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Djokovic party time!!!

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sportslover
It Must Be Love
greengoblin
R!skysports
slashermcguirk
Silver
Jahu
paulcz
temporary21
Danny_1982
Pomar
HM Murdock
socal1976
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Post by socal1976 Sun 1 Feb - 14:01

It is no small accomplishment joining the Agassi, Connors, and Lendl club in total slams. The man deserves his due. He is a player who has been number for 3 out of the last 4 years and is looking to become number one for 4th year out of 5. He doesn't win easy, he plays in more tough slam matches than anyone. He wins some and he loses some. But nobody, and I mean nobody has won as many AO titles in the open era as on Novak Djokovic. Lets appreciate the many things that are wonderful about Novak. Best returner in the world who got through two crap service performances at the tail end of the AO by abusing his opponents serve. But he is one of the great players in the history of this game. And you can knock him if you like but you can't change the facts. Novak is an all time great.

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Post by HM Murdock Sun 1 Feb - 14:19

I'll join this party!

Novak puts me through the emotional wringer more than is entirely healthy but watching his career unfold has been a pleasure.

Tonight I am going to celebrate in wild fashion by pouring a Highland Park and quietly reading the coverage on the internet.

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Post by socal1976 Sun 1 Feb - 14:28

There you go Murdoch, lets enjoy it. This is what it is all about, enjoying the roller coaster ride that is Novak Djokovic at a slam. Believe baby Believe!!!!!

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Post by Pomar Sun 1 Feb - 14:54

I will gladly join you Bubbly Yahoo

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Post by Guest Sun 1 Feb - 14:55

I won't join you. You guys suck! tomato

Seriously the guy is up there. A top tenner in the ATG list.

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Post by socal1976 Sun 1 Feb - 14:57

Cmon Lk, Murray fans are welcome don't f-up the party on another day the shoe will be on the other foot. Pomar you are welcome, help yourself to some adult beverages lets enjoy the greatness of the Nole.

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Post by Danny_1982 Sun 1 Feb - 15:06

I would join in, but my football team are currently rubbing in some vinegar to add to the salt which has already been aggressively inserted into the wound! Sad

Novak should definitely get to double figures, and then he'll finally get the appreciation he deserves.

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Post by temporary21 Sun 1 Feb - 15:19

RedWine Hes now got something not even Roger has

The tally of 17... do we dare?

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Post by socal1976 Sun 1 Feb - 15:50

from your lips to god's ears danny. Lets enjoy number 8 temporary.

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Post by paulcz Sun 1 Feb - 15:58

Hi all fans of the new Great thumbsup
It is really a right time to join your party.
Now Nole has evened up his number of titles with Boris (49) and got to the same number of GS titles with Lendl, Connors and Agassi (8).
Thereby Nole ranked himself among the best tennis players ever. It is a great success from anybody from such a small country.
I like one apt description of his game strategy which is to play as a fisherman, i.e. to pull and then to loosen and doing it round and round. He must be a perfect angler Cool

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Post by Jahu Sun 1 Feb - 16:07

I'm joining the party, heck maybe Djoko can share some of his acting hurt tricks, so I can use them when not in a mood for sex with ladies Laugh

Enjoy it Djoko fans, you deserve it. thumbsup clap
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Post by Silver Sun 1 Feb - 16:26

socal1976 wrote:Cmon Lk, Murray fans are welcome don't f-up the party on another day the shoe will be on the other foot. Pomar you are welcome, help yourself to some adult beverages lets enjoy the greatness of the Nole.

You got room for a fan of the Swiss shanker in here? Wink

Seriously though congrats, 8 slams is huge. He's already an ATG in my mind, a truly exceptional player.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 2 Feb - 5:05

Silver wrote:
socal1976 wrote:Cmon Lk, Murray fans are welcome don't f-up the party on another day the shoe will be on the other foot. Pomar you are welcome, help yourself to some adult beverages lets enjoy the greatness of the Nole.

You got room for a fan of the Swiss shanker in here? Wink

Seriously though congrats, 8 slams is huge. He's already an ATG in my mind, a truly exceptional player.

Believe it all fans of other players are welcome. He moves further up the ladder in the estimation of those who know and understand the game. If he can break through against Nadal at RG I think that will be a huge point in an already sparkling CV.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 2 Feb - 6:05

Djokovic now with a staggering 3800 point lead in the 52 week rankings. And 7300 points more than Nadal and 7500 points more than Murray. This means that he will be adding at the very least a hefty bunch of weeks to his already impressive weeks at number 1 record.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 2 Feb - 10:06

Slasher has officially joined the party!! Socal / HM novaks time is now :-))

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Post by socal1976 Mon 2 Feb - 10:43

Thats right slasher, he missed a few opportunities in slams the last couple of years but he has now won 2 of the last three slams he has contested and I think he will add to his trophy case over the next 2-3 years. Always great to hear from you.

