Murray Routs Rafa, Then Hurts Shoulder! Is Scheduled To Play Djokovic In Abu Dhabi Final
by Sean Randall | January 2nd, 2015, 2:53 pm

For those that follow the exo season (I’m not one of them), Andy Murray routed Rafael Nadal today in Abu Dhabi 6-2, 6-0. The result doesn’t matter much to me (it’s practice sets let’s be honest), but afterward Murray complained of a left shoulder issue. An injury? Now that matters!

The Gulf News had the details:

“I don’t know exactly what happened,” said Murray. “I’ve never had anything happen to my left shoulder before. I felt it when I was signing balls afterwards and picking up bottles.

“I’ve seen my physio and had some treatment and ice.”

Could the injury jeopardise his chances of facing Djokovic?

Murray said: “I will see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow. I will have a scan at midday and see what happens after that.”

Djokovic, who’s scheduled to face Murray in the finals, beat Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-2.

“I feel like I am at the peak of my career and abilities,” Djokovic said to the Gulf News. ‘In the back of my mind, I know what I did in 2011 and can do it again, but it will be hard to do it again.

“If I play at a high level consistently, I feel like I have a good chance against anyone on any surface.”

If you are a Nadal fan and worried about the scoreline, I wouldn’t be. Again, it’s formal practice tennis session and as long as he’s healthy, that’s good.

“This was not the best start possible against a tough rival in Andy Murray,” Nadal said to the paper. “But there are only small things I need to adjust.

“At the beginning, I played very badly with my backhand, but that is normal after a long time out, and could not get my normal rhythm. I was also a little bit more tired than usual.

“6-2, 6-0 is too much. I had a lot of chances to have a closer result. I have to improve, that’s obvious, and I’m going to improve. This match helps me and the defeat does not affect me too much.”

Nadal will also have another match tomorrow playing Wawrinka in the consolation.

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148 Comments for Murray Routs Rafa, Then Hurts Shoulder! Is Scheduled To Play Djokovic In Abu Dhabi Final

Brando Says:

Novak will win and likely seal his undisputed, red hot favourite status for AO.

Right now no one seems close to him at all.

Best bet: Federer. And he’s 33- that tells the tale in itself!

jane Says:

i hope andy’s shoulder is nothing serious. from the highlights it does look like rafa’s in much better form than the scoreline suggests. andy was able to chase so much down though!

didn’t see stan-nole so don’t know if it was nole’s best, stan’s worse, a bit of both?

anyhow, it’s mainly for practice, i suspect, since it’s an exho. we’ll see more of their respective forms maybe next week in doha.

although fed’s playing with “all the young dudes” in brisbane. :)

Ben Pronin Says:

Seal it? What if Nadal beats him in Doha?

brando Says:

@Ben pronin: then pigs must be flying in the sky at Doha! Lol in all seriousness: I just do not see it happening. I hate pessimistic thinking and I am an optimist but the subject matter in reference for me is the Australian Open- a grand slam- and I do not Rafael being able to win a grand slam in his 2nd event back after injury and essentially 6 months ridden with issues and less than 10 matches played. I’m a ardent fan and he wouldn’t pull it off even at the French open since after this is men’s tennis: you cannot swan in and wins slams just like that. Realistically I am pleased with how he’s done and I would be extremely satisfied- like he would- if he could get to the QF/SF stage in his second event back Fri. Injury. The return from injury is a process: even for Nadal. He did not win a title for six months post knee injury in 2009 and he even was losing in clay finals on his return in 2013: so to expect a slam win this early for him-or anyone- would be idiotic. As for Novak: no chance. Novaks on a different level to Rafael now completely. In time he can compete obviously well with him but that’s in time: not now. Right now even a 6-0 6-0 fans for Rafael v Novak for his fans would be a result since it means he’s reached eithe sf or final: an excellent result. Just a honest take there. I think Novak’s realistic rival is only one right now: Federer. In time Rafael and muzza can get there but right now it’s Federer. I regard Roger as the all time HC greatest and at his best he’ll win 9/10 v mole for me since he’s clearly superior but at age 33, in a best of 5, in the heat and on that slow hard court: close to no chance for me. Hence-truthfully speaking- I think Australian open is a matter of how sets Novak will lose not who will win it since its clearly his to lose. My 2 cents on that.

jane Says:

the da posted the highlights of rafa/andy on the other thread.

here are the nole/stan ones. there’s a cute moment where nole cuts his thumb or something and had to wait for it to stop bleeding, so a little guy came on court to play with stan. he’s got some shots! :)

Thangs Says:

I agree with Brando

Also, nole is real lucky to run away with indoor titles for the past 2 yrs.. Everyone portray him as unbeatable.

2013 – Murray and Fed were very poor. Nadal is a joke in indoors. Only del potro resisted his best

2014 – Murray became Mauresmo …Only Fed challenged his best and beat him in shanghai

Hope Murray gets back to his level and beat Nole..

jane Says:

nole has always done well indoors/late fall though. look back to 2009, for example, or 2012. i don’t know if i’d call it luck. he just plays well on the surface and at that time of year.

Thangs Says:

2012 he really did well..beating Murray and Federer both were slam winners.. In 2013/2014, there was no tough competition for him. Its not his fault. What I mean to say is that AO 2015 could be his trophy to lose. As brando mentioned, I don’t see anyone other then Fed beating him.

jane Says:

hmmm, i am not counting andy or rafa out; they both play well at the AO. both have been in 3 finals i think?

Humble Rafa Says:

Just so you know. The Petroleum Money tournaments are there just for top players to pick up big checks. Scores mean nothing. Bagels are delicious.

Brando Says:


Thank you and I completely agree with re Nole and indoor season.


This post is not meant to be malicious at all. On the contrary, it’s an honest take on a public figure he’s open to appraisal due to his position and my reasons are backed with clear thought and some facts. The following:

For me personally on that matter:

Nole is feasting on a weak bunch. Period.

And you are right he’s not unbeatable: it’s just the field is atrocious in that regard.

The following I believe are the main reasons for his success:

1. Indoor surfaces seem slower than ever:

He’s won his WTF’s at the O2 Arena. And it’s a slow court.

It’s no coincidence that the likes of Davydenko have won there, that Ferrer has been RU and Nadal has been a RU twice there.

It’s a slow hard court and the fact that it’s indoor- meaning environment is fixed and not an issue- just makes it perfect for him.

2- The end of Federer’s reign:

It’s no coincidence at all that Novak’s recent reign has coincided with Federer hitting his 30’s.

Everyone knows a player dips in their 30’s and when RF hit his 30 plus, with the major indoor force on decline from his powerful beast it made it easier for Nole to rise to the top since their hardly was another rival.

3- Abject Indoor Field with no rivals:

Federer? 30 plus since 2011. Only a fool would talk off him being as good as formers years post this age. Fed’s been good- but nowhere near the player that made him GOAT. Period.

Nadal? He’s fav but quite obviously he’s inept indoor. It’s a fact all his fans know.

Murray? How many WTF has he won? Finals reached? Scratch that: Indoor MS won? Finals reached?

Unless I am missing something it’s a big fat zero- and he’s been on the year for 10 plus years now.

The rest? This recent, shambolic WTF was testament enough to show that really outside the top 4 the rest are not on their level and they are nowhere near title contenders- on a genuine basis.

The hype got busted and reality exposed the truth of hardly any great Indoor players out there.

So the reality is:

There are hardly any great indoor players out there, no real rival and Novak’s got a free ride to the titles due to the inept field.

The recent abject WTF was testament enough to how bad it really is out there, and with the GOAT RF fading in his 30’s it’s hardly a surprise Novak has milked the Indoor circuit once Fed has declined.

And the slow courts (it’s embarrassing how every year we comment on how slow Paris and WTF courts play) only help his cause even more.

That’s the reality as I see it away from the hyperbole.

And to be honest nor do I think Novak is all that unbeatable:

Last year v Kei showed Novak- in a nutshell- as a player for me.

Cruising v a player who’s not threatening him much at all, but suddenly a crowd interference moment is enough for Novak to lose his mind, all of a sudden the opponent- Kei- realises:

Hang on, this guy ain’t all that upstairs- infact he’s not even playing all that well since I’m playing inepty against him.

Screw it: let me hit him hard!

Lo and behold:

Kei wins the 2nd set, has momentum and had he not fluffed his lines he would have been ahead in the 3rd. That’s something Novak even acknowledged post match.

And all that happened against the supposedly invincible Novak: a mere mental lapse due to a ridiculous reason and suddenly he’s not looking all that invincible.

And you could say that’s been the case with him throughout his career:

Seemingly cruise, then a mental collapse- usually in a crunch moment- and the dynamic changes.

He’s a efficient, high class player but when a top player takes the attack to him, keeps close to him:

Novak is no stranger to collapsing under the pressure.

AO, FO, USO last year- even Wimbledon final last year was evident to that.

2013? USO final, FO, Wimbledon.

2012? FO, Wimbledon, USO final.

You study those losses and you’ll see that the difference between Novak and the winner was not all that much Tennis wise:

But mentally you can pinpoint how Novak collapses under the pressure in the key, pivotal moments.

And I praise him for this: he’s openly honest about it and he said it’s the reason why appointed Boris Becker:

To get his mental game sorted again.

And the stats show this is no lie:

He’s 7/7 in Grand Slam finals.

He’s reached a record amount of Semi finals in Grand Slams- 10 plus I am sure. But we all know he has not won 10 plus Slams.

A record amount of Quarter finals: but clearly no record amount of Slams.

And it’s all for a reason:

Under the pressure this guy has a track record- since an early age- of cracking and breaking down.


I think Novak is a great, great champion.

But he’s not of the par elite of the Great Champions since in the big time Federer, Nadal, Sampras, Laver and Borg all showed a brand of tennis that was matched with a equally strong mental game.

Those guys have a track record of turning it up under the greatest of pressure.

Novak has the game, but barring 1 mere season, he’s shown that:

He’s always liable to crack under the pressure.

My 2 cents.

edina kovacs Says:

^^Period, Brando? On you rauthority? eg to differ with you. Djokovic is better for a reason, and he started to be better, all of a sudden, in about 8 monhts a couple of years ago, an improvement of 10 ot 15 percent. Now that is unusual. His “diet” for an illness he does not have, no longer claims to have…..could this count? He hass a formulaic game, and with good players regularly hits way too big. Mr. Injury will call calling, sooner or later.
An example of a player, who is very good, but not that great but did some things to improve his chances. Such things can have a kickback, when you rattle your body around, and do anything with it. That is how he came to prominence. And how he can be shaken out of his game we saw last year, and have seen it before!

Wog Boy Says:

Any more knowledgeable posts with such a deep insight in Nole’s game, health and mental conditions? Keep them coming please, it is such a joy to read them and such an eye opener.

Brando Says:


Appreciate the post. Yes I agree his dietary change made a real difference but at the end of the day: your diet does not see you beat the field, it’s your Tennis.

And that has to compete against the field. And on that front it’s crystal clear when he hit his stride:

In the calendar year 2011 Roger Federer entered his 30’s- a period in his career all greats dip and are past their peak.

That’s a fact.

