Novak Djokovic: The US Open Courts Are A Bit Slower Than Cincy, Which Goes In My Favor More
by Tom Gainey | August 20th, 2012, 3:40 pm

Cincinnati just isn’t meant to be at the moment for Novak Djokovic. Yesterday, in the his fourth bid at the title in the final match Djokovic was swept away by the excellent play from Roger Federer 60,76 in the Cincinnati 1000 championship.

Despite the loss Djokovic still enjoyed a very strong US Open run-up with a title at the Rogers Cup Toronto followed by another Cincinnati final losing just one match.

Djokovic will take some time off to rest from what has been a very hectic summer for the Serb. Then he next Monday he begins his US Open defense where he’ll be seeded No. 2 and where he says the slower courts set up better for him.

After the loss to Federer, here’s what Djokovic said:

Q. One of the worst start of your career, I suppose.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, terrible set. You know, he started very solid from serve. I mean, he was using it very efficiently and putting a lot pressure on my serve. Made a lot of double faults and didn’t find my rhythm. Set was over in 20 minutes.
I played better in the second. I thought it was very even, and then when I had the chances I didn’t use them. I didn’t step into the court, and he deserved to win.

Q. You made a big mistake at 4‑3 in the tiebreak. Was it the pressure?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, you know, it’s just the timing was wrong obviously. Yeah, I had my chances. Even at set point I could have gone for the passing shot. I went for the lob. I had several chances in the second set on his serve on 15‑30, 30‑All, and I wasn’t in the court.
That’s it. You know, I didn’t take my chances.

Q. How do you manage to keep your mind focused when games are running away from you like that but then be able to pick it up in the second set the way you did?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, obviously I tried to be calm today. Even though I was losing two breaks, I tried to focus on each point and game individually.
You know, it was better in the second, but I still wasn’t happy with the way I was playing in the important moments.

Q. Zero for four in finals here. Is there a reason perhaps you haven’t been able to play your best when you get to the final here, or coincidence?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No reason really.

Q. At what point today did you realize it was turning and you were playing better and more in form?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the start of the second, yeah. When I won the game, I felt, Okay, now it’s the time to try to do something differently. And I did; I managed to get into the rhythm.
It wasn’t enough.

Q. Was fatigue a factor?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I felt okay. You know, I have no excuses for bad performance. He was just the better player.

Q. He wasn’t broken all week in 47 games according to Sharko, and only faced three break points which he extinguished today. Talk about his serve.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was exceptional today. Whenever he need first serve in, he delivered it. He was using the serve, as I said, very efficiently and precise and getting an easy second shot.
Yeah, when you have that shot to rely on, it’s a big advantage.

Q. Jim Courier said on TV that he thought you were mentally fatigued and he called some of your first serves, quote unquote, apathetic; would you agree with that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t know. I mean, it was finals today, so I really wanted to win. There is no question about it. Maybe playing couple weeks in a row, four weeks in a row, got me maybe mentally. Physically it didn’t.
I felt okay on the court. We move on. There is New York in a week, and I really need to perform my best there.

Q. How do you rate the chances of the Serbian women’s Fed Cup team against Czechoslovakia?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I hope they win. I hope they bring the Fed Cup trophy.

Q. No doubt obviously we know there is disappointment, but I’m thinking surely it wouldn’t have dented your confidence going into the US Open with the results you’ve had over the last few weeks.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I feel good. I feel good on the court. The conditions here are quite different from US Open. It’s a bit slower there, which I think goes in my favor a little bit more. More suitable to my style of the game.
I’m going to have a week that I think is very necessary for me right now mentally and physically.

Q. Is the plan now to just take a few days off the tennis court and not think about tennis and recharge?

Q. Do you think of mental and emotional as the same thing? We were talking about mentally were you fatigued and this kind of thing. But I notice you didn’t fist pump until halfway through the second set. You weren’t showing a lot of emotion.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I couldn’t fist pump because I was 6‑Love down, you know. How could I?

