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Low down on Djokovic. From Diane. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on August 22, 2010

DIANE

Novak has asthma and it was confirmed last week by Chris Fowler and Doug Adler, and a few weeks before by Boris Becker who said, Novak is an asthmatic. So I give him tremendous credit for achieving what he has already. He’s made it clear in several interviews that his health always comes first, then tennis, then success.

Monfils and DelPotro have lots more retirements but no one comments on that.

Novak gets on with Nadal the most, since they both have the same management. It was Novak who sat with Uncle Toni and Nadal the night he lost RG to Soderling. He is friendly with Murray and Fed has buried the hatchet with Novak too. Last year when Novak was in Basel at Fed’s tourney, Fed’s parents invited Novak’s parents to their house. It’s all over with that chapter. Let’s move on, they have. Recently Fed has been referring to Novak as Nole or Novak. He still calls Andy Murray, Murray. So there is still some tension between them. I know Novak is extremely popular on the Asian swing and on mainland Europe where he speaks many languages to the crowds after wins.

I also heard a few years ago that Brad Gilbert was eager to coach Novak but I guess Novak probably didn’t want it, hence the negativity by Brad.

Novak #2, was relegated to the grandstand in Cincy while #4 Murray got center court. Novak put up a good fight with Nalbandian on grandstand and the next day gave a lackluster performance to show his displeasure with the organizers. He had been disrespected. Even Roddick said afterwards he didn’t think Novak played his best tennis and missed a lot of balls. I dont’ think he cares about US tournaments anymore. He won Miami and IW and got to Cincy finals twice and US Open final once, so screw them.

The only fair commentator is John McEnroe.He usually defends Novak and said, regarding MTO’s, they are legal and if no one likes it, change the rules. P Mac has a problem with Novak since his crack davis cup team lost to Novak and Co. this year. They will never give Novak a break and he knows it.

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53 Responses to “Low down on Djokovic. From Diane. Thanks.”

  1. jennifur said

    …interesting post diane, thx..

    …think nole supported rafa when he withdrew from wimbles last yr 2…. was seen w/rafa then.

    match btwn nalby & nole = 2nd set v/good!

    wonder if alot of espn commentators dont like nole due 2 altercation w/arod couple yrs ago???

    but obvious bias/dislike….as growltiger said…

  2. Sol said

    Good post, Diane.
    I don’t know about the comms everyone is talking about cause we don’t get ESPN here, and I have no idea who comments on the streamings I watch. I personally have never heard anyone here in Europe criticize Djoko for anything in the last couple of years. And as you say, he’s very popular here, especially with the younger crowd. When he was in Basel, the crowd cheered for him till the finals and even in the finals against Fed, they were enjoying his tennis and he made us laugh during his on-court interviews.
    Fed has never said anything negative about Djoko’s imitations and I think they espect each other, although Fed is from another generation and his friends on tour are probably among the older players.
    Also, I respect your post because you don’t feel the need to resort to bashing other players just to make your point, contrary to Growltiger. Djoko has enough qualities himself to put forward without having to make others look bad in order to make him look better.

    • jennifur said

      sol … nice 2 hear that about basel… looked like nole enjoyed it there.

      also good 2 hear about fairness/popularity in europe 4 nole.

      congrats to your fed 4 cincy title – sure played well!!

    • Growltiger said

      Good point, Sol. Will watch the bashing. Wasn’t aware that I did it. Thanks.

      Growl

  3. Jenny said

    Thanks, Diane. I can only repeat, the UK comms have never criticised Novak that I can recall. We don’t get ESPN here. We don’t have a tennis channel and only see tournaments on SKY, Eurosport and to a lesser extent the BBC [Wimby and Queens].

