Injured, Rusty Djokovic Beats Nishikori for Rogers Cup Title; Rio Olympics Next
by Jeremy Davis | July 31st, 2016, 11:54 pm

Novak Djokovic — rusty, aggravated, injured — is far and away the best player in the world.
The world No. 1 showed poor footwork, a strange lack of balance, shrouded injury, and a lot of rust in his first tournament since Wimbledon. In the absence of world No. 2 Andy Murray and injured former No. 1s Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, he still ambled across the finish line, in the final defeating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-5 for the Rogers Cup title in Toronto on Sunday.

The challenger Nishikori’s record in Masters level finals? 0-3. Djokovic’s record? A record 30 titles.

Djokovic was not at his best, nor did he need be. ESPN reported a shoulder injury, which did not explain his suspect footwork throughout the tournament. Regardless, his relentless fitness wore down Gael Monfils in long rallies in the semifinals, and Nishikori never showed the belief to beat the world No. 1 in the final.

“My two best performances came in the semi-finals and the final,” said Djokovic. “It came at the right moment for me.

“It’s a process like any other that has happened many times in my career, where I would start a tournament still feeling a little bit uncomfortable on the court and searching for my rhythm, and then, as the tournament goes on, I find that proper comfort level with shots, with the way I feel, with my mental attitude.”

Nishikori fell to 11-8 in career finals and 1-3 this year, claiming the Memphis title.

“He raised his level a lot from a couple of days ago,” Nishikori said. “I was hitting some good first serves, but he was making returns deep. He was hitting great returns and I was missing easy ones.”

Nishikori has lost his last four Masters matches to Djokovic.

“I think I need more experience in these kind of matches, but this is a great week even though I lost to Novak,” Nishikori said. “It was the second time this year in the final of a Masters 1000. I think I’m getting closer and closer. I hope I can get a title as soon as possible.”

Djokovic attributed the performance to simple rust.

“As the tournament goes on, I find that proper comfort level with shots, with the way I feel, with mental attitude,” Djokovic said. “And the two best performances have arrived in semifinals and finals at the right moment for me.”

Djokovic extended his lead to 10-2 over Nishikori, earning his ninth straight victory in the rivalry. His 66th tour-level crown moves him closer to overtaking Rafael Nadal (69) for fifth on the Open Era titles list. He also improves to 18-1 on the year against Top 10 players and it’s now 18 straight wins for the Big 4 in Masters events.

Next Djokovic advances to the Rio Olympics with roughly the same parameters — mystery injury(s), mystery balance/footwork issues — but this time with world No. 2 Andy Murray (and maybe Nadal) thrown in the mix.

Off day, injured day — it seems gold is Djokovic’s for the taking in Rio.

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68 Comments for Injured, Rusty Djokovic Beats Nishikori for Rogers Cup Title; Rio Olympics Next

Yolita Says:

It seems to me that many pundits and fans are having a collective tantrum, judging by articles, posts in forums and Twitter. This piece is so unfair that it is funny. :p

The first line is so bitter: what a terrible time this is, with such a poor #1. And what can we do, but moan and cry? :D

Djokovic did not wear down Monfils with his fitness: he stopped missing, he stopped making mistakes… And as Monfils himself said:”When Novak Djokovic stops missing, it’s practically impossible to beat him”

And today, Djokovic was superb. Sunday Djokovic. Not the peak Djokovic that we saw destroy Nadal in the Doha final, Federer in the Australian Open SF or Murray in the AO F, but a very good Djokovic nonetheless. The final was a good match, with lots of very good points. Nishikori was outplayed by a great player playing good tennis. Let us not belittle Kei, who dismantled Wawrinka to get here and did not play worse today.

What a great preparation for Rio this was: Nole got rid of the rust, found his form, felt the love from fans and tournament directors, won a title, broke a few records, earned 1000 ranking points and 3/4 of a million dollars. Not bad for a week’s work.

On to Rio we go. :D

Anki Says:

This article is shit. Novak played very well in the final and in SF, he was good from the baseline. Give credit where it is due. Bitterness is off the charts

jane Says:

nice post yolita, and yes, all that, precisely!

Margot Says:

Well done Nole!

Wog Boy Says:

By winning this title Nole equals Roger with 47 major titles, Rafa is on 42.

Glad to see Viktor and Ziki staying with Nole and cheering him, they are all flying to Rio together.

Jane, one question for you, don’t Canadians have Canadian dollar, and why winning check was written in USD if so. At AO check is written in AUD? Just curios?

Just finish watching, it was good match, Nole outplayed Kei, his return and depth of GS were excellent (thank you Monfils), very smart play throughout the match, more room for improvement, second serve winning percentage still bit below his standards, but luckily didn’t give Kei to much chances to have a look at his second serve since first serve percentage was really high, in 70s.

jane Says:

yes, wog boy; we definitely have canadian dollars. :)
as for why the cheque was written in USD, i have no idea?

chrisford1 Says:

47 major titles. Tied. Though Roger and his fans can completely understandably argue that his 5 extra Slams and one extra YEC certainly beat having 6 extra Masters titles instead.

