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Daily Bagel: Novak Djokovic’s father criticizes Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal

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The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

• Video: She may not have won the Bank of the West Classic, but finalist Agnieszka Radwanska spent the week making hot shot after hot shot. Here’s another show-stopping drop shot.

• Novak Djokovic’s father, Srdjan, gave a lengthy interview with a Serbian newspaper in which he said his son and Rafael Nadal are no longer friends and blasted Roger Federer.

Novak’s father is especially proud of Novak for one thing, he says. When Novak was a young boy he would get terribly angry when he would lose a match, he did not take it the right way. Srdjan often told him to congratulate his rival when he loses, and to tell him – well done, I will do everything I can to win the next time. The defeat is so much better than the victory you get to after torture. The defeat makes one to think about his game and learn from mistakes so he would not repeat them again. Novak realized that, and everyone can see how he behaves now, says Srdjan.

Novak is the only one who behaves the same way in life and sport, says Srdjan. There is no athlete who treats his opponents in the same way when he loses and wins, said Novak father.

He also said that Nadal used to be Novak’s best friend while he was winning. But when things changed, they were no longer friends. This is not sport, says Srdjan. This is what Novak has in him, but others don’t. Federer may still be the best tennis player in the history of tennis, says Srdjan, but as man he is completely opposite. He attacked Novak at Davis Cup in Geneva, he realized Novak is his successor and in every way tried to discredit him.

When Switzerland faced Serbia in the 2006 Davis Cup in Geneva, Federer reportedly called Djokovic “a joke when it comes down to his injuries.”

• As the discussion continues regarding anti-doping efforts in tennis, this piece from The Scotsman is an important read.

The ITF spend less and less money on anti-doping, the absence of many positive tests seemingly their reason for cutting down their costs year on year when many elite performers are telling them that the problem is rising, not falling.

“I’m sure there are guys who are doing it, getting away with it, and getting ahead of the testers,” said the American player James Blake last year. “I’m realistic that, with this much money involved, people will try to find a way to get ahead.”

They don’t need to try that hard in tennis. The number of tests carried out is woefully low, the number of out-of-competition tests and blood tests is so far behind other sports that it is easy to conclude that tennis doesn’t want to catch anybody, that they are happy to have substandard testing that will allow them to carry on with the pretence that their sport is largely clean.

• The Tennis Space wonders if Martina Hingis‘ comeback is welcome in light of her failed drug test for cocaine in 2007.

At Wimbledon in 2007, Martina Hingis failed a drugs test, for cocaine. The Swiss denied ever taking any kind of drugs but decided not to fight the two-year ban she received. She chose to retire (we’ll come back to that) for a second time due, she said, to trouble with injuries and her health.

Earlier this month, Hingis was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Her achievements on the court merit a place in the organisation, of course, but it was rather strange that her drugs ban was overlooked. When contacted by The Tennis Space, the Hall of Fame pointed out that inductees are voted on by 125 journalists and authors around the world, all of whom know their tennis. However, in the brief given to journalists considering their votes, no mention was made of her drugs ban. This contrasts with a line in the description given to each voter that says “consideration will be given to integrity, sportsmanship and character”. The fact that two days later, she announced her return to the Tour, cannot have gone down that well, either.

• In case you missed it, the official Twitter account for the Gstaad tournament was unintentionally hilarious.

• Peter Bodo looks at the opposing trajectories of American tennis: The women are soaring while the men are stalled.

You can’t judge a man by one tournament, or a generation by a  year or two. So let’s see how the men fare during the customary “American segment” in the coming weeks. At the moment, the third-highest ranked American after [Sam] Querrey and [John] Isner is No. 63 [Mardy] Fish. The four other American men in the top 100 are No. 85 Michael Russell, No. 91 James Blake, No. 93 Denis Kudla and No. 95 Jack Sock, who probably has the most up-side in his peer group of under-21 players.

Now look at the U.S. women: 11 of them are in the Top 100, led by No. 1 Serena Williams who appears to have located that mysterious fountain. Among them, only No. 36 Venus Williams is unlikely to provide much more help to the domestic cause. But then she’s already done more than her share of the heavy lifting.

• Liz Clarke of The Washington Post looks at the economics behind the dwindling number of American tournaments.

For starters, American players don’t dominate the game as they did in the era of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.

In 1993, three American men ended the year ranked among the top 10: Sampras (No. 1), Jim Courier (third) and Michael Chang (eighth).

Currently, there’s not one American man in the top 10 and only two among the top 50: Sam Querrey (20) and John Isner (22).