Rafael Nadal- the 2nd and only other rival- in this period (2011 onwards) has only completed 1/4 seasons and is a injury prone players who funnily enough is just about re-embark on a nth injury return.

That’s a fact also.

So you tell me:

How hard is it really for him to be at the top when your 2 big rivals/ stumbling blocks are either old (Fed) or injury prone (Nadal)?

I think most common sense individuals would say not that tough.

Especially when the rest (Murray, Del Potro, Wawrinka etc) with all due respect have always been in your shadow.

He could stick to his old diet and he’d likely outperform those guys!

I mean even last year it was 33 year old Federer who pushed him for number 1!

How strong are the rest really if Fed at age 33, in his twilight is still 1/2 pushing him?

It’s embarrassing in some respects.

So it’s clear to see that really for him it’s not all that tough out there. His 2 big rivals for the top spot in his prime have clear, serious issues that really see them hindered.

And the rest are not on his level anyhow: now or pre 2011.

I applaud him for his improvements and professionalism but I do not buy he’s performing at a extremely high level against a sternly tough field.

Even last year he was shaky in all the Slams, struggled badly in the USO series and still ended number 1!

That’s telling.

Brando Says:


Apologies for the long threads, my final post on this matter and ultimately the facts below will best illustrate my point about Novak Djokovic and his issues in the biggest, toughest matches on the absolute big stage in the game:

Grand Slams:

1. Grand Slam finals:

Won: 7 (2 barely in the 5th set)
Lost: 7

win %: 50%

Outside a mere 13 months period, post AO 12′, in his peak he’s:

2- 5 in Grand Slam finals.
win %: 28%.

This goes down to 2-6 if you count the de facto FO final of 2013 when he met Rafa in the SF stage.

That would bring his win % down to: 25%, 1/4 in his prime!

2. Grand Slam semi finals:

Record 14 consecutive Grand Slam finals: but only 7 Grand Slam wins.

That’s 50% win rate.

3. Grand Slam quarter finals:

Record 22 consecutive Grand Slam quarter finals: but only 7 Grand Slam wins.

That’s a 33% win rate.

He’s also 0-2 in Olympic Gold match opportunity matches.

Quite clearly:

He’s great at getting to the business end of the absolute major events.

But equally clearly he’s not exactly the toughest cookie when the pressure really gets turned on when it matters based on the facts of his career.

I rest my case.

jane Says:

nole – top 3 in open era on hard courts (only federer and connors beat him)

Yolita Says:

As a Nole fan, I feel compelled to answer with some numbers, because being underestimated is the story of Nole’s life. What Nole did in 2011 was jaw-dropping: and it marked the beginning of what I call the Djokovic Era. I noticed that people don’t mind long posts here, thank goodness for that. :D

It is difficult to remember the stronghold that Roger and Rafa had over the male tennis since 2004 until 2010. For the first half Roger basically dominated everybody, and then Rafa showed up and between them they won practically all the slams and the masters. That’s the scenario Novak faced when he began his career as a pro. Very early he positioned himself in 3rd place and ended as #1 for 4 consecutive years (2007-2010). He seemed destined to be the perennial #3… Until 2011, when he singlehandedly broke the Fedal duopoly. He did it all by himself. He beat them 10 times that year.

The standard narrative is that 2011 was an anomaly and Novak went “back to normal” after that… That’s clearly not true, since Novak hasn’t gone back to #3 at all. But I am going to prove with numbers that Novak has dominated the ATP for the last 4 years… Of course, the domination is not as overwhelming as the domination Roger had over the field in 2006, say. But then again, Roger didn’t have to dominate two rivals with 31 grand slams between them. Novak had to defeat two goats, which he did… and he has kept them in place since then.

So here are the numbers for the last 4 years, starting with 2011. I’m not saying that tennis started in 2011, I’m saying that the Djokovic Era started in 2011.

Djokovic 30
Nadal 21
Federer 16
Murray 15

Djokovic 6
Nadal 5
Murray 2
Federer 1

Djokovic 15
Nadal 9
Federer 6
Murray 3

Djokovic 3
Federer 1
Nadal 0
Murray 0

Djokovic 280
Federer 253
Nadal 234
Murray 214

Djokovic 95
Murray 77
Federer 71
Nadal 67

Djokovic 123
Nadal 95
Federer 87
Murray 60

Djokovic 15
Federer 14
Nadal 5
Murray 3

Djokovic 280-35 [b]88.88%[/b]
Nadal 234-39[b] 85.71%[/b]
Federer 253-53 [b]82.67%[/b]
Murray 214-57 [b]78.96%[/b]

Djokovic 50170
Nadal 36150
Federer 32415
Murray 25845

Djokovic 3
Nadal 1
Federer 0
Murray 0

Djokovic 127
Nadal 65
Federer 17
Murray 0

H2H between Novak and the other big 4 members:
Novak 12 – 7 Rafa
Novak 11 – 6 Roger
Novak 11 – 5 Andy

So, no… Djokovic didn’t go back to normal. He has performed better than everybody else in every single aspect. People would like Novak’s domination over Fedal to be the same as Federer’s domination of Safin and Roddick… It’s not very reasonable, is it? :lol:

I feel somewhat sad that we have witnessed one of the most amazing feats, what Djokovic did is the quintessential American dream story: a hero who manages to achieve his dream against all obstacles and against nay-sayers just by virtue of hard-work and self-belief. A hero who manages to outshine the annointed “aristocracy” on merit alone… Unfortunately a great part of the tennis community were too obssessed with not wanting their kings dethroned to appreciate and enjoy the terrific fight and struggle that Novak put up. What a show!!

I feel privileged to have witnessed it. I’m loving every minute of it. And so many people can’t wait to see him dethroned. Either by a member of the old guard or by a member of the new guard. Anyone but Nole! lol I would grab a chair: they’ll be waiting for a long time yet, Nole’s not going anywhere.

And now: let the 2015 battle commence!!

jane Says:

ha ha, i’ve spammed enough, but i think the numbers show nole’s an elite champion even if he doesn’t have over 10 slams. we’ll see if he gets there. he’s got a few more kicks at the can, methinks.

Brando Says:


Are the apologists out in force or what?

LOL, let’s crush the meek responses……… er let it be Brando.

What are you going to gain out of knocking a bunch of meaningless stats that can be beefed up by playing lowly players made in reference to your factual points since a few apologists are feeling hurt by the facts you presented.

Ouch: my bad.

Don’t blame me: blame Novak for dropping the ball in the big, crucial moments on the biggest of stages.

And whilst I disagree with it, there’s no smoke without fire, hence the tag even Peter Bodo- a professional writer- once used:

Novak Chokovic.

And we all know why- especially the apologists know why.

Wog Boy Says:

Vamos Yolita, Forza jane, he/she started it, now, he/she can’t handle it :)

Brando Says:

‘He’ stated some facts that the apologists will never be able to refute since the truth stands clear to all:

Even rose tinted glasses wearing fanatics cannot dismiss the realty of their fav in the crunch matches as it is. (Lol: hero, laughed at that one).

And he could actually destroy also those meek stats that not one of them refutes/ even counters the points one has made, and are all a bunch of stats that even a child can gauge can be beefed up by feasting over meek opponent’s.

No one’s arguing against Novak’s ability against meek opponents:

Just the facts- not I- paint a touch ‘unhero’ like picture on the big stage no?

And ‘he’ can also destroy the ‘hero’ post above:

One which embarrassingly again does nothing to address the point that:

In the ‘hero’s era’ his 2 biggest rival are:

– Federer:

A 30 plus year old player throughout this period, whose the all time GOAT yet 1/16 in Slam wins during this time.

Is it because the hero (stop Brando with cheap, embarrassing use of the word) has been so good?

Lol: hell no.

It’s because clearly Fed has been in a decline in this period. He’s in his 30’s: watch how the ‘hero’ experiences the same.

But obviously the ‘heroes’ fans do not want talk of this since it interrupts their ‘hero’ narrative.

Sorry: my bad for letting reality have it’s moment.

Yet- pretty pathetically- the ‘hero’s’ fans are using Fed as a stumbling block/excuse as if he’s still at his peak.

LOL: when he was at his peak he was racking up Slams and beating the ‘hero’ in a fashion Novak will never be able to do.

That’s facts not fiction.

– Nadal:

LOL: the great ‘hero’ has outperformed a injury prone player whose completed 1/4 seasons and is just on a another injury return comeback:

How great of the ‘hero’ to outperform bravely over a player whose hardly there. Very heroic!

Question though for the hero’s worshippers?

How many Slams has Nadal won in comparison to the ‘hero’ pre one mere year- 2011?

And how many Grand Slams has Nadal- injury ridden as he has been- won in comparison to the ‘hero’ post one mere year-2011?

No willingness to answer? LOL: not surprised either.

Outside one mere year- a lifetime for the hero’s fanbase it seems, yet even McEnroe had a similar year- the ‘hero’ up against Nadal pre or post that year interms of Grand Slam wins- the title that they live for- provides a stat that even the ‘hero’ has to tip his hat too.

Shame his fans live in a bubble when reality paints a clear picture as to ‘hero’ and his rivals and how the rivals are compromised with genuine issues, but when they are on fire history tells us clearly how the ‘hero’ stacks up against them.

Let’s not go there though eh? :-)

So yeah, the ‘hero’s apologists posts could easily be destroyed by I but


It’s clear Novak fan’s are hurt by most posts that state certain factual posts, no matter how valid the points are. There problem not mine or that of others who dare speak some fact based points.

How dare anyone have the right to such a thing lol!

All I have done is made a clear, conscise point and used facts to back them up. Those facts are performance based stats generated by their favourite.

So again: blame Novak not for the issue.

I’ll stop now though.

I like Novak as he’s a seemingly a great guy and as I said earlier I do think he’s great.

But I also have a opinion of him in the biggest matches- the facts show not without reason.

And if his fans got a problem with that then it’s on them not I. After all: Nadal fans fundamentally respect Novak anyhow, so they would not say something malicious about him and if it’s possibly negative they’ll cite fact and reason since they respect him.

Even Nole would admit to his issues in Slams: he’s a commendably honest individual who does not live in la la land about his problems.

He knows mentally has frailty issues. I commend him for being honest about it. It takes guts to acknowledge that some here clearly have issues to admitting to.

Oh well: I care not for it.So I have had my fill.

Happy New Year to all anyhow!

Let peace reign on here this year.


skeezer Says:

Brando language…

jane Says:

“Novak’s ability against meek opponents”

I repeat: top ten in open era versus top 10, hardly meek

p.s. not an apology, or even an opinion, but an actual fact.

skeezer Says:

Way to post something relevant. 👍
Good stuff.

Yolita Says:

LOL Brando, your answer is to call Novak “Chokovic”?
Numbers don’t lie. Novak has been the best of the lot in every single category for the past 4 years.
They are not meaningless stats. He has ruled the waves.
Could Novak do better? Of course he could… And he may do just that… But what he has done so far has been enough to be the top player overall for the past 4 years…That’s not too shabby. :)
And I like Rafa as well, I’m looking forward to more Rafole battles. But I’m against undermining other players’ achievements.

