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Paris Masters 2015

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Post by Born Slippy Sun 01 Nov 2015, 5:45 pm

First topic message reminder :

Last Masters of the year with Novak winning 5 so far, Murray 2 and Fed 1. Will Paris return to its previous status as the "underdog" Masters or will 2013/14 champ Djokovic reign supreme again?

The draw is out:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/scores/current/paris/352/draws

Potential last 16:

Djokovic v Simon
Tsonga v Berdych
Wawrinka v Lopez
Anderson v Nadal
Ferrer v Cilic
Isner v Federer
Gasquet v Nishikori
Goffin v Murray

Big 5 starters:

Djokovic : Gabashvili or Bellucci
Wawrinka: Tomic or Fognini (ouch!)
Nadal: Rosol(!) or GGL
Federer: Seppi or Cuevas
Murray: Coric or Verdasco

R1 To Watch

Tomic v Fognini
Paire v Monfils
Vesely v Dolgopolov

Predictions

Q1: Djokovic - best player in the world by a distance. Monfils in his 2nd match could be tricky but should reach the QF with ease. Dismantled Tsonga with ease in Shanghai and always crushes Berdych. Should cruise to the SF.

Q2: Nadal - could well face Rosol again but have to feel he should handle him better with the confidence gained this week. Think he will have too much for Wawrinka in a potential QF.

Q3: Federer - great draw for Roger. Won't enjoy playing Isner but should get through. Only possible danger is Cilic and I doubt he will get past Ferrer. Federer v Ferrer the easiest call in tennis.

Q4: Murray - assuming he has some focus this week - and the number 2 ranking should mean that he does - should reach the QF easily. Given Kei's questionable current fitness have to pick him to also reach the SF.

Not picking beyond that until I have seen the relative form!

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Post by CAS Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:03 pm

What frustrates me is I think he has more to his game than Novak, that may annoy some Novak fans!

I think he has better dexterity, better volley and he's more creative. It's just that Novak like Rafa a few years ago has this almost unbeatable A game, they rarely have to adjust to anyone as everyone has to deal with them.

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Post by socal1976 Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:11 pm

Actually, stating that no one was playing AO in 1984 is incorrect. It was a tournament that many top Americans and and some Europeans didn't go to but others greats like Wilander, Edberg, and others started going in that same period. Vilas I think won it one of those years in that period hardly a poor player. Either way it doesn't matter he didn't go but still a guy who went, played against a full field over 5 sets (Djokovic) deserves more credit than someone who didn't play in it.

Mac's 84 loss was way worse. Every time they talk to the guy about 84 the first thing he himself brings up is the FO final. Choking away the final from a commanding lead is worse on your psyche than lets say just being beaten by a guy who was playing amazing that day. Mac in many ways gave that final away in 84 and never had another chance afterwards and didn't have any chance nearly as good before either.

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Post by temporary21 Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:26 pm

If we were to be REALLY pedantic, you could put this generation into three tiers
Tier 1:
Nole
Rafa
Fed (Im not gonna order them i dont have a deathwish!)

Tier 2:
Murray:First by a way
Stan
Delpo and Cilic

Tier 3:
The rest of the decent but not spectacular guys, Berdy etc.

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Post by Born Slippy Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:29 pm

HM Murdock wrote:Murray's big problem v Novak is that he doesn't/can't bring the aspects of the game where he is superior to Novak into play.

When Fed and Stan play Novak, they pretty much play the same patterns and tactics as they do against everyone else.

Fortunately for them, Novak cannot equal them in the skills that are the foundations of their game. They are naturally more aggressive players, with Stan having greater power than Novak and Federer having greater variety. If they execute well enough, they cause Novak problems.

But Murray's relative strengths v Novak - his touch, his imagination, his game in the forecourt - do not form the basis of his normal game anymore.

His "normal" game is, without wanting to cruel, pretty much Novak-lite. It works well against nearly everyone but clearly those patterns will be less successful against Novak himself.

So, as much as we say that he needs to use more variety against Novak, it's not as simple as flipping a switch.

If Murray is to turn that match up around, I think he probably has to adjust how he plays against everyone else too.

The great unknown is that, if he changes his style in a way that creates Novak more problems, will the dynamics of the other match ups remain the same?


But he has changed his game to do precisely that. He's destroyed the rest of the field this year with a far more aggressive game than previously. One only needs to look at his matches against Ferrer and Berdych - players he has got into trouble against in the past by being passive - to see the change in approach. He was also far more aggressive against Novak earlier in the season. His performance today was much more passive than any other match this tournament .

He's lost one match of any consequence to anyone not called Novak or Roger this season. His play has been breathtaking for most of the season. What he needs to do is bring his A-game to the Novak matches. Its only by playing like a mug (and against his established gameplan) that he's getting crushed like today.

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Post by summerblues Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:29 pm

socal1976 wrote:Mac's 84 loss was way worse.
Happy to agree to disagree.

