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US Open 2023

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 24 Aug - 17:06

Draw about to take place for the USO with singles starting on Monday.

Difficult to look beyond Alcaraz and Djoko for the men's title, although the USO has been, statistically, the least predictable of the Slams in recent years.


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Post by sirfredperry Thu 24 Aug - 17:18

Alcaraz has Koepfer in the first round and is seeded to play Dan Evans in the third round. A possible q-finalist for Alcaraz is Sinner, with whom he fought a memorable match at Wimbledon last year.

Andy Murray, whose participation is not certain, has been drawn against Moutet in the first round. Cam Norrie starts against Shevchenko and Evans has Galan. Tiafoe, Ruud and Rune are all in the same quarter.

Djoko has a fairly comfortable first three rounds, starting with Muller. Tsitsipas, FAA and Fritz are in Nole's quarter. Tsitsipas has a tough opener v Raonic

Rublev and Medvedev have, on paper. some awkward early matches.

In the women's, Swiatek could meet Gauff in the quarters. Tow GS champs - Kvitova and a returning Caroline Wozniaki could face each other in the second round.

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Post by MrInvisible Fri 25 Aug - 17:17

I would put Djokovic as v slight favourite ahead of Alcaraz. Why? I just feel he will have that extra motivation given recent history there. Also the recent Cincinnati final will have given him an important psychological boost in the rivalry. After those two I would put Medvedev on account of his great hardcourt pedigree, with Sinner probably best of the rest. So unlike SFP I can see beyond the big two to win but I do think it's a smaller field of potential winners compared to previous years.

I can definitely see Raonic beating Tsitsipas, the big serving Canadian looked in good form in Toronto whilst Tsitsipas's career has just stagnated these last couple of years - he feels a solid top tenner but not a genuine slam contender at moment (and has poor record at Flushing Meadow).

Not sure on the women's - don't feel Swiatek is so strong on this surface. Wonder if we'll get another first time slam winner

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 26 Aug - 7:33

MrI - Difficult these days to find a woman who has NOT won a Slam, with Venus and Caroline W now back on court as well.

I reality, though, there are still Slamless top players and it could well be that one of Gauff, Pegula and Jabeur could capture the New York crown. Also worth betting on is Muchova who was tantalising close to victory in the French final this year.

Rain has severely disrupted the qualifiers for the USO. Of the Britons just Broady and the splendidly-named Yuriko Lily Miyazaki remain for the third and final qualy match.

Qualifying for the Slams is tough. You're likely to meet either some up-and-coming star or an old hand who, either thru age or injury, has tumbled down from a high ranking. One such is Russia's Vera Zvonareva, now 38 and formerly a world number two. She has made it to the final qualy round.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 26 Aug - 21:17

Britain's Miyazaki has done well to qualify for the USO main draw, having beaten a far more experienced player today. Can't have been too many Brits as lowly ranked as her - 199th - to have come thru a GS qualie.

Meanwhile both Murray and Draper have declared themselves fit for New York. 2019 champ Bianca Andreescu has had to pull out, though.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 27 Aug - 21:14

Tomorrow (Monday) sees start of the main draw matches, with Djoko among those in action. Pick of the men's matches on opening day is Tsitsipas v Raonic - an awful draw for both players.

FAA has been having a tough time of it of late and he's not helped by getting in the first round one of the highest-ranked non-seeds, 39th-ranked Mackenzie McDonald of the USA. FAA is 2-8 in his last 10 outings.

2022 Wimbledon champ Rybakina also has a difficult first match - pitted against Ukraine's Kostyuk who is ranked 37. Another good-looking first-rounder is 19th-ranked Haddad Maia v former USO champ Sloane Stephens, now ranked 38.

Taylor Fritz faces fellow American Steve Johnson, now 181 in the rankings but once as high as 21.

Be interesting to see how Christopher Eubanks gets on. He's seeded 28 after his excellent run at Wimbledon. He's rather come from nowhere this season. Was Wimbledon, which suited his big s-and-v game, a fluke or not?

British qualifier Miyazaki plays Protected-Ranking Russian Betova who has no ranking at the moment but has been as high as 41.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 28 Aug - 17:12

They're away in the USO and one famous name in a great deal of bother is Richard Gasquet. The French veteran is two sets to love down against 92nd-ranked Hungarian  Fabian Maroszan.

