Djokovic needs to stop practising and having a close relationship with Zverev and Medvedev

Should Djokovic distance himself from Zverev and Medvedev?


  • Total voters
    61

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
It's great to have friends, don't get me wrong, but I actually think Djokovic's close relationship and practice sessions with Zverev and Medvedev is really hurting his chances when he plays them now. By practising with them, he is allowing them to become accustomed to his game and figure out the strategies to beat him. Djokovic is now either losing to them, or the matches are brutal and long and take everything out of him (not good for a 34 year old).

We must remember that Djokovic practised heavily with Wawrinka and had a close relationship with him. Look at the matches with Wawrinka - Djokovic either lost them, or they were long brutal 5 setters that took too much out of him.

I really think Djokovic should distance himself from these 2 guys (arguably his 2 biggest rivals now) if he wants to win slams in the future. Go it alone, just with his coaching team. Even practising with Nadal might be better at this point. Anything to stop these 2 guys getting an advantage over him.

What do you think?
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
Lol you're not paying attention

Look at the way they speak about him post matches...that's the reaction he wants

Kill them with kindness
That strategy doesn't appear to be working. In the second half of the year, they were beating Djokovic or taking him the distance. I really think his relationship with them will hurt his chances going forward.
 

Hayole

Rookie
That strategy doesn't appear to be working. In the second half of the year, they were beating Djokovic or taking him the distance. I really think his relationship with them will hurt his chances going forward.
Uhm did you not consider what pressure he was under in the 2nd half of 2021?

He's still the best player until further notice in slams where it counts most
 

TripleATeam

G.O.A.T.
Medvedev has been training with him for years. AO21 happened as a result. These two really look up to Novak, and the Djokovic-Medvedev H2H has pretty much always been even. No reason to stop training with him and let Medvedev surprise him the next time they meet.

As for Zverev, maybe so. Zverev seems to have another gear for Djokovic every time. In the Olympics, he shut Novak down. In the USO, Djokovic had to put everything he had on court to stop Zverev from pushing him out of the final, and in Turin he put on a serving masterclass other than a few games, but clutched out Djokovic in the end.

Zverev is the one to watch out for, and maybe Djokovic should stop practicing with him to give himself the advantage of surprise.
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
It's great to have friends, don't get me wrong, but I actually think Djokovic's close relationship and practice sessions with Zverev and Medvedev is really hurting his chances when he plays them now. By practising with them, he is allowing them to become accustomed to his game and figure out the strategies to beat him. Djokovic is now either losing to them, or the matches are brutal and long and take everything out of him (not good for a 34 year old).

We must remember that Djokovic practised heavily with Wawrinka and had a close relationship with him. Look at the matches with Wawrinka - Djokovic either lost them, or they were long brutal 5 setters that took too much out of him.

I really think Djokovic should distance himself from these 2 guys (arguably his 2 biggest rivals now) if he wants to win slams in the future. Go it alone, just with his coaching team. Even practising with Nadal might be better at this point. Anything to stop these 2 guys getting an advantage over him.

What do you think?
That strategy doesn't appear to be working. In the second half of the year, they were beating Djokovic or taking him the distance. I really think his relationship with them will hurt his chances going forward.
You must be one of the new tennis fans who started watching in 2011 or 2015. This is the natural progression of things in which an Older player cedes ground to the younger players. Djoko hasn’t suffered because the next gen has been so awfully bad but these two, nothing to write home about for sure, but pretty good, are rising the older Djoko gets,
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
It's great to have friends, don't get me wrong, but I actually think Djokovic's close relationship and practice sessions with Zverev and Medvedev is really hurting his chances when he plays them now. By practising with them, he is allowing them to become accustomed to his game and figure out the strategies to beat him. Djokovic is now either losing to them, or the matches are brutal and long and take everything out of him (not good for a 34 year old).

We must remember that Djokovic practised heavily with Wawrinka and had a close relationship with him. Look at the matches with Wawrinka - Djokovic either lost them, or they were long brutal 5 setters that took too much out of him.

I really think Djokovic should distance himself from these 2 guys (arguably his 2 biggest rivals now) if he wants to win slams in the future. Go it alone, just with his coaching team. Even practising with Nadal might be better at this point. Anything to stop these 2 guys getting an advantage over him.