    “Novak #2, was relegated to the grandstand in Cincy while #4 Murray got center court. Novak put up a good fight with Nalbandian on grandstand and the next day gave a lackluster performance to show his displeasure with the organizers”

    I can understand his displeasure. Remind me, was Murray, the lower seed #4, playing an American player therefore a possible reason for his allocation to Centre court? This kind of thing has happened in the past with other high seeded players, not all on the American hard courts I might add, where higher seeds have been shunted off to lesser courts and lower seeds get to play on the show courts which are usually televised, many a time I’ve had to hunt for a stream and TV going on at the same time.

    • jennifur said

      i listen 2 british streamin most of the time as think commentators more fair and more intelligent and comment more on the actual match than other stuff….

      murray was playin gulbis when nole play nalby …

      murray played fish when nole played arod.

      • Jenny said

        “murray was playin gulbis when nole play nalby … ”

        So there was no justifiable reason that Nole should have been relegated to Grandstand, Murray was not playing an American. That said, it must be really difficult for the organisers to please everyone.

      • M said

        “That said, it must be really difficult for the organisers to please everyone.”

        Best understatement this year so far, Jenny.

        (I’m already dreading an outcry should there be a USO rain delay.)

        And thank you again, Diane — lots of great insights here.

        ____________________________________________________

        “The only fair commentator is John McEnroe.He usually defends Novak and said, regarding MTO’s, they are legal and if no one likes it, change the rules. ”

        I think this deserves yet another “Oh, snap”.
        😛

    • Growltiger said

      “I can understand his displeasure. Remind me, was Murray, the lower seed #4, playing an American player therefore a possible reason for his allocation to Centre court?”

      Murray was playing Ernests Gulbis. Had he been playing an American player, it would have made sense. This was an obvious diss by the organizers – perhaps at the behest of ESPN which (to me) offers truly lousy tennis coverage. USTA, BBC, HBO, Tennis Channel, NBC, CBS (over here) all were or are better coverage. Shame because ESPN is supposed to know about sports.

      I agree with Diane. If I were Nole I’d skip Cincy from now on. It’s always hot as Hades and if the tournament directors aren’t going to respect him, then he’d do better to rest up before the US Open. Maybe play New Haven instead. He’d be a big draw.

  4. Kitty said

    ” He still calls Andy Murray, Murray. So there is still some tension between them”
    really?? i always remember him saying ‘Andy’ in fed’s interviews

  5. Jill said

    Thanks for that Diane, very interesting.

  6. gmoz said

    where does the information about the invitation the Federers made to the Djokovics in Basel at their home comes from ?

  7. Phil said

    Interesting take, but I do believe much of the criticism that the commentators level at Djokovic is well-founded. I’ve never really heard them get personal – which is obviously not appropriate – but I agree with many of the comments made about his game.

    The sense I get is that people are disappointed – even angry – that he hasn’t made the most of his talents. When he won the Australian Open in 2008, he was an absolute monster. He reminded me a lot of Federer in the way he was constantly attacking everything and being super aggressive. I don’t know where it changed, but he’s a shadow of his former self these days, and has been for at least 18 months. He’s turned into “Murray Lite” – 99% of the time he puts the ball in the middle of the court with very little pace, and then runs down a million balls until his opponent makes an error.

    The problem is that, perhaps because of his breathing, he can’t keep it up for as long as Murray or Nadal. And it seems insane to me that, if you have a breathing problem, you seemingly re-design your game in such a way that you make life as difficult as possible for yourself.

    If Djokovic wants to get back to respectability he needs to get back to his roots: good, aggressive tennis. This defensive nonsense is just not him, and with his health apparently becoming a bigger issue, he needs to seriously make an effort to shorten points.

    • jennifur said

      true phil, re: parts about game/breathin…

      but commentators go on and on re-hashing stuff and even making a snide remark during EVERY match about “retirement slam” — its just enough already!

      commentators shud focus more on the match itself than past history!!!!

      • Phil said

        Fair enough, I don’t like that kind of bashing either.

