Novak Djokovic: Conditions At The US Open Suit Me Better Than Cincinnati
by Tom Gainey | August 24th, 2015, 12:26 pm

After a fifth loss in the final, third to Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic just can’t win in Cincinnati where he says the courts don’t do him any favors.

“I think he’s more aggressive here than in any other tournament because the surface and conditions allow him to play very fast,” he said of Federer’s success, winning now seven times. “He generally copes well with the fast balls, fast game. He likes this rhythm. I don’t too much.

“The way I played this week, it’s great I managed to reach the finals.

Djokovic is now 0-5 in the Cincinnati final losing all 10 sets. It’s the only Masters events he hasn’t won.

“You can’t win all the time,” he said. “I won many matches this year. Of course it’s disappointing at this stage to reflect on the match. Could have done some things better, but I lost to a better player, no question about it. I have to deal with it. US Open is behind a corner, and I have to already turn the next page. Hopefully I can do well there.”

And in New York, he says, the court is more to his liking. Though he still has a few things to work out in his game before then.

“Played a couple good matches and couple not‑so‑good matches. Still not very happy with my form and with my game, but I have a week to work on it. Conditions in New York suit me a little bit better, so I look forward to it.”

Djokovic has lost just once Grand Slam match on the season, a loss to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final.

He also added that his elbow and stomach issues are gone, and that he is healthy for New York. But he enters with losses to both Federer and Andy Murray.

You Might Like:
Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Serena Today At Cincinnati Tennis Masters; Ferrer Upset
Federer Has His Revenge, Nadal Cruises; Djokovic v Isner Wednesday At Indan Wells
Novak Djokovic Dances It Up With Superfan At US Open [Video]
TMZ Reports Federer Named in Gambling Lawsuit
Andy Murray Is Now Out Of Cincinnati, Will Lose No. 1 Ranking; Hopes To Play US Open

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

45 Comments for Novak Djokovic: Conditions At The US Open Suit Me Better Than Cincinnati

elina Says:

He’s right, conditions there are marginally better for him, but far from ideal where he’s only managed a single title going 1-4 in finals.

Still has to deal with the combination of fast hard court, wind, humidity. It was the hot, humid day that got him last year against Nishikori.

The heat and humidity was a big factor in losing to Nadal at the French in 2014 also.

sienna Says:

everything to talk yourself up.
this victory of Federer is one to carry momentum. This was a decisive blow and Djoker takes an eight count.

Roger got into his head and this talking about courts is proof.

jane Says:

i actually don’t care that much about cincy – no other player, not fed nor nadal – have won all the masters. how many miami finals has rafa lost? a few? fed’s lost a few monte carlo and rome finals too. they all have courts and conditions that suit them better. all things considered, like novak said it was amazing he even made the final! hopefully he finds better form before the us open. i don’t actually see him as the top favourite based on his recent form.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Jane i see what you mean,but just think what a fantastic achievement it would be as the only player to do it,it wasnt to be this time,but im sure he will still get his chances,whether he gets it who knows?but im sure he would prefer a FO instead,id love Rafa to win the WTF,but i guess some things aint meant to be,as you say the courts and surfaces suit some players better than others….

jane Says:

yes, gypsy, we’d like for them to fill all the gaps in their resumes, but really it’s a lot to expect. they all have holes: fed, pete, borg, j-mac, lendl, etc… it’s okay and as long as they’re healthy and playing i guess we can be thankful for that.

chris ford1 Says:

Strange. For the last few years, Djokovic has been awesome in the 1st 7 months, then has this 2nd N American hardcourt “dip” that is lower than some people’s expectations. Then he feels better or wakes up or something hitting China events…and is awesome again. And he continues that until the end of the season.

