Djovan Nokavic: often awkward aesthetics

dje31

Professional
I know function over form is more important, and ultimately far less important than results. Hard to argue with his success, and even though I'm admittedly not a fan, I respect his accomplishments.

That said, watching ND over the last couple of years--since you can help but see him in final rounds--his strokes get weird. Especially when he's out of position, they look downright bizarre at times.

He tracks down everything, is a human backboard, keeps the ball in play, forces the opponent to make errors and wears them down. But purely from an aesthetic standpoint, not good, IMHO. Fine if he's ready and in position; if he's not...oof.

An observation, not a judgment. Not as bad as his cringe-y need for crowd love and approval, which he'll likely never get. That's a different discussion altogether.
 
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zvelf

Hall of Fame
I know function over form is more important, and ultimately far less important than results. Hard to argue with his success, and even though I'm admittedly not a fan, I respect his accomplishments.

That said, watching ND over the last couple of years--since you can help see him in final rounds--his strokes get weird. Especially when he's out of position, they look downright bizarre at times.

He tracks down everything, is a human backboard, keeps the ball in play, forces the opponent to make errors and wears them down. But purely from an aesthetic standpoint, not good. Fine if he's ready and in position; if he's not...oof.

An observation, not a judgment. Not as bad as his cringe-y need for crowd love and approval, which he'll likely never get. That's a different discussion altogether.
"Not good" = "a judgment" not an observation.

"approval, which he'll likely never get" is already false since he got it at this last U.S. Open.
 
I know function over form is more important, and ultimately far less important than results. Hard to argue with his success, and even though I'm admittedly not a fan, I respect his accomplishments.

That said, watching ND over the last couple of years--since you can help see him in final rounds--his strokes get weird. Especially when he's out of position, they look downright bizarre at times.

He tracks down everything, is a human backboard, keeps the ball in play, forces the opponent to make errors and wears them down. But purely from an aesthetic standpoint, not good, IMHO. Fine if he's ready and in position; if he's not...oof.

An observation, not a judgment. Not as bad as his cringe-y need for crowd love and approval, which he'll likely never get. That's a different discussion altogether.
This is one of the reasons I can't watch his matches unless Rafa is playing against him. Ugly strokes, weird disjointed movement, and boring overall game.

It works for him though, so whatever.
 

Bubcay

Hall of Fame
This is one of the reasons I can't watch his matches unless Rafa is playing against him. Ugly strokes, weird disjointed movement, and boring overall game.

It works for him though, so whatever.
You are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I actually love watching him play. He is far from just being a baseliner. More like a very complete player who has very few weaknesses. More so, his drive and will to improve are super impressive. Always looking at ways to improve his game, even after accomplishing everything ......
 
You are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I actually love watching him play. He is far from just being a baseliner. More like a very complete player who has very few weaknesses. More so, his drive and will to improve are super impressive. Always looking at ways to improve his game, even after accomplishing everything ......
His unique elasticness is what makes him an atg imo.
 

Kralingen

Legend
Meh, I guess I understand. Aesthetically, Roger is the pinnacle of the modern game and there are definitely more attacking players with prettier Games throughout history. With Djokovic he does play with a bit too much margin for error at times, and isn’t the attacking dynamo looking to hit winners on every point that will attract fans.

I was a bit like you in the early to mid-2010s with the slow courts just wondering when the barrage of baseline rallies would end- then I think around 2015 it all clicked and I basically watch his matches whenever possible.

What clicked? It isn’t anything he did, it’s that I started playing tennis with my friends more regularly. My critiques of pros and inner match commentary was then applied to my own athletic prowess and the art of somehow hitting a fuzzy ball with your own eyes, mind, and body.

Two things became immediately and undeniably apparent about his game:

#1: his playstyle is certainly not lacking in “difficulty”. If you’ve ever played the game, you understand that every time the guy slides 6 feet, gets his racket on an unreturnable ball for 99% of the tour, and somehow drops it inches from the baseline, that is an exceptionally “difficult” shot, every bit as difficult as a guy coming to the net, going for the lines on a big FH, or trying an “elegant” drop shot.