What do you think?
The idea that Wawrinka had some tactical advantage over Djokovic that no one else had is a myth. He just played steadier and mentally stronger in many of their encounters than he ever did vs Fedal. It was a mindset difference - specifically on the big stages vs Djokovic, not a matchup advantage.
Worth remembering the H2H was 19-6.
 

Bubcay

Hall of Fame
This relationship is of mutual benefit. It works both ways, otherwise, not all parties would willingly participate. It is one thing watching the recording of the opponents' matches, totally different experiencing it in a practice situation.
 

-snake-

Hall of Fame
The idea that Wawrinka had some tactical advantage over Djokovic that no one else had is a myth. He just played steadier and mentally stronger in many of their encounters than he ever did vs Fedal. It was a mindset difference - specifically on the big stages vs Djokovic, not a matchup advantage.
Worth remembering the H2H was 19-6.

No, it isn't. Powerful BHs trouble Joe. Now it's even more obvious because he's an old fart.
 

Arak

Hall of Fame
If you take Federer as an example, he always beats his practice partners easily in matches, but struggles against unknown players.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
It's great to have friends, don't get me wrong, but I actually think Djokovic's close relationship and practice sessions with Zverev and Medvedev is really hurting his chances when he plays them now. By practising with them, he is allowing them to become accustomed to his game and figure out the strategies to beat him. Djokovic is now either losing to them, or the matches are brutal and long and take everything out of him (not good for a 34 year old).

We must remember that Djokovic practised heavily with Wawrinka and had a close relationship with him. Look at the matches with Wawrinka - Djokovic either lost them, or they were long brutal 5 setters that took too much out of him.

I really think Djokovic should distance himself from these 2 guys (arguably his 2 biggest rivals now) if he wants to win slams in the future. Go it alone, just with his coaching team. Even practising with Nadal might be better at this point. Anything to stop these 2 guys getting an advantage over him.

What do you think?
Yes, for sure is gonna be a good idea
 

socallefty

Legend
If Djokovic can get back to hitting with as much topspin as he used to 6 years ago particularly on his BH, his baseline problems against these guys will vanish. They hit flat and he finds himself in these flat shot fast-pace battles where over a long rally, they are covering the court better than him with their long legs and making fewer errors. If he hits with more topspin and gives them a heavier ball, it will give him more time to recover and they will likely make errors faster. He doesn’t win a lot of BH-BH rallies against these guys on hard courts anymore whereas he used to have the GOAT BH once upon a time with only Wawrinka or Thiem outhitting him occasionally typically on slow courts. Maybe he doesn’t have the legs anymore to get to the ball early and put more spin on it like he used to and that is the indication of age slowing him down.

I hope he doesn’t get content beating them mostly on clay/grass and tries to improve next year to regain his position as the top dog on hard courts.
 
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Keizer

Hall of Fame
The idea that Wawrinka had some tactical advantage over Djokovic that no one else had is a myth. He just played steadier and mentally stronger in many of their encounters than he ever did vs Fedal. It was a mindset difference - specifically on the big stages vs Djokovic, not a matchup advantage.
Worth remembering the H2H was 19-6.
I don't think this is true. Djokovic's style suits Wawrinka more than Fedal's does -- he is a momentum player. Granted he is Federer's pigeon and always has been, but Federer does not really give him time to settle on his groundstrokes like Djokovic does although their matches at slams recently have been close. With Nadal, they really haven't played in slams outside of RG other than the one AO final since Wawrinka became elite, but on clay, there is no way his backhand hurts the peak Nadal forehand. I think the Wawrinka that showed up in HC slams from 2014-2016 would've been a good matchup for 2017/2019 Nadal on BO5 HC, but we'll never know how that might've panned out.

Djokovic never loses court position on the BH side usually, so he defaults to that and Wawrinka made him pay on multiple occasions. He is a bad matchup for Djokovic in the later rounds of slams because he can play himself into form and has the cardio to keep up with him off the ground into the fifth set. I think the fact that Djokovic cannot outlast him or maintain court position against him as easily as he can against some others has made Djokovic less secure against him mentally.
 
