Novak Djokovic: It’s Frustrating When Somebody Serves Over 70% With That Angle And Accuracy
by Tom Gainey | March 17th, 2012, 6:57 pm

It was a stunner in the first semifinal today at the BNP Parisbas Open in Indian Wells, California. Top ranked and defending champion Novak Djokovic was shocked by American John Isner 76, 36, 76.

Isner slammed 20 aces and used his 6-foot-9 frame to continue to baffle Djokovic with his powerful serve.

“It’s frustrating when somebody serves over 70% of the first serves in with that and with that angle and with that speed and accuracy,” lamented Djokovic. “But, still, I played him before. I knew I had to stay patient and just wait for the chance. I had some chances. I didn’t use them. But I thought I played a really good match. He played very well when he needed to, so all the credit to him.

“It’s a lot of pressure knowing that somebody serves that well. You need to win your service points, especially when you get to the tiebreak. But this time I was unlucky, and he executed his shots and he took his opportunities and went for it. He deserved it, you know. He didn’t wait for it, he went for it.”

Djokovic had an early break but couldn’t close out the first set when he served for it at 5-4.

“The match could have gone a different way if I held him 5 4 first set,” Djokovic said. “I played a bad game and had a bad call challenge. The match turned around. I thought I was returning his serve really well in the first set and finding my range. Then after that, he started when he broke me in 5 4, he started believing more that he could win.”

Djokovic had won twice before against Isner, but today he just couldn’t solve the Isner serve when he needed to the most.

“You have to judge by yourself as the match goes on if you want to be aggressive on the groundstrokes or you want to be patient,” said Djokovic. “So you kinda have to have a little bit of both, a little bit of variety. You know, I had third set couple of times 30 All and some chances really where I was in the rally, but he came up with some incredible groundstrokes winners, and that’s it. You know, I have to shake his hand and congratulate him for the win.”

Djokovic will now set his sights on a Miami Sony Ericsson Open defense starting next Saturday.

“It’s still I think a week to my first match, so I’m gonna take some time, regroup,” Djokovic said. “I feel physically well. I think I’m playing equally well. It’s semifinals. I mean, this match could have gone either way, really. I’m confident ahead of the Miami tournament.”

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17 Comments for Novak Djokovic: It’s Frustrating When Somebody Serves Over 70% With That Angle And Accuracy

alison hodge Says:

sorry for noles fans jane,nina,wogboy,mat4,i have to say i did not see that one coming,im completely shocked,i have to give congrats to john isner,the guy is coming on strong,victories over roger and now nole this year,and pushing rafa so hard at rg last year,wow great stuff from the big guy,well done john.

Mila Says:

Congratulations to Isner on awesome match! And it was not just serve, his grounds were hitting the lines and he was really going for it. There is no a single blemish on his win today!!!

I thought Novak played very well, but this was one of those rare days when an opponent plays so good that you cannot do anything…
Isner impressed me today and I really hope this was not “one in million” for him and he folds tomorrow and start missing first serves and making informed errors. Somehow, I think my hopes are futile and this was 1 in 1,000,000 indeed.

And, frankly, if one of those matches had to “hit” Novak it is much better to have happened at IW than at FO, Wimbledon, or Olympics.

Mila Says:

“making informed errors” should be unforced errors (autocorrect fault)

jane Says:

Nice, fair, mature and honest comments from Nole. Good job Nole!!

Andrea Says:

Wow. WAy to go isner. Win of his career so far I’m sure. Haven’t seen it but looks like it was close to the end. Too bad or novak fans but he ‘ll be back. Rafael is now going to be EXTRA motivated to take out fed.

Dory Says:

Didn’t see this coming me too really! Watching monster servers really annoys and frustrates me. They have an unfair disproportionate advantage of height. Not to discredit Isner’s win today but if there were no tie-breaks today, Isner would find it impossibly hard to break his opponent’s serve. The double fault in the 1st set tie break from Nole really screwed up the match.

Wog boy Says:

Actually, I don’t feel as bad as I felt three hours ago.

Nice words from #1 !

Michael Says:

My sympathies goes to Novak. You just cannot play against a guy who was serving like Isner. It was his day and Novak, the GREATEST returner in the game had no answer because he just couldn’t reach the balls which were flying on the edges. It was Isner’s day – as simple as that. He cannot serve better than he did yesterday.

Michael Says:

Yeah the crucial difference was when Novak was serving for the set and that error in judgement by him by calling for a hawk eye. That one point (very costly one at that) changed the whole complexion of the match. That is Tennis and it is due to that it is such an interesting sport.

Ajet Says:


you know what, tennis is not the only game which changes complexion in a moment! cricket is well known too as a game of uncertainties!

Michael Says:


Sorry I do not follow Cricket. I do not know much about it. I remember a quote by Bernard Shaw on Cricket – Game played by 11 fools and watched by 11,000 fools.

Ajet Says:

just because bernard shaw said it, doesn’t mean it’s final authority on cricket or its watchers! ;)

although after india’s disastrous performance in 2007, i stopped watching cricket. just watched few world cup matches in 2011 when india won. otherwsie, cricket lost its value for me snce retirement of the world-beating aussies of 1999-2007…

Djokowins Says:

It was a good match…..he would have got some pointers on what he needs to improve to continue his demolition of the field.

Nina Says:

I agree Michael, that missed call changed the momentum of the match. Until then Nole had it in his racket. isner is not a guy you want to play a tiebreak with. he has such a big advantage with his serve. I think he’s top 10 material and respect him as a player because he’s not all serve, he can also play good groundstrokes, but it annoys me that guys like him have such an obvious advantage over the rest. Anyway, better to lose against isner here than against nadal or federer.

Michael Says:


Isner deployed the service of his life against Novak which made him win. But as I expected, his service level faltered in the final enabling an easy Roger win. In most of the backcourt rallies, Novak was clearly having the edge. Bad luck to Novak. But I expect him to bounce back strongly in Miami and he should win that despite Roger’s momentum. The reason why I say this is that the surface in Miami suits Novak and blends very well.

Michael Says:


Sorry If it had bothered you. I just put that quote from Bernard shaw. Honestly, I do not know much about Cricket but know it is played similar to baseball. But what is troubling me is the many number of match fixing allegations that have cropped up in cricket and surely that makes the spectator a complete fool as Bernard shaw said.

Steve 27 Says:

nole you failed in the first set and you may won in straight sets

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