The Age of Denial


How many of you watched the Djokovic vs Zverev QF last night, live?

We were in that 3 to 4am river; I drifted in and out like some sort of drug addict. My dog was looking at me funny.

But I was wide awake for the final act of this tennis match.

How about that handshake at the end? Are some players tiring of Djokovic’s antics, injury claims, etc.?

If so, they better be as equally annoyed at Nadal’s bullshit.

Or was Zverev just very upset that he lost this match? This was a close contest, could have easily gone five sets, resulted in a Zverev victory. If you watched this match, you know this: point for point, Zverev was the more dangerous player. He’s developed a solid, Medvedev-like ability to get just about everything back (for the 6′ 6″chap), especially shots of a more conservative type, which most players rely-on, including Djokovic.

Djokovic had trouble finishing points. Like I have said for a long time, and again yesterday, his forecourt play is mortal and unmemorable. I hope that makes sense. Probably too late to fix this story-line. He must pretty much depend on the baseline.

However, his serve continues to develop. As he came back from the 2016-2018 Djokollapse, his serve truly helped return him to contention and dominance. Go back and watch that 2018 Wimbledon title run.

He finished with 23 aces last night. I don’t have the Zverev total for last night’s match, but they were neck and neck. With Zverev.

This is Federer-like. The clutchness of the ace is critical for Djokovic right now, as well. He needs these free points. At least against Zverev last night. Zverev matched him from the baseline. This was surprising. Zverev looked very dangerous last night even though you figured the German’s serve or FH would falter and/or Djokovic’s big point clutch would rise to the occasion.

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Djokovic doesn’t survive last night without that serve.

As for the other QF, no surprises, as I said. I watched the opening of the match. Dimitrov looked terrible. Terrible. Couldn’t hit a slice. Or serve. Then the Russian goes away for a set. Then Dimitrov is injured. This cat Karatsev is into the SF. If Djokovic has any of his usual movement and defense-to-offense genius, he will crush this guy. Karatsev is tied to the BL. You saw Zverev come to the net successfully last night. Zverev has the full package. Djokovic escaped that scare. Karatsev should be scared out of his mind at this next match.

If Djokovic has any difficulty with his next opponent, or loses, I will eat a piece of meat. Ain’t happening.

So who does the Djoker play in the 2021 Aussie final? We discussed this yesterday.

However, Nadal will have to beat Tsitsipas and (most likely) Medvedev. As much as I can’t stand Nadal’s tennis, my respect for him has me leaning he’s through to the final! 😀

But I also talked about how the two best players at the end of 2021 would be Thiem and Tsitsipas. My beliem in Thiem argument/ brand has taken a hit. And the Zverevs and Medvedevs will come at me all year, too. But my instincts like the Austrian & Greek.

On that note, careful, Rafa. You “own” this guy 6-1. But we suspect Stefanos will bring some of his A game, rested (sorry, Matteo) and knowing full well what he is up against. Looking forward to this late match. A little earlier start than Zverev/Djokovic. 🙂

Medvedev beats Rublev in four (safe bet, no?).

But all eyes are on Nadal vs Tsitsipas.

Does the age of denial continue to roll? Does a non-Big 2 player have a fucking chance against these greats?

What say the one-hander?

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