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Post by Henman Bill Mon 09 Nov 2015, 3:30 pm

After Djokovic 6-0 set against Warwinka, I am wondering if this is part of a trend this year. It's quite common when someone takes a set off him that he then does a 6-0 or other easy set to finish the match. And he's doing it to the best players more than the weakest ones.

He did it to Stan and Murray at the AO after losing sets (both 6-0 finishing set).

After Federer took a set off him at IW, he won the decider 6-2. (However in the interest of fairness there have been several other matches in the year where Federer beat him or made it tighter in the last set, so Federer is the one top player he can't seem to do this against.)

At Miami all three of the matches where he lost sets were finished convincingly. Klizan 6-1 Dolgopolov 6-0 Murray 6-0. More so than the matches where he won in straights.

After losing sets at Rome he cruised to 6-1 and 6-3 final sets.

Murray at the FO: goes to a 5th set. 6-1.

Gulbis at Canada: 6-1 decider after 2 tight sets before.

Dogopolov at Cincinatti 6-2 decider after two tight sets.

Warwinka at Paris only set he loses in the tournament followed by his only 6-0.

So, why is this happening. A few possibilities:

--physical fitness when matches get tough
--mental strength in tight matches
--takes such a big effort to go head to head with Djokovic for a while and take a set or more off him that it leads to a lull in the level of the opponent.

However, the most logical explanation - and this is the scary thought - is that Djokovic most of the time is not playing at his best level. It's only when someone takes a set off him that he wakes up and thinks, "oh, I suppose I should try my hardest to make sure I win."

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Post by hawkeye Mon 09 Nov 2015, 3:41 pm

Laugh

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 09 Nov 2015, 3:55 pm

Good research!

In some cases there are specific explanations. Stan's last bagel came after he didn't get to bed until 4am after an evening match. Dolgopolov is always prone to physical collapse due to his Gilbert's syndrome.

But I see it as a blend of your 3 suggestions.

One thing Novak has done well this year his raise his game following a mid-match disappointment.

So, if he's lost a set or lost a tiebreaker, he will often break very early in the next set.

I think that's a huge blow to his opponent. Usually they've had to give everything they've got physically and technically to force the decider and then suddenly they find they are 2 or 3 games down in it.

And then psychologically, Novak feels he can swing more freely (he often says this in interviews) which helps him play better too.

Physicality plays a part but I think it's mainly that once it gets to 3-0, the opponent knows the game has probably got away from them and their level of play drops.

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Nov 2015, 4:01 pm

Henman Bill wrote:

So, why is this happening. A few possibilities:

1) physical fitness when matches get tough
2) mental strength in tight matches
3) takes such a big effort to go H2H with Djokovic & take a set or more off him it leads to a lull in level of opponent.
4) he tries harder
5) Djokovic decides to take out and consume his gluten fee turbo booster.
6) Djokovic goes to the toilet where he spends a few minutes locked inside his hyperbaric egg chamber.
7) Boris Becker sticks several pins into the voodoo doll of Djokovic's opponent.
8) Djokovic remembers it is not over until the gluten free fat lady sings.

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Nov 2015, 4:05 pm

HM Murdock wrote: ... And then psychologically, Novak feels he can swing more freely (he often says this in interviews) which helps him play better too. ...
Yes Djokovic seems to play the crunch points more freely when down - I remember him saving match points against Federer at the US Open in a semi-final some time ago ... and he went on to win the US Open.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 09 Nov 2015, 7:24 pm

Very good research. I think you and Murdock touch on some of the same points I would make about this phenomenon. I think logically it comes down mostly to the fact that he has another gear higher than every single other player on tour. He doesn't always play at that highest gear and when he does hit it the other guy can't match him. That is why he has dominated the way that he has. When he gets hit he wakes up and focuses. He doesn't have a sense of urgency in most matches and when he is given that sense of urgency he becomes much more dangerous.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Tue 10 Nov 2015, 12:45 am

I dont think he has another gear higher than 'every' single other player on tour. If that's the case, he won't be losing slams to Rafa, Stan and Murray. Even in BO3, Fed was able to beat him too, at Shanghai, Dubai and Cincy, sll in straight sets.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Tue 10 Nov 2015, 12:55 am

I dont think its really that scary, its a combination of factors, one of which is he physically outlast his opponents. Murray mentioned that he felt tired when he lost the final sets 6-0, so its a physical battle and Murray lost.