Charlie Says:

The conditions might be better but certainly not by much. And while I like his confidence, his track record says otherwise.

jane Says:

cf1, i’ve noticed that too. people have offered various theories for that dip. for example,
2013 – let down from FO and wimbledon losses; in both cases close but no cigar.
2014 – let down after finally winning another slam, getting married, and taking back #1 from rafa.
2015 – ?? too much tennis? to me, he shouldn’t’ve jumped straight from holidays into BOTH singles and doubles at canada. he ended up going deep in both, reaching semis in dubs and finals in singles, and he aggravated what my commie’s called tennis elbow, as a result. i really think the cincy run was indicative of that “jumping straight into the fire”. he shouldn’t have played doubles in canada, imo. he was lucky to reach the finals at both of these masters.

but as opposed to looking at each case individually, couldnt we say that in the last few year’s – since 2012? but esp 2013 – novak and his team have put all their energy into the early season, winning AO, IW/Miami, at least one clay masters, trying for an FO and winning 2 of the last wimbledons and reaching finals in 2013.

so by the n.american hard courts, he’s having a letdown. be it physical, emotional or both.

and imagine. after winning wimbledon he spends all that time with his wife and new baby…it can’t be easy to leave them.

people say it’s conditions, but i think it’s more to do with the team’s focus on the first half of the year.

as for why he does well after the us open — he ALWAYS has! he won his first WTF in 2008, in 2009 he had a bad season but then did well at the end of it. that’s always a good time of year for nole. he has a ton of fans in asia and i think it lifts him and boosts his spirits.

so we could look at the individual years for explanations of the letdown, and/or we could look at it as a more collective case.

sienna Says:

fact is that of all recent year losses against Federer none of them came so decisive as cincin 2015.
This was the big gamechanger. This has momentum that carries a lot of ground definitely through the US open.
Roger has taken a big slice of dumping another generation. Nadal gone/Murray tucked away/ Djokovic has hold the ford but he already knows he hangs in the rope and just got dropped with a jawbreaker.

Yolita Says:

Given the way Novak played all week, I am content with him having made the final. He has more lives than a cat.

Of course it would have been amazing if he had managed to win it and complete the Masters Series set, but it was not to be… There is a reason why nobody has ever achieved it.

Federer played sublime tennis from the beginning to the end of the tournament. It was him, and then everybody else. If there ever was a clear deserved winner, it was Roger at thie tournament.

Positives for us Nole fans: he managed to win 9 games, more than in the other 2 finals he lost to Roger, where he won 6 and 6.

Well done, Novak. On to the USO.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

The positive for Nole fans is that he is making the finals of EVERY big tournament and winning most of them. No player has ever won every match in a season. He’s there in the finals every single week, its amazing. I have utmost respect for Rafa but I don’t know that he ever had as long hot streaks as Novak has been managing. To me, this is similar to some of Fed’s glory years: going twelve months or more being in put-near every final. Every single week.

jane Says:

hey tennisvagabond, thanks for the nice words. and you’re right; we have so little to complain about. hope you enjoyed fed’s win.

skeezer Says:

The conditions are better for Nole @USO no doubt. Not nearly as fast as Cincy, it allows him to have more back court time to get the wide angles needed to control points, what he is best at.
Fed fans have a fools hope of him playing better than he did at Cincy, he needs/thrives nowadays on a speedy court.
Nole is the fav here no doubt!

Michael Says:

The most important thing is not the way you celebrate your victory but the way you take your defeat. I think Novak cannot be more candid enough to say that he lost to a much better player. Roger is explosive on these fast hard courts and indoor courts where he is a different player altogether. It is vey tough to win against him especially when he is firing all cylinders. And at 34, he is still going strong and who knows he might defend Cincinnati successfully even next year.

However at the US Open, the equation changes in Novak’s favour where the courts are not as quick as in Cincinnati and here Roger may not be upto the task at his advanced age. Here his main threat may come from Andy most probably. Roger was once a force to reckon with here at flushing meadows but now that sheen of invincibility has gone and he is yet to win this tournament since 2009 when he lost to Del Potro in the finals.So, it will be extremely difficult for him to replicate the success he had at Cincinnati with a different playing surface, conditions, five setters and not so much confidence.

So, Novak will start as the likely favourite at the US Open followed by Andy. Roger will be the third favourite and Rafa will be the likely dark horse !!

