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Old 12-05-2012, 12:26 PM   #76
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

Quote:
Originally Posted by duong View Post
As often with your posts, I can read some relevant intuitions and some mistakes imo.

Many people are very impressed by the potential power of Nadal's, Del Potro's and in a lesser extent Berdych's forehands, I'm very impressed as well, that's impressive for sure,

... but it's a mistake imo to define the whole player's game by that maximum power potential and that's where I disagree with those people (Lenders does the same mistake for Del Potro imo).

How often do these players really use those maximum power forehands ? not so often because that's impossible to use them constantly.

Besides, tennis is not only about power, it's also a lot about angles, changes of directions, changes of depth or spin, and Nadal and Del Potro are not very good at that imo. That's very important to do that : I remember Nadal praising Nishikori's ability to change directions of his shots. And when you see Berdych and Del Potro, Berdych is less powerful, needs a better position to be able to fully accelerate, but is clearly better to change directions.

As for Nadal, the quantity of spin he uses makes it difficult to be so offensive constantly. Look at Nadal-Ferrer match-up for instance : Ferrer is much more often the offender in that match-up ! He doesn't have Nadal's power but Ferrer's ability for angles and to change directions and spins is underrated imo.

Same for Djokovic's ability for angles and to change directions and quantity of spin ... and also the fact that the backhand can indeed be used in an offensive way contrary to what you say : if you don't consider at all Djokovic's or Murray's ability to attack with their backhand, you forget a lot !

I really think this "maximum power" is given too much importance by many people on MTF.

But something which is underrated on the other side is Del Potro's and Nadal's ability to put their opponent on the defensive with their serve
I'll put the mistakes you mention in the "misunderstood" section.

I don't talk about maximum power and i know this is not relevant. Mainly because - within 5% difference max, they all have the same max power speed of shots.

Changing the angles is a good point, but mainly if we consider the BH side, as all of them are able to change the direction from the FH side. And by changing direction it means going DTL from a cross court rally. The inverse is obviously easy to do even from amateurs.

So, Nadal is less able to change direction with his FH? He's notorious with his banana shots, which is the ultimate example of this ability and he's among the guys who can swirl a FH almost paralel to the net when playing cross court rallies, so i disagree that Berdych and Del Potro have better abilities from this side.

As for the BH - of course they can win points from it, they can shoot winners, passing shots, etc.
But as mentionned in my above post, except Pironkova (and possibly a couple more in the world) none of them would play a BH when he has the possibility to play a FH.

Why is that in your opinion? Even Murray would do it and he is confident the same from both sides.

Because the FH is the stronger, more precise, better shot. There is no player in ATP top 10 (even 1000) who has a better BH than FH. If you do - you're not a pro player, simple as that.

That's also why 70% of the attacking shots would go on the opponent's BH side. That's why players would turn around the BH, that's why players would usually have more FH winners than BH, despite that in a match they play more BHs overall, etc.


So, putting all this in the perspective of "Most offensive player", for me it is the mindset of a player when using his attacking weapon - the FH.

Tsonga would go for it as early as possible, the same for Federer. Then it's Nadal. All the 3 of them would finish a FH involved point within 3 shots. The rest would take longer to build up and/or let the opponent the chance to make a mistake.

That's my personal vision of how to rate the offensiveness of players. Of course ppl are free to put Nadal in last place, Ferrer right above him and think Djokovic is a top 4 offensive player. Everyone has the right to be wrong

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:28 PM   #77
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

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Originally Posted by duong View Post
on the men's side very few players do it, the most famous one being Benoît Paire.

Even Almagro or even Murray they rather turn their backhand to use their forehand to attack.
Correct, forgot about Paire.

The guy is smth else, isn't he
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:38 PM   #78
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

once again some good things, Latso, but you tend to be too schematic/simplified imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latso View Post
I'll put the mistakes you mention in the "misunderstood" section.

I don't talk about maximum power and i know this is not relevant. Mainly because - within 5% difference max, they all have the same max power speed of shots.