I’ve been following Novak since 2007. In 2009-10, tough years for Novak, I saw his stats compared the All Time Greats (Laver, Borg, Connors, Mac, Lendl, Sampras and Fed) as a chasm too big for him to vault – at the rate he was going. Against the excellence he faced from Fed, Rafa, and Andy in highly competitive times. Winning typically meant having to beat one of those in the semis, and then facing another in the Final.

But now, he has closed the gap to where the only question is what place he will occupy in the Top 5-6 players in the Open Era.

We don’t know how long Djokovic can keep it up, how strong a fight Rafa and Andy and whoever the latest beloved young gun du jour is – can give him. But if he can fight them off another 2 years…yeah, he will have the reverence Rod Laver is given.

As Andy Roddick intelligently posits…commenting now on how Novak’s career went is like trying to honestly comment on book you haven’t read the last 3rd of. Wait. Wait until the careers of all the Big 4 end. Only then can the final stats be argued.

And I am happy to wait another 5-6 years maybe even 7?? – until that happens!!

Wog Boy Says:


Nice post, I read RL interview after Nole’s lost in Wimbledon, and he was genuinely sorry saying something like “I wanted to do to him what Don Budge did to me when I won USO, shaking my hand after win and congratulating me for calendar GS.” Good and modest man from Rockhampton, success never changed him, the GOAT!

Giles Says:

I suppose it’s a question of “every dog has its day” eh Yolita? Lol. Talking about Rafa being ” destroyed” in the Doha final, a mere 500 event. Joker has had his fair share of thrashings by Rafa in the past.
Face it, joker has no competition ATM whatsoever so he’s lapping it up and milking it the best way he can until someone comes along to bring him to his knees. Hope it happens sooner rather than later. I see he’s still partial to the ” boob throwing” celebration, lol. Does he have any idea how ridiculous he looks? Stillll searching for love and attention. Poor joker!

Giles Says:

Oh, just went back to the article which says joker was injured. Lol. Are you kidding me? Where, what injury?

BBB Says:

Seemed like a very typical Djokovic match – wins the first set, goes up a break, loses serve, wins.

Old School Hitter Says:

Novak was also having lower back issues, maybe tightening. Seemed to affect him during 2 game slide that allowed KN to climb back into 2nd set. ND may have twisted his back on awkward volley at net near ref chair. He tried to disguise rubbing his lower back by adjusting waist band. Novak rose to the occassion, started the match at a very high level. His powers of concentration & detachment are emblamatic of the great one in any sport. Cincy & Flushing Toilet to finish another incredible year.

chrisford1 Says:

Wog Boy, the biggest question in tennis remains:

a question mark bracketed by 2 Grand Slams.

It is Laver, and the great unknowable IF, that was outside his control. A ban that was the price to pay for being among the Founders of the {ro Tour.
The 6 year ban of Laver’s prime. It has to be a part of any talk of the Greats. Too big a player to ignore in any discussion. 4 Slams won, 24 Slams missed. Back, 4 Slams won.

At the same time, Rod was a 5′ 7″ athlete of his times. Totally different culture, training, diet, and equipment as well. He faced less competition than players of even Mac’s day faced.

To me, the mathematical odds of attaining a Grand Slam are the same regardless of when in the year it starts for a special player…..but Rod, unsurprisingly since they are his centerpiece tennis accomplishments holds the Calendar Year Slam as the most special thing..the other Grand Slam streaks starting at some other event than the Australian a lesser feat.

Wog Boy Says:


“The GOAT” thing was more teasing, you know who for, I prefer to look at players the way how dominant they were in the era they played. Nole’s last two years are the most dominant two years in tennis history, Nole’s level of play in this period is highest level of play seen until now, Nole is the most complete player ever, even Daren Cahill said that Nole’s tennis is the best tennis ever. I am happy with that.
The reason I mentioned RL, is that I have huge respect for him as a human being, one that I don’t have some other great tennis player(s). RL, wasn’t just the most dominant player of his era, but modest person from small country town in Queensland that stayed true to himself, even with all accolades he was given.
I found this article that is very fitting for Rocket:

MMT Says:

“Wog Boy Says: By winning this title Nole equals Roger with 47 major titles, Rafa is on 42.”

Djokovic has 12 majors, Federer has 17, and Nadal has 14.

The masters series are a separate category altogether, in which Djokovic has a clear lead of 30 to 24 to 28 respectively.

Mixing them together is historically inaccurate.

