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AO 2016 - Day 14

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Post by laverfan Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:54 am

First topic message reminder :

Order of Play - http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/schedule19.html

Live Scores - http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/scores/index.html

Day 14 Preview - http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/news/articles/2016-01-31/ao_analyst_how_murray_can_beat_djokovic.html

(Apologies for being tardy...)

No predictions from me, but Murray has his work cut-out if he wants the Norman Brooks Trophy.

Number of Comments/Views on 606v2 Tennis for each main AO day (as of this writing).

Day 1 - 19/500
Day 2 - 96/1324
Day 3 - 35/675
Day 4 - 33/542
Day 5 - 102/1578
Day 6 - 48/795
Day 7 - 251/2941
Day 8 - 120/1639
Day 9 - 93/1598
Day 10 - 115/1660
Day 11 - 254/3570
Day 12 - 128/2098
Day 13 - 39/565
Day 14 - ?/?

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Post by Aut0Gr4ph Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:32 pm

Danny_1982 wrote:Novak is a mental giant. He is just rock solid when it matters. Murray can match him and stay with him for spells, but is so up and down emotionally that you just feel the outcome is inevitable. His error count was so high, but it wasn't the high risk shots he missed!

We also need to remember that Novak has lost 1 match in 6 years here. And that was by a piece of paper to Stan. It would be easy to slate Andy, but apart from Stan I don't see anyone else with much to shout about on this court.

Novak is firmly amongst the greatest ever, and the others need to work out how to knock him off this perch.
Yes, it's easy to bemoan Murray's relatively poor play against Novak. It is frustrating that Andy doesn't seem able to bring his best game, but a huge component of that is who is on the other side of the net. Andy himself benefits from the same effect against many top players that he has a similar psychological hold over. Knowing you are better is a huge advantage to have.

The killer for me is that, due to his more complete game, Novak can have the upper hand while still playing within himself, while Andy always looks like he's straining every sinew just to stay with Novak. That must create such mental strain. I still wish Andy would mix it up more (e.g. rushing the net). I mean, seriously, he has nothing to lose given the current state of the H2H.

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Post by HM Murdock Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:33 pm

The biggest difference between the Novak of today and the Novak of a couple of years ago is mental.

In '12, '13 and '14 he would fizzle out as a slam progressed. He let big moments get away from him.

These days, he gets tougher as slam progresses and seizes the big moments.

He stunk against Simon. But then he sees off the world #7, #3 and #2 in the final three rounds for the loss of one set. Not by unrelenting brilliance (although he was brilliant for spells) but playing most of the big moments well.

I have to give Boris a lot of credit for this. He was hired to give Novak an extra couple of percent in the big moments and that's what he seems to have done.

I thought Andy today was pretty much the reverse.

Passing over the first set as an oddity, there wasn't a great deal between them in sets 2 and 3. Andy just wobbled in some big moments. Combine that with Novak being tough in big moments and the result becomes inevitable.

Lots of talk in the media now about Novak catching Federer on 17. That seems incredibly unlikely to me. Six more slam wins from a player who turns 29 in May is a big ask.

Catching up with Pete and Rafa on 14 is in play, but even that seems a big challenge to me. Possible... but tough.

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Post by lydian Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:46 pm

To be honest that was a pretty lacklustre final...not one to remember. Djokovic rarely had to get out of 3rd gear and Murray seemed stuck in reverse at times. Is it because Murray was a beaten man before stepping on court? Djokovic played as well as he had to, stepping up when needed but you felt he had canyons of reserves to tap into...he didn't have to play higher-risk tennis at any stage.

Yes maybe Boris has helped but you have to credit Novak himself. He's been through a lot of big matches over his career and you can sense an inner peace in him now, he's matured, he's a father, he's able to put things into better perspective and stay on a more even keel. I just think he's grown up and is happier in his #1 player skin. He didn't need any coaching/mentor/tactics today - his innate level of play and mental strength was enough.

