Pat Cash: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Are Boring

AngieB

Banned
http://tennis.si.com/2013/09/18/pat-cash-novak-djokovic-rafael-nadal-boring/?sct=obinsite

Pat Cash: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Are Boring
September 18, 2013

Move over, Ernests Gulbis. Pat Cash thinks this generation of players is boring, too. But for entirely different reasons.

In a blog post for CNN.com, the Australian champion says the type of grinding baseline tennis that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic play lacks skill.

“It’s not boring to see two great players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic compete in a final,” Cash writes. “What is getting mundane is watching the same tactic in every single match of every single grand slam for the last five or six years. Nowadays they all settle down and say ‘OK, this is going to be two hours of baseline rallies.’ The guy who outlasts the other one wins. It’s taken a lot of the skill out of tennis.”

“They are not better all-round players than the likes of Boris Becker or Pete Sampras,” he continues. “Boris and Pete were baseline players, they were attacking players and they could do it against baseliners like Mats Wilander or Andre Agassi. Now that was entertainment. You never knew which way it was going to go.”

I’m going to have to assume that Cash meant Becker and Sampras weren’t baseline players and that he’s lauding the contrasting styles that the were more prevalent before racket and string technology made pure attacking serve-and-volley tennis a suicide mission. That style contrast is still the reason why Roger Federer’s rivalry with Nadal remains the supreme modern rivalry in many people’s minds. The irony though is that with Nadal-Federer you actually do know which way the match is probably going to go (hint: Rafa will win), while nowadays baseliner vs. baseliner matchups, such as Nadal-Djokovic or Djokovic-Murray, are much harder to call.

Cash also doesn’t buy the argument that today’s players are better athletes than the players of his generation.

“Nadal and Djokovic are exceptional athletes, there’s no doubt about it, but to say they are better athletes than past greats like Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg is just nonsense. This is some crap drummed up by somebody and I think it’s an insult to past players. Modern players don’t dive around the net, they don’t deliver backhand smashes, they don’t have to twist and turn like past generations.”

“Could modern players do that? We don’t know. What we do know is that they are incredibly good at retrieving shots from the back of the court.”
 
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ark_28

Legend
props to Cash for this tennis as we know it is not the same too many grindfests now in Cincinnati we saw a very quick deck prepared and it allowed Sir John Isner to play some serious big man tennis huge serve and massive power off the ground saw him defeat Djokovic and Del Potro and give Nadal a real run for his money in the final.

It was a true breathe of fresh air for the men's game.
 

granddog29

Banned
Novak is definitely boring. The most boring player I have ever seen.

Nadal can be boring when he chooses to play too far behind the baseline and not use his athleticsm and power and weapons to greater aplomb. When he does utulize all he has in his game he is exciting to watch though.
 

TimeSpiral

Professional
Isner being a fresh air. LOL.
I think we finally agree on something..
Isner is a serve bot one trick pony with the return game of a junior. If that's a breath of fresh air then I'll stick to the old.
In all fairness, Isner played one of the matches of his life versus Djokovic in that tourney. He played really, really well.

His game has evolved nicely, imo, but I agree that his return game needs some serious work. If he could just return a little (okay, maybe more than a little) better, he's easy top ten material.

As for the Cash article ... He shows his ideological bias when he claims that today's athletes are not better than those of yesteryear. Sports medicine and science, technology, training, and understanding all evolve as time passes. The next generation learns and builds on the one before it as the demands of the peers change.

People take such offense to this, but they really needn't to. It's evolution. It's progress. It's just the way of things. It's fine if you're personally not entertained as much (he probably doesn't like modern music either, right?), but to deny their accomplishments and advancements is just simple-minded.
 

VPhuc tennis fan

Professional
http://tennis.si.com/2013/09/18/pat-cash-novak-djokovic-rafael-nadal-boring/?sct=obinsite

Pat Cash: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Are Boring
September 18, 2013

Move over, Ernests Gulbis. Pat Cash thinks this generation of players is boring, too. But for entirely different reasons.

In a blog post for CNN.com, the Australian champion says the type of grinding baseline tennis that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic play lacks skill.

“It’s not boring to see two great players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic compete in a final,” Cash writes. “What is getting mundane is watching the same tactic in every single match of every single grand slam for the last five or six years. Nowadays they all settle down and say ‘OK, this is going to be two hours of baseline rallies.’ The guy who outlasts the other one wins. It’s taken a lot of the skill out of tennis.”

“They are not better all-round players than the likes of Boris Becker or Pete Sampras,” he continues. “Boris and Pete were baseline players, they were attacking players and they could do it against baseliners like Mats Wilander or Andre Agassi. Now that was entertainment. You never knew which way it was going to go.”

