Djokovic is a wise guy

Discussion in 'Pro Match Results and Discussion' started by Fiji, May 17, 2013.

  1. Fiji

    Fiji Hall of Fame

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    He tanked Madrid and Rome to be fresh and pumped for the big one.

    Mark my words: Djokovic will win RG.

    Nadal will be running on fumes.

    The writing is on the wall.
     
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  2. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    While Nadal will probably be running on fumes(is already looking pretty slow on court), it's silly to say that Djokovic tanked these events.

    He clearly wanted to win against Dimitrov even with his physical issues, you could see it in his attitude on court, he kept fighting even though he could have retired after his ankle acted up. And why the hell would he tank against Berdych when being one game away from winning the match?
     
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  3. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    with 5 setters and his ankle i would be a bit more careful assuming he'll be so ready for RG. he is Not fit ATM. and he didn't simply tank those matches.
     
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  4. Tenez101

    Tenez101 Hall of Fame

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    Against Dimitrov it looked like he was tanking in the last few games. Definitely not a tank against Berdych.

    Not meeting Nadal prematurely might turn out to help him in RG though.
     
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  5. monfed

    monfed Guest

    I hope you're right but I feel that Novak's missed out on making an even bigger dent in Ralph's psyche thereby making him a big favourite for RG.(similar to 2011)
     
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  6. Justin Side

    Justin Side Hall of Fame

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    No way Djokovic came that close to winning and did all that 3rd set running in punishing rallies just to tank vs Berdych. But I do think this is Djoker's year to win the French.
     
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  7. AREYOUOUTOFYOURVULCANMIND

    AREYOUOUTOFYOURVULCANMIND Rookie

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    Hilarious. Nice excuse. Goober.
     
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  8. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Why would Nadal be running on fumes? He has a week off after Rome, and a day off during the French Open in between matches. Djokovic has had two bad losses by his standards in Madrid and Rome. Djokovic playing a mere 4 matches since winning Monte Carlo isn't exactly the ideal preparation for the French Open.
     
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  9. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    That's the definition of "tanking". See? You got fooled.

    The same way Federer tanked against Djokovic in the 2011 US Open semi-finals cause the winner was scheduled to play Nadal in the final. Federer would have nothing left in the tank unless he won in 3, max 4 sets and since Djokovic pushed it to a 5th Federer decided to show the world he's capable of beating him but actually tanked.

    I hope I cleared this up for you.
     
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  10. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Can't tell if sarcastic or not. :-?
     
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  11. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    I don't believe pro athletes at such a high level tank. Especially considering how good the number 1 player in the world is. His confidence is high vs anyone. Simple as that.
     
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  12. RoddickistheMan

    RoddickistheMan Professional

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    I feel like he tanked this match in order to avoid playing nadal. Not because he cannot beat him, but in order to not reveal his strategies to beat him for their potential roland garros final match up. It is a dishonorable tactic but he is the djoker and it wouldn't surprise me if he did this just to have an edge. Point wise it doesn't affect his number one ranking as he is well ahead of the pack. Cant wait till this ***** loses his number one ranking eventually. Hes such a shady character.
     
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  13. Rocky89

    Rocky89 Professional

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    He didn't tank, he lost.

    Why is it whenever a top player loses unexpectedly it has to be tank job?
     
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  14. Sky Fire

    Sky Fire Rookie

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    He will peak at the right time for RG, chances of upset in best of 5 are less. Not sure about the tank though; would have been better if he gained even some more confidence against Nadal but anyhoo I get the feeling he will take RG assuming he makes the final.
     
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  15. bullfan

    bullfan Legend

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    Lol. If Fed tanked against Djokovic in USO, it would have been in 2010 when Rafa was on fire, not 2011.
     
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  16. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    He didn't tank. He did go on a walkabout but I don't think it means much. He will still win RG regardless of his results in Madrid and Rome.
     
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  17. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Every time a favorite loses, many people on these boards claim: 1) The favorite only lost because he was injured, or 2) The favorite only lost because he tanked.
    People around here never give credit to the opposing player.
     