D

Deleted member 770948

Guest
Djokovic is known for playing the most "nancy boy" version of tennis, whereby you take minimal risk and just wait for your opponent to make the error.
Jim Courier referred to this at the AO this year, saying that in tiebreakers Djokovic takes minimal risk and just gets the ball back in play until his opponent makes the error.
Courier said Nadal uses the opposite approach, trying to hit winners in the tiebreakers so it will be decided on his own racquet.
The Djokovic method works if you are young or fit enough to play those long rallies, and actually it works even better for Zverev because he's got the big serve to go with it, so he'll also get cheap points on serve.
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
Doesn't it work both ways? They become familiar with his game but he become familiar with theirs?
Djokovic is good enough that he can work out players on the court without needing to practise against them. Medvedev and Zverev aren't so good at that. As far as I see, this relationship benefits those 2 guys way more than it does Djokovic. Djokovic might even be partly coaching these guys, which is a huge mistake.
 

Kralingen

Legend
I don't think this is true. Djokovic's style suits Wawrinka more than Fedal's does -- he is a momentum player. Granted he is Federer's pigeon and always has been, but Federer does not really give him time to settle on his groundstrokes like Djokovic does although their matches at slams recently have been close. With Nadal, they really haven't played in slams outside of RG other than the one AO final since Wawrinka became elite, but on clay, there is no way his backhand hurts the peak Nadal forehand. I think the Wawrinka that showed up in HC slams from 2014-2016 would've been a good matchup for 2017/2019 Nadal on BO5 HC, but we'll never know how that might've panned out.

Djokovic never loses court position on the BH side usually, so he defaults to that and Wawrinka made him pay on multiple occasions. He is a bad matchup for Djokovic in the later rounds of slams because he can play himself into form and has the cardio to keep up with him off the ground into the fifth set. I think the fact that Djokovic cannot outlast him or maintain court position against him as easily as he can against some others has made Djokovic less secure against him mentally.
All about the slice. All about the slice.

Wawrinka is the one guy who was able to punish the fact that Djokovic hated slicing. Federer hits more slices than a steakhouse chef vs Wawrinka, draws him in, Nadal also utilizes his defensive slice a lot.

Djoko on the other hand just kept getting into these pummeling rallies with Wawa, refused to come to the net and change it up more, and lost 3 winnable slams in his prime years because of it.
 

Bubcay

Hall of Fame
Djokovic is known for playing the most "nancy boy" version of tennis, whereby you take minimal risk and just wait for your opponent to make the error.
Jim Courier referred to this at the AO this year, saying that in tiebreakers Djokovic takes minimal risk and just gets the ball back in play until his opponent makes the error.
Courier said Nadal uses the opposite approach, trying to hit winners in the tiebreakers so it will be decided on his own racquet.
The Djokovic method works if you are young or fit enough to play those long rallies, and actually it works even better for Zverev because he's got the big serve to go with it, so he'll also get cheap points on serve.
I disagree completely. Djokovic was always an aggressive baseliner, more so in the later years. He is not the one to wait for the opponent's error but actually causes it by his aggressive style of play. The more his baseline/movement skills decline, the bigger his aggression will be.
 

Midaso240

Hall of Fame
Nah, Djokovic will be 35 next summer. His time as a top player is definitely near the end. I don't know his vaccination status, but if he refuses to he may struggle to play again
 

Hayole

Rookie
If Djokovic can get back to hitting with as much topspin as he used to 6 years ago particularly on his BH, his baseline problems against these guys will vanish. They hit flat and he finds himself in these flat shot fast-pace battles where over a long rally, they are covering the court better than him with their long legs and making fewer errors. If he hits with more topspin and gives them a heavier ball, it will give him more time to recover and they will likely make errors faster. He doesn’t win a lot of BH-BH rallies against these guys on hard courts anymore when he used to have the GOAT BH once upon a time with only Wawrinka or Thiem outhitting him occasionally typically on slow courts. Maybe he doesn’t have the legs anymore to get to the ball early and put more spin on it like he used to and that is the indication of age slowing him down.

I hope he doesn’t get content beating them mostly on clay/grass and tries to improve next year to regain his position as the top dog on hard courts.
Your assessment is so spot on

Djokovic definitely doesn't get to his bh as early as he used to cc

I think his improved serving and more aggressive baseline play will get him 2 slams in 2022 but after that no idea
 

tsp_207

Rookie
It goes both ways. Practicing with them also allows him to understand their game better, so it evens out. I'd rather everything be known and you battle it out on the tennis court to decide who is the best on the day.
 

