Final Thoughts on the 2015 Wimbledon Championships

Hello, tennis fans. As usual I am back with my customary post grand slam post. There always come out new and interesting things from a slam final and one post is not enough to write about it all. I also like to do a post that kind of sums up the tournament as a whole. And finally, I don’t want it to be over that quickly. The slams are always special and the most exciting thing for tennis fans, when there is the most activity on my blog and there is a kind of lull when it’s over so I’d like to extend it a bit longer with another post(or two).

  • Additional Thoughts on the Final, Djokovic, and Federer

The final didn’t deliver the drama of last year’s final but the quality of tennis was higher. Both Djokovic and Federer are better players now than they were one year ago. Federer adjusted better to his new equipment and playing style while Djokovic improved his offense with the help of Becker. Federer played his peak level against Murray, but it turned out to be one match too early. When I first heard Djokovic had recruited Becker to coach him I thought it was ideal for him.

Why? Because I had noticed that Djokovic was not effective enough at finishing points, even back in 2011-12 when he had that 7-match winning streak against Nadal. And it came back to haunt him as Nadal managed to turn the head-to-head around again due to that flaw in Djokovic’s game. To the points that I thought Nadal broke Djokovic mentally in the 2013 French Open semi-final and that he would never win a slam again. But then at the end of 2013(if I recall correctly) Djokovic decided to hire Becker.

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My first thoughts were that it was perfect because Becker would help his volleys and ability to finish points which were his problem against Nadal. At first I didn’t see any improvement in Djokovic’s net game and of course he even lost at his favorite Australian Open in 2014. At the French Open that year he also lost in his third consecutive slam final. Things weren’t looking good for him and Becker. But then of course he came good at Wimbledon and broke the slam final curse.

He also won the Australian Open this year and now Wimbledon. And this year especially it has become clear that his offense has improved, but not only his net play but also his serve and baseline game. Throughout Wimbledon this year his serve was good but not amazing. In the final it just exploded where he used it to save breakpoints and win free points. He is now much more safe overhead and a very competent volleyer. And importantly he also plays aggressive from the baseline.

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He has always been great at turning defense into offense, but now he makes it count more. He rips the forehand and uses it to finish points better. He will never be the offensive player Federer is, but he doesn’t have to be because his defense is so much better. He is now better adapted than Federer for the current era of tennis with powerful racquets, string technology, and slower conditions. I always thought Federer was the perfect player, but Djokovic is redefining perfection in this era.

He has a much better backhand and returns than Federer too. It’s very hard to call Federer’s backhand a weakness but in the current era it is not ideal and can be exposed, by none more so than Nadal. Then there is also the question of Federer’s mental fortitude and fighting abilities. He is mentally very good but not as good as Djokovic and Nadal, as his five-set record compared to Djokovic and Nadal illustrates. He has the ability to choke and he doesn’t fight as hard as those two.

  • Where Does Djokovic Go From Here?

Is Djokovic more complete than Federer even? I would say for the current era yes. Especially with the recent improvements in his game it is hard to find any flaws at all in his game. He isn’t as good a server or volleyer as Federer, but he has a better backhand and returns than Federer. I said before the final that Federer would win because on faster courts his superior offensive game favors him. But Djokovic showed he has great offense himself and the depth of his groundstrokes is just incredible.

That made it awfully difficult for Federer to dominate proceedings and forced him into unforced errors. Djokovic’s ability to paint lines from the baseline is one of his most extraordinary abilities. And he doesn’t just do it on any point. He does it under immense pressure. His accuracy and feel for the tennis ball is unreal. Take for instance that return he made at 5-3 and 30-15 in the fourth set. Smack bang on the baseline for a winner from a Federer first serve. BOOM.

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That’s why I say it was probably the highest level of tennis I have ever seen. There is something supernatural about it. Where does Djokovic go from here? I am always hesitant to join the hype after someone won a slam but obviously winning Wimbledon doesn’t hurt Djokovic’s chances to win more slams. The French Open loss was a setback and had he lost in the Wimbledon final too things would have looked kind of bleak. But he still looks extremely dominant.

This is why I feel he is the legitimate successor of Federer. Unlike Nadal, he has shown he is a true #1 and can dominate for extended periods. He can also dominate all surfaces while Nadal is a glorified clay-court specialist. Djokovic is also a much better offensive player than Nadal, especially with an improved serve and net game. I have already said he is my favorite for the US Open, but nothing is guaranteed so I won’t believe any more hype before he wins another US Open.

