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View Full Version : Did anyone forsee Djokovic becoming 3rd best player this quickly!


Mr Topspin
08-15-2007, 08:23 AM
When i think back to some of the top juniours that turned pro a few years ago the names that were being banded about were guys like: Monfils, Nadal, Gasquet, Berdych, Murray and Baghdatis.

There was talk of Djokovic but he was not one of the main contenders. I thought that the main guys would have been Berdych, Gasquet and Baghdatis. I expected one of these three to have won or been in more than 1 grand slam final by now. I am especially disapointed by the showings of both Baghdatis and Gasquet at Grand slams.

Monfils and Murray have equally been disappointing especially Monfils. It is interesting to point out that when Djokovic defeated Monfils at the US Open in 2005 many poeple were talking about Monfils as the next big thing and few mentioned Djokovic as a potential champion. How ironic is it that Djokovic is now the best young player apart from Nadal who is older by 1 year.

I can now see Djokovic winning a few slams and becoming world no 1 and more importantly ending the year at no 1. The future no 1 when Fed hangs up his racket at present IMHO will be contested between Djokovic, Nadal, Baghdatis and Gasquet (still got faith in him). I now have the feeling that Djokovic will take over Fed's dominance on hard courts and perhaps even grass. Novak's game translates well on all surfaces. He has won on clay, hard courts and has made the SF at both RG and Wimbledon. He may well win all four grand slams if he continues to be proficient on all surfaces. If that continues then Nadal has a lot to lose, moreso that Federer who will be gone once he breaks the records he wants. Nadal by contrast will have to deal with Djokovic throughout the remainder of his career. Ouch! I wouldn't want to be Nadal who has had to deal with one of the greatest players of all time, patiently waiting for nature to take its course and take over the reigns of power,only to be threatened by a younger and more determined foe.

Thoughts!

WildVolley
08-15-2007, 08:29 AM
Not long ago, there was a question in this forum on players expected to win slams. As I recall, Djokovic was on a lot of people's lists.

I won't be shocked if he wins a grand slam tournament soon, but I would be if Monfils did.

Challenger
08-15-2007, 08:40 AM
Man, if Djokovic really does turn out as good as we all expect him to, I'd feel sorta bad for Nadal. It was assumed that Nadal would be take over the #1 spot after Fed retired...so how would he feel, after he finally thinks he gets a shot to start winning all the other GS, this new kid comes along and picks up right where Fed left off? That's a brutal fate, I tell ya.

Anyway, after Nadal and Djokovic, and possibly Gasquet, the rest of the young cubs don't really impress me all that much.

- Monfils: Completely overrated. He just has not been able to put his talent together at all. He can be a great baseliner for sure, but he's stupid to limit himself so extremely to that label. If he can get a coach to make him think a little more aggressively, it could do wonders for him.

- Gasquet: The focus and concentration aspect of his game needs developing. He's shown strides against Roddick, but he needs to be able to keep it up on a consistent level to compete against the big boys. His backhand is oh-so-deadly though.

- Berdych: I like this kid, and how he still isn't having great results at Wimby baffle me.

- Murray: Possibly the most talented of the bunch, but also the biggest headcase. He's his own worst enemy. If he can surmount all the injuries that seem to plague him, and develop a stronger mind to compete, he could easily be up there with Djokovic and Nadal as the future heirs.

- Baghdatis: Another kid who I think is overrated. He can play with guts, but only if the stage is big enough for him to do it. Otherwise, he usually plays half-assed out there as if he's just content to play an hour or two, then go home. I think he needs more commitment to the game, and focus a little more on training and conditioning.

One name you left out:

- Isner: He's only had one good pro showing so far, but it really opened my eyes. He's a big guy (6-10) with decent movement and great hands...a rarity these days. His monster serve should suggest he wouldn't lose many on his games, but he definitely needs to develop a better return game. He can't strive to be like Ivo, and just hope he does well in tiebreaks (which he is very adept at). He has a great personality, too...one which leads me to think he absolutely LOVES playing the game.

Messarger
08-15-2007, 08:45 AM
"more determined foe"? Nadal is as determined as anyone on the tour trying to be no.1 now.

VGP
08-15-2007, 08:49 AM
Djokovic was on a lot of people's lists......

