.

Contemperory Says:

Michael, at this level (Fed/Djoko/Nadal) tennis is a 75% mental game. Due to some reason, Nadal is in Fed’s head and fed is not able to outlast him. I think the same has happened with Djoko-Nadal now.

I am eager to see how the present day Djoko is going to play Nadal in French open. Judjing by Djoko’s current form, he should be able to beat Nadal very easily. But as you say, tennis is a mystery sport. Nadal had a super 2010, but he couldnt maintain his standards in 2011. Let us wait for Djokovic’s turn.

skeezerweezer Says:

^There is no mystery here. Sometimes we look to closely, and need to step back and look at the overall careers. Matchups? Jabberwocky. That is for trash talking.

For instance, a lot of posters are saying how Rafa won 3-4 GS titles in 2010, and Nole did it this year. Truly great accomplishments. But some here have short memories.

Roger Federer did it in 2004, 2006 & 2007. Not once, but 3 times.

The Tennis game. the way the sport is designed to compete, is NOT about match ups, even though us fans press the issue. So and so beat so and so so he is the greatest. Frankly, school years talk. You have to play through a field to win a tournament, not A player. Only then will you hold the trophy. And history doesn’t care on iota about that, they care about TITLES.

Nole and Rafa may very well be on there way…but instead of conjecture….maybe we just need to enjoy the ride. Until then, it is Fed who HAS done it, set the records, and the one who should be revered, respected, and the symbolic bar that has been set.

Swiss Maestro Says:

@michael :

tennis is a simple sport actually. Rafa matches up well with fed and djokovic against rafa and fed against djokovic.

in rafa-fed match-up, the obvious dynamic is nadal’s forehand VS fed’s weaker backhand. many players have tried exploiting this, but what can be a better to expose a single hand backhand than the greatest lefty forehand of all time?

in rafa-djok match-up, the deal breaker is novak’s double-hand backhand which is more solid and more hard to break than the federer backhand. also, a double handed backhand is a much more useful tool to counter the lefty slider serve in the ad-court.

in fed-djok match-up, fed’s variety and first strike tennis does not let djokovic get into the hitting zone he would love to enter on the groundies. a couple of matches federer lost – the last 2 usopens and one at miami and rome, federer took the foot of the pedal and started playing passive and djokovic got into a rythm on the groundies and came back to win those 4 matches. a federer at his prime would have won atleast 2 of those 4. [definitely this recent semi-final]

Swiss Maestro Says:

“The Tennis game. the way the sport is designed to compete, is NOT about match ups, ”


I think tennis IS about match-ups. What I think you mean to say is tennis is NOT about H2Hs taking precedence over records and titles earned against the field.

Tennis IS about the match-ups – why? because A beating B and B beating C does not conclude that A will beat C. [ in a lot of cases it does, but when it comes to the finer margins, it does not – this is true for a lot of sports]

Tennis is NOT about H2Hs – why? because fabrice santoro has a 7-2 H2H against marat safin. Is he a better player than safin? Only a noleh0le will answer YES to that.

Michael Says:

I find some Rafans are blaming Djokovic for the MTO he took in the beginning of 4th set to unsettle his opponent. Without basis they accuse Djokovic of cheating in the name of shoulder pain ? But we can recall innumerable times Nadal has taken MTOs during his matches ? The list is really long. Was there real injury or was he doing that to unsettle his opponents ? Even in the recent French Open final, Nadal took a MTO exactly at a time when Federer was having the Momentum with him. It is just a case of Pot calling the Kettle black.

Michael Says:

Skeezer, Swiss Maestro and Contemporary – It would also be interesting to know that Davydenko has a 6-4 edge over Nadal, while he is 2-14 against Federer. That explains the whole thing.

Michael Says:

Contemporary, I think Nadal cleverly built upon his clay court dominance over Federer and extended them to other Courts. The frequent losses in Clay raised some serious doubts in Federer’s mind and this had its deleterious effect.

Contemperory Says:

Davydenko’s edge over Nadal will soon disappear and his H2H with Fed will widen further, as Davydenko is not even close to where he was.

Another thing – Both Nadal and Fed still have winning records against Djoko. The aberration is that Djoko has won the last 6 meetings.

There is a chance that Djoko can slip down from this level and the H2Hs with Fedal still remain negative.