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Then he will be on double digits for slams and chalk up another three slam titles year. If he achieves that then we can start asking questions about him catching Nadal or Federer even. He is already 28 so I don’t join Wilander-type hype that says he can win 8-10 more slams. Wilander is being extremely obvious in saying things to create hype and getting people involved. If Djokovic wins the US Open, the Australian Open, and the French Open next year, thereby completing the Djokovic slam and the career slam, then I will start thinking about it.

If he does that he would have done something even Fedal could not do and there would be a reason to believe he can do more extraordinary things. But that is highly unlikely with someone like Stan around for one, who can catch fire and blast everyone off the court over two weeks. There is a reason, not even Fedal could do it and I’m 99% sure it is not happening for Dokovic. Probably he will not even win the US Open this year but we will see. He does look very dominant and at his best no one can beat him bar Stan perhaps.

Where Does Federer Go From Here?

(To be continued…)

Ps. Check out Matt’s post too. Another good one!

The is in your court.

Posted in Grand Slams, Wimbledon.

47 Comments

  1. I didn’t comment in the last post because I needed a little more time to digest the loss. But I would tell all of Federer’s fans here to not lose hope and give up on him right now. Because Federer is playing some of his best tennis right now and could catch fire even in the US Open coming up and especially with next year being an Olympic Year with tennis on hard courts, I think it could very well be a big year. In any case i don’t really care if Federer wins a damn thing from now till the end. I will support him till the day he retires and I would urge all the Fed fans here to support him as well and not lose hope. So what if he lost. Djokovic caught fire and Fed’s level dropped a bit. Still Federer fought like only he could and this final if anything makes me believe he has still got it in him.

    About Novak, he says and does all the right things off the court and I sincerely hope he means it. He is damn good player I will give him that much. Almost everyone unanimously agrees I think that he deserved the win. I also think Federer respects him and knows how good he is. So I don’t expect this loss to play too much on Federer’s mind because he just loss to the better man on the day.

    To Ruan personally, you were always one of Federer’s firm believers and I would ask you as well to believe in him. I think he has at least a couple of more really good years left in him and he could even lap Nadal and maybe even Djokovic if he keeps going like this. Maybe he doesn’t need to defeat Djokovic, Instead maybe a 36 year old Federer can defeat someone else to win Wimbledon !!

    On wards to bigger things hopefully in the summer hard court season !!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I agree that Federer is still playing very well, but physically he finds it hard in the BO5 at his age. Even at Wimby after dropping only one set the entire tourney he looked tired in the 4th set vs Djoker. Last year he was tired after the Monfils match at the USO and he can’t beat everyone in straight sets there anymore. He is too up and down now. He is not very consistent in slams anymore even with friendly draws. Next year Wimby he will be another year older and Djokovic doesn’t feel like giving up his title.

    [Reply]

    jason Reply:

    That would be an apt description of Federer’s state of game right now. Indeed he’s too up and down, especially when you look back and the likes of Seppi could beat him in a slam, Stan completely blowing him off the court, and the fact that he has not won any Masters yet this year. This is also why I didn’t count on Federer keeping his level at the final as high as the Murray game. Perhaps, just perhaps, if he had gotten a harder draw at the French and subsequently easier at Wimby (i.e. flip them), the outcome of that final would have been a bit less certain. But that would have been a big request of miracle…and miracles don’t usually come that way.

    Regarding Djokovic, his game is very balanced between offense and defense. Perhaps the most balanced we have seen in tennis. I wish him a long career, and also that he can at least exceed Nadal in the slam count department because he is such a mental giant and class act…a much better suited figure to hold such credentials. Although he will always be remembered as the Djoker (and he still does have that part in him), Djoclass would be a more apt description of him these days. He’s my 2nd favorite player now… a close 2nd behind Federer.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Djoclass. I like that. Although I like the Djoker too. Even at the time I didn’t like him he was still funny with his imitations and jokes. He brought something funny and interesting to the game. Federer’s game is very exciting, but he’s a boring personality. He doesn’t do anything controversial. He’s just a PR bot. But yeah, Djokovic is classy these days in his own right.

