Dissecting Novak's RG losses since 2011 onwards

Which year he was the closest to win RG after 2011


  • Total voters
    55
#1
This thread is for Novaks hardcore fans and even enemies who like to do a lot of analysis on him. If you
do not fit in either of categories , please help yourselves out of it.

Also, RG is one of the Grand Slam which has been most dissapointing for Nole. He doesnt have it in abundance as other Slams. You can argue that even in US Open he has many final losses. But you always felt that Nole was half assed in those defeats unlike RG where he really wanted it but never got it in true numbers.

2011:He was in incredible form. And Federer really played well to defeat him. I still believe late in the 4th Set if
Novak had held his serve while serving for the 4th Set, the match was his for the taking. Small margin. And in the final Novak would have defeated Nadal as he had his number during that time.

2012: He played p**s poor in the first 2 sets against Nadal,was not himself, at the beginning of the third he started
hitting out and was on an incredible run, i think he won around 8 games in one stretch. Nadal was completely rattled. Then
came the rain delay and normal service was resumed in the 4th set where he again was not his usual self.

2013: He played okay in the semis against Nadal. Although he hit a lot of winners but he kept striking UEs after UEs. This was a time frame when he was going through a confidence crisis against Top players. He lost a lot of crucial matches against Murray,Fed,Nadal and even Nishikori. This phase started from Mid 2012 towards Mid 2014. It costed him a lot of Grand Slams.

2014: Ironically,i think it was his destiny in 2014 to win the RG after everything. Nadal lost to a lot of players in the Clay season. Novak confidently won the first set in the finals and everything was looking good but he then collapsed third set onwards. And it was the same old story.

2015:Now, he was really mentally and physically exhausted after playing, Nadal and Murray and then Wawarinka in row. He really had nothing left in the tank. I know people will bring out the myth of Stan Da Man and all but if you look closely, Stan Da Man was allowed to hit his range starting from the second set onwards.And in the first Set Wawarinka was his usual bumbling self. Novak had nothing left in the tank really and he was just looking for Wawarinkas errors. And Stan da Man came into the picture.

Always felt 2014 was the year for him, as 2012 he lost in 4 sets, 2013 he lost in 5 sets and 2014 was meant to be his.
 

BVSlam

Professional
#2
2013 -> 2014 -> 2015 -> 2012 -> 2011

While in 2011 he might have beaten Nadal in the final, the match didn't happen so it's dangerous to proclaim he would just beat Rafa at RG for sure even with everything that happened in 2011. And a gruelling 5-set win against Fed (which was necessary in the end to reach the final) wouldn't have helped him either. But, balls were very fast that year and Nadal struggled with that for a while, so the opportunity would have been fairly good.

2012 he was on that roll in the third set, but he was playing catch-up from the beginning and Rafa was strong on clay that year and for most of the final as well. I'm not convinced Djokovic would have kept up that consistency for another entire fourth and fifth sets even if the rain delay hadn't disrupted his momentum, but who knows.

2015 he did everything he could and won almost everything he played on clay that year. Despite a weak, short-hitting Rafa he still played really well himself and then beat Murray in 5 as well, so he did everything necessary to win a FO. He also won the final's first set. Had he played a little more aggressively the rest of the match, he'd have solid chances. It's a close one between this one and 2012.

2014 I agree with you he had a great chance that year on paper and kind of let it slip in the final. He was outplaying Nadal for quite a while, but then I think he got sick or something? You can definitely see a consistent dip in level since the end of set 2. Still, after set 1 Nadal started playing really well again and his previously questionable form on clay that year was wiped away quickly after he won that second set especially.

2013 was definitely his best chance I feel. That's the closest he had gotten to beating Nadal barring 2015 of course, and instead of having to play Murray and Wawrinka afterwards like in 2015, he would have faced Ferrer who is not particularly successful against Djokovic in slams. I can't see him losing that one, even though it's hypothetical. They didn't play much on clay though and it was tough for Djokovic when they did, so who knows.

Overall I think all five years he had similarly good chances with a few differences here and there. 2011 at the bottom doesn't mean he had no chance, not at all, but betting him to win a hypothetical match against Nadal in a RG final vs. the same thing against Ferrer in 2013 is a big enough difference to me.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
#3
Automatic vote for 2013 because he was basically 5 service points from winning the SF and he'd beat Ferrer in the final pretty easily.

