Djokovic: Offensive or Defensive Player? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Djokovic: Offensive or Defensive Player?

shiaben
12-10-2011, 08:37 PM
After observing many of the threads when it comes to classifying Djokovic's style of tennis.

I see a lot of people inferring that Djokovic is either a defensive player or a counter-puncher.

Is this really true?

When I look at his game, I see the opposite. He's an offensive-minded player who tries to knock his opponent off the court. Take for example the match he had against Andy Murray at the Australian Open, Murray was relying on counter punching and defense, while Djokovic was dictating play. He wasn't giving the ball back to him and on most occasions chose to his the ball to the open court to make Murray run around and eventually force an error out of him. He's done the same to Nadal and Federer, really putting them off balance. He goes for plenty of high risk winners while conservative/defensive players try to keep the ball in play. Even in his interviews he's mentioned to defeat a player like Federer, you really have to go for your shots and never hold back. You can't play conservative or defensively against a player like Federer who is quick to go for the kill.

The only thing I will add is that he's become a complete player in the last few years. He started his career offensively, but from 2010 and on, he's developed one of the finest defensive games as well. But this doesn't mean he's a defensive-minded player. He's still an offensive player like Federer and both have great footwork and defense as well.

EddieNero
12-10-2011, 08:44 PM
I hope this is a joke thread.

shiaben
12-10-2011, 08:51 PM
I hope this is a joke thread.

No I just want people's opinions. Because what I find a joke is people labeling Djokovic as a "defensive" minded player, when he's clearly an offensive minded player.

Care to elaborate on what you think?

ssj100
12-10-2011, 08:54 PM
You can't win if you're not offensive to some extent. Look at how many winners Djokovic hit in matches he won this year. That sums it up.

v-money
12-10-2011, 08:57 PM
I think he's more defensive than offensive this year, but sure he can show a decent attack game at times. He's found a balance then lets him win.

TBkeeper
12-10-2011, 09:02 PM
he somewhere between ...
More offensive than Ferrer and More defensive than Davydenko

v-money
12-10-2011, 09:12 PM
In the WTF match vs Ferrer, Novak was the less aggressive player for many instances of that match. Especially the end of the first set, where he got totally outhit by Ferrer.

shiaben
12-10-2011, 09:31 PM
In the WTF match vs Ferrer, Novak was the less aggressive player for many instances of that match. Especially the end of the first set, where he got totally outhit by Ferrer.

He came back from injury though. Wouldn't this affect his style though for the time being?

rocketassist
12-10-2011, 09:47 PM
More defensive than he was in 2007-08, yet more successful.

Nathaliia
12-10-2011, 09:49 PM
defense is a key to success these days in tennis
he is patient and he wants to attack, but waits for the moment, and his newly found stamina allows him this patience

Nole Rules
12-10-2011, 09:50 PM
Totally agree with you, shiaben. Good thread.

emotion
12-10-2011, 09:51 PM
He and Ferrer are both tough calls, good at both pretty equally. They dictate most matches, but against better aggressive opponents push a bit.

Mountaindewslave
12-10-2011, 10:00 PM
He came back from injury though. Wouldn't this affect his style though for the time being?

he wasn't injured in that match, just playing badly. stated himself in conference that injury had nothing to do with the loss.

Nathaliia
12-10-2011, 10:00 PM
Totally agree with you, shiaben. Good thread.
damn you, when i reopened this thread i thought it was my post

Mountaindewslave
12-10-2011, 10:02 PM
and obviously he is quite a defensive player. he doesn't win matches by hitting extreme angles or past the opponent but through them.

his game is based on athleticism and just repeatedly hitting the ball back to the baseline. he definitely has great offensive moments but just watching him play someone like even Davydenko in 2011, it was obvious that Djokovic is the defensive of the two.

he is so CONSISTANT however that aggressive players in 2011 had little chance against him; they have to be on fire and hit all their balls in because Djokovic is such a great mover.

defensive player based on movement and ability to consistantly hit the ball deep

arm
12-10-2011, 10:27 PM
He can be both. When he knows that pushing will do, he often ends up taking the easy road and pushing. But he can be very offensive too.

Certinfy
12-10-2011, 10:29 PM
This year he's definitely been more of a defensive player.

When you look at him late 2007/early 2008 though that wasn't really the case.

