In-depth analysis of matchups/matchup issues between ATP players - Page 6 - MensTennisForums.com
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post #76 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Good thread.

Who do people think are the worst match ups for Nole (in theory at least - whether or not it translates to results)?
The three players who have beaten him since RG: Federer, Murray, Del Potro. On a lower level, huge servers can also be tough for him ie Isner, Raonic.

His matchup with Federer is very netural imo, and dependant on surface. Murray is the toughest matchup for him naturally imo, as he can nullify Nole's attacking weapons better than anyone, the matches inevitably turn into wars of attrition. Del Potro has only shown glimpses of this bad matchup potential, but I do believe that a fit/injury free Del Potro could be very tough for Novak for sure - he's already the only big hitter to beat Novak since January 2011 and did it twice. He can more than match Novak's baseline rhythm.

Big serves are a bad matchup because Nole likes to take big swings on return. Against the likes of Isner and Raonic, that's very hard to do. He's not wired to return defensively.
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post #77 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 03:29 PM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Good thread.

Who do people think are the worst match ups for Nole (in theory at least - whether or not it translates to results)?
1. Djokovic doesn't like sliced backhands

2. it's possible to grind out Djokovic, he can be bored (or sometimes tired) in a long rally and make an easy error

3. it's good to have a good forehand (if you're a righty) on high balls because he likes that spinned cross-court forehand, you also have to be able to play well on deep balls, being able to half-volley is good

That said, I think not surprisingly Murray comes here, as a player who neutralizes him very well, Dolgopolov as well his sliced backhands and accelerations are good against Djokovic. Tomic as well could work imo if he improves his movement.

That's the first three names I think about.

Federer on a lesser extent but he needs to avoid errors and shorten the points because his backhand is not good enough against Djokovic.

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post #78 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 03:36 PM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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The three players who have beaten him since RG: Federer, Murray, Del Potro. On a lower level, huge servers can also be tough for him ie Isner, Raonic.

His matchup with Federer is very netural imo, and dependant on surface. Murray is the toughest matchup for him naturally imo, as he can nullify Nole's attacking weapons better than anyone, the matches inevitably turn into wars of attrition. Del Potro has only shown glimpses of this bad matchup potential, but I do believe that a fit/injury free Del Potro could be very tough for Novak for sure - he's already the only big hitter to beat Novak since January 2011 and did it twice. He can more than match Novak's baseline rhythm.

Big serves are a bad matchup because Nole likes to take big swings on return. Against the likes of Isner and Raonic, that's very hard to do. He's not wired to return defensively.
You seem to be a Del Po fan, like myself. Who or what style do you think is a bad match-up for Del Po?

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post #79 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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You seem to be a Del Po fan, like myself. Who or what style do you think is a bad match-up for Del Po?
You're a correct. I'm a Delpo, Tsonga and Nishikori (among others) fan, so we have a lot in common as tennis fans

To answer your question, players with the variety (especially slice) to mess up his baseline rhythm - Federer is the prime example of this.

Also, players who are great at absorbing/redirecting power. Delpo's default game is to hit the ball hard with big margins to draw errors/short balls. Against 99% of the tour, as soon as he gets a full swing on a FH the rally is basically over as they can't handle the unparalleled pace/weight of shot. Against players who are great at absorbing and redirecting power though - Murray, Federer, Ferrer... - this default gameplan doesn't work at all, as they can return a lot of his FHs with decent depth. Against those players, he has to take a more aggressive approach, like he did vs Federer at Olympics for instance, they don't let him play his usual game. He needs to aim for lines and corners far more than he usually does.

Delpo hits far harder than anyone else on tour, especially off the FH, which makes him a bad matchup for the majority of the tour. Players who don't let him set up into a rhythm and those who can absorb/redirect power to great effect are his worst matchups, forcing him to change his default style to have a chance to win. Federer meets both conditions, hence why he's the worst matchup on tour for Delpo.
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post #80 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 04:00 PM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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You're a correct. I'm a Delpo, Tsonga and Nishikori (among others) fan, so we have a lot in common as tennis fans

To answer your question, players with the variety (especially slice) to mess up his baseline rhythm - Federer is the prime example of this.

