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Djokovic threatening the top tier the all time top five

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Post by socal1976 Mon 13 Jul 2015, 5:34 am

When you look at the list of all time greats of the open era Novak is threatening the top 5 players and make a strong case to join them. Of course we are talking about Federer, Nadal, Sampras, Laver, and Borg. Novak has 9 slams 8th on the all time list and with 17 slam final appearances puts him 5th on the all time list. Novak is now almost a lock to be the world #1 at the year end for the 4th time in 5 years. Additionally, he has a chance to become only the 9th player since 1932 to make the finals of all 4 slams in the same season. Djokovic also stands a great chance of finishing his career with the most master's titles of any player in history. His consistent brilliance and longevity at the very top level of the game places him probably just outside the group of players mentioned in the super elite level of the game. But with his dominance looking like it will continue for at least a little while longer he has a great chance to leap frog into the top 5. He has improved all the rough edges to his game to the point where he really has no weaknesses and numerous weapons from return, backhand, forehand, and serve to attack his opposition. Who would have thought this was possible when he was considered the nearly man back in 2010 struggling with his serve and fitness. Since then he has been able to win 8 of the last 19 slams.



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Post by HM Murdock Mon 13 Jul 2015, 6:14 am

Yes, the career stats are starting look very impressive now.

I've always thought that the top tier begins at 10 slams, so one more and I'd group Novak with guys you mention.

As a 'fan', I'd hoped Novak would get to 8 slams so he could draw level with that group of Connors, Lendl and Agassi. Anything beyond that 8 is a bonus as far as I'm concerned.

Even if he never wins another though, 9 slams and 155 weeks (and counting) at number 1 is a fabulous career that places him among some of the best ever.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 13 Jul 2015, 8:08 am

Djoko certainly looks good for a few more Slams. The fascinating thing with him as well as Murray and Rafa is how well they will play as they age. You could say the years are already catching up with Rafa but it looked that way for Fed in 2013 and he's come bounding back.
Djoko's performances have been particularly outstanding as he has had to compete with the others of the big four. Off the top of my head, only Tsonga in the 08 AO was an "easy" GS final opponent for the Serb.
So who can stop him? Only Rog and Andy (and Stan when in the mood) seem to be able to give him a good game at the moment. At this rate Fed's 302 weeks at the top could be under threat.

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Post by bogbrush Mon 13 Jul 2015, 8:34 am

Definitely true; I can see him getting to 14/15. It's all about whether anything emerges from the younger generation. Federer and Nadal are now spent forces, and though Murray may baulk him now and then Andy isn't regularly going to be the problem.
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Post by banbrotam Mon 13 Jul 2015, 8:36 am

It's time people realised that this era, which has a current live and still at peak two time slam winner barely able to hold on to a top four place, is pretty special


As for Novak, can he now be given the respect he fully deserves

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Post by bogbrush Mon 13 Jul 2015, 9:01 am

banbrotam wrote:It's time people realised that this era, which has a current live and still at peak two time slam winner barely able to hold on to a top four place, is pretty special

As for Novak, can he now be given the respect he fully deserves
Interesting take; I can see this period actually becoming food for weak era theorists, what with Roger holding #2 despite being exposed yesterday as incapable of playing for > 3 normal sets and Rafa in a right state. Having perennial nearly-men like Berdych still securely in the upper reaches doesn't help. Murray will assume #2 sometime later but Federer looks secure at #3 having defended his 2014 Wimbledon points.

The game desperately needs the new boys, even including that div Kyrgios, to come through. Tennis post Fedal, without replacement, is going to be bleak.
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Post by socal1976 Mon 13 Jul 2015, 9:03 am

bogbrush wrote:Definitely true; I can see him getting to 14/15. It's all about whether anything emerges from the younger generation. Federer and Nadal are now spent forces, and though Murray may baulk him now and then Andy isn't regularly going to be the problem.

I think when you look at the guys that can challenge him for slams, and this list short he has the most upside despite being around for so long. Stan is 30 and very inconsistent. Murray is very good but not as good or as durable with a second serve that is a bit of a liability. Nadal is hitting the wall fast and Federer as well as he has played is 34 years old. And then when you look at the next generation Kyrgios, Nishikori, Raonic, and Dimitrov they don't look to be of the level to knock him off anytime soon.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 13 Jul 2015, 9:11 am

bogbrush wrote:
banbrotam wrote:It's time people realised that this era, which has a current live and still at peak two time slam winner barely able to hold on to a top four place, is pretty special

As for Novak, can he now be given the respect he fully deserves
Interesting take; I can see this period actually becoming food for weak era theorists, what with Roger holding #2 despite being exposed yesterday as incapable of playing for > 3 normal sets and Rafa in a right state. Having perennial nearly-men like Berdych still securely in the upper reaches doesn't help. Murray will assume #2 sometime later but Federer looks secure at #3 having defended his 2014 Wimbledon points.