Given his efficient style of play it's hard to see him get beaten in slam finals this year but you never know in this game...it has a habit of throwing up surprises. But I'b be surprised if he didn't end the year on at least 13 slams and another WTF...another 52 weeks at the top are surely assured barring injury. It's not a huge statement to say that all the big male tennis records are in danger at this point....
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Post by Aut0Gr4ph Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:53 pm

HM Murdock wrote:The biggest difference between the Novak of today and the Novak of a couple of years ago is mental.

In '12, '13 and '14 he would fizzle out as a slam progressed. He let big moments get away from him.

These days, he gets tougher as slam progresses and seizes the big moments.

He stunk against Simon. But then he sees off the world #7, #3 and #2 in the final three rounds for the loss of one set. Not by unrelenting brilliance (although he was brilliant for spells) but playing most of the big moments well.

I have to give Boris a lot of credit for this. He was hired to give Novak an extra couple of percent in the big moments and that's what he seems to have done.

I thought Andy today was pretty much the reverse.

Passing over the first set as an oddity, there wasn't a great deal between them in sets 2 and 3. Andy just wobbled in some big moments. Combine that with Novak being tough in big moments and the result becomes inevitable.

Lots of talk in the media now about Novak catching Federer on 17. That seems incredibly unlikely to me. Six more slam wins from a player who turns 29 in May is a big ask.

Catching up with Pete and Rafa on 14 is in play, but even that seems a big challenge to me. Possible... but tough.
Yes, it's hard to overstate how important the mental dimension is. When I said that Novak is the more complete player, I was including his mental strength within that. Success in tennis is not just about having all the shots, but being able to reliably produce them when it really counts.

I know it's true to form, but I think you're being a tad pessimistic about his chances of catching Nadal on 14. Sure, you can't ignore age as a factor, but, at the moment, all Novak's main rivals are older than him, so the passage of time is actually working in his favour for the time being. Of course, things can change quickly in tennis, but there's no sign of a serious challenger emerging from the younger ranks any time soon.

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Post by Guest Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:54 pm

I really hope that Murray and Mauresmo can get some time together and work on the mental approach to the attacking element of his game. Andy just seems to have a reluctance in pulling the trigger. Like an uncomfortability about it. 

If Andy can sustain the play of the second set over the course of a match, he could beat Djokovic.

The question is, about the ability to do it. Is it mental or physical that holds him back? I have no doubt Andy will have another chance in a Slam final. He appears to want to not lose the match rather than go and win it. 

For once the discussion after a Murray loss is not so much about the serve.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:54 pm

Djoko seems unbeatable at present but it's still a tremendous task to win an annual GS and to me the French is always going to be the difficult one - as it has been for everyone bar a certain Spaniard.
  Remember. When Nole bt Rafa at the AO in 2012 the Serb had won four of the the previous five slams and seemed set for utter domination. Yet he won only one of the next NINE slams. So you never really know what's going to happen.
  However, he's a much better player now, the opposition is not so strong and, praps Raonic apart, there doesn't seem to be a sustained challenge from the younger players.  


Last edited by sirfredperry on Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:55 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Post by Born Slippy Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:56 pm

Catching Rafa and Pete must be at least 75% probability from here. To catch Fed he needs to win just under half the slams from now until he turns 32 - distinctly possible but not a gimme.

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Post by lydian Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:24 pm

Agree BS, his Achilles heel in chasing the records is not having won more at any earlier age. I see no reason why he can't win 2 per year for this, next and 2018 season...he would still technically be only 31 yo. I think he'll win a RG within this, and stay #1 for most of the next 3 years...after all who's going to win MORE than him to take #1? Hard to see anyone there...unless Rafa surges again but I that ship has sailed and the games style of play has moved away from Rafa's forte...so that's possibly another 150 weeks on top of the 183 he has now. Barring major injury or a loss of motivation surely the 17GS, 302 wks, 6 WTF will be under threat?
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Post by HM Murdock Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:31 pm

Aut0Gr4ph wrote:I know it's true to form, but I think you're being a tad pessimistic about his chances of catching Nadal on 14. Sure, you can't ignore age as a factor, but, at the moment, all Novak's main rivals are older than him, so the passage of time is actually working in his favour for the time being. Of course, things can change quickly in tennis, but there's no sign of a serious challenger emerging from the younger ranks any time soon.
It's not so much that I'm pessimistic in this case. I just think that multiple-slam winning seasons are tough. It's easy to assume a player will rack up 2 or 3 slams a year but they tend to be tougher in practise.

