Author Topic: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic  (Read 13561 times)

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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #60 on: May 20, 2011, 11:01:46 AM »
There's a lot of factors going into Nadal's BH, some of them could be he's just not trying to use it to full effect but setting up his FH.

In any case it isn't very effective and he needs to get that wing working to full effect.

He has had plenty of chances to put some pace and angles on the BH but perhaps with Nole's great movement it isn't the best shot for Nadal so he doesn't use it that way.

I don't know if it's by Nadal's design or if Nadal just can't get it going.

I do know Nadal's BH isn't producing the shots it can, even on balls that aren't hit hard.

The other point with any hard hitter, Nadal doesn't have the time he needs to get a full swing.
His shot mechanics require him to wind up.

Nadal's movement has to be there, he can't really put everything on the ball unless he he can get to the ball quickly, one of the reasons Davydenko gave him problems with taking the ball early.

Whatever the reason or reasons, I just don't see the BH as working effectively now, give credit to Djokovic for pressuring that wing.
You have effectively summed up the reason the BH isn't working against The Time Stealers.  Other than that, he has no problem making it to the finals......
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Offline falcon

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2011, 11:24:04 AM »
A very good thread indeed. I still need him to get the first serve right, something both MT and I seem to agree on. Its the first serve that helps Rafa to get control. Anyone who hits the ball flat against Rafa is in with a very good chance against him and Nole has seriously improved tremendously. Lets see what the RG clay holds.


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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #62 on: May 20, 2011, 11:42:56 AM »
A very good thread indeed. I still need him to get the first serve right, something both MT and I seem to agree on. Its the first serve that helps Rafa to get control. Anyone who hits the ball flat against Rafa is in with a very good chance against him and Nole has seriously improved tremendously. Lets see what the RG clay holds.
I'm puzzled as to why both his service deliveries haven't been effective against Nole. :confused1:

Something else to take a look at & discuss!!! :))

Does anyone have thoughts as to how Nadal might improve his chances on the BH regardless of the cause?

The first thought that pops into my head is to go DTL and avoid the cross court rallies to Nole's FH until there is enough space to get him on the run.  A few more droppas mixed in might help keep him off balance as well.
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Offline falcon

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #63 on: May 20, 2011, 11:53:49 AM »
A very good thread indeed. I still need him to get the first serve right, something both MT and I seem to agree on. Its the first serve that helps Rafa to get control. Anyone who hits the ball flat against Rafa is in with a very good chance against him and Nole has seriously improved tremendously. Lets see what the RG clay holds.
I'm puzzled as to why both his service deliveries haven't been effective against Nole. :confused1:

Something else to take a look at & discuss!!! :))

Does anyone have thoughts as to how Nadal might improve his chances on the BH regardless of the cause?

The first thought that pops into my head is to go DTL and avoid the cross court rallies to Nole's FH until there is enough space to get him on the run.  A few more droppas mixed in might help keep him off balance as well.


I seriously have no idea, its just not a natural shot. The way he hits the backhand, is really bad on his legs as it is. Check out this one:



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Offline williamchung7

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #64 on: May 20, 2011, 12:13:04 PM »
I have a crazy idea, change to single hand backhand.  :gleam:
Double hand backhand need more movement and reaction time, maybe single hand backhand will work for Nadal.  :rofl_2:
Sorry I am joking.

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #65 on: May 20, 2011, 01:51:20 PM »
A very good thread indeed. I still need him to get the first serve right, something both MT and I seem to agree on. Its the first serve that helps Rafa to get control. Anyone who hits the ball flat against Rafa is in with a very good chance against him and Nole has seriously improved tremendously. Lets see what the RG clay holds.
I'm puzzled as to why both his service deliveries haven't been effective against Nole. :confused1:

Something else to take a look at & discuss!!! :))

Does anyone have thoughts as to how Nadal might improve his chances on the BH regardless of the cause?

The first thought that pops into my head is to go DTL and avoid the cross court rallies to Nole's FH until there is enough space to get him on the run.  A few more droppas mixed in might help keep him off balance as well.


