Djokovic Downs Ailing Federer To Reach 8th Australian Open Final

by Staff | January 30th, 2020, 9:43 am

The super showdown between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the Australian Open semifinals was far from super. The Serb battered the banged-up Federer 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-3 to advance to his eighth career Australian Open final.

Federer entered the contest under a cloud of uncertainty. The Swiss not only had played 14 sets in his last three matches, but also pulled up lame with a groin/lower back injury in his last match against Tennys Sandgren. And there was much talk that Federer would be unable to play.

But much to the delight of his fans, he did. With little information on his practices, Federer took the court and looked sharp. He blitz Djokovic early, breaking the Serb twice, pounding aces, and then with Djokovic serving 1-4, 0-40, it looked like Federer would actually cruise to an opening set week.

Djokovic, though, dug in and started working the points. The longer the rally, the better chance for Djokovic as Federer appeared to be laboring with his movement.

The world No. 2 fought back to level then stormed to his sixth straight tiebreak win over Federer. Once Djokovic got another early break in the second, it was all but over as the ailing Federer had little in the way to hurt Djokovic.

“It could have definitely gone a different way, if he’d used those break points,” Djokovic told the crowd. “He got off to a good start and I was pretty nervous at the beginning.

“I have to say I respect Roger for coming out tonight. He was obviously hurt and not close to his best in terms of movement. It wasn’t the right mindset at the beginning, because I was watching him and how he was moving early on, rather than executing my own shots. I managed to dig my way back and win the first set, which was obviously mentally important.”

Djokovic is now 15-0 in Melbourne once he reaches the semifinals. An incredible number. And he now leads Federer 27-23 in their series.

He’ll now have two days to rest before the Sunday final against either Alexander Zverev or Dominic Thiem.

“I’m pleased with the way I’ve been feeling and playing,” he said. “I dropped only one set so far up to the final. I have two days of no match right now, which actually is really good. It gives me more time to recuperate and gather all the necessary energy for the final.”

The 38-year-old Federer admitted afterwards he wasn’t fully right.

“I was playing with nothing to lose obviously,” said Federer. “I was just trying to take big cuts at the ball, trying to keep the rallies to a minimal, make sure I keep him off guard, mix it up as much as I can. I think I returned really well in the beginning. Got some really good connections going. Unfortunately, I was not able to serve it out. To be honest, I feel like I should have found a way to do that, but wasn’t able to.

“Overall, at the end of the day, I guess I’m very happy,” he said. “I got to be happy with what I achieved.

Today was horrible, to go through what I did. Nice entrance, nice send-off, and in between is one to forget, because you know you have a 3% chance to win. You know, got to go for it. You never know. But once you can see it coming, that it’s not going to work anymore, it’s tough.”

On Friday night, Thiem and Zverev will meet for a ninth time with Thiem winning six including the last two in straight sets. The winner goes to his first hard court Slam final, and for Zverev the biggest title match of his career.

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47 Comments for Djokovic Downs Ailing Federer To Reach 8th Australian Open Final

Alison Hodge Says:

IMO Thiem stands the better chance against Novak, i doubt Zverev can beat Nole over best of five sets ….

Daniel Says:

Congrats Djoko on his 8th final.

Still think he keeps his perfect record in AO and gets #17 and #1 back. He has feel points to defend till clay season (IW/Miami) so he can keep the ranking for quite some time.

Also this year has Olympics and a lot for him. to play for.

Hope Fed decides how his clay season will go, just enough to get ready for Wimbledon. His really last stand. He was unfortune with lingering, but that is gonna halpen more often now.

RZ Says:

That’s not a bad showing for Fed all things considered. Beating Djokovic at the AO was going to be a tall order even if fully healthy and rested.

It’s now up to the kids to try to stop Djoker’s domination down under.
(On that note, this made me laugh:

vk Says:

Novak the conqueror..

Another slam win over roger who remains winless in slams against him since 2012

Shows roger that when it comes to big tournaments he is still king.. rogers last wins are wtf rr 2019, dubai2015, rr wtf 2015 and cincy final 2015(which is a big one)

Makes 27-23 against roger and 11-6 at grand slams. So roger has a lopsided record at the gs against both his goat contenders now

Madmax Says:

Absolutely vk. It’s amazing isn’t it? Brilliant Novak. I mean that.

