Are you kidding me? Djokovic dropped a set! A couple more records tumbled in the last two days under the onslaught of the world number one as he got the most wins over top ten opponents in a season yesterday and extended that record to 26 today with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 win over Stan.
Then he also made a record 14th consecutive final in a calendar year today breaking the previous record of 13 set by Vilas in 1977. As for overall consecutive finals, Lendl is still in the lead at 18 with Federer in second place at 17. It will be interesting to see how close Djokovic can come to those records if not surpass them.
The record for most wins over top 10 opponents is very impressive because if he wins tomorrow and a few more matches in London he will surpass the previous record of 24(held by himself and Nadal) top ten wins by a large number.
But what could be even more impressive is if he wins a record sixth Masters titles in a season tomorrow. I thought Stan had a chance of taking him out today, but now it’s hard to see him being stopped.
Sure Murray has looked good and defeated Ferrer handily 6-4, 6-3 today. But Stan is probably the most dangerous opponent for Djokovic and the fact that he bageled Stan in the third set today is an ominous sign for Murray.
That said, I certainly think there is room for improvement for Djokovic and I hope to see that improvement tomorrow. Today he was up 6-3 and 2-0 after breaking in the opening game of the second set and holding serve.
But then he fucked up badly with another Djokosmash which effectively handed the momentum right back to Stan and it triggered and epic collapse that lasted five games. He got broken again in the sixth game after some more poor net play.
This is where it became apparent that Djokovic’s finishing power still needs work. Not only at the net but also from the baseline. It always occurs to me when he plays Stan because Stan can really crush the ball for winners while Djokovic doesn’t have that power.
It’s tough to call it a flaw because like I said before you sacrifice speed for strength. If Djokovic has more power he would be like Stan and won’t be able to move as well as he does.
But there is no doubt he probably has the worst overhead of any number one ever. And he doesn’t always put away volleys that can be put away. But he also has one of the best coaches for that in Becker.
Only at 2-5 was Djokovic able to stop the rot but by then the damage was done. Stan leveled the score, but Djokovic immediately held serve to love in the third set and broke serve right away too. He was just perfect in the third set and after I was quite annoyed at his poor net play in the second set it was quickly forgotten after the bagel.
You can say Djokovic has some flaws in his game because he doesn’t have the volleys of Federer or the power of Stan but those are hardly flaws and he is so good in other areas that it only helps players to win sets, not matches.
Sometimes it costs him like it did against Stan in the French Open final but it is a very rare occurrence. By dropping a set to Stan today, it was the first time since the US Open final that Djokovic lost a set after winning 29 consecutive sets.
So congrats to Stan for that achievement. I guess the Swiss boys are still the Djoker’s biggest threats!
- Final Preview
I didn’t watch much of the Murray vs Ferrer match. I just saw that Murray got the early break and that Ferrer broke back. But in the end another very good win for Murray who increases his lead over Federer in the rankings again.
At this point, it does look like Murray will be the second seed in Australia. Murray is still showing very good consistency like he has throughout this season and deserves that number two ranking.
Tomorrow he will try to defeat Djokovic again like he did in the Montreal final, but I think this time Djokovic is in less of a mood to lose. He leads the head-to-head with Murray 20-9 now after crushing him 6-1, 6-3 in Shanghai.
So after doubting Djokovic yesterday he is again my favorite to win the title tomorrow. I don’t think he will be happy with what happened in the second set against Stan today, but he will also take a lot of confidence from the bagel.
I think he wants to put in a cleaner performance tomorrow and try to win in straight sets. That goes without saying, but I just think if he goes a set and a break up again that he won’t collapse again.
We know Murray is a quality opponent though so the final should be well worth watching. And that is not even mentioning the history that is on the line.
Should be fun!
The is in your court.