Happy for Novak's win but....(about Novak declining)...

powerangle

Legend
Yes, I said it.

I know Novak just won two of the last three slams, but I can't help but feel that he is just taking advantage of the other top players all struggling. Nadal is still rusty, Federer not even reaching the second week of a slam...etc.

I did not feel confident at all going into the final, as well as during the final (at least until Novak won the 3rd and was up in the 4th). You could see the fear in his eyes. He was choking and losing leads and opportunities as usual...Andy just happened to outchoke him. Novak managed to win, but it was very...meh. Pretty substandard for a slam final, IMO.

I felt confident in Novak winning the match in the 2013 AO final, when it was one-set a piece. When they were at one set a piece this year...I was like "oh brother...Novak could really mess this up...again..." His lackluster performances in slam finals in general over the last couple of years did not instill confidence in me.

I feel that Novak, at least mentally, has lost a lot of his clutch play, and is already declining a bit. It's just that the rest of the "Big 4" have also declined (with the exception of maybe Andy), so maybe he can sorta take advantage of it at the moment since no other player has really stepped it up consistently.

Anyone else feel this way?
 

FreeBird

Legend
Yes, I said it.

I know Novak just won two of the last three slams, but I can't help but feel that he is just taking advantage of the other top players all struggling. Nadal is still rusty, Federer not even reaching the second week of a slam...etc.

I did not feel confident at all going into the final, as well as during the final (at least until Novak won the 3rd and was up in the 4th). You could see the fear in his eyes. He was choking and losing leads and opportunities as usual...Andy just happened to outchoke him. Novak managed to win, but it was very...meh. Pretty substandard for a slam final, IMO.

I felt confident in Novak winning the match in the 2013 AO final, when it was one-set a piece. When they were at one set a piece this year...I was like "oh brother...Novak could really mess this up...again..."

I feel that Novak, at least mentally, has lost a lot of his clutch play, and is already declining a bit. It's just that the rest of the "Big 4" have also declined (with the exception of maybe Andy), so maybe he can sorta take advantage of it at the moment since no other player has really stepped it up consistently.

Anyone else feel this way?
It was opposite for me. After his abysmal performance in SF, I was confident of a good showing. In 2013, after eviscerating Ferrer in SF, I was frightened that Nole had peaked too early and the fear was validated when he lost the first set and was on brink of losing the second. AO 15 final was better than AO 13 final except for 4th set.

Physically, he has declined. You can see him breathing heavily and tanking 3rd or 4th sets nowadays to regroup physically. This uncertainty about physical fitness tends to play with his mind too..But, at least, he is bringing the game when it matters which wasn't the case till W 14.
 
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powerangle

Legend
It was opposite for me. After his abysmal performance in SF, I was confident of a good showing. In 2013, after eviscerating Ferrer in SF, I was frightened that Nole had peaked too early and the fear was validated when he lost the first set and was on brink of losing the second. AO 15 final was better than AO 13 final except for 4th set.
I guess I felt confident in AO 13 final since the '13 FO and USO fiascos have not happened yet. It was like rereading an old script and watching an old tape, over and over...

Maybe I have bad memory, but I felt Novak used to lose leads mainly due to his opponents raising their level. These days I cringe with every passive shank he does on critical break points. It's like he builds a lead, only to lose it...then gets another lucky break...only to lose it again. He's definitely a lot more tentative in closing out sets in the tail end of slams these days.

Novak used to be more expressive and pump himself up too. In the SF versus Stan this year...he looked like he was just going through the motions until 5th set when he actually yelled to pump himself up (I liked that). Where was that all match??

Novak, prove me wrong!:)
 

FreeBird

Legend
I guess I felt confident in AO 13 final since the '13 FO and USO fiascos have not happened yet. It was like rereading an old script and watching an old tape, over and over...

Maybe I have bad memory, but I felt Novak used to lose leads mainly due to his opponents raising their level. These days I cringe with every passive shank he does on critical break points. It's like he builds a lead, only to lose it...then gets another lucky break...only to lose it again. He's definitely a lot more tentative in closing out sets in the tail end of slams these days.