Wog Boy Says:

He/she can’t handle it:)

jane Says:

^ hey skeezer, how’d you make that thumbs-up symbol!?

thanks, i spammed a bit, but the fedex performance zone is awesome. ;)

Yolita Says:

I forgot to add:


Let’s have a good time and not get too intense. It’s just a laugh, really! :D

jane Says:

good to have you yolita; same back at you and i agree!

Brando Says:

Oh my word:

I am truly- genuinely- embarrassed to be associated with the childish responses, nay behaviour, by folks who are atleast twice my age- possibly more- in response to my posts.

2 of whom clearly have nothing to say or add other than childish comments even their offspring likely would be embarrassed to see.

Grow up folks and act your age. Truly dismal stuff.

– Top 10:

One person cites a statement in reference to Novak’s performance in the biggest of matches, Grand Slams finals etc and cites facts in support of them.

Sticking to the topic they raise- no more or less.
Essentially getting at his struggles even Novak as well as the popular media have acknowledged.

The rebuttal?

A random stat that has no real real reference to the point made by myself.

I mean just look at it:

So Novak’s great against top 10 players? who cares? Even Andy Murray likely is!

He’s always had a losing h2h v Nadal, Federer. You know: guys who might get a mention once these top 10 players retire years from now since they actually play the tennis worth recalling.

But oh: so he’s a champ at beating the likes of Berdych, Raonic, Ferrer, Wawrinka, Cilic and some other present incumbents of the top 10 and years gone by, names that are so forgettable I cannot be asked checking on:

Colour me overwhelmingly impressed. Not.

So he’s brilliant at beating players that many of the top players do, and barring wawrinka in only recent years after a near lifetime hardly have ever caused an issue to him in Slams and do not affect the stats that I raise up, in reference to my point:

His performance in crunch time in Grand Slams.

Of course sensitive fanatics wish to change the goal post and applaud his performance against the Berdych’s of this world.

Go for it. Knock yourself out lapping up those meaningless stats you’ll never see Nadal or Federer fans cite since why would they want to raise uo their guys performance against players who matter not much ultimately.

LOL: go ahead apologists, lap it up.

A bunch of player no one really sees as a serious, undeniable contender for AO (barring Wawrinka, who barring last 2 years was a none entity almost and could drop out of top 10 within 5 weeks lol) and who do not factor into the topic on hand.

I suppose it’s easier to do though isn’t it:

Why recognize reality and say hey: Novak is quite clearly mentally frail and liable to cracking up in the big matches when you can fellate meaningless stats about his glory days v berdych, ferrer, raonic et al.

LOL: Embarrassing.

Brando Says:

@Wog Boy:

That clip- pure awesomeness!

Brando Says:


You seem like a sincere poster so i’ll address you in the same manner, and your admittance to being partial to long posts has made you liable to suffer, I mean, read my post(p):

-‘your answer is to call Novak “Chokovic”?’:

No I did not. Clearly I said it prior to the comment that I disagree with that label. I stated merely the existence of a label that has been used in the popular media, on blogs etc at times in reference to Novak at times for certain reasons.

Reasons which I touch upon in my post and only point on hand:

His performance in the big grand slam matches during crunch time.

Hence, it’s a valid reference since it touches upon the subject matter I raise, although cruely, yet clearly is a label that has long been in circulation for certain reasons.

– ‘Numbers don’t lie.’:

No they don’t. But there’s a difference:

The numbers I have raised- ones that no one has countered at all against- are relevant to the matter on hand that I have raised.


The numbers you have raised- Novak’s general performance in the last 4 years- are not of relevance really to the points i have made.

A care not for how he’s done in Master Series, ranking points, YE rankings, against the likes of Berdych etc.

It’s completely and utterly irrelevant to points I have raised.

Any reasonable mind can comprehend.

Hence: for me you have just raised a bunch of numbers that are meaningless to the topic on hand.

Here’s some numbers though seeing as you have a fondness for them:

1. Since August 2011 Roger Federer has been age 30 and above.

2. Since 2010 end, Rafael Nadal has completed 1/4 seasons.

3. Further, Nadal has spent over 12 months- totaling over a entire 1/4 of this time- absent off tour out of injured.

Of course those numbers I do not expect you to raise in your next Novak ‘the great hero’ post since it does not go with the narrative of his greatness does it?

How his 2 biggest rivals are either old, past their prime (Federer) or out injured.

Nor would I expect you to raise the point of how pre and post 2011 the injury prone Nadal- and how dare he right?- has actually won more of what ultimately Novak cares for more than anything:

Grand Slams.

Nadal has been been a naughty boy eh?


The above mentioned stats are irrelevant to the topic I have raised. Just like the stats you have raised:

Meaningless to the topic on hand, I suggest we stay on point no?

-‘But I’m against undermining other players’ achievements.’:

Neither am I.

But I am all for, completely without apology:

For someone to exercise their right to make a valid, fair point on a player backed with stats and reason.

Even if it’s negative: so be it!

It’s their right, and so what if the said players fan base get’s sour, starts acting like a child in the face of such comments, changes the goal post, gives unrelated information that is drivel regarding the matter on hand as responses:

Forget that rubbish.

I am sure you will agree:

ANY reasoned mind can see it’s fine to do so.

-‘And I like Rafa as well’:

That’s more like it!

Yolita Says:

How old are you, Brando?

Wog Boy Says:

He/she can’t handle it, looking for the way out:)

jane Says:

Nole’s results at grand slams only, c. 2008-14, versus the other members of the “Big Four”

Nole vs Fed 1-1
Nole vs Rafa 0-1
Nole vs Fed 0-1
Nole vs Fed 1-0
Nole vs Rafa 0-1
total 6 meetings, 2-4 for nole versus fedal

Nole vs Fed = 2-1
Nole vs Andy = 1-0
Nole vs Rafa = 2-0
Nole vs Fed = 1-1
Nole vs Andy = 1-1
Nole vs Rafa = 1-1
Nole vs Andy = 1-1
Nole vs Rafa = 0-2
Nole vs Fed = 1-0
Nole vs Rafa = 0-1
Nole vs Andy = 1-0
total 19 meetings, 11-8 for nole versus the other 3.

SO – on the big stage, versus “big opponents” Nole is 13-12 since his break through slam win in 2008, and of those losses, 4 came to Rafa at RG, which is hardly worth criticizing. It is just Nole’s bad luck that he’s good enough on clay to keep meeting Rafa in the semis/finals so often. Rafa’s win percentage at RG is 99.9% or something, so Nole’s losses are hardly anomalies or a mark against him on the “big stage.” Indeed, they are testament to his strength for getting there so often. Once again, have a look at where Nole is all time on the clay Fedex performance zone, top 6 in the open era:

If we look at 2011-2014, we’ll see that in fact Nole met his main rivals at slams many MORE times that the prior period of 2008-2010, where he was clearly struggling with his racquet change, coaching experiments and health. Since then, he has an 11-8 W-L over his main rivals, who hold multiple slams between them, and who can hardly be called meek. After all, they keep reaching slam finals, semis, etc. No one is saying it’s the greatest record, but it’s not too shabby at all.

Patson Says:

Well argued Jane and Yolita.

skeezer Says:

“How old are you, Brando?”
My guess is 12, 13. Anyone else?
Great stuff, back in up with facts & stats. Well articulated, and no LOL, LMAO, or ROTFL or ridiculous spacing nor long winded nonsense of the scrolling temptation. Concise and well written.

Brando Says:

lol, so many excuses? Must say it seems I have hit a nerve: did not know Nole was so precious!

Laughable really some of these excuses, I mean er rebuttals or whatever, let’s peruse over the futile provision on offer here:

– 2008-2010:

Ah yes, he beats Federer when he contracts his mono. Such a hero, lol.

And then he beats Federer in USO 2010 when Federer had Match Points…….. yeah, such a dominate win eh? lol.

– Andy Murray:

Errrr… let’s have a quiz:

Andy Murray was said not be able to win a Grand Slam since apparently he was not good enough to do so according to the naysayers?

Well last I checked he won 2 Grand Slams, infact one of them was in straight sets. One of the most one sided in recent memory. Dominant stuff.

The mind wonders who he broke his duck and hit jackpot against? Ah yes the great hero!

The one who ‘He’ll never win a Slam’ Murray is 2-2 in Slam finals against this hero.

I guess everyone has a player they milk their greatest wins against eh folks?

Murray fans thank the ‘hero’ for being there for him. Such a generous sport and famed loser is our hero. Lol.

– Federer:

I care not to see how the ‘hero’ has fared against a legend in his 30’s, clearly in the twilight of his career, with 1/16 Grand Slam wins in this period in which the ‘hero’ apparently has ruled.

I don’t care for how the ‘hero’ has done against a player whose suffered losses to the likes of Tsonga, Berdych, Robredo, Gulbis, Stakhoski etc in Grand Slams.

How the ‘hero’ does against a legend who has lost in straight sets in 3/5 last Grand Slams is off no interest to me. I don’t care how the ‘hero’ fares against a legend in his old age.

How did he do against Fed when he was at his peak winning 16 Grand Slams?

Ah yes- he was whupping butt of the ‘hero’. Funnily enough: he’s beating the ‘hero’ in his prime (FO 11′) almost makes him choke the mother of all chokes (your words dearest I recall) (Wimby final) when Fed’s old and outplaying him every know and then Dubai and Shanghai age 33 plus.

LOL: ‘hero’ cannot even beat an ageing legend definitively even!

– Rafael Nadal:

He scores major respect from myself -a tough critic- for his 3-0 in Grand Slams. No one challenged Nadal like Novak did then-ever- so he’ll always have my respect for that.

I give credit where it’s due: then he was great and Rafael was a clear second. Not even a debate, and I applaud how he played then: he actually was different from how he is post or prior to it in his career.

But prior and post that- 6 mere month Grand Slam period after all- what has happened between these 2 over many, many, many years in Grand Slams?

I won’t go there, we know the tale……….and excuses of courses (asterisk this, that, blah, blah)!

– Bottom Line:

I have had my fill on this topic that’s now devolved into boring territory.

I also apologise- as a act of charity and new year generosity- to Novak fans feeling slighted. But I should not have to feel apologetic nor should I have to explain myself to you- I think intelligent individuals- when the reality is clear and my point simple and apparent:

All I did was (see original post) state:

– That that Novak is mentally frail on the big stage, in the big matches that the sport has to offer.

– I offered clear stats in reference to this statement that supports this observation.

They are clear, conscise, to the point of my observation and free from manipulation as it’s just a:

Naked apparent fact.

NOT how he did against Berdych in his career, or Andy Murray in a Grand Slam QF!

– Funnily enough: Novak has even acknowledged this, stated his disappoint about his performance in these matches publicly and even stated on record he hired Boris Becker to sort his game out for these matches.

Most especially mentally.

I mean here’s another stat, free from manipulation:

Since age 25 (prime age, peak career time)(May 2012) in this so called Djokovic era know how many Grand Slams he’s won:


2 out of 11 Grand Slams in his prime and this apparently is his era!

How ridiculous does that claim look with such a dismal stat across almost 3 years in his prime on THE stage that matters!

