Dispelling Djokovic myths

Discussion in 'Pro Match Results and Discussion' started by Towser83, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    EDIT: Meant to put this in player discussion.. oops.

    Ok I'm writing this because over the past year I've kept posting the same facts over and over again in an attempt to dispell certain myths about Djokovic that people have carved in stone and now refer to rather than look back at said facts. This mainly relates to Novak's physical issues and retirements etc.

    The myth-
    Novak was a weakling who could not last a 5th set

    look at these stats here -

    http://www.matchstat.com/PlayerInjuries/5992

    You will actually see that NONE of Novak's retirements so far have occured in the 5th set of a match. The closest thing is his retirement in the 4th set of the AO against Roddick. In fact more than half of the retirements came in the 2nd set of the match. One came at 6-6 in the first set, which would also rather dispell the myth that he only quits when he feels he can't win the match. He also quit whilst 2 sets to 1 up against Davydenko.

    On the other hand look at his record when the match DID go to 5 sets. It's 15-5 (to put this in perspective, 5 set warrior Nadal is 15-4, and overall novak is 7th on the list of all time reliability) Only 3 of these 5 set wins have come since the start of 2011, meaning prior to his remarkable improvement he was still 12-5 in 5th sets, and remember he didn't retire in any of those 5 losses.

    stats here http://www.atpworldtour.com/Reliability-Zone/Reliability-5th-Set-Record-Career-List.aspx

    Furthermore look at the stats for a few tournaments. take Wimbledon 2007 where these were 4 back to back matches for 20 year old Novak -

    R64 Delic 6-3 3-6 6-3 7-6 (2h 19mins)
    R32 Keifer 7-6 6-7 6-2 7-6 (3h 39mins)
    R16 Hewitt 7-6 7-6 4-6 7-6 (4h 12mins)
    QF Baghdatis 7-6 7-6 6-7 4-6 7-5 (5hours)

    He then retired against Nadal at 1 set all and a break down in the 3rd, but those were pretty tough matches for a so called weakling to make it through. There are also several other long matches around this time and earlier, including his final set tiebreak match vs Stepenek at the US Open in the 2nd round 2007 (6-7 7-6 5-7 7-5 7-6).

    Then there's the match in Madrid 2009, a match which went 4 hours for 3 sets of tennis where Novak was standing at the end, just unable to take any of the match points he had. That year after the retirement in Australia, Djokovic went on to play nearly 100 matches, and not withdrawing form any events on his schedule, something which every other top player failed to do - they all had to skip events. Djokovic reached 5 masters finals, but only won Paris at the end of the season (beating nadal on the way) when everyone else was getting tired despite Novak having played more matches. He also won Basel just prior to this beating Federer. His tiredness towards the end of the season apparently caused him shoulder problems and prompted him to change service motion which then ruined his 2010 season, where he spent too much energy just scraping wins (see his Dubai win that year where he was awful but ground it out) in my opinion, this had a big effect on him going backwards physically from an impressive 2009 (I think he had hired Muster's old fitness coach that year)

    Now here's the thing. When has Novak had serious injuries, keeping him out of the game? Most of his issues have come out of nowhere in one match. In my opinion, Novak has been a bit of a hypercondriac, when things are going hard sometimes he's had a habit of thinking "I'm finished" or if he's hurting he'd overreact to that and let his mind make it worse. We know with a strong mind you can push through the pain barrier and move towards your goal, you just need to be disciplined and focused. We also know that your mind can play tricks on you and make you think you're feeling better or worse than you really are. The mind is a very powerful thing and has a huge effect on what the body can or can't do. The fact that now he is stronger in the mind and much more focused on his goal of winning, has had a huge impact physically.

    Many people are cynical about him, but I don't think the link between a strong mind and strong body should be overlooked, and nor should the fact that Djokovic had stamina in the past - his retirements were weird situations that seemed to happen for no real reason other than maybe he wasn't feeling great that day and couldn't tough it out because his determination was lacking. If people can lift cars off people through sheer mind over matter, why can't someone get strong enough in the head to fight through the pain barrier and get their second wind?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
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  2. FlamEnemY

    FlamEnemY Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, you are very articulate. Hopefully many tennis fans will read your post.

    Also, bump.
     
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  3. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

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    Nice read.

    I always believed it was more mental than physical.
     
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  4. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    More HYPOchondriac than hyper. But he is hyper(active) in a lot of ways.
     
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  5. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    oops, sorry for the typo!
     
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  6. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    "The myth-
    Novak was a weakling who could not last a 5th set"

    I think it's a myth that this is a myth. Who that has followed his career thinks he ever couldn't last 5 ?

    He could from the early days.

    First time I saw him was 2005 in New York. He won a long 5 set match over Gael Monfils in round one. Later in the week played a long 5 setter against Verdasco in round three-- just coming up short. But it was clear this was one tough kid. He was only 18 at the time. 3rd round USO, 5 set battle. Not too shabby.

