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The Reign of Novak is Over
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El Dude Online
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
Yeah, I hear you. We might be entering a period similar to the late 90s-early 00s, in particular 2000-03. Pete's last YE1 was 1998, although he was already showing signs of slippage, but he was still pretty good through 2000. Agassi was #1 in 1999 and still very good for a few years, but in the first years of the millenium you had two aging greats and a bunch of youngsters rising up. Like now, the generation that should have been dominant - Rios, Kuerten, Corretja, Enqvist, Henman, etc - was comparatively weak to the ones before and after.

So right now we have an aging Big Four, a weak peak-years generation in Raonic, Nishikori, Dimitrov, etc, and a rising group of youngsters. What is interesting about 2000-03 is that if you had asked who would be the greats of that young generation, you'd probably start with Safin, Hewitt and Nalbandian before you got to Federer, but he was the one who ended up completely dominating.
19-Jan-2017 03:53 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
I was just wondering if the "Is Djokovic done" analysis had started yet. Lolz I believe I said on this forum about 2 years ago that Djokovic had one huge problem with his ascension to #1 - and it's one that Andy Murray shares - his style of play is just as physically demanding as Nadal's and unless he found a way to play shorter matches he'd be in the same leaky boat Nadal was in at 28-29. And here we are 2 years later - and Nadal is scooting over in his boat to make room for Nole. The kind of grinding style Djokovic plays takes it out of you mentally and physically. I

I'm not saying Djokovic won't ever win another Slam or be in contention but clearly he needs to make some adjustments and stop playing 5 hour 2nd round matches and expect the other guy to just go away. He and Murray both play the same type of game and they'll both be 30 in about 5 months. Murray's stay at #1 will be short simply because he's no spring chicken in tennis terms and his defensive baseline game is even more demanding the Djokovic's aggressive baseline game. Djokovic, Murray and Nadal - all grinders with physically demanding games. Djokovic is showing signs of the same slowing down as Nadal - his movement wasn't a crisp, his footwork was sloppy at times, his forehand was erratic, too many unforced errors, not getting to balls he easily returned a year ago, his serve wasn't working that great, etc., etc.
(This post was last modified: 19-Jan-2017 04:30 PM by Busted.)
19-Jan-2017 04:29 PM
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masterclass (01-20-2017)
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
(19-Jan-2017 03:33 AM)rafanoy1992 Wrote:  
(19-Jan-2017 03:26 AM)El Dude Wrote:  I think Novak's loss to #119 Denis Istomin--the first time he's lost to an opponent outside the top 100 in a Slam match--is worthy of its own thread. Maybe my title is hyperbolic, but it is illustrative of the situation. Consider that Novak has gone out of two of the last three Slams in the 3R or earlier. That's quite worrisome.

Now I'm not saying he won't come back and compete in Slam titles again, but I think the level we saw in 2015 to early 2016 is gone for good, and we may not even see his "first of equals" form of 2012-14.

I hate to say it, but maybe Carol was right?!

Anyhow, it really shows you how important the mental aspect of the game is. This is a guy that is only eight months removed from a Roland Garros title and four Slams in a row, a seemingly unbeatable player.

On the other hand, this is a wake-up call if there ever was one. But it also means that Roland Garros will be the most important Slam of his career. If he goes out early again, he may never get his confidence back.

What's interesting about this loss is his bod language especially in the 4th and 5th set. It seems like he was "content" to play an okay match. I did not see any "fire" in his belly. I'm just wondering if he is really content with his life now.

I thought he looked disinterested early in the 5th after he lost the 4th set breaker. After he broke back to get back on serve in the 4th he seemed to expect Istomin would be cowed and get nervous that he was stepping up his game to try to close out the match. Instead just the opposite happened and Istomin tightened up his own game.

I have no idea how content Djokovic is with his life but as Federer said in November when he was asked about Nole's let down after winning the French - it happens, you just have to search within yourself for other motivations and try to push past it. So says the guy who loves everything about being a 17-time Grand Slam winning professional tennis player...
19-Jan-2017 04:41 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
(19-Jan-2017 03:43 AM)GameSetAndMath Wrote:  Tiger did not win a major since 2008. Both Novak and Tiger are Buddhists. Just pointing out the commonalities. Snicker

Does that also mean Nole's wife should be worried that he's secretly a serial cheater sex addict with a bad back and gimpy knees, too?
19-Jan-2017 05:01 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
I really don't buy into the theory that Novak's dominance is over (even though I would like it if I am wrong).

After the Nole Slam, he lost early in Wimbledon, but quickly recovered and reached the finals of USO. Now, he has lost early at AO. If he does not reach at least a final at RG, then I would subscribe to the theory that his reign is over. Until then, I am not ready to call that his reign is over.

I am going to give a bump to the MDP (most dominant player) thread. There is an article linked to in the OP of that thread. That article defines the dominance streak of a player as ending when the player loses before finals in two consecutive slams. That has not happened to Novak yet.

"Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference" - Mark Twain
19-Jan-2017 05:22 PM
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El Dude Online
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
I agree with whoever said that the "disinterest" is feigned. He is very interested in winning. The disinterest is likely some combination of repressed frustration and denial.

As far as what Federer said, to remain in high form into your 30s, I think a player has to both still want to win, but also--and almost paradoxically--love playing enough that he's OK if he doesn't win. This is why I think Federer is still playing, and playing well, at 35: He still wants to win, but he's OK if he doesn't. Even if he doesn't win not only does he have his past accomplishments, but he just loves playing the game, and enough that he will still play even though he's not as good or dominant as he was.

I think Novak still really wants to win, but I sometimes wonder if he's losing the love of the game. This is why I think it is so hard to stay focused after you hit that first bump that drops you down from your peak to your plateau, and why some players don't survive long after it. He reached a perhaps unparalleled height in 2015 and early 2016. When the first crack starts to show, even if it is slight it is a long way to fall. If the pure love of playing isn't there, the law of diminishing returns--and wins--becomes frustrating.

This is all admittedly conjecture, but I don't see that same joie de vivre in Novak that Fed has. Novak's love of playing seems more tied to him winning (although he remains the consummate sportsman when he does lose...I always appreciate how he congratulates his opponent).
19-Jan-2017 05:43 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
Me to on this (appreciate how he congratulates his opponent) Nole is a true sportsman & hats off to him on that.

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19-Jan-2017 06:09 PM
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sid Offline
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
What's the chance of Novak losing his Number 2 Ranking running upto say Wimbledon?many are quick to wright him off atm.

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19-Jan-2017 06:29 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
(19-Jan-2017 06:29 PM)sid Wrote:  What's the chance of Novak losing his #2 Ranking running up to say Wimbledon? Many are quick to write him off atm.

Every time you think it can't get any worse; Cover No No Cry = The commentators had just made a point of saying Nole had won like 59 straight sets in the early rounds of the AO! I hadn't a lot of hope of him winning, but to go out in the 2nd round? Nole has a lot of points to defend and starting like this at his fave major isn't going to help his confidence! Not sure he'll drop to #3 anytime soon, but he probably won't be able to recover his #1 ranking either! No No Cry Cover

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19-Jan-2017 06:36 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
(19-Jan-2017 06:29 PM)sid Wrote:  What's the chance of Novak losing his Number 2 Ranking running upto say Wimbledon?many are quick to wright him off atm.

I don't see much of a chance of that. As we all know points wise, there is huge gap between #2 and #3 at the start of the year and it will take lot more to bring Novak down further.

"Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference" - Mark Twain
19-Jan-2017 07:26 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
(19-Jan-2017 07:26 PM)GameSetAndMath Wrote:  
(19-Jan-2017 06:29 PM)sid Wrote:  What's the chance of Novak losing his Number 2 Ranking running upto say Wimbledon?many are quick to wright him off atm.

I don't see much of a chance of that. As we all know points wise, there is huge gap between #2 and #3 at the start of the year and it will take lot more to bring Novak down further.

Well from AO Novak has 5700 points to defend till the end of Roland Garros.A bad run in the next 2 Masters won't help as he won them last year.

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19-Jan-2017 08:00 PM
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El Dude Online
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
I wish I could look up ranking points over different spans of time, as I'm curious how Novak ranks between Wimbledon and now. Even if he's still #2, I imagine he's closer to #3 than #1.
19-Jan-2017 08:05 PM
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Carol35 Online
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
I don't know if is over or not but to me Novak is "the curios case of Benjamin Button" he is playing like before 2011 when he was 6 years younger and I don't think it's because a lack of motivation or something similar
(This post was last modified: 20-Jan-2017 12:34 AM by Carol35.)
20-Jan-2017 12:16 AM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
Novak was the first player since Laver to win 4 consecutive majors. Not a true Grand Slam (all in the same calendar year), but still a rare feat indeed.
Now he has gone from holding all 4 majors to now only 1 - Roland Garros.
Going from 4 to 0 would not be a big surprise.

The same thing happened to the men's only Grand Slam winners Donnie Budge and Rod Laver (2).

Though in Budge's case (1938) and Laver's first Grand Slam (1962) they both were barred from participating the following year after turning pro, so they might be excused. Budge did win pro slams in 1939. Also he won his Grand Slam after winning Wimbledon and the US Open the previous year, so that was 6 consecutive majors. After winning his first Grand Slam as an amateur, Laver turned pro, but took awhile to adapt to the higher level pro game, and didn't win a pro slam until 1964.

Laver's 1969 Grand Slam had no such impediment. But he turned 31 August 9, 1969, a month before winning the US Open over Roche, thus winning the only Open Era Grand Slam so far, and afterwards was done winning majors, though he continued winning many significant tournaments, and won over 40 titles from the end of 1969 through 1976.

