Addressing the weak era argument (2019-2023)

To address the many tennis fans, who consider the current era the weakest ever:
OK, so 2019-2023 is maybe as weak as the 2001-2007 era, but unlike Federer who had full access to his youthful athleticism and was at the peak of his powers during his era, Djokovic was already 32-36 years old during the supposed “second weak era” - ironically, this range of age is, according to many Fed fans, what nerfed Roger so significantly.
And yet, they say that Djokovic is supposed to be in his “prime” now. This is already one noticeable flaw in the argument.

Moreover, let’s examine the toughest players in the Slams that Djokovic won for each year of the supposed “2nd weak era”:

2019
AO - faces Medvedev & Nadal
WB - faces Federer. I know Roger was 37 at that time, but then, Djokovic was 32, which is still a very old age. Besides, compare this win to Federer facing the likes of 20-year-old clay specialist Nadal or Mark Philippoussis in Wimbledon finals. I am pretty sure that 2019 Federer is better than 2003 Philippoussis on grass.

2020
AO - faces Federer & Thiem. I know that Federer was injured and nearly retired, but Thiem was in a very good shape and in fact, 2020 is (sadly) the last year in which we see a good Thiem.

2021
AO - faces Zverev & Medvedev (both having the season of their life)
RG - faces Nadal himself (Nadal is literally only 1 year older than Djokovic)
WB - OK, this was actually weak, but still, not as weak as Federer’s 2006 AO win or Nadal’s 2017 USO win, so I guess that evens things out.

2022
WB - OK, this was also weak, but don’t forget that this year, he was unjustly deported from a Slam that we would have most certainly won. (And no, it was not him breaking the rules by lying about his visa. This is a false rumour spread by his malicious haters. Already many people have debunked it. And don't forget, Nadal was infected with COVID within less than 14 days before entering Australia when it was technically against the rules.)
So we can look at it this way: Djokovic was rewarded a relatively easy draw by fate to compensate for the AO Slam that was unjustly stolen from him through politics. In contrast, Federer & Nadal were never banned from any ATP tournament in their entire careers (even though the latter entered Australia with COVID).
Hypothetically, can you imagine what people’s reaction would be if Federer, during the mid-2000s, was banned from Wimbledon and then, in the next Grand Slam tournament, he was handed a super easy draw to win? I assure you, that no matter how easy the draw is, none of his fans would be complaining about weak competition - instead, they would endlessly shout and cry about how much Federer deserved the win to make up for the stolen Wimbledon title.

2023
AO - faces Rublev & Tsitsipas (both top 5 players at the time of January). Besides, he was confirmed to be injured (3 cm tear in hamstring), yet still ended up dominating the tournament, dropping only 1 set (even that, in a close tiebreak) and winning half of his sets with a score of 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2.
RG - faces Carlos Alcaraz (the new poster-boy of the tennis establishment) & Ruud (whom Nadal also had to face in last year’s RG final)
USO - defeats Medvedev, who had just played a phenomenal match to dismantle Alcaraz in the semis. Honestly, this somewhat reminds me of the 2015 Wimbledon, where Federer lost to an unstoppable Djokovic in the final, despite his masterclass performance in the previous round against Andy Murray.

So overall, apart from 2021 and 2022 Wimbledon, Djokovic faced very tough competition across all the GS tournaments that he won. At least as tough as the 2001-2007 field for sure. Not to mention that he did all of this whilst being over 30 years old, unlike 2004-2007 Federer or 2008-2013 Nadal.

What do you guys think? Do you still consider Djokovic a weak era champion?
 

itrium84

Hall of Fame
To address the many tennis fans, who consider the current era the weakest ever:
OK, so 2019-2023 is maybe as weak as the 2001-2007 era, but unlike Federer who had full access to his youthful athleticism and was at the peak of his powers during his era, Djokovic was already 32-36 years old during the supposed “second weak era” - ironically, this range of age is, according to many Fed fans, what nerfed Roger so significantly.
And yet, they say that Djokovic is supposed to be in his “prime” now. This is already one noticeable flaw in the argument.

Moreover, let’s examine the toughest players in the Slams that Djokovic won for each year of the supposed “2nd weak era”:

2019
AO - faces Medvedev & Nadal
WB - faces Federer. I know Roger was 37 at that time, but then, Djokovic was 32, which is still a very old age. Besides, compare this win to Federer facing the likes of 20-year-old clay specialist Nadal or Mark Philippoussis in Wimbledon finals. I am pretty sure that 2019 Federer is better than 2003 Philippoussis on grass.

2020
AO - faces Federer & Thiem. I know that Federer was injured and nearly retired, but Thiem was in a very good shape and in fact, 2020 is (sadly) the last year in which we see a good Thiem.

