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Whither Djoko?

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Whither Djoko?

Post by barrystar on Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:24 am

He went from being the first player in the Open Era to hold all four slams and a totally dominating #1 to a shadow of that in 12 months.  With the aid of injury and some extra-curricular activities, he has plumbed yet further depths culminating in yesterday's defeat to Taro Daniel; the #109 whose tour record was W18 L44 prior to Indian Wells.  It is a massive fall, the bigger given that there's a case that Djoko was the most dominating #1 of the Open Era.  If you want a single statistic to back that up, look at his yearly numbers of wins vs. the #10.  For his period of dominance they have been regularly off the chart, far exceeding what Federer or anyone else managed in their most prolific years.  Only Nadal's 2013 #10 hit list comes close.

It is clear that on his return Djoko is a mile away from where he hopes to be.  Is this merely the first step in a well thought-through progression that will result in him rapidly improving as he re-acquaints himself with what the Tour demands and gains confidence in his physical strength (perhaps a difficult argument given that he was competing as recently as the AO)?  Or is something more significant dragging him down?  What is ailing him, and can he get back to winning Masters or Slams, let alone his previous dominance?

There seems to be a lot going on:

(a) the elbow - which he says had been causing him pain for c.2yrs, so going back to the time of the RG triumph, but which has been addressed with minor surgery recently;

(b) the new service action designed to protect the elbow - even if the elbow is now fine, will the action work, or will it merely be a constant reminder of his elbow trouble;

(c) basic match fitness - this was lacking vs. Daniel, but really should be the least of his worries; 

(d) a largely new team - well handled this can work wonders, a mixture of change and continuity has worked well for Fed, and Nadal's introduction of Moya to his team was obviously a success.  However, the suggestion is that the clear out has not been purely for tennis reasons, but related to familial trust, and that may be rather different;

(e) as if the above issues were not enough, let's call them technical, there have been major ructions with his wife Jelena, the strong suggestion is that Djoko mistakes himself for a football team and has had too many away fixtures;

(f) I am not alone in detecting a certain immaturity and neediness in Djoko - he seems to want to be loved too much.  Fedal have achieved adoration by getting on with what works for them in their different ways and without looking as hard for it as Djoko has; Murray has shown some very genuine emotions in good times and bad and has gained respect, if not a great deal of love, but he seems ok with that.  Those three are very evidently their own men - to this outsider at least, that is more difficult to say about Djoko;

(g) Then there is the question of what will now drive Djoko on.  He reached his holy grail at RG 2016 - did that make it difficult to keep a lid on the pressure cooker, did this mean that pain he had been able to endure became impossible to ignore?  He is not really close enough to either of Fed's big numbers to make them a realistic target in a focused chase like the career slam.  Nadal's chances of the slam tally are receding, but winning a stupid number of RG's is still there, just as Fed has the chance of putting Wimbledon out of sight.  For all the merits of the modern AO, edging his way back ahead of Fed there doesn't have quite the same ring.  Does he love the game enough to persevere as before?  How does he calibrate his goals to keep himself motivated?

Precedents can be invidious in the case of individual sportsmen, Djoko's situation is very much his own (for example, most players can't leave the tour for weeks or months and come back with a bang like Fedal in early 2017).  That said, as an individual sportsman who has been totally dominant, and who has had to deal with personal and sporting issues, Tiger Woods is an interesting study.  His physical problems were pretty extreme, although the significance of a tennis player's elbow should not be understated, and so were his personal problems.  At the root of  everything looks to have been: (a) the need to restructure his game to deal with physical harm; (b) the fact that he was (still is for all I know) a massive jerk who was living a lie but managed to keep a lid on it whilst single-mindedly pursuing his sporting ambitions - and then the lid came off spectacularly.  His recent performance at the Valspar is not back where he once was, but is a massive improvement and can far more convincingly be argued to be a solid step on the way back than Djoko's appearances at AO and IW.  If we stay with the comparison, however, Woods has two advantages over Djoko - his sport gives him more time to put problems right and return to the winner's circle, and he still has two big record targets to chase that may be within range - most Majors and most PGA titles.

So, what next for Djoko.....?

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by legendkillar on Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:18 am

It's like F1 essentially and looking under the bonnet to see where the car is and what is needed to take it to the next level. Take McLaren. Big decisions that have for the most part spectacularly backfired. 

I break down into 3 parts.

Motivation - For me I think out of the 3 most recent Career Grand Slam achievements, Djokovic's for me seemed the more physically and more emotionally difficult to overcome. When I look at Federer's, for the most part he was dominating the 3 other Slams and it seemed a matter of time before he would win that elusive French Open, however Nadal became the force on Clay that Roger had on Grass and it seemed at one point post 2008 Wimbledon that Nadal potentially could beat him to it. Nadal when completing his, it felt did it at time Roger wasn't at his firing on all cylinders best and before Djokovic or even Murray stepped up. What I will say of Djokovic when he achieved his, looked like he could take Nadal and Federer out on his best day (I know many will argue that statement) but at that time he did. He had the beating of Nadal on Clay and Federer on Grass. No-one can really boast that. Given how close he got to Nadal at RG, I think once he won it, it released what would feel a huge amount of tension. Also the time it took. Federer from his first Slam title to completing his CGS done it under 6 years. Nadal did it in 5. Djokovic it took over 8 years. Which is why I think the after-effects were more severe. It's hard to gauge with Djokovic motivation as he seems like a free spirit and think of the 3 could easily walk away from the game and not miss it as much. 

Physically - Again much is speculation. How severe is the elbow? It's not the first time he's tried to re-model his serve. Those will remember the Martin debacle. Roddick if I recall re-modelled his serve post 2001. Became quite an effective weapon. Not saying Djokovic will reach those speeds, but I think he has over time added pop to his serve. Moving forward he will need freebies from it for sure. Doesn't seem to be any confidence in his BH up or down the line. His movement is rusty. It will take time before he shakes all the rust out of his arse. I think he can compact his game and take the sting out his legs, though that is a radical mindset to adopt and throw full thrust into this.

Set Up - Now he described it as "Shock Treatment" when he took the decision to flush out his team. When one undertakes such a huge decision, there needs to be a direction in mind. Knowing where you want to be and who will get you there. I feel when he did this, it was done without much thought or purpose and seemed to rely more on hope that beyond that it works out and sadly it didn't. The appointments of Stepanek and Agassi still have me confused. Not sure what the expectations are. I often find appointments have a degree of sense. Federer with Annacone and Edberg. Murray with Lendl. Nadal with Moya. Djokovic to an extent with Becker, though where he was at the time (top of the game) it was hard to see what drastically Becker could do apart from re-inforce the mental strength (which I always find odd given Becker's struggles with Sampras) but also get an aggressive mindset when engaging netplay. 

