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Old 12-08-2012, 07:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Richard Gasquet
1. Gasquet def Tipsarevic, Australian Open 3rd Round 6-3 6-3 6-1. He didn't just beat Janko. He demolished a top ten player.

2 (tie). Gasquet def Haas, French Open 3rd Round 6-7 6-3 6-0 6-0
Murray def Gasquet, French Open 4th Round 1-6 6-4 6-1 6-2
First of all, your eyes are not deceiving you. In a span of three consecutive sets, Gasquet lost one game including a double bagel. However it's inevitable that a streak like this would involve Andy Murray crashing it, as they're so intertwined at the majors. Richard actually did beat Andy in Rome this year but he was at 4-all in the second set and next thing you know, he's lost the second and third set. If he'd actually won that second set... well, he's blown two-sets-to-none leads to Murray twice before.

3. Benneteau/Gasquet def Lopez/Ferrer, Olympics bronze medal match 7-6 6-1. If you saw this match, you witnessed the rare sighting of Richard Gasquet having fun on the court as he bounced around and got to absolutely everything, starting from an insane set point shot. The confidence from winning a medal directly led to his run at Toronto.

4. Gasquet def Isner Toronto SFs 7-6 6-3. You know how when Isner plays, he's usually the one controlling the match with his serve? In this match, Gasquet was the one controlling the match with a three-quarter pace serve that he just was not missing.

5. Gasquet def Simon 6-2 6-1 Bangkok final. There were two different matches earlier in the week in which Gasquet's opponent served for the match and choked it away (Dimitrov, Nieminen) so it was tough to say how his form was going into the final. Well, there's something about Simon's game that Gasquet feasts upon. An easy and stress-free final. First title in two years. The push (along with a run in Basel) to finally return to the Top 10.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:52 PM   #17
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Doha F Tsonga def Monfils 7-5 6-3: Bigger clown won , but it was a small tournament unfortunately

Roland Garros QF Djokovic def Tsonga 6-1 5-7 5-7 7-6 6-1: Jo fought very hard, but in the big moments he was simple outplayed

Wimbledon R1 Tsonga def Hewitt 6-3 6-4 6-4: Tsonga routines an old bogan- happened a lot this year.

Olympics Tsonga def Raonic 6-3 3-6 25-23: Jo gruels out a win, but again he is prolonging the match by giving away too many easy returns.

WTF Djokovic def Tsonga 7-6 6-3: Yet another loss to Nole. Again, he started out strong, trading blows with Djokovic, and then faded after the first set.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Novak Djokovic

I'm going to do 8 matches that defined his season, I couldn't get it down to 5. In chronological order:

1. Australian Open Final: Djokovic def. Nadal 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5
A 6-hour long epic battle, 2 days after playing a 5-hour semifinal against Andy Murray. Novak started the season defending his Australian Open crown. It was also the 7th straight win over Rafa in a final. Nole started the year very well. Things were looking good, the summer of disappointment was a long way away.

2. Roland Garros semifinal: Djokovic def. Federer 6-4 7-5 6-3
After the 2011 Roland Garros semifinal, when Roger broke Novak's winning streak, it was important to win the rematch, in straight sets even better. It was a very good performance by Nole. The body language showed how important this was for Nole. Not only because of what had happened the year before, also because Novak stated at the beginning of the season that his 2 goals were Roland Garros and Olympic Gold.

3. Roland Garros final: Nadal def. Djokovic 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5
A final played over 2 days, interrupted by rain. This was a painful loss for Novak. He started slowly, and when he was on a roll, really dominating play, the match was suspended. The next day Novak, as usual, started slowly and lost the break advantage he had from the previous day. Rafa cruised and won his 7th Roland Garros title. Novak had failed to achieve one of his main goals for 2012.

4. Wimbledon semifinal: Federer def. Djokovic 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-3
This match was important on several levels: Novak failed to defend a grand slam itle, he lost the #1 ranking to Roger, once Roger won the title. For me it was distressing because I felt that Nole sort of gave up at some point. Roger was playing great, that's true, but Novak seemed without energy, out of sorts.

5. Olympics Bronze Medal match: Del Potro def. Djokovic 7-5 6-4
Another very painful loss for Nole: he failed to achieve his second goal for 2012, to win a medal for Serbia. Del Potro was painting the lines and playing fantastic tennis. Novak was outplayed.

