How Will Djokovic’s Wimbledon Loss Affect Him?

If you are a tennis fan you have probably wondered about this question. And if you are not a Djokovic fan you are probably hoping this loss will break his momentum and that it is all going south for him now.

No one knows the future of course, but I wouldn’t hold out too much hope of that happening. The scary thing is he may become even better. Not because he lost a slam match for the first time in more than a year.

That was always going to happen eventually. But I think the circumstances under which this loss occurred will motivate Djokovic to set the record straight.

  • Was There a Conspiracy Against Djokovic?

There have been some strange circumstances surrounding this loss which I simply chalked up as bad luck because when you are on a run like Djokovic has been you are going to need some luck and eventually your luck will run out.

If you take last year, for instance, there was a rain break against Anderson which may have helped him to win that match. I’m always hesitant not to buy into conspiracy theories because often that is used as an excuse when you can’t accept something you don’t like.

I just want to make it clear that Querrey totally deserves this win and that he played very well. I’m not going to make any excuses for Djokovic because there is no doubt in my mind that he was flat and not feeling the ball well.

I read somewhere today that he told a Serbian news outlet that he has never arrived at Wimbledon feeling so tired. I think it is now clear that all the effort that went into finally winning the French Open this year had taken its toll.

That was a massive emotional burden to which the previous 12 months had been building up to. It was the culmination of a twelve month run of tennis the likes of which we have never seen before.

It was even more impressive than what Laver did as Djokovic won slams on four different surfaces while Laver did so only on two different surfaces. What Djokovic did was very likely the most impressive thing ever done in tennis.

This was not the amateur era where Don Budge won six consecutive slams. It was the golden era of tennis where tennis have never been more competitive and professional. A truly astonishing achievement which has been downplayed by the mass media.

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Even Djokovic has his limits

The fact that Djokovic was tired and burned out despite not playing any grass court events before Wimbledon is, therefore, no surprise at all.

But here is the big question: If Djokovic was scheduled to play on the center court would he have won? And the answer is yes very likely. First of all, there would have been no rain breaks and second of all Djokovic prefers the center court as he plays 90% of his matches there.

And after everything Djokovic achieved, I think that was pretty scandalous treatment from Wimbledon. Not the fact that he had to play on court 1 per se, but the fact that Federer and Murray are scheduled to play on the center court again tomorrow and probably won’t play any matches on court 1 in the tournament.

When it is quarterfinal time they will likely play on the center court again. And couldn’t they have moved Djokovic’s match to center court when it rained out on Friday? I don’t know what the rules are but that seemed like the fair thing to do.

Then there were the two bad line calls when Djokovic was serving for the fourth set. If the calls were correct Djokovic is 30-0 up and the fourth set is all but in the bag. How much of a difference did that make?

I’m not saying that is part of the conspiracy but I think the whole thing just smells like that typical western bias against Djokovic which has been plagueing him his whole career. The center court crowd even cheered loudly when they announced Djokovic lost his match.

As if the establishment had achieved what they set out to do all along.

  • How Will This Affect Djokovic?

I think if the establishment was actually on Djokovic’s side then he would have won the match and who knows where he would have gone from there. Probably he would have won the title having made another great escape.

You can imagine if Federer or Murray was in the same situation. There would have been much more hype and the establishment would have done everything to help them to keep winning.

But, of course, they are not good enough to be in that situation. It is all history now anyway and like I said I don’t have any regrets. But I was wondering how being treated like a stepchild again would affect Djokovic going forward.

This is something that Djokovic is very much used to and it is something he has used to help him get where he currently is, which is in the top tier as far as the GOAT conversation goes. The numbers don’t lie.

Djokovic has everything it takes to become the undisputed GOAT. In the last couple of years, he reached his peak in tennis and won six out of the last nine slams including this Wimbledon. In a way, he is already the GOAT.

He just has to keep accumulating numbers and records which are not guaranteed but likely. He already has the Djoker slam which like I said is the greatest achievement in tennis ever probably and he has reached the highest level of tennis.

There has never been as complete a player as Djokovic with no weaknesses in his resume. Federer and Nadal both had their weaknesses. Djokovic is almost flawless save a couple of minor flaws in his game which doesn’t affect his results.

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The look I was referring to

I think he is also mentally the strongest player maybe ever given all the bias and adversity he has to deal with. I think what he is doing is much more inspirational than what Federer or Nadal ever did and I like him a lot as a person.

He is insecure and the outsider, and he also has character. He will use this latest mistreatment by the establishment to motivate himself and become even better. That is the fun part of being a Djokovic fan.

You know he will never run out of motivation because you know the establishment will never stop treating him like shit. And then nothing is more satisfying when he repeatedly defeats the favorites of the establishment in big matches.

