Learning to scrape through


I’m on a self-imposed “Love-Thy-Djoker” campaign. No more Djokovic-bashing, Top 10 Quotations of Mama Djokovic, Fugly Drop-Shots Mocking Squad or the Djokovic Retirement Watchdog on this blog. They say you never know what you got until it’s gone, and the same can be said for the top 4 of the men’s game right now. If any of them performs under par, or becomes MIA, the dynamics of the game is just not the same. And unfortunately, with 3 out of the top 4 MIA this week, there is very little choice for me but to love thy Djoker. 

 

So I guess it’s good news that Djokovic has made it (finally) to his first final of the year after barely scraping past Gilles Simon. I do feel for Simon though, he had his chances, and it’s gotta hurt to lose a close one like that. But the fact it was so close and ended up going Djokovic’s way can only be construed as good news for Djoker fans. Mentally it seems that Novak has been in a funk ever since Wimbledon last year. I know he won the Masters Cup in between, but the highest ranked player he played there was Davydenko, so I’m not sure how much weight I’d give to that. Learning to scrape through these close matches is a sign that perhaps he’s getting some of his mental groove back. To be able to pull yourself out of a hole in deciding set is no easy feat. The Novak Djokovic who lost to Nieminen or retired against Roddick in Australia couldn’t have done that. 

 

Djokovic was broken early in the deciding set, but he broke back in the sixth game and then closed out the match with another break in the final game.

“I feel a bit lucky, but I think you have to work for luck,” Djokovic said. “It doesn’t just fall through the sky. I think I fought my way through the match, really believed until the end, and mentally, this is very important win for me.”

Source: tennis.com

 

In the true spirit of “love thy Djoker”, I’m going to say that this is probably the most positive thing I’ve heard Novak Djokovic say for a long, long time.

 

And Ferrer made it into the other semifinal after defeating Reeshie 62 62. I’ve forgotten about Ferru this year. He had a breakthrough 2007 and seemed to have freaked out a little over his own successes, so it’s certainly nice to see him score what must be his first significant victory for many months. While I’m not a huge fan of the man’s style, I am a huge fan of his doggedness and work ethics. But oh Reeshie

 

Here’s the deal – how about we take Ferrer’s mindset and determination, and add it together with Gasquet’s talent? But then we’d probably get a second Federer…

 

No wrap-ups this week due to uninspiring tennis and sleep deprivation (in no ways induced by the uninspiring tennis). Have a great weekend everyone.

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4 responses to “Learning to scrape through”

  1. Ru-an says :

    Hi dootsiez, yeah great to see the Djoker back(almost). I feel he needs to go and win the title to deserve that kind of credit, if he does i will write a blog post with the title “The Djoker is Back!!!” lol. I dont completely agree with you that he’s lost his way after Wimbledon, he still made the semi-finals of the US Open, won the MC and made a MS final so i wont be too hard on him.

    I just think his decision to party over new years while someone like Roddick was losing 15 pounds was a mistake. He didnt show any desire to go defend his title down under. I have to say im very happy with the heart he’s been sowing in Dubai, shutting the mouths of countless critics. I get annoyed when people criricize all the time, like they have noting better to do.

    Ok so Djokovic’s strength is not his mental toughness but he is a huge talent and great for the game. If he just fights like he has been so far this week he will be a threat to any one for a long time to come. He hasnt been in great form at the start, the match aagisnt Hernych was quite pathetic actually and the first set against Simon he played crap, missing his forehand like ive nver seen from him before.

    But the important thing is to hang in and keep winning. He is getting better with every match and im sure if he wins the tournament he will feel like he’s back to top form. Ferrer will be a stern test because he looks himself like he’s finding form of old(the reaosn he lost form last year was because he broke up with his long time girlfriend).

    So his got one more urdle to go before we can say he is back for sure. Ferrer will not make it easy for him that you can be certain of. Anyway i didnt even expect him to make the final so already im very happy about this. Tennis needs Djokovic and so do i lol. Cool post i like your writing style 🙂

  2. dootsiez says :

    Hi Ru-an, thanks for the comment. 🙂

    I’d be hesistant to say that the Djoker’s back just because he won Dubai. First it’s a relatively minor tournament, made even more minor by the fact that half the field withdrew, and the highest ranked player he ended up playing was Simon. As good as Simon is, he’s a player that I expect Djokovic – the no 3 player in the world/grand slam winner – to beat. It’s been a while since Novak last beat one of Federer/Nadal/Murray/Tsonga, and when that happens (hopefully not to the Swiss guy), I’ll be glad to welcome him back to the fold of the high-performers.

    I suppose he did win the Masters Cup, made the final at Cincinatti, and semifinal at the USO, but what I was referring to in my post was that the “spirit” in Djokovic was gone. From WImby 08 to the right now about, I’ve seen very little determination from Djokovic. Like at the AO this year, in the US Open semifinal last year – I didn’t see an ounce of conviction in him that he was going to come out the victor. At this stage in his career, unfortunately being a perennial grand slam semifinalist (or less), getting to a masters series final now and then, is not quite enough. That’s the sort of expectations that comes with a player winning a grand slam. Djokovic is getting better though, and I look forward to the real test for him – defending Indian Wells.

  3. Blue says :

    I can’t help noticing that Djokovic won TMC and Dubai with most of the top guys not playing. But if he can get over what was bothering him, then it’ll get more interesting. Like you said, his first real test after AO would be defending Indian Wells.

  4. dootsiez says :

    Hi Blue, I think the significance of this title is that its going to give him a bit of a momentum going into Indian Wells, and since I see Novak Djokovic as a bit of a momentum player, I think it could get interesting. It would certainly make the draws more balanced in reality, since whoever gets Murray right now is swearing at their luck.

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