It’s a ridiculous claim to say ‘Djokovic era of domination’ when you win the same amount of Slams as Andy Murray and no one calls him such a thing!

It’s a comical tag when you consider how 9/11 times he leaves the big deal in our sport- Grand Slams- empty handed!

IF Nadal or Federer sported such a stat and called it their era regardless of how MS, WTF (walkover’s or otherwise) I would call that statement ridiculous!

And you would be leading the way: since it’s comical to claim an era your’s when during your peak, 9/11 time you leave Grand Slams with some sorry story on why it went wrong this time.

And if it was not Novak Djokovic who had this stat and most of you apologists would agree in approval: a sad fact about your hypocrisy I guess.

So please:

Save the runner up, consecutive streaks, top 10, master series and whatever nonsense for those who care!

I don’t care for these stats that ultimately no one really gives a damn about. Miscellaneous stats that they all have.

I made a simple observation- no more or less- on Novak Djokovic’s performance in the biggest, crunch matches in our sport in Grand Slams.

IF you care about winning Slams- not being the bridesmaid- you’ll clearly realize that:

Going 2/11 (one of them barely managed in Wimby final last year) during the age period of 25-28 when your biggest rival is injured for over 1/3 of that time and the other is 31 plus is clearly not the stat of a dominant force.

It’s a poor stat for the par elite!

It’s a stat that indicates the majority of the time (9/11) the player who has this record- so consistent in making finals/semi finals/ quarter finals- collapses and breaks down in business time on the biggest stage:

Grand Slam Tennis.

And I have listed other stats that clearly suggest this- and again- the player in question, to his immense credit, admits to his issue.

With this all in mind:

To state Novak Djokovic is mentally fragile during crunch time in Grand Slams tennis is not only fair but accurate.

The End.

Brando Says:

Yeah, well argued:

You have nicely maintained the delusion of the hero:

Age 25 to 28 and 2/11 in Grand Slam: it screams dominate doesn’t it?

Atleast to the nolefam and a troll it does.

3 years: such a dominant era in Slams.

1/2 in Grand Slams on one side (pre 2011) and 2-5 post a 13 mere months (2011/2012) screams:

Lock solid in Grand Slam finals right?


The delusion of some posters in the face of cold, hard facts is laughable to say the least just so that they can maintain the illusion of their idol.

How pathetic: especially when said idol admits to his issues.


Watch the same apologist downplay Novak’s chances for the AO -even though a child can tell he’s the clear favourite- and at other Slams- as per usual- even though he’s oh so dominate and running this era.

So much lack of faith when the Slams approach and yet they argue here he’s a beast in the Slams, lol.

skeezer Says:

Ahh but it wasn’t the end was it? Delusional.
LOL & Bottom Line, pathetic and la ti da…..
Some one lost to Nole 7 finals in a row. Who’s the choker? Someone also loses consistently to wild cards and qualifiers Who’s mentally fragile?
Give it a rest.

autoFilter Says:

Wow, the Backfire Effect is on full display in this thread.

kjb Says:


There are only 7 people in the history of tennis that have more majors than Djokovic, and he is still in his prime. I can’t even decipher what you are blabbing about half the the time.

While he has been bagging these titles he has played alongside the 2 greatest tennis players that the world has ever seen, beating them both multiple times in Grandslams. To call Djokovic mentally fragile is foolish. We wouldn’t even be talking about this if it wasn’t for Federer and Nadal, no two players in history and imo, ever again, will dominate the sport the way they have. The brought the sport to a whole new level, you sound like someone who has only been watching tennis for the last five years. I mean come on, Djokovic has the same grandslam tally as Mcenroe..He’s only 1 behind Agassi and Lendl……And in my opinion he will probably get to double digits and be amoung 1 of only 5 players to do so……….but ya he’s mentally fragile.

Wog Boy Says:

He/she can’t handle it, he/she is losing it, but he/she started it:)

It is hot outside, I have to leave you people and go for a swim, and rock oysters later on, and a good chilled chardonnay, Jervis bay is calling me..come overhere people, it’s a holiday time:

skeezer Says:

Nailed it.
just because you can post 100 words or more and know how to double space, LOL, LMAO, ROFL, etc, doesn’t qualify a poster to the level of “knowledgeable” about Tennis by any means. Hiding behind the rafanatic syndrome with all the reasoning doesn’t hold any weight. And THEN claim to be admired? That is sick stuff.
Advice to readers…

@wog boy
Nice! ;)

brando Says:

I guess I am babbling on about what Novak himself has babbled on about you know: crumbling mentally in slams. And it’s clearly offended his sensitive fans: ouch. I have been bad it seems.And he’s won 7 slams? So what: he can still be labeled mentally fragile. Ivan lendl has won 8 grand slams, has 5 wtf and over 280 weeks at number one and yet whenever his name gets mentioned his choking and frailty under pressure also get recalled. And as for the future: who knows what shall happen? We know what’s happened in the past though: 2/11 in recent grand slam wins, 2-6 in grand slam finals and admittance publicly of his mental frailty in grand slams. His almost epic choke in the Wimbledon final recently was clearly proof of his mental struggles. The stats show what I say is fair and reasonable and novaks courageous admittance to his mental demons add to the validity of my argument. I could not care less that a few butt hurt fanatics of his throw their dummies out of the pram in the face of some cold, hard truth. Besides I’m a Rafael Nadal fan: 7 grand slam is loose change on this front baby. On that nail in the coffin note my thumping of nole fam(or nolefarts based on this performance since clearly they are a wind out of his butt) is at a glorious end. Mwuah my dearests!!!! :-))

Okiegal Says:

@Wog boy…….Thanks for the link…..I have a friend who would be in “hog heaven” at the raw oyster fest. She loves those things. I like them fried and in oyster stew, but not raw!! Neat you tube……and thanks for sharing!! Have a good time!

jane Says:

kjb, great post!

thanks patson and skeezer. not much to say when the numbers speak for themselves.

wog boy, looks like fun in the sun!

Okiegal Says:

This is a Murray thread, I think. Is he in or our for tomorrow? Just now read an article and he stated he’s not sure. Just wondered if anyone has heard anything definite. I was looking forward to seeing Andy and Novak tomorrow……Hope it pans out!!

Okiegal Says:

^^^^Should say in or out….not our….but I’m confident the smart TXers knew what I meant….

skeezer Says:

“On that nail in the coffin note my thumping of nole fam(or nolefarts based on this performance since clearly they are a wind out of his butt) is at a glorious end. Mwuah my dearests!!!! :-))”

I think this says it all. What is not cool is all this kinda of worthless mindless blog contribution that apparently slips by the moderators …ugh…..whatevers. I mean c’mon Sean! You want a code and site rules? Enforce it.
2015 dysfunctional TX is in season once again. Clowns, multiple fake monikers, etc. apparently welcome to ridicule the game. Shamefull.
It once was a great Tennis Talk site. Now? Not.
Moderate that.

Michael Says:

It would be naive to read too much into this and count on Rafa’s supposed decline. Although the scoreline looks deeply concerning from Rafa’s point of view, I think that he will comfort himself with the fact that this is just an exhibition and it has been his first outing in competitive Tennis after a while. He obviously needs time to settle in especially on a surface which he least prefers. Facing a tough opponent like Andy after a lengthy lay off is not easy. But it is a warning signal for Rafa that he cannot take things easy and he has to hang tough to make that break through. Being master of come backs, Rafa exactly knows what needs to be done.

Michael Says:

From Andy’s side, it should be a morale booster beating Rafa with such an emphatic scoreline even in an exhibiton. But what has spoiled the party is his injury and one hopes that it is not serious as it is just the beginning of the year and Andy already persevered with a serious back problem. Hope he recovers and if the injury is serious, he should not risk further damage by insisting on playing against Novak for the sake of Organizers and Crowd.

Michael Says:

Brando – Great analysis without bias or prejudice !!

skeezer Says:

“Brando – Great analysis without bias or prejudice !!”
Oh c’mon..
Prove to the masses that it is not “without bias or prejudice !!”
Really? A clear Rafanatic at large.

Margot Says:

Lol Michael, someone on here is actually talking about Andy!
*Faints clean away*
Of course exos mean nothing in the great scheme of tennis, but for Andy fans it was very pleasing to see him playing with such confidence and aggression.
And as you said, won’t do his confidence any harm at all.
Skimming is an excellent skill don’t you find?
Happy New Year 2 you.

Danica Says:

Ok, quoting someone who openly dislikes Novak (Peter Bodo) as any kind of authority is RIDICULOUS. Bodo writes positive only about Roger. Everyone else, seems like, is not worth praising.

Please Brando, stop making excuses for Nole’s wins. He plays against whoever happens to be across the net from him. The fact is that he plays phenomenal tennis and is great in the fall swing, specially in Asia. If Asia had a GS, rest assured he would have won more GS titles as he is adored over there (yes, it matters). It is not his fault that Rafa is unfortunately often injured, nor that Federer is getting older. He used to beat them as far back as 2007. But at that time, he was still an upcoming player fighting his own health problems. I read Rafa fans takes on Roger’s greatness by saying that he was dominating because he played in a supposedly “weak era”. Aha. So, it’s ok for Roger to be a GOAT playing against a “weak field” but Nole’s wins must have an asterisk for the exactly same reason? I am sick and tired of double standards. Again, it is not Novak’s (or anyone who is THAT good) problem that he is so above others.

I am sorry Brando that the numbers presented were not valid in your opinion and that you had to stoop so low and insult those who do not agree with you. Nole admitted to not playing great in some moments and he addressed that issue just like he has always done in his career (health, service, Roger and Rafa… :) ). But there are a lot of them where he prevailed. Think semis of USO 2010 and 2011 for example. Think RG against Tsonga. There was A LOT of similar scenarios. Oh, if only he didn’t have those mental blocks from time to time, he would have been unbeatable! (to borrow this line of thinking from some Rafa fans).

brando Says:

@michael: thank you very, very much!!!! You are a poster of spine, substance and character -which clearly, sadly, is in short supply on here-who regardless of whom he supports can still side with the truth-and chooses to do so- even though it may paint your fav in a negative light. your a star for that Michael in my book and I regard you highly as an individual based on your deposition on here. Your above what 99% posters on here cannot manage: to accept valid criticism of their favourite without acting like a silly child. I made a statement about Novak, presented clear stats and reason for my thinking: a process of thought even the man himself- Novak Djokovic has admitted to publicly. And what happens? A bunch of blind idol worshippers who cannot stomach valid points that have clear truths residing within throw a tantrum along with a troll. The stuff of ridiculous childishness and a embarrassing episode I am unfortunately associated with. It’ssad and pathetic to see. saying a player has dominated a time period when he wins 2/11 grand slams within it is the stuff of idiocy. Had it been a Nadal or Federer these tantrum makers would not in approval at any disagreeing with such ridiculous labelling. In tennis it’s crystal clear grand slam tennis is the marker and if you score 2/11 you ain’t dominating nothing. Period. No matter how many walkover WTF you win or how many matches you win against a 30 plus, fading GOAT or what you do when your other big rival is out injured. That’s not domination. No sir. It’s feasting over the field when your 2 biggest rivals are in a miasma of serious stumbling blocks: father time and a failing body. And I have got nothing to gain from this: I’m just being honest as always. I root for Nadal yet call him inept on indoors. I love Andy and chastised him clearly last year with factual evidence of his poor performance v top 10 in recent times. So Novak is not getting any special treatment from me. I speak the truth as I always see it, if I say something- make a claim- I try to support it with factual evidence and a clear reasoning. Some clearly cannot stand that. It pierces their delusion over their idol. Hence why I greatly appreciate you Michael: you are one of the few who seeks the truth and can handle a clearly presented opinion on here no matter how damning of your favourite. Thank you once again for you support and for me this matter is closed having engaged with the first reasoned, intelligent mind on this matter. Enjoy your day and I look forward to your thoughts on the sport in 2015 since you are one of a few on here who’s capable of speaking the truth rather than surface level idol hogwash that’s par for the course and elsewhere. Your appreciated Michael!

sienna Says:

nice comments by everyone especially Brando.
those comments show the dominance Fed and Djokovic are up to.
Nadal always underdog and never the leader. the stats portrait here on this thread show Nadal is the first and most describing footnote in Wikipediapages of Roger and Djokovic.
well deserved for Nadal
I might ad.

