French Open Day 14: Djokovic Shuts the Door on Murray

  • Murray Wins the Fourth Set

So today the Djoker and Murray was back after play got suspended yesterday at 3-3 in the fourth set. Both players looked confident in their early service games as only one point went against serve in the first four games. Then at 5-5 Murray started winning the long baseline rallies again and got the break after an unforced error from the Djoker. All of s sudden he was taking control of the match, and held serve to square things up at a set all. At this point I thought he would win the match.

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I had seen no inclination from the Djoker to change his tactics and to me it seemed like the momentum had permanently swung in the favor of Murray. All he had to do was stay consistent from the baseline and the Djoker would keep making errors without being able to end points due to lack of power and variety. The Djoker was not able to hit through the court like Stan for instance while Murray, on the other hand, was pushing and retrieving like peak Nadal and the Djoker kept making unforced errors.

  • Djokovic Changes Gears

At the beginning of the deciding set the Djoker steadied the ship with a service hold, but only just after the game went to deuce. I still thought he was in serious trouble, but almost out of the blue he broke Murray in the next game and held serve to take a 3-0 lead. Murray then held serve and that was the last game he won in the match, as the Djoker breadsticked him. Just like that it was all over. The Djoker has this extraordinary ability to look down and out and then change gears to finish his opponent off.

Almost like he plays within himself all the time in case he needs an extra gear at some point. It’s quite extraordinary and I have never seen anything like it. It’s like he gives the opposition hope and then snatches that hope away right in front of them again. He did it to Roger in Indian Wells this year and Wimbledon last year. He did it to Murray in Miami and Melbourne this year and now he did it again. He basically just began hitting Murray off the court, where up until then he lacked the power to do so.

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Not sure if focused enough 

At 3-1 and 30-0, he hit a blistering forehand winner after a long rally. He was hitting more winners off the ground and approaching the net more often too. Murray made sure he tested the questionable Djokovic smash, but it held up well. Where was this tennis in the third and fourth sets?! I guess he was just teasing Murray, making him believe he had a chance before crushing his hopes in the fifth set. I’m not complaining. I can’t stand Murray’s relentless retrieving and pushing.

That reminds me way too much of Nadal, and nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing that kind of anti-tennis getting destroyed by an attacking player. That said, I do think Murray did very well to get back into the match. I really thought he figured the Djoker out this time. But now it looks more like the Djoker is beginning to own him. At least it seems he is coming closer, but how many big matches can you lose to a guy before you develop a mental block against him?

  • Final Preview

For the first time since 2009 we will have a French Open final that doesn’t include Nadal. What a joy! But besides that we will have a final between two players who play attacking and watchable tennis. It is the final I hoped for, but at the same time I am torn because I want both players to win the title. I want the Djoker to win the title to finally complete the career slam after all the heartbreak he suffered in Paris, none more so than the 2013 semi-final where he had Nadal at his mercy.

Clearly if anyone deserves it then it is him, but on the other hand Stan may never get this opportunity again and I’d love him to win the French too. At least if he does not win the title then he would have already silenced many critics who said the Melbourne run was a fluke. He clearly has the game to beat the very best. It is just a question of stringing enough wins together for a week or two. Consistency is his main problem. There has never been any doubt about his ability since winning the Australian Open.

In Stan, the Djoker faces a very different challenge that he faced against Murray. The big thing today was that he won the fifth set quickly. Ideally he would have wanted to win in four sets, but given how quickly the fifth set went it was more like a nice practice session. I don’t think physically there will be a problem for him. Maybe if it is another long five-setter. His draw was always a monster and if he was gonna win the title it was almost going to take a monumental effort anyway.

I think he is on a mission. He wants to get this career slam behind him once and for all and with his seemingly mystical recovery abilities it is hard to go against him. But he has already lost to Stan in Stanimal mode in Melbourne last year which is even a better surface for him than clay, so it is just as hard to go against Stan too. His offensive abilities are right there at the top when he is in his current mode. This could well be another epic five-setter like in Melbourne.

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And if that happens then the Djoker is the one with the physical disadvantage. I really don’t know. This one is very difficult to call. Stan will play his usual attacking game. That is what he knows and it is so good that he doesn’t need to change it. The Djoker, on the other hand, can attack and defend equally well. He will try to absorb Stan’s powerful strokes and when the chance presents itself play attacking tennis of his own. He will try to catch Stan off balance with his lethal returns too.