Sakkari has made a poor start, too, and is a set down to Spain's Masarovsa who is 71st in the world.

Muchova, who for me has a good chance, is making short work of her opener against Aussie WC Storm Hunter - she's a set and 5-0 up.*

Former champ Thiem is going well. He's 6-3, 3-1 up against 25th seed Bublik. Twould be good to see Dom doing well again - a lovely player.

* Muchova went on to win that second set 6-0 - the first result of the day.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 28 Aug - 19:10

Tremendous fightback by Gasquet. He saved two MPs in the third set and took it to a 4th with a tiebreak win. Then he broke his opponent when serving for the match in the 4th before winning another tiebreak to take it to a final set.

Thiem failed to serve it out at the first time of asking but did the second time for a commendable straight-sets win over 25th seed Bublik.

Swiatek lost just one game in her first match. Astonishing the number of bagels and breadsticks she hands out.

Rune lost the first set v C Baena but is now serving for the second set. Sakkari, seeded eight, is out.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 28 Aug - 21:22

Casper Ruud has had a tough three-hour opener against US qualifier Nava before coming thru in four.

Gasquet's fightback was in vain as he lost the final set 6-2. Rune is out, beaten in four by C Baena.

Haddad Maia had to struggle for three hours to overcome Stephens, while 2022 Wimbledon champ Rybakina would have been pleased to have dropped only three games against 39th-ranked Kostyuk.

Briton Miyazaki, who came thru qualifying, was a straight-sets winner over Betova of Russia and will next play Belinda Bencic.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 29 Aug - 9:16

Gauff was given a bit of a scare but came thru in three in nearly three hours.

It all meant Djoko not getting on til late, but he breezed thru v Muller in straight sets.

Murray has added his name to those calling for an end to the only-too-numerous late-night finishes. The US appears determined to carry on with TWO night matches on TWO courts. A ridiculously late finish is almost guaranteed.

No point in expecting any sense from the organisers who regard the players as the last people to be consulted or concerned with.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 29 Aug - 18:15

A number of Britons in action today. One is already thru - Katie Boulter beating Parry of France 4 and love.

Former champ Medvedev is cruising two sets to love up. Zverev also leads 2-0 in sets.

LATER: Zverev came thru in straight sets, as did Mevedev who only dropped two games. Berrettini also had a good straight-sets win over 29th seed Humbert.

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Post by Atila Wed 30 Aug - 7:55

Another wildcard and another first round loss for Venus Williams. I wonder if she'll get another wildcard for the AO in January? Time for her to retire perhaps?

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 30 Aug - 9:44

Yes, retirement appears to be imminent for Venus.

Very good day for the Brits - six straight-sets wins. Disappointment for Alcaraz's opponent Koepfer who got injured in the very first game and, despite pluckily carrying on, had to call it a day in the second set.

Stan the Man became the oldest winner in New York for 31 years. Good to see him doing well.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 30 Aug - 20:33

Tsitsipas having a struggle against qualifier Stricker but now leads by two sets to one.

Unsurprisingly, British qualifer Miyazaki's run halted by Bencic. 32nd seed Mertens saved two MPs before running away with the final set to defeat Collins. 19th see Haddad Maia is out, beaten in straight sets by Taylor Townsend.

LATER: Tsitsipas's poor record in New York continues as he's bundled out in five.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 31 Aug - 9:28

Djoko's path to the final looks like a cakewalk now, with Tsitsipas and Ruud both out.

Ruud's exit more of a surprise than the Greek's, in that he reached the final in New York last year. For me, Tommy Paul and Taylor Fritz are the biggest dangers to Djoko.

D Fokina always looks good to me, too, but it would be a surprise if Nole failed to reach the final.

Caroline W did well to beat Kvitova in straight sets last night. All six remaining Britons play today, with the pick of the matches being Murray v Dimi.

Thought, maybe, they'd have made Murray the night match today. As it is the day temperature in New York is likely to reach a manageable 26C today. Forecast, though, if for much hotter conditions next week, reaching 32C.


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Post by sirfredperry Thu 31 Aug - 20:51

Murray disappointingly lost in straight sets to Dimi. Grigor can beat, or lose, to anyone, but I thought Andy had a good chance.