Martin rivkin Says:

In the absence of world No. 2 Andy Murray and injured former No. 1s Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, he still ambled across the finish line, in the final defeating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-5 for the Rogers Cup title in Toronto on Sunday.
…….and even if fed, muzza and nads where there what would have happened….. joker sick wins again…there is no challenge to hom only his body or mind breaking down .. and thats the problem with mens tennis lack of challenge to joker sick…
get ready for total domination for rest of 2016 after very short break from the worse world number 1 i n tennis ever

Rhd Says:

🙀lol Roddick didn’t respect anyone who could win french open, outside of fedal. He tried to punch Novak for being a better human being & not being his stupid sycophant and “fake” Roddick apologist.
He hardly cares about Nadal but now he claims he “speaks to Novak” as if Novak forgave him for being “bored” by the talk of 2016 French Open contenders that didn’t include Fed.
Poor Rodd. Rodd pretends Novak cares about him when Rodd is irrelevant to the top 100 players now.

Wog Boy Says:

This is what legends said about Nole in 2011, can you imagine what are they thinking and saying now. Darren Cahill updated his opinion with blatantly saying that “Nole is best ever”, RL updated his that Nole has to be considered when discussing best ever and so on…:

BBB Says:

There’s an interesting article on the status of tournaments over the last 50 years.

Daniel Says:

Best ever dominance is subjective. To me 18 out of 19 Slams finals is the bexst ever domination period with two streack of 10 and 8 way abobe the rest and I think 12 Slams won 12 Slams in that period. This Federer record will never be even close to be broken.

No matter how many Masters Djoko wins, to me
slams aleays weight more and Fed and Nadal played a bunch of Masters in best of 5 finals which are w hile different thing. Hence the back to back Masters were so hard to get pre 2007 and after that we saw a bunch pf back to back wins.

Margot Says:

Daniel: Are you going to any of the Olympics events?

jane Says:

interesting indeed BBB and it’s why, to me, the g.o.a.t. debate is irresolvable. laver even adds, “if there is such a thing”. of course he considers novak an “equal” now too. well, the game evolves, the technology evolves, the tournaments evolve, the players evolve, etc.

MMT, i believe wog boy is probably referring to the ATP’s own “mixing up” or grouping of the “big” titles. one example is here:

BBB Says:

jane, you and I agree :)

MMT Says:

jane: thanks for the link – yes, in the (still brewing) battle between the ATP and the ITF over the soul of the game, it is in their interest to equate THEIR most coveted titles with THE most coveted titles in the game. I still think it’s inaccurate, and I doubt you’ll find no such comparison made by the ITF.

Coincidentally, it is in the comment exchanges of this very article, and similar ones on Bleacher Report (often articles of Andrew Prachnow – the author), that I really exercised my analysis of the GOAT debate. In it I included a couple of asterisks on Federer’s GOAT status, which haven’t come up on tennis-x, but I believe are applicable for 2 players only: Pancho Gonzales and Rod Laver.

Gonzales, in particular, has (in my opinion) been unjustly excluded from the GOAT debate, without much recourse, but I believe he is the only one of the “Barnstormers” ( who can legitimately make that case.

skeezer Says:

You know Fed is special when he is the only Tennis player in the history of Tennis to be compared to such tennis greats as Laver, Gonzalez, and to Emerson as well. No other player has been compared that way in todays modern game.

J-Kath Says:

Jane & Wogboy

Why did they pay in US Dollars?

There has been some reasonably large fluctuations between the two currencies. e.g from 2 July thru 1 Aug: Canadian $0.763699 to US$ 1.309416. Given that the US is the major world currency (sorri Jane) Toronto would have pre-set the amount to be paid out in US Dollars.

Khb Says:

I thought roddick said on twitter that he was bored by the French open?

This genius is also the propagandist for the humble Fed BS.

Poor Roddick not only imagines that he had a relationship with Novak, he believes Fed is so great that no one touches his holy shrine.
Fed is so humble & beautiful and part of the supposed argument over the best current player title.
Didn’t Fed say he dominated tennis for 5 months in 2012?
You know the elderly 30 year old fed era?!

Old fed – 2007-2008
Incredibly old fed – 2009-2011
Mummified & lucky to be playing – 2012-2013
Who? – 2014-2016

Travis Bickle Says:

I simply had to re-post this from an older thread, considering that writer of the quoted paragraphs keep saying he is not Federer fanboy… LOL…

“that poor Serbian boy who’s allergic to something that everyone’s heard of, but nobody really knows what it is”

Another interesting choice of words:

“But I wonder if he isn’t the stooge? After all the machinations and success, the clothes, the sense of humor, the talk shows, the dancing and the jokes…after all the jokes, for god’s sake? It just takes one Lucy shaped Swiss guy with a little talent and some high class friends, to pull that football away from his oncoming kick, sending him flailing in the air like a rag doll, and make it all for naught. In the end, in this tennis town (by which I mean planet Earth) there really isn’t enough room for anyone not named Roger Federer.”