Stan will not be able to get as many free points off his serve or be able to finish the point as quickly as against other players. The Djoker will return his powerful serve with interest and do the same off the ground with the backhand of doom. It will be one terrific contest between offensive and defensive tennis, but the Djoker does not defend like Murray for instance by retrieving relentlessly. He has unreal control on the return and backhand. Stan can hit a big serve or groundstroke thinking he is about to win the point.

But the ball comes back which completely neutralizes the attacking stroke, or more than that it turns into an attacking stroke that wins the point itself. So if Stan is going to win he will need more patience than usual. He will need to be mentally prepared to hit many balls. But he has done it before so he will know what to expect. It has to be said that the Djoker’s serve, net play, and forehand has probably improved since their meeting in Melbourne so that could make the difference. He also has a great drop shot to surprise Stan and keep him guessing.

It’s should be an absolute cracker!

Who will win?

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  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

73 Comments

  1. I agree with most of your analysis but I surely feel there was one serious mistake. I have watched every Djokovic-Murray match since Miami last year and Murray has almost always been the more attacking of the two. In fact you would just have to see the US Open match where the commentators themselves kept talking about how Djokovic is hanging on with his defense. That said in this match I think both of them were even in attacking intent and I think the better man won. And unless Stan does something extraordinary I think Djokovic will surely find a way to win the French.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Who was more attacking when it mattered, in the fifth set? But besides that Murray has a different style of defending than Djokovic. He keeps making returns until the other guy misses. The Djoker makes great gets too, but he does it with interest. It’s not just about waiting for the other guy to lose his mind and make mistakes. It is not mindless retrieving. It’s about making returns which leave the other player in doubt as to whether he should keep attacking or back off. Often they go for more than they should and miss. Murray does not know when to attack. It doesn’t help you attack all match and when crunch time comes you turn into a coward. That is not attacking tennis.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    I can see why would feel that since Djokovic did turn it around but if Murray had won the match maybe you would feel differently. My point was Murray is more attacking in general. I know very well in crunch situations Djokovic is going to be the boss but in the 3rd and 4th sets I don’t think I saw any mindless defending from Murray. In fact I think most people would agree that when he puts his mind to it he is the most gifted player out there after Roger when it comes to touch and slice and as far as brute force is concerned there again he trumps Djokovic. My point is even though I know Djokovic has a consistency beyond comparision which makes most people look like they are scrambling for breath, Murray was the one trying to do something in the match. Think about the Nadal Djokovic match up all these years. Djokovic knows he has to be the on on the attack or he is gonna lose. Similarly Murray knows if he waits for Novak’s level to fall its never going to happen. In that sense Murray is surely the more attacking of the two. At the same time he has no consistency and mentally he is far away from Djokovic so in the end I think over a match both of them play almost an identical amount of defensive and offensive points.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Sure Murray has is stronger and has better volleys. But when it matters he becomes too defensive. What happened in the 5th set? If he has so much more attacking than Djoker than why did Djoker hit him off the court? It doesn’t matter in the least if you have heavier artillery than the other guy, but you don’t use it when it matters. Murray was always a choker because when things got tight he started pushing. He has improved in that area, but he is still doing it more subtly. Djokovic is not a very strong guy. There is no way he should hit Murray off the court who is physically much stronger, and yet he does it.

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  2. I can’t stand Murray’s relentless retrieving and pushing.

    This is why I can’t warm to him despite liking him personally. When they played in the Wimbledon final I started off kind of supporting Murray due to the historical aspect despite being a Djokovic fan. But when Murray just kept getting points because of his retrieving and Djokovic’s errors when trying to put away points I switched back to cheering for Djokovic.

    If the Djoker had already won Roland Garros I’d be cheering for Stan but until the Serb actually gets the career grand slam I’ll be cheering for him. That said it is nice to finally watch a French Open knowing that no matter who wins I will feel happy for the guy. Cheers.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    :-bd

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  3. If Novak wins the title…. it was the orange outfit people…. I tell you… it was the orange outfit :))

    If Stan the Man wins the title… his jammies will be a collectors item !!! Next year you will see everyone in that table cloth !!! I tell you…. If Stan wins, he will never take that short off =))

    I know who I will be rooting for. Go make those shorts famous dude ;-)

    [Reply]

  4. Novak is extremely clutch when it matters most. At Wilmbledon last year Roger had a break point in the 5th which he didn’t take before losing 6:4.

    Also, this year in Rome Roger also had a break point and Novak denied him that as well prior to stealing the set the very next game.