In the absence of front-running Americans, apart from top-ranked Serena Williams, TV ratings for tennis in the United States lag well behind those in Europe and much of Asia, where the sport is second only to soccer. In China, it is third behind basketball.

“It’s pretty simple in my mind,” said Andy Roddick, 30, who carried men’s tennis in the United States for most of his career. “Tennis is second worldwide as far as popularity. Frankly, it’s just in the U.S. that it’s not. Americans like watching sports that they know, but the sports that get covered mainstream have heavy American participation, like NFL — 99 percent of the guys are American, and the rest are place kickers.”

Without a robust TV audience, it’s more difficult for tournament promoters to attract the corporate sponsors that make an event profitable.

• Galina Voskoboeva did not have a very good time in Baku, Azerbaijan, where players played in 110-degree weather.

• A Q&A with Christian Harrison, who won his first ATP main-draw match last week in Atlanta.

• A New York Times “Times Talk” with John McEnroe.

• Non-tennis: A supercut of Saturday Night Live actors cracking up.

  • Published On Jul 29, 2013
  • 47 comments
    vijju
    vijju

    I am a fan of both Rafa and Nole, and find it possible to root for both of them when they play opposite each other (though, I must admit, I am slightly biased towards Rafa). Matches like the simply amazing AO Final '12, The FO Semi '13 and yesterday's excellent USO Final were all played in the right spirit, and were a testament to the champion like qualities of both players.

    A pity, then, that Nole's Dad should be vitiating the atmosphere with such juvenile remarks. He feels Rafa is not 'best friends' with his son any more? First of all, I would seriously doubt they were ever 'best friends'. It's just not possible, in a highly competitive, winner-takes-all field like singles tennis. It seems to me, they were always rivals who had a tremendous amount of respect for each other, and therefore with the commensurate civility/ cordiality. Getting along with your rival doesn't mean you automatically become best pals!

    I seem to recall an interview with Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, where they each spoke of their textured rivalry over the years. It was very interesting to me, that Chrissie openly admitted she'd stopped playing doubles with Martina, after she began winning their singles matches. She simply didn't want to give away too much of her game to Martina, on the same side of a doubles court. 

    On her part, Martina mentioned how her then coach, Nancy Lieberman, convinced her that she needed to feel animosity for Evert during their matches of the early '80s. She admits this phase lasted for quite some time.

    So what? Both these ladies were amazing champions, played hard but fair. That's all any fan should expect of Rafa or Nole anyway. Dominating their sport would require a degree of ruthlessness and competitive spirit, which (in my opinion) precludes any real chance of a 'best chum' relationship.

    rancordoll
    rancordoll

    @RosDopwell You must have started following tennis closely only a few years ago because prior to that Novak's daddy was always an issue. During the 2007-2009 time period, Srdjan was always running his mouth and would make snide comments to Novak's opponents prior to their matches. The problems he caused and his diarrhea mouth are well documented, just Google him. Srdjan only recently started attending Novak's matches again. He'd been absent for about 2 years, reportedly because he and his wife do not get along with Jelena, Novak's girlfriend. No-class potty mouth a bit off in the brain Srdjan is reverting to his old ways again which will hurt Nole in the end.

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    IMHO ~~ Novak Djovic's Father has never been a HUGE  issue!!!
    Why is he so all of a sudden? I follow Tennis very closely ~~ He has never been pointed out influencing anything much. The Camera's like to focus far more on the expressions of RAFA's Uncle Tony..
    Why is the Media *"POKING  FIRE?* . 

    МилошМиленковић
    МилошМиленковић

    I know that some of you who commented here won't believe me and will see this as excuse for Mr Djokovic, but i have to inform you guys that the newspaper that conducted this interview (which is called Kurir) is one of the worst Serbian yellow press magazines and I am pretty sure that they blew this out of proportion.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    Srdjan Djokovic should complain about Federer and Nadal to Roy Emerson, the Aussie who won 28 Grand Slam singles (12) and doubles (16) titles in the 1960s  (he has the Career Grand Slam in both singles and doubles). Emmo would tell Sedjan: "(Federer and Nadal) are the driving forces of this sport. Not only because they play so well, but because of the way they behave. The others lack this charisma. If Federer and Nadal are not there, it is difficult for the tournament organizer to fill the stands. Djokovic and Murray are good players. But they lack the aura of Federer and Nadal." 

