Why is there a 17 Slam difference between Djokovic and Murray?

Kralingen

Legend
Mental weakness is a overrated term in Tennis, at this level every sportsman who has already won a slam is mentally tough or else they would not be competing in the 2nd week.
Mental toughness also arises from your confidence in how good your skill is working, Novak has confidence in his return and court coverage, so he can take good serve and return it.... that is how he is tough.

It is like you attend a maths exam and don't know anything, so no matter how tough you are mentally and decide to not give up and fill the paper with philosophy, you will still get 0 marks.... no step marks here and there to get grace marks and score 40% ....
So much of Murray’s “mental weakness” comes from the fact that he looks half terrified of hitting a 2nd serve.. never ever in my life seen a top player who gets that tilted when he misses a first serve. Rogie, Novak, Pete, even Rafa just take a breath and get on with it.

Murray looks like he’s lost the point before he even attempts the 2nd serve. And you’re right, it stems from technical deficiency.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
For one Djokovic is a better athlete, two he's a better ballstriker and three he has the better serve.

I think he's quite obviously fitter than Murray on the whole, he's also way more flexible and way more efficient in terms of movement.

Technically he's got the better groundies, redirects balls better both in terms of directions and absorbing pace, better depth etc...When he wants to be aggressive he has way more margin for error as well. Especially on the forehand he's much better at stepping up the court and take the ball early. Which is why Murray can keep for him in short bursts but over five sets or across careers he just can't.

Off the serve his first is more accurate and his second is another league.
 

Bubcay

Hall of Fame
Man, if you re-read the first page you might actually believe that Djokovic and Murray are equal players aside from injury and a 2nd serve.

Either:

Djokovic as a potential GOAT player is way overrated in TTW's eyes
or
Murray had an ATG ground game and simply got unlucky with injuries
or
the 2nd serve is the most important shot in the modern game
or
people really don't know how to describe what Djokovic does well?
I think @Mivic summed it up well.
 

Tostao80

Rookie
You are saying they are comparable but that’s the problem Djokovic does everything better.
Also you are comparing them pre 2011. Djokovic was a great player but then went up in level after 2010 that Murray couldn’t.
Djokovic weaknesses pre 2011 where fitness, serve and mental strength. He fixed them, Andy didn’t have obvious weaknesses so he was close to his highest level in 2010 so he barely improved
Djokovic does everything better? Is he better at the net than Andy?
 
Two players in Novak and Andy who have so many striking similarities, it's hard to believe.

Born a week apart (May 15/22nd, 1987), both stand around 6'2.5", both have outstanding backhands, both incredible movers and defensive players, both primarily baseliners, both amazing returners,
- 'cept that Djoko's "better backhand" was more consistent and better under fire (i.e. in crunch time)

- That Djoko's "amazing return of serve" was even better than Connors & Agassi's (read: better than Murray's), and whose serve was clearly better than Murray's (Djoko's recent spotty serving at crunch time at the USO notwithstanding which had much to do with the zoning Danielle Medvedev across the net--djoko knew he wasn't winning that match..).

in short: djoko vs. murray? . . You ARE what your record is, i.e. 3 < 20

djoko's goat fraternity with fed, rafa, et al ..... Murray's not even 'next tier' ....
 
Last edited:

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
Mental weakness is a overrated term in Tennis, at this level every sportsman who has already won a slam is mentally tough or else they would not be competing in the 2nd week.
Mental toughness also arises from your confidence in how good your skill is working, Novak has confidence in his return and court coverage, so he can take good serve and return it.... that is how he is tough.

It is like you attend a maths exam and don't know anything, so no matter how tough you are mentally and decide to not give up and fill the paper with philosophy, you will still get 0 marks.... no step marks here and there to get grace marks and score 40% ....
Clutchness/mental game is certainly overrated and I've made a similar argument before. For instance, Nadal is the same guy he used to be, and he seemed like a mental giant when he was young and he could trust his ability to outlast and outrun everyone, and now he seems mentally fragile because he can't do that anymore. However that doesn't mean it doesn't exist at all. We see the All-Time-Mug extreme in guys like Kyrgios, Fognini, Paire etc who can't get their **** together mentally. Everyone exists somewhere on the spectrum from PETE to Paire, and the ATGs are all clustered close to the PETE side of things, but that doesn't mean there aren't small differences that give one a margin over the other.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Clutchness/mental game is certainly overrated and I've made a similar argument before. For instance, Nadal is the same guy he used to be, and he seemed like a mental giant when he was young and he could trust his ability to outlast and outrun everyone, and now he seems mentally fragile because he can't do that anymore. However that doesn't mean it doesn't exist at all. We see the All-Time-Mug extreme in guys like Kyrgios, Fognini, Paire etc who can't get their **** together mentally. Everyone exists somewhere on the spectrum from PETE to Paire, and the ATGs are all clustered close to the PETE side of things, but that doesn't mean there aren't small differences that give one a margin over the other.
Why is Pete considered the golden standard of clutchness?

