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View Full Version : DISCUSSION on player tactics and game


sexmachine
02-13-2006, 12:53 PM
Hey guys, i'm tired of threads where ppl endlessly argue. Jus wanted to c what ppl think r good tactics against the best of the best. I love watching a smart tactical player, but also the raw skill and mastery that these men have. My favourite players are Haas, Safin, Grosjean, Davydenko and Roddick. I love watching haas palay because he can always produce sublime tennis, and has a fantastic backhand. Safin has passion, flair, power and a short fuse. Grosjean is small(like me), but possess great power balance and can produce fabulous tennis. Davydenko for his consistency and will to improve and in comparison to the big guys along side him has gotten to where he is without a huge weapon. Roddick, well his serve, that big forehand. So if u jus wanna talk bout ur favs this is the place:)

jamauss
02-13-2006, 01:08 PM
I'm not sure I would combine "Roddick" and "tactics" really...his game doesn't seem too deep in terms of adapting his game to beat his opponents. It seems like he plays the same style of tennis regardless of opponent, and just hope his game is good enough to win. He definitely has a big serve and a big forehand, though.

I enjoy watching Gonzo play just because of how big his shots are sometimes. (the "whoa" factor).

I like watching Safin when he's on, though he can play awful at times.

One of the big reasons I like watching Federer play is that he seems to mix up baseline and net play fairly evenly. All baseline or all serve & volley can get boring, even if it's Sampras or Agassi.

I also like watching Kuerten because of his smooth backhand and just how wacky the points get sometimes. He seems to end up running all over the court.

devila
02-13-2006, 08:15 PM
Roddick's b i t c hy personality interferes with his work ethics and serve tactics. Every match, he wants to hear applause after 145 mph serves.
He has a stubborn need to eat and pump iron so much that he becomes slow and lethargic.
It doesn't help that really stupid people, who have agendas, do nothing for him.

Nadal can beat Federer, but his serve and fitness need improvement.

alienhamster
02-13-2006, 08:36 PM
I'm not sure I would combine "Roddick" and "tactics" really...his game doesn't seem too deep in terms of adapting his game to beat his opponents. It seems like he plays the same style of tennis regardless of opponent, and just hope his game is good enough to win. He definitely has a big serve and a big forehand, though.

I enjoy watching Gonzo play just because of how big his shots are sometimes. (the "whoa" factor).

I like watching Safin when he's on, though he can play awful at times.

One of the big reasons I like watching Federer play is that he seems to mix up baseline and net play fairly evenly. All baseline or all serve & volley can get boring, even if it's Sampras or Agassi.

I also like watching Kuerten because of his smooth backhand and just how wacky the points get sometimes. He seems to end up running all over the court. Couldn't disagree more about Roddick nowadays. I think he is more strategic in his thinking out there than he used to be, and that's part of why he's losing more. He was more effective when he used the same game plan all the time--big serve, big forehand. But he's started to mix up pace, placement, and spins on his shots, coming into net more. It's made him beat players in big matches that he used to always lose to (I'm thinking Master's Cup matches against Safin and Henman and recent matches against Hewitt.) But overall, he doesn't have a confident, clear sense of when to execute this increasing variety.

I personally like that he's thinking more, but it's certainly made him doubt his game.

alienhamster
02-13-2006, 08:42 PM
Man, I like a lot of players now. Federer, Haas, Nadal, Gasquet, Safin, Santoro, Roddick, Blake . . . .

Sorry for any real lack of content here other than that list.

devila
02-13-2006, 08:47 PM
He lets all players, even shorter, much less powerful players, overpower him.
Roddick stands far back and can't run fast enough because he's too heavy and flat footed. He won't work on defensive backhands and dropshots, like the one he did against Sabau (Roddick was shocked that he rarely hit dropshots).

sexmachine
02-14-2006, 04:29 AM
Same old devila posts, b4 he kills this link with bashing threads which i believe i asked to be omitted, i'll move the topic on.... Tommy Haas on the up and up, where do u see him going from here......?

