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Federer tips Djokovic as Aussie favorite

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Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has made at least the Aussie quarterfinals every year since 2008. (Mark Baker/AP)

While most of the pre-Australian Open talk surrounds Serena Williams’ third step to a “Serena Slam,” it’s easy to overlook the fact that Novak Djokovic is chasing history as well.

Djokovic is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win three straight Australian Opens and join Roger Federer and Andre Agassi as the only men to win four titles overall in Melbourne.

How good are Djokovic’s chances?

Pretty good, if you believe Federer in the Australian Associated Press.

“Novak is the favourite going into Australia. He’s been the best hardcourt player in the world for the last couple of years,” said Federer.

Djokovic and Federer have dominated the Australian Open the last seven years, winning six between them, though Djokovic has been hotter of late. The Serb is riding a 14-match winning streak in Melbourne, his last loss coming to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals in 2010. Indeed, he has been the most dominant hard-court player over the last two seasons, amassing a 96-10 record to Federer’s 87-14.

The two will also have to contend with Andy Murray, who is seeking to win back-to-back Slams after finally breaking through at the U.S. Open by beating Djokovic in the final. Murray, a two-time Australian Open finalist, has still never beaten Federer at a Slam, though he did come through against Federer in the Olympic final.

Federer enters the Australian Open with no match play for the first time since 2008. He’s looking forward to the challenge of fending off his younger rivals.

“I love the pressure of playing and, with the new generation coming up, I have to work harder to stay at the top with the best,” Federer said. “Everyone has to fade away eventually, but I’m not 89 yet.”

  • Published On Jan 10, 2013
  • 7 comments
    badgernation74
    badgernation74

    Buckle up tennis fans. Half-page posts from the FedFan beasts aren't long enough for them in Slam season.

    Michael9
    Michael9

     @badgernation74  Yet before Slam season even started you've already claimed "The thruth is that Federer has never been all that invested in Davis Cup" (even though Federer has one of the best Davis Cup participation records of top players) and also stated "I'm a little surprised Jon (Wertheim) would print the FedFan led blog rumors about a secret doping ban on Nadal. It's ridiculous, but in the interest of equal time, I'll start one about Federer. For a player who never had significant time off due to injury or poor play, his continued good results just don't make sense. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens also continued at a high level late in their careers, and it's likely they used PEDs, so Fed must be too." What is it about Federer and the majority Fedfans that affects you?

    badgernation74
    badgernation74

     @Michael9  @badgernation74 Wow, you did some research on my comments. Not sure if I should be weirded out or not. Am I on a list of those who've spoken ill of the golden one? Since you asked, the thing I don't like about FedFan is that they can't just be happy with the multitude of stats that point to his greatness. They have to tarnish Nadal's record too. Nadal isn't perfect by any means, and there's plenty to point out about his deficiencies; but even that isn't enough. To some of you it's a given that he's seving a secret doping ban. There is no way the ATP or ITF would sing off on this. The comment I made about Fed using PEDs was a joke. Play fair, we all love this sport. Even the Nadal fans 

    badgernation74
    badgernation74

     @Michael9  @badgernation74

     I'm starting to like you. I didn't realize you were replying to the same threads I was, no offense. And yeah I made stuff up, but I did it tongue in cheek and openly. I still think the people who believe this whole "secret drug ban on Nadal" got their hands on some bad acid. How many more exchanges do we go through before we're internet married? jk

    Michael9
    Michael9

    @badgernation74Wow, you continue to make up even more stuff: you know very well that I had already known your comments because I had either rebutted your false comment (see link) or had commented on the same thread where you made your dubious comments – therefore I did not need to “research on (your) comments”. Second, you should lighten up on your obsessions and generalizations of Fedfans – you ignore that some Rafafans can be far worse.  The best way to rebut a comment you disagree with is to use valid facts and sound arguments, instead of making up stuff.

    http://tennis.si.com/2012/12/17/daily-bagel-andy-murray-spoty/

    Michael9
    Michael9

    Murray is unlikely to win the Australian Open, according to tennis history. In the 45 years of the Open era, no player has won back-to-back slams after winning his breakthrough slam – the very greatest players from Borg to Sampras to Federer have failed to do it (though theoretically it might be easier to do it in this era of relatively homogenized slam surfaces). After Ivan Lendl won his first slam (1984 French Open) at age 24, it took him another six slams to win his second slam (1985 US Open). Murray winning his first slam has opened a pandora’s box of increased expectations that will weigh heavily on the Scot’s mind.

