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From the start of the Open Era to the 90s, the sport has been largely defined by surface specialists, making it hard for anyone to even dominate at the slams, part of the reason why Rod Laver's CYGS is regarded as one of the most holy achievements in male tennis. A few other players had a chance for completeing the CYGS, e.g. Borg, but somehow the natural surface phenomenon could never really find the game to translate his success onto the hardcourts. From Borg onwards, the nature of the surface specialist only intensified, and the CYGS was seen to be even more unachievable. Lendl was perhaps the best candidate in the 80s, but one could see that he was alreeady at the peak of his mental and physical prowesses to even make it deep into Wimbledon and the US open.

In the 90s, some candidates for the CYGS were Agassi and Sampras. But Agassi had a large mental walkabout in the 90s, and could not achieve multiple slam successes in the same year, and by the time he was mentally more mature in the 00's, his body was catching up with him. Sampras on the other hand was one of the game's biggest servers, and one of the GOATs in the mental game as well. But alas, he never managed to adapt his game to the clay courts, only reaching the French Open semis once in his career, and he admitted that he never really set his sights on that tournament as well at any point in his career.

When we entered the 00's, with a gradual homogenization of the surface speeds, as well as the rise of a very dominant elite in tennis, talks of the CGYS grew much more compared to the other decades, with Federer and Nadal dominating the discussions. Federer already has three (!) 3-slam seasons, but one always felt that the CYGS was always a bit beyond him because he could never solve the riddle that is Nadal on clay. Perhaps his best chance of the CYGS was 2004, when Nadal has not blasted onto the RG clay scene yet, but he lost to the fading Guga in the 3rd round. Nadal on the other hand had his first 3-slam season last year in 2010, but one always felt that it was the result of a very deliberate scheduling to minimize the impact on his body. Herein lies the problem of the physical exertion that Nadal has to employ in his tennis game, such that a whole year of consistent tennis always eluded him. He always peaks between the post-AO period to the post Wimbledon period, and tails off a bit at the start of the hardcourt summer season. Even last year when he won the US open, I felt that he was deliberately saving his energy during the hardcourt swing for the US open.

And of course, the golden slam includes the Olympic medal as well, which I always felt is closely to the level of nationalism that a player has. This should be closely correlated with Davis Cup success, which players like Djokovic and Nadal has, but glaringly missing in Federer. Of course, Federer would love the singles gold medal, but I think that the gripping and (a little) irrational attitude associated with nationalism does not fit into his character, and he can never conjure up the extra fire needed in events like the Olympics. One need only see his 2 losses in the Olympics to Berdych and Blake.

This finally beings me to my main point, the possibility of the golden slam in 2012. Of course, the chance is it probably won't happen, but what I'm saying is there has never been a better chance in the form of Novak Djokovic. This season has been insane, but most importantly he has shown that he has the necessary ingredients to get the golden slam next year. 1) Top notch physical condition to last an ENTIRE season, from AO open to US open, 2) the ability to solve the Nadal clay challenge, as he has shown by beating Nadal in 2 clay MS finals, 3) the strong nationalistic pride that Novak has. Of course, this is gonna be a most daunting challenge, and Novak would need to sustain, or be even better, with his tennis should he want to achieve this. The key milestones in my opinion would be 1) The Australian Open, the starting point of the golden slam 2) Wimbledon, as grass is not his most natural surface. The rest of the slams and Olympics are of course no walk in the park, but if he should fail in his quest, I would think it is those 2 milestones I have mentioned.

This is just one of my random (long) whims, and knowing MTF this would probably descend into some hot mess of a thread, but let's see what you guys think.
 

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Yes, Djokovic has a better chance than anyone has ever had to win the Golden Slam in 2012.

Feels really weird writing those words. Seems like just yesterday Aloimeh started his epic thread.
 

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Yes, Djokovic has a better chance than anyone has ever had to win the Golden Slam in 2012.