    Roy Emerson explained why he admires Roger Federer:

    "Federer is a good guy. And of course I love to watch him. He's my favorite player. Partly because he knows how to behave on the court. He embodies the qualities of earlier generations. I met him in Gstaad after he first won Wimbledon and received his first cow here. I said to him: "I congratulate you for your Wimbledon victory. But even more, I congratulate you for what you did then. He was taken back in surprise, "What have I done? " I said, "After the match you stayed down on the court with your opponent. You did not climb into the stands to celebrate with your parents, your girlfriend and your coach. You've proven that you give your opponent the respect he deserves. I liked that." The player who started the nonsense to get to the stands after victories was Pat Cash. Since then, every idiot has imitated it. If you have class, you do not do it. The winner should think in moments like this about his opponent. It's terrible to sit down alone on the court and have to watch the other player as he celebrates. It's not fun. Federer promised me he would never to emulate Cash. And he has kept his word... Federer is a blessing for our sport."

    http://tinyurl.com/kk86bhm


    Given that Djokovic is one of the three players who have full-time publicity and media relations managers, it's seems puzzling that Djokovic's father blabbers these things to the Serbian media about Federre and Nadal. It's likely Djokovic's publicity manager would be involved in any "lengthy interview" Djokovic's father gives to the news media (he would have told Djokovic's family to consult him first before giving any interviews). Hmmm, listening to Roy Emerson, maybe Srdjan realizes the big shadow that Federer and Nadal cast over the world of tennis, and his comments are part of an orchestrated publicity campaign to try to discredit Roger and Rafa.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    Courtney cited a Scotland newspaper which reported that Federer called Djokovic “a joke when it comes down to his injuries." The British press had tried to stir up animosity between Djokovic and Federer in the lead up to their 2012 Wimbledon semifinal match. What the Scottish newspaper omitted to report was that when the press brought up the issue, Federer immediately chided the media for bringing up the issue before going on to say that he and young No. 21 Djokovic had talked to resolve the issue a few weeks later at the Madrid indoor Masters in October 2006. Here is the transcript of what Federer said: 

    Question: "What is the personal relationship like given a few years ago you made some forceful comments about him from Davis Cup?"

    Federer: "No.  I thought that was more brought up by you guys.  Not that you guys are to blame, but you guys like to put something between the top players. I was just upset at him calling the trainer out for no obvious reason against my buddy, Stan, in a five‑setter.  That was it.  We had a quick chat about it in Madrid after that, and things are cool since a long time between me and him.  I've always respected him.  Have I gone out for dinner with him?  No.  But (I) had many meetings with him at the (ATP player) council, and then now with the Grand Slams.  He's been nice to work with.  You know, we've met on several occasions because of other things together. Yeah, I have no issues with him, and I hope you believe me."

    http://tinyurl.com/mu56wkl

    That day Djokovic was quick to repay the compliment. "the success that (Federer) had over, what, the period of seven, eight years says enough.  I mean, he has won the most Grand Slams in history.  He's rated probably as the best player in history.  He has won everything that a tennis player can win and he's coming back for more. He has a lot of respect from me, from all the players.  There is no question about it.  You know, but we are all rivals, we are all opponents."


    Here is some background on why Federer called Djokovic "a joke when he comes down to these injuries": 


    Djokovic had taken at least two (maybe three) 'medical timeouts' during both his singles matches in that 2006 Davis Cup tie against Switzerland, which was held in Geneva: 

    Djokovic took his first medical timeout against Wawrinka in the third set. It looked like a 'tactical timeout' as Djokovic got a regular massage on his right thigh for 'cramp symptoms' -- in the third set, as the match was tied one set each. Federer was seen complaining to Davis Cup officials who were courtside during the timeout. After the timeout Djokovic ran like a rabbit, just like he did before the timeout. Djokovic went on to win the match 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-7 4-6.

    Djokovic took his second medical timeout against Federer two days later. Once again, Djokovic took his timeout in the third set, after the Serb was crushed in the first two sets 3-6, 2-6. After the timeout Djokovic again ran like a rabbit, just like he did before the timeout.

    I actually heard the audio clip of Federer's post-match interview -- it was on the Davis Cup website in 2006, but removed a few days later. The press asked Federer about Djokovic's injury timeouts. Federer replied: "You know I don't trust his injuries (there was loud laughter from the press, then Federer's tone became even more serious). No, it's not funny.  I mean I'm serious. I think that he's a joke when he comes down to these injuries. The rules are there to be used but not abused and that's what he's been doing many times. That's why I wasn't happy to see him doing that and then running around like a rabbit again. Yeah it was a good handshake for me. I was happy to beat him."

    Federer had good reason to believe that the young Djokovic had been abusing the rules on medical timeouts for at least a year before that Davis Cup match. Djokovic became famous for such behaviour since his 2005 US Open match against Gael Monfils, where Novak practically admitted he took timeouts to win the five-setter match against the more "physically prepared" Monfils. Then No.1 Federer had the honesty and courage -- and obligation as a leader of the ATP players as well as leader of his Davis Cup team -- to make a firm statement on an issue that the news media, players and fans had already said about Djokovic at that  time.  Several other players also criticized Djokovic for his medical timeouts and retirements, most notably Andy Roddick. 