    So, yeah Novak is a mental beast. Roger is there but only if he is to hold off an opponent. If he is coming back, he won’t be able to finish the job. And that has cost at least 3 Slams – Wimbledon 08, 15 and AO 09.

    Anyway. Fatigue might be starting to wear down Novak though. If Stan starts like a beast and take the 1st set, it will be very difficult for Novak. If Djokovic holds him off, however, he should win comfortably.

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  5. I thought there was something wrong with me for being disgusted by Murray’s mindless relentless retrieving, but now I feel better knowing that many others feel the same way :-)

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  6. Hard to say who was more offensive but Murray has always been less comfortable playing offensive and often retreats back to defence eventually. Roger was absolutely spot on when, years ago, he already said Murray will not win slams if he doesn’t stop waiting for mistakes. He has the skills, the physical ability; just lacking that more consistent offensive-mindedness but he is getting there. Whether you like Djoker or not or you are suspicious of his inhuman efforts, one thing is obvious. He is the smartest player on tour. After that AO slug with Nadal, he was smart enough to realise that it’s not the way to go moving forward. He started to end points faster and worked on his net game and his serve to get free points. He has become a more aggressive player and feels equally at home playing offence or defence. When he had all that health problem , he was smart enough to do something about it; whether you believe the gluten-free bullshit or not, don’t matter. But he has turned from a weakling to a beast. As Ru-an said, he has this uncanny ability to play within himself and when it needs be, he goes into his extra gear. My observations why he can do this, besides the obvious that he is the greatest player on earth, is he is a shrewd player. When you think you’ve got the upper hand, he lulls you into thinking that you’ve got the match (and some times even throws in a rope a dope!) and just when you are feeling comfortable, he ups his level and intensity, takes you by surprise and just smothers you. I believe he thinks very clearly on court, it’s like a card game to him, not just about hitting balls. You can see it in his demeanor. He lets out some frustrations when he’s under pressure but then he becomes zen and you can see his mind is ticking. This is part and parcel of his whole mental toughness. Just my two cents!

    45 mins to go! Stan can win this. His first serve must be high and he must not back off and execute well. That is the only way to beat the beast. And Djoker knows it. He will be putting every ball back and frustrate Stan. Somehow shbh players do give Djoker a bit of a problem (Roger, Stan,) and Stan will be his sterner test yet in this tourney, ie IF Stan turns up to play. It can either be a cracker or its gonna disappoint where Stan fizzles. There will be no middle ground. Hop Suisse!!

    [Reply]

  7. I guess just as you said Ru-an, the Djoker is a different kind of mental giant. It seems more and more that he’s very adept at playing cat and mouse mind games…in a way much more subtle & interesting than Nadal. Sometimes it involves luring the opponent to a trap. Other times it’s like “oh you’re playing great, I can’t keep up with you. Sorry just djoking bro, now here’s my turn.”

    It’s weird but quite fascinating. At the highest level you’ll need every edge you can get. And his way is quite refreshing.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Spot on Jiten,, Ru-an. Cat and mouse mind games. Essentially what I was trying to say above. He can outsmart you even when he is not playing well. I think this does explain how well he plays on the important points, his whole thought and decision making process.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    I guess that was meant for Jason, not me. But I will take that. :-) . Somehow, I was not giving Djoker the favorite tag (as you can see from my recent comments). Looks like the French open curse is on for Djokovic. Stunning tennis from Stan the man. Congratulations!

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  8. Stan’s not having a good serving day. Djoker’s serving well. Plus 3 bad calls (two from umpire, one Stan conceded himself) and Stan’s lost first set. Don’t see him winning this if his first serve doesn’t improve…. :-(

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  9. First serve I,proving second set but Stan, what are you doing….so passive…content to just hit with Djoker….??!!

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  10. Stan’s pulling a Roger…all those unconverted bp, playing safe. Djoker seems to be the aggressor…. :-O or am I watching this wrong……hey guys, Anyone here? What you reckon the match is so far…..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m here but my IPad doesn’t want to play along.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Set all now. Stan is back. Load shedding in an hour in my dumb country.

    [Reply]

  11. 1 set each. Game on!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Darn! Ru-an! Just when it gets interesting! I thought Stan playing too safe…not really going for it and Djoker is feeling the pressure. Interesting to see how they will play the 3rd and 4th set.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Stan’s on fire in third set beautiful to watch c’mon Stan!!

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    Dolores Reply:

    It’s not over yet, but Stan 2 sets to 1….tension is building….Go, Stan!

