Saturday, August 13, 2016

Fan Page Novak "Nole" Djokovic


Nole, The Master (Tribute) - Pt.1 & Pt.2

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic is a Serbian pro tennis player who's been ranked world #1 in men's singles by the ATP for 223 wks. He's considered one of the greatest players of all time. He was coached to his best results by former Slovak player Marián Vajda. Parting in '17, Andre Agassi took over duties.- - (Comments?)
French Open 2016 - Completes Nole-Slam
12 Major wins & counting

 


per Wiki: Djokovic has won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, the 4th most in history (tied w/ Roy Emerson), & has held the #1 spot in the ATP rankings for a total of 223 weeks. In majors, Djokovic has won an all-X rec. 6 Aussie Open titles (tied w/ Emo), includ. an Open Era rec. 3 cons. titles '11–13 (the only player). He won 3 Wimbledon titles, 2 USO's & 1 French Open title. In 2016, he became the 8th player to achieve the CGS by winning the '16 FO. Djokovic the 3rd man to hold all 4 major titles @ once, the 1st since Laver in '69, & the 1st ever on 3 diff. surfaces (HC, clay, & grass; & 6th man to win GS Singles title on all those surfaces).

He's won the ATP World Tour Finals 5 times (4 cons., a rec.) and holds the best match winning rate (83.00%) in Open Era, as of Aug. 2016. He's tied w/ Nadal all-time record of 30 Masters 1000 series titles. Djokovic's records include breaking the single-season rec. w/ 6 titles in 2015, winning 31 cons. ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series matches, playing the finals at all 9 ATP Masters 1000 tourneys (shared with Federer & Nadal), and the only player to win 8 of the 9 events at least twice.

- - Novak Djokovic: Wiki - - - ATP World Tour - Novak Djokovic - - - ITF - Djokovic - -


5 YEC's & counting; 4 straight
Nole's my new fave player, on par w/ Lendl! He had to play "2nd fiddle" to Borg, McEnroe, & Connors 30+ yrs ago! Both #1 while opposed on all sides! Fedal's fading as Djoker #'s the RB suppl. them item by item; H2H rivalries, Majors, Masters, & %!


Current News: Djokovic retires in QF of Wimbl. to Berdych; elbow injury! Skipping '17 USO & rest of season! Murray w/ hip injury skips Canada & rest of season! - 11/1/17

102 comments:

  1. From 2015 -

    ***Some Nole history:

    1st player to win the first 3 Masters 1000 tournaments to start the year

    1st player to win AO and 1st 3 Masters 1000 tournaments

    1st player to win 6 straight tournaments that are 1000 and above (Paris, WTF, AO, IW, Miami, MC)

    Masters titles since 2011 - Djokovic = 18; Federer + Nadal + Murray = 18
    ---

    Last year Nole didn't play in Madrid alleging that he had a wrist injury so we'll see how they treat him after last season's controversy w/ Dimitrov, but I'm not sure if he wants to play there.***

    So reminiscent of Lendl's tenure as #1! Players like McEnroe and Connors could berate officials, have a tantrum on court, & belittle the tour, but they were always cheered while Lendl dealt with boo's and just went about his business winning and establishing himself as one of the greats of the game!

    ***Djokovic's only opponents are himself and the pressure now.***

    That's been the case since the beginning! From years ago, he was a solid #3 who rarely lost to unheralded players and was his own worst enemy when he was favored to win a title! He may not acquire the record # of majors or have a great run of wins at 1 of the top 2; Wimbledon & USO! Federer has the major title record along w/ 2 huge runs at those majors that can't be surpassed by a current rival like Nadal! Rafa owns the FO like no other player since Borg; taking on all comers where most top players skipped this clay major to participate in WTT and WCT events in past eras; supposedly kept Connors from completing calendar year Slam in '74! Nole has a lot going for him; playing well within himself, grounded w/ a family, has a great team, and seems to be the fittest he could ever be! He doesn't have to win much else for the rest of the season just to hold onto #1 ranking, but he looks to be carving out a better season than he had in '11!

    ***...Come on, it's ok that you are a hard Novak's fan, but the facts are facts and you should be very happy for what is going on these days before some things change.***

    It's not as much being a fan, but feeling that this is NOLE's time! Even holding tons of records, having great seasons, he's still holding the bags for Roger and Rafa! I ranted yesterday comparing Lendl's career and lack of fan affection while maniacs like Nastase, Connors, and McEnroe were the faces of the tour! There's just no justice when Novak can surpass his '11 season and most people and so called experts will invoke Roger and Rafa before him; no matter how far they fall in the rankings!

    Nole's never had extended stays off the tour like other players of this era; sorta like the way I feel about Serena and Venus playing part time for so many years! They will say there was injury, tragedy, and other interests, but I have a real problem w/ breaks in careers! Navratilova never did it, but her namesake Hingis is trying another comeback in Fed Cup and is winning doubles' majors after all these years! Some will get grief for it and some won't!

    ***Of course Nole never (until today) had extended stays off the tour b/c he never has had an injury (discomfort's different story), but unfortunately not everyone has that good luck, you should ask Delpo, Muzz, Tsonga, Monfils, Haas and many other players who has been off the court for long periods and how much those injuries have hurt their careers; not just their game, but also their mind and confidence. No one likes to be off, but sometimes they don't have any option - Rafa was 7 months off because the doctors told him take very serious care of his knee otherwise it could be the end of his career. He decided to do it and at the present, his knee seems to be in good conditions.***

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  2. Nole over Rafa - 7 straight wins - '11 IW to '12 AO

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10iNxobZOxc - IW '11

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL7jjTPZrnQ - Miami '11

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWkozzN161I - Madrid '11

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0dDL0Jzknk - Rome '11

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQOVmKmPAAo - Wimbledon '11

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eQM5PaQHb0 - USO '11

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JInQVyVaAfI - AO '12

    ***I look back when it was big news for Federer to drop a set, then it was matches. Pretty much deja-vu w/ Rafa on clay. There's a Hell of a lot riding on RG for Nadal. Djokovic is the superior player and it kind of feels like the last bastion much like Wimbledon was for Federer in '08.
    ---

    ...the other side of the coin is this: although Nole looks strong now, he still may not have too many more chances to win Paris, esp. if Rafa gets taken out by the Unknown Soldier.***

    Playing like this, Rafa may not even make it out of the early rds! No doubt he'll play hard, but people see he's vulnerable! If someone as blasé as F3 can beat him twice on his beloved surface, where else is there to go but down; and down hard?

    ***Fiero, I pumped my fist and yelled when Fognini won MP. - Rafa's defending 1000 points in Madrid, and 500 for Rome as defending runner-up. Quite a contrast from the 0 points he was defending at Barcelona.***

    Let's just see how he does in Madrid and Rome! Federer was patient and waited for an "unknown soldier" to take out Nadal for him! Heaven knows he wasn't going to win that FO on his own; got the help he needed! Hopefully someone will be as accommodating for Nole to grease his path to his career GS w/ only Cinci. his last hurdle to complete his resume and the record books!

    ***I agree that Nole better win it this year. No matter how exceptional a player is, past 30, a GS win is rarity. Federer's still 2nd in the world at 33, however he's won only 1 major in the last 4 years. - Exactly this, Wafa has visibly declined on clay and on hards he's unwatchable currently. It's not big news anymore that Nadal lost in a clay tourney. Last time he won all 3 of them was in 2012. Even in '11 he blinked in the SF. All it takes is a sublime performance and a bad day from Djokovic. I'm not saying Nadal is invincible there, but up until now he blinked only once, and that was an anomaly. ***

    ...Sampras was never this dominant! I didn't think anyone would come close to what Federer could do in a single season, but Nole's threatening it!

    ***That's not really true. Sure, Fed has never had a start like this, but he's certainly "ruled" in a similar manner for periods of equal time, even longer. By my calculations, the very best seasons in the Open Era are:

    Laver '69: 4 Slams, 18 titles
    Connors '74: 3 Slams, 15 titles 93-4 (96%)
    McEnroe '84: 2 Slams, Masters Cup & WCT, 13 titles, 82-3 (96%)
    Federer '06: 3 Slams, WTF, 5 Masters, 12 titles, 92-5 record (95%)
    Djokovic '11: 3 Slams, 5 Masters, 10 titles, 70-6 (92%)

    There are a few more in there worth considering: Vilas' disputed '77, Borg's '80, Wilander's 3-Slam '88, a couple of Sampras' years, Roger's 2004-05 & '07, & Rafa's '10 and '13, etc. But those are the top 5, IMO.***

    I well know all about these greats seasons; I watched them all LIVE! W/ Vilas I have to put an asterisk behind his name b/c for the most part, he was still "owned" by Borg; playing lower level clay events to get ready for the big shows at The FO where Borg didn't play and Forest Hills, the last year of the USO at that location!

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  3. ***Nole would complete the career Slam w/ a FO and bump himself to 9 majors in total, while keeping alive hopes of the Holy Grail: a calendar yr Slam. Others to watch and expect great things from: Andy, Kei. What about Nick? He loves the big stage. Will he be the youngest Slam winner in 10 years?***

    What seed will Rafa earn for this FO? 2 years ago he was ranked #5, but due to Andy's early withdrawal, he was spared the ignominious possibility of running into a top player in the QF! It all worked out taking his 8th title! It shouldn't matter who he plays and when along the way, but Nadal's confidence has to be flagging! The other players are starting to feel they have a chance and there are strategies that can be employed if the player has the ability! It's all a matter of confidence; or a lack thereof!

    ***Rafa's 1st tourn. back in '13, and Zeballos totally stepped up to the plate. 1 of those guys who stepped out of the shadows, kept his nerve, and took Rafa when he was a little more there for the taking.***

    Rafa was up in the 2nd and couldn't finish! Horacio was in the zone and hooked back some shots Rafa wasn't ready for; as if he didn't realize the guy was also a left-hander! That final game was worth the price of admission; actually got the crowd to "roar" at the same time due to fabulous "gets" by Zeballos! Another guy who's real claim to fame is beating Rafa on clay or in a major! I guess that's a tribute to him!

    ***If you think that Zeballos beating Rafa was merely an embarrassment to Rafa, then you deny your own assertion that undercard players should step up when they have a chance, which is exactly what Zeballos did when Rafa was just back from a lay-off.***

    True enough I've asked the rest of the tour to step up, but for so long they didn't! Even when there was an isolated loss or 3 by Rafa to some nobody like Dodig, it was always explained away by injury, exhaustion, or whatever Uncle Phony decided to leak to the press! Nadal's become a victim of his own success; like Borg it's a real event if he loses to anyone, but esp. telling if it's to someone outside the top 50!

    ***If Rafa does not win RG, he will definitely drop out of top 8. He may even drop out of top 16 depending on how early he loses at RG. - Fed was #6 ranked in '13. Later he didn't have to defend almost any points and he got the #2. I still hope that Rafa can win RG, but anyway after that tourn. he will not have any points to defend at Wimbledon, none in any HC tourn. & USO, London, AO & the next tournaments; & he still will be 29 and probably more healthy than these last years.***

    Why should he get any better this summer? He's had a couple good HC seasons leading into the USO, but overall this is when he begins to fade IMO! If perchance Rafa doesn't successfully defend this FO, there's all kinds of pressure for him to do better at Wimbledon where he's the most vulnerable! He could have another disastrous or avg. summer and still fall out of the top 10 w/ it not being too much of a stretch!

    *Rank - - - Name - - Nat. - - Pts- Wk-/+ Trn. Pl'd - 5/11/15
    - 1 - Djokovic, Novak (SRB) 13,845 0 18
    - 2 - Federer, Roger (SUI) - 8,645 0 19
    - 3 - Murray, Andy (GBR) - - 7,130 0 22
    - 4 - Raonic, Milos (CAN)- - 5,160 2 23
    - 5 - Berdych, Tomas (CZE) - 5,140 2 23
    - 6 - Nishikori, Kei (JPN) - 5,040 -1 22
    - 7 - Nadal, Rafael =(ESP) - 4,990 -3 20
    - 8 - Ferrer, David =(ESP) - 4,310 -0 24
    - 9 - Wawrinka, Stan (SUI) - 3,575 -0 21
    -10 - Cilic, Marin - (CRO) - 3,360 -0 20
    -11 - Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL) 3,075 -0 21

    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Novak_Djokovic_tennis_season -

    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novak_Djokovic -

    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novak_Djokovic_career_statistics -

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  4. ***...By the time Rafa hit his prime Roger was already out of his and we had not seen the true rise of Djokovic or even Murray. Rafa before 2011 had 9 slams. So in essence Rafa won most of his slams by age 24 and w/ just 1 major force to deal w/ (Roger) which he obviously did great in dealing w/. Interestingly enough Roger won just 4 slams before Rafa won his 1st RG. Rafa has owned Roger H2H and that accts for almost all the difference in the stats.***

    Those lost MP's saved by Nole in cons. USO semi's has to wear on Roger after all these yrs! Roger has also been a thorn in Nole's side in Dubai and his worst defeat coming in '11 FO semi when he was on a 41 match winning streak! - There are so many things he's on the precipice of achieving including a career GS, winner of all Masters' events, & Masters leaders in titles all time!

    ***I know Nole has had quite a few of those matches where he seemed on his way out only to find some extra something to pull it out and win it at the end: the matches vs Federer at USO those 2 yrs, against Tsonga in Paris, against Murray in China are the most memorable to me.***

    Was that China or Shanghai where Nole saved a MP against Andy w/ a "tweener?" It was fantastic!

    ***So far, which Djokovic has had the better season leading up to the FO; the 2011 or 2015 version? I'm coming to the point where I think it's a toss up. Djokovic has seemed invincible since March, even when he drops a set. You just feel that he controls the match no matter what his opponent does.***

    That's a very good question! Which is more impressive; undefeated until FO in 2011 with a 41 match winning streak or this season? I'll put in my bid that this season's run is more impressive w/ so many other good competitors out there; including some "young guns" like Kei, Milos, & Kyrgios!

    ***Nole himself thinks he's playing better this year than in '11. To me: 2015 has been more impressive than '11 honestly, j/b he had to deal w/ a lot more off court stuff this year than in '11. In '11, he didn't know any better: just play and win. He might have sneaked up on a lot of players in 2011, but it is impossible to do in 2015 as everybody is gunning for him. This year he played DC so it is more impressive what he has been able to achieve this year, trying to incorporate traveling w/ a little baby, wife & 2 dogs. If he doesn't win 3 majors this year, then '11 will remain his best year, but as for up to now: 2015 it is.
    ---

    There's been talk of how it's harder for Novak to get into the tennis recordbooks, but there are a few highly realistic targets that Novak can aim for that no one has ever done before; over the next year.

    - As people have mentioned today, Novak has just passed Fed for Masters titles; 3 behind Rafa. A very doable record there - he could achieve it over the next year. And by the end of his career, he could have a # of Masters titles records that will stand for a very, very long time.

    - He needs 2 more Masters titles this year to solely hold the record he currently shares w/ Nadal, Laver and Connors for most Masters in 1 season.

    - 1st player to win all 9 Masters events - if he can win Cinci.
    - 1st player in history to win all of the 'big 15' tourneys in tennis - all 4 GS's, all 9 Masters, WTFs and Olympic singles gold - he's 3 titles away from this - RG, Cinci and Olympics. Nadal is 4 away - he needs Miami, Shanghai, Paris, & WTFs. Fed needs MC, Rome and Olympics. I think we'd all agree that whilst Fed or Rafa achieving this feat seems like a long shot, Djokovic achieving it seems reasonably likely.

    And of course there are the things that others have done, but very few:

    - The Career Slam - still something only 7 guys have ever done.
    - Career Golden Slam - if he can win Olympics next year. Only 2 guys have done it.
    - Calendar Slam - still a realistic possiblity if he can win RG - only 2 guys have ever done it.

    - 12 cons. Masters 1000 final wins.***

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  5. ***Right now Novak seems invincible. - As I've said before, in my "generational theory," tennis gens last roughly 5 yrs and can best be defined by birth years ending on a 9 and a 4. So for instance, Rafa, Novak & Andy are in the 1984-88 gen; Nishikori, Raonic, and Dimitrov are in the 1989-93 gen. - a gen. which begins w/ Nishikori ('89) and ends w/ Jiri Vesely and Dominic Thiem (both '93). - Now consider that players seem to be peaking a bit later these days. Djokovic was in the top 10 by the X he was around 20, but didn't reach his peak until he was 23-24 in '11. Andy's trajectory was about a year later. In this regard, Nadal is a bit of an outlier or a throw-back to an earlier era. We can also look at players like Berdych, Ferrer, & Wawrinka who are having their best years in their late 20s, even early 30s. So we could look at a player like Dimitrov, who just turned 24, and hope that he can get a bit better, but probably not much more.

    I think things could start getting interesting in '17, when Novak and Andy turn 30 and you have Nishikori, Raonic, & Dimitrov "ripe on the vine" - past the pt of hungry into starvation. A 23-yo Grigor Dimitrov looks anemic versus a 27-yo Novak Djokovic, but how will it look when Grigor is 26 and Nole 30? So all 3, and perhaps 1 or 2 others of their generation c/b perpetual dark-horse candidates to upset the top guys. But then you have players like Kyrgios, Coric, and others coming more fully into their own.

    By the X we get to 2018, we'll be seeing a regime change w/ the possible emergence of a new superstar or 2 that year. Certainly by '19, Novak's unlikely to remain the top-dog. But I suspect he'll hang around the top 5 for another year or 3, not unlike Roger once he hit his 30s. - Nole has been dominant in Oz, but not in the way that Ralf has been at RG. Rafa is 1 AO away from having a double career Slam. Roger is of course a FO chp short. If Novak doesn't complete at least a career slam, but matches Ralf's count, then it w/b a no (IMO).***

    Some, esp. McEnroe put Rafa in the GOAT position, not only for his wins in Majors, but his dominance of Roger! That's 1 thing that will help Nole; close to surpassing Roger and Rafa H2H as well as in Masters! Only time will tell if he can get closer in Majors, but IMO, he's already there b/c he has so much more in him! If he takes that FO title, he'll definitely have arrived! Federer's '09 FO settled some of the argument about being Rafa's pigeon!

    ***Who w/b the man Nole would least want to face in the final - if he gets there, and Rafa doesn't?***

    I'll have to stick to the most obvious candidate to upset Nole; Roger! Even on clay he has a chance if he plays his game and attacks the net, serves lights out, and frustrates Nole! It happened in 2011 when Djokovic was still undefeated at 42 matches! There was the added pressure of that, but it was still on clay! Roger obviously has a mental thing going on which caused Nole to drop serve twice at Wimbledon last season trying to wrap it up in 4; couldn't do it! The problem is I don't think Roger will get a sniff of another final; even seeded #2! He has to get past so many young guns who are hungry and see he's vulnerable in his aging state of decay!

    ***Even though I'm a fan, I don't see Roger defeating Novak at RG. The key differential btw them is in baseline rally play. You can't totally avoid baseline game, esp. on clay. Novak outscored Roger about 3 to 1 in the baseline war in Rome final.***

    I don't think it's going to happen; question was "who would Nole least like to meet in the final?"

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  6. ***Rafa plays tomorrow at 3.30 local time... Mercedes Cup: Stuttgart 250***

    IDK how Nadal's supposed to get past these players on grass w/ his confidence in such turmoil? He has to contend w/ Bags tomorrow, then the winner of Haas and Tomic w/ Monfils in his 1/2 of the draw! I'll be truly impressed if he makes if he makes it to the final! I may have to wake up early to catch this!

    ***It's a tune-up and the idea is to get his grass feet. He doesn't have to get past all of them or even win it. The confidence will come w/ match wins. I'm pretty sure he's playing another tune-up too.***
    ---

    The "Big 4" per era:

    1970's - Borg, Connors, Nastase, Gerulaitis (w/ a touch of Ashe, Vilas, & McEnroe)
    1980's - McEnroe, Lendl, Connors, Wilander (splash of Cash, Becker, & Edberg)
    1990's - Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Becker (mention Chang, Rafter, & Philippoussis)
    2000's - Agassi, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic (sprinkling of Murray, Nalbandian, & Davydenko)
    2010's - Djokovics, Nadal, Federer, Murray (fillers of Wawrinka, Nishikori, & Raonic)

    Just OTTH! What are your choices if old enough to remember?

    ***B/c you added Wilander in the 80s Big 4, you can be my new best friend.***

    He was the 1st of the top players to go "down under" on a regular basis, winning it 3 X's; twice on grass! Wilander also won 3 FO when Lendl was "The Man" in his prime! He also did something we're waiting to happen w/ Rafa; make consecutive USO's, winning 1 over Lendl in '88 as he took 3 of the 4 majors that season! He made it to the QF of Wimbledon several X's IIRC which is impressive in itself! I always see him as someone who should go out in the 1st round like he did against some hard-hitting, Tiriac phenom named Slobodan Živojinović! He reminds me of Rafa so much; just an annoyance that made you hit several winners to take a single point! He drove Lendl insane on more than a few occasions and depressed his record when he was favored in '85 FO, '88 USO & Masters, '83 AO!

    ***Btw them, the 'Big 4' have won 37 of the last 41 men's major singles titles; '05 FO - '15 FO. They have also won 10 of the previous 12 WTF, w/ Federer winning 6 and Djokovic 4. They have regularly occupied the top 4 places in the year-end rankings btw '08 and '13, w/ Murray being the only member not to have been ranked #1, having reached a career high #2 on several occasions.

    Of the 4, Federer leads w/ a record 17 GS titles followed by Nadal (14), Djokovic (8) and Murray (2). Federer and Nadal have completed a Career Grand Slam by winning each of the 4 Majors at least once, w/ Nadal also winning a Gold medal at '08 Olympics for a Career Golden Slam. Thus far Djokovic has not won the FO. Murray has won neither the FO nor the AO despite reaching the final 4 X's in Melbourne, but won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. Furthermore, at ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, Nadal leads w/ a record 27 titles, followed by Djokovic (24), Federer (23), & Murray (10).***

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  7. ***Here's a crazy stat. Since 2011 Novak has won 19 of 41 Masters; 19 of 37 played in - that's more than 1/2! Can we say that Novak is Master of the Masters?***

    That's the record that NOLE will OWN after all is said and done! Rafa and Roger near the end while Nole's about to zoom past them both; H2H and in the Masters' count! That will be 1 thing solidly listed under his name as a record!

    ***In fairness one would expect him to end ahead of Roger in the h2h given the age gap, but so far the old fart is holding up his side of that bargain pretty well.
    ---

    ...if Novak passes Rafa in the H2H, it will also have been past Nadal's prime, as well as when he passes him in MS count, which seems a certainty. Currently: Nadal has 27 W v 14 L; Federer 24 W v 18 L; Djokovic 24 W v 10 L. Nole is all but certain to get the "box set" when he finally gets Cincy. Roger and Rafa each are missing 2, w/ Rafa still having an outside chance at Miami. So as to Master of the Masters, I think it'll be Nole.
    ===

    ...So you could say: Vines > Hoad > Safin > Nalbandian > Monfils > Gulbis - They're different orders of ability and accomplishment, but all 6 players were viewed as being more talented than their actual results would entail.***

    I've elevated Safin to "great" status even w/o superior results! Even though he underachieved, he had it all except what it took tw the ears! He also reached #1 in the world, won 2 majors, and destroyed his opposition when "ON" his game! He eviscerated Sampras in 2000 USO final! OTTH, IDK much about Vines, but HOAD was reputed to be very good; at 1 X being 8-0 over Laver and reached #1 as well! If not for his playboy antics, marrying at 21, going into the army, and wanting to be a regular guy, he might have a bigger name in the game!

    ***Hoad gets a bad rap on this board if he's being compared to Safin and boys like him. According to fellers who played him, and who watched, Lew Hoad was a giant. It isn't his fault the game wasn't codified the way it is now. He just went out there and played who he played, and was the best at it according to many who'd seen him; includ. Frew McMillan, who, as late as 2001 said that Lew Hoad was "certainly the greatest of the greats that I have seen..."
    ---

    Only 24 matches lost from 2004-2007 by Federer. That's absolutely nuts. Another record of Fed's that's not gonna be broken anytime soon.***

    Really? I guess I need to go look up the record! When it comes to near PERFECTION; I think BORG! Over a 4 year period, "24" w/b a lot of losses for him! In his PRIME, even though he played a defensive style, he only lost "here and there;" almost negligibly! He single-handedly stopped Connors from winning 3 or 4 more Wimbledons, almost never lost to other top baseliners like Vilas, The Bagel Twins (Solomon/Dibbs), Gerulaitis, Orantes, and Nastase! That's what made it so criminal when the ATP gave him a hard X about taking some X off! He had to be mentally exhausted and being pulled in so many directions b/c "HE WAS TENNIS" from '78-81! What other sport does such a thing; actually cut it's own throat and wrote an awful ep. in it's history?

    ***Don't forget that Johnny Mac stole the crown from Bjorn in '81, so Borg's reign was more accurately '78-80, or mid '81 (Wimbledon).

    Borg's best 4-year span was 1977-80. Take a look:

    '77: 76-7
    '78: 70-7
    '79: 84-6
    '80: 70-6
    '81: 35-6

    So Borg was 300-26 during 1977-80, just shy of Roger's 315-24.***

    Well make me a liar then! Nice to know I was close!

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  8. Over the lst 2 yrs:

    #1. Djokovic
    12 titles & 3 finals - 11 MS1000 & GS

    #2. Federer
    9 titles & 8 finals - 2 MS1000

    #3. Murray
    6 titles & 2 finals - 1 MS1000

    #4. Wawrinka
    6 titles & 0 finals - 3 MS 1000 & GS

    ***Federer's the legit #2 even based on your more specific criteria of Slams & Masters 1000's.***

    It's a tenuous #2 that is very close to collapsing into itself! He must get back to this Wimbledon final, then defend those summer pts! The last X I looked, even though he's #2, looking at this year alone, he's more #4 and hasn't qualified for the WTF!

    ***...I would say the same thing to those who believe Rafa never lost a match due to injury.***

    Who ever doubted that? For the most part, the more obnoxious fans of Nadal will say "the only X Rafa loses is due to injury!" Heaven knows when winning a point, he's running like a deer, "drum majoring" around the court, but if run like a chicken w/ his head cut off, the next winning shot against him is accompanied by him holding the back of his thigh; then a distinct limp! Some say the same of Nole! Federer's normally above that type of gamesmanship!

    ***Of course the most obnoxious Nadal fans think that. My post was referring to the opposite bunch, the Nadal injury deniers.
    ---

    In 2002 Sampras was ranked #13 in the World, and retired later that year. You saying Ralf is about to go the same way?***

    Nyah, Rafa isn't that smart! Sampras had gone over 2 yrs w/o winning a title by that X! After he had won his last Wimbledon in 2000, it wasn't until he caught fire at 2002 USO that he looked like his old self, blasting serves past all comers! Luckily his fave pigeon was waiting in the final and he took Agassi out in 4 sets! His ranking had dropped to #22 before the USO, but was seeded #17! That #13 year end ranking was a gift and he left the game while the "getting was good!" lol! Rafa will hang around longer I'm sure, probably having a lot of commitments and endorsements he's not willing to drop! More power to him! I'll have a separate tape handy to record the humiliations!

    ***Rafa is ranked 10th and hasn't won as many Wimbos, or even come close in 5 years. Pete had won it as recently as 2000, and was the 7X champ. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if Rafa finds himself off the show courts at least once. - Rafa's nowhere near retiring. If he was at that stage, he wouldn't have bothered to come back. Next year is the Olympics, I can't see any of the top players retiring before that happens.
    ---

    14 GS titles, only player who has a career h2h record over the recent top 30, including twice as many wins over defeats over the beloved "GOAT" of his generation. Yeah, that young fella isn't "Smart"***

    So you're 1 of those people who equate physical prowess to intellect? I'll have you know, Borg was thought a genius, when in fact he read comic books and slept an inordinate amount of X! His brand of tennis was every bit, if not more debilitating to him mentally and physically due to the inferior equipment utilized! He didn't go out of his way for intellectual stimulation of any kind; actually breaking up his 1st marriage b/c he'd rather stay home when Mariana wanted to go out and "boogie!" Rafa's been a pro since 15 IIRC and after all this X, his English is about as bad as some who've never left their village of birth! This guy has been around the world many X's over and I don't think he's grown in the least! The other players I see it all the time; Nole, Roger, and others are brain surgeons in comparison! Sorry, but that's how I see it!

    ***No, I am a guy who has an IQ over 165, ...and currently get my ass kicked on weekends by teenagers and ex-college players at USTA tourneys. My point is to be a top ranked player, it takes more than physical prowess to beat the so called smart players consistently. IMO***

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  9. ***...Although Fed managed to win the 2nd set (esp. impressed w/ the 2 set pts that he saved off Novak's serve), if he had to struggle that hard just to stay in the match. Almost all of us expected that there will be a let down and he'll lose the 3rd set. Once he loses the 3rd set, we know he will lose the match; as the only way to win the match would be in 5.***

    Even though I think Nole's the man, I'm so glad he's not my fave! He's either the unluckiest guy out there where an opponent gets all the breaks and doesn't miss on a "big point," or he has these "walkabouts" losing a set when ahead and X chances to close it out! I know no one's going to believe I make predictions close to the end of a match! At the '11 USO and '12 AO I thought Nole would get a break in the 3rd and 4th sets respectively and have a chance to serve it out! We all know what happened both X's; lost his serve, then the TB and had to close it out in the next set! At AO he was lucky enough to come back from a break 'down' in the 5th; Nadal's luck finally ran out! This happens to Nole too much for me to have him as a fave; I'd "lose it" when he drops a set when "WAY AHEAD" again and again! Roger shb toast in str. sets but for Nole's meltdown and "walkabout" w/ 6 set pts in the 2nd!

    ***...How often does a player break back after getting broken. I guarantee you Novak is at the top of that list in the entire Open era. He's absolutely phenomenal at doing that. I've seen it X and X again.***

    I guess you're right! It's just so bizarre to see happen so often w/ all the "props" Nole's gotten on improving his serve! There are these strange happenings w/ 30 and 40 love points; a miss of some sort, then the next thing a player's fighting for his life to hold! It happened w/ Nole at 30-love; missed a volley Roger hit "right at him" and it took 10 min. to wrap up that hold! lol! STUPID!

    ***You have to be good enough to get to major finals to lose it, so I don't really consider a sub-.500 mark or barely above it such a bad thing. The fact that these guys have been in so many finals may put the others in a bad light, but I would like to think it's just a testimony to how good the Big Three really are. Top 10 Grand Slam Finalists:

    #1 Roger Federer 26 (17-9)
    #2 Rafael Nadal 20 (14-6)
    #3 Ivan Lendl 19 (8-11)
    #4 Pete Sampras 18 (14-4)
    #5 Rod Laver 17 (11-6)
    #5 Novak Djokovic 17 (9-8)
    #7 Ken Rosewall 16 (8-8)
    #7 Bjorn Borg 16 (11-5)
    #9 Bill Tilden 15 (10-5)
    #9 Roy Emerson 15 (12-3)
    #9 Jimmy Connors 15 (8-7)
    #9 Andre Agassi 15 (8-7)***

    Thx! Interesting!

    ***Novak's record in slam finals isn't "bad" per se. He still won 9 majors, but it's really not good. However, I realize who he had to play in many of these finals, so it's hardly disastrous. After all, you reach so many finals, you're going to lose many b/c ostensibly, the other guy who reached the final is pretty damn good as well. Until the recent Wawrinka final, Djokovic had only lost to Fed, Nadal and Murray in major finals. So yeah, you play in the era of the "Big 4," you'll lose to them in the finals occas.. ...That said, Novak has reached 17 finals. You'd expect a player of his caliber to be at least 11-6 or something like that. So yeah, I wouldn't say his record in finals is good. - FYI, Fed is #2.***

    Before defending his Wimbledon pts, it was only a technicality! Murray has clearly been the 2nd best player of this season w/ a Masters win and finals to Nole in other tourneys! I hate saying that since I can't stand his game; as ugly as Rafa's IMO! I've been saying neither will last long, but Andy's at least doing a lot better than Nadal at the moment!

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  10. ***The Future of the So Called 'Big 4' - The 'Big 4' stopped being 'it' in '13. That was the last X when 3 of the top 4 ended up clinching all the Slams (Djokovic AO, Nadal RG & USO & Murray Wimbledon). The following year we had 2 different winners - Wawrinka & Cilic. Only Nadal & Djokovic were able to win 1 Slam. This year so far it has been reduced to 1 top player only as Djokovic has won AO and Wimbledon. The other winner is Wawrinka. So clearly we see a gradual decline in top 4. So a brief look at these players' future. I'm just going to go by their ranking:

    1. Djokovic: reigns supreme. His confidence comes from the fact there's really no one out there to challenge him. Both Federer and Nadal are in decline and Murray was a threat, but that was 2 yrs ago. Who can stop him? More importantly, how many Slams for him? I can see 3 more, but who knows. Things change in tennis so quickly sometimes.

    2. Federer: almost 34 yo and a father of 4. I'm not sure if he's still playing b/c he wants to win 1 more Slam so that he can go out like Sampras or doesn't feel he's finished yet. I do think in this weak era, w/ Nadal declining considerably and Murray still looking into finding his '12/'13 form. He feels he can compete at top level and maybe sneak in something.

    3. Murray: not sure where he stands in all this. I feel he got comfortable after winning Wimbledon and unable to find the same drive. His new choice of coach is a big ??? for me. Of course we'll see in future what happens, but I don't see him winning a few Slams - maybe AO - unless he changes his mind. It's really all up to him.

    4. Nadal: well, he's really not ranked #4, but he is/was a part of 'Big 4.' This 1 is so hard to call. Is he really declining or is he just lacking motivation? He came back so strong the past 2 X's, it's hard to write him off so quickly, but then again he's won 14 Slams and has a lot of mileage on those legs. Where does he go from here? Is he going to make one more comeback or is he going to go away forever?

    I do think '16 will answer most of these questions as they simply can't go on forever. And there has to be a great player and a great rivalry in the making.
    ---

    I think that Novak will most likely win at least 1 (avg. of 2) Majors a year in the next few. Roger will have to hope for a good draw, his Final Opponent to be less than stellar, and hopes no one comes to his matches like Stan in the FO Finals. I agree w/ Andy -- I think winning Wimbledon snuffed out the fire in him and he's trying to find motivation. In a way, I think that not winning FO for these years have lit a fire under Novak's ass and fueled him to win; I also think that if he wins FO, you will see a decline in his play. Rafa needs 1) to get better. After every major injury T.O. he has for the past years, he's gone and played and won a lot and then he starts breaking down again. He needs to slow down and recuperate and not prematurely set himself up for more injury. 2) He needs someone else to guide him. I'm sure it'll be hard to fire Toni, but get a consultant for another POV.***

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  11. ***Just a few records of Nole in '15:

    - Most match wins: Djokovic (48)
    - Most Titles: Djokovic (6)
    - Most Finals: Djokovic (8)
    - Most SF's: Djokovic (8)
    - Most Top 10 Wins: Djokovic (18)
    - Most Bagels Served: Djokovic (10)
    - Most Bread Sticks: Djokovic (17)
    - Most GS Finals: Djokovic (3)
    - Most GS Won: Djokovic (2)
    - Most Masters Won: Djokovic (4)

    Records by Novak in 1st 7 months of '15 season:

    - Became the 1st man to win 5 AO titles in Open Era
    - Became the 1st man to win the IW-Miami Double on 3 occasions
    - Became the 1st man to win the opening 3 Masters 1000 titles of ATP season
    - Became the 2nd man to beat Rafael Nadal @ Roland Garros
    - Became the 1st man to beat Rafael Nadal at all 4 Slams
    - Became the 1st man to defend his title at Wimbledon since Federer in '07
    - Became the 1st man to record 17+ top 10 wins in a sn up to end of Wimbledon
    - Became the 1st man to have earned 9500+ pts. in a sn up to end of Wimbledon***

    Thanks!

    ***Yeah, no 'Big 4' any more. Novak is dominating the tour. It's impressive that he managed to win the AO, IW, Miami, MC, Rome, played the final at RG, and won Wimbledon again. Fed hasn't won a major since '12, Rafa is slamless, Murray is getting better, but is still not winning majors. Youngsters are nowhere to be found. - You think Murray will reach 60+ titles? He'd better get busy. Still 28 titles behind Vilas.
    ---

    If he gets over 50, and has 5 Slams I'll give him the nod.***

    You're dreamin'! I'd put down anything that Murray won't get anywhere near that; esp. w/ the trajectory he's on now! He's regressed even if playing better! He's still playing a "STUPID," counter-punching game that won't win him much against the true elites! Someone mentioned he was more aggressive in '07 & '08; which is why I've been down on him and his accomplishments! There s/b so much more but for his defensive way of playing the game!

    ***...You think Murray will reach 60+ titles? He'd better get busy. Still 28 titles behind Vilas. - If Andy gets over 60, they will discover that few titles of Vilas did not get recorded in the books due to clerical error.***

    It wouldn't be the 1st X! When Martina N. was approaching Evert's winning streak of 56, it came to light that 1 of the matches counted was a default of an injured player; s/b 55! 30 years later they discovered a computer error neglecting to give Goolagong credit for being #1 for 2 wks! There are other instances of corrections when they look a little closer to related events!

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  12. ***The biggest surprise for me was that Djokovic now has more GS wins than Nadal; 200. Passed him during Wimbledon I believe. (Nadal has 196 wins.)***

    No one's been more consistent than Nole over the years at the Majors! Nadal has missed months, w/ the FO his only secure major while Roger and Nole have been making the 1/4's and semi's at almost every event! I'm shocked, you're shocked!

    ***IDK why I didn't realize he was sneaking up on the leaders, but yeah, you're right. Even if you don't win the tourney, those finals & semis pile up the wins! - Djokovic has 200 wins for a 85.4% winning rate. Nadal has 196 wins, 87.5% winning rate.
    ---

    But we were talking about GS wins. How do you interpret that? Not winning %.***

    No one's owned the tour like Nole these last few yrs! He hasn't been upset early or missed any majors, so I'd say w/o even checking the #'s that he has surpassed them both in either category you want to look at Moxie! His record has been almost as stellar as Roger's back in the day! No other pro's come close; taking AO 4 of 5 years, making the semi and final of the FO every year, winning 3 Wimbledons, then finishing off w/ magnificent runs at the USO, taking out Roger 2 str. semi's coming back from 2 MP's! Who else has done that recently?

    ***Despite Djokovic's impressive run, Nadal still has the higher winning % Fiero.
    ---

    A year ago I voted for 12 majors going to Nole. I feel comfortable with that prediction, although might up it to 13-14. I posited then:

    2014-15 (age 27-28): 2-3
    2016-17 (age 28-29): 1-3
    2018-20 (age 30-32): 0-2

    Novak had just won his 7th. I predicted 2-3 more in 2014-15 which was 5 more Slams. So far he's won 2--the AO and Wimb this year. He has 6 Slams before his 30th BD in May of 2017. While turning 30 isn't some magical line that once a player crosses it, he'll start rapidly declining. ...I'm going to predict that he wins 1/2 of those 6, which would bring him to a total of 12 by his 30th BD. ...Regardless, 14 is my new prediction.***

    History says 30 is that less than "magical age" where things don't come so easily! It happens to the player and his fans w/o even noticing; thinking "he's just having a bad day or season," when the fact is "the decline has started!" It's already happened to Federer; marked by his last major win being 3 yrs ago! I've always thought Nadal's X was limited and he surprised me by hanging in there so long w/ the way he plays the game; just running his body ragged unnecessarily vs "also-ran, has-beens, and never-weres!" Wawrinka's been "Jeckle & Hyde" his entire career w/ all the talent in the world, but you don't know who's going to show up! One day he's winning the FO and the next he's going out in the 1st or 2nd rd to some kid! Even at Nole's worst, he's been able to stave off many upsets of any kind, normally making 1/4's and semi's routinely; even at Majors!

    I was going to give Andy props for threatening Roger's hold on #2, but after winning Madrid over Nadal and a 2 other smaller events, he went down in flames in the next 2 major semi's against Nole and Roger respectively! He still has a chance to make a serious mark, but has to win the USO not just make a good showing! That just won't do it and he will have had another wasted season w/ all that hard work and little to show for it! Nadal supposedly doesn't have many points to defend, but I don't think he'll make any kind of showing this summer; hasn't much in the past! Why should this year be any different; but we'll see and hope! As always, I'm still waiting for the new "young guns" to make their mark; sorta like last year, but 1 will have to actually win instead of losing to a "granddad" in another final like Kei at the USO!

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  13. ***Novak's Place Among the All-Time Greats:

    Congrats to Novak on his 10th Slam. Earlier this year I came up w/ a simple system to rank all-X greats. I looked at 2 factors: Year-end #1 and #2 rankings and Slam wins and runner's up. I gave points like so:

    Rankings
    Year-end #1 (lone): 3 pts
    Year-end #1 (shared): 2 pts
    Year-end #2: 1 pt

    Slams
    Amateur win: 2 pts
    Pro win: 2 pts
    Open Era win: 3 pts
    runner-up (any): 1 pt

    It isn't a perfect system, but it is a nice, quick and dirty way to rank the all-X greats. Anyhow, before the year Novak had 38 points and was tied w/ Andre Agassi at #13. Now that he's won 3 Slams, w/ 1 Runner-up and has secured the year-end #1, he has accrued 13 more pts and has 51, which makes him jump past not only Agassi, but McEnroe, Budge, Borg, Connors, & Lendl to #8. Yup, that's right. In this ranking system, Novak is the 8th greatest player of all X and clearly he isn't done yet. Here are the top 15:

    1. Federer 81
    2. Rosewall 78
    3. Laver 75
    4t. Sampras 65
    4t. Gonzales 65
    6. Nadal 62
    7. Tilden 60
    8. Djokovic 51
    9. Lendl 49
    10t. Connors 47
    10t. Borg 47
    12. Budge 41
    13. McEnroe 39
    14. Agassi 38
    15. Perry 37

    So here's the thing. With another yr like this 1, he'll jump past Tilden and...Rafa Nadal. Now of course that assumes that Rafa has another "nothing" year in 2016, and it also assumes that Novak can equal this, his 2nd career year. But I think even if he comes back to Earth a bit next year (likely) and wins "only" 2 Slams and 1 runner-up, to go along w/ another year-end #1 ranking, he would finish with 61 points - just behind Rafa. Even if Rafa wins a Slam and gets 3-5 more points, Novak will be closing fast.

    Novak also has a very good chance of passing Gonzales and Sampras. Depending upon how he ages, he'll probably finish somewhere in the upper 60s to mid-70s. I don't think he can catch Roger, even if Roger never wins another Slam (which doesn't seem likely at this point), but he might gain several more points and finish in the mid-80s - a tall order for Novak to reach, given that he's 28. But he very well could finish his career among the 4 greatest ever...at least according to this system. So yeah, Novak is pretty good.***

    I just can't get over this "GOLDEN AGE" of tennis w/ these great players dominating the majors and Masters 1000 events! We had anointed Sampras as the GOAT even w/o a FO final on his resume, but had acquired 14 GS titles; leading the way for the men! That all changed less than 10 years ago w/ ascension of Federer, Nadal, & Djokovic! They have each reached double digits and are still playing! They've won 3 majors in a season; Roger 3 X's, Nole twice, and Nadal in '13! They all lead the way in Masters 1000 titles and own most if not ALL of the records involving them! After all is said and done, it looks as if Federer will hold on as the GOAT for the foreseeable future w/ 17 GS titles! After Nole reaching 10 w/ this USO title, #2 on the list is up for grabs needing to pass Nadal & Sampras at 14 each! It's doable! We'll see! What a X to be a fan!

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  14. ***Are you 1 of those guys who think Fed should've retired after Wimbledon '12 to protect the H2H's?***

    Not to protect his H2H's, but his legacy of winning in general! It's been 3 yrs since a Major win! Roger's barely been holding on, subsisting on consistent results and sometimes showing moments of brilliance, but he's not gotten any closer w/ "SABR!" Five sets is 5 sets; will only get away w/ slashin' and dashin' for so long! I encourage it; esp. keeping points shorter, but Father X's creakin'! Sooner or later it's gonna go horribly wrong, and I'd hate to see that happen!

