I don't think Djokovic even played that bad

He didn’t make RG final in 3 last years so he is not that good on clay. And he hit many dtl backhands today so you argument is invalid. Go watch Novak in Ruud open!
Of course Thiem was better last year, that is fair to say. Before that Novak carried elbow injury for 18 months, only after surgery he returned to his normal level.
Please make some arguments with facts, not childish sentences.
 

fox

Semi-Pro
Of course Thiem was better last year, that is fair to say. Before that Novak carried elbow injury for 18 months, only after surgery he returned to his normal level.
Please make some arguments with facts, not childish sentences.
Childish is ignoring someone’s success and advocating for your idol. If he was injured he could retire, otherwise he jus lost to a better player.
Not to mention he lost to Rafa here many times plus Federer, Wawrinka and Thiem twice. So I don’t know why Djoko fans were so optimistic
 

Kozzy

Semi-Pro
I just watched it again, and that was a thing of beauty from Nadal. You could say Djokovic had an off day - but I think a lot of that had to do with how well Rafa played.
 
Childish is ignoring someone’s success and advocating for your idol. If he was injured he could retire, otherwise he jus lost to a better player.
Not to mention he lost to Rafa here many times plus Federer, Wawrinka and Thiem twice. So I don’t know why Djoko fans were so optimistic
Yes and they all have losing head to head vs Novak. ;)
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
In the 1984 Wimbledon final, McEnroe destroyed Connors 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. After the match famously said, "hell, and I was playing really well." In 2000, Safin beat Pete in the USO final 6–4, 6–3, 6–3 . Pete said in his presser, "I thought my level was very high."

So it happens even to the greats.
 

ibbi

Legend
Perhaps not that bad, but certainly a long way from good. He hit like 40% first serves in the first set, and while that number certainly recovered, he never stopped bleeding unforced errors, and these were not unforced errors extracted from him the way Nadal has done in the past either with the ridiculous topspin he usually gets on Chatrier, or with the junkballing he has at the US Open (though Nadal's brilliant serving almost exclusively down the tee in that first set to take away his beloved angles was beautifully executed) he just couldn't find the way around him in rallies. His serve has probably been his most key weapon ever since his 2018 comeback, remember how it bailed him out again and again in their Wimbledon classic, but here it was nowhere near that level. He made quite a few of his epic returns, but Nadal somehow just handled them without a care in the world, his suffocating depth was nowhere to be seen, and his much practiced dropshot tactics were completely pounced on.

Now a lot of this is just where you have to give credit to Nadal, who was incredible. He used variety in the rallies to totally outfox Novak, he pretty easily handled his best returns, and every time Novak did play a really good point, which happened now and then, or every time he got close on Nadal's serve, which happened quite a lot, Nadal raised his level and pulled away again.

You go back to their Wimbledon match and every time one upped their game the other came right back at them, that didn't really happen today at all, and it's what you expect between guys who are playing less for individual titles and more for some grander claim to greatness. Novak's play got better and better as the match today went along, but then what happened to him in those last two games with momentum seemingly on his side, and a foothold back in the match? Total collapse. Not good.

I do believe he was some way from his physical best these past two matches, but considering how well he played in flashes and patches that ain't that much of an excuse.
 
Im not being salty, just no 500 or even masters tournament will equal Slam, so I don’t think h2h is important here
Novak will probably end his taly at 21,22 slams. We will see in 3 years how will have the most slams, WTF, masters and weeks at number one.
 

vex

Hall of Fame
Djokovic didn’t play BAD. He played like his A-/B+ stuff which is about what you can expect from him. Rafa played amazing and was much better than him. If Djoker played his A+ game he might now have won even in 5, Rafa was that damn good today
 

Jonas78

Legend
Djoko wasnt at his best, but he would lose no matter which version who showed up today.

I was pretty sure Rafa would win today, and i said it before the match. I felt it was a little like before the AO19 final, only the opposite. Although Djokovic won Rome and steamrolled to the final, this wasnt 2015/2016 Djokovic. Had Tsitsipas been a little sharper on important points he could have knocked Djoker out. At the start of third set vs Tsitsi, Djoko had 4/5 BPs converted, 10/10 saved, and Tsitsi had been 40-0 two games in a row and losing. Well, you know Rafa wont let you get away with that. Imo Djoko has been sloppy ever sinse the tour started up again, but he gets away with it vs most of LostGen and NextGen
 
Djokovic looks resigned, completly different in comparison with 2015, it’s like he forgot it was possible to win against Nadal at RG, of course Nadal grab him by the throat dice the start, and played extremely well during two sets.
 

Kozzy

Semi-Pro
Djokovic looks resigned, completly different in comparison with 2015, it’s like he forgot it was possible to win against Nadal at RG, of course Nadal grab him by the throat dice the start, and played extremely well during two sets.
Rafa was in terrible form in 2015 all year long - the worst I've ever seen him play. Ultimately, Nadal is just better on clay, especially at RG. Same as how Djokovic is better at the AO.
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
If anyone hasnt watched it already, watch both press conferences.

Great comments from Nadal, and Djokovic was very classy and expounding on his public persona beyond just talking about the match.
 

