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Who Will Be Ranked in the Top 8 at the End of the Year?

Hey guys, just before the start of the Australian Open I posted a form to fill in where you could predict the End of Year Top 8 in the Men's Rankings. The response rate was really high so I've collated the data and put together some graphs showing what many of you believe the top 8 will look like come November.

Obviously this isn't the largest data set and there's bound to be some Federer bias in there but I think the results are pretty interesting. Take a look at some key bits I picked out below.

Who Will End the Year Ranked Number 1?

According to all voters there are only 4 players with a chance of ending the year ranked number one with Djokovic and Federer making up the bulk of the picks. Nadal is of course there too and Nishikori got one vote. You can see the breakdown below:

Will We See a New Face in The Top 8?

Last year Raonic, Cilic and Nishikori ended the year in the top 8 for the first time so will we see any new faces break into it for 2015? 56% think we will:

Which Player is Likely to End the Year in the Top 8 for the First Time?

Of the 56% who think there will be a newcomer who did they choose? No real surprises here as Dimitrov is by far and away the most popular pick, after all he only just missed out on a top 8 spot in 2014. Goffin was also popular and there a couple of surprise picks in there for Janowicz and Kukushkin.

Will Federer Be Ranked in the Top 2?

Roger was locked in a battle for Number 1 at the end of last year but can he maintain that consistency this year? 76% think so. I'm not sure he will as the field is definitely strong right now so he will need to perform well in the 3 remaining slams to stand a chance.

Who is Most Likely To End the Year in the Top 4 for the First Time?

Wawrinka was the player to hold that accolade last year but will there be a new member of the top 4 for 2015? Only 4 players cropped up inside the top 4 picks and Nishikori leads the way.

Can Del Potro Get Back in the Top 8?

Del Potro's comeback got off to a good start in Sydney when he won his first match before losing in the Quarters but that was shortlived as he withdrew from the Australian Open and has since undergone another wrist operation. Does he have a chance of making back into the top 8? It's unlikely according to the predictions.

Will Cilic Maintain His Position in the Top 8?

Cilic was a surprise package winning last year's US Open but his London debut wasn't impressive and he's just missed the Australian Open with a shoulder injury. Can he keep his spot in the top 8? Not many think so.

Will Ferrer Return into the Top 8?

Ferrer didn't make last years World Tour Finals; playing one match after Raonic's withdrawal in the Round Robin as a reserve. So will he qualify outright in 2015 and end the year ranked inside the top 8? Three quarters of respondents believe he will.

Could Federer Slip Outside The Top 4 Again?

2013 was a disaster year for the Swiss, slipping outside the Top 4 for the first time since 2003. Could the same happen in 2015? It looks unlikely..

What about Nadal – Will He Remain in the Top 4?

And what about Nadal? Perhaps some FedFan bias coming in here but a large number of fans don't think he will end the year in the top 4. From what I saw in Australia I think he probably will, he was woeful in at least 3 matches down under but still made the Quarters. His clay season will no doubt give us more info on how well he's playing.

So there you have it, a quick overview of the predictions. I'd like to thank everyone for contributing and filling out the form and if you have any ideas for more graphs etc let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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205 Comments

    1. Nadal dropped a ton of points and still didn’t fall out of the top three. If wasn’t for Federer , Nadal would still be ranked no. 2. The French Open will be his test again and will he actually play the whole season? Fed will have to pich his spots and be consistent to hold his ranking. This season won’t be any differently. The rankings will be about who can win enough consistently with titles without injuries.

      1. well done on first comment, and it seems our second response on same time after reading atrticle πŸ˜‰

    1. Fed in Top 2, it depends on Slam and Masters..unless he wins 18 I doubt about that though mist disagree….

      Interesting answer on “Will RF ranked outside Top 4?”..I am surprised 97% of use thinks yes…or you got that other way?

      Would be interesting to watch Clic and Dimitrov… probably Dimitrov could make breakthrough…

  1. Some of the predictions will be proved right, and some will be wrong. Now that’s a real cop-out answer, isn’t it?

    But here’s the question that most Federer fans would like an answer to: will Roger win another slam? Add to that question: if he does, will it be this year? The sentimentalist in me says, yes – Wimbledon, this year. The realist says he might get close – a semi perhaps – but won’t cross the line, or make the final. The sentimentalist will nevertheless keep watching.

    1. Federer’s chances of winning another slam are like any other 33 yr old that ever competed. All Federer can do is compete because the tour is a grind physically and mentally. Whether or not he wins another slam, nobody can’t take away the 17 he already has.

    2. Agreed with Karen for once πŸ˜† well almost, I’d say Roger’s chances are significantly higher than any other 33 year olds that competed due to the way he plays the game. But those chances are still pretty slim.

  2. Course I want Fed to win another Slam but think it is a pretty remote possibility unless he puts his all (which he clearly did LY) into Wimby. I am however quite happy watching him hopefully win at least 5 more titles this yr.

    I think I pushed Muzza and Kei up and Rafa and Stan down as do think Muzza might hv a biggish yr. Novak? Immoveable at the top! Cilic out, Ferrer back in and I hv not put Dimitrov in! He needs a new coach!

    AO has turned out disappointing in both men’s and women’s. Venus in the SF? The other FT players shld be ashamed! I am just very keen for both Novak and Serena to lose! Tbf Muzzas is a more than 2 slam player! He cld just take it on Sunday! Otherwise I am rooting for Brit Katie Swan in the girls final! The girls got promise!!

      1. *Was* it a boring final? It sounded quite good from the radio. If it’s boring, then I shall be pleased, because my recording failed so I can’t watch it anyway πŸ™

      2. Hey Jon and Alison, I know you don’t want to hear this, but the final was pretty amazing to be honest. Ofcourse Maria would lose. I knew that when she got broken the very first game. I don’t like her that much because of her time wasting and obviously the grunting, but I have to give her respect for her fighting. She fought and fought. She just didn’t want to give up or go away. Serena did not have an easy match. Maria made her work for it.
        And… please don’t read this guys, but I am happy Serena won her 19th slam πŸ™‚
        Just waiting for Roger to do the same πŸ™‚

      3. Katyani, please, please spare us, because very few here give a fuck how that women;s final went. Go comment about your favorite player on some other blogs. And if you are so in love with that doped up overgrown raccoon, please dedicate a blog to it.

        Maybe you can call it, PerfectSilliams.com?

        Or, GhettoBitch.com?

        How about, iwillshovethisfuckingballdownyourfuckingthroat.com?

        Hmmmm?!?

      4. Hope you got the answer you wanted then. Maybe you should watch it like Serajul did, and actually enjoyed watching a doped up raccoon, beat an unsporting shrieker πŸ™‚

        Anybody who claims to be a true Federer fan, then goes on to claim that they like Serena Williams, is retarded, and was never really a Federer fan to begin with. It’s like saying, I am a fan of honest people, and also of liars. I am a fan of those who do not steal, and also those who do. And a fan of the most sporting multiple slam winner of them all, and also the most unsporting winner. And a fan of someone who plays the most technically correct, and also the one with horrible footwork.

        You truly are in it just for the glory, for adding up the slams.

      5. Diplomatic as ever πŸ˜†

        I agree though, Serena ruined women’s tennis IMO, she took away any USP’s it had in terms of feminine qualities and turned it into a lesser version of the men’s game. So now it doesn’t really have much going for it, if you want to watch a physical battle – just watch men’s tennis because its infinitely better.

        I’m surprised more people don’t see it like that tbh but we do live in a PC world where most people are incapable of forming an opinion outside of what’s fed to them through their TV screens or iPads.

