The French Open started today but there wasn’t much tennis as rain interrupted play and the matches had to be postponed until Monday. Some matches were finished for instance 17th seed Kyrgios won in three tight sets and 19th seed Paire won in five sets.
It’s a shame that the French Open still doesn’t have a roof. I wonder if they even installed lights yet because the lack of lights may have cost Djokovic the title last year when the semi-final couldn’t be finished due to bad light.
It is bad enough not to have at least a roof over the center court but no lights? That is just criminal for a grand slam. The French Open has never been my favorite slam and it is probably the most unpopular slam judging from what I read on forums.
It just lags behind the other slams in terms of organization and professionalism. I see rain is forecasted for tomorrow as well which means more frustration for fans and players. If you have a roof over center court then at least the fans can still watch tennis on TV.
Oh well. Maybe in 2025, they will have lights and in 2050 a roof. One can dream.
- Is Djokovic in a Race Against Time?
Now I want to get to today’s topic. This is, of course, the year that there is a lot of hype around Djokovic and his quest to finally win the French Open and silence the doubters. Yesterday was Djokovic’s birthday which means he is now 29.
In the past, that would have been old in tennis terms but nowadays it is more like middle age. Federer turned 34 last year and he played some of his best tennis. You have Stan playing some of his best tennis in his 30’s and the same for Ferrer and Lopez at 34.
Murray is 29 now and so is Nadal. I don’t think 29 is that old in tennis terms but for Djokovic, I do think he would want to put the French Open demon to bed this year. The draw is such that it shouldn’t be too difficult either.
It is totally understandable that he couldn’t get the job done last year. The draw and the schedule were just too difficult. But the good thing about that was that this year the draw could only get easier.
Nadal represented a demon for Djokovic in itself. He had lost 6 previous times to Nadal including that devastating 2013 semi-final loss. I look at last year as putting the Nadal demon to bed at the French.
Winning the title was one step too far. This year Djokovic’s draw is much more favorable and Nadal does not represent the burden to Djokovic that he used to. He will expect a tough match if they meet in the semis but he won’t have any doubts that he can defeat him.
Tiredness shouldn’t be a problem this year either. Djokovic has a favorable draw until the semis. Even if he has a tough match against Nadal he should still be fresh for the final. And there is a good possibility that whoever he faces in the final will be in worse shape physically than him.
Djokovic recently won a third Laureus Sportsman of the Year award
I don’t see any reason why he won’t get it done this year, but let’s not forget that there is a lot of pressure on him. Not only to finally complete the career slam but also to complete the Djoker slam.
If he wins it will be a double whammy. It is a huge opportunity which creates a lot of pressure at the same time. But again, after what happened in Wimbledon and New York last year I don’t have any doubts that he has the mental fortitude to get the job done.
He is just extremely solid in the mental department. But what I want people to clearly understand is that there is added pressure for Djokovic due to the Djoker slam and if he pulls it off it would be unprecedented.
At least in modern times. He would have done something that the great Federer and Nadal could not do and he can then definitely surpass them in the GOAT debate. So I am not trying to say in any way that it will be easy. It will be very difficult.
I am just saying that if anyone can get it done it is Djokovic. Records are meant to be broken and even if Djokovic doesn’t pull it off it is exciting to watch him try. It is the best time to be a tennis fan.
Unless you are so attached to the outcome that you are totally shattered if he either pulls it off or does not pull it off. As a fan, I will be disappointed if he doesn’t pull it off but there will always be next time.
For me, it is more about the Djoker slam than the career slam because that would set him apart from Fedal. Fedal fans would have nowhere left to hide and that would fascinating.