# Analysis of the first set of the FO2020

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
I’m still trying to analyze what happened and am looking just at the first set, for several reasons. It was the most lopsided and it was the first one, setting the stage for the beat down. The score is 6-0, complete domination. But if you look at it game by game it was a much closer set. What the numbers show is that Novak had multiple chances to change the result but failed every time. This is very different from both what Nadal experienced in the AO19 final and what Fed experienced in the FO08 final.

Novak’s opportunities

Start with Novak’s serve. In the first game Novak gets broken from 40:15. In the fifth game he gets broken from 40:0. This is very uncharacteristic. If his serve was simply crappy how did he end with 2 and 3 game points?

Now look at his return game. Novak had 3 bps that he couldn’t convert. But that wasn’t a fluke. It’s not like Nadal was winning his other games to love. In only the final game of the set did Nadal win his serve comfortably, in the other two Novak reached at least 40:40. In the second game Nadal was serving 40:15 and Novak won the next two points, so he was applying pressure.

So in the first set Novak had 3 games he could have won if only one point had gone differently. And he had multiple opportunities. He had 2 game points in the first game, 3 break points in the fourth game and another 3 game points in the fifth game. That’s a total of 8 opportunities to have at least won one game. He missed them all.

Nadal won 32 points in the first set and Novak only 19. But had just 3 points gone differently the score would have been 3-3.

Comparison with AO19 and FO08

Compare these results with the first set of the AO19 final. It’s a very different story. In that set Novak served 5 times and won four of those games to love and in the fifth Nadal only won one point. Novak breaks Nadal once, has BP in another game and reaches 30:30 in a third.

What this means is that in the set that Novak lost 6-0 he had multiple chances to turn that around whereas in the set that Nadal lost 6-3 he never had any chance at all. Novak simply lost every single key point he played in that set. And that’s what I find so strange. It’s not like him at all.

Another comparison is with FO08. Look at the set Federer lost 6-0, same as Novak on Sunday. There is a great difference when you dig into the numbers. In that set Fed never had any chance against Nadal’s serve. Nadal won 2 of his 3 service games in that set to love and in the third service game kept Federer to 30:30. In his own service games Federer only had one game point, compared to Novak having 5 game points across two games. Just as Nadal in the first set of AO19 Federer never came even close to changing the results

Thoughts?

What do you all think? To keep the analysis simple I’m looking at just one set. I can understand a set where Novak is simply steamrolled and has no chances. That’s what happened to Nadal in AO19 and to Fed in FO08 in the sets analyzed above. But Novak wasn’t steamrolled. He had plenty of opportunities for a different result. He just lost them all.

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##### Hall of Fame
Nadal is much more mentally tough. Djoker is fragile after infecting half the tour with the WuFlu and pelting a lineswoman with a ball in the throat.

##### Hall of Fame
1. IF
2. It was 6-0. Why did all the gamepoints fell on Nadal instead on Djoko's side?
Thoughts on what the reason might be?

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
Nadal is much more mentally tough. Djoker is fragile after infecting half the tour with the WuFlu and pelting a lineswoman with a ball in the throat.
I was hoping for something more analytical but thanks for stopping by

#### terribleIVAN

##### Hall of Fame
That's tennis for you.

It's the player who's more clutch that wins.

This is where having a strength - good serve, good forehand, good return, ...- that you can rely on to dictate the point during the crucial moments makes the difference between a victory or a defeat.

Rafa will always have that wide kicked serve to the BH on the AD side that's always there to help him at crunch time.

It's a shot that will re define the records books.

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
That's tennis for you.

It's the player who's more clutch that wins.

This is where having a strength - good serve, good forehand, good return, ...- that you can rely on to dictate the point during the crucial moments makes the difference between a victory or a defeat.

Rafa will always have that wide kicked serve to the BH on the AD side that's always there to help him at crunch time.

It's a shot that will re define the records books.
Don't disagree but Rafa's serve wasn't that good. In the set he won 6-0 against Federer Nadal only lost two points on serve. In the 6-0 against Novak he lost 9 points on serve and had 3 bps.

#### Tennis_Hands

##### Banned
Got the final analysis.

#### terribleIVAN

##### Hall of Fame
It's true that the first set was way closer than the score indicates.

But the second set was a rout with Novak simply giving up through a slew of UE.