        Bring back Hingis and Henin. Viva!

      6. This is shocking, Sid! Your reaction to Katyani’s comment sucks.

        Katyani is happy with Serena’s win and you are not, me not either. That may happen. But how come you became so crazy to throw in those rubbish comments!

        We all love Roger and tennis in general. We share our views and opinion etc. But it seems you can’t endure others’ views that do not match with yours.

        It’s ridiculous that someone with such an ‘unsporting’ attitude is trying to point out what it takes to be a “true Federer fan” !!

      7. Ankur, to truly understand my reaction to Katyani’s comment, you must first understand the history between us, when it comes to that doped up raccoon. Maybe it will all make sense.

        There is nothing unsporting about what I said. You can’t like both good, and bad, at the same time. It simply means you are in it for bragging rights. I hope you are capable enough to make sense of what I said.

        Anyone who is a fan of someone who threatened a line judge with, “I’ll shove this fucking ball down your fucking throat”, is an asshole.

      8. Yup, diplomatic as ever, Jonathan. I’m not running a blog. Or an election πŸ™‚

        You know, I’ve watched several women’s tennis videos on YouTube, before these *******, and their obnoxious, “I told you so”, father came around. There was something beautiful about women’s tennis before they turned it into a ghetto. It’s gone now. It’s now nothing more than a freak show.

        Yes, bring back Henin. Evert. And The Swiss Miss. πŸ™‚

      9. American English isn’t a thing, people who use bing should be beaten to death in the street, and playing lacrosse automatically makes you a judgmental fuckwit. All opinions, all unsubstantiated with actual proof, and all indicative of a judgmental nature.

        So get off your high horse, and stop being so anal about anyone who doesn’t agree with your OPINION, Sid. That was a verbal torrent of abuse that was uncalled for. Personally, I hate the woman, but sure, let’s go with death penalty for all her fans (many of whom no doubt are quantifiably more intelligent than you or I) rather than respectful disagreement.

      10. Anyone who doesn’t agree with my opinion? You must’ve read it all wrong. There are only two type of fans I have a problem with: Those of the Spanish doper, and this bitch from the ghetto. So, don’t make me into what I am not.

        Oh, and good job trying to portray me as a racist. Hating a defeatist culture, or lifestyle, to sound a bit less racist, is not the same as hating a color. Serena Williams brings the worst of that culture to the tennis court. Should I list her behavior alphabetically? Or chronologically?

        I’ll continue to stand by what I said. Every Serena Williams, and Rafael Nadal fan, is a retarded fuckwit. I know these people in real life. World class assholes! Are you one of them?

      11. “I know these people in real life. World class assholes!”… !!!???!!! HaHaHa…..

        It’s impossible to not get annoyed with you and it’s also impossible to sustain the anger.

      12. I’m pretty sure nothing I said painted you as racist? But we will have to agree to disagree on how standing by what you said is fair because you’ve met a few fans in real life. Speaking from a statistician view point, that is the shittiest sample size ever. But you were fairly cordial to me, so I’ll retract the venom in my statement earlier. Still. Chillax, dude.

      13. I agree. Sid’s comments were not fair. That’s why I opposed. But this guy is like that…. not much to do…

      14. What parts of my comments on Silliams were not fair? Ok, I agree that I went a bit over the top with his…err…her fan base, and that of her, “booty brother”. Other than that, what I said is the truth. You guys must not be following all the news about this bitch.

        I am like that? You are so wrapped up celebrating Roger’s 10 Sportsmanship awards, you have no idea how many unsporting thugs are out there.

        Go hug a Williams fan. It will make you feel better.

      15. That bit was what I was complaining about. I didn’t say you were factually incorrect with what they’ve done, I just called your conclusions from them an opinion. The fans bit was my issue. I’ll put this to bed now, I have no quarrel with the rest.

      16. Ok, not all Williams and Nadal fans are retarded fuckwits. But an overwhelming majority of them are, alright? At least everyone I know are. πŸ™‚

  3. Roger wins another GS? absolutely! I think that if Roger does as journalists do sometimes, he will make it harder for himself. That’s, he could only win Wmbledon, rubbish! What happened at the Wimbledon 14 just proved exactly that – Roger thought that was a rare chance and did something he does not usually do, ending up losing. Also, the last year’s DC committments drained him a little bit as well such that he ran out of gas at the USO.
    If we look at what happens to Nadull and Novack at the AO, anything can happen for the remaining 3 GS. Today, Novack played smart against Stan to grind him out. This was the 2008 Novack. Had Stan gone to net a few more times, Novack could have been beaten. True, Novack has got an energy reserve to grind. However, Roger just needs to play smart and also must show his opponents he is not afraid of grinding (obviously he does not need to do it practically). Now IMO, all three remaining slams are up for grabs. Why not Roger? he has been there 17 times.

      1. Wimbledon is still his best, and only chance. Djokovic, who will only get better in the front court, will continue to stand in his way. I have hope. Not as much as last year. It all depends on the draw, and how it opens up. Need luck. Lots of it.

  4. Hey guys, on another note. Anyone saw that vid or gif of Kim swearing with Andy by saying the F-word a couple of times about Berdych?? Now how about double standards?? When Mirka “heckled” Stan it was literally worldnews. Sooo many articles written about it, so many questions asked to Roger and Stan about it. Now lunatic Kim does the same or even worse… and no mention, nowhere… What is up with that??

    1. It sure is double standard. The so-called “heckling” by Mirka is a joke. The whole situation was just to create tension between Federer and Stan going into the DC final because now that Switzerland has won it can’t be used as a “weapon” against Federer anymore. Years and Years pundits who cover tennis used Federer’s DC participation against him. Otherwise why fabricate a story about Mirka “heckling” Stan?

      1. Hey Karen, I don’t know, it looks like she did say it to Stan. So she deserved to get “burned” for it. But then… so does Kim. Either both or none of them. But to be honest, Rafa’s girlfriend Ciska is the way a girlfriend should behave on court. Just support your man. That’s all. Let both the men fight it out on the court. All the other “wags” should take a lesson out of Ciska on how to behave. Anyway that is my opinion.

        Hey Ankur, Wimby is half a year in the past, still I cannot seem to get over it πŸ™‚ My bad. I do think there was something wrong with what Novak did, but no worries, it will catch up on him. Are you going to watch the final tomorrow?
        And yes, Stan’s backhand shot is really one of the most beautiful shots !!

      2. So where is the evidence that Mirka called Stan a “crybaby”. Then Stan claimed she did at Wimbledon too? Federer has been playing for a long time so now Mirka just decides to yell out at another player. The newspapers like to paint Mirka as bossy and keeps Fed on a tight leash.
        Also Stan has a tendency to overhit BH when the match is tight.

      3. That’s not evidence because the camera didn’t pan over to the crowd, so you don’t see who Stan is talking to. I saw this match live on TV and Federer was on the other side watching but he stands by and let’s his friend walk towards his wife in a menacing fashion, I don’t think so.

      4. Hey Karen, I think you can pretty much assume Mirka did say that. But it is not that big of a deal. They all worked it out. And the press are beeing a little bit unfair by going after her. She has been on Roger’s side since the beginning and she has watched over a 1000 of his matches. So… she slipped up once. It doesn’t erase the fact that she has been a perfect supporter for all these years. She paid the price too (by not beeing live at DC to see Roger win such a historic moment).

      5. Wrong, you can’t assume Mirka did anything because is no evidence. Also I never seen Mirka any of Switzerland’s away ties. What Federer do put Mirka on timeout by not “letting” her go to DC final? It is a big deal when accuse someone of something without any “real” evidence.