Let’s look to at the amazing Roger.

He has played 1,513 tour-level matches and not retired midway through one. Not once.

He has played 421 matches at major tournaments since 1999 and not given his opponent a walkover. Not once.

On only four occasions during his lengthy and accomplished career, at non-majors has Federer needed to withdraw from a match before it started.

Fabulous Federer. Forever brilliant. Forever remembered when he has departed, but until then, he plays to win, he plays to fight, and l fully expect him to give it all that he has got.

An athlete, never to be repeated.

Czarlazar Says:

If Thiem beats Zverev, as expected, we’re in for the best AusOpen final since 2012. Thiem is one of the few who can truly hang with Nole on hard courts, and it should be a four or five set slugfest with Novak hanging on to the trophy in the end. Well worth getting up on Sunday morning at 3:30!

Madmax Says:

vk, the only thing lopsided is your way of thinking about this match. And that is what is sad, but we are used to these types of comments, it’s the norm for the jealous cats who cannot look at the overall incredible athlete this man is. Federer.The.Great.

But it’s okay. I understand your pain.

That Federer showed up at all, because, as Djokovic explained: “Obviously, he was hurting. You could see it in his movement.” That Federer continued until the very last point. This is who the man is vk.

Djokovic’s own injury history includes quitting a Grand Slam tournament, the U.S. Open because of a left shoulder problem. He was booed off the court when he left in the third set.

But Novak is still loved, still respected, certainly by me – and I can see his brilliance too, sometimes the pain of injury outweighs the fans need for our players to carry on and we must try to respect that, as best we can. Some of us do. Some don’t.

It’s okay. This is the life.

Allez Roger, rest and recover. You are the best, champ.

Madmax Says:

So much to be proud of for Federer, and Novak recognises this too – great champion.

At least one mid-match retirement at each major: the French Open in 2005 (back) and 2006 (trouble breathing), Wimbledon in 2007 (foot blister) and 2017 (elbow), and the Australian Open in 2009 (heat illness). Novak.

“I did have retirements throughout my career. I know how it feels when you’re hurt on the court. I know the amount of thoughts that go through your mind — whether or not you should continue or not, whether it’s going to get worse. Only the player knows at that moment what you go through,” Djokovic said.

“Obviously it’s really hard to compare injuries, because everyone goes through their injury respectively, individually,” he continued. “But it’s, I think, an amazing fact that he has never retired (from a) match, not a single match, throughout his career. Huge respect for that.”

Federer said he would not have stepped out into Rod Laver Arena if he did not believe there was at least a tiny chance that he could compete — and win.

We know that, as fans. Roger would have given it his all.

So proud.

vk Says:

Madmax – have i put down roger. All i stated were facts. If i had made a statement that roger has 20 titles compared to novaks 16, would you have accused me of being jealous?

There were some posters here who reeled off statistics about how rafa has not beaten roger Away from clay since 2015. I never saw you stepping in to accuse those people of being jealous. Now that you are butthurt, you are resorting to this passive aggressive stance.

If you want to dole it out, you have to take it on your chin too.🙏🏼

RZ Says:

The bracket scenarios are in and only two entrants have a chance of winning it all.

If Thiem gets to the final, regardless of outcome HomeSchoolDadOf9/James wins it all.

If Zverev makes the final, regardless of outcome, Dave will be the winner.

Somehow I manage to avoid last place – phew!

Wog Boy Says:

“… Ailing Federer…”

What was ailing?

“ That’s not a bad showing for Fed all things considered.”

What things considered?

You people just can’t help yourself, can you?

Madmax Says:

That’s right Wogboy, that’s right. We are proud of Roger.

Stay positive Wogboy. It will help you to live longer.

Daniel Says:

My two cents on HxH and age playing a factor.

Djoko and Nadal are expecteted to have positvie HxH vs Fed as one is 5 years his junior and the other 6 yeras. As fellow GOATees its normal, with their level of play.

