Davydenko/Djokovic

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Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by hawkeye on Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:13 am

I was always a fan of Davydenko. Maybe the only one Sad I always thought that Djokovic's game was very similar. They both stick close to the baseline taking the ball so early but in my opinion Davydenko was just that little bit quicker. Djokovic had the height advantage though and had a much better serve and in the modern game that is important. Both gave Nadal headaches too. Sadly Davydenko's game tailed off in 2010/2011 but he reached a career high of number 3 and won the WTF in 2009. He no doubt played his best when Federer and Nadal were strutting their stuff but like lots of players may have done better if his peak was at a different time.

A couple of nostalgic video's showing some of Nikolay's skills Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G38hbKN-vdc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOZLkSAdIjs

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by socal1976 on Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:31 am

I agree in many ways that Novak is a bigger, stronger, way more athletic Davy. Davy was a spectacular shot maker at about 145 pounds literally blasting people off the court.

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:15 pm

I like Davy. I like the way he strikes the ball and taking the ball so early. I feel both Kei and Djoko are a bit like Davy but Davy is more impressive because he's not as big or as strong as both of them. If only he's more ambitious he may win something big (bigger than the WTF title).

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by lydian on Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:44 pm

A talent for sure but I never warmed to the guy plus he was shrouded in alleged match fixing controversy was he not?
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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by HM Murdock on Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:53 pm

I liked Davydenko (at his best) for much the same reasons that I like Djokovic.

Although I'd disagree that Davydenko was quicker than Djokovic.

Probably a better shot maker though.

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:20 pm

Davydenko had some of the best footwork on a court you'll ever see, right up there with Feds. He stuck close to the baseline, but was almost always in the perfect position to hit his shots, which allowed him to generate the power which perhaps he didn't naturally possess.

Personally feel he's closer in style to Nishikori than to Djokovic, but I do see the similarities.

Having said that, Davydenko had some glaring weaknesses in his game that Djokovic certainly doesn't. His serve was vulnerable, particularly the second serve which did nothing. His FH could be broken down, and he had some of the worst volleys I've ever seen, particularly off the BH side. Lovely lobber though.


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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by hawkeye on Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:57 am

To my mind watching Kei is a reminder of exactly how good Davydenko was. Kei's game is similar but Davydenko was just better at it. Davydenko could just strike the ball so cleanly and he shrunk the court by hugging the base line better than anyone I have seen. The way he could change direction with the ball was impressive too. He had such quick reactions. I didn't think he was bad at the net either. In fact IMO superior to Djokovic. No Djokosmashes...

It's odd to think now but Djokovic didn't beat Nadal in a final until Indian Wells in 2011. But much before that Davydenko was giving Nadal nightmares beating him in the final of Miami in 2008, the final of shanghai in 2009 and the final of Doha in 2010. In 2009 he beat both Federer and Nadal when they were number 1 and 2 in the world on his way to winning the WTF.

Perhaps because his game was based so much on perfect timing it tailed off quickly but he spent from 2005 until 2010 as a consistent member of the top 10. Most of this time as part of the top 6. Davydenko was top four from the end of 2006 until middle of 2008 spending a bit of that time as number 3. He obviously had no chance of getting higher than 3 during this time Wink But from the end of 2010 his ranking dropped like a rock never to recover.

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by socal1976 on Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:16 am

Djokovic hits a much heavier ball than Niko off the baseline and the service line that is why he doesn't have the double fault and unforced error issues Davy had. Agree with MFC his BH volley in particular was pretty pathetic. I mean I am all for a two handed backhand but a two handed volley for a grown up over the age 10 is a little silly.

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by hawkeye on Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:49 pm

socal1976 wrote:Djokovic hits a much heavier ball than Niko off the baseline and the service line that is why he doesn't have the double fault and unforced error issues Davy had. Agree with MFC his BH volley in particular was pretty pathetic. I mean I am all for a two handed backhand but a two handed volley for a grown up over the age 10 is a little silly.

What do you mean by "heavier"? More spin or just hits it harder? I'm not sure about either. Have you watched the clips of Davydenko here? He's so close to the base line and takes the ball so early it's back on the other side of the court faster than some of Del Potro's harder hit shots from further back. If you are going to keep two hands on the raquet for ground strokes why not for the volley too. Watching Davydenko transfer from the back of the court to the front his game looks sharp and clean because of the consistency. His backhand volley was good.