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Post by R!skysports Mon 2 Feb - 11:00

(From a Murray fan) Well done to Djokovic - worthy winner and I expect several more slams to follow

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Post by socal1976 Mon 2 Feb - 11:13

RS, as a Djokovic fan I can tell you that Andy will certainly have his turn with the big trophy on the podium again. He really gave Novak all he could handle for 3 hours.

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Post by greengoblin Mon 2 Feb - 11:57

Double standards much, socal?

With Federer, its 'look at the muppets he had to beat; baggy, gonzo etc'. But when Djokovic beats a guy that gifted him the last 9 games in the final, or beats a very poor wawrinka in the semi, there's no mention of weak eras or cakewalks.

Who did djokovic beat in his previous slam, oh yes a 33 year old way past his prime player, much like federer's 2005 us open final opponent which you have made much fun of in the past. Again, I recall no mitigation of his victory like you did with federer's

So please tell me the reason for the double standards?

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Post by It Must Be Love Mon 2 Feb - 12:05

GG- do you want me to do a list of players Djokovic has had to beat in Grand Slams ?
In order from 1st Slam he won:

1st- Federer
2nd- Federer & Murray
3rd- Nadal
4th- Federer & Nadal
5th- Murray & Nadal
6th- Murray
7th- Federer
8th- Murray

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Post by socal1976 Mon 2 Feb - 12:06

greengoblin wrote:Double standards much, socal?

With Federer, its 'look at the muppets he had to beat; baggy, gonzo etc'. But when Djokovic beats a guy that gifted him the last 9 games in the final, or beats a very poor wawrinka in the semi, there's no mention of weak eras or cakewalks.

Who did djokovic beat in his previous slam, oh yes a 33 year old way past his prime player, much like federer's 2005 us open final opponent which you have made much fun of in the past. Again, I recall no mitigation of his victory like you did with federer's

So please tell me the reason for the double standards?


1. How many slams, masters, does Murray own and how many slam finals has Murray been in and compare said number to baggy, gonzo, and  philloupousis combined. Murray is a much tougher and more accomplished player

2. By the way Federer beat Agassi when agassi was 35 in the USO final not 33. And actually was quite lucky not to lose that 4th set. By the way I have no problem with Federer beating Agassi, never claimed it lessened the slam or its worth. Its Federer fans who have been telling us that Federer is passed since Federer was 27, about the same age Djokovic is now. Maybe I should learn from Fed fan and chalk up every Djokovic defeat to his age like every single post 2008 Fed loss?

Are these the double standards you are talking about?

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Post by socal1976 Mon 2 Feb - 12:17

It Must Be Love wrote:GG- do you want me to do a list of players Djokovic has had to beat in Grand Slams ?
In order from 1st Slam he won:

1st- Federer
2nd- Federer & Murray
3rd- Nadal
4th- Federer & Nadal
5th- Murray & Nadal
6th- Murray
7th- Federer
8th- Murray


Game set and match IMBL. I will just leave it at this since I did not wish to have weak era debate this is the Djokovic party thread.

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Post by sportslover Mon 2 Feb - 12:20

Also from a Murray fan well done Novak.

I must admit he is my second favourite after Andy, but I am sure when they match up again the result hopefully will favour Andy maybe Wimbledon or USO!

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Post by socal1976 Mon 2 Feb - 12:47

sportslover wrote:Also from a Murray fan well done Novak.

I must admit he is my second favourite after Andy, but I am sure when they match up again the result hopefully will favour Andy maybe Wimbledon or USO!

I know Novak has won a pair of wimbys and Andy only one but I would still favor Andy on that surface 60/40 over Novak.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 2 Feb - 13:25

Well said socal, djokovic is really climbing the ladder and it is thoroughly deserved. He has had to face adversity time and again when up against greats of the game but he kept battling back and taking it on the chin. He has developed his game across all surfaces and has already built an amazing legacy.

Hopefully he can kick on and further build that legacy that I predicted he would after seeing him for the first time in 2006. What a player!

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Post by socal1976 Mon 2 Feb - 17:02

Slasher the fact that he has accomplished all that he has in the shadow of Nadal and Federer and carved out his own legacy when lesser players could not deserves respect. Double digit slams and the career slam are very do able for him right now.

