Amazing stat I read...

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Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

Murray is 2/25 against top 5 since April 2013!

This will not help Murray win another slam.

simple question: why is it so low?
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:16 pm


I also have a few issues with Lydian's analysis as well:

1. I don't think a closed stance FH will literally cause your back to go

2. I also think it is hard to draw vast conclusions from one set of photos of Murray hitting a FH he looks like in the photo Lydian shows to be on the run or pushed back by the shot so he could have been in some mild distress, its hard to draw conclusions so broad on the trajectory of Murray's career without more than one FH. Despite that I think Lydian's breakdown of all of those forehands is instructive and helpful

3. I think there are too many other factors that go into what may or may not have to do with his back injury to tie it to this one issue. In my experience tennis is rough on the back period, regardless of any FH stance you may have.

4. Why the DTL FH would cause injury. I mean the down the line FH he simply doesn't hit a lot in the first place, even with Lendl and second place he has had the same technique for over a decade so all of a sudden a small but significant increase in the number of FHs down the line would not be something that injurs his back after a decade on tour. It is probably a safer assumption that he just injured his back because of combination of the natural wear and tear of the tour, ageing, and the fact that he is a tall and big guy. I don't think you can put all or even a major part of his back injury on a FH.

So I can see the validity of a lot of what BS is saying.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:20 pm

PS 5. The down the line FH also is not the shot that typically you would expect to put strain on your back. Why? well because typically rotating the back at high speed for the rotation on closed stance FH is what you would think would cause injury. But for a down the line FH you have the least back rotation than any ground stroke I can think of. In fact a CC, BH from Murray should be more straining and require more rotation than his FH down the line. I mean you are pulling the ball cross court so your rotate your body more degrees on a CC shot, and on a two handed BH you rotate more typically than on your FH, you have to be really closed generally to generate a lot of pace on two handed BH.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by HM Murdock on Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:23 pm

Nore Staat wrote:Anyway the issue of why Federer was unable to develop a counter to Nadal's high bouncing ball to the backhand remained a mystery to me.  I think Bogbush came up with the best explanation saying it was to do with geometry, Federer's height, and the fact that Federer used a SHBH that prevented Federer from developing an adequate response to it.  Djokovic was able to handle it and this allowed Djokovic to eventually beat Nadal repeatedly (except on the clay).

Now the reason why I now raise this "technical deficiency" of Federer in responding to Nadal's high bouncing balls to Federer's background - is that I see a parallel with Murray's "technical deficiency" in developing a power FH.  Both were unable to overcome their "technical deficiencies" even though it seemed evident where the problem lay.  Hence I am thinking that there are certain basic techniques that are "learnt" during the developmental stages of them becoming full adult tennis players that cannot be "unlearnt" - they just have to be "worked with".  In psychology / sports science this I believe is called "muscle memory" which are learnt physical behaviours that are passed into the cerebellum (hind brain) which then become available as motor codes for unconscious (hence fast) motor skills and coordination.
I don't think you are comparing like with like.

Murray's technical deficiency on the forehand is indeed a deficiency in technique. But Fed's backhand problems with Rafa are simply a result of having a SHBH. The stroke itself seems technically sound but the match up of that forehand into a SHBH is a killer. Stan has achieved a smattering of success recently but, generally, Rafa's forehand has destroyed any SHBH it has faced.

I'll defer to greater technical minds on this one but I'd be surprised if there was a technical change available to Fed's SHBH that would help it deal better with Rafa.

Where Federer can perhaps be criticised is for a reluctance to adapt tactically. He's a stubborn wotsit. He hung in there with his small racquet head for years. When all of us watching could tell the years were slowing him, he seemed resolute in his belief that the approach that worked so well when he was 25 would still work when he was 30+. It's all ifs, buts and maybes, but imagine if he'd gone to a larger racquet head, and developed the net approach tactics, SABR etc when he was 29 rather than 33.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Born Slippy on Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:33 pm

Socal - do you think the open stance forehand is more likely to strain the back. It always seems to me that the closed stance forehand is a much more natural movement - effectively using your whole body to turn and generate pace. In contrast the open stance effectively twists the back whilst keeping the body angled forward. If you try both whilst standing still, the later puts a lot more strain on the back.

As you say though, it's really the backhand and serve which put the greatest strain on the back.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:51 pm

Technical question: I thought the theory behind the open / closed FH stance is that the open stance generates more power and a more stable ground connection than the closed stance FH which generates less power and a less stable connection to the ground.  Newton's third law = for every action there is a reaction: open stance channels the reactive stresses into the ground, whereas for the closed stance more of the reactive stress is channelled into the body.  

PS: it seems to me in the open stance you can put your body weight behind the shot (hence more power and reaction through the ground via the opposite leg) whereas this is not the case for the close stance FH (less weight behind the shot and the created added power has to react against your own body).

HM  Murdock: I am not sure what to call Federer's inability to counter Nadal's high bouncing ball to his backhand.  It seemed that Nadal was exploiting a technical weakness of Federer.  I would be interested in hearing Lydian's view and maybe others view on the matter before deciding what to label it.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:02 am

Nore Staat wrote:Technical question: I thought the theory behind the open / closed FH stance is that the open stance generates more power and a more stable ground connection than the closed stance FH which generates less power and a less stable connection to the ground.  Newton's third law = for every action there is a reaction: open stance channels the reactive stresses into the ground, whereas for the closed stance more of the reactive stress is channelled into the body.  

PS: it seems to me in the open stance you can put your body weight behind the shot (hence more power and reaction through the ground via the opposite leg) whereas this is not the case for the close stance FH (less weight behind the shot and the created added power has to react against your own body).

HM  Murdock: I am not sure what to call Federer's inability to counter Nadal's high bouncing ball to his backhand.  It seemed that Nadal was exploiting a technical weakness of Federer.  I would be interested in hearing Lydian's view and maybe others view on the matter before deciding what to label it.