Novak showed in the third during 8 games what could have been as he blasted winners like in the good old days, but it was short-lived.

He just can't maintain the same intensity for the whole duration anymore.

#### NoleFam

##### Bionic Poster
I was hoping for something more analytical but thanks for stopping by

Trolls gonna troll.

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
It's true that the first set was way closer than the score indicates.

But the second set was a rout with Novak simply giving up through a slew of UE.

Novak showed in the third during 8 games what could have been as he blasted winners like in the good old days, but it was short-lived.

He just can't maintain the same intensity for the whole duration anymore.
I haven't done the same analysis for the second or third sets, may take a look later on.

But there's no evidence he can't maintain his intensity. Prior to losing to Rafa Novak had gone 41 matches without anyone beating him on a tennis court, and over 20% of those he played were top 10 players. That's a level of concentration and intensity that you only see in ATG players during their best seasons, not at 33. Neither Nadal nor Fed ever did anything like that at the same age. This year he's won 92% of the TB's he's played, a historic high. He won the two 5 set matches he played this year (Novak has one of the best 5th set results of all players, winning 76% of the matches that reach a 5th set compared to 64% for Nadal).

Intensity isn't the problem.

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#### NoleFam

##### Bionic Poster
Yea that was probably one of the closest 6-0 sets I have ever seen. It was just odd how Djokovic couldn't close out a game to save his life. It was certainly a bad day at the office. Just when you think he couldn't play a worse final than 2013 Wimbledon, he proved us wrong.

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
Yea that was probably one of the closest 6-0 sets I have ever seen. It was just odd how Djokovic couldn't close out a game to save his life. It was certainly a bad day at the office. Just when you think he couldn't play a worse final than 2013 Wimbledon, he proved us wrong.
I guess he was just mentally off for some reason. But it sure is weird.

#### NoleFam

##### Bionic Poster
I guess he was just mentally off for some reason. But it sure is weird.

He was expecting the Nadal he saw in Rome I think and the one in the earlier rounds of the tournament. I really don't know what gameplan his team came up with because I didn't see any, and he seemed so unprepared, listless, distant and just erratic. I don't know why he tried to hit through Nadal on clay. He knows he never plays Nadal like that successfully on that surface.

#### mahesh69a

##### Semi-Pro
That set was one of the most competitive bagels ever (it was ~47 minutes???). Both had chances. But, I think the error on Novak's part was done before entering the court - strategy was completely off. Maybe he is surrounded by sycophants who don't want to argue his strategy. Nadal and his team, as usual, did their part (including the expected drama off court - saying its too cold, conditions suit Djokovic more etc.).

I continue to maintain that Nadal (and his team) have the best gamesmanship/strategy I have seen in more than 25 years of watching tennis - nobody comes anywhere close to that level.

#### Druss

##### Hall of Fame
That set was one of the most competitive bagels ever (it was ~47 minutes???). Both had chances. But, I think the error on Novak's part was done before entering the court - strategy was completely off. Maybe he is surrounded by sycophants who don't want to argue his strategy. Nadal and his team, as usual, did their part (including the expected drama off court - saying its too cold, conditions suit Djokovic more etc.).

I continue to maintain that Nadal (and his team) have the best gamesmanship/strategy I have seen in more than 25 years of watching tennis - nobody comes anywhere close to that level.
I think Tomic has lost BO5 matches in that same timefrime, lol.

#### Start da Game

##### Hall of Fame
ultron the reigning world #1 was destroyed like a nobody.......in a nutshell.......

#### Tommy Haas

##### Hall of Fame
Djoko also overdid it with the drop shots. It threw off his rhythm more than Nadal's.

#### Amritia

##### Hall of Fame
Fair analysis. I do think the set was closer than the 6-0 suggests, although the 32-19 points tally still indicates a relatively one sided set.

Tennis scoring system rewards raising your game in the big points. Nadal did that extremely well, and played with aggression when he needed to. I also think Djokovic was slightly shellshocked at Nadal's level, and couldn't mentally adjust.

