‘The Djoker Slam’ Did Not Get the Recognition It Deserved

I already made posts where I emphasized the significance of Djokovic’s personal slam which he completed this year at the French Open but I haven’t dedicated a post to that specifically and I think it is due.

And the reason I think it is due is because of the lack of attention it received in the mainstream media. One reason it did not receive the attention it deserved in the mainstream media is because Federer and Nadal are their favorites and the fact that Djokovic achieved something neither of them ever could, was upsetting to the mainstream ‘pundits’.

Djokovic is viewed as the outsider because he is from Serbia and because he is a serious threat to Federer and Nadal. Of course, there isn’t any legitimate reason for him not getting the recognition he deserves.

It is simply because of bias and because the mainstream western media is one of the worst evils this world has ever seen. That goes for all things, not just tennis. It is also because the mainstream media are not true tennis fans.

It is more a question of hyping whoever is the most popular and therefore getting their websites the most clicks. That has never been the case with me because I have true love for the sport and my main priority has never been website clicks.

I appreciate tennis not website clicks. I am opposed to this kind of ‘tennis journalism’ because I think it hurts the sport more than it helps. It doesn’t give people a true appreciation of the sport and it doesn’t enrich their experience.

Either way, these journalists didn’t give Djokovic the credit he deserved for winning the Djoker slam and I aim to rectify that in this post.

  • Is The Djoker Slam the Greatest Achievement in Tennis History?

‘The greatest achievement in tennis history’ is of course highly subjective and there would never be a consensus but the Djoker slam should be right up there. The calendar slam is the holy grail of tennis and only Laver has been abe to do it in the open era.

Then there is also Federer’s 17 slam titles. Add Djokovic’s personal slam and you probably have the three greatest achievements in tennis history. You can make a case for the Djoker slam being the greatest achievement of them all.

Laver’s calendar slam was done on two different surfaces; grass and clay. Djokovic is the only man to have won four consecutive slams on three different surfaces. The calendar slam is done in a calendar year which makes it unique but holding all four major titles at the same time is still holding all four major titles at the same time.

Djokovic also did it in a very competitive era where tennis has become more professional than ever. It takes a truly special player to hold all four major titles on hard court(fast and slow), grass, and clay at the same time.

Everyone knows what a special player Federer is but not even he was able to do that. And that is because Djokovic is even more complete than Federer. Federer has the slightest of weaknesses on his backhand, returns, and mental strength.

Djokovic is certainly one of the best ever in all three those areas. What makes him so special and the best in history at his peak is because he almost puts as much pressure on you on your service games as he does on his own service games.

His world-class returns and movement make that possible. I have written about Djokovic’s ability to relentlessly pressure his opponents on countless occasions but it is worth repeating. Tennis is after all about pressure.

The player who can exert the most pressure on his opponent wins the match. That is tennis in its simplest form and that is why Djokovic is so good.

  • The Genius of Simplicity

The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” –Albert Einstein.

There is a certain simplicity to Djokovic’s game which makes him a genius.

People tend to think a genius is someone like Federer who can hit spectacular shots and awe an audience. While it is easy on the eye it doesn’t necessarily translate to efficiency. Obviously, Federer has been a highly successful and efficient player.

But Djokovic maybe even more so. Contrary to Federer, Djokovic does not appear to be spectacular. His genius is more subtle and to the untrained eye may even be boring. But for someone who can appreciate it I assure you it is spectacularly entertaining.

Yes I was a Federer fan and I appreciated his shotmaking and elegance but Djokovic’s tennis has been even more entertaining. The ruthless efficiency and effectiveness of it is a sight to behold. Just unheard of.

I particularly enjoyed the contests between Djokovic and Federer because it was genius vs genius with Djokovic’s ruthless efficiency usually coming out on top. Mentally he was also stronger than Federer winning the big points.

I’ll never forget the first couple of sets of their Australian Open meeting this year where Djokovic was just in the zone and made the great Federer look like an amateur. That is not something that ever happened to Federer at a hard court slam.

It was simply breathtaking tennis.

  • In Conclusion

I think the Djoker slam was a remarkable achievement the likes of which neither Laver or Federer achieved for reasons I have already outlined. I am not saying it is a greater feat than Laver’s calendar slam or Federer’s 17 slam titles.

But it is certainly unique just as their biggest achievements are unique. As far as the GOAT debate goes Laver, Federer, and Djokovic is tier one for me. Their unique achievements put them in a league of their own.

Sampras’ seven Wimbledon titles, Nadal’s nine French Open titles, and Borg’s three channel slams were all remarkable achievements in their own right, but they don’t quite match up to what Laver, Federer, and Djokovic achieved.

