Is Medvedev the new Miloslav Mecir?

Sometimes Medvedev seemed out of sync with footwork. At one point, I thought that he might be injured. But there was lots of very smooth foot movement too. He seemed to improvise some strokes with sudden racket work. John McEnroe commented that he was getting balls back that were behind him. Slow motion showed some of the footwork.

Mecir was the smoothest moving man, very graceful in his movement. His feet seemed to glide on the ground. Control. I don't think that I ever saw him in slow motion.

Wikipedia - "Throughout most of 1989 and into 1990, Mečíř suffered from a worsening back injury and he retired in July 1990, aged just 26."

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For the ladies, Hanna Mandlikova was the most graceful mover when I saw her in person at the US Open. You would notice her smooth movement.

 
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IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I think he is the closest guy I have seen to Mecir in a while. The smooth court coverage, selective strokes, and poker demeanor.
Meddy reminds me of Mecir as well.

Deceptive speed, effortlessly seems to get to balls that seem out of reach, flat-ish groundstrokes, good use of angles, high-percentage tennis, ability to frustrate opponents with unorthodox style.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
The way the ball travels in the air, reminds me of RBA's.

But Medvedev has so much more variation, grit and courage - and a lot better serve.
 

WestboroChe

Professional
Meddy reminds me of Mecir as well.

Deceptive speed, effortlessly seems to get to balls that seem out of reach, flat-ish groundstrokes, good use of angles, high-percentage tennis, ability to frustrate opponents with unorthodox style.
Having the wingspan of a Pterodactyl certainly helps with getting to balls that seem out of reach
 

mrmike

Semi-Pro
I think Mecir was a smoother mover with a equally smooth strokes and great touch. Medvedev is not quite as smooth mover but covers tons of court along with having more power on his ground strokes and serve than Mecir did.
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
My impression is that Medvedev does not practice his volleys much. Somewhat understandable as he is a baseline grinder.
At one point, he actually backpedaled 20 feet instead of following his shot to the net. That baseline style beats everyone on the planet except possibly the GOAT grinder Nadal and Djoker.

Hence he changed tactics midway through the match. Mac said he has great hands. Though he easily won the vast majority of his net points, he still missed some easy volleys at net and did not seem entirely comfortable with footwork at the net; lack of matchplay experience. He will only get better as he improves his net game.
 
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WestboroChe

Professional
My impression is that Medvedev does not practice his volleys much. Somewhat understandable as he is a baseline grinder.
That style beats everyone on the planet except the GOAT grinder Nadal. Hence he changed tactics midway through the match.
As Mac said, he has great hands. Though he easily won the vast majority of his net points, he still missed some easy volleys at net and did not seem entirely comfortable at the net; lack of matchplay experience. He will only get better as he improves his net game.
The most impressive thing is his mentality. He’s like Andersen only with tactical sense and fight.

But you’re right. Almost everyone on the tour is a baseline grinder now and when they go up against the big 3 they don’t know how to attack and press their opponent. Medvdev understood you have to take your shots against Nadal and not be so patient.
 

user92626

Legend
I would HATE to see a pro match that's mostly consist of serve and volley or coming to the net. That's too much doubles and where's the athleticism in that?

These guys are exhausted and pushed to the limit, which is where the drama and thrill is, simply because they have to run a lot and hang onto many long points.
 

WestboroChe

Professional
I would HATE to see a pro match that's mostly consist of serve and volley or coming to the net. That's too much doubles and where's the athleticism in that?

These guys are exhausted and pushed to the limit, which is where the drama and thrill is, simply because they have to run a lot and hang onto many long points.
Yes but the problem is that we’re also pushed to the limit to watch these matches. 5 hours is becoming like the norm.
 

tonylg

Rookie
My impression is that Medvedev does not practice his volleys much. Somewhat understandable as he is a baseline grinder.
At one point, he actually backpedaled 20 feet instead of following his shot to the net. That baseline style beats everyone on the planet except possibly the GOAT grinder Nadal and Djoker.

Hence he changed tactics midway through the match. Mac said he has great hands. Though he easily won the vast majority of his net points, he still missed some easy volleys at net and did not seem entirely comfortable with footwork at the net; lack of matchplay experience. He will only get better as he improves his net game.
I know exactly what point you are talking about and pointed out to my family how fundamental an error that would have been when tennis was different (pre poly).