Novak is well-placed with a slam win early in 2016. But, barring him achieving the unlikely feat of CYGS, to get the remaining 3 slams required to reach 14 will require 2017 to be a slam winning year.

That's a long way off in sporting terms and a lot can happen in that time.

I'm just more cautious than a lot of the pundits.

I remember hearing how Roger would probably reach 20 slams, and how Rafa was going to rule in 2011, and how Novak was going to rule in 2012.

So I'm not going to count the proverbial chickens just yet!

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Post by Guest Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:37 pm

Who can really stop Novak in the short term? The current guard are struggling, nothing coming through majorly on the youngster side.

I think 14 is more than capable.

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Post by HM Murdock Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:39 pm

Can somebody remind me: does today make Novak one short of or equal to the record for consecutive finals?

Thanks.

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Post by summerblues Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:52 pm

One short.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:56 pm

Slow surface freak of nature was begging to give Murray a set in this final but Murray wouldn't accept the tainted gifts. Now it's up to Nadal or Stan to stop him holding all 4 at the same time Doh

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Post by Henman Bill Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:59 pm

See the other thread I just updated before I saw your question. (the one with 15 vs 06 in the title)

I think a 2-slam year would have been a fair, safe prediction for Nole before the season started. But now he's already got one trophy safely tucked away (admittedly his banker one) and good form continuing, and rivals not improving a 3-slam year might be the slightly better guess at this point.

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Post by summerblues Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:06 pm

Novak now must have a pretty decent chance to get to 14 GS titles. Not a given, but definitely realistic.

I would be very surprised if he reached 17 though. Not totally impossible, but it has to be a very long shot. He would realistically need either three more very strong years or two phenomenal ones. I think I would still give Rafa a better chance than Novak to get to 17.

A lot can change quicker than people expect. Some of the young guys are likely to improve and he is likely to decline.

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Post by Calder106 Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:03 pm

Well done Novak. Another slam win. Only saw the first set which was a bit of a disaster for Andy who only seemed to switch on when the bagel was imminent. From reading the reports and comments though it looks like it was a lot closer in the other two sets with Murray falling short at the crunch times. That is the main thing he needs to address when playing the like of Djokovic and Federer who show more mental strength than him at these crunch times.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:35 pm

Delighted to see Novak get another slam under his belt but I do genuinely feel for Murray. He played some very good tennis at times and I really thought he was going to nab that second set. He just made some poor errors at crucial moments and that made all the difference.

I thought Novak played very well in the 1st set but was bizarrely passive in the 2nd set, to the extent that it actually annoyed me. I mean if you are playing well, why not just go for your shots !!! he really sat back and Murray played some inspired tennis, he just couldn't produce enough of it though and made some very poor errors.

You have to give huge credit to Murray as he simply never gave up, most players after going 2 sets down would have caved in mentally and physically. I have huge respect for Murray and the fight he has in him. Andy has the shots and he has the desire, no question about it but he gives himself way too hard of a time. Constantly berating himself and his box, it is so counter productive I feel. He must be expending so much negative energy behaving like that rather than just getting on with the task at hand.

I still think Murray has slams in him but he really needs to sort out the mental side of the game, I am sure that is a lot easier said than done. You just get the sense he is constantly battling his inner demons and that is affecting him at key moments. He will be back strong though and I expect a great run at Wimbledon and US open from him.