Changing the angles is a good point, but mainly if we consider the BH side, as all of them are able to change the direction from the FH side. And by changing direction it means going DTL from a cross court rally. The inverse is obviously easy to do even from amateurs.
"all of them are able to" : yes but not as well, and it's not only a matter of shots, it's also a matter of mind attitude and a matter of movement. And the backhand side also matters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by latso View Post
So, Nadal is less able to change direction with his FH? He's notorious with his banana shots, which is the ultimate example of this ability and he's among the guys who can swirl a FH almost paralel to the net when playing cross court rallies, so i disagree that Berdych and Del Potro have better abilities from this side.
Nadal can surely make spectacular shots, but the regularity with which you do it is also very important. As you know, Nadal has had a lot of success with crosscourt forehands poundering the opponent's backhand, and sometimes he has tended to be too systematic for that, he himself told it actually.

And once again look at the Nadal-Ferrer match-up to see who uses his mind most to create in the rallies. And look also at that thing : Nadal makes more points with his serve and puts much more Ferrer in the defensive with that shot than Ferrer does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latso View Post
As for the BH - of course they can win points from it, they can shoot winners, passing shots, etc.
But as mentionned in my above post, except Pironkova (and possibly a couple more in the world) none of them would play a BH when he has the possibility to play a FH.

Why is that in your opinion? Even Murray would do it and he is confident the same from both sides.

Because the FH is the stronger, more precise, better shot. There is no player in ATP top 10 (even 1000) who has a better BH than FH. If you do - you're not a pro player, simple as that.

That's also why 70% of the attacking shots would go on the opponent's BH side. That's why players would turn around the BH, that's why players would usually have more FH winners than BH, despite that in a match they play more BHs overall, etc.
all true but once again at this level variety is a huge key.

I will tell you something : when I was young, I watched players of a regional level play and I was very impressed, had the impression that they could play very long rallies without ever missing.

It looked like "perfection" in my eyes. And I wondered "what must it be like for international level players ? what can they do better ?"

Then I went to see top-players play live ... and what did I realize ?

I didn't have the same impression of "perfection" !! BUT ... the main difference was the variation : contrary to the local players they didn't always play the same shots and they played shots which put their opponent in a difficult position.

That was the key-difference between them and a regional level player. It may enter the 5% difference which you consider as something "marginal" but these 5% are actually crucial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latso View Post
Tsonga would go for it as early as possible, the same for Federer. Then it's Nadal. All the 3 of them would finish a FH involved point within 3 shots. The rest would take longer to build up and/or let the opponent the chance to make a mistake.

That's my personal vision of how to rate the offensiveness of players. Of course ppl are free to put Nadal in last place, Ferrer right above him and think Djokovic is a top 4 offensive player. Everyone has the right to be wrong

Nadal has a much more powerful forehand than both Djokovic and Ferrer but when Nadal plays against Djokovic or Ferrer, what I just see from my eyes is that most of the time, Djokovic or Ferrer is the attacking creating player and Nadal the defending one.

I don't know why, and I can tell you I'm someone who is very very impressed by Nadal's forehand, but in the end that's what I see

Djokovic has always been a very creative guy in my eyes (that's a big difference with Murray even though Murray has more "technical" variety), and Ferrer has always liked to play points on his terms, not on the opponent's term (that's why the notion of "defender" for him looks like a big misinterpretation in my eyes), probably it partly explains why.

Also Ferrer made great improvements in recent years on the backhand, including backhands down the line. Also on his attacking abilities he goes much more to the net than in the past : even though he's far from being a great volleyer (and clearly a worse one than Nadal) he likes to go there naturally and eventually even though he has less theoretical qualities for that (or maybe because of that : he knows his shots are not powerful enough to finish points) ... goes there more often than Nadal.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:01 PM   #79
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

Makes me laugh on threads like this, there's always undertones of offense=good, defense=bad. Such a sophisticated way of viewing a sport.. Does Tsonga get some kind of moral victory for playing in such a ridiculous manner? Played like a joker for most of the year, I'd sooner watch a Djoker or anyone else in the top 8.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:00 PM   #80
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

I wish I could contribute to this thread but basically Duong is just saying everything I want to say and far better, so...

I agree that offensive tennis is overrated. There's no point in being offensive if you're doing it the wrong way and at the wrong time. The best players are the ones who know when to attack and when not to attack, and who can do both.
With this incredible piece of widsom, I take my leave
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:13 PM   #81
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

Offensive Tennis: Federer, Berdych, Tsonga, Del Po
Middle: Djoko, Nadal
Defensive Tennis: Ferrer, Murray,
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:02 PM   #82
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

Quote:
Originally Posted by duong View Post
once again some good things, Latso, but you tend to be too schematic/simplified imo.