I seriously have no idea, its just not a natural shot. The way he hits the backhand, is really bad on his legs as it is. Check out this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE_RqaEsBiM
Under pressure, he's always played balls off the outside leg.  My knees hurt just watching. :(
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Offline falcon

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #66 on: May 20, 2011, 02:09:45 PM »
A very good thread indeed. I still need him to get the first serve right, something both MT and I seem to agree on. Its the first serve that helps Rafa to get control. Anyone who hits the ball flat against Rafa is in with a very good chance against him and Nole has seriously improved tremendously. Lets see what the RG clay holds.
I'm puzzled as to why both his service deliveries haven't been effective against Nole. :confused1:

Something else to take a look at & discuss!!! :))

Does anyone have thoughts as to how Nadal might improve his chances on the BH regardless of the cause?

The first thought that pops into my head is to go DTL and avoid the cross court rallies to Nole's FH until there is enough space to get him on the run.  A few more droppas mixed in might help keep him off balance as well.


I seriously have no idea, its just not a natural shot. The way he hits the backhand, is really bad on his legs as it is. Check out this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE_RqaEsBiM
Under pressure, he's always played balls off the outside leg.  My knees hurt just watching. :(

That's what the commentator says too: "I wouldn't want to be his ankles"


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Offline jmsx521

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #67 on: May 20, 2011, 08:51:29 PM »
My observation is that, Rome and Madrid had no sun light on the court, and we all know that Nadal plays better on the high heat because the ball bounces higher. (Why Madrid didn't have Nadal playing on a direct sunlight, which favors their player... I don't know. The light was just going away when they were starting.) Notice the Indian Wells final was overcast too. The Miami final did have light, but now Djokovic is to a point where we can say he is playing a better hard court game than Nadal. If both meet at RG on a sunny day, I'd still favor Nadal though. Example is Nadal vs. Gasquet in Rome: they played on the high heat, and the ball was kicking too high for Gasquet to display the same game he displayed agaist Federer.
 
As for the improvement of Djokovic's game, I think his equipment change had to do a lot with it. He obviously wouldn't admit it, because he is under contract. There might be some customization done, aside from just changing to a black body racket, and that customization just nailed it: maybe he was missing that for a long time. When he played with the Wilson the last year he was with it, his results and game weren't bad at all. But we all know how abusive he was to his equipment once he started playing with the white Head. There are changes to his game as it's been noted already, but also notice his swings are not entirely different; instead they are almost identical to the swings he had before when he didn't play that well. With the black racket he hits with more ease too, which means probably the setup or the custom setup is more powerful... and add to that the custom weight balancing, and it seems the missing pieces of his game are in place now. To me it's similar to what Davydenko went through some years ago, when his game skyrocketed even further. It was his equipment change to a more powerful racket in Miami, and his game started talking on all pistons.... And he went on to win the tour finals with some brilliant display of tennis.
 
I also agree that Djokovic's breathing is better, but that might also be due to him using less effort on swinging... and less effort on his swings probably means his racket might be more powerful than before.
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Offline falcon

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #68 on: May 20, 2011, 09:48:39 PM »
^^^ Very interesting observation especially the part where you are comparing his equipment change with that of Denko's. The question however is, if what you say is the reason for his success, is it just a matter of time before he gets back to being his former self on virtue of either players like Murray and Rafa getting 'used' to it (the way people got used to Denko) or will Nole himself fall out of this super track that he is on? Obviously he's not going to keep at it forever, the fall has to come somewhere but what was astonishing was the fact that he wasn't tired at all after the marathon match against Murray. This non-tiredness was totally rafa's domain. The point is how is Rafa going to counter THIS nole?


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Offline Start da Game

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #69 on: May 21, 2011, 01:11:23 PM »
nobody is robbing djokovic of any credit here, monstertruck.........djokovic is doing his business fine and we all appreciate it........at the same time you just fail to see the clear decline in nadal's backhand........

his ineffective backhand has been affecting his overall game because he has no substitute for his forehand and backhand.........others would cover up for it with their aggressive serving but nadal does not have the serve.........

this is not an excuse for his recent defeats.........there is no excuse for his defeats in indian wells, miami, madrid and rome, take my word for it.........he was fully fit to play the matches and was beaten fair and square.........