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Post by laverfan Sun 22 Feb - 14:22

Djokovic is in his prime and should collect some more Slam Silver. He may even surpass Fedal and Sampras.

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Post by summerblues Sun 22 Feb - 15:09

You mean he could get to 15-18+ slams? Yikes Surely not.

Also, in this context it should read "Federer and Samal" instead of "Fedal and Sampras" Smile

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Post by laverfan Sun 22 Feb - 20:23

As usual, SB, you are correct. rose

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Post by socal1976 Wed 25 Feb - 7:54

I am thinking Djoko could get to Bjorg, Laver, and Emerson in the slam count department. Nothing is written in stone but he would need a slam a year for the next three years a very doable effort for him with the current state of his game and fitness.

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Post by slashermcguirk Wed 25 Feb - 8:36

here is hoping he does win some more slams. If he could somehow win the French Open and another US open, that would put him right up there among the very best. Imagine that CV

10 slams
5 Aussies, 1 French Open, 2 Wimbledon, 2 US open

That would be very impressive. One thing I have noticed about the open era, has any player won all the grand slams twice or more?? Federer has only won the 1 French and Rafa only 1 Oz open. I know Sampras didn't win the French and I am pretty sure Agassi only won the 1 Wimbledon.

That would be an amazing feat. I was reading a book the other day on the history of tennis and there was a great piece on Steffi Graf. People often forget that in 1988, she not only won all four slams in the calendar year but also the tour finals and Olympic gold that year too!. Not only that but the following year in 1989 she very nearly completed the calendar year slam back to back, winning 3 and getting to the final of the other. Unbelievable !!

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Post by socal1976 Wed 25 Feb - 10:55

slashermcguirk wrote:here is hoping he does win some more slams. If he could somehow win the French Open and another US open, that would put him right up there among the very best. Imagine that CV

10 slams
5 Aussies, 1 French Open, 2 Wimbledon, 2 US open

That would be very impressive. One thing I have noticed about the open era, has any player won all the grand slams twice or more?? Federer has only won the 1 French and Rafa only 1 Oz open. I know Sampras didn't win the French and I am pretty sure Agassi only won the 1 Wimbledon.

That would be an amazing feat. I was reading a book the other day on the history of tennis and there was a great piece on Steffi Graf. People often forget that in 1988, she not only won all four slams in the calendar year but also the tour finals and Olympic gold that year too!. Not only that but the following year in 1989 she very nearly completed the calendar year slam back to back, winning 3 and getting to the final of the other. Unbelievable !!

No player has won the double career slam in the open era slasher. Agassi won one wimby, and one french. Nadal if he wins the AO will be the first player in the open era to complete the career double slam. Federer if he wins another French. Honestly, I think Djokovic will get a FO sooner or later because the gulf between him and Nadal on clay and everybody is every big right now. And I think he has pushed Nadal very close on clay. I think one of the next 3 FOs will go for Novak, who knows maybe this upcoming one.

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Post by HM Murdock Wed 25 Feb - 12:00

socal1976 wrote:I am thinking Djoko could get to Bjorg, Laver, and Emerson in the slam count department. Nothing is written in stone but he would need a slam a year for the next three years a very doable effort for him with the current state of his game and fitness.
At the rate of 1 slam per year, I don't think he can do it.

If he is to stand a realistic chance of getting into that "Tier 1" 10+ slams group, I think this year has to be a multi-slam year.

If he begins the 2016 season still on 8, I think it will tough to win another 2-3 slams in his 29th and 30th years.

2015 is a legacy-defining season.

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Post by socal1976 Thu 26 Feb - 7:05

I think this year will be multislam year for him. But that nothwithstanding I don't see winning slams in the late 20s or early 30s to be that historic hurdle it once used to be. Sports science and training has advanced so much since then. We are seeing that reflected in the performance of the top stars as the average age of the top 100 is moving further and further back and players are often playing their best tennis at an age when they were typically washed up 20 years ago.

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Post by bogbrush Thu 26 Feb - 12:11

socal1976 wrote:
slashermcguirk wrote:here is hoping he does win some more slams. If he could somehow win the French Open and another US open, that would put him right up there among the very best. Imagine that CV

10 slams
5 Aussies, 1 French Open, 2 Wimbledon, 2 US open

That would be very impressive. One thing I have noticed about the open era, has any player won all the grand slams twice or more?? Federer has only won the 1 French and Rafa only 1 Oz open. I know Sampras didn't win the French and I am pretty sure Agassi only won the 1 Wimbledon.