Except his serve he had not clutch factor, that serve would be a less significant weapon in the modern day slow courts and with guys like claydal chasing backhands it would affect his clutchness bigtime, don't you think?
 

EggSalad

Rookie
Personally opinion, Andy was very good but him being on par with the top 3 was a function of the media. He doesn’t belong in that conversation, even though he was very good. Those other 3 were elite elite.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Andy Murray is no different from Lleyton Hewitt, a transitional era champ who could maybe steal 2-3 slams but not more in any era.
In the era of specialists 80s guys like Wilander-Lendl dominated Clay, Mac-Becker-Edberg dominated Grass, Mac and Lendl did well on HCs, in Murray's case he doesn't stand out anywhere except Grass to some extent so maybe 1 wimbledon and 1 HC slam in such an era with ATGs around him even in the absence of GOAT candidates.
Jim Courier did well to take 2AOs and dominated FOs, Murray to replicate that would have aim AOs and Wimbledons, though.
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
Why is Pete considered the golden standard of clutchness?

Except his serve he had not clutch factor, that serve would be a less significant weapon in the modern day slow courts and with guys like claydal chasing backhands it would affect his clutchness bigtime, don't you think?
It’s either PETE, young Nadal, or older Djokovic, take your pick
 

bjsnider

Hall of Fame
Murray's long and sad record if serious injuries derailed a potentially dominant run between 2012 and the present.
 

McGradey

Professional
On the backhand side I'd say Murray has the better slice and more weight of shot if he decides to really hammer it, Djokovic redirects pace better, is better down the line and better at creating angles. Murray tends to have more top end pace on a lot of his shots he just doesn't or can't use it enough to matter generally.
Yeah. Djokovic dictates with both forehand and backhand better than Murray does.

Murray will prod around playing cross court backhands all day long while barely changing the angle whereas Djokovic is always adjusting the angle and moving his opponent around, and then he will go down the line as soon as an opportunity arises. Djokovic looks to take the initiative whereas Murray waits for an opening.
 
Last edited:

socallefty

Legend
Djokovic has a GOAT BH, GOAT return and GOAT movement better than anyone else in history. He is the best at sliding on hard courts and shortening the number of steps he has to take so that he can play incredible defense. He hits the ball on the rise much more often than anyone except possibly Federer and changes angles to go DTL more than any other player - this combination takes time away from his opponents and makes him a much more aggressive baseliner than TTW gives him credit for. Murray, Nadal etc. hit hard, but from much further back and are more defensive about controlling point patterns. Djokovic has a better, more offensive FH and serve than Murray too.

If you watched them play live, it is very clear that Djokovic is a much aggressive baseliner than Murray, but makes as few errors as Murray and plays defense as well as he does, while serving and returning much better. Under Lendl’s coaching in 2012-13, Murray played more aggressively and won Slams/Olympics etc. and he would have done better in his career if he had continued to do so.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Djokovic has a GOAT BH, GOAT return and GOAT movement better than anyone else in history. He is the best at sliding on hard courts and shortening the number of steps he has to take so that he can play incredible defense. He hits the ball on the rise much more often than anyone except possibly Federer and changes angles to go DTL more than any other player - this combination takes time away from his opponents and makes him a much more aggressive baseliner than TTW gives him credit for. Murray, Nadal etc. hit hard, but from much further back and are more defensive about controlling point patterns. Djokovic has a better, more offensive FH and serve than Murray too.

If you watched them play live, it is very clear that Djokovic is a much aggressive baseliner than Murray, but makes as few errors as Murray and plays defense as well as he does, while serving and returning much better. Under Lendl’s coaching in 2012-13, Murray played more aggressively and won Slams/Olympics etc. and he would have done better in his career if he had continued to do so.
LOLOLLLLLLLLLL, the Djokovic rabid fanditis is high here.
Agassi, Davydenko, Mac, Connors say hi for starters. hit more on the rise than Djokovic and its not even debatable.

as far as BH DTL goes, Safin, Agassi, Nalby.
 
Last edited:

Nole_King

Professional
He certainly wanted to put Andy in his place as his pre-match comments indicated. Interestingly he started off the final against Djokovic in a similar vein making us all think he would get his revenge for the previous year's final too, then missed an easy put away which would have given him a break in the 1st set and then started to fall apart. I just knew then he wouldn't beat Djokovic. Although he managed to pull himself together enough to take the 2nd set breaker it was all one way almost inevitable traffic after that. Djokovic was already in his head and would stay that way whenever they met at Wimbledon, the infamous 40-15 being the final confirmation of that.
Making some stories, as usual. aren't you, just to create case for your baby. Federer had actually broken first in the final but got broken immediately the next game.

But you are right. He wanted to put Andy in his place, which is 3-4 tiers below him :-D
 

Sunny014

Legend
Murray's actual place is at least 3 tiers below Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
That tier difference is why he was so impotent vs them.
 

enishi1357

Rookie
djokovic focuses on being lean and flexible for better movement. Murray focus on getting buff I guess to overpower his opponent but it doesn't make sense since he's primary a defensive player. My guess is he's trying to gain like some kind of strength to differentiate himself from other other top three. He can't have more control cuz of federer. He can't have more topspin cuz of nadal. He can't be more defensive cuz of djokovic. That only leaves him with power to work with. His strategy backfired when he employed a female pro coach to prob be in charged of his muscle development and conditioning. Unlike the WTA, ATP in grandslam plays more set and the point last longer. Buff muscle is not good for defense hence the injuries. I guess he though he could somehow overcome this barrier or maybe just shrug off the concern by labeling it as sexist.

What he should have done is just do stuff djokovic is doing like yoga without the crazy stuff involve. He just needs to outlast djokovic who is outlasting federer and nadal. But he just couldn't be more patient.
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
- 'cept that Djoko's "better backhand" was more consistent and better under fire (i.e. in crunch time)

- That Djoko's "amazing return of serve" was even better than Connors & Agassi's (read: better than Murray's), and whose serve was clearly better than Murray's (Djoko's recent spotty serving at crunch time at the USO notwithstanding which had much to do with the zoning Danielle Medvedev across the net--djoko knew he wasn't winning that match..).

in short: djoko vs. murray? . . You ARE what your record is, i.e. 3 < 20

djoko's goat fraternity with fed, rafa, et al ..... Murray's not even 'next tier' ....
Their returns are different but Murray is up there in Djokovic’s league on return alone.

Murray is better at returning high pace servebots. He would always embarrass guys like Kyrgios by resetting the point to neutral and making them play and move.

Djokovic is better at returning serve aggressively to your feet, if you’re not a servebot. It worked really well against Federer and Nadal. But he may have struggled more against an ATG that served more like Pete, Nick, or Medvedev for example if he had to play one in his time
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
to me the biggest difference is their respective abilities to take balls on the rise and redirect them. Djokovic is for my money of the best ball-strikers off the hop, from any angle, in the history of tennis.

Murray also has great hands but he doesn’t get the same direction and depth on the rise as consistently.

This difference defines every other aspect of their game.
Of all the nicknames for Novak, Wallovic is the most apt. Novak kills most players by standing close to the baseline and redirecting everything with depth, he's a master at using opponent's pace. Murray's touch is great in terms of angle and placement (he also has an excellent slice) but doesn't absorb and redirect pace nearly as well as Novak, he's not as great of a counter-puncher.

It's why guys like Wawrinka and Thiem had so much success against Novak (relatively speaking), they push him behind the baseline with heavy spin off both wings.
 

lucky13

Semi-Pro
differences are that nole is, and always has been, much better player. the same media that insists today that nole is not GOAT, despite owning all the major records, has previously insisted that muzza is a better and more talented player. and all this without any statistical evidence even if you check the period before 2011 and nole's big breakthrough.

nole vs muzza before 2011:
h2h: 4-3
rankings (07-10): 3 ,3 ,3, 3 - 11, 4, 4, 4
big titles: 7 - 6
slams: 1 (3 F, 9 SF, 14 QF) - 0 (2 F, 4 SF, 6 QF)
WTFs: 1 - 0
masters: 5 - 6
titles: 18 - 16
 

Flint

Hall of Fame
I suppose the major reasons are Djokovic has

A better forehand
A far greater 2nd serve
Better mental strength/consistency

Less prone to having a drop in form on his own serve.