      6. Come on Karen. Stan’s whole family was there. I think even his wife was there. Roger’s parents were there, but no Mirka. That is not a coincidence. She didn’t come because of the focus it would have left on her and Stan.

      7. Karen back in blind worship Federer mode again πŸ˜†

        It’s blatantly obvious Mirka said it, Federer basically admitted it too when asked in press.

        Stan even says to the Umpire – she did the same at Wimbledon. It’s unbearable.

        So come on, enlighten us, who said it Karen?

      8. Nice try and don’t give me that blind Fed worship BS. I said provide proof and you hadn’t provided any real proof. Also Federer didn’t admit anything other than asking when they started interviewing chair umpires after matches. Also Stan’s wife was not there either. Blind worship is not as bad as switching alliances. Poor Stan having to be in Fed’s shadow. That incident made headlines because deep down Stan is jealous of Fed and the press can pick up on that kind of stuff.

      9. I provided a video with full audio. There’s no doubts who made the comments – Mirka. I have no issue with it though, it was funny and she was supporting her man.

        But you are making out like the whole thing was fabricated. It wasn’t, it happened and was then turned into something bigger by the press just like any other event.

        The incident making headlines had nothing to do with Stan being jealous of Fed. It was used by mainstream media to sell papers, drive web traffic etc as it was a key talking point of the match and would inevitably attract readers from outside the tennis circle who just want the gossip.

        It was then used by the French media to try unsettle the Swiss camp, reporting tension, divisions etc to sway the tie. But it back fired as it actually solidified the Swiss team and turned out the French were the ones who couldn’t get their house in order.

      10. It is not a big deal Karen. Mirka has been an almost perfect supporter for all the years and all the matches. She is allowed to slip atleast once…

    2. I love Stan’s game. Those exquisite SH backhands! A wonderful blend of beauty and power! And far more attractive than Novak’s. Started to watch the SF match knowing it’s going to be tight. But You know what? For some reason I realized midway that I was actually supporting Novak! Was it due to the WTF incident? And the fact that I don’t want Stan to be Swiss no. 1 again? I don’t know.

      But tbh I don’t see any unfair gamesmanship in Novak. I in general respect him as a sportsman. The Wimby timeout sounds kinda over-blaming to me.

      1. Swiss No. 1 is a long way off at the moment – Stan’s now dropped to world no. 9 πŸ™

        And I keep meaning to go back and see precisely what the effect of that MTO was: I do believe it affected the outcome of that match, so the question was whether it was deliberate or not.

      2. Hey Alison, it was deliberate. It was not a mto, but a massage. A tactic to bring Roger out of his rhytm, because he was doing well. He was getting stronger and fighting back. Even by beating all those bp. Novak was the better player, no doubt, but Roger just held on. Like he did at Wimby 2012 with Andy. Andy was the better player in the 1st set and won it. He was even better in the 2nd set, but Roger just held on. And then attacked when he had the chance (the 2 setpoints in the 2nd set). After that, Roger’s confidence and play went up and he won. That was exactly what was happening last year. Novak was the better player in all 4 sets. Roger just held on. He won the 1st set and lost the 2nd and 3rd. In the 4th Novak was still better, but Roger held on and made his move (with help of Novak, I will give him that). But when Novak saw Roger was gaining more confidence and was playing better, he had to “stop” it. The mto was from the beginning to the end 8 minutes and 3 seconds. You cannot tell me that if they played on without the mto, that in that time Roger would not have been able to break Novak atleast once, because he too had his bp opportunities. Maybe Novak would have broken back immidiately, but maybe Roger would have won. We don’t and won’t know that because Novak robbed Roger of that chance. And to top it off, that discusting remark in his winners speech “Thank you for letting me win Roger”. I will never forgive Novak for robbing Roger of that win. If Novak had not used that mto and would have won it fairly, I would have felt so sad for Roger, but would also have congratulated Novak. Now… I hope he loses it all.

        I am trying to cut down on the “Wimby-2014-MTO-incident” (which is as you can see not working out that well πŸ™‚ ), but I will try harder πŸ™‚

    3. Oh, there have been plenty of mentions in the British press, although probably not as many as for “Mirkagate”.

      Are you suggesting that it *was* a put-up job by the French press to foul up the Swiss DC chances? πŸ™‚

    4. Ok, I’m going to try to put an end this.

      Kim Sears throwing profanities while supporting her man versus Berdych, is entirely different than Mirka uttering, “Cry baby, cry”, at someone who is practically family. No double standards here. I remember someone said that the Umpire let her get away with it because she was Federer’s wife. That’s a stupid thing to say. The Umpire did nothing because he understands the relationship these three share.

      I was one of those who believed that it wasn’t Mirka to begin. It was indeed her. What she did is nothing compared to what Kim did.

      Just go about with your lives already, people, we’ve got a slam to win. πŸ™‚

      1. It would be irrational to think Roger is going to win Paris, or New York (unless the courts are laid out much earlier, and played on to make them slick).

        Grass is where the great man will make his last stand.

  5. Ps: Is anyone going to watch the final? I don’t want lunatic crazy Andy to win it and I certainly don’t want gamesmenship Novak to win. But… no choice right?? Who to pick?? Well… since I have no choice, I will go for the lunatic one. Go Muzza I guess. Too bad you are not in the final Stan…

      1. That’s what I said for Wimbledon πŸ™

        I suppose I have a slight preference for Murray, if I *have* to pick one of the two (that’s why I wanted a Stan/Murray final). But then I’ve been convinced since early January that he was going to win it, anyway.

    1. I don’t know if I’ll bother watching it. Djoko/Muzza is probably one of the most boring matchups in the game. Too similar games, usually turns into a grind fest. And not much point watching it when I’m not emotionally invested in the match. Though in the end they both deserve to play the final. If I have to pick one I guess will pick Murray as well.

      1. I am picking that Murray will swear a lot – so will his girlfirend (and his mother) – and clutch his side, while Djokovic will do the splits – to be replayed endlessly in slow-motion – and berate Boris every time he loses a point or because his shorts don’t fit. Murray’s lobs will land in Margaret Court Arena. Some rallies will be over in as few as a hundred shots. My tv will run out of recording space before the end of the match. Jim Courier will wake up in the commentators’s booth and congratulate the winner for taking the game to new depths – sorry, “heights” – and go back to the hotel room for a shave. Roger, why did you have to go and lose to Seppi?

      2. Bjorn, I couldn’t agree with you more. The one time we get some tennis on the BBC, and I can barely bare to watch it πŸ™

    2. Katyani, I won’t be watching it either, watching Nadal & Andy gives me the creeps.

      However, it is best for Roger’s chances of getting back to number 1 in 2015, if Muzza wins. Also, Murray’s victory would push the Spanish Doper to 4th in ranking, the lower he is, the better, though 3rd and 4th are the same in terms of the draw.

      I want Roger to be No. 1 again, just for a few weeks to set the record as the oldest ranked number 1 in Open Era.

      Plus Djoker without AO title, would work harder for the French Open, still prefer him over Nadull any day.

      1. I don’t think winning the AO would effect Djoker’s desire for the French Open. They are different tournaments and 4 months apart. he will be out for revenge at Roland Garros.

  6. I am not planning to watch either the women’s (almost never do–not since Steffi retired) or the men’s (Who cares? But between the two, I go for Djoko. Murray is not worthy. Strictly a second tier player).

  7. interesting stats. I would probably change some of my answers after the AO.

