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44 of 51 points won on serve against Ferrer, the serve is looking lethal

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44 of 51 points won on serve against Ferrer, the serve is looking lethal Empty 44 of 51 points won on serve against Ferrer, the serve is looking lethal

Post by socal1976 Fri 25 Jan 2013, 6:04 am

The serving numbers were quite astounding. Djokovic won over 90 percet of points on first serve, 80 percent of points on second serve and in 11 service games lost 7 points to one of the top 5 returners in the game. To me Novak's serve is better than it has ever been, it is better than it was in 2012 and better than it was in 2010. Now some may point to the Wawrinka match where he lost his serve 5 times in a row. To me that was a bit of fluke for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have never seen Wawrinka ever return like that. I think Novak was going for safe serves at first expecting Wawrinka to do what Wawrinka always does on the return games, which is to chip most balls back off both sides. But stan did something really unexpected and went after the return, which left Novak a bit stunned and surprised. ONce Novak adjusted later after the first set and half, Wawrinka again had great difficulty in dealing with Novak's serve and Novak put together a string of consecutive service holds that allowed him to finally get the break he needed. Novak is hitting his spots much better on the serve, he is dialed in to where those corners are and it is really flowing for him. IN 2010 he had a WTA serve, in 2011 and 2012 he had a good ATP serve not a great one. This year and at the end of last year the serve has become better but often in 2011 he was sloppy with the short forehand playing behind the serve. This year he seems to be both hitting his spots better and more consistently, while backing him up his serve with the forehand that reaked havoc on the tour in 2011. For the whole tournament he has been broken a total 8 times in 20 sets. That is .4 breaks per set, with the way he returns if he can replicate these type of serving numbers look out the rest of the tour. The ultimate test for his serve will be if he faces murray the other great returner on tour. There is sure to be a couple of breaks in that match up, but still .4 breaks per set for a guy who breaks his opponents about 1/3 of the time is going to put his opponents under constant pressure. The big knock on Novak is that he had a good second delivery, (very important) but he didn't get enough free points on the first serve. Well I think this year he will change that perception.


Last edited by socal1976 on Fri 25 Jan 2013, 6:23 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 25 Jan 2013, 6:20 am

Or perhaps the Ferrer match stats were a bit of a fluke (more likely) as that match was more akin to having all the pressure of a early morning knock-up in practice. Novak's serve was creaking against Wawrinka and even Berdych picked holes in it at times. Lets see where it is in the final before getting too excited is what I say.
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Post by socal1976 Fri 25 Jan 2013, 6:29 am

Craig I was pretty happy with Novak's serve at the end of 2012 in the indoor campaign as well. The big problem Novak had was that his forehand was bit sketchy at times last year, which is odd for him. A player like Novak needs the short forehand to work in conjunction with the serve it wasn't for stretches of the 2012 campaign. I think we are seeing a clear trajectory of steady improvement in his first serve from the summer of 2010 when he canned Martin and went back to the old motion till today. Is he pete sampras, no, but Ferrer is no chump on the return. Neither is Berdych who was fortunate really to get the one break he did because Novak again made two or three bad errors on short balls in one service game in that second set. I would be very surprised if 2013 isn't his best serving year ever. The forehand was the shot that at times let him down in 2012, and this year it looks crisper. Even in the wawrinka match he went on a very lengthy streak of holds when he needed. Murray of course still can break him, but even a modest improvement in the first serve for a player will pay big dividends. Lets remember that ferrer gets breaks against pretty much everyone not named Federer, so I think we will see an improved serve all year long this year. Best Novak has played since Rome of 2011.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 25 Jan 2013, 6:46 am

Without doubt Novak is looking very good and how good we will get a much better idea on Sunday I reckon. I am loathe to judge his serve on the back of the Ferrer match for obvious reasons. Let us see how his serve holds up against a real test is what I am saying. Does look like being a very good year for Novak though.
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Post by socal1976 Fri 25 Jan 2013, 6:52 am

Yes he doesn't seem to have the same weight of expectation and this year he went to the offseason healthy which must have helped with his prepartion. Again, one point I want to make is that I am not just basing this on the ferrer match. The tournament as whole and his steady progression with his serve from the summer of 2010 till now. I mean frankly in 09 and 10 he had the worst serve in the top 20, Ferrer included. He had a serious case of the yips that dogged his results for 2 years.

