Who adapts their game most for different opponents?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by orangettecoleman, May 23, 2010.

  1. orangettecoleman

    orangettecoleman Professional

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    The thread about "Who are today's Brad Gilberts" got me thinking. Setting aside the strength of someone's strokes (or lack thereof), which players adapt their game most from opponent to opponent? Wilander did this to an extent, Hingis as well, and the classic example is Arthur Ashe beating Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon by completely changing his game plan to give Connors nothing but no-pace balls and drop shots. Roddick does show some adaptability, as does Murray (although he ranges from counterpuncher to slightly-more-aggressive counterpuncher). Fed and Nadal adapt their games to the surface more than the opponent. Who else shows this kind of versatility and strategic thinking from match to match? Who makes the other player "hit the ball they hate"? THOUGHTS?
     
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  2. OKUSA

    OKUSA Hall of Fame

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    Stepanek? I don't know that guy is crazy, but he could be onto something
     
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  3. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    What I don't get is how people don't employ Nadal's strategy against Federer. Every player who plays him should try whipping the ball with extreme spin and height to Federer's backhand (and forehand) and see how it works. Just lasso it to him all day long. Why does no one try this??!!
     
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  4. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    Few of them are left handed. Harder to do it DTL imo.
     
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  5. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    Sure, left handed would be ideal, but you can undoubtedly try it right handed too. Why doesn't anyone? Even to his backhand and forehand. It's a strategy worth trying.
     
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  6. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    They all try, Murray even said it himself.
     
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  7. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    I can't recall anyone except Andreev at the Aus Open this year spinning the ball up to Federer at least as much as Nadal does (and surprise surprise, he was successful!). Show me a video of Murray doing it and I'll believe you.
     
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  8. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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  9. dmt

    dmt Hall of Fame

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    Murray tried to attack Federer's backhand but was completely unsuccesfull. Unless you are a leftie, its very diffucilt to do

    Plus Nadals forehand swing motion is based on topspin. Other players cannot suddenly decide to chance their entire swing to hit with extreme topspin like Nadal does.
     
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  10. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    To me it just looks like regular spin, not Nadal's kicking high spin. How come no one moon balls it to his backhand? Like ridiculously high and deep, yet with extreme amounts of pace and spin also. To achieve that you'd have to use the lasso technique, but how come it hasn't been tried? I can't even recall Nadal going that far...
     
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  11. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    You need to realize that it's a lot more difficult to create that much spin with a BH, eg Murray. Nadal has the advantage of doint it with FH. And also it's the clay that helps the ball bounce high. And we know outside clay their H2H is quite something different.
     
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  12. World Beater

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    not everyone can rip the ball with nadal's racquet head speed.
     
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  13. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    Any player should try though, to hit with their forehand, lasso shots extremely high, extremely spun, and deep preferably to Federer's backhand. Even more high and spinny than Nadal's shots. It's worth a try.
     
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  14. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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  15. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    You seem to think Federer just stands there and watch guys do it. It's easy for you to say what they should do.
    Murray has a minivan of coaches traveling around with him and you think you figured it out and they didnt. Nadal is capable of running each and every ball down and get it back to play, he keeps the UEs low with high margin shots, not everyone can do this if they tried. They dont have the grinding abilities of Nadal either.
     
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  16. jaskasm

    jaskasm New User

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    I LOL'd, but I think you'd be hard pressed to put Fed in a situation like that. He'd probably attack it early like he likes to do.
     
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  17. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    Yeah he'd probably attack it early if it were a short ball like that one, but if people just tried doing what she did except deeper and more spin, I think they could really exploit his backhand.
     
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  18. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    I think Fed does. If a person doesn't move well he'll make them run all day. If they're susceptible to drop shots, he'll drop shot them. He's probably the only one who does this. I'm sure he studies tapes and makes notes of people's weaknesses. I also think that's why he'll have some uncharacteristic losses. He may not put a lot of effort into like a journeyman.

    Andy plays two different ways, but I think he plays them in the reverse.

    Rafa plays two different ways too, but he does it so infrequently I kind of forget.
    ,
     
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  19. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Are you serious or are you joking...

    I thought you were serious gold
     
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  20. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    lol I'm dead serious... people should just try it
     
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  21. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    First you said people dont try to go to his BH,

    then when I showed you they try you said they have to spin in more

    When you saw they cant spin it with BH now you say they have to moonball it.

    What's next? How about reflecting sun into his eyes so he gets blind?

    Worth a try, huh?
     
