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Gilbert and Evert on Djokovic, Federer, Goat, Level,etc.

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Gilbert and Evert on Djokovic, Federer, Goat, Level,etc. Empty Gilbert and Evert on Djokovic, Federer, Goat, Level,etc.

Post by TRuffin Wed 13 Jan 2016, 6:07 pm

Brad Gilbert and Chrissie Evert were on ESPN with AO preview and had a long and extremely in depth discussion about mens tennis- mainly Djokovic's current level, his growing place in history, and Federer's age defying prospects. Lots of points that have been raised on here were echoed by them so kudos to all of us- we actually might know something.
Its long but I will recap best I can and I dvr’d it and took notes of interesting quotes.
I didn’t realize how long until I wrote it so forgive me!

Brad Gillbert thinks Djokovic is unique in that he was clearly the 3rd best player for several years but took the best attributes of Federer and Nadal- became incredibly well rounded, and somehow became dominant in his mid career. Now dominating at a level that Gilbert has only seen from Federer in 05-06 era. Says Federer maintained that level consistently longer than Gilbert has ever seen, but Gilbert actually agrees with Nadal that Djokovic might be hitting a level higher than Federer even did, and that if he can keep it up through this year- it would surpass Federer’s peak consistent level.

Federers late career level even enhances his legacy in Gilberts eyes.

Era talk from Gilbert- Federer’s early years competition is underrated. He and Agassi used to marvel at the talent that was emerging that Agassi was dealing with as the elder statesman of tennis. Federer’s peers were “scary good” in our eyes, but Federer’s greatness just suffocated them, he swamped them all” “Federer made everyone look worse than they were” “ Also, early on, Agassi playing at a higher level than was thought possible in modern tennis at the time at that age held off younger guys.

Djokovic doing the same thing by swamping the competition, and Federer now taking the Agassi role and playing at an even higher level at 34. Field is deeper than even before, but hard to break through because established stars are playing better at an older age than before. Federer took away hope from his peers and they never recovered. Djokovic peers already established since he’s dominating later, so he’s taking hope from the younger guys.

Federer had to then fend off not one but two all time greats as he entered mid to late career and did so for a long time. Djokovic yet to see a younger rival emerge. But has to deal with “federer playing amazing tennis at 34” and Nadal who is "working hard to get back."

Chris Evert- agrees, but doesn’t view it as eras but as a 10 years cycle- says “No 1 players- there is always an improvement from each decade” Says Laver, Sampras, Federer are the unique ones that stand out as the all around benchmarks and Nadal on clay.
Agrees Djokovic is as complete as ever seen but says that is natural as each great builds on the other. “I think the physical thing and talent was awesome with Roger. He didn’t have as much defense as Djokovic and maybe didn’t need as much of the mental” “Roger is the most majestic in the talent part. I think Djokovic excels in the physical part as well, the defense, the offense, and mentally he’s just ahead of everyone else now” “He took the best of what Nadal offered with fitness and defense and combined it with Federer, and is so complete”
Goat talk

They are asked- Federer is widely seen as best of all time, how does Djokovic stack up. Is Djokovic’s dominance more impressive than Federer’s was

Evert: “ I would give it a few more years before I can say that.”

Gilbert: “Djokovic has been best player for 4 out of last 5 years. If he does it again, it might be the best five or six year cycle ever- right there with Federer.” He’s 16 consecutive finals. Lendal and Federer at 17. His constistency is outrageous.”
“The key is the French open. He’s missing that to really enter the Federer zone. He’s all but guaranteed 3-4 more majors, will match Sampras and Nadal, and if he gets the French, he blows by those two with all his other achievements, and now his resume matches up to anyone. Then it’s a real Federer, Djokovic debate”“Right now, Djokovic is complete a player as I’ve even seen” “incredibly young for 28 and set to dominate next couple of years.”