As for Novak, he continues on his run which has been so impressive. I just wish he would stamp his authority on matches a bit more and keep up the aggression throughout. He is playing some amazing tennis and the mental side to his game has just grown and grown.

The French Open will be the big one yet again, huge pressure at this stage to win that one and each year that goes by only makes it harder. I just hope he can finally get the win there, if he does pull that off imagine his confidence levels for the rest of the year !!


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Post by slashermcguirk Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:46 pm

Delighted to see Novak get another slam under his belt but I do genuinely feel for Murray. He played some very good tennis at times and I really thought he was going to nab that second set. He just made some poor errors at crucial moments and that made all the difference.

I thought Novak played very well in the 1st set but was bizarrely passive in the 2nd set, to the extent that it actually annoyed me. I mean if you are playing well, why not just go for your shots !!! he really sat back and Murray played some inspired tennis, he just couldn't produce enough of it though and made some very poor errors.

You have to give huge credit to Murray as he simply never gave up, most players after going 2 sets down would have caved in mentally and physically. I have huge respect for Murray and the fight he has in him. Andy has the shots and he has the desire, no question about it but he gives himself way too hard of a time. Constantly berating himself and his box, it is so counter productive I feel. He must be expending so much negative energy behaving like that rather than just getting on with the task at hand.

I still think Murray has slams in him but he really needs to sort out the mental side of the game, I am sure that is a lot easier said than done. You just get the sense he is constantly battling his inner demons and that is affecting him at key moments. He will be back strong though and I expect a great run at Wimbledon and US open from him.

As for Novak, he continues on his run which has been so impressive. I just wish he would stamp his authority on matches a bit more and keep up the aggression throughout. He is playing some amazing tennis and the mental side to his game has just grown and grown.

The French Open will be the big one yet again, huge pressure at this stage to win that one and each year that goes by only makes it harder. I just hope he can finally get the win there, if he does pull that off imagine his confidence levels for the rest of the year !!


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Post by paulcz Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:48 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:Delighted to see Novak get another slam under his belt but I do genuinely feel for Murray. He played some very good tennis at times and I really thought he was going to nab that second set. He just made some poor errors at crucial moments and that made all the difference.

I thought Novak played very well in the 1st set but was bizarrely passive in the 2nd set, to the extent that it actually annoyed me. I mean if you are playing well, why not just go for your shots !!! he really sat back and Murray played some inspired tennis, he just couldn't produce enough of it though and made some very poor errors.

You have to give huge credit to Murray as he simply never gave up, most players after going 2 sets down would have caved in mentally and physically. I have huge respect for Murray and the fight he has in him. Andy has the shots and he has the desire, no question about it but he gives himself way too hard of a time. Constantly berating himself and his box, it is so counter productive I feel. He must be expending so much negative energy behaving like that rather than just getting on with the task at hand.

I still think Murray has slams in him but he really needs to sort out the mental side of the game, I am sure that is a lot easier said than done. You just get the sense he is constantly battling his inner demons and that is affecting him at key moments. He will be back strong though and I expect a great run at Wimbledon and US open from him.

As for Novak, he continues on his run which has been so impressive. I just wish he would stamp his authority on matches a bit more and keep up the aggression throughout. He is playing some amazing tennis and the mental side to his game has just grown and grown.

The French Open will be the big one yet again, huge pressure at this stage to win that one and each year that goes by only makes it harder. I just hope he can finally get the win there, if he does pull that off imagine his confidence levels for the rest of the year !!


Perfect assessment of the final, Slasher. Murray played close his best and just his head hindered  him to win key points.
I appreciate how much risk Murray put on his hitting in order to hang on with Novak on the court.  But it is a huge difference to play risky when you are an outsider and playing with the best and loosing against closing out the match when you are the strong favorite.

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Post by laverfan Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:54 pm

Murray is a better version of Simon, or is he? I disliked the match. This reminds me of the somewhat apt comparison between Murray and Hewitt. I wish Lendl was sitting in the box.