DrJules
12-10-2011, 10:31 PM
Top 10 from most attacking to defensive possibly:

1) Tsonga
2) Fish
3) Federer
4) Berdych
5) Djokovic
6) Tipsarevic
7) Almagro
8) Murray
9) Nadal
10)Ferrer

I could argue many orders. Overall would say Djokovic more a player who can attack, but whose game is based on a defensive foundation.

arm
12-10-2011, 10:34 PM
Top 10 from most attacking to defensive)) possibly:

1) Tsonga
2) Fish
3) Federer
4) Berdych
5) Djokovic
6) Tipsarevic
7) Almagro
8) Murray
9) Nadal
10)Ferrer

I could argue many orders. Overall would say Djokovic more a player who can attack, but whose game is based on a defensive foundation.

thanks for letting me know Almagro is a top10. :facepalm: I was better off in the ignorance.

DrJules
12-10-2011, 10:38 PM
thanks for letting me know Almagro is a top10. :facepalm: I was better off in the ignorance.

According to ATP (obviously faulty computer):

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/Singles.aspx

arm
12-10-2011, 10:40 PM
According to ATP (obviously faulty computer):

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/Singles.aspx

Yes sure. I didn't know. It's not good news :lol:

Haelfix
12-10-2011, 10:58 PM
He is a little bit like the 2008+ version of Nadal. An aggressive rallier. I agree with the assessment that he tries to hit through the person as opposed to around.

He plays an incredibly safe game, so you don't see many outright dtl winners (unless he plays himself into the position), but then again he hits his rally strokes with such fierceness and takes the ball well inside the court, so that you couldn't call it pushing either.

He does counterpunch a little when given a target, but its not the typical Lleyton Hewitt or Andy Murray style either. He almost never gives the opponent junk balls or offpace shots.

zlaja777
12-10-2011, 11:03 PM
He's more offensive in important matches (vs Nadal, Federer, Murray). On the other hand, vs Berdych, Tomic at Wimbledon - quite passive. He can be both.

Time Violation
12-10-2011, 11:14 PM
he is patient and he wants to attack, but waits for the moment, and his newly found stamina allows him this patience

Yup, this. Many times this year he would patiently wait for a good time to go offensive and hit a winner. And if somehow the ball still came back, he would "reset" it and wait for the next good chance, was especially evident in matches against Nadal I think. Being defensive, then switching to offense at the right time was probably the key. When he was too passive or hurrying to end the point (in most of matches after the injury), it usually didn't end up well for him :)

He's more offensive in important matches (vs Nadal, Federer, Murray). He can be both.

I think against Nadal far more aggressive than against anyone else. :p

tektonac
12-10-2011, 11:40 PM
more offensive (with better serve) in 2007/2008, but now combination of both with improved stamina. more aggressive against top players. too bad his Wilson groundstrokes are now just history.

romismak
12-11-2011, 12:32 AM
How was mentioned he is definetely more deffensive than before, but still wouldn´t call him deffensive player. It is interresting that he became more deffensive over the years and Rafa on other side is more offensive over the years. Nole in 07 was blasting winners, big hitting from both wings, also his serve i think was harder-faster, not better maybe but just hit it harder and then go for big FH, big BH, even to the net, far more agressive than 2011 version of him. But 2011 version is more deffensive, because is quicker, better movement, stamina, no healthy issues finally- gluten free and he matured mentally, also is more patient. But agree with other posters that he is playing more agressive against top guys. You wouldn´t see him playing total deffense against Roger or Rafa, he know it is suicide. Generally he is more deffensive than agressive, but in some matches he is more agressive and taking initiave and going for winners. I think he find the right balance between offense and deffense, he knows when to just retrieve the ball- but very good to the baseline and than when he got chance ha attack, FH, Bh right left, angles, on the rise and win that point. Great balance in rallies. I am not sure who said it that Novak is best in turning deffense into offense right now.

zlaja777
12-11-2011, 12:42 AM
more offensive (with better serve) in 2007/2008, but now combination of both with improved stamina. more aggressive against top players. too bad his Wilson groundstrokes are now just history.

