Novak Djokovic defeated my guy Rafael Nadal for the US Open title in four sets (6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1) Monday afternoon.
Not only did Djokovic beat Rafa, he dominated the hell out of him. As the final score of the match indicates, Djokovic only had to break a sweat in the third set. While Rafa makes a living out of wearing down an opponent, Djokovic beat him at his own game.
That win was Djokovic’s third major of the season, his fourth overall. He finishes the season with an eye-popping 64-2 record! No wonder dude is the top-ranked tennis player in the world.
This young cat is just entering his prime at age 24. He and Rafa (along with Andy Murray) should be contending for majors in years to come. Only this time Rafa finally has a foil on the tennis circuit (since Roger Federer couldn’t live up to that).
Speaking of which Federer, one of the guys Djokovic beat on the way to the US Open title, is done. If that colossal choke job of his wasn’t a sign of that (coming from ahead two sets to lose in five), then what is?
And while we’re at it, could we now put to rest that “Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time” bull crap? Federer made his bones against a bunch of scrubs (an underachieving Andy Roddick notwithstanding) in his prime. Place his ass against Djokovic and Rafa in their primes and Federer would not even come close to sniffing 16 majors.
Categories: sports story, tennis
I see Federer as the Larry Holmes of Tennis. Through no fault of his own, he entered his prime at a time when there were no great competitors. If he had come up with Agassi, Sampras, Courier, Chang etc., he would have won his share but he would not have dominated like he did. He’s a great player but the number of titles he won is inflated due to fortuitous timing. The fact that he’s stil playing well at 30 is pretty amazing. He came within a whisker of knocking off Djokovic in the semis. Haven’t seen a player his age play this well since Connors.
First of all, nice Larry Holmes comparison. That sums up Federer in a nutshell.
I have never really been impressed with Federer. As we both said, put him against not only Nadal and Djokovic in their primes, but Agassi and Sampras as well. I’d bet the bank that Federer would not have 16 majors – hell, he might not even have 10…
To use Magic Johnson’s argument that LeBron can’t hold a candle to MJ: Roger has 16 majors! It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t playing against Sampras or the Joker – he was better than the whole world had to offer 16 times. The dude absolutely dominated tennis for a looong time. Djokovic and Rafa are products of Roger. Those guys had to master every aspect of the game like it’s never been done before because that was the only way to beat the G.O.A.T (Roger). 🙂
Nice response dude!
Am I hating on Federer? Probably. I’m just saying the rest of the field were a bunch of “Ward Cleavers” when Federer won most of his majors compared to what Sampras went through.
And by the way, Magic was right about LeBron. Why ESPN chose his ass as the NBA’s top player was baffling (sounds like an idea for another rant)…
First of all, Djokovic is definitely having one of the greatest seasons in the “modern” Open era. In absence of winning the Grand Slam like Laver did in ’69, taking 3 out of the 4 Slam events in a single year represents total domination. Djokovic now joins Wilander, Federer, and Nadal as the only male players (with a nod to the Steffi Slam in ’88) to have accomplished this since the Laver sweep.
However, I must point out that while Nadal, Djokovic, and Wilander did it once… Federer won 3 out of 4 Slams three seperate years (2004, 2006, and 2007) and nearly did it in a fourth year in 2009. He also made the finals of all 4 Slams in the same year three times (’06, ’07, and ’09). Nobody in the “modern” era has ever had that level of consistant excellence.
In my previous posts about Federer, I thought that I made a pretty compelling argument against the misperception of the quality of Federer’s competition in 2004 – 2005, which was right before Nadal and Djokovic showed up. However, lets look at a list of the people Federer has beaten to win his Slam titles:
Mark Phillippousis, Marat Safin, Andy Roddick (4 times!!!), Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Marcos Baghdatis, Rafael Nadal (twice), Fernando Gonzalez, Robin Soderling, Andy Murray (twice), and Novak Djokovic. Six of those players will likely be in the Hall of Fame, and maybe seven if Murray can finally win a couple Slams before he is done.
In contrast, here is a list of the players that Sampras beat to win his Slams:
Todd Martin, Cedric Pioline (twice), Carlos Moya, Jim Courier, Goran Ivanesevic (twice), Boris Becker, Andre Agassi (three times), Pat Rafter, and Michael Chang. Only five of these players are in the Hall of Fame.
To conclude, you’ve already admitted that you’ve never been impressed with Federer. Therefore, no matter what stats I throw out there, you are still not going to like the man. That’s OK. We are all entitled to our opinions.
On that note, it kind of reminds me of one of the junior tennis players I was working with a couple years ago. She told me that she hated Federer. I asked her why, and she said it was because he was so arrogant. Ironically, her favorite player was Andy Roddick, who many people say the same thing about. Oh well, we all have different perspectives and that makes life fun!