    What is the lesser of the two evils. Well, I’ll pick Muzza. That will stop Djoker from 5 AO’s and another ripped up shirt. No Nadal, how good is that.

  8. Alright Ladies and Gentlemen. Anyone care to wager some pride on the line for the finals?

    Murray or Djokovic?

    My money’s on Murray.

    1. Murray, of course. He deserves another slam. Very few expected him to be in the final. But he did it. It’s going to be very tight though. 5 sets for sure.

  9. Wanted Stan to win, but the old mental midget Stan turned up last night unfortunately. I’d prefer Murray to win, because even though Djokovic will never break Federer’s slam record, I’d still prefer he remains on tie with Federer in the Australian Open title count πŸ˜€ I still rank Federer to be the king of Melbourne currently, considering he won on two different surfaces and Djokovic won all his on Plexicushion πŸ˜‰

    1. I don’t want either one of them to win. Can happen right? How about they both retire?? πŸ™‚
      Nah… then… lets just go for Muzza. Like Sue says, the lesser of the two evils πŸ™‚

      1. Murray is such an animated, fiery character on the court, but off it he’s completely different in the press room and other places, which is why I don’t support him at all. He can crack up a few jokes here and now, but a complete dickhead on the court.

      2. I used to think like that Conal. I despised Murray, but for some reason I’ve warmed up to him. Of course, not when he’s playing against Federer.

      3. Murray. Has a lot against him, for me mostly his boring press answers. But! If remember right, he and Roger were co-operating some intensive effort to possibly stop the possibly – and probably – ongoing dope drugging in tennis as well. Since then, my sympathy for this very emotional fighter was rising. And isn’t he a little more entertaining on court than Djoko? So..All in all I hope to see the result being Andy’s win, just this time.

      1. I read that Jonathan. If he was dead after only playing one exho with Federer after DC – how much more mentally drained must Federer have been?

      2. Well, that’s what I wondered, too – whether it had affected him (and maybe in Roger’s case including the 1000th win, too). All the stress, strain, emotion, and having to come down from cloud 9.

    2. Conal, you are right. Federer did win three on Rebound Ace, and once on Plexicushion in 2010. One more reason in support of Rod Laver’s statement that Roger, “has a more complete body of work”. πŸ™‚

  10. Oh hey guys, I thought we’ve all gone on holiday. Maldives, anyone?

    Lol, surprise surprise, we still have so much faith in Roger! Meanwhile, sad to see the result of Delpo…

  11. *we’d’ gone on holiday (above)

    I find Andy Murray’s game tedious as I saw him live 3 times but I wouldn’t mind him to be the AO champion for a change. He appears to be a decent and fair player. Less roaring would be appreciated, though.
    Watching the final live? No, thanks πŸ˜‰

      1. Hey guys, you all should definitely watch the final tomorrow. Especially you Jon. Would it not be lovely to see and hear the BBC totally DRULING over Andy?? For that alone I will watch πŸ™‚ Hear them compare him to Goat-status πŸ™‚

      2. Oh NO, Katyani. We had enough of that at Wimbledon. Zum Kotzen. Like Jon, I’m not planning on dragging myself out of bed for it.

        Muzza has a lot of talent, it’s just that he seems to choose not to apply it, and to go in for grinding instead. If he were actually to play more aggressively, I might like it better.

      3. Well Alison, I think this is a different Muzza. In the off season he must have watched a lot of Roger’s 2014 matches, because when he was playing at Abu Dhabi, I was actually surprised. He was playing seriously aggressive, he was keeping the points short and he was coming to the net a lot. Like a lot. Man, even at age 32/33 Roger is showing players a generation younger how to do it. Muzza was quite playing like Roger. So in the final he has a good chance to win. I hope he takes it too. But that still doesn’t make me change my mind. I think Muzza will get from worse to worse this year (…. after AO) πŸ™‚

        And…. did you guys notice that at age 32/33 Roger is still setting the bar for others so high that they have to react?? With Stefan’s help Roger is coming more to the net with confidence. Now…. it looks like every player is coming more to the net, even the most defensive players and even the so called servebots πŸ™‚

      4. Yep, I’ve been thinking several times this year already that more people seem to be approaching the net. Can surely only improve the game if people dare to make forays away from the baseline. And I *had* expected Murray to continue with the aggressiveness.

        I *didn’t drag myself out of bed, as it happens: I overslept and woke up the wrong side of 10 am. Andy was 2-0 up in the second set at the time … Vaguely listened to some of it on the radio, and then turned the TV on around midday, but only to check that the Beeb hadn’t done something stupid like moving channels.

      5. Hey Alison, you are right. The Beeb does move matches from BBC 1 to 2 and back. Especially during Wimby. So annoying when you want to record a match πŸ™‚

      6. Har-har, I’ve beaten them at their own game now. I’ve got a twin-tuner HDD recorder now, so can record BBC1 on one channel and BBC2 on the other. And then watch the Red Button on my DVDR πŸ˜€

  12. Interesting stats. Thanks Jonathan!
    The AO definitely messed it up a bit in the predictions (I was for example one of those few who picked Delpo to climb back into the top eight, and what does he do – runs away for another surgery…). But I will stick with Kyrgios as an outsider, if he can mature a notch or two along the way, and I will stick with Wawrinka falling out of the club. Yes, Stan did a great AO, but his consistency just isn’t there. On Monday, his ranking will be down to #9 again.
    And yes, my heart still puts Roger at the #1 position, despite my head saying “No way!” πŸ™‚

    1. Stefan – why not listen to your heart? Should head lead you, or heart in this case? Might make you happier, and nobody knows what Roger can come up with. Just because we are now in the valley of grief and worry, Roger showed us last year, that this has not necessary to last. So…heart’s wisdom and hope’s strength – why not support that with your head?
      (And if it should not come true, well then – never mind that NOW! πŸ™‚

    2. Isn’t it strange Stefan? Stan doesn’t make the final and he is down from 4 all the way to 9?? Not even to 5 or 6, but straight away to 9?? It is not as if he was ousted in the 1st round or something?? Does it make that much difference, SF and Final??

      1. Stan didn’t do very well after winning MC last year so the bulk of his ranking points came from winning the AO. Yes, the SF of a GS is 600 points and a finalist is 1200. If he had performed better after MC, he could have afforded to not defending the AO.

      2. SF is 720, actually. So, he loses 1280 points. Ouch!

        Djokovic, if he wins, would gain 1640 points, plus 630, for a total of nearly 2300 points over Roger. Let’s get real. Unless Djokovic has a bad year, Roger cannot finish Year End No. 1 without a slam.

      3. Yeah, Katyani. It may seem a bit strange, but when you look into it you will find that it is the consequence of an interesting (and IMO encouraging) fact: the competition in the top ten has tightened considerably over the last couple of years. It has never been so tough to qualify for the ATP tour finals as it was last year. David Ferrer finished the year as #10 with a total of 4045 points. That’s almost 1000 points more than the 2013 YE #10, Tsonga collected. And before him, no YE #10 had even reached the 3000 points mark in recent years. If you ask me, the competition behind the top tier will get even tougher this year!

      4. A reply to Stefan and Katyani.
        I don’t see, Stefan, what’s so encouraging about having 10 players ending the year (in casu the 2014 season) with more than 4000 points, when the average age of these guys is more than 28 years old !
        Total aberration in my opinion, not only points wise, but also age wise.
        Since the points system got changed in 2009 only Tsonga (2013) ended the year ranked top 10 with more than 3000 points (3.065 points in 2013).
        Before him Gasquet got 2.500 points as year-end nr. 10 in 2012), Almagro 2.380 points in 2011, Youzny 2.920 points as year-end number 10 in 2010, and Tsonga 2.875 points as year-end number 10 in 2009.
        The points differential with David Ferrer’s 4045 points is striking. Each time way more than 1000 points less.
        Don’t these numbers make you wonder a little bit how all this is possible?
        Not a very encouraging evolution in my view.