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  12. Chokovic is choking MAJORLR right now. He is about to get beat. The curse of beating Narak at the French may still hold true. And I am actually feeling bad for Novak.

    And Roger could have been in Stan’s shoes… Aye aye..

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    If Novak loses, it’s just not meant to be. I know that the draw was insane. It makes even more upset about Roger. Imagine Roger been in Stan’s shoes right now… Jeez. What a MISSED opportunity. I actually want Novak to win. If he loses, it’s on him. He’s just choking right now. I don’t care about the fatigue. You made it this far. If you are Novak, YOU CANNOT CHOKE light that. Stan is very close right now!!!

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Noway, Roger could have pulled of those mighty backhands at a consistent rate and hence keep the Djoker at bay. Only Stan could have done that. This is coming from a true Fed fan. Cool down Vily. Hero worship should not come down to this level %-( (I am so sorry if it is hurting, but I am simply telling the truth Vily).

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    It’s ain’t over till it’s over Vily! And no need to pity Djoker. Djodini still can appear….Stan must seal it in 4th! Djoker serving first….C’mon Stan!!

    [Reply]

  13. Ru-an, you watching this?!! 2 sets to the good!! Can Stan do it?!! Will the Great Djodini escape again??!!

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Well atleast Stan is not byest. He is treating Novak the same as Roger with all the winners flying around left and right, up and down and in the middle :)) You go Stanimal, one set to go :-)

    [Reply]

  14. Right on cue, Djodini is back…..

    [Reply]

    Ben chia Reply:

    Yup. Somehow, I think Nole will pull through and stan will Lose concentration. If it gets to a fifth, its definitely novak’s advantage.

    [Reply]

  15. And Stanimal breaks back!! Can he keep it up?! Does Djodini have 9 lives?!! Boy its really heating up now!! C’mon Stan, HOLD!!,

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Wow!!! Just Wow! Chokovic may not recover from this.. He choked from 0:40 in the previous game and now will lose… Feel so bad for him but the curse of beating Nadal at the French and LOSING in the final stay true..

    Unless….

    [Reply]

    Ben chia Reply:

    Wow. PJs win! Wawa impressive hitting. No calendar slam this year/decade.

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    Katyani Reply:

    His jammies…. collector’s item =))

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    :))

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    Dolores Reply:

    Need to be auctioned off, the highest bidder gets?????

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Roger has already promised Stan that he will take them all if he can stop the Djoker. Next time these two Swiss play against each other, it will be blanket verses tablecloth! :)) :)) :))

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    The calendar slam was never on the cards to begin with.

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  16. It’s over!!! Stan the Animal prevails! Chokovic LOST! It hurts but it’s true! The match that Novak has to win he lost. No Career Slam. Stan denies him. No Houdini act! Wow! Djokovic will not recover from this. I told you that the curse of beating Nadal at the French will curse him! Feel so bad!!!

    I told you! I’ll take WINNING in the Final any DAY of the week over beating Nadal. No one cares if you beat Nadal. Everyone cares about the TROPHY!!! Stan held his nerve. Maybe Roger would have choked too.

    Anyway! A very tough Loss for Novak! A slight door opens for Murray, Stan and certainly Roger Federer!!! But wow – simply WOW!!

    [Reply]

    mridul1 Reply:

    I am so happy with the result. My favorite players Federer and Nishikori lost the quarterfinals on the same day. However my third favorite player Wawrinka won the RG meaning there is no career slam as yet for Djokovic and more importantly no talk of Calender slam for him this year. It is interesting to note that Soderling stopped Nadal from winning the consecutive fifth RG back in 2009 and he stopped the consecutive semifinal streak of Federer at grand slams in 2010. Wawrinka stopped Nadal from getting a second career slam at AO 2014 and he stopped Djokovic from achieving a career slam in 2015. Lessons such as rope a dope and MTO taken from Nadal were being used by Djokovic on various occasions in the last few years by Djokovic and it serves him right that he stays without the elusive RG as yet.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    “Lessons such as rope a dope and MTO taken from Nadal were being used by Djokovic on various occasions in the last few years by Djokovic and it serves him right that he stays without the elusive RG as yet.”

    Wait…. so I am not the only one who feels that way?? I thought I was the only one here who thought that !!!

