Why does Djokovic drop the 1st set so often?

socallefty

Legend
He doesn’t serve as well in the beginning of matches and gets broken more by oppponents who can hang with him from the baseline. Once he finds his groove, he seems to be able to find the big 1st serve whenever he needs it. Plus, he slowly wears them out from the baseline too once he gets a 2-1 set lead.
 

Gazelle

G.O.A.T.
Because his opponents played better tennis than him, but when they take the lead they get nervous and choke it all away.

If Djok's level really was that good he would stamp his authority from the very beginning. Nowadays he usually relies on his opponent's choking, he's getting complacent because it works. Would be a whole different story if Stanimal was at the other side of the net.
 
I find it extremely funny how you dismiss the current era being a weak era as a 'tired and unsubstantiated argument' and in the very next sentence treat Fed's first ten slams as weak era and Nadal's entire clay opposition as weak era
Hypocritical you said?
You have a good point, and I can see how you could conclude that. But I should add that I think weak era arguments have to be looked at years later, not at the current time. I am not saying that it may not be true that the present is a weak era, just that it is unsubstantiated at this time. I think it is a lot easier to look at Federer and who he beat in 2005-2008 that there were no ATGs then other than a baby Nadal. What if Medvedev goes on a tear and wins 10 slams in the next 7 years. What if the current top ten other than Djokovic win all the slams for the next 5 years.

Also, the problem with saying the era is weak because one man dominated is that it is hard to conclude that since maybe that one man is just better than the others when it comes to bo5. I also don't trust the comments of "just trust your eyes" that Djokovic or Federer or Nadal are just no where near as good as a certain year's level because these are often self-serving arguments. Granted Federer is 40 and Nadal has legitimate injury issues now, but saying Federer was a demigod in 2005 and was trash when he won three slams late in his career just doesn't take into account many other factors such as better strategy and more experience and the draw.
 
Because his opponents played better tennis than him, but when they take the lead they get nervous and choke it all away.

If Djok's level really was that good he would stamp his authority from the very beginning. Nowadays he usually relies on his opponent's choking, he's getting complacent because it works. Would be a whole different story if Stanimal was at the other side of the net.
It is amazing that Djokovic has the magic ability to make so many players choke. I am sure all tennis players would like that.
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
Because his opponents played better tennis than him, but when they take the lead they get nervous and choke it all away.

If Djok's level really was that good he would stamp his authority from the very beginning. Nowadays he usually relies on his opponent's choking, he's getting complacent because it works. Would be a whole different story if Stanimal was at the other side of the net.
Novak has always played like this. It’s not new.
 

JasonZ

Professional
Novak has always played like this. It’s not new.
no this is not true. after his comeback 2018 he won the first sets in all slam finals till french open 2021, and played his best in the first set, except the 0:6 against nadal in french open 2020.

but at this french open he started to really not play well in the first set, and improve his game after that.
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
no this is not true. after his comeback 2018 he won the first sets in all slam finals till french open 2021, and played his best in the first set, except the 0:6 against nadal in french open 2020.

but at this french open he started to really not play well in the first set, and improve his game after that.
Novak has never won a slam without losing a set. It makes no difference if it’s the first or the second or whatever. Even at his peak Novak would end up in 5 setters. The key point is that he has the mental fortitude to respond most of the time
 

JasonZ

Professional
Novak has never won a slam without losing a set. It makes no difference if it’s the first or the second or whatever. Even at his peak Novak would end up in 5 setters. The key point is that he has the mental fortitude to respond most of the time
this thread is about the first set and novaks slow start, not losing sets in between.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
You have a good point, and I can see how you could conclude that. But I should add that I think weak era arguments have to be looked at years later, not at the current time. I am not saying that it may not be true that the present is a weak era, just that it is unsubstantiated at this time. I think it is a lot easier to look at Federer and who he beat in 2005-2008 that there were no ATGs then other than a baby Nadal. What if Medvedev goes on a tear and wins 10 slams in the next 7 years. What if the current top ten other than Djokovic win all the slams for the next 5 years.