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  22. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    LOL hahahahaha. I had the same thing in mind the whole time. I'll restate it one more time as plainly as I can:

    Calling all players who ever verse the Federer, try this:
    Lasso your forehand deep and high and spinny, the more extreme the better. And preferably to his backhand. If it doesn't work, at least you tried something differen't instead of getting schooled rally after rally.
     
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  23. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Do you have a business card goldie?
     
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  24. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    lol This is an awesome thread. Seriously though, they should try it...
     
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  25. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    No I mean why give your ideas for free? You could be a victim of stolen intellectual property.
     
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  26. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    hahahaha. Why do you think my idea is far fetched though? Isn't it worth a try?
     
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  27. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

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    Personally I think Federer doesn't change his game one bit. He will still look to dictate with his forehand and rifle winners given the chance. Nadal too still sticks to the framework of hitting heavy topspin to the weaker wing to break down his opponent. Their A games are too strong for most of the field for them to play any other way. I have yet to see Federer switch to serving and volleying for the whole match.
     
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  28. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    I would patent them goldie. before anyone else tries them. You could become rich and we wont see you on these boards, hopefully.
     
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  29. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    lol I've got nothing more to say
     
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  30. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    thank God for that.

    Now that's Win Win situation.
     
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  31. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    I still haven't got any answer though for why no one tries that strategy against Federer.
     
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  32. orangettecoleman

    orangettecoleman Professional

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    All that said... :) ... Federer is kind of curious because he can be incredibly adaptable, but also can be incredibly stubborn in his unwillingness to change a losing strategy, on the rare occasion when he finds himself on the losing side of a match.
     
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  33. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    Yeah, I agree. But Federer's game is so complete that he doesn't really need to change it generally.
     
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  34. orangettecoleman

    orangettecoleman Professional

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    Because the only person who can consistently hit with that kind of spin and pace crosscourt to Fed's backhand is named Rafa Nadal. Anybody else hits shorter, weaker balls that Fed will take early. Anything less than Rafa's forehand will get crushed early. No player on the tour has a backhand that is as good as Rafa's forehand except Nalby and he's a chubby headcase. End of story.
     
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  35. OddJack

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    Gotcha goldie...actually it's someone with a complete game that can change things.
     
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  36. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    Haha. I still think someone like Murray could spin it up very high and deep to Fed's backhand. He's capable of doing that IMO.
     
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  37. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    I think the best adapting his gameto the rival is federer. Its subtle but he does... specially on return of serve.
    Its only that he doesnt neutralize the opponent, but redirects the energy and the tactics.
    Except the very known and discussed expection wich I dare not to mention.
     
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  38. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    If that's what you perceive 'complete' to be. For me, in tennis I think complete would refer to a game which is solid and finished and therefore doesn't need to adapt; it's a complete game.
     
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  39. orangettecoleman

    orangettecoleman Professional

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    Maybe that's why we don't see as much adaptation - because the top pros have a more complete all around game than in past eras. They all have top-level groundstrokes and to a lesser extent serves and movement. Everyone has perfected their strokes to the extent where it's largely a contest of strength and athleticism now.
     
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  40. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    That exception Nadal will go down in ranking sooner than his 5 year senior Federer. Mark my words, his next injury will not be in his knees, but in upper body, shoulder, wrist...He may even get to number one but his next vacation will be so long he dives in rankings like a dead quail.
     
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  41. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Ahaa, I see, ok.
     
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  42. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    I think Rafa should adapt his games at times though. He can't get away with hitting his regular forehands to Del Potro for instance; they're right in his wheel house to swat for cold hard flat winners.
     
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  43. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

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    LOL.

    10 chars
     
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  44. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    In my opinion, today's game is based on how proeficient you are at your specialty, its the paradigm of today in the mind of trainers and players alike. So there are only a few that are capable of changing the way they play on the fly.
    Sure they can adapt certain tactical changes, but their technique and specialty really restricts their options. It's the reason we dont see much serve and volleying, and no Gilbertson the tour.
    Ittakes another kind of talent... not only hittingtalent or moving talent, it is the adaptation skill wich today is not taught, and in some cases not even taken into account.
     
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  45. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    You're right. I meant to say plays to his opponent's weaknesses better, but yeah, I'll go with that. The game doesn't change much. Guess there aren't any players who do that.
     
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  46. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    Murray tried it at the AO final and got destroyed.
     
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  47. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    No way, I watched that match. His rally shots were weak/non-penetrating most of the time, including his supposedly great backhand. And he didn't try anything near what I was suggesting which is to loop it extremely high, deep and spinny to Fed, preferably his backhand.
     
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  48. jigar

    jigar Professional

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  49. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    you haveto adapt with the opponent service games... but in your service games you must dominate with your strenghts.
     
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  50. Karlovic......:mad::mad::mad:
     
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