Fabresque

Hall of Fame
Djokovic is known for playing the most "nancy boy" version of tennis, whereby you take minimal risk and just wait for your opponent to make the error.
Jim Courier referred to this at the AO this year, saying that in tiebreakers Djokovic takes minimal risk and just gets the ball back in play until his opponent makes the error.
Courier said Nadal uses the opposite approach, trying to hit winners in the tiebreakers so it will be decided on his own racquet.
The Djokovic method works if you are young or fit enough to play those long rallies, and actually it works even better for Zverev because he's got the big serve to go with it, so he'll also get cheap points on serve.
This isn’t accurate, even now when he’s made his game even more safer than usual. Novak was always an aggressive baseliner, i implore you to watch any of his matches from 2007-2015 and see the way he blew people off the court. He has mellowed out a bit since 2018, but to say he’s a “Nancy boy” is really insulting and not at all accurate.
 

socallefty

Legend
No one who has seen Djokovic play in person will ever call him a defensive player if they have any understanding of high-level tennis. The only ones who do so are those who watch him only on TV or those who don’t play an advanced level of tennis. Coaches and advanced players ooh and aah when they watch him play live as pretty much every one of his shots except the overhead could be the illustration for a stroke in a tennis textbook. He hits the ball on the rise more than just about everyone else on tour (only Federer compares), changes angles more than anyone else and plays from inside the baseline more than just about every other baseliner. He consistently has also ranked amongst the highest average speed of shot for both FH and BH amongst the ATP elite throughout his career.

He hit 30% more FH winners in their H-H matches against Nadal between 2011-2018 and yet there are those who think Nadal is a more offensive player even though Nadal plays a counterpunching style mostly from 10-15 feet behind the baseline. There is a reason that Federer and Djokovic are amongst the best fast-court players of this century while Nadal is the best slow-court player - it directly correlates to their level of aggression on court.
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
If you take Federer as an example, he always beats his practice partners easily in matches, but struggles against unknown players.
Practice partners love and admire Fedr too much. I bet Nole loses with most of his practice partners because he’s not sufficiently admired or loved.
The same old story of Nole and unrequited love from the public. Sad.
 
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Red Rick

Bionic Poster
The idea that Wawrinka had some tactical advantage over Djokovic that no one else had is a myth. He just played steadier and mentally stronger in many of their encounters than he ever did vs Fedal. It was a mindset difference - specifically on the big stages vs Djokovic, not a matchup advantage.
Worth remembering the H2H was 19-6.
Lol.
 

junior74

Talk Tennis Guru
The idea that Wawrinka had some tactical advantage over Djokovic that no one else had is a myth. He just played steadier and mentally stronger in many of their encounters than he ever did vs Fedal. It was a mindset difference - specifically on the big stages vs Djokovic, not a matchup advantage.
Worth remembering the H2H was 19-6.
Also worth remembering:

Their last 5 slam encounters: 4-1

Stan's balls descended into his scr0tum in 2014
 

aldeayeah

Legend
Djokovic is known for playing the most "nancy boy" version of tennis, whereby you take minimal risk and just wait for your opponent to make the error.
Jim Courier referred to this at the AO this year, saying that in tiebreakers Djokovic takes minimal risk and just gets the ball back in play until his opponent makes the error.
Courier said Nadal uses the opposite approach, trying to hit winners in the tiebreakers so it will be decided on his own racquet.
That's a gross oversimplification and depends a lot on the opponent they're facing (in fact, in Djokodal matches, I'd argue the reverse is often true, 2013 RG 4th set being a good example)
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I don't think this is true. Djokovic's style suits Wawrinka more than Fedal's does -- he is a momentum player. Granted he is Federer's pigeon and always has been, but Federer does not really give him time to settle on his groundstrokes like Djokovic does although their matches at slams recently have been close. With Nadal, they really haven't played in slams outside of RG other than the one AO final since Wawrinka became elite, but on clay, there is no way his backhand hurts the peak Nadal forehand. I think the Wawrinka that showed up in HC slams from 2014-2016 would've been a good matchup for 2017/2019 Nadal on BO5 HC, but we'll never know how that might've panned out.

Djokovic never loses court position on the BH side usually, so he defaults to that and Wawrinka made him pay on multiple occasions. He is a bad matchup for Djokovic in the later rounds of slams because he can play himself into form and has the cardio to keep up with him off the ground into the fifth set. I think the fact that Djokovic cannot outlast him or maintain court position against him as easily as he can against some others has made Djokovic less secure against him mentally.
Pretty much. Mental toughness is directly correlated with comfort zone.