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Post by summerblues Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:31 pm

temporary21 wrote:If we were to be REALLY pedantic, you could put this generation into three tiers
Tier 1:
Nole
Rafa
Fed (Im not gonna order them i dont have a deathwish!)

Tier 2:
Murray:First by a way
Stan
Delpo and Cilic

Tier 3:
The rest of the decent but not spectacular guys, Berdy etc.
I would be happy to have Murray alone in Tier 2 - that would quite nicely illustrate why I think both "Big 3" and "Big 4" are reasonably accurate terms.

PS:  I am happy to help you order the top three guys Wink

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Post by temporary21 Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:35 pm

summerblues wrote:
temporary21 wrote:If we were to be REALLY pedantic, you could put this generation into three tiers
Tier 1:
Nole
Rafa
Fed (Im not gonna order them i dont have a deathwish!)

Tier 2:
Murray:First by a way
Stan
Delpo and Cilic

Tier 3:
The rest of the decent but not spectacular guys, Berdy etc.
I would be happy to have Murray alone in Tier 2 - that would quite nicely illustrate why I think both "Big 3" and "Big 4" are reasonably accurate terms.

PS:  I am happy to help you order the top three guys Wink
Fair enough, make a tier 4 maybe for the rest and tier three the other "slammers". Its your funeral if you wanna order tier 1

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Post by summerblues Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:36 pm

Born Slippy wrote:His play has been breathtaking for most of the season.
Earlier today you wrote something that I thought was quite out of place but that will fit nicely as a response here:

Born Slippy wrote:This is just total nonsense.

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Post by summerblues Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:38 pm

temporary21 wrote:Its your funeral if you wanna order tier 1
Hehe, maybe some other time then... Wink

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Post by Born Slippy Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:45 pm

Well, the top 3 are 3 of the top 5 of the Open era. Murray probably sits somewhere in the 15-20 region on that list. No one else is top 50. Top 3+1 in historical terms makes sense.

However, the top 4 term relates to performance against the rest of the field. In that regard Murray has for 7 years been consistently dominant against the rest. He's lost once this season in any vaguely relevant event to someone ranked below 2 in the world! That's scary good and I have no doubt the rest of the pros regard it as very much a top 4. That level of dominance against the rest for so long is unprecedented and the reason why its a big 4.

The Masters level record sums up the position. I think Im right in saying that Murray has more Masters titles than the rest of the non big 4 players combined - by a large distance if we take out Hewitt. Yes, he's massively underperformed for a guy of his talent when he comes up against the big 3 in the biggest matches. However, including all his other achievements gives a true view of his status in the game.

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Post by paulcz Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:51 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
People here are harsh on Murray merely (I think) because they feel he could/should have achieved even more than he has. I am not sure about that. Murray's weakness is his mentality which goes through too many peaks and troughs compared to the 'big three'. He has the game to beat them (27 times he has proved that) but that is if everything aligns for him at once such as he mentally truly believes he will and can win on that day, that he is confident enough to go for big winners and that his first serve fires. If those strengths don't come to the fore then he can't beat the big three playing 80% of his best for example.

Agree  Craig, the selfconfidence is a key on the court for all players, but for him in particular. Then there is a factor of keeping concentration or focus on the game, which still falls behind the best. Novak has improved it under BB noticeably and deserves a credit.

I really focused Murray's game plan today and he really tried to mix it up and pushed himself to the net more than before, played with more cool head. He also tried to keep base line position as much as possible, but it is not worthy to do at any costs as he sometimes did.  There are still noticeable  game weak points as he needs to improve approaching shots, he still overrotates too much on FH side when playing from open stance, not  to mention the second serve.
On the other hand Novak played his intelligent effective tennis and he knew what to play against him and executed it really well.

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Post by Born Slippy Sun 08 Nov 2015, 10:52 pm

summerblues wrote:
Born Slippy wrote:His play has been breathtaking for most of the season.
Earlier today you wrote something that I thought was quite out of place but that will fit nicely as a response here:

Born Slippy wrote:This is just total nonsense.

Did you watch him play Berdych in Oz or Shanghai? Ferrer at RG? His first two matches here? Novak in Canada. You don't put together a season like he has played without being exceptional.

As for my response to Laver's post, that suggests you thought his performance in comfortably crushing Ferrer was "lame". How is that possible if you watched the match?

Perhaps you can instead explain when Dimitrov is going to surpass Murray - which I seem to recall was your view last year? I seem to recall you made a similar response when I pointed out his weak backhand and generally poor mentality meant that he was only likely to go backwards this year.

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Post by summerblues Sun 08 Nov 2015, 11:19 pm

Look, BS, if you do not think that what you wrote was total nonsense, that is fine by me - happy to agree to disagree.  Or possibly we do not even disagree so much but you just have a lower standard for "breathtakingness".

I am not sure what it all has to do with Dimi, nor do I remember saying that about Dimi but if you say so, maybe I did - indeed I had hopes for him which had been disappointed Crying or Very sad.

