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He needs to get off the reverse gear, win at rg, to be considered real goat?


He needs a well-defined goal. Seems to be meandering right now.

Gary Moser

Winning RG again would give Novak the DOUBLE-CAREER-SLAM,
which it now appears that neither Federer or Nadal will end up doing...


He has to fix his marriage first. Use the blue pill and get her pregnant again then focus and focus on winning RG.


He needs to get back his return game again.


Nole thrives on the support of the crowd. It energizes him. He really picks up his game when the crowd chants his name and cheers him on. This was very much the scenario at Rolland Garros this past year. I think Novak has played rather flat since his RG win for the most part. Being the crowd favorite would motivate him to win.


He need play less so be fresh


Novak's relationship with Jelena is just fine. The issue is something else. To that end, fixing whatever he needs to fix does not involve his wife. In fact, I don't even think there's anything to be fixed. Novak has always been and will continue to be vulnerable against strong, big hitting opponents like Delpo or Stan, when they're on fire. Or freakin' Sam Q, for that matter. All his titles came via hard work, lots of running, lots of grinding. Because, he does not have killer shots. Good, but not point ending shots. In my view he may be able to win a few more slams over the next couple of years just by continuing to be in the mix. And that's all there is to it.

Or he may try steak-n-eggs with fries and gravy accompanied with some dark ale.


What Novak is dealing right now is this feeling of completion after winning RG this year. He has won all there is to win except cincinnati masters and an olympic medal for his country. The above two are nothing big to remain motivated. Novak has won all there is to win and even completed a non-calendar grand slam(Novak slam) by winning 4 majors in a row which is a feat I think no one can replicate in the near future. The ONE way to overcome what he is dealing right now is to remind himself that there are still things like winning one more RG and achieving double career slam. And also remain as the world no.1 for two more years to break Rogers record of 302 weeks as no.1. It is possible for Novak. One more RG and more weeks as no.1 than any other player will give him the GOAT status even if he falls short of 17 slams.

Gary Moser

"Novak has always been and will continue to be vulnerable against strong,
big hitting opponents like Delpo or Stan, when they're on fire."
A truism, in my book...but what former great HASN'T been?

Roger versus Delpo in the 2009 USO Final?

Rafa versus Delpo in the 2009 USO Semi-Final?

Sampras versus Krajicek or Philippoussis?

Borg versus Roscoe Tanner?

McEnroe versus Lendl?

Gary Moser

"One more RG and more weeks as no.1 than any other player will give him
the GOAT status even if he falls short of 17 slams."
I doubt that it will play out like this, but just to do the "devil's advocate"
thing: if Novak wins only ONE more Slam --- at Roland Garros, to give him the
double-Career-Slam --- but THAT'S ALL, leaving him with only 13 total,
and he BARELY passes Roger's 302 weeks at #1 [ 305...310... ],
would he end up the consensus GOAT? I have a hard time seeing it.


As far as consensus GOAT goes, it will require 18 slams before the Federer fans give ground. Even then they may not. Dig up some of the old bogus (and seriously hilarious) arguments -- Rafa has never lost in the first round of the slam before (pre Darcis) -- the Nadalistas use to come up with. I'm sure the Fed fans will find some similarly creative reasons.

So, forget consensus. Let's say 15 slams, that's 2 more FOs and 1 USO plus 310 weeks. GOAT?

Gary Moser

As a Federer fan, I would have no problem admitting that Novak and his fans
would have a good case for "CO-GOAT" at a minimum, with such a scenario...


Yes Gary. Novak needs to win few more slams to become the indisputable GOAT! But its going to be really difficult as he has won almost all the titles that matter. One important thing to note is his list of injuries since RG 2016. I mean in wimbledon when he lost to querrey he said he had some problem in press conference but didn't explain the injury. After olympics he had wrist injury. Heck he even had a blister in the finals after playing for only 3 hrs in the first 3 sets. Also only played half the amount of time as stan did to reach the finals with 1 w/o and 2 matches which was gifted with 1 and 2 sets respectively. Novak's body is starting to show signs of weakness. The ONE way TP is probably thinking is about Novak keeping the points short to reduce the length of the match like Roger did by coming to net often rather than defending deep behind the baseline. Yea keep the points short and play aggressively to finish the rallies faster!


