Taking a close look at doping control in professional tennis. How stringent is it? We also look at other issues related to the integrity of the sport.
Simple question: Rhonda Rousey v. Serena Williams?
I had to look up Rhonda Rousey but I'd venture to say that Serena would kick her butt quite easily. It's ridiculous really what tennis has come to.
Should be Serena vs MTracy.
It was great to see Panic Room Serena lose another final. That's three in a row now. But don't pull into a false sense of security people, she has made the last what, six slam finals? She will probably make the next two as well and act all sweet and nice about it while she snarls around the court.
Actually she made the final of the AO but not the USO. She lost in the SF to Vinci. And she won Wimbledon last year so if she doesn't win Wimbledon this year she will be slamless. When was the last time she went a year without a slam to her name? Maybe this is the beginning of the end. But I must say she has become much more gracious in defeat of late. Maybe that's because she's approaching 35 and knows she's not going to win everything anymore, even in this weak WTA era.
It was indeed great to see Serena handed her substantial ass yesterday. I found it interesting, as per previous important matches, how by the end of the match, she just roots to the spot and almost exclusively tries to win point via her upper body - the exaggeration of her 2-handed backhand follow-through was completely ridiculous.The sooner we are rid of this abomination the better. Doping suspicions aside, this whole fist-clenching, roaring 'come on' with her face almost touching the ground drives me fucking insane. lol at the thought of her being stuck on 21 GS forevermore.
Yes, she lost in the 2015 USO in the semi final, I mistakenly remembered it as the final for some reaso. I'm sure the sweet humble champion will win some more but I hope she'll not increase her tally as its a farce already.
Now Serena and her team are saying she's had an adductor injury for the past few weeks. Funny how we only hear about Serena's injuries when she is losing or has lost.She'll still run through the field at Wimbledon.
Adductor injury? the only time her movement was off was when she "Misjudged" the overhead lob on match point.
I predict a historical moment for Tennis when Serena gets her 22nd slam at Wimbledon then goes on to surpass Graffs record on home soil at the USO. Oh! Not forgetting the Gold medal when she returns from injury (after her last competitive game at the final of Wimbledon) to win one :)
Marion Bartoli reported it for French TV and Serena and her team confirmed the injury and said she had been dealing with it for a few days (I misspoke in my previous post - it was a few days, not a few weeks she had the injury). I wouldn't be surprised if her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, told Bartoli about it in case Serena lost to Bertens in the semis. Every time Serena loses he always seems to run to the media to tell them how "injured" Serena is/was.
Laugh out loud, @Ump! Substantial A$$! Serena in one word, hermaphrodite!
Your mother is a hermaphrodite.Anonymous shithead, and somebody should hit the umpire in the head with a bat.Racist sexist mother fuckers.
LOL. At the thread name.
I genuinely see a Murray victory today. Novak - he has been all over the place this tournament; and I think his desperation for the RG holy grail will be his undoing. Recall also how superman Murray rose from the dead at two sets down in last year's RG - his 'worst surface', has now become his 'best surface, apparently:http://www.itv.com/news/2016-05-21/andy-murray-clay-is-my-best-surface-right-now/Assured, I DON'T want an AM victory... actually, I don't want either to be the winner. I was hoping Thiem would do a Michael Chang and being something fresh to the stale state of men's tennis.As an aside, Djuicer's relentless push to be liked is starting to get quite cringeworthy. I'd sure as hell like him more if he gave less than ambiguous answers on the doping case in tennis...
@The Umpire Strikes Back!"I was hoping Thiem would do a Michael Chang and being something fresh to the stale state of men's tennis"Sorry to disappoint you but Dominic Thiem is already just another false actor on ATP tour, here it is:"Invece i problemi che potrebbe avere il tennis si chiamano scommesse e doping, soprattutto dopo il caso Sharapova.“Mah, quello delle scommesse mi è tanto sembrata una trovata dei media ma alla fine cosa è venuto fuori di concreto? Poco o nulla. E sono convinto che anche il doping non sia un problema nel nostro mondo. Per me la Sharapova è stata solo sfortunata: ecco, forse si dovrebbe migliorare la comunicazione perché non sempre è facile star dietro a tutte le regole e all’elenco delle sostanze proibite, soprattutto per chi pensa solo ad allenarsi e giocare bene. Ripeto: per me la Sharapova è stata solo sfortunata e non c’è nessun pericolo di doping nel tennis”."=Question:The problems that could have professional tennis are betting and doping, especially after the Sharapova case, what do you think about?Dominic Thiem's Answer:"Well, as far as betting, for me it looks like a stunt by mass media but in the end what came out of concrete? Little or nothing. And I am convinced that doping is not a problem in our world. For me Sharapova was just unlucky here, maybe communication should be improved because it is not always easy to keep up with all the rules and the list of prohibited substances, especially for those who only think to train and play well. I repeat: for me Sharapova was just unlucky and there is no danger of doping in tennis. "Extracted from the interview with Dominic Thiem for Sportweek ( weekly insert of "La Gazzetta dello Sport", most famous sport newspaper in Italian )Web Source:http://www.tennisbest.com/notizie/486-la-costruzione-di-un-numero-1.htmlBest regards.Fabrice
@FabriceTennis in the current era, as far as I am concerned, is akin to road cycling during the 1990s - in that doping is the rule, not the exception. For every Christophe Bassons there are one hundred Lance Armstrongs.Wishing for Thiem to do a Chang in this year's FO is not the same as me saying he is clean - I would just prefer to see a different name on a major trophy.
@The Umpire Strikes Back!Ok, no problem at all, it means that I had misunderstood your previous words! Anyway, I agree 100% with what you have just said!!All the best!FabriceAll the best
The reason tennis is not like cycling with regard to doping is because tennis is not a team sport. I think there is substantial doping in tennis but my guess is that it is mostly limited to players with money to engage in sufficiently sophisticated pharmaceutical enhancements to avoid detection. Otherwise we would have more positive tests. The one exception might be the use of unwarranted TUEs which are probably pretty inexpensive to arrange.
@maryRight, so if tennis doping is only exclusive to the wealthiest/most successful, how does that all explain the endless journeymen ranked 220 in the world who get busted?Doping, I believe is prevalent. 'Sophicticated pharmaceutical enhancements' will of course be limited to the very richest of players. And my supposition is that more professional in the top 50 say, doping in some form is more common than not.
What happened to the legal case Nadal against former French Minister?
He's clearly on top of it. That's probably why he really withdrew from the FO - to keep his wrist in top condition for all the litigation files he'll be furtively poring over to prove his humble innocence.
Thiem is another one looking stronger lately. And to read these Uttrrly Ridiculous comments about doping in tennis, he sounds like Djokovic or Becker, already! Who can really be this naive given all the doping cases lately? Has he had his head buried up Becker's backside and is now taking advice from Nadal and Djokovic's PR on how to handle doping questions? Murray and to a lesser extent Federer and Tsonga (Tsonga has made some strong comments but not for ages now) are the only ones with any refreshingly sensible comments on doping and it's sad that one of this 'next generation' is toeing the doping-apologist's line.
Actually speaking of the 'next gen' I seem to remember Kyrgios saying something worthwhile on doping a year or so ago, but can't exactly remember. The guy seems like a bit of an entitled prat but I support him on straight talking about doping.
Famous last words - but I too think that Kyrgios, as irritating as he might be personality-wise, wouldn't be that afraid to break omerta. I also recall him speaking out in an indirect way, possibly sourced on this site - an implicating/frustrated tweet of his that was swiftly deleted?
Yes it was exactly this that I was thinking of. I read it on this site. I can't remember the tweet though.
So far Murray beat down of Djoker first set in his first French Open final. McEnroe says Murray's hitting forehand harder than he's ever seen him. Murray saved his best tennis for the finals after playing two 5 setters in first two matches. Let's see how this continues...
Djokovic was very tense throughout the first set, but it looks like he has finally banished his nerves. It's going to be very difficult (if not downright imppossible) for Murray to win now.
Yes. Djoker has his mojo back. And looks like will dominate the 3rd set. But both of these guys are capable of lasting forever, running down shot after shot after shot & hitting with massive power no matter what position on the court, getting better & better as the match progresses, etc. etc. They both have proven the impossible is possible...
Interesting - I just heard Jim Courier on ITV's coverage of the FO final state that both Djokovic and Nadal have taken to eating dates during the rest/between sets breaks. Without exercising the tin foil hat too much, any speculation about whether these are indeed dried fruits?Is nutritious, no?
