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Who is the most clutch player on tour?

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No1e or Isner
 

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Ferrer's form is poor. But when he is (was) in form, despite his lack of natural ability, players struggled like hell to beat him because he got everything back and was very tough in the big moments.
Ferrer is mentally tough against "inferior" players and extremely weak against top players.
 

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No Kei in the poll :confused:, he is mentally strong just physically weak.
He is underrated in this department. Many players can play lightsout to earn an set but he generally responds very well and his opponents know they have to keep with him in level for the final set. I've seen players scoring a third set break against him yet fail to win. I've also seen him reign in his game just pts from defeat or losing a set. More than once he has not given his opponents a sniff of MP two pts from losing. Against the top players not easy but his clutchness seems quite sustainable hence his top 5 status.
 

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Qualitatively speaking, Clutchner is a good mention, I think. He's a much more limited player than some other nominees, but man does he play with brass balls in big situations.

Kei, meanwhile, notches another win to his deciding set record. Unreal.
 

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Qualitatively speaking, Clutchner is a good mention, I think. He's a much more limited player than some other nominees, but man does he play with brass balls in big situations.

Kei, meanwhile, notches another win to his deciding set record. Unreal.
How much of his clutch play is a direct result of his ridiculous serve though? It's much easier for him to save match points by firing bombs on the serve compared to someone like Nishikori who doesn't have a big serve or large margins on his strokes.
 
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Qualitatively speaking, Clutchner is a good mention, I think. He's a much more limited player than some other nominees, but man does he play with brass balls in big situations.

Kei, meanwhile, notches another win to his deciding set record. Unreal.
How much of his clutch play is a direct result of his ridiculous serve though? It's much easier for him to save match points by firing bombs on the serve compared to someone like Nishikori who doesn't have a big serve or large margins on his strokes.
I have to agree. If you serve out of a tree of course more likely than not you'll win the point, even be it it's saving a BP. I also see Raonic 1st serve saving BPs in similar fashion (and really paints the lines). Going down further in height. Others won't get the same luxury. Thus why Federer's serve is so impressive, not nearly as tall as Isner comes at good moments when he needs and add in his volleys. But I suppose you could say Isner is clutch on the reliability of his serve when he needs to. Karlovic not nearly as clutch loses a lot of TBs.
 

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How much of his clutch play is a direct result of his ridiculous serve though? It's much easier for him to save match points by firing bombs on the serve compared to someone like Nishikori who doesn't have a big serve or large margins on his strokes.
I have to agree. If you serve out of a tree of course more likely than not you'll win the point, even be it it's saving a BP. I also see Raonic 1st serve saving BPs in similar fashion (and really paints the lines). Going down further in height. Others won't get the same luxury. Thus why Federer's serve is so impressive, not nearly as tall as Isner comes at good moments when he needs and add in his volleys. But I suppose you could say Isner is clutch on the reliability of his serve when he needs to. Karlovic not nearly as clutch loses a lot of TBs.
I doubt it's exactly "easy" for anyone to bomb second serves North of 115 in pressure situations, even Isner, but he goes for it. It's also more than just the serve, which is why I said qualitatively because ymmv, but I think anyone who's seen a few Isner TB's could attest to his inexplicable ability to start returning better, sustaining points a bit more, or coming up with some ridiculous gets at net in tight situations.

But anyway, are we supposed to penalize him for having a weapon as a serve? It's not like he or Raonic can pull through TB's with that alone. If Kei is better off the ground, and he is, then it should balance out. They aren't exactly the world's best returners, but they can get it done, which is not necessarily true for every guy with the "luxury" of a big serve.
 

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I doubt it's exactly "easy" for anyone to bomb second serves North of 115 in pressure situations, even Isner, but he goes for it. It's also more than just the serve, which is why I said qualitatively because ymmv, but I think anyone who's seen a few Isner TB's could attest to his inexplicable ability to start returning better, sustaining points a bit more, or coming up with some ridiculous gets at net in tight situations.

But anyway, are we supposed to penalize him for having a weapon as a serve? It's not like he or Raonic can pull through TB's with that alone. If Kei is better off the ground, and he is, then it should balance out. They aren't exactly the world's best returners, but they can get it done, which is not necessarily true for every guy with the "luxury" of a big serve.
Ok good pt there. They make it look easy, that's for sure. I think Isner's TB success has a lot to do with opponents getting nervous on their own serves. Knowing how he can get free pts, the opponent feels a lot of pressure if they don't get a first serve or make a random UE, so Isner thinks "I should swing freely if I get the chance on a second serve, charge the net etc". That's a good tactic and he really gave Johnson nightmares in that TB. But it is more 'lottery' for people trying to win points against big servers than 'normal' servers. So I sometimes won't be surprised if a good player, even a top 4 player loses to one of these big servers as luck plays a strong part. For a big server once they get ahead, it's easy for them to relax and swing more freely, the opponent knows he has to keep holding serve. On the other hand the big server can't get complacent when ahead, and a few good returns could flip the switch. Different sorts of pressures.