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by lydian on Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:11 pm

I don't really understand this focus on Davydenko...nice player and all but really never set the tour alight to be honest, he was also a serial underachiever and those aren't qualities I can relate to. Indeed he often choked away opportunities. The tour is full of guys like this...shall we also reflect on Rios, Nalby, Safin, Ferrero, Tsonga, Berdych, Medvedev, Martin...all uber talented, all underachieved their true potential. My personal feeling is that Davydenko was primarily money oriented and once he achieved a good standard of living the fire in his belly subsided so he flat-lined most of his career thereafter which also suited the lack of mental strength he had anyway to succeed at the very highest level. Come on HE...there are much more interesting players in my opinion from the past 20-30 years to focus on. You also seem to be stuck looking backwards, I can only assume you don't like the current/forward view of the game? Wink
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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:29 pm

Tend to agree with that post lydian, like I said Davydenko had too many glaring weaknesses in his game to achieve much more than he did. Still had some of the best footwork I've ever seen on a tennis court mind.

Somewhat odd list thereafter though, I'm not sure I'd describe any of Ferrero, Tsonga or Berdych as under-achievers TBH. Ferrero if anything over-achieved by reaching number one in the world. Sure he had a couple of disappointing losses at RG, particularly the final to Costa IIRC where he seemed a bit lost mentally, but he still had a fine career, and not sure where you feel he under-achieved? Tsonga is a mercurial talent, capable of flashes of brilliance, but far too inconsistent. I think a Masters and a handful of minor titles, as well as presence at the latter end of a few slams, are about right. You could argue he should have been ranked consistently in the top 10 and making the WTFs though (I think he's only made two?), so maybe in that sense you're right. Berdych I just don't get: he's been a consistent member of the top 8 for a while now, picked up a Masters and usually makes slam QFs/SFs. That for me is his level. The big 3 plus Murray (off clay, at least until recently) are simply better players than him, and to win a slam he'd usually have to come through two or three of them. Sure he could have sneaked a slam by being in the right place and time like Cilic, but that would have been just that, rather sneaky.

Tend to agree on the others, if we're only considering shotmaking ability, but like it or not, physical and mental strength are important in any sport, including tennis, and they were mostly found lacking in at least one of those areas.

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by lydian on Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:24 pm

To be honest I plucked a few names out that stood out to me without compiling a really definitive list...probably not a bad exercise in itself to ask who are the biggest underachievers of he Open Era?
Ferrero is an interesting one...his career was going great in some respects...building up to that great 2003 run at RG and USO. But if you look under the skin he often choked in big slam matches. The 2002 RG final against Costa was a case in point...as you mention...losing those first 2 sets 6-0 6-1! The following year when he won was against 1-hit wonder Verkerk. But then after 2003 he never went beyond R3 at RG, and most were R2 losses...is that not a bit weird???!!! He just couldn't handle the pressure of being #1 (fleeting as it was) and the following expectations. So to me he underachieved after the success of 2003 - when he was only 23 yo...the next 5-6 years should have been his prime years but he won just 5 titles...all minor clay (Umag, Casablanca, etc). That to me is underachievement of potential.
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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by JuliusHMarx on Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:17 pm

lydian wrote:To be honest I plucked a few names out that stood out to me without compiling a really definitive list...probably not a bad exercise in itself to ask who are the biggest underachievers of he Open Era?

C'mon Tim!

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by lydian on Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:34 pm

Lol...funnily enough I actually typed Henman into that list but then deleted him as thought he didn't do that bad in the slams...semis in 3/4 of them...only losing to Sampras mainly at Wimb...I guess the one that will haunt him is the SF Wimb loss to Goran in 2001 after the rain delay when 2 sets up...that's got to hurt!!!
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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:44 pm

Without wishing to be pedantic, Tim was 2-1 up in sets in that semi, having lost the first. But you're right that it's one which got away, although no guarantee he'd have beaten Rafter (himself a formidable grasscourt player who but for Sampras would surely have won a few Wimbledons) in the final, obviously.

You could argue Henman underachieved a little on HC and clay, due to realising his potential on those surfaces too late in his career - IIRC his SFs there, and Paris Masters win, all came towards the end of his career.

