Why did expert Commentators call Djokovic's 2011 best open era season ever?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by timnz, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Djokovic had this incredibly good season in 2011. But when you compare it to other open era seasons, it shows up as very good, but is far from unique:


    # Player Matches Year
    1 Björn Borg (Sweden) 49 1978
    2 Björn Borg (Sweden) 48 1979–80
    3 Guillermo Vilas (Argentina) 46 1977
    4 Ivan Lendl (Czechoslovakia) 44 1981–82
    5 Novak Djokovic (Serbia) 43 2010–11
    6 John McEnroe (U.S.) 42 1984
    7 Roger Federer (Switzerland) 41 2006–07
    8 Thomas Muster (Austria) 35 1995
    = Roger Federer (Switzerland) 35 2005
    10 Rafael Nadal (Spain) 32 2008

    So it was the fifth best consecutive match win season.

    How about winning percentage in the season? I read somewhere it was around 10th in the open era? (Please can you verify someone?)

    So why were people like Becker and McEnroe saying it was the best open era season ever?

    My theory is that people have very short memories in tennis. People often see the current number 1 as 'the best ever' because they assume that tennis players are getting better all the time (this is unfounded and never has been proven).

    I think though Djokovic's 2011 was unique in the way he dominated the number 2 and 3 players throughout the season with many wins and only 1 loss. But then again, how was Borg doing against Connors in 1978-1980 period?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
    #1
  2. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    Commentators probably have it in their job description to talk up and sell whatever's going on - phrases like "best ever", "great match" etc are used very liberally.
     
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  3. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    In tennis, as in most other things, this is true and is probably the most important factor. But, other than that, the people in the sports media also have an agenda - to attract attention, increase viewership, etc.
     
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  4. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    timnz,
    Here's the top 10 winning percentage.


    Highest Season Winning Percentage
    1. John McEnroe (1984) .965 82–3
    2. Jimmy Connors (1974) .959 93–4
    3. Roger Federer (2005) .953 81–4
    4. Roger Federer (2006) .948 92–5
    5. Björn Borg (1979) .933 84–6
    6. Ivan Lendl (1986) .925 74–6
    7. Roger Federer (2004) .925 74–6
    8. Ivan Lendl (1985) .923 84–7
    9. Ivan Lendl (1982) .922 106–9
    10. Björn Borg (1980) .921 70–6
    = Novak Djokovic (2011) 0.921 70-6
     
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  5. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    It's not about winning % or # of matches won. Those are good indicators of consistency, not brilliance. It's about titles won, big ones. It's about winning 2 slams + 3 masters on hard court (including the double IW/Miami) AND winning the slam on grass AND winning 2 masters on clay. It's about making only finals except for 1 semi between AO and USO. That's what it's about and that's why Djoko's stretch was particularly remarkable. Of course other players have had remarkable stretches for other reasons but Djoko's is definitely up there.
     
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  6. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    An exceptional season no doubt. He was completely in the zone. But any better than Borg's 1978, 1979 or 1980? One could argue for Borg.

    I just wonder when people look at his 2011 and reflect on that it was the 5th best in consecutive matches and the 10th best percentage.....well, perhaps it shouldn't be talked about as the best.
     
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  7. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Top 10 greatest seasons

    1. Rod Laver, 1969 ("Grand Slam" - all 4 majors, Win-Loss 103-16 record)
    2. Roger Federer, 2006 (3 Grand Slam titles, 92-5 record)
    3. Novak Djokovic, 2011 (3 Grand Slams titles, 70-6 record)
    4. John McEnroe, 1984 (2 Grand Slams titles, 82-3 record)
    5. Jimmy Connors, 1974 (3 Grand Slam titles, 93-4 record)
    6. Roger Federer, 2007 (3 Grand Slam titles)
    7. Rafael Nadal, 2010 (3 Grand Slam titles)
    8. Mats Wilander, 1988 (3 Grand Slam titles)
    9. John McEnroe, 1981 (2 Grand Slam titles, Davis Cup)
    10. Bjorn Borg, 1979 (2 Grand Slam titles, 84-6 record)

    http://timelesstennis.blogspot.com/2011/12/top-ten-greatest-mens-seasons.html
     
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  8. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    He was consistently beating players who had won 16 and 10 majors respectively at the time. That's why.
     