It never gets old. It makes me happy when Djokovic receives poor treatment from the establishment because it means he will punish them some more. I already saw that look in Djokovic’s eyes after his Wimbledon loss.

That look of ‘This is going to cost you’. It is up to the status quo to change their attitude. They either treat him fairly or suffer the consequences. Djokovic and his fans win either way.

We are not asking anyone to like him. We like him enough so that he doesn’t need to worry about that. We just want fair treatment for someone who inspires and delights us. 

  • In Conclusion

No one knows the future but I don’t see any reason why this loss will affect Djokovic negatively. One of the arguments of the critics which I find kind of desperate is the age argument that Djokovic is 29 and that he is almost too old to win slams.

That argument smacks of fear given that Djokovic just won the most consecutive slams since Laver. He couldn’t be more in his prime than he currently is. Sure players start slowing down in tennis when they hit their thirties but that has changed drastically in recent years.

Djokovic had three different phases in his career where he won slams. The first one was in the early days when he won the 2008 Australian Open. Then he needed to mature some more and in 2011 his second run started which lasted until 2013 in which he won five more slams.

Then in 2014 the phase with Becker started where he doubled his slam tally in two years. An astonishing run. Clearly, the period he currently finds himself in has been his most successful and productive period.

I don’t see why it would now suddenly end because he lost one match. Nothing is impossible but knowing Djokovic he is just getting started. The really exciting period starts now. And it was all made possible by Djokovic winning four consecutive slams.

He needed to make a big move to get into the GOAT debate and that is exactly what he did. If it all ends now and Djokovic didn’t win any more slams it was still a fantastic run and I won’t have any regrets as a fan.

But no fan wants the fun to end. Djokovic has much more to accomplish towards the end of the year. The upside of losing early at Wimbledon is that he gets a nice long rest before the Canada Masters and then there is the Olympics in Rio.

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Eat your heart out Fedal

I’m not a big fan of Olympic tennis but I suppose these days the gold medal means something and that would be something good for Djokovic to add to his resume. Then I’d like to see Djokovic complete the Masters set at Cincinnati.

He is already the leader in Masters titles and completing the set would be another big achievement that would set him apart from Federer and Nadal. The biggest one left this year after Wimbledon is the US Open where I would like to see Djokovic complete another 3-slam year.

After losing at Wimbledon that would be the best way to reassert his dominance. Two US Open titles are not enough for someone of his hardcourt prowess either. And then, of course, the other big one is the World Tour Finals which Djokovic has already won five times, one short of Federer’s record six titles.

So there are at least four more big things he can achieve toward the end of the year and in the meantime he wants to hang on to the number one ranking and clinch another year-end number one to tie Federer and Connors at five.

There is no doubt in my mind that Djokovic is currently suffering from burnout and that he needs to recharge his batteries. Sure Murray has a chance now to make big gains on him in the rankings but in exchange Djokovic gets to spend valuable time away from tennis to recharge.

I don’t think he is completely healthy either. They asked him about it in the presser but he didn’t want to elaborate out of respect for his opponent. Both his body and his mind now needs rest.

Then he can come back fresh and ready for another big onslaught toward the end of the year.

  • Wimbledon Summary

For those of you who are not hardcore Djokovic fans, you may have felt like skipping this post until now. Today there was play on middle Sunday for only the fourth time in history due to the rain.

Kyrgios finished his match with Lopez and won in four sets. He will now play Murray in what should be an interesting fourth round match. Then Tsonga outlasted Isner 19-17 in the fifth after coming from two sets to love down. Respect!

He will now play another Frenchman Gasquet who defeat Ramos-Vinolas in four sets. That should be another interesting fourth round match. Both very good grass court players.

Del Potro ended up losing the fourth set 6-1 against Pouille which is a shame but kind of expected. Pouille is another French player who looks like a promising prospect for the future. He is only 22 years old and he now plays Tomic.

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Hulk smash!

Yet another fourth round match which can go either way. The remaining fourth round match in the bottom half are the two Czech players Berdych vs Vesely. Probably Berdych will win there but Vesely has been playing well and can’t be counted out.

In the top half, Cilic vs Nishikori is tough to call while Federer shouldn’t have any problems with Johnson. Why is Federer not playing on court 1 though? 

Then Raonic plays Goffin which should be interesting. Goffin is a tough opponent but hopefully, Raonic wins so that Federer at least gets one good opponent before the final.

In the remaining match, it is Querrey vs Mahut. There will be interesting to see if Querrey can overcome the fact that he defeated Djokovic. This will be a good shot for Mahut to make what I think will be his first slam quarterfinal and that at the age of 34!

