I've not had time to read the whole thread, but from what I have read it's nice to see some perspective after a loss for Andy.
I have to give respect to Djokovic for the win. I don't like it, but there is no doubt he lifted his game when he needed to, although I can't be on my own in thinking that it took him to be sure Andy was well and truly down before he did it. I did feel that Djokovic was playing possum a bit early on too, but there we are. He's always done it to a point, it's just that he doesn't do it anywhere near as much now.
I was surprised at how relatively calm Djokovic's celebrations were. Sure, he was delighted to win, and I have no problem at all with that, but I am pleased there was no shirt ripping stuff. I think Djokovic and Andy have a genuine respect for each other, which is good for the game as a whole.
Andy did so well in his speech during the presentation ceremony. I thought they both did. Andy only seemed to get a tiny bit choked when he spoke about the team. It's understandable. I just hope he doesn't feel he has let anyone down, because he hasn't at all.
As for the match, I must admit, after the first, and in to the second set, I thought Andy had really got the bit between his teeth. He looked really up for it. Then there was the thing with the feather - the double fault felt inevitable to me - and slowly things began to change. I didn't think the blister, although it looked awful, hampered Andy half as much as the hamstring injury. After that Andy didn't seem to be moving quite as well, which is understandable. I also think it was distracting him a bit. The thing is, Djokovic then lifted his game to ridiculous levels and that was that.
I was quite glad Andy had a go at the umpire. I was having a yell myself! How you can allow a crowd to call out between serves during one service game, but then call the crowd on it during the opponents service game, is beyond me. I'm in no way suggesting the umpire was biased, but I do think he acted at the wrong time and in the wrong way. All that 'please' nonsense was maddening. Sometimes I wish umpires would just tell crowds to shut the bloody hell up between first and second serve etc, but of course they won't.
I'm sure Andy will be disappointed he lost today, but I hope he won't get downhearted about it. It seems quite clear now that there has been a changing of the guard at the top of the game, and Djokovic and Andy are now in the top two positions. We know it, now people within the game know it too. It's just a matter of time now before Andy overhauls Federer in the rankings, and what a glorious moment that will be. Then he can focus on how you solve a problem like Novak. I know Andy has his work cut out whilst Novak is playing like that, but nothing is insurmountable. Djokovic can't play like that forever, he just can't.
It's important now how Andy moves forward. If he gets down on himself now it will be bad. He needs to focus on what he did right during the tournament and in the final. I still believe beating Federer like that was huge for Andy in the semi's. It was a huge step. I'm sure both Andy and Lendl will think about the final, what could have been done differently, what Andy did well and where they go from here. It seems clear to me that Andy is on the up, with Djokovic, but it's a marathon, not a sprint, to get the edge on him.
I thought Andy had confirmed Delray Beach? Then Andy can focus on Indian Wells. I have a feeling Andy is going to go well there. I hope so.
I think the clay season could be interesting this year. If Nadal was around and fit it would be tough to see beyond him, but I wonder if Andy could get a clay title. I don't mean the French. Without Nadal I think Djokovic will start there as favourite, but maybe Rome, where he seems to have done quite well, or Monte Carlo. One would be nice. However, when it comes to the grass I think Andy will be in his element. I still fancy him for Wimbledon, because I believe his game, let alone his movement, is better than Djokovic's on the grass.
Good post TJ! No doubt about that