Strategical Thiem mistakes in the loss to Djokovic

Which strategy was the biggest problem for thiem?

  • Compensation of shot pace for spin

    Votes: 2 9.1%
  • Kickers into novak BH

    Votes: 2 9.1%
  • Unnecessary drop shots

    Votes: 10 45.5%
  • Lack of patience on key points

    Votes: 5 22.7%
  • Bad returning choices

    Votes: 3 13.6%

  • Total voters
    22
First of all, I'd like to tell every reader that it's a serious thread and I am not willing to thrash either player. Congratulations to djokovic for being extremely clutch in both TieBreak sets.

Let's have a look at the strategical mistakes by thiem...

1) using racquet head speed to generate heavy spin and compensating shot speed for that.

Novak isn't old federer whom you can trouble with high topspin bombs. You need to penetrate through his defences, plus his BH and FH gobble up even the most extreme spin (nadal FH) & redirect it as per wish. At one point thiem and novak had same shot speed and thiem needs to change this in future, add a bit more speed and lessen the spin...

2) so many kick serves, especially 2nd serves into novak BH. (Do I need to explain this??)

3) drop shots on wrong moments. Novak isn't nadal who plays from 10 feets behind the baseline, he is one of the best movers and defenders and plays from the middle of the court near to baseline. That's exactly why dropshotting him isn't a good idea especially when he's not off balance...

Kindly discuss if there were any other mistakes..
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
First of all, I'd like to tell every reader that it's a serious thread and I am not willing to thrash either player. Congratulations to djokovic for being extremely clutch in both TieBreak sets.

Let's have a look at the strategical mistakes by thiem...

1) using racquet head speed to generate heavy spin and compensating shot speed for that.

Novak isn't old federer whom you can trouble with high topspin bombs. You need to penetrate through his defences, plus his BH and FH gobble up even the most extreme spin (nadal FH) & redirect it as per wish. At one point thiem and novak had same shot speed and thiem needs to change this in future, add a bit more speed and lessen the spin...

2) so many kick serves, especially 2nd serves into novak BH. (Do I need to explain this??)

3) drop shots on wrong moments. Novak isn't nadal who plays from 10 feets behind the baseline, he is one of the best movers and defenders and plays from the middle of the court near to baseline. That's exactly why dropshotting him isn't a good idea especially when he's not off balance...

Kindly discuss if there were any other mistakes..
I’ll disagree and say Thiem fell back to going too big at key moments. He should be willing to out grind Djoko rather than allow Djok to win with clutch pushers mode. Good chance Djoko would have collapsed in 3rd due to stamina issues.

Thiem is in Madrid final in doubles and did not have luxury of Cryic walkover; let’s not read too much into this. Madrid favors servers a bit and hurts Thiem return game. Even Nole says Thiem is the best on clay right now. I’d say Thiem might have been tired or beleaguered enough to foolishly take some short cuts in this match. Massu will school him, so not much point to dwelling on Thiem’s Madrid downfall.;)
 
I’ll disagree and say Thiem fell back to going too big at key moments. He should be willing to out grind Djoko rather than allow Djok to win with clutch pushers mode. Good chance Djoko would have collapsed in 3rd due to stamina issues.

Thiem is in Madrid final in doubles and did not have luxury of Cryic walkover; let’s not read too much into this. Madrid favors servers a bit and hurts Thiem return game. Even Nole says Thiem is the best on clay right now. I’d say Thiem might have been tired or beleaguered enough to foolishly take some short cuts in this match. Massu will school him, so not much point to dwelling on Thiem’s Madrid downfall.;)

Is it even possible for someone not named nadal or murray??!!
 

EasyGoing

Professional
I don’t think you can really call them strategical mistakes, since the plan was mostly working even though Thiem was a level down from his QF match. He was a break up in both sets, and quite a bit unlucky with some of Nole’s shots hitting the lines, some untimely misshits and poor decisions on the return.

This seems to be his biggest problem for me, going for too much on the return. Someone like Nole doesn’t really kill you on Serve + 1 like Rog and Rafa do. He could have gotten away with just putting them into play ala Wawrinka.

