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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I believe that in today's game, footwork is potentially the biggest difference-maker in terms of separating the elite from the rest of the pack. Having sharp footwork, especially given the slowness of most courts today, puts players in the correct positions to hit the shots they want to, on balance and in control of their bodies and contact points, ultimately giving players better control of where they direct their shots, more power on their groundstrokes, with less risk of missing and putting themselves in better position for returning shots in a rally. Having good footwork allows a player to explode into the ball offensively more fluidly and easily, and makes it easier to absorb the pace of your opponent, for counter-punching purposes, in a neutral rally or if you're on the defense.

The reason I ask this is because watching the Golubev vs Djokovic match, the difference in footwork was night and day. Golubev has all the power in the world, but Djokovic could easily move Golubev out of position and blunt his power. Golubev would end up hitting an error in these positions when stretched out, as he doesn't have the footwork to set himself up and get in position when not able to stand flat-footed and throw himself into a ball. Whereas Djokovic's footwork gives him so many options, both offensively and defensively. Djokovic is able to hit powerful, deep shots from defensive positions because his footwork is so crisp and cat-like quick.

Anyway, to get to it, which players do you all believe have the best AND worst footwork in the game? Do you think some players who have elite clay footwork aren't as good with their HC footwork, and vise versa? Do you think some players have a proficiency for moving on grass that separates them from others? Do you consider some of the players with poor footwork lazy, or is it because they just happen to be big and/or slow? Answer up and give your reasons why you selected the players you chose for both categories.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Del Potro and Davydenko can't move on grass at all. There are so many different aspects of this it's not funny. Other surfaces del Po moves well for his size.

Roddick can't move on clay he looks like a rhino on ice skates.

Some guys just can't defend and their footwork sucks in that regard this would be Almagro, Verdasco and Giraldo.

Isner for his size is a very good mover, whereas Karlovic isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think there is a difference between movement and footwork. Blake has excellent speed, but I think his footwork overall is average. I know it's WTA but Serena Williams is/was sort of the same way. Tons of natural speed, but bad footwork. You can be fast yet not have the footwork to actually take advantage of that. Monfils I don't think has great footwork, because he gets knocked off balance quite often from the baseline, plus he uses his movement in a defensive way. On the flip-side, Berdych isn't the fastest of players, but when he's playing well he's got great footwork and that gives him the ability to hit his clean groundstrokes.

Then you have guys like Roddick who aren't that fast and that shows up in their footwork as well.

I know that there are so many aspects that come with it, though.
 

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Ferrer has excellent footwork. It's how he is able to use his smaller frame to get behind many of his shots and push larger players with more power around the court.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Federer at his peak was brilliant. Monfils just doesn't know what game to play and has poor footwork.

The guys I said before all have poor footwork in their own way, you can tell how they hit the ball when they aren't set.

Ferrer even he defends has excellent footwork. Djokovic is solid.
 

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Best- Federer, Ferrer, Djokovic
Worst- Verdasco/ Roddick period, Almagro off clay, Davydenko on bad days just lets balls land right at his feet and mishits them to Antartica but can be one of best when on

Karlovic is shit, but what do you expect and volley footwork is solid, Isner is amazing for height
 

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Monfils has poor offensive footwork.
 

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there is a difference between offensive footwork and defensive footwork. Davydenko has great offensive footwork but isn't as sharp defensively. Nadal has great defensive footwork, while Federer uses more offensive footwork.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Gimeno-Traver has awful footwork on his backhand side. He doesn't stay down on the ball or generate enough racquet head speed. It doesn't help when he isn't in position to hit the ball.

Dolgopolov has excellent footwork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Agree on Dolgo, AJ. He's got really quick feet and he takes the little steps to get to the ball; you can hear his shoes when he plays. Ferrer, Djokovic and Nadal come to mind in that regard. That's a good sign. I think Rafa's footwork gets sloppy, though.

Fish has disastrous footwork on his forehand when he's tight, when conditions aren't favorable and/or playing poorly, but his backhand footwork is textbook.

My guy Volandri has awesome footwork on clay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When Nalbandian is in shape and motivated, he's another guy with great offensive footwork and underrated defensive footwork as well.
 

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Mikey Russell, Björn Phau and Ferrero at his peak very good footwork as well. Melzer is underrented when it comes to good footwork.

The Fog is an example of a very fast player but very lazy.

Monfils best footwork comes on the dancefloor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I definitely agree about Ferrero, he really has strong footwork, even to this day, although not as good as it once was. I love the way he moves into position and sets to hit backhands. That reminds me of Moya, his feet would look glued to the floor hitting backhands but his forehand footwork was so sharp, how he would run around backhands from positions most wouldn't believe possible. I also think Seppi has very good footwork most of the time.

I disagree about Bjorn, though, he's ultra fast but I think his footwork gets lazy too often. The fast guys can rely on their speed too much to bail them out. Of course Fabio is just lazy-acting with everything he does on court.
 

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What does underrented mean? :sobbing:

Federer's footwork is a joy to watch
 

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Tipsarevic has good footwork. Positions himself very nicely to crack his forehand. Sets his base well and explodes.
 

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I think you guys are remembering the Fed footwork of five years ago. Nowadays he shanks off of both sides due to lazy footwork.
Tomic has really lazy foot work for someone so young.
 
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