Just watched Djokovic's RG presser...

Tennisgods

Hall of Fame
Djokovic has to show he is confident, but he has been very respectful to Nadal also, openly saying Nadal is the top guy here, and that is true.

Novak knows he has what it takes to win, but he also acknowledges the greatness of Rafa.
I’d also argue he’s making sure the favourite tag is with Nadal. Less about respect, more about shifting expectation. Understandably so.
 

Bukowski

Professional
He looks incredibly thin. I almost expect his legs to snap when they show him sliding in slow motion. I just don’t understand his weight with his height and his level.
 
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Sport

Legend
I’d also argue he’s making sure the favourite tag is with Nadal. Less about respect, more about shifting expectation. Understandably so.
He did not shift any exception from the fans. Nadal has won 11 RG in his career including the last 2 in a row, Djokovic only 1. Everyone knew Nadal is the first favorite for RG regardless of Djokovic's press conference.
 
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kevaninho

Hall of Fame
My point exactly. You're worried of the outcome. It has nothing to do with Djokovic's presser. You would be worried even if he had no presser.
Yes, probably. But had it been Federer he would've been going on about how Nadal is the clear favourite and he is just going to see what happens. i.e Not really looking like he believes he can do it.
Djokovic's belief and confidence are bulletproof it seems. He almost spoke with a smirk on his face cos he knows he can up his game from Rome and beat Nadal.
It just depends if Nadal can also play like his 2017 self even, then id be very confident no one would beat him.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
I do agree with you, Nadal fans do fear the threat of Djokovic here.

But this is also the place where Nadal fans should feel the most confident. Nadal is still the man here in Paris, even if Djokovic owns the rest of the world. Nadal also has a better chance of getting to final and also with significantly less wear and tear on the body, which will help him.
I just feel Nadal needs another level this time, and with him aging, we will see if he has it, cos Djokovic sure as hell has another level and I have a sneaky feeling he is saving his best for Paris.
It will be blockbuster stuff if they play the finals.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Since 2014, Djoker leads 11-4 in their mutual matches. Nadal beat Djoker in this period only on the clay.
What are you talking about? I was replying to someone saying Djokovic has dominated Nadal the last couple of years. Why are you going back to 2014 to look for a different argument? :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
Yes, probably. But had it been Federer he would've been going on about how Nadal is the clear favourite and he is just going to see what happens. i.e Not really looking like he believes he can do it.
Djokovic's belief and confidence are bulletproof it seems. He almost spoke with a smirk on his face cos he knows he can up his game from Rome and beat Nadal.
It just depends if Nadal can also play like his 2017 self even, then id be very confident no one would beat him.
Huh? Federer during his prime also had problems with overconfidence. Even before RG 2008 final he was saying that he has a plan and Nadal is going to be surprised. Well, we know how it ended.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
They try to conceal it well but you just know it drives Nadal fans crazy that their guy hasn't managed to beat Djokovic on non clay surfaces since then lol.
Read above. I was responding to TheMaestro saying Djokovic has dominated the rivalry the past 'couple years' .

Maybe read the convo before assuming...
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Huh? Federer during his prime also had problems with overconfidence. Even before RG 2008 final he was saying that he has a plan and Nadal is going to be surprised. Well, we know how it ended.
Once again, I never mentioned Federer in his prime....
 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
I just feel Nadal needs another level this time, and with him aging, we will see if he has it, cos Djokovic sure as hell has another level and I have a sneaky feeling he is saving his best for Paris.
It will be blockbuster stuff if they play the finals.
It all depends on Nadal's form and mentality. His clay season was really bad, but in Rome he played better.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
I just feel Nadal needs another level this time, and with him aging, we will see if he has it, cos Djokovic sure as hell has another level and I have a sneaky feeling he is saving his best for Paris.
It will be blockbuster stuff if they play the finals.
Do you not feel the level Nadal has shown at Rome is enough to win?
 

mwym

Rookie
He looks incredibly thin. I almost expect his legs to snap when they show him sliding in slow motion. I just don’t understand his weight with his height and his level.
He could increase mass of muscles, but he does not need that for his playing style and he would gain less and lose more by doing so. Lower body weight means less strain on joints and it can help them continue to perform like his body is in mid to late 20s still, roughly several years younger than it really is. This also suggests his intention to prolong his career beyond what is usual or to be expected for his playing style. We saw that at AO19 and chances are we will see that again at RG19 - when he is in full flight, his legs are as fast and his body can stretch as much as during his '14-'16 peak. Several pounds less might not seem relevant/helpful to a casual observer but they obviously are for a body doing things he does with it at his highest effort/level of performance.