2021
AO - faces Zverev & Medvedev (both having the season of their life)
RG - faces Nadal himself (Nadal is literally only 1 year older than Djokovic)
WB - OK, this was actually weak, but still, not as weak as Federer’s 2006 AO win or Nadal’s 2017 USO win, so I guess that evens things out.

2022
WB - OK, this was also weak, but don’t forget that this year, he was unjustly deported from a Slam that we would have most certainly won. (And no, it was not him breaking the rules by lying about his visa. This is a false rumour spread by his malicious haters. Already many people have debunked it. And don't forget, Nadal was infected with COVID within less than 14 days before entering Australia when it was technically against the rules.)
So we can look at it this way: Djokovic was rewarded a relatively easy draw by fate to compensate for the AO Slam that was unjustly stolen from him through politics. In contrast, Federer & Nadal were never banned from any ATP tournament in their entire careers (even though the latter entered Australia with COVID).
Hypothetically, can you imagine what people’s reaction would be if Federer, during the mid-2000s, was banned from Wimbledon and then, in the next Grand Slam tournament, he was handed a super easy draw to win? I assure you, that no matter how easy the draw is, none of his fans would be complaining about weak competition - instead, they would endlessly shout and cry about how much Federer deserved the win to make up for the stolen Wimbledon title.

2023
AO - faces Rublev & Tsitsipas (both top 5 players at the time of January). Besides, he was confirmed to be injured (3 cm tear in hamstring), yet still ended up dominating the tournament, dropping only 1 set (even that, in a close tiebreak) and winning half of his sets with a score of 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2.
RG - faces Carlos Alcaraz (the new poster-boy of the tennis establishment) & Ruud (whom Nadal also had to face in last year’s RG final)
USO - defeats Medvedev, who had just played a phenomenal match to dismantle Alcaraz in the semis. Honestly, this somewhat reminds me of the 2015 Wimbledon, where Federer lost to an unstoppable Djokovic in the final, despite his masterclass performance in the previous round against Andy Murray.

So overall, apart from 2021 and 2022 Wimbledon, Djokovic faced very tough competition across all the GS tournaments that he won. At least as tough as the 2001-2007 field for sure. Not to mention that he did all of this whilst being over 30 years old, unlike 2004-2007 Federer or 2008-2013 Nadal.

What do you guys think? Do you still consider Djokovic a weak era champion?
Post in thread '2004-2009, 2011-2016, and 2018-2023 Competition Compared Purely with Data' http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/inde...ompared-purely-with-data.757881/post-17666256

So yeah, strength difference between 2004-2009 and 2018-2023 is around 6.4%.
 

jl809

Hall of Fame
Peak Murray vs Peak Djokovic 20 matches at each slam?
AO - Djoker 20-0 Murray (I love Andy but he is literally cursed at that tournament)
RG - Djoker 15-5 Murray - am under no illusions here. Murray wins some because of RG 2015 and Rome 11 imo, he could bother peak Djoker on clay
Wim - Djoker 0-20 Murray - Murray is simply better than him in the matchup and never even lost a set on grass
USO - Djoker 10-10 Murray
 
AO - Djoker 20-0 Murray (I love Andy but he is literally cursed at that tournament)
RG - Djoker 15-5 Murray - am under no illusions here. Murray wins some because of RG 2015 and Rome 11 imo, he could bother peak Djoker on clay
Wim - Djoker 0-20 Murray - Murray is simply better than him in the matchup and never even lost a set on grass
USO - Djoker 10-10 Murray
They only played two matches on grass. Also, if Murray is so superior to Djokovic on grass, then how come he was thrashed by Federer at Wimbledon 2015, but Djokovic beat Federer there? Due to the match-up disadvantages, I agree that Murray would still have the edge over Djokovic, but no way 20-0.
Maybe like 14-6
 

RS

Bionic Poster
AO - Djoker 20-0 Murray (I love Andy but he is literally cursed at that tournament)
RG - Djoker 15-5 Murray - am under no illusions here. Murray wins some because of RG 2015 and Rome 11 imo, he could bother peak Djoker on clay
Wim - Djoker 0-20 Murray - Murray is simply better than him in the matchup and never even lost a set on grass
USO - Djoker 10-10 Murray
The 2 I would actually want to see most in fantasy matches land is 2011 Djokovic vs 2012 Murray in wind USO (yeah really) and 2012 Murray vs 2015 Djokovic on grass.
 

junior74

Talk Tennis Guru
New user,
thrice-welcome-hobbit.gif
 

GoatNo1

Professional
I agree that this era is on par with that of Roger's reign. but there is one very important difference. the Fed era came after the worst era of all time, a complete vacuum, and was really refreshing, and therefore the subjective feeling was that it was a much stronger era than it actually was. this era on the other hand, comes after by far the strongest era in the history of tennis and because of that it is experienced as a big drop in quality and the subjective feeling of its real quality is far lower than it actually is!