More encouragingly for Brit fans was that Draper won in straight sets v Hurkacz who was battling illness. A good win, nevertheless. Also, Katie Boulter held her nerve to edge home in three versus a Chinese opponent who had been as high as 47.

Predictably Burrage could get no further, losing to number two see Sabalenka in straight sets. Norrie and Evans are still to play today.

Dimi will now play Zverev who beat fellow German Altmaier in four. It'll be just Andy's luck to find Dimi plays like a drain in the next match.

In his final match, Isner had two MPs before losing in five to compatriot Mmoh. Isner's whole career has been based on the tiebreak so it was ironic that he lost both of the breakers in his last match.

On paper, Sinner had a tricky match against another Italian, Sonego. But he won comfortably 4, 2 and 4. Sinner is edging towards a possible last-eight meeting with Alcaraz who takes on South Africa's Lloyd Harris tonight.


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Post by Henman Bill Thu 31 Aug - 22:58

Murray says

"Maybe I need to accept the deep runs and everything that I felt I'm capable of, they might not be there."

Sounds about right.

The BBC has been oddly building up his chances too much for a couple of years now, it was particularly noticeable at Queens and Wimbledon last year.

He is a top 30 or top 50 player. When he plays top 20 players, he's generally going to lose.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 1 Sep - 11:08

Alcaraz came thru in straight sets last night despite being 2-4 down in the third set.

Medvedev was also cruising until opponent O'Connell changed tactics, played better, took the third set and presented something of a challenge. But the Russian managed to regroup and won in four.

Looking at the draw the top half of the men's looks far stronger than the bottom half. Alcaraz appears to have a much harder path to the final than Djoko.

Most of the top women's seeds are still in it. Jabeur has done well to battle not just her opponents but illness. She says she's taken every medication on offer so hopefully she'll feel better for future challenges.


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Post by sirfredperry Fri 1 Sep - 18:49

Rather thought D Fokina would be something of a test for Paul but
it didn't look that way to start with, as Paul took a two sets to love lead.

But the Spaniard has finally got into it and has won the third set. Earlier Taylor Townsend made a good start v Muchova (my outside bet for the title) before fading to lose in straight sets.

Total mismatch between Swiatek and Juvan so far with Juvan winning just EIGHT points in a first set bagel in 24 mins.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 2 Sep - 9:39

Djoko came back from two sets down to beat Djere - the eighth time, apparently, he's recovered from such a position.

Novak normally has at least one match, sometimes a couple, in a Slam that's a real struggle. He'll no doubt be pleased he got his bad performance out of the way.

The American gang of four - Tiafoe, Fritz, Paul and Shelton - all won. It's a stark contrast to some reecent slams which have been practically devoid of Yanks after only a couple of rounds.

An unlikely trio also made the 4th round - Stricker, Gojo and Hijikata. All, though, face tough matches tomorrow.

Old hand Cirstea edged Rybakina in three, while Wozniaki also came thru as did Gauff after losing the first set. Gauff is on course to meet Swiatek in the quarters in a match that may well decide this year's champion.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 2 Sep - 20:51

Draper is the last British man standing after defeats for Evans and Norrie.

Draper won in four v American Mmoh and will now play the winner of Rinderknech and Sinner.

Norrie's underwhelming GS record was extended by a straight-sets loss to Italy's Arnaldi. Evans, by all accounts, played well and took Alcaraz to four before finally going down.

Carlos seems to inspire opponents to put on their best tennis which makes for a terrific spectacle. You have to hope that the world number one is not tiring himself out with all these long matches.

Sabalenka, Keys and Kasatkina were also winners today.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 3 Sep - 8:39

Dimi's failure to convert two SPs which would have given him a two sets to love lead proved costly, with Zverev levelling the match and then only losing two more games after that.

Zverev now takes on Sinner which, on paper, should be a cracker. Rublev came thru to face Draper.

Thought Boulter would have a good chance against Stearns but the American big-hit her way to victory. Jabeur's opponent Bouzkova bravely fought against injury before going down in three, while Pegula also won in three, v Svitolina.

The scenario where number one plays number two in both finals is still on. Of the four likely finalists it would seem the number two seeds Djoko and Sabalenka have an easier task than number ones Alcaraz and Swiatek.

The two dark horses could be Muchova, who ran Swiatek mighty close in the French final this year, and Keys, a former US finalist.

