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Here is a video that shows a little of what he does that get's guys so uncomfortable and causes them to miss so often. I especially like the last point because it shows within an eight shot rally what he can do to never let you get comfortable and makes it so difficult for his opponent to really get offensive at times.

 

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The "Dull" for nadal is not because of this.
He hits lots of winners, he's not primarily a defensive player, like Djok is,.

Dull is simply because of Dal. Very easy for those who can't think of a proper perjorative term.
Demonstrably false as Djokovic is very often the aggressor in Djokodal matches.

Looking at the stats in their head-to-head Slam matches (which Nadal leads 10-7 as his fans will remind us), Djokovic has hit nearly 20% more winners and has played 70% more net points than Nadal

Match
Djokovic winners (FH/BH)
Djokovic net points
Nadal winners (FH/BH)
Nadal net points
2006 FO QF22 (13/7)10/1316 (13/1)2/3
2007 FO SF26 (16/7)23/3233 (25/5)7/13
2008 Wim SF6 (2/2)5/910 (6/2)4/6
2008 FO SF34 (19/13)30/4424 (19/5)17/22
2010 USO F40 (25/10)29/4541 (21/12)15/18
2011 Wim F26 (16/3)21/2720 (10/5)7/11
2011 USO F46 (26/13)31/4931 (21/8)17/23
2012 AO F57 (32/11)18/2353 (25/7)16/16
2012 FO F40 (22/12)23/2933 (25/3)12/18
2013 FO SF59 (31/17)22/3358 (36/13)8/13
2013 USO F43 (24/12)14/2128 (19/7)11/11
2014 FO F43 (21/11)14/2143 (30/9)12/17
2015 FO QF46 (25/17)23/2716 (6/5)12/18
2018 Wim SF73 (26/19)33/4472 (42/18)41/56
2019 AO F34 (13/12)13/1420 (12/4)8/11
2020 FO F36 (20/15)17/2430 (17/9)6/14
2021 FO SF50 (29/15)28/4443 (33/4)17/24
Total681 (360/196)354/499 (70.9%)571 (360/117)212/294 (72.1%)

Sources to the numbers are linked in the table
 

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Demonstrably false as Djokovic is very often the aggressor in Djokodal matches.

Looking at the stats in their head-to-head Slam matches (which Nadal leads 10-7 as his fans will remind us), Djokovic has hit nearly 20% more winners and has played 70% more net points than Nadal

Match
Djokovic winners (FH/BH)
Djokovic net points
Nadal winners (FH/BH)
Nadal net points
2006 FO QF22 (13/7)10/1316 (13/1)2/3
2007 FO SF26 (16/7)23/3233 (25/5)7/13
2008 Wim SF6 (2/2)5/910 (6/2)4/6
2008 FO SF34 (19/13)30/4424 (19/5)17/22
2010 USO F40 (25/10)29/4541 (21/12)15/18
2011 Wim F26 (16/3)21/2720 (10/5)7/11
2011 USO F46 (26/13)31/4931 (21/8)17/23
2012 AO F57 (32/11)18/2353 (25/7)16/16
2012 FO F40 (22/12)23/2933 (25/3)12/18
2013 FO SF59 (31/17)22/3358 (36/13)8/13
2013 USO F43 (24/12)14/2128 (19/7)11/11
2014 FO F43 (21/11)14/2143 (30/9)12/17
2015 FO QF46 (25/17)23/2716 (6/5)12/18
2018 Wim SF73 (26/19)33/4472 (42/18)41/56
2019 AO F34 (13/12)13/1420 (12/4)8/11
2020 FO F36 (20/15)17/2430 (17/9)6/14
2021 FO SF50 (29/15)28/4443 (33/4)17/24
Total681 (360/196)354/499 (70.9%)571 (360/117)212/294 (72.1%)

Sources to the numbers are linked in the table
Would like to see the response from extreme Nadal tards on that, because often they mention how (unlike Nadal) Djokovic is always passive and boring. And here we are with clear proof who is the most passive/defensive of Big3
 

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Would like to see the response from extreme Nadal tards on that, because often they mention how (unlike Nadal) Djokovic is always passive and boring. And here we are with clear proof who is the most passive/defensive of Big3
i don't think this is convincing enough fort Roxitova, we need stronger arguments.
 

