If you compare Djokovic as a player today contra his 2011 version..

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
What are your thoughts? Has he improved as a tennis player? Is he a more complete player?

Lets think about all aspects of the game. His net game, slice etc. Not just FH BH etc.

I feel like we have never touched this subject. We have talked about Nadal and Fed but not Djoko.
 

merwy

G.O.A.T.
He’s more allround today. Better at the net, better at bh slice, better at the dropshot. Better overal sense of how the game works. Still, 2011 version beats 2020 version purely based on better movement and better ground strokes. 2011 was simply godlike. You don’t need a net game if you can hit ground strokes like that.
 

r2473

Talk Tennis Guru
He’s more allround today. Better at the net, better at bh slice, better at the dropshot. Better overal sense of how the game works. Still, 2011 version beats 2020 version purely based on better movement and better ground strokes. 2011 was simply godlike. You don’t need a net game if you can hit ground strokes like that.
What he said
 

TheAssassin

Legend
Explosiveness and consistency of the past are gone. But he has adapted alright. Serve, slice and net game have improved under Becker.

I still wish he would go forward a little more often. A few times when he sets himself up for a good approach and earlier finish of the point, he is indecisive and stays back. Weird for someone who is more daring to approach the net than most players today.
 
D

Deleted member 733170

Guest
I would say when he’s playing at his best level today he’s better in frankly every way than the 2011 version. I see no decline in movement or explosiveness (yet). It amazes me how people can say with any confidence that his movement has declined. (You can make a case that Federer’s movement is starting to decline and Nadal’s too.)

Novak’s struggles and lack of consistency in recent time are I believe are due to complications in his private life.
 

ABCD

Hall of Fame
In my opinion, he is much improved today as there is more brain in his game. Nowadays he plays much improved versions of Federer and Nadal as well as NextGen who took advantage of recent advancements in tennis and sport science.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
2011 version would blow him off the court.
I’d give today’s version a slim chance
on grass maybe.

2020 Djokovic has a bit better all round game but worse movement and ground strokes.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
In 2011, he was more consistent off the ground and more explosive, and had overall better groundstrokes. His backhand in 2011 was like a laser and he was ripping his forehand as hard as he could. Today's version has a better serve, better volleys and more understanding of the game. I really do believe he said in 2011 that he was going to hit and bludgeon his way to the top, and he just committed to that until he ran out of gas after the USO. In 2015, he realized he could still win and didn't need to expend that kind of energy to do it and kind of stayed with that type of game until today, although he is not as good as 2015 today. I think tactically he has improved as a tennis player but loss the explosiveness of the old Djokovic.
 
I would say when he’s playing at his best level today he’s better in frankly every way than the 2011 version. I see no decline in movement or explosiveness (yet). It amazes me how people can say with any confidence that his movement has declined. (You can make a case that Federer’s movement is starting to decline and Nadal’s too.)

Novak’s struggles and lack of consistency in recent time are I believe are due to complications in his private life.


Sorry. As someone who watches past matches for a hobby, I assure you, Novak Djokovic 2011 is in contention for highest level ever and definitely top 2 level I personally have ever seen.



Brutal and complete Force with otherworldly defence and physicality >>> Controlled Offense
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Sorry. As someone who watches past matches for a hobby, I assure you, Novak Djokovic 2011 is in contention for highest level ever and definitely top 2 level I personally have ever seen.



Brutal and complete Force with otherworldly defence and physicality >>> Controlled Offense
Yep.

Baseline consistency will always beat all round game, which is why 2014-2015 Fed is much worse than the 2011-2012 version, 2020 Djokovic is not as good as 2011 etc.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
All those who say he has better volleys now are making a moot point since he almost never approaches the net.

In any case, 2011 Novak beats the current version in straight sets, especially on clay. 2011 Djoker was a beast on clay.

His decline will continue and the 2019 version of Novak would beat the 2023 version and so on. His explosiveness, anticipation, accuracy and stamina are not what they were in 2011, that was peak Djokovic.
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
I feel like we have never touched this subject.
Just rewind the clock back 12 months. There was a ton of discussion about this because the topic of if AO 19 was his greatest performance ever was routinely discussed. There was a lot of debate between his 2011, 2016 and 2019 AOs.

I also recall discussions during fall 2018 from USO to YEC if he was truly back to his 15-16 self, which just as many consider his peak time as the 2011 crowd.

In the end he's the same as every great player. He's gotten smarter and more efficient, but that's only to make up for his physical declines.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Serve is better now, he has more feel on the slice and better volleys - he does approach more than some give him credit. Obvs the serve is the most important shot in tennis, however forehand, backhand and return were all better in 2011 and it's not like he's got an overpowering serve now to compensate. Movement wise he's still pretty damn quick, I do think he's a bit less explosive than 2011 as well though.