Unless a younger version of Federer shows up, it is unlikely that anyone can/will stop Djokovic.

Congrats to Djokovic (and his fans) for yet another addition to the large growing silver ware collection. clap clap

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Post by Guest Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:33 pm

laverfan wrote:Murray is a better version of Simon, or is he? I disliked the match. This reminds me of the somewhat apt comparison between Murray and Hewitt. I wish Lendl was sitting in the box.

Unless a younger version of Federer shows up, it is unlikely that anyone can/will stop Djokovic.

Congrats to Djokovic (and his fans) for yet another addition to the large growing silver ware collection. clap clap

Andy you feel in matches like that it's stick or twist. Does he go for the risk of does he hide his time? The latter he has done so many times and not yielded the results he has craved. The 2nd set I felt loving this Andy is attacking and that puts pressure on Djokovic to play riskier. 

Think it was Wilander who said "Andy needs to drag Novak down to his level"

He has tried that too often and not succeeded. I just wish for that intensity like in set 2, but can he real sustain that against Djokovic? Not sure.

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Post by TRuffin Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:50 pm

Congrats to djokovic!

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:16 pm

Sorry wasn't around for the conclusion albeit at the end of the day inevitable congrats Novak..

But the big prize awaits Andy the birth of your son/daughter ... Fingers Crossed

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Post by socal1976 Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:49 pm

lydian wrote:Agree BS, his Achilles heel in chasing the records is not having won more at any earlier age. I see no reason why he can't win 2 per year for this, next and 2018 season...he would still technically be only 31 yo. I think he'll win a RG within this, and stay #1 for most of the next 3 years...after all who's going to win MORE than him to take #1? Hard to see anyone there...unless Rafa surges again but I that ship has sailed and the games style of play has moved away from Rafa's forte...so that's possibly another 150 weeks on top of the 183 he has now. Barring major injury or a loss of motivation surely the 17GS, 302 wks, 6 WTF will be under threat?
 
Amazing that many of the records we thought fed had put completely out of play have so quickly been challenged. I still don't think he will get 17. If Novak wins 6 of the next 13 slams till the end of 2018 when he will be 31 and tie Federer. I think the weeks at number 1, and Sampras' record of years end number ones, are the most under threat of the major records that were thought untouchable.

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Post by Born Slippy Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:01 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:
laverfan wrote:Murray is a better version of Simon, or is he? I disliked the match. This reminds me of the somewhat apt comparison between Murray and Hewitt. I wish Lendl was sitting in the box.

Unless a younger version of Federer shows up, it is unlikely that anyone can/will stop Djokovic.

Congrats to Djokovic (and his fans) for yet another addition to the large growing silver ware collection. clap clap

Andy you feel in matches like that it's stick or twist. Does he go for the risk of does he hide his time? The latter he has done so many times and not yielded the results he has craved. The 2nd set I felt loving this Andy is attacking and that puts pressure on Djokovic to play riskier. 

Think it was Wilander who said "Andy needs to drag Novak down to his level"

He has tried that too often and not succeeded. I just wish for that intensity like in set 2, but can he real sustain that against Djokovic? Not sure.

Wilander is an idiot. He also said that Murray needed to hit more balls to Novak's backhand.

Murray has sought to out-hit Novak in all the big matches from last year's Oz Open onwards. It's the right tactic but he still needs to add even more moves forward. Today though he was handicapped by the fact he couldn't hit simple rallying balls on the forehand in court for most of the match.

The positives are he looks in immense physical shape and he's finally improving his second serve. He also played at about 6/10 and still matched Novak for long spells. Negative is that he played awful tennis at exactly the wrong moments at the end of sets 2 and 3 - not sure how he can fix that, other than to hope he does better next time.

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Post by Danny_1982 Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:12 pm

BS - agree with a lot of that. If you watched a highlight reel of the match Murray played some good aggressive stuff. But the errors from standard shots were way too high. I bet Novak couldn't believe his luck.

