Which Player Creates The Worst Matchups Ever

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by TMF, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    A better player doesn't necessary means he will win most of the time, and one of the main reason is match up problem. Never in the history of tennis I find Nadal has so many advantage over Federer. Not just because he's a lefty, but his unique style that suits perfectly against Roger's style. Added to the fact this era also suits Nadal with the heavy ball, high bounce and slower court.

    Does anyone find any player in the past that possess such huge match up issues like Roger and Rafa? I can't see any past great players has this problem, at least not even close to this level.
     
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  2. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Pancho Gonzalez was a bad matchup for anybody, i suppose. Dark, dangerous and very angry. Yet, he had some problems early on with Schroeder and Kramer, Tilden had problems with Cochet, Hoad with Patty, Rosewall with Dane Kurt Nielsen, Laver with fellow lefty Fraser or later Marty Riessen, Borg with McEnroe, Becker with Gilbert, Sampras with Ferreira. Many of the great champs had some dark horses, but yet they found a way to solve the puzzle and to hold the head to head at least quite even.
     
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  3. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Jimmy Connors was a bad matchup for Ken Rosewall.
     
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  4. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    There has been a lot of one sided matchups of course. Arthur Ashe lost his first seventeen matches to Laver and couldn't beat Laver until 1974, when Laver would turn 36. Laver just did most things better than Ashe. Laver also hit so well on the rise that Ashe had less time at the net. One of Laver's best returns was the backhand crosscourt in the ad court to Ashe's weaker forehand volley.

    Borg and Vilas was a bad matchup for Vilas because Borg did everything better also. But Borg was a bad matchup for virtually anyone with the heavy high bouncing topspin and pace.

    Ellsworth Vines was a bad matchup for Henri Cochet because as Vines explained it, Cochet liked to hang around in no man's land and that was bad if Vines was driving the ball well. Cochet never defeated Vines in any match.

    I think the problem with the Nadal/Federer matchup is just that besides the fact that Nadal can loop to the weaker Federer backhand, Nadal is just plain more consistent than Federer on any surface. Federer can't play his normal game on most occasions and win so he MUST take more risks and usually that doesn't pay off. What can Federer do? I don't think he volleys well enough to approach the net consistently like a Sampras might do so he has to trade groundstrokes and wait for a chance to use his heavy forehand to attack.

    Sure it's a matchup problem but sometimes I don't think people give Nadal enough credit. The man is a fabulous player and one of the best I've seen.
     
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  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Federer has the tools to change his tactics against Nadal, especially on hard and grass. But, for some reason, he just won't do it.
     
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  6. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Oh come on. Rosewall is 18 yr older than Connors.

    I'm looking for a player that has the overall edge not only the style he play, but the condition too. That is where Nadal pretty much enjoy everything over Fed.
     
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  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    In 1974, Rosewall lost to Connors in the finals at Wimbledon and the USO, beating some of the best players in the World like John Newcombe (who beat Conner's the next year at the AO final), Stan Smith, Vijay Amritraj, Rosco Tanner, Bob Lutz and Raul Ramirez, on his way to those finals.

    PS: Two years earlier, Rosewall won the AO, and 4 years earlier, Rosewall won the USO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Are you only looking at really super top level players because Vitas Gerulaitis lost every match he played to Bjorn Borg? Vitas was terrific but not super top of the line.
     
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  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Delete post.
     
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  10. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    As pc1 pointed out, its not so easy for Federer to change or modify his game. His hasn't the strong backhand of say Djokovic, who can explore the weaker backhand side of Nadal. Also his returns are not as aggressive as Djokers, to get more out of Nadals not so strong service game. So he has to rely on long rallies, where he faces two effects: often he loses the point right away, and if he wins them, he is in danger to wilt in his legs and lose his stamina.
    Overall, Federer has missed out in the past to learn a better forecourt game: He did some approaches today, but many of his approaches were hard drives without much placement, which landed on Nadals better forehand side. Going by the old textbooks, approaches should be more long slices, which stay low. They give you more time to build a position up on the net, and the returner has to pick up the ball for a passing. Also his volley-game is imo not that solid and consistent, given some nice volley and half-volley points here and there. Its imo a confidence problem, because from his mentality he never was an aggressive first-striker like Sampras or Becker (who never had a technical sound forehand volley, but made good with his sheer mentality). Tony Roche tried to modify his game towards a more forecourt orientated game, but ever since he has not improved on it.
     