Actually, the reason that the closed stance FH was more prevalent in the past was because I feel that it actually does let you hit the ball a little harder than when you are in an open stance. So the exact opposite of what you assume. Of course there is a lot of other factors, not all closed stance and open stance FHs are the same, Nadal can generate huge spin and pace as can most guys on tour with an open stance FH. The reason the open stance on the FH replaced a more closed, (remember a closed stance is where you turn your hips and shoulders where your lead shoulder is pointing across the net at your opponent or the target. So by being turned sideways you are facing for a right hander off to the right side of the and your shoulder and hips are turned with the lead shoulder pointing across at your target or your opponents side of the court. So you use more of your body's natural rotation in striking the ball since you are turned. I would not hold it as a general statement that an open stance FH produces more flat pace than a closed FH maybe depending on the player you can produce a little more uppercut and spin in your swing by hitting the FH more out in front in open stance. But spin and power generation is not the main reason everyone went open stance.

The main reason is that open stance FHs take less time to set up and are easier to recover after as you basically have your shoulders squared up facing your opponent most of the time. With an open stance FH your recover a fraction of second quicker and execute it a fraction of second quicker, and opened stance shot whether FH or BH is more effective when you are pulled wide or are in distress. So the open stance FH if you master it well should let you generate the same or almost the same power but let you recover better and takes you a fraction less time to execute. Remember world class pros don't have a problem generating spin or power, their big concern is being able to recover and prepare to deal with the power thrown at them.

Basically, by going open you save the time and energy of turning your hips and shoulders sideways and recovering from that positon.


Last edited by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:22 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:15 am

Born Slippy wrote:Socal - do you think the open stance forehand is more likely to strain the back. It always seems to me that the closed stance forehand is a much more natural movement - effectively using your whole body to turn and generate pace. In contrast the open stance effectively twists the back whilst keeping the body angled forward. If you try both whilst standing still, the later puts a lot more strain on the back.

As you say though, it's really the backhand and serve which put the greatest strain on the back.

To be honest I don't think either will strain your back if you do the proper training and technique. But there is I think a bit more strain in the closed stance simply because of that lower back rotation, but if you execute the shot properly like I have been taught that you don't need a lot of body rotation and in fact over rotation on that shot will pull it wide and need to only open your shoulders to the extent that your lead shoulder opens up and points at the target or your off hand does the same thing acting as a sort of guide. If you over rotate you may injure yourself also you will waste the kinetic energy of your shot by blasting most of the force of your swing wide and off the court as opposed to penetrate through.

I just don't think after a decade that it all of a sudden became a problem because he used the same technique for years. Secondly, he still didn't hit all that many DTLFH even with lendl, what maybe one out of every 20 or 15 groundstrokes. Secondly, of any and all things on the tennis court the DTLFH wouldn't be particularly straining. A CC, BH requires way more rotation and degrees of turn, a CC FH requires more rotation. And the king of the back destroying shots the serve will take ten times more out of your back than hitting the DTLFH.

Remember open stance FH was not popularized to generate power or prevent injury in anyway it was popularized because it let you recover quicker and execute it a fraction of second quicker.

Also to make the analysis even more complicated not all players who hit closed stance FHs always hit closed, and players who hit open stance like Djokovic don't always hit open. Generally, many pros when they have time on short central ball that they are looking to step in and either finish or hit as an approach will often go more closed. The closed stance has better disguise of direction and gives you that power of opening up your shoulders without having to take a big back swing. Remember the big backswing is what pushes those shots long. And players who have closed stance FHs, like Murray will probably hit many balls from an open stance if put under duress or pulled to wide, the same applies on the backhand. That is the shot Novak has made famous the open stance bh pass when he is pulled wide. When he has time on the ball he really rotates and gets closed stance, but if he is stretched and doesn't have time he can still remarkably generate tremendous power and control from an open stance BH. Which he shouldn't be able to without the rotation.

So the discussion I think is actually more complicated than what Lydian is making it because I don't see his conclusions being quite as cut dry as some are assuming. While I do think he makes a knowledgable case for his opinion.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:52 am

HM Murdock wrote:
Nore Staat wrote:Anyway the issue of why Federer was unable to develop a counter to Nadal's high bouncing ball to the backhand remained a mystery to me.  I think Bogbush came up with the best explanation saying it was to do with geometry, Federer's height, and the fact that Federer used a SHBH that prevented Federer from developing an adequate response to it.  Djokovic was able to handle it and this allowed Djokovic to eventually beat Nadal repeatedly (except on the clay).

Now the reason why I now raise this "technical deficiency" of Federer in responding to Nadal's high bouncing balls to Federer's background - is that I see a parallel with Murray's "technical deficiency" in developing a power FH.  Both were unable to overcome their "technical deficiencies" even though it seemed evident where the problem lay.  Hence I am thinking that there are certain basic techniques that are "learnt" during the developmental stages of them becoming full adult tennis players that cannot be "unlearnt" - they just have to be "worked with".  In psychology / sports science this I believe is called "muscle memory" which are learnt physical behaviours that are passed into the cerebellum (hind brain) which then become available as motor codes for unconscious (hence fast) motor skills and coordination.
I don't think you are comparing like with like.

Murray's technical deficiency on the forehand is indeed a deficiency in technique. But Fed's backhand problems with Rafa are simply a result of having a SHBH. The stroke itself seems technically sound but the match up of that forehand into a SHBH is a killer. Stan has achieved a smattering of success recently but, generally, Rafa's forehand has destroyed any SHBH it has faced.

I'll defer to greater technical minds on this one but I'd be surprised if there was a technical change available to Fed's SHBH that would help it deal better with Rafa.