  • Presser

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Posted in Grand Slams, Wimbledon.

11 Comments

  1. The conspiracy theory which is rampant in the internet, is actually extremely sad. I really hope you are wrong, because if not, the “establishment” has just reached a new low.
    I’m devastated Nole lost, not because of the loss itself, but because of how he lost it. He seemed completely unmotivated, he never roared as if he meant it, when he did, it was halfhearted, with not much conviction. He was flat and uninspired. His UE were quite amateurish, his shots weak and in the middle of the court. Had Sam been a better player he would have broken Nole in the fourth more than that one time when he was serving for the set. The fact that Nole also ran out of challenges at the end when he needed them the most, also shows how distracted he was. He didn’t manage his challenges and threw them away unnecessarily. However, the sheer incompetence of both linesmen and chair umpire is quite disturbing and actually very suspicious. Why didn’t the chair umpire overrule, both shots were right under his nose. I remember Eva Aderaski at the USO final last year, she was ruthless, she overruled calls left, right and center and she was right on ALL of them. She refused to be biased or intimidated by the world #1 or by his majesty king Fed.
    So your conspiracy theory has some merit but in conjunction with a flat Nole, it worked. Had Nole been as sharp as usual, no amount of conspiracies would have derailed him.
    I hope he will be back as sharp as ever, in fact, I know he will. Like you, I don’t believe he will simply curl up and die because of this loss. It was bound to happen sooner or later, I just didn’t expect Querrey to be the dragon slayer on this occasion.
    Anyway, thanks again for a great blog, I always look forward to your next instalment with great excitement. ;-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You’re welcome and thanks! Good comment too. You are totally right about the incompetence of the umpire and line judges and that it looks suspicious. Asderaki would have overruled at least one of those calls which could have made all the difference.

    They screwed him over for sure but, as usual, it will only make him stronger. I expect a strong finish to the year.

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  2. Great blog and Marta’s comment too.
    Something bothering Novak and it was clearly visible during that match. He lost some matches this year but he never looked so uninspired and flat. He’s a born fighter and seeing him in that mood was very strange and unexpected. There must have being a reason for it ( mental, physical or private) and he said in post match interview that he did not want to talk about it, but I hope it is something he could solve by taking that most needed rest from tennis for a week or two. Actually, I have no doubts that he’ll be back as strong as ever, ready to show them that troubles only make him stronger and willing him to show everyone that he is the best right now.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you! As an ex-tennis player I can tell you that there is very little you can do about burnout. But you are right that Djokovic usually finds a way. Martha was right when she said it was a combination of burnout and the establishment working against him. If he played in center court I have no doubt he would have won.

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  3. I love your blogs and your comment about not having to love Novak but showing him fair treatment and respect are dead on. The way the British crowds cheered when the screen showed Novak lost was simply disgusting but on par with the way the British press and fans treat him. Shows more about their character, or lack of, and debunks the notion that” the all white Wimby tradition is about the gentlemen’s sport and gentlemanly comportment. The term “loutish behavior” sounds more like it.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks! Completely agree with you. The British are disgusting in their treatment of Djokovic. It must hurt so bad every time Djokovic slays Murray and Federer in slams!

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  4. If you have to wait around all day for your match to start because of rain delays, and then start playing at 7:00 p.m. that can tire you out. Novak should have never been on Court 1. He is the #1 player and every other player should have had their turn on Court 1 before Novak. Conspiracy of course it was! If Roger or Murray was going for Grand Slam they would have never been treated that way. I mean they are not even trying for grand slam and they are still playing on CC.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, Mary. Whichever way you look at it, he was treated like the stepchild again which is great because it will keep him motivated and driven.

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  5. “I think he is also mentally the strongest player maybe ever given all the bias and adversity he has to deal with.”

    Not necessarily wrong, but is he mentally stronger than Nadal? Those two are equals in that field. May be Nadal even has an edge over Djokovic in that department. Anyway, both are, by far, the strongest in that department. Definitely stronger than Federer or Murray.

    I mean that 2013 comeback of Nadal was ridiculous, he was just playing with Djokovic in that US Open final. Djokovic had to give it his all to just win a set.

    Kind of excited where it will end for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. How many slams each when they retire? Unpredictable as of now.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Correct Eren. I actually thought about that last night lying in bed. Nadal is mentally very strong too. Djokovic owned Nadal in 2011 but it was amazing how Nadal turned it around in 2013. And now Djokovic has turned it around yet again. Both mental giants.

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  6. Ru-an, I thank you for your many postings, but my interest is and always will be in Roger. I don’t care to read about the Joker (although I’m sure he’s a nice person). I’ve just been on that ride with Roger all these years and will not give up on him until he says good-bye..

    [Reply]

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