Sorry for dragging this conversation on, but I have to leave for a meeting earlier and couldn't carry on then, and I haven't finished with all my thoughts yet.
Not exactly. My grand theory is that he experienced the masters event as an intruder, with the feeling of not quite belonging to this league yet, not so much tennis-wise but recognition-wise. The ensuing holidays gave him time to do what he shouldn't do : think too much! ^^
I guess the fact that he's got quite an ego didn't help either to handle the situation.
I quite agree with your theory, and what do u think these thinking led to? suppose he started having self-doubt thinking that he doesn't belong? But why? what makes him think he doesn't belong? so he has deficiency in his game, who doesn't? he still beat those players that he beat, what does that tell him then? it can't be all luck? and more importantly, what does he think he has to do to make himself belongs? maybe he thinks the slams and big title will do the trick, is it then it becomes the pressure that he put on himself that makes him pretty much fell apart? Maybe he should step back and go back to the basic (haha, whatever that means, but we heard it so often in sports talk
) . Pardon me, I'm just pretty much thinking out loud at this point. I guess i just want to think of a solution for him, except that I'm not even quite understand what's the problem
. But that's what fans do, right? thinking that we may know better and hence can come up with answers for the players to get out of the slump
No doubt that GS tournaments give him an extra kick to fight more vigorously and stay focused more consistently; and yes, as he had said himself, his motivation regarding the smaller events has changed, yet it is hard to take that as an explanation for such loss as today's.
There is no excuse for this loss, for sure. It's a ATP500 event, it's more point than getting into a TMS SF, and how many TMS SF he had so far, not that many. And honestly, being a top player, I think he really should be able to handle players like this solely by auto reflex.
btw, regarding the GS, He didn't lose this year to players ranked #120 but is still losing to lesser ranked players, something that didn't happen to him in all four GS last year (if my memory serves me right). On that ground, I'm almost tempted to say that he did a better job in GS last year.
I'm more comparing his slams performance to his other events performance. But if you compare his slams performance this year to last year, then he certainly did benefit from the ranking rather than his good plays.
Well I can understand that he gives more importance to results than rankings althought both are obviously connected. But the basic pratical approach is that it's much harder to go deep into tournaments if you are to play the top seeds in the first rounds; and you have to start somewhere to get a good seed. His "chance" is that he was/is top-eight seeded without convincing previous GS results but unfortunately he didn't really take advantage of it.
I guess my point is that when he said he doesn't care about his ranking, is really just because he knows that a good slam result is going to take care of the ranking. But he did say if he gets into a slam final, he doesn't care if he sucks the rest of the entire year or sth like that. I tend to think that he said that more to convince himself that whatever else won't matter if he can get to a slam final.I'm trying so hard to decipher his words
. But I think he needs to actually win a slam to erase all the bads of a long season, really
Speaking of ranking, he's going to lose 470 pts in these 2 weeks and he is likely still be in the top 8 for the next 2 TMS. So he still has a good chance of getting the 8th seed in USO, but of course, it will mean he has to do as good if not better than 4-5 players under him including Soderling and Verdasco, tall task, but certainly achievable. If he is still top 8 going into USO, as least it will bug the hell out of his haters, if that's any consolation to his fans.
Please pardon my long post, but I have so much thought going thru my head and I just have to let it out