Hi, there. Since my last post, Murray defeated Pouille as expected 6-2, 6-1. Djokovic then defeated Nishikori 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) in a nail-biter of high quality. Nishikori was playing very well for the first half of the match but Djokovic slowly but surely reeled him in.
It was another slow start from Djokovic after he hit himself on the ankle with his racquet and needed treatment. His movement was hampered for a while which cost him the first set. It was another bizarre incident in a bizarre week for Djokovic.
And no doubt whatsoever that is connected to the pressure that Djokovic is feeling with the upcoming French Open. The biggest challenge of Djokovic’s career is coming up and the pressure is causing all kinds of bizarre things to happen.
Djokovic did very well, in the end, to shut out Nishikori in the final set tiebreak but another emotionally draining match cost him against Murray today. There was nothing left in the tank for Djokovic and he went down 6-3, 6-3.
It was a tough old week for Djokovic with emotionally draining matches against Bellucci, Nadal, and Nishikori. Even his first match against Robert was no walk in the park. And again, this is all due to the French Open burden.
But in the end, you have to say he did what he needed to do this week. The straight set victory over Nadal was the key. I said after that match that he achieved what he wanted to achieve and that it didn’t matter all that much what happened afterwards.
I happen to think that win over Nishikori was another key victory but that the loss to Murray in the final didn’t matter in the least. I saw the final as a kind of freebie for Djokovic. He had nothing left to prove after winning Madrid and beating Nadal and Nishikori.
He had a lot of pressure and a tough draw to deal with this week and couldn’t have done any better. It was like his draw at the French Open last year. Now it all comes down to the French Open draw again.
- The French Open Draw Will Be A Cracker
It’s very hard to believe Djokovic will get a draw like last year again where he played Nadal, Murray, and a very destructive Stan in succession. He definitely does not want Nadal in his quarter again. That is going to be the first thing to look at when the draw comes out.
If he can avoid Nadal in his quarter the battle will be half way won. And I think it would take some awful luck to get Nadal in his quarter after it happened at the French last year and now again in Rome.
It will be bad luck for Nadal as well but more so for Djokovic whose title it is to lose this year. I’m sure he would beat Nadal but it is the emotional toll such a match takes that is the issue. Djokovic would want to avoid Nishikori in his quarter as well.
Preferably he wants Federer in his half and Tsonga or Berdych in his quarter. And that is what he deserves after all the bad luck he had at the French so far. If Nadal is in the bottom half with Murray that would be a great help to Djokovic.
I think something like a Djokovic vs Nishikori and Nadal vs Murray semis seems about appropriate given that they are the top four clay courters at this point but of course it doesn’t have to be that way and everything depends on the draw.
Stan can catch fire again as well and Thiem can do serious damage too. I just hope the draw is not too harsh for Djokovic after all his bad luck. To sum up, if he can avoid Nadal and Nishikori in his quarter he will be in good shape.
If he avoids Nadal in his half he will be in great shape because Murray could potentially defeat Nadal although maybe at the French Nadal is still the slight favourite over Murray. I’m looking forward to the draw anyway. It should be a cracker.
It was a bizarre week for Djokovic in Rome
Congrats to Murray for finally getting a win over Djokovic as well today. It was a vulture job but Murray still had to get the job done and he’s had a great couple of weeks. I think you’d have to be insane to think he is the favourite for the French but he is a contender.
The bottom line is Murray can only defeat Djokovic when he is below his best but it’s nothing to be ashamed of because that is the case for everyone. If Djokovic is playing his best tennis he can’t be defeated. It is that simple.
And I believe he can do that at the French Open this year and finally get the job done. Yes, the draw matters but I am not one of those feeble fans who don’t believe in my player. I have always believed in my player whether it was Sampras, Agassi, Federer, or Djokovic.
No one is going to tell me that if Djokovic could win the US Open under the most trying conditions imaginable last year that he can’t win the French this year. Yes, it is probably even a bigger challenge given what is at stake but I have no doubt he can get the job done.
At times this week, he has seemed very agitated. Petulant even. But it didn’t stop him from doing what needed to be done which makes me believe he can do the same in Paris. Let’s not forget he lost in the finals of both Montreal and Cincy before winning the US Open last year.
This may surprise you but no, he does not need to win every match he plays to be the French Open favourite. Even if he did that some fans would still find a reason why he just can’t win the French so I’ll I just leave it at that.
Now let’s see what the French Open draw says!