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If Federer and Nadal were playing this final it would be deemed the most wonderful ever

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If Federer and Nadal were playing this final it would be deemed the most wonderful ever Empty If Federer and Nadal were playing this final it would be deemed the most wonderful ever

Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 8:19 am

The fact is that we have seen this double standard and Fedal myopia by many fans. And as Roger rides into the sunset having completed a spectacular and historic career we are constantly told how the game is endless retrieval and that this matchup in particular doesn't provide any excitement. Interestingly, this matchup with Fed going away soon will be one that should capture the imagination of tennis fans. And it has provided some great matches like the semi in Rome, the semi in 2012 and I think a good match last night. The match can't be an epic although for 3 sets it was. Murray somehow just completely went away at the end of the third and in the 4th set. Instead on the match thread we were bombarded by negative comments from the same cast of characters who couldn't stop watching or telling us over and over again how bored they are. Djokovic in particular started the first few games on fire blasting winner after winner. Murray went on a run and played really well from the start of the match up till his collapse at the end of the third. There were some jaw dropping shots, and both players moved into the net quite often.

Lets take a look at the stats:

Djokovic 53 winners, 40 errrors
Murray 41 winners, 49 errors.

The two players combined for 70 net approaches. Of the 254 total points 94 of them ended on winners not endless rallies of the same thing over and over again. 27.5% of the points featured one or both player at net. And 37 percent of the points finished on winners. Djokovic in particular despite his lull in the second and early in the third hit way more winners than errors and this against one of the best retrievers in the game on one of the slowest non-clay surfaces.

While this match which was competitive and featured some incredible shots as well as defense is subject to constant moaning and criticism watch the reaction the next time Nadal mauls federer in a dull and one sided affair.

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Post by Guest Mon 02 Feb 2015, 8:51 am

Federer and Nadal matches are totally non-events. Since 2009.

No need to concern yourself with them Smile

Djokovic is the man.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 8:58 am

legendkillarV2 wrote:Federer and Nadal matches are totally non-events. Since 2009.

No need to concern yourself with them Smile

Djokovic is the man.

To be honest LK I haven't even watched the last couple of their matches. It is so predictable talk about watching the same point over and over again. No tactical variation in that match whatsoever and very little doubt as to the result. Let me guess Nadal is going to hit cross court FHs to Federer's backhand.

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Post by Guest Mon 02 Feb 2015, 9:06 am

socal1976 wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:Federer and Nadal matches are totally non-events. Since 2009.

No need to concern yourself with them Smile

Djokovic is the man.

To be honest LK I haven't even watched the last couple of their matches. It is so predictable talk about watching the same point over and over again. No tactical variation in that match whatsoever and very little doubt as to the result. Let me guess Nadal is going to hit cross court FHs to Federer's backhand.

I don't watch their matches either. Usually one outcome. The Federer BH gets battered so badly his back gives way and the defeat is more the bad back. Wink

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Post by Jahu Mon 02 Feb 2015, 10:03 am

socal, you are becoming like HE, silly articles that you know the answer to.

Relax and enjoy Djoko wins, no need to compare them to Fedal, when you know both of them are on a different planet Laugh
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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 10:45 am

Jahu wrote:socal, you are becoming like HE, silly articles that you know the answer to.

Relax and enjoy Djoko wins, no need to compare them to Fedal, when you know both of them are on a different planet Laugh

Jahu, I really don't care who likes or dislikes Djokovic, Murray, or the matchup. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. But there is a running myth that all the points via Murray and Djoko are repetitive and long and the same point over and over again. If you want repetitive watch Federer v. Nadal. Same shot hit over and over again, same exact pattern of play, and pretty much always the same outcome.

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Post by It Must Be Love Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:25 am

I find Federer vs Nadal matches more fun than Murray vs Djokovic; but I am a biased Nadal fan so there you go.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:33 am

Yes but I find it interesting IMBL that we hear this talk about how it is the same point over and over again that nobody hits winners they just stand and rally with each other and it simply is not the truth. I mean if the complaint is that the points are repetitive well nothing in tennis is as repetitive as a fedal match. It hasn't been a good rivalry in years. But when Fed and Nadal are playing we don't see a constant flood of negative comments over and over again. I mean it is amusing if you find it boring why watch it for an hour and why spend your time repeating the same commentary?

