Google Down the Line!: THE LOW DOWN: Nole's game continues to falter during the fall - what's the deal?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

THE LOW DOWN: Nole's game continues to falter during the fall - what's the deal?

The fall indoor season continues to be a thorn in the side of Novak Djokovic.

The Serb started the year by earning his maiden Grand Slam in Melbourne and winning Indian Wells and Rome but his results have suffered since. Today Nole was defeated 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 at the Paris Masters today by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, his second consecutive loss to the Frenchie baller after defeating him for the Aussie Open crown. A couple of weeks ago, Nole fell in straight sets to Ivo Karlovic in Madrid's third round and before that lost to Jo-Willy in the Bangkok final.

Last season, the 21-year old won Vienna but fell off in a big way taking a semifinal loss in Madrid, a second round loss in Paris, a went 0-3 in the Masters Cup round robin play. Could it be that he peaks during the first half of the season but lacks the physical fitness to end the season strongly? Or is it something about indoor play that bothers him?? I believe it's the former.

Rafael Nadal
used to face similar criticism (and, to some extent, still does) - his grinding style and emphasis on the clay-court season left nothing in the reserves for the fall. Nole is a grinder as well - he plays a good share of defensive tennis, prefers long rallies in long matches, and doesn't possess a "kill" shot to close out points quickly. He's certainly gotten better at playing shorter matches at the start of tourneys, but not consistently enough and it's caught up to him again. Over time, this style takes its toll and it seems to be doing the same to Nole as he even admitted recently.

This week he strangely arrived to his opening match wearing a black mask. It seems Nole may have been hoping he could be anyone else right about now.

(image via Getty)


  1. I read somewhere saying that Nole has been partying too hard lately. He has to be careful or else Murray will be able to catch up really fast.

  2. hmmm - maybe that's why he was wearing that mask. he was covering the bags under his eyes!

  3. Well I think it's only a matter of time until Murray will overtake him in the rankings if Nole doesn't change anything.

    I guess the problem is that he stopped evolving. He made such a progress in 2007, but didn't really improve anything since then. This is why he can't really keep up anymore.

    Rafa for instance has shown us clearer than ever: if you keep improving, your ranking will improve as well.

  4. I cannot say it better - Nole has stopped improving. Will he be the next A-rod?

    I really cannot get excited about Nole's game. Murray ftw!

  5. yeah - he definitely hasn't improved noticeably in any areas. serve? forehand?? net game???

    he does need to take it to the next level - and drop the attitude. i think his arrogance gets in the way and, ironically, ends up adding more pressure on himself because he thinks he should be beating everyone at any time.

    time to get real.

  6. btw he wears a mask at paris every year...for halloween, lol.


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