    Yes, he bent the time-out rules and he would default and he may have had some allergy issues I don't know. But once he was committed to a match there wasn't much question about his ability to fight through 5.

    Tell you the match that I thought this kid is the real deal. 2007 USO. He was only 20 then I believe. That five set win over Stapanek. It was about 4-3/4 hours in the Sept NY humidity. Anyone that thought he couldn't win 5 set matches after that match didn't see that match.
     
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  7. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    OP
    Don;t bother trying to dispel Noel Myths. There are too many fans of one player trying to suggest he's the product of some pharmacological experiment !
    His latest nick-name is derived from Frankenstein :)

    (gentle note to Clarky21, that's the name of the Doc, not the freak he created).
     
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  8. MixieP

    MixieP Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, OP.
     
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  9. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Good Noel got over his gluten allergy. That damn thing can be debilitating.
     
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  10. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    If you've been following the boards here, plenty of people are saying "this is weird, Djokovic was a weakling who couldn't last a 5 set match, now he's superman and outlasting Nadal!"

    You are one of the people who actually remember the truth. I totally forgot about that Monfils match, that's another one. In fact the big criticism to be levelled at Djokovic was he made the early rounds too tough and thus ran out of steam at the end of slams.
     
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  11. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    :neutral:............:neutral:
     
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  12. xan

    xan Professional

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    as if people want to read something meaningful here.
     
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  13. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    I remember that long MONFILS match in 05 too but he did take a medical timeout and looked half dead but he could go the distance no doubt.
     
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  14. kragster

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    That one player being Federer right :) Go take a look at any of the doping threads my friend, you will see lots of Sexi's poasters. Of course Clarky and NSK being omnipresent may make it seem like it's Rafa fans playing the accusing game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
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  15. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

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    after all those matches, is no wonder that he couldn't finish the SF match against Nadal...
     
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  16. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Both fanbases are accusing him of doping, it's not just Clarky and NSK on the Rafa's side, tushar and winstonplum for example are also accusing him (or were at some point).

    Edit: At the time of that poast from Senti what he said was mostly true, Novak was still on Fed fans' good side then as he was saving Fed's GOAT legacy from evil Rafa.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
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  17. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Here are 2 (well thought IMO) posts from Veroniquem on the topic.

     
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  18. kragster

    kragster Hall of Fame

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    Fair enough, I didn't realize this was such an old thread. Recently though I have seen Nikdom, SLD76, Bawss, Dropshotartist, Breakpoint, Tennis_Hands, MerlinPerlin etc all talk about Nole's doping (to be fair to these great folks though, they always include Rafa in the conversation as well).
     
    #18
  19. steenkash

    steenkash Rookie

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    ND has been a mentally weak person before 2011, like you suggested he had a 'hypochondriac' attitude. When suffering from a minor problem, he would just give up and let go of the match. I remember one day his opponent was 0-40 ahead and Djoco let him have the game.
     
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  20. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    Yup,i did accuse him of doping.i was just watching his match highlights with stan,he just didn't look tired in the end,not even hard breathing,can't help myself but have a hunch that he might be up to something,of course I have no evidence so i can't be sure,but still!

    No matter how fit you are,5 hours is too long a time and if you play the next round as if nothing happened in the previous match,then something seems fishy to me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
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  21. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]
     
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  22. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    He is truly the sun of djesus
     
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  23. kragster

    kragster Hall of Fame

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    So Rafa can play back to back 5 hour matches, 31 yr old Fed can still hang with all these younger guys, Ferrer is playing better than ever, but somehow Djokovic is the only one who is doping?
     
    #23
  24. librarysteg

    librarysteg Hall of Fame

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    This is great to have these stats together all nice and tidy. I too plan to keep track of this post and quote it often during the never-ending doping debates.
     
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  25. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Oh I agree, Fed fans joined in on the fun as well, especially with Nadal still being out of the picture (I'm sure when Rafa next play Novak they'll like him again).


    Stan and Novak both take their time with serving, I have my doubts how much the match was prolonged as a consequence of that.

    Regardless, I've seen many tennis greats (especially in the prime of their career as Novak is now) play a tough 5 setter and end up winning the slam (or losing a 5 set final), Nadal in 2010 Wimbledon played two back-to-back 5 sets and more or less dominated the rest of the tourney, in 2009 FO Fed played a 5 setter against Haas and Delpo on the way to the final and still pummeled Soderling, Sampras in 1996 USO had a thriller against Corretja in the QF but pretty routinely beat Goran and Chang in SF an F respectively, there's also Nadal's 2009 AO, 31 year old Fed at Wimbledon last year etc.

    Mind you, I'm not saying you don't have a right to your opinion, I personally think all top stars are doping, I just disagree with singling out Novak (or Nadal, Fed and Murray for that matter) and the notion that he started doping right before 2011.
     
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