    ***You are right. Djokovic's level is bound to decline after this year, but he s/b fine til next yr. After that, he will have same problem as all the aged players have - being unable to maintain focus throughout the whole match or tourney. It's just something natural and it doesn't matter how great you are, it will hit you.***

    It's gonna take X and these new guys will have to become a lot more resilient! So far they're about as weak as balsa wood! How many seasons has any of the new bloods stayed on court more than a few months; if that? Kei, Raonic, and all the rest are nursing their own injuries! Nole has that added sweetener of being rather flexible! He avoids more serious problems and has been the most consistent getting out there and winning over the last 5 yrs!

    ***1. Nole didn't play well, but toughed out his 2nd USO title. Fed couldn't covert all those BP's. ...Nole accepted his gift and didn't do anything particular. I agreed the match was on Fed's racket, different from Wimbledon of last 2 years.

    2. Fed is still in great position to get #18. Yes, he played poorly, but only to Nole, who's dominating the rest of field. He can dispatch Murray/Stan much easier. If Murray/Stan land in Nole's 1/2, they will bring stiff competition, at the very least, wear him out. Nole had favor of draw, didn't play tough semi and came out fresh against Fed. W/o Nole at the final, Fed would have trophies of IW, ROME, WIMBLEDON, USO, plus Cinci now; any difference from 10 yrs ago?

    3. Congrats to Nole. This is truely BIG 3 era. Each of them has 10+ majors and 20+ Masters. Unbelievable to witness each of them crossing bar in the last 10 yrs. Nole's still not in Fedal league, but he can write his own history by:

    i) 30+ Masters. Very likely
    ii) Nole slam. Very probable. I have a strange feeling that Nole's dominance in Majors in descending order, w/ AO best and his USO worst.
    ---

    Murray w/b having a good season if his name was Grigor Dimitrov. But his name is Andy Murray. - To be fair in Andy's career, '12 and '13 were more anomalies than the norm. Not saying he s/b pumped w/ his result, but only 2 of 8 or so years in the top 10 did he win a Slam....The only thing that he should blame himself for is that he went walkabout in the AO final after he managed to stay even w/ Novak for such a long X. Not saying that he would have won, but it was a 50/50 match up until that point.
    ---

    AO final, 1st title on clay, Madrid, Montreal, a win over Nole, back up to #2~3 ranking, etc. It's hard not to be very happy w/ this season so far. And he still has a chance for DC and there are 2 Masters & the WTF to play. Murray may have missed out on a Slam this year, but he still has 3 or 4 yrs at least at the top so he has plenty of X. Being included in the "Big 4" has its price. People expect more from you. But 2 Slams, 11 Masters titles, an Olympic Gold Medal, 30+ tour titles and 10 GS finals is an awfully good career. If Murray had been born 15 years earlier. ...Sure he throws the F bombs around, but he's not sledging anybody. He doesn't abuse ball kids, demand umpires to be removed from his matches, and force us to watch him scratch his butt before every point.***

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  15. ***...Back to Novak, even after he drops a notch he really could continue winning a Slam or 2 into his 30s considering the field. I see him winning many more Slams post-28 than Roger did (only 2 so far). Roger's Slam titles dropped off so precipitously b/c 2 things happened: his slight decline from 2007-09 continued so that he reached a lower plateau in '10, and during that X Rafa began his peak phase and Novak and Andy est. themselves as elite players. Even if Novak drops a bit in '16 and going forward, if he can maintain a high level he can really rack up some Slams b/c there are no equivalent young elites coming up. Where Roger had Rafa, Novak and Andy, Novak has Kei, Milos, and Grigor. That's what I meant by Novak having it comparatively easy in his late 20s than Roger had it during the same period of X. I could see Novak winning 6-8 Slams over the next 3 yrs. But of course it is probably unlikely that we won't at least see some surprises.
    ---

    There are few other aspects of Novak to consider:

    YE #1: This was achieved only 5 X's by Roger and 3 X's by Rafa. Of course, Pete has 6.
    - This year is Novak's 4th year ending #1. He is a shoe-in for '16 and an almost shoe-in for '17.
    So, it looks like Novak can surpass Fed and equal Pete (though not in cons. yrs) in this regard.

    - Weeks at #1: This may be more difficult. He current has 164 wks at #1. Add 16 more wks to that as he is guaranteed to be #1 until next season starts and then it becomes 180. If he can remain #1 for 2 more years, which is difficult but not impossible, it becomes 290 and then he is very close to Roger.

    - # of WTF/YEC titles? Again here he is dangerously close to Roger and might reach and/or surpass him. Roger has 6 and Novak has 4 right now. If we give '15 & '16 WTF titles to Novak (which is not far fetched), he would already equal Roger.

    - GS? This is the 1 mostly talked about in the other thread. It looks like if Rafa remains static, Novak will surely reach him at the very least; even w/ a cons. est. of 2 slams in '16, 1 more in '17, and 1 more sometime before his career ends.
    ---

    As "awful" as Rafa has been, he's still #7 in the rankings and has a chance of finishing as high as #5. Clearly that isn't up to his own standards, but if he can make some adjustments then I don't see why he can't return to the #2-4 range. Unless, of course, the physical erosion is so great that he truly is in a downward spiral. To put it another way, while I don't think we'll ever see '13 Rafa, we might see something better than '15 Rafa.

    While he could go up to #2-4, he could also go even lower. X will tell in which direction he will go. I can see him replacing David Ferrer, being a collector of the smaller clay events (250 and 500) w/ the occasional Master finals and Slam SF. As we saw, that was enough for David to maintain a top 8 position up to 32 years. However David was a very good distance runner. That's where I'm curious how Rafa will be going forward in comparison to David. How well his running ability will held up. This year I saw not 1 instance that fatigue played a factor.***

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  16. ***WINS AGAINST TOP-10 FOR DJOKOVIC IN THE SLAMS FROM 2011-'15

    2011: 6 wins

    AO
    Berdych [6] QF 6–1, 7–6(7–5), 6–1
    Federer [2] SF 7–6(7–3), 7–5, 6–4
    Murray [5] F 6–4, 6–2, 6–3

    WIMBLEDON
    Nadal [1] F 6–4, 6–1, 1–6, 6–3

    USO
    Federer [3] SF 6–7(7–9), 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 7–5
    Nadal [2] F 6–2, 6–4, 6–7(3–7), 6–1
    --

    2012: 7 wins

    AO
    Ferrer [5] QF 6–4, 7–6(7–4), 6–1
    Murray [4] SF 6–3, 3–6, 6–7(4–7), 6–1, 7–5
    Nadal [2] F 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7(5–7), 7–5

    RG
    Tsonga [5] QF 6–1, 5–7, 5–7, 7–6(8–6) 6–1
    Federer [3] SF 6–4, 7–5, 6–3

    USO
    del Potro [8] QF 6–2, 7–6(7–3), 6–42–6,
    Ferrer [5] SF 6–1, 6–4, 6–2
    --

    2013: 6 wins

    AO
    Berdych [6] QF 6–1, 4–6, 6–1, 6–4
    Ferrer [5] SF 6–2, 6–2, 6–1
    Murray [3] F 6–7(2–7), 7–6(7–3), 6–3, 6–2

    WIMBLEDON
    Berdych [6] QF 7–6(7–5), 6–4, 6–3
    del Potro [8] SF 7–5, 4–6, 7–6(7–2), 6–7(6–8), 6–3

    USO
    Wawrinka [10] SF 2–6, 7–6(7–4), 3–6, 6–3, 6–4
    --

    2014: 3 wins

    RG
    Raonic [9] QF 7–5, 7–6(7–5), 6–4

    WIMBLEDON
    Federer [4] F 6–7(7–9), 6–4, 7–6(7–4), 5–7, 6–4

    USO
    Murray [9] QF 7–6(7–1), 6–7(1–7), 6–2, 6–4
    --

    2015: 9 wins

    AO
    Raonic [8] QF 7–6(7–5), 6–4, 6–2
    Wawrinka [4] SF 7–6(7–1), 3–6, 6–4, 4–6, 6–0
    Murray [6]F 7–6(7–5), 6–7(4–7), 6–3, 6–0

    RG
    Nadal [7] QF 7–5, 6–3, 6–1
    Murray [3] SF 6–3, 6–3, 5–7, 5–7, 6–1

    WIMBLEDON
    Cilic [9] QF 6–4, 6–4, 6–4
    Federer [2] F 7–6(7–1), 6–7(10–12), 6–4, 6–3

    USO
    Cilic [9] SF 6–0, 6–1, 6–2
    Federer [2] F 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–4
    ---

    I think it's now very clear that Djokovic's peak level is comparable to Federer's at his peak, w/ 2011 proving to be no fluke. Nole may end up beating as many top-10 players as Federer by the X it's all done. Both Federer and Djokovic have achieved years where they beat top-10 opposition 9 X's in the Slams. Djokovic has a chance this year to maybe achieve 30+ wins against top-ten players in 2015.

    Djokovic is very dominant this year, as Federer was in his best years. He c/b dominant next year too. Who would bet against him being a contender once again at all 4 majors? He's in his pomp. I maintain that 2015 Djokovic is the peak version of Djokovic I'd choose to enter some mythical GOAT chps.
    ---

    Djokovic H2H records:

    Nadal: 21-23
    Federer: 21-21
    Murray: 19-9
    Wawrinka: 18-4
    Berdych: 19-2
    Ferrer: 15-5
    CIlic: 14-0
    Tsonga: 13-6
    Del Potro: 11-3

    How do you dare call Djokovic a 1-year wonder?***

    ReplyDelete
  17. ***After Novak's 2011 run, I thought he would for sure pocket 2 Slams a year, but you know how that went down. But this X around, I'm more convinced that he can do just that: at least 2 Slams a year for the next 2 years. I think it is more spectacular to have 2 seasons w/ 3 Slams than, let's say, 3 seasons w/ 2. 3+ is much more difficult to achieve. That's why Fed and Djoko are the only ones who've done it more than once.
    ---
    - http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/djokovic-and-federer-are-vying-to-be-the-greatest-of-all-time/ -

    In the men’s game, though, whether you place greater weight on peaks or consistency makes a huge difference. Djokovic is playing at a level virtually unseen in the sport, topping even Federer’s best years a decade ago. But Federer is nearly as good now as he was then, and has been improving over the last 2 years, giving him unprecedented levels of career value.

    From 2004-'07, Federer won 11 GS titles. Djokovic’s best 4-yr stretch, from 2011-'14, brought him just 6. How's Djokovic’s peak higher than Federer’s? And what about all the guys other than Federer who have more majors than Djokovic? Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras have 14. Bjorn Borg has 11. Djokovic has just 10.

    In his prime, Federer had to beat some great players, including a young Djokovic and Nadal and an older Andre Agassi. But the challenge Djokovic has overcome is more formidable. Since his rise to #1 in the official rankings and in our Elo rankings in '11, he has competed w/ Nadal and Andy Murray in their primes, and a still-dangerous Federer.

    That competition has helped bring Djokovic today to the highest peak of anyone in our data set, edging just ahead of Borg and Federer. Djokovic peaked following his semifinal win at this year’s FO, reaching 1/10 of a point higher than Borg reached after his semifinal win at the 1980 U.S. Open. (They both lost the subsequent final.) Djokovic is still within striking distance of that high now. The chart also shows how closely matched he, Federer, Nadal and Murray were in 2010. They were truly a Big Four then, and there was no telling who w/b the biggest of them in the subsequent few years. It turned out to be Djokovic.

    But who is the GOAT? ...No matter which threshold we chose, and no matter whether we rated players by match, set or game, Federer reigned as the GAG GOAT. His current success is just running up the score. Then again, Djokovic and Nadal already rank high and are more than 5 years younger than Federer. If they can do what he’s doing at 34, his claim to best ever might have to fall back to the simple count of major titles. If you set replacement value at a typical top-2 player, and Djokovic maintains his high level, there’s a chance he’ll catch Federer in the next 2 yrs. Nadal, though, would have to reverse his recent decline to compete.
    ---

    Massive win for the Djoker. The USO was a kind of cursed Slam for him having lost in 4 finals there already. S/b good practice for turning around the curse of the FO. I'm liking his chances to complete the career Slam next year. - Career Ranking Points:

    Djokovic has now earned 11,140 ranking points in his career at the US Open, making it his 2nd most successful GS behind the AO by just 140 points. The USO is now the 3rd major where Djokovic has earned over 10,000 ranking points, making the Serb and Federer the only players to do so at more than 2 events.

    In the final, Djokovic surpassed Federer in avg. pts earned per GS.

    Avg. pts per GS
    1. Bjorn Borg 1148
    2. Rafael Nadal 949
    3. Novak Djokovic 904
    4. Roger Federer 890
    5. Rod Laver 851***

    ReplyDelete
  18. ***In total points earned, Djokovic has parked himself w/i striking distance of a whole pack of players just barely ahead of him. In fact, Djokovic could potentially move all the way up to #2 by reaching the final at the AO.

    Career pts earned at GS
    1. Roger Federer 58,795
    2. Rafael Nadal 40,835
    3. Jimmy Connors 40,480
    4. Pete Sampras 40,385
    5. Ivan Lendl 39,890
    6. Novak Djokovic 39,790
    7. Andre Agassi 37,675

    Nadal's lead on Djokovic is 1045, so if Rafa reaches the 4th rd or better, NOLE will have to win the title to pass the Spaniard. If Nadal reaches the final, he will prolong his stay at #2, which he earned at RG this year.

    Record against rivals - NOLE had 2 wins over top 10 ranked opponents in his run to the title. He now is 21-4 against top 10 opponents in '15 & 148-79 in his career. Those 148 wins are the 2nd most in tennis history behind only Federer.

    Against the Big Four, Djokovic has tied Nadal for the most wins w/i the 4-way rivalry.

    Wins against Big 4 (overall record)
    1. Novak Djokovic 61(61-53)
    1. Rafael Nadal 61 (61-37)
    3. Roger Federer 45 (45-55)
    4. Andy Murray 20 (20-33)

    Grand Slams - 10 GS titles now belong to Djokovic - 5 AO's, 3 Wimbledons, and 2 US Opens. He joins, Federer, Nadal, Sampras, Lendl, & Stefan Edberg as the only players w/ multiple slams at 3 different majors.

    Grand Slam titles (Open Era)
    1. Roger Federer 17
    2. Pete Sampras 14
    2. Rafael Nadal 14
    4. Bjorn Borg 11
    5. Novak Djokovic 10

    Before taking the title in NY, Djokovic also won Wimbledon, making it the 3rd X that Djokovic had won cons. GS titles in his career. In the majors this year, Djokovic went 27-1, which equals the best record by a player in majors since Rod Laver won the GS in '69. Federer was the other player to go 27-1, doing so in '06.

    GOAT debate - Djokovic now holds many of his own records. The peak he has reached in 2015 is the highest peak ever reached by a player. He has won 4 of the 1st 7 1000 events played so far this year and reached the final of all 6 that he has played in, while winning 3 of the majors and all 4 major finals.

    Other than Fed though, nobody else is putting up #'s that are out of reach, except perhaps the incredible mark by Borg of 1148 ranking points earned per major. On the GOAT rankings, Federer may be out of reach for Djokovic right now, but everybody else is at risk of dropping behind Djokovic in the coming years. Ultimately, what we saw in the 2015 USO final were 2 of the sports all-X greats if not the 2 all-X greatest fighting for the most important trophy left in the 2015 season. Only X will tell how far Djokovic can climb the GOAT list.***

    ReplyDelete
  19. ***Djokovic is widely considered to be 1 of the greatest returners in the history of the sport, an accolade given to him even by Agassi. Though staying clear of best ever conversations, tennis coach Nick Bollettieri has continually been praising Djokovic:

    “When you look at match players in the history of tennis, I don’t believe that anybody can equal everything on the court that Djokovic does. I don’t think you can find a weakness in his game. His movement, personality, his return of serve, his serve, excellent touch, not hesitant in coming to the net, great serve. Over all, almost every player has a downfall; to me he doesn’t have one. He’s perhaps the best put-together player that I’ve seen over 60 yrs.”

    Tennis pundits have classified many of Nole's matches as some of the greatest contests ever, w/ the '12 AO final being considered the greatest match ever seen, as a testament to his greatness as a tennis player. Some longtime analysts claim that the Djokovic-Nadal rivalry ranks as the best rivalry in tennis history primarily b/c of the quality of matches they produce.***

    I've seen them come and go for well over 40 yrs! Someone can have a CY and you never hear from them again; Soderling & Del PO at the top of the list! Then you have this current crop like Dimitrov, Simon, Dopo, and so many others that can contest for a Master for a few months, then totally forget how to play the game after that! This 'BIG 4' have staved off many challenges w/ little sweat; almost always making SF and F until recently! Now it's more about the 'BIG 2' w/ a semi-challenge going on w/ Murray & Federer! So far Murray's results may be better, but H2H Roger has embarrassed him w/o losing a set! How do you do that; esp. against a relatively OLD MAN? Right now it's all about Nole; w/ a lock on #1 in the foreseeable future!

    ***...Soderling and Delpo are top of the list 'cos the former had to quit playing due to mono and the latter is injured non-stop.
    ---

    Careful now when you talk about people racking up Slams while not beating great players in their prime. How many of Novak and Rafa's Slams have been against opponents well past their prime or opponents who weren't even great in the 1st place?***

    Who's had it tougher than Nole w/ Roger and Rafa getting "all the love" while he was the perennial #3 for a while until "breaking though" in '11? He only had 1 lower level player in Tsonga back in '08 final at AO! Since then he's had to deal w/ the other Big 4 in Murray, Federer, and Nadal! Fedal have had plenty of walkover competition in major finals; Ferrer, Roddick, Berdych, an aging Agassi, and others too numerous to name OTTH! Nole came of age, got his head on right, has a great team and work ethic, and he's finally reaping the benefits of that hard work! I give him all due credit and praise for what he's been able to accomplish w/ "most of the cheers" going to his rivals! I guess I love an underdog! I see so many parallels w/ Ivan Lendl when he had to compete against Borg, Connors, Agassi, Becker, Wilander, Edberg, & McEnroe; never got his due no matter how much he won!

    ***Fiero, I'm not disputing Novak is playing great. Roger has been past his prime for years and his post was about Roger racking up Slams against no great players in their primes. You can say that about this era or in fact any era 'cos it'll never be the case that all the great players are the same age.
    ---

    ...it's very true that Roger banged out over 12 Slams w/o beating a single great player in their prime. - Was Roger in his prime in '05, '06, '07, '08? Rafa beat him in all those years, and in '09 Roger won 2 Slams, and reached a further 2 finals; Rafa beat him in Oz. Nole beat Rafa in '11 & Oz in '12, then Rafa beat Nole in Paris in '12, and then beat the world #1 on HC's at the USO.***

    ReplyDelete
  20. ***Comparing Roger's '06 w/ Novak's current run:

    Roger's Jan '06 - Dec '06:
    Wins 3 of the 4 Slams, final of the other
    Wins WTF
    4 Masters wins, 2 finals, 1 2nd Rd, 2 absences.

    Novak since Nov '14:
    Wins 3 of the 4 Slams, final of the other
    Wins WTF
    5 Masters wins, 2 finals, 1 absence.

    So actually, regardless of what happens in Shanghai, is Novak's Nov '14 - Oct '15 the most consistently dominant 12 months ever?***

    In a word "yes!"

    ***We can break this down into individual factors that matter w/ Roger:

    1. Only Wimby or USO. The other 2, AO and RG are much longer shots. He hasn't made a final in 5 yrs.

    2. Not getting upset early to a lower ranked player: has happened at all Slams. Seppi, Gulbis, Stakhovsky, Robredo.

    3. Not losing to a big hitter such as Berdych, Tsonga and maybe a few other players that 'get hot.'

    4. Not losing to Nadal IF he has to play him. He may not play Nadal, but if he does, I think Rafa walks into the match as the fave irrespective of his form. It's been 8 yrs since Roger beat Rafa in a major.

    5. Not facing Nole in the Final. Given the past 3 major finals btw them, Novak will walk into the match w/ too much confidence in addition to his peak game.

    6. 1st serve %. This used to bail him out when he was in trouble. But now, it inevitably drops in major finals.

    7. Not getting nervous, throwing BP's and big pts away. It is not as if Roger hasn't played well enough to win a slam. Of course he has; thrice in the past 2 years.

    8. Not sticking to an attacking game in finals. Although Roger has been able to transition to a much more attacking game plan w/ more/better net approaches, he has a tendency to revert back to baseline rallies in major finals. Again, it c/b nervousness and confidence issues. But he cannot outplay the top players from the baseline.

    9. FH unforced errors neutralizing the rest of his game. This is again something that happens w/ disturbing frequency on big points and BP's in major finals.

    10. 5 setters and stamina. A strong opponent in the final walks in knowing Fed's poor 5th set record in finals and his possible stamina issues in the 5th.

    11. Roger's waning 'opportunistic instincts.' When we look at RG '09 & Wimbledon '09, it can be argued that he "should not" have won them. Twice he came close to losing in RG '09. Roddick "should" have won the Wimbledon '09 final. But Roger rose to the occasion multiple X's when he needed it most.

    12. His laid back approach. When he's playing well enough to make it to the final, Roger doesn't seem to take a step back before the final and consider all the possibilities long and hard. Even a clear knowledge of what went wrong in previous finals can prevent some mistakes. This also provides more confidence to the opponent b/c he knows the Roger will not systematically tailor his tactics to his weaknesses.

    Many if not most of the above factors must swing the right way for Roger to win a major. What are the chances?***

    ...I guess you can say thinking about it that Roger's "been done" since '08 when Nadal took ownership of the tour! Roger's played a few finals and goes years w/o a real sniff; '12 being his last great year w/ Wimbledon, taking #1 ranking back, and winning Silver in the Olympics! It's been only cosmetic IMO ever since! He's won some Masters, but when it comes to actually finishing in major finals, he's come up short again and again! We shouldn't be surprised w/ all of us hoping someone will donate a GS his way and I just can't see it happening! The competition has been ferocious even though I've been calling them gutless for years coming up short until recently! I think we'll know all by the AO how well a season all of the BIG 4 will be having, but Nole's KING for now!

    ReplyDelete
  21. ***I don't agree that Roger's losses have to do w/ the mental aspect. For me, it's a level of play issue 1st and foremost. In all those finals and semis where he's had a chance but lost, he's been outplayed in all of them pretty much from the beginning to the end. I'd say on the contrary that he managed to stay in them, despite being outgunned and made the matches much closer than they would normally be. I'd contrast that w/ say, the AO2009 which was more of a gameplan/mental issue (there Roger was outgunning Nadal, but eventually lost b/c he got tight).

    When I say athleticism, I mean the combination of size/stamina/speed/explosion/strength. Cilic and Wawrinka are much stronger, more explosive players w/ more stamina/recovery than Roger and are thus better athletes at this stage of their careers, even if Roger still has a step on them in the movement department. Roger isn't winning baseline wars, precisely for this reason.
    ---

    Not to start a competition war, but I will bite, how is Nole's current competition much better than Roger's in 2006? Note that Roger had Rafa near his best on clay. Right now Nole has a fairly washed up Roger, a badly faltering (perhaps washed up Rafa) and then just Murray.***

    As much as I call the rest of the tour GUTLESS, they're a lot better than that; PLEASE! Berdych, Ferrer, Cilic, Wawrinka, Kei, Raonic, Dimitrov, Simon, and so many more are quite competitive and can take any of the Big 4 out these days! Nole's had to dig himself out of holes many a X of late; DOPO just last month in Cincy!

    ***In a word--No. Federer was more dominant, lost fewer matches and lost fewer sets.***

    Federer was more dominant and lost fewer sets in his "day!" His style of player hypnotized his opposition and he floated through many a tourney w/o much fuss! Nole is dominating in his own way; taking his 1st 4 Masters of the season and surviving tough wins at Wimbledon and the USO! I still SMH over seeing the dominance of these 3 players routinely taking 3 of 4 majors, but Nole's had that little extra w/ his dominance in the fall going into the WTF! His run the last several years is unprecedented w/o even checking the record! Most top players are so drained that they're lucky to win more than a couple YEC's, but to also take the Masters events leading up to it can't of been done as routinely as Djokovic these last several years!

    ***Tennis Generations, Part Two: Before the Open Era - In case anyone is wondering, here is what I have planned:

    1. Open Era Generations - Introduction
    2. Before the Open Era
    3. Gen 1: Dominance from Down Under (1934-38)
    4. Gen 2: Ashe and Who? (1939-43)
    5. Gen 3: A New Era (1944-48)
    6. Gen 4: Connors & Crew (1949-53)
    7. Gen 5: First and Greatest of the Swedes (1954-58)
    8. Gen 6: Johnny & Ivan (1959-63)
    9. Gen 7: Matty, Stefan, and Boris (1964-68)
    10. Gen 8: American Greatness (1969-73)
    11. Gen 9: Inbetweeners (1974-78)
    12. Gen 10: Generation Federer (1979-83)
    13. Gen 11: Rafa & Novak (1984-88)
    14. Gen 12: The Donald Young Guns, aka the Lost Generation (1989-93)
    15. Gen 13: A New Hope? (1994-98)
    ---

    Novak has reached the final of every big event in which he has competed (i.e. all except Madrid) since the Paris Masters last year. i.e.:

    Paris - won
    WTF - won
    AO - won
    IW - won
    Miami - won
    M-C - won
    Rome - won
    FO - final
    WD - won
    Canada - final
    Cinci - final
    USO - won

    So if Novak can reach the final of Shanghai, he will have reached at least the final of every Slam and Masters in which he has competed for a whole year! Has anyone ever done this before? Roger came close in '06, but he lost in the 2nd Rd of Cinci, as well as missing Hamburg & Paris Masters. In other words, if Novak were to make the final in Shanghai, would this be the most consistent 12 months at the top level that anyone
    has ever achieved? (I wonder how it compares to dominant 12 month periods by players further back in X?)***

    ReplyDelete
  22. ***Djokovic has the fewest retirements and W/O among Top 10 players (last 300 matches)

    Djokovic: 0

    Federer: 2
    -2014 WTF F vs Djokovic: W/O
    -2012 Doha SF vs Tsonga: W/O

    Murray: 3
    -2015 Rome R16 vs Goffin: W/O
    -2013 Rome R32 vs Granollers: 3-6 7-6(5) RET
    -2012 Canada R16 vs Raonic: W/O

    Nadal: 1
    -2012 Miami SF vs Murray: W/O
    ---

    Still, WTF is best-of-3, gives Roger more of a chance.***

    Those 4th sets are just entertainment for the fans really! Reminds me of WTA YEC going best of 5 sets to keep Navratilova on the court longer than 38 min. in her prime! Against Murray, Federer, & Wawrinka, Nole's made them look bad in some of those 4th sets; sometimes a bagel!

    ***Novak has the best 5-set record against the others in the Big 4 and overall as well, but followed very closely by Rafa. RF on the other hand has a pitiful 5-set record for an alleged GOAT. RF starts matches great, but gets weaker and weaker - mentally mostly - as the match goes on. Whereas Novak just gets better and better. Another reason RF has more success recently against Novak is that Novak prepares a lot more seriously for Slams than other events, compared to RF.
    ---

    Nadal won 3 slams in 2010 on 3 different surfaces where he started to find his peak form on other surfaces like HC and not just clay. Federer wasn't in sights to reach slam finals so he pretty much was ready to take over after 2010. Plus he was at a ripe age of 24. No one expected Novak to step in 2011 though and have the season as he did so things were setup for Nadal.​***

    People don't think about that; Nadal cruising into 2011 w/ not a care in the world winning last 3 majors of 2010; except that Nole "got his act" together! Nadal was in final after final from IW/Miam, then Madrid/Rome, but was bested each X by Djokovic; the clay events in straight sets! Nadal did his thing in Paris, but Roger had upset Nole in the semi so we'll never know how that "could have gone" and changed history! Nadal

    continued making major finals, losing each in 4 to his nemesis from Serbia! You can say if not for Nole, Rafa may have dominated for years to come! He's only been able to find form in 2013; other than that he's been scratchin' just to remain in the top 10!

    ***Nadal '10 - Tourneys played - 17
    Finals reached - 9
    Titles won - 7

    Nadal '11 - Tournaments played - 17
    Finals reached - 10
    Titles won - 3

    That damned Djokovic.
    ---

    Beijing 2014 - USO 2015: Novak has lost just 6 matches in 12 months (w/ no defeats vs Nadal), an avg. of 1 loss per 2 months

    Beijing 2012 - FO 2014: Novak lost 14 matches in 20 months (w/ 4 defeats vs Nadal). If you factored out the 4 Nadal losses, you w/b looking at 10 losses in 20 months, an average of 1 loss per 2 months.

    Additionally:
    4/6 slams won from Wimb 14 - USO 15 w/ 1 loss to GOATing Wawrinka and 1 in a subpar display vs Nishikori

    4/6 slams won from AO 13 - FO 14 with 1 loss to GOATing Wawrinka and 1 in a subpar display vs Murray

    It seems to me like Novak's over-all level dropped considerably following his USO 2011 win, until about his USO 2012 loss (still winning AO in this span b/c of how much the surface favors him, but in 2 nailbiter SF/Fs as opposed to the dominant win in 2011).

    But from Beijing 2012-current, his level has been continuously high (outside of the post-marriage hangover in the 2014 fast HC season). The gap in achievements in 2015 vs Beijing 12 - FO14, has almost everything to do w/ Nadal producing an equally high level of GOAT play simultaneously (which we have not seen before in this sport). Now in '15, removing that anomaly of insanely strong competition, Djokovic's true dominance vs the field can shine through the way (and in many ways greater) than Feds did. Case in point is the 24 top 10 wins by Nadal in 2013, was matched by Djokovic in both 2012 and 2013, and is the ALL TIME RECORD.***

    ReplyDelete
  23. ***I will always prefer Nole's '15 to 2011 mainly b/c the run took a lot out of Novak and by this X during that year he was washed up. This year he comes to this section of the tour looking very well and ready to take on anyone. This bodes well for a strong year end, unlike in '11 and an equally good kick off of the next year. This is more important at this stage of his career.***

    Nole overplayed in 2011; actually participating and winning an inaugural event owned by his family I guess in Serbia before the FO! When you make final after final as Nole has done in the past few yrs and esp. this season, you have to be more judicious in your appearances and he's done a very good job of that; managing his schedule!

    ***Before thinking of beating Novak, Rafa has to manage to beat the other top 10 players when he faces them. His record against top 10 is 2-8, beside Djokovic, also Murray, Wawrinka, Raonic, Berdych and Nishikori defeated him. OK, with Tomas he is 1-1 for the season.***

    Some of those matches lost, Rafa was leading; within a point or 2 of winning! In the case of Raonic, he actually had multiple MP's and gave it back in 3 sets! AMAZING! How do you recover from that?

    ***Novak is starting to pick and choose his tournaments just like Federer. I think the 3 losses (FO, Montreal, Cincy) helped him more than anything. Constantly winning can get to a person. We saw that w/ Serena this year. While it's a shame he missed out on a GS or a calendar sweep of the Masters, he seems to be centered, sure of himself, and perfectly happy where he is; w/o the pressure of perfection. Winning the WTF w/b too much pressure, so I think he should let Murray wrap this season up w/ a WTF/Davis Cup double-whammy.
    ---

    It seems to me that Nole is really in his prime now. His confidence is supremely high. He has had a better year at the majors and the Masters events (and on clay) than in 2011. It is like comparing Nadal in 2010 versus 2013--which was more dominant? Hard to say, but I think I'd put this year over 2011. He rather routinely disposed of Rafa today and he looked comfortable doing it. Stan and Roger might be the only 2 who can go toe to toe w/ him now and they will lose most of the X.***

    You guys have it, except I don't think he should relent and give up anything; esp. the YEC! He needs to continue piling up #'s on the ATP to get his true and aggregate level in comparison to the GOAT and GOAT-in-waiting! Even though he's owned the last couple seasons, the fans, ad campaigns, and commentators still fall back into talking about Federer and Nadal! It just isn't right, but what can we do?

    ***Maybe if enough of us do what you did and become nouveau-Novaks, then he might be talked about more often. - '09 was recoverable, but 2012 was a more difficult one to recover from b/c Nadal was a few years older and you could see by then he had already lost some of his explosiveness. This year is not about injuries at all; just an all around physical decline at age 29 that has seen him become a barely top 10 player.***

    Back in '09 & '12, I was just hopeful! I can do w/o watching, seeing articles, or hearing from Rafa again! I've never cared for his entire act on the court which is why I've been looking forward to these "times" like no other "hatah!" I'd just assume he hang around longer and get embarrassed like he had to be yesterday in China! More and more players are finding ways to extend him or complete a victory that most still are shocked to see and hear about! I've been saying for years that defensive counter-punching game was going to run him out of the sport before another player, but I'm not sure now! It looks as if he thinks everything can turn and he will be on top again! I guess you have to think that way; why else even compete? I just hope he can at least make it to the later Rds to meet his main rivals Nole and Roger! Maybe they can improve their #'s!

    ReplyDelete
  24. ***BEST SEASONS EVER:

    Fed '06
    - 4 Masters titles, 2 Runner Ups, 1 2R, 2 skip
    - 1 500 title
    - 3 250 titles
    - 19 top 10 wins
    - 92 total wins
    - 5 losses

    - VS -

    Djok '15
    - 6 Masters titles, 2 Runner Ups, 1 skip
    - 1 500 title
    - 1 250 QF
    - 34 top 10 wins
    - 83 total wins
    - 5 losses

    So that leaves:
    - Fed: 3 250 titles + 1 Masters 2R + 24 more non-top 10 wins
    - Djok: 2 Masters title + 1 250 QF + 15 more top 10 wins
    ---

    Best level of play is a toss up btw Djokovic '11 and Federer in '05 IMO w/ Federer '06 close behind.

    Best year considering competition is Djokovic '11 by far.

    Best year in terms of just results (just out of the last 30 yrs) w/b Djok '15 if he wins another Masters and the WTF, otherwise Federer '06.

    Djokovic at his best is far scarier for prime Nadal than Federer at his best just due to the match up/psychology/etc..., so naturally in a field where Nadal is the other prominent factor, Djokovic will be more dominant over his main rivals. That is a given.
    ---

    01. Rod Laver 1969.
    02. Roger Federer 2006.
    *2. Novak Djokovic 2015. + Shanghai / Paris + WTF
    03. Novak Djokovic 2011.
    *3. Novak Djokovic 2015. + WTF
    04. Roger Federer 2004.
    *4. Novak Djokovic 2015. + Shanghai / Paris
    05. Novak Djokovic 2015.
    06. Roger Federer 2007.
    07. Jimmy Connors 1974.
    08. Rafael Nadal 2010.
    09. Mats Wilander 1988.
    10. John McEnroe 1984.
    ---

    I think Djokovic's competition in 2011 was better than Federer's in 2004. Peak Nadal and still very strong Federer > Hewitt and Roddick for instance. I think both years had some decent depth too. I also think Djokovic's 2011 was better than Federer's 2004. So I couldn't agree on that.

    I see your point about not losing to anyone in the top 10, but that w/b a separate category, like best performance against other top players. Overall it is kind of the Nadal vs Federer logic. Is it really better Nadal loses to Blake, Youzhny, or Davydenko instead of Federer when he loses, just like is it better that Federer is losing to a bunch of people outside the top 10, but no real top guys.
    ---

    So it's not so easy to say 5 > 4 Masters or that Djokovic winning WTF undefeated matches Federer exactly. There needs to be more to bridge the gap of the Bo3 abomination. I'm an understanding fello so I'd just add 50% of a Bo5 Masters Final win over Bo3, meaning 2 Bo5 Masters is equal to 3 Bo3 Masters. Now let's analyze:

    Federer
    - 3 Slams, 1 Final
    - 4 Masters, 2 Finals (5 were Bo5)
    - Undefeated WTF (Bo5)

    Djokovic
    - 3 Slams, 1 Final
    - 4 Masters, 2 Finals

    The Bo5 factor results in Federer's Masters resume equating to 5.5 Titles and 3 Finals. So Djokovic needs 2 more Masters and match the undefeated WTF to MATCH Federer's 2006. Will be tough indeed.***

    Thanks for the data guys!

    ReplyDelete
  25. ***There are quite a few milestones for Novak to achieve which should keep him motivated in the next few years:

    - Win Cincy to complete the ATP 1000 Slam.
    - Win FO to complete his Career Grand Slam.
    - Win Olympic gold medal to complete his Career GS.
    - Catch up w/ Borg @ 11 GS titles.
    - Win 6+ WTF.
    - Catch up w/ Sampras @ 14 GS titles.
    - Catch up w/ Nadal @ 14+ GS titles.
    - Reach 6+ YE #1.
    - Stay 302+ weeks @ #1.
    - Catch up w/ Federer @ 17+ GS titles.***

    I think Nole will achieve a few of these goals w/i the next 2 yrs; w/o a sweat! He's not even playing well these days, but is still so far above the rest of the tour, it's beginning to get ugly! Those matches in China, including the routes of Ferrer and Nadal were little more than a continuation of an exh. match from a few days before! Nadal played well in the final, but Djokovic was relentless and didn't give him hope; even w/ those late breaks of his serve! I can't be happier! Federer's still the GOAT for the X being, but I wouldn't be surprised if Nole wipes out many of Roger's records! ;-)

    ***Frankly, he needs some good luck to achieve some of these milestones. I think reaching 6+ YE #1 and 302+ weeks at #1 are perhaps most likely to happen, after catching up w/ Borg. Three more yrs at the top of the pack, w/ or w/o great success at GS, seems very achievable given Novak's consistency. Only Murray has a conceivable chance of challenging him in this dept., i.e., reaching SF's or better in every tourney.
    ---

    By reaching '15 Shanghai SF's, Novak Djokovic has completed 1 amazing circle. Since his loss to Federer at this tourney in '14, the world #1 was the closest thing to perfection ever seen in this sport, winning 80 out of 85 matches, winning 10 out of 15 tournaments he participated in and reaching 14 finals. One fun fact stands out though - for full 12 months, Djokovic did not drop any of his points at any individual tourneys, only bettering some of his 2014 results and defending all titles he had to. Add to the fact that he was at the top of the list at this very moment last year as well, it is official now - Djokovic is the 1st ever #1 who only raised his points tally for an entire year.

    Novak has assured that he will stay at 16k pts, the level nobody else reached ever in tennis history. Having already broken the record for highest amount of money earned in 1 season too, and we are still only in Oct.***

    Very impressive indeed! I like his game, his humor, and of course his overall persona! Nole always says the right thing, doesn't gratuitously insult his opponents like another so called GOAT that will remain nameless IMO, and will soon overtake all his rivals in the H2H stat! I marvel at his name slowly erasing Roger's in so many ways and about to set them at a # that will be hard to beat in the future! He will own the MASTERS 1000 RB w/i the next yr or so!

    ***Djokovic has $87M, Federer $94. Should Djoko better Federer in next 2 tourneys and also win AO, I believe he will be in the driver's seat for eclipsing $100M before Roger.***

    It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things; Roger still the king in endorsements! Even when he fell down to #6, you would have thought he was still on top w/ TV, magazines, and commentary! Nole is still just a footnote when it comes to Roger and Rafa; both elevated to GAWD-like status that Djokovic may never attain! It was the same w/ Lendl way back when; #1 in the world, but all people referenced Connors, McEnroe, and Becker before him!

    ***Luckily, Djokovic does not mind that. I am sure Lendl didn't either.***

    All athletes care about that sort of thing underneath it all! I remember Barry Bonds who was obviously 1 of the most gifted of baseball players, but was visibly incensed at the accolades that both McGuire and Sosa were getting due to their homerun race back in '98! It led him to his own self-destruction whether he actually used PED's or not!

    ReplyDelete
  26. ***2015 Shanghai Masters 1000 SF: Djokovic v. Murray***

    Nole's played about the minimum in comparison to other seasons of his and his rivals! He's cut back on his schedule and it makes sense since he makes the finals just about every tourney!

    ***If Nadal doesn't win YEC, the tourney's a glorified exh. If he wins it, it's the most significant tennis event of the year.***

    Of course; to be expected! Even though Nadal's playing better; wouldn't be surprised if this YEC is a repeat of '09 where he lost all 3 of his RR matches! Just depends on how the draw is pulled I guess! If his usual punching bags like Ferrer and Berdych in his division, he'll do better, but if it's the others like Nole & Stan, he's in trouble making the semi! He has a better chance if he's dropped into Roger's div.; at least we'll see them! It's been so long since 1 or both have been able to make it to their appointed Rd to battle; if there is 1! ;-)

    ***Stan? Hasn't Nadal just hammered him?***

    That was yesterday; "Hyde/Jeckle" Stan is unpredictable! You never know who'll show up!

    ***I like Stan. He has charisma, but since the FO he has done nothing of note. Fedrer though at O2 will hammer Rafa. He has beat him when Rafa playing well there and w/ his new attacking game will cause him major issues. - From USA Today. "Here are the scores of each set Djokovic has played since losing the 2nd set to Federer in last month’s USO final: 6-4, 6-4, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-1." + 6-1, 6-3 + 6-2, 6-4 (F w/ Tsonga today in Shanghai) - Djokovic Is not losing his #1 spot before 2017 IMO.***

    Who's supposed to take it away; Kei, Raonic, Dimitrov? They all have the talent, but while waiting for them to get things to click, they're breaking down like they have calcium deficiencies! Nole's superior conditioning excels even Ivan Lendl's IMO! He's like Gumby out there contorting his body into positions to keep a point going! All I could do was laugh watching him dissect Andy in the 1st set today in Shanghai! It was clinical, but you never know; I already asked how hard he'd work since DC coming up! People say it's a month away, but it's going to be draining in London w/ the YEC and DC back to back! ;-)

    ***Nole most titles in Shanghai Masters (3), check. The 1st player to beat Murray 20 X's, check.
    ---

    So Djokovic wins his 57th career title in Shanghai, 25th Masters and 9th title of '15. His record since the USO is simply amazing. - If Nole wins the WTF or both he will have the best season on record; going back to Rod Laver in '69. Best seasons by Title Shares, Open Era ('69-present):

    68 Laver, '69
    66 Federer, '06
    62 DJOKOVIC, '15
    62 Djokovic, '11
    62 Federer, '04
    58 Federer, '07
    54 Nadal, '10
    52 McEnroe, '84
    52 Borg, '79
    50 Wilander, '88
    50 Connors, '74
    48 Nadal, '13
    48 Sampras, '94
    48 Lendl, '86
    48 Borg, '80
    44 Federer, '05
    44 Sampras, '97
    44 Lendl, '87
    40 Nadal, '08

    As you can see, the list is dominated by current players w/ Sampras only squeezing in 2 yrs and Agassi just off the map.
    ---

    Nole stands alone w/ most GS/1000 Masters Finals in a season (11? w/ 1 more 1000 Masters event in his schedule). Most Masters 1000 finals in season (7 w/ 1 more Masters 1000 to go). If he win Paris, he'll stand-alone w/ 6 1000 Masters titles in 1 year... After his win in Shanghai, he's currently holding the WTF, 3/4 of the Slams, and 6/9 of the masters! That's 71% of the big tournaments. Might be a while until that record is broken. For reference, Federer held 57% in '06, & Nadal held 50% in '13.***

    ReplyDelete
  27. ***Djokovic is dominating not b/c he's amazing, but b/c he's merely consistent and everyone else is garbage right now. Weakest era of all X. There's absolutely nothing special about Djokovic's game, nor is he doing anything better than 2012-2014. It's just that everyone else is worse.***

    Nole's confidence has soared even though I don't think he's necessarily playing as well as 2011! He's been bludgeoning the ball, taking swipes @ the ball even in defensive positions! He attacked the net effectively and won most of those points w/ deft touch and 'stick!' Djokovic has been very impressive since winning the USO! This is "his X of the year!" Couple more seasons like this and we can legitimately start talking GOAT-dom possibilities!