Q. Does this match make anything more urgent for you for the US Open, do you think?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. As I said, I have made more than I expected after Olympic Games. I lost only one match in two weeks on two 1000 events, which is great success.
So I’m actually feeling good about myself at this moment. I really look forward to New York.

Q. Do you consider yourself the favorite for New York?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’ll leave this to somebody else. I just try to pay attention on preparing well.

Q. In New York, away from the tennis where do you like to go and what do you liked to do?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We stay in New Jersey at a friend’s place, so not spending a lot of time in the city. At the majors you really try to save as much energy as possible in order to perform your best on the court. That’s the goal. That’s why we’re there.
New York offers a lot. I mean, basically everything you can do throughout the day, night, whatever you want to do. I mean, I like Broadway. I went last year with my girlfriend.

Q. What did you see?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I went to see Mamma Mia!. This year I might use the opportunity of having couple days off and just try to see another show.

Q. So you have to commute every day from New Jersey to Flushing Meadows?

Q. No problem?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, it’s just maybe ten minutes more than from the city. It’s quite convenient, because it’s peace and quiet. That’s what you need. There is a lot of things going on throughout US Open. It’s a major, a lot people, and you want to have a place, a hideout where you can try to practice and be focused on tennis.

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59 Comments for Novak Djokovic: The US Open Courts Are A Bit Slower Than Cincy, Which Goes In My Favor More

trufan Says:

Ya, Cincy is definitely a very fast court. Djokovic can grind – so he has a better chance at the USO.

Still, USO is not like the AO, where courts are REALLY slow and bouncy. I still think Fed is the favorite at the USO.

A lot depends on the draw as well, especially due to the STUPID scheduling at the USO – semi and final on consecutive days (best of 5). If Djokovic gets Murray in his half, Fed will have the upper hand for sure.

skeezer Says:

Nole handled the interview very well

“Q. Was fatigue a factor?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I felt okay. You know, I have no excuses for bad performance. He was just the better player.

No excuses here. Respect Nole! Good luck at USO!

Also cool how he handled the fist pump question, lol.

trufan Says:

And BTW, nobody has won 6 USO titles. So Fed has another record in sight. In fact, from now on, every time Fed wins a title, some record is going to be broken. Nice stage to be in! And Fed has got to have the least pressure he would have ever had at a slam – he has achieved almost every thing he wanted. Now its truly gravy.

Watch out, a free swinging Federer is more dangerous than ever!

Huh Says:

Bold prediction:

nobody beats federer 3 years in a row at flushing meadows. ;)

trufan Says:

The last 3 years, Federer has lost to two amazing players, 6 and 8 years younger, in 5 sets each (Delpo in 2009, at his peak, then Djoke in 2010 and 11 – certainly at his peak in 2011).

Its really difficult to beat Fed at the USO. Delpo is not where he was in 2009. Djoke is not where he was last year. Fed is BETTER than where he was last year. Murray? I doubt it.

Lets see. This one seems to be Fed’s.

Reyals Says:

Why Djokovic will not win 10+ slams

The four players that won 10+ slams in the open era, Borg, Sampras, Federer and Nadal at one point in their careers were 10-2 in slam finals. All four of them. By the time Borg, Sampras. Federer and Nadal lost their third slam final, they had 10+ slams.

After losing his third slam final, Borg had already won 10 slams, Sampras had already won 13 slams, Federer had already won 12 slams and Nadal had already won 10 slams.

Djokovic has already lost his third slam final but has only won 5 slams. He is nowhere close to the 10+ slams that Borg, Sampras. Federer and Nadal had already won by the time they lost the third slam final of their careers.

Djokovic is not following the trajectory of the 10+slam winners of the open era since he is 5-3 in slam finals. His trajectory is more similar to the players that won around 8 slams in the Open era.

Brando Says:

In the BIGGEST STAGE the game has to offer, GS finals, novak is:

5-3 (63%)

Remember he was ONLY 2 GAMES away from losing the AO final this year- so quite easily it could be a 4-4 atm.