Contemperory Says:

Re: Micheal@1:16:

Agreed, but how about the prospect of Djoko vs Nadal at the French in the coming days?

Swiss Maestro Says:

michael :

It is common knowledge that rafa and djokovic have both abused the injury time out. while I agree they deserve the blame they get [novak has been criticsed by players themselves about this], the bigger blame is with atp/itf.

why the fcuk do you let a player take a break before the opponent’s serve? that is just stupid. the atp/itf is rather weak about implementing the rules of the game. there are similar issues with on-court coaching, time violations and shrieking/grunting which a few of us posters mentioned yesterday or the day before. the tennis authorities are more reactive than proactive. the biggest example is the scheduling debacle at USO and other GS on a regular basis.

Skeezerweezer Says:


Yes i meant H2H..tx SM.

SM, there are some really great fair Nole posters here, don’t know where this all started, but just know that. They have cheered Rafa and Fed when Nole was lower tier hoping for him to break through waaaaaay back when.. He is here now, top dog, so naturally and deservedly they are going to trash talk a little about It. No harm, no foul, no? If you have been in the tennis game for awhile you know what goes around mostly comes around. Hope you can work it out with the better ones ;), sorry for all that it has gone down to name calling, etc. :(


Well if you were around last year H2H meant everything to some, especially with some Rafa fans. Now with Nole dominating Rafa in 6 consectutive finals incuding a GS, the Rafa fandom is silent about the matter. Why?
Fed fans had to listen to Feds achievements were nullified by Rafa beating him, which equated to Rafa GOAT. So what now? Imo I standed firm, in that GS titles in the end will determine the greatest, as it has always been.

Swiss Maestro Says:

contemperory :

you have to remember that davydenko is 5yrs older than rafa while djokovic is 6 years younger than federer. djokovic has credentials that dwarf davydenko’s achievement.

commonsense will tell you that rafa has a far better shot at over turning his h2h against davydenko than roger has at preseving his h2h against djokovic.

rafa being only 1 year older than novak also gives him a better chance to preserve his lead in the h2h over novak. if rafa was 30 now and novak inflicted these 6 in a row wins over him, you would bet your house that novak will overturn his h2h against rafa.

Contemperory Says:

It may be common sense but this game is full of surprises.

If a decline in Nadal’s level has started, and if Djoko is not able to sustain his high levels, the H2H will be a sure tossup. Similary if Agassi’s ghost enters Fed, the match ups will be more interesting.

Swiss Maestro Says:


sorry for the name calling to posters like you jane, kimberly, madmax, kimmi, i am it and a few others, who are above the name calling, but at times the only way to clean something is to get down and dirty.

i didn’t start this business of name calling, duro did. other nolef@rts like stu, mila and sar will ofcourse try to support him. they do this sh!t all the time on tennistalk (or tennistr@sh) as most tennis fans refer to it. they say me, scoreboard, von and cindy are the same. really? i will bet a few grands that i am neither of those 3. does duro or nolef@rts have the conviction to put their money where their mouth is? i will assure you they dont.

Add to this, duro calling me a liar for quoting what rafa and murray said. [infact this guy is so dumb he actually posted the same article from where i picked the quotes].

sorry to trouble you with the explanation, maybe you dont care for this, so let us get back to the tennis discussion.

I will be civil and polite to those who treat me/ federer similarly. the other guys, i will stoop to your level and beat cr@p out of you.

sorry moderator, you can delete this post if you think it is irrelevant.

enjoy posting everyone.

Swiss Maestro Says:

“Imo I standed firm, in that GS titles in the end will determine the greatest, as it has always been.”

Agree with you SW. That has been the holygrail of tennis since the middle of 80s. Even if there is a tie, the tie-breaker should be no.1 of weeks at no.1 or no. of WTF or the no. of Wimbledons [ as sampras said, this is the Super bowl of tennis].

Skeezerweezer Says:


Its not like i am “clean” either up here, i have my thorns. ;), you know what I mean.

Michael Says:

Contemporary, What I feel watching the Rome and Madrid Master finals was that Djokovic is finding it more easy against Rafa on Clay than other Courts especially hard. If next year there is a Djokovic/Rafa final, although Tennis is unpredictable, yet I feel Djokovic will win pretty easily. The only caution here is that Djokovic should make the finals to get that opportunity to meet Rafa. This year we had Federer unseating him and if not, I am sure he would have went on to beat Nadal fair and square. Federer in a way helped Rafa pick his 10th slam and for that Nadal should be very grateful. Even Federer had the opportunity of winning against Nadal at the unconquered territory of Red clay. But that 5-2 drop shot fiasco changed the whole complexion of the match.