    Jerry Magee: 'Timeouts' win for Djokovic: 

    "Tennis is supposed to be continuous. It isn't like football, in which calling time out can be a tactical device. It is meant to proceed in one long, continuous flow. Somebody might remind an 18-year-old player from Serbia named Novak Djokovic of this point. In the most dramatic, controversial match of the U.S. Open's beginning phase, Djokovic yesterday utilized timeouts as if his opponent were on his 2-yard line – and got away with it..."

    http://tinyurl.com/n5rjbmt


    Sports psychologist Dr. John F. Murray: Games People Play

    'But as he prepared to play the fifth set, Djokovic looked like a man in dire need of a stunt double. Instead, he took a bathroom break, received treatment from the trainer then dug in to subdue the 15th-seeded Spaniard, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, and advance to his seventh major quarterfinal in a performance of a player persevering through the pain to prevail in a gritty win.  Or was it?   Scratching beneath the surface of the score line immediately after the match, Robredo raised an interesting question: was Djokovic's comeback inspired by competitive will or a con man's skill? Did the master of showmanship resort to gamesmanship to pull out the match? “Novak was doing the show that he couldn’t run,” Robredo said. “It’s not that I don’t believe him, but I have pain as well. I was running like hell and my feet were burning, but I say nothing. I think if you’re not fit enough, then don’t play. But after every time he was asking for a trainer, he was running like hell and he was making the shot, but he does what he does a lot of times. Did I trust him? No. I think he took his time because he was a little bit more tired and that’s part of his game. It helped him a lot.” '

    http://tinyurl.com/mjjh4bc


    ESPN: "Djokovic uses rules to his advantage"

    http://tinyurl.com/mc3rdtu


    Federer's criticism of Djokovic's behaviour was justified at that time, and was not a jealous "attack on Novak at Davis Cup in Geneva." Djokovic's father Srdjan obviously has blinders on with respect to questions about his son's behavior for several years. In fact Djokovic's father should be thanking Federer for teaching his son a valuable lesson that day in 2006 which probably helped shape Novak's attitude today.

    Srdjan Djokovic betrays the huge chip on his shoulder when he absurdly claimed "(Federer) realized Novak is his successor and in every way tried to discredit him."  Federer had no fear of Djokovic: he ripped through Djokovic in their Davis Cup match, and the Serb said later that Federer played from  "another planet". Federer at that time (September 2006) had absolutely no reason to be concerned about Djokovic -- No. 21 ranked Novak had lost to every top 7 player in his career (until February 2007 Rotterdam when he beat Tommy Robredo) while Federer was having his best ever season and was on a 41-game winning streak between 2006 US Open to 2007 Dubai. Federer probably wasn't concerned at all about Djokovic being a threat until 2007 US Open (despite losing the 2007 Montreal final). 

    rajeevbat
    rajeevbat

    Anyone going against the characters of Federer and Nadal isn't in the right frame of mind (or is Djokovic's dad). They are both tennis greats and their rivalry is intense and respectable at the same time, yes their faces drop when they lose but I have seen enough of their post/pre match interviews where they continue to show respect to their opponents. 

    What they don't do is act cocky weeks before a tournament starts and try to psyche each other by saying "I can beat Nadal/Federer, I can win the French open". I know Novak speaks his mind but it's better to let your racquet do the talking (instead of your dad)

    Teodorico
    Teodorico

    Novak Djokovich's father must be living in a different planet. He must be living a fantasy when describing the

    character of Novak. What he says does not jive with what we see on television or read in the media. As most tennis

    critics/commentators would agree on, there are no more better behaved and sportsmanlike players than Nadal

    and Federer. Besides, would the latter two even give a damn about being friends with Novak?

    Tom14
    Tom14

    I wish tennis parents would take a page from MR. McEnroe Sr and his wife. Mr Djokovic Sr you are quite clueless about tennis. What made the great rivalries from Gonzalez v Krammer to McEnroe v Connors, Borg is that they respected each other quietly but did not chum around each other because there was a big difference between winning and second place. It has taken a few season for me to respect Nova have liked his play he had to earn my respect after he used every call for the trainer injury time out trick in his 2007 US Open 2nd round match against Stepenek, So Mr Djokovic take a look at a player who won 17 grand slams versus your son's one year of dominance.

