Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

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Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

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Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by socal1976 on Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:28 am

First topic message reminder :

Murray has a poor head to head with Djokovic is it because Djokovic is physically stronger conditioning wise or is Novak better technically, which is more important for this question we are asking which of these two are more important. There can be other factors but which of these two are more important.

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:52 am

Without using data one goes in circles.  Here is some data I posted in another thread.  The best interpretation is that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are more skilful and technically competent in playing tennis than Murray.  Only while Murray was with Lendl was Murray able to match their level.  However according to Lydian this resulted in Murray's back breaking down and the end of their partnership.  Lydian suggests that Murray's body has been damaged and is unable to reach the heights it reached during the Lendl reign.  Lydian suggests the reason why Murray's body broke down was due to fundamental deficiencies in his technique - causing damaging strain on his body when he was pushed to reach the level of Federer/ Nadal/ Djokovic.

In summary it seems that Murray has achieved the maximum given the fundamental deficiencies in his technique compared to Federer/Nadal/Djokovic.  This is discussed in more detail on Lydian's thread.  One can argue about his mental toughness etc but it seems, it is because of the deficiencies in Murray's technique that causes his mental unravelling when he is pushed to the limit of his ability by his opponent.

As always when I say "fundamental deficiencies" it is only in relation to the technical competence and smoothness of the opponents he repeatedly loses too that is Federer / Nadal / Djokovic in grand slam tournaments.

Nore Staat wrote:Murray's record against the top three in grand slams has never been good apart from a short blip when he was with Lendl.

Year / Slam / Winner / Score
Federer
2015   Wimbledon Federer 75 75 64
2014   Australian  Federer   63 64 67 63
2013   Australian Murray   64 67 63 67 62
2012   Wimbledon  Federer  46 75 63 64
2010   Australian Federer   63 64 76
2008    US Open Federer  62 75 62  
Wins 1/6.  Sets 5/16

Nadal
2014   French Nadal  63 62 61
2011   Wimbledon  Nadal  57 62 62 64
2011   French Nadal  64 75 64
2011    US Open  Nadal 64 62 36 62  
2010   Wimbledon  Nadal  64 76 64
2010   Australian Murray  63 76 30  RET
2008   US Open  Murray   62 76 46 64
2008   Wimbledon  Nadal   63 62 64
2007   Australian Nadal  67 64 46 63 61  
Wins 2/9.  Sets 9/25

Djokovic
2016  Australian Djokovic   61 75 76
2015  French Djokovic   63 63 57 57 61
2015  Australian Djokovic 76 67 63 60
2014   US Open Djokovic  76 67 62 64
2013   Wimbledon  Murray  64 75 64
2013   Australian Djokovic  67 76 63 62
2012   US Open  Murray  76 75 26 36 62
2012   Australian Djokovic  63 36 67 61 75
2011   Australian Djokovic  64 62 63
Wins 2/9.  Sets 13/23

Ivan Lendl demonstrated to the world what he believed when he saw Andy Murray play - that Andy Murray could challenge for the slams against the top three, beat them in the slams, and be a multi-slam winner.  Lendl proved this.  The results also show Murray couldn't do it on his own and highlights the importance of the team to get the best out of the player and the importance of the relationships within that team.


Last edited by Nore Staat on Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:59 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:58 am

No I would just say they play to their very best when it matters with more consistency than Murray. Murray needs the stars to align in his game for things to click and this is not the case for Federer, Djokovoc or Nadal.
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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by socal1976 on Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:42 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:Well it is certainly not fitness as his two slam wins have come in lengthy finals against Djokovic so that can be ruled out. But still don't see any option up in this poll that I'd agree with. If you were to add an option that it is down to consistency then I'd opt for that.

Yes, I get what you are saying. But consistency has both a fitness component and technical component. Shots that are technically sound and ball strikers with better timing will not only hit harder, heavier, and with more precision than their opponents, but rock solid technical swings will be more consistent on the whole than idiosyncratic or hitchy swings as a general rule. The clean technical advantage in a swing will make itself felt in consistency as it does in pace and weight of shot. Consistency also has a physical component, here I will make the devil's advocate position in that if you break down and your footwork suffers even good technical players will break down arriving late to a ball.