      5. Hey Wilfried, nice to hear from you. Do you have plans to go to the DC tie of Belgium vs Suisse?? If I know for certain that Roger will come, I might try myself to go….

      6. Hi Katyani,
        Nice to hear from you as well. Indeed, I’d be delighted to see Roger and Stan play against my country fellow men here in Belgium, for the first time in my life because I never saw Roger play in real.
        But I’m afraid neither one of them will do the effort to make the trip to LiΓ¨ge, because, according to an article published on 25 januari in β€œLe matin” (a swiss journal), RenΓ© Stammbach, president of the Swiss tennis federation, estimates the probability that Roger and Stan will play Davis Cup only at 25 %. He also said that they either play the two of them, or neither one of them. In other words, if one of them doesn’ t want to go, neither Stan nor Roger will show up.
        So my hopes are not very high.
        http://www.lematin.ch/sports/tennis/fedrinka-coupe-davis-chance-quatre/story/11101614

      7. Hey Wilfried, I think it is wishfull thinking from our (or atleast MY) part that Roger will come to Belgium. To be honest… don’t see that happening. Unless… Edberg convinces him again that he should play DC.

        On one hand I want Roger to skip it, because he needs to be rested and not tire himself out, but on the other hand… would it not be great if Roger and Stan could defend their DC-title?? (If they would be there, I think we both would be there too right? πŸ™‚ )

        And don’t worry Wilfried, you are not the only one who hasn’t seen Roger play live. Maybe we should forme a club of PeRFect Tennis members who never saw him play live πŸ™‚ How many people would that be here??

        Hey Jon, maybe nice to hold a poll to know who saw Roger play live and how many times πŸ™‚

      8. Ps: Wilfried, een gewetensvraag speciaal voor jou !! Lets say Roger and Stan will come to Belgium… who would you support?? Belgium or the Goat??
        Me, if Roger came to Holland to play DC… I would soooooo support my Roger πŸ™‚
        Holland above everything, but the Goat above Holland πŸ™‚

      9. Wilfried, I think it’s great because it shows that the competition is much tougher at the top now. More players compete for the big titles. Don’t you agree that the race to London last fall was much more interesting than in recent years? Yes, it’s true that the average age is high, but I don’t mind. It’s also true that several new faces have established themselves in the top 10-12.

      10. @ Katyani
        I don’t’ care so much about the Davis Cup competition to be honest, Katyani. Would only go to LiΓ¨ge to see certain players play. I like Roger more than Stan, for his game and his behavior in competition. I have lately also become a big fan of David Goffin, for his tennis, but also because he reminds me a lot of my favorite brother. David has certain things in common with Roger by the way, like valuing the esthetics and art of tennis above winning at all cost. I think he’ll be a top 10 player one day, but certainly not this season yet, and probably not next season either.
        @ Stefan
        Sure, Stefan, tougher competition is more fun for all of us, but not for them players who want to make a living out of it. It drives them to resort to means that are not fair, like it is the case elsewhere in this wonderful world. I think commentators like Richard and Niel could tell you a lot more about this than myself. But I share their opinion and intuition.

      11. Sorry Wilfried, I didn’t understand that argument at all. Would it be better with less competition, for the sake of the players? You lost me on that one.

      12. Your comment that β€œthe competition” has tightened at the top, was right, Stefan, and I liked it. It’s just that I think that having 10 players simultaneously ending a season with more than 4000 points, is not the result of normal competition, but the result of unfair competition. I hope that we won’t see such a result repeated too often as it makes it extremely hard for younger players to compete with these top players.
        I share the views of Richard and Sid (see further down in this thread for instance Richard’s comment at Febr. 4, 2015 at 1:53 am) that at least some of them top 10 players are doping, and get away with it too easily. I could say with Richard that I hate what I see happening to a game I love.

  13. Is it just me or is anyone else surprised to see so many bagels in the later stages of a slam? In the quarters Berdych stuffed a bagel down Nadal’s throat, only to receive one from Murray in the next match. And poor Stan could not resist a gluten-free bagel in the semi. Is this an indication of the quality of this year’s Aussie Open?

    1. And now Murray in the final! Not a bad match until the damp squib of a bagel in the final set. So Djokovic has got his 5 AOs πŸ™ bums

  14. Hey guys, if Andy wins AO, then RG will be double interesting. Both Novak and Andy will be going for winning all 4 slams once. Roger will go for winning all 4 slams twice and standing in their way is just one simple guy who will be going for winning it the 10th time. Easy peasy right πŸ™‚

      1. Hey Alysha, I do see him winning it maybe once. Last year he came as far as the SF. If all he needs is RG to win the Golden Slam, I think he would do it all to win it.

  15. To watch, or not to watch. That’s the question.

    I’m picking Djokovic. For his consistency (about 25 straight QF’s or something), he deserves five titles in Melbourne. It’s nowhere near Roger’s five in a row at Wimbledon and New York, but still an achievement. In my book, he is already a better, and more accomplished player than Rafael Nadal.

    Hopefully, it won’t be a baseline slug-fest.

    1. I’m watching Muser. A lot and a lot of rallies, but honestly also some beautiful points. Novak won the first set. Ofcourse. What else??

      1. Bahaaaaa! This match is like their match in 2013. Murray is only good for one set because he can’t grind with Djokovic.

      2. He could grind with Djokovic – remember USO – now THAT was a grindfest to forget. Not this time though; Murray crumbled completely in that last set.

  16. Well, Djokovic prevails, despite a struggle for the first two sets over an unbelievable three hours, and not playing his best. Murray made it close but was trying to play at a level he couldn’t sustain. Mentally, he folded in the 4th. It contrasted with the 2012 final between Djokovic and Nadal, because neither player succumbed mentally in that marathon contest, which went to the wire. For all his talent, Murray undoubtedly has a soft underbelly – when it comes to playing Djokovic at least. One couldn’t help but reflect that a Roger at his peak could have won this final. It certainly would have been more interesting tennis.

    1. It is ALWAYS more interesting tennis when Feds is in the final. Shocking last set from Murray…completely lost it. And another AO final lost; will he ever get one now? For a little while I thought he might prevail, but Djokovic just too good.

      1. Yeah agreed, Murray has never been same level as top 4 mentally, Lendl effect worked for him short term albeit aided and abetted by some poor performances from his opponents in the slam finals. Wimbledon 2013 Djoker came in after a marathon with Del Potro.

      1. One more day of (half) sadness – I hoped for Murray’s talent, and in a way I thought he deserved it for his come-back struggle. I read about Djoko’s mto’s. Poor, that he has to cheat like that – or IS he that weak? By the way, ROGER CAN BEAT HIM! (As the only player for the moment? – well Nishikori has done it lately too…)

      2. Yet another MTO in a final? Seriously? At what stage of the match? You see, that’s why Nadal is such a role model. Champions always look up to him for inspiration.

        Karen, Murray two titles were won against Djokovic at the faster Wimbledon and US Open. His three final losses have been on the slower AO courts.

        Is Djokovic to plexicushion, what Nadal is to clay?

      3. Nah there was no MTO. Djoker had the trainer on at some changeovers to deal with a problem on his hand after he dived for a volley at 5-5 in the first set.