Who else might have a chance? Certainly Gauff and Medvedev. Possibly also this year's Wimbledon finalists Vondrousova and Jabeur.

If you chuck in-form Paul and Fritz into the mix it could be an intriguing second week in New York.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 3 Sep - 19:01

Shelton, somewhat surprisingly, has overcome a slow start to take a two sets to love lead over Tommy Paul. Will the young man be able to keep it up?

My dark horse Muchova is thru to the q-f after shrugging off a second set loss to take the decider 6-1.

All this means Swiatek, who faces Grand Slam winner Ostapenko later today, may well have to get past two GS finalists just to reach the title match.

Djoko plays Gojo later. Have read some interesting stuff about Gojo who thinks the crowd should be allowed to make a noise during points and that what he describes as a "boring sport" would be enlivened if players were encouraged to hurl insults at each other.

Clearly the guy is playing at the wrong time. Imagine him coming up against Jimmy Connors...

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 3 Sep - 20:32

Ben Shelton held his nerve to shock Tommy Paul in their 4th round match today. I could see Paul taking it to a 5th when he came back from a break down to win the third set.

But Shelton broke for the match in the 10th game of the 4th set. The stats suggest it was all about taking BPs. Paul took three out of 17 while Shelton took six out of eight.

Cirstea, who can be classed as a veteran at 33 years of age, has just beaten Bencic in straight sets and will now play Muchova in the quarters.



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Post by Guest Mon 4 Sep - 10:23

2017 French open champion Jelena Ostapenko bludgeoned her way passed Swiatek.

The Latvian winning 3-6 6-3 6-1.

Aryna Sabalenka is the new world number 1.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 4 Sep - 11:51

Ostapenko is capable of beating, and losing to, anyone, which makes her the Grigor Dimitrov of the women's game.

Don't think Swiatek can be too disappointed at losing the number one spot. Catapulted into the numero uno position after Barty's sudden and unexpected retirement, Iga totally embraced the top spot.

During her 75-week reign she won three Slams and dished out numerous bagels and breadsticks. I think she'll certainly be able to add to her weeks-at-number-one record.

So who will win the women's title now? You could make a good case out for almost everyone still in it, a cast that includes three GS champs and three GS runners-up.

Plenty of American interest left in both draws, with Tiafoe's win last night guaranteeing at least one US men's s-finalist.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 4 Sep - 18:28

Keys and Vondrousova thru to the quarters with the two now meeting for a s-final place. Alcaraz up next as well as Draper v Rublev.

Probably asking too much of the Briton to spring a surprise. Hardest match to forecast today is Zverev v Sinner. If I had to put money on it I would back the Italian.

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Post by Oakdene Tue 5 Sep - 8:23

sirfredperry wrote:Keys and Vondrousova thru to the quarters with the two now meeting for a s-final place. Alcaraz up next as well as Draper v Rublev.

Probably asking too much of the Briton to spring a surprise. Hardest match to forecast today is Zverev v Sinner. If I had to put money on it I would back the Italian.
.

Draper ran out of gas really which isn't a surprise given the lack of tennis he has played since May.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 8 Sep - 8:09

Been away for a few days during which the possibility of a Djoko-Alcaraz final has increased.

Carlos has done himself a big favour with his two straight-sets wins and should be in good shape for the Medvedev semi. Can't really see Djoko being too bothered by Shelton who has done very well to reach this point.
My two dark horses Muchova and Keys are out although Keys could, perhaps should, have won last night.
Women's final is tough to call. Sabalenka has been the form player for the year while Gauff has dominated the summer.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 8 Sep - 12:23

Interesting Shelton has almost no record on the tour to speak of. His record this year is W 12 L 20. His career record is W 15 L 23. Both prior to this tournament. Many of his points are from the Australian Open and challengers. He's been doing badly at masters, hasn't reached a L16. https://www.atptour.com/en/players/ben-shelton/s0s1/atp-win-loss

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 8 Sep - 12:33

Shelton has cunningly grouped his good results together at the highest-points events - the Slams.

Guess he'll come out swinging against Djoko to avoid the long rallies. I think this was the secret to Alcaraz winning at Wimbledon in that he was prepared to rally with Djoko as well as hit big winners and come in to the net.

Wonder if others think there is an echo of 2011 here. That was the point when Djoko, on a new diet, started going head-to-toe with the then master of the long rally - Rafa.

