Djokovic forehand and serve is mediocre

#1
Novak Djokovic is obviously one of the greatest players in the open era of tennis. But I can't help but feel, as a Djokovic fan, his forehand is kinda of mediocre, compared to other to other players such as Roger, and even Rafa
benefits greatly from his lasso whip lefty spin, which creates a high margin for error.
Even as a player, Nole is not really considered to be a big server or servebot.

However, the rest of his game is of such a high quality (backhand, movement, etc) that he is able to compensate for these short comings effectively.

As mentioned above, I'm not hating on Djokovic and to win 14 slams is a feat that any mediocre player could not do.
But I feel it is something worth discussing, looking to the next slam of the year.
 
#3
Novak Djokovic is obviously one of the greatest players in the open era of tennis. But I can't help but feel, as a Djokovic fan, his forehand is kinda of mediocre, compared to other to other players such as Roger, and even Rafa
benefits greatly from his lasso whip lefty spin, which creates a high margin for error.
Even as a player, Nole is not really considered to be a big server or servebot.

However, the rest of his game is of such a high quality (backhand, movement, etc) that he is able to compensate for these short comings effectively.

As mentioned above, I'm not hating on Djokovic and to win 14 slams is a feat that any mediocre player could not do.
But I feel it is something worth discussing, looking to the next slam of the year.
I have good news for you! Novak played on AO this year, and he won his 15th slam title! :)

Joking aside, his FH and serve are very very good, nothing mediocre about it, he is in top5 in both categories, if we exclude servebots.

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
 

vex

Hall of Fame
#4
Novak Djokovic is obviously one of the greatest players in the open era of tennis. But I can't help but feel, as a Djokovic fan, his forehand is kinda of mediocre, compared to other to other players such as Roger, and even Rafa
benefits greatly from his lasso whip lefty spin, which creates a high margin for error.
Even as a player, Nole is not really considered to be a big server or servebot.

However, the rest of his game is of such a high quality (backhand, movement, etc) that he is able to compensate for these short comings effectively.

As mentioned above, I'm not hating on Djokovic and to win 14 slams is a feat that any mediocre player could not do.
But I feel it is something worth discussing, looking to the next slam of the year.
His FH is amazing wtf are you smoking lol

Is it prime Fed's? No. Has Nadal's FH had higher peaks? yup. Is it the best FH after those 2? Sure is.

#InB4ABunchOfIdiotsTellUsDelpo'sInconsistentYouTubeHandIsBetter.

Serve-wise, as mentioned above if you exclude the servebot's its as good as anyone not named Federer.

You don't win Slams by hitting BHs and just playing defense.
 
#5
His FH is amazing wtf are you smoking lol

Is it prime Fed's? No. Has Nadal's FH had higher peaks? yup. Is it the best FH after those 2? Sure is.

#InB4ABunchOfIdiotsTellUsDelpo'sInconsistentYouTubeHandIsBetter.

Serve-wise, as mentioned above if you exclude the servebot's its as good as anyone not named Federer.

You don't win Slams by hitting BHs and just playing defense.
 
#7
Sure, maybe compared to the other tier 1 greats lol (I'd say he has the worst forehand and the second worst serve). But his BH and return are also clearly the best among that group.
 
#11
How can any fan of Novak think his forehand or his serve, especially since 2015, is mediocre? Both of those shots are weapons and what helped him win so many Slams.
How can even someone who HATES the guy think that his strokes are mediocre?

To be an ATG nothing is really weal or everyone will attack it. If his overhead was as bad as people make it out to be, everyone on tour would drop shot him and lob. If his net game were really weak, everyone would pull him in and embarrass him. And most of all, if his FH were weak, he would move around it and hit backhands, which he does not do.
 
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#12
Sure, maybe compared to the other tier 1 greats lol (I'd say he has the worst forehand and the second worst serve). But his BH and return are also clearly the best among that group.
He doesn't hit many aces, and his serve has never been overpowering. But I think in his best years it has been amazing effective and well placed. Perhaps, at worst, we could draw some parallels with Connors, and of course earlier Rosewall.
 
#13
He doesn't hit flashy FH winners like Fed, Rafa or Delpo, but it gets the job done.

Think about all those crazy returns. Those defensive full-stretch sliding shots. All of which somehow land back at his opponents' feet. His elite movement is what rightfully gets the credit, but at the end of the day his FH still has to land the shot. And he lands them more reliably than anyone on tour.

Some guys have power. Some have crazy spin. Some make wicked angles. Novak hits with consistent depth, which is perhaps the most difficult of all.
 
#15
How can even someone who HATES the guy think that his strokes are mediocre?

To be an ATG nothing is really work or everyone will attack it. If his overhead was as bad as people make it out to be, everyone on tour would drop shot him and lob. If his net game were really weak, everyone would pull him in and embarrass him. And most of all, if his FH were weak, he would move around it and hit backhands, which he does not do.
Yes because I would put his forehand top 10 all time. Easily. Even looking at this past AO, as aggressive as Rafa was the entire tournament, Djokovic was hitting his forehand 2 mph faster and with some pretty impressive spin. Of course it wasn't Rafa's 3200 rpm on the forehand but at 2900 rpm that's still really effective.

