Tennis Prose



2023 US Open Aftermath Quotebook

John McEnroe: “He is one in a billion. I love Roger (Federer), I idolised Rod Laver. I have the greatest respect for Rafa Nadal, who gives more of an effort consistently. But this guy. I don’t even know where to begin. You just have to admire him.”

Greg Rusedski: “He’s not stopping here. How many more? Also what an incredible year, three majors and one final. 27-1 at majors. By far the best player on the planet.”

Daniil Medvedev: “I find it amazing that I beat Novak in a Grand Slam Final. At this point, I’d say that’s the pinnacle of my career. At the same time, if he and Rafa didn’t exist… well that’s not possible. I played five finals against them and only won one. He pushes me to be better. We met when I was 500 in the world. He was super kind to me. He treated me as a normal person. He still does. Nothing changed. 24 Grand Slams, nothing changed. I think that’s something great about a person.”

Novak Djokovic asked how this dominant year compares to the dominant years when he played Federer, Nadal and Murray: “It’s different because the rivalries I had with these guys were so strong and solid. It was very high probability that I’d face either Roger, Rafa, or Andy in the finals of a Slam for most of those years when we were facing each other at the highest levels. Nowadays, that’s different. I don’t mind. I did play three epic matches with Alcaraz this year and I think that’s why there’s a discussion on the next rivalry. I said all I needed to say in a positive way about Carlos. I really do mean it. I think it’s great for our sport that we have another very good rivalry. I know he also has a great rivalry with Sinner. You have Rune. Of course the generation of Zverev, Tsitsipas, Medvedev.. these guys that are still top 5-10 in the world… tennis is still in a good place.”

Jelena Dokic: “(Novak is) mentally the strongest anyone has ever been in this sport.” “We talk about his game, everything he does, the lengths he goes to, the one percenters … he’s a mental giant and that’s why he is where he is.”

Goran Ivanisevic: “Novak is one of a kind, he really is a genius. This is one of the greatest achievements in the history of all sports not just tennis, he is a born winner… He’s planning to play Olympic Games in Los Angeles 2028. You know what’s going on in his head, it’s like 24 hours something to achieve.”

Tennys Sandgren: “Nole is what happens when the unstoppable force and immovable object is the same person. Congrats on 24 hero!”

Novak Djokovic’s very kind words about Kobe Bryant: “Kobe was a close friend. We chatted a lot about a winner’s mentality when I was struggling with injury, trying to make my comeback. He was one of the people I relied on the most. He was always there for advice. What happened with him and his daughter passing hurt me deeply. 24 is the jersey he wore when he became a legend of basketball. It was a symbolic thing to acknowledge him for all the things he’s done.”

Rod Laver: “Well done again Novak, I’m sure 24 feels as great as one, especially when you have fought so hard to get where you are and to stay there against a growing tide of challengers. You were on high alert tonight against a quality player in Daniil. Take another bow, champ!”

John McEnroe oil painting by Scoop Malinowski.

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  • Scoop Malinowski · September 11, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    Concerned for Carlos. The establishment misportrayed him as better than Fed, Rafa and Novak and after Wimb he didn’t deliver. Now at every GS Carlos is expected to win. That’s enormous pressure and expectation for a 20 yr old to live up to. Hope they haven’t sucked the fun out of tennis for Carlos. His 2024 will be interesting.

  • Sam · September 11, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    John McEnroe oil painting by Scoop Malinowski.

    Scoop, you painted that yourself? 👨🏼‍🎨

  • Matt Segel · September 11, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    I think Carlos will be okay. He was playing great and just ran into a great player and almost came back, crucial game 7 in 4th set.

    Rune and Sinner are the ones to be worried about!

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 12, 2023 at 8:48 am

    yes. part time hobby every once in a while.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 12, 2023 at 8:51 am

    Matt, All three have already had exceptional careers and their best should be ahead. It’s just not their time yet. The greatest champion in the history of sport is still hungering and rampaging for more big titles. Nadal runs the risk of suffering a humiliating crushing loss to Novak at AO or FO.

  • Cory · September 12, 2023 at 9:45 am

    Agree completely w/ you about Alcaraz. The guy is expected to be the future GOAT – let him play dammit. Can he get to 5-10 GSs before we project ridiculously into the future?

    Djokovic amazing. I really do like Medvedev, he’s humble, funny, and truly authentic. Very likeable. But Djokovic is the greatest mental giant ever. Others have better skillsets, perhaps, but Novak is reliable and clutch when it matters most. Look at his tiebreak record. It’s super-human.

    Scoop, D. Young made it thru 2 rounds of qualifying @ Cary. Plays today vs. Langmo. Young should win. Good draw here, lots of interest. Tomic vs. Peniston – sorry but no way that Tomic wins that.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 12, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Cory, the media and establishment could ruin Alcaraz with this severe overhype, similar to Capriati. It’s got to be an impossible situation for Carlos going into every big tournament expected to win. Ferrero and his team constantly posing/coaching, do this do that, is going to add to the frustration. Carlos at 20 is already more accomplished than Ferrero. Medvedev is amazing, he played an incredible match in close to defeat to the greatest. I believe Medvedev could have beaten any other US Open champ from history on Sunday, he was that good. But the King was just a fraction better. Novak is at his best now, physically and mentally, to keep coming through all these adversities on court over and over and over is stunning and a privilege to witness. I saw Donald Young won two in Cary, he’s still grinding ranked 700 something. Admirable determination to keep going. Tomic has seemed to hit a wall this year, he trained hard to return to the big show but his results in Challengers this year have been ordinary and disappointing. The game may have passed him by. I remember seeing Tomic, Sock and Pospisil all together in Delray Beach when they were cocky teenagers just starting out, going to shoot hoops in the gym next to players lounge. Now they’re all at the end and not even mid 30s set.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 12, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    US Open Finals viewership averages:

    Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka: 3.422 million

    Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev: 2.321 million

  • Sam · September 14, 2023 at 8:16 am

    yes. part time hobby every once in a while.

    Wow, that painting’s really good, Scoop! 👍

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 14, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    Thank you )

  • Sam · September 18, 2023 at 5:20 am

    You’re welcome. 😎



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