Where Federer can perhaps be criticised is for a reluctance to adapt tactically. He's a stubborn wotsit. He hung in there with his small racquet head for years. When all of us watching could tell the years were slowing him, he seemed resolute in his belief that the approach that worked so well when he was 25 would still work when he was 30+. It's all ifs, buts and maybes, but imagine if he'd gone to a larger racquet head, and developed the net approach tactics, SABR etc when he was 29 rather than 33.

I just don't know if any of those changes would have helped him against Nadal on clay. Fed at his best basically maximized his slam count. His outside range with Nadal at peak on clay was three slams regardless of pretty much what he did. Thankfully he could take the rollover boys lunch money on the faster courts whenever he liked. Maybe in later years he could have picked up one or two more on the faster surfaces but maybe not.

The single hander is just a poorer shot than the double hander, if Federer had lets say a top 5 or 6 double hander in the world as opposed to a top 5 or 6 single hander than he may have been able to get Nadal once or twice on clay. It would have made Nadal's predictable play of kick serve to Roger's BH, followed by a predictable chip return, which Nadal using his sweet footwork would turn into a short angled forehand off the court. If he had a top drawer two hander he could have broken that pattern up real quick if Nadal became that predictable. And I think, if hypothetically he had been a double hander he would have most likely gone to a bigger racquet head earlier as most double handers prefer the relatively larger racquet head. I don't have a single hander so I don't know why but a lot of them like the smaller head racquets with that are heavier. I think they feel like they can control the racquet face more with slightly less wobble in the narrower frame. The heavier and smaller head probably helps to keep stability through the shot. But again I don't come over with a one hander except every now and then for fun or for hot dogging. I can smoke them every now and again but because I don't have repetition Ill shankem real good to.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:36 am

socal1976 wrote: Actually, the reason that the closed stance FH was more prevalent in the past was because I feel that it actually does let you hit the ball a little harder than when you are in an open stance. So the exact opposite of what you assume.  

This point is simply not right. Let's look at the basics:
1. Closed stance - power comes from weight transfer from back to front foot, and shoulder turn, little core/hip rotation
2. Open stance - power comes through core/hip rotation, and the weight transfers from right to left (or left to right if LH).

Pros moved to open stance because you can get more power AND spin. Why else would they do it? You might say the use of open stance allows player to use less time which is also true but less time is arising because everyone is playing harder shots through open stance!
Closed stance obviously limits the use of core because it's essentially a "lift" low to high, back to front shot.

My point with Murray doesn't concern the pure use of these 2 stances. His "problem" is mixing them together in certain situations, eg DTL or rushed out wide. Nadal or Federer will tend to keep a clean technique even when pushed, or simply play a properly closed shot from out wide. In other words, Murray from what I've seen will often try to use the open stance technique of rapid core/hip rotation from a closed stance position...ie. is unloading loads of core rotation from closed stance. However, it's impossible to unload fully that way because the energy has to go somewhere. So he achieves this by lifting up onto the back foot and pivoting on it. This allows him not to have to twist on the planted left foot which would probably cause him to turn excessively and fall over! The end result is that all the rotational power has not been dissipated properly (ie from right to left). The rotational kinetic chain has not unwound fully. So the motion he ends up with, a hybrid motion with a weight going backwards outcomes, places strain at the base of core/hip rotation, ie his lower back. You simply can't mix the 2 stances because they have different power origins and kinetic chains. I don't know why he does this but it's a technical gremlin from somewhere...maybe old habits of transferring from DHFH to SHFH (and I hear BS there but I take Jamie Baker's word that Murray had a DHFH at 11/12 year old...and a DH shot is nearly always played from closed stance).

So this is the main problem I refer to when Murray is playing a DTL FH. It's a hybrid shot. Yes, if played properly a closed stance offers less injury potential than OS, but Murray doesn't play a proper closed stance DTL FH...or a properly open stance DTL FH either (although sometimes he does...it's not black and white). He often gets into a situation of using closed stance footwork with open stance rotation to get more power DTL...a recipe for problems...whereas Federer, Nadal etc will play that shot open stance. So again Murray flies off backwards off the closed stance because the rotational dissipation won't work by transferring it to his front foot, there's simply too much coiled power coming through. But he doesn't transfer the power fully to the left leg either so he ends up hopping into the air off his back/right foot. Again, the energy is not properly dissipated due to hybrid OS/CS mix up which strains his core.

I'm sure he didn't used to do this anywhere near as much pre-Lendl but in amp'ing up the DTL power he looks like he's getting that from open stance origins within a closed stance setting.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:13 am

NS, the problem for Federer vs Nadal is that he can't get over the ball with his BH consistently. His SW BH grip makes it hard to impart spin on the ball from such a height. The geometry just doesn't work, whereas a DH player can simply hit it flatish back or have 2 arms to come around the side of the ball which is another way of getting some topspin on the shot. The guys who played the SHBH better to Nadal are those with more western BH grips, eg Gasquet, Wawrinka but even they struggle at times due to the sheer height of the ball. They all basically need to take it early but that's hard to do consistently in a 20 stroke rally with the pace and spin Nadal puts on the ball.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Tennisfan on Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:52 am

Just a moment on Murray. I always thought it feasible that his back issues came out of him trying to compensate for his wrist problems in the aftermath of his injury early in his career. So I can't agree with Lydian's quick dismissal of the implications of that injury.
I also have to refute Lydian's suggestion that Murray is idling around right now; and proving to be lazy/poor role model by the fact he is not going round with the Davis Cup Trophy tour now.
Amazingly, he is in Mallorca training. Cue comments on his poor training methods...