But I do agree the things you mentioned can also be improved, I just don’t see them as troublesome as the return of serve or even the lack of going in behind more of his shots.
 

junior74

Talk Tennis Guru
Thiem lacks patience, especially on key points.

I think he should move closer to the baseline after he hits a deep topspin shot, and/ or has his opponent running from side to side. He gives the opponent more time than he should - so he ends up hitting with too small margins.
 
Thiem lacks patience, especially on key points.

I think he should move closer to the baseline after he hits a deep topspin shot, and/ or has his opponent running from side to side. He gives the opponent more time than he should - so he ends up hitting with too small margins.

Added that one to poll..
He surely lacks the patience, and sometimes hits wrong shots. Like on one point in 2nd set, he had open court to go for inside out FH, but still went for inside in (thinking he's peak fed in that shot) and missed badly
 
I don’t think you can really call them strategical mistakes, since the plan was mostly working even though Thiem was a level down from his QF match. He was a break up in both sets, and quite a bit unlucky with some of Nole’s shots hitting the lines, some untimely misshits and poor decisions on the return.

This seems to be his biggest problem for me, going for too much on the return. Someone like Nole doesn’t really kill you on Serve + 1 like Rog and Rafa do. He could have gotten away with just putting them into play ala Wawrinka.

But I do agree the things you mentioned can also be improved, I just don’t see them as troublesome as the return of serve or even the lack of going in behind more of his shots.
Added this return option too..
He seriously netted or hit out some of the weak 2nd serves from novak
 

Luka888

Professional
Novak is simply on another level. Thiem tried too hard. This is what most players do. Hit the ball hard and hope it's in. Well, Djokovic can hit the ball hard too plus his tennis IQ, anticipation etc.

Sometimes it seems like Djokovic can read your game like an open book. He adjusts so well. He is so intelligent. I love Dominic btw, but he failed again. Too many silly drop shots ... that doesn't work against Novak who is still moving as a cheetah.

Wrong shot selection by Dominic. He needs to be smarter :)
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
All in all it was a good performance from Thiem and with a little more margins on his side he could have knicked the 1st set. He made bit too many errors but thats not surprising since you have to take risks. He didn't lose the match there, he lost the key points. This was a really close match against Another great player, he should be satisfied and be positive for FO. He always turns up for FO and raises his level there. He has a good shot at the title IMO. Physically he can go toe to toe with anyone and Bo5 works more in his favour. This loss doesn't hurt him at all.
 

chut

Professional
Thiem played his 3rd big opponent in a row.
He has been troubled in the past when having to win back to back big matches (Losing Masters after beating nadal the Last 2 years for instance)
It seems mental to me, he should use those wins as a confidence booster but it's rather the opposite. He looks mentally tired after a big win
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
Novak is simply on another level. Thiem tried too hard. This is what most players do. Hit the ball hard and hope it's in. Well, Djokovic can hit the ball hard too plus his tennis IQ, anticipation etc.

Novak didn’t win that match, Thiem lost it.
Just look at the stats:

BP: Novak 3/3; Thiem 3/10
BP saved: Novak 7 of 10, Thiem 0/3

https://www.atptour.com/en/scores/2019/1536/MS002/match-stats?isLive=False

When they meet again on clay, Novak’s getting punmelled.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
Novak didn’t win that match, Thiem lost it.
Just look at the stats:

BP: Novak 3/3; Thiem 3/10
BP saved: Novak 7 of 10, Thiem 0/3

https://www.atptour.com/en/scores/2019/1536/MS002/match-stats?isLive=False

When they meet again on clay, Novak’s getting punmelled.

I said in a post earlier Thiem lost the match on key points, BUT Novak should be credited for being so clutch aswell.

This was a dead even contest, but Djokovic was better and calmer when it counted and thats what decides the winner in these type of matches. Next time maybe it will be Thiem, wich is very possible. If they have a rematch at RG it will be hard to predict the winner. Thiem is that good he can have a go at the title. He is ready. So beating him is very hard.
 

thomasferrett

Hall of Fame
Thiem never has a strategy, all he does is 'see ball, hit ball as hard as possible'. Except he's not a very powerful guy, so his hardest shots are kind of embarassing.
 
