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Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:05 am

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 Henman Bill on Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:10 am

kingraf wrote:Andy is going through a mid-career crisis. Baby. wife. Chucking balls at umpires. Mild accusations of fellow players doping. Champion of women's tennis. His head's gone

Putting together a series of non-related things and making them related and spinning it into a story - head's gone? Seriously, you could be successful as a journalist.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by hawkeye on Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:31 am

lydian wrote:Yes it is, I checked and totted it up, it's 7/22.
So not as bad but not amazing either... <33%

However it's worse against Fed / Djokovic / Nadal / Wawrinka since start of 2013. Specifically, its
Nadal: 1/4
Stan: 0/3
Federer: 1/5
Djokovic: 2/12
Total: 4/24

His record against these guys used to be much better...so what's changed?

They figured him out? Seriously I think that some players never figure out that you have to hit to his forehand. Also Murray's game is reliant on running balls down and keeping the ball in play. He is nearly 29 (I think?) and a game reliant on fitness is a young players game. Murray is very tall too so perhaps this will affect his movement decline. After watching him in Monte Carlo I also think he has a few mental issue and they appear to be getting worse. Does he still enjoy tennis?

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:01 pm

lydian wrote:Yes it is, I checked and totted it up, it's 7/22.
So not as bad but not amazing either... <33%

However it's worse against Fed / Djokovic / Nadal / Wawrinka since start of 2013. Specifically, its
Nadal: 1/4
Stan: 0/3
Federer: 1/5
Djokovic: 2/12
Total: 4/24

His record against these guys used to be much better...so what's changed?

Can I use the bad back to explain 2013? Wink that also coincides with 2014 post surgery slump where to me he didn't appear to be moving any better physically than 2013. What is interesting was him dropping weight going into 2015 where I actually think he looked and moved better.

I think he could do with dropping a little more weight to further improve his movement. 2015 was the most impressive I saw him on Clay since 2011. Consistency is a major issue. To echo others, in more recent time probably bar Nadal, have utilised ways of defeating him. Djokovic will always outmanoeuvre Murray, Federer will play with a higher aggression and consistency against Murray and Stan powers him off the court.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:56 pm

I'm happy to accept that his back has played a role in his 2013 onwards issues in beating the very best.
BTW, I didn't call him a "tank" regarding his weight...Jamie Baker did..."Look at him, he's like a tank. The difference is that he has had six or seven years of a regular diet with that volume of training. When he first started working with Jez [Green] and Matt [Little] he was still training hard, so he's got to a point now where he can cope with anything which is thrown at him. When he first started with them his body wasn't in that position."

Murray spent the winter of 2013 putting a targeted couple of kilos of muscle on...its all documented in the press. So to think he's still the 84kg as listed on ATP Tour back in 2005/6 when he first came on the scene is laughable.

His FH is a weakness he's had to work on. Did you know he had a double-handed FH until he was 12/13.
This is why he has inherent flaws in it...up to working with Lendl he could barely hit a DTL FH. That's what Lendl got him working on specifically...and hitting high FHs...because Lendl's great play was going DTL with his FH. This movement though is very different...and I'm convinced that the combination of the biomechanics of drilling the DTL FHs (with its truncated motion vs x-court) and his weight training conspired to herniate his lower back (disc). Since then he's definitely struggled with movement vs. the top guys and his FH is reverting back to more cross-court again, a very predictable play for the top 3 to counter.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:08 pm

I am not sure his FH is the weakness that is exploitable to the point he is powered off court, because what I do see in his play more so since under Mauresmo is that he is generating pace on his FH (and even by his standards) being aggressive with it.

I think Andy is too emotive as a player and to quote a great sportsman "Some players a fed by emotion. I'm not. Once you get outside of that focus, that's when you get beat." and when you look at his defeats in big matches at the latter part, you'll find instances in those matches whether it be a bad shot or call that has shot his focus down.

The one thing Lendl did more than anything was drill that emotion out.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Henman Bill on Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:33 pm

Born Slippy wrote:2013/14 are pretty pointless to consider given the back issues so we are only really looking at 2015/16:


Can we really write off 2 whole years to a back injury? Always seemed to me at the time that he was taking forever to get back to form and the back injury was being blamed.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Henman Bill on Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:39 pm

lydian wrote:I'm happy to accept that his back has played a role in his 2013 onwards issues in beating the very best.
BTW, I didn't call him a "tank" regarding his weight...Jamie Baker did..."Look at him, he's like a tank. The difference is that he has had six or seven years of a regular diet with that volume of training. When he first started working with Jez [Green] and Matt [Little] he was still training hard, so he's got to a point now where he can cope with anything which is thrown at him. When he first started with them his body wasn't in that position."

Murray spent the winter of 2013 putting a targeted couple of kilos of muscle on...its all documented in the press. So to think he's still the 84kg as listed on ATP Tour back in 2005/6 when he first came on the scene is laughable.