The positive is that Federer had an awful HxH wiht Nadal and now is 24-17 which is way more “respectable” than the 23-10 at some point. He was able to overcome that difference and also this show the clay domiance which will always be associtaed to any stat with Nadal, play a huge factor in their partciular HxH.

With Djoko it was always more even HxH until Fed turn 30. As of now the majotrity of their matches were player after Fed turn 30, in Slams there were 8 pre 30 and 9 after and the shift in dynamics shows.

Before Fed turn 30 they playe 23 times and 8 in Slams:
– HxH was 13-10 for Fed
– Slam 5-3 for Fed

After Fed turn 30, they played 27 times, 9 in Slams:
– HxH was 17-10 for Djoko
– Slam 8-1 for Djoko

The longer Fed plays the worst their HxH will be towards Djoko, as FEd as the 6 years polder player will always have the disadvantage.

As long as he maintain a decent HxH, even if he finishes his career with negative hxH with both it won’t diminish his achievement.
Let’s say he finishes his career something like 20-26 vs Nadal and 25-30 vs Djoko. Those are not bad HxH at all. The ones he has right now are already decent, Djoko is just 4 matches, 2 matches he would won and they would be dead even.

Madmax Says:

vk Says:

Madmax – have i put down roger. All i stated were facts. If i had made a statement that roger has 20 titles compared to novaks 16, would you have accused me of being jealous?

There were some posters here who reeled off statistics about how rafa has not beaten roger Away from clay since 2015. I never saw you stepping in to accuse those people of being jealous. Now that you are butthurt, you are resorting to this passive aggressive stance.

If you want to dole it out, you have to take it on your chin too.🙏🏼

January 30th, 2020 at 3:36 pm

Believe it or not, (and I don’t much care), I read posts that I find not only interesting and I decide to respond to who I like. If I respond to you, you have a choice. Read it or not.

Grow up vk. You big baby. Squaring up to who? If I disagree with you, I will let you know, if you want to take it up with anothe poster – then do so. I don’t read everything people say about Rafa, there are people here who want to disparage him, that’s up to them. And I will respond when I want to, not by demand.

Don’t like my responses, then ignore them. There are facts vk, and then there are lopsided, snidey comments. Like the ones you write. Matter of opinion and that’s mine. Go ahead and put roger Down. That’s your prerogative vk, and I don’t have to step in and defend anyone here, I choose what I want to say. Passive Agressive. Pot. Kettle. Black.

Wog Boy Says:

Sure, so we don’t count those first half a dozen loses when Nole was puppy, is that what you are saying, it works both ways Mr Spin Doctor.

vk Says:

Hilarious about the age being a h2h factor. Rafa was beating up roger when he was a teenager and roger was in his prime. Roger was beating novak when bovak was a teenager and roger was in his prime. But the h2h deteriorated only because he turned 30! You would think Rafa and novak are young turks. Roger in fact made it respectable with rafa only after rafa turned 30 and that too 4 of those victories were in one year-2017 and one in 2015 rafas most dismal year. However that has been conveniently discounted but rafas dominance on clay has been brought up even though the dominance has been spread over two decades🤦🏻‍♂️

And if it was as simple as just winning two matches to even the h2h, there would be no need for numbers at all since in these cases each gs won would mean the other did not get it. So if rafa won ao 2017 he would be on 20 gs.

Now that roger is on the verge of losing both h2h and gs leads, i see that the benchmark for goathood is how he fighting tooth and nail in this fifties against spunky opponents

Wog Boy Says:

Czarlazar, I wouldn’t call Nole favourite against those two, specially against Thiem, I am still remembering FO and WTF, slight edge to the youngsters.

For me AO is finished, I just enjoy reading butthurt comments from fedfanatics, enjoying my early morning coffee with ham and cheese croissant in this beautiful city of Sydney ;)

RZ Says:

Wog Boy, I’m not clear on what in my comment about Fed’s performance is setting you off. I clearly stated in the next sentence that he was going to be unlikely to beat Djokovic regardless. I picked Djokovic to win the whole tournament in my bracket, and I hadn’t even expected Fed to make the semis. So I don’t know what you are referring to with your “You people just can’t help yourself, can you?” comment to me.

