Tennis  > General Tennis  > Djokovic never stopped beleiving; Nadal/Federer did.
September 15, 2011, 09:10 AM
At critical points- Federer at match point- even as he appeared to accept the outcome of a loss he ripped a fantastic winner-keeping his focus & challenging himself. At the sametime federer appeared to let his foot off the gas(too passive) instead of being agressive & finishing off Djokovic.
Similarly Nadal did not continue with the momentum he finished in the third set - perhaps djokovic's injury/timeout for treatment/apparent physical inability partly neutralised Nadal's momentum. Djokovic also changed the slugfest approach to tactically slowing the match down while Ndal seem unsure in strategy.
September 15, 2011  02:12 PM ET

This has been something that has interested me as well: the role that confidence/psychology seems to be playing in the men's side of the draw, especially among those top three: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. As you point out, it seems that neither Federer nor Nadal actually believes he can beat Djokovic. You saw it with Federer up two sets to none in the semifinal: he seemed to wake up suddenly and think, "I can't possibly be beating this guy" and promptly fell apart. And then, again, when he was serving for the match in the fifth set, his confidence faltered.

Nadal, meanwhile, has admitted that Djokovic has gotten into his head.

My question is: If we took confidence out of the equation (created a world where all three players were completely confident at every moment and the winner was decided on pure talent, skill, strategy and fitness), who would win?

Right now, however, confidence is THE issue: ND has it, Rafa and Fed don't.

 
September 16, 2011  03:51 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

This has been something that has interested me as well: the role that confidence/psychology seems to be playing in the men's side of the draw, especially among those top three: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. As you point out, it seems that neither Federer nor Nadal actually believes he can beat Djokovic. You saw it with Federer up two sets to none in the semifinal: he seemed to wake up suddenly and think, "I can't possibly be beating this guy" and promptly fell apart. And then, again, when he was serving for the match in the fifth set, his confidence faltered.Nadal, meanwhile, has admitted that Djokovic has gotten into his head. My question is: If we took confidence out of the equation (created a world where all three players were completely confident at every moment and the winner was decided on pure talent, skill, strategy and fitness), who would win? Right now, however, confidence is THE issue: ND has it, Rafa and Fed don't.

I'm not sure Federer fell apart because it suddenly dawned on him that he was in the driver's seat against Novak. After all, he had beaten him at the French. Did he have a sense of deja vu, having had two match points the previous year at the same venue against the same opponent? Possibly some of the subconscious played a part. No question that Djokovic is the one with the confidence now. If all three had equal amounts of the ingredients you describe, I would give the edge to Roger. Then again, age is working against him.

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    Tuukka Rask takes blame for Bruins' Game 1 loss
    Views
    2037
    Comments
    230
  2. 2
    Smush Parker allegedly punches high schooler
    Views
    1648
    Comments
    139
  3. 3
    Joel Quenneville's Midnight Hawk favored to win Illinois Derby
    Views
    414
    Comments
    88
  4. 4
    Quarterback freefalling down draft boards
    Views
    5836
    Comments
    87
  5. 5
    Oklahoma State pays Peyton Manning $105K for speech
    Views
    571
    Comments
    25

SI.com

SI Photos