        HOWEVER, you say it’s mostly American commentators who do this…I seem to remember that Djokovic made some very nasty comments a few years back about Roddick. I think it was at the US Open and the media did NOT take it well. Maybe it’s a leftover grudge from that incident…Can’t recall the details though, and it doesn’t excuse inappropriate behaviour from the commentators, but it might explain their bias.

      • Jenny said

        Agree with Jennifur and Phil on this issue, there is no excuse for inappropriate behaviour from some comms. If it was anything to do with Andy Roddick, he’s a big boy and seasoned pro who can defend himself and is quite capable of giving as good as he gets.

      • jennifur said

        yes phil … think u may b right that it’s leftover grudge …

        but not in grade 2 anymore …

        time to” bury hatchet” if so ….

        besides which, commentators r supposed 2 b “objective” professionals… not partisan “playground bullies”.

        as jenny says … arod can deal w/nole if need b.

        commentators shud talk about matches … games … shots … and so on…

      • Jenny said

        “playground bullies”.

        LOL Snap! I thought the same, but you said it, Jennifur!

    • Growltiger said

      Good discussion here.

      It’s obvious Novak has lost his way. His serve is awful. Most of the time his first serve misses and when it does hit, isn’t very effective. His second serve is better. He’s started with a side-arm sidewinder sort of thing. Don’t know when that happened.

      I watch Djoko’s game on ESPN with the sound turned off because the negativity affects my enjoyment of the game, however, a friend tells me some of what they say. Some of the complaints this past week:

      His box looks stupid dressing alike. (No mention that Roddick’s box were dressed alike, too).

      He always looks at his box. (They say this about Nadal, too, who is rising on their bashing list).

      My favorite — He’s only won 1 major but Roddick (their favorite) who likewise has only won 1 major has an excuse — Federer is his nemisis. (Uh, hello. Doesn’t Djokovic have to play Federer, too?)

      As Diane wrote, they make a lot about his retiring but swoon and ooh and ah over Monfils when he plays and never talk about DelPo’s struggles with the heat.

      I don’t like bias. Sol was right to point out I promoted MY player and bashed those I don’t follow. I’ll fix that. Let’s hope ESPN gets the message, too.

      • jennifur said

        u shud write 2 ESPN growltiger….

        it is unacceptable ….

        and commentary cud use work notwithstanding nole bashing … it all-round sucks. lol!!!

      • Yaz said

        Plus it was annoying when the commentators (especially Mary Carillo) kept talking about Mardy’s weight loss. It was bordering on retarded how they kept talking about his loss of a whopping 30 lbs. It was great that he decided to do it but you would’ve thought that he lost 300 lbs based on the way they were yapping and saying how amazing it was. Geeezzz!!!

  8. Bettyjane said

    Interesting stuff and thank you! Do you recall where you got that great tidbit regarding the Federers inviting the parents. It definitely seems that the chill has gone between Fed and Nole so this is nice to hear.

  9. RafaFan said

    IMO asthma isn’t a big deal. Most of the cyclism greats (~20%) suffer from asthma (or have missing balls) and they have to accomplish a physically much tougher task than our tenistas! A freaking high lung function is needed! AFAIN the cyclistas can take drugs which are not on the drug list. I think that Novak Djokovic takes them too. So please! No? – IMO Djokovic has matured to a great sportsman and it’s very special that even in defeat he has normally a warm smile on his face and congrats accordingly the opponent. Thank you Novak!

    • Growltiger said

      One of the unbiased commentators on Tennis Planet said the drugs you take for Asthma are banned in tennis. I’m not sure whether other sports have the same list of banned substances.

      There is a kind of asthma called Exercise Induced Asthma which I think Nole has and I suspect when he starts exercising (i.e. running around on court) it kicks in.

      I’d think there’d be some way for this to be worked out to both tennis’s and Djokovic’s favor. He’s a good player and brings much to the game. Otherwise, I think he should retire. Asthma IS a big deal. My family’s doctor DIED of it in the drugstore of my home town. He was in the right place and knew what to do just couldn’t get the drug in time.

