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Who will make it out of the fourth quarter?

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Total Votes : 10
 
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Post by YvonneT Mon 17 Aug 2015, 1:49 pm

First topic message reminder :

Full draw: http://www.protennislive.com/posting/2015/422/mds.pdf

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Post by Guest Wed 19 Aug 2015, 12:43 pm

This will be the first and last I say on this issue in regards to the 'risk' nature of the Nadal game.

We are taking an all too simplistic view of 'urgh the ball is 6ft above the net'

Agreed he is taking the risk of not netting the ball out of the equation with the shot, but make no mistake the length that man finds on his groundies at times is ridiculous. I mean right up hugging the baseline. Compare that with say Murray who by and all gets slaughtered by me over his lengths and you start to see that if he struggles to find the perfect 'length' then in pale comparison to Nadal, you can see why Nadal has his opponents in knots.

I have played for many a year and i'd be lucky if I find even one groundie that hugs the baseline. Now it might not be the most attractive swashbuckling tennis that we yearn for, but imagine that each ball that comes over that net and you think 'cor this is going out by a mile' and then it dips like a b*tch and clips the baseline. Think about your reaction times in trying to get the ball back without setting up a winner for him.

Now I am personally not a fan of that particular style, but I sure appreciate how difficult it is to consistently land shots that are within centremetres of the baseline. You might think wow that's easy, I have a whole line to aim at, but then when you start to think about how close you want to hit it, it becomes a different task all together.

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Post by LuvSports! Wed 19 Aug 2015, 12:54 pm

Impressive yes, but not risky imo.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Wed 19 Aug 2015, 1:02 pm

Thank you lk.. I know we often disagree but I have been wondering what  player I have been watching all this time...  if Nadal did not used to play high risk tennis then I would like someone to show me who did/does. The element of his game that you speak of have gone missing because I believe its his lack of confidence. He is missing the lines, and  his fh banana shot is hardly in evidence. Anyways LK thumbsup

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Post by Born Slippy Wed 19 Aug 2015, 1:38 pm

Nadal hits some shots that are close to the baseline but largely speaking he hits with a wide margin away from both side and baseline. He gets nowhere near the freakish consistent depth of Novak. He most definitely does not play a risky game.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 19 Aug 2015, 1:43 pm

My definition of high-risk is someone who attempts to end the points with a risky winner (when a safer shot is available), even though it may end up in an error/losing the point, or who generally plays rallies in that manner i.e. risks losing them in order to try an win them.
All the top players can hit great winners, and at times are forced to do so and can pull it off - the all or nothing shot, that ends up being an 'all'.
But overall, Rafa's style of play has never matched my own opinion/definition of what high-risk tennis is. In general, he is content to rally until a low risk winner presents itself, or until the opponent makes an error. That's not to say he never plays and succeeds with high-risk shots, but it's just my assessment of his overall strategy in a match.

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Post by Guest Wed 19 Aug 2015, 1:44 pm

It might not be what I would call high risk, but being club level for me just getting the ball in the court is a start Laugh

I often laugh at the supposed risk takers. Seeing a player net the ball trying to blast the fluff off the ball a dozen times doesn't make him a risky player, just a stupid one.

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Post by hawkeye Wed 19 Aug 2015, 2:50 pm

When Djokovic hit that crazy winner when Federer had match point back in that US open semi ( Sad ) that was an extreme example of high risk tennis. Federer said he was shocked because he thought Djokovic was better than that. Some thought he was just being arrogant for saying that and maybe he was for saying it in press just after the match. But I understood what he meant. I was shocked too that Djokovic didn't trust his game enough to attempt to save that match point. Instead he rolled the dice and got a little lucky. He played that point as if he thought Federer was the better player and his only chance of winning was to gamble.

Playing high risk is not the same as playing aggressively. Nadal does play aggressively. Even his rally ball shots are aggressive because of the crazy spin and angles he uses. When he gets a player running further and further out of position with balls that are carefully placed but nowhere near the lines and then hits a winner that is still well within the lines but impossible to reach it looks cruelly aggressive. But Nadal has kept his risk down to a minimum.

