New / Old Novak Djokovic stretegy applied in amateur league matches

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Hasn't been long since novak won his french open using this age old technique/ stretegy hitting the sharp cross court angles to really open up the court for his winning down the line forehand. I was playing singles match against this guy for local singles round robin, not USTA. and this guy was hitting unusually high amounts of cross court angles sharp to run me off the court. It worked pretty well because i was kind of tired that day and was not in peak running condition. He didn't rip it like Novak but it was sold of Rolling sharp cross court angle. What is the best defense against this once it is deployed against you and you are on the run. What is the BEST option for counter attack or just Defense against it ??

I saw this good lesson video on how to hit it but they don't talk about how to defend against it really.

 

socallefty

Legend
If your crosscourt and DTL shots land in the outer 20% of the court on either side and are deeper than the service box, it is not easy for your opponent to hit short crosscourt angles. If you hit short balls that land within the service box or if they land in the middle 60% of the court, it is much easier for opponents who hit good topspin to change the angle and hit short cross court shots that take you off the court.

Also, the more topspin your shot has, the harder it is to change the angle of it. So, if you hit with high spin relative to your playing level, it will be harder for your opponents to hit short angles than if you hit flat shots. So, you can hit big to more conservative targets (not as deep and closer to the middle) if your topspin level is high. That‘s usually how Nadal plays and opponents can’t easily take the offensive against him on slow clay unless it is someone like Djokovic hitting the ball on the rise.

If they already hit a good shot that is a sharp CC angle, you have two choices.

1. If they don’t hit swinging volleys or come to net, you could try to reset the point by hitting a high moonball which hopefully gives you time to recover back onto the court.
2. If they might approach the net if you hit a slow, high trajectory shot, your only option might be to respond with a high-quality crosscourt angle also until you get a short reply which you can take DTL for a winner or approach.
 
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Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
If your crosscourt and DTL shots land in the outer 20% of the court on either side and are deeper than the service box, it is not easy for your opponent to hit short crosscourt angles. If you hit short balls that land within the service box or if they land in the middle 60% of the court, it is much easier for opponents who hit good topspin to change the angle and hit short cross court shots that take you off the court.

Also, the more topspin your shot has, the harder it is to change the angle of it. So, if you hit with high spin relative to your playing level, it will be harder for your opponents to hit short angles than if you hit flat shots. So, you can hit big to more conservative targets (not as deep and closer to the middle) if your topspin level is high. That‘s usually how Nadal plays and opponents can’t easily take the offensive against him on slow clay unless it is someone like Djokovic hitting the ball on the rise.

If they already hit a good shot that is a sharp CC angle, you have two choices.

1. If they don’t hit swinging volleys or come to net, you could try to reset the point by hitting a high moonball which hopefully gives you time to recover back onto the court.
2. If they might approach the net if you hit a slow, high trajectory shot, your only option might be to respond with a high-quality crosscourt angle also until you get a short reply which you can take DTL for a winner or approach.
good point. i also don't get why rafa wasn't able to defend against this this time around ? surely novak tried this before on him ? this means rafa wasnt' able to hit that 20 % of the court you are talking about
 

socallefty

Legend
good point. i also don't get why rafa wasn't able to defend against this this time around ? surely novak tried this before on him ? this means rafa wasnt' able to hit that 20 % of the court you are talking about
At the FO in daytime, Rafa’s shots jump up more and so, Djokovic can’t hit great angles as easily taking the ball on the rise. In the night, the bounce and speed of Rafa’s shots got less and it was a bit easier for Djokovic to play him plus Novak was in great form. Also, Rafa didn’t hold up well physically and got tired faster than usual by the fourth set maybe because Novak was dictating all the point patterns after the first five games. Rafa never goes for the outside 20% as much as he usually can depend on his high-bouncing spin to stay out of trouble.

Last year in the Fall night at RG20, the conditions were even slower and then, Novak could not hit through Rafa’s defenses and end points - he tried drop shots which didn’t work. Even though Rafa’s shots had less bounce, he was able to win by playing great defense on long rallies till he got a short ball that he could be offensive with. Last week, the conditions were faster on a summer night and it was perfect for Novak to hit through him.
 

AnyPUG

Professional
You have 3 options to counter a forehand angle - got to choose based on ability and quality of the incoming shot.
1 Reply with your own short angle
2 High loop to the FH corner
3 Go DTL if you can pull it off.
 
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Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
At the FO in daytime, Rafa’s shots jump up more and so, Djokovic can’t hit great angles as easily taking the ball on the rise. In the night, the bounce and speed of Rafa’s shots got less and it was a bit easier for Djokovic to play him plus Novak was in great form. Also, Rafa didn’t hold up well physically and got tired faster than usual by the fourth set maybe because Novak was dictating all the point patterns after the first five games. Rafa never goes for the outside 20% as much as he usually can depend on his high-bouncing spin to stay out of trouble.