O

OhYes

Guest
Novak didn’t win that match, Thiem lost it.
Just look at the stats:

BP: Novak 3/3; Thiem 3/10
BP saved: Novak 7 of 10, Thiem 0/3

https://www.atptour.com/en/scores/2019/1536/MS002/match-stats?isLive=False

When they meet again on clay, Novak’s getting punmelled.
Yeah right, words of wisdom - you just have to show up and win against Novak, otherwise you can lose. :rolleyes: Same old story not giving credit to guy who has beaten certain court specialist. You forgot also that in most cases those numbers with Novak don't mean much.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
I think all those reasons apply. But they are the symptoms. The problem is that Novak is a bad matchup for Thiem. So is Fed, which is why he did have match points against him even when he was playing on clay after so long. Thiem himself admitted once that Novak is a bad match-up for him. There was a point , I think, at 3-2 30 all where the match turned. Thiem threw everything at him including mule kick OHB rippers. Novak just redirected like it was nothing and eventually won the point. He takes it so early that it neutralizes Thiem's heavy top spin advantage on this surface. Not to mention his reach, anticipation, returning, everything.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Is it even possible for someone not named nadal or murray??!!
giphy.gif
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Novak is simply on another level. Thiem tried too hard. This is what most players do. Hit the ball hard and hope it's in. Well, Djokovic can hit the ball hard too plus his tennis IQ, anticipation etc.

Sometimes it seems like Djokovic can read your game like an open book. He adjusts so well. He is so intelligent. I love Dominic btw, but he failed again. Too many silly drop shots ... that doesn't work against Novak who is still moving as a cheetah.

Wrong shot selection by Dominic. He needs to be smarter :)
Nole is very wily these days and showed it big time for this match. First sign of life since 2nd set with Medvedev in Monte Carlo
 

rhoder

Rookie
I didn’t think Thiem played as poorly as some are saying.

To me Thiem seemed to have the initiative in rallies, pushing Novak backwards pretty well. But what Novak did well was in returning every ball Thiem was bashing with decent depth (though it wasn’t the best depth Novak is capable of). Tactically I thought Thiem did well in implementing drop shots, just that what was poor was his execution and timing of the drop shots (compared to the match in Barcelona against Nadal). Some patience would have helped here. There were a couple of moments he used to drop shot too early when I thought he could have continued bashing a little more because Novak wasn’t too far out of the court yet to afford him a margin of safety should his drop shots not turn out perfect.

The kicker towards Novak’s BH, despite being predictable, was pretty effective imo. Novak did have some difficulty returning at his head’s height despite anticipating the shot, and it goes to show the inherent effectiveness of the shot itself. Something like Nadal’s slider. Though I agree he could have mixed it up a bit more to keep Novak guessing.

What I thought he could have did more was to use the BH DTL more just to add a greater element of uncertainty on the part of Novak when Thiem was playing BHs. Novak was more comfortable camping cross court when he managed to keep the shot to Thiem’s BH whereas he had to guess more on the direction when Thiem was playing FHs. (Of course, easy to say, difficult to do. He may have made more mistakes attempting to do so.)

He also went too big on shots where he wasn’t in the most comfortable position and that led to his high UE count. Unlike Nadal, Novak won’t pounce on neutral balls so he would have done well just to roll the ball over. Probably an adjustment he could do in the future.

Thiem would surely look back at this match for the lapses he made in some important moments and put a better show in their next clay match. Novak was more clutch and had a clearer head in the important moments
 
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GabeT

G.O.A.T.
If you lose two consecutive sets at the TB I have to question your mental strength. Thiem showed he could stand toe-to-toe with Nole during 24 games. But when the time came to win those final, decisive points he crumbled. Twice.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
I know he went for too much at times. There was the one break where he had an open court with a BH DTL that he crushed into the net. He didn't have to put that much stank on it to finish the point. He's been a lot better lately though about his strategy I think. He's shown some good touch and some patience which has made a difference in his results.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Novak is simply on another level.