I get how you like Fedal matches, I liked them to up 4 or 5 years ago. And there is no problem having a favorite players and favorite matchup. But to criticize this rivalry for repetitive points that finish in errors without a basis in fact when the same criticism can actually be leveled at Fedal matches to a much larger degree is the double standard I am alluding to. How many points in a fedal match ended up with Federer shanking a backhand around his shoulder?


Last edited by socal1976 on Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:35 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by laverfan Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:35 am

I am hoping for a Nadal v Djokovic RG final this year and a different result from the past ones.

A 6-0 last set in SF and F was a let down in a slam, do you agree, SoCal?

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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:38 am

Yes I do LF, I think it was a letdown. But both matches were very entertaining for 3 hours or more and the left 15 or 20 minutes was one sided. I don't think either the semi or final were classics. But I tell you what they were both more competitive than a fedal semi or final would be. And we would have to watch 100 straight cross court forehands hit to Fed's backhand.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:39 am

IMBL you're right, Fedal matches certainly more interesting than Novak/Murray matches, IMO. Even when Fed was in a lull in 2013, he still gave Rafa a good fight at Cincy and that match wasn't the same pattern, ie CCFH to SHBH. Their 2011 FO final wasn't bad either, likewise their AO2012 SF. FEDAL matches, especially at the slams, are not boring, maybe FO2008 being the only exception.

I would say Fed vs any of Rafa, Novak and Murray is never boring, because of the contrast in styles. Rafa vs Novak, after that tedious AO2012 final, has become more interesting, when both want to shorten points and attack more to avoid another long attritional war. Rafa vs Murray can be interesting if they try to outwit one another. Novak vs Murray, more retrieving than anything else, but I can see both trying to be aggressive, at least during this AO final, but I feel Murray should come forward to the net more often, playing from the baseline is like fighting a losing war against Novak.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:42 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:IMBL you're right, Fedal matches certainly more interesting than Novak/Murray matches, IMO.  Even when Fed was in a lull in 2013, he still gave Rafa a good fight at Cincy and that match wasn't the same pattern, ie CCFH to SHBH.  Their 2011 FO final wasn't bad either, likewise their AO2012 SF.  FEDAL matches, especially at the slams, are not boring, maybe FO2008 being the only exception.

I would say Fed vs any of Rafa, Novak and Murray is never boring, because of the contrast in styles.   Rafa vs Novak, after that tedious AO2012 final, has become more interesting, when both want to shorten points and attack more to avoid another long attritional war.  Rafa vs Murray can be interesting if they try to outwit one another.  Novak vs Murray, more retrieving than anything else, but I can see both trying to be aggressive, at least during this AO final, but I feel Murray should come forward to the net more often, playing from the baseline is like fighting a losing war against Novak.


I agree with a lot of your post. But I am sorry since I am neither a fed or Nadal fan I find their matches with each since the result in question is hardly ever in question anymore and the pattern of play is exactly the same every time very dull. If you want to talk about the most repetitive types of points in history watch Nadal hit a couple thousand CC forehands to fed's backhand.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:43 am

Fedal SF or Final boring? Don't think so, their 2009 final is of higher quality than this AO final! Their 2012 SF more entertaining than this Novak/Stan SF!

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:48 am

The Nadal CCFH to Fed's BH was in fact history. Fed is now attacking Rafa's BH with his own CCFH! Rafa had to run around to cover his BH and hit a I/O CC FH instead! Not forgetting Rafa has his DTLFH! In fact Fed'sBH is no longer that 'weak' and it's only on clay that Rafa has that advantage.

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Post by Jahu Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:49 am

socal1976 wrote:
Jahu wrote:socal, you are becoming like HE, silly articles that you know the answer to.

Relax and enjoy Djoko wins, no need to compare them to Fedal, when you know both of them are on a different planet Laugh

Jahu, I really don't care who likes or dislikes Djokovic, Murray, or the matchup. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. But there is a running myth that all the points via Murray and Djoko are repetitive and long and the same point over and over again. If you want repetitive watch Federer v. Nadal. Same shot hit over and over again, same exact pattern of play, and pretty much always the same outcome.