Novak used to be more expressive and pump himself up too. In the SF versus Stan this year...he looked like he was just going through the motions until 5th set when he actually yelled to pump himself up (I liked that). Where was that all match??

Novak, prove me wrong!:)
Hahaha..Novak is an enigma sometimes. There have been some frequent spells of mental walk-abouts in between where it looks like he doesn't even care about winning. But, I like it how he was not defensive minded at W and AO in final.

The biggest puzzling thing would be: what if Rafa is humble enough and Djokovic wins RG this year? Would it lead to a slump or propel him to new heights?
 

Tabash

Rookie
It was opposite for me. After his abysmal performance in SF, I was confident of a good showing. In 2013, after eviscerating Ferrer in SF, I was frightened that Nole had peaked too early and the fear was validated when he lost the first set and was on brink of losing the second. AO 15 final was better than AO 13 final except for 4th set.

Physically, he has declined. You can see him breathing heavily and tanking 3rd or 4th sets nowadays to regroup physically. This uncertainty about physical fitness tends to play with his mind too..But, at least, he is bringing the game when it matters which wasn't the case till W 14.
Well as for this AO, he had a virus beforehand for 2 or 3 weeks and said in his presser after the final that the week before AO ended up being a recovery week rather than a preparatory week.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
It was opposite for me. After his abysmal performance in SF, I was confident of a good showing. In 2013, after eviscerating Ferrer in SF, I was frightened that Nole had peaked too early and the fear was validated when he lost the first set and was on brink of losing the second. AO 15 final was better than AO 13 final except for 4th set.

Physically, he has declined. You can see him breathing heavily and tanking 3rd or 4th sets nowadays to regroup physically. This uncertainty about physical fitness tends to play with his mind too..But, at least, he is bringing the game when it matters which wasn't the case till W 14.
if he's declined physically how does he still outgrind and outlast murray/wawrinka and countless others?

are their fitness levels so horrendous that a declining Nole is outgrinding them with his reduced stamina?
 

zep

Hall of Fame
He definitely did not play his best tennis at this year's AO and looked quite beatable but it is too early to call that a decline. He still won the tournament and did what he needed to do.
 
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Novak declining? :$ i dont see any aspect of his game thats declined his game looks more improved, he has a great serve, 2nd serve probably best in mens tennis atm, forehand and backhand are solid. Australian open imo is the hardest grand slam to win in style if you get me as most players won't have had much matches under their belt prior to it. Yes he sorta won Ao not playing his best but tbh nobody looked close to beating him apart from wawrinka
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
I agree, somewhat. There was never a match where I thought he played his best tennis. This was similar to the 2014 FO, where he got to the final playing mediocre tennis. His C game was enough to beat everyone else, but it wasn't enough to beat a Nadal who was subpar himself. If Murray played well, he would have beaten Novak unless he raised his own level.

Now whether or not this is a sign of his decline it's a bit early to tell. I'd like to see how he does in the next couple of Slams this year. Hopefully he can regain some of that fire from 2011
 

bjsnider

Hall of Fame
The last time Federer won a non-Wimbledon major was 2010 AO. He was 28.5 years old. He won 2012 Wimbledon at 30 (almost 31). Djokovic/Murray will be 28.5 at the end of this season. It's highly unusual for any player to be very successful after that time, and it seems to require a weak era, which isn't the case at all in this time frame. It's likely that the big 4 will decline steeply within 24 months at most if we're learning from history.
 

bjsnider

Hall of Fame
Novak declining? :$ i dont see any aspect of his game thats declined his game looks more improved, he has a great serve, 2nd serve probably best in mens tennis atm, forehand and backhand are solid. Australian open imo is the hardest grand slam to win in style if you get me as most players won't have had much matches under their belt prior to it. Yes he sorta won Ao not playing his best but tbh nobody looked close to beating him apart from wawrinka
If there's no decline, how do you explain his disastrous North American summer last year? There was little standing in his way -- he could have taken another USO, right? Didn't even get to the final. That's how it starts -- inexplicable losses.
 