2012 final the conditions/break screwed him up. Match should've been closer.
2014 final - checked out mentally after a close 2nd set.
2015 final - don't really think he could've changed a lot, Wawrinka was too good that day and it's a bad match-up for him.
 
#4
Automatic vote for 2013 because he was basically 5 service points from winning the SF and he'd beat Ferrer in the final pretty easily.

2012 final the conditions/break screwed him up. Match should've been closer.
2014 final - checked out mentally after a close 2nd set.
2015 final - don't really think he could've changed a lot, Wawrinka was too good that day and it's a bad match-up for him.
Yes, the screwed him up. Rafa would've probably won in 3 if it wasn't for the rain. Still, credit to Nole for taking a set and actually pushing Rafa in the 2nd part of the match.
 
#16
2013 imo, he really had Nadal in the ropes there. 2014 may have seemed like a great chance going into the match, but Nadal really was a beast from the second set onwards and Novak couldn’t keep up to pace there, whereas in 2013 he matched Nadal point for point
 
#17
I am a bit confused about 2013. Okay Novak was leading 4-2 but Nadal was coming on like a bull. The Match was like polar opposite of the AO FInal 2012, played 6 months earlier. Where Nadal was leading in the 5th Set but clearly Novak was the better player on miles and it was matter of time if and when he breaks Nadal back.
 

upchuck

Professional
#18
2011 was the one he really let slip away, followed by this year, 2019, which he would've likely won if not for the hurricane. Extraordinary bad luck.
 
#20
Also, why did he played so subdued in the first two sets of 2012 Final? I remember his GrandFather died coming into Monte Carlo, i think. and that Nadal finally won against him in Monte Carlo finals and it was like the Mental Domination over Nadal released.
 
#21
No version of djokovic beats rafa at rg who can put forehands atleast beyond service lines.
2015, He beat Nadal,fair and square, and in straight sets.Period. Nadal was the worst version on Clay and blah blah. Well thats not Novaks mistake. You could argue a host of excuses for Novaks losses against Nadal then, if you really wanna go that way.
 
#22
2011 was the one he really let slip away, followed by this year, 2019, which he would've likely won if not for the hurricane. Extraordinary bad luck.
Agreed about 2011, but to be fair Federer was playing very very well that tournament, so it’s difficult to argue he blew it. 2019, respectfully disagree. He did not look very impressive. Sure he went to the SFs without having lost a set, but that was mainly because he was clinical in the crucial points instead of dominating the match (notably against Zverev and to a smaller extent Caruso who gave solid resistance). The signs were there that he was in for a battle against Thiem, whether in or out of windy conditions, because he lacked the raw power and topspin to displace Thiem from his preferred hitting positions on clay. The second half of the match were played in fair conditions, and it would be unfair to Thiem to say he won because of the “hurricane” conditions. Nonetheless, his mental game was imo the best in 2019. Down a break and then down 2 match points, he focused very well and saved them. Unfortunately Thiem’s offensive game was too good on clay and Djokovic couldn’t quite capitalise on those.
 
#23
I am a bit confused about 2013. Okay Novak was leading 4-2 but Nadal was coming on like a bull. The Match was like polar opposite of the AO FInal 2012, played 6 months earlier. Where Nadal was leading in the 5th Set but clearly Novak was the better player on miles and it was matter of time if and when he breaks Nadal back.
To be honest Nadal is always a fighter to the end. Djokovic got the break, but to get it done he always had to withstand Nadal’s assault on his service games. Just like Nadal in the AO 2012, Djokovic couldn’t achieve that. But the fact was that he put himself in the best position to win the title with that break in the final set, unlike in 2012, 2014 and 2015 where he got only one set in the finals, but unfortunately couldn’t quite make it over the mark
 

uscwang

Hall of Fame
#24
He has missed a lot of opportunities there. With some luck, he could have 3 or more RG by now. But sport is sport. At least he has 1 title, and 1 win over Nadal. I can only hope he makes up for it a bit going forward.
 
#29
I will sound as a broken record, but here it goes for n-th time:

2011 - Fogningi giving up before quarterfinal, messed up Djokovic routine before huge match against Federer. He had unprecedented winning streak until then and 4 days without match were last thing he needed. Semifinal exactly year later should happen year earlier.
2012 - For some reason I can't remember well that year.
2013 - Was the biggest chance he had. On such crucial point (which was already won), 1 point from breaking Nadal and final game in final set while he would serve... I believe that was the main reason French crowd gave him never ending applause in 2015. They knew what was Novak going through and how many chances slipped through his fingers by small margin.
2014 - Djokovic was sick, nobody can deny it, he threw up on court.
2015 - Finally beats Nadal, Murray came in 5 sets and in 2 days, next day was final against Wawrinka who felt Djokovic was tired.