The next big stage, MASTER SERIES finals, he is:

12- 10 (55%)

he has ALMOST lost as many as he has won there- certainly close enough to a 50/50!

Overall in his career he is 31-18 in finals.

VERY INTERESTINGLY however, since his debut GS win- AO 2008- in finals he is 24-15- JUST a difference of 9!

So based on those numbers, its clear to see that he isn’t quite as solid in a final as say some of the all time greats of the game!

Wog boy Says:


I checked all posts and haven’t seen anybody saying Nole is going to win 10+ slams ?

He is only 25 and I don’t see any younger players coming through after that freak named Federer is gone.

DC Says:

Based on the statistics of other top players, Nole has nother 2 yeas max at his peak and then we can see the players from the next gen beating him.

Also it doesnt look like Fed will stop bothering him soon. Murray & Nadal will also have a shot at stopping him from winning GS’s in the next two years. In fact with Age, murray will be a stronger force to recon with considering that murray has expended substantially less energy and undergone less grinding than Nole in the past 2 years.

Im sure the Nole – Nadal finals in the past 1 year have taken a tool on Nole as well.

If Nole can win the US open this year and 2 slams for the next 2 years, he will have 10 slams. Give in another slam post his peak and he has 11.

I would say Nole would end up with 8-11 slams.

David Says:

I sort of see 8 as the upper limit for Nole. Fed, Nadal and Murray can all stop him from winning Slams over the next 18 months or so.

I think by this time in 2014 Raonic will be No. 1 and the dominant fast court player.

DC Says:

@David Says:
I sort of see 8 as the upper limit for Nole. Fed, Nadal and Murray can all stop him from winning Slams over the next 18 months or so.

I think by this time in 2014 Raonic will be No. 1 and the dominant fast court player.
provided Fed retires by 2014..

David Says:

Very true DC :) I learned a loooong time ago never to doubt Fed.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

“So based on those numbers, its clear to see that he isn’t quite as solid in a final as say some of the all time greats of the game!”

Brando, Look at his opponents in the finals before concluding. Novak’s case is somewhat similar to Lendl. He had to face atleast one great player in semis or finals most of the time, mostly on finals, it has been either Roger or Rafa. How many did Roger or Rafa win post 2008. It’s just tennis landscape has changed where the best 3 have been favourites to win the titles in almost all the tournaments.

I don’t want to be too harsh on Novak for not winning those finals. He did not face lesser players and lost.

skeezer Says:


Nole ( based on the superman year of 2011 ) has busted wide open the historical “trajectory”. In fact both Rafa and Fed have also broken the chart so many different ways. I wouldn’t peg Nole who has already proven he is round in a square hole. Noles technical skills are way ahead of Rafa’s when he believes, andwhen he does he goes into the stratosphere.

Michael Says:

I respect Novak for the way he dominated 2011 sidelining Roger and Nadal. He is sure a big favourite for the US Open. I wish him the very best.

Reyals Says:

Djokovic will possibly win 8-9 slams.

Reyals Says:

Djokovic in slam finals could end up with 9-7 ratio.

Nice but nowhere near the GOAT discussion.

scineram Says:

He will definitely win at least 10 slams.

Reyals Says:

Compare that with Roger’s 17-7 ratio in slam finals.

GOAT numbers.

Reyals Says:

Regarding the USO, Roger for the win.

His season reminds me of Connor’s 1982.

Reyals Says:

Brando Says:
he has ALMOST lost as many as he has won there- certainly close enough to a 50/50!


Reyals Says:

“So based on those numbers, its clear to see that he isn’t quite as solid in a final as say some of the all time greats of the game”

This as well.

Reyals Says:

David Says:
I sort of see 8 as the upper limit for Nole. Fed, Nadal and Murray can all stop him from winning Slams over the next 18 months or so.

I think by this time in 2014 Raonic will be No. 1 and the dominant fast court player.

Good post.