I think at Wimbledon or USO he has much better chances than in Melbourne. Novak is simply too solid on that court and in those conditions.

Also, he's been through it emotionally the past couple of weeks. His wife about to drop and the craziness around his father in law. Runner up amongst such emotional turmoil is a good result. His temperament was poor today, but understandable in the circumstances.

I think Andy will win a slam this year.

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Post by socal1976 Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:18 pm

Great post by Slasher. The one thing I didn't like about Novak's performance was that he seemed to become passive in the second set when he went up a break. He kept just rallying with Andy and letting Andy hit errors. At the end of the last two sets he almost lost them because he kept feeding Murray routine rally balls and Andy was starting to get grooved by crushing the backhand and then moving Forward. He would dictate the points and be aggressive and get a lead in the second set and third set and both times he gave Murray the 
break back by dialing back his aggression and letting Andy push him around.

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Post by Guest Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:32 pm

Born Slippy wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:
laverfan wrote:Murray is a better version of Simon, or is he? I disliked the match. This reminds me of the somewhat apt comparison between Murray and Hewitt. I wish Lendl was sitting in the box.

Unless a younger version of Federer shows up, it is unlikely that anyone can/will stop Djokovic.

Congrats to Djokovic (and his fans) for yet another addition to the large growing silver ware collection. clap clap

Andy you feel in matches like that it's stick or twist. Does he go for the risk of does he hide his time? The latter he has done so many times and not yielded the results he has craved. The 2nd set I felt loving this Andy is attacking and that puts pressure on Djokovic to play riskier. 

Think it was Wilander who said "Andy needs to drag Novak down to his level"

He has tried that too often and not succeeded. I just wish for that intensity like in set 2, but can he real sustain that against Djokovic? Not sure.

Wilander is an idiot. He also said that Murray needed to hit more balls to Novak's backhand.

Murray has sought to out-hit Novak in all the big matches from last year's Oz Open onwards. It's the right tactic but he still needs to add even more moves forward. Today though he was handicapped by the fact he couldn't hit simple rallying balls on the forehand in court for most of the match.

The positives are he looks in immense physical shape and he's finally improving his second serve. He also played at about 6/10 and still matched Novak for long spells. Negative is that he played awful tennis at exactly the wrong moments at the end of sets 2 and 3 - not sure how he can fix that, other than to hope he does better next time.

Was that the comment in which he recommended slicing to the Djokovic BH?

I agree he needs to move forward, but I think that is something all players need to do more frequently. You can see bar a rare few that it's not something instinctive in most players and that's a real shame.

Raonic who employed that this past fortnight surprised me with the quality in which he done it.

Tour take note.

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Post by HM Murdock Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:43 pm

Danny_1982 wrote:I think Andy will win a slam this year.
I think the key to this is not necessarily being able to beat Novak.

The key is maintaining dominance over all players not named Djokovic or Federer.

Sooner or later Novak is going to lose one of those scrappy mid-tournament matches, like the one vs Simon last weekend or the one vs Anderson at Wimbledon. Murray needs to be in position to strike when this happens.

(Not that I'm ruling out him beating Novak in slam)

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Post by Danny_1982 Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:03 am

Murdock - I actually think the key will be beating Novak. I think Novak will make every final this year, and Andy has to hope he can get there too and execute a bit better once there.

Andy moves slightly better on grass, so that probably represents his best chance of beating him. He also has to hold off Roger for the number 2 spot.

Ultimately, since returning from surgery Andy has lost all but 1 of his many matches v Novak and Roger. That's a pretty appalling record, but he isn't as far off as that record suggests I don't think.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:36 am

Danny - I don't think Novak will make all 4 finals this year. He's been in a lot of tight situations over the last 18 months or so and at some point he won't escape one.

Whichever slam that happens at, Andy becomes at least the co-favourite.

If they meet in a final, Andy is capable of winning but I think it's an "on the right day" scenario. When Novak finally falls early in a slam, Andy's fate is in his own hands much more.