Also, the problem with saying the era is weak because one man dominated is that it is hard to conclude that since maybe that one man is just better than the others when it comes to bo5. I also don't trust the comments of "just trust your eyes" that Djokovic or Federer or Nadal are just no where near as good as a certain year's level because these are often self-serving arguments. Granted Federer is 40 and Nadal has legitimate injury issues now, but saying Federer was a demigod in 2005 and was trash when he won three slams late in his career just doesn't take into account many other factors such as better strategy and more experience and the draw.
You have a good point, and I can see how you could conclude that.
Rarety on TTW to concede that someone else has a good point, kudos.

But I should add that I think weak era arguments have to be looked at years later, not at the current time. I am not saying that it may not be true that the present is a weak era, just that it is unsubstantiated at this time.
Makes sense to look at it this way, and no - I couldn't read that out of your initial comment. I'll get back to this point though.

I think it is a lot easier to look at Federer and who he beat in 2005-2008 that there were no ATGs then other than a baby Nadal.
This comment gives me the feeling you didn't watch tennis back then, possibly because of age (not meant as a slight, I'm too young to have followed tennis in the 80's for example). Fed's dominant years were not 2005-2008. "Baby Nadal" played 3 Wimbledon finals and become world no. 1 in the time frame, you wrote. Baby Nadal won 81 matches on clay in a row in that period. Baby Nadal had what many regard as his very best clay season in that period. Djoko made 2 slam finals and won his first in that period. And so on and so forth. Heck, even Murray made a slam final in that period.

What if Medvedev goes on a tear and wins 10 slams in the next 7 years. What if the current top ten other than Djokovic win all the slams for the next 5 years.
Well - according to your own argument above, then I guess Fed's great years were not a weak era, cause of how good "Baby Nadal" and "Baby Djokovic" eventually became? But I don't buy that line of reasoning. To answer specifically: Then they were still not good enough to topple the Big 3 when the Big 3 were somewhat alive and kicking.
We have a historic situation: Thiem is the only player younger than Cilic and Delpo (who turns 33 within the next month) to win a slam. He won that when Fedal were missing in action and Novak got himself expelled. And he put on a stinker for the first 2 sets and only got back in the match, because Zverev was even more afraid to win. And unlike other greats, he seems so satisfied with finally winning a slam that his motivation wavered (aside from the injuries that followed, which may or may not be related to him slacking off). One player younger than 33 winning a slam is more than enough for me to be able to say: Yes, we have a weak era right now. That Medvedev/Zverev/Tsitsipas all might end up being multiple slam champions doesn't make the current era less weak, someone has to win the slams once the Big 1,5 (I count Fed out , but leave 0,5 open for Rafa) stop winning.


Also, the problem with saying the era is weak because one man dominated is that it is hard to conclude that since maybe that one man is just better than the others when it comes to bo5.
Don't get this argument. Are you saying that the era is not weak is one player is simply better than the rest? Then why was Fed's era weak? I think former versions of Novak, who didn't win the CYGS, were better than the current one. I think he's winning without much of a challenge. But he's in a mental league of his own and his best tennis is in a league of his own these years as well.

Granted Federer is 40 and Nadal has legitimate injury issues now, but saying Federer was a demigod in 2005 and was trash when he won three slams late in his career just doesn't take into account many other factors such as better strategy and more experience and the draw.
Who's saying that? No one thinks Fed was trash in 2017 to my knowledge. But we, and I count myself in that we, do feel that the Fed of 2005 would win that matchup fairly decisively nevertheless (not saying he couldn't loss a match though). Just as I feel Novak of 2011 and 2015 would beat 2021 Novak (much) more often than not. That said, I do think 2021 Novak has managed to stay closer to his peak than 2017 Fed did compared to his hey day a decade and more before that. The serve, the netgame, the strategy, the mental toughness and so on are all part of why he's still no. 1.
 
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tennis4me

Hall of Fame
His internal engine is Diesel-based. It takes time to warm up, but once it does, it is more efficient and have better mileage - perfect for best of 5 matches.

On second thought, I think his internal engine is based to run on vegan, gluten-free Vegetable Oil.
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
Several things. First, when he's in a groove and a zone, nobody can beat him, because he never seems to miss a shot, no matter how difficult.

