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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Strategy. It's fascinating how the game has become more complex. Some might say that the slowering of surfaces is killing classic tennis, and in a way it is, but what is replacing it is a much more thrilling affair.

I've been watching tournaments, and especially slams for several years now, and I think strategy is becoming the key factor in victory. When two players reach a slam final, it is no longer skills that are in play. There's the physical factor, it's true, but let's assume here both players are more or less able to play the match in tolerable conditions.

I really think that in the longer rallies trend context, what makes the difference is that a true winner has to know how to play mind games, to disrupt his opponent game and adapt his game to the circumtances.

Nadal who many here amazingly see as a low brow drone is one of the best at playing "chesstennis". Federer is a master too. Murray is learning. Djokovic, not so much. The French ? Never.
 

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On clay, yes.

The slower the surface, the more strategy factors, simply because the rallies are longer.
 

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I know it doesn't make sense because Rafa doesn't strike off as a chess-player exactly with an IQ or anything, but he has a well-practiced, repetitive, efficient and effective pattern of play which he deploys time after time. It's a black and white strategy, which he varies slightly when he meets someone with a solid backhand and a alot when he meets Djokovic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's a black and white strategy, which he varies slightly when he meets someone with a solid backhand and a alot when he meets Djokovic.
I don't think it is that black and white. Nadal's unique goal is to disrupt in order to impose his game. He's not a pusher, he's a sabotage expert. He's not a defender, he is a "delayed" attacker.

And he is so wary of giving his opponent a clue about his true mental/physical state that he makes himself unreadable. Federer used to be like that (and still is for 95% of players) : too big a mountain to climb.
 

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Strategy. It's fascinating how the game has become more complex. Some might say that the slowering of surfaces is killing classic tennis, and in a way it is, but what is replacing it is a much more thrilling affair.
Right. Because homogenization of the courts and subsequent grindfests with 40+ stroke rallies is "thrilling". Ugh.

Playing good defensively is all that's needed these days. Take Nadal for example. His strategy: run like a gazelle, aim the majority of forehands at opponent backhand, and attack short balls. And if he meets someone who can withstand those patterns of play he simply gets roasted. I would hardly call that chess tennis.

Also I can't understand why you seem happy that mind games and disrupting the opponent are a part of current tennis. This is not boxing.
 

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I don't think it is that black and white. Nadal's unique goal is to disrupt in order to impose his game. He's not a pusher, he's a sabotage expert. He's not a defender, he is a "delayed" attacker.

And he is so wary of giving his opponent a clue about his true mental/physical state that he makes himself unreadable. Federer used to be like that (and still is for 95% of players) : too big a mountain to climb.
I disagree, his gameplan is pretty simple on a claycourt. His aim is to open up the court for him and force the player off balance and into an error.

The first goal therefore is finding the right handers backhand with high whipped excessive topspin... the player will try and respond when off-balance with a deep ball but at the cost of sacrificing power. Nadal will then go again to the backhand, this time with heavier whip and it will further draw the opponent out of court, drawing an even weaker reply, he'll keep going to the backhand until he has a really short ball, that the opponent has to guess he is going to their backhand again and move an early move there. Nadal then just goes forehand inside out into the forehand wing. lol

The key to his game is simple on clay, just get the ball onto his forehand asap, so he can start dragging players out of the court by creating angles.

I wouldn't call him a delayed attacker, he's just being aggressive with his forehand into big areas with lots of 'top' (Spin) .. that's working the point/building the point... when he hits the winner, generally it's an easy winner with the player stranded... he attacks from the start with his forehand and just works the opponent around the court.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Right. Because homogenization of the courts and subsequent grindfests with 40+ stroke rallies is "thrilling". Ugh.

Playing good defensively is all that's needed these days. Take Nadal for example. His strategy: run like a gazelle, aim the majority of forehands at opponent backhand, and attack short balls. And if he meets someone who can withstand those patterns of play he simply gets roasted. I would hardly call that chess tennis.

Also I can't understand why you seem happy that mind games and disrupting the opponent are a part of current tennis. This is not boxing.
It is fascinating & thrilling to me. Never been a fan of aces & "lighting" style returns. I like players running, fighting, thinking, suffering. Is it like boxing ? Yes maybe, but what's wrong with staining the game a bit with sweat and tears?
 

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Fast court tennis isn't just aces and lightening style returns. Did you tune into Stepanek vs F, Lopez 2 days ago? Or were you watching claycourt challenger tennis?

Come on, this is a ridiculous remark to make. You cannot simply sum grass and slicker surfaces up as being 'one ball bash' stuff.

The greatest match there has ever been was Nadal vs Federer in 2008, there were exhilarating rallies there and it literally had you gasping.

You can't sum slicker surfaces up as being 'one ball bash' just the same way you can't sum the slower surfaces up as being 'defensive pushing'.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The first goal therefore is finding the right handers backhand with high whipped excessive topspin... the player will try and respond when off-balance with a deep ball but at the cost of sacrificing power. Nadal will then go again to the backhand, this time with heavier whip and it will further draw the opponent out of court, drawing an even weaker reply, he'll keep going to the backhand until he has a really short ball, that the opponent has to guess he is going to their backhand again and move an early move there. Nadal then just goes forehand inside out into the forehand wing. lol

The key to his game is simple on clay, just get the ball onto his forehand asap, so he can start dragging players out of the court by creating angles.

