Djokovic a weak returner?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by BeHappy, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    The players he loses to tend to be big servers (that's when he loses at all).

    Obviously he lost to Isner recently and was taken to 5 sets against him in Davis Cup.

    He's lost 5 of his last 7 matches against Roddick.

    4-5 Losing record against Tsonga, including a loss in 2011.

    1-1 against Karlovic.

    We all saw him lose to Safin on grass in 2009.

    We saw Mardy Fish push him very hard in Cincinnati.

    etc etc.

    Now he doesn't lose to anyone at all very often, but when he does, it tends to be against big servers. A bit like Federer in 2006 with defensive players like Nadal, Murray, Canas etc. Big servers are the match up Djokovic likes the least.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
    #1
  2. Ico

    Ico Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Messages:
    4,235
    When did Djokovic lose to Tsonga this year?
     
    #2
  3. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    Who said he did? Edit: sorry my mistake, a typo, 2011.
     
    #3
  4. Ico

    Ico Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Messages:
    4,235
    Even in 2011, Djokovic didn't really lose to Tsonga. It was a walkover in Paris if you're counting that. Back to the point of the thread, I'd disagree that Djokovic is a weak returner. If anything, I'd say he's one of the best in the game.
     
    #4
  5. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    And yet, when he loses, it's usually to big servers.
     
    #5
  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    He is no Jimmy Connors, but does pretty well.Today, since nobody is coming to the net, it is not possible to even detect if somebody is a good or bad returner¡¡¡¡
     
    #6
  7. monfed

    monfed Guest

    One could argue that it's much harder to make meaningful returns to awkward kick serves compared to blocking returns to bombs. It comes down to what you define as the more challenging.
     
    #7
  8. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    12,775
    Location:
    Manchester, UK.
    In the last 12 months he's lost to Federer, Murray (twice), Nishikori, Ferrer, Tipsarevic, Del Potro and Isner. Only the last 2 are known as BigServers/Hitters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
    #8
  9. CMM

    CMM Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,713
    Is this a joke?? :shock:
     
    #9
  10. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,022
    And Jimmy never faced Ivo or Isner. Big difference.
     
    #10
  11. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,749
    Location:
    With Roger
    Hes the best in the game, what are you gonna do when its coming 140plus mph out wide? John just got hot..
     
    #11
  12. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2011
    Messages:
    12,686
    Is this for real? Djesus has one of the best return games going right now. In no way shape or form is he a weak returner. If you want to see what a weak returner really looks like watch Nadal.
     
    #12
  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Nope, he faced Newcombe,Tanner,Curren,Becker...thank you for reminding
     
    #13
  14. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    And all but the last two were injuries/tanking.
     
    #14
  15. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Messages:
    25,781
    Location:
    Weak era
    Did you watch the match? Novak didn't lose because of his ROS, he got plenty of Isner's serves back.

    Novak's problems were related to his own serve and that from the baseline he played right into Isner's hands.
     
    #15
  16. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    12,775
    Location:
    Manchester, UK.
    Lol..so he tanked the FO semi against Federer did he? Why? Was he scared of meeting Nadal in the final? And why would he tank the Dubai semi against Murray? Was he scared of meeting Fed in the final? And didn't he collapse when playing Del Potro in DC? So why doesn't that one count as an injury?

    Fact remains, the majority of players he lost to in the last 12 months were not Big Servers/ Hitters whatever excuses you want to make for him.
     
    #16
  17. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    9,768
    Location:
    Minneapolis, North of the Wall
    One of the worst tactical matches I have ever seen Djoker play.

    It was baffling.

    And I could see if he was being bullied around the court and had no choice, but most rallies he was in control and just/......screwed around, lol.
     
    #17
  18. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,545
    I can see Isner being a nightmare matchup for Nadal since his topspin shots will go right into Isner's strike zone.
     
