Michael Russell: Novak is at a different level than Murray, Federer and Rafa

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by 5555, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. 5555

    5555 Hall of Fame

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    "Novak kind of plays like Andre [Agassi], dictating points and you feel like you have no breathing room, but at same time he serves better than Andre did,” Russell said at San Jose SAP Open. “But his return is by far the best. He cracks winner off first serves. I was talking to Ryan Harrison’s coach about his match against Novak at the Australian Open and Ryan served close to 70 percent of his first serves and Novak won 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. He’s hitting 110 MPH returns . I think Novak is at a different level than Murray, Federer and Rafa. The scary thing with Novak is he actually has room to improve. He has so many opportunities to come to net and transition, but he’s so good from the ground and at moving he’s content to nail it to one corner, have it floated back, let it bounce and then nail it to another corner. He could finish points faster, but I’m not going not going to tell him that"

    Link http://www.10sballs.com/2013/02/15/michael-russell-is-amazed-by-novak-djokovic/
     
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  2. pug

    pug Semi-Pro

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    Michael should know. He is almost as knowledgeable as some of the posters here.
     
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  3. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    Is that the reason why he lost FO to Nadal, wimby to Fed and USO to Murray ?
     
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  4. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

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    we are in 2013
     
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  5. Tropikal_Knights

    Tropikal_Knights Banned

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    Mentally I would say he is tougher than all 3. But at their primes Fed has the edge over him
     
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  6. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Rafa and Fed are on their way out the door with a million more miles on their body then Djokovic , and Murray is an inferior version of Djokovic and everyone ranked from rank 5 down on tour completely SUCKS.

    I would hope at this point in time Novak is on a different level
     
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  7. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    we dont often agree.

    heck, we never agree.

    but, *nods* QFT
     
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  8. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, but we are barely a month into it. What is relevant is the performace over the last 4 majors.

    If he wins 5 majors between wimbledon and FO , we can accept he is in the level of Sampras and Nadal.
     
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  9. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Everyone markets the new slam winner as better than previous great champions.

    Like the hype the hell out of Federer being better Sampras....which he is right now.....at that time it was wrong.

    Right now Novak level is not better or ever was better than Federer 04-06 or Nadal 08,10.

    Fedal at their peak would be Djokovic at his peak. Djokovic game takes the bland base lining game to small bevel higher.
     
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  10. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    AS of today yes, especially comparing to a 31 years of Fed. However at their prime, it's (1)Federer, (2)Nadal, (3)Nole, (4)Murray.
     
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  11. dunlop_fort_knox

    dunlop_fort_knox Semi-Pro

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    here's the thing. if novak wins the calendar slam this year he will leap to the very top of GOAT rankings. yes even above rogi.
     
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  12. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    No he will not. Only in the minds of the insane will that be the case.
     
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  13. pds999

    pds999 Hall of Fame

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    I would disagre that Rafa has a million more miles on the clock now. They are the same age and Djok has really had to go to the well in the last 18 months in so many matches whereas Nadal has just had 7 months off.

    I think both at their best then Rafa wins on clay, Djok on all but the very slowest hardcourts and grass it's a toss of a coin. Nothing between them.
     
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  14. AbsoluTennis

    AbsoluTennis New User

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    Now thats absolut nonsense...
    but i ve to agree that with Novaks Return hes dominating Rafa and Fed, and with Rafa not in top shape and besides that only a thread on clay, and Fed getting older Novak could stay on top for a really long long time.
     
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  15. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    michael russell would do well to emulate his new idol...
     
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  16. Cosmic_Colin

    Cosmic_Colin Professional

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    On grass, peak Rafa > peak Novak. Just compare the number of Wimbledon finals.

    Djokovic might improve his grass game, but right now it's his weakest surface.
     
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  17. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    I would say peak for peak

    Federer >>> Djokovic at US Open
    Federer >>>>>>> Djokovic at Wimbledon
    Federer > Djokovic on clay
    Djokovic >>> federer Plexicushion

    (not sure about rebound ace)

    Nadal >>>>>> Djokovic on clay
    Nadal >> Djokovic on grass
    Djokovic >>>>> Nadal on HC

    that's just a rough score
     
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  18. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    Djokovic is clearly the best player on the tour. The rankings don't lie.

    But I'm not sure I agree with Russell that he's on such a different level that it's not possible to beat him. Within the last 12 months, he's lost to Nadal on 3 occasions (MC, Rome and RG), Murray on 3 occasions (Dubai, Olympics and USO) and Federer at least once (Wimbledon) and had some really close matches with them even when he won (AO final against Nadal, AO semi against Murray, Shanghai final against Murray).

    He also had a narrow escape against Wawrinka at the recent AO. Wawrinka had chances to win that match.

    It's certainly difficult to beat Djokovic. But it is by no means impossible.
     
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  19. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    Rafa is a year older but in his teens, already a slam winner and had several masters titles. He started out earlier and will burn out earlier than Novak.
     