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Calder106 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:56 am

Nore Staat wrote:My view is that Murray is probably getting the best out of himself given the material he has to work with.  The mental side is more a consequence of how he deals with the material at his disposal.  Lacks confidence in his ability, lacks confidence in his technique, he thinks he should be doing better than what his body actually produces.  He prefers to project his disappointment onto others hence the raving towards his coaching team on court.  This occurs at the unconscious level as per usual psychological models.  As always this is relative to the all time greats of the sport that are currently gracing the courts.  My view is that those that say it is all in Murray's head are doing Murray a great disservice and disrespect and although they may feel themselves to be Murray supporters are in fact Murray's biggest critic (as in: "sort your head out Murray you should be beating Djokovic, Federer, Nadal more often").

Don't think that people are saying that it is all in his head. There are other things which hurt him. The second serve being a prime example. However it is pretty clear at times how his focus can go during a match. He has said himself sometimes that his concentration had dropped for a period during matches.

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/04/murray-shaky-play-late-due-lack-concentration/58127/#.Vx9HCfkrLIU

http://sport360.com/article/international/32198/andy-murray-blames-lapse-concentrati, on-australian-open-final-defeat

He can get away with this most times against players ranked lower down but not very often against the likes of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal who once they get the initiative rarely give it back.


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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:57 am

Can you reference how he would get a back issue from a wrist issue?
I'm not aware of any lingering changes that came from the wrist...

I didn't say he was idling, BS suggested he might be at home with his baby, I merely opined that being present the Trophy Tour would have been good press for him...cant see anything controversial about that one. Re: training methods, I believe his are second to none, after all it has turned him into a "tank"...(JB ref.).
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Born Slippy on Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:27 pm

"I take Jamie Baker's word that Murray had a DHFH at 11/12"

If you look at most reports of that interview though, he didn't say that. He said Murray had a DHFH in an u10s tournament (so probably when they were 8/9). He then goes on to say that up until about 12/13 Murray hit mainly moonballs. The syntax appears to be wrong in the article you quoted.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Tennisfan on Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:33 pm

Lydian, thought you might have seen some link between 'wrist' 'forehand' 'stance' and 'lower back issues' - where movements are altered in trying to protect the wrist, when confidence has been lost physically/mentally in trusting it. Maybe your oracle Jamie Baker spells it out somewhere for you.
Btw you have it the wrong way round. BS comment about the baby was in reply to your comment of "He's taking 3 weeks break between clay tournaments (MC to Madrid). So where is he?"
Training in Mallorca is the answer to your question.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:55 pm

Lol, TF perhaps you could try ramping up the sarcastic tone next time.
I'd still like to technically and SPECIFICALLY how movement is adapted to protect the wrist, which is locked into muscle memory (eg there's not much Delpo can do about his except play slices) as you allude to a longer term change of movement pattern, not merely a short term protection approach then revert to same dynamics as before once healed. Or maybe I misunderstood that too...I'm sure you'll point out the error of my ways in your usual warm style ;-)

Maybe that's the case BS...sources can be wrong...and I couldn't find ANY video evidence of Murray playing before 14 years old. But hey, does it really matter what age he was? The point made is that he changed his FH style radically which might leave legacy gremlins in there. It's amazing how quickly juniors get locked into a mode of play and learning a new approach is not easy at any age. Hats off to him that he did it though and made it work for him.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:07 pm

lydian wrote:
socal1976 wrote: Actually, the reason that the closed stance FH was more prevalent in the past was because I feel that it actually does let you hit the ball a little harder than when you are in an open stance. So the exact opposite of what you assume.  



Pros moved to open stance because you can get more power AND spin. Why else would they do it? You might say the use of open stance allows player to use less time which is also true but less time is arising because everyone is playing harder shots through open stance!
Closed stance obviously limits the use of core because it's essentially a "lift" low to high, back to front shot.



I'm sure he didn't used to do this anywhere near as much pre-Lendl but in amp'ing up the DTL power he looks like he's getting that from open stance origins within a closed stance setting.

Ok here is the clarification, reading the one quote you picked out of 2 lengthy posts, I do wish I had been a little bit more specific and clear on this sentence. In my own experiences you can hit a ball harder when you HAVE TIME with a closed stance than with an open. But in general whether a player hits a big or clean FH or not is not dependent on the stance of the shot but the particularities of the player and the swing. If the closed stance doesn't produce a little more pace why is it that players when they have their choice and have time on the BH (two handed) choose to rotate fully and open up their hips and shoulder?

The fact is that the open stance FHs as a class are not more powerful than closed stance FHs as a class. The stances are situational and players will use both stances. If I have time and I am central I hit closed stance, if I am scrambling or pulled a little wide I go open stance, if I am moving into hit an approach I go hybrid/halfway closed. Yes players have a default stance and today most are open stance.

But the open stance is there because it helps them recover, it takes a half a body turn less to execute and half a body turn less time to recover from. I agree that neither technique with proper training and execution should create injury. The pros changed to open stance to save time in movement and recovery not to hit harder or to prevent injury. So my thesis stands despite that clarification where my imprecise terminology didn't really say exactly what I wanted. Way to ignore the rest of the post and pick out the one part I should have clarified better.

The problem the pros have is time and that they are constantly in distress on the baseline, that is why the open stance dominates and is used more often and has become the default. Since they are often pulled this way and that the open stance developed as the default. Not because as a class of shot open stance is harder shot that depends on the individual player and swing.


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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:11 pm

Don't quote me but there are two significant stages in brain development / maturation.  One aged around two years is a structural arrangement that allows the beginnings of the recordings of visual memories and the like (how many people have memories before the age of two?).  The other major event occurs around puberty when there is a massive loss of synapses and "plasticity" in the brain.  There is still the potential of learning of course but it is a much slower process - it is the start of having to work with what you already have got.  Consider the ease of learning a second language as an adult compared to how easily pre-pubescent children pick up a second language.  I assume it is similar in learning complex motor patterns - although I suspect learning a new complex motor pattern is easier than learning a second language in adulthood.