  10. clifford said

    I have come to appreciate Novak’s game in the past year or so, and I’m glad that all of the tension is over- or seems to be. But I remember one of those retirements against Federer (Monte Carlo, maybe?)that was highly suspect. Fed was only a couple of games away from taking the match, and Novak didn’t seem to be struggling physically.
    He still tends to hang his head and look like he’s on the verge of collapse every time he’s on the losing side of a match, and at those times I’m always half-expecting him to throw in the towel. But he hasn’t done that in a while, partly, I think, because the pressure put on him by commentators, fans, and other players (yes, Andy!) has had an effect.
    But I’m with you about the idiocy of the commentators. I had to mute the final today because I had heard enough about the “new” Mardy Fish. So he ate carrots and lost weight- just stop talking while they play!!!

  11. Ricke said

    When Nole burst onto the scene, I loved his aggressive play and his sense of humor. Later on I shuddered at his mother’s comments and on court outbursts. Then, I was confused when he retired from some matches due to breathing problems and said some nasty things about Roddick at the Open. Now he is beginning to grow on me again. His talent is immense as is his heart. I wish he could get his asthma under control. I never knew what his problem was till now. He and Andy have buried the hatchet and the American commentators need to keep their opinions to themselves and call the match…..period. Good Luck to Nole at the Open, I feel bad if he really doesn’t like playing here, but I don’t think as a professional he would not play his best at a match because he was upset at what court he was playing on.

    • Jenny said

      I don’t think as a professional he would not play his best at a match because he was upset at what court he was playing on.

      I wouldn’t have thought so either.

  12. Diane said

    Re: questions

    I don’t know where I heard about that. I think it was Swiss Info online or something. Not a big deal, just a mention that the Federers met with the Djok family. It was during Basel tennis. It was great for everyone that it happened.

    I think inhalers that contain steroids are banned and others like Ventolin are too. Boris Becker said, ‘look at him trying to suck in the air, I can’t imagine not being able to get breath. He’s an asthmatic.’

    During Monte Carlo he was mad at Fed because Fed told his parents to “be quiet.” So to show his displeasure, although childish, he quit…in my opinion. His parents are out of the picture for the most part.

    During Cincy Murray was playing Gulbis. The thing is if they were hellbent on putting him on grandstand they could have put Novak on at 6pm on but didn’t. Instead they put Davy/Ferrer in the night spot. I think this was very disrespectful. Davy is a good player but Novak was still #2. Also, I’m not sure, maybe someone else knows but they put him on grandstand at Toronto too. Murray had all center court times. Look for Novak to enter Cincy next year and just play through quarters to keep points. I’m not saying I agree with what he did but I’d be peeved too!

    • Phil said

      To be honest being put on a secondary court in this case is no reason to throw a match. This isn’t Wimbledon…when Fed was put on Court 1 this year he didn’t utter a single word or even hinted that he was angry.

      IF Djokovic actually decided to not play his best because, like a little baby, he wasn’t given what he wants, he is pathetic. Full stop. He hasn’t even won here, why must the organisers bend over backwards to accommodate him? He hasn’t exactly been playing outstanding tennis either, so why put an under-performing world number 3 on center when you can put a red-hot world number four, who has just won a huge title?

      He needs to keep his animal parents off the court as well. Some people seem to think they have improved, but are you kidding me? Anyone watch the Berdych match at Wimbledon? Even the commentators (the BRITISH commentators, who try their best never to say anything negative) started commenting on how annoying they are, especially his asshat little brother who cheered and jeered in-between Berdych’s first and second serves. And you are saying he QUIT because Federer told his parents to shut up? If true, that is pathetic and he deserves to be fined. Not exactly “hear of a champion”, is it?

      Look, Djokovic might get a bad rap, but it’s not like he’s a saint. He’s done more of his fair share to bring annoyance to the Tour.