Soon, we will hear that Djokovic only eats water vapor and organic fruit mold. No wonder he is unbeatable.
Would be interesting to have the dates analysed. Very easy to 'add' something to them in specified measured amounts, more so than almost any other fruit/food or drink.On a slightly wider consideration, is it my imagination or am I correct in noticing that Djoker never throws sweat bands or towels whereas Murray does so on a regular basis?
I can't help but feel great admiration for Novak. He is constructing his name and career in a time, in which tennis is being rewritten by Nadal and Federer. Even if he is doping, he is certainly not the only one in the top five.
Agreed. But poor Novak, like Tommy Gun in Rocky V, seemingly will never be as popular with fans as the Golden duo. What does a man have to do?
Just guessing, but I think that Serbia and its people do not enjoy (yet) a popularity of the level Switzerland has (deserved or not, I don't know, but stereotypes are seldomnly useful). Maybe Federer is being 'helped' just by being Swiss, and Djokovic is by some people less liked because they have no general idea about the beautiful country and people he represents. Even more so, I admire him for being such a great Ambassador of the Serbian Nation. He is a positive role model not only but particularly for this generation of that country.
I could be wrong, but Murray seems to be exhausted.
You mean, getting physically tired and slow in a tennis match? Does this still exist?
I think he's tired too, he's played a lot of tennis the past two weeks. Djoker looks like he could go another 10 sets. Barring a miracle it looks like Djoker will get his elusive French Slam.
Don't think it's about exhaustion. Think it's more mental.
Djokovic nervous in the first set and Murray was playing well. Now Djokovic literally getting better as the sets go by and Murray getting worse. Novak two breaks up in the third and the match is as good as over. Murray getting tired but battling on but no match for Djokovic's fitness.
Murray beat Djokovic in Rome a few weeks ago. They don't even look like the same players today. The 2nd and 3rd sets haven't even been competitive. It's mind-boggling.
Think the crowd has been a huge factor in Murray losing his nerves. Everything on the court & around is bothering him. Djoker has done a good job over the years in winning the French crowd over & learning the language. Murray doesn't do the PR stuff as much. Djoker is sliding around now as if he owns the court! If there's something "extra" that helps these players feel mentally invincible than Djoker has Murray beat on that so far.
Djokovic tanked in Rome. After murray's doping comments which Becker decided to take offence to, he figured he'd just save himself for RG and not worry about a mere Masters tournament which winning would only make him look suspicious anyway. Watching this match, you'd never guess that Djokovic just played 3 matches in 3 days to get to this final, yet Murray had two full days off in between his 4th round and qtr final.
It's partly the crowd, but Murray's just a massive choke artist. I'm rooting for him and I know it's not an even playing field due to Djokovic's PED use, but Murray could still have won a few more of these Finals with Djokovic, and everything looked like it was going his way after he won the 1st Set. Just a terrible choke by Murray here.
@Hola: Agreed - the crowd is backing Djokovic and have interrupted Murray's serve a few times. I agree it has thrown him off. It's just startling the drop in play from Murray from winning the first to the ensuing sets. He's only won 4 games in sets 2-4 so far.@Mystery: Good point. I didn't think of that (the doping comments and the timing). I thought it was 3 matches in 3 days but wasn't sure. So he's played 4 best-of-five matches in 5 days yet he's still fresh. Even Serena got tired playing multiple days in a row.
I think I'll turn this off before I see Djokovic feign some tears, eat or lick some dirt, throw his arms up and down, and all the other thigs he'll do in front of the cameras for his career slam/Nole slam posterity.
Djokovic murdering Murray. How can this dude not be suspect? He never tires, runs everything down and has creepy eyes (not that that is a sign of doping but I just had to mention his eyes).
True, his eyes have that INTENSE look to them. Like Barry Bonds's used to...
Isn't he a suspect? I'd say the final was a match between two dopers.
Considering that Djokovic just turned 29 a couple of weeks ago and that many players are still very successful way into their thirties, I could see him finishing his career with 20+ slams. Certainly, there's nobody stopping him within the next few years at least because the few more promising talents are either no match for him (e.g. Thiem, Coric or Goffin, who appears to be another Ferrer) or too pre-occupied with things other than tennis (Dimitrov, Kyrgios).
Or he could end his career with zero slams.
Do you think they would ever dare to expose Djokovic after he made history and pulled off the Novak Slam? I seriously doubt it. It would be too big of a scandal, IMO.
He's going to hit a wall soon like Nadal did, due to PED abuse. It will be fun to watch.
He'll win the Grand Slam this year. And maybe next year too. I cannot see anyone stopping him apart from Maybe a resurgent Nadal! Or a positive drug test (as I think Mary is referring to).
"He's going to hit a wall soon like Nadal did, due to PED abuse. It will be fun to watch."I don't know. I don't see that happening - at least not within the next couple of years. Nadal has used PED's since his teen years. Djokovic started in late 2010/early 2011. BTW, I forgot to mention Nishikori, but you can add him to the list of talents that are no match for the Djoker.
I still think Federer has claims to GOAT due to his 17 Slams but given the fact that it takes a near inhuman effort to beat Djokovic at the Slams then he'll probably beat 17 by next year. Federer is on the downside of his career. Nadal hasn't beaten Djokovic in two years. Murray loses his head 99% of the time he's plays Djokovic. Wawrinka and Nishikori can beat him - and have beaten him in Slams - but they are too inconsistent. Tsonga could be a good challenger if he wasn't so injury-prone. Monfils would rather do cartwheels and tire himself out doing carnival shots than take his tennis seriously enough to challenge the top players even though he has the ability to do it. The "new era" of Sock, Thiem, Raonic, Dmitrov, Kyrgios, etc. don't have the mental fortitude yet to challenge the top players in the game. They might get there but they're not there yet.Barring either a positive drug test (not covered up), a massive injury, or someone figuring out the formula to consistently beat him, Djoker is - without a doubt - getting to Federer's 17 GS titles.
"The "new era" of Sock, Thiem, Raonic, Dmitrov, Kyrgios, etc. don't have the mental fortitude yet to challenge the top players in the game. They might get there but they're not there yet."+++Anybody following the junior circuit? Are there any exciting prospects out there, guys who could soon dominate the tour? Because the last ten years have been abysmal as far as new talent is concerned. That being said, my theory (I've been saying this for several years now) is that the talent pool isn't as poor as we believe it is, it's just that the top players, the richer players, have so much money to invest in drugs and personnel--the infamous teams--that the other, younger players are left in the dust and blossom only later (not unlike Wawrinka, which I like as a player but is admittedly a suspect) when they amass sufficient prize money. In that regard, it's very similar to where major leagu baseball in the US was a dozen or so years ago: older, richer players still dominating in their mid to late 30s with few dominant youngsters. Now, since baseball has aggressively pursued the PED users, there has been a dramatic shift: it's now the younger players, 21 to 26 who are massively dominating in the game whereas the 34+ veterans playing at a high level are very few and far between. I think there is an obvious correlation there.
There's an interesting Canadian prospect coming up by the name of Felix Auger Aliassime. The kid is only 15 years old and already ranked inside the top 700 on the ATP tour. I saw a couple of his matches at the Granby challenger event last year and he's like a more fluid Tsonga.
It is actually really sad that there has effectively been a lost generation of tennis GS winners; buried under the overstayed welcome of 'da big four'.
Fact. Murray has looked utterly exhausted since he served the first set out. Played like he's been running on fumes ever since.
Murray needs to go gluten-free. Hell - everybody should go gluten-free. It's the greatest formula for sporting success the world has ever seen.
Novak. Did what Fed couldn't do. What the raging bull couldn't do. The SERENA SLAM!
Murray always looks exhausted but that's not it. If he were so exhausted then he wouldn't be able to resurge this 4th set from 2 breaks down. It really is more of a mental battle between these two. When Murray gets too mentally down, he usually resorts to playing more pass tennis.
Whoops sorry, that's passive tennis.
Well it's over and Djokovic won. There is simply no one on the ATP who can beat him unless they damn near kill themselves to do it (Wawrinka and Nishikori come to mind). It's an utter joke.Even Serena loses once in a while and can be vulnerable. The WTA is far more exciting then the ATP at the moment because you at least know there is a chance Serena can lose.