His FH is a weakness he's had to work on. Did you know he had a double-handed FH until he was 12/13.
This is why he has inherent flaws in it...up to working with Lendl he could barely hit a DTL FH. That's what Lendl got him working on specifically...and hitting high FHs...because Lendl's great play was going DTL with his FH. This movement though is very different...and I'm convinced that the combination of the biomechanics of drilling the DTL FHs (with its truncated motion vs x-court) and his weight training conspired to herniate his lower back (disc). Since then he's definitely struggled with movement vs. the top guys and his FH is reverting back to more cross-court again, a very predictable play for the top 3 to counter.

This is interesting. I also played with a double handed forehand until a similar age, because I felt it had more control. Someone coached it out of me, as a result the backhand became a more reliable and powerful shot, while my forehand tended to be wild and unpredictable.

I think Murray's forehand was the weaker side in 2011, and before then, if you look at matches at that time people did actually sometimes hit 50%+ to his forehand side, which is unusual. Most people like Wawrinka and Gasquet rated as having a strong backhand it's usually still slightly short of any player's forehand.

However in 2012 Murray's forehand improved notably. Arguably the reason before then that Murray was a slamless no 4 was his weak forehand as much as other weaknesses (second serve, mental).

Now that you mention it Murray's forehand perhaps has steadily declined since 2012 or 2013.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:00 am

Fair points LK, I don't dispute his emotions get the better of him...but then they always did...and his results post-2012 are far worse than the years running up to it...even pre-Lendl. So that cant be the only reason for his lack of wins vs. the top guys now.

HB, that's interesting because you might argue he employed more variety pre 2012 to counter/ameliorate his FH issues.
Since his FH got stronger, so his variety shrivelled too as it became a more dominant shot for him.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:30 am

lydian wrote:Fair points LK, I don't dispute his emotions get the better of him...but then they always did...and his results post-2012 are far worse than the years running up to it...even pre-Lendl. So that cant be the only reason for his lack of wins vs. the top guys now.

HB, that's interesting because you might argue he employed more variety pre 2012 to counter/ameliorate his FH issues.
Since his FH got stronger, so his variety shrivelled too as it became a more dominant shot for him.

Not saying they are. I did make points earlier that areas in which he is strong in that are countered by others who are stronger. So he isn't going to win a war of attrition with Djokovic, Federer has the variety and controlled aggression to force Murray onto the back foot and Wawrinka when painting the lines blows Andy off court, though Andy has had difficulties in the past against power hitters. I am reluctant to put it down to decline as his results haven't fallen off a cliff. It's only through Nadal's lack of form that has bridged a gap in play between Murray and Nadal, but not enough to tip the scales completely.

Form, form and form.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:17 am

Yes, its an intriguing one with Murray...Lendl made him a focused mean-machine but it seems his body and mind couldn't sustain that.

I don't think Mauresmo is the right person to get him back to that focused slam winner...he needs a steely multislam winner.

A shame Andre A doesn't coach as think he would fit the bill perfectly.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:40 am

legendkillarV2 wrote:
lydian wrote:Fair points LK, I don't dispute his emotions get the better of him...but then they always did...and his results post-2012 are far worse than the years running up to it...even pre-Lendl. So that cant be the only reason for his lack of wins vs. the top guys now.

HB, that's interesting because you might argue he employed more variety pre 2012 to counter/ameliorate his FH issues.
Since his FH got stronger, so his variety shrivelled too as it became a more dominant shot for him.

Not saying they are. I did make points earlier that areas in which he is strong in that are countered by others who are stronger. So he isn't going to win a war of attrition with Djokovic, Federer has the variety and controlled aggression to force Murray onto the back foot and Wawrinka when painting the lines blows Andy off court, though Andy has had difficulties in the past against power hitters. I am reluctant to put it down to decline as his results haven't fallen off a cliff. It's only through Nadal's lack of form that has bridged a gap in play between Murray and Nadal, but not enough to tip the scales completely.

Form, form and form.


Yeah but how many war of attritions has he had in his h2h with Djokovic that have been decided in favor of Novak? I mean would you not say that his losses in recent years to Novak have had little or nothing to do with his fitness level. I mean he hasn't had a great level in first sets against Novak, is that due to the famously fit Murray breaking down after 45-60 minutes of tennis? To be honest the only times I think Murray lost to Djokovic and was broken down physically was one match against Novak at the AO in the finals where Novak put a lopsided last set on him after a physical 4 sets. Other than that the one match where one guy broke down other than that in their rivalry is the USO final of 2012 that Murray won in a wind storm in like a 5 set match where Novak was breaking down. So up till 2012 he actually was 1-1 in physical 5 setters where one or the other obviously is struggling physically.

I am sorry, I mean Roger wins because of variety, and Novak wins with attrition. I mean if he smokes some guy 6-1 in the first set winning dominating from the get go you will say that is Novak winning by attrition, even if there are few long rallies. The poor opponent doesn't have inferior shots he just got tired from the first points on.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:49 am

socal1976 wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:
lydian wrote:Fair points LK, I don't dispute his emotions get the better of him...but then they always did...and his results post-2012 are far worse than the years running up to it...even pre-Lendl. So that cant be the only reason for his lack of wins vs. the top guys now.

HB, that's interesting because you might argue he employed more variety pre 2012 to counter/ameliorate his FH issues.
Since his FH got stronger, so his variety shrivelled too as it became a more dominant shot for him.