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  18. dudeski

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    Dammit! Who let he troll of trolls back in? Seriously, she was banned twice already. Enough is enough!
     
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  19. winstonplum

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    Does anyone around here know anything about professional athletes or sports in general? Professional athletes don't "tank." Djokovic losing like he has in Madrid and Rome is not good for him. There's no other way to slice it. I would have called him the favorite a month ago for RG, but even if Nadal loses to Berd tomorrow of Fed the next day, I now would put Nadal as the favorite to win RG. Djokovic has lost some of his magic since 2011.
     
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  20. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    So Djokovic is now the Greatest of All Tankers ? : - )
     
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  21. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    Do you know anything about prioritizing in pro sports?

    Pro athletes in all sports set particular goals for the season, and, then, plan their peaks for certain periods.

    It may come to you as a shock, but maybe Djokovic did not plan to peak for the entire clay court season. He did the damage in MC. Onto RG.

    Is that so hard to understand?
     
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  22. Zildite

    Zildite Hall of Fame

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    Why would you want to peak early, then unpeak for the next two tournaments closest to RG before peaking again during that last tournament.
    Unless there is some switch that you just turn on when you want to peak.
     
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  23. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    NO he is the goat genius who strategically loses matches by tanking because without tanking he will win every time. Incredible...the game has never had anyone like him. Put him in the hall of fame right now.

    every match he loses is a strategic tank.....brilliant!
     
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  24. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    Why bother with the concept of peaking, if you don't believe in it?

    There is approximately a month and a half between the final of Monte Carlo and the final of Roland Garros.

    Unless you are Nadal, playing close to your best all the time during the clay court season will leave you with less in the tank, come crunch time.

    And there is also Wimbledon to consider.

    Considering, that Djokovic plays from the beginning of the year, he MUST think about conserving energy.

    Djokovic did well to shake Nadal's confidence by winning MC. In the grand scheme of things, he plays his cards smart, and has no other significant gains to make by further dominating Nadal in the clay Masters. We saw, that this was not a guarantee for success at RG, so, why trying to do it?

    The things are different than the previous two seasons prior to RG.

    Let us see, if he played smart or was just not good enough.

    I say, that, if he reaches the final at RG, he played his cards smart. If he doesn't , then he was not good enough.
     
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  25. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    Agree with this post.
     
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  26. Zildite

    Zildite Hall of Fame

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    I only have a problem with your concept of peaking, where losing early right before your target tournament is somehow all part of the plan.
    If he really wanted to conserve energy, he didn't have to play Madrid or Rome at all. His ankle would have been a perfectly valid excuse to pull out.

    I say please own your theory on how these things work. If you are going to criticise people for not believing that Djokovic's losses were all part of a master plan, then you can admit that if he does lose at any point (making the final doesn't cut it for him, he already achieved that without this method) then his strategic losses can be considered to be a significant contributing factor (for example, he over-rested instead of being match tough)...Or admit that he may not have had such a plan at all and did things such as this because he wasn't going into these tournaments not caring about winning.
     
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  27. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    LOL, some of you Federer fans are pathetic. I am a Federer fan and it is hard for me to believe some of the crap that is written on here by fellow Fed fans.
    The reality is this: Djokovic is NOT the favorite for RG and he did not tank Madrid and Rome to be fresh for RG. The fact that he lost in early rounds in Madrid and Rome is NOT good news for him because he will be more likely to lose in an earlier round in RG than Nadal will. Sure, if Djokovic makes it to play Nadal at RG, Djokovic is capable of beating him, but he has to get to him first. How can Djokovic be the favorite for RG when he has only made the final there ONE time whereas Nadal has won the bloody title 7 times. Are people that stupid?:confused:
     
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  28. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover Legend

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    Right on the mark, imho.
    Top players Do. Not. "Tank", it's not part of their "wanting to win everything"-mindset all of them have, and which is actually an important mental aspect of becoming a top player in the first place.

    Fact is that Djokovic 2013 is no longer the force he was in 2011, at least he hasn't been for quite a long while now, despite his titles at the AO and in MC. Still the #1, still a great player, but like with every top player, the period of indeed "winning everything" is limited and will at a certain point come to an end. Unexpected losses do happen - even the top guys will experience meeting a guy playing at his best and beating them once in a while.