Pretty much this.

Djokovic is the better, greater and far more mentally strong player than Thiem. He's been in Masters semifinals constantly throughout his career whereas Thiem has only been in perhaps 5 or 6 Masters semis. When Djoker is dialed in, nothing will disturb him and he just digs digger and becomes an even more rock-solid wall. The two time violations in a row didn't even seem to phase him, he just dug deeper. Thiem has improved mightily in the last year, but still isn't as Djokovic's level and almost certainly never will be.

I might add: bludgeoning the ball endlessly to Novak is almost never going to get the job done. The only guys who really can outhit him from the baseline are Stanimal (not Stan, but Stanimal), or peak Rafa. Murray could do it occasionally but not when Djokovic is playing really well.

We can debate the point all day, but it's simply that Djokovic is the far better player, even at almost 32. Thiem should be eating these old guys for lunch. but barely beat ancient Fed and couldn't do it against Novak.
 
I might add: bludgeoning the ball endlessly to Novak is almost never going to get the job done. The only guys who really can outhit him from the baseline are Stanimal (not Stan, but Stanimal), or peak Rafa. Murray could do it occasionally but not when Djokovic is playing really well.

You forgot our guy....
Feder..
The fed express
The mighty swiss
The swiss maestro
The swiss man
The goat

Thiem should be eating these old guys for lunch. but barely beat ancient Fed and couldn't do it against Novak.

Who could've won easily in 2 sets if not gone for a big return on 1st match point
 

NoleFam

Bionic Poster
Make no mistake, this was not Djokovic firing on all cylinders. This was a Djokovic trying to find his footing in time for RG. With that said, I thought both players played very well for the most part besides a few blunders from both sides. The thing about Djokovic is that even when he is not playing his absolute best, he is a master in making his opponents hit uncomfortable shots and getting them out of position. When he fell down breaks in both sets, that's what he did. He upped his shot speed and used his forehand pulling Thiem wide and goaded him to go for more. Thiem also went for too much at times because Novak covers the court so well, and is one of the best on tour at it. All in all, I think Thiem is coming into his own and played well and there really wasn't much between these guys in this match. It was decided on a few points and mental strength.
 

roger presley

Hall of Fame
Pretty much this.

Djokovic is the better, greater and far more mentally strong player than Thiem. He's been in Masters semifinals constantly throughout his career whereas Thiem has only been in perhaps 5 or 6 Masters semis. When Djoker is dialed in, nothing will disturb him and he just digs digger and becomes an even more rock-solid wall. The two time violations in a row didn't even seem to phase him, he just dug deeper. Thiem has improved mightily in the last year, but still isn't as Djokovic's level and almost certainly never will be.

I might add: bludgeoning the ball endlessly to Novak is almost never going to get the job done. The only guys who really can outhit him from the baseline are Stanimal (not Stan, but Stanimal), or peak Rafa. Murray could do it occasionally but not when Djokovic is playing really well.

We can debate the point all day, but it's simply that Djokovic is the far better player, even at almost 32. Thiem should be eating these old guys for lunch. but barely beat ancient Fed and couldn't do it against Novak.
Yes and he should have been out against Fed already, but he escaped or Roger was not playing like Novak in crucial moments. Djokovic was not gracious as Fed and Thiem is out now for sure.
 
R

red rook

Guest
Thiem needs to make sure djok doesn’t get a walkover the previous match...
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Error was not getting a cake walkover day of rest but instead having to go 3 against Fed, including saving match points, but still taking Djo to two set tie breaks less than 24 hours later.

FFS.
 

duaneeo

Legend
Error was not getting a cake walkover day of rest but instead having to go 3 against Fed, including saving match points, but still taking Djo to two set tie breaks less than 24 hours later.

That's part of the problem. Thiem is at peak-tennis age, and many consider him the prince of clay. He shouldn't have to go 3 sets against a 37 year old player who hasn't played on clay in 3 years. And Djokovic receiving a walkover shouldn't matter. Thiem still should be winning these matchups.
 
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