Djokodal Fan

Hall of Fame
And so what? Nobody cares about minor tournaments where Novak improves his stats but fails where he should play best tennis.
You mean to say that his 17 GS wins were some minor tournaments? You do know that he only has 2 people ahead of him (2 GOATS at this moment). Let's be measured in what we say. We have seen so many threads in 2014 where folks famously called him 'majoring in minors' when he had like 6 slams to his credit. He clearly has turned it around to 17 slams going beyond pete and firmly placing himself in ATG bracket
 

TU87

Rookie
Way to many unforced errors for Djokovic 52-14 for Nadal. Djokovic hit more unforced errors throughout the tournament than he normally does.
 

rhoder

Rookie
I’m not sure if it is fair to say this, but it seems Djokovic exhibits a defeatist mentality at times. If circumstances are less than ideal for him, it seems like he gives up and you can see the lack of thinking, intensity on his part. I can give a few examples where I thought he exhibited such.

For example, at RG last year against Thiem, he disliked the wind and looked all out of sorts for the first set, kept complaining and never exhibited his focus. Only when there was the break and a calmer wind then he tried his best to get back into the match.

Against Nadal in Rome last year, he gave a 6-0 because of reasons where he was exhausted from the prior rounds. Those reasons are completely justified to me, but his facial expressions were like he gave up from the get go. The fact that he had energy to put up a fight in the second set enforced my belief that his rather poor mentality was playing a huge part in his poor performance and he actually had the capability to put up a better fight.

Yesterday, we have no idea what he was thinking but he looked like he was defeated at the start. Zero facial expressions of giving a fight, he was anyhow crushing groundstrokes without any safety margin which he usually does leading to a high UE count. If he had sorted out his mind I’m sure he could’ve put up a better fight. For all the straight sets domination I didn’t think Nadal’s level was that unplayable the way he was in RG17, 08 and final sets of 14.

We see Nadal and Federer complaining about conditions etc. as well but when playing they always give their best. I just can’t say the same for Djokovic.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
I’m not sure if it is fair to say this, but it seems Djokovic exhibits a defeatist mentality at times. If circumstances are less than ideal for him, it seems like he gives up and you can see the lack of thinking, intensity on his part. I can give a few examples where I thought he exhibited such.

For example, at RG last year against Thiem, he disliked the wind and looked all out of sorts for the first set, kept complaining and never exhibited his focus. Only when there was the break and a calmer wind then he tried his best to get back into the match.

Against Nadal in Rome last year, he gave a 6-0 because of reasons where he was exhausted from the prior rounds. Those reasons are completely justified to me, but his facial expressions were like he gave up from the get go. The fact that he had energy to put up a fight in the second set enforced my belief that his rather poor mentality was playing a huge part in his poor performance and he actually had the capability to put up a better fight.

Yesterday, we have no idea what he was thinking but he looked like he was defeated at the start. Zero facial expressions of giving a fight, he was anyhow crushing groundstrokes without any safety margin which he usually does leading to a high UE count. If he had sorted out his mind I’m sure he could’ve put up a better fight. For all the straight sets domination I didn’t think Nadal’s level was that unplayable the way he was in RG17, 08 and final sets of 14.

We see Nadal and Federer complaining about conditions etc. as well but when playing they always give their best. I just can’t say the same for Djokovic.
yea but novak was injured today though.. he had that neck spasm and left arm pain that made him Not play his best.
 

rhoder

Rookie
yea but novak was injured today though.. he had that neck spasm and left arm pain that made him Not play his best.
That may have been the case, but I feel he lets such unfavourable circumstances play on his mind way too much. Like I said, I think if he feels he doesn’t have the perfect set up he sometimes doesn’t give his best, that unnecessarily disadvantages himself I feel. Because he has to fight both his mind and his body.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
That may have been the case, but I feel he lets such unfavourable circumstances play on his mind way too much. Like I said, I think if he feels he doesn’t have the perfect set up he sometimes doesn’t give his best, that unnecessarily disadvantages himself I feel. Because he has to fight both his mind and his body.
What ?? but i thought it was Unfavorable condition for Rafa ?? Slow heavy Balls, slow cold conditions,,, made even slower by closing the roof... all favoring Novak ??
 

rhoder

Rookie
What ?? but i thought it was Unfavorable condition for Rafa ?? Slow heavy Balls, slow cold conditions,,, made even slower by closing the roof... all favoring Novak ??
In this case the unfavourable circumstance was his shoulder problems... In RG19 it was the wind. In Rome 19 it was the fatigue.

He exaggerates such issues (but I’m not saying the issues are non-existent) in his mind, and feels like he can’t give his best, and hence he unconsciously decides not to give his best.
 

Fedinkum

Legend
I will drop my bias and agreed with OP. Novak actually played some amazing cross court backhands and played good tennis to hang with Rafa. He actually did something out of his comfort zone and tried to hit really hard, which made the rallies quite watchable.

But I think that was precisely his mistake. He forced himself to red line many rallies and his UE mounted. He was less patience than usual and the stats showed: Rafa won some crazy percentage of rallies under 5 shots and Novak faired better with the longer rallies. Goran’s tactics completely mis-fired. It also exposes his weakness: his forehand is less powerful or effective than one thinks.
 