We'll see though!

I'll make an early prediction: Novak will not win both RG and Wimbledon. In fact, I'd say there is a better chance of winning neither than of winning both.

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Post by Danny_1982 Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:06 am

I don't think Novak will win Wimbledon. But I think he'll win at RG. I hope he does too as that puts him right in amongst the best ever, which is where he deserves to be.

I agree it's on the right day scenario, with the possible exception of Wimbledon. That's where the match up is at its closest because of how suited Murray's game is to that surface.

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Post by summerblues Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:34 am

HM Murdock wrote:I'll make an early prediction: Novak will not win both RG and Wimbledon. In fact, I'd say there is a better chance of winning neither than of winning both.
We should listen because you have a good track record.  Was it in January last year when you were predicting that there was a better than 50% chance that Novak would never win another slam?

But this time I think I may also be crazy, and agree with you.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:32 am

summerblues wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:I'll make an early prediction: Novak will not win both RG and Wimbledon. In fact, I'd say there is a better chance of winning neither than of winning both.
We should listen because you have a good track record.  Was it in January last year when you were predicting that there was a better than 50% chance that Novak would never win another slam?

But this time I think I may also be crazy, and agree with you.
Darn it, I was hoping people had forgotten that!

It serves as a good reminder of how quickly things change. When I made that prediction, Novak held zero slams, had slipped to #2, had lost 4 out of the last 5 slam finals, and was choking away nearly all the big moments against his rivals.

I would never have expected that 2 years later he would be up to 11 slams.

The worrying thing for you, SB, is that in the range of opinions about Novak's current prospects, I think I'm closer to your view than anyone else's. Which means either I've upped my game in predictions or you've suffered a huge loss of form!

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Post by bogbrush Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:31 pm

One last word on the 2016 Australian Open:

Rafa Nadal came 128th in the event:

Nadal lost to Verdasco, who lost to Sela, who lost to Kuznetsov, who lost to Monfils, who lost to Raonic, who lost to Murray, who lost to Djokovic.


First trophy of the season secured, albeit a wooden one!
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Post by Born Slippy Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:41 pm

Safin I think was the last slam champ who managed this achievement.

Good old Rusedski appears to have managed it three times which takes some skill!

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Post by Guest Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:42 pm

Laugh

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Post by Henman Bill Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:10 pm

HM Murdock wrote:

I'll make an early prediction: Novak will not win both RG and Wimbledon. In fact, I'd say there is a better chance of winning neither than of winning both.

I think that's fair, for now.

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Post by socal1976 Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:32 am

HM Murdock wrote:Danny - I don't think Novak will make all 4 finals this year. He's been in a lot of tight situations over the last 18 months or so and at some point he won't escape one.

Whichever slam that happens at, Andy becomes at least the co-favourite.

If they meet in a final, Andy is capable of winning but I think it's an "on the right day" scenario. When Novak finally falls early in a slam, Andy's fate is in his own hands much more.

We'll see though!

I'll make an early prediction: Novak will not win both RG and Wimbledon. In fact, I'd say there is a better chance of winning neither than of winning both.

Come on rabbit's foot daddy needs a new pair of shoes. I like it Murdock like a true trooper you are doing it for the cause. As much as you love Novak you don't want to apply the now infamous Murdock kiss of death by picking him. I think Novak is 2 to 1 favorite to win ONE of either wimbeldon or French. I would say he is a 2 to 1 DOG to win both. I mean his new precision on serve, his improved slice BHS, and net game plays really well at Wimbeldon that is why he has won it three times. The big scare for him is Murray on that surface and maybe Fed having a huge serving day. Other than that there isn't any great natural grass courters to threaten him, some servers like Raonic and others. But his movement is so good and that is an underated edge that people don't talk about when talking about strengths on the grass.