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@Hola"If he were so exhausted then he wouldn't be able to resurge this 4th set from 2 breaks down"Utter BS. Even the late rally was last leg stuff and only materialised because Novak got a little tight.
It truly is BS. Tennis has become a ridiculous joke. It's ridiculous that 3 players of this era have won the career slam when just one player winning it in an era was such a difficult feat. And now, Djoker is headed to win the grand slam, possibly the golden slam, & possibly win more than 17 slams & tie the humble Bull this year. WADA, ITF, ATP are doing a superb job catching the most suspect players & making it transparent---NOT!
@ Northwestcircus---I'm just trying not to give any one player a free pass on doping just because he loses to the most successful doper right now. U have to see the big picture---that Murray is 2 & really doesn't display fatigue compared to most other players on tour. He could have won a lot more if Djoker weren't in his way. Personally, I feel Murray's a really good guy. Seen him play in person & he's really a classy guy off court. He's very real, kind & doesn't try to engage in all the PR crap that Djoker does. But I can't be convinced right now the way tennis is that he is playing clean on court.
I wonder will Murray bring up Tennis doping regulations again, he sounded and looked completly peeved off especially the award speeches. In fact he made reference to Djokovic's achievements in the past 12 months "which Tennis has not seen in a long time" and "probably will not see again."
I believe athletes of today are usually better than the ones 30 years ago. More access to training, nutrition, etc. But they also have access to more advanced doping methods.As Hola said, it's getting ridiculous. Only 10 years ago Sampras was considered GOAT because he had 14 Slams. Every single commentator said that it will take decades before that record is beaten. FF to now and one has beaten that (Federer), one has tied that (Nadal) and one will either tie that this year or tie/break it next year (Djokovic). When was the last time you heard Sampras included in a GOAT discussion?They always ramp up the testing in an Olympic year but I still believe they cover up people's positive tests. Just look at Sharapova - they weren't even going to make public her failing a drug test. She made it public on her own. If neither had made it public Sharapova would be claiming some injury as the reason she isn't playing the Slams (like Cilic did when he failed a test and pulled out of a bunch of tournaments claiming he had a knee injury).I suspect everyone in tennis of cheating (even ATP and WTA players I like) because the testing in tennis has been so deficient. I hate being cynical, but I am. It's up to the tennis powers-that-be to install serious, hardcore testing to prove me wrong.
@HolaAgree 100% with you're last post above. But to suggest breaking Djokovic when he's serving to hold all four slams was a sign Murray wasn't suffering physically seemed a little dishonest somehow.
Well part of the reason why three players now have the career grand slam is because of the homogenization of the court surfaces. They all play the same: slow. It used to be that clay was slow, hard court was faster and grass was fastest. Now, if you weren't looking at the court surface it would be hard to distinguish between the three. How else would a clay court specialist (hell, the king of clay) win Wimbledon and the USO and the AO? It's ridiculous. And let's not forget carpet, which is no longer even in existence.
@LopiYes, a lack of appreciable variety in the speed of the various surfaces has helped the elite become 'all court' specialists. I'm old enough to remember how rare that was - I recall it was a big deal when a grass or hard court specialist had any success on clay, and vice-versaHowever, the authorities in recent years have at least ensured grass has become a bit faster since the surfaces were homogenised in the mid/late 2000s.
I think Djokovic did a little rope-a-dope on Murray and the spectators. I think he could have thrashed Murray like a rag doll if he wanted to, but didn't do so for fear of making it too obvious.
@pk I agree.
There is no doubt that Djoko always has been a good tennis player, possibly an excellent tennis player depending upon your point of view. Taking some potion or other does not make a tennis player. However as a match at the top level is decided upon a small number of points in pockets of seconds over a match of several hours to take a good player and add in prolonged focussed concentration as well as increased physical stamina makes an unbeatable player. I have long since noted the physical resemblance between Armstrong and Djoker and it also seems they share a similar machiavellian personality trait. He stated his case years ago in an interview with the BBC at Wimbledon. Djoker invited himself to the studio after loosing early on and where the BBC team had little idea who he was let alone know how to pronounce his name yet he sat there straight faced self promoting stating he would be world number one and would do everything he could to get there. Seems he is a man of his word.
To supplement the above: I should like to add that Djoko was nothing exceptional as a junior. Without the added ingredients he may have been in the mix winning and loosing in equal measure, taking some titles perhaps. The dominance he presently displays is extremely suspect and I for one cannot wait until the science testing catches up with him. I also suspect all the dietary changes are manufactured to explain anomalies on his biological passport.
Novak Djokovic... winner of one slam
(the 2008 Australian Open- his only legitimate win)
Worst of it is, with the Novak Grand Slam, 12 slams, winning h2h against Fed/Nadal and most masters titles, he has best claim to GOAT.
well certainly if he makes it to 17 majors he will be called the goat based on his H2H with the other two. I will stop watching tennis forever if that happens.
Yeah, I just looked through Djokovic's record and it's quite astonishing how his career progressed since the start of the 2011 season.Djokovic's record until 2010:Highest ranking: #3Total number of titles: 18Total win/loss record: 333-105 (76%)Win/loss record vs. top 10 players: 39-50 (43.8%)Number of Grand Slam titles: 1Humber of Grand Slam finals: 2Grand Slam win/loss record: 85-23 (78.7%)Number of Masters Series titles: 5Number of Masters Series finals: 6Masters Series win/loss record: 105-39 (72.9%)Number of Masters Cup wins: 1Masters Cup win/loss record: 8-7 (53.3%)Number of Davis Cup titles: 1Since 2011: Highest ranking: #1Total number of titles: 47Total win/loss record: 406-44 (90.2%)Win/loss record vs. top 10 players: 135-31 (81.3%)Number of Grand Slam titles: 11Humber of Grand Slam finals: 6Grand Slam win/loss record: 136-11 (92.5%)Number of Masters Series titles: 24Number of Masters Series finals: 7Masters Series win/loss record: 183-21 (89.7%)Number of Masters Cup wins: 4Masters Cup win/loss record: 19-3 (86.4%)Number of Davis Cup titles: 0BTW, if Djokovic wins Cincinatti this year, I think he'll become the first player ever to have won all 9 Masters 1000 tournaments.
If he is doing something illegal, well, he is doing it right! He does not seem to get all too muscular, his playing style is not as brute as that of the Spaniard, and he does not look like he's destroying his health and body like Nadal who became a medical wonder. He is clearly the untouchable No 1 at everything he is doing, whatever that includes. Djokostrong.
There's only one problem with that picture: he has equalled if not surpassed Nadal as the number one doping suspect in the sport.
To me, Nadal has long gone beyond the slightest doubt. More suspicious than him? No way. I did, however, give Djokovic some benefit of the doubt. Starting this year I went gluten-free myself! I thought I would start to feel younger, faster, stronger, you name it. Guess it works only combined with the egg therapy
There was a noticable different between Murray and Djokovic today in terms of psychical coniditioning. Murray got very tired at the end but Djokovic was completely fresh which in itself makes me suspicious.
Wow. Gluten-free diet and a barometric egg sure can do wonders for your athletic career.I'm sure that if his Doctors pumped quinoa into his stomach and then placed his corpse in a barometric coffin, within a few weeks Muhammad Ali would be challenging for the World Heavyweight title again. ;)
Nadal and Federer were the very best, playing in another league, with two completely opposing styles. A pumped up MMA fighter against an effortless ballet dancer. Yin and Yang in tennis. Beating all records, and only having each other to hold them back. Then comes Djokovic, and starts to beat both of them, outplaying each one in his own game, stronger than the MMA fighter, more versatile than the ballet dancer. He is taking tennis to the next level, the most complete player ever. If doping, which is very likely, he is now untouchable, too big a name.
Lol, Djokovic? More versatile than Federer? REALLY?
@Lia"and only having each other to hold them back. Then comes Djokovic"Wait, what? He was there with them the whole time. He's a year younger than Nadal was there in the mix when Fed/Nadal were both bagging slams. And there's no way you would you bet your mortgage five years ago that of the three, the Djoker would be GOAT.
It should say: "then comes 'gluten-free' Djokovic", before that he was no consistent threat. Anyway, to beat Nadal at his own game, that is something. None of those drinking the magic potion could ever knock out Obelix. Djokovic undid Nadal and Federer. Congrats to his team.