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I feel like most people have trouble understanding what truly sets him apart. Out of all the replies this one comes closest.

His ability to absorb his opponents shots in a way that completely neutralizes the point and allows him to return to central position as you say is key here. How exactly he does this is the billion dollar question and the answer lies in his forehand (surprise). A well played, offensive shot by a player which would always push back the opponent gets returned by Djokovic wether he is in position or not, no matter how uncomfortable he is, he will not be pushed back because he is able to hit take the ball early AND put some topspin on it to lay it deep at his opponents feet without the ball going out all the time. Mind you getting the ball over the net is usually the best most players can do in this situation but Djoko actually manages to turn it into an offensive shot. Most players have trouble doing this in a neutral rally let alone when returning to central position from either the left or right side of the court like Djokovic does all the time. You can find most examples of it during USO where Federer and a few others were able to bring out the best in him in this regard.

All his other strengths are just complementing this aspect of his game. His returns are worldclass (not as good as Murray though) which prevent him from gettin botted out of a tournament in the early stages. His stamina is unmatched, he can probably outlast any other player so the longer the match goes on the higher his chances of winning. He can hit angles when he goes for them but he rarely has to as most players just dont have a complete enough game to blast through him for 5 sets. Same goes for his netplay, a useful tool to have which he had to develop but does not have to rely on. Shortening points is only necessary to conserve stamina as far as he is concerned.

Lastly, going for the margin shots works so well for him because most (offensive) players have a clear recognizable weakness on either the forehand or backhand side which can be exploited, whereas Djokovic will be a consistent robot with almost zero errors on his forehand or backhand.
Got some of it right but not this:


View attachment 367898
 

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Djokovic just runs, stretches and pushes.
If you do that well enough, you extend the point until your opponent makes an error.
He doesn't really have a tennis 'game', he just uses his gymnastic ability.
That's why he'll never be considered a great "tennis player" in the truest sense.
 

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Djokovic just runs, stretches and pushes.
If you do that well enough, you extend the point until your opponent makes an error.
He doesn't really have a tennis 'game', he just uses his gymnastic ability.
That's why he'll never be considered a great "tennis player" in the truest sense.
So, how do you explain the stats bellow? 🤔

Demonstrably false as Djokovic is very often the aggressor in Djokodal matches.

Looking at the stats in their head-to-head Slam matches (which Nadal leads 10-7 as his fans will remind us), Djokovic has hit nearly 20% more winners and has played 70% more net points than Nadal

Match
Djokovic winners (FH/BH)
Djokovic net points
Nadal winners (FH/BH)
Nadal net points
2006 FO QF22 (13/7)10/1316 (13/1)2/3
2007 FO SF26 (16/7)23/3233 (25/5)7/13
2008 Wim SF6 (2/2)5/910 (6/2)4/6
2008 FO SF34 (19/13)30/4424 (19/5)17/22
2010 USO F40 (25/10)29/4541 (21/12)15/18
2011 Wim F26 (16/3)21/2720 (10/5)7/11
2011 USO F46 (26/13)31/4931 (21/8)17/23
2012 AO F57 (32/11)18/2353 (25/7)16/16
2012 FO F40 (22/12)23/2933 (25/3)12/18
2013 FO SF59 (31/17)22/3358 (36/13)8/13
2013 USO F43 (24/12)14/2128 (19/7)11/11
2014 FO F43 (21/11)14/2143 (30/9)12/17
2015 FO QF46 (25/17)23/2716 (6/5)12/18
2018 Wim SF73 (26/19)33/4472 (42/18)41/56
2019 AO F34 (13/12)13/1420 (12/4)8/11
2020 FO F36 (20/15)17/2430 (17/9)6/14
2021 FO SF50 (29/15)28/4443 (33/4)17/24
Total681 (360/196)354/499 (70.9%)571 (360/117)212/294 (72.1%)

Sources to the numbers are linked in the table
 

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Demonstrably false as Djokovic is very often the aggressor in Djokodal matches.

