Jokes apart I don't remember the last time Djokovic looked so ruthless, he casually used to lose some sets but now he is not only decimating physically but mentally too


>Jokes apart I don't remember the last time Djokovic looked so ruthless That's because the competition level right now is in the gutter compared to when the Big 3 were in their primes.


Yup the semis lineup looks hilarious..Tommy Paul ffs, not undermining him but still


Remember when we had Tennys, Chung and Kyle.


Tennys wasn’t in the semi final. Chung played at a crazy high level that tournament. He didn’t just fluke his way into the semi finals. Obviously his semi final itself was a huge disappointment. Looking at the SF line-ups I see some similarities. 1 GOAT, one great non-big 3 player (Cilic and Tsitsipas), the rest of the guys no one expected to make it that far.


100% this. Really needs to be emphasised.


He’s literally playing bums and people are wondering how he’s winning so convincingly lmao


Not his faul Nadal got injured, and Alca too. 🤷‍♂️


Last time Novak looked this ruthless was at the Olympics in Tokyo, and I'm not joking. He was ultra aggressive, didn't drop a set, bagled Nishikori etc. Everyone was talking about how there's no way he can be beat and that the CY Golden Slam is a certainty and that he wasn't so ruthless in years. He even smacked Zverev in the first set 6-1 and then - sudden stop. So what I took from that is don't take any good performance at a tournament for granted and it can stop suddenly at any point.


Exactly, results of the past really don't matter.


The level of competition is absolute ass right now. Meddy out of form, Zverev just came back from a major injury, Thiem out of form, Alcaraz injured, Rafa out of form + now injured. Anything but a Djokovic steamroll would be a surprise to me.


Easily done when the opposition are all bums. Anyone who says otherwise is deluded.


Some sets? He only lost on lol


I don't even understand what you wrote.."He only lost on lol" what is this?




I feel like he's lost more than one set in past Grand Slam tournaments, especially given that he's lost matches in past tournaments.


He commonly concedes or loses the first set though, not counting this tourney


Its painful to watch him making other players look like recreational players. Really wish someone can step it up, unfortunately I think those who can play freely and without baggage had all gone out of the tournament. He certainly won’t let Tsitsipas get away with those 0-40 situations as much as Sinner and Lehecker.


Look all I'm saying is that Novak has never beaten me


Not another undefeated 4.5 😭


Is that you Jiri Vesely?


Roddick has joked that he decided to retire so he'd still have a winning h2h vs. Djokovic.


Please sir the man has kids to feed. Let him get his AO money.


Look, all I'm saying is I've played hundreds of matches in my life and still have never lost to any of the Big 3.


Tommy Paul at the Australian open is one of the toughest tests in sport. If he can’t then no one can.


Tommy Paul has literally never lost a match at the Australian Open this year.


Neither has Rublev. Oh wait... Now he has.


Tommy Paul GOAT


I wouldn't underestimate him. He's looking good and he has absolutely nothing to lose.


I mean, Novak can take your soul. He certainly has something to lose.


I don’t understand the constant “nothing to lose” comments. What does that even mean? Is this going to somehow magically gift him top form and tactics? Why would everyone not do that? Or does it simply mean he’s going to try his hardest? As if Djokovic isn’t? I would think the opposite, actually. Djokovic will push harder because he has more to gain - a record tying 22nd slam. And he doesn’t have much time left in his career. Tommy Paul has already achieved his career high just making the semifinals, and is playing an almost impossible match against the GOAT on his favorite surface.


Players that have no expectations can play with less stress. Federer talked about when he won in 2017 that he was just expecting to have fun and didn't expect to win, and that made him less stressed in the final.


The way I view it - he won't be as stiff. He'll have a loose hands and just play his best game, if not better. He'll just go for it and have fun. Of course, if he gets a lead and he suddenly realises "OMG I Might beat Djokovic and get in the Semi-Finals", he might get stiffer and start making more mistakes.


Actually would be a final but point stands


You're right. What a silly mistake. It would have really emphasised it even better. Somehow I was stuck in the QF in my head.