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Post by Born Slippy Sun 08 Nov 2015, 11:41 pm

summerblues wrote:Look, BS, if you do not think that what you wrote was total nonsense, that is fine by me - happy to agree to disagree.  Or possibly we do not even disagree so much but you just have a lower standard for "breathtakingness".

I am not sure what it all has to do with Dimi, nor do I remember saying that about Dimi but if you say so, maybe I did - indeed I had hopes for him which had been disappointed Crying or Very sad.

I have no issue with you thinking what I said was nonsense. You have a relatively low opinion of Murray, as well as Novak and Nadal, with which I disagree. However, as someone who liked his early play (and not so much the Lendl years) I consider he has significantly improved this year against everyone but Novak and Roger (and of the first 4 matches against Novak this year he went toe to toe in 3 of them) by playing precisely the type of tennis LF and others keep saying he should be playing . Bar Cincy and the US, he's played tennis of a consistent high level. Heck, even the Wim match versus Fed was a decent display.

I actually had more issue with your support of LF's comment about the Ferrer match. It wasn't Murray at his best but he got the job done with aggression, net play and fighting spirit. Quite how that equated to "lame" was not explained and, indeed, was simply not explainable. Had she said it about today's first set, I would have agreed entirely. The second set was the bare minimum Andy should be producing against Novak even when off his game.

As for Dimi, I actually quite like him and hope he gets back to top 10 - he's a human highlight reel. I just found it astonishing that on the back of one SF he was suddenly going to have a better career than someone who has been at the very top of the sport for 7 years. That was being dismissive of how hard it is to have a career as good as Murray's.

Just for clarity, no one is disputing that Murray is a long way behind Fenadovic. The only real debate is whether he has the talent to have bridged that gap more consistently than he has managed or whether he simply doesn't have the ability.

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Post by laverfan Sun 08 Nov 2015, 11:58 pm

Born Slippy wrote:I have no issue with you thinking what I said was nonsense. You have a relatively low opinion of Murray, as well as Novak and Nadal, with which I disagree. However, as someone who liked his early play (and not so much the Lendl years) I consider he has significantly improved this year against everyone but Novak and Roger (and of the first 4 matches against Novak this year he went toe to toe in 3 of them) by playing precisely the type of tennis LF and others keep saying he should be playing . Bar Cincy and the US, he's played tennis of a consistent high level. Heck, even the Wim match versus Fed was a decent display.

I actually had more issue with your support of LF's comment about the Ferrer match. It wasn't Murray at his best but he got the job done with aggression, net play and fighting spirit. Quite how that equated to "lame" was not explained and, indeed, was simply not explainable. Had she said it about today's first set, I would have agreed entirely. The second set was the bare minimum Andy should be producing against Novak even when off his game.

I will just echo this comment

CAS wrote:What frustrates me is I think he has more to his game than Novak, that may annoy some Novak fans!

I think he has better dexterity, better volley and he's more creative. It's just that Novak like Rafa a few years ago has this almost unbeatable A game, they rarely have to adjust to anyone as everyone has to deal with them.

To me, Murray should have 8 slams. The only 2 slams that he has, are under the Lendl years, hence your viewpoint is rather surprising.

Born Slippy wrote: The only real debate is whether he has the talent to have bridged that gap more consistently than he has managed or whether he simply doesn't have the ability.

He has both, talent and ability, but as everyone has agreed, the mental department is where there is room for improvement. I would like to see Murray-Djokovic become the Federer-Nadal for the next 2-3 years.

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Post by laverfan Mon 09 Nov 2015, 12:44 am

socal1976 wrote:
laverfan wrote:Federer and Nadal are also older than 2011, SoCal. Wink. Relatively better with Stan and Murray providing rear-guard, certainly. thumbsup

And it took 4 years to replicate 2011, but glad that he did make better numbers.

Yeah and where was Borg and how old was Connors in 1984?

Borg had walked away in 1981, IIRC. 1984 and you have conveniently forgotten Lendl, Wilander, Edberg. Wink

socal1976 wrote:Oh by the way are we now discounting for competition level? I mean when I do it people throw fits about how there are no weak eras etc. I mean if I am going to discount any one of the all time great seasons because of competition level I'd start with Federer 06,05, and 04.

Ah the Federer angle. Did you forget which year Nadal turned Pro? Did Nadal not beat Federer in Dubai 2006 on a Fast HC. This is not about a Wee Keira, this is about players who are capable (aka Murray) who do not play to the best of their talent/ability.

Federer, is 92-5 in 2006, with 4 loses to Nadal, and one to Murray.  

socal1976 wrote:Anyway he still has to win the year ender for me to say it is the second best season of the open era.

2011, IMO, is a much more dominating year for Djokovic. The numbers may not be as impressive, but he was impressive that year.

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Nov 2015, 12:54 am

Tennis is, as Mr Pete Sampras has said in the past, a mano a mano sport.  You look over the other side of the net into the eyes of the opponent before a ball has been tossed in anger and there is already an advantage, a mental advantage associated with knowing both your games, and knowing your game is better based on past and recent experiences ... or vice versa.  That is why head to heads matter.