I’m going to have to assume that Cash meant Becker and Sampras weren’t baseline players and that he’s lauding the contrasting styles that the were more prevalent before racket and string technology made pure attacking serve-and-volley tennis a suicide mission. That style contrast is still the reason why Roger Federer’s rivalry with Nadal remains the supreme modern rivalry in many people’s minds. The irony though is that with Nadal-Federer you actually do know which way the match is probably going to go (hint: Rafa will win), while nowadays baseliner vs. baseliner matchups, such as Nadal-Djokovic or Djokovic-Murray, are much harder to call.

Cash also doesn’t buy the argument that today’s players are better athletes than the players of his generation.

“Nadal and Djokovic are exceptional athletes, there’s no doubt about it, but to say they are better athletes than past greats like Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg is just nonsense. This is some crap drummed up by somebody and I think it’s an insult to past players. Modern players don’t dive around the net, they don’t deliver backhand smashes, they don’t have to twist and turn like past generations.”

“Could modern players do that? We don’t know. What we do know is that they are incredibly good at retrieving shots from the back of the court.”
Didn't Pat Cash also say negative things about Federer in the past as well? If so, all in all, he has no fav players in the current crop! Perhaps he just loves himself, yes?
Although I should grant him for some truth in what he said. Everyone knows it that Djoker-Rafa, Djoker-Murray, Rafa-Murray matches will just turn in a baseline slugfest over 2-4 hours (if we're lucky!)
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
Didn't Pat Cash also say negative things about Federer in the past as well? If so, all in all, he has no fav players in the current crop! Perhaps he just loves himself, yes?
Although I should grant him for some truth in what he said. Everyone knows it that Djoker-Rafa, Djoker-Murray, Rafa-Murray matches will just turn in a baseline slugfest over 2-4 hours (if we're lucky!)
Pat Cash is 'my generation is better than yours' kinda guy.

Those that find Djokovic and Nadal boring should watch Raonic, Karlovic, Isner and all those that can't rally for 5 strokes. They make the courts look incredibly fast.
 

VPhuc tennis fan

Professional
Pat Cash is 'my generation is better than yours' kinda guy.

Those that find Djokovic and Nadal boring should watch Raonic, Karlovic, Isner and all those that can't rally for 5 strokes. They make the courts look incredibly fast.
I agree with Pat Cash being obnoxious and not good in his assessment. However, there's parcels of truth in what he said though. But hey, there are people who love 5 and + hours tennis matches, +30 stroke rallies, I can't argue with that.
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
I agree with Pat Cash being obnoxious and not good in his assessment. However, there's parcels of truth in what he said though. But hey, there are people who love 5 and + hours tennis matches, +30 stroke rallies, I can't argue with that.
Tell me, how many matches go 5 hours long? How many of Nadal-Djokovic matches have gone 5 hrs? Apart from their AO 12 match, I don't recall them playing any 5 hr long match. USO final was 3 hrs 20 min, no?
 
I don't think it's Djokovic or Nadal that are boring. It's the similarity in style between all of the top 3 (top 4, in fact, although of course Ferrer isn't quite on a par with the others). Not that there aren't differences. But they're minor. Contrasting styles are usually more entertaining. Pat Cash probably thought it was unfortunate that Becker beat Agassi at Wimbledon 1995, for example.
 

VPhuc tennis fan

Professional
Tell me, how many matches go 5 hours long? How many of Nadal-Djokovic matches have gone 5 hrs? Apart from their AO 12 match, I don't recall them playing any 5 hr long match. USO final was 3 hrs 20 min, no?
You're right. Only 1. However can their matches be shorter than 3 hrs? I highly doubt it. Between Djoker, Rafa, and Murray, there's just enough contrast in their playing styles to allow that. Murray himself even admitted before this final in Wimby that Djoker and he play very similarly. If so, then the winner is usually the one who can withstand the most those long rallies (I let you pick the # of shots here). Take that rally and multiply by X for each set, and multiply by 3 if not 4, if not 5 for the match, then tell me if anything shorter 3 hours are MORE LIKELY to happen? IMO, no.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
I agree with Pat to a certain degree. It is becoming too mundane to see baseline grind fest between Nadal and Djoko. Take the infamous 54 point rally they had in USOpen final. Someone counted 9 short balls during the rally. Someone needs to get their butt to the net to make it interesting again.

I thought the most interesting parts of the match where the few times Djoko attacked. There was suspense there and contrast - would he be passed, would Nadal miss the pass, would Djoko hit a winning volley. But, Djoko is fairly inept in his transition game and net game. He approached cross court a couple of times and was passed easily, his volley is only adequate, and his overhead is below par for top 100 player.

And, all you youngsters who think Nadal and Djoko are super human. They are great champioins but past athletes were just as super human in their prime. It is naive to assume your generation is always the best generation.
 
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Roddick85

Hall of Fame
I agree with Pat to a certain degree. It is becoming too mundane to see baseline grind fest between Nadal and Djoko. Take the infamous 54 point rally they had in USOpen final. Someone counted 9 short balls during the rally. Someone needs to get their butt to the net to make it interesting again.