6. USO final: Murray def. Djokovic 7-6 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2
Yet another defeat in a grand slam final. Again the bad weather disrupted play. And bad scheduling meant that Novak had to play 3 days in a row, worse than Super-Saturday. He started the tournament really well, winning all his matches easily, saving energy, but it proved irrelevant. Again he started slowly and had to attempt a comeback, but his legs gave up in the 5th set and Murray was not to be denied this time.

7. Shanghai Masters final: Djokovic def. Murray 5-7 7-6 6-3
This match was very important, especially after all the disappointments during the summer. Again Novak started slowly and had to come back. He saved 5 MPs to win this title. One of the best matches of the year, in my opinion.

8. WTF final: Djokovic def. Federer 7-6 7-5
This match, and indeed the whole tournament were incredibly important for Novak. He had already secured the year-end #1, but some pundits commented that maybe the year-end #1 didn't really mean much, that maybe another player could reasonably be considered the Player of the Year. This narrative got momentum, and at some point the accepted narrative was that the WTF would decide who the Player of the Year was. So this tournament was crucial for Novak. He got to the final undefeated. The match was electrifying in its intensity: Roger won the first 9 points in about 2 minutes and he was up 3-0 in about 5 minutes...But again Nole turned it around and managed to win the title in straight sets.

Along the way, he beat Murray and Delpo, and accrued a lead of 2665 points over Roger and 4920 points over Murray. Not to mention proving to doubters that he was, not only the year-end #1, but also the Player of the Year.

After the USO final I thought Novak was going to have a confidence crisis, but quite the opposite happened: he won 3 titles (Beijing, Shanghai and WTF) and 3000 points after the USO final, much like Roger did in 2011. He also beat his main competitors, the ones who inflicted the most painful losses over the summer: Delpo, Andy and Roger. Unfortunately he didn't get the chance to play another match against Rafa... I'm hoping he'll get the chance in Australia... I'm also hoping that he'll use the momentum gained at the end of the 2012 season to solidify his position at the top of the rankings...Finally, I'm also hoping he won't start his matches so slowly this year, my heart is not getting any younger.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Tommy Haas (though I have many kinda co-favorites)

1 Haas d Volandri 6-3 0-6 6-4 6-4 This match ended up being the building block for Tommy's season, really started his upward trajectory
2 Haas d Berdych 6-4 3-6 7-5 Shocking win against a bad match up, just sublime play
3 Haas d Federer 6-4 7-6 Federer was bad, but beating someone who became world #1 two weeks later is quite an achievement
4 Gulbis d Haas 3-6 4-6 6-4 7-5 6-3 This was the Haas of old, choking away a seemingly insurmountable lead. Disappointing yet overdue for a huge choker who had been pretty clutch for a while
5 Haas d Tipsarevic 6-2 6-1 Brilliant play, though he missed a lot of the rest of the year
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:25 AM   #20
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abel View Post

5. Djokovic def. Federer - WTF - 7-6, 7-5

Highly entertaining match of great quality with Nole reinforcing that he's still the best player around by some distance even if he didn't bring his A game at some important moments during the year.

--------------
Really?
He beat Federer with difficulty while he got bageled easily by the same guy, and you call him the best player around by some distance?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Abel View Post

Choosing 3 losses feels weird But it was an odd year for Nole imo.
Odd year?
More like 2011 was an odd year for Djokovic.
Or did you start watching tennis in early 2011?
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:32 AM   #21
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abel View Post
In chronological order:

1. Djokovic def. Nadal - AO - 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7, 7–5

A brutal match that cemented Nole's greatness and gave him the chance for a non-CY Grand Slam. Played some phenomenal tennis during the second and third sets but ultimately won the match via determination, durability and a bit of luck.

2. Isner def. Djokovic - IW - 6-7, 6-3, 6-7

Lost another two tie breaks in a big match and an early indication that Nole 2.0 had regressed into Nole 1.5 territory.

3. Nadal def. Djokovic - RG - 4–6, 3–6, 6–2, 5–7

As above, really. Nole's level dropped enough that Rafa won three in a row in clay finals, most importantly at the final of RG of course. Still showed glimpses of supreme tennis - absolutely bossing the fourth set.