Novak will turn 30 just prior to him playing the next major, Roland Garros, but his recent dominating performance also means he has played a lot of matches at the ATP Tour level - 913. He has reached the point where players historically slow down and stop winning majors as shown in the thread "Number of Matches Played - The End of Winning Slams".

So I think it's fair to conjecture that his reign is over, even if he can win another major or two.
Even though Sir Andy Murray is about the same age as Novak, he has played about 100 fewer matches - 811. But within about a year, I expect someone else outside the big 4 (or 5) to step up to the plate. If Del Potro can stay healthy, maybe it will be him with only 485 matches played, or finally, some younger player.

Respectfully,
masterclass

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20-Jan-2017 02:59 AM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
Novak seems to be very ambitious player, I don't think he has enough with what has achieved but his mentally and physically effort is starting to affect him even without having any injuries which are obviously the worst. And I think that we have to give some credit to Vasely, Stan, Muzz, Delpo, Querrey, Istomin, etc etc etc which have played him so well, they have all the right to play their best too like he has done for awhile, so I don't see so big deal like some people is doing because none one can keep the best game and confidence for ever and like Nadal has said so well: "when you start to lose more often it's very dificult (not impossible) to find your best game again"
20-Jan-2017 11:11 AM
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the AntiPusher (01-20-2017)
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
Great stuff, masterclass. Just a point of clarification on Rod Laver. Part of the reason he didn't defend any of his '69 Slams is that he didn't play in the 1970 AO or RG. He did lose in the 4R of both Wimbledon and the US Open, though. But after 1969, he was not only a top player for another half decade, but arguably the #1 for 1970-71 - at least according to TennisBase.com. He didn't win any more Slams, but he also only played eight more scattered over eight years, so didn't have many chances. Part of the reason was political--he skipped some due to protest--but also because Slams simply weren't regarded in the same way then as they are now; they were the most important tournaments, but not as much so as they are today.
20-Jan-2017 12:12 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
I wouldn't say Novak's done (and I dude isn't either), but I agree that we are very unlikely to another streak where he is truly dominant. He may return to number one (probably will if he he can get to consistently playing his B game), but not like 2011 or 2015-16.

I have still really enjoyed this AO!
23-Jan-2017 06:38 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
Yeah, it is hard imagining Novak not coming back and at least winning another couple Slams. I read a Tignor article about Mischa's win and he was speculating that the reason Andy and Novak lost has less to do with decline (or, as he put it, Andy being unable to hold onto his #1) and more to do with the speed of the court.

That said, I think Novak is teetering a bit and has a legitimate confidence problem. I can't imagine what it must be like to go from his unparalleled dominance of 2015 to mid-2016, and then go out early at Wimbledon and now his home turf, the AO. So there is a legitimate and growing concern that he is going to struggle for awhile, possibly to the point of never winning another Slam, as Carol (wishfully) predicts. I think it is unlikely, but it went from "no chance of happening" a few months ago, now is more like "unlikely but possible."

Novak is too great of a player not to right the ship. As I've been saying, I think his best case scenario now is that he returns to the "first among equals" status of 2012-14 for another year or two. But the next few years are going to be pretty wild with no single strongly dominant player, or so I think (and hope!).
23-Jan-2017 07:33 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
(23-Jan-2017 07:33 PM)El Dude Wrote:  Yeah, it is hard imagining Novak not coming back and at least winning another couple Slams. I read a Tignor article about Mischa's win and he was speculating that the reason Andy and Novak lost has less to do with decline (or, as he put it, Andy being unable to hold onto his #1) and more to do with the speed of the court.

That said, I think Novak is teetering a bit and has a legitimate confidence problem. I can't imagine what it must be like to go from his unparalleled dominance of 2015 to mid-2016, and then go out early at Wimbledon and now his home turf, the AO. So there is a legitimate and growing concern that he is going to struggle for awhile, possibly to the point of never winning another Slam, as Carol (wishfully) predicts. I think it is unlikely, but it went from "no chance of happening" a few months ago, now is more like "unlikely but possible."

Novak is too great of a player not to right the ship. As I've been saying, I think his best case scenario now is that he returns to the "first among equals" status of 2012-14 for another year or two. But the next few years are going to be pretty wild with no single strongly dominant player, or so I think (and hope!).

Excuse moi but it wasn't a "wishfully" predict but because he did too much in a short time, he was looking for help after 2010, first that Mentalist-Doctor (lack of confidence?) then after 2013 looking for something else and changing coaches, too much effort always looking for "something' and at the end his mind and body had to finished burned out. Maybe he will come back one day but I doubt like the same way he was in 2011-14 and 15 and less if there are other players playing well
23-Jan-2017 09:01 PM
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RE: The Reign of Novak is Over
according to some Serbian's papers, Jelena's 2 montsh pregnant...congrats to Nole and Jelena, Stefan'll have a brother or sister soon
14-Feb-2017 09:11 AM
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