      • Giselle said

        These are all assumptions with no grounds. I don’t think Nole has tanked any matches because he was not put on central court, come on! He’s a consumed professional and he tries to play his best at all tournaments. Nole’s problems are mental mostly. He has talent in abundance and people expect more from him. I think sometimes the pressure gets on him. He’s not only the most popular face in Serbia, he also has to act as an ambassador for his country. Magazines pray on his life and he’s exposed all the time. After all he’s only 23. Apart from that, after winning AO 08, he was expected to win more slams and break the fedal domination, but it didn’t go accordingly. He was frustrated with it and lost some of his edge and anger. I think Novak has gone soft. He’s a crowd pleaser, his videos in youtube are watched and praised by thousands of fans and casual fans, he’s a joker, people love him. But he cares about his image and being loved by people too much. I think he even played better when there was tension between him and Roger. Nowadays it seems he respects Federer too much, he has lost that arrogance and edge he had. I think this has affected his game and confidence. He seems contented being the perpetual nº3. Maybe he’s just too afraid of failure and not meeting people’s expectations. Then he also has the hindrance of asthma, allergies and heat related issues. Not good for a pro. But I think he’s a remarkable person, honest, charming and charismatic. I think he’s still the most exciting and entertaining player to watch. When he plays at his best He has an all court game and superb flexibility and movement. He used to have a fabulous forehand but somehow after the change of racket it has gone worse. His backhand down the line shot is still the best in the game. Also he has the problem with the serve after Todd Martin tried to change it. He’s struggling big time with it. He’s lost confidence. I really feel for the guy sometimes. He’s gone through a lot at his age.

      • jennifur said

        phil … it is beyond necessary to call someone’s parents “animals” … no matter what u think of their behaviour!!!

        how much better is that kinda talk???

      • Growltiger said

        It didn’t appear to me that Djokovic tanked. He’s just not playing that well.

        So far as the bad blood between Roddick and Nole, here’s what I remember. Correct me if I’m wrong.
        It was the year he was doing the imitations. He imitated Nadal, Roddick, Federer and Maria Sharapova.
        Roddick and Federer didn’t like it, Nadal and Sharapova laughed and the latter poked fun back. Federer said something about it, but Roddick was quite nasty. This was at the US Open and when Nole got the mike, he behaved like the 21 year old he was — i.e. stupidly — and aired laundry that shouldn’t have been aired. This started the feud.

        A few years later, I watched with my own eyes, Roddick and Nole play in another North American tournament. Forget which one. Anyway, Roddick hit a ball that hit the baseline and the linesman called it out. Nole signaled that he needed to challenge, which he did. The ball was in. Nole lost the point. A few games later, Nole hit a ball that hit the baseline and the linesman called it out. I can’t recall why he didn’t challenge – it was stupid not to – but Roddick took the point. I think that probably made the bad blood a little more toxic. I know it changed my opinion of Roddick.

      • Yaz said

        Agree 100%

      • Anonymous said

        Growltiger, do you know for sure that Andy knew that Nole’s ball was in? He is usually very fair about these things. He may be rather immature when it comes to his tirades at umpires, but he has also told umpires that an opponents ball was in. In fact he lost a match once by being honest about a call and was chided for it in the press.

    • Sol said

      I really hope he doesn’t throw away matches just cause he doesn’t get it his way. I don’t think a professional athlete like him will do that. Also, he played 3 night sessions in a row in Toronto, I’m guessing he asked the organisers not to play during the day because of the heat, so he does get special treatment as a top player.

      Like everyone else here, I think Djoko has matured and he’s no longer as arrogant as he was. Probably because he didn’t get the results he was expecting so there was no reason for such arrogance, but also because I think he worries alot about what the other players and the media think of him. Maybe too much sometimes. He lost the killer instinct he had at the beginning. Which is why he’s rarely considered a contender for the Slams despite being in the top-4 for years now. But imo, it’s just a matter of time. The Fedal domination doesn’t leave much room for anyone else. But it won’t last forever.