I still believe with those coming back (Murray/Wawrinka) Djokovic has the better chance of finding those high levels again. Unlike those 2 mentioned, I think Djokovic's challenges will be more around desire.


Last edited by legendkillar on Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:16 am

However, the suggestion is that the clear out has not been purely for tennis reasons, but related to familial trust, and that may be rather different;
Do we know anything about this?

I have not seen enough of him but from that set I saw, I'd say his fitness is not where it used to be and the elbow is "most likely" still playing up.
That in turns kills his determination and will to win.

And without fitness and mind....he is a very long way off the top.

All I can say really....as LK says, none of us can pretend what's beneath the bonnet (of F1, nor Djoko), hence we will have to see more of him...and how he evolves.

But above all, I disagree with Djoko being the most dominant player. On results he is certainly there or thereabout but tennis wise, he never had the tennis easy....A bit a la Murray and Nadal he had to fight for his wins whether against the top 10 as well as versus the top 40. Their superiority was seen in the end of teh 4th and 5th set....or on tough points where they ask the tough questions on those attacking players.

Guys like McEnroe and Federer were simply above the rest tennis wise. Like we have seen Federer's A game is way better than anyone ranked lower tan #10 even at his age. Tennis is in their racquet, I never felt teh 3 RR had teh outcome of a match in their racquet. But I guess this is another point...not related to this thread.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by barrystar on Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:56 am

Tenez wrote:
However, the suggestion is that the clear out has not been purely for tennis reasons, but related to familial trust, and that may be rather different;
Do we know anything about this?


Can't find it now, but I read somewhere that there were trust issues with Mrs. D.

As for dominance - I guess it depends upon how one defines it

Djoko's top 10 victories from 2011-2016 were 21, 24, 24, 19, 31, and 21.  
Fed's best were 18, 19, 17 and 17 in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2014 respectively.
Nadal had 24 in 2013, next best of 17 in 2008.

I call that sustained dominance of your peers, and as LK has said, Djoko had the better of Federer on grass and was closer to Nadal on clay than Federer ever managed.  One might add that he was also overall way ahead of Murray, and even Stan, although between them it could be said that they pretty much took five slams off him, especially the latter's three 'kryptonite' moments on his way to his three slams.

Fed's supporters can point out that he accumulated slams quicker during his dominance, that Djoko's real consistency was at Masters/WTF level.


Last edited by barrystar on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:10 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Undo jumble!)

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by legendkillar on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:09 pm

The thing with the Djokovic dominance is perception. Look how fed up people were getting of his dominance. I see it as:

When Federer dominated, yes it had style and panache. However, it looked vulnerable because of Nadal and how close Nadal got to Federer over time. Remember it was a slow burner. Similarly when Nadal got to the top, Djokovic got closer to Nadal quicker than Nadal did to Federer. When Djokovic got there (again I might add) who was closer to him? Federer and Nadal were struggling even more so between 2014-2016. Murray by accounts was seen as his closest and he was way off in comparison to the other 2 accounts. Murray it seems gambled the latter part of his career away just to be No.1 and even that was against a fading Djokovic. 

Look, I like many here not a fan of the Djokovic brand of tennis. What I will say is in his dominance (taking into account many other factors some will throw out there) he really did look as close to invincible as I've seen.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:33 pm

Dojokovic had the luxury of no major upcoming rival chasing him down. Murray is not in the league, though he won YE#1 from him, but oit was also assisted with Djokovic's own fall.


Federer always had Nadal behind him as a clear successor and certain to get t the top and stay there as well for some good time. Nadal always looked like he would win many slams from the time he won the 2005 RG and the way he dominated clay. 


And Nadal's biggest upcoming challenge was Djokovic, who was extremely steady top-4 when Fedal were cleaning the slams. 

Who was chasing Djokovic during his reign? I thought Delpo and Nishi would, but they were all broken by their fragile bodies.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:38 pm

Right now, its not possible except a wild guess to say who will be the next player to win 5+ slams. Federer, Nadal and followed by Djokovic were certain to do it and you could say that before they won their first 2 slams.

There are good players out among the new generations, can play great for some time. But none a 'real great one' like Nadal or Djokovic to chase the old guard's records.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:47 pm

barrystar wrote:...
Fed's supporters can point out that he accumulated slams quicker during his dominance, that Djoko's real consistency was at Masters/WTF level.

I understood the point and it is a fair one. But What I like to call "dominance" is what separate the number 1 from his peers achieved by a tennis level no-one can reach.

Djoko's tennis level was never outstanding over a set or 2. Lots of players were close to beating him (and teh other RRs). What really made the difference was when it came to longer matches....he was very difficult to beat. His dominance was physical, not technical.

Fed at 33 and 34 was able to beat Djoko with a tennis (and level) Djoko has never and will never reach.


Last edited by Tenez on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by legendkillar on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:59 pm

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:Dojokovic had the luxury of no major upcoming rival chasing him down. Murray is not in the league, though he won YE#1 from him, but oit was also assisted with Djokovic's own fall.


Federer always had Nadal behind him as a clear successor and certain to get t the top and stay there as well for some good time. Nadal always looked like he would win many slams from the time he won the 2005 RG and the way he dominated clay. 


And Nadal's biggest upcoming challenge was Djokovic, who was extremely steady top-4 when Fedal were cleaning the slams. 

Who was chasing Djokovic during his reign? I thought Delpo and Nishi would, but they were all broken by their fragile bodies.

Very much in tune with my thinking.

We find ourselves asking that very question now with Federer in his own little period of dominance. Who will sustain a long enough challenge over the course of the season to challenge him?

Least it's a style of tennis I enjoy which makes it the more palatable.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by legendkillar on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:05 pm

Tenez wrote:
barrystar wrote:...
Fed's supporters can point out that he accumulated slams quicker during his dominance, that Djoko's real consistency was at Masters/WTF level.

I understood the point and it is a fair one. But What I like to call "dominance" is what separate the number 1 from his peers achieved by a tennis level no-one can reach.

Djoko's tennis level was never outstanding over a set or 2. Lots of players were close to beating him (and teh other RRs). What really made the difference was when it came to longer matches....he was very difficult to beat. His dominance was physical, not technical.

Fed at 33 and 34 was able to beat Djoko with a tennis (and level) Djoko has never and never will reach.

I agree it wasn't outstanding tennis, but it was bloody effective! 

Who could seriously make 100+ UE's in a BO5 and still win the match. I think that encapsulated what his dominance was about. He pushed the field beyond it's physical limits.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:12 pm

legendkillar wrote:...
I agree it wasn't outstanding tennis, but it was bloody effective! 
..over the distance. And that is my point. Look at nadal v Fed on clay. the H2H is not close...tennis wise it was very close, even with his old tennis racquet. Federer was able to more often than not lead by a break in the first sets, win some sets convincingly even ...but over 3 or 5 sets he faded systematically over the distance.

