Either Nole's mentally the weakest of all the Serbs or his team tried to pull a Team Ivanovic but got it wrong. He played a really solid two sets against Jo and then, after losing the second one, basically went away and gave Jo the match. Jo won 16 75 61.
If anyone watched this match (yes, I was watching it at 3am) you know that Nole basically tanked that last set. It was reminiscent of his match against Muzz in Cincy, where he just clearly didn't want to be on the court anymore. He just started firing away and either hitting winners (rare) or missing badly (not so rare).
The thing is, that's fine if this match didn't mean anything and he was just trying to conserve energy. He had to work damn hard in that second set and then played one bad game and lost 75. I can understand if he did the risk/reward analysis between sets and was like "Meh. Not worth it." Besides, he's good buddies with Jo and why not just give the kid the $100k for winning the match. Seriously, I think this is what was going on in his head.
But as people noted yesterday, if Nole ran the table here and Roger lost today, he would finish the year at #2. Did he not know this? Did his team not tell him? Or did he know and simply not care?
I tend to think it's the latter. That he's thinking big picture and just wants to win the tourney. But dude, even JJ busted her ass to try and win that dead rubber against Bepa in Doha. And I've never seen Ana tank a match because she didn't want to be on the court anymore.
I love you Nole. I think you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders and it's totally unfair to you. But true Champions don't pull this shit. Because at the end of the day they take great pride in their competitive spirit and they hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate losing, no matter if it's an exo, a dead rubber, or a Grand Slam final.
You should never get comfortable with losing. Ever.