Wog Boy Says:

RZ, all of that is irrelevant, you didn’t answer the wuestion:
What things considered?

RZ Says:

Long matches for Fed before the semi, his ailing back or groin or whatever, and the fact that Djokovic is the AO GOAT and was going to be hard to beat regardless.

RZ Says:

Also their recent head-to-head, especially in slams.

Wog Boy Says:

That’s what I wanted to hear, it was nothing ailing with 38 years old, he threw everything at Nole, his movement wasn’t compromised, he knew very well he is going to play, it was mind games to keep people guessing.

Nole’s practice session was scheduled for 4:30pm, so did he after requesting closed court session (to spice the things up), he knew he can have a court any time so he didn’t list his practice session day before.

Nole said it all to Courier after he asked him about slow start, he said that he entered the match with wrong mindset, instead of concentrating on his game and shots he concentrated on 38 year old movement and that’s where he excatly wanted him to be, as cunning as usual and it almost worked, if he only managed to win that first set.

chofer Says:

I wope up early to see all tha matches, recap:

1) Barty chickened. Played really bad. Shanked makable FHs all over. Period

2) Simona played as good as she could, Garbiñe played better; more firepower and consistency, which he lacked last few years. There’s no way Kenin can cope with her. If she keeps finding the lines and attacking, Muguruza is the next AO Champion.

3) There’s no way Thiem or Zverev beat THIS Djokovic. GOAT mode on first set TB. This time, it was not Roger’s fault the TB. The rest of the match was putting the fork on him.
Remember last year’s final against Rafa? SAME. Djovic will get his 17th. Slam. Deal with it.

Daniel Says:


vk, if you don’t think a player at 38 playing 33 or 32 yld fellow GOAT candidates makes a difference the we agree to disagree. Federer is so good that even the other players he still has the upper hand, even with the age gal. Hence he played at least 4 different generation of players. Ljubicic, Hewitt, Gaudio, Massu were all playing when he was playing and now they are long retired and coaches to other top players.

This os credit to both Djokovic and Nadal, they are the only ones who get the clear upper hand with Federer because they ate that good.

Nadal has the unique clay dynamics and once Federer stop playing him on clay, the HxH changed in last 5 years.
We can also add that Fed has a mental issue with Djoko now at Slams as were the case in all the three HxH in patches. We can say Nadal has a mental issue with Fed outside clay now, Nadal had a mental issue with Djoko during that 7 finals spam in 2011-2012.

My point is they are playing more matches with a past Federer prime than when he was younger due to his longevity. Disregard the huge age difference and Fed playing till an age 95% of players are retired is denying the single most important factor in competitive sports: playing against TIME and AGE. Its what we fight in life ever aging day, for sportsperson its 10 times worse.

Daniel Says:

Djovic will get his 17th. Slam. Deal with it.

Agree chofer, only a major drop in form, which I don’t see happening or injury will stop that. Thiem and Zverev won’t be able to hold their level for all match with this Novak on his backyard. Also Thiem and Zverev are notorious for having those bad games, Djoko will take his chances. He is super motovated, healthy and playing great, rested and on a 12 match winning streak.

mira pajic Says:

hopefully nole pull victory against youngsters..esspecialy dangerous thiem…wobboy sta lazes da si u sidney…. uplasio si se??…znam da si u melburnu kao i ja….neboj se mate ja te samo trolujem..jes ruzan onaj mali hitlerov grandson thiem…mammu mu jebem onu nakaznu fasisticku pacovsku

chofer Says:


Didn’t you get the impression that Novak, from that TB on, said tohimself “Enough with this shit, I won here 7 freaking times, why don`t you ALL cheer for me??”

It’s like the more they cheered for Roger, the hungrier and focused he got. Like, he really would like to be appreciated like the other two!!
From his famous impersonations, Nole it’s the one who played for the crowds. But the crowds won’t still completely get around when he plays Rafa or Roger. I BET that makes him mad. No matter how he disguises it at press conferences.

kjb Says:


Ailing Federer…”

What was ailing?

