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As the final is approaching and the chance that these two will face each other once again is kinda high in my opinion...im trying to riddle out the djoker problem for rafa....my understanding of this is:

1) Novak does greater damage off the return than rafa
2) When the get stuck into novak's bh to rafa fh rallies...rafa sometimes leaves the ball short when he goes cross court with his fh..and djoker punishes him with the bh down the line

What can rafa do?? Has anyone caught a weakness of novak's game?? Any ideas?

1) I was thinking rafa try bh to novak's fh...and this could be nice because...if nadal gets a chance to convert one of those bh to a fh...he can start to control the point...only thing to worry about is...novak has an amazing running fh....if u give a cross court angle to work with...he finds it very well.....
2) Another thing he can do is slice to novak's fh...as an aggressive slice...if it stays low and if novak has to dig it out cross court...he can use a fh next...his slice down the line is shit...lol...so that wouldn't work
3) But lastly he needs to change direction A LOT....ive seen him do it a couple of times this tournament with his bh....but rafa needs to be confident for that....so he should definitely use his fh down the line....like he did in that 3rd set in USO...shouldn't stay fh to novak's bh for too long...problem is rafa thinks he's in control of that point...but loses a lot of them...again...novak finds that wicked angle in that running fh...but i think he does it more if it comes form a cross court...down the should do the trick
 

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Nadal simply has no weapons to hurt Djokovic.

Oh and Nadal won't make the finals anyway.
 

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As the final is approaching and the chance that these two will face each other once again is kinda high in my opinion...im trying to riddle out the djoker problem for rafa....my understanding of this is:

1) Novak does greater damage off the return than rafa
2) When the get stuck into novak's bh to rafa fh rallies...rafa sometimes leaves the ball short when he goes cross court with his fh..and djoker punishes him with the bh down the line

What can rafa do?? Has anyone caught a weakness of novak's game?? Any ideas?

1) I was thinking rafa try bh to novak's fh...and this could be nice because...if nadal gets a chance to convert one of those bh to a fh...he can start to control the point...only thing to worry about is...novak has an amazing running fh....if u give a cross court angle to work with...he finds it very well.....
2) Another thing he can do is slice to novak's fh...as an aggressive slice...if it stays low and if novak has to dig it out cross court...he can use a fh next...his slice down the line is shit...lol...so that wouldn't work
3) But lastly he needs to change direction A LOT....ive seen him do it a couple of times this tournament with his bh....but rafa needs to be confident for that....so he should definitely use his fh down the line....like he did in that 3rd set in USO...shouldn't stay fh to novak's bh for too long...problem is rafa thinks he's in control of that point...but loses a lot of them...again...novak finds that wicked angle in that running fh...but i think he does it more if it comes form a cross court...down the should do the trick
1) Are you kidding? He's tried that & got slaughtered. Djoker hits a far heavier ball & gets far cuter angles on his forehand than Nadull on his backhand. It's a no contest.

2) Nadal's slice is shit, period. Djoker will just keep the rally going until the inevitable short ball from Nadal.

3) That would help but Nadal doesn't have the talent to change direction routinely, & he leaves himself exposed on his backhand side, or to a wrong-footing riposte down the line, if Djoker gets to the ball, which he often does.
 

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He will have to Start da Game strong, and finish stronger. If he Starts da Game poorly, Djokovic will steamroll him.

I'm not so sure that will be the final though.
 

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Nadull is a one trick pony. He is the disease of tennis
Novak possesses the anti-dote.
 

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Nadal would need to change something. His style just gets beaten back at him by Nole. Maybe try hitting flatter in those FH to BH rallies to Nole can't completely dictate with his backhand?
 
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if the RoS was such a big deal why was nadal such a good matchup against agassi

i think djokovic's speed and agility is what makes him able to stay with nadal
 

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Nadal is a very "aura" kind of player. Djokovic always had the game to beat Nadal (is not a bad matchup to Nadal the way Federer is) but was always scared of this aura. Djokovic isn't scared of Nadal anymore and now Nadal needs to find a way to make Djokovic scared again because there is nothing in his arsenal right now that can hurt Djokovic.
 

