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Novak Djokovic wins the US Open 2018

by TN
Novak Djokovic wins the US Open 2018

Simply too good. That is the best way to describe Novak Djokovic (or should we say Novak “Djokowall”) after his impressive straight sets win 6-3 7-6 6-3 over Juan Martin Del Potro in New York. I am simply not surprised to write the words: “Novak Djokovic wins the US Open 2018”.

Djokovic’s return from injury wasn’t spellbinding in any way during the first few months, but after he got back with old coach Marjan Vajda and decided to shed his “Love is all”-attitude, he has been a beast. Three big titles later (Wimbledon, Cincinnati and now US Open), he looks as good as ever. It does not matter how much pace you send his way, the ball always seems to return with interest.

I will admit I was never a huge Djokovic fan. He always seemed like the James Bond (or Batman) villain in the drama of the big three (I will leave Murray and Wawrinka out of this, since the grand slam count is overwhelmingly in favor of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic) and at times he seemed arrogant. When he became more lovey-dovey through his spiritual coach Pepe Imaz it seemed a bit fake and insincere, but in retrospect it actually looks like he wanted to change some negative emotions he felt on court.

Novak Djokovic wins the US Open 2018 – The Djoker returns

Novak Djokovic wins the US Open 2018Djokovic has always struggled with being the less adored, respected and loved of the big three. Nadal and Federer are simple hard to beat when it comes to legend status. For a while Novak tried to handle this through a softer approach, but it is obvious that he plays his best tennis with that defiant fire in his belly. He loves to be the underdog and almost enjoys having an audience against him.

Another reason that Novak Djokovic wins the US Open 2018 is the new court speed. The courts at the US Open are far slower this year than previous years, when it was said to play even faster than Wimbledon. If you are a defensive mastermind like Novak Djokovic, that extra nano second to chase down the ball helps tremendously. This leads to another tennis debate which I would like to hear you comment on: should all courts play at around the same speed or does the sport benefit from the various surface changes?

Novak Djokovic wins the US Open 2018 – Now what?

Novak Djokovic wins the US Open 2018The win at the US Open was Novak Djokovic’s 14th grand slam victory. He now equals Pete Sampras and will likely be number three on the all-time grand slam list already next year. The question is how many he can get to. Will he be able to surpass Rafa (presently at 17)? Or is there even a chance he can reach Federer who now looks to have a grand lead at 20 slams? I think Djokovic can win a couple more, but Rafa at least has one more slam and I would say the same for Federer.

It is possible that Djokovic reaches Nadal at 17 or 18, but at some point someone outside the big three should step up and be able to fight more consistently for slams. Possibly Zverev or Tsitsipas or one of the other new guys, but it is hard to also count out Murray and Wawrinka from the equation. This should make it a bit more difficult for Djokovic to amass slams. But who knows, when he is playing like he did last night, he is a machine and it is hard to see who is going to beat him when he is in that mood.

If you want to know more about Novak Djokovic’s racquet, click here.

Djokovic endorses the HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro. A racquet which I review here.

What do you think of Djokovic’s chances to catch Rafa and/or Federer? Can he do it? No matter what, he surely deserves to be counted as one of the top three players to play the sport.

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10 comments

Steven Howie September 10, 2018 - 9:09 pm

I think Federer could be done on grand slam count. If he keeps his reduced schedule I don’t think he’ll be able to maintain his level. If he increases his schedule more chance of injury and having to defend points. If his ranking drops outside top 5 slightly tougher draws. Djoko looks likely to keep adding. He looks like he’s a better version especially with volleys and smashes.
Nadal still reckon will win French for another few years. Murray I think is done winning majors unless he peaks for Wimbledon.

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Partha Mishra September 11, 2018 - 2:00 am

A lot will depend on how the big 3-5 schedule themselves so as not to wear out by year end. We saw this happen to murray in 2016, Nadal in 2017 and Novak to an extent in 2016/ part of 2017. Thiem is beginning to hit his peak and will be a huge threat at the french (unless Rafa assumes 2017 form, which I think is the best he has ever played there apart from 2008) and the us open (assuming it remains slow ). The Australian is fairly fast and Roger will be a factor there and Wimbledon, though rafas performance was phenomenal this year. So it will be a interesting 2019. Surface wise, I feel the us open could be faster for sure.

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Miles September 11, 2018 - 12:14 pm

I love that the slams all have different surfaces. However, I think the surface should remain the same every year, and especially the same from court to court. Australia should be the slower of the two, US Open should stay a faster hard court.

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Kyle September 11, 2018 - 4:14 pm

Do you think Djoker switched to the Pt57a? It appears like a different racket than before. There was also rumor that he was messing with his frame. lead tape on the frame seems to be less than in the past…

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Tennisnerd September 11, 2018 - 8:19 pm

Hi Kyle,
It is 99% the PT113B he used before but with less lead tape and slightly extended. Cheers / J

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Saša September 12, 2018 - 10:00 pm

Wonderful text, especially those remarks about his emotional development. I would actually like to read more on that, about all of the most interesting players, including Wawrinka, Zverev, ?ili?, Murray.. On the other hand there are players, whose game I adore, who are emotionally very composed and stable, Del Potro is a good example. Womens’ game is also puzzling at times, and that emotional aspect is the key to understanding it.

Opinions?

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Saša September 12, 2018 - 10:01 pm

Wonderful text, especially those remarks about his emotional development. I would actually like to read more on that, about all of the most interesting players, including Wawrinka, Zverev, ?ili?, Murray.. On the other hand there are players, whose game I adore, who are emotionally very composed and stable, Del Potro is a good example. Womens’ game is also puzzling at times, and that emotional aspect is the key to understanding it.

Opinions?

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Michael September 15, 2018 - 6:22 pm

I think we are in the golden era of tennis today. I started playing Tennis in the late 90’s.

Can’t help but feel Roger has 1 left , Rafa prob 2 more French opens, Novak can average probably 1.5 over the next few years. Either way, I think they will most likely end their careers in the same order 1,2,3 of all time. I am a major Novak fan, but I don’t think he can do 6 to 7 more slams and be the Goat. Interesting is how good Novak is against these other 2 guys, maybe he thinks he is really better than both of them. The numbers don’t lie , it says he (Novak) beats them consistently.

Novak vs Nadal , leads 27 to 25
Novak vs Federer leads 24 to 22

I do think that Novak is driven to be the GOAT, and I think in his heart he is starting to believe that he might actually have a chance to hit 20.

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Maxwell Smith September 26, 2018 - 3:24 am

Djoker’s new racquet was customized by Roman Prokes from RPNY Tennis in NYC. I’m not sure of all the changes Roman made to it, so you might be able to get some more insight from him, but I believe he extended the length. Roman talks about it in this article and someone I know who gets his racquets strung at RPNY Tennis also told me. Below is the article and link to RPNY Tennis (supposedly Roman is a wizard and really knows his stuff):
https://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/articles/2018-08-30/2018-06-19_the_open_interview_roman_prokes.html

http://rpnytennis.com/

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Tennisnerd September 30, 2018 - 10:34 am

Thanks for this. Interesting interview. I just played with Novak’s racquet before he did the change to extend it…

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