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  20. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    I don't think he's at such a different level. Things are pretty tight at the top. But he's won 5 out of the last 7 finals he's played (over the last 6 months). So, he's the man to beat on hard, yeah. On clay, it's still Nadal.
     
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  21. President

    President Legend

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    This.

    A different level would be Roger Federer from 2004-2007, he was clearly just a class above everybody else except Nadal on clay. Djokovic is the best player right now but the other top players are very close to him in level.
     
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  22. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Djokovic in the first 8 months of 2011 was undoubtably a level above all others. From then until the end of 2012 he was simply the best overall, but not a whole level above the rest of the top 4. This year he has started in somewhat more dominant fashion, and it remains to be seen if he will return to a whole level above the rest or simply stay at being the best (it is hard to believe anyone will overtake him for #1 this year, even briefly like last year, either way).
     
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  23. Chanwan

    Chanwan Legend

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    Nope - as great as the Calendar slam is, it doesn't leap you in front of somebody who's won double. It's more of a tiebreaker imo, but it would raise him from Agassi, Lendl, Connors, McEnroe level and put him on foot or close to Pete, Borg, Nadal.
     
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  24. MonkeyBoy

    MonkeyBoy Professional

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    Djokovic deserves the #1 ranking, but he's hardly untouchable.

    Murray probably has a slight edge on faster hard courts. Murray is also a better grass player (Federer and Tsonga can really push him on grass as well)

    Djokovic is the best slow hard and indoor player. He's also the best clay player atm, but this is very contingent on Nadal's recovery.
     
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  25. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    is michael russell trying to benefit from Novak's post Aussie Open PR? Weak sauce...
     
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  26. Fiji

    Fiji Legend

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    Exactly. Federer(wife and kids) and Nadal(knees) are almost retired and Murray is an inferior version of Novak. Advantage Novak nowadays. He is alone out there now when it comes to elite competition, if he doesn't win the CYGS this year, then he is an underachiever.:oops:
     
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  27. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    I have to agree. And just to add to your argument. He lost to Federer in Cincinnati last year, and had tight matches with Seppi and Tsonga at RG.
     
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  28. Fiji

    Fiji Legend

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    Federer 1082 matches played
    Nadal 713 matches played
    Djokovic 600 matches played
     
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  29. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    Good points. I'd forgotten about those.
     
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  30. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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    If federer claims that he is better now than he was in 2003-2007, logic would dictate that djokovic is a better player than roger historically. irrelevant of the stats because the best version of roger is playing second fiddle to djokovic now.

    Now, some of you will claim that roger isnt a better player than 5-6 years ago but you will have to make a case for why you know better than roger himself.

    I am all ears.
     
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  31. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Rafa has way more miles on the engine at this point.. Hes been in the top 2 in the world since 2005 (a whole 3-4 years before Nole became a major player, actually moreso because Nole didn't become a TRUE major player until late 2010-2011 when he really hit his stride). Nadal had to pickup the slack for guys like Safin, Nalbandian, Roddick, Hewitt etc. and other Fed contemporaries.
     
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  32. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    in 2012 his record was

    vs Nadal 1-3
    vs Murray 4-3
    vs Federer 3-2

    so pretty close.

    On HC it's

    vs Nadal 1-0
    vs Murray 4-2
    vs Federer 1-1
     
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  33. Speranza

    Speranza Hall of Fame

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    Without meaning to sound ageist... How old are you?
     
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  34. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    29

    10 char
     
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  35. Speranza

    Speranza Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for replying.
     
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  36. RAFA2005RG

    RAFA2005RG Banned

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    This explains why Djokovic only won ONE slam in 2012, and lost to Nadal, Federer and Murray at the other 3 slams. Agassi also relied on the Australian Open heavily. They are both Australian Open specialists.
     
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  37. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, Roger will come and say 'my best is in the past and i am just trying to get whatever mileage i can from the tour'.
     
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  38. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    To be fair, Harrison wasn't losing because Djokovic was somehow getting back amazing serves. Harrison was hitting hard serves which happened to be pretty predictably at the top level and therefore not a huge challenge generally. His coach can subtly flatter the circumstances of the loss but if he doesn't realise that his pupil is a relative easy-beat for the top guys then Harrison is probably just going to be another example of how American tennis academies fail to nurture players to that final 5% which is the difference between being a journeyman and a top player.

    Sure, Djokovic returned extremely well but any of the top four could hand Harrison that sort of score imo.
     
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  39. NEW_BORN

    NEW_BORN Professional

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    Fed is now a SMARTER player, not a BETTER player.
    Gotta be blind not to see that.
     
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  40. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    Interesting quote.
    I've always liked Russell, gives it all.
     
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  41. ctoth666

    ctoth666 Professional

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    The way Federer returns serve these days, no he's not in Novak's league, and there's no way he's winning anything this year. It's a liability, honestly, and not because he's a poor returner but because he's the worst returner in the top five.
     
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