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Djokovic at the Olympics


WilliamM
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2 hours ago, Charlie said:

Steffi Graf will remain the only player ever to win a "Golden Slam," at least until 2024. But Novak still has a chance to win the calendar year Grand Slam, which no man but Rod Laver has won in the Open Era.

As a die-hard Novak fan, I'm sad he lost because the gold medal matters so much to him.  But my personal opinion?  Meh, I don't really care.  Tennis at the Olympics is a quirky event.  Sure, some great players have won gold (Steffi, Rafa, Serena) but so have some far-from-great players (Nicolas Massu, Marc Rosset, Monica Puig).  Juan Martin del Potro achieved tennis immortality when he won the 2009 US Open; gold medalists Massu, Puig & Rosset did not.

Mind you, at the US Open I'll be rooting for Novak like a madman because Slams do matter, and winning the calendar-year Grand Slam is the ultimate achievement in the sport.  The Olympic gold medal is the ultimate achievement in track & field, swimming, gymnastics, and so many other sports -- but not in tennis.

Edited by BSR
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3 hours ago, BSR said:

As a die-hard Novak fan, I'm sad he lost because the gold medal matters so much to him.  But my personal opinion?  Meh, I don't really care.  Tennis at the Olympics is a quirky event.  Sure, some great players have won gold (Steffi, Rafa, Serena) but so have some far-from-great players (Nicolas Massu, Marc Rosset, Monica Puig).  Juan Martin del Potro achieved tennis immortality when he won the 2009 US Open; gold medalists Massu, Puig & Rosset did not.

Mind you, at the US Open I'll be rooting for Novak like a madman because Slams do matter, and winning the calendar-year Grand Slam is the ultimate achievement in the sport.  The Olympic gold medal is the ultimate achievement in track & field, swimming, gymnastics, and so many other sports -- but not in tennis.

I have tickets to the first three days of the US Open. My first visit in a while  Seats in the grandstand and Artur Ashe. I was a huge Djokovic fan until that 2020 tournament in Serbia, Croatia (not sure about Bosnia) at the height of Covid19.

I am quite surprised at myself for being so annoyed, but I am. What was Novak thinking?  Sorry, @BSR

 

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52 minutes ago, WilliamM said:

I have tickets to the first three days of the US Open. My first visit in a while  Seats in the grandstand and Artur Ashe. I was a huge Djokovic fan until that 2020 tournament in Serbia, Croatia (not sure about Bosnia) at the height of Covid19.

I am quite surprised at myself for being so annoyed, but I am. What was Novak thinking?  Sorry, @BSR

 

Hindsight is 20/20 vision.  At the time the Adria Tour was held, the Covid infection rate was extremely low in Serbia, and the government didn't impose any capacity limits, social distancing, or mask mandates.  Novak was trying to do something positive for tennis and for Serbia, and all the proceeds were going to charity.  Well, it all blew up in his face when most (all?) the Adria participants tested positive for Covid.  Yes, truly a boneheaded move by Novak, but that's easy for me to say now.

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53 minutes ago, BSR said:

Hindsight is 20/20 vision.  At the time the Adria Tour was held, the Covid infection rate was extremely low in Serbia, and the government didn't impose any capacity limits, social distancing, or mask mandates.  Novak was trying to do something positive for tennis and for Serbia, and all the proceeds were going to charity.  Well, it all blew up in his face when most (all?) the Adria participants tested positive for Covid.  Yes, truly a boneheaded move by Novak, but that's easy for me to say now.

There were other players there not just from the former Yugoslavia. Young Grigor who was staying in Monaco.where he may have been infected.

They went to clubs and didn't wear masks. And Novak and his family didn't handle the intence outrage well 

It was a  pandemic, for God sake;

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1 minute ago, WilliamM said:

There were other players there not just from the former Yugoslavia. Young Grigor who was staying in Monaco.where he may have been infected.

It was a  pandemic, for God sake;

Of the 14 Adria players, 10 are from former Yugoslavia countries, 4 from other countries.  But even many of the Serbs/Croats live elsewhere.  Novak himself lives in Monte Carlo and trains a lot in Spain (the house he bought in Marbella is jaw-dropping), where the infection rate was (and still is) sky-high.  I agree, what Novak did was truly boneheaded.  I wasn't trying to make excuses for the guy, just tried to present what went into his thinking.

