Is Djokovic the most complete player of the modern era?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by ProRadTour, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. ProRadTour

    ProRadTour Rookie

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    Given his performance over the last few years it seems to me that his game has developed to level of completeness I personally haven't seen.

    His physical attributes such as height, speed, movement and stamina are a difficult proposition for any opponent to overcome. His game has improved significantly and he can hit almost equally well from both wings. His return game is now regarded by many as the best the game has seen.

    He seems more than capable at the net, difficult to measure how good he is in this department as the modern game doesn't really require great net skills to succeed.

    Bottom line is I don't really see any weakness is his game for an opponent to exploit. He has a great backhand, excellent forehand, excellent serve, great returns and can defend better than anyone I have ever seen.

    I know his results do not compare to Fed and Nadal yet, but I feel he is a more complete player than both Fed and Nadal.

    In full flight he is the most likely player to complete the Grand Slam and may very well before his career ends. Fed is past his best, and with Nadal only time will tell if he can reach the required level to challenge Djokovic again post his time off with injury.
     
  2. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Maybe if he learns to volley. :lol:
     
  3. Nitish

    Nitish Professional

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    He is a complete baseliner,his netplay sucks:)
     
  4. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    I know what you meant.

    Djokovic is the perfect type of player in the current era, he's got all he needs - strong off both wings, tough mentally, fast, agile, flexible.

    But since his volleys are below average and his serve while showing signs of improvement is still average which means he's not "complete". Just perfectly suited for the modern baseline era.
     
  5. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, this is a good way to summarise the situation. Djokovic is not an all-round complete tennis genius (I think Federer is above him in that respect). However, due to the homogenisation of playing styles and surfaces, a peak Djokovic is close to unbeatable on all surfaces. Which is why he stands a good chance of becoming the first man since Laver to win the Calendar Year Grand Slam.
     
  6. Nitish

    Nitish Professional

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    For me a complete player is someone who has ability to hit through the court from the baseline,a great serve to get him out of tight spots,defensive play in terms of lobs and slices,net play (not just come in for easy volleys),Ability to impart variety of spin on the ball(flat and create angles with spin),good footwork and movement and fluid transition from defense to offense.
    Djokovic is a complete baseliner.Guys like Federer,borg have better all round game than djokovic.IMO Murray has a better all round game than novak.
     
  7. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    I agree with this. Djesus has crap overheads and isn't a great volleyer. His slice also isn't that great either, but he hangs on the baseline better than anyone does. That doesn't make him the most complete player of the modern era, though because he isn't.
     
  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    He´d be a good tennis player in the Golden Era...
     
  9. single_handed_champion

    single_handed_champion Professional

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    Best adapted to the modern era, maybe.

    Most complete: Fed by a light year. I know you'll say 'Oh, topspin backhand against high balls'. That is 1 player. Djokovic can be thrown off by the slice of Wozniacki.
     
  10. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    Volleys, slice and overheads are secondary elements of the modern game therefore djoker is the most complete player ever in the modern era hence the success he is having now. Whether its quick conditions like dubai or indoors like the WTF or clay,grass and hardcourt he wins, when you can be equally aggressive with total consistency of both wings you will win more than not. Feds backhand is the weak spot players like nadal,djoker and murray look for so fed cannot be considered complete and the same goes for nadals backhand. But what side do you go to in djokers game and get certain success?
     
  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    by modern era you understand current era, right?
     
  12. Nitish

    Nitish Professional

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    Slicing the ball is enough you dont need to pick sides:twisted:
     
  13. monfed

    monfed Guest

    You throw him off his rhythm which Fed displayed at RG 2011(peak Djokovic no less), USO 2011(almost) and Wimby 2012.

    Basically slice n dice him.
     
  14. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    One match? if that always worked fed and the rest of the tour would try that all the time but that is not gonna work on a consistent basis. You mention certain matches but what happens at the WTF finals or RG last year it does not always work.
     
  15. ProRadTour

    ProRadTour Rookie

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    I partially agree with the slice and dice theory. Fed troubles Djokovic on occasion and so dis Warwinka in the AO. I think the major reason why is because both these players possess excellent slice backhands and can rely on a variety of pace and spin which cause errors as it affects rhythm.

    Now that I think about it, Murray also has an excellent slice backhand and uses it a lot more than Nadal does. Murray does also have the game to trouble Djokovic because Murray does vary spin and pace very well. Murray's major weakness is he has a terrible second serve.

    It's partial because Djokovic still manages to deal with it. But there is not doubt that this seems to affect his game a lot more.
     
  16. ProRadTour

    ProRadTour Rookie

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    Well I personally think his serve is above average. According to the stats on the ATP site for career service games won Djokovic is 18 (all time). He is 9th on Return Games won (all time) and 2nd for career Break points converted.

