Is Berdych's style really similar to Del Potro's and Söderling's ? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Is Berdych's style really similar to Del Potro's and Söderling's ?

duong
02-22-2012, 08:17 AM
I often read Berdych categorized as a "big hitter" and considered as similar to Del Potro and Söderling.

I personally do believe that it's more complicated than that : I would put him between Federer and Del Potro/Söderling.

Berdych has more variety and also uses more the opponent's pace to counter like Federer.

He's less powerful than Del Potro and Söderling, uses hardly any spin while the other two use more spin (less Söderling on the backhand), and he uses more changes of pace with accelerations like Federer.

He has more mobility.

I remember that I found the match against Söderling in SF of RG 2010 as an interesting example in that matter.

Last week against Del Potro, they showed that Del Potro had played 75% of his shots cross-court ... while Berdych had only played 50% of them : his mind is more about variation.

Of course he's not like Federer either : I would say he's a special kind of player between those two kinds of players.

Maybe some people who know technique better than me can describe it better ;)

Looner
02-22-2012, 08:22 AM
I wouldn't say he's less powerful than DelPo and Soderling. In fact, I think he hits the ball harder (because he hits it flatter) and his pace generation is just stunning.

LawrenceOfTennis
02-22-2012, 08:23 AM
I do not see any similarity between them, if not the size.
Out of the 3, I think Berdych's forehand is the best when he is in good form. Delpo hits the best backhand and Soderling is just a hair worse than them. Soderling has the least variety but he attacks the most.

Shinoj
02-22-2012, 08:27 AM
I would say. Berdych looks the Classier of the three.

duong
02-22-2012, 08:27 AM
I wouldn't say he's less powerful than DelPo and Soderling. In fact, I think he hits the ball harder (because he hits it flatter) and his pace generation is just stunning.

I have another way to think of those things : a hard shot with more spin is more powerful in my mind than a flat shot, it drives more energy.

Also I think Del Potro and Söderling can better create their own pace/energy while Berdych uses more the opponent's energy.

But you bring an important point I had forgotten to write : he hits very flat whereas Söderling and Del Potro use more spin (less Söderling on the backhand)

LawrenceOfTennis
02-22-2012, 08:46 AM
That's the main problem with Delpo now. He hits with way too much spin, results in moonballs. He should hit it a bit flatter in order to hit winners with it.
Berdych has the best forehand not just out of this 3, but in the world, when he is playing really well. Similar to Federer's forehand, but flatter and more powerful.

duong
02-22-2012, 08:56 AM
That's the main problem with Delpo now. He hits with way too much spin, results in moonballs. He should hit it a bit flatter in order to hit winners with it.
Berdych has the best forehand not just out of this 3, but in the world, when he is playing really well. Similar to Federer's forehand, but flatter and more powerful.

I feel like you that Del Po currently hasn't found back his best flatter forehand which used to be lethal, but I personally do feel that that one may even be better than Berdych's ;)

And most importantly, the fact that he can also play a more spinny forehand makes that overall, I feel that his forehand is overall better than Berdych's.

LisaKoh
02-22-2012, 09:11 AM
Berdych is a slower, less charismatic, less mentally tough, less tactical Safin. Soderling is the best mover out of these three, then Berdych, then JMDP. Del Potro is a freak of nature who is freakishly talented. All of them can beat anybody on any given day but are prone to overhitting and are susceptible to consistent, fast baseliners.

I guess the one thing that these guys have in common is that if court conditions suit them, they can overpower the very best players.

duong
02-22-2012, 09:35 AM
Berdych is a slower, less charismatic, less mentally tough, less tactical Safin. Soderling is the best mover out of these three, then Berdych, then JMDP.

I thought Berdych moved better than Söderling.

I think Safin could also hit his baseline shots with spin, he could vary better spin and flat imo.

Safin was more talented imo :shrug:

As for mental toughness, I think Berdych has reached a very good level in recent years, Safin looks too hard to define as for mental toughness to me :lol:

MaxPower
02-22-2012, 09:38 AM
It's a funny topic this because ppl just make stuff up about these three.