    But TAKE A BOW NOVAK. Take a welldeserved bow. You played great and fair. But just like the match with Roger…. Stan was in the zone, unplayable and hitting the most beautiful winners from every corner. Like Roger he just hit you off the court. No shame in losing to THIS Stan…..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. Some people never learn :-h

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  17. And he seals it in 4!!! He did it he did it!! well done Stan!! all hail king Stan!! Nah, Djoker!!! NOW you know how Roger feels when he was denied at FO so many times!! Thank god Roger left it to Stan to deny the Djoker!!, So It was Roger again who denied Djoker; directly in FO and now indirectly through Stan! The Djoker FO curse continues!! Stan second grand slam so happy for him!! He now evens Roger for FO won!! A fitting final. I thought it got better later half of match…

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Veronica, am cheering with you for Stan. Thought comes to mind, know Roger is happy for Stan and I might take the privilege to add, PROUD.
    Congratulations to Stan! Both played a grueling tennis match for the title. Stan deserved it because he earned it.
    Kindly,
    Dolores
    PS. Sorry Ru-an, know you are very fond of Djoker…there is always next year.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Haha Dolores, liked your PS! :-)

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    Katyani Reply:

    Second that !! By the way….. respect for the way he handled his defeat. Crowd gave him a long standing ovation. Well deserved. Also loved how Stan went to Novak after he saw that he was sitting alone…. great examples.

    [Reply]

  18. Hi vily, glad to see u enjoying the moment. Yup, Stan beast mode was impressive today. Enjoyable match and happy for him. We now have 2 Swiss FO Winners! :-) I feel slight pity for Nole missing out on Career slam, but hey like u said, anything can happen in the finals. Can’t feel as bad for fed losing to stan now eh? Cheers!

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I have mixed feeling, Ben. I wanted Djokovic to win but it wasn’t meant to be. The obsession of beating Nadal at the French was almost crazy. As if that was the Holy Grail. It’s not. It’s just a match and an opponent. Unless you win the trophy, nobody cares in the end. Sad, but true!!! Roger is certainly rubbing his hands a little bit today in delight! As Stan likes to say: “That’s for sure!” ;-)

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I really hope that he finds a way next year!!! I really want Djokovic to do it… It’s so hard right now! Feel bad for him. Really do!

    On the bright side! Now there are two Swiss multiple GS winners now!!!

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    There was no holy grail in beating a beaten up Nadal. It proved nothing! Wawrinka was the real test and n0le failed to pass it. I don’t feel an ounce of pity for Djokovic, he didn’t earn it, and he never did next to Nadal and Federer. This was his time to grab the Roland Garros trophy, for obvious reasons (Nadal being a shadow of his former self and a fading and aging Federer) and all the talk about him being unstoppable was in the end all in vain. Even Murray came close to capping him, Wawrinka’s attacking tennis (similar to Federer’s when he was younger and it much better form) was more than enough to trouble Djokovic.

    Bravo Wawrinka! <:-P

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    This is well put, I must say!

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Seriously you guys are delusional. So 7 finals in a row in 2011 was djokovic beating a beaten up nadal? and how bout the last 5 meetings where djokovic beat nadal? was that a beaten up nadal again? you seem to be under the delusion that djokovic is only beating fed and nadal coz they are past it and so he is undeserving. In federer’s case, you may be right but even prime federer would not win all the time against today’s djokovic. as for nadal, it’s like you believe if nadal loses he must be either injured or beaten up. Get it through your thick skull. Nadal is now scared shitless of djokovic, that’s why he loses to djokovic all the time now. It never used to be like that but slowly he’s beginning to own him. You know who’s not delusional? Nole. Did you see how he celebrated after beating nadal? Pretty much no celebration. because he knew that he hadn’t won anything yet.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah and they chose the wrong blog to be delusional on. I always try to accommodate different views and to give people second chances but some people just can’t help themselves. You and Joe(who are highly respected followers of my blog) just confirmed to me that said posters need a nice long vacation from my blog, if not a permanent one. I find some of the comments on my blog a bit disturbing after the unbelievable strength and humiliation in defeat the Djoker showed today. These comments will not come without consequences.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    ;-)

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    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi Alex, some fans have been hardwired to see that their heroes only ever get beat when it’s injury, poor form, etc. Oblivious to the insane hitting power of beast mode Stanimal. When Stan won the AO, he could pretty much smash any player across the net. Doko wasn’t at his videogame mode today but fought admirably. I honestly felt doko had a real chance if it went to a fifth. Ya, with you on all your points.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    No FeDaL, lets be honest. It is a great accomplishment to beat Rafa at RG. Lets atleast give Novak credit for that. I for one REALLY thought Rafa would somehow end up in the final (because he lost just one match in ten years), so…… lets atleast give Novak that. He did defeat Rafa and Murray….