Novak's mentality doesn't really shine against Stan because he knows he can't beat him with his normal approach that works against Nadal and old Fed.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
All about the slice. All about the slice.

Wawrinka is the one guy who was able to punish the fact that Djokovic hated slicing. Federer hits more slices than a steakhouse chef vs Wawrinka, draws him in, Nadal also utilizes his defensive slice a lot.

Djoko on the other hand just kept getting into these pummeling rallies with Wawa, refused to come to the net and change it up more, and lost 3 winnable slams in his prime years because of it.
As that song goes:

"I'm all about that slice, about that slice, no trouble".
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic is known for playing the most "nancy boy" version of tennis, whereby you take minimal risk and just wait for your opponent to make the error.
Jim Courier referred to this at the AO this year, saying that in tiebreakers Djokovic takes minimal risk and just gets the ball back in play until his opponent makes the error.
Courier said Nadal uses the opposite approach, trying to hit winners in the tiebreakers so it will be decided on his own racquet.
The Djokovic method works if you are young or fit enough to play those long rallies, and actually it works even better for Zverev because he's got the big serve to go with it, so he'll also get cheap points on serve.
Good observation, NADALalot
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
Time to create an image of them playing chess. We can go to areas where I wouldn't even dare to speculate. It's going to be CONTROVERSIAL.
 

Adam Copeland

Professional
Lol you're not paying attention

Look at the way they speak about him post matches...that's the reaction he wants

Kill them with kindness
It works in Medvedev's own interest when he calls someone the GOAT just after beating that person in a match.
It works in Sascha's own interest to call someone the GOAT and praise that person's game just after losing to that guy.

They are just padding themselves up you know.
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
I read again the thread title.

It says Djokovic no more practice. Stop practising. Means no more training. Means, just play the tournament matches.
That, in order to have/build a “close relationship“ with Zed & Med, with the time he saved because of no practice.

So, imagine the scene.
Nole calls a meeting with Zed & Med. Says to them:
“Hey, guys, I have something very important to tell you, and a proposal: I won’t practise anymore, I will have a lot of time in my hands. Let’s move in together. Let’s arrange our calendars to play the same tournaments, so we can have a close relationship. Let’s travel together. Go to the same hotels.”

No, I am not taking this too literally. It’s what OP say.
This reminds me of McEnroe’s legendary: “You can’t be serious”.
Enough for me.
 

Sir Weed

Professional
N. Djokovic: "Hi guys, how are you doing? Hey, listen, we gotta talk. Would love to hit some quality balls and hang with you fellas but Jokervich told me not to do so anymore. It's tough but I'm sure Jokervich wants the best not only for me but for all of us. Take care and see you around."

Z/Med: "If that's what Jokervich said... absolutely. See you, bro."
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
I read again the thread title.

It says Djokovic no more practice. Stop practising. Means no more training. Means, just play the tournament matches.
That, in order to have/build a “close relationship“ with Zed & Med, with the time he saved because of no practice.

So, imagine the scene.
Nole calls a meeting with Zed & Med. Says to them:
“Hey, guys, I have something very important to tell you, and a proposal: I won’t practise anymore, I will have a lot of time in my hands. Let’s move in together. Let’s arrange our calendars to play the same tournaments, so we can have a close relationship. Let’s travel together. Go to the same hotels.”

No, I am not taking this too literally. It’s what OP say.
This reminds me of McEnroe’s legendary: “You can’t be serious”.
Enough for me.
No, I meant don't practice with Medvedev and Zverev. He should find someone else to practice with. These guys are the biggest threats to him winning majors next year so he has to be careful what he does with them off the court and how much of his game he gives away to them.
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
N. Djokovic: "Hi guys, how are you doing? Hey, listen, we gotta talk. Would love to hit some quality balls and hang with you fellas but Jokervich told me not to do so anymore. It's tough but I'm sure Jokervich wants the best not only for me but for all of us. Take care and see you around."

Z/Med: "If that's what Jokervich said... absolutely. See you, bro."
Just saw this lol :-D We must remember that Djokovic has made some bad errors of judgement in the past. Playing doubles at the Olympics was one of them. I'm sure he is going to continue practising with these 2 guys, but I personally think it's an error of judgement to do that going forward.
 
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