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Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

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Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by ... on Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:36 pm

Funny how one match changes everything...

With 7 slams in his pocket and hopefully permanently victorious over his unrest that had him squander the already won matches, Nole appears to be on top of current game and tennis: fit, athletic, great defender with a healthy appetite for attacking.

At 27, he is entering his prime.

An established generation of young players is catching up, the older one hanging on. Nole is right in the middle, perfectly poised to go on a tear.

He has not suffered any long injury breaks and Becker's input is helping him cut out unnecessary running.

He is getting married tomorrow and will soon become a father, but I doubt that will have any negative effect on him, quite the opposite.

The competition is strong, but seems to be unable to break through him when he is in his invincible mode.
Is another 2011 on the cards in 2015?

As things are, USO looks to be a must for him, anything less would be disappointing.



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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by Daniel on Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:25 pm

Is limit is faster conditions...  where you can take time away from him.  None of the surfaces these days do that sadly.  He has more to his game than Nadal, but imho is still very limited.  He does what he does extremely well, has great temperament and bottle, and physical strength. 

Age will be a massive undoing, as it will be for Nadal.  The second they can't defend every ball back, they are doomed.

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by ... on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:22 pm

Nole actually doesn't play badly at all on faster courts.
I think there has been a myth now ingrained by commentators that faster surfaces would change things.
They would, but not by much.
US played Serbia on fastest legal hard courts in high altitude last year and Nole cleaned both Isner and Querrey.

The thing is, compared to say, 20 years ago, it's not only the surfaces but also balls and racquet technology that have changed.
Balls still can be changed like they were in 2012 Bercy, or RG 2011, and that could make a difference, but the racquet technology helped with DBH game is what's really helping Nole's tennis. The head is big and racquets light, strings encourage spin.
Flat hitting is almost exterminated.

Nadal is the one whose game is affected by fast and low bouncing courts/balls, not Nole.

Having said that, the 2001 Wimbledon played much faster.

I am all for reinstitution of surface variety, it would be fun to see how players adap to it.

In the meantime, we can see the new generation introducing the new stage of tennis evolution in Kyrgios, Vesely, Raonic, P. Herbert...all very tall players, all excellent servers. Even Dimi is quite tall.

Somehow, I don't believe that 6 foot 3-5 inch tall players will be able to rule for a long time. They all seem to prefer and play better on clay anyway. Interesting, isn't it?

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by paulcz on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:58 pm

Nole's game just doesn't have any weakness in a comparison to  all other players. His move looks currently the best even on the grass. It comes from the fact that his both wings are nearly excellent, which allows him to keep the center of the court. His move from split step and back  is absolutely natural. It is due to his light body frame. On the other hand his light body can't generate such power as Stan, so here must be a balance and  I still think that a couple of muscles wouldn't go amiss.

I agree that current Nole is in his prime and he just have to stay healthy and focused. And still BB is going to learn coaching skills, so there is a still another potential  Big Grin

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by Autumnleaf on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:05 am

Djokovic has no weaknesses in his game. His main weakness is that he is not very exciting to watch unfortunately, that's why he is not exactly showered with love outside of Serbia. He is a bit like Ivan Lendl in that respect who was also a great and successful tennis player, but not of the inspiring kind.

Never expect the unexpected with Djokovic. He's the bookie's favourite in every slam he enters with the exception of RG. His groundstrokes will be powerful (but not the most powerful) and with depth off both wings. He is the clockwork of tennis, its metronome, always expect him to make semis at worst, usually he will make finals and win quite a few. Few stand a chance against his consistency. If he doesn't clean up the next few slams, he did something wrong.

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by ... on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:23 am

I really don't think quality of tennis has much to do with the "love" players receive.
Just look at Nadal.

People love winners. The feel-good factor they provide.

Federer is the only player that is globally loved for his tennis, but I am pretty sure that the large number of his "lovers" love him more because of his winning than tennis as was easy to see last year when he struggled.
So many couldn't wait to wash his hands off him, proclaiming him old (and useless...)

OTF is probably the only forum that believed in Fed, not out of blind fan "love" (whatever that is) but the knowledge that he was injured, and simple understanding of tennis.

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by Autumnleaf on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:56 am

noleisthebest wrote:I really don't think quality of tennis players play has much to do with the "love" they receive.
Just look at Nadal.
People love winners.

Federer is the only player that is globally loved for his tennis, and I am pretty sure the large number of his "lovers" love him more because of his winning than tennis as was easy to see last year when he struggled.
So many couldn't wait to wash his hands off him, proclaiming him old (and useless...)

OTF is probably the only forum that believed in Fed, not out of blind fan "love" (whatever that is) but the knowledge that he was injured, and simple understanding of tennis.
I agree that quality of play has nothing to do with the love they receive. Case in point: Nadal. And I am sure people love winners, though they don't love every winner the same and consistent winning can get tiresome.

Lendl was a winner too and a great player. But never did he catch the imagination of people the way a Boris Becker did. I feel Djokovic falls in the Lendl mold, he is respected for his achievements, but is unable to fire imagination up. Maybe it is because of his consistency? Maybe he will be loved more when he starts to lose more often?