On lydian's list, I would say Safin, for all that he achieved, is the biggest under-achiever on there. Should have won many more slams than he did IMO, had all the shots, but lacking upstairs.

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by slashermcguirk on Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:57 pm

Davydenko was a lovely ball striker and packed great punch did his size. He had a habit of folding under pressure but could certainly have achieved a lot more. That being said he won 21 titles including the world tour finals. Definitely I would agree that he is most similar to nishikori of today's players.

Davydenko is the same age as nalbandian, interesting that davydenko won a lot more titles but in my opinion nalbandian was the better player (nalbandian had a superior head to head too). I would still rate nalbandian as one of the most gifted tennis players of the past 20 years. His backhand was phenomenal and when nalby was in the zone, he was virtually unplayable.

While I admired davydenko's baseline game, I could never really take to him as a player

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by socal1976 on Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:18 am

hawkeye wrote:
socal1976 wrote:Djokovic hits a much heavier ball than Niko off the baseline and the service line that is why he doesn't have the double fault and unforced error issues Davy had. Agree with MFC his BH volley in particular was pretty pathetic. I mean I am all for a two handed backhand but a two handed volley for a grown up over the age 10 is a little silly.

What do you mean by "heavier"? More spin or just hits it harder? I'm not sure about either. Have you watched the clips of Davydenko here? He's so close to the base line and takes the ball so early it's back on the other side of the court faster than some of Del Potro's harder hit shots from further back. If you are going to keep two hands on the raquet for ground strokes why not for the volley too. Watching Davydenko transfer from the back of the court to the front his game looks sharp and clean because of the consistency. His backhand volley was good.
His backhand volley would cause a coach of a ten year old to shake his head. This post shows me you actually don't understand tennis by heavier I mean more spin. A ball with more topspin will feel heavier. I love it Davy 's two handed BH volley made his game look" sharp". You maybe the only guy who ever saw davydenko's backhand volley and thought it looked sharp. More proof that this is another sly djokovic bashing thread from HE. Probably a response to my Sock v Nadal FH. Instead of posting these passive aggressive threads where you claim Davy 's BH volley made his game look "sharp" lol, do some research about the game so next time someone refers to a heavy ball you will know they are talking about topspin or a combo of topspin/pace which makes the ball feel heavy on contact. I am of course happy to inform those lacking basic knowledge about tennis but then my expectations weren't very high once you told me Davy's two handed volley made his game look sharp. Would you say the same thing if Novak or Murray had the greatest two hand BH volley in history? Of course not if they did it you would not call it sharp instead you would do passive aggressive threads on how djokovic can't be as good as the anointed Spanish Adonis due to his horrific two handed Volley.

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Re: Davydenko/Djokovic

Post by Guest82 on Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:34 am

Mad for Chelsea wrote:Tend to agree with that post lydian, like I said Davydenko had too many glaring weaknesses in his game to achieve much more than he did. Still had some of the best footwork I've ever seen on a tennis court mind.

Somewhat odd list thereafter though, I'm not sure I'd describe any of Ferrero, Tsonga or Berdych as under-achievers TBH. Ferrero if anything over-achieved by reaching number one in the world. Sure he had a couple of disappointing losses at RG, particularly the final to Costa IIRC where he seemed a bit lost mentally, but he still had a fine career, and not sure where you feel he under-achieved? Tsonga is a mercurial talent, capable of flashes of brilliance, but far too inconsistent. I think a Masters and a handful of minor titles, as well as presence at the latter end of a few slams, are about right. You could argue he should have been ranked consistently in the top 10 and making the WTFs though (I think he's only made two?), so maybe in that sense you're right. Berdych I just don't get: he's been a consistent member of the top 8 for a while now, picked up a Masters and usually makes slam QFs/SFs. That for me is his level. The big 3 plus Murray (off clay, at least until recently) are simply better players than him, and to win a slam he'd usually have to come through two or three of them. Sure he could have sneaked a slam by being in the right place and time like Cilic, but that would have been just that, rather sneaky.

Tend to agree on the others, if we're only considering shotmaking ability, but like it or not, physical and mental strength are important in any sport, including tennis, and they were mostly found lacking in at least one of those areas.

I actually think Berdych has underachieved. When you look at him play, he seems to have the perfect game for what he does...obviously his touch and subtlety isn't great, but he doesn't really use it as part of his game. It is what is between his ears that holds him back.

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