2023 Roland Garros R128: [3] Novak Djokovic vs Aleksandar Kovacevic

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Who wins?


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Razer

Legend
I think so too.

What's missing from Djokovic resume that Fed and Rafa have done multiple times? Winning a slam without dropping a set. The internet says Rafa 4 times. Roger 3 times.

Nastase won a slam without droppping a set while Sampras never did it, so that means not dropping a set is an overrated statistic ...

win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning
 

Mivic

Hall of Fame
Jim Courier said he's hardly lost anything with his movement while commentating. Says he still moves like he's 26.
Laterally I would agree he still moves very well. I think what typically declines most with age is the intensity and explosiveness of footwork and the ability to jump on short balls as quickly which is what is noticeably worse at this point in Novak's case. I think his lateral movement peak was probably 2015 to early 2016 tbh (so mid to late twenties), because his footspeed was still so great and on top of that he was probably at his most flexible and at his best on the stretch during that period. His ability to recover to neutral when stretched wide and on the slide was second to none at that time. As a full package his movement peak was surely 2011 though. But yeah I do think it's possible to maintain very good lateral movement and decent footspeed into your thirties and Novak is showing it.
 

TheAssassin

Legend
I see there was a mandatory why serve out when I can Tiebreakovic it instead.

Solid for the opening match. Nice outfit after a recent stale period as well.
 

NoleFam

Bionic Poster
Laterally I would agree he still moves very well. I think what typically declines most with age is the intensity and explosiveness of footwork and the ability to jump on short balls as quickly which is what is noticeably worse at this point in Novak's case. I think his lateral movement peak was probably 2015 to early 2016 tbh (so mid to late twenties), because his footspeed was still so great and on top of that he was probably at his most flexible and at his best on the stretch during that period. His ability to recover to neutral when stretched wide and on the slide was second to none at that time. As a full package his movement peak was surely 2011 though. But yeah I do think it's possible to maintain very good lateral movement and decent footspeed into your thirties and Novak is showing it.
I think he moved so well when he was 23-25 and was so explosive, and I didn't see any difference in 2015 and 2016 when he was 28-29. To me, and I said this back in 2017, it's the lack of physical issues (so far) that would affect his legs/movement that has helped him along with being an amazing athlete. Now he is not doing what he was doing in 2012, and I was watching 2012 US Open highlights last night, and not as explosive as he was then with his forward movement, but he is still very good laterally as you said and still quite agile for a 36 year old.
 
Laterally I would agree he still moves very well. I think what typically declines most with age is the intensity and explosiveness of footwork and the ability to jump on short balls as quickly which is what is noticeably worse at this point in Novak's case.
This was also a difference between 2011-2013 Novak and 2014-2016 Novak, much less now.

This affects shot tolerance when faced with heavy hitters in particular, the ability to explosively push into your legs.

That's why I think 2011 Novak does better against Wawrinka for instance than his 2014-2016 self did.

I also miss young 2007-2008 Novak. That's was probably his peak in terms of muscle acceleration in his legs. He was light as a feather back then
 

Mivic

Hall of Fame
I think he moved so well when he was 23-25 and was so explosive, and I didn't see any difference in 2015 and 2016 when he was 28-29. To me, and I said this back in 2017, it's the lack of physical issues (so far) that would affect his legs/movement that has helped him along with being an amazing athlete. Now he is not doing what he was doing in 2012, and I was watching 2012 US Open highlights last night, and not as explosive as he was then with his forward movement, but he is still very good laterally as you said and still quite agile for a 36 year old.
Yeah like I said I do actually think he improved his agility and his flexibility post-2011 and heading into his late twenties, plus his footspeed was honestly probably as good if not better than ever at that point. He seemed a bit heavier set and more fast-twitchy with better physical strength in 2011 which bolstered his weight of shot but I think he became more nimble around the court as he aged and maybe trimmed down slightly. Honestly it's quite fascinating to trace the way his game evolved to match his physical capabilities over the years which is another reason I think his physical decline has been less noticeable. He played quite a different game in early 2016 at the AO for example than he did at times in 2011 (while maintaining great aggression and playing on the front foot) and stylistically the way he moved was a bit different. Plus like you say his ability to remain injury-free and stave off physical decline is pretty much unmatched I think. Points like the one at 1-1 40-Ad in the second set of the AO16 final against Murray for example are just absolutely absurd for a guy approaching 30.
 
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a10best

Legend
Nastase won a slam without droppping a set while Sampras never did it, so that means not dropping a set is an overrated statistic ...

win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning
It's a stat the tennis record gods came up with. It's important because it shows complete dominance and focus for two weeks. You do it once, you can call it a fluke. You do it 4x at RG like Rafa it means extremely dominant. Fed didn't drop a set at Australian Open 07' and 2017 Wimbledon (crying Chili), and junior Wimbledon 98'.
Nadal has won 30 titles without losing a set.
Djokovic - 11 titles " "
Federer - 20 titles " "

The Patriots won 4 super bowls by a field goal or on a last play. They won but were not dominant. It simply shows they were better in crucial moments, like Djokovic.
A win is a win but I prefer dominance and beatdowns yet I agree Novak is the greatest tennis player in my opinion due to his consistency, YE#1's and record against his rivals, Nadal and Federer.
 