Nadal was loved at first because he was a teenage prodigy, muscled, cute (in his fans view) and beat Federer(!). They also found his style exciting, though I couldn't tell why. They probably, just like Connors, love the fist pumping and vamosing. In the end love is irrational, but the player must probably have something intangible, inspiring to have that love projected on him. Still he is also the most hated player with quite some margin. I'll be interested in seeing how his popularity develops, once he starts to lose more.

Federer lost some and gained some, from what I can see. Many people were tired of his dominance back in 2004-2007, so when he finally started to lose more, it made him more accessible and fragile - he started to appear human which is a quality most people appreciate. Big Grin Maybe the same will happen with Djokovic.

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by ... on Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:15 pm

Lendl played a new type of game which was quite different from what was available at the time.
Probably, father of modern baseline tennis.
In hindsight, he should have been appreciated more.
He played one of my favourite matches of all time, RG final against McEnroe, wonderful tennis as well as drama.

At the time, there were quite a lot of tennis characters and entertainers around and Lendl was not going to be part of it.

He never smiled, he hated grass proclaiming it was for cows, he was from The Eastern block in the pre Berlin-Wall days.

Again, just like now it was all, as Agassi famously proclaimed, about "image", and his was Ivan The Terrible.

Nole is very different from Ivan, but again, I am not into the "love" business, esp the Facebook and Twitter hysteria.

I am a proper, genuine turtle...

Crowd love is superficial and fickle and Lendl knew it very well. I enjoyed seeing him in Murray's box very much. Unlike Mac and Connors, he didn't disgrace himself with his mouth.

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by Autumnleaf on Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:04 pm

"Image is everything"  Laugh 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpuFEpbE0d0

A different game is no impediment in general though, Nadal has also changed the game. Agree about him not smiling and being from Eastern Europe surely didn't help his case.

Thinking out loud now: Agree about the unsteady love of the crowd, but to become a social phenomen and transcend your sport you have to win it probably. And to make a lot of money. 

Doesn't take away from Djokovic though, because it is very rare. Maybe this transcendence is not even desirable, because it will lead to athletes being bigger than the sport, too big too fail. On the plus side it will bring new people to the sport, because they can reach out to people who are not yet following the sport. That's to me one of the few positives of Nadal.

Personally agree about Facebook and Twitter, never felt the need to impart my preferences with the whole world. I feel, they are private and should stay that way.

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by ... on Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:16 pm

Tbh, the social phenomenon side of tennis does not interest me, especially these days when it's more engineered and abused than ever.
To the point when Nadal is proclaimed GOAT and has 15 slam titles...
It's gone over the top.

I've never cared about what others think or say anyway and have generally been "at war" with the masses all my life diva

I didn't like players because they are winners or popular. Quite the opposite, probably.

I even had aversion to Federer in the beginning because he was attracting a hoard of blind worshippers, to me that is such a turn-off.

Nestling here in OTF, provided me a lovely place under the sun to just breathe...although now and then there are people who come and go and bring that tornado of militancy and tribalism with them....but that's life, innit...

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by Tenez on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:56 pm

Well, frankly his limit for me is his game....and mind. I really think his shots are "awkward". From the serve to the BH and FH....he is not nice to watch. Efficient? yes under those conds but let's not forget that before that Wimby final he had lost 4 out of 5 last finals or something like that.

How many slams will he win? not sure but by messing up a few opportunities I think he'll struggle reach 10...but that is excellent for his ability.


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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by ... on Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:56 am

If I learnt anything during my NITB life it's not to expect much from predictions...
Things can change so quickly, unpredictables happen too often, but I suppose that's what makes it all interesting.

I'd like Nole to win 10 slams, he should be able to. Not so bothered about RG, although he seems to.

Funny you see him "awkward". But I know what you mean. To me the only awkward thing is the sound he makes when he serves. And I obviously don't see him like I do the other players. With him for me it's all watching him on the inside through the match, if that makes sense. 

But having your eyes used to seamless smoothness of Federer for years, I can see why Nole rubs you the wrong way.

He is a bit of an acquired taste Winking

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by ryanr2 on Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:46 am

"He is getting married tomorrow and will soon become a father, but I doubt that will have any negative effect on him, quite the opposite."
Yep, you're right. Federer is a good example that marriage and children do not interfere with tennis performance:)
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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by summerblues on Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:03 am

noleisthebest wrote:At 27, he is entering his prime.
He is certainly not "entering" his prime - he is closer to the tail end of it than to its beginning.  When he was on a tear in 2011/early 2012, I believe I said I expected him to fail to get to 10 slams.  I would still go with that.  He might reach 10, but I would expect that more likely than not he will not.

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by ... on Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:57 am

I couldn't disagree more.
Nole is entering his prime in every possible way: emotional, physical, technical...not to mention the game and experience.
He is relatively injury free and still very hungry, which combined with all the above is a recipe for success.

Obviously, others are catching up, but mainly with fitness (Dimi), Raonic (power). But still behind him esp in the best of 5.
His most dangerous opponents still remain Federer, Murray and Nadal. In that order, as well.

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Re: Novak Djokovic: Where Is His Limit?

Post by Daniel on Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:52 pm

I think you are going to be very disappointed in 2 years to find that Nole falls off the radar much like Nadal will.  I like Nole, but there seems to be a lot of self delusion around here as to when physical prime is.  No offence intended.  Seriously, prime years are well over by 30, so 27 is not entering prime.  Quite the opposite.

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