Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defeats? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defeats?

Pete Bodo seems to think so.

I'm divided. For one thing I want Novak to play, but only if he's fit 100%, otherwise losing more matches due to pain/injuries would put a sour note to his spotless season that it's completely innecessary. Nole doesn't need to prove anything anymore and he should concentrate on defending all those whopping points the next season. Playing unfit and risking his health further is just bad on all accounts. What he could possibly achieve playing the rest of the season? His lead in the rankings is astronomical, he will end up the year as nº1 with 3 slams and 10 MS. He doesn't need the points nor the glory.


Pull the Plug, Novak
Pete Bodo


As I write this, Novak Djokovic's participation in the last two events of the year, the Paris Indoors and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London, remains in doubt. My guess is that he's out of Paris for sure, and doing a cost-benefit analysis of skipping the season finale as well.

Djokovic can afford to miss both, given his whopping lead in the rankings—he has roughly 50 percent more points than No. 2 Rafael Nadal, which is nothing short of remarkable. The No. 3, Andy Murray, has issues: mainly that he can't (or hasn't) win a major. And even though No. 4 Roger Federer was twice within one swing of his racquet—or one miss by Djokovic—of knocking the Serb out of the U.S. Open, much as he had bounced Djokovic out of the French Open, the celebrated Swiss has won just two events this year (neither of them a major or Masters 1000), and is so far behind Djokovic in the rankings points race that you needn't bother doing the math.

So my advice to Djokovic in light of recent events is somewhat heretical: Go ahead and pull the plug on 2011. It will be an extremely short off-season if you do not, and you don't even want to know what you will have to defend come the dawning of 2012. Literally, there will be nowhere to go but down.

Djokovic lost the fourth match of his landmark year a few days ago in Basel, to the tough Japanese digger, Kei NIshikori. Djokovic started with a bang, leaping to a 5-1 advantage, but was soon receiving treatment for a bum right shoulder—the same shoulder, incidentally, that caused him to abandon the Cincinnati final to Andy Murray (his second loss of 2011) in August. Not to be confused with the bad back that forced Djokovic to retire during his Davis Cup tussle with Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in September.

I don't much like weighing the importance of injuries in specific matches; I prefer the old Aussie maxim, "If you're fit enough to step on court to play a match, you're not injured." I'm also a realist, and know that players often play hurt, and lose because they're hurt. But it's almost impossible to quantify the degree to which an injury affects the outcome of a match. Djokovic lost the third set to Nishikori, 6-0. About all I feel comfortable saying is that it sure didn't look like the Djokovic to whom we've grown accustomed.

Djokovic's present situation is, well, extraordinary. Absorbing just four losses by this stage in any year is a remarkable feat; only Federer, Jimmy Connors, and John McEnroe have done that (in fact, McEnroe lost just three in his record year of 1984). The mind-blowing part is that injury may well have played a significant role in three of those losses. The percentage of losses Djokovic suffered this year due to retirement (in addition to any other factor) is a whopping 50 percent. That's one record that, should it remain unchanged, will never be broken.

The situation also suggests that Djokovic's remarkable run in 2011 has left him with too little left in the tank, physically and perhaps even emotionally, to play it out. It would be a pity to see Djokovic quit. It would be even worse to see him retire yet again, or lose two or more matches this year because he's not fit. Remember, the World Tour Finals is a round-robin event; he could lose three matches there alone.

Some critics will undoubtedly scoff and say that showing the white flag would be a downer. Others might suggest that the present situation reminds them nothing more than early Djokovic—the young Gluten-woffing guy who sometimes seemed a borderline hypochondriac with his relentless and assorted injuries and allergies. Up to and including the U.S. Open, Djokovic made a persuasive case for having re-invented himself as an iron man, thanks to coping with his allergies and the benefits of his gluten-free diet. But did he run his body into ruin just because he could, taking a giddy emotional, mental and physical ride that was as unsustainable as it was brillliant? It can happen, you know. Horses have been known to run themselves to death. Did Djokovic become . . . too fit?

We don't really know the answer to that. Djokovic and his camp may not know it, either. McEnroe, Connors, Federer and others have been able to sustain comparable levels of excellence through the entire year, playing more matches than Djokovic is on track to log. But everyone is different, and the circumstances and conditions are all unique.

At this point it's fair to wonder if the "new" Novak Djokovic can really be as different from the old, as he seemed to be for most of 2011. It would be unfair and callous to second-guess the nature or degree of Djokovic's injuries and ailments, but there's nothing wrong with contemplating another option at this crossroads. Maybe Novak should pack it in before he does himself serious damage, or finds himself looking at a very short off-season and an impossibly long 2012.



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post #2 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:52 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

If Djokovic cares for the fans then yes he will not play any more matches.
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

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Originally Posted by Roadmap View Post
If Djokovic cares for the fans then yes he will not play any more matches.
Are you being cynical?



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post #4 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:54 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

Too late IMO after being bageled by Kei
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post #5 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:56 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

He already fucked up his season with too many defeats.

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post #6 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judio View Post
There are 1.6 million reasons why he WILL play

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jonathano...ld_you_do.html

So what would you do?

Jonathan Overend | 17:21 UK time, Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Your shoulder hurts after a long year and probably needs further rest to let it fully recover ahead of the World Tour Finals, yet one match here in Paris can earn you $1.6m.

This has been playing on Novak Djokovic's mind ever since the world number one lost to Kei Nishikori in Basel last week.

