Djokovic Bagels Wawrinka to Make Record 14th Consecutive Final of the Season

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

What happens tomorrow?

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  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in Masters 1000, Paris.

12 Comments

  1. I think that you are too critical of Djokovic’s play in the second set. Wawrinka was able to retrieve everything and send it back with interest. It was reminiscent of FOF where Djokovic couldn’t go through him. Instead, he tried to extract errors by varying spin and angles, but Wawrinka was able to read it well. Djokovic had one crucial overhead miss, but it was difficult ball and he was aware that on this surface he could get it back (thus, he had to use more power and less control). Apart from that, his overheads were fine. I sow that Wawrinka had one important overhead miss at the beginning of 3rd set. I don’t know what really happened in the 3rd, but if Wawrinka loss little bit of energy, that would be it. He won a set, but paid high price for that. Overall, it was a stern test that, for me, Djokovic passed with flying colours. He was mentally able to come back from a situation that was so similar to his most painful defeat (won the first set and than unstoppable Stan woke up; now he stopped him). Today, I expect another great battle. Murray looks so good.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Don’t get me wrong George bageling Stan in the third is a great result. I realize I was being critical, but let’s face it I don’t think he will be over the moon himself about leading 6-3, 2-0 and losing five consecutive games. And it all started with that overhead. I don’t remember the overhead, but I don’t think it was a difficult one.

    It doesn’t matter. What matters is the way in which he came back by playing a perfect third set. Just saying there is room for improvement which is sometimes hard to believe.

    [Reply]

    David Reply:

    Ru-an, I think losing the 2nd set was the best thing that could have happened to Nole. All week the fire has been missing from him and he had seemed subdued and lacking that fire that we have been seeing. As soon as he felt the threat that he could lose a match, the fire came back at full force and he dominated the 3rd set. What I loved about this match is that it showed me that he learned from the loss to Stan in the French Open. At the French Open Nole waited for Stan’s level to drop and it never did. He finally stopped waiting in the 4th set where he had his chances, but it was too late. Today he didn’t wait to try and dictate play against a powerhouse like Stan and this really showed by how many times Nole went to the net to try and push the issue. Even though he wasn’t perfect at the net, it was a good move to be more aggressive and actually try and beat Stan by showing initiative and not play good enough not to lose to Stan. That is my take on what I am seeing from Nole against Stan now. If he were to meet him in the finals at the French again in the future, I don’t see him waiting for Stan’s level to drop like he did this year. He will be as aggressive as possible and not leave the decision on Stan’s raquet. That is most encouraging to me. I felt like at the Australian Open against Stan and Murray, Nole waited for them lose there level and tire them out instead of actually winning the match. That worked for him there, but he got burned at the French because of it. It didn’t feel like he really beat Stan or Andy at the Australian Open. It felt like he played not to lose. So Nole is really learning from this. It’s awesome to see.

    [Reply]

    George Reply:

    Second this.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Interesting take, David. Could be right because Djokovic is always looking to become more aggressive which I think is very important. Especially against Stan like you said. He should definitely not be passive against Stan. And same against Federer. Very important to stay aggressive and not allow them to impose their games on him. He doesn’t have to allow it. His offensive game is good enough.

    [Reply]

    David Reply:

    Also, I love what he is doing with his forehand more and more now to shorten the points. The cross court forehand that is hit with so much spin and creates a near impossible angle to get to it at the side of the court, instead of always hitting it flat and hard. I have notice that he is really developing this shot more and more lately. It isn’t hit very hard but is so effective and can be used against anyone.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, I have noticed it too. His cc fh is very good. He can hit it hard with angle or slow with extreme angle. Both equally effective.

    [Reply]

  2. I agree with you. It will be good for him to be kept on his toes and never be satisfied with the level of play. This is much better than thinking “I am so good”.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    This should also tell you something about his mindset

    http://www.menstennisforums.com/2-general-messages/728737-djokovic-practicing-alone-five-minutes-after-beating-simon.html

    [Reply]

    George Reply:

    Thanks for the link. It will be fun watching Djokovic in the future. It looks like he plans is to go as far as he can.

    [Reply]

  3. Well, Ru-an’s next article isn’t out yet but Nole has done it. F***ing dominant display. In high stakes situation, the serb continues to impress. Who is going to stop him at WTF? He basically owns the field except for wawa who cost him a calendar slam. When the world #2 and #3 is this far away… Is the fueling talks of weak era again? Hope not. Field isn’t weak. Just that Nole is too bloody strong at this time. Ha! Good tournament.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah when someone dominates people who don’t know any better start the weak era talks. The same people would have said nothing if Djokovic was not as dominant so how can you take them seriously?

    [Reply]

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