Djokovic 2nd half of 2016 vs. Djokovic 2nd half of 2021

Which was a more difficult version of Djokovic to beat?


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Kralingen

Bionic Poster
Trying to establish an objective frame of refence here. I remember being wholly unimpressed with Novak's 2016 form post RG, but it was still a prime year for him and he still did beat everyone but Wawrinka and Murray.

Comparing that to 2021 Djokovic, who did win Wimbledon - it's a simple question: who was better?

June 2016-December 2016 Djokovic, post NCYGS, who lost in the 3rd round to Sam Querrey at Wimby, lost Olympics to DelPo, lost the US Open final to Wawrinka and YEC/ YE#1 to Sir Andrew Murray

OR June 2021-December 2021 Djokovic, post AO+FO double, who won Wimbledon vs. Berrettini, lost to Zverev/PCB in Tokyo, lost US Open final to Medvedev, and lost to Zverev at the YEC.

Who was playing at a higher level during this period? Was it more difficult to beat late 2016 Djokovic, or late 2021 Djokovic?
 
D

Deleted member 748597

Guest
The 2nd half of 2016 was decent until the Brits forced Djokovic to tank the YE #1.
 
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Kralingen

Bionic Poster
Djokovic 2016 post RG: 22-6 (L to Querrey, L at Olympics, Win Canadian Open w/o dropping set, L to Wawrinka US Open final, L to RBA in Shanghai SF, L to Cilic in Bercy QF, L to Murray in YEC Final)

Djokovic 2021 post RG: 25-3 (W Wimby, L to Zed/PCB at Olympics, L in US Open final, W Paris-Bercy, L YEC semis to Zverev) + 4 more davis cup victories
 
D

Deleted member 748597

Guest
It was funny seeing Murray celebrate winning points in the YEC 2016 final not realizing that the match was a tank job.

I guess the Brits didn't trust Murray's acting so they never revealed the plan to him.
 

Kralingen

Bionic Poster
Gotta be honest it's difficult to pick 2016 here. He was obviously really good in Canada but noticeably subpar elsewhere. Those losses to RBA and Cilic loom large.
 
Trying to establish an objective frame of refence here. I remember being wholly unimpressed with Novak's 2016 form post RG, but it was still a prime year for him and he still did beat everyone but Wawrinka and Murray.

Comparing that to 2021 Djokovic, who did win Wimbledon - it's a simple question: who was better?

June 2016-December 2016 Djokovic, post NCYGS, who lost in the 3rd round to Sam Querrey at Wimby, lost Olympics to DelPo, lost the US Open final to Wawrinka and YEC/ YE#1 to Sir Andrew Murray

OR June 2021-December 2021 Djokovic, post AO+FO double, who won Wimbledon vs. Berrettini, lost to Zverev/PCB in Tokyo, lost US Open final to Medvedev, and lost to Zverev at the YEC.

Who was playing at a higher level during this period? Was it more difficult to beat late 2016 Djokovic, or late 2021 Djokovic?

Don't want to get into a "level of play" debate but in terms of results, the clear decisive factor is whether you count "late" as meaning everything after RG or are willing to extend to post-Wimbledon. If you include Wimbledon, then 2021 has the obvious edge. If not, it's pretty close and 2016 might well edge it.
 

lucky13

Semi-Pro
let see:

2nd half of 2016: 1 master, 1 slam F and YE#2
2nd half of 2021: 1 slam (20=record) + F (31=record), 1 master (37>record) and YE#1 (7>record)
 
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Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
Wimbledon: 2021 pretty clearly
Canada: 2016 by default because 2021 pulled out
Olympics: 2021 but a little closer
US Open: 2016 slightly better but the difference is almost negligible: neither were good
Shanghai: 2016 by default because 2021 wasn't held
Paris: 2021
ATP Finals: 2016

2016 technically has more going its way (by virtue of 2021 playing a super truncated season) but 2021 has the biggie: Wimbledon. And it's not by a fine margin either.

Gonna go with 2021 here.
 

