Is "Funkinesse" the best way to counter Defensive dominance in today's game? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Is "Funkinesse" the best way to counter Defensive dominance in today's game?

Sham Kay
10-13-2011, 02:28 PM
Yes, Funkinesse is a play on the word finesse.. in Mayer and Dolgopolov's case it would be funky finesse, thus funkinesse.

Anyway, watching Mayer play today and Dolgopolov (couldn't watch that, but he obviously ended up destroying Tomic), could we be witnessing the first proper chink in the armour of Defensive dominance at the top of the game? Their awkward style of play and shotmaking style could well be the style that can dismantle the defensive/counter-punching game that dominates the top of the game consistently (extreme ball bashing has been effective, but it is anything but consistent).

Could we be seeing players rising up in the game with anti-Fed qualities? (= amazing shotmaking talent but going against the textbook brand of tennis). Or are these two just rare cases?

Discuss.

Action Jackson
10-13-2011, 02:32 PM
The word isn't user friendly.

Of course having the ability to break up the rhythm of an opponent getting them out of the comfort zone is a positive thing. Like anything there are ways to play against that. Davydenko and Berdych for example know how to handle Mayer easily.

Tennis is all about match ups, hasn't changed since the game started.

tennizen
10-13-2011, 02:33 PM
I doubt it. I think it's possible one or two of them may but it's more likely to be the exception simply because it's too difficult to do it that way. The "defensive dominance" works imo because it keeps things relatively simple and thus more accessible.

fast_clay
10-13-2011, 02:42 PM
the combinations of flat heavy + deft short slice is one of the best ways to exploit expert defenders... defenders like to run a lateral marathon, and occasional straight and diagonal jinks inside court for low balls do not fit the path of least resistance for a defender...

not many can pull off that combination, and even rare are the bollocks to commit to it... so, we're not likely to see a performance like that against nadal for a while unless the prophecy of The Modern Renaissance enters reality soon...

Sham Kay
10-13-2011, 02:43 PM
From what I've seen, these Funky players are most comfortable around defensive players since they're able to get time on the ball to display their tricks. (For example Dolgo troubled Nole for a set at USO and pushed Murray hard at AO). But like you said (AJ) out and out aggressive players like Berdych don't give these guys the time on the ball, making it a bad match up for them. But still, even if players like them don't exactly dominate, I'd like to think they can counter the dominance of defensive players, who are generally strong against guys like Tsonga, Berdych, Davy etc..

Of course as I write this, Berdych gets KO'd. Fahaha.

Rodre Fegassi
10-13-2011, 03:10 PM
but murray is a junky player himself insin't he? He gets roasted by Nadal

MaxPower
10-13-2011, 03:37 PM
Mayer and Dolgo are always dangerous but the thing is that their funky style of tennis is risky. They look like brilliant magicians on a good day but on a bad day they will look like mugs. That's the prize you pay for doing low percentage shots like dropshots, jumping backhands and all those other weapons they got in their arsenal.

The low-error tennis is very efficient vs "funkiness" when they hit errors with those spectacular shots. But when you play that game to perfection they win. So imo it's pretty similar to your ballbashing example. If you play it to perfection like Soderling, Tsonga, Delpo does at times it kills defensive players too. But I think both styles are inconsistent at least compared to defensive moonballing

MuzzahLovah
10-13-2011, 03:44 PM
Wouldn't Tomic have to be considered a funkinesse player as well? What about about FLopez?

And Murray can go Hewitt-counterpunch style and Safin-aggressive at times, but his favorite thing in the world is to mess around with slices and drop shots and cat and mouse volley, lob points. That part of his game is why he has lots of success against other counterpunchers like Simon, who hate low-pace shots.

Caesar1844
10-13-2011, 05:16 PM
Junk is the best pay to play defenders and power hitters. Both styles are rhythm players who love consistent speed and spin, and both have come to dominate the top of the rankings in the last 10 years thanks to the tour being 90% clay and slowing hardcourts.

It was natural that the best of the next generation would develop into junkballers as a method of challenging them.

but murray is a junky player himself insin't he? He gets roasted by Nadal
Murray is more defensive than junky when he plays someone like Nadal, it's a psychological thing. But he has the potential, which is why people talk about the top 4 rather than the top 3.

green25814
10-13-2011, 05:31 PM
Junk is the best pay to play defenders and power hitters. Both styles are rhythm players who love consistent speed and spin, and both have come to dominate the top of the rankings in the last 10 years thanks to the tour being 90% clay and slowing hardcourts.

It was natural that the best of the next generation would develop into junkballers as a method of challenging them.


Murray is more defensive than junky when he plays someone like Nadal, it's a psychological thing. But he has the potential, which is why people talk about the top 4 rather than the top 3.