Now one problem with Murray is that he is not a great analyser of the game - he is more an instinctive player than an analyser.  After the match he said 1) he didn't know why his recent matches are not closer than what they have been in the past ... and 2) he doesn't know why he is not beating Djokovic.

I didn't see the match but some have said Murray played as if he didn't know what to do tactically - caught in two minds.

In the past when Murray has been soundly beaten by a top three player he has said the same thing - he doesn't know why.  That was one of the differences characterising his post match interviews compared to the post-match interviews of Nadal, Federer, Djokovic.  These three always seemed to know why they lost when they did lose and had ideas as to what to do next.  Murray has in comparison appeared clueless.  After the current match before the awards ceremony, Murray was back in his chair moaning at himself and punching his racket according to one commentator.

Murray does have weaknesses in his game.  Murray it seems has allowed some aspects of his game to become weaker.  Lendl gave Murray direction when it came to the big match ups - the big games.  In particular he said it was okay to die on the court - go through the pain barrier - it would be worth it - he will get through it - it will lead to results - the pain will wear off.

I think it was post-Lendl that a camera-man found Murray referring to a piece of paper during his matches - a top ten reminder.  It was a reminder for a young child saying things like "try on every point"  - these things should be in his head not something that has to be written down as a reminder.  When he had Lendl - he just needed to look at the impassive face of Lendl in the coaches area to realise he had to try on every point.  Lendl's whole career was a symbol of mind over matter.

Murray is a great player.  But we know his limitations.  He is towards the tail end of his career and it is unlikely anything significant will change.  That said Wawrinka did seem to turn around his career - winning two slams  - but he seemed to have to turn his private life upside down to get there.  Also Wawrinka has some big weapons to his game - they just needed to be better marshalled.  Murray doesn't seem to have such high grade calibre weapons in his armoury.

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Post by laverfan Mon 09 Nov 2015, 2:00 am

Nore Staat wrote:That said Wawrinka did seem to turn around his career - winning two slams  - but he seemed to have to turn his private life upside down to get there.  Also Wawrinka has some big weapons to his game - they just needed to be better marshalled.  Murray doesn't seem to have such high grade calibre weapons in his armoury.

Thanks for that comment, NS. kiss

Wawrinka needed Magnus Norman, who has produced two Fedalovic beaters - Soderling and Wawrinka.

Perhaps Murray also needs to find his next Lendl/Magnus.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 09 Nov 2015, 7:39 am

CAS wrote:What frustrates me is I think he has more to his game than Novak, that may annoy some Novak fans!

I think he has better dexterity, better volley and he's more creative. It's just that Novak like Rafa a few years ago has this almost unbeatable A game, they rarely have to adjust to anyone as everyone has to deal with them.
I don't think this is a fair argument.

I often hear that Andy has "more" to his game than Novak because he is superior in the skills you describe.

But what about the areas where Andy is inferior? Novak has a better forehand, a much better second serve and a better return.

It's not as if all other things are equal and Andy has this additional set of skills.

I don't understand why being better at infrequently used skills like volleying should count for more in assessing a player than being better at fundamental parts of the game like the forehand, serve and return.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 09 Nov 2015, 8:42 am

After all the talk about Murray it should not be overlooked that he's almost certain to finish number two this year - his highest year-end ranking.
As for numero uno, the only person who can bring a halt to Djoko's long reign at the top is, IMHO, Rafa.
I predict the big four will comprise the top four this time next year.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 09 Nov 2015, 10:08 am

One thing is sure . Novak is the greatest EVER for sheer athleticism. He can slide with his legs and arms contorted into all angles and still get his racket on the ball and return a telling shot. I have never seen any other player even come close to him.
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Post by Jahu Mon 09 Nov 2015, 10:20 am

Yea, we should all quit eating bread and gluten and get so athletic overnight...
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Post by LuvSports! Mon 09 Nov 2015, 10:27 am

Laugh

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Nov 2015, 10:37 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:... He can slide with his legs and arms contorted into all angles and still get his racket on the ball and return a telling shot. I have never seen any other player even come close to him.
Agreed. Djokovic has always been ultra-bendy and is a contortionists dream. Early on I thought he would go over on his ankles and damage them permanently - but this has never happened. He must have the sinews of an elephant.

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Post by Jahu Mon 09 Nov 2015, 10:40 am

Luv, stop laughing Sir, how does one get so athletic and like a rubber band playing 6h matches, when not so long ago he quit matches mid play, silly MTO's, breathless so often, dizzy, etc etc.

Must be all about pizza Laugh
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Post by Guest82 Mon 09 Nov 2015, 10:44 am

3 grand slam wins and 1 loss in the final

Won 6 of 9 masters, lost in the final of 2 others and didn't play the other.

Whatever way you look at it this is probably the best, in terms of results in the biggest tournaments, season ever.

I personally think Djokovic of 2011 played at a higher level and had to to beat his opposition, specifically Nadal, who would have had a great season of his own in 2011 if it wasn't for losing to Djokovic in so many finals.

