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-   -   Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ? (http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=213003)

duong 11-15-2012 12:44 PM

Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
I've always been interested / liked / admired Djokovic's "roller-coaster" method.

It struck me first in his match against Baghdatis in Wimbledon 2007.

And since then, I've been used to this kind of "method" / match and games scenario/rhythm.

First you can see it during a serving game : he's been one of the players who wins the highest number of serving games at 40-30 or something. This is visible in the fact that comparing to other top-players, he has always been better in stats for the % of games won than for the % of points won ; he's also been regularly the best at saving breakpoints comparing to the number of points he wins on serve.

He can play a few loose errors-points in the beginning of the game, but then when he's in danger, he seems to focus again deeply inside him and then gets very solid.

This is typically the kind of things that struck me in his match against Baghdatis in Wimbledon 2007 ... and even more surprising was the number of times when he had looked upset ... but then immediately, right for next point, he could be and look extremely focused (I guess he does that concentration work partly during his bounces on serve).

In more recent years, a new consequence of that has appeared : the number of matches he has won after facing match-points against him or being in huge danger : against Fed, Tsonga, Murray, Seppi ...

Imo he was clearly the better player in his matches against Fed in the US Open 2010 and 2011 and the WTF 2012, it was no hazard that he won those matches : I mean his best level was superior to Fed's, and he mainly won when he "activated" that level.

However, another problem related with this method is that his slow starts, with lower level, may cost him a lot :
- against Nadal in the Australian and the French Open
- against Murray in the US Open
- against Fed in Cincy
- against Fed in the French Open 2011
- against Tsonga and Seppi in the French Open
etc ...

When you get way behind your opponent, it can become too hard to come back in the end, and your opponents can clinch the match with a few points which go their way even though they're lesser players.

If you're interested, Tignor also noted that trend several times on his blog.

Why does he do like that ? a matter of adrenaline ?

n8 11-15-2012 12:51 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
Hewitt has the same problem.

It is a lot to do with adrenaline. It can be easy to become complacent and, unless you're Nadal, it is virtually impossible to concentrate very hard on every point.

EliSter 11-15-2012 12:52 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
Nole preserves his super sayin powers when they are needed. WHen he feels in trouble focus go up and his intensity. He becames super sayin 2 which is very very hard to beat.

Alex999 11-15-2012 01:22 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
duong, I just don't know. I thought about it too. as if he needs to f.uck up with our minds, if you know what I mean. he comes back out of impossible situations. I can't even watch his matches any more, it's like too much :lol:

stebs 11-15-2012 01:31 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
I think Djokovic is indeed an extreme example, but the trend isn't uncommon for players of this quality. They can play incredible tennis, but it requires an extraordinary amount of concentration and focus. To do this for a whole match is very difficult, arguably impossible (when talking about long matches). That Djokovic has a very strong control over WHEN that focus is at its height, is a quite important characteristic that makes him such a great player. All great players have a degree of control over this, but some to greater or lesser extents. For those people who play tennis, they will recognise what a rare skill this is. Simply trying to focus harder is not sufficient, it is a genuine skill to be able to 'tune in' the way that these top guys can when they have to. When Djokovic is feeling good about his game, it feels like, should he want to, he can pretty much make himself a wall, such that only very extraordinary tennis from an opponent can win them the point. Djokovic enjoys having a rhythm, which may go part of the way to explaining why he can only seem to bring that level a fair way into a match. Add to that how much adrenaline helps and it paints a fuller picture. Djokovic also has an advantage in his playing style, which is that he returns so very well. What this means, is when he reaches that level, it is less frequently hidden by failure to impact on serve. For comparison, Federer can tune in with an opponent serving at *5-4 (ie, needing to break) but be less likely to take advantage of that focus because his return game is more passive than Djokovic's, the same is true for Nadal.

Edit: this is all off the top of my head so may be messy and probably requires more thought.

