Monday, February 02, 2015

Novak Djokovic 'Courts' Greatness Down Under

I'm sure you can imagine my joy when Novak Djokovic closed out his bizarre final against Andy Murray over the weekend. (Mauresmo's influence was on full display: Get in a winning position and then curl up into the fetal position for no reason whatsoever!) As relieved as I was, Nole's list of majors is getting to be a little too Margaret Smith Court-y for me -- FIVE Australians yet only one U.S. and no French? -- softened only by his winning two Wimbledons. Not like I think he's truly in the running for Greatest of All Time yet -- and complaining how which major someone wins is ridiculous, I know -- but with so many of the greats having majors where they do disproportionately better than the others, it kind of reminds me why I think Steffi Graf deserves even more credit than she's already given for being able to win all four majors four times or more. (And to their credit, Chris, Martina and Serena won at least two of their worst surface.) The men's game and the difference surface makes is clearly disproportionate to the women's. But just as I commend Steffi for her feat, I think Roger Federer's one French (and many finals) and Rafael Nadal's one Aussie says a lot about their standing as possibly the Greatest of All Time vs., say, Pete Sampras, who used "not being European" as an excuse for never winning the French once, while peers Jim Courier and Michael Chang took home the crown. Long story short: Let's do it in Paris this year, Nole! Your brand of defense is so incredible it just might be legendary.


Mike in Asheville said...

Re: Rafa's 1 Australian, do remember the US Open, where he has twice won, is also played on hard surface, as well as his 2008 Olympic win.

While his 9 wins on clay are staggering, he also has 4 on hard court (counting Olympics) and 2 on grass.

Re: Roger: while winning the French 1 time, he was runner-up 5 times, and won 5 or 6 Master 1000s on clay.

Clearly, Nole is strongest on hard surface and indoor; but, he also is remarkable on clay and grass.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

Yes, yes, yes! Why does it sound like you're scolding me while pointing out nearly everything I said! xo

Mike in Asheville said...

My bad; hadn't had my coffee yet. Reread your post and, well, oops.