So yeah solid edge to 2011.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
All those who say he has better volleys now are making a moot point since he almost never approaches the net.

In any case, 2011 Novak beats the current version in straight sets, especially on clay. 2011 Djoker was a beast on clay.

His decline will continue and the 2019 version of Novak would beat the 2023 version and so on. His explosiveness, anticipation, accuracy and stamina are not what they were in 2011, that was peak Djokovic.
Thats complete bollocks about "almost never approaching the net". You are always saying that over and over when it isn't true. Djokovic approaches the net a good deal of times.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
Serve is better now, he has more feel on the slice and better volleys - he does approach more than some give him credit. Obvs the serve is the most important shot in tennis, however forehand, backhand and return were all better in 2011 and it's not like he's got an overpowering serve now to compensate. Movement wise he's still pretty damn quick, I do think he's a bit less explosive than 2011 as well though.

So yeah solid edge to 2011.
I don't think 2011 Djokovic could go Into a team competition where you have to win doubles matches and be a force enough to help the team win the whole thing, like we saw in ATP Cup. He arguably put in some of his best performances in doubles this year. In that sense I would say Djokovic has improved immensely as a tennis player. I wouldn't call his FH better in 2011 either. I mean his FH has always been a great shot but IMO for the last few years it has reached an even higher level.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Still ranked #2 in the world (probably de facto #1) and still the firm favourite for the title in Melbourne so he's certainly ageing well!
 

Roddick85

Hall of Fame
When you look at his overall game, I'd say he's better today than he was in 2011 as I feel he's become more "complete", the serve is better and he has some nice touch at times at the net or on drop shot. I think his overall game has evolved and became a bit more varied over the years. I wouldn't say his movement has declined that much but he did seem a bit quicker back in those days which is completely normal when you take aging into account. Even though they have different styles, it's interesting to see how both Nadal and Djokovic games evolved in similar fashion over the years to make up the decline in movement by beefing up the serve and incorporating some more net play.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I don't think 2011 Djokovic could go Into a team competition where you have to win doubles matches and be a force enough to help the team win the whole thing, like we saw in ATP Cup. He arguably put in some of his best performances in doubles this year. In that sense I would say Djokovic has improved immensely as a tennis player. I wouldn't call his FH better in 2011 either. I mean his FH has always been a great shot but IMO for the last few years it has reached an even higher level.
Disagree about the forehand.

On the doubles thing, sure? But being a better doubes player now isn't that big a deal IMO. Djokovic will always been known for his singles success.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Thats complete bollocks about "almost never approaching the net". You are always saying that over and over when it isn't true. Djokovic approaches the net a good deal of times.
"Bollocks?" I guess when you just started watching tennis a few years ago you have no clue of what approaching the net really looks like. Truly hilarious that you think Novak "approaches the net a good deal of times."

Now here are the facts instead of fantasy:

In the 2015 Wimbledon final, Djokovic approached the net 24 times and served and volleyed ONCE.

In the 2019 Wimbledon final, Djokovic approached the net (in a long five set match) 35 times and served and volleyed ONCE.

Now let's contrast that to people who actually DID approach the net and we'll take a famous match most people have seen, the 2001 Wimbledon match between Sampras and Federer:

Sampras approached the net 122 times and served & volleyed 112 times.

Fed approached the net 99 times and served and volleyed 88 times.

There's "bollocks" for you, buddy.
 
R

Robert Baratheon

Guest
While talking about Djokovic of "now" I am sure we can consider his performance throughout the last year or atleast the best parts of it?
If you compare the Novak of last year to the Novak who obliterated a far more stronger field with 43 wins in a row we will know how dumb the arguments in favour of him being better now are.

I mean the guy beat a better version of Claydal in two of the clay masters finals, completed the sunshine double. All in all he had ones of the greatest ever seasons and he did all that against better players.

Sure his serve got a little better in 2015 and is maybe still slightly better now compared to 2011 but have you seen his forehand these days? It's passive as hell. His forehand was just out of the world in 2011.

He has learned to volley better and his dropshots are better but those were never his main strengths anyway. Moves well enough yet I would not wager it's as good as 2011 and even it is I am sure he doesn't have the stamina of his 23 year old beastly self.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
Disagree about the forehand.

On the doubles thing, sure? But being a better doubes player now isn't that big a deal IMO. Djokovic will always been known for his singles success.
But being better in doubles is a sign that he evolved his game further.
 