For those non top tier opponents, they have to punch above their own weight to get a set off Novak and so they probably have nothing left when they have to go the distance, not exactly physically nothing left but rather mentally can't stay with Novak.

Those who are physically fit and mentally tough can take it to Novak, the way Stan does and Rafa did in 2013 and 2014, at the slams. Fed does it by rushing Novak, taking time away from him and not be involved in a physical war.

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Post by socal1976 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 1:02 am

I think he does have an extra gear that other players don't have right BLB if that wasn't the case he wouldn't have like double the ATP points of everyone else. Again this isn't 2013 or 2014 he has upped his game since then and no one else has matched his improvement. It is partly so tiring for these players to keep up with them because they have to redline their games and maintain it while Novak's baseline level is higher than them. Hence why he has that higher top gear now. They have to rev their engines super high and maintain for as long as possible at some point the pop a valve, while Novak kicks into seventh gear and maintains.

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Post by bogbrush Tue 10 Nov 2015, 8:00 am

Socal is right. It's the inevitable outcome of the game being adapted so that first strike tennis can't win - the most reliable and relentless player should win every match when the game can't be taken away with a risky winning play. All that happens now is you (i) wait to be outrallied, or (ii) take a risk but find you have to do it twice a rally, and do the probabilities are against you.

Djokovic is a great player and in an environment where baseline & passing shots have such a massive advantage over net play, he has the perfect game.
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Post by HM Murdock Tue 10 Nov 2015, 9:11 am

bogbrush wrote:Djokovic is a great player and in an environment where baseline & passing shots have such a massive advantage over net play, he has the perfect game.
I think this is important.

A bit of a silly analogy but it's like that old question, "what would win in a fight between a shark and a polar bear?"

The answer, of course, depends on the terrain. Shark wins in deep water, polar bear wins on land, in shallow water it could go either way.

Djokovic gets to fight nearly all his battles on his favourite terrain. As tennis is a game of match-ups, that matters over the long term.

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Post by Calder106 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:18 am

HM Murdock wrote:
bogbrush wrote:Djokovic is a great player and in an environment where baseline & passing shots have such a massive advantage over net play, he has the perfect game.
I think this is important.

A bit of a silly analogy but it's like that old question, "what would win in a fight between a shark and a polar bear?"

The answer, of course, depends on the terrain. Shark wins in deep water, polar bear wins on land, in shallow water it could go either way.

Djokovic gets to fight nearly all his battles on his favourite terrain. As tennis is a game of match-ups, that matters over the long term.

Novak's favourite terrain is the tennis court. He is consistently winning on Hard, Clay and Grass. Outdoor and Indoor. In the thin air of Indian Wells followed quickly by the humidity of Miami. Just have to accept that he is at the peak of his powers physically and mentally at the moment. Also playing the schedule he has this year allows him to stay fresh and therefore win most matches.

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Post by Guest82 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:20 am

The matches against Murray are certainly physical, they both play a similar brand of tennis and Djokovic is the fitter of the two (as well as the better player).

Lower ranked players I think as has been said before, it's such an effort to get a set off him that they relax at the start of the final set and are 3-0 down before they wake up. Then they kind of know it is game over.

Stan, I get the impression can go away mentally quite easily. I guess once he is 3-0 or so down he perhaps gives up.

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Post by temporary21 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:24 am

Serious question.  Has he beaten the year record for most bagels inflicted yet?

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Post by HM Murdock Tue 10 Nov 2015, 11:16 am

Calder106 wrote:Novak's favourite terrain is the tennis court. He is consistently winning on Hard, Clay and Grass. Outdoor and Indoor. In the thin air of Indian Wells followed quickly by the humidity of Miami. Just have to accept that he is at the peak of his powers physically and mentally at the moment. Also playing the schedule he has this year allows him to stay fresh and therefore win most matches.
I would never argue that he's not a brilliant, all round player. He doesn't depend on any conditions.

But it's telling that on the two fastest courts on tour, Federer was able to beat him without the loss of a set.

Neither victory was straight forward, and Federer was pressured at various points, but the conditions rewarded his style of play in a way that the vast majority of courts do not.