Nah, Murray ups his aggression against Nadal. Everyone does, even Simon.

MuzzahLovah
10-13-2011, 06:01 PM
but murray is a junky player himself insin't he? He gets roasted by Nadal

http://www.forward.com/workspace/assets/images/articles/bagel-110708.jpg

asmazif
10-13-2011, 08:50 PM
I damn well hope so :hearts:

Vida
10-13-2011, 09:01 PM
against defensive dominance? maybe. against all-round monster dominance? nevaaaaaa.

good o.p. btw.

v-money
10-13-2011, 09:49 PM
The word "funkinesse" is just not a pleasant word to look. Not user friendly as AJ said. Probably looks funny because it is the word "funkiness" with an extra -e at the end. Consider dropping that e.

I think a player can be successful if he plays this kind of unorthodox style, but I wouldn't expect many players do be adopting the strategy because it really isn't as low risk as it may seem. Firstly, there is no pure finesse players out there. Players like Petzschner and Mayer throw a lot of all court game at their opponents but they wouldn't even be sniffing at the top 100 if they didn't have those big serves and big forehands. Dolgo also can hit a lot of junk to the opponent but he has the big forehand to attack a short ball. You still need so much more in your game. The junk shots themselves are hard to pull of because they are often drop shots or very angled shots. If you miss you either give you opponents some easy put aways or you look stupid by hitting 40+ errors in 2 sets. Being a junkballer is not easy and should probably only be used if the game is not on or to throw of the opponents rhythm.

I actually think Murray plays a good finesse game and he usually has a good balance of finesse to aggression. Unfortunately for Murray, he can be outhit off the ground. Dolgopolov on the other hand has beaten some big hitters like Tsonga and Soderling but struggled against Djokovic and Nadal, because he's less likely to get errors or winners and the shot selection goes out the window. A finesse player can be successful but it involves a lot of factors, so don't expect to see too many in the future. Instead I'm a pessimist and think the slam winners of the future will be even more athletic and more consistent versions of Nadal and Djokovic. It's much easier to teach a kid to run and keep the ball in play than teaching him tennis smarts like court positioning, how to hit great approach shots and how to volley.

LawrenceOfTennis
10-13-2011, 09:54 PM
The best way is to play tennis instead of clowning like 90% of the tour does.

Sapeod
10-13-2011, 09:57 PM
I'd love to see them try and get past Murray's defense :lol: They wouldn't be able to, of course. They could make a dent in his game, but that's it.

Haelfix
10-13-2011, 10:21 PM
Playing guys with unconventional games is never easy. Hell, half of Federer's success has come b/c he has mixed junkballing, slicing, net rushes, dropshots and other assorted tricks into his repertoire to defeat superior ball bashers (very often beating them when they were completely outplaying him in the traditional phases of the game).

Others like Santoro made a career out of it. Murray is another guy who derives a good fraction of his points from that.

I'm not sure if its that great againts pure defense though. There aren't a tremendous amount of pure defenders in the league (there are a lot of counterpunchers tho), but the prototype of the retreiver type would be Monfils. Off the top of my head, I don't know what his record is against Mayer/Dolgo/Murray.

Sham Kay
10-13-2011, 10:56 PM
Santoro really does deserve mention here. That man was way ahead of the times with his game.. now a taller more powerful version of him may be a giant of the game in the future. Who knows?

I still think this style of play is in it's infancy. Tomic may well develop himself to be this mould of player, though in a unique unique sort of way if that makes sense. He has this lazy, hypnotic style..

There is a problem of consistency here, as others have said. Mayer vs Murray in Rome highlighted this well. Mayer was completely outplaying Murray for a set, even outfoxing him at his own game with drop-shot/lob combos and running Murray ragged.. this subsequently fell apart badly and he collapsed to a 6-1, 1-6, 1-6 defeat, prompting people to call it a WTA mugfest.. but in reality it is the risk Mayer takes by playing how he does.. when the variation goes awry, it looks god awful.

ballbasher101
10-13-2011, 11:20 PM
Playing like that will only get you so far. Someone mentioned Federer having a funky type of game. That is true, he mixes it up but most importantly he has two great shots in his locker. The forehand and serve have carried him throughout his career. Someone like Mayer can play a brilliant match against a Nadal or Murray and win but he will definitely lose more matches than he wins because he lacks a killer shot.

MuzzahLovah
10-13-2011, 11:37 PM
Also, this funky sort of game will bamboozle or frustrate most players for a few games or a set, but Murray vs. Flo or Fed vs. Santoro, players with lots of options/variety will figure out a way around them. Nadal vs. Flo and Safin vs. Santoro is the flip side- great players without lots of variety(and in Safin's case, limited patience) find it hard to adapt.

sexybeast
10-14-2011, 12:34 AM
Classic mtf bandwaggoning, one match and everyone thinks this is the way to beat Nadal. So Nadal had great difficulty with funkyness throughout his career?