This is very different to just putting the ball in and waiting for the opponent to make an error. Although this style is often described as being low risk it is not going to persistently trouble the better players. That sort of tennis would never get 14 slams and is dull as dishwater to watch. Nadal is quite popular to watch and has 14 slams Very Happy

Of course all this only applies when Nadal is playing well...

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Post by hawkeye Wed 19 Aug 2015, 2:52 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:

I often laugh at the supposed risk takers. Seeing a player net the ball trying to blast the fluff off the ball a dozen times doesn't make him a risky player, just a stupid one.

Gosh I agree with you Laugh

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Post by Haddie-nuff Wed 19 Aug 2015, 2:56 pm

Born Slippy wrote:Nadal hits some shots that are close to the baseline but largely speaking he hits with a wide margin away from both side and baseline. He gets nowhere near the freakish consistent depth of Novak. He most definitely does not play a risky game.

Somehow I think Im watching a different player.. Rolling Eyes how bliddy close do you want him to get???

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXpKyLepYnY

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Post by hawkeye Wed 19 Aug 2015, 3:13 pm

Haddie. They are great shots and I agree very low percentage. But Rafa played all of them when he was in a poor position in the rally. He plays high risk shots when they are required and as that video shows he is very good at pulling off what looks like the impossible. But he is way too good a player to attempt such low risk shots when he is control of a rally. Being in control of a rally is what he is trying to do with his game.

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Post by lags72 Wed 19 Aug 2015, 3:20 pm

hawkeye wrote:

......................................................

Nadal is quite popular to watch and has 14 slams Very Happy

...

"Quite popular to watch ......"

Hmm.....not exactly a ringing endorsement there HE  chin

Sounds like you'll never be spotted in the overnight queue at Wimbledon to grab a ticket for one of Rafa's matches ........

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Post by Haddie-nuff Wed 19 Aug 2015, 3:36 pm

hawkeye wrote:Haddie. They are great shots and I agree very low percentage. But Rafa played all of them when he was in a poor position in the rally. He plays high risk shots when they are required and as that video shows he is very good at pulling off what looks like the impossible. But he is way too good a player to attempt such low risk shots when he is control of a rally. Being in control of a rally is what he is trying to do with his game.

I was answering BS comment if you notice what it was about Rafa not playing the lines !!!!! It doesn't matter when he plays them . he plays them Or should I say he played them

Or did he just get lucky Wink

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Post by Born Slippy Wed 19 Aug 2015, 3:40 pm

I don't think the Djokovic return winner against Fed was lucky or in any way showed Novak had no faith in his own abilities. Quite the contrary. The ball was in his forehand hitting zone and he took the shot on - we saw him (and Murray) hit similar returns at times on Sunday at points during the match. I have no doubt he would have played the same shot at 0-0. He played the ball not the score and got his reward.

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Post by Guest Wed 19 Aug 2015, 3:50 pm

hawkeye wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:

I often laugh at the supposed risk takers. Seeing a player net the ball trying to blast the fluff off the ball a dozen times doesn't make him a risky player, just a stupid one.

Gosh I agree with you Laugh

I change my opinion! Laugh

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Post by HM Murdock Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:12 pm

Born Slippy wrote:I don't think the Djokovic return winner against Fed was lucky or in any way showed Novak had no faith in his own abilities. Quite the contrary. The ball was in his forehand hitting zone and he took the shot on - we saw him (and Murray) hit similar returns at times on Sunday at points during the match. I have no doubt he would have played the same shot at 0-0. He played the ball not the score and got his reward.
Yes, I've never seen it as rolling the dice and getting lucky either.

It was Djokovic hitting a return winner. It's the shot at which he is arguably the best on tour and had done many times before and has done many times since.

Had he rushed the net and attempted an outrageous volley, then I might think he was rolling the dice!

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Post by slashermcguirk Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:27 pm

That line by federer saying the djokovic return was just a lucky slap shot really peed me off. I was always a fan of federer over the years but sour grapes comments like that really bugged me.