And I am positive it does not matter at all to him and it does not make sponsors worried if he looks less like a poster boy by being as thin as he is now.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
It should be enough if he can play better on big points than he did in Rome final. (especially on break points)
I have been told that the ball is not bouncing up as much as it was in previous years.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
Who said that? Nadal practiced on Chatrier and said he didn't feel any difference, at least according to "Nadal News" thread.
Some people I know in Paris, who I would go watch RG with whenever I am there. This is from an observational standpoint, but these people have been going every year for the last 20 years, and gave me some feedback. I was told the ball is not as lively as it has been in the past, something others who also have been watching there have been saying the same. How much weight that holds I don't know, but every year I ask them, when I am not there, and they always tell me it is lively, this is first time they said it looks like a different bounce.
 

Sport

Legend
Who said that? Nadal practiced on Chatrier and said he didn't feel any difference, at least according to "Nadal News" thread.
Nadal did say it, which is normal because the court only changed the chairs and the surrounding structure, but the clay and the court dimentions are the same.

Do you speak Spanish?

Minute 2:50: "La Phillipie-Chatrier, la sensación de jugar (ya que he podido entrenar en ella), yo la veo exactamente igual a nivel de juego. Solo veo un cambio a nivel visual."

Translation: "I see the Phillipe-Chatrier (because I have been able to train there) exactly the same in terms of the feeling of the court. The change is only visual."

 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
Some people I know in Paris, who I would go watch RG with whenever I am there. This is from an observational standpoint, but these people have been going every year for the last 20 years, and gave me some feedback. I was told the ball is not as lively as it has been in the past, something others who also have been watching there have been saying the same. How much weight that holds I don't know, but every year I ask them, when I am not there, and they always tell me it is lively, this is first time they said it looks like a different bounce.
So we have different sources of information here. Well, I have to see it myself to make any conclusions.
 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
Nadal did say it, which is normal because the court only changed the chairs and the surrounding structure, but the clay and the court dimentions are the same.

Do you speak Spanish?

Minute 2:50: "La Phillipie-Chatrier, la sensación de jugar, yo la veo exactamente igual a nivel de juego. Solo veo un cambio a nivel visual."

Translation: "I see the Phillipe-Chatrier exactly the same in terms of the feeling of the court. The change is only visual."

Nope.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
So we have different sources of information here. Well, I have to see it myself to make any conclusions.
Exactly, I'll have a good idea tomorrow when play begins. However there are conflicting reports now on how that ball is bouncing, but something we will have cleared up in the next two days, I am sure.
 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
Nadal said in the minute 2:50 of the video I posted: "I see the Phillipe-Chatrier (because I have been able to train there) exactly the same in terms of the feeling of the court. The change is only visual."
Well, this are good news if he thinks like that.
 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
Exactly, I'll have a good idea tomorrow when play begins. However there are conflicting reports now on how that ball is bouncing, but something we will have cleared up in the next two days, I am sure.
I'll try to watch something tomorrow. I'm a bit busy with my studies, but I usually find time when needed.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
I'll try to watch something tomorrow. I'm a bit busy with my studies, but I usually find time when needed.
I will try to watch as much as I can these first few days, then I have some serious travelling to do across North Africa, and will just check highlights here and there. I doubt I will be watching the latter stages live at all.
 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
I will try to watch as much as I can these first few days, then I have some serious travelling to do across North Africa, and will just check highlights here and there. I doubt I will be watching the latter stages live at all.
Due to work or vacation?
 

DerekNoleFam1

Professional
He will have a good chance of lifting his second French Open title if Nadal loses before the final or if he meets and beats Thiem in the semi final.

OP, don't rule out Thiem either. He truly believes he is the second best clay court player today, especially at RG. When he plays well without making many errors, he's one of the hardest players to defeat on clay.
.