    #18
  19. ChanceEncounter

    ChanceEncounter Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,269
    All this proves is that there are certain serves that are simply too good for any returner. There's not much you can do against a big server that gets hot and smacks 140 mph bombs out wide or down the T.
     
    #19
  20. ledwix

    ledwix Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,114
    Djokovic is one of the best returners of all time. One of the reasons he was able to win the Australian Open this year was that he perplexed Nadal with a bunch of laser beam returns a foot or less from the baseline.

    A big server, when on fire, can win a couple of tiebreaks against anyone. And that's what Isner did...he won a couple of tiebreaks.
     
    #20
  21. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    9,768
    Location:
    Minneapolis, North of the Wall
    I was thinking the same thing, pondering what would have happened had nadal made the final.

    well for one, we know rafa would stand like 20 years behind the baseline to return serve, so one wonders if isner would have abused him with the out wide serve.

    also, I noticed Isner's game plan. He played passive on the return game, standing way behind the baseline and getting the ball in playing, letting the server be the attacker, knowing that if they make a few errors, its compounds the pressure on them to hold serve. And on the serve, he would be aggressive, pounding on early floater returns.

    However, agaisnt Roger I knew that would not bode well for him...roger has too much variety and aggressive precision to let him get away with that pusher b.s. Isner is not in the same league as gilles simon, djoker or rafa or murray when it comes to pushing.

    I also think that Rafa would have run Isner ragged, bullying him with the FH.

    Honestly, I think the result would have been the same. Rafa in 3, maybe 2.
     
    #21
  22. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,173
    Jimmy faced Boris and Slobodan.
     
    #22
  23. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    Isner hit 20 aces past Djokovic.

    Just 4 against Federer.

    EVen allowing the extra set played in the Djokovic semi final, Djokovic is clearly a weak returner.
     
    #23
  24. joechiang

    joechiang New User

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Shanghai
    I clearly remember Djokovic was considered as the best returner after the AO final,only because he is good at returning Nadal's serve.That's very interesting.
     
    #24
  25. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    14,565
    Yep - he's such a weak returner that he leads the field for return games won in 2012.
     
    #25
  26. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Banned
    This.

    That said, at one point back in the day, Nadal apparently was one of the better if not one of the best returners on tour, so what happened?
     
    #26
  27. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    2,340
    To me, ' King Fed" is the best returner in the game..
     
    #27
  28. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Banned
    Returning flat bombs are more reflex-intensive than returning kick and slice serves.

    Volleying is reflex-intensive and it's generally acceptable to say that Federer leads Djokovic in this department.

    Perhaps the fact that Federer is a better volleyer has something to do with this.
     
    #28
  29. monfed

    monfed Guest

    volley/reflex, egg/chicken, ipso facto which comes first phnx? :)
    And why do I pronounce your nick as sphinx without the S?
     
    #29
  30. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Banned
    Reflexes → volleys/ROS
    Egg → chicken

    phoenix (I had a thing for Greek mythology back in primary/secondary school and it doesn't sound particularly childish, still...I hope, so it's a go-to username when I can't think of a good one :p)
     
    #30
  31. monfed

    monfed Guest

    volleys/ROS --> Reflexes

    Chicken --> Egg

    J/k sphinx.

    Sounds good, but sphinx is gonna be a little hard to shake off so I'll try. ;)
     
    #31
  32. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Messages:
    9,828
    Only on TTW can Novak go from one of the best returners in history, to a weak returner. Well done, well done...
     
    #32
  33. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    I've never considered him a particularly good returner, but still, I'm just saying that it's the weakest part of his game, not a weakness. I mean losing 5 of the last 7 matches with Roddick? He was ranked way above Roddick when they played all those matches.
     
    #33
  34. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,022
    Not in the same league with ivo and Isner.
     
    #34
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715

    bahahahahaha...do you read their records?...of course, Ivo and Issner just have one shot, nothing else...and still, in the weakest era of pro sports, many people think could make top 5¡¡¡¡

    in the 70´s and 80´s, they´d rank no higher than Pfister,Sadri,Dibley or Carnahan¡¡¡
     
    #35
  36. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,705
    No, Isner is just an insane server.
     
