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Can Djokovic beat Wawrinka? Can Djokovic beat Federer? If Federer plays RG like he did in 2019, he may have a chance against Djokovic and even beat Djokovic. Do not mistake, I do not like Federer, but I think Federer played a great RG in 2019 and also a decent semifinal against Rafa (tight first two sets) in those windy conditions.

Djokovic's level dips a bit on clay than on hardcourts. Can Djokovic beat an inspired Zverev, Tsitsipas, or Medvedev at RG, a similar player to an inspired Cecchinato?

To put it shortly, Djokovic's problems at RG are more than Rafa and Thiem.
I think Federer's chances to go to 4th round in RG this year are zero.
Rafa's chances to get to the finals are slightly higher, but not more than 10%.
 

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Nadal under enormous pressure here. Novak is the last person who he'd want to meet in the finals.
 

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It all comes down to the difficulty of Nadal's draw. We need him to expend as much energy as possible before the semis, so that Djokovic/Thiem can take advantage physically. I am hoping someone like a Casper Ruud can be in Nadal's part of the draw, and take him over 4 hours in a match.
 

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Nole is not as reliable on clay anymore, though I would love him to get the DCGS, because it would be a unique accomplishment, and the other 2 aren't doing it.
Slam race is certainly dependent on RG, as stopping Nadal here has been one of the toughest tasks in all sports.
Dunno whether the likes of Thiem can do it, and finally see a changing of the guard, where it has looked hopeless for years.
Fred has an outside chance at Wimbledon, but only if he can avoid Nole - who he has not beaten there since he last did as Indoorer in 2012.
 

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Olympics is a red herring, it won't affect the USO, esp now as a purely BO3 tournament.
Murray burned himself out winning it in 2016, probably Delpo getting the silver as well, but I don't think that'll happen again.
 

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It all comes down to the difficulty of Nadal's draw. We need him to expend as much energy as possible before the semis, so that Djokovic/Thiem can take advantage physically. I am hoping someone like a Casper Ruud can be in Nadal's part of the draw, and take him over 4 hours in a match.
Nadal would have to meet a real wildcard to be taken to even five sets. Goffin was the only guy last year before the final to take a set off him and year before I think he won it all in straights.

A tuned in Fog in round 3 or 4 could be possible but he'll probably be in the other half.
 

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It's a slight on Djokovic's and Federer's career that they've both only won the French Open once, whereas Nadal has won slams on all 3 surfaces at least twice, Djokovic's French Open win more valuable than Federer's however as he knocked Nadal out along the way, one of only 2 men in history to do so. Incidentally Novak has the sort of mentality that will play til his 40 to try and break the slam count stats and he physically looks capable of doing it, Nadal will probably pack up in a couple of years. Think Federer will end up being 3rd on the list and with a negative h2h record v the other two it'll be hard for his fans to say he's the greatest.
 

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The stakes are incredible, bigger than for any other slam that I can remember. Given that Nadal,, Djokovic, and Federer are not getting younger, arguably this tournament is going to decide the slam race.

Nadal is, as usual, the favorite at the French Open. If he wins he'll tie Federer at 20 slams and take a 3 slam lead over Djokovic. Since by then Federer will be approaching age 39, and Djokovic will be 33, by June Nadal can essentially clinch being co-winner or outright winner of the slam race. Because... I don't think Federer will be able to win more slams than Nadal after FO 2020, and I also don't see Djokovic outperforming Nadal by 4 slams after FO 2020.

If Djokovic wins the FO, he'll be 1-2 slams behind Nadal/Federer, and among the Big 3, he'll be the clear favorite to outperform the other two over the next 3 slams (Wim, USO, AO) and beyond. So he'd have a decent chance to get to 20 or so.
Apart from basic slam count, Djokovic would have a double career slam (first entirely within Open Era). Together with his Nole Slam, that means holding two important slam-related achievements that Federer and Nadal don't have. In addition he would tie Wilander and Nadal for 2+ slams on each surface, and he would tie Federer and Nadal by reaching 5+ finals at each slam.

If no Big 3 player wins the FO, that will still be a modest "win" for Djokovic as he keeps his chances alive of catching Nadal.

What I'd love to see is Djokovic to win this years French and bag the 'DOUBLE CAREER SLAM' and stick it to our ol' buddy Nadalalot ;).............. then win the GOLD MEDAL at the Olympics and then win Cincinnati to complete the 'DOUBLE CAREER MASTERS SLAM'

Imagine that.. in a space of 2 months bagging all slams in your career at least twice... likewise with the Masters Series events and then winning the only thing missing in your tennis resume.

If that tremendous feat occurred then Novak could just focus on slams in 2021 and pass 20 and not give rat's arse about anything else.
 

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It's a slight on Djokovic's and Federer's career that they've both only won the French Open once, whereas Nadal has won slams on all 3 surfaces at least twice, Djokovic's French Open win more valuable than Federer's however as he knocked Nadal out along the way, one of only 2 men in history to do so. Incidentally Novak has the sort of mentality that will play til his 40 to try and break the slam count stats and he physically looks capable of doing it, Nadal will probably pack up in a couple of years. Think Federer will end up being 3rd on the list and with a negative h2h record v the other two it'll be hard for his fans to say he's the greatest.
Djokovic didnt knock out Nadal in 2016 FO, he knocked out a weak field. Even for 2015 Nadal, any version of Olderer would have knock him out.
 

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Fed fans should worry about Novak overtaking him in the GOAT race. Nadal is finished for good. Either Novak or Dominic will send him to his yacht this spring and be done with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
It will certainly be a modest "win" for Djokovic if no big 3 player wins it, as the French is by far the most likely of the slams for Nadal to win. If he declines so much that he stops winning there he is unlikely to add to his tally elsewhere. However, it would also be a win for Federer. If Nadal doesn't win it this year then there's a chance he may never equal Fed and Djokovic would still need 3 just to tie.
Good point. It would be a much bigger "win" for Federer for sure.
 

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Good point. It would be a much bigger "win" for Federer for sure.
Actually, thinking about it again, I don't even think it would be much of a "win" for Novak if none of the big 3 win it. If Nadal doesn't win it, he's got to fancy his chances there and to not win it under those conditions would be something of a disappointment.
 

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I'd say it's far more important for Nadal. He has to win this tourney to be the career leader in slams when his career is over. But for Novak, its not really a must win. Novak will still be the betting favorite for Wimbledon, US Open, and AO2021.
 
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