Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, a classic rivalry that will be contested on hump day, not championship weekend

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By Leighton Ginn

It is a rivalry that has had historical implications and established Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as two of the greatest players who ever played tennis.

So their showdown at the BNP Paribas Open will be unusual in that it will be contested on Hump Day, not championship weekend.

In a rare early-round matchup, Federer and Nadal will face ether other for the 36th time on Wednesday.

” I think everybody is going to watch that match, honestly,” said Garbine Muguruza, the women’s No. 7 seed. “Everybody likes Rafa. Everybody likes Roger. It’s history over there.”

Nadal defeated fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-5, while Federer outlasted former USC star Steve Johnson 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) to set up the rematch of their Australian Open final.

For Federer, he welcomes the challenge.

“That’s why I came here, play against guys like Rafa,” said Federer, who won an epic five-set final over Nadal in the Australian Open final. “I’m going to be excited now. Better be excited now. Otherwise I came for the wrong reasons.”

Giving the conditions and the round they are playing in, Federer said the match will be much different from their Australian Open final. Based on the round, Federer expects himself and Nadal to be a little more conservative.

“It’s going to be more difficult for both of us just to rip winners into the corner,” Federer said. “If you play at the early matches, you see usually the top guys not chase the lines so much. You give yourself some margins for error, really.

“So there is a bit of the unknown, which, I mean, is exciting maybe for the fans or you guys to see how we’re going to try to figure that part out. And then it’s a best-of-three-set match. This is more of a sprint than a marathon, not like in Australia.”

It is the first time they’ve faced each other before the quarterfinals since their first meeting in 2004 at Miami. That was a round of 32 match.

Nadal said he didn’t really enjoy having an epic rivalry played out in the fourth round. But when the draws came out last week, this quarter of the draw featured not only Nadal and Federer, but No. 2 Novak Djokovic, 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro. A few times in the press conferences, this quarter of the draw has been referred to as the “Draw of Death.”

“I think is unlucky part of the draw for everybody. I think part of the tournament, even if they can have good matches, is probably not the best thing to have that matches that early in the tournament. For the players is not good, because good players, for sure, going to go out early,” Nadal said. “Sometimes if top players are playing well, then they have the chance to go to the final rounds, no? In this case, doesn’t matter if everybody is playing well, because from our part of the draw, only one of us gonna be in that semifinals.

“So that’s tough, but that’s not happening every week. Only thing we can do to avoid that is be in higher position of the ranking.”

While Nadal might not be happy with the timing of the matchup, Muguruza said she’s just happy to see the match up again.

“Nobody cares who wins anymore. It’s just I want to see them play,” Muguruza said. “It’s so good to watch them play together same time on the court. Doesn’t matter. I just want to watch the match. I’m so fond of both of them. It’s so good they have this match tomorrow.”

 

 

 

 

Novak Djokovic wins opener, will face man who handed him a disappointing loss in the 2016 Olympics

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By Leighton Ginn

In 2016, Novak Djokovic had reached a career pinnacle, becoming the first man to complete a Grand Slam since Rod Laver did it in 1969.

Yet a few months later, he might have suffered his most disappointing loss of 2016 during a slumping second half of the year.

In the first round of the Olympics, Djokovic suffered a stunning first-round loss to Juan Martin del Potro, 7-6, 7-6.

“I felt like at that stage of my life, my career, that’s when I was playing my best tennis. Winning Toronto before that, everything was fine, and then just unfortunate circumstances as result of that,” Djokovic said, saying he had suffered a wrist injury prior to the match. “Surely I wanted things to go differently. But at the end of the day, I try to be grateful for whatever comes my way, because I know it comes with a reason.

“So after that, obviously I was not up to standard of the results that I have had in previous years. You know, last couple of months of ’16 were tough for me emotionally. I was struggling on the court to really find that comfort, find the confidence, as well.”

Djokovic will get another shot at del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion sometime Tuesday in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open. In the second round, Djokovic defeated Kyle Edmund 6-4, 7-6 (5), while del Potro defeated fellow Argentinian Federic Delbonis 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Two weeks ago in Acapulco, Djokovic defeated del Potro 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

“I have to give it all. That’s what it takes to beat this guy, who is – even though he is not ranked as high and he hasn’t played that many tournaments but definitely one of the best players in the world last year,” Djokovic said. “He’s tough player to beat. He’s big guy, big serve, big forehand. Definitely not the draw that you like early in the tournament and that you wish for, but it is what it is.”