“ That’s not a bad showing for Fed all things considered.”

What things considered?

You people just can’t help yourself, can you?

Djokovic said after the match that it was obvious that Fed movement was hampered, I think I’ll take his opinion of the situation over yours as her probably played against him a few more times than you have.

Wog Boy Says:

Another butthurt fedfanatic, I don’t take seriously what Nole says in front of biased crowd about 38 year old, what else he was supposed to say?
He learned his lesson with Rodick and American fans long time ago at USO.
On the other hand 38 year old said in his press conference that everything was fine with him, should I trust the man himself or his butthurt fanatics.

Daniel Says:

chofer, I think Djoko eventually will get the love he seeks, specially if this year he does The Golden Slam, with first step in 2 days. But only after Fed retires.

People will have the void of him not around anymore and Djoko would be still a living legend playing.

But with a Fed in his final 1-2 years on circuit, everytime he enters a tennis court he is gonna be more cheered than ever before.

skeezer Says:

‘I don’t take seriously what Nole says….”
On another note, the great Djackal has proven meat eaters need to skip the Ham and Cheese Croissants.

kjb Says:


Not butthurt at all. Someone’s gotta feed Tennis-x’s resident troll every once and awhile. Trolls be trolling.

Wog Boy Says:

Failed again, try harder, you might succeed one day, you never know😢

Madmax Says:

RZ Says:
Long matches for Fed before the semi, his ailing back or groin or whatever, and the fact that Djokovic is the AO GOAT and was going to be hard to beat regardless.

January 30th, 2020 at 5:31 pm

RZ, this is true. Novak played a smacker and certainly if Fed was not well enough to play, he would not have, but he did and Novak has to be given the credit for winning, and in style.

I am stoked that Roger played a fantastic tournament, to get to the SF – for me? – it’s brilliant.

I pity those who bang on about age – it’s a number. Roger knows how to tailor his schedule, and he is the player who has ‘smoothed’ his way through the year – clever thinker is our fed.
Can’t wait to see him again, and pull out the next win, whoever he plays.

Dave Says:

I just can’t agree with this 30 year old reasoning. Federer was only 13-10 ahead of Djokovic before 30? That’s actually not a great head to head record at all for a player who basically had no serve for years with the Todd Martin disaster and was a shell of himself compared to 2011 and on. Djokovic will be 33 in May. He is playing amazing. How could his OLD age be used as an excuse for a negative head to head against anyone? Federer lossing the Wimbledon Final was mental. If Federer and Djokovic were equal in mental strength slash clutchness, I would be the first to admit that Federer would probably be the one leading the head to head regardless of age. But the mental part of the game is huge. Using this prime reasoning after 30 just downgrades what some people do and upgrades what others do. So if Djokovic or Nadal win a major in their 30’s post prime it’s worth more? Nope. Statistically it’s the same. That’s what this reasoning does. it downgrades other players and upgrades everything Federer does. It’s just not fair reasoning.

Daniel Says:


I use the 30 as mark to divide their career, but in fact it could be sooner. Before the big 3 tennis common sense was that a player prime year was 26-27. That was not me, it was critics, pundits, writers, trainers, coaches, players themselves, etc.. with tennis “evolving” this last 10 years it shifted. Players were priming around 28/29, vis Wawa and Murray examples.

The big 3are anomaly. Nadal a young prodigy that sustain for 15 years. Federer the same a few later and now Djoko. But you can not compare a 32 Djoko with a 38 Federer the same.

Nadal and Djoko 33/32 is good for anybody else but that can change. For example, Thiem is already 5-9 vs Nadal and the more they play the tendency is for him to get more wins. And he is not even big 3 material. The question is, will he gets this 4 wins on clay over a prime peak Nadal when nobody ever manage more than 2 wins over him. Not even Djoko during Nadal’s prime years?

Playing young players late in one careers makes a difference..

Daniel Says:

They are all having great success now, but at least Federer and Nadal are not on their prime.

In their prime years they won 8-10 tourneys per year.

Nadal’s peak ended in 2013. 2017 and 2019 were great years for him, but don’t even compare to those.
Federer’s peak ended early in 2010. 2017 and 2018 were also great yeas but doesn’t even come close to what he did from 2004-2009.

