Newcombe: "Djokovic is really going to struggle the first six months of next year"

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by celoft, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. celoft

    celoft Guest

    http://www.theage.com.au/sport/tennis/federer-can-climb-the-mountain-again-newk-20111208-1olbq.html


    Views on Djokovic, Nadal and Federer from John Newcombe (7 singles grand slam titles, 17 doubles grand slam titles):

    “Djokovic is really going to struggle the first six months of next year - he’s really knocked himself out…He’s just won so many matches, and it’s been pretty obvious, even at the US Open, he was struggling. I even thought he was struggling at Wimbledon against Bernard [Tomic], but he was able to pull himself together…He was very lucky to win the US Open, because Roger should never have lost that match from where he was. And now since the US Open, there’s injuries, a sore shoulder, a sore back, and when you watch him playing, he’s running on three cylinders, so I’d say that his body, it’s given in. It’s not a lot of time to suddenly suck it up and start the year again and defend everything that he won last year, so I think it will be a superhuman effort for him to repeat the six months that he had. It was an amazing run, and that is very hard to defend.”

    “It’s not going to surprise me if, by the end of July next year, Roger is very close to being No.1 again.”

    “With Rafa, it’s like the heavyweight champion of the world that’s never been knocked out, and suddenly, gets knocked out six times within the space of six months by Djokovic. He doesn’t have the same self-belief any more. All of a sudden he’s having to face things, questions, that he’s never doubted. So it’s a question of can he get his head around this whole thing, and come back to where he was?”
     
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  2. Fate Archer

    Fate Archer Hall of Fame

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    Federer for the Golden CYGS. :)
     
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  3. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Djokovic defintly won't defend what he did last year but he will manage with some semis, finals and wins.
     
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  4. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    Even though I like both Djokovic and Nadal, I think that's a pretty fair assessment. I guess we'll see in a few weeks or so...
     
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  5. celoft

    celoft Guest

    Wouldn't surprise me if Djokovic's only slam win next year turns out to be the USO. Like Federer only defended the USO in 2008 after winning the AO/Wimbledon/USO trio in 2007.
     
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  6. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    but he also defended Wimbledon/US in 2005, 2006 and AO/Wimbledon/US in 2007

    I actually see Djokovic defending the AO and US titles next year, not sure about Wimbledon, tho
     
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  7. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    Djokovic should be good next year, he's young and those injuries were nothing that rest can't take care of.
     
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  8. Dream_On

    Dream_On Rookie

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    Djokovic will win the French and the US. Del Potro/Murray will win the AO sparking talk of a repeat of djokovic's this year, and then Federer will bag the Olympics and Wimbledon.
     
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  9. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    We really need to bookmark all these predictions older players are making about Noel, Roger and Ralphie, and see as the year progresses.
     
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  10. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Nope. He will be back to sweeping the season again just like he did this year. I do not buy his injury claims or his claims of fatigue,either. He will be fine.
     
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  11. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    newcome doubts djokovic and nadal could maintain/reclaim their positions but he believes federer could move up close to the no. 1 position despite being 5, 6 years older than his rivals ? :)
     
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  12. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    He's the only one of the three not in a total mess right now. Neither of the top two guys came CLOSE to making it out of the RR stage in London, and while Rafa contributed to the davis cup win, I am having doubts about his ability to recover mentally from the results this year.

    If Fed starts the year well, with a possible W in AO, who knows what could happen?
     
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  13. ahuimanu

    ahuimanu Rookie

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    Should be interesting to see how Djokovic does in 2012. Hope he comes out strong and has a repeat year.

    Interestingly, my longtime hitting partner was courtside when Newcombe retired from competitive play after losing a very tight match to Bjorn Borg (late 70's WCT).

    He was extremely impressed with Newcombe's "self-awarness" as he stepped up to the mike after, apologies to the fans, and openly stated that his time had come, that he no longer had what it took to stay at the top level of tennis...wondering if Newk is really onto something...certainly been there before...


     
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  14. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    I hope federer will do well in 2012 but tennis is a very physical sports and being older than your rivals doesn't help, that is for sure. to pull this off, federer would have to raise his level so that his matches against the top players next year won't become a battle of fitness.
     
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  15. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    I agree. But, this would depend on if this major rivals are able to make it deep enough to face Federer... if he gets that far as well. And, who better equiped to make the matches more about shotmaking than Fitness? :)
     
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  16. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    The thing about the calendar is: Apart from the Australian Open, all the majors are within 3 months of each other. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he didn't bomb the first 6 months to give himself time to recover and build up to the slam season.

    Sampras did this to great effect throughout his career. It's all about the June-September.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
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  17. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    Well, Newcombe may be totally wrong in the end, but seeing the respective forms of the top 3 at the end of the season, it's hard to fault his logic right now. Sure, Djokovic's got a huge lead coming into the 2012 season, but he will need to be much more reliable than he'e ever been at defending his titles (at the moment, he's only marginally more succesfull than Nadal is outside clay, and that is saying something, considering that the Spaniard never managed to defend a non-clay event :shock:). Not saying that he will lose all 10 of them, but I would be surprised if he keeps, say, even half of them. Besides, history shows that it's mighty hard to win at least two slams in a year after managing a 'small slam'. Look how many players have managed to do it since the beginning of the open era...