    ***But so much of that comes from opponents playing very poor tennis. The competition in '11 was 100x stronger. - ...Can't compare that stuff. In Sampras' era it was much harder to dominate b/c the surfaces were totally different from each other. Same w/ Federer but to a lesser extent.***

    You can only play against and on what's being offered at the time you're playing! There are positives and negatives with each era; none any better than the other at the X! We saw the age of Sampras, Agassi, & Courier as a Golden Age; esp. for the USA, but it changed all too soon w/ the intro of the new bloods in Federer, Nadal, & now Djokovic! I still give all due credit to past greats like Tilden, Perry, Gonzales, Rosewall, & Laver, w/ the pro game taking off on the legend of Borg, Connors, & McEnroe! Did I cover it all? ;-)

    ***ATP Masters 1000 Records, "YEC" - Nole:

    2012–'14 3 cons. titles w/ Nastase & Lendl
    2012–'14 14 cons. match wins w/ Lendl & Federer
    2014 76.1% (51–16) games winning % in 1 tournament

    ATP Masters 1000 records:

    2007–'13 8 different titles
    2007–'12 9 different Finals w/ Federer & Nadal
    2007–'15 18 HC titles w/ Federer
    2011, '15 5 titles in a single season w/ Nadal
    2015 7 finals in a single season
    2011-'12, '15 3 yrs reaching 6+ finals
    2011-'12 2 cons. yrs reaching 6 Finals
    2012–'15 12 cons. Finals Victories
    2011 31 cons. match wins
    2011, '15 2 yrs winning 5 titles
    2011, '14-'15 3 yrs winning 4+ titles
    2013–'15 2 streaks of 4 cons. titles
    2014–'15 2 cons. yrs winning 4+ titles w/ Federer
    2011–'15 5 cons. yrs winning 3+ titles
    2007–'13 3 streaks of 3 cons. titles
    2011–'15 Retaining titles at 6 different tournaments
    2014–'15 3 cons. title defences
    2015 Winning the 1st 3 events of a season
    2011, '14 - '15 Winning IW – Miami title sweep 3 X's
    2008–'15 4 IW Masters titles overall w/ Federer
    2012–'13 3 Shanghai Masters titles overall
    2012–'13 3 cons. Shanghai Masters titles
    2009, '13–'14 3 Paris Masters titles overall w/ Becker & Safin
    2013–'14 2 cons. Paris Masters titles
    2013-'14 2 yrs winning Paris Masters & YEC back to back

    Other records:

    2015 13 str. finals in a season.
    2015 20+ wins over each of the Big 4
    2012, '13, '15 24 match wins vs. top 10 opponents in a single season w/ Nadal
    2012, '13, '15 3 yrs winning 24 matches vs. top 10 opps
    2011–'13, '15 4 yrs winning 20+ matches vs. top 10 opps
    2011–'13 3 cons. yrs winning 20+ matches vs. top 10 opps
    2011 5 cons. match wins against world #1 player in Finals (Nadal)
    2007 Youngest player to defeat the top 3 players in succession
    2009-'10, '12-'15 6 China Open titles
    2012-'15 4 cons. China Open titles
    2007–'10 4 yrs ended at #3 w/ Connors
    2007–'10 4 cons. years ended @ #3
    2009 Longest best-of-3 TB sets singles match (by duration) vs. Nadal
    2003–'15 83.8% (440–85) HC match winning %
    2003–'15 95.6% (593-27) match winning % after winning 1st set
    2003–'15 74.5% (143–49) deciding set winning %***

    ReplyDelete
  28. ***“I think in terms of the 2 tournaments in b2b wks, this has been the best 2 weeks of my life, my career,” asserted Djokovic, who has now won 17 str. matches and 22 cons. sets. “I think I've played the best tennis ever in these 2 wks in terms of back‑to‑back. Honestly, that's how I felt."
    ---

    What is most important in determining who is GOAT? I would say:

    1)GS Titles
    2)H2H against biggest rivals at GS
    3)Wks at #1
    4)H2H against biggest rivals
    4)YE Masters Titles
    5)Masters Titles
    ---

    The serve and ROS is probably the most important shots in tennis, and here we have a breakdown on the #'s.

    Djokovic in '11

    Service Records:

    •Aces: 343
    •Double faults: 143
    •1st serves in: 65%
    •1st serve pts won: 74%
    •2nd serve pts won: 56%
    •Break pts faced: 351
    •Break pts saved: 65%
    •Service games played: 899
    •Service games won: 86%
    •Service pts won: 68%

    Return Records:

    •1st serve return pts won: 36%
    •2nd serve return pts won: 58%
    •Break pt opportunities: 692
    •Break pts converted: 48%
    •Return games played: 860
    •Return games won: 39%
    •Return pts won: 45%
    •Total pts won: 56%

    Djokovic '15

    Service Records:

    •Aces: 439
    •Double faults: 126
    •1st serves in: 66%
    •1st serve pts won: 75%
    •2nd serve pts won: 60%
    •Break pts faced: 325
    •Break pts saved: 70%
    •Service games played: 981
    •Service games won: 90%
    •Service pts won: 70%

    Return records:

    •1st serve return pts won: 33%
    •2nd serve return pts won: 57%
    •Break pt opportunities: 747
    •Break pts converted: 44%
    •Return games played: 958
    •Return games won: 34%
    •Return pts won: 43%
    •Total pts won: 56%

    Summary: Reason why this season will go down as Djokovic's best ever in his career (and maybe in the Open era); he improved his serving #'s even more to absolute elite level of serving. If we take a look at Federer's service stats in his best season and also 1 of the best seasons ever, we can see similar things. He also had 90% hold game, he won 70% of all pts played on his serve just like Djokovic. He saved 70% of the BPs opponents had on Fed's serve, same # for Djoko. Djokovic's improved serve (both 1st and 2nd) along w/ how he can back it up w/ his ground game is why he has been this unbeatable this year and is going for the 2nd best season ever.***

    ReplyDelete
  29. ***Djokovic: "I am not worrying now about 2016 nor downgrading soon." Novak Djokovic has 16.785 points and hasn't dropped a single point for a yr, but is not thinking about how much will he have to defend next year. "I am not worried about the next year, there is no room for that, I am enjoying in the current one more. In fact, I am trying to use this best period of my life so my team and I could have only positive emotions. We are all proud of what we have done, it was not only done by me", said Nole. "When the next year arrives, I will think about it, but X's when I was worried about how will I defend the points are long gone. I always try to approach the tournament as any other player - to win the trophy, not to defend it", added the Serbian tennis player. After triumphing in Shanghai, his 9th title this season, Djokovic has 2 wks rest, and then Paris Masters and WTF in London. "I am not thinking about being unbeaten until the end of this year, but it is a possibility. However, I will try to hold onto my philosophy that every next match is the most important", said Novak. Djokovic is currently on a run of 13 cons. finals. X he was stopped before that phase was at the start of this year in Doha. Novak confirmed that he will start the 2016 season in Qatar.***

    Thanks!

    ***The same older players are gradually declining and the next generation are unable to push them out. This has produced a comfortable paradigm for the very best players who aren't being forced to adapt and change their games to hold off the young guns. We have the same top players playing the same losing game against the elites of the game - they simply hope for a very good day from themselves.

    To his credit Djokovic has not stood still, he's plugging holes in his game while maintaining his strengths. The only guy who has truly reinvented his game is Federer, but he shd this 5 yrs ago. Murray has done some good things like bringing in Bjorkman, but despite being very consistent, his game has not evolved tactically. He played the right way in Montreal aided by an off day from Djokovic, but he still tries to counter punch too much.***

    I've been saying the same thing for years; feel like I'm beating my head against a wall year after year!

    ***Tomic and Thiem s/b part of Dimitrov's generation IMO. They aren't really 'young guns' anymore at 22-23. Tomic will be 23 tomorrow so he is definetely not a young gun anymore.***

    Funny, the same conversation is going about so called "young guns" on Tennis Frontier! Hilarious, but true! These young guns are in their prime and s/b doing so much better; result-wise! It's 1 thing to lose to the 'Big 4,' but they end up being vulnerable to just about anyone! The talent is there, just not the consistency!

    ***Yes indeed. The lost generation just keeps on losing to anybody, even to the 2nd tier players of old generation. So I don't buy the argument that 'Big 4' is too strong for the youngsters.
    ---

    So true. They basically lose to the grandpa versions of the players that defined the well known "weak eras" that lasted from July 6th of 2003 to January 31st of 2010, and from June 25th to July 8th of 2012. It's either really sad, or just simply hilarious. Either way, it's not particularly impressive.
    ---

    ...both (Novak and Serena) do to their supposed rivals, i.e., crush them, in the last couple of Rds.***

    Even though Serena's won a lot, it was a wonder she even made it to finals; stumbling, bumbling, and dropping sets to kids I'd never heard of before! Nole's a machine, totally professional, and flies under the radar! You can't say that about Serena who has universal acceptance and affection no matter how she behaves on court! She has high profile relationships and has had running feuds w/ rivals!

    ReplyDelete
  30. ***Djokovic is 66-2 post USO since 2012 (losses to Fed in '14 Shanghai and Querrey in '12 Paris), w/ 12 titles, and 34 of those wins were against the Top 10.***

    Also guaranteed to hold it longer than Nadal and will pass both Rafa and Roger in Masters 1000 titles! Two yrs isn't that long w/ his current dominance! ;-)

    ***As good as Djokovc had been, this is a poor and weak era. Lost generation of Dimitrov, Raonic & Tomic were disappointing. Kyrgios, Thiem, Coric & Kokkinakis have still not made the big breakthrough into the elite. Nadal has had his worst season ever, Murray's level is not as high as it was when Lendl was his coach, Federer does not have the mental strength and stamina to compete w/ Djokovic on slow courts and all GS's, and Wawrinka is so hot and cold. Delpo has been out for nearly the whole season again and the lack of the strength of the field this year can be illustrated by Nadal in a strong position to finish the year ranked #5. So there have only been 4 players w/ better years.

    The standard of tennis was disappointing too. AO Djokovic-Wawrinka III ended in a 5th set bagel, a strange topsy-turvy match that was not the epic we were hoping. RG Nadal-Djokovic had a lot of hype... And it ended in a whimper. Wimbledon final was disappointing as Federer could not bring his level from his previous match. The USO final also lacked quality despite being quite dramatic.

    So now if we're talking for best matches of the year, that leaves us w/ RG final Wawrinka-Djokovic and Wimbledob semi Federer-Murray. The former b/c Wawrinka played superbly and the latter b/c Federer played the best he has ever played in years. Neither of them though went to 5 and for them to be the 2 best matches of the year is... Not a great look.

    Djokovic has had an excellent year, but the massive gap btw him and the rest of the field has not been fun to watch. We had maybe 2-3 really great matches, but every slam this year has been a boring non-event w/ very few upsets or deep runs by young players. In 2014 we at least had some younger players stepping up and giving us hope that it's finally X but nope. They've gone back into obscurity again.

    Murray and Federer might get a few wins here or there, but we need at least 5 contenders for tournements. We need upsets. We need someone new winning or challanging the top players. Also if we're going to have a decline, we need a huge decline. Nadal has had his worst season for years and he's still comfortably sitting in the top 8. So is Ferrer! Still clinching that 8th spot and he's had a terrible season + Injurys.***

    I couldn't agree more!

    ***Rating 2.5 only b/c Federer made it to a few finals at GS and Masters level. Too monotonous, it's 1 man versus the rest. At least in '06 Fed had Nadal to deal w/ on 2 surfaces w/ some classic matches including 1 of the all X best matches in the Rome final. Even Wimby '06 was good w/ 2 tight TB's. '2015 Djoker' had no rival to match the Fedal rivalry of '06. '2016' I'm hoping for Kyrgios and Tomic to break through (at least top 10), but will be hard pressed to topple Djoker who should continue his dominance and finish yet again as YE #1.
    ---

    I think this has to be considered Nole best year. It's been consistently great across all surfaces all year long. But someone pointed out, he basically ran out of gas after winning the USO in '11. Furthermore, he made all 4 GS finals. That alone makes this year greater than '11. Majors are the main determinative factor, so losing 1 match that would've given him the CYGS makes this the best year ever for him. Nadal never did what he has done, neither has Agassi, Sampras, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Wilander, McEnroe or Borg or Connors!! Only Federer and Rocket Rod have done this, but only Roger across all three surfaces. He has won more and more Masters Shields this year, so only Federer in '06 really is up there w/ Novak this year (Laver of course as well).***

    ReplyDelete
  31. ***Djokpvic Records:

    -YEC recs-
    '11: Qualified the earliest – 18 wks, 6 days
    '12–'14: 3 cons titles w/ Năstase 8 Lendl
    '12–'14: 14 cons match wins w/ Lendl & Federer
    '14 76.1% (51–16) games winning % in 1 tourney

    -ATP Masters 1000 recs-
    '07–'13 8 different titles
    '07–'12 Reached all 9 Masters 1000 finals w/ Federer & Nadal
    '07–'15 18 HC titles w/ Federer
    '11, '15 5 titles in a single season w/ Nadal
    '15 8 finals in a single season
    '15 5 HC finals in a single season
    '15 8 SF's in a single season w/ Nadal
    '11, '12, '15 3 yrs reaching 6+ finals
    '11, '12 2 con. yrs reaching 6 finals
    '12–'15 12 con. wins in Masters 1000 finals
    '11 31 con. match wins
    '11, '15 5 Masters 1000 titles in 2 seasons
    '11–'15 2 streaks of 5 con. titles
    '11, '14–'15 3 yrs winning 4+ titles
    '13–'15 3 streaks of 4 con. titles
    '14–'15 2 con. yrs winning 4+ titles w/ Federer
    '11–'15 5 con. yrs winning 3+ titles
    '07–'15 3+ titles at 6 different tourneys
    '11–'15 Retaining titles at 6 different tourneys
    '15 3 con. title defenses
    '15 Won the 1st 3 Masters in a season (IW, Miami, & MC)
    '11–'15 Won IW – Miami title double 3 X's
    '07 Youngest men's singles player to win Miami (19 yrs, 316 days old)
    '08–'15 4 IW Masters titles overall w/ Federer
    '12–'15 3 Shanghai Masters titles overall
    '12–'13 2 con. Shanghai Masters titles w/ Murray
    '09–'14 3 Paris Masters titles overall w/ Becker & Safin
    '13–'14 2 con. Paris Masters titles
    '13, '14 2 yrs winning Paris Masters and YEC back to back

    -Other sig. recs-
    '15 Highest # of points accrued in ATP rankings (16,785)
    '15 13 str. finals in a season
    '15 20+ wins over each other member of the Big 4 (Federer, Nadal & Murray)
    '15 25 match wins vs. top 10 ops in a single season
    '12, '13, '15 24 match wins vs. top 10 ops in a single season w/ Nadal
    '12, '13, '15 3 yrs winning 24 matches vs. top 10 ops
    '11–'13, '15 4 yrs winning 20+ matches vs. top 10 ops
    '11–'13 3 con. yrs winning 20+ matches vs. top 10 ops
    '11 5 con. match wins against world #1 player in finals w/ Nadal
    '07 Youngest player to defeat the top 3 players in succession (Roddick, Nadal & Fed)
    '15 Most prize money won in a season ($16,041,009)
    '09–'15 6 China Open titles
    '12–'15 4 con. China Open titles
    '07–'10 4 yrs ended @ #3 w/ Connors
    '07–'10 4 con. yrs ended at #3
    '09 Longest best-of-3 singles match w/ sets TB's (by duration) vs Nadal
    '03–'15 83.8% (440–85) HC match winning %
    '03–2015 95.6% (593–27) Match winning % after winning 1st set
    '03–'15 74.5% (143–49) Deciding set winning %

    -GS Year(s) Rec. Accomp. Players-

    '15 All 4 Major finals in a season w/ Laver, Federer '10–'13
    7 con. HC finals
    FO — AO '07–'08 Youngest player to reach the SF's of all 4 Majors (20 yrs, 250 days)
    FO — AO 2007–'08 Youngest player to reach all 4 Majors SF's con.
    -AO - Wimbledon
    '08–'15 3+ titles @ AO & Wimbledon w/ Fed
    -USO - FO
    '07–'15 3+ r-up finishes @ 2 Majors w/ Fed
    AO '12 Longest final (by duration) vs Nadal
    AO — USO '05–'15 87.70% (107–15) HC match winning %

    -GS Year(s) Rec. Accomp. Players-

    AO '08–'15 5 titles overall
    AO '11–'13 3 con. titles
    AO '08–'15 5 finals overall w/ Edberg & Fed
    AO '11–'13 3 con. finals w/ Wilander & Lendl
    FO '11–'15 5 con. SF's w/ Fed & Nadal
    USO '12 Longest final (by duration) vs Murray
    USO '12 Longest TB (by pts – 22) vs Murray***

    Thanks for the stats! Nice data!

    ReplyDelete
  32. ***Will Djokovic become greater than Nadal?***

    He already is better than Nadal! There's no doubt if you check the record! Nadal's major claim to fame is winning on clay; the FO in particular! Even though he owns "the GOAT" in H2H matchup, few pay that much attention; Roger's still the GOAT! Nadal has never defended a title off clay while Nole's defends all of his quite successfully on any surface! After all is said and done, he'll probably own most of the pertinent records including H2H matchups against his rivals, Masters 1000 events, and weeks at #1! He not only will attain these records, he'll probably set them so high no one will aspire to even come close to that level of play!

    ***Last I checked, Rafa still leads the h2h w/ Novak in matches that are of value.***

    For how long is the ?? you s/b asking! When was the last X Rafa beat anyone in the top echelon? He even lost on clay to Murray and Fabio this season; quite embarrassing! The only thing to stop this inevitable shift is injury or a plane crash! You hoping something happens to Nole so he doesn't pass Nadal? Now that w/b desperate thinking!

    ***Rafa leads the h2h 9-4. You think Novak will beat Rafa 6 X's from now? No chance. Novak can beat this Fed and Murray to win his majors, but Rafa has beaten better versions of all 3 to win his majors. Rafa's 14 majors are worth 20 majors of Djokovic.***

    Seek serious professional help dude! I know some Rafa-dites have blinders on, but someone must have gouged out your eyes and continued digging into your brain! ;-)

    ***If btw now and the end of next year Djokovic wins a 5th WTF, achieves a 5th YE #1, Takes 2 more slams including RG & gets the Masters 1000 record, I'd imagine only the most hardcore Nadal fans would claim they're not at least on = terms. - Djokovic defeated toughest possible final opponents Fed, Rafa and Murray 3 X's each to win 9 out of his 10 Majors. The only exception is Tsonga, but Djokovic was also a Slamless player prior to that encounter. If anyone has a claim of having tough Slam opponents it is Novak. Take care of your own garden before criticizing the other.***

    Thank you! I thought people were more rational here, but it was in doubt for a moment w/ comments about Novak not having any competition; what a joke! No one has had it harder among the BIG 3; waiting his turn to show what he could do and some people can't stand it! They are weak w/ excuses made for Fed and Rafa!

    ***...If Nadal doesn't improve some of his stats, then Djokovic will surpass Nadal even if he doesn't catch up to his 14th majors. You can't only judge majors and talk how much better Nadal was b/c he had Federer back then. Stat-wise Djokovic will become greater, IMO. The rest is subjective and everyone will find an argument to put his own hero on top. B/c I don't see a reason at the moment why he wouldn't win at least 1 slam the next 4 years.***

    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novak_Djokovic_career_statistics -

    ReplyDelete
  33. ***Lack of FO and slam h2h is killing it for Djoker.***

    Nadal will be the CLAY GOAT and nothing else after having a "potential" losing record vs Nole w/i a year and his "inability" to defend ANY title off his beloved surface! Have you ever heard of such a thing? Even Rafter defended his USO title on HC! After all is said and done, Rafa won't even be in my TOP 5 of all X players due to that lone fact! He'll have more majors than Laver, Borg, Lendl, Connors, & McEnroe, but they have done things Nadal will never achieve; a GS and X titles on all surfaces in every event played! Nadal is still trying to acquire a Miami Open after all these years!

    ***Nadal is only guy other than Wilander to do SURFACE SLAM. 10 yrs winning a Slam. Slam H2H vs his rivals.***

    No one will care 100 yrs down the line! The #'s will be against Nadal in so many ways; being way back in race for #1 in the world, lack of wins on other surfaces aside clay, amd a losing record vs Nole soon!

    ***...And if you really think Djoker will beat Sampras or Fed's wks at #1, you are REALLY optimistic!***

    Who's supposed to knock him off his perch? He only has to hold on for a year and a 1/2; hardly something impossible for Nole unless he wrecks his knee skiing!

    ***Novak's verging from being "merely" a super good all-X great to becoming a top-tier legend in all of tennis history. Novak's 1 super-dominating year away from entering the GOAT conversation, IMO. If he can repeat his 2015 efforts, he w/b on the very border of GOAT-dom though not quite there. You'd imagine w/ the rest of his career still left he would eventually make it there (though of course you'd still have stronger arguments for Fed). If Novak can somehow pull a CYGS in '16, he'd solidly be in the GOAT conversation: 14 majors, 6 str. majors (only Don Budge pre-Open Era), a CYGS, & very likely another year at #1, w/ some other titles, Masters, & another year's worth of wks at #1.

    = Rafa:...14 Majors, 27 Masters, 0 WTF, 1 Olym Sin. Gold, 141 wks World #1 rank.
    = Djoko:..10 Majors, 26 Masters, 4 WTF, 1 Olym Sin. Brze, 172 wks World #1 rank.
    ---

    Nadal is MUCH better than Djoko on clay. Djoko is MUCH better than Nadal on HC. How that's not obvious?

    CLAY:
    -Nadal: 47 titles (5 250, 14 500, 19 Masters, 9 Slams)
    -Djoko: 11 titles (4 250, 7 Masters)

    HARD:
    -Djoko: 44 titles (2 250, 12 500, 19 Masters, 4 WTF, 7 Slams)
    -Nadal: 16 titles (2 250, 2 500, 8 Masters, 1 OG, 3 Slams)

    OVERALL:
    -Nadal: 67 titles > Djoko: 58 titles
    -Nadal: 14 slams > Djoko: 10 Slams
    -Djoko: 4 WTF > Nadal: 0 WTF
    -Nadal: 27 Masters > Djoko: 26 Masters
    -Nadal: 41 tier 1 + OG > Djoko: 40 tier 1
    -Djoko: 172 wks at #1 > Nadal: 141 wks

    But bear in mind that Djoko is a year younger. Personally, I find their overall records mighty close (bar WTF). Which means that we need the next few years to make a clear-cut decision about who's better than whom. Way too close to call it now while they're still active.***

    A year? You're going to make an issue of 'a year' after ignoring the aged seniority of Roger who's considerably older during the Fedal rivalry run!

    ***The split btw surfaces' even more striking if you draw a comparison: (* = HC, ^ = clay, ^^= grass)

    AO: Djoko > Nadal (5 > 1)*
    IW: Djoko > Nadal (4 > 3)*
    Miami: Djoko > Nadal (5 > 0)*
    M-C: Nadal > Djoko (8 > 2)^
    Rome: Nadal > Djoko (7 > 4)^
    3rd clay: Nadal > Djoko (4 > 1)^
    RG: Nadal > Djoko (9 > 0)^
    W: Djoko > Nadal (3 > 2)^^
    Canada: Djoko > Nadal (3 + 1F > 3)*
    Cincy: Nadal > Djoko (1 > 0)*
    USO: Djoko > Nadal (2 + 4F > 2 + 1F)*
    1st fall: Djoko > Nadal (3 > 1)*
    Paris: Djoko > Nadal (4 > 0)*
    WTF: Djoko > Nadal (4 > 0)*

    Nadal dominates the 4 clay events. Djoko dominates the rest (w/ the exception of Cincy. Djoko actually has 5 finals in Cincy. Talk about a curse...)***

    ReplyDelete
  34. ***Most GS Titles:
    1. Roger Federer 17 (career slam)
    2. Pete Sampras 14
    = Rafael Nadal 14 (career slam)
    4. Björn Borg 11
    5. Novak Djokovic 10
    6. Andre Agassi 8 (career slam)
    = Ivan Lendl 8
    = Jimmy Connors 8
    9. John McEnroe 7
    = Mats Wilander 7

    GS Finals:
    1. Roger Federer 27
    2. Rafael Nadal 20
    3. Ivan Lendl 19
    4. Pete Sampras 18
    = Novak Djokovic 18
    6. Björn Borg 16
    7. Jimmy Connors 15
    = Andre Agassi 15

    Cons. GS Finals:
    1. Roger Federer 10
    2. Roger Federer 8
    3. Rafael Nadal 5
    4. Andre Agassi 4
    = Rod Laver 4
    = Novak Djokovic 4*
    = Novak Djokovic 4
    8. Jimmy Connors 3
    = Andy Murray 3
    = Björn Borg 3
    = Björn Borg 3
    = Björn Borg 3
    = Ivan Lendl 3
    = John McEnroe 3
    = Ivan Lendl 3
    = Ivan Lendl 3
    = Mats Wilander 3
    = Jim Courier 3
    = Jim Courier 3
    = Pete Sampras 3
    = Rafael Nadal 3

    GS SF's:
    1. Roger Federer 38
    2. Jimmy Connors 31
    3. Novak Djokovic 28
    = Ivan Lendl 28
    5. Andre Agassi 26
    6. Pete Sampras 23
    = Rafael Nadal 23
    8. John McEnroe 19
    = Stefan Edberg 19
    9. Boris Becker 18
    10. Björn Borg 17

    Cons. GS SF's:
    1. Roger Federer 23
    2. Novak Djokovic 14
    3. Ivan Lendl 10
    4. Novak Djokovic 7*
    5. Ivan Lendl 6
    = Nadal 6
    7. = Andy Murray 5
    = Boris Becker 5
    9. Roger Federer 4
    = Rod Laver 4
    = Tony Roche 4
    = John McEnroe 4
    = Andre Agassi 4
    = Jim Courier 4
    = Nadal 4

    GS QF's:
    1. Roger Federer 46
    2. Jimmy Connors 41
    3. Agassi 36
    4. Novak Djokovic 34
    = Ivan Lendl 34
    6. Pete Sampras 29
    = Rafael Nadal 29
    8. John McEnroe 26
    = Stefan Edberg 26
    10. Boris Becker 23
    11. Björn Borg 21

    Cons. GS QF's:
    1. Roger Federer 36
    2. Novak Djokovic 26*
    3. Ivan Lendl 14
    = Andy Murray 14
    5. Rafael Nadal 11
    6. Pete Sampras 10

    All 4 Slams in a Year:
    Rod Laver '69

    3 Slams in a Year:
    Jimmy Connors '74
    Mats Wilander '88
    Roger Federer '04
    Roger Federer '06
    Roger Federer '07
    Rafael Nadal '10
    Novak Djokovic '11
    Novak Djokovic '15

    All 4 Finals in a Year:
    Roger Federer '06
    Roger Federer '07
    Roger Federer '09
    Novak Djokovic '15
    Rod Laver '69

    All 4 SF's in a Year:
    Rod Laver '69
    Ivan Lendl '87
    Roger Federer '05
    Roger Federer '06
    Roger Federer '07
    Roger Federer '08
    Roger Federer '09
    Rafael Nadal '08
    Novak Djokovic '11
    Novak Djokovic '12
    Novak Djokovic '13
    Novak Djokovic '15
    Andy Murray '11

    Most cons. matches won at 1 GS event:
    1. Björn Borg (Wimbledon), 41
    2. Roger Federer (Wimbledon), 40 (not 41 b/c walkover of '07)
    = Roger Federer (USO), 40 (not 41 b/c of walkover)
    4. Rafael Nadal (FO), 35
    5. Pete Sampras (Wimbledon), 31

    Most GS match wins:
    1. Roger Federer 297
    2. Jimmy Connors 233
    3. Andre Agassi 224
    4. Ivan Lendl 222
    5. Pete Sampras 204

    YEC's:
    1. Roger Federer 6
    2. Ivan Lendl 5
    = Pete Sampras 5
    4. Novak Djokovic 4
    5. Ilie Nastase 3
    = John McEnroe 3
    = Boris Becker 3

    Most YEC Finals:
    1. Federer 9
    = Ivan Lendl 9
    2. Boris Becker 8
    3. Pete Sampras 6
    4. Ilie Năstase 5
    5. Bjorn Borg 4
    = John McEnroe 4
    = Andre Agassi 4
    = Novak Djokovic 4
    9. Lleyton Hewitt 3

    Most Wks at #1:
    1. Roger Federer 302
    2. Pete Sampras 286
    3. Ivan Lendl 270
    4. Jimmy Connors 268
    5. Novak Djokovic 171*
    6. John McEnroe 170
    7. Rafael Nadal 141
    8. Björn Borg 109

    Cons. Wks at #1:
    1. Roger Federer (1) 237
    2. Jimmy Connors (1) 160
    3. Ivan Lendl (1) 157
    4. Pete Sampras (1) 102
    5. Jimmy Connors (2) 84
    6. Pete Sampras (2) 82
    7. Ivan Lendl (2) 80
    8. Lleyton Hewitt (1) 75
    9. Novak Djokovic (1) 66*
    10. John McEnroe (1) 58

    Year End #1:
    1. Sampras 6
    2. Federer 5
    = Connors 5
    4. McEnroe 4
    = Lendl 4
    6. Nadal 3
    = Djokovic 4

    Most ATP Titles:
    1. Jimmy Connors 109
    2. Ivan Lendl 94
    3. Roger Federer 88
    4. John McEnroe 77
    5. Rafael Nadal 66
    6. Björn Borg 64
    = Pete Sampras 64
    8. Guillermo Vilas 62
    9. Andre Agassi 60
    10. Djokovic 55
    11. Boris Becker 49

    Most Master Series or equivalent win:
    1. Rafael Nadal 27
    2. Novak Djokovic 26
    3 Roger Federer 24
    4. Ivan Lendl 22
    5. John McEnroe 19
    6. Andre Agassi 17
    = Jimmny Connors 17
    8. Bjorn Borg 15
    9. Boris Becker 13
    10. Pete Sampras 11
    = Andy Murray 11***

    * - concurrently active

    ReplyDelete
  35. ***I woudn't be surprised if Rafa never beat Djokovic again. Terrible matchup.
    ---

    Nope, the terrible matchup is Roger versus Nadal, and the misfortune of playing most of their matches on clay. Roger is clearly the most talented & > player than Nadal, but their H2H is dismal by Fed's perspective. Fed matches up perfectly well against Nole, but has a 6 yr age disadvantage.

    This age factor favored Fed in '06-'08, but ever since Nole has had the distinct advantage. Yet he still lost 3 X's to him this year, so far.
    ---

    Djokovic & Lendl: There seem to be a lot of similarities in their games. Both were rock solid, excellent fh+bh combo, solid serve, solid volleys, tough mentally, mechanical styles. Both had to wait for the other greats to falter to win their chunk of big titles (Borg, Connors, McEnroe for Lendl & Federer, Nadal for Djokovic), both had similar careers - did great in Masters, underachieved in the Slams (Lendl lost 11 Slam finals!); but it seems that Djokovic could easily add a few more.
    ---

    In which categories can Djokovic finish ahead of Nadal?

    1) Already ahead or tied:
    -a. Wks at #1: he's up 143-141
    -b. Yrs at #1: tied at 3-3, ...big lead for #4. YE #1: '15
    -c. WTFs: 5-0

    2) Can catch up:
    -a. Masters Series titles: Nadal leads 27-26, gap in finals now 41-38
    -b. Career H2H: w/ Nadal 23-23, Nole has won 13 of last 20
    -c. Career titles: Nadal leads... At the end of '15, Nole overtook Nastase leads 59-58. If Djokovic wins 6 titles, he will overtake Agassi, Vilas, Borg, & Sampras

    3) Not much chance:
    -a. GS titles: ...if he wins no further titles. 14-10
    -b. Career winning %: Djokovic finishing ahead no longer impossible. 82.74 - 82.45

    Other:
    -a. Wins over top 10 opps: Djokovic 151-133 - Nadal 158-136
    -b. Career match wins: Djokovic 686-767 Nadal
    -c. Slam match wins: Djokovic 207-198 Nadal
    -d. Slam finals: Djokovic 18-20 Nadal
    -e. Slam semi's: Djokovic 28-23 Nadal
    -f. Slam qf's: Djokovic 34-29 Nadal
    ---

    Djokovic Era - Who has he "hurt the most" - Federer, Murray, Nadal?

    Federer:
    -defeated him in 6 GS matches incl. 3 GS finals, 3 GS semi's
    -defeated him in 2 YEC Finals
    -defeated him in 4 Masters 1000 finals
    -stood in the way of 2 YE #1s
    -stood in the way of 1 YE #2

    Murray:
    -defeated him in 6 GS matches incl. 3 GS finals, 2 GS semi's
    -defeated him in 5 Masters 1000 finals
    -stood in the way of 1 YE #1

    Nadal:
    -defeated him in 3 GS matches incl. 3 GS finals
    -defeated him in 1 YEC Finals
    -defeated him in 6 Masters 1000 finals
    -stood in the way of 1 YE #1***

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  36. ***...Rafa was also younger, fuzzier and more daring.***

    "That was then, this is now" as they say! Funny coming out of me since I hark back 40+ years all the X, but I feel like we're seeing something special; on par w/ Fed's dominance 10 yrs ago! Nole is a fine-tuned machine and won't ever get "the love" as Roger and Rafa get on a routine basis! I normally can do w/o human-backboards, but The Djoker is quite entertaining; right up there w/ Borg! Only X will tell if he can complete the deal and finish w/ most if not all the records!

    ***Whats so impressive about Novaks '11 is, not that he won 3 Slams + 5 Masters, but the fact he beat Nadal so many X's. And this was prime kick ass world #1 Nadal. Here's how great Novak was:

    AO def. Fed in SF & Murray in F
    IW def. Fed in SF & Nadal in F
    Miami def. Nadal in F
    Madrid def. Nadal in F
    Rome def. Murray in SF, Nadal in F
    Winbledon def. Nadal in F
    USO def. Federer in SF, Nadal in F

    Can anyone show me another player that had more dominating year, w/ such ridiculosly hard opponents.***

    True that Roger can only play who's in front of him at the X, but a # of these players will wind up "footnotes" rather than substantive challengers! I see it both ways & agree Nole's had to endure more w/ Fed & Nadal, but rationale will go in the direction of who's making the argument unfortunately! ;-)

    ***...Hewitt, Safin, Agassi, Ferrero, Roddick are all Slam champions. Nalbandian has a Masters Cup and a Slam final; known how high his top level is. Beating 34 yo Fed is not beating an ATG anymore than beating a '04 Roddick at Wimby is. ATG rarely clash in their primes anyways the last decade+. That's what made the 80's and early 90's the best era ever
    ---

    According to The Tennis Base; Top 10 Sns of all-X:

    1. Djokovic '15
    2. Gonzales '56
    3. Federer '06
    4. Laver '69
    5. Rosewall '63
    6. Laver '62
    7. Laver '67
    8. Djokovic '11
    9. McEnroe '84
    10. Federer '07
    ---

    Prize $$$ Leaders - Career Earning as of Nov. '15

    1. Swit. R. Federer $97,303,556 '15
    2. Serb. N. Djokovic $94,050,053 '15
    3. Spain R. Nadal $75,888,125 '15
    4. US P. Sampras $43,280,489 '03
    5. UK A. Murray $42,435,316 '15
    6. US A. Agassi $31,152,975 '06

    Per Single Sn.:

    1. Serb. Novak Djokovic $21,646,145 '15
    2. Spain R. Nadal $14,570,935 '13
    3. Serb. N. Djokovic $14,250,527 '14
    4. Serb. N. Djokovic $12,803,737 '12
    5. Serb. N. Djokovic $12,619,803 '11
    6. Serb. N. Djokovic $12,447,947 '13
    7. Spain R. Nadal $10,171,998 '10
    8. Swit. R. Federer $10,130,620 '07
    9. Swit. R. Federer $9,343,988 '14
    10. Swit. R. Federer $8,768,110 '09

    Today's $10 isn't the same as 1980's $10. ... Also, prize $$$ keeps on increasing and so newer stars will tend t/b at the top of these lists. That doesn't mean they're better players or had a better year than some of the older players. - The way prize $$$ has increased over the years, it's hard to get a good grasp of it all. Still, Nole's $21 M is so far out in front, it's nuts. Just more proof of his '15 sn. being maybe the best ever.***

    Just a few short yrs ago, Roger was heading all these lists! Now he's being pushed down; sorta like Martina N. by Graf!

    ReplyDelete
  37. ***The ITF may award the title of World Champion, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, are the most outstanding players in any 1-yr.***

    ...was created and run to rival the WTF; "The GS Cup!" IIRC, the 8th man didn't make it due to a FO winner, Guadio falling down to #9! Agassi was knocked out!

    ***Federer wasn't close to being in his prime in '11, but Nadal most certainly was and he had the finals to show for it. He beat more top 10 players in '11 than '10, was better against the field (69-9 v 69-10 the year before against players other than Djokovic) and had tougher draws en route to reaching the slam finals that he did, beating Federer, Murray thrice, Delpo, Roddick, Isner, Soderling, Fish, Nalby, and Ljubicic. Only once was he taken to 5 sets in any of those matches. He was better at Wimbledon pre-final, and was destroying the competition at the USO, breaking Roddick 8 X's, while also taking Murray to the cleaners (2nd str. fast court slam he did that). Rafa had a superb spring HC season, routined Federer and nearly won both IW & Miami, taking a zoning Djokovic to a final set TB in the latter tourney. Of course, in '10 he showed much better form on clay against the available competition. ...I'm interested to know how it's reasonable to think that Djokovic had to wait for Nadal to run out of steam to usurp him? Nadal might not have been as great in '11 as he was the year prior, but Hell, he wasn't THAT far off. Once Djokovic hit his stride it was clear that he was a better player than Peakdal could hope t/b on HC's or indoors, which comprises 60+% of the tour, and was at least a formidable enough foe on grass to warrant a comparison btw the 2. If you concede that Nole's simply better on HC's, indoors and possibly grass, it would make sense that, even given Nadals clay court dominance, that Djokovic at his best could overtake a peak Nadal in rankings.
    ---

    ...Djokovic is the so called origami-man who finds positional holes in opponent’s game, exploits them, and strikes the ball in those holes. ...It’s like in most cases no matter what Djoko’s rivals try to do against him on the court, he has the answer to most ??'s. ...Nole wasn’t balanced enough before taking on Becker. Basically he was just wasting his talent until Becker revealed him the blueprint and increased Nole’s tennis IQ to 1 of the highest levels in tennis history.
    ---

    BTW Nole & Roger in Finals:

    '07 Can. Masters 1000 HC - Djokovic
    USO GS HC - Federer
    '09 Cinci. Masters 1000 HC - Federer
    Swiss Indoors 500 HC (i) - Djokovic
    '10 Swiss Indoors 500 Hard (i) - Federer
    '11 Dubai Chps 500 HC - Djokovic
    '12 Cinci. Masters 1000 HC - Federer
    ATP World Tour Finals YEC HC (i) - Djokovic
    '14 IW Masters 1000 HC - Djokovic
    Wimbledon GS Grass - Djokovic
    ATP WTF YEC Hard (i) - Djokovic
    '15 Dubai Chps 500 HC - Federer
    IW Masters 1000 HC - Djokovic
    Italian 1000 Clay - Djokovic
    Wimbledon GS Grass - Djokovic
    Cinci. Masters 1000 HC - Federer
    USO GS HC - Djokovic
    ATP WTF YEC HC (i) - Djokovic

    Overall: 11 - 6 Djokovic
    Since '14: 9 -2 Djokovic
    ---

    Djokovic defeated Federer in the USO final, clinching his 10th GS and becoming the 8th man to win double digit titles. It was his 3rd major of the year and pulled him ever closer to the mark set by Federer – 17. He's showing no signs of slowing down, in fact, he's playing the best tennis of his career – maybe of all-X.
    ---

    Djokovic’s peak, which happened following his SF win at the '15 FO's the highest of all-X – just ahead of Federer’s and Borg’s. His current level of play is unmatched, & if he sustains it, will be the most impressive display of men’s tennis EVER.

    Federer played (and dominated) some great players in his prime, i.e. Andre Agassi, a young Nole. Arguably, Novak has had it much more difficult.; can see that Nole has had to compete w/ Nadal & Murray in their primes, as well as a resurgent Federer.

    There was truly a “Big 4” and Novak has come out on top.***

    ReplyDelete
  38. ***Nole-can he become > than Fed on 3 surfaces? Djokovic's 2 slams behind & 1 WTF behind, but 1 MASTERS ahead. The Masters, being 1/2 the worth of slams, make up for 1 slam. So Djovak merely has to win 1 more HC slam and 1 more WTF. If he gets to the 2nd wk of 2 more HC slams they will add up to 1 HC slam so he's done. Same with WTF.

    Clay: Obviously Djokvak has all the Masters titles X X's except Madrid. Fed not even close. B/c of that, the lack of FO is easily glossed over. Novak will have to win the FO, which he can. Now the tricky part: Grass-There are no Masters on this surface, therefore the importance of this surface s/b 1/2'd. Roger has 3.5 W (rd down to 3) & Nole has 1.5 (rd ^ to 2). ...Therefore Novak's true # of Wimbs is 47/17 * 2 = 5.53 Wimbs (rd ^ to 6). We have already est. that the true value of Fed's Wimbs is 3; so by some measures that Nole's already ahead.
    ---

    Roger won 15 thru Novak's age & 2 after, but he had to contend w/ Rafa, Novak, & Andy. Who does Novak have to contend w/ going forward? Who are the best players of the next gen? According to my 5-yr gen system, the top 5 players of each of the last few gens are:

    '79-83: Federer, Hewitt, Roddick, Safin, Ferrero
    '84-88: Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka, Del Potro (maybe Berdych/Tsonga)
    '89-93: Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, Thiem, Sock
    '94-98: Kyrgios, Coric, Zverev, Chung, Kokkinakis

    So compare the gen of players younger than Roger's to the gen younger than Novak. It isn't even close. At best, the players of the '89-93 group are about as good as the 4th to 8th best players of the '84-88 gen....and they're not even at that point yet. The field is wide open right now and looks t/b for at least another year or 2.

    But that's just it: Novak may not age like Roger. Novak won't get better than he's now, and will probably start sliding a bit over the next 2 yrs, w/ steeper decline someX after. So his window's really '16-18 for tallying up the Slams. After that, all bets are off. In '19, he'll be 31-32 and we just don't know what the scene w/b like - maybe (hopefully) we'll have seen the emergence of the next group of stars.***

    All we can do is let the future unfold to become the new history when it comes to the play and results of upcoming stars! We're always hopeful, but I'm still waiting for the new crop to even stay "on court" more than a 2 months! We all know about the grind of travel, comp, etc., but these players are "doing it to themselves!" The sport tried to protect children from coming "on board" a lit'l early; Austin, Jaeger, Basset, and so many others who "broke down!" But greedy "fame HO's" can't be made to see reason and petition to get their brats on the circuit ASAP; "those endorsement deals won't happen practicing and waiting our turn!"

    It's not that the players are brittle or injury prone as much as them pushing the limits when the tour tried to slow things down w/ the weight of balls, racket restrictions, & courts homogenized! Reminds me of players like Arias & Krickstein who's whole game revolved around their forehands; why be surprised they wound up w/ arm problems? If you don't have a balanced attack "you" lose 1 way or the other; either deficient play or body betrayal! I have lit'l sympathy for any of them since $$'s so out of whack! There isn't a need for "money grabs" like the IPTL in the off season! Nole made over $20 M and told them "forget it!" Fed will shorten his sched. since match vs Nole impossible! If the rest of the tour plays, more power to them, but for Roger, Serena, and several other "old X'rs" to whine about being tired or hurt, I'm going to laugh in their faces!

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  39. ***Tennis Greatness Index (12/10/15, / Wiki, the month Djokovic surpassed Borg)

    1. Federer 464 (out of 500 pts)
    2. Sampras 392
    3. Nadal 360
    4. Lendl 355
    5. Connors 349
    6. Djokovic 313
    7. Borg 310
    ---

    GS titles (The pts are doubled for GS category. Players winning CGS get 1 bonus GS count.):

    1. Federer 17+1=18 (200 pts)
    2. Nadal 14+1=15 (167)
    2. Sampras 14 (156)
    4. Borg 11 (122)
    5. Agassi 8+1=9 (100)
    __________

    Wks @ #1:

    1. Federer 302 (100 pts)
    2. Sampras 286 (95)
    3. Lendl 270 (89)
    4. Connors 268 (89)
    5. McEnroe 170 (56)
    6. Nadal/Djokovic 141 (47)
    8. Borg 109 (36)
    __________

    Winning % against Top 10 ops:

    1. Borg 70.00% (100 pts)
    2. Nadal 67.54% (96)
    3. Federer 65.49% (94)
    4. Becker 65.05% (93)
    5. Lendl 64.32% (92)
    6. Djokovic 63.98% (91)
    7. Sampras 63.59% (91)
    8. McEnroe 57.24% (82)
    ---

    Was 2015 the greatest year ever in men’s tennis? McEnroe had an incredible year in '84, losing only 3 X's and winning 96% of his matches. But he avoided clay, his weakest surface, playing only 2 matches on the dirt and losing the FO, devastatingly, after going up 2 sets against his arch-rival, Lendl. Connors went 99-4 in '74, but was barred from playing the FO b/c of his involvement w/ WTT. Federer reached all 4 GS finals in '06, won 12 titles overall, and lost only 5 matches. Four of those losses were on clay to Nadal (the other was in Cinci. to 18 yo Murray). A remarkable season, and most observers consider it the 2nd-greatest in the modern history of the men’s game—2nd only to Laver’s accomplishing the GS in '69; something that no other Open-era men’s player has done.