True socal, but you have to understand that Djoko/Marray and Nadal/Fed are a bad matchup, and both will be repetitive defense or Fed BH from Nadal.

Djoko/Fed, Djoko/Stan, Fed/Andy, Nadal/Big-hitter, will always be a more entertaining matches.
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Post by It Must Be Love Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:50 am

For me, the contrast in styles of Federer and Nadal really make the rivalry great.
BLB, you mentioned Cincinnati 2013, that is a good spot- Federer was a bit edgy at the time, but against Nadal managed to play a great match with sublime hitting- and some of the shots Nadal had to come up with on the defence was ridiculous.

For me, Murray vs Djokovic just lacks a certain spark- even though the tennis itself can be of great quality. I still enjoy Murray vs Djokovic matches when it's close and tense, so I'm not complaining.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:51 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Fedal SF or Final boring? Don't think so, their 2009 final is of higher quality than this AO final!  Their 2012 SF more entertaining than this Novak/Stan SF!


I haven't seen a serious rivalry since 2009 and all their great and memorable matches happened 5 or more years ago. Rome 2006, Miami 2004,2005, Wimby 08, AO 2009, Wimby 07. And I am tired of watching every point end with a federer shanked backhand after Nadal directs 20 straight CC forehands to it. The result except for indoors is never in question and a huge number of points are just like the previous point.


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Post by It Must Be Love Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:52 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:The Nadal CCFH to Fed's BH was in fact history.   Fed is now attacking Rafa's BH with his own CCFH!  Rafa had to run around to cover his BH and hit a I/O CC FH instead!  Not forgetting Rafa has his DTLFH!  In fact Fed'sBH is no longer that 'weak' and it's only on clay that Rafa has that advantage.
There are many rallies too in Fedal matches where Federer is controlling the play with his forehand, and Nadal is struggling to stay in the point. It's not just Nadal bullying Federer's backhand- there is more to the matchplay than that.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 11:54 am

Jahu wrote:
socal1976 wrote:
Jahu wrote:socal, you are becoming like HE, silly articles that you know the answer to.

Relax and enjoy Djoko wins, no need to compare them to Fedal, when you know both of them are on a different planet Laugh

Jahu, I really don't care who likes or dislikes Djokovic, Murray, or the matchup. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. But there is a running myth that all the points via Murray and Djoko are repetitive and long and the same point over and over again. If you want repetitive watch Federer v. Nadal. Same shot hit over and over again, same exact pattern of play, and pretty much always the same outcome.

True socal, but you have to understand that Djoko/Marray and Nadal/Fed are a bad matchup, and both will be repetitive defense or Fed BH from Nadal.

Djoko/Fed, Djoko/Stan, Fed/Andy, Nadal/Big-hitter, will always be a more entertaining matches.

Yeah but when Fed and Nadal play you don't have a chorus of the usual suspects coming in to rain on the parade and tell you how boring it is while they are watching and commenting on it. No one is forcing you to watch or comment. Fedal matches are becoming like Jackie Chan movies, if someone asks you do you want to see the new jackie chan movie your response is probably if you are like me,"why I have already seen one." Its just the same thing over and over again.

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Post by It Must Be Love Mon 02 Feb 2015, 12:03 pm

I think your description of Federer-Nadal rallies is a bit simplistic here Socal. We also get many amazing rallies, and the contrast between the two is why many love the rivalry. I do like Murray-Djokovic too when they're playing well, but for me it lacks the spark or x-factor of the Fedal rivalry.

Example of rally you get from Fedal:

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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 12:15 pm

Of course IMBL there are great points in both matchups. My point is that the criticism is hypocritical. If Murray v. Djokovic is repetitive and just the same point over and over again you can level the same criticism at Fedal matches. Except you don't see Murray and Djoko fans constantly going onto the match day thread and moaning and groaning about how bored they are and how awful it is? Yes it is simplistic, but if the charge it is just repetitive and the same rally that charge applies even more to fedal matches.

Plus, I like to actually be in doubt about the outcome of a sporting event when I watch it. And fedal matches except indoors are completely one sided.

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Post by It Must Be Love Mon 02 Feb 2015, 12:24 pm

I don't think either Fedal rallies or Djokurray rallies are actually that repetitive in reality, although there are trends and patterns.