While now he has a better serve, better slice, better net game and he is a better strategist, in 2011 his ground strokes were much better, his backhand was way better, he played more aggressively and just bullied his opponents on consistent basis. He didn't decline physically that much, but he stronger back then with more ruthless mentality, so while he is still great, he was a better player in 2011.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
But being better in doubles is a sign that he evolved his game further.
Tactics etc...in doubles is very different to singles. Don't think Bob or Mike Bryan are particularly complete players.

Being a better doubles player now doesn't make him better than 2011. His 2011 was way better than 2019, don't see how you can seriously argue winning a couple of doubles rubbers makes up for it.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
"Bollocks?" I guess when you just started watching tennis a few years ago you have no clue of what approaching the net really looks like. Truly hilarious that you think Novak "approaches the net a good deal of times."

Now here are the facts instead of fantasy:

In the 2015 Wimbledon final, Djokovic approached the net 24 times and served and volleyed ONCE.

In the 2019 Wimbledon final, Djokovic approached the net (in a long five set match) 35 times and served and volleyed ONCE.

Now let's contrast that to people who actually DID approach the net and we'll take a famous match most people have seen, the 2001 Wimbledon match between Sampras and Federer:

Sampras approached the net 122 times and served & volleyed 112 times.

Fed approached the net 99 times and served and volleyed 88 times.

There's "bollocks" for you, buddy.
Why are you comparing to Federer and Sampras? And also going back to a time where approaching the net gave you an advantage. I never said or implied Djokovic is that net friendly.

Djokovic is still a baseline heavy player and he has his moments where he is afraid to approach the net when it's crunch time but over the years he has definitely used the net alot more. It is completely untrue of you to say he almost never approaches the net. Compare to what you see in todays tour and Djokovic is definitely among the players who is more keen to approach the net. Since becker he has improved that tactical part of the game.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
Tactics etc...in doubles is very different to singles. Don't think Bob or Mike Bryan are particularly complete players.

Being a better doubles player now doesn't make him better than 2011. His 2011 was way better than 2019, don't see how you can seriously argue winning a couple of doubles rubbers makes up for it.
Yea I'm not talking about results here.

The doubles example is just one example at the difference of Djokovic today compared to 2011. I'm not saying thats the only reason.

Djokovic going into doubles like he did this year and perform the way he did wouldn't be possible if let's say you put 2011 Djokovic there with the set of skills he had back then. Djokovic improving his forecourt game over the years has allowed him to perform better as a doubles player. He is a more versatile player. That's my point.
 
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NatF

Bionic Poster
Yea I'm not talking about results here.

The doubles example is just one example at the difference of Djokovic today compared to 2011. I'm not saying thats the only reason.

Djokovic going into doubles like he did this year and perform the way he did wouldn't be possible if let's say you put 2011 Djokovic there with the set of skills he had back then. Djokovic improving his forecourt game over the years has made him a more versatile player. That's my point.
But Djokovic wins the vast majority of his points from baseline still like in 2011, so his improved forecourt game doesn't cover the explosive hitting he had in 2011.

Guy had way worse results last year with an improved game? Nah.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Why are you comparing to Federer and Sampras? And also going back to a time where approaching the net gave you an advantage. I never said or implied Djokovic is that net friendly.

Djokovic is still a baseline heavy player and he has his moments where he is afraid to approach the net when it's crunch time but over the years he has definitely used the net alot more. It is completely untrue of you to say he almost never approaches the net. Compare to what you see in todays tour and Djokovic is definitely among the players who is more keen to approach the net. Since becker he has improved that tactical part of the game.
Absolutely true. He does approach the net more than given credit for.

This is not a comparison to young Federer or peak Sampras on faster grass @BeatlesFan .

Then you mention the W 2019 final in your stat that he 'only'aproached the net 30 odd times.
What about his other rounds? Why is it only the toughest match of his tournament that you mention?

I attended an earlier Djokovic match at last Wimbledon, and he volleyed plenty.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
"Bollocks?" I guess when you just started watching tennis a few years ago you have no clue of what approaching the net really looks like. Truly hilarious that you think Novak "approaches the net a good deal of times."

Now here are the facts instead of fantasy:

In the 2015 Wimbledon final, Djokovic approached the net 24 times and served and volleyed ONCE.

In the 2019 Wimbledon final, Djokovic approached the net (in a long five set match) 35 times and served and volleyed ONCE.

Now let's contrast that to people who actually DID approach the net and we'll take a famous match most people have seen, the 2001 Wimbledon match between Sampras and Federer:

Sampras approached the net 122 times and served & volleyed 112 times.

Fed approached the net 99 times and served and volleyed 88 times.