    But neither Federer 9 yrs ago nor Laver at the beginning of the Open era faced the competition or had to play the kind of grueling tennis Djokovic did to accomplish what he did this year. Of the Top 10 players in '06 that Federer faced, only 2 had GS wins: Nadal, who dominated him, and Roddick who had won 1 Slam. Others who finished in the Top 10 that year included Ljubičić, González, & Ančić. The Golden Age had yet to arrive. And while Fed had some year, he accumulated only about half the A.T.P. point total Djokovic just amassed. To say that Laver also had an easier X of it in '69 is, of course, to get more speculative. True, Laver played doubles as well as singles back then, and, b/c the TB to settle a set tied at 6–6 was not yet part of most tournaments, he occ. found himself grinding out sets 12–10 or 22–20. But men’s tennis then was serve and volley, w/ points usually over in 3 or 4 shots; if that. The game was not as physical and fast—as athletic—as today’s game. And the draws were not talent-deep: tennis was dominated by the Australians and the Americans and was not yet a truly global sport. This year, against much tougher competition, Djokovic—the son of a Serbian pizza-parlor owner—went 30–5 against Top 10 players, including 6–1 against the world #2 (Murray), and ended the season in London at the A.T.P. WTF's by beating Nadal in the semis and Fed in the finals; each in straight sets—something no player had ever done.***

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  40. It's Nole's confidence in not overplaying to beat Rafa! Even when he hit winners, it wasn't anything that looked like he "took chances!" They were measured, controlled points that made Rafa look like he was "totally at sea!" He was as helpless as a rookie in the WTF match I just re-watched! It was great!

    ***Well said. 2010-14 battles were more like clashes of Titans. But '15 was indeed a pure dominance. - Nobody can walk through slams like Fed & Murray. They are just too good for the rest of the tour.***

    This never happened "back in the day!" Even Connors, Borg, & McEnroe couldn't avoid upsets someX! I've been saying this current crop are gutless for 10 yrs; unable to finish, even w/ MP's in hand! Disgusting! It's not like I want upsets, but for the same players to win all the majors and Masters, what else can you say about the "also-rans, qualifiers, wildcards, & never-weres?" Only Rafa has been vulnerable and Murray to some extent of late get all kind empathy sighting injuries, surgery, etc! They're still way ahead of the rest and I just can't believe this persists year after year!

    ***Youngsters have been ruined looking at "Big 4" and what needs t/b done in order to win slam. When "Big 4" start to slow down, youngsters will start to bite.***

    I said that too a few yrs ago; esp. after Roger won his last Wimbledon in '12! Now 3-4 yrs older and he's still allowed to make final after final! ...Rafa's been allowed to leave the tour for extended periods and come back as if nothing's changed! That was something else that didn't happen much in the past; but now all too common to see! Today's stars all have the strokes and athletic ability, but they're twisted in the head and don't take advantage of "time" passing on the "Big 4!"

    ***...The way Nole is playing now, he's on pace to break all kinds of records. But whether or not he can maintain the form for the X he would need to do that is unlikely; injuries, age, other players making adjustments etc. These things come into play no matter what any dominant player does to avoid them.***

    When Nole has serving problems, he just begins to spin them in and back it up w/ an aggressive groundie! At the WTF a few wks ago, he missed all his 1st serves w/ new balls; still won routinely running Nadal back and forth, drop-shotting him, then lobbing over his bead for winners!

    ***...Novak had a lone win til Fed officially declined and he was thrashed like a 'step child' repeatedly by both Fed & Rafa.***

    ...I was a big fan of Roger's; found little fault w/ his whole act! The longer he hangs on though; disappoints me on par w/ Michelle Kwan in "figure skating!" After '01, she was pretty much done, but hanging on for another 4 yrs, she stunted the development of the next tier of stars! She skated well enough to hold on marginally, but didn't do much else beside take "Nat'ls;" a lot of the X more charity than her actually winning it! The same can be said about Roger now, playing well enough t/b more of an annoyance than actually threatening to do something substantive! I'm sorry, but his last real run was 3 yrs ago! He's always had trouble w/ Rafa and Murray having his # at the beginning of his career; 8-3 before a total reversal of late! That told me it was more the mental side of the game weighing on Murray and he's being stunted like the rest of these gutless wonders by Roger and Nole now! It's not like I'm looking for upsets, but it's getting frustrating seeing "The Big 4" owning the tour; even w/ extended absences from the game due to injury or "under the table" suspensions b/c of PED usage! ...Will Kei, Milos, Dimitrov, and all the rest step up this next season and finally put that final nail in Fed's coffin?

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  41. ***Novak w/b celebrated when he hangs up his racket. ...Glory-hunting tennis fans don't want him to win b/c they were fed the Federer/Nadal love affair for so long and believed it. It's Federer fans who are quite pompous and ignorant at the same X, and who can't stand to see this guy dominating the game. They fear Novak, not hate him. The media will also play sides and the whole ball boy situation was over the top and they started the same thing at Wimbledon to throw Djokovic off his stride. It didn't work. Sampras was regarded as boring and Agassi the cool guy w/ a great personality. Now that they are retired, Agassi's on the back burner and Sampras is celebrated more since he was indeed a better champion. Sampras' regarded as a King now even though he wasn't then. The same thing will happen w/ Novak. The next gen. will want to know who this guy is b/c he did something that was almost impossible and did it pretty damn well. - Connors > than Borg, Sampras, Nadal & Djokovic?***

    I can only guess some people never saw these players at the height of their powers! Clips will never do justice to the skill and confidence of Laver, Borg, and Sampras and how they ruled their eras! Some comedy personalities joke about kids don't think history is important if it happened before they were born! So sad!

    ***Yes basically. I've never seen Laver play, but have seen re-runs of Borg, who was amazing. I've seen Sampras win at least 1/2 of his Slams. Just deadly. I wish I had seen Laver, but even w/o seeing him, I know he's the last guy to win a CYGS. Some people don't really know these players or what they contributed and only talk nonsense. - In terms of greatness, Borg is a peer of Sampras & Nadal. Djokovic's not there yet, though he's getting closer.***

    2016 will change all of that! I watch his play from this past fall and just can't believe how in control he was when competing against Nole, Roger, & Andy! It was almost embarrassing him jerking them around the court, running down all their best shots, then putting them on the defensive from the baseline and net! The serve has definitely improved, but even when he falters w/ it, the groundies are deadly; Rafa standing there pretty much helpless and not knowing where to go! ;-)

    ***If Djokovic has another '15, he will be neck and neck w/ the 3 I mentioned in my own rankings. But change can happen quickly. His serve this year has been a major weapon. It will be the key shot for him as he ages. - He didn't slow down in the fall of '15, that's for sure. If anything, he tightened his grip. The serve has improved, but what I noticed is that he won the USO Final w/ no serve. He wasn't hitting or placing it well and IDK if that was nerves/crowd, but he still won in 4 sets. - Djokovic is primed to pass Borg w/ 1 more Slam. I know the Legend of Borg is huge, but as far as accomplishments, he's already > than Borg in every category except Slams.***

    It's not like I'm this huge fan of his game, but Nole doesn't offend me the way other baseliners can; esp. Rafa w/ his whole act of "entitlement!" Murray, Rafa, Ferrer, and Berdych are players that s/b doing more to win rather than hoping their opponent has a heart attack and drops! They're boring and won't win much against Nole playing as they do! ;-)

    ***I just always liked the way Nole struck the ball on both sides. I was a fan of his ball striking and shot making. I remember when it was around '09 and he was taking sets from Rafa on clay and I said then, "this guy is no 1 Slam wonder." I think Murray is good but is too defensive, Berdych has talent but implodes, and Ferrer is not equipped to handle the top guys. Rafa is a clay monster, but can be exposed on other surfaces, esp. when he's content on long rallies.***

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  42. ***I see Novak as largely an upgraded Lendl.***

    True enough, but he's surpassed Ivan in so many ways; the least of it being he owns 3 Wimbledons to Lendl's 0! Ivan does have his 3 FO's, but I think he'd trade them all in for 1 Wimbledon; his obsession knowing he had to work extra hard to achieve that goal! It's easier for Nole now w/ the tech, fitness programs, and of course "homogenized courts," history won't care! Djovovic so far ahead, it's all gravy now; sorta like Roger's Wimbledon in '12! I think Nole will add a lot more to his record in his "waning" years b/c the rest of the tour is so gutless and weak in comparison! They have the ability, but something inside isn't translating to more wins over the top echelon! We can only hope the "new bloods" step up this coming year and make it hard for Rafa & Roger to hold their positions at the top of the rankings!

    ***Mmm, let's not go overboard mate. - How's it all gravy for Stretch from here on out?***

    Dispute what; my chiding of the current situation on the tour or the fact Nole's already ahead of Ivan? Who predicted Nole would even make double digits in majors w/ the love-fest of Fedal was rampant? The main stream media glorified their rivalry; which wasn't a rivalry really since Rafa had pretty much owned Roger, "lock, stock, & barrel!" The last several yrs it's been real ugly w/ Roger maybe snagging 1 match! Nole had not only gotten to 10 w/ ease, he's about to OWN records outside of majors like his dominance in the Masters! What record won't be his by next season?

    ***...Djokovic quite easily grabbed AO-'08 trophy by taking out peak Fed & peak Stronga, but then he saw Rafa started peaking and becoming all-surfaces beast, so foxy Djoker decided that until peak Nadal was schooling the tour in 2008-'10 seasons, it w/b rational to take it easy in terms of his tennis efforts in order to save his mileage and mental resources. He's 27 and we're about the enter the Djokovic era, so much X left, you can't even imagine how much X it actually is. Michael Jordan won his 1st chp at the age of 28.
    ---

    I think Djokovic had it tough for most of his career. His '11 is what sets him apart from the other players mentioned; even Borg. That year he absolutely destroyed an ATG in his prime, w/ Fed still playing at a very high level; Murray being very tough. I remember watching those wins against Rafa, and the guy was crushed, he was playing his best and was consistantly losing. Their matches during that 2 to 3 yr stint I think were the highest level I have seen. Rafa & Fed wasnt really a rivalry as everyone knew Rafa wins more often than not; esp. Fed.***

    ...To this day, Nadal still hasn't won a WTF, a couple Masters events, & worst of all "has never defended a title off the dirt!" Even Borg w/ all those aggressive S & V play won 5 straight Wimbledons, owns a couple Masters YE Chps, & defended a # of titles indoors, on HC, & grass! Rafa can't say that and it doesn't look like it'll change before all is said and done!

    ***The ITF announced today that Novak Djokovic of Serbia is the '15 ITF World Champions. ...Hingis & Mirza become Women’s Doubles WC; Hingis is an ITF WC 15 yrs after last being named WC in singles in 2000. Djokovic won a career-best 11 titles in '15, ending at #1 in the YE rankings for the 4th X. He won 3 major titles at the AO, Wimbledon & USO, and was runner-up at RG. He was in commanding form on all surfaces, boasting a career-best 82-6 win-loss record during the year. Djokovic said: “It is an honor to be named ITF World Champion for the 5th X. My season was the best of my career w/ many highlights. It inspires me even more to keep on going, and I hope to continue to play at this level in '16.***

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  43. ***Can Fed, Nadal, Murray, or anyone else pose a real threat to Djokovic's #1 dominance? He has dominated the tour over the last 5 yrs, winning more Slams, Finals & Masters than anyone. In '15 he scarily increased his dom. to win 10 Tour 1 titles, 6 M-1000, WTF & 3 GS's; no other has ever accomplished this.

    -Best seasons since 2000 rankings standardization (% pts of total 4GS+WTF+9 M-1000 possible 100% pts):

    1 Djokovic 90.7% 2015 >>> NOLE's best season - 1st place overall...

    -Best seasons in Open Era, according to broad top ATP & ITF titles (only 9 M-1000, 1 WTF, 4 GS):

    10 Titles - Djokovic-'15
    8 Titles - Fed-'06, Djoker-'11
    7 Titles - Nadal-'13
    6 Titles - Djokovic-'14, 2xFederer-'07-'005, Sampras-'94, 2xLendl-'87-'86, McEnroe-'84, Borg-'79, 2xConnors-'76-'74.
    ---

    I guess 30-35 are the new young ages in the men's game? Haven't seen a collection of crappy 20-somethings like this ever?***

    This era makes me reminisce about the 70's! Connors & Borg were the 'young guns,' but the rest of the tour had senior citizens in comparison; Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe, Nastase, Ashe, and so many others around 30+! After the youth movement of the 90's, we didn't think it would happen again, but here we are; "30-somethings" hoarding the rankings!

    ***Perfect analysis, 80's w/ Becker, Wilander, Edberg & then Chang, Agassi, Sampras. The 80's dropped the avg. age of top 10s to something around ~27. If we compare '75-'85-'95-'05-'15, we would get a U skewed like graph. I think 7/10 were under 25 in '95 & only Agassi was above 30s in '05. W/ Hewitt, then Nadal, & subsequently Djokovic and Murray (both around 19-21 when they broke into Top 4); really thought the 'young guns' had it all. Even Federer was like 20-21 when he entered Top 10. Now, '15 finishes w/ Top 10 being on average ~30 yo... incredible how X's & trends change.***

    ...and repeat! ;-)

    ***Djoker has not dominated the tour for the "last 5 yrs." He dominated '11 & '15. He didn't dominate '12, '13 or '14. Sustained dominance was Fed from '04-'09. Who's most likely to challenge Djoker in '16? The default answer is Murray, but I don't hold out a lot of hope for him. Lots of people are thinking his DC win will suddenly transform him like it did Nole, but Djoker is by far the superior player; mentally and tactically. I see Novak declining in '16 and winning 1 slam, possibly 2.***

    Wishful thinking, but I think Nole will take that kind of decline; retaining his #1 ranking!

    ***It's quite possible Roger & Nole will never play in a slam again. ...I think '15 will be Roger's swan song in majors.***

    My thoughts exactly! ...Stefan won't be around for support and the only direction Roger can possible go is down! Nole will maintain and take at least 2 majors and retain his #1 ranking and status! The ADS will continue to feature the 'old guard' in Roger and Rafa, but the record books will tell a whole different story IMO!

    ***The advantage Djokovic has in this position comparing to what Federer and Nadal had in the past is that all of his main rivals are older. Rafa's 1 year older, Fed's 6, Stan's 2; Murray's 1 week older (...not a big diff.). ...Nole a Slam champion back in '10, a WTF winner, a X Masters' winner and a #2 already. None of the youngsters of today have achieved any of this. ...Less dom. than in '15, but still strong. Rafa c/b his biggest threat, but he's not going to transform back to '13 version. ...Whoever says w/ confidence that Federer, Nadal, Murray or Stan will dethrone Novak for whatever reason, then their claims that he'll decline b/c he's approaching 29, "the holy year of declining" makes no sense. All other mentioned players are already there.***

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  44. ***If you asked any European, they would always say the FO's more prestigious than the USO. If you asked any American they say the USO. ...almost never watch any of the FO (then again I'm biased as I live in US). USO is mentally tougher, but the FO's more physically demanding.***

    The days of me waking up at 8 am to start watching the FO has been over for years! Nadal did the tourney no favors since I've never cared for the way he plays the game; or his act on court w/ stalling, toweling off, challenging every call, blah, blah, blah! I'm looking forward to Nole completing his CGS, but it's doubtful I'll get up early to see it; more like the replay later "if he wins!" Even though Borg was my fave player, I still wouldn't watch those boring long 5 setters he had w/ Vilas and Orantes back in the mid '70's; went out to play myself! The women's matches were on tape delay when Martina was competing so I didn't bother w/ the losses to Chris in '85 & '86; too painful! '84 I can watch over and over; Martina murdered Chris in "strt's!" If I were guaranteed a pummeling of Nadal like what was done to him in the 1/4's this past tourney, I'd consider setting my alarm!

    ***I thought Nadal played a role in making people care about the FO again. Overall FO has lost it's appeal, cause of lack of infrastructure and lack of challenge system. ...I still think Graf has the #'s.***

    People neglect to think of how dominant Navratilova was in doubles which gives her 59 majors in the OPEN era; no one else can say that! She's the female Federer w/ tons of records that will NEVER be broken! No matter how many Serena adds, she'll never come close to 59 so forget her, Graf, and anyone who comes along later IMO!

    ***Another good point I must concede. Nobody thinks about doubles achievements, but many of the recent tennis champions don't have many doubles achievements compared to the champs of previous eras. Laver, Mac, etc. were awesome in doubles too, so surely that gives them a leg up over modern champs.***

    Nole truly has taken tennis to another level, just like Lendl 30 yrs ago!

    ***Exactly! Lendl revolutionised the game back in the 80s w/ his power baseline game. He absorbed the early beatdowns from Mac & Connors, before turning the tables on both of them and carving out his own legacy. In the same way Djoker spent 4 yrs at #3 in Fedal's shadow, before doing the same thing. It's this resilience and fortitude that makes them both so admired.
    ---

    Arguing for Novak '15:
    Unprecedented 6 ATP masters 1000 titles in a season.
    Unprecedented, perfect 13 finals at GS, WTF & ATP 1000 level.
    Unprecedented 15 cons. finals in a season.
    Unprecedented 31 wins vs Top 10 players.
    2 ATP 1000 titles beat 3 ATP 250 titles.
    More YE ATP points (converted to today's pt. system).
    Won titles on all surfaces (clay, grass, indoor & outdoor HC. Fed missed a clay title. Madrid 'was' indoor HC.)

    Arguing for Federer '06:
    More total # of titles (12 to 11). BTW, Laver '69 had 18, Vilas '77 had 16.
    Better W-L ratio (92-5 to 82-6). BTW, McEnroe '84 had 82-3, Connors '74 had 93-4.
    ---

    Highest Season Winning % (90%+)
    1. John McEnroe ('84) .965 82–3
    2. Jimmy Connors ('74) .959 93–4
    3. Roger Federer ('05) .953 81–4
    4. Roger Federer ('06) .948 92–5
    5. Björn Borg ('79) .933 84–6
    6. Novak Djokovic ('15) .932 82-6
    7. Roger Federer ('04) .925 74–6
    = Ivan Lendl ('86) .925 74–6
    9. Ivan Lendl ('85) .923 84–7
    10. Ivan Lendl ('982) .922 106–9
    11. Björn Borg ('80) .921 70–6
    = Novak Djokovic ('11) .921 70-6
    13. Ivan Lendl ('89) .919 79-7
    = Jimmy Connors ('75) .919 79-7
    15. Jimmy Connors ('76) .918 90-8
    16. Jimmy Connors ('78) .917 66-6
    17. Björn Borg ('77) .916 76-7
    18. Rafael Nadal ('13) .915 75-7
    19. Ivan Lendl ('87) .914 74-7***

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  45. ***To me the biggest surprise is in both the nominal & adjusted values how > the gap's btw top 3 (Federer, Djokovic & Nadal) & Sampras. ...Just goes to show how much of an > in prize $$$ there's been over past 10 yrs, esp. in M1000's & tourneys outside of the Slams.

    Also highlights the absolute dominance shown by Fed, Nadal & Djokovic over the rest or the tour in the big $$$ tourneys. No doubt in my mind that Nole will finish ahead of Federer on both lists by close of their resp. careers!***

    It's even more ridiculous than that for the ladies! Nole won $22 M alone last season; that's Martina's 30 yr career w/ record 167 wins in singles, 177 in doubles; 59 majors, won "grand snap" bonuses, etc.! That's obscene in so many ways, but again, it's all in the timing! If Martina were playing now, she might be doing $20 M a yr!

    ***Which do you prefer?

    3 Slams: AO, Wimby & USO, just like '15
    2 Slams including FO
    1 Slam only: FO + Cincy***

    Any combo's cool w/ me! Having to defend so many pts has to weigh on a player; the obligations and being pulled in every other direction b/c of his #1 ranking! Sooner or later "the real hype" will start when he approaches Nadal's # in majors! So far, the so called experts think of Nole as a glorified 3rd banana behind Fedal! That's ok b/c the next 2 yrs can change it all; the record books, the way we think of ATG's, and who can still be regarded as "The GOAT" w/ the pages written under his name!

    *** - http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/01/federer-surprised-djokovic-smoked-nadal-doha-final/57200/#.VpSzenSFPIV -

    Roger noted Nole's dominance on HC's & called him the fave going into the AO. "These results happen like we've seen @ the [ATP] WTF's when we've seen blowouts btw the top guys as well," Fed says. "That's b/c these kind of courts someX's allows that to happen— whoever takes the upper hand from the baseline then destroys the other guy...
    ---

    The predictions of Novak dominating for another 3-5 yrs, likely to win 3/4 slams this yr, Golden CYGS, surpassing Roger in wks at #1, > GS's, some of these are big... Not just Djokovic fans actually, others as well. ...Won't change the fact that Novak fans are probably going to take the majority of the brunt of what's going to come when Novak starts losing, esp. in slams. People were predicting Nadal to challenge for the #1 spot a wk ago and how he's the only 1 who can beat Djokovic, and now that's suddenly quieted down. From what I see recently young players are already hitting harder than the current gen. and soon w/b quicker as well, so IMO 1 good day from Kei, Raonic or Dimitrov & Novak is out.***

    OIK it c/b bad, but I've tried to be more realistic and have meager expectations since I've been involved in tennis since '73! There are few sure things, but Nole's excellence comes close! I'll be perfectly happy w/ 2 majors; 1 FO & a USO to balance out the count! Anything above that is gravy! In poker vernacular, I used my "one X" to get Nole to 6 Masters last season so he w/b above everyone in that category at least! He may not get to 17 majors, but he certainly can set the Masters records for decades to come!

    ***Chasing the records adds spice to sport. The fact we have 3 ATG, and even now nobody truly knows for certain how the landscape will look once the dust has settled and they have all walked off into the sunset, certainly puts an X factor on every slam that is being played. ...Nole's already done more than I had ever imagined, so tbh, anything he does from now on is just a bonus. His legacy is set.***

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  46. ***It's 5 yrs since the gluten cover-up, yet we hear the excuse of baby Novak for all the losses he had btw '08-'10.***

    We demand perfection from our ATG's so excuses abound; heaven knows Rafa had enough of them! One moment he's running like a deer, but hit a few winners and he's flexing his legs!

    ***In '13 Nadal won the most titles, was in the most finals, had the most pts and won the most $$$. For the ITF to come along and say, "no, we say someone else is #1" is pretty damned arrogant.***

    Used to happen in the early Open era all the X! Back in '77, Vilas won 2 majors, was a finalist in another, won over 130 matches, & beat Connors @ USO; still odd man out behind Borg & Connors!

    ***Was there watching matches during that X, so I remember it very well. But I think it's much more clear-cut now. 1 player might edge out another w/ pts and yet have a slightly worse record at slams, i.e. At the beginning of the Open era, there was so much confusion; competing tours & slams skipped. $$ was so different w/ WTC tourneys paying way more than slams. The way pts are set up, it's almost impossible for slam winners to get edged out for #1 by non-winners. Even someone like Stan is an anomaly b/c he only got to #4 w/ a slam win, coming in behind Fed & Murray who won none. His yr was otherwise so weak.
    ===

    Djokovic won WTF again, beating his 2 biggest rivals along the way. 9th X this yr the great Fedal were 2nd best to 1 man, 45th X overall. Milestones:

    1st man to win 5 AO titles
    3rd man w/ Laver & Federer to reach all 4 Slam finals in 1 yr
    2nd man w/ Fed to have X 3 Slam seasons
    1st man since Fed in '07 to defend the Wimbledon title
    1st man to defeat Fed twice @ Wimbledon
    1st man to defeat Fed 3 X's @ the USO
    2nd man w/ Soderling to defeat Nadal @ the FO
    1st man to defeat Nadal in str. sets in BO5 match on clay
    1st man to defeat both Federer and Nadal @ all 4 GS's
    1st man to hold a neutral/+ H2H vs Federer @ all 4 GS
    1st man to knock out all other defending Slam champions in a CY
    6th man w/ double digit GS titles
    1st man to win 6 Masters in 1 year
    1st man to win 6 Masters at least 3 X's (IW, Miami, Rome, Montreal, Shanghai, Bercy)
    1st man to win 4 Masters at least 4 X's (IW, Miami, Rome, Bercy)
    1st man to win an IW-Miami double 3 X's
    1st man to win an AO-IW-Miami triple 2 X's
    1st man to win 1st 3 Masters of the yr (IW-Miami-MC)
    Joint-most decorated player @ IW w/ 4 titles
    Most dec. player at Shanghai Masters w/ 3 titles
    Most dec. player at Bercy w/ 4 titles
    1st man to win 3 cons. Bercy titles
    1st man to participate in 8 Masters finals in a yr
    1st man to win 5 Masters in 1 yr twice
    1st man to win 5 cons. Masters in which he participated (done twice)
    Biggest # of Masters wins in a season – 39
    Biggest # of HC Masters titles – 19
    2nd longest Masters winning streak (30, only bettered by his other streak – 31)
    Biggest amount of pts (16.785)
    Biggest lead over #2 (8.535)
    1st #1 not to drop any ATP pts for entire 12 mos, from Shang.'14 semis to '15 WTF RR
    1st man to beat Nadal @ every big clay tourney
    1st man to beat Fed 5 X's in 1 season
    1st man to beat Nadal, Fed & Murray @ least 20 X's each
    Biggest # of wins vs the rest of the Big 4 in 1 year - 15
    1st man since Fed in '07 to hold #1 ranking for an entire CY
    Longest run of final tourn. ap. in 1 season – 15 finals in a row
    Joint 4th w/ Lendl & McEnroe w/ 4 YE #1 rankings
    5th all-X player on the list of # of wks spent at #1, entering 174th wk
    Record # of top 10 wins in a season - 31
    1st man to have at least 20 wins over top 10 players in 4 seasons
    1st man to beat all top 10 players in a CY
    Longest winning run at WTF's – 15 in a row
    1st man to win 4 WTF titles in a row
    Highest amount of prize $$ in 1 season ($21,592,125)

    After so many painful yrs before '11, disappointments in '12-'14, Novak has responded in the best way; having the best season since Laver '69.***

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  47. ***W/ Djokovic's USO title last year, he became the 3rd player of this gen. to reach at least 10 GS victories, joining Federer (17) & Nadal (14). To put that in perspective, just 2 other men have won double-digit Slams, all of which have come since the start of the Open era (since '68): Borg (11) & Pete Sampras (14). And they didn't overlap.

    Borg started winning majors in '74 and was done by '81. Sampras won his 1st in '90 & culminated his career at the '02 USO w/ his 14th major trophy. It s/b noted that Laver won 11 majors, but 6 came before the Open era. Federer's 17 Slam wins are the most of all X. Nadal has won 2/3 of his H-to-H encounters w/ Federer (23-11). And now Djokovic, though w/ 7 < Slams than Federer, has dominated both his rivals, winning 9 of his past 10 matches vs Nadal and beating Federer in 2 major finals last season.

    Last season, Djokovic won 3 GS titles. Amazingly, it was the 2nd X in his career he has pulled off this feat ('11). So dominant was Djokovic that he nearly doubled #2 Murray in rankings pts. The Serb reached the final of the last 15 events he played in '15 and accum. an 82-6 record along the way. Perhaps more impressive, he went 31-5 versus top-10 players. His > victim was Federer, who lost in the finals of Wimbledon and the USO to Djokovic.

    For the 1st X in a decade, Nadal failed to advance to a major final. He has 14 GS titles, but there are ??s as to whether the Spaniard will add to his total. If he does, it'll most likely come at the FO, an event he has won 9 X's. No player in history has won more Slam titles at a single event than Nadal at RG.

    In the decade that started in '06, Nadal, Djokovic & Federer have combined to win 34 of 40 GS titles. This Big 3 has accounted for 58 of the 80 GS final berths since '06. Hard to believe, but in 10 years of tennis dominated by the Big 3, only del Potro, Murray, Wawrinka & Cilic have been able to overcome their dominance and win a major event. And in only 1 major since '06 has there been a final consisting of 2 players not named Nadal, Djokovic or Federer -- that was in '14 when Cilic beat Kei Nishikori at the USO.

    The Serb should enjoy the pinnacle of his career for at least another 2 years, but keep in mind, he turns 32 in 3 years, and only 3 players have won a Slam title in the Open era after that age. As for Fed, although he failed to win a major title, he did secure his spot as Nole's main rival, falling to the world #1 in the Wimbledon & USO finals. Fed handed Djokovic 3 of his 6 losses in '15. The ?? is: Can he finally take the next step and win a major, something he hasn't done since '12? He's 34 yo; no men's player has won a major @ that age since Andres Gimeno in the '72 FO. No matter what happens, the Big 3 has created an unmovable stranglehold in the game for a decade. The greatest era ever? Hard to argue against it.
    ---

    ...Why isn't a 34 yo dominating the ATP then? Seriously WTA's a joke. Old woman won 3 slams and so far ahead of any in prime player. As far as I'm concerned, 34 yo won 3 slams in WTA, 34 yo won 0 slams in ATP. lol. in the past 5 yrs, 30+ non-GOAT woman won 8 slams compared to 30+ ATP GOAT won 1.***

    Like Agassi, Serena didn't get serious w/ her training until later in her career! Believe it or not, I say she underachieved & the injuries were from just trying to play top flight tennis w/o really training! How many X's did she arrive at the AO overweight and "played herself" into the tournament as they would say? She really did miss out on a lot of tennis and probably could have set the record to heights unimaginable! Like Agassi, she blew it in a way! Both could and shd so much more IMO!

    ReplyDelete
  48. ***...You have to believe in yourself. And if your current game isn't good enough, take a step back and work on it. Tomic gushing about Djokovic as if he walks on water isn't the way to be thinking.***

    Happens on the men's and women's tours; an aura around some #1 players that some say gives them "2 or 3 games" before they come on court! It was like that w/ Martina, Evert, Graf, Seles, Venus, and Serena now! W/ the men, players like Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Sampras, and even Federer walked in as if they owned the place! You have to have that mentality to sustain any kinds of consistency! I can't blame Tomic for what he said; just being honest! Don't you think everyone's thinking the exact same thing after Qatar? That was a "butt hurting" for the ages! Rafa was playing well enough; Nole just tracked down all his best stuff and spit it back at him! Very impressive; a lot better than his effort in '15!

    Heaven knows we just saw how merciless Nole is when he plays his old rival Rafa! I swear it appears he wants to inflict as much punishment on Nadal to pay him back for all his gamesmanship and stalling! InSp replayed Qatar match here in the States and I haven't been this amused by a total "beat down" in quite a while! Some deserve it and Nadal certainly deserves to be jerked around the court and actually toyed w/ @ X's btw pts of being overpowered! ;-)

    ***...Who else could beat Djokovic? Nadal's scraping through matches, Fed's old AND has a mental block vs the guy, Murray isn't near '12 level yet. Wawrinka maybe, but what are the odds of him playing like he did in the FO '15 final? This is if he even makes it to Djokovic.***

    The problem's and the main reason we haven't had a CYGS winner since Laver in '69 is b/c a tennis season's long & grueling; 365 days, 4 major events on 4 dif. surfaces! Obviously there aren't many players who have the consistency and ability to perform well enough to complete this task, but you also have to take into consideration the comp.; someone like Stan c/b "in the zone" and take him out unexpectedly! I was disappointed about RG, but I think it worked out well for Nole! W/ all the other winning in Masters' events, the press whb like rabid dogs talking about Nole & making suppositions that make no sense about a CYGS! W/ that FO loss, it was just the normal adoration of a CY in '15; even better than '11 w/ 6 Masters, 3 majors, & the YEC! That isn't including taking the 1st 3 Masters (a rec.), playing in all 8 finals skipping Madrid, defending 4 from '14, & had 30 str. wins going back to '14 (2nd behind Nole's 31; a rec.)! I just can't imagine any of the players being able to come close to these #'s!

    ***..the fact that no one else is winning slams besides the same guys every year. That's why weak era/strong era's always a circular argument.
    ---

    True. But the fact is that every expert on the topic agrees that we're witnessing 1 of the top tennis eras ever.

    - http://espn.go.com/tennis/aus16/sto...ander-novak-djokovic-win-all-four-majors-2016 -

    "The thing you have to apprec. about Djokovic is that he's doing it in 1 of the best eras in men's tennis," Wilander said. "It's harder today. When Roger did it, Djokovic & Murray were not yet in their prime.***

    ReplyDelete
  49. ***“Djokovic looking like 1980s-90s NBA: 1st there was Bird, Magic, Isiah, Jordan. Then there was just Jordan. ...esp. w/ Nole playing in the era of Fed & Nadal, 2 of the best players in tennis history.

    Nole has recorded some of the best ind. seasons ever in the sport the past few yrs, includ. last season when he went 82-6 & finished w/ 3 major titles. At this rate, w/ Nadal’s injury-prone body, the 34-yo Fed past his prime and no obvious contender from the next gen., it's conceivable that Djokovic, owner of 10 GS titles, can match or break Federer’s record of 17.

    ...“Even though Rafa’s got 4 more Slams than Nole, I think Djokovic has better a chance of getting 7 than Rafa has of getting 3.…” ...Djokovic would not win another major title until AO '11. ..."…Djokovic seems to be rising while the other 2 are falling back.”

    In a conference call w/ reporters last wk, ESPN tennis analyst Brad Gilbert said that Djokovic's “as complete of a tennis player” as he has ever seen. While Federer still holds sev. records, includ. reaching 36 cons. GS 1/4's, Nole's gaining on or surpassing his 2 main rivals in some stats. Acc. to 538’s Carl Bialik & Benj.Morris, “Djokovic is playing @ a level virtually unseen in the sport, topping even Fed’s best yrs a decade ago.”

    Djokovic has a 22-22 H2H rec. vs Federer & a 24-23 H2H rec. vs Nadal. In 5 seasons that Federer has finished the year at #1, his win-loss record is 376-36 (91.3%). Djokovic has gone 288-32 (90%) in the 4 seasons he has ended as world #1 and Nadal is 228-28 (89.1%) in 3 seasons finishing at the top. Djokovic has a slight lead in career win % vs top 10 players at 66.7% compared to Federer’s 65.7% and Nadal’s 65.4%.

    ...“#1 players, there’s always improvement from the last decade,” Evert said. “I think Djokovic…if he has another 2 or 3 majestic years, he could very well be right up there w/ Federer. We keep saying the best that ever was. He’s certainly looking that way if he stays motivated.”

    Even the man whose rec. Djokovic's chasing doesn't doubt the Serbian’s chances. “Clearly he can win many of them,” Fed said after his 4-set loss to Djokovic at last yr’s USO. “He already has a ton, so obviously he’s got to stay healthy and all that stuff and hungry, but obviously you would think he will win more after tonite.”

    A health fanatic, Nole's a relatively young 28. He's known for a restr. diet & wrote in his autobio, “Serve To Win,” that he treated himself to just 1 small square of choc. after his nearly 6-hr victory over Nadal @ AO '12.
    ---

    Who's the most consistent player of all X? Who keeps on producing good results, match after match, day after day in both big & small tourneys?

    Out of all stats on the ATP website, the match winning % is the best indicator of consistency across matches of all levels. At this moment, the COAT belongs to Novaaak DJoookovic, by a mile.

    All X, Rafa's leading atm, but Nole has gained a lot of ground this yr ...so I think Nole will come out on top in this stat when he retires. If he gets the COAT, he will be closer to the GOAT.

    '15 match winning %:

    1 Djokovic 0.940 - 78-5

    2 Federer 0.855 - 59-10

    3 Murray 0.850 - 68-12

    Career match winning %:

    1 Nadal 0.828 - 764-159

    2 Borg 0.827 64 609-127

    3 Djokovic 0.825 - 682-145

    4 Connors 0.819 109 1254-278

    5 Lendl 0.818 94 1071-239

    6 Federer 0.817 - 1055-237
    ---

    According to Fedal fans logic, Novak waited for Fedal (hairs) to decline and now having a weak hair field.***

    ...Nadal's disappears w/ a little sweat these days & Verdasco looked like he could go to a photo-shoot right after the match! Borg's was great back "in the day," Agassi's was the best of his gen. until it came out he wore exten., & I really like Nadal's & Federer's back when they were kids, but my all X fave, having the entire package w/ the best hair, short or long has t/b Feliciano Lopez!

    ReplyDelete
  50. ***Out of curiosity, I wanted to see which players had the largest "Slam Final Shares" during the Age of Novak (2011-16). That includes 21 Slams.

    Slam Finals: 2011-16:
    17 Djokovic (76.2%)
    9 Nadal (42.9%)
    8 Murray (38%)
    5 Federer (23.8%)
    2 Wawrinka (9.5%)
    1 Cilic (4.8%)
    1 Nishikori (4.8%)
    1 Ferrer (4.8%)

    Slam Wins: 2011-16:
    11 Djokovic (5.2%)
    5 Nadal (23.8%)
    2 Murray (9.5%)
    2 Wawrinka (9.5%)
    1 Federer (4.8%)
    1 Cilic (4.8%)

    Going just on that, Andy's behind only Novak & Rafa in those 2 categories and actually has a better conversion rate (28.5%) than Roger (20%) from '11 to the present. - I imagine some of you are looking around for possible suitors of your next fave player?***

    ...That's the way it's been w/ the next gen. in Kei & Milos! Both have challenged the best, but they can't stay on the court for long either! I'm done w/ Grigor after that loss to Murray in Cincy last season! Like so many of these newbies, he had X MP's and breaks giving away his lead & the match! I'll have to call it gutless to this day! Even if Roger were to hobble away, who's supposed to challenge Nole when these guys can't handle the old men now?

    ***Fiero, I'm not saying it will happen soon, just that it will happen. And unlike the Grigor-Kei-Milos gen., the next gen. (born 1994-98) will be rising as Novak-Murray will be declining. At some point they'll pass each other on the mountain, so to speak. When that will be, IDK. I do expect the tour to become more competitive over the next few years. Maybe not so much this year, although as I've said elsewhere I expect some bounce-back from the '89-93 bunch, but I do think we'll continue to see gains from the Young Punks and by next year they'll start being a factor in big tourneys, or at least some of them will.
    ---

    Subconsiously could Rod Laver be threatned by Djokovic possibly winning the CYS and maybe a Golden CYGS? - He's not threatened by Nole, but no 1 likes to see their records matched or surpassed, no matter what they say. He did tell Darren Cahill that Djokovic's performance in the 1st 2 sets vs Federer was the best tennis he ever witnessed in his life.***

    It was a thrashing; only t/b replayed & duplicated again & again as X goes on! ;-)

    ***I don't for a sec. think Rocket w/b threatened by Djokovic. I think Laver's pretty content w/ his achievements and it's fantastic to still see him as an active observer @ so many tourneys around the world each year. In fact how cool would it be if Laver were to present Djokovic w/ the USO trophy this year if it completed the CYGS for him? Now that w/b a special moment in tennis.
    ---

    If/when Djokovic wins 1 more slam will you rank Nole > than Borg? He shot out like a rocket and dominated early in his career, but retired once he realized that the well was dry. Djokovic will no doubt surpass his career totals, just as Federer & Sampras did.***

    I wish people would stop saying that; and the nonsense about McEnroe running Borg out of the sport! People should really go look up the real history and leave the old wives tales for bloggers and on air commentators who don't have a clue! If today's rules existed, he would have played several more years! Blame the idiot "powers that be" in that period who wouldn't give him a little break from the tour! If he had gotten 2 months early in '82, he probably would have shown up in X for the clay tour; Rome, MC, Paris! Now players w/ that kind of seniority can skip Masters events! That wasn't the case back then; needed to fake injuries like these losers today! ;-(

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  51. ***Wimbledon >>> US Open >>> French Open >>> Australian Open***

    Was the order! AO was having an identity crisis moving from Jan. to Dec back in the 70's to encourage Borg to come "down under" since he won FO & Wimbledon b2b 3 yrs in a row! If he had perchance acquired a USO, he might not have had a choice but to go @ season's end! They moved back to Jan. and has surpassed our crummy USO by a long ways! It's been 1 catastrophe after another! The venue changed surfaces & locations X X's w/i 4 yrs; from grass to clay to HC and of course moving from Forest Hills to Flushing! No major has been as psychotic as ours here in the States! I vote Wimbledon #1 b/c of it's history, the FO #2, then AO, w/ the USO trailing!

    ***Longest WTA Match Win Streak: Navratilova - 74 ('84)
    Longest ATP Match Win Streak: Vilas - 46 ('77)

    Longest WTA Match Win Streak On Clay: Evert - 125 ('73-79)
    Longest ATP Match Win Streak On Clay: Nadal - 81 ('05-07)

    Longest WTA Match Win Streak On HC: Graf - 82 ('88-90)
    Longest ATP Match Win Streak On HC: Roger Federer - 56 ('04-06)

    Longest WTA Match Win Streak On Grass: Navratilova - 47 ('85-87)
    Longest ATP Match Win Streak On Grass: Federer - 65 (2003-08)

    Longest WTA Match Win Streak On Carpet: Navratilova - 48 ('86-87)
    Longest ATP Match Win Streak On Carpet: Lendl - 66 ('81-83)

    Most Cons. WTA Singles Titles: Navratilova - 13 ('84)
    Most Cons. ATP Singles Titles: Borg - 8 ('79-80), Ivan Lendl - 8 ('81-82), John McEnroe - 8 ('83-84)
    ---

    Let us revisit at the end of '16 season. If Nole wins:
    --Only AO, no chance to pass Rafa
    --2 majors, will tie or pass Rafa
    --3 majors, surely pass Rafa and will have a shot to tie Fed
    --GS? A miracle by itself no < than passing Fed in majors count
    ---

    Djokovic dom. vs the Big 4 since '11:

    vs Federer, Novak leads 18 - 9; last 10 matches 7-3 for Novak.
    vs Nadal, Novak leads 17 - 7; leads 9-1 in last 10 matches played.
    vs Murray, Novak leads 18 - 8; last 12 matches Novak leads 11-1

    Novak right now has no comp. Is there even a Big 4 anymore?
    ---

    Federer: reached 23 cons. slam semi's(Nole 14)
    - reached 10 cons. slam finals (Nole 5)
    - reached 18 of 19 slam finals (Nole 7 of 8)
    - holds 237 cons. wks @ #1(Nole 83)
    - won 3 slams/year 3 X's (Nole 2)
    - reached all 4 slam finals/yr 3 X's (Nole 1)
    - has 3 seasons w/ at least 90% win/loss rec. (Nole 2)

    And Djoko has had 15 cons. finals w/i a season and 16 cons. tier 1 finals & 6 cons. tier 1 titles. So he's been more consistent in more impressive ways (Fed's stats include a whole lot of 250s- win/loss)
    ---

    Fed won 3 slams + WTF 3 X's and reached 4 slam finals 3 X's as well. Djokovic only managed this once so far. We're not gonna give some imaginary potential titles he hasn't won yet this year.***

    People were making such a big deal of Roger's age in comparison to Nole, but now they don't mention it in conjunction w/ the longevity of the man and the records he holds! That makes no sense; can't have it both ways!

    ***Djokovic has won 11 Slams now. And there's nothing wrong w/ using '11 as a reference point considering that's when Novak became the player we all know & love today.***

    Nole was a perennial #3 before 2011! Why would we reference his record that much before that X since he had only won 1 YEC, 1 AO, & a handful of Masters? It only makes sense for his RP being his greatest season in '11; same for Connors in '74! In the early 70's it was all about BJK & the new Virg. Slims tour, Riggs, Court, Goolagong, Smith & his shoes, Rosewall, Nastase, & Laver OTTH! Connors & Evert didn't take over USA consciousness until '74 when they won their 1st majors w/ dom. seasons!

    ReplyDelete
  52. ***Congrats to Djokovic for winning his 4th GS in the last 5....