    Apparently the crowds don’t appreciate him as Federer but I hardly noticed. Who cares about them? If they can’t appreciate the tennis he plays they are in the wrong business. I like the way he shows emotion and gets in people’s faces too. Federer was always a bit too ‘nice’, which is why his biggest rival dominated him.

    [Reply]

  2. Very thorough and informative wrap-up, I enjoyed this offering.

    Congratulations to Novak, he is indeed a complete player and force to be reckoned with. Commiserations to Federer fans, but really, to have this man competing in the final days of tourneys and slams consistently is amazing.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Glad you enjoyed it, Marron. And I agree, Federer playing the way he did against Murray and Djokovic was a treat for Fedfans. Sure it’s not fun when he plays at his peak and only just manages to win a set, but he is 34 after all and Djokovic is in his prime. I don’t know what more can you ask for as a Fedfan. I think that match against Murray was special and that Fedfans should be grateful.

    [Reply]

    Hari Reply:

    Nothing you can ask more, I mean he reached the final at this age which in itself is a big thing. But I accept another thing, you can’t expect Federer to beat Djokovic henceforth in any slam, his body does not accept the wear and tear of a 5 setter I feel. Plus the champion is in his peak and I have not seen a 33 year old player beating the champion at his absolute peak that too in a grand slam final of all.
    Federer has a lot of positives and if he needs to win the elusive 18th slam, he not only needs luck in his draw but also will need to avoid the likes of Djokovic in the final, which is too much of an ask. But as I said before, I’m not following tennis to see Federer win grand slams. Watching the man itself is more than enough for me as his fan.

    On another note, Djokovic was too good in the final. No shame in losing to such a performance!! That Federer won the 2nd set was a big thing

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Hari. Federer’s body can’t take the wear and tear of 5 sets, especially on hard courts. Grass is more forgiving and it suits his game better too. Wimby is the only chance I think where he can win a slam, but stranger things have happened so who knows about the USO. One thing is for sure, I’m not getting my hopes up like last year when he had a great draw. If he beat Cilic he only had Kei left to beat in the final. Not facing any big 4 members it doesn’t get any easier, but then he wasn’t clinical enough vs Monfils. Djokovic was the same against Anderson at Wimbledon but unlike Federer he can physically afford that.

    It’s hard to believe this year he won’t have to play a big 4 at the USO again and even then he is not guaranteed of the title. I think the Djoker will win a second USO this year. He is back to 2011-like level. Maybe even better with his improved offensive game.

    I’m glad you can appreciate Federer for what he is – a very inspirational and still very high-quality player. His problem is just the BO5 because he can win Dubai and Shanghai but not the slams. At the slams, he has only been #2 in the world at Wimbledon in the last couple of years. In the other slams, he is well below #2. I also agree it was a big thing that Fed won the second set. He showed amazing determination again. Djokovic had several chances to win that set, but Fed just wouldn’t let him get away.

    [Reply]

    IWC2015 Reply:

    Djokovic is definitely mentally and physically the toughest player right now. Only Wawrinka can breakdown his game with his brutal power on both wings. He is likely to win a few more slams before turning 30 and he could be very well at least match Nadal’s 14 GS in the next 8 GS tournaments.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t think about Djokovic catching up with Fedal. It’s too far away right now. What I would like to see is him finally winning the FO and completing the career slam next year because that in itself is worth 2-4 slams probably. It’s very hard to do and I think Djokovic kinda deserves it because he has a very complete game. More complete than Nadal. It would be a terrible shame if Nadal completed the career slam but not Djokovic. I almost feel like Nadal doesn’t deserve it. He wouldn’t have it if Fed didn’t choke in the 2009 AO final.

    [Reply]

  3. Ru-an.
    This is spot-on: “He is now better adapted than Federer for the current era of tennis with powerful racquets, string technology, and slower conditions. I always thought Federer was the perfect player, but Djokovic is redefining perfection in this era.”

    This is a great observation. That’s a good perspective on the game, seeing it as an evolution of the species, given the different “climates” and technologies, etc.

    One has to have a solid defensive game and no one has a better one than the Djoker. I think that was the only flaw in the massive prediction of Federer in straights. Although people compare Murray and Novak’s return of serve and maybe somehow this translates to other comparisons in their games. . . No. Djokovic is a MUCH better physical and mental opponent than Murray, the crumpet. I look forward to talking about Federer’s game in your next post.

