More talented player, Nishikori or Dimitrov ?

The most talented is :

  • Nishikori

  • Dimitrov


Results are only viewable after voting.
Discuss, I always thought Kei had a better offensive game and had more potential than Dimitrov personally . I consider both as wasted talents but Nishikori even more, probably one of the most frustrating player to watch, especially against the big 4
 

adil1972

Hall of Fame
i only watches women slam final matches if serena/osaka reaches slam final

and i only watches Big3 slam matches

meaning i have no interest in watching ATP/WTA tourneys
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
very, very similar

Kei is more solid off the ground seeing as he has great groundies from both wings, whereas Greg has a genuinely fragile backhand.

Greg, however, arguably has the slightly higher top level when his serve and forehand are clicking, as he can be more dynamic and do more damage.

But very similar level talents and levels.
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
very, very similar

Kei is more solid off the ground seeing as he has great groundies from both wings, whereas Greg has a genuinely fragile backhand.

Greg, however, arguably has the slightly higher top level when his serve and forehand are clicking, as he can be more dynamic and do more damage.

But very similar level talents and levels.
I don't believe we haven't argued Dimis forehand in 2021 have we?

But no yokes, I think Dimitrovs defensive ability and scrambling are severely underrated, while Nishikori's return and defensive game are perahps a bit overrated?
 

Rafa4LifeEver

Hall of Fame
Discuss, I always thought Kei had a better offensive game and had more potential than Dimitrov personally . I consider both as wasted talents but Nishikori even more, probably one of the most frustrating player to watch, especially against the big 4
Both roughly equal imo, but Dimi had a much higher ceiling.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
But no yokes, I think Dimitrovs defensive ability and scrambling are severely underrated, while Nishikori's return and defensive game are perahps a bit overrated?
dunno




I'd say Grigor is indeed a bit better at the extreme scrambles with his athleticism, but he is certainly also more likely to break down and err if a rally is extended and he is put on the defensive. The one area where he does have a meaningful edge on Kei is in their +1 game behind serve, where Grigor at his best simply has more authority with both the serve and forehand (74% vs 71% won, and hits a winner 25% vs 18%, which is a big difference). On return, Kei is actually superior to him in every single rally length category. Perhaps surprisingly, the meaningful difference between their forehand groundstrokes isn't that Grigor hits more winners or forces more errors, but that he hits fewer errors while doing the same amount of offensive damage. On their backhands, the script is flipped, which is expected.
 

ibbi

Legend
I don't know that there's a huge difference between them in terms of talent. I'd tend to agree based just on watching them that Dimitrov might have the higher ceiling in terms of top level play, but then I'm also not sure he has ever done anything quite as impressive as those back to back to back victories Nishikori had over Raonic (in a strong contender for his career year), Wawrinka (AO champion, and semifinalist there the year before) and Djokovic (Djokovic) at the 2014 US Open. Not to mention the beating he was giving Nadal in Madrid before the carriage turned back into a pumpkin.

Granted, Grigor has the bigger titles, but let's be real (cool as the Del Potro victory was) the Cincinnati title was not exactly a mind blower, and Nick was the principle star of most of that week, and in London whatever real work needed doing Goffin did for him.
 
P

PETEhammer

Guest
In analyzing Dimitrov and Nishikori as models, one is using the word "talented" very loosely
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
dunno




I'd say Grigor is indeed a bit better at the extreme scrambles with his athleticism, but he is certainly also more likely to break down and err if a rally is extended and he is put on the defensive. The one area where he does have a meaningful edge on Kei is in their +1 game behind serve, where Grigor at his best simply has more authority with both the serve and forehand (74% vs 71% won, and hits a winner 25% vs 18%, which is a big difference). On return, Kei is actually superior to him in every single rally length category. Perhaps surprisingly, the meaningful difference between their forehand groundstrokes isn't that Grigor hits more winners or forces more errors, but that he hits fewer errors while doing the same amount of offensive damage. On their backhands, the script is flipped, which is expected.
I didn't mean to imply Kei isn't the better returner, he is. But I feel his return is underwhelming for the supposed type of player he is at the top level, if you say compare him to Ferrer his return stats are a LOT worse.

I think Dimitrov is ofttimes holding back on the forehand in turn leaving his backhand weakness exposed vs better baseliners. That's where I think he's lacking. And it doesn't bail him out when he's on a dank day either.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
I didn't mean to imply Kei isn't the better returner, he is. But I feel his return is underwhelming for the supposed type of player he is at the top level, if you say compare him to Ferrer his return stats are a LOT worse.