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From my perspective, Djokovic has always been a tough match-up for Nadal in terms of their game-styles. Djokovic is very strong off both wings, and he can defend just about anything thrown at him, and his ROS is one of the best in the game. Perhaps in the past, Nadal took advantage of Djokovic that faced inner demons and was physically and mentally frail. You could really notice this on clay more than anything. At the moment, Djokovic has the upper hand in the match-up, as he made gradual improvements in fitness, serve and mental strength to push him over the edge. But this obviously doesn't mean Nadal will lose every match to him, he just needs to adjust and find solutions.

It is fair to say that Nole pretty much has all the answers for Rafa; all of Rafa's weapons don't hurt Nole too much. Nole doesn't struggle with high kicking topspin shots, extreme angles and long rallies. In contrast, Djokovic has the ability to change directions of the ball at will and hit on the rise consistently a la Nalbandian or Davydenko and this gives Nadal tons of headache. Moreover, Djokovic has the ability to crush CC backhands, so if Nadal tries to change the CC backhand to forehand rally, Djokovic keeps drilling the BH CC all day and in the process hurt Nadal due to the mechanics of his forehand (often leading to short and weak replies). However, if he doesn't try to change the direction on the ball, he is at a severe disadvantage against the fast improving Djokovic's forehand. Basically his game matches up well against Nadal and he's not afraid of him.

Now, there are obvious adjustments that Nadal can make, such as forehand down the line, cross court backhand. Djokovic seems to struggle against opponents that have a more varied game and a more all-court game if you like. Nadal can’t match Federer with regards to pure shot- making but I am sure he has taken some notice of things that Federer had relative success with when he’s playing Nole. For instance, Djokovic loves rhythm and Nadal seemed happy to oblige it, whereas Federer starved Djokovic any ryhthm (particularly evidenced in RG Semi 11'). But even more importantly, it’s the sliced serve out wide. Nadal is not maximising the lefty advantage, by employing a good lefty serve out wide on the ad court. The slider out wide would at least take Novak out of position enough to set up the lefty 1-2 combo.

Plenty of people have been stating he just needs to flatten out his strokes. It is definitely not as simple as that. Too many so called tennis analysts are programmed to say the same thing e.g. be more aggressive, flatten it out. Remember, Djokovic feeds on pace and redirects shots with ease. Ironically, I have noticed that Rafa having more success when his forehand is loopier and hits with less pace. It actually helped him open up the court and use his DTL forehand as a result. In a nutshell, Rafa has to employ more variation, more angles on his slider out wide, changes of pace and finish point at the net when the chance arises. But, realistically speaking, Rafa has to hope for Djoko's level to drop and/or someone else to take him out in slams.
 

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Nadal is not maximising the lefty advantage, by employing a good lefty serve out wide on the ad court. The slider out wide would at least take Novak out of position enough to set up the lefty 1-2 combo.
Nadal does use this against Djoker, it's just that Djoker's backhand return is so good he can still get it back deep and/or to Nadal's backhand.
 

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Nadal does use this against Djoker, it's just that Djoker's backhand return is so good he can still get it back deep and/or to Nadal's backhand.

I have seen Belluci and Lopez effectively take Novak out of the court with very tactic, and it was very effective weapon against Novak. Especially Belluci, Djokovic failed to make an impression on the return until very late in the second set.

I understand that this is somewhat of a conundrum and it means targeting Nole's stronger wing but its not like Rafa is stacked with lots of choices. Djokovic will get there obviously, but at least in my IMO this will ensure he is not consistently on the defensive when the points starts.
 

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The real adjustment Rafa needs to make is improve that shitty serve of his, and from what I've seen so far in the tournament, he hasn't improved it much if at all. Djokobiv improved his serve, now it's Rafa's turn to try and improve his serve.

Also, for the first time in a long time I'm actually nervous about a Rafa vs Federer match up.
 

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Win the cointoss.
 
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1. Strong serving like the U.S. Open 2010 final.
2. His backhand needs to get better, hasn't been as good as say 2008. So he'll need to not only go cross court, but down the line as well.
3. He'll need to go down the line a lot more with his forehand.

He basically needs to find ways to stretch out Djokovic, if not, Djokovic will eat him up again in a typical 4 set win.
 

