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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now when we are approaching a new slam I just wanted to put some focus on this. I'm talking about how to get an opponent out of focus when the match is in a critical stage (and not only about serve delaying that has been discussed to death already) Just looking back at RG 2011 there are some good examples:

Fognini vs Montanes. The fog perfected some very interesting distraction tactics (of course triggered by his fatigue I hope) but then he took it to the next level with foot faults and some body language that must have confused the hell out of the opponent. Montanes got totally thrown off and started to hit balls right at Fabio who could pretty much stand still and win the match. Very weird but you got to think that if the fog didn't employ these weird tactics he would never have won.

Robert vs Berdych
. Robert facing what looked like an impossible uphill battle being 0-2 down changed up his game starting to go for impossible shots and doing some weird things that obviously distracted Berdych a lot. But seeing how distracted he got you wonder why more qualifiers facing 0-2 don't try stuff like this. Change your game! do unexpected/insane low percentage shots. Sure you might fail badly and lose the 3rd set 0-6 but you are losing anyway?

Murray vs Berrer. Sure this one was not planned (I hope) but when Murray got his injury Berrer got completely thrown off. He pretty much dropped his game completely. Stopped going for dropshots, stopped playing with confidence. You'd think an "injury" would boost the confidence of the opponent but the delay and the thought of actually having a chance threw of Berrer completely and seeing him after the injury you'd wonder what he even was doing in the slam.

Nadal vs all. No hate here I mean he's done it for a long time and it's both obvious and deadly effective. He did it all tournament when under pressure but most obvious of course from QF,SF,F when the stakes were higher. Facing BPs in QF vs Soderling he often took an extra 10s-15s, suddenly served differently some points and did all he could to throw him off. It worked this time. Vs Murray he did the same facing BPs/pressure. Never seen Murray having that bad conversion and easy mistakes on important points. But the most obvious example if of course the final vs Federer when Fed was cruising to an easy set1 win and then got totally thrown off by Nadal's "medical timeout"


I'm sure there are even more examples in RG 2011 alone and going back to last year even more interesting ones. Why aren't more players using these tactics deliberately since it's obviously not against the rules, especially not as a top player. Ultimately I think most about Djokovic vs Federer. Seemed like Djokovic WANTED TO DO IT (he even got a time violation?) but for some reason he hesitated and didn't go for it. Maybe it was that warning, maybe it was honor, maybe it was respect for Federer. In the end you got to think that just a little more delaying/distraction and he would have had the match. There were many opportunities and signs all over. He also must have known that he could get the match postponed to the next day?! Another classic is of course to go after the ref which Djokovic could have done many times..

Please keep the discussion serious because I think it's interesting and hey we are all waiting for Wimbledon :) There we also often got the "natural" distraction thingy in the rain delays that surely will be a factor this year :eek: 5 seters also provide so many opportunities compared to 3 seters. There will always be at least one set when you can do some stuff do gain an advantage. I also think that many players are unfairly called chokers when they were in fact outsmarted or lost focus purely because of the opponents actions. Every player will have some nerves and if you play with their mind they can even subconsciously drop it without noticing...

Question is why are some top players never using it? Should they? Should refs be harsher on it or should their even be investigations after a match for potential fines? Should a new timeout be given so players under pressure actually "legally" can get a break in the game instead of all these serve delaying/strange medical timeouts and alike?
 

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But the most obvious example if of course the final vs Federer when Fed was cruising to an easy set1 win and then got totally thrown off by Nadal's "medical timeout"
Which medical timeout are you writing about, man? Nadal took the regulatory time out between points to fix his foot bandage and he didn't took one only extra second for it. It seems some people is trying too hard finding some lame excuses when his fave lose :eek:
 

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Timeouts to "fix bandages" are moronic.
 

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Mostly because its very unsportsmanly. Oh and the fact you're being a moron in front of thousands of people.
 

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Nadal just removed part of the bandage from his foot. If I recall correctly he didn't even take more than the 90 seconds given for the changeover.
 

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Timeouts to "fix bandages" are moronic.
In this board there are many Goebbels fans who thinks repeating a lie again and again this lie will become true. Nobody called a timeout. Some players use the time between points to cover his head with a towel and try to gain some focus, others use it to change the racket or his T-shirt or to fix a bandage that has been misplaced. What is the problem, fedtards?
 

