Murray the best ever defender on hard courts after Djokovic?

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
Seriously, the amount of balls he was retrieving today that would've been outright winners against any other player was just insane - you basically have to clean the lines to win the point such is his speed around the court.:eek: Not gonna lie, it made me want to tear my hair out at times but ultimately when a player's defensive abilities are that amazing you just have to sit back, admire and respect it.

So apart from Djokovic, can you think of any other player who could defend as well as Murray on a hard court?
 

SinjinCooper

Hall of Fame
Peak Hewitt, though his peak was short enough that his defensive career isn't on nearly the same level.

Wildcards would would be Chang and Wilander. They had much harder tasks, asked as they were to defend much faster hardcourts against much more aggressive play. Wilander a converted claycourter, of course, who only got really amazing at defending on HC late in his career. Chang was probably the better defender of the two, but alas, that was an era when defensive play simply wasn't a winning formula on medium to fast surfaces. So apples-to-oranges compared to today that it's tough to compare.

But yeah, Murray and Djokovic are clearly the two greatest practicioners of the art in the modern era. And this is the era when it's most important, since slowcourt defensive tennis is the order of the day right now.
 

Noleberic123

G.O.A.T.
Seriously, the amount of balls he was retrieving today that would've been outright winners against any other player was just insane - you basically have to clean the lines to win the point such is his speed around the court.:eek: Not gonna lie, it made me want to tear my hair out at times but ultimately when a player's defensive abilities are that amazing you just have to sit back, admire and respect it.

So apart from Djokovic, can you think of any other player who could defend as well as Murray on a hard court?
Peak Nadal on clay is even better than both IMO. But on hardcourt Djokovic and Murray have very little peers.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Nadal on clay is a better defender than both Djokovic and Murray.

On HC, Wilander and Chang are perhaps better than Murray
 

Fiero425

Hall of Fame
How sad for the sport that the top 2 players in the world key strengths are their defensive abilities, tennis has gone to ****. If they get to the final of the AO expect a few people to tune out.
Been saying it for years; been hard to watch for over a decade! :rolleyes: :p ;)
 

Noelan

Legend
Seriously, the amount of balls he was retrieving today that would've been outright winners against any other player was just insane - you basically have to clean the lines to win the point such is his speed around the court.:eek: Not gonna lie, it made me want to tear my hair out at times but ultimately when a player's defensive abilities are that amazing you just have to sit back, admire and respect it.

So apart from Djokovic, can you think of any other player who could defend as well as Murray on a hard court?
I was stunned with Andy defense today:eek:
 

Fiero425

Hall of Fame
I was stunned with Andy defense today:eek:
But at what cost? There's a reason Murray loses these matches against Djokovic if he drops the 1st set! He's used up so much energy running down shots and being more defensive than necessary; even in early rounds! He still needs to close out points sooner at the net like he won at critical times in the match! :rolleyes: :p ;)
 
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Deleted member 733170

Guest
Sorry, but Chang makes Gasquet look like the GOAT.

It is an absurd proposition to bundle Chang into any comparison with Murray.
 

Noelan

Legend
But at what cost? There's a reason Murray loses these matches against Djokovic if he drops the 1st set! He's used up so much energy running down shots and being more defensive than necessary; even in early rounds! He still needs to close out points sooner at the net like he won at critical times in the match! :rolleyes: :p ;)
Yeah I know it costs but It was still jaw dropping:)
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
He is a better defender on hard court than Nadal of today. 2005-2010 Nadal was better even on hard court. With Nadal it wasn't just retrieving the ball, he would hit winners from those very difficult and defensive positions.
 