Djokovic is consistently one of the great returners in the game, he does that far too frequently for it to be a fluke! That federer serve landed right in his strike zone and Novak is very confident with that type of return. There was of course risk but also a huge degree of skill and timing. He simply does it far too often for it to be considered a lucky slap shot.

Federer seemed to forget he had another match point straight after and butchered a straight forward shot into the net chord. Real sour grapes on that occasion!

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Post by dummy_half Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:28 pm

hawkeye wrote:When Djokovic hit that crazy winner when Federer had match point back in that US open semi ( Sad ) that was an extreme example of high risk tennis. Federer said he was shocked because he thought Djokovic was better than that. Some thought he was just being arrogant for saying that and maybe he was for saying it in press just after the match. But I understood what he meant. I was shocked too that Djokovic didn't trust his game enough to attempt to save that match point. Instead he rolled the dice and got a little lucky. He played that point as if he thought Federer was the better player and his only chance of winning was to gamble.

Playing high risk is not the same as playing aggressively. Nadal does play aggressively. Even his rally ball shots are aggressive because of the crazy spin and angles he uses. When he gets a player running further and further out of position with balls that are carefully placed but nowhere near the lines and then hits a winner that is still well within the lines but impossible to reach it looks cruelly aggressive. But Nadal has kept his risk down to a minimum.

This is very different to just putting the ball in and waiting for the opponent to make an error. Although this style is often described as being low risk it is not going to persistently trouble the better players. That sort of tennis would never get 14 slams and is dull as dishwater to watch. Nadal is quite popular to watch and has 14 slams Very Happy

Of course all this only applies when Nadal is playing well...

Largely agree with this - Rafa plays few shots that are really nothingy, and uses the crazy topspin to create angles and get the ball to jump away from opponent's hitting zones (especially Federer's backhand). The topspin also allows his shots to be relatively safe in terms of net clearance and (sometimes) on how close to the lines he plays - as such they are low risk (as shown by the ridiculously low number of UEs he makes) but strategically aggressive. Of course two further things are:
1 - the technical difficulty in timing the ball as well as Rafa does (did?) on the topspin forehand to allow him to create the spin and trajectory on the ball (if it was easy, everyone would do it)
2 - that Rafa is one of the best readers of a situation on the court, with regard to knowing when to maintain a rally and when to look for the killer shot.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:58 pm

Who actually plays high risk shots all the time and with success? I call that reckless tennis, not high risk tennis, it's like going for broke and most likely that's because there's no way of beating your opponent and so one has to go for broke, hopefully lucky enough to have most shots landing in as winners!

So, while Rafa plays with a safe margin, he too like what LK mentioned, is also hitting the lines not rarely but many times. I won't call his high risk tennis all the time, but he does play high risk tennis at times, and that is true also for players like Novak and Fed or even Stan. It's not only Novak who's hitting with depth and pace, Rafa can do that too in addition to his topspin dip just right at the baseline shots. It's just that Rafa hits more topspin than flatter shots.

Like I said before, the big four guys hardly need to play high risk tennis vs the rest of the field; it's only when they have to beat each other that they play some high risk tennis.

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Post by temporary21 Wed 19 Aug 2015, 6:01 pm

Nadal definitely isnt a high risk player, but he IS an aggressive tennis player at his best. On his forehand he always looks to dictate with heavy angles, its the fact he has so much topspin that doing so has little risk.

The much maligned topspin forehand into the bit that people arent allowed to hit to Roger is very safe, but it puts lots of opponents in hard positions, its not aggressive per se, but it isnt passive either, its often deliberate

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Post by TRuffin Wed 19 Aug 2015, 6:08 pm

Just an observation, but I've never seen a group of tennis fans turn on each other so much like Nadal fans do. Its like this slump or decline has sent all their hopes and dreams crashing down on them. Not just here but on every forum I visit, especially in USA, they are sniping at each other over any perceived difference of opinion on the guy. IMHO,whatever his perceived style of play is to you, enjoy it and relax.

