Can I just say.....

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Can I just say.....

Post by timex please on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 5:04 pm

Well done Jamie Murray for your third slam victory OK and Bruno Soares too, of course. Hopefully many more trophies to come for this pair - look forward to seeing them at O2

Absolutely brilliant year for British Tennis with Murray Jnr's great season, Murray Snr's 2 slams and Heather Watson's mixed triumph. clap clap clap

Or, and fab from Stanimal - some breathtaking stuff from both players.

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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by lydian on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 6:11 pm

Yep 3 slams each now for the Murray Bros...albeit singles vs. doubles titles. Still Jamie is starting to make a statement... #1 doubles player too.

I like that Stan has made it the Big5...

It's interesting to note the modern way of playing, which was actually arguably started by Safin & Federer. It concerns playing without an overt strategy within the points. Just use ball striking ability to hit or serve hard into the corners and mop up loose balls with FH putaways.

Rafa is still valiantly clinging on to the old method of building points, playing chess. It's clever but it's not effective any more. The modern breed of player simplifies it down by cutting through tactics and simply hitting the other guy off court. It also arguably requires less "nerve" because there is less brain used in point construction. Rafa needs to ditch Toni and get a coach who can make hit with the natural power he has rather than overly spinning everything. Slower courts also makes it harder for Rafa to win this way too.

Instead we see guys like Delpo, Stan, Pouille...and many others espouse this approach. Some more effectively than others depending on their ball striking ability. Federer actually played this way too...one reason why he's stayed so effective for so long. It's essentially a relatively simple game to implement because the guys play on their terms. Tactics aren't that necessary. This approach is producing a shift in coaching methods towards flatter hitting.

It makes for a very interesting spectacle...when you have a contrast of styles at play. Stan (and Delpo) is definitely at the forefront of this new approach, and kudos has to go to Magnus Norman for refining and weaponising this in built ability Stan had. Just you watch more and more players adopt an all or nothing approach in future. Nadal knows it too...but will he do anything about it?

Anyway, great match last night...some unreal rallies and Djokovic was like a wall...it was just that Stan had a wrecking ball!
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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by Guest on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 6:51 pm

Lydian - what do you think of Monfils efforts in the semi-final?  Do you think that it is a new type of style Monfils could build upon?  Monfils says it was all part of a master plan to beat Djokovic but it didn't quite work out for him.

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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by Guest on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 6:56 pm

timex please wrote:Well done Jamie Murray for your third slam victory OK  and Bruno Soares too, of course.  Hopefully many more trophies to come for this pair - look forward to seeing them at O2

Absolutely brilliant year for British Tennis with Murray Jnr's great season, Murray Snr's 2 slams and Heather Watson's  mixed triumph.  clap clap clap

Or, and fab from Stanimal - some breathtaking stuff from both players.
Yes it was a good year for the Brits.  Hoping to see Jamie Murray and his partner create some sort of dominance over the next few years in the mens doubles.  Hoping to see Andy regularly challenging in the slams and winning one or two a year for the next two years or so.  Laura Robson looks to be getting back into form and over her injury nightmare.  Three British women in the top 100: Konta, Watson, Broady.  Broady looks like a potentially powerful player.  Four Brit men in the top 100: Murray, Evans, Edmund, Bedene.  Hoping that Dan Evans can maintain the effort and motivation to get into the top 50.  Edmund looks like a potential top 30 and hopefully top 20 player.

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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by lydian on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 7:14 pm

Hi NS,
I thought Monfils was good until the semis, being aggressive and executing a simple game, however bizarrely he dropped that (winning) approach to adopt a different style vs Djokovic.

Of late he has been hitting flatter with less "mucking around". The problem in the semis was that he decided to use his brain to try and junk ball Djokovic. It was completely the opposite way of playing that Stan adopted last night and we saw what happened to Gael in those first 2 sets. It was the wrong way. Only when he reverted to the method of hitting flat and hard again did he become successful, taking a set off Djokovic.
So the way to beat retrievers like Nadal, Djokovic (who can hit flat too), and Murray is basically to hit through them. These guys are far too good at "chess" to generally beat them that way.

The problem for Monfils is that he probably can't sustain hitting that way for 4-5 sets...whereas Stan is surprisingly fit. But he might be able to blow Novak off court in 3 sets if it all clicks perfectly. Might as well go down in a blaze of glory than try to beat these guys with cat & mouse tactics which simply won't work...as it showed in those 1st 2 sets Gael played vs Novak.
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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by Guest on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 7:22 pm

Hi Lydian, thanks for that analysis.  Yes Junk-Ball Tennis - I like the label.  Monfils basically said he wasn't able to execute it properly.  The Junk Ball tennis led to him playing "rubbish" his own words.  I think with a Junk Ball style you need to be extremely good: varying the pace, varying the angle, looking lackadaisical one minute in your movement (when you have the time) but then being blindingly quick and solid the next.  Maybe someone like Federer could pull it off.  The element of surprise and off-putting body language could put off the opponent.

