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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC GRASS SEASON 2017​


Novak returns to play on green turf after his lackluster performance on clay. He will alter his 6 years routine by entering a grass warming up tournament in Eastbourne, instead of usual exhibition tournament at The Boodles. Grass season will mark his one year slump year which saw his ranking dropped to four, where before he had been very consistent in the top 2 since 2011. Can he find his mojo back on his beloved Wimbledon grass?


His schedule will be as the following:


AEGON INTERNATIONAL EASTBOURNE
Date : 26 June – 1 July 2017
Venue : Devonshire Park LTC
Status : ATP 250
Defending Champion : -
Best Result : -



THE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Date : Jul 3, 2017 – Jul 16, 2017
Venue : All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Defending Champion : Andy Murray
Best Result : Champion 2011, 2014, 2015
Last Year Result : R2​

Best wishes for Nole and his fans. As Raonic said in an interview, Novak is only one or two matches away from returning to his peak level. Crossing fingers that it will happen sooner than later. Please post all news, interviews and photos of Novak's grass season here.

GODSPEED!

 

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Discussion Starter #2
His quote:
“This will be my first trip to Eastbourne, I have heard great things about the tournament,” said Djokovic. “I am looking forward to fine tuning my grass court game there ahead of Wimbledon.”
I like this positivity. And from his instagram posts, he seems very motivated in during his training for Wimbledon. The main singles draw ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 24. Lots of dangerous servebot are present in Eastbourne. Hopefully he'll make the best of this prep tournament!
 

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I've seen some of his Boodles matches before :tape: no playing around here.

The warmup grass events are typically faster and slicker than Wimbledon but I think it will be a light field for EB. Only that two years prior (when it was at Nottingham), the finalist/winner was Istomin and Querrey. Doesn't that ring a bell? So maybe this is the right place for him to refind his game. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've seen some of his Boodles matches before :tape: no playing around here.

The warmup grass events are typically faster and slicker than Wimbledon but I think it will be a light field for EB. Only that two years prior (when it was at Nottingham), the finalist/winner was Istomin and Querrey. Doesn't that ring a bell? So maybe this is the right place for him to refind his game. :p
I did notice that :lol: time to break the curse :armed:
 

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I did notice that :lol: time to break the curse :armed:
I think Querrey is playing Eastbourne so we might get a rematch. Have to say Querrey has been having a stellar season for his standards, and has beaten both Djokovic and Nadal in the past 52 weeks (which I think only Thiem and Del Potro can brag about.)
 

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I think Querrey is playing Eastbourne so we might get a rematch. Have to say Querrey has been having a stellar season for his standards, and has beaten both Djokovic and Nadal in the past 52 weeks (which I think only Thiem and Del Potro can brag about.)
Even though Eastbourne is just a 250 with only one top 10 player (Novak) and one top 20 (Monfils), it's actually a pretty strong grass-court field. Besides Querrey, also entered are Isner, Johnson, 2-time Wimbledon semifinalist Gasquet, the serve & volleying Zverev, and F.Lopez. If Novak wins the tournament, he will gain some confidence, although that confidence will help him only in the earlier rounds of Wimbledon, not in the SF & F where Novak will likely be facing a different caliber of opponents, like Murray & Federer.
 

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Even though Eastbourne is just a 250 with only one top 10 player (Novak) and one top 20 (Monfils), it's actually a pretty strong grass-court field. Besides Querrey, also entered are Isner, Johnson, 2-time Wimbledon semifinalist Gasquet, the serve & volleying Zverev, and F.Lopez. If Novak wins the tournament, he will gain some confidence, although that confidence will help him only in the earlier rounds of Wimbledon, not in the SF & F where Novak will likely be facing a different caliber of opponents, like Murray & Federer.
let's not worry about Murray right now :lol:
 

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Ai'm not even thinking about him winning the tournament... i just want him to play on grass before Wimby. Serious matches, not hit&giggle exhos.

So, all is good. :D

Go, Nole, :cheerleader:
 

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Ai'm not even thinking about him winning the tournament... i just want him to play on grass before Wimby. Serious matches, not hit&giggle exhos.