.....as for getting to #3, well given the numbers he definitely was in the mix especially winning Master's Series titles. The point counts between #6 and #3 are and have been relatively close.

Now, the hurdle is to climb to #2. He's obviously gonna need some help from Nadal, but that won't come until next year's clay court season.

If guys chip away at Federer's stash of points in the hard court season and the year end championships then perhaps even the gap between #1 and #2 will shrink a bit too.

daddy
08-15-2007, 09:05 AM
Man, if Djokovic really does turn out as good as we all expect him to, I'd feel sorta bad for Nadal. It was assumed that Nadal would be take over the #1 spot after Fed retired...so how would he feel, after he finally thinks he gets a shot to start winning all the other GS, this new kid comes along and picks up right where Fed left off? That's a brutal fate, I tell ya.

Anyway, after Nadal and Djokovic, and possibly Gasquet, the rest of the young cubs don't really impress me all that much.

- Monfils: Completely overrated. He just has not been able to put his talent together at all. He can be a great baseliner for sure, but he's stupid to limit himself so extremely to that label. If he can get a coach to make him think a little more aggressively, it could do wonders for him.

- Gasquet: The focus and concentration aspect of his game needs developing. He's shown strides against Roddick, but he needs to be able to keep it up on a consistent level to compete against the big boys. His backhand is oh-so-deadly though.

- Berdych: I like this kid, and how he still isn't having great results at Wimby baffle me.

- Murray: Possibly the most talented of the bunch, but also the biggest headcase. He's his own worst enemy. If he can surmount all the injuries that seem to plague him, and develop a stronger mind to compete, he could easily be up there with Djokovic and Nadal as the future heirs.

- Baghdatis: Another kid who I think is overrated. He can play with guts, but only if the stage is big enough for him to do it. Otherwise, he usually plays half-assed out there as if he's just content to play an hour or two, then go home. I think he needs more commitment to the game, and focus a little more on training and conditioning.

One name you left out:

- Isner: He's only had one good pro showing so far, but it really opened my eyes. He's a big guy (6-10) with decent movement and great hands...a rarity these days. His monster serve should suggest he wouldn't lose many on his games, but he definitely needs to develop a better return game. He can't strive to be like Ivo, and just hope he does well in tiebreaks (which he is very adept at). He has a great personality, too...one which leads me to think he absolutely LOVES playing the game.

Ill analyse your post from my side and shorter but Ill strike a point :

Monfils - imature and overconfident, not into practice as much as he needs to.

Gasquet - real tallent, needs to improve forhand wing if he ever wants to come close, no player has done anything with bh only. He has potential though, alot of.

Berdych - on his day everyone falls, pitty that his mental structure resembles safins and that he has too many ups and more downs.

Murray - best of the bunch so far but lets just say he needs to turn his mostly def style into converting the chances he gets and kind of back up his good defense with winners. Def one along with Djoko to look out if media in the UK do not burn him,

Baghdaatic - Cipriot hero, great but not great enoguh, like Monfils tends to have just that litle bit of fun more than he should on the court and once he sees the back of the oponent he is done and over with.

Isner - sorry, Im not competent. Was not interested in watching thus have no idea.

8PAQ
08-15-2007, 09:30 AM
What's great about Djokovic is that he is the 1st player on ATP younger than Nadal that beat Nadal. He did it twice now. In straight sets. In big matches. This is very significant. All other loses Nadal had were to older players and so he could brush it off and say something like: "I am still very young. No? Will keep on trying my best and working hard to improve. No?" Nadal would know that as he gets older and better he will beat the older players who used to own him.

However, with Djokovic it is different because he is actually one year younger than Nadal and he keeps on improving at faster rate than Nadal. So if he can beat Nadal now, in two years it won't even be a contest. On hard courts at least.

Mr Topspin
08-15-2007, 09:38 AM
"more determined foe"? Nadal is as determined as anyone on the tour trying to be no.1 now.

What i mean is Djokovic is steadily building up his reputation as a clutch tennis player. He saved 8 bp's over Nadal and 6 sp's over Federer. Plus he has a quick learning curve. And his game translates well on all surfaces.