There were also many Fedal matches which we were not sure of the result, certainly when they were younger. People thought Federer was getting closer at FO, and thought Federer would never lose Wimbledon or on hard court Slams to Nadal; this was years ago I admit- but it was all pretty dramatic at the time.
Of course now in hindsight we can say 'oh look Nadal won so many matches'- but at the time we weren't sure it was going to turn out like it did. Many people underestimated Nadal.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 12:50 pm

Yeah honestly, not a big fan of fedal. I don't even watch them IMBL. I actually agree with you that you can't just make the generalization that points are all repetitive etc. Fed v. Nadal has difference in styles going for it. But the lack of competitiveness and the similar pattern of all the matches makes it my least favorite Big 4 matchup. I mean you said it yourself all the best matches were 5 plus years ago.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 02 Feb 2015, 12:54 pm

Ah, Federer v Nadal.

A bit like Monty Python, that one. The good stuff is excellent but there's a lot of dross in there too.

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Post by Danny_1982 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 12:56 pm

When both are playing well Murray v Djokovic is a marvellous rivalry. Last year they weren't great because Andy wasn't himself, but apart from that since 2012 they've mostly been great. AO2012 was marvellous. USO2012 was full of drama, as was Shanghai and WTF the same year... and yesterday the first two sets (which was all I saw) were incredible.

The last two sets, I still think it's a huge, elaborate, worldwide wind up that someone is playing on me as it doesn't make sense that someone thing can be so tight for nearly 3 hours and then over in 40 easy minutes!

But the exciting thing is, with Murray back on an upward curve... I think this rivalry is yet to have its finest hour. I think there's a slam final or semi final 5 set epic still to come between these two.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon 02 Feb 2015, 1:15 pm

socal1976 wrote:Plus, I like to actually be in doubt about the outcome of a sporting event when I watch it. And fedal matches except indoors are completely one sided.

Djoko has beaten Murray the last 8 matches in a row on hard court. Is that not one-sided?


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Post by bogbrush Mon 02 Feb 2015, 1:33 pm

Why have Federer / Nadal matches become a stick to support Murray / Djokovic? Federer / Nadal matches in any case offer a rare chance for two all-time mega-greats of the game to inhabit the same court. It's like last season when United and Liverpool played - neither was anything like the force of yesteryear but its United and Liverpool, for God's sake, I mean it's them!!
Similary, it's Federer / Nadal - it'd still be the biggest game in tennis if they were both hanging onto a top ten place.

I also think the style of play each brings is sufficiently contrasting to make it fascinating. I like Federer / Djokovic or Murray matches for the same reason. The problem with Djokovic / Murray is that there's nothing in the other to make eithers game more interesting. It's as if together they conspire to "prove" how boring the approach is.

Or alternatively, maybe the OP just wants to get back at other posters by trying to get a rise out of them. Surely not?
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Post by R!skysports Mon 02 Feb 2015, 1:57 pm

I always wonder how people can say the Murray Djokovic are boring. There is some fantastic and awe inspiring stuff there -

Shot making of the highest standard

the only thing that is different is these two get these awe inspiring shots back - meaning more awe inspiring shot are needed


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Post by Born Slippy Mon 02 Feb 2015, 3:13 pm

Yeah, for 2.5 sets yesterday it was an awesome match. Really high quality. The shot-making was amazing to watch.

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Post by Guest Mon 02 Feb 2015, 3:39 pm

You impose a rivalry on fans if it doesn't have the appeal.

The one and two dominance brings in the appeal. Sampras and Agassi did it in the 90's, despite other rivalries say Sampras/Courier Agassi/Chang which the players were more resprentative of their styles.

People are always drawn to much bigger names in any sport.

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Post by bogbrush Mon 02 Feb 2015, 5:02 pm

Riskysports wrote:I always wonder how people can say the Murray Djokovic are boring. There is some fantastic and awe inspiring stuff there -

Shot making of the highest standard

the only thing that is different is these two get these awe inspiring shots back - meaning more awe inspiring shot are needed

Hmm

If Phil Taylor and Michael Van Gerwen really got their acts together and hit treble 20 every time, would that be exciting? Endless treble 20's and 9-darters?