If there's no decline, how do you explain his disastrous North American summer last year? There was little standing in his way -- he could have taken another USO, right? Didn't even get to the final. That's how it starts -- inexplicable losses.
Like Federer 2008. It's also the same age...
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
If there's no decline, how do you explain his disastrous North American summer last year? There was little standing in his way -- he could have taken another USO, right? Didn't even get to the final. That's how it starts -- inexplicable losses.
I wouldn't call the loss inexplicable. Clearly he had fitness issues during the match, looking completely gassed at times. He's had problems with heat all his career, which didn't completely disappear even after 2011. When I saw he was scheduled to play at noon, I said this:

LOL, are they really going to make Djokovic wilt in the sun?

They really want Fed to win this, don't they? :lol:
There's a reason why he's so much more successful in Australia, where he plays most of his tough, late round matches at night.
 

Djesus

Banned
if he's declined physically how does he still outgrind and outlast murray/wawrinka and countless others?

are their fitness levels so horrendous that a declining Nole is outgrinding them with his reduced stamina?
You clearly don't know Novak. Novak's stamina was at insane levels in 2011 and 2012 than 2015. 2012 AO Novak for example would annihilate 2015 AO Novak.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
What about Wimbledon 2013 semifinal?
This led to him losing to Murray in straights in the final...

Whereas in 2012 he beat Murray in the AO semis in nearly five hours, and still had it in him to beat Nadal in the longest AO final ever.
 

Djesus

Banned
What about Wimbledon 2013 semifinal?
2013 Novak's stamina is still better than what I saw in 2015 AO Novak. But 2012 AO Novak was insane, peakiest stamina imo.

He's not declining drastically but it's still there. And it won't be long until his movement eventually slows down (sliding and stuff).
 

bjsnider

Hall of Fame
I wouldn't call the loss inexplicable. Clearly he had fitness issues during the match, looking completely gassed at times. He's had problems with heat all his career, which didn't completely disappear even after 2011. When I saw he was scheduled to play at noon, I said this:



There's a reason why he's so much more successful in Australia, where he plays most of his tough, late round matches at night.
I think that's a very good point. I was also thinking of the fact that he lost to a younger player on the rise who's never going to be near the top of the GOAT list.
 
Federer was still getting to slam semis/finals and winning them at that point. After the AO 2010 victory, he started losing in the quarters of slams for the first time in years.
That's why I think Nole will get to Nadal's level, with 10-12 slams and more WTFs/weeks #1.

Nadal's last year was equal to Federer 2010. Max one more slam for Rafa.
 

powerangle

Legend
If he has to face Raonic, Stan and Murray , I am pretty sure he can add a few more majors.
In other words, he has to face even bigger headcases than himself to win majors.

When he has to face Fedal (especially Nadal) in major finals, his mental resiliency is questionable. It's like he is worried the same script will be written...and it has against Nadal, since FO 2012.

Novak is good for at least a few mental walkabouts in slam semis and finals these days. It started in the latter half of 2012, and I didn't see anything different in AO 2015.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
Novak is good for at least a few mental walkabouts in slam semis and finals these days. It started in the latter half of 2012, and I didn't see anything different in AO 2015.
What do you mean slam semis and finals? He got broken by Andrey Kuznetsov in the second round, FFS :evil:
 

powerangle

Legend
What do you mean slam semis and finals? He got broken by Andrey Kuznetsov in the second round, FFS :evil:
Of course he can have mental farts in earlier rounds too...but he usually can fight past those and win. He hardly loses in early rounds. In semis and finals, he has ended up losing because of it.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
if he's declined physically how does he still outgrind and outlast murray/wawrinka and countless others?

are their fitness levels so horrendous that a declining Nole is outgrinding them with his reduced stamina?
Because their fitness has also declined......