Calder106: good "rebuttal", but one has to be careful of the ability of someone to "self analyse" correctly - psychology tells us to be cautious.  So although what Andy Murray says about his own performances and thought processes is important it is not necessarily "the truth" he could be "sublimating" etc.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:21 pm

By the way here is an article where the guy who is a coach says the reason to hit open stance is it helps you recover more and is better on the wide ball, it says nothing on the power of the shot, which coincidentally is exactly what I am saying.


https://crunchtimecoaching.com/tennis-tips-top-3-reasons-why-you-need-the-open-stance-forehand/

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:28 pm

Also since I have spent thousands of dollars on coaching over the years I decided to use my own coach as a reference: He has coached for 30 years and is currently a full time employee of Babolat that is his day job:

Socal: "Quick question got an argument with this guy (Lydian) I said pros hit open stance FH because it takes less time to execute and recover from he says because you get more power and spin than a closed stance so who is right?

Response Coach Alan: "Open stance easier to hit from in terms of time. Closed hits ball earlier. Power depends on the stroke. "

Again I know this unorthodox, but I have paid this guy a lot of money to craft my game into the killing machine I currently am, therefore I wanted to use his 35 plus years knowledge in the game from the time he was a kid and the fact that he has worked many years full time now for Babolat not as a sponsored coach or something like that he is their full time employee.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:47 pm

socal1976 wrote:... "Open stance easier to hit from in terms of time. Closed hits ball earlier ...
What does that mean? Does it mean the following:
a) Closed stance allows the ball to be hit earlier?
b) Open stance takes a little more time to get into position to hit the ball but once in position the ball is easier to hit?

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Calder106 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:47 pm

Nore Staat wrote:

Calder106: good "rebuttal", but one has to be careful of the ability of someone to "self analyse" correctly - psychology tells us to be cautious.  So although what Andy Murray says about his own performances and thought processes is important it is not necessarily "the truth" he could be "sublimating" etc.

It's all getting a bit too complex for me Headscratch Why would he say he lost concentration, which he clearly did in the Djokovic AO final 2015, if he didn't really mean it ? Are you saying that he is putting all the blame on that but other factors contributed to the loss and he does not want to consider these ?

Not trying to argue here just understand your point better as it looks like you have some knowledge in this field.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Born Slippy on Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:59 pm

lydian wrote:Maybe that's the case BS...sources can be wrong...and I couldn't find ANY video evidence of Murray playing before 14 years old. But hey, does it really matter what age he was? The point made is that he changed his FH style radically which might leave legacy gremlins in there. It's amazing how quickly juniors get locked into a mode of play and learning a new approach is not easy at any age. Hats off to him that he did it though and made it work for him.

I'd have thought a change at 13 is more difficult (although it probably still wouldn't have any ongoing effect in adulthood). Rafa changed to one hand at around 9-10 (as did I for what it's worth) and it wasn't overly unusual at that time. I think it's highly unlikely a change in technique at 9-10 would have any impact.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:06 pm

Nore Staat wrote:
socal1976 wrote:...  "Open stance easier to hit from in terms of time. Closed hits ball earlier ...
What does that mean?  Does it mean  the following:
a) Closed stance allows the ball to be hit earlier?  
b) Open stance takes a little more time to get into position to hit the ball but once in position the ball is easier to hit?

No open stance is quicker to execute because you are not turning your hip and shoulders to get sideways on the ball. What his quote says is that an open stance FH because you basically keep your shoulders squared facing your opponent and don't turn as much you save half a step in preparation and half a step in recovery, remember most players are already shuffling sideways in an open stance as their default starting position. When your opponent hits you are not turned sideways facing the right you are watching him with your shoulders squared up. So open stance takes less time execute and recover from.

Now to answer A, what he is saying is that if you look at strike points a closed FH will hit the ball more in front as your strike point, the contact point will be a little earlier meaning the ball is closer to your opponent by a couple of inches or whatever that distance is when you hit it. The open stance you will strike the ball a little later or allow it to get a little more into your body before you hit it.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:11 pm

Basically, what he is saying NS is what I have been saying. Power depends on the particular player and the swing, not on the stance as Lydian is stating. Stances are situational and most likely players will hit open, semi-closed most of the time because of the time constraints in setting up to hit fully closed. Not because hitting open generates a harder shot. To state that as a class open FH technique is more powerful is not accurate. What may make it seem that way is that the pros don't have time to do very much other than hit open stance FHs when another world class ball striker is on the baseline putting them in distress.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:06 pm

Calder106 wrote:
Nore Staat wrote:

Calder106: good "rebuttal", but one has to be careful of the ability of someone to "self analyse" correctly - psychology tells us to be cautious.  So although what Andy Murray says about his own performances and thought processes is important it is not necessarily "the truth" he could be "sublimating" etc.

It's all getting a bit too complex for me Headscratch  Why would he say he lost concentration, which he clearly did in the Djokovic AO final 2015, if he didn't really mean it ? Are you saying that he is putting all the blame on that but other factors contributed to the loss and he does not want to consider these ?  

Not trying to argue here just understand your point better as it looks like you have some knowledge in this field.
I was making a general statement about peoples ability to self-analyse themselves.  

With regard to Murray the question is why did he "lose concentration" when Djokovic started to improve after exhibiting what Murray assumed was an injury when in fact Djokovic was just having a low energy spell.  And what does "lose concentration" mean in terms of Murrays performance level.

Murray doesn't elaborate.  But this can be fitted into the "Murray weak FH theory":  Murray has to put special effort into overcoming his "technical deficiency" when playing against an all time great like Djokovic in a grand slam tournament.  When Murray thought an easy way out had opened up for him because he thought Djokovic was injured he relaxed into his more natural lower level tennis play given his technical abilities (including technical weaknesses).  When it turned out that Djokovic was not in fact injured and returned back to top form - Murray was unable to gear himself back up likewise - because it is more of an effort for Murray given his relative technical deficiencies.  

So here "loss of concentration" means Murray drifting down to his lower more natural level of tennis play given his technical weaknesses.