    So yes, Federer faces quite an uphill battle (a 5,460 pts deficit), but a win at the AO with Djokovic going out at the semi-final stage and he would close almost half this gap, so who knows? The AO sure looks crucial, though. We'll see.
     
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  18. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    2012 is gonna be majestic.
     
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  19. ImAGrinch

    ImAGrinch New User

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    I think Nadal will regain #1, and Fed and Djoker will battle for #2. Nadal will again defend RG. One of the Big 3 will take Wimbledon.

    As for USO and AO, I think there will be a new first-timer taking at least one of those.
     
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  20. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg Legend

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    Last tennis season before the world ends.

    Roger had better make this one good..........
     
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  21. Bjorn99

    Bjorn99 Professional

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    I think that is a very fair assessment.
     
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  22. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I do not entirely agree with it, but I mos def see Newk's perspective. He's Australian, so he mentioned the tough Tomic match. Naturally.
    He's outspoken and honest about being a Federer fan. Gracious about Djokr's achievements, but you can tell he's not a fan. Nothing new there: a lot of purists and greats from the past have a strange dislike for the Djokr. I think it has something to do with his persona.

    Like most of his ilk, Newk's rooting for Rog. Kind of helps that Rog was coached by Peter Carter and the great Tony Roche.
     
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  23. CocaCola

    CocaCola Professional

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    Djokovic was also mentally and physically drained at 2007 WTF where he ended with 0-6 set score and then he went on to win AO '08. Of course it's not the same now, but my point is that you can't make these kind of predictions and base them on something more serious than astrology.
     
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  24. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Nope, don't buy Newcombe's assessment of Djokovic at all. Djokovic just had his best season ever and a season that has landed him on tennis lists for best seasons in tennis history and he is just going to fade out in 2012? How stupid is that logic? The only thing wrong with Djokovic is that he is a bit of a wimp and he mentally checked out after the USO to save himself physically and mentally for the slams in 2012. Not exactly the thing for a number one in the world to do, but, he did it nonetheless. He may not win as much as he did in 2011 but I still see him winning at least 2 slams next year and having a strong season. Right now I think he will win the AO although I will have to wait and see the play from the top 4 at the start of the AO to know for sure.

    Honestly I think Newcombe is in lala land on this one and I am a Federer fan.
     
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  25. bullfan

    bullfan Legend

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    I think it's too early to make any assessments.... Djokovic knows he can do it, but, at the same time, folks smell fish in the water, much the same as they may for Nadal after his 2011.
     
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  26. SirGounder

    SirGounder Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't be too surprised if he started the year off slowly but not the first 6 months. His form in Australia will really depend on how much training he was able to do beforehand. Hopefully his injuries healed quickly and he is able to train, otherwise it will be a tough start.
     
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  27. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    2012 will be a tennis year to remember, book it!
     
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  28. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    What fish in the water? Djokovic was mentally out from the USO onward. He was not even trying, it is so obvious when you watch most of his post USO matches. He was just trying to conserve energy. He knew his year in 2011 was already outstanding and he basically bailed on the rest of the year. He will be primed and ready to go at the AO. If I am wrong, I will take it back at that time.

    Nadal's situation at the end of 2011 is nothing like Djokovic's as Nadal has clearly been struggling for 2011(for him) while Djokovic is at his peak and had the best year he has ever had. No comparison between the two imo. Djokovic will definitely have the upper hand over Nadal in 2012 unless Nadal has made changes or Djokovic's form drops considerably.
     
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  29. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    LOL!
    And yes, totally with you!
    Lol, DC majestic :D

    Yes, as LoB was saying.
     
    #29
  30. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Whenever people read something said by Pat Cash, they should go and see what John Newcombe says for a reality check.

    I reckon Newcombe's call on Djokovic is a pretty good one. Djokovic's immense achievements felt to me like they came at a lot more physical and mental expense than when Federer had his similar years.
     
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  31. 1970CRBase

    1970CRBase Guest

    in 2006, for example, Fed was still breezing at the end of the year and then at the start of 2007 he was fresh as a daisy destroying everybody at AO and then all thru the way to USO 2007 and we got used to it, it looked so easy for him. Of course, 2008 wasn't good because of mono, but that's a different story. Maybe other posters could be correct in their conjecture that Djok tanked the end of 2011 to conserve his energy for coming AO, if so, it proves just how far extended 2011 was for him and how much the year took out of him. Only 14 year olds talk about Djok "pwning" Nad, as if this were some vid game, I suspect these two guys have gutted each other after titanic contest after titanic contest in 2011. Each should win at least one slam a piece next year but I am skeptical now that 2012 will completely belong to either.
     
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  32. 000KFACTOR90000

    000KFACTOR90000 Professional

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    Djokovic seems to make good use of the off season (egg:)).

    I'm thinking he'll be fit and ready by the Aussie open.
     