To me murray is the guy standing in the way and he has also improved so it becomes an interesting race as both thoroughbreds will push each other and get their wins against the other. I just give Novak a slight edge in that department.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 25 Jan 2013, 7:07 am

Oh yes definitely his serve has improved since 2009/10 that much is certain. Djokovic and Murray do have similarities in their rise up through the ranks to where they are now. To me Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had the natural talent and tweaked parts of their game here and there to stay at the top. For Djokovic and Murray though they have had to work hard on aspects of their game such as fitness, serve and movement etc and this sort of hard work ethic I warm to. That takes great dedication and determination and for me makes it more rewarding when the big match wins come. As for the Murray V Djokovic rivalry it is an exciting one as in it has the uncertainty of who will win? The Nadal/Federer rivalry has went through phases as in Fed was largely dominant in the early encounters and then that reversed and Nadal was dominant whereas with Murray/Djokovic it hasn't seen that ....yet.


Last edited by CaledonianCraig on Fri 25 Jan 2013, 7:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by socal1976 Fri 25 Jan 2013, 7:16 am

I think both guys will go through purple patches where they score big wins or maybe string together a couple against the other, I mean after 17 matchups and years of playing each other I think there won't be any surprises. Right now I see little to choose between them, although I think I would still give the slight edge to Novak because he has a bit better second serve, although Murray can get after it because of his quality and Novak's up the line forehand is a little more fluid. Murray has the better slice backhand and volleys, but the second serve is such a huge part of the game and that slight edge for Djokovic helps. Although I think Andy's second delivery has become a notch better as well. Neither player is standing pat Craig, that is what I like about both guys they keep working, keep adding, and comeback more polished each year. I think Novak's injury and the weight of expectation last year hurt him. I think he needed most of the offseason to recover and that hurt his preparation for 2012. This year he finished he end of 2012 in good physical shape and could spend some more time in the gym and on the court in the offseason. Murray and Djoko fans have a lot to look forward to barring serious injury issues.

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Post by luciusmann Fri 25 Jan 2013, 1:12 pm

It will be interesting to see what happens against Murray. Murray is a completely different proposition to Ferrer: Murray is a proven grand slam winner, and he's now made 3 grand slam finals in a row (plus the Olympics final), a man for the big finals. Of course the Aussie open has become Djokovic's fiefdom, and Nadal withheld the barrage Djokovic made on his fiefdom (RG) so Djokovic may withstand the barrage he's under now but unlike Nadal, Djokovic has actually been pushed by Murray to 5 sets at the Aussie Open and lost to him @ the USO. Now Murray's won a grand slam, he'll know what it takes and I hope their potential match is not finished quickly, but I really can see Murray winning the match in 4 sets. It's good for the game that there is someone who can actually challenge Djokovic's dominance of the hardcourt slams consistently. Nadal tried (post 2010) and failed but Murray has done it but can he continue?

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Fri 25 Jan 2013, 1:18 pm

Novak serves better than Federer this last few weeks. Murray won't see any opportunities to break.
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Post by socal1976 Sun 27 Jan 2013, 12:32 pm

Do you believe in the Djokovic serve now? What a serving performance. Ferrer and Murray in two 5 set matches and zero breaks

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sun 27 Jan 2013, 12:34 pm

I believe in his serve - but I thought matches dominated by serve were boring? Smile

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Post by socal1976 Sun 27 Jan 2013, 12:36 pm

Not if it is dominated by Djokovic's serve, julius you know that.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sun 27 Jan 2013, 12:38 pm

Murray only had 4 BP's in the first 4 and a half sets. Surprising how timid Murray was returning.
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Post by socal1976 Sun 27 Jan 2013, 12:42 pm

Novak has a great second serve and spotted it excellently today, JM

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