You know what I'm saying, I'm sure. Kappa.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
The inconsistency we saw from some of the top players(Djokovic, Murray, Nadal) were indication that they are indeed declining. The same thing happened to Federer after the mono infection, which shortened Federer's best years. Think of Djokovic, for example. He suddenly played some error-prone tennis and then suddenly his level was raised and surprised his opponents and the spectators alike. Thinking about their age, it's no surprise these players are starting to decline either. They are turning 28-29 which is quite an old age in tennis terms. Once the younger guys push them a bit more or they play some mysteriously poor tennis on a regular basis(for their standard), I think it will be more obvious that they are declining indeed.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
BTW, I think these guys(big 4) are making up for their physical decline with the experience and know-how they have acquired after all these years + their champion's mentality. That should give them some more life at the top, but that doesn't mean their physical aspect/athleticism is the same as before.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
The inconsistency we saw from some of the top players(Djokovic, Murray, Nadal) were indication that they are indeed declining. The same thing happened to Federer after the mono infection, which shortened Federer's best years. Think of Djokovic, for example. He suddenly played some error-prone tennis and then suddenly his level was raised and surprised his opponents and the spectators alike. Thinking about their age, it's no surprise these players are starting to decline either. They are turning 28-29 which is quite an old age in tennis terms. Once the younger guys push them a bit more or they play some mysteriously poor tennis on a regular basis(for their standard), I think it will be more obvious that they are declining indeed.


???

Or...



???

Or...



Or will they all be undercut by...



???
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
It's about what you do in the finals. It makes no difference how you get there. Becker one point from being out of the USO and should have lost that point but for a netcord. Instead his only USO win came that year. The great ones do just enough to get to the finals and put it all together on finals day. And Djoker TOOK MURRAY APART. It was tight for two sets and two games and then it's like he flipped a switch. And, I'll say it again, obliterated Murray. A very impressive win.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.


???

Or...



???

Or...



Or will they all be undercut by...



???
Yes, all of them will get tougher and tougher, and there are others as well, even some potential one slam or one masters 1000 wonders. I think we will see more of of one time hits in the next few years due to the decline of big 4. Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, Wawrinka, Berdych, Tsonga, Del Potro, Monfils, Isner, Gulbis, Cilic, etc. + under 23 players like Kyrgios, Thiem, Zverev, Coric, etc. We have so many of them now who can knock the top guys out on their day. In their prime, big 4 hardly lost to them, but I think they will lose more and more from this year.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
Yes, all of them will get tougher and tougher,
I'm sure with that haircut Raonic could have a very successful career at McKinsey & Co. if he choose to but as far as racking up Majors no one that moves as poorly as he does wins multiple majors. If such a crap mover can snag a single major a lot of cards have to fall correctly.

Speaking of subpar movers winning Majors, I'm still waiting for the investigation of the events surrounding the Curious Incident of the Player that Received a Doping Ban and a mere 18 months later won a Major out of NOWHERE in the Night.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Yes, all of them will get tougher and tougher, QUOTE]

I'm sure with that haircut Raonic could have a very successful career at McKinsey & Co. but as far as racking up Majors no one that moves as poorly as he does wins multiple majors. If such a crap mover can snag a single major a lot of cards have to fall correctly.

I'm still waiting for the investigation of the events surrounding the Curious Incident of the Player that Received a Doping Ban and a mere 18 months later won a Major out of NOWHERE in the Night.
Yes, quite miraculous stuff.

***

Now then, are you not concerned about Nishikori's future prospects? He's shown the best stuff of his lot so far but Wawrinka exposes a general shortcoming of his game at the AO. Nishikori lacks bail out weapons an the extra edge. When he faces a player who can match him from the baseline, their more powerful first strikes—particularly on the serve—gives them the edge.

Will Kei ever have a ''big'' enough game to win a major? That Nishikori-Wawrinka match sounded some alarm for me.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
Will Kei ever have a ''big'' enough game to win a major? .
IMO, no. And I agree with your analysis.

Kei does well against grinders like Ferrer (who he beat in NY when he was only 18) because he can grind with the best, at least for a few matches until his tank runs dry.) But he will always struggle against power and he has no real weapons of his own. Very solid player and good movement but in the "modern game" you need a big weapon or two to win Majors. Of course, nothing is impossible after what Cilic did.