I'm talking about the ATP "bonus pool", the incentive scheme to make sure all the top players compete in the mandatory Masters 1000 tournaments.

Djokovic is clearly nowhere near full fitness. The shoulder problem which has bugged him since the American hard court summer still persists and forced him to lose a final set 6-0 to Nishikori, yet there is enormous financial pressure for him to appear in the French capital.

He may have won more than $10m in prize money this season but the dangling bonus-pool cheque is almost impossible to ignore.
The ATP rule book is very clear on this.

As world number one, Djokovic is entitled to a bonus of $2m if he plays all eight of the Masters 1000 events during a season, with that bonus reducing to $1.6m if he plays seven of the eight.

So far, he has played six out of seven having withdrawn from Shanghai last month. If he pulls out of another - meaning only six of the eight played - then that bonus is wiped out, injury or no injury.

According to the rule book, the only exceptions are made for players who reach a certain age or a certain of number of tour matches played. As things stand, there is leeway for Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal but not the man who has dominated them this year.


Djokovic has lost just four matches in 2011. Photo: Getty

The organisers here at Paris Bercy run a terrific tournament, They may have taken a strange decision to slow the court considerably this year but they have good crowds, even for the dull matches, a brilliant on-court sound and light show, the best of the year, and innovative player facilities.

And while they desperately want Djokovic to appear, they have been fearing the worst for the past few days.

The incentive scheme is a decent concept but at this moment in time it's unhelpful. Djokovic needs only play one match to earn a million quid and that could bring trouble.

If Djokovic, who is scheduled to practice here on Tuesday evening, is advised by medics not to play, what is he to do? Yes he's rich beyond belief, but as one former pro told me: "He'll play. It's a million dollars plus."

Common sense should prevail and the ATP should take the pressure off the Serb, winner of three of the four majors this year, by giving him a bonus anyway. Not the full amount but something as a compromise.

He has hardly shirked his duties this year.

It would set a precedent, and Djokovic has won quite enough money this year to sort his family and his friends up for life, so maybe put it to a vote of the other players. The result would be interesting.

As Federer said: "Normal common sense can solve so many problems in our sport". It is not common sense for tennis to effectively penalise its star of the season.
Wow, thanks, didn't know about that bonus.

But even so, Nole is filthy rich, will he risk his shoulder getting worse for a 1,6 million? Oh decisions, decisions.



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post #7 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:58 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judio View Post
There are 1.6 million reasons why he WILL play

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jonathano...ld_you_do.html
There is far too much attendance and appearance money in tennis.

It should be included in the prize money so if you win matches and tournaments you receive it i.e. normal prize money.

The current greatness league of active players in order of achievements to date (a factual comparison rather than fan biased assessment):

Federer 17 GS, 6 Year End Masters, 24 Master Series.
Nadal 14 GS, 27 Master Series, 1 Olympic Gold.
Djokovic 9 GS, 4 Year End Masters, 24 Master Series.


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post #8 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:59 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

Of course not. Djokovic is a man. Men don't bail under any circumstances. Real men risk breaking every bone in their body to compete, cause they're idiots by nature.

Now that's pressure.

So someone recently informed me that my sig was empty. Said I needed a life affirming motivational quote by a positive role model like Einstein or Oscar Wilde...

Great tip to stay fit and mobile: If you run up and down the stairs two steps at a time at least once daily, there will never come a time when you can't do it. Until of course one day you mistime a step, collapse and break all your bones... That would suck. But you had a good run.

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post #9 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 09:02 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

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Originally Posted by Shambritfan View Post
Of course not. Djokovic is a man. Men don't bail under any circumstances. Real men risk breaking every bone in their body to compete, cause they're idiots by nature.Now that's pressure.
Are you a man?
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post #10 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 09:03 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

Watch Djokovic losing all of his round robin matches at WTF. Great schedulling.

Last edited by EddieNero; 11-08-2011 at 09:11 PM.
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post #11 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 09:07 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

Imno, Djokovic should let this depend on whether he indeed feels healthy enough to compete. If not, it might indeed be a better idea to skip the rest of the season and rest up for 2012.

But... $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ plays a major role, of course. Human Behaviour, once again.

BTW Nole fan, if you haven't yet found out - Mr. Pete Bozo is massive attention-whoring bandwagonner excuse for a 'journo'. I wouldn't pay too much attention to what he 'thinks'.

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post #12 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

Novak Djokovic: ... I still don't know how my shoulder will react. Will find out tonight and tomorrow morning. ...



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post #13 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 09:11 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nole fan View Post
Are you being cynical?
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post #14 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 09:11 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

He cannot afford to stop. The points diff is not that large and in the worst case scenario he can lose his N1 after AO. Looking at the draw in Paris I don't see who can beat him until the finals. Tsonga on this slow court cannot trouble him. Monfils or Ferere? No way. Let's see London. I don't see any possibility to lose 2 matches in the groups. So he is definitely in the semis. Seeing the line so close he can do it all the way. The most stupid thing is to hide and stop playing now. Who cares if he loses 1 or 2 more matches. Not him. The pressure is already off.

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post #15 of 109 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 09:11 PM
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Re: Should Djokovic pull the plug on his spotless season and don't risk any more defe

If he really cares about his record this year, then yeah. Otherwise, what for? I think he has a good chance to reach at least semis at Bercy and same at WTF. Then who knows. You can always pose the same question at any point of the season.
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