To Socal: okay I will have a think about what you are saying - but can immediately take from your comment that a closed FH stance reaches the ball earlier in its trajectory and an open FH stance reaches the ball later in its trajectory.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Calder106 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:53 pm

Thanks for the explanation NS but I don't really buy it. It sounds as if you have decided that the answer is "technical deficiency" and you are trying to shoehorn any other factor into validating that answer.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:55 pm

Socal, you needn't have asked your guy the question if had you read my statement properly. Read it again. I said an open stance generates more power AND spin. So what I mean is that it generates a heavier ball because it has more energy imparted vs. a shot from a closed position. More energy goes into a open stance shot because of the massive unwinding of the hips in combination with the arm which can achieve a better lag position (SSC) from that position too. You won't see a 3000 rpm ball also hit with high speed from a closed stance.

Sure, a closed stance is quicker to the ball because it's generally used to hit balls that are lower...that's where the stroke came from, faster/lower surfaces. Open stances are used for waist high and above shots...which are what predominate the tour.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:55 pm

@NS, yes but it would be more accurate to say that the STRIKE POINT of a closed stance FH is earlier or more in front on average than the STRIKE POINT of an open FH, which you take the ball a little later or more inside to the body.

But to your earlier question, again open stance easier to get into position and to recover because you don't need to turn your hips and shoulders and get sideways on the ball.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:20 pm

Calder106 wrote:Thanks for the explanation NS but I don't really buy it. It sounds as if you have decided that the answer is "technical deficiency" and you are trying to shoehorn any other factor into validating that answer.
No. I am using the theory with the best overall explanative power. Until someone comes up with a theory which is equally as good then I am going to stick with it. I think many although not all agree that the reason why Federer, Novak, Djokovic have more titles than Murray, in particular grand slam titles, plus the reason for Murray's very clear and significant poor head to head with them in grand slams is because they are technically better players than Murray and that Murray in particular has a weak FH compared to them as well as a weak second serve compared to them.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Calder106 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:35 pm

Ok I'll leave it at that as we are not going to agree that there are other factors which contribute to the poor h2h.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:36 pm

lydian wrote:Socal, you needn't have asked your guy the question if had you read my statement properly. Read it again. I said an open stance generates more power AND spin. So what I mean is that it generates a heavier ball because it has more energy imparted vs. a shot from a closed position. More energy goes into a open stance shot because of the massive unwinding of the hips in combination with the arm which can achieve a better lag position (SSC) from that position too. You won't see a 3000 rpm ball also hit with high speed from a closed stance.

Sure, a closed stance is quicker to the ball because it's generally used to hit balls that are lower...that's where the stroke came from, faster/lower surfaces. Open stances are used for waist high and above shots...which are what predominate the tour.

A closed stance fell out of favor not because of its lack of pace or power but because of the time needed to execute the shot.   The idea that as a class that open stance = more power and spin is not the choice my coach selected. He stated point blank what I had said, which is that increased recovery time was why they changed, and furthermore a closed or open stance itself doesn't determine which is more powerful.  

Now if you watch all these thermonuclear FHs on tour with an open stance, it is intuitive to think all the best FHs are that way partly because they are hitting from an open stance. That really isn't the case, the reason they are hitting from an open stance is because they need the half step you save in preparation and the half step you need get in recovery with the open stance because they got a guy across the net who wont let him have time to close up to either a square or closed position.

When players have time like the short central ball you will see many of the open stances you put forward (ie Djokovic and Federer) they get more closed and either hit that with half/half stance or they get as closed as they can to generate more pace. Why else would a player when he has time on the two handed BH, will hit that shot ALWAYS AS A CLOSED STANCE and when that same player is under duress and pushed wide that same player will use an open stance. The two handed BH technique is really like a left handed FH its the top hand that generates the pace and spin.

The preference for open or closed FH is not a function of open being a bigger shot, it is a function of open being easier to execute under duress. There are people online that will state that an open FH has more power, I have seen others say a closed has more power but an open is easier to execute when pulled wide and easier to recover from that is basically universally accepted.

The same issue exists on return, Murray the closed stance FH, uses the OPEN FH FOR returns, why? Well because that is all anyone has time for and you actually also get a little better view of the ball not being sideways to it.


All these examples the issue of open or closed the players use the open when time is of the essence (like it pretty much always or mostly is for these guys on tour) that is what lead to players on tour using the open as their default. The extra half step they save in preparation shot after shot helps court coverage. The ATP tour pro, hell any advanced tennis player will and should hit FHs on continuum of stances depending on the situation. Yes the vast majority of FHs on the tour are open, not because open stance has special power generating qualities but because they can hit it easier scrambling and pressed for time. So open stance becomes the habit through adaptation to a lack of time, not a lack of power on the closed stance FH.


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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:27 pm

PS we both do agree on some points and I did read your post.

-neither stance if executed well should result in injury
-movement and recovery is easier with open stance
-and that open stance is by far the dominant stance on tour
-Murray doesn't have a clean and a smooth FH technique compared to other players of his level of coure there is a hitch in it

I just don't see that FH hitch being the cause of an injury since hitting a DTFH is one of the least stressful shots on the back and nothing compared to the damage a CC BH or serve would do over time.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:51 am

Can I refer back to the evidence that everyone seems to agree on: those of you with a technical understanding of the game all seem to agree that Murray has an understrength forehand, people say it is weak, people say this is a big disadvantage against Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Wawrinka (recently).  So why doesn't Murray have a go to power FH like the rest of them?  Lydian came up with a plausible answer but now quite a few people are saying balderdash that is not the reason why Murray does not have a power FH.  So what is the reason?