Tennis – planet Earth – belongs to only one man (The Man, curtesy of skeezer) – no room for anyone else – hmmm, OK MMT if you say so…

Finally, this paragraph alone, in its blind fandom to Roger is worthy of something our own Madmax would write – description of the USO 2015 final:

“…the result only made more stark the contrast between good and evil, by the script of this running gag, that the game has been teasing us with for the last two years. No matter how desperately we want it to be so, nobody is beating Novak Djokovic in 2015 except maybe…well, Novak Djokovic.”

I presume ‘good’ in your quote above is Federer and ‘evil’ is … we all guessed it … Djokovic.

And this dude has a nerve to declare him as being an objective tennis writer and not at all Federer fan-boy… tsk, tsk, tsk…

skeezer Says:

And…..another fan post about Fed! Thanks TB!
“that poor Serbian boy who’s allergic to something that everyone’s heard of, but nobody really knows what it is”
I don’t see anything in your( pulled out of possible context ) sentences that stake a claim that MMT is a fed fan. You are trying to create justification that isn’t there. Is he talking about Fed or Novak?
You’re not just jealous are you?

jane Says:

“You know Fed is special when he is the only Tennis player in the history of Tennis to be compared to such tennis greats as Laver, Gonzalez, and to Emerson as well. No other player has been compared that way in todays modern game.”

but other players have been compared to these greats – i am sure players like sampras, etc, have been in the past, but we’d have to go back and look at old jouralism. even just this year. novak was often compared to laver because he was able to achieve the non-calendar grand slam, the closest anyone’s come to achieving what laver did in winning the calendar grand slam. i believe, too, he’s been compared to emerson at the AO.

jane Says:

wog boy, j-kath, a friend pointed out to me – and this makes perfect sense – that they’re probably paid in USD because the canadian masters is included in the us open series, and the player who wins that gets a million dollar bonus. so they probably want to keep the currency the same.

Daniel Says:


The place where the Olympics take place is vert very vert far away. It’s a pain to get there. Rock in Rio ised to ve in the vixinity and it was 1:30 2 hrs.

I live close to Lagoa and beag, will try one of those if the prices drips.

Mid weekend os also father’s dat and I will travel to may home town. Alteady rented my place in airbnb💶💶💶. And this weekend is preciselly what I wanted to watch, tennis, swimming and gimnastics finals.
Also there will be a lot of holidays in Rio on 5th and 18 to 22nd so I will be running away from ot all. I love sports and usually watch full Olympics but the problems we are facing here I am a bit fed up for the whole thing.

Maybe this weekend when it all starts it will sink in for me

Khb Says:

Hilarious. 1 fall on the grass, where Fed wagged his Handbag on, sent Fed crashing out of the ATP, but novak’s terrible breathing problem & wheat allergy disease were lies that genuine heroes such as the Roddickerer stooge duo could justifiably mock!

Novak’s #1 rank is based on beating the best multiSlam champs (no Roddick fluke in sight). Fed wishes he could brag about Roddick the unserious joke of tennis.

Nalbandian could’ve erased the ATP eyesore Roddick from tennis memory.
He still did what Roddick didn’t do. He beat Fed in a real 5 set match.
He’s far superior to Roddick, but he was unhealthy & choked in the 2003 US Open and 2006 french open.

jane Says:

BBB, the way i see it, while one can say there is a GOAT, ultimately it will be a subjective rather than an objective conclusion that is based on one’s own pre-determined set of criteria, or one’s own “definition” of GOAT if you will.

that criteria or definition will be impacted by one’s biases because there is no ultimate, fact-based premise that is infallible in determining a GOAT in sports, keeping in mind that comparing across eras is always already faulty and that the sport and players always evolve (which throws “all time” out the window).

to my mind, one can take a number of criteria and say “these 10 (or 20) people are amongst the greatest ever” in said sport because they’ve reached the top echelons in terms of achievements, records, etc., but to ultimately conclude just one player – in the history of a sport – is *the greatest ever* will always be subjective at that point. comparing players in an era and concluding one or another is the greatest is more feasible, but even then, who determines when an era began or ended, and how?

that’s why i don’t get involved in GOAT debates. most conclusions only lead to more questions. people may have fun debating these, but there is no infallible or airtight conclusion. it’s a whirligig.

BBB Says:

jane, I agree with you again!

Margot Says:

Daniel: That’s a shame. Hope you get to watch something.

MMT Says:

Travis Bickle: That is a disgraceful cherry picking of my words to fit your view. The qualifier in that quote is “by the script of this running gag”, indicating that it’s a narrative of the tennis world, not my personal view of him. The running gag is the notion that the rivalry is a rivalry, and it’s a joke because it isn’t a rivalry. And I conclude that the tennis public, hoping for a different result than what the script will deliver, which always a Djokovic victory when it counts, is in fact the stooge.