On Nadal

Evert “ He’s having a resurgence. He got killed by Djokovic but didn’t play badly He’s back to beating the players he should beat. He had a win over Stan and Murray. He seems to be at least taking care of everyone else, but DJokovic really has his number”

Gilbert- “Rafa, might do a bit better than last year. In Doha final, you saw he’s nowhere near beating Djokovic on any surface. That will be his priority, trying to figure that out, trying to beat the guys in front of him. I do expect him to move up from 5, but I don’t know where exactly to”

Question about Federer being “ageless wonder”

Gilbert “Honest to God, I get asked a hundred times a day can Federer win another slam, I’m like, first of all, he’s playing at 34 better tennis than any 34 year old I’ve ever seen. Amazing tennis. He’s right in thick of things. He’s just got to be able to find a way to beat a guy that is six years younger than him in a slam final. That’s basically it in a nutshell”

Evert: “federer is always looking for an edge. It shows by changing coaches he still is in the hunt. He definitly can win another Major.”


On Djokovic popularity:

Federer and Nadal are two most popular players ever.. Djokovic unlucky he came around after they had gobbled up most fans who liked to battle each other which made the camps even more entrenched than normal.. Everett says Djokovic doesn’t play quite as beautifully as Federer and not quite as passionate as Nadal so it’s hard for him to take fans from either of them. Both agree he will continue to grow in popularity though, but unfair to compare him to the other two.

How to beat Djokovic? My answer “good luck!” lol.

Evert “You’ve got to get him off the baseline Short cross court angles, dropshots. Easier said than done You can’t trade groundstrokes, but have to break up his game. Federer has that ability to come in on good shots. You’ve got to take every one of those chances. Murray has second or third greatest groundstrokes in the game and still can’t beat Djokovic. We’ve seen what happens to Nadal. IF you’ve got that type of game as them. You know you won’t beat him from baseline. You have to come up with angles, net play. Mix it up”

Gilbert
“I watched as couple of tapes last year when Fed beat him on faster courts, Karlovic at Doha. We saw Stan at the French, an amazing amount of winners. You’ve got to keep points short and litter up the stats sheet. It’s hard to do with the way most tournaments play now, but if you can go big- you have to go big. Keep going big as long as you can.”

TRuffin

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Post by paulcz Wed 13 Jan 2016, 8:11 pm

Thanks Truff for your excellent recap. All written makes sense and I can agree with each sentence.
The answer how to beat Novak is funny, but is spot on. You need to have luck on your serve, luck with conditions as a strong wind, very hot weather and in addition to that you need a really fast court. Then you need to believe that Novak will slip sometime. His current game is awesome.

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Post by hawkeye Wed 13 Jan 2016, 11:54 pm

Just over a year ago in October 2014 any talk of GOAT's was relegated to a sticky at the top of the page because Rafa's credentials got some upset.
It's funny to see how quickly some try and pretend that a wrist injury and appendicitis can negate a whole career and the reverse that a whole career of being in 3rd place can be negated because of the age and poor form of Djokovic's 2 rivals over this same period.

Evert and Gilbert are Federer fans they will even resort to bigging up Djokovic in order to diminish his biggest rival or in Everts even bigging up Murray to diminish Nadal. Since when did Murray have the second or third best groundstrokes in the game Laugh Who's he better than? Federer, Nadal or Djokovic or which two of them Erm Federer and Nadal know how to beat Djokovic as they've done it enough times but they do have to play well. He is a good player.

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Post by lags72 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 3:23 am

Thanks for posting TRuffin, and in such detail.

A very interesting read  thumbsup

I guess there's not too much in the way of new stuff that we haven't heard before in one form or another, but I do like the way in which they express their thoughts ..... their personal perspectives both on the past, and also on the very latest scene as it is today. All well-balanced stuff.

Nowhere really did I found cause for disagreement as I read through your summary and the direct quotes.

Of course, as many of us have said so often, it's only when all three of these top guns have retired that their individual careers and legacies can be fully & accurately assessed.

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 14 Jan 2016, 8:48 am

Thanks for that post, TRuffin. I really enjoyed reading it.

It feels to me that although Djokovic appears to have re-energised the GOAT debate, he's also taken a lot of the heat out of it.

This is perhaps because having a third contemporary great on the scene has made it less of a binary discussion. Or perhaps it is because he has debunked or contextualised the more contentious arguments (head to head, weak era).

Whatever the reason, there seems to be an appreciation of the quality of all three players nowadays.

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Post by Guest Thu 14 Jan 2016, 10:23 am

hawkeye wrote:Just over a year ago in October 2014 any talk of GOAT's was relegated to a sticky at the top of the page because Rafa's credentials got some upset.
It's funny to see how quickly some try and pretend that a wrist injury and appendicitis can negate a whole career and the reverse that a whole career of being in 3rd place can be negated because of the age and poor form of Djokovic's 2 rivals over this same period.