Anybody who thinks Djokovic is more versatile than Federer hasn't been paying attention. No offence Lia. Federer is 6 (yes six) years older than Djokovic. In tennis terms that is a lifetime. When Federer was in his prime he was head and shoulders more versatile, fluid and graceful than Djokovic could ever imagine to be (well actually Federer still is, when he's in the zone). Djokovic is like a human backboard (and Murray as well) just pounding back ball after ball from the baseline (throwing in a drop shot every once in a while just so that the point will end before the crowd falls asleep). That is not versatile, nor is it beautiful tennis.
Lia may have a point. Djokovic is not a mere backboard. A doper yes, but also a fantastic tennis player who has more options from the baseline than Federer did, even though he is not as graceful.
did you watch the match today? I admit i had to stop after the third set because it was making me ill but I'd like to know what options you're referring to.
I stress that this is as yet unsubstantiated... a poster - 'MrHeathCliff' - commented on the Guardian article of the match, claimng that during the coverage (unknown which coverage), a stat was raised showing Murray's forehand delivery was around 6kph faster than both pre- and post-Lendl eras. Interesting.Murray really, REALLY needs to lose this worsening habit of effing and jeffing EVERY time he has a bad point. He also served truly awfully today - possible of course that even if serving was on form, it would have made no difference against the Djuicinator - but he made the match even easier for Djuicer.Finally, I've noticed in recent years a continuing trend during GS finals speeches where each player congratulates 'the team' of the opposition."Novak's team have done a great job."I'll say!
First paragraph crap grammar - basically I'm saying that Murray's average forehand speed was higher under Lendl....
"I've noticed in recent years a continuing trend during GS finals speeches where each player congratulates 'the team' of the opposition."+++I cringe every time I hear these code words. They're basically winking and nudging about their PED regimen in front of everybody and complicit media act if they are just being gracious toward one another.
@PicassoWhatQuite. I first noticed it happening after the 2012 AO abomination of a final. Raffer 'congratulating' Novak's team, through griited teeth and a fairly obvious disingenuity.
@ Picasso & The Umpire Strikes Back! I thought I only noticed that. The same in the AO final 2012. It's like they are playing games. It's so sick and twisted.
Also, after playing for 6 hours in the 2012 AO with a very high-level 5th set--which my eyes couldn't believe--Mole and Rafa did this little number where both couldn't stay up anymore so fatigued that they were. It didn't compute at all with what we were saying just a couple minutes before. But you know what, today Mole did the same thing again: after winning the match, he faked having a hard time walking for a few seconds. I mean, how stupid is that, such bad acting. Reminds me of when my younger self used to fake cough on my boss' voicemail on Monday mornings I didn't feel like coming into the office, lol.
@PicassoWhatYup, the 2012 AO final post-match chair debacle was a fitting end to the utter joke of the preceeding 6 hours.I know those of us convinced about the doping case in tennis can become pessimistic and skeptical of almost everything, but it is hard not to see things in the suspected dopers' every action - agree 100% at Djoke-vic's faux-exhaustion post match. I can understand tiredness suddenly hitting after hard physical exertion, but everything from his fall to the floor to his hunched panting looked so forced.And similarly, reminds me of the time I once put Grand Theft Auto SA on full volume, phoned in work and said I was stuck in traffic due to a closed bridge.
Biggest problem is this blog is an irrelevance to them. All they care about is that 99 percent of tennis fans are stuck in this dream world where everyone is clean and doping just doesn't occur.The only language that dopers understand is if the authorities actually come in and give them a kick up the butt. But the "powers that be" (actually the real powers are the players) are afraid of rocking the money boat and very rarely like to challenge the top players and get them banned.
@Minding MonsterQuite. My personal opinion is that the ITF will do absolutely anything it can to protect the 'integrity' of tennis... we have seen Athletics effectively ruined and road cycling severely damaged by doping revelations; sponsorship and TV audiences have been adversely affected to varying degrees in both of those sports.Tennis is the ultimate financial gravy train for all involved. Do you think for one minute the tennis chiefs place integrity and honesty over money? Of course not. I'm not saying anything new here, but with all the money and sponsorship involved in tennis, you can logically conclude that the ITF/ATP/WTA must be protecting players with adverse findings or even positive tests; to out them would be an act of self-destruction that would open the floodgates and compromise their cash cows.The damage control exerted by the tennis authorities with Sharapova was a PR masterclass: the dual actions of proclaiming a 'tough' testing regime and 'transparency'; whilst at the same time not likely to be too severe on MS (we strongly suspect), such that all the financial and audience interest she attracts won't be lost.The only way doping in tennis will be truly exposed is when a top suspect(s) truly break omertà; analogous to Tyler Hamilton, Frankie Andreu and Floyd Landis in road cycling. With the armies of physicians, 'dieticians' and 'physios' surrounding some of the top players, the money/logistics at their disposal - AND the highly likely comfort blanket of a protective governing body - the chances of another Sharapova-esque slip-up are very slim indeed.
Tennis is a joke. It can't be all these GOAT's all of a sudden. My goodness. It's getting crazy...who next? Tomic GOAT????
What amazes me is why no-one is asking more questions about how scarce GS victories are outside the 'big three'; why no-one younger (and by conventional biology, fitter) isn't rising to the challenge and why the slams have become so predictable in terms of the final few.It simply isn't natural to have guys dominating into their late 20s and early 30s without anyone else being close - there have always been signs of 'the next guy' in any era... if you forget the Cilic debacle, the last 'next guy' was in 2009 and his career has been irreversibly compromised by dodgy wrists.Part of me is angry at Dimitrov for not restoring order of natural progression to the next generation. Maybe these young players give up, knowing what is really going on at the top? Maybe the Twitter generation don't put in the hard yards? Who knows. But there is a book, or at the very least a detailed article crying out to be written about this bizarre phenomenon.
Couldn't agree more. But the "big three" is like a religion with the cliche spouting media.
Dimitrov doped. Remember his coaches and his physical progress/comments with one coach. Then that coach left, and his progress seemed to fade out.Please, guys. Doping is common.
@THASPyou have been mentioned as an influential source by "Cambridge Globalist"!! Sincere Congratulations!!Here it is:http://cambridgeglobalist.org/2016/03/17/meltdown-meldonium-tennis-faces-doping-demons/At the end of the article, you'll find their congratulations for being such an influential source!!Best regards.FabricePS who they are:About CGPioneering student journalism.The Cambridge Globalist harnesses the understanding and creativity of Cambridge students to produce rigorous, thought-provoking perspectives on a range of topics, from international affairs to the arts. We aim to combine the extraordinary people and academic resources gathered in Cambridge with a quality-over-frequency model of student journalism, to produce pieces which question the conventional wisdom and hold their own in wider public discussion....http://cambridgeglobalist.org/about-us/
http://www.wsj.com/articles/djokovic-vegan-with-a-little-fish-here-and-there-1464285406PARIS—If Novak Djokovic wins his first French Open title this year, he’ll likely celebrate long and hard. But he’s not going to order a steak. Djokovic, perhaps the world’s most famous practitioner of a gluten-free diet, confirmed on Thursday that he no longer eats meat, either.[...]In 2010, Djokovic learned that he was allergic to gluten and cut it out of his diet. He had an otherworldly season in 2011 and has been the world’s most consistent player since. -5 years later, the same bullshit story and the masses eat it up.
Exactly, it's like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa back in 1998. The media: they only use legal supplements. like androstenedione (since banned) and creatine! Nothing to see here then. But the tennis media and fans take the cake: I have never seen such willful stupidity, ignorance and gullibility. It takes a special kind of braindead person to not roll their eyes when the tennis reporters gush and wax romantic about the infamous "Big Four".
@PicassoWhatI sometimes think that the willful ignorance of the press and fans alike is just as sickening as the behaviour of the suspect dopers.When someone reads that Djokovic, stamina king and court-covering lunatic extraordinaire - neither eats conventional carbs sources or staple protein sources - do they really believe he can play the way he does on a diet of water, lettuce, a few prawns and nuts?Diet is of course important, and I exaggerate the food options, but I genuinely do not believe a top athlete in a sport like tennis can be both gluten-free AND a non-meat eater. I fail to see where he would get the requisite nutritional values for such a physically demanding game.As far as stories go, it's up there with Buddha surviving for 10 days on a single grain of rice.
Watching Djokovic pretend to be tired after the final today was so funny. They really think the public is stupid.