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19 minutes ago, Charlie said:

Novak has been understandably frustrated and disappointed by his losses, but he has not behaved very well at the Olympics when he was losing.

I haven't been able to watch the matches, but it sounds like the Olympics were a disaster for Novak.  First, he loses in the semifinal, ending his chances for that elusive gold medal.  Then apparently Pablo Carreño Busta (a player he should be able to beat with one hand tied behind his back) plays the match of his life & denies Novak a consolation bronze.  Adding insult to injury, I read he played like sh*t in the mixed semifinal, killing his chance of a gold there.   As if all that weren't enough, he defaults from the bronze medal match in the mixed with a shoulder injury.  I'm baffled that Novak even entered the mixed, a move the Serbian team opposed (funny how 20-time Slam champions always get the last word).  Given how much he struggles in the heat & humidity, you'd think he'd want to save all his strength for the singles.  All around, the Tokyo Olympics is something he'd like to erase from memory as soon as possible.

Apparently both Carreño & Zverev were reduced to tears after their wins over Novak.  I don't know if they were so emotional because it's the Olympics or simply because they beat Novak, who has been invincible in the Slams this year.  Carreño had never beaten Novak in a completed match (his one "win" over Novak was the disqualification at the USO), and Zverev hadn't beaten Novak in 2.5 years.

*sigh* I just hope Novak can rest up and get himself together for the US Open.  With the intense pressure of the calendar-year Grand Slam, Novak will feel he's carrying an anvil on his back.  The two defeats in Tokyo will give not just Carreño & Zverev but all the top players the belief that they can beat Novak.  If Novak somehow wins in New York, it will be a truly monumental achievement. 

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1 hour ago, mike carey said:

I saw a tweet here (in Aussie twitter not in the forum) quoting him as saying, 'Pressure is a privilege' in relation to Simone Biles.

That was bad reporting by the French sports daily l'Équipe.  They later issued a correction and an apology, but not until after dozens of other news outlets already published the story.  Novak did talk about pressure is a privilege (don't know if Billy Jean King said that or just tries to take credit for it), adding that without pressure we wouldn't have professional sports.  But he in no way connected it to Simone Biles.  I saw the l'Équipe tweet where they acknowledged their mistake (my decades-rusty high school French can still make out simple stuff).

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10 minutes ago, Charlie said:

By withdrawing from the Mixed Doubles Bronze Medal match, he denied his partner Nina Stojanovic even the opportunity to play for a medal (did he "injure his arm" by smashing those racquets during his own losing match with Carreno Busta?).

The injury was in his left shoulder.  I believe he destroys rackets with his right arm.

I do feel bad for Stojanovic.  First, Novak plays like sh*t in the semifinal, then withdraws from the bronze medal match.  Mind you, Team Australia was strongly favored to win.  Besides being the #1 in singles, Barty is also a top doubles player and Peers is a doubles Slam champion (2017 Australia Open) whereas Stojanovic is a lower-ranked doubles player and Novak for all his singles prowess is actually a really awful doubles player.  Nonetheless, I'm sure Stojanovic would have appreciated at least the chance to win a medal.

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Bringing back the real Novak  Djokovic. It was never going to be easy to more or less represent  Serbia so close to the war with Bosnia.

Especially for people who have visited the airport in Sarajevo or have read about Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

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13 hours ago, BSR said:

That was bad reporting by the French sports daily l'Équipe.  They later issued a correction and an apology, but not until after dozens of other news outlets already published the story.  Novak did talk about pressure is a privilege (don't know if Billy Jean King said that or just tries to take credit for it), adding that without pressure we wouldn't have professional sports.  But he in no way connected it to Simone Biles.  I saw the l'Équipe tweet where they acknowledged their mistake (my decades-rusty high school French can still make out simple stuff).

Fair point, I didn't fact check the tweet I had read (and did cite Twitter, not an original source). I'm not an uncritical fan-boy, but I've liked Novak since his early mimicry days (not just that, also his tennis, to be clear).

Regardless of what he said and when, the fact that a connection was made with Biles is a warning to people who make comments meant to refer to themselves that timing can result in the comments being interpreted as applying to other things that have occurred at the same time. And to the media, and other commentators, that they should be careful in drawing attention to perceived links between things that are unrelated.

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