Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great? - MensTennisForums.com

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View Poll Results: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

Yes 40 43.48%
No 52 56.52%
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:43 AM   #1
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Default Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

There is no doubt that Novak Djokovic is a fabulous tennis player. His ability to reach the US Open final, the French Open and Wimbledon semi-finals and to win the Masters Series events in Miami and Montreal by the age of 20 only go to prove that emphatically.

However, his only major weakness - in my opinion, most of the people I speak to and the general view of most tennis commentators I listen to - is his WILL. He doesn't want to win badly enough!

There is no doubt that he wants to be a winner but does he want it so badly......so badly, he is obsessive in everything he does...so badly, he thinks nothing but winning 24 hours a day...so badly, he thinks winning is the sole objective in his life and nothing else or nobody else matters.

Novak's WILL has disappointed me on several occasions:

1) Wimbledon semi-final. Novak was playing well enough to win the first set, Nadal was playing poorly. Djokovic lost the second set (with two breaks of serve) and was also two breaks down in the third set when he retired at 4-1. The only injury as such was an injured blistered toe - he was suffering from a weary body, a weary mind and a pysychologically stronger opponent who was playing better tennis. At 1 set all, and 4-1, Novak Djokovic...quite purely a simply...just gave up, in a WIMBLEDON SEMI-FINAL. It is a distinct possibility that he might never reach that stage at Wimbledon ever again and when his one chance came along, he threw the towel in. Even if he'd lost the final two sets 6-1 6-0, at least he could have said he gave it everything.

Did he not understand that Rafael Nadal might have got nervous in closing out the match. Afterall, it was a Wimbledon semi-final, an event he had never won before and an opportunity to play a Wimbledon final! You at least make you opponent work for it. You just never know what can happen. Was he not watching the day before when Bartoli in the women's event lost the first set 6-1. Did she throw the towel in? No. Why? Because ANYTHING can happen in a Wimbledon semi-final, absolutely anything...as she demonstrated. Your opponent can get nervous, your opponent can start playing badly, your opponent can even get injured him/herself. And sure as...Henin did get nervous, started playing badly and Bartoli's ability to hang tough got her through the match. A woman whose WILL cannot be questioned on that evidence.

2) Carlos Moya, Cincinnati, Second Round:

Novak Djokovic just gave up in this match, almost from the very start. As soon as Djokovic lost the first set, it was as if he had no intention of winning whatsoever, and was quite literally going through the motions...like fulfilling a contractual obligation and nothing else. It wasn't because he had no confidence, wasn't playing well or was injured - he just couldn't be bothered. It was as if he thought winning Montreal was good enough for him and he had boxes to tick and after winning Montreal, Cincinnati wasn't one of them. Winning back-to-back Masters Series has been done many times...it's not a ridiculous feat...but Djokovic didn't even try to accomplish it. It's not as if it was just a normal ATP event, it was a Masters Series event, during his favourite stage of the year, on an outdoor hardcourt in North America. Conditions were perfect for him and he was in the form of his life.

On the other hand, Roger Federer did show a much stronger WILL. Whereas Djokovic was playing very close top the top of him game, Roger Federer quite clearly wasn't...yet it was Federer's dedication, will and professionalism that got him through the draw. There was one match in particular, against Hewitt in the semis, where Federer was playing awfully...absolutely dreadfully. He was making more unforced errors than I have seen him make in the past four years...but he showed character, a desire, a WILL to win...and that was enough to get him through, because without it, he would have succumbed easily.

3) The US Open Final:

I was very dissappointed with Djokovic, not so much during the US Open final but moreso after. He just looked pleased to reach the final, and didn't look the slightest bit dissapointed to lose in the heartbreaking way that he did...and let's make no bones about it, it was heartbreaking. He lost the first set after having five set points, all of them on his own serve and also three consecutively after leading 40-0...and then losing the second set after having two match points. He should have been 2 sets to 0 up, but instead, he lost in straight sets.

Djokovic did not convince me that he was heartbroken, gutted, dejected - as he should have been. He looked in good spirits, content. This to me is NOT the mind of a champion. Pete Sampras would have been livid with himself...utterly dejected. I remember the 1992 US Open Final when Sampras lost to Edberg, and Sampras was a broken man. As a result, it was a defining moment in his career as the disappointment he suffered that day inspired him, and motivated him to not suffer the same fate again...because he hated the taste of being a loser SO MUCH. Somehow, I think Djokovic took it too well, and I can't see it being the same defining moment in his career. As I looked into Sampras' eyes that day, I saw a roaring lion, hungry for success...as I looked in Djokovic's eyes 15 years later, I saw a man happy to play second fiddle.

4) Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, etc.