I wouldn't call him a delayed attacker, he's just being aggressive with his forehand into big areas with lots of 'top' (Spin) .. that's working the point/building the point... when he hits the winner, generally it's an easy winner with the player stranded... he attacks from the start with his forehand and just works the opponent around the court.
Why change his game when it's working ? I'm talking of what he has learned to do to adapt in order to win Wimbedon etc? Better service, volley, learning how to conter Djokovic backhand...
 

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Strategy. It's fascinating how the game has become more complex. Some might say that the slowering of surfaces is killing classic tennis, and in a way it is, but what is replacing it is a much more thrilling affair.

I've been watching tournaments, and especially slams for several years now, and I think strategy is becoming the key factor in victory. When two players reach a slam final, it is no longer skills that are in play. There's the physical factor, it's true, but let's assume here both players are more or less able to play the match in tolerable conditions.

I really think that in the longer rallies trend context, what makes the difference is that a true winner has to know how to play mind games, to disrupt his opponent game and adapt his game to the circumtances.

Nadal who many here amazingly see as a low brow drone is one of the best at playing "chesstennis". Federer is a master too. Murray is learning. Djokovic, not so much. The French ? Never.
Yeah, hitting high percentage topspin on slow courts and waiting for your opponent to get impatient takes a genius to develop as a "strategy."
 

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It is fascinating & thrilling to me. Never been a fan of aces & "lighting" style returns. I like players running, fighting, thinking, suffering. Is it like boxing ? Yes maybe, but what's wrong with staining the game a bit with sweat and tears?
You are the type of "fan" that is killing the sport. Please leave and never watch again. The ATP has catered enough to your anti-tennis ways.

Just another Bald fanboy who shows up to bandwagon and gloryhunt whilst pretending to be objective. All hail the true Spartan genius Rafito, true warrior and GOAT. You'll disappear soon enough I'm sure.
 

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"Tennis is chess in the move." Or something like that. Those were the first words of Gagarin (cosmonaut) when he first saw a tennis match. That's what children are taught from the first years-- think one-two-three steps ahead. You've got to be smart to win in tennis.

Tennis on hard might be the classical chess, tennis on grass is blitz. Clay? It's chess without time-limits :rolls: Maybe that's why Rafa has the best result in this type of chess. he does have problem with time. So, it may be not ironic after all that Sharapova became a "clay specialist" too. She also have problem with time :lol:

P.S. I never liked blitz chess :shrug:
 

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It is fascinating & thrilling to me. Never been a fan of aces & "lighting" style returns. I like players running, fighting, thinking, suffering. Is it like boxing ? Yes maybe, but what's wrong with staining the game a bit with sweat and tears?
The thing though is lately with this is that tactics seem to be very repetitive lately -- not so much variety of shots whenever each top player plays, and you could kind of expect what could happen next. I had a poll about "how do you rate these factors and it's important to the match" and many voted mentality with tactics just being 3rd. As seen on the Lopez-Stepanek matches, while they do get free points with serve, you see how varied their shots could be from time to time compared to Clay or Hard court matches. While I like them fighting, I don't like them to suffer -- it would make tennis quite turning into a grueling sport, when IMO it shouldn't be that draining.
 

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There's nothing chesslike just because they play 30+ rallies. In reality, most of those long rallies are utterly boring grindfest, a war of attrition, not of strategy. Once in a blue moon you do actually see a long rally that's actually engaging.
 

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If anything, 20+ shot rallies display a distinct lack of strategy. There's no way a rally should last that long if either player had any intent or tactics behind their shots no matter what surface it's being played on. Look up any of those "spartan" 40 shot rallies and 30 of the shots are a complete waste of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Fast court tennis isn't just aces and lightening style returns. Did you tune into Stepanek vs F, Lopez 2 days ago? Or were you watching claycourt challenger tennis?

Come on, this is a ridiculous remark to make. You cannot simply sum grass and slicker surfaces up as being 'one ball bash' stuff.

The greatest match there has ever been was Nadal vs Federer in 2008, there were exhilarating rallies there and it literally had you gasping.

You can't sum slicker surfaces up as being 'one ball bash' just the same way you can't sum the slower surfaces up as being 'defensive pushing'.
Fast surfaces were slowed because technology was permitting more and more of this "lighting" games. I never said it the was the norm. Wimbledon 2008 was a already a slowed surface.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If anything, 20+ shot rallies display a distinct lack of strategy. There's no way a rally should last that long if either player had any intent or tactics behind their shots no matter what surface it's being played on. Look up any of those "spartan" 40 shot rallies and 30 of the shots are a complete waste of time.
Were was I talking of 40+ more shots? Do you see Nadal or Djokovic (the greatest defender) engaging now in these endless rallies ? Very rarely. They wait until they have the opportunity to kill the point. You might find this "stalking" boring or uninspired, I love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You are the type of "fan" that is killing the sport. Please leave and never watch again. The ATP has catered enough to your anti-tennis ways.

Just another Bald fanboy who shows up to bandwagon and gloryhunt whilst pretending to be objective. All hail the true Spartan genius Rafito, true warrior and GOAT. You'll disappear soon enough I'm sure.
The sport is evolving regardless of your opinion or mine, as all pro sports have. Do you suggest going back to wooden rackets?
 

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Were was I talking of 40+ more shots? Do you see Nadal or Djokovic (the greatest defender) engaging now in these endless rallies ? Very rarely. They wait until they have the opportunity to kill the point. You might find this "stalking" boring or uninspired, I love it.
I was just elaborating on orange's point rather than your OP specifically. In any case, Djokovic and Nadal are definitely guilty of engaging in rallies which have an inflated shot count. Murray and Djokovic is the absolute worse though, along with Simon and Monfils.
 
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