In that post you’ve shamelessly cited, without the link to the entire post, and no commentary on the satirical nature of it, I also said of Djokovic he is:

1) the most dominant player in the history of the open era
2) the king of tennis
3) the sole determinant of who wins and loses in his matches with Federer
4) having won all the important matches and none of the unimportant ones
5) Sitting Bull to Federer’s General Custer (an brilliant Native American warrior who defeated an arrogant and ostensibly superior foe)

As for Federer I refer to him as:

1) His Hairness
2) having “high class friends” that add to his appeal (I link to a gossip column, for god’s sake)
3) as the immortal beloved of his fans
4) “Elmer” Federer (as in Elmer Fudd – the bumbling looney toons stooge)
5) MacBeth to Mirka’s Lady MacBeth (I hope you realize that is not a compliment)
6) Fecklessly capitulated to Djokovic in Indian Wells when it counted, having prevailed when it didn’t in Dubai
7) General Federer (as in Custer – who was destroyed by his own arrogance)

You saw the same Wimbldeon, US Open matches the same as I did – the support for Federer was enormously weighted in his favor, and not Djokovic – a fact noted by many after both matches – particularly the US Open. And I referred to this as the fans having “bayed for his blood like sanguine plebeians at the colosseum”. Have you ever been called a plebeian? It is not a compliment. This is hardly a laudatory of Federer or his fans. But the point is that this is a narrative I’m describing in an attempt to say that the tennis viewing public, the majority of which favor Federer (as evidenced by how much support and money he gets) has DELUDED itself into thinking that the Djokovic/Federer rivalry is a real rivalry – in fact it’s not even close.

Which the point of that piece.

You have done something despicable by cutting pieces out of my post for your own slanted purposes – at least have the honesty to describe it as it is written. It’s a column, written as an analogy to running jokes, not a report describing my personal views of the subjects. It was a commentary on the state of men’s tennis and the places of Djokovic, Federer, their fans and so-called “rivalry” in it.

J-Kath Says:


Your friend makes sense. However, the cheque could have been issued in Canadian dollars to equal the US Open Series commitment.

Apart from the Tennis commitment, the rather significant changes to the Canadian exchange rate could well be related to Brexit. Evidently, the Canadians have been looking for separate agreements from the EU for some time – and the Brexit issue seems unlikely to assist them in a speedy resolution.

MMT Says:

Jane: “…there is no ultimate, fact-based premise that is infallible in determining a GOAT…”

I know you don’t/won’t engage, so I’ll just put this out there: the same could be said of any competitive evaluation in tennis – rankings, tournament champions, even the better player in a match, all suffer issues of infallibility. The entire structure of tennis, from a single point to the GOAT is a subjective determination of who is the better player in the point, tournament, year and all time. The only difference with the GOAT is that the subjectivity is not codified as it is in all these other competitive evaluations – but they are no less subjective in their nature.

My problem with this premise is that it is selectively applied to the notion of a GOAT debate. But if one applies it to the GOAT, it is only fair to apply it to all other competitive evaluations that suffer from the same fallibility and limitations.

Wog Boy Says:

jane and JK,
Thanks for finding the time to explain dollar thing, and just to clarify to jane, it wasn’t provocative or whatever, I was just surprised because in Australia is illegal to pay in any other currency but AUD, you can’t even kerp the money in the bank in any other currency but AUD or receive money from overseas in their currency, like when I send mone to my siblings in Serbia they receive it in any currency I nominate (AUD, USD,Euro) I often have American (or EU) tourists who are asking me if the shops accepts dollars (euros), and the answer is no, they have to exchange their money in the banks for AUD, can’t use any other money to pay the bills.

Wog Boy Says:


Thanks for bringing sanity to discussion..again (and providing link), of course you know what I was saying, and everybody else, everybody considers masters and WTF major (big) tournaments, even ATP.
Ohh .. well, almost everybody. Some belive that Istanbul is major (big) tournaments and you have to understand them. Some of them are just trolling around and stolking people fishing for an argument just for the sake of argument and nothing else, they can keep fishing. Honestly I believe that these fanatics are hermaphrodites, they are self sufficient in every meaning and all they need is object to worship, and they have that object, I am happy for them..

mat4 Says:

While I am also inclined to think that the GOAT debate is futile from a certain point (I made my arguments clear number of times on this very site), if it was to be done, I would choose a synthetic way of doing it, taking all the results, achievements, in account. Then, the criteria could differ a little, but the results would be more or less palatable.

I saw a few tries to achieve such an approach, e.g. here:

and here:

Taken with a grain of salt, it could be acceptable. Especially in a few years…

mat4 Says:

BTW, I find some insights about subjectivity very refreshing, especially since nobody has to read Fichte, Descartes, or, deeper in the past, Plato any more.