Wog Boy Says:

Do we have a martyr here..again, and again, who is falling on his own sword?

Danica Says:

Oh please Brando, you started this whole thing by applauding the posts by Thangs who thinks that Novak’s success during the fall season is pure luck. That person then went on to explain to everyone why he was winning and why his wins were undeserved (apparently). Just read those excuses again and tell us if any of it makes any sense to a “truth loving person” like yourself. You then go on saying that Novak was “feasting on a weak field”. Could we, then, apply the same standard to Rafa? Surely, he is dominant on clay because he is playing against an obviously weak field. I mean, honestly, those wins against the Ferrers, Berdychs and others of the world… well, players no one will be able to name in a decade or so?

Nole addresses issues in his game and works hard to overcome them. He himself stated that Roger and Rafa made him a player he is today. Yes, he acknowledges the fact that he didn’t play the big points on GS to the best of his abilities, but hey, that’s why he strives to change that. That’s why Becker is there. And no, GS are not what tennis is all about. And yes, it’s quite disrespectful to belittle Nole’s win on the last WTF specially if we know that he beat both Rafa and Roger in the finals of previous years.

Nole had the best GS performance of all in the last several years. He lost in QF at the AO last year, but the last time he lost before the QF was in 2009 at the RG. I am sorry, but that’s a testament to how consistent he is. He may have only two slams in the last 11 tournaments but how many times was he in the finals? How did the others perform on the same stage and how do they compare?

And please, don’t bring up Roger’s mono or Rafa’s injuries. Nole had to withdraw from the Wimbledon 2007 semis due to blisters after nine days of perpetual play, and he was beating Rafa. He was injured in Monte Carlo last year and deservedly lost to Roger. The whole 2011 fall season was lost due to his injury. Not to mention all those years he was battling breathing problems and yet, he was still #3 or #2 in the world. Again, in the line of thinking of some Rafans, who knows how many titles Novak would have won had he been able to breathe during the matches without hindrance.

@Michael, nice posts, those first two :). The third, ah, I consider it a sarcasm ;).

Sirius Says:

Reasons behind the success of Federer during 2004-2007: weak era, no competition, rafa couldn’t play outside clay

Reasons behind the success of Djokovic during 2011-2014: weak era, no competition, rafa is injured most of the time

sounds similar.

Margot Says:

The two exclamation marks at the end, a bit of a giveaway perchance?
@wog boy
The bloke in that vid looks a bit porky to me. Not you is it?……..;)

Wog Boy Says:

No, it is not me, though I wish I can do some things he does..and not have to pay for it, like travel the country, eat and drink and so on;)

mat4 Says:

Hi, everybody! Happy new year! Wish you good health, and a lot of happiness, and luck, of course. And a lot of good tennis!

A special hello for the Nolefandom here! Hi jane, WB, Patson, and Yolita, whose posts I often read on

Giles Says:

Oh dear joker ill. Andy gets a w/o and will lift the trophy. Well done Andy!!!!!

mat4 Says:

I forgot Skeez… Happy New Year, S.! Hope your fav will have another great year!

the DA Says:

So Nole just withdrew from the final due to a fever *sigh*. Really disappointed but hope it’s nothing serious.

The injuries and withdrawals so far in 2015 are alarming.

Nolefan100% Says:

Lol Brando – Fed beat Nole when Nole was a mere kid, why always play the age card? Now the roles are reversed – let’s see how it ends when Nole hits his 30’s – the era we are (in all sports) players have longer careers, rugby, soccer and tennis is not excluded. And I sincerely despise the way you talk about ‘the hero’ so lame. Fed won all his titles (most of them anyway) when he had no competition- I would love for Nole to play a GS final vs Bagdatis. Hats of to Nole for not letting playing second fiddle from 2007-2010 to discourage him to achieve his own greatness.

This age of tennis will be golden not because of 2 greats but a 3d player’s ability 2 become great on his own…..

Daniel Says:

Just heard the same news the DA. That Djoko felt bad and is not playing. Irony, we were having doubts about Andy playing and Novak was the one not ready.
Too bad it could be a great match in this fast court.

mat4 Says:

Sorry to hear that. I wanted to see that encounter to gauge the level of both players. They both looked good in the semi — Andy played a very aggressive game against Rafa, and I thought that he looked more mature, streamlined, trying to play the same power game he did at the end of 2011, in Tokyo against Rafa.

He didn’t serve well, but he was focused on key points, so the result is a bit severe, although Murray is the superior player on surfaces where the rebound is a bit lower.

Rafa made a lot of errors, but he couldn’t play his usual safe game on such a surface, and had to flatten a bit his shots. Then, the surface seemed fast to me, so it certainly had an impact.

Novak too played well against Wawrinka. While we have all noticed that he improved his transition/net game, he seemed to have also change a bit his FH, a shot he played much flatter yesterday. It was devastating against Stan who didn’t have any answer after the few first games, especially since he wasn’t serving well.

I hoped to see again that Novak’s FH against Andy, who usually manages to play good, defensive slices: can Novak put enough pace in his shots in this case?

Can Andy play his FH on the rise is another question, since Rafa puts a lot of spin and the rebound was high enough.

Anyway, the game continues to change, and the top players (Nadal excepted, since his style of play is very peculiar) are the one changing it: we see Federer and Djokovic going more to the net, and Murray will probably go that way too. The slice is back, too, court positioning has changed (denying angles has become very important — we could see, yesterday, that Stan was trying to make Novak open angles for him), and racquet technology allows now to play with even more angle than before, and even more control.

Wog Boy Says:

mat4, Happy New Year, agree, Nole was hitting his FH pretty flat but he was hitting his BH pretty flat too. It was an exhibition, maybe he was trying new things, either way he looked pretty sharp. I am off too bed, it is very weak signal for my mobile phone where I am ATM and I have to run around the house to chase the signal, it looks vierd to do that at 1am:)

jane Says:

shame about the final but congrats to andy none the less.

happy new year mat4!

hopefully nole’s feeling well soon.

Michael Says:

Margot – I have already wished the Forum members a very happy New Year. Now I am reciprocating your wishes. Thanks.

Okiegal Says:

@mat4……..Happy New Year to you too!

Michael Says:

Brando @ 2.47 am,

Again a great post !!

I would say 2011 was the year when Novak showed the World his true worth, grit, determination and what a gutsy player he was when he was able to thwart the ambitions of Rafa who would have by now equalled Roger’s record by this time or atleast been within a striking distance. So, Novak in a sense spoiled his party and I would say beating Nadal seven consecutive times in a year is one of his biggest achievements and the hall mark of his illustrious career which he can be boastful and proud of. Still, he remains the player who Rafa fears to combat even on Clay and that is certainly to Novak’s credit. But as you rightly said his conversion of grand slam finals to wins has been poor from 2012 when his slide started atleast relatively speaking. It would be harsh to say that he is a choker especially a player who has achieved so much which would be unfair . But in many of his matches even in finals, I have seen Novak crumble without a fight when he would serve double faults during match points and this has happened time and again in many of his matches. Novak was very much relieved after winning last year’s Wimbledon where once again it looked like he discovered a way to lose from a winning position when Roger grabbed that fourth set from under his nose. What saved Novak that day was Roger’s advanced age which just didn’t allow him to be as consistent in the fifth set with fatigue setting in. Had Novak lost that match, I just shudder to imagine its consequences where he might possibly have never recovered just because he already had many grand slam finals going abegging on the back of his mind and securing this win was highly critical. So I would say that this win proved to be a turning point in his career from where he could see light at the end of the tunnel. Ofcourse in 2014, Novak has been helped by many factors going his way including Roger’s age and the injury factor taking a toll on both Andy and Rafa and still it was not a great year in terms of grand slam victories. But what would have upset Novak the most was his four set loss to Nishikori at the US Open where he rolled out one of his worst displays in recent times and thereby forfeited his chances to make his coveted 8th. And that loss really hurts. So in a nutshell, I would just say that I admire Novak as a great player and a Champion but not without blemishes. As like everyone, he is not Mr Perfect and a shade below Roger and Rafa.

Michael Says:

Okiegal – We have already exchanged pleasantries. Nevertheless, thanks once again.

Michael Says:


It was not sarcasm. There is lot of truth in what Brando has commented. Novak himself was really concerned about his poor conversion record when it comes to grand slam finals. What saved the day for him was a win at Wimbledon finals last year. If not for that, the consequences would have been quite severe and Novak would have suffered a great psychological let down. So in a sense 2014 Wimbledon is a turning point in Novak’s career.

Michael Says:

Skeezer @ 2.09 am,

What is there to prove when Novak himself has admitted on record about the poor conversion rate. He infact was terribly worried before that Wimbledon finals and there was too much pressure on him. What saved him during the day from a late Roger fight back was the later’s advanced age which just didn’t allow him to be consistent as he would like in the 5th set. Still just one major in 2014 was a big let down for Novak considering the precarious state of his opponents.

Okiegal Says:

@Michael……sorry……mini stroke in 2008…..result…..short term memory loss!! I will try to keep my wits about me this New Year and not be a double or triple poster…..I think I’ve been guilty of that a time or two! LOL

Wog Boy Says:

Michael, give us link Nole “was terribly worried”, PLEASE!!
I read all Nole’s interviews, in Serbian and English, and Nole was NOT “terribly worried”!!

“What saved him during the day from a late Roger fight back was the later’s advanced age which just didn’t allow him to be consistent as he would like in the 5th set.”

Are you serious about this, have you been watching fifth set at all? It is excatly oposite, it is Nole’s mental strenght that brought him Wimbledon title, he didn’t cracked after losing fourth set, he regrouped and won fifth, something Roger wasn’t able to do after losing second set at AO to Nole, in the excatly same situation as Nole lost fourth at Wimbledon, being 5:2 up, just to lose it 7:5.

This post is well your belaw yor standards.

Wog Boy Says:

^^ below

Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

Well, he has said this in his Interview after the Wimbledon finals. You can refer to it. May be he might not have used the exact words terribly worried but you can infer from his interview that he was deeply concerned.