At this point last year, Djokovic looked unbeatable. He had dominated like no other in his generation, which includes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who are the winningest and tied for second when it comes to Grand Slam titles.

When he won the French Open, Djokovic completed a career Grand Slam and a year-round Grand Slam, also known as the Nole Slam.

“Winning four Grand Slams in a row is definitely a life, career achievement. Probably the biggest achievement I ever had,” Djokovic said at the start of the tournament. “Winning the French Open for the first time and crowning that couple of years of consistent, high results was magnificent. I really gave it all and French Open was one of the top priorities the last couple years.”

But after the French, Djokovic’s play became uneven. While he did have the wrist injury, he also said there were issues in his personal life that derailed him.

“It took a lot of emotions and energy from me,” Djokovic said. “Took some time to reflect on things, and then I had to re-motivate myself, and getting back on track. Right now, it’s better than what it was, especially the second half of last season, particularly after the US Open. I had those moments where I wasn’t myself on the court. Now I’m in a better place. Now I hope and believe I’m going in the right direction.”

 

 

 

13-year-old Ben Jorgensen gets Roger Federer to list his favorites of his 18 Grand Slam singles titles

 

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By Leighton Ginn

Sometimes it takes asking a questions others wouldn’t where you will get an interesting and unexpected answer.

On Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open, Ben Jorgensen, a 13-year-old from Rancho Palos Verdes, asked Roger Federer if his Australian Open title, a record 18th Grand Slam championship, was his most special.

When it comes to comparison questions, players usually try to dance around it and not really answer the question. That wasn’t the case Sunday.

Federer ranked his victory over Rafael Nadal in February as one of his top five. And he listed other titles with out prodding.

“I don’t know if it beats my first one, because the first one, it was a dream come true, so that maybe beats everything,” Federer said of his straight sets win over Mark Philippoussis in the 2003 Wimbledon final.

“French Open, I chased that one. And then when it did happen, it was unbelievable what it meant to me and the support I got in Paris,” Federer said of beating Robin Soderling in 2009 for his only French Open title.

“I don’t know. Winning at the US Open against (Andre) Agassi, one of my big and best performance potentially, winning in that atmosphere, under that pressure, being World No. 1 and defending against him, who maybe people thought he was going to retire if he won,” Federer said of his 2005 title, which was his sixth.

“This one now after the comeback and the injury, it was by far the biggest surprise. It was more surprising than, say, my first one in ’03. But, yeah, every one is special. This one is right up there,” Federer said of his Australian Open title.

Jorgensen said he and his mother Christine were spending the day in Indian Wells, and he was at the Tennis Garden for 14 hours watching matches and asking questions in the press conferences all day.

3-12-17 Ben and Christine Jorgensen

 

 

Eating Crow after Australian Open

By Leighton Ginn

During the first week of the Australian Open when No. 2 Novak Djokovic lost, I had asked in my blog if this was the end of the golden age of men’s tennis.

The day after I wrote it, No. 1 Andy Murray also lost.

In the blog, I thought it was unlikely Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal could reach the finals.

Well, the wheels came off with that analysis.

With Novak Djokovic’s stunning loss, is the Golden Age over in men’s tennis?

Federer won the Australian Open for his 18th career Grand Slam singles crown, beating his long-time rival in a thrilling five setter that will be talked about for years.

In my defense, Federer had been gone for six months with a knee injury that was actually suffered at last year’s Australian Open. I never ruled out Federer from winning a major title because of his age, 35. But the age with the injury, and this being essentially his first tournament back, a sixth title in Oz was a lot to ask for.

Nadal has either been struggling with injuries or confidence. And the confidence is a result of all the injuries that have robbed him of his consistency. He kept plugging away, but there hadn’t been a sign encouraging enough to think he could get back to his dominant days.

And then everything changed.

Everyone has been talking about Federer’s age for a long time, but there’s no real evidence his game has slipped due to Father Time. Before the injury last year, a freak accident when he was giving his kids a bath, he was ranked No. 2 in the world.

