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Old 10-10-2012, 02:37 AM   #61
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Originally Posted by fast_clay View Post
can you please analyse Marinko Matosevic vs Donald Young...? (4-0; 8 sets to 1)
I can't as I've never watched any of their four matches.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:45 AM   #62
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

The one lopsided match-up I've never been able to really wrap my head around is Ferrer-Gasquet, which rests 8-1 in Ferrer's favor. What more is that most of their score-lines have consisted of Gasquet getting roughly 1 or 2 games per set. I just don't understand what it is that allows Ferrer to not only beat, but route Gasquet so routinely.

There's no complex there as far as I'm aware of, and Ferrer doesn't have a game that should inherently trouble Richard.


From the matches I have seen of the two, I do notice a few interesting trends in place. Firstly, Ferrer, perhaps unexpectedly, goes after the Gasquet backhand. He makes a very deliberate effort to pin him to that side. Congruently, in more recent years, David has assumed the role of the attacker in their dynamics. The closest thing he has to a weapon is that ad court forehand, and he relishes the chance to unleash it on a heavy Gasquet backhand, often up-the-line to exploit Richard's deep backhand positioning. Finally, to that same effect, Ferrer seems to have a field day of making Ritchie look like Duck Jr up at net, which leaves me to believe that he generally has a good read on Gasquet's patterns of play.

All that said, it's remarkable that their matches feel like such foregone conclusions.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #63
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Originally Posted by BackhandDTL View Post
The one lopsided match-up I've never been able to really wrap my head around is Ferrer-Gasquet, which rests 8-1 in Ferrer's favor. What more is that most of their score-lines have consisted of Gasquet getting roughly 1 or 2 games per set. I just don't understand what it is that allows Ferrer to not only beat, but route Gasquet so routinely.

There's no complex there as far as I'm aware of, and Ferrer doesn't have a game that should inherently trouble Richard.
I do believe there is a complex... If you look at Richard's press conference before his latest match against Ferrer, he was talking as if he had lost already, and almost trying to make excuses for it, before even playing the match.
Then again, I may be wrong, but I've always thought Gasquet's problems were almost entirely mental (thus it's not necessarily linked to Ferrer).


Thank you guys for a very interesting thread.

However, I have to admit that I do agree with what Duong pointed out, that I find it difficult to really discuss match-ups in such a clear way, because it kind of ignores the fact that a same player doesn't always play the same.
I mean, for instance, since I watch Ferrer the most I always hear those comments about his "consistency", and what I notice is that people are so convinced he's the embodiement of consistency, that they will interepret everything he does in that light.
For instance, lately, he's been serving a lot of DFs, and every time, you had commentators marvelling at it and going: "that's very unusual he's normally so consistent and accurate blablabla".
Actually, it was not unusual at all, it had been like that for months, maybe because of tiredness, maybe because it's a tactic (trying to force on his serve and hoping the resulting higher number of DFs would be compensated by the gains this tactic would bring?)
So, sometimes, I find it difficult to generalize about a player's game, because so often, I can see that people are doing it with Ferrer, and since I watch him closely I know they're wrong. What they're doing is often placate what they think they know about him, instead of really commenting on what they see.

Still, I found it really interesting to read all this. Even notwithstanding the fact that I probably don't have the ability to do it, I don't have time to watch everyone play, let alone analyze everyone's game in detail, and it's great to see those strange phenomena explained.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:59 AM   #64
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Originally Posted by BackhandDTL View Post
The one lopsided match-up I've never been able to really wrap my head around is Ferrer-Gasquet, which rests 8-1 in Ferrer's favor. What more is that most of their score-lines have consisted of Gasquet getting roughly 1 or 2 games per set. I just don't understand what it is that allows Ferrer to not only beat, but route Gasquet so routinely.

There's no complex there as far as I'm aware of, and Ferrer doesn't have a game that should inherently trouble Richard.