      4. Thanks for clearing that up. I’m glad he didn’t tarnish a well deserved fifth title at Melbourne.

      5. Murray/Djokovic never showcased any final where they were both playing at their best. Murray never beaten Nadal or Roger to get a slam or beaten 2 of the big four back to back to win a slam either. Still remains to be seen if it will happen.

    2. Roger wouldn’t have needed to be anything like at his peak to have won this final, is my impression (and I was thinking the same). I was thinking being fit and playing as he was in W 2014 final might just about have done it, certainly from what I’ve seen of the match so far. Muzza really was pretty bad in the last set, and I didn’t think Djokovic was that good.

      1. I disagree. Fed would’ve already consumed a tonne of energy had he gotten out of the Seppi match and then to take out Murray and Berdych back to back would’ve been huge physically and mentally. No matter what Novak was going through physically on the court, the guy recovered and is a mental rock. Would’ve been a huge milestone in Fed’s career to take out Novak at the AO. Also don’t think Murray played badly in the last set, was moreso that he couldn’t recover at losing the third and Novak zoned in on the finish line. Djoker is too consistent at the AO, building a Rafa-French legacy it would seem.

      2. I didn’t necessarily say Roger would have had to have gone through Andy and Tomas – the draw could have fallen apart in a different direction πŸ™‚

  17. Well… I am kind of lost for NICE words to say right now. Well that’s it. Novak played well. So did Andy, but he made some stupid mistakes.
    BUT…… sorry Andy. Novak did the same thing to you that he did to Roger at Wimby. β€œLook at poor old me… please feel sorry for me, I am sooooo injured and sooo tired that I cannot go on, I just cannot go on, oh wait, let me just beat your ass and bagel you to just to make the wound greater.

    1. Yeah, did seem like that – tripping and falling, bending over etc., next thing you know, jumping around like a two-year-old – he’s learned some good MTO lessons from Nadal.

    2. Murray has done the same though himself. Countless times you see him hobbling around one minute then running around like a mad man the next. Shouldn’t let it effect him. Easier said than done though.

      1. I do think anyone can seize up and then un-seize again during a tight match, though. I’m sure *my* body could.

    3. Have to take it with a pinch of salt, katyani. Fed himself brushed malisse at wimby aside after injury. I’m not saying it wasn’t an injury, but facts are there. Novak had enough time to recover from whatever ailed him, and I don’t think what happened was gamesmanship, you could visibly see the wound, and the fact Novak was suffering in quality of tennis from it.

      1. I have to disagree with that John. Andy is not a saint and he does do the same thing, but I watched the whole match and Novak did do that. Roger’s mto was totally different. He didn’t act injured during the set. He won it, then walked off for the mto and came back to win the match. If Roger did the same thing Novak did in a final like today, I would not be proud of Roger.

      2. Hi katyani, that’s fair enough. On rereading I notice I was talking only about novaks thumb injury, which I maintain was a problem for a short while. The rest, well, I would blame djokovic on days against the players who don’t do the same. But muzza is certainly not in that category, and he deserves exactly what he got.

      3. Hey John, actually…. I was not talking about his thumb injury. He was not faking that. That was real and must have hurt a lot. So I can understand the mto for that.

        Yesterday I got to know what “rope-a-dope” means, and that is what I am talking about. Novak did that in the first 3 sets (Ofcourse not in the 4th). That is what bugs me, because he did it to Roger too. Andy does it himself, so I don’t exactly feel too sorry for him, but I do think it is totally unfair that Novak did it twice at different finals to two different opponents and the worse thing, that he got away with it. He sits now very comfortably on 8 slams. And he should be on 7. He is not even ashamed of it. Neither are his team, his fans and worse, neither is his coach.

        Andy got what he does to others. But what about Roger? He didn’t deserve it, because he doesn’t do it to his opponents. Did you know that I didn’t even know he had backpain during the Malisse match, until the commie said that Roger walked off for a mto?? Roger does not show or act like he is injured. Till today, I still cannot see what moment he tweaked his back in the Dodig match at IW 2013. Because that is Roger. Again, he doesn’t show it or act like that. That is one of the many reasons I am his fan and love him. He has enough believe in himself and his game that he can win a match and a title. He doesn’t need to resort to such gamesmenship or things like asking help from the box or crowd.

        I know you guys might not understand this the way I see it or you might see it differently, but I will never forgive Novak for robbing Roger ‘s chance to win his 8th Wimby.
        To me, he got away with it twice, and his last two slam titles are tainted. But… that is just my opinion.

      4. I do understand, katyani. I honestly do. But end of the day, I think fed was lucky to pull out eh fourth set, and the better player on the day won. Take away the grace of the fed game, and he probably was just about the inferior player. So although I don’t think it’s too fair, saying he got “cheated” out of it is not something I would say.

    4. Hi Katyani. … ha ha ha. Lol very funny. Definitely this has been my favourite comments so far this year. Absolutely spot on Katyani!!!!

      Ps please read my comments regarding Serena further down. My apologies as compared to the Djokovic antics and there boring final. The ladies final was hundred times better. Serena definitely played really good , so deserves the title. Thanks.

      1. Haha Serajul, you are so funny. You make me laugh. Please don’t change πŸ™‚ And please don’t apologise. Don’t take me and my comments too seriously. I am a Roger fan first and then a tennisfan. And my taste is pretty weird, since I am a fan of Serena and Venus, Delpo, Ferrer and… Berdych πŸ™‚ Sorry πŸ™‚

      2. Yeah, we got it. That’s 17 + 19 + 7 = 43 slams right there. You are a fan of slam winners, a well rounded glory hunter, is what you are.

  18. Not impressed with Djoko’s antics though I’m pleased he won. Murray’s mental strength leaves alot to be desired – completely lost his shit in that final set. This match was never going to be just a physical contest; the mind games were just as significant, if not more so. If he wants to win more Slams, he needs to get better in that department.

    1. What really surprises me is the extent to which Murray has reverted to type without Lendl around. Okay, he’s got a different coach now, but does that make it impossible for him to recall what Lendl used to tell him about attitude? Surely you don’t chuck the baby out with the bathwater just because of a change in coach? Once the match starts, you’re out there on your own, and it’s up to you to deal with the situation as well as you can, yet Andy just reverts to type, mentally and game-wise. I do acknowledge that the last 6 months or so have been pretty tough on him, and maybe he too is mentally weary, though.

  19. Thanks Jonathan for these posts and your comments back.
    This year did not watch the finals. Since Federer lost just checked results on the Internet.
    Nice to hear Brother Serena win again, Not. SorryKatyani I kknow u like and support the brothers from the ghetto.
    Regarding the mens final I knew that djokovic was going to win because they want him to have the record which he has now. But inmy opinion the worst slam including the french also. What a choice to pick Mugrey or mr fantastic show off djokovic. Since the change from decoturf to this slow plexicushion they have absolutely messed up tournament.
    Anyway I am looking forward to Wimbledon and all other smallish tournaments that Roger plays in.

    1. Been a poor tournament really, no matches of note I can remember. Maybe Stan vs. Nishikori was the most impressive of the 2 weeks.

      Fed will be disappointed to crash out like he did, would have been interesting to see if he could have handled Murray and Berdych to make the final.

      1. Post-Brisbane, I would have expected so, certainly, if he’d been fit. Certainly sorry he didn’t get the chance to try.

    2. Hey Serajul, I don’t think you can compare Serena with what Novak did today and how he played. Both Serena and Maria made a great final out of it. Both acted fair towards each other and both fought to win.