      • jennifur said

        sol … agree that nole seems to hv lost “killer instinct” sometimes… and think that may b all that was missin vs. arod.

        he certainly showed it durin nalby match tho….

        imo both the scot and nole sometimes dont bring their best 4 players other than fed + rafa and they lose matches they shudnt becoz of it….

  13. Dee said

    There are many sport people with Asthma.Athletes,cricket players,equestrian,skiers,etc—

    • Jenny said

      That’s true, Dee. I know Gebresellassie [now 37yrs old] is a well known asthmatic but is a many times world marathon champion record breaker and medallist. He had to withdraw from the Olympics in Shanghai because of the dreadful air quality and gruelling conditions there.

    • jennifur said

      r asthma medications banned is these other sports??? thats the issue dee….

      i know there was a swimmer who was banned frm taking asthma meds and there was a big protest since it is a life-threatening disease …

      • Jenny said

        Filippo Volandri [Italy]
        Source: Wiki

        “In January 2009 Volandri received a 3-month ban from the ATP for a doping offence after testing positive for salbutamol during on March 13, 2008 at the Indian Wells tournament[2]. Volandri did have a medical exemption from the International Tennis Federation to use salbutamol, an asthma medication, but the ITF deemed that his use of the drug was beyond therapeutic needs. His suspension was to last through April 14, 2009 and required him to forfeit all prize money and ranking points earned from the date of the failed test until the beginning of his suspension.[3]

        In March 2009 the Court of Arbitration for Sport overruled the ATP decision and ruled that Volandri should be reinstated and his forfeited ranking points and earnings returned to him. Volandri stated that he intends to sue the ATP over the incident.[4]”

  14. Jenny said

    Re Court allocation:

    I can see both sides here. I can understand as a fan supporting a high ranked player, one would want to see their guy on a show court at least one or more times and it may be deemed as somewhat disrespectful if a lower seed, albeit only by one ranked place below edges over them and gets to play on the main show court. Seriously, I don’t see the Grandstand court at Cincy as being that bad a deal. If he or indeed any seeded player were shunted off to eg, a Court 12 or 18 in a slam, I wouldn’t be happy either, believe me it’s happened over the years and I’ve had to follow certain matches on livescore – no TV, no stream, I’ve heard of no complaints from players or them tanking in a fit of pique. However, Phil raises a good point in his second para #12 reply to Diane. I’m sure a lot of this is governed by media [TV] demands as to who might be the bigger overall draw on a given day, I don’t necessarily always agree with the organisers decisions, but I’m just a small voice in the wilderness and have to accept it. Despite being a Brit, I’m no Murray fan and I must say even as #4 he does appear to get more than his fair share of the main show courts over the season. Eg, when Davydenko and Ferrer reached #4, they rarely got anywhere near the main show court, and as a Ferrer fan, that really used to irk me, David never complained, neither did Kolya who has his own fan base too. I’m sure when Nalby was #3 at one time, it was a similar situation. I could be wrong, but I’m sure Nadal wasn’t always on the main court when he was #2! I fully understand a night match might have been more comfortable for Novak, but I also think the health of two 28yr old vets should also be taken into consideration, no matter how fit they are, apart from the fact that not many Europeans would be watching on a stream [Sky TV had long closed down] into the early hours, those night matches started at midnight GMT, 1am CET, unless one is a die hard fan of these guys or in the right time zone, eg the US fans. I naturally feel for Novak and his condition, I really do, but imo he shouldn’t be given preferential [eg night matches] treatment just because of it. It’s tough, but players should be fit for purpose, no matter the weather. I know Ferrer was physically unwell with a stomach bug at the very beginning of the first set, but he wasn’t allowed a bathroom break until Kolya had played his service game, Murray too was suffering in those gruelling conditions, he was feeling dizzy and at one time was almost staggering with the heat during his match with Fish, he had to call the trainer and doctor.

    Phil: I didn’t see the Berdy/Djoko match at Wimby. We get plenty of court choice through the Beeb, so I was probably ‘on’ another court.