The game desperately needs the new boys, even including that div Kyrgios, to come through. Tennis post Fedal, without replacement, is going to be bleak.

Well an interesting point that has to be tempered by the fact that Stan Wawrinka has as many slams as the best of Fed's contemporaries in the era that some would call weaker in competition level. But can't be dismissed out of hand because we have seen a failure to launch from the players roughly in the 19-26 range following Murray and Djokovic. I have always viewed this era as strong as long as we had 3 top level greats like Fed, Murray, Djoko or Nadal. But right now Fed is in the twilight. Nadal has hit the wall. And Murray has stagnated a bit. Wawrinka's rise has made things interesting. But I think we either have to see another great arise or for Nadal, Murray, or Wawrinka to up their level and consistency for us to enjoy what we would call a strong era. As things currently stand the competition is a bit lacking. That being said it still in my book does not match the futility of the rollover generation.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Mon 13 Jul 2015, 9:14 am

Stan isn't inconsistent? He's reached back to back QF at Wimbledon, semi's at AO (after winning it) and QF at USO (SF 2013) other than his FO glory Yahoo

This Wimbledon still won't help to recover Djokovic from the utter heartbreak he got a month ago. He needed Gasquet to save him from his nemesis in the end
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Post by sirfredperry Mon 13 Jul 2015, 9:16 am

BBt'm - I think Djoko is respected but he's probably never going to be idolised in the same way that Rafa and Rog are, nor given the same patriotic support in the UK that Murray, obviously, gets.
Unfairly, it could be said that Nole's rock solidity helps him wins Slams but not fans, in that some go to matches wanting to see flair and flamboyance. What you get from Djoko is total all-round competence - good serving, great returning, amazing retrieving, strong on the big points.
Nole's style means he racks up the respect but loses out on the love.

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Post by bogbrush Mon 13 Jul 2015, 9:24 am

You know my opinion of weak era stuff and you won't be hearing me expound it now; I'm merely responding to the other post. The bleakness I refer to is largely because we'll move to a stage where extreme flair is gone from the top of the game. To balance that, that's how much of the 90's were too.

I don't rate Stan all that highly; he got lucky with Nadals back in Australia and while he revealed a chink in Novaks armour to brutal pace, that's not easy to execute (probably thrives best on slower courts, hence his poor showing at Wimbledon).
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Post by Josiah Maiestas Mon 13 Jul 2015, 9:28 am

If there ever was an 'idolisation' scale for slam winners it would go as follows:

Federer 9.5/10
Nadal 9/10
Del Potro 8.5/10
Wawrinka 8/10
Djokovic 8/10
Hewitt 7/10
Murray 7/10

If they were ranked from outside of their own country I believe this is as accurate as it gets.
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Post by Guest82 Mon 13 Jul 2015, 9:47 am

He's looking certain to be double figures. I can easily see him getting 12 slams.

If he can pick up the French, plus another US Open or two. It'll put him up there.

Don't think he'll reach the GOAT conversation, but lower end of the top tier.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:12 am

There is no doubt Djokovic is in a great place right now. For me he has already cemented an amazing legacy in the game. I would really like to see him add another US open to his tally, he has been amazing consistent at that tournament but has not won as many titles as he probably should have.

The French Open is going to be really tough but you would have to think he will give himself at least another few chances there. Should he win one more US open and a French open, that would put him right up there for me. Even if he doesn't win the French Open, the sheer scale of his achievements at slams, masters, tour finals, davis cup put him up among some of the greats of the game.

I definitely think that the Federer total of slams is out of reach but if Novak can continue in this form for another 2-3 years, you would have to think he could threaten the current total of 14 that Nadal has. It would be a lot to ask for him to reach that total or exceed it but you just never know. Staying injury free will be key and with that the rise of young talent further down the line.

For me, the most impressive thing about Djokovic is his consistency across all surfaces, also to have beaten both Nadal and Federer at all 4 slams is a remarkable achievement that should never be overlooked. When you think how hard it has been for most players to even get one win against them at a slam, to do so regularly and across surfaces is incredible.

