How did so many "experts" get it so wrong?

octogon

Hall of Fame
So many pundits, tennis journalists and commentators (several of whom are former players) seemed confident that the 12 time French Open champion would lose to Djokovic?

Almost no one had Nadal putting on a clinic.

How do they get paid for these opinions?
 
  • Like
Reactions: USO

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Because the ‘experts’ focused only the lowering of the bounce in the heavy conditions while forgetting that the slower the conditions, the more long points there are and it becomes almost impossible to hit through Nadal’s defenses in long rallies. The fact is that Nadal’s topspin bounce decreased only by about 3 inches which is not much while his ability to win >4 shot rallies went up from his usual 60% in clay to close to 70%. Sayonara to all the big-hitters against the best defender there ever has been in the history of tennis.
 

Devtennis01

Hall of Fame
I think they were playing it safe as weird as that sounds.
Djokovic is No.1, had played and won more events going in, the conditions were said to favor him. He even has an impressive record vs Nadal on Clay, relatively speaking. He had won ten of their last 13 matches.
I said to someone who does not follow tennis media much and was picking Nadal to win, "you do know Djokovic is the favorite in media circles", and my friend basically said Nadal had won 12 titles and was in the final.
 

Hood_Man

Legend
Their job is to build drama, if they happen to get the analysis correct as well it's a bonus. There are several posters on TTW who I'd listen to any day of the week over the likes of Courier, Henman, Santoro, despite the fact that the latter three played tennis at a high professional level.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Easy to make threads like this after the fact.
I think I am on record that Djokovic cannot outhit Nadal in these colder conditions and that the slow conditions helps Nadal’s defensive style which is how he grinds people down on clay.

Many of these experts are missing the slow aspect of the FO conditions and focusing only on the low bounce. The low bounce is a disadvantage to Nadal as his topspin stays in the hitting zone of his opponents instead of jumping to head-level quickly. But, the heavy, slow conditions are making it impossible to hit through his defenses which favors him. He was always the best defender on clay even in hot conditions and now, he is even better.

One of the main reasons that Nadal is dominant on clay is because he takes away the will of his opponents to keep fighting because he grinds so well and plays fantastic defense on every rally - they stop wanting to fight after a while subconsciously. I think this aspect of his game is helped by his conditions and we saw what happened to a heavy hitter like Sinner in the third set (breadstick!) after a couple of closely contested sets.

I think Djokovic will try to hit through Nadal if they play in the final as he has never had the patience to outlast Nadal on clay. Djokovic always plays more offensively than usual against Nadal on all surfaces because he knows that Nadal is a better counter-puncher than he is and so, he has to take the initiative. His serve is usually a big part of why he wins against Nadal on other surfaces. In this tournament, serves are neutralized and this favors Nadal even more. In addition, there are more longer points than usual even for clay and Nadal is winning 65% of rallies that are more than 4 shots. Even if you win 55% of all points in a match, you usually have an easy win and so, the high number of longer points being played favors Nadal also.

Based on all that, I disagree with McEnroe and Goran that the conditions favor Djokovic.
There always has been two versions of prime Djokovic particularly in Bestof5 Slams

Aggressive Baseliner who hits way more winners than opponent -2011-2012AO, 2015-1H2016
Counterpuncher who is relentless and waits for opponent‘s errors - 2012-2014, 2H2018-2020

I‘ve always believed that when Djokovic plays aggressively, he is virtually unbeatable as witnessed by him winning 4/5 Slams in his 13-month 2011 streak and 5/6 Slams in 2015-2016. It seems that now that he is older, he can’t play like that on a daily basis and he picks and chooses his spots to do so - like in the 2019AO final against Nadal. Otherwise, he played fairly passively by his own standards to win the finals of 2018W, 2018USO, 2019W and 2020 USO while losing in 6 Slam finals in similar fashion in 2012-2015 to Nadal, Murray and Wawrinka.

Today against Tsitsipas, Djokovic played conservatively again as Tsitsipas was the aggressor during baseline rallies. When Tsitsipas made errors on break points in Sets 1, 2 and 5, Novak won - he lost sets 3 and 4 when Stefanos outhit him without making errors on the big points. Tsitsipas also ran out of steam in the fifth set just like Novak outlasted Thiem in the 2020AO final. Djokovic was great with drop shots today and that is the only risk he took to end points consistently as otherwise he was content to wait for Tsitsipas to make errors.

Novak usually knows that he has to outhit Nadal to beat him and he can do that on hard/grass and sometimes in BestOf3 on clay. He also beat him with that style against an out-of-form Nadal at RG in 2015 while losing to him prior to that many times in SFs and Finals. The question is which version of Novak has a better chance to beat Nadal on Sunday in the FO final? Usually, I would say that the more aggressive version of Djokovic is the better version (BOAT?) of him and he should try that to beat Nadal. On the other hand, these conditions are so slow and heavy that I don’t see him outhitting Nadal so easily from the baseline and big-serving is not effective either this year - Sinner hit huge for two sets and couldn’t finish the job playing that style. Also, I don’t see dropshots working as well to end points against Nadal as he moves great on clay and has very good touch and finesse close to the net unlike Tsitsipas.

Should Djokovic play defensively as a counterpuncher and try to outlast Nadal on Sunday? If they both play defensively, Nadal can’t outhit him either and we might have a 6-hour knockdown-dragout final like the 2012AO. Does Djokovic trust his fitness to play like that and beat a 12-time RG winner? Novak has found an extra gear in the latter stages of every match so far this year and can he trust himself to do that in the final? Is Nadal fit enough to outlast Djokovic in a defensive struggle with a lot of long points? I don’t know the answer, but am eagerly awaiting what will play out in less than 48 hours.
 