If you’re playing someone who is way better than you, you don’t worry about losing at all since that’s the expected outcome. You can swing more freely and go for shots without worry, which can lead to you playing some of your best tennis. I have personally experienced both sides of this many times


Very well put.


He also is the only player to remain unbeaten by Djokovic.


Is this a joke




Watching this tournament has made me realise just how little variety and creativity much of the current gen has. No deep angles, change of pace, spin, charging the net, strong volley game. Just forehands as hard as they can, much of the time directly at the opponent.


Alcaraz is a strong exception. He has a solid deep angle and drop game.


And Korda tends to have an all around game


Yes, Alcaraz is the obvious exception, and Kyrgios when he can be bothered. There's probably others as well (Lorenzo Musetti springs to mind when he's at this best). Edit. Tsitsipas


People not mentioning Tsitsipas in these comments is kinda bizare considering he has showcased the best all court game probably this tournament.


I agree, Tsitsipas is worth a mention, especially as he actually does manage to get a good game in with the big 3


Musetti has had nothing but disappointing results lately


He won a title without dropping a set in October and beat Ruud at the Paris Masters in November. Also apparently his coach was admitted to hospital just before his R1 match at the AO, so he did well to take it to 5.


I was disappointing at that age too.


Yes unfortunately, especially in this tournament ![gif](emote|free_emotes_pack|facepalm) 20 is still a young age though I suppose


Tsitsipas too


There’s defs a component of this. I remember thinking the same at Wimby. Next gen just serves hard and hits hard. Besides that I see less versatility. Generic next gen player is 6’4” with 200km serve that Djoker makes look like a block of granite playing tennis against Spider-Man


Yeah this is true for the rublev zverev meddy gen. The alcaraz rune sinner Korda gen have exactly the variety you described. I have big hopes for them once they get more bo5 match play under their belts. Domi is the unluckiest guy in tennis alongside delpo. He had the game and balls that had Novak shaking in his boots.


Yeah he was beating the big 3 before the injury.


He’s the only man in history alongside Andy Murray who will ever record 5+ wins against the big 3. Domi you will always be famous!!!


Domi 💔


>Yeah this is true for the rublev zverev meddy gen. But there is also Tsitsipas...


Tsitsipas is an interesting one because he’s kind of like a bridge between the two gens I mentioned. He has the huge dominant serve and fh of the former, but is comfortable at net like the latter, but less likely to initiate net play unless he’s very confident it’ll be a put away winner. And he doesn’t vary spin and pace as much as the younger players do. I would also put FAA and berrettini in this group with stef. Huge serve and fh as their bread and butter, with some great transition games & good volleys and slices to mix it up, but not to the extent that next next gen will go after those changes of pace and all court play.


I think Tsitsipas varies his spin and pace quite a lot. One of the reasons why i think his forehand is the best forehand right now in the game is due to his ability to do everything with it, hit hard and flat, use topspin, take pace off, use angles on every side of the court to get his opponent out of position. I wouldn't say that Korda has a better all court game than Stefanos. I think Korda has great variety in his shots but he isn't as dynamic moving foreword as Stef outside of the occasional serve and volley. Korda ironically reminds me of an American , more orthodox version of Medvedev , game wise. Great point construction, patience, rally tolerance, good anticipation and smart tennis. Tsitsipas is looking to finish points early. Alcaraz yes, he seems, at least so far in his career to have the ultimate game. All court. Beautiful to watch. Also FAA and Berrettini don't have Tsitsipas's all court game either. They are a level below him on that department imo.


I agree stefs a top 5 fh right now. Korda technique wise is very different to stef, his motions are much more simple and truncated but I think his shot selection is more varied than stef within one point. Whereas Stef might try different tactics over the course of a match, if that makes sense. Agree he is not as dynamic and explosive a mover as stef around the court, he’s more smooth and controlled and hasn’t displayed the same level of athleticism yet. I think Korda has a better bh than stef. Korda I think is incredibly different to meddy. Meddy has no point construction, he is a human backboard and will retrieve any ball from 5m behind the baseline, I have never seen Korda use this game plan. They both have patience and rally tolerance, but in a totally different way IMO. Stef has better and most consistent execution than both FAA and matteo but I do think their overall game plans fall under the same umbrella. Dictate with serve and fh, and slice and volley to mix it up. Also all their bh are their notably weaker wings.