Tennisfan339

Professional
Wimbledon: 2021 pretty clearly
Canada: 2016 by default because 2021 pulled out
Olympics: 2021 but a little closer
US Open: 2016 slightly better but the difference is almost negligible: neither were good
Shanghai: 2016 by default because 2021 wasn't held
Paris: 2021
ATP Finals: 2016

2016 technically has more going its way (by virtue of 2021 playing a super truncated season) but 2021 has the biggie: Wimbledon. And it's not by a fine margin either.

Gonna go with 2021 here.

Djokovic at USO 2016 was quite dismal to me. He benefitted from not 1, not 2 but 3 withdrawals/walkovers, including one in QF (Tsonga). He played Janowicz in R1, the Polish wasn't winning 1 match at the time. The SF against Monfils was one of the worst tennis matches I've ever seen in the final stages of a GS.
His only convincing match was Edmund.
Wawrinka was good in final, but nothing like AO 2014 or RG 2015. Clearly beatable for a good Djokovic.

He saved match points against Mischa Zverev in Shanghaï and lost in straight sets to RBA. He just didn't have any defeat like this in the 2nd half of 2021 IMO. Only the world number 2 and 3 (on their best surface) beat him. If it weren't for Zverev he would have won OG, WTF and been a lot fresher in the USO final.
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic at USO 2016 was quite dismal to me. He benefitted from not 1, not 2 but 3 withdrawals/walkovers, including one in QF (Tsonga). He played Janowicz in R1, the Polish wasn't winning 1 match at the time. The SF against Monfils was one of the worst tennis matches I've ever seen in the final stages of a GS.
His only convincing match was Edmund.
Wawrinka was good in final, but nothing like AO 2014 or RG 2015. Clearly beatable for a good Djokovic.

He saved match points against Mischa Zverev in Shanghaï and lost in straight sets to RBA. He just didn't have any defeat like this in the 2nd half of 2021 IMO. Only the world number 2 and 3 (on their best surface) beat him. If it weren't for Zverev he would have won OG, WTF and been a lot fresher in the USO final.
Novak was also pretty dismal in this latest US Open. Dropped too many sets he shouldn't have dropped and he played a bad final that somehow managed to be even worse than 2016. Last few sets of the QF and a good chunk of the SF were good but I think the final performance just about negates that.

Both were fairly poor tournaments from Djokovic and ones in which he probably wouldn't have even reached the final in most editions of the US Open.

2021 was still better and that's mainly due to Wimbledon, but it's honestly closer than it looks at first partly because Novak played more tournaments in 2016. Competition was about the same in both years, give or take.
 

martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
The version that didn't lose #1 to Andy Murray.

Is it that far fetched 2016 Murray, which is probably all time peak Murray, could take #1 over 2021 Djokovic though? I mean despite that Djokovic won 3 slams, I think it is pretty clear he is LONG from his peak/prime at this point. Which is why people laugh at the field today, that a 34 year old Djokovic has been so dominant until recently.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Is it that far fetched 2016 Murray, which is probably all time peak Murray, could take #1 over 2021 Djokovic though? I mean despite that Djokovic won 3 slams, I think it is pretty clear he is LONG from his peak/prime at this point. Which is why people laugh at the field today, that a 34 year old Djokovic has been so dominant until recently.

But Medvedev is the BOAT HC baseliner.
 
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abmk

Bionic Poster
if we're including Wimbledon, 21 edges this out.
If we're not, then 16 edges this out.
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
Actually, this does raise an interesting discussion. Could 2016 Murray actually take the YE#1 from 2021 Djokovic? I mean, Med did come somewhat close a couple of times and Murray was better pretty much everywhere except that gong match.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Actually, this does raise an interesting discussion. Could 2016 Murray actually take the YE#1 from 2021 Djokovic? I mean, Med did come somewhat close a couple of times and Murray was better pretty much everywhere except that gong match.