Nadal by contrast excells on clay, is proving competent on grass but questions on hardcourt still persist!

daddy
08-15-2007, 09:38 AM
What's great about Djokovic is that he is the 1st player on ATP younger than Nadal that beat Nadal. He did it twice now. In straight sets. In big matches. This is very significant. All other loses Nadal had were to older players and so he could brush it off and say something like: "I am still very young. No? Will keep on trying my best and working hard to improve. No?" Nadal would know that as he gets older and better he will beat the older players who used to own him.

However, with Djokovic it is different because he is actually one year younger than Nadal and he keeps on improving at faster rate than Nadal. So if he can beat Nadal now, in two years it won't even be a contest. On hard courts at least.


Id like to add that there is a real possibility Novak will be good for next years wimbledon finals. I was confident he would beat rafa this year but 10 hours of play in 2 days prior to that match were a bit too much. I think that would be a game to watch, Novak - Rafa on grass. Pitty we have to wait 11 mos to see this ..

daddy
08-15-2007, 09:40 AM
What i mean is Djokovic is steadily building up his reputation as a clutch tennis player. He saved 8 bp's over Nadal and 6 sp's over Federer. Plus he has a quick learning curve. And his game translates well on all surfaces.

Nadal by contrast excells on clay, is proving competent on grass but questions on hardcourt still persist!

Nadal could have lost in last 06 Wimbledon to Kendrick ( was it ? ) inm 2nd round ? If he did so, what would people say ? Look at things in broad perspective, he is good on grass, very very good, but then again there are many guys who can pose a thret there for him also. Still bows to the play in this yrs final , he was mighty close !

fastdunn
08-15-2007, 10:05 AM
Very impressed with Djokovic's rise. maybe a bit too quick.
should be careful not to have a set-back like an injury.
he is super-quick but sometime his movements look too forceful.

i also notice Gasquet and Baghdatis staying in top 20 seemingly
effortlessly. they both often blows up easy matches but still in top 20.

Gasquet is great talents but he may not have a strong physique.
he may need to train to strengthen his body and fitness.

Moose Malloy
08-15-2007, 10:15 AM
Not to toot my own horn...

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/search.php?searchid=922240&pp=25&page=12

I value performances in majors far above any other events, when he made the QFs of the French last year at 19(beating some pretty good players), he lept far above Murray, Monfils, Gasquet(some of whom were really pathetic in majors at the time, losing 6-0 sets), I knew it was just a matter of time(esp considering Blake, Ljubicic, Robredo were consistent top 5/10 at the time, not exactly the stiffest competition) before he was top 5.

I think too many are preoccupied with "talent"(whatever they consider that) & not results. The players that have had the best results over the last 20 years are not the flashiest, most talented players generally. Look at Leconte, Korda, Stich's career arcs if you want to see what Gasquet & Berdych & Baghdatis can hope for at the most. Guys like Chang, Hewitt, Agassi, Nadal have probably been the most consistent players over the last 10-15 years(along with Fed & Sampras, but they are the exceptions, not the rule), because they have very 'safe' games, not much can go wrong. So does Djokovic. A lot can go wrong with Gasquet & Berdych's games. If you can't win with your 'B' game who cares how dazzling your 'A' game is? The 'B' game is where consistent champions are made, not your 'A' game(which sampras & fed learned as well)
Gasquet & Berdych & Baghdatis have really lousy 'B' games, so there is a limit to how far they can go. And Murray doesn't have the power/spin that Djokovic has or he would probably be up there as well. But he still has time.

daddy
08-15-2007, 10:20 AM
Not to toot my own horn...

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/search.php?searchid=922240&pp=25&page=12

I value performances in majors far above any other events, when he made the QFs of the French last year at 19(beating some pretty good players), he lept far above Murray, Monfils, Gasquet(some of whom were really pathetic in majors at the time, losing 6-0 sets), I knew it was just a matter of time(esp considering Blake, Ljubicic, Robredo were consistent top 5/10 at the time, not exactly the stiffest competition) before he was top 5.