They both served and volleyed a few times, but it was only successful when slicing out wide to the opponent's backhand when they were standing 3 or 4 metres behind the baseline. Honestly, any top 300 player should be able to make that play if presented to them.

They both tried to serve and volley to the other side (deuce for Rafa, ad for Medvedev) and both failed miserably because it required a quality volley rather than a bunt into the open court.

Mecir was far more than just a grinder and would have carved up anyone who stood back as far as both the players yesterday.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I would HATE to see a pro match that's mostly consist of serve and volley or coming to the net. That's too much doubles and where's the athleticism in that?
Well, if you like long, grinding baseline rallies points, it was even better in Borg's era :)

 

Raul_SJ

Legend
Yes but the problem is that we’re also pushed to the limit to watch these matches. 5 hours is becoming like the norm.
Suspect a lot of people switched it off after
2 sets and knowing that Rafa is 200-2 after leading by two sets...

That said, the fourth and fifth set was some of the best tennis you will ever see. Not all grinding and not all S&V but mix of world class grinding along with some excellent S&V thrown in. Very entertaining.
 
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tonylg

Rookie
That said, the fourth and fifth set was some of the best tennis you will ever see. A mix of world class grinding along with some excellent S&V thrown in. Very rare to see these days.
Hitting a slider out wide to an opponent who is standing 4 metres behind the baseline and bunting into the open court is not excellent serve and volley tennis, it's a gift.
 

user92626

Legend
Well, if you like long, grinding baseline rallies points, it was even better in Borg's era :)

I'm sure these Borg era guys had their own struggles, but their baseline grindings don't look anything like today, especially with Nadal and all. :) They don't look very athletic.


How fast were the Borg era guys hit their FH and serves?
 

tonylg

Rookie
I'm sure these Borg era guys had their own struggles, but their baseline grindings don't look anything like today, especially with Nadal and all. :) They don't look very athletic.


How fast were the Borg era guys hit their FH and serves?
Have you ever heard of Pancho Gonzales, Bill Tilden, Ellsworth Vines, Colin Dibley? Although radar guns were almost unheard of, all these guys served bombs even before Borg came along.

That's because you can hit a big flat serve and have it go in. It simply wasn't possible to consistently hit massive groundstrokes until you got both free power and spin from stiff oversized racquets and poly strings.

And that has made half the skills that used to make up the sport of tennis completely redundant. Modern players do a few things better than in the "old days", but they possess a far smaller skill set than someone like Laver did.

That's why some people like Federer. It's not because of slam count, it's because he has the skill set. Dimitrov and Tsitsipas do to a lesser extent, but it's nigh on useless to them in today's environment.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I'm sure these Borg era guys had their own struggles, but their baseline grindings don't look anything like today, especially with Nadal and all. :) They don't look very athletic.
Borg was one of the most athletic tennis players of all time. His court coverage was amazing!

If playing today, he would likely be the fastest guy on tour...
 

WestboroChe

Professional
Suspect a lot of people switched it off after
2 sets and knowing that Rafa is 200-2 after leading by two sets...

That said, the fourth and fifth set was some of the best tennis you will ever see. Not all grinding and not all S&V but mix of world class grinding along with some excellent S&V thrown in. Very entertaining.
Yes. Fortunately I didn’t really watch it until the and of set 3. I really hope Medvedev can build on this and breakthrough. I’m really sick of seeing Fedalovic in every final.
 

user92626

Legend
Have you ever heard of Pancho Gonzales, Bill Tilden, Ellsworth Vines, Colin Dibley? Although radar guns were almost unheard of, all these guys served bombs even before Borg came along.

That's because you can hit a big flat serve and have it go in. It simply wasn't possible to consistently hit massive groundstrokes until you got both free power and spin from stiff oversized racquets and poly strings.

And that has made half the skills that used to make up the sport of tennis completely redundant. Modern players do a few things better than in the "old days", but they possess a far smaller skill set than someone like Laver did.

That's why some people like Federer. It's not because of slam count, it's because he has the skill set. Dimitrov and Tsitsipas do to a lesser extent, but it's nigh on useless to them in today's environment.
I beg to differ on a lot of things you postulate.

When things were alot slower, you naturally could do many things.