When Lleyton Hewitt was 18-21, the same agegroup that Djokovic is now..he used to scare me. He looked like a complete pysychopath on court. He screamed after virtually every point, yelled c'mon, fistpumped...he was a warrior. Pat Rafter nicknamed him "the mongrel". I looked at the blood pumping through his veins when he pumped his fist. I saw the scowl on his face, I thought he was going to burst a blood vessle. I saw him take his anger out on umpires, ball kids, opponents, fans...he wanted to take on the world. He had that bulldog spirit, and you either loved or hated him. I don't see that same spirit in Djokovic...and it is a spirit that most great players have at Djokovic's age. I see this spirit in Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and many other players. It was evident with Andre Agassi, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Andy Roddick at a similar age. Even Pete Sampras and Roger Federer displayed this spirit right at the beginning of their careers. Novak Djokovic just doesn't have it. All players, Hewitt included, usually mellow as they grow older, maturer and more experienced - even if they maintain their spirit and enthusiasm - but I just don't see it in Djokovic at the moment.

Novak Djokovic's problem is that he just doesn't want it badly enough.
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?



dont provoke eztroll

i like your nick - beer monster..haha.
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

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Old 09-25-2007, 02:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

Do you know how hard it is to be an all time great or one of the greatest players of all time or to be considered a tennis genius? Not every talented player can be an ''all time great'' like Federer, Sampras, Borg, Laver, McEnroe ect. LMAO

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Old 09-25-2007, 02:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

Sorry the only response I can think of right now is
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

Excellent post, and a very interesting read.

I think Djokovic plays the important points very well. That often shows a very strong mind but in his case, I support your argument.

I can see him winning about 3 grand slams and dominating with Nadal for a short period when Federer is past his best or retired. I wouldn't put him in the all-time great bracket for potential.
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

I, for one, think he has the will. His mental strength is definitely very superior, notwithstanding the US Open final. (hey, what about Fed losing Montreal the same way!)

But I don't think he has the skill to be an all-time great. Nothing in his game amazes me, yet. No Fed panache, no Nadal defence and no Sampras serve. Let's see him develop some of those skills first before we even have this debate.
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

I see Ezekiel got to the poll.
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexbayen View Post
I, for one, think he has the will. His mental strength is definitely very superior, notwithstanding the US Open final. (hey, what about Fed losing Montreal the same way!)

But I don't think he has the skill to be an all-time great. Nothing in his game amazes me, yet. No Fed panache, no Nadal defence and no Sampras serve. Let's see him develop some of those skills first before we even have this debate.
I don't think the original poster is questioning his mental strength as such, i.e. his ability to play the big points well or seizing the initiative at the right time like all the great champions could do. I think he's saying that Djokovic has a lack of desire.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

Just curious Beer Monster...........during the US Open, did you miss his antics with the water bottle?? It looked to me like he desired to win the US Open Or did you want him to rip his clothes and cry out in fustration and anger after losing??
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

of course he does.

you think he just shows up and wins matches. if you look at his important matches, the degree of focus and how calculated each shot is, is pretty impressive. he's playing chess with his opponents and the guy's a worthy player.

He knows how close he is, you can sense that in him.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:27 AM   #12
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

I think earlier this year Djokovic was trying to put in "good appearances" in the French and Wimbledon, i.e. to show "his quality" (as he puts it), and I don't think he really believed he had the ability to win it (more fear of Federer than Nadal). I think that after Montreal and especially at the US Open, he did believe he could win it and really wanted to. So I definitely think he will have the will to win in 2008.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

Ezekiel has a supernatural ability to sniff out any sort of criticism leveled towards Djoko.

On topic, Djoko definitely has the will to become a great. Nothing would have allowed him to beat Nadal in that SF at Wimby. They could've played another 100 sets and he wouldn't have won one. He didn't have anything left and Nadal was in complete control.

After the USO, Djoko looked pleased because he had just gotten to a slam final and played the world's greatest player tough. His pleased look SHOWS me that he knows he will be a great some day because he knew he would play many more slam finals. He surely didn't look distraught because he had blown his only chance to win a slam.
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Old 09-25-2007, 05:29 AM   #14
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

Definitely. I think that Djokovic is one of the tougher guys in tennis. He was nervous as hell in the US Open final, but this shouldn't come as unexpected.

I like his ability to slow the game down to his pace. I like his ability to harness his energy and release it at appropriate moments. He is smart and doesn't seem to lose his head at crucial times. And, lastly, he has a tendency to give his opponent false hope by the way he uses his body language to imply that he's finished when he really isn't. Guys like this succeed.

He's a tough dude. I can see him winning over five majors.
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Old 09-25-2007, 06:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: Does Novak Djokovic have the WILL to become an all-time great?

he won't win a grandslam
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