Djokovic Wins Doha Displaying Highest Level of Tennis Ever Played

As I predicted Djokovic raised his level today for the final but what I didn’t expect was how high he would raise it. It was a mindblowing performance with Djokovic making 75% first serves and having a winner to unforced error ratio of 30-13.

That wasn’t only the highest level of tennis I have ever seen from Djokovic but from anyone. He quickly raced to a 3-0 lead after breaking Nadal and from there on just kept slapping winners almost at will to crush him 6-1, 6-2.

That is as close as anything to perfection you will ever see on a tennis court. Just very few unforced errors while taking huge cuts at the ball hitting winner after winner. Just when you think tennis can’t be played at a higher level Djokovic takes it up a notch.

For the people who doubted Djokovic and didn’t think he could keep his level from 2015 up this will be quite a rude awakening because today Djokovic played at a higher level than at any time during 2015.

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A special trophy for Djokovic whose late grandfather called him ‘Falcon’

If he keeps this level up he will win the calendar slam with ease, but it’s impossible to play this well all the time. At the very least it will send a strong message to his rivals who harbor any thoughts of dethroning him in Melbourne this year.

The holiday is officially over. Djokovic is back to business and he isn’t taking anything for granted. He will just be focused on the next match and on playing his best tennis. If he does that you’d figure he will be tough to stop.

This was Djokovic’s 60th title and 12th title in 12 months. Pretty dominant stuff and it sets him up as a firm favorite in Melbourne. It’s kinda scary to think what Djokovic can do in Melbourne in this form and it makes things more exciting going into the first slam of the year.

As for Nadal, he was made to look like a Futures level player by Djokovic but he would have done that to anyone today. It’s fun to see Nadal getting crushed like that with his negative retrieving game.

Nadal’s plan was to serve big and play aggressive but with the way Djokovic was returning and crushing the ball his only option was to revert back to his relentless retrieving while Djokovic was happy to boss him around the baseline like a headless chicken.

Very satisfying viewing indeed. It’s like I said in my last post if Djokovic plays at a decent level there is nothing Nadal can do. Djokovic is just too complete while Nadal is limited. Djokovic now leads the head-to-head for the first time(24-23).

He has also utterly owned him in their last 10 meetings leading 9-1 now.

  • Swiss Boys Into Finals of Brisbane and Chennai

So it wasn’t to be for Thiem as he went down 6-1, 6-4 to Federer but I saw that one as a freebie and still a very good week for him. As for Federer, it must have been an improved performance from the Dimitrov match but we will see what happens in the final.

I didn’t watch the match but Federer plays fast and that doesn’t really suit Thiem’s game with his big swings. Federer can certainly make things awkward for Thiem in a variety of ways with his experience and variety.

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So I’m hopeful that Thiem can do well in Melbourne while Federer plays Raonic tomorrow who defeated Tomic in two tiebreaks. Tomic is a very good player in Australia so that is a good win for Raonic who looks to be back close to his best.

You’d expect Federer to win the title but who knows. It is not a foregone conclusion.

Finally, Stan will play teenager Coric in the final of Chennai. You’d expect Stan to win as well but Coric is a very promising youngster so who knows. Maybe he can cause the big upset.

  • Update

Just found this on Twitter, in case you thought I was exaggerating. There should be no doubt left.

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in ATP 250, Doha.

14 Comments

  1. As I’ve already said in an earlier post congratulations to Djokovic once again. His level has to drop eventually, but right now he is unstoppable in this form. As for Federer, though Raonic played a good match, from what I hear Federer was coughing and spluttering throughout the match, and his backhand in particular was awful. He also served three double faults in one game. But one thing I didn’t like, even as a Federer fan, was when he said at the trophy presentation that he had been ill. I mean it was clear to everyone watching, and he had already made his case about it earlier in the week to the media. Repeating it again at the presentation just sounds arrogant. Sometimes I support Federer in these debates, but I do think that particular comment was uncalled for after a loss.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    The problem with Federer’s remark is what must Thiem feel like? Or Kamke for that matter? Was he healthy against them? Or are they just that bad that they get destroyed by Federer on his death bed? I don’t think it feels good for a youngster like Thiem who I’m sure looks up to Federer.

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    universal123 Reply:

    There’s only one possible interpretation I can think of. Before I say this, let me just note that I have no medical experience, nor have I ever had flu, so there are many people more qualified than me to comment. But the way I understand it, flu causes tiredness as well as the other symptoms. Let’s say for arguments sake that Federer can play, in theory, at 90% or more of his normal abilities for say 3-3.5 hours. If the flu reduces that to maybe 75 minutes or so, it means that he can play well and win easily, but if he gets dragged into a slightly longer match he is likely to lose. Apparently it was the same here. The first set and a few games of the second set were competitive, but then things seemed to go downhill dramatically for Federer. That’s the only explanation I can think of which can explain his strange performances this week. Could be right. Could be wrong. Who knows. Maybe one day Federer will bring out an autobiography and all will be revealed.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Doesn’t matter. Federer will probably do just fine at the AO.