Fed had the least 4 and 5 setters played over his successful years cause no one was close. He even won his last wimbledon without losing a set.

Who could seriously make 100+ UE's in a BO5 and still win the match. I think that encapsulated what his dominance was about. He pushed the field beyond it's physical limits.
yep, he could very tight matches v anybody, including Simon.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by legendkillar on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:22 pm

Tenez wrote:
legendkillar wrote:...
I agree it wasn't outstanding tennis, but it was bloody effective! 
..over the distance. And that is my point. Look at nadal v Fed on clay. the H2H is not close...tennis wise it was very close, even with his old tennis racquet. Federer was able to more often than not lead by a break in the first sets, win some sets convincingly even ...but over 3 or 5 sets he faded systematically over the distance.

Fed had the least 4 and 5 setters played over his successful years cause no one was close. He even won his last wimbledon without losing a set.

Who could seriously make 100+ UE's in a BO5 and still win the match. I think that encapsulated what his dominance was about. He pushed the field beyond it's physical limits.
yep, he could very tight matches v anybody, including Simon.

I agree they were close in the initial years of Nadal's Clay pomp. Which is why I always thought Fed would triumph sooner at the FO than Nadal would at Wim. However, when looking at Nadal he seemingly did look that far ahead on Clay. I think on Clay Nadal did hold the mental edge on Federer because how he would pressure Federer on his weaker side (BH) to pull shots with low margins. Nadal did bridge the gap eventually on other surfaces. I do wonder how the rivalry would've faired if they met at the US Open early on. 

When you look at the Fedal rivalry now, it's like Nadal can't figure out how to beat Federer. Which says a lot about where Federer's game is now and where Nadal's is. 

Be interesting to see how Djokovic performs against Federer and Nadal.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by barrystar on Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:18 pm

Tenez wrote:
barrystar wrote:...
Fed's supporters can point out that he accumulated slams quicker during his dominance, that Djoko's real consistency was at Masters/WTF level.

I understood the point and it is a fair one. But What I like to call "dominance" is what separate the number 1 from his peers achieved by a tennis level no-one can reach.

Djoko's tennis level was never outstanding over a set or 2. Lots of players were close to beating him (and teh other RRs). What really made the difference was when it came to longer matches....he was very difficult to beat. His dominance was physical, not technical.

Fed at 33 and 34 was able to beat Djoko with a tennis (and level) Djoko has never and will never reach.

I see the point that only Fed could produce 'other wordly' tennis which nobody else could match, although not all the time, and it did not stop Nadal establishing a very early commanding lead in teh H2H which he never relinquished.  

Your point that Djokovic's dominance was physical and really counted over long matches is slightly undermined by the fact that his real consistent dominance was in the Bo3 format of Masters and WTF.  The chink in his armour was not succeeding in slams as much as his dominance outside might have indicated - e.g. from 2012-2014 he only won one slam a year, whereas Federer won more than one slam every year from 204-2009 bar 2008.  Sure, Djoko won his share of long matches in slams and slam finals, but it is notable that some of the key slam matches which Djoko lost were also marathon five-setters: USO 2012 vs. Murray, RG 2013 vs. Nadal, AO 2014 vs. Wawrinka.  Some of his other big slam losses in that period were not five-setters but they were still long matches and pretty attritional in character, I think all >3hrs so much longer than most Bo3's: Murray Wimbledon 2013 was a hellish long 3-set match, and the others I am thinking of were all 4-set, Nadal RG 2012 USO 2013 RG 2014, Nishkori USO 2014, Wawrinka RG 2015 and USO 2016.

I would agree that vs. Fed, Djoko won nearly all the really long matches.

I like Rotla's point that the absence of any obvious successor breathing down Djoko's neck helped the perception of his era.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by noleisthebest on Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:34 pm

OK...it's Djoko world now...

I still feel kind of duty to provide some extra insight...Blush

Barry, you have done a great job in your exposition, LK nice comparison with the F1 bonnet, and Tenez, of course to let us know what a waste of space Nole is...

What can I add?

1) That Nole has lost even more weight.
Not sure he can sustain his style of play being so light.
I am pretty sure he is thinner than Simon now.

It's great for his movement, but he still has to have strength in those arms and upper body.

2) The Wife.  A nasty piece. Proven. Can't go into details.

3) Private life. Let it remain private, but Nole's family ain't Federer's.

2&3 combined have left Nole a bruised soul.

4) fitness & injuries: more than just elbow but on the mend.
Problem is lack of match fitness and confidence.

5) The team. Too many losers since he sacked the entire winning combo (Becker/Vajda/Gritch/Miljan).

Still, none of the above explain yesterday's edition. It was something I wish I haven't seen.

Having said all this, the roaring lion Nole/hungry wolf has been - he still is.

Is his heart big enough to overcome and even out all those on the other side of the scale?

I think it is (and I hope for his own sake), but we'll have to wait and see.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by bogbrush on Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:15 pm

Hey nitb.....

1. Yeah, total stick person. There was nothing on his shots yesterday.

2. Oh go on!

3. More.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:58 pm

barrystar wrote:
I see the point that only Fed could produce 'other wordly' tennis which nobody else could match, although not all the time, and it did not stop Nadal establishing a very early commanding lead in teh H2H which he never relinquished
  It was simply down to the fact that Fed learnt tennis against very different players, different conds (quite fast) and above all, old technologies.

Your point that Djokovic's dominance was physical and really counted over long matches is slightly undermined by the fact that his real consistent dominance was in the Bo3 format of Masters and WTF.  The chink in his armour was not succeeding in slams as much as his dominance outside might have indicated - e.g. from 2012-2014 he only won one slam a year, whereas Federer won more than one slam every year from 204-2009 bar 2008.  Sure, Djoko won his share of long matches in slams and slam finals, but it is notable that some of the key slam matches which Djoko lost were also marathon five-setters: USO 2012 vs. Murray, RG 2013 vs. Nadal, AO 2014 vs. Wawrinka. 


As I mentioned many times, you don;t need 5 sets to get tired.....just throwing a couple of long rallies is enough to blunt one's edge. This is how Nadal killed most of his opposition and how Djoko killed Nadal and how Stan killed Djoko.

Having said that Fed's record over Bo5 might have changed since 2017 but before that he was ranked #105 amongst past and present players. Whereas Djoko, Nadal and Murray were all in top 10 if not top 5.

I would agree that vs. Fed, Djoko won nearly all the really long matches.
But he also won most of the long ones versus Nadal. If he had not messed up that smash in that FO13, he most likely have won his longest one clay too. (That is BTW one reason I dont think 2013 was his best year....only because Djoko got too excited).