Their job is to build drama, if they happen to get the analysis correct as well it's a bonus. There are several posters on TTW who I'd listen to any day of the week over the likes of Courier, Henman, Santoro, despite the fact that the latter three played tennis at a high professional level.
This. The amount of **** they chat is unreal.

I had Nadal in 4, didn’t expect the beatdown
 
So many pundits, tennis journalists and commentators (several of whom are former players) seemed confident that the 12 time French Open champion would lose to Djokovic?

Almost no one had Nadal putting on a clinic.

How do they get paid for these opinions?
Nadal had shown consistent results, but many people attributed this to the fact he didn't get tested enough. He also was vocal about the conditions not suiting him. Because of this many people thought the different conditions would negate the Nadal Chartrier advantage.

But Nadal showed that his superiority in Roland Garros is not dependent on high bouncing balls or hot weather. He played very well and showed a lot of variety in his shots. Didn't let Djokovic ever become comfortable by mixing high balls with slices and flat shots, and he played rather aggressively, trying to keep the rallies very short. He didn't let Djokovic gain any momentum and exploit his consistency in long rallies. And Djokovic's serve today was bad as well.
 

Leandro2045

Rookie
I think they were playing it safe as weird as that sounds.
Djokovic is No.1, had played and won more events going in, the conditions were said to favor him. He even has an impressive record vs Nadal on Clay, relatively speaking. He had won ten of their last 13 matches.
I said to someone who does not follow tennis media much and was picking Nadal to win, "you do know Djokovic is the favorite in media circles", and my friend basically said Nadal had won 12 titles and was in the final.

People and "experts" mixing Hard Courts/Grass numbers with the Clay court ones were all deluded.

Pre-tournament this was Novak history vs Rafa on Clay :

7-17 overall (29%)
1-6 at RG (14%)
0-3 since 2017 (Defeats in 2017,2018 and 2019) (0%)
 

darthrafa

New User
w ref to no. of unforced errors, to a certain extent, djoker lost because of playing extremely badly, which possibly no one can predict. in the sf and final, rafa's energy started dropping quite apparently. if djoker had not played so badly, i still really wonder rafa can win in four or five sets. if experts got it badly,just coz no one can predict djoker's poor performance
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
So many pundits, tennis journalists and commentators (several of whom are former players) seemed confident that the 12 time French Open champion would lose to Djokovic?

Almost no one had Nadal putting on a clinic.

How do they get paid for these opinions?
Stronk Roolz has been paying them.
 

crazyups

Professional
w ref to no. of unforced errors, to a certain extent, djoker lost because of playing extremely badly, which possibly no one can predict. in the sf and final, rafa's energy started dropping quite apparently. if djoker had not played so badly, i still really wonder rafa can win in four or five sets. if experts got it badly,just coz no one can predict djoker's poor performance
Djoker played poorly because Nadal took away his spirit in the first 2 sets.
 

PilotPete

Semi-Pro
I think I am on record that Djokovic cannot outhit Nadal in these colder conditions and that the slow conditions helps Nadal’s defensive style which is how he grinds people down on clay.
How many times do you emphasize when you were egregiously wrong about a prediction? Or have you never gotten a prediction wrong? :)
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
So many pundits, tennis journalists and commentators (several of whom are former players) seemed confident that the 12 time French Open champion would lose to Djokovic?

Almost no one had Nadal putting on a clinic.

How do they get paid for these opinions?
To be fair, they weren't the only ones. Most of us assumed the different conditions and especially the closing of the roof would inevitably favour Djokovic. I doubt anyone foresaw what would happen.

One thing's for sure, no so called 'expert' or anybody else for that matter will write off Nadal at RG ever again! :cool:
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
One thing's for sure, no so called 'expert' or anybody else for that matter will write off Nadal at RG ever again! :cool:
I've got Federer over Nadal in straights in the 2021 RG final

There are several posters on TTW who I'd listen to any day of the week over the likes of Courier, Henman, Santoro, despite the fact that the latter three played tennis at a high professional level.
Thank you, you're too kind
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Many experts had Nole winning this match because:

1. Lower bounce, due to season
2. New balls=less spin
3. massive HTH advantage the last 5 years.
4. Nole’s insane 37-1 season up to this final

However, Nadal’s movement on clay is still elite and was completely overlooked. To be honest, I picked Nole to win. I figured the pressure of #20, along with Nole’s clutch play would have him take out Nadal in 5. I was wrong, along with many of the experts.

if anybody were to beat Nadal on clay, it would have been Djoker. Djoker is a complete beast.But Nadal issued a massive beat down.

All I can say is congrats to Nadal for an incredible tournament. Wow! He stepped up huge. What a champion. He put up another masterpiece. Unreal.
 

mistik

Hall of Fame
I can understand people think Djokovic has a big or better chance compare to the other players against Rafa but to think he is favorite against Rafa on RG is stupidity at is finest.Commies only trying to create drama that’s it.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
To be fair, they weren't the only ones. Most of us assumed the different conditions and especially the closing of the roof would inevitably favour Djokovic. I doubt anyone foresaw what would happen.

One thing's for sure, no so called 'expert' or anybody else for that matter will write off Nadal at RG ever again! :cool:
Lots of Nadal fans (myself included) predicted a comfortable victory for Rafa. Now you might say that is just fan bias, but many of us gave a bit more credit and respect to the guy who had won this thing 12 times and never lost in an RG final. It felt like so many "experts" threw out those factors in their rush to overrate Djokovic's clay level and declare him the favorite against the GOD of clay in the final of what is essentially his house.

It's actually kind of insulting. If Nadal is in the final, he has to be the favorite, no matter what the conditions may be.
 
Top