Is Djokovic's backhand DTL so good because he puts outside side-spin on it? - MensTennisForums.com

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Is Djokovic's backhand DTL so good because he puts outside side-spin on it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...rs5y6hI#t=110s

Check out the backhand here. Definitely swerves through the air and moves away from Murray's forehand on the bounce.

Could this be one of the secrets to his greatness off that wing?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 11:56 AM
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Re: Is Djokovic's backhand DTL so good because he puts outside side-spin on it?

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 12:19 PM
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Re: Is Djokovic's backhand DTL so good because he puts outside side-spin on it?

The spin on that shot was due to his contact point being closer to his body than he'd usually like. Also his bodily momentum towards the middle of the court. It shows how adaptable Novak is on his backhand. His adaptability and ability to middle the ball given different feeds are some of the signs of his awesome backhand. Not so much the side spin as it is more circumstantial and doesn't happen that much. Not like Nadal's forehand side spin for instance.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 12:32 PM
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Re: Is Djokovic's backhand DTL so good because he puts outside side-spin on it?

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Originally Posted by StatRacket View Post
The spin on that shot was due to his contact point being closer to his body than he'd usually like. Also his bodily momentum towards the middle of the court. It shows how adaptable Novak is on his backhand. His adaptability and ability to middle the ball given different feeds are some of the signs of his awesome backhand. Not so much the side spin as it is more circumstantial and doesn't happen that much. Not like Nadal's forehand side spin for instance.
Great answer and great points. Djokovic has dexterity and flexibility that allows him to contort his body into whichever position is suitable to get a good hit point. This is especially noticeable on the return (the shot which typically gives a player the least time). Being aggressive off a body serve is extremely difficult, I've never seen anybody who can do it as well as Djokovic.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 05:08 PM
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Re: Is Djokovic's backhand DTL so good because he puts outside side-spin on it?

Eh, the kind of spin he places is miniscule at best in general. It isn't very extreme like Rafa's forehand where the ball really curls away when he hits it crosscourt, something I've seen Federer exploit by bring Rafa into the net and forcing Nadal to hit his forehand down the line. But anyways that is besides the point, the real strength in Novak's backhand DTL is merely his ability to pull the shot off when it matters most. I mean like some of the great backhands in this field, like those of Nalbandian and Davydenko, they had tremendous success with their backhands as well, especially with their DTL one. So honestly, Novak's backhand, while being a superb shot especially defensively, is not really too unique or even "better" than the backhands of someone like Nalbandian or Davydenko. However, the difference is that he is much more mentally tough than such players, so this is what truly separates him as he is able to use that shot in pressure moments.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 05:44 PM
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Re: Is Djokovic's backhand DTL so good because he puts outside side-spin on it?

Mostly because he can hit it 140-150km/h and has the timing and confidence to use the shot when given opportunity, even on serves. Having outside side-spin is unnecessary. It's the depth and power making it hard to control, not side-spin
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 07:56 PM
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Re: Is Djokovic's backhand DTL so good because he puts outside side-spin on it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StatRacket View Post
The spin on that shot was due to his contact point being closer to his body than he'd usually like. Also his bodily momentum towards the middle of the court. It shows how adaptable Novak is on his backhand. His adaptability and ability to middle the ball given different feeds are some of the signs of his awesome backhand. Not so much the side spin as it is more circumstantial and doesn't happen that much. Not like Nadal's forehand side spin for instance.
That's the perfect answer for this question.

I'd add - Djokovic's game has this little advantage of him being able to play better the shots when out of position, as he has an extraordinary body flexibility.

For example half the defensive BH slices Federer plays when attacked, Djokovic can bend and twist his body in a way that allows him to actually play a half offensive shot instead. I have actually never seen this in any other player, perhaps Monfils has the body predisposition to play such shots, but he hasn't perfected these as much as Nole.

The Serbian is way more comfortable playing balls on the stretch, rather inside the body.
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