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  9. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    But he stop showing up after the USO.
     
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  10. Indio

    Indio Rookie

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    But then again, how was Borg doing against Connors in 1978-1980 period?[/QUOTE]

    Borg's record versus Connors:

    73-76: 1-6
    77-78: 4-2
    79-81: 10-0, including 6-0 in 1979 and 2-0 in each of the following years

    Here's his record versus McEnroe:

    1978: 0-1
    1979: 4-2
    1980: 3-1
    1981: 0-3

    In 1979-80, Borg went 15-3 versus the two of them, very little, if any, on clay.
     
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  11. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    LOL putting Rafa's 3 slams on the same level as others. He won his on 3 DIFFERENT surfaces and IN A ROW. Just because Rafa didn't win as much at the mickey mouse tournaments it's put as 7th? What a joke.

    Also, Roger's 2006 was definitely not > Novak's 2011. Novak won titles on EVERY surface and did so by beating Rafa and Fed consistently. These 2 players had won 16 and 10 majors at the time.

    It should be Laver at #1 with his GRAND slam (don't get why everyone calls each slam a grand slam it's just wrong) then Novak at #2 and Nadal at #3 and Fed's 2006 at #4. If Fed had won a clay Masters in 2006 then he'd be at #2 but he repeatedly lost to Nadal on clay, whereas Novak was able to beat Rafa and take 2 of the clay masters.

    And ranking Fed's 2007 above Nadal's 2010 makes whoever put this list together lose all credibility because he's clearly a *******.
     
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  12. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    Oh, so because he didn't win Basel, Paris and WTF his season is not as good as Borg's best who never won USO?

    LOL. It is the second best season of all time after Laver's 1969.
     
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  13. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Borg Djokovic

    By what criteria? Again, it was a marvelous season. Yes, Borg didn't win the USO, but Djokovic didn't win the French.
     
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  14. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    But Nadal only won 7 titles. You discredit for Federer not winnin clay in 2006, but ignoring Nadal won only clay MS. Fed won 4 to Nadal 3 MS.

    Nadal winning % was below 90 while Fed, Mac, Nole, Connors are above 90%.

    Nadal also failed to win the 5th most important title(WTF), which you conveniently ignore Fed won both in 2006 and 2007.

    Yes, Nadal won 3 slams on 3 different surfaces, but never made all four slam finals(Fed did in 2006).
     
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  15. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    And Borg didn't win the AO. And Borg wasn't consistently beating players who had majors in the double digits.
     
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  16. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    No, one can't. Borg never won the USO and never won 3 slams in a season.
     
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  17. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Tennis doesn't end in September, but it covers the entire year. You just simply can't ignore indoor season.
     
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  18. MonkeyBoy

    MonkeyBoy Professional

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    Winning 5 masters in one year was mighty impressive. Several have done 3 slams in one year, but no ones ever done that.
     
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  19. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Borg had a 84-6 win/loss records(93%), which ranked #5 highest winning % of all time. That's pretty consistent and domination.
     
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  20. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    But Nadal made a unique achievement in 2010, one that has never been done before because of the degree of difficulty. Players have made all 4 finals before, and there was one guy who won them all in the open era.

    Nobody has won 3 majors in a row on 3 different surfaces. Federer didn't get a single clay title in 2006 and his mickey mouse wins in basel, doha, tokyo and halle count for nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    I ignore that Nadal only won clay masters in 2010 because he won MAJORS on HC and grass, so that's more important. Fed not only didn't win masters on clay he didn't win a major on clay either.
     
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  21. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Nadal's 2010 is definitely unique. It's up there for different reasons than Djoko's 2011. Both exceptional seasons.
     