That would be an amazing feat. I was reading a book the other day on the history of tennis and there was a great piece on Steffi Graf. People often forget that in 1988, she not only won all four slams in the calendar year but also the tour finals and Olympic gold that year too!. Not only that but the following year in 1989 she very nearly completed the calendar year slam back to back, winning 3 and getting to the final of the other. Unbelievable !!

No player has won the double career slam in the open era slasher. Agassi won one wimby, and one french. Nadal if he wins the AO will be the first player in the open era to complete the career double slam. Federer if he wins another French. Honestly, I think Djokovic will get a FO sooner or later because the gulf between him and Nadal on clay and everybody is every big right now. And I think he has pushed Nadal very close on clay. I think one of the next 3 FOs will go for Novak, who knows maybe this upcoming one.
Djokovic has let himself down badly at RG for a couple of years. Personally I think he has the beating of Nadal on clay very clearly, he's just fouled up.

The Nadal backhand has become a real liability, it's nothing like the weapon it was years ago and the formula for Djokovic is clear - beat up to the backhand and when the short ball come and he's edged over, go wide and hard to the forehand. Nadal is aware of his problems - this was killing him in 2012 - and has countered well by trying to be more aggressive but if Djokovic gets to the backhand early he'll dominate again as that shot is going backwards fast.
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Post by socal1976 Thu 26 Feb - 12:26

bogbrush wrote:
socal1976 wrote:
slashermcguirk wrote:here is hoping he does win some more slams. If he could somehow win the French Open and another US open, that would put him right up there among the very best. Imagine that CV

10 slams
5 Aussies, 1 French Open, 2 Wimbledon, 2 US open

That would be very impressive. One thing I have noticed about the open era, has any player won all the grand slams twice or more?? Federer has only won the 1 French and Rafa only 1 Oz open. I know Sampras didn't win the French and I am pretty sure Agassi only won the 1 Wimbledon.

That would be an amazing feat. I was reading a book the other day on the history of tennis and there was a great piece on Steffi Graf. People often forget that in 1988, she not only won all four slams in the calendar year but also the tour finals and Olympic gold that year too!. Not only that but the following year in 1989 she very nearly completed the calendar year slam back to back, winning 3 and getting to the final of the other. Unbelievable !!

No player has won the double career slam in the open era slasher. Agassi won one wimby, and one french. Nadal if he wins the AO will be the first player in the open era to complete the career double slam. Federer if he wins another French. Honestly, I think Djokovic will get a FO sooner or later because the gulf between him and Nadal on clay and everybody is every big right now. And I think he has pushed Nadal very close on clay. I think one of the next 3 FOs will go for Novak, who knows maybe this upcoming one.
Djokovic has let himself down badly at RG for a couple of years. Personally I think he has the beating of Nadal on clay very clearly, he's just fouled up.

The Nadal backhand has become a real liability, it's nothing like the weapon it was years ago and the formula for Djokovic is clear - beat up to the backhand and when the short ball come and he's edged over, go wide and hard to the forehand. Nadal is aware of his problems - this was killing him in 2012 - and has countered well by trying to be more aggressive but if Djokovic gets to the backhand early he'll dominate again as that shot is going backwards fast.

I agree with you, I honestly thinking he has had let downs mentally that lost him a couple of very close five set encounters with Nadal at RG. I don't know if I would characterize the Nadal backhand as weak. I just think a great deal of his game comes from running around his backhand so aggressively to hit as many forehands as possible. With Djokovic because he can go up the line with the backhand so easily and because Novak can win so many exchanges with his backhand against even Nadal's forehand which few other players can this creates problems. That being said I give Nadal credit he got to so many balls that one would think was humanly impossible in those clay matchups that the cumulative pressure destroyed Novak's focus and his resolve. He really should have an RG title by now. Matchup wise Nadal on clay is not as unbeatable for Djokovic as it is for everyone else. Look at how well he has played Nadal on clay recently in 3 set matches. It is just the cumulative effect mentally and physically of having to hit so many good shots to win points from him on that surface and over 5 sets.

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 26 Feb - 13:22

2013 and 2014 were the golden chances for Novak to win RG and he fluffed it.

He wasn't playing that well in 2013, but to be 4-2 up in the 5th in the SF with Ferrer waiting in the final... opportunities don't come much better than that.

And then last year he seemed to have some real momentum coming in (he played a great match to beat Rafa in Rome) and was progressing comfortably. And then he just seemed to lose confidence in the SF and played a pretty tame final. He said afterwards that he "let his emotions fade away". Quite odd really.