There's "bollocks" for you, buddy.
What you are saying is not correct though. For one, Sampras is a serve and volley player so he will always approach the net a lot more than Djokovic since he is a baseliner. Two, Federer played a serve and volley game against Sampras in that match and hasn't played that style since 2003 when he first won Wimbledon so that match has no bearing on how Federer actually played and won his titles.

Djokovic will always approach the net less in a Federer match because coming to the net is what Federer must do to win because he can't beat Djokovic from the backcourt. Still in 2019 Wimbledon, Federer approached 256 times in total and Djokovic did 230 times. Before the final, they were about even in approaches. If you want to see a match when someone didn't really approach the net at all against Federer, then look at the Murray match in 2015 when he only came in 11 times and tried to beat Federer only from the backcourt and failed terribly. So yea Djokovic does approach the net a good deal of times since he approached 230 times in 2019 and 200 times in 2015, and probably over 200 times in 2018 as well if I could see the stats.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
I don't think 2011 Djokovic could go Into a team competition where you have to win doubles matches and be a force enough to help the team win the whole thing, like we saw in ATP Cup. He arguably put in some of his best performances in doubles this year. In that sense I would say Djokovic has improved immensely as a tennis player. I wouldn't call his FH better in 2011 either. I mean his FH has always been a great shot but IMO for the last few years it has reached an even higher level.
You need to rewatch some 2011 matches. His FH now is solid and doesn’t break down. Back then he was smacking winners left right centre, even vs Fedal on HC and clay.

2011 AO SF is worth a watch. Djokovic outFH a decent Fed on HC.
 

Lew II

G.O.A.T.
He said he was at his best in 2018 USO, and that 2019 AO was his best final. So he is probably better now.
 
His consistency and ground strokes from the baseline in 2011 will never be matched. He would have won the CYGS that year had fed not played and served the match of his life in RG 2011 semi.
 

GoldenSwing

Rookie
His 2011 was the hardest anyone hit ever hit a ball while being supremely consistent.

His 2019 is much more tactically sound, has better volleys, serve, and slice but would still lose in 4 sets to his 2011 counterpart
 

McGradey

Professional
2011 hard court peak Djokovic was not beatable. Some of the best players of all time worked him over and he simply had an answer for everything.
He was landing the ball within an inch of the lines seemingly on every shot. Even in defensive positions it didn't matter because he has rubber limbs and can slide and hit a perfect shot at full stretch.
I'm a Federer fan but I think that 2011 season is the highest level of tennis to date.

He's cannier and more finessed in his play now, but I think 2011 beats 2020 for sure.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic 2011 is the ultimate form of Earth's Mightiest Warrior that will be talked about for years and years to come.

Yes, Novak has a better tennis mind now, naturally he is more experienced and has added to his game over all, but the outstanding level at which he was at in 2011 was something else. The guy walked as this planet's one and true heavyweight champion of the world.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic 2011 is the ultimate form of Earth's Mightiest Warrior that will be talked about for years and years to come.

Yes, Novak has a better tennis mind now, naturally he is more experienced and has added to his game over all, but the outstanding level at which he was at in 2011 was something else. The guy walked as this planet's one and true heavyweight champion of the world.
This is what Im trying to get at. Overall he is a better equipped tennis player these days as he has added more things to his game.

But what he did purely from the baseline in 2011 was outstanding. @Enceladus said it well, from the baseline he was more impressive and perhaps more lethal.

But Djokovic today is still a monster from the baseline while he has a better serve and is more efficient.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
This is what Im trying to get at. Overall he is a better equipped tennis player these days as he has added more things to his game.

But what he did purely from the baseline in 2011 was outstanding. @Enceladus said it well, from the baseline he was more impressive and perhaps more lethal.

But Djokovic today is still a god from the baseline while he has a better serve and is more efficient.
Novak has more facets to his game, yes, the reason is that he knows for longevity purposes, just like how Federer and Nadal are doing it, he cannot play the way he did when he had youth on his side. He can still go from the baseline of course, better server, and better tennis brain, level wise he is still below though that 2011 version. That 2011 level was about as close to Godly as you will ever see on a tennis court ever.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
2011 hard court peak Djokovic was not beatable. Some of the best players of all time worked him over and he simply had an answer for everything.
He was landing the ball within an inch of the lines seemingly on every shot. Even in defensive positions it didn't matter because he has rubber limbs and can slide and hit a perfect shot at full stretch.
I'm a Federer fan but I think that 2011 season is the highest level of tennis to date.

He's cannier and more finessed in his play now, but I think 2011 beats 2020 for sure.
He was beatable though, as showed by the 2011 USO SF, when he barely escaped.Nobody is unbeatable.
 
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