~ T:E:N:N:I:S - Zverev reaches World Tour Finals glory, Djokovic finishes as no1 ~

Hoshi

The Mental Giant
Aug 21, 2012
2,204
317
Munich, Washington, Madrid, and now London titles for Zverev well done. Now go deep at the majors.

Beat arguably the greatest indoor player of all time for the title. YE #4 striking distance of Fed especially with him defending 2000 in January.

 
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BigBone

Sugalowda!
Jun 13, 2012
10,355
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Tycho Station
Munich, Washington, Madrid, and London titles for Zverev well done
Actually, midway through the year Zverev looked like he's one slam title away from possibly finishing as no1. At that time he was like 3rd and Djokovic out of top 20. Now Nole has a considerable lead and since Federer defends AO and Nadal a huge amount of clay court points, Novak's chances are good at remaining no1 up until Wimbledon. But he's showing fatigue at the tail-end of tournaments and it could hurt his chances next year. As brilliant as he was all week, today must come down to running out of juice and that's more likely to happen at two-week, best-of-five events.

Djokovic is at 9000 pts, Rafa at 7500, Roger & Zverev around 6400. Zacha has plenty of points to grab at slams, so who knows... this might be the point where he starts building his case. He was a mental midget just days ago, but beating Federer and Djokovic in 4 straight sets sounds like the kind of breakthrough that could translate into slam glory. His problem always was mental at best-of-five. I'd like to think he's more than this generation's Nalbandian. We'll see.
 
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Hoshi

The Mental Giant
Aug 21, 2012
2,204
317
Actually, midway through the year Zverev looked like he's one slam title away from possibly finishing as no1. At that time he was like 3rd and Djokovic out of top 20. Now Nole has a considerable lead and since Federer defends AO and Nadal a huge amount of clay court points, Novak's chances are good at remaining no1 up until Wimbledon. But he's showing fatigue at the tail-end of tournaments and it could hurt his chances next year. As brilliant as he was all week, today must come down to running out of juice and that's more likely to happen at two-week, best-of-five events.

Djokovic is at 9000 pts, Rafa at 7500, Roger & Zverev around 6400. Zacha has plenty of points to grab at slams, so who knows... this might be the point where he starts building his case. He was a mental midget just days ago, but beating Federer and Djokovic in 4 straight sets sounds like the kind of breakthrough that could translate into slam glory. His problem always was mental at best-of-five. I'd like to think he's more than this generation's Nalbandian. We'll see.
Feel bad for Rafa this year in a way 1 500, 3 masters & 1 major. Just 4 defeats with two being retirements. The best win % on tour. Injured again.

Incredible he has the total he has despite just 9 tournaments. That Wimbledon semi. The closest match they have ever played, on indoor grass too. A joy to watch. If he can recover well I'm very optimistic about his chances on all surfaces. He was incredible this year.

Novak should keep the ranking until Wimbledon even if Rafa goes nuts on the clay again. Both can gain points on the early hardcourt events. Novak could pass Fed in weeks at number one. But you can never think too far ahead in this sport.

 
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BigBone

Sugalowda!
Jun 13, 2012
10,355
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Tycho Station
Feel bad for Rafa this year in a way 1 500, 3 masters & 1 major. Just 4 defeats with two being retirements. The best win % on tour. Injured again.

Incredible he has the total he has despite just 9 tournaments. That Wimbledon semi. The closest match they have ever played, on indoor grass too. A joy to watch. If he can recover well I'm very optimistic about his chances on all surfaces. He was incredible this year.

Novak shold keep the ranking until Wimbedon even if Rafa goes nuts on the clay again. Both can gain points on the early hardcourt events.
Yeah, that's a pity. The biggest pain point in Rafa's career and his GOAT chase IMO was his inability to convert his all-physical game into something like 50% muscle, 50% skill. He introduced the slice and net game around 2008, and became a devastating player for years, but he didn't ease off his body that much, thus having these unfortunate injuries.

I was actually about to bring back the GOAT debate between the big three, I mean Novak's form up until today - two more years of this, and he has the slam, masters & H2H records to walk into the no1 sunset. But that's questionable at best after today. I give great significance how one's able to reinvent his game as time goes by, I mean compare SRR and RJJr past 30: one added tools, the other lasted as long as his freakish abilities. It's incredible how Federer introduced his move-forward approach a couple of years back when he was already written off, and look at him: no1 ranking and slam win in 2018.

Djokovic had his ground strokes and BH DTL in 2008, then added a more potent serve and a game-changing BH cross-court in 2011. Then he reinvented his forehand in 2014 and started to shorten rallies by coming to the net. Then this year he's gone to the drawing board and actually learnt to serve again: different racket, different toss, less complexity, barely any jump, less elbow and wrist in it. Watching him serve this week and one could say precise serving is back in a power-oriented tennis.

These are signs for me of a student of the game that adopts to the different physical stages of his career, while bringing the big time results. On the other hand, not able to bring his top form into the Queens, Paris & WTF finals, and actually being below 80% in the Wimbledon, USO finals (Anderson and Del Potro were just more physically compromised), I'm not sure today about Nole's possible GOAT chances as I was yesterday... It's just damn hard to do this level consistently above 30, and so far Federer is the only one to do it so well.

Getting back to Nadal, what a great clay court season this year! But you could see the writing on the wall: he put as much physical effort into those titles as 10 years before, and his body is just that more fatigued today. I wish he could significantly change his service motion to convert much of the spin game into flat shots hitting the lines, but that never quite worked out, did it? It's a shame, but Rafa's, Nole's and Andy's struggles past 30 come down to the fact that they are just too physical for longevity. Perhaps it's Federer's easy play that retains his GOAT status... If he can make one more push, no questions needed. But can Rafa or Nole have 2 more fit and fresh years to change all that? Time's running out....
 

ant-man

Opticians rob you blind.
Jun 11, 2014
8,475
6,858
Round and about
TBE in the UK. Fabulous work ethic and I used to like watching him grind the other guy down with that ultra defensive style.

Sad ending but inevitable. Pro athletes all pay the price eventually. He put over 3 stones of muscle onto his natural frame in order to compete at the highest level. Joint issues aren't really surprising.

Done well for a mummy's boy and is very popular on the circuit. Being a feminist has helped him get the female vote too. Even that old hag Billy Jean likes him. :yep