Djokovic is the beast when he becomes aggressive. Why doesn't he do it all the time?

6august

Hall of Fame
Remember his match vs Shapovalov this year AO. He had a break in the 3rd and became passive, the result was he lost the set. In the 4th he played much more aggressive and gave Shapo - also a very aggressive player - a bagel.

Anyone think he should change his game a little bit?
 

lcondez90

New User
Djok is the king of counter punching and defense. More stress on his body but seems to be the correct play style for him winning this year.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
remember 2011? those were fun times
They were fun times because he was playing at an absolutely insane level. His point construction on clay was sometimes breathtaking in 2011. But I think he was actually more aggressive from August 2007-February 2008. He defeated peak Fed in Canada in 2007 and won his first slam early in 2008. His level wasn't as great as 2011 or 2015, but he was arguably more aggressive.

I do agree he was a lot more fun to watch when he was more attacking and less reactive/defensive. Let's see that as he gets even older if he reverts to aggression to shorten points and save his body.
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
Remember his match vs Shapovalov this year AO. He had a break in the 3rd and became passive, the result was he lost the set. In the 4th he played much more aggressive and gave Shapo - also a very aggressive player - a bagel.

Anyone think he should change his game a little bit?
He did burn out in 2011 playing that way. He saved more energy in years to come. Better serve and net play helped.
 

StANDAA

Legend
They were fun times because he was playing at an absolutely insane level. His point construction on clay was sometimes breathtaking in 2011. But I think he was actually more aggressive from August 2007-February 2008. He defeated peak Fed in Canada in 2007 and won his first slam early in 2008. His level wasn't as great as 2011 or 2015, but he was arguably more aggressive.

I do agree he was a lot more fun to watch when he was more attacking and less reactive/defensive. Let's see that as he gets even older if he reverts to aggression to shorten points and save his body.
he was bombing in 2011.

and he was less prone to errors that’s why 2011 is a great combination of high level and attack, 2015 he wasn’t playing as entertaining tennis and 07/08 he was not yet at the height of his powers.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
For slam purposes why does he need to? He is able to force others to make errors and until someone proves to be able to beat this approach on the big stage other than wawa, why bother?
Pretty much. No one can beat Novak in terms of playing safe and consistent off the ground. He was more fun to watch back in 2007-2011 when he was a much more aggressive player but he’s clearly more effective with this play style.

Rafa is the complete opposite. He used to be too defensive but now the dudes out here blasting winners and unreturned serves on fast HCs. Somehow this has made him less effective against Federer but a nightmare for the young gen
 
Remember his match vs Shapovalov this year AO. He had a break in the 3rd and became passive, the result was he lost the set. In the 4th he played much more aggressive and gave Shapo - also a very aggressive player - a bagel.

Anyone think he should change his game a little bit?
He can't keep it up all the time.
As aggressive as he may become at times, he's no federer in that department (so is roger in defense department)
Only when he's completely dialed in, and not feeling much pressure from his opponent, he will play with fearless agression. But still, he won't try hitting winners from every position all the time as it'll make him bleed unnecessary errors. And trust me, spraying djokovic isn't a sight to behold..

His rallying capacity is exceptional, and defense is 2nd to none plus he can keep it up without taking much grind on himself due to light frame.
Additionally, djokovic hasn't got blasting FH like roger or insane racquet head speed+topspin like nadal, he has to hit flatter and yet accurate to win. It's not easy as it seems for novak to go on blasting winners, as it'll require trimming his already exceptionally slim margins; and no precision can make it work perfectly all the time.
 

ForumMember

Hall of Fame
yeah.. I also wonder like OP. On more than enough occasions he proved that he us very much capable of playing aggressive but somehow doesn't like to do it more often.
 

Raphael Nadal

Professional
3 aspects :)
Physical = Yes he's physically capable of playing aggressive tennis, can hit the ball with great power and accuracy
Emotional = Yes he's great at taking risks with aggressive tennis, and has played aggressively on the biggest points of grand slam semis and finals
Intellectual = No, he's not smart enough to realize that playing aggressively is a good idea when you are over 30 and getting injured
 

InsideOut900

Hall of Fame
I don't think he can play aggressive all the times.
It's about his style of play.

