In many ways, but I mean AO 2023, as well as many thoughts that the sport has a lot to offer (historically) after Novak, or a great interest on my part to talk about this tour.
I enjoy watching tennis and always will. Of the many matches I’ve enjoyed over the last two weeks, Paul v Davidovich was my favorite (Paul’s run is certainly not a big surprise in my house – I’ve been watching and writing about it for years). I loved watching Medvedev crash and burn in tennis, revealing more and more who he is. Nadal fails. . . not a surprise at all.
At this point, probably for a few more years, no one will really challenge Djokovic, other than Nadal on clay and maybe Alcaraz in Bo3 on clay, maybe not at all. Not in Bo5, nor on HC, nor on grass. Very doubtful. Carlos will just have to wait for Novak to disappear before possibly keeping his place at the top.
Throughout the tournament you could see (but especially last night when we were hoping for a real showdown) the problem everyone will face against Djokovic: ROS that threatens any player’s serve and a very good serve; finished the third set last night, winning about 17 straight points on his serve. His defense against attack (or regular attack) from both flanks is unmatched. His agility, striving for victory, dominance? Good luck against this guy.
Only the national vaccination policy can stop him and he will continue to face this difficult challenge off the pitch.
But on the court (other than RG vs Nadal on doping) his tennis and championship spirit is second to none.
Yes, last night’s match, like all his matches in Melbourne 2023, was without drama. Aside from a few questions early in the tournament regarding his leg, his run to la decima was pretty anti-climactic. What made it interesting was A) any chance of seeing him play, especially Bo5; and B) the context of his controversial ban last year. The “B” illustrates his post-match emotions.
Indeed, the future of the sport is simply disappointing. This pessimism/realism has been discussed by some die-hards on this blog. Their arguments eventually fail, destroyed if not by my reasoning then by actual court results. They tried to ignore me. They are fans or just new to the sport or just lack perception.
My guess is that Novak will miss the NA hard courts, but we can expect an interesting season on clay, perhaps with the potential for a Novak v Nadal match for No. 23 in June.