In 2014-15, Federer reached three major finals, and if it wasn’t for Djokovic, he might have been over 20 major titles.

It’s time to talk about Novak Djokovic as one of the greatest ever in tennis

Now that he appears to be healthy, there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t win another major, especially at Wimbledon.

As for Nadal, he is back in the mix. Can he win another major? The French Open is the major he’s owned, but it’s such a long and grueling tournament, and Nadal has a lot of wear and tear on his body.

I don’t rule him out, but I need to see more to determine if he can win the French.

Now if Murray and Djokovic can bounce back, then the good times will continue to roll.

With Novak Djokovic’s stunning loss, is the Golden Age over in men’s tennis?

By Leighton Ginn

For over a decade, the Big Four of men’s tennis — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — have dominated the sport like no other.

Of the four majors over the last 11 years, the Fab Four have won 39 of the 44 major singles titles, with 29 of those finals pitting the sports creme de la creme.

While Federer and Nadal, two of the winningest players in tennis history, were hampered last year with injuries, Djokovic and Murray aptly filled in with historic years.

Djokovic became the first player to win four consecutive Grand Slam singles title when he won the French Open. The French title also completed his career Grand Slam to join Federer and Nadal in this generation to accomplish it.

However, in the second half of the year, Murray went on an impressive run that included his second Wimbledon title and second-consecutive gold medal at the Olympics to become the first Brit to earn the No. 1 ranking in the Open era.

On Thursday, Djokovic suffered a stunning second-round loss Denis Istomin, a wildcard who is ranked outside the top 100. It is the second time in the last three majors where Djokovic failed to reach the second week.

And this came at the Australian Open, his best major, where he’s claimed six titles in 10 years.

It raises this question: Is the Golden Age over?

WHAT MADE THE GOLDEN AGE GREAT

What made the Golden Age great is you had four great players who were always battling in the semifinals or finals of major tournaments.

For that to happen this year at the Australian Open seems like a longshot.

Murray came into the tournament as the No. 1 seed and top-ranked player, and nothing has changed for him.

But Federer is seeded 17th and would have to face Murray in the quarterfinals. Nadal is ninth, but he has no momentum coming into Melbourne. It’s not impossible for Nadal to reach the finals, but probably unlikely.

Moving forward, how much can we expect from Federer and Nadal who missed such a large portion of last year?

THE FALL OF DJOKOVIC

The real problem is Djokovic. No.1 and No. 2 isn’t a huge drop, but the quality of play from the Serbian superstar is.

When he won the French Open, it was his 12th major title and it was reasonable that he could make a serious run at Federer’s 17 Grand Slam titles.

Yet, to go from completing a Grand Slam to failing to make the second week of a major twice in the next three is troubling. Throw into the mix Djokovic losing in the first round of the Olympics and it becomes a worrisome trend.

If Djokovic was able to reach the quarterfinals, then it would have been too early to sound the alarm.

After his loss Thursday, Djokovic said he felt fine physically.

There have been questions about his desire. Only he can answer that, and he said that’s not the case.

Confidence? Same to assume it wasn’t what is was last year. Can he get it back? And can he do it in time to defend his French title?

IS ANYONE READY TO STEP IN?

Because Djokovic and Murray have been so good and holding the fort down with Federer and Nadal recovering from injuries, it looked like the Big Four could still squeeze out some more magic at the majors.

Now with Djokovic out, it opens the door for someone to step in to grab his own share of the limelight.

The top candidate is Stan Wawrinka, who has won three major titles in the last three years, including the Australian Open title. Some have suggested the Big Four should be the Big Five based on what Wawrinka has done. He certainly is on that level as far as ability.

I’m not sure if fans have embraced him on the level of the Big Four, in terms of excitement and anticipation. He hasn’t seriously challenged for major titles until the last four years. By that time, his legacy had been deep in the shadows of his fellow Swiss, Federer.

Wawrinka’s body of work as a contender is short, and at 31 years old, is probably closer to the end than the beginning.

But if he does continue to play at this high level and reach more major finals, then Wawrinka can enrich his already impressive legacy.

Currently, Milos Raonic is the No. 3 seed and has a career-best No. 3 ranking. With big weapons, he is an exciting power player. He’s building momentum in his career by reaching the Wimbledon final and the Australian Open semifinals in 2016.