Ngentot Says:

It’s funny how some of Roger’s fans (not all) here seem to think that Roger is much better than Djokovic this year. In reality, based on the points gained so far this year Djokovic’s achievement is better than Federer’s over all. Please feel free to check the ATP rankings race: Djokovic is still ahead of Federer 165 points although he’s only played 13 tournaments so far this year (compared to Federer’s 15 tourneys). Roger may have collected more titles this year, but it makes sense because he attended more tourneys. But in terms of the big ones: Nole won 1 slam of 2 finals, and 2 masters 1000 of 5 finals. While Roger won 1 slam of 1 final, and 3 masters of 3 finals. So you can see that the only reason Federer got to ATP no 1 ranking is because Novak had to defend so many points from last year, not because his achievement is better than Novak’s this year. So please stop bashing Novak because he’s doing fine ( well, not as good as last year, ofcourse). PEACE.

Wog boy Says:


Get ready to duck for cover;(

Eelco Says:

“the Serbian women’s Fed Cup team against Czechoslovakia?”

Czechoslovakia? Have the Czech Republic and Slovakia joint forces again?

Ngentot Says:

@ Wog boy,

I’m all ready. LOL. Besides, like Sienna says : I’m just trying to KEEP IT REAL.

MMT Says:

Eelco Says: “Czechoslovakia? Have the Czech Republic and Slovakia joint forces again?”

Great catch! What a silly mistake. I’m sure if it was a Czech or Slovakian player they would have said something.

Sienna Says:

Ngentot just try to keep it real.

Fed has won 5 tournements where they both attended.
Djok has won 2 tournements where they both attended.

So bottomline is 5-2 so far this year.

I say Roger is outperforming djoker by factor 2,5.
How about them apple?

Sienna Says:


Ngentot Says:


It doesn’t work that way. Sorry. If you have to compare their achievements this year, you have to look at the over-all achievements. And also the H2H. Novak’s h2h with Roger this year is 2-2. Novak beat Roger in Rome and Paris, both in straight sets. while Roger beat Novak in Wimbledon in four sets, and in Cinci in straight sets ( yes, with a hot bagel this time, LOL)

addicted4444 Says:

Ngentot: “It doesn’t work that way”. Um, why? Because you said so?

You have rejected the accepted way it works, i.e. the 365 day (1 year) rolling points count, for an arbitrary start date of Jan 1 to make it seem like Djokovic has achieved more. In reality, if we are just picking arbitrary start dates, I can probably show how Rafa has achieved more than Djoker this year. (Just start from right before the FO, and Rafa has 1 GS to Djokovic’s 0).

The 365 day rolling points count is far less arbitrary, and it makes much more sense than the Jan 1 start date because it covers every tournament played in the tennis world (since they occur on an annual frequency). The only time the Jan 1 start date makes sense is year end, on Dec 31.

And even your “played more tournaments” argument is weak. For one, fitness matters. Rafa does not get points for not making it to the USO. The fact that he isn’t there, means he is rightly losing the points he earned last year by making it to the finals. So why are you holding the fact that Djokovic hasn’t been able to play as much as Federer as being in his favor? How does not showing up become a positive? And that comment is even more ironic, when you consider that if anything, Djokovic looks like the one who has been playing too much of the 2.

The h2h argument, as Federer fans have to constantly remind Nadal fans, is just punishing Federer’s remarkable consistency. It isn’t Federer’s fault that Djokovic could not even beat the field in all those tournaments they participated in. The fact that Djokovic lost to a lower ranked player, makes his H2H vs Federer better, but makes him objectively worse, than if he had made it through and then lost to Federer.

David Says:


“It isn’t Federer’s fault that Djokovic could not even beat the field in all those tournaments they participated in.”

What years are you talking about? When Djoker was 20, 21, 22 years old? And what were Fed’s Grand Slam results in that same age range?

Again, I make that point not as part of some argument to denigrate Fed and his amazing achievements. But I keep seeing this argument over and over and over again on this site. Many of you are setting a higher standard for Nadal’s and Djoker’s pre-peak results than you are for Fed’s pre-peak results. Fed won his first Slam at age 21 and didn’t hit peak until 22. He didn’t reach his first final on his worst surface until he was 24. These are facts. So why don’t we compare Nadal’s and Djoker’s results with that in mind.