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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by lydian on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 7:23 pm

Evans has top 20 talent with top 150 hard work...if he can really knuckle down and work on his physique and fitness he could be pushing the too guys like Stan more often. He's that good.

Edmund has a top 10, maybe top 5, forehand. That's what he can build his game around...similar to Jack Sock. I don't see him going much higher than 25 though as don't think he quite has enough in his game. However, 25 isn't bad at all!
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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by lydian on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 7:35 pm

Not many can make junk ball work, it's really hard not to throw your own game off unless it IS your own game. Brad Gilbert and Fabrice Santoro are 2 that come to mind who could negate their opponents power by throwing in weird and unexpected shots. We know how much Safin (probably the first modern Stan-like player along with Federer) hated playing Santoro.

The problem for Gael is that he's not a natural junk baller so it doesn't come natural to him. However, he has been guilty of playing tennis without much purpose...whereas junk ball is a definite strategy.

Murray was a great junk baller actually, but he also had the physique to change to hard flat hitter which is essentially what Lendl has done with him. He's not pure "Stan" but he can hit hard for patches mixed with his retrieving and variety styles. In years gone by he struggled when transitioning from the clear strategy of employing junk ball tactics (which Federer for one hated) to the newer more power focused strategy.

My belief is that all modern players need a simple to implement hard hitting approach. It's actually easier to execute than the chess approach of Nadal, slowly moving the player around until check-mate.

The challenge is for the older chess players to change styles if they want to be a slam threat. We see the new guys like Kyrgios, Zverev and Fritz really use this approach - that is the future of tennis.

And for me that's a shame...
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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 8:34 pm

Yeah that's a shame. Nadal has spoken about this modern trend of tennis too, with a hint of regret I must say.

I find Nadal having the ability to play this 'modern'way too, its a matter of whether he wants it or not. When he was a 17 year old playing on the HC at AO, he was hitting big and a flatter FH for many clean winners. In fact he's alot more aggressive back then, at least when playing on the HCs.

He was playing some hard hitting, more aggressive tennis too at USO2010, Canada and Cincy 2013 too and had his successes back then. I was hoping he continued to play that way, at least on the HCs, but he seemed to revert back to clay court style tennis on the HCs again which I find is a pity.

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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 8:44 pm

Regarding Monfils, I thought he would come out to play his SF the way he played Nadal at the MC final this year. In that final he was playing aggressive attacking tennis and won the first set. Had he played that way too in this USO SF and sustained it long enough, who knows, he might even beat the lack lustre Djoko. I wonder what was the advice his coach had given him prior to the SF match. Why such an awful gameplan for Monfils which he clearly wasnt able to implement properly?

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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 10:01 pm

yes well done Jamie Murray

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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by lydian on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 10:25 pm

Yes BLB, Nadal was much more aggressive in his teens than any of his later years. To watch a 17 year old play Federer at Miami 2004 is to be amazed by his ability and aggressiveness at that age...against the #1 player.



But then the courts were quicker. I actually believe the slowing of the courts has not helped Nadal anywhere as much as people think. His innate nature was to be more aggressive than Murray or Djokovic, but he became much more defensive over time as courts and balls slowed. I also feel Toni told him to become more defensive to grind down opponents through his superior fitness. In other words he turned Nadal into a typical Spanish clay courter when he was a lot more than that.

Now he's unlikely to get that aggression back, it requires the un-programming of the last 8-10 years of playing, and how much does he WANT it? Guess we'll find out...surely the Pouille loss has finally told him something has to change.
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Re: Can I just say.....

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Tue 13 Sep 2016, 6:44 am

Yeah, I am with you there about the slowing of courts not helping Nadal. I mean he won three HC titles ( two of which were Masters) in 2005 as a 19 year old; back then the courts were quicker too and he was able to beat Agassi and Luby on the HCs to win. On quicker courts, Nadal would let his aggressive self take over and hit more aggressive shots with that big FH.

I blame Toni too for slowing Nadal - the most obvious was telling him to take his time to think before he served, thus leading to Nadal going over the time limit. Nadal now has a hard time keeping within the time limit and tends to rush when he serves, imo affecting the quality of his serve. I also blame Toni, for not having the foresight of developing Nadal's serve from young.

Perhaps Toni thought Nadal was just good to play on clay and deem it unnecessary for him to have a big serve, that's my guess. He probably think that Nadal would not do well on the other surfaces but helped him to win on grass at Wimbledon since Nadal expressly said that he wanted to win Wimbledon.

Maybe, just maybe, Toni could see the trend of slowing of surfaces and so thought that Nadal could grind down his opponents to win, even on the slowed down HCs.

PS. Yeah, that Pouille defeat perhaps served as a wake up call for him, that he needs to be aggressive from the get go, instead of having to chase from behind all the time. I hope that 2013 Nadal would appear, at least the more aggressive mindset if not that high level of play as well.

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