Why is Novak Djokovic so much better at Australian Open's hard court than at US Open's hard court?

#1
I mean, Djokovic is widely regarded by many as one of, if not the greatest hard court player of all time. Yet, unlike Roger Federer (another candidate for the greatest hard court player ever), Djokovic has a significantly better record at Australian Open's hard court grand slams than at US Open's hard court grand slams? Are there any particular reasons for this? Is it because of the surfaces being different or are there any other particular reasons / factors that contribute to this?

Now I'm not claiming Novak Djokovic is a bad player at US Open's hard court grand slams. Instead, my point is that by his Australian Open standards, he isn't quite as good at US Open as he is at Australian Open.

Shouldn't a great hard court player like Novak Djokovic have similar level of success in every hard court slams? I find it hard to believe it's his level which is different in both those tournaments. Instead, I'm guessing it's most likely the court surfaces.
 
#2
I mean, Djokovic is widely regarded by many as one of, if not the greatest hard court player of all time. Yet, unlike Roger Federer (another candidate for the greatest hard court player ever), Djokovic has a significantly better record at Australian Open's hard court grand slams than at US Open's hard court grand slams? Are there any particular reasons for this? Is it because of the surfaces being different or are there any other particular reasons / factors that contribute to this?

Now I'm not claiming Novak Djokovic is a bad player at US Open's hard court grand slams. Instead, my point is that by his Australian Open standards, he isn't quite as good at US Open as he is at Australian Open.

Shouldn't a great hard court player like Novak Djokovic have similar level of success in every hard court slams? I find it hard to believe it's his level which is different in both those tournaments. Instead, I'm guessing it's most likely the court surfaces.
I think it is simple as this. Djokovic prefers slower hard courts , hence the Australian open is more suited to his style, being in most years a slow surface. The US open is more of a medium surface so a harder surface to play on. The faster the surface the more difficult it is for him - hence his record at Cincinnati. He can play well on faster surfaces - but not as well.
 

ibbi

Hall of Fame
#3
US Open is faster, US Open is subject to windier conditions less favourable to him, and I also think the fact that he's guaranteed to play his last 2 Australian Open matches at night, keeping him out of the heat he so often struggles in helps too.
 

Sport

Hall of Fame
#4
I think it is simple as this. Djokovic prefers slower hard courts , hence the Australian open is more suited to his style, being in most years a slow surface. The US open is more of a medium surface so a harder surface to play on. The faster the surface the more difficult it is for him - hence his record at Cincinnati. He can play well on faster surfaces - but not as well.
Australian Open was still relatively fast compared to clay. So it could be classified as a medium-fast hard court, instead of very fast like the 90s. At the end of the day, the whole "fast", "medium", "slow" classification is a bit subjective. I think it's better to use the term "faster" or "slower". So you can say that AO was slower than the US Open but faster than the French Open.
 
#6
Slower courts are more conducive to defensive play. Defenders have the advantage there. The US open is faster and it rewards more aggressive play.

Say what you want about Djokovic. Grinder, baseline controller, pusher, counter puncher, aggressive baseliner. He doesn't take the initiative early. He's happier to trade blows and just stay in the rally until the opponent is out of position and then he presses the advantage. It's easier to draw out a rally at the Australian open.

Add to that, who has Djokovic faced in his US open and Australian open finals?

USO 07: L vs Federer

AO 08: W vs Tsonga

USO 10: L vs Nadal

AO 11: W vs Murray

USO 11: W vs Nadal

AO 12: W vs Nadal

USO 12: L vs Murray

AO 13: W vs Murray

USO 13: L vs Nadal

AO 15: W vs Murray

USO 15: W vs Federer

AO 16: W vs Murray

It's all Murray, really. He's faced Murray 4 times at the Australian open and won every time. He also faced Murray once in the USO final that featured ridiculously high wind speeds. Djokovic is terrible in wind. I'm not trying to be a hater, I think his fans will agree that he's not good in adverse conditions. He doesn't have great footwork, really, and his insane flexibility has allowed him to compensate for it. How many times have we seen him stagger about after shots?