Grimjack
02-14-2006, 05:21 AM
Same old Tommy. Million dollar strokes, five cent head. He's Guga without the will, tenacity, flare, or serve (any more). A player who because he's got a beautiful backhand has become a fan favorite -- and then the fans try to blow his meager accomplishments all out of proportion.

Hass is no more on the up and up than Roddick.

jtreed2000
02-14-2006, 07:19 AM
Haas is playing better now, but he's not top 5 material. I think this thread was about tactics though and certainly guys like Roddick could use more...

Roddick must get up to the baseline and put the ball deeper. He gives away too much time to the other player. (He's also extremely slow and should work on agility, lateral movement.) Those guys without "weapons," eg Davydenko, do this consistently and that's how they win matches. I think the ideal tactician is a Federer or Santoro who mixes up the pace and shots and beats the other guys with his brain. Federer has some great shots, but it's his consistency and variety that make him difficult to beat. How many other true all court players are there in the top 10? What makes Fed so good is that he has an A, B, and C game and he can win matches with any of them. Agassi, now losing speed, is a good example for what Roddick needs to do, but he (Roddick) is too lazy or insecure to take the ball on the rise and pressure the other guy. All muscle, no brains. Someone was discussing Blake in another thread... Here is a guy with the fitness and ability to be in the top 5, but he blasts balls for no apparent reason to try and intimidate his opponent or finish the point early. With some patience, Blake could be a much better player. I actually like a counterpuncher style, eg, Coria, Hewitt, Nadal, and even Agassi. Even Federer is somewhat of a CP, but he has the ability to force the issue. They go for it when the opportunity presents itself, but will rally all day long until the moment is right. That's smart tennis in my opinion. Too many other guys want to flex the muscles and beat everyone with pace. I don't know anyone who can do that except a select few who are having a really good day.

So I guess I would say counterpunching is best.

bc-05
02-14-2006, 07:35 AM
i wouldnt say counter punch is better than aggresive play.. i'd say theyre both important.. if u counter punch but you don't have the finishing power then u'll end up like coria, robredo, etc. however if u just have power with no defence at all then ull become roddick, phillippoussis, etc.. i guess the best is to be both and most important having a brain.. someone like safin, federer, agassi can stay in the point as long as a counterpuncher but when he plays a stronger/safer player they can attack them.. so i guess theyre the best

jtreed2000
02-14-2006, 08:26 AM
That's true. I guess I'm thinking of my own game as well. When you have a bad day you can let the other player miss, and punch where needed to help them lose. But it's also important to stay aggressive if you're "on" and can dictate control of the point. There is a nice balance somewhere in there and it changes match to match, player to player, and even point to point. I just think too many guys (...thinking Blake) go for too much when it's unnecesary. Many of the top female players are prone to this as well ...Williams sisters to name a few. Those rallies last what 6 strokes max?

sexmachine
02-14-2006, 08:57 AM
This was more my line of thought for this thread. I think that sharapove also has a problem with trying too much too soon... And can loose her head very easily. I think gasquet has great shot makin ability and has a good defensive and offensive game, but lacks a real game plan ad maybe could work a little more on movement around the court. But really enjoy watchin him when he's "on".... Like watchin davydenko for his tactics.... What do u think of ljubicic's tactics...? And game...?