I reckon he has one, maybe two, more realistic attempts at RG. He turns 30 during RG17 and I'd be very surprised if age isn't taking its toll by then.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Thu 26 Feb - 13:51

The 2014 FO final, actually Rafa's FHDTL was killing Novak. If not for Rafa cramping in the fourth set, it would not look like Novak had his chances to beat Rafa in that final, as Rafa was clearly the better player in those three sets after he lost the first. I do feel that Rafa wasn't playing well the whole clay season last year, still, he could raise his level for the FO almost every year! Oh, in the 2013 SF, no doubt Novak had his chances when he's up 4-2 in the fifth set, it seemed to me that Rafa wasn't even panicking in that fifth set, and I won't doubt that even if Novak wasn't plunging into the net in that game, Rafa would still find a way to raise his level, the way he did during the extended games in the fifth set, when the end of the match was near.

I would say that on clay, Rafa could run around to cover his BH much quicker than he could do on the HCs (watch his FO QF match vs Ferrer last year!), so, it's not that easy for Novak to attack his BH consistently. Those times when Novak beat Rafa on clay (BO3) Novak was all guns blazing right from the beginning of the match. The only exception was Rome last year when Novak lost the first set, but that match in particular, Rafa did mention afterwards that his legs weren't quick enough and so he lost the next two sets. It's definitely tougher to sustain an attacking game on clay vs Rafa over five sets, as Rafa simply could raise his level on clay to weather the storm when given more time to do so.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Thu 26 Feb - 18:45

I also agree that Rafa's BH now is more a liability, though at times, he still could hit some excellent BHs but rarely. It's no where near his 2008/2009 level, and it's no wonder he's so unbeatable on clay during 2006-2008. He now relies heavily on his footwork and his FH ( running around his BH to hit his FH) to win on clay, unlike in the past when he used to have two FHs(Fed described Rafa's BH back then as his second FH) and could attack and defend from both wings.

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Post by bogbrush Thu 26 Feb - 19:10

Exactly.
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Post by socal1976 Sat 28 Feb - 6:29

Belovedluckyboy wrote:I also agree that Rafa's BH now is more a liability, though at times, he still could hit some excellent BHs but rarely.   It's no where near his 2008/2009 level, and it's no wonder he's so unbeatable on clay during 2006-2008.  He now relies heavily on his footwork and his FH ( running around his BH to hit his FH) to win on clay, unlike in the past when he used to have two FHs(Fed described Rafa's BH back then as his second FH) and could attack and defend from both wings.

Rafa's backhand is not a liability now it is not and was not better in 06-08 than it is now. It is simply that Federer could not find his backhand because he could not consistently go up the line with his backhand. I still see Rafa uncork some ridiculous cross court backhands and backhand passes on the dead run like he always does. He doesn't hit the backhand up the line well and really never has. Federer simply can not put pressure on Rafa's backhand the way that Djokovic can. Djokovic can pin Rafa to the backhand and make him it backhands breaking that side down. I haven't seen Nadal's backhand break down very often against any other player other than Djokovic. Furthermore, Rafa's strategy has always been even in 06-08 to turn as many backhands as possible into forehands. That in fact is one of the big things that differentiated Rafa from day one on tour. This idea that back in 2006-08 he used to not run around the FHs as much as he does today is completely wrong. The difference between the Fed v. Nadal and Nadal v. Djoko matchup is because Djoko changes direction better on the BH than Federer Djokovic can put pressure on the backhand by making Nadal hit more than he is comfortable. I still see Rafa slug monster cross court backhands for winners routinely in his matches. Interesting why this inferior Rafa of post 2008 had his best season ever in 2010.

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Post by bogbrush Sat 28 Feb - 9:15

No, you watch Nadal now; the backhand is very often short and has become largely a retrieving and rallying shot. This was also lydians strong opinion, and he's a closer study of Nadal than pretty much anyone else on here.

This is much bigger than Federer and Djokovic.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 28 Feb - 12:12

Bogbrush is right. Maybe SoCal should watch some Rafa matches of 2006-2008, and esp AO2009 and see how well Rafa hit his backhand back then. Why do you think Fed said Rafa had two FHs back then? Fed also had his unbelievable FH and if not for Rafa's great BH then, how could Rafa counter Fed's FH before getting to Fed's BH?? SoCal talked as if Fed was useless vs Rafa. I suggest he goes and watch Fedal matches during 2006-2007 and see how good Fed and Rafa were, and how competitive their matches were back then.