To be clear, I'm not of the opinion that "faster courts =good, slower courts = bad" and I'm not of the opinion that Novak can only win on slow courts.

I think what most of us want is enough variety that the best player in the world (whoever that happens to be), not only gets surfaces where they can show their skills to the fullest, but also has other big tournaments that take them outside of their comfort zone.

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Post by bogbrush Tue 10 Nov 2015, 11:24 am

Regarding the top few players, it's clear that Djokovic is by such a distance the best at what he does, the only way to trouble him - let alone beat him - is to do something different. This is the catastrophe for Murray, whose game looks exactly like Djokovic's, except smaller and outside of a complete red-line performance I can't see how he beats Djokovic, at all.

Stan was able to do it by just having so much power he could hot through at RG. Federer has done it by making the points short and sharp and denying Djokovic the rallies. In both cases they required the appropriate environment (Stan needed a slow court, Federer a fast one) - at Wimbledon and the US Federer was able to make the matches competitive but he couldn't prevent a substantial proportion of the points going longer, tilting the scoring back to Novak and extending the match beyond his physical powers. Hence us Fed fans struggle to maintain the high ground when we call for faster conditions because we're open to the challenge that what we really want is for Fed to add to his Slam titles, which with a little help from the conditions he might well have this year.

Nadal is a bit of an unknown because his year has been so bad; I'm not certain where that rivalry goes but I have a feeling it's headed one way.
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Post by Born Slippy Tue 10 Nov 2015, 12:08 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
Calder106 wrote:Novak's favourite terrain is the tennis court. He is consistently winning on Hard, Clay and Grass. Outdoor and Indoor. In the thin air of Indian Wells followed quickly by the humidity of Miami. Just have to accept that he is at the peak of his powers physically and mentally at the moment. Also playing the schedule he has this year allows him to stay fresh and therefore win most matches.
I would never argue that he's not a brilliant, all round player. He doesn't depend on any conditions.

But it's telling that on the two fastest courts on tour, Federer was able to beat him without the loss of a set.

Neither victory was straight forward, and Federer was pressured at various points, but the conditions rewarded his style of play in a way that the vast majority of courts do not.

To be clear, I'm not of the opinion that "faster courts =good, slower courts = bad" and I'm not of the opinion that Novak can only win on slow courts.

I think what most of us want is enough variety that the best player in the world (whoever that happens to be), not only gets surfaces where they can show their skills to the fullest, but also has other big tournaments that take them outside of their comfort zone.

I think you are under-selling Novak there. I watched the Dubai match and he was considerably the better player. Fed served out of a tree, particularly on break points and won due to Novak playing two sloppy games. It was the equivalent of a 1-0 win by the underdog at football - gamely hanging on in the face of an onslaught by the superior opponent.

I didn't see the Cincy match but, by all accounts, Fed was good value for the win in that one. However, Novak (and Murray come to that) looked well below their best generally in Cincy following the toe to toe war in the final of Canada.

The court where the odds should have been most heavily weighted in favour of Fed was the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Novak beat him there going away.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 10 Nov 2015, 12:25 pm

Bogbrush: Re the continuing Rafa-Nole rivalry. Not sure it's going to be all Djoko in the future. There have been signs late on in the season that Rafa is going to be a force again.
  The big test will be the 2016 European clay-court season. If Rafa is not able to master Djoko in April-June then it looks like the Serb's domination will continue anon.
    Even those who are none to keen on Rafa might want to start getting more behind him from now on as, IMHO, he's the only one likely to make it competitive at the top.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 12:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : missing word)

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Tue 10 Nov 2015, 12:41 pm

I don't buy that Stan just outpowered Novak, if he can do that then so could Berdych with his power?