Ps Is it still acceptable for me to say Murray has a technical deficiency that is preventing him from having a go to power FH? I think Lydian and Socal at least agree on this but maybe differ on the exact aspect of the deficiency. I think Lydian is saying that it is due to Murray's overuse of the closed stance FH while Socal saying it is something else associated with Murray's execution of the shot.
pps Many thanks.
PPPs I have received no tennis coaching so I am just trying to make sense of all the comments plus the available evidence and data that I can understand.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:48 am

Nore Staat wrote:Can I refer back to the evidence that everyone seems to agree on: those of you with a technical understanding of the game all seem to agree that Murray has an understrength forehand, people say it is weak, people say this is a big disadvantage against Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Wawrinka (recently).  So why doesn't Murray have a go to power FH like the rest of them?  Lydian came up with a plausible answer but now quite a few people are saying balderdash that is not the reason why Murray does not have a power FH.  So what is the reason?

Ps Is it still acceptable for me to say Murray has a technical deficiency that is preventing him from having a go to power FH?  I think Lydian and Socal at least agree on this but maybe differ on the exact aspect of the deficiency.  I think Lydian is saying that it is due to Murray's overuse of the closed stance FH while Socal saying it is something else associated with Murray's execution of the shot.  
pps Many thanks.
PPPs I have received no tennis coaching so I am just trying to make sense of all the comments plus the available evidence and data that I can understand.

Not exactly, I think Murray's back injury has nothing to do with his FH and its most likely normal wear and tear of a player with similar mileage. In regards to FH stances, I disagree that a closed FH is less powerful than an open, the open is more used because of recovery time to execute shot. I think it would be a deficiency on the tour to hit too much of a closed FH too often. So that probably does cause Murray to have less time on his shots in general and on that shot in particular. But it is odd because he can hit good open FHs on the pass and the return. My issues with Lydian is more on the cause of Murray's injury and his belief that open stance=superior power.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:51 am

Nore do you play tennis?

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:11 am

Hi Socal, I was looking for clarity as to whether you agree or disagree that Murray has a go to power FH.  For me the back injury is a secondary issue.  The primary issue (see OP and grand slam H2H stats) is why Murray loses to Federer/Djokovic/ Nadal.  Now a reason for this has been raised: Murray does not have a go to power FH:
Question: In your opinion does Murray have an understrength FH?
a) Yes.
b) No.
c) Other.
If Yes - why.

I last played tennis about ten years ago.  Socially never competitively apart from occasionally at school.  I have played squash and badminton more recently socially.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:27 am

Nore Staat wrote:Hi Socal, I was looking for clarity as to whether you agree or disagree that Murray has a go to power FH.  For me the back injury is a secondary issue.  The primary issue (see OP and grand slam H2H stats) is why Murray loses to Federer/Djokovic/ Nadal.  Now a reason for this has been raised: Murray does not have a go to power FH:
Question: In your opinion does Murray have an understrength FH?
a) Yes.
b) No.
c) Other.
If Yes - why.

I last played tennis about ten years ago.  Socially never competitively apart from occasionally at school.  I have played squash and badminton more recently socially.


I would not rate Murray's FH as one of the top 15 or ten FHs on tour, where as you would be hard pressed not to put the three guys above him in the top ten list of FHS on tour.

So compared to most of the guys not only rated above him but also a little below him in the rankings, people like Tsonga or Berdych; I would say Murray's FH is weaker. So I guess the answer to your first question is yes in relative terms. And why, oh I think he does get too closed on his FH and it both makes it harder for him to go up the line and makes him late on his shot and puts him defensive in rallies. Still when he is on its not a flawed shot in such away that he can't pound you off the court. He doesn't have as smooth a technique as these other FH I mentioned but because he is such a talent ball striker it is still a fearsome weapon most of the time. But generally his FH is a relative weakness when compared to his elite level.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:29 am

Another wrinkle is also that Murray almost certainly can and does hit many open stance FHs its not possible that an advanced player would not be able to. Maybe he isn't at comfortable when he has to hit from that stance, that also could be a weakness. Not saying it is but what I am trying to say he has to have that stance FH somewhere in his bag. I mean you can't have the running FH and return Murray has on that side not be able to hit from that stance.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:42 am

Thanks.  So getting to the crux of the issue as to why Murray has such a poor H2H with Federer/Nadal/Djokovic in the grandslams as well as post 2013 with those three + Wawrinka what three "technical" weaknesses would you put it down to?  I think you yourself and others have said
1) An underpowered forehand.
2) An underpowered second serve
3) ....

or are you one of those that subscribe to the theory that Murray has no technical weakness per se - rather the reason why he loses is because of "mental deficiencies" or "fitness deficiencies" or "game plan deficiencies" (compared to Federer/Nadal/Djokovic and recently Wawrinka).

Thanks.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:14 am

Nore Staat wrote:Thanks.  So getting to the crux of the issue as to why Murray has such a poor H2H with Federer/Nadal/Djokovic in the grandslams as well as post 2013 with those three + Wawrinka what three "technical" weaknesses would you put it down to?  I think you yourself and others have said
1) An underpowered forehand.
2) An underpowered second serve
3) ....

or are you one of those that subscribe to the theory that Murray has no technical weakness per se - rather the reason why he loses is because of "mental deficiencies" or "fitness deficiencies" or "game plan deficiencies" (compared to Federer/Nadal/Djokovic and recently Wawrinka).

Thanks.

I would say his biggest problem in those elite matchups is his second serve and the ability of the best players to get at it and get a crucial break from him in those big matches. He has the poorest second serve of all the big 4. The FH breaking down under pressure would be a close second. I also think his negative body language and temper bouts don't help him either. I actually don't think fitness is an issue in those losses at all, at least not in the vast majority of those matches.

Again in terms of deficiency I am saying those two areas FH and second serve while good shots, in comparison to the other members of the big 4 these crucial areas are technically and effectively weaker. Consistency as some have argued is really a reflection of his technique and ball striking in these areas will more readily breakdown than Djokovic' second serve or Nadal's FH for example. At these exacting levels yes Murray's technical proficiency in those two areas is weaker than the other big 4 members and that is principally why he loses.