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  11. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    But against the entire field, Fed was more dominant than Nadal. And Nadal faces match up problems against other players. Which player does Fed has match up problem besides of Nadal? There's none, it's only Nadal. Of course I'm excluding clay since Nadal is a better player(although match up issues still exist in this surface).
     
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  12. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    That Federer has/had no problems with other players, is quite a myth. If i see it right, than he is trailing the head to head to Murray, who simply couldn't deliver in majors. Against Nalbandian, Federer faced quite big matchup problems - on all surfaces. And early in his career, Rafter or Corretja were not easy to overcome.
     
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  13. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Of course Federer had to have some problems with other players. His lifetime winning percentage is 81%, great but hardly invincible.

    I'm not sure if Federer is more dominant against the rest of the field. It's debatable. If you look at Federer versus the top three (aside from him) , he has a losing record against two of them. Nadal has a winning record against all three if you include Federer.
     
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  14. eric draven

    eric draven Rookie

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    An obvious one to me was Sampras vs. Agassi. Sampras had the serve to neutralize Agassi's greatest strength: the return. He also usually played him on fast surfaces (faster than today's) and was a better mover. His style didn't allow Andre to take control of the point very often and he was put on the defensive more. Andre's style (especially in the second half of his career) to was to dictate play and move his opponent around. He simply couldn't do that to Sampras often enough during a match to beat him consistently.

    A more intriguing matchup was McEnroe's early matches against Lendl and the complete turnaround the second half of their careers. Early on McEnroe could constantly pressure Lendle with his S&V game and count on the fact that Lendl would mentally crack. In the second half Lendl's fitness and power game made it tough for McEnroe to get to the net and even if he did, deal with the passing shots that Lendl was able to produce.
     
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  15. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Agree with all except that Nalbandian is an easy opponent for Federer on grass. Add Hewitt and Henman to Federer's early career struggles.
     
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  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    As Limpin said Rosewall beat the top players in the world in the earlier rounds, before meeting Connors. That's one thing.

    And there is definitely a matchup issue there. Rosewall's weakest stroke was his serve, while Connors' great strength was the return. One player's strength going directly against another's weakness. That's definitely one type of bad matchup.

    Connors had a harder time defeating Laver, whose serve was better than Rosewall's. Newcombe's serve was the best of all of them and, no surprise, he gave Connors the hardest time of all, beating him in big matches. Yet Newcombe lost to Rosewall at both Wimbledon and USO in '74.

    One really tough opponent for Connors was Kevin Curren, who was unbreakable when in the zone. He was not the most consistent player, so Connors has a 6-5 edge in the H2H; but Curren won arguably their three most important matches, zoning those two times he beat Connors at Wimbledon. He was unbroken in both matches. That was Connors' great strength: breaking serve. So when he was not able to break serve, he was in trouble.
     
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  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Miloslav Mecir was a terrible matchup for all of the topspinning Swedes. Lifetime he was:

    7-4 over Wilander
    3-0 over Pernfors
    2-0 over Sundstrom
    4-2 over Nystrom
    4-2 over Carlsson

    Mecir did have losing records against two Swedes: 5-10 against Edberg and 4-5 against Jarryd. Edberg obviously had a different style than the other Swedes. I don't remember Jarryd's game that well (maybe SusanDK does), but somehow I recall him flattening out his strokes at times more than the other Swedes.

    (Svensson had a different style from the topspinning Swedes, but Mecir was 4-2 over him as well.)

    Wilander spoke often about Mecir taking him out of his comfort zone. In Wilander's best year (1988 ), Mecir clobbered him at Wimbledon, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3. John Barrett was in the booth and he said that Wilander’s uncharacteristic misses in that match could be attributed to the “mental lock” Mecir had put him in.

    I found that remarkable because Wilander was regarded as one of the mentally toughest players of the 80s. When matches got three or four hours old he was as solid as Nadal. But Mecir was in his head.

    If Mecir had been stronger mentally and had been more consistent -- let's say, if he had been among the top 2 or 3 players in the world, making Slam finals in '87 and '88, just as Wilander was making a push for #1 -- Wilander would have found him a nightmare rival.