top8elo.jpg
 
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Phoenix*

Professional
AO - Djoker 20-0 Murray (I love Andy but he is literally cursed at that tournament)
RG - Djoker 15-5 Murray - am under no illusions here. Murray wins some because of RG 2015 and Rome 11 imo, he could bother peak Djoker on clay
Wim - Djoker 0-20 Murray - Murray is simply better than him in the matchup and never even lost a set on grass
USO - Djoker 10-10 Murray
AO - Djo 20-0 Murray
RG - Djo 20-0 Murray
Wim - Djo 20-0 Murray
USO Djo 20-0 Murray

Fixed.
 

Kralingen

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic has proven his mettle beyond doubt against other members of the Big 3 and in strong eras, and his shining jewel of 2011 will always make him an all time great even if he had achieved nothing beyond it. Any insinuation of him as a “weak era champion” is off base and unfair.

However surely you can understand why some make the accusation of weak competition for some of these titles. The performance of players such as Rublev, Tsitsipas, Ruud, even Medvedev in those individual matches against Djokovic was at times pitiful and hard to defend - and using the rankings of these players is not good enough evidence of their strength.
 

nolefam_2024

G.O.A.T.
Peak Murray vs Peak Djokovic 20 matches at each slam?
AO 18-2 Djokovic
RG 19-1 Djokovic. Murray is just a worse clay player and will always be. That forehand is atrocious.
Wimbledon 12-8 Djokovic. This is purely because Djokovic became better and better on grass. Murray is a stagnant player who beat Djokovic in 2 long drawn out matches.
USOpen is interesting. Not sure, but probably something like 13-7 Djokovic or 12-8 Djokovic. He has lost so many big matches here. Murray is a joke in many of his years as well.
 
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Mazz Retic

Hall of Fame
I don't know yes competition matters and yes some slams were harder and some easier, but a slam is a slam and you can only beat who is in front of you. I think @GoatNo1 is onto something when he says that people feel jaded because of the marginal drop in quality from only a few years ago.
 

TheAssassin

Legend
I think 2021 Wimbledon was the one tournament in which Djokovic coasted without conviction, rarely showing the very top level he is capable of. The Shapovalov match was a great example of when the winner was asking for big trouble throughout but got away without even a scratch. He's done brilliantly to summon his best game in the other winning runs consistently or at the very least in critical moments.
 

itrium84

Hall of Fame
Djokovic has proven his mettle beyond doubt against other members of the Big 3 and in strong eras, and his shining jewel of 2011 will always make him an all time great even if he had achieved nothing beyond it. Any insinuation of him as a “weak era champion” is off base and unfair.

However surely you can understand why some make the accusation of weak competition for some of these titles. The performance of players such as Rublev, Tsitsipas, Ruud, even Medvedev in those individual matches against Djokovic was at times pitiful and hard to defend - and using the rankings of these players is not good enough evidence of their strength.
I agree with almost everything you said here. My only different take is on Medvedev - He's playing ATG level on HC last few years, I see him as formidable opponent at any HC match/tournament.
 

Kralingen

Talk Tennis Guru
I agree with almost everything you said here. My only different take is on Medvedev - He's playing ATG level on HC last few years, I see him as formidable opponent at any HC match/tournament.
With all due respect to his Bo3 level, I have not seen him hit that ATG level aside from USO 2021.

he was about a 2/10 in the AO 21 final, collapsed to historically bad degree vs. Nadal in AO 22, and then got absolutely humiliated by Kyrgios in Korda in the next 2 HC Slams. He had a good 2nd set vs. Djokovic at USO 23 and did indeed show a high level vs. Alcaraz.

Again, the only actually good level on HC was USO 21. He did not come anywhere near ATG level in his actual individual slam performances afterwards, except perhaps the Alcaraz win.
 

nolefam_2024

G.O.A.T.
With all due respect to his Bo3 level, I have not seen him hit that ATG level aside from USO 2021.

he was about a 2/10 in the AO 21 final, collapsed to historically bad degree vs. Nadal in AO 22, and then got absolutely humiliated by Kyrgios in Korda in the next 2 HC Slams. He had a good 2nd set vs. Djokovic at USO 23 and did indeed show a high level vs. Alcaraz.

Again, the only actually good level on HC was USO 21. He did not come anywhere near ATG level in his actual individual slam performances afterwards, except perhaps the Alcaraz win.
He did much better than Hewitt and Murray did vs Federer in USO/AO final.