    • jennifur said

      jenny u raise interesting pt. … why does the scot get SO much hype??? he gets waaaaaayyyyy more hype than djok, davy, ferrer, etc every have.

      americans love him … espn and adidas, cahill, fowler, patrick mac, they all r glowing about murray…. yet as u say, when others were ranked #4 or even #3 u didn’t hear nearly as much.

      cud b murray’s p.r. team?? he has the same group as beckham!! lol

      • Jenny said

        I’m glad you see my point, Jennifur, it is only my opinion of course, I do try to be objective. In terms of clay court this season, Ferrer was the top clay court player in terms of match wins, [imo, he peaked too early to go deep at the French, he played a ridiculous amount of tennis beforehand, his choice of course, so I’ll make no excuses on that score] officially one of the top returners in the game along with Rafa and Novak in 3 out of four categories, all are ATP facts. He beat Murray back to back in Rome and Madrid in straights this year, only losing to Fedal in the semis and final, yet he rarely gets due recognition, imo in many ways it’s the same for Davydenko and also Djokovic. Actually I think D and F are content to remain in the background, quiet workhorses who don’t seek the limelight, glitz and glamour. It’s only fairly recently that the media have started taking notice of Davydenko, and yet he’s been in the top ten for years.

        I think a lot of the Murray hype originates here via the UK media and it spreads like wildfire, eg the only Brit since Perry, potential to win a slam, etc., etc. He does have potential to win a big one, [not the French], I won’t deny it, he’s had chances, but it hasn’t happened yet. Tim Henman was #4 at one time, so was Greg Rusedski. Tim even reached the semis at the French in 2004, it was a miracle really given his style, a great serve/vollyer too, he didn’t get over-hyped, infact it was rather the reverse. Everyone expected him to win Wimby, he had his chances too, but it didn’t happen.

    • Growltiger said

      I’m a Murray fan, so I don’t mind that he gets a lot of hype.
      But I agree, I don’t understand it over here. I suspect it has to do with ESPN. The main reason I was irked that DJokovic was on a non-televised court is because Nalbandian was on a hot streak and it promised to be a good match. Plus, I think the organizers should follow the rankings so that they can’t be accused of playing favorites.

      Since I didn’t see the match save for the tie breaker which Djokovic won, I can’t say for sure whether he tanked or not, but since he won, I kind of doubt that he did. Nalbandian is no pushover. He’s a great player. (My friend who listens to the ESPN commentators tells me Brad and Pat in their effort to diss Novak said Nalbandian was cramping. Have you heard that anywhere else. Kind of ironic that Novak’s ashtma is to them “no big deal” but Nalbandian’s cramps caused his loss. This is the kind of bias I’m talking about.)

      What really gripes me is that we get no choice over here. Tennis Channel is allowed to cover the matches (with excellent commentary I might add) and then when ESPN wants to cover, they push Tennis Channel off (some kind of arcane law about broadcasting). Why can’t we have both and choose which we want to watch.

      • jennifur said

        i like murray 2 … but was just saying how drastically different the level of promotion and positive talk is for some players than others … no one has been @ #3 longer than nole except 4 matts wilander in 80s. noles got a grand slam, masters cup + olympic medal and he and murray r equal for m.s. event wins. thus y is nole said 2 b a bad player … poor sport … etc. etc. ? makes no sense.

        arod + noles fallout was in uso 2008 + had nothin 2 do w/imitations in 2007 (3 yrs ago~!). in 2008 djok fought thru tough 5 set match w/robredo who accused nole of faking … the arod in prematch interview also accused nole of bein a faker so nole made the mistake of takin out anger on mike after match … he beat rod there so shudve just left it and let tennis do talkin …

        think hes learnt frm that stuff … + moved on …

      • Jenny said

        I didn’t see or hear about Nalby cramping at my end. Actually I think he did really well to get that far, he lost fair and square, and everyone here knows I’ve been a Nalby fan since he became a pro..