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  22. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    Doesn't matter. If every top 200 tennis player except John Isner disappeared off the face of the Earth and John Isner started winning everything left right and center would you look at his winning % and consistency and say he's had the greatest season of all time? NO, because his opponents aren't as good as if the top 200 players didn't disappear.

    This is my point (although not to that extreme) JMac and Connors and whoever else you want to include are not as good competition as Federer and Nadal. So therefore Novak beating them consistently is more impressive.
     
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  23. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    Novak had the best 3/4ths of a season IMO. Had he kept it up, the best was possible. However his shoulder injury and losses at the end of the season killed his chances. It doesn't qualify for best season if he was relatively poor towards the end. You can't discount that.
     
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  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Nothing compared to Laver69 season winning the big 4 plus biggest HC and biggest indoor event in season
     
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  25. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Greatest only lasts a few years

    I feel sorry for Djokovic and Nadal. People.may consider them great now, but in the years to come their careers will move to being completely irrelevant. Why? Because some commentators in the future will say....only their current players count, because..'.they are so much better'

    So the question remains then, if great players records are counted as irrelevant after a few decades....should they put such huge efforts into establishing their records?
     
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  26. Nickzor

    Nickzor Semi-Pro

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    I'd still take Federers 2006 season over djokovics, okay Djokovic was unbeaten for like 5 straight months, they both won 3 slams, djoko won 4 masters titles, Fed won 3 BUT he won the masters cup which in my opinion is much more impressive then one extra masters 1000 title because you can't hope to get an easy opponent cause you have to vs one of the top 8, not to mention Federer was the finalist at the Roland Garros, whereas Djoko was a semi finalist, so in turn Fed made all finals of each slam in 06' and Djoko did not in 2011' also Federer had one less loss then Djokovic but 22 more wins in his 06 season compared to Djokos 2011 season, I think these stats speak for themselves, in my opinion 22 more wins, one less loss, all slam finals and the tennis masters cup is enough to edge out Djokovics 2011 season, although it was one of the top 10 best ever.
     
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  27. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Right.Tennis evolve so fast that in three years any top 20 will be said to be able to whip these guy. After all they played in the weakest era ever.
     
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  28. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    What makes it so special is that no one saw it coming! Nadal was perched at the top, and was ready to enjoy a dominate stretch as the outright world number one, and win more and more titles across all surfaces.

    Novak just came out of no where and made the sun rise from the west! It was just stunning because he kept winning and winning and winning.
     
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  29. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Yes you are right. Especially after 2010 which was by far his worse season. At this point you could see him go further down the ranking. Instead...
     
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  30. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    This beats any argument one can make as this is UNHEARD of at that level of tennis.
     
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  31. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Federer was unbeaten from august 2006 to march 2007, which make 6 month and a half. His streak included 2 slams, 1 WTF, 1 master 1000, 3 500.

    Not bad. I admit that Nole crushing Nadal twice when everybody was seeing as unbeatable on clay was amazing (personally it's the only reason which make this run so impressive).
     
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  32. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    He beat fed three times in that streak and beat nadal four times in that streak, WHO HAS EVER DONE THAT, this is what makes the streak incredible.
     
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  33. Nickzor

    Nickzor Semi-Pro

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    Well it was a ''Well out of his prime'' Older-Fed that ended Novaks godly spree, if it was anyone that was going to end it i don't think anyone would have thought Federer was going to it, especially at the French and seeing how Djokovic had just beaten nadal in two clay court masters 1000 titles back to back
     
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  34. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    He was 29 excuses excuses.
     
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  35. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Either Fed is finished and beating him is not a bigger achievment than beating Ferrer, either he can still stop a winning streak in RG. You can't have it both way.
     
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  36. Nickzor

    Nickzor Semi-Pro

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    well obviously in your eyes Djokovic is the Golden miracle child of the Megaverse, your username more or less means your a Djokertard, yes I'm a fed and nadal **** but i tell it as it is
     
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  37. Nickzor

    Nickzor Semi-Pro

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    Maybe write in a way that's comprehend-able so i can reply
     
    #37
  38. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    Ok i'll tell it how it is so you can understand, Djokovic is the best player in the world by a mile and has been since 2011.
     