Michael Says:

Skeezer, I am in full agreement with you. It is the record on table that counts and not individual H2H. That preposterous argument sounds even more ridiculous now with the Djokovic’s domination of Nadal in all Courts. Those of whom calling Rafa as the GOAT should realize that apart from French, Rafa has still not got the consistency of winning in other majors like Federer. Five consecutive wins at Wimbledon and US Open is a feat by itself and Federer managed that. Moreover, Rafa is yet to win the World Series title which is most difficult tournament around. Roger has already won that over five times.

Michael Says:

Swiss Maestro, agree with the inefficiency of ATP and Umpires in imposing rules strictly which players take pure advantage of. Infact the Umpires on Court are afraid of penalising the big players like Nadal or Djokovic and facing their ire. It is hell of a time especially Djokovic, Nadal, Delpotro etc. etc. takes between points and they just go away free. It is high time that something is done on this kind of delaying tactics on Court. It is totally unfair to the Competitor which in a way upsets his overall cocentration in the game.

Michael Says:

I thank Djokovic for preserving the legacy of Federer. He has shut the mouth of Rafans who were gloating over the H2H tally.

Swiss Maestro Says:

@ SW : LOL! to be fair, it is relative and for the most part the posters i mentioned along with you, do keep it clean. even jane has her thorns, so to speak. she had it out for federer around 2006 or so when she was a rafa fan and yet to see djokovic. a lot of federer fans used to fight against her/von.

i dont have problem with critcism backed up with facts. if it is accusations with no proof, i will smack such people good :)

SW, michael and other fed fans :

here are some other fed numbers – 5time finalist in all slams and WTF.

yet to lose at uso in <5sets since 03. yet to lose in a non-clay GS in <5sets. 16 consecutive hardcourt slam semis.

Swiss Maestro Says:

“here are some other fed numbers – 5time finalist in all slams and WTF.”

i obviously meant at the least 5time finalist. he made 6 finals in uso, 7 in wimbledon and 6 in wtf.

Michael Says:

Swiss Maestro, Regarding that not losing non clay Grand slam in < 5 sets, if I may recall in 2010, Berdych beat Federer in four sets at the Wimbledon Quarters. Ofcourse Federer had back issues preventing him from playing his game then.

margot Says:

Michael, I’m not sure if it was conscious or not, but when Rafa was coming up through the ranks, Fed was the one to beat and Rafa developed a game to do just that. He did it easily on clay, but it took him quite a while to do this on other surfaces. Similarily, Nole seemed to have his eyes on Rafa but took many losses till his game fully developed and at the mo. he does everything Rafa does only better.I find their games very similar, only Nole being slightly more aggressive.
However, there in the wings is Fed who doesn’t play like that at all and Andy who sometimes doesn’t. People seem to think that Fed is falling and Andy will never rise, but we shall see.
Found point someone (sorry can’t remember who) that it’s not the surfaces, it’s the way they play that the difference, v. interesting. Cos when Fed plays most surfaces do look fast so obviously he dictates pace and other players can’t. Only person he can’t do that against is Rafa.
How brilliant and endlessly fascinating is this game!

Michael Says:

Margot, Tennis is an enthralling and fascinating Sport. No body can deny that. The trio of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic make this sport even more glamorous today. I think Murray has some distance to go to catch up with the top three. He has the game but lack the will and mental strength. Moreover, Murray lacks consistency which is the hall mark of greatness. Murray needs to turn a new leaf out of the history of Ivan Lendl who was heralded as a choker in slam finals only to turn it around later ofcourse with good assistance from John Mcenroe at the French. If not for Mcenroe outburst at the French, Lendl would not be where he is today ie. pantheon of greatness. What is therefore needed to win a major is stroke of good luck as well as an all round game to carry you through. Only the future can tell as to where Murray really stand ? Or is he going to become a top Player who never won a major in his career ??

contemperory Says:

Apart from Murray, Del potro stands a chance to compete with the trio. Del potro indeed played good tennis this year but not upto the level which is required to beat the top three.