The crucial point of this thread Craig, and I wish more would participate, and I am not looking to get people just to agree with me; is that I want to see the views of the fitness v. shots debate. I specifically didn't want to open up a three way or four way race or six way race. I wanted people to answer the specific question of which of these two factors is MORE IMPORTANT IN COMPARISON JUST TO EACH OTHER. Hell you could say that these two options are 10th and 26th most important factor in the matchup, I still want to know which one do you place tenth and which one do you place 26th.

And I do wish you would all participate, many Murray fans as Danny has stated didn't vote because they felt other factors are more important. SO I AM NOT YELLING, ASKING NICELY WOULD ALL THOSE WHO THINK OTHER FACTORS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT STILL ANSWER THE NARROW COMPARISON QUESTION OF THESE TWO FACTORS IN THE RIVALRY FITNESS AND EXECUTION OF SHOTS. Please dear Murray fans and others, even if you don't think these are the number 1 or 2 reasons answer in COMPARISON which is more important compared to the other, fitness or shot execution?

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by Haddie-nuff on Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:55 pm

Sorry socal, with respect, I cannot. If I do not think that either of the choices you give are a factor than I cannot vote. The reasons I have given fall in neither category. Smile

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:00 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:Sorry socal, with respect, I cannot. If I do not think that either of the choices you give are a factor than I cannot vote. The reasons I have given fall in neither category. Smile

I fully agree. Increase the options and you may get more participants.
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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by hawkeye on Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:19 pm

Consistency? Pfft! Take any player and say if they hit their best shots more consistently then of course they would be a much better player. With Murray as I mentioned before he does not have a dictating forehand. ie he may be able to slap the ball for winners with it but obviously not consistently because that is by definition low percentage play but he doesn't have the control to be able to use it as a force to consistently dictate play in the way that most top pro's do. Same with his first serve. When he gets it in it is a weapon but the numbers show that for him to get it in he is playing more at the edges of what he can do. All players could take more risks on their first serve and would hit more aces but at the expense of missing more. Everyone trades chancing it or playing safe.


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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:31 pm

The question here, hawkeye, is why Andy Murray loses to Novak Djokovic more often than not? The same question can also be levied at every single other tennis player in the world as Novak rules tennis at the moment. As for Murray I know this will pain you but barring Djokovic, Federer and Nadal then Murray is some way above the rest of the players in the world - okay Stan has two slam wins but in every other way he is behind Murray.
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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by Haddie-nuff on Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:29 pm

However you want to view the fact that he loses more often than not against Djokovic is somewhat immaterial  in the current climate  as CC has pointed out.. the fact that he  still remains at  No 2 in the world, in spite of that , must show that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with either his tennis or his fitness.. what is shown is that for the time being at least Novak has proven his has been much stronger in the mental department than all other players including Andy and Rafa

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by bogbrush on Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:42 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:Sorry socal, with respect, I cannot. If I do not think that either of the choices you give are a factor than I cannot vote. The reasons I have given fall in neither category. Smile
There are no more options because the poll is intended only to ridicule the idea that fitness is a critical element of the sport by presenting it as an alternative, mutually exclusive, option to the other attributes. There is no genuine interest in the question, only in undermining the importance of fitness, and thereby from Murrays highly important statements on doping.
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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by Born Slippy on Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:05 pm

If we're honest, fitness is pretty low on the scale of important attributes in tennis. Of course, you have to have decent fitness but it's only really a differentiator if everything else is pretty even. If I was going to list the most important attributes in tennis I would list them as follows:

- Serve
- Groundstrokes
- Mental
- Speed/Movement
- Fitness
- Net game

Federer primarily loses to Novak because, whilst he has the edge on the serve, he is inferior to Novak on all of the next four key attributes. The fact he can keep the matches close (and indeed win on some faster surfaces) just highlights how important the serve remains.

Rafa primarily loses to Novak because he has a weaker serve and his groundstrokes are no longer as good as Novak's.

Murray primarily loses to Novak because mentally he doesn't bring his best in the big matches. He will constantly serve poorly just when he needs his serve the most and, even when he does get on top, will suddenly throw in a couple of loose games to let Novak back in.