I'm not saying those guys don't hit some great shots, but because in 95% of the situations I am fairly confident I know what shot they will hit (or at least it'll be one of two - say the DTL or CC backhand) I find it boring. This is exacerbated when there isn't someone the other side who is mixing it up.

This is why I believe Federer is more important to the game than appears, and why his decline brings serious challenges. He makes a Murray or Djokovic match way more interesting than they ever do when they face up against each other. Obviously if you're highly emotionally invested that doesn't matter so much but I'm viewing this as an impartial observer (even my well-known admiration of Federer is driven 100% by the tennis; I'm not into nationalism nor is there anything else about Federer that induces my engagement in his matches).
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Post by theslosty Mon 02 Feb 2015, 5:05 pm

Murray-Djokovic is my least favourite rivalry within the top 4 due to the fact they are so similar and most points follow a similar pattern. Don't get me wrong, the quality of ball striking was superb yesterday but the fact they are both so good at retrieving inevitably means most points are eventually won with unforced errors. They both have extremely strong returns and (relatively) weak serves which results which lends to endless baseline clashes. Neither have particularly strong net games nor a huge weapon to open up the court so they are always cancelling each other out. It's not at all a slant on the players themselves but just the consequent match-up. If Murray hadn't gone mentally AWOL that match was only ever going to be won on a physical basis rather than a tactical or technical basis.

Federer and Nadal have contrasting styles and different strengths and weaknesses, which creates a much greater variety in the points. With Murray and Djokovic often the serve is quickly neutralised whereas Federer's strong serve, relatively weak return game, and vice versa for Nadal means the style of the point is much more dependent on the server. You'll also see a much greater variation in the length of points between these two. Federer's variety and net game against the game's greatest passer (in his prime anyway) also adds a completely different dimension to anything present in the Murray-Djokovic match up. Even the fact Fedal is a right handed vs left handed match up adds a degree of intrigue. Finally, because their styles are similar it is very difficult for either Murray or Djokovic to gain a tactical advantage, quite simply all they can try to do is strike the ball as well as possible. From point to point and from match to match Nadal and particular Federer will use varying strategies.

I would also say the Federer-Nadal dynamic varies more depending on the surface. For me Djokovic has a narrow edge over Murray on all surfaces bar perhaps grass whereas Fedal on clay and Fedal indoors is quite simply not the same match.
The only significant advantage I would concede to Murray-Djokovic is the fact they were born only a weak apart generally resulting in a very close contest, we cannot say the same for Fedal but certainly the 2007-2011 period had some pretty magical contests.

Edit: Bogbrush has hit the nail on the head with the darts analogy. Murray and Djokovic are so good at what they do it actually hurts the entertainment value of the match-up.
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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 5:12 pm

BB you say you know exactly which shot Murray or Djokovic are going to play but in actuality Fedal matches are like that. Let me guess second serve Nadal is going to kick it to Fed's backhand. And let me guess fed is going to chip return it back. In the rally let me guess Nadal CC forehand to fed backhand. It just hasn't been competitive enough and there haven't been enough wins and close encounters in years to make it matter to me. I actually agree Djoko v. Fed is a great match to watch. Nadal v. Djoko or Fed v. Murray I thoroughly enjoy. But Fedal was great but hasn't been for a long time. When was the last truly classic match they played?

The fact is that like BS and others for 3 hours that match last night had a great deal going for it. It is a myth that they just hit endless rally balls. Both guys moved into net a lot, used a variety of shots and went for winners as the numbers I brought up indicated.

The only part I do acknowledge is that they are the two biggest names maybe in the history of the sport and they have vastly different games. If that is enough for you go to it. But you won't find me coming into every match thread and repeatedly telling other people who are watching how awful the match is. Although frankly most of there last few encounters have been. But yet everyone raves about it.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 5:21 pm

theslotsy, Nadal plays Federer exactly the same and Federer responds pretty much exactly the same in almost every match I have seen them play. Federer doesn't come in very much the one exception was the Rome match they played. And it is a complete myth that Murray and Djokovic don't have weapons to hit people off the court. Did you see the returns, the backhand winners, the forehand winners. Nearly 30 percent of the points ended with one or both player at the net. Were do you get this idea that Murray is not a good volleyer. He is at least as good volleyer as either Fed or Nadal. You give Federer and Nadal credit for things they don't do, and you don't give credit to Djokovic and Murray for qualities they do have. But hey you are free to like and dislike whichever matchup you like. But don't tell fedal matches have more variety they have none. Fed isn't net rushing Nadal all the time and Nadal is hitting the exact same ball to him a thousand times over. Also please don't tell me that Djokovic and Murray don't have shots to finish points or hit someone off the court its simply not true.