I think the overhead is wayyy too exaggerated on here. He forgets to move his feet sometime and stays too upright and misses one every now and then. The overhead is good enough. The volleying on the other hand could be better and the weird thing is I think he was a better volleyer with better instincts before Becker. It should be the other other way around but when I look at his older matches he just had better movement around the net and instinct. The volley still isn't bad, per say, but he gets caught flat footed too much up there at times. Good thing is, he is so good from the back court that he doesn't need to come in as much as other players would.
 
#17
I think that's too high, all time. There have been some wicked forehands in the men's game. In the modern game you might be right. There is also the problem of surface...
Well I mean in the modern game because I am not familiar with every player's forehand that has ever played. For me, Djokovic's is up there.
 
#18
From non-Novak fan:

Great forehand, wouldn’t change anything in it.

Very good serve overall, good placement on both serves and good kick on 2nd serve, not easy to attack. If something coulf be asked considering his height is a little more pace, but versatility and placement compensates that just fine.
 
#19
Top 10 forehand all time

And 2nd best placement server on tour right now after Federer

His serve and his forehand probably got him the last 7-8 slams to be honest. Very surprised to see a "djokovic" fan dismissing his forehand and serve, which is rarely ever the case.
Any fan, regardless of player affiliation knows that Djokovic is basically world class in both of these categories.
 
#24
Novak Djokovic is obviously one of the greatest players in the open era of tennis. But I can't help but feel, as a Djokovic fan, his forehand is kinda of mediocre, compared to other to other players such as Roger, and even Rafa
benefits greatly from his lasso whip lefty spin, which creates a high margin for error.
Even as a player, Nole is not really considered to be a big server or servebot.

However, the rest of his game is of such a high quality (backhand, movement, etc) that he is able to compensate for these short comings effectively.

As mentioned above, I'm not hating on Djokovic and to win 14 slams is a feat that any mediocre player could not do.
But I feel it is something worth discussing, looking to the next slam of the year.
what exactly makes you think its mediocre and what would you consider a "great forehand" to be? Players?
 
#26
About the forehand: If mediocre means top-10 of all time then sure. He can do pretty much everything with that shot. He can blast winners when he wants but he chooses not to. He creates insane angles with it. More importantly he hits deep and hits error free.

About the serve: Definitely not an ATG stroke but is a solid one which can easily hold its own. Not at all a mediocre stroke. He doesn't have the raw power but his placement makes up for the lack of kmps.
 
#27
His forehand is not huge but what makes it great is how he can consistantly make it land within a foot of the base line, along with the ability to accurately redirect nearly any ball.
I can't believe I'm defending Djokovic. :oops:
That's the most insane thing for me too. That tactic neutralizes everything.
 
#28
Novak Djokovic is obviously one of the greatest players in the open era of tennis. But I can't help but feel, as a Djokovic fan, his forehand is kinda of mediocre, compared to other to other players such as Roger, and even Rafa
benefits greatly from his lasso whip lefty spin, which creates a high margin for error.
Even as a player, Nole is not really considered to be a big server or servebot.

However, the rest of his game is of such a high quality (backhand, movement, etc) that he is able to compensate for these short comings effectively.

As mentioned above, I'm not hating on Djokovic and to win 14 slams is a feat that any mediocre player could not do.
But I feel it is something worth discussing, looking to the next slam of the year.
His forehand is built to work with his overall game: very consistent in order to dominate his opponent in the rallies, as they can't go for his forehand nor his backhand. If he had a more offensive forehand, it would create more winners, more errors, but also kind of negate the superiority of his backhand and movement relative to his opponent. Typical huge forehand like Del Potro, Tsonga, Gonzalez need to generate quick winners because if they don't, they will be bossed around due to inferior movement and backhand.
 
#29
I think the overhead is wayyy too exaggerated on here. He forgets to move his feet sometime and stays too upright and misses one every now and then. The overhead is good enough. The volleying on the other hand could be better and the weird thing is I think he was a better volleyer with better instincts before Becker.
Honestly, most pros can hit a safe overhead.
Novak's overhead isn't bad per se, just bad compared to the standard.

Let not forget how Murray, Wawrinka and others botched easy ones in the past though, so there is nothing to laugh about here.
 
#31
I think his serve is underrated. It isn't huge but his first serve is accurate and his second serve very good too. When he was younger he would get broken even by mediocre players occasionally but not anymore.

Novak is second this year in second serve points won only behind Nadal (of course also due to his rally abilities)
 
#32
Another board expert unleashing his wisdoms. Djokovic is below mediocre. He was just lucky that the best 900 ATP Players were injured for more than a decade otherwise hou wouldn´t have even won a 250 Masters title.

/sarcasm mode off
 
#34
On the whole his game , especially in big matches , relies on consistency and retrieval and choke opponents with that .