"all of them are able to" : yes but not as well, and it's not only a matter of shots, it's also a matter of mind attitude and a matter of movement. And the backhand side also matters.




Nadal can surely make spectacular shots, but the regularity with which you do it is also very important. As you know, Nadal has had a lot of success with crosscourt forehands poundering the opponent's backhand, and sometimes he has tended to be too systematic for that, he himself told it actually.

And once again look at the Nadal-Ferrer match-up to see who uses his mind most to create in the rallies. And look also at that thing : Nadal makes more points with his serve and puts much more Ferrer in the defensive with that shot than Ferrer does.



all true but once again at this level variety is a huge key.

I will tell you something : when I was young, I watched players of a regional level play and I was very impressed, had the impression that they could play very long rallies without ever missing.

It looked like "perfection" in my eyes. And I wondered "what must it be like for international level players ? what can they do better ?"

Then I went to see top-players play live ... and what did I realize ?

I didn't have the same impression of "perfection" !! BUT ... the main difference was the variation : contrary to the local players they didn't always play the same shots and they played shots which put their opponent in a difficult position.

That was the key-difference between them and a regional level player. It may enter the 5% difference which you consider as something "marginal" but these 5% are actually crucial.



Nadal has a much more powerful forehand than both Djokovic and Ferrer but when Nadal plays against Djokovic or Ferrer, what I just see from my eyes is that most of the time, Djokovic or Ferrer is the attacking creating player and Nadal the defending one.

I don't know why, and I can tell you I'm someone who is very very impressed by Nadal's forehand, but in the end that's what I see

Djokovic has always been a very creative guy in my eyes (that's a big difference with Murray even though Murray has more "technical" variety), and Ferrer has always liked to play points on his terms, not on the opponent's term (that's why the notion of "defender" for him looks like a big misinterpretation in my eyes), probably it partly explains why.

Also Ferrer made great improvements in recent years on the backhand, including backhands down the line. Also on his attacking abilities he goes much more to the net than in the past : even though he's far from being a great volleyer (and clearly a worse one than Nadal) he likes to go there naturally and eventually even though he has less theoretical qualities for that (or maybe because of that : he knows his shots are not powerful enough to finish points) ... goes there more often than Nadal.
It's all mostly correct and most of the time, despite the overall sound of your post is like disagreeing with me, we're actually mostly saying the same.

With the few exceptions of course, like the match up Nadal-Ferrer you bring a couple of times, which i don't know why has left the feeling in you that Ferrer is attacking and Nadal defending.
Honestly i don't see where has this ever happened, except at the only win Ferru has over Rafa in the last 5 years, which is during the AO when Rafa was injured and just didn't want to retire.

Of course most of their matches have happened on cay, but still it's always been Nadal tearing Ferru apart and not by defending, i'm positive about this.

About the juniors and pros - the difference is not variety mate. It's speed and speed only.
Youngsters even tend to have more variety than the big guys, simply because they have more time and opportunities, also because they are still wild and take wrong decisions.
A younger Djokovic would do much more drop shots as we all remember and the younger they are - the more improv there is.

At the higher level the only difference is the speed with which those regular baseline shots travel, not even the finishing shots, but the standard ones.

And players trying to put the adversary in a tough position is my main argument for why i consider Djokovic less aggressive than most the top 8 guys, coz he just doesn't do that regularly.
Since his level rose a notch and he's among the best defenders out there (for me he's the best defender ever by a mile actually, but that's a whole other discussion) and he's among the most regular players, he's in the position to wait and play empty shots (empty compared to the other top players, not the juniors, for whom those would be equal to attack shots) and wait for the right moment. And he waits longer than most.

Have you seen lately Djokovic hit a FH winner behind the baseline? He probably has, but seriously think about it. I can't even remember him doing that once. He's probably had more BH winners behind the baseline than FHs.
Simply because he doesn't need to, as he can defend and he's endurant enough, and his strategy is to build the points up longer and play safer.

The final of the WTF is an example in which Djokovic just held long enough for Federer to lower his level of attack and got back in the match.
If an aggressor like Federer can keep the first few games tempo and precision long enough there's nothing much Djokovic can do, but atm there is no player who could do this constantly enough and win against Djokovic this way.
Murray is playing in a similar way, but Djokovic is just the better defender.

Anyhow, the difference between those players at the top is so small and so much in the details that it's just speculations to put them into a specific order based on any quality.