So, all is good. :D

Go, Nole, :cheerleader:
On the other hand, I almost never want to see Kei play a grass warmup ever again, at least at Halle. :sobbing:

Just hope Novak can get his worth for the tournament.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The draw for Eastbourne is out!

1-DJOKOVIC, Novak
BYE
VESELY, Jiri
Q
YOUNG, Donald
EDMUND, Kyle
DONALDSON, Jared
8-SCHWARTZMAN, Diego

4-JOHNSON, Steve
BYE
Q
Q
MAHUT, Nicolas
HAASE, Robin
MEDVEDEV, Daniil
5-QUERREY, Sam

7-GASQUET, Richard
TIAFOE, Frances
BELLUCCI, Thomaz
ANDERSON, Kevin
CHARDY, Jeremy
LAJOVIC, Dusan
BYE
3-ISNER, John

6-ZVEREV, Mischa
HARRISON, Ryan
Q
TOMIC, Bernard
WC-NORRIE, Cameron
ZEBALLOS, Horacio
BYE
2-MONFILS, Gael

====

I dont really know what to asses at this point. Have to see his first match first. Hopefully he will find his grass footwork immediately. Good luck Nole!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think I read it somewhere that the "Big 4" are fixed to be the top 4 seed for Wimbledon, meaning that they cant meet before Semifinal. Mark my word, Roger will get Andy again and Novak will get Rafa :lol:
 

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I think I read it somewhere that the "Big 4" are fixed to be the top 4 seed for Wimbledon, meaning that they cant meet before Semifinal. Mark my word, Roger will get Andy again and Novak will get Rafa :lol:
It's a mathematical formula that they have applied to determine seeds aince 2012. Andy is #1, Nocak is #2. Roger and Rafa will be #3 and #4. If Roger wins tomorrow, he'll be #3, otherwise, he'll be #4.

I'm hoping Novak will get the practice he needs at eastbourne. Beating Sam Querrey here would help his confidence.

May this be the tournament where Novak finally turns the page. :cheerleader:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
First match vs Pospisil! Let's win this Nole!
 

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Not a fan of this writer, but the article is pretty interesting:
Novak Djokovic delights in role as only big fish by the Sussex sea

black panther in a suburban garden. That is the impression given by Novak Djokovic’s visit to Eastbourne this week.

The big beasts of tennis usually keep to their own hermetically sealed worlds. And to a regular loop of top-end events, where they know everyone from the chefs to the locker room attendants. Credit, then, to Djokovic for breaking the cycle.

Since arriving on Saturday, he has practised at a variety of spots, including not only Devonshire Park but the Meads Lawn tennis club and Moira House School – a boarding establishment best-known for producing Fawlty Towers actress Prunella Scales.

Judging by Djokovic’s beatific mood, his Eastbourne hotel does not feature a trigger-happy major or a rat in the biscuit tin.

Instead, his Instagram feed suggests that he has been mixing with the seagulls, walking on the beach, and fancying his chances on the court. When was the last time he entered an event where he was the only top-15 player?

“It’s a beautiful day,” said Djokovic, offering an upbeat start to his press conference. “To be part of a new event, I don’t get to experience that too often. We have more or less the same schedule each year over and over again, so it’s great to be in Eastbourne for the first time.

“It’s a small town, but being part of the combined event, there’s a lot of people coming out to watch and support the players. You can feel the appreciation for the tennis that they have here. They love this event, and so for me it’s obviously a pleasure to be here.”

Djokovic’s Eastbourne campaign will start at 11am on Tuesday against Vasek Pospisil, a dangerous hitter who has already taken out Andy Murray this year in Indian Wells. Djokovic is hunting for rhythm and confidence, after a patchy season in which his only title arrived in the first week of January. Last year, the world No 4 came out of the French Open with 47 matches under his belt. This season, the equivalent figure is 31.

“I’ve only seen him for 25 minutes,” said one tennis insider, “but he just seemed like he was very relaxed and in a really good place. If I was allowed to bet on Wimbledon, I’d be putting a few bob on him today.”