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Nov 2015, 10:48 am

Jahu wrote:Luv, stop laughing Sir, how does one get so athletic and like a rubber band playing 6h matches, when not so long ago he quit matches mid play, silly MTO's, breathless so often, dizzy, etc etc.

Must be all about pizza Laugh
You're conflating terms.  I would use ultra-flexibility coupled with strength to describe Djokovics special power rather than the catch-all term "athleticism".  In the past he has had problems with hay fever as well as endurance although the two may be connected.  He says his stamina has increased since going on a gluten free diet.

Over the past year Djokovic has maintained his stamina / endurance levels while Nadal's & Murray's have fallen away. Nadal has also been physically impaired.

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Post by Jahu Mon 09 Nov 2015, 10:52 am

Nore, all that is true, just a little unexplained and unbelievable.

Not that I'm implying anything nasty, I've not had pizza & gluten for last 2 weeks, all the town is talking about my stamina and girls have been queuing at my door king
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Post by LuvSports! Mon 09 Nov 2015, 11:06 am

Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Nov 2015, 11:09 am

In terms of flexibility there are no chemical enhancements that can improve that.  In terms of strength yes - but not sure exactly what the benefits are to a tennis player compared to strength developed while growing up and playing tennis.  In terms of endurance / stamina yes - but tennis players are allowed to eat and drink every changeover - so again it is not clear what the benefits will be compared to management of nutrient intake.  Acceptable equivalents of EPO have been used: oxygen tents and low pressure or high pressure chambers.  Not sure what that "egg chamber" of Djokovic was all about. Nadal has been using the latest acceptable technology to repair and strengthen his cartilage and tendons.

Yes it is a hazy area and the IAAF are going to be hit with some sort of corruption report anytime soon, but tennis is slightly different in the stop start nature of the sport.  This is why time taken between points is an important issue as well as medical time outs.  There are inbuilt recovery points with the stop components of tennis.

Of course the public will only be "convinced" if the data on the tests are published and explained.

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Post by Jahu Mon 09 Nov 2015, 11:23 am

Nore, for Nadal is understandable and clear what he did, he had some treatments that were not allowed in Europe, so he went to some underground farm in Texas to have those procedures for his knees and eagle blood enrichment etc etc, so we know what he did.

Djoko just quit white bread and he became a superman, not much medical sense.

There is some analogy to 1994, when Senna died, then FIA knew Schumaher had the illegal Traction Control on his car, but they kept mum to keep the lid on the problems that were going at that time.

IAAF know Fed and Nadal are on their way, so they are giving Djoko a free hand to keep the Tennis going.

Of course I might be wrong, I understand very little tennis Smile

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Nov 2015, 11:45 am

Jahu wrote:Nore, for Nadal is understandable and clear what he did, he had some treatments that were not allowed in Europe, so he went to some underground farm in Texas to have those procedures for his knees and eagle blood enrichment etc etc, so we know what he did.

Djoko just quit white bread and he became a superman, not much medical sense.

There is some analogy to 1994, when Senna died, then FIA knew Schumaher had the illegal Traction Control on his car, but they kept mum to keep the lid on the problems that were going at that time.

IAAF know Fed and Nadal are on their way, so they are giving Djoko a free hand to keep the Tennis going.

Of course I might be wrong, I understand very little tennis Smile

I never understood why Federer has never been suspected of "enhancements" compared to Nadal or Djokovic. His parents were top executives in pharmaceutical companies. I suppose it was because his game depended less on power and endurance than Nadal and Djokovic. If one looks at the French Open Borg versus Lendl fifth set can't remember which year, both Borg and Lendl were basically walking and looked ready to keel over. Maybe things have become more professional and all embracing nowadays - like the way Wenger revolutionised football when he came to Britain (nutrition etc).

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 09 Nov 2015, 11:51 am

Jahu wrote:Djoko just quit white bread and he became a superman, not much medical sense.
Silly comment.

Even before 2011, he was 12-5 in 5th sets. He'd beaten Baghdatis over 5 hours at Wimbledon. He'd also been part of the longest 3 set match ever against Rafa in Madrid in 2009.

All that changed is the withdrawals (which were rarely deep into a match and even, on occasion, when he was winning) stopped.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 09 Nov 2015, 11:59 am

Nore

Some interesting points re doping and the potential benefits (or otherwise) in regard to tennis.

You are correct that steroids could have a potential use with regard to strength, but that typically comes at the cost of increased muscle mass, which tends to put greater strain on ligaments (not to name names, but you see many rugby players for example who are over-muscled for their frame, and they tend to miss a lot of time with ligament and tendon-related injuries). Djokovic (for example) is pretty skinny and carrying additional bulk would impact his flexibility and perhaps speed over the first couple of steps, so I don't think is a good candidate for steroid use. Other players may be more suspicious, and certainly there are / have been some players who have tried PEDs in this area.