>I agree stefs a top 5 fh right now. I think even top 5 sells it short. Honestly i'd only possibly put Novak's and Rafa's forehands (when at their best, so not really Rafa this year) above Stef on the current tour. I definitely can't think of 4 players with a better forehand... >Korda technique wise is very different to stef, his motions are much more simple and truncated but I think his shot selection is more varied than stef within one point. I kinda agree with this, although i don't think his shot selection is more varied. I just think that Tsitsipas usually plays less shots during a rally because his gamestyle is quick. But Stef's shots in that short rally (unless he just gets a 1st serve forehand) have equal amounts of variety. It just doesn't stand out as much as a Korda 16 shot rally where he hits all types of slices, loopy forehands, different paced backhands but that's just different game styles , both incorporate variety in them though. >Korda I think is incredibly different to meddy. Meddy has no point construction I greatly disagree. Meddy to me is unique in the sense that he is constructing points, while being on the defensive, if that makes sense :P Like he is retrieving but he knows that if he gets to that ball and hits it at x spot, he is likely going to get y reply and then can play z shot to get the advantage in the rally. He is not just running around mindlessly retrieving balls hoping for errors. >Stef has better and most consistent execution than both FAA and matteo but I do think their overall game plans fall under the same umbrella. Dictate with serve and fh, and slice and volley to mix it up. Also all their bh are their notably weaker wings. I guess. But majority of Tennis players want to dictate with their serve and forehand. It's just some guys have an ability to get to their forehand better than others. Tsitsipas you will often see be at the net after the 2nd shot. (Serve, forehand then Net). Matteo kinda does it similarly but nowhere near as effectively or dynamic, Felix will often not come forward after his shot even if he gets a short return. Yes, their backhands are clear weaknesses


Medvedev and Tsitsipas have actually beaten Big 3 in grand slams and either won grand slam titles or made finals. You can't group them with Rublev.


Not talking about results, just game style


Rublev's game style is nothing like Medvedev's or Tsitsipas...


I didn’t mention tsitsipas, only meddy and zverev. Of course each player has their nuances but grouping them together isnt a stretch IMO.


Arguably the best three non Big Three players of recent years are shells of themselves right now. Zverev, Medvedev, Thiem. And Alcaraz out too, this field is just easy pickings for Novak.


Zverev and thiems freak injuries have made a visible dip on the sport. Very unfortunate, I really feel for them as they must really be suffering knowing how close they were to the top and having to rebuild. Sucks for us fans too. Meddy needs a new coach to help him find solutions for the holes in his game that have been exposed. He hasn’t really made any changes since people have successfully exploited his weaknesses.


Lol have you watched Sinner play? Be doesn't belng in that group


Have you not seen Tsitsipas play?


You're right, he probably is one of the best of the current gen that exhibits at least some of these skills, and it shows when playing against the top 3. Keeping the OHB alive as well, which is always a plus in my book. Shame he's an areshole




Oh come on! He is, both on and off the court...


He's no more an "areshole" than the likes of Medvedev.


Or the fact that Djokovic is so good he makes decent players look terrible. These top players are coming up against one of the greatest players to ever pick up a racket.


Bruh do you even see the matches? Dimitrov played like an absolute amateur and Rublev's plans today were "Plan B is to hit harder than Plan A". OP is right very few players with variety on top right now its going to soon become a who hits hardest contest.


It is incredibly boring. Rather watch the serve and volley era.


Lol, I wouldn't go that far. But, a mix would be nice


Lehecka has quite a lot of variety, also likes to come to net a lot.


The Paul and Shelton match had all the above. Was actually really impressed by both of them


Admittedly, havn't seen it yet. I'll check it out


Sinner's getting there....finally.


