September 17, 2015
Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer at the US Open last Sunday which I was hoping to be a more competitive match. The Djokovic victory was under the media radar due to the NFL holding court on opening weekend. Djokovic winning was a big deal as much as Roger Federer making it to the finals. Then you have the Serena saga playing out during the majority of the tournament which was media circus. Djokovic beat Federer 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 giving him three Grand Slam titles this year only losing to Stan Wawrinka in the finals of the French Open.
Djokovic has quietly become one of best tennis players of all time. He is not particularly flashy or boisterous on the court but just a big powerful player that is impossible to beat when he is on top of his game. That gives him his 10th Grand Slam victory and his second US Open trophy, Roger Federer his opponent has won 17, most of all time.
I admit I wanted Federer to somehow find a way to beat Djokovic since this is the best I have seen him play in a couple of years. Federer was striking the ball well all tournament, he was athletic and dominating. At the age of 34, he still has something left in the tank and will probably be strong well into next year.
Federer’s issue was nothing he did wrong, he was playing against a beast. A beast at the height of his powers that is just much more physically dominating at this point in their careers. Djokovic appears to have extra power in his ground strokes that become too overwhelming in any long volleying sequences. He is agile for a big man at 6’ 2” and quick latterly with long arms that make up for a good tennis body. I find him to be one of the best athletes in sports, if you consider speed, power, hand eye coordination and balance.
These two players have played over forty-two times and have amazingly split it down the middle with 21 victories apiece. This includes 14 Grand Slam matches, four of them reaching the finals which they split and a record nine semifinals. When you consider all of the locations and various tennis surfaces that they have competed on, the fact they have beaten each other evenly is an amazing rivalry. The last six years of tennis we have been treated to see three of the best players of all time and we didn’t even talk about Rafael Nadal, my personal favorite. Another story another day.