You can erase the post posted by “2”, the keyboard is strange on some laptops.

jane Says:

mat4, people do still have to read descarte and plato, but luckily things have moved on. we know thinking isn’t the ONLY aspect of being; we let artists into the republics, and so forth. ;)

Wog Boy Says:

“Hence the back to back Masters were so hard to get pre 2007 and after that we saw a bunch pf back to back wins.”

Something doesn’t add up here, if it was eaisier to win from 2007 onwards (including 2007) then prior 2007, how come so called “the GOAT” won only 12 of them and the other dude 30, that’s a fair bit of margin? Don’t say his prime finished please, no sane person will buy it, he was 25 years old in 2007.

Wog Boy Says:

^^^ and to prove the point, from august 2007 (Cincinnati) until May 2009 (Madrid) so called “the GOAT” in his prime (26/7 years old) didn’t manage to win one single masters title, that is 21 (twenty one months) without masters title in the period when it was “much eaisier” to win masters then in the “Golden Era” 2003-2007…;)
I will tell you the reason why, but you are already guessing, Rafa, Andy and Nole turned up and it was no more freebies, they were real deal.

Travis Bickle Says:


I take offense to you calling my actions “disgraceful” and “despicable”.
I simply quoted excerpts from your writings – quoting your entire post would constitute spamming.
Clearly, a person who is not a big-time anti-Djokovic could not have written those quotes, no matter in what context they are written.

Since you are using those fairly offensive expressions, I will tell you what is truly disgraceful, despicable and, above all, shameless: your stubborn importunity (another “big” word you may like) that you are not a big-time Federer fan boy.

Just admit it already, man. You are Federer fan first, tennis fan second, and you are mildly annoyed by Djokovic because he is threatening (and most likely) to completely annihilate Federer’s legacy. That much is obvious from your blog (note I’m not the only one who sees it that way). Nothing wrong with all that!
However, not admitting it and pretending to be objective is DD&S (disgraceful,despicable & shameless)…

You sound like Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated’s tennis editor who, after Federer announced his hiatus, declared 2016 “the worst tennis year ever”!?! WTF…
After I reminded him that 2016 was the year in which 4 slams in a row have been achieved for the first time in almost 50 years, he said that his “worst ear ever” had been said “in jest”…
In jest, my ass. He meant it, being a Federer fanboy like you MMT, but once hit with a hard-to-ignore fact, he tried to backpedal…

People who pretend, phony people, people without honesty have my contempt. I will always call you on it!

On the other hand, I do not have any problem with folks who are honest and admit their fandom and their hatred (e.g. our own Giles here: self-admitted Rafa’s fanboy/Djoker hater).

skeezer Says:

You are no match for MMT, give it a rest man, he is no Fed fan, and you have never presented proof. You’re worst with every post. Tryin to post like a puppet to BBB is very poor at best.

Stick to your infamous dumb insults, its what you think you do best.

Travis Bickle Says:


You are the man who, when Humble (sarcastically) implied that Rogers Cup is named after Federer, jumped to explain to all of us that is not the case.

That in itself proved you as the dumbest/least intelligent poster on Tennis X, and thus any disagreement you have with my reasoning is actually a compliment. It also disqualifies you from judging who is an intellectual match to whom here – you simply cannot tell – waaaay over your simple head…

You are really dumb, skeezer – and this not an insult – this is a fact based on you “intelligent rebuttal” of Humble’s assertion I mentioned above. I feel sorry for you trying to engage in debating with folks knowing how intellectually inferior you are to almost evreyone save perhaps Marcus (who also refuted Humble’s statement about Rogers Cup).

skeezer Says:

Your rebuttals are littered with insults, showing how dumb they really are. Furthermore, when the circumstance comes around you try to apply reasoning and still are insecure enough to hide behind them with Fed insults. Exhibit A; losing argument with MMT, who is clearly not a Fed fan. Lol.
I simply stated the facts, nothin else about the claim that Rogers cup is somehow ridiculously tied to the GOAT. You again want to blow that up into something else. Nice try. Fail.
Would like to point out to the fan base since the CON cult has recently come on board and posted how the personal atracks and blaming other players for their favs unpopularity has in fact hurt a great players accomplishments this year. Too bad, he deserves better.


Jeremy Davis,

You said it. There has to be an asterisk against this tournament for Novak. Even I can recognise that. ‘Ambled across the finish line’. He didn’t really need to do any more Jeremy, did he?

Novak Djokovic — rusty, aggravated, injured — is far and away the best player in the world.

The world No. 1 showed poor footwork, a strange lack of balance, shrouded injury, and a lot of rust in his first tournament since Wimbledon. In the absence of world No. 2 Andy Murray and injured former No. 1s Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, he still ambled across the finish line, in the final defeating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-5 for the Rogers Cup title in Toronto on Sunday.