Marin Cilic is the 2015 US Open champion and Juan Martin Del Potro is the 2009 US Open champion, but both have been hampered by injuries.

Kei Nishikori reached the 2015 US Open final and has maintained a top-10 level, but not enough to crack into the Big Four level.

Gael Monfils and Tomas Berdych have been around a while, but don’t appear are able to get to the next level, at least not yet.

Young players Dominic Thiem and David Goffin have made gigantic strides in the last year.

But the thing all these players are lacking is a body of work like the Big Four.

 

Andy Murray’s No. 1 ranking is great for tennis, but is the timing bad?

By Leighton Ginn

It’s been a fantastic year for Andy Murray and firmly established him as one of the Big Four in what could be the greatest generation in tennis.

Murray’s has been steady all year, reaching the finals of both the Australian and French Opens. But then it went into overdrive with his Wimbledon title, following by his repeat as an Olympic gold medalist.

Last week, Murray won the year-end ATP Tour World Finals to clinch the No. 1 year-end ranking.

However, the timing could be bad for the rest of the sport.

This has nothing to do with Murray, so don’t mistake this as a criticism of him.

But Novak Djokovic was having a historic year at the start. By winning the Australian and French Opens, Djokovic clinched the Nole Slam as he won four consecutive majors, a feat that hasn’t happened since Rod Laver in 1969.

What Djokovic had done elevated him past the standard bearers of this generation — Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

After the French Open, Djokovic was in the conversation of the greatest ever.

Djokovic will finish the year No. 2, but his fall was significant. He only won one title since the French Open.

Earlier, his coach Boris Becker blamed the drop to the fact he wasn’t pushed by Federer nor Nadal. There is validity to that theory most times, but not in this case.

Djokovic wasn’t just chasing history, he had a chance to rewrite it.

During Wimbledon, Djokovic alluded to personal issues in his family life.

Whatever the case, Djokovic’s slip was disappointing because it could have meant so much for tennis.

Again, don’t mistake this as a shot at Murray, who is one of the top personalities in tennis. His story is great, and who isn’t charmed by the push to get him knighted in England.

Actually, why hasn’t he been knighted already for ending the curse of Fred Perry when he won Wimbledon in 2012, or his US Open title in 2011?

Murray is a great No. 1. It’s a great story.

But Djokovic was at such a high level that his success would provide more crossover attention.

Djokovic was challenging how we defined greatness in tennis. The run he was on was unprecedented.

Historically, when we look back on 2016, more likely, we will talk more about Djokovic than Murray.

And what could have been.

 

 

Why do some people think Serena Williams career is over after the year she’s had?

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Watching the ESPN talk shows and many were ready to declare Serena Williams’ career over, or she might not win another major, etc.

It always seems to happen to all the great players when they suffer an upset loss and they are over 30-something.

Williams lost her semifinal match to Karolina Pliskova, who is No. 11 in the world and might have the biggest weapons on the WTA Tour, outside the Williams sisters.

But the overanalyzing of Williams began soon after the match.

So here’s my take on a few of the issues.

  1. HER DAYS OF DOMINATION ARE OVER: When the new rankings come out Monday, Williams will be No. 2 behind Angelique Kerber. This year, Williams reached the finals of the Australian, French and Wimbledon and the semifinals of the US Open. She won Wimbledon. And ask yourself, is there a player on the WTA Tour you would make a favorite over Williams? Kerber will be No. 1, but I still don’t think I would favor her over Williams just yet.
  2. WILLIAMS’ BEST DAYS ARE BEHIND HER: I felt this last year, when she completed the Serena Slam for the second time. Williams is not the same player she has been, but to her credit, she has evolved her game. She’s gone from intimidating power player to more of a cerebral assassin. What hasn’t changed is Williams’ fierce competitive nature. On the WTA Tour, no player really has elevated to Williams level, and the ones who have haven’t maintained it until Kerber. But it remains to see how long Kerber can keep up this level, and if some other players can rise.
  3. AGE HAS TO CATCH UP WITH HER: Williams turns 35 later this month, which is old for tennis players. Her shoulder hurt was an issue in the Rio Olympics and now her knee was giving her problems. This could be the most legitimate threat to her career. But for right now, we don’t know the extent of these injuries. But Williams says she plays for the majors, so we could easily see her take the rest of the year and relinquish the year-end No. 1 ranking to Kerber, rather than chase her. Williams has proven she doesn’t need a good seed to win a tournament, so she could lighten her schedule and still contend for majors.