Stan is just very tenacious and deceptively energetic. Way more than Berdych and Tsonga imo who seem to hit a wall. Also stan can change pace and hit slices that Berd and Tsonga never seem to do.
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Post by Josiah Maiestas Tue 10 Nov 2015, 12:44 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Bogbrush: Re the continuing Rafa-Nole rivalry. Not sure it's going to be all Djoko in the future. There have been signs late on in the season that Rafa is going to be a force again.
  The big test will be the 2016 European clay-court season. If Rafa is not able to master Djoko in April-June then it looks like the Serb's domination will continue anon.
    Even those who are none to keen on Rafa might want to start getting more behind him from now on as, IMHO, he's the only one likely to make it competitive at the top.
Nadal definitely has to win one of his first 2 clay events if he has any hope of taking down Djokovic in the next year. I agree he's playing better and more aggressive and consistent.
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Post by HM Murdock Tue 10 Nov 2015, 12:46 pm

Born Slippy wrote:I think you are under-selling Novak there. I watched the Dubai match and he was considerably the better player. Fed served out of a tree, particularly on break points and won due to Novak playing two sloppy games. It was the equivalent of a 1-0 win by the underdog at football - gamely hanging on in the face of an onslaught by the superior opponent.

I didn't see the Cincy match but, by all accounts, Fed was good value for the win in that one. However, Novak (and Murray come to that) looked well below their best generally in Cincy following the toe to toe war in the final of Canada.

The court where the odds should have been most heavily weighted in favour of Fed was the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Novak beat him there going away.
I agree about Dubai but I think kind of proves the point. Novak lost on a couple of sloppy games. Most of the year, if he chucks in a bad service game, he knows he has a good chance of breaking back. On a quick court, against an opponent serving like Federer did that day, it's very tough to do. So the conditions in Dubai pose a different kind of challenge.

In Cincy, I agree, that was probably a low point of Novak's form in the year. But they've played there 3 times and Novak has had a nightmare in all of them. A breadstick in 09, a bagel in 12 and a SABR meltdown this year. Novak's clearly no slouch there because he's made the final 5 times but it's equally clear that Federer is much happier in the conditions.

And I also agree about Wimbledon. Arguably Federer was unfortunate with the weather conditions, but on the day Novak played somewhere near his best, Roger wasn't at the races and it ended up being a pretty comfortable win.

But again, I emphasise that I'm not saying that Novak is not good in quicker conditions. The guy can play brilliantly anywhere. I'd just like to see a bit more variety in the courts so he doesn't have an inbuilt 'style advantage' so often.

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Post by bogbrush Tue 10 Nov 2015, 2:11 pm

I wonder whether it's now so long since we had conditions across the year such that one set of guys could beat the others up on clay, then go crying about the seeding system because they got battered a few weeks later at Wimbledon by he same guys, that most fans have plain forgotten that the game used to be like that.

And that we would wax lyrical about the mythical being who could dominate all surfaces.

It's only by very surprising chance that Novak hasn't become the 3rd guy in 6 years to complete a career Slam and win the RG / Wimbledon double.

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Post by Guest Tue 10 Nov 2015, 2:37 pm

Borg was revolutionary - employing a high top spin baseline game both to the clay of France and the grass of Wimbledon.  He was also a good volleyer and was happy to play serve and volley as well as play from the baseline.  He showed what was possible but he was unable to transfer that game to the US Open despite the US Open's various changes of surface (grass to 1974, clay 1975 - 1977, hard 1978 onward), while he never bothered with the Australian Open (going only once in 1974).

I think the biggest change to the game has been racket and string technology which favours top spin baseline game compared to a flat hitting power game.  I think surface conditions has played a secondary role to racket technology.  As others have noted Federer himself is a baseline player but has great variety.  Federer is what I would call a "transition player" - Nadal then Djokovic have became the ultimate players in the modern game.

That said Tim Henman made some astute observations regarding how the surface conditions changed at Wimbledon when Wimbledon changed to a more hardy type of grass, conditions that he said favoured baseliners such as Federer compared to his serve and volley style.

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Post by socal1976 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 8:08 pm

Nore Staat wrote:Borg was revolutionary - employing a high top spin baseline game both to the clay of France and the grass of Wimbledon.  He was also a good volleyer and was happy to play serve and volley as well as play from the baseline.  He showed what was possible but he was unable to transfer that game to the US Open despite the US Open's various changes of surface (grass to 1974, clay 1975 - 1977, hard 1978 onward), while he never bothered with the Australian Open (going only once in 1974).

I think the biggest change to the game has been racket and string technology which favours top spin baseline game compared to a flat hitting power game.  I think surface conditions has played a secondary role to racket technology.  As others have noted Federer himself is a baseline player but has great variety.  Federer is what I would call a "transition player" - Nadal then Djokovic have became the ultimate players in the modern game.