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Post by It Must Be Love Mon 02 Feb 2015, 5:35 pm

People will have their different opinions.
Of course firstly people are biased by the player they support- i.e. I'm far more likely to like a rivalry with Nadal, BB with Federer, Hawkeye with Murray, Socal with Djokovic etc.

In terms of the general public- I think many people loved the Federer-Nadal rivalry- two superstars who had contrasting styles. Djokovic-Murray has not yet captured the public imagination in the same way, but when they're playing well I do like watching it.

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Post by theslosty Mon 02 Feb 2015, 6:18 pm

socal1976 wrote:theslotsy, Nadal plays Federer exactly the same and Federer responds pretty much exactly the same in almost every match I have seen them play. Federer doesn't come in very much the one exception was the Rome match they played. And it is a complete myth that Murray and Djokovic don't have weapons to hit people off the court. Did you see the returns, the backhand winners, the forehand winners. Nearly 30 percent of the points ended with one or both player at the net. Were do you get this idea that Murray is not a good volleyer. He is at least as good volleyer as either Fed or Nadal. You give Federer and Nadal credit for things they don't do, and you don't give credit to Djokovic and Murray for qualities they do have. But hey you are free to like and dislike whichever matchup you like. But don't tell fedal matches have more variety they have none. Fed isn't net rushing Nadal all the time and Nadal is hitting the exact same ball to him a thousand times over. Also please don't tell me that Djokovic and Murray don't have shots to finish points or hit someone off the court its simply not true.
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Firstly, I'd plainly disagree with your suggestion Federer does not come in very much against Nadal. For better or for worse he is often in situations at the net with the point finely poised. He also loves to serve-volley to the Nadal backhand on the the deuce court. 
I would also strongly contend with your view Murray is just as good as Federer in the volleying department. For me Federer is at another level in this department compared to the other three, he can punch volleys through the court much better (albeit Novak did this well yesterday) and his sublime drop volleys and pick ups are skills nobody else on tour can match. I'm confident the stats would back me up here if you so require.
Personally I think Murray's net game is pretty overrated and even if it was that good he very rarely comes in. It may be my selective memory but the only volleys I remember him hitting yesterday was that stinker of a volley at the end of the first set and a woeful drop shot in the 3rd or 4th which was easily picked off by Novak. However if you can source me that stat saying nearly 30% of points ended at the net I am happy to eat my words (though I bet most of those points are overheads and drop shots rather than conventional volleys).

I think you missed the point of my post. I was not saying Murray and Djokovic are weak in any department but rather their relative strengths are more in defence rather than offence. I stand by my comment neither are really able to open the court up against each other, but this is more a credit of their defensive skills than a criticism of their offensive abilities. Neither have a weapon like either of Fedal's forehands or Federer's sheer creativity and imagination to open up a point. Again that is not a criticism of Murray or Djokovic but I believe Federer is truly unique in that regard, look at the way he has dismantled Murray in GS finals, Djokovic doesn't beat Murray in that kind of way.
Again, you missed my point re returns, they are so good they make it incredibly difficult for the other to open up the court rather than the other way round. Neither have a forehand like Fedal, Novak's is underrated but still a way off those two. They probably have the best two backhands in the game but generally one can cope with whatever the other has thrown at him. It's also just a fact of tennis that it is easier to open up a point with a forehand than a backhand, even if a player has a relatively stronger backhand. I would make an exception for the single handed backhand as it naturally creates more options and has that extra flexibility, albeit with much less solidity.
I never said Djokovic and Murray don't have the shots to finish off opponents. I am specifically referring to when they play each other when they struggle a bit. 