#### ForehandCross

##### G.O.A.T.
I’m still trying to analyze what happened and am looking just at the first set, for several reasons. It was the most lopsided and it was the first one, setting the stage for the beat down. The score is 6-0, complete domination. But if you look at it game by game it was a much closer set. What the numbers show is that Novak had multiple chances to change the result but failed every time. This is very different from both what Nadal experienced in the AO19 final and what Fed experienced in the FO08 final.

Novak’s opportunities

Start with Novak’s serve. In the first game Novak gets broken from 40:15. In the fifth game he gets broken from 40:0. This is very uncharacteristic. If his serve was simply crappy how did he end with 2 and 3 game points?

Now look at his return game. Novak had 3 bps that he couldn’t convert. But that wasn’t a fluke. It’s not like Nadal was winning his other games to love. In only the final game of the set did Nadal win his serve comfortably, in the other two Novak reached at least 40:40. In the second game Nadal was serving 40:15 and Novak won the next two points, so he was applying pressure.

So in the first set Novak had 3 games he could have won if only one point had gone differently. And he had multiple opportunities. He had 2 game points in the first game, 3 break points in the fourth game and another 3 game points in the fifth game. That’s a total of 8 opportunities to have at least won one game. He missed them all.

Nadal won 32 points in the first set and Novak only 19. But had just 3 points gone differently the score would have been 3-3.

Comparison with AO19 and FO08

Compare these results with the first set of the AO19 final. It’s a very different story. In that set Novak served 5 times and won four of those games to love and in the fifth Nadal only won one point. Novak breaks Nadal once, has BP in another game and reaches 30:30 in a third.

What this means is that in the set that Novak lost 6-0 he had multiple chances to turn that around whereas in the set that Nadal lost 6-3 he never had any chance at all. Novak simply lost every single key point he played in that set. And that’s what I find so strange. It’s not like him at all.

Another comparison is with FO08. Look at the set Federer lost 6-0, same as Novak on Sunday. There is a great difference when you dig into the numbers. In that set Fed never had any chance against Nadal’s serve. Nadal won 2 of his 3 service games in that set to love and in the third service game kept Federer to 30:30. In his own service games Federer only had one game point, compared to Novak having 5 game points across two games. Just as Nadal in the first set of AO19 Federer never came even close to changing the results

Thoughts?

What do you all think? To keep the analysis simple I’m looking at just one set. I can understand a set where Novak is simply steamrolled and has no chances. That’s what happened to Nadal in AO19 and to Fed in FO08 in the sets analyzed above. But Novak wasn’t steamrolled. He had plenty of opportunities for a different result. He just lost them all.

As someone who watched parts of RG 2008 few days ago, I can tell you that even Nadal's beatdowns have stretches where play is actually somewhat equal but the scoreline isn't. Unlike what many think,2020 F had long stretches of equal play but at the most important parts Nadal always was well ahead .

The biggest difference between Djokovic's and Federer is Djokovic kept coming back for more in 2008 SF and last F. Federer gave up.
And even that bravery of Djokovic was swatted away.

The stretch I am talking of is the 7 games of 2nd set in 2008 F and the 3rd set of 2020 F.

Like Djokovic in the 3rd set , Federer after going 2-0 down starts to play with immense ferocity.

He broke back, was hitting winners off of every fourth ball to his FH and was actually commanding rallies. At by 3-3 in the set, he had B ps and honestly it felt like the logical conclusion was that Federer would break. He was redlining. But Nadal closed the window fought his way to a break in next game and closed the set.

Afterwards Federer really gave up.

In 2008 SF, I think Novak played better than 2020 F. When he started to paint the lines in the 3rd in 2008 ,Nadal actually had to go on the back foot.In 2020, he kind of did the same in the 3rd. But uncharacteristically unlike his more mercurial younger self he imploded in the last two games

But Nadal is inevitable. It wouldn't have mattered if Novak had been better on imp points. Djokovic was going down in 3 or at worst 4 the way Nadal was commanding him around.

#### Indigo

##### Professional
In addition to all of this, Novak showed up totally spent after 5 setter in the semis. As he gets older, he won't have the stamina like he had in 2012 AO finals. No way. On the other hand, Nadal came pumped and ready to take the title. Novak was weak. Nadal was strong. Novak lost it before it even started. He lost it in his body initially and then in his head. I was hoping Novak could fight but he made so many errors and hit net so many times. Kind of dissapointing.