Who are the other stars who can make a possible impact in this game? Soderling – I think he is done, Tsonga – very slim chances.

Tomic is very young and immature so it will take some time if things fall in line.

scoreboard66 Says:

Swiss Maestro, so sorry you are taking the brunt of this very unfair situation that is being instigated and transpiring within a group of people who hold meetings and vote unanimously on our identities. I feel flattered to be of such importance. We were tried and pronounced guilty. So much time and energy devoted to something that’s none of their business, but small minds usually make a mountain of a moelhill. This topic should not even be discussed, as it’s not worth a hill of beans, except to the miniscule minded.

I find it to be extremely ludicrous, coz all it tells me is that this group don’t have any substantial proof of these accusations they are hurling at us; they are a bunch of busy bodies, who’ve got a lot of time on their hands, and this type of behavior is normal for them. They are just groping around and surmising, using pure conjecture, in the hope that one of us will give them some information to prove their unsubstantiated accusations, coz they’ve got zilch in the way of proof.

A similar discusion took place a few weeks ago when Cindy Brady commented on djokovic. duro and another poster joined in. Most of that topic was deleted, but a small piece was left on a other thread, which means that it’s all common knowledge. Hence, I don’t understand why those involved are pretending as to how this all got started.

Further, dunno why it should be a problem if anyone of us were to use a new or different screen name, coz it’s our democratic right to do so, and frankly, it’s none of their damn business. It’s obvious they are the guilty ones, and are doing that which they are accusing us of doing. Is there some rule that states a poster is prohibited from changing their screen name? I would think there must be one concerning the use of multiple IDs simultaneously, but that would only be done if one is attempting to deceive others, and are trying to prove a point, that there are more people who agree with them. I’m positive that our accusers are very well acquainted in the use of multiple IDs, hence their accusations.

Also, why is it such a grave sin for anyone to criticize their god djokovic? Aren’t they guilty of criticizing other players? They are so obsessed with hate, that the mere thought of Fed and Nadal meeting in a final, sends them into a tail spin. I suppose they live vicariously through djokovic, which is why anything negatively mentioned about him, is taken so very personal, becoming very hurtful and mournful to them.

I saw a post from a djokovic fan to a Nadal fan, when all the talk of the CVAC egg broke out. The Djokovic fan was subtly trying to establish empathy with the Nadal fan, and preying upon her vulnerability on the topic of what she perceived to be wrongful doing/accujations. To me, it was a subtle way to obtain some sympathy, by using empathy, in an effort to try to get the Nadal fan to understand the djokovic’s fan’s feelings, on how the Nadal poster must have felt when Rafa was accused of cheating. That was very slick, and really need to get a grip on their feelings. I founf ti to be sad, since this Djokovic poster does not stick her neck out to defend Rafa, in any way, wo why not deal with the matter alone?

Anyway, Swiss maestro, FWIW, I’m on your side, as we seem joined at the hip in this matter. I don’t want to discuss this further, in fact I wrote several posts to you and discarded them, but I felt it was unfair to keave you to deal with this all by yourself. If you’d like, I can give my my email address, and then we can discuss this matter further, as it’s not nice to have to discuss such awful stuff on an on-line forum. However,I hesitate to do give you my email address, coz I don’t want the crazies to start emailing me using threats and any other stuff. I don’t put it past them, as it seems they don’t have any decency whatsoever.

Polo Says:

The big difference between golf and tennis is that in the former, the officials and the players themselves follow and abide the rules strictly. In tennis, the officials let the big name players get away with all the infractions of the rules. They all just look away when rules are broken. Players don’t even know the rules. Serena admitted that she is not aware of the “hindrance” rule. That is why golf is a better and more popular game than tennis. It is fair and has no prejudices that favor the big names. There are no stupid medical time outs either that are so open to abuse. Is there any other sport that allows medical time outs?

Skeezerweezer Says:


For sure MTOs are being abused along with other rules, its pretty obvious. It should be looked at and changed to make the sport fairer. However. I can see the organisers side in that the have a show to put on and want to produce the best quality product for the fans. But then again to me that is an excuse and they should have a firmer grip on the rules, and clear up these grey areas the best they can, heck make an effort!!!

Kimberly Says:

Polo, most sports are team sports and an injured player can be substituted with a non-injured player off the bench so MTOs are not an issue.