Not saying they are. I did make points earlier that areas in which he is strong in that are countered by others who are stronger. So he isn't going to win a war of attrition with Djokovic, Federer has the variety and controlled aggression to force Murray onto the back foot and Wawrinka when painting the lines blows Andy off court, though Andy has had difficulties in the past against power hitters. I am reluctant to put it down to decline as his results haven't fallen off a cliff. It's only through Nadal's lack of form that has bridged a gap in play between Murray and Nadal, but not enough to tip the scales completely.

Form, form and form.


Yeah but how many war of attritions has he had in his h2h with Djokovic that have been decided in favor of Novak? I mean would you not say that his losses in recent years to Novak have had little or nothing to do with his fitness level. I mean he hasn't had a great level in first sets against Novak, is that due to the famously fit Murray breaking down after 45-60 minutes of tennis? To be honest the only times I think Murray lost to Djokovic and was broken down physically was one match against Novak at the AO in the finals where Novak put a lopsided last set on him after a physical 4 sets. Other than that the one match where one guy broke down other than that in their rivalry is the USO final of 2012 that Murray won in a wind storm in like a 5 set match where Novak was breaking down. So up till 2012 he actually was 1-1 in physical 5 setters where one or the other obviously is struggling physically.

I am sorry, I mean Roger wins because of variety, and Novak wins with attrition. I mean if he smokes some guy 6-1 in the first set winning dominating from the get go you will say that is Novak winning by attrition, even if there are few long rallies. The poor opponent doesn't have inferior shots he just got tired from the first points on.

See that bit in bold. I am painting scenario's in which Andy has main strengths which are countered by others. So if Andy decides in a match that he will try to wear Novak down with rallies, it won't work because of the gulf between them not just in endurance, but movement as the point I made earlier. Point in me in a direction in which players can hit their way through Novak?

Roger has always played aggressively against Andy from the get go. Roger's main strengths don't lie in persistent rallying.

Don't know why you feel this needs defending. I am praising Novak!

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:06 am

No you aren't praising him. The main reason I think Novak beats his opponents frankly is not that he is fitter than them. That doesn't explain all those 6-1,6-2,6-0 first sets he racks up. He beats his opponents by having a very good serve and being the best returner in the game. He beats them with his balanced and quality groundstrokes. And yes he is fit. But fitness would not be the deciding and all important factor in Murray v. Djoko, the vast majority of their matches.

I mean I am not picking on you, I am just using this post of yours, which unfortunately I feel is in error to highlight an error in the logic of many people when analyzing these matchups. I mean I have seen a crap load of Murray v. Djokovic match ups and few are decided on fitness. Most are decided by Novak treating Andy's second serve like how a wolf treats a cornered bunny rabbit to be honest. But the one thing you pick on that decides their one sided rivalry is fitness, why because it is Djokovic, and not what has actually happened in the 35 some odd times they have played. How many of Murray's loss have come in those matches because he brokedown physically for you to make that the main shortcoming he has compared to Djokovic and not his atrocious second serve numbers?


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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:38 am

PS when I say atrocious second serve numbers, I mean in his h2h matchup with Novak, not his serve number in general on second. In the rivalry the main difference in their matches has been Novak defending his second serve better than Murray defends his. Not that Novak grinds Andy to a pulp, that rarely happens.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:28 am

Fitness isn't confined to 6 hour marathons.

Long points require fitness. A 6-1 beatdown can be physically intense if the individual points are long. I'm sure if someone pulled up the stats for percentage of rallies won that are over ten shots in length, Djokovic would feature right near the top. Put it this way, isn't Djokovic favoured in the long rallies - against everyone? It used to be that Rafa was favoured the longer the rally went, not anymore. That's because Djokovic is now the fittest. In fact the long rallies require endurance more than the length of a match. 6 hours of Isner - Mahut is undoubtedly less taxing than 4 hours of Djokovic - Nadal.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:53 am

emancipator wrote:Fitness isn't confined to 6 hour marathons.

Long points require fitness. A 6-1 beatdown can be physically intense if the individual points are long. I'm sure if someone pulled up the stats for percentage of rallies won that are over ten shots in length, Djokovic would feature right near the top. Put it this way, isn't Djokovic favoured in the long rallies - against everyone? It used to be that Rafa was favoured the longer the rally went, not anymore. That's because Djokovic is now the fittest. In fact the long rallies require endurance more than the length of a match. 6 hours of Isner - Mahut is undoubtedly less taxing than 4 hours of Djokovic - Nadal.

Yes, and IMBL showed that by far the most common rally is under 4 shots. That long rallies are the exception not the norm. Again this running fact free narrative you guys are selling on here that it is playing all these lengthy rallies that exhaust players not the length of the match, is belied by how rare those said long rallies actually are. No one denies that long rallies can wear you out, but there simply isn't enough of them in most of these matches to do said fact, as stated rallies of even over 10 shots are few, over 20 shots are a rarity in matches.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Born Slippy on Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:49 pm

lydian wrote:I'm happy to accept that his back has played a role in his 2013 onwards issues in beating the very best.
BTW, I didn't call him a "tank" regarding his weight...Jamie Baker did..."Look at him, he's like a tank. The difference is that he has had six or seven years of a regular diet with that volume of training. When he first started working with Jez [Green] and Matt [Little] he was still training hard, so he's got to a point now where he can cope with anything which is thrown at him. When he first started with them his body wasn't in that position."