#### junior74

##### Talk Tennis Guru
32-19 is a yuge difference in one set of tennis. In the end - does it really matter if it was 6-0 or 6-2?

A solid set from Rafa and a lousy set by Novak. I have seldom seen him as indifferent - and certainly never in a match of this importance.

#### GhostOfNKDM

##### Hall of Fame
Yea that was probably one of the closest 6-0 sets I have ever seen. It was just odd how Djokovic couldn't close out a game to save his life. It was certainly a bad day at the office. Just when you think he couldn't play a worse final than 2013 Wimbledon, he proved us wrong.

Novak wasn't playing half bad but Rafa brought his level down a peg or two with clutch performance on critical points.

I think when we speak of 'mental toughness', we tend to speak of it as an inherent attribute of a player - which is true to a certain extent - but a lot also depends on *confidence* levels which are a combination of so many things - surface, match up with opponent, state of a player's own key shots (serve, ROS, groundstrokes etc)

Rafa was more confident given his comfort on this surface. He came prepared and that showed in those clutch moments. I don't think Novak did much wrong (to begin with at least). When you fail to budge a confident opponent, it does shake you and Novak showed signs of it but I don't think this was a mysterious letdown on his part. As he admitted in the presser, he was blindsided by the level Rafa showed up with given his performances in previous rounds.

#### urban

##### Legend
Somtimes i assume, maybe its only an assumption, that Nadal at RG in the first games of a set deliberately makes the games close, to show even more his control of the match. Its correct, that Djokovic in that bagel set, had several chances to win games, and my feeling was, he had a similar number of winners. Especially in long rallies he was successful. But Nadal won all those short little points, which follow the long rallies. Nadal was always in control, and Djokovic always on the run and under pressure to overhit. If you win a point against Nadal, its fine, but then you have won nothing, and only the next point begins, and you are under enormous pressure again. In many RG matches of Nadal, he has an ultra long very first game (like that against Diego in the semi), but at last he wins it and imo decides the whole match mentally then and there.

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#### MugOpponent

##### Hall of Fame
It had to be crushing for Djokovic to lose the first service game with a 40-15 lead. From that moment on I had a pretty good idea that this was going to be a fairly one-sided match.As mentioned Novak had some openings but simply lost every critical point. It speaks to how well Rafa was during the big moments.

#### AnOctorokForDinner

##### G.O.A.T.
Lol you're so hurtbutt. Noel's muggery was finally exposed when he met someone who could punish his messy level at any point, rather than the flurry of sad mugs and chokers he's been vulturing the win streak over.

#### zagor

##### Bionic Poster
I haven't done the same analysis for the second or third sets, may take a look later on.

But there's no evidence he can't maintain his intensity. Prior to losing to Rafa Novak had gone 41 matches without anyone beating him on a tennis court, and over 20% of those he played were top 10 players. That's a level of concentration and intensity that you only see in ATG players during their best seasons, not at 33. Neither Nadal nor Fed ever did anything like that at the same age. This year he's won 92% of the TB's he's played, a historic high. He won the two 5 set matches he played this year (Novak has one of the best 5th set results of all players, winning 76% of the matches that reach a 5th set compared to 64% for Nadal).

Intensity isn't the problem.

Some of those matches were close because he went on mental walkabouts during them though, he just was able to right the ship eventually. One of the best examples is AO final where his 1st serve went down the drain for 2 sets and Thiem took advantage. Then there's the recent Tsitsipas match where he was on the brink of a straight set win but let it go to 5.

Against Nadal I think the main problem was that he seemed to have no solid game plan. Mental stability in large part comes down to fully believing in your tactics which translates to better executing them on court. It's a stark contrast to how methodical he was in approaching his matches with Fedal in 2011 for example. Hitting 3 dropshots in a row in the opening game was a red light.

#### mike danny

##### Bionic Poster
He was expecting the Nadal he saw in Rome I think and the one in the earlier rounds of the tournament. I really don't know what gameplan his team came up with because I didn't see any, and he seemed so unprepared, listless, distant and just erratic. I don't know why he tried to hit through Nadal on clay. He knows he never plays Nadal like that successfully on that surface.
Why would he even listen to coaches at this point? He played Nadal at RG more than anyone else so I think he should have just trusted his own experience.