Now, 12 years later, we have Alcaraz prepared, as Djoko was with Rafa, to stay out there as long as it takes. Of course, others have tried to outlast Djoko but they didn't have the weight of shot and all-round brilliance that Alcaraz has, even aged only 20.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 8 Sep - 18:10

Men's semis tonight. Difficult to see much beyond a Djoko-Alcaraz final. Novak will no doubt be hoping that Medvedev and Alcaraz have a long, exhausting tussle.


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Post by Henman Bill Fri 8 Sep - 21:45

Alcaraz is the player we have been waiting for for years and years when no-one in the young generation seemed to stand out. Since at least as far back as 2014-2015, we have been waiting for a real young star on the men´s side and this is finally it.

Winning a 5th set slam final with clutch points against Novak, and hitting the shots he´s hitting. This is the real deal.

There was a generation missed out from 2014 to 2021 or therabouts in the sense that there was no legend player in the 19 - 26 age range, just Djokovic and Nadal and to a lesser extent even an aging Federer just winning slams endlessly.

Alcaraz might get a bit better and he might peak in about 2 years and if so looks like he could compete handily with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer at their peak. Of course, we will never get to see those matches, just a few between slightly past his peak Novak and not quite at his peak Alcaraz.

Which makes the Djokovic-Alcaraz matchup at the moment reminiscent of the Federer-Sampras 2001 match.

Very hard to say whether Alcaraz is more of a Martina Hingis / Wilander player that peaks early and in their mid 20s is winning nothing. Or whether he goes on to win a lot for a longer period.

Injuries, personal problems and the extent of the competition could be a factor.

But at the moment a period of dominance looks likely and you would probably bet that Alcaraz would be year end no 1 in 2024 and 2025.

He certainly looks well matched against most other competitors. You can easily see other top 10 players beating him on a particularly good day, but apart from Djokovic you would back Alcaraz to get at least 2:1 win ratios at against all other players in the next few years if you were guessing.

The major rivals of Alcaraz´s future career may be youngsters who we have not yet heard of since they are currently playing in the juniors.

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Post by Guest Sat 9 Sep - 6:15

Daniil Medvedev outclassed Carlos Alcaraz to reach the U.S. Open final for the third time.
Brilliant performance by the 2021 champion winning 7-6(3) 6-1 3-6 6-3.
People seem to forget how great Medvedev is on hard courts and how great he plays in New York
Repeat of the 2021 final again Djokovic on Sunday.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 9 Sep - 7:39

We were perhaps overlooking Medvedev in all the excitement of another Carlos-Novak match up.

And although I would still make Novak slight favourite for the title, Medvedev can take heart from his win in the 2021 final.

They say you learn more from your defeats than your victories and judging by Alcaraz's sensible, clear-sighted remarks after the semi, it seems that this loss will help him in the long run.

Perhaps he would have been wiser to have kept his "I'm a more mature player than last year" remarks to himself after beating Zverev in the q-f. I like the way he was quick to admit after the Daniil defeat that he still had much to learn.

Another truism is that you can't win em all. Even the Big 3 had Slam matches where their opponent played lights-out tennis and they were well beaten. (I'm thinking Tsonga v Rafa at the AO in 2008 and Tsonga v Rog at Wimbledon. Berdych beat Rog and Novak in succession at Wimbledon in 2010 only to lose to Rafa in the final).

Carlos should not be too disheartened. He's still only 20 and although he's been number one and already taken two Slam titles, he's still on a learning curve.

As for today's women's final, it's hard to forecast. Home support might just give Gauff the edge but she'll want to ensure her forehand, sometimes dodgy, is in good order.


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Post by Henman Bill Sat 9 Sep - 16:45

I bet most of you based in UK/Europe missed that due to the time it was on. It might be worth going and having a look at some highlights somewhere if you haven´t already, there were some good points.

At the start of the first set, in the first few games, Alcaraz looked the better player and was holding serve more easily but Medvedev made it more even as the set went on, but at 6-6, I would still have said that Alcaraz was slightly better to that point. However, he made some mistakes in the tiebreak.

Alcaraz had a lull at the start of the second set and Medvedev played an excellent set, and the commentator was saying that Medvedev was playing his best match of the tournament, which was probably true based on his own comments after the match as well.