      1. Hi Katyani … I just watched the Serena and Maria final on repeat. You are actually right it was a pretty good game. So I take my negatives comments back from Serena. My bad. I hope you can forgive me for my harsh words. Thanks Serajul.

      2. No no no Jon, it was a great final. Both fought a lot. Maria really impressed me with her fighting spirit. She lost 16 or 17 times to Serena, still she believed till the end that she could win.

      3. LOL Jonathan. She beat her black and blue, and sent her to that black heart. What the fuck was Dimitrov doing with that overgrown raccoon anyways? Sheesh!

  20. Ironically, despite the partisan attitude some here have about how any match not containing fed should be considered worthless (and I’ll be honest, that does irritate me), I found the final to contain quite a lot of high quality stuff, certainly in the first two sets. And not just the baseline pushing many expected.

    1. Hey John, I agree. The first two sets were tenniswise amazing. Yes, long and long rallies, but both also made some beautiful points.

  21. I watched the final live on telly today. Here is my view and thoughts:
    (1) both Novack and Andy went back to their respective ‘old ways’ when they were at the end of their tethers – only a little bit physical but primarily mental. They started touching their body parts as if they were broken when they were not dominating – Novack 2008 and Andy before Lendl.
    (2) Andy should have taken 2:0 lead for the first two sets. Andy’s metality at moment is way behind his physical form, which is closer to his best. He played pretty much in the before-Lendl style. Had he gone to the net a few more times, the end might be slightly different. The way that he collapsed after taking 2-0 lead in the third set is very telling – he is pretty lack of confidence.
    (3) Novack is very beatable, just looked at his on-court body language when he failed to dominate Andy in the first two sets. So my earlier view is still valid – the remaining three slams will be up for grabs and anything is possible. The younger generation chasing pack should get some encouragement from the final. Novack was vunerable during several spells thoughout the match, more than similar matches in the last couple of years.
    (4) Roger lost early and lost another pretty decent chance, just similar to the last USO. While watching the final unfolding, I couldn’t help but fantasizing what if it were Roger that played Novack (I know I shouldn’t but couldn’t help it πŸ™ ) and with Roger’s volley skills plus other tricks – I kept sighing … .
    (5) For the remaining season, which is still very young, Roger 5.0 (assuming that Roger will get back to business after holiday in the 2014 mode) will have good chances. I don’t feel that anyone among the Big 4 (as it is now) is very dominant. The other top 20 players will have less fear towards any of the Big 4.
    Jonathan, let’s have your after the AO thoughts.

    1. Think I agree with all 5 of your points, Gang – especially part 4. I was thinking we’d have had a better match if he’d been involved in it.

    2. I agree with most expect points 2 and 3. Djoker should have won the first set like he did, he was 4-1 up and he’s not very beatable at all, he tricked Murray with rope a dope and looks like he tricked you.

      He throws tantrums for sure but they aren’t the same as Murray which sort of tire him out, he uses them more to lull the opposition, he still holds it together mentally after them. So IMO he looks pretty immovable right now at the top, he is very clutch.

  22. Predictable final I suppose. Why can’t todays players just play the match. Why do they have to constantly be looking at their box
    .
    It would be very interesting if the team members had to watch the match from the locker room. The players would be on their own as it should be.

    1. Murray hurting big time not having Lendl in the box to suppress ongoing negativity. Kim isn’t helping things either, proving to be a distraction now as well.

      1. With Mauresmo around, who needs Lendl any more? She will teach Murray a thing or two on how to outlast an opponent in a grind fest. She probably already has. πŸ™‚

  23. Fine! Some people say Djoko although winning has become a little sloppy. This is according my feeling in my prediction for end-of-year ranking, – we will see if this continues. I’m VERY curious to see about my other feeling concerning Nadal to try one last hop of brilliance and pass him – not to be no.1. of course, that’s for our Federer, but 2, maybe. I’m sure nobody here wants to support this, not even me. – I hope RN retires in a short while…Well it’s all feeling and no brain is brought here, as we cannot KNOW anything!

  24. Not sure if there will be a post regarding the AO anymore but will share my thoughts anyway like the rest of you guys.

    Obviously it was hard to watch this slam for the first time in 11 years without having Roger making the semis at least. Without him there, the emotional connectivity towards this tournament faded so in reality, it was easier to just concentrate on the tennis quality alone and opened my perspective. Overall, despite a few moments here and there, the men’s tournament wasn’t quite memorable. I think it’s quite strange that despite the top 7 players of the world making the quarters, there wasn’t one standout match of the lot. Quality of matches at the AO has dropped off around this stage the past few years so it wasn’t surprising but because Fed has always been there, we were always guaranteed to see something special.

    – Frustrating Seppi couldn’t continue his run. Seems the Federer curse is back on. The match against Kyrgios was probably the highlight in hindsight in comparison to all the dud matchups we got after this in the second week. Kyrgios’ attitude doesn’t make me a fan of his but you can’t deny how impressive he has been at the slams so kudos to him, will be interesting to see what he can do in his career when his game comes together.
    – Berdych/Nadal: Surprised that Tomas bageled him, let alone won the match. I probably over-estimated Nadal’s ability to make a comeback so soon but it’s pretty scary that he made the quarters after 6 months of inconsistent play and “injuries.” Would still make him a near lock for the French, but in saying that, I think this year could very possibly be the year where he goes slamless. Nadal looks to finally be prioritising his scheduling, what does that mean for his ranking and his tournaments on hard court though? Going back to Berdych, thought he gave up a huge chance to make the final and win a slam, especially after finally taking out Rafa. Don’t see him getting a better opportunity again.
    – Wawrinka/Nishikori: Would’ve really loved if one of these guys could’ve taken this out but was not meant to be. Proud of Stan’s effort to defend, just couldn’t summon the mentality when it was needed. Stan has a good chance to make a deep run at the French, he definitely proved he has the game to hit anyone off the court and isn’t intimidated by the top players anymore. Was hoping Nihi/Stan would have the match of tournament but that also didn’t happen. So much potential clashes were set and this was just another disappointment. Kei, Dimitrov and Raonic once again couldn’t win the crucial points needed and mentally still need improvement.
    Djokovic/Wawrinka: Worst match of the men’s tournament? Couldn’t believe this after the 2013 one but wow what were these two thinking out there. Hope Craig Tiley thinks twice before putting these two on the same side of the draw next year (Again)…

    Last but not least the final. Not going to lie, I was mildly surprised with what Novak and Andy produced for the first two sets but all in all it wasn’t a great match. These two just don’t deserve to be given slam finals, Djoker was living up to his name with his drunk antics and Murray once again reverting to being mentally frail in matches prior to Lendl. After Roger lost to Seppi, I was feeling that the quarters onwards would’ve been a tough ask but now in hindsight looking at the standard of tennis that was on display, it could’ve been very likely that Fed would’ve had a shot, especially with Berdych being a semi final opponent. “If only Fed could’ve carried on his form from Brisbane” huh? But no ifs in this game, so congratulations to Djoker yet again for restoring order in Oz and reclaiming his throne. If anything, I do believe that this slam re-established the dominance of the big 4 especially despite Fedal’s exits. All that matters for now though is that Roger can mentally and physically reboot so that he can gain momentum for the later part of the season. I think losing early in Melbourne may have undone some of the confidence he has accumulated over the past year so it’s important he can start winning matches now or risk falling behind.

    1. Alysha, I read your excellent post and agree with the points you make. The first two sets of the final were actually quality tennis I thought, even though it’s like watching a mirror image (as Phantom points out); if Murray could have broken Djokovic in that 3rd set (and he was very close to doing so), things may have been very different. But thereafter we saw the old ‘slumping shoulders’ Murray return, and it was a quick exit after that.

