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Nole's best matches
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Didi Offline
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Nole's best matches
I've been participating in a lot of various tennis boards over the years and there are tons of threads about Federer's and Nadal's respective best/peak matches but rarely do I find one about the Djoker and since I'm someone who loves to download tennis matches on youtube I would like to know what you consider the best matches Novak ever played. Not necessarily won, just his level of play.

I think we can all agree that the AO semi finals 2008 and 2011, the Rome and Madrid finals 2011, the Wimbledon final 2011 and the Montreal final 2007 are no-brainers when it comes to the Top 10 but apart from that? To be honest I haven't seen many of his matches over the years, probably around 100-150 at best since he turned pro, so feel free to name as many great performances from the guy as you can remember. It would be hugely appreciated.

Odd calls from Nole hardcore fans (like Cali's mention of the IW semi 07 Nadal-Roddick for example) are very welcomed and appreciated. Smile
21-Apr-2013 06:54 AM
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tented Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
'08 Queen's Club final. He lost to Rafa, but it was an incredible match.

I also liked their '08 SF at the Olympics in Beijing.
21-Apr-2013 07:00 AM
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coban Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
Even tho he lost: RG Semi-finals 2011 vs. Federer
21-Apr-2013 10:05 AM
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Denisovich Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
Monte Carlo final '13 Cool
21-Apr-2013 10:07 AM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
Him and Del Potro had quite a match at the French Open in 2011. It's often forgotten because it was early in the tournament (3rd round or something), but if you're looking for "obscure" matches that aren't obvious choices, that's one of them.

Him and Murray in Rome 2011 had a phenomenal match as well.
21-Apr-2013 10:16 AM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(21-Apr-2013 07:00 AM)tented Wrote:  '08 Queen's Club final. He lost to Rafa, but it was an incredible match.

I also liked their '08 SF at the Olympics in Beijing.



That 2008 Queen's final is largely overrated. People talk so highly of it but it wasn't all that special.
21-Apr-2013 10:20 AM
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BalaryKar Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(21-Apr-2013 10:20 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 07:00 AM)tented Wrote:  '08 Queen's Club final. He lost to Rafa, but it was an incredible match.

I also liked their '08 SF at the Olympics in Beijing.



That 2008 Queen's final is largely overrated. People talk so highly of it but it wasn't all that special.

Yes, after beating 0-1 to another great, Nole should have finished it at 0-0 at the least?
21-Apr-2013 10:22 AM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(21-Apr-2013 10:22 AM)BalaryKar Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:20 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 07:00 AM)tented Wrote:  '08 Queen's Club final. He lost to Rafa, but it was an incredible match.

I also liked their '08 SF at the Olympics in Beijing.



That 2008 Queen's final is largely overrated. People talk so highly of it but it wasn't all that special.

Yes, after beating 0-1 to another great, Nole should have finished it at 0-0 at the least?



Not what I am referring to. What I am saying is that the level of play in that Queen's final wasn't all that special. It has gone down as some kind of legendary match but it really wasn't.

That's the point.
21-Apr-2013 10:24 AM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(21-Apr-2013 10:20 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 07:00 AM)tented Wrote:  '08 Queen's Club final. He lost to Rafa, but it was an incredible match.

I also liked their '08 SF at the Olympics in Beijing.



That 2008 Queen's final is largely overrated. People talk so highly of it but it wasn't all that special.


Of course you'd think that. You are in no way biased.

To the OP, trust me, Cali is just being a contrarian. It was a fantastic match. You can trust my opinion, or the guy who thinks the highest level of tennis ever produced was Nalbandian against Nadal in the first set of their US Open 2010 match (a set that Nalbandian lost).

Or that one of Nadal's most impressive performances on hards came against Roddick where Andy just hit one bad approach shot after the other and invited the greatest defender of all time to pass him.
21-Apr-2013 10:28 AM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(21-Apr-2013 10:28 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:20 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 07:00 AM)tented Wrote:  '08 Queen's Club final. He lost to Rafa, but it was an incredible match.

I also liked their '08 SF at the Olympics in Beijing.



That 2008 Queen's final is largely overrated. People talk so highly of it but it wasn't all that special.


Of course you'd think that. You are in no way biased.

