Djokovic Not Stressed Over Winning the French Open

“Whether or not I win the French Open, it’s not going to change, significantly, the way I look at my career,” Djokovic said in this video interview produced by Head, his racquet sponsor.

“Of course, it will be nice if I get to win it at least once before I stop playing tennis. But I’m not going to stress myself too much about it.”

“I’m just going to enjoy the second part of the season,” Djokovic said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to stay in form and be in good shape for the French Open.”

Waddup tennis fans. I am going to look quite far ahead with this post but I think it’s pretty relevant topic nonetheless. The French Open is one of the big events in the tennis calendar and this year’s tournament is going to carry a little extra significance since Djokovic has a shot at completing the Djoker slam there.

Neither Federer nor Nadal has won four slams in a row and soon we will find out if the Djoker can get it done. My opinion is he can but, of course, that remains to be seen. He has been in this position before in 2012 but couldn’t get it done.

There are some pretty significant differences between now and then, however:

  1. Djokovic is now even more dominant than he was back in 2011-12. He was more dominant in 2015 than in 2011 and he has been making some serious statements in 2016 already.
  2. Djokovic got married in 2014 and had a child in the same year. He is more stable and secure as a person than in 2012.
  3. Djokovic made the first step towards winning the French Open by pummeling Nadal last year in Paris. In 2012, he had not yet overcome that mental barrier which means it won’t put extra pressure on him this year. He now knows he can defeat Nadal at the French, even if he makes a comeback to form this year.
  4. Djokovic won the US Open last year which was a semi-cursed slam for him and that may help him to overcome the curse of Roland Garros.

Of course, these points are by no means a guarantee that Djokovic will finally win the French Open in 2016, but I think it shows that things are significantly different than it was in 2012. It has to be kept in mind that there is a reason why players don’t win four slams in a row every day.

There is a big psychological barrier to overcome. Winning the French Open is a big enough psychological barrier for Djokovic to overcome as it is. I mean he must feel cursed by now after all the stuff that happened there.

Add to that the psychological barrier of being the first guy since Laver to win four slams in a row and you have a pretty formidable psychological barrier to overcome. That said if anyone can do it it is Djokovic.

He is in a league of his own right now and have several more gears in reserve if needed. I think Djokovic has the type of game that should win several French Open titles. Not just one. If he wins it this year I think he can go on to win several more.

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He is a formidable clay court player. The only player who has beaten Nadal at the French Open as well as in several other big clay court finals. His ground game is such that he can be one of the all-time greats on clay.

He probably is already, but his resume does lack at least one French Open title. And now that I have built it all up, let me just get back to what Djokovic said in the video below. One needs to see these things in the proper perspective.

Yes, it means a lot to the fans and to me as well but nowadays he is a married man with a kid and if he doesn’t win the French Open his personal life won’t be affected.

And maybe more than anything, that is the kind of perspective which is going to serve him well when the pressure is at its peak.

 

The is in your court.

Federer Tells Fan to ‘Go Away’

Anyone in particular?

Novak Djokovic for example. I’m a big fan of his game but I also found out he’s a really nice guy. I remember the first time I saw Djokovic, I was with my coach from the ITF Touring Team, and I just stood in my place, completely star-struck. And she was like ‘you have to get used to this, they are all over the place’.

I was in a queue to get food and Tomas Berdych came to get some pasta and the cook told him he had to go stand in the queue. And I couldn’t believe it, that’s Tomas Berdych and the guy won’t give him food because he’s not in the queue. I didn’t have the best experience with Roger Federer, in the players’ lounge, I asked him for a photo and he told me ‘no, sorry, go away’. I was a bit shocked. Maybe I caught him at a bad time. Djokovic however, was so nice when we took a picture and he asked me if I was playing and he wished me luck.

Hi, folks. I hope everyone has by now recovered from grand slam withdrawal and gotten back to their normal sleeping routines.

I don’t have any tour news for you yet because the current events don’t quite fall under ‘cutting edge men’s tennis’ but I have something else more interesting for you.

And let me just make it clear from the outset that this post is not made with the chief aim of criticizing Federer. I’d like to think I am now above that kind of tennis fan pettiness.

I make this post to emphasize a difference between Federer and Djokovic which could be detrimental in their ultimate destinies in the sport.

There is a huge difference between telling a young admirer to ‘go away’ and taking a picture with him while wishing him good luck. It’s perhaps a small thing for the player but for the fan it is a huge thing.

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And it tells you a fair amount about the characters of Federer and Djokovic. It’s easy to be classy and nice when you are winning and the top dog. The true test is when things are not going your way.

And we all know that for Federer things have no exactly gone his way of late. He is not the chased one anymore. That honor now belongs to Djokovic. This is not the first time we have seen this kind of thing from Federer in recent times.

In the semi-final against Djokovic in Melbourne, he told a cameraman who was filming him during a changeover to ‘Get out of my face, please‘. There is a certain arrogance/aggression to what he says.

Now, I understand that he doesn’t like losing and that he is used to being the top dog, but as a public figure who is very famous I don’t think that sets a good example.

It comes back to that whole Federer cult thing where Federer is lifted up to a divine status which means he can do anything without having to be held accountable. My hope is to expose the establishment and give Djokovic his due credit.

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I don’t like this idea that Federer is the candidate of the establishment and that he is therefore beyond reproach. That’s a lot like Hillary Clinton who is the candidate of the democratic establishment despite taking vast amounts of money from corrupt Wall Street in campaign donations.

That kind of blind fanaticism is very dangerous and destructive in my view and it is something I am working to expose and eradicate.

