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Old 10-09-2012, 10:49 AM   #31
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

Quote:
Originally Posted by duong View Post
In most H2Hs I've observed that the ability of the players to read the opponent's serve plays a huge role, huger than the aspects of the rallies. It's really strange but this ability varies a lot : it's far from being as easy as to say "X is a great server, Y is a poor returner then ...", it really depends who is against who.

For Fed against Ferrer, Söderling and Davydenko (also Del Potro), his alternance with the sliced backhand also plays an important role.
True, this is the case in many matchups.



Quote:
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I'm a Fedfan but I disagree with the final part of your comment.

7 out of 13 matches between Fed and Ferrer were until the beginning of 2007 when Ferrer was not at his best yet and Fed was in his prime.

Since then, the 2 matches they played on clay were both in Madrid, which is Fed's best clay tournament, esp. this year with the blue clay (the previous one was in 2010 and was actually tight).

Ferrer is too good on clay for Fed to feel that comfortable against him. 3-1 against Djokovic on clay (and Djoko struggled in his only win in Madrid 2011), come on ...

The other 4 matches they played after Hamburg 2007 were for 3 of them in the WTF (indoors) and Cincy, Fed's favorite tournaments.

Besides, Ferrer has won 4 (and not 3 as you said) sets in the 7 last matches they played. Ferrer has improved (notably the DTL backhands) and also he has found better tactics against Fed in their last matches, especially the forehand DTL moonballs to his backhand (followed by a crosscourt forehand sometimes).

Then no, I disagree that this H2H can only get worse, I rather think this H2H is too favourable for Fed at the moment.
So you think Ferrer will improve the H2H? I must disagree, I fully believe Federer will win any future match between them on any surface. The Djokovic argument is void; Nole lets him play the game he likes, with long grinding rallies. Federer doesn't at all.


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Nishikori leads 3-1 against Berdych, 2-0 against Tsonga, I don't think it's a matter of power.

People usually mix them all under the name of "big hitters" but imo, and I observed it makes a big difference in the way the H2Hs are with many players, Del Po and Söderling are very different from Tsonga and Berdych, in the fact that they make fewer errors and their game is based on constant power and depth (you talked a little bit about depth about Del Po and that's very important) rather than accelerations like Tsonga and Berdych. Besides, Del Po and Söderling use some spin whereas Tsonga and especially Berdych (Cilic as well) play much flatter.

Besides, contrary to you, I think Nishikori has the ability to defeat Del Po in the future, just needs to adapt his strategy, I saw their match in Wimbledon and it was far from easy for Del Po and the commentator also said that Nishikori didn't use the right strategy.
Del Potro has far more power than Berdych and Tsonga, especially off the FH. Kei can dictate player against those two, against Del Potro he can't, he gets pushed back every time JMDP gets a full swing on a FH.

Oh Kei could surely get a win some time in the future, but he needs another strategy for sure; with his limited defensive abilities (despite his quickness around the court), rallying with Delpo from the back isn't a good idea at all.

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Originally Posted by duong View Post
Cilic doesn't like great defenders and playaers who have good depth, I also remember it was his main problem against Del Po.
True. Good defenders make him go for too much and pile on the errors. Good returners can also exploit his serve even more.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:05 AM   #32
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
So you think Ferrer will improve the H2H? I must disagree, I fully believe Federer will win any future match between them on any surface. The Djokovic argument is void; Nole lets him play the game he likes, with long grinding rallies. Federer doesn't at all.
on clay, in Monte-Carlo or Roma, Fed would not be comfortable at all imo, he could not trouble him as much as on other surfaces. And Fed has lost to far worse players in these tournaments as you know

Besides, I really saw improvements from Ferrer in last years, including the tactics adjustments against Fed which I mentioned. Ferrer often had the upper-hand in baseline rallies in their recent matches, but the serve and mental points still remain in Fed's favour.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:30 AM   #33
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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2 questions not especially for Lenders :

- I don't remember watching Blake-Davydenko (7-0 until this year) : I guess Blake disturbed Davydenko from the return and serve (which are very important shots for Blake) ?
Especially the return from matches of the pair that I've watched (at least three, I think, all of which Blake won). Blake is very fond of running around the backhand to thwack forehand returns and it was a very profitable pattern of play against Davydenko. Blake could actually dictate a lot more points from his forehand side against Davydenko than Gonzalez was ever able to (he has a shorter swing which partially explains that). Further, Blake doesn't give up ground on the baseline easily. Like Federer in that sense, he could continue to direct points even when Davydenko would hit deep counters, using the baseline half volley when necessary. Not so sure about the serve (of Blake) being very important. Davydenko could impose on that shot with his return like usual imo, the match-up was more down to the way rallies panned out and Blake's ability to retain control of tempo in rallies in a way Gonzalez couldn't. This is also partially due to his better flat BH (which is especially good against deep shots I think, Blake always showed he could half volley from the baseline very effectively against Nadal's FH as well), this stops Davydenko from gaining too much from his superior BH.