Watching these guys fall so easily to Djokovic reminds me of the quote from catch me if you can. "You know why the Yankees always win, Frank?" "Because they have Mickey Mantle?" "No, it's cause the other teams can't stop staring at those damn pinstripes." Djokovic is obviously brilliant, but I wonder how much the other guy saying "oh f***, I'm playing Djokovic" plays a factor.


It is definitely a factor, especially for the younger, less experienced guys (though to be fair Rublev and Tsitsipas don't really fit in that category anymore), and especially in close matches, but I am still convinced that the main element is just Djokovic (or Nadal on clay for that matter) plainly being better than anyone else.


Watching Djokovic, it seems like his whole game is designed to demoralize you. The way he gets your best shots back. The way you get so few free points and neutralizes your serve better than anyone ever. The way he ups his game whenever you have a glimmer of hope. Honestly watching Rublev today, some of those break points he gave him almost felt like he was dangling a treat in front of him, knowing he was just going to take it away. The guy just breaks people brains


They are tactically superior and construct rallies. They do not miss. I don’t see djokovic losing his dominance for 4 years and Nadal is only losing at this point because he has been playing like a mad man the last 40 years lmfao


Same effect was for federer in 2000s.


I think the mental fear factor is a big reason why the big three have been so successful


LOL, Richard Gasquet,, This you??


I wish


I remember people saying that for Novak vs Federer, he had the tools but Federer always seemed to pull through after 2009 2010 everythung changed ofcourse


It seems like something has to click like that for some of these guys to really take it a player of Novaks calibre. No way around but through to beat him at these big tournaments


I don't think it's just mental. When you are doing out bomb serves, and yet getting returns with interest & painting the lines...The game is bound to become exponentially hard. It also gets compounded by the fact that the opponent is picking his serving spots very well. Novak doesn't have the fastest serve on tour, but boy, does his pick his spots well. He's accurate, especially when it counts. The only way to even learn to fight with him is to prepare yourself mentally & energy wise for a battle of attrition (longer points, longer rallies.).




Didn't know there was a name for this, thanks! Very interesting read


Love that movie lol


Novak would win even if his racquet didn't have strings


Man doesn’t even need a racquet. Give him a frying pan and he’ll still out rally anyone


Give Delpo a cast iron and we would have casualties when people come to the net


Come on let’s not exaggerate… but I would say he wins with only horizontal strings… he could drop few sets though…


Dude lost only 4 points on his serve in that last set… And 2 of those were double faults…


Ball persons, lines people or bord of directors of Australia.


His other hamstring maybe


Here's a list of the only people I could see stopping him:


Hamstring has an underdog chance


He only needs one for these guys.


If the government can't stop him, I don't think anyone will.


Rune could have given Nole a good match, maybe Stef will take a set off him in the final. Even injured he simply is too good and consistent.




Khachanov has no chance against him, it’s like saying Nole isn’t yet in the semifinal before the match against Rublev started. It’s pretty clear imo that the final will be Nole - Stef.


Nonesense. Every player has a chance, you reach a GS semi because you are playing great tennis and Tsitsipas has never won an AO semifinal yet. Mental barrier to overcome there.


The same was said a few months ago about Khachanov - Kyrgios in New York...


Nick has never had Stef’s consistency though. He very rarely loses to lower ranked players, it’s not an accident that he’s the player with the most atp wins in 2022.


I was in the crowd as Brooksby defeated Tsitsipas.


Well please don't go to the semi final then.


He's beating Rublev like a Cherokee drum. That guy was still able to cop a few more forehand winners than Novak, but that smirk after serve and volley was just... punishment.


I’ve had my bet on Tsitsipas right before the tournament. Djokovic seems to be on a role and so my money seems to gone through the chimney. But at least every tournament can change day by day and got it’s own surprises


Yep this is about the only hope, that "any given day" at a slam


If people make him run more, they might have a chance. So far Dimitrov, De Minaur and Rublev just seem to hit straight to him. If there is even the slightest possibility that his hamstring is a little bit of an issue, you would want to be serving out wide and hitting out wide in the rallies. Of course, Djokovic is going to make that extremely difficult for anyone to do but there have been several times in the last two sets for Rublev where it was an option and he just hit it straight back. Now let me finish this hot chocolate on my comfy couch.