Murray spent the winter of 2013 putting a targeted couple of kilos of muscle on...its all documented in the press. So to think he's still the 84kg as listed on ATP Tour back in 2005/6 when he first came on the scene is laughable.

His FH is a weakness he's had to work on. Did you know he had a double-handed FH until he was 12/13.
This is why he has inherent flaws in it...up to working with Lendl he could barely hit a DTL FH. That's what Lendl got him working on specifically...and hitting high FHs...because Lendl's great play was going DTL with his FH. This movement though is very different...and I'm convinced that the combination of the biomechanics of drilling the DTL FHs (with its truncated motion vs x-court) and his weight training conspired to herniate his lower back (disc). Since then he's definitely struggled with movement vs. the top guys and his FH is reverting back to more cross-court again, a very predictable play for the top 3 to counter.

You seem to be saying that Andy had a two handed forehand when he won the Orange Bowl? I've literally never heard that before (or indeed that Andy had a two handed forehand at any stage). Are you sure you aren't getting confused with Rafa who I think had a double handed forehand until he was 9/10.

I would also be amazed if Andy was listed at 84kg in 2005. He can't have been more than 75kg at that stage.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:49 pm

No I'm not confused and yes he had a double-handed FH...geez I don't make this stuff up BS!!!!

From Jamie Baker who grew up with him:
Baker has grown used to looking up to Murray, despite being one year older. "I remember going to one of my first under-10 tournaments at the Dunblane tennis club," Baker said. "We were playing in a round-robin. He beat me 6-0. It was embarrassing.". Not that Baker remembers his friend as a particularly accomplished player at that age. "He had a double-handed forehand back then, up until he was about 12 or 13," the 26-year-old Glaswegian said. "All he did was hit moonballs. Everyone was saying, 'This guy has got no chance, he can't do anything with that.' And obviously his behaviour wasn't the best back then. If there was talent identification at the time it would have been tough for him."

Happy? This is the root of his FH issues...a SHFH is not a natural shot he's grown up with from Day 1. Hence the footwork issues when pulled out wide...hence his biomechanics being out of line...hence rotational/torsional pressure on his lower back that other players with a natural SHFH/open stance won't experience in the same way...etc etc.

I'm not buying the 85kg...and he's been listed as that on ATP for as long as I can remember. The guy is 6'3, broad shouldered and packed with muscle. However, I can't prove it so its my opinion. Like I say, Jamie called him a tank and guys at 85kg don't normally get called that.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Calder106 on Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:33 pm

Surprised that Jamie Baker didn't give tennis up getting beaten 6-0 by a player that wasn't very talented. Still if we accept what he says it's been a magnificent effort from Andy to win as much as he has. Wonder what happened to all those who were saying 'This guy has got no chance, he can't do anything with that.' .

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by bogbrush on Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:53 pm

socal1976 wrote:No you aren't praising him. The main reason I think Novak beats his opponents frankly is not that he is fitter than them. That doesn't explain all those 6-1,6-2,6-0 first sets he racks up. He beats his opponents by having a very good serve and being the best returner in the game. He beats them with his balanced and quality groundstrokes. And yes he is fit. But fitness would not be the deciding and all important factor in Murray v. Djoko, the vast majority of their matches.

I mean I am not picking on you, I am just using this post of yours, which unfortunately I feel is in error to highlight an error in the logic of many people when analyzing these matchups. I mean I have seen a crap load of Murray v. Djokovic match ups and few are decided on fitness. Most are decided by Novak treating Andy's second serve like how a wolf treats a cornered bunny rabbit to be honest. But the one thing you pick on that decides their one sided rivalry is fitness, why because it is Djokovic, and not what has actually happened in the 35 some odd times they have played. How many of Murray's loss have come in those matches because he brokedown physically for you to make that the main shortcoming he has compared to Djokovic and not his atrocious second serve numbers?

legendkiller, you should know by now that your praise of Djokovic (on a thread about Murray, by the way) must be unequivocal and shouted from the rooftops.

Failure to comply will mean you have to face all sorts of strawman arguments.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Born Slippy on Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:54 pm

Fair enough. I can find pictures of him in 1999 (aged 11/12) using a one handed forehand (looks technically very good as well), so I think Baker must be wrong on the age. It wouldn't surprise me as much if he had a two-hander at a younger age - that's relatively common (or at least was in the 90s).

I definitely wouldn't make a jump that is the reason for his bad back though. As I have pointed out, the shots which place his back under strain would be the two-handed backhand and serve - as evidenced by the fact those were the shots he struggled with in 2013.

Not sure about the weight. My instinct is that he is probably closer to 90kg but that's a guess. I'd be surprised if he was more than that.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:02 am

Born Slippy wrote:

I definitely wouldn't make a jump that is the reason for his bad back though.  As I have pointed out, the shots which place his back under strain would be the two-handed backhand and serve - as evidenced by the fact those were the shots he struggled with in 2013.