Evert and Gilbert are Federer fans they will even resort to bigging up Djokovic in order to diminish his biggest rival or in Everts even bigging up Murray to diminish Nadal. Since when did Murray have the second or third best groundstrokes in the game Laugh Who's he better than? Federer, Nadal or Djokovic or which two of them Erm Federer and Nadal know how to beat Djokovic as they've done it enough times but they do have to play well. He is a good player.

Says the voice of reason and impartiality! Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Thu 14 Jan 2016, 5:04 pm

Agree with their take on Fed and Djoko, dont agree with their take on Nadal.

Djoko can be beaten by a hard hitter like Stan or a varieties player like Fed. I also remember a Delpo causing Djoko so much trouble at Wimbledon2013 and Shanghai 2013. I'm also not sure that if Nadal could play at his 2013 level Djoko could have his number. Its in BO3 that Djoko had the upperhand after 2011, all because Djoko was aggressive from the get go but Nadal always started slow off the block. In BO5 Nadal clearly had the edge since AO2012. Nadal vs Djoko was 7-6 since AO2012 to FO2014. I believe during that period no one would say Djoko had Nadal's number, more like Nadal had Djoko's number at the slams.

It's still because of Nadal having a poor 2015 that Djoko could win 4 in a row, including for the first time since AO2012 beating Nadal at a slam.

Nadal may yet turn the table against Djoko again, on clay, or come the slams. Let's see how things unfold in 2016...

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Post by socal1976 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 7:14 pm

HM Murdock wrote:Thanks for that post, TRuffin. I really enjoyed reading it.

It feels to me that although Djokovic appears to have re-energised the GOAT debate, he's also taken a lot of the heat out of it.

This is perhaps because having a third contemporary great on the scene has made it less of a binary discussion. Or perhaps it is because he has debunked or contextualised the more contentious arguments (head to head, weak era).

Whatever the reason, there seems to be an appreciation of the quality of all three players nowadays.


Well really there was an appreciation of all three before except by a segment of fed fans who didn't appreciate Nadal. That hardcore has left for the most part and I feel that when Rafa is safely seen as no longer threatening Fed's records then a lot of ways the shrill hatred by some just isn't heated. I think the venom will resurface if Novak gets close to 17. 

On weak era if anything Novak's recent success proves what I have been saying. Many Fed fans argued that no such thing exists and that there is no strong or weak eras. Now with djokovic the favorite by far in any event he enters now you see them making the same criticisms I was making years ago about lack of adequate competition and how the great players in slams are what define a period. I think if anything the weakness of the players both before and after the players 27-32 ( golden era) becomes more apparent with each passing day and my own arguments in regards to strong/weak eras. If anything I feel vindicated and  I feel quite smugly satisfied that fed fans made it clear on the record that no weak eras exist and now if Novak goes on romp they can't come out and say the competition is weak. They won't use those words but the general negativity and cynicism of this creeping feeling that the opposition is weak and we need knew faces playing at a higher level is exactly what I was saying for years during Fed's heyday and in the years since.

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Post by socal1976 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 7:21 pm

hawkeye wrote:Just over a year ago in October 2014 any talk of GOAT's was relegated to a sticky at the top of the page because Rafa's credentials got some upset.
It's funny to see how quickly some try and pretend that a wrist injury and appendicitis can negate a whole career and the reverse that a whole career of being in 3rd place can be negated because of the age and poor form of Djokovic's 2 rivals over this same period.

Evert and Gilbert are Federer fans they will even resort to bigging up Djokovic in order to diminish his biggest rival or in Everts even bigging up Murray to diminish Nadal. Since when did Murray have the second or third best groundstrokes in the game Laugh Who's he better than? Federer, Nadal or Djokovic or which two of them Erm Federer and Nadal know how to beat Djokovic as they've done it enough times but they do have to play well. He is a good player.
 
Yes he has been the third best player except for the last 5 years which he has clearly consistently been the best. So 5 years of being the best player, is overshadowed by him being ranked number three as a teenager and in his early twenties? A hawk newsflash, the guy has like 180 weeks at number one your hero has fewer weeks and counting.

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