Going into the 2021 U.S. Open I had already confirmed for us (you and me, myself and I) that Djokovic was the greatest player to have donned the tennies. There are many ways to look at this almost fruitless debate/discussion, but these are some big metrics:

  1. Double career grand slam (won every major twice)
  2. Double golden masters (won every 1000 twice)
  3. 20 majors
  4. Novak Slam
  5. 2019 WB final (to go along with ’14 and ’15 if you’re keeping score)
  6. 2021 RG final

I’ll take that six pack to go. You can add other achievements, but those are the ones. I’m not a big H2H honk though he does have a positive H2H against those other two.

As this most recent USO got underway and we started to digest the CYGS, this phenomenal achievement would simply cement the already obvious. What an exclamation point. This brought Laver into the mix; this was to be so definitive, so utterly convincing, if we even need that in our tennis discourse: to move-on with our pathetic lives, to sleep better at night, digest our foods more efficiently, etc.

But this final move didn’t happen.

Does this change anything? For us, remember, we’d already had him in that final couloir, alone, before cresting, turning and reaching the final summit.

Here’s whatever pushback one might want to harvest in the fall of Novak at the 2021 U.S. Open. First, as any Nolefam member will tell you: he made all four finals of 2021 and won 3! Give him a break!

Right, we hear you.

A small point of concern from my point-of-view is his success at the U.S. Open. Back in the day, say pre-2018 when Novak was staging one of his dips in form that lasts a year or so, the discussion was ripe that he, apparently the HC GOAT (this seems pretty universal though I’ve always liked Federer and Sampras and even Lendl, quite a bit too), had only two U.S. Open titles. How can you be the HC GOAT with only two Opens?

Can’t be reconciled in my book. At the same time, I don’t care if he’s the “HC GOAT.” But this is what Djoker fans claimed.

Bottomline: he added the third title in 2018, but having won only three U.S. Open titles, for me, is a bit underwhelming. I have argued many times and many ways that Wimbledon and the U.S. Open are the two most important majors. It’s not debatable. The French is inferior in many ways and the Aussie wasn’t even relevant until the late 80s.

But three Opens is still solid. I just felt, for his sake, winning this year’s Open was important, a rare opportunity and a good time to slay some demons (I was certainly rooting for Novak to clinch the CYGS and notch his 4th USO).

Novak has been a runner-up at the Open six times.

The GOAT discussion is more interesting from my perspective, meaning the way I explain it. 😀

Sorry, but that’s the way it is. I’ve seen too much tennis and thought and written about it far too much. Can’t escape the clarity at this point — and yes I’m talking to you. I’ll give it another spin soon. The calculus is more complicated than simply looking at H2Hs or number of majors, etc. This is why one needs the experience of many years and being a tennis and sport fiend to abide by the rigors of the richness of such a discourse.

Fanboys and girls, for instance, don’t have a clue; Trumptards here in the U.S. are in the same boat about their cult leader, which explains their views of science, and really a whole host of other matters.

I will oblige soon enough since this is all coming to a close, right?

Actually, my correspondents report that Novak is back on the practice courts, already.

Practicing for that big October Masters event? Indian Wells. 😀

Of course, in November we have Paris and Turin.

I imagine Medvedev will thrive in these Bo3.

Talk to you soon.

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