I didn’t watch the whole match. Only the first set or so and then I feel asleep. Not that I thought it was boring, I was tired. A lot of Fedfans find the brand of tennis Nadal and Djokovic dish out quite boring. Personally I’m not crazy about that brand of tennis either, but I enjoy seeing them face each other because it’s such a close match up and they do playing some long and interesting rallies. I like seeing someone stand up to Nadal and actually not back down. After the first set I thought Nadal would win because the winner of the first set normally does in such a close match up, and it was hot out there as well. Which brings me to a point a lot of people have brought up on my blog of late. Yes, the doping issue. Personally I don’t talk a lot about doping on my blog. I made one post about it and now some people believe this blog is somehow a doping blog.
Let me just make clear why this is not the case. No doubt some of my readers believe that the likes of Nadal and Djokovic is doping, but personally I have no proof and it is up in the air. As I have stated before, I don’t believe that speculating is wrong. The reason for this is that the testing methods for doping is pretty pathetic and gives players the gap to dope. Given this fact, it is only expected that there is speculation. If the ATP or whoever is in control employed proper doping measures then there would be no reason to speculate and no doubt. There would also be no chance that an honest player(like Roger I believe), would suffer because of it. Some people who come to this blog believe that Fedfans are just looking for excuses and are looking to discredit the achievements of the likes of Djokovic and Nadal because they are now beating Roger on a regular basis.
But the people who claim this fail to look at the viewpoint of the Fedfans. We believe Roger is an honest, honorable guy who would not stoop so low as to dope. And the fact that Nadal and Djokovic could be using the system in their favor to use performance enhancing drugs could potentially cost Roger and his fans dearly. It could potentially cost him many important records and grand slam titles, including the GOAT status. But in the end it is just speculation because there is no actual proof. I’m just trying to explain to some people why there are in fact speculation and that it is to a very large extent justified. If we look at Djokovic’s performance today you just know that the speculators will speculate. In the intense Miami heat, Djokovic came from a set down and beat Nadal in a third set tie break in more than three hours.
This is after he hasn’t lost a match so far this year and been playing every round of every tournament he has entered. In the past we have seen Djokovic get tired in the heat on a regular basis. It didn’t stop him however from defeating the fittest player on tour in more than three hours in searing heat however. In short we have seen a transformed Djokovic. Since the start of the year he has been a different player and he has credited a lot of his success to his new doctor that he takes on tour with him. The shortcomings of the ATP by not employing the proper testing methods becomes obvious here. How did Djokovic suddenly transform from almost a sickly individual who always had health problems in to a superman? This question doesn’t suppose that Djokovic is indeed taking something, it just points out the dilemma that the ATP has created.
There is no trust from the fans anymore and if you blame them for it then you are simply wrong. There is no doubt whatsoever that there is doping in tennis. I think that much has been established by now. There is just no way that in the world we live in that some players are not gonna take advantage of the lacking testing methods. There is just too much at stake. Make no mistake, this is a huge problem is tennis. Unfortunately it seems it is all about money. As long as the ATP have star players who bring in the crowds and make money they don’t feel like doing proper testing, because that could potentially rob them of their stars, create scandals, and make the popularity of the sport go down, which in turn costs them money. It all comes back to money and greed. That is unfortunately the world we live in.
Lets forget about the doping issue for a second. It is possible that Djokovic is not doping and that he is just having a magnificent run. And if that is the case he must be given a lot of credit for the transformation he has undergone. I am glad he won Miami because I hate it when Nadal just has it all his own way. Usually Nadal basically just wins whatever he wants to and no one has the guts to stand up to him. So from that point of view I am happy with Djokovic’s current form. When Roger was in his prime he had Nadal to contend with and it cost him several grand slam titles. If Nadal wants to become the GOAT he has to contend with someone similar. Djokovic seems to be that guy. I think this win was telling in that he showed he will be a thorn in Nadal’s side from now on. To beat Nadal in two consecutive Masters Series finals is some feat.
Nadal will still have the a slight edge on clay and grass, but on hard there is now someone who will make things very hard for Nadal. Nadal has seven more slams to win and it would take some doing to do that just on clay and grass, given that he is not even a lock to keep winning Wimbledon. Remember Roger will also still have his chances at Wimbledon and the US Open. I know for sure Roger doesn’t feel like he isn’t even close to being done. He keeps saying that he wants to play until after the 2012 Olympics well into his thirties. While I like that kind of long term view it just makes me wonder about his rivalries with Nadal and Djokovic, as well as Murray. He already has negative head-to-head records against Nadal(8-15) and Murray(6-8), and Djokovic(13-9) is catching up. It’s not gonna look good if he finishes with losing records to all three his main rivals.
The fuss about the negative head-to-head record with with his main rival Nadal is already bad enough. People are already saying he can’t be the GOAT because of it. At least he has a 2-0 winning record against Murray in slams. But against Djokovic he is now only 4-3 at slam level, having lost the last two. If that becomes a negative record for Roger it won’t look to good on his legacy either. But more than anything we are used to Roger dominating and it won’t be much fun to see him keep losing to the likes of Nadal and Djokovic in the big events. It’s just not fun to see. So I am curious about Roger’s mindset. It is hard to believe that this is not an issue for him. He had also become used to dominating and I seriously doubt he likes the idea of losing on a regular basis to his main rivals. We don’t know whether Nadal or Djokovic is doping, but the point is Roger just don’t have the tools anymore to beat them.
This is the reality on the ground. Surely Roger is not in denial about this. I’d really like to understand his mindset about this. Maybe he is over confident, because I don’t see how he is gonna keep playing all these years that he wants to while enjoying it at the same time. I know Roger and believe me he wants to be there at the top contending for the big titles. I don’t see how he can continue playing while being satisfied with being second best while at the same time doing his legacy damage. The fans want to remember Roger for the dominant force he was as well, not someone who was playing second fiddle to his rivals for several years at the end of his career. What do you think? Do you think he will keep playing like he has made clear he will, or do you think he will get tired of playing second fiddle and retire?
Over to you.