I think Dimitrov is ofttimes holding back on the forehand in turn leaving his backhand weakness exposed vs better baseliners. That's where I think he's lacking. And it doesn't bail him out when he's on a dank day either.
I agree.

It is noteworthy that both of them have <50% success in shorter rallies and generally do better as the rallies go on (more so for Kei).

Put briefly, both of them essentially have both too weak serves and returns for their level and games. Which sucks for them, seeing as shorter points make up the bulk of tennis matches. The very best players may differ somewhat in how much their strength is toward serving or returning, but what they all have in common, even the supposedly 'defensive ones', is that they do very well in the all-important shorter rally categories (1-3 and 4-6).

Notice especially the great myth of the pusher Andy Murray, who in reality relies the most on his success in shorter rallies.




It is very interesting to me that Kei outdoes pretty much all of these guys in the extended rallies. But they all crush him between 1–6 shots.
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
I agree.

It is noteworthy that both of them have <50% success in shorter rallies and generally do better as the rallies go on (more so for Kei).

Put briefly, both of them essentially have both too weak serves and returns for their level and games. Which sucks for them, seeing as shorter points make up the bulk of tennis matches. The very best players may differ somewhat in how much their strength is toward serving or returning, but what they all have in common, even the supposedly 'defensive ones', is that they do very well in the all-important shorter rally categories (1-3 and 4-6).

Notice especially the great myth of the pusher Andy Murray, who in reality relies the most on his success in shorter rallies.




It is very interesting to me that Kei outdoes pretty much all of these guys in the extended rallies. But they all crush him between 1–6 shots.
Always unsure how to interpret rally length stats, cause with guys like Karlovic etc you're just gonna have an insane amount of survivorship bias there, it takes rallies often to be neutral for a little bit to even make it to 9 shots, etc.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
Always unsure how to interpret rally length stats, cause with guys like Karlovic etc you're just gonna have an insane amount of survivorship bias there, it takes rallies often to be neutral for a little bit to even make it to 9 shots, etc.
You do have to see it in conjunction with how great their share of points in the different rally categories are of course. Someone like Ivo or Isner almost do not play any long points in the first place, which in itself tells you a lot about their games.

But their distribution of points won in different rally categories definitely says something meaningful about their profile as players.

A guy like Isner is 52%, 43%, 36% and 38% in the respective rally length categories, for instance, which is what you'd expect. He plays an extreme amount of short points, and his chances in the rally also goes down significantly if the rally is extended. Which, obviously, contrasts with someone like Nadal, who is at a modest 51% in the short rallies but only grows as rallies are extended. So yeah, in most cases I think the numbers are quite easy to make sense of.
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
You do have to see it in conjunction with how great their share of points in the different rally categories are of course. Someone like Ivo or Isner almost do not play any long points in the first place, which in itself tells you a lot about their games.

But their distribution of points won in different rally categories definitely says something meaningful about their profile as players.

A guy like Isner is 52%, 43%, 36% and 38% in the respective rally length categories, for instance, which is what you'd expect. He plays an extreme amount of short points, and his chances in the rally also goes down significantly if the rally is extended. Which, obviously, contrasts with someone like Nadal, who is at a modest 51% in the short rallies but only grows as rallies are extended. So yeah, in most cases I think the numbers are quite easy to make sense of.
I probably only see it for single matches, where you just get big sample sizing issues and where long rallies tend can often look remarkably 50/50 when the match is won in 4 to 6 shot rallies.

I do remember Dimitrov going 15 to 1 vs Kyrgios in the Cinci final in 9+ rallies or something crazy. That made a lot of sense to me.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Serve: Dimitrov
Return: Nishikori
FH: Dimitrov
BH: Nishikori
Slice: Dimitrov
Net game: Dimitrov
Defense: Dimitrov
Movement/Fitness: Dimitrov
Mental Strength: Nishikori

Overall it's pretty clearly Dimitrov. Both had a lot of talent though, too bad they were sidelined by injury. Not to mention Raonic.
 