    (TMF, nice to see you asking about tennis history.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  18. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I always thought some of those matches that Mecir had with the Swedes were funny because often it seemed that he was several levels above them and that he could toy with them. Agassi said at one point that Mecir was his toughest opponent because he couldn't figure out what he was going to do if memory serves.
     
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  19. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Yes sometimes matchup issues come down to how well you can read your opponent. Agassi may have been unable to read Mecir (not many people could). Also, this is just a guess, but Agassi's mobility was never his strength, and Mecir was perfectly capable of jerking someone like that around the court (when he wasn't fishing!)

    Agassi could read Becker's serve, and Stich's, very well. He dominated both of them in H2H (he was 6-0 against Stich). He could not seem to read Sampras' serve nearly as well. Yet Sampras went 4-5 against Stich. Pete had nothing but praise for Stich's serve and even feared it (calling Stich's second serve, I think, the best in the game or close to it).
     
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True, Lendl was a bad match up for john, not just because of styles but also because of mind.Lendl himself had a very bad match up with Connors, qt least till 1985 or so.

    Lendl was also a bad match up for Vilas.
     
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  21. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Those are both good, but I'd say the Mac v. Lendl match up had its ups and downs. Sampras pretty much got the better of Andre on most of the important occasions. Andre vs. Becker is one of the more common ones. And, maybe Rafter vs. Andre too.
     
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  22. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Maybe the closest analogy to Federer/Nadal is Lendl/Becker. Lendl leads Becker 8-6 in Slam titles, but trails 1-5 in direct Slam meetings. None of those meetings took place at Roland Garros, where Lendl's advantage would have been greatest.

    We could say a lot about that rivalry, but purely in terms of strokes, I think Lendl's return did not stand up well to Becker's serve (and at Wimbledon his volleys did not stand up well to the power that Becker generated on the BH). Lendl was a great baseliner, but the weakest part of that groundstroke game was probably his return.

    Nystrom was not nearly the player Lendl was, but he had one of the best returns of the 80s. He posted some great results against Becker, beating him at the USO, pushing him to 5 sets at Wimbledon.

    Jarryd was another like that, far below Lendl's caliber overall, but with a superb return. He beat Becker in Dallas and even beat him at age 31 at the AO.

    Wilander, whose return imo was better than Lendl's, was 3-0 against Becker in Slams. Okay so two of those meetings were on clay. But he straight-setted Becker at the AO in 1990. Somehow I can't see Lendl doing the same.

    Maybe on clay. And maybe indoors -- that's where Lendl had his greatest success against Becker. (Yet another parallel with Federer and Nadal). Twice at the Garden he did in fact sweep Becker in 3 straight sets.

    Meanwhile Becker's power, indoors, totally overwhelmed Wilander.
     
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  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think Mats in watching Lendl during an exhibition mentioned that Lendl's minor weakness was his backhand return. So I can see Becker or a Sampras taking advantage of that. Off the ground I think Lendl was about as good as anyone, even on the backhand side. The backhand was solid off the ground but it wasn't a great offensive return like a Connors, Borg, Laver or Agassi.

    One of the things that always amazed me about Laver is how he often could take huge serve and wallop them back on his backhand side. I would guess it have a lot to do with his powerful wrists.

    I'm not sure that Lendl and McEnroe was really a mismatch. McEnroe declined sharply after 1985 due to injuries and other problems. Lendl, while only a little younger than McEnroe was in far better condition and took advantage of the decline in level of play of McEnroe.

    It was the same with Connors. Connors dominated the early rivalry with Lendl but after Connors declined, Lendl took over. Now admittedly Connors dominated a Lendl who didn't reach his peak. If both were at their peak, it would be tough match on all surfaces.
     
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  24. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    On those hot slower sticky hard courts, I can. So much depends on which Boris shows up, and how many sets that particular Boris hangs around The courts have been generous to the Lendl game, and but for that back problem, he would have done better.
     
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  25. CageTennisMasters

    CageTennisMasters New User

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    re: Sampras vs. Agassi. How about Ivanisevic vs. Agassi (One of the best Wimbledon Final ever - Agassi won with returns that were just out of this world!)
     