    In my post, you can see I put Djokovic undoubtedly at that highest level. In fact, his majors count now does put him just below Borg, Nadal, Sampras and Fed. But he just moved beyond that other group of Agassi, Lendl, etc. He’s in great company, for sure. But for him to reach beyond, he has to be stronger in those major finals. Losing the French was, in a sense, devastating to his career arc. I over-reacted, but it would have done wonders to his confidence (and his numbers). He still has to win the French. That would have been a big checkmark. But he’s on his way. He should be fine.

    As for his record in finals, it’s pretty mediocre. That is a bit of a concern, but you might have touched-on how he is remedying this short-coming: Becker. I would argue he lost the French because he did not bury Murray in the semi-final and rest. Going five with Murray just seems ridiculous at this point. Losing to Murray in the USO final and the Wimby final? That’s just inexcusable stuff. But other than that, he has had to battle two of the GOATs so we can cut him a little slack. A Serbian friend of mine said Djokovic’s recent letdowns is a Serbian thing: once they have reached the top, they become complacent. Hmmm.

    I think he really needs to win the USO. He has struggled there. I have argued his struggles in NYC are similar to his struggles in matches. He starts quick and can’t put away his opponent. Yeah, a bit of a reach, but 1-4 at the USO? Is he tired? Finish!

    Great stuff, Ru-an.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Matt! Crumpet is a good word for Murray. It’s true that Djokovic has a relatively poor record in slam finals. The ones he lost to Murray is especially tragic and I didn’t watch the USO final, but people said the wind was a factor there. I did, however, watch the Wimby final and Djokovic definitely looked gassed there. I think that SF with Delpo was just brutal and took a toll, like the SF at the FO this year too.

    Same thing happened to Fed when he played Delpo in the SF of the Olympics and then got straight-setted by Murray. Draw to play a role without a doubt. Djoker’s FO draw was just brutal. You said he shouldn’t have gone five sets with Murray, but Murray had just won Madrid schooling Nadal and was many people’s favorite to win the FO. In the third set, he raised his game and played huge from the baseline.

    Anyway, none of that matters and there are no excuses. The important thing is he won Wimbledon and now has a positive instead of a negative record in slam finals. And like you said, he is now ahead of legends like Lendl and Connors(Agassi is something different because he won the career slam). That is already huge. In the end, the amount of slam final losses won’t count against you anyway. It’s all about hw many you won. But you re very right bout the FO. He badly needs that one especially after having been so close so many times.

    [Reply]

  4. What an Insightful article..!!!!

    I think Federer doesnt need good draw & luck but If Djoker and Nadal isnt playinjg him than He can win another Grand Slam, which is unlikely.

    At age of 33,,He still World no.2. What more can we ask for?? I remember 2008 when critics were saying that Federer is going down & he may not win another slam..but he came back like a Phoenix and won 4 more slams.We fans didnt think in our wildest dream that Fed will reach Wimbledon Final in 2014-15. We expected him to see 2015 Final from Royal Box not playing in Center Court.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Dharmesh and a very insightful comment too! Fedfans forget so easily, or they weren’t there at the end of 2008 when I started this blog. Losing to Nadal in the AO final in 2009 was sheer devastation. He looked mentally broken after that(when he broke his racquet in Miami vs Djoker) but rose from the ashes like a phoenix and won 4 more slams. Then in 2013 he looked done but came back to make 2 more Wimby finals.

    He is still very good and consistent which gives him the #2 ranking, but he isn’t #2 in the slams anymore. The BO5 set format is physically tough at his age. But so what? He’s still doing great.

    [Reply]

  5. Another interesting article

    https://trove.com/a/How-great-does-Novak-Djokovic-have-to-be-to-be-fully-appreciated.6MBRf?nocrawl=1&utm_medium=twitter&ts=1436834730&utm_source=sns&utm_campaign=hosted

    [Reply]

    jason Reply:

    Nice article, although I do have one quibble: the 20 slam math is silly…this highlights the problem of common people: extrapolating everything to infinity. In reality, life is a highly non-linear process.

    By the way, here is a generalization that I think is closer to reality: defensive parts of everyone’s game declines faster than its offensive counterparts. This is likely the reason why more defensive-minded players peak earlier in their careers. This is also likely why the top players who has great flexibilities develop their attacking games more as their careers progress. By now, we have seen Federer, Djokovic, and even Murray adjust their games to be more attacking. Besides for completeness, it is also likely due to necessity (to win more and to prolong their careers).