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Post by temporary21 Wed 19 Aug 2015, 6:20 pm

Kyrgios fans maybe? I think youll see its just the usual, fans v not fans but nothing so far here requires any concern

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Post by TRuffin Wed 19 Aug 2015, 6:28 pm

temporary21 wrote:Kyrgios fans maybe? I think youll see its just the usual, fans v not fans but nothing so far here requires any concern

I don't think Kyrgios has enough fans to notice infighting :-).. I'm not concerned about it, just think it's odd. Usually when an athlete is going through something, the fan base rallies and comes together. I go to various forums and Nadals fans seem to all be peed at him or each other. Just a different dynamic.

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Post by LuvSports! Wed 19 Aug 2015, 6:31 pm

Sensai Truffers Very Happy

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Post by lags72 Wed 19 Aug 2015, 6:32 pm

TRuffin wrote:Just an observation, but I've never seen a group of tennis fans turn on each other so much like Nadal fans do. Its like this slump or decline has sent all their hopes and dreams crashing down on them. Not just here but on every forum I visit, especially in USA, they are sniping at each other over any perceived difference of opinion on the guy.   IMHO,whatever his perceived style of play is to you, enjoy it and relax.

It is rather odd, must say. At the risk of straying briefly into the murky world of politics, shades perhaps of a certain leadership campaign currently going on in the UK ...?

I genuinely happen to believe Rafa is much closer to turning things around than many others seem to think. Could come as early as the USO (you heard it here first ....)

Either way, the peaks & troughs just have to be accepted as part of the joy & pain that come from watching sport.

'Twas ever thus. Oh Bjorn......how I miss you ("still crazy after all these years .....")


Crying or Very sad

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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 19 Aug 2015, 7:18 pm

lags72 wrote:
TRuffin wrote:Just an observation, but I've never seen a group of tennis fans turn on each other so much like Nadal fans do. Its like this slump or decline has sent all their hopes and dreams crashing down on them. Not just here but on every forum I visit, especially in USA, they are sniping at each other over any perceived difference of opinion on the guy.   IMHO,whatever his perceived style of play is to you, enjoy it and relax.

It is rather odd, must say. At the risk of straying briefly into the murky world of politics, shades perhaps of a certain leadership campaign currently going on in the UK ...?

I genuinely happen to believe Rafa is much closer to turning things around than many others seem to think. Could come as early as the USO (you heard it here first ....)

Either way, the peaks & troughs just have to be accepted as part of the joy & pain that come from watching sport.

'Twas ever thus. Oh Bjorn......how I miss you ("still crazy after all these years .....")


Crying or Very sad

No I don't find it odd at all really. When Murray went through dark times last year there were many Murray fans in disagreement over what the problem was or what he should have been doing more. I do recall similar things with Federer when he went through a lean spell a couple of years back. It happens.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Wed 19 Aug 2015, 7:25 pm

Its the rational vs the worshiping or overprotective group; or the glory seeking group vs geniune loving group.

There are those who criticize Rafa for not doing this or that, they're either overly concerned, or are disappointed with him now that hes losing and no longer the hero they used to worship.

Rafa fans are unlike the Fed and Novak fans. I do feel that Fed and Novak fans think that their hero is invincible and they worship their hero like an idol.

Rafa fans, most of them i believe, feel that Rafa is vulnerable, maybe because of his frequent injuries,and they turn protective over him; many adore him because of his personality, his looks and of course his tennis passion and game. Some are overly protective and would defend him against any criticism from fans or non fans.

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Post by It Must Be Love Wed 19 Aug 2015, 7:27 pm

Belovedluckyboy wrote:
Rafa fans are unlike the Fed and Novak fans.  I do feel that Fed and Novak fans think that their hero is invincible and they worship their hero like an idol.

Rafa fans, most of them i believe, feel that Rafa is vulnerable, maybe because of his frequent injuries,and they turn protective over him; many adore him because of his personality, his looks and of course his tennis passion and game. Some are overly protective and would defend him against any criticism from fans or non fans.
I do think that's a good point.
Of course we can't over generalise, there may be fans on both sides who are exceptions, but certainly from my side I do feel Nadal being vulnerable is a big part of the whole thing, the whole story.

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Post by lags72 Wed 19 Aug 2015, 7:33 pm

CC : oh sure, nothing odd about fan disagreement. Part & parcel of what a forum is for, after all.