#2: your sentence about “bizarre form” and “awkward looking strokes” couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe this post was about Medvedev? What separates Djokovic from other great movers is that he can keep his backhand form repeatable no matter if his feet are 3 feet or 6 feet apart. The guy has absolutely zero technical breakdowns when hitting on the run, and maintains exceptional balance on the stretch. That’s how he’s able to get such incredible depth on his returns, he’s in control of the shot. They aren’t lucky, they’re practiced coherent parts of a gameplan and strategy.

I think the reason the strokes look bizarre and awkward to you is that, when those same shots are hit to other players, they’re called “winners” because everyone else can barely get a racket on them.

I don’t particularly like the guy’s demeanor or off court views but he is undeniably a special talent, and anyone who plays the game should understand that those sliding returns are greatness in motion.

A lot of people still have yet to accept that last point, especially on here. I think they’d be better off if they did.
 

Bubcay

Hall of Fame
Meh, I guess I understand. Aesthetically, Roger is the pinnacle of the modern game and there are definitely more attacking players with prettier Games throughout history. With Djokovic he does play with a bit too much margin for error at times, and isn’t the attacking dynamo looking to hit winners on every point that will attract fans.

I was a bit like you in the early to mid-2010s with the slow courts just wondering when the barrage of baseline rallies would end- then I think around 2015 it all clicked and I basically watch his matches whenever possible.

What clicked? It isn’t anything he did, it’s that I started playing tennis with my friends more regularly. My critiques of pros and inner match commentary was then applied to my own athletic prowess and the art of somehow hitting a fuzzy ball with your own eyes, mind, and body.

Two things became immediately and undeniably apparent about his game:

#1: his playstyle is certainly not lacking in “difficulty”. If you’ve ever played the game, you understand that every time the guy slides 6 feet, gets his racket on an unreturnable ball for 99% of the tour, and somehow drops it inches from the baseline, that is an exceptionally “difficult” shot, every bit as difficult as a guy coming to the net, going for the lines on a big FH, or trying an “elegant” drop shot.

#2: your sentence about “bizarre form” and “awkward looking strokes” couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe this post was about Medvedev? What separates Djokovic from other great movers is that he can keep his backhand form repeatable no matter if his feet are 3 feet or 6 feet apart. The guy has absolutely zero technical breakdowns when hitting on the run, and maintains exceptional balance on the stretch. That’s how he’s able to get such incredible depth on his returns, he’s in control of the shot. They aren’t lucky, they’re practiced coherent parts of a gameplan and strategy.

I think the reason the strokes look bizarre and awkward to you is that, when those same shots are hit to other players, they’re called “winners” because everyone else can barely get a racket on them.

I don’t particularly like the guy’s demeanor or off court views but he is undeniably a special talent, and anyone who plays the game should understand that those sliding returns are greatness in motion.

A lot of people still have yet to accept that last point, especially on here. I think they’d be better off if they did.
Spot on.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
If you're referring to those jerky, almost spasmodic episodes he has sometimes, they strike me as so unnatural that i'm not sure they are–but are, rather, conscious or semi-conscious overreactions to being out of position or off-balance so as to shift the blame off the mechanics of his strokes themselves, and on to a general, and in his mind, more excusable stumble or body mis-positioning. "I wasn't set up," or, "I'm just off," rather than "I missed," you could say–basically, an ego-driven "flop."
 
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Antónis

Professional
Djoko is more offensive than Nadal. Take their any match - i have rarely seen Nadal hitting more winners than Djoko.
Sorry, but no
Not a matter of winners, but taking the initiative to start hurting the opponent's weaknesses, hitting full speed, rushing the net...
Nadal is more offensive than Nole, and has better offensive weapons
 

ND-13

Hall of Fame
Well, it is a style that works for Djokovic . I guess that is what matters end of the day for him and his team
 

D.Nalby12

G.O.A.T.
Sorry, but no
Not a matter of winners, but taking the initiative to start hurting the opponent's weaknesses, hitting full speed, rushing the net...
Nadal is more offensive than Nole, and has better offensive weapons
That's why he ends up hitting less winners than Djoko 9/10 times. Dhoko was originally offensive baseliner who turned into defensive player later on. Still offensive abilities remained much more than Nadal.
 