Michael Says:

Novak need not be disheartened. He is still enjoying a spectacular year with two majors and four master series tournaments under his belt. He has made the finals both at Montreal as well as Cincinnati despite not playing anywhere near his best and so these are the things he can take inspiration from and be in the best shape for the US Open !!

Okiegal Says:

I wouldn’t expect Novak to be too down in the dumps….his ranking points over 14,000, I think?? That tells the tale. He can’t win everything……a glitch here or there is normal. So he lost Cincy, big deal! He’ll get it together and probably win the USO….He’s my pick!

dapris Says:

The only guarantee is djokovic will play us open final.

sienna Says:

No Novak did not embrace defeat in final as lesson learned.
I dont know where you guys get that from.
He and Murray down play their defeiths.
Courts and resting time is on offer.

I dont care what they say in their winner/runner up speech. Novak will bring in the hardship of the serbs in another hardship speech er.
The day after when they had time to think and speak it tgrough is how they truly feel. Of course they move on but they actually consider Rogers performance a freak occurance.
Well great let them think it is but this is Rogers level and it is there to stay.

Meaning Murray tucked away deep under the cush even in 5SETand upperhand in Novak encounter on NA hardcourts.

sienna Says:

First set turned into breaker but in 3 service games Fed got chances and he got to 30 a few times more. it was considered a big win by Federer with considerable margin.
they are downlaying the match because there is no time for countermeassures.

okidoki Says:

I guess, as described by someone above, he suffers from the heat and wind. The wind has an impact on his game of flat balls. And the heat has an impact on his physical condition. He really doesn’t cope well with a hot court.
I wouldn’t be able to make 20 minutes on a court hotter than 30 degrees in the sun

roy Says:

5 sets is a different game against someone like novak. you typically can’t play like fed, goffin or dolgo did against him at cinci (high risk aggression) and keep hitting the lines for that long. even goffin and dolgo starting going off before the third set was up.

and when the balls stop lasering through and nudging the lines, there’s not a lot you can do to hurt djokovic.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Dapris everybody thought that last year,but it didnt happen,there are no guarantees in this life….

elina Says:

Well roy let’s be honest. He did it for two straight sets against Novak in Cincy and the second set was even more impressive than the first.

Out of the Top 3, I’ll be pulling for Roger (once Gulbis and Gael are gone which shouldn’t take that long).

sienna Says:

Novak winning 1/3 tournee since Garros.
Roger wimning 2/3
Murphy wimning 2/5 I believe

Roger set 1 in finale he had SP didnt he. That did him in.
next time confidence and momentum are on his site.

jatt Says:

Novak is my no 1 contender for US open, followed by Andy and then Roger. Reason, not so fast court as cinci, conditions completely different. Arthur Ashe , a lot of wind in that court particularly night time and when things a little bit slow, there is no stopping Novak on that court.

Daniel Says:

Also this year will be hooter, even in night sessions. Forecast for above 30 C or around 90F for almost the whole tournament during day and above 20 C, 70F by night. In the past it used to have some cold nights but seems this summer is intense in US and Europe.

calmdownplease Says:

For the record he’s been stopped plenty on that court.
But he is my (slight) fav too
Followed by Andy
And then Stan or some `other`

calmdownplease Says:

Will be `hooter`?
hehe that’s cute!

Daniel Says:

Simple typo, instead of two quick tts it was tow quick oo’s;-)

elina Says:

jatt, he has been stopped every year on that court but one.

jane Says:

but jatt does have a point, in that since 2011, when novak won the us open, he’s made 2/3 finals, so it’s definitely not easy to stop him there.

in fact, since 2007, when he made his first slam final at the us open, novak has lost there only to the other big 3 (federer – 2007, 2008, 2009; nadal – 2010, 2013; and murray 2012), until he lost in the semis to kei last year, while definitely playing subpar, and with a much poorer lead up to the us open (he lost early in both canada and cincy last year).

this year, there is a little more hope with the consistency he has shown, though his elbow and possible mental fatigue are worrying for us fans.

by contrast, nadal, fed and andy have been stopped by other players outside the top 3, including delpo, cilic, warinka, berdych, and robredo. nadal missed both 2012 and 2014 opens so he’s not even faced the competition in those years.

this might be the year wherein novak faces a surprise upset, but i sure hope not.

although surprisingly novak has already defended all of his points from last year during canada, cincy and us open, so any points he makes at the us open are “extra” in a sense.