    The problem is that the overzealous part of their fandom quite often doesn't want to accept this, and go searching for "explanations". The injury excuse is an obvious rampant major one, but the "he didn't want to meet player X in the next round", or "he doesn't care about these minor tournaments anymore, he's only about the GS now" - aka, TANKING - come as a close second.
    I've seen exactly the same excuses with certain overzealous Fed fans when he started to lose ground back in 2008-2009.

    Personally I think it's better to accept the fact that all players are mere humans and capable of losing when meeting an inspired opponent having a good day, and that's what happened to Djokovic both at Madrid and now here in Rome. Whether these losses are an indication for his chances at RG remains to be seen - I'd never make the mistake of writing off a big champion prematurely again (I admit I didn't really think Fed would ever come to get GS #17 last year, but so he did), so let's just wait and see what will happen. :)
     
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  29. FreeBird

    FreeBird Legend

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    There was so much peace on TW. Clarky writes rubbish for 2 days then gets banned for 4-5 days. Once back again flourishes her litter and again gets banned. The cycle continues. Admins need to figure out a permanent solution to this troll.
     
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  30. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    The concept of peaking is about increasing your playing levels until a desirable highest point is reached.

    The road to that highest point/peak is not necessarily the same for everybody.

    Some players need to play themselves in to form in a series of tournaments, others can crank it up for shorter periods.

    I am suggesting, that Djokovic has tried the first approach in the past and it didn't work against Nadal on clay, so now he is trying a different tactic: strike, play, but not necessarily to his best abilities (even for the moment), crank it up for the Major.

    Could you tell me, why do you consider such approach improbable? and Why do you think, that all players should follow the same pattern of playing themselves in in a series of tournaments, instead of concentrating on the Majors?


    There is a difference, between saying, that he lost intentionally, and saying, that he didn't plan for a high playing level and, as a consequence, he lost because of that playing level.

    The first suggests, that he tanks matches on purpose, the second suggests, that his losses come as a natural consequence of his intended playing level.

    What my theory suggests is, that there is not necessarily a link between his form now and his form at RG.

    The last sentence is overreaction.

    ANY player cares about winning, once he enters a tournament.

    However, there is a difference, between wanting to win, and the realisation, what his playing level suggests. Winning a tournament is not only about your form, it is about other players' form.

    If other players have different approaches (aiming for the tournament as their main purpose, and peaking for it, gradually building up with every upcoming tournament etc.) they might be on a different trajectory, when meeting the said player.

    Let me give you an example.

    Nadal is a player, who is playing himself into form in a series of tournaments on clay (he said it himself, that he needs to play a lot, in order to improve his form). He will be getting stronger as the clay tournaments progress and will be slightly before his peak in Rome, seen form a perspective of the series of touranaments on clay, that he plays.

    Now, that is perfectly sensible strategy for Nadal, because he is Nadal. He has such proficiency on the surface, that most of the time he will beat the opponent ,being far from his best on the surface and not really having to redline and spent himself (which can be crucial in a long series of tournaments/matches.

    On the other hand, Djokovic is not as proficient on clay, and cannot afford to do that. (Even Federer himself has played to Nadal's rules on clay (not wanting to run from a fight or engage in complicated games) and that might have hurt his chances (but that is speculation, of course, as we will never know)). If he wants to win tournaments he has to be at a very high level all the time (for his standarts on clay) in order to achieve the same things as Nadal, and that means, that he must spend more energy, than his main rival at RG at the moment. That leads to the natural conclusion, that, IF he cannot do the same as Nadal he has to find another way, that is more suitable for his abilities. Not cranking it up too early is essential for his chances (I thought the same about Federer through the years of his rivalry with Nadal on clay).

    I also do not agree, that going to the final wouldn't cut it.

    You choose to look at this matter as though the glass is half empty, while I choose to look at the matter as though the glass is half full.

    If he reaches the final it will be a clear departure from his form in Madrid and Rome. I say, that it will be a strong contrast, to say the least, reaching the final of a Major, in comparison with losing very early in a M1000 series tournaments.