2013, 2011, 2015, 2012, 2014
 
#32
Agreed about 2011, but to be fair Federer was playing very very well that tournament, so it’s difficult to argue he blew it. 2019, respectfully disagree. He did not look very impressive. Sure he went to the SFs without having lost a set, but that was mainly because he was clinical in the crucial points instead of dominating the match (notably against Zverev and to a smaller extent Caruso who gave solid resistance). The signs were there that he was in for a battle against Thiem, whether in or out of windy conditions, because he lacked the raw power and topspin to displace Thiem from his preferred hitting positions on clay. The second half of the match were played in fair conditions, and it would be unfair to Thiem to say he won because of the “hurricane” conditions. Nonetheless, his mental game was imo the best in 2019. Down a break and then down 2 match points, he focused very well and saved them. Unfortunately Thiem’s offensive game was too good on clay and Djokovic couldn’t quite capitalise on those.
Novaks mental game was one of the reasons he lost againnst Thiem.

First he let the conditions get to him while Thiem was focused. Djokovic was not there in the first set at all.

And then he was only mentally strong when he was trailing. Everytime the score was even he was afraid to go for his shots. Thiem was always the one who dictated play when the score was even.

And Djokovic totally choked on that breakpoint he had at 1:1 in the 5th set. Had he converted it he would be in front for the first time in the match.
 

upchuck

Professional
#33
Agreed about 2011, but to be fair Federer was playing very very well that tournament, so it’s difficult to argue he blew it. 2019, respectfully disagree. He did not look very impressive. Sure he went to the SFs without having lost a set, but that was mainly because he was clinical in the crucial points instead of dominating the match (notably against Zverev and to a smaller extent Caruso who gave solid resistance). The signs were there that he was in for a battle against Thiem, whether in or out of windy conditions, because he lacked the raw power and topspin to displace Thiem from his preferred hitting positions on clay. The second half of the match were played in fair conditions, and it would be unfair to Thiem to say he won because of the “hurricane” conditions. Nonetheless, his mental game was imo the best in 2019. Down a break and then down 2 match points, he focused very well and saved them. Unfortunately Thiem’s offensive game was too good on clay and Djokovic couldn’t quite capitalise on those.
Even when the match resumed the second day, the wind was more problematic as usual, though. He noted that he got broken at the end of the match at the difficult end.
 
#34
Easily 2013. He wasn't close to winning RG in 2012 or 2014 because he couldn't have beaten Nadal. He was just able to take a set, Nadal was too strong for him to do better than this (yes, he was sick in 2014 but it doesn't matter, that doesn't change the facts). However he almost beat him in 2013 and there's no way he would have been stopped by Ferrer in the final.

In 2015, Wawrinka played too well but still, his level was nowhere near prime Nadal's on clay. It woud have been much less difficult for Djokovic to turn the tables and win the title against Wawrinka than against Nadal.

2011 shouldn't even be there. Yes, he could have performed well against Nadal and we don't know how that final would have gone. But the reality is he lost in 4 sets against Federer who wasn't even close to Nadal's level on clay. And it’s much more difficult to beat prime Nadal at RG than it is to do it at Madrid or Rome.

So 2013 > 2015 > 2014 > 2012 > 2011.
 
Last edited:

DSH

Hall of Fame
#35
I can't blame Djokovic fans. Just, I can't!
They still do not accept Nadal is CLEARLY the MUCH SUPERIOR on CLAY.

And in the case of the Serbian, it's like what happened to Federer first, to him now, and will continue to happen to Thiem, at least for a while longer, it turns out that there is a tennis player who is not only the best in history on clay, is the best in history also on a certain surface. And there is no remedy.
Denial is the first step to Accepting that the individual has a problem. And Ignorance only creates more inconveniences.

The defeats inflicted by Nadal in Roland Garros over time must be seen not as a punishment, but as part of a professional growth and that is part of life.
:);):p
 
Last edited:
#36
I can't blame Djokovic fans. Just, I can't!
They still do not accept Nadal is CLEARLY the MUCH SUPERIOR on CLAY.