Wing Man Frank 11-15-2012 01:38 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
He's rubbish at closing out matches is the simple truth.

duong 11-15-2012 01:46 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stebs (Post 12561794)
I think Djokovic is indeed an extreme example, but the trend isn't uncommon for players of this quality. They can play incredible tennis, but it requires an extraordinary amount of concentration and focus. To do this for a whole match is very difficult, arguably impossible (when talking about long matches). That Djokovic has a very strong control over WHEN that focus is at its height, is a quite important characteristic that makes him such a great player. All great players have a degree of control over this, but some to greater or lesser extents. For those people who play tennis, they will recognise what a rare skill this is. Simply trying to focus harder is not sufficient, it is a genuine skill to be able to 'tune in' the way that these top guys can when they have to. When Djokovic is feeling good about his game, it feels like, should he want to, he can pretty much make himself a wall, such that only very extraordinary tennis from an opponent can win them the point. Djokovic enjoys having a rhythm, which may go part of the way to explaining why he can only seem to bring that level a fair way into a match. Add to that how much adrenaline helps and it paints a fuller picture. Djokovic also has an advantage in his playing style, which is that he returns so very well. What this means, is when he reaches that level, it is less frequently hidden by failure to impact on serve. For comparison, Federer can tune in with an opponent serving at *5-4 (ie, needing to break) but be less likely to take advantage of that focus because his return game is more passive than Djokovic's, the same is true for Nadal.

Edit: this is all off the top of my head so may be messy and probably requires more thought.

I agree that it's a greatly important specific skill and about the "becomes a wall" thing, but I can't think of many players like that, Hewitt yes, as Statracket mentioned, but I can't think of many others.

Besides, being able to focus constantly for a match doesn't look that much like a rarity to me in top-tennis. Nadal may be the best at that, maybe, but many other players enter that scheme imo (as he has been mentioned, imo Fed is less constant than Nadal but he's more in that scheme imo). You may be right about the "management of a long match" thing, but Djokovic's problem doesn't only appear in long matches imo.

And it would surely be easier for Djokovic ... and his fans :lol: if he was able to play that level all match long.

Is it impossible for him ? maybe not (not sure : in a few matches he could play that level from the start to the end), Statracket and you may be right, but then it's both a quality and a problem imo.

I also think like Statracket that it may mean that his game needs adrenaline to be at his best, as it was also the case for Hewitt. And that adrenaline level is imo what separates him most from Murray for instance, even though it's not the only thing.

The fact that Djokovic needs rhythm is another explanation you bring here and which sounds accurate to me.

Branimir 11-15-2012 01:51 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
When he is losing, sometimes he sorts of "give up". He starts going for big shots, aggressive tennis and his opponents most of the time get scared. They get used to reserved, safe, patient Djokovic, and all of sudden when they are about to beat him, balls are coming back more often and with more pace. Fear kicks and boom they lose.

duong 11-15-2012 01:55 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Branimir (Post 12561808)
When he is losing, sometimes he sorts of "give up". He starts going for big shots, aggressive tennis and his opponents most of the time get scared. They get used to reserved, safe, patient Djokovic, and all of sudden when they are about to beat him, balls are coming back more often and with more pace. Fear kicks and boom they lose.

yes it's surely surprising for opponents and helps for the efficiency of that "method".

But I wouldn't call the "other Djokovic" safer than the "adrenalin one", rather the opposite, that's when he makes most loose errors.

lovevolleyer 11-15-2012 01:58 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
He likes to put his fans like Nole Fan on the edge of their seats. :lol:

retister 11-15-2012 02:15 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Branimir (Post 12561808)
When he is losing, sometimes he sorts of "give up". He starts going for big shots, aggressive tennis and his opponents most of the time get scared. They get used to reserved, safe, patient Djokovic, and all of sudden when they are about to beat him, balls are coming back more often and with more pace. Fear kicks and boom they lose.

This.
His clutchness is actually a trick, being able to completely give up in a match and at the same time still want to win it. He is not playing under extreme pressure in those moments, he is playing under no pressure at all.
Easy, no?

BroTree123 11-15-2012 02:16 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
He's been conditioned to focus hard in these 'trouble' moments.

Watch Derren Brown's experiments. There's your answer.

Wing Man Frank 11-15-2012 02:21 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
His most ridiculous comeback was vs Fed at the USO. Aside from that FH winner, the most amazing thing was that Fed hardly won a single point from then on. Considering he was broken to love at *3-4 it was an amazing turnaround.

duong 11-15-2012 02:33 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wing Man Frank (Post 12561853)
Considering he was broken to love at *3-4 it was an amazing turnaround.

and he had played ridiculously bad in that game where he had been broken

MinioNole 11-15-2012 02:35 PM

Re: Why does Djokovic need to be on the verge of losing to play his best ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lovevolleyer (Post 12561813)
He likes to put his fans like Nole Fan on the edge of their seats. :lol:

On the edge of the cliff rather. haha
It's so hard really seeing him constantly on the verge of losing especially during big matches.
Then you would just go like



when he just hit some ridiculous winners and ending up winning the match. :D


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