I remember him destroying the likes of Dolgo, Tomic and Santoro the few times they met, but I could be wrong. Djokovic got much more problems with funky players, Nadal doesnt have problems with variations in rythm.

One match on indoor court and Nadal with alltime low confidence and people start to speculate. I thought controlled aggression was the way to go against Nadal, like Djokovic and even Murray shown the times they beat him. Be aggressive with both wings, serve good but dont go for too much and limit UEs as much as you can and Nadal can be blown away.

Mayer beat Nadal because his 2 handed backhand was better than usual, his serve was very good and Nadal was playing on his worst surface and was not at the top of his game. Next time they meet on outdoor hardcourt, specially in grand slams I expect Nadal to blow him out of the court. Watch Melzer last year in the same tournament, wonder if mtf was speculating on beeing a lefty is the secret to beat Nadal.

fast_clay
10-14-2011, 12:52 AM
I still think this style of play is in it's infancy. Tomic may well develop himself to be this mould of player, though in a unique unique sort of way if that makes sense. He has this lazy, hypnotic style..


you make good points, especially in the one i quoted...

with tomic, you have to imagine this:

once he gets the tempo slowed down, once the slice has entered numerous rallies and he has his opponents using it in turn, then it is tomic who is the one who has seen this style of rally before - over and over and over again, already a young lifetime of seeing points develop this way... once the rhythm is wrestled his way then the contest is lopsided, especially against ball bashers and aggressive baseliners... and, as we have seen, it only takes a handful fo unforced errors in a couple of games to see the attacker go into his shell, forced then to play tomic's game of cat and mouse...

paseo
10-14-2011, 01:28 AM
The word "funkinesse" is just not a pleasant word to look. Not user friendly as AJ said. Probably looks funny because it is the word "funkiness" with an extra -e at the end. Consider dropping that e.

I think a player can be successful if he plays this kind of unorthodox style, but I wouldn't expect many players do be adopting the strategy because it really isn't as low risk as it may seem. Firstly, there is no pure finesse players out there. Players like Petzschner and Mayer throw a lot of all court game at their opponents but they wouldn't even be sniffing at the top 100 if they didn't have those big serves and big forehands. Dolgo also can hit a lot of junk to the opponent but he has the big forehand to attack a short ball. You still need so much more in your game. The junk shots themselves are hard to pull of because they are often drop shots or very angled shots. If you miss you either give you opponents some easy put aways or you look stupid by hitting 40+ errors in 2 sets. Being a junkballer is not easy and should probably only be used if the game is not on or to throw of the opponents rhythm.

I actually think Murray plays a good finesse game and he usually has a good balance of finesse to aggression. Unfortunately for Murray, he can be outhit off the ground. Dolgopolov on the other hand has beaten some big hitters like Tsonga and Soderling but struggled against Djokovic and Nadal, because he's less likely to get errors or winners and the shot selection goes out the window. A finesse player can be successful but it involves a lot of factors, so don't expect to see too many in the future. Instead I'm a pessimist and think the slam winners of the future will be even more athletic and more consistent versions of Nadal and Djokovic. It's much easier to teach a kid to run and keep the ball in play than teaching him tennis smarts like court positioning, how to hit great approach shots and how to volley.

I agree.

Haelfix
10-14-2011, 03:39 AM
Agreed. Rafa is probably the least vulnerable player on tour to that type of gamestyle. He can absolutely crush the slice, can run down any dropshot, and balls without pace just gives him more time to get into position so that he can crush an inside out.

Having said that, we don't actually see him play that style often on low bouncing surfaces. In particular I think he is somewhat more vulnerable to netrushing and offensive slices than he normally is.

Topspindoctor
10-14-2011, 03:56 AM
So Tomug scoring some minor victories and Mayer winning against awful Mugdal means "funkinesse" will be the way to go? :haha:

Watching underpowered clowns trying to BS their way through matches with junkballs is ridiculous. Nadal surely didn't win 10 slams with such style and no great champion will ever use it to win multiple slams. The greatest champions had either service power, overwhelming groundies and amazing defense or a combination of those NOT paceless junk and keeping the ball in play.

n8
10-14-2011, 04:15 AM
This thread is interesting. Some points:

1 - I agree with sexybeast; I'm pretty sure Nadal would win most matches against F. Mayer.

2 - I agree with Topspindoctor; Funkinesse is not enough to win big matches routinely without ample amounts of other important attributes. Federer, Djokovic and Murray all have some Funkinesse but many other strengths. Tomic has considerable flat power at times.