But I think - if I have interpreted his post correctly - that TRuffin has observed rather more than general disagreement ; and that's what I was commenting on myself.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 19 Aug 2015, 8:00 pm

All I've seen here has been general disagreement - no eye-gauging or anything like that. Laugh
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Post by LuvSports! Wed 19 Aug 2015, 8:06 pm

I'm missing a certain amount of dignity from 606.... Wink

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Post by Guest Wed 19 Aug 2015, 8:10 pm

https://youtu.be/gEuw2mgLRuQ

This Rafa in a nutshell at the moment

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Post by HM Murdock Wed 19 Aug 2015, 8:20 pm

Belovedluckyboy wrote:I do feel that Fed and Novak fans think that their hero is invincible and they worship their hero like an idol.
Not on this forum!

When it gets to the business end of a competition, the Federer and Djokovic fans on here can barely post a comment without playing down their favourites' chances!

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Post by It Must Be Love Wed 19 Aug 2015, 8:23 pm

As for Nadal fans debating passionately, I think that's a good thing actually, no problem in difference in opinions even within Nadal fans.

Also one word I would add though, is truffin if you've seen the stuff on TT warehouse I'd be a bit careful at taking that at face value. There are many people there who pretend to be Nadal fans, who join the forum and next day suddenly claim that they've been Nadal fans for life and are convinced he's definitely going to win the US Open and all the Grand Slams. So some people do troll and pretend to be Nadal fans when it's obvious they're not.

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Post by slashermcguirk Wed 19 Aug 2015, 10:36 pm

Really super 1st set here with djokovic and pairs. Really good shotmaking from both. This paire guy has great feel and a brilliant backhand! Really entertaining match

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Post by LuvSports! Wed 19 Aug 2015, 10:51 pm

Good to see Paire getting back to his best. 26 now.

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Post by summerblues Thu 20 Aug 2015, 4:11 am

hawkeye wrote:His forehand rally shot is as safe as safe can be with high clearance over the net and spin to bring it in and yet it can pose problems. What he is so good at doing is playing safe to get an opponent out of position and then going for a winner.
Exactly.  Rafa's bread and butter was based on two things:

First, he can defend like there is no tomorrow, meaning it is very hard to hit through him.

Second, his neutral rally shot can cause people all kinds of trouble, meaning it is hard to rally with him.

So it was very difficult to find a way around him - neither trying to hit him off the floor nor trying to be patient with him would normally work well.

hawkeye wrote:Games based on high risk tennis by definition will be less successful than games based on playing the percentages.
Well, it depends on what you mean by high risk - if you mean by high risk that one is taking a higher risk of losing, then of course yes, but that is not what people mean by "high risk tennis".

Say, from a neutral position you can either "go for it" with say roughly 30/30% chance of winner or unforced error or "just rally until a better opportunity presents itself" with a roughly 5/5% chance of winner or unforced error.  The first of these approaches would be deemed to be more "high risk".  Nevertheless, either one could translate to a higher percentage tennis in terms of the probability of winning the match - which one works better for a particular player at any given time will depend on things such as conditions, opponent, player's skill set etc.

Rafa is obviously not a "high risk player" - when he first came on the scene his trademark was to go through the entire clay court season with zero winners and zero unforced errors.  He is a an extremely good extremely low risk player.

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Post by kingraf Thu 20 Aug 2015, 6:30 am

Pretty sure he cracked about 70 winners on clay in the Davis Cup against Roddick in 2004? Don't think that happened by Osmosis.
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Post by Haddie-nuff Thu 20 Aug 2015, 6:40 am

His cross court and down the line shots ? with absolutely no room for error when his opponent is rushing the net are absolutely no risk whatsoever. Walk in the park Not winning shots. In fact all Rafa does is keep the ball in play and lets his opponents make the mistakes. What a way to win 14GS
Why do I bother to watch this guy??

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Post by hawkeye Thu 20 Aug 2015, 7:39 am

summerblues wrote:

hawkeye wrote:Games based on high risk tennis by definition will be less successful than games based on playing the percentages.
Well, it depends on what you mean by high risk - if you mean by high risk that one is taking a higher risk of losing, then of course yes, but that is not what people mean by "high risk tennis".