From the matches I have seen of the two, I do notice a few interesting trends in place. Firstly, Ferrer, perhaps unexpectedly, goes after the Gasquet backhand. He makes a very deliberate effort to pin him to that side. Congruently, in more recent years, David has assumed the role of the attacker in their dynamics. The closest thing he has to a weapon is that ad court forehand, and he relishes the chance to unleash it on a heavy Gasquet backhand, often up-the-line to exploit Richard's deep backhand positioning. Finally, to that same effect, Ferrer seems to have a field day of making Ritchie look like Duck Jr up at net, which leaves me to believe that he generally has a good read on Gasquet's patterns of play.

All that said, it's remarkable that their matches feel like such foregone conclusions.
Ferrer is just a much better player than Gasquet

Gasquet doesn't have the power/weight of shot and consistency to hit through Ferrer or the speed/movement/fitness to hang with Ferrer from the baseline. He will either lose by spraying errors as Ferrer keeps getting that extra ball back or by not being able to keep up with Ferrer in a grinding contest. But he will lose for sure.

Ferrer goes after the Gasquet BH because it's the best way to pin Gasquet back since his BH preparation is so long. With Gasquet miles the behind, it's too easy for Ferrer to outmanouever/outgrind him; he moves better/is faster, has better court positioning, better FH... Gasquet is a sitting duck. The matches where there was even some semblance of balance were when Gasquet managed not to be pushed so further back, but even when he takes the role of the aggressor he lacks the power/weight of shot and consistency to get it done. Also, his patterns of play are very predictable and Ferrer can read them very well.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:07 AM   #65
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

To sum up: Ferrer's heart and genitals are exponentially bigger than Gasquet's.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:24 AM   #66
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

Great posts guys.

I agree with Sophitia part on the complex/mental side, an aspect quite fascinating to me.

Gasquet vs Ferrer, Almagro vs Ferrer or Federer vs Nadal are some examples of a psychological advantage pre-match : you know that, in a way or another, Ferrer and Nadal are going to win no matter the context (I'm speaking of "important" tournaments).

last Gasquet vs Ferrer match : US Open. Ferrer struggling, Gasquet had his chances, missed some set points in set 2 I believe, but you know that he would lose.

last Almagro vs Ferrer match : in Bastad Almagro was injured (62 62 Ferrer), but in Madrid Almagro was the better player. Still, he lost 6/7 6/3 6/7. Don't remember if he missed some match points.

last Nadal vs Fed "real" clash : Australian Open. Fed up a set, then lost the 3rd set tiebreaker. Basically match over.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:39 AM   #67
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Great posts guys.

I agree with Sophitia part on the complex/mental side, an aspect quite fascinating to me.

Gasquet vs Ferrer, Almagro vs Ferrer or Federer vs Nadal are some examples of a psychological advantage pre-match : you know that, in a way or another, Ferrer and Nadal are going to win no matter the context (I'm speaking of "important" tournaments).

last Gasquet vs Ferrer match : US Open. Ferrer struggling, Gasquet had his chances, missed some set points in set 2 I believe, but you know that he would lose.

last Almagro vs Ferrer match : in Bastad Almagro was injured (62 62 Ferrer), but in Madrid Almagro was the better player. Still, he lost 6/7 6/3 6/7. Don't remember if he missed some match points.

last Nadal vs Fed "real" clash : Australian Open. Fed up a set, then lost the 3rd set tiebreaker. Basically match over.
In those three matchups, maybe bar Ferrer vs Almagro, the 'mental issues' appeared because of matchup issues. Federer was initially beaten by Nadal because of how his BH couldn't deal with Nadal's wicked topspin on the FH; Gasquet has nothing in his game to trouble Ferrer and loses routinely all the time. After getting beaten up by an opponent they feel powerless against a few times, players are bound to develop a mental complex. They are mostly a result of the bad matchup, mental complexs usually don't exist in isolation.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:51 PM   #68
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Someone to explain the Fed-Simon matchup to me. There's no reason why Simon should really test Federer.
Sanya has explained some reasons but the most important one, as often, is that Simon reads and returns Fed's serve very well. Simon is not especially a great returner but as I said, the abolity of players to read a sergve really depends on the player who serves against them

Also Simon is great at passing-shots (important against Fed) and insists a lot on Fed's backhand which is not as good as Gasquet's one
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:55 PM   #69
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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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.
I respectfully disagree with what you said on that topic, the technical/tactical match-up is imo more important and also anterior to the mental match-up, which also exists of course.