2016 Murray might take a couple of slams away from Djokovic so yes there's a very good chance he takes #1...
 

The Big Foe fan

Hall of Fame
Trying to establish an objective frame of refence here. I remember being wholly unimpressed with Novak's 2016 form post RG, but it was still a prime year for him and he still did beat everyone but Wawrinka and Murray.

Comparing that to 2021 Djokovic, who did win Wimbledon - it's a simple question: who was better?

June 2016-December 2016 Djokovic, post NCYGS, who lost in the 3rd round to Sam Querrey at Wimby, lost Olympics to DelPo, lost the US Open final to Wawrinka and YEC/ YE#1 to Sir Andrew Murray

OR June 2021-December 2021 Djokovic, post AO+FO double, who won Wimbledon vs. Berrettini, lost to Zverev/PCB in Tokyo, lost US Open final to Medvedev, and lost to Zverev at the YEC.

Who was playing at a higher level during this period? Was it more difficult to beat late 2016 Djokovic, or late 2021 Djokovic?
Djoko 2016 2nd half I'd say
 

The Big Foe fan

Hall of Fame
The 2nd half of 2016 was decent until the Brits forced Djokovic to tank the YE #1.
I don't understand how nole managed to lose that match.
He had destroyed everybody up until that match whereas mury was struggling to barely win against nishi and raonic of all people.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
It was funny seeing Murray celebrate winning points in the YEC 2016 final not realizing that the match was a tank job.

I guess the Brits didn't trust Murray's acting so they never revealed the plan to him.
tumblr_nh37ykvyr51rxyuiqo1_500.gifv
 

The Guru

Legend
Novak was also pretty dismal in this latest US Open. Dropped too many sets he shouldn't have dropped and he played a bad final that somehow managed to be even worse than 2016. Last few sets of the QF and a good chunk of the SF were good but I think the final performance just about negates that.

Both were fairly poor tournaments from Djokovic and ones in which he probably wouldn't have even reached the final in most editions of the US Open.

2021 was still better and that's mainly due to Wimbledon, but it's honestly closer than it looks at first partly because Novak played more tournaments in 2016. Competition was about the same in both years, give or take.
Djokovic was better than is remembered in the 2016 final. He won a higher percentage of return points than Stan by a decent margin and Stan wasn't bad. Honestly, he really should have won that much. It was more mediocre than dismal. 2021 however was truly terrible. Pre-final he was better though I agree.
 

Kralingen

Bionic Poster
Agassi USO 2005 final vs Djokovic USO 16 final?
Amun-RAgassi vs. Imhotep? In a battle for the energy pyramids?

Sounds like an entry from Egyptian mythology.

Djokovic in 5 probably but Agassi could def take it in 4.
 
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NatF

Bionic Poster
Amun-RAgassi vs. Imhotep? In a battle for the energy pyramids?

Sounds like an entry from Egyptian mythology.

Djokovic in 5 probably but Agassi could def take it in 4.

Djokovic was worse than Agassi in each of the first three sets lol. Probably loses in straights 8-B
 

AnOctorokForDinner

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic was better than is remembered in the 2016 final. He won a higher percentage of return points than Stan by a decent margin and Stan wasn't bad. Honestly, he really should have won that much. It was more mediocre than dismal. 2021 however was truly terrible. Pre-final he was better though I agree.

Even pre-final the difference seems overstated. Let's see:

def Janowicz 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1
def Vesely w/o
def Youzhny 4-2 ret.
def Edmund 6-2 6-1 6-4
def Tsonga 6-3 6-2 ret.
def Monfils 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-2
lost to Wawrinka 6-7(1) 6-4 7-5 6-3 (good looks at the middle two sets, only in the fourth was he really weak)

def Rune 6-1 6-7(5) 6-2 6-1
def Griekspoor 6-2 6-3 6-2
def Nishikori 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3 6-2
def Brooksby 1-6 6-3 6-2 6-2
def Berrettini 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-3
def Zverev 4-6 6-2 6-4 4-6 6-2
lost to Medvedev 6-4 6-4 6-4 (only chances in set 2)

2016 was truly a gimme draw till F but Joe looked alright before SF when he could play, despite the serving issues. Better than 2021 considering the Brooksby breadstick. I do think SF was better in 2021 despite more struggling, given what a clown show the '16 semi was. Even with much choking, Zverev was a good deal better than Mugfilth who clowned non-stop. The final was obviously significantly better in 2016 to counter this though. Overall 2016 gets the nod: better pre-SF, worse in SF but clearly better in F.
 