I think too many are preoccupied with "talent"(whatever they consider that) & not results. The players that have had the best results over the last 20 years are not the flashiest, most talented players generally. Look at Leconte, Korda, Stich's career arcs if you want to see what Gasquet & Berdych & Baghdatis can hope for at the most. Guys like Chang, Hewitt, Agassi, Nadal have probably been the most consistent players over the last 10-15 years(along with Fed & Sampras, but they are the exceptions, not the rule), because they have very 'safe' games, not much can go wrong. So does Djokovic. A lot can go wrong with Gasquet & Berdych's games. If you can't win with your 'B' game who cares how dazzling your 'A' game is? The 'B' game is where consistent champions are made, not your 'A' game(which sampras & fed learned as well)
Gasquet & Berdych & Baghdatis have really lousy 'B' games, so there is a limit to how far they can go. And Murray doesn't have the power/spin that Djokovic has or he would probably be up there as well. But he still has time.


Hey - remember the silly flat like pancace forhand that McEnroe payed? Compared to perfect top spin Lendl ? And he managed to become a legend, I got you right, this is on the spot comment.

Moose Malloy
08-15-2007, 10:25 AM
Isner: He's only had one good pro showing so far, but it really opened my eyes. He's a big guy (6-10) with decent movement and great hands...a rarity these days. His monster serve should suggest he wouldn't lose many on his games, but he definitely needs to develop a better return game. He can't strive to be like Ivo, and just hope he does well in tiebreaks (which he is very adept at). He has a great personality, too...one which leads me to think he absolutely LOVES playing the game.

I wonder if this event wasn't televised in the US if anyone would care about this guy.

Why not include Steve Darcis while you're at it? He's basically done what Isner did this year as well(come out of nowhere in his 2nd pro event)

fastdunn
08-15-2007, 10:40 AM
yeah you need consistent games. but sometimes slams ask you a bit more, I think.
in the course of reaching final, there will be a moment when you will need
to make a certain special shot. maybe basis of consistent game but
there will be a few moments you have to make some special shots.

slam is a different animal. everybody wants it badly.
gland slam champions have this special quality.
honestly, Djokovic didn't strike me as such a quality initially.
i thought he had Davydenko or Robredo type of game.
but i realized he has multiple layers in his game.

anyway, so far, in terms of slams performances, Bagdhatis reached
a final and (maybe one semi in Wimbledon?). Gasquet semi once. Djokovic
semi twice.

Keifers
08-15-2007, 10:40 AM
Every match Djoko played at the Rogers, Darren Cahill talked about how he's "the real deal." He gave Novak the nod over Roddick and the edge over Nadal -- didn't say he'd beat Fed, but I bet he wasn't surprised when he won, and that easily.

I've been impressed with Cahill's analyses. When I listen to him, I can see how he and Agassi would have gotten along very well together -- both have very fine tennis minds.

Re Novak, I admire the heck out of his self-belief and the quiet mojo he brings. Seems to be genuinely enjoying his life, too, which is a very good (and all too rare) thing to see.

Moose Malloy
08-15-2007, 10:59 AM
yeah you need consistent games. but sometimes slams ask you a bit more, I think.
in the course of reaching final, there will be a moment when you will need
to make a certain special shot. maybe basis of consistent game but
there will be a few moments you have to make some special shots.


yeah, but do Berdych & Gasquet have consistent enough games to even get to that point? Berdych has never been past the quarters(& lost badly) in a slam. Look how long it took Gasquet to even reach the quarters of a slam. And look at how he had to play in order to make the semis. If he has to rely on his "A" game to win every match he plays in a slam, the odds are against him ever being a consistent slam contender. You can't expect to be at your peak every day.

honestly, Djokovic didn't strike me as such a quality initially.
i thought he had Davydenko or Robredo type of game.
but i realized he has multiple layers in his game.


and look at how consistent davydenko has been in the majors, he's had the best results of anyone other than fed & nadal for last 2 years. djokovic is younger & mentally tougher than he is, so his upside is much greater. and didn't you compare him to hewitt? hewitt had a great career & it wasn't too long ago that he was the clear #3/2.

you're right slam champions have a 'special' quality & its their attitude, not their game that separates them for the most part. djokovic was talking very big the moment he came on tour, while gasquet was like a mouse. hewitt & nadal also had an attitude when they first came on tour.
"flashy shots" can only get you so far, ask leconte & korda.

laurie
08-15-2007, 10:59 AM
One technical point I've noticed with Gasquet is that on grass and hardcourts he stands too far back on return of serve. In fact, on the 2nd serve return where you will like to see him stand on the baseline at least and threaten, he stays back just as far, handing the iniative to his opponent. It happened in the Wimbledon semifinal and last week in Montreal against Verdasco. I feel this is impeding his development because he is not able to impose his will on his opponent. So Fastdunn's theory on his physique could be a reason or maybe he doesn't feel comfortable standing in but he will have to change that mentality to make the transition from potential to reality.