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  39. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Except for one half of 2012...
     
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  40. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    In your post you said two things:

    1) that Fed is well past his prime, which imply that beating him three time in a row is nothing special.
    2) that Fed is well past his prime but still able to beat Novak in RG which shows how great a player he still is.

    I see a contradiction. I think it was a great feat from Novak to beat Fed three time in a row, even if I agree Fed in 2011 is not the same player than until 2009.

    Is my english good enough for you?
     
    #40
  41. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    It was called the best based on who he beat at the top, if he keep going after the US Open I'd agree it was the best season since Laver's 1969. But he got burned out and took some bad losses in the end.
     
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  42. Nickzor

    Nickzor Semi-Pro

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    Okay gotcha! Yes I agree with all of that, I just couldn't quite understand what you meant before, lol sorry
     
    #42
  43. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    I'll give you that.
     
    #43
  44. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    No, no don't get me wrong, I'm not saying JMac and Connors records are irrelevant. What I'm saying is they are not as good as Federer and Nadal, which therefore means they are easier to beat, which therefore means that it's easier to get these higher winning percentages.

    However, if you want to hold JMac and Connors above Nadal and Federer as players that's up to you, it's your opinion but it is a ridiculous notion.
     
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  45. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    I agree. He pretty much shut down after the US Open.

    Through the US Open, he was 66-2, losing to Federer in the Roland Garros SF's and Murray in the Cincy finals.

    In that span he won 3 of 4 slams making all 4 SF's. He made the finals of all 6 Masters 1000 tournaments he entered, winning 5 of them. This included beating Nadal in six consecutive finals on three different surfaces(3 on hard, 2 on clay and one on grass). And, to boot, he beat Federer in the Dubai final and won a 250 clay court tournament in Belgrade. He made won 10 of 12 tournaments, made the finals in 11 and the SF's in all 12.

    After the US Open, he played in 3 tournaments and finished 6-4, including a 1-2 finish in the WTF's with RR losses to Ferrer and Tipsarevic.

    The reason his season is viewed in such high regard is because the level of play he maintained for 9 months was insane.

    FYI: I included walkover wins in Djokovic's record, which gives him a couple more than his official total.
     
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  46. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

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    He did indeed stop showing up after the US Open. Basically his 2011 season was in the top 3 ever (possibly the best ever) up until that point. Maybe "the best sequence ever" would be more appropriate.
     
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  47. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    But for a player to play some 90 matches with a 90+ winning % and not winning slam(s) is highly unlikely. When you win such a high percentage, you're basically ranked #1 or at least #2. How many player never won a slam by playing a lot of tennis with a 90+ winning percentage? For Isner, he's not in that league, and I say he's likely to win a slam than having a season with 90+ winning %.

    Then that should also applies to Laver in 69, but you're willing to accept Laver's 69 as the greatest season. Mac/Connors were well after Laver's time, so laver's season shouldn't be ranked #1 if level of competition is included. Frankly I believe tennis gets stronger over the decades, but the experts are ranking the best season base on achievements, domination, and all the stats. They don't include level of competition/strength of the field.
     
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  48. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    It was a great season but not the best. It would rank around 4th and 5th, about equal with Federers 2006. The 3 best seasons in the Open Era are definitely Laver's Grand Slam season (unquestionably #1), Connors 1974 season and McEnroe's 1984 season (toss up for #2).
     
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  49. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yes 1974 is so far away from 1969. More usual TMF clown logic. Also the field Laver faced in 1969 was by FAR harder than the field Connors faced in 1974, any field Federer faced, and overall tougher than the field McEnroe faced in 1984 too. It was one of the greatest fields in history full of all time greats and Hall of Famers. Not that you would know anything about that as you only began following tennis when Federer began dominating.
     
    #49
  50. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Laver 69 was nearing the end of his career, while mac/connors played up til 1990. You act as 1969 and 1974 was when they all at the same age(DRY).

    The rest of your post...keep saying that if it helps you sleep well at night Davey25.
     
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