4. Murray def. Djokovic - USO - 6–7, 5–7, 6–2, 6–3, 2–6

Another crucial tiebreak loss that set the tone for the first half of the final. Disappointing to see his usually great stamina/fitness let him down a bit in the final set and also disappointed by how long it took him to adapt to the dreadful conditions.

5. Djokovic def. Federer - WTF - 7-6, 7-5

Highly entertaining match of great quality with Nole reinforcing that he's still the best player around by some distance even if he didn't bring his A game at some important moments during the year.

--------------

Choosing 3 losses feels weird But it was an odd year for Nole imo.
sorry but the Djokovic losses on clay this year were less about Djokovic and more about Nadal. Rafa's best on clay is far superior to Djokovic's best on clay, I mean for gods sake Novak has made 1 Roland Garros final IN HIS CAREER. so far less success here than even Robin Soderling

so don't be naive about it
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:41 AM   #22
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Groove View Post
I'm actually going to do 9 matches of Nadal that defined this year.

1. AO QF vs. Berdych- Berdych has success vs. Nadal on hard courts in years past, and had a set up and a set point to take it 2 sets up, but Nadal just fought hard and came through with a defining win, imo. We saw how Berdych can take out a top seed in a HC slam at USO. This was a big match for Rafa to get through.

2. AO SF vs. Fed- Nadal's win over Fed in AO 09, many thought was a fluke blah blah blah, this was a big match for Nadal over Fed in a hard court slam.

3. AO F vs. Nole- 6 hour war, incredible stuff

4. Fed in IW- First time Nadal lost to Fed on an outdoor hard court since I think Miami 2005?

5. Tsonga in Miami- Nadal should have wrapped this up in 2, but struggled in 3 and his body paid the price.

6. Nole in MC- First time beating Nole since 2010 WTF, meant a lot to him.

7. Ferrer in Barcelona- Only Ferrer and Nadal can play a 2 set match that lasts over 3 hours, and what a match it was. Truly Ferrer's best chance to beat Nadal.

8. Djoovic RG final- Cemented legacy as greatest clay courter of them all.

9. Rosol match at Wimbledon- Not much more needs to be said, really.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSMnadal View Post
1. Nadal d. Djokovic Monte Carlo 6-3 6-1

May not seem like the most important one, but in my opinion it was. He finally snapped his losing streak and bounced back from that heartbreaking AO loss. Also a record breaking 8th consecutive MC crown. A loss here on his beloved MC clay against Djokovic (again) would've been terrible and would've had major consequences for his career.

2. Nadal l. Djokovic AO 7-5 4-6 2-6 7-6 5-7

Need I say more about this? Cost him a slam, but more importantly, it gave him the confidence he could beat Djokovic. On Nole's turf he had him on the ropes. And he even arrived in Melbourne after a tough indoor/off season, not expecting too much. And he played brilliantly and almost had him. Very important.

3. Nadal d. Djokovic RG 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5

Record breaking match either way, Rafa showed why he is the greatest ever on clay, finishing off a fantastic tournament in style with a win over his main rival these days. Probably would've been straight sets without the rain, but who cares.

4. Nadal l. Rosol Wimbledon 7-6 4-6 4-6 6-2 4-6

Could've easily been nr.1 this, but I chose a more positive approach. Terrible loss, end of the season, start of his injury woes. Don't want to say much more about it

5. Nadal d. Federer AO 6-7 6-2 7-6 6-4

Any win over Federer in a slam just adds to that fantastic legacy of Rafa. 8-2 already, staggering numbers. And another one on Fed's beloved hardcourts, showed the world again what a brilliant tennis player he is, on ANY surface.
What these two said.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:54 AM   #23
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by atennisfan View Post
Really?
He beat Federer with difficulty while he got bageled easily by the same guy, and you call him the best player around by some distance?
I bet Roger would trade those results in a heart-beat: don't you think he would have preferred to lose in Cincy to Nole (even being bageled, at least it's not a grand slam final ) and instead finish the year by winning the WTF undefeated, beating Djokovic in the final?
The fact is that the H2H between Roger and Nole is 3-2 for 2012. One win each in Masters, one win each in Grand Slams and the decider at the WTF, which last year were elevated to Grand Slam status, but I guess they've been demoted back to where they belong this year.
And yes...If in a season as tough as this, with 4 different players winning the 4 grand slams there is one player who ends the year on top and gets 25.8% more points than the #2 player and 61.5% more points than the #3 player, that's what I would call some distance. It's not as if he got the #1 by 10 points (remember 2008?).