The US open this year will be a big challenge, I think Federer, Murray and Wawrinka will all be very dangerous and we know what happened last year with Cilic and Nishikori. If Novak could somehow win in New York this year, he will put himself in a really strong position going into 2016.

The other thing to keep an eye on in his weeks at world #1. He is really racking up the weeks and if he does keep going strong on and off for the next few years, who knows how many weeks he could stay there. All what ifs but regardless, he has already achieved more than I could ever have imagined, particularly when you go back to 2010. That win against Federer at the US open 2010 in 5 sets and winning the Davis cup that year were the making of him as it gave him the confidence to go on that golden run in 2011 and now he is picking his game up yet again.

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Post by Guest82 Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:14 am

slashermcguirk wrote:There is no doubt Djokovic is in a great place right now. For me he has already cemented an amazing legacy in the game. I would really like to see him add another US open to his tally, he has been amazing consistent at that tournament but has not won as many titles as he probably should have.

The French Open is going to be really tough but you would have to think he will give himself at least another few chances there. Should he win one more US open and a French open, that would put him right up there for me. Even if he doesn't win the French Open, the sheer scale of his achievements at slams, masters, tour finals, davis cup put him up among some of the greats of the game.

I definitely think that the Federer total of slams is out of reach but if Novak can continue in this form for another 2-3 years, you would have to think he could threaten the current total of 14 that Nadal has. It would be a lot to ask for him to reach that total or exceed it but you just never know. Staying injury free will be key and with that the rise of young talent further down the line.

For me, the most impressive thing about Djokovic is his consistency across all surfaces, also to have beaten both Nadal and Federer at all 4 slams is a remarkable achievement that should never be overlooked. When you think how hard it has been for most players to even get one win against them at a slam, to do so regularly and across surfaces is incredible.

The US open this year will be a big challenge, I think Federer, Murray and Wawrinka will all be very dangerous and we know what happened last year with Cilic and Nishikori. If Novak could somehow win in New York this year, he will put himself in a really strong position going into 2016.

The other thing to keep an eye on in his weeks at world #1. He is really racking up the weeks and if he does keep going strong on and off for the next few years, who knows how many weeks he could stay there. All what ifs but regardless, he has already achieved more than I could ever have imagined, particularly when you go back to 2010. That win against Federer at the US open 2010 in 5 sets and winning the Davis cup that year were the making of him as it gave him the confidence to go on that golden run in 2011 and now he is picking his game up yet again.

Say he gets to 14. By winning a French plus another US and a couple of others. Does he then rank above Nadal?

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Post by temporary21 Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:15 am

i despise tgee goat debate mainly because is tge causeofthe weak era stuff amongst many other things designed to demote acheivement to prop up anothers . better to simply appreciate them all. Novak top 5? thinking too small top 3 . in fact the way things are going hes threatwning the top spot

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:16 am

bogbrush wrote:The game desperately needs the new boys, even including that div Kyrgios, to come through. Tennis post Fedal, without replacement, is going to be bleak.
I reckon you'll have your wish within a couple of years.

Novak is 28. Players rarely win slams in their 30s. I strongly disagree with Henman who says that Novak will be winning slams for another 4 or 5 years. That must fall out of his mouth as a soundbite, I can't believe there's a thought process behind it.

(Incidentally, I'm hearing a lot about Federer being as good as ever in the media. He's absolutely not. Serving better than ever, yes, perhaps. But look at the foot speed of Federer in his peak years. He's nowhere near that nowadays.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WDXZnvDvQ4

Within two years, I expect Novak and Andy to be into their declines and a bunch of new players beginning to replace them. I don't see anyone on the horizon playing in the same way as Djokovic and Murray, so tennis will start to change. I suspect an era of big hitters may be on the way.

Whether it becomes better in absolute terms, I have my doubts.

But stylistically tennis is on the cusp of a change. It will be starting within 2 years and will be fully fledged within 5.

As for Novak, I think double figure slams is plausible but would be surprised if gets beyond 11, given his age and the number of realistic opportunities left to him.

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Post by bogbrush Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:17 am

Josiah Maiestas wrote:If there ever was an 'idolisation' scale for slam winners it would go as follows:

Federer 9.5/10
Nadal 9/10
Del Potro 8.5/10
Wawrinka 8/10
Djokovic 8/10
Hewitt 7/10
Murray 7/10

If they were ranked from outside of their own country I believe this is as accurate as it gets.
If you rank this outside their own country (the only meaningful stat) I think your order is correct but the numbers are way off.