Sienna Says:

try to catch on because we are tokking bout this year.

Sienna Says:

Ngentot can you answer me a simple question?
Who has won the most tournements in 2012 to date?

Sienna Says:

Maybe another question can answer your queest in determining the best player of 2012.

Who has won the most tennis matches year to date?

Ngentot Says:

It’s still a long way to determining the best player of 2012. Let’s just wait and see until after the season is over.

Yes, the answer to your question is FEDERER. But it only makes sense because he also played the most tournaments.Please also answer my question :
Who made the most of both semifinals and finals
of the big tourneys this year to date?

Sienna, I’m just trying to make a point that Novak is not quite as miserable as many people seem to think.

David Says:


As far as their hard court h2h this year, I really don’t get it. Seems like a non-issue.

Fed lost to Rafa at AO so that’s why they didn’t play in that final.

Nole lost to Murray at Dubai (?) so that’s why they didn’t play in the final.

Then Nole lost to Isner at IW and Fed lost to Roddick at Miami.

So, please help me out with what I’m missing here.

Sienna Says:

ngentot he played in DC so that counts for him as a tourney. could we take that one away? also the loss;-)

Did I say he had a bad year, but Fed is better then Novak to date 2012. admit that much.

You miss the point addicted 444444 was talking about the fact that you brought in h2h and now Fed was “punished”because Novak was not capable to win against the field like Fed has been doing.

So that was about this year not earlier in their career.


Novak is not reaching the semi of US Open. I tell you why.

He is on a semi streak that wll put him on 10 equal to Lendl.
If reaches Quarter he will equal Lendl as well.

So I think the tennis Gods will save Lendl as the second best consistent slam player all time behind?

You said it baby!
TMF with 23 and 33 quarters. Just for teh record I dont think Fed’s semi streak is in danger.

Ngentot Says:


Before over-reacting to my posts, please refer to the previous posts before me and the posts from previous threads regarding Novak’s loss in Cinci. That way, you will see why I came up with those stats in the first place.

I just don’t get it why so many people (mostly Roger’s fans) treat Novak as if he was in a dark hole, and as if he would never find his way out. I’m not trying to take anything from Roger’s achievements this year, he’s been fantastic compared to the two previous years.

David Says:

OK, I’ve got some time today so I’m going to try to figure this out.

I agree Novak may go out early. I’m sort of hoping Raonic is not on Fed’s side of the draw because I want to pick him to make the final. That’s my pick for No. 1 in a couple of years.

Love Says:


Actually Fed IS performing better than Nole because Fed’s taking Nole’s many points that he can’t defend plus Rafa’s and Andy’s. Then you failed to mention the smaller events as if the tour is just about GS and MS 1000. That’s how it works.

Besides it’s not Fed’s fault that he has to defend his points late in the year and they are counted towards his securing of the no.1 ranking. There’s a reason why it’s a points system not a simplified who-reaches-the-finals-of-what system

addicted4444 Says:

@David – Novak had a fantastic year. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool. He is playing great this year, and will continue playing great, and is my favorite for winning the USO.

When I talk about Novak not making it to tournaments, I was refuting your argument (or at least that is how I read it, and I may have been misreading it, but I doubt it since you brought it up again) that Federer is only #1 because he has played more tournaments, and somehow that makes him an illegitimate #1.

Also, I think it is ridiculous to speak of Djokovic being pre-peak right now. That would imply that he will have a better year than 2011, and that claim cannot be held up objectively at all.

I think Djokovic is post-peak, but will still continue having great years. 2011 was just a ridiculously good year.

David Says:

OK, after reading this over, this is just not worth arguing about.

Like someone said, let’s see how it plays out. I have a feeling Roger wants the year-end No. 1 to tie Sampras so he’ll probably do it. After that, he’ll probably want to more exclusively focus on Slams unless he wants a 7th year-end No. 1 for some reason.