Kralingen

Bionic Poster
Agassi of USO 05 tends to lose most hypothetical matches these days.
It's bc he played 2 straight 5 set matches in the previous matches and people get really nervous trusting old players vs. someone like Djokovic who in '16 was pretty fresh.

That said Djoko's 4th set wasn't anything to write home about, what with his 'blister' on his foot.. but idk. Mummified Agassi wrote in his book that he had nothing left in the tank for the final set.

When you have two guys who go down meekly in their final set it's difficult to do a hypothetical. Or you could just have @NatF confidence lol.

Other thing is the two guys never played each other at all. I really, really wish we got an Agassi-Djokovic match. Those two would produce ridiculous baselining.
 

The Guru

Legend
You had the same impact in the W 09 vs 12 and 15 debate as well :D
Honestly, I don't think I've changed that many minds on that one. I think people before me also knew 12 was better than 09 because it's like overwhelmingly obvious. Federer was stupidly good in the SF/F and his own fans down play it. It's so weird.
 

martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
Djokovic was worse than Agassi in each of the first three sets lol. Probably loses in straights 8-B

It pretty much comes down to whether Djokovic can somehow grind out 1 of the 3 sets or not, which is still quite possible simply since Djokovic is mentally tougher than Agassi. If he gets to a 4th he probably already has it in the bag as Agassi could barely move at that point it seemed. So either 3 sets for Agassi or 5 for Djokovic.
 

RS

Bionic Poster
Honestly, I don't think I've changed that many minds on that one.[/B] I think people before me also knew 12 was better than 09 because it's like overwhelmingly obvious. Federer was stupidly good in the SF/F and his own fans down play it. It's so weird.
On thread discussions I have seen bar a few of hardcore fans who you kept running into quite a few people agree with you on 12/09 BTW :D

Don’t forget some people also agree with your 15 Fed > 09 Fed on grass as well :D
 

The Guru

Legend
Even pre-final the difference seems overstated. Let's see:

def Janowicz 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1
def Vesely w/o
def Youzhny 4-2 ret.
def Edmund 6-2 6-1 6-4
def Tsonga 6-3 6-2 ret.
def Monfils 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-2
lost to Wawrinka 6-7(1) 6-4 7-5 6-3 (good looks at the middle two sets, only in the fourth was he really weak)

def Rune 6-1 6-7(5) 6-2 6-1
def Griekspoor 6-2 6-3 6-2
def Nishikori 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3 6-2
def Brooksby 1-6 6-3 6-2 6-2
def Berrettini 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-3
def Zverev 4-6 6-2 6-4 4-6 6-2
lost to Medvedev 6-4 6-4 6-4 (only chances in set 2)

2016 was truly a gimme draw till F but Joe looked alright before SF when he could play, despite the serving issues. Better than 2021 considering the Brooksby breadstick. I do think SF was better in 2021 despite more struggling, given what a clown show the '16 semi was. Even with much choking, Zverev was a good deal better than Mugfilth who clowned non-stop. The final was obviously significantly better in 2016 to counter this though. Overall 2016 gets the nod: better pre-SF, worse in SF but clearly better in F.
Yeah 2016 is such a gimme draw it's almost impossible to garner anything about his level from it. The final is really misremembered as Wawrinka routining a mentally defeated Djokovic. Djokovic had more BPs in every set including the 4th where he did seem somewhat defeated. If the Canadian Open is any evidence Djokovic still had it in him to bring a good level even in his injured state. I could be wrong but something tells me that if Evans converts his MP we're talking about Djokovic winning the US Open without much fuss at all. He really should've beaten Wawrinka too if he was his normal mental fortress self.
 
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