Last year in the Fall night at RG20, the conditions were even slower and then, Novak could not hit through Rafa’s defenses and end points - he tried drop shots which didn’t work. Even though Rafa’s shots had less bounce, he was able to win by playing great defense on long rallies till he got a short ball that he could be offensive with. Last week, the conditions were faster on a summer night and it was perfect for Novak to hit through him.
So you are saying conditions were just perfect for Novak..... Where were the Tennis Gods when Rafa needed them ? this is unacceptable.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
You have 3 options to counter a forehand angle - got to choose based on ability and quality of the incoming shot.
1 Reply with your own short angle
2 High loop to the FH corner
3 Go DTL if you can pull it off.
yea, last week, i tried to counter his angles with high looping topspin shot deep into forehand. but he had a really good forehand and he didn't have any issue hitting it on the rise and ripping it up the line. And this is a major problem for me at my older age, just not fast enough to get back to my backhand side and hit a effective shot nowadays. my best response would be to hit a good up the line shot to make him respect that. and mix in the sharp angle off his angle and make him respect that as well. Then he might start to miss more of those sharp angles shots because he has to respect my response more.......... Easier said than done
 

AnyPUG

Professional
yea, last week, i tried to counter his angles with high looping topspin shot deep into forehand. but he had a really good forehand and he didn't have any issue hitting it on the rise and ripping it up the line. And this is a major problem for me at my older age, just not fast enough to get back to my backhand side and hit a effective shot nowadays. my best response would be to hit a good up the line shot to make him respect that. and mix in the sharp angle off his angle and make him respect that as well. Then he might start to miss more of those sharp angles shots because he has to respect my response more.......... Easier said than done
If your loop to the FH corner is getting blasted DTL, it sounds like the guy has very good FH, so I would go for broke and hit DTL to keep the ball away from FH.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
You have 3 options to counter a forehand angle - got to choose based on ability and quality of the incoming shot.
1 Reply with your own short angle
2 High loop to the FH corner
3 Go DTL if you can pull it off.
4. Slow, deep slice to give myself time to recover. Unfortunately, many of my opponents can still punish that sort of defense.
 

socallefty

Legend
The other thing you can do is serve more DTM so that they don’t get the angles easily on crosscourt returns. At least you can control the point patterns with your first serve and hope to keep holding serve till you can get a break.

On returns, hitting deep DTM might be preferable to aiming for the corners again to deny short angles to them.
 

Fintft

Legend
At the FO in daytime, Rafa’s shots jump up more and so, Djokovic can’t hit great angles as easily taking the ball on the rise. In the night, the bounce and speed of Rafa’s shots got less and it was a bit easier for Djokovic to play him plus Novak was in great form. Also, Rafa didn’t hold up well physically and got tired faster than usual by the fourth set maybe because Novak was dictating all the point patterns after the first five games. Rafa never goes for the outside 20% as much as he usually can depend on his high-bouncing spin to stay out of trouble.

Last year in the Fall night at RG20, the conditions were even slower and then, Novak could not hit through Rafa’s defenses and end points - he tried drop shots which didn’t work. Even though Rafa’s shots had less bounce, he was able to win by playing great defense on long rallies till he got a short ball that he could be offensive with. Last week, the conditions were faster on a summer night and it was perfect for Novak to hit through him.
Wilander said that Djokovic can push Rafa back and that's where we can tell that Rafa is slowing down( not as much when he is attacking)...
 

Fintft

Legend
If your crosscourt and DTL shots land in the outer 20% of the court on either side and are deeper than the service box, it is not easy for your opponent to hit short crosscourt angles. If you hit short balls that land within the service box or if they land in the middle 60% of the court, it is much easier for opponents who hit good topspin to change the angle and hit short cross court shots that take you off the court.

Also, the more topspin your shot has, the harder it is to change the angle of it. So, if you hit with high spin relative to your playing level, it will be harder for your opponents to hit short angles than if you hit flat shots. So, you can hit big to more conservative targets (not as deep and closer to the middle) if your topspin level is high. That‘s usually how Nadal plays and opponents can’t easily take the offensive against him on slow clay unless it is someone like Djokovic hitting the ball on the rise.

If they already hit a good shot that is a sharp CC angle, you have two choices.

1. If they don’t hit swinging volleys or come to net, you could try to reset the point by hitting a high moonball which hopefully gives you time to recover back onto the court.
2. If they might approach the net if you hit a slow, high trajectory shot, your only option might be to respond with a high-quality crosscourt angle also until you get a short reply which you can take DTL for a winner or approach.
@Nostradamus, personally I find it easier to hit deep hard balls as oposed to in the outer 20% of the court or with heavy spin...

Also don't forget that Chris Evert said that the player that controls the point, usually wins, so also think about first strike.

Finally, ever tried full bed natural gut for power?
 