    And, of course, that, if he reaches the final and loses it, it will not be a tell tell sign, whether his losses are deliberate as you put it (they were not, he just didn't intend to play on a higher level). It may still not be enough to win RG, as the physical preparation is only one part of the successful formula.

    The other two parts are the psychological game (which he played very well this season) and the actual proficiency of the player on the surface at the moment, with the last being the most important part of all three.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
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  31. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    I don't see that happening at all. There's no way he can be feeling very confident going into RG at this point. Suffering inexplicable losses to Dimitrov and now Berdych. I mean they are good players, but he shouldn't have lost to them. Especially not to Berdych after leading 5-2 in the second set... That's absurd.

    Right now in my book, Nadal's the favorite to win the french, then Fed, then Djokovic.
     
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  32. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    Why is it inexplicable, that Djokovic lost to Dimitrov or Berdych?

    Djokovic is not Nadal, that he is not prone to early upsets, when he is not playing on his or close to his best level. And even Nadal was close to losing against Dimitrov on clay a couple of weeks ago.

    The only thing, that the people register correctly is, that Djokovic is not dominating everybody at the moment. Hardly a surprising fact.

    Yes, Nadal has always been the favourite for winning the French.

    In my book the favourites to win the French are Nadal and then Djokovic.

    As much as I want to see Federer one more time in the final, I think that his chances at the moment are lower than Djokovic's.

    And, everybody seems to forget, that Djokovic might be nursing an ankle injury, that he needs to be careful about, if he doesn't want to cripple himself for RG and Wimbledon.
     
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  33. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    He lost, simple as that. If he doesn't pick his game up, he won't even make it to Nadal.

    Djokovic's game has become so Anti-Nadal, perfectly designed to dethroning the King, that it is actually vulnerable against more of the field. He needs to get through the field, before he even can think about the King.
     
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  34. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Well, I don't necessarily agree with that. I think from time to time, all of the top players have tanked. For example Djokovic has tanked in many big events imo, even in his great 2011 year, after the USO, he tanked a few events. But I certainly do not think he would tank two of the big tune-ups prior to the FO this year given the fact that he has stated on many occasions that his big goal for the year is to win the FO. That makes no sense.


    Yep, I agree.

    Yes, good post.
     
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  35. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I tend to agree.
     
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  36. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, good post. We know he can beat Nadal if he gets to him but he seems to have lost a little of the larger plot along the way, losing to some of these players he really should not lose to en route to Nadal or Federer.
     
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  37. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    I was having a discussion with zagor after the MC final, and we went over the patterns of play. It was clearly obvious that Djokovic had been doing some serious modifications in his game. Nadal had some new strategies that he used in 2012 to unsettle Djokovic, but the way Djokovic had created that anti-strike to Nadal's pattern of play, putting him back into neutral or even worse, into defense with just one shot was staggering. He was not using those patterns against anyone else, but Nadal. Nadal was clueless in his response.

    Problem here is when your game becomes so perfect for dismantling one player, as Djokovic's game clearly is for Nadal, for others those patterns of play make you vulnerable, and I think we've seen a little of that recently.

    He has got to take Nadal out of his mind for now and firstly focus on how gets to him at RG. With Federer now possible number two seed, he can only face Federer after he faces Nadal, if that ever happens.
     
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  38. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover Legend

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    You're probably right. Perhaps I should have added "... in big events" to my sentence. :)
    And both MC and Rome are Big Events.

    I do see a difference in both losses - at MC he didn't play badly, just got beaten by a player on the rise having a better day than himself. The loss in Rome, however... the match was on his racket! A typical case of a mental check-out, Djoko in Jelenaland, so to say. Reminiscent of Fed in Toronto/Montreal against Tsonga a couple of years ago, where about the same thing happened. I wonder whether these mental absences may or may-not be a sign of mental fatigue. Should such be the case with Djoko right now, he'll have his work cut out for him for the upcoming RG.
     