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Nadal just removed part of the bandage from his foot. If I recall correctly he didn't even take more than the 90 seconds given for the changeover.
It seems many people believe those extra 30 seconds changed the match, it was Nadal who faced break point in his next game, but he fought and won it, then got the break back. It's Federer's fault he didn't win the set, not because someone took 30 seconds more. How idiotic is this? People really like to jump on anything when they are desperate.
 

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First of all, blaming Nadal for the 1st set loss is stupid, Roger lost it and he has no one to blame but himself. If Nadal took an injury time out that took more time than the changeover, I agree that it changed the match but not if it didn't.
HOWEVER...Nadal does do unsportsmanly delaying tactics. The reason that everyone doesn't do that is because SOME people want to win on their own merits, not because they cheated. And some people, unlike others, actually care for the integrity of the sport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Which medical timeout are you writing about, man? Nadal took the regulatory time out between points to fix his foot bandage and he didn't took one only extra second for it. It seems some people is trying too hard finding some lame excuses when his fave lose :eek:
yeah thats why i put it between " ". It threw Federer off agree? He served like shit the game after. Doesn't matter if Nadal was allowed to do it. It created one of those interuptions that can distract a server. Just saying. The distraction was the thing and how it comes is another question.

Uncle Toni or whatever have probably adviced Nadal to ALWAYS take his time and try to get the flow out of the game when in trouble. Many other players in trouble rush instead and then find themselves in a deeper hole.

How players handle distractions is another question. Federer might have gotten worse at it late career but hey. There are many normal distractions too. Like maybe someone in the crowd doing something crazy, some douchebag running onto the court, quick weather changes etc. But you need it at the right moment. Do it yourself with some kind of tactic and you can get it at the exact right moment
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It seems many people believe those extra 30 seconds changed the match, it was Nadal who faced break point in his next game, but he fought and won it, then got the break back. It's Federer's fault he didn't win the set, not because someone took 30 seconds more. How idiotic is this? People really like to jump on anything when they are desperate.
Statements like that makes me believe that you only watch tennis and maybe only one player in tennis?

30 sec timeouts change entire matches in sports ALL THE TIME. If I was coaching something and looked to be heading for a loss I would do anything to get that kind of break. Even if it was just 10 secs to calm down. It's a proven thing that it can change momentum in sports. Maybe not in your world but in the real world it is like that
 

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It depends on the tactic. Distraction tactics built in the game itself, like you mentioned with Robert vs Berdych, seem fine to me, and anyone losing badly should maybe give that a shot. Some of the others, like strategically placed timeouts when your opponent is on a roll, or injuries, I imagine most people don't try because they feel a certain amount of shame about it. I'm sure Murray, for example, is proud of finishing that match, but I doubt he's proud of how his opponent responded to his injury. I would feel kind of ashamed that the guy dropped his guard out of sympathy for me (even as I continued to play the best I could).

So, basically, I guess guys don't try it in the first case because they're just conditioned to play seriously even when they're losing, and are afraid to deviate from the plan, and in the second case, I think they don't try it out of good sportsmanship.
 

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Federer is also a master at this. Summoning rain at will to bring his opponent out of rhythm.

:worship:
 

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Robert vs Berdych[/B]. Robert facing what looked like an impossible uphill battle being 0-2 down changed up his game starting to go for impossible shots and doing some weird things that obviously distracted Berdych a lot.

Let's face it, Berdych was probably distracted by a pretty cloud, or thinking what he had for dinner last week. He's not exactly Mr Concentration.
 

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Forgive me for not reading back but how about the question "why aren't refs doing more to stop it? " You know that age old question MTF hashes up every couple of years or so :lol:
 

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Federer is specially sensible to these time-outs. Nadal, Tsonga, Melzer and others have taken advantage of this breach in the reglaments. Roger gets paralized at once and enters in an anti-climactic mode. Seems like he loses interest in winning because victory devaluates itself at the prospect of an ailing rival. The only exception I can remember is his last match against Nalbandian. I could have bet for a sure defeat of Roger when Nalby asked for the trainer. Miraculously nothing happened. Miraculously . . . . . miraculously . . . . .
 

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Rafa-like body language and facial expression (especially when he's "injured"; possibility of loosing) would be the best distraction technique.
 
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