Feels really weird writing those words. Seems like just yesterday Aloimeh started his epic thread.
And how I was mocked for it... :angel:
 

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tl;DR
 

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From the start of the Open Era to the 90s, the sport has been largely defined by surface specialists, making it hard for anyone to even dominate at the slams, part of the reason why Rod Laver's CYGS is regarded as one of the most holy achievements in male tennis. /
you mean that era where 3/4 slams were on grass? :wavey:
 

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No chance for the Djoker as 2012 is Andy Murray's year - WordLife/WozzWarrior/Sapeod told us so.
 

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Maybe....think he's got a great chance of winning 4 slams in a row though.
 

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The AO is still far away. No one predicted Djokovic to have this kind of season after being destroyed by Federer over and over late last year. In the end it's not really up to Djokovic. He's played the same level of tennis for a couple of years now. It's all up to the other players and whether they will succumb with fear again or take the challenge head on and play well against him.
 

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Federer had a great chance in 2004. Played brilliantly at Hamburg (as so often), beating Gaudio, Lapentti, Gonzalez, Moya, Hewitt, & Coria, & there was no obvious immovable obstacle at R.G. - but for some reason he crapped out against Kuerten, who played solidly but nothing more. Obviously Djokovic has just as good a chance in 2012. But I have a sneaking feeling Fed's going to get him at least once.
 

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The fact we can even talk about this means the Golden and Calendar slams are not close to impressive as they used to be.
Or that some people can't accept Djokovic as someone who actually has a shot at it. It's all subjective.
And as I agree that surface homogenization contributes to it, today tennis mounts different challenge as it became physical more than ever. To sustain this kind of form trough whole season is unheard of. Rod Laver was physical beast and that was his main attribute which got him CYGS after all.
 

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Yes agree that Nole has best chance ever to win 2012 4 slams and golden medal. Never in history nobody has such chance- by any other player you just wouldn´t feel it he can do it. - before 00s the slams were more diversified in term of surfaces and mostly RG was for many Greats out of reach - don´t forget Laver won on 3 grass slams. So never in history nobody has such big chance. In recent years by Federer you migh feel he can win all slams but not RG- because of Nadal, by Nadal you won´t feel that he can win both HC slams for sure - before his amazing USO 10 probably not many people will say he will win there and will have incredible serve. So Federer and NAdal were out of discussion, but now Djokovic won this year 3 slams and was great at clay- he always was great on clay and his losses to Nadal came mostly after long battles and Rafa´s physicall superiorty i think was the only thing that decided outcome for Rafa. Nole was always great on HC - so you can feel h ecan win both HC slams, he always was very good on clay and now when he is fitter and has mentall advantage over RAfa you can feel he has 100X better chance to win RG next year that Federer ever had. And he won on slow grass of Wimbledons- the only question is how fast will olympics be on new grass reseeded after Wimbledon- probably it will be quicker tennis on that new for Olympic made grass, but still with Roger in that time being again almost 1year older i can see Nole chances very good-quicker grass must be problem also for RAfa. So Nole has by far biggest chance in history to win golden slam 2012- in order to do that i hope he will concentrate only on those events- Masters are mandatory, but he can loss to someone - or something he don´t need to play whole year, i hope he will be clever enough next season not to try win everything, but only to try win those biggest events- than he should be fitter, not injured and has bigger chance.
 

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The question is will Djokovic train hard again in between seasons and does he really want to that. If he really wants to that he will have to sacrifice few master events.
 

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Next year, Nole will get married and will also have a baby imo. It will kill his motivation and he will only win the Nole Open tanking the rest of the year.
 
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he can do it. just concentrate on 4 slams and a 2 or 3 masters. tank the other tournament. dont try to win indian wells and miami back to back. also on clay- just win rome or madrid.
 

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If Djokovic wins the "Golden Slam", that means that he will have won 6 slams in a row.

That's a pretty tough ask.
 

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Nole might win 3. He might slip(lose before finals) at the other.

Imo, he will lose at either RG or at Wimbledon. He won't win both. He might win the HC slams.

His year could be:

AO, RG and USO

or

AO, Wimbledon and USO

Whatever slam Nole fails to win of RG or Wimbledon will probably be won by either Nadal or Federer.
 
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