    If you consider the list below, the top 20 greatest serve hold percentages (all time) are the following:

    Ivo Karlovic
    Andy Roddick
    John Isner
    Pete Sampras
    Wayne Arthurs
    Roger Federer
    Richard Krajicek
    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
    Greg Rusedski
    Boris Becker
    Goran Ivanisevic
    Rafael Nadal
    Mark Philippoussis
    Ivan Ljubicic
    Michael Stich
    Patrick Rafter
    Kevin Anderson
    Novak Djokovic
    Jim Courier
    Guy Forget

    His serve game is among the elite servers of the sport. There are some phenomenal servers on that list, while Djokovic's serve doesn't compare to the very best servers on that list his serve is well above average. When you factor in serving as well as returning stats, his forehand/backhand, movement/athleticism, mental strength the complete statement starts to look a lot more complete. :) (OK, excluding net play).

    I couldn't see any stats for points won at net. As the modern game is heavily orientated toward baseline play, his net game doesn't really get tested. Judging by the overall development of his game, I am sure he would have developed an excellent net game if required. After all he is an elite athlete with excellent movement around the court I am sure he could have adapted those skills to improving this part of his game.
     
  17. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    murray did that on occasions as well ......
     
  18. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Define "modern" era and "complete" (some people use the word "complete" to describe a player that wins in all surfaces, even if he is not a complete player by any means).

    Djokovic is an absolutely great baseliner, which is great and enough in this era to win everywhere against all the rest (that are baseliners too).

    But he is not a complete player in the sense of being great with all possible strokes and that uses a very varied set of winning points, all kind of winning shots/strategies.

    By the way, being "complete" is not necessarily a great thing.

    Cedric Pioline, Todd Martin, Wayne Ferreira, Carlos Costa (not Albert), Malivai Washington, Jason Stoltenberg....were very complete players (they all used all kind of shots to win points, they could play as well from the baseline as at the net, and in fact all them varied constantly the way they constructed their points depending on surfaces, matches, opponents...).

    They were much more complete than Agassi and Rafter, for example, but both Agassi and Rafter were much better players (because both Agassi and Rafter were THE BEST of the world at something important, Agassi baseline strokes and return, Rafter net game and kick serve).
     
  19. powerangle

    powerangle Legend

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    He's very complete as far as being a baseliner (great forehand, backhand, return, lateral movement, anticipation, flexibility). He's not exactly "complete" in the sense of all-court play (Federer is more complete in that sense, but maybe less complete of a baseliner due to his relatively weaker backhnd).
     
  20. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    Interesting way of looking at it, I guess being a master of one trade can be better than being good at everything but a master of none.
     
  21. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Referring to the Olympics?
     
  22. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    that, USO 2012 ( though that involved lot of boring rallies as well ), dubai 2012 ... early part of the AO 2013 final ...
     
  23. xan

    xan Professional

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    people who think he is an 'average' on net need to watch some of his matches instead of copy/pastying this old myth that has been going on around here since, well, forever. even more so, its laughable to read when people mention 'below average'. TT standardts ftw.

    only thing where his game is lackluster are his overheads. nothing else. but gl convincing people anything here.
     
  24. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    he's weak at the net, relative to the rest of this game which is top notch. He's not bad, it's just an area where he is not one of the top players.

    but he's not an all courter, so as a defensive baseliner it doesn't really hurt him especially given the current tour. Exceptions are when he faces an aggressive all courter that is of a very high calibre but there are so few of them around, Federer for sure and Haas on a good* day... Dimitrov is getting there, but has other holes in this game (mental aspects, stamina, etc...) that's about it!

    Nadal seems a lot better at the net in terms of anticipation and touch, but it makes sense as a lot of clay courters end up being drawn to the net due to drop shot exchanges. Also, Nadal plays a bit of doubles nowadays.

    Murray is also pretty good at the net in comparison to Novak, so it's not just GOAT that we're comparing him to.

    I think Federer is the most complete player of the modern era. his net game is on par with S&V greats and from teh baseline he is a beast. he also has great serves and has such variety in terms of what he can produce on a court... he can do almost any strategy.

    One could argue quite convincingly that Llodra and such are superior to Novak at the net. It would be difficult to say that Llodra is better than Federer at the net though.

    Maybe Novak's grinding baseline game is more suited to the current tour, maybe it's Federer's decline from his stratospheric highs that gives this impression... i don't know. it's difficult to tell, but Federer's tennis is more complete, imo.



    * Windy? ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  25. single_handed_champion

    single_handed_champion Professional

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    Except I don't think Djokovic is the undisputed best at anything. Return is not a shot. He has rivals for best defense. Off the ground, there are better shots than his. Serve too.

    Basically he is not attackable, except on fast, low bouncing surfaces. Everything else helps him grind everyone down.
     
  26. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    You wouldn't consider his backhand as the best on tour at least the best doublehander on tour since the likes of safin,agassi and nalbandian?
     
  27. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, In the current era Djokovic might be the most complete player. He will not reach Roger's amount of majors won because he has two tough opponents: Nadal and Murray.
     
  28. adil1972

    adil1972 Professional

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    how can djokovic be a complete player when he has not won french open
     
  29. msc886

    msc886 Professional

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    His baseline game is pretty complete although he doesn't have much variety on the baseline (he's just really solid and really fast) The rest of his game isn't that impressive.
     