    I think this is where Nadal stumbled as his game is not really that much open to flexibility. This also happened to lesser past champions, e.g. Hewitt. And your previous assertions of Nadal being one-dimensional rings very true especially in this aspect.

    It remains to be seen how Djokovic will cope with the decline of his defensive game when it comes. How he copes with it will determine how much glory he can achieve and how long his top flight career will be. Federer coped with this by being ultra aggressive. He once had the 2nd best defensive game and now he’s nowhere near that. The result was more sporadic results in slams, yet with sometimes very strong runs into the title.

    My guess is that Djokovic’s run will be a bit shorter to Federer, due to the more physical nature of his game (Murray will be even worse), although I must mention here that he’s not solely relying on it. So for Djokovic, the next year and two will be his golden years…where he must push hard to win everything that matters most.

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    Jason,
    I agree Jenkins’ math is silly. But I think he can be productive 2-4 more years (the fourth where maybe he gets one last one, etc.). I can see it very possible that he wins 3 of the next 5 majors. That puts him at 12 at the end of 2016 – that’s not unrealistic at all. So then he has a couple of years to reach and pass Nadal. Either way, he should be in that stratosphere when it’s all said and done. Catching Federer is a pipe dream/not a chance.

    Elaborate on your defensive skills deteriorate. Fitness deteriorates, so one who used to be able to dig and return everything (nadal, djokovic, etc.) might lose that part of their games, but the return skills – ability to play-up close or on the baseline and put a first serve at the server’s feet, etc., those skills aren’t necessarily going any sooner than an active serve-and-volley game. Offensive skill will deteriorate faster, unless you’re talking about a huge serve. Roger’s unforced errors (back hand, sloppy forehand) have done him in. He found his serve at Wimby and threatened winning the thing.

    Agassi (defensive monster) played into his mid to late 30s challenging at the majors. Borg was a good defensive player. Courier gets mislabeled a bit. He was pretty offensive, hit the crap out of the ball.

    I don’t see the defensive skills deteriorate fast theory as being the one that hinders Djokovic at all. His game is getting better and his competition is getting scared (should be). Who will challenge him consistently other than Stan??? who is inconsistent. And that flexibility you talked about? If Djokovic’s burgeoning net game develops nicely, that will serve him well (pun intended).

    Djokovic’s biggest hurdle is his own difficulty putting guys away and moving-on. This was Roger’s greatest asset. As Ru-an has pointed-out, the draw is a big factor. Can’t really change that. I think the time is now for Djokovic. Looking at that math, a year from now will be quite telling. I think 12 majors at the end of USO 2016 would be a reasonable bet.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Djokovic could surpass Federer or he could be finished winning slams. Why worry about that? Just enjoy it for what it is. As for Agassi being a defensive monster I am strongly going to have to disagree on that with you Matt. He was purely an attacking baseliner. There was nothing defensive about his game at all. I agree with Jason that defensive skills deteriorate as you age because you lose foot speed.

    Another thing I don’t necessarily agree with is Federer’s ability to put opponents away. There are many examples. Nadal AO ’09 was the worst, USO ’09, ’10 and ’11, and many more. Especially vs Nadal and Djokovic. As soon as someone really resists and take Federer’s weapons out of play he struggles to put them away. He doesn’t have a good five-set record compared to the rest of his records. In short, he chokes.

    You could make a similar argument for Djokovic, but he is more clutch and calmer under pressure. I don’t think there is any doubt about that.

    Hope you don’t take any offense. Just saying it the way I see it.

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    Agassi is considered by many to be one of the best returns of serve ever. We’ll have to agree to disagree. I have seen people consider Borg a great defender and others say he’s a great attacking player. There is some interpretation here, clearly. But I remember Agassi’s defense against the likes of Sampras, etc., being key. If you’re a baseliner, you have to have some defensive prowess. But yes he was a big hitter, of course.

    The discussion of Djokovic’s projection all-time is interesting, imo, because it’s the unknown and conjecture is part of the fun of it. I am enjoying and have been, no doubt. To me, as an old Fedfan long ago, Djoker saved the world LOL. I like overthinking.

    As for Fed putting people away, sure he struggled but you’re referring to mostly those matches against those two players. His hey-day, I’m afraid, where he mopped-up on the competition winning major after major was against the Roddicks, Gonzalezs, Soderlings, etc. Roger took care of business in many of those finals. He was surgical. Nadal and Djokovic made life much more difficult, to your point. He has failed to put those guys away, which is a smaller part of his story. His best years were dominant. He finished very well.