When I think of Djokovic, I think of a steady player - doesn't have one spectacular shot but does everything well. Personally I don't think that kind of game is 10 slams material, but like Lendl if he works hard to stay ahead, he could have a stellar career of say 6, 7 slams - only time will tell of course, he might not win any! But actually I think he could win a few.

Baghdatis I think as sort of a Cedric Pioline. Can he turn his talent and apply a work ethic to win a slam or two or just coast on his talent like Pioline did. I know Pioline got to 2 slam finals but he only won about 5 tournaments. He could have done a lot better. I hope Baghdatis has a good career.

Berdych - I've never ever thought that much of him. So I have no opinion on Thomas Berdych

Monfils - I am very disappointed in him so far. With his athleticism, I jsut don't understand the logic behind his Tennis - he seems a reactive player as opposed to making things happen and been aggressive taking the game to his opponent.

Ancic - he was tipped to Wimbledon one day, can it still happen for him?

Murray - I just don't care about him or his game at all. As you can see here I've done around 1500 posts in 3 years, the regulars know the type of players I like - Sampras, Mauresmo, Kuznetsova, Seles Becker, Edberg. I just cannot stand counterpunchers like Murray. I don't care if he's naturally talented or not. I want my players to take the game to their opponent. Or at least like Seles, taking the ball early and taking it to your opponent.

anointedone
08-15-2007, 01:37 PM
I think Djokovic, Gasquet, Murray, are the future slam winners of this group. Berdych, Baghdatis, forget it. Monfils?! Why on earth are people still talking about that guy, he is probably the most overrated player out there.

daddy
08-15-2007, 01:41 PM
I think Djokovic, Gasquet, Murray, are the future slam winners of this group. Berdych, Baghdatis, forget it. Monfils?! Why on earth are people still talking about that guy, he is probably the most overrated player out there.

Monfils is in the pic only because he has, fair to say, excelent movement and shots, big serve and hes overall great player. The tournament he played before wimbledon - he dismatled guys in 50 mins one after another. As I said, he does not have his mind set on tennis yet and has to work and work and work and in that case - he has everything. Now he does not look as good as 18 months ago, but this just goes to show he has the game but not the commitment off court. Thats why. I agree he is low now and maybe does not deserve to be mentioned NOW but as a tennis fan I hope he can find a way to change this .

jmsx521
08-15-2007, 02:18 PM
Djokovic was on my list back from when I saw him on TV for first time, at the US Open against Monfils. You already knew by the way he hit his shots that he could have lots of potential.

NamRanger
08-15-2007, 02:20 PM
I wonder if this event wasn't televised in the US if anyone would care about this guy.

Why not include Steve Darcis while you're at it? He's basically done what Isner did this year as well(come out of nowhere in his 2nd pro event)


Isner also came out of a draw of death. He faced alot of top 50 players in that draw (Henman, Haas, Monfils, Roddick, etc). So how did Steve Darcis's draw look like?

daddy
08-15-2007, 02:26 PM
Djokovic was on my list back from when I saw him on TV for first time, at the US Open against Monfils. You already knew by the way he hit his shots that he could have lots of potential.

I noticed him when he threw out a couple of top players in 06 French like robredo and gonzalez, then I was impressed at wimbledon last year, he lost a tight last 16 match in 5 sets to Ancic, who is when fit a great grass court player and he had him back then really. Just they are friends and I think he was not able to overcome this and finish the job at 2 - 1 in sets, 4th was there for the taking. Mario is older and used that bit more experience he had from davis cup and tour and barely beaten him. FRom then on it was all history ..

Eviscerator
08-15-2007, 02:29 PM
Did anyone forsee Djokovic becoming 3rd best player this quickly?

While I did not think it would happen this fast, I and others locally talked about his potential and compared him to Federer when he was on the rise.

daddy
08-15-2007, 02:35 PM
Did anyone forsee Djokovic becoming 3rd best player this quickly?

While I did not think it would happen this fast, I and others locally talked about his potential and compared him to Federer when he was on the rise.