Federer at 9.5 is fine, but on that basis I can't get Novak / Andy above 4. That completely doesn't reflect on them, it's just the way it is. I doubt I've ever seen a play as universally adored as Federer, ever, in 40 years of tennis watching. The only active player who comes anywhere close is Rafa.
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Post by sirfredperry Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:29 am

SlasherMcQ: "For me, the most impressive thing about Djokovic is his consistency across all surfaces, also to have beaten both Nadal and Federer at all 4 slams is a remarkable achievement that should never be overlooked. When you think how hard it has been for most players to even get one win against them at a slam, to do so regularly and across surfaces is incredible."

That's an astonishing stat.

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Post by bogbrush Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:36 am

Yes, I think there's no reason why Djokovic can't get to sit at Sampras' table. I think getting to 17 might be a bit optimistic because after all that's almost as many again as he's won to date and eventually time will do it's work.

I agree, beating Federer & Nadal at every Slam is a killer stat.
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Post by HM Murdock Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:46 am

bogbrush wrote:Yes, I think there's no reason why Djokovic can't get to sit at Sampras' table. I think getting to 17 might be a bit optimistic because after all that's almost as many again as he's won to date and eventually time will do it's work.

I agree, beating Federer & Nadal at every Slam is a killer stat.
BB, are you and I in some kind of 'trading places' scenario? Smile  You boosting Djokovic and me pouring water on it?

Novak turns 30 in 7 slams time. Let's grant him a late slam win in his 30s. That still leaves him 4 more slams to win to get to 14. I'd say there's very little chance of him winning 4 of the next 7. Even winning 2 more would be a great achievement.

And as for the "Federer & Nadal at every Slam" stat, it's good but let's not view 'Federer on grass' and 'Nadal on clay' as fixed points. Novak beat a 32 and 33 year old Federer at Wimbledon and way below best Nadal at RG.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:47 am

Excuse me, Novak didn't beat Rafa regularly at the slams! He beats Rafa only once at each slam but that FO win happened when Rafa was already off form. OTOH, Rafa had beaten Novak several times at FO, twice at USO and once at Wimbledon. Also three of Novak's four wins came during that 2011 to AO2012 stretch.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:54 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Excuse me, Novak didn't beat Rafa regularly at the slams! He beats Rafa only once at each slam but that FO win happened when Rafa was already off form.  OTOH, Rafa had beaten Novak several times at FO, twice at USO and once at Wimbledon.  Also three of Novak's four wins came during that 2011 to AO2012 stretch.
Now you're gerrymandering the stats the other way.

They are 1-0 to Novak at Australia.
They are 1-1 at Wimbledon.
They are 2-1 to Rafa at USO.

The swinger is RG where is it 6-1 to Rafa.

As is frequently the case when people start talking about head to heads v Rafa, we see the other player meeting Rafa plenty on clay but Rafa not being there on the other surfaces.

Easy to win a h2h when you don't keep all your appointments.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:57 am

Hm, I've problem with the words 'beat Rafa regularly over all the slams'! Can you tell me how's beating him once being called regularly??

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Post by dummy_half Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:59 am

So Djokovic has 9 slams at age 28. He has won 3 slams in one calendar year once and this is his first season of winning 2 in a year (obviously with the USO still to come and him being a strong favourite). In the 3 years between he won one slam a season plus one early in his career.

His style relies on speed of court coverage and flexibility plus incredibly consistent ball striking from the back of the court. The speed and stretchiness are likely to start to fade in the next year or two. However, there still doesn't look to be many younger opponents coming up.

For me, he's very likely to get to about 11 or 12 slams, but much more than that would be a very good performance. Obviously he has to be considered up there with the all time greats, but as others have pointed out there is something about him that leaves many fans a little cold - lacks the flair and grace of Federer at his best or the image and crushing forehand of Nadal's early years. Oh, and I think the excessive ball-bouncing on serve goes against him

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:01 am

Also, I'm not sure that should Rafa keeps his 'appointmemts' Novak would beat him, as Rafa had beaten Novak at the USO more than Novak had beaten him. Their AO2012 final was also a close affair, Rafa made the AO 2014 final but Novak didn't, though Rafa was the one who didn't make the Wimbledon appointments.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:02 am

Belovedluckyboy, why does it matter that Novak beat Nadal 3 times during that 2011-2012 stretch?? Does that not count for some strange reason?? Also he beat nadal at the French because Nadal wasn't playing well?? big deal, is it meant to be his fault that nadal didn't perform as well on the day?