 
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #70 on: May 21, 2011, 03:56:57 PM »
nobody is robbing djokovic of any credit here, monstertruck.........djokovic is doing his business fine and we all appreciate it........at the same time you just fail to see the clear decline in nadal's backhand........his ineffective backhand has been affecting his overall game because he has no substitute for his forehand and backhand.........others would cover up for it with their aggressive serving but nadal does not have the serve.........

this is not an excuse for his recent defeats.........there is no excuse for his defeats in indian wells, miami, madrid and rome, take my word for it.........he was fully fit to play the matches and was beaten fair and square.........
1.  I didn't see anyone here detracting from Nole's success and apologize if my posts made you think that.

2.  Not a single post in this forum or anywhere else for that matter has described the technical breakdown/decline of Rafa's backhand.  Reason being=  there is none.  It's been observed and summarized by myself and others here that the ineffectiveness of his backhand only occurs when he doesn't have time.  The stroke is basically the same as it ever was.

If you or anyone else would care to detail the mechanics of his BH that are malfunctioning, believe me, I'm all ears.
This is the type of tennis talk I enjoy and can learn from.  Way better than the fanboy chest-thumping.

I look forward to your participation in the RG bracket challenge.  I'm sure you'll find the cahoneys to play this year.... :\
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 04:04:45 PM by monstertruck »
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #71 on: May 21, 2011, 04:02:28 PM »
My observation is that, Rome and Madrid had no sun light on the court, and we all know that Nadal plays better on the high heat because the ball bounces higher. (Why Madrid didn't have Nadal playing on a direct sunlight, which favors their player... I don't know. The light was just going away when they were starting.) Notice the Indian Wells final was overcast too. The Miami final did have light, but now Djokovic is to a point where we can say he is playing a better hard court game than Nadal. If both meet at RG on a sunny day, I'd still favor Nadal though. Example is Nadal vs. Gasquet in Rome: they played on the high heat, and the ball was kicking too high for Gasquet to display the same game he displayed agaist Federer.
 
As for the improvement of Djokovic's game, I think his equipment change had to do a lot with it. He obviously wouldn't admit it, because he is under contract. There might be some customization done, aside from just changing to a black body racket, and that customization just nailed it: maybe he was missing that for a long time. When he played with the Wilson the last year he was with it, his results and game weren't bad at all. But we all know how abusive he was to his equipment once he started playing with the white Head. There are changes to his game as it's been noted already, but also notice his swings are not entirely different; instead they are almost identical to the swings he had before when he didn't play that well. With the black racket he hits with more ease too, which means probably the setup or the custom setup is more powerful... and add to that the custom weight balancing, and it seems the missing pieces of his game are in place now. To me it's similar to what Davydenko went through some years ago, when his game skyrocketed even further. It was his equipment change to a more powerful racket in Miami, and his game started talking on all pistons.... And he went on to win the tour finals with some brilliant display of tennis.
 
I also agree that Djokovic's breathing is better, but that might also be due to him using less effort on swinging... and less effort on his swings probably means his racket might be more powerful than before.
Those are some fascinating observations and thoughts!
Even as an EJ (equipment junkie) myself, I often forget the major impact that outside factors (court, gear, and weather) can have on a player's performance.  I guess over the past few years I've just taken it for granted that Raf was virtually unbeatable on any type of clay on any given day.  I would still bet on him against Nole though that might be a case of  :bang-head: on my part.
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Offline Start da Game

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #72 on: May 22, 2011, 01:47:42 PM »
technically speaking, he has lost the dynamics off that aside........just watch him these days, you will notice that he is unable to drive the ball putting his foot forward in the direction of the ball-racket impact........he is playing almost every backhand with open stance........

it tells me that he has lost his confidence in imparting any force on the backhand side.........he is rigid on that side and is moonballing out of the fear of making errors........

uncle toni might have sorted it somewhat by now in the nets........he has also lost his timing on his famous on-the-run backhand pass which is a crucial weapon for him and needs to be working.........
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #73 on: May 22, 2011, 02:53:09 PM »
technically speaking, he has lost the dynamics off that aside........just watch him these days, you will notice that he is unable to drive the ball putting his foot forward in the direction of the ball-racket impact........he is playing almost every backhand with open stance........
Correct, he's been robbed of time on that wing.