By Sperry's count, one slam equals two Masters. Djokovic is already ahead by 6 Masters and if he stays #1 for another 2 years he will probably have a 10-15 Masters lead.

So, lets see:
10-15 more Masters
More weeks as #1
3 times career slam vs one time
Probably ahead in h2h vs all major rivals; at least very unlikely to have been owned by any one rival
And just 2 slams behind.

Still "CO-GOAT"? That's a lot of emphasis on the "Federer fan" bit :-)


Gary, agreed. My argument is that his loss to Stan should not be seen as the end of GS winning just because Novak lost that one match. He may be where Rafa was in 2009 when he lost to (big hitting, on fire) Soderling. Some family issues, wear and tear starting to show, motivation low ...

Gary Moser

"And just 2 slams behind"...DESPITE..."Probably ahead in h2h vs all major rivals".

What can I say? I tend to favor people who do things the hard way. :->


Djokovic will need another 2 good seasons before we can enter the co-GOAT conversation. He is currently only the BOAT ... especially because, unlike Federer, did not have an 'easy era'


would I shock you by introducing the idea that Federer's dominance of Roddick prevented Roddick from being a "great" player. Roddick would have been great if he hadn't met Fed so often at Wimby. The fact that Roddick never got past him ---does that mean he wouldn't have gotten past anyone else either?


You should know by now ... I'm just picking up a fight with Fed Nation :) BTW, I love Andy, probably a single soul outside US who can say that.

Here's a measurement of an era:

1) When Federer hit the Nadal/Djokovic wall he crushed into it and lost his No 1
2) When Djokovic hit the Nadal/Federer wall he climbed over it to become No 1


when Fed was in his prime he was "that much" better than Novak and now it's reversed. The wall is crumbling : )


Federer was in his Wimbledon prime in 2015. Remember semis VS Murray? His best match ever. Than he crushed into Novak ...


And then a couple of years ago he crushed Novak in a Wimby semi. The big fly in the ointment for me regarding Novak, who is a superb player no question--- is that he will have these hiccups and lose matches in tournaments that Fed never lost in his prime during slams.. Fed and that semifinal streak of his I think is a DiMaggio-like record.

If we want to talk weak era, I think that's a far more interesting argument for Serena


Veglia, you've gone seriously "Trumpish" ie no matter hie egregious the lie, just keep repeating it and hope people will buy it. You seem to do the same for Fed had an "easy era" but Djokovic didn't. And Fed was in his prime at age 34 so you can justify that Djokovic actually had very tough opponents. At 34 Roger may have been enough to bear Andy but that was nowhere near federer at his best. Go look up 2005-06-07, yup about 8-10 years ago. That was his peak.

Did you know (of course you do) that Djokovic had just one slam until we got to the year that Fed turned 30? That Djokovic has never had to beat a guy younger than him to win a slam? Talk about a weak era


Hey, I think The Donald stole this method from me, not vice versa! But ... who was Roger competing against in Glory Days??!! Roddick, Nalbandian, Blake, Davydenko ... My main argument is that Djokovic had to go through peak Nadal (2010/2011) to get to the top. And that was the toughest test in tennis. Another argument, which cannot be proven, is that IMO Fed at W in 2015 would beat Fed at W any other year. Overall he was definitively in decline but that one tournament he played like Glory Days.

Now, the fact (new to me and very interesting, thanks for that) that Djokovic always had to beat a more experienced opponent to win a slam only supports the "tough era" claim, right? Federer was beating mainly rookies and sophomores who didn't have the nerves for the big stage.


Fed played really well in US Open 2015 too. But in both the finals of wimbledon and US open Fed played poorly! Just compare the matches and see the stats, ue, fe, etc. In the finals he played very very bad. Especially 2015 US open where he had like sooo many break points opportunities missed! So it doen't mean when a player plays well through out the tourny will play well in the finals. This nervousness from fed is due to his knowing that this maybe his last GS final. This is mainly due to his age. Roddick is not rookie neither is davydenko,safin and nalbandian. There is no thing like weak era. I remember Novak losing to roddick and safin in GS. There is no excuse for losing. When you lose you lose and when you win you win. Roger is one of the best of all time. Next on the list is pete,nadal and then only novak comes for now. I am a rafa fan by the way but I do love both Novak and Roger. The only player I dont like right now is Murray. I only see uglyness both in his game as well as in his looks.


