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  • arturohernandez
    replied
    Originally posted by stotty View Post
    Meddy is a tough player to beat but as Lendl once said, every player has a weakness. The trouble with top players is weaknesses aren't always easy to see and exploit and subtle methods are sometimes required.

    Meddy's weakness is perhaps his forehand return of serve. Novak has exploited this well at times because he has a good wide serve to the deuce court, which he uses to good effect, better than most servers. His wide serve to the deuce court puts Meddy in trouble because he prefers to return from way back and he gets pulled right off court if he doesn't watch it. To counter Novak's wide serve, Meddy has to then stand in much closer to return, and it is here Novak gets to Meddy's weakness. Meddy has late preparation on his forehand return of serve and makes errors because of it. He often gets too close to ball or doesn't hit it as cleanly. Novak twigged all this a while back.

    It's not much to go at but in pro tennis winning margins are often incredibly small.
    Nadal seemed to find another in the final. Pulling him off the court on his backhand side. I suspect that a lot of people are now working out the pluses and minuses of Meddy's game. He is tough but the competition will be stiffer for him now that he has gone to the top.

    It will be interesting to see if others will start to exploit this weakness.

    Leave a comment:


  • jimlosaltos
    replied
    Originally posted by stotty View Post
    Meddy is a tough player to beat but as Lendl once said, every player has a weakness. The trouble with top players is weaknesses aren't always easy to see and exploit and subtle methods are sometimes required.

    Meddy's weakness is perhaps his forehand return of serve. Novak has exploited this well at times because he has a good wide serve to the deuce court, which he uses to good effect, better than most servers. His wide serve to the deuce court puts Meddy in trouble because he prefers to return from way back and he gets pulled right off court if he doesn't watch it. To counter Novak's wide serve, Meddy has to then stand in much closer to return, and it is here Novak gets to Meddy's weakness. Meddy has late preparation on his forehand return of serve and makes errors because of it. He often gets too close to ball or doesn't hit it as cleanly. Novak twigged all this a while back.

    It's not much to go at but in pro tennis winning margins are often incredibly small.
    Good point. I'd add that Meddy's forehand return is generally flat, which Novak exploited by serving & volleying in Paris. But again, not many players are comfortable doing that because they don't do it in their other matches.

    It's like Fed said after he got his black RF97 and could hit over his backhand more frequently, roughly "I used to have to change my game when I played Rafa. But now I hit over the backhand more when I play right-handers, so I don't have to change when I play Rafa." He's won 7 of 8 since then.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Meddy is a tough player to beat but as Lendl once said, every player has a weakness. The trouble with top players is weaknesses aren't always easy to see and exploit and subtle methods are sometimes required.

    Meddy's weakness is perhaps his forehand return of serve. Novak has exploited this well at times because he has a good wide serve to the deuce court, which he uses to good effect, better than most servers. His wide serve to the deuce court puts Meddy in trouble because he prefers to return from way back and he gets pulled right off court if he doesn't watch it. To counter Novak's wide serve, Meddy has to then stand in much closer to return, and it is here Novak gets to Meddy's weakness. Meddy has late preparation on his forehand return of serve and makes errors because of it. He often gets too close to ball or doesn't hit it as cleanly. Novak twigged all this a while back.

    It's not much to go at but in pro tennis winning margins are often incredibly small.
    Last edited by stotty; 01-27-2022, 01:50 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • arturohernandez
    replied
    Originally posted by jimlosaltos View Post
    Let me try again after some thought on how to articulate this.

    See if this makes any sense.

    Top ATP players of late all have certain patterns of play we see over and over. The inside-out forehand attacking the backhand. High-topspin to the backhand.

    Attacking the second serve by hitting deep up the middle.

    Hard serves to the four corners.

    Daniil is optimized, through skill and tactically to neutralize the standard patterns of play. The stuff that hurts him, is out of favor.

    I wrote some time back that Djokovic appeared flustered on second serve returns when he lost to Daniil in NY. The Russian hits just enough first-serves-as-second to keep Novak from having the confidence to move in.

    As for hitting high to his backhand, or there at all, Daniil is 6 ft 6 in, nobody can get the ball up on his backhand short of moon balls, and his backhand is a backboard.

    The way to attack players returning from the back wall is either 1) serve & volley (a dying art) or 2) serve short and wide ( something few of the top guys do much of, outside of Federer. Some can do it on one side, such as Rafa to the ad court, Tsitsipas to the deuce).

    And for the other players that return serve from the back wall, Daniil has one of the best, wide sliders around.

    So, most of the top players have to change their games and go outside their comfort zone to beat Medvedev. We saw Djokovic in Paris beat Medvedev by mixing in some serve and volley play. But he's not really comfortable there, so it's hard to imagine him doing that over best of 5.

    Fed is 3-0 vs Medvedev, but that's all before Medy raised his level.

    We'll see how Tsitsipas can do vs Peak Medy. So far Stef is only 2 -6 H2H, BUT he's won two of the last three: Roland Garros quarterfinals last year, and 2019 London O2 WTF.