Exactly my thought. Even comentator were talking that he still has "some" fuel left in tank and can play few hours more on this level. Which is for me some kind of magic.
Djokovic on the Calendar Slam "I don't want to sound arrogant, but I think everything is achievable in life."http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/36456786
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh0vAYBAQqUWhat happened to Dopervic
Interesting comments by Cathal Kelly in his article from the Globe and Mail on the Djokovic win...http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/more-sports/kelly-novak-djokovic-has-always-been-tireless-now-hes-unstoppable/article30282683/"It is hard to measure Djokovic’s stamina relative to itself because he never seems tired. It can be never be too hot or too humid (and it was sticky on Sunday in Paris). He never sweats. Djokovic mops his brow more as a nervous tic.To fully appreciate that tirelessness, you must contrast Djokovic’s endurance with that of other high-level competitors. On that basis, no one’s even close. Djokovic may be the fittest athlete to ever play the sport.(Mental note: Rummage through cupboards once back home and throw out all gluten. Which I can only assume means “all food.”)Once Djokovic had won it, he had the decency to pretend exhaustion. He slumped to the clay and stayed there a while. His chest was heaving. It was the first time all day he’d seemed in the least bit uncomfortable."you don't even need to read between the lines here. When will this farce end?
Very telling words! Nice find. Former serial slam retiree, Novak Djokovic, is now, literally, the fittest athlete in all of sport. Ever. It's just ridiculous.
An indefatigable force...never outcompeted...fittest athlete to ever play the sport.
Andy Murray to Men's Health Magazine:"But the Serbian world No.1 isn't going anywhere and has been seemingly unbeatable since ditching gluten from his diet. Yet Andy admits when he tried a similar experiment, it had the opposite effect. 'I dropped like 5kg in the space of a few weeks, and had no energy,' he told the magazine. 'The only thing that it helped was sleep but I think that was simply because I was so tired. I slept really well, but I couldn’t play tennis like that. I just didn’t have enough energy, I struggled.' www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3620480/Andy-Murray-reveals-fatherhood-changed-game.html-No energy he says, yet Djokovic can somehow run for hours.
@UntitledK91) "No Effects of a Short-Term Gluten-free Diet on Performance in Nonceliac Athletes"http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25970665Hence, either Andy Murray made some mistakes in his personal approach to the "Gluten-free Diet" or he wanted to launch a message...!!2) Given the fact that Andy Murray had tried Hyperbaric Therapy (while Djokovic was boasting about it at the Australian Open 2016! Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/tennis-players-get-an-oxygen-fix-1454023796 ) and had decided it isn’t for him, the result was pretty similar:either Andy Murray had made some mistakes in his personal approach to the "Hyperbaric Therapy" or he had just wanted to launch a message for the first time...!!All the best!FabricePS I don't think that Andy Murray is a naive guy...!! Nobody is naive among the top players in any professional sport where there are tons of money at stake!!
It's not the first time Murray has spoken of attempting to go gluten-free. Also other players have tried the CVAC Pod as well. Here's Taylor Fritz:"Got to try out the CVAC Pod today for the first time https://twitter.com/Taylor_Fritz97/status/633102161363124224And another child, whose parents seem to be stopping at nothing to ensure he reaches the top of the game:"There's a 12-year-old kid in Florida named Adam Neff who spends 40 to 60 minutes a day in a "CVAC" (Cyclic Variations in Altitude Conditioning) pod, which rapidly adjusts the pressure inside from the equivalent of sea level to almost 7,000 meters and back hundreds of times in a row. Neff is a top child tennis player, and his parents have built him what amounts to a private tennis academy, including the CVAC pod, which his coach has leased for 5 years at a cost of over $100,000. Apparently Novak Djokovic uses a CVAC, so it must be good.http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324682204578513532678872880http://www.runnersworld.com/sweat-science/pressure-pods-and-beyondConsidering how young he was then, it’s shocking really. Regards to You
You mean...https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/jan/27/murray-musclesin-on-heavyweightsAnd...The source of the Murray's forehand speed difference. Because, you know, Murray's mentality also affects his muscles. Or whatever you say when you force yourself to believe someone is NOT doping. http://thetennispodcast.libsyn.com/page/3/size/10 (january 31 or 30)
@UnknownI already wrote some posts about the body transformation of Andy Murray in this blog in the past and I said that I don't agree with his official version at all because personally being the same identical height of Murray and starting with the same bodly structure ( long-limbed ) I know for sure what is really necessary to transform yourself from a skinny tall boy into a good shape muscolar boy and it isn't at all the fairy tale that Murray told The Guardian, that particular kind of body transformation requires a very dedicated process that it is impossible to do it naturally if you want to bring forward the time frames because you must train seriously for another challenging sport in which the aerobic component is pretty important!! Hence, when I wrote in my last post that Murray could have wanted to launch warning messages, I didn't mean at all to say that Murray is totally clean and so he is the only one who could afford the luxury of launching warning messages about doping!!I've meant something different which isn't difficult to understand if a person knows the basics of how doping works in those professional sports where there are tons of money at stake!!Best regards.Fabrice
@UnknownI was just pointing out how these top athletes are willing to try new things in order to get ahead, Murray included. Nowhere did I mention Murray’s muscles. There’s no need to be on the defensive of someone pointing out what most here and some in the media believe, that Djokovic’s explanation for his dominance (adopting a gluten free diet) is most likely nonsense.As for the decline in Murray’s FH speed, with Lendl and after Lendl, definitely suspect. It almost reminds me of Nadal’s impressive US Open 2010 serve that never returned.
On a slightly different topic, did we ever find out why exactly Sharapova took Meldonium? Not sure if this article was posted here, but according to WADA 47 out of 49 positive Russian athlete samples tested in the last 6 months were found to contain the same drug:http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/idUKKCN0YD0PD?irpc=932Either a lot of Russian ATHLETES suffer coronary artery problems, or, more sensibly, we can conclude it is endemic. Amazing how many of them missed the January 1st memo.We are at the point now where almost all Russian athletes can be assumed dopers. I notice the Russian representation in tennis isn't what it used to be...
In the spirit of long odds that were made in UK football this year, wondering what someone here who is familiar with oddsmaking would give on Djokovic being exposed as a doper within the next five years? To me, it's no question. I no longer watch tennis and once did so religiously for more than 20 years because it is so clear to me that the sport is filthy. When Sharapova was nailed, it caused exactly zero surprise in me. I now just spend about ten minutes per year looking at the results of the grand slams and reading a few of the quotes. Djoko is such a dirty player and I'm really wondering since tennis is so insular, unlike biking, if it is actually possible we can have a beautiful takedown like Lance Armstrong.Odds anyone?
I keep my fingers crossed for this.Sooner or later, we will undercover the truth. This is so clear to me and some of my friends, when you watching Djokovic playing, that his accuracy and speed is supernatural.
@ unknown name!"if it is actually possible we can have a beautiful takedown like Lance Armstrong."Hell Yes, It Is Absolutely Possible!!And what could be the starting point to create a domino effect?The starting point could be this very good blog!!I'll explain it better!!By now, on this very good blog, there is enough stuff really interesting and meaningful about doping in tennis that could be transformed into a great ebook/book!!Not only the articles by the owner/manager of this blog but also the several interesting posts written by the readers and the several reported links pointed out by the readers could be an execellent wide source to write a Great Ebook/Book about doping in professional tennis!!The authour could sign himself/hersel with just a pseudonym and with a cautious but attractive title the book could become a huge success and the consequences could only be positive in the short mid term at least!!Best regards.FabricePS I take for granted that a book like that must be written very well to become a great success!!Anyway, it isn't rocket science at all!!
@UnknownNameI cancelled SkySports and my online ATP subscription in 2010, just after the Madrid Open - and I stopped these services after losing interest in the sport; among other reason I couldn't shake the suspicion of doping prevalent and despised the homogenisation of the surfaces and the resulting identikit 'all court players'. I used to do the Wimbledon ballot every year, with moderate success; but I've not bothered since 2011. Last live event I attended was Queen's in 2009.Like you, I had been a lifelong fan of tennis; since my earlist memory of watching McEnroe in the mid-eighties, and then gripped by Edberg vs Becker at Wimbledon. Despite the criticisms, I loved the Sampras/Agassi eras because of the genuine variety between all the players and the very different styles required at each of the major tournaments.For me however, suspected doping is just one of the turn-offs. The endless defensive baseline slugfests do nothing for me - and in addition to the aforementioned surface issues, I also have a real problem with the sportsmanship, or lack of, in modern matches. The exorbitant time between points, the feigning of injuries (both on and off court), idiots shouting 'come on' on an opponent's error, the inconsistent grunting... no thanks.I haven't truly enjoyed tennis for many years. Probably never will again.
