Monthly Archives: August 2012

Novak Djokovic: Why the Reigning US Open Champion Will Win in Flushing Again

Perhaps he’s not yet forced Roger Federer to abdicate his throne as the king of the hard courts, but Novak Djokovic is certainly capable—and worthy—of wearing the crown. He will prove that once again when he wins his second major of the year—and second consecutive US Open.

It’s fair to point to Djokovic’s struggles in 2012—he lost in the semifinals at Wimbledon, he failed to medal at the Summer Games in London and Federer crushed him in the finals of the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati—as reasons why he’ll fail. But none of that has shaken the 25-year-old Serbian’s confidence, according to the Associated Press (h/t Sports Illustrated):

I feel good on the court. The Cincinnati conditions were quite  different from the Open. It’s a bit slower there, which I think goes in  my favor a little bit more. . . .more suitable to my style of the game.  I’m now going to have a preparation that I think is very necessary for  me right now mentally and physically.

Four of Djokovic’s five majors titles have come on hard courts. And between the Australian Open (32-5) and the US Open (33-6), he has an impressive 65-11 record on hard courts.

He hasn’t failed to reach the semifinals of the US Open since 2006, and while his side of the bracket is full of quality players—including Juan Del Potro and Andy Roddick—there simply isn’t anyone in front of him that makes you say, “He’s going to have a tough time getting past that guy.”

Of his likely competitors in the finals, either Roger Federer or Andy Murray, Djokovic has had success against both. He has beaten Federer in five-set matches at each of the past two US Opens, and he took care of Murray at both the Sony Ericsson Open and the Australian Open earlier this year—all hard courts.

Djokovic loves New York, and New York loves Djokovic. With the crowd behind him, the weather conditions to his liking and a relatively clear path to the finals, the stage is set for Djokovic to do the only thing he has left to accomplish in 2012: defeat Roger Federer in the finals of the US Open, not only claiming the title of “King of the Hard Courts,” but reclaiming his place atop the ATP rankings as the best men’s tennis player in the world.

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Olympic Tennis Wrap Up: 10 Takeaways

Previously posted on TennisAbides

  1. Serena Williams adds to her sublime legacy with decisive gold medals in singles and doubles.  Serena has career Golden Slams in singles and doubles now.  Fodder for a GOAT debate?
  2. Speed Kills – Andy Murray took a huge step by winning 5 straight sets over Djokovic and Federer en route to a gold medal in singles.  Throw in a silver in mixed doubles and Murray has gotten most if not all of the monkey off of his back.  A first Grand Slam title could be coming in New York or Melbourne.
  3. Victoria Azarenka won her first Grand Slam in January.  She has added a bronze medal in singles and a gold medal in mixed doubles to her trophy case for 2012.
  4. Roger Federer finally got a medal in singles after coming so close in 2000.  He achieved a career Silver Slam in London.  Federer seemed to have a good perspective on his 2nd place showing.  Still, the final match reminded me a bit of what Safin and Hewitt did to Sampras in the 2000 and 2001 US Open championship matches.
  5. Juan Martin del Potro helped put on a match for the ages that demonstrated how much Olympic success means to tennis players.  He followed up heartbreak with a win over Djokovic.  This piece by Dan Wetzel summed up the match far better than I can.
  6. Venus Williams could have a great career as a doubles specialist if her illness stymies her singles ambitions.
  7. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Milos Raonic showed heart and nerve in their on court battle.  Maybe they should team to face JMDP and Federer in a charity doubles match.  Tsonga did pick up a silver in doubles.
  8. Color did not hurt the atmosphere at Wimbledon.
  9. Tennis may be huge in Rio, but the shift from grass to clay to hard courts was difficult in 1992.
  10. Maria Sharapova also achieved a career Silver Slam in singles

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