Also, players who are great at absorbing/redirecting power. Delpo's default game is to hit the ball hard with big margins to draw errors/short balls. Against 99% of the tour, as soon as he gets a full swing on a FH the rally is basically over as they can't handle the unparalleled pace/weight of shot. Against players who are great at absorbing and redirecting power though - Murray, Federer, Ferrer... - this default gameplan doesn't work at all, as they can return a lot of his FHs with decent depth. Against those players, he has to take a more aggressive approach, like he did vs Federer at Olympics for instance, they don't let him play his usual game. He needs to aim for lines and corners far more than he usually does.

Delpo hits far harder than anyone else on tour, especially off the FH, which makes him a bad matchup for the majority of the tour. Players who don't let him set up into a rhythm and those who can absorb/redirect power to great effect are his worst matchups, forcing him to change his default style to have a chance to win. Federer meets both conditions, hence why he's the worst matchup on tour for Delpo.
haha, we do

Good thread btw

And seen as though it hasn't been mentioned yet, what style/match-up is worst for Tsonga? Out of players, from what i've seen Jo struggles a little bit with Murray. Their H2H is 6-1 in Andy's favour with Jo's win coming at the 2008 Aussie open (Jo's best tournament to date)

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post #81 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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haha, we do

Good thread btw

And seen as though it hasn't been mentioned yet, what style/match-up is worst for Tsonga? Out of players, from what i've seen Jo struggles a little bit with Murray. Their H2H is 6-1 in Andy's favour with Jo's win coming at the 2008 Aussie open (Jo's best tournament to date)
Thanks

For Tsonga, the worst matchups are:

-great returners with strong baseline games - Djokovic and Murray basically. Jo's horrendous ROS makes him very reliant on his awesome serve, against players who can not only get it back but force him into long rallies and expose his iffy BH he's in trouble. Off clay, he WILL definitely beat Murray and Djokovic on the rare days where his BH and return are working to at least a decent level (ie not taking return games and leaking BH errors for fun), but on an average he's in trouble, hasn't beaten them for a long time. He's 1-6 vs Murray and lost the Wimbledon semi because despite having a far bigger/better serve Murray can do a lot more damage on return, Jo sturggles to get even Murray's powderpuff second serves back in play most times let alone with any bite.

-big hitters/servers. Because of the same issues: horrendous ROS, weak BH. Against guys who hit even bigger than him (Soderling, Del Potro) and can thus wrestle the initiative from him in most points, he's in trouble as his defense off the BH side is terrible as is his ROS, hence 0-5 vs Soderling and 2-5 vs Delpo (with the two wins coming with Delpo clearly diminished physically). Big servers (Isner, Raonic, Karlovic) because of his shit ROS of course.


Basically, all of Jo's matchup issues can be pinpointed to his BH and/or ROS. If he could somehow work on those aspects and make them at least solid, he'd very tough to beat for anyone and a Slam winner for sure.
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post #82 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 04:15 PM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

mostly you need to take time from Del Potro and play angled and deep balls, using his relatively slow movement.

The sliced backhand can be useful but actually Del Po plays better against it than Söderling. It needs to be a part of a varied game rather than just an usual or defensive shot. For instance what helps Fed against Del Po is that one of his favorite schemes : sliced backhand, receiving a cross-court backhand, then turn his backhand to attack with the forehand, works very well against Del Po.

Hence why Davydenko, Fed and Djokovic are bad match-ups for him. I still think Murray is a better match-up for him than the latter ones, contrary to what some think.

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Last edited by duong; 10-10-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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post #83 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 04:17 PM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Thanks

For Tsonga, the worst matchups are:

-great returners with strong baseline games - Djokovic and Murray basically. Jo's horrendous ROS makes him very reliant on his awesome serve, against players who can not only get it back but force him into long rallies and expose his iffy BH he's in trouble. Off clay, he WILL definitely beat Murray and Djokovic on the rare days where his BH and return are working to at least a decent level (ie not taking return games and leaking BH errors for fun), but on an average he's in trouble, hasn't beaten them for a long time. He's 1-6 vs Murray and lost the Wimbledon semi because despite having a far bigger/better serve Murray can do a lot more damage on return, Jo sturggles to get even Murray's powderpuff second serves back in play most times let alone with any bite.

-big hitters/servers. Because of the same issues: horrendous ROS, weak BH. Against guys who hit even bigger than him (Soderling, Del Potro) and can thus wrestle the initiative from him in most points, he's in trouble as his defense off the BH side is terrible as is his ROS, hence 0-5 vs Soderling and 2-5 vs Delpo (with the two wins coming with Delpo clearly diminished physically). Big servers (Isner, Raonic, Karlovic) because of his shit ROS of course.