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
Federer himself is a good defender on grass. He moves better than anyone else on that surface.
True, he's one of the best defenders on grass and definitely the best mover on the surface. He has to be, he owned Wimbledon for years. But in terms of pure retrieving on the surface I'd go with Murray
 

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
I was stunned with Andy defense today:eek:
Always made Novak hit the extra shot, it was really incredible. That's why Novak's win was particularly impressive today - he rode through the storm and overcame the disappointment of squandering 3 MPs in the second set. He had to be ultra aggressive and paint the lines like he did in last year's final
 

Noelan

Legend
Always made Novak hit the extra shot, it was really incredible. That's why Novak's win was particularly impressive today - he rode through the storm and overcame the disappointment of squandering 3 MPs in the second set. He had to be ultra aggressive and paint the lines like he did in last year's final
Yeah forced Novak to hit some awesome DTL shots from both sides. That MP:eek:
 

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
Yeah forced Novak to hit some awesome DTL shots from both sides. That MP:eek:
The only way to win that point was to land it right on the line - just drill the ball around, wait for an opening & don't miss. So good - I think Murray will be an absolute nightmare match-up at the AO this time round, this won't be like 2015 or 2016

 
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Deleted member 733170

Guest
Did you even watch Chang? Why are you talking about things you have no idea about? This is what annoys me so much about this forum.


Chang belongs in any movement comparison.
He was a good hustler for his time.
 

Noelan

Legend
The only way to win that point was to land it right on the line - just drill the ball around, wait for an opening & don't miss. So good - I think Murray will be an absolute nightmare match-up at the AO this time round, this won't be like 2015 or 2016

I don't think he was bad 2015 ..
The true is Murray never was an easy match up for Djokovic (despite him being the better player overall)
 

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
I don't think he was bad 2015 ..
The true is Murray never was an easy match up for Djokovic (despite him being the better player overall)
Yes, he has always been very tough to beat
He was playing well in 2015 and in 2016 to some extent - but now he'll have that extra belief that he can really come back even when trailing 2-0 or 2-1 in sets that he may not have had before
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
The only way to win that point was to land it right on the line - just drill the ball around, wait for an opening & don't miss. So good - I think Murray will be an absolute nightmare match-up at the AO this time round, this won't be like 2015 or 2016

In BO5 Murray will tire out faster. So unless he gains a solid advantage like 2 sets to 1 against Novak, he isn't going to make an AO match against the Serb longer than 4 sets.

He'd do well to not allow the 4th set to be a blowout, which was the case both times he lost in 4 sets to Novak.
 

Aretium

Hall of Fame
Rafa. I would even put him as a better "defender" than Djokovic but thats more down to his shotmaking ability. So probably djok is a better pick.
 

Doctor/Lawyer Red Devil

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes, he has always been very tough to beat
He was playing well in 2015 and in 2016 to some extent - but now he'll have that extra belief that he can really come back even when trailing 2-0 or 2-1 in sets that he may not have had before
Murray can probably last longer now than he did in the previous AO finals but he is 0-20 against Novak after losing the opening set. Not a knock on him, Rafa and Fed have something like 3-22 and 1-16 so you simply don't want to go behind that guy, even if you snatch the next set from him like Murray did today.
 

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
Murray can probably last longer now than he did in the previous AO finals but he is 0-20 against Novak after losing the opening set. Not a knock on him, Rafa and Fed have something like 3-22 and 1-16 so you simply don't want to go behind that guy, even if you snatch the next set from him like Murray did today.
Novak is probably the greatest front-runner we have in the game right now, so this is true
I think their 2012 encounter is probably the most relevant one to look at considering the kind of tennis they are both producing. I think Murray lost the first set there and still came dangerously close to winning (3 BPs at 5-5 in the 5th set) - I would be very happy if we got to see a match like that
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Novak is probably the greatest front-runner we have in the game right now, so this is true
I think their 2012 encounter is probably the most relevant one to look at considering the kind of tennis they are both producing. I think Murray lost the first set there and still came dangerously close to winning (3 BPs at 5-5 in the 5th set) - I would be very happy if we got to see a match like that
Has never come close to challenging Djokovic at the AO like that ever since.
 