If he'd faced Murray four times at the US open and only once at the Australian open we might be talking about how odd it is that Djokovic is so successful at the US and not at Australia.
 
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TennisATP

Professional
#7
The difference is that he won his AO finals but lost some of his USO finals, so it's not a big difference in results just some bad luck at the USO in the finals.
 

Newcomer

Hall of Fame
#8
Slower courts are more conducive to defensive play. Defenders have the advantage there. The US open is faster and it rewards more aggressive play.

Say what you want about Djokovic. Grinder, baseline controller, pusher, counter puncher, aggressive baseliner. He doesn't take the initiative early. He's happier to trade blows and just stay in the rally until the opponent is out of position and then he presses the advantage. It's easier to draw out a rally at the Australian open.

Add to that, who has Djokovic faced in his US open and Australian open finals?

USO 07: L vs Federer

AO 08: W vs Tsonga

AO 11: W vs Murray

USO 11: W vs Nadal

AO 12: W vs Nadal

USO 12: L vs Murray

AO 13: W vs Murray

USO 13: L vs Nadal

AO 15: W vs Murray

USO 15: W vs Federer

AO 16: W vs Murray

It's all Murray, really. He's faced Murray 4 times at the Australian open and won every time. He also faced Murray once in the USO final that featured ridiculously high wind speeds. Djokovic is terrible in wind. I'm not trying to be a hater, I think his fans will agree that he's not good in adverse conditions. He doesn't have great footwork, really, and his insane flexibility has allowed him to compensate for it. How many times have we seen him stagger about after shots?

If he'd faced Murray four times at the US open and only once at the Australian open we might be talking about how odd it is that Djokovic is so successful at the US and not at Australia.
Lol, true. I really think that if Murray wasn't on the tour then Djokovic would have won much less titles. 99% of their matches are NID.
 

moonballs

Hall of Fame
#9
I am not looking for excuses but the circumstances over three lost finals tipped the balance. 2010 and 2013 grueling SFs emptied his tank. 2012 the strong wind. Good on him to have beaten Fed and Rafa back to back in 2011 USO.
 

Charlie

Hall of Fame
#10
Slower courts are more conducive to defensive play. Defenders have the advantage there. The US open is faster and it rewards more aggressive play.

Say what you want about Djokovic. Grinder, baseline controller, pusher, counter puncher, aggressive baseliner. He doesn't take the initiative early. He's happier to trade blows and just stay in the rally until the opponent is out of position and then he presses the advantage. It's easier to draw out a rally at the Australian open.

Add to that, who has Djokovic faced in his US open and Australian open finals?

USO 07: L vs Federer

AO 08: W vs Tsonga

AO 11: W vs Murray

USO 11: W vs Nadal

AO 12: W vs Nadal

USO 12: L vs Murray

AO 13: W vs Murray

USO 13: L vs Nadal

AO 15: W vs Murray

USO 15: W vs Federer

AO 16: W vs Murray

It's all Murray, really. He's faced Murray 4 times at the Australian open and won every time. He also faced Murray once in the USO final that featured ridiculously high wind speeds. Djokovic is terrible in wind. I'm not trying to be a hater, I think his fans will agree that he's not good in adverse conditions. He doesn't have great footwork, really, and his insane flexibility has allowed him to compensate for it. How many times have we seen him stagger about after shots?

If he'd faced Murray four times at the US open and only once at the Australian open we might be talking about how odd it is that Djokovic is so successful at the US and not at Australia.
You are only focusing on finals. Djokovic has owned all his rivals in Australia, not just Murray. Against all the rivals Djokovic has a superior record in Australia.

vs Fed: 3-1 AO, 3-3 USO
vs Nadal: 1-0 AO, 1-2 USO
vs Murray: 5-0 AO, 1-1 USO
vs Stan: 2-1 AO, 2*-1 USO

There is no scenario in which Djokovic ends up with more success at USO. He simply prefers Melbourne much more.
 