Secondly, he cannot warm up into the zone, he can only play into it, so at the beginning of matches, he's sluggish.

Thirdly, he's now so confident of getting into the zone sometime in the match and putting away his opponent, that he treats the 1st set as a warm-up and throw-away set to get himself into the zone.
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
If you know the 5th set belong to you, then the 1st set is not that important to you. Every opponent of Djokovic knows that the 1st set is crucial to him, but not to Djokovic, so they put much more effort in winning it. And in the first set, Djokovic is not properly warmed up yet.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
just sandbagging

i sometimes do this too when playing table tennis with my inferior buds, just for the kicks
Sounds like a potential transoceanic grudge match with world class paddle genuius @sureshs . The earnings potential for the closed circuit viewing audience will be UUUGGGEEE!
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
He has lost the first set in 5 of his 6 matches and went on to win. It must be an all time record or something. Would be great if somehow you can check if this has happened ever.
Four of six. 1R and 2R he won first sets. In 1R Rune rebounded from a breadstick to win the second set.
 
You have a good point, and I can see how you could conclude that.
Rarety on TTW to concede that someone else has a good point, kudos.

But I should add that I think weak era arguments have to be looked at years later, not at the current time. I am not saying that it may not be true that the present is a weak era, just that it is unsubstantiated at this time.
Makes sense to look at it this way, and no - I couldn't read that out of your initial comment. I'll get back to this point though.

I think it is a lot easier to look at Federer and who he beat in 2005-2008 that there were no ATGs then other than a baby Nadal.
This comment gives me the feeling you didn't watch tennis back then, possibly because of age (not meant as a slight, I'm too young to have followed tennis in the 80's for example). Fed's dominant years were not 2005-2008. "Baby Nadal" played 3 Wimbledon finals and become world no. 1 in the time frame, you wrote. Baby Nadal won 81 matches on clay in a row in that period. Baby Nadal had what many regard as his very best clay season in that period. Djoko made 2 slam finals and won his first in that period. And so on and so forth. Heck, even Murray made a slam final in that period.

What if Medvedev goes on a tear and wins 10 slams in the next 7 years. What if the current top ten other than Djokovic win all the slams for the next 5 years.
Well - according to your own argument above, then I guess Fed's great years were not a weak era, cause of how good "Baby Nadal" and "Baby Djokovic" eventually became? But I don't buy that line of reasoning. To answer specifically: Then they were still not good enough to topple the Big 3 when the Big 3 were somewhat alive and kicking.
We have a historic situation: Thiem is the only player younger than Cilic and Delpo (who turns 33 within the next month) to win a slam. He won that when Fedal were missing in action and Novak got himself expelled. And he put on a stinker for the first 2 sets and only got back in the match, because Zverev was even more afraid to win. And unlike other greats, he seems so satisfied with finally winning a slam that his motivation wavered (aside from the injuries that followed, which may or may not be related to him slacking off). One player younger than 33 winning a slam is more than enough for me to be able to say: Yes, we have a weak era right now. That Medvedev/Zverev/Tsitsipas all might end up being multiple slam champions doesn't make the current era less weak, someone has to win the slams once the Big 1,5 (I count Fed out , but leave 0,5 open for Rafa) stop winning.


Also, the problem with saying the era is weak because one man dominated is that it is hard to conclude that since maybe that one man is just better than the others when it comes to bo5.
Don't get this argument. Are you saying that the era is not weak is one player is simply better than the rest? Then why was Fed's era weak? I think former versions of Novak, who didn't win the CYGS, were better than the current one. I think he's winning without much of a challenge. But he's in a mental league of his own and his best tennis is in a league of his own these years as well.

Granted Federer is 40 and Nadal has legitimate injury issues now, but saying Federer was a demigod in 2005 and was trash when he won three slams late in his career just doesn't take into account many other factors such as better strategy and more experience and the draw.
Who's saying that? No one thinks Fed was trash in 2017 to my knowledge. But we, and I count myself in that we, do feel that the Fed of 2005 would win that matchup fairly decisively nevertheless (not saying he couldn't loss a match though). Just as I feel Novak of 2011 and 2015 would beat 2021 Novak (much) more often than not. That said, I do think 2021 Novak has managed to stay closer to his peak than 2017 Fed did compared to his hey day a decade and more before that. The serve, the netgame, the strategy, the mental toughness and so on are all part of why he's still no. 1.
Thanks for the comments.