You are and always have been an ambassador for tennis. Your comments are shared by me. TB is a disgrace. As are many others. They are here to bait and nothing more. They are not patriots of the game, they are hatriots. It shines through.

MMT Says:

Travis Bickle: I didn’t say post the whole article – that is a straw man and yet another mischaracterization of what I wrote. I said post the link or explain the context, and don’t cherry pick parts (of sentences, no less) to fit your own narrative.

Coincidentally, I notice that you made no acknowledgement of the laudatory things about Djokovic or the derisive things about Federer, that I listed. Did you read the whole post, or did you copy someone else quote from it? I ask, because It’s telling that in your zeal to contradict, you ignored my bulleted rebuttal, and chose instead to repeat your accusation and cite something that Jon Wertheim wrote.

Take all the offense you want, but I repeat my contention that what you did was disgraceful and despicable.

Daniel Says:

WB, there was a reason nobody won more than 4 Masters a year pre 2007 and than Both Djoko and Nadal were able to do it after 2007. Of course, the surgance of Nadal, Djoko and Murray males things difficult for Federer. But Federer himsef raise the bar where Masters were comcenred as well. Pre Fed era Agassi had the recod with 17 which Murray will surpass in a near future. Is not that the Big 4 are greater than all other formers greats, which they aren’t (maybe a few). But how they approach Masters changed.

And Fed indeed got older after 2007, he was 26. Nadal amd Federer both amassed their first 20 Masters pre that age. Djoko whih is the one out of the curve who won the bulk of his Masters after 25-26. Even Murray won most of his Masters pre 26.

There is no young guy winning Masters nowadays, actually Djoko was the last “young one” to win one. Every body eles eho managed to win a Masters (ferrer, Berdych, soderling, Davydenko, Tsonga, were already with some milage.

Daniel Says:

Anyway, everybody knows that any player, including both Nadal and Djoko, would prefer to have the Slam record than be top 2 in Masters.

skeezer Says:

Daniel- to add Masters Finals were 5 sets, not 3, prior to 2007. Fed won 10 of those, Rafa 5.

Daniel Says:

Some can try to spin the wear era argument and so, but the laye example is a testimony to how tuff Fed was mentally. He had 10 Slam straight finals and in those spam he had several chances to “crack” and many players played him tough. He fibally won RG 2009 and he coild be mentally burn out after 3 straight final lsoses before that, how he responded? He went on and won Wimbledon a few weeks later.

Djojo cracked, and it just showed thathe is human and how hard what Federer did was regardless if you are pro wear era or not. Querrey is not a champion and it shows that any roubd top players are facindg danger of early loss. Just some perspective, to me this recent Djoko losa jn Wimby basically end ant weak rra debate. Because he didn’t lost because he faced better competitoj than Federer did in 2004-2007, he lost because he was somehow burnout mentally and could sustain when it matter the msot, Slams. His and Nadals treaks or final reache are 6 and 5 and that shows compared to Federer. They may be the best Masters players But Federer still ks the best Slam player, until further notice.

Daniel Says:

Another way of looking at it, In Federer’s “weak era” days 2004-2007 he lost innSlams only to Nadal, beat everybody else.

Djoko in his recent run lost in Slams to Noshikori and Querrey before finals, tose two matcjes and he could have a streak challenging Federer nit had nothing to do with weak era, he beat the top players (Fedalrray), but lost to Kei (1 Slam final) and Querrey. So, “weak era” didn’t play anything in hos losses because he didn’t loss to other all time gretas, he lost to, pardonthe offense, nobodies in great debate. Due to fatigue, stress, mental burn whatever, not due to competition, just two lower players than hom having a great day, something Federer was able to overcome.

BBB Says:

Daniel – didn’t he lose to Safin in the 2005 AO? That’s just off the top of my head.

Daniel Says:

Yes BBB, but during his 10 straight finals from Wimby 2005 to USO 2007 he only lost to Nadal.

Daniel Says:

And than on hiss second record straigh finals (8) from RG 2008 to AO 2010. He lost to Nadal (3 times and 1 to Delpo). But that on finals.

My point is he avoided many upsets in both those streaks, something not even Djokovic was able to replicate, who is the second most consistant player after Federer, and that wasn’t affected by “strongn competition” more on him losing those matches, not taking credit from Kei or Querrey bit they had no business beating in prime Djoko in those matches. It wasn’t “stronger” competition (losong to Nadal, Murray or another young guy who emerged) who prevented Djoko, but avarage players.

And same can be apllied to Masters level. Novody wins Masters this days last 5-7 years other than Big 4.