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Mivic

Hall of Fame
This was also a difference between 2011-2013 Novak and 2014-2016 Novak, much less now.

This affects shot tolerance when faced with heavy hitters in particular, the ability to explosively push into your legs.
Yeah for sure. At this point the decline in explosiveness has been huge. Late twenties Novak was still an unbelievable lateral mover though (even if not as explosive), sometimes I go back and think perhaps even better than he was in 2011 honestly. Like I said though 2011 was definitely his movement peak as a total package.
 

NoleFam

Bionic Poster
Yeah like I said I do actually think he improved his agility and his flexibility post-2011 and heading into his late twenties, plus his footspeed was honestly probably as good if not better than ever at that point. He seemed a bit heavier set and stronger in general in 2011 which bolstered his weight of shot but I think he became more nimble around the court as he aged and maybe trimmed down slightly. Honestly it's quite fascinating to trace the way his game evolved to match his physical capabilities over the years which is another reason i think his physical decline has been less noticeable. He played quite a different game in early 2016 at the AO for example than he did at times in 2011 and stylistically the way he moved was a bit different. Plus like you say his ability to remain injury-free and stave off physical decline is pretty much unmatched I think. Points like the one at 1-1 40-Ad in the second set of the AO16 final against Murray for example are just absolutely absurd for a guy approaching 30.
Yea he steadily evolved as a player, including his movement so that is probably why any physical decline is less noticeable. The way I can see that he lost a little speed is when players hit certain dropshots against him. The Djokovic of 2011-2013 would not only reach those but make them. So it's the forward movement that is a little slower but his lateral movement, agility, balance, defense, and ability to still turn that defense to offense is why Djokovic has dominated in his 30s. If you read this forum, you'd think this was something easy to do but it's not. He's basically stayed ahead of the curve with the ability to complete athletically with guys 10-15 years younger than him.
 
D

Deleted member 779124

Guest
This was also a difference between 2011-2013 Novak and 2014-2016 Novak, much less now.

This affects shot tolerance when faced with heavy hitters in particular, the ability to explosively push into your legs.

That's why I think 2011 Novak does better against Wawrinka for instance than his 2014-2016 self did.

I also miss young 2007-2008 Novak. That's was probably his peak in terms of muscle acceleration in his legs. He was light as a feather back then
If 2015 Djokovic worked on hitting the ball more penetrating and powerful IMHO he would have got the all 4 that year or at least gone 5 sets with Wawrinka. Seemed to coast more which hurt him vs Wawrinka only in the W 15 final did I feel he brought something close to that aggression. That's what I noticed most about 2011-2012 Djokovic compared to 2014-mid 2016 felt like Djokovic even though he did do other things better in the latter.......
 

NoleFam

Bionic Poster
This was also a difference between 2011-2013 Novak and 2014-2016 Novak, much less now.

This affects shot tolerance when faced with heavy hitters in particular, the ability to explosively push into your legs.

That's why I think 2011 Novak does better against Wawrinka for instance than his 2014-2016 self did.

I also miss young 2007-2008 Novak. That's was probably his peak in terms of muscle acceleration in his legs. He was light as a feather back then
2007-2008 Djokovic had more weight on him and even 2011-2012 Djokovic also had more muscle mass than 2015-2016 Djokovic which I think made a difference. He was definitely heavier at 23-25 than afterwards. Only recently have we seen him really put back on more weight and muscle. I remember the end of 2015 when he started looking gaunt and wore down.
 
D

Deleted member 779124

Guest
2015 Djokovic was a bit weary this his 2011 style might wear him down IMHO as well. But against Wawrinka he really needed it more.
 
If 2015 Djokovic worked on hitting the ball more penetrating and powerful IMHO he would have got the all 4 that year or at least gone 5 sets with Wawrinka. Seemed to coast more which hurt him vs Wawrinka only in the W 15 final did I feel he brought something close to that aggression. That's what I noticed most about 2011-2012 Djokovic compared to 2014-mid 2016 felt like Djokovic even though he did do other things better in the latter.......
That's not always possible to implement. It's like asking 2013 Nadal to play with the same velocity as 2010 Nadal, the later simply bad more power and weight in his shots and there is no way around it.
 
D

Deleted member 779124

Guest
That's not always possible to implement. It's like asking 2013 Nadal to play with the same velocity as 2010 Nadal, the later simply bad more power and weight in his shots and there is no way around it.
Fair enough I guess. In Nadal's case he slowed down a bit more physically IMHO so applies more but I guess it could be too high a barrier.

I don't have shot speeds or anything but felt like it was more noticeable with Djokovic even in that senario.
 
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