Analysis?

#### mike danny

##### Bionic Poster
Djokodal is simply no longer a rivalry anymore the way it used to be. Several people laughed and ridiculed me when I created a thread concerning this matter, but as we have seen yet again, I wasn't wrong. Yet another beatdown on Sunday.

Djokovic dominates on HC and Nadal dominates on clay. Most of the matches in the last 6 years have been beatdowns or comfortable wins one way or the other. The Djokodal rivalry is simply not enough to support tennis anymore like it used to. The lack of new faces is telling.

#### Subway Tennis

##### Legend
Novak wasn't playing half bad but Rafa brought his level down a peg or two with clutch performance on critical points.

I think when we speak of 'mental toughness', we tend to speak of it as an inherent attribute of a player - which is true to a certain extent - but a lot also depends on *confidence* levels which are a combination of so many things - surface, match up with opponent, state of a player's own key shots (serve, ROS, groundstrokes etc)

Rafa was more confident given his comfort on this surface. He came prepared and that showed in those clutch moments. I don't think Novak did much wrong (to begin with at least). When you fail to budge a confident opponent, it does shake you and Novak showed signs of it but I don't think this was a mysterious letdown on his part. As he admitted in the presser, he was blindsided by the level Rafa showed up with given his performances in previous rounds.
Somtimes i assume, maybe its only an assumption, that Nadal at RG in the first games of a set deliberately makes the games close, to show even more his control of the match. Its correct, that Djokovic in that bagel set, had several chances to win games, and my feeling was, he had a similar number of winners. Especially in long rallies he was successful. But Nadal won all those short little points, which follow the long rallies. Nadal was always in control, and Djokovic always on the run and under pressure to overhit. If you win a point against Nadal, its fine, but then you have won nothing, and only the next point begins, and you are under enormous pressure again. In many RG matches of Nadal, he has an ultra long very first game (like that against Diego in the semi), but at last he wins it and imo decides the whole match mentally then and there.

agree

#### aldeayeah

##### G.O.A.T.

It certainly could have been closer than 6-0, but a lot of things needed to change for Djokovic to win that set.

However, what's really puzzling is his absolute implosion in the second set. Only explanation I can fathom is that the scoreline got to his head. It almost seems like Nole expected Rafa to bend over and offer his famous ass for the taking. Very uncharacteristic.

#### mike danny

##### Bionic Poster

It certainly could have been closer than 6-0, but a lot of things needed to change for Djokovic to win that set.

However, what's really puzzling is his absolute implosion in the second set. Only explanation I can fathom is that the scoreline got to his head. It almost seems like Nole expected Rafa to bend over and offer his famous ass for the taking. Very uncharacteristic.
LOL, Nole's aura certainly does not exist at RG.

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
Lol you're so hurtbutt. Noel's muggery was finally exposed when he met someone who could punish his messy level at any point, rather than the flurry of sad mugs and chokers he's been vulturing the win streak over.
Thanks for contributing what you are capable of to this debate

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
Djokodal is simply no longer a rivalry anymore the way it used to be. Several people laughed and ridiculed me when I created a thread concerning this matter, but as we have seen yet again, I wasn't wrong. Yet another beatdown on Sunday.

Djokovic dominates on HC and Nadal dominates on clay. Most of the matches in the last 6 years have been beatdowns or comfortable wins one way or the other. The Djokodal rivalry is simply not enough to support tennis anymore like it used to. The lack of new faces is telling.
This is a good point. In the last 15 or so matches between the two I think only two (WB18 and Rome19 were not straight set wins).

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
LOL, Nole's aura certainly does not exist at RG.
Certainly not comparable to Nadal. But if Nadal had missed the FO or lost early Novak would have been the favorite, and this at 33 on his least successful slam. Nadal, for example, does not have the equivalent impact in AO at this point.

#### NoleFam

##### Bionic Poster
Why would he even listen to coaches at this point? He played Nadal at RG more than anyone else so I think he should have just trusted his own experience.

Exactly.

#### AnOctorokForDinner

##### G.O.A.T.
Thanks for contributing what you are capable of to this debate

There's no debate with you since you're unwilling to acknowledge the obvious weaklevelness of Djokovic recent wins.