Quote:
Originally Posted by atennisfan View Post
Odd year?
More like 2011 was an odd year for Djokovic.
Or did you start watching tennis in early 2011?
2011 was one of the best seasons in the open era. In that sense it was odd... But not for Nole, since he ended 2012 as the #1 player as well... I didn't start watching tennis in 2011, so I can understand how rare it has been in recent years for a player to end the year as #1 in 2 consecutive years... in fact, it hasn't happened in 5 years. It means that 2011 was not a complete anomaly. To be the first guy in 5 years to be able to defend his year-end #1, with the quality of the competition he faced in 2012 is almost as amazing as what he did in 2011, in a sense, even more difficult. So maybe Novak has had 2 odd years, may he have a 3rd odd year in 2013.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:49 AM   #24
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Nole was messed up in the head in Monte Carlo & French Open. Those are hardly great matches or tourneys for him. More bitter for Djoker than Nadal because there were only a few great clay matches for Nadal opponents since 2004.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:24 AM   #25
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

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Originally Posted by Alex999 View Post
2011 was one of the best season in tennis history (3rd best season in Open Era). It wasn't odd, Djokovic was that good. Was Fed 2006 odd too? don't think so.
Roger had 2 seasons of similar level before and 1 after. 2006 wasn't a fluke year.

Djokovic however had a 3 slam season and only won1 the year after. So I can see how 2011 was the odd year for djokovic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex999 View Post
Nole def. Fed at WTF fair and square without any difficulty (that's in your head, btw, match is not over till it's over). Fed this, Fed that, uh oh ...
Without any difficulty?! You must be joking.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:28 PM   #26
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

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Originally Posted by duarte_a View Post
Roger had 2 seasons of similar level before and 1 after. 2006 wasn't a fluke year.

Djokovic however had a 3 slam season and only won1 the year after. So I can see how 2011 was the odd year for djokovic.

I told ya Djokertards either started to watch tennis only from 2011, or they have amnesia of any tennis pre 2011
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People need to wake up. Olderer is not winning anymore slams - neither is he going to become #1.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:03 PM   #27
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

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Originally Posted by atennisfan View Post
Odd year?
More like 2011 was an odd year for Djokovic.
Or did you start watching tennis in early 2011?
You misunderstand what I meant.

2011 was exceptional in every sense, yes. What I meant re: 2012 was that he had a very successful year, playing to a consistently high level but this was undercut by losses in finals that he should (or could) have won. It's difficult to know, as a Nole fan, whether to be happy with the level he played at or slightly disappointed that he was very close to having another year comparable with 2011.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:06 PM   #28
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

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Originally Posted by Mountaindewslave View Post
sorry but the Djokovic losses on clay this year were less about Djokovic and more about Nadal. Rafa's best on clay is far superior to Djokovic's best on clay, I mean for gods sake Novak has made 1 Roland Garros final IN HIS CAREER. so far less success here than even Robin Soderling

so don't be naive about it
Obviously Nadal on clay >>>>> Nole on clay generally but I was comparing 2011 Nole with 2012 Nole specifically. I'm not sure there was much change in the play of Rafa over the two years - although he did learn things from the 7 successive defeats, naturally - whereas Nole's level obviously dropped.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:20 PM   #29
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Nadal's level on clay in 12 >>>>>>>>>>> in 11.

2011 was arguably his worst in years, look at Isner taking him to 5. Roger keeping it very, very close Even having trouble against guys like Andujar. Only the Soderling match was really great.

And then look at RG 2012, guys were happy to win more than 5 games! Monaco grabbing 2. Ferrer, great clay player, sent packing with 5.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:25 PM   #30
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

The Monte Carlo clay was flying into the air, which was new to Djokovic and he clearly was distressed off court too. He was messed up for 4 months before he finally focused again in October.
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