jtreed2000
02-14-2006, 09:29 AM
I think many of the women go for too much, except Hingis, Schnyder, JHH to name a few. Davenport has a nice balance and is a smart player, which is why she's still #1. I like Ljubicic. Seems he's a little rattled from time to time, but solid overall. I think Davis Cup last year boosted his confidence enormously. Gasquet will come around. He certainly has the talent. He literally spanked Federer last year at Monaco with some very unbelievable stuff, but I think that was one of those rare moments. It did show what he's capable of though. Very nice BH, but still has much to learn and settle down, contruct points, etc. Davydenko just works you side to side with very deep/flat balls. That's hard to beat. He's like the male version of Lindsey Davenport. Federer can go with the flow and execute all the shots. I wish more players would make an attempt to have a complete game. Not only is it more fun to watch, but no one knows just what to attack because he can defend or offend, lol, in any position. IMO, Santoro has played good tennis against him b/c he uses lots of variety; he's a little too slow to do it over an entire match though. Of the four that beat him last year, they had very strong left wings and/or backhands (Patrick McEnroe pointed this out at the AO). I think depth/pace beat him, but as you see, no one can win with pace or paint the baseline day to day. Nalbandian is the only one that's been near the top ten without winning majors like Safin and he is more "human" than Nadal or the freak day that Gasquet had. He and Davydenko are similar, but DN uses more spin. He uses a simple strategy and fortunately it worked on Federer's weakness in December: mobility. Lack of consistency and depth is the reason the Williams sisters or Sharapova, etc will not knock Davenport off the top. If Henin had a little better forehand she could be the Federer of the WTA. She has the variety and brains, but unfortunately a weaker wing. I also think it's smart for some players to run around the BH, like Nadal, Clijsters, Federer, because they are going to use their forehand with authority. That's how the shot was designed. Unfortunately for some, like Roddick, they are too deep for it to be effective. This applies to his (shallow hit) balls and position behind the baseline in most rallies as well. Enough for now... want to see what others think.

IMO good tactics are easy to sum up and they are the same at all levels: depth, placement (generally side to side), and variety.

Kaptain Karl
02-14-2006, 12:51 PM
You guys who say Roddick should adapt the more aggressive court position of Agassi are funny. (Reminds me of the movie Players, where Vilas supposedly had remade himself into a S&V player. Phooey!!!)

Roddick doesn't have the eyesight or eye/hand coordination to -- suddenly and magically -- move twelve feet closer to the Baseline so he can take the ball on the rise. Not in a few months, that is. (IOW, it would take a "Tiger Woods" determination to change his game that way. I think Andy is way smarter than many here seem to believe; and he's smart enough to know whether or not he can make that kind of move work for him. Remember how unproductive he was at using S&V? One doesn't suddenly decide, "I think I'll abandon the Big Serve, Big FH style and become a All Courter / Retriever / etc.)

On the other hand, he *has* already added more shot variety to his game, with Slice groundies and the (somewhat improved) volley.

Roddick's serve no longer scares the willies out of the other guys. I actually think this is because he "coasted" with it (the second half of last year, especially.) Also, his BH seems to be *less* dependable than in '03. He certainly can crank up his serve again. And he can drill his BH back into shape.

Lastly, a Coach who is more attuned and assertive regarding strategic play would really be good for Andy. (Brad was this way, but too difficult for anyone to get along with for long.) Hopefully, brother John will be this answer.

- KK

jtreed2000
02-14-2006, 01:08 PM
I don't think he has to make major changes, b/c Brad made it work for him before. That said, he's gonna have to do more than hit a slice here and there and hit a volley every game or two to see any improvement. I think you are right about the coach playing a big factor for him.

What I see are groundstrokes that consistently land in the same places and short. His slice is the only shot he's getting depth with. If he wants to be a baseline basher like every one else, and win slams, etc, he's gonna have to hit them as good or better than everyone else. Right now that's not happening and his serve is what's keeping him in the top 5. If I see another inside-out FH land on the service T, hit from 10 feet behind the baseline, I will quit watching him play. His game is stagnant and the sooner he makes a move the better. I saw a nice "no look" volley from him in the Davis Cup match the other day, after which he stood near the stands like he'd just outplayed Roger or something. He proceeded to lose the next 4 or more points. That tells me his head is not in the game. A top 5 player is there every point, every set, etc. I see nothing wrong with standing 10 feet behind the baseline ...but not when it gives the other guy more time to set up on a ball that's going to land in or close to the service line. Anyone can tee up on that, just like Baghdatis did.

devila
02-14-2006, 02:26 PM
The rule on TW is "Don't criticize Roddick or be pessimistic/sarcastic."
It's called bashing.

Grigollif1
02-14-2006, 02:30 PM
The rule on TW is "Don't criticize Roddick or be pessimistic/sarcastic."
It's called bashing.