        Jennifur: “w/robredo who accused nole of faking …”

        I remember that, he didn’t say so in so many words, but read between the lines…

  15. Growltiger said

    “but also because I think he worries alot about what the other players and the media think of him. Maybe too much sometimes. He lost the killer instinct he had at the beginning. Which is why he’s rarely considered a contender for the Slams despite being in the top-4 for years now.”

    I agree 100 per cent with this statement. Novak seems to want to be liked more than he wants to win. He DOES NOT have the killer instinct, and hasn’t had it for so long as I’ve been watching him play. (I had a hiatus there when I wasn’t interested and didn’t watch any tennis on TV). He needs a sports psychologist.

    As one of the posters above said, the issue is whether he CAN take the asthma meds, not which other athletes have it. IF it isn’t banned in their sports, then its comparing apples to oranges. It IS banned in tennis.

  16. Growltiger said

    This is a great tennis discussion. Thanks to Diane for a thoughtful, insightful post; thanks to Sol for pointing out that I’m as bad as Brad and Pat. I doubt they’ll change their ways, but I will change mine and you won’t hear me bash another player here again.

    In my opinion, Novak needs a new coach desperately as well as a new trainer and a sports psychologist. He has to decide if he wants to be the perennial bridesmaid or if he wants a shot at Number 1. Anyone who watched the Davis Cup of USA against Serbia and again Serbia against Croatia saw a really strong-willed, good player digging deep to win for his country. Who coaches Serbia’s team? Maybe Novak needs THAT GUY to be his coach. So far as a trainer, he’s as skinny as a toothpick. It has to be affecting his serve momentum. He needs a new trainer, nutritionist. Much is being made over Roddick’s mono, maybe Novak’s got it, too. He sure looks a lot sicker than Andy does right now.

    I wish the ATP would start lobbying to allow Tennis Channel to cover all the tournaments no matter which of the “big boys” esp. ESPN do. Let us decide.

  17. Pantelija jr said

    Just wanted to say that there are some really good and to the point comments here. I am a great fan of Nole and I get really annoyed when I see or hear commentators dissing him, or even worse, when other players do that (someone mentioned the Robredo case of USO 2008). I accept that at times, being a fan, I am not 100% objective or I get too emotional, but as many of you noted yourselves, there were also many occasions on which he simply was not paid the respect he deservs – and that truly pisses me off!

    Some might say that this is not something that a professional athlete should allow to get to him or her, but the problem is it does, especially in Nole’s case (since it is so obvious how important it is for him be loved and respected etc.). If he doesn’t find a way to get over it, he might just end up as yet another member of the club of huge talents who, for some reason or the other, never reached their full potential. I still hope that it won’t be the case with him, but who can tell for sure? His underachieving crisis has lasted for more than two years now.

    Anyway, I think that Growltiger has formulated pretty much what my thoughts on the topic would be, in particular in this paragraph:

    “In my opinion, Novak needs a new coach desperately as well as a new trainer and a sports psychologist. He has to decide if he wants to be the perennial bridesmaid or if he wants a shot at Number 1. Anyone who watched the Davis Cup of USA against Serbia and again Serbia against Croatia saw a really strong-willed, good player digging deep to win for his country. Who coaches Serbia’s team? Maybe Novak needs THAT GUY to be his coach. So far as a trainer, he’s as skinny as a toothpick. It has to be affecting his serve momentum. He needs a new trainer, nutritionist. Much is being made over Roddick’s mono, maybe Novak’s got it, too. He sure looks a lot sicker than Andy does right now.”

  18. Diane said

    Win over Djokovic means Federer returns to No. 2
    Tennis.com – Sunday, August 15, 2010
    […]
    “He put his foot in the door before I could close it,” said Federer. “He showed greatness tonight.”
    […]
    http://www.tennis.com/articles/templates/news.aspx?articleid=7001&zoneid=25

    Wow I guess the Djokovic/Federer feud in officially over.

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