Say, from a neutral position you can either "go for it" with say roughly 30/30% chance of winner or unforced error or "just rally until a better opportunity presents itself" with a roughly 5/5% chance of winner or unforced error.  The first of these approaches would be deemed to be more "high risk".  Nevertheless, either one could translate to a higher percentage tennis in terms of the probability of winning the match - which one works better for a particular player at any given time will depend on things such as conditions, opponent, player's skill set etc.


But Rafa's game isn't based on "just rallying" as I tried to say in the rest of that quote

hawkeye wrote:

This is very different to just putting the ball in and waiting for the opponent to make an error. Although this style is often described as being low risk it is not going to persistently trouble the better players.

His game is not reactionary. He is not merely putting the ball in play and hoping that his opponent will make errors. He tries to take progressive control. The idea being he keeps the risks down with his own play but makes his opponent hit progressively higher risk shots from progressively more difficult positions. It's not just luck that his opponents make errors they are forced. When he hit's winners and is in control they don't have to be the flat, super speed, millimeter over the net forehands that are generally recognized as winners. They can be a forehand into the middle of an open court watched helplessly from his off position opponent.  

Of course he can hit memorable high risk winners himself when pushed. Many highlight reels are full of them. But he generally hits these when he has lost control of the rally and his opponent has pushed him out of position. In an odd way when he hits a high risk winner he is playing defensively  Wink  

Of course this is what IMO he is trying to do with his game and he has to play well to for it to work.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Thu 20 Aug 2015, 7:52 am

picard

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Thu 20 Aug 2015, 8:56 am

Ha, hawkeye, I like your summary or analysis of Rafa's game.

Rafa just hit some paint the baseline shots vs Chardy here at Cincy. He certainly can take risk and hit some high risk shots. He hit one BHDTL passing shot which was so low that it barely went over the high part of the net.

Rafa is a master strategist on the tennis court. He's just that good that he doesnt need to play high risk shots all the time, and could force his opponents to take most of the risks.

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Post by bogbrush Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:20 am

Haddie-nuff wrote:His cross court and down the line shots ?  with absolutely no room for error when his opponent is rushing the net are absolutely no risk whatsoever. Walk in the park Not winning shots. In fact all Rafa does is keep the ball in play and lets his opponents make the mistakes. What a way to win 14GS
Why do I bother to watch this guy??
Risky shots played when there's no alternative doesn't make someone a risk taking player. When you have no choice then where's the risk? It's either hit that shot or lose the point.

It's what you do when you have all the options that determines your attitude. Rafa, in that case, tends to play low-risk (but possibly aggressive) shots. Not a problem but it doesn't make him a risk-taker.
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Post by Born Slippy Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:22 am

Relatively comfortable win for Rafa although he had a bit of difficult serving out both sets. Looks like Andy v Fish was a bit of a mugfest - probably fortunate for Andy that Mardy is short of matches. He will need to be sharper against Grigor.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:38 am

bogbrush wrote:
Haddie-nuff wrote:His cross court and down the line shots ?  with absolutely no room for error when his opponent is rushing the net are absolutely no risk whatsoever. Walk in the park Not winning shots. In fact all Rafa does is keep the ball in play and lets his opponents make the mistakes. What a way to win 14GS
Why do I bother to watch this guy??
Risky shots played when there's no alternative doesn't make someone a risk taking player. When you have no choice then where's the risk?  It's either hit that shot or lose the point.

It's what you do when you have all the options that determines your attitude. Rafa, in that case, tends to play low-risk (but possibly aggressive) shots. Not a problem but it doesn't make him a risk-taker.

Agree with Bogbrush's take on this - hitting, for example, an effective passing shot when on the dead run and in a bad position is not 'high risk' tennis, it is just the thing that sets apart the best few from the rest (in that the likes of Rafa, Murray, Djoko and Federer make 3 in 10 of these when a top 50 player makes maybe 1 in 10). If the point is lost anyway, then winning the point is a bonus.