There were a lot of points where he was running and also sliding which he wasn't doing a lot of in the first couple of matches. I think it's over, he has healed enough to be able to get to those fast balls and not have to play only the ones where he doesn't need to run that much. The draw was just way too easy for him this year.


Hmmm, if I remember correctly, he was always (?) sliding with right foot first, even when it was more natural to use left. Looked kind of strange a few times.


I think you’re simplifying things. It’s not as simple “bro just hit it to the other side” you think incredibly talented and accomplished players like Rublev and Dimitrov don’t know that? There’s a ton of tactical knowledge that you’re not familiar with going through their brains constantly. Hitting angles can give the opponent angles of his own to hit winners back at you. In fact the most defensive shot you can hit to stay in the point is a high topspin, deep shot right in the middle of the court on the baseline. These guys know what they’re doing. They’re just playing an in-form Djokovic at the AO.


Please see the last line of my post. I definitely am over simplifying :)


I appreciate that last line, finally some levity and self-awareness from commentary!


Scenes if it's COVID


The odds are on Djokovic to win. Tsitsipas should have motivation aplenty to get some revenge after numerous defeats to Djokovic in the past two years. If Stef could dominate with the forehand and keep the backhand under control he could win… but Djokovic’s dark art is to make the other guy unravel mentally, and this especially seems to cause Stef’s backhand to collapse. I’d love him to be but I don’t think Tsitsipas is ready (or can) to get the monkey off his shoulder.


Yeah Tommy Paul is definitely beating this guy




The state of the tour right now is pretty sad to be honest. Barring maybe Carlos, I just don’t see that drive to be the best at any cost mentality, that is needed to win these big tournaments. Rublev had lost the battle even before he stepped on court today, Sinner has the same mentality against players better than him. Medvedev has the conviction, but not the game unfortunately. I mean I watched a few games from the first quarterfinal today, due credit to Ben for making it this far on his grand slam debut and all that, but the quality of tennis frankly resembled a 2nd round affair. I guess the days of watching the big 4, along with Stan, Delpo, Ferrer and their likes going head on at the latter stages of a grand slam have just ruined our expectations, and this is likely the new normal going forward.


I think that’s a little harsh to Medvedev. He is undeniably in a bit of a slump this past year, but if he can get back to this best form he absolutely has both the game and conviction.


Slander against Meddy up in here


The avengers


Tsitsipas may have like 5% chance but otherwise no, not at AO atleast.


Only Old Father Time, eventually


Alcaraz maybe? The tour is a JOKE at this point. No serious threats




Yeah that bloke choked from 5-2 up in Set 5 and 5-0 up in the tb lol




I think this sub is borderline meaningless at times. Rune did not choke in the tiebreak. Rublev played very well. They actually both played well in the fifth set. People just throw labels around bases on who they like.


Yeah not sure why you are being downvoted so heavily because the guy lost one close match that he should have won. Take my upvote, I stand by your comment.


Yeah adding to that it was a very close match. But Rublev actually won more points and won in most statistics. With regards to mentality I am pretty sure Rune would have had a real go at it. Probably losing to Djokovic anyway this time around - but along with Stef the only one who could threaten him. (And with Stef i don’t know if he think he can mentally)


This happens in every sports subreddit hahaha


No. Kind of just want him to win every slam this year and retire. Ready for the game to move on. Downvote me


Upvote from me. This is incredibly boring.


Seriously… I’m no longer excited by a march to the title. It’s old.


I’ll upvote you instead!


I also agree, think I came too late to be caught up in the big 3 era- I find just knowing who’ll win boring now


It was exciting to be honest, but the era is over. Fed is gone. Rafa is injured or dominant… Djokovic is dominant but problematic. Andy is just not the Andy he was. The era is over and these are the kind of waning years. They’re still spectacular but the novelty is gone. I think many people are just ready for a new dynamic.


Worst slam in my 12 years following tennis.


You missed the Aus Opens in the late 90s, they sucked


Only his hamstring could but it seems fine now.