So I find it admirable when those without such a huge serve as Isner's, or even 'weaker' serves in Nishikori's or Ferrer's are able to get wins over big servers and eek out TBs.
 

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Ok good pt there. They make it look easy, that's for sure. I think Isner's TB success has a lot to do with opponents getting nervous on their own serves. Knowing how he can get free pts, the opponent feels a lot of pressure if they don't get a first serve or make a random UE, so Isner thinks "I should swing freely if I get the chance on a second serve, charge the net etc". That's a good tactic and he really gave Johnson nightmares in that TB. But it is more 'lottery' for people trying to win points against big servers than 'normal' servers. So I sometimes won't be surprised if a good player, even a top 4 player loses to one of these big servers as luck plays a strong part. For a big server once they get ahead, it's easy for them to relax and swing more freely, the opponent knows he has to keep holding serve. On the other hand the big server can't get complacent when ahead, and a few good returns could flip the switch. Different sorts of pressures.

So I find it admirable when those without such a huge serve as Isner's, or even 'weaker' serves in Nishikori's or Ferrer's are able to get wins over big servers and eek out TBs.
Oh for sure that's the gameplan, and it's certainly effective. I just think people tend to underestimate the skill or nerve it has to take for even a great server to maintain strong numbers to and through close matches. Because in some ways, like you said, the script can flip. And suddenly a good return or two increases the stakes of a good first serve from someone like an Isner because you get the sense that he's "in trouble" against better players once the point is underway.

Bear in mind, I'm the one who suggested that Kei should be in this poll anyway, so you won't find me arguing anything there. He is my idea of a clutch player.

Ferrer destructs against top players too often for me to give him the same regard (though I understand that's not the point you were making by mentioning him).
 

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Oh for sure that's the gameplan, and it's certainly effective. I just think people tend to underestimate the skill or nerve it has to take for even a great server to maintain strong numbers to and through close matches. Because in some ways, like you said, the script can flip. And suddenly a good return or two increases the stakes of a good first serve from someone like an Isner because you get the sense that he's "in trouble" against better players once the point is underway.

Bear in mind, I'm the one who suggested that Kei should be in this poll anyway, so you won't find me arguing anything there. He is my idea of a clutch player.

Ferrer destructs against top players too often for me to give him the same regard (though I understand that's not the point you were making by mentioning him).
Exactly. Things can happen so quickly. Often when a big server like Raonic, Karlovic or Isner gets broken, they haven't done anything 'wrong' exactly, just the opponent has a good run at returns forcing errors when the server attempts to come in for a volley, or getting control of the pt through a rally. Because just as fast as a serve can be delivered, the return can come back just as fast. But I suppose big servers tend to maintain really good service percentages in matches. Isner's first serve is typically in the 70% range and sometimes more. You'd call that a very good percentage for any player but a serve as good as Isner's makes breaking such a difficulty. But as we said, there is bound to be a game where the server doesn't quite hit the spots as accurately or miss their first serves more than usual if you do wait long enough.
 

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Federer. He never double faulted up 5-2 in the 4th set tiebreak trying to win his first Wimbledon title. He's the guy who hits ridiculous backhand passes down match point.

I have to say, Djokovic has become mentally tough, so it's debatable between those two.

The rest aren't even worth mentioning.
 

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Djokovic's been really clutch this year. There've been many times he's saved break points in crucial moments that could have changed a lot of his matches significantly.
 

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Djokovic's been really clutch this year. There've been many times he's saved break points in crucial moments that could have changed a lot of his matches significantly.
Although that IW F 2nd set TB was rather horrific moment of choking. 3 DFs from 5-2 up.
 

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Although that IW F 2nd set TB was rather horrific moment of choking. 3 DFs from 5-2 up.
Wimbledon final 2nd set comes to mind as well.

Till 2014 it was Nadal by far, nowadays it's Kei for me. Isner is clutch mainly because of his serve, Djokovic has been very clutch sometimes but he has also lost a set from winning position, it's easier for him being so above the rest. Although he's the best in recovering from the lost set, it's remarkable how calmly and intently he plays the next set after losing the previous tight one.
 
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