When he is not playing great, the timing is off, the footwork is no great, so rather than trying to force the issue and become an error machine, he starts pushing and grinding points.

It's not pretty, but gets the job done.

By all means, when Novak is having a great day, he can blast people off court.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
Playing aggressively requires considerable expenditure of mental energy. It is no coincidence that there are not many can do it and some resort to defence, as that is the default mode for those that are not mentally strong enough to maintain that level of aggression all the time.

 
3 aspects :)
Physical = Yes he's physically capable of playing aggressive tennis, can hit the ball with great power and accuracy
Emotional = Yes he's great at taking risks with aggressive tennis, and has played aggressively on the biggest points of grand slam semis and finals
Intellectual = No, he's not smart enough to realize that playing aggressively is a good idea when you are over 30 and getting injured
I agree his defensive grinding is suited to this era, but his body isn't suited to defensive grinding anymore :)
Novak has won last 5 of his slams by basically keeping the ball into play
 

MS_07

Rookie
Remember his match vs Shapovalov this year AO. He had a break in the 3rd and became passive, the result was he lost the set. In the 4th he played much more aggressive and gave Shapo - also a very aggressive player - a bagel.

Anyone think he should change his game a little bit?

Djokovic is NOT the beast that's Why doesn't he do it all the time!


Corrected that for you.
 

Born_to_slice

Professional
It's a psychological issue IMO. USO 2011 he lost first two sets by being passive, then won next two by being extra aggressive. Then he got himself into a hole again by being passive and waiting for mistakes. Finally he escaped with that crazy return winner and some Federer's mistakes. If he was burned more times for being passive, maybe he'd play differently, but he's won 16 GS and fukton of titles so... I think he doesn't have ultimate confidence in his attacking game, which is sad, because it's a very good one. Also, when he falls on defensive game alone, his variety gets minimal and that hurts him. Personally, I believe that not being supported by crowd in most places makes him even more defensive. Like in football, playing away teams always play more defensively than at home where they are invigorated by the crowd.
 

Shaj

Rookie
Even his volleys are a treat to watch when he is playing aggressive and looks abysmal when he is defensive.

Aggressive is Novaks nature and he should realize sooner rather than later..

Difference is Tsipipas defeating him in 3 Tight sets in Shanghai and he walloping Tsipipas in 2 sets 6-1,6-2 in Paris.Its a mental thing..
 

Wurm

Rookie
Because it's not as reliable for him as playing brick wall, boa constrictor tennis is, so it's typically only as a last resort that he throws caution to the wind. It comes off often enough that you think "why didn't he do that earlier?" but there's been a number of times when he's tried upping the aggression in crucial moments and just sent the ball sailing long.
 

Shaj

Rookie
Reliability is a concern when you are playing somebody out of Top 10.

But when you are playing Top guys,you just need to throw caution to the wind..

Also the Top guys is no more the likes of Dimi,Raonic,Berydch and so on who can be defeated just on basis of consistent Tennis rather than spectacular..

Thiem played out of his mind and he just barely scraped past Novak.Thats what the difference is now.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Novak will never be as good of an attacking player as Federer because he lacks the full attacking arsenal that Fed has. Novak lacks a great volley, half-volley and overhead which are essential shots to be able to pressure the opponent by moving forward. This results in Novak having to play a more patient baseline game where he employs his speed, agility and consistency off both wings to move the opponent (who will always be slower than him) around until he gets a weak reply. He is so good at this that he does not need to move forward proactively the way Fed likes to.

So I disagree with the OP that he should be more aggressive, at least not until he loses a step and needs to overcome younger, faster opponents by attacking more. That time may be coming soon, but for now, he is still the fastest guy out there, IMO.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Because he doesn’t have to, he likes to play the way he prefer to win matches. Maybe when he becomes older and slower he has to play more aggressive to win, and when that time comes I think he will do that, cause we wants those records.
 

vex

Hall of Fame
It’s a strategy choice. Most players will cough a loss up to him when he plays in neutral gear. The problem is that when his mindset going into a match is “I’m going to win by playing neutral” and his opponent comes out and plays great he doesn’t like to change his approach mid-match. This has led to some painful losses to Stan. In particular go watch the RG’15 final as an example. Also their recent USO match.

In the future he should play more aggressive to shorten points and save his body
 
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