I like Rotla's point that the absence of any obvious successor breathing down Djoko's neck helped the perception of his era.[/quote]

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:11 pm

legendkillar wrote:.... I think on Clay Nadal did hold the mental edge on Federer because how he would pressure Federer on his weaker side (BH) to pull shots with low margins. Nadal did bridge the gap eventually on other surfaces. I do wonder how the rivalry would've faired if they met at the US Open early on.

I have always argued against that. And I am glad now that Fed proved me right over the last year or so.

It was nothing to do with mental. It was the physical pain of having to hit sharp shots over the distance. The issue Federer was facing was physical but not mental. This is exactly why he collapsed in that FO 2008 final too cause he knew that after that long semi v Monfils (or 1/4F) he did not have it in him physically to challenge Nadal, Hence why he rushed to the net with no hope.

But mental wise, it was no issue, just that it was ridiculously risky to have to hit those BH versus Nadal but no choice to try to hit flat in order to prevent Nadal from dictating, meaning being forced to run down teh ball right and left.

With his new racquet, it's very clear he never feared nadal mentally.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Jahu on Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:22 pm

So Djoko being a Djoko.

Hypes his return with extreme media shit, FB, twiter, instagram, other childish shit, pics here, pics there, I am ready to return, I am this, I am that.

Loses like a dog last night, then states I should of not come here to play, I don't feel good at all.

Thanks the "god" for quick healing from operation, then says he doesn't feel good. 

Then blames "god" for giving us challenges when we don't expect, then says there is a reason for them, I guess he is next Buddha or Messiah or whatever, he's been totally brainwashed.

Says he had the elbow problem for 2 years, pauses 6 months, no good in matches, then goes and has a 15 min. operation and in 3 days is down the Gym.

The guy has been taken for a ride by dark forces, I swear  Laugh Laugh

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by bogbrush on Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:31 pm

It was the semi Tenez, and I completely agree on that match. Don’t forget his physical condition was compromised by the GF that year too. It was clear from the off that he was trying to shorten everything.

Quality summary, Jahu.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:29 pm

Q. Can you talk about the surgery in Switzerland? Looked like it was the hand, but we know you have an elbow problem. What was it about?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I did my statement. I don’t know if you have read it or not. So maybe you can look back and read the statement. I have explained everything there.
=====================
What a weird reply from Djokovic. Could he be nicer and just explain again? Should not be too difficult.

So is it the hand or the elbow?

Also another weird reply with no need to talk about Troicky suspension...At least I am sure Troicki does not wish to have it mentioned.

Q. You never had these kind of injuries and long time away from the court. It has to be scary or different. Have you tried to talk to other athletes who went through that?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah. I talked a little bit, you know, Viktor Troicki also has been through injuries and suspension from ITF that took him out for 18 months. You know, I have been through his process, and I understand — you know, I understand what he has been through mentally.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Jahu on Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:35 pm

He is a lost man, does not know what to lie the next morning. He has been hypnotised and being sucked dry out of the money buy his team of "experts" that are prolonging his problems with useless solutions so they stick longer around him "healing" him till money flows. He has lost the touch for reality.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Daniel on Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:30 pm

Funny...  other day everyone believing he would be kicking Nishikori in.  What happened, I wonder?  

Age happened.  It's normal for most players to just fizzle out. It happened to McEnroe in his mid 20s.  It's not hard to understand.  Federer - and even Nadal - are an exception. Not the rule.  Djok could still win another slam or two, but his days of dominating are gone.  Nadal and Fed won't be around either, cause, guess what?  Age is real.  It affects different players earlier or later,  but over time the effect is always to retirement.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by luvsports! on Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:35 pm

Daniel wrote:Funny...  other day everyone believing he would be kicking Nishikori in.  What happened, I wonder?  

Age happened.  It's normal for most players to just fizzle out. It happened to McEnroe in his mid 20s.  It's not hard to understand.  Federer - and even Nadal - are an exception. Not the rule.  Djok could still win another slam or two, but his days of dominating are gone.  Nadal and Fed won't be around either, cause, guess what?  Age is real.  It affects different players earlier or later,  but over time the effect is always to retirement.

I think JMac was more down to the fact that his touch game was replaced by more powerful players, not that he declined at the age of 25/26.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:58 pm

Daniel wrote:Funny...  other day everyone believing he would be kicking Nishikori in.  What happened, I wonder?  

Age happened.  It's normal for most players to just fizzle out. It happened to McEnroe in his mid 20s.  It's not hard to understand.  Federer - and even Nadal - are an exception. Not the rule.  Djok could still win another slam or two, but his days of dominating are gone.  Nadal and Fed won't be around either, cause, guess what?  Age is real.  It affects different players earlier or later,  but over time the effect is always to retirement.

I am sure one day you will even end up convincing yourself.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by summerblues on Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:56 am

My guess is that Nole's main issue is lack of motivation. He finally won RG and then what should be he next goal? Maybe if he had managed to cruise for a while after RG, he would have gotten used to it and continued to do well. But once he slumped - whether because of injuries or other issues, it has to be hard to force himself to commit as before, especially since there are no more obvious goals in sight.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by summerblues on Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:59 am

Tenez wrote:What a weird reply from Djokovic
Oh my goodness, those are some weird replies indeed. Elbow or hand? How hard is it to answer? Refer back to his official statement? Is he nuts? It looks like Jahu is right about him.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by summerblues on Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:20 am

barrystar wrote:As for dominance - I guess it depends upon how one defines it

Djoko's top 10 victories from 2011-2016 were 21, 24, 24, 19, 31, and 21.  
Fed's best were 18, 19, 17 and 17 in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2014 respectively.
Nadal had 24 in 2013, next best of 17 in 2008.
I would not view this as a good measure.  Djoko was very dominant and did accomplish some feats even Fed did not (notably 4 slams in a row) but I think that by most metrics Fed at his best was more dominant.  Specifically looking at top 10 wins, I would think win/loss ratios are more meaningful.  By my count, Nole's 2011-16 are:

2011:. 21W/5L - 81%
2012:. 24W / 10L - 71%
2013: 24W / 6L - 80%
2014: 19W / 5L - 79%
2015: 31W / 5L - 86%
2016: 21W / 4L - 84%

Fed in 2004-07, and then again in 2017 looks like this:

2004: 18W / 0L - 100% (!)
2005: 15W / 2L - 88%
2006: 19W / 4L - 83%
2007: 17W / 4L - 81%

2017: 14W / 2L - 88%

Novak's best (31W & 5L in 2015) gives 86% win percentage.  Fed has three years better than that, including 100% success in 2004.