That said Tim Henman made some astute observations regarding how the surface conditions changed at Wimbledon when Wimbledon changed to a more hardy type of grass, conditions that he said favoured baseliners such as Federer compared to his serve and volley style.

Great post it is mainly strings that have changed the game. But the conditions have impacted as well. I am not against variety but I think people overstate the big advantage the defender has compared to the attacker. This year we see five players with over 90 percent hold percentage. Fed is holding serve at his highest rate since 06. An ordinary poor man's Goran won the US OPEN with pure power. Wawrinka won the two slowest slams with a one hander playing attack tennis all out. It is just that S and V on the first ball is outdated the speed and power of the shots are such that it is difficult to control the initial volley. That isn't going to change unless we drastically change the game and I can't support that.

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Post by socal1976 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 8:14 pm

Born Slippy wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:
Calder106 wrote:Novak's favourite terrain is the tennis court. He is consistently winning on Hard, Clay and Grass. Outdoor and Indoor. In the thin air of Indian Wells followed quickly by the humidity of Miami. Just have to accept that he is at the peak of his powers physically and mentally at the moment. Also playing the schedule he has this year allows him to stay fresh and therefore win most matches.
I would never argue that he's not a brilliant, all round player. He doesn't depend on any conditions.

But it's telling that on the two fastest courts on tour, Federer was able to beat him without the loss of a set.

Neither victory was straight forward, and Federer was pressured at various points, but the conditions rewarded his style of play in a way that the vast majority of courts do not.

To be clear, I'm not of the opinion that "faster courts =good, slower courts = bad" and I'm not of the opinion that Novak can only win on slow courts.

I think what most of us want is enough variety that the best player in the world (whoever that happens to be), not only gets surfaces where they can show their skills to the fullest, but also has other big tournaments that take them outside of their comfort zone.

I think you are under-selling Novak there. I watched the Dubai match and he was considerably the better player. Fed served out of a tree, particularly on break points and won due to Novak playing two sloppy games. It was the equivalent of a 1-0 win by the underdog at football - gamely hanging on in the face of an onslaught by the superior opponent.

I didn't see the Cincy match but, by all accounts, Fed was good value for the win in that one. However, Novak (and Murray come to that) looked well below their best generally in Cincy following the toe to toe war in the final of Canada.

The court where the odds should have been most heavily weighted in favour of Fed was the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Novak beat him there going away.

Pretty much agree with this. Novak is vastly underrated on quick surfaces. I think people are being simplistic in thinking if the surfaces weren't different at the start of his career to think that Novak wouldn't succeed. He has shown such an ability to learn and evolve I think even in 90s conditions at some point Novak would become number one and dominate. Lesser baseline players like wilander won large amount of slams on fast conditions just like attack players win in slower conditions and vice versa.

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Post by Henman Bill Wed 11 Nov 2015, 12:14 am

I think Novak does well in fast surfaces in spite of it being fast because he such a good player overall
AND
Because fast surfaces these days are actually medium.

I wouldn't say he is a good fast court player.

There is the argument that he might have developed a better, more aggressive game including better volleying, had he needed to. The same argument goes for Nadal.

Although somehow I feel Djokovic as a more aggressive but consistent baseliner is plausible, but volleying....he is not a natural volleyer and could have practiced it more but he would never have had the natural reflexes of the very best.

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Post by laverfan Wed 11 Nov 2015, 4:05 am

This - http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A73370289 - was done in 2010. I can probably add 2011-2015 and post it here, if there is interest.

Number of bagels sets W/L

2011 Djokovic 13-1 (Nishikori @Basel)
2012 Djokovic 8-2 (Federer @Cincy, Querrey @Paris and lost the match)
2013 Djokovic 14-0
2014 Djokovic 9-0
2015 Djokovic 12-0

(E&OE).

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Post by socal1976 Wed 11 Nov 2015, 8:27 am

Henman Bill wrote:I think Novak does well in fast surfaces in spite of it being fast because he such a good player overall
AND
Because fast surfaces these days are actually medium.

I wouldn't say he is a good fast court player.

There is the argument that he might have developed a better, more aggressive game including better volleying, had he needed to. The same argument goes for Nadal.

Although somehow I feel Djokovic as a more aggressive but consistent baseliner is plausible, but volleying....he is not a natural volleyer and could have practiced it more but he would never have had the natural reflexes of the very best.