Today, the ball mph and the strength and speeds have become almost unreal. Players could do the things that Laver did less frequently, but they show they could do them when opportunities present themselves.

If you pitted a guy in the old days against today guy, I bet the latter would win hand down. Why? The game rules and conditions (court size, etc) haven't changed but the players today have evolved to be much better. Hence, records keep getting broken. But this is all postulation anyway. Well, not entirely. You have Federer from the old era vs today Djokovic, the later naturally have a better head 2 head.
 

tonylg

Rookie
You don't get it. Large racquet heads and poly strings make average baseliners good and good baseliners amazing.

Amazing baseliners like Djokovic and Nadal have been made untouchable.

It's not the player that is the difference, it's the equipment.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

tonylg

Rookie
Didn't read the thread, but I think Borg's anticipation was amazing, rather than his actual speed.

That smart court positioning and early first step are worth more than outright pace. Mecir had both, but I think the former was the bigger strength.
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
Here is Rafter at the US Open serving and volleying on every point against the GOAT returner Agassi.
I think Rafter would have had a chance with Rafa as well.

 

tonylg

Rookie
Here is Rafter at the US Open serving and volleying on every point against the GOAT returner Agassi.
I think Rafter would have had a chance with Rafa as well.

Hate to sound like a broken record, but that was the year Luxilon ruined tennis.

Rafter would indeed have a chance against Rafa back then, but not today. I'm not sure he'd win a game, let alone a set.
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
Hate to sound like a broken record, but that was the year Luxilon ruined tennis.

Rafter would indeed have a chance against Rafa back then, but not today. I'm not sure he'd win a game, let alone a set.
Never tried this string... Can a string really change a game that much?
 

tonylg

Rookie

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Hate to sound like a broken record, but that was the year Luxilon ruined tennis.

Rafter would indeed have a chance against Rafa back then, but not today. I'm not sure he'd win a game, let alone a set.
LOL.

Medvedev came to net 74 times and won 50 of those points (68%), despite not having that great of a net game.

Yet, you think that Rafter - one of the greatest net players of all time - would struggle to win a game against Rafa?!?
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
LOL.

Medvedev came to net 74 times and won 50 of those points (68%), despite not having that great of a net game.

Yet, you think that Rafter - one of the greatest net players of all time - would struggle to win a game against Rafa?!?
It’s a tricky piece of stats. Some baseliner might end a match with higher percentage of points won at the net than a strong volleyer, coming in only to finish balls, not to construct points.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
It’s a tricky piece of stats. Some baseliner might end a match with higher percentage of points won at the net than a strong volleyer, coming in only to finish balls, not to construct points.
Maybe you can find an example of that?

For example, some stats where a baseliner who came to net 74 times like Meddy had better net stats than Sampras or Rafter in a match?

Sampras wasn't usually constructing points when he came to net. He was usually putting away sitter volleys and overheads after a huge serve :)
 

WestboroChe

Professional
Well, if you like long, grinding baseline rallies points, it was even better in Borg's era :)

Ironic that those guys became the prototype for the tour today.
Borg was one of the most athletic tennis players of all time. His court coverage was amazing!

If playing today, he would likely be the fastest guy on tour...
Im not sure about that but his style would translate well to today’s game.
 

WestboroChe

Professional
Maybe you can find an example of that?

For example, some stats where a baseliner who came to net 74 times like Meddy had better net stats than Sampras or Rafter in a match?

Sampras wasn't usually constructing points when he came to net. He was usually putting away sitter volleys and overheads after a huge serve :)
All of this illustrates the point that SV as a playing style is dead on the tour except as a tactical change up.

You can be successful at it (Taylor Dent) but unless you can develop excellent ground strokes and defense to go with it I just can’t see someone becoming a top 10 player with it.
 

WestboroChe

Professional
It’s a tricky piece of stats. Some baseliner might end a match with higher percentage of points won at the net than a strong volleyer, coming in only to finish balls, not to construct points.
Totally. I love these random stats the networks throw out that don’t really tell me anything. Player A is 5/6 on net points but player B is only 5/8. :rolleyes:
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I actually remember them pointing out on TV at the us open once that one of Borg's serves was 82mph.. I don't remember if it was 1st or 2nd tho...
You can't compare mph today vs. yesteryear since the radar guns today measure speed off the racquet IIRC and in the olden days it was different.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
All of this illustrates the point that SV as a playing style is dead on the tour except as a tactical change up.

