Originally Posted by veroniquem
Imo, you're exaggerating the lack of threat before 2011 and overdoing the threat since 2011. Djoko was never the favorite at RG and still isn't. There has always been only 1 favorite at RG and we know who that is.
Djoko is not the favorite on grass by a long shot. Not only did Murray win the Olympics and make the W final but he's also won 2 Queen's and he has a higher winning % than Djoko on grass. If anything, 2011 appeared like a freak accident due to the combined effect of Fed's upset and Nadal's block (Nadal's results on grass overall are also vastly superior) . Fed is naturally a massive favorite on grass (even if he has endured a few upsets in the last years, he's still the reference ). That makes 3 players who are still more favorite at W than Djoko.
That leaves us with the 2 hard court slams and that's where the core of our disagreement occurs. On hard court, Djoko was a threat from day 1. He made his 1st IW final in 2007. He lost to Nadal that time but would beat him the year after on his way to the 2008 title. Immediately afterwards, he beat Nadal in Miami and won the event for the first time. He beat all of Rod, Nadal and Fed to win Canada 2007 and proceeded to make his 1st USO final. By that time, anybody who hadn't understood Djoko would be a major threat on hard was not paying attention. He confirmed in 2008 by winning AO and WTF. In 2010 he added another USO final after upsetting Fed, no less. It is not because he had some struggles with his serve and confidence that he should be relegated to "non entity" for 2 years. And one can be a threat in a slam (or elsewhere) without winning the title. Djoko didn't win USO in 2012, that doesn't mean he was not a threat. I believe on hard Djoko has been a favorite all along. (It is also my belief that if Djoko hadn't suffered some sort of heat stroke at AO 2009 causing him to retire in the quarter, he would have beaten Fed that year and made another AO final.)
ETA: we could also take Nadal as an example. Nadal hasn't won a slam on hard since 2010. Does that mean he was not a (major) threat at AO 2011 and 2012 and at USO 2011? I'd beg to differ.
Yet you have to admit that Djokovic was a lesser player in 2009 and especially in 2010. He did played well during the 2009 clay masters 1000 season, but after that their is not much. He lost to Kohlschreiber (who is no claycourter) at RG, Haas at Wimby, against Federer at USopen (comfortable win). He did win Paris-Bercy, but anybody win Paris-Bercy. 2010 was awful. He didn't reach a single master final, didn't beat a top 10 before beating Fed in the USOpen. And not because he played well, but because Fed was awful. He lost his 3 next meeting with Federer during the fall, in Basel, Shanghai and WTF. He lost to Melzer and Berdych in slams. A true analysis of his 2010 level shows that it wasn't impressive at all.