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  26. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    "Are you only looking at really super top level players because Vitas Gerulaitis lost every match he played to Bjorn Borg? Vitas was terrific but not super top of the line."

    Vitas was as far behind the Top 3 of his day as any gulf that has ever existed in the open era between the elite players and the next level.
     
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  27. eric draven

    eric draven Rookie

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    Good point. Goran could serve people off the court but lost all four finals he ever played against Andre (I think).
     
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  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Very good post.Mecir beat all the world´s top players but he had a particular taste for the swedish squad.But Edberg and Becker dominated him at the long run, isn´t it?
     
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  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    The thing is Becker always seemed keyed up to play Lendl. Partly that was because they were longtime rivals, and Lendl was always up at the top of the game, always the guy that everyone targeted. But I think Becker also enjoyed the matchup against Lendl. It rarely took him out of his comfort zone.

    Wilander seemed to be a different story for Becker, under certain conditions. Indoors, no problems, he could blast away against Mats. But on a hot day in Australia, on a slow court where he can't blow Wilander away, it could be totally a different story. Wilander would be giving him little pace, little for him to catch fire. That's just the sort of opponent that Becker always struggled against.

    That particular day in Australia reached 40 degrees C, with a hot wind blowing. But intense heat never bothered Wilander. Becker said he was still recovering from a five-setter against Mecir two days earlier. Sometimes after those marathons he would seem to come out flat for his next match -- but I think the opponent has something to do with that. That's one thing I find so interesting about this topic.

    In this case I can see Becker waking up feeling inspired to play Lendl, and getting fired up with the actual hard-hitting tennis that those two played. And besides, Lendl could struggle in windy conditions too, particularly with his toss. (That's one reason he played his best tennis indoors).

    Meanwhile look at Wilander. He beat almost nobody after '88. Why is it on one hot day in Australia he seemed to play his best tennis again? I haven't seen the match -- but I'm suggesting maybe it was because he enjoyed some aspects of the matchup (or at least Becker did not enjoy them), and the circumstances were favorable to him (hot conditions did not generally bother him; he handled that bettered than almost anybody).

    In general I think a player can look totally off-form, but one day he plays someone who is a favorable matchup for him (perhaps even his pidgeon), and suddenly he looks like he's turned back the clock and overcome all his problems. But the next round comes and that turns out not necessarily to be true.

    Conversely, someone can be in great form, like Federer has been for months, and then suddenly against an uncomfortable opponent, old patterns can reappear.
     
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  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I think Becker vs Lendl was more a menthal issue than a technichal issue.
     
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  31. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Yes and now we know of that great example against Osuna.

    A mismatch, I wouldn't call it. A bad matchup, yes, in some ways, for McEnroe. You can see it right when Lendl came up, and he started dominating McEnroe while still struggling with Connors. McEnroe did have a problem with Lendl's pace, while of course Connors loved it.

    But then McEnroe turned all that around in 1983-84. In a lot of those matches Lendl was helpless. Which shows, I think, that even though McEnroe did have more of a problem with Lendl's pace than other players did, it was really only a decisive problem the way he was playing up through '82. After that he started coming in relentlessly, taking some of Budge's advice (I think Budge advised him to come in all the time and to come in down the middle). And then he turned it all around.

    So that's one example of a bad matchup that was turned around. Maybe one of the best examples. Tilden seems to have completely turned around his rivalry with Cochet, too, after he turned pro. Did he start playing Cochet the way Vines did, taking advantage of where Cochet stood on the court?

    So sometimes you have a lopsided rivalry and some aspects can be put down to "bad matchup," but you have to wonder how much of the lopsidedness can be fixed with a change in tactics.
     
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  32. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think about changes in tactics but some of these players may not have any other options. If they change stategies, they may lose by a greater margin.

    Tilden is a great example of a player with infinite variety. He had great pace, variety of spins, angles and drop shots. I love reading some stories in which Fred Perry discussed Tilden and how you could never pull anything over him.

    And some of the stories of how he practiced an offensive backhand and learning to use different grips in different situations because he felt in studying other players that it was better is fascinating to me. He learned that in certain situations the continental grip was superior to his won eastern grip by studying Fred Perry's game. And he told Perry the unless he learned that he felt he wasn't a complete player. Tilden I believe was in his late 40's or fifties at that point.