You can be successful at it (Taylor Dent) but unless you can develop excellent ground strokes and defense to go with it I just can’t see someone becoming a top 10 player with it.
Tend to agree though I don't think its because the style is deficient. Its because the courts are slow and bounce higher. on fast courts serve and volley is the best way to play, its just that there are no fast courts these days.

The idea that people want to see 40 shot rallies on every point is tennis' version of the loudness war...
 

tonylg

Rookie
LOL.

Medvedev came to net 74 times and won 50 of those points (68%), despite not having that great of a net game.

Yet, you think that Rafter - one of the greatest net players of all time - would struggle to win a game against Rafa?!?
I don't think it, I know it.

Although Rafter is a fair bit younger than me, I watched him come up through juniors. His net game I'd rate slightly better than Federer. His serve is not as good and his groundstrokes are woeful compared to Fed.

Now consider that Federer can't beat Nadal and Djokovic by relying on his net game, even at Wimbledon. How would Rafter beat Nadal?

Note that Rafter would carve Nadal up using racquets and strings from the 90s, I'm talking about the game today.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
All of this illustrates the point that SV as a playing style is dead on the tour except as a tactical change up.

You can be successful at it (Taylor Dent) but unless you can develop excellent ground strokes and defense to go with it I just can’t see someone becoming a top 10 player with it.
74 net approaches by Meddy and 66 by Nadal is more than a tactical change-up...
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I don't think it, I know it.

Although Rafter is a fair bit younger than me, I watched him come up through juniors. His net game I'd rate slightly better than Federer. His serve is not as good and his groundstrokes are woeful compared to Fed.

Now consider that Federer can't beat Nadal and Djokovic by relying on his net game, even at Wimbledon. How would Rafter beat Nadal?

Note that Rafter would carve Nadal up using racquets and strings from the 90s, I'm talking about the game today.
I never said Rafter would beat Nadal.

But he would definitely get a few games on his own serve, which for some reason you doubted...
 

tonylg

Rookie
74 net approaches by Meddy and 66 by Nadal is more than a tactical change-up...
They didn't serve and volley 140 times. They served and volleyed maybe a dozen, chased drop shots to the net maybe 30 times and strolled in at the end of a typical baseline bot rally the rest.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame

tonylg

Rookie
I never said Rafter would beat Nadal.

But he would definitely get a few games on his own serve, which for some reason you doubted...
How would he hold serve? The moment he stays back, Nadal has him. Nadal knows that he's coming to the net every point and does not stand 4 metres back like he did to Medvedev. Any return Rafter could get near would be at his shoe laces and even as great as he was if he stayed in the point, he'd get passed.

Tennis had a very fine balance for a long time. Everyone was concerned that the power of graphite racquets would tip that balance in favour of servers, but poly strings has tipped it infinitely in favour of baseliners. Rafter was a great player, but his strengths are simply useless inside the top 10 in 2019.
 

WestboroChe

Professional
74 net approaches by Meddy and 66 by Nadal is more than a tactical change-up...
It was over 5 long sets. And net points doesn’t necessarily mean serve and volley.

But that wasn’t my point. I just mean that by itself it doesn’t tell you anything. It’s like time of possession in a football game. It can tell you a little bit about how someone played but it doesn’t tell you how they did that or whether it was effective (FWIW I find TOP to be a completely meaningless stat)
 

WestboroChe

Professional
Tend to agree though I don't think its because the style is deficient. Its because the courts are slow and bounce higher. on fast courts serve and volley is the best way to play, its just that there are no fast courts these days.

The idea that people want to see 40 shot rallies on every point is tennis' version of the loudness war...
Some of it is slower courts. I think a lot of it is the poly. Those passing shots they hit now you could never do with gut.

I don’t really prefer any particular style. I just miss the variety of watching players adapt to different styles and approaches. Everyone is just a clone now. And unfortunately this isn’t football. You can’t develop a new system to change the game. Tennis strategy and tactics are just too limited in that sense.

I have found watching lower ranked players to be more enjoyable now. The matches go faster and the players make more mistakes and struggle with their form. Let’s them seem more human and relatable and it also allows one to really see the tactics or lack at work.
 
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