Nail on the head. thumbsup

Anyone who closely watches Murray's play can see how the backhands he plays involves a lot of action/movement around the hips and back. I'd say much more so than other players. That is all I will add here as I have no wish to get involved in a public slaughtering of a two time slam, Olympic Champion and Davis Cup winner.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by bogbrush on Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:15 am

90kg is heavy! It's 14st 2lbs!!

I know he's tall and built like a brick s***house but still, that seems heavy. The heavyweight division in boxing starts only 2lbs higher.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Calder106 on Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:38 am

This article written at the time Lydian is talking about and has the Jamie Baker 'tank' quote puts Murray at 13st 7lb which equates to 85kg. So if it is to believed it was only 1kg over what the ATP site says.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/jan/27/murray-musclesin-on-heavyweights

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:25 am

..and since that article there was another in the winter 2013 or 2014 (cant remember which) that said Murray had gone to Miami to train like a Trojan with the objective of adding another 2kg of muscle. I reckon he'll be around 90 kg...which is big...but then Murray IS big! Have you ever properly seen the size of his legs when he's not wearing his usual long shorts? I reckon after Berdych he's got some of the biggest/strongest legs on tour...

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:39 am

Ok here's some FH biomechanics of Federer - Nadal - Murray, look at these 3 FH sequence shots.
I've put red rings on them to highlight some key differences/issues.





You'll see there is a big difference between Murray's and Nadal/Federer.

1. Murray leans over much more going into the FH...compare
2. He doesn't play with an open stance so needs to rotate more
3. After hitting the ball, Murray's weight is on the same leg as FH arm...no transference of FH rotational weight to opposite leg
4. His finishing stance is "awkward" and falling backwards
5. Nadal's weight has transferred to opposite leg, hardly any bending and rotation looks smooth through out
6. Federer's weight also gets transferred to opposite leg...again a smooth stroke all the way through with little bending.

So you can see that Murray's FH is an awkward technique, a manufactured technique in going from DHFH to SHFH.
His core twists much more due to non-open stance, and he doesn't transfer the weight...this is asking for issues upon landing.

Murray has himself said his back got really bad when he moved to clay in 2013. Note his serve is no different on a clay court.
His BH isn't particularly different either. We know he need to lunge/bend even more for FHs on clay because of his stroke technique, lack of clay pedigree and general back position in generating the FH. Because of all this, exacerbated by a lack of open stance, he has to bend his back even more on clay to reach those out wide shots...which puts even more strain on his back.

Yes, there may have been general wear & tear too but I hope you can see above how awkward his FH motion is and the torsional strain it puts on his back because he's playing it bend over, falling backwards, and not transferring the weight/power generated (unloading the corkscrew).
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by JuliusHMarx on Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:44 am

Surely Murray compensates for that by being so relaxed on court Run

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:46 am

Lol JHM...he's literally wound up mentally and physically!

PS. To finish the above...please note his back issue is LOWER RIGHT...which correlates with the stress/biomechanical issues in the pictures above.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by JuliusHMarx on Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:03 am

He was in a difficult position though - he could have not gone to quite such physical extremes and ended up having a longer career 'peak' but never won a GS. Instead he's ended up getting a couple of GS wins and Olympic gold, which may be better than if he'd gone any other route.

It's hard to criticise someone who was always the bridesmaid for making a change that led to glory.

Much as I like Murray, and particularly admire his early, funny movies early, variety-based game, I can't begrudge him doing what he felt he needed to do to get that elusive GS.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:24 am

For sure JHM, that's my point in a way...I don't see him reaching those heights again.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Calder106 on Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:45 am

lydian wrote:..and since that article there was another in the winter 2013 or 2014 (cant remember which) that said Murray had gone to Miami to train like a Trojan with the objective of adding another 2kg of muscle. I reckon he'll be around 90 kg...which is big...but then Murray IS big! Have you ever properly seen the size of his legs when he's not wearing his usual long shorts? I reckon after Berdych he's got some of the biggest/strongest legs on tour...


The article I linked was written in January 2013. He definitely put on muscle/weight over the winter 2012/2013. Can't see the other article you speak about. Not saying you are wrong but would be surprised if he was training like trojan in the winter 2013/2014 just after his back operation. By winter 2014/2015 he was with Mauresmo and Jez Green had left and the impression given at the time was that Murray did not want to push training so hard by then.

His back problems started in 2012. He was struggling on clay that year. Remember the Nienimen match. He said then that he had a number of injections in his back to see him through the FO.