Basically, all of Jo's matchup issues can be pinpointed to his BH and/or ROS. If he could somehow work on those aspects and make them at least solid, he'd very tough to beat for anyone and a Slam winner for sure.
yes except for big hitters, actually the main reason why Del Po wins against him is that he makes less errors and has a better backhand, like Söderling. Like Söderling he's just a better player than Tsonga. Also I disagree that on a good day, Tsonga wil definitely defeat Murray and Djokovic, he needs a very good day and them not to be at their top.

Against big serves first Tsonga returns bad, secondly he can always have an awol service game which is very costly in the end.

Also the passing-shot is very useful against him because he often goes to the net, hence why Murray is even a worse match-up for him than Djokovic.

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Last edited by duong; 10-10-2012 at 04:23 PM.
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post #84 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 04:20 PM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
You're a correct. I'm a Delpo, Tsonga and Nishikori (among others) fan, so we have a lot in common as tennis fans

To answer your question, players with the variety (especially slice) to mess up his baseline rhythm - Federer is the prime example of this.

Also, players who are great at absorbing/redirecting power. Delpo's default game is to hit the ball hard with big margins to draw errors/short balls. Against 99% of the tour, as soon as he gets a full swing on a FH the rally is basically over as they can't handle the unparalleled pace/weight of shot. Against players who are great at absorbing and redirecting power though - Murray, Federer, Ferrer... - this default gameplan doesn't work at all, as they can return a lot of his FHs with decent depth. Against those players, he has to take a more aggressive approach, like he did vs Federer at Olympics for instance, they don't let him play his usual game. He needs to aim for lines and corners far more than he usually does.

Delpo hits far harder than anyone else on tour, especially off the FH, which makes him a bad matchup for the majority of the tour. Players who don't let him set up into a rhythm and those who can absorb/redirect power to great effect are his worst matchups, forcing him to change his default style to have a chance to win. Federer meets both conditions, hence why he's the worst matchup on tour for Delpo.
Federer is terrible match-up to anyone whose surname isn`t Nadal. Ferrer suits here better - there a few players who relatively easy handle him, but Delpo isn`t one of them in any conditions. JMDP can`t hit throuh him on regular basic reluying only on his power and isn`t that good in defence to cope with tension David creates playing deep in every shot.

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post #85 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 04:26 PM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Federer is terrible match-up to anyone whose surname isn`t Nadal. Ferrer suits here better - there a few players who relatively easy handle him, but Delpo isn`t one of them in any conditions. JMDP can`t hit throuh him on regular basic reluying only on his power and isn`t that good in defence to cope with tension David creates playing deep in every shot.
Also in the matches they have played for one year, Ferrer was deliberately very offensive against Del Po, he knew he needed that against him and actually he did it very well.

I know some people are unable to see that Ferrer can play offensively

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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Also in the matches they have played for one year, Ferrer was deliberately very offensive against Del Po, he knew he needed that against him and actually he did it very well.

I know some people are unable to see that Ferrer can play offensively
David extracts everything out of himself, no doubt.

BTW if I had to answer who is worse match-up for Delpo, Murray or Ferrer, I would need to guess. Instinctively I want to say Andy, but maybe that`s not all that simple.

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post #87 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 04:51 PM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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BTW if I had to answer who is worse match-up for Delpo, Murray or Ferrer, I would need to guess. Instinctively I want to say Andy, but maybe that`s not all that simple.
Murray has the serve, the slice, the better backhand, can attack more easily ... and is just a better player

if Ferrer is in a less good day, and can attack less, Del Po will definitely beat him, I don't think Ferrer is a bad match-up for him.

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post #88 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Hence why Davydenko, Fed and Djokovic are bad match-ups for him. I still think Murray is a better match-up for him than the latter ones, contrary to what some think.
Agree about the rest of the post, and even most of this paragraph. Nalbandian/Davydenko and Murray sure, Djokovic no way. 6-2 is a bit misleading here since three of the matches came before Delpo broke through and a lot during his comeback. For instance in Cincy and USO, Nole beat a Delpo in clear physical troubles (no BH due to wrist)and Delpo beat Nole in DC last year with Nole injured.

The few matches where both were fit and healthy showed an incredible power struggle from the baseline, it's a pretty neutral matchup with both fit. Djokovic's advantage can be explained, apart from circumstances (3 matches played with Delpo still not a top player, etc...) by the fact he has generally been a better player than Juan over the years.