    #36
  37. Daized

    Daized Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    329
    Djokovic is not a weak returner, he is just often quite passive in baseline rallies against most people. He does not play with the same aggressiveness that he does against Federer against everybody else. So when a server like Isner is also removing his game (Making you play a lot of deep balls) by acing him with huge 140 mph servers consistently, then his game plan kind of just falls apart as he doesn't do enough to dictate in general.
     
    #37
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    TMF never heard of the GE journeymen that would be top 5 today:

    Pfister,Amaya,Seguso,Dibley,Saviano,Van´t Hof...big serves like Issner and Karlovic, the new " discoveries"...JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJJAJAJAJAJAJAJJAJAJAJAJAJAJAAJ
     
    #38
  39. ALL IN

    ALL IN Rookie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    349
    Becker and Zivojinovic never came remotely close to 140mph. They'd ace 95% of the time they came close to 130. Connors returns 120 mph serves well. So do most of the players on tour in today's game.
     
    #39
  40. mcenroefan

    mcenroefan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,528
    Nole is a great returner....better than either Fed or Rafa.
     
    #40
  41. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,541
    Location:
    Sweden
    Nole is great at returning wta serves like Nadal's.

    Federer is great at returning huge serves.

    Nadal, the weakest returner of the three is so lucky, he has never lost a match against either Isner or Karlovic.
     
    #41
  42. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,022
    I'm not talking about records or career achievements, but only the serve. Ivo & Isner are better than them despite playing in an era where players return better than the past generations.
     
    #42
  43. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,022
    You have to excuse kiki since he didn't watch a single IW match.


    Kiki has no clue how fast the modern players are serving.
     
    #43
  44. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,346
    Not sure if Djokovic was kidding or serious but he said he practiced returning the Isner's serve like this :)

    [​IMG]
     
    #44
  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    best returners in history, aknowledged by experienced fans that have seen tennis are Connors and Agassi.Laver was huge,too, so was Rosewall and, of course, Bjorn Borg....they´d LOVE to return today´s servers...
     
    #45
  46. ChanceEncounter

    ChanceEncounter Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,269
    Yes, I'm sure they'd love to return serves that are a dozen miles faster than most of the serves they've seen, and served from a greater height to produce sharper angles. Obviously.

    Do you actually know what you're talking about, or do you just like to shake your fist and tell kids to get off your lawn? Are you aware that racquet and string technology has improved in recent years? Are you aware that this helps people serve faster and more accurately? Are you aware that people still serve from the same baseline?
     
    #46
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715

    Are you aware that I´m always talking of equal conditions? that courts are considerable slower than before? a 120 mph serve on old grass could be harder to retrieve than a 150 mph on current grass...
     
    #47
  48. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Banned
    Nole is great at punishing slow, spinny serves (so usually second serves), but not that good at returning fast serves.

    Federer is great at returning huge serves with interest (like Roddick's) and is capable of punishing second serves like Djokovic (but strangely not often enough).

    My feeling with Nadal is that he goes for the "get the ball in play"-approach on all serves, which is not at all efficient, but on the upside (or downside depending on who you are), can get his racquet on just about everything.
     
    #48
  49. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,022
    They never faced today's better servers, period !

    With serve that has more pace and sharper angle, the short wingspan of Laver and Rosewall are even easier to ace.
     
    #49
  50. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    Nole struggling with a big server again today. Del Potro winning over 70% of points on his serve.

    The match is still ongoing and either man could win so there's no spoiler and once the match is over let this thread die for 24 hours and I'll bump it then.

    The weakest part of Djoker's game is his return of serve and whenever he loses or struggles it's usually to a big server, he is not in the same league as Federer or Murray in this aspect of the game. He can't return aggressively. His floaty short returns are easily put away by the power playing big servers.
     
    #50

Share This Page