Endurance doping (EPO or blood doping)? I'd be amazed if no-one in tennis has experimented in this area. Would it be beneficial? Your comment about the stop-start nature of the game is interesting. Certainly, the sports where EPO use has been rife and very effective (cycling, speed skating, cross country skiing and endurance running) are based on long sustained efforts with little opportunity for recovery, which is a rather different pattern than the above. It is possible that these techniques have additional benefits with regard to recovery between matches (my understanding is that blood doping is a much more immediate effect than is EPO use), so can't be discounted entirely.

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Post by Calder106 Mon 09 Nov 2015, 12:01 pm

I think that Djokovic has managed his schedule well this year. Which has allowed him to turn up fresh at most tournaments he has played. Doha, Dubai and Beijing are the only tournaments he has played outside of the Slams and Masters finals. In the Davis Cup he played 1 singles and 1 doubles match.

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Post by LuvSports! Mon 09 Nov 2015, 12:16 pm

Why does cycling have an epitestosterone-testosterone ratio of 2;1 whereas tennis and swimming has a ratio of 4;1? Swimming used to be 6;1!

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Post by Jahu Mon 09 Nov 2015, 1:23 pm

HMM,

Stop trying to be friends with me, I told you I am your friend Smile

Leave the stats, we know them, explain the total Djoko turnaround since he quit gluten?

Bedtime stories for kids this gluten crap.
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Post by Jahu Mon 09 Nov 2015, 1:35 pm

Nore, you answered nicely the Fed thing, so Fed due to style of play, it was not a Power tennis, but more of a skills, speed and packaging the whole skill-set.

Then came Nadal, the original power pusher/grinder, with muscles and sleeping at the gym, add the left hand play and it was a bad match-up for Fed, but it cost Nadals body and longevity with annual 3-4 months off every year to heal himself.

Then came Djoko the copy of Nadal's play, that was not working much, and then we have the Dr.Cetojevic and his "put a slice of bread over your stomach and I cure your nightmares" (http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/revealed-the-diet-that-saved-novak-djokovic-8775333.html)

So this Superman body of Djoko it seems does not need any healing or time off, its self-regenerating, year after year better than the last year.

Defying science I say...


Last edited by Jahu on Mon 09 Nov 2015, 1:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Born Slippy Mon 09 Nov 2015, 1:36 pm

summerblues wrote:As part of this conversation, I decided to have a closer look at Andy's slam record against the Big 3 - and I only now realized how poor it really has been.  I knew that his record was not great, but I was tacitly assuming it would be better than for just about anyone else.  To my surprise, it is not so:

vs Big 3, in slams:

Andy: 5-18 (22% win ratio)
Stan: 4-12 (25%)
Berd: 4-10 (29%)
Tsonga: 4-10 (29%)

Astonishing stats. Doesn't this support precisely what Murray fans have always said though? Unfortunately, he has a history of becoming nervous and failing to produce in GS SF/F. It is that, rather than a lack of inate talent, which has substantially held him back from his slam achievements matching his true status in the game. Outside of slams, the comparative stats are:

Andy - 21-32 (40%)
Stan - 6-38 (14%)
Berd - 8-43 (16%)
JWT - 11-23 (32%)

Effectively, Andy is beating the top 3 half as much in slams. That can only really be explained by nerves/fitness. If he was reaching 40% in slams, then my calculations are that he would be somewhere around the 5-6 slam mark - in line with the rest of his achievements.

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 09 Nov 2015, 1:45 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
CAS wrote:What frustrates me is I think he has more to his game than Novak, that may annoy some Novak fans!

I think he has better dexterity, better volley and he's more creative. It's just that Novak like Rafa a few years ago has this almost unbeatable A game, they rarely have to adjust to anyone as everyone has to deal with them.
I don't think this is a fair argument.

I often hear that Andy has "more" to his game than Novak because he is superior in the skills you describe.

But what about the areas where Andy is inferior? Novak has a better forehand, a much better second serve and a better return.

It's not as if all other things are equal and Andy has this additional set of skills.

I don't understand why being better at infrequently used skills like volleying should count for more in assessing a player than being better at fundamental parts of the game like the forehand, serve and return.

Is his return better? Arguably, Murray's is slightly stronger all-round. Career stats are very similar (1st return % won - 34% Murray - 33% Novak and 55% each on 2nd serve). This year, Novak is 1% up on both (33% - 32% and 57% to 56%), however, if you take out Nolandy matches then Andy is doing better against the field. There's a gnat's hair between them I would say.

Second serve is obviously better and the forehand is definitely more consistent if perhaps not quite as powerful. However, its obviously between the ears where Novak has the key edge. Yesterday was a prime example - Novak played easily his best match of the tournament when it counted; Andy played his worst. That's the real key difference between them.

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Post by YvonneT Mon 09 Nov 2015, 2:18 pm

I didn't see yesterday's match, but nothing in the score, stats or reports suggest that Murray is any closer to being able to beat Djokovic at the Aus Open next year than he was this year. If anything, he seems further away than he was in January. I suppose the only point for any optimism for his chances are that he maybe was holding back a bit yesterday because of the Davis Cup final.