Quote:
- I noticed that Baghdatis has better results against grinders, I tried to wonder why, one reason is that they don't attack his second serve which is a bit weak, I guess, another reason is that Baghdatis likes building points for long, quite like Youzhny, but also he seems to especially like unleashing a ball only in the end of a long rally rather than earlier : why does he have this habit ? is it like a part of the pleasure for him ? does he need to be exhausted to unleash his best (Monfils is typically like that) ?
I don't have an answer for that but yes, it's strange. Part and parcel of being the showman type players that Monfils, Baghdatis and (to a lesser extent) Youzhny are. I certainly think it brings pleasure to all three of them, Monfils enjoys being in 'interesting' and 'epic' rallies, perhaps to his detriment.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:58 AM   #34
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

As for Nadal-Berdych's match-up change of pattern, I forgot to say that the main explanation imo is the evolution of Nadal's game.

Imo the two main evolutions of Nadal's game with time have been :

- playing deeper : in the beginning of his carreer he played shorter because of his huge spin. That stronger depth has often been described as "playing flatter" but I remember an article which had made measures and it was not that clear that he really played flatter, partly yes, but probably Nadal has also been able to hit the ball stronger ; it's been very important for him on hardcourts against players like Berdych and Blake ;

- his serve, which has clearly improved in power, spin and variety.

(another important evolution is the slice but I don't think it's as important as the two previous ones)

I think these two aspects have been very important against Berdych. The serve has already been talked about, but also playing short is killing against Berdych whose main pattern is precisely to accelerate short balls.

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Especially the return from matches of the pair that I've watched (at least three, I think, all of which Blake won). Blake is very fond of running around the backhand to thwack forehand returns and it was a very profitable pattern of play against Davydenko. Blake could actually dictate a lot more points from his forehand side against Davydenko than Gonzalez was ever able to (he has a shorter swing which partially explains that). Further, Blake doesn't give up ground on the baseline easily. Like Federer in that sense, he could continue to direct points even when Davydenko would hit deep counters, using the baseline half volley when necessary.
thanks a lot

yes, Blake's return (also his backhand return as far as his matches against all players generally are concerned) and ability to half-volley are very strong points for him.

I don't generally think of the short swing rather than wide but yes, it's a very important point which I should have more in mind generally.

I was impressed by Nishikori's half-volleys against Berdych as well (and Berdych's ability to half-volley is very important against Fed as well, this is also a point which differentiates Berdych and in a lesser extent Tsonga from Del Po and Söderling)


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I don't have an answer for that but yes, it's strange. Part and parcel of being the showman type players that Monfils, Baghdatis and (to a lesser extent) Youzhny are. I certainly think it brings pleasure to all three of them, Monfils enjoys being in 'interesting' and 'epic' rallies, perhaps to his detriment.
for Youzhny and Baghdatis, I think it's also because they are players who build their points very well, especially Youzhny, I love his matches against Simon for that.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:27 PM   #35
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Especially the return from matches of the pair that I've watched (at least three, I think, all of which Blake won). Blake is very fond of running around the backhand to thwack forehand returns and it was a very profitable pattern of play against Davydenko. Blake could actually dictate a lot more points from his forehand side against Davydenko than Gonzalez was ever able to (he has a shorter swing which partially explains that). Further, Blake doesn't give up ground on the baseline easily. Like Federer in that sense, he could continue to direct points even when Davydenko would hit deep counters, using the baseline half volley when necessary. Not so sure about the serve (of Blake) being very important. Davydenko could impose on that shot with his return like usual imo, the match-up was more down to the way rallies panned out and Blake's ability to retain control of tempo in rallies in a way Gonzalez couldn't. This is also partially due to his better flat BH (which is especially good against deep shots I think, Blake always showed he could half volley from the baseline very effectively against Nadal's FH as well), this stops Davydenko from gaining too much from his superior BH.


I don't have an answer for that but yes, it's strange. Part and parcel of being the showman type players that Monfils, Baghdatis and (to a lesser extent) Youzhny are. I certainly think it brings pleasure to all three of them, Monfils enjoys being in 'interesting' and 'epic' rallies, perhaps to his detriment.
Extreme and helpful analiz on the match-up Blake - Kolya
i thought the same i saw countless times how Blake smacks Nikos weak second serve with his FH.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:14 PM   #36
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

How about Kohli vs Youzhny (7-1) Misha could have won only once due to Kohli's retirement.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:31 PM   #37
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

Can anyone explain Gasquet 6-0 Simon, with all blowouts? I always try to avoid matches with those two pushers, but this H2H strikes me as very weird, there's bound to be some matchup issue. Two players of roughly the same level (Simon probably a bit better), somewhat similar gamestyles...