Devilla Just out of curiosity..You don't like Roddick, Federer etc..Most of your posts only negative and criticism. Is there a player that you admire or a personality that you find interesting?

devila
02-14-2006, 02:56 PM
Folks are going ape crazy after reading anyting negative. They're jumping to conclusions without knowing people's intentions. You can't show concern or sarcasm on a forum without someone replying with lectures on positiveness.

Why don't we post rosey compliments for Roddick. You'll know what to expect. (If you post on forums for years.)

Chadwixx
02-14-2006, 03:02 PM
Same old devila posts, b4 he kills this link with bashing threads which i believe i asked to be omitted, i'll move the topic on.... Tommy Haas on the up and up, where do u see him going from here......?

You have 25 posts and you say "the same old devila". What was your previous name here?

Kaptain Karl
02-14-2006, 03:37 PM
You have 25 posts and you say "the same old devila".Honestly, after you've seen six of devila's posts ... you pretty much DO have a good idea of him. He's consistently negative and cynical.

25 posts is plenty to make that judgment.

- KK

tykrum
02-14-2006, 04:15 PM
Roddick definitely does need to get in a little bit. On top of baseline is unrealistic like KK said, but he needs to press more with his groundstrokes, especially the forehand. Too often recently I have seen Roddick play conservative points and just get worked around. His movement isn't great and it certainly looks very unnatural, but I don't think it's his biggest problem. His serve has definitely slowed, it seems rare that he hits in the 140s anymore. I don't care what anyone says about it being flat and "easy" to return - when someone is serving 15-20 miles/hr faster than pretty much anyone else you play, it's tough to return. Overall with the serve I think he has lost confidence, he doesn't pull himself out of holes or anihilate opponents psyche's with games with 2-3 aces anymore.

Summarily, I'd just say that Roddick's former past strengths that used to carry him through matches, namely the serve and forehand, aren't the offensive jugernauts that they used to be.

devila
02-14-2006, 04:57 PM
Yes, but his serve has poor placement. Serve technique needs change too.
The slice and drop shot are pretty though!!!!!! YAY!!!
BTW, this is my bashing post.

tenalyser
02-14-2006, 11:39 PM
Devilla Just out of curiosity..You don't like Roddick, Federer etc..Most of your posts only negative and criticism. Is there a player that you admire or a personality that you find interesting?

Yes I noticed he never has bashed Nadal, funny if you think about it cause Nadal is not quiet known for his beautiful game and classy on-court behaviour.

sexmachine
02-15-2006, 12:36 AM
As he(KK) stated a lot of devila's posts have a similar frmaework, i tried to move away from roddick but he seems to be a topic ppl wanna talk about.... What about the younger players breking through like gael monfils, Baghdatis and berdych anyone got any comments on there game tactically or otherwise?

jtreed2000
02-15-2006, 06:59 AM
I thought it was ok to bash players, just not others on the board, lol. But seriously, they're only ideas and a little frustration beacuse I respect him and know he's capable of much more. I am probably too critical of myself as well, it's just easier to point out from the chair.

I agree with Tykrum, that he's gotta press more. He is in fact being moved around too much lately and of course he's not that fast, like a Nadal, so he's not gonna do well scrambling on the defensive. Another shot he should change is the down the line drive when he's being forced off the court on either wing. Low percentage, especially for him it seems? He must work on moving the other guy, which Agassi has always done so well. Agassi still beats him, and that's not too bad for an old fart, eh?

About the new guys, it's hard to say about Baghdatis. I mean at the AO he was really on, but his results for the rest of the season may not be so impressive. I haven't been able to watch Monfils play, but I do like Berdych. He has some gigantic eyeballs and a monster forehand. I saw the master series he won against Ljubicic and he was very impressive. Fairly tight game and didn't really break down like I thought he would. Ljubicic can be intimidating with that big backhand.

sexmachine
02-15-2006, 11:10 AM
Yeah it'd be advisable in the near future for roddick to try and step in, he leaves himself at a bit of a disadvantage. I don't know if it's jus me but he seems to be getting beefier.... Looks like he's bulkin up a bit more, was kinda hopin he might actually thin out a little for mobility, ya know? Anybody know bout grosjean's/ferrero's or ginepri, jus interested to hear... U guys think nadal can keep up last years form, also do u think he's as complete a player as a world number 2 needs to be so early in his career?