Noleberic123

G.O.A.T.
Novak is probably the greatest front-runner we have in the game right now, so this is true
I think their 2012 encounter is probably the most relevant one to look at considering the kind of tennis they are both producing. I think Murray lost the first set there and still came dangerously close to winning (3 BPs at 5-5 in the 5th set) - I would be very happy if we got to see a match like that
Though Djokovic had SPs in the third set and could have finished it in 4 also.
 

OhYes

Legend
When Murray is defending this good, he reminds me a lot of peak Nadal. Today he might have been even better with defensive abilities. It was frustrating for Nole and his fans to watch potential winners returned so many times. Luckily Novak didn't allow frustration get to his game.
He needed this win against Murray dearly, and I'm so glad he prevailed.
 

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
Though Djokovic had SPs in the third set and could have finished it in 4 also.
Could even have been straights. Djokovic was actually a set and a break up, then Murray suddenly won 5 of the next 6 games. Murray then broke in the 3rd, but Djokovic broke back and held set points (like you said), before Murray served for the 3rd set, got broken again but won the Tie-Break anyway, Djokovic ran away with the 4th set and led 5-2 in the 5th set, but Murray won 3 games in a row and then had 3BPs to serve for the match, but Djokovic saved them all and broke serve in the last game...
 
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Deleted member 733170

Guest
He is one of the best movers. Period. Up there with Murray, Djokovic, etc. Just because he couldn't hit huge winners and lacked power doesn't mean he wasn't quick as hell. I'd even argue he had better wheels than Nadal at his best, or at least equal with him.

Well as in so many of these somewhat futile discussions when players across different eras are compared you can make a case that on a relative basis Chang was up there with the best. Though on an absolute basis the likes of Chang have been super ceded by many players after him.

For five feet nine he was fast.
 

Doctor/Lawyer Red Devil

Talk Tennis Guru
Novak is probably the greatest front-runner we have in the game right now, so this is true
I think their 2012 encounter is probably the most relevant one to look at considering the kind of tennis they are both producing. I think Murray lost the first set there and still came dangerously close to winning (3 BPs at 5-5 in the 5th set) - I would be very happy if we got to see a match like that
Yes, he lost the 1st set and got to BPs at 5-5 in the decider after coming back from 2-5 down. The momentum changed so many times in that match. Today he was the first to have a break point in the decider as well. The mental game is huge as well and I think Djokovic is really strong in that department against everyone.

I would sign up for that one too. Though their 4 set finals there were decent as well it would be nice if they went all the way for once.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Could even have been straights. Djokovic was actually a set and a break up, then Murray suddenly won 5 of the next 6 games. Murray then broke in the 3rd, but Djokovic broke back and held set points (like you said), before Murray served for the 3rd set, got broken again but won the Tie-Break anyway, Djokovic ran away with the 4th set and led 5-2 in the 5th set, but Murray won 3 games in a row and then had 3BPs to serve for the match, but Djokovic saved them all and broke serve in the last game...
And then went on to lose the first set against Nadal, serve for the 2nd but lost the game, although he won the set anyway when Nadal was serving to stay in it, ran away with the 3rd, had 3BP to serve for the title, but went on to lose the set in a tiebreak, was down a break in the 5th, but managed to somehow crawl his way back up and beat Nadal in a tight 5th just like he beat Murray.

Luckily, Novak never had to endure such an effort again after that. Crazy semi + final combo.
 

Noleberic123

G.O.A.T.
Yes, he lost the 1st set and got to BPs at 5-5 in the decider after coming back from 2-5 down. The momentum changed so many times in that match. Today he was the first to have a break point in the decider as well. The mental game is huge as well and I think Djokovic is really strong in that department against everyone.

I would sign up for that one too. Though their 4 set finals there were decent as well it would be nice if they went all the way for once.
I would sign up for a 2011,2016 like final :D
 
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Deleted member 307496

Guest
Well as in so many of these somewhat futile discussions when players across different eras are compared you can make a case that on a relative basis Chang was up there with the best. Though on an absolute basis the likes of Chang have been super ceded by many players after him.

For five feet nine he was fast.
Murray is not quicker than Chang was.
 
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