And regarding the fifth set, I am not taking anything away from Novak he deserved to win and all credit to him. But against a 33 year old, you are probably enjoying more physical advantage. Moreover, Novak had no business to go into the fifth set because he should have finished it in four, but a combination of Roger’s magic and Novak’s melt down in crucial points compelled him to play the fifth set and you can feel that he was getting a tad nervous even after being a break up. Remember Novak was up 5-2 and he had the match literally in his hands. But he just couldn’t take a game from there on and lost it 7-5. Ofcourse Roger played exceptionally, but even then he couldn’t have made such a come back if not for a serious let down from Novak on crucial points. Just good serving could have clinched the match for Novak from thereon when he was in a position of strength. So there are somethings he just didn’t do too well to gift away the set and it happens. Fortunately, Novak won the fifth set and if he had not, he would have never forgiven him because he had the match literally in his hands. So, in such a scenario we can only presume that earlier losses were playing on the back of his mind and he was a little bit hesitant to go for the kill. There was some lack of confidence on the part of Novak which allowed Roger to settle in. Well that is my assessment with which you probably have the right to differ. Nevertheless, I love Novak as you do and so I will never seek to undermine him or his achievements. He is ofcourse a very Great player but not without faultlines.

Michael Says:

Okiegal @ 1.21 am,

No problem in exchanging best wishes. I just pointed it out of curiosity.

Okiegal Says:

@Michael…..yeah, it’s all good…..we can’t get too many best wishes for a prosperous New Year, now can we?? LOL

Margot Says:

Fed was serving exceptionally well, even by his lofty standards, kept him in the match, I think.

Michael Says:


True, Roger was playing some exceptional Tennis out there to turn the match upside down in the fourth set showing his fighting qualities. But the match was literally in Novak’s hands for he had the break. All that he needed to do was to have good first serves and unfortunately it deserted him. On screen, he was looking a tad nervous and that was my impression. He was just not looking confident even from a point of domination and was looking a bit shaky. But all credit to him for staying focused in the fifth set despite his disappointments.

brando Says:

@Michael: thank you and great post by yourself! Still cannot see the controversy about what I said: citing reason and fact that Novak himself has acknowledged as an issue. Oh well, moving on. As for the Wimbledon final you raise up: to me-someone without a favourite in that final- it was Crystal clear from the start that Novak was a level above Federer tennis wise in that match. He could have won in 3, certainly 4. Yet due to his obvious frailty as you note he lost the first set and rather insanely the 4th set. A major Novak fan here is on record saying he was choking in that match. Not I but a fan of his. I don’t like the term, but it gets to the same point in a blunt manner. It was apparent to see that he was fighting his mental demons as well as Federer in that match. The 5th set is always a lottery in that one, for me, it was a case of who blinks first. Luckily for Novak he was serving first and that was a colossal advantage since every time Federer served he was doing so to stay in the match in essence whereas Novak was where he wanted to be: relying on his strength-return- knowing Federer is under immense, natural pressure on serve and one break means the title. I give him credit: mentally he did well in this set. But you can see, as you say, his clear relief at the end that he did not lose the final, as opposed to sheer elation for the win. And that final-undeniably- as with all matches on the grandslam stage v Federer for the other top 3, was dictated by a clear physical advantage of 6 years for the prime age 27 year old v a near 33 year old. That’s not even up for debate. I mean after all: would a prime age Federer really be the one dictated to in grass final and be at the mercy of his opponent throughout the match for the majority of the time? Of course not. He’s the Grass GOAT, and grass is Novaks weakest surface. So to dismiss the age, physical and context of career advantage-one is in prime, other near the end of career- would be absolutely ridiculous since it is the governing factor that dictated the match. The sheer reason why Djokovic was labeled the favourite over Federer in a clear manner for a grasscourt final. And as Federer himself said on court in WTF: age matters and affects your performance capacity.

Michael Says:

Brando @ 7.11 am,

Age is not a mere number. It is an important factor especially in a atheletic sport like Tennis and it makes a difference physically as well as psychologically and will invariably have a deleterious effect on your match play. So, for sure, Novak was helped by Roger’s fatigue due to age at the start of the 5th. And a match which he should have finished in straight sets was extended to the fifth and he was also helped by the fact that he served first giving him a major advantage. It is always tough to serve from behind in the penultimate set. I remember Rafa doing that in 2008 against a Prime Roger shrugging aside all his disappointments in the third and fourth sets and that was admirable and shows his sheer tenacity. So, Novak was helped by a host of factors to win last year’s Wimbledon and ofcourse he deserved what he did. But he was close to losing it and if he had lost that final, the effects would be disastrous for Novak psychologically. Thankfully, for the sake of Novak and his Team, he won it and that finally counts. Still 2014 was not a good year for Novak and I hope he turns that around in 2015.

mat4 Says:

You should both rewatch that WB final. In the first set, the level of play was the best I have seen for years, and the second and third sets were exquisite as well.

Yes, Novak played better from the baseline, but the ability of great champions is to chose their battlefield, and Roger adapted his game to negate Novak’s strengths.

In the fourth set, it was back and fourth, but while Novak played a real bad game, waiting for Roger to lose, Roger elevated his level. It wasn’t a case of choking, quite the contrary. Roger dug deep to win this set.

Anyway, you don’t explicitly mention the “tertium comparationis” here (although I guess you don’t know what it is). Since the introduction of the blood passeport, Rafa’s results are rapidly deteriorating. He won the FO under very severe weather conditions against an ailing Djokovic, whose level deeped after an easily won first set. His other results? Won against Nishikori in Madrid, we know how. Lost to Djokovic in a humiliating fashion in Miami and Rome (when Novak won 2/3 of the points played in four of the sets, and in the first set in Rome after the slow beginning), lost to Dolgopolov in IW, Ferrer in MC, Almagro in Barcelona, to a guy ranked ~150 in Wimbledon, to Klizan in China… His only really good result was the final at the AO.

How can we explain such a bleak season, despite all the luck he had (in winning two big titles)?

As you can see, it is very easy to be nasty. Djokovic played most of his finals (13 of 14 GS) against great players, where a good day decides, a better draw, a playing affinity. It is easy to gloat about a player “mental weakness”, forgetting that most of the time, we had witnessed encounters where the irresistible force face the unmovable object… matches we won’t have at least in the next ten years.

And, BTW, just rewatch a bit matches from the past, and you will perhaps understand how great Federer (even at 33), Nadal and Djokovic are. I have witnessed Connors lose tamely against Borg time and time again, Lendl destroy McEnroe, Wilander outfox Lendl, and probably the toughest of all, Boris Becker, miss an easy volley on set point. They all had crisis and resurgences.

Enough about it.

brando Says:

@michael: I completely agree with you as all reasoned minds would. Age is clearly not a number in tennis: it’s a ceiling that determines the scope of your performance. A highly talented teenager would struggle to land a slam today no matter how good his talent since his body would not have developed fully to the level it needs to be in order to deal with the power game that’s in force today. A 33 year old Rafael Nadal would not be the favourite v 27 year old, prime age player at the top at rolland garros since even though- as we all know- Nadal there is a force unlike any, father time is a factor that would even affect the performance of even a master like Nadal on clay.Age is why in the world of football Liverpool fans are saddened that their 34 year old captain has to leave since he can no longer handle the demands of his professional ssport of choice due to the youth having a clear physical edge. So age does matter, to deny it would be the stuff of folly in sports and it dictated the minds of thinkers on outset of the match to label Federer 2nd favourite in that match, despite his blatant superiority, mastery on grass, and why post match folks were thinking is this his last Wimbledon final even though he just lost in 5. So age matters: it matters a hell of alot!

Michael Says:


The start of 2015 also has not been good as far as competition is concerned. Del Potro is out of Brisbane due to wrist injury and Andy too is struggling although I presume it is not serious. Novak has a fever and I hope he recovers quick. At the other end, you have an aging Roger who although has still the passion and motivation may not be the force he once was. And finally Rafa who is yet to come to grips after that long lay off. So, things are not looking rosy at the moment ahead of the crucial Australian Open. I am sure this is the right time for players like Raonic, Dmitrov, Nishikori et al to make that significant break through in their career and achieve what they are aching all along and ie. to win a major.

brando Says:

@michael: completely agree about your reading of the situation. But are the young guns- who are not all that young since reality they have been around for a few years now- goo d enough to step up? That’s the question on hand. For me personally, in this guessing game, i would say yes to Kei Nishikori: I think he’s shown. already he’s got the goods for the big time. He can make the leap I feel. But dimitov (mentally weak under pressure) and raonic (truthfully speaking: a glaringly limited game for a supposed grand slam contender) for me would be a no right now. Time will ultimately tell as always though.

skeezer Says:

Michael re;12:51
In your future posts, it would help validate your statements if you provided a quick link to your opinion that is based on fact rather than sayin “he said so” somewhere sometime. (Refer to wog boys post in response). Otherwise, you just appear like “because you say so”. There is the same issue with your discussion partner who says “I speak the truth as I always see it, if I say something- make a claim- I try to support it with factual evidence and a clear reasoning”. Where is the data and link to the material you continually stake your opinion on?
This is why some don’t garner a discussion with some, as it determines a serious lack of cred of the game.

Okiegal Says:

I found the 2014 Wimbledon presser of the final.
Novak stated verbatim…..”Was disappointing losing the 4th set after being so close to win it and match point. But the only way I could have won the match today is believing that I can make it all the way until the end and staying mentally strong. That’s what I’ve done. I didn’t allow my emotions to fade away as it probably was at Roland Garros final a couple three, four weeks ago. Just very glad to win a GS Final after losing the last 3 out of 4″.
He was also asked if this final was the most special win for him and he said “Yes… the time of my career for this GS trophy to arrive is crucial, especially as I said, after losing several GS finals in a row…..started doubting, of course , a little bit. I needed this win a lot”………Take what you wish from Michael’s comment…..Brando’s too, I suppose.

jane Says:

mat4, you might find these numbers interesting, as might wog boy if he’s around. Yolita posted a longer message at with them, but anyhow, nole has played a lot versus the top 10 in the last few year and he’s done quite well too. have a look:

Matches against top-10 opponents:

Novak 113
Roger 80
Rafa 79
Andy 62

Top-10 wins:

Novak 88
Rafa 57
Roger 47
Andy 29

Win-loss percentage against top 10 opponents

Novak 88-25 77.87%
Rafa 57-22 72.15%
Roger 47-33 58.75%
Andy 29-33 46.77%

Brando Says:


Thanks for that but there is zero need to defend’s Michael’s credibility. To whom?

A bunch of butthurt fanatics who wish to ensue in a delusion and one supporting troll playing judge, jury! LMAO: hell no!

The reality of the matter is clear to all those with intelligence- and among them is Mr Novak Djokovic, the individual in question himself. Nothing being said is disrespectful to him by Michael, I or likeminded folks since the man himself has- with courage his fanatics do not know a thing about- has admitted to the problems himself.

This matter is crystal clear:

– Claim on hand:

Novak Djokovic is mentally frail on the big stage of Grand Slams in the crunch, title deciding matches. Period.