To the OP, trust me, Cali is just being a contrarian. It was a fantastic match. You can trust my opinion, or the guy who thinks the highest level of tennis ever produced was Nalbandian against Nadal in the first set of their US Open 2010 match (a set that Nalbandian lost).

Or that one of Nadal's most impressive performances on hards came against Roddick where Andy just hit one bad approach shot after the other and invited the greatest defender of all time to pass him.



Nalbandian's shotmaking in that first set surpasses anything you can come up with from any other player in the modern era.

And yes, that 2007 Indian Wells semifinal was one of Nadal's best hardcourt matches.
21-Apr-2013 10:31 AM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(21-Apr-2013 10:39 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:05 AM)coban Wrote:  Even tho he lost: RG Semi-finals 2011 vs. Federer

Mmmm, Fed played well, but Novak played that one rather poorly. His 2012 semi against Fed was much better.

Not sure I can agree with this.

The 2011 semi was widely regarded as one of the best matches of the year, if not the best. Novak played a poor second set, but everything else was two players playing extremely high level tennis.

Last year's semi final? Maybe my memory is hazy, but I seem to remember all of us trying to entertain ourselves on the old forums during that match by poking jokes over how bad the number 1 and 3 players in the world were playing. That match, up until the very last set when Novak tidied up his game was awful to watch given the quality of the players involved.

(21-Apr-2013 10:31 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:28 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:20 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 07:00 AM)tented Wrote:  '08 Queen's Club final. He lost to Rafa, but it was an incredible match.

I also liked their '08 SF at the Olympics in Beijing.



That 2008 Queen's final is largely overrated. People talk so highly of it but it wasn't all that special.


Of course you'd think that. You are in no way biased.

To the OP, trust me, Cali is just being a contrarian. It was a fantastic match. You can trust my opinion, or the guy who thinks the highest level of tennis ever produced was Nalbandian against Nadal in the first set of their US Open 2010 match (a set that Nalbandian lost).

Or that one of Nadal's most impressive performances on hards came against Roddick where Andy just hit one bad approach shot after the other and invited the greatest defender of all time to pass him.



Nalbandian's shotmaking in that first set surpasses anything you can come up with from any other player in the modern era.

And yes, that 2007 Indian Wells semifinal was one of Nadal's best hardcourt matches.

With such strong arguments, I'm convinced.
(This post was last modified: 21-Apr-2013 10:42 AM by Broken_Shoelace.)
21-Apr-2013 10:41 AM
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tennisville Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(21-Apr-2013 10:39 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:05 AM)coban Wrote:  Even tho he lost: RG Semi-finals 2011 vs. Federer

Mmmm, Fed played well, but Novak played that one rather poorly. His 2012 semi against Fed was much better.

I was just rewatching the match and Novak really played well in that match . It was one of those occasions where both of those 2 played well in the same match (set 2 being the exception). Novak jut lost the big points . Just to remind you , Novak had 2 set points for the first set and serve for the fourth . It was that close .

Of course Novaks best matches ,hmmmm I would have to say

1)2011 Australian Open semi is the one that comes to my mind . There was an hour in that match where he was completely in the zone not missing anything .
2)Another match would have to be the Rome final in 2011 where he beats Rafa after playing a 3 hour match against Andy
3)last 2 matches of US Open 2011 where he beat Fedal in a slam for the first time .He was godly in that final really . The first 3 sets of that match were other worldly in terms of quality
21-Apr-2013 10:51 AM
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Riotbeard Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
2010 U.S. Open final had some pretty great Novak play at times and rafa played great. That is a classic for me, because that is when I became a Djokovic fan, and really got back into watching tennis ( I had been playing again for a few years by that time).
21-Apr-2013 11:25 AM
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ricardo Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(21-Apr-2013 10:39 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:05 AM)coban Wrote:  Even tho he lost: RG Semi-finals 2011 vs. Federer

Mmmm, Fed played well, but Novak played that one rather poorly. His 2012 semi against Fed was much better.

