Greetings General Herc , I think Kei has more to show than Milos who unfortunately with his one sided game is already close to his full potential, he needs to build up and work more on his ground game ASAP.Greetings Bricktop and CD,
I agree that Milos LOOKS like he has a one dimensional game (ala Isner, perhaps?), but what makes me feel he is more than that is the fact he could lose a big match and look miserable doing so to Murray at the U.S. Open and then come back and defeat him the next time they played in the Semi-Finals of the Japan Open. Murray is usually someone who is a horrible match-up for an Isner/Karlovic type since he returns really well and has great defense. So the fact that Milos looked like a Big Man Murray easily exposed at the U.S. Open, but then came back to beat Murray for the 2nd time in their last 3 match-ups shows to me he has something a little extra and that his mental fortitude is already top 10. I agree his game is just top 20 right now, but it appears to me that he believes he can win no matter who he is playing. That is one of the strengths of Rafa as well, and it is EXTREMELY rare on the ATP Tour. If his game improves just a little bit, but his composure and confidence continue to be rock steady, he will be ready for the Top 10. I can't see him ever being Top 3 though with that game, I agree.
Jerzy Janowicz - Very highly regarded early in the year, falied to live up to expectations except at SW19, and then exceeded all the wildest expectations in Paris. Another possible "Serve-bot" at 2.03 m who also happens to have a tremendous drop shot? I understand he didn't have much money behind him and labored to get to distant big time events and this partially stunted his success. If he starts getting proper training, coaching and traveling, we may be in for a surprise next year. I think he made more at Paris than he did the entire season, so watch out! Once a player has the revenue, they can start being properly prepared for tournies. Jerzy couldn't financially afford to go to the AO last year. Compare that with the elite players that have Teams almost like small companies that make sure they are prepared.
Kei is a pleasure to watch when he is in the groove. He looks Top 10 or even Top 5 with almost all his shot making when he is on a streak. I also watched him lose to Soeda this year and if one were to see him on THAT day, they would think he was mediocre in every area. Obviously, injuries play a part, but he seems to run hot and cold too much and consistency is his major problem.
Raferminator, your post is brilliant!
With his serve and forehand, Milos can get up into the top 10. He has a bit more to his game than Isner at the moment, but though Raonic has become mentally tougher, I think Isner's mental strength is greater. Even against the best players he doesn't crack even in tiebreakers. I think both Isner and Raonic need to use their size and come in more and improve their net play to get up in the top 5. I don't see them improving their backhands and groundstrokes to match the best.
To watch Jerzy Janowicz play in Paris was like a gale of fresh air blowing through the old guard. He had to come through qualifiers and played 3 more matches than Ferrer, so Jerzy was playing his 8th match in the final. No wonder he was exhausted. He beat one of the top 4 (Murray), a top 10 in Tipsarevic and three top 20 players. And he was able to keep going after his big win over Murray. How many lower ranked players have we seen that can beat a top player and keep moving on in a tournament? Most of them like Rosol, have a let down and fail to win another match. Simply amazing from Jerzy.
Now that he is seeded, and as you said, has much more money for expenses, I expect to see bigger and better things from him. I've watched a lot of players come and go since Laver's day, and Janowicz looks like the real deal. I can say without a doubt that he is the player with the best movement and footwork for someone around his size - 6' 8"/2.03 m that I have seen. He has a good command of a wide variety of shots and isn't afraid to use them. Perhaps he uses the drop shot too frequently, but against today's defensive players, it's still not a bad play even if it doesn't succeed. It forces the baseliner to move vertically up and down the court and makes them more tired and gets them out of their comfort zone.
I think he'll match up well with most of the defensive counter punching baseline players. He might have a bit more trouble with the quality aggressive players like himself. But we will just have to see. If he can play like he did in Paris, there is no doubt in my mind that he will win his first ATP tour title and more titles this year. As long as one is seeded, the most matches you will have to play is 7 in a major over two weeks. This guy played 8 matches in 9 days in Paris. I have high hopes for him. But we have to see if he can continue his play and avoid injuries. He appears to me to be a player who can succeed on all court surfaces, but I'd like to get a look at him on clay.
It seems to me that Kei's major obstacle is staying healthy. He seems to have the game needed to compete with the best, though I think he probably needs more self belief and consistency, as you said. An improved serve and stronger forehand would help, but I'm not sure if he has it in him. I think if healthy he could be much like David Ferrer. I wish him well.