Anyway, at the moment, it is still looking like Wawrinka should be ahead of Murray in favourites for the Aus Open.

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Post by YvonneT Mon 09 Nov 2015, 2:27 pm

On the Big 3 / Big 4 debate, I'd certainly agree that there are a Big 3 in terms of career acheivement. I was curious to look back to see when they started being referred to as the Big 4 - certainly by 2010 it seem well established. At that time, Djokovic had 1 slam and I'm guessing just a few Masters, and Murray had 4 Masters. I'd guess maybe it really started when Murray first won Miami in 2009 and, at that time, it was regarded as a much more prestigious Masters than it is now.

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Nov 2015, 2:57 pm

With regard head to head stats, Federer said slam tournament tennis (7 rounds, best of five sets) is completely different to your 500 ATP & Masters Series tennis.  Also different surfaces and time of year needs to be taken into account.  Top players try to peak four times in the year to coincide with the slams.  In reality it is three times because Roland Garros and Wimbledon are played so near to each other (but different surfaces is an issue - as Nadal's knees have noted in recent years).  

Stan, Berd & Tsonga have big weapons to shorten points, Murray doesn't have such big weapons - he relies more heavily on variation, stamina, running, early reading of ball direction. His weak second service and various mental wobbles is something the top three can expect from Murray most of the time in slam semi-finals / finals.  It's a mano a mano issue (man on man "mortal" combat).

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 09 Nov 2015, 3:36 pm

Jahu wrote:HMM,

Stop trying to be friends with me, I told you I am your friend Smile

Leave the stats, we know them, explain the total Djoko turnaround since he quit gluten?

Bedtime stories for kids this gluten crap.
Nobody except half wits in the media think that Djoko's turnaround was just because he cut out gluten.

I don't see anything odd at all.

We had a player who could sometimes play 5 hours at slam or go toe-to-toe with Nadal for 4 hours on clay but would sometimes be wilting after 2 sets.

If you are ruling out allergies as a factor, what is your explanation for that disparity in performance levels?

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Post by CAS Mon 09 Nov 2015, 6:25 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
CAS wrote:What frustrates me is I think he has more to his game than Novak, that may annoy some Novak fans!

I think he has better dexterity, better volley and he's more creative. It's just that Novak like Rafa a few years ago has this almost unbeatable A game, they rarely have to adjust to anyone as everyone has to deal with them.
I don't think this is a fair argument.

I often hear that Andy has "more" to his game than Novak because he is superior in the skills you describe.

But what about the areas where Andy is inferior? Novak has a better forehand, a much better second serve and a better return.

It's not as if all other things are equal and Andy has this additional set of skills.

I don't understand why being better at infrequently used skills like volleying should count for more in assessing a player than being better at fundamental parts of the game like the forehand, serve and return.

When you say they are skills that are rarely used, that's exactly my point, why are they rarely used? Murray seems to just try and beat Novak at his own game, they get into amazing baseline rallies before Novak eventually outdoes him. Why doesn't he come to net, why doesn't he use the slice to bring Novak in?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Novak isn't as talented, the way Novak absorbs pace is astounding. I just wish Andy would use more options, when he plays everyone else you see him play so differently.

Maybe it's an ego thing, 99 percent of the time he can beat players being defensive which then relaxes him to play aggressively. He gets to Novak and he HAS to be aggressive, when he doesn't need to against anyone else accept maybe Roger and peak Rafa

He misses a few big shots trying to go for a winner, loses confidence and just tries to out rally Novak.

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 09 Nov 2015, 6:28 pm

Nore Staat wrote:With regard head to head stats, Federer said slam tournament tennis (7 rounds, best of five sets) is completely different to your 500 ATP & Masters Series tennis.  Also different surfaces and time of year needs to be taken into account.  Top players try to peak four times in the year to coincide with the slams.  In reality it is three times because Roland Garros and Wimbledon are played so near to each other (but different surfaces is an issue - as Nadal's knees have noted in recent years).  

Stan, Berd & Tsonga have big weapons to shorten points, Murray doesn't have such big weapons - he relies more heavily on variation, stamina, running, early reading of ball direction.  His weak second service and various mental wobbles is something the top three can expect from Murray most of the time in slam semi-finals / finals.  It's a mano a mano issue (man on man "mortal" combat).

Stan, Berdy and JWT, with their big weapons, would be expected to have better records in bo3 if that were true. Its easier to blitz someone off court for 2 sets than 3. Their relatively poor stamina and movement should be more easily exposed over a longer match.

Similarly, the point you make in the first paragraph is completely against the stats. If the big 3 beat Murray more easily in slams because they peak for those, then one would expect the same pattern against the other three players. Instead, we see Berdych and Stan have a much better upset record in the big matches.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 09 Nov 2015, 7:01 pm

laverfan wrote:
socal1976 wrote:
laverfan wrote:Federer and Nadal are also older than 2011, SoCal. Wink. Relatively better with Stan and Murray providing rear-guard, certainly. thumbsup

And it took 4 years to replicate 2011, but glad that he did make better numbers.