Last edited:

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
Hope it doesn't bother you too much. Novak had an off day, it happens and it was unfortunate for him it had to happen in an RG final against Rafa who had clearly upped his level knowing he would have to in order to beat Novak.
Glass half-full: it's the perfect time for it to happen. It's the one match on the calendar he's probably not going to win anyway. There is no loss in tennis with less shame than losing to Nadal in a RG final.

It quite literally happens to the best of them.
 

conjoshruk

Semi-Pro
I think Djokovic was playing below average, but Nadal was playing so well, it made Djokovic look worse than he already was.
Im a Nole fan, but our guy got completely exposed in that match. Theres no other way to describe it! But im confident that he will bounce back even stronger at the AO next year, like he usually does. Have hope fellow Djokovic fans!
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
He has looked in his last few Slam finals like he takes some kind of downers to prevent himself from getting too up or stressed. He got away with it in 5 sets at W19 and AO20, but Nadal made him pay. I’ve never seen him so flat emotionally in a big final like he was today.

Of course, a big part of it was Nadal making hardly any unforced errors in the first two sets and winning most of the long rallies with outstanding movement and defense. I felt like Djokovic had no idea on how to end points as his first serves and drop shots were not working - he tried hitting bigger and bigger, but it was too flat with a low margin for error and he ended up making 50 UFEs. I kept waiting for him to hit some moonballs and play long points with more topspin, but he didn’t have the patience to do so today. Just a sound thrashing - proves that even the all-time greats can have a bad day at the office especially if they can’t out-hit the guy across the net.

Wonder if Djokovic told his team afterwards that he lost to a ‘pusher’;)
 
Last edited:

sarpmas

Rookie
I still thought Novak was playing good tennis. His high UEs was a result of Nadal getting back everything Novak thrown at him, forcing Novak to go for risky shots to paint the lines and hitting deep, which inevitably ended up as UEs. The way Nadal defended with very smart placement shots made it difficult for Novak to hit winners, eventually the relentless pressure from Nadal just broke Novak’s spirit and caused him to commit most of the errors at important points.

In the 3rd set, I thought Novak was still looking fresh while Nadal seemed to be breathing a bit heavier. Nadal’s first serves % had also dropped quite a lot. Novak was actually able to hold ground at the back and Nadal also started producing some UEs not seen in the first 2 sets. Unfortunately Novak lacked the patience to maintain the rallies to keep Nadal on the run before going for winners off Nadal’s weak return.

In any case, it was really unreal how Nadal was able to generate those angled shots that pulled Novak way out of the court, especially to Novak’s bh with those lefty cross court fhs. Nadal’s court sense is really incredible.

In this match, Nadal actually was much more successful with the ROS. Nadal was standing further back to receive Novak’s serve and Novak was unable to get any cheap points off the serve.

Overall, Nadal just played a much technically sound match than Novak. Kudos to Nadal and his team.
 

Fedinkum

Legend
I thought Djoker was too reliant on the drop shot. This prevented him from getting into a rhythm with his ground game. Final GS match of the year and i was hoping to see a more competitive match.
Agreed. The drop shot strategy set up a very passive mindset for Novak. On the other hand, Rafa was out there to hunt for his 13 FO from the get go, he wasn’t fuccking around with mind games. You can feel the intensity was different between the two players from game 1.
 

aorgwimbus

New User
This was the worst ever slam final performance for Djokovic. He was clearly physically hampered due to neck and shoulder issues since Busta match (which started during US Open series). Even if he didnt choke a straight set victory against Tsitsipas, he could not have done much due to physical issues but that match basically destroyed him. His serve was terrible and he tried to finish rallies quickly by attempting to hit winners from ridiculous positions rather than waiting for the right moment. It is really embarassing Nadal fans gloating about this victory.
 

weakera

Legend
This was the worst ever slam final performance for Djokovic. He was clearly physically hampered due to neck and shoulder issues since Busta match (which started during US Open series). Even if he didnt choke a straight set victory against Tsitsipas, he could not have done much due to physical issues but that match basically destroyed him. His serve was terrible and he tried to finish rallies quickly by attempting to hit winners from ridiculous positions rather than waiting for the right moment. It is really embarassing Nadal fans gloating about this victory.
:laughing:
 
I thought Djoker was too reliant on the drop shot. This prevented him from getting into a rhythm with his ground game. Final GS match of the year and i was hoping to see a more competitive match.
Yup, when he made three back to back drop shots in the very first game, I thought this doesn't look good. Made more sense when Nadal owned him by and large in the rallies later. Novak was hoping to disrupt and win if at all and it quickly became clear that wouldn't work. It had shades of Nadal owning Fed at RG back in the day in terms of how Novak looked like he had no idea how to go about it.
 

Shaj

Rookie
I have never seen Novak so flat so without a fight. And that too in a final, its almost unseen of. Even during Nadals peak days on Clay it was Novak who always used to push him to the limit. I seriously am loss at words to what actually happened. There is no excuses though.
 
Top