It was an entertaining match. There was some drama at the end when Medvedev was serving for the match, and decide to go for a second serve ace on match point, but just missed it and then did another double fault and was suddenly break point against and then missed another serve so that was 5 in a row but he managed to get out of it. He seems cool on the surface, but there were a lot of double faults.

Do we need to think of it as more of a top three than a top two? Let´s see what happens in the final.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 9 Sep - 17:35

H'Bill. You must be psychic. I was just going to write something along the lines of: "Can we talk about a new Big Three?" when I saw you'd brought this up yourself.

I think given Medvedev's record over the last two or three years and his excellence on hard courts that we CAN, at least tentatively, consider that he and the current Big Two should be bracketed together.

Doubt whether anyone else apart from Novak could have beaten Alcaraz the way Daniil did.

Also, Djoko can't go on forever (although sometimes it seems he can) and the sport will need the likes of Medvedev to stop Alcaraz completely running away with things.

Might be worth putting some money on Medvedev for the title. I saw one lot of odds as 11-5 for the Russian which looks worth taking. Djoko was 2/5 - understandably ungenerous.


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Post by sirfredperry Sun 10 Sep - 9:08

Sabalenka of 2023 reverted to Sabalenka of 2022, with too many UEs to stop Gauff taking her maiden Slam.

Gauff has been the form player of the late summer and it's possible that she would still have gone all the way even if she'd faced Swiatek in the q-f.

Sabalenka can console herself with the number one position and can also reflect on one of the strongest Slam seasons for some years.

Osaka is due back in 2024 so, including the suspended Halep and also including Venus and the returning Wozniaki there are 17 GS winners. So thick on the ground are the GS titleists that no doubt I've missed someone.

Going for Djoko tonight. Medvedev produced, in his own words, a 12 out of 10 performance to see off Alcaraz. Gonna be difficult to do that again so soon. Let's hope at least the Russian can give Djoko a good match.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 10 Sep - 15:08

Looking back at the earlier posts on this topic I see that MrI correctly suggested that there could be a new GS women's champ.

Just how many more can there be? You have to reckon that Jabeur has the game to join the Slam titleists, although the weight of expectation may get too heavy for her.

Muchova has had a good Slam year and could go all the way. Looking ahead, what about Mirra Andreeva, only 16 and already in the top 70?

The more I think about tonight's men's final, the more I think that Djoko will come through.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 11 Sep - 7:02

Mental stats. Djokovic has played 72 grand slams, reached the final in 36 of them (50%) and won 24 of them (33%). 24 grand slams, 38 masters titles, 6 world tour finals and approaching 400 weeks at world number one. Whatever peoples view of him, a simply phenomenal player. I think its getting harder for anyone to argue this is the greatest player we have ever seen. A masterclass how he dismantled Medvedev who is such a formidable hardcourt player

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 11 Sep - 7:46

Slasher - Yes, hard to argue against Djoko's phenomenal stats. First he had to do it against the others of the Big Four. Now he has to battle old age and the rise of the young guns.

I would already make him favourite for the Australian in January and for as long as he plays he'll have a good chance at Wimbledon

It's sobering to think how far ahead he'd be in the GS count if he had not had to miss some Slams. I guess the GOAT debate will never be settled. But on sheer titles alone, Djoko is right there at the top.

Talk of a new Big 3 may have to wait until we see how consistent Medvedev can be. The Russian has had a good 2023 and you can see him being Alcaraz's main rival when Djoko finally calls it a day.

There's certainly no talk of retirement yet and the GS title numbers will probably be pushed up. Can Novak's total ever be surpassed? Alcaraz can take heart that, at 20, he already has two Slams under his belt. Djoko did not win his second slam until he was 23 years and nine months.

Another record Novak has broken is that of winning three Slams in a season for the fourth time. Only thing left for Djoko to aim at is the Calendar Slam.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 11 Sep - 10:30

US Open 2023 Yatnu9pxhknb1

Another one for the greatest. Barely troubled in the tournament, bar that third round.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 11 Sep - 11:11

I was so impressed by how Djokovic performed at the net last night, his volleying was absolutely superb on both the forehand and backhand side. Medvedev was playing so solid from the back of the court and he is so hard to break down. The serve & volley play by Djokovic was absolutely crucial as the points he played there conserved vital energy as he got those points finished quickly, I think he won about 25 out of 27 points at the net, something like that.