Yes, he served remarkably well at that time which gave him more confidence to be aggressive on his service games. Those one-two, serve and FH combinations were his trademark back then.

emotion
12-11-2011, 12:44 AM
Top 10 from most attacking to defensive possibly:

1) Tsonga
2) Fish
3) Federer
4) Berdych
5) Djokovic
6) Tipsarevic
7) Almagro
8) Murray
9) Nadal
10)Ferrer

I could argue many orders. Overall would say Djokovic more a player who can attack, but whose game is based on a defensive foundation.
Disagree rather a lot
Mine:
1 Tsonga
2 Almagro
3 Federer
4 Tipsarevic
5 Berdych
6 Djokovic
7 Fish
8 Ferrer
9 Nadal
10 Murray

Every match Fish plays, he pushes more

madmax
12-11-2011, 12:47 AM
he started off as a more offensive-oriented baseliner, but that magic diet thingy changed his playing style and made Joker just so much more versatile...

Topspindoctor
12-11-2011, 01:56 AM
Nole is a classic defensive baseliner.

zlaja777
12-11-2011, 02:09 AM
Nole is a classic defensive baseliner.

And yet he smacks it back so well at his opponent heavy topspin, doesn't he?

Topspindoctor
12-11-2011, 02:12 AM
And yet he smacks it back so well at his opponent heavy topspin, doesn't he?

Defensive baseliner doesn't mean you can't have offense. Pusher is what Mugray is, not Djoker.

Haelfix
12-11-2011, 02:15 AM
Nole is a classic defensive baseliner.

I don't agree. Monfils is the classic defensive player. What I would call a pure retriever.

Novak doesn't play that way at all. His court positioning (when its up to him) is much more advanced, and he hits the ball with much more authority (from both wings) and deeper. Its still relatively low risk tennis, but its not exactly pure defensive play.

shiaben
12-11-2011, 02:23 AM
I don't agree. Monfils is the classic defensive player. What I would call a pure retriever.

Novak doesn't play that way at all. His court positioning (when its up to him) is much more advanced, and he hits the ball with much more authority (from both wings) and deeper. Its still relatively low risk tennis, but its not exactly pure defensive play.

This is what I noticed as well.

shiaben
12-11-2011, 02:28 AM
I also noticed the times he's conservative and feeds the ball back to the opponent it is usually during rallies where he doesn't have enough time to set himself up for a winner or wide angle type shot (in other words he doesn't intentionally choose to play defensively in these moments). So he'll stay in the rally and wait for that moment where he has enough time to set either his forehand/backhand for that high level shot and unleash it.

I think the only time he might be a bit more defensive/conservative is during some tiebreaks. But even then, in most occasions against the big players, he'll still take a high risk approach when he knows he can't play too conservative (i.e. match points against Federer).

abraxas21
12-11-2011, 04:01 AM
he's like davydenko, only less aggresive, less talented, less fair-play oriented and a lot less funny

Topspindoctor
12-11-2011, 04:18 AM
he's like davydenko, only less aggresive, less talented, less fair-play oriented and a lot less funny

1) Baldenko was accused of fixing multiple matches. How does that constitute "fair play"?

2) "Less Talented"? How come Baldenko doesn't even have a single slam final in his entire career?

Shinoj
12-11-2011, 09:21 AM
Djokovic is more offensive than Federer or Nadal but could be considered defensive when facing someone like Del Potro.

shanks
12-11-2011, 12:18 PM
Djokovic is more offensive than Federer or Nadal but could be considered defensive when facing someone like Del Potro.

Agreed totally :) Love it when Djokovic hits down the line half volley winners off both forehand and backhand wings. He does it generally when he has nothing to lose. I remember his Montreal match against Federer in 2010. He was hitting magical winners off both wings late in the 3rd set and Federer was lucky to win that match. Federer himself said in the interview that there was nothing he could do during periods of the match. Djokovic's forehand has improved ALOT. It has become more of a weapon and he is a well rounded player now:clap2:. The right mix of defense and offense which is essential to dominate like Dkojo has done so remarkably well in 2011. Hats off to a historical season!

MatchFederer
12-11-2011, 12:32 PM
I don't really see him as an attacker. He applies a lot of very controlled pressure in rallies but he ups the ante when playing Federer. Against Nadal he's very patient and often chooses not to attack, he seems in control of the whole situation so he can play a more patient and strategic game. His style varies, I don't see him as a defender or an attacker, he's somewhere in the middle and can play boring or exciting tennis when he feels like it.