That is not what I am saying. He wouldn't be a serve and volleyer in faster conditions. Baseline players like Borg, Connors, Agassi, Lendl, and wilander won numerous slams and dominated the game prior to luxilon and prior to slow conditions. He is a more talented athlete than all those guys. This may be sacrilege to the nostalgics. But you look at his length, speed, flexibility, height, and power combination it is pretty amazing. And he is a great ball striker. I love all these fools who have never played downgrading his ball striking. If you have returned even a 100 or 110 mile an hour serve you understand to a small degree what it's like returning a 135 or 140 mile an hour serve like he does. The intelligence, drive , athleticism, ball striking, and ability to evolve I see make me feel confident he would succeed in any set of conditions we have seen in modern tennis. Not just him nadal and fed as well. I mean do you think these guys would train or play exactly the same if they grew up with different conditions? Then you must assume they are idiots. Here is a secret all the top guys hit a big ball. They all are highly competent in pretty much every area. But the ones who dominate the tour the ones who have the brains and balls to dominate. Novak does

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Post by bogbrush Wed 11 Nov 2015, 10:21 am

I can't accept the idea that Djokovic is a more talented athlete that Borg (for one). Actually, to be fair I'm not sure what you mean by "talented athlete" but to truly compare we have to imagine what Novak would be doing if he had played in the early 70's, or what Borg would be doing now.

Borg in particular was a phenomenon, easily as much an oddity physically as Nadal or Djokovic have been recently. He was also able to hit great passing shots and volleys with this tablespoon:

http://tinyurl.com/pjwggjq



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Post by socal1976 Wed 11 Nov 2015, 5:58 pm

Athletically I am talking raw athleticism. Speed, flexibility, power, stamina on that specific point not really discussing tennis shots.

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Post by paulcz Wed 11 Nov 2015, 8:51 pm

Novak has moved tennis athleticism to another dimension. His body flexibility and fitness are exceptional. Nobody can’t say how much it is due to his talent or hard work, but surely his body preconditions are unique. The general level of players’s athleticism has gone up by a big step since Federer appeared. Then Nadal added a brutal power and  Novak raised the bar even higher due to his incredible body flexibility.
It is a natural general development as it is in all sports. Trainers, physios, doctors, they all contribute to a steady progress. Therefore I think it is not possible to compare a game or players abilities in a period of 30 years.  But a lot of fans will do it anyway as they just like it.

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Post by socal1976 Wed 11 Nov 2015, 9:08 pm

I agree paul, my point is that Novak has the physical tools and most importantly mental attributes to succeed regardless of conditions as I believe Fed and Nadal would as well. People seem to believe this for Federer but somehow Novak, Murray, and Nadal's success is put down to the conditions as if they are a creation of these conditions incapable of succeeding otherwise

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 12 Nov 2015, 9:00 am

Novak has certainly moved tennis athleticism to another place.

He's one of quickest players I've ever seen and his agility is way beyond any other player I can think of.

I'm hesitant to say he's more athletic than some former players though. It's just different. For instance, I suspect that Novak may struggle with the physical pressures of a game like Becker's or McEnroe's. The stooping and lunging and sharp movements of their games ask different questions of the body.

That Novak is one of the best athletes to play the game is surely without doubt though.

I think his stamina is down to his physique more than his lungs. 6'2" tall but only 12 stone 4lbs, very lean and incredibly flexible.

By way of comparison, Federer is 6'1" and 13 stone 5lbs, Rafa is 6'1" and 13 stone 6lbs, Murray is 6'3 and 13 stone 3lbs.

Even in like-for-like movement, Novak is burning less energy.

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Post by bogbrush Thu 12 Nov 2015, 10:03 am

Federer must be made of iron to look like he does and be 188 lbs. At least Rafa and Andy actually look bulky.
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Post by CAS Thu 12 Nov 2015, 10:10 am

The most amazing thing about Novak is a lot of players of his ilk have notoriously  had some sort of injury problems, Novak is a freak. Hewitt, Nadal, Murray and even players like Nalbandian suffer from injury lay offs.

People talk of how Federer never gets injured because of the way he plays, Novak plays long rallies, lots of defending as well as attacking but he keeps going and going. Gael Monfils is just as athletic maybe even more so than Novak, but he can't complete a season

He is made of rubber.