    #32
  33. nadalwon2012

    nadalwon2012 Banned

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    No time for rest, not with this schedule. And young? Del Potro is young too....but....doesn't seem to help in tennis. Some guys are just not made for the grind. Djokovic has always had problems with the grind.
     
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  34. nadalwon2012

    nadalwon2012 Banned

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    The only thing that Newk is missing in terms of logic is the idea that Federer would take over from Djokovic, when Nadal continued to dominate Federer outdoors in 2011. Nadal has no mental problem with Federer. The 6 losses to Djokovic have no impact on Nadal's performance against other players. He's been more consistent than ever.
     
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  35. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I agree. I think Newk was just letting his inner Fedfan out for a moment.
    As much as I root for Tsonga, Muzza, Rafa, and I'm completely in love with tennis...and I will never, ever buy that a player could ever be larger than the game.....
    I do feel like Newk, hopelessly optimistic about RF. I have been around tennis since 1974 or so (not nearly as long as Newk), but, love RF and I can hardly imagine the men's game w/o him.

    Somehow Rog has had that effect on people of all ages, including people in our 40s and older. I guess my dad's generation might have felt this way about Laver and Hoad.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
    #35
  36. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    Newc is just implying that Nadal and Djokovic have knocked themselves out so there's a chance Fed could have a sniff next season of Nadal's fingers.
     
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  37. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    In a nutshell, our tennis troika is much like heavyweight boxing's 70's era...Ali (read Fed) battled Frazier (read Nadal) so ferociously into an abyss for both that it allowed Foreman (read Djok) to step into the void. Re-enter Ali (Rumble in the Jungle). Re-enter Fed...AO'12, no?
     
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  38. celoft

    celoft Guest

    Good analogy.
     
    #38
  39. nadalwon2012

    nadalwon2012 Banned

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    The boxing analogy is pointless, because we don't know what happens in 2012. Nothing runs parallel by design. And if you try to predict the pattern... you lose at some point. In 2007, who thought Federer's stranglehold over the tour would end in 2008? In 2008 who thought Nadal would lose Roland Garros in 2009? In 2009, who thought Nadal would win 3 slams in 2010? In 2010, who thought Djokovic would win 3 slams in 2011? The tennis community/fans keep getting it wrong, over and over and over again.
     
    #39
  40. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Who's going to stop him in the first half of the season, then, Johny?
     
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  41. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    2012 seems alot less cut and dried. In addition to Murray, who must be experiencing soul crushing anxiety for not breaking through and is far the most motivated in the top ten, you have Tsonga, Ferrer, Fish and Berdych. Gasquet is probably the second most motivated player and is slowly getting more and more dangerous. He is really just a small breakthrough away from joining the top 5.
     
    #41
  42. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Only agree about Tsonga, not only he's the most in-form player next to Federer, he's always caused Djokovic problems (5-3 h2h, should've been 6-3 if Djokovic didn't withdraw from the Paris QF).

    The rest you mentioned, Fish, Berdych, Ferrer, Gasquet (come on..) even Murray are non factors against a fit Djokovic.
     
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  43. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    I wish I knew enough English to understand what that line means. If Nadal is knocked out, how can Fed smell his fingers.

    Anyway, let it be. es complicado.


    _________________
    Warm Vamoses,
    Señor Senti.
     
    #43
  44. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    Believe what you want (Bullz1lla)! After all, you're the one claiming Djok has knocked himself out with the 6-0 '11 marathon vs Ralph. I believe they are BOTH down for the count from their epic struggles. And, before you use the "indoor GOAT" card, Fed is primed to step into any void produced by the Djokdal '11 campaign. '12 is gonna be a joy to watch! So much can happen.
     
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  45. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    Djokovic has won 3 of the last 4 meetings against Tsonga.
     
    #45
  46. markwillplay

    markwillplay Professional

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    I can see it. Joker has put in a ton of work and his style is VERY tough on the body. I think that he just out Nadaled Nadal last year but both of those guys play a similar style..I think Joker is just a slightly better over all athlete and though their game is similar, his physicality and new mental toughness got him over the hump. Having said that, Roger's game is much "easier on the body" and I don't think he hurts himself as much over an "entire season' as either of those other two....never has. I would not predict Roger becoming number 1 again but it would not blow me away to see it nor would it suprise me if Joker does indeed fail physically quicker. Just watching him play makes me exhausted.
     
    #46
  47. rodrigoamaral

    rodrigoamaral Hall of Fame

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    I don't know about struggling but it all comes down to how he handles all of the pressure in 2012..
     
    #47
  48. nadalwon2012

    nadalwon2012 Banned

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    Murray already beat Djokovic this year on hard. And Murray almost beat 100% peak Djokovic on clay earlier in the year. I see a shift coming in their rivalry.
     
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  49. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    An almost win does not count. Djokovic will continue to dominate. He's not going anywhere just yet IMO.
     
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  50. Fate Archer

    Fate Archer Hall of Fame

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    And who could possibly say this any better than one of the all time FAIL posters on these boards, Mr. bullgira/Rafito_Slam_King??? :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
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