Those rookies and sophomores were called Nadal, Djokovic and Murray. The generation below Djokovic has Nishikori, Raonic, Djokovic etc. Yeah, strong era indeed.


Oops, the last mention of Djokovic is meant to be Dimitrov.


I think this is the most balanced (and honest) comment in a long time ... Thanks Jabali! I actually fully agree, there's no weak era. It's just that any post on TP turns into a GOAT debate, no matter where we start :)

Gary Moser

Sampras didn't play beyond the end of 2002, the year of his 31st birthday,
in which he secured his 14th and last Slam title at that year's USO.

If Roger had decided to retire according to the same timeline ---
the end of 2012, age 31, after winning his 17th Slam at that year's Wimby ---
the H2H between him and Novak would for all time have been
16-13 in Roger's favor, including a 6-5 edge in Slam competition
[ which could easily have been 18-11 and 8-3, respectively,
if not for Fed failing to cash a couple of double-MP opportunities ].

"Thank you, Roger!"

"Why, you're most welcome, Novak."


He should have retired after winning Wimbledon in 2012, absolutely! At the top, like a true king he was then!


Back to WOF question ... he needs to get to the finals at RG and lose so he can get another standing ovation from the crowd!

Gary Moser

You're being facetious...right?

That was a one-time thing because his long quest was, at that point, unfulfilled.
Not the case anymore.


Isn't the quest now a double career grand slam?

Gary Moser

Sure...that's the "quest". For him and also for Roger ( FO, too ) and Rafa ( AO ).

But the monster ovation that Novak got at the FO in 2015 was because the crowd
felt sorry for him coming up short yet again, since he obviously had been
most deserving for many years based on his talent.

But I doubt that any crowd anywhere, in any era, feels that any player
DESERVES a double-career-Slam. :->


Unless they move RG to Zurich or Belgrade :)


He needs a Retirement Goal. That will motivate him to win more and achieve more.

Or.... Roger Gone. With federer gone, he will have an open road ahead, so he can play freely


Return Game

Tennis Planet



Not sure of this one. First, in how many of his 12 slams has he actually been the crowd favorite? Very few, I think. Second, the crowd hasn't ever really willed him to a win. He has mainly received "love" for being a valiant loser. Third, even if he wants to be a crowd favorite, for he craves that, and that is what makes him win, then why has been holding off for so long? Why hasn't he done the necessary stuff to be crowd favorite already?

Tennis Planet


"First, in how many of his 12 slams has he actually been the crowd favorite? Very few, I think."

Whatever he has achieved so far was NOT because of crowd support but rather because he believed it will one day get him the 'favorite' tag. In other words, it was the 'hunt' for it - with burning desire - that has gotten him where he is today.

What emboldened him and reinforced his belief was Federer's precedent.

"All the lame impersonations, dances, jokes, songs, Slams, Masters 1000 etc. are rooted in that one soil."

"Second, the crowd hasn't ever really willed him to a win. He has mainly received "love" for being a valiant loser."

Reason why he is still in pursuit of the 'root' goal with ALL wins aimed at one day producing the 'desired' outcome.

That standing ovation with respect to both quality and quantity was FAR beyond merely for a 'valiant loser'. Even if it was JUST for a 'valiant loser', it was the closest he EVER came to his ultimate goal of this public a display of love and admiration on the biggest stage.

"Third, even if he wants to be a crowd favorite, for he craves that, and that is what makes him win, then why has been holding off for so long? Why hasn't he done the necessary stuff to be crowd favorite already?"

He has done ALL that is in his power - heck, some beyond - to reach his innermost goal.

"All the lame impersonations, dances, jokes, songs, Slams, Masters 1000 etc. are rooted in that one soil."


Congrats to our 2 winners ...even though TP says the "first correct answer" wins. Glad you're mellowing.


Thanks! Hey, let's not get Hawk Eye involved ... :)


Well, I for one am THRILLED to win!!!! Congrats as well to Veglia!!


Congrats ricke! This was a tough one ...

Tennis Planet


Ricke got most of it right but missed the 2015 RG final - which Veglia didn't.

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