Here's why Djokovic is the favourite to win RG

sometennisdot

Professional
I see a lot of agreement here on TTW that Alcaraz is the favourite this RG. However he should not be considered so.

I would love to see Alcaraz win, but saying that this is the expected outcome doesn't add up. I'm no Djokovic fan, but him winning RG 2023 is the most realistic scenario, so here's why we should stop calling Alcaraz the favourite to win.

Alcaraz
Whilist it's true that he won both Barcelona and Madrid, we have to look at the players he beat to win those tournaments.

  • In Barcelona he beat
  • Borges (world no. 79 at the time)
  • Bautista Agut -
  • Davidovich Fokina (were close to losing the first set mulitple times, i.e. at 5-6, 40-40, and down a mini break at 6-6, 3-4, Fokina seemed like he had given up in the second set) -
  • Dan Evans -
  • Tsitsipas (has had an awful clay level this season)

  • In Madrid he beat
  • Ruusuvuori (were down 2-6, 2-3 15-40. Alcaraz won the match because Ruusuvuori failed to be clutch, something we know Djokovic won't fail to be) -
  • Dimitrov -
  • Zverev (Zverev has been very bad this year) -
  • Khachanov -
  • Coric -
  • Struff (struggled to win this match and could have lost if Struff won the break point at 1-1, 40-A in the third set, Alcaraz struggled against a guy with a 49% W/L on clay, and he's supposed to be able to beat Djokovic?)

He also lost to Fábián Marozsán in stragiths in Rome, world no. 135 at the time. Marozsán would follow up by losing his next match and fail to qualify for this RG.


Djokovic
  • He might have had a bad clay season pre-RG, but has already showed levels above that in his first two matches.
  • Djokovic has won 6 of his last 8 slams, only losing to Nadal in RG 2022 and Medvedev in UO 2021
  • Djokovic is really a different player in slams than other tournaments, and has won his last 23 sets in Grand Slam
  • 22 slams vs 1 slam, mentality is much stronger than Alcaraz
  • It feels pretty similar to Medvedev in 2021, where Djokovic destroyed him in the final
 

nov

Hall of Fame
I see a lot of agreement here on TTW that Alcaraz is the favourite this RG. However he should not be considered so.

I would love to see Alcaraz win, but saying that this is the expected outcome doesn't add up. I'm no Djokovic fan, but him winning RG 2023 is the most realistic scenario, so here's why we should stop calling Alcaraz the favourite to win.

Alcaraz
Whilist it's true that he won both Barcelona and Madrid, we have to look at the players he beat to win those tournaments.

  • In Barcelona he beat
  • Borges (world no. 79 at the time)
  • Bautista Agut -
  • Davidovich Fokina (were close to losing the first set mulitple times, i.e. at 5-6, 40-40, and down a mini break at 6-6, 3-4, Fokina seemed like he had given up in the second set) -
  • Dan Evans -
  • Tsitsipas (has had an awful clay level this season)

  • In Madrid he beat
  • Ruusuvuori (were down 2-6, 2-3 15-40. Alcaraz won the match because Ruusuvuori failed to be clutch, something we know Djokovic won't fail to be) -
  • Dimitrov -
  • Zverev (Zverev has been very bad this year) -
  • Khachanov -
  • Coric -
  • Struff (struggled to win this match and could have lost if Struff won the break point at 1-1, 40-A in the third set, Alcaraz struggled against a guy with a 49% W/L on clay, and he's supposed to be able to beat Djokovic?)

He also lost to Fábián Marozsán in stragiths in Rome, world no. 135 at the time. Marozsán would follow up by losing his next match and fail to qualify for this RG.


Djokovic
  • He might have had a bad clay season pre-RG, but has already showed levels above that in his first two matches.
  • Djokovic has won 6 of his last 8 slams, only losing to Nadal in RG 2022 and Medvedev in UO 2021
  • Djokovic is really a different player in slams than other tournaments, and has won his last 23 sets in Grand Slam
  • 22 slams vs 1 slam, mentality is much stronger than Alcaraz
  • It feels pretty similar to Medvedev in 2021, where Djokovic destroyed him in the final
Bookmakers gives slight edge to Carlos. I think its impossible to predict right now.
 

ppma

Professional
He isn't, but if this convinces you, congratulations ;). Some others will just enjoy the sport.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
Alcaraz is the fav, if this was Wimbledon or AO, then yes, but not here at RG.

