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Djokovic barely beats Robredo. Title hopes dashed?

Posted by tennisplanet on September 2, 2008

Novak Djokovic of Serbia points to his head while taking on Tommy Robredo of Spain during Day 9 of the 2008 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 2, 2008 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

If you are planning to win this year’s US Open and you have the following road ahead of you, this is the last match you want at this juncture: Roddick, Federer and Nadal.

Or is it? Can this match be a catalyst to arouse the giant within Djokovic like it has done numerous times with greats like Sampras, Federer etc.? The biggest silver lining for Djokovic has to be the mental boost he will receive knowing he can physically withstand a three hour 44 minutes five-setter and come out as a winner. It may not be the best match physically but how many times have we seen the mind exhorting the physical body to great heights?

Just the fact that he was able to finish a match this long, will not only register the spike in Djokovic in many ways, but it will also erase the notion of him being physically vulnerable in the locker room.

Corrects round.           AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

That being said, he is now getting into a dog fight with clowns who have almost half his ‘time on court’, not to mention the sets they have lost compared to him. With three legitimate contenders back to back on a hard court in a five set format is a daunting task even when you are Nadal.

Both Federer and Nadal must be pleased to see Djokovic extended at his last two matches, raising hopes that his breathing, back etc. problem will flare up sooner than later.

Djokovic served just 11 aces in five freaking sets. That will not get it done against both Roddick and Federer who are currently as close to being an ace machine as you can get.

Translation: This match may have ended Djokovic’s chances of winning the US Open. It’s not that he was having a dominating run here anyway to feel too bad for him. With both Roddick and Federer getting closer to their usual self, it’s hard to imagine Djokovic getting past even Roddick. If he does, Federer should all but close the deal in straight sets.

Nadal would have preferred a much fresher Djokovic until at least he faced Federer to drain some of the fuel for an easier time in the finals. But he may still be happy knowing he will be facing a fragile Federer than a young ambitious Djokovic.

Another Federer-Nadal guaranteed? Looks like it, don’t you think?


22 Responses to “Djokovic barely beats Robredo. Title hopes dashed?”

  1. Rick said

    Here we go again, 19 unforced errors for Federer in the first set (which he manages to lose in the process). I’m headed for the kitchen, I hear the sink calling me….

  2. Rick said

    And by the way, what is this BS about complaining in the post-match interview — to the same people who didn’t favor you for the past 4 hours — that you weren’t the crowd favorite? How many times does he have to do this to realize how boneheaded it is? Pathetic.

  3. Rick said

    Second set, serving for 2-2, Federer picks up the pace to reach his goal of chalking up three times as many UEs as Andreev in this match.

  4. Jenny said


    I didn’t hear that interview, what was said?

  5. Jenny said

    Seems to me the top three have to win easily in straights, it won’t happen while there are other great players in contention. Robredo and Andreev are tough cookies, they ‘aint no tomato cans willing to roll over.

  6. Rick said

    Jenny, I can’t quote it verbatim any more, but the first thing out of Djokovic’s mouth on the microphone to the entire stadium was something to the effect that he clearly wasn’t the crowd favorite today, but that’s OK, hopefully he would be next time — which the announcers generously parsed as an ironic statement, given that he will face either Roddick or Gonzalez. At least he didn’t yell at the crowd today, to my knowledge. Progress.

  7. Rick said

    Good God, this Federer/Andreev match is an agonizing war of attrition. Ah, Federer just manged to pull out the second set tiebreaker. Hope.

  8. Jenny said

    Thanks Rick, okay by me too. Andreev is talented and tough, he he’s a war of attrition player, who lost ranking because of surgery. He can do it on clay too.

  9. Rick said

    Hm, 60 unforced errors, nice round number.

  10. Rick said

    From the Djokovic presser:

    Did you feel residual results? I mean, coming off of that late‑night match coming in today, did you, starting out even in the first set, did you feel like you had less in the tank than you would ordinarily like?

    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I did. There is no doubt about that. I didn’t feel well. The moment I stepped on the court,I felt, already, as you said, less energy in the tank. So I really tried to forget about that, to eliminate those things, but I just had to, you know. I had to take a medical timeout a couple of times, go to the bathroom, because just many things involved. You know, I want to do everything to win.


    Uh-huh. Yeah, we know.

  11. Lolita said

    One of the commentators kept talking about his gamesmanship – the bathroom breaks and injury timeouts. When the match was over, he said “This is an academy award for Djokovic.” I guess, nobody believes his injuries anymore.

  12. banti said

    “Here we go again, 19 unforced errors for Federer in the first set (which he manages to lose in the process). I’m headed for the kitchen, I hear the sink calling me….”


  13. Lolita said

    Sorry it’s ACADEMY AWARD PERFORMANCE that’s supposed to be in the quote.

  14. Anonymous said

    I dont understand…Djokovic is number 3 cause of his acting skills?

  15. jennifur said

    no kiddin people – he doesn’t get to number 3 by doing impersonations or faking or … [insert accusation here]. chill out! he’s a good player. and if, when he retires, he decides to go into the theatre, more power to him. better than a lot of other ex-players who write tell-alls or get booth jobs.

  16. Arjun said

    I did find Djokovic’s fatigue quite inexplicable (he seemed to be running quite well during the important points) BUT I must say that I also found the commentators very very biased. It almost seemed like they had made up their mind to ridicule Djokovic. In one particular instance ( 3rd or 4th set), Djokovic really twisted his ankle (we could clearly see that on the replay) but the commentators (one of the MacEnroes, I think) still made fun of him.

    Did anyone else notice that??

  17. Sol said

    Yeah, well, not entirely convinced that Djokovic has proven that he can stand a 4-hour match. He should thank god for ball-bouncing and medical time-outs.

  18. Michael said

    Djokovic has more natural talent than both Nadal and Federer together. His physical syndromes are reflection of the time he spent at training sessions. I am not sure if there is connection between his Balkan mentality and willingness to work hard, as he often likes to declare.
    More somebody emphasise his hard work, I am less prone to believe it.

  19. SaRaH said

    I was hopefully for an upset! RATS!!!!

    Oh well….Congrats, Novak.

  20. Manon said

    Aaargh, Djokovic is not looking too well at this point. Even medical timeouts won’t help him now. Roddick is on fire and will smash/steamroll/obliterate him.

    Perhaps Fed will be lucky enough to move on (after all those unforced errors against Andreev) but I don’t see him having a real shot at the title again.

    Wish it were different. Love Fed to death.

  21. Mark said

    I really don’t get it. Everyone here is talking about his acting skills, and that he is faking it, but no one talks about his giving up the poit, and overrulling the referee at a game point. I’d like to see Federer or Nadal do that. He is a real champion, and no, we will not see another Federer Nadal final. It does not look like that. Just wait and see…

  22. jennifur said

    I guess it woke the Giant in Nole huh? Next up, Fed (or maybe next down?)

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