That is the reason it feels his game is robotic
 
#38
Yeah. That forehand goes toe to toe with Federer's forehand more often than not. How can it have such staying power if it didn't yield the potency required to do that?
Federer has never really been able to bully Novak with his forehand like he does with 85-90% of players, and Djokovic has held his own with him since 2007 Canada. I remember after the 2015 Wimbledon match and Federer's amazing performance, and how he just bullied Murray on the forehand side. Everyone thought Federer was going to win that final, even "experts" and former players, and I'm thinking to myself that they really underestimate the Djokovic forehand in thinking he is going to be able to do that to him, and they did as he showed us.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#39
Federer has never really been able to bully Novak with his forehand like he does with 85-90% of players, and Djokovic has held his own with him since 2007 Canada. I remember after the 2015 Wimbledon match and Federer's amazing performance, and how he just bullied Murray on the forehand side. Everyone thought Federer was going to win that final, even "experts" and former players, and I'm thinking to myself that they really underestimate the Djokovic forehand in thinking he is going to be able to do that to him, and they did as he showed us.
Yes, I remember it. Djokovic forehand is a massive weapon. You don't win 15 slams, all 9 masters and 5 WTF with an average forehand.
 
#40
It's hard to find too many weaknesses in the game of someone who is easily top 3 of the OE, and possibly higher.

Serve:. He seems to be serving as well as ever now. It's never been the level of Fed's but it has some of the same elements: well placed and pretty well disguised.

FH: Because his BH is so consistently good, it doesn't stand out as a huge weapon. From both wings, he hits great angles and when playing well, redirects rallies to his advantage. At times, he also smokes it.

Overhead: What's puzzling is how one of the best athletes on tour looks so stiff hitting it. It really doesn't come into play that often, and at times, it's good (US Open 18 final), but a bit of a puzzle. Fed and Rafa have great ones.

Volley:. Pretty good, I think. Great drop volley, hits good angles, but sometimes, his footwork - of all things - let's him down. Great as he is, I'd like to see him transition more consistently to the net.
 
#43
Yea Djokovic really beat Nadal 3, 2, and 3 in the AO final by retrieving and hitting a "consistent" forehand that isn't really a weapon. Lol.
Djokovic was so dominant in this match of course he was hitting winners left and right. But to judge his forehand you have to look at tough matches, against Wawrinka or Federer or Nadal a few years ago. When he is not in full control, Djokovic tend to control the rally and play a more risk-free game because he knows he can come on top in long rallies. It's not what he can or can't do with his forehand, it's what he chooses to do with it that define it as huge shot or a consistent one. He prefers a consistent one most of the time. A bit like Nadal for a long time was more comfortable with a slowish serve because the ball didn't come back too fast and he was in any case confident that he would come on top in most rallies, so he didn't need to put everything in the serve like the servebots or an oldish Fed for example.

On contrary, a Tsonga for exemple needs to do more with his forehand because if he start to be pinned on his backhand side, he becomes more vulnerable. That's why he has to be aggressive. Probably if he could cover the court as quickly as Djokovic and Nadal could, and his backhand was as solid, he could me more prudent with his forehand and would be able to have a very consistent forehand.
 

bjsnider

Hall of Fame
#44
Djokovic's forehand is the best on the tour, possibly the best of the modern, post-Sampras era. Would you rather serve to Federer's forehand, or Djokovic's?
 
#46
Federer has never really been able to bully Novak with his forehand like he does with 85-90% of players, and Djokovic has held his own with him since 2007 Canada. I remember after the 2015 Wimbledon match and Federer's amazing performance, and how he just bullied Murray on the forehand side. Everyone thought Federer was going to win that final, even "experts" and former players, and I'm thinking to myself that they really underestimate the Djokovic forehand in thinking he is going to be able to do that to him, and they did as he showed us.
I guess "bully" is a strong word, but Roger definitely beat Novak plenty of times in the past because of his FH back when he still had the 90 racket.

And tbf, the narrative heading into that 15 final was that if Roger could serve like he did against Murray, he would win. If he had to rely on 2nd serve rally points, most didn't say he could win that way.
 
#47
Even ATG’s can have “weaknesses” relative to their strengths. Djoker’s BH is one of the best in the history of the game, his ROS is arguably the best ever. His FH and serve are still hardly “mediocre” both are hard to attack, hence very good. His only weakness at this point is the volley, but with 15 slams, it hasn’t hurt him much. He rarely comes in anyway, and with today’s slow surfaces, he doesn’t have to.
 
#48
I'm not sure if the OP is trolling or what. Both FH and serve are great. His placement is what matters and his 2nd serve is so reliable. I wouldn't change anything. Novak's FH is a weapon and it can do some nasty damage to his opponents.
 
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#49
Novak modifies his gamestyle depending on the rival. Against more defensive players like Medvedev or even Murray, he doesn't play so aggresive. Against more powerful/big hitters players like Nadal or Wawrinka, Djokovic's forehand is ultra-aggresive and goes for the lines with strong shots.
 
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