What to me is a head scratcher is that he has lost ground from earlier in his career as Roger has aged and Novak has become better. Has his opposition improved, has he become worse, or is it combination of both in varying degrees? None of these things are mutually exclusive all these factors could play a role.



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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:21 am

PS Nore I would not describe Murray's FH as underpowered, I would describe it as too susceptible to breaking down under pressure. Not that it lacks power, he can hit as big as the best but that wing tends to break down too frequently. However the description of his second serve as lacking power would be accurate.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:19 am

socal1976 wrote: I would say his biggest problem in those elite matchups is his second serve and the ability of the best players to get at it and get a crucial break from him in those big matches. He has the poorest second serve of all the big 4. The FH breaking down under pressure would be a close second. I also think his negative body language and temper bouts don't help him either. I actually don't think fitness is an issue in those losses at all, at least not in the vast majority of those matches.

Again in terms of deficiency I am saying those two areas FH and second serve while good shots, in comparison to the other members of the big 4 these crucial areas are technically and effectively weaker. Consistency as some have argued is really a reflection of his technique and ball striking in these areas will more readily breakdown than Djokovic' second serve or Nadal's FH for example. At these exacting levels yes Murray's technical proficiency in those two areas is weaker than the other big 4 members and that is principally why he loses. ...

socal1976 wrote: PS Nore I would not describe Murray's FH as underpowered, I would describe it as too susceptible to breaking down under pressure. Not that it lacks power, he can hit as big as the best but that wing tends to break down too frequently. However the description of his second serve as lacking power would be accurate.


Okay thanks so in terms of reasons for his loses you would have it as:
1) Underpowered second serve.
2) Breakdown of his forehand under pressure.
3) Negative body language - presumably this means he is easily read by his opponents giving them confidence and enabling them to exploit him more effectively (Federer/Nadal/Djokovic)

socal1976 wrote:What to me is a head scratcher is that he has lost ground from earlier in his career as Roger has aged and Novak has become better. Has his opposition improved, has he become worse, or is it combination of both in varying degrees? None of these things are mutually exclusive all these factors could play a role.
Would you agree with Lydian that Lendl improved Murrays forehand but reduced Murrays variation ... and that since splitting from Lendl and returning after back surgery his forehand has regressed back to its pre-Lendl state. I mean the results suggest things have changed post Lendl and according to Lydian that change has been mainly in the forehand reliability.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:03 am

I actually would disagree that FH reliability is his main issue. I think it is second to the second serve getting picked on in big matches. The thing is that FH reliability was always a problem as has been the second serve. His second serve has actually improved but I think if you watch the matches he struggles in invariably he is not protecting his second serve well. I always feel that as a player problems with serve and return trump importance of an individual groundstroke or lack of variety.

Remember that despite all this talk about turning defense into attack and all the counterpunching that on the ATP tour the guy who gets on top of the point usually ends up winning the point. Thus return and serve and invariably the most important shots. Eventhough you may hit many more FHs and BHs than serves. The vast majority of times the guy who gets behind in the point from the first ball never gets initiative back. Sure sometimes Novak or Andy will produce a pass pushed off the court and steal a point from the player with initiative but that happens a relatively small percentage of the time.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:10 am

In terms of variety, again maybe BS would be a better judge because he watches Murray more religiously than I do, but generally I do think that Andy before Lendl was a bit more eclectic with his shot choices. I do wonder why he is so infrequent a volleyer, because I do feel he does have the hands, to me it seems he just doesn't do it enough. I love his slice BH as well wish he would hit it a bit more. But like I said lack of variety in my mind is not going to create the losing streak we have seen in recent times. It just is far down the hierarchy of what determines the match. Serve, Return, FH, speed, BH, etc. would all be more impactful and match determinative. So I would probably look at issues in these areas before I looked at lack of variety.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Danny_1982 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:31 am

Yes, I would say he was more eclectic before Lendl. It made Murray matches great fun to watch, but it was also partly responsible for his big match losses in my view. The top guys had no problem dealing with his variety. Lendl changed it to playing on the baseline, hitting consistently deep. He tried to get him bossing points, and that's why he had the success in that period, combined with better mental resilience in the big moments.

He's moved away from that now. He tries to hit big from time to time, but his quest for variety leads to lots of short balls. If he still had the Lendl approach I think he'd still be competing well and winning some of these big matches.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:55 am

Nore Staat wrote:
socal1976 wrote:...  "Open stance easier to hit from in terms of time. Closed hits ball earlier ...
What does that mean?  Does it mean  the following:
a) Closed stance allows the ball to be hit earlier?  
b) Open stance takes a little more time to get into position to hit the ball but once in position the ball is easier to hit?

With a closed stance you step into the ball, left foot moves across for a R hander, hence you take the ball earlier. Open stance you wait a little longer for the ball to come to you.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:48 pm

Haven't got time to reply as travelling abroad but don't agree Murray 2nd serve is now the issue it was. At crucial points in matches it's his FH that is frequently causing him problems, eg hits into net inexplicably, or hits wide/long...his technique is breaking down under pressure. I'm not seeing double faults or really slow 2nd being it the problem it was. It was a huge issue but he's worked quite hard on it. Ok it's not Sampras like now but it's much better than before. Technically it's smoother than his FH.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:49 pm

Danny, don't really agree there..Fed for one had huge issues dealing with Murrays variety.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by CaledonianCraig on Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:04 pm

lydian wrote:Danny, don't really agree there..Fed for one had huge issues dealing with Murrays variety.

And that variety got him four straight sets defeats in slam finals. Something had to change and evidently did so what did change here folks if I can turn the topic of this conversation? After all there seems to be a few here not keen on Lendl's input or methods.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

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