I don't doubt that the way he plays and the strive to be stronger could have led to the back problems but I don't think the blame was necessarily with Lendl as he had started down that track before Lendl came on board.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by socal1976 on Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:09 am

Lydian's photos are very interesting, I don't know if having a closed stance forehand in itself hurts his back. In actuality, most FHs used to be closed stance and some rotation in needed on any FH. The only other question I have for Lydian is that on a close stance FH like Murray you need more rotation on your CC FH than the Down the line FH. Why does Murray's injury arise from the down the line FH, when the CC FH would require more rotation and its the rotation that caused the injury? Plus he still even post Lendl hits I would say 80 plus percent of FHs inside out and CC. So I am not saying your diagnosis is wrong, he does seem to be falling backwards, which will create more strain on your back and shoulder as you defeat the weight transfer that should power that shot. Yet, the CC FH would put more strain than down the line, as it is a harder shot and requires more rotation. And even after Lendl he doesn't exactly hit that shot a great deal now either, he almost never hit it before so I agree he does hit it more.

I don't know though if I would give that technical flaw in the FH the responsibility for his back though, it doesn't exactly jibe with these questions I have.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by HM Murdock on Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:55 am

Lydian, superb post. I know very little about he mechanics of tennis technique, so it was great to learn something new. OK

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:37 am

To Lydian - thanks for the biomechanical comment.

General Comment:  One can tell just by watching Murray's matches, that although Murray is quick, he doesn't move as smoothly as Federer, Nadal, Djokovic.  His movement is a little clunky and he tends to reach more (stressing his back) and makes those grunts when he has to force himself to change direction.

Djokovic's movement seems unusual because he is like a bendy man, he slides on the hard courts, splaying his legs and sliding on the edge of his trainers.  I used to think he wouldn't last long - I still don't understand how he hasn't destroyed his ankles - his movement risks hypertension in his ankle ligaments - but he has never seemed to have a problem.

Lydian - you should write a book on this, a type of combination book on tennis, considering the era of Federer - Nadal - Djokovic  + "minor players" including Murray, looking at biomechanics and aspects of sports science.  The book would be useful in setting this period into the context of the history of tennis + adding some sports science & tips for the aspiring tennis player etc.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:26 pm

lydian wrote:Ok here's some FH biomechanics of Federer - Nadal - Murray, look at these 3 FH sequence shots.
I've put red rings on them to highlight some key differences/issues.





You'll see there is a big difference between Murray's and Nadal/Federer.

1. Murray leans over much more going into the FH...compare
2. He doesn't play with an open stance so needs to rotate more
3. After hitting the ball, Murray's weight is on the same leg as FH arm...no transference of FH rotational weight to opposite leg
4. His finishing stance is "awkward" and falling backwards
5. Nadal's weight has transferred to opposite leg, hardly any bending and rotation looks smooth through out
6. Federer's weight also gets transferred to opposite leg...again a smooth stroke all the way through with little bending.

So you can see that Murray's FH is an awkward technique, a manufactured technique in going from DHFH to SHFH.
His core twists much more due to non-open stance, and he doesn't transfer the weight...this is asking for issues upon landing.

Murray has himself said his back got really bad when he moved to clay in 2013. Note his serve is no different on a clay court.
His BH isn't particularly different either. We know he need to lunge/bend even more for FHs on clay because of his stroke technique, lack of clay pedigree and general back position in generating the FH. Because of all this, exacerbated by a lack of open stance, he has to bend his back even more on clay to reach those out wide shots...which puts even more strain on his back.

Yes, there may have been general wear & tear too but I hope you can see above how awkward his FH motion is and the torsional strain it puts on his back because he's playing it bend over, falling backwards, and not transferring the weight/power generated (unloading the corkscrew).

Think that point links into the weight transfer. Everything heavily transfers to the right side and you can guarantee that must've played a part in his back troubles. Aside from the technique, what I find with Murray's FH is that he plays it very late and it looks to me sometimes reluctance to hit right through with the power he intends.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by HM Murdock on Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:35 pm

I'd echo Nore Staat's comment. I find it intriguing that the three double-digit slam winners of this era move in such different ways and have such different styles. Any biomechanic analysis is fascinating.

Lydian - you have an audience!

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by HM Murdock on Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:42 pm

Also, those sequence shots highlight just how odd Nadal's forehand is. Totally distinctive. The timing and co-ordination required to hit is unbelievable.

Lydian, if you have the have pics and time to do something similar for Djokovic, I'd love to see it. It will be quite different to three above, I suspect. Bent arm, western grip etc.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by LuvSports! on Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:12 pm

Of all the players of the top 4, Djoko has deffo changed the most (re. forehand, serve and smash although for the worse).

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:33 pm

Cheers guys, will defo do Novak...I was trying to include him yesterday but couldn't find a good sequence of shots. If people are interested I can do BH and serve too.
But there is also more to cover on the FH side too inc. wrist pronation and the use of stretch shortening cycles.
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by HM Murdock on Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:58 pm

lydian wrote:Cheers guys, will defo do Novak...I was trying to include him yesterday but couldn't find a good sequence of shots. If people are interested I can do BH and serve too.
But there is also more to cover on the FH side too inc. wrist pronation and the use of stretch shortening cycles.
I'd love to see those too. The serve would be particularly interesting. For instance, is there a mechanical reason why Rafa has never had great serve (apart from 2010), why Murray's second serve has been so poor and why Djoko's second serve has become so much better?

It might be worthwhile having a separate thread, which could be placed a 'sticky'. It's the kind of thing that would be useful to refer to in the future.