Djokovic is a solid second fav, and has the best chance to beat Carlos imo, but Carlos rightfully deserves to be the number one player here. He has performed the best on clay this season, and won the most titles on clay this season, while Djokovic has had one of his worst seasons on clay ever. Yes, beating Novak in best of five is a tough challenge, which is why he deserves to be second here, but the lack of form, match wins, and with Carlos being the in form player and also someone who has already won a slam, he is number one.
 

weakera

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic is 100% the favorite, anyone telling you otherwise is a Djokovic fan trying to temper expectations in case he loses. Clay may not be his preferred surface but it's not Alcaraz's either, and Alcaraz is a completely unproven commodity in a tight grand slam match against an ATG/Legend like Djokovic. Djokovic is still head-and-shoulders above anyone in the draw at managing a best of five match until proven otherwise. Best of three has not been indicative of how Djokovic (or Nadal) would perform at an upcoming slam in years and years. So referencing the clay tourneys of the last couple of months to validate Alcaraz as the favorite is just stupidity.

"Djokovic has won 6 of his last 8 slams, only losing to Nadal in RG 2022 and Medvedev in UO 2021" - this says it all really. No one with a brain in their head could understand this fact and still register Alcaraz as favorite.
 

aldeayeah

G.O.A.T.
Alcaraz does have a certain lack of quality wins in non-Madrid clay. He's unproven against elite competition.

But ultimately, betting odds are as much about Novak's poor form as they are about Alcaraz.
 

jl809

Hall of Fame
Djokovic is going to hammer Alcaraz in 4 if they are both playing well enough to make the semis
 

FeroBango

Hall of Fame
22-1

Djokovic will go in lock down mode when it's demanded and as a result Alcaraz will overplay in big moments
22-1 is also a healthy Alcaraz on clay this year. I for one cannot wait for the meeting of the leaders of what has felt like two parallel tours.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
22-1

Djokovic will go in lock down mode when it's demanded and as a result Alcaraz will overplay in big moments

The difference is, on clay Djokovic struggles to do that against players who have the firepower to hit through him, like Federer, Wawrinka and Thiem have shown in the past. Alcaraz has plenty of firepower, but not only that, he can pull off dropshots in a blink of an eye, something that will always be unsettling to a player who is at the back trying to make sure no ball gets past him at the baseline. Novak himself has stated he sees Carlos as the fav here, but expressed there are a few more contenders for the title which include himself with Nadal gone.

Unless Carlos comes in carrying some heavy baggage from going through several tough matches that keep him out there too long, the odds show he is the fav to win this. Also, Carlos isn't like the others, he has that ATG talent in him. McEnroe was even saying that Carlos is the most complete player he has ever seen at the age Carlos is at. Also, he is very much a big match player, only player to win the first five big finals he played in, he has the momentum on his side also after putting in a solid clay season.

Djokovic is the solid second fav though for the title and should something happen to Alcaraz, then he is the odds on fav to win the whole thing.
 

DogInSpace

Semi-Pro
Djokovic is going to win Roland Garros because he is the best tennis player that is in the draw currently. And even if somebody will play better against him on a given day he will win nonetheless because he knows how to get into their head. Simple as that. Next.
 

TheAssassin

Legend
A gap of 16 years vs a gap of 1 and 6 years... I know a few people are desperate for a gotcha moment but the opportunity for that has passed lol.

It is his worst surface but Djokovic still has a good chance against anyone. Whether he is a "favorite" against Carlos or not is up to others to decide. Should be a good encounter if both get to that stage.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
More likely is that Djokovic will beat a couple of choking opponents to win his 3rd FO and we'll have to hear how GOATy and BOATy he is.
There is no impressive victory that exists for Novak with these mugs so this needle isn’t moving a bit :D
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
Frankly, this has to be (lowkey) one of the stranger threads in a while.
I understand managing expectations - on both sides - but this takes it too far.

Let's say Alcaraz is deemed the favorite to win RG and he does so, would that diminish his victory in any way?
Of course not.
Substitute Djokovic for Alcaraz - would that diminish his victory in any way? No.

If you're good/great enough to be considered the favorite, that's to your credit, right?
 

