Monday, 15 August 2011

Novak Djokovic - In Everyone's Head

When it comes to sport it is great to be respected, but even better to be feared, and Novak Djokovic has reached the point where he is now both on the ATP Tour.

Even after surprisingly losing a set to the impressive Mardy Fish in the final of the Montreal Masters, did it ever look for a moment like anyone else was going to win the tournament?

A simplistic summation of his victory in Canada would be to say that he had it easy, as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray were all nicely dispatched in the early rounds for him by other players, but you cannot overestimated the psychological effect that Djokovic's amazing form this season has had on the rest of the field.

The Serb may not have beaten his main rivals on the court this week, but there is no doubt that his season indirectly influenced their early exits.

The fact is that Nadal, Federer and Murray are now all scrambling for answers to the "Djokovic question" - as the Serb's victory at Wimbledon was a real game changer

That was one event he wasn't supposed to win, but the way Djokovic blitzed his way to glory on his least favourite surface showed that he is in 'unstoppable bulldozer mode' this season - ready to crush anything, and anyone, that comes in his way.

That has forced everyone else to reassess their own games in preparation for the US Open.

Nadal looked the complete player coming into this season, but he has played Djokovic five times this season and lost every time.

Federer is the only man to have beaten the Serb sensation this campaign (at Roland Garros) but he has not won a title since January.

While Murray seems to be further away than ever from joining the 'big three' despite knocking on the door for a number of years.

Therefore those three are now looking at Djokovic and saying to themselves: 'we need to do something different.'

That involves trial and error both on and off the court and certainly for Nadal and Murray, that means they are in the process of modifying their games as they hope to make the improvements needed if they're to have any chance of toppling Djokovic in New York.

Not everything you try is going to work though and neither player looked comfortable with their current games during their shock defeats to Ivan Dodig (Nadal) and Kevin Anderson (Murray) in Canada.

The situation is a bit murkier in Federer's case as he is battling the inevitable decline that comes with turning thirty as much as he is Djokovic.

But there are no such concerns for Djokovic - he has found the magic formula, he just has to keep turning up at events and doing what he has been doing.

There are no tweaks needed, no new shots to learn or tactics to employ - and while people would say he cannot afford to stand still etc...the worst thing Djokovic could do is to start over analysing 'ways to get better.'

He just needs to keep rolling and let the rest worry about catching up.

At the moment he seems to have an answer for any player or challenge that is put in front of him - and as a result he has left all of his opponents with thousands of unanswered questions.

Courtesy: Eurosport

No comments:

Post a Comment