    So the big question is, can a player be truly great if he has a rival who can exploit a major weakness? Now of course just about any player has a weakness but can that player adjust to what the player is doing to him or her? Lew Hoad exploited a weakness in Gonzalez's game but Gonzalez adjusted and won the tour going away.
     
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  33. BTURNER

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    As always a well reasoned, intuitive reply, Krosero.
     
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  34. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    This is exactly the observation made by Craig O'Shannessy at the New York Times blog: Federer hit too often to Nadal's strength. Approaching to Nadal's BH worked far better but sometimes he gave up that strategy (probably out of his own natural confidence in his DTL and inside-out FH, his best shots), and got burned.

    "Federer overplayed hitting to Nadal’s forehand in the deuce court, especially on approach shots, and lost another epic, heavyweight battle to his archrival after leading by a set and a break."

    http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/nadal-vs-federer-breaking-it-down/

    Incidentally Nadal's own net-rushing was not successful at all. It didn't matter in the end because he did so little of it, but he won only 5 of 15 approaches.
     
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  35. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Tilden did have great variety but also could be stubborn (resembling Federer in both respects). The main reason Tilden lost so often to the Musketeers was because he didn't come to net against them, according to Vines which you know.

    This week before Federer beat Del Potro, Geoff Macdonald said that Federer went to work on his BH after Del Potro attacked his BH so successfully in the USO final in '09. He compared it to Tilden working on his BH weakness in the winter of 1919: http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/federer-looks-for-a-way-past-del-potro/

    After the match there was an analysis of all the adjustments Federer made against Del Potro: http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/federer-vs-del-potro-breaking-it-down/

    Federer's BH was looking good at this AO, though I wonder what his winner/UE count was on that side against Nadal.
     
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  36. BTURNER

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    No thoughts thus far on the women. Austin was a terrible match-up for Evert. she was completely ill prepared to meet herself in a mirror, with a bit more power off both wings. From looking at her h to h, I see three players for whom Evert was more devastating than relative rankings should suggest. On the way up, no doubt it was poor Frankie Durr, who really was a top ten player of some merit. 13 meetings with 7 before Evert became #1, Durr got one set out of them all. 1970 she lost 0-6, 1-6. In total, 13 sets she lost with no more than 1 game. The other two, were Wade and Shriver. Wade got 6 victories, but it took her 46 matches to get them. And as Shriver put it, she finally got her first win, when Evert was on social security. the H to H was 19:3, but she had trouble winning many sets.

    the other terrible match-up that comes to mind was Hana and Graf. Graf started beating on her from the first meeting.
     
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  37. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

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    True, Jarryd hit with far less topspin than, say Carlsson, Nystrom or Wilander. He was also more of an all-courter, would serve and volley sometimes, mix things up and was perhaps less predictable. As was stated, he had a strong return, and also very strong inside-out shots from both backhand and forehand.

    I remember a few of the long rallies he had with Becker indoors at the WCT Dallas tournament where he and Becker would exchange cross-court shots for ages, then Jarryd would let loose an inside out backhand for the winner, often when Becker was trying to sneak in.

    I don't recall that I ever saw any of this matches against Mecir, but he won both their meetings on grass (including once at Wimbledon when Jarryd won convincingly in straight sets), and three matches on clay. Much to my surprise, Mecir won both meetings indoor on carpet which was Jarryd's best surface, IMO.
     
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  38. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    Djoko vs Nadal
     
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  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Mandlikova was a bad match up for Navratilova....

    Gerulaitis was a bad match up for Tanner.

    Clerc, for a while, was a bad match up for Ivan Lendl, on clay.

    Leconte was also a bad match up for Lendl
     
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  40. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    thanks Susan, and I recall one inside-out FH return that Jarryd put past Becker at the Garden. For some reason that always stuck in my mind. It was an impressive shot, and flat.

    Definitely. Leconte ended up with a losing H2H against Lendl; obviously he was very much a hot-and-cold player. But he said once, after beating Lendl at Wimbledon in '85, that he always knew where Lendl was serving.
     
