Djokovic is in a slow decline, but his fans don't acknowledge it yet

socallefty

Legend
Winning on the ATP Tour is like running away from a grizzly bear that is charging your group. You don’t have to run faster than the bear, just faster than the people you are running with. Djokovic is not anywhere close to his prime or peak levels as you would expect at his age, but he is the best player in the world by far on grass, probably top two on clay, possibly best player on slow hard courts and top 3 on fast hard courts. That’s why he has been the top ranked player throughout the last two years in spite of playing very few tournaments outside of Slams and has won 8 of the last 13 Slams.

Can you blame his fans for thinking he is still playing at the BOAT levels he used to play at? But, when he was at his peak, he was overwhelmingly the best player on grass and almost all hard courts. He was maybe fractionally behind Federer on the fastest hard courts and slightly behind Nadal on clay, but still capable of beating them if they were not at their best. He does not have that kind of baseline dominance anymore as he is hitting with a lot less topspin especially on his BH maybe because he doesn‘t get to the ball as early as he used to and has less time to prep. It is hard to imagine him not making the semifinals of all four Slams and possibly winning two of them each year in 2022 and 2023 as long as he stays healthy.
 
Winning on the ATP Tour is like running away from a grizzly bear that is charging your group. You don’t have to run faster than the bear, just faster than the people you are running with. Djokovic is not anywhere close to his prime or peak levels as you would expect at his age, but he is the best player in the world by far on grass, probably top two on clay, possibly best player on slow hard courts and top 3 on fast hard courts. That’s why he has been the top ranked player throughout the last two years in spite of playing very few tournaments outside of Slams and has won 8 of the last 13 Slams.
Never expected you to outright admit this, ha. Nice job...

Can you blame his fans for thinking he is still playing at the BOAT levels he used to play at? But, when he was at his peak, he was overwhelmingly the best player on grass and almost all hard courts. He was maybe fractionally behind Federer on the fastest hard courts and slightly behind Nadal on clay, but still capable of beating them if they were not at their best. He does not have that kind of baseline dominance anymore as he is hitting with a lot less topspin especially on his BH maybe because he doesn‘t get to the ball as early as he used to and has less time to prep. It is hard to imagine him not making the semifinals of all four Slams and possibly winning two of them each year in 2022 and 2023 as long as he stays healthy.
...and then you ruin it by ruminating on some mythical levels, particularly this 'slightly behind Nadal on clay' remark, oh dear.
 
To be fair in 2011-14 he was slightly behind Nadal on bo3 clay but obviously not as close at RG
2011 is the year... but no Djokodal at RG in the end.
2012 no contest, 3-0 matches 7-1 sets. 2013 close h2h-wise but Nadal's MC loss was the only match stopping him from the clay sweep while Djokovic lost to Berdych and Dimitrov in the other masters. 2014 yes but Nadal was not quite himself, got str8-setted by Ferrer at MC and was losing to Nishikori in Madrid until poor Kei hurt his back.
 

Hayole

Rookie
2011 is the year... but no Djokodal at RG in the end.
2012 no contest, 3-0 matches 7-1 sets. 2013 close h2h-wise but Nadal's MC loss was the only match stopping him from the clay sweep while Djokovic lost to Berdych and Dimitrov in the other masters. 2014 yes but Nadal was not quite himself, got str8-setted by Ferrer at MC and was losing to Nishikori in Madrid until poor Kei hurt his back.
Oh man i totally forgot that match against Nishikori....

I still can't believe how people continue to underrate Djokovic's 2011season

Ok he was more complete as a player in 2015 but 2011 was just some obscene quality for like 9 months
 

Crocodile

Legend
I think that all the added complexities of participating in professional tennis and other sports will take its toll next year on many athletes both physically and mentally. The stuff that’s going on right now will wear many athletes down, with all the protocols for training, travelling, entering various countries and cities. Not every player can afford their own jet plane to get around. I wouldn’t be surprised that some players may just put the cue in the rack.
With Novak it will depend on his ability to maintain his motivation to compete. For some reason I have this feeling that having a Roger absent and injured can sort of affect both Novak and Rafa as it sort of a symbolic hint towards the status of their era, in that they are on the other side of their careers,
On the other hand it would be up to the young guys to step up in a big way, something I think has been sort of lacking but gradually improving as you would expect.
 
Oh man i totally forgot that match against Nishikori....

I still can't believe how people continue to underrate Djokovic's 2011season

Ok he was more complete as a player in 2015 but 2011 was just some obscene quality for like 9 months
All the better that past-prime Federer was a point away from 2-1 in slams against this crazy beast :oops:

But he did utterly own Nadal with no reprieve. Funny how during the 7-streak Nadal came by far the closest to victory in Djokovic's best prime tournaments (Miami and AO), while being beaten comprehensively elsewhere.
 

Hayole

Rookie
All the better that past-prime Federer was a point away from 2-1 in slams against this crazy beast :oops:

But he did utterly own Nadal with no reprieve. Funny how during the 7-streak Nadal came by far the closest to victory in Djokovic's best prime tournaments (Miami and AO), while being beaten comprehensively elsewhere.
That's true but 2 slams would've still been a great year + i honestly think Federer played quite well that year

That is so funny :-D :-D Nadal was however so good during 2012 AO so that explains that one at least
 
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