I was watching tennis and just got dates wrong on Federer. You are right that maybe Federer was the best of his era except that when Nadal came along Federer was dominated and then he was dominated by Djokovic, so it seems hard to argue that Federer's strong era was really strong. Also, I believe that ELO says it was the weakest era of tennis. I exaggerated when I said Federer was trash when he won his 3 slams late in his career. I was referring to people e who said that Federer couldn't hold a candle to the earlier version. Same with Djokovic this version verses 2011. Was he better then, maybe but that is not going out on a limb since that was maybe the greatest season of all time (or maybe 2015). But whatever Djokovic has lost in speed (not much), he has gained in smarts, confidence, and continues with good flexibility. He is winning different now and resting his body more, but I don't see that much difference between now and 2011 or 2015. I appreciate that you see that Djokovic is close to his peak. The most important organ in the tennis body is the brain and Djokovic has improved that part of his game.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for the comments.

I was watching tennis and just got dates wrong on Federer. You are right that maybe Federer was the best of his era except that when Nadal came along Federer was dominated and then he was dominated by Djokovic, so it seems hard to argue that Federer's strong era was really strong. Also, I believe that ELO says it was the weakest era of tennis. I exaggerated when I said Federer was trash when he won his 3 slams late in his career. I was referring to people e who said that Federer couldn't hold a candle to the earlier version. Same with Djokovic this version verses 2011. Was he better then, maybe but that is not going out on a limb since that was maybe the greatest season of all time (or maybe 2015). But whatever Djokovic has lost in speed (not much), he has gained in smarts, confidence, and continues with good flexibility. He is winning different now and resting his body more, but I don't see that much difference between now and 2011 or 2015. I appreciate that you see that Djokovic is close to his peak. The most important organ in the tennis body is the brain and Djokovic has improved that part of his game.
"I was watching tennis and just got dates wrong on Federer. " - fair enough. It's just odd to me to get those dates wrong if you were actually watching. People, who didn't watch that era, usually get the years right. Anyway... here's a looooong response:

It's the nature of tennis that older greats get pushed and then outperformed by great younger players. Tennis history is filled with that, the Connors-Lendl rivalry perhaps being the most profound example. Connors won the first 8, then they had a brief period, where both of them won and from somewhere in 1984, Lendl won their last 17 matches, ending with a 22-13 lead. There's 7,5 years between the two.
Nadal, Federer never found a solution to the lefty spinny forhand to his one hander - until he switched to a larger racquet and Rafa lost some footspeed. You can blame Federer for not finding a solution earlier, for not being able to cope with Rafa mentally, but Rafa's game was literally kryptonite to Federer.

Federer- Djokovic: Federer led the rivalry 13-7 by the end of 2010, when he was 29 and Djoko was 23,5. In 2011 he was a point away from going 2-1 in the majors vs. imo the best version of Djokovic. In 2012 he could still beat him at Wimbledon. But after that, i.e. from 2014 onwards (2013 was a no show due to injuries, in 2014 he turned 33) he's never gotten in the done in the majors despite outplaying him in the 2019 final, again a point away from victory. Connors was 32, when he last beat Lendl. Fed at least got a decent no. of wins in best of 3 and pushed Djoko in best of 5.

It's harder to compete against a younger great of a similar talent level. Federer had that in Rafa and Djoko. Djoko didn't have that at all (i.e. just one player younger than soon to be 33 years old Delpo/Cilic winning a slam, when are the Big 3 were awol).
Name wise, Djoko's era is obviously stronger, cause he's been competing vs. Rafa, Federer, Murray etc. for so many years. But that's a lazy analysis, cause
1) Murray was never that tough for him, nor for any of the other Big 3 in the biggest matches and
2) Rafa hasn't even taken a set of Djoko on hard since US Open 13 and
3) Except for Rafa at the FO, none of them has won a slam match against Djoko since...... US Open 2013.