It's also a lot about match ups, conditions, strategy, etc., so you might have watched a few Nadal defensive matches that marked your mind (and i believe these are mostly his early performances, prior to his USO tittle f.e.) and me his offensive ones, same for Nole, etc.

What could be easily agreed is that Tsonga is a genuine aggressor (not necessarily a good thing) and Murray is less (also depends which Murray. At the OG and USO i saw a non defensive Muzza). Ppl tend to put Nole high just because he's #1 in the World, but my feeling about him is different, which doesn't make him a worse or better player, he's #1 and that's all.

Cheers
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:52 PM   #83
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

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lol at not having GOATro as no.1 , he's the most attacking player out there
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:03 AM   #84
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

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Originally Posted by latso View Post
It's all mostly correct and most of the time, despite the overall sound of your post is like disagreeing with me, we're actually mostly saying the same.

With the few exceptions of course, like the match up Nadal-Ferrer you bring a couple of times, which i don't know why has left the feeling in you that Ferrer is attacking and Nadal defending.
Honestly i don't see where has this ever happened, except at the only win Ferru has over Rafa in the last 5 years, which is during the AO when Rafa was injured and just didn't want to retire.

Of course most of their matches have happened on cay, but still it's always been Nadal tearing Ferru apart and not by defending, i'm positive about this.

About the juniors and pros - the difference is not variety mate. It's speed and speed only.
Youngsters even tend to have more variety than the big guys, simply because they have more time and opportunities, also because they are still wild and take wrong decisions.
A younger Djokovic would do much more drop shots as we all remember and the younger they are - the more improv there is.

At the higher level the only difference is the speed with which those regular baseline shots travel, not even the finishing shots, but the standard ones.

And players trying to put the adversary in a tough position is my main argument for why i consider Djokovic less aggressive than most the top 8 guys, coz he just doesn't do that regularly.
Since his level rose a notch and he's among the best defenders out there (for me he's the best defender ever by a mile actually, but that's a whole other discussion) and he's among the most regular players, he's in the position to wait and play empty shots (empty compared to the other top players, not the juniors, for whom those would be equal to attack shots) and wait for the right moment. And he waits longer than most.

Have you seen lately Djokovic hit a FH winner behind the baseline? He probably has, but seriously think about it. I can't even remember him doing that once. He's probably had more BH winners behind the baseline than FHs.
Simply because he doesn't need to, as he can defend and he's endurant enough, and his strategy is to build the points up longer and play safer.

The final of the WTF is an example in which Djokovic just held long enough for Federer to lower his level of attack and got back in the match.
If an aggressor like Federer can keep the first few games tempo and precision long enough there's nothing much Djokovic can do, but atm there is no player who could do this constantly enough and win against Djokovic this way.
Murray is playing in a similar way, but Djokovic is just the better defender.

Anyhow, the difference between those players at the top is so small and so much in the details that it's just speculations to put them into a specific order based on any quality.

It's also a lot about match ups, conditions, strategy, etc., so you might have watched a few Nadal defensive matches that marked your mind (and i believe these are mostly his early performances, prior to his USO tittle f.e.) and me his offensive ones, same for Nole, etc.

What could be easily agreed is that Tsonga is a genuine aggressor (not necessarily a good thing) and Murray is less (also depends which Murray. At the OG and USO i saw a non defensive Muzza). Ppl tend to put Nole high just because he's #1 in the World, but my feeling about him is different, which doesn't make him a worse or better player, he's #1 and that's all.

Cheers
Ferrer in the last year certainly seems to attack more often than Nadal when the two meet (and overall). However, there are plenty examples of both attacking in this clip.



It's not as clear-cut as 'Nadal always defends' or 'Ferrer only attacks'.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:21 AM   #85
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

Dull is offensive, how many rule violations has he ever commited before? Time- wasting, faking injuries. Offensive in nature.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:00 AM   #86
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

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With the few exceptions of course, like the match up Nadal-Ferrer you bring a couple of times, which i don't know why has left the feeling in you that Ferrer is attacking and Nadal defending.
Honestly i don't see where has this ever happened, except at the only win Ferru has over Rafa in the last 5 years, which is during the AO when Rafa was injured and just didn't want to retire.

Of course most of their matches have happened on clay, but still it's always been Nadal tearing Ferru apart and not by defending, i'm positive about this.
not at all what I see in their matches, especially on clay, and if you want a good example in my eyes : Barcelona 2012 final.