– The facts of his performances:

Since May 2012, since turning 25 in the prime, peak age slot of 25-28 he’s:

2/11 Grand Slams won.

That’s 1 win every 5.5 Slams!

A win % of a meager 19%!

He’s 2-5 in Grand Slam finals- which if you add the widely accepted de facto final in the SF of FO 13′ v Nadal (netgate) he goes down to:


1/4 in the big, title deciding matches!

Andy Murray has won the same amount of Grand Slams during this time period!

The 30 plus Roger Federer, one Slam wonders (so far) Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic have won 50% of his Slam win total!

Rafael Nadal- out injured for over 12 months, a third of this time- doubles that total with 4 Grand Slams in this time!

Those are clear, undeniable, set in stone facts about Novak Djokovic on the Grand Slam stage, in the crucial title deciding matches.

Beyond that is drivel like excuses made by some loose change fanatics of his. He really deserves better than those bubble living fanatics.

– The man himself:

I could not give a rat’s **** what his fans think. Don’t know them, nor do I care for fanatics either. This is about Novak- what does he have to say about this publicly (aside from what you have quoted):

Headline: Novak Djokovic aims to master mental demons mental demons

Some excerpt’s:

Djokovic admits his task is complicated by mental lapses after winning only one of his past six grand slam finals

Novak himself:

”I should have won a few matches that I lost in finals of grand slams in last couple years,” he said after downing Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in a roller-coaster semi-final.

“But it’s an experience, it’s a learning process.
“It’s understanding, identifying where the problem is, pushing for it, working on it.
“It’s mental in the end of the day. You have to be able to be on the top of your game, mentally fresh and motivated, calm and composed.

“I (have) identified the problem. I know what’s going on. Sometimes it just happens. It happens not just because you play a bad game but sometimes your opponent plays well.”

He states clearly there:

1. It’s a problem he’s identified.
2. That it’s mental.
3. That he feels he should have won some big Grand Slam matches, but his mental frailty has hindered him

That’s only one article. There are a plethora of others of a similar nature and plenty prior to the wimbledon final and post it in which he speaks bravely about this issue.

It’s a matter he’s acknowledged publicly has an issue which really is not hard to do for others since it’s clear as daylight (except for certain deluded fans living in a bubble) but bravely Novak has admitted to being an issue.

He even stated publicly he hired Boris Becker to help sort his mentality out in the key Grand Slam moments.

IF mental frailty was not an issue- would he factor that as a reason? Of course not! He’s wise: he knows he has issues mentally and he’s seeked to address it. I respect him for that.

Bottom Line:

The statement claimed is simple. Backed up by clear, decisive facts. Acknowledged by Novak Djokovic publicly himself.

Reasonable people like Michael can only agree on such a topic since the reality of the matter is blatantly apparent and crystal clear.

The truth of this matter sides with him.

So he’s got nothing to prove to bunch of bubble living, deluded fans who claim he’s dominating the tour.

The only thing he’s dominating is their mind:

Not the tour when you win only 2/11 on the big stage in our sport where the true greats showcase their talent on the absolute biggest stage that matters ultimately in the end: Grand Slams Tennis. And that too during prime age between 25-28!

Novak recognizes this and that’s enough for the likes of Michael and myself: not what some bubble living, deluded fanatics have to say.


Okiegal Says:

@Brando……There seemed to be some doubt of a poster or two about Michael using the phrase of being “terribly worried”. I really couldn’t remember for sure. Mat4 would have appreciated a link. I just wanted to see for myself……and from what I took from it, Novak wasn’t terribly concerned……just a little bit……When there are stands people take on certain issues, I will usually try to dig it out for myself and not take just anyone’s word for it….that’s how I roll. As Rafa fans, we went through the mental angst when Rafa couldn’t seem to beat Novak. Rafa admitted it, just like Novak did. Fed sometimes seems to be beat before he hits the court when about to face Rafa. This happens to all great athletes at some point in their careers. You’ve seen excellent baseball hitters have a slump. After all, they’re only human…..can’t be “perfect” all of the time, no??

Okiegal Says:

Meant to add to my comment above @4:08……said all that to say this: I believe there is such a thing as a “mental slump”……….My 2 cents.

Giles Says:

What the hell is going on here of late with all these boring stats being posted almost every day of late? What exactly is the poster trying to prove? Is anybody interested in stats? All these stats are posted by the same joker fan!

Brando Says:

– Re 3.34 post:

Stand by all of it, every point, except 2 parts:

Labeling posters deluded for certain thinking- no matter how disagreeable- and butt hurt. Not my finest moment, I erred using those terms. I apologize to those who took offence at those 2 parts unreservedly- hopefully they were none!

It was in reference to thinking a player dominates a time when he’s only 2/11 in Grand Slams wins during that time.

A shocking stat that is a fact regarding the supposedly dominant player-according to some- on the biggest of all stages in our sport.

It does not need stating:

It’s ridiculous to say a player is dominating a time period when all they can muster is a meager 19% of the trophies that matter the most on offer during the supposedly dominant time period:

Grand Slam.

Preposterous even to claim as such, since the great players- always- dominate on the big stage. You take care of the big stage: yeah, such a term is warranted.

But if you fail continuously then sorry but such a term is not warranted at all, regardless of how many Master Series or walkover WTF’s you rack up!

Any legend of the past or present- heck even Novak himself- would point out that if you cannot handle the business during a time period on the highest level- Grand Slams- then using such terms is laughable for any player.

It’s on the WTA, NOT ATP where best of 3 sets get rated the highest!

Hence the deluded comment. So even though it may be warranted to an extent:

I retract it and apologize for it.

Beyond that:

I have had my fill on this topic, said what I had to say and cleared what i felt needed clarifying. I care not no more for what others may post following this post on this matter.

It’s done for me, especially knowing that all I have said is something that Novak himself admits to and reality presents evidence of validity to my statement.

That’s more than enough for me.

The End!

Brando Says:


Great post and completely correct.

Novak spanked Rafael 0-7. That’s a bad look!

But Rafa held up his hand and said hey, he was the better during that time.

Ditto his fans: sure it was bad to view, but a fact of his career. He was a clear 2nd best at that time v a superior player.

Nothing to cry about or feel ashamed of, just a easy fact of his career.

If anything:

In retrospect I know see it as a blessing in disguise since Novak forced Rafael to improve his game in a manner- to the pleasure of his fans like I- he may not have done so otherwise. He made Rafa improve and that’s a very welcome thing.

So yeah in this regard:

The facts are there, Novak admits to the problem but some seem too proud to admit to it. I don’t know why but I know I care not for the answer to be honest.

Good chatting to you Okie as always!

Brando Says:



Maybe a Nadal fan should start posting stats to level the balance no?

To show off his records, which last I heard actually not all that bad no? :-)

Or maybe we are quite secure, with a good self esteem about our favourite and know fully well his record does not need advertising:

As it’s so phenomenal-especially on the big stage- the the Tennis community is long since aware of it!

Some players have a magnificent reputation, level of respect that their record needs no advertising or showing off: it’s comfortably ingrained in the conscious of a fan of the game.

Rafa is one of them. Ditto Fed. Maybe not others per chance.

Okiegal Says:

@Brando……Thanks and likewise!!
Yeah, we Rafa fans have had some tough times, but we are resilient just like our fav!! The months that he’s had to be out of the game due to injuries has been a real downer. Hopefully things will be better for him in 2015!! I’m remembering 2013!! VAMOS!!

Michael Says:

Thanks Okiegal @ 1.32 pm !!

It is my response to Skeezer @12.16 PM as to what I based my premise on Novak being extremely worried. That is in his Wimbledon presser after he won the trophy. May be the word usage from my end was a bit exaggerated, but it can be clearly inferred to a casual onlooker that Novak was feeling discomfited from his earlier losses.

You cannot always validate your opinion with links. It depends on perception and what you perceive it to be. We are not discussing records here to quote facts and figures but about the mindset of Novak and it was rather obvious that he was feeling a great deal of discomfort after his poor conversion record in grand slam finals.

You have all the right to hold an opinion and you are entitled to it. If the other forum member disagrees, he can put that in writing as to where he differs with his own set of counter arguments to impress the other users rather than get agitated for no rhyme or reason . It is difficult to be a statistician always quoting facts as it would be rather boring and disinterest the forum users. There are always objective as well as subjective arguments and the one differs from another.

Michael Says:

Brando @ 3.34 PM,

You have hit the nail on the hand !! Cannot be put in a better way.

Michael Says:

Brando @ 3.34 PM,

You have hit the nail on the head !! Cannot be put in a better way.

Okiegal Says:

@Michael…….U R welcome! I read the whole interview and I agree he was concerned about his past performances in slam finals…..mainly, because he said he so.

Okiegal Says:

^^^ correction…..mainly because he said so…..

Michael Says:

Okiegal, thanks again. There are many things which a player will not say on record to preserve their supremacy, but deep inside they know the problem on hand. For instance can Roger Say on record that he is afraid to play Rafa ? That will kill his credibility and reputation. But deep inside from their we know of Roger’s discomfort when he faces Rafa. So something are best left unsaid. At least Novak was honest as he is usually is in admitting the problem and I praise him for it. But still he might not have said I a forthright way.

Michael Says:

I just left ‘from their head to head

Michael Says:

I typed in this I-pad and there seems to be lot of spelling mistakes and so I wish to reproduce it with corrections.

Okiegal, thanks again. There are many things which a player will not say on record to preserve their supremacy, but deep inside they know the real problem on hand. For instance can Roger say on record that he is afraid to play Rafa ? That will undermine his credibility and reputation. But deep inside from their lop sided H2H record, we know of Roger’s discomfort when he faces Rafa and hiding it would be futile. So something are best left unsaid. At least Novak was honest as he usually is in admitting the problem and I praise him for it. But still he might not have said it in a forthright manner leaving room for interpretations. But what cannot be ignored is his poor conversion record in grand slam finals of late and that has a real bearing on his way forward.

Okiegal Says:

@Michael…..I have same problem with spelling on my Kindle too……but I think for the most part TX ers
know what you are trying to convey.

Michael Says:
Q. Given everything you said about the mental side of it and how the match went today, is this the Grand Slam title you’re most proud of?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, yes, definitely. Very special. Most special Grand Slam final I’ve played. At the time of my career for this Grand Slam trophy to arrive is crucial, especially, as I said, after losing several Grand Slam finals in a row. Started doubting of course a little bit. I needed this win a lot.
I’m going to try to use it in the best possible way and for my confidence to grow for the rest of my season and the rest of my career.

This nails it !!

Michael Says:

I hope Skeezer and those who disagree even questioning my credibility, will agree based on the proof that is provided above.

Novak has said so in clear terms and how this win matters to him. It should put everything to rest. If the word I used “terribly worried” annoys some posters, I wish to take it back.

skeezer Says:

“He infact was terribly worried before that Wimbledon finals and there was too much pressure on him.”
That, in fact , does not “nail it”. You never backed that opinion up. It was an assumption of your interpretation of what you read, not his “words”.
You types take stuff and twist it to no end with paragraghs of endless crap that try to turn into a real thing, like that is what the player said or is.
If you want to state an opinion, fine. But don’t try to make a statement or fact about a player unless you have the full facts and links to back it up.
Too much of that going on lately with you and your buddy.
Appreciate you want to “take it back”.