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
Some of those matches were close because he went on mental walkabouts during them though, he just was able to right the ship eventually. One of the best examples is AO final where his 1st serve went down the drain for 2 sets and Thiem took advantage. Then there's the recent Tsitsipas match where he was on the brink of a straight set win but let it go to 5.

Against Nadal I think the main problem was that he seemed to have no solid game plan. Mental stability in large part comes down to fully believing in your tactics which translates to better executing them on court. It's a stark contrast to how methodical he was in approaching his matches with Fedal in 2011 for example. Hitting 3 dropshots in a row in the opening game was a red light.
I can agree with all of this. But you don't need a "gameplan" to just win one of 8 points. It may have been just bad luck, and Nadal simply raising the level at the key moments. It's just strange (for me) and very different from other beatdowns.

#### AnOctorokForDinner

##### G.O.A.T.

It certainly could have been closer than 6-0, but a lot of things needed to change for Djokovic to win that set.

However, what's really puzzling is his absolute implosion in the second set. Only explanation I can fathom is that the scoreline got to his head. It almost seems like Nole expected Rafa to bend over and offer his famous ass for the taking. Very uncharacteristic.

Probably got used to everyone faltering whenever they have any chance against His BOATness and forgot to give RGdal his due mentally.

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
There's no debate with you since you're unwilling to acknowledge the obvious weaklevelness of Djokovic recent wins.
This is about one single set in one match.

I'm not sure what weaknesses you have in mind. Close matches? Sure. Could have lost several matches he eventually won? Again, sure, but if anything that would point to mental strength. Novak went unbeaten on a tennis court for 41 matches. At age 33.

#### RS

##### Bionic Poster
Probably got used to everyone faltering whenever they have any chance against His BOATness and forgot to give RGdal his due mentally.

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#### NoleFam

##### Bionic Poster
Novak wasn't playing half bad but Rafa brought his level down a peg or two with clutch performance on critical points.

I think when we speak of 'mental toughness', we tend to speak of it as an inherent attribute of a player - which is true to a certain extent - but a lot also depends on *confidence* levels which are a combination of so many things - surface, match up with opponent, state of a player's own key shots (serve, ROS, groundstrokes etc)

Rafa was more confident given his comfort on this surface. He came prepared and that showed in those clutch moments. I don't think Novak did much wrong (to begin with at least). When you fail to budge a confident opponent, it does shake you and Novak showed signs of it but I don't think this was a mysterious letdown on his part. As he admitted in the presser, he was blindsided by the level Rafa showed up with given his performances in previous rounds.

He made entirely too many errors. Against Nadal, especially a version that is not missing anything, is sudden death. It started with the serve and the fact that he couldn't serve decently for the first set and a half, serving in the high 30 percentile and low 40s which just isn't going to cut it. If you're starting over half the points on a second serve then you are already starting from a neutral position where Nadal can easily gain the advantage and push you around. If he had even served decent, the 1st set would be 6-2 at worst.

Confidence does play a part and no one is more confident at RG than Nadal because he knows he's better than everyone else.

Rafa played amazing and wouldn't have been stopped even if Djokovic played a lot better but I simply don't agree about Djokovic not doing much wrong. He did a lot wrong.

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#### AnOctorokForDinner

##### G.O.A.T.
This is about one single set in one match.

I'm not sure what weaknesses you have in mind. Close matches? Sure. Could have lost several matches he eventually won? Again, sure, but if anything that would point to mental strength. Novak went unbeaten on a tennis court for 41 matches. At age 33.

Naturally you'd like to reason simplistically when it suits you. Going from par to above par under pressure is clutch. Going from subpar to par, not really; it was weak to play subpar in the first place. That's the story of virtually every time Djokovic has been pushed this year: his subpar play allows unspectacular opponents to capitalise, then he wakes up in time, plays par and they can't live with that. This of course reflects poorly both on Djokovic, playing subpar for considerable stretches, and the rest of the field, unable to resist as soon as he plays merely decently.