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    For example, in Fed’s 4 AO wins, he lost only one set in the finals.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, he is very dominant and clinical when he is in control and winning. It’s when he runs into serious resistance that the mental cracks show up.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes and Agassi was an attacking returner. If you hit a winner off a return of serve that is offense for me. He had great passing shot too. But he stood on the baseline and dominated by moving guys from side to side and hitting winners. Defensive-wise he didn’t even come close to Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray. He was not even a great mover.

    You are right Federer was surgical in his prime, but who did he beat? Soon as he played guys like Nadal and Djokovic and Murray even he struggled to put them away and lost the long battles.

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    I think we’re saying the same thing. If Djokovic puts players on the defensive on their first serve it’s great defense and becomes offense. We’re splitting hairs.

    The main point of discussion was longevity. Djokovic’s game is sustainable, maybe not as much as Roger’s but unless Novak decides to hang it up early, he can play effectively at 30/31 years of age.

    The whole Roger image is based so much on that earlier dominance. He flew through so many majors (straighties in many of them) vs. weaker competition. He got it while the getting was good. Starting in 2009, yikes. It has been tough to watch sometimes, but his consistency still is a thing of beauty.

    One anecdote that says it all with the Fed legacy. He has the 17 which is enough said but then there’s stuff like this: I was at the Indian Wells semi between Raonic and Rog and quite often it was a guy who would yell between points: “I love you, Roger!” The fans would laugh, lap it up. Plus he was embarrassing Milos. The Fedfans are a big love fest/worship service. Ha.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Check this out. Djoker already the slow HC GOAT after this season.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Jason. Of course, 20 slams are silly. I just thought the idea that Djokovic should be appreciated more was interesting. I found Federer’s personality a bit boring and one-dimensional, so from that standpoint I like Djokovic more who is more in-your-face and controversial.

    People are always hyping someone after they won a slam, which is why I don’t take it seriously. A third Wimby title is great in itself, especially for someone who had one time it was thought that grass was his worst surface because he couldn’t move properly on it. With his improved offense, he is now a very good grass courter. And Wimby is a title you can win when you get older because it’s the easiest on the body of all the surfaces.

    Federer won his last slam in 2012 on grass. I think with his improved offense Djoker can win several more Wimbies. And unlike Nadal or Murray, he is not a natural grinder. He does have a great defensive game, but he has an equally good offense probably. He doesn’t grind the way Nadal and Murray does. He uses defense to get into offensive positions. He is a very natural athlete and with his stretching he doesn’t get injured.

    He doesn’t use the same physical exertion as Nadal and Murray. It’s something much more smooth and effortless. I think his offense will keep improving and help his longevity too. But yeah, I don’t think about things like 20 slams. Just pure hype and silliness. I just enjoyed the fact that he could turn around what happened at the FO and that he is back in a dominating position. Next he may not win the USO and then all of a sudden people will say he can only win a couple of more slams or whatever.

    The hype is stupid. Just enjoy the moment.

    [Reply]

  6. Another interesting post, Ru-an. I agree with you about the hype Djokovic gets now that he’s closing on Fedal’s slam count. Before FO, people were 100% sure that he’s winning the career slam and also the calendar slam this year. But look what we got. There’s a good chance Djokovic won’t win the USO this year as well. It has been one of his worse slams apart from FO. Anyway personally I feel even Djokovic and his team knows that catching 14 is a reasonable goal, but 17-18 is totally far fetched. Although if he reaches 14, he’ll undoubtedly become a better player than Nadal. His game style and fitness is already at a extremely higher level as compared to Nadal. The transition he has undergone from being just an offensive baseliner to a complete all-court player is tremendous. I don’t see Nadal beating him any more, in case they ever meet. If he had been playing this well in 2012-13, Nadal would have had a couple of slams less and Djoker himself would have had one or 2 more, thereby making them almost equal. Anyway all those hypothesis aside, I think even now it’s not late for Djoker to achieve the maximum he can with his potential.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Nakul. People(especially Veronica :)) ) were convinced he would win the calendar slam and, of course, many thought the career slam. But once I saw his draw I knew it was unlikely. The hype starts very quickly and comes to a halt very quickly.