In fact, I dare to say that Novak now benefited from Rafa's weaker BH, not that he's such a worst match up for Rafa. Rafa was having positive H2H va Novak all along, when this supposed matchup issue should be there in day one. Both Novak and Fed were having positive H2H vs Rafa on non clay, ie HC surfaces and to me that's because Rafa was playing clay court tennis on the HCs. He's ceding too much court space to them when he's playing against them on HC surfaces. Had Rafa being more aggressive on the HCs instead of standing too far back and played more defensively, I would bet that he would have better results on the HCs vs them.

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Post by socal1976 Sat 28 Feb - 12:23

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Bogbrush is right.  Maybe SoCal should watch some Rafa matches of 2006-2008, and esp AO2009 and see how well Rafa hit his backhand back then.  Why do you think Fed said Rafa had two FHs back then? Fed also had his unbelievable FH and if not for Rafa's great BH then, how could Rafa counter Fed's FH before getting to Fed's BH?? SoCal talked as if Fed was useless vs Rafa.  I suggest he goes and watch Fedal matches during 2006-2007 and see how good Fed and Rafa were, and how competitive their matches were back then.

In fact, I dare to say that Novak now benefited from Rafa's weaker BH, not that he's such a worst match up for Rafa.  Rafa was having positive H2H va Novak all along, when this supposed matchup issue should be there in day one.  Both Novak and Fed were having positive H2H vs Rafa on non clay, ie HC surfaces and to me that's because Rafa was playing clay court tennis on the HCs. He's ceding too much court space to them when he's playing against them on HC surfaces.  Had Rafa being more aggressive on the HCs instead of standing too far back and played more defensively, I would bet that he would have better results on the HCs vs them.


Interesting that Rafa's backhand was so wonderful in 06-08 and so much weaker after that how come he had his best season ever in 2010? How come he reached every single final for six months in 2011? Of course fedal lovers want to pretend that the Nadal that beat Federer was the best Nadal ever. They can't come to grips with the fact that a teenage Nadal had the beating of Federer before he ever reached his best. That Nadal couldn't break 115 mph on his serve. Nadal actually early on his career had a losing record to Djokovic on a hardcourt. When Djokovic tweaked his serve Nadal went on a run of matches against Djoko. But even early on in his career prior to the Novak serve slump Novak was besting Nadal on a hardcourt.

You speak of Nadal ceding too much space on hardcourts like he has a choice. The guy takes a huge cut on the FH, he runs around every single backhand he can, he can hardly stand up on the baseline and play like Agassi and have time to run around all those backhands or take those big cuts can he?

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 28 Feb - 13:25

1) after Rafa's 2009 knee injury, his BH wasn't the same again. He won his three slams in 2010 not because of his BH, but because of his FH and his serves! Check his USO 2010 serve!
2) Rafa didn't reach every single final in 2011 for six months. He didn't at Doha and AO. He reaching the finals on clay were pretty normal and expected. He had improved on the HCs from 2009 onwards, so he reaching finals on the HCs weren't something abnormal. He also reached the final at Shanghai 2009 after coming back from injury.
3) Rafa not only had a losing record on the HCs vs Novak, but Fed too. Rafa won at Miami in 2004 vs Fed, but come next year, Fed beat him at the same place, so 1-1 on HC by end of 2005. In 2006, Rafa won at Dubai but lost at YEC n Shanghai, so 2-2. In 2007 Rafa lost to Fed at YEC again, so 2-3 on HCs. They're 3-3 after AO2009, then 3-4 after WTF2010 and 4-6 by end of 2011.

Rafa vs Novak, they're 2-2 by end of 2007, 3-4 ad Novak by end of 2008. It's only after Rafa's 2009 injury that Novak had three straight wins over Rafa on the HCs, so 3-7 end of 2009; but, Rafa had two wins back in 2010 so it's 5-7 vs Novak on HCs before 2011. You talked as if Rafa was useless vs Novak on the HCs prior to 2011! It's only Novak's 2011 to AO2012 that made the difference, when he won 4 times on the HCs vs Rafa. Thereafter, they met five times on the HCs and its 2-3.

4) I also suggest that you watch Rafa's matches on the HCs during 2004 to 2005, and see whether he was playing far behind the baseline back then, and tell me Rafa can hardly stand up on the baseline! He didn't even need to run around his BHs to hit his FHs back then. Please stop arguing about Rafa if you have not even watch his matches back then. What you're seeing now is a Rafa trying to be aggressive on the HCs, after playing his clay court tennis on the HCs for the past seven or eight years. He was playing aggressive tennis on the HCs in 2013 and looked what he had won!

