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Matchups in Tennis?

Discussion in 'Sports Bar' started by Silnaem, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. Silnaem This Time is not Ours to save

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    I heard some commentator recently make mention of matchups playing a significant role in results. This caught my attention

    Now im not too well-versed on the various styles employed by players, but here is what I have found thus far:
    • Roger
    > Self Skill: Predictive Analysis
    > Tool Skill: Trick Shots

    • Novak
    > Self Skill: Momentous Movement
    > Tool Skill: Accurate Shots

    • Rafael
    > Self Skill: Controlled Movement
    > Tool Skill: Power Shots

    So Novak hits the.ball to the far corners, forcing.the.opponent to run themselves ragged. Then he.finishes.them off with.a chamge.of direction, relying.on their built up momentum to lead them astray. He defends with.his own good foot movement, relying.on momentum to save.his energy as well as getting him in a good position to sweetly strike.the ball w/o exposing his lack of power.

    Roger uses his PA to move in line.with.the ball before.it gets away from him. He.then.uses his TS to turn any momentum his.opponent has against them . . .

    Rafael uses his CM to limit.the build.up of.momentum when defending, while his PS are deadly even if opponents can reach them . . .

    . . . So Roger and Rafael should be hellish matchups for.Novak, yet.he is beating.them both!
    Rafael has the power to expose his physical weakness and.the movement to deny his strategic shots
    Roger has.the mind to cover.the ball before.it.gets far and.the shot maatery to beat.momentum-based movement

    Yet.he.is no only competing but actually beating them both!

    What am I missing?
    What other matchups are.there, wherein the style of one player makes them a particularly tough opponent for another?
     
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  2. Schneider Wise Guy

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    From a decade ago but still pretty good read if you like these things.

    Styles in tennis are defined by era, and nowadays it's very fluid so you can't really confine each player to a type of play (i.e net/aggresive vs. baseline/defensive). All players have offense and defense and plays accordingly to court dynamics at hand. For a very basic example, djokovic is scrambling for a slice to get to a nadal cross court forehand (defense), bought time and set up a proper topspin counter to another forehand (neutral), then once rafa replied with a shorter ball, novak finishes with a down the line backhand or a sharp cross court (offense). Being incomplete in this era won't take anyone far especially with modern strings, balls and court homogenization.

    However, there are certain aspects of the game that players tend to do slightly better, i.e nadal and murray are brilliant defensive shotmakers (lobs, drop shots, forehand on the run), djokovic is impeccable in baseline dynamics/offensive baseline play (using depth to gain control/put himself out of defensive position) and federer the best at relentless pressure and transitive play. But in high level tennis (esp. The big 4) if you ask them to perform anything outside their natural inclinations (like federer defense/nadal offense) they'll give you nothing short of world class performance

    Also matchups are mostly mental, everyone in the top 100 has the tools to beat anyone, but surface, injury, a particularly bad day, etc. can also be a factor. Nadal yesterday was one big display of fear, reminiscent of young federer & nadal clay days.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  3. Pocalypse Well-Known Member

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    Depth of Novak's ballstriking, his returns and his backhand.

    Novak rarely outpowers Nadal so he strikes with consistent depth and placement instead. This pushes Nadal back past the baseline and allows Novak to come on top of the baseline or inside the baseline to dictate rallies, then he finishes it off with a winner.

    Returns - When Nadal or Federer serve, Novak returns the ball right next to their feet or close to the baseline as possible which forces the player who's in an offensive position to go defensive, this results in a short ball or a miss since it's coming back at you so deep.

    Or he hits an outright winner from it.

    Backhand - Novak's backhand is one of the greatest backhands in Tennis, ever. Nadal has a field day with backhands, Nadal loves going to players backhands and breaking it down but Novak's backhand is probably the only one that can go toe-to-toe with Nadal's forehand. He can hit winners, change direction in an instant which not a lot of people can do, anything with it. He's rock solid with it.

    Of course, all of this along with mentality, physicality, movement, stamina, decent serve, a good forehand etc

    Oh and surface is a factor as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  4. Silnaem This Time is not Ours to save

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    Indeed, surfaces

    I would expect Novak to suffer on a bouncy hard court (bounce gives opponemt more time to react)

    I would expect Federer to suffer on slippery grass (pushes dropshots forwards, as opposed to keeoing them close to net)

    I would expect Nadal to suffer on the rolling clay (ball stays low, making it difficult to hit power shots within the court)

    Yet clearly not

    So did WikiPedia not explain the surfaces properly or am I missing even more?
     
  5. Pocalypse Well-Known Member

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    I dunno about Wikipedia but a lot of that info is wrong.

    There's no such thing as bouncy hard courts. You have fast, medium or slow hard courts. On fast hard courts you can hit more winners, get more free points of the serve and rallies will be less. The ball flies more on a fast hard court if that's what you mean. Slow is the opposite. You can do all of the things as you can on a fast court but less, opponents have more time to get to the ball.

    Federer has the best footwork of any Tennis player so he isn't going to suffer on grass. Also Tennis players in general wear different shoes for different surfaces otherwise everyone would be slipping on grass lol

    On clay the ball DOES NOT stay low. It stays high and that's why people implement topsin to get more power into their shots because the courts are slow. Nadal is the GOAT at this. Moreover, if the weather is hot and sunny, the clay will make topspin shots even more powerful.
     
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