#11
You are only focusing on finals. Djokovic has owned all his rivals in Australia, not just Murray. Against all the rivals Djokovic has a superior record in Australia.

vs Fed: 3-1 AO, 3-3 USO
vs Nadal: 1-0 AO, 1-2 USO
vs Murray: 5-0 AO, 1-1 USO
vs Stan: 2-1 AO, 2*-1 USO

There is no scenario in which Djokovic ends up with more success at USO. He simply prefers Melbourne much more.
Actually there is. A scenario in which he faced Murray in more of his US open finals. Unless you're contesting that Murray has more of a chance against him there than Nadal, Wawrinka, and Federer.
 
#12
I am not looking for excuses but the circumstances over three lost finals tipped the balance. 2010 and 2013 grueling SFs emptied his tank. 2012 the strong wind. Good on him to have beaten Fed and Rafa back to back in 2011 USO.
Makes sense. He won his AO semi finals in straights always.
 
#13
I think the USO crowd also plays a factor. When they cheer against them, he gets annoyed and it's obvious, loses concentration a bit.

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
 

Charlie

Hall of Fame
#14
Actually there is. A scenario in which he faced Murray in more of his US open finals. Unless you're contesting that Murray has more of a chance against him there than Nadal, Wawrinka, and Federer.
More than 2 US Opens, definitely possible. But no way in hell would he have more USO titles than AO titles in any scenario. They met only once in the USO final and Murray beat him there. On the other hand they met several times in AO finals and Murray still hasn't beaten him. It took Murray much less opportunities at USO to taste success. 0-1 4-0 in finals and 1-1 5-0 overall are colossal differences. Also as I said, Djokovic has done better against Federer, Nadal and Wawrinka in Australia as well. Put anyone in the Australian Open final against Djokovic and that guy will get smoked, whoever he is.
 
#15
More than 2 US Opens, definitely possible. But no way in hell would he have more USO titles than AO titles in any scenario. They met only once in the USO final and Murray beat him there. On the other hand they met several times in AO finals and Murray still hasn't beaten him. It took Murray much less opportunities at USO to taste success. 0-1 4-0 in finals and 1-1 5-0 overall are colossal differences. Also as I said, Djokovic has done better against Federer, Nadal and Wawrinka in Australia as well. Put anyone in the Australian Open final against Djokovic and that guy will get smoked, whoever he is.
Istomin isn't getting smoked at AO by Djokovic.
 
#17
More than 2 US Opens, definitely possible. But no way in hell would he have more USO titles than AO titles in any scenario. They met only once in the USO final and Murray beat him there. On the other hand they met several times in AO finals and Murray still hasn't beaten him. It took Murray much less opportunities at USO to taste success. 0-1 4-0 in finals and 1-1 5-0 overall are colossal differences. Also as I said, Djokovic has done better against Federer, Nadal and Wawrinka in Australia as well. Put anyone in the Australian Open final against Djokovic and that guy will get smoked, whoever he is.
Agree with this.

Too many over complicating this.
 
#18
Slow plexicushion surface conductive to pushing is why.

It's such a shame they've slowed the USO down which results in abominations like the 2015 final, which should be same speed as Cincy like it used to be especially in 05-11...
 
#26
Most posters on this thread cite the slower AO court, but this year the AO was clocked as the fastest HC on the tour. Will be interesting to see, if Djok comes back to top form, if AO is still his court (presuming they keep the faster court speed there.)
 
#27
Australian Open was still relatively fast compared to clay. So it could be classified as a medium-fast hard court, instead of very fast like the 90s. At the end of the day, the whole "fast", "medium", "slow" classification is a bit subjective. I think it's better to use the term "faster" or "slower". So you can say that AO was slower than the US Open but faster than the French Open.
The AO has been medium slow for many years now (except this year) not medium fast.
 
#28
I mean, Djokovic is widely regarded by many as one of, if not the greatest hard court player of all time.
Only on tennis forums. Nobody with "only" two USO's is the HC GOAT. Tennis historians still downgrade AO in terms of prestige for myriad reasons, most of them valid.

Fed, Sampras and Lendl are still ahead of Djokovic in the HC greatness debate. The only people who would ever place Djoker ahead of Pete in a HC greatness debate are Djoker fans or those who have no clue about Sampras' skills.
 