There was no sign of the usual entourage that surrounds a tennis champion.

Admittedly, Djokovic has got rid of the entire team who helped him go into last year’s Wimbledon as the owner of all four major titles. But here in Eastbourne he has slimmed down even further. Brother Marko is absent, as is Pepe Imaz, the so-called guru whose T-shirts proclaim the virtues of love and peace.

Only Djokovic’s manager, Edoardo Artaldi, has made the trip. At 52, Artaldi might not be the ideal man to make his client sweat in a grass-court tune-up. But he was good enough to play Challenger-level tennis in the early 1980s, and arrived at Monday's press conference in his whites, clutching his racket.

As for Djokovic’s latest supercoach, Andre Agassi, he is definitely too much of a Gulliver for this tennis Lilliput. But these two legends are due to resume their alliance later in the week, even if the timing will depend on whether Djokovic survives until Saturday’s final here.


“I think he [Agassi] is supposed to arrive next weekend,” Djokovic said. “So he’s going to be there before the tournament [Wimbledon] starts. He will stay as long as I stay in the tournament, so that’s great news.”

Asked whether he had been satisfied by Agassi’s fleeting availability – which has so far extended to just over a week at Roland Garros – Djokovic replied: “Andre has a very busy life. He has a big family, he lives on the west coast of America. He’s got his foundation, his businesses, has many, many things in his life that are consuming a lot of time.

“We don’t have anything formal. We don’t have anything signed. It’s just as much as he can [do]. I embrace that, I accept that, and I’m grateful for it. For now, we’re going with the flow.”

That phrase “going with the flow” sounds like an accurate overview of Djokovic’s whole approach to this week. Having smiled his way through his media duties yesterday, apparently delighted to have drawn a full house of broadcasters and reporters to this sleepy corner of the world, he proceeded to make a generous offer towards Agassi’s predecessor. Boris Becker, who ended a three-year stint as Djokovic’s head coach in December, suffered an unexpected blow to his public standing last week when he was declared bankrupt by a London court.

“When I heard it, I checked in with him right away,” said Djokovic, who won six of his 12 grand slam titles in the time he spent working with Becker.

“I love Boris as a person, and as a coach he contributed a lot to my life and to my career. So if I can be of any help to him, I told him, I’m always there for him. He can count on me.”

This was Djokovic in philanthropic mode. On yesterday’s evidence, he should step off the well-trodden carousel of grand slams and Masters 1000s more often.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My look on his situation:
- I'm not sure this go with the flow approach with Agassi will give him what he needs. He was doing great in RG before got destroyed by Thiem right after Agassi left Paris
- He is aware of his lack of consistency, but I'm not convinced he has found a working formula to fix this issue
No Cookies | Herald Sun

In Eastbourne for the AEGON International — the first grass court tournament he has contested before Wimbledon since 2010 — Djovovic said the battle for consistency was confronting.

“I’ve been struggling with the level of tennis,” he said.

“I’ve never experienced this particular situation since I started playing professional tennis. I was very fortunate to experience upwards direction in terms of results and improving the game.

“It’s the first time now in a stretch of seven or eight months that I haven’t won any big tournament.”
 

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Nole leads 1-0* in the 1st set against Posipisil, but hit 2 DFs in that game and had to save 2 bps already... Hopefully he shook off the rust, come on Nole :bounce: Rain delay for now...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Won against Pospisil 6-4, 6-3. Didnt watch the match, but the highlight shows some competitive match there
Next is Donaldson!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
ASAP Sports Transcripts - Tennis - 2017 - AEGON INTERNATIONAL - June 26 - Novak Djokovic

AEGON INTERNATIONAL
June 26, 2017

Novak Djokovic
Eastbourne, England


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Welcome to the seaside.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thank you.

Q. What do you make of it so far?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's a beautiful day today. First day that we see sun, actually. It's nice. Nice to see so many people coming out on the courts obviously. For me it's great to visit a new place, be part of a new event. I don't get to experience that too often.