     

    The hype on Murray clouds Federer’s comparatively greater success in 2012: 

    - Federer won 3 of 5 matches against Murray. Federer’s 3 match wins were worth 1,400 ranking points while Murray's 2 match wins were worth only 540 points – indicating Federer won the higher value matches. Federer twice beat Murray in his hometown: Wimbledon final and World Tour Finals final. Murray did come through against Federer in the Olympic final, but let’s not forget that (a) an exhausted Federer had played more games in his record-setting semifinal than Djokovic-Nadal did in their Australian Open final and (b) Murray, who since 2009 has lived just ten miles from Wimbledon, returned to the All-England Club's practice courts just four days after losing the Wimbledon final (while Federer remained on vacation for another week, satisfied from winning the more prestigious Wimbledon and returning to No. 1).

    - After winning the US Open, Murray won only 1,270 points from his four remaining tournaments in Fall (Tokyo SF, Shanghai final, Paris R16, WTF SF). Federer had the disadvantage of playing Davis Cup in Netherlands (three matches), yet he won 1,460 ranking points from his three tournaments in Fall (Shanghai SF, Basel final, WTF final). Since this site considers exhibition events, let’s not forget that this year Murray was thrashed in his only complete match against a top 40 player (Tipsarevic at the Mubadala championships in Abu Dhabi).   

    - Murray (as well as Djokovic and Nadal) skipped Davis Cup throughout 2012 in order to focus on his ATP Tour results -- while Federer achieved his better results despite playing all Davis Cup ties for Switzerland.

     

    This season Djokovic has already lost (in straight sets) on courts similar to the Australian Open: to No. 67 Tomic at the Hopman Cup. Will the crackdown on slow play affect Djokovic, the slowest of slow players.

     http://tinyurl.com/a4do9my

     

    Yes, Novak was the best overll hardcourt player in 2012. But Federer was no slouch last season: in terms of winning percentage (win-loss) Federer was the second-best hard court player and he was the best outdoor player. In ATP history Federer is the most dominant hard court player in terms of titles and win-loss. In their last outdoor hardcourt match, Federer bageled Djokovic 6-0 in the Cincinnati final. Though Djokovic led 3-2 against Federer in 2012, ultimately their rivalry was decided by razor-thin margins in their final match at the year-end championship final (total points won: Djokovic 96, Federer 95; breakpoints: Djokovic 4/7, Federer 3/7).

     

    In any case, two to three other players may threaten any of the top three seeds: Will Federer’s recent South American exhibition ignite a fire under Del Potro, Tsonga or Bellucci? Or will the threat come from any of the dozen players from whom we have been expecting great things from and who have put the extra two weeks of off-season to good use?

     

    With Federer, a lot will depend on how motivated he really is this season. If Federer comes into this Australian Open with the form, fitness and focus he displayed at Cincinnati and Wimbledon, it might possibly lead to a great final between Federer and Djokovic. If Federer is engulfed by Player Council issues (such as prize money negotiations), he could be vulnerable to defeat. In Federer’s favor is that he's not 89 yet. He’s not even 74.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doBxLZJzLsE

     

    IdaAnnaTaylor
    IdaAnnaTaylor like.author.displayName 1 Like

    Fed is right.  Djokovic is the favorite but Fed and Murray are close seconds.  And being the favorite doesn't mean you'll win.  Fed is very aware that he is no longer in his prime and not quite his 2006 otherworldly self.  As he says, everyone fades eventually.  He seems very at peace with it despite what the media does to him.  Still, as he says, he's not 89 years old!  He's 31 and he's #2 in the world.  Hardly a has-been.