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  19. Hey, G! Your guts were right! Stan won! Stan looked almost apologetic at the handshake… so humble.,

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    gary Reply:

    Wow, I thought I might have to eat my words, but not today. This is fantastic!!!! Stanimal has the mental fortitude on these big occasions, and he’s been there many times in the recent past. Way to go Stan!!! G

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  20. Feel obviously happy for stan but extremelt gutted for djokovic. it’s sytange, never felt this way before. The important thing is that nadal didn’t win.

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  21. Stan showed me what I already knew about NOles game, if you push him hard and play attacking tennis he will fold, just like he did in 2011 against Goderer. A deserved win for Wawrinka, a new Roland Garros champion has been crowned! =D>

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    Joe Reply:

    You sir, are an idiot.

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    Vily Reply:

    The truth is that Novak was tired. As I expected him to be. This is why I am slightly pissed at Roger right now because he could have been in Stan’s shoes right now. We knew that beating Nadal and Murray back to back would take its toll on Novak’s body and he was ripe for the taking. Stan did it and maybe Roger could have done it as well. But oh, well. :-)

    [Reply]

    Jason Reply:

    This is why I only partly agree with the saying “to be the best, you have to beat the best”. In a sense, yes the statement is true.

    But perspectives are certainly to be accounted here. If you get the 2nd best, 3rd best, 4th best etc in succession…it will be unlikely even for the best to win it all. And to be the best (winner) of a tournament, one certainly does not have to go that route. Therefore, the right saying is “to be the best, you need the right mix between skill, mentality & luck”. The Djoker had the former 2 this time, but not the latter.

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  22. Immediate replications on the Wimbledon draw:

    Stan is now deservedly number 4 in the world so Roger will have between him and Andy for the SF draw at Wimbledon. Stan was close to beating Roger there last year but I would still pick him for Roger’s half.

    Andy after all has won and is a better grass player. So I’d rather take my chances with Stan at Wilbledon. The conditions are faster so you never know. But that is if Roger even makes it. He could meat Nadal in the QFs. Berdych. Tsonga, Nishikori!

    And RF just tweeted Champ! That’s it!!

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  23. It seems having to kill 3 beasts in succession was just too much for the Djoker. Give credit where it is due, he fought valiantly. Given that the Murray battle took a lot out of him, it was admirable that he could stay toe to toe in large stretches with Stan in his animal mode.

    We were used to a tennis era with highly polarized dominant forces. There was Federer era, then Fedal era, then the Big Four, now 2 of the Big Four are fading…and there are a bunch of others making an entrance. See how it’s trending? Now the era is getting less polarized. We just have to accept that outcomes will get less predictable from here on.

    What of the Djoker? He’s an admirable player. I wish for him to stay hungry and mentally strong. Losses like this are very tough to swallow, Roger had to deal with those for 5 straight years (1 Guga + 4 Nadal) so hopefully next year he will mount a very strong challenge again.

    Stan in animal mode seems to be the Djoker’s kryptonite. How long he can maintain that state is a puzzle in itself. But I hope he can build from this and make the tennis world more interesting. His game is definitely one to watch. In animal mode, his groundstrokes are perhaps the deadliest in the game currently. One could only imagine if Roger had that kind of backhand…how many more slams he would have racked up.

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    Vily Reply:

    I agree! ;-)

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  24. How many players have beaten both Nadal and Djokovic in a Grand Slam Final?

    The answer is easy, but Stan surely deserves recognition for that remarkable accomplishment.

    [Reply]

    Jason Reply:

    Exactly 2, and both are Swiss :-)

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    Vily Reply:

    Sweet!

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  25. Stan’s the man! I felt it was a possibility, but it was up to Wawrinka to go out and seize his opportunities. Aggressive, high-risk tennis beats patient defense yet again! With Del Potro out with injury, Wawrinka is pound-for-pound the best ball-striker on tour and he proved it again today. He also sheds the unfair tag of “one-Slam wonder” that followed him around after last year.

    Rooted for Wawrinka but felt a bit sad for Djokovic after that long standing ovation where he cried. This is his third time he’s lost in the final. It’s not that easy to join the immortals by winning all four majors…

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  26. Do you think Murray or Novak’s failure to win the French was related to them playing to many tournaments this clay court season? They were the heavy favorites going into it, as well as Fed.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    No madyfan, I don’t think so.

    [Reply]

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