In tennis, there is this desire to declare someone’s career over prematurely. When Pete Sampras went on a two-year slump, they thought he was done until he won the US Open. People thought Roger Federer was through last year because he hadn’t won a major since the 2012 Wimbledon, but he was No. 2 in the world and reached the finals of the US Open and Wimbledon.

We don’t always know when it’s over for a great player. But there should be real evidence. Although there will be a change at the top, Williams is still at the top of the tour.

Unless there’s something more, I anticipate Williams will be back next year contending for major titles and the No. 1 ranking.

 

 

 

Could Novak Djokovic lose out on Player of the Year honors in a year he completes the Grand Slam?

 

In a year where Novak Djokovic became the first player to win all four Grand Slam titles, there is a possibility that he could lose out on Player of the Year honors.

It’s unlikely, but plausible.

What makes is plausible is the way Andy Murray is playing of late. If Murray captures the US Open, then he will have a stronger case.

Currently Murray has a Wimbledon title and reached the finals of the Australian and French Opens, both of which Djokovic won. Then you throw in the Olympic gold medal, that’s an incredibly strong year.

What might give Murray an edge is how Djokovic had done at Wimbledon and the Olympics.

Djokovic lost in the third round at the All England Club to No. 41 Sam Querrey and the first round in Rio, although he did lose to the eventual silver medalist in Juan Martin Del Potro, who is currently No. 141 in the rankings.

It’s been a draining year for Djokovic, who has played at a superior level for an incredibly long time. But since the award is for accomplishments since January, he could be leaving the door open for Murray.

It won’t be easy for Murray. He would have to win the US Open, and he has never won two majors in the same season (depending on how you rank an Olympic gold medal). And the US Open is the most grueling Slam.

Now if Murray does win the US Open, that might still not be enough to surpass Djokovic.

In Masters 1000 events, Djokovic has won four of six events. Murray has won just one, but did reach two finals.

How much the Masters 1000 events count into Player of the Year honors, I’m not sure, but these are significant tournaments.

And there is also the ATP finals in November. If Murray can win that, then people will have to look closely.

So US Open and ATP Finals titles, and with Djokovic still playing high-level tennis, is a huge mountain for Murray to climb.

But it is also possible.

 

Andy Roddick will have his New York moment in World Team Tennis

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By Leighton Ginn

 

When Andy Roddick makes his return to World Team Tennis for the 2016 season, it will be in a place he never played but in a state where he had his biggest moments.

Roddick will play for the New York Empire at Forrest Hills, the longtime home of the US Open, on Aug. 9. The next day, the Empire will travel to take on the Philadelphia Freedom which will complete the season for Roddick, who is also part of the WTT ownership group.

Playing in New York is the highlight for Roddick, given his history in the Empire State.

“I feel like I’ve grown up in front of New York,” Roddick said. “I played doubles there for the first time in a pro tournament when I was 15 to retiring there and playing my last match in 2012. I had the highest of highs, and lowest of lows.

“But I just love New York. The fans are so fair all the time. If you give them everything you have, they’re going to give you everything they have. Conversely, if you play like a schmuck, they’re going to let you know about it. I’ve always kind of appreciated the honesty of the New York sports fan.”

Roddick said he has always been a fan of the unique style of WTT, and is always happy to participate. He believes the pacing is what makes it so exciting for the fans.

“Everything is quicker, faster, more in-your-face,” Roddick said. “The one-set matches keep your attention, or demand your attention during the 2-3 hours. I always liked it. It feels like the players are more interactive based on the format. It’s something I enjoyed when playing.”

Roddick also attributes World Team Tennis to his progression as a professional, while the format also provides something exciting for the fans. So when he was approached about investing in the league, Roddick said it was a no brainer.

“Anytime you’re approached by someone on the iconic level of Billie Jean King, especially in the role she’s played and how important she’s been in the game of tennis, you always want to listen,” Roddick said. “We’ve had a great relationship for a long time. Her presence in this league and my memory of this league and the opportunity it gave me.