As far as the h2h, I’ll always assume Roger will have the edge in that against Nole because he matches up very well against the Djoker.

Ngentot Says:


It’s O.K if you think Roger is better than Novak this year. But it doesn’t mean that I have to agree with you. Is that alright?

I still stick to my first post saying that Novak is slightly better than Federer this year based merely on the points gained by both. And that’s a fact (check the ATP rankings race points).

David Says:


It wasn’t me. I’ll never say Fed is “illegitimate” in anything. You can be sure of that.

addicted4444 Says:

Previous comment was addressed to @Ngentot and not @David… Apologies to David.

David Says:

No worries.

Sienna Says:

Huh ??
You dont understand, it is irrelevant if you do or dont agree.
Facts are not to be questioned therefor 5-2 for the tourney they both entered is pretty decisive in determining who of the two is having the best year.

You agree with me they playfor winning tournements where not loose in finals?

Ngentot Says:


Fair points, but to be clear I never said nole is pre-peak.

El Mago Says:

novak’s no fluke. unfortunately for him and other tennis players, the bar is set too high by fed.

it’s not enough winning 3 slams in a year. you need to follow it by winning 3 slams in the next too!

there is no doubt djokovic has let his guard down this year. after having taken control of the tour last year, he should have done better than what he has showed up so far.

he has obviously taken a step back after taking 3 steps forward. i am sure he will win atleast 10 slams before he calls it a day. if he doesn’t he will have only himself to blame.

Reyals Says:



Novak is not reaching the semi of US Open. I tell you why.

He is on a semi streak that wll put him on 10 equal to Lendl.
If reaches Quarter he will equal Lendl as well.

So I think the tennis Gods will save Lendl as the second best consistent slam player all time behind?


Could be.

Djokovic’s results are getting worse at each slam this year.

Australian Open – Win
French Open – Final
Wimbledon – Semifinal
Us Open – Quarterfinal?

Federer, Serena: Pre-Draw US Open Favorites? Says:

[…] all week, and he never dropped serve. He’ll drop a few in New York where the courts are said to be slower, but as of now provided he lands Ferrer in his section (anyone betting he won’t?) he’s […]

Ngentot Says:


I never said I agree with you. You have your facts and so do I.

We’ve been arguing about Novak’s vs Roger’s achievements so far this year. We both know that the ATP race points are the ones to determine which 8 best players will qualify for London (YEC). As of now, Novak still leads the race (ahead 165 points of Roger) – Hence: Novak is a bit better than Roger.

The Crafty Rascal Says:

I am ready to watch him in the final

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Steve 27 Says:

No Doubts when it comes to hard courts both Federer and Novak are almost same maybe roger slightly higher with respect to varities. But what matters end of the day how surface behaves decides the winner. Cincy is fast and low bounce surface favours Roger and bagel is not big thing against player who was playing nonstop since Wimbeldon. There was lot of research and studies revealed surface decides ultimate winner on their favourite surface. Harcourts- AO, Miami, , Rogers , Shanghai favours Djokovic if that is not the case we would have not seen a player who beat federer twice in straight sets in AO. O2, Cincy, 500-Basel 250-Dubai, Indoor Basel favours Federer — 3. -USO , Indian wells are neutral supports both Fedex and Djokor winner decides on who plays best on that particular day.

Sienna Says:

There you made a mistake.
Atp site clearly state that the best isthe player currently ranked #1 on atp rankings. Answer the question who is #1 according to atp rankings?

laslo Says:

DC and Dave
If Novak will only get 8 GS’s in his lifetime, where does that leave Andy Murray?

Ngentot Says:


You’re missing the point, and you’re clearly trying to twist things in order to make your argument looks valid. Why don’t you go back to my original (first) post? I never claimed Novak is number one in the ATP rankings, all I’ve been talking about is the comparison between Novak’s and Roger’s achievements this year based on the points gained this year.

This will be my last reply to you on this topic.

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