Yeah and where was Borg and how old was Connors in 1984?

Borg had walked away in 1981, IIRC. 1984 and you have conveniently forgotten Lendl, Wilander, Edberg. Wink

socal1976 wrote:Oh by the way are we now discounting for competition level? I mean when I do it people throw fits about how there are no weak eras etc. I mean if I am going to discount any one of the all time great seasons because of competition level I'd start with Federer 06,05, and 04.

Ah the Federer angle. Did you forget which year Nadal turned Pro? Did Nadal not beat Federer in Dubai 2006 on a Fast HC. This is not about a Wee Keira, this is about players who are capable (aka Murray) who do not play to the best of their talent/ability.

Federer, is 92-5 in 2006, with 4 loses to Nadal, and one to Murray.  

socal1976 wrote:Anyway he still has to win the year ender for me to say it is the second best season of the open era.

2011, IMO, is a much more dominating year for Djokovic. The numbers may not be as impressive, but he was impressive that year.

Ah Steffan Edberg had been a pro for a year when McEnroe started his 1984 run. He was a whopping 27-17 with one singles title, the prestigious Milan indoors that now no longer exists. So how exactly is he Mac's competition in 84? Under this thinking if Nick Kygrios goes onto win a couple of slams does Novak's competition in 2015 when he is a puppy prospect all of a sudden get tougher? By the way at that point Lendl was a Murray type player who had yet to win a single slam at the start of 84. Wilander was a clay court specialist so not a threat in anyway at that period in his career to Mac in 84 on any surface but clay. You list a bunch of names that later on went on to become great, with the exception of Wilander none had won a slam going into that year. And Wilander was a clay courter principally, and Edberg had been a pro for a little more than a year and had one crappy title as his competition in 84. No his biggest competition in the early 80s had disappeared and Lendl, Edberg, and Becker had yet to fully materialize into the players that would dominate the next period. He also benefitted from good timing that year, similarly to Djokovic his two elite rivals had fallen pretty much by the wayside. And the players you mentioned made their names later on after that year and were far from their best in 84. Edberg was a proscpect with one title. And Lendl's first slam was the FO that Mac choked away. He was less accomplished at that point in his career than Murray. So I guess as a Djokovic fan I should root for Kyrgios and Nishikori to win slams in the future so that his competition level for 2015 will be retroactively upgraded.

And you are I hate to say it being hypocritical. Everytime I talk about the competition level faced by players of the last few years compared to the weak sisters brigade Roger overran in the mid 2000s you and others claim that there are no weak or weaker eras that there is no way to judge competition and therefore discount or inflate above the actual trophies won. So let me get this straight, competition level can not be taken into consideration for Fed's run, but for the run Djokovic is having in 2015 well that has obviously been aided by weaker competition. Hilarious stuff really.

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Nov 2015, 7:13 pm

https://youtu.be/b8SzDm-EbNg

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Post by LuvSports! Mon 09 Nov 2015, 7:18 pm

LK Laugh Laugh Laugh clap clap clap

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Post by paulcz Mon 09 Nov 2015, 9:34 pm

Born Slippy wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:
CAS wrote:What frustrates me is I think he has more to his game than Novak, that may annoy some Novak fans!

I think he has better dexterity, better volley and he's more creative. It's just that Novak like Rafa a few years ago has this almost unbeatable A game, they rarely have to adjust to anyone as everyone has to deal with them.
I don't think this is a fair argument.

I often hear that Andy has "more" to his game than Novak because he is superior in the skills you describe.

But what about the areas where Andy is inferior? Novak has a better forehand, a much better second serve and a better return.

It's not as if all other things are equal and Andy has this additional set of skills.

I don't understand why being better at infrequently used skills like volleying should count for more in assessing a player than being better at fundamental parts of the game like the forehand, serve and return.

Is his return better? Arguably, Murray's is slightly stronger all-round. Career stats are very similar (1st return % won - 34% Murray - 33% Novak and 55% each on 2nd serve). This year, Novak is 1% up on both (33% - 32% and 57% to 56%), however, if you take out Nolandy matches then Andy is doing better against the field. There's a gnat's hair between them I would say.

Second serve is obviously better and the forehand is definitely more consistent if perhaps not quite as powerful. However, its obviously between the ears where Novak has the key edge. Yesterday was a prime example - Novak played easily his best match of the tournament when it counted; Andy played his worst. That's the real key difference between them.

Stats are telling the truth, but the observer must know what is behind it. Not sure if you play tennis or not, but it is obvious, that Novak except playing TOP4 players just try and play what he needs.
Murray is much tougher opponent than quite good playing Berdych in Bercy, but the score does not correspond to that (note: in the match with Berdych there was an effect of attacking the record of a streak of winning sets).
Novak belongs to a kind of players who play the best matches with the toughest opponents,
Fed is a different player as he always plays his attacking game and wants to make it short as possible these days.
Murray surely did not play his worst in Paris, but Novak upped his game and did not allow him, what he could play in his matches before.

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