    #
    Great analysis! Now I get it. It is like Barty on the women's side. She neutralizes everyone's patterns. They are taught to hit hard and go for corners. Barty takes the backhand to the corner and neutralizes it over and over again. Then she just waits for the forehand and hits it to the open court. She also opens the court extremely well with the forehand. Suddenly, no one knows what to do. They are just not prepared to play her. My guess is that if a woman played like Meddy, she would find a bunch of ways to make her pay. She could even S&V very well if necessary.

    Cressy took Medvedev to four sets. And each set was close. The thing is that Cressy is a very tall guy playing a smaller guys game. It can work but it is limited.

    I think Fed would have a field day with Medy if both at their peaks. There is just no way to play that far back. If he moves in, then it is Fed's advantage inside the court. FAA seemed to bother Medy with some shots at his body. Now imagine having to do that constantly with the ball coming at you quickly. Medy would not be able to get out of the way fast enough. Fed would be rushing him all the time a la Ali (fly like butterfly, sting like a bee).

    Medy plays to neutralize people which is very effective. But then he began to attack FAA. He is not afraid to change his game to harass other players. FAA did not serve and volley much and he just seems not as competent inside the court. I keep coming back to the 1hbh creating the concept of moving into the court. It has to be hit way out in front and that teaches a player that playing inside the court is an advantage.

    Tsitisipas looked short against Sinner. He is a one hander. It should be very interesting!

    Will cross post in the AO thread.

    Leave a comment:


  • jimlosaltos
    replied
    Let me try again after some thought on how to articulate this.

    See if this makes any sense.

    Top ATP players of late all have certain patterns of play we see over and over. The inside-out forehand attacking the backhand. High-topspin to the backhand.

    Attacking the second serve by hitting deep up the middle.

    Hard serves to the four corners.

    Daniil is optimized, through skill and tactically to neutralize the standard patterns of play. The stuff that hurts him, is out of favor.

    I wrote some time back that Djokovic appeared flustered on second serve returns when he lost to Daniil in NY. The Russian hits just enough first-serves-as-second to keep Novak from having the confidence to move in.

    As for hitting high to his backhand, or there at all, Daniil is 6 ft 6 in, nobody can get the ball up on his backhand short of moon balls, and his backhand is a backboard.

    The way to attack players returning from the back wall is either 1) serve & volley (a dying art) or 2) serve short and wide ( something few of the top guys do much of, outside of Federer. Some can do it on one side, such as Rafa to the ad court, Tsitsipas to the deuce).

    And for the other players that return serve from the back wall, Daniil has one of the best, wide sliders around.

    So, most of the top players have to change their games and go outside their comfort zone to beat Medvedev. We saw Djokovic in Paris beat Medvedev by mixing in some serve and volley play. But he's not really comfortable there, so it's hard to imagine him doing that over best of 5.

    Fed is 3-0 vs Medvedev, but that's all before Medy raised his level.

    We'll see how Tsitsipas can do vs Peak Medy. So far Stef is only 2 -6 H2H, BUT he's won two of the last three: Roland Garros quarterfinals last year, and 2019 London O2 WTF.

    #

    Leave a comment:


  • stroke
    replied
    To beat Medvedev, a player needs a good looking winners to errors stat line for each set he wins, whether he needs 2 or 3 sets to win the match.
    Last edited by stroke; 01-26-2022, 03:30 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • jimlosaltos
    replied
    Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post

    So, is Danil a different type of player for which we have no mold and thus the next big champion? or is he too far out of the mold to handle the strain needed to win multiple slams?

    I am starting to wonder if he is a transitional champion before the next dominant player emerges. He is very tall and I can imagine that the height will lead to a lot of wear and tear relative to someone with less body to carry around. To be able to move well at his height requires him to be thin which could also make it hard on him long run. The model is a very strong set of legs and torso with thinner upper bodies and arms. Danil is thin all over. There was another champion who was super thin like him, Guga Kuerten. Eventually, Guga threw his hip out and could not play anymore.

    Djokovic is not nearly as violent in his strokes. He is thin but at his height has managed to get very strong legs. So Guga is a bit like Djokovic.

    He is so intriguing as a player and clearly shows that being different (Fed watching the ball and playing all court tennis, Nadal's forehand and odd backhand, Djokovic's incredible flexibility) is part of being a top player. We can go on and on. Agassi at the baseline with incredible timing. Sampras's serve. Borg's wicked topspin.

    Champions seem to be unconventional in some ways.

    Maybe, his biggest asset is his unconventionality.

    I am on the fence here. Help!
    A couple of different subjects there. Thinking out loud here.

    One possible key to Djokovic's relative durability, which he has credited to his early mentor Yugoslav tennis player Jelena Genči, is to emphasize flexibility over strength. Genci told him "not to work out too much".

    Medvedev seems to also work a lot on flexibility.