Giles Says:

Excuses to the fore already? What’s wrong with his “elbow”???

jalep Says:

Good points, jane. agree.

Watched Kei v Raonic 4th round, USO 2014 – well not non-stop watching, was doing other stuff at the same time, (it’s too long to watch the entire match) a 5 set physical battle that was draining for both. Milos won the 1st set and 3rd. Kei won the 2nd, 4th, 5th:

Both Kei and Raonic were exhausted afterwards. I remember thinking Kei would lose to Stan the Man and if not, certainly to Nole.

Simon took Cilic to 5 sets but by the time of the Semi with Federer, Cilic had the best recovery and won that 5 set match, plus went on to win pretty easily over a depleted Kei in the final. Cilic was unstoppable. Takes a lot out of these guys to win a GS or make the final. I remember how miserable Federer’s back was after US Open the fall of 2008.

Not sure how Nole will be this USO. The elbow, this time of year in NYC, after winning AO, a stellar spring, making the FO Final, winning Wimbledon – it’s supposed to be very hot and muggy, last time I checked. That could have changed, but point is, I don’t expect an early loss but not a title performance either.

jane Says:

giles, there’s a “classy” video for you on the other thread. perhaps go watch it and quit worrying about hating novak.

jane Says:

jalep i know. i feel the same about novak’s chances at the us open. he’s had a heck of a year already with only 5 losses from january to september; in terms of elite titles, he’s almost accomplished what nadal did in 2013: win 5 masters and 2 slams. novak is just 1 masters away from achieving that, and he hasn’t missed a slam or lost in round 1 yet, given that he reached the final of the only slam he lost. in short, he’s played a lot of high intensity tennis reaching all those finals and winning many of them. it’s understandable if he’s feeling physically or mentally spent by now. thus, i am being a realistic fan about the open. i don’t expect him to win it, but i hope he’ll reach at least the second week and match last year’s run.

who’s your pick for the win jalep? going with andy again?

jalep Says:

Yeah, I think so, Andy sounds good to me. Though maybe another surprise winner? Can’t think who, but didn’t have Cilic as more than a long shot last year. We’ll see.

jane Says:

the draw might open up some possible surprises. i always say this, but i am not counting out stan as a dark horse with a real chance.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Hi Jalep will you be doing a bracket challenge again,as unfortunatly it seems unlikely that Kimberly will do one at the moment?….

jalep Says:

Will if you’d like me to, Gypsy. Working 7pm – 7am wed,thur, fri but I can do it again on GTN when the draw comes out Thursday or do it Friday morning when I get home. No don’t think Kimberly is even reading here. let’s see: Hey Kimberly ….you hoooo are you out there? :D

elina Says:

I pick Roger (surprise surprise).

BTW, first time I’ve picked him to win the US Open since 2009 when Nadal had an abdominal tear and wasn’t a threat.

It was a good pick but unfortunately Roger didn’t deliver.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

CDP, I’m curious: why would Andy be a pick above Roger?

Roger made the finals of the most recent Slam. Roger is #2 in the world. Both have just beaten Novak, but Roger is 5-straight over Andy, and 5-5 with Novak the last two years- 5-6 if you count the WTF walkover.

Andy is #3, on that major losing streak to Fed, and is 1-8 vs Novak in the last two years. How can he rationally be picked ahead of Fed?

This always surprises me: no matter what Fed does, or how long he keeps it up, everyone expects Andy to do better at the NEXT tournament.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Jalep yeah id like you to thanks,in between your busy workloads,i know what thats like,as im doing a nightshift tonight,i wont be posting for a while after the weekend, as ill be away for the Autumn equinox,so ill miss some of the USO….

Giles Says:
@jane. This ones especially for you just in case you haven’t seen it yet! Enjoy! 😜

Top story: Thiem, Rublev Advance To Vienna QF Showdown; Dimitrov Ousts Tsitsipas