I read so many posts where people only can explain by the mental side just because they don't put enough refinement in their technical analysis
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:59 PM   #70
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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The one lopsided match-up I've never been able to really wrap my head around is Ferrer-Gasquet, which rests 8-1 in Ferrer's favor.
the main reason is that with his spin and moonballs, Ferrer is very able to push Gasquet far behind his line. That's one of Ferrer's most important tactics to push the opponent behind to get an opportunity for a winner in the end, and that's Gasquet's main weakness, then it's quite clear.

Add to that that Gasquet is imo more today of a grinder who relies on the opponent's errors than an attacking player who relies on winners, and you already have a big part of the explanation.

After that came something mental : Gasquet even said recently that he preferred playing against Federer (because he feels he can get cheap errors) than against Ferrer.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:02 PM   #71
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Firstly, Ferrer, perhaps unexpectedly, goes after the Gasquet backhand.
yes, because actually you can get short balls from Gasquet's backhand, that's Gasquet's main backhand weakness, he puts so much spin that he often makes short balls from that side, and if you give him high enough balls he wil not attack you with his backhand, because with his huge swing, he needs low balls to attack with his backhand.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:05 PM   #72
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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Great posts guys.

I agree with Sophitia part on the complex/mental side, an aspect quite fascinating to me.

Gasquet vs Ferrer, Almagro vs Ferrer or Federer vs Nadal are some examples of a psychological advantage pre-match : you know that, in a way or another, Ferrer and Nadal are going to win no matter the context (I'm speaking of "important" tournaments).

last Gasquet vs Ferrer match : US Open. Ferrer struggling, Gasquet had his chances, missed some set points in set 2 I believe, but you know that he would lose.

last Almagro vs Ferrer match : in Bastad Almagro was injured (62 62 Ferrer), but in Madrid Almagro was the better player. Still, he lost 6/7 6/3 6/7. Don't remember if he missed some match points.

last Nadal vs Fed "real" clash : Australian Open. Fed up a set, then lost the 3rd set tiebreaker. Basically match over.
No no no it's a part of the explanation but it's just the easy part, that's the main reason why it's the most commonly used, but it's not the main neither the prime/first explanation.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:17 PM   #73
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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yes, because actually you can get short balls from Gasquet's backhand, that's Gasquet's main backhand weakness, he puts so much spin that he often makes short balls from that side, and if you give him high enough balls he wil not attack you with his backhand, because with his huge swing, he needs low balls to attack with his backhand.
I always thought Gasquet's was one of the 'clay-suited 1hbh's' like Almagro's (and unlike Federer's 'grass-suited 1hbh) that could tee off on high balls, and struggled more on the low skidders. Certainly I've seen Gasquet and Almagro both rip shoulder-height balls on clay off the backhand wing.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:20 PM   #74
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

Good thread.

Who do people think are the worst match ups for Nole (in theory at least - whether or not it translates to results)?
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:21 PM   #75
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Default Re: Worst matchup issues between top (10/20) players

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I always thought Gasquet's was one of the 'clay-suited 1hbh's' like Almagro's (and unlike Federer's 'grass-suited 1hbh) that could tee off on high balls, and struggled more on the low skidders. Certainly I've seen Gasquet and Almagro both rip shoulder-height balls on clay off the backhand wing.
Gasquet has a very long swing on the backhand, Almagro's is shorter, besides Almagro's shoulder is stronger (Wawrinka is stronger as well although he has a longer swing than Almagro).

Look at Nadal-Gasquet and Nadal-Almagro's matches if you want to see. Nadal pushes Gasquet behind very easily as Gasquet usually lets the ball go down to take it on the backhand, Almagro can take it higher as Youzhny can also in a lesser extent.

Gasquet's backhand is at his best on grass on short balls.
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Last edited by duong : 10-10-2012 at 03:36 PM.
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