What about the French open final when there was a light rain shower and novak was on a run and tearing nadal up before play was postponed to the following day killing novaks momentum. worth noting that djokovic also nearly beat nadal in that 5th set in that French open semi. He has also beaten nadal 5 times on clay now. Don't try and pretend like Novak wasn't really close to beating nadal at the French on a few occasions. I don't argue that nadal is the greatest clay courter ever but Novak has come extremely close to Nadal even when Nadal has been playing at his best.

HM, I don't agree with relation to beating Federer at 32 and 33 years old. This is a guy that has beaten Murray at Wimbledon twice in the past few years so he is clearly still a very formidable opponent on grass. Just look at how Roger played vs Murray on Friday !! You could argue that you then take away Federer's win vs Novak at the US Open final in 2007 because Djokovic was a kid at the time.

All these wins count regardless of what age they are and if they are pre and post prime. Beating Federer at Wimbledon and Nadal at the French takes a phenomenal effort regardless of whether they are at 100%, ask the rest of the players what they think and I am sure they will agree.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:03 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Hm, I've problem with the words 'beat Rafa regularly over all the slams'!  Can you tell me how's beating him once being called regularly??
I think he meant regularly spread across all the slams, not regularly at each slam.

4 defeats of Rafa at a slam in the last 4 years compared to no more than 1 by anyone else in that period is pretty regular.

It cuts both ways though - Rafa can also be said to be the only one to regularly beat Novak in the last few years.

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Post by Guest Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:07 am

I feel Djokovic has to be the most under-apreciated multi slam winner ever. It's strange. You tell someone who has never watched tennis in their life Djokovic's list of achievements and they would be like 'wow this guy must be great' and yet there is a strong resistence from most in the tennis world to give him his due and credit.

It's sad. He is a pretty solid guy who can easily be an inspirational to others, isn't dogged by scandals, never says a bad word on anyone and yet he is met with 'meh'

We could go through list of past champions and to the most part have a USP. That separates them apart when achievements alone can't do that. He is like Wilander in the sense of no-one wants to remember him as a great champion and lacks a lot of popularity. I don't know what more he can do that he isn't already.

I am not a fan, but I can't quite think of a real reason to dislike the guy. He doesn't get me jumping out of my seat. The guy is the best mover I have seen in the game, but when he does pull off a shot like the one he did on the opening point of the TB, I found myself in disbelief as in that shouldn't happen given it was a pretty decent volley from Federer.

I will try my hardest to appreciate him.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:09 am

HM, in terms of if Novak gets to 14 slams, will he be considered better than Nadal. I really don't know how to answer that question. You could argue on the one hand that he would likely have a better spread of slams as Nadal has won the vast majority at the French.

If that situation did arise, I don't think I would consider either greater, they are totally different players. The same applies to Sampras, he won 14 but he was so dominant in his era (with exception of Agassi in the mid to late 90s who was a great rival for him). They are all great players and I don't necessarily see one being better than the other.

With relation to my comment about Djokovic regularly beating Nadal and Federer at slams, I was referring to the fact he had beaten both of them at all 4. I wasn't suggesting he beats them regularly at each slam. Four wins against Nadal at slams and 7 against Federer would still be considered regularly to most people. Just like Nadal and Federer have enjoyed regular wins against Novak at the slams too. I am not disputing that for a second

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:13 am

Like I said I've issue with the word regularly. Novak didn't beat Rafa in 2013 and 2014, he only beat Rafa from Wimbledon 2011 to AO2012 before this year. Rafa beat Novak from 2012-2014; you're right Rafa is the only one to beat Novak regularly in the last few (three) years at the slams.

You're biased when you said they met more on clay when they met 6 times on the other surfaces at the slams, not any less than meeting on clay. They're 2-2 on Hc slams and 1-1 on grass, I doubt Rafa was any worse off than Novak at the other slams, bar the Wimbledon these days.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:17 am

slashermcguirk wrote:HM, I don't agree with relation to beating Federer at 32 and 33 years old. This is a guy that has beaten Murray at Wimbledon twice in the past few years so he is clearly still a very formidable opponent on grass. Just look at how Roger played vs Murray on Friday !!
I'm not arguing that he is a weak opponent. He's still a big threat, especially at Wimbledon.

But let's say, for the sake of argument, that Federer in his 30s is at the level of Murray's best.