Because, while still better than the rest (current injuries forgotten in this respect), they declined just enough for Djoko to have enough of an edge to win again and again and again.

Granted, he's mentally as tough as they come and he's grown tougher over the years. But being mentally tough is easier, when you know you have the physical advantage and when you know that this is not your last chance to add to your slam tally (I think this def. played a role in the W 19 final, but also the US Open 15 final).

Look, I'm not saying Federer's era was strong, but it wasn't as weak as people make it out to be and Fed for sure isn't just a 'weak era champ' as some on these boards seem to think. To me, it's not weaker than the field, Djoko's been feasting on in recent years and I feel confident that that version of Federer could compete with any version of Djokovic. Feel free to disagree, but that's how I see it and I think the fact that old Fed has been able to go toe to toe with Djoko and play very close matches again and again is a strong indication of that.

As for the 'most important organ', agree and disagree. The mental game cannot be underestimated and both Djoko and Rafa got Federer beat in this respect, but even Djoko is dependent on his body being up to the task- see his late 2016-up until W 2018 period.

p.s. As for Elo, Elo has Murray above Sampras and Agassi and Ferrer, Hewitt, Delpo, Vilas etc. above Laver. I don't put too much stock in it, I must confess.
 
"I was watching tennis and just got dates wrong on Federer. " - fair enough. It's just odd to me to get those dates wrong if you were actually watching. People, who didn't watch that era, usually get the years right. Anyway... here's a looooong response:

It's the nature of tennis that older greats get pushed and then outperformed by great younger players. Tennis history is filled with that, the Connors-Lendl rivalry perhaps being the most profound example. Connors won the first 8, then they had a brief period, where both of them won and from somewhere in 1984, Lendl won their last 17 matches, ending with a 22-13 lead. There's 7,5 years between the two.
Nadal, Federer never found a solution to the lefty spinny forhand to his one hander - until he switched to a larger racquet and Rafa lost some footspeed. You can blame Federer for not finding a solution earlier, for not being able to cope with Rafa mentally, but Rafa's game was literally kryptonite to Federer.

Federer- Djokovic: Federer led the rivalry 13-7 by the end of 2010, when he was 29 and Djoko was 23,5. In 2011 he was a point away from going 2-1 in the majors vs. imo the best version of Djokovic. In 2012 he could still beat him at Wimbledon. But after that, i.e. from 2014 onwards (2013 was a no show due to injuries, in 2014 he turned 33) he's never gotten in the done in the majors despite outplaying him in the 2019 final, again a point away from victory. Connors was 32, when he last beat Lendl. Fed at least got a decent no. of wins in best of 3 and pushed Djoko in best of 5.

It's harder to compete against a younger great of a similar talent level. Federer had that in Rafa and Djoko. Djoko didn't have that at all (i.e. just one player younger than soon to be 33 years old Delpo/Cilic winning a slam, when are the Big 3 were awol).
Name wise, Djoko's era is obviously stronger, cause he's been competing vs. Rafa, Federer, Murray etc. for so many years. But that's a lazy analysis, cause
1) Murray was never that tough for him, nor for any of the other Big 3 in the biggest matches and
2) Rafa hasn't even taken a set of Djoko on hard since US Open 13 and
3) Except for Rafa at the FO, none of them has won a slam match against Djoko since...... US Open 2013.

Because, while still better than the rest (current injuries forgotten in this respect), they declined just enough for Djoko to have enough of an edge to win again and again and again.

Granted, he's mentally as tough as they come and he's grown tougher over the years. But being mentally tough is easier, when you know you have the physical advantage and when you know that this is not your last chance to add to your slam tally (I think this def. played a role in the W 19 final, but also the US Open 15 final).

Look, I'm not saying Federer's era was strong, but it wasn't as weak as people make it out to be and Fed for sure isn't just a 'weak era champ' as some on these boards seem to think. To me, it's not weaker than the field, Djoko's been feasting on in recent years and I feel confident that that version of Federer could compete with any version of Djokovic. Feel free to disagree, but that's how I see it and I think the fact that old Fed has been able to go toe to toe with Djoko and play very close matches again and again is a strong indication of that.