Basically, Novak's the best in the world because he has the best groundstrokes, nearly always brings his best in the big matches (something he fairly obviously didn't do in 2012-14), is lightning quick and has above average fitness. The first two of those points are by far the most important.

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:22 pm

Born Slippy wrote:If we're honest, fitness is pretty low on the scale of important attributes in tennis. Of course, you have to have decent fitness but it's only really a differentiator if everything else is pretty even. If I was going to list the most important attributes in tennis I would list them as follows:

- Serve
- Groundstrokes
- Mental
- Speed/Movement
- Fitness
- Net game

Federer primarily loses to Novak because, whilst he has the edge on the serve, he is inferior to Novak on all of the next four key attributes. The fact he can keep the matches close (and indeed win on some faster surfaces) just highlights how important the serve remains.

Rafa primarily loses to Novak because he has a weaker serve and his groundstrokes are no longer as good as Novak's.

Murray primarily loses to Novak because mentally he doesn't bring his best in the big matches. He will constantly serve poorly just when he needs his serve the most and, even when he does get on top, will suddenly throw in a couple of loose games to let Novak back in.

Basically, Novak's the best in the world because he has the best groundstrokes, nearly always brings his best in the big matches (something he fairly obviously didn't do in 2012-14), is lightning quick and has above average fitness. The first two of those points are by far the most important.

Yes a fair assessment that I would say. For Andy there are too many ifs to consider prior to matches against Roger, Rafa and Novak. Such as IF his first serve fires, IF he is aggressive and pro-active rather than reactive and IF he can stay mentally tuned in then he has a chance. The other three then those attributes come more natural and more consistently to them so there you have it.
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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by temporary21 on Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:14 pm

I think an overarching theme here is we are focusing a lot on why other people are worse than Novak, rather than thinking about why Novak is so much better than the rest.

I think Murray does most of what he reasonably can, maybe a new coach to help temper his emotions a bit more, but really even then he probably isnt a shot for shot match for Novak.

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by socal1976 on Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:59 am

Born Slippy wrote:If we're honest, fitness is pretty low on the scale of important attributes in tennis. Of course, you have to have decent fitness but it's only really a differentiator if everything else is pretty even. If I was going to list the most important attributes in tennis I would list them as follows:

- Serve
- Groundstrokes
- Mental
- Speed/Movement
- Fitness
- Net game

Federer primarily loses to Novak because, whilst he has the edge on the serve, he is inferior to Novak on all of the next four key attributes. The fact he can keep the matches close (and indeed win on some faster surfaces) just highlights how important the serve remains.

Rafa primarily loses to Novak because he has a weaker serve and his groundstrokes are no longer as good as Novak's.

Murray primarily loses to Novak because mentally he doesn't bring his best in the big matches. He will constantly serve poorly just when he needs his serve the most and, even when he does get on top, will suddenly throw in a couple of loose games to let Novak back in.

Basically, Novak's the best in the world because he has the best groundstrokes, nearly always brings his best in the big matches (something he fairly obviously didn't do in 2012-14), is lightning quick and has above average fitness. The first two of those points are by far the most important.

I agree BS on your list, I basically value fitness about the same. However I would put the return up after serve or even right before. Blunting his opponents biggest weapon is a huge deal and the fact that Novak outplays everyone on the FIRST BALL on average when you combine both returning and serving.

I think you hit the nail on the head in regards to fed, when Fed has a big serving day, usually in a three set match on a quick surface he can get the best of Novak if he can serve well and save his BPs.

In regards to Murray I can't see how anyone could watch their matchup and not THINK THAT THE BIGGEST issue for Murray is how badly he does when he hits his second serve to Novak and how much better Novak does in defending his second serve.

For me Novak's Serve, Return, Groundstrokes, and speed would all trump fitness. But of course the fitness fanatics, fitness is the most important people can't have it that way. No only Federer dominates with shots and ball striking. Novak and Nadal they only win with fitness. As if Novak went out there and was just some regular pro with decent racquet skills who just ground every body into a pulp. That of course doesn't explain how he wins almost every first set and many of them with 6-01-6-1 and 6-2 scorelines. Oh the argument goes its not that the world class athlete from across the net got tired in the first 10-30 minutes of a match, no THIS IS MY FAVORITE he was AFRAID HE WOULD get tired later so he pressed too hard early on and that resulted in all the errors and misses in the first part of the match. So if exhaustion doesn't win matches for Novak, then its the fear of exhaustion that wins it for him.