(pick one big hitter) has the best/worst forehand
(pick one big hitter) is the best/worst mover
(pick one big hitter) has the most/least variety

Truth is each got there own style. ALL OF THEM have awesome forehands. All of them are great movers (how can some say Soderling is a bad mover? have you seen how smooth he moves on clay?, same with Berdy and Delpo actually)

All have great serves when it's on but Soderling clearly has the most power. That he serves the hardest probably means he hits the hardest from the baseline too. Simple logic

Del Potro has the best defense. He is most patient and best at recovering from wide out positions. This is something he uses very well when playing other big hitters

Berdych/Soderling are more similar too each other than they are to Del Potro. All players are different but Del Potro has a defensive dimension in his game he can make use of in certain situations.

Soderling/Berdych tend to crank up the heat instead and try to go more for the net when things aren't working which often leads to the "Berdych/Soderling have horrible volleys" when it's more a consequence of the power in their game. When you hit hard you get the ball back hard. Those type of returns are very difficult to control at the net because they get less time and less margin for error.

LisaKoh
02-22-2012, 09:40 AM
Well that goes to show how little mental toughness Berdych has! :) Not that I'm being facetious or anything but Safin made it to 4 GS finals and won 2 at a younger age than Berdych. Safin has more MS than Berdych and he survived match point against Federer to beat Lleyton Hewitt in his own backyard. He also took out Pete Sampras in NYC, in front of a partisan crowd. He took out Guga at the French when Guga was defending champ and then he proceeded to knock out Agassi. These are not easy things to do! Berdych didn't even show up for his Wimbledon final with Rafa, he was too mentally cowed by the occasion.

duong
02-22-2012, 09:50 AM
Berdych/Soderling are more similar too each other than they are to Del Potro. All players are different but Del Potro has a defensive dimension in his game he can make use of in certain situations.


I personally think that there's more similarity between Söderling and Del Potro than between Söderling and Berdych, that's why I created this thread. Although yes, they all have their own game style and probably Söderling has some points where he's more similar to Berdych than to Del Potro.

Maybe he's a little bit between the two of them :shrug:

You're right that Del Potro's defensive skills are clearly something specific.

Anyway it's interesting to look at that from different points of view ;)

LisaKoh
02-22-2012, 09:53 AM
It's a funny topic this because ppl just make stuff up about these three.


Del Potro has the best defense. He is most patient and best at recovering from wide out positions. This is something he uses very well when playing other big hitters


Err, no. Soderling has the best defense. Del Potro is pretty terrible at covering drop shots and slices.Exhibit A:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq33L8K2mVs

duong
02-22-2012, 09:57 AM
Err, no. Soderling has the best defense. Del Potro is pretty terrible at covering drop shots and slices.

yes but when they are taken far from the ball, Del Potro has an ability to defend or hit passing-shots, extending his body very far, which is specific.

It's also his main specificity to Cilic when I watch their matches together.

Li Ching Yuen
02-22-2012, 10:15 AM
Berdych is a slower, less charismatic, less mentally tough, less tactical Safin. Soderling is the best mover out of these three, then Berdych, then JMDP. Del Potro is a freak of nature who is freakishly talented. All of them can beat anybody on any given day but are prone to overhitting and are susceptible to consistent, fast baseliners.

I guess the one thing that these guys have in common is that if court conditions suit them, they can overpower the very best players.

Wow. :lol:

rocketassist
02-22-2012, 10:18 AM
Err, no. Soderling has the best defense. Del Potro is pretty terrible at covering drop shots and slices.Exhibit A:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq33L8K2mVs

No way. Del Potro's defence is the best BY FAR, that's why his slam count is 1 and the others 0 because defence these days is the number one asset required at the top of the game.

Berdych is a bit of a poor man's Safin. Some variety, great backhand but not at Safin's level and a forehand as good as Safin's.

Soderling is a flat ballstriker. A basher at times too, but his victory over Nadal was down to patient construction, moving him around side to side and then coming forward to finish the short ball. When he plays like that, he's one fearsome opponent.

Del Potro I find to be a more high percentage 'basher' as his shots are less 'risky' than the other two and often tend to find the middle of the court a la pusher-ish until he gets a short ball from his opponent. That's why I've never warmed to his style as I think it's quite uni-dimensional. The other two guys have more of a 'point construction' about them and that's why I prefer them.

You could add Tsonga as well given he hits hard at times too, but his backhand is pretty inconsistent but his net game is streets ahead of the others.

Talent wise it's hard to pick a winner.