      I’m glad that Feds is having a good chunk of rest time as, despite his comments to the contrary, I do think he was very tired. I’m hoping that we get a repeat of last year, with of course the addition of a Wimby slam. πŸ™‚

      1. Murray too emotional on the court, only has himself to blame for letting it slip away. But still impressive for him to make a slam final after the year he just had. Looks to be back in contention for the big titles. Yeah Roger was mentally exhausted which Stan also said he fell victim to. We are all hoping he is ready to peak at Wimbledon though, finger crossed.

    2. Nah I think we have covered the final in the comments really so I’m not going to post on it, not much to add from me, kinda went how I imagined it although wasn’t predicting Murray to fold like he did mentally, was expecting the physical side to matter more.

      Good points as well Alysha, think I agree with everything you said. Stan vs Nishi maybe match of tournament? Or one of the earlier round matches which I won’t have seen?

  25. Such a boring final. Extremely pathetic the way these two played. Looked like both are hitting the mirror.
    Anyway, Novak-Andy’s revelry reminds me of Rafa and Roger. Well, Andy is worst as he is still the same age as Novak.
    And last but not least, what’s up with Novak?? Every time is trying to tell media that he is married, has son, he is different person now!!! And media is not interested at all. We can see Novak is trying extremely hard to get the attention of people but it’s not working like Federer. Novak looks desperate.
    All I want is Roger to win one last Wimbi/USO. That’s it.

    1. Hey Phantom, the first two sets were actually pretty amazing.
      With the way both Andy and Novak were playing (even before the final), I do believe that “the before and during Brisbane”-Roger would have made not only the final, but he would have won it too. “The Roger who beat Bolelli” however…. don’t think he would have beaten both Andy and Berdych. Even if he would have found a way, he might have been too tired for a wellrested (yes, gamesmenship) Novak.
      But…. “Brisbane”-Roger would have won his 18th at AO πŸ™‚ Next year…..

      1. You are right Jon. Roger lost to Seppi and Seppi deserved the win. But it is still nice to think about what if…. πŸ™‚

    2. Ugh, it’s no good. I’ve got as far as 5-2 in the first set, Novak just appears to have injured his thumb, and I can’t take any more. B-o-r-i-n-g. Stupid balls bouncing on stupid plexi – can they *please* change that for a *proper* surface now Novak’s got his 5? How is anyone supposed to play tennis properly on that surface? Would have been more fun with Feds there. And it’s an hour or more before my normal bedtime. Will resume again tomorrow – if I can stand to.

  26. One of the better Djokovic and Murray matches I’ve seen in my life, but overall definitely not anywhere near as exciting or as epic as a typical Federer v Djokovic contest. First two sets consisted of super long rallies, not really that interesting, but you’ve got to admit some of the defensive retrievals from Djokovic were unbelievable. Last two sets were a disappointment from Murray, but I didn’t really mind that much as all I wanted to do was go to bed!

    1. If you took the hgh out of the final, I wonder what it would have looked like? Oh, yeah – tennis from the eighties! Nothing ‘unbelievable’.

      1. I don’t know about that J, Novak’s backhand volley at the net was working well in the final and there were no fail overhead shots I can recall. Djoker’s won 2 of the last 3 slams so him and Boris must be doing something right.

      2. It isn’t about volleys and overheads. The elephant in the room continues to be ignored. Ever wonder why Lendl and Wilander couldn’t play like these guys? No, it’s not the racquets. There is only one way modern professional tennis players can sustain ‘brutal’ and ‘unbelievable’ baseline rallies of the kind we routinely see now in matches like this. The irony is that these Herculean physical feats come from players known for their poor stamina and relative physical weakness earlier in their careers. That isn’t fixed by a few gym sessions (even though most training is, as it always has been, on the court) or a change of diet. There is no way the problem is confined to Nadal or Serena. They are merely the poster boys (that includes you, Serena) for what we are now increasingly seeing out there.

      3. Looking at bulging Nadal and Serena for sure awakens suspicions, Richard. Wish this was proved. And you might be right about others as well. Such a pity. Depressing.

      4. Muser,

        It has all been proved, I’m sure. There is no way it’s going to be brought to the general public. Think about it. Nike spends in excess of 3.5 billion USD a year in endorsements (from what I recently saw in a video). Imagine if someone like Nadal, or Serena, is exposed (both Nike ambassadors). They will do anything within their power to stop that from happening. Whoever thinks this big business is not connected to the ATP, in nefarious ways, is an idiot.

        Richard,

        Very well said. The transformation of Serena Williams is unbelievable. Look at what she was like when she first disgraced the sport of tennis by putting her ghetto feet on the court. And look at her now. I mean, people change with age, but his is a transformation of monumental proportions. All that steroid induced rage is there to see. Not surprisingly, she avoided a doping test by escaping to a panic room to avoid the so called “intruder”. There are people who still believe she is clean. Demented fucks, that’s what these people are.

        And you’re right. Djokovic, and Nadal, who were so susceptible to injuries, are now the Gold standard of endurance. Watch out for Murray. With Mauresmo around, he will be the next beast.

      5. Sid, he already is. For a player of his height (6’3″) Murray is seriously bulked. I happen to know from talking with pros that weight training forms only a small part of their training regime. Hitting tennis balls doesn’t build big muscle (Fed?). Human growth hormone – undetectable through tests – will. For Murray, the contrast with his earlier years is striking. From a skinny player who used to regularly run out of gas after a couple of sets, he has become one of the ‘monster’ tireless retrievers at the top of the men’s game (along with Nadal, Djokovic and Ferrer.) The defensive game is the most energy-expensive way to play – both at club level and in the pro’s. Yet at no time in the era of open tennis has the defensive game been so dominant as it is today. (Even Borg used to regularly attack the net and play all-court tennis, as did Wilander later in his career. Both were counterpunchers.) The top defensive players today are also able to run down balls hit considerably harder than in earlier eras. Hence we see “brutal” rallies and “unbelievable” gets. They sure are.

        As you observe, the “gold standard” for this kind of game is Nadal. It’s not just a question of a bulked physique: anyone who can match his defensive game in terms of stamina has “levelled” that particular playing field, by adopting the same method or means. The position is simple: if Nadal isn’t doping then nobody is. We know that some undoubtedly are doping, so if they can physically match a player like Nadal the chances are they are doing what he does.

        I realise I may be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, but I have talked with pro players over the years (who have told me “dirty” tests have been hushed up and silent suspensions served by certain top players), and I know and have spoken with key anti-doping officials (who have expressed real frustration at their inability to bring the cheats to book). I have followed tennis for over forty years. I hate what I see happening to a game I love. I think – as I am told some pro’s do – that Roger is probably the last “clean” champion in tennis. In my view, last week’s AO final pretty much confirms that.

      6. The position is simple: if Nadal isn’t doping then nobody is. We know that some undoubtedly are doping, so if they can physically match a player like Nadal the chances are they are doing what he does.

        That…was very well expressed.

        When I see Roger winning the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship for ten of the last eleven years, it makes me believe that it has more to do than just his on court, and off court behavior. These pros who vote for him understand that he doesn’t resort to doping. A guy with such sporting behavior on the court, would not even think of doing anything unsporting off it.

        Think about it. If they “knew” he doped, and trust me, they would know…why would they overwhelmingly vote for him? I agree that he is the last “clean” champion in tennis.

        And that’s why, to me, he will forever remain the greatest tennis player of all time!

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