Laughable nonsense.

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by socal1976 on Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:13 am

bogbrush wrote:
Haddie-nuff wrote:Sorry socal, with respect, I cannot. If I do not think that either of the choices you give are a factor than I cannot vote. The reasons I have given fall in neither category. Smile
There are no more options because the poll is intended only to ridicule the idea that fitness is a critical element of the sport by presenting it as an alternative, mutually exclusive, option to the other attributes. There is no genuine interest in the question, only in undermining the importance of fitness, and thereby from Murrays highly important statements on doping.

I actually don't care about the doping allegations, what I care about is this fact free fitness argument that none of you ever support with an iota of facts other than your own beliefs and biases. I mean Andy Murray made a couple of annoying comments this month, the fitness is the most important thing in tennis crowd has been making annoying fact-free statements for years, which of the two do you think annoys me more? Yes this thread was meant to ridicule a ridiculous position. I mean the idea that Novak wins more because he is fitter and grinds everyone down with fitness, as opposed to breaking his opponents serve 37 percent of the time is so laughable and ridiculous that there is only one response someone who actually understands the game will have.

But there very much is a second reason I wrote this thread, I wanted to see how many of the good posters from V2 are suffering from this fact-free delusion (that is never supported by a single statistic just the anectodal certainty of people like BB and Emanci) and if with my superior knowledge of playing the game for 30 years I could help them to break the spell of this often repeated nonsense. It really is an experiment to see how effective propaganda divorced from facts and driven completely by bias is in the modern world.

As I have said before the next statistical evidence I see in support of fitness is most important thing in tennis crowd, well it will be the first time I have ever seen any actual real world numbers in support of their position. It is amazing how many years some can beat a dead horse without actually positing any back up other than their own opinion.

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by socal1976 on Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:19 am

hawkeye wrote:Consistency? Pfft! Take any player and say if they hit their best shots more consistently then of course they would be a much better player. With Murray as I mentioned before he does not have a dictating forehand. ie he may be able to slap the ball for winners with it but obviously not consistently because that is by definition low percentage play but he doesn't have the control to be able to use it as a force to consistently dictate play in the way that most top pro's do. Same with his first serve. When he gets it in it is a weapon but the numbers show that for him to get it in he is playing more at the edges of what he can do. All players could take more risks on their first serve and would hit more aces but at the expense of missing more. Everyone trades chancing it or playing safe.


The best FH I ever hit in my life was better than a mediocre FH that Roger Federer hit. The fact that I can't reproduce that technique anywhere nearly enough to compete in matches, sets, let alone games with a top ATP pro is the difference. Consistently and easily repeatable technique is what gives rise to consistency. A player who can be aggressive without redlining is the often the player with the technically better strokes. Good post HE, I fully agree.

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

Post by Danny_1982 on Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:53 pm

I like the graph above that shows Murray's performance v top 3 with Lendl and without Lendl. What is clear is that whatever Lendl did to Murray enabled him to elevate himself to go into big matches with his big rivals with pretty close to a 50-50 shot.

I know of a few changes Lendl made during his regime:

1 - stopped Murray training with his rivals. No more practice sets v Novak, as he wanted Andy to treat Novak like an enemy, not a friend.

2 - ordered him to stay on the baseline and always play aggressive shots in practice. I guess he was trying to make this Andy's default. "You're losing because your backside is against the back fence of the court" is one Lendl quote I remember Andy admitting to early in their partnership.

3 - Particular focus on improving the depth of Murray's forehand.

4 - got Andy playing tie-breaks over and over in training, to try and get him into 'big point' mentality more often.

5 - cut down hugely on the amount of serves he hit in practice. He thought Andy was so damaging his serve percentages because he practiced too often.

I remember Lendl saying he couldn't believe how good a player he was. Way more capable than he thought. I must admit I wonder what Andy's trophy haul would look like if he'd hired Lendl a few years earlier, if if they hadn't split when they did.

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Re: Why does Andy Murray lose to Novak Djokovic more often than not?

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