    Djokovic is already a better player than Nadal to me. Much more complete which counts big time for me. Nadal dominated one surface. Djokovic is dominating everything like Federer, which is why he is closing in on his weeks at #1 record. Djoker just needs the career slam, which I think he will get eventually. I don’t think then there will be much doubt he is better than Nadal. Never mind the number of slams won. Nadal is a one-trick pony who has won 9/14 slams on one surface, never won the WTF, and never defended a title off of clay.

    And I agree with your last sentence. Djokovic took a while to hit his peak in 2011, but I don’t think it’s too late to achieve his maximum potential. If he can make this another 3 slam title year and hit double figures by the end of the year that would be huge already and put him right on track. What I saw from his in the Wimby final was very inspiring and makes you believe he can do great things, but one shouldn’t always think about surpassing Fedal. One should appreciate this title for what it is because who would have thought a few years ago Djokovic would win three Wimbies? Who would have thought he would eventually surpass the likes of Lendl and Connors? Those are big things that should be appreciated in their own right. There is too much obsession with surpassing Fedal and the future.

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    Veronica Reply:

    “set in stone…..” =)) GOAT, Ru-an, for the most convinced comment of all time! =)) GOAT. Puts my “great/realistic chance of Djoker winning calendar slam” to shame! :))

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Federer winning the final was infinitely more likely than the calendar slam =))

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    Veronica Reply:

    Most convinced statement, not likelihood. And my “great chance” is still alive; next couple years and maybe even beyond if Djoker can stay healthy and hungry and there’s a gap at the top. Whereas your convinced statement is dead :))

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. Predicting the calendar slam after one slam is done every year and every year it fails. Why not wait until someone actually wins the first three slams before even mentioning the calendar slam? Or at least the first two? People never learn. The first three slams of the year have not even been won by the two modern GOATS Federer and Nadal. Not even the first two! :)) At least what I predicted was one match away, not 50 matches or something :))

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    Veronica Reply:

    Haha! but my original comment was I said he had great chance in the next few years while he is at his peak and dominating the tour. It was a general statement, not a specific statement. In which case it is an open statement. And it was not even a prediction or a hype. It was an observation of a player who is on another level, who has separated himself from the pack, does not have a nemesis and in his prime. He is in a better position than prime Roger. Is it so irrational and unreasonable to make such an observation? I’ve never ever hyped up a player, not even Roger. But Djoker has taken my breath away. And as I said to you quite a few times before, I’ve always thought Djoker can be better than what he was and now that he has broken through, I’m extremely impressed; especially how he is always seeking and learning and improving and adapted so well. His depth of shots which NO player has on a CONSISTENT level, has always impressed me, and which, remains for me, his strongest weapon and the base of his game. Just.Pin.them.back. Haha! Anyway, Like you, I don’t like hype and predictions too. Let’s move on and enjoy this golden era of tennis. :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well then I’m glad you were so impressed with Djoker that he took your breath away. But don’t forget there is a reason not even Fed could do it. And I thought you were talking about this year. I think you were, but it doesn’t matter. And I don’t think he will get it next year either. If he does get it he will be the GOAT just about straight away but yeah I don’t see it. I’d love to see someone at least win four slams in a row, as in the Djokovic slam. I think that would be very special and just as good as a calendar slam, but again that is very difficult to do.

    Also very much agree with your observation about his depth of shot. Exactly liek you say – pin them back. He is extremely difficult to attack. Not even the best offensive player ever probably could do it at Wimbledon. That’s what that match came down to. Djoker just didn’t allow Fed to dominate him. His depth of shot, returns, and defensive skills just made it impossible. And then he has some weapons of his own to pin you back. Just a very difficult problem to solve for anyone.

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  7. Highest level ever seen. LOL Serisously Djokovic wasn’t so good in the the first 2 sets. Fed should have won them. Fed wasnt good either. Not getting enough first serves in the important games.

    Djokovic won but even a tab better/younger federer would have taken the first two sets and it would be a different match.
    I think u have forgotten what the federer peak was like. Djokovic is solid really solid but the Fed peak was a spectacle Djokovic has a long way to get anywhere near that.
    Even the competition Djokovic has is in a way much weaker than that fed had to face. Federer was the sole force who kept the new generation at bay preventing Nole,Murray,Nadal winning slams(outside FO) Nole on the other hand is having to struggle (albeit succesfully so far) to stop the old generation from winning slams with no new players even in the mix,

    I think you are overhyping Djokovic.