Remember fed in his racquet throwin, swearing and angry era ? Novak is not like that for now .. maybe he should be ? I prefer gentleman aproach so Id like him not to be but ..

fastdunn
08-15-2007, 02:40 PM
you're right slam champions have a 'special' quality & its their attitude, not their game that separates them for the most part. djokovic was talking very big the moment he came on tour, while gasquet was like a mouse. hewitt & nadal also had an attitude when they first came on tour.
"flashy shots" can only get you so far, ask leconte & korda.

i think djokovic fits into 21 century proto-type of consistent power
baseliners which was started from Hewitt.

Hewitt wasn't really a shot maker but he had a "system" to dismantle
his opponents. So far I can see djokovic has similar system.

and I think current condition favors Djokovic (or players including him
are developing safe game because of the condition).

guys like Haas, Corretja were helluva players and fairly good results on
slams but they never acquired it for some reasons.
guys like Johansson and Krajicek were never consistent players
but they had that shot making ability with which somehow strung
7 matches in a row...

fastdunn
08-15-2007, 02:50 PM
Baghdatis I think as sort of a Cedric Pioline. Can he turn his talent and apply a work ethic to win a slam or two or just coast on his talent like Pioline did. I know Pioline got to 2 slam finals but he only won about 5 tournaments. He could have done a lot better. I hope Baghdatis has a good career.
.

Pioline was strange. Until the mid career, he never won any title.
I'm not sure if he ever won a title by now. He and Kournikova were
often refered as something like "Top 10 player who never won a title".

As far as i know, Pioline had serious health problem early in his career.
He had to retire for a while and came back later. He always had that
lethargic look and I wonder if it was due to his past illness.

daddy
08-15-2007, 03:17 PM
Pioline was strange. Until the mid career, he never won any title.
I'm not sure if he ever won a title by now. He and Kournikova were
often refered as something like "Top 10 player who never won a title".

As far as i know, Pioline had serious health problem early in his career.
He had to retire for a while and came back later. He always had that
lethargic look and I wonder if it was due to his past illness.

I think pioline was not a hard core gifted sportsmen. I think he just found himself there but was not ment to be involved in sports. Dont know how he managed to get up so high with such nerves, he broke down litteraly every time he was in the finals, last time I watched him it was his ninth final with no tours to his name and he lost that one also.

Eviscerator
08-15-2007, 03:21 PM
Speaking of Pioline, he was also unusual in that he did not play tennis seriously until he was 17 years old. So to get started that late and be as successful as he was, you know he was very talented and a great athlete.

daddy
08-15-2007, 03:23 PM
Find me an athletic pic of him pls. I am not arguing, I might forgot but nevertheless I rememer him losing a shitload of finals.

laurie
08-15-2007, 03:25 PM
Pioline won about 4 or 5 titles in the end. His biggest win was Monte Carlo in the late 1990s.

daddy
08-15-2007, 03:26 PM
SINGLES CAREER TITLES (5): 1996--Copenhagen; 1997--Prague; 1999--Nottingham; 2000--Monte Carlo, Rotterdam FINALIST (12): 1992--Lyon; 1993--Bolzano, Lyon, Monte Carlo, Toulouse, US Open; 1994--Long Island; 1996--Marseille, Zagreb; 1997--Wimbledon; 1998--London, Monte Carlo

Meaning prior to his first win in copenhagen, relativly small tournament, he lost all in all no less than 7 and maybe even 9 finals. 5 out of 17 is poor record but yep, he was not soooo bad as I thought.

Bodacious DVT
08-15-2007, 03:28 PM
i kinda did. i knew that he was a real contender and would shoot up sometime this year. i thought it would be closer to the us open tho.

pound cat
08-15-2007, 03:42 PM
[QUOTE=Mr Topspin;1667400]

"Did anyone forsee Djokovic becoming 3rd best player this quickly! "



He did, and that's all that really matters.

daddy
08-15-2007, 03:44 PM
[QUOTE=Mr Topspin;1667400]

"Did anyone forsee Djokovic becoming 3rd best player this quickly! "



He did, and that's all that really matters.

Here is a better one :

Do you think he can hold on to one to one of the three spots in top or is there a possibility that he can go off form and fall to 6th or something ?