Medvedev probably would have beaten any other opponent last night given how solid he was. I thought both players didnt serve very well though, felt like they both had a low 1st serve % but I didnt see the stats on that. Djokovic winning the 2nd set tie break was so crucial.

As for how many slams could Novak win, you feel he will have a chance at Australia and Wimbledon in 2024 if he can sustain this current level but again thats a long way away and you cant underestimate the impact of every extra year on tour.

I also think Alcaraz is getting better and better, you would have to think he will reach at least 10-15 slams but maybe even more but there is always the big unknown. Will Alcaraz keep improving, will he get injured, will new rivals emerge in the next few years? There are so many factors. Then there is the motivation piece and consistency, it is so hard to just keep sustaining that top level year in year out. That is what made Djokovic, Nadal and Federer so incredible (Murray too).

This run to the final beating Alcaraz could also reinvigorate Medvedev who will always be a huge threat on hard courts in particular. You really do feel that others like Zverev, Tsitsipas, Ruud need to win a slam very soon or their time may well have passed. Sinner, Rune and others have so much time on their side but again there are no guarantees they will sustain it.

I just cant believe we are here again talking about another Djokovic grand slam win, nearly 16 years after he won his first. Just remarkable how he continues to beat even the best of the younger generation coming through at 36 years of age in such a physically demanding sport.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 11 Sep - 13:14

Duty281 wrote:US Open 2023 Yatnu9pxhknb1

Another one for the greatest. Barely troubled in the tournament, bar that third round.

Good stats. Worth going back on clicking on this for those that didn´t.

Djokovic has clearly eclipsed Nadal and Federer, but there isn´t a 100% certainty that he will retire with the most slams but it looks extremely likely that Nadal won´t overturn that lead he has, but this is something that will likely be confirmed next year. In fact, a victory for Djokovic at the Australian Open will 99% confirm it.

The other doubt is how you compare against players from many years ago. I did an analysis years ago (still visible on GOAT thread sticky, page 7) where I tried to estimate the number of slams each player would have won in a modern era of 4 slams and I came up with 26 for Pancho Gonzales, 24 for Ken Rosewall and 17 for Bill Tilden and 16 for Rod Laver. Since I normalized for a 4-slam year. The way I did the analysis was a hypothetical "if they had played 4 slams every year" so I'd need to add 1 more to Djokovic's to account for the few he's missed, so you could call it 25 slams for Djokovic to compare with the above. (Note: It doesn't mean anything that I have PG 1 above Djokovic, since the margin for error on my estimate of "how many slams would PG have won in an open era" is a lot more than 1.)

So Djokovic has arguably clearly eclipsed all players throughout history except for Pancho Gonzales and Ken Rosewall where there is no way to definitively determine who had the greatest achievements/stats in their time.

Ken Rosewall won every pro slam he attended from 1960 to 1963, 9 in a row. He won 15 of the 27 pro slams he entered across his whole career and at his absolute peak won 14 of 21 entered. I think I'd put Djokovic ahead of Ken Rosewall however after considering the calibre of opponent he's faced but this is not something that can be definitively shown in any way. Also, Ken Rosewall cannot be the GOAT because he lost the overall head to head vs Pancho Gonzales 107-75 even though PG played a chunk of those matches when older and KR had the age advantage if you look at age when they played.

For Djokovic vs Pancho Gonzales, they seem to be the top two now, but I think I'd be tempted to lean Djokovic but maybe I'll try and do the analysis again when Djokovic retires.

One important note here is that Djokovic's win yesterday means that he has 8 year end no 1s (including this year). This isn't a mathematical certainty yet but at over 3,000 points ahead now it's just a matter of time.

That's a big record for me. Sampras is on 6 with Connors,  Federer and Nadal on 5.

I once tried to work out how many year end no 1s Pancho Gonzales would have got had such a thing existed then and I think I got to 7 although you could have argued for 8 as there were 1 or 2 years when it wasn't clear who was the best player.

I believe 8 year end no 1s has never been bettered (even when you try to make estimates from before the days of ranking points) but if I have more time maybe I'll go and check Pancho Gonzales and any others. The trouble is that when you go back to years before computerized rankings it becomes a question of what sports writers were saying or some other arbitrary judgements.