  30. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    This kind of statement has no thought behind it as it is commonly known that he changes direction of a rally better than any player on tour he also goes up the line on both sides better that any player. which fed and nadal have stated on many occasion.
     
  31. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    No, Federer is. Sampras hangs close though.
     
  32. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    No, he isn't. Most complete players are generally all courters. Although being a specialist is arguably working quite well on the tour these days.
     
  33. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    I also recall dubai last year. The court was very fast and murray served out of his shoes and djoker looked average returning serve in that match.


    Seems the "best returner of all time" only is such on slower surfaces.
     
  34. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Wtf...how is cha ging direction on the ball variety?

    By variety people mean altering the spin(loopy topspin, power topspin, slice, sidespin, flat) and pace of the ball, the depth and the angle, as well as varying tactics I.e. serve volley, chip and charge, approach the net etc.

    Djoker is a fantastic baseliner, but master of variety he i not.
    I wouldn't say he is one dimensional, but what he does he does really well
    s
     
  35. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    Federer, Djokovic, Safin, Sampras, Krajicek, Nadal are probably the most complete players I've seen, they all have their differences but yeah, Djokovic is one of them.
     
  36. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    So Djoker does not hit spin then flatten his shots out for winners? did you watch him in 2011.
     
  37. 5555

    5555 Hall of Fame

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  38. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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  39. pds999

    pds999 Hall of Fame

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    Not really. The article is nearly 2 years old now.
     
  40. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Duh. Anybody in the top 100 can hit flat and topspin.

    One thing people always said about fed, was the hardest thing to deal with about his game was his variety.

    Nobody says that about djoker or nadal. Tell me in what djoker mtch has he dazzled you with variety.

    Murray has the tools and touch and has almost as many tools as fed
     
  41. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    I don't think so - at least by my definition of "complete". I think Federer has a more complete game.

    But, I also don't think it matters. You don't have to be complete to be the best. Djokovic is the best returner/defender in tennis history - he has built his game accordingly around that base and strengthened the areas that are most important. Net game - who cares? He doesn't need it. He's on par with most other players in his ability to capitalize and put away easy volleys. He doesn't need to be able to volley beyond that.

    Sampras wasn't complete either. Also didn't need to be, only his style was pretty much the exact opposite of Djoker's.

    Tommy Haas has a pretty complete game, IMO.

    To oversimplify, I think being great in a few areas is more important than being good at all of them.
     
  42. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

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    I think in macro terms of offense + defense + transition + consistency + fitness + mental game, he certainly is arguably the most complete player on the planet these days. He can win big on all surfaces without any real exploitable flaws and he plays a ruthlessly efficient game
     
  43. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    Nope, Djokovic is a topspin baseline specialist. No volleys, no slice, laughable overhead smash.
    People only call him "complete" because of his strong backhand that he does not have to run around, unlike Federer or Nadal.

    Murray in that sense is a much more complete player. He can do almost everything Federer does, except he does not have Federer's wrist (squash shots, tweeners and precise backhand smashes, all of that is rare enough not to be critical for success).
     
  44. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    I agreee completely with everything you said.

    Murray is the closest current player whose variety is on par with fed and his ground game can hang witn djoker.

    Id even rate murray slightly better on a fast hc.

    That said, djoker is by far the stronger player mentally compared to murray.
     
  45. ctoth666

    ctoth666 Professional

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    SERIOUSLY. How can his overhead smash be so below par? It's bloody awful. Club players have better overheads for goodness sake. It doesn't affect his game that much at all, but still, I'm just uncertain as to how it can be such a poor shot, especially considering the quality of his serve and footwork.
     
  46. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    One of the most complete baseline players ever for sure. He doesn't have an all court game, but he knows his strengths and weaknesses well and sticks to what he does best.
     
  47. asusundevils1971

    asusundevils1971 Rookie

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    Wouldn't a complete player have won all four of the grand slams?. I think that there have been only three in the modern era: Agassi, Federer, and Nadal. Djokovic still has at least five good years left to win the elusive FO..
     
  48. Gandalf

    Gandalf Rookie

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    The modern game yesterday required average net skills to succeed. Maybe win.

    He doesn't seem capable at the net. It is guaranteed the he will never improve, you either have it in you, or you don't. He has the classic trio of flaws for a 2hbh player: bad volleys, bad overhead, bad, defensive, slow slice. Another classic giveaway-most volleys he plays are drop shots. He can of course, hit all of this perfectly, in both training and matches, but he will never be comfortable with them. It is clear that that should be exploited, but it's kinda hard telling someone 'make him come to the net' like they are 14 years old, because everything else in Novak's game is fantastic. The way he can tame Nadal, control taking the ball early is amazing. I will dare use the word 'only' next to the number of his UEs whenever he plays Nadal on clay.

    It's a pity, really.
     
  49. pds999

    pds999 Hall of Fame

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    He is a very complete baseliner yes, such a tough player to beat. If he has a weakness it is that he has no backhand slice of note and when he comes forward to the net, he does look like a fish out of water sometimes. That is where I think Nadal has the edge as an all court player.
     
  50. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    NDjokovic is the least complete player to win a slam. He can't even hit an overhead.
     

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