And in the case of the Serbian, it's like what happened to Federer first, to him now, and will continue to happen to Thiem, at least for a while longer, it turns out that there is a tennis player who is not only the best in history on clay, is the best in history also on a certain surface. And there is no remedy.
Denial is the first step to Accepting that the individual has a problem. And Ignorance only creates more inconveniences.

The defeats inflicted by Nadal in Roland Garros over time must be seen not as a punishment, but as part of a professional growth and that is part of life.
:);):p
Who tried to deny that Nadal was vastly superior on clay ?
 

DSH

Hall of Fame
#37
Automatic vote for 2013 because he was basically 5 service points from winning the SF and he'd beat Ferrer in the final pretty easily.

2012 final the conditions/break screwed him up. Match should've been closer.
2014 final - checked out mentally after a close 2nd set.
2015 final - don't really think he could've changed a lot, Wawrinka was too good that day and it's a bad match-up for him.
Wimbledon 2018 was almost the same, only this time it was Nadal, who was defeated.
 

duaneeo

Hall of Fame
#39
2012: He played p**s poor in the first 2 sets against Nadal,was not himself, at the beginning of the third he started
hitting out and was on an incredible run, i think he won around 8 games in one stretch. Nadal was completely rattled. Then
came the rain delay and normal service was resumed in the 4th set where he again was not his usual self.
This outcome would have been interesting if not for the delay. In the 3rd and 4th sets, Rafa hadn't looked that rattled at Roland Garros since losing to Soderling. And since 2011, Nole had established himself as the come-from-behind king, and appeared to be in the process of doing so yet again.

But then came the rain delay, and unfortunately for Djokovic, Nadal is the undisputed rain-delay king.
 
#41
This thread is for Novaks hardcore fans and even enemies who like to do a lot of analysis on him. If you
do not fit in either of categories , please help yourselves out of it.

Also, RG is one of the Grand Slam which has been most dissapointing for Nole. He doesnt have it in abundance as other Slams. You can argue that even in US Open he has many final losses. But you always felt that Nole was half assed in those defeats unlike RG where he really wanted it but never got it in true numbers.

2011:He was in incredible form. And Federer really played well to defeat him. I still believe late in the 4th Set if
Novak had held his serve while serving for the 4th Set, the match was his for the taking. Small margin. And in the final Novak would have defeated Nadal as he had his number during that time.

2012: He played p**s poor in the first 2 sets against Nadal,was not himself, at the beginning of the third he started
hitting out and was on an incredible run, i think he won around 8 games in one stretch. Nadal was completely rattled. Then
came the rain delay and normal service was resumed in the 4th set where he again was not his usual self.

2013: He played okay in the semis against Nadal. Although he hit a lot of winners but he kept striking UEs after UEs. This was a time frame when he was going through a confidence crisis against Top players. He lost a lot of crucial matches against Murray,Fed,Nadal and even Nishikori. This phase started from Mid 2012 towards Mid 2014. It costed him a lot of Grand Slams.

2014: Ironically,i think it was his destiny in 2014 to win the RG after everything. Nadal lost to a lot of players in the Clay season. Novak confidently won the first set in the finals and everything was looking good but he then collapsed third set onwards. And it was the same old story.

2015:Now, he was really mentally and physically exhausted after playing, Nadal and Murray and then Wawarinka in row. He really had nothing left in the tank. I know people will bring out the myth of Stan Da Man and all but if you look closely, Stan Da Man was allowed to hit his range starting from the second set onwards.And in the first Set Wawarinka was his usual bumbling self. Novak had nothing left in the tank really and he was just looking for Wawarinkas errors. And Stan da Man came into the picture.

Always felt 2014 was the year for him, as 2012 he lost in 4 sets, 2013 he lost in 5 sets and 2014 was meant to be his.
There has always been a pattern of Stanimal v Novak in big matches that Stan wins.

You think it's simply Novak was gassed. But the thing about Stan is his power is so massive and relentless that it tires you out more than anything. Because your alertness and anxiety levels increase since he's essentially going for a winner on every shot. Not many guys can swing for the fences several shots in a row and keep the ball in. Stan in Stanimal mode is capable of doing that.