Looking at the stats in their head-to-head Slam matches (which Nadal leads 10-7 as his fans will remind us), Djokovic has hit nearly 20% more winners and has played 70% more net points than Nadal
The funny thing is you don't even need a table or even to watch the match, at this point that's just common sense, no player can afford to be passive against Nadal and just stand there, ofc that's almost guaranteed loss
 

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The reason is the one that many have probably already mentioned. He forces you to do more in every aspect of the game (thus, going out of the comfort zone). You need to serve better, return better, hit your winners closer to the lines, move better around the court etc.. and this is when a player will either go all-out Wawrinka style or start to crumble due to excessive errors.
 

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Djokovic just runs, stretches and pushes.
If you do that well enough, you extend the point until your opponent makes an error.
He doesn't really have a tennis 'game', he just uses his gymnastic ability.
That's why he'll never be considered a great "tennis player" in the truest sense.
that is exactly what nadal did while he still could + he had monstrously big muscles at one point that disappeared with time.
 

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Also Djokovic is great at depth of shot. He is able to hit forehand and backhands some MM from the baseline.
 

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Djokovic just runs, stretches and pushes.
If you do that well enough, you extend the point until your opponent makes an error.
He doesn't really have a tennis 'game', he just uses his gymnastic ability.
That's why he'll never be considered a great "tennis player" in the truest sense.
That ‘gymnast’ that has no real tennis game also leading in this category too w/ no Fedal to b found anywhere in top 5: https://www.menstennisforums.com/attachments/1626899262923-png.367898/
 

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Here is a video that shows a little of what he does that get's guys so uncomfortable and causes them to miss so often. I especially like the last point because it shows within an eight shot rally what he can do to never let you get comfortable and makes it so difficult for his opponent to really get offensive at times.

Wow, what an in-depth, knowledgeable analysis. Very, very impressed. Don't miss the Part 2 as well:


To a casual fan, it may appear that somehow, magically, Djokovic's opponents simply play bad (or, much worse than they have been playing in the previous rounds).

It takes a professional analysis like in the two videos above to really appreciate the little details of his game that force his opponents to "play bad".

His analysis of Djokovic-Nadal FO semi this year are also outstanding:

 

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Demonstrably false as Djokovic is very often the aggressor in Djokodal matches.

Looking at the stats in their head-to-head Slam matches (which Nadal leads 10-7 as his fans will remind us), Djokovic has hit nearly 20% more winners and has played 70% more net points than Nadal

Sources to the numbers are linked in the table
Yes, Djokovic is almost always the aggressor against Nadal, Beijing 2013 and Doha 2015 he was ruthless, absolutely blowing Nadal off the court.
Also the first two sets at the AO 2016 vs Fed were incredible by Djokovic.

Which makes it such a shame that he's just a passive pusher in 90% of his matches.😑
 

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If someone check Novak's progress over the years one thing is noticeable - he is still improving an building more strengths, much more then anyone else in the field. To be able to do that there is one serious precondition - basic technique must be perfect. So over the years he improved his backhand slice, his net play, his service etc... each of these steps gave him more depth in his game and opened new path toward further progress; which he follows systematically. It is not any more important what kind of player he is facing since in his arsenal he has all tools to unlock and find a way - which is exactly what he does non stop. Once he figures you - if you do not improve further and bring something new it is game over...

Of course second area is mental qualities - he is working on that area tremendously even if his natural strength on that field was way above even top players from the beginning.

And voila you have perfect tennis machine that will destroy you on the court if he has enough time to executes and try all weapons he poses.
 

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Yes, Djokovic is almost always the aggressor against Nadal, Beijing 2013 and Doha 2015 he was ruthless, absolutely blowing Nadal off the court.
Also the first two sets at the AO 2016 vs Fed were incredible by Djokovic.
2019 AO final against Nadal was top notch stuff too
 

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Discussion Starter · #138 ·
Thanks for all the great answers! Certainly helped me see more of the magic that is happening.
I've also found something else that has barely been mentioned here:
Djokovic' ability to change direction of the ball with accuracy. In tennis, it's a lot easier to hit the ball back the way it's coming to you - if it's a cross court, it's more natural to answer cross, if it's a down the line, it's easier to answer down the line our through the middle instead of a cross.
Djokovic seemingly doesn't care about that, for him, changing the direction in baseline rallies is almost as accurate and a high percentage play as answering with the same ball. The only other player that is about as good as djokovic on that might be medvedev.
 

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In one simple sentence: consistent deep quick and well angled hitting off both sides.
 
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