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    Novak 'D'Joker Djokovic ... appeared to me to be a player from a past era  {when tennis USED  TO BE  A  SPORT} IMHO (But I have never been ... *"on the scene") My sense is that  'D' Joker attempted to be friendly  (making Jokes etc.) *THIS* is no longer done!
    It is   *War*  out there now. The players now think *MONEY* and *Computer Rankings* and these have spoilt  *OUR SPORT* 
    On the Other hand  to put in my two cents worth on Novak's behalf ...  James Blake, Serena  Williams and Djokovic are the players who CONSISTENTLY ... Applaud on their rackets and say  *"Good Shot" and *"Too Good"  (especially when passed at the net!) Federer  used to - and does still do it sometimes - but not as regularly as those I've mentioned.
    On this matter Patrick McEnro doesn't help ... by saying we should not apologise when we hit the net and the ball dribbles over.
    He -  call it  Hypocrisy ~~>  I call it Gentlemanly  behaviour!!!
    When I last Looked Tennis remains the last bastion of Lady-Like and Gentlemanly  behaviour  

    OraReed
    OraReed

    Maria Sharapova said something to the effect that tennis is a business; She's not the type to send flowers...I agree. Sometimes in a competitive sport like tennis or any other sport for that matter, friendships take second (?) place; I'm not trying to be too friendly with someone I consider to be a rival anyway. That may cost me money. Maybe Rafa will fare better against Joker now. I'm a Rafamaniac and I don't care if Joker's father gives an interview every day. Finally, people behave badly because people are not perfect. All I'm looking for is a good match. Really.

    dj13e29
    dj13e29

    I feel for Novak. He seems like a good guy but he's always had to put up with 2 belligerent parents. He father, in the past especially, behaved like a baseball heckler at some of Novak's matches. The loudest, most obnoxious people in the stadium should never be in the player's box. It's embarrassing. His mother isn't the classiest person either. This guy has a lot of nerve lecturing Roger & Rafa on behavior, given his history. It's simply tragic (not really) that Rafa & Novak aren't besties anymore. That's on Rafa (alegedly) but it's not for Djokovic Sr to comment on. He's just causing drama for his son. Parents of tennis players should be seen, not heard.

    topsport1
    topsport1

    novak really does not need this at all...i heard his dad has been very sick and that's too bad, i hope he's doing better but if this is his coming back speech it really does not help anyone

    i agree novak handles himself well after losses, very diplomatic..i'm not joking when i say i could see him as president of serbia one day or whatever the equivalent position is, but to say nadal and federer have not had good things to say about djokovic in return is simply not true..they've all had their negative moments on court or afterward in a presser but for the vast majority of time the respect is immense..as a matter of fact many folk think there is far too much respect between these guys, and kind words, that there should be more conflict like during the 70's and 80's..certainly many of their own fans can be ogres..thing is, it has been djokovic's own family that has stirred the pot more often than novak so why the father needed to do so again i just don't get...things were certainly more quiet the less the parents were around and the more the focus was on the coach and girlfriend in the box


    i sense the strong defensive quality of novak's fans at times, many i sense feeling as if there's a western-european bias vs. a more eastern european country and this will probably only fuel it...i would be very very surprised if novak doesn't immediately start to play this down subtly and to his father in private as montreal approaches...and i'm sure fed and rafa will do it too..unfortunately for some all they need is one statement like this to fuel the hate for another year

    Kathy27
    Kathy27

    I really don't know why we want to know the views of Djokovic's father. I don't recall reading interviews given by Nadal's or Federer's respective fathers. However, with regard to the bit about the friendship between Nadal and Djokovic, I wrote the following in early 2011 and I still believe it today.

    .QUOTE :- I have always thought that Djokovic and his entourage were users. Djokovic has achieved his goal now, so time to dump the one person who seemingly made a difference. I have this underlying feeling that Rafa was used by Djokovic. I can't say exactly how, it's just a feeling. Rafa was sucked in and he lowered his defences against Djokovic. Djokovic and team could then find out what made Rafa tick, so to speak. They could find out what had to be done to beat him.  Once the goal had been achieved, end of friendship.
    I think he betrayed this friendship. Djokovic had always craved friendship and it seemed to me that at first Rafa held back, but eventually he dropped his defences and became friends. A little later Djokovic backed off, saying you can't be friends when you are fighting for history. This was like a slap in the face to Rafa, who I believe doesn't offer friendship lightly, but once given he is a very loyal friend.

    Of course the disgusting display  by Djokovic and team outside Nadal's hotel in Spain, following  the Madrid defeat of Rafa couldn't have helped.