Just re-watched the match on youtube, how did Novak play that poorly? Novak said after the match that he did everything well and had no regrets (unlike he usually says he had chances, or didn't play well, after a loss), what match did you see? besides, some 24 yo in the best form of his life simply doesn't suddenly take a dive in form..... he was crushing everyone in his path until then Huh

(21-Apr-2013 10:51 AM)tennisville Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:39 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:05 AM)coban Wrote:  Even tho he lost: RG Semi-finals 2011 vs. Federer

Mmmm, Fed played well, but Novak played that one rather poorly. His 2012 semi against Fed was much better.

I was just rewatching the match and Novak really played well in that match . It was one of those occasions where both of those 2 played well in the same match (set 2 being the exception). Novak jut lost the big points . Just to remind you , Novak had 2 set points for the first set and serve for the fourth . It was that close .

Of course Novaks best matches ,hmmmm I would have to say

1)2011 Australian Open semi is the one that comes to my mind . There was an hour in that match where he was completely in the zone not missing anything .
2)Another match would have to be the Rome final in 2011 where he beats Rafa after playing a 3 hour match against Andy
3)last 2 matches of US Open 2011 where he beat Fedal in a slam for the first time .He was godly in that final really . The first 3 sets of that match were other worldly in terms of quality

exactly, both were playing close to their best in RG 2011.... but don't tell nehmeth, Djoker never lost a match unless he played poorly. The same goes for Djoker fans in general.
(This post was last modified: 22-Apr-2013 06:30 AM by ricardo.)
22-Apr-2013 06:27 AM
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tented Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(21-Apr-2013 10:41 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:39 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 10:05 AM)coban Wrote:  Even tho he lost: RG Semi-finals 2011 vs. Federer

Mmmm, Fed played well, but Novak played that one rather poorly. His 2012 semi against Fed was much better.

Not sure I can agree with this.

The 2011 semi was widely regarded as one of the best matches of the year, if not the best. Novak played a poor second set, but everything else was two players playing extremely high level tennis.

Last year's semi final? Maybe my memory is hazy, but I seem to remember all of us trying to entertain ourselves on the old forums during that match by poking jokes over how bad the number 1 and 3 players in the world were playing. That match, up until the very last set when Novak tidied up his game was awful to watch given the quality of the players involved.

I agree with all of this. The 2011 RG semi was definitely one of the best matches of the year, and certainly the best of that tournament. The 2012 SF was a dud.

One thing to keep in mind is that, similar to Federer ('08 Wimbledon, '06 Rome, '05 AO), a few of Novak's greatest matches have been ones he lost: '08 Queen's Club, '09 Madrid, 2011 RG.
22-Apr-2013 06:41 AM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
Another high quality match was Nole beating Fed in straights in last year's WTF final. Arias thought it was one of the highest quality tennis matches of the year if not ever in terms of it being a two set match. Nole and Rog were hitting stinging shots non-stop, but it was Djokovic who won the big points, a la Fed in the 2011 FO semi over Nole.

Virgil Cane is the name ...
22-Apr-2013 10:01 AM
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tented Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(22-Apr-2013 09:24 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  
(22-Apr-2013 06:41 AM)tented Wrote:  One thing to keep in mind is that, similar to Federer ('08 Wimbledon, '06 Rome, '05 AO), a few of Novak's greatest matches have been ones he lost: '08 Queen's Club, '09 Madrid, 2011 RG.

And would that also mean Rafa's losses in Wimbledon 2007 and in Oz 2012 were some of his best matches ever? So a player's best matches aren't where he played his best tennis, but where both guys played well?

I'd say one of Rafa's best matches was the 2008 French Open final, he was flawless. His 2008 Wimbledon, not so much, as he might have won that in three, but failed to shut the door on Roger when he had the chance.

I think there's a difference between a guy playing his best tennis (which to me is his best match) and a guy playing in the most entertaining match for viewers.

Yes, I would definitely say that '07 Wimbledon was one of Rafa's best matches, even though he lost, and '08 Wimbledon is the greatest match ever played, for reasons that have been discussed to death.

Your sentence "So a player's best matches aren't where he played his best tennis, but where both guys played well?" is, I guess, purposely exaggerative. I made it quite clear in my original post that "a few of" the best matches fall into the category of having also been matches they lost. You're trying to extrapolate some kind of generalization out of my statement which simply isn't there, in terms of all of these matches being ones where they both played well, simply because I said some of them were ones he lost.