As for the 'most important organ', agree and disagree. The mental game cannot be underestimated and both Djoko and Rafa got Federer beat in this respect, but even Djoko is dependent on his body being up to the task- see his late 2016-up until W 2018 period.

p.s. As for Elo, Elo has Murray above Sampras and Agassi and Ferrer, Hewitt, Delpo, Vilas etc. above Laver. I don't put too much stock in it, I must confess.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

I do not have any issues with your points, but to say that all of these things are somewhat speculative and the only real objective data is actual results. We can say that if Nadal didn't have foot problems, if Federer had been more aggressive on 40-15 x 3, if Federer were born later, then here would be the result. It may be fun to argue about what would really happen, but no one really knows. Having said that, I think it is important to bring up obvious contextual influence, such as Federer's wins mostly occurred before 2011 and Nadal's slams are 65% on the FO.

I think one of the underrated issues for Djokovic is his diet which I think is close to vegetarian. We now have diets recommending lowering calories substantially and that this can increase life expectancy, lower risks of cancer, and have additional health benefits. I think the research is still spotty on this, but I think that being thinner as Djokovic is partly genetically and partly due to his diet plus his obsessive stretching all the time, have made for a healthier outcome. Obviously, there are other examples, such as Tom Brady who also is on a rigid diet, and is still competing at a high level in a far more violent game, at 44 years old, ten years older than Djokovic. At the very least, less weight means less work on the legs which may be the most important part of a tennis player's body after the brain.

One last point on the diet, historically athletes would have a in-season and off-season period and many athletes would overeat and then "get in shape" right before the actually games begin. I don't think that this works very well. Djokovic stays in-season even on the few breaks that the tennis season has. Djokovic's ability to stay in-season all the time is one of the reasons he is still so healthy. I am not saying that the other of the Big Three (or others) are not in shape, just that maybe Djokovic is 5% more in-shape due to his diet and given tennis' situation that a few points can alter the outcome, that 5% can change the result.
 
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

I do not have any issues with your points, but to say that all of these things are somewhat speculative and the only real objective data is actual results. We can say that if Nadal didn't have foot problems, if Federer had been more aggressive on 40-15 x 3, if Federer were born later, then here would be the result. It may be fun to argue about what would really happen, but no one really knows. Having said that, I think it is important to bring up obvious contextual influence, such as Federer's wins mostly occurred before 2011 and Nadal's slams are 65% on the FO.

I think one of the underrated issues for Djokovic is his diet which I think is close to vegetarian. We now have diets recommending lowering calories substantially and that this can increase life expectancy, lower risks of cancer, and have additional health benefits. I think the research is still spotty on this, but I think that being thinner as Djokovic is partly genetically and partly due to his diet plus his obsessive stretching all the time, have made for a healthier outcome. Obviously, there are other examples, such as Tom Brady who also is on a rigid diet, and is still competing at a high level in a far more violent game, at 44 years old, ten years older than Djokovic. At the very least, less weight means less work on the legs which may be the most important part of a tennis player's body after the brain.

One last point on the diet, historically athletes would have a in-season and off-season period and many athletes would overeat and then "get in shape" right before the actually games begin. I don't think that this works very well. Djokovic stays in-season even on the few breaks that the tennis season has. Djokovic's ability to stay in-season all the time is one of the reasons he is still so healthy. I am not saying that the other of the Big Three (or others) are not in shape, just that maybe Djokovic is 5% more in-shape due to his diet and given tennis' situation that a few points can alter the outcome, that 5% can change the result.
I forgot to add that it was very interesting that Agassi had a late career resurgence when he hired a nutritionist, dropped 15 pounds, and played far better. It leads credibility to the Djokovic diet theory, though it is still somewhat speculative.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

I do not have any issues with your points, but to say that all of these things are somewhat speculative and the only real objective data is actual results. We can say that if Nadal didn't have foot problems, if Federer had been more aggressive on 40-15 x 3, if Federer were born later, then here would be the result. It may be fun to argue about what would really happen, but no one really knows. Having said that, I think it is important to bring up obvious contextual influence, such as Federer's wins mostly occurred before 2011 and Nadal's slams are 65% on the FO.

I think one of the underrated issues for Djokovic is his diet which I think is close to vegetarian. We now have diets recommending lowering calories substantially and that this can increase life expectancy, lower risks of cancer, and have additional health benefits. I think the research is still spotty on this, but I think that being thinner as Djokovic is partly genetically and partly due to his diet plus his obsessive stretching all the time, have made for a healthier outcome. Obviously, there are other examples, such as Tom Brady who also is on a rigid diet, and is still competing at a high level in a far more violent game, at 44 years old, ten years older than Djokovic. At the very least, less weight means less work on the legs which may be the most important part of a tennis player's body after the brain.

One last point on the diet, historically athletes would have a in-season and off-season period and many athletes would overeat and then "get in shape" right before the actually games begin. I don't think that this works very well. Djokovic stays in-season even on the few breaks that the tennis season has. Djokovic's ability to stay in-season all the time is one of the reasons he is still so healthy. I am not saying that the other of the Big Three (or others) are not in shape, just that maybe Djokovic is 5% more in-shape due to his diet and given tennis' situation that a few points can alter the outcome, that 5% can change the result.
I think Djokovic is def. doing "a Lendl" in terms of going the extra mile on how he can optimize his performance. He's also got the ideal bodytype to start with. I remember an interview with Federer where he essentially said, he didn't do mental training. While that may have been an overexaggeration and def. not true for his entire career, I think it does reveal that he does not go as many extra miles to optimize everything as the Djoker has done.

Not quite sure what you mean here:
"I think it is important to bring up obvious contextual influence, such as Federer's wins mostly occurred before 2011"
If I understand you correctly, you think it's a slight that Fed's wins mostly occured before 2011? As a fan, obviously I would have loved for him to win more from 2011 onwards and he sure had his chances that he blew.

But not winning against two 5-6 year younger ATG's at a similar talent level - when Fed is in his 30's - is the natural order of things.
Not having any ATG's younger than you to compete with for your entire career is the unnatural order or things.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I forgot to add that it was very interesting that Agassi had a late career resurgence when he hired a nutritionist, dropped 15 pounds, and played far better. It leads credibility to the Djokovic diet theory, though it is still somewhat speculative.
I don't know enough about Djoko's diet situation to have an informed opinion here + it's hard to know what's myth and what's reality. I mean, being gluten allergic without realizing it and still being no. 3 in the world for several years makes me think that there's some overstatement here/more to the story.
 

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
Got me thinking about a different question. How many times has Djokovic won the first 2 sets in a Slam match and then been pushed to a 5th set?
Once in 2010 - lost to Melzer at RG (only losd from 2-0 up)
Once this year's AO - beat Fritz in R3 (injury)
Any others?
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
Got me thinking about a different question. How many times has Djokovic won the first 2 sets in a Slam match and then been pushed to a 5th set?
Other than that 1 loss to Melzer of course
From 2011,out side of clay, he only lost to Stan after winning first set two times in slam, so basically if he wins first set on grass or hc slam, he wins the match. That is trend till now for last 11 years.
 

Mivic

Semi-Pro
Got me thinking about a different question. How many times has Djokovic won the first 2 sets in a Slam match and then been pushed to a 5th set?
Once in 2010 - lost to Melzer at RG (only losd from 2-0 up)
Once this year's AO - beat Fritz in R3 (injury)
Any others?
2015 RG SF against Murray and 2007 W QF against Baghdatis are the only other two I can think of
 
I think Djokovic is def. doing "a Lendl" in terms of going the extra mile on how he can optimize his performance. He's also got the ideal bodytype to start with. I remember an interview with Federer where he essentially said, he didn't do mental training. While that may have been an overexaggeration and def. not true for his entire career, I think it does reveal that he does not go as many extra miles to optimize everything as the Djoker has done.

Not quite sure what you mean here:
"I think it is important to bring up obvious contextual influence, such as Federer's wins mostly occurred before 2011"
If I understand you correctly, you think it's a slight that Fed's wins mostly occured before 2011? As a fan, obviously I would have loved for him to win more from 2011 onwards and he sure had his chances that he blew.

