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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I wanted to create this thread to encourage more fun and imagination on "going back in time" and list out certain players in a certain years and periods and put them against one another and assume who would win between them. Therefore, this thread also encourages some serious analysis, assumption from videos, reasoning of matches/matchup, etc.

We all speculate from time to time whether a peak Federer would fare against Djokovic 2011 on plexicushion or whether Djokovic could beat Nadal on other years of clay where he is more successful. Rather than just listing out the winner, the ones I've listed down are my personal opinions and reasonings why this is so.

You guys can also list out your own hypothetical matchups and do your own analysis. You can even compare player by player through even their respective tournament forms. E.g. Federer AO 2005 vs Nadal AO 2009

I'll start:

Djokovic US Open 2007 vs Nishikori US Open 2014


I like this hypothetical scenario for the following reasons. Both players at their time were up and coming and were on a brink of a breakthrough success-wise in grand slams. Not to mention, their mentalities from a relatively young age were ferocious in being hungry and motivated for success. When I was watching Djokovic in 2007 especially through Montreal and US Open, it struck me by surprise how his playstyle back then compared to now was more aggressive and flashy; where post 2011 he was more steady and workhorse which make him seems like his game was within the Davydenko realm; taking the ball quite early on the rise and ready to unload the FH on the run. With Nishikori, he is very much the same and their similarities in their games would match up fantastically from an audience view. I expect a lot of BH to BH cross court exchanges between these two, and from Nishikori's match, his BH was so smooth that Djokovic would forced to slice quite often which is rare to see since he very rarely loses ground and court position through his topspin selection. Whether, this is due to the slightly breezy conditions on that day that was the reason, I just don't think as much as despite a young Nole's mindset on his BH wing to give up the initiative, would win these encounters. With the forehand side, I believe Novak's FH back then was much more flat and penetrative compared to now and is better than the Samurai which is a factor on the duration of these rallies. Therefore I expect a 5 set win to 2007 US Djokovic simply because his serve is better and would ease off the pressure slightly on his service games despite Kei's return.

Federer Australian Open 2006 vs Djokovic Australian Open 2011



Ideally, everyone would love to see this match happened and there are many cases for and against whether these two would win or not. However, since I picked Federer at the start of 2006, this makes the result and justification a little more simpler. I actually expect Djokovic AO 2011 to win in 5 sets in the Rebound Ace and 4 sets Plexicushion surfaces. My reasoning is that we have to remember the context in the time period and form that is vital when taking account of these matchups; at least compared to the former above. Federer coming in to the 2006 AO was still wearing his ankle braces for his ankle injury late last year so throughout the tournament his movement was slightly lacking. For Federer's game, movement is everything for him. If he's slightly late to the ball, he's unable to execute BH DTL and run around his BH into his trademark FH inside-out winners. Federer was healthy of course, but his ankle brace made his footwork slightly inhibited. Throughout the tournament, Federer in AO 2006 had some tough matches (5 set, 3 close 4 sets) against those who are talented shotmakers (Kiefer, Haas, Davydenko, Baghdatis) who are able to expose his movement and move him around the court. 2 of these 3 players are solid 2 BHers whom definately had chances where Davy had set points I believe in 2nd or 3rd set and Baggy leading 2nd set with a break. Don't think Federer will get away with this from a re-energised Djokovic who very much falls in those type of players (but better) as well being fresh off a Davis Cup win and a new season ahead, we all know from 2011 what his playing level can do. AO 2011 is probably is crowning achievement with only 1 set lost to Dodig. The plexicushion perfectly shows this intricacies where Djokovic will look to extend the rallies and move Federer around; I expect a latter to be slightly annoyed at the slower surface which he is used to playing back then as well as someone defending on HC (bar Rafa) as much as Nole. I still expect Federer to take a set though as in the 2011 meeting, where Federer had a 5-2 lead in the 2nd set (but choked) by simply switching his gameplan from trying to hit through Djokovic through the court, to slicing regularly to disrupt Novak's rhythm.

Have fun :)
 
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Federer 2005 vs Federer 2006 indoors.
Nadal 2010 vs Tomic 2016 RG.
 

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safin ao 05 vs GOATro uso 09
davydenko wtf 09 vs nalbandian wtf 05
soderking rg 09 vs del po uso 09
gonzalez ao 07 vs GOATro uso 09

orgasmic thoughts.
 
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