One can argue whether Novak's 31 wins in 2015 is more impressive than Fed's clean sheet in 2004 (my view is that Fed's number is far more impressive) but hard to blame Fed for not getting 20+ top 10 wins that year.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by summerblues on Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:04 am

noleisthebest wrote:1) That Nole has lost even more weight.
Finally someone agrees with me!

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by bogbrush on Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:51 am

Tenez wrote:Q. Can you talk about the surgery in Switzerland? Looked like it was the hand, but we know you have an elbow problem. What was it about?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I did my statement. I don’t know if you have read it or not. So maybe you can look back and read the statement. I have explained everything there.
=====================
What a weird reply from Djokovic. Could he be nicer and just explain again? Should not be too difficult.

So is it the hand or the elbow?

Also another weird reply with no need to talk about Troicky suspension...At least I am sure Troicki does not wish to have it mentioned.

Q. You never had these kind of injuries and long time away from the court. It has to be scary or different. Have you tried to talk to other athletes who went through that?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah. I talked a little bit, you know, Viktor Troicki also has been through injuries and suspension from ITF that took him out for 18 months. You know, I have been through his process, and I understand — you know, I understand what he has been through mentally.
That’s just weird. Subconscious urge to confess to doping?

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by bogbrush on Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:00 am

In the end maybe what will finish him is that his game is just no bloody fun. No fun to watch, an exhausting pain to play, no love from the people. Why bother?

Federer will be dragged from this tour, probably because of the grandchildren if one of the girls gets hitched early, because he loves playing, his game is joyful to play and people love it so much they love him and show it. Even other players enjoy it. Annabel certainly does! In the AO presentation they said something like “.. from Switzerland, but loved across the World, Roger Federer....” - can you imagine Djokovic getting that? 

It takes a lot to push through what Djokovic is in. Does he have ambition, support and encouragement from his close group, the sheer pleasure of playing? Not to the same extent it doesn’t.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:18 am

bogbrush wrote:....
That’s just weird. Subconscious urge to confess to doping?

My thought as well. Especially since it is not the first time he alludes to it.

In Dec 2010, right after his DC win and before his amazing 2011 winning streak, he admits he could have cut corners earlier. I have shown this piece of interview in the past but can't find it anymore.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:28 am

I think we will learn a lot from his bio when he retires.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:43 am

So is it the hand of the elbow?

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2018/02/novak-djokovic-elbow-surgery-instagram/71876/

Both hand and elbow are very much linked. The difficulty here it seems is that the specialists had different opinions, hence he Djoko had to chose the view of one over others.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by barrystar on Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:58 am

summerblues wrote:
barrystar wrote:As for dominance - I guess it depends upon how one defines it

Djoko's top 10 victories from 2011-2016 were 21, 24, 24, 19, 31, and 21.  
Fed's best were 18, 19, 17 and 17 in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2014 respectively.
Nadal had 24 in 2013, next best of 17 in 2008.
I would not view this as a good measure.  Djoko was very dominant and did accomplish some feats even Fed did not (notably 4 slams in a row) but I think that by most metrics Fed at his best was more dominant.  Specifically looking at top 10 wins, I would think win/loss ratios are more meaningful.  By my count, Nole's 2011-16 are:

2011:. 21W/5L - 81%
2012:. 24W / 10L - 71%
2013: 24W / 6L - 80%
2014: 19W / 5L - 79%
2015: 31W / 5L - 86%
2016: 21W / 4L - 84%

Fed in 2004-07, and then again in 2017 looks like this:

2004: 18W / 0L - 100% (!)
2005: 15W / 2L - 88%
2006: 19W / 4L - 83%
2007: 17W / 4L - 81%

2017: 14W / 2L - 88%

Novak's best (31W & 5L in 2015) gives 86% win percentage.  Fed has three years better than that, including 100% success in 2004.

One can argue whether Novak's 31 wins in 2015 is more impressive than Fed's clean sheet in 2004 (my view is that Fed's number is far more impressive) but hard to blame Fed for not getting 20+ top 10 wins that year.

I think Novak's 31 wins and 4 losses to top 10 players are way more impressive than Fed's clean sheet of 19 top 10 wins, there is no comparison, and this is why:

Fed in 2004 lost early to lower-ranked players at Rotterdam (Henman, who was #11), Miami (Nadal!), Rome, RG, the Olympics, and Cincinnati.  He did not compete at Monte Carlo, Madrid, or Paris.  Either by scheduling choice or early defeat to lesser players he avoided facing many more top 10 players later in heavy-weight draws than he might have done - he did win 3 slams, the season ender, and 3 Masters, but he relied on the rest away from the top 10 in smaller tournaments.

Djoko in 2015 won the Sunshine double, Monte Carlo, Rome, Shanghai, and Paris, and got to the finals at RG, Montreal, Cincinnati.  He did not play at Madrid - he put himself in 'harms way' vis-a-vis the top 10 time and time again, and he lost to the top 10 four times, all in finals: Fed at Dubai and Cincinnati, Wawrinka at RG, Murray at Montreal (his fifith loss was to Karlovic in a 250).  Djoko bruised his way through to the business end of every big tournament he was in.

The reason why a huge number of top 10 wins is a more reliable guide of dominance than a higher ratio with a much smaller number of wins is that you don't get to face lots of guys in the top 10 over a year if you don't get to the business end of big tournaments time and time again - and if you do that sooner or later one of them is going to get you.  Djokovic's 2015 is, for my money, the most impressive year of any player under the modern regime (i.e. 4 healthy 128-draw slams, 9 Masters, and the WTF).  It was not filled with virtuosity which took the breath away, or the joy of watching an unbelievable new talent crashing onto the scene and winning 3 Slams in one year for the first time since the 1980's, but it was way more impressive and dominant than any year Fed has ever put together.

It's similar to the perennial Fedal H2H debate.  If Fed had not gotten to all those clay finals for a beat down the H2H would look better, but he would have had a worse career overall.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by barrystar on Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:01 am

Tenez wrote:
bogbrush wrote:....
That’s just weird. Subconscious urge to confess to doping?

My thought as well. Especially since it is not the first time he alludes to it.

In Dec 2010, right after his DC win and before his amazing 2011 winning streak, he admits he could have cut corners earlier. I have shown this piece of interview in the past but can't find it anymore.

Quite the contrary - I'm sure he believes that Troicki was wronged, and as a fellow Serb and DC player he will have been v. close to Troicki's woes - he probably learned what he knew about the difficulty of coming back after a long time out from the guy and, on the assumption they are both friends and he thinks Troicki has done nothing wrong the guy is the obvious example.  For my part I thought Troicki was a jerk at best - but Djoko probably doesn't see it that way.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:09 am

barrystar wrote:
Quite the contrary - I'm sure he believes that Troicki was wronged, and as a fellow Serb and DC player he will have been v. close to Troicki's woes -.....