    Laver (after '69 USO) - doesn't play the next 2 GS's, loses 4th Rd, 4th Rd, 3rd Rd @ his next 3 GS's.
    Sampras (after '94 Wimbledon)- loses 4th R'd, F, 1st R'd @ his next 3 GS's.
    Federer (after '07 USO) - loses semi, F, F at his next 3 GS's.
    Nadal - (after '11 FO) - loses F, F, F @ his next 3 GS's.
    Djokovic (after '12 AO) - loses F, semi, F @ his next 3 GS's.
    ---

    If I'm being quite conservative I'd say he'll win AT LEAST 1 more slam this year, but poss. 2 or 3 getting him the coveted CYGS slam. He'll also be the fave for OG. Conserv. est. might put Djokovic @:

    12-13 slams
    29-31+ Masters (1st place all X)
    ~230 wks @ #1 (Close to Connors/Lendl)
    70+ titles (Surpassing Nadal, @ 67 now)
    5 YE #1's, =ing Federer & 1 behind Sampras.
    Possible CGS and CGGS. And that's just '16.

    Let's say '17, when he w/b 30, decline? Who's going to challenge him for the #1 spot? Certainly not a 31 yo Nadal or 36 yo Fed. Murray? Not. Young guns? Disappointing. So, being conserv., let's say he takes 1-2 slams and 2-3 Masters. And finishes at year #1. So now he'd tentatively be at:

    13-15 slams
    32+ Masters (eclipsing all)
    75-80 titles (Fed has 88 now)
    250-275 wks @ #1 (being conserv.- poss. someone overtakes him for a few wks). This would put him 3rd all X behind Sampras & Fed.
    6 YE #1's, =ly Sampras for 1st all X, & passing Fed.
    Dominant H2H over all rivals.

    So, by this point he's clearly w/i striking distance of becoming GOAT. And let's not forget that Djokovic has shown no signs of wear and tear on his body such as players like Nadal have and may continue to play top level for a long X as Fed has. So let's say after '17 he won't be on top anymore, but he wins about 2 more slams in his career (another conserv. est. IMO). So we have this as a safe bet:

    15-17+ slams
    34+ Masters
    270+ wks @ #1
    6 YE #1's
    Dominant H2H over all rivals
    Career GS, poss. double career slam.
    90+ titles

    IMO, at the very least, Nole's on the way to becoming a firm #2 in the GOAT debate, only behind Fed. In these predictions I tried to be realistic yet conservative. He may very well exceed these expectations and become the undisputed GOAT, but I really can't see him doing any worse than the #'s I've laid out here. It really is crazy how someone can skyrocket through the record books in such a short X, but in the past year Djokovic has made a clear case that he's a part of absolute highest tier of players tennis has ever seen.
    ---

    By the end of the year, he will pretty much have had 6 yrs @ #1 (other than '13 where he was close 2). He's due an injury of some type surely. History tells us he will fade as did Fed, Sampras, Nadal, etc. It tends to happen pretty suddenly as well. However, there doesn't seem to be anyone ready to take over or close to it. He seems invincible. He'll finish w/ 15 or 16 slams, but not surprised if he finishes w/ 13 or 18!
    ---

    He's on 11 now, so I see Novak at his present peak winning 14 or 15 Slams at least. He's giving great players like Federer and Murray GS hrashings. Given he's 28, coming up to 29, can Novak reach Federer's 17? Not sure. He has to overcome the Paris obstacle and that m/b in his mind. Novak needs the French for all-court greatness and 3 Wimbledon titles in a row would bolster his legacy too. For me, a '16 GS would make Novak the GOAT and he'd probably add more too. If he wins the FO and 1 other Slam this year, that's another 3 Slam season, 13 Slams and a clay court Major. W/ his dominant #1 standing and wks @ #1, successive yrs as ITF World Champ, and his ATP WTF's, Masters' title successes etc, Noles closing in. He's level w/ Borg for GS wins now & left Connors, McEnroe & Lendl far behind.***

    Thanks; love it!

    ReplyDelete
  53. ***Grand Slams won or lose to eventual champion - Federer, Nadal, Djokovic

    # of GS's that each won or lost to the eventual champion (a good loss):
    Australian, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open

    Federer - 4 (5), 1 (6), 7 (3), 5 (4)
    17, 18 out of 67 GS's (52%)

    Djokovic - 6 (3), 0 (7), 3 (2), 2 (5)
    11, 17 out of 45 GS's (62%)

    Nadal - 1 (2), 9 (0), 2 (3), 2 (2)
    14, 7 out of 44 GS's (48%)

    Sampras - 2 (2), 0 (3), 7 (1), 5 (4)
    14, 10 out of 52 GS's (46%)
    ---

    Federer - '04 Wimbledon to '10 AO - a streak of 23 Slam tournaments where he either won (14 of 23) or lost to the eventual champion.
    ===

    Berdych and Ferrer did play better back then. Wawrinka is the only 1 playing better now.***

    Oh I think Ferrer and Berdych are on par w/ the past, just not as smart! You would think they'd expand their repertoire of simple 'ball bashing' and add on more net attacks! Hanging at the baseline hasn't done anything for them except sustained mediocrity! ;-)

    ***...Pardon me, but what final would you say Nole choked before that amazing Wimbledom 2014 final?***

    Nole's had his moments; if not a complete choke, a bit of ganging was going on when serving for a match or 3 a few X's! How many X's has this happened to him where Djokovic's broken and had to come back to win? That '14 Wimbledon match was pivotal in so many ways; Nole slam-less for over a year and hadn't won anything w/ Becker in attendance as his coach! The 2 Masters he took in the spring were won while Becker was in the hospital so it might have changed the course of all 3 lives if that match had gone to Roger!

    ***Oh yeah, I agree completely. I even stated before that the start for Djokovic '15 season began w/ this win; really needed it. After this win, he had the confidence to restart winning all titles in '11 style.
    ---

    I tend to agree w/ Fiero here: Serena's "strategy" is indistinguishable from her forearm muscles. She's a bruiser, a puncher, not a boxer. The only X I've seen her employ inspired "strategy" or tactics is in her toilet breaks, or pretend ones like the match with Danny Long Legs at Wimbledon a few years ago. It ain't subtle, but it was all she got...
    ---

    That's not to say Serena is unintelligent as a player. She's not, she's fiercely bright. But she's no Hingis when it comes to tennis smarts in strategic stuff...- Serena's great, but she's not blessed in who she faces for us to compare her w/ Navratilova or Evert...***

    She hasn't had real comp since Henin & Clijster! The few players that have the firepower to blow her off the court are "head cases" who c/b spotted 4 MP's and they'd find a way to lose it; Sharapova & Azarenka! Then you have SW's bestie in Woz who's also thrown off; has the game, but will never beat Serena on her worst day! At this X you need either an old vet like Vinci or newbie like Bencic who had "nothing to lose" and let it rip; upsets for the ages when the est. stars are pathetic and rarely win if ever! Why it's called a rivalry w/ Maria; I'll never understand! She hadn't won a match vs Wms in over 10 yrs! Aza should just default if she sees Serena's name next to hers! That AO CHOKE serving for it a couple X's allowing Serena to save so many MP's; why didn't she just retire? If she couldn't win that 1, she may never beat Serena again!

    ***...If you had 1 match for a female player to play w/ your wellbeing at stake, would you prefer Hingis or Serena? Most definitely it's Serena for me; even if she is playing against Graf, Evert or Martina Nav in their prime on their best surfaces including clay.**

    Even clay; w/ 10+ years btw FO titles w/ no clay court specialist like Henin? Not sure I'd take that bet Serena would beat any of the past greats like Navratilova, Evert, Graf, or Seles!

    ReplyDelete
  54. ***...Don't you think this w/b the most intriguing RG, even surpassing that of last yr?***

    I think this past FO had it all; Rafa vs his nemesis in the 1/4'S instead of semi or final, having a delay in his SF w/ Andy due to rain/darkness/length of Stan's match, and all kinds of expectations! Even though Djokovic has won the majority of his meetings w/ the Swiss, they're usually drawn out, long affairs and I wasn't shocked in the least when the match was lost! He was up 2 breaks at the USO and had to use both to survive that 4th set run of Roger's! Happens entirely too much!

    ***Granted we have 2 Masters coming up on HC's, and unless there's a significant shift of some kind, Novak's the fave to win them. In MC, Madrid, Rome - Nadal will have to reassert himself at 1 of the tourneys here if he's going t/b in a place to contend for the FO. I'm still not sure if Novak is skipping Madrid again or not, but in MC & Rome, he's had Rafa's #. Madrid plays faster and Andy w/b there to defend his title. Rafa's got his work cut out for him. Hopefully he can find his form in these early clay tourneys and be competitive in the Masters & RG.
    ---

    You are right GSM; is going t/b a very interesting RG this year. The fact that Novak w/b going for the Nole slam as well gives the tournament some extra pressure that he really doesn't need - trying to finally complete the CGS's enough! Now at RG he'll be going for:

    Completing the Career GS
    Completing the Nole Slam
    Stage 2 of the CYGS
    Stage 2 of the CY Golden Slam

    No pressure, Novak...***

    That'll be up to the media IMO! How will they handle the coverage? Will they go insane coming up w/ new angles to muse about the same facts? How many past champions will put in their 2 cents and subsequently embarrass themselves; McEnroe & Wilander have eaten all their words! All the instances they didn't think c/b achieved by Nole has been surpassed and they're still groveling!

    ***Djokovic's feasting on a very weak era w/ no sight of the end. Seriously, who is gonna stop him? Nadal is a shell of his former self; so is Fed (and can't keep up for more than 3 sets). Even Murray who's comfortably the 2nd best player in the world is nowhere near his 2012/13 level. Wawrinka shows up once a year. ALL these guys are older than Nole too. So as you said, yeah someone new will arrive. When Djokovic is sitting at 30 Slams b/c there won't be anyone to stop him for a decade.***

    The era isn't necessarily weak, but in comparison to the "leaders," they're made to look it! I'm 1 who constantly kvetches about the Big 4 owning the tour, taking most, if not all of the majors and Master's titles! If you look at the record books, it takes you back to a bygone era when 1 person ran things and barely had to practice! We know that isn't how this era's ATG's got it done and it was w/ hard work and dedication, but I still think the rest of the "also-rans" of the day c/b doing so much more to make things more competitive!

    ***If he loses sets: 'oh he cant win even in his prime/peak'
    If he doesnt lose:'weak era'
    The guy just cant wino_O***

    Well I think Nole can live w/ those detractors! The worst one's were past champions saying just a few years ago:

    Djokovic won a title, but he can't win bo5 over Roger or Rafa
    Djokovic won his AO, but he won't beat Rafa on clay
    Djokovic won several clay Masters beating Rafa, but he can't beat him @ FO
    Djokovic beat Rafa @ FO, but he's a shell of himself & well past his prime

    Nole will never do enough for some historians & commentators!

    ReplyDelete
  55. ***...Don't say: "Djokovic won't win the CYGS;" say: "I will stop Djokovic from winning the CYGS." Wawrinka's the defending champ. @ the FO by beating down the #1 w/ GS aspirations.***

    Even though I've lived for tennis for well over 40 years; it's just not that dire in the grand scheme of things in my life @ this X! I'm happy enough with how things are going for the men; actually predictable! If Nole takes it in Paris, I'll be happy enough about it, but won't lose sleep if he doesn't! More from the old school and worship @ the alter of my ATG's; Borg & Martina! They're the champions I grew up respecting the most w/ honorable mentions going to the beautiful and complete games of Goolagong & Mandlikova for women; the men, Federer & Edberg!

    I give them more credit due to the infancy of the ATP & WTA, inferior equipment, lack of respect of tennis even being a sport, poor endorsement opps, etc.! Today's stars have it so much easier; don't even play bo5 in these Masters event which are revered almost as much as a major! I'm starting to think the final should go back to b05 and really show who's the best! I doubt if Nole would take 6 of the 9 if that were to happen; sorta devalues all these double-wins of Nole @ IW-Miami so often after he's taken the 1st major! It's almost expected! Who doubts he will mow them down again in both locations? There won't be any changes I know, but fun to muse about "what if?"

    ***...Can't believe how many Masters titles RAFA has missed out on - w/ his FH DTL spitting off the grass, he'd already be above 30 (and then it would have been game over as far as the Masters record is concerned). Might also help the ultra-hard workers like Federer who aren't blessed w/ fancy footwork on slower surfaces like clay.
    ---

    That's certainly true. After all, we know that RAFA has never lost a point unless an injury interfered w/ his form OR he was lulling his opponents into a false sense of security by not utilizing his FH DTL. HC's, as he's often said, are extremely dangerous, and may interfere w/ his ability to play sports as a hobby post-retirement. If there were grass-court Masters events, he wouldn't have to worry about golfing & fishing, and could unleash his FH DTL to full effect.***

    It's been talked about, but if Queens made into a Masters, you'd have to take 1 away from another location and relegate it to 500 level! It might happen to us here in the States since we have 3 w/ a neighboring event to the north in Canada! Shanghai promotes & spends the most to have theirs, so forget it! MC & Rome are perennial events and are a bargain in more ways than one w/ such long histories! I wouldn't mind putting the ax to Paris since they have a major in the same city! Think about it; more likely to have wasted points on "also-rans" b/c usually the top players are exhausted and easily upset! Nole the 1 player that doesn't seem to follow any rule having t/d w/ consistency; or lack thereof!

    ***I don't think "I love the game" is the only reason Fed still keeps on playing. Some of it is b/c he doesn't want his "best ever" legacy threatened. He knows it's in ??, Nadal & Djokovic can both break his record. Fed looks highly depressed someX's when losing to Novak, esp. after the WTF '15 final. In gen., both he and his wife do not look happy. Why can he not be content w/ his career. What else does he want? Records are meant to broken; surely he must know this.***

    I already mentioned the reason Roger won't even consider retiring is b/c the next gen. hasn't really stepped up to force him out! He's a legitimate #2 or 3 in the world making major finals and winning a Masters event here and there! You never know; might have another upset "blood bath" at a Wimbledon or USO and Roger could slip through; as in his last improbable wins at '09 FO & '12 Wimbledon! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  56. ***Djokovic & Federer have played 45 X's to date.
    All matches: Djokovic 23–22 GS matches: Djokovic, 9–6
    ATP WTF's matches: Djokovic 3–2
    ATP Masters 1000 matches: Tied 9–9
    Best of 3 set matches: Federer, 15–14
    Best of 5 set matches: Djokovic, 9–7
    Matches lasting 5 sets: Djokovic, 3–0
    Winning the match after losing 1st set: Djokovic, 7–1

    All finals: Djokovic, 11–6 GS finals: Djokovic, 3–1
    ATP WTF's finals: Djokovic, 2–0
    ATP Masters 1000 finals: Djokovic, 4–3
    ATP World Tour 500 series finals: Tied, 2–2

    All sets: Federer, 69–63 Deciding sets: Djokovic, 12–5
    TB sets: Federer, 12–10 Deciding TB's: Djokovic, 3–1

    Results on each court surface:
    Clay cts: Tied, 4–4
    HC's: Tied, 17–17 Outdoor: Federer, 13–12
    Indoor: Djokovic, 5–4
    Grass cts: Djokovic, 2–1
    ---

    Djokovic & Nadal have played 47 X's to date.
    H-2-H tallies:
    All matches: Djokovic, 24–23
    All finals: Djokovic, 14–10
    GS matches: Nadal, 9–4
    AO: Djokovic, 1–0
    RG: Nadal, 6–1
    Wimbledon: Tied, 1–1
    USO: Nadal, 2–1
    GS finals: Nadal, 4–3

    Tennis Masters Cup/ATP WTF's matches: Djokovic, 3–2
    Tennis Masters Cup/ATP WTF's finals: Djokovic, 1–0
    ATP Masters Series/ATP Masters 1000 matches: Djokovic, 14–9
    ATP Masters Series/ATP Masters 1000 finals: Djokovic, 7–5
    DC matches: Nadal, 1–0
    Olympics: Nadal, 1–0

    Results on each court surface:
    Clay cts: Nadal 14–6
    Hard cts: Djokovic 17–7 Outdoor cts: Djokovic 13–5
    Indoor cts: Djokovic 4–2
    Grass cts: Nadal 2–1
    ---

    There's no other player who has reached 8 Masters 1000 finals in a single season or in cons. seasons. Djokovic's the only player to achieve this feat in the Open era and since the Masters 1000 series began in '70.

    Djokovic's the only player to win 6 Masters 1000 titles in a single season. He broke his own previous rec. of 5 which was tied w/ Nadal, Rod Laver & Connors.
    ---

    ATP Rankings '73 (16,790) - highest # of ranking pts as #1 - SA
    ATP '70 - 15 strt finals reached in season ('15) - SA
    10 Top tier tourneys won in season - Stands Alone
    30+ match wins vs Top 10 opps in a season - SA
    Defeated all Top 10 players in season - SA
    ATP WTF's '70 4 cons. titles - SA
    15 cons. match wins - SA
    ATP Masters 1000 '70 6 titles won in season ('15) - SA
    8 finals reached in season ('15) - SA
    19 HC titles - SA
    12 finals won in a row - SA
    2 yrs winning 5+ titles - SA
    3 yrs reaching 6+ finals - SA
    3+ titles at 6 diff. tourneys - SA
    4+ titles at 4 diff. tourneys - SA
    Simul. holder of 6 diff. tourneys - SA
    Paris - '68 4 men's singles - SA
    China - '93 6 men's singles - SA
    Shanghai '09 3 men's singles - SA***

    ReplyDelete
  57. ***Nole's GS recs (Stands Alone):

    '10–13 7 cons. HC finals
    '05–16 88.4% (114–15) HC match winning %
    Wimb. — AO '11-16 2 streaks of 3 cons. Major titles - Fed
    FO — AO '07–08 Youngest player to reach semi's of all 4 Majors (20 yrs, 250 days)
    '07–08 Youngest player to reach all 4 Majors semi's cons.
    AO / Wimbl. '08–15 3+ titles @ AO & Wimbl. - Fed
    FO / USO '07–15 3+ R-up finishes @ 2 Majors - Fed
    AO '12 Longest GS final (by duration) vs Nadal

    Recs @ each GS tourney:

    AO '08–16 6 men's singles titles overall
    '11–13 3 cons. titles
    '08–16 6 finals overall
    '11–13 3 cons. finals - Wilander & Lendl

    FO '11–15 5 cons. semi's - Fed & Nadal
    USO '12 Longest final (by duration) vs Murray

    Djokovic's the 1st player in the Open era to win 6 AO titles, 1st and only player to win 3 cons. titles, & only player to reach 6 AO finals overall.

    ATP Masters 1000 Records & ATP WTF's recs:
    GP Chp Series began in '70.

    ATP WTF:

    '12–15 4 cons. titles
    '12–15 15 cons. match wins
    '14 76.1% (51–16) games winning % in 1 tourney
    '08–15 1st 5 finals won
    '11 Qualified the earliest – 18 wks, 6 days

    ATP Masters 1000:

    '07–13 8/9 titles won
    '07–12 Finalist in all 9 tourneys - Fed & Nadal
    '07–2015 19 hard court titles
    '15 6/6 hard court finals in a season
    '15 6 titles won in a single season
    '015 8 finals reached in a single season
    '11, '14–15 Streak of 5 titles
    '14–15 Streak of 9 finals
    '11,'12,'15 - 3 yrs reaching 6+ finals
    '11-12 - 2 cons. yrs reaching 6+ finals
    '12–15 12 finals won in a row
    '11 31 cons. match wins
    '15 39 match wins in a single season
    '13–15 4 cons. tourneys titles - Nadal
    '15 5 cons. tourneys finals - Nadal
    '11,'15 2 yrs winning 5+ titles
    '11,'14–15 2 streaks of 5 titles
    '11,'14–15 3 yrs winning 4+ titles
    '13–15 3 streaks of 4 titles
    '13–15 2 streaks of 4 cons. tourneys titles
    '14–15 2 cons. yrs winning 4+ titles - Federer
    '11–15 5 cons. yrs winning 3+ titles
    '07–15 4+ titles at 4 diff. tourneys
    '07–15 3+ titles at 6 diff. tourneys
    '14–15 Simul. holder of 6 diff. tourneys titles
    '11–15 Retaining titles at 6 diff. tourneys
    '15 4 cons. title defenses
    '11–13 Won all 3 clay tourneys (MC, Madrid & Rome) - Nadal
    '15 Winning the opening 3 events of a season
    '11, '14–15 Won IW's – Miami Masters title double 3 X's
    '08–15 4 IW's titles overall - Fed
    '09–15 4 Paris titles overall
    '13–15 3 cons. Paris titles
    '12–15 3 Shanghai titles overall
    '12–13 2 cons. Shanghai titles - Murray
    '13–15 3 yrs winning Paris & YEC B2B

    '15 15 strt. finals in a season
    '14–16 18 Top tier tourneys finals in a row
    '15 10 Top tier tourneys won in a season
    '14–15 7 Top tier tourneys won in a row
    '06–15 20+ wins over each other member of the Big 4 (Fed, Nadal & Murray)
    '06-16 + H2H record vs each other member of the Big 4
    '15 31 match wins vs. Top 10 opps in a single season
    '15 37.8% - % of Top 10 wins to the overall match wins of a season
    '15 Defeated all Top 10 players in season
    '12,'13,'15 3 yrs winning 24+ matches vs. Top 10 opps.
    '11–13,'15 4 yrs winning 20+ matches vs. Top 10 opps.
    '11–13 3 cons. yrs winning 20+ matches vs. Top 10 opps.
    '11 5 cons. match wins vs #1 player in finals (Nadal)
    '07 Youngest player to defeat the top 3 players in succ. (Roddick, Nadal & Fed)
    '07 Youngest player to win Miami(19 yrs, 316 days)
    '15 Most prize $$ won in season ($21,646,145)
    '09–15 6 China titles
    '12–15 4 cons. China titles
    '15 7 titles defended in a season - Fed
    '07–10 4 YE's @ #3 - Connors
    '07–10 4 cons. yrs ended @ #3
    '03–16 95.8% (614–27) match winning % after winning 1st set
    '03–15 74.2% (141–49) deciding set winning %***

    ReplyDelete
  58. ***-Nadal fans, sorry for the downfall of the man. It’s tough to see. I was watching the Wimbledon '08 final the other day and realized how far he has fallen. But it’s OK. It’s life.

    -Now, decided to come up w/ 30 controversial opinions of mine. Here they are...

    1) Djokovic's not @ his peak. '11 was his peak level of play. Look @ Rome '11 final vs the Rome '15 ...and both USO & AO finals.

    2) Murray's better than Roddick ever was. World #1 or no #1.
    3) Nadal actually has the >est level of play ever; not Fed or Djokovic.
    4) Kyrgios' the next big thing. Not controversial, but he and Thiem are going to split slams for yrs.

    5) Djokovic has the most balanced career of any player; ever. He’s won the AO, Wimbledon, USO, IW, Miami, MC, Rome, Canada, Shanghai, Paris, & London; ALL X x'S. Who else can say something like this? No FO is a spot though.

    6) Nadal was so much > on clay from '05-08 than he was from '11-14.
    7) Wawrinka's overrated. Credit for both slams, but other than that, he isn’t as > as everyone makes out.

    8) Davydenko is, was, & will remain > than Nishikori ever w/b.
    9) Nalbandian had a > career than Ferrer.
    10) Leave Laver out of every conversation we have on CYGS or GOAT. Respect to him, but we’re in a new dimension. His accolades aren’t even > than Rafa if we ‘weigh’ them up.

    11) Cilic didn’t pop out the blue. Go and see his RG & Wimbledon matches vs Djokovic, & Toronto match vs Fed, & you’ll know his GS had pending potential.

    12) Fed's a much > player now than '10-11.
    13) Nadal's done; fully. No going back. He doesn’t know how to schedule @ all. He doesn’t want a new coach. 1 Masters MAX until he retires.

    14) Djokovic won’t win the FO this year. He also won’t win the Olympics.
    ...

    18) Fed's not mentally tough. Winning some 5-setters & saving MP's happens someX's.

    19) Let’s break down Federer’s ‘weak era’. Do not count '04, as you can't penalise a 22-yo 1st-X World #1 for dominating. '05 was not weak; '06 was, '07 was not. Ergo, 1 weak yr. Djokovic had '15.

    20) Murray has more talent that Djokovic.
    21) Nadal maxed out his potential; even went over & beyond.
    22) Djokovic’s game isn't boring.
    23) Federer’s >est achievement is not nec. his 17 slams; it's the year '12. Came back, won Wimbledon, 3 Masters 1000, double digit finals & WORLD #1, all in the midst of Nadal, Murray & Djokovic’s prime, & @ age of 31. If that doesn’t quash this ‘he can only dominate a weak era’, then whatever, you can’t be helped.

    24) This 1’s gonna sting the Djoko fans. Okay - he got INCREDIBLY lucky in many matches in '15; Miami vs Dolgo, Wimbl. vs Anderson, Montreal vs Gulbis, Cinci vs Goffin & Dolgo, then USO vs Fed.
    ...

    25) Fed will not win an 18th. Had chances & let it slip.

    ...
    30) Everything said, Djokovic will end up on 15 slams. Ain’t no way in Hell the man reaches 17.***

    ReplyDelete
  59. ***...You have to admit Novak has a much better matchup vs Nadal. Novak beating washed up Nadal in '15 doesn't imply peak Fed can do the same.
    ---

    Not on clay. The diff. is that when Federer was in his prime, so was Nadal. Djokovic got almost all of his wins vs a past his prime or washed up Nadal. Everyone knows this.
    ---

    Nadal won 5/6 FO meetings vs Djokovic convincigly & the only X he pushed him to 5 was after Nadal was serving for a 4 set win. 19-24 yo Nadal is plain better than 25-28 yo Nadal. The only X Nadal played close to his peak level was the '12 FO & he nearly laid a str. set beatdown on Djokovic in the final.
    ---

    Fact 1, Fed has 0 wins over Nadal at RG. He also hasn't taken Nadal to 5.

    Fact 2, Movak has a much better h2h vs Nadal.

    Fact 3, prime or non-prime is defined by you subjectively. I can also say Nadal's peak was '08 to '13. Did Novak get all his wins in '11 vs washed up Nadal? Lol.

    If you played a guy 40+ X's, prime or non-prime doesn't really matter. The large # means that they have both been playing at a level high enough to reach the semis & finals of tournaments, and so each win counts.

    If you discount Nole's wins vs old Nadal, then I can also discount Nadal's wins over pre-'11 Nole. It goes both ways.
    ---

    Overall Nole's won 10 of the last 21 Slams, 4 of the last 5 WTF's, finished #1 '4' of the last 5 yrs, & took 21 of the last 45 Masters; averaging over 8 titles a year. I'm not sure how much more one could want.

    OTTH, your criteria pretty much limits an "era" to what Roger did in '04-07, when he won 11 of 16 Slams. But that's a pretty high bar and basically makes the term "era" so narrow as to be pointless. Perhaps we could instead use the term "era" to refer to a great player's best years and period of dominance. Then we could look at different eras, some that overlap:

    Roger: '04-09
    Rafa: '08-13
    Novak: '11-16

    Maybe the most meaningful use of the term "era" w/b for '04-16, the Fedalkovic Era. Facts won't lie, but someX's might mask. Very subjectively, as huge Nole's fan, I admit Nole era is not as dominant as Fed's. In other words, his peak is not as high as Fed. Result-wise they are close. But if we watched the entire MAJORS, we could easily see Fed was HEAD & SHOULDERS vs the field, except @ RG. However as Nole admitted himself on the AO '16, he had roller-coaster matches on every major he won. AO '11 & '16 are the only finals w/o dropping a set. Sitting in front of TV, I just feel Fed's margin at his peak is much > than Nole's, though he paid price in some 5-set classics.

    Hypothetically, if another player wins RG consecutively 4-5 X's, w/o dropping a set, not even through single TB all the way, is he more dominant than Rafa? He gets my vote, though Rafa is still well regarded as THE BEST in RG.

    If we have to label Nole, I would put COMPLETE and CONSISTENT ahead of DOMINANT. Though Fed & Rafa (on RG) style are more entertaining (again, subjective) and result more convincing, I prefer to watch Nole's match. When all is said and done, trophy-wise, Nole has decent shot to catch RAFA or even Fed if all stars align. His jumping into GOAT debate simply far exceeds my expectation.***

    ReplyDelete
  60. ***Nadal was the top dog for almost years? He's not even at full 3 yrs by looking at his weeks at #1. Djokovic has been on top for one full year longer than Nadal.***

    Nadal's the "Venus Wms" of the ATP; overrated, limited X @ #1, & hanging on for no good reason!

    ***LOL I wouldn't be that harsh. :D But honestly, I can't see any twisted way of looking @ it where Nadal was the top man for 5 yrs. - Venus overrated?...is that melidonium clouding your judgement?***

    Even though I haven't cared much about women's tennis since Henin retired, I know full well the shortcomings of this so called great! ...Her serve though historically 1 of the fastest & heaviest in the WTA, that hitch c/b seen from the cheap seats! ...if you make her work she's likely to donate her serve to you w/ X DF's! ...She was terribly inconsistent & hasn't dominated since those early yrs of 2000-01 w/ an assist from Serena donating 2 of those Wimbledons!

    ***Ignorance is bliss.***

    Yo Mamma!

    ***Calm down, it's only 2 filthy rich players that maybe dope; both of them. Both of them have brilliant careers. They have enough support already.***

    Exactly! It kills me how people defend the Williams' & Nadal like they need it; rich, world-wide fame, meeting Prez's, & I'm supposed to feel sorry when things aren't running perfectly for them! I wish I c/b spared that kind of ignorance!

    ***I meant Nadal & Novak. Both of them get defended; Federer too. One fan group saying their player is doping. No 1 knows!***

    TF.com site posted Nadal may be suing a FO official b/c she mentioned to the press that he had failed a doping test 2 years ago! I don't think he wants to do that; "Discovery" in the court case might expose other things he may want to keep undercover! I say those injury absences over the years were secret suspensions!

    ***Obviously Srdjan wants as many opportunities for his son to pound DecliNadal into oblivion as possible. There's no way he would genuinely wish Nadal to become a real competitor to Djokovic again. Doesn't strike me that way at all.***

    Maybe, but the same thing c/b said and was happening w/ Nadal & Federer matches! We all knew the result before it occurred, but it was still "must see" TV!

    ***...Their non-clay rivalry went NID after the AO '09 final, except you could still expect Federer to defeat Nadal indoors, but by that X the greatest past of their rivalry was already over. Fedal was never that hopelessly one-sided as a top rivailry in tennis (i.e., before '11).
    ---

    I think Novak's currently the most talented player. Honestly, if someone were to ask me the most talented of all X it w/b Fed, primarily b/c the guy has done things that barely anyone has done before. It's like he's "rewritten tennis" or something like that. Djokovic's highly talented, no denying that, and everything people say about him, "outlasting ops, baseline robots," and such, are also talents. You need high stamina & extreme consistency to achieve that. Talent is almost like a prerequisite to become world #1; you need a lot of it, too!
    ---

    Djokovic has a bunch of weapons and different talents. These days he does tend to outlast his foes until finals day when he dials up the concentration and destroys them w/ accurate and measured yet aggressive ground strokes. The guy has good feel on the lob and drop shot too - if that is more your thing. I don't think he's the 'perfect' player, but he's very talented.***

    ReplyDelete
  61. ***After winning IW, 2 & 0 over Raonic:

    - Djokovic ties Nadal for MS 1000 titles @ 27-27.
    - Djokovic stretches the lead in the h2h series to 25-23 over Rafa.
    - Djokovic narrows the gap in career titles to 67-62.

    1) Already ahead or tied:
    a. Wks @ #1: 184-141. By my calc., it is mathematically impossible for Djokovic to lose the #1 ranking before Rome, even if he takes the spring off.

    b. Yrs @ #1: Confirmed as YE #1 for '15, so 4-3 as of the end of the yr.

    c. WTF's: already ahead 5-0.
    d. If we include ind. Slams, then he's bound to finish ahead in Australia; now ahead @ Wimbledon & USO.

    2) Can realistically catch up:
    a. Masters Series titles: Djokovic has won the last 4 and is certainly likely to win sev. more. 27-26; gap in finals now 41-38. Gap in SF's now 57-51.

    b. Career h2h: 24-23 to Djokovic.
    c. Career h2h rec. vs others: matchups consisting of 5 matches or >, Djokovic only trails Roddick & Nadal only trails Davydenko. If Djokovic wins his next match vs Nadal, he will trail only Roddick, while Nadal will trail Davydenko & Djokovic. It w/b difficult for Djokovic to catch up in majors, esp. w/ Nadal winning Slam Wooden Spoons and falling before the 1st wk is over in 3 str. Slams. Perhaps when Nadal is a non-seed in a Slam, he'll be drawn vs Djokovic in Rd 1.

    d. Career titles: Titles: 67-61. Finals: 99-87. SF's: 130-122. W/ regard to my later update, Djokovic overtakes Agassi with a 61-60 lead in career titles.

    3) Not much chance:
    a. GS titles: I don't see Djokovic winning 6 more, so Nadal s/b safe even if he wins no further titles. 14-11.

    b. Career winning %: Djokovic leads 82.70 - 82.64!

    Other categories suggested:
    a. Wins over top 10 ops: Djokovic 151-133 Nadal. 163-136.
    b. Career match wins: Djokovic 677-758 Nadal. 698-771. ...That's down to 81, but still @ least a yr's worth of match wins).

    c. Slam match wins: Djokovic 214-198 Nadal.
    d. Slam finals reached: Djokovic 18-20 Nadal. 19-20. Djokovic now = 3rd in this category. If he makes just one more Slam final, then he, Fed, & Nadal w/b the 1st 3 men ever to make 20 Slam finals

    e. Slam SF's reached: Djokovic 28-23 Nadal. 29-23.
    f. Slam 1/4-finals reached: Djokovic 34-29 Nadal. 35-29.
    g. Slam match winning %: Nadal leads 86.84 - 86.29 [198-30 vs 214-34].

    Of the 9 most important HC events, he's won 4 of them 5 X's or more, 5 of them 4 X's or more, & 7 of them 3 X's or more. Only @ the USO & Cinci is he not a 3 X champion. If we include all finals, then the list is:

    US Open: 6
    Aussie Open: 6

    WTF's: 5

    IW: 6
    Miami: 6
    Canadian Open: 4
    Cinci: 5
    Shanghai: 3
    Paris Bercy: 4
    ---

    If Djokovic were to stop playing now? By the #'s, Sampras' > than Nole. When you rank those stats by importance it's very clear...The 3 most important stats are probably all unreachable by Djokovic too.

    GS Titles: Sampras
    Cons. YE #1: Sampras
    YE #1: Sampras
    WTF: Sampras (=, but Sampras won over a longer stretch)
    MS 1000 titles: Djokovic
    Career Win %: Djokovic
    Win % @ GS events: Djokovic
    3 Slam seasons: Djokovic
    Longest streak of SFs in GS: Djokovic
    Longest streak of QFs in GS: Djokovic***

    ReplyDelete
  62. ***Is it harder to win all 4 Slams of the year or all 9 Masters + WTF?***

    A big 'eyeroll' for even creating the poll! It's not happening! Nole's done the best you can w/ the Masters, being in finals of all 8 played, winning 6 and taking 3 of 4 Majors; being in all 4 finals! His '15 is truly the greatest since Lavers' '69!

    ***Djokovic record vs the other members of the Big 4 on slow HC (AO, IW, Miami) is 25-3.

    Djokovic-Federer 7-1
    Djokovic-Nadal 7-1
    Djokovic-Murray 11-1

    Federer beat him at '07 AO, Nadal in '07 IW, & Murray in '09 Miami...
    ---
    ...After the 5 hr, 5 set Rome final btw Federer & Nadal, both withdrew from the Hamburg Masters due to exhaustion. The problem lies simply in the scheduling. There s/b at least a wk in btw Masters events.***

    I put a lot of the reasoning in the homogenized courts and the stupid way people play tennis; hugging the baseline and rarely going to the net except for the obligatory handshake and picking up the winner's check! Back in the day, you rarely had 20-30 stroke rallies; common place now w/ games running 10 mins or more! That's on the players IMO; esp. Roger who has the ability to charge the net more and cut off those "so called" fabulous "gets" which are just floating back asking to be pounded away! He's got it in his mind, "I can hang w/ these 20 somethings as long as I want!" That's delusion at its worst!

    ***Fiero that's true of course. But don't you think it's about 4 to 5 yrs too late? Not that this wasn't true even before then. Still, there was some wisdom in not breaking a winning formula up until '10. ...,but after the rest of '12 & after '13? It isn't all delusion. He simply couldn't get out of his comfort zone and risk going back to the old aggressive style he had dropped a decade earlier. He feels more comfortable consistently beating the rest of the tour as opposed to take risks for winning the big ones.
    ---

    It's easy for us to project a player's past abilities into the future. Even if it were possible, it requires that the player has the confidence to unlearn & relearn. Your instincts take over on the court and rewiring your instincts is hard and usually pointless past a players peak.***

    Well I've been kvetchin' about this type of play for OVER 10 years and if Federer doesn't change his mental aspect of his game, he'll start losing more; sorta like his past "so-called" rival, Rafa! Losing in the 2nd or 3rd Rd will become the norm and it'll get uglier as X goes on! If he thinks he can be "Jimmy Connors" playing like that until he's 40, he's more delusional than I thought!

    ReplyDelete
  63. ***Djoko has largely dominated the tour for the last 5 yrs:

    # of Slams won (since '11):
    1- Djoko: 10
    2- Nadal: 5
    3- Murray: 2
    4- Wawa: 2
    (So Djoko has won more slam titles than the next best 3 COMBINED)

    # of WTFs won:
    1- Djoko: 4
    2- Fed: 1

    # of Masters won:
    1- Djoko: 22
    2- Nadal: 9
    3- Fed: 7
    4- Murray: 5
    (There again, he's won more Master titles than the next best 3 combined)

    # of titles won:
    1- Djoko: 44
    2- Nadal: 24
    3- Fed: 22
    4- Murray: 19

    # of YE's @ #1:
    1- Djoko: 4
    2- Nadal: 1

    Head to heads:
    Vs Fed: 18-9 Djoko
    Vs Nadal: 18-7 Djoko
    Vs Murray: 18-6 Djoko - (What's up w/ that # 18 fetish? :)
    Vs Wawa: 11-2 Djoko
    ---

    Who's Novak's main rival since '14?

    VS Federer (8-6)
    (3 Major finals, 1 SF, 2 WTF Finals)

    4-0 in Majors
    1-1 in WTF (2-1 includ. retirement)
    3-5 in Masters, Others

    VD Murray ( 11-1)
    (2 Major finals, 1 SF & 1 QF)

    4-0 in Majors
    7-1 in Masters, others

    VS Stan ( 4-2)
    (1 final, 1 SF & 1 QF)

    1-2 in Majors (the 1 match Novak won was in 5 sets)
    1-0 in WTF
    2-0 in Master
    -

    Certainly since '14 it feels like Federer due to having faced him in the 3 Major Finals....esp. 2 Wimbledon Finals. In reality though Djokovic is largely w/o peer @ the min. & regardless whether it's decided t/b Federer, Stan or Murray...there's a fair bit of day light btw them & Novak @ the min.
    ---

    I thought Nadal was gonna get like 19 majors. Djok lost way too many finals. Otherwise, he'd be sitting on 14 or 15 already. Boris freaking Becker brought him to another level. Father X remains undefeated, however.***

    Nadal? 19? I've been saying for years his run would come to a screeching halt due to the physical nature of his game! He was already breaking down several yrs ago; unable to stay on the court more than a few months! Why in the world would you think he could keep up this pace of winning a couple major, having to recoup from injury (or secret suspension for PED use), then start back up again? For GODsake, his only real patsy was Roger while others were stealing his thunder! His fallback was winning on clay and he couldn't even sustain that starting in '11! By the X he lost in straights to Nole at the FO last season, he was officially DONE! He's a huge joke and anyone who thinks it will turn around anyX soon is a homer and delusional; SORRY!

    ReplyDelete
  64. ***...Nole was just outplayed in Paris. He's lost in Cinci everyX he's played it. Is he tanking the clay Masters so to win RG? No! He's won some fair and square and lost the others just the same way and still never won the FO. And that has nothing to do w/ the preceding events.***

    It's all in the timing IMO! In the 2nd 1/2 of the season, he had t/b tired and those weren't easy wins to make those finals in Canada & Cincy; that's all I was thinking of! He was more fresh to win those clay events before the FO where he was extended by Murray unnecessarily in the semi before losing final to Stan! Even when he won the 1st set, I thought he was in trouble and wasn't surprised he lost it in the end! He seems to have a mental block at the FO; even in command, it's just not over until it's over!

    ***You want to talk about mental blocks....try watching Federer in finals or semis vs Djokovic for the last 7 yrs save for a few here and there where he hasn't wimped out. If 34 yo Federer can beat Djokovic to win Cinci and still make the final of the '15 USO, I think that's a losing argument right there. Djokovic has his trusty CVAC in New Jersey just btw for the USP so that's a nonsense excuse and you know it. And he wasn't tired against Wawrinka at the FO. lol. The guy just played insanely well and deserves a lot more credit than that. Novak can't & doesn't win everything.***

    He's come the closest since the days of Laver & Rosewall; 6 of 8 Masters (all finals) & 3 of 4 majors & took his pet 500 in Beijing! His '15 actually was better than '11 where he lacked the YE Chp. in London! He doesn't need all of those wins, but he seriously seems to be trying!

    ***I have Fed currently @ having achieved nearly 28% > than Nole - if you quantify the pts they have won at 500 level & above, using current ATP weightings. That 28% gap though is shrinking fast:

    That is:
    For ease I have reduced the weighting pts down by a factor of 1000; eg. Slams are worth 2 instead of their ATP 2000.

    Scale is: (SV x 2) + (SEFNL x 1.5) + (SEFOL x 1.3) + (SEFRUNL x 1) + (SRU x 1.2) + (TOP9 x 1) + (TOP9RU x 0.60) + (SEFRUOL x 0.80) + (OSG x 0.75) + (SSF x 0.72) + (SEFSFNL x 0.60) + (500S x 0.50)

    Federer = (17 x 2) + (5 x 1.5) + (1 x 1.3) + (3 x 1) + (10 x 1.2) + (24 x 1) + (18 x 0.60) + (1 x 0.80) + (0 x 0.75) + (12 x 0.72) + (1 x 0.60) + (17 x 0.50) = 111.14

    Djokovic = (11 x 2) + (3 x 1.5) + (2 x 1.3) + (0 x 1) + (8 x 1.2) + (28 x 1) + (12 x 0.60) + (0 x 0.80) + (0 x 0.75) + (10 x 0.72) + (0 x 0.60) + (12 x 0.50) = 87.1

    Nadal = (14 x 2) + (0 x 1.5) + (0 x 1.3) + (2 x 1) + (6 x 1.2) + (27 x 1) + (14 x 0.60) + (0 x 0.80) + (1 x 0.75) + (3 x 0.72) + (1 x 0.60) + (16 x 0.50) = 84.11

    The current ATP weightings.

    •Slam Victories (SV) 2000 ATP pts
    •Slam R-ups (SRU) 1200 ATP pts
    •Slam SF's (SSF) 720 ATP pts
    •'Season End' final victories w/ no loss b4 F (SEFNL) 1500 ATP pts
    •SE final victories w/ 1 loss b4 F (SEFOL) 1300 ATP pts
    •SE final R-ups w/ no loss b4 F (SEFRUNL) 1000 ATP pts
    •SE final R-ups w/ 1 loss b4 F (SEFRUOL) 800 ATP pts
    •SE final SF's w/ no loss b4 SF (SEFSFNL) ATP 600 pts
    •Masters 1000 = victories (Top 9) ATP 1000 pts
    •Masters 1000 = R-ups (TOP9RU) ATP 600 pts
    •OG Metal Singles (OSG) ATP 750 pts
    •500 Series = (500S) ATP 500 pts***

    ReplyDelete
  65. *** - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novak_Djokovic_career_statistics#ATP_Tour_career_earnings -
    ---

    I'm fascinated by all aspects of Rafa's game and, as you likely know, enjoy statistical analysis. Rafa is one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, so watching his decline IS fascinating and worthy of conversation. And yes, if Rafa bounces back I'll be happy to talk about it. Actually, I'm hoping he can challenge Novak during clay season, even if I don't think it will happen.***

    The only reason I make mention is due to the endless fawning; esp. from past champs that were so over the top! It was ridiculous to think of Nadal as A GOAT of any era due to several obvious shortcomings; never able to defend a title off dirt, the endless upsets of late by "has beens, WC's, qualifiers, & never-weres," and of course his ranking bouncing up & down over the yrs w/ little consistency due to various reasons we may never fully know for sure! Even though behind Roger in major wins, so called experts (McEnroe & Wilander) thought he was > since he literally owned the man on any surface; esp. clay! Then those same experts went down a litany of reasons Nole could never catch up due to his coming into his own so late; "Nole can't beat Rafa on clay (dispelled), he can't beat Rafa in Bo5" (dispelled), & he won't get by Rafa in his path @ the FO (also dispelled in '15)!