Apologies if this is a duplication - I searched recent blog entries and couldn't find this already posted - the IOC's Tennis Anti-Doping Rules Summary for Rio 2016:http://www.itftennis.com/news/229099.aspx"All tennis players competing at the Rio Olympics will be subject to testing as described in the Rules. The Rules will cover the period from the opening of the Athletes’ Village on 24 July until the day of the Closing Ceremony (the “Period of the 2016 Olympics”). The “In-Competition Period” is defined as the period commencing twelve hours before the start of a Competition in which a player is scheduled to participate and ending on the completion of that Competition (including any associated Sample collection process). All other times are defined as “Out-of-Competition”. The WADA Prohibited List applies during the Period of the 2016 Olympics.During the Period of the 2016 Olympics, all players will be subject to sample collection initiated by the IOC at any time or place, with no advance notice.Players who have, or require, a valid TUE that covers any part of the Period of the 2016 Olympics will be required to file, or apply for, that TUE (as applicable) with the IOC’s Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee."----------------------------------All standard stuff. But the last paragraph makes me wonder - are injuries cited by suspicious players a pre-empt fo Olympic withdrawl, or are they instead laying the foundations for a TUE?
If the ITF wrote this summary, a cynic may interpret it as a warning to dopers to be careful, rather than an information article for players in general.
Quite. The last paragraph reads to me like "Make sure you have your TUEs ready, lads."
I think the problem that Djokovic and his 'team' have is that they can't reign Djokovic's natural egotism in. He's PEdded up to the eye balls and there is nothing to stop him winning all 4 slams this year, the Olympics, most of the MS, and YEC, but if he does I think suspicions will be voiced much more openly than they have been and it could be his undoing. Whereas Nadal was prepared to dominate for a spell, then take some down time to make him look a little more human, Djokovic is too caught up in his own ego driven myth making that he will just keep winning and winning and winning until he gets busted.
So true. The world is not enough. And he will do anything to get it. He knows he is untouchable and the mere idea of 'looking too good to be true' to some people is just an absurdity to his ego right now. One doesn't get to his utterly dominant position by having the personality trait of letting up on things.
To reduce suspicion, losing in the early rounds of Wimbledon might help. Maybe the powers that be will not so gently tap him on the shoulder and tell him to take it easy for 1-2 slams.
IMO, just about the only thing that can stop Djokovic from winning 17+ slams is for him to burn out within the next couple of years. As you noted, Djokovic is insanely greedy. Whereas Nadal always seemed to take it easy at various points in the season, Djokovic tries to win every tournament he enters. Early round losses only seem to happen once in a blue moon. One would think all that physical exertion would eventually catch up with him...
At least when Federer dominated the sport he was in his prime (24-26) but Djokovic is 29 and if he were to all four slams (and possibly the Olympics and WTF) at his age I think people would definitely start asking questions. But maybe he is just too greedy to sacrifice any of these prizes and that might just be his undoing. Well, one can hope anyway.
To some extent, that's what happened to Lance Armstrong. If he hadn't tried his comeback, people might have let him fade quietly but it's that need to keep winning, to be a legend, that sometimes gets people.
In addition, Federer's ascent was a steady climb. Djokovic looked like a decent player for several years, then in 2011, around 24yo, he dramatically changed into an unstoppable world beater.I accept that player's games might click into place with theright coaches/tactics, but to go from multiple retirements and wilting under duress - aka the 'Chokeovic' years (recall Berdych's straight sets victory during the 2010 W SF, lol) - to an inhuman stamina freak doesn't make sense. I was up in the gods during his SF with Federer during the 2010 Tour Finals, And he looked utterly incapable of keeping up with Fed - one of the worst performances he has ever given. A mere 2.5 months later, he was destroying all-comers in the 2011 AO final. I don't accept the explanations given for his transmogrification; namely the infamous anti-gluten switch, nor increased confidence from Serbia's DC victory.Apart from something between the ears in late 2012/2013, he has been beyond compare, and indeed comprehension, in his speed, agility and staying power.All down t'gluten, lad.
It's partly because the gluten/vegan explanation is so scientifically implausible, that story seems steeped in dishonesty. And what would be the reason for that?
@The Umpire Strikes Back!Perfectly put. Djokovic went 1-6 against Fedal in 2010, with the one win coming against a Federer that sprayed 70+ errors in 5 tight sets. They both pretty much owned him across the year. I even noted at that point, especially in the WTFs like you said, that Djoker was never really going to amount to a truly great player, and perhaps a one slam wonder at that.Fast forward to 2011 and he goes 10-1 against them, beating Nadal in 7 straight finals, only losing to an inspired Federer at RG in an all-time match and pretty much outlasting everyone and playing unstoppable pong tennis all year round.At around 24 years of age.In short: Bread is evil.
I don't know if this is only my experience, but most people don't seem to suspect that tennis players might be drug cheats. What does everybody else think?
Agreed.In fact, the caustic responses on head-burying forums like The Guardian website comments sections and DigitalSpy, and general discussions with friends yield a very hostile response to any considered suggestions or ideas that doping may exist in tennis.In fact, it's the blinkered reactions from the public at large that depress me even more than the possibility of an endemic doping issue in tennis.I mean, if many players are in it together, and the ITF protects them; in addition, journos to date are reluctant to dig deep AND 'fans' don't want to know... then where is the opportunity or the will to expose drug cheating in tennis likely to occur?Before I found this site, I had deep suspicions of my own. As a previous dedicated fan of both road cycling and athletics, so many of the inexplicable performances and suspicious warning signs that were proven to be correct are, in my eyes, occurring in tennis.
In cycling, even before Lance went down, fans were allowed to openly discuss the possibility of doping and what evidence was there or not. And that continues to be the case. But in tennis, people can't even voice their suspicions in most mainstream venues. I presume television contracts for announcers actually forbid any discussion.
'The Curious Case of Novak Djokovic'...
Agreed. This needs to be written. If I were independently wealthy, I'd offer a million in cash for one of his inner circle to give indisputable proof of what we all already know.
I'd love to see that. For me though, Nadal is still the original fish that needs to be taken alive before he retires. One thing I'd love to have confirmation about with regard to the Humble Bull is whether there is any truth to the tantrum he allegedly threw at the 2006 Australian Open because of doping tests (turns out he couldn't play in the tournament because of a foot "injury"--hopefully I'm recalling the rumor correctly).
What I'd like to know is what happened to Nadal's new improved serve that won him the USO in 2010? I mean, suddenly he discovered a new "grip" that pretty much won him a slam (a slam that had eluded him previously. He never even made the final before 2010) so why wouldn't he stick with it? What was that all about anyway? Did anyone even bother to ask him what happened to his grip? That, to me, was the biggest joke/farce/anomaly (you name it) I had even seen in pro tennis. And nobody even questioned him about it. Or if they did, they didn't pursue it. But then along came Djokovic so I guess Nadal's grip was old news.
The mystery of Nadal's 2010 UO improved serve is up there with Murray's improved forehand, exclusive only during the Lendl glory years.
That Nadal serve is proof that Nadal is a modern day guinea pig when it comes to PED experiments. I mean COME ON! Some people on the Internet to this day still rationalize that a grip change could help him serve 135 MPH bombs when a couple years back he had trouble cracking 120, l-o-l.
How come the serve was never seen again? If it was so amazing and won him a slam that until then was unreachable, why would he not continue to use the magic grip? Such BS.