Pancho Gonzales  greatness mainly rests on his dominance of the US Pro, strong results at Wembley Pro, and head to head records. However, a bit of a strike against him is that he never won the French. He lost in the semi final in 1949 on his first appearance at age 21 and lost again on his second appearance at age 40 to Rod Laver again in the semi final. In between, he played the separate tournament the French Pro 4 times, always losing in the semi or the final. This doesn't compare as well to Djokovic winning 3 in the Rafa era no less. Looking at the career statistics of PG I'd guess in an open era he'd have won the French once or maybe twice, probably not three times as Djokovic has.

All of Gonzales head to head records are impressive, except when Peak Kramer beat Pancho Gonzales 94 matches to 29 in a series from 1949 to 1950. Gonzales was 21 at the time. I just had a quick look at the Federer - Djokovic head to head to see if peak Federer could have beat young Djokovic by a similar margin had they played that often. It's inconclusive, but I think Federer might have won by a big margin but not that big. But Pancho Gonzalez had just left the amateur tour so it might have been a baptism of fire for him all of a sudden to play the best pro player.

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Post by theslosty Mon 11 Sep - 14:50

How come the second set took so long? 1hr 44mins is ridiculous unless there was a huge amount of deuces?

I was a big Federer fan but it's now borderline delusional to deny Novak as the GOAT
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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 11 Sep - 19:50

There were loads of deuce games in 2nd set. It was a great standard in that set

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 11 Sep - 21:00

Amazing thing about Djoko's GS haul is that by Jan 2011, when he was nearer 24 than 23, he'd only won one Slam.

By that age Rog and Rafa had already chalked up a good number of GS titles. Also, Djoko by 2011 was having to compete with the others of the then Big Four being in fine form, with Roger the oldest still a real handful and with Rafa and Murray at their peak.

Yet Djoko enjoyed incredible Slam success right thru the decade. And now, nearer 40 than 30, he is still too hot to handle for the best of the young guns.

Medvedev is close to making it a new Big 3. Certainly you feel that with him being a clear number three in the world at the moment that he can give either Djoko or Alcaraz a run for their money in any semi final.

Interesting to speculate what might have happened if the Russian had met, and played brilliantly against, Djoko in the semi at the USO rather than Alcaraz.

People often play really well against Djoko and still end up losing. For me, Alcaraz and Medvedev are two players (perhaps the only two) capable of beating Novak if they are absolutely at the top of their game.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 11 Sep - 22:28

I am convinced that Medvedev playing at he did yesterday would have beaten any other player that played in the tournament. He went toe to toe with Djokovic throughout but it was the strategy that novak used that took him through. I have rarely seen Novak play so good at the net as he did yesterday. He knew he had to start winning some quicker points and his serve & volley approach worked wonders. I read that of the 43 times he came to the net, he won 37 of those points. In a high stakes match that is an amazing return.

It was a genius move because Medvedev would have been happy to rally all day long and looked the fresher of the two as the crucial 2nd set reached its climax.

I can't think of any other player that would have been able to do that to Medvedev when he was hitting as solid and consistent as he was. That's what got the job done vs Alcaraz in the semis. You could argue Medvedev standing so far back on return made this an obvious strategy but you still have to execute the serve volley game really well and not leave yourself open to passing shots. That is easier said than done and Djokovics volleys were phenomenal.

This was one of novaks best wins because it required him to really mix things up when at the age of 36, many players would struggle physically and mentally to execute against such a solid and consistent player.


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Post by laverfan Tue 12 Sep - 0:51

Congratulations to Djokovic! #24 and a Wonderful Achievement. Glad to see him holding the younger boys at bay. clap

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 12 Sep - 8:37

Net approaches have been increasing in recent seasons and it's good to see the likes of Djoko and Alcaraz employing them so regularly and successfully.

Against Medvedev the stop volley is always going to pay off as long as the Russian stays so far behind the baseline. It's incredible how well Daniil does considering his positioning. He constantly has to hit long, accurate, low shots while practically standing in Row B.

I read something from one of Med's former coaches who said he tried to get Daniil to stand closer in. But the player was not happy and the coach thought it best to drop the idea.

You would never encourage a young player to stand that far back. But Med ain't doing too badly. After all, you would never coach a player to have a serving stance like McEnroe, but it worked for him and it would be a bad coach that tried to change something successful just for the sake of style.


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