    ***I hear you, Fiero, although back in late '13 I thought Rafa had a chance of passing Roger, and also laying sole claim to the GOAT title. Dial back after say the USO, and there was a clear path towards such heights for Rafa. He was 27 yo w/ 14 Slams. Then the flaws in his record were just aspects of his uniqueness, reminders that even the greatest players aren't perfect, and the gaps in his record still had a chance of being filled.

    Now he's almost 30, still w/ 14 Slams. I think b/c he dropped off like he did, his flaws stand out more b/c now it's clear that he'll ever rectify them. The biggest gap in his record is his lack of a Tour Finals title. While it isn't a Slam & shouldn't be viewed as such, it's the closest thing to a "5th Slam" that there is. Rafa's the only 6+ Slam winner of the Open Era who doesn't have a WTF title. ...But I think Novak will win it, maybe even more than once.
    ---

    I just realized that Mats Wilander also never won it. Laver, Rosewall, & Newcombe didn't either, but it only started in '70 so it's hard to penalize them for that. Connors (1), Borg (2), McEnroe (3), Lendl (5), Edberg (1), Becker (3), Agassi (1), Sampras (5), Federer (6), & Djokovic (5) all won it at least once.***

    Like Djokovic these days, Lendl literally owned the Masters Final (WTF); winning it twice in '86 when they decided to move the Chp. up from Jan.! Navratilova did the same after their season-ender was shifted from March to Nov. as well! This is something unique to those 2 greats that may never be duplicated!

    ***Interesting stat there, Fiero. More of a historical anomaly than a real accomplishment, but interesting nonetheless. - By my account, only 9 players have won 2 or more Slams at age 28 or later, and several great players didn't win any Slams that old. Roger has won only 2 Slams since turning 28, as did Sampras & Lendl, while Novak has won 3 (and counting) - the same as Connors. Actually, Novak will almost certainly surpass Agassi & Laver's Open Era record of 5 Slams at age 28 or older. I also think that this m/b the last year that we see 1 or both of Roger & Rafa in the top 5.***

    ReplyDelete
  66. ***There's so much talk about Djokovic potentially breaking the slam record of 17. IMO too much talk as such talk s/b when someone is really already in striking range (eg- 3 slams or < and still going super strong; so not Nadal today) However there's no talk about Nole possibly breaking Federer's 302 wks @ #1, or even Sampras's 6 YE #1's.

    I personally do think Djokovic has a decent shot @ the slam record. I would go as far as to say Djokovic is extremely likely to get both those records. If he's still #1 (w/o having lost it at any point) when the new rankings came out on 5/6/18, he'll have tied Federer's wks @ #1. Is there even a soul here who thinks barring a HUGE (like missing 5 months of tennis minimum) injury Djokovic will lose #1 at any point before then? Furthermore Djokovic being YE #1 in '16 is a slam dunk already; '17 is extremely likely. At least tying Sampras' YE #1 mark (and passing him in ITF #1's) is very likely. Should he still be #1 at the end of '18 (IMHO late '18 is the earliest I could possibly see someone else even challenging for #1) breaking it.
    ---

    Most wks @ #1, most YE #1's, most M1000's, most WTF Titles, most Career Prize Money, Nole Slam, CGS, Golden Masters slam. These are very realistic records Djokovic is gonna set. So, even if Djoker gets to 16, he has a gr8 chance to win the GOAT debate! - Basically the way I look at it is who else c/b #1 in the next 2+ years from today?

    Wawrinka, Federer, Nadal- hell no on each one. I think even the most ardent fans of each of these would fully concede there is virtually no chance of any of those ever being #1 ranked again (or in Wawrinka's case ever of course).

    It w/b pretty much a major shock if Djokovic doesn't break most of the #1 records. Much more obvious than the slam record which yes, some think he has a good shot at (some others think the complete op.), but is practically a big "who knows" at this point.
    ---

    I don't think Nole'll win more than 8 AO's. If I had to guess now it w/b that he ends up w/ exactly 8. While it's his best slam, he'll play 1 < in the future than the other slams as it has already taken place, and eventually you have to think some people who haven't won there will. ...He still has more to prove at the other slams, imparticular RG & the USO. I think he'll be hungrier at those moving forward, & combined that he has 1 more to play at both, he could well at least as many future slams at those 2 venues as the AO.
    ---

    The CYGS is enormously difficult to pull off. As dominant as Djokovic seems, he has shown himself vulnerable in the past even when people assumed he would win. The field "appears" weak, but the more Djokovic is hyped, the more pressure w/b placed on his shoulders and the more fired up guys like Kyrgios, Thiem, & Zverev w/b to knock him off.***

    It's the beginning of the end for both Rafa and Roger! The longer they stay on the tour, the more it hurts their legacies IMO! Borg left in '81, but had still won the FO over Lendl! Losing the finals of Wimbledon & USO were used as an excuse, but he didn't really want to retire! The ATP wouldn't give him much needed X away after so many yrs on tour; since he was 15 IIRC! He was always under pressure due to the way he played & then giving him an early high seeding due to Wimbledon boycott of the men in '73! They've revised the rules to accommodate the top players so this shouldn't happen to Nadal and Roger, but both might want to leave the tour anyway due to precipitous drops in results; esp. Roger not winning any majors since Wimbledon 4 yrs ago!

    ReplyDelete
  67. *** - http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx263/zvelf/Misc/Djokovic_v_Federer_era.jpg -

    Djokovic only won a slam in '12, '13 & '14. ...There has been some stroke of luck in the fact that Roger can compete, but has no stamina to take it the distance. Nadal's style of play has finally caught up to his body, and Andy's still that same moody kid who pouts when things head South. Occasionally, those 4 men break out of their particular afflictions & score a win over Djokovic, but very rare & growing even rarer on the big stages.***

    Near perfection in '11 almost killed Nole! ...I give him a break in those yrs where Roger got his 17th @ Wimbledon & Andy came into his own, Rafa's reprieve in '13 taking back the #1 ranking, & '14 adjusting to Becker's enlightenment & encouragement getting him ready for Wimbledon!

    ***Did you watch USO '11 F? Novak demolished Nadal w/ his BH & FH. I think Novak won over 50% return pts. He CRUSHED Peak Nadal in '11.***

    That USO & subsequent AO in '12 tells you all you need to know about how comp. those yrs were; sets taking well over an hr, matches going 4+ hrs, saving of MP's, breaks when serving for it, etc.! I think Nole had learned to "give back" all that stalling to Nadal to teach him a lesson & all it did was punish the fans! Almost 6 hrs; 11 hrs w/ the semi vs Murray! How could Nole be anything but drained for the next yr trying to win that 1 title?

    ***I think that match affected both Nadal & Nole. Nadal had a fresh start & advantage, but Novak served & returned better.***

    Not me! I've been trying to push him off the tour since his last major win 4 yrs ago! I really think he's hurting his legacy even making final after final only to go down in flames to the current #1! It's starting t/b like Connors in his later yrs; more a placeholder than a true champ.! He needs help like Soderling at '09 FO! His last definitive win IMO was AO in '10! His Wimbledon in '12 was a gift!

    ***Good tournament in MC for Roger. I was hoping he would play 2 matches; played 3.***

    He seemed to play well enough, but X is definitely not on his side! When it gets to the crunch near the end, he looks more his age!

    ***I think we've got 2, maybe 3 more yrs of Roger. I said recently that I think this is his last yr in the top 5. He'll play through '17, & maybe '18 if he's still top 10. But I w/b surprised to see him beyond '18. Same w/ Rafa.***

    Some players just don't know when to bow out! The $$$'s too good I guess! The majors alone cough up $2+ M for the winners!

    ***He enjoys playing & he's still doing well, so why not leave him to it? We're going to miss all these great players when they go. Imagine the tennis world w/o them.***

    I understand what you're saying & agree, but OTOH, I feel you stunt the next gen. thru reverence for past champions' accomplishments! I reference Michelle Kwan in figure skating that hung on for a good yr or 2 too long and it influenced the development of a great skater like Sasha Cohen! You can say, beat her, but psychologically it has to play on other athletes' minds when a legend is hanging around! Sampras left right on X & it changed the next wave, allowing Hewitt t/b #1 for 2 years, extended the career of Agassi, & didn't cast a shadow over the pending genius of Fed.

    ***The next gen. are stunted. They're so stunted, they're barely a stub. They needed to shove Federer out of the way, but they lack cojones. This has been a problem for a long X in the sport, the deference of the makeweights, the also-rans, the rollover jackpots. Fed retiring won't suddenly turn a bunch pigs ears into a shining batch of silk purses.***

    ReplyDelete
  68. ***...My fave read on TTW is "is Djokovic A 1 Slam Wonder?"***

    The experts like McEnroe & Wilander stepped in it for yrs! First Nadal's the best ever! After that, Nole might win over Nadal someX, but it won't ever be on clay, then he won't win in BO5 @ a major!

    ***Trust me, all of these "experts" claiming Novak'll brk every record will change their tune as soon as he loses a couple matches.***

    How perfect does he have t/b for you? He's had 5 years of near great results w/ the last season having him break all kinds records; some set for life IMO! He's inching up the list so fast, it's hard not to think if he keeps it up for 2 more yrs, it m/b in vogue to say "FEDAL who?"

    ***5 yrs of near great results? No, he had a fantastic '11 & then regressed a little bit until '14. He then had another great yr in '15, but it can't go on like that forever; esp. since he's in his late 20s. ...As for people saying FEDAL who? That won't ever happen, no matter what Djokovic manages to achieve. All 3 are greats & their legacies are set.***

    I've never been on Nole's bandwagon saying he won't ever lose, but it's been impressive w/ "runs" @ Masters & the YEC that may never be achieved in my lifeX again! Winning IW & Miami b2b like that the last few yrs & then adding a clay event in MC last season; well Fedal never did that! Hell, Nadal's never defended a title off the clay surface! What all X great has that kind of legacy? Federer's been close, but he needed Soderling to help in his quest for a FO in '09! I hope he got him something nice to fulfill that glaring hole in his resume; say a house back in Sweden! I could go on, but I might sound like a sycophant and I'm not; preferring the game of Sampras as 1 of my all X faves!

    ***I hate fucking Tsonga. Only plays good vs Roger ON CLAY. Retard. "Why don't you beat Rafa or Novak so often?" Aaaaaaaaa. Why does Roger get this idiot in his MC draw all the X. Why didn't Murray get him; or anyone else basically? No, it had to be Fed. Wow.***

    Roger had his chance! He won the 1st set which was key and even though he lost the 2nd, he served 1st in the 3rd! He allowed Jo to get up 15-30 twice near the end on his serve and it finally cost him! It wasn't like he ran away w/ it! There are several telltale signs of age and 1 of them is when it gets tight, misses will come to cost them! He was at the net & missed a routine volley when trying to break back @ 6-5; that's on Roger! He might have salvaged a win if he had gotten into that TB! Jo can get tight as well; still remember him having 4 MP's vs Nole at the FO a few years ago and choked it away on clay! It happens!

    ***Fiero, I'm as anxious as anyone for the next gen. to arrive, but I'm also happy to see Roger, as well as Rafa & Novak, around for as long as possible. Furthermore, if younger players can't beat them, well they don't deserve to reign over the tour. As I've said before, what we're seeing now is similar to what happened in the late 60s, when the younger gen. couldn't compete w/ old dudes like Rosewall & Laver. It wasn't until Ashe, Newcombe, Nastase, & Smith that younger players were able to take over, and these guys were all 6-12 years younger than the old guys. Talent comes in waves. There's a real low point in birth yrs of '89 to '94, w/ only a few semi-bright spots. It won't be until the guys born in '95-98 come into their own that we'll see a passing of the baton.***

    ReplyDelete
  69. ***Nole did it! Congrats to all Novak fans... 12 Slams & counting! - Djokovic has more titles (17) than losses (9) since the start of '15.***

    Not everyone can play the Olympics or would want to w/ the conditions of that toilet in RIO. ...Back in '13, Nole had an AO & was in the final of the other 3 majors, but made #1 over ATP's awarding the POY to Rafa who owned 2 majors! They've been @ odds forever which is why 1 runs the MAJORS while the other manages the rest of the tour!

    ***Who are your contenders for Wimbledon? Dark horses?***

    Nole w/b under immense pressure after winning FO & it w/b nice if he could match Rafa, Roger, & Bjorn in taking it the same season! ...Raonic has a new team working for him including McEnroe, so he's my dark horse! Neither Fed or Nadal will play or make the semi's IMO!

    ***It's not that these guys are just "too good" for Andy, it's just that he isn't good enough if that makes sense. Tennis fans deserve a better #2. Until then we're just gonna have to make do w/ him.***

    The way I see it, Murray has the ability, but doesn't keep it up; probably burning himself out w/ his passion early on! He's usually sucking wind after 2 hrs of playing that stupid defensive game when he came out smoking & attacking the net! ...Murray wastes so much energy w/ his "come ons" and needlessly upsetting the crowd w/ his rants to himself & player's box! It's like he doesn't see it happen again & again! He points to his head when something good happens; probably should do the same when he does idiotic things as well!

    ***I'm going to say this is how Nole will end his resume:

    Australian Open: 7
    French Open: 1
    Wimbledon: 5
    U.S. Open: 3
    ---

    I think I'm going to revise mine a bit:

    AO: 8 (He's comfortable here & can eek 2 more wins)
    Currently @ 6

    FO: 2 (Now that he broke the barrier, he'll nab a 2nd)
    Currently @ 1

    Wimbledon: 4-5
    Currently @ 3

    USO: 4
    Currently @ 2***

    To me, it's about X Nole had a pigeon in the final like past champions; say a Goffin, Berdych, or Ferrer! No champion has had it as tough as The Djoker going up vs the likes of Roger, Rafa, & Andy as much as him! Fed & Rafa have had their share for Gawd-sake!

    ***Of the 20 GS finals that Novak played, in 18 of them he faced Roger, Rafa or Andy across the net. The 2 exceptions are Tsonga in '08 AO & Stan in RG '15. The chances that he'll face Roger or Rafa in the finals in future is obviously dramatically decreasing. While he may continue to face Andy for some more finals, I'm very sure that he'll get his own fair share of pigeons in the near future.***

    Tsonga doesn't count since that was his 1st major! Stan is better than Andy so Nole's really been put through the ringer to win his titles; bar none!

    ...That's why it's a sad state now w/ Fedal gone b/c Nole has a clear path to unlimited greatness which he doesn't deserve as clearly he's an inferior player to both Fed & Nadal.***

    You almost had me until the gratuitous insult of the greatest returner in tennis history! There are plenty of good players; just don't know how to finish him off! Kei, Theim, Raonic, & others are more than competent & represent the sport well! They've just been unlucky enough to have to deal w/ 3 of the best in the game at the same X! Hewitt wouldn't have been "anybody" if born a couple yrs earlier or later; he lucked out! Players like Wawrinka, Murray, Cilic, Gasquet, Tsonga, Ferrer, & Berdych weren't so fortunate & it stopped them from taking at least a couple majors!

    ***I don't think there's any doubting when it's all said and done that Novak w/b considered a > all round player than Nadal ever was and in terms of current standing on this supposed "GOAT List."***

    ReplyDelete
  70. ***...I think Nole wins at least 2 more Slams after this year, so if he gets to 13 by year's end, then I would put it at 15-16.***

    I think we're all being very cons. in the count! He should pick up at least 1 more this season & 2 more next year! There's no reason to believe anyone on the tour right now can stop him from adding to his count consistently for the next 3 yrs even w/ history showing how difficult it is after turning 30! He's in great shape, quite flexible, & the tour is deficient mentally & can't seem to compete at his level for any length of X! There are great players, but they can't seem to stay on court themselves for more than a month or so; esp. Raonic & Kei! Things could change, but right now I see no reason to believe Nole can't break all the top records or add to his own!

    ***I think Novak wins somewhere in the 15-18 range.

    Or to put it another way...

    ...if he wins no more this year he'll win 15 total
    ...if he wins 1 more this year he'll win 16-17 total
    ...if he wins 2 more this year he'll win 17-18 total
    ---

    Five stages of Fedal Fan Grief:

    • Stage 1: Denial
    • Stage 2: Anger
    • Stage 3: Weak Era Argument
    • Stage 4: Depression
    • Stage 5: Acceptance
    ---

    If Djokovic wins OG & CYGS this year, does he become better than Federer? Even though he has 3 Slams <, the CYGS is so tough to achieve. Fed failed to achieve it every single yr, even when he was at his absolute peak. If Djokovic does it this year, as well as obtain OG, surely this makes him better. If you also add in the other achievements - more YE #1's, more YEC's, more Masters titles, winning H2H over Nadal etc. Then there's a strong case for him being better than Federer if he achieves OG & CYGS this year.
    ---

    Perhaps about = b/c 6 in a row + the much coveted CYGS w/b a massive deal. Maybe >, maybe not. - Novak has been to the finals of 21 of the last 22 1st tier events (Masters, Master Cup, & Slams). I love Roger fans calling weak era b/c those world beaters Fed had to beat from '03-07 on a fast court were so fearsome.***

    People seem to forget USO semi of '10 & '11 where Roger was still in his prime w/ MP's vs Nole, but allowed him to come back w/ spectacular play & aplomb! That was 5 or 6 yrs ago! Was Roger doddering even then? People have such short memories; or what I call "willful blindness!"

    ***Or '07 when a puppy/asthmatic Djokovic beat Roger, Rafa, & Andy on cons. days, then the #1, 2, & 3 players in the world. Could you imagine the reaction if a 19 or 20 yo guy did that today? Plus he ran Roger real close in the USO final that year, lost in str. sets, but had SP's in every single set & basically choked the match away by wasting them.
    ---

    I would ?? Federer being in his prime then. As a Nadal fan I'm honest enough to say that in his sight, I don't think he was @ his very peak in '08 W or AO '09 finals. Fed had dominated for 5 yrs & mentally & physically it must have took its toll, then Nadal & Djokovic appear young & fresh w/ big games.
    ---

    ...btw neither Fed or Nadal won 4 straight Slams. He's Laverovic you have to deal w/ that now.***

    They'll start to undermine it saying "it means nothing if not w/i a CY!" I think I heard it for the 1st X w/ Agassi just to pump up his resume! It was nothing like Martina's run of 6 majors in a row and they still give her no credit for that!

    ***Of course, I guarantee the more Djokovic wins the more boring & arrogant he gets, the more he becomes the death of tennis, the more his era becomes weak. The funny thing is for years we all said that Fed's rollover gen. of contemporaries was laughably weak. ...Now that someone other than Fed is dominating even more impressively than Federer & threatening many of his records all of sudden weak eras are everywhere. Not all Fed fans, just those that have to continually denigrate other greats who have supplanted Roger.***

    ReplyDelete
  71. ***Nole just right passed his 29th birthday. Let us examine what happened to other all-X-greats at this stage.

    First, Fed.
    '10 USO Lost to Nole in SF
    '11 AO Lost to Nole in SF
    '11 RG Lost to Rafa in Final
    '11 SW19 Lost to Tsonga in QF
    '11 USO Lost to Nole in SF
    '12 AO Lost to Rafa in SF
    '12 RG Lost to Nole in SF
    '12 SW19 Champion
    '12 USO Lost to Berdych in QF

    He reached at least QF's in the next 2 yrs (9 majors). If Rafa & Nole were taken away, he lost only twice to outliner, which m/b attributed to his aging. That is really amazing.

    In Pistol’s case, he was only a factor in USO after 29th BD & there were no Rafa or Nole stopping him. Ironically he didn’t face Agassi until his swan song. Pete fell from peak much more steeply. Though both Pistol and Fed won only 1 major after 29th birthday, the context is very diff. It's as laughable to call 1 X wonder the same btw Roddick & Gaudio.

    In Agassi’s case, he won 6 after 29th BD. The baseline player didn’t necessarily age worse than S&V type. Nole’s style's closer to Agassi’s than Pete's & I didn’t see it disadvantage.

    Playing style cannot tell much on aging pattern. Nole's diff. from Rafa that he doesn’t have repeated injury history. If his aging is anything close to Fed, 17 is not daydream in this WEAK ERA.
    ---

    1. You can see Roger's clear era of dominance, from '04-07, and then a plateau phase of '08-12, w/ '13-present being strongly declined. Actually, these charts clearly depict how Roger really hasn't won much from '13 to the present - that's the last 3 1/2 yrs.

    2. '11 & '13 are the 2 yrs in which the Big 4 won every big title. I like to call '12 "The Year of the Big 4," b/c it was the most evenly balanced btw the 4. '08-13 is the range in which at least 3 of the 4 won Slams, & '05-14 is the range in which at least 2 won Slams.

    3. Each of the Big 4 have had 1 year in which they did not have any shares of big titles: '13 for Roger, '15 for Rafa, '10 for Novak, & '14 for Murray.
    ---

    Nole has a 3 yr window (14 slam ops left counting the remaining to 2) to surpass Federer to win 5-6 more slams. So basically he has to win < than 1/2 of the remaining Slams btw now and the USO '19 to surpass Federer. I think thats probable, barring injury. What's he gonna be in '19; 32 yrs of age? Thats nothing. Not to mention Nole was a late bloomer compared to Nadal. Thats also not to mention, he could very well win more @ 33-34 yrs old (I mean Fed was still reaching slam finals @ 34 as was Agassi even at 35). Nole's good for at LEAST 1 more slam this year, ending the year at 13. Getting nervous yet Fed fans?
    ---

    ...You lost me w/ '11-16 being a stronger era. Meanwhile the guy who Novak beat at RG is a mighty 2-8 in Slam finals. Am I missing something or are there other guys out there challenging Novak? Stan 2 matches every decade? Last 3 Slam finals Fed & Djokovic played 'guess who' had an overwhelming advantage. Could it be the guy nearly 34/35? I think not. Pull the other 1 w/ the nonsense that this is a strong era in tennis right now, please, 'cos no 1 at all is buying that.***

    ReplyDelete
  72. ***Have the past 12 months been the most dominant period of any male player ever? Nole's rec:

    Won Wimbledon
    Won US Open
    Won Beijing
    Won Shanghai
    Won Paris Indoors
    Won WTF
    Won Doha
    Won AO
    Won IW
    Won Miami
    Won Madrid
    Won RG

    Final Canada
    Final Cinci
    Final Rome

    Largest pt diff. btw 1 & 2
    52 str. wks @ #1
    Winning H2H vs all main rivals
    YE #1

    If that doesn't make it the most dominant 12 months, then IDK what will.
    ---

    Speaking about W/L % as a most significant criteria of greatness & dominance:

    Match record * % W–L

    1. Sweden- Björn Borg 83.4 136–27

    2. Serbia- Novak Djokovic 82.8 288–60

    3. Spain- Rafael Nadal 82.29 316–68

    4. USA- John McEnroe 82.28 195–42

    5. Czech.- Ivan Lendl 81.7 223–50

    6. Switz.- Roger Federer 77.1 330–98

    And if No1e have 33% more slams in last 12 months than Fed in '06, but have a poorer performance b/c of W/L % than will Fed have a poorer career performance than No1e when No1e wins another Slam. He will have 30% more slams, but poorer W/L records!
    ---

    Since losing the FO final last yr, Djokovic has won 12 titles includ. all 4 majors, the WTF & 5 Masters 1000s. His W-L record is 85-6. I'm just wondering if these past 12 months c/b regarded as the most dominant by any player in history, and not just in the Open Era. I'm not sure about Laver's stats, but perhaps he had an even more impressive run in the late '60s. - Djokovic is the only man to have ever reached 3 cons. finals for each of the Slams. This is why he'll continue to win majors b/c you have to keep making it there. The min. you have a string of poor results @ a Slam the harder it gets.
    ---

    21 of the last 22 1st tier events; Masters, Year ender, & Slams have featured Djokovic in the final w/ him winning 17 of those. He has now won 5 of the last 6 Slams as well. No, we have never seen dominance like this; not even in Fed's heyday. Novak goes into every match on every surface vs every opp. as the fave. Even in Fed or Nadal's heyday, you simply couldn't make that statement.***

    ReplyDelete
  73. ***Yep - and Pete had the nerve to downplay the legitimacy of clay as a surface to excuse his shocking results LMAO.***

    As X goes on, poor Petey will continue to drop in the GOAT discussion unfortunately! I was on the bandwagon just 10 yrs ago giving him the highest accolades even w/o a FO final played! At the X, he was so far ahead of his closest rivals & dwarfed the records of past greats, we were all ready to give him a pass on taking a FO title! He had 14 Majors which was significant back then and we were ready to carry his water to place him above Laver; now he's fallen back down due to awesome results of Roger, Rafa, & Nole! He's seen his stock truly fall! Laver's 2 CYGS; 1 as an amateur & 1 as a pro in '69 put him above Sampras for good even though 3 Majors short! OTTH, the old & new GOAT lists are as follows:

    Before '06:
    1- Sampras (14 Major - 6 YE #1)
    2- Laver (11 Majors - 2 CYGS '62 & '69)
    3- Borg (11 Majors - 5 Str. SW19 & 6 FO's)
    4- Emerson (12 Majors - CGS in Singles & Dbls)
    5- Connors (8 Majors)
    6- Lendl (8 Majors)
    7- Agassi (8 Majors - CGS)
    8- McEnroe (7 Majors)
    9- Wilander (7 Majors)
    10- Tilden (10 Majors)

    After '10 so far, but could change:
    1- Federer (17 Majors -7 SW19's, 5 USO's, 4 AO's, 1 FO, 302 wks @ #1 & CGS)
    2- Djokovic (12 Majors - 200+ wks @ #1, CGS, the most Masters 1000's, winning rec. over his closest rivals)

    3- Nadal (14 Majors - 9 FO's)
    4- Laver (11 Majors - 2 CYGS '62 & '69)
    5- Sampras (14 Major - 6 YE #1)
    6- Borg (11 Majors - 5 Str. SW19 & 6 FO's)
    7- Agassi (8 Majors - CGS)
    8- Lendl (8 Majors)
    9- Connors (8 Majors)
    10- McEnroe (7 Majors)

    ***Good stuff, Fiero. 1st of all, you really should include Pro Slams among majors, which would give Laver 19, not 11. He spent most of his best years on the pro tour and won 8 Pro Slams. As you likely know, the Pro Slams were shorter tourneys, more like the WTF's today - but they included the very best players on tour; far better than the Amateur Slams during the 60s.

    But maybe Laver & Rosewall belong to the pre-Open Era, and we should treat them differently. As I see it, right now Federer maintains his hold as the greatest of the Open Era, at least in terms of career accomplishments. After him you have Sampras, Nadal, & Djokovic clustered together in some order. By the end of this year I think Novak will have separated himself from the other 2, even if he only wins 1 more Slam.

    TENNISBASE.COM'S ALL-X RANKINGS
    1. Rod Laver 2836
    2. Ken Rosewall 2607
    3. Roger Federer 2603
    4. Bill Tilden 2361
    5. Novak Djokovic 2182
    6. Ivan Lendl 2162
    7. Rafael Nadal 1990
    8. Pancho Gonzales 1985
    9. Jimmy Connors 1845
    10. Pete Sampras 1808
    11. John McEnroe 1747
    12. Bjorn Borg 1636
    13. Andre Agassi 1555
    14. Tony Wilding 1414
    15. Boris Becker 1323
    16. Don Budge 1310
    17. Roy Emerson 1278
    18. Bobby Riggs 1189
    19. Stefan Edberg 1184
    20. Laurence Doherty 1163

    It's interesting to note that they rank Novak ahead of Rafa, which is something I did earlier in the year and got a bit of (friendly) flack for. It's also clear that Roger will soon pass Rosewall, but probably not Laver. I can agree w/ that as I think Rod Laver--not Roger--has t/b considered the all-X #1. I'd probably also put Lendl below Nadal & Sampras, and Connors below Borg & McEnroe. Borg's the hardest player to rank b/c his career was so short & we didn't see what his decline phase would have looked like.***

    ReplyDelete
  74. ***...in Nov. of last yr, which I post again w/ some adds:

    1. From '11 thru '13, the Big 4 won 41/42 of the big events, w/ only Ferrer's lone win in Paris in '12 bucking the trend.

    2. '14 was their least dominant yr for a decade, w/ 4 'non-big 4' winners, when there had never been more than 3 since '04!

    3. But in '15 it reverted & went back down to only 1 'non-big 4' winner - 1 of the top 4 most dominant Big 4 yr so far.

    4. This stat is true of all of the Big 4: since winning their 1st 'Big 14' tourney, every member of the Big 4 has gone on to win at least 1 of the Big 14 events every yr from then on right up to the present, except for 1 dodgy yr for each of them. For Novak, it was '10, for Roger '13, for Andy '14 & for Rafa '15.

    Will '16 be another of these yrs, or will all the 'Big 4' win at least 1 of the 'Big 14' next year?!

    5. Despite the Big 4's dominance, there have only been 2 yrs so far where they won all 14 big events, '11 & '13.

    In '11 all the Big 4 won big events, but in '13 it was just Novak, Andy & Rafa, as Roger had his dodgy yr.

    (In both '12 & '15 they came close, winning 13/14, in '12 w/ all the big 4 winning big events, but in '15 just Novak, Andy & Roger, w/ Rafa having his dodgy yr.)

    So far this yr, not only have all 7 big events been won by the Big 4, they have constituted 11/14 final spots too!

    For comparison, last yr 25/28 final spots throughout the yr were filled by Big 4 members.

    Also, over 1/2 of the big finals so far this yr (4 of the 7) have been Djokovic-Murray finals.
    ---

    ...they thought Fed w/b an all X great even after his 1st major--they don't say that about everybody. Everybody was talking about Nadal as he came up. Folks talked about Nole when he was 19 having the talent t/b a great player--not just good, but great. Roger, Rafa & Nole are greats b/c they are simply better, particularly when it counts.***

    It has been a strange merry-go-round w/ these 3 players! You had Roger dominating initially starting in '03, winning everything in sight; 3 major finals 3 X's! The tide turned a little w/ the ascension of Rafa; esp. @ the FO! He started to impose his will on Roger, finally beating him on all surfaces; even Wimbl. grass! Then along came Nole defeating them both & taking 3 majors of his own in '11! They played a little volleyball w/ the top ranking for a few yrs, now Nole has taken over for good! He's really exerting dom. on the tour; Majors, Masters, & now 4 str. WTF wins @ O2! They all are CGS winners, but unlike Roger & Rafa, Nole owns all 4 Slams at the moment w/ a chance at a CYGS this season after taking his 1st FO title over a relative pigeon & perennial "also-ran," Murray! Right now, it doesn't look like anyone can stop him from overtaking all the Open records, but it can change w/ this new gen. of players like Theim, Kei, & Raonic; we'll see!

    ***...There simply aren't any players on tour right now that are capable of a consistently high level of play to seriously challenge Novak.
    ---

    ...to take out Novak, 1 needs consistent high level of play in just 1 match. Many people like Simon, Belluci, etc. have come close before.***

    But you have t/b able to finish; unlike Simon who was on top of Nole who committed 100 UFE & still let the match get away from him! Kei was beating him on clay a few wks ago & also allowed Nole to escape in a 3rd set TB! Murray was scary good in the 1st set of the FO, but he forgot how he beat him just a few wks before in Rome! It's all in their head & Nole doesn't panic! As soon as you ease up or miss a volley, he grabs them by the throat & snatches victory from defeat!

    ReplyDelete
  75. ***We can plot Novak's career into 3 phases as below:

    Phase 1 : Fedal Era ('05- 10)
    1 Major in 24 appearance
    1 WTF in 4 app.

    Phase 2 : Big 4 Era (2011-14 FO)

    5 majors in 14 app.
    2 WTF in 3 app.

    Phase 3 : Murray's Strong Depth Era ('14 Wimb - til date)

    6 majors in 8 app.
    2 WTF in 2 app.

    Extending this a little further til the end of this yr; cons. basis.

    7 majors in 9 app.
    3 WTF in 3 app.

    How does Murray figure that the current era has more depth?

    Roger has Rolex, Nadal has Richard Milles, Djokovic has...Seiko
    Roger & Nadal have Nike, Djokovic has...Uniqlo
    Roger has Mercedes, Nadal has KIA , Djokovic has....Peugeot - Fed '06
    ---

    I've mentioned before, that I think tennis s/b viewed as distinct eras:
    •Pre Open Era
    •Open Era '68-03
    •Open Era '03-Present (Poly String/More regulated conditions)◦This era we've seen 3 cons. dominant players collect the CS & put up unheard of #'s - everyone includ. former & current players & fans alike conclude that tennis in '16 is a diff. game than tennis in '93. It's almost like hard-bat ping pong paddles vs Sponge Bats in table tennis - it's a completely diff. game.

    It's clear that every dom. player from now on will amass a CS. Hell Murray might even end his career w/ a CS - it's really not out of the realm of discussion. Nole 6+ #1's is all but a forgone conclusion barring something freak happening (injury - another player becoming as dom.) Both of those are unlikely...I wonder what year we're going to see a player go undefeated the entire year - Nole was the closest yet - except m/b Federer when he lost 4 matches - Noles 41-0 start to '11 was ridiculous. - ...We know Nadal never had Feds Consistency or Dominance, but Novak's Rod Lavers Successor.
    ===

    The '88-93 gen. are a joke. Nishikori's the highest ranked of that group @ #6. The top 5 is 29 & older. Nishikori fluked 1 slam victory over Djkovoic ('14 USO). Hasn't beaten him since & gotten drubbed every X. Where's the Marat Safin of the '93-97 gen. to show up & just grab a Slam? Alex Zverev is YEARS away. The tour isn't the same as in 2000 when it wasn't as much about fitness. Now everyone is incredibly fit & only Djokovic can win the Slams b/c he just doesn't make errors & you can't hit winners by him w/ enough regularity to matter. Federer tried @ 2015 USO final, but it was a futile effort. Andy Murray in the FO Final was a joke compared to Fed's effort in the USO Final and he's 6 yrs younger.
    ---

    (From the past; maybe 5 yrs ago) - Djokovic will never win another Slam.

    *Oy vey said: ↑

    2-3 more Slams, tops.

    *soyizgood said: ↑

    ^^5 slams' definitely pushing it. I'm not sure he'll even make 5 slam finals for as long as Nadal holds up.

    ^^The 1st 4 pages are like diamonds.***

    I love harking back to the proclamations of seasoned veterans like McEnroe and Wilander! They put so many limits on Nole years ago! Wilander in particular actually thought Rafa would own Nole for all time, saying he'll never beat Nadal on clay or Bo5 at a Slam! He's eating crow every time Djokovic comes onto the court because few if any thought his accomplishments were attainable by anyone, much less Nole! I've only gone with how I felt at the time and actually believed he had another chance of winning 4 majors in a row with multiple Masters to make it even more difficult for a record-breaker! His 2015 was actually better than 2011 and love checking the record book to see the updates where he's taken over or is running right behind Roger! Adding that YEC to 3 majors and 6 Masters was enough for me in '15, but it looks as if he has loftier goals of taking not only a NCGS, but an OGGS this season! I still wish he'd change his mind about going to RIO; just not worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  76. ***Djokovic won the FO & not a single Fk was given.***

    It threatens the narrative & constant pontificating of the Fedal era! The media perpetuates it by musing back to a rivalry that never really existed! It's been a fraud since '08 when Roger finally fell to Rafa on his beloved grass court; his last refuge believed by the most loyal of fans! Even now, we'll never know if Roger truly still "has it" to turn around their H2H record as Nole has w/ them b/c 1 or both can't seem to reach their appointed Rds!

    ***- Djokovic leads Nadal in MS titles @ 29-28.
    - Djokovic narrows the gap in Slams to 14-12.
    - The gap in career titles stays at 4 at 69-65, but Djokovic overtakes Borg & Sampras, both of whom are on 64.
    - Djokovic overtakes Agassi in finals, leading 92-90.
    - Djokovic has won 8 of the MS events twice or >.
    - Most importantly, Djokovic completes the CGS & gets a Novak Slam.
    ---

    1) Nole already ahead or tied w/ Rafa:
    a. Wks @ #1: 204-141.
    b. Yrs @ #1: Confirmed YE #1 for '15, so 4-3 as of the end of the yr. 4-3.
    c. WTF's: 5-0.

    2) Caught up:
    a. Masters Series titles: 57-51. 29-28, 42-42 in finals.
    b. Career H2H: 26-23 to Djokovic.
    ...
    d. Career titles: @ the end of '15, he overtook Nastase & now leads 59-58 in career titles. ... Vilas' on 62, w/ Borg & Sampras tied on 64. So, if Djokovic wins 6 titles, he will overtake all of Agassi, Vilas, Borg, & Sampras. Titles: 69-65. Finals: 101-92. SF's: 135-127.

    3) A chance:
    a. GS titles: 14-12!
    b. Career winning %: Djokovic leads 83.05 - 82.57!

    Other categories suggested:
    a. Wins over top 10 opps: Djokovic 151-133 Nadal 174-140.
    b. Career match wins: 698 - 771. 730 - 796.
    c. Slam match wins: Djokovic 221-200 Nadal.
    ...
    e. Slam SF's reached: Djokovic 30-23 Nadal.
    f. Slam QF's reached: Djokovic 36-29 Nadal.
    g. Slam match winning %: Nadal leads 87.0 - 86.7 [200-30 vs 221-34]. Djokovic will overtake if he wins Wimbledon, although only very marginally.
    ---

    Djokovic certainly has a chance to break Fed's record. The only thing that could really prevent him from doing so are emerging new players & father X. Decade of stats have shown how hard winning a major past 30 is. Another 5 majors looks easily attainable based on how he plays now, but 5 majors after 30 is an entirely diff. beast.
    ---

    ...Agreed. Putting Zverev, who is very inexperienced in front of a former finalist & more experienced up-and-comer seems very 'prisoner of the moment'***

    But Zverev is on a run! Sometimes experience weighs on the veteran! How many good runs at majors do Tsonga, Cilic, Berdych, & Ferrer have w/ 50+ opportunities? They stink! I'm going all in w/ Zverev and Theim! We can only hope Kei & Milos back up their results! I'm so hoping they all continue this great stretch of tourney results! "Please back it up next season guys!"

    ***1. The Berdychs & Tsongas of the world have proven many X's that they can't deliver and so it does make some sense to have high odds on them.

    2. ... Berdych, Gasquet, etc. certainly have > chances of going deep, but Zevrev probably has > chances of winning.

    3. It's not like they're giving Zevrev a great chance to win either. They are just giving him 1% chance, that's all.

    4. Finally, the odds have t/b understood from "business perspective" as well. Lots of people w/b likely to put $$ on Zevrev if they give him good odds than otherwise as he's currently trending. The bookies can have fun looting all these $$ as Zevrev's not yet ready to win a major.***

    ReplyDelete
  77. ***...Murray's matches are no longer double the price of Djoke's, but not b/c people want to see him.***

    Like Lendl, he's getting used to it! It obviously doesn't hurt his results!...The same thing happened to Martina in '81 after losing the USO to Austin! They cheered her on in '83 even though Evert was the opp.! She had 6 titles so NO TEARS for Chrissie's plight!

    ***...Novak got seeds 5 & 6 & Andy got seeds 7 & 8. There is a 16.66% chance of that happening @ Wimbledon. Combining both, this is the worst possible unbalanced 2 halves. Seeds 1, 3, 5 & 6 in top 1/2 & seeds 2, 4, 7 & 8 in bottom 1/2. There's only 8.33% chance of this worst case distrib. of top 8 seeds arising in a random draw & Andy managed to hit it.***

    Oh ye of little faith! There's a reason Nole holds the record for defeating the most top 10'rs w/ 31 last season; takes on all comers! ...I think Andy's ready, but anything can happen; esp. if winning a warm-up event! Murray won Canada last yr; what good did it do him @ the USO?

    ***My prediction of 18 Slams--6 more than Nole has now--is based upon several factors: that he has shown no signs of decline yet, that the tour is particularly weak right now, & will continue t/b weak through @ least '17. Some decline's inevitable, although whether in '17, '18, or even '19 we don't know.

    Novak has 3 Slams left before turning 30. If he wins all 3, he'll be @ 15, have won 7 Slams in a row, & not only be well situated to pass Roger to finish w/ 18+, but have a real chance to finish as the nearly-undisputed GOAT; @ least of the Open Era. If he wins 2 of those 3 Slams, he w/b @ 14 & still have a solid chance of passing Roger, but m/b more like 50-50. He'll probably finish in the 16-18 range, depending upon where he & the rest of the tour are @ a year from now.

    If he wins only 1 of those 3 Slams, he w/b @ 13 on his 30th BD & will not pass Roger; would finish more in the 14-16 range. So the pt is, those next 3 Slams are huge--they're his window of opportunity.
    ---

    ...if we're talking about accomplishments strictly, h2h is not an accomplishment, its a stat ...***

    I do look at the record book & Nole's moving up or has passed all comers! He actually improved his winning % & inched by Borg! Check it out; fascinating to see it change so rapidly since everything Nole's winning these days seems t/b gravy! He's already done so much before 30 after getting such a late start!

    ***I think he will end up going down as the GOAT on paper, & he earned it. In my eyes though Fedal will always be slightly better. - not disagreeing w/ that, but that's an entirely different thing from propping up his h2h vs Federer & saying he "owned" him.***

    Well it's a much better situation w/ Nole than it is w/ Rafa who truly does own him! We used to make excuses saying most of those victories were on clay, but after Fed lost that Wimbledon final in '08, the so called rivalry was diminished IMO! It's something made up to seem like FEDAL meant something! He had a better tête-à-tête w/ Nole when wins legitimately went back & forth; as late at '12 Wimbledon semi! Since then, he's snuck a Master or 2 on a fast HC!

    ***He can, but Djokovic severely underachieved at the USO & FO. A player w/ his abilities should have won 4 USOs & 2 FOs at least. Now he's playing catchup.***

    Like Rafa, he's usually about "done" after the summer tournaments & needs to refresh for FALL season in Asia & Europe! When you start w/ an AO, IW, Miami, & a clay Masters before the FO, it has to catch up to him! Nole will win another FO & USO in the future; I have little doubt of that!

    ReplyDelete
  78. ***Being a yr younger, Nole's still catching up Nadal's win-loss %, the highest being 83.85% in March '14. Now he ='s Nadal's record from May '15: 880 matches played, 731–149 @ 83.07% - In comparison, I think Fed never reached 82% win-loss rec.
    ---

    Just saw the Nole/Querrey result. I just figured Nole would come back & win all 3 sets today. Now people will understand why it's so hard for anyone to win a CYGS & why Graf (won the OGM the same yr) was the last person to do it - male or female. In 1 fill swoop Querrey has ended Nole's Slam hopes, stopped his run of Slam finals in a row - and streak making QF's & Semis in a row.***

    I'm ok w/ it! IMO Nole's been playing just well enough to win! He hasn't necess. played awesome since Qatar where he wiped out Nadal dropping only 3 games! He looked rather emaciated to me! There's fit, then there's running around w/ "skin & bones!" Nole was obviously ticked on being on Court 1 rather than CC & he really blew it by using up his challenges early in that last set! He could have used them on 2 close calls that the linesmen missed! I say he can use the rest; spend X w/ his family & get ready for the summer to close a hole in his resume; Cincy Masters & take another USO! I'm happy enough that he @ least won his FO!