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
Somtimes i assume, maybe its only an assumption, that Nadal at RG in the first games of a set deliberately makes the games close, to show even more his control of the match. Its correct, that Djokovic in that bagel set, had several chances to win games, and my feeling was, he had a similar number of winners. Especially in long rallies he was successful. But Nadal won all those short little points, which follow the long rallies. Nadal was always in control, and Djokovic always on the run and under pressure to overhit. If you win a point against Nadal, its fine, but then you have won nothing, and only the next point begins, and you are under enormous pressure again. In many RG matches of Nadal, he has an ultra long very first game (like that against Diego in the semi), but at last he wins it and imo decides the whole match mentally then and there.
I don't think that's true in the first set.

Game 1: Novak serves and reaches 40-15 but is broken. It's Nadal who came back from the "losing" position.
Game 2: Nadal serves and game reaches 40 all before Nadal wins the game. Novak clearly putting pressure on Nadal's game
Game 3: Here Nadal breaks Novak placing pressure from the beginning.
Game 4: Nadal serves and has to deal with 3 BPs. So it's Nadal who is under pressure.
Game 5: Novak serves and reaches 40-0. Clearly ahead yet Nadal breaks him.
Game 6: Nadal's only easy hold.

So of the 6 games in that set Novak was "ahead" or the one placing the pressure in four of them. Yet he couldn't win a single one. That's what I find puzzling.

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#### AnOctorokForDinner

##### G.O.A.T.

Claydal 2gud, always been like that. Fedr got headbutted a lot by an even better claydal so of course I have an interest in upholding the veritable legend of clay beasting.

RS

#### RS

##### Bionic Poster
I don't think that's true in the first set.

Game 1: Novak serves and reaches 40-15 but is broken. It's Nadal who came back from the "losing" position.
Game 2: Nadal serves and game reaches 40 all before Nadal wins the game. Novak clearly putting pressure on Nadal's game
Game 3: Here Nadal breaks Novak placing pressure from the beginning.
Game 4: Nadal serves and has to deal with 3 BPs. So it's Nadal who is under pressure.
Game 5: Novak serves and reaches 40-0. Clearly ahead yet Nadal breaks him.
Game 6: Nadal's only easy hold.

So of the 6 games in that set Novak was "ahead" or the one placing the pressure in five of them. Yet he couldn't win a single one. That's what I find puzzling.
Many pointed out it was a very close for a 6-0 set.

#### StrongRule

##### G.O.A.T.
He made entirely too many errors. Against Nadal, especially a version that is not missing anything, is sudden death. It started with the serve and the fact that he couldn't serve decently for the first set and a half, serving in the high 30 percentile and low 40s which just isn't going to cut it. If you're starting over half the points on a second serve then you are alreasy starting from a neutral position wherw Nadal can easily gajn the advantage and push you around. If he had even served decent. the 1st set would be 6-2 at worst.

Confidence does play a part and no one is more confident at RG than Nadal because he knows he's better than everyone else.

Rafa played amazing and wouldn't have been stopped even if Djokovic played a lot better but I simply don't agree about Djokovic not doing much wrong. He did a lot wrong.
In the real world he probably did. But in a world where Tsitsipas played "incredible tennis" in the 3 sets he lost... I think in this world we can say Djokovic was GOATing.

#### GabeT

##### G.O.A.T.
Naturally you'd like to reason simplistically when it suits you. Going from par to above par under pressure is clutch. Going from subpar to par, not really; it was weak to play subpar in the first place. That's the story of virtually every time Djokovic has been pushed this year: his subpar play allows unspectacular opponents to capitalise, then he wakes up in time, plays par and they can't live with that. This of course reflects poorly both on Djokovic, playing subpar for considerable stretches, and the rest of the field, unable to resist as soon as he plays merely decently.
I was trying to have at least one thread that was analytical in nature. But you seem bent on just trolling (don't fully blame you, I've done the same many times).

Novak has played 41 straight matches where no other player could beat him on the tennis court. There is simply no way on the world that any tennis expert can consider that weak. Did he have close matches? Of course. Matches where he lost the way where he could have maybe won more easily? Absolutely. But that happens to every player. The difference is that for most other players is that when that happens over a 41 match stretch they end up losing. Not to Novak this year.

#### StrongRule

##### G.O.A.T.
I think it's very strange that in their first 53 meetings they didn't have any bagels, and now Nadal bageled Djokovic in 2 of their last 3 matches.

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