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If Djokovic had won the Wimbledon there is absolutely no guarantee he’d have won the US open. But glad he realised his lesson from last time and didn’t let the occasion get to his head. He has established himself as the GOAT

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Hi Chris.

I agree it wasn’t a great match. Djokovic may have been a bit tight. Plus the weather. And I think, even though he would never admit it, I think in someways for Medvedev his final was really beating Alcaraz.

Because Alcaraz had in effect really run away from the field of the younger players, and I think that they were all getting a sense that he was just on a different level from them. Which showed up in the way Medvedev talked about him.

And I think it was really important for Medvedev for himself, but also maybe for others to demonstrate that Alcaraz is beatable. So the semifinal was a great match and I’m not sure how much Medvedev had left in the tank for the final. I don’t think that was a physical thing so much as a psychic thing.

The question remains which you alluded to in your comment about Wimbledon, whether or not any of these other players, either currently has the all-court game effectively to challenge Djokovic on a stage like this one featuring 3/5 sets and the grand slam setting or the self confidence and mental toughness.

Or is Alcaraz still head and shoulders above everybody else, both in terms of his willingness to take risks but also just his comfort with and commitment to an attacking game that puts a lot more pressure on every facet of Djokovic‘s game.

This tournament didn’t really do anything to suggest in terms of the people that Djokovic must face that there’s anybody else who can do that.

if that’s true, then as incredible as it seems assuming health and drive Djokovic must still be seen as the favorite at the Slams for the foreseeable future. And let’s remember regarding Wimbledon that as beautifully as Carlito played if Djokovic doesn’t make some uncharacteristic errors in the second set, he probably wins it in three.

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founding

Novak often looks dead (see Cincinnati circa 2023 vs Alcaraz) but finds his way through. So while he was tottering in the 2nd set and some may have thought he was there for the taking I suspect that was wishful thinking and Joker would, as he so often has done, find a way to pull it out. As you point out Medvedev stubbornly stuck to what wasn’t working and bs the greatest tactician and problem solver maybe ever it is hard to see how he wins that.

What is interesting to consider is e would have happened had the roof been open and Joker were forced to play in leas hospitable climate? I think the USTA did him a huge solid by closing the roof before any bad weather rolled through. I am not sure I understand why they don’t start the match with the roof open and close if it rains but the choice not to do so was a plus for Novak. I was there last Wednesday at what was the worst weather day of the two weeks and even then the roof was only 2/3rds closed. It was the most brutal and miserable day I ever spent at the Open in 60+ years of going. If ever there was a day to close it from the get go to protect players and fans that was it. USTA needs to develop a clear, transparent, objective policy managing roof and weather issues. With climate change you can bet an event in NYC is only going to face increasingly unpredictable and problematic weather conditions and they need to get ahead of it for the benefit of players and fans.

GREAT JOB THESE LAST TWO WEEKS.

THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR INSIGHTS AND COLOR WITH US. BETWEEN YOU AND THE TENNIS PODCAST TEAM TOU BEING THIS SPORT WE LOVE TO LIFE.

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Okay ager. Don't think you gave Meddy NEARLY enough credit for wearing Nole to a frazzle in that second set. It was absolutely touch and go. Huge set. Immense athleticism on both men's parts. And it was genuinely worth watching apparently. Yes it was straight sets. But it nearly wasn't. Anyone who can take a set off Novak in a slam is worth a mention. Nobody gave Kyrgios any credit for taking one last Wimbledon. He lost the match. But it was still pretty exciting and dramatic. Yet another one of Meddy's generation who will go down, like Sasha and Dmitrov and Tsitsipas as being 'failures' because they didn't win any or many slams in the face of the three wrecking balls.

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Sep 11, 2023·edited Sep 11, 2023

It was frustrating watching Medvedev play so badly. Thought we were in for a treat after watching him beat Alcaraz. But as in football, often the best ‘finals’ are the championship games before the Super Bowl.

Novak is not part of a tennis ‘rat pack’ any longer, but truly one-of-a-kind, and I can’t help but wonder what Sinner, Zverev and rest of top 8 players must think about their grand slam prospects for the next 5 years - potentially always facing the wrecking ball of Novak.

But tennis aside, maybe he is an inspiration to millions of what can be achieved (no matter the challenge, occupation, etc.), and that there always is a path to victory.

Looking forward to Laver Cup and ATP Finals.

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