Luvsports - I agree with you about Novak changing a lot over the years but do you mean you think his forehand and serve have changed for the worst? I think they are loads better now.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:37 pm

My impression is that Nadal tended to spin the ball on serve and into play rather than hitting it flatter and quicker.

I agree with the stickies forehand, serve, backhand.  It could inspire Lydian to write a book as well Smile.  
Caledonian Craig has experience in publishing books.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by LuvSports! on Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:07 pm

OK clap

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by LuvSports! on Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:10 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
lydian wrote:Cheers guys, will defo do Novak...I was trying to include him yesterday but couldn't find a good sequence of shots. If people are interested I can do BH and serve too.
But there is also more to cover on the FH side too inc. wrist pronation and the use of stretch shortening cycles.
I'd love to see those too. The serve would be particularly interesting. For instance, is there a mechanical reason why Rafa has never had great serve (apart from 2010), why Murray's second serve has been so poor and why Djoko's second serve has become so much better?

It might be worthwhile having a separate thread, which could be placed a 'sticky'. It's the kind of thing that would be useful to refer to in the future.

Luvsports - I agree with you about Novak changing a lot over the years but do you mean you think his forehand and serve have changed for the worst? I think they are loads better now.

Oh no I just meant the smash.
For me Novak has had three service careers. 05-08: good serve that could actually get into the 130's which he doesn't achieve now.
09-10: Todd Martin is a genius....
'11-now: Was great in '11, kind of levelled off from '12-'14 and then has been at its best ever since '15.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by kingraf on Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:43 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
lydian wrote:Cheers guys, will defo do Novak...I was trying to include him yesterday but couldn't find a good sequence of shots. If people are interested I can do BH and serve too.
But there is also more to cover on the FH side too inc. wrist pronation and the use of stretch shortening cycles.
I'd love to see those too. The serve would be particularly interesting. For instance, is there a mechanical reason why Rafa has never had great serve (apart from 2010), why Murray's second serve has been so poor and why Djoko's second serve has become so much better?

It might be worthwhile having a separate thread, which could be placed a 'sticky'. It's the kind of thing that would be useful to refer to in the future.

Luvsports - I agree with you about Novak changing a lot over the years but do you mean you think his forehand and serve have changed for the worst? I think they are loads better now.

Clearly someone doesn't read my posts ever!
Uncle Toni reckons its a rather simple cognitive issue. Nadal is of course actually right handed, and thus doesn't have the motor control/skill in his left arm/hand required to generate the adequate power off an accelerating ball.
I believe he started of right handed as well, so he'd have adopted the left handed serve later on in life and you know what they say about an old dog and new tricks. Neural plasticity is a real thing
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by HM Murdock on Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:53 pm

kingraf wrote:Clearly someone doesn't read my posts ever!
Uncle Toni reckons its a rather simple cognitive issue. Nadal is of course actually right handed, and thus doesn't have the motor control/skill in his left arm/hand required to generate the adequate power off an accelerating ball.
I believe he started of right handed as well, so he'd have adopted the left handed serve later on in life and you know what they say about an old dog and new tricks. Neural plasticity is a real thing
I thought the whole "Rafa is really right handed" thing was greatly exaggerated?

As I understood it, he used to play double handed on both sides but, when forced to choose by Toni, chose to play left handed as it felt more natural than playing right handed.

He's left-footed in football I believe too, but writes and plays golf right-handed.

But I find it hard to believe that his left handed power and coordination is developed enough to hit that forehand but struggles on a serve.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by kingraf on Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:20 am

HM Murdock wrote:
kingraf wrote:Clearly someone doesn't read my posts ever!
Uncle Toni reckons its a rather simple cognitive issue. Nadal is of course actually right handed, and thus doesn't have the motor control/skill in his left arm/hand required to generate the adequate power off an accelerating ball.
I believe he started of right handed as well, so he'd have adopted the left handed serve later on in life and you know what they say about an old dog and new tricks. Neural plasticity is a real thing
I thought the whole "Rafa is really right handed" thing was greatly exaggerated?

As I understood it, he used to play double handed on both sides but, when forced to choose by Toni, chose to play left handed as it felt more natural than playing right handed.

He's left-footed in football I believe too, but writes and plays golf right-handed.

But I find it hard to believe that his left handed power and coordination is developed enough to hit that forehand but struggles on a serve.

He didn't serve with both hands though.

I thought a Djokovic fan would appreciate the different mechanics required between groundstrokes and hitting accelerating balls overhead. This does leave the strange phenomena of Nadal having arguably the best overhead smash in the game. I tentatively put this down to the ball being a little closer to the net on a smash and thus the Power/placement equation is a little more to his liking. makes sense with regards to his serve as I believe he reverted to his older slower serve because he felt he couldn't control the bigger weapon, and I remember Toni saying that it was Jack Nicklaus saying " First strike far then focus on getting the ball inside" that inspired the 2010 serve change, which again backs up my power/placement equation hypothesis. Empirical evidence regarding his serve percentages during this period would be awesome though
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by HM Murdock on Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:10 am

kingraf wrote:I thought a Djokovic fan would appreciate the different mechanics required between groundstrokes and hitting accelerating balls overhead.
This is a good example of why I have doubts about your left-handed/right-handed thesis.