EDIT: You will probably find this an uninspiring opinion but there really is no one else on tour that plays like Federer. You are within your rights to disagree but for me his skill level and imagination just brings a completely different element to any other match up. Djokovic, Murray are at an extremely high level but you couldn't say their style is radically different to the rest of the tour, no matter how good the standard is. Heck, I would even say my own personal style isn't far off Djokovic, but I'll never be able to play like Federer. Even Nadal's style of play, which may not to be everyone's taste, is so unorthodox and unique compared to many others.


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Post by Born Slippy Mon 02 Feb 2015, 6:25 pm

Just to add perspective, I agree the 2013 final was not great quality. The standard of returning, for some reason, was relatively poor and there wasn't a break in the first two sets.

However, yesterday's match was top-notch. There were some stunning winners, touch rallies at the net. Both players looked to move forwards and Murray, in particular, was using a range of different spins and power. Both players were so good from the baseline that a free point had to be earned with a great serve. It was tennis how tennis should be played. Personally, i would prefer to see a 20 shot rally of tremendous quality eventually ending on a forced error than the snooze-inducing 1-2 punch play most Federer fans now seem to be demanding.

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Post by theslosty Mon 02 Feb 2015, 6:42 pm

I wouldn't disagree that there were plenty of quite brilliant 20+ shot rallies, but it's the sheer volume of them that make them difficult to appreciate. It's also worth acknowledging that they make the match last longer than most viewers enjoy and with so little to separate the pair the outcome comes down to pure fitness levels.
Again a match where the rallies rarely extended past 3 shots would be just as monotonous bit I do think it's nice to see some serve-volley thrown in or a well devised one-tow combination to break up the play.
This highlights another factor that makes Federer the most watchable for most fans, you may find 4 short points in a row boring but when he can serve out a game in less time than many of the rallies lasted yesterday it does very much improve the "flow" of the game. He doesn't half waste any time, and should be commended for it.
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Post by Danny_1982 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 8:41 pm

It is each to their own, but I like fedal the least of all top 4 matches. It is so predictable. Nadal just relentlessly plays to the Federer backhand until it breaks, and repeat.

I think that Wimbledon match between them is the greatest ever, but their matches are dull nowadays. There was a sheet of paper between Murray and djokovic for nearly 3 hours yesterday. When did that last happen in a fedal match?

Love watching both of them against other top players, but against each other is a huge turn off.

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Post by Guest Mon 02 Feb 2015, 8:52 pm

Thing is Danny same can be said for Djokourray. Hit and hit till there is nothing left to hit. Though I guess the redeeming factor is the winner is less predictable than Fedal.

Djokourray needs a wow factor kind of match. Like Cincinnati 2008, Rome 2011 and Shanghai 2012. I think their BO3 matches are much better than their BO5 matches.

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Post by Danny_1982 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 9:02 pm

I kinda agree with that LK. The 2012 AO semi is in my opinion the best match they've played. But I do feel their finest hour is yet to come. As for predictable shots though (said previously, not by you) I disagree.

Murray wont often go down the line on the forehand, but other than that they can play all the shots. Including slice battles, drop shots, lobs... Sometimes I think they'd be more popular if they weren't great retrievers, but I personally love that.

Each to their own as I say. Excluding 2014 they've had some great battles in recent years, and that's what makes me prefer it. I know the shot patterns AND the winner when I watch fedal. Yes Novak is on a streak against Murray now, but that's largely 2014 which is not a fair reflection of the rivalry.

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Post by Guest Mon 02 Feb 2015, 9:13 pm

I am kinda torn on that Danny. AO 2012 is hit and miss. Depends what side of the bed I get out of with that one. BO5 has become a strategic marathon. A Murray and Djokovic will not exhaust their heaviest shots. That's not their fault given the slow nature of the courts. Every single big hitter hits the wall. Cannot keep it up over a 5 setter. Purchase on the court will lead to purchase on shots. That is why speeding up courts is a must if the tour is to survive beyond the current crop.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 02 Feb 2015, 9:27 pm

I don't mind Djokovic v Murray as a match up in Bo3 but I don't think it works Bo5.

The first two sets yesterday were a good standard but, after two and a half hours, we were still nowhere near a result (or at least that's what we we thought!).