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Post by Born Slippy Thu 12 Nov 2015, 10:37 am

bogbrush wrote:Federer must be made of iron to look like he does and be 188 lbs. At least Rafa and Andy actually look bulky.

I would have thought Fed looks the bulkiest of all of them. Murray's actually relatively thin if you see him in real life.

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Post by CAS Thu 12 Nov 2015, 10:40 am

I thought from the TV Murray looks comfortably the heaviest, the size of his legs compared to the other 3

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 12 Nov 2015, 10:54 am

I think both Rafa and Andy have been heavier in the past.

Rafa back in 06-08ish was stacked.

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Post by bogbrush Thu 12 Nov 2015, 11:08 am

HM Murdock wrote:I think both Rafa and Andy have been heavier in the past.

Rafa back in 06-08ish was stacked.
... and the forum can now go into meltdown Very Happy

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Post by LuvSports! Thu 12 Nov 2015, 1:46 pm

Ye he was well fat.

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Post by paulcz Thu 12 Nov 2015, 5:35 pm

socal1976 wrote:I agree paul, my point is that Novak has the physical tools and most importantly mental attributes to succeed regardless of conditions as I believe Fed and Nadal would as well. People seem to believe this for Federer but somehow Novak, Murray, and Nadal's success is put down to the conditions as if they are a creation of these conditions incapable of succeeding otherwise
Federer's fans protect their idol by all means and that is the one way. Even worse way is to put ifs into a debate.
In case of Novak is obvious that he was able  to outplay Fed at Wimbledon and US open, which are two fastest GS surfaces, when Fed played his best  tennis for 3-4 years. That is the most telling fact and what is more his winners at Wimbledon were about the same with Fed, played not far from BL as Fed.  Novak has improved all aspects of the game visibly this year, let's give a credit also to BB. Novak's body dispositions are enormous and I see his successful  adaptation as possible nearly in all conditions and as you mentioned absolutely right he is mentally super strong.

It is much more difficult with Murray and even worse with Nadal.  Murray is a bit nutcase and with Nadal it is more difficult as his uncle implanted into him brutal powerful moonball game, which I dont think it is possible to fully successfully overdo at his current age.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 12 Nov 2015, 5:56 pm

Endorse all that's been said about Djoko's outstanding fitness. Twill be very interesting to see how long he can carry on this type of game into his 30s. He could take inspiration - at least fitness-wise - from the perpetual Duracell Bunny that is David Ferrer. I know the Spaniard was out for a few weeks this year, but he seems to show no signs of slowing down.

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Post by paulcz Thu 12 Nov 2015, 5:56 pm

HM Murdock wrote:Novak has certainly moved tennis athleticism to another place.

He's one of quickest players I've ever seen and his agility is way beyond any other player I can think of.

I'm hesitant to say he's more athletic than some former players though. It's just different. For instance, I suspect that Novak may struggle with the physical pressures of a game like Becker's or McEnroe's. The stooping and lunging and sharp movements of their games ask different questions of the body.

That Novak is one of the best athletes to play the game is surely without doubt though.

I think his stamina is down to his physique more than his lungs. 6'2" tall but only 12 stone 4lbs, very lean and incredibly flexible.

By way of comparison, Federer is 6'1" and 13 stone 5lbs, Rafa is 6'1" and 13 stone 6lbs, Murray is 6'3 and 13 stone 3lbs.

Even in like-for-like movement, Novak is burning less energy.

Absolutely HMM. His body just must be more energy efficient than more heavier players have. Of course his body can't generate such a power as Stan or Berdych have, but his movement offsets it fully. It is no racket science here.

Fed is much better mover than Becker or Mc. If  they played against Novak, they would struggle to get even on T let alone to the net Very Happy

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Post by paulcz Thu 12 Nov 2015, 6:05 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Endorse all that's been said about Djoko's outstanding fitness. Twill be very interesting to see how long he can carry on this type of game into his 30s. He could take inspiration - at least fitness-wise - from the perpetual Duracell Bunny that is David Ferrer. I know the Spaniard was out for a few weeks this year, but he seems to show no signs of slowing down.

Novak has one advantage, he has incredibly fast reactions. He is still able to be better at the net, which he tends to do more often and rightly. Let's see, if his serve, overheads and volleys are still going better, he can play a sort of S&V in a couple of years quite often.