AnyPUG

Professional
4. Slow, deep slice to give myself time to recover. Unfortunately, many of my opponents can still punish that sort of defense.
Yea, slice could draw the guy in instead of pushing back with a high loop. But if the guy hits on the rise consistently, just got to match power with power and let the chips fall where they may.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Yea, slice could draw the guy in instead of pushing back with a high loop. But if the guy hits on the rise consistently, just got to match power with power and let the chips fall where they may.
I wasn't thinking about slicing short to draw him in but rather a deep, medium height slice to push him back.

As to whether I match power with power, it depends on how I match up: if he has more power and consistency than I do, which describes most of my opponents, it's a losing battle.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
If your crosscourt and DTL shots land in the outer 20% of the court on either side and are deeper than the service box, it is not easy for your opponent to hit short crosscourt angles. If you hit short balls that land within the service box or if they land in the middle 60% of the court, it is much easier for opponents who hit good topspin to change the angle and hit short cross court shots that take you off the court.
Keep it deep to reduce the opponent's angles? Yes.
Outer 20% of the court on either side? No.

It is easier for opponent to create angles from there. I hit very flat and can create angles from there. Would be even easier for someone hitting with topspin.

Keep it deep and in the middle area of the court to keep opponent from creating angles.

See Simon's diagram for truth and enlightenment.


images share
 
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Fintft

Legend
Outer 20% of the court on either side? No.

It is easier for opponent to create angles from there. I hit very flat and can create angles from there. Would be even easier for someone hitting with topspin.
But it's harder to get to them, you'd be on the move, etc.
 

socallefty

Legend
But it's harder to get to them, you'd be on the move, etc.
That’s what I’m talking about. If the opponent is on the move to the outer corners of the court to retrieve your shots, they are less likely to think of being aggressive and changing the angle of the shot to a short angle reply. If they don’t have to move much and are hitting from the center of the court, high-skill players can be more aggressive in changing the angle of shots and hitting short angles. Of course, if your original shot is weak in terms of not having depth/pace/spin, then the opponent can hit an aggressive angle whether your shot lands in the middle or a comer - so, you have to hit at least a neutral ball to prevent the opponent from taking over the point pattern.

Coaches of advanced players call the middle third of the court the ‘kill zone‘ and advocate for their players to be much more aggressive if their opponent‘s ball lands in that zone - unless it is within a few feet of the baseline or a short dropshot depth-wise which are more difficult shots to handle. It is common to do drills where you draw a circle in the middle of the court (with cones, markers, lines etc.) and if your opponent‘s ball lands in that kill zone, you go for a winner or very aggressive angle.

On serves and returns, I agree with targeting the middle more against opponents who have shown the ability to hit short angles well and I mentioned that in my original post.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
But it's harder to get to them, you'd be on the move, etc.
During a rally, it is much easier for me to create angles, even while on the move, while running towards the corner versus creating angles from the deep middle of the court.

Simon also confirms this by saying that hitting deep in the middle takes away the opponent's angles...The examples in the video also creates angles from that position.




https://ibb.co/F7gdx19


 
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mnttlrg

Professional
I saw this good lesson video on how to hit it but they don't talk about how to defend against it really.
When I watch guys like Medvedev and Simon, their prime directive seems to be to always try to box opponents in and not allow them to hit angles against them.

ex. They often hit into 3/4 court rather than the middle or corners. When you locate a ball there, it limits the damage their next ball can do on either side (dtl stays toward the center, wide angle has less room to angle out).

So if he's killing you with wide angle shots, that means you are mistakenly leaving those angles open.
 

Harry_Wild

Talk Tennis Guru
He didn't rip it like Novak but it was sold of Rolling sharp cross court angle. What is the best defense against this once it is deployed against you and you are on the run. What is the BEST option for counter attack or just Defense against it ??
If your opponent ripped it like Novak, he would not be playing with you!

Sharp cross courts angle are setup shots for down the line passing shots or returns the ball at an more acute angle for the winner. Do not hit the ball as a neutral ball since you are wide left or right by the sidelines when you return his? groundstroke.
 

Fintft

Legend
During a rally, it is much easier for me to create angles, even while on the move, while running towards the corner versus creating angles from the deep middle of the court.

Simon also confirms this by saying that hitting deep in the middle takes away the opponent's angles...The examples in the video also creates angles from that position.




https://ibb.co/F7gdx19


True, if you get to the ball.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
True, if you get to the ball.
It is more difficult to create angles from the middle. That is the reasoning behind approach down the middle. Rec players will struggle passing you from the middle; difficult to produce angles from the middle.

Approach shots generally work best when you perform them at a cross-court angle, or perfectly down-the-line.​
However, angles create angles, and there are times when keeping your ball deep and to the center can be an efficient weapon against your opponent.​
If you can direct your approach shot deep down the middle of the court as you approach the net, it forces the other player to hit at an extreme angle to pass you, making their shot more predictable from the center position.​
 
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