He most likely thought so cause, unlike you and and I, he knows what's going on on the other side of the curtain. One would feel gutted to have his friend being picked up for what he knows being a minor offence compared to what's going for the top players who will never be caught.

The Agassi/Korda treatments said it all already back then.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by noleisthebest on Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:15 am

bogbrush wrote:Hey nitb.....

1. Yeah, total stick person. There was nothing on his shots yesterday.
Interestingly he was the same (I think) in AO, yet his shots were great. Only the stamina was the problem.
Now it looks like there is a lot more.
bogbrush wrote:
2. Oh go on!
Ok, trash of a human being. He married her, she buried him.
What she did to the guy as a “revenge” is too evil to be published. Use your imagination.
In hindsight, I don’t blame him in the least.

I never thought I’d say this, but Nole would've been a different guy with Mirka as the house boss.

As things are, his life is a living nightmare...
bogbrush wrote:

3. More.
I am afraid no more.
It’s his own mess and his own life.

Tennis wise, no reason why he shouldn’t be back to his best some time this year.

But, oh for some sanity and clarity between those ears...


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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by noleisthebest on Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:26 am

barrystar wrote:
summerblues wrote:
barrystar wrote:As for dominance - I guess it depends upon how one defines it

Djoko's top 10 victories from 2011-2016 were 21, 24, 24, 19, 31, and 21.  
Fed's best were 18, 19, 17 and 17 in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2014 respectively.
Nadal had 24 in 2013, next best of 17 in 2008.
I would not view this as a good measure.  Djoko was very dominant and did accomplish some feats even Fed did not (notably 4 slams in a row) but I think that by most metrics Fed at his best was more dominant.  Specifically looking at top 10 wins, I would think win/loss ratios are more meaningful.  By my count, Nole's 2011-16 are:

2011:. 21W/5L - 81%
2012:. 24W / 10L - 71%
2013: 24W / 6L - 80%
2014: 19W / 5L - 79%
2015: 31W / 5L - 86%
2016: 21W / 4L - 84%

Fed in 2004-07, and then again in 2017 looks like this:

2004: 18W / 0L - 100% (!)
2005: 15W / 2L - 88%
2006: 19W / 4L - 83%
2007: 17W / 4L - 81%

2017: 14W / 2L - 88%

Novak's best (31W & 5L in 2015) gives 86% win percentage.  Fed has three years better than that, including 100% success in 2004.

One can argue whether Novak's 31 wins in 2015 is more impressive than Fed's clean sheet in 2004 (my view is that Fed's number is far more impressive) but hard to blame Fed for not getting 20+ top 10 wins that year.

I think Novak's 31 wins and 4 losses to top 10 players are way more impressive than Fed's clean sheet of 19 top 10 wins, there is no comparison, and this is why:

Fed in 2004 lost early to lower-ranked players at Rotterdam (Henman, who was #11), Miami (Nadal!), Rome, RG, the Olympics, and Cincinnati.  He did not compete at Monte Carlo, Madrid, or Paris.  Either by scheduling choice or early defeat to lesser players he avoided facing many more top 10 players later in heavy-weight draws than he might have done - he did win 3 slams, the season ender, and 3 Masters, but he relied on the rest away from the top 10 in smaller tournaments.

Djoko in 2015 won the Sunshine double, Monte Carlo, Rome, Shanghai, and Paris, and got to the finals at RG, Montreal, Cincinnati.  He did not play at Madrid - he put himself in 'harms way' vis-a-vis the top 10 time and time again, and he lost to the top 10 four times, all in finals: Fed at Dubai and Cincinnati, Wawrinka at RG, Murray at Montreal (his fifith loss was to Karlovic in a 250).  Djoko bruised his way through to the business end of every big tournament he was in.

The reason why a huge number of top 10 wins is a more reliable guide of dominance than a higher ratio with a much smaller number of wins is that you don't get to face lots of guys in the top 10 over a year if you don't get to the business end of big tournaments time and time again - and if you do that sooner or later one of them is going to get you.  Djokovic's 2015 is, for my money, the most impressive year of any player under the modern regime (i.e. 4 healthy 128-draw slams, 9 Masters, and the WTF).  It was not filled with virtuosity which took the breath away, or the joy of watching an unbelievable new talent crashing onto the scene and winning 3 Slams in one year for the first time since the 1980's, but it was way more impressive and dominant than any year Fed has ever put together.

It's similar to the perennial Fedal H2H debate.  If Fed had not gotten to all those clay finals for a beat down the H2H would look better, but he would have had a worse career overall.

I agree with Barry.

Nole was unbeatable during his reign.
His dominance was physical but not exclusively like Nadal’s.

For me, the climax was his demolition of Fed in AO ‘16.


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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by legendkillar on Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:42 am

noleisthebest wrote:
barrystar wrote:
summerblues wrote:
barrystar wrote:As for dominance - I guess it depends upon how one defines it

Djoko's top 10 victories from 2011-2016 were 21, 24, 24, 19, 31, and 21.  
Fed's best were 18, 19, 17 and 17 in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2014 respectively.
Nadal had 24 in 2013, next best of 17 in 2008.
I would not view this as a good measure.  Djoko was very dominant and did accomplish some feats even Fed did not (notably 4 slams in a row) but I think that by most metrics Fed at his best was more dominant.  Specifically looking at top 10 wins, I would think win/loss ratios are more meaningful.  By my count, Nole's 2011-16 are:

2011:. 21W/5L - 81%
2012:. 24W / 10L - 71%
2013: 24W / 6L - 80%
2014: 19W / 5L - 79%
2015: 31W / 5L - 86%
2016: 21W / 4L - 84%

Fed in 2004-07, and then again in 2017 looks like this:

2004: 18W / 0L - 100% (!)
2005: 15W / 2L - 88%
2006: 19W / 4L - 83%
2007: 17W / 4L - 81%

2017: 14W / 2L - 88%

Novak's best (31W & 5L in 2015) gives 86% win percentage.  Fed has three years better than that, including 100% success in 2004.

One can argue whether Novak's 31 wins in 2015 is more impressive than Fed's clean sheet in 2004 (my view is that Fed's number is far more impressive) but hard to blame Fed for not getting 20+ top 10 wins that year.

I think Novak's 31 wins and 4 losses to top 10 players are way more impressive than Fed's clean sheet of 19 top 10 wins, there is no comparison, and this is why:

Fed in 2004 lost early to lower-ranked players at Rotterdam (Henman, who was #11), Miami (Nadal!), Rome, RG, the Olympics, and Cincinnati.  He did not compete at Monte Carlo, Madrid, or Paris.  Either by scheduling choice or early defeat to lesser players he avoided facing many more top 10 players later in heavy-weight draws than he might have done - he did win 3 slams, the season ender, and 3 Masters, but he relied on the rest away from the top 10 in smaller tournaments.

