Djokovic Continues to Struggle as the Tennis Season Winds Down

Hi, folks. Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I have been writing exams so it’s been a bit crazy around here. I did, however, follow Shanghai which Murray won and where Djokovic lost 6-4, 6-4 in the semis to Bautista Agut.

Murray also won Beijing where Djokovic withdrew due to injury. That means Murray is currently only 915 points behind Djokovic in the race and he is making a run for the year-end number one because he is playing the ATP 500 event in Vienna next week as well.

The struggle for Djokovic is real and it reminds me a lot of the end of 2011 where he was also burned out and without confidence. In Shanghai Djokovic was already struggling in the quarterfinals against Micha Zverev winning 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3.

So I guess it wasn’t all that surprising that he then lost to Bautista Agut. What was surprising was the scoreline and how poorly he played. There was a distinct lack of confidence and hesitation in the big moments.


This is, however, not all that surprising given the scope and duration of his dominance. It was always going to catch up with him, especially after winning the French Open. Ideally, he would have taken the year off after that but in tennis that is too complicated.

Actually, skipping slams is going a bit far so ideally he would have rested during the fall season but there are important things to play for like the year-end number one and a sixth World Tour Finals title.

Judging from his current form winning the World Tour Finals will be very difficult but he should still get the year-end number one with decent showings in Paris and London. I don’t know the exact scenario but that will currently be the focus for Djokovic.

I think Murray must basically win or make the final of all three events he is playing and that is going to be hard to do given his titles in Beijing and Shanghai. I think he will lose early in Vienna or Paris but it will be an interesting race between him and Djokovic.

  • Djokovic’s Changed Outlook

As you know Djokovic recently said that he doesn’t want to think about number one or titles and that he wants to get his enjoyment of tennis back. I don’t think that has worked out so well for him in Shanghai because losing is never fun no matter how you look at it.

I understand where he is coming from, though. I have felt the same with this blog. Ever since I embraced Djokovic as Federer’s successor and gave him the credit I thought he deserved some Fedfans became bitter and it is like blogging almost became a competition between me and them.

As a result, I have lost my passion and enjoyment for blogging and have blogged less in recent times. I think that is how Djokovic feels to a certain extent after his dominance. There were so many expectations and hype that he didn’t enjoy the process anymore.

It was all about winning and breaking records and he lost sight of having fun out there. I feel like that with my blogging because I won the ‘competition’ with the Fedfans but lost my enjoyment of blogging along the way.

I just don’t feel the passion and enthusiasm I used to. And I’ve never seen this as a job so if I don’t feel like blogging I won’t. I am currently writing exams though which makes it hard to blog.


Maybe, like Djokovic, I need some time before I find my enthusiasm for blogging again. I don’t see him recovering his confidence and enjoyment before the end of the year but we will see. Maybe he finds some form in Paris and London.

I also don’t think he is declining like so many critics would like to believe. The burnout is normal. It happened in 2011 too and he came back just fine. I think he will find his mojo in Australia again next year but this has already been another very successful year for him.

Winning the French Open was the main thing. Anything else was going to be a bonus. I think he did well to win Toronto and to make the US Open final. Tying Federer’s six World Tour Finals titles this year will be difficult but ending the year as number one will be the main objective.

It would seem illogical that he won more slams and Masters than Murray and still doesn’t finish number one. Whatever the case may be the indoor season will be interesting to follow with that all-important race to number one!

Who will end the year at the top of the rankings?

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Who Will Win Beijing and Tokyo?

This coming week is the ATP 500 events in Beijing and Tokyo and with the withdrawal of Djokovic from Beijing, there will be a new winner than the past four years. In the last 7 years, only one other player than Djokovic won the title(Berdych) but he will play Tokyo.

You can view the draw for Beijing here and for Tokyo here. For Beijing, I think the winner will come from Murray, Nadal, Thiem, Raonic, and Pouille. For Tokyo, I think the winner will be among the top four seeds Nishikori, Monfils, Berdych, and Cilic.

Murray only has Thiem in is half while the bottom half should be interesting with Nadal, Raonic, and Pouille battling out for a place in the final. Nadal and Pouille are in the same quarter which means the possibility of a US Open fourth round repeat.

Thiem and Zverev are drawn to meet in the first round which will be interesting too. They have already played each other four times(all on clay) and Thiem leads 3-0.

In Tokyo, I like Nishikori’s chances after the withdrawal of Stan(last year’s winner) because he is playing at home and has already won the title twice. But, of course, Cilic can be very dangerous and so can Monfils and Berdych.

It’s nice to have two of the big four back this week as well as Pouille who is an exciting prospect for the future. Hopefully, we will see some good matches that keep us busy until Shanghai next week!

Who will win Beijing?

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Who will win Tokyo?

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Djokovic: “No. 1 is not my priority anymore. I’m no longer thinking about the number of titles.”


Some interesting revelations from Djokovic today at his press conference in Belgrade where he is training after deciding not to go to Beijing. It is obvious that all the talk of records has taken an emotional toll on him and that he is not enjoying the sport as he used to.

Enjoyment is, after all, the most important thing so it is good to see he has his priorities straight. Djokovic doubled his slam titles from 6 to 12 in a question of two years so it is hardly surprising that there was so much talk of records.

It’s been probably the most dominant run in tennis history and he is obviously feeling the pressure. There has been a lot of talk about a decline of late which shows you how high he set the bar because he is still the holder of 9 out of the 14 biggest titles in tennis, including two grand slams and the World Tour Finals.

Since when is that decline? It is mostly the hopes of people who want to see him decline. Maybe Djokovic is just giving those people some false hope by acting like he is not as motivated as he was before?

I don’t think so. I genuinely believe that he is feeling pressure and that he wants to get back to enjoying tennis again. It is totally the right attitude to have. Breaking records and trying to fulfill expectations should definitely not come before having fun.

That is indeed a recipe for burnout and failure. So, in the end, I don’t see anything too surprising here and I think Djokovic is absolutely doing the right and smart thing. If you enjoy what you are doing the rest will come by itself.

It is all about priorities and Djokovic is spot on in my opinion. He has already reached huge goals like winning the French Open, completing the personal slam, and getting into the GOAT debate. It only makes sense that he should have less pressure now, not more.



How do you feel about these new revelations?

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