Thiem is a danger to Djoker for sure .
But not many would back him to defeat Nadal in an RG final.
Last year was a beatdown, as have been most RG finals involving Nadal.
Nole has the ability to take Nadal down, but as others have stated, it is still all on dependent on Nadal, and what form he is in.
In 2014 Nadal did not peak on clay until the finals, including crushing Murray in the semifinal.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Do you not feel the level Nadal has shown at Rome is enough to win?
The only possible thorn for Nadal in winning this again is that you could say maybe he showed his hand too soon. I don't think that at this point in his career he can play better than he did in set 1 and set 3 against Djokovic in Rome. He however has not seen Djokovic's hand yet since he played a pretty forgettable match especially compared to the level he played leading up to that. He has seen Nadal's level now nonetheless. This was before the draw came out though which is a huge advantage to Nadal, and Djokovic will most likely have to work harder to get to the final than he will. I think the only person who has a chance to take Nadal down is Djokovic but he has plenty of obstacles and may tire himself if he even makes the final. This is Nadal's tournament to lose even more so than before.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
The only possible thorn for Nadal in winning this again is that you could say maybe he showed his hand too soon. I don't think that at this point in his career he can play better than he did in set 1 and set 3 against Djokovic in Rome. He however has not seen Djokovic's hand yet since he played a pretty forgettable match especially compared to the level he played leading up to that. He has seen Nadal's level now nonetheless. This was before the draw came out though which is a huge advantage to Nadal, and Djokovic will most likely have to work harder to get to the final than he will. I think the only person who has a chance to take Nadal down is Djokovic but he has plenty of obstacles and may tire himself if he even makes the final. This is Nadal's tournament to lose even more so than before.
You do make valid points, Nadal has shown his hand to Djokovic, but the tournament is Nadal's to lose due to the way the draw has come about.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
You do make valid points, Nadal has shown his hand to Djokovic, but the tournament is Nadal's to lose due to the way the draw has come about.
Yea I totally see him breezing into the QF without breaking a sweat, then play maybe Nishikori or Medvedev, who I don't see causing him much trouble. Maybe Medvedev can on a good day but I expect Nadal would blow through him on clay. The SF is when it gets tricky. The dangerous players are all in Djokovic, Thiem and Federer's quarters.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
Yea I totally see him breezing into the QF without breaking a sweat, then play maybe Nishikori or Medvedev, who I don't see causing him much trouble. Maybe Medvedev can on a good day but I expect Nadal would blow through him on clay. The SF is when it gets tricky. The dangerous players are all in Djokovic, Thiem and Federer's quarters.
True. It will be interesting to see how Djokovic himself performs. The past few slams he has gotten better as the tournament went on, and it worked just fine for him to peak towards the business end. Here I don't know if using that tactic will work, because of the extra long rallies and more grinding that takes place. Will he go into killing mode from the start, to save his energy for the business end, or will he go with his formula, knowing that over two weeks and with days off he will be able to manage his schedule a lot better?
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
True. It will be interesting to see how Djokovic himself performs. The past few slams he has gotten better as the tournament went on, and it worked just fine for him to peak towards the business end. Here I don't know if using that tactic will work, because of the extra long rallies and more grinding that takes place. Will he go into killing mode from the start, to save his energy for the business end, or will he go with his formula, knowing that over two weeks and with days off he will be able to manage his schedule a lot better?
Well in Australia he came into the tournament not playing that great to be honest. I remember we both were not happy with his level in Doha. Before the USO, he played terrible in Canada and labored through Cincy which carried over into the USO until the 4th round or so. Now, he played pretty great in Madrid and Rome so his level is already high whereas it wasn't in those two Slams from the beginning. I don't think he needs to go into killing mode from the start (he should save it for later) but he should go into supreme efficient mode which is what he showed in latter parts of Madrid and Rome. The opponents from the jump are difficult and he can't afford to let them get confident and draw him into dogfights.
 

Raphael Nadal

Professional
Man he looks very quietly confident. I think he has been holding back a little in the Masters events till now, and in his mind he knows he has that extra gear to win RG.

Anyone else get this feeling?

It worries me, as a Nadal fan, when Djokovic is in this mindset. I don't think he minds taking a loss against Nadal , whereas if the result goes the other way, I feel it affects Nadal a lot.
Basically Nadal needed that Rome win, whereas Djokovic looks like hes just brushed it off and in his mind he feels at RG he wont be fighting against fatigue or scheduling if he meets Nadal again.

