Sunday, January 30, 2011

Novak Djokovic Gives the Shirt Off His Back

It's hard to know for sure if Andy Murray was just overwhelmed (again) by the occasion, or if Novak Djokovic was just unbeatable in the Australian Open final -- he was awfully impressive on defensive and offense -- but one thing is for certain: the highlight of the match was Nole's post-victory strip tease. Nole is no stranger to taking off his shirt after a win, but when the shoes came off too, Patrick McEnroe & Co. were getting awfully nervous that that might not be where the sexy Serb stops. Sadly, it was. But the photo album is one for the ages!

(Novak could have at least stripped down to his undies, like this guy did!)

Also more exciting than the match was this singlet-ed Serb fan above, and Aussie hunk Eric Bana

The incredible hunk

Reunited and it feels so good

I think it's great for the game that Djokovic is no longer a one-Slam wonder, but as Marat Safin proved, it's no guarantee that he will be "in the mix" moving forward. As far as the Australian Open has come in the last two decades -- you may recall that Brian Teacher and Barbara Jordan were champs back when, and Bjorn Borg only entered it once -- I still think it ranks as a distant fourth as far as prestige goes. Although the French has a lot of things going for it that the U.S. doesn't, I still rank Wimbledon No. 1, the U.S. Open No. 2, the French Open No. 3 and Melbourne No. 4, and would still find it a little bit difficult to rank someone No. 1 for the year if the Aussie were the only major they'd won. Anyone disagree?


  1. I agree on your prestige ranking, but I don't think it makes any sense to weight one major over another for purposes of player ranking. They all have the same field of players, same format, similar purses, etc. Obviously, though, winning a (any) major alone isn't enough to get any player to the #1 ranking.

  2. Anonymous9:55 PM

    I like my No. 1s blond and Danish and with zero Grand Slam titles ever.

  3. It would be unlikely for a player to win only the Aussie Open (and no other majors) and still end the year @#1 - there's still so much tennis left to be played. Even if the 4 majors are won by 4 different players, the player to win the Aussie Open would have to do really well in the other 3... There are just too many other variables to consider in determining the year-end #1.

    I agree the Aussie Open is probably at the bottom of the prestige list, though I'm sure anyone in the draw would take it. You can't compare it to decades ago though. The top players have all been competing in Australia since the late 80s/early 90s, which was not the case beforehand. Nowadays the field at the Aussie Open is just as tough as any other tournament.

  4. Brent -- the rankings are not based on calendar year performance, but rather on a rolling 52-week aggregate. So it makes no difference that the Australian is the first one of the year.

  5. Thanks, Rog, I know that! I was responding to Kenneth’s assertion that he “would find it a little bit difficult to rank someone No. 1 for the year if the Aussie were the only major they'd won.” I agree with him too. But my point, which reinforces yours, was that based on how the rankings work, it would be unlikely for a player to finish the year at #1 having won only the year’s first slam. A player simply does not accrue enough points in winning the first grand slam of the year to warrant a finish at the top spot. Unless that player is incredibly consistent and does very well at the ensuing grand slams – not to mention other tournaments – you’d have to assume that the player who does win the other slams would finish ahead of the Aussie Open winner. Unless of course the four slams are won by four different players, in which case it would be a close race and come down to a combination of slam results and other tournaments.

  6. A Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. Or else we'll have to take away 4 of your favorite's from his 16.