Peak Djokovic? Don’t make me laugh

Fabresque

Professional
Being a fan of Nole I personally loved the last tournaments, even RG despite losing to some mug.

But this isn’t peak Djokovic, and we probably won’t ever see peak Djokovic, and that’s a fact.

Look at his Cincinatti/Toronto form. He played mediocre at Toronto and lost to Tsitsipas in 3 sets, and he looked pretty much the same in Cincinatti, but he didn’t face anybody that was a competent opponent, so he slipped through by the skin of his teeth against Mannarino, Dimitrov, and Raonic. He only found himself gaining form against Cilic in the semi and Fed in the final.

So, why does he perform better later on? Simple, he gets more motivation. In the early rounds, at least during his peak years, he would barely try and still beat mugs like Mannarino 6-3 6-2. Guys like Dimitrov and Raonic wouldn’t even be able to take a set off him.

But, somehow he found himself in the semifinal. He thinks to himself “If I really just vultured my way through these mugs, what’s stopping me from winning the tournament?” Thus he brings back classic Djoker against Cilic, or close to it, and has Fred spooked in the final to win his first Cincinatti title.

So what happens at the US Open? He gets through relatively unharmed in the first two rounds, squeaks by the next two, gets that motivation against Fred in the QF, and poof, he’s in a prime position for his third US Open title.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
He's definitely not peak Djokovic but in AO he played with pain then in February, he had surgery. In March, he didn't win a match at Indian Wells and Miami, two of the best hardcourt tournaments of his career. His game suddenly came to life at the end of the clay season and he went to another level in the grass season. Now he's back on hardcourt again and he does not yet have the timing and top form.

This takes time and does not happen overnight, and the fact that he survived Cincinnati with all Dimitrov, Raonic and Cilic playing well, and being able to turn on his game when he was in danger speaks volumes to how fast his level is increasing. His level will continue to get better as he plays more and more matches, and if he can win in the form he has played in thus far then he should feel good about everything going forwarrd. The transformation from 5 months ago to now is astonishing but it's way too ambitious to be expecting close to peak level already.
 
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Fabresque

Professional
Djokovic is 31. That data alone proves he is not at his peak. But he is still the most in form player of the tour along with Nadal.
That says more about the current tour than anything else. Two 30+ year olds, one of which who isn’t even playing good, are the most inform players. Combine that with Grandpa over here making Masters finals and being a US Open favorite.
 

Milehigh5280

Semi-Pro
He'll never be a world beater like he was during 2011 and 2015, but he has his mental edge back. Besides getting healthy that has been the biggest difference between his slump and now
 

Sport

Legend
He'll never be a world beater like he was during 2011 and 2015, but he has his mental edge back. Besides getting healthy that has been the biggest difference between his slump and now
With the current state of the field (weak Next Gen), there is no doubt that Djokovic will dominate again the tour, with Nadal being his only contender for Grand Slams. Nadal and Djokovic can perfectly win the next 10 Grand Slams consecutively.
 
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Sport

Legend
That says more about the current tour than anything else. Two 30+ year olds, one of which who isn’t even playing good, are the most inform players. Combine that with Grandpa over here making Masters finals and being a US Open favorite.
Excellent analysis. I would also like to point out that Djokovic was playing fantastic with the return of serve at Cincinnati. Particularly impressive was his exhibition against Raonic, who was serving bombs at 140 mph with high % of first serves. Yet Djokovic could even return some of those missiles. Cilic has a less powerful serve than Raonic, but still pretty solid, and Djokovic broke him so easily.

The main aspect where Djokovic can improve is in holding his serve I guess, since both Raonic and Cilic broke him frequently. Paradoxically, that was also the main weakness of Ralph in Montreal. He was losing his serve too much.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
With the current state of the field (weak Next Gen), there is no doubt that Djokovic will dominate again the tour, with Nadal being his only contender for Grand Slams. Nadal and Djokovic can perfectly win the next 10 Grand Slams consecutively.
No. They aren't winning the next 2.5 years of slams without a hiccup somewhere. Zverev, Cilic, Federer, or somebody will come through to break that up.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
His 26 (world-wide) fans vehemently dissent.