BroTree123
10-14-2011, 06:03 AM
Funkinesse is a bit of a shoddy name :rolleyes:

Everko
10-24-2011, 03:43 PM
but murray is a junky player himself insin't he? He gets roasted by Nadal

exactly. Funkyness is destroyed by pure power.

Sapeod
10-24-2011, 03:45 PM
exactly. Funkyness is destroyed by pure power.
Nadal doesn't have pure power :lol: His shots are loopy moonballs. How is that powerful? :lol:

Everko
10-24-2011, 03:55 PM
Nadal doesn't have pure power :lol: His shots are loopy moonballs. How is that powerful? :lol:

Proving again that your tennis knowledge is equal to a sea urchin. Every player and coach,announcer says Nadal's shots have the most power behind them. Do understand the term "hits a heavy ball"?

Sapeod
10-24-2011, 03:58 PM
Proving again that your tennis knowledge is equal to a sea urchin. Every player and coach,announcer says Nadal's shots have the most power behind them. Do understand the term "hits a heavy ball"?
Yes, I do. Nadal does occasionaly hit heavy balls, everyone does. Sure, Nadal's balls have depth behind them too, but a lot of the time he just hits loopy moonballs and loopy topspin shots. Nothing powerful or aggressive about those.

Saberq
10-24-2011, 04:13 PM
Yes, I do. Nadal does occasionaly hit heavy balls, everyone does. Sure, Nadal's balls have depth behind them too, but a lot of the time he just hits loopy moonballs and loopy topspin shots. Nothing powerful or aggressive about those.

true but he still hits with much more power than Murray....

Saberq
10-24-2011, 04:14 PM
I'd love to see them try and get past Murray's defense :lol: They wouldn't be able to, of course. They could make a dent in his game, but that's it.

Sapeod thinks that Murray's defense is the best in the game :worship::worship:

Everko
10-24-2011, 04:17 PM
who is this Saberq? Looks like a smart guy.

Sapeod
10-24-2011, 04:41 PM
true but he still hits with much more power than Murray....
Murray serve power (and in general) >>>>>>>> Nadal's.
Murray's backhand >>>>>>>> Nadal's.
Murray's forehand isn't a big shit, but he can let loose on it from time to time. He has hit harder shots than Nadal has. Remember that forehand against Fish this year? t was close to 120mph.
Sapeod thinks that Murray's defense is the best in the game :worship::worship:
It is. His defensive abilities are superb and better than Nadal's when he's in form.

BodyServe
10-24-2011, 04:48 PM
Variation is so unusual these days that it's called "funkinesse" :lol: :lol:

Alex999
10-24-2011, 04:59 PM
Murray serve power (and in general) >>>>>>>> Nadal's.
Murray's backhand >>>>>>>> Nadal's.
Murray's forehand isn't a big shit, but he can let loose on it from time to time. He has hit harder shots than Nadal has. Remember that forehand against Fish this year? t was close to 120mph.

It is. His defensive abilities are superb and better than Nadal's when he's in form.
Yes, you are right. That's why Nadal won 10 majors and Murray won, um let me think ZERO. I do agree with you Murry is better at everything, NOT :p.

p.s. I love Murray but you are full of sh!t. Grow up kid and watch more tennis matches. You might learn something :wavey:.

Sapeod
10-24-2011, 05:02 PM
Yes, you are right. That's why Nadal won 10 majors and Murray won, um let me think ZERO. I do agree with you Murry is better at everything, NOT :p.

p.s. I love Murray but you are full of sh!t. Grow up kid and watch more tennis matches. You might learn something :wavey:.
I'm not talking about slams :stupid: See me mention achievements anywhere? No, I'm talking about their games and Murray's is far better :wavey:

Alex999
10-24-2011, 05:21 PM
I'm not talking about slams :stupid: See me mention achievements anywhere? No, I'm talking about their games and Murray's is far better :wavey:
Well, if Murray's skills are so superior (or as you say his game is so much better) how come he hasn't won a major? Hello! :cuckoo:. I kinda feel sorry for you when I read your retarded/blind posts. Logically, a player with better game/superior skills should be winning big tournaments (GS). Right? Can you comprehend what logic is? I guess NOT.

Sapeod
10-24-2011, 05:50 PM
Well, if Murray's skills are so superior (or as you say his game is so much better) how come he hasn't won a major? Hello! :cuckoo:. I kinda feel sorry for you when I read your retarded/blind posts. Logically, a player with better game/superior skills should be winning big tournaments (GS). Right? Can you comprehend what logic is? I guess NOT.
Mental weakness. You've seen, I've seen and everyone else has too. Murray throws away too many matches to the players above him. If he had no mental weakness, he would have a few slams by now. As it is, his weakness is his mentality. His game is superior to most players, but his mentality isn't. You better hope he doesn't shed away that weakness or your idol and Nadal are done for :wavey: