Who would win: Prime Hewitt vs. Prime Djokovic at Wimbledon

Who would win!?!?

  • Prime Djokovic

    Votes: 73 55.3%
  • Prime Hewitt

    Votes: 59 44.7%

  • Total voters
    132

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
I've seen Hewitt play in his prime. Of course he's good on grass. It's his best surface. Heck, I might even favour him against Djokovic in a best of 3 format.

But in Wimbledon, Best Of 5.....different kettle of fish. Hewitt, even at his best, would struggle to take a set off post 2011 Novak at Wimbeldon.Prime Djoker would just be too much for Hewitt at a slam. Any slam.

Del Potro is a streaky, inconsistent player and always has been. On his day, he can beat anyone in the world on fast surfaces (though he's a hardcourt specialist). But he can also have baffling losses to players he shouldn't be losing too. It's impossible to know which Del Potro will turn up. I wouldn't read too much into even old Hewitt beating him in a best of 3 tune-up event.
are you serious? Wayyyy past his prime hewitt took a set off of novak at his BEST SLAM in his PEAK PERIOD!
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
So have I. The question however was who in their prime would win. 2011 Djokovic would run out a comfortable winner. He beat Nadal that year, let alone Hewitt. Hewitt is one of the weakest W champions of the modern era. It's actually a bit of a disrespectful question to even ask who would win.
Nope, not imo. On grass prime Hewitt is better than prime Djokovic. On hc's I agree with you that prime Djokovic is better.
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
You are right, on grass it is not even close, Hewitt is better. :)
I am genuinely amazed anyone thinks this. Prime Hewitt would have been lucky to make one Wimbledon semi against the current crop. He dominated (briefly) in a very weak era.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
Exactly which tournament was this? Halle? Wasn't that his first win in 16 vs Fed? Not sure that helps your argument much?
Oh man, you sure don't you know your information regarding Hewitt.

Hewitt dominated Federer early on, leading the H2H at one point too. After Hewitt had a slump year, Federer excelled ahead and beat the better version of Hewitt (2004-2005) handily. After 2005, Hewitt has had a string of injuries which cut his peak short and thus every year since he has gotten worse (results wise) but can still string together a few good matches here and there.

People underrate Hewitt because he ran into Federer in just about every slam in 2004-2005 and lost every time. Federer is regarded as the greatest of all time by most people so there's no shame in that, truth be told, if Djokovic and Hewitt switched places in time, it would be the same for Djokovic. If anything, he may have even had a Roddick like career if he played when Hewitt did.

Yes, he did beat Federer in Halle though.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
I am genuinely amazed anyone thinks this. Prime Hewitt would have been lucky to make one Wimbledon semi against the current crop. He dominated (briefly) in a very weak era.
LOL.

As if this is a strong era on Grass! Maybe if you include Federer it is.. and maybe Nadal. but that's it. LOL.
 
this is the problem with Hewitt having played on injured for such a long time.

so many people have only seen him playing poorly

just a quick reminder, Hewitt and Fed are more or less the same age and came on to the tour at the same time. Hewitt dominated the match up until around 2004 when he had his first major injury.

and here's the thing, while Hewitt came back to the top 3, he was never the same player again.

oh, that weak era thing? I think you'll find he beat Sampras, Agassi and Safin multiple times in his early career, or were they part of your 'weak era'?

so, Hewitt circa 2002 vs any Djokovic at all on grass is a win for Hewitt.
 

NEW_BORN

Hall of Fame
People are so quick to forget just how much of a fighter peak Hewitt was back in 2000-2002.
He was no less of a mental giant than Nadal back in the day.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsSA0JRvcxw

This is for anybody who doubts Hewitt's grass prowess. Beating Sampras handily at Queens while he was still 2 in the world, and Hewitt was only 19 at the time. This is about as impressive as Federer's win over Sampras a year later, maybe even more so.
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
Some good arguments posted above for Hewitt I have to concede. However the 2011 Prime Djokovic that took Rafa to the cleaners in the W final beats any Hewitt on any day. Just too good. That was arguably the greatest grass court performance (especially 2nd set) I have ever seen vs a great champion. Hewitt simply never got to that level.
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsSA0JRvcxw

This is for anybody who doubts Hewitt's grass prowess. Beating Sampras handily at Queens while he was still 2 in the world, and Hewitt was only 19 at the time. This is about as impressive as Federer's win over Sampras a year later, maybe even more so.
Fair point. But that Hewitt performance still pales vs Novak's at W 2011 in the final. If we are truly comparing prime with prime (no matter how narrow Novak's prime window may be) then Novak is a comfortable winner for me.

I remember Hewitt's prime very well. Being english, all we got for 3-4 years was Henman failing against Hewitt at Wimbledon and having to put up with multiple re-runs of their matches. But that is partly my point. Hewitt never had to deal with a Nadal or a Federer, he had Henman and Kafelnikov - players like that. He wasn't ever playing a peak Sampras, nor a peak Federer (bar one or two much later matches). He certainly wouldn't have taken Nadal to the cleaners like Novak did, and that was a Nadal who was the defending champion who, bar a peak Federer, would have had 5 straight Wimbledons most likely (ok not 2009).
 
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pds999

Hall of Fame
People are so quick to forget just how much of a fighter peak Hewitt was back in 2000-2002.
He was no less of a mental giant than Nadal back in the day.
Agreed he was a great fighter, but a very limited one in terms of his game. Novak isn't a great fighter? He has to be one of the toughest guys to put away I have ever seen. Novak does everything Hewitt does but has that bit more power and athleticism. I can't see any way Hewitt wins that match.
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
2011 Djokovic would beat anyone on grass except Fed and Sampras in their primes.
I think on a slower court (like in 2011) he would have beaten Sampras actually. As for Fed, not sure. He always struggled with prime Fed but 2011 Djokovic hit levels few have before or since. And that is coming from a Rafa fan.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
I have made a beat of wiki research to try to have an educated answer to this interesting question. I think it's usefull as we see a lot of disrespect: Djokovic's fan think that Hewitt couldn't play tennis and dominated some nobody, while Hewitt's fan claim that Djokovic is so poor on grass that he couldn't take a set of him in prime to prime matches. I feel both views are stupid, and my research shows it.

1) The Head to Head
Novak leads the H2H 6-1, including 4-0 on grass. He defeated Hewitt twice at Wimbledon: in 2007 in a 4 very close sets (he won 3 tie break), and in 2010 in 4 close sets. He beat him at the olympics last year, but lost a set. He beat him very comfortably at Queens in 2008, Hewitt'worst year.

The lone victory of Hewitt happened in 2006, when Nole wasn't in his prime yet, and Hewitt no more in his either. The 6 victories of Novak happened since 2007, when Novak was in his prime or peak, and Hewitt wasn't.

2) Their 3 best year at Wimbledon
I compared their 3 best years at Wimbledon, based on their results. 2010-2012 for Novak, 2002, 2004 and 2005 for Hewitt.

Djokovic:
In 2010, Novak lost in 3 sets in the SF against Berdych. He beat Hewitt in 4 close sets in R4, who was the only though player he met (other opponents are Lu, Montanes, Dent, Rochus). He lost 2 sets against Rochus in the first round. At this time of the year, Djokovic hadn't beaten a single top 10 in his worst year by far.
In 2011, he lost a set against Baghdatis, Tomic, Tsonga, Nadal. Novak 2011 was something.
In 2012 he lost in 4 sets to Fed in the SF. He lost a set to Stepanek earlier, didn't really faced any really though opponent.

The others years since 2007, he only lost against good players: Nadal in 2007, Safin in 2008, Haas in 2009.

Hewitt:
In 2002 he won the titles against Nalbandian. He lost to sets against Schalken in the QF, otherwise straight-setted his other opponents, including Henman.
In 2004 and 2005, he lost both time against Federer, once in QF and once in SF. He took once sets in those matches. He lost one set to Moya in 2004, one to Dent and Hernych in 2005.

The other years, he lost in the first round to Karlovic in 2003, Baghdatis in 2006, Djokovic in 2007 and 2010, Fed in 2008, Roddick in 2009, Soderling in 2011, Tsonga in 2012: Even way past his best level, it took strong grass courters to beat him.

3) Winning percentage and grass titles:
In carreer winning percentage on grass they are very close. Hewitt is at .772% and Djokovic at .770%. Hewitt winning percentage was higher at the end of his prime in 2005, but not by much: 0.784%.

In titles won, Hewitt leads 7-1. Opposite to what a clueless young posters said, he didn't had it easy for these titles. He defeated a certain Federer to win Halle, another guy Sampras at Queens (twice), Ivanisevic, Pioline (former Wimbeldon runner-up), Henman, Nadal (!).

4) Conclusion:

Both players deserve a lot of respect. Djokovic is clearly the overall superior player, and while grass is his worst surface, it takes a stong performance to beat him here.

The H2H in his favor is difficult to interpret because all matches happened far after Hewitt's best year. Still, Hewitt wasn't easy to beat on grass in all these years, as shown by the names who defeated him. This H2H count certainly for something for Djokovic, but they were close matches.

The names Hewitt defeated to win his titles are quite something too: It includes the two best grass courters of the last 20 years, and some surface specialists like Ivanisevic and Henman.

Most of Hewitt's titles on grass happened in the early 2000, when the grass was faster and less bouncier. I think this is a big parameter in a fantasy prime to prime match. On fast grass, I think that Hewitt should have a clear edge. On slower grass, he would still have the edge, but it would be closer.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
I think on a slower court (like in 2011) he would have beaten Sampras actually. As for Fed, not sure. He always struggled with prime Fed but 2011 Djokovic hit levels few have before or since. And that is coming from a Rafa fan.
I agree with you. I see Djokovic 2011 beating Sampras at Wimbledon. He is 41 years old after all. That should give Djokovic some chance.
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
I agree with you. I see Djokovic 2011 beating Sampras at Wimbledon. He is 41 years old after all. That should give Djokovic some chance.
My use of the words "would have beaten Sampras" should have given you a clue that I meant Sampras then not now.
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
I have made a beat of wiki research to try to have an educated answer to this interesting question. I think it's usefull as we see a lot of disrespect: Djokovic's fan think that Hewitt couldn't play tennis and dominated some nobody, while Hewitt's fan claim that Djokovic is so poor on grass that he couldn't take a set of him in prime to prime matches. I feel both views are stupid, and my research shows it.

1) The Head to Head
Novak leads the H2H 6-1, including 4-0 on grass. He defeated Hewitt twice at Wimbledon: in 2007 in a 4 very close sets (he won 3 tie break), and in 2010 in 4 close sets. He beat him at the olympics last year, but lost a set. He beat him very comfortably at Queens in 2008, Hewitt'worst year.

The lone victory of Hewitt happened in 2006, when Nole wasn't in his prime yet, and Hewitt no more in his either. The 6 victories of Novak happened since 2007, when Novak was in his prime or peak, and Hewitt wasn't.

2) Their 3 best year at Wimbledon
I compared their 3 best years at Wimbledon, based on their results. 2010-2012 for Novak, 2002, 2004 and 2005 for Hewitt.

Djokovic:
In 2010, Novak lost in 3 sets in the SF against Berdych. He beat Hewitt in 4 close sets in R4, who was the only though player he met (other opponents are Lu, Montanes, Dent, Rochus). He lost 2 sets against Rochus in the first round. At this time of the year, Djokovic hadn't beaten a single top 10 in his worst year by far.
In 2011, he lost a set against Baghdatis, Tomic, Tsonga, Nadal. Novak 2011 was something.
In 2012 he lost in 4 sets to Fed in the SF. He lost a set to Stepanek earlier, didn't really faced any really though opponent.

The others years since 2007, he only lost against good players: Nadal in 2007, Safin in 2008, Haas in 2009.

Hewitt:
In 2002 he won the titles against Nalbandian. He lost to sets against Schalken in the QF, otherwise straight-setted his other opponents, including Henman.
In 2004 and 2005, he lost both time against Federer, once in QF and once in SF. He took once sets in those matches. He lost one set to Moya in 2004, one to Dent and Hernych in 2005.

The other years, he lost in the first round to Karlovic in 2003, Baghdatis in 2006, Djokovic in 2007 and 2010, Fed in 2008, Roddick in 2009, Soderling in 2011, Tsonga in 2012: Even way past his best level, it took strong grass courters to beat him.

3) Winning percentage and grass titles:
In carreer winning percentage on grass they are very close. Hewitt is at .772% and Djokovic at .770%. Hewitt winning percentage was higher at the end of his prime in 2005, but not by much: 0.784%.

In titles won, Hewitt leads 7-1. Opposite to what a clueless young posters said, he didn't had it easy for these titles. He defeated a certain Federer to win Halle, another guy Sampras at Queens (twice), Ivanisevic, Pioline (former Wimbeldon runner-up), Henman, Nadal (!).

4) Conclusion:

Both players deserve a lot of respect. Djokovic is clearly the overall superior player, and while grass is his worst surface, it takes a stong performance to beat him here.

The H2H in his favor is difficult to interpret because all matches happened far after Hewitt's best year. Still, Hewitt wasn't easy to beat on grass in all these years, as shown by the names who defeated him. This H2H count certainly for something for Djokovic, but they were close matches.

The names Hewitt defeated to win his titles are quite something too: It includes the two best grass courters of the last 20 years, and some surface specialists like Ivanisevic and Henman.

Most of Hewitt's titles on grass happened in the early 2000, when the grass was faster and less bouncier. I think this is a big parameter in a fantasy prime to prime match. On fast grass, I think that Hewitt should have a clear edge. On slower grass, he would still have the edge, but it would be closer.
Odd post given you argue with both sides all the way through then end up agreeing with both. As for "clueless young posters", slightly disrespectful don't you think? If you genuinely believe Hewitt was playing in as competitive a grass court era as either Sampras before him or Federer/Djokovic after him then I think "clueless" describes you actually. Sorry to be rude but you started that one.

If you go back to the original question, who wins out of prime Djokovic or prime Hewitt at Wimbledon, you have said it yourself: "2011 Djokovic was something". I am not saying Djokovic has accomplished more on grass (he hasn't) or that he even has a higher win % (he doesn't). I am simply saying that the 2011 Djokovic beats any incarnation of Hewitt you care to mention.

I also disagree with fast vs slow grass mattering so much in this one. Yes in a match up with Sampras it would matter. Hewitt I am not so sure. He was an all court player and while he was a better vollyer than Djokovic, Agassi (in 92 especially) showed that a great return and groundstrokes off both wings can be successful on a fast grass court.

Therefore, to answer the original question (you clearly didn't answer it as you went off into a lot of irrelevant tangents), the answer is Djokovic.

I am not a Djokovic fan in the slightest as you can see from my avatar. But I am amazed at anyone who argues Hewitt wins this match up. I challenge anyone to come up with a more impressive match of grass court tennis than Djokovic in that 2011 final. I include any of Sampras's wins in that, McEnroe 1984, Federer's prime, etc. Given the occasion and the opponent, that was as good as it gets. On a slower grass court the Djokovic that day beats just about anyone in history. On a faster court he would still take some stopping, albeit prime Sampras (and possibly prime Federer) would have the edge I think. But Hewitt? Not a chance.
 
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FreeBird

Legend
Old hobbled Hewitt took prime Djokovic to four sets at the AO 2012. I have seen both of them play live during their primes and for me Hewitt was a much better grass court player.
Old hobbled Keifer and typical spanish Ferrero took prime federer to 4 sets on Grass. So what?
 
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pds999

Hall of Fame
Old hobbled Keifer and typical spanish took federer to 4 sets on Grass. So what?
Exactly. Picking one match like that to try and answer a question is nuts.

I think people hugely underestimate what a good grass court player Djokovic is. Sure he is a better hard court player, but he is a great grass courter too and I think will end up with 2 or 3 more Wimbledons actually.

As I said in an earlier post, I think the question is actually quite disrespectful to Djokovic given their respective levels in the game. It isn't even an "argument" IMO.

It's almost as bad as arguing who is the greater grass court player, prime Baghdatis or prime Nadal.
 
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FreeBird

Legend
Exactly. Picking one match like that to try and answer a question is nuts.

I think people hugely underestimate what a good grass court player Djokovic is. Sure he is a better hard court player, but he is a great grass courter too and I think will end up with 2 or 3 more Wimbledons actually.

As I said in an earlier post, I think the question is actually quite disrespectful to Djokovic given their respective levels in the game. It isn't even an "argument" IMO.

It's almost as bad as arguing who is the greater grass court player, prime Baghdatis or prime Nadal.
This is the problem with people on this forum. They say everything with conviction. For example, Ask them,"Who could win between Novak-Fed?". They would always try to present their answers as if the probability is 100 percent. The odds are always 55-45, 60-40 in favor of a top player against another top player (except Rafa vs Fed on clay ;) ) not like 100-0 as people on this forum state.
 
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pds999

Hall of Fame
This is the problem with people on this forum. They say everything with conviction. For example, Ask them,"Who could win between Novak-Fed?". They would always try to present their answers as if the probability is 100 percent. The odds are always 55-45, 60-40 in favor of a top player against another top player (except Rafa vs Fed on clay ;) ) not like 100-0 as people on this forum state.
Indeed, although I am actually one of those who thinks it wouldn't even be a close match if both players played to their potential.

I think Djokovic will earn some more plaudits on grass in the next 2-3 years. He is my favourite for this year's tournament, much as I hope Rafa wins it instead.
 

FreeBird

Legend
Indeed, although I am actually one of those who thinks it wouldn't even be a close match if both players played to their potential.

I think Djokovic will earn some more plaudits on grass in the next 2-3 years. He is my favourite for this year's tournament, much as I hope Rafa wins it instead.
Murray-Nadal-Djokovic-Fed - 30-25-25-20 for me. Djokovic seems to be the most exposed to emotional and mental lapses nowadays.
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
Murray-Nadal-Djokovic-Fed - 30-25-25-20 for me. Djokovic seems to be the most exposed to emotional and mental lapses nowadays.
I agree with that, although watching Murray at Queens he was prone to a fair few too. Nadal doesn't have those, which is in his favour. He does often struggle to serve matches out sometimes, but he doesn't go completely walkabout mentally for a whole set like Novak sometimes does.

I do still struggle to have Murray as favourite given his form in 2013. He moves well on the grass but not sure he is consistent enough or has enough weapons to beat Nadal or Djokovic over 5 sets. Much will depend on the draw.

I am all but writing Fed off. Dangerous I know, but he simply isn't consistent enough to come through 7 rounds now IMO.
 
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Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
Odd post given you argue with both sides all the way through then end up agreeing with both. As for "clueless young posters", slightly disrespectful don't you think? If you genuinely believe Hewitt was playing in as competitive a grass court era as either Sampras before him or Federer/Djokovic after him then I think "clueless" describes you actually. Sorry to be rude but you started that one.
The clueless young posters affirmed that Hewitt only defeated bums to win his Queens and Halle titles, when Hewitt defeated Sampras, Federer, Ivanisevic, Pioline, Henman. I think that qualifiy for clueless, which means lacking knowledge.

As for the competitivness of the each other "era"...I already mentionned Hewitt's hunting bag. But who did Novak beat on grass? Nadal. Other than that, he defeated Tsonga, Baghdatis (the same year) and Hewitt, 5 years after the end of his prime...

In the other years, Djokovic has simply no one of note to his hunting bag.

Beside, Safin and Haas against whom Djokovic lost at Wimbledon are product of Hewitt's era.

If you go back to the original question, who wins out of prime Djokovic or prime Hewitt at Wimbledon, you have said it yourself: "2011 Djokovic was something". I am not saying Djokovic has accomplished more on grass (he hasn't) or that he even has a higher win % (he doesn't). I am simply saying that the 2011 Djokovic beats any incarnation of Hewitt you care to mention.

I also disagree with fast vs slow grass mattering so much in this one. Yes in a match up with Sampras it would matter. Hewitt I am not so sure. He was an all court player and while he was a better vollyer than Djokovic, Agassi (in 92 especially) showed that a great return and groundstrokes off both wings can be successful on a fast grass court.

Therefore, to answer the original question (you clearly didn't answer it as you went off into a lot of irrelevant tangents), the answer is Djokovic.
I answered very clearly that it would be some very close matches. There is no single evidence which suggest that either would blow out the other. As for the grass game, it's not the net skills which only matter, but also the movement. It's Djokovic's biggest weakness on the actuel grass, and it would only be a worse on a faster surface.

I am not a Djokovic fan in the slightest as you can see from my avatar. But I am amazed at anyone who argues Hewitt wins this match up. I challenge anyone to come up with a more impressive match of grass court tennis than Djokovic in that 2011 final. I include any of Sampras's wins in that, McEnroe 1984, Federer's prime, etc. Given the occasion and the opponent, that was as good as it gets. On a slower grass court the Djokovic that day beats just about anyone in history. On a faster court he would still take some stopping, albeit prime Sampras (and possibly prime Federer) would have the edge I think. But Hewitt? Not a chance.
We got it, the level of Djokovic at Wimbledon 2011 is the highest ever reached, on the basis of...of what exactly? Because he was impressive in one match, against Nadal? Or because he was so imperial against Baghdatis, Tomic and Tsonga? Good luck to find someone to agree with you on this one.

Beside, the question mention prime to prime, and Djokovic has been in his prime since 2007. He was awesome in 2011, but he couldn't hold this form in 2012 and so far in 2013.
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
The clueless young posters affirmed that Hewitt only defeated bums to win his Queens and Halle titles, when Hewitt defeated Sampras, Federer, Ivanisevic, Pioline, Henman. I think that qualifiy for clueless, which means lacking knowledge.

As for the competitivness of the each other "era"...I already mentionned Hewitt's hunting bag. But who did Novak beat on grass? Nadal. Other than that, he defeated Tsonga, Baghdatis (the same year) and Hewitt, 5 years after the end of his prime...

In the other years, Djokovic has simply no one of note to his hunting bag.

Beside, Safin and Haas against whom Djokovic lost at Wimbledon are product of Hewitt's era.



I answered very clearly that it would be some very close matches. There is no single evidence which suggest that either would blow out the other. As for the grass game, it's not the net skills which only matter, but also the movement. It's Djokovic's biggest weakness on the actuel grass, and it would only be a worse on a faster surface.



We got it, the level of Djokovic at Wimbledon 2011 is the highest ever reached, on the basis of...of what exactly? Because he was impressive in one match, against Nadal? Or because he was so imperial against Baghdatis, Tomic and Tsonga? Good luck to find someone to agree with you on this one.

Beside, the question mention prime to prime, and Djokovic has been in his prime since 2007. He was awesome in 2011, but he couldn't hold this form in 2012 and so far in 2013.
You make some fair points, although I disagree on your definition of prime. That said, I guess if we are only looking at W2011 then my definition of prime is probably quite narrow. But I still say that on his best day on grass, Djokovic beats (fairly comfortably) Hewitt on his best day on grass. I am swayed certainly by Djokovic's performance in the 2011 final against Nadal which was better than anything I have ever seen from Hewitt. But he was great in the semi too against a Tsonga that had just taken out Federer.

Ultimately this argument is one we can never prove we are right and of course it is all about opinions. I just think Djokovic doesn't get the credit he deserves as a player. He will go down as one of the all-time greats and I think he will end up with 3 or 4 Wimbledons which puts him in the mix on grass too. I may be wrong, but that's what I think will happen. Hewitt isn't even part of that argument.
 
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Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
You make some fair points, although I disagree on your definition of prime. That said, I guess if we are only looking at W2011 then my definition of prime is probably quite narrow. But I still say that on his best day on grass, Djokovic beats (fairly comfortably) Hewitt on his best day on grass. I am swayed certainly by Djokovic's performance in the 2011 final against Nadal which was better than anything I have ever seen from Hewitt. But he was great in the semi too against a Tsonga that had just taken out Federer.

Ultimately this argument is one we can never prove we are right and of course it is all about opinions. I just think Djokovic doesn't get the credit he deserves as a player. He will go down as one of the all-time greats and I think he will end up with 3 or 4 Wimbledons which puts him in the mix on grass too. I may be wrong, but that's what I think will happen. Hewitt isn't even part of that argument.
I agree with you on the respect Djokovic deserve, and clearly we can't have a clear answer. That's why I think it's reasonnable to say that it could go eitherway. Grass is his worst surface, but he is enough of a tennis player to be great here too, just like clay is Fed worst surface and he is still one of the best ever on it.

I look forward for Wimbledon. We will know more on his ability on the surface.
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
I agree with you on the respect Djokovic deserve, and clearly we can't have a clear answer. That's why I think it's reasonnable to say that it could go eitherway. Grass is his worst surface, but he is enough of a tennis player to be great here too, just like clay is Fed worst surface and he is still one of the best ever on it.

I look forward for Wimbledon. We will know more on his ability on the surface.
Agreed. I think the next 3 or 4 years will tell us a lot about Djokovic's ability on the grass.
 

kragster

Hall of Fame
I have made a beat of wiki research to try to have an educated answer to this interesting question. I think it's usefull as we see a lot of disrespect: Djokovic's fan think that Hewitt couldn't play tennis and dominated some nobody, while Hewitt's fan claim that Djokovic is so poor on grass that he couldn't take a set of him in prime to prime matches. I feel both views are stupid, and my research shows it.

1) The Head to Head
Novak leads the H2H 6-1, including 4-0 on grass. He defeated Hewitt twice at Wimbledon: in 2007 in a 4 very close sets (he won 3 tie break), and in 2010 in 4 close sets. He beat him at the olympics last year, but lost a set. He beat him very comfortably at Queens in 2008, Hewitt'worst year.

The lone victory of Hewitt happened in 2006, when Nole wasn't in his prime yet, and Hewitt no more in his either. The 6 victories of Novak happened since 2007, when Novak was in his prime or peak, and Hewitt wasn't.

2) Their 3 best year at Wimbledon
I compared their 3 best years at Wimbledon, based on their results. 2010-2012 for Novak, 2002, 2004 and 2005 for Hewitt.

Djokovic:
In 2010, Novak lost in 3 sets in the SF against Berdych. He beat Hewitt in 4 close sets in R4, who was the only though player he met (other opponents are Lu, Montanes, Dent, Rochus). He lost 2 sets against Rochus in the first round. At this time of the year, Djokovic hadn't beaten a single top 10 in his worst year by far.
In 2011, he lost a set against Baghdatis, Tomic, Tsonga, Nadal. Novak 2011 was something.
In 2012 he lost in 4 sets to Fed in the SF. He lost a set to Stepanek earlier, didn't really faced any really though opponent.

The others years since 2007, he only lost against good players: Nadal in 2007, Safin in 2008, Haas in 2009.

Hewitt:
In 2002 he won the titles against Nalbandian. He lost to sets against Schalken in the QF, otherwise straight-setted his other opponents, including Henman.
In 2004 and 2005, he lost both time against Federer, once in QF and once in SF. He took once sets in those matches. He lost one set to Moya in 2004, one to Dent and Hernych in 2005.

The other years, he lost in the first round to Karlovic in 2003, Baghdatis in 2006, Djokovic in 2007 and 2010, Fed in 2008, Roddick in 2009, Soderling in 2011, Tsonga in 2012: Even way past his best level, it took strong grass courters to beat him.

3) Winning percentage and grass titles:
In carreer winning percentage on grass they are very close. Hewitt is at .772% and Djokovic at .770%. Hewitt winning percentage was higher at the end of his prime in 2005, but not by much: 0.784%.

In titles won, Hewitt leads 7-1. Opposite to what a clueless young posters said, he didn't had it easy for these titles. He defeated a certain Federer to win Halle, another guy Sampras at Queens (twice), Ivanisevic, Pioline (former Wimbeldon runner-up), Henman, Nadal (!).

4) Conclusion:

Both players deserve a lot of respect. Djokovic is clearly the overall superior player, and while grass is his worst surface, it takes a stong performance to beat him here.

The H2H in his favor is difficult to interpret because all matches happened far after Hewitt's best year. Still, Hewitt wasn't easy to beat on grass in all these years, as shown by the names who defeated him. This H2H count certainly for something for Djokovic, but they were close matches.

The names Hewitt defeated to win his titles are quite something too: It includes the two best grass courters of the last 20 years, and some surface specialists like Ivanisevic and Henman.

Most of Hewitt's titles on grass happened in the early 2000, when the grass was faster and less bouncier. I think this is a big parameter in a fantasy prime to prime match. On fast grass, I think that Hewitt should have a clear edge. On slower grass, he would still have the edge, but it would be closer.
Excellent post, I think on overall grass proficiency I would give Hewitt the edge but Djoker 2011 at Wimbledon, especially in the final, was a beast. In terms of skillset on grass

FH-Djoker
BH-Djoker
Serve-Djoker
Net play - Hewitt
Lobs - Hewitt
Movement on grass - Hewitt (slightly)
Mental matchup - Even

While Djokovic is overall a much better player than Hewitt and I would expect him to beat Hewitt the vast majority on Hard and Clay, I think grass is the one place I would give Hewitt the slightest edge if they play multiple matches.

Now if Djoker wins Wimbledon 2013, then we should definitely revisit this discussion!
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
I challenge anyone to come up with a more impressive match of grass court tennis than Djokovic in that 2011 final. I include any of Sampras's wins in that, McEnroe 1984, Federer's prime, etc. Given the occasion and the opponent, that was as good as it gets. On a slower grass court the Djokovic that day beats just about anyone in history. On a faster court he would still take some stopping, albeit prime Sampras (and possibly prime Federer) would have the edge I think. But Hewitt? Not a chance.
LOL, wut the only set of tennis that djokovic played in the 2011 final that was close to what the likes of federer, sampras, laver, borg, mac, becker, edberg etc have done on grass was the 2nd set in that match.

Any of these guys at their best would've taken down djokovic on grass easily.

all of these guys have played plenty of matches at a higher level than djokovic did in that final overall on grass

examples are plenty :

federer vs roddick in wimbledon 2003 semi, wimbledon 2005 final vs ancic in wimbledon 2006 QF, vs haas in wimbledon 2009 semi,sampras in wimbledon QF vs stich in 92, vs agassi in wimbledon 99 final,becker in 86 wimbledon final vs lendl, 89 wimbledon final vs edberg, edberg in wimbledon 90 semi final vs lendl, mac in wimbledon 81 final, 84 final, borg in wimbledon 76 final, 78 final etc etc
 
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merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
I have created this thread to explain why arguments like this don't work.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=467077
Ahhh, but in this case, it *does* work, as old, broken Hewitt is still troubling primepeaky Djokovic in just about every of their matches these days. So it's anything but a one-off:

2012 London Olympics Great Britain Grass R16 Djokovic, Novak 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
2012 Australian Open Australia Hard R16 Djokovic, Novak 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
2010 Wimbledon Great Britain Grass R16 Djokovic, Novak 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
2008 London / Queen's Club Great Britain Grass Q Djokovic, Novak 6-2, 6-2 2008 Australian Open Australia Hard R16 Djokovic, Novak 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
2007 Wimbledon Great Britain Grass R16 Djokovic, Novak 7-6(8), 7-6(2), 4-6, 7-6(5)
2006 US Open NY, U.S.A. Hard R32 Hewitt, Lleyton 6-3, 6-1, 6-2
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
LOL, wut the only set of tennis that djokovic played in the 2011 final that was close to what the likes of federer, sampras, laver, borg, mac, becker, edberg etc have done on grass was the 2nd set in that match.

Any of these guys at their best would've taken down djokovic on grass easily.

all of these guys have played plenty of matches at a higher level than djokovic did in that final overall on grass

examples are plenty :

federer vs roddick in wimbledon 2003 semi, wimbledon 2005 final vs ancic in wimbledon 2006 QF, vs haas in wimbledon 2009 semi,sampras in wimbledon QF vs stich in 92, vs agassi in wimbledon 99 final,becker in 86 wimbledon final vs lendl, 89 wimbledon final vs edberg, edberg in wimbledon 90 semi final vs lendl, mac in wimbledon 81 final, 84 final, borg in wimbledon 76 final, 78 final etc etc
I simply don't agree. Those performances you quote are all great ones, I agree with that. I especially loved Edberg's vs Lendl in the Wimbledon 90 semi - that was superb serve and volley tennis. But my view is that Djokovic hit a different level that day against Nadal. You have to remember who he was playing as well. Nadal on grass far exceeds Lendl for example, or Stich (although he was more talented than his one win suggests) or Roddick, or Haas, Ancic, even Agassi. Nadal was the defending champion at the time and had come off one of the greatest years in men's tennis the year before. And but for Federer, Nadal could have 4 titles easily and then he would be in the mix as the greatest grass courter. That day was superlative from Djokovic. He didn't do it against Nalbandian, he did it against Nadal. If Federer had played him that day he would have lost too, no doubt in my mind.

But anyway, whether that was the greatest display of grass court tennis or not, the point remains that Hewitt hasn't come near to that level (IMO). His best was a solitary win (vs Nalbandian). I mean come on? So if that 2011 version was prime Djokovic at Wimbledon then he wins that match up. After all, that was the original question posed.
 
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pds999

Hall of Fame
Excellent post, I think on overall grass proficiency I would give Hewitt the edge but Djoker 2011 at Wimbledon, especially in the final, was a beast. In terms of skillset on grass

FH-Djoker
BH-Djoker
Serve-Djoker
Net play - Hewitt
Lobs - Hewitt
Movement on grass - Hewitt (slightly)
Mental matchup - Even

While Djokovic is overall a much better player than Hewitt and I would expect him to beat Hewitt the vast majority on Hard and Clay, I think grass is the one place I would give Hewitt the slightest edge if they play multiple matches.

Now if Djoker wins Wimbledon 2013, then we should definitely revisit this discussion!
I actually think he will. I also agree largely on the matchup stats you have posted, although I would give the mental edge to Djokovic (2011 and beyond). Essentially all the most important shots/stats are won by Djokovic.
 
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abmk

Bionic Poster
I simply don't agree. Those performances you quote are all great ones, I agree with that. I especially loved Edberg's vs Lendl in the Wimbledon 90 semi - that was superb serve and volley tennis. But my view is that Djokovic hit a different level that day against Nadal. You have to remember who he was playing as well. Nadal on grass far exceeds Lendl for example, or Stich (although he was more talented than his one win suggests) or Roddick, or Haas, Ancic, even Agassi. Nadal was the defending champion at the time and had come off one of the greatest years in men's tennis the year before. And but for Federer, Nadal could have 4 titles easily and then he would be in the mix as the greatest grass courter. That day was superlative from Djokovic. He didn't do it against Nalbandian, he did it against Nadal. If Federer had played him that day he would have lost too, no doubt in my mind.
not even close. This is how the match went.

the first set rafa was the the very slightly better player in the first set till 4 all. then djokovic held and played a superb game to break for the set.

the second set, djokovic was absolutely zoned in , rafa's level went down a bit. this was probably djoker's best set on grass.

3rd set, djokovic's level went down by quite a lot and nadal capitalized taking it 6-1

4th set, both were nervous, the tennis wasn't that good, but novak held himself better and took it.

that wasn't *anywhere* near the stratosphere of the grass court performance ever, even that 2nd set, I've seen many better sets on grass.

nadal himself if more confident and playing at the level that he was in wimbledon 2007 final and wimbledon 2008 final could've beaten him.

federer anywhere near his prime level on grass wouldn't probably have lost more than a set to even that version of djoker. if djoker is very lucky, maybe gets two sets.

even the runs of krajicek in wim 96 ( where he thrashed sampras (&stich ) in straights ) and stich in wim 91 ( where he beat edberg and becker b2b ) were clearly more impressive than djoker's wim 11 final. no contest IMO.


But anyway, whether that was the greatest display of grass court tennis or not, the point remains that Hewitt hasn't come near to that level (IMO). His best was a solitary win (vs Nalbandian). I mean come on? So if that 2011 version was prime Djokovic at Wimbledon then he wins that match up. After all, that was the original question posed.
not really, hewitt has played really well on grass, vs henman in wim 02 SF, wim 05, vs sampras in queens 00/01 etc etc.

we're not talking about best version of djokovic vs best version of hewitt on grass. We're talking across their prime.
 
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kragster

Hall of Fame
Ahhh, but in this case, it *does* work, as old, broken Hewitt is still troubling primepeaky Djokovic in just about every of their matches these days. So it's anything but a one-off:

2012 London Olympics Great Britain Grass R16 Djokovic, Novak 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
2012 Australian Open Australia Hard R16 Djokovic, Novak 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
2010 Wimbledon Great Britain Grass R16 Djokovic, Novak 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
2008 London / Queen's Club Great Britain Grass Q Djokovic, Novak 6-2, 6-2 2008 Australian Open Australia Hard R16 Djokovic, Novak 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
2007 Wimbledon Great Britain Grass R16 Djokovic, Novak 7-6(8), 7-6(2), 4-6, 7-6(5)
2006 US Open NY, U.S.A. Hard R32 Hewitt, Lleyton 6-3, 6-1, 6-2
The leap from "troubling" someone to "beating them" is larger than you think. This is why you often see top players losing sets in early rounds of a slam but winning the final in straight sets. Clearly the opponent in the final is usually better. But top players can raise their game as and when needed.

Just to be clear, I am not making the assertion that Djoker wins this H2H. I am making the assertion that Hewitt's proficiency on grass and his accomplishments mean a lot more to this discussion, that the few sets he has taken off Djokovic.

If the claim someone were trying to make was that Djokovic would straight set Hewitt , THEN you can use the matches played to have a solid case against that. The data you show suggests that prime Hewitt would AT LEAST trouble prime Djoker. The data gives you nothing to make the leap from "troubling" to beating.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
The leap from "troubling" someone to "beating them" is larger than you think. This is why you often see top players losing sets in early rounds of a slam but winning the final in straight sets. Clearly the opponent in the final is usually better. But top players can raise their game as and when needed.

Just to be clear, I am not making the assertion that Djoker wins this H2H. I am making the assertion that Hewitt's proficiency on grass and his accomplishments mean a lot more to this discussion, that the few sets he has taken off Djokovic.

If the claim someone were trying to make was that Djokovic would straight set Hewitt , THEN you can use the matches played to have a solid case against that. The data you show suggests that prime Hewitt would AT LEAST trouble prime Djoker. The data gives you nothing to make the leap from "troubling" to beating.
agree for large part, especially the bold

But the point b/w troubling and beating a player - the difference - holds more true for inexperienced/nervous/hot and cold players. Hewitt was/is neither of those.
 

pds999

Hall of Fame
not even close. This is how the match went.

the first set rafa was the the very slightly better player in the first set till 4 all. then djokovic held and played a superb game to break for the set.

the second set, djokovic was absolutely zoned in , rafa's level went down a bit. this was probably djoker's best set on grass.

3rd set, djokovic's level went down by quite a lot and nadal capitalized taking it 6-1

4th set, both were nervous, the tennis wasn't that good, but novak held himself better and took it.

that wasn't *anywhere* near the stratosphere of the grass court performance ever, even that 2nd set, I've seen many better sets on grass.

nadal himself if more confident and playing at the level that he was in wimbledon 2007 final and wimbledon 2008 final could've beaten him.

federer anywhere near his prime level on grass wouldn't probably have lost more than a set to even that version of djoker. if djoker is very lucky, maybe gets two sets.

even the runs of krajicek in wim 96 ( where he thrashed sampras (&stich ) in straights ) and stich in wim 91 ( where he beat edberg and becker b2b ) were clearly more impressive than djoker's wim 11 final. no contest IMO.




not really, hewitt has played really well on grass, vs henman in wim 02 SF, wim 05, vs sampras in queens 00/01 etc etc.

we're not talking about best version of djokovic vs best version of hewitt on grass. We're talking across their prime.
Well we will have to disagree on both counts then.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
My faith would be in Hewitt ( for reasons I've stated like what, 10 times over the last week? Can't be bothered to repeat).


Djokovic dominates Hewitt on hard and clay, for the record.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
I simply don't agree. Those performances you quote are all great ones, I agree with that. I especially loved Edberg's vs Lendl in the Wimbledon 90 semi - that was superb serve and volley tennis. But my view is that Djokovic hit a different level that day against Nadal. You have to remember who he was playing as well. Nadal on grass far exceeds Lendl for example, or Stich (although he was more talented than his one win suggests) or Roddick, or Haas, Ancic, even Agassi. Nadal was the defending champion at the time and had come off one of the greatest years in men's tennis the year before. And but for Federer, Nadal could have 4 titles easily and then he would be in the mix as the greatest grass courter. That day was superlative from Djokovic. He didn't do it against Nalbandian, he did it against Nadal. If Federer had played him that day he would have lost too, no doubt in my mind.
I have no doubt that you can't reasonnably have no doubt that Federer would have lost to Djokovic, because of the following evidence:
1) Federer defeated Djokovic two weeks before at Roland Garros on clay, a surface who favor Djokovic in their match-up.
2) Federer gave a lot of trouble to Djokovic at the USO in 2010 and 2011, the surface which is the most neutral in their match-up.
3) Federer defeated Djokovic at Wimbledon one year later, the surface which should favor Fed, and again against Federer on HC in Cincinnati.

This suggest that Djokovic, despite being actually the better player of the two by a good margin, especially in 2011, is still vulnerable to Federer.

You can't infer that Djokovic would have beaten Federer if he had to play him instead of Tsonga, just because Tsonga beat him in the QF. Their is match-up issue at hands. Think about Roland Garros 2011 and the gift Fed gave to Nadal by beating Djokovic.

Similarly, you can't infer that because Djokovic defeated Nadal, the second best grass courter of the last years, he can defeat any other grass courter. Their are match-up issue, and their is a context issue. Djokovic had defeated him in 4 straight final, including twice on Nadal's beloved clay.

You can't either base your faith in Djokovic's grass skills on one match of this one year. Djokovic wasn't imperial like the other grass legend were against Tsonga, Baghdatis and Tomic in 2011.
More so, Djokovic lost to Nadal (2007), Safin (2008), Haas (2009) Berdych (2010), Federer (2012), at Wimbledon; Murray and Del Potro at the Olympics (2012), Malisse, Haas, Nadal at either Queens or Halle.

But anyway, whether that was the greatest display of grass court tennis or not, the point remains that Hewitt hasn't come near to that level (IMO). His best was a solitary win (vs Nalbandian). I mean come on? So if that 2011 version was prime Djokovic at Wimbledon then he wins that match up. After all, that was the original question posed.
If Djokovic's prime lasted only one year, he may beat Hewitt that year. But outside his prime, Djokovic lost to far past their prime Federer (forgivable), Safin, Haas. So outside the one year Djokovic was playing his best, it's reasonnable to give the edge to Hewitt. It's nice to reach a very high level, but it's better to be able to bring this level more than once.
 
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tudwell

Legend
FH-Djoker
BH-Djoker
Serve-Djoker
Net play - Hewitt
Lobs - Hewitt
Movement on grass - Hewitt (slightly)
Mental matchup - Even
I would give Hewitt more than a slight edge in movement. That's the crux of Djokovic's game and the primary (possibly only) reason he's not as successful on grass as on other surfaces - he's not as comfortable moving on it. Hewitt, on the other hand, is very good at moving on it. The rest of Djokovic's game is so much better than Hewitt's (outside of net play and lobs, as you mentioned) that Djokovic is still very successful on the surface, but I definitely think Hewitt is a more natural grass-courter.
 
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