Though a tough opponent, beating Murray on grass is not used a career benchmark. I don't think other players at that level should be used as benchmarks either, even if that other player used to be the best grass court player ever.

What I do like about your stat though is that it shows that all three players - Federer, Nadal and Djokovic - are entrenched in each others careers.

Novak has beaten both of them at all slams but he has also lost to Federer at all slams and lost to Rafa at all slams except Australia.

If we view their careers in their entirety, I don't see it as 'Fedal and that other guy'. It's a proper 3 way rivalry now, albeit one watered down somewhat by their peak periods not fully overlapping.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:23 am

Slasher , said what you want, if you think Novak was close to Rafa when Rafa was playing his best on clay. I certainly think Rafa's best on clay was way back at 2008-2010. I also think that Rafa was close to Novak's best on the Hc when he beat Novak at the USO in 2013! Oh and 2010 too after Novak had beaten Fed for the first time at the USO that year.

We can say what we want about a player's 'best' but we don't have to agree on what is 'best'.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:26 am

The whole crowd support thing is an interesting one. I don't think the crowd dislike Djokovic, they simply got used to Federer vs Nadal for so many years. When this other guy came along, he ultimately signalled the end of their duopoly.

I was watching the final yesterday with a large group of people and I would say nearly half of them were up for Djokovic. At Wimbledon I think they are slightly bitter of the fact that he has eclipsed Murray in his career and they are the same age. There was probably an expectation that they would achieve similar success but to date it has not worked out that way. Also, I hate to say this but the snob factor is definitely there too with them cheering against Djokovic. I personally loved the moment where Djokovic roared towards that person in the crowd that tried to put him off when he was serving.

While not as popular as Federer and Nadal, Djokovic has become popular in the US and he has also proved very popular with the French, see the reaction they have given him the past couple of years. He is also very popular in Asia / Australia.

Remember that even winning 8 French Opens, the crowd in Paris have rarely warmed to Nadal but they love Federer. There is a huge snobbery factor among tennis crowds, I hate to say it but it is true. It makes me respect Novak even more that he has fought not only tough opponents but the crowd too through his career. That take serious mental strength. The funny thing is that when Djokovic gets into the latter years of his career and becomes the underdog, the crowd will probably support him more.

He is just unfortunate that he came along after Federer and Nadal and became the villain by having the nerve to end their absolute dominance of the sport.

For me though, he does seem to be growing in support. I certainly know a lot of people that wouldn't have previously been a fan but have become big fans over the past couple of years.

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Post by bogbrush Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:28 am

HM Murdoch wrote:
bogbrush wrote:Yes, I think there's no reason why Djokovic can't get to sit at Sampras' table. I think getting to 17 might be a bit optimistic because after all that's almost as many again as he's won to date and eventually time will do it's work.

I agree, beating Federer & Nadal at every Slam is a killer stat.
BB, are you and I in some kind of 'trading places' scenario? Smile  You boosting Djokovic and me pouring water on it?

Novak turns 30 in 7 slams time. Let's grant him a late slam win in his 30s. That still leaves him 4 more slams to win to get to 14. I'd say there's very little chance of him winning 4 of the next 7. Even winning 2 more would be a great achievement.

And as for the "Federer & Nadal at every Slam" stat, it's good but let's not view 'Federer on grass' and 'Nadal on clay' as fixed points. Novak beat a 32 and 33 year old Federer at Wimbledon and way below best Nadal at RG.
Could be!

I disagree on 14, I think he'll do it. Time will tell.

Yes, maybe you're right about the Fed @ Wimbledon (albeit Fed is always only a month off being the next year up at Wimbledon!) + Rafa @ RG, but then the record books will just show the wins of course.

I also agree on the comment later on about "keeping appointments" in h2h's, for obvious reasons! Rafa has some serious pro-clay, anti-indoor biases in a few such records.
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Post by bogbrush Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:29 am

slashermcguirk wrote:The whole crowd support thing is an interesting one.
I blame the hairstyle.
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Post by HM Murdock Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:30 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:You're biased when you said they met more on clay when they met 6 times on the other surfaces at the slams, not any less than meeting on clay. They're 2-2 on Hc slams and 1-1 on grass, I doubt Rafa was any worse off than Novak at the other slams, bar the Wimbledon these days.
Novak has just gone runner up, win, win at Wimbledon.

Rafa has just gone 1R, 4R, 2R at the same event. Pretty good chance that Novak wins a match up there, but doesn't get to play Rafa.

Novak wins AO13 but Rafa didn't even enter.

