Djokovic Falls to Istomin in 2R

One problem with the ATP “establishment” concerns the media and their failure, on a consistent basis, to be objective and smart in their analysis of the sport. Sure it’s been easy over the years to say Roger, Rafa or Novak will win here or there. But fancy a little more sophisticated read on the sport and these buffoons sound like fans (even fanboys/girls) instead of the arbiters of play aimed at helping other viewers or readers to foster a clearer understanding of the competition and the sport in general.

One of my first big posts for this site (also published on your favorite Djokofanboy’s site) was when I called-out the media and Serena during her run at the calendar slam in 2015 and, subsequently, Graff’s legacy. I called bullshit on Serena and the media who could be heard saying things about Serena and the sport that made very little sense. Most readers got up-in-arms about my challenge to Serena’s character, but I was going after the media’s character, as well. Looking back now, the media is more of a concern than Serena. The media are continuing to make fools of themselves.

With regards to the big upset yesterday at the Australian Open 2R, this could be heard by the guy calling the match: ‘“Nothing,” John McEnroe said in the commentary booth in Rod Laver Arena, “would suggest this was about to happen.”’

istomin_novakFolk, Istomin’s Melbourne Masterpiece was a remarkable match to watch, especially live on the tele as it all went down in real time. The Australian Open is a tough watch here on the U.S. west coast given how late some of the matches are live, but when there remained a hint of competitive suspense in that fourth set, I stayed-up and watched. Sure this was a big-time upset. I would have been more comfortable saying trouble for Novak might come in the fourth round against an ascendant Dimitrov (he has to get by Gasquet first, mind you) or in the SF or F. This is an upset for sure.

Istomin is a fun watch with his always matching glasses and head-band that accompany a pretty powerful and inconsistent game. What was so remarkable about last night was his ability to stand and trade with the best hitter in the sport. Novak tried to intimidate late in the match, but the 30 year-old, #117 in the world, hit back harder. His serve turned-out to be more reliable than the Serb’s and the great break early in the fifth, after a jaw-dropping 4th set TB, sealed the deal as the big resident of Uzbekistan served it out. Incredible theater to be sure.

But not the most shocking event in the past ten years. People like McEnroe, who really feel like “nothing would suggest this was about to happen,” aren’t paying attention.

Djokovic is not the 2011 version. Sorry, folks. Just like Federer was not playing his all-time peak tennis at 34 years-old, Novak is a much older 29 than, apparently, many people realize.

We have been talking about that here for months.

This, naturally, opens the draw big-time. Murray probably finishes his AO pilgrimage.
I’ll be back to say more about some other tennis, like my boy Evans sending Cilic home early. Let’s hear it for the sport of squash!

Big 3R matches on the horizon.

As for the mcshow tennis blog way ahead of the curve on this Djoker descent, here’s some further reading: 😉

Shanghai Fallout

Where Does Novak Go From Here

Follow-up to My “Novak is Doomed” Article

Right. On. Cue.

Djokovic’s Run

Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic

Now What, Novak?


Folks, the mainstream media is distracted. I am not. Stay tuned!

8 thoughts on “Djokovic Falls to Istomin in 2R

  1. Incondite

    Well called as always Matt!

    I don’t want to wax too complimentary, but your tennis insights are unparalleled as far as I know! Also, I quit reading ‘your favorite Djokofanboy’s site’ when I found Mcshow Tennis Blog.

    But now I’m going to go back to check out what he’ll have to say about the match! I think it will be one of the more enjoyable reads, from my perspective at least. But I suspect the posting will not be as prompt as yours!


    1. Thanks, Incondite. I’m just calling it like I see it. I certainly did not predict Istomin. But I think we see a trend in Novak’s tennis that’s pretty tough to deny.



    2. Nambi

      Not sure you headed there to read, but its hilarious stuff after first round win…if you haven’t done reading, please do so and I guarantee for better laugh for few mins..


  2. Nambi

    I Watched until end of third set and went bed, assuming its done deal for Novak, but what turnaround. He steadied ship and i assume no way Istomin going to do something special like that. First set itself enough worth for the ticket holders….And matches like this makes 5 setters great in Grandslam, no idea why some of main stream reporters wants to go with 3 sets in Grandslam…

    This also shows that how difficult to have consistent day in day out play in big tournaments…Definitely make you appreciate what these guys done in last decade starting Roger ( another point you talked on your HRFRT series)

    And what a display by Olderer this morning…I wasn’t expecting that in any imagination….We know its against Bedrych still its hard not to amaze the quality he played…. Pop-corn stuff for 4th round against Kei…I think its fair to say Roger fancies his chance for QF if he brings similar stuff in 4th round but we seen many times that not to happen…Let’s see…


  3. Nambi

    Just a suggestion, blog only shows up last 15 articles in left hand side, its hard to go back if you want to find some one older articles…may be you should check out other options given by WordPress to make it easier navigation on old articles?


  4. blackspy

    The depth of your articles is well-known to your readership Matt. Well done in another successful prediction.

    While it’s true that Istomin was in one of his top days (I recall Novak’s yell “how many lines!”-although when he ruled the ATP he caught quite a few himself) what impressed me in his win is that his gameplan respected what you and your readers (me among them) have been writing in this blog: 1) He traded deep and low blows with Novak without going beserk in the third strike-no panic because it’s Djokovic in the other side of the net, 2) He waited for his chances not forcing an advantage where none existed, so when he went for an dangerous blow it was mostly a winner-if it was successful, 3) He didn’t change his natural game because of his opponent (no net play to rush things when he knows he plays better at the baseline), 4) He ignored Djokovic’s theatrics, 5) He was ready to go the distance mentally and saved his mental strenght-no unnecessary hurray for winning just a set/point.

    Most of the above indicate a calmness of mind that Djokovic attributed in his experience in his post match interview. While that’s partially true, I guess the media are partially right too: Djokovic is beatable and the Tour knows it…


    1. Right, blackspy. The list is growing of guys who are beating Novak. He doesn’t seem to be handling this too well, as his tennis in some of those tighter, higher stakes moments, is coming up short.

      Murray doesn’t look unbeatable either – referring here to this R16 match. Mischa Zverev? Pretty awkward match. Andy hasn’t looked that great at all in 2017. We’ll have to wait and see.


  5. Pingback: Indian Wells: ATP Litmus Test – Mcshow Blog

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