it tells me that he has lost his confidence in imparting any force on the backhand side.........he is rigid on that side and is moonballing out of the fear of making errors........Having to hit soooo many balls out of position would shake anyone's confidence.  To me it seemed the moonball tactic was an attempt to gain time for him to recover.

uncle toni might have sorted it somewhat by now in the nets........he has also lost his timing on his famous on-the-run backhand pass which is a crucial weapon for him and needs to be working.........How many of these did he hit in the last 2 matches combined?
I think the BH pass was not evident in the last 2 matches because Nole rarely came to net unless his approach was well out of Raf's reach.
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Offline Swish

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #74 on: May 22, 2011, 04:37:43 PM »
Where's Clay Death?
I'd like to hear his take on the BH matter.

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #75 on: May 22, 2011, 09:40:22 PM »
Where's Clay Death?
I'd like to hear his take on the BH matter.
Yeah, he's very knowledgeable about such things.  His technical analysis was always spot on....
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 09:47:17 PM by monstertruck »
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #76 on: May 22, 2011, 10:27:06 PM »
My observation is that, Rome and Madrid had no sun light on the court, and we all know that Nadal plays better on the high heat because the ball bounces higher. (Why Madrid didn't have Nadal playing on a direct sunlight, which favors their player... I don't know. The light was just going away when they were starting.) Notice the Indian Wells final was overcast too. The Miami final did have light, but now Djokovic is to a point where we can say he is playing a better hard court game than Nadal. If both meet at RG on a sunny day, I'd still favor Nadal though. Example is Nadal vs. Gasquet in Rome: they played on the high heat, and the ball was kicking too high for Gasquet to display the same game he displayed agaist Federer.

Not buying.

Why does the ball bounce high on a clay court relative to other surfaces?

Apparently, we all didn't know that Rafa has the advantage when the conditions are slow and heavy because (1) the ball bounces higher when the court is slow, and (2) he's a lot stronger than the others. On the other hand, players who enjoy fast conditions benefit from the high heat. The ball doesn't grab the court therefore it doesn't bounce as high and gets through the court quicker.

It doesn't happen often in Paris, but in 1996 the courts were baked for 2 weeks and Pete took out two 2-time RG Champions, Brugera and Courier, to reach his only RG SF.
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #77 on: May 22, 2011, 10:36:47 PM »
Oh, there you go again, bringing facts into a discussion!  Sheeesh....

I haven't paid much attention to the actual court conditions the past 2 tourneys.  Relative to my recent posts re: Raf's ineffectiveness off the BH, any type of court condition or equipment change that reduces his time to prepare for a stroke most definitely affects him more than other players.
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Offline Start da Game

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #78 on: May 23, 2011, 10:25:27 AM »
give it up monster........his backhand has been crap against almost every player he played after the australian open........

he has plenty of time time and yet opts for open stance moonballing stuff........his backhand is that bad at the moment.........you just need to notice the obvious dip in his overall game........nothing other than that really........

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtvlK-i8oWU[/youtube] 

just watch that backhand at 0:54........also observe his other backhands, he drives them and gets it deep in djokovic's court........he has lost all that at the moment.........

 

 
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i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #79 on: May 23, 2011, 11:19:14 AM »
If you'll take a moment to observe the patterns in that match you'll see that Nole plays plenty of CC balls and Nadal is NEVER out of position.  Plenty of time to rip away.

I've also noticed that not a single person here or anywhere else for that matter has been able to describe a MECHANICAL breakdown in the Nadal BH.  That's because there is none.  He either makes a tactical error (playing the moonballs) or just doesn't have enough time to rip it because Nole has changed the PATTERN of the points thereby robbing Nadal of the precious time to set up for his shots.

I think we both recognize there's a problem there that needs correction.  Identifying the cause is the first step in creating a solution.  I've already done both.  Would be glad to hear your knowledgeable analysis of the mechanical breakdown and it's corresponding solution.  You know, something other than "his BH is s**t against everybody and he needs to improve it."  Nothing other than that really.....
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