To get back to the tennis, Djokovic is viewed as the outsider because of where he comes from and for what he is doing to the establishment. And because of coming from a tough background where everything wasn’t handed on a platter to him, he is very appreciative and down to earth.

He takes nothing for granted in tennis or as a person. This bodes well for him in his quest to become the greatest of all time. He is always looking to grow and improve which means there is no danger of becoming complacent like Federer did.

Is Federer as classy and nice as the establishment wants us to believe?

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Ps. I started writing my book yesterday 😀

The is in your court.

Is Federer’s Injury a Coincidence?

I want to inform you that yesterday I underwent arthroscopic surgery on my knee. I injured my knee the day after the semi-finals in Australia. After getting tests done when I returned home, it was determined that I had torn my meniscus. I apologize to my friends in Rotterdam and Dubai, as I was very much looking forward to playing those events. While this is an unfortunate setback, I am encouraged and grateful that my doctor said the procedure was a success. I am looking forward to attacking the rehabilitation process this afternoon with my team and working hard to get back out on tour as soon as possible. Thanks for all your incredible support. I will check in with all of you soon.

Well, I never got to my ‘Final Thoughts’ post on the 2016 Australian Open but I will say some more about it here. I just want to wish Federer a speedy recovery from his knee surgery. It is, of course, a setback when the Djoker’s main rival is injured.

I see there has already been plenty of overreaction from Fedfans about this injury. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It could give Federer a needed break after all the big losses to Djokovic since 2014. It may even help extend his career.

Like I told a reader, the injury may even be connected to all the losses to Djokovic. I don’t believe in random coincidence. The injury could be a physical manifestation of the mental frustration Federer has suffered with Djokovic of late.

He has thrown every trick in the book at Djokovic but Djokovic hasn’t moved an inch. It’s now becoming like the rivalry with Nadal. Federer can’t win any of the big matches and that must take a toll on him in some form.

The mind and body are connected so this injury doesn’t surprise me. This is perhaps Federer’s sub-conscious telling him that something needs to be adjusted. Federer’s back problems may have been a physical manifestation of his mental problems with Nadal as well.

Was it a coincidence that Federer’s back went from bad to worse in 2013 when Nadal was having that extraordinary year, only to recover completely ever since Nadal slumped again since 2014? I’ll let you decide.

Whatever the case may be, Federer has to figure out how to deal with Djokovic because he is not making any progress. Things will just keep getting worse for him. He already got pummeled in the first two sets in Melbourne.

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That was the kind of mental shock that could have resulted in the manifestation of physical injury. Djokovic is like a wall that Federer can’t penetrate. He has changed coaches, he has improved his net game, he has invented the SABR.

He has even grown a beard. Nothing works. Djokovic remains and impenetrable fortress to Federer. His one-handed backhand just isn’t good enough to hold up from the baseline against the best backhand in the business.

His biggest weapon, the serve, is neutralized by Djokovic’s lethal returns. If he comes to the net he gets passed. If he tries to hit winners Djokovic runs it down. There literally seems to be nowhere to go for him. This has to be enormously frustrating for Federer with his vast talent.

But more important than all the things I mentioned is the mental aspect. Because of where Djokovic comes from, he is a mental monster. He was hitting tennis balls inside an empty swimming pool as a kid before going to hide in the basement when Belgrade got bombed.

Becker calls him a streetfighter. More than a physical fortress he is a mental fortress. Nothing gets inside his head. He is immune. We saw that last year in the US Open final. It’s been a long road for the Djoker with many disappointments and setbacks along the way.

But he endured all and is now at the peak of his powers. No tennis player is his equal. He rules with ruthless efficiency. There is no weakness to be exploited. No chink in the armor. He takes whatever he wants and all must submit to his will. And yet he never becomes complacent.

I don’t know how Federer overcomes that. And again, he is losing the matches in the mental department. He gives Djokovic more than enough problems to defeat him but he doesn’t win the important points. No better proof of that is the 4/23 break point conversions in the US Open final last year.

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How does Federer at this point of his career change his mental makeup? Djokovic’s mental strength is something he developed all the way back from his childhood through years of adversity and setbacks while in comparison Federer had it easy.

Who and what you are as a person is not something that happened overnight. Everyone’s character is strongly shaped by their past. I’m sure there is a way for Federer to overcome his mental issues against Djokovic but he’d have to take a serious look at himself and admit once and for all that Djokovic is his superior.

No more of the ‘match is on my racquet’ nonsense. No more arrogance and denial. He never dealt with his demons against Nadal. Why would he do it against Djokovic? I think his body just gave him another signal that there is something to deal with but I wouldn’t get too hopeful that he would listen to that signal if I was a Fedfan.

Federer was always too proud and spoiled to admit that someone could be better than him or that he was the one that had to adjust. He was always told that he was the chosen one, the GOAT, a tennis god, or whatever else he was called.

I guess it got to his head because he didn’t want to admit that someone was getting the better of him or that he was the one who had to adjust. That’s what Djokovic referred to in his presser after the Australian Open final.

He said he didn’t want to allow himself to think that he has now set himself apart from the rest of the big four because you can get a big slap from karma very soon. Well, that big slap from karma came for Federer in the 2009 Australian Open final when he got the beating of a lifetime which to this day I believe he has not gotten to terms with.

I think I will just stop here. When I start writing about this stuff I can just keep going forever. Maybe I will self-publish a book on Amazon Kindle one of these days and sell it for $1 or something. Then I may finally get a financial return on all my work :))

Is Federer's injury a coincidence?

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The is in your court.