Novak goes deep enough to meet Rafa at RG in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

It matters when things are that skewed. The h2h would look better for Novak if he didn't enter Roland Garros!

H2H doesn't have any value without context.

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Post by barrystar Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:32 am

Djoko's 9 slams and being the man to break Fedal is an extraordinary achievement - I see him finishing with somewhere between 11-13 in total and one of the all-time greats, but not a big participant in the GOAT debate.

I remain amazed that he has not won more US Opens, and it's also interesting that this Wimbledon he overtook Nadal's total of match wins at slams, he has 200 odd and Nadal is still in the 190's.

Djoko's position in the public's affections is down to the fact that sports watchers usually prefer frequently brilliant to consistently excellent.
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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:33 am

Fair point belovedluckyboy. However if Nadal's peak on clay was 2008-2010, then he was facing Djokovic during his barren spell when he was at his most vulnerable. It wasn't until 2011 that Novak won his 2nd slam.

All I am saying is that doesn't take away from the fact that Nadal beat Novak regularly during that spell from 2008-2010 and that is not Nadal' fault. For the same reason Novak beating Nadal at the French this year shouldn't have an asterisk.

By the same logic you could say that if Nadal had made the finals of the US open from say 2007 - 2009, Federer might well have fared better in their grand slam H2H as that was when Federer was cruising at that tournament, the problem is Nadal never made the final those years.

These are all what ifs but stats are stats regardless of pre and post peak, the same argument can be made for the top 3 as they emerged and peaked at different times. A win is a win, end of

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:40 am

I think Djokovic will be a bit like Sampras.

Respected rather than loved during his prime, then perhaps a swell of support for one last win as age begins to make him appear more mortal.

Then, when his career is over, people will look at the stats and think "this guy was seriously good".

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Post by bogbrush Mon 13 Jul 2015, 11:56 am

HM Murdoch wrote:
Belovedluckyboy wrote:You're biased when you said they met more on clay when they met 6 times on the other surfaces at the slams, not any less than meeting on clay. They're 2-2 on Hc slams and 1-1 on grass, I doubt Rafa was any worse off than Novak at the other slams, bar the Wimbledon these days.
Novak has just gone runner up, win, win at Wimbledon.

Rafa has just gone 1R, 4R, 2R at the same event. Pretty good chance that Novak wins a match up there, but doesn't get to play Rafa.

Novak wins AO13 but Rafa didn't even enter.

Novak goes deep enough to meet Rafa at RG in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

It matters when things are that skewed. The h2h would look better for Novak if he didn't enter Roland Garros!

H2H doesn't have any value without context.
Hear hear!

I've often said that if only Federer was a much worse player on clay he'd have looked so much better versus Nadal. Year after year he kept his appointments at Roland Garros and the other major clay events, and almost always left with another defeat. Yet during his best time (and when Nadal was winning RG), Rafa was nowhere to be found at the US Open in particular. I grant that he was always trouble for Federer and I'm not ignorant of the detail of the h2h but it's obvious that had they hardly met on clay (which had Federer been weak on clay would have been the case for perennial #1 & 2 seeds) - and had they added more TMC meetings - the h2h would be unrecognisable, and people would just look at Slam counts, weeks at #1, that sort of thing.

I don't deny Rafa his credit for being so amazing at clay as well as his other accomplishments, but I do think there's a statistical anomaly in the h2hs with Federer and Djokovic that shouldn't be swept under the carpet.
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Post by LuvSports! Mon 13 Jul 2015, 12:03 pm

bogbrush wrote:
slashermcguirk wrote:The whole crowd support thing is an interesting one.
I blame the hairstyle.

It's odd with Novak.

The only place he gets more support is in Serbia.
Aus, appreciated for sure but never routed for over another.
FO, the only time he received more support by a long way I can remember was 2012 FO final vs Rafa and it was very even in FO '13. Even this year vs Murray, the Scot got more support - underdog support maybe.
Wimby, similar to Aus.
US, Nishi, Stan, Rafa, Feds all got the majority of the support in their matches.