Murray is a far worse matchup for Delpo, due to his ability to seamlessly absorb and redirect power.

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yes except for big hitters, actually the main reason why Del Po wins against him is that he makes less errors and has a better backhand, like Söderling. Like Söderling he's just a better player than Tsonga. Also I disagree that on a good day, Tsonga wil definitely defeat Murray and Djokovic, he needs a very good day and them not to be at their top.

Against big serves first Tsonga returns bad, secondly he can always have an awol service game which is very costly in the end.

Also the passing-shot is very useful against him because he often goes to the net, hence why Murray is even a worse match-up for him than Djokovic.
On a great day Tsonga will most definitely beat Djokovic and Murray no matter how those two are playing, at least off clay. Tsonga with a functioning/non error leaking BH and ROS is arguably the best player in the world. Check his AO semifinal vs Nadal or the last three sets vs Federer at Wimbledon for reference; in the very, very rare days Tsonga isn't leaking BH errors for fun and tanking return games left and right, he's extremely hard to beat. His attacking game (serve, FH, power, net game, etc... combo) is the best in the business along with Federer.

Djokovic and Murray beat him because they are more steady than him and can exploit his weaknesses on most days. On the days those weaknesses aren't there, good luck beating Jo.


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Federer is terrible match-up to anyone whose surname isn`t Nadal. Ferrer suits here better - there a few players who relatively easy handle him, but Delpo isn`t one of them in any conditions. JMDP can`t hit throuh him on regular basic reluying only on his power and isn`t that good in defence to cope with tension David creates playing deep in every shot.
Not really. For instance Berdych matches up well vs Federer and has been doing very well against him lately, despite being an inferior player compared to Del Potro.

Ferrer is probably a better example of a bad matchup though, I agree. Federer dominating JMDP has as much to do with a bad matchup as with Federer being clearly the better player overall.

JMDP's problems against Ferrer are the same as against Murray really. Unlike vs most of the tour, he can't win a rally by simply getting one full swing on his FH with a safe shot. Ferrer can handle the pace/weight of shot and get it back with good depth, prolonging the rallies/exposing Juan's movement. He needs to take more risks, hit closer to the lines - he's capable of doing it but it's not his default game at all.

Also, Ferrer is a player who usually does his homework on opponents, must be said. He has clocked on something that Federer did after the USO 2009 final too and avoids as much as possible letting JMDP hitting his FH on the run. It's a shot where Del Potro has no peer on tour and one that gives him tremendous confidence whenever he pulls it off during a match. Both Federer and Ferrer have recently tried as much as possible to not give Juan any chance to unleash it (Federer took it to the extreme in their recent Olympic match).

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David extracts everything out of himself, no doubt.

BTW if I had to answer who is worse match-up for Delpo, Murray or Ferrer, I would need to guess. Instinctively I want to say Andy, but maybe that`s not all that simple.
Ferrer definitely. Murray is a better player than Ferrer (so the H2H is more normal) and despite the 5-1 most of their matches were very close.
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post #89 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 05:08 PM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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He will either lose by spraying errors as Ferrer keeps getting that extra ball back or by not being able to keep up with Ferrer in a grinding contest. But he will lose for sure...
Or he constructs points to come in, which is part of why I'm so puzzled by this particular match-up. Against every other grinder, Gasquet closes gaps between him and his opponent by moving forward and playing the net. I have no real reason to believe that Ferrer is somehow above that, and yet, again, he makes Gasquet look lost at net.

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Ferrer goes after the Gasquet BH because it's the best way to pin Gasquet back since his BH preparation is so long.
Not sure I buy this since Gasquet's forehand prep is equally long if not more so. It's also much more prone to error. The only thing I can gather is that Ferrer actually enjoys that extra bit of height on the Gasquet backhand. As I said, he has really teed off on it in recent years.

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With Gasquet miles the behind, it's too easy for Ferrer to outmanouever/outgrind him
This is probably the crux of it, as Gasquet spends most matches too far behind the baseline, but I wouldn't think that he'd let that happen in a match like this, where he knows his best bet is to move in and take chances.
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post #90 of 318 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 05:10 PM
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Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

There's been a lot of mentions for Murray being bad match-ups for players, but who's a bad match=up for Murray? I'd probs say Nadal, judging from when i've seen them play.

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