What Skeezer said is true. Soderling was complaining about Rafa at the French and the umpire was clearly not willing to do anything. Rafa MTOs are famous on this site but I have seen them done against him in questionable manners including Djokovic’s on Monday, Del Potro at Wimbledon after Rafa did it to him, but to me the most abusive one was Soderlng in Wibledon 2010 when he clearly had no injury. Also now players are using them for cramping although the rules don’t allow for that. Troicki and Fognini come to mind.

grendel Says:

no umpire wants to be the first one to make a decisive move – he’s bound to wonder:” Will this be the last match I officiate in?” And you can imagine how popular he’d be with the crowd, too.

This problem is not resolvable. How about, then, banishing the problem? I mean, does it really matter, a bit of time wasting and so on? Annoying, yes – but such, after all, is life.

Swiss Maestro Says:

” I mean, does it really matter, a bit of time wasting and so on? Annoying, yes – but such, after all, is life.”

We wouldn’t know if it would matter, unless we give it a chance.

sb66: thank you for your post. dont mention your email here. that is not safe considering the way these idiots gang up.

i hope tennis-x can introduce a way so we can send some private messages. any hope on that front sean/ben? does tennis-x have enough funds for that? LOL!

skeezerweezer Says:

“i hope tennis-x can introduce a way so we can send some private messages.”

imo that would just get things more dysfunctional than they already are. It would encourage “group forming”, alliances and gang ups. Have seen other Boards get taken down for the very reason.

I want to be able to say Feds arrogant, Rafa is a butt picker, Novak is following Feds arrogant footsteps, Murray will go bald in the back of his head like Sampras one day, I love Milk Duds with my popcorn, and a tequila chaser with my beer, etc. without being crucified.

trufan Says:

Nadal is a great fighter, and one of the finest clay courters of all time.

But lets not confuse that with GOAT.

Yes, he has won 6 French Opens, but only 4 other majors. No YEC. 2/3 of his total titles are on clay. His superior H2H against Federer is also entirely due to clay (12-2). Plus he got lucky beating up on a 5 years older opponent – especially since 2008, when federer was 27+ and he was 22. Remember, at the end of 2007, their H2H was 6-8 in favor of Nadal, a rather even H2H. Its only 2008 and onwards that it really tilted in his favor, and that too mostly on clay. And don’t forget the 5 year age gap! You can see how his tongue was hanging out against Djoke, who is just one year younger. Imagine a 29 year old Nadal facing a 24 year old Djoke – you think he will even get games? That’s what a 5 year age gap does to you.

Sampras made hay with it too, beating players like Becker and Edberg who were 4-5 years older and past their prime.

A proper rivalry is between players of similar age, like Djoke and Nadal. its 13-16 now, and getting to be almost even. And here as well, most of Nadal’s wins are on clay.

So don’t confuse clay GOAT with GOAT.

2012 will be a turning point. Federer pretty much vanishes after that, Nadal doesn’t remain the top pick at any major, Djoke continues his march, and a couple of younger players become serious threats at majors (Hopefully DelPo, maybe dolgopolov, raonic, even Tsonga). I doubt if Murray will ever succeed in winning a major!

Dc Says:

@ Polo at 9:33 am

why compare golf to tennis. Golf is not a sport;
it is a game; much like a board game, except the board is made of grass and you can walk on it.

Swiss Maestro Says:

SW :

lol, i want to say all those too! [except ofcourse that fed is not arrogant ;)

jamie Says:

Nole is Nadal’s daddy.

Kimberly Says:

skeeze–your 1120 post made me laugh

SG1 Says:


Golf’s a sport. Golf involves an athletic move that propels an object (and the club) at over 100 MPH. If Rory McIlroy isn’t an athlete than neither is Tom Brady.

Watch Michael Jordan try to swing a golf club. He sure doesn’t look like a great athlete to me. Watch McIlroy swing a golf club and he looks damned athletic.

This perception that golf is a game and not a sport makes me laugh. You can’t go out and shoot a 80 in golf if you don’t put in the work and develop your technique (much like in tennis). It doesn’t matter fast you can run or how far you can throw a ball. Golf can humble golfers, let alone athletes from other sports.

Michael Says:

Well penned Truefan !!

trufan Says:

Thanks Michael.

There’s just so much crap that is said about a particular player being great or not, always by people who consider facts to be unnecessary irritants.