We have more or less the same schedule each year over and over again, so it's great to be back, to be actually in Eastbourne for the first time. It's a small town, but being part of the combined event, there is a lot of matches, a lot of people coming out to watch and support the players.

You can feel the appreciation for the tennis that they have here. They love this event, and so for me it's obviously a pleasure to be here.

Q. Besides the new experience for you coming here, it's also a rare experience for you to be playing a grass court tournament the week before Wimbledon, first time in 11 years.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Seven years, I think. Last time was in Queen's 2010 that I have played before Wimbledon.

Q. Not the week before.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Excuse me. Excuse me.

Q. The week before was in 2006, I think.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah.

Q. So why the change? That's a big...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it is. But also, I haven't played since 2010 any leadup event to Wimbledon. I was fortunate to have lots of matches and lots of success in the first part of the year over the years, especially on the clay courts and always reaching the final stages of Roland Garros.

And because of the old schedule, we had a week less. Usually the Queen's and Halle tournaments were starting the week after Roland Garros, which was a bit challenging obviously coming from the slowest to the fastest surface in sport. It's a big shift, only few days.

But that's one of the reasons why I haven't participated over the years in any leadup events to Wimbledon. This year I knew I wanted to play one, but I thought Queen's and Halle would be too early for me. I wanted to get some rest and get time to properly prepare. But I still wanted to play some matches coming into Wimbledon, because I haven't had too many matches this year all in all.

That's the reason why I came to Eastbourne. And again, going back to what I have said just a while ago, it's a new place. So from that point of view, it does give me that extra motivation to be here.

Q. Can you tell us exactly what you have been doing since the French Open?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I spent a lot of time with my family. I went to Serbia and just spent time with my wife and my son and my parents, brothers, friends. We don't get to spend a lot of time in our country, so it was nice to be there and to reconnect.

And then I started training, you know, when I was back in Monaco, started training. Unfortunately we don't have any grass courts there, so trained on a quick hard court and then came over here. Got, I think, five, six already hitting sessions on the grass. You know, got myself as ready as I can be.

You know, obviously Wimbledon is the most important tournament, one of the most important tournaments in the world for everyone. On this surface, of course, by far the most important, but still I would like to get some matches under my belt here and prepare.

Q. Did you discuss it with your team? If so, is Andre a big part of that team? Is he talking about coming here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Not here. He will be in London for Wimbledon. He will stay as long as I stay in the tournament, so that's great news. Obviously Roland Garros, the eight or nine days that we spent together, were very valuable for me to get to know him, to learn from him. We shared a lot of experiences on and off the court, you know, things that he has been through that I can relate to and vice versa.

So having him around is not only great for myself but also for tennis. Getting to know him in Paris, I can see how much he cares about the game, how much he knows the game. It was very interesting to hear his perspective on tennis before and now, current tennis, how he analyzes my game and what he sees with things moving forward to improve and try to get back on the level desired.

That's all. I'm just looking forward to spend as much quality time with Andre as I can.

Q. The manner of your defeat against Dominic Thiem in the French Open, what do you make of the way people reacted to that defeat? Where are you mentally now compared to after that loss?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I honestly don't know how people reacted to that defeat because I wasn't paying attention. Honestly, I just, you know, experienced what I have personally experienced with people around me. Dominic just played a great match, especially from the beginning of the second set.

I completely lost my, you know, my rhythm and confidence on the court in the third. It was unfortunate for me to end up that match the way I did, but it happens. You know, it happens on a given day that you're not feeling your best and your opponent does.

That's all. You know, I had to move on. I'm aware of the fact that I'm not at the level that I was in the previous years, but, you know, sooner or later this kind of circumstances and experiences had to happen, and eventually sooner or later I had to deal with this kind of challenges and it came right now and I have to accept it.

I have to try to work on the court and off the court in order to figure out a way how to get back on the desired level. I'm in the process. How long it's going to take, I don't know. I mean, I can't predict the future, but I can do something that it is in my power, and that's to really be as committed as possible when I'm playing, you know, when I'm on the tour, when I'm training.

That's for sure a fact that I know that I still have that professionalism and commitment to the game because I still like playing it. So as long as it's like that, I will keep on going.