Stan's power doesn't allow you to get comfortable and in a consistent rhythm which is what breaks down guys more than anything. Novak and Murray hitting shots back and forth for simple depth is not the same as Stan throwing haymakers at Novak and Novak trying tk keep the ball in and deep every time. Counterpunchers rely on rhythm and timing to win points against power players. But against Stan, if you're a counterpuncher and get the ball back and deep 3 times, you expect to win those points. But with Stanimal Novak gets the ball back several times and Stan just won't give in. Everytime the ball comes back he swings just as hard if not even harder. This is where power can suffocate players. And we've seen Del Po do it too where the second he has a chance to run around a backhand you start getting anxious because he can hit a winner on low percentage shots by his shoelaces.

And once Stan smells blood he starts attacking even more. That's why in order to beat him you can't let him get into his comfort zone where he throws like 10 power blows to you and gets settled in. You have to move him on the run where his power is contained especially on backhand, and then not allow him to have time to set up.
 
#42
There has always been a pattern of Stanimal v Novak in big matches that Stan wins.

You think it's simply Novak was gassed. But the thing about Stan is his power is so massive and relentless that it tires you out more than anything. Because your alertness and anxiety levels increase since he's essentially going for a winner on every shot. Not many guys can swing for the fences several shots in a row and keep the ball in. Stan in Stanimal mode is capable of doing that.

Stan's power doesn't allow you to get comfortable and in a consistent rhythm which is what breaks down guys more than anything. Novak and Murray hitting shots back and forth for simple depth is not the same as Stan throwing haymakers at Novak and Novak trying tk keep the ball in and deep every time. Counterpunchers rely on rhythm and timing to win points against power players. But against Stan, if you're a counterpuncher and get the ball back and deep 3 times, you expect to win those points. But with Stanimal Novak gets the ball back several times and Stan just won't give in. Everytime the ball comes back he swings just as hard if not even harder. This is where power can suffocate players. And we've seen Del Po do it too where the second he has a chance to run around a backhand you start getting anxious because he can hit a winner on low percentage shots by his shoelaces.

And once Stan smells blood he starts attacking even more. That's why in order to beat him you can't let him get into his comfort zone where he throws like 10 power blows to you and gets settled in. You have to move him on the run where his power is contained especially on backhand, and then not allow him to have time to set up.
Many good points here. I would just add that Stan is one of the rare players who can overpower Novak's backhand and actually win the BH to BH exchanges. This really puts Novak in a tough position as he needs to switch his customary winning strategy.
Also, Wawa hits extremely heavy, pushes Djokovic back and has him standing several meters behind the baseline, a position he is less dangerous from.
 
#43
Novaks mental game was one of the reasons he lost againnst Thiem.

First he let the conditions get to him while Thiem was focused. Djokovic was not there in the first set at all.

And then he was only mentally strong when he was trailing. Everytime the score was even he was afraid to go for his shots. Thiem was always the one who dictated play when the score was even.

And Djokovic totally choked on that breakpoint he had at 1:1 in the 5th set. Had he converted it he would be in front for the first time in the match.
Agreed. I guess I paid too much attention to his toughness when down. Personally though, I thought the dynamics of the matchup on clay were always in Thiem’s favor. He is the one that will dictate the match with powerful groundstrokes and deft slices. Novak’s was really to stay within touching distance and up his game at the crucial moments and hope Thiem gets nervous and spray UEs time to time. He doesn’t really have the power to dictate the match from start to finish on clay. It is then his mental strength on these crucial few points that matter instead of expecting him to always dictate when they are even, and like you rightly pointed out the BP on the 5th set was poorly played. Djokovic had a poor attitude the first set, no question about that.
 
#45
2011: No match rythm as Fog pulled out and Nole waited 4 days to play semis.
2012: Nadal losing and wants the match postponed cause conditions didn't favour him. Robbery by organizers.
2013: unprofessional umpiring by Pascal Maria rob Djokovic from FO 2013 title and won it for Nadal.
2014: Djokovic was sick, threw up on the court
2015: Tired from playing consecutive days
2017: Physical issues and bad form
2018: Bad form
2019: Screwed by weather and scheduling.
 

DSH

Hall of Fame
#47
2011: No match rythm as Fog pulled out and Nole waited 4 days to play semis.
2012: Nadal losing and wants the match postponed cause conditions didn't favour him. Robbery by organizers.
2013: unprofessional umpiring by Pascal Maria rob Djokovic from FO 2013 title and won it for Nadal.
2014: Djokovic was sick, threw up on the court
2015: Tired from playing consecutive days
2017: Physical issues and bad form
2018: Bad form
2019: Screwed by weather and scheduling.

Chico, is that you?
:happydevil:
 
Top