    ***I think Novak choked, big X. He certainly was due a bad day, & I don't blame him even a little bit if he found things t/b a bit overwhelming. SomeX's they're lucky & eek it out, other X's they lose. It's a pity, b/c he was chasing more history & we don't often get to see this happen - a genuine contender at the GS - so he's t/b admired, I reckon. Pity for his fans too, & the game of tennis. Well done to Querry!
    ---

    Haven't yet seen the match but, on the face of it, this doesn't smell like a choke. We tend to start the countdown to the CYGS very soon, but the players know better. As such, having won 4 majors in a row, Novak has already made the 'Grand slam.' The biggest diff. being that the media frenzy is largely absent if it's not done w/i a CY. Novak won RG for the 1st X after winning SW 19, USO, AO in a row...didn't choke there. Btw, Laver didn't have to deal w/ the pressure of the media countdown to a CYGS like it is nowadays.
    ---

    Novak's now 4-21 (16%) in bo5 matches in his career where he has dropped the 1st 2 sets. Of course the 4 he won all went the full 5 sets - Anderson '15 WC, Seppi '12 RG, Fed '11 USO, GGL '05 WC. Of the 21 he lost:

    2 have been in 5 sets - Murray '12 USO & Melzer in RG '10.
    6 have been in 4 sets including this last vs Querrey.
    14 have been in 3 sets.
    In comparison, Rafa's 3-17 (15%), Roger's 8-32 (20%), & Andy's 9-34 (21%) in the same situation.
    ---

    ESPN just ranked Novak ahead of Nadal. It's becoming consensus opinion. His resume owns Nadal's everywhere except Slam count. 60+ wks @ #1, 5 WTFs, Masters lead, h2h lead, more dominant seasons, better across all surfaces, more than makes up for 2 Slams. Nevermind the fact that Novak's resume is still expanding.
    ---

    A few notes on Djokovic's dominance:

    - Exactly 2 yrs ago today, prior to the current era, Djokovic still had a losing record in Slam finals.

    - Exactly 1 yr ago today, Djokovic had still only won more than 1 slam in a year once.
    - Prior to Fed turning 30 & Nadal bottoming out due to injuries in '14, Djoker was a combined 6-13 vs them in Slams.

    - To this day, of any all-X great, Djoker still holds the highest % of wks at #1 while holding only 1 Slam.
    ---

    In '75 or '85, this raw #'s argument mhb quite effective. ...In '16, you simply cannot throw out raw #'s, devoid of any context, and expect them t/b accepted.***

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  79. ***All-X rec:

    Event - Since - Rec. accomp. by Nole - - Players tied

    Non-Cal. Yr GS - - SA
    Highest HC match win % - (88.4%) - SA
    ATP World Tour '70 - 34 Top-tier HC tourneys won - SA
    10 Top tier tourneys won in a season - SA
    18 Top tier tourney finals in a row - SA
    15 str. finals reached in a season ('15) - SA
    30+ match wins vs Top 10 opps in a season - SA
    Defeated all Top 10 players in a season - SA
    Highest overall match win % (83.0%) - SA
    ATP World Tour Masters 1000 '70 - 29 titles overall - SA
    6 titles won season ('15) - SA
    2 yrs winning 5+ titles - SA
    4+ titles at 4 diff. tourneys - SA
    Highest Masters match win % (82.8%) - SA
    ATP Rankings '73 Highest # of ranking pts as World #1 (16,950) - SA
    Paris Masters '68 4 men's titles - SA
    IW's Masters '74 5 men's titles - SA
    China Open '93 6 men's titles - SA
    Shanghai Masters '09 3 men's titles - SA

    GS tourneys recs - attained - - Open Era since '68

    - '08–16 CGS (Winning 4 Majors @ least once) Laver, Agassi, Federer, Nadal
    - '15–16 Non-CYGS - - SA
    - Holding all 4 Major titles @ once - Laver
    - Holding all 4 Major titles on 3 diff. surfaces at once - SA
    - 30 cons. GS match wins - SA
    - '10–16 3+ cons. finals in all 4 Majors - SA
    - '15 All 4 Major finals in a season - Laver & Federer
    - '07–08 Youngest to reach the SF's of all 4 Majors (20 yrs, 250 days) - SA

    USO - '07–16 12 HC finals overall - Fed
    '10–13 7 cons. HC finals - SA
    '05–16 Highest HC match win % - 88.4% (114–15) - SA

    AO - '11–2012 & '15–16
    2 streaks of 3 cons. Major titles - Fed

    Wimbledon - '11–15
    3+ titles @ each of the 2 Majors

    - '16 Winning AO/FO title double in a season - Laver, Wilander & Courier
    - AO '12 Longest GS final (by duration) vs Nadal - Nadal
    - Djokovic's the 8th man to win the CGS and 1 of 6 players in the Open Era (Connors, Wilander, Agassi, Fed, Nadal) to win GS's on 3 diff. surfaces.

    Recs @ each GS tourney - attained in the Open Era of tennis since '68

    - AO '08–'16 6 titles overall - SA
    - 6 finals overall - SA
    - '11–13 3 consecutive titles SA
    - 3 cons. finals - Wilander & Lendl
    - '11–14 - 25 cons. match wins - SA
    - FO '09–16 6 cons. SF's apps - SA
    - USO '12 Longest final (by duration) vs Murray - Murray
    - Djokovic's the 1st & only player in the Open Era t/b undefeated in 6 AO finals; a perfect 6-0 record.

    ATP WTF's recs:

    - '12–15 4 cons. titles - SA
    - 15 cons. match wins - - SA
    - '14 - 76.1% (51–16) games winning % in 1 tourney - SA
    - '11 Qualified the earliest – 18 wks, 6 days - SA
    - Djokovic's the 4th man w/ Federer, Lendl & Sampras to win the WTF 5 X's

    ATP Masters 1000 records - GP Super Series began in '70
    ATP Masters Series was introduced in '90
    IW's '08–16 5 titles overall - SA
    '07–16 6 finals overall - SAA
    '14–2016 3 cons. titles - Federer
    Miami Open '07–16 - 6 titles overall - Agassi
    '14–16 - 3 cons. titles - Agassi
    Shanghai - '12–15 - 3 titles overall - SA
    '12–15 - 3 finals overall - Murray
    '12–13 - 2 cons. titles - Murray
    Paris - '09–15 - 4 titles overall SA
    '13–15 - 3 cons. titles - SA
    ---

    '16 Highest # of pts accrued in ATP rankings as World #1 (16,950) - SA
    '11–13 3 cons. yrs winning 20+ matches vs. Top 10 opps - SA
    '11 5 cons. match wins vs World #1 player in finals (Nadal) - SA
    '15 Most prize money won in a season ($21,646,145) - SA
    '16 All-X prize $$ leader ($102,026,620) - SA
    '09–15 - 6 - China Open titles - SA
    '12–15 - 4 cons. China Open titles SA***

    ReplyDelete
  80. ***Sampras declared Djokovic' '11 season as the best he has ever seen, calling it "1 of the best achievements in all of sports." Becker called Djokovic's season "1 of the very best yrs in tennis of all X", adding that it "may not be the best statistically, but he's beaten Fed, he's beaten Nadal, he's beaten everybody that came around to challenge him in the biggest tourneys in the world." Nadal, who lost to Djokovic in 6 finals on 3 diff. surfaces, described Djokovic's performances as "probably the highest level of tennis that I ever saw." He was named '11 ITF World Champ. He also received the Golden Bagel Award by winning 13 sets w/ the result of 6–0.
    ---

    ...At the '15 USO, Djokovic reached the final for the 6th X in his career, achieving the feat of reaching all 4 grand slam finals. In the final of the tournament, he faced Federer once again, defeating him in 4 sets to win his 3rd GS title of the year, his 2nd title at Flushing Meadows, and his 10th career GS singles title, becoming the 5th man in the Open Era to win 10+ GS singles titles, as well as only the 3rd man to reach all 4 Major finals in a CY.

    He returned to Beijing in Oct., winning the title for the 6th X, defeating Nadal in str. sets in the final to bring his overall record @ the tourney to 29–0. Djokovic then reached the final of the Paris Masters, where he defeated Murray in str. sets, taking his 4th title there and a record 6 ATP Masters 1000 in 1 year. After losing to Fed in the RR stage of the '15 ATP WTF's he took on the 3rd seed again in the final. He beat Federer in str. sets winning his 5th YEC title and he became the 1st player to win 4 cons. finals tournaments.
    ---

    ...Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in the final of the '16 FO in 4 sets, making him the reigning champ of all 4 majors, a historic feat the media dubbed the "Nole Slam." W/ his FO triumph, Djokovic became the 8th player in history (& the 2nd oldest) to achieve a CGS, the 3rd player in history to hold all 4 GS titles at the same X, & the 1st player to win $100 M in prize $$.
    ---

    Following his tremendous success in the '11 season, Djokovic began to feature on all-X greatest lists. In late '11, Laver chose Djokovic as #6 in his top 10 male players of the Open Era. ...In April '15, Henman offered another comment on Djokovic's standing among the all-X greats, saying "it's only a matter of X before he's considered alongside Federer & Nadal as 1 of the GOATs." McEnroe put Djokovic in all-X top 5... "My top 4 are Laver, Sampras, Roger & Nadal, but Novak's @ #5 & rising."

    Nick B...Over all, almost every player has a downfall; to me he doesn’t have one. He’s perhaps the best put-together player that I’ve seen over 60 years.” Tennis pundits have classified many of Djokovic's matches as some of the greatest contests ever, w/ the '12 AO final being considered the greatest match ever seen. Some longX analysts claim that the Djokovic-Nadal rivalry ranks as the best rivalry in tennis history primarily b/c of the quality of matches they produce.
    ---

    What's a real ATG, what's true GOATness, what is the legitimate meaning of H2H? And so it goes.***

    A real ATG overachieves all expectations like Borg winning 5 str. Wimbledons! True Goat-ness has Federer having a nice run in 2 of the biggest majors & owning many records in the book! H2H has always been that; regardless of surface! We tried to give Roger cover for yrs giving him dispensation for most of his losses to Rafa being on clay! The true record shows it really didn't matter w/ him taking Roger on grass in '08, HC at '09 AO, and many Masters on all surfaces; indoor & out! Nole's passed them both; took X, but he caught up there & in the record book!

    ReplyDelete
  81. ***The strategy that Fed used to break Sampras record is identical to what Novak is doing to break Fed. ...if Fed knew 17 was an easily achievable target perhaps he would have focused on Wimb alone from '10. Perhaps he would have skipped or tanked Masters' in the past, starting from '10. Novak knows he needs to get just 18.

    1st of all, 17 was not an easily achievable target, but if Fed thought it was why would he focus just on 1 major? Your point about skipping Masters is basically implying that after winning 16 GS titles Federer didn't try to win more b/c he didn't know how many he can win, which is BS. Federer tried to win another major and he would've skipped or tanked Masters if he thought it would help.

    Djokovic is going to try and win every Slam, just like Federer did when he didn't suck on clay. If Novak at some point decides that skipping Masters will help him to win a major, he'll do it. If he decides that, he needs to change his racket, he'll change it. ...For me Fed's the greatest ever and I don't think Djokovic is a better player than Roger.
    ---

    Djokovic has been a constant presence in the deciding stages of the USO since '07, either winning or losing to the winner except in '09 & '14 when he lost to the losing finalist.

    Djovak vs Mandy at the USO:
    '07 - Djovak barely beats Stepanek, but then rolls to the finals for a tight 3-set loss to Fed; Mandy loses to Lee in 3R

    '08 - Djovak keeps dropping sets (and is stretched to 5 by Robredo), but gets thro & puts a decent display in the SF vs Fed, losing in 4; Mandy nearly loses to Melzer, outlasting him in 5, then beats Delpo & Nadal in good matches, but's rolled over by Fed in the final

    '09 - Djovak loses to Fed in the SF again in tight 3; Mandy is crushed by Cilic

    '10 - Djovak close to getting beat Troicki in the 1st Rd, but then rolls to the SF, saves MPs vs Fed & has a respectable 4 set loss to peak Nadal in the final; Mandy loses to Wawrinka in 3R

    '11 - peak Djovak saves MP vs Fed again & beats Nadal convincingly in the final, whereas Mandy is beaten Nadal in a similar fashion in the SF (also is 0-2 down vs Haase, wtf?)

    '12 - Djovak fails to Master the wind and can't dig himself out of a 0-2 hole, credit to Mandy for winning this

    '13 - Djovak beats Wawa in 5 & then collapses in the 4th vs Nadal; Mandy is Wawrinka's previous op. & takes a beat down

    '14 - Djovak beats Mandy in 4 in the QF & then loses the SF to Nishikori
    '15 - Djovak beats Fed in the final; Mandy is 0-2 down vs Mannarino & loses to Anderson in 4R in 4

    Djovak > Mandy in all yrs except 2008 (Djovak=Mandy) & '12 (Mandy def. Djovak) - Obvious conclusion is obvious.
    ---

    1 RG vs 1 RG
    0 Rome + MC titles vs 6 Rome + MC titles
    2 wins vs King of Clay vs 7 wins vs King of Clay

    In before "if it weren't for peak Nadal, Fed would have 10 RG titles... even though he lost to broken hip Kuerten in his peak"

    6 clay Masters vs 8 clay Masters
    Not a big diff. Djokovic's poised to add more though. The 2 are generally in the same league, anyway.
    It is not important what your opp. is called, only what game he plays.
    ---

    If Djokovic ends up, say, w/ 2 RGs & 10 clay Masters, he'll be obviously ahead, but still in the same league overall, b/c finals also matter. 2 RG W out of 2 finals is 2x > than 1 RG W out of 1 final, but 2 RG W out of 6 finals isn't 2x > than 1 RG W out of 6 finals. Neither of them is in the list of >est claycourters - that would require 3 RG titles.

    (The same way Djokovic is ahead of Murray on grass, but in the same league, given Murray's OG on grass - directly beating Djokovic - which halves the gap set by a diff. of one Wimby title, & 3 vs 2.5 isn't that big a differential.)***

    ReplyDelete
  82. ...I was quite satisfied w/ Nole finally taking his 1st FO, so I ceded Wimbledon to Andy! ...not wanting t/b bothered w/ the CYGS pressure along w/ Olympic hopes!

    ***I think Djokovic feels the FO is a bit diluted as he didn't beat Nadal. That I think caused the big let down @ Wimbledon. He knows a lot of people have said Fed didn't get past Nadal to get the FO, so as satisfying as it is to get the monkey off the back, given what Nadal achieved at the FO, it w/b a diff. level of win to beat him. I think it's human nature. Let's say u and me were massive rivals. U were a clay court Goat & had beat me 6 X's @ the FO. Then a decade earlier I'd made the statement "I can beat u as u r beatable. ...Lay a few demons to rest."

    And as for Murray, I agree w/ your analysis. The only match he lost at a major he should have won when he wasn't injured was AO '12. That wasn't passiveness that lost it. It was a tech. deficiency on the BH whereby he can't hit thru the ball like Djokovic. Nadal hits across it, always has. It's why so often when he tries to hit the BH down the line flat it goes wide. Djokovic should have more majors, but he has often been too passive; the most glaring was FO '15 vs Wawrinka.
    ---

    The Djokovic - Murray H2H:

    As it stands Djoker leads this H2H 24-10.

    This now looks like the Fedal matchup in terms of dominance.

    But just like clay played a large part in that rivalry, the Nolandy matchup is not as one-sided as it seems.

    We immediately take away Novak's 1st 4 victories b/c he developed into a proper pro before Andy.

    The '08 USO swing was Murray's breakthrough to a slam-challenger level, so we start the H2H there.

    Andy takes a 3-0 lead until Nole gets his 1st win at the '11 AO.

    They trade 3 more victories apiece until Andy's breakthru @ the '12 USO, & Slamray leads 7-4.

    Novak wins the Shanghai final, but we give that to Andy after all the MPs lost. 8-4.

    Djoker gets a WTF win for 8-5.

    Andy gets distracted by a feather in the '13 AO final so we void that match. Andy's historic Wimbledon triumph that summer counts as 2 wins so the H2H goes to 10-5.

    Neither of Djoker's 4 '14 wins vs Backray should count. So it becomes 10-6 after the '15 AO final. Andy deserved that loss after falling for the possum antics.

    Djoker wins the US HC Spring matches. 10-8.

    The '15 FO SF was Andy's for the taking, but the lack of floodlights gave Djoker a lifeline. Void match.

    Murray wins in Montreal for 11-8.

    Djoker dominates the end of year & the start of '16 to jump to a 12-11 lead.

    Andy pulls even in Rome, but Novak leads the H2H again after his FO 13-12.

    After Novak losing to Querrey at Wimbledon, it's clear he would have lost to Grassray in the final.

    So as of now, the REAL H2H btw these 2 champions is 13-13.
    ---

    Federer out of Rio and according to his FB entry, he's possibly done for the season.***

    Few are that shocked! This isn't blowing up 1/2 as much as I thought! It wasn't like he was going to take anything!

    ***Federer has the records for most wks as #1, most wks in the top 2, & most wks in the top 3. He has the records for most cons. wks as #1 & most cons. wks in the top 2, but in '13 he fell out of the top 3 someway short of Connors' & Lendl's totals. He was chasing Connors down for most wks in the top 4 & most wks in the top 5. Currently, Connors leads 669-648 for wks in the top 4 & 705-675 for wks in the top 5.

    He's also on the heels of Agassi for 2nd-most wks in the top 10. Agassi currently leads 747-730, w/ Connors ahead on 817. It's possible - if unlikely - that Federer w/b in the top 10 for the next 17 wks & so = Agassi. But most likely he won't get that record, either. Will he be able to regain such a high ranking in '17?***

    ReplyDelete
  83. ***Novak's much more accomplished than Connors.... Novak left Connors in the dark a long X ago...***

    The FO alone sets them apart! Connors had a storied career, but was made more significant by his rivals; Nastase, Borg, McEnroe, & Lendl! Even w/ all his winning, his weaknesses were glaring & by hanging on for so many yrs after his prime, he ended up hurting his legacy & #'s in general! Borg immortalized himself by leaving early! No 1 will bring up Connors' name next yr or in the next millennium! Like Rafa, most of his success was @ 1 place & rarely was able to defend majors; esp. outside of NY!

    ***Watch Novak lose the next 2 Slams, then defend Roland Garros. :D ***

    It wouldn't bother me; just like him blowing AO & FO in '14, but salvaging his season & the #1 ranking by taking his 2nd Wimbledon!

    ***Djokovic will win his last Slam at the '17 AO - Here's why:
    Federer - 1st Slam - '03 Wimbledon. Last Slam - '12 Wimbledon. Exactly 9 ys. 1st & last Slam at his fave Slam.
    Nadal - 1st Slam '05 FO. Last Slam '14 FO. Exactly 9 yrs. 1st and last Slam at his fave Slam.
    Djokovic - 1st Slam '08 AO. Last Slam '17 AO. Exactly 9 yrs. 1st & last Slam at his fave Slam. It would all make sense.***

    True enough, but Nole's a trailblazer who might turn history on it's head; esp. w/ his fortitute overcoming the 2 pre-eminent GOATs in Fedal!

    ***Interesting stat, but you have to add in the fact that Nole had a 3 yr period btw '08-11 where he didn't win a Slam. Nadal won Slams in 10 diff. yrs, Fed in 9 diff. yrs & Djokovic is in his 7th yr.***

    Like Agassi, Nole might continue winning the AO until he's 33! Who has started the season this well yr after yr winning the AO, then the 1st 2 Masters 1000s automatically! Last season he took the 1st 3 for a new record, and there's no reason it couldn't continue for the next several yrs!

    ***Yeah, Novak's a serious threat to 2 of Feds most important records, Slams & wks @ #1. There's still a lot of work t/b done though, & he has to stay fit & free of injuries.
    ---

    Both Nole & Fed have very strong resumes, given that they were stopped by Rafa so many X's. Federer has more Slam & Masters 1000 finals. If he had won more vs a peak Nadal, then he w/b ahead in both title tiers. ...Novak has a couple more Masters 1000s. It basically comes down to each person's subjective opinion of how good Federer & Djokovic were in their primes on clay & which had to deal w/ a stronger version of Nadal. Personally, I'd give a slight edge to Federer, but I think both deserve a lot of recognition. Glad they both finally won the FO after so much effort.
    ---

    B/c winning 8 Slams in an era w/ dozens of Slam contenders, drastic differences btw the surfaces, players who have trained to specialize in those diff. surfaces, & a player talent pool culled from the largest group in history in an era when tennis was the #1 junior sport worldwide, is a lot more impressive than winning 12 in an era w/ 3 Slam contenders, no diff. among surfaces, & a talent pool of players so barren that 30+ yo's are hanging on long enough to get into the top 20 by attrition.

    It becomes more impressive when you realize that there were really only 3 Slams per year, since nobody counted (or played) AO & that Connors missed out on numerous Slams he'd have been the prohibitive fave to win during his prime, thru no fault of his own. Novak's 6 extra AO titles don't make up for all that. Connors isn't just > Novak. He's at least >>> Novak.***

    ReplyDelete
  84. ***Djokovic All-X tournament records:

    Tournament - - Since - - Record accomplished - - - - Players matched

    ATP Rankings - '73 - Highest # of ranking pts as World #1 (16,950) SA
    Grand Slams - 1877 - Holding all 4 Majors - 3 diff. surfaces @ once SA
    Grand Slams - 1877 - Non-Cal. Year Grand Slams - - - - Stands alone
    Grand Slams - 1877 - 88.4% (114–15) - HC match winning % - - SA
    ATP World Tour '70 - Holding all 4 Grand Slams & YEC @ once SA
    ATP World Tour '70 - 34 Top tier HC tourneys won (Big Titles) - SA
    ATP World Tour '70 - 10 Top tier tourneys won in a season ('15) - SA
    ATP World Tour '70 - 18 Top tier tourney finals in a row - SA
    ATP World Tour '70 - 15 str. finals reached in a season ('15) SA
    ATP Mas's 1000 '70 - 30 titles overall - - - - - Stands alone
    ATP Mas's 1000 '70 - 22 HC titles overall - - - - Stands alone
    ATP Mas's 1000 '70 - 6 titles won in a single season ('15) - SA
    ATP Mas's 1000 '70 - 1+ titles @ 8 diff. tournaments - - - SA
    ATP Mas's 1000 '70 - 82.8% (288–60) career match winning % - SA
    ---

    Big 4 = 100 Masters? - Yes, even if Fed & Rafa are finished, Djokovic & Murray will win 6 more:

    Djokovic 30
    Nadal 28
    Federer 24
    Murray 12

    The Emperor @ 30 & still going strong. The others? Well, let's just say perhaps a few more for Murray, but that's it!
    ---

    I mean pretty obvious some don't know jack about tennis more than 10-15 yrs ago & don't even try to pretend they do nor do they make an effort to learn. I think most here can agree that Agassi is a superior baseliner to Murray on HC's. Yet in the '94 YEC semi: Sampras won 42.4% of pts longer than 7 strokes, but also 56% of pts lasting longer than 10 strokes. In the '95 AO final he won 47% of pts 7 strokes or longer & 53% of pts lasting longer than 10 strokes. This is absolute peak Agassi vs avg Sampras on a slow HC. '95 USO final: Sampras won 53% of pts lasting longer than 7 strokes.

    This is even better:
    Sampras vs Agassi in '01 @ Miami: Sampras won 4 of 6 pts lasting 7-9 strokes & lost the only pt lasting 10 or longer. Close to peak Agassi vs post prime Sampras @ the frickin Miami hellhole. '02 USO final, Sampras won 61% of pts lasting longer than 7 strokes.

    Bonus:
    '96 USO final Sampras won 61% of 7 strokes or longer rallies. Chang was playing well in this match & he's a solid baseliner.
    ---

    list for cons. yrs reaching @ least a final, down to 10:

    19 Connors ['71-89]
    17 Federer [2000-16]
    16 Lendl ['79-94]
    15 Orantes ['69-83]
    14 McEnroe ['78-91], Moya ['95-08]
    13 Edberg ['84-96], Noah ['78-90], Sampras ['90-02], Ferrero ['99-11], Nalbandian ['01-13], Nadal ['04-16]

    12 Becker ['85-96], Vilas ['72-83], Gomez ['80-91], Smith ['69-80], Roddick '01-12], Berdych ['04-15], Murray ['05-16], Monfils ['05-16]

    11 Chang ['88-98], Nastase ['69-79], Gottfried ['73-83], Gerulaitis ['74-84], Tanner ['72-82], Muster ['88-98], Gilbert ['84-94], Ramirez ['73-83], Ferrer ['05-15], Djokovic ['06-16]

    10 Ivanisevic ['89-98], Hewitt ['98-07], Agassi ['87-96], Wilander ['81-90], Krajicek ['91-00], Kafelnikov ['94-03], Rosewall ['68*-77], Simon ['06-15], Monaco ['07-16]

    ...and here's the list for cons. yrs winning at least a title, down to 8:

    15 Federer [01-15]
    14 Lendl ['80-93]
    13 Connors ['72-84], Nadal ['04-16]
    12 Edberg ['84-95], Becker ['85-96], Roddick ['01-12]
    11 Sampras ['90-00], Chang ['88-98], Vilas ['73-83], Gottfried ['73-83], Djokovic ['06-16], Murray ['06-16]

    10 Nastase ['69-78], Hewitt ['98-07], Agassi(1/2) ['87-96]
    9 Ivanisevic ['90-98], McEnroe ['78-86], Krajicek ['91-99], Kafelnikov ['94-02], Dibbs ['73-81], Davydenko ['03-11]

    8 Agassi(2/2) ['98-05], Laver ['68*-75], Newcombe ['68*-75], Borg ['74-81], ...***

    ReplyDelete
  85. Djokovic @ this X so reminds me of the era of Lendl where he couldn't catch a cold w/ the likes of Borg, Connors, & McEnroe in the headlines! He performed better, was beating all comers, had won 3 USO's in a row, and all they could talk about was his not having a Wimbledon on his resume!

    ***The dude is dominating a super weak era playing the most boring style ever and wants us to apprec. him j/b he's winning?
    ---

    Federer 17 majors + 6 WTFs + 24 Masters = 47 "Big" titles (tourneys w/ most top players playing).
    - Djokovic 12 Majors + 5 WTFs + 30 Masters = 47 "Big" titles.
    Whereas Federer w/b pushing it to reach 50 ('11 thru '16, 2/3/0/2/1/0), Novak can probably reach 60 ('11 thru '16, 8/5/5/6/10/6+).***

    As long as we're not trying to compare them; Roger significantly older! IMO, it's ridiculous to compare w/ Nadal! Again it w/b like comparing apples & oranges! We're desperate to have a true rivalry, but the only 1 there is right now is w/ Nole and Andy; #1 & #2, born w/i a wk of 1 another, had the same comp. in Fedal! Rafa has a lot more mileage on him, so I can't even group him w/ Murkovic! When he started dropping clay matches to Murray, we all had t/b in agreement he's "past it!"

    ***Fed wasn't close to being in his prime in '11, but Nadal most certainly was & he had the finals to show for it. He beat more top 10 players in '11 than '10, was better vs the field (69-9 v 69-10 the year before vs players other than Djokovic) and had tougher draws en route to reaching the slam finals that he did, beating Fed.

    ...Nadal might not have been as great in '11 as he was the year prior, but Hell, he wasn't THAT far off. He made more finals and objectively performed better vs the rest of the field. Also, once Djokovic hit his stride it was clear that he was a better player than Peakdal could hope t/b on HC's or indoors, which comprises 60+% of the tour, and was at least a formidable enough foe on grass to warrant a comparison btw the 2. ...that Djokovic @ his best could overtake a peak Nadal in the rankings, or @ the very least muster up enough fight to make it photo finish.
    ---

    If Nole wins OSG this year, he will join Agassi in the elusive "Career Super Slam" club, edging ahead Nadal (who only has a Career GS, since he does not have WTF) & Federer (who only has a CGS, since he doesn't have OSG). This Olympics matters a lot more to Djokovic's legacy than people thought.
    ---

    Is there a name for winning all 4 GS, 9 Masters, WTF, OG, DC in a career? The PhD of tennis? Pure Holy Dominance? Does a player then turn his attention to completing his ATP 500 collection? - Career GOAT Slam.
    ---

    The GS is the historically recognized & accepted marker of a GOAT player. The very reason the tennis world began this year wondering if Djokovic might reach a level no male player has reached in 47 yrs--the GOAT-defining achievement of the Grand Slam. It's the same reason the entire sports world was hanging on every moment in the '15 USO as Serena was trying to win the GS. We know you would love to erase the >est tennis achievement to protect / clean up Fed's standing, but that's not going to work now, or ever. No Grand Slam = no GOAT player.
    ---

    You're just making this up. No one agrees w/ you that a GS is a 'must' t/b GOAT, or any single criteria is the be-all & end-all. The most objective method to evaluate the player's all X greatness are based on the following essential criteria:

    * # of Major Titles won
    * Overall performance @ GS Events
    * Player Ranking
    * Performance @ ATP/WTA events
    * Performance (Win/loss record) at Davis & Fed Cup events
    * Records held or broken
    * Intangibles (contribution to tennis)***

    ReplyDelete
  86. ***Hardest slam draws conquered?***

    ...OTTH '90 USO where Sampras had to overcome Lendl, McEnroe, & Agassi to take his 1st major comes to mind! As a 19 yo, he chb in awe of both Lendl & McEnroe, but, blew them off the court w/ his serve! ...Sampras went ahead & annihilated his childhood rival in strs! Funny, I thought after so many other failures in major finals, he could at least rise to the occasion vs a known quantity! I went out and played myself so sure he would win; what a shock to find Pete destroyed him in about an hour/half!

    ***If Novak is given an option btw winning Cincy + OG or just the USO, which 1 would he choose?

    Olympics + Cinci w/o a shadow of a doubt. Only a CYGS w/b bigger, but that ship has sailed for this yr.

    The Olympics are the real major in all sports, and it’s every 4 yrs. No way I would prefer a so-called “major” which is 16 X's as often & where I could say to myself after every loss: “Nevermind, in a few months there's another chance anyway.”

    As I said in another post: In 100 yrs, if anyone of today’s players w/ just 1 big title w/b mentioned by statisticians, it won’t be Del Potro or Cilic, but Massu. That’s b/c the Olympics are so unique in forcing interest to the whole world of sports fans. And nobody will care if in the then ancient history guys like Laver weren’t able to play there. Look, even today only a few historians care about the situation before the Open Era and are able to explain why Emerson isn’t > than Laver despite having 1 more of today’s majors.

    So imagine how many more important will the Gold medal be for a player like Djokovic who already has 2 USO anyway? Cinci looks like the icing on the cake, but it’s also a huge achievement itself. Djokovic would not only complete his career Masters set, but hold all 9 big annual HC titles simultaneously (USO, Shanghai, Paris, WTF, AO, IW, Miami, Canada, Cinci) & would have won all 15 big singles titles (Slams, WTF, Masters, Olympics) during a span of only 17 months since MC '15.
    ---

    Cinci, which w/b played after the OG, is the only big title he's missing - which is why he's going to Rio hugely motivated. 8 yrs ago Djokovic won bronze in Beijing, in London in '12 he was 1 of the faves, but lost in the SF, as well as the 3rd place match. Having now spent 210 wks as a world #1 & w/ the win in Toronto, Djokovic now has just under 6000 pt lead over 2nd placed Murray in the rankings, while his lead in the Race to London's now 1815 pts.
    ---

    Can Novak complete his collection of the 16 biggest trophies in tennis in the year '16? And even bigger, if he wins the Olympics & Cincy this yr, he whd all that in '15 & '16 alone (apart from DC, but that’s of course a team comp). Just imagine a 2-yr-ranking-system!

    AO: '15, '16
    IW: '15, '16
    Miami: '15, '16
    MC: '15
    Madrid: '16
    Rome: '15
    FO: '16
    Wimbl: '15
    Canada: '16
    (OG's: '16 ?)
    (Cinci: '16 ?)
    (USO: '15, ?)
    (Shanghai: '15, ?)
    (Paris: '15, ?)
    (WTF's: '15, ?)

    I’m a Federer fan, but considering he's out now until '17, I would have preferred Djokovic winning Wimbledon b/c him chasing the Golden Slam whb the only thing which could make the rest of the season really interesting. However, what Djokovic achieves these days is admirable.***

    A 2 yr. ranking was proposed by Nadal if you can believe it! He was running out of steam and about to lose his #1 ranking to Nole the 1st X & while VP of the ATP, he was pushing for it! Roger was the President @ the X & put the kibosh on it; poor thing! Rafa isn't as innocent & slow as we think; always maneuvering & "running game" on all of us & his fellow competitors!

    ReplyDelete
  87. ***In relation to slams, Masters 1000's are meaningless IMO. - I disagree. Players who win these events often go on to win Slams (not always, but more often than not). They're an important warm-up for many Slam events. ...The tour would not survive if it just consisted of the 4 Slams.
    ---

    ...Now, if Novak turns up & routines everyone @ the USO, barring the odd match that he's known to throw in every slam, then ultimately while the boat had been rocked, it still stayed on course. Novak ends the yr the world #1, 13 slams, & majority of the people will look at W & Olympics as a blip. - - A slam is a slam is a slam.***

    It is NOW due to most all top players attending each season! In the past, there were some inferior draws giving us winners like Kriek, Johansson, & Gerulaitus @ the Aussie Open! If not for Borg, the FO would have lost a lot of luster back in the 70's since most top players knew to skip the slow red clay of RG! Hard to call this a weak era w/ 3 of the all X GREATS vying for all available slams & Masters 1000's! The comp. isn't that bad, actually pushing the elites, they just can't seem to finish the deal most of the X; hence the "Big 4" holding most of the top tourneys creating records unlikely to beat anyX soon!

    ***...you need to go out & play some actual tennis. ...I've been hit in the face w/ overheads @ net before, & it's just an expected part of the sport.***

    I played & taught for 30 yrs buddy! It's not a part of the game! W/ all the single, doubles, & MD I can count on 1 hand even getting nicked by the ball! ...In a doubles match, I was at the net & the returner tried nailing the ball down the line! I stabbed at it; barely cleared & w/ all the backspin began to come back my way! I stood there & dared the guy to reach over & take his legitimate swing @ the ball! It was the final & the whole club was watching! Being a 19 y.o. kid, he would have looked the worst coming after me even though legal! A pt isn't worth losing civility! I didn't go after women like some other guys either when playing MxD's; once w/ my mom! It was usually to their detriment to target me b/c I could lose it & retaliate! That did happen w/ some tough guy deciding he had to nail my mother at the net! "It was on" & we had a very entertaining match w/ her just getting out of the way & allowing me to take over the court! The only game the guy won was serving bombs! He brought that on himself! Nadal hitting Nole may have triggered something that brought him to this level! That's why it isn't worth it to me to hit people when I can avoid it!

    ***What do you mean "played?" I've been watching some college doubles & hanging in no-mans land isn't so bad when playing thugs. The doubles game has evolved while the singles has devolved, from a strat POV. A lefty & righty standing close in doubles to cover both sides w/ FH's, then wide on other side, etc.***

    I played for HS team, local tourneys, club chps; winning in all disciplines! It was my life from 14 on w/ school getting short-shrift b/c I played everyday; during the summer from 9 am into the night! I began to help a tennis teacher after 3 yrs of play & branched out on my own after college! I watched all TV matches & learned a lot; more so from the women who were more strategic w/ their tactics! After all these yrs, & w/ all the GOAT's seeming t/b of this gen., my era will always have paved the way w/ our ATG's of the X; Court, King, Goolagong, Navratilova, Evert, Borg, Laver, McEnroe, Connors, Vilas, Nastase, & Rosewall!

    ***Well that teaches me to jump to conclusions. Anyway, I maintain that Djokovic should not have reacted in that way. Getting hit at net is an expected part of it, even if you aren't meant to consciously aim for the person at net.***

    ReplyDelete
  88. Even if Nole wins 4 of the next 6 Slams which will put him @ 16 Slams. Fed played absolutely fantastic tennis for a 33-34 yo in '14-15 & he still lost.
    ---

    You do notice Nole's the youngest player in the current top 5 right? Does Nole look like he'll physically break down before anybody else in the top 5?
    ---

    I said Djokovic will win 2-3 more Slams. He could win the USO, 1 more next yr & 1 more later on. He won't keep dominating the game for the next 2-3 yrs cause that's exactly what's required of him if he wants to break Fed's record.
    ---

    Should he suffer a Nadal like breakdown as far as his body goes, then yes he prob. won't break the record, but I believe he's got a few yrs of dominance left so it w/b hard, but w/i reach. Right now, he looks distracted & not too inspired since the FO. However I expect him to shake this off pretty soon. He's a champion after all.
    ---

    I agree, my 2 cents:

    1) ...Djokovic needs his legs more. I said it somewhere else, but I expect Djokovic to go the Nadal route rather than Fed's. The min. he loses his physical advantage over the tour he'll be pretty much done winning Slams on a reg. basis.

    2) I've given up on the new gens; these guys are completely useless. A couple of them could still surprise me like Kyrgios, Zverev, Fritz, etc., but before they reach a level when they can beat Nole, you need to wait at least 2 more yrs.
    ---

    I guess another YE #1 title is a lot closer now. Anybody do the math?***

    Supposedly Andy didn't have much to defend, but Nole usually gets his 2nd wind to take Beijing, Shanghai, & Paris! Murray probably needs to win & for Nole to go out early defending so many chps before the YEC!

    ***Djokovic's ahead by 1575 pts in the race. If Novak wins USO, he'll have a lead of 2855. Plus, Djokovic plays China Open every yr whereas Murray won't play anything as he'll be busy w/ DC. So, it'll be 5th YE #1 & a total of 230 wks by YE!***

    Something needs t/b done w/ this system IMO! Nole's done < than in '14 so far w/ 2 majors, 4 or 5 Masters 1000; how is this even close?

    ***OK I think everybody realizes how identical Federer's & Djokovic's career are. They are both very dominant @ their peak, extremely consistent & playing well on all surfaces. They have a very balanced game w/ strong weapons. To Fed it's his FH & to Djokovic it's his BH.

    ...And I'm so surprised about how similar their career are. I mean my surprise was pushed to another level. Look at the facts:

    - They both won their respectively maiden slam at 20-21 & WTF's @ the very same yr & those are their best slam respectively too. Fed won his 1st Wimbledon in '03 when he was 21 yo & Djokovic won his 1st AO in '08 @ 20 yo.

    - They are both very successful @ WTF's and both failed to win OGM in singles. This yr Federer was absent & Djokovic @ his very peak lost @ 1st Rd.

    - Federer domination lasted from '04-09 w/ bonus slams in '10 AO & '12 Wimbledon. His domination yrs was separated by Nadal' '08 - Nadal won 2 slams that yr, but @ that duration he was still the best player overall. It was 6 yrs. Djokovic domination started from '11 & now it's '16. It was 6 yrs. His domination was separated by Nadal's '13 - Nadal won 2 slams that yr too.

    - I predict that Djokovic will go downhill from next yr & he'll not break Fed's slam records. 15 is his max #.
    ---

    In the famous '12 AO final, Djokovic defeated Nadal in a match that lasted 5 h & 53 mins. Now he has reached the USO SF w/ 2 complete wins, 2 retirements & 1 WD - altogether 6 hrs & 24 mins on court. The world #1 said that he felt bad for his 3 rivals who had to retire. OTOH, Novak says that everything's going according to the scenario he was hoping for b/c he managed to recover from injuries. - ...given how little X he's spent on court, I'm kinda hoping that Gael puts up a good fight.***

    ReplyDelete
  89. ***Since '11, Djokovic's won:

    Aus. Open. 5/6. Wawrinka was the sole other winner. Djokovic probability next yr. is 5/6

    French Open. Won 1 out of 6, but 4 were won by Nadal. W/O Nadal, he got 1 out of 2. Djokovic probability next yr. 1/2

    Wimbledin. Won 3/6. Won 2/4 since Federer won. Probability w/o or w/ Fed is 1/2

    US Open. Won 2 in last yr. Even giving this yr Open to him, he'll have 3/6. His probability next yr. 1/2

    Total probability of CYGS next yr. is 5/6*1/2*1/2*1/2 = 5/48 = 10%

    Actual odds w/b even <.. These s/b maximum odds I can think off***

    Stan's always capable of beating anyone, hitting screaming winners that players don't even move to get back, but w/ this dream draw & X to heal, Nole's gotta suck it up & win this USO in 4! He's capable of completing another matching record of 3 Majors in a season; Roger at 3 fantastic seasons w/ added sweetener of completing a Nole-Slam & CGS!

    ***Djokovic - 1 match away from 3 GS's in a yr for 3rd X - It is quite remarkable to note that from '68 to '03, a span of 36 yrs, on 3 occasions did a man win 3 or more Majors in 1 cal. yr. Now Djokovic's 1 match away from making it the 7th X in the last 13 yrs. It makes me a fan of Sampras wonder how he never had the motivation, talent, luck, etc. to achieve this in his career.
    ---

    It's laughable how easy this has been for Novak if he wins this USO. On the contrary, if he loses, he s/b pretty ashamed & rightly gutted as draws don't get any easier than this, ever. Was RG more dificult for him to win? I don't think so, never better op, it was the perfect X. - He at least had to play all his matches there. This has been a joke. Not his fault btw that his opps are all retiring, but still a joke all the same.***

    All you can do is play when & who's in front of you! We've been more fortunate than past eras when upsets came a lot more frequently; remember McEnroe's '83 Wimbledon final over NZ's, Chris Lewis? At least in this era's upsets, they bear more fruit like Del Po over Federer in '09's USO! Nothing more sorry than Sampras winning X majors over Philippoussis, Martin, or Pioline! Nole's never had it that easy; esp. w/ Stan already having a victory over him on clay last season in Paris!

    ***It's not outrageous to call Murray the (current) best player in the world given the summer the 2 of them have had. Not saying I agree, just saying I can understand where he's coming from. - Maybe, but it takes a little more to actually dethrone the KING! The same happened on the ladies' side of things 30 yrs ago! Steffi Graf was winning everything in sight, beat the top (Martina & Chris), but she didn't reach #1 ranking until the summer! Martina had been a finalist everywhere, but lost again & again until Wimbledon of '87! Steffi's father was enraged & threaten to take her off the tour & start his own! It was insane, but that's how it is; even w/ how they've modified the rankings! It still takes X to finally take over! Murray lost his chance w/ 1 match he probably should have won! People were already anointing him the next #1! Nole'll hold onto it for another yr. it seems!***

    ReplyDelete
  90. Djokovic has played 894 matches. ...I see 2 maybe 3 majors more for Novak.***

    ...It was such a weight off of him, he's almost feeling like he's done as much as he can do! I keep saying he hasn't been @ the height of his powers since annihilating Rafa @ Qatar event!

    ***Nole hinted @ being mentally off after that huge FO win..., but navigating thru the whole season & trying to peak & play his best 4 X's a yr for the duration of majors, that's a big challenge for anybody.***

    The weight of the world fell off Nole's shoulders! He hasn't been the same since winning FO, even w/ 2 Masters' wins & a USO finale! We can only hope he'll get his usual recharge by next month so he can finish strong for last few big titles; 2 Masters, Beijing, & YEC!

    ***The slams are where history's written. Slam meetings btw the 3 biggest icons of modern tennis: Nadal, Djokovic & Federer.

    Djokovic leads Federer 9-6

    '16 AO - SF - Djokovic 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-3
    '15 US - F - Djokovic 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4
    '15 WB - F - Djokovic 7-6(1) 6-7(10) 6-4 6-3
    '14 WB - F - Djokovic 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4) 5-7 6-4
    '12 WB - SF - Federer 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-3
    '12 FO - SF - Djokovic 6-4 7-5 6-3
    '11 UO - SF - Djokovic 6-7(7) 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5
    '11 FO - SF - Federer 7-6(5) 6-3 3-6 7-6(5)
    '11 AO - SF - Djokovic 7-6(3) 7-5 6-4
    '10 US - SF - Djokovic 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 7-5
    '09 US - SF - Federer 7-6(3) 7-5 7-5
    '08 US - SF - Federer 6-3 5-7 7-5 6-2
    '08 AO - SF - Djokovic 7-5 6-3 7-6(5)
    '07 UO - F - Federer 7-6(4) 7-6(2) 6-4
    '07 AO - R16 - Federer 6-2 7-5 6-3

    The Djokovic/Fed rivalry's the closest... Altho some may argue that Fed isn't in his prime anymore & therefore losing >, it becomes a lit'l irrelevant when you realize that even during his prime & Djokovic not being a dominant champion yet, Djokovic still managed to beat Federer from X to X. In fact Fed has never been able to beat Djokovic more than 2 X's in a row in slams; = when Fed was in his prime.
    ---

    I think if Djokovic wins the WTF & AO, it's a toss up for HC GOAT btw him & Fed.