I thought the most interesting parts of the match where the few times Djoko attacked. There was suspense there and contrast - would he be passed, would Nadal miss the pass, would Djoko hit a winning volley. But, Djoko is fairly inept in his transition game and net game. He approached cross court a couple of times and was passed easily, his volley is only adequate, and his overhead is below par for top 100 player.

And, all you youngsters who think Nadal and Djoko are super human. They are great champioins but past athletes were just as super human in their prime. It is naive to assume your generation is always the best generation.
I couldn't of said it better myself, totally agreeing with you on those points.
The only interesting point in the US Open final were when Djokovic was attacking Nadal. When that happened, Novak was able to take the advantage of pretty much every point and Nadal reverted back to grinding, even his forehand was landing kinda short, barely clearing the service line. The contrast made it interesting.

The 90's was a different era of Tennis, probably the greatest era for American tennis as well. I think it's only natural for today's youth to dismiss the past era's as most of them probably weren't around or are too young to remember it.
 

AngieB

Banned
I couldn't of said it better myself, totally agreeing with you on those points.
The only interesting point in the US Open final were when Djokovic was attacking Nadal. When that happened, Novak was able to take the advantage of pretty much every point and Nadal reverted back to grinding, even his forehand was landing kinda short, barely clearing the service line. The contrast made it interesting.

The 90's was a different era of Tennis, probably the greatest era for American tennis as well. I think it's only natural for today's youth to dismiss the past era's as most of them probably weren't around or are too young to remember it.
No truer words have been spoken. That last paragraph about the kids. Most of them have never held a wooden tennis racquet to understand the difference.

AngieB
 

AngieB

Banned
The idea and build-up to a Nadal-Djokovic 1 v 2 match is exciting. But honestly, who in this day and age has 6 hours to sit around and watch a tennis match. I washed my car, did laundry, baked bread and ran a couple of lengthy reports during their ridiculous Australian Open match. Major sporting events weren't created for all-day viewing. People have lives. Learn how to serve-and-volley. Lord Jesus and Mary in heaven. It took less time to give birth to my second child and was less painful to watch.

AngieB
 
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Maximagq

Banned
I actually like Djokovic v. Nadal matches. Their speed, consistency, physical endurance, and athleticism are just incredible to watch.
 
Nadal has been featured in the most exciting matches of all time on every surface:

Grass : Wimbledon 2008 & 2007

Hard : AO versus Joker

Clay: FO vs Joker semi 2013
 
And, all you youngsters who think Nadal and Djoko are super human. They are great champioins but past athletes were just as super human in their prime. It is naive to assume your generation is always the best generation.
C'mon man, not taking anything away from any generation of tennis as I grew up idolizing Lendl but please tell me any sport in which a previous generation had better athletes? Past athletes are just not as super human (unless you mean relative to their competition) as the top level athletes of today are, for a multitude of reasons.

You can argue skills and techniques may or may not be better in certain areas of sport but the strength, speed, and power of the modern day athlete is just on another level. I see here people say things like "give so and so the modern day racquet technology and see how much top spin/power he would get!". Send Nadal or Djokovic back in time and they would break the racquet in one swing. Evolution!
 
I actually like Djokovic v. Nadal matches. Their speed, consistency, physical endurance, and athleticism are just incredible to watch.
Quoted for truth man!!! It's unreal!!! A lot of my friends from the hood who only ever watch NFL or NBA are now watching tennis because of these guys and the battles they have! They even have tennis racquets now!!! They don't want to see serve and volley, not in this day and age. It's all about pushing the limits of physical and mental endurance, anything less can be perceived as dare I say boring, especially to everyone who isn't a traditional tennis fan.
 
Let me think. 1 expert vs 1 biased TW Nadal fan. Sorry, I will go against you TDK.
Except that it's more than one expert my friend .

For example 2008 is called the greatest match if all time .

Nadal vs joker AO has been included in a book called the greatest matches of all time.

The French open semi final against joker 2013 has been called by carillo, mcenroe and everyone else as the greatest clay court match of all time .
 

magnut

Hall of Fame
Pat say what he thinks regardless of how popular it will be. He always has and,probably always will. If you want scripted statements listen to a McEnroe.

Pats right though. These players are boring,now. It,would,be fun to watch a nadal or djokavich play an attacking player. Kind of like the old Rafter vs bruguea matches. Or even the Edberg Chang battles. Heck McEnoroe had some some real battles against conners and Borg.

Most of,this new generation of players like the wta men's matches because that's all they know. It's boring stuff though if you know the history of this game.
 

Mr.Lob

Legend
props to Cash for this tennis as we know it is not the same too many grindfests now in Cincinnati we saw a very quick deck prepared and it allowed Sir John Isner to play some serious big man tennis huge serve and massive power off the ground saw him defeat Djokovic and Del Potro and give Nadal a real run for his money in the final.

It was a true breathe of fresh air for the men's game.
Good post. Nadal couldn't break Big John in Cincy.... wouldn't come close. Tennis needs more courts like Cincy to give some variety to the game.

Having the same
goobers in the semis and finals every tournament for the past decade is getting a bit boring.
 
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