    MichaelC
    MichaelC

    Novak's daddy should know his place. His son is the great tennis player ... why does a newspaper waste time interviewing the father? The tennis dad - as we've seen time and time again - craves the attention and wants credit.

    Dubinion
    Dubinion

    I am not sure why Djokers dad was so offended by Federer in 2006... back then Djokers antics irritated almost everyone and everyone thought it was a con... and maybe it was. And is 2006 no one was thinking he was Rogers successor everyone thought it was Nadal so I doubt he was overly jealous. Since that time Djokavic has cleaned up his act quite a bit and you see that Federer and other athletes have reacted in kind and started to treat him with more respect. Respect is earned dad not given when your son acts like he is trying to gain an unfair advantage and is overly aggressive with his gamesmanship that is all. Can't speak to the Nadal and him not being friends but I would bet there is another side to this story there as well.

    rancordoll
    rancordoll

    @МилошМиленковићI doubt the newspaper blew anything out of proportion. The comments are typical Srdjan as we all knew and heard him starting back in 2007. His ridiculous comments and behavior have been seen and heard by many and widely reported. Just search the internet for crying out loud. Sure, he's kept his yap shut for the past few years and hadn't been attending any of Novak's matches until recently, but sure enough Srdjan is back to his old tricks. If you are only familiar with Novak for about two years then perhaps you aren't aware, but if you've been a fan for awhile, dating back to the late 2000s, then I don't understand why you are in denial about Nole's daddy? 

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @МилошМиленковић 
    Thank you  for this response. I DID wonder where the attack on Djokovic *"Surfaced out of the Blue". It was never *"Red-Line News before that there was greater than usual parental influence from Djokovic's Family. It *Has been reported  that Novak was exceptionally  fond of his family. and two whom he had closed to had passed away (at ripe old ages) and he was affected by this.

    The attack on Djokovic's Dad took me by surprise actually!  

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @Michael9 

    In the main I like what you've said. Except that Emerson was PRIOR to throwing the Sport open to *"The Professionals". I can't remember many of the players Emerson defeated except for Charles "Butch" Buckholdts (I'm sorry I  realise that i have mangled and butchered his name. (The pun was not intentional or significant /  I  WAS  already *a Tennis *Junky / Groupy*  back then). Guys Like Rod Laver etc where off ... playing Pro Tennis at Wembly. . .
    I don't much like the climbing into the stands ... bit. either. I'm old fashioned. There are many things creeping into *"The gentleman's game" which I detest. (All the screeching etc, and Sharapova turning her back on her opponent until she (Sharapova) is good and ready) I regard this as being *"Rude" on top of being *Gamesmanship") I don't like *"The Mis-use" (Bordering on abuse ~~ to gain an unfair advantage") of many of the Medical Time-Outs I don't like the trend to call Lady Tennis Players *"Women or even worse Females. ... HOWEVER  ... every thing is dynamic and changing and i just have to accept much of it.

    Back on topic ~~ If Novak wants to be *"In the conversation" of the future (Looking back over *THIS* period) He has to do more. He needs to *"Build-up the head of steam" - he had in 2012. Only Time can tell us. .  

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @Michael9 

    IMHO - He does far less of this now a days. He doesn't  need. to He is very Very Fit - Now! He & his Vegan anti-gluten diet.
    IF we focus on 2007 - he was a far different player to 2012 ~~ Let us see *"at least" -  the US Open and the end of the Year Masters (and could we *"Subsequently*" -  look at 2014???) 

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @Michael9 

    Thank You Michael  (My *Like* button works on an on again off again basis ~~ more Off than one. Thus I find it necessary to record approval  - otherwise) 

    I view ... The efforts to turn players into *"Off-Court - Enemies", as an effort  *"Fed by" - by the Media  to introduce *"Drama -Drama" into the Sport and make a name for themselves (said Media - NOT  The Players) I've played representative Tennis .. {{As a VERY SMALL Fish ~~  in an even Smaller - Pond}} Yet  even here ... the media is always looking to stir-up interest and add excitement. SADLY -  we (the following Public) prefer to read about (and /or  look at) conflict.     to add excitement to their stories.

    Djokovic crept up on the Top tare of Tennis players - unnoticed (except for his goofing-off, by imitating other players. Until - his TENNIS  made him be taken serious, nobody seemed to mind his imitations.   . 

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @rajeevbat Agreed ~~ AND ~~ IMHO - Novak  'D' Joker Djokovic - has a lot of catching up to do. . HOWEVER  - I believe he has the capacity ...  to do just that. (Catch-up) Time alone will tell. 