Im very much looking forward to hopefully seeing them battle it out in the final this year.
Djokovic knew he had to beat Rafa at Rome, to prevent Rafa from gaining any confidence.
Rafa owns him, and I doubt Djokovic will ever beat Rafa on clay ever again.
Rafa has won their last 3 clay meetings :)
But I will say Djokovic can take a set from Rafa at Roland Garros, whereas Thiem has no hope - as we've seen in 2017 and 2018 when Thiem's backhand was useless against Rafa on the bouncy French clay despite beating Rafa comfortable at 2017 Rome and 2018 Madrid....
I hope Djokovic beats Thiem so we at least hopefully get a 4-setter in the Final, but Djokovic is no longer good enough to beat Rafa on clay, just good enough to win a set.
 
Djokovic knew he had to beat Rafa at Rome, or surrender any mental edge.
Rafa owns him, and I doubt Djokovic will ever beat Rafa on clay ever again.
Rafa has won their last 3 clay meetings :)
But I will say Djokovic can take a set from Rafa at Roland Garros, whereas Thiem has no hope - as we've seen in 2017 and 2018 when Thiem's backhand was useless against Rafa on the bouncy French clay despite beating Rafa comfortable at 2017 Rome and 2018 Madrid....
I hope Djokovic beats Thiem so we at least hopefully get a 4-setter in the Final, but Djokovic is no longer good enough to beat Rafa on clay.
Shouldn't you be practicing?!
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
Well in Australia he came into the tournament not playing that great to be honest. I remember we both were not happy with his level in Doha. Before the USO, he played terrible in Canada and labored through Cincy which carried over into the USO until the 4th round or so. Now, he played pretty great in Madrid and Rome so his level is already high whereas it wasn't in those two Slams from the beginning. I don't think he needs to go into killing mode from the start (he should save it for later) but he should go into supreme efficient mode which is what he showed in latter parts of Madrid and Rome. The opponents from the jump are difficult and he can't afford to let them get confident and draw him into dogfights.
Agree.

Efficient mode to kill mode as the tournament progresses. He does need to avoid the dogfights early, because he is prone to them at RG, compared to Nadal. I do sense from his body language that he is ready, and believing.

You can bet that after AO final, he has done nothing but expect to go through an inform Nadal at RG. And to see a Nadal that has lost as many times as Nadal did this clay season, Djokovic will know there is blood in the water. Nadal IS the fav, but Djokovic would mentally be only preparing for such a scenario, anything else just makes it easier relatively to deal with.
 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
The only possible thorn for Nadal in winning this again is that you could say maybe he showed his hand too soon. I don't think that at this point in his career he can play better than he did in set 1 and set 3 against Djokovic in Rome. He however has not seen Djokovic's hand yet since he played a pretty forgettable match especially compared to the level he played leading up to that. He has seen Nadal's level now nonetheless. This was before the draw came out though which is a huge advantage to Nadal, and Djokovic will most likely have to work harder to get to the final than he will. I think the only person who has a chance to take Nadal down is Djokovic but he has plenty of obstacles and may tire himself if he even makes the final. This is Nadal's tournament to lose even more so than before.
The reason why right now Djokovic's draw is tougher is because he has Thiem in his half.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic knew he had to beat Rafa at Rome, to prevent Rafa from gaining any confidence.
Rafa owns him, and I doubt Djokovic will ever beat Rafa on clay ever again.
Rafa has won their last 3 clay meetings :)
But I will say Djokovic can take a set from Rafa at Roland Garros, whereas Thiem has no hope - as we've seen in 2017 and 2018 when Thiem's backhand was useless against Rafa on the bouncy French clay despite beating Rafa comfortable at 2017 Rome and 2018 Madrid....
I hope Djokovic beats Thiem so we at least hopefully get a 4-setter in the Final, but Djokovic is no longer good enough to beat Rafa on clay, just good enough to win a set.
Saying that Thiem isn't capable of taking a set is a total exaggeration.
 
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NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Agree.

Efficient mode to kill mode as the tournament progresses. He does need to avoid the dogfights early, because he is prone to them at RG, compared to Nadal. I do sense from his body language that he is ready, and believing.

You can bet that after AO final, he has done nothing but expect to go through an inform Nadal at RG. And to see a Nadal that has lost as many times as Nadal did this clay season, Djokovic will know there is blood in the water. Nadal IS the fav, but Djokovic would mentally be only preparing for such a scenario, anything else just makes it easier relatively to deal with.
Well at least he comes into this RG in better shape than he was in 2017 and 2018, so that's one good thing, and he won a clay Masters so that has to give him some confidence. He can't have his notorious lapses this time or he will pay for it in the end. Clay is really taxing compared to hardcourt.