I don't mean either that Ferrer is always the attacking player and Nadal always the defender, especially because Nadal has a much better serve, but the main scheme is still Ferrer attacking and Nadal defending imo, especially if you take off the points where Nadal has been put in a great position thanks to his serve.

And it's not completely new : yes Ferrer is now more offensive but I remember some others of their matches in the past where Ferrer was the one pushing Nadal, Monte-Carlo 2008 for instance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latso View Post
About the juniors and pros - the difference is not variety mate. It's speed and speed only.
I spoke about regional level players and international level players, not about juniors and pros, among juniors yes they can have a lot of variety because they play at the same speed.

With regional level players speed is also a difference but not the only one : variety is as important imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latso View Post
Have you seen lately Djokovic hit a FH winner behind the baseline? He probably has, but seriously think about it. I can't even remember him doing that once. He's probably had more BH winners behind the baseline than FHs.
I don't see Federer often hitting forehand winners behind the baseline either. Even Tsonga not that often

it's just not a good place to hit a winner, and being offensive imo is a matter of playing several shots, not just one imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latso View Post
It's also a lot about match ups, conditions, strategy, etc., so you might have watched a few Nadal defensive matches that marked your mind (and i believe these are mostly his early performances, prior to his USO tittle f.e.) and me his offensive ones, same for Nole, etc.
the difference in what we see about Djokovic's and Ferrer's matches is so big that surely it's not only a matter of a few matches marking the mind. We just see them very differently, we have to agree to disagree because that's how it is , and it's nothing personal between us and as I said, I often read interesting points in what you say. Cheers Latso
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:50 PM   #87
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

Tsonga

Federer
Berdych

Djokovic
Ferrer
Del Potro

Nadal


Ferrer, is again underrated here. He is clearly an aggressive player- nearly every ball that comes to his forehand he jumps on it. Anyone who watched the 3 Ferrer vs Delpo matches these years would know who was dictating play 90% of the time. And it wasn't Delpo.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:02 PM   #88
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

Quote:
Originally Posted by latso View Post
I'll put the mistakes you mention in the "misunderstood" section.

I don't talk about maximum power and i know this is not relevant. Mainly because - within 5% difference max, they all have the same max power speed of shots.

Changing the angles is a good point, but mainly if we consider the BH side, as all of them are able to change the direction from the FH side. And by changing direction it means going DTL from a cross court rally. The inverse is obviously easy to do even from amateurs.

So, Nadal is less able to change direction with his FH? He's notorious with his banana shots, which is the ultimate example of this ability and he's among the guys who can swirl a FH almost paralel to the net when playing cross court rallies, so i disagree that Berdych and Del Potro have better abilities from this side.

As for the BH - of course they can win points from it, they can shoot winners, passing shots, etc.
But as mentionned in my above post, except Pironkova (and possibly a couple more in the world) none of them would play a BH when he has the possibility to play a FH.

Why is that in your opinion? Even Murray would do it and he is confident the same from both sides.

Because the FH is the stronger, more precise, better shot. There is no player in ATP top 10 (even 1000) who has a better BH than FH. If you do - you're not a pro player, simple as that.

That's also why 70% of the attacking shots would go on the opponent's BH side. That's why players would turn around the BH, that's why players would usually have more FH winners than BH , despite that in a match they play more BHs overall, etc.


So, putting all this in the perspective of "Most offensive player", for me it is the mindset of a player when using his attacking weapon - the FH.

Tsonga would go for it as early as possible, the same for Federer. Then it's Nadal. All the 3 of them would finish a FH involved point within 3 shots. The rest would take longer to build up and/or let the opponent the chance to make a mistake.

That's my personal vision of how to rate the offensiveness of players. Of course ppl are free to put Nadal in last place, Ferrer right above him and think Djokovic is a top 4 offensive player. Everyone has the right to be wrong

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Davydenko and Nalbandian

And you're obviously wrong about the precision of the backhand
the BH is a lot more stable than the FH thus more accurate !
If you don't know this you haven't played tennis at least semi-profesionaly
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Last edited by TBkeeper : 12-06-2012 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:31 PM   #89
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

In my opinion, Del Potro and even Berdych are not very offensive players...
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:08 AM   #90
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Default Re: Rank the top 8 players from most offensive to most defensive

1. Tsonga
2. Berdych
3. Federer
4. Del Potro
5. Djokovic
6. Nadal
7. Murray
8. Ferrer
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