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Post by socal1976 Sun 1 Mar - 5:40

Belovedluckyboy wrote:1) after Rafa's 2009 knee injury, his BH wasn't the same again.  He won his three slams in 2010 not because of his BH, but because of his FH and his serves! Check his USO 2010 serve!
2) Rafa didn't reach every single final in 2011 for six months.  He didn't at Doha and AO.  He reaching the finals on clay were pretty normal and expected. He had improved on the HCs from 2009 onwards, so he reaching finals on the HCs weren't something abnormal.  He also reached the final at Shanghai 2009 after coming back from injury.
3) Rafa not only had a losing record on the HCs vs Novak, but Fed too.  Rafa won at Miami in 2004 vs Fed, but come next year, Fed beat him at the same place, so 1-1 on HC by end of 2005. In 2006, Rafa won at Dubai but lost at YEC n Shanghai, so 2-2.  In 2007 Rafa lost to Fed at YEC again, so 2-3 on HCs. They're 3-3 after AO2009, then 3-4 after WTF2010 and 4-6 by end of 2011.  

Rafa vs Novak, they're 2-2 by end of 2007, 3-4 ad Novak by end of 2008.  It's only after Rafa's 2009 injury that Novak had three straight wins over Rafa on the HCs, so 3-7 end of 2009; but, Rafa had two wins back in 2010 so it's 5-7 vs Novak on HCs before 2011.  You talked as if Rafa was useless vs Novak on the HCs prior to 2011!  It's only Novak's 2011 to AO2012 that made the difference, when he won 4 times on the HCs vs Rafa.  Thereafter, they met five times on the HCs and its 2-3.  

4) I also suggest that you watch Rafa's matches on the HCs during 2004 to 2005, and see whether he was playing far behind the baseline back then, and tell me Rafa can hardly stand up on the baseline!   He didn't even need to run around his BHs to hit his FHs back then.  Please stop arguing about Rafa if you have not even watch his matches back then.  What you're seeing now is a Rafa trying to be aggressive on the HCs, after playing his clay court tennis on the HCs for the past seven or eight years.  He was playing aggressive tennis on the HCs in 2013 and looked what he had won!

So are you seriously telling me that Nadal prior to 2008 was hugging the baseline and wasn't running around every single backhand he could to hit a forehand? I watched plenty of Nadal matches in the time period we are discussing. You seem to be discussing some alternate reality. Nadal from day one would run around as many backhands as possible and to do that he would stand further behind the baseline. This whole fantasy of Nadal playing more aggressively and standing in closer to the baseline back pre-08 is something that simply doesn't jive with reality. I watched plenty of hardcourt losses to Davy, Youzhny, and blake because Nadal was far behind the baseline and he was taken out by a flat ball striker.

You claim that Nadal didn't win because of his backhand in 2010, then I suppose he won despite of his liability of a backhand in 2010. So maybe to a player like Nadal who hits 80 percent of his groundies as FHs that it isn't that big of a deal, which was my point to begin with. But frankly I don't see this backhand liability against anyone but Djokovic because other players can't press that backhand because they can't get at as easily by going up the line with their own backhand. And also because they lack the change of direction Djoko has on both sides they can't open the court up as easily and move Nadal. How many times have we seen Nadal pin opponents into their backhand corner and run around all of his own backhands to hit FHs? This is not me making it up. It is the way the guy has played since the first day on tour and it hasn't changed much.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sun 1 Mar - 11:33

1) I think you have to read my post carefully.  I said 2004-2005, you said prior to 2008, which include 2006-2007, which is not what i said.  I thought we had discussed this before, that Rafa after having his successes on clay in 2005, had adopted his clay court style when playing on the HCs.   I didnt claim that prior to 2008, Rafa was hugging the baseline, I said he only did that on the HCs, grass too, during and prior to 2005.  In fact by late 2005 during the USO, he was already playing further from the baseline.  I did say in my earlier posts that Rafa was trying to play more aggressive tennis on the HCs (eg 2013) these days, trying to revert back to HC tennis after the past seven/eight years of playing defensive clay court tennis on the HCs.

2) your claim that Rafa would try to run around his BH to hit his FH all the time is not correct.  Rafa's CCBH during 2007 to mid 2009 was top class, its just that he didnt hit a solid BHDTL and so,  many times, he ran around his BH to hit a FHDTL.   He did hit his I/O CCFH when he had his chances, but thats not unique to Rafa, almost every player hit that shot too whenever they had the chances as  most of them had more solid FHs than BHs.

3) you talk about Novak attacking Rafa's BH with his BHDTL, now if Rafa's BH was solid enough, he would redirect the shot CC to Novak's FH,  but Rafa's BH was no longer that solid like his AO2009  for example, hence it broke down when under constant attack.