Q. A few minutes ago you touched on the fact that you haven't played as many matches as normal. You have just made mention of your level, et cetera. So how concerned are you going into Wimbledon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, I'm not concerned. I try to take this process one day at a time, especially on the grass courts. It's such a different surface from any other. I mean, couple decades ago you had three out of four Grand Slams played on grass. Now you have only one month in the entire season played on grass.

I just try to take things slowly and gradually build the form as I move on. As I have said, you know, Wimbledon is around the corner, so of course I want to be at my best coming into that tournament.

It does feel different than 12 months ago, of course. 12 months ago I had four Grand Slams under my belt, and coming into Wimbledon, completely different, you know, mentally than I am today. I still have to trust myself, my abilities to play well, and to win against anybody on any surface.

I have that in the back of my mind. I will just try to reach that consistency level that I need, because I felt like that's something that I was lacking. It was better in the last two months, but, you know, I have days where I play really well and days where it's a bit different.

As I said, it's a work in progress, and I've got to stay tuned.

Q. You seem very relaxed and chilled at the moment. Mentality is different to 12 months ago. Do you feel that your personality on the court on and off the court has changed throughout your career? I mean, we are thinking we have seen at least five different kind of Novaks.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, of course. Hey, I'm expressive, I'd say, with my emotions generally in my life. I try to be, you know, as aware of all these emotions as possible in every single day, every single moment. It's not easy. We're all humans. We all go through our ups and downs through our doubts, through moments where everything seems brilliant and days where not so much.

I'm just trying to embrace whatever life throws my way. I'm sure that what I'm experiencing at the moment is happening for a reason, and it's there as a great way and great lesson for me to come out as even a stronger player and better person.

Of course I'm different than I was a year ago or two, three years ago. I'm a father today and soon to be, hopefully father of two, so things change and life changes. As I move on, you know, I'm at the same time as confident and vulnerable as I can be because I'm human being. I learn through this process, and I'm open for any kind of lessons that life, as I said, throws my way.

Q. How does the surface, the grass surface, compare here at Eastbourne, compare to the surface you play on at Wimbledon? Is it good preparation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think playing generally on grass, any kind of grass court, is great preparation, because we don't really get to have, as I have said, too many weeks around the year to play on this very unique surface.

So I try to use every day as much as I can, because we know also the weather is very unpredictable in Great Britain, and so I try to be early on the practice courts and, you know, use every minute, try to hit as many balls and move around the court, adjust to this surface as quick as I can.

I'm just happy that I have had the last three days, you know, some great practice sessions. I look forward to play first match tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully I'll have few more days here and every day counts, basically, on this surface coming into Wimbledon.

Q. Were you surprised at all about the news from Boris last week?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, when I have heard it, I have checked in with him right away. He says that it's not true and that media overreacted. That's all I know. I'll see him now in London. We're still friends. We still stay, even though we are not working with each other, we are still very close in terms of communication. I love Boris as a person, and as a coach he contributed a lot to my life and to my career.

So if I can, you know, be of any help to him, that's what I told him, I'm always there for him. He can count on me.

Q. When are you planning to meet up with Andre? You're not working with him outside the Grand Slams. Is it enough time to make up for the difference that you want to make?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's something that the time will tell. For now, you know, we're going with the flow in a way. Andre has a very busy life. He has big family, he lives in West Coast of America. He's got his foundation, his businesses, has many, many things in his life that are consuming a lot of time.

First of all, I appreciate all his consideration to work with me and to be with me. So we don't have anything formal. We don't have anything signed. It's just as much as he can or he feels to be with me that I embrace that, I accept that, and I'm grateful for it.

Q. When will you meet up with him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It depends. I think he's supposed to arrive for weekend, next weekend. So he's going to be there before the tournament starts.

Q. I am from the tennis club here. We're producing a charity book to commemorate the completion of the redevelopment work here in 2020. Wonder if we could have a reflection for the book from you, your experiences of here so far? I know it's your first time.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, let's speak at the end of the week, hopefully. It's still too early. I'll be happy to contribute.
 
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