Well, some cliff notes to get us started on The Curious Case of Novak Djokovic:- Looks to be a decent player between 2006 and 2010; wins against Federer/Nadal on the biggest stages however are rare indeed- In Summer 2010, he is allegedly declared sensitive to gluten, by a Serbian nutritionist- Djokovic continues with patches of inconsistent form for the rest of 2010; save for his Davis Cup victory. Reaches latter stages of Wimbledon and UO F, but has some unexpected MS1000 early losses vs. Llodra and Rochus, as well as continued losing season record vs. Nadal/Federer- Starts 2011 with one of the all-time great runs; goes 41-0 in matches before losing to Federer in the FO, tripling his GS haul to date by the time he wins Wimbledon and hoovering up 4 of the first 5 Masters titles (withdrew Monte Carlo). Goes 10-1 vs Fed/Nad; beats Nadal consistently on clay which, up to that point, no-one else had achieved- Article in the Independent dated August 2011, titled 'Revealed: The Diet That Saved Novak Djokovic', which detailed the famous alleged gluten allergy, also revealed that "Until now, Djokovic had been reluctant to go into detail about the regime that has turned his life and career around". That is 7 months in to his record-breaking season.- Above article claims Djokovic 'slept better' and 'felt more energetic than he ever had done'. Leading gluten dietician, Tricia Thompson R.A., states that people do indeed feel 'better than ever' by cutting gluten if suffering from Celiac disease/intolerance; but ONLY because they were so ill before. It does not follow that cutting gluten will dramatically increase stamina in such a short space of time. Gluten free, if allergy was true, would at best allow Djokovic to function like a typical athlete after a period of time. 2 months or so after a shocking display and loss vs. Federer in 2010 TF, he was drastically fitter(http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/the_13_biggest_nutrition_and_food_myths_busted?page=14)- Finishes 2011 as world no. 1, with 3 GS, 5 MS1000 (then record) and $12.6million prize money (then record)
- AO SF 2012, Djokovic defeats Andy Murray (27th Jan) in a 4h 50m 5-set match, finishing around 12:20am local time (based on recalled start time of 7:30pm). In the F, defeats Nadal (29th Jan) in a 5hr 53m 5-set match, finishing at 1:37am local time - breaking the record for the longest GS final in history. Only had approx 35-40hours recovery between SF and F- Physicality and stamina become Djokovic trademarks; prior to 2011, he retired 9 times between 2005-2010; with clay (5 of those retirements) evidently being his weakest surface (source: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/top-players-match-retirement-history.393981/). Post 2010, he has been one of the most successful, and in recent years at fime of writing, the no.1 exponent on clay- In addition to above retirements, Djokovic notably suffered tiredness pre-2011, even in 3-set matches- 2012/2013, GS successes drop, but the changed, stamina based defensive game remains. Still wins many titles and reaches GS finals easily.- 2014, wins Wimbledon. Interesting episode prior to Sony Ericsson Open, where he shares on social media an ill-advised snap of training partner Wayne Odesnik, a confirmed drugs cheat- 2015, another stellar year with 3/4 GS titles; Grand Slam for 2015 prevented only by an inspired (or otherwise) Wawrinka in FO final- 2016, dominance continues. In April, Djokovic coach/advisor Boris Becker makes a telling attack on Andy Murray, who earlier that month aired doping suspicions about players who 'recover quickly from 5 hour matches'. Djokovic, a few days after Becker, proclaims that "tennis is clean", because no evidence has been provided, large scale, that it isn't. Dick Pound, founding president of WADA, calls Djokovic's stance a "Lance Armstrong approach"- May 2016, at the start of FO, declares he is also pescatarian in addition to being gluten free. This therefore means his diet excludes conventional bread, pasta, cereal and sauces; as well as any meat, dairy products (cited with his gluten intolerance), tomatoes and a large selection of sugars.Blimey. Case is strong, no?
@The Umpire Strikes Back (and Adam earlier)I have likewise observed the strangeness of Djokovic's career. I recall my "aha" moment in the 2011 AO when his extraordinary transformation convinced me he had begun seriously doping. The rest of the 2011 season confirmed that to me. In short, I believed he had found a way to at least level the playing field physically with Nadal (in my view the gold standard of doping) and was thus able to beat the Spaniard at his own game and with superior shotmaking. I also think that most of the field has been involved in some sort of doping "catch-up" to Nadal in the last five years or so. Mere journeymen (many of them older players) show increases of power, speed and stamina that were formerly only observable in an already dubious elite (Fognini, anyone?). I agree with the anti-doping reporter Paul Kimmage, who was one of those who went after Armstrong, when he said, "Fucking tennis". What else can one say?
This is some good stuff. In the age of modernity, all it would take to crack this shit open is one well-placed bug in a Djokovic suite or the technical devotion of an Anonymous member who also happens to have a pet peeve of hating pro sports dopers as much as most of us do. I personally have listened to whispered conversations from 200 yards away with a military grade shotgun microphone -- just did it for a product test, really.
Djokovic at the 2011 AO made me very highly suspicious. A few months later Djokovic beating Nadal, of all people, on clay, each time they played, was the clincher for me.
@MysteryThe fifth point down, in my OP of this mini-thread - why would Djokovic be reluctant to mention his new-found gluten-free 'elixir' until 7 months into his 2011 rebirth? Following the cited Independent article, that would have made 12 months approx since his gluten allergy diagnosis. Why the secrecy? By August 2011, He had won AO, 4 of 5 MS1000 titles, narrowly lost to Federer FO SF and won Wimbledon. Not declaring his change in diet until that point does not add up. 7 months is enough time to get our story straight, no?Mind you, as bad as this may sound, the look on Nadal's face at times during that 2011 season was priceless. I recall his totally stunned expression at many points in the Wimbledon post-match routine. He couldn't believe what Djokovic was doing, as we all couldn't. But what could he of all people say???Is good diet, no?
@richard you bring up some good points. And this is one of the reasons I don't think Federer is a doper (or maybe not a big doper) because if he were, he would have done what Djokovic did. Nadal always had his number on clay and then off clay from about 2008 on so why didn't Federer dope to beat the guy? Was his ego so big that he thought he could do it without any help? I don't think so. Clearly it's doable, just look at Novak. Federer could have won the calendar year GS twice if only he had taken the right cocktail.
@richardFor me, the suspicions set in because of the way he suddenly had the number of Fed/Raffer. Raffer especially was being totally outplayed by Djokovic. It was 't a gradual dominance. Sure, he had achieved wins over them before - but he went from a general losing record against them each season to obliterating them.Gluten does not make you capable of suddenly trumping tactics of opponents who were previously formidable.And I agree with the train of thought that Nadal started the modern era of regimen, and the associated observation of older players... I was literally shaking my head, seeing the Lazarus-esque ressurection of Robredo at 32/33 yo for example.
Agree re Robredo. Went from years of (apparently) non-doping and being apparently a nice fellow, to finally showing his true colours when he became a dirty drugs cheat a couple of years ago. He wanted to top up his retirement pension before he retired and it sure worked.
In fairness to Djokovic I watched him play Rafa at queens once (think it was the 2008 version) and he completely outplayed Rafa for most of the first set but then choked badly. He just couldn't finish off matches but i had a feeling then he was going to be really good.
@Mindin MonsterNothing suspicious about that. It was when Djokovic went from getting the occasional win against Roger/Raffer to totally blitzkrieging them repeatedly off the court; all in the space of a few months.
I think there also must be some general feeling that all is not right in the state of tennis as the news about the tournaments, the slams even, warrants nothing near the kind of headlines that it did even five or six years ago. As I no longer actively watch, I now observe the kind of media attention in newspapers and web sites that the players are given and there is just no doubt in my mind that Djoko is not getting the kind of attention he craves so much. I think now that Sharapova has destroyed all her credibility (omg, how I want Serena to fall, too) and with the bruises that sport has received from Armstrong and the earth-shattering doping scandals of Sochi and the track and field fiasco, people must certainly know that pro sport is, at all levels and in all games, rigged. The only sport I watch now, if any, is the World's Strongest Man competition because it is so completely ridiculous. Otherwise, I spend my "sport energy" on engaging in sport for myself and my health. Just a few years ago, I was so depressed about tennis being so filthy because I was an addict for two decades. Now, once you let it go and realize how silly it all is, sport really means so very little in comparison to our real lives and art and food and friends. But wow do I want to see Djoko go down, Nadal go down, Serena go down. We all know that there are people who have seen positive tests --- there must be dozens if not hundreds --- it will just take some courage for them to come clean and share the information. The doctor who broke open the Sochi Russian state doping program came out because two of his colleagues were assassinated by Putin. As long as there is so much money in sport, there will be so much doping.
@. "But wow do I want to see Djoko go down, Nadal go down, Serena go down."I agree. You know, at least if they had attractive games, maybe I could stand to watch these three but they all play the ugliest tennis I have ever seen. Nadal and Djokovic grunt like wild animals and bash the ball as if they are trying to murder the poor thing and Serena just bashes the the ball and then struts around the court like she's the queen bee, shrieking when she misses a shot. The only time I ever watch the three of them is if I think they may lose (which is never for Serena/Djokovic so I just pvr their matches and watch if they do lose). The three of them combined have won what? 47 slams? That is shocking. Oh how I wish they all were taken down.