High risk tennis, arguably to the point of fool-hardiness, is what Dustin Brown plays. It also seems to be the way to beat Rafa - the victories for Soderling and Rosol did not come by them hanging with him in rallies, but by hitting very flat and painting the lines. The problem is that this ultra high risk style only works on those '10 out of 10' days.

I would argue that even Federer isn't really a high risk player, more a medium risk one - while he takes more risks than Nadal (or Djoko and Murray), he is quite content to work a rally for a while in the hope of opening up an opportunity, rather than taking a big cut at a half-chance early on.

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:42 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Rafa is a master strategist on the tennis court.
I hear this a lot but I don't really see it.

He's incredibly disciplined in executing 'Plan A' but he seems to be the least tactically flexible of the top players.

In what way do you consider him to be a master strategist?

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Post by Guest82 Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:50 am

HM Murdock wrote:
Belovedluckyboy wrote:Rafa is a master strategist on the tennis court.
I hear this a lot but I don't really see it.

He's incredibly disciplined in executing 'Plan A' but he seems to be the least tactically flexible of the top players.

In what way do you consider him to be a master strategist?


Yeah agree with this. Plan A has always served him very well too.

Made small adjustments to counter Djokovic from 2011 onwards, although took him a long time to make them.

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:59 am

dummy_half wrote:I would argue that even Federer isn't really a high risk player, more a medium risk one
I'm not sure I would even call him medium risk.

He's aggressive with superb technique and wonderful imagination (in the sense that he 'sees' shots that I don't think other players can, hence his brilliant improvisational skills) but I don't think he's much of a gambler.

Certain shots can be spectacular but, such is his ability, his chances of executing those shots are pretty high.

That 'tweener' against Djoko at the USO is maybe his most famous shot but I've seen him pull it off in other matches and exhibitions quite comfortably.

And you simply don't go 81-4 or 92-5 playing risky tennis.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 20 Aug 2015, 10:19 am

HM Murdock wrote:
dummy_half wrote:I would argue that even Federer isn't really a high risk player, more a medium risk one
I'm not sure I would even call him medium risk.

He's aggressive with superb technique and wonderful imagination (in the sense that he 'sees' shots that I don't think other players can, hence his brilliant improvisational skills) but I don't think he's much of a gambler.

Certain shots can be spectacular but, such is his ability, his chances of executing those shots are pretty high.

That 'tweener' against Djoko at the USO is maybe his most famous shot but I've seen him pull it off in other matches and exhibitions quite comfortably.

And you simply don't go 81-4 or 92-5 playing risky tennis.
HM

Suspect that all we're really disagreeing about is semantics of the labelling. I think almost everyone here would agree that Federer takes more risks than the rest of the 'Big 4' in the sense that he will go for a bigger shot earlier in a rally than the others, and as a result hits both more winners and more UEs.

Obviously you are right to point out that Fed has fantastic technique and 'creativity' of shot making, and that because of this he pulls off a disproportionately high number of relatively high risk shots (or what for most mortals are impossible shots, like the flicked backhand half volley), but that's not saying his style is low risk, just that he is / was so bleeding good that he can play at a higher risk level and still win consistently.

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 20 Aug 2015, 11:12 am

^DH, yes, I didn't intend my comment to be a contradiction. More of an 'extension'!

But I think there is an important point here that risk is relative to the ability of the player.

A 115 mph second serve for, say, Rafa is taking a risk.

A 115 mph second serve for Isner is pretty comfortable.

In Federer's case, going for the early strike seems like riskier tennis because not many players do it as frequently or as well.

But for him, given his game style, strengths and weaknesses, going for the early strike is probably less risky than extending a rally to wait for the perfect 'easy' winner.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Thu 20 Aug 2015, 11:14 am

Agree with Bogbrush's take on this

Well good for you because I don't
I have read several articles over the past couple of days by tennis coaches  that would appear to be at odds with your opinions.
Still that holds no water  on 606v2 when we are blessed with those that are the best known as the   critiques of Rafa's game
But you will excuse me if I continue to believe otherwise given the professional opinions I have read I know where I would put my money Wink

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