Right now Djoko’s ended 2018. From 2011 to 2018. Let’s see if he changes that this year.

skeezer Says:

Good stuff Daniel👍

Daniel Says:

“So if Djokovic or Nadal win a major in their 30’s post prime it’s worth more? Nope”

Not worth, but is more special stat wise and record wise. Winning Slams in your 20s “everbody” can do. Very few won before 20 and fewer after 30. Hence it is constantly highlighted and have the stats for it.
– Federer the oldest Slam at 36. So far nobody on the open era passed that mark.
– Nadal the only player to win 2 USO after 30,
– Nadal having won 5 Slams after 30 (stand alone), Federer and Djoko have 4. Djoko can tie Nadal next Sunday. Etc…

That’s why this age stats matters, they are unique when you deviate from the rest.

chrisford1 Says:

Daniel – Seems I remember 2019 when Novak’s reign didn’t exactly end , with 2 Slams, 2 Masters, many QFs, Semis, and RUPs. He wasn’t dominant all season, for sure, as I think his plant based diet weakened him.

Rafa just had a bit of a better season.

As for age, when Djokovic had his “youth phase” on Tour, everyone saw how talented and hypochondriac he was. The Nike Duopoly ruled, Novak was never discussed as a rival, really, to the Two Greatest Who had ever played the game. He set a record that may never be broken – 4 straight years as #3 ranked. He was messed up by Martin, was considering quitting and going to university. Fed and Rafa, racked up wins on him.

Then came 2011. One of the best slow moving upsets in sports history, as he bettered the “Two Greatest Ever” at their peaks. He’s still at it, looking pretty good at the start of the season. I’m optimistic.
Besides the Slams the talking heads say are the only 4 Tournaments that matter, Djokovic is going to the Olympics again in 2020. He will battle Rafa for the lead in Masters 1000 wins. A Cincinnati win would give him a 2nd career Masters Sweep. After that he would only need a Monte Carlo win and another Cincinnati title to complete a 3rd Masters Sweep. If he wants to go crazy and focus on it, unlikly, he might finish with a career ATP 500 sweep as well.

If he ends up in a career statistical tie with Rafa and Fed – One has 21 Slams, two have 20 Slams – that is not enough to declare the
21 Slam winner automatically the better Legend. You have to go and see what else they have done.

skeezer Says:

“ as I think his plant based diet weakened him…”
Mr. Plant Based Diet is in the AO 2020 final,

Dave Says:


We just aren’t going to agree on this and that’s okay. You can’t base someone being in their prime on results. Just because Federer started losing when others got better, doesn’t mean he wasn’t in his prime. You can’t start applying different rules for Different players. So Djokovic was 31 in 2018 and according to you that was his last prime year. But Federer’s is 2010 or 2009 when he was 28 or 29. That’s biased and it’s impossible to have a proper understanding of things once any of us are biased in these discussions. The Todd Martin thing I was using as an example and it’s just an excuse or Djokovic being so young at the beginning. Or Federer being to old. They are all excuses to downplay ones wins over the other at certain points in their careers. Djokovic was just as good in 2019 as 2018 when he wanted to be. It was obvious that he was distracted and showed less desire in 2019 during certain tournaments over other tournaments for sure. But there are no excuses to downplay when others beat Djokovic in any year or situation. A win counts the same . Because there are so many backstories to many situations with players, the numbers are going to be the things that stand out the most to be able to have a proper discussion. Just because it took longer for certain players to develop certain things in their game has nothing to do with prime. Wawrinka was just as much is his prime at 23-25 when he wasn’t winning majors as he was when he was older. That’s where I can’t understand your point. That’s the responsibility of the player to develop new things in their game as they get older.

Daniel Says:

OK Dave,

But we definetly disagree here.
To me, “prime” is 100% associated with results, age range, the player level in that particular time frame and how he handle the competiton as a whole. The stats back it up.