Well, height is no talent. Sush in 178cm tall, Trough 191 cm per official data. This is obviously responsible for much of Trough's serve advantage. That Dim moves almost as well as Kei despite the height is a plus for him, but he's got that significant stroke consistency weakness. Trough has higher peaks so by that daffy he could be considered more talented, but Nishikori's built for more consistent success, and it's not like Dim's peak is good enough to win a bik stronk title - he was lucky to peak during mug season and collect when all decent players are hurt or otherwise sukk.
 

tonylg

Legend
Pushikori is just another baseline bot, like Goffin, Ferrer or Djokovic. You can't compare his level of talent to Dimitrov.
 

skaj

Legend
Serve: Dimitrov
Return: Nishikori
FH: Dimitrov
BH: Nishikori
Slice: Dimitrov
Net game: Dimitrov
Defense: Dimitrov
Movement/Fitness: Dimitrov
Mental Strength: Nishikori

Overall it's pretty clearly Dimitrov. Both had a lot of talent though, too bad they were sidelined by injury. Not to mention Raonic.
Defense and movement Dimitrov? Nishikori is at least as good.

Also mental strength, Nishikori is horrible there too. Equal.
 

daggerman

Hall of Fame
Kei might have slightly better hand-eye coordination and more "natural" ball-striking talent, but he was never going to win multiple slams at that size in this era. His body was always going to break down trying to contend with the Big 4 + Stan for slams.

Dimitrov, by contrast, is physically the prototypical modern tennis player. But I like the way Sharapova describes his limitations in her book. I'm too lazy to grab the exact quote, but her assessment was that he basically had an inability (and/or unwillingness) to "win ugly." When his A game isn't working, he can lose to anybody.

I'd say Kei had the higher floor and also probably got pretty close to his ceiling, and Dimitrov had the higher ceiling, but didn't get particularly close to it.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Well, height is no talent. Sush in 178cm tall, Trough 191 cm per official data. This is obviously responsible for much of Trough's serve advantage. That Dim moves almost as well as Kei despite the height is a plus for him, but he's got that significant stroke consistency weakness. Trough has higher peaks so by that daffy he could be considered more talented, but Nishikori's built for more consistent success, and it's not like Dim's peak is good enough to win a bik stronk title - he was lucky to peak during mug season and collect when all decent players are hurt or otherwise sukk.
Dimitrov is the first player to prove to me that you CAN in fact win the WTF with a weak draw. Never thought it was possible.
 

skaj

Legend
Both very good ball-strikers(edge to Nishikori), both good shot makers(edge Dimitrov), with great mobility around court, smart thinking. Overall I give it to Grigor, if nothing else for his "physical talent"(taller, stronger, more flexible).
 
Dimitrov is the first player to prove to me that you CAN in fact win the WTF with a weak draw. Never thought it was possible.
Just took everyone to get injured. No Fedr, no Nadl, no Djovk, no Mury, no nextgenies yet except mugrev. Dimitrov-Sock SF...

2005 could've been like that but even half-injured Peakerer was still a force and single-handedly saved the tournament from being a complete mugfest + made Nalbandian prove his worth against a decent opponent.
 

Clay lover

Hall of Fame
Watched them play against each other in real life at Rogers Cup 2016. While Kei was more mobile and consistent Dimi clearly hit harder and had the better ability to end points. Would definitely say Dimitrov as Kei's style is just not sustainable when it comes to beating top players consistently.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Just took everyone to get injured. No Fedr, no Nadl, no Djovk, no Mury, no nextgenies yet except mugrev. Dimitrov-Sock SF...

2005 could've been like that but even half-injured Peakerer was still a force and single-handedly saved the tournament from being a complete mugfest + made Nalbandian prove his worth against a decent opponent.
Even 2005 was much better than that as the players were more elite than what you had in 2017.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Watched them play against each other in real life at Rogers Cup 2016. While Kei was more mobile and consistent Dimi clearly hit harder and had the better ability to end points. Would definitely say Dimitrov as Kei's style is just not sustainable when it comes to beating top players consistently.
Not like Dimi's style is capable of that feat anyway.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
...but her assessment was that he basically had an inability (and/or unwillingness) to "win ugly." When his A game isn't working, he can lose to anybody.

I'd say Kei had the higher floor and also probably got pretty close to his ceiling, and Dimitrov had the higher ceiling, but didn't get particularly close to it.
And now we're seeing that with his Next gen counterpart, Shapovalov.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Defense and movement Dimitrov? Nishikori is at least as good.

Also mental strength, Nishikori is horrible there too. Equal.
Dimitrov is/was one of the best movers in the game at his peak. I'd give him the edge over Nishikori in that department, although Kei is no slouch either.
 
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