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    anchit Reply:

    Adding to above.
    Fed’s baseline game(forehand specially) has deteriorated. you would be a fool to say it is better /equal to what it was at his prime. Yes Djokovic prevented federer from attacking but would he able to stop a prime Federer ?
    It would be much more equal contest from the back with a quicker,sharper fed not so easily fazed by the Djokovic depth. Couple that with his serve and the fact that even today’s fed almost could have been 2 sets to love up., paints a much different picture

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Wrong. He should have been two sets to love down, not up. Djokovic fooled around in the second set. Next time it will be straight sets.

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    Matt Reply:

    Look at who Fed faced in finals, especially during his “peak.” Then clarify your comparison of competition. Fine, Fed beat whoever he faced, can’t take that away from him, but saying his competition was stiffer than Djokovic’s is silly.

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    anchit Reply:

    Who did Djoker face a ageing fed , dying nadal ,Murray(who is similar to hewit in his records ) Read this article the first part if u think nole has a tougher competition (this argument might be good for nadal but for nole lolhttp://www.oregonlive.com/the-spin-of-the-ball/index.ssf/2015/07/has_novak_djokovic_benefited_f.html

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    Matt Reply:

    You’re saying a 2007 Roddick or Gonzalez is stiffer competition than a 2011 or 2012 Nadal or Federer?

    I watched all of it unfold. Rog dominated when he was the true head of tennis.

    Djokovic has had to overcome two other greats. That is just the way it is.

    Federer’s run is for the ages, but take it easy on the reinterpretation of tennis history.

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    anchit Reply:

    nadal post 2010 was only competition to nole on clay.
    2012 well I think belonged to fed more than to djokovic. He lost numerous times to fed. This just shows that nole struggled when faced with true competition from a resurgent fed(still ageing) last year and this their isn’t been much true competition for djokovic. And these are the years which have lead people especially on this blog to suddenly convert to Nolefam

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    anchit Reply:

    Just look at his draw at Wimbledon to get a feel for what I am saying. At the FO he faced 2-3 players who are a bit above the rest and he no longer was able to dominate

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    Matt Reply:

    I don’t think it’s Nolefan – it may seem that way to Fedfans, however. People are just acknowledging the present. Nole is representing #1 pretty respectably. Federer was great and is still playing well. It’s not that difficult.

    Btw, are you saying Nadal has been irrelevant since 2010? Just because Novak beat him doesn’t mean he was over the hill.

    You’re reaching.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Don’t be silly. Djokovic had the toughest competition of all, facing prime Fed, prime Nadal, and prime Murray. If anyone had weak competition it was Federer 2004-2007.

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    anchit Reply:

    When did prime nole face prime Fed? feds prime was till about 2009.
    He faced prime Nadal and conquered him.
    So the only prime great he faced was Nadal which he conquered but not at FO
    And yes prime Murray but Murray so far is comparable to a Hewitt/ Roddick

    I think you people are just getting swayed by whatever is new and shiny a kind of stick with the winners attitude.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    And I think you are stuck in the past hoping for something that is probably never going to happen while missing all the greatness that is happening before you. In other words, you are not a tennis fan but a Fedfan. My blog doesn’t have to do with Federer and his glory hunter fans who want one last slam(despite having 17 already) and a fairytale ending anymore. It has to do with tennis.

    Prime Federer was until AO 2010. I didn’t say Novak was in his prime when he faced prime Fed. I said he had to deal with prime Fed, prime Nadal, and prime Murray which is all true.

    Prime Federer didn’t conquer prime Nadal. He was conquered by prime Nadal. Djokovic, on the other hand, conquered prime Nadal in 2011-12 in no uncertain terms.

    The only prime great prime Federer faced was Nadal and he got conquered by him in his prime and past his prime.

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  8. I have no problem acknowledging the fact. Djokovic is th #1 he is the best player in the world right now (solid and complete in all respects) and has been since 2013 atleast.
    This doesnt change the fact he only won 1 slam last year. While people like wawrinka,cilic did too.
    I fail to understand you guys equating Djokovic with federer’s peak.

    Nadal has been injured for 2 years almost after 2010. and is definitely over the hill this year.
    yes Djokovic has a huge part to play in the demise of nadal but a record against 1 player doesn’t mean too much.

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