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Post by socal1976 Thu 12 Nov 2015, 6:57 pm

I think CAS and Murdock make great points. The body Novak has carved is the ideal in my mind tennis body. The key thing the revolution he really pioneered on tour is the flexibility in a male player never before seen.His combination of lean body and flexibility has greatly reduced injuries. In my mind durability is underrated as a raw athletic talent. Like other athletic traits it is part genetic but partly it is a function of your training as well. Novak has crafted what seems to be the ideal body type. Yes he was born six two and fast but he wasn't born this flexible. This is a big part of the athletic talent I am talking about. I saw Novak get the crowd gasping in a change over when he took one leg  almost straight up and rests his foot on the bottom of the umpire's stand like six and a half feet high no strain no nothing. And he leans into the post takes chest all the way and rests it on his knee. Then he did the same thing kick his other straight up past his face and resting it up on the umpire terrace.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 13 Nov 2015, 3:44 pm

paulcz wrote:
In case of Novak is obvious that he was able  to outplay Fed at Wimbledon and US open, which are two fastest GS surfaces, when Fed played his best  tennis for 3-4 years. That is the most telling fact.

It is not a fact when it relies on a subjective opinion (that Fed played his best tennis for 3-4 years).

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Post by lags72 Fri 13 Nov 2015, 4:07 pm

Your point is well-made HB.

The only 'fact' is that Djokovic won both trophies.

Many observers (me amongst them) feel that Federer played at a high level in reaching the two Finals ; but that his level then dropped significantly in the actual title matches. There could be any number of reasons for that, ranging from bad day at the office to not being 'allowed' to play as he would wish . It's just the way of the world where sport is concerned.

Djokovic - in my (totally subjective !) opinions had, by contrast, not always been at his best during some of his rounds, but performed extremely well in the Finals. And thoroughly deserved to win them both clap

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Post by paulcz Fri 13 Nov 2015, 5:52 pm

lags72 wrote:Your point is well-made HB.

The only 'fact' is that Djokovic won both trophies.

Many observers (me amongst them) feel that Federer played at a high level in reaching the two Finals ; but that his level then dropped significantly in the actual title matches. There could be any number of reasons for that, ranging from bad day at the office to not being 'allowed' to play as he would wish . It's just the way of the world where sport is concerned.

Djokovic - in my (totally subjective !) opinions had, by contrast, not always been at his best during some of his rounds, but performed extremely well in the Finals. And thoroughly deserved to win them both clap

So you don't think that Wimbledon & US open are playing faster thant AO & RG, that is quite interisting Cool

As for my  statement that Fed played his best tennis for 3-4 years, there is a bunch of reasons to support that. Besides finding it with open eyes, then the facts are telling that he  won the last GS in 2012, which is 3 years ago and he did not play two GS finals in one year since then on, but in 2015. It was said by many tennis players, commentators and even Fed said that he played his best tennis recently.

Regarding to your perceptions that Fed did not play his best in the finals with Novak, then you can be absolutely sure that it was due to well playing Novak Djokovic, Fed himself played his current best as his motivation was at maximum.


Last edited by paulcz on Fri 13 Nov 2015, 8:28 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post by paulcz Fri 13 Nov 2015, 5:56 pm

Henman Bill wrote:
paulcz wrote:
In case of Novak is obvious that he was able  to outplay Fed at Wimbledon and US open, which are two fastest GS surfaces, when Fed played his best  tennis for 3-4 years. That is the most telling fact.

It is not a fact when it relies on a subjective opinion (that Fed played his best tennis for 3-4 years).

The facts are that Novak won Wimledon and USO on current fastest GS, aren't they?

As for the statement that he played his best tennis for 3-4 years you can find my response to Lags right above.

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Post by Henman Bill Sat 14 Nov 2015, 1:01 am

My argument is that what you state as a fact is not a fact. That is all. It is more a question of logic, and perhaps even pedantic nit-picking than tennis, but there you are.

Your response to the question as to whether he played at his best level for 3-4 years is not addressing the question which is whether that is a fact. Even if I agreed with you, that wouldn't make your previous statement accurate.

There are 2 separate arguments here:

1 Were you right in your opinion about his level?
2 Was it a fact?

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