I never said that.

Best matches can fall into various categories, not just one. Some can be when both guys played at an incredible level, and pushed each other to greater heights, such as Federer/Safin in AO, Rafa/Djokovic '09 Madrid, and Federer/Djokovic '11 RG.

Then there are also matches like Rafa in '08 RG final, where he was at an amazing level, but it was a different kind of match than the one he played just a few weeks later at Wimbledon. In the former, only one guy was playing at an elevated level; in the latter, they both kept pushing each other to greater levels. Both great matches, thus it isn't required that they both play well in order to make the cut.
22-Apr-2013 10:12 AM
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tented Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(22-Apr-2013 10:54 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  I was interested that you did find 2007 Wimbledon one of Rafa's best matches, but not the 2012 Australian Open.


I was more or less forced to watch the '07 Wimbledon final again several months ago, which reminded me of how great it was, even though it has become relatively lost in the shadow of the '08 final.

Maybe I'll watch the AO final again some day and change my mind, but I remember it more as them stumbling to the finish line, playing unevenly (both playing poorly; one playing well, the other not; both playing well), over an insanely long period of time.

I'm not accusing you of this, but I think some people have confused the length of the match, with the quality of the match, particularly in the first few months afterwards.

Personally, I think Rafa and Novak played better matches in the '08 Queen's Club final, '09 Madrid SF, and the '11 Miami final (which isn't mentioned enough as one of their great encounters, IMO).

Not the whole match necessarily, but the third set of their '08 RG SF was also incredible. Rafa barely made it through in order to win the match in straight sets. I think it's on YouTube (I'm certain it used to be). I encourage everyone to watch it again, especially with RG coming up. Novak was playing at an awesome level, even pushing Rafa to a tiebreak. Considering Rafa's entire level at that tournament is already legendary, think about the fact that it was Djokovic who pushed Rafa to a tiebreak, whereas in the next round Roger won a total of 4 games over 3 sets in the most lopsided GS final I can remember.

Quote: It is considered by many sportswriters as one of the top 10 all time matches.

Really? I wonder how many would say that today, while no longer in the frenzied aftermath. Or have you encountered sportswriters who have said so recently?
23-Apr-2013 02:59 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(23-Apr-2013 02:59 AM)tented Wrote:  Not the whole match necessarily, but the third set of their '08 RG SF was also incredible. Rafa barely made it through in order to win the match in straight sets. I think it's on YouTube (I'm certain it used to be). I encourage everyone to watch it again, especially with RG coming up. Novak was playing at an awesome level, even pushing Rafa to a tiebreak. Considering Rafa's entire level at that tournament is already legendary, think about the fact that it was Djokovic who pushed Rafa to a tiebreak, whereas in the next round Roger won a total of 4 games over 3 sets in the most lopsided GS final I can remember.

I remember this one but I thought it had more to do with Nadal winning too easily and taking his eye off the ball. Was he 5-2 up in the third and Novak came back, even having a set point, I think? I remember Novak playing well but not being overly concerned by it. It was kind of like Tsonga the other day...
23-Apr-2013 05:55 AM
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tented Offline
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RE: Nole's best matches
(23-Apr-2013 06:04 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  (on a side note, I have to find the article, but with your favorite umpire out there, and the time rules being enforced, their match at MC was significantly shorter... will find the link for it.)

found it: http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/04/b...XZtGIIsXdU

"This Monte Carlo final lasted 21 games and took 1 hour, 52 minutes. Last yearâ€s Rome final between these two also lasted 21 games, but took 2 hours, 20 minutes. There were, as far as I saw, no official time warnings handed out by chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, and both guys were moving with dispatch. It looks to me as if Nadal has stopped cleaning the entire baseline before he begins a return game—a positive development in my view, if so. And while they rested less between points, the play itself was just as high-quality as always." - Tignor

Thanks for posting that.

I agree with Tignor -- they were playing noticeably faster. Novak wasn't bouncing the ball dozens of times, and Rafa wasn't dawdling as much as he used to. (At one point during the Rafa/Tsonga match, they put up a graphic indicating that Tsonga was taking more time between points than Rafa!)
23-Apr-2013 06:27 AM
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