I think it is a shame that Djokovic’s personal slam is not more celebrated and recognized but the people who know something about tennis know how special it is and I can assure you they appreciate it.

It is something that propelled Djokovic into the tier one GOAT debate with Federer and Laver and it may never be achieved again. In fact, it is so remarkable that if Djokovic doesn’t win anything from here on he will still be in the GOAT debate with Federer and Laver.

No doubt Federer has had amazing consistency and Laver had an incredible run in 1969 but Djokovic’s dominance from the beginning of 2015 to the French Open this year has been the most dominant in history.

Djokovic has also had amazing consistency and he is not done yet. I am looking forward to seeing what he has left but I wanted to make a post at the end of the year to emphasize the greatest achievement of the year by far and maybe the greatest achievement in tennis history.

I don’t control people’s views or the media but I do know something about tennis and I want to at least give people the opportunity to appreciate the Djoker slam but most of all give it the credit that it is very deservedly due.

  • An Afterthought

One last thing that occurred to me as I read though my post was that Djokovic completed the personal slam at the French Open which he had never won before and which had been a cursed slam for him.

It also meant he completed the career slam and the personal slam at the same time. I don’t think the significance of this should be underestimated. I’m sure it helped Laver that he achieved the calendar slam in 1962 as an amateur before he did it again in the open era as a pro.

When Djokovic won the personal slam at the French Open he was in an unconquered territory and cursed territory at that. The rain even tried to get in his way again but he took his destiny into his own hands like a true champion.

No wonder he suffered from mental and physical exhaustion after that!


A Tribute to Boris Becker

There is no doubt that the Djokovic-Becker player-coach partnership was one of the most successful partnerships in tennis history if not the most successful. It would therefore almost be a crime for me not to do a post to pay tribute to Becker after the two decided to part ways to my great disappointment.

This partnership was one of the most enjoyable things for me about tennis in the last few years. When they first decided to work together I personally thought the partnership made a lot of sense having watched Djokovic losing his grip on Nadal during 2013.

He needed to add an extra dimension to his game to finish points more effectively and decisively because Nadal was taking advantage of his lack of finishing power. And I thought Becker was the ideal solution for that.

There were plenty of skeptics about the partnership, especially when Djokovic lost his Australian Open crown as soon as they started working together. But Djokovic and Becker were still finding each other which they did at Wimbledon that same year.

That was the beginning of unprecedented success where they won six out of eight slams, two World Tour Finals titles, 14 Masters titles, had the most dominant tennis season in history in 2015, and of course won the career slam and the personal slam.

Unbelievable success. Given their unbelievable success rate, I guess it makes sense to a certain extent that they decided to part ways after what happened the last six months. They had set such high standards that they expected nothing less than the absolute best.

Still, I feel like the breakup is disappointing because I think Becker’s technical as well as mental input was a tremendous asset to Djokovic. Since he hired Becker he improved immensely as an offensive player.

His serve, forehand, and net game all improved measurably. But Becker’s presence at the side of the court was invaluable for Djokovic in the mental department as well. The way Becker played mind games with opponents and the media is the stuff of legend.

Djokovic is the nice guy type who doesn’t like to intimidate or get in the face of his opponents. It is just not his personality. But against certain opponents, that is an important skill to have. And I think where Djokovic was reluctant to play that role Becker played it for him.

I am reminded of the Federer SABR tactic which Djokovic was too nice to counter by going straight at Federer’s body(which he had all the right in the world to do), but Becker said some things in the media which I don’t think sat very well with Federer.

That is just one example but a very fascinating and entertaining one at that. Becker comes out of a tennis era where that kind of mental warfare was much more prominent too and I think he enjoyed that role quite a bit.

And so did I. So I will miss his partnership with Djokovic and not just for the success they had. It’s hard to see Djokovic have that kind of chemistry and success with someone else but I guess you never know.

The main point I want to make is that it was an unbelievably successful partnership and instead of feeling sad, angry, or depressed it is something that should be celebrated. Becker took Djokovic from someone on six major titles straight into the GOAT debate in a question of two and a half years.

The climax was the elusive French Open title which gave Djokovic the career slam and personal slam and propelled him into the GOAT debate. If he doesn’t win anything more from here on he will still be in the GOAT debate with Federer and Nadal.

Neither of them completed the personal slam and neither of them was as dominant as Djokovic was in 2015. Djokovic reached the highest level of tennis ever played. He was the most complete and unbeatable player in history in his time with Becker.

He didn’t have a poor head-to-head record against his main rival like Federer and he didn’t rely heavily on one surface the way Nadal did. He didn’t have the mental flaws of Federer or the negative and defensive game of Nadal.

He could do it all. I’m not saying it is over but this is the end of the Djokovic-Becker era. And I wanted to celebrate the incredible success they had through this post and give Becker and the partnership the tribute it deserved.