If they go long on the first two sets on Bo3, then we have a one set, winner-takes-all situation. It's just too long Bo5.

Best top 4 match up in my opinion is Federer v Djokovic. It's probably the only one that magnifies each player's game. All the other combinations usually stifle at least one player's game (Federer v Nadal being the prime example).

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Post by Danny_1982 Mon 02 Feb 2015, 9:41 pm

Murdoch - I can understand some people thinking it's too long for them, though not for me personally. I could watch a good match forever.

Novak v Roger is great fun. And it would be up there for my fav non-Murray match. Any top 4 (or 5 with Stan to be fair) variation apart from fedal

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 02 Feb 2015, 9:47 pm

Yep, Stan's A-game, and also that of JMDP, is a good blend with the top 4.

Sadly I'm becoming less confident of ever seeing the JMDP A-game again.

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Post by Guest Mon 02 Feb 2015, 9:54 pm

I don't think the Djokovic/Federer match up really tickles my fancy. Partly because it took so long for them to have a classic. The US Open in 2011 was brilliant. Wimbledon 2014 for me was a bit over-rated. Before I get shot down, Wimbledon 2014 was testament to Djokovics survival skills given how well Federer played the whole match. Federer wilted big time and that kind of spoiled the match for me given both players were walking on egg shells in the 5th.

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Post by CAS Mon 02 Feb 2015, 10:01 pm

I personally enjoy the Djokovic vs Nadal matches the most, not so much for the tennis itself although it can produce unbelievable rallies, but the mental side of it. I think they are both so mentally strong against everyone else except each other. In my opinion they are the only ones who can get in each others head. I find it fascinating watching, as neither are afraid to win so it becomes a battle of the mind

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Post by Guest Mon 02 Feb 2015, 10:02 pm

There seems to be a very rapid revision going on; either that or I watched a different match.

The first set was good until about 4-3 then it disintegrated. The level didn't pick up again until towards the end of the second set. Just go back to the live commentary on here and you'll see how many Murray fans were decrying the level right throughout the second set (until around 5-5 iirc) In between was a bunch of errors interspersed with a lot of up and down rallies with neither playing really going for the lines.

Murray then broke at the start of the third, mainly from a bunch of strange errors from Djokovic. And that's it. Because after that, as we all know, Andy basically collapsed.

So this assertion that the first 2.5 sets were top notch is way over the top. It was a patchy match.

And in response to the OP, no, if Fedal had played this same match with the points replicated, no one would have called it the most wonderful match ever.

Their AO 2012 semi final was just as competitive and of a higher quality yet no one even mentions it.

As for comparing this to the AUS final of 2009 then that's just ridiculous. That match was scintillating drama until 3-2 in the final set. Incredible rallies. This was no where near the same level.


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Post by HM Murdock Mon 02 Feb 2015, 10:09 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote: Wimbledon 2014 was testament to Djokovics survival skills given how well Federer played the whole match.
Not so sure about that.

It took Federer until the end of the second set to force his first break point.

He only forced 7 BPs in the whole match, compared to Novak's 15.

So, although Novak had his 4th set melt down, it's not as if Federer was all over him prior to that.

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Post by Guest Mon 02 Feb 2015, 10:17 pm

HM Murdoch wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote: Wimbledon 2014 was testament to Djokovics survival skills given how well Federer played the whole match.
Not so sure about that.

It took Federer until the end of the second set to force his first break point.

He only forced 7 BPs in the whole match, compared to Novak's 15.

So, although Novak had his 4th set melt down, it's not as if Federer was all over him prior to that.

Federer was solid but not spectacular (those days are gone).

Djokovic was also solid without being spectacular, but his solid is better than Federer's at this point in their careers'. Ergo Djokovic won.

I wouldn't say the match was overrated per se in that it is still one of the best W finals of the last decade and has been received as such by most people, however, I agree with LK in that some people have been overrating it. For example, there were some comments on here suggesting that it was better than W 08. Completely disagree. There were far better rallies in the '08 match and both players really stretched each other and forced each other to hit ridiculous shots just to stay in a point. There wasn't much of that in the '14 final, probably because Federer no longer has the legs to make those incredible gets with any degree of consistency.

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