    For ALL  players  ... it is far better to let one's racquet ... do the talking.
    Athletes *do*- tend to suffer from *"Foot in the mouth  disease" /// HOWEVER  they are led on by the Media  AND ~~ They lag  far  behind Politicians ~~ in this regard.  

    BenNev
    BenNev

    @Teodorico You are ridiculously biased. There is a reason many fans dislike Nadal, his behaviour is terrible. On court coaching, time wasting, fake MTO's. Other players and commentators have mentioned this, but I guess you are too biased too see that. You clearly don't like Novak, so can't se clearly.

    Him and Murray are much more gracious losers than Nadal and Federer.

    topsport1
    topsport1

    @Tom14 i grew up watching them, and patrick and the other brother in the box..sr. in his floppy hat looking miserable at times but no doubt enjoying it and mom kind of getting through but they handled themselves well, certainly a lot better than their son often....consider sampras' parents too, yes he had parents...barely ever came, even siblings were rare most times

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @OraReed 
    If I remember rightly ~~ {{It was during the Sloane Stephens debacle}}  that  Sharapova said she could not indulge in small talk about the weather in the Locker room ... and then go out on Court ~~ *Intent on demolishing  her opponent across the net, in the next moment. Understandable sentiment / wise words!!! She is to be congratulated for her frankness! 
    I agree ~~ Allowances are to be made for us humans {{especially when it comes to our children}}. We parents have a lot of emotion at stake and don't see through proper glasses. We are biased and cock-eyed. Excuses need to be made for us parents!  HOWEVER - NOT  beyond a certain point! 

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @dj13e29 

    Why do all of us act as if Novak Djokovic has HUNG-UP  his racquet?? 
    None of them has indicated that they are retiring (Federer - Nadal  - Djokovic nor Murray). We need  the entire picture (AFTER  they have retired) to make some of the pronouncements we make!   

    topsport1
    topsport1

    @Mikeli nobody said the family hasn't sacrificed but this is unseemly and doesn't help the son who has bettered his own image over time..again, i heard the guy was very sick, usually that can provide some wisdom or understanding, maybe less anger, but not here apparently

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @topsport1 

    Funny  I can't remember Novak's parents standing out particularly in this area (They certainly are not like Bernard Tomic's Father, and many argue that HE should be allowed back into the stadium - because his not being there must constantly on the son's mind ... making him fight two opponents, at any given time! Many other parents are caught on camera really  acting-up in a way that would upset me.   When I did play - I wanted to KNOW  that certain people were there ~~ IN ORDER  THAT I COULD  FORGET THEM ... and concentrate at the Tennis at hand. IF  they were NOT  there, I'd keep looking for them to arrive and *THAT*  would distract me! 

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @topsport1 
    The World needs - less of this type of article (from Djokovic Senior). Rather than trying to get the upper  hand via criticism, and rancor ... how about just forgetting it and moving on.
    Djokovic needs  to return to the calm inside, which he credited for his getting to (and staying at) #1. The above doesn't help ANYONE. IMHO ~~ Least of all  Novak.

    Let us ALL settle down to clean; decent; competitive, ENJOYABLE - Tennis ... as we round out the year.  

    BenNev
    BenNev

    @Kathy27 This is the most delusional post I have read. Wouldn't expect any better from a Nadal fangirl! How would being friends with Nadal mean Djokovic worked out how to beat him? Funnily enough, I doubt they discussed tactics. Djokovic improved physically and mentally, beat Nadal. End of story.

    Nadal is a sore loser, always has been. He only liked Djokovic when he was beating him. But surprise, surprise, he stopped being friends with Djokovic after he got his ass handed to him 7 times in a row. Djokovic is always gracious in defeat. As for Madrid, please. Ridiculous reasoning. Nadal celebrates like mad too. You only have to watch the Rosol match to see how he acts when losing. I used to be a big Rafa fan but sadly that stopped when I saw how ungracious and childish he could be.

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @Dubinion 

    I predict the Novak 'D' Joker Djpokovic shall clean up his act ~~ Hold onto his #1 Status and do just great going forward {{Thank You very much}}
    Note well ~~ My predictions tend to backfire - and bite me between the eyes!!! *chuckle* (^_^) 

