Foot Fault!

Calling all the lines of professional tennis

Category Archives: Novak Djokovic

Two Guys, One Vase.

Yesterday, Andy Murray picked up his first Masters 1000 title of the year and 7th of his career, leading Novak Djokovic 6-4 *3-0 when the world number one was force to retire.

It was a tough situation all-round. It has to be tough for Andy to win such a big title like that. But he’ll take it. Will the level he showed this week be enough to capture his first slam at the US Open? Not even close. He was far too passive for most of this week and the level of play wasn’t particularly great in any of them. But at the same time, a title is a title and a Masters 1000 is a Masters 1000.

He’ll go to the US Open full of confidence, and judging by the Cowan and co’s excited muttering at the prospect of the Big 3 all being either injured or in poor form at the US Open, with all the British pundits once again expecting him to win his first slam there. Expect an article from Simon Reed claiming that Murray is the favourite to win the US Open in 3, 2, 1…

Of course, it’s also tough for Novak. We all remember the days when he was called ‘Fakervic’ and every top ten player and their dog all systematically criticized him for his various ailments. Nowadays, his peers’ views don’t appear bother him as much as they clearly did back then. And even so, when it got to the point where he was rolling first serves in at 88mph and couldn’t hit forehands without pulling up and wincing in pain, retiring was the only and logical option so close to the US Open. It took him a long time to make that decision, and he was probably more reluctant to quit because of all of the scar tissue from back in the day. However, apparently not everyone was convinced;

My only reaction to that is oh. As in ‘OH, is that Jamie Murray or Janko Tipsarevic?’ It’s one thing to be happy for your brother/friend or whatever. But it’s another thing altogether to start acting like some groupie living your life vicariously through that person and going as far as to start gloating on twitter about it. Grow up, son. It ain’t cool.

But anyway, let’s talk about the ATP in general. Really, this has to be one of the most uninteresting periods on the ATP for a long time. The start of the year was exciting; as the Djokovic run gathered steam, we all watched with baited breath to see who would be the player to end it. In retrospect, it just had to be Roger Federer, and the manner in which he euthanized the streak was stunning. Absolutely stunning.

But since then? Well, all there has been to watch is Rafa’s game and confidence falling apart while Roger has appeared completely disinterested for the most part - the sparkle in every part of his game other than his serve nowhere to be seen. And this all really shows that, contrary to popular belief, there is zero depth in the ATP right now. Every single top 4 player has been playing poorly during this US Open series, and yet no player has been even remotely close to taking advantage. We all thought that Fish’s time had come this week in Cincinnati, but after easing past Nadal, he then put on a complete shocker against Murray and threw away probably the biggest opportunity in his career thus far to pick up a Masters 1000.

So on we go. Who knows what will happen in a week from now when the final slam of the year finally kicks off? It could be a completely boring trainwreck of a tournament continuing on from the trend set by the last handful of weeks, or else something special and unexpected could happen. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

Quotable Quotes: Novak Djokovic Shares The Secret To His Unwavering Energy

Yesterday, Novak Djokovic captured his fifth masters title of the year and ninth title of his career with a 6-2 3-6 6-4 victory over Mardy Fish. Most expected him to drop down after he lost his first match of the year in Paris, and then once again after he achieved ‘his dream’ at Wimbledon last month, but he just kept on going.

“There is always energy if there is motivation. There is plenty of motivation and desire to continue on and play well and win matches and win tournaments. Look, you know, even though I have achieved my two biggest dreams in my tennis career, I’m still 24, and I still want to play tennis as long as I do have this inspiration and motivation in myself.

“I’m aware of the fantastic year that I had and a great streak, but I’m not thinking how many matches will I lose, I’m thinking how many matches will I win. As long as it’s like that, I think I’m in the right direction.”

Quotable Quotes: According to Tsonga, Novak Djokovic is just a Jack Of All Trades

After his questionable retirement to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of Montreal while trailing 4-6 0-3, Jo Wilfried Tsonga had some, well, interesting things to say about his opponent afterwards:

“He plays incredible tennis but he’s not an alien. In fact, what he does is doing everything better than the others … He doesn’t hit harder, he doesn’t hit the ball earlier. But he’s always there.

“He does not have the best return on the tour, but on every return, he returns well, and he’s always there. So what does it is his consistency, and he has no weaknesses.”

Needless to say, that is complete rubbish. Sour grapes? I don’t know, but you just don’t achieve what Djokovic has achieved over the last year by simply being consistent player. And if it was actually true, it would be embarrassing for Tsonga and co to let an apparent jack of all trades dominate the tour as he has in 2011 with a 52-1 W-L record and two Grand Slams in tow.

In reality Djokovic is by far the best returner in the world, and he is also armed with the best backhand, best defence, sturdiest mental strength and he is the best at redirecting his opponents pace against them. If Tsonga truly believes what he said, it would do him a world of good to open his eyes and stop underestimating the Serb, or else Djokovic will simply continue to toy with him in future meetings and Tsonga will have no idea why.

Novak Djokovic Finds Calm Amongst The Canadian Chaos

First Murray was upset in his first match, then Nadal, and then Roger Federer in the third round, but as his rivals toppled like dominoes around him, Novak Djokovic stood firm to reach yet another semifinal in this Career-defining year. This time he demolished Gael Monfils, the next highest-ranked player left in the draw, 6-2 6-1 in 73 minutes.

This win moves his win-loss record for the year to 51-1; FIFTY-ONE - ONE! So much was made of the streak in the first half of 2011, but the way he has recovered is almost even more impressive. After the bubble finally burst in that fateful French Open semifinal, many expected Djokovic’s form and game to fall back down to what we’ve become accustomed to over the years, but he has simply brushed the dirt off his shoulder and edged his way back to his brilliant best.

After the match, Novak offered up perhaps one of the biggest understatements ever to be spoken; “I have played the best match of the tournament, no doubt. Everything is going well.” It sure is, Novak. It sure is.

I’ll Believe it When I See It, Novak



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