“I was 17 and had no ranking, kind of just trying to break through in the pro ranks when they let me play for the team in Boise, Idaho at the time. That experience of playing professionals day in and day out in a three-week sequence during the summer was a huge part of my development. It felt like something that was good to be apart of.”

 

Andy Roddick impressed with how far Novak Djokovic has come, but too early to rank him as GOAT

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By Leighton Ginn

Andy Roddick said when Novak Djokovic first burst into the consciousness of the ATP Tour, he wasn’t an obvious talent like he saw when contemporaries Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal debuted.

Yet if Djokovic can continue on the trend he is, he might go down as the greatest ever, surpassing both Federer and Nadal.

“I think with Novak, it’s a realistic conversation to have,” Roddick said on July 13 over the course of two conference calls to promote appearances at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 17 and World Team Tennis on Aug. 9-10. “And it’s a realistic question to ask, where you think he’ll fall in that line. It’s a complement to him that he’s forced his way into that conversation.”

For over a decade, Federer has been talked about as the greatest ever, and holds the record with 17 major singles title. Nadal is tied with Pete Sampras for second with 14. Djokovic is tied with Roy Emerson for fourth with 12.

Djokovic is 29 and playing the best tennis of his career. He had won all four majors consecutively until his upset loss to Sam Querrey in the third round of Wimbledon.

If Djokovic continues dominating the tour, five more majors is within the realm of possibility.

It’s time to talk about Novak Djokovic as one of the greatest ever in tennis

In comparison, Federer did reach the semifinals of Wimbledon, but has not won a major title since the 2012 Wimbledon. Nadal has struggled with injuries and hasn’t won a major title since the 2014 French Open.

But Roddick said it’s really hard to judge until Djokovic, Federer and Nadal complete their careers.

“It’s like comparing movies having not watched the last 20 percent of the great movies,” Roddick said. “Right now, if you look at the numbers, Roger is there and five slams (lead) is significant, but Novak is obviously trending. He’s the greatest right now.”

2013 Mylan World Team Tennis

July 13, 2013;Mylan World Team Tennis Springfield Lasers @ Orange County Breakers Andy Roddick (USA). Photo courtesy of CameraworkUSA.

 

Roddick is a contemporary with Federer, as they both won their first major titles in 2003, with Federer taking Wimbledon and Roddick the US Open, which would be his only major title. And Roddick, a mainstay in the top-10 throughout his career, also has a long history against Nadal and Djokovic.

Two years later, Nadal would come onto the scene and had an instant impact as a teenager in 2005.

Roddick said it was obvious from the start of both Federer and Nadal’s careers would be special.

“You look at Rafa and he’s a physical specimen, the weight of shot is amazing,” Roddick said. “You look at Roger  and the talent is instant to your eye. What he can do on a tennis court, and with the flare and the options he had on a tennis court, it created a little bit of jealousy.”

The first impression Roddick had of Djokovic was very different. While Djokovic was a promising young talent, Roddick saw enough weaknesses he could take advantage of.

“With Djokovic, I don’t think it was as obvious to the eye when he first came out, but he’s improved the most after the first four or five years of his career,” Roddick said. “To take something like his physical fitness, something I viewed as a weakness when I played him in 2008 and 09, he’s turned it into a bonafide strength for him now, which is a testament not only to his work ethic, but also to his ability to see what his weaknesses were.”

Roddick also points to Djokovic’s forehand, a shot that could be prone to errors in pressure situations earlier in his career. That’s not the case anymore, Roddick said.

“Early on, I knew I could go to that side and maybe get a couple of tight errors,” Roddick said. “With just little technical adjustments, now it’s a strength under pressure.

“I think his progress as a player is maybe the most obvious of those three guys. It’s really impressive what he’s become.”

Roddick said he got a chance to know Djokovic a little more during a trip to South Korea for an exhibition they were playing.

Djokovic approached Roddick to see if he would like to go early to hit and work off the jet lag.

Roddick agreed and showed up 30 minutes early. He didn’t see Djokovic in the locker room and was wondering if he would be late.

When Roddick walked to the court, he found Djokovic, who had arrived 30 minutes before Roddick and was in the middle of his stretching routine.

“I think it gives you a peak into why he is where he is right now,” Roddick said.