Djoko vs Murray: First serve % and forehand vital

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by TennisNiche, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. TennisNiche

    TennisNiche New User

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    On hard courts these two are about as dead lock as you can be: when both players are on top of their games the match will be decided by a few minute details (see: Australian Open match earlier this year).

    What crucial detail(s) will decide tonight's match? My nominations are:

    1) First serve %: Murray must hover near 60% or else he will be under a constant barrage of pressure from Novak during all his service games. Djoko doesn't have such problems with % but he will have to be hitting all four corners of the service box corners consistently to keep Murray from returning what isn't an overwhelmingly fast serve.

    2) Forehand: Both players have always been more comfortable off their backhand wing. Since rising to no.1 and five Grand Slam titles Novak has made big strides on his weaker wing: now he has not only topspin, but great length, pace, angle and disguise. While not quite Nadal or Federer level, his forehand play from the ad court is extremely efficient.

    Murray has made strides too, but his forehand is still probably a bit more limited than Novak's. I don't feel his motion is suited to hitting huge inside out forehands, and besides is almost gratuitous when his two hander is so good. I don't think his forehand down the line has improved as much as it should have; but his inside-in forehand no longer gets him in trouble by landing short and inviting a cross-court reply into open court.

    The onus is firmly on Murray to serve and hit his forehand with the kind of attacking intent he usually reserves for emergency situations and/or comfortable victories. Of course if he can create the openings in rallies and come forward he has an advantage over Djokovic in his superior volleying ability and overall greater touch.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    For murray first serve quality trumps first serve quantity. Theres no clean correlation between murrays first serve percentagr and winning percentage vs djokovic
    However murray is 6-0 against djokovic when winning over 69% of first serve points
     
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  3. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    I think you're spot on. I'm going to ignore the more obvious details such as minimizing unforced errors and "2nd serve % points won." Citing UEs is kind of like saying a football team needs to cut down on turnovers.

    Expanding a bit on your comments about forehand, I think there are two things I would love to see measured. First, when the opportunity presents itself to Murray to go for a winner, how often does he take it? That's a direct reflection of his aggressiveness. Secondly, when he does take his shot, how often is he successful?
     
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  4. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    you have good points. Murry would have to keep his first serve percentage above 60%. his biggest challenge will be his second serve which is very weak especially against players like Djokovic.

    Murray would also need to mix it up, coming to the net and try to frustrate Djokovic. Also, SLICE, SLICE, SLICE and I can't emphasize this enough. This is where Novak is very vulnerable.

    and yeah, regarding FH, just be aggressive, go for your shots, go for winners. If Murray is too passive he'll get toasted.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
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  5. TennisNiche

    TennisNiche New User

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    The second thing (success %) I think is a direct consequence of the first (what Murray 'sees' as an opportunity for a winner). For example, I have seen very few matches where Murray has lost due to unforced errors, which would seem to suggest that whenever he becomes more offensive, it tends to be successful.

    I think it's fascinating to gauge Murray's confidence during a high pressure match. For me, the inside-in forehand is a barometer of Murray's belief. When he's 'on', he hits it for a clean winner. When he's at 90%, it goes a bit short and too spinny, and opens up a counter-attacking cross court shot, which someone with the movement of Djokovic will always expose.

    It seems one of the 'secret's of the older Federer has been the slice to Djokovic's backhand; he normally replies with a fairly flat, medium pace cross court reply, which of course Federer laps up compared to anything heavily spun and hit with a high trajectory.

    Murray's slice isn't too far off Federer's IMO. He just needs more belief and confidence in using all aspects of his game.
     
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  6. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    I'm not sure the Murray drop shot should be used until later in the match, Djoker is just too quick.
     
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  7. AnotherTennisProdigy

    AnotherTennisProdigy Professional

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    The serve % is more important for Murray than it is for Novak really. He has a bigger first serve but a weaker second.
     
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  8. TennisNiche

    TennisNiche New User

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    But is Murray capable of maintaining a healthy first serve % for 3 out of 5 sets? He's still liable to throw in a game every set where he's hitting 135MPH bombs which don't find the target 3/4 of the time. In this scenario Djokovic is a nightmare opponent as he will give absolutely nothing away if he sees Murray is struggling to get cheap points
     
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  9. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    Murray has to get this done in straights
     
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  10. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    DRAW NOVAK TO NET!!!!!!! Seriously we all saw hoe Novak was missing volleys yesterday against Ferrer and Murray is way better at hitting passers
     
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  11. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Djokovic is not that good at recognizing short balls but his speed makes up for it the best bet would be barrage a few balls and send up 10 ft back on defense like del potro did and then instead of trying to pass him DROPSHOT!
     
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  12. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    This play only works when you are willing to step around the weak reply you get off the good slice, and rip a forehand.

    So far, Murray doesn't really do this, and we he does, it's almost certainly a conscious decision, not a natural play like for Federer
     
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  13. tank_job

    tank_job Banned

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    HAHAHA, Murray has better touch and volleys than Djokovic!?

    Funniest thing I heard all year.
     
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  14. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Way more natural for him than nole
     
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  15. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    Interesting stat. It makes sense when you think about it.

    Murray has a very big first serve, 135mph+ when he wants to. He's also fairly tall at 6'3, he can hit his spots etc.. If he serves well the rest of his game usually is at a high level too.
     
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  16. TennisNiche

    TennisNiche New User

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    You're quite right, for Murray it serves just to 'mix up the play' - not sure how effevtive this is though. Like you say, he needs to at least try to punish Novak's mediocre slice every now and then.

    Thanks, I aim to amuse.

    The gap between their volleys may have closed in recent years, but it's still clear to me that Murray is far more comfortable at the net and something of a 'natural', at least compared to his contemporaries. Touch shots, Novak has an ok backhand dropshot, but it is very mechanical compared to Murray: Novak will only ever hit it on the backhand, always with the same trajectory and weight. Murray is a bit more creative, if not hugely more successful with the dropper.
     
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