Something strange happened on Sunday evening in Indian Wells.
It was world No. 1 Novak Djokovic beating the living shizznat out of everyone who stood before him.
On Sunday it was No. 12-ranked Milos Raonic, with Djokovic bludgeoning the Canadian 6-2, 6-0.
After the blood was wiped off from the court, the two players spoke to the crowd, before Raonic retired to the locker room and cried into a towel. Probably. Or he should have.
Raonic on court said he “looks forward to being back many times and being a better player each time…I don’t think [my adductor injury] affected my effort. I thought he played much better than I did…He’s the best returner, probably, of all time. Not only is he good when the ball is close to him, he’s even very good when it’s far away from him, making you play and neutralizing the point very well in that situation.”
It was the fifth Indian Wells title for the world No. 1 Serb.
“I am sorry that you were not at your best today, and I hope you heal yourself in time for Miami,” Djokovic said of Raonic in the on-court ceremony, also boosting Indian Well’s campaign to separate itself from the other Masters-level tournaments. “I truly believe that this tournament deserves to be a level higher than it is now. Between 1000 [-level] and Grand Slam there is nothing, but we could create something for Indian Wells.”
That stats — Djokovic is 46-6 at Indian Wells, winning three in a row from 2014-16. This was his 62nd tour title, and third of the year after Doha and the Aussie Open. Raonic fell to 8-9 in finals.
Afterwards Djokovic got on Billie Jean King’s bad side by re-igniting the men vs. women shitstorm, insinuating that men deserve more prize money than women for bringing in more fans and more overall tennis revenue.
“I think that our men’s tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men’s tennis matches,” Djokovic said, in the era of Serena Williams, possibly the GOAT of the women’s game. “I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more. But, again, we can’t complain because we also have great prize money in men’s tennis is at the right moment in the right time.”
The comments were at the same day that Indian Wells CEO Ray Moore said the WTA should “get on their knees” and thank Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for lifting them up.
“In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA, because they ride on the coattails of the men,” said Moore after maybe a couple too many cocktails. “They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky. If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have. And now the mantle is being handed over to Djokovic and Murray and some others. You know, that’s good. We have no complaints. You know, we pay equal prize money. Do all those things. We don’t have any complaints.”
After maybe a few too many Bloody Marys, and someone possibly grabbing him and shaking him, Moore then ran for cover.
“At my morning breakfast with the media, I made comments about the WTA that were in extremely poor taste and erroneous,” he stated. “I am truly sorry for those remarks, and apologize to all the players and WTA as a whole. We had a women’s final today that reflects the strength of the players, especially Serena and Victoria, and the entire WTA. Again, I am truly sorry for my remarks.”
But Moore wasn’t done, insinuating hot players like Garbine Muguruza and Eugenie Bouchard could save the WTA tour.
“I think the WTA have a handful — not just one or two — but they have a handful of very attractive prospects that can assume the mantle. You know, Muguruza, Genie Bouchard. They have a lot of very attractive players. And the standard in ladies tennis has improved unbelievably.”
Uh oh. But in case you thought he not only put his two feet in his mouth but was grabbing other feet, he clarified that they weren’t just hot — but could also play tennis.
“They are physically attractive and competitively attractive,” he said. “They can assume the mantle of leadership once Serena decides to stop. I think they really have quite a few very, very attractive players.”
Serena Williams later confirmed she could read and speak English, and was offended.
“I speak very good English,” the world No. 1 said. “I’m sure he does, too. You know, there’s only one way to interpret that. Get on your knees, which is offensive enough, and thank a man, which is not — we, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point. Last year the women’s final at the US Open sold out well before the men. I’m sorry, did Roger play in that final or Rafa or any man play in that final that was sold out before the men’s final? I think not…You have to know of everything. I mean, you look at someone like Billie Jean King who opened so many doors for not only women’s players but women’s athletes in general…That is such a disservice to her and every female, not only a female athlete but every woman on this planet, that has ever tried to stand up for what they believed in and being proud to be a woman.”
So all in all, an INCREDIBLE Indian Wells final! Thanks for coming everyone, and watch for those Monday headlines, and people getting fired/stepping down.
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Aside from the pay for play & “beauty sells” imbroglio that flared following the Final, some info most already know.
1. Djokovic now has the record in number of IW wins (5). He was tied with Fed before this.
2. He and Rafa, of course, are tied with 27 Masters each. Which is phenomenal by both guys.
3. 9 years have passed since Novak Djokovc won his 1st Masters in Miami. 81 Masters 1000s played. None won by a player younger than Novak. (But it is sort of unfair for Andy with Nole getting all the ‘youngest ‘ credit when Andy is just a week older.) 8 years of being the youngest Slam winner but for Cilic and Delpo.
4. Djokovic once again lobbied to make Indian Wells 1st among equals as the gem every pro wants an invite to. He wants more points given there.
5. Good praise for Rafa and Milos in his wins.
and he had this to say about H2Hs on Friday:
Well, certainly it is pleasing to
know that I have managed to, for the first time in my career ever since I started playing professional tennis, that I’m leading in a head-to-head against Roger and Rafa.
I mean, that wasn’t the case for ten years, and I worked very hard in order to have that positive head-to-head.
It does matter. It does really matter, of course. To what extent, it really does depend.
You know, I try not to make a big deal out of it, but I understand that being on the north side of head-to-head, it does contribute to
my, I would say, preparations.
That passing of Rafa at Doha and Roger at the AO meant a lot. Likely went from a time believing it was impossible, to really unlikely he would ever exceed them in H2H. Then to distant chance, on to “I just might do it”, then “Yeah, I can do it!!”. And now, not rubbing it in their faces, but really important he can prep believing he is as good or better than the two.
March 21st, 2016 at 12:30 am