LisaKoh
02-22-2012, 10:46 AM
I don't know, I think that the guy who made it to two French Open finals beating Federer and Nadal on the way to each would be a good mover on clay. You could argue that JMDP won his slam on the fastest surface so his power rather than his defense is what let him beat Federer and Nadal in the same tourney. There are plenty of ways to look at it. I think Del Po has problems changing direction more than both guys but he's so good from the back of the court that it's difficult to wrong foot him.

Edited to add one last comment:

Soderling is 3-1 against Berdych on clay, 1-1 against Del Potro. All things being equal, I think he moves better than these two. Many might not agree and see my opinion as farcical which is fine with me, we all have our own viewpoints.

duong
02-22-2012, 10:55 AM
I don't know, I think that the guy who made it to two French Open finals beating Federer and Nadal on the way to each would be a good mover on clay.

quite often, big hitters who don't move very quickly manage to do well on clay as they have more time to execute their shots.

The fact that the bounce is higher also can help them.

The most obvious example which has been shown recently was Isner, but there are many other examples.

Start da Game
02-22-2012, 11:34 AM
player - emphasis

del potro - wrist

berdych - arm

soderling - arm

berdych's style is a little similar to soderling's but not to del potro's.....

BroTree123
02-22-2012, 11:43 AM
player - emphasis

del potro - wrist

berdych - arm

soderling - arm

berdych's style is a little similar to soderling's but not to del potro's.....

I thought you left MTF or something :confused::confused:

Start da Game
02-22-2012, 11:48 AM
I thought you left MTF or something :confused::confused:

i returned for my friends....

Johnny Groove
02-22-2012, 12:15 PM
I think Berdych is a better mover than both Soderling and Delpo, but in terms of pure power, Berdych is 3rd. The way Delpo just dominated him, overpowered him, did everything he did and better last week in Rotterdam, really makes me question Berdych.

duong
02-22-2012, 12:26 PM
I think Berdych is a better mover than both Soderling and Delpo, but in terms of pure power, Berdych is 3rd. The way Delpo just dominated him, overpowered him, did everything he did and better last week in Rotterdam, really makes me question Berdych.

the match between Söderling and Berdych in semifinal of Roland-Garros 2010 gave me the same impression : Berdych was very good, it went to 5 sets and was very competitive, but you could see that they played differently, Söderling used more his power, he played more consistently with depth, and Berdych was more like a counter-player and varied more, the directions especially. From the baseline it had been quite the same between Söderling and Federer a few days before, Federer using more his countering abilities and Söd's power.

Berdych has other abilities than pure power :shrug:

Certinfy
02-22-2012, 12:26 PM
I think Berdych moves the best of of them to be fair. As for power if it comes to effortless power Berdych clearly wins that but it's obvious the last few years he's opted for a more tactical approach of power compared to the way he used to play which was like Del Potro and Soderling do now.

Start da Game
02-22-2012, 12:35 PM
berdych is good with injection of pace......del potro outright power......

buzz
02-22-2012, 01:02 PM
Berdych is almost always pretty close to the baseline. And hits flatter than the other two. I don't think he moves good enough further back or hits consistent enough from backcourt to draw opponents to errors. Also hits more down the line then the other two.

Delpo can run and be consistent close to the baseline and also a little further back. Can hit with some spin for good consistency and can hit enormous flat forhands.

Soderling is the only one who can hit his atacking/enormous forehands with a lot of spin. That gave him his succes at RG I think. He can also play on the baseline and a little further back (on the baseline being his best position, but when under pressure he can perform from the back unlike Berdych).

duong
02-22-2012, 01:41 PM
Berdych is almost always pretty close to the baseline.

yes that's also a more common point with Federer.

henke007
02-22-2012, 01:46 PM
Berdych and variety :spit:

duong
02-22-2012, 01:51 PM
Berdych and variety :spit:

yes not so much (I fell asleep during his match against Nadal :lol: ) but better than Del Potro and Söderling, I think.

especially varying directions and speed, but no spin, little slice ...

he also gets better to the volley than Söderling and Del Potro, I think.

philosophicalarf
02-22-2012, 01:59 PM
Classic thread example of lots talking at cross-purposes.

For example, when people say movement, is that speed? acceleration? footwork? anticipation? understanding patterns of play?