Sharapova 2 years ban. Pleasantly surprised by that.
Of course will be reduced to one year on appeal.
hopefully she feels hurt and treated unfairly in comparison with the completely clean and honest Serena. We need an insider with nothing to lose that starts talking...
Geez..I just saw that. Wow! I know the tour is scared now. If Sharapova can go down like that.
This is bad news for Serena. She has a much better chance of winning Slams with Maria in the field.
Only a good server can beat Djokovic. A 90's Sampras would take him down with ease.
I'm delighted to see Dopeapova has been given a proper ban. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/36482288Not sure if 2 years is enough or not? But at least she didn't get off with a slap on the wrist and being allowed to play the Olympics. Assuming they don't reverse it on appeal that is her career pretty much over. She can't play again until Jan 2018, she would be nearly 32 by then.She is of course already planning to appeal on the basis of what she did 'wasn't intentional'. Ignorance is no excuse.
Wow. I'm kind of shocked.
Actually, I think this is part of the cover-up. Sharapova's situation was pretty nuanced given the status of the drug, its widespread use and the leniency given to others. I think this is an easy way for tennis to pretend it's doing something while it looks the other way with regard to ongoing doping.
well she may not want to take the fall for everyone else. This might be a good thing. Maybe she'll squeal.
Sharapova is the perfect person to be made an example of because she probably can't squeal. She kept so much to herself that she may not have the goods on anyone else.
Don't forget Maria's "I won't use an injury to hide my test results" innuendo. She has it in the ITF by reading her facebook post and is taking an appeal to CAS so who knows what will come out.
As I said earlier, athletes would do anything it takes to get to the top. http://www.itftennis.com/media/231178/231178.pdf17. The evidence from Dr. Skalny is that having conducted a detailed examination, considered the family medical history, which included type II diabetes and heart disorder, he caused a number of specialist consultations and analyses to be carried out which indicated, inter alia, elevated glucose and cholesterol levels and mineral imbalances [...] He proposed a detailed medicinal and nutritional regime which at the outset comprised about 18 medications and supplements.25. […] By that time  the list of substances recommended by Dr. Skalny had grown from 18 to 30(!), including Magnerot, Riboxin and Mildronate. The certificate makes clear that all such substances should be purchased from authorised distributors.She was just pumped full of drugs (legal & illegal)
Not just athletes but their handlers. In Sharapova's case, she was old enough to correct this regimen even though it started when she was quite young but I think tennis and other sports are full of young people who are being abused by their families, coaches and doctors who are looking to profit from their success.
Wow, skimming through that report is shocking. She was juiced up to the eyeballs on various supplements prescribed by this doctor for very spurious sounding issues. Point 19 makes it clear that the banned substance, meldonium aka mildronate, was to be taken specifically BEFORE competition or training. Clearly designed to give a competitive edge then.Sharapova has clearly been doping both against the spirit and the letter of the rules. I'm surprised she got away with only a 2 year ban.
She hid the fact that she was taking Mildronate from her team and current medical practitioners. Also, never disclosed on her documents that she was taking it. And if that isn't damning enough, tribunal says, "Whatever the position may have been in 2006, there was in 2016 no diagnosis and no therapeutic advice supporting the continuing use of Mildronate.... The manner of its use, on match days and when undertaking intensive training, is only consistent with an intention to boost her energy levels."
At those levels ( Top Professionals who earn tons of money in their professional field ) they become money addicted very soon!!Obviously, to avoid people know their mega huge appetite for money they often tell gullible fans fairy tales!!Here is a very recent example:Djokovic: “Il record di prize money? Non mi interessa. Se penso a chi guadagna 200 euro al mese…”Con la vittoria di ieri contro lo spagnolo Bautista Agut, il n. 1 del mondo ha superato il record di 100 milioni di montepremi in carriera. “Il denaro non significa nulla per me. E’ solo una conseguenza del proprio successo”.“IL DENARO NON E’ LA PRIORITA'” – In conferenza stampa Novak ha avuto modo di parlare del suo nuovo record, chiarendo che non gliene importa nulla: “I soldi non significano nulla per me, non gioco per questo. Certo, la qualità del mio tenore di vita è migliore, ma nulla più”. Secondo il campione di Belgrado, i media non dovrebbero parlare troppo di montepremi: “Non mi interessa e non mi piace che si parli così tanto di prize money. I media mi mettono quasi in cattiva luce quando parlano di quanto ho vinto in carriera, lo sport professionistico non dovrebbe essere giocato per soldi. Il successo viene presentato attraverso il denaro e il potere, ma non dovrebbe essere così. Sono totalmente contrario a questa visione della società, ho un punto di vista e dei valori completamente diversi”.=Djokovic: "The prize money record? I don't care about it. If I think of those Serbian people who earn just 200 euro per month ... "With yesterday's victory against Spaniard Bautista Agut, N 1 ATP has broken the record of $100 Millions in career prize money. " Money means nothing to me. It's just a consequence of your own success "."MONEY IS NOT 'THE PRIORITY' " - During the press conference, Djokovic has had the opportunity to talk about his new record, making it clear that he doesn't care at all about it: "Money doesn't mean anything to me, I don't play for that. Of course, the quality of my standard of living is better, but nothing more. " According to the champion from Belgrade, mass media should not talk too much about prize money: "I don't care about it and I don't like that we talk so much about prize money. Mass media almost put me in a bad light when they speak of what I have won in career, professional sport should not be played for money. Success is displayed through money and power, but it should not be so. I am totally contrary to this vision of the society, I have a point of view and values which are completely different"Source: http://www.tenniscircus.com/brevi/djokovic-il-record-di-prize-money-non-mi-interessa-se-penso-a-chi-guadagna-200-euro-al-mese/(website about professional tennis in Italian, owned and managed by "La Gazzetta dello Sport", the most popular sport newspaper in Italian)Best regards.FabricePS in the recent ( not ages ago! ) past, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and some other top players have also said something pretty similar:"I only play for the love of the game and not for money""I only play to leave a great sport legacy and not for money"and so on..!!
@Marymy last long post ( just written, above this post ) was in response to you when you wrote: "I think tennis and other sports are full of young people who are being abused by their families, coaches and doctors who are looking to profit from their success."Best regards.Fabrice
Hot damn, Shriekapova was drugged up to the nines!What to Paul Kimmage and David Walsh need - a welcome mat and a formal invitation? Get on with investigating tennis, ffs! Maria is going to be far from the only such doper. Goodbye to that lucrative £21m per year sponsorship, Maria.
Shriekapova banned for 2 years!! She's lucky she didn't get 4 Career is pretty much over cause I can't see how she will be able to over turn this by appealing I don't know what gives her the right to complain that the decision is too harsh!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/36482288
In 2 years time Sharapova will be 31, Serena is 34 now and still winning grand slams ;)
Serena is a far superior player to Sharapova and hasn't won a slam for nearly a year now. I don't see Sharapova coming back in 2 years and achieving the same level of success.... her game is nothing special and she won't be able to juice nearly as easily on her return.
"I intend to stand for what I believe is right and that's why I will fight to be back on the tennis court as soon as possible. "?!
In related news, it turns out that xenon significantly improves erythropoietin levels:https://www.researchgate.net/publication/296682261_Sub-anesthetic_Xenon_Increases_Erythropoietin_Levels_in_Humans_A_Randomized_Controlled_TrialXenon's use has long been know in elite athletes and provides an easy way to keep the sport "clean" while allowing top players to be doped to the gills (xenon use is extremely expensive).
@Joevery good update!Congratulations!Anyway, I had already pointed out two interesting articles about this subject on this blog; here they are again:1) Wada brings in ban on xenon and argon, but has no testhttp://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28970855 2) Athletic enhancementBreathe it inAn obscure gas improves athletes’ performancehttp://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21595890-obscure-gas-improves-athletes-performance-breathe-itEnjoy the reading!All the best!Fabrice
Are these the gases that are used in the various egg devices?
Can't wait to read player reactions to this.
And here's Billie Jean King:"Thinking about @MariaSharapova with today's news. She accepted responsibility early on and that is a big part of her true character"
Really. Billie Jean King deserves a slap.