4) Like you said, Novak was the one who could trouble Rafa with the BH DTL shot, so Rafa wasnt having problem with Sod or Berdych.  Rafa hit some nice BH DTL slices too during his USO2010 final vs Novak, I dont remember seeing Novak hitting his BHDTL shots in that final.

I would say that now many players are attacking Rafa's BH, having seen what Novak had done to Rafa.  Rafa has to run around his BH to hit his FH more often these days, as he can no longer rely on his inconsistent BH.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 2 Mar - 5:11

Belovedluckyboy wrote:2) your claim that Rafa would try to run around his BH to hit his FH all the time is not correct.  Rafa's CCBH during 2007 to mid 2009 was top class, its just that he didnt hit a solid BHDTL and so,  many times, he ran around his BH to hit a FHDTL.   He did hit his I/O CCFH when he had his chances, but thats not unique to Rafa, almost every player hit that shot too whenever they had the chances as  most of them had more solid FHs than BHs.

.

Actually you are wrong, one of the things that makes Rafa unique is the fact that he stands so far his backhand corner to hit as many FHs, I defy you to find another player on tour that leaves so much space on his forehand side and runs around and hits as many FHs sometimes way into the doubles alley. If you claim that Rafa does that now all of sudden recently because his cross court backhand is such a weakness well then it is really preposterous. Because he has always been the most aggressive player running around his backhand. Even in the period of 08 and 09 where you claim his CC backhand was top draw. Why? Because Nadal knows and has always known that with that FH he has regardless of how good his backhand is the more FHs he hits and the fewer BHs, the better it is for him. This not some new development in his game but it has been universally true from the first time I saw the kid play. In fact, he may run around his BH less today than he has in the past because it is a lot of work and requires incredible movement and fitness. This whole idea that Rafa runs around his BH more today to avoid his now all of a sudden weak CC BH, well you just made it up and has no basis in fact.

I will agree with this though he hits his BH up the line like my granny and always has.


Last edited by socal1976 on Mon 2 Mar - 8:54; edited 1 time in total

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Post by socal1976 Mon 2 Mar - 5:16

Belovedluckyboy wrote:
3) you talk about Novak attacking Rafa's BH with his BHDTL, now if Rafa's BH was solid enough, he would redirect the shot CC to Novak's FH,  but Rafa's BH was no longer that solid like his AO2009  for example, hence it broke down when under constant attack.

I would say that now many players are attacking Rafa's BH, having seen what Novak had done to Rafa.  Rafa has to run around his BH to hit his FH more often these days, as he can no longer rely on his inconsistent BH.

Yes he does that and then Novak reverses the same pattern that Nadal does to Federer. He whips a heavy angled CC forehand right back at the Nadal backhand guarding against the CC backhand and letting Nadal go up the line if he likes knowing that Nadal can't hurt him there often enough. Eventually he either forces Nadal to open up the DTL FH or error. But the point being that Novak trusts his movement and to get to the up the line BH from Nadal in this sequence and therefore can make Nadal hit more BHs than Nadal is comfortable with. Watch Nadal play Fed and then Nadal play Novak. And for a few points count the number of BHs fed can make Nadal hit and the number Novak can make Nadal hit, then what I am saying to you will become clear as to the more difficult matchup problem Novak creates for Nadal as opposed to Nadal's pigeon Federer.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 2 Mar - 9:20

We have to agree to disagree, about Rafa running around his BH instead of using his CC BH. Like I said, he ran around his BH to hit his FHDTL most of the times. When his CCBH was so solid, it won't be necessary for him to run around it to hit his I/O CCFH. Watch his AO 2009 final vs Fed, and see how many BH winners he made then. I didn't claim that Rafa was hitting his I/O CCFH only now that his BH deteriorated, I said most players hit the I/O CCFH when they had the chances, and Rafa wasnt any exception.

You seem adamant in saying that Rafa has a not so ideal BH, that he has to run around it to hit his FH. He certainly need not do that during 2008 and the AO2009. The commentators of that AO2009 match even mentioned that Rafa's BH was ranked top three among the DHBH, together with Novak and Murray.

You talked as if Novak had a better FH than Fed! Come on, if Rafa's CCBH was as solid as during his AO2009, you think Novak could force the errors out of it? Chances are Rafa would have scored some BH winners already, before Novak could even think of redirecting the shot! Rafa's BH was no longer that solid, if not how come Fed was also attacking Rafa's BH these
days? Watch Rafa/Novak IW and Miami 2011 matches, and see how Rafa's BH broke down when under constant attack.

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