I realize I keep nixing everyone and obviously someone will appear and gobble up majors once the current cream is too old. But it may be up to Coric, Zverev (I'm randomly picking players from the next generation) etc.. to grow into it. I have not written off Maria's boyfriend. He has a good all around game and he moves well too. Mentally he has to get it together. Maybe physically still not strong enough. I'll always go with the better movers over the too tall for tennis, ball bashing servers.
 

Rozroz

G.O.A.T.
I think he is the favourite for Wimbledon and the USO.
There, I said it.

He won't be declining just yet.
how can he be favorite for Wimbeldon???
his grass movement is not so good. too many slips and slides.
it's his worst surface.
Murray is a clear winner if they'll meet there.
 
He walked through this tournament-only Stan gave him any problems. Like all great athletes he will take advantage of anything-the decline of Federer, the injuries of Nadal, the mental frailties of Warinka & Murray & will step it up a gear as & when required.
 

winstonlim8

Professional
Has anyone considered the fact that the AO is the first Slam of the year and that Nole and the great majority of the pros are all coming back from a layoff? So if they can't play at their usual highest levels, it shouldn't be all that surprising, right?

Besides, if Nole could play at 70% and still beat Wawa in straights, why should he risk injury before a final where victory would put him in the record books alongside Roy Emerson?
 

Cortana

Hall of Fame
how can he be favorite for Wimbeldon???
his grass movement is not so good. too many slips and slides.
it's his worst surface.
Murray is a clear winner if they'll meet there.
And yet he has 2 Wimbledon titles and only 1 US Open title.
 

Rozroz

G.O.A.T.
And yet he has 2 Wimbledon titles and only 1 US Open title.
he should have had 2 USs! (that damn wind! LOL).
ok, you're right title-wise,
but still - whenever i watch him grinding on grass, i fear he might slip any second.
 

Cortana

Hall of Fame
he should have had 2 USs! (that damn wind! LOL).
ok, you're right title-wise,
but still - whenever i watch him grinding on grass, i fear he might slip any second.
I think he is still a better player on grass than Murray, and better than Federer today for sure.
 

Rozroz

G.O.A.T.
I think he is still a better player on grass than Murray, and better than Federer today for sure.
you sure? i mean, yes he won titles on W,
but still he looks kinda shaky while moving on grass.
i remember he tried to use more stable shoes and they didn't let him or something..
i truly feels Murray is superior on grass atm because of these reasons, really.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
I'm sure with that haircut Raonic could have a very successful career at McKinsey & Co. if he choose to but as far as racking up Majors no one that moves as poorly as he does wins multiple majors. If such a crap mover can snag a single major a lot of cards have to fall correctly.

Speaking of subpar movers winning Majors, I'm still waiting for the investigation of the events surrounding the Curious Incident of the Player that Received a Doping Ban and a mere 18 months later won a Major out of NOWHERE in the Night.
I think present Raonic moves as well as 09 version of Delpo.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
Yes, quite miraculous stuff.

***

Now then, are you not concerned about Nishikori's future prospects? He's shown the best stuff of his lot so far but Wawrinka exposes a general shortcoming of his game at the AO. Nishikori lacks bail out weapons an the extra edge. When he faces a player who can match him from the baseline, their more powerful first strikes—particularly on the serve—gives them the edge.

Will Kei ever have a ''big'' enough game to win a major? That Nishikori-Wawrinka match sounded some alarm for me.
I think Wawrinka was just too hot. To my eyes, Wawrinka and Djokovic were 2 best players of the tournament. Nishikori, on his day, will beat Wawrinka. He has enough weapon to win a slam. It's just a matter of timing and a little luck, I guess. Most of all, Nishikori has to make it happen. He'd better believe in his ability and play like the boss. He can be dangerous on clay and hard courts.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
I think present Raonic moves as well as 09 version of Delpo.
That's a good point. Delpo was (is) a pretty crap mover and he won the USO. I'm not saying it can't happen but I don't see Raonic being the next multiple slam winner and I'd still bet against even one.

Also, I may be a bit biased in that I don't want that Raonic style of play to be where the game goes. I strongly prefer to watch someone like Djoker that can run down crazy shots and hit winners from anywhere on the court than a guy that moves poorly and that just powers everything.
 
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