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Nadal of course has the weapons. he just needs to hit harder with the backhand and stop the tendancy he has to just loop the backhand back into play.

he needs to display more variety, and 100% needs to approach the net more often. finish points at the net. a lot. Nadal has great touch and assuming his 2010 serve does not return he will need to finish points quickly rather than Djokovic get into the groove.

just hit flatter with the backhand, approach the net plenty, and make sure not to stay far behind the baseline and Nadal can beat Djokovic. simple as that
 

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djokovic does everything better that nadal does.

/thread
DJokovic = worse at the net/volleying skills than Nadal //// worse forehand /// overall worse stamina/strength.

Nadal can potentially serve better than Novak too, but that is when his serve is at 2010 level.

Djokovic has better flexibility but contrary to popular belief, Nadal definitely has a physical advantage. bad training scheduling resulted in him fading away in US OPEN 2011 but in general and as of now Nadal is still probably the fittest guy on tour next to Federer
 

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As the final is approaching and the chance that these two will face each other once again is kinda high in my opinion...im trying to riddle out the djoker problem for rafa....my understanding of this is:

1) Novak does greater damage off the return than rafa
2) When the get stuck into novak's bh to rafa fh rallies...rafa sometimes leaves the ball short when he goes cross court with his fh..and djoker punishes him with the bh down the line

What can rafa do?? Has anyone caught a weakness of novak's game?? Any ideas?

1) I was thinking rafa try bh to novak's fh...and this could be nice because...if nadal gets a chance to convert one of those bh to a fh...he can start to control the point...only thing to worry about is...novak has an amazing running fh....if u give a cross court angle to work with...he finds it very well.....
2) Another thing he can do is slice to novak's fh...as an aggressive slice...if it stays low and if novak has to dig it out cross court...he can use a fh next...his slice down the line is shit...lol...so that wouldn't work
3) But lastly he needs to change direction A LOT....ive seen him do it a couple of times this tournament with his bh....but rafa needs to be confident for that....so he should definitely use his fh down the line....like he did in that 3rd set in USO...shouldn't stay fh to novak's bh for too long...problem is rafa thinks he's in control of that point...but loses a lot of them...again...novak finds that wicked angle in that running fh...but i think he does it more if it comes form a cross court...down the should do the trick
1. That is a poor suggestion as well. Novak's forehand, while not his best side, is certainly a lot better than Nadal's backhand, especially at this point where Nadal is not hitting his backhand as well as 2008-2009. The strategy that has worked for Nadal to get some cheap points, have been Nadal's forehand down the line, not inside out. He needs to know when to pull the trigger as he misses many opportunities from probably a combination of lack of confidence and that it isn't his play style to go for outright winners consistently. Nadal can't be hitting too many inside out forehands, however, because it seems like Djokovic really reads that play and punishes Nadal for camping on his backhand side. All Djokovic does is pull a short cross court forehand, force Nadal to play a weak backhand and then the point is in Novak's complete control.

2. His slice is mediocre at best that is all that needs to be said. Plus, if he follows your advice to force Djokovic to hit his forehand cross court, it is to Nadal's backhand, which again is pretty poor compared to either of Djokovic's wing.

3. Similar to your first point.

Nadal's strategy has to be an aggressive one, and he certainly doesn't seem to have adapted such a strategy at all. The only time in the tournament where he has seemed to do it was in the 4th set against Berdych who was moving like a snail and hitting balls short. He has to flatten his shots out, which again he hasn't done too much of and he certainly won't be able to change overnight. Also attack the Novak's forehand is the way to go, but even then, that is a gamble because it is still Djokovic's forehand after all, which is nothing to laugh at even if it is weaker than his backhand. Also Nadal's serve has to be working, but it hasn't been anywhere as good as it was in the US Open 2010, so throw that out the window, especially right now as his serve has been rather horrendous particularly his second serve which was going around 130 KMH and sitting in the middle of the box...

In short, Nadal really has to be playing a very flawless match all round while Djokovic has to have something attackable. Because the pattern goes like this-

Nadal goes neutral/defensive = Djokovic goes aggressive
Nadal goes offensive = Djokovic goes defensive

..and currently Djokovic's defensive skills are arguably better than Nadal's offensive skills. You see how Novak has been able to draw errors from Nadal or at least force a short ball and to go into offensive mode. Then in terms of Djokovic's offensive skills versus Nadal's defensive skills, I think they are very close to each other, but as they say, fortune favors the brave which is why we see Djokovic coming out on top in their matches.
 
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