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @BenNev @Teodorico 
    I have seen Djokovic *"Give" - his opponent the point when the hawk-eye has shown it was in and the Chair Umpire said ~~ "replay the point" Djokovic has said I could not get to that ball. If it was in ~~  it was a winner.
    He is also one of the few players, left who applaud and say *"Good shot" / *"Well Played" -  when he has been beaten -- largely passed at the net.  
    AND he apologies when the net cord hands him the winner  {{I  DO NOT AGREE - with John and Patrick McEnroe that it is hypocrisy}} One shall soon be told to applaud Double Faults. ALL  players feel a little relieved when they get an easy point ~~> But as LADIES and GENTLEMEN , we do NOT  have to show it!  
    I can't remember seeing Nadal do this and Federer ~~ *USED  to do it .... much more frequently, when he was winning everything easily. Much more than he does ... Now!!! (With *Others Like Djokovic, Murray and Even Del Potro and David Ferrer, creeping up on him. 
    It is one supposes ~~ Human Nature.
    Being  Gracious while winning   is easy ~~ Much more difficult when one has to fight for points. 
    I do NOT  know if it is still there OVER  The Main Wimbledon Gate ~~ A Quote from Rudyard Kiplin's *IF* ( It is a Long time since i hug around there)

    *"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;

    ~~!~~ (A Hunk Left out )

    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!"

    I STILL  give Novak Djokovic a chance to catch-up on both Nadal and Federer. I shall STILL  be disappointed if he does not!

    topsport1
    topsport1

    @Mikeli and btw, if murray starts beating novak regularly i'm guessing novak's father will start in on him too

    topsport1
    topsport1

    @RosDopwell @topsport1 i'm certainly not putting them in the league with tomic, or pierce's dad, and some others who appear to be downright dangerous and abusive..i just sense they add to the tension a player already feels, and their thing is they like to talk to the press a lot more than other parents which i find odd...maybe that worked for novak coming up but i have a hard time thinking he needs or wants that now...but you know what, novak's winning rate has come down for sure and maybe this is dad's way of giving him a kick in the butt, he thinks it will work and stop some of these losses..idk

    topsport1
    topsport1

    and note, even with the headline, the complimentary remarks in the middle...the future president of serbia is going to have a talk with dad now, i would love to be a fly on the wall for that

    dj13e29
    dj13e29

    Everybody knows if you become friends with a competitor, you can steal their mo-Jo. Forget skill or strategy. All you have to do is get them to "lower their defenses" and then you "find out what makes them tick". So ridiculous. Lol

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @BenNev @Michael9 

    Two things about Djokovic which were criticised (rightly so in my opinion)
    (i)  bouncing the ball for far too long prior to serving and 
    (ii) calling  Medical Time Outs ... to get *"a bit of a rest and massage" - in long matches.
    He has cut WAY BACK  on BOTH  of these irritants. 

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @topsport1 @RosDopwell

    Thanks for responding to my comment. I agree - to most of what you've said.
     IMHO - Djokovic as a PLAYER ~~> does far less of those things that brought criticism down on him, now a days. My sons always cite the Time Out and the ball bouncing prior to serving at me! However I find that doesn't do as much of either recently. IMHO he does not  need. to.  He is very Very Fit - Now! (with his  Vegan anti-gluten diets).
    Recently the chair umpire has warned NADAL - far more about time wasting.
    I wish they would check Sharapova ~~ with her walking to the back of the Court and fiddling with her "viber" AND Sharapova should be reminded that the Rule is that the points should be played at the Pace of The Server  {{ Unless there is frequent abuse of time wasting by the server OR// *"Ambushing the receiver when they are not ready. Sharapova often keeps the Server WAITING on her)

    IF we focus on 2007 - Djokovic was a far different player to 2012.  Let us see *"at least" -  the US Open and the end of the Year Masters prior to writing him off. (and could we *"Subsequently*" -  look at 2014- rather that  Seven years ago in 2007 please ?) 

    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @BenNev @RosDopwell @dj13e29 

    I hark back to the Sharapova statement ~~ (NOT  *Literal OR //  Verbatim - my interpretation of it).
    You can't make "small talk" and "talk about the weather" and 5 minutes later go on Court and want to demolish your opponent. *A  totally different  mindset  - is required"
    FAR MORE  so    ~~  IF  rather than *"Small Talk" ... you were talking   *"Tactics!"

    BenNev
    BenNev

    @RosDopwell @dj13e29 Yes, so some would argue that is why Nadal befriended Nole in the first place. Notice how when he was great friends with Rafa, he didn't have the fire to beat him regularly. Nor does murray, who "coincidentally" is good friends with Rafa. He chokes badly every time they play.

    Nole and Murray aren't as close, but they still talk. Rafa only likes people when they aren't beating him, and throws them away after that. Used to be a fan, but for those reasons not anymore.


    RosDopwell
    RosDopwell

    @dj13e29 

    What I see that can lowering one's guard, was well express, and  *Concisely so ~~ by Maria Sharapova. It can remove *"The Fire In One's Belly" ... that  gives that *"Killer instinct" to ~~ *"Go for the jugular", and finish off a match ~~ without  choking! .