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  39. furryballs

    furryballs Banned

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    he doesnt have a sore ankle ok
     
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  40. Zildite

    Zildite Hall of Fame

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    I am bad at writing long posts, make myself avoid them so sorry and thanks for taking the time.
    Will just say that history has shown that winning lead up events is not necessary for winning slams, even for a momentum guy like Nadal.
    On the other hand I still think Djokovic's losses were more unwanted blunders on his part (for lack of a better phrase, credit to the opponent of course) than laying off full throttle and being prepared to deal with the consequences, or however you want to describe it. In other words he would not really be satisfied with how things went / it was not his ideal preparation but the world is not perfect anyway and he still has good reason to be confident for RG.
     
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  41. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    And I suppose he tanked IW and Miami too? :-?
    I find his losses to Delpo and Berd more worrisome than those to Haas and Dimi because Delpo and Berd are top players that he will keep meeting regularly (and neither of them qualifies as early round mishap) and until now he had owned them (on any surface other than grass).
    I wish Novak a prompt recovery from whatever is bothering him right now but at this point, nobody will be surprised if his RG 2013 looks more like 2009 or 2010 than 2011 and 2012 (or better).
    ETA: Rafa's form really doesn't matter in terms of Novak's chances at RG. Novak's current problem is not Rafa, it's pretty much anyone else and anyone else is who he is gonna have to face at RG until at least the semi.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
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  42. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    Much respect for the answer.

    We will find soon enough, how his preparation for RG went.
     
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  43. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's assuming OP is a Fed fan, it's hard to tell with all this idiotic jinxing (and multiple accounts IMO) that is so prevalent on this forum these days.

    That said yes, while Novak remains the one with the best possible chance of beating Nadal at the FO he's also far more vulnerable against the field on the surface, Nadal is still the firm favourite for the FO.

    I don't think top pros are averse to tanking in certain events (like say Paris masters) but I do think Novak wanted to win Rome (especially after losing very early in Madrid) and find it riidiculous people think he waited until he was serving for a straight sets win to start tanking.

    I find it strange you agree, when it comes to potentially winning the FO, Novak is still miles ahead of Fed right now IMO, if you want to win the FO chances are you're gonna have to go through Nadal to do it.

    I mean it's a stretch to say that Novak is more vulnerable to the field on clay than Fed is right now but even if that were true Fed's advantage would be slight at best and not nearly enough to make up for Novak having a much better chance at actually beating Nadal at the FO this year.
     
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  44. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    The one positive for Novak is that he won M-C. That's a really big clay win and it's really big that he obtained it by beating 8 time champ Nadal and no one can take that feat away from him.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
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  45. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think there's another possibility here, while losses to Berdych and Dimitrov may not be part of some great Novak's plan and/or due to him consciously giving less effort to save himself for the FO as you claim, this loss may still work to his benefit, as you said we'll find out soon enough.
     
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  46. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    I still think overall Federer is the better clay court player over Djokovic (even though clay is clearly Fed's worst surface) but it all depends what version of Federer decides to show up these days, and so far this year he has looked awful after the AO until now. All of a sudden he looks a lot better in Rome. I think if Federer has any chance to beat Nadal on clay again, this tournament may be the place he can do it. Wishful thinking perhaps?

    I think Djokovic is even more prone to upsets at the FO than Federer is even at Fed's advanced age, but we shall see. I do think if Djokovic can make it through the early rounds at the FO, he has a good chance to beat Nadal and Federer there. Right now my opinion is that Nadal is the favorite for the FO.
     
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  47. JRAJ1988

    JRAJ1988 Hall of Fame

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    Why would a sane professional number 1 ranked sportsman tank? the further Novak goes in competitions the more ranking points he'll win or defend, the more money he'll win and I'm sure he loves playing the big guns ie Nadal, Federer and then..........Murray
     
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  48. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes it is a great feat, but at the end of the day all that really matters are slams.
     
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  49. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    Djokovic = T 34 at least!
     
    #49
  50. beast of mallorca

    beast of mallorca Legend

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Messages:
    7,741
    QFT..............
    Rafito can win the Rome Masters as well. But at the end iof the day, FO is the most important. He can give the Rome Masters to Berdych or Fed, just as long as Rafa holds the FO 2013 Championship. That is fine by me.
     
    #50

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