In terms of RG, Nadal and Stan are the big threats. Nadal is still a shell of himself and if they played on RG tomorrow Novak would probably beat him in straight sets. But Nadal has some time to keep up improving like has been for some months. Stan is the guy that on slower surfaces because of the huge swings and grip changes he likes the extra time. So on the slower surfaces where he can wind up his huge cuts he can beat Novak. It was good fortune Raonic did him in this year at the AO. But I think Stan will admit that he can't play like that FO final in every meeting with Novak, maybe he can reproduce a performance like that one in 5 if your generous maybe one in ten is more realistic.

So I predicted early this year that Novak would win RG and complete the Novak Slam, I didn't pick Novak to win USO and Wimby because I think he is so geared up right now for this early part of the season at some point he has to take a respite from just winning everything.

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Post by summerblues Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:52 am

bogbrush wrote:One last word on the 2016 Australian Open:

Rafa Nadal came 128th in the event:

Nadal lost to Verdasco, who lost to Sela, who lost to Kuznetsov, who lost to Monfils, who lost to Raonic, who lost to Murray, who lost to Djokovic.


First trophy of the season secured, albeit a wooden one!
That is very sweet.  May there be many more like this one.

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Post by HM Murdock Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:06 am

socal1976 wrote:Come on rabbit's foot daddy needs a new pair of shoes. I like it Murdock like a true trooper you are doing it for the cause. As much as you love Novak you don't want to apply the now infamous Murdock kiss of death by picking him. I think Novak is 2 to 1 favorite to win ONE of either wimbeldon or French. I would say he is a 2 to 1 DOG to win both.
Yes, I need to use my abysmal powers of prediction to achieve some good!

In all seriousness though, if he gets over the line at RG this year, with all the emotions associated with that, I think it's a tough ask to pick up the racquet and go into battle again just a couple of weeks later.

The last couple of years, Wimbledon has been a relief for him, a chance to move on from disappointment. I suspect the opposite will be true if he wins RG.

It will be a nice problem to have though!

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Post by Henman Bill Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:16 pm

This thing about coming 128th, so there's only one player (never two or more), and always one player (never none) at each event who has such a loss loss chain all the way to the final? Is that right..?

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Post by socal1976 Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:49 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
socal1976 wrote:Come on rabbit's foot daddy needs a new pair of shoes. I like it Murdock like a true trooper you are doing it for the cause. As much as you love Novak you don't want to apply the now infamous Murdock kiss of death by picking him. I think Novak is 2 to 1 favorite to win ONE of either wimbeldon or French. I would say he is a 2 to 1 DOG to win both.
Yes, I need to use my abysmal powers of prediction to achieve some good!

In all seriousness though, if he gets over the line at RG this year, with all the emotions associated with that, I think it's a tough ask to pick up the racquet and go into battle again just a couple of weeks later.

The last couple of years, Wimbledon has been a relief for him, a chance to move on from disappointment. I suspect the opposite will be true if he wins RG.

It will be a nice problem to have though!
That is the reason I said Murdock at the start of the year I could see him winning the Novak slam and then just mentally pushing the rest button subconsciously a bit after that. Still Murdock I mean he is someone who now seems to be able to win big matches against top players while not even really playing that well. When he does play well that's when you see these 6-0,6-1 score lines. Think of it like this the season is a month old and Novak has already handed roger, Rafa, and Murray each a first set breadstick. In three matches this year against each of the other big four he is 3-0 and has eight out of 9 sets won with three breadsticks. Yes great days my friend. Sorry for the ribbing because after all you are the third most important member of Novak's team. After Novak and Boris then comes the murdock effect.

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Post by summerblues Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:52 am

Henman Bill wrote:This thing about coming 128th, so there's only one player (never two or more), and always one player (never none) at each event who has such a loss loss chain all the way to the final? Is that right..?

Yes, correct.  On the other hand, as much as I would like it to be otherwise, it does not really suggest in any serious way that the player was the "worst" player in the tournament - they likely just had a bad luck to be in that chain of consecutive losers.

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