MatchFederer
12-11-2011, 12:34 PM
Disagree rather a lot
Mine:
1 Tsonga
2 Almagro
3 Federer
4 Tipsarevic
5 Berdych
6 Djokovic
7 Fish
8 Ferrer
9 Nadal
10 Murray

Every match Fish plays, he pushes more

Yeh, Fish has no right to be at no.2... he can sometimes turn it on but very often plays a patient and somewhat negative game.

TBkeeper
12-11-2011, 12:37 PM
he's like davydenko, only less aggresive, less talented, less fair-play oriented and a lot less funny

Yes !

TBkeeper
12-11-2011, 12:38 PM
1) Baldenko was accused of fixing multiple matches. How does that constitute "fair play"?

2) "Less Talented"? How come Baldenko doesn't even have a single slam final in his entire career?

To you i can only say DJOKOVIC HAVEN'T FACED PEAKERER/JESUSFED/GODERER ! when Davydenko failed to him 5 times at important times in slams !

MatchFederer
12-11-2011, 12:50 PM
To you i can only say DJOKOVIC HAVEN'T FACED PEAKERER/JESUSFED/GODERER ! when Davydenko failed to him 5 times at important times in slams !

Exactly. Federer would have been capable of rivaling Michael Jordan had he taken up basketball instead. There is a difference between a very good player and an almighty towering God of sport, class and brilliance.

xdrewitdajx
12-11-2011, 12:52 PM
lol @ way too much in here

Shinoj
12-11-2011, 01:17 PM
A couple of seasons like 2011 for Djokovic and to be honest he wouldn't need 16 Grand Slams to cement his legacy.. He would be considered GOAT if he has a season like this 2012 and 2013 and retired without having to play ever.

MatchFederer
12-11-2011, 01:45 PM
A couple of seasons like 2011 for Djokovic and to be honest he wouldn't need 16 Grand Slams to cement his legacy.. He would be considered GOAT if he has a season like this 2012 and 2013 and retired without having to play ever.

LOL. I see what you did there.

Shinoj
12-11-2011, 01:51 PM
LOL. I see what you did there.


I got the Jordan,Federer analogies in the scheme of things as well.....

xdrewitdajx
12-11-2011, 02:01 PM
To you i can only say DJOKOVIC HAVEN'T FACED PEAKERER/JESUSFED/GODERER ! when Davydenko failed to him 5 times at important times in slams !


if only there had been more than 5 slams during davydenko's career and he was able to avoid facing the best player in the world in at least one of those...sigh...

asmazif
12-11-2011, 04:02 PM
Both. Depends on who he's playing and what mood he's in. Offensive at heart though, and sure as hell better to watch when he's going for his shots.

GOAT = Fed
12-11-2011, 04:21 PM
He's a player that can play both styles, although primarily, he uses a defensive style against the 'lesser' players and when playing Nadal/Federer/a big match he'll be an offensive player.

People have a common misconception of thinking that the only way to play aggressive is to come upto the net. Djokovic is probably best described as an offensive baseliner, although I feel that is a simplified description of his game; he's just someone who can play both styles comfortably and as good as the other.

Naudio Spanlatine
12-11-2011, 04:25 PM
djokovic has to be both, hes good on both occasions at his best

Time Violation
12-11-2011, 06:04 PM
1) Baldenko was accused of fixing multiple matches. How does that constitute "fair play"?

2) "Less Talented"? How come Baldenko doesn't even have a single slam final in his entire career?

abraxas is daydreaming again :)

GOAT = Fed
12-11-2011, 06:57 PM
1) Baldenko was accused of fixing multiple matches. How does that constitute "fair play"?

2) "Less Talented"? How come Baldenko doesn't even have a single slam final in his entire career?

There's a difference between ''accused'' and ''proved''

:wavey:

syc23
12-11-2011, 08:02 PM
Federer would have been squished like a tomato had he opted to be pro basketball. Federer is comparable to Steve Nash as a point guard.

Super Djoker
12-11-2011, 09:13 PM
lol @ way too much in here

For the world number 1 at present! i think not!

xdrewitdajx
12-11-2011, 09:48 PM
For the world number 1 at present! i think not!

i meant, too much stuff in here was lol-worthy