70後

Hall of Fame
#29
I mean, Djokovic is widely regarded by many as one of, if not the greatest hard court player of all time. Yet, unlike Roger Federer (another candidate for the greatest hard court player ever), Djokovic has a significantly better record at Australian Open's hard court grand slams than at US Open's hard court grand slams? Are there any particular reasons for this? Is it because of the surfaces being different or are there any other particular reasons / factors that contribute to this?

Now I'm not claiming Novak Djokovic is a bad player at US Open's hard court grand slams. Instead, my point is that by his Australian Open standards, he isn't quite as good at US Open as he is at Australian Open.

Shouldn't a great hard court player like Novak Djokovic have similar level of success in every hard court slams? I find it hard to believe it's his level which is different in both those tournaments. Instead, I'm guessing it's most likely the court surfaces.
Overly complicated. HC is HC.
 
#30
Another important factor: The Aussie Open is at the beginning of the year when he's fit, healthy, fresh and enjoys a comparative physical advantage versus most players on tour - including most of the top players. Come US Open time he's more likely to meet players who are well grooved and peaking given the run of better quality lead-up events - and he's also more likely (in recent years at least) to have played more, and more more grueling matches by that point in the year too than most other players.
 
#31
Another important factor: The Aussie Open is at the beginning of the year when he's fit, healthy, fresh and enjoys a comparative physical advantage versus most players on tour - including most of the top players. Come US Open time he's more likely to meet players who are well grooved and peaking given the run of better quality lead-up events - and he's also more likely (in recent years at least) to have played more, and more more grueling matches by that point in the year too than most other players.
What stops other top players to "enjoy a comparative physical advantage ".:rolleyes:
Other players are getting better by USO time comparing them to Djokovic -another load of bs
 
#33
What stops other top players to "enjoy a comparative physical advantage ".:rolleyes:
Other players are getting better by USO time comparing them to Djokovic -another load of bs
Most of them are not so fitness/retrieving/running dependent (often to their detriment tbh) so they come into the new season at an additional disadvantage on the slower conditions. Later in the year it's the runners who have done the most mileage and often carry more niggles also from often having played the most through the critical clay swing. That means the guys who haven't (or can't) should be in a comparatively better place come US Open time.
 
#34
Most of them are not so fitness/retrieving/running dependent (often to their detriment tbh) so they come into the year at an additional disadvantage on the slower conditions. Later in the year it's the runners who have done the most mileage and often carry more niggles also from often having played the most through the critical clay swing. That means the guys who haven't (or can't) should be in a comparatively better place come US Open time.
Load of bs once again.
Djokovic usually has one more great run in him by the end of the season ( I don't know if you watched autumn/indoor seasons from 2012/2016)
 
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Charlie

Hall of Fame
#36
I'm not sure why so many Djokovic fans are against Djokovic being called a defensive/grinding player. There's nothing wrong with it.
Because despite being very good at it, he is not a defensive player. Someone like Murray, or Hewitt, or even Nadal, yes. But Djokovic is not in that category.
 

Enceladus

Professional
#37
Only on tennis forums. Nobody with "only" two USO's is the HC GOAT. Tennis historians still downgrade AO in terms of prestige for myriad reasons, most of them valid.
This is true for the AO events until the 1980s, now the AO prestige is on the same level as the other GS tournaments. Djoker's AO titles have the same weight in the HC GOAT debate as those titles from USO.

Fed, Sampras and Lendl are still ahead of Djokovic in the HC greatness debate. The only people who would ever place Djoker ahead of Pete in a HC greatness debate are Djoker fans or those who have no clue about Sampras' skills.
At the time you wrote this message:
Djoker - 8 GS titles from HC
Sampras - 7 GS titles from HC
Lendl - 5 GS titles from HC

These numbers show that at the time publication of your message was Djoker a better player on HC than Pistol Pete or Ivan the Terrible. Djoker also, unlike Pete and Ivan won AO and USO in the same year (2011, 2015).
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#38
This is true for the AO events until the 1980s, now the AO prestige is on the same level as the other GS tournaments. Djoker's AO titles have the same weight in the HC GOAT debate as those titles from USO.


At the time you wrote this message:
Djoker - 8 GS titles from HC
Sampras - 7 GS titles from HC
Lendl - 5 GS titles from HC

These numbers show that at the time publication of your message was Djoker a better player on HC than Pistol Pete or Ivan the Terrible. Djoker also, unlike Pete and Ivan won AO and USO in the same year (2011, 2015).
At this point where we stand, it is very clear that Federer and Djokovic are the two most accomplished on HC, the most competitive surface of the modern era. Federer at 11, and Djokovic at 9.
 
#39
Slower courts are more conducive to defensive play. Defenders have the advantage there. The US open is faster and it rewards more aggressive play.

Say what you want about Djokovic. Grinder, baseline controller, pusher, counter puncher, aggressive baseliner. He doesn't take the initiative early. He's happier to trade blows and just stay in the rally until the opponent is out of position and then he presses the advantage. It's easier to draw out a rally at the Australian open.

Add to that, who has Djokovic faced in his US open and Australian open finals?

USO 07: L vs Federer

AO 08: W vs Tsonga

USO 10: L vs Nadal

AO 11: W vs Murray

USO 11: W vs Nadal

AO 12: W vs Nadal

USO 12: L vs Murray

AO 13: W vs Murray

USO 13: L vs Nadal

AO 15: W vs Murray

USO 15: W vs Federer

AO 16: W vs Murray

It's all Murray, really. He's faced Murray 4 times at the Australian open and won every time. He also faced Murray once in the USO final that featured ridiculously high wind speeds. Djokovic is terrible in wind. I'm not trying to be a hater, I think his fans will agree that he's not good in adverse conditions. He doesn't have great footwork, really, and his insane flexibility has allowed him to compensate for it. How many times have we seen him stagger about after shots?

If he'd faced Murray four times at the US open and only once at the Australian open we might be talking about how odd it is that Djokovic is so successful at the US and not at Australia.
Wow the brutal reality that hits @Lew II as he realises Novak has only been winning vs murray... the AO and USO stats are simply too telling. Both hard courts, one with mugray one without and we all know what hppened
 

Sport

Hall of Fame
#40
He is not that much better. He "only" has 3 more AO than USO. Of course the difference is significative, but not giant.

I have no idea of the explanation. Maybe some Djokovic fans can illustrate the reasons why Djokovic has achieved more at the AO than the USO.
 

Enceladus

Professional
#41
At this point where we stand, it is very clear that Federer and Djokovic are the two most accomplished on HC, the most competitive surface of the modern era. Federer at 11, and Djokovic at 9.
Triumph on this year's US Open Novak not only gains the 14th GS title and the 9th Major from HC, but also improved its GS distribution. Now has Ultron at least three titles from three different GS tournaments. On both HC GS tournaments he has achieved at least three titles, Djoker is so better than Sampras (2 AO titles and 5 USO trophies) or Agassi (4 AO trophies and 2 USO titles).
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#44
Triumph on this year's US Open Novak not only gains the 14th GS title and the 9th Major from HC, but also improved its GS distribution. Now has Ultron at least three titles from three different GS tournaments. On both HC GS tournaments he has achieved at least three titles, Djoker is so better than Sampras (2 AO titles and 5 USO trophies) or Agassi (4 AO trophies and 2 USO titles).
I think for a lot of Djokovic fans, something I have read here a couple of times, his performance in the USO finals was unnerving, even more so than at RG. The USO win this year goes a long way to balancing that out. Any further wins will only strengthen his legacy there, but I think he needed this win.

People talk about why he is so much better at AO than USO also need to know that he was a few points from losing to Wawrinka at AO 2013, and the same with Murray and Nadal the year before in AO 2012. Had the results of those matches gone the other way, he could have been on 4 AO titles.

I think going forwards, and I did mention this before, the USO may become an overall better hunting ground with the roof now in place, which is blocking the wind from circling around the court. Ashe is so big, it has its own weather system, and Djokovic isn't as good in the wind as lets say a Nadal or a Murray. Also the court speed is ideal for his game. Lets see how he deals with the AO surface next year, because we know he can play fast conditions also, he just won Cincy, and has several Dubai titles.
 

Enceladus

Professional
#45
If anyone still doubts whether Djoker is a better HC player than Sampras, he has evidence here:
- No1e has more GS titles from HC than Pete (9>7)
- Djoker won AO and USO in one season (2011, 2015), Pete didn't gains this Double
- Serbinator has better distribution of GS titles to HC (3>2)
 
#46
If anyone still doubts whether Djoker is a better HC player than Sampras, he has evidence here:
- Nole has more GS titles from HC than Pete (9>7)
- Djoker won AO and USO in one season (2011, 2015), Pete didn't gains this Double
- Serbinator has better distribution of GS titles to HC (3>2)
vs andy murray
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#47
If anyone still doubts whether Djoker is a better HC player than Sampras, he has evidence here:
- No1e has more GS titles from HC than Pete (9>7)
- Djoker won AO and USO in one season (2011, 2015), Pete didn't gains this Double
- Serbinator has better distribution of GS titles to HC (3>2)
You can easily say that Djokovic played in the time of Federer. I love Sampras, but Agassi isn't Federer.
 

Enceladus

Professional
#48
I think for a lot of Djokovic fans, something I have read here a couple of times, his performance in the USO finals was unnerving, even more so than at RG. The USO win this year goes a long way to balancing that out. Any further wins will only strengthen his legacy there, but I think he needed this win.

People talk about why he is so much better at AO than USO also need to know that he was a few points from losing to Wawrinka at AO 2013, and the same with Murray and Nadal the year before in AO 2012. Had the results of those matches gone the other way, he could have been on 4 AO titles.

I think going forwards, and I did mention this before, the USO may become an overall better hunting ground with the roof now in place, which is blocking the wind from circling around the court. Ashe is so big, it has its own weather system, and Djokovic isn't as good in the wind as lets say a Nadal or a Murray. Also the court speed is ideal for his game. Lets see how he deals with the AO surface next year, because we know he can play fast conditions also, he just won Cincy, and has several Dubai titles.
AO's conditions suit Djoker more than USO's terms. I was thinking about it and found out that Djoker is not the only player in the history of tennis that has on his TOP surface two different GS tournaments according to success. Martina Navratilova is considered to be the greatest female player on grass in history. She won 9x Wimbledon. At her time was on the grass played Australian Open, which she won 'only' 3x. Conditions of AO Navratilova didn't suit as much as the conditions in Wimbledon.

None of the three Ultron's triumphs on USO was easy to breed. On USO 2011 Ultron saved two MPs in the SF match against Federer. In 2015, Novak saved 19 of 23 Fed's BPs in the final, and had problems with Bautista in 4R. In this year Djoker had a heat problems in 1R (to a lesser extent also in 4R).
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#49
AO's conditions suit Djoker more than USO's terms. I was thinking about it and found out that Djoker is not the only player in the history of tennis that has on his TOP surface two different GS tournaments according to success. Martina Navratilova is considered to be the greatest female player on grass in history. She won 9x Wimbledon. At her time was on the grass played Australian Open, which she won 'only' 3x. Conditions of AO Navratilova didn't suit as much as the conditions in Wimbledon.

None of the three Ultron's triumphs on USO was easy to breed. On USO 2011 Ultron saved two MPs in the SF match against Federer. In 2015, Novak saved 19 of 23 Fed's BPs in the final, and had problems with Bautista in 4R. In this year Djoker had a heat problems in 1R (to a lesser extent also in 4R).
Yes and no.

I think Djokovic didn't like the windy conditions of USO, this year, when it wasn't humid as hell, he did just fine. As I said, Djokovic has survived a few epics in his peak at AO also, to Murray, Nadal and Wawrinka. Do I think the surface is better for his game there? Yes, but not as much as some make it out. Djokovic has made the semis or better at every USO he has played since 2007...that is incredible consistency. He just didn't get over the finish line there in the way he managed at AO. So, I will say Djokovic is better in finals at AO than USO, and overall enjoys the conditions there, but the difference is not as big as people make it out to be.
 
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