Another good example would be:

Del Potro vs Soderling

5-1 Del Potro, with Soderling's only win coming when JMDP was a teenager. Even when Robin was #4 and JMDP was just returning to the tour at the beginning of 2011, two blowout wins for JMDP. This one is easy to explain; Soderling has amazing power off the baseline, Del Potro has even more. He can easily overpower Soderling, forcing him to go for too much to avoid long rallies, which leads to errors. On slow surfaces where he can't finish the points fast, Robin is a sitting duck in this matchup.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:32 PM   #38
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

Yep Soda can't get the rhythm he likes against JMDP. Del Potro defends a lot better than the other big hitters and with interest, so they have to go for broke all the time.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:43 PM   #39
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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11-1, Almagro won a Bilbao masters match in 09', whatever that is.
what the hell is 'Bilbao masters'? lol
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:51 PM   #40
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Can anyone explain Gasquet 6-0 Simon, with all blowouts? I always try to avoid matches with those two pushers, but this H2H strikes me as very weird, there's bound to be some matchup issue. Two players of roughly the same level (Simon probably a bit better), somewhat similar gamestyles...
first Simon wasn't in good form or had problems in several of those matches (on the opposite it was Gasquet's case when he lost once to Simon in Sunrise challenger).

secondly the main way to defeat Gasquet is to take him far back, and with his counter-punching style, shots with no spin, sometimes short, it's not at all Simon's style.

Often Simon plays too short against Gasquet.

Besides, a great quality of Gasquet, underrated imo (Gasquet being seen by many ones as a shot-maker, which is not his main way to play), is to be a player using a lot the spin, including the alternance with the slice, and that's the typical way to defeat Simon, Simon is great at counter-punching flat and powerful shots, but he has difficulty to control well spinned shots, especially when they don't have a lot of power and there's an alternance of spins.

If you add that Gasquet has a complete game enough to be able to sustain long rallies, you have the whole set.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:00 PM   #41
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

Lenders please explain Tipsarevic-Nishikori (5-0, 10-1 in sets)
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:48 PM   #42
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

good thread

great read
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:22 PM   #43
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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first Simon wasn't in good form or had problems in several of those matches (on the opposite it was Gasquet's case when he lost once to Simon in Sunrise challenger).

secondly the main way to defeat Gasquet is to take him far back, and with his counter-punching style, shots with no spin, sometimes short, it's not at all Simon's style.

Often Simon plays too short against Gasquet.

Besides, a great quality of Gasquet, underrated imo (Gasquet being seen by many ones as a shot-maker, which is not his main way to play), is to be a player using a lot the spin, including the alternance with the slice, and that's the typical way to defeat Simon, Simon is great at counter-punching flat and powerful shots, but he has difficulty to control well spinned shots, especially when they don't have a lot of power and there's an alternance of spins.

If you add that Gasquet has a complete game enough to be able to sustain long rallies, you have the whole set.
To add on regarding the Gasquet-Simon matchup, look at the H2H of Gasquet-Murray. Murray leads it 4-3 but Gasquet was up 2 sets in two of the losses (2008 Wimbledon, 2010 French) and dominated early in a third loss (2012 French) - the only win in which Murray had control of the match early was 2011 Wimbledon. All three of those losses were a combination of mental and physical fatigue (clearly Murray beats Gasquet in both those areas), which means there really is a matchup issue if you only consider their styles.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:58 PM   #44
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Yep Soda can't get the rhythm he likes against JMDP. Del Potro defends a lot better than the other big hitters and with interest, so they have to go for broke all the time.
Yup, it's worse for Soderling than for Tsonga and Berdych because the latter two have more variety, while Soderling's only option is to get into a baseline hitting contest where he will inevitably be slaughtered.

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Lenders please explain Tipsarevic-Nishikori (5-0, 10-1 in sets)
They played all their five matches in a very short period of time when Kei was in a slump/returning from injury, so I'd like to see more before calling it a bad matchup. It's a bit like Cilic vs Tipsy imo, things will become more even once Tipsy became a top player/Kei got healthy, a top player.

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good thread

great read
Thanks
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:01 PM   #45
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

Lenders trying way too hard at this, as if everything can be explained in tangible things. Again, he is giving technical aspects way too much credit in several matchups. The mental gain/loss between two players explains much of the lopsided H2Hs here. Not saying there technical aspects of a player's game don't dictacte a H2H, but certainly much should be attributed to mental strength, and not to mention surface variation.
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