  • What Is Next for Djokovic?

Who knows what is next for Djokovic but does it really matter? Of course, as fans, we want more success and to see him win more slams, but I think Djokovic achieved his most important goals at this point.

He set himself apart from Federer and Nadal with the personal slam and by winning the most Masters titles and through other things that I already mentioned. Sure we don’t want it to end now but I think we should view whatever is left as a bonus.

Personally, I’d love to see him win at least 2-3 more slams to leave no doubt whatsoever that he is a superior player to Nadal. To me, he is already a better player but it would just be nice if he makes it impossible for even the Nadal fans to deny it.

It would be nice if he can win 18 slams and surpass Federer too, but I never thought that he necessarily has to do that to be greater than Federer. Unfortunately, the brainwashed masses think grand slams are the only thing that matters in the GOAT debate.

It is the most important but it is far from the only. But like I said Djokovic has already carved out a very telling and unique legacy for himself in tennis. To become the undisputed GOAT he would have to win 18 slams but I think when Becker and Djokovic came together at the beginning of 2014 them or any one of Djokovic’s fans would have been ecstatic if they knew what the current outcome would be.

He is already in the GOAT debate and he still has the rest of his career to make an even stronger case for himself and to try and set himself apart from Federer and Nadal completely.

I was glad to hear that Vajda is staying with him at least so that there is still a familiar face left which have been with him through it all. I don’t know what lies ahead and whether Djokovic will hire someone new but I do think if Djokovic wants to stay dominant he must win the Australian Open next year.

Especially with him and Becker breaking up and the uncertainty that surrounds that I think it would go a long way towards reassuring his fans that he is still the dominant force in tennis. If he doesn’t win it the people who are pessimistic about the Becker breakup will become even more pessimistic.

No one knows what the future holds but it should be interesting to find out and from what I hear Djokovic is already back in Monte Carlo training hard!

Djokovic and Becker Shocks Tennis World with Breakup

First of all, I was as shocked and disappointed by this news as any Djokovic fan. I don’t think many people expected them to end the partnership this abruptly after all the success they had.

There were all kinds of rumors but I didn’t think the two would part ways just because Djokovic slumped after the French Open which seemed very normal in many ways. It is impossible to know the exact reason they decided to end the partnership because we are not part of the inner circle.

Becker may not even know for sure but as you can see in the above video the personal problems around the time of Wimbledon according to Becker was due to the fact that Djokovic and his wife was not spending enough time together.

I think marriage problems may well be the issue here although I want to make clear that I am speculating like everyone else. I just think Djokovic has looked subdued of late like his hands are tied.

For a tennis player or anyone else for that matter to be highly successful, there are many things that have to fall into place. It is not just one thing or what goes on on the court. Your personal life and relationships are very important too.

If you don’t have the right partner in marriage it can easily ruin you. Again, I’m not saying this is the case here. Becker says Jelena is a supportive wife but of course, he is not gonna say she is the problem.

A lot of people have blamed Pepe Imaz, Djokovic’s new spiritual counselor for his problems, but he is probably just someone Djokovic was looking to for council with the difficult situation he is facing.

Tennis, being an individual sport, requires you to be selfish if you want to succeed. If you don’t have the right partner in marriage it can easily destroy your relationship. Let’s take Federer for example.

He is married to Mirka who was a tennis player herself, understands the situation, and is extremely supportive. The ‘personal problems’ Djokovic had may well be the fact that Jelena requires Djokovic to spend more time with her and that she doesn’t understand what is required or isn’t prepared to support Djokovic unconditionally.

She is attractive but unfortunately the attractive ones are usually high maintenance. A man can consider himself extremely lucky if he finds a very attractive woman who will support him unconditionally.

That said, Djokovic is the one attaining all the success and Jelena should be playing the supportive role. It is not like Djokovic will play tennis for his entire life professionally anyway. A tennis player’s career is  short compared to other professions.

Jelena will have Djokovic for herself for the rest of her life when he retires and all the better for her if he achieves his full potential in tennis. If she really cares about him then that is what she would want for him anyway.

Unfortunately, people can be quite selfish and immature which is why your partner in marriage is one of the most important choices you will ever make. That is if you decide to get married.

I found myself in a confused state when I heard the news that Becker and Djokovic are breaking up but the more I read and talked to people the clearer the likely reason became for this shocking and disappointing breakup.

It may well be the case that Jelena doesn’t want to share Djokovic with Becker and with tennis because Djokovic has undergone the most strange and abrupt transformation of late.

From a guy who emulates Tesla and wants to become his equivalent in tennis Djokovic now looks like a tame and subdued man with his hands tied behind his back. Like a caged lion. If that is not a tragic sight I don’t know what is.