Eventually he's going to win something. Djokodal can't run the table forever and there are other guys that could do it too. I'm not a Zverev fan, but if it comes down to him and Rafa at UO you can bet your bottom dollar I'm Zverev for a day.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Djoker doesn’t need to be at his peak to win slams in this era. And neither does Nadal. They are both 1-2 levels below their peak. And yet, they won the last two slam events. I could see Djoker and Nadal splitting the next 4 slam titles.

I think that Lendl will soon have Zverev taking his game to the next level. Look at what he did with Murray. If Zverev isn’t a dolt, then he will latch onto everthjnf that Lendl has to offer. Lendl is yet another legend of the game that I think is very underrated. It is a damn shame that he isn’t with Murray anymore.
 

MeatTornado

Legend
He'll never be a world beater like he was during 2011 and 2015, but he has his mental edge back. Besides getting healthy that has been the biggest difference between his slump and now
He very well might be a world beater again. Because the world ain't what it used to be.

If a 35 year old Federer could win 2 slams and 3 Masters, anything is possible for 31 year old Novak, who already has one of the most unlikely Slam+Masters combo under his belt this summer.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
Djokovic is 31. That data alone proves he is not at his peak. But he is still the most in form player of the tour along with Nadal.
Nadal really didn't look that good at Rogers Cup. Then again Djokovic didn't look unstoppable in Cincy either. I'm not sure either of these guys are a shoe-in for the U.S Open final.
 

King No1e

Legend
With the current state of the field (weak Next Gen), there is no doubt that Djokovic will dominate again the tour, with Nadal being his only contender for Grand Slams. Nadal and Djokovic can perfectly win the next 10 Grand Slams consecutively.
2010: Nadal has no competitors, now he's gonna win the calendar slam and become GOAT (Djoker beats him 7 times, and in 2 Slam finals)
2011: Nadal will never beat Djoker again (destroys Djokovic 3 times in a row and reclaims #1)
2012: Nadal is Finnish, he will never win RG again (has best season ever in 2013)
2013: Federer is Finnish, all downhill from here (comes back to #2)
2014: Nadal will pass Federer for Slams, only question is by how many (Nads gets appendicitis and doesn't win a Slam for 3 years)
2015: Djokovic will win RG (loses to Wawrinka)
2016: Djokovic will win multiple consecutive CYGS for many years (goes Slamless for 2 years)
Late 2016: Fedalovic are Finnish, Murray and fellow mugs to kill our enjoyment of tennis (Fedalovic win the next 7 Slams together and hit 50 total)
2017: Federer will win everything in sight again, he will dominate like he did in 2004-07 (doesn't)
2018: Nadal and Djokovic can perfectly win the next 10 Grand Slams consecutively
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
2010: Nadal has no competitors, now he's gonna win the calendar slam and become GOAT (Djoker beats him 7 times, and in 2 Slam finals)
2011: Nadal will never beat Djoker again (destroys Djokovic 3 times in a row and reclaims #1)
2012: Nadal is Finnish, he will never win RG again (has best season ever in 2013)
2013: Federer is Finnish, all downhill from here (comes back to #2)
2014: Nadal will pass Federer for Slams, only question is by how many (Nads gets appendicitis and doesn't win a Slam for 3 years)
2015: Djokovic will win RG (loses to Wawrinka)
2016: Djokovic will win multiple consecutive CYGS for many years (goes Slamless for 2 years)
Late 2016: Fedalovic are Finnish, Murray and fellow mugs to kill our enjoyment of tennis (Fedalovic win the next 7 Slams together and hit 50 total)
2017: Federer will win everything in sight again, he will dominate like he did in 2004-07 (doesn't)
2018: Nadal and Djokovic can perfectly win the next 10 Grand Slams consecutively
Agree except 2017 FO and pre UO seeing Fed down in his back.
 