Only Stef has the game but it’ll have to come in the final where there is immense pressure


Has anyone in the history of tennis had a return of serve and point construction that is better than Novak's? Those aspects of his game are just at mind-boggling levels!


Djokovic will be going into the final untested without facing an elite opponent if he beats Paul. Tsisipas is on a totally different level both mentally and gamewise. I am worried


Tsitsipas has no chance against Djoko IMO. His return still sucks, Nole will exploit that and have easy service games. Stef will have to do a lot more work on his own service games, and he needs to try to keep the points as short as possible by serving well and taking risks. Hard to maintain in Bo5, but the alternative is worse; if he starts rallying too much, Nole will eat him alive.


Tsitsipas might win a tiebreak but im expecting a tie break and two 1 break sets for a straight sets victory for djokovic


Rune, Alcaraz, Zverev, Tsitsipas, Korda, Medvedev when actually confident again. Nadal on clay. Those are his issues. I still think he will beat Stef in the final, but every year, hell every tournament could be different given his age. Don’t get me wrong, he’s playing great, but people saying he’s playing like the old Novak are kidding themselves.


Maybe Djokovic or Baghdatis tomorrow... Sorry, what was the question?


Rublev inferiority complex came through in his interview after the Rune match.


Nope. At this point finding the women's side much more fun/exciting to watch. Men's side is a total foregone conclusion.






Alcaraz that's all I got.


Only the Australian Government or line judges could. Unfortunately both not in play this year.


Only the Australian Border Force could have stopped him. Once he gets in the country it's all over


Just stop the tournament and hand him the cup. Really pointless to see these matches


This tournament is incredibly dull


Really? I tried to pick QFs up front and got 2 men and 1 woman right. Loved the unpredictability of it. But yes, Djokovic looking dominant


Weak era...let's be real, last some odd years not been close to 2007-2014


It's a shame that Rafa being only a year older than Novak can't take advantage of this so called weak era. Or has he been taking advantage of this weak era since 2014 according to you?


They clearly both have been, Rafa finished world number 2 playing like 5 tournaments last year


I know but please help Darius-mal understand as well. He thinks Novak is a fraud because of that meanwhile Rafa has had the toughest competition.


He won 2/4 Grand Slams last year lol


My theory is that Rafa simply had to exert his body more than Novak in order to keep up with the level required (due to limitations in shots and movement variety and therefore his style of play). Novak also adapted his game as he got older, he improved his serve dramatically which massively added to his all round game. For that reason I think even though they are of similar age, Novak looks like he in himself still has 3 or 4 seasons of schooling rest of the field, while Nadal might even retire this season due to his body's condition.


Not to the extent of Djokovic but yes, he has. Last years Australian Open being a prime example of that.


Himself again


Golf club to the back of the knee should do it!


Doesn’t look like anyone can. My day is fucking ruined. I always want Djokovic to lose, but today in particular my heart is breaking for Andrey 💔


Just two more ruined days, I hope. Nothing personal.


I understand. Believe me I would love to like the guy. What would be best than root for the guy that pretty much wins all the time? But I don’t know what it is about him, I’ve never liked him. I can admit he will probably end his career as the absolute 🐐, but I can’t say I’ll be happy about it.


It's probably cultural thing. I must highlight this in particular, on court, he is defiant and passionate to me. Off the court, I have a hard time mostly with people around him. I could understand some his unscientific ideas as he is poorly educated, since he pursue tennis. But, you know, ones company define the person.


He is winning it all. Idemooo


I feel like I'm watching a masters 500 lol


Tsitsipas will shock the world in the final :)




The weakling next gens are ruining tennis.


> Anyone stopping Djokovic Well certainly not his injury


Alex Hawke


Don't think so


I'm starting to think he may even win a golden slam


I doubt it, his best chance was when he choked in the US Open final the other year. I’d like for him to at least win Wimbledon again this year however








Nope. Why even bother asking this question,?




I hope so, personally I can’t stand Djokovic after his anti vaxxer bs


What about shitsipas ? Final timings can play a factor i guess, i mean Novak is unstoppable during night session.