jtreed2000
02-15-2006, 12:09 PM
I don't think Roddick is getting any heavier, he's just doing more running and that's showing he's not really mobile. Here's a good site about how Federer is lower to the ground and uses a wider abductor angle. This helps with lateral mobility. Andy's feet are closer together, so he can't accelerate as well. http://www.somaxsports.com/Wimbledon2005.htm I honestly believe if he could just hit a little deeper and more toward the corners it would help him tremendously.

I like to watch Grosjean (sp?), some Ferrero, and like Ginepri's game as well. Him (RG) beating Roddick last fall showed how far he came last year, and I think he can be a top 10 player. He plays smart and has excellent groundstrokes, sort of like a Nalbandian with a little more flare. He's not afraid to come in either and that keeps his opponent guessing. I saw Grosjean beat Keifer in DC the other night and was SOOOOO relieved after Nicky the jerk threw his racket in front of Grosjean while he was hitting an overhead at the AO. Made me, and everyone else (besides Kiefer fans) sick. I liked him before that match, but that was very unsportsman like. Grosjean has the typical big FH to win points, but can hit sharp BH's as well. Doesn't play out of himself. Haven't seen Ferrero play that much since he was on top, but I'm sure he's capable of getting back in the top 10. Nadal... another I like to watch, is by no means a complete player, but his speed and heavy FH make up for it. He is Mr Intensity. How long can anyone keep that up? Not sure if it was this thread, but it's important IMO to conserve energy and not to grind every point out. A player needs something like a serve to get a cheap point here and there. All of Nadal's points seem to be long rallies, so I can't imagine it'll be taxing for him to have back to back to back seasons like last year. He is young though, so maybe a few more additions or changes to his game will allow him to last a while longer.

sexmachine
02-15-2006, 12:30 PM
I think in your nadal statement u made an important part of roddicks game that i loved. He had that big serve to help win the occasional "easy" point. I think that his lack of variety and lack of line hitting with the serve has led to more rallies. And if u look at his second serve percentage of winning points so far this year it's quite low. And his serve return points won are also quite low. I hope that his brother/coach can re-invigorate his on court confidense, improve on shot depth, diversity and work on "peppering" the lines.

alienhamster
02-17-2006, 08:53 PM
Folks are going ape crazy after reading anyting negative. They're jumping to conclusions without knowing people's intentions. You can't show concern or sarcasm on a forum without someone replying with lectures on positiveness.

Why don't we post rosey compliments for Roddick. You'll know what to expect. (If you post on forums for years.) He didn't ask you to be positive or "rosy" about Roddick or anyone else. He asked what I believe is a very fair request for you to post a response that explains to us what you like or enjoy about *somebody's* game. If anything, it may help clarify your more usual negative criticism about everyone else--that is, give us a sense of what some people are doing well out there on the tennis court.

I actually quite enjoy negative criticism when it's fair and well supported. Your posts don't always show a sense of balance or rationally argued critique.

And I'm saying this in an extremely non-ape-crazy way.

alienhamster
02-17-2006, 08:56 PM
As he(KK) stated a lot of devila's posts have a similar frmaework, i tried to move away from roddick but he seems to be a topic ppl wanna talk about.... What about the younger players breking through like gael monfils, Baghdatis and berdych anyone got any comments on there game tactically or otherwise? Honestly, I don't feel like I've seen them play enough to get a sense of the *tactics* of their games.

Berdych and Baghdatis both seem like streaky shotmakers to me at this point. I can't figure out if they have specific gameplans, but I hope to see more of them in the future.

sexmachine
02-21-2006, 02:42 AM
really appreciate both posts, hit the nail on the head with the 1st post wit devila. I agree on the berdych/baghdatis, don't c big success until they stabilise their games.... What do u think nalbandian, davydenko and roddick will get out of this year????