Totally agree. The only thing is he has to stay really focused so he get to the big dance because his draw is not easy at all.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
The reason why right now Djokovic's draw is tougher is because he has Thiem in his half.
That is clearly not the only reason. Djokovic plays Hurtkatz in the 1st round, who has beaten Thiem, Shapovalov, Nishikori (twice) and Pouille this season while Nadal plays a qualifier.
 
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Deleted member 77403

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Well at least he comes into this RG in better shape than he was in 2017 and 2018, so that's one good thing, and he won a clay Masters so that has to give him some confidence. He can't have his notorious lapses this time or he will pay for it in the end. Clay is really taxing compared to hardcourt.

Totally agree. The only thing is he has to stay really focused so he get to the big dance because his draw is not easy at all.
That is the silver lining in the cloud. Game face on from the start, stay ruthlessly efficient during the early rounds, and try to get through as many as possible without losing sets and racking up court time, and once he enters the business end from quarter on, initiate killing mode. The harder draw would almost demand that from him, and sharpen him up for a possible match with Nadal, should it happen of course.
 
That is the silver lining in the cloud. Game face on from the start, stay ruthlessly efficient during the early rounds, and try to get through as many as possible without losing sets and racking up court time, and once he enters the business end from quarter on, initiate killing mode. The harder draw would almost demand that from him, and sharpen him up for a possible match with Nadal, should it happen of course.
Punishment is the only thing that will do, at that point.

However, I would not be shocked to learn that we're in "wheels come off" territory for Nadal; i.e., if some upstart takes a set, could unravel.
 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
That is clearly not the only reason. Djokovic plays Hurtkatz in the 1st round, who has beaten Thiem, Shapovalov, Nishikori (twice) and Pouille this season while Nadal plays a qualifier.
Hurtkatz? Oh, this is definitely the player that makes the draws tough. I heard Nadal's first round opponent is a big hitter who can play some good stuff on clay. But I don't think that makes Nadal's draw harder.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
Punishment is the only thing that will do, at that point.

However, I would not be shocked to learn that we're in "wheels come off" territory for Nadal; i.e., if some upstart takes a set, could unravel.
You actually have a valid point there, because with the draw Nadal has, he shouldn't be losing sets to anyone here until at least the semis. If he does, there will be questions, especially if Djokovic on the other side is navigating his side well.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
That is the silver lining in the cloud. Game face on from the start, stay ruthlessly efficient during the early rounds, and try to get through as many as possible without losing sets and racking up court time, and once he enters the business end from quarter on, initiate killing mode. The harder draw would almost demand that from him, and sharpen him up for a possible match with Nadal, should it happen of course.
Yes exactly. This is how I think he should approach this tournament.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Hurtkatz? Oh, this is definitely the player that makes the draws tough. I heard Nadal's first round opponent is a big hitter who can play some good stuff on clay. But I don't think that makes Nadal's draw harder.
For a first round? Yes it is tough to play a guy who has 3 top 10 wins already this season compared to a qualifier who is most likely ranked outside the top 100. That's not even including the other dangerous players in his part part of the draw. Nadal's draw is by far the easiest of the top 4.
 

Tennisgods

Hall of Fame
That is clearly not the only reason. Djokovic plays Hurtkatz in the 1st round, who has beaten Thiem, Shapovalov, Nishikori (twice) and Pouille this season while Nadal plays a qualifier.
Argh, this stuff just makes me cross!!!
No offence NoleFam, but Djokovic will thrash Hurkacz. It shouldn’t even be in question. And if he doesn’t, then he was never winning RG anyway.
Hurkacz beat those other players because - guess what - they are all several levels below Djokovic, especially when they are not “on”. I include the “Prince of Clay” in that.
There is zero threat to a Djokovic in half decent form in the early rounds.
 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
For a first round? Yes it is tough to play a guy who has 3 top 10 wins already this season compared to a qualifier who is most likely ranked outside the top 100. That's not even including the other dangerous players in his part part of the draw. Nadal's draw is by far the easiest of the top 4.
I don't believe Djokovic will have any problems with extremely overrated players like Coric or Fognini. I doubt any of them will even reach him. And if they do it will probably be straight sets beatdowns.
 
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