I know function over form is more important, and ultimately far less important than results. Hard to argue with his success, and even though I'm admittedly not a fan, I respect his accomplishments.

That said, watching ND over the last couple of years--since you can help but see him in final rounds--his strokes get weird. Especially when he's out of position, they look downright bizarre at times.

He tracks down everything, is a human backboard, keeps the ball in play, forces the opponent to make errors and wears them down. But purely from an aesthetic standpoint, not good, IMHO. Fine if he's ready and in position; if he's not...oof.

An observation, not a judgment. Not as bad as his cringe-y need for crowd love and approval, which he'll likely never get. That's a different discussion altogether.
Synchronized swimming is three forums to your left.
 
Is Djovan Nokavic Medvedev's new alias? Cause if we talk about function over form, Meds takes the cake whistling.
As one poster said above, maybe you're referring to some of his "spastic" shots, when he seems to have lost some sort of coordination between his limbs. Again, it depends on what we have as a measuring stick. If it's Fed's beautiful game, yeah, he's not as pretty. But he's far more efficient.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
Is Djovan Nokavic Medvedev's new alias? Cause if we talk about function over form, Meds takes the cake whistling.
As one poster said above, maybe you're referring to some of his "spastic" shots, when he seems to have lost some sort of coordination between his limbs. Again, it depends on what we have as a measuring stick. If it's Fed's beautiful game, yeah, he's not as pretty. But he's far more efficient.
or possibly, Nov@x Jocovid? sry couldn't resist.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
I think Novak is actually pretty smooth.
Leaving personalities, rooting interests and other craziness out of this, I think that some of the aspects that make Novak's game not as exciting to some are (in no particular order):

His precision. In his early years, I compared his precise ball-striking to...Monica Seles. No, not the same form, but how close they hit to the baseline, and how balanced they were from both wings.

Novak's incredible balance from FH to BH is such that this FH does not pop as much as others, including Roger and Rafa. I'm not saying that his FH is quite as devastating as either Roger or Rafa (take your pick), but it also does not stand out as much from his BH. He also doesn't hit around his backhand as often, so it just doesn't have the same wow factor. Not the inside-out FH while floating to the net or the banana. Nothing that eye-popping, but MUCH more than a rally shot.

Of course, all the greats do so many little things well, but Novak does so many things on the court that aren't as 'sexy" -- redirecting shots from both wings to gain control, hitting the ROS to gain control of the point, etc.

(Nothing new here, just bored with other work projects.)
 

merwy

G.O.A.T.
Probably the most technically sound player alive is being criticized for having bad form and weird strokes by our local TT experts.

He does the drunken master thing now and then but you can’t really take that as a model for how he normally hits.
 

dje31

Professional
"Djovan Nokavic" was the mispronunciation by an ESPN football announcer cutting in mid-game with the results of a major he'd won a few years ago. I actually prefer Djovan Muskovic, for the cheesy cologne popular in the '70s.

To clarify, it's not the sliding...that's impressive as hell, especially on hard courts...I'd have shattered ankles if I tried that even in my prime. Wonder how many old farts like me and weekend warriors have wrecked themselves trying to emulate it.

The guy's fast...maybe too fast, and overruns shots--especially with sidespin that kick back into his body, or serves that jam him. If he's in position, or on the run, NBD.
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
But purely from an aesthetic standpoint, not good, IMHO. Fine if he's ready and in position; if he's not...oof.
I'm not sure if we're talking about the same strokes but those moments when he seems to react where he's lurching about always seem dramatically fake to me. It's like he tries to make a shot look more difficult than it needs to be to elicit something from the crowd. I don't know if that's support from them, trying to "show" why he's losing to try and regain momentum....yeah, no idea for sure but whenever it happens my visceral reaction is that of, "Really?".
 
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