Originally Posted by duong
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
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 ?
Even as a Djokovic's fan I have to admit that he didn't achieve as much as he should have this year due to his inabilities to win the set at 5-5, count how many sets in those matches that he lost this year with a 5-7 reverse, most notable was the us open final against Murray, he could have won it in straight sets or 4. Ok so he doesn't have the lethal serve of Fed, hence his tiebreak records is not that good for a number one player in the world. I think he needs to learn when it's important to break serve ie at 4-4 or 5-5. There's no point of breaking your opponent 3 times in a set (against Querrey in Paris) and can't break him even once in the next 2 sets. He was also undone by the 7-5 scoreline against fed at 2011 FO semi, all 3 losses at Wimbledon this year etc. Also against Nadal on clay this year at Monte Carlo. All in all, he's not that strong minded, but finally justice prevailed when he beat Fed 7-6 7-5, the sorts of scoreline that was against him all year.p