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post #33 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 11:30 AM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

Originally Posted by duong View Post
2 questions not especially for Lenders :

- I don't remember watching Blake-Davydenko (7-0 until this year) : I guess Blake disturbed Davydenko from the return and serve (which are very important shots for Blake) ?
Especially the return from matches of the pair that I've watched (at least three, I think, all of which Blake won). Blake is very fond of running around the backhand to thwack forehand returns and it was a very profitable pattern of play against Davydenko. Blake could actually dictate a lot more points from his forehand side against Davydenko than Gonzalez was ever able to (he has a shorter swing which partially explains that). Further, Blake doesn't give up ground on the baseline easily. Like Federer in that sense, he could continue to direct points even when Davydenko would hit deep counters, using the baseline half volley when necessary. Not so sure about the serve (of Blake) being very important. Davydenko could impose on that shot with his return like usual imo, the match-up was more down to the way rallies panned out and Blake's ability to retain control of tempo in rallies in a way Gonzalez couldn't. This is also partially due to his better flat BH (which is especially good against deep shots I think, Blake always showed he could half volley from the baseline very effectively against Nadal's FH as well), this stops Davydenko from gaining too much from his superior BH.

- I noticed that Baghdatis has better results against grinders, I tried to wonder why, one reason is that they don't attack his second serve which is a bit weak, I guess, another reason is that Baghdatis likes building points for long, quite like Youzhny, but also he seems to especially like unleashing a ball only in the end of a long rally rather than earlier : why does he have this habit ? is it like a part of the pleasure for him ? does he need to be exhausted to unleash his best (Monfils is typically like that) ?
I don't have an answer for that but yes, it's strange. Part and parcel of being the showman type players that Monfils, Baghdatis and (to a lesser extent) Youzhny are. I certainly think it brings pleasure to all three of them, Monfils enjoys being in 'interesting' and 'epic' rallies, perhaps to his detriment.

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