None of the bozos can ever match big 3 even in hc
 

nolefam_2024

G.O.A.T.
I'd nole wasn't tired , he probably would have made Medvedev slamless.

Federer lost to only 1 bozo Delpo
Nadal never losf to any bozo except when injured
Nole lost to 1 bozo Medvedev and maybe another in Murray.

But apart from these 3/4 losses they never lost
 

Kralingen

Talk Tennis Guru
I'd nole wasn't tired , he probably would have made Medvedev slamless.

Federer lost to only 1 bozo Delpo
Nadal never losf to any bozo except when injured
Nole lost to 1 bozo Medvedev and maybe another in Murray.

But apart from these 3/4 losses they never lost
Glad you agree Medvedev is a bozo
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
I don't know yes competition matters and yes some slams were harder and some easier, but a slam is a slam and you can only beat who is in front of you. I think @GoatNo1 is onto something when he says that people feel jaded because of the marginal drop in quality from only a few years ago.
agree. in any 'era,' if someone makes a major final it's because they're playing exceptional tennis. whether or not they go on to replicate that level multiple times is a separate issue with lot of variables at play.

take fed's 'weak era,' for example...i've watched this sport closely since the late 80's and with the tennis he was playing for that stretch, i'm sorry but i don't give too many players past or present much of a chance against what he was doing. he didn't let anyone from his actual era become an ATG, and it's hard to hold that against him. also, he was beating some very good players...if anyone saw mark p. coming up, it was hard to imagine he wasn't going to win several majors. but he got hurt. even baghdatis...before injuries derailed his career he was doing some incredible things on court.
 

GoatNo1

Professional
There's something I forgot in the previous analysis. I agree that Fed in a similar era was in his peak while nole is not now of course. Which, of course, made it even easier for fed. It should also not be forgotten that at the time of the greatest era of all time, nole was, if not dominant, and that at least the alpha male.
 

1477aces

Hall of Fame
I'd nole wasn't tired , he probably would have made Medvedev slamless.

Federer lost to only 1 bozo Delpo
Nadal never losf to any bozo except when injured
Nole lost to 1 bozo Medvedev and maybe another in Murray.

But apart from these 3/4 losses they never lost
delpo is not a bozo. without his wrist injuries easily would have won 5-10 slams (some at novak's expense). He was an ATG talent.
 

Razer

Legend
However surely you can understand why some make the accusation of weak competition for some of these titles. The performance of players such as Rublev, Tsitsipas, Ruud, even Medvedev in those individual matches against Djokovic was at times pitiful and hard to defend - and using the rankings of these players is not good enough evidence of their strength.

A lion vs an unarmed human is always a 1 sided contest

Doesnt matter if the human is Brock Lesnar or the human is 50 kg malnourished non violent man

In both cases Lion swiftly finishes things off

Djokovic is the lion here, even if Tsitsipas puts up a spirited performance he is still losing in Australia against the GOAT.... So thats that..
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Djokovic has proven his mettle beyond doubt against other members of the Big 3 and in strong eras, and his shining jewel of 2011 will always make him an all time great even if he had achieved nothing beyond it. Any insinuation of him as a “weak era champion” is off base and unfair.

However surely you can understand why some make the accusation of weak competition for some of these titles. The performance of players such as Rublev, Tsitsipas, Ruud, even Medvedev in those individual matches against Djokovic was at times pitiful and hard to defend - and using the rankings of these players is not good enough evidence of their strength.
Unless it's Federer.
 

itrium84

Hall of Fame
With all due respect to his Bo3 level, I have not seen him hit that ATG level aside from USO 2021.

he was about a 2/10 in the AO 21 final, collapsed to historically bad degree vs. Nadal in AO 22, and then got absolutely humiliated by Kyrgios in Korda in the next 2 HC Slams. He had a good 2nd set vs. Djokovic at USO 23 and did indeed show a high level vs. Alcaraz.

Again, the only actually good level on HC was USO 21. He did not come anywhere near ATG level in his actual individual slam performances afterwards, except perhaps the Alcaraz win.
It's just a matter of perception: I see his USO21F and USO23SF matches as anomaly - extremely high HC GOAT play level that cannot get too much praise. You see it as regular ATG day on work.
I believe barely any ATG player, at his maximum, can outperform that Med's level.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
delpo is not a bozo. without his wrist injuries easily would have won 5-10 slams (some at novak's expense). He was an ATG talent.
yeah he was the real deal...i think he won a string of tournaments that summer leading up to the USO, skyrocketed up the rankings. people forget he had a very good backhand as well pre-wrist issues, could move, good hands, great serve...federer is generally pretty stingy with compliments but i remember him saying delpo could be a #1, that is a lot coming from him.

reminds me of what happened to mark p., another big hitter with huge promise derailed by injuries.
 
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