Murray had major back injury when he was hitting the top of the game in 2013 and major hip injury when he was finally back at the top of the game in 2016


Those last 2 reasons for me are the biggest. He was so unlucky with those 2 injuries and when they occurred.
He also plays very well but goes mental walkabout for 1 service game and gives himself more work to do to break back, which against the field he does break back and come back to win. Harder against the obvious 3 though.
 

vex

Hall of Fame
Murray does all the same stuff Djokovic does only Djokovic does it with an edge Murray doesn’t have. FH/BH Djoker just has better offense, depth, angles. Movement for Murray is actually excellent as he’s an incredible athlete but Djoker is a FREAK, it’s almost like his body was engineered to play tennis and only tennis. Then you have the second serve… that’s a big gap.
 

InsideOut900

Hall of Fame
Murray's touch is great in terms of angle and placement (he also has an excellent slice) but doesn't absorb and redirect pace nearly as well as Novak, he's not as great of a counter-puncher.
I don't think Murray's ability to absorb pace is the problem. He has a very stable core and legs and doesn't flinch easy if you hit hard toward him. Novak might actually be a bit worse here.

It's that Djoko takes neutral balls on the rise and generates angles better.

Murray has two modes: neutral grinding and ballbashing, Djokovic can play aggressive baselining with the intent to open the court without needing to ballbash.

Murray is a great counterpuncher, but he is too passive on neutral balls, not at redirecting hard hitting.

I always had the impression Murray's body is very stiff, which in itself seems to limit his hitting technique off both wings in terms of generating angles, as well as his ability to step into his shots.
It got even worse post back surgery.
 

Start da Game

Hall of Fame
Lol.....Murray....upper middle class? I think you're getting him confused with Tim Henman! :D
the difference is 17 slams between the two.......this thread is actually a joke insinuating in a subtle manner that murray is capable of producing the kind of stuff that djokovic produces on a tennis court.......if murray wasn't a brit, he would never have got all the attention he did, sorry to tell you that mate........
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
the difference is 17 slams between the two.......this thread is actually a joke insinuating in a subtle manner that murray is capable of producing the kind of stuff that djokovic produces on a tennis court.......if murray wasn't a brit, he would never have got all the attention he did, sorry to tell you that mate........
So the 4th best tennis player in the current era would never have got any attention if he weren't a Brit?? Mmmm......kay!!

Still doesn't make him "upper middle class" though. You need to do a bit more research on those Brit chips you're carrying around on your shoulders. :cool:
 

Sunny014

Legend
differences are that nole is, and always has been, much better player. the same media that insists today that nole is not GOAT, despite owning all the major records, has previously insisted that muzza is a better and more talented player. and all this without any statistical evidence even if you check the period before 2011 and nole's big breakthrough.

nole vs muzza before 2011:
h2h: 4-3
rankings (07-10): 3 ,3 ,3, 3 - 11, 4, 4, 4
big titles: 7 - 6
slams: 1 (3 F, 9 SF, 14 QF) - 0 (2 F, 4 SF, 6 QF)
WTFs: 1 - 0
masters: 5 - 6
titles: 18 - 16

Nole was 1st person to win a HC slam in an era where even an established peak level ATG from his same generation who was a teenage prodigy could not win on HCs.
Novak was the 1st person to only lose to Federer 3 times at USO at a time when even Nadal who was at his prime since 05 could not reach USO final or even come close to it.
Novak on clay was losing to Nadal and was regularly reaching semis in his early 20s while Murray was never in the vicinity.

Only on Grass was Murray a but ahead in early maturity than Novak and Novak erased that as well in 2011

So lets no pretend that Murray was ever close to Novak, there was a tier level difference between them even in early 20s, as Novak reached peak that gap between them became few tiers wide.
 
Yes i think it comes down to murray was just not comfortable being aggressive inside the court on big points. He was just more of a passive player. Djokovic, on the big points, was better at asserting himself and making something happen.

I think from a talent perspective, murray maybe had more talent. better hands. better feel for the ball. Both are incredible movers. I'd say equally fast from A to B. Djokovic's committment to lean and flexible obviously helped a lot with his longevity.

I think what seperates them is more of the fearlessness and belief that djokovic showed in big matches. Murray just didn't have that Dog in him like djokovic does. It's an interesting debate...
 
Top