But not winning against two 5-6 year younger ATG's at a similar talent level - when Fed is in his 30's - is the natural order of things.
Not having any ATG's younger than you to compete with for your entire career is the unnatural order or things.
Interesting first paragraph. I think anyone who doesn't train on the mental side is really setting themselves up for failure. Maybe it was too easy for Federer initially. Djokovic is also clearly on a mission and has done everything he can to improve his game, such as adopting analytics early and working on the mental side.

What I meant by context is that it is best not to just look at wins, but the context of those wins. I mean the criticism of this possible Grand Slam may be accurate that it is a weak age. So, I don't have a problem with people pointing it out as a possibility. Just don't get upset at me if I then point out that Federer's first 10 slam wins are not very impressive or Nadal has a very imbalanced resume with 13/20 slams on RG and 26/36 Masters 1,000 wins being on clay. Also, don't point out Nadal had back problems at the AO and then deny Djokovic hurt his stomach muscles.

Look, all three of these men have been amazingly successful and I think Djokovic is right that they have pushed each other. They all have issues as humans and cultural differences being from 3 very different European countries. I think Djokovic is more open and Fedal hide their issues better.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Interesting first paragraph. I think anyone who doesn't train on the mental side is really setting themselves up for failure. Maybe it was too easy for Federer initially. Djokovic is also clearly on a mission and has done everything he can to improve his game, such as adopting analytics early and working on the mental side.

What I meant by context is that it is best not to just look at wins, but the context of those wins. I mean the criticism of this possible Grand Slam may be accurate that it is a weak age. So, I don't have a problem with people pointing it out as a possibility. Just don't get upset at me if I then point out that Federer's first 10 slam wins are not very impressive or Nadal has a very imbalanced resume with 13/20 slams on RG and 26/36 Masters 1,000 wins being on clay. Also, don't point out Nadal had back problems at the AO and then deny Djokovic hurt his stomach muscles.

Look, all three of these men have been amazingly successful and I think Djokovic is right that they have pushed each other. They all have issues as humans and cultural differences being from 3 very different European countries. I think Djokovic is more open and Fedal hide their issues better.
How can I be upset about you saying that? 90 % of Djokodal fans have been saying that since they discovered tennis. All we pointing out is that the last many years have been pretty easy sailing for Novak as well with no younger talent to challenge him

Congrats on the win tonight
 

mahatma

New User
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

I do not have any issues with your points, but to say that all of these things are somewhat speculative and the only real objective data is actual results. We can say that if Nadal didn't have foot problems, if Federer had been more aggressive on 40-15 x 3, if Federer were born later, then here would be the result. It may be fun to argue about what would really happen, but no one really knows. Having said that, I think it is important to bring up obvious contextual influence, such as Federer's wins mostly occurred before 2011 and Nadal's slams are 65% on the FO.

I think one of the underrated issues for Djokovic is his diet which I think is close to vegetarian. We now have diets recommending lowering calories substantially and that this can increase life expectancy, lower risks of cancer, and have additional health benefits. I think the research is still spotty on this, but I think that being thinner as Djokovic is partly genetically and partly due to his diet plus his obsessive stretching all the time, have made for a healthier outcome. Obviously, there are other examples, such as Tom Brady who also is on a rigid diet, and is still competing at a high level in a far more violent game, at 44 years old, ten years older than Djokovic. At the very least, less weight means less work on the legs which may be the most important part of a tennis player's body after the brain.

One last point on the diet, historically athletes would have a in-season and off-season period and many athletes would overeat and then "get in shape" right before the actually games begin. I don't think that this works very well. Djokovic stays in-season even on the few breaks that the tennis season has. Djokovic's ability to stay in-season all the time is one of the reasons he is still so healthy. I am not saying that the other of the Big Three (or others) are not in shape, just that maybe Djokovic is 5% more in-shape due to his diet and given tennis' situation that a few points can alter the outcome, that 5% can change the result.
Absolutely on point on diet. Switch from a largely non-vegeterian diet to vegeterian diet and one notices the difference. I did that in 2017, since that time - have been far easier to make those 10Km runs that I do frequently.

Veggies is where the secret sauce of this longevity lies in, and Djoker somehow found it out.
 
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