upchuck

Professional
He was terrible in Toronto. He was clearly better in Cincinnati but still below his best. I thought his Wimbledon quality, however, fit neatly with his runs there between 2011 and 2015 and showed he's still capable of producing his best for the duration of a major tournament.
Djokovic is 31. That data alone proves he is not at his peak.
This is the kind of analysis that lay behind so many bad takes. No, being 31 does not in itself mean he is pass his peak. His actual quality of play and results determines that.
...he has his mental edge back.
Yes. It's so key for him.
 

West Coast Ace

G.O.A.T.
Eventually he's going to win something. Djokodal can't run the table forever and there are other guys that could do it too. I'm not a Zverev fan, but if it comes down to him and Rafa at UO you can bet your bottom dollar I'm Zverev for a day.
I think I’m one of the 26 @BeatlesFan mentioned - but if he doesn’t at least get to the SF of a major soon the scar tissue will accumulate and he could end up being a taller Dimitrov.
 

Fabresque

Professional
He was terrible in Toronto. He was clearly better in Cincinnati but still below his best. I thought his Wimbledon quality, however, fit neatly with his runs there between 2011 and 2015 and showed he's still capable of producing his best for the duration of a major tournament.
This is the kind of analysis that lay behind so many bad takes. No, being 31 does not in itself mean he is pass his peak. His actual quality of play and results determines that.Yes. It's so key for him.
Agreed. His grass court season was very reminiscent of his 2011 and 2014/15 runs. No trouble at all till the semis, or in the aformentioned, no trouble till the finals. But swap them and it’s the same thing, Djokovic demolished Anderson in the final this year.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
I think I’m one of the 26 @BeatlesFan mentioned - but if he doesn’t at least get to the SF of a major soon the scar tissue will accumulate and he could end up being a taller Dimitrov.
He'll do it sooner or later. I liked him in the beginning and over time he's done some things I don't like, but I can't say I wouldn't get behind him if it means breaking up a Djokodal monopoly on the game. That's the last thing tennis needs.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
[QUOTE
2012: Nadal is Finnish, he will never win RG again (has best season ever in 2013)
2013: Federer is Finnish, all downhill from here (comes back to #2) ...
[/QUOTE]

Wow! Both Nadal and Federer are Finnish? One would think Finland would've won a Davis Cup or two.
 

Sudacafan

G.O.A.T.
Being a fan of Nole I personally loved the last tournaments, even RG despite losing to some mug.

But this isn’t peak Djokovic, and we probably won’t ever see peak Djokovic, and that’s a fact.

Look at his Cincinatti/Toronto form. He played mediocre at Toronto and lost to Tsitsipas in 3 sets, and he looked pretty much the same in Cincinatti, but he didn’t face anybody that was a competent opponent, so he slipped through by the skin of his teeth against Mannarino, Dimitrov, and Raonic. He only found himself gaining form against Cilic in the semi and Fed in the final.

So, why does he perform better later on? Simple, he gets more motivation. In the early rounds, at least during his peak years, he would barely try and still beat mugs like Mannarino 6-3 6-2. Guys like Dimitrov and Raonic wouldn’t even be able to take a set off him.

But, somehow he found himself in the semifinal. He thinks to himself “If I really just vultured my way through these mugs, what’s stopping me from winning the tournament?” Thus he brings back classic Djoker against Cilic, or close to it, and has Fred spooked in the final to win his first Cincinatti title.

So what happens at the US Open? He gets through relatively unharmed in the first two rounds, squeaks by the next two, gets that motivation against Fred in the QF, and poof, he’s in a prime position for his third US Open title.
We will never see any of the Big 4 peak again. Most recent peak of any of them was 2016 Murygoat, so relax and enjoy the videos.
 
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