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Post by Josiah Maiestas Mon 13 Jul 2015, 12:06 pm

He will lose another USO and RG final and won't make the AO final, making his GS finals h2h 9-10. Embarrassing for a 'top 5 all timer'.
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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 13 Jul 2015, 12:32 pm

How is his record in major finals embarrassing?? Look at his opponents in his 17 slam finals (H2H in slam finals):

3 x Federer (2-1 H2H)
7 x Nadal (3-4 H2H)
5 x Murray (3-2 H2H)
1 x Wawrinka (0-1)
1 x Tsonga (1-0)

With the exception of perhaps Tsonga (lets not forget also that in that very tournament, Tsonga destroyed Nadal and beat Murray), he has played 2 all time greats, Murray and Wawrinka who even admitted himself that he turned in arguably his greatest ever performance. To have a slightly favourable slam final record against that competition is very impressive

Do you want me to start bringing up some of the opponents that Federer and Nadal have met in slam finals like Gaudio, Philipousis, baghdatis, berdych, Roddick, gonzalez, soderling. I am not suggesting these players are poor players for a second but I think it is fair to say that Djokovic has had to overcome to the main extent pretty tough opposition !

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 13 Jul 2015, 12:41 pm

HM, you only mention Wimbledon from 2012 but what about Wimbledon prior to that? Was Novak good enough to meet Rafa there in 2008, 2010? Rafa had his heydays at Wimbledon back then just like Novak has his now. Also, Novak himself was beaten by Fed in the SF in 2012 even when Rafa couldnt go far then.

AO? Rafa missed the AO in 2013 due to injury. Novak himself didnt make it to 2014 final when Rafa was there; just like Rafa didnt make it to 2011 final when Novak was there. Even if we went back as far as 2008 onwards, there were times when they missed each other - 2008 Rafa didnt make it, 2009 Novak didnt, 2010 both only reached the QFs.

At the USO, Rafa didnt make it to meet Novak in 2007; thereafter they were beaten in the SF in 2008/2009 by others. The three times they met in the finals Rafa won twice.

So, its not like Rafa always didnt make it to meet Novak at the other slams when Novak himself wasnt there to meet Rafa too.

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Post by kemet Mon 13 Jul 2015, 1:00 pm

HM Murdoch wrote:I think Djokovic will be a bit like Sampras.

Respected rather than loved during his prime
, then perhaps a swell of support for one last win as age begins to make him appear more mortal.

Then, when his career is over, people will look at the stats and think "this guy was seriously good".

Excellent point on Pete Sampras.

In fact, I will add, that it has been argued the stranglehold that Sampras had on Wimbledon from 1993-2000 (1996 being a mere aberration) most likely ushered in the altering of the court conditions.

I have never gotten the sense that Sampras is spoken of in the same breath as Federer because his game does not have the same aesthetic appeal to it

The same can be argued about Novak.

For me, I prefer Federer because of his graceful style, while in my mind Novak is simply a wall at the baseline with a vastly improved serve.

But he has nine slams and I realize that there are people who are not fans of Federer's play, so the argument can go both ways

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 13 Jul 2015, 1:38 pm

Rafa met Fed more often during Fed's peak years (2004-2007)- 14 times, half of them on clay; vs Rafa's peak from 2008-2011 - 12 times, 7 of which on clay. Rafa was 17-9 vs Fed up to end of 2011. They were 5-7 ad Fed on surfaces other than clay, but Fed won 5 out of those 7 wins during his peak 2004-2007; Rafa was 3-2 up during 2008-2011.

If say Rafa met Fed more often on surfaces other than clay, from their H2H at their respective peaks, I won't be sure that Fed would have any advantage over Rafa esp when Fed wasnt great during 2010-2011 on grass at Wimbledon. The difference would still be their clay H2H even if they were to meet fewer times on clay.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 13 Jul 2015, 1:50 pm

Slasher, by the same token, Fed didnt make it to meet Rafa at the USO during 2010/2011 and 2013, so?

All these if only Rafa could make it this or that, its really not relevant. Its not like Rafa couldnt reach any final at the other slams, he did make 3 AO finals, 3 USO finals and 5 Wimbledon finals. He did beat either Fed or Novak there in the finals.

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Post by Guest Mon 13 Jul 2015, 2:14 pm

It walks like a GOAT and bleats like a GOAT it usually is one.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 13 Jul 2015, 3:02 pm

kemet wrote:I have never gotten the sense that Sampras is spoken of in the same breath as Federer because his game does not have the same aesthetic appeal to it
The big advantage Federer has against other contemporary greats is that he can fun to watch even if he is steamrollering the world #150 in a match without any tension at all. He's just good to watch.

Nadal and Djokovic can be thrilling but generally only against a worthy opponent. For me, the entertainment is not inherent in their style but rather in the narratives they create.

They can supercharge existing drama but can't they can't create the drama on their own.

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