    [Reply]

    universal123 Reply:

    Key for him these days seems to be getting out of the first few rounds. If he gets to the quarters he’ll be fine until he plays Novak IMO.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    So you think he is the favorite vs Nadal, Wawrinka, and Murray?

    [Reply]

    universal123 Reply:

    Not necessarily. I don’t buy the Nadal recovery yet, though I wouldn’t be too surprised. If he does make it to play Federer he will probably win, but yeah I think Murray has a bit of a mental block against him these days. Wawrinka will either play amazingly well and beat Federer IMO, or it will be like the USO again, and TBH I think the latter is more likely.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    But if Federer gets Nadal in the QF you think he will be fine.

    [Reply]

    universal123 Reply:

    No, I don’t think that Nadal will get that far. So yes I think if he makes it to the quarters he becomes the favourite to reach a match with Djokovic in either the semis or the final. However, that is before the tournament. If Nadal makes the quarters and Federer would have to pass him to meet Djokovic then I would re-evaluate my opinion. So my gamble here is based on Nadal either being in Djokovic’s half and losing, or losing before the QF, or the unlikely chance that Federer beats him if he makes it there, though that is the most unlikely of the three ways Nadal could be eliminated.

    Actually just took at my post again, and the second line where I wrote “if he does make it to play Federer he will probably win” seems ambiguous now I read it back. The intention there was that [he] means Nadal, not Federer. If that isn’t what you are asking, the first paragraph is where my main point is.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok no worries I thought you said Federer would be fine from the QF onward but that he will probably lose to Nadal which seemed like a contradiction. Maybe you didn’t realize they can meet in the QF. Anyway, the way I see it if they meet in the QF there can only be one result.

    [Reply]

    universal123 Reply:

    I would give Federer maybe a 15% chance of winning if Nadal makes it. 10% based on the prospect of Nadal collapsing injured on the court and retiring from the match, or limping around the court hopping on one leg or something. The other 5% would be an absolutely amazing performance from Federer from start to finish. The fact is that if Federer wants any chance of winning it has to be straight sets with no problems. The minute he starts to encounter any resistance from Nadal, Federer usually crumbles quickly, see AO 2012 where he was a set and a break up and lost despite having a massive series of chances in every set, particularly the second and third sets. It would literally have to just be one of those days (which all the top players have occasionally), where they just paint the lines over and over again, and his serving would have to be exceptional. He would have to repeat the Wimbledon semi performance against Murray from last year, but we all know that Federer rarely produces his best against Nadal. As much as I would like to believe otherwise, Nadal in either 3 or 4, with Federer having chances in the first 2-3 sets then losing something like 6-1 or 6-2 in the last set played (either 3rd or 4th) is by far the most likely if they play. Not an absolute drubbing, just a typical Fedal match: Federer has chances, maybe even takes an early lead, then crumbles and loses key points when he has the chance to REALLY get in front.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I was wondering why you thought Nadal won’t ‘make it that far’. Last year he made QF and he has been playing much better than last year this time. Federer, on the other hand, lost third round, and you could argue he is playing worse now since he won Brisbane last year and lost in the final this year. Don’t you think it’s more likely that Federer will lose before the QF than Nadal?

    [Reply]

    universal123 Reply:

    I just think that the Doha loss will have seriously damaged Nadal’s psyche and I just think if he runs into a free hitting opponent he has a decent chance of losing. About Federer, the correlation between his warm-up tournament results and his performances in the slams is dubious. In 2012 he won Wimbledon after losing in the final to Tommy Haas of all people in Halle. In 2013 he won Halle but then lost to Stakhovsky in the 2R at Wimbledon (albeit 2013 had been a terrible year already). In 2012 he looked great in Cincinnati then came unstuck against Berdych in the QF at the USO when many people were even predicting two slams in a row, or at least reaching another final. In 2011 IIRC he won nothing during the clay season then played one of his best matches ever (IMO) in the semis of the FO and then pushed Nadal the closest he has ever pushed him at RG. If only for that damn drop shot… Anyway I think you get the point. It’s quite difficult to predict at the moment which is more likely but that’s my take on it. Obviously if Federer’s draw is stacked with guys like Raonic, Berdych, Cilic etc I will change my mind.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    The fact that Federer kept bringing it up is also an indication to me that it didn’t affect him much. Everyone already knew about it, he was coughing etc. Why bring it up again after the final? That seems a bit desperate.

    [Reply]

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