Friday, 30 September 2011

The Asterisk and its discontents.

Having said that, I also sense that fans are really contorting themselves to come up with reasons to undercut Djokovic's season. He could fail to win another match the rest of the year, rendering it a moot point. But as of today, his record is a joke, especially given the quality of his contemporaries. We're talking about losing three matches at a time when two of the best, what, five (?) players ever are ranked No. 2 and No. 3. Give the man his due.

-- Wertheim’s mailbag,

What say you? Are people really jumping through hoops in order to “undercut”, qualify or otherwise asterisk Novak’s year?

I’d say they almost certainly are – without a doubt. Should we be surprised? It almost always happens in the face of domination of any sort.

If, for example, you were to believe  just half of what passed for “reasoned opinion” over the past decade, Fed simply made the most of a “weak-era” and Rafa was never anything more than a “glorified clay-courter” who made the most of his physical gifts. Talent, it seems, had little to do with it.

Whilst at least some of that may be based on a distorted truth of sorts, it’s mostly the work of asterisk-toting Neanderthals that don’t care to give credit where its due. Novak’s treatment’s certainly no different in that respect.

That said, perhaps I can forgive a little eye-rolling (though no more than eye-rolling) on the part of Fed fans, who are continually told to accept Novak’s run as the “best on record” – a feat their guy accomplished three times over (inc. the WTFs).

I’ve no time and and ZERO tolerance for those that undercut any player’s once-in-a-lifetime achievements with lazy, ideological asterisks.

But if you’re going to qualify all of Fed’s years by citing a weak era (a lazy theory at the best of times), is it not just a tad hypocritical not to factor in his age and ailing form/physique now?

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