gold is going to novak the terrible djokovic........there was only one match who could match or excel his passion for country and clutchness and that man is injured and out of contention........I hope you are right, but Novak didn't look too good today (against Hewitt). His footwork was bad. Sure, all top players go up and down ... but if he plays like this against Fed or Murray, he'll be f.ucked.
federer will have tough rounds from now on........murray has the ability to upset novak but i think djokovic just wants this gold so badly........
Mr. Alex isn't afraid to tell it like it is, even about his own player (not since I've known him). He's 100% correct.
As I've said often before, Nole (on hard court) and Rafa (on clay) are the two best movers I've ever seen, from side to side, or east-west as some say.
But they do not have great footwork, sometimes it is not even good footwork. On their favorite surfaces, that fact is hidden because of great movement, and they can plant their feet and slide and make their powerful shots using their leg power.
They cannot do that on more slippery surfaces like grass when it is fresh (before it turns to dirt due to wear) and the air is humid, or the Madrid blue clay. They try to plant, or turn suddenly, and they slip. And one can really see how frustrated Nole gets when he can't find his footing and can't plant his feet. His confidence goes and then his lateral movement suffers as he tries to adjust by slowing down and not being as aggressive. On slippery surfaces, one can still move aggressively, but one has to remain light footed and nimble as one goes to hit the ball, being able to make small adjustments instead of trying to plant your feet like on hard court.
Hewitt was doing a masterful job in the 1st set and throughout much of the second. It could have gone his way, but for some excellent serving by Djokovic in key moments in the second set where I think 1 more break by Hewitt may have finished Djokovic. Instead, Djokovic came up with the goods on his serve, discouraging Hewitt, and then Hewitt's level and probably energy dropped some and Djokovic managed to stay on his feet long enough to break Hewitt for good and won the second set. Then I think Hewitt ran out of gas. Remember, he was off quite a while due to his radical foot surgery, and has played relatively few matches. It was only in Newport where he managed to make it to the final against Isner that he got some good matches in against some quality opponents. But still, he didn't have matches against top 4 players, and so he still lacks the stamina to compete at the high level required for very long. Hewitt's mental strength is very good, but his game requires the physical level to be equal to the task. He obviously needed to take the match with Djokovic in 2 sets. But it's good to see a relatively healthy Hewitt. Let's see if he stays that way.
Meanwhile, as Mr. Alex says, if Novak Djokovic continues to have difficulty with his footing on the turf, it will be difficult for him to progress against the toughest and better players on grass. What has worked in his favor in the past was when the weather was dry and sunny, the soil was harder, giving higher bounces, and the grass wore out more along the baseline, allowing him to be on dirt. Up to now, because of the relatively wet weather, the grass hasn't been that way. But in the last couple of days, the grass seems to have worn out very fast around the baseline, probably because the newly planted grass hadn't been there long enough to "toughen up" to withstand the play. There is still some grass behind the baseline wide on both sides and it still looks good more inside the court. The more sun London gets, the better it will be for Djokovic.
The smarter players will try to force Djokovic to hit where the grass is more slippery, wide, then wrong foot him, or bring him into the court near the net, hit lower shots and mix up pace. Will Tsonga do this? I don't know. He plays more with athleticism than intelligence in my opinion, hitting the ball hard and relying on his physical talent. Murray can do it, Federer can do it, but one still has to execute.