I mean who won Masters other than they last yeas, can’t even recall frommback of my mind.
In Fed’s “weak era” there were multiple Masters winners: Safin, Roddick, Nalbandian, Hewitt, Ferrero, Coris, Davydenko, and some got thier share, Robredo, Ferrer, Soderlong, Ljubicic…

BBB Says:

Daniel, I’ve made it clear that I think weak era is bunk, so I”m not interested in minimizing Federer’s 17 majors, but I’ve just proven your point to be factually incorrect, and your response is to change the criteria. Now we’re not talking 2004 to 2007, we’re talking mid-2005 to September 2007.

I can just as easily ask you who Federer lost to after he won 4 majors in a row.

It’s precisely why I dislike the weak era debate. By and large, people get the facts to conform to their view, rather than the reverse.

mat4 Says:


I don’t agree. First, Novak didn’t win only the FO — he was under pressure for more than a year and a half, winning 5 slams out of 6, and making the Grand Slam. A let down was to be expected.

Then, Novak never had the same treatment Fed had in Wimbledon. While Federer can count on playing on the same court, at the same time, and to be protected as a dodo bird, time and time again Novak’s schedule was manipulated for him to face the toughest opposition under duress.

The answer to the question “why?” is of anthropological nature, and I won’t linger on this subject — it’s well known and thoroughly analysed — but in the Anglo-Saxon world, the notion of exceptionalism is very important and applies only to a part of the world population. That’s the reason why the Lendl, Navratilova, Seles and Djokovic of this world can’t be popular. They’re modern Injuns.

To illustrate it, just look at some stats: most top ten played in avg. by year, mean avg. opponents, most matches against the “big four”, etc. and a certain impression will start to emerge.

It doesn’t only apply to East-European, but to others, and the British outlook is different from the American. It’s also something that is common knowledge today.

But, like I said, nobody reads Plato today.

Daniel Says:


I sarted conparing streaks, Fed’s 10 Slams finals and than 8 is overlooked in the eyes of most and atributed to “weak era”.

I also don’t agree with it hence I always highlight it. And even if we spand to 2004 Than Fed lost to Kuerten RG (3 titles there, second vest after Nadal sonce Lendl) and Safin (2 Slams and eventual Slam champion in AO). Djoko had the Wawa AO to be added as well.

My point is weaker or stronger competition wasn’t what prevented Djoko tontue or surpass 8 / 10
Slam finals, but other more under his control aspects.

mat4, sane reply goes to oit. Afer Fed won RG 2009 after trying it for seceral years and also was his #14 Slam tying Smapras ge too was allowed a setback. But he didn’t, the same things you are pointing towards Djokonow could be used back than. He was under enormous pressure as well, more so than Djoko because he as the “prince of tennis” was expected to reach it and everybody was counting on it. Djoko otoh, as he has this persona non grata by a few could be relieved of some of the pressure as a lot of people didn’t wanthim to win. Is a cup half full half empty scneario.

Either being the underdog by the crowd could relief or add extra pressure. Depends which way tou lean towards.

I think Fed was udner huge pressure and when all is saidand dome he will habe those straeks and how he reacted. It is a bit different with Djoko because he got he non Calender Slam, but hosotry also will remember tgat right after he let down. Nothing will change that, he can regroup and start another streak, USO just around the corner, But what Fed did backing up career Slam and #14 winning channel
slam a few weeks later was impressive and trstimony to his will, which some forget easily.

Nobody was in hos situation before and handle like him. Nadal afer USO 2010
Retired in AO 2011 going for 4 in a row. Djoko got The 4 but let down.

In a way Djoko also shaped new ground because nobody won 4 in a row in last 40 years for us to measure.

skeezer Says:

^Does anyone have the special decoder needed to read that? ;)

Daniel Says:

Tennis-x should have it’s on auto correct, it would provide us some fun😜

Khb Says:

Nadal was recovering from injury then
Roddick acted like he won a Slam in a depleted ’10 Miami field.
Roddick barely got past an injured Gicquel and Moya to win ’04 Miami.
He also had to to fight and ballbash like mad and wait for fed to get nervous to squeeze into the Montreal ’03 final.
He also needed luck with a fat Mardy fish holding 3 match points in ’03 Cincinnati.
Roddick only had the 2006 cincy and 2008 Dubai titles to show much good tennis.

MMT Says:

Daniel: “Another way of looking at it, In Federer’s “weak era” days 2004-2007 he lost innSlams only to Nadal, beat everybody else.”

I too fundamentally disagree with the weak era argument, so not weighing in on your rebuttal of that, but for the record, Federer also lost to Guga Kuerten at Roland Garros in 2004 in straight sets. That puts the list of players he lost to from 2004 – 2007 in grand slams at 3:

Kuerten RG 2004 (3R)
Safin AO 2005 (SF)
Nadal RG 2005 (SF), RG 2006 (F), RG 2007 (F)

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