That’s what he said after his win this afternoon in an on-court interview with Brad Gilbert: The shade = sleeping with his girlfriend.
But seriously: What’s up Novak?
Djokovic made the least of his first round match this afternoon, spending nearly four hours on a very hot Arthur Ashe center court, to defeat Viktor Troicki in five sets. Novak has problems with the heat. He’s also had problems with conditioning (not to mention about complaining about it). Now, once again, he has found an awfully effective way of playing himself out of competition early on in a tournament merely by exhausting himself.
In his breakout year in 2007, we watched Novak play grueling match after grueling match. At that point, it seemed like he was a Man with a Mission! It might take him four hours to win, but hell, this is a guy who can grind. It was his Coming Out Show and it all seemed like apart of the fun (His Date with Destiny ended in the Men’s Final when he lost to Roger Federer).
The problem is Djokovic has kept up with the long matches, and the novelty has worn off. If he wants to win, and wants to make a serious run at the crown, he’s got to step out of the way of these sorts of matches.
But at least Novak seems to have New York back on his side. After being booed off the court in 2008 for his ridiculous on-court interview when he went after Andy Roddick, Djokovic has done himself a lot of good–like playing with John McEnroe last year–to get back into our good graces.
So, when he compared some cool shade to “sleeping with his girlfriend” this afternoon, he earned even more points.
Now, if he can be a bit more economic with his play, maybe we can finally cheer him on in a Final again.