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  41. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    The obvious bad matchups are when somebody's strength goes directly against another player's weakness. But this is a type of bad matchup too, when two players are very similar but one just does everything a little better. A little like Borg and Vilas maybe. What can the other player do in such a situation? They're stuck: they can grind it out and lose every time, or else try something out of their comfort zone. (Like Vilas coming to net). And then it becomes a bad matchup in the obvious, basic sense: at that point one player is throwing their weaknesses against the other player's strengths (like Vilas' volleys against Borg's passes).

    Evert when playing Austin found everything coming back; and she just wasn't used to that. She was the one who had always done that to others.

    That's what everyone said last year when Djokovic started beating Nadal: Rafa in his whole career, right back to the juniors, had probably never encountered someone who could outlast him in rallies.

    That did seem to be a bad matchup for Vitas, because he had some decent wins over Connors and McEnroe but he never beat Borg; and often he seemed unable to hurt him in any way. And Vitas tried different strategies, but nothing worked.

    Like you say one part of it is that he was just below the level of the top players. I think maybe one thing that Vitas found difficult about Borg was that Borg was just as fast as he was. Think about it, Vitas' greatest strength might have been his footspeed; that's one way he hurt his opponents, by getting to stuff they didn't expect to come back. But when he did that against Borg, Borg would be fast enough to send back yet another reply. That's one reason they had so many great rallies in their five-setter at Wimbledon.

    It's not something I've really looked for when watching their matches, it's just a thought: Gerulaitis and Borg matched up strength against strength (they both had extraordinary speed) and Borg was just a little bit better in that category (as well as others, of course).
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
    #41
  42. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    #42
  43. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    I'm not sure you guys would agree with me but I always thought that Borg and Wilander was a bad match up for Connors. They got everything back, played it safe with high clearance over the net with a lot of topspin, and didn't give Connors a lot of pace to work with.

    Thoughts
     
    #43
  44. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Why do you think Leconte was a bad match up for Lendl? After '85, Lendl never lost to him
     
    #44
  45. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Borg in his prime was definitely a bad matchup for Connors but frankly Borg was a bad matchup for anyone in those days.

    I'm really not sure if Mats Wilander was really a bad matchup for Connors. Mats first played Connors in 1984 when in my opinion Connors was over the hill, still good but over the hill. Connors was still competitive in a number of the matches despite that. I think a Connors in his prime versus Mats in his prime might favors Connors.

    Here's the match scores between the two.
    CONNORS, Jimmy (USA)

    Versus Mats WILANDER (SWE)
    Year Tournament Round Surface Winner Score
    1984 Cincinnati SF Hard (O) M.WILANDER 6-7 6-1 6-7
    1984 Stockholm SF Hard (I) M.WILANDER 7-6 3-6 3-6
    1984 Davis Cup 1984 Clay (I) M.WILANDER 1-6 3-6 3-6
    1985 Tokyo Indoor SF Carpet (I) M.WILANDER W/O
    1986 Cincinnati FR Hard (O) M.WILANDER 4-6 1-6
    1988 Lipton-Key Biscayne FR Hard (O) M.WILANDER 4-6 6-4 4-6 4-6
    Mats WILANDER (SWE) Leads Jimmy CONNORS (USA) : 5 to 0 *
     
    #45
  46. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

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    Jimmy Connors was certainly a bad match up for Stefan Edberg, despite that Connors was past his prime when they met. Although the final H2H is 6-6, Connors won 5 of their first 6 meetings, with 3 of Edberg's 6 wins coming in 1989 and 1991 when Jimmy was 37 and 39 years old.

    But how does one explain 37 year old Connors beating 23-year-old, world-#3 Edberg in convincing straight sets at the US Open in 1989, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1? I don't recall seeing the match - does anyone remember it?
     
    #46
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Beat him unexpectedly.Lendl hated Leconte because he was so unpredictable...
     
    #47
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In agree.Both were equally faster but Borg could trade groundies all day long and Vitas lacked the patience or the winning shot tochange the balance.
     
    #48
  49. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    have you come across any articles/stats on this match? thought it was played at night.

    one of the games Edberg won was a penalty game.

    basically the whole match is on youtube(with time between points edited out)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L9BGtKsEX4&feature=related

    surprisingly sparse crowd
     
    #49
  50. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    They gave Connors plenty of pace to work with, especially Borg. But, you are correct that the played similar games with higher margins for error.
     
    #50

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