Djoko in 2015 won the Sunshine double, Monte Carlo, Rome, Shanghai, and Paris, and got to the finals at RG, Montreal, Cincinnati.  He did not play at Madrid - he put himself in 'harms way' vis-a-vis the top 10 time and time again, and he lost to the top 10 four times, all in finals: Fed at Dubai and Cincinnati, Wawrinka at RG, Murray at Montreal (his fifith loss was to Karlovic in a 250).  Djoko bruised his way through to the business end of every big tournament he was in.

The reason why a huge number of top 10 wins is a more reliable guide of dominance than a higher ratio with a much smaller number of wins is that you don't get to face lots of guys in the top 10 over a year if you don't get to the business end of big tournaments time and time again - and if you do that sooner or later one of them is going to get you.  Djokovic's 2015 is, for my money, the most impressive year of any player under the modern regime (i.e. 4 healthy 128-draw slams, 9 Masters, and the WTF).  It was not filled with virtuosity which took the breath away, or the joy of watching an unbelievable new talent crashing onto the scene and winning 3 Slams in one year for the first time since the 1980's, but it was way more impressive and dominant than any year Fed has ever put together.

It's similar to the perennial Fedal H2H debate.  If Fed had not gotten to all those clay finals for a beat down the H2H would look better, but he would have had a worse career overall.

I agree with Barry.

Nole was unbeatable during his reign.
His dominance was physical but not exclusively like Nadal’s.

For me, the climax was his demolition of Fed in AO ‘16.


Agree with all of this and barry's comments.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by noleisthebest on Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:44 am

Having said the above, Nole never dominated the field with ease like Fed.

Watching Federer last night go through Krajinivic like knife through butter was very different from Nole’s style of being an impenetrable Wall.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:11 am

barrystar wrote:...The reason why a huge number of top 10 wins is a more reliable guide of dominance than a higher ratio with a much smaller number of wins is that you don't get to face lots of guys in the top 10 over a year if you don't get to the business end of big tournaments time and time again - and if you do that sooner or later one of them is going to get you.  Djokovic's 2015 is, for my money, the most impressive year of any player under the modern regime (i.e. 4 healthy 128-draw slams, 9 Masters, and the WTF).  It was not filled with virtuosity which took the breath away, or the joy of watching an unbelievable new talent crashing onto the scene and winning 3 Slams in one year for the first time since the 1980's, but it was way more impressive and dominant than any year Fed has ever put together.

Well I will have to disagree and side with SB for once. First cause simply the ratio is essential...it's what numbers are all about, especially if there are enough data to valid them. In short it  means if the opps were more frequent, the numbers would be higher. One cannot make federer responsible for not facing enough top 10. I don;t think he was avoiding them purposely and pulling loses to people outside #10 does not support the very point, including Nadal who was a nobody then (lost to Gonzo in the next round). Fed had flue btw in Miami 04. He even almost lost to Davydenko the day before in spite of Davy being very far from the level he will reach later.

Regarding 2015, yes Djoko was dominant....but he lost 3 times to 33yo Federer. And I am sure, though I can only suggest it,  he would have lost even more matches against Fed had he played Federer early as opposed to late in the tournament as the WTF 15 proved. This is why I am reluctant to call a dominant player, when his tennis is not dominant itself.

Federer at his successful years had only  Nadal as a rival..and on clay only...but again, he was playing with an outdated technology simply cause he was from a different generation. Djoko had no excuse to lose to a 33 Federer...except that Federer simply had a better tennis.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by barrystar on Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:28 am

Tenez wrote:
barrystar wrote:...The reason why a huge number of top 10 wins is a more reliable guide of dominance than a higher ratio with a much smaller number of wins is that you don't get to face lots of guys in the top 10 over a year if you don't get to the business end of big tournaments time and time again - and if you do that sooner or later one of them is going to get you.  Djokovic's 2015 is, for my money, the most impressive year of any player under the modern regime (i.e. 4 healthy 128-draw slams, 9 Masters, and the WTF).  It was not filled with virtuosity which took the breath away, or the joy of watching an unbelievable new talent crashing onto the scene and winning 3 Slams in one year for the first time since the 1980's, but it was way more impressive and dominant than any year Fed has ever put together.

Well I will have to disagree and side with SB for once. First cause simply the ratio is essential...it's what numbers are all about, especially if there are enough data to valid them. In short it  means if the opps were more frequent, the numbers would be higher. One cannot make federer responsible for not facing enough top 10. I don;t think he was avoiding them purposely and pulling loses to people outside #10 does not support the very point, including Nadal who was a nobody then (lost to Gonzo in the next round). Fed had flue btw in Miami 04. He even almost lost to Davydenko the day before in spite of Davy being very far from the level he will reach later.

Regarding 2015, yes Djoko was dominant....but he lost 3 times to 33yo Federer. And I am sure, though I can only suggest it,  he would have lost even more matches against Fed had he played Federer early as opposed to late in the tournament as the WTF 15 proved. This is why I am reluctant to call a dominant player, when his tennis is not dominant itself.

Federer at his successful years had only  Nadal as a rival..and on clay only...but again, he was playing with an outdated technology simply cause he was from a different generation. Djoko had no excuse to lose to a 33 Federer...except that Federer simply had a better tennis.

It's not a blame game, or suggesting that Fed's motive was to avoid top players.  The simple unavoidable fact is that if Fed had entered more big tournaments and had not been knocked out as early in several that he did enter, he would have faced more than 19 top 10 players in matches.  Djoko's schedule included all the bigger tournaments but one and he got through to the business end of the lot of them, facing more than twice as many top ten players in matches as Fed did (39), and winning on an extraordinary 35 occasions.  Apart from Karlovic in the 250 warm-up in Doha, he only ever lost to high-ranked proven multiple slam winners - Fed cannot say that about his 2004.

It's no good referring to a 33-yr-old Federer - his pretty stellar 2015 showed that regardless of age he was still a wonderful player, nor is it any good saying that Djoko would not have done so well against him early in knock-out tournaments on the strength of a RR match.  Tournaments were seeded in 2004 just as in 2015 - that's how it works, and that's why facing and beating many top 10 players over a year is a very good in-depth indicator of dominance (provided it comes with a slew of big titles).

It's worth pointing out that Djoko's run was really an 18-month one, not a 12-month one, running from 2014 WTF through to RG 2016 - when everything changed pretty abruptly in a world of very small margins......