If you don’t set same parameters, we can never fully say when a player is at his prime or not. And using the “others getting better” also apply to the particular player “getting worse” as well. How can we access that the losses are just because players get better, why didn’t the bunch of different players Fed had never loss to, like Soderling, Ferrer, Davydenko, and may other, weren’t able to beat him once and a Tsisi, Dimi, Kei can?! Its all very subjective.

Players just don’t keep the same level for 10-15 years spam, specially after they turn 30 (hence I use this benchmark number) not consistanlty, as The Big 3 themselves showed once they aged. They have patches of briliance, injury starts playing a hole more often than not, as well.

Nadal won last 3 RG, but can you say it was “his prime”, like he did in 2008 obliterating competition and clay specialist 6-1, 6-1 like Verdadsco, Almagro and even Federer? no way!

Same with Federer and how he dominated several fields of players (bar Nadal) in his prime.

Of course they adpat, as shown with Federer BH handling Nadal better outside clay, but part of it is also because Nadal aged and “loss a step” as many say.

Anyway, my main point is that people are disregarding the fact Federer is 38 and a half, treating him as if he is just the same he was 10 year ago, this is bias. But non-Federer will say its a excuse from Federer fans. It may be, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is just old, Matusalem like for tennis.

We’ll have to access Djoko and Nadal in the future. If for example Thiem ends with a positive HxH with Nadal (and him playoing after 36) and on clay also, the same age card will be used, heck, it is already.
Or can we really say Thiem is just outside the curve clay player and he was always meant to be Nadal biggest nemesis on clay, even with the majority of their matches played after Nadal turn 30?! Food for thought.

Daniel Says:


Indeed, I am very curious this year for Djokovic, hence I even mention he can achieve The Golden Slam, winning 4 major and Olympics in same calender year, something still considerer impossible in mens tennis.

That will set any GOAT debate to rest for good.

We have to be realistic, Federer can maybe only win 1 more major at Wimbledon this year. So his final number can be 21.
Nadal alreayd at 19 and Djoko soon to be 17.

RG will play a big hole, because if Nadal doesn’t win it (losing to Thiem or Djoko) next year he will be 35, will age eventually catch his physical style then?!

Djoko if injury free with a mix of Federer and Nadal main qualities can capitlaize on this. This year is huge for the 3 of them.
Also they are tied with 5 Year End #1 a piece and unless injury happens, one of the 3 wiull finish on top again, tying Sampras.

Djoko also has the #1 record on the line this year, every passing year he can achieve more, the 2nd career Slams in RG plus MAsters records. As you say, depend how he set himself. But he definitely starts the year with a bang, ATC Cup and now possbily AO. Than he will play Dubai and IW/Miami no pressure due to no points to defend.

Dave Says:


You make some interesting points. And you are right. It definitely is subjective. So many different factors to consider for sure. That word prime is so difficult to define in my opinion. Before I get to far into this, I want to say that I really enjoy having discussions with you about tennis. Even when we disagree. Another thing I thought of with this whole prime thing is that for example, Federer is a way better at volleying and hitting his backhand as well as serving in his 30’s than he was in his 20’s. The serve stats are amazing now and he keeps setting career highs in certain areas. So he has developed his game to be a better player in certain areas skill wise as he was before. So that’s another thing that I have to factor in this conversation. I guess for me the main thing I look at when I think of the word prime is physical movement. That for me defines most of it. So if I’m going by my definition of it, Nadal is actually the least in his prime of the Big 3. His movement has suffered visibly way more than Federer and Djokovic. In fact, I don’t think DJokovic has lost any straight line speed or movement around the court. And if Federer has lost any, it’s much less visible than Nadal.

Daniel Says:

Idem ref our discussions Dave. Its nice to see others point of view.

Agree ref Volley if we look at “my Fed prime years”. But the young Federer, when he first make the scene volleyed amazing. That classic with Sampras is an example. But then came string technology and most were “scared” of volleying, even him adjust and focus on dominate baseline play. Now it s coming back, to add variety, surprise opponent and finish points, even Nadal serve and volley in almost all his non clay matches. Djoko os slowly improving that department as well.

In the past players had faults in their game and they were OK with it. Nowadays it just won’t cut if you wanna be a constant top tenner.

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