    9 slams = 9 slams

    2 more slam finals for Djokovic

    I believe more slam semis for Nole too

    Many more HC Masters for Djokovic

    6 WTF = 6 WTF

    ...8 HC slams & 5 WTFs along w/ a bunch of other HC titles. Nole's already top 3 HC player of all X's.
    ---

    Can Novak break Roger's record for total wks @ #1? Currently he leads Andy by 2,055 pts in the race & by 4,695 in the ranking.

    At YE '16, he w/b @ 231 wks*. That'll leave him needing 72 more wks. Consecutively, he'll have to keep it till late May '18. (Altho he could do it in bits & pieces)

    Nole's history @ #1 is as follows:

    53 wks Jul '11 - Jul '12
    48 wks Nov '12 - Oct '13
    130 wks Jul '14 - Dec '16*
    ---

    He's gonna get it; needs a yr & 1/2. Djoko w/b likely #1 @ least until some of his pts continue to drop off, assuming he doesn't play well. Probably not until after the AO & likely not until after RG. At that pt, assuming someone else has played better for a while wk in & out, they'll surpass ND. ...So no reason ND can't take it back from them & be amongst the top 2 or 3 & in contention for the spot for yrs to come. Consider Fed was @ #1 for a brief while at age 31.
    ---

    Novak won only 1 slam in '12 & '14 & was still #1 @ YE easily both yrs. After Wimbledon '13 Murray held 2 slams, is quite consistent himself, held some Masters as usual, & was 1000's of pts behind a 1 slam Novak. It took Nadal winning 2 slams & 5 Masters to barely wrestle #1 away from a 1 slam Novak in '13. ...Novak even winning slams @ the kind of slow rate from now on that prevented him from getting to #17 or #18 w/b unlikely t/b knocked out of #1 anyX soon. There is nobody else consistent enough, and there is nobody good enough to dominate & win slams in bunches if he himself doesn't right now.***

    ReplyDelete
  91. ***Nole's All-X rec:

    These records were attained since the Am. era & the Open Era of tennis, since 1877.

    Event - Since - - Rec. Accomp. - - Nole tied/Stands Alone

    G.S. - 1877 - Hold'n all 4 Majors titles - 3 diff. surfaces - SA
    Non-CY - GS - SA
    13 HC F's - SA
    7 cons. HC F's - SA
    88% HC match winning % - SA
    ATP WT '70 Holding all 4 GS's & YEC @ once - SA
    35 Top-tier HC tourn. won - SA
    10 Top tier tourn. won in a sn ('15) - SA
    18 Top tier tourn. F's in a row - SA
    15 str. F's reached in a sn ('15) - SA
    30+ match wins vs Top 10 opps in a sn ('15) - SA
    Defeated all Top 10 players in a sn ('15) - SA
    83% career match winning % - SA
    ATP WT Masters '70 30 singles titles - SA
    22 HC Masters titles - SA
    6 titles won in a single sn (2015) - SA
    31 cons. match wins - SA
    2 years winning 5+ titles - SA
    1+ titles at 8 diff. tourn. - SA
    2+ titles at 8 diff. tourn. - SA
    3+ titles at 6 diff. tourn. - SA
    4+ titles at 5 diff. tourn. - SA
    83% career Masters match winning % - SA
    ATP Rankings '73 >est # of pts accrued as #1 (16,950) - SA
    Paris Masters '68 4 singles titles - SA
    IW's Masters '74 5 singles titles - SA
    China Open 1993 6 singles titles - SA
    Shanghai Masters 2009 3 singles titles - SA

    GS tourn. rec:
    These records were attained in the Open Era of tennis since '68.

    - GS - Year(s) - Rec. Accomp. - Nole tied/SA


    - AO - FO - Wimbl. - US Open

    '15–16 Non-Cal. Yr GS - SA
    '15–16 Holding all 4 Major titles @ once - Laver
    '15–16 Holding all 4 Major titles on 3 diff. surfaces @ once - SA
    '15–16 Holding all 4 GS & YEC simult.- SA
    '08–16 CGS - Laver, Agassi, Federer, Nadal
    '15–16 30 cons. GS match wins - SA
    '10–16 3+ cons. F's @ all 4 Majors - SA
    '15 Reached all 4 GS F's in a CY - Laver, Federer
    '07–08 Youngest player to reach the SF's of all 4 Majors - SA
    '07–08 Youngest player to reach all 4 Majors SF's consec. - SA

    - AO - US Open

    '07–16 13 HC F's overall - SA
    '10–13 7 cons. HC F's - SA
    '05–16 Highest HC match winning % - 88.2% (120–16) - SA

    - Wimbl. - US Open - AO

    '11–12
    '15–16
    2 streaks of 3 cons. Major titles - Federer

    - AO - Wimbl.

    '08–16
    '11–15
    3+ titles each of the 2 Majors - Federer

    - AO - FO

    '16 - AO/FO title double in a season - Laver, Wilander, Courier
    - AO '12 Longest GS F (by duration) vs Nadal - Nadal
    Djokovic's the 8th man in tennis history to win CGS & 1 of 6 players in Open Era (Connors, Wilander, Agassi, Federer, Nadal) to win GS's on 3 diff. surfaces.

    Records @ each GS tourn., since '68.

    - GS - Year(s) - Rec. accomp. - Nole tied/SA

    AO - '08–16 - 6 singles titles - SA
    '08–16 6 F's - SA
    '11–13 3 cons. titles - SA
    '11–13 3 cons. finals - Wilander, Lendl
    '11–14 25 cons. match wins - SA
    FO - '09-16 6 cons. SF's aps - SA
    USO -'12 Longest final (by dur.) vs Murray, Wilander, Lendl
    Djokovic's the 1st & only player in the Open Era t/b undefeated in 6 AO F's, sitting @ a perfect 6-0 record.***

    ReplyDelete
  92. ***ATP WTF's rec:
    Introd. in '70 & was orig. known as the Masters GP.

    X Span - Rec. Acc. - Nole tied/Stands Alone

    '12–15 - 4 cons. titles - SA
    '11 - Qual. early – 18 wks, 6 days - SA

    ATP Masters rec:
    GP Super Series began in '70.
    ATP MS introd. in '90 & renamed ATP Masters 1000 in '09.

    '07–16 - 30 titles - SA
    '07–16 - 43 F's - SA
    '07–13 - 8/9 titles won - SA
    '15 - 6 titles won in a single sn - SA
    '15 - 8 F's reached in a single sn - SA
    '11,'14–15 - Strk of 5 titles - SA
    '12–15 - 12 F's won in a row - SA
    '11 - 31 cons. match wins - SA
    '15 - 39 match wins in a single sn - SA
    '11,'14–15 - 2 strks of 30+ cons. match wins - SA
    '11–12,'15 - 3 yrs reaching 6+ finals - SA
    '11–12 - 2 cons. yrs reaching 6+ finals - SA
    '11,'15 - 2 yrs winning 5+ titles - SA
    '11,'14–15 - 2 strks of 5 titles - SA
    '11,'14–16 - 4 yrs winning 4+ titles - SA
    '11–16 - 4 strks of 4 titles - SA
    '13–16 - 3 strks of 4 cons. tourn. titles - SA
    '07–15 - 4+ titles at 5 diff. tourn. - SA
    '07–16 - rec. holder of most titles won 4 diff. tourn. - SA
    '14–15,'15 - Simult. holder of 6 diff. tourn. titles @ once - SA
    '11–15 - 2 cons. titles @ 6 diff. tourn. - SA
    '15 - 4 cons. title defenses - SA
    '15 - Winning the 1st 3 tourn. of a sn - SA
    '11,'16 IW's/Miami/Montr. M title triple (twice) - SA
    '11,'14–16 IW's/Miami M title double won 4 X's - SA
    '07–16 - Miami/Canada Masters title double won 4 X's - SA
    '13,'15 - Autumn sweep (winning Shanghai, Paris & YEC cons.) - SA
    '13–15 - 3 yrs winning Paris M. & YEC B2B - SA

    Rec. @ each Masters:

    IW - '08–16 5 titles - SA
    '07–16 - 6 F's - Fed
    '14–16 - 3 cons. titles - Fed
    Miami Open '07–16 - 6 titles - Agassi
    '14–16 - 3 cons. titles - Agassi
    '07 - Youngest player to win the title - SA
    Shanghai -'12–15 - 3 titles - SA
    '12–15 - 3 F's - Murray
    '12–13 - 2 cons. titles - Murray
    Paris -'09–15 4 titles - SA
    '13–15 - 3 cons. titles - SA

    Other rec:
    Attained in the Open Era of tennis since '68.

    '16 - >est # of pts accrued in ATP rankings as #1 (16,950) - SA
    '11–15 - Min. of 10,000 pts accrued for 5 cons. yrs as #1 - SA
    '16 - The "player to beat" on hard, clay, grass & indoors @ the same X - SA
    '05–16 - 80%+ win rate on all 3 diff. surfaces: hard, clay & grass - SA
    '07–16 - 47 Top-tier tourn. won (Big Titles) - Fed
    '07–16 - 35 Top-tier HC tourn. won - SA
    '14–15 - 7 Top tier tourn. won in a row - SA
    '14–16 - 2 streaks of 7 cons. Top-tier titles - SA
    '11,'15–16 - 2 streaks of 7 titles - SA
    '15 - 15 str. F's in a sn - SA
    '09–16 - 3-peat @ 7 diff. tourn. - SA
    '06–15 - 20+ wins over each other member of the Big 4 (Fed, Nadal & Murray) - SA

    '06–16 - Winning H2H rec. vs each other member of the Big 4 - SA
    '06–15 - 20+ wins over 4 diff. opp. (Nadal, Fed, Murray & Berdych) - SA
    '06–16 - 26 match wins vs. 1 opp. (Nadal) - SA
    '15 - 31 match wins vs. Top 10 opp. in a single sn - SA
    '15 - 37.8% - % of Top 10 wins to the overall match wins of a sn - SA
    '15 - Def. all Top 10 players in a sn - SA
    '11–15 - 5 yrs winning 20+ matches vs. Top 10 opp. - SA
    '11 - 5 cons. match wins vs #1 player in F's (Nadal) - SA
    '08–15 - 7 match wins over defending GS chps - SA
    '07 - Youngest player to def. the Top 3 players in succ. (Roddick, Nadal & Fed) - SA

    '15 - Most $$ won in a sn ($21,646,145) - SA
    '16 - All-X prize $$ leader ($104,563,310) - SA
    '09–15 - 6 China Open titles - SA
    '12–15 - 4 cons. China Open titles - SA
    '07–10 - 4 cons. YE @ #3 - SA
    '04–16 - 83.0% (742–152) - >st overall match winning % - SA
    84.3% (489–91) - >est HC match winning % - SA
    74.5% (146–50) - >est deciding set winning % - SA***

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  93. ***OK, let's have a proper age-to-age comparison:

    Federer was Djokovic's current age (29 y, 5 mos) around the end of '10/early '11. @ that X his HC record was 451-99 or 82% considerably <er than Djokovic's 492–91 or 84.4%
    ---

    Djokovic was winning masters & reaching slam SF/F age 20. Fed was 22 before he reached that level. Nole's decline w/b much more painful since his pushing /grinding game doesn't translate well into old age. Fed's all court supreme GOAT gliding game does, which is why he sustained success into his 30s. ...seeing as Fed barely cared about masters & focused on slams since he played in a strong era where he had to concentrate his efforts.
    ---

    It's fairly obvious that Djokovic'll drop his level considerably from where it has been for the past 18 months leading up to this yr's Wimbledon. If he can't win AO, then his next big chance is USO. I don't think he will win AO b/c unfortunately it's the next slam taking place. If AO was 2 slams away he would have X to re-find his game, & grow in confidence in X for it's arrival. As it is, he won't have enough match play before Jan. & likely Murray'll win his maiden title, given how on form he currently is. So I don't see '17 being a very good yr for Novak, however it's possible that he recovers in X for USO, by which X Murray might not be quite so red hot. Djokovic could win both '17 USO & '18 AO & retire w/ 14 slams like Nadal. I don't think he can possibly win 17 slams or stay #1 @ 303 wks anymore. Those goals are too far from reach now, & I find it unlikely that he'll reach the final of another slam after AO '18.***

    I don't like it, but it's probably prophetic! Up to this season's FO, he was a lock making his opps look helpless; esp. Rafa @ Qatar! Something's going on we don't know about b/c he hasn't been himself in months! I predicted he'd take '15 fall season w/ China, Paris, Shanghai, & London, but any predictions this fall is hubris! I didn't think it possible to lose the #1 ranking, but it's touch & go w/ Murray coming on strong! We'll see!

    ***Nole loses Shanghai SF to RBA! He's still had the best yr on tour. He'll end his career winning more MS titles than anyone else. He lost a match vs a guy who showed @ the FO he could cause Djokovic some problems. 2 slams, a few masters, a slam runner up. Why are people calling this a crisis? The only bad loss he's had this year was vs Querrey. He basically didn't even turn up for that match. I still think Djokovic will win the AO, & win 14 slams @ the least. He just won't be making finals of every tournament of the yr in the future (which is something I've only see Djokovic do anyway).
    ---

    NOVAK DJOKOVIC - Optimistic (20%): After some time off with the family, he comes back strong next year and wins AO, regaining confidence and returning to his his 2015-early 2016 form, winning at least two Slams in 2017, a couple more in 2018 to tie Federer, and then one or two more in 2019 or later to solidify his crown as the GOAT with most year-end #1s, Slams, Masters, and WTFs of all X.

    Pessimistic (10%): This is the beginning of the end, & not only that it's coming quicker than we thought. He loses the #1 to Andy & struggles next yr, winning 1 Slam @ most, & perhaps just that 1 more for the rest of his career. He plays on a few more yrs, but greatly diminished.

    Realistic (70%): He finds a form somewhat similar in level to '12-14 for another yr or 2, when he remains the overall best player in the game, but now 1st among =s. He wins a few more Slams, passes Pete & Rafa, but can't quite get to Roger. He loses the #1 ranking someX in '17, but gains it back, & loses it again--swapping it w/ Andy, & then other players in '18 & beyond before losing it entirely in '19 or so.***

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  94. ***Can Djokovic defy history? In the Open Era, looking @ players that have won 10+ slams. Nobody has won more than 1 slam past the age of 29.

    Slams won after turning 29:

    Borg, 0(retired at 26).
    Sampras, 1
    Federer, 1
    Nadal, 0
    Djokovic, 1 - 1st he has to break out of the "1 group"
    ---

    He'll probably win another slam & thus become the 1st guy to win 2 after his 29th BD (@ least Open Era). The real ??'s always some form of "Can Djokovic break the GS record?" The answer is yes, but it's unlikely & you're starting to see why in the 2nd 1/2 of this yr. - ...He'll go into the AO as the underdog if he doesn't win the YEC & Murray does. I realize that sounds insane, since he's won the AO 6 X's, but he's checked out of the game mentally.
    ---

    '11 proved that no version of Djokovic could beat peak Federer on any surface except maybe AO after they slowed it down.

    '11 RG proves that any version of peak Fed owns Djokovic there
    '12 Wimbledon grandad Fed owning peak Djokovic puts any argument there to bed
    '11 USO grandad Fed outplays Nole, but blows MP. Any '04-09 Fed wins that in straights vs peak Nole

    '11 AO Nole was very lucky 1st 2 sets then Fed gave up. Fed was playing about 1/2 his '09-10 level... and even way < than his '04-07 levels. Peak Fed no doubt wins here too. Djokovic was playing well, but lucked out majorly, esp. 2nd set vs post prime grandad Fed.

    TBH '11 is the luckiest yr I've ever seen. I mean '15 was weaker by far... but AO those 1st 2 sets vs Fed were unbelievable... then the USO SF robbery... then avoiding Fed by virtue of a GOATing Tsonga, who then decides to mug up the SF after playing his best ever match vs Fed...
    ---

    Even if you take Federer out of the equation, there's still the small matter of a 6-0 H2H Djokovic had over Nadal that yr, all in finals, & on 3 diff. surfaces no <. That's 1 of the many reasons why '11 will always be regarded as 1 of the all X great seasons, & very deservedly so.
    ---

    A great yr, but too many '*' for me. Wimbledon is "avoided Fed" USO is "Fed choked the SF" Even AO Fed should've had a 2 set lead, but ends up str. setted after blowing 5-2 on his own serve.
    ---

    You really don't wanna be going down the old '*' road where comp's concerned, not when Nadal & even '11 Federer were light yrs ahead of anyone Roger faced during his peak yrs. Anyway I've been over this a million X's before & I really don't care to debate it all again.
    ---

    Djokovic's peak level is better than Nadal's everywhere except clay. Yes even better on grass. Although Nadal's peak on grass is lower than Djokovic's, it is more effective vs Federer b/c of the matchup. So Fed beats Nadal in 5 on grass, but str. sets Djokovic, who in turn beats Nadal in 4.***

    Believe it or not, before the FO he was ok; esp. in Qatar destroying Nadal in about an hr! He didn't miss, ran Rafa to death, & actually toyed w/ him like a cat w/ a mouse! I can watch that match over & over again! ;)

    ***Every match involving Djokovic & Nadal often produces that result; a hopeless Nadal vs an imperious Djokovic. I actually enjoy when he beats Nadal badly. The patch btw MC '12-USO '13 didn't show up that kind of level Djokovic set himself to beat Nadal, + Nadal's new tactics. I don't like Djokovic, but I do really enjoy when he destroys Nadal. Didn't watch Doha, but it was unreal. Hope to see many more of those trashings yet again, even if the prize @ stake is a GS.***

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  95. ***...For Novak, he had 2 choices, the 1st was to step aside & allow these 2 legends (Fedal) to make history, or he refuses to bow down & wants to become the legend he always dreamed of when he was child. For him the choice was obvious. Roger @ that pt was redefining tennis. He knew that if he was to ascend to the throne that everyone was expecting him to, & surpass Pete, he had to do the 1 thing that Pete couldn’t do, & that's win RG. To take him to the pinnacle, he needed a more complete resume that even the great Sampras before him, & it took immense mental fortitude, drive, willpower, & determination for Roger to set & then pursue yr after yr such ambitious goals for himself. ...

    Novak pretty began his career surrounded by these 2 supernovas, a completely unprecedented situation. He fought them, got beaten, & came back stronger. The more they showed their superior play, the more lessons he learnt. ...Now Novak knew that he needed everything they had; the Slam record, wks @ #1, the CGS, the WTF's, the YE's, the Masters titles, the all surface dom. Anything < w/b seen as a failure. ... RG...If ever he wanted to have his name to be said in the same breath as theirs, he couldn’t have a gap that big in his resume, even if he put together outstanding records everywhere. It drove him on, losing those epics to Roger, Rafa & Stan in Paris. ...The mental, emotional, & physical burden you have to go through day in & day out, wk after wk, month after month, yr after yr, & have the heart of a lion to keep taking the beatings, the setbacks, the heartbreaks, & then to finally hold that ever elusive RG title. ...

    RG had become like a double edged sword, b/c in his relentless pursuit to capture the title, Novak created w/o a doubt the greatest 18 months ever in the history of the game. Fedal had set the standards of what he must need to do, if he ever dared to walk amongst them. The all court surface dom., the Masters titles haul, the WTF's, Slams on all surfaces...you simply were not allowed a weak pt. To stand amongst them almost destroyed Novak. I don’t think he ever truly recovered since RG. That spring uncoiled w/i & everything was released. So you ask me why Novak is the way he is now, it is b/c you can only fight so hard & so passionately for so long. It is in this flaw that legends likes Roger, Rafa & Novak truly leave their legacy behind, b/c it is in this you see their human side, & understand it was a human who put together a superhuman effort.
    ---

    Top 10 best seasons of the Open Era - Here is my list, from best to last.

    1. Laver '69

    2. Djokovic '15

    3. Federer '06

    4. Djokovic '11

    5. Federer '07

    6. Federer '04

    7. Nadal '10

    8. McEnroe '84

    9. Federer '05

    10. Nadal '08. You?***

    ITA for the most, agreeing w/ the OP, but give an honorable mention to Sampras' '95 w/ Borg's '78, '79. & '80!

    ***Djokovic/Slams in his 2 best seasons:

    1) Djokovic '15 Slams:
    MelB: Bt 3 top 10 players (1 top 5)
    RG: Bt 2 top 10 players (includ. defending champ. Nadal) (1 top 5)...Lost to 1 top 10 player)
    AELTC: Bt 2 top 10 players (1 top 5; #2)
    USO: Bt 2 top 10 players (1 top 5; #2)

    TOTAL: 9 Top 10 Wins (4 Top 5 Wins)/1 Top 10 Loss

    2) Djokovic '11 Slams:
    MelB: Bt 3 top 10 players (2 top 5, includ. #2)
    RG: Lost to #3
    AELTC: Bt 1 top 10 player (1 top 5; the #1)
    USO: Bt 2 top 10 players (2 top 5; #2 & #3)

    TOTAL: 6 Top 10 Wins (5 Top 5 Wins)/1 Top 5 Loss
    ===

    Movak was going for the CYGS & held all 4 slams @ 1 pt & then after he won the FO & CS, he hit a speedbump & hasn't been able to win crap. You would think going for the CYGS would motivate a player, but that's not what happened after Djokovic won the FO @ all. So yes, he's in a bit of a crisis for him & his standards. ...***

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  96. ***In all honesty, Nole won't be catching Federer in the slam count IMO. He'll fall short, but will end his career w/ a heck of a resume. The wks @ #1 though, that has an outside chance for him. If by the conclusion of '17, Djokovic gets to 14 slams, including a double CS, wins a 6th & 7th WTF, & ties Pete w/ 6 YE #1's, gets either his 1st channel slam or =s Federer's HC slam tally, + adds on a significant amount of X as #1.
    ---

    Djoke's 3 wins were not impressive. He'll need to get himself together over the break if he wants to stay in the top 3 next yr.***

    I'll keep saying it; Nole hasn't been impressive since Qatar! He has been limping along since he won the FO & it's a wonder he's been able to hold onto his top ranking for this long but for the huge lead from last season! He's played just well enough to stay ahead of the ATP also-rans that I'll continue to call "gutless!" Roger was on his last legs, Rafa's even losing matches to his compatriots w/ leads, while Nole's been mediocre at best! It took a perfect storm for Murray to get where he is & Nole still has a chance to reclaim & hold onto the #1 ranking during the long dead period btw now & the AO! He's had every break so far w/ pigeons in his group, not to mention the cakewalk to the final of the USO w/ WD's, opp. injuries, & walkovers! He allowed Stan to take him! He has another chance to show he's "the best" & deserves to have that moniker!

    ***Novak has seemingly "struggled" after RG this yr. During that span of X he's still 20-5, or an 80% win rate. In '16, only Novak & Andy had win % >ter.
    ---

    It's actually nice to see someone rooting for Raonic here.***

    I'd love to see a new winner come along; been rooting for Kei, Grigor, & Milos for quite a while & see great promise in the newest gen. w/ Zverev, Pouille & Thiem!

    ***...I assume you mean, has there ever been a situation where 2 players have met in all 4 slam finals & the WTF final during their careers? In which case, yes: Djokovic & Nadal.***

    People always thought Borg/McEnroe, Connors/Borg, Lendl/McEnroe, Laver/Rosewall, Sampras/Agassi, & a few others were THE comp. final "to see!" I don't think any of them = the Nadal/Djokovic rivalry & finals! The FO saved it from being more 1-sided IMO w/ Rafa winning all but 1 of the matches in Paris! They've met the most & only in the last 2 yrs has it started being in Nole's favor; competitively & overall record-wise! Federer s/b thanking his stars that Nole was around to stop Rafa from dominating for yrs, obliterating the recordbooks & his legacy! Roger only had the #'s in his favor while being Nadal's pigeon on just about every surface!

    YE #1. If Djokovic wins the WTF, it w/b his 5th YE #1, so a Federer strength w/b tied. Sampras also has 6, so really Fed isn't that special to begin w/.

    Wks @ #1. If Djokovic wins the WTF, he w/b back @ #1 & add more wks in the off season. He'll again make a move on another 1 of Federer's strength in the upcoming future. Sampras is also too close to Fed, it's not really that special of a tally.

    HC GOAT. If Djokovic wins the WTF, the debate for the HC GOAT will again be very close. Fed has 4 AO, 5 USO, 6 WTFs, 18 Masters 1000 while Djokovic has 6 AO, 2 USO, 6 WTFs, 22 Masters 1000. Things will get very interesting, no clear HC GOAT.

    ReplyDelete
  97. ***Why Djokovic's '15 wasn't as great as many think: an analysis

    - http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2015-12-13/21340.php -

    Yes, Novak just wrapped up 1 of the >est seasons in tennis history. There’s no denying that. It deserves its place among the best. But it’s not the best nor do I think it’s even his best.

    Djokovic had an = stronger '11 when he won 3 GS's & finished #1. This yr & the last few yrs have been a step backward in the quality of men’s tennis. Of course that’s coming off a high from around '09-11. I think the peak level of play was 3-4 yrs ago when Djokovic, Fed, Nadal & = Murray were all @ a very high level.

    At present, Murray’s still good, Fed is playing well, but Nadal is the real laggard. He’s been a shell of his former self. The level of comp. in gen. has declined of late. Let’s compare who’s better now vs '11:

    2 Murray – I don’t see much change in Murray. He's benefited from the decline of Nadal & Fed.

    3 Federer – '11 ...He’s 34 now, he was better in '11 when he was 30. I know he had a great yr in '15, but he benefited from a weak field.

    4 Nadal – '11 ...Nadal was a beast in '10/11. Almost unbeatable. Now when he plays Djokovic, it’s an utter mismatch.

    Many top players had a “down” yr in '15. But to me the key guys are Fed & Nadal.

    In '11 Djokovic went 4-1 (80%) vs the Swiss. This yr he was 5-3 over Roger (62.5%).

    ...Roger still authored a 17-match win streak following his 5-set loss to Novak in the USO SF. And he never lost to anyone outside the Top 20 all yr.

    ...Meanwhile, the younger gen. like A. Zverev, Coric, Kokkinakis, Sock & Kyrgios are all rising quickly. Again why? B/c the young guys are better than these middle-tier, B-level 30-70 ranked guys. And also now when facing a Roger or Rafa, there’s a chance to win (& Kyrgios took advantage last yr vs Rafa & then beat Roger this yr). 4, 5 yrs ago there wasn’t that chance.

    Back in '11, Djokovic was faced w/ a peak Nadal (beat Nadal 6 out of 6 X's), a worthy – not aging per se – Federer & a competent Murray. And I still believe that had Fognini not WD from that FO QF, Novak would have won RG that yr. He was playing that good. And yes, better than today (I think Novak '11 beats Novak '15. FWIW, Novak has better serve #'s this yr, but he had better return #'s in '11).***

    Regardless of actual stats, only taking a glance @ the RB; my personal memory says Nole not only acquired 3 more majors in '15, he took an extra match since he also was a finalist in Paris after dropping semi to Fed in '11! He set a record in Masters 1000 history, winning 6 & being in all 8 finals he played skipping Madrid! He not only took an extra MS1000, he won the YEC; his 4th in a row & 5 overall! I can only go by the overall record; no matter what the stats say & how much more impressive he was in demolishing his opp.!

    ***...'11 was definitely more impressive than '15! '14-17 will go down as the weakest era in history.***

    '11 is more impressive due to level of comp. was much stronger! Everyone was around & healthy including 6 str. final wins over Nadal & Roger & Andy nipping @ his heels in the semis! Nole was more offensive & took it to his rivals while in '15 he waited them out; more a war of attrition he successfully coined as 1 of the best ever!

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  98. ***The fallout from Novak’s loss to Denis Istomin in the 2nd Rd of the '17 AO is likely to ripple thru tennis for a lit'l while yet. ...

    ...This Djokovic is some way removed from the player who, only a yr ago, embarked on a campaign to win a cal. slam w/ such vigour he turned bookmakers into cowards. ...

    ...His strength was elastic, perfect for his calling. But, = before he lost to Istomin, there were moments in the 2nd-set TB of his 1st-Rd match vs Verdasco when he looked exhausted.

    On Thurs., he finished well enough but his lateral movement was passive rather than explosive. The miracle returns were missing. ...

    ...After so many yrs on the tour, & expectations rammed to the highest level every X he plays, Djokovic m/b embracing a return to his version of ordinariness, a place where he can rest from the journey for awhile. It would go against his comp. instincts to meekly accept defeat – as <er players do when it becomes commonplace – but he is an intelligent man & will understand that he's more vulnerable now than he has been since his irresistible rise began in '11, when nobody was safe from his racket, not = Nadal on clay.

    ...the locker room senses blood again. Djokovic’s slump, however temporary, will stiffen sinews & bring a brightness to the eyes of the advancing brigade of young challengers, such as A. Zverev and Thiem. Nadal plays Zverev next. Thiem plays Benoit Paire. Those are winnable matches that could launch the fledgling aspirants into the 2nd week of the AO – and then we might learn if they are capable of building a serious charge to a major title in an era that seems ready for change.

    It's a measure of Djokovic’s greatness, paradoxically, that his peers, critics & fans regard his 3rd implosion in 3 cons. slams as a cause for concern, rather than an aberration. This was supposed t/b his X, the post-Nadal-Fed reign, w/ Murray tugging @ his purple robes occas., but mostly falling short.

    ...Djokovic’s loss to Istomin, the most inexplicable of his career, means he w/b hard-pressed to challenge Murray for supremacy in the rankings until @ least the FO in May, given he lost so many pts here as a quickly-beaten champ & has a swag of pts to defend on the US HC swing, then the Euro claycourt season ahead of RG.

    That proved t/b the highpoint of his '16 season: securing ownership of all 4 majors @ once. It was a phenomenal effort – but 1 that drained him to the pt of meltdown @ Wimbl.

    Injuries and off-court issues complicated his life & his tennis, which he briefly put back together by winning the Rogers Cup in Can., only to suffer another setback when Del Potro dumped him out of the Rio Olympics.

    He bombed in the Paris Masters but came again to reach the title-decider of the ATP WTF's in London, where Murray beat him soundly. When he got revenge in a 3-hour final in Doha, they looked set for a confrontation on roughly level terms in Melbourne, where they contested the final a year ago. But Istomin, 117 in the world & in the draw thanks to a WC, did not read the script. ...***

    Murray ended up losing to M. Zverev in Rd. 16 in 4 sets!

    ReplyDelete
  99. Repost from last yr:

    ***Novak has won 9 out of the last 10 matches vs Rafa & 11 of the last 13 vs Andy. That's not even comp. anymore. And in terms of BO5, you can add Roger to the list of players who are not comp. w/ Novak anymore too. Roger hasn't beaten Novak at a GS for 3 and 1/2 yrs. He's currently the only 1 of those 3 who can beat Novak at all & the only 1 who has challenged him in any form @ a slam, so while I agree to an extent, the reality is 35 yo Roger is Novak's toughest opp. at the moment. Besides Andy, Roger & Stan, Novak has few challengers right now. Despite his age, the old fart has won 4 of the last 10 vs Novak compared to 1 of 10 for Nadal and 2 of 13 for Murray. So they're still his main challengers along w/ Stan in "Stanimal" mode, not the more frequent disinterested & crap Stan who shows up more often.***
    ---

    Tech. Nole's been #1 for the last 5 yrs before end of '16; '11, '12, '14, 15, & = 2013 when the ITF went w/ him over Nadal w/ his 2 majors!

    ***Yes, I was just saying that '16 for Nole w/b better than his super strong '12, '13, & '14.
    ---

    I couldn't really care < about H2Hs, but I'm not gonna lie, if you'd told me after the '13 USO that Nole would win 9 of their next 10 meetings, it definitely would've alleviated my depression at the X. In fact looking back I think that final was pivotal in terms of Novak's mindset in their future encounters. It was really due to that defeat that he hired Becker in the 1st place and I imagine it really hurt him @ the X, esp. after what had happened earlier in the yr @ RG. So much so that it seems he's made it his mission in life to never lose to Nadal ever again on HC's. And if he keeps playing the Spaniard like he did in the Doha final, I suspect he never will! - ...Talking about weak era 03-07?***

    Well his rival at the X was Roddick? Somehow Roger was able to withstand all that was thrown @ him from our #1 ranked player! ...IIRC Roddick had 4 set pts to go up 2-0 and blew it w/ the 2nd worst choke in Wimbledon history; the 1st being Todd Martin allowing Mal Wash'ton to come back from 1-5 in the 5th set SF!

    Nole, like anyone else c/b serving for a match & complicate his life by giving players another life! We've seen it enough X's; 4th set of '12 AO, 3rd set of '11 USO, & 4th set of '14 Wimbledon! He was lucky to win each after allowing Nadal & Fed to tie & take a set they shouldn't have had!

    ***Novak won '12 AO after beating Ferrer (5th) in 1/4's, Murray (4th) in SF & Nadal (2nd) in finals, as well as @ '13 AO beating Berdych (5th), Ferrer (4th) & Murray (3rd). At '11 AO he was close, beating 6th, 3rd & 5th.***

    IMO no one's had it as tough as Nole; making it to #1 & staying there!

    ***He seems to be doing quite well with this fight for his life so far. - If the ATP pros, namely the ones at the top, let this catastrophe happen of Nole acquiring his own non-C.Y. "slam."***

    I understand how you feel! I've been calling the "also-rans" of the tour "GUTLESS" for yrs allowing 3 or 4 players to own the tour for a decade or more! Many have the athletic ability & game to win anything, but something btw the ears doesn't allow it! ...Maybe there w/b a changing of the guard around Nole, but so far I'm not sure there's any hope! Players continue to get close, sometimes w/ MP's serving for it, but end up "choking" like dogs; it's even started happening to Nadal!

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  100. ***Novak's lost the tenacity which enabled him to rule men's tennis for a # of yrs, former mentor Niki Pilic said on Sat. "Djokovic reached the Mt. Everest of tennis last yr after winning the FO," Pilic, who guided the Serb as a jr @ his Munich academy, told Bosnian daily Nezavisne.

    "He had 16,950 pts & that's a tally which'll never be repeated again, but loss of form & missing tourneys made his advantage melt away." He looked untouchable after capturing his 12th GS title @ RG last June, but was dethroned from the top of the world rankings last Nov. by Murray, who beat him in the final of the YE ATP WTF's.

    The 29-yo Serb appeared to have rediscovered some of his form when he gained revenge over the Briton in Jan.'s Qatar Open final, but he then suffered a shock 2nd-RD AO exit @ the hands of Istomin. This wk he was beaten by Kyrgios in the QF's of an ATP event in Acapulco, prompting Pilic to cast doubts whether Djokovic can reclaim the top spot.

    "Novak had a physical & mental edge 2nd to none, he was in 6th gear," said the 77-yo Croatian who helped a Djokovic-led Serbia to their '10 DC title in an advisory role. "That tenacity is no longer the same. It remains t/b seen whether he can rediscover it & get back to the top level.

    "The hard work of the last 5 or 6 yrs has taken its toll. Tennis was the priority every morning, afternoon & evening & all I can tell him is t/b the person he was."***

    ...Nole's conditioning/stretching will extend his career a bit longer, but the wear has already begun mentally; emotionally! His goals have been reached, his priorities had to change, but I think he has another good run in him! I think he can take another 3 or 4 majors over the next 3 yrs since Roger'll come back to Earth, Murray'll run himself into an early grave, & Nadal's already his pigeon! The problem he'll have is w/ the new gen. which are finally starting to make their mark! Thiem's coming along nicely w/ A. Zverev! Some "middle of the road" players are having nice results of late as well; Milos, Kei, Nick, Querrey, & Grigor! Nole has a bitch of a draw at IW; Del Po & Kyrgios in his Qtr.!

    ***Most brutal IW draw for Novak, starting w/ R3. Not much relief for Rafa/Fed either. Rafa gets Verdasco in R3, a potential tough customer. Roger @ least seems to have 2 easy rds in Dudi & Johnson.

    - Novak's path:
    R1. Bye
    R2. Elias
    R3. JMDP
    R4. Zverev/Kyrgios
    QF. Fedal
    SF. Cilic/Kei
    -F. Murray
    ---

    There are 4 GS winners in the bottom Qtr. & they together have won 45 GSs. There are 3 GS winners in the other 3 Qtrs put together & they together have won 7 GSs.***

    I noticed; believe me! I was saying here & elsewhere, Nole's got a lot of hurdles in his path trying to go for the "double" Masters of IW/Miami for the 4th year in a row! I w/b happy enough if he wins 1 & makes SF of the other! It's gonna be tough!

    ***...But #1 is deternined off of Masters & lower level tourneys.***

    Murray proved that! What other players besides Nole last season & Vilas who both won 2 majors & a host of other tourneys, but was barely a footnote in the '77 season after taking FO & USO (over Connors)? Murray cleaned up in 500's & 250's to help elevate his #'s to take over the TOP SPOT in the world! Lame & 1 of the worst #1's IMO since Roddick! Nole needed to win just 1 more match last fall & this wouldn't have happened until after the AO!

    ***Vilas was controversial- Nole was not. This w/b remembered for quite some X.***

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  101. ***Is Zverev '17 the new Djoker '07? An up-&-coming rising star making breakthru wins on the big stage & = taking out Roger Federer. Sounds like we're talking about '07, the yr before the 12-X GS champion made his mark, but this yr, a new face is gracing the tennis courts on the world stage. Alexander Zverev.

    Zverev, the 20 yo German 1st made splashes @ St. Petersburg, defeating 2-X GS champion Wawrinka in the final & #9 Berdych in the SF. Since then, he's defeated numerous Top-10 players & lived up to his hype when he defeated 12-X GS champion Djokovic in the Rome '17 final. After that, he made his mark again when he defeated the great Roger Federer in the Can. Open final, winning his 2nd Masters title of the yr & guaranteeing himself a spot in the Top 10 @ the EOTY.

    This performance reminds many of Djokovic only a decade prior. Djokovic, another 20 yo still had to make his mark on tennis. He did so in '07 when he won the Adelaide Open before the AO, where he made it to the 4th Rd. Djokovic really produced results immediately following Melbourne, reaching the final of IW's, only losing out to the World #2 @ the X, Nadal. After that impressive showing, Djokovic took it = further w/ a stunning perf. in Miami, beating Nadal en route to the title.

    After a slightly < impressive clay & grass season, w/ many SF's & QF's, Djokovic returned to his preferred surface- HC. He immed. won the Can. Open by beating Fedal en route to his 2nd Masters title of the yr. Djokovic only took this as further motivation, reaching the USO finals & losing to Fed in the finals.

    Now, I see great parallels btw the 2 young guns so far.

    Djokovic & Zverev both won 2 Masters @ 20, beating Fed in 1 Fnl.
    Djokovic & Zverev both cracked the top 10 @ 20 yo.
    Djokovic & Zverev both had > than 5 wins vs the top 10 @ 20 yo.
    Djokovic & Zverev both won the Can. Open for their 2nd Masters.

    However, Zverev still falls short in some departs-

    Zverev has never reached the QF's of a slam. Djokovic had reached 2 SF's & a QF by the X he won his 2nd Masters.

    Zverev never beat the World #1 & #2 en route to a title. Djokor did in Montreal.
    Zverev has yet to dom. his gen, Djokovic was schooling Murray = in the beginning, doing so both X's he won a Masters in '07.

    I think '17 w/b a similar yr for Zverev as it was for Djokovic, but Djokovic was ahead in the slams. Comparing their slam results, I est. we see Zverev reach the SF of the USO this yr & the SF/F of the AO. He may win his 1st slam in '18.
    ---

    Zverev has the results like Djoko did in '07

    Zverev's the hottest thing in tennis in a long X - which isn't nec. saying much.

    The difference is... I took 1 look @ Djokovic & thought, "This guy is the goods." I don't claim to have foreseen what Djokovic has gone on to accomplish, but it wouldn't have shocked me to hear it that he would... he was an outstanding talent, by any standard, w/i any strength of field & in any X period.

    Zverev... he's good, but he's no Djokovic. The '07-08 versions of Fedal that Djoko was cutting his teeth on... would probably have chewed Zverev up.

    If '07 Djoko were here now or Zverev now was in '07... we'd only notice Djokovic as the one w/ great potential, Zverev w/b a, "yeah, he ain't bad either" case.***

    Very nice! Thanks!

    ***I can understand the comparison, but talent-wise I don't think Zverev measures up. Back then, Nole had to compete w/ 2 ATG @ their peak (Fedal) which helped him become the player we know today. Zverev doesn't have to contend w/ that, = though the same 2 ATG are still on tour, they're nowhere near as dom. as before. Would "'07 Djokovic" handle current Fedal >er than Zverev did this yr? I think so.***

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  102. ***Novak has a chance of repeating his 2012-14 run, but I don't think he can repeat his '11 or '15 season any more. Merely repeating his '12-14 run wouldn't = get him close to Rafa; forget about Roger.***

    I would never bring up 2015; a record season set that none of these New Gen'rs have a chance of achieving! It's one thing to win 3 majors, but to add 6 Masters & being in all 8 finals played is just unattainable in this lifeX or the next! That season will set him apart from Fedal & just about every other great besides Laver who won the CYGS twice; regard< if he never takes another major title! You see what it did to Nole; it was all downhill after completing his Nole-Slam in Paris last yr!

    ***I went to see Borg v McEnroe yesterday and I wasn't impressed. I can go as a far as saying it was based on them, but clearly not a true story. Most of the storylines were a figment of someone's imagination. ...= the casting was a bit off. The Borg character wasn't bad, but the McEnroe character didn't work for me although the guy who played his dad was a dead ringer. I'd much rather watch a docu. w/ the real clips than watch that film again. If they do one on Fedal, & long before 30 yrs have passed, I hope they do a much >er job. Fed said something like they've got some footage during his doubles' presser w/ Rafa @ the Laver Cup so something m/b happening.
    ---

    The H2H just gives Novak the edge, 26-24. However, since '11, Novak has had 2 cons. 7 winning streaks & a '4 in a row' vs Nadal. That's about 20 wins to 7 in Novak's favor since '11. I think that means Novak pretty much OWNS Nadal. I can't think of any other winning streaks that big by 1 top 5 player over another top 5 player in the last 20 years. I'll never forget that '11 Wimbl. final. Novak had Nadal running around like a rabbit trying to get all of Novak's angled shots. It was so embarrassing. In a lot of cases, pro tennis is a game of matchups, & Nadal doesn't matchup well @ all w/ Novak.
    ---

    'Own' is a strong word. However, since '11, aside the summer of '13, Djokovic pretty much owned Nadal on HC. If Djokovic finds his motivation again in '18, it w/b a really hard X for Nadal. - ...Djokovic actually allowed Nadal to show his worthiness for GOAT. To have an all X great rival enter his absolute prime, while Nadal in his post-prime had to figure out a way to still beat him in the biggest matches. And he did it. Nadal could easily have capitulated & quit like Borg did vs McEnroe arriving in his prime, but Nadal, although losing many smaller matches to Djokovic, found a way to keep winning big ones.
    ---

    '06: 1-0 Nadal
    '07: 5-2 Nadal
    '08: 4-2 Nadal
    '09: 4-3 Nadal
    '10: 2-0 Nadal
    '11: 6-0 Djokovic
    '12: 3-1 Nadal
    '13: 3-3 (Nadal wins both matches @ Majors)
    '14: 2-1 Djokovic (Nadal wins their 1 match @ a Major)
    '15: 4-0 Djokovic
    '16: 2-0 Djokovic
    '17: 1-0 Nadal​

    Djokovic was clearly >er than Nadal during 2 periods which were also the best of his career: '11 & '15-16. Coincidentally, '15-16 was the worst period of Nadal's career. Outside of those 3 yrs, Nadal has "won" the H2H 7/9 yrs, w/ the exceptions being (1) '13, where they split the H2H & Nadal won their 2 matches @ Majors; & (2) '14 where Djokovic won 2/3 matches, but Nadal won their FO final.

    Djokovic has the 26-24 H2H lead due to his 12-0 rec. vs Nadal in '11 & '15-16 (24-14 Nadal otherwise), & Nadal has the 9-4 lead @ Majors. I don't think this is a matter of it being a good matchup for Djokovic or a bad matchup for Nadal. These are 2 great players w/ a rivalry that has ebbed & flowed. It's flowed in Nadal's direction for longer periods of X, but it's flowed w/ more intensity in Djokovic's direction for the two periods he dom. That's why he has the slight H2H lead.***

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