Isn’t it ironic how my last post was about Djokovic winning everything and then he loses his very next match? But then all the winning he did has a lot to do with this loss in my view.
By now you are probably aware of the fact that Djokovic suffered a shock 4-6, 6-2, 4-6 loss to Vesely in his first match in Monte Carlo. I could only watch in patches and Djokovic appeared to be burned out.
It reminded me a lot of the Frantangelo match in Indian Wells but this time, he couldn’t pull out the win. And a lot of credit has to go to Vesely for that. He didn’t seem to choke at all when he had the opportunity to finish Djokovic off.
He was always going for his shots and played very well I thought. Djokovic, on the other hand, was missing much more than we are used to seeing from him and there is no doubt in my mind that all the tennis he has played of late took its toll.
The signs were already there during Davis Cup against Kazakhstan where he needed five sets to beat Kukushkin. Then he lost the first set to Frantangelo in Indian Wells. From there on he got a second wind as he won Indian Wells and Miami without dropping another set.
But even during those matches, he didn’t look particularly fresh. It looked like he was just doing enough to win. The only times he played his best were in the finals.
So I happen to think this was a good loss for Djokovic before a very important clay season. He’s played more tennis than anyone since the beginning of the year and even if you win that takes a toll. I don’t like Davis Cup but he decided to play it instead of taking a much-needed break and now he paid the price for it.
But at least he now gets two weeks off before Madrid. Last year he skipped Madrid because at some point you just need a break. If you keep making the finals like him it eventually will take a toll especially if you play Davis Cup as well.
I thought there would be enough breaks for him but in hindsight the matches in Davis Cup, Indian Wells, and Miami were signs of burnout so I think it’s a good thing he lost his first match in Monte Carlo.
It gives him the maximum time to recharge and come back fresh for Madrid. I’m sure this loss was big news in the tennis world and the haters are now saying that this is a sign Djokovic is getting ready to ‘choke’ for the French Open.
I wouldn’t get my hopes up just yet if I were them. We will see what happens when he comes back refreshed. He didn’t win Montreal or Cincinnati before the US Open either and yet did the business in what could also be considered a cursed slam for him.
As a fan, I am far from worried. I think this is a much-needed break before a very important clay court season for him. But we will see. No one knows what the future holds.
- Elsewhere in the Draw
Today Federer lost 6-3, 2-6, 5-7 to Tsonga in the quarterfinals as well after winning his first match against Garcia-Lopez. He won’t be 100% match fit after his break but it’s not like Tsonga can’t beat big name players either.
So in the end, you have to give Tsonga credit for that win who will play his compatriot and friend Monfils in the semis who defeated Granollers. So I bet the French are happy that they will have a French player in the final.
The bottom half has been just as interesting with Nadal defeating Stan 6-1, 6-4 today and Murray destroying Raonic 6-2, 6-0. I didn’t watch any of the bottom half action but I guess Nadal must have been playing pretty decent to defeat Stan by that scoreline.
Same thing for Murray. The last time Nadal and Murray met on clay was in last year’s Madrid final and Murray won that match 6-3, 6-2. He looks to be in good form so that will probably be a competitive match.
The top half is tough to call as well. But with Djokovic for once an early loser, I’m sure all these guys will desperately want to take advantage. Murray and Nadal because they have been struggling of late and the French players simply because Monte Carlo feels almost like home to them.
Looking forward to the conclusion!