Djokovic hits a good serve but has a much weaker overhead smash. The explanation for this is nothing to do with left-handed/right-handed confusion as he is right handed across the board.

Rafa hits a good overhead smash but has a much weaker serve. I don't see any reason why his left-handed/right-handed has to be the explanation.

But even if it is, I'm interested from a biomechanical perspective what Rafa struggles to do with his serve.

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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:50 am

HM Murdock wrote:
lydian wrote:Cheers guys, will defo do Novak...I was trying to include him yesterday but couldn't find a good sequence of shots. If people are interested I can do BH and serve too.
But there is also more to cover on the FH side too inc. wrist pronation and the use of stretch shortening cycles.
I'd love to see those too. The serve would be particularly interesting. For instance, is there a mechanical reason why Rafa has never had great serve (apart from 2010), why Murray's second serve has been so poor and why Djoko's second serve has become so much better?

It might be worthwhile having a separate thread, which could be placed a 'sticky'. It's the kind of thing that would be useful to refer to in the future.
Yes - there is a technique reason to it...not aware the left/right thing is an issue tbh...his racquet used to point right back at the fence when going into the trophy position. He improved it for 2010 but haven't checked since. Worth looking at.
Great idea re: sticky...
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by lydian on Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:20 am

Ok, some more forehand analysis...have chopped pics up and stuck together so its easy to see differences.
I've also reversed Nadal so its easy to compare all as right-handers!

1. First FH unit turn

So you can see here the following:
1. Red circles - Nad/Fed/Djo all take racquet back immediately on the first step...Murray doesn't which means he can be late on FH prep when balls are hit hard
2. Yellow circles...Na/Fed/Djo all move their leg on the racquet arm forwards...this is classic open stance preparation. Murray instead uses the traditional opposite leg forwards. This has the dual issue of making him bend over more (!) and slower to react to balls outwide because he's had to bring the other side leg over first...this creates real issues for him on clay because if rushed he's then sliding on the wrong leg, versus the others who can slide into the FH in open stance and hit a FH back. This is the basis of what I was saying the other day about his back being strained by his base technique...he has to reach/stretch more than the others due to the "wrong" leg being put forward at the start of the FH prep.
3. Finally, Nad/Fed/Djo can already be seen to have a more stable/considered FH stroke...Murray's already looks rushed, and it is because he's got more ground to cover with his technique.


2. Take-back/hitting zone

Again, some key differences:
1. Red circles - Nad/Fed/Djo all have their weight transferring to the opposite leg so rotational power is unloaded smoothly and they have a wider axis to swing around. Murray's weight is on the same leg side as racquet meaning his core rotation is affected and lacks the same power in the follow through. In other words Murray is having to put more early power into the stroke than the others who rely more on innate swing. This will strain Murray's back.
2. Its probably harder to see on this shot but you can see on the ones I put up yesterday that Murray is leaning back more than the others. This is because his weight is on the wrong leg...i.e. the back leg.
3. Also, what is harder to see is that Nad/Fed/Djo all use stretch shortening cycles in their FH far more than Murray. This means that mid prep when the racquet is taken back, the head is pointing at the wall behind them with the wrist cocked. They then accelerate the racquet head forwards in a whipping motion. Murray does this far less because his racquet head position is different at the midpoint. This means he gets far less spin. Nadal creates SSC's like no other player. His FH is still pretty much unique to him through sheer wrist angle position leading to massive whip-acceleration. Kyrgios has an interesting FH, but his spin is from a rapid windscreen-wiper action employed at the end of the stroke.
4. Because Murray's weight is leaning back and he's following a more traditional low to high arc, this means he can often "top" the ball into the net. Which he does. It also happens because he changed his FH from western to semi-western but sometimes it slips back to W again, and this exacerbates the "topping" effect.
5. This preparation means Murray finds DTLs hard to hit also because he's generating less spin that the others...because the net is 6 inches higher at the tramline than middle. Lendl worked hard to get him to generate more spin, but to get that he having to bend even more with his technique to amplify the low-high stroke arc he has. More back work again.

3. The follow-through

Here you can again see differences. Nad/Fed/Djo have all finished with weight transference to the opposite leg. But not Murray, who finishes leaning back on the same leg. And because of this he's more prone to errors.
You can also see how much more dynamic the FHs are for Nad/Fed/Djo and why they develop so much more RPM than Murray. The open stance lets players uncoil more as weight shifts smoothly from one side to the other.

I hope you can see why Murray's FH technique has several issues. Many of which I feel are responsible for additional strain on his back and why its not as effective or dominating a shot (in general) vs. the big 3.

Thanks for reading!
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Re: Amazing stat I read...

Post by kingraf on Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:28 am

Henman Bill wrote:
kingraf wrote:Andy is going through a mid-career crisis. Baby. wife. Chucking balls at umpires. Mild accusations of fellow players doping. Champion of women's tennis. His head's gone

Putting together a series of non-related things and making them related and spinning it into a story - head's gone? Seriously, you could be successful as a journalist.

I was in the media game for long enough to know know how it goes
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