Worst/Weakest Shots of the Top Players [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Worst/Weakest Shots of the Top Players

Ash86
07-21-2012, 10:18 AM
There are a lot of threads documenting what a player's strongest shots are -- what shots are the weakest that the current crop of players have? Not necessarily bad technically or bad overall, but the one's that can let them down and relative to the rest of their game, aren't up to scratch.

My list of some:

- Djokovic - Forehand Smash - easy one here - that one in Beijing; some of the one's in the Rome final :facepalm:- he just struggles with this shot at times.
- Murray - Forehand - difficult one - his forehand isn't terrible and odd to say perhaps that it's his weakest shot, but to me it's the one that his cost him the biggest matches - it just gets worse and worse as the pressure rises
- Nadal - Dropshot - again, not a clear cut choice. I don't think he's lost big matches due to this shot, but I do think he utilises the dropshot the least effectively out of the top 4 - should use it more and he doesn't. His backhand can break down at times sure but overall during it's career the BH has had a lot of highs and shown itself to be a weapon too, so won't call it his worst shot. Same for serve - it can't be his worst when you see the % and the numbers - he places it well.
- Federer - ability to use HawkEye. Enough said. :p

Absolute Anthropoid
07-21-2012, 10:25 AM
Mardy Fish - Forehand
Fedmug - ROS

Good call with forehand smashes for Djokovic. Lately it seems like a coin flip whether he lands it in.

Federer in 2
07-21-2012, 12:04 PM
Federer - Backhand return of serve, especially from the AD side, and especially of kick serves. Yeah and hawk eye stuff of course...

Nadal - Backhand slice, and generally backhand when someone gives him a deep ball.

Djokovic - Smash, volley. His forehand after getting a low slice is not great.

Murray - One huge weakness: When he gets a slow short ball, his forehand is good and he can finish the point, but when someone is playing aggressively to his FH, like Fed in the final, his forehand is a massive push. Totally allows the top 3 to build their tactical game from this side.

BroTree123
07-21-2012, 12:07 PM
I strongly agree with Nadal and his dropshots. He can't hit one for shit. That's one area he definitely needs to improve if his game is to be more all rounded.

JMan22
07-21-2012, 01:21 PM
You could argue that Nadal's serve is up there too. He's far from a bad server but a lot of the other top players like Federer and Murray generally have better serves than him. Obviously Nadal's injuries haven't helped him in that department though.

Fed fordawin
07-21-2012, 01:55 PM
I strongly agree with Nadal and his dropshots. He can't hit one for shit. That's one area he definitely needs to improve if his game is to be more all rounded.

you need talent to make a good dropshot consistently. Nadal must stay away from that tactical option at all cost.

Anyway, my picks:

-Federer: return of serve can be horrendous at times (against Hass In Halle, he made him look like Karlovic!). Can be a bit lazy at the volley too sometimes
-Djokovic: yeah the smash obviously, but also the serve. It can really break down under pressure. He has had the worst serving year for any member of the top 4 in 2009 I think (or was it 2010?).
-Nadal: Backhand can become a liaibilty if exploited.
-Murray: Second serve. Hits it so slowly especially on pressure moements that it's a virtual given point to the opponent.

Ash86
07-21-2012, 02:09 PM
-Murray: Second serve. Hits it so slowly especially on pressure moements that it's a virtual given point to the opponent.

Good point. Agree with that. Changing my forehand pick - it's Murray's 2nd serve that is his weakest point. His first serve is really good - easily better than Nadal and Djokovic's - but his % is usually not consistently high enough. At Wimbledon his low first serve % really killed him - that second serve is just bad...

Federer's ROS is definitely the weakest out of the top 4 and more importantly worst against top rivals like Nadal - he'll just net easy 2nd serves - sometimes pretty embarassingly. It becomes worse under pressure.

TigerTim
07-21-2012, 02:36 PM
Murray has a woeful second serve I agree.

Mystique
07-21-2012, 02:38 PM
Roger's ROS (currently) and of course his infamous high BH. :o

mark73
07-21-2012, 03:16 PM
Obviously the between the legs dropshot is the worst shot for any of these guys.

TigerTim
07-21-2012, 03:21 PM
Obviously the between the legs dropshot is the worst shot for any of these guys.

No, the overhead backhand return dropshot down the line is the toughest.

Slice Winner
07-21-2012, 03:24 PM
Roger's return stats are actually pretty good this year.

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
07-21-2012, 04:05 PM
nole- smash
andy murray- questionable tactics at times- poor shot choice sometimes- forehand under pressure

nadal- ROS, backhand when hes not confident,

federer- ROS in recent years, bh return especially bad. his regular bh is fine now- i think everyone has attacked it so much its become a very reliable shot

Looner
07-21-2012, 04:16 PM
The only time Nadal hits proper dropshots is against Federer on clay :lol:.

r3d_d3v1l_
07-21-2012, 04:35 PM
Roger's return stats are actually pretty good this year.

His slice return on first serve is probably the best of all time. But he´s kinda weak on second serves (too much passive).

Fedex
07-21-2012, 04:47 PM
Good point. Agree with that. Changing my forehand pick - it's Murray's 2nd serve that is his weakest point. His first serve is really good - easily better than Nadal and Djokovic's - but his % is usually not consistently high enough. At Wimbledon his low first serve % really killed him - that second serve is just bad...

Federer's ROS is definitely the weakest out of the top 4 and more importantly worst against top rivals like Nadal - he'll just net easy 2nd serves - sometimes pretty embarassingly. It becomes worse under pressure.

I don't know about that. Nadal's ROS is pretty average too.

Ash86
07-21-2012, 04:58 PM
I don't know about that. Nadal's ROS is pretty average too.

It is - but it's better than Federer's. Look at their return numbers - Federer doesn't rank near the top in many. Nadal often drops the ball short when returning - so they are nowhere near as good as Murray/Novak's ROS - but he usually gets it in play at least unlike Fed who shanks a lot and can really be out of the return game for extended periods.

One wouldn't say that against most of the field Nadal's ROS is a big issue (it is against Djokovic) - but Fed's ROS lets him down even against mediocre opposition at times. His serve is much much better than Nadal though so he doesn't need to focus on the return as much.

Satasonic
07-21-2012, 05:24 PM
Dont know about the other players, but in my opinion Nadals serve has always been a liability. He does manage to serve well in clutch moments if he somehow gets the serve cross court to the backhand, but other than that- its bad.


Djokovic doesnt serve too good, either. He often fails to get a first serve in play often losing the point in key matches. In contrast, look at how Federer served on break point in 4-4 in the third set.


Nadal has an average return of serve, too. Often gets it short, but thats a different thing.


Murray has a sub-par forehand, which is easily attacked by any good baseliner. Its his backhand which gives him the edge in rallies. His slice is decent too.

emotion
07-21-2012, 05:28 PM
Top 8

Federer- Return & high BH
Djokovic-Overhead & volleys
Nadal- Backhand & slice
Murray-Forehand & second serve
Ferrer- Volleys (Is mental toughness a shot?)
Tsonga- Return & backhand
Berdych- Second serve (for his height) & volleys
Tipsarevic- Forehand & pass/lob- But Tipsy is interesting in that I'm inclined to say he's a better server and returner than a rallier