Spin Diesel

Hall of Fame
Currently I‘d rate this matchup about 50:50. I‘ll decide on who‘s my favourite after their next round. Fokina and Shapovalov are better suited to judge both‘s chances, than their previous rounds and tournaments, I think.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
4% bestie ;)
Medvedev choking so hard and collapsing physically defied the odds yes. It was impressive in terms of mental fortitude from Nadal and ultimately physical endurance as well but you'll never convince me that his opponents or he were playing well compared to what we've seen in the rest of the Big 3 era and even before. Of course compared to the 2023 AO Nadal's draw in 2022 doesn't look nearly as feeble so I guess it's all relative.
 

jl809

Hall of Fame
Having watched extended highlights of both matches now, it seems to me that Djoker was hitting basically every shot (serve, return, FH, BH, slice) better than Alcaraz… except for Alcaraz’s drop shot, but Djoker was moving far slower than Alcaraz. And obviously the wind was much worse for the Alcaraz match.
 

junior74

Talk Tennis Guru
The difference is, on clay Djokovic struggles to do that against players who have the firepower to hit through him, like Federer, Wawrinka and Thiem have shown in the past. Alcaraz has plenty of firepower, but not only that, he can pull off dropshots in a blink of an eye, something that will always be unsettling to a player who is at the back trying to make sure no ball gets past him at the baseline. Novak himself has stated he sees Carlos as the fav here, but expressed there are a few more contenders for the title which include himself with Nadal gone.

Unless Carlos comes in carrying some heavy baggage from going through several tough matches that keep him out there too long, the odds show he is the fav to win this. Also, Carlos isn't like the others, he has that ATG talent in him. McEnroe was even saying that Carlos is the most complete player he has ever seen at the age Carlos is at. Also, he is very much a big match player, only player to win the first five big finals he played in, he has the momentum on his side also after putting in a solid clay season.

Djokovic is the solid second fav though for the title and should something happen to Alcaraz, then he is the odds on fav to win the whole thing.

He is still favourite, because he is Novak Djokovic and has won almost every slam he has entered for years.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Medvedev choking so hard and collapsing physically defied the odds yes. It was impressive in terms of mental fortitude from Nadal and ultimately physical endurance as well but you'll never convince me that his opponents or he were playing well compared to what we've seen in the rest of the Big 3 era and even before. Of course compared to the 2023 AO Nadal's draw in 2022 doesn't look nearly as feeble so I guess it's all relative.
Not saying that. But for a Nadal that was in the final push of his career, in the second longest match in AO history, against an opponent that was absolutely trucking him for 2.5 hours (on HC) it’s impressive af :D
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I've read some weird things about favourites, ya know.
nCqEMS.gif
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
The bookmakers’ odds are wrong. Just like they were wrong last year. Alcaraz was the favorite last year too.
 

StrongRule

Talk Tennis Guru
The presence of a 36 years old Nadal who came to DO in terrible form and skipped most of the clay season due to injury is the only reason why Djokovic didn't vulture another title last year. The overhyped Alcaraz didn't even reach him. This year Djokovic definitely vultures it.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Not saying that. But for a Nadal that was in the final push of his career, in the second longest match in AO history, against an opponent that was absolutely trucking him for 2.5 hours (on HC) it’s impressive af :D
Nadal should have won the second set tbh. Only the first set had Medvedev as the better player. Not saying the match wasn't epic, it's just hard for me to consider it impressive from a competitive standpoint by my own definitions when it's probably the weakest winners level since 2002. If we're building up this win what does it say about 2017 when Federer who at the same age beat a clearly better Nadal in the final? Even then the standard of play in 2017 wasn't historically good either. I can understand why this win is important to you, in your position it probably would be for me to but I also hope you can understand why I don't rate it as highly :p
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Nadal should have won the second set tbh. Only the first set had Medvedev as the better player. Not saying the match wasn't epic, it's just hard for me to consider it impressive from a competitive standpoint by my own definitions when it's probably the weakest winners level since 2002. If we're building up this win what does it say about 2017 when Federer who at the same age beat a clearly better Nadal in the final? Even then the standard of play in 2017 wasn't historically good either. I can understand why this win is important to you, in your position it probably would be for me to but I also hope you can understand why I don't rate it as highly :p
Understood ;)
I disagree about the level of play being that low though, Novak has gotten some much easier wins over lame ducks, 2023 included.
 

Silverbullet96

Hall of Fame
Since Wimbledon 2018 Djokovic has only lost twice in a GS to a non-Big 3 player in a completed match, that's almost 5 full years, how can anyone else be the favorite ?
 

uscwang

Hall of Fame
I see a lot of agreement here on TTW that Alcaraz is the favourite this RG. However he should not be considered so.

I would love to see Alcaraz win, but saying that this is the expected outcome doesn't add up. I'm no Djokovic fan, but him winning RG 2023 is the most realistic scenario, so here's why we should stop calling Alcaraz the favourite to win.

Alcaraz
Whilist it's true that he won both Barcelona and Madrid, we have to look at the players he beat to win those tournaments.

  • In Barcelona he beat
  • Borges (world no. 79 at the time)
  • Bautista Agut -
  • Davidovich Fokina (were close to losing the first set mulitple times, i.e. at 5-6, 40-40, and down a mini break at 6-6, 3-4, Fokina seemed like he had given up in the second set) -
  • Dan Evans -
  • Tsitsipas (has had an awful clay level this season)

  • In Madrid he beat
  • Ruusuvuori (were down 2-6, 2-3 15-40. Alcaraz won the match because Ruusuvuori failed to be clutch, something we know Djokovic won't fail to be) -
  • Dimitrov -
  • Zverev (Zverev has been very bad this year) -
  • Khachanov -
  • Coric -
  • Struff (struggled to win this match and could have lost if Struff won the break point at 1-1, 40-A in the third set, Alcaraz struggled against a guy with a 49% W/L on clay, and he's supposed to be able to beat Djokovic?)

He also lost to Fábián Marozsán in stragiths in Rome, world no. 135 at the time. Marozsán would follow up by losing his next match and fail to qualify for this RG.


Djokovic
  • He might have had a bad clay season pre-RG, but has already showed levels above that in his first two matches.
  • Djokovic has won 6 of his last 8 slams, only losing to Nadal in RG 2022 and Medvedev in UO 2021
  • Djokovic is really a different player in slams than other tournaments, and has won his last 23 sets in Grand Slam
  • 22 slams vs 1 slam, mentality is much stronger than Alcaraz
  • It feels pretty similar to Medvedev in 2021, where Djokovic destroyed him in the final
Nice try. But Novak is the underdog here against the younger generation. WB is the main battle field. RG will give him a chance to study these opponents, especially their serves. He has little to lose here. I consider it a success for him if he reaches semifinal :)
 

Kralingen

Bionic Poster
Carlos has better athleticism and defense, amazing ability to finish points at net, tireless legs.

The dead night conditions of the SFs favor a player who is able to keep everything in front of him, generate massive pace on his own, and finish points quickly rather than relying on baseline hitting.

Also, it has basically sapped any ability to hit aces.

Who does that sound like?

Djokovic is not unbeatable.
 

RS

Bionic Poster
Nadal should have won the second set tbh. Only the first set had Medvedev as the better player. Not saying the match wasn't epic, it's just hard for me to consider it impressive from a competitive standpoint by my own definitions when it's probably the weakest winners level since 2002. If we're building up this win what does it say about 2017 when Federer who at the same age beat a clearly better Nadal in the final? Even then the standard of play in 2017 wasn't historically good either. I can understand why this win is important to you, in your position it probably would be for me to but I also hope you can understand why I don't rate it as highly :p
Other than a couple posters in the minority I don't think the majority of us say it was on the level of what the big 3 produced earlier. Happy with the the win for obvious reasons.
 

socallefty

G.O.A.T.
This French Open seems very windy as the commentators mention the wind being a big factor in every match. Djokovic doesn’t like windy conditions and usually gets very irritable when his balls near the lines get blown out by the wind, Plus everyone is complaining about heavy balls which requires huge power to outhit opponents - wonder if Djokovic has enough firepower on clay. I don’t think he is the favorite.
 

nolefam_2024

Talk Tennis Guru
This French Open seems very windy as the commentators mention the wind being a big factor in every match. Djokovic doesn’t like windy conditions and usually gets very irritable when his balls near the lines get blown out by the wind, Plus everyone is complaining about heavy balls which requires huge power to outhit opponents - wonder if Djokovic has enough firepower on clay. I don’t think he is the favorite.
Djokovic has firepower now. He has worked on his physicality. But wind is a great neutralizer.
 
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