If you really look at the FACTS, Laver doesn’t look that good either. The first slam he won in 1962 was not legit – Pancho Gonzalez and others were not allowed to play then, who used to beat the crap out of Laver at that time. Then in the mid-sixties, Rosewall beat Laver so often. yes, his 1969 slam is legit – but then tennis was mostly a grass game, with just the French on clay, and the end sixties were sort of vacuum years when Rosewall was too old, Gonzalez was done, and Connors Borg hadn’t shown up. Sort of like Hewitt making hay in 2000-01 to take advantage of the gap.

Laver is so overrated.

Rosewall is so underrated – the guy won almost 15 pro slams in the mid sixties, with everyone competing.

Borg is still underrated. He never played the AUS open (just once actually), and faced Connors, Mcenroe Vilas at THEIR prime.

Lendl is the most underrated player. He started with Borg and Connors, faced Mcenroe and Wilander at their prime, then had to face Becker and Edberg at THEIR prime.

Sampras is overrated. Other than facing Agassi in the 1993-95 period, he never really faced a top player at THEIR peak. so HE made hay from the mid nineties onwards, when Agassi goofed off and there was nobody else.

FACTS. yes, they can be very irritating. Why don’t we just ignore them? OH yes, that’s what most people do…

trufan Says:

So my top 3 players of the open Era?

Federer is No. 1
Borg is No. 2
Lendl is No. 3

After that
Sampras is No. 4

Agassi and Nadal perhaps 5 and 6.

trufan Says:

And Djokovic suddenly makes the top 15 list in the open era, I think. He might end up top 10.

carlo Says:

There should be a thread with a poll for registered users about who will win the slams next year. Interesting topic while waiting for more tennis. And to increase amusement, a way to see the username who voted for whom.

Unfortunately the likelihood of a surprise performance like Safin 2000 remains

Also this thread is random at this point. And I’m not complaining about digressing but it doesn’t cost anything to start new threads. It would be nice if registered users could start their own threads because this thread:

1)Calls for a new thread about whether or not golf is a sport or a game. I’s vote game and have my reasons.

2) Whether or not Nole is Nadal’s daddy. Joke thread.

3) Tennis has reached a new definition of indefatigable. Is it not obvious? And is it about being gluten-free or what?

4)A cafe thread for book reviews, food and wine reviews and recipes.

5) Confessions of sock puppets.

carlo Says:

6) poll: who is over-rated and why.

Michael Says:

Trufan, May be we can divide Tennis into two eras – Amateur and Professional era. In the Amateur era, the all time Greats are Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad while in the Professional area my list of Greats would be as follows :-

1. Roger Federer (GREATEST)
2. Bjorn Borg
3. Jimmy Connors
4. Rafael Nadal
5. Ivan Lendl

I would not include Pete Sampras here because he was a novice on clay Courts and has a dismal record there.

Michael Says:

I hope Djokovic will soon make entry into the list of Greats. He surely has the potential and will. Will be compelled to add him very soon !!

margot Says:

Micael: Mac would be in there, especially as he was ultimately Borg’s nemesis.

Michael Says:

Margot, Mcenroe is a very special and talented player. Nodoubt about it. But I do not think with his 7 Majors he can be in the list of top 10 Greats.

alison hodge Says:

although i dont like goat talk as i find it boring,everybody has different ideas and different points of view on the topic,however i would be interested to know peoples opinions on who is the non grand slam goat,ie the greatest ever player never to have won a grand slam,past or present,now that would be an interesting topic of conversation just for a change.

Michael Says:

I would request all Tennis fans to browse this URL to see the human face of Mr Federer. He is more a humanist than a Sportsman and a philanthropist who has given his part to the under privileged society at large. The more we learn about this great personality, the more we can admire him. We are indeed blessed to have born in his age and witness his histronics both on the Court as well as on the world stage.

alison hodge Says:

@micheal yeah roger is a true inspiration,a true gentleman and a gentle man,dont forget rafa has his own foundation though,and nole did that carity match for the earth quake victims too,all are great ambassadors for the sport,on and off a tennis court.

Michael Says:

Agree Alison !! We have come a long way from the Borg/Connores/Mcenroe/Sampras/Agassi era where the players did nothing for the society and were in a way selfish. Now we have top players who not only perform on the Tennis Court but also are sensitive to the outside world !!

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