    By contrast, Jelena Jankovic and Ernests Gulbis both worked with a trainer from Florida that bulked them up so much, they lost movement -- and basically a career year -- when they had to un-redesign their bodies.

    As for match-ups, top players are accustomed to being able to attack others weakest areas with their strengths, isolate them and attack, if you will.

    Medvedev seems to be uniquely adept at neutralizing that. Great serve? He's at the back wall. Attack backhands? His is a brick wall.

    Want to play rope-a-dope, Medy can do that then switch from offense to defense with a couple of those giant, gangly steps.

    Where does one attack him? Maybe his forehand.

    Leave a comment:


  • arturohernandez
    replied
    Originally posted by jimlosaltos View Post
    Enjoyed Matt's piece as always.

    One aspect of Danill's game I'd say might be unique, is his ability not "just" to hit a wide variety of shots and hit them all extremely well, but his ability to hit a change-of-pace shot he hasn't tried all match long for the first time on a crucial break or match point and somehow hit it well.

    I recall Medy facing match point and trying to serve and volley for the first time all day long and, of course, making it look natural.

    Another time, I recall him facing break point and hitting his first drop shot of the match, for an outright winner.

    Bail out shot, the announcers were undoubtedly ready to say if he missed. But he didn't / doesn't.

    What does it take to do that? Ice water in your veins? Unique muscle memory that "wakes up" whenever the synapses order them to work?

    Got me. It's fun to watch.
    So, is Danil a different type of player for which we have no mold and thus the next big champion? or is he too far out of the mold to handle the strain needed to win multiple slams?

    I am starting to wonder if he is a transitional champion before the next dominant player emerges. He is very tall and I can imagine that the height will lead to a lot of wear and tear relative to someone with less body to carry around. To be able to move well at his height requires him to be thin which could also make it hard on him long run. The model is a very strong set of legs and torso with thinner upper bodies and arms. Danil is thin all over. There was another champion who was super thin like him, Guga Kuerten. Eventually, Guga threw his hip out and could not play anymore.

    Djokovic is not nearly as violent in his strokes. He is thin but at his height has managed to get very strong legs. So Guga is a bit like Djokovic.

    He is so intriguing as a player and clearly shows that being different (Fed watching the ball and playing all court tennis, Nadal's forehand and odd backhand, Djokovic's incredible flexibility) is part of being a top player. We can go on and on. Agassi at the baseline with incredible timing. Sampras's serve. Borg's wicked topspin.

    Champions seem to be unconventional in some ways.

    Maybe, his biggest asset is his unconventionality.

    I am on the fence here. Help!

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Never a good idea to play drop shots at the start of a match like Novak sometime does. The nerves are often jangling early on and it's better to settle into a match first and wait until one has the calmness to play shots requiring touch. That's another of Novak's mysteries. These things are well known in tennis yet he'll do them anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • stroke
    replied
    Originally posted by jimlosaltos View Post

    I'd answer more generally: Every time an ATP pro hits a drop shot the TV analysts say it "was a bail out shot". I'd cite Djokovic in French vs Nadal 2 years ago, but only from hazy memory. When he got blitzed by Rafa, he went to a lot of droppers and hit the middle of the net repeatedly.
    I certainly remember that match. Novak to me was just not on the mood to me to play the hard hat tennis necessary to maybe beat Nadal on the day.

    Leave a comment:


  • jimlosaltos
    replied
    Originally posted by doctorhl View Post
    Jim, can you think of any pro in particular that is an example of someone who usually “ misses” change of pace shots and more importantly, why? Federer sure knew how and when to use change of pace effectively,
    I'd answer more generally: Every time an ATP pro hits a drop shot the TV analysts say it "was a bail out shot". I'd cite Djokovic in French vs Nadal 2 years ago, but only from hazy memory. When he got blitzed by Rafa, he went to a lot of droppers and hit the middle of the net repeatedly.

    Leave a comment:


  • doctorhl
    replied
    Jim, can you think of any pro in particular that is an example of someone who usually “ misses” change of pace shots and more importantly, why? Federer sure knew how and when to use change of pace effectively,

    Leave a comment:


  • jimlosaltos
    replied
    Enjoyed Matt's piece as always.

    One aspect of Danill's game I'd say might be unique, is his ability not "just" to hit a wide variety of shots and hit them all extremely well, but his ability to hit a change-of-pace shot he hasn't tried all match long for the first time on a crucial break or match point and somehow hit it well.

    I recall Medy facing match point and trying to serve and volley for the first time all day long and, of course, making it look natural.

    Another time, I recall him facing break point and hitting his first drop shot of the match, for an outright winner.

    Bail out shot, the announcers were undoubtedly ready to say if he missed. But he didn't / doesn't.

    What does it take to do that? Ice water in your veins? Unique muscle memory that "wakes up" whenever the synapses order them to work?

    Got me. It's fun to watch.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnyandell
    started a topic Daniil Medvedev

    Daniil Medvedev

    Let's discuss Matt Cronin's article, "Daniil Medvedev"

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