Certinfy
02-22-2012, 02:00 PM
Berdych is actually a very solid serve and volleyer off both serves when he chooses to use it. :shrug: At times I actually wonder why he doesn't opt for a little more of that (and quite a few commentators agree with me on that).

romismak
02-22-2012, 02:13 PM
Yes they are all similar- big hitters category for sure, at their peaks they can be ,,unplayable,, Delpo has worst serve among them, right now 2009 Delpo was better server, Soderling has hardest serve among them. They have all big FH- good FH, Berdych flat-clean, other 2 play with more spin and hit harder, about movement, i think they are all bad movers-comparing to top 4 - that´s their weakness against big 4. Berdych has best volleys among them i think.

Zaks_289
02-22-2012, 03:03 PM
I don't think that Del Potro's style similar to Berdych and Soderling. For me, every skills he better than both, except serve.

On the tour, I think only Cilic's style quite similar to Del Potro's.

duong
02-22-2012, 03:42 PM
Classic thread example of lots talking at cross-purposes.

For example, when people say movement, is that speed? acceleration? footwork? anticipation? understanding patterns of play?

Anyway I would be happy to know your analysis with more precise words ;)

What are the common points and what are the differences ? Is Söderling more similar to Berdych or to Del Potro ? Does the assumption "Berdych between Federer and Söderling" make sense or not ?

Bad Religion
02-22-2012, 08:57 PM
Nadal owns these three players so badly

leng jai
02-22-2012, 09:33 PM
Berdbrain has the best technique out of the three thats for sure. His backhand stroke production is near flawless.

Ajde.

HKz
02-22-2012, 11:06 PM
They are all pretty similar. Tall, big hitters off of both wings, rather decent footwork for their height. However, Soderling/Berdych have much better serves than Del Potro who has quite a mediocre serve in general, although it was beginning to be a weapon in 2009. Del Potro, however, does have IMO the better volleying skills than Berdych and Soderling. He has fantastic tough in fact. Berdych is great at closing in on the net and Soderling is adequate too though.

I wouldn't say any of them are more varied or whatnot. Berdych doesn't particularly do anything too different from Del Potro/Soderling. Yes, Del Potro does love hitting cross-court shots, but Soderling hits quite a few of his shots down the line as well.

One thing for sure is that Berdych has very clean strokes. Doesn't seem to be moving too much body especially when hitting the forehand but his ability to generate pace is quite extraordinary sometimes because when you watch Soderling or Del Potro they just hammer their body into the ball while Berydch just strokes the ball and generates just as much pace.

dabeast
02-23-2012, 11:34 AM
Soderling is between the 2. Berdych is a great striker of the ball, relies on technique and timing, not muscling the ball, that is why he can get effortless power. Del Potro is a ballbasher through and through, his one strategy on court: go big or go home. He covers the net well cos of wide reach, but he does not have great touch or feel at all.

Start da Game
02-23-2012, 12:19 PM
del potro has decent touch at the net.....he volleyed well last wimbledon......his problem at the moment is he is not that agile and not that consistent......once he gets back to his 2008, 2009 level, we will have the big five......

stebs
02-23-2012, 05:34 PM
They are similar in regards to some things, not to others. This is trivially true of course, but my opinions as to places where all three are similar is as follows:

Height (this is the only one not up for debate)
Power (whilst not equal in this regard, in the countext of the whole tour, they are surely in a bracket of 'power' players)
Strong forehands

After that, it may start to break down. For example, in terms of patience, I would say JMDP >> Soderling >> Berdych. That is to say, JMDP is most willing to engage in long rallies, Berdych least. Soderling can do either, his power game dominates many weaker players and at his best we've seen him comprehensively overpower Ferrer on clay and even did the same to Federer on clay (though in a much closer match). However, when it's needed, Soderling plays long rallies. Watch the London match between JMDP and him, a lot of long points because neither player was giving up a lot of space.

JMDP is the best defensively imo, not to say necessarily the best mover but certainly the best in a defensive position on the forehand side. Berdych is worst defender imo, he has decent movement but usually only wins matches he is the aggressor in. For example, when Federer has played him, he has won or come very close to winning when he has dictated play, lost otherwise.

There is much more to say about these three interesting players, Berdych is much the most 'natural' ball-striker. Quite what I mean when I say that is hard to state but it is exemplified by his easy power off the forehand especially. JMD is powerful, but mainly because he absolutely smashes the ball. Soderling also has easy power but to me it looks a less technically proficient stroke.