Michael Says:

There is no need to back that opinion because of Novak’s poor conversion record in grand slam finals which is obvious to say the least that he was really worried and a loss at Wimbledon would have catastrophic consequences as far as his career is concerned because he already has lost too many a la Lendl situation to be in. Brando himself had reeled out all the statistics for everyone to see and so there is no need for me to quote it once again. So, it is not an assumption but based on the track record which is all clear and evident for all to see and to be missed only if you close your eyes to past history and cloud your mind with bias and prejudice.

What is crap in what I have said and I have only stated what is obvious where Novak too has been quite explicit in how much this win means to him after losing so many finals in a row and that is really not a nice position to be in. He has been quite candid in what he really means and how this win matters to him. In interviews, you should also have the art to read between the lines. So, you are just hiding behind expletives to lend credibility to your accusations without any basis and merely outpouring your frustration and making an issue about nothing. Nobody is undermining Novak here or his achievements. It is there for everyone to see. What we are offering here is only constructive criticism and not belittling any player as such. I respect all players and their contribution to the sport although I have my favourites too.

The full facts are already there in the form of Novak’s poor conversion record in grand slam finals of late and what is there more to substantiate it ? I just fail to read what you really trying to say ? May be your bad mood has picked me up as a target. But never mind if that pacifies you.

Michael Says:

By the way, I have only taken back the word “Terribly worried” to be replaced by “extremely worried”.

Michael Says:

It is rather clear for everyone to see like the bright Sun taking out the excerpts from his interview itself. If a Cat closes its eyes and imagines that the world is dark, it doesn’t mean the world is dark. There is light for everyone to see and it is crystal clear.

“At the time of my career for this Grand Slam trophy to arrive is crucial, especially, as I said, after losing several Grand Slam finals in a row. Started doubting of course a little bit. I needed this win a lot

He starts by saying that the trophy is crucial and then descends to doubting a little bit but finishes it by saying that he needed this win a lot which evidentally proves that he was in a desperate situation. It is empirical and not even anectodal when Novak himself has spoken in so clear terms. And here you have posters who pretend to be his ardent fans under the premise of protecting his legacy picks up a quarrel on something that is obvious thereby casting aspersions on our opinion and conclusions.

Wog Boy Says:

“He starts by saying that the trophy is crucial and then descends to doubting a little bit but finishes it by saying that he needed this win a lot which evidentally proves that he was in a desperate situation. ”

From bad to worst, now, not that you know that Nole was “terribly worried” you also know that he was in “desperate situation”, you can twist and turn his words any way you like and claim that you know excatly how Nole was feeling at the time, like you are the “Mentalist”, but you are not, Nole wasn’t “desperate” and wasn’t “terribly worried”, (he never said that not looked like that), that is how you and your he/she friend are seing and presenting the things and that is your right but doesn’t make you right.

Michael Says:

Terribly worried was used in the context of Novak’s poor conversion of grand slam finals to wins. I didn’t say anywhere that Novak himself said that he was terribly worried. What he stated in his interview was rather obvious to a casual onlooker where he himself states that after losing many grand slam finals in a row which itself automatically implies a desperate situation to be in. I didn’t try to twist or twirl what Novak said. I only read between the lines and conflated this with his track record in grand slam finals of late.

Ofcourse nowhere I said that Novak exactly stated those words. Those words were my usage to describe Novak’s situation after losing many grand slam finals in a row. Adding weight to this proposition is his own interview after the Wimbledon finals where he too endorses that view but in a polished way.

Michael Says:

It is not a question of making one right or wrong. You can only dismiss history at your peril.

brando Says:

@michael and okiegal: thanks a bunch.

brando Says:

Guys: whichever side of the debate on this topic I think we all agree Novak Djokovic is a great tennis player. There’s no debate on that front. Maybe he has or had experienced some issues in this regard, or maybe not at all. We all know every player-as in life- has their issues in certain regards. Federer has his, even Nadal. It’s no big deal ultimately: part of being a professional and human: having to deal with issues, problems. Everyone’s got one or another. So I say regardless of what you think on this topic let’s just: agree to disagree and move on. We’ve all had our say and there is no real need to extend this topic as nothing new can be added to it and it’s surely run its course. It’s too early in the new year for a gold old fashion scrap on tennis x to exist, so let the goodwill reign once again and both sides agree to move o. Common ground: Novak Djokovic is a all time great and his contributions are appreciated, especially for us fans to see what he brings along with the other great players we enjoy in this era. Let’s end on that good sentiment we all see as true ultimately. Peace.

brando Says:

Damn is auto correct one annoying thing: apologies for the spelling errors, word omission. I am sure folks get the point though: this topic has run its course, great passionate, invested debate from both sides with each making their case the best they could: that’s a great discourse. It’s good to see strong views on either side being displayed- shows folks have their own reading of the game no matter how agreeable or disagreeable. That’s gold to see on a blogging forum, a strong indication of diversity of views which is what you want: different people giving their own take on matters. That’s great see, was on display in this topic, fun to engage in but certainly time to move on seeing as its run its natural course. Peace.

Michael Says:


I totally endorse yr opinion. Why this acrimony over a non issue ? By winning Wimbledon, Novak has displayed his fighting qualities and shown us the mettle he is made of. He is the Champion and the present No.1 and he has earned it through his tireless efforts. He may be lucky. But luck mostly favours the brave. I have always high regards for the achievements of Novak and for any other player regardless of their ranking. I know how tough and competitive Tennis and I hv experienced it in my life.

Okiegal Says:

@Brando……ur welcome and ur right, enough on the subject…..moving on….

Wog Boy Says:

Let me see, in the last 24 hours there are 45 posts between Michael, Okie and Brando on this thread, one from jane, Margot, giles and a couple from me and skeezer and they (Michael, Okie and Brando) are saying it’s time to move on!! I will be free to borrow the line of one of them…LMAO!
I hope they realise they were talking to each other and were patting each other on the back.
No hard feelings, peace brothers and sisters:)

Wog Boy Says:

^^ let us move on:)

skeezer Says:

^Yes…..Let it Go….Let it Go

Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer…, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow….lol

Okiegal Says:

@Wog boy……Wow, what I didn’t realize is that there’s someone out there keeping score on how many posts a person is making……excuse me for breathing! I will monitor myself in the future and try to keep my back patting to a minimum…..whatever it takes to not offend one another. Peace back at cha’, bro from a sista!! Yeah, no hard feelings on this end either!

Okiegal Says:

@Wog boy…..There really is no hard feelings towards anyone on the forum. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now. I’m bidding TX adieu. It’s been real and its been fun but sometimes it’s not been “real fun”. I feel like I’ve made a few friends and made a few enemies. I don’t feel good about myself if I say something that is offensive to someone w/o meaning to. I believe being a Rafa fan is my main problem here……adios and one final VAMOS!!

Margot Says:

Oh dear, I shall be very sorry to see you go :( You need to develop a very thick skin to continually post on internet sites but in the end, “sticks and stones.”
I like tennisx because a) there are actually one or even possibly two, Andy fans on here ……;)
b)I enjoy “talking” to people who live thousands of miles from me. I still find it amazing I can BTW…;)
c) From time to time ……very knowledgeable people post on here and I actually learn something…;)
Surely there are enough Rafa fans on here to make you re-consider?
All the best to you gal x

Okiegal Says:

@Thanks, Margot, you are so nice and you have some wonderful reasons for enjoying the forum. I too enjoy conversing with folks far from home. I don’t like being called out on how many posts I’ve made. I have never ever kept up with “numbers”. I was really shocked that it came from Wog boy. He made it sound like I was in a conspiracy with two other posters. I just found the interview in question and posted it. I guess I’m not thick skinned enough to deal with the repercussions from a post that another person might have an issue with. It took me a long time to even comment on TX w/o being moderated……I’m now being moderated by a fellow poster by counting my comments in a 24 hr period. I just don’t get it.

I felt it was the proper thing for me to answer your kind post. I will continue to read TX because there are some very knowledgeable tennis minds on here and I’ve learned a lot too. Best regards Miss Margot!!

Michael Says:


It is painful to note that you are parting this forum with hard feelings and has signed off with a huff although you want us to believe otherwise. It is very clear and evident from the way you responded to Wog Boy. For me, it appears to be a rash and ill advised decision not well thought out, which I want you to ponder over and reconsider. I am sure you will take my request in the right spirit and will give us good news soon.

That said, you were one of the Posters I was very comfortable chatting with and we exchanged between ourselves many useful information about Tennis in general and I have never found you lose your patience, temper or indulge in a slanging match with posters injecting crude adhominems. You were always cool as a cucumber. As Margot has responded rather rightly that you need to develop thick skin to stay put in forums where you cannot expect everyone to exercise commendable behaviour or have the patience to hear opposite views. That is natural human tendency which adores blindfully what they believe in and just refuse to come out of shell and will always like to be a frog in the well.

Michael Says:

I do not know for sure whether Novak was terribly worried, but using those words here has made everyone here terribly worried !!

Hippy Chick Says:

To highlight Okiegal,i too have called it a day at least for a while,the joy of blogging has long gone for me,i would prefer to just enjoy my tennis from afar,and just enjoy seeing how things unfold,will still continue with Kimberlys bracket challenge….

Michael Says:


Nice to see you back after a while. The forum deeply missed your presence.

But my joy is short lived as I see you speak the language of Okiegal in a despondent and dejected fashion. I am aware of the tribulations you underwent here many a time wherein you have expressed it in no uncertain terms as to why you were not happy with the harsh treatment meted out to you. It is really unfortunate that this forum is witnessing attrition and we are losing dedicated patronizers in frequency and certainly doesn’t bode well to enhance its image or reputation. Like Okiegal, I can only hope that you too will reconsider and the one silver lining I can see is that you have given some lee way for your come back later which I hope it is soonner. It was nice and pleasant chatting with you wherein you were always encouraging and appreciative of my posts. I will miss you much.

Okiegal Says:

@Michael …….Just now read your post…..I’m not too “huffy”……just a little bit down trodden. I think it best fir me to keep my thoughts to myself

Okiegal Says:

^^^ Should say……I THINK IT BEST FOR ME…..Want to make it clear I know it’s for and not fir…..LOL

But I do thank you for your concern and your nice words stating that you would like for me to continue engaging myself on this forum……appreciate it! I suppose Hippy Chick and myself have had enough for awhile. I’m on hiatus for now but will continue to read and enjoy some good tennis conversation and might interject a thought occasionally. Thanks again Michael, you are a very nice person…..and I am intending to apply some back slapping with this statement!! Lol Have a great evening or morning or whatever the case may be!! Okie

Michael Says:


You have made a decision and I respect it. But what is encouraging is that you have not given up this forum totally and might interact occasionally with your useful thoughts. Waiting for those moments.

Thanks !!

Okiegal Says:

@Michael…..yeah…..I’m just dying to say something now, but my lips are sealed!!! Lol

Michael Says:


Never mind. I understand your delicate situation. Please be in touch whenever you find the inclination.

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