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by legendkillar on Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:34 am

Yup. If's and buts are not facts and are purely subjective.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by noleisthebest on Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:24 pm

barrystar wrote:
There seems to be a lot going on:
(f) I am not alone in detecting a certain immaturity and neediness in Djoko - he seems to want to be loved too much.  Fedal have achieved adoration by getting on with what works for them in their different ways and without looking as hard for it as Djoko has; Murray has shown some very genuine emotions in good times and bad and has gained respect, if not a great deal of love, but he seems ok with that.  Those three are very evidently their own men - to this outsider at least, that is more difficult to say about Djoko.
Yes...that’s certainly the one that is not under the bonnet.

I can only deduce he must have been traumatised as young, put under too much pressure most likely by his father, an $$$ egomaniac par excellence.

Nole  loves to entertain and clown around...just somehow doesn’t get that people don’t want to see it when they go to tennis matches.

I also think he is surrounded by thick people...his first coach and his grandad seemed to be the only positive, wholesome characters & influence and they have both died.

With everything that’s been and gone so far with him, tennis is almost his last asylum/chance to reclaim himself to himself.

So I think he has plenty of motivation to return to his best.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by summerblues on Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:01 am

barrystar wrote:I think Novak's 31 wins and 4 losses to top 10 players are way more impressive than Fed's clean sheet of 19 top 10 wins, [....]
First, where I agree with you:

Yes, Novak's 2015 was clearly overall more impressive than Fed's 2004, and yes, percentage won does not quite tell the full story.

But I still hold that it tells a better story than total number of top 10 wins. What I wanted to point out, and what I thought was clear from the numbers (though apparently not) is that the number of potential top 10 opponents a player can face in a year can vary quite widely, is out of the player's control, and was generally lower in 2004-2007 than in 2011-2016.

For example, Fed won three slams in 2006 and made the final of every tournament he played except Cincinnati. But even if he had won every match he played that year, he would have only accumulated 23 top 10 wins. And even in the 2004 vs 2015 example one could observe that there was just not enough opportunity for Fed to play 36 top ten opponents as Nole did in 2015 no matter where and how well Fed would have played.

My view is that the number of top 10 players one can face is too unstable to make the number of top 10 wins into a serious metric. Percentage wins is not perfect either - and you did point out some valid issues there, but to me it is in general a better metric.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by summerblues on Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:05 am

Tenez wrote:Well I will have to disagree and side with SB for once.
I wonder why.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by barrystar on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:08 am

I know we are both talking about "potential" top 10 wins - and if you keep 3-4 Masters tournaments off your schedule and get knocked out early on in some of the ones you do play it is you primarily who has reduced the 'potential'.  Fed could have faced more top 10 players in 2004 had he played more Masters tournaments and gone deep in every draw.  He didn't; Djoko did in 2015 and maxed out.

One matter that is not in a player's hands is how many top 10 opponents get through the early rounds to face you in the later ones - that I acknowledge, but Fed's relative lack of top 10 opponents in 2004 was more due to his choices and his defeats.

With 2006 you have more of a point - Fed missed only two masters and got knocked out early in 1, so he did not have a huge opportunity to increase the potential top 10 opponents, and his only defeats were to Nadal on clay (4) and Murray.  That really was a dominant year - arguably not quite up there with Djoko's 2015, but we are talking cigarette paper in my view.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:39 am

barrystar wrote:It's not a blame game, or suggesting that Fed's motive was to avoid top players.  The simple unavoidable fact is that if Fed had entered more big tournaments and had not been knocked out as early in several that he did enter, he would have faced more than 19 top 10 players in matches.  Djoko's schedule included all the bigger tournaments but one and he got through to the business end of the lot of them, facing more than twice as many top ten players in matches as Fed did (39), and winning on an extraordinary 35 occasions.  Apart from Karlovic in the 250 warm-up in Doha, he only ever lost to high-ranked proven multiple slam winners - Fed cannot say that about his 2004.
But then why considering Fed 04 and not 05. 81/4 is surely better than 82/6, isn't it?  

It's no good referring to a 33-yr-old Federer - his pretty stellar 2015 showed that regardless of age he was still a wonderful player, nor is it any good saying that Djoko would not have done so well against him early in knock-out tournaments on the strength of a RR match.  Tournaments were seeded in 2004 just as in 2015 - that's how it works, and that's why facing and beating many top 10 players over a year is a very good in-depth indicator of dominance (provided it comes with a slew of big titles).
At 33, the biggest issue is to be fit at the business end of tournaments. Even Federer suggested in interviews that he'd rather face Djoko early than late. You can check on one of the thread, I had predicted Fed's win at that RR...and loss later. Fed lost relatively close matches at Wimbledon 15 and USO 15, very much because he could not play to the level he was playing in the earlier rounds. Ignoring the recovery differences at 33 is like ignoring the fact that some surfaces favour some players over others. You will see when Djoko gets to 33, he won't be able to sustain the long rallies a Chung or Zverev will inflict him, more so if he gets to finals. To me the fact that Djoko lost 3 times versus a 33yo who just got used to playing with his new racquet in his "best year" says it all.


It's worth pointing out that Djoko's run was really an 18-month one, not a 12-month one, running from 2014 WTF through to RG 2016 - when everything changed pretty abruptly in a world of very small margins......
That I agree.....but those small margins were already there in 2015, except that he won many of those "tight" matches , systematically winning all those bo3 and bo5 deciders whereas Fed lost the very few he had to dispute...including having MPs in that AO04 final! And that will always be the case between a retriever and a shot maker.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by barrystar on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:15 am

Tenez wrote:
At 33, the biggest issue is to be fit at the business end of tournaments. Even Federer suggested in interviews that he'd rather face Djoko early than late. You can check on one of the thread, I had predicted Fed's win at that RR...and loss later. Fed lost relatively close matches at Wimbledon 15 and USO 15, very much because he could not play to the level he was playing in the earlier rounds. Ignoring the recovery differences at 33 is like ignoring the fact that some surfaces favour some players over others. You will see when Djoko gets to 33, he won't be able to sustain the long rallies a Chung or Zverev will inflict him, more so if he gets to finals. To me the fact that Djoko lost 3 times versus a 33yo who just got used to playing with his new racquet in his "best year" says it all.


Nicely put this argument - I see the force in it.  We then get landed in a debate as to what 'dominance' means and objectivity &c &c, but I entirely take your point that if the two were matched fresh Fed still had the claim to being the 'better' player even at the age of 33 because getting deep into draws worked to Djoko's advantage.

The fact that Fed is always working out how to shorten points and 'win' them on their merits is why he has so many fans of course.

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Re: Whither Djoko?

Post by Tenez on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:27 am

And Djoko played 16 deciders in that year (2015) and won 14 of those (l. to karlo (who else?) and Murray), including a few bagels in those deciders and that shows that his "dominance" was mostly fitness.

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