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The Murray and Djokovic Era?

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Emma Jean
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #90 on: October 24, 2012, 05:12 PM »
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Nole aside - who is Andy's biggest rival in general? Who's simply capable of beating Andy at his best? He's got comfortable lead over Federer. Against Nadal, it's quite the opposite. Very close contest between Nole and Andy and some not so good H2H vs Berdych, Raonic etc.

I'd personally line them up this way:

1. Rafael Nadal
2. Tomas Berdych
3. Roger Federer
4. Novak Djokovic
5. Milos Raonic

Since, you know, I hate Sampras with a vengeance, I’d say his biggest rival was Richard Krajicek followed by Wayne Ferreira and Michael Stich.
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TheMadHatter
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #91 on: October 24, 2012, 05:49 PM »
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...you really think Berdych can beat Andy when he's at his best? Really? And that Federer has a better chance than Djokovic?

On a hard or grass court, only Djokovic is capable of beating Andy at his best.. Nadal possibly but Andy's improved so much since their last match it's hard to say. The hard part is keeping that consistency up or finding that level. Once he does, he tends to be quite unstoppable.

On clay, at his best, Andy can go toe-to-toe with the best (see 2011). Obviously though he tends to struggle to find that level or anywhere near it, hence defeats to any top accomplished clay courters (Ferrer, Berdych, Gasquet, etc).
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Sabine
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #92 on: October 25, 2012, 02:26 PM »
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I don't really agree with that order Emma..
I would have given it as

1. Rafael Nadal
2. Novak Djokovic
3. Roger Federer
4. Tomas Berdych
5. Milos Raonic
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Emma Jean
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #93 on: October 25, 2012, 04:08 PM »
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...you really think Berdych can beat Andy when he's at his best? Really? And that Federer has a better chance than Djokovic?

On a hard or grass court, only Djokovic is capable of beating Andy at his best.. Nadal possibly but Andy's improved so much since their last match it's hard to say. The hard part is keeping that consistency up or finding that level. Once he does, he tends to be quite unstoppable.

On clay, at his best, Andy can go toe-to-toe with the best (see 2011). Obviously though he tends to struggle to find that level or anywhere near it, hence defeats to any top accomplished clay courters (Ferrer, Berdych, Gasquet, etc).

Though Sampras struggled against the likes of Krajicek, Ferreira etc. this did not mean that they were better than Sampras as a player, but there is such a thing called “match-ups” and sometimes certain players could give you all sorts of trouble, even when you are at your best and a better player altogether, so my take on these are loosely based on this certain criteria.

But this also doesn’t mean that Berdych is always going to get away with it against Andy - just like both Krajicek and Ferreira never had supreme control over Sampras, but sometimes, these sorts of players possess the ability to beat you even when you are at your best. Soderling, for example, would fall into that category because the likes of these players fall under that “uncertainty” category, which plays a big role IMO. They are simply dangerous against certain players due to match-ups no matter how high your game is and how mentally together you are.

Federer’s career is near end and so what we have in hand is the actual truth as opposed to Nole, where things are still not certain due to the fact that, both are of same age and have still a long way to go and it seems to me, Andy has better mental control over things against Nole than Federer; after all, his first slam came against Nole. Even a much older Federer was proved to be much deadly against Andy at Wimbledon just this year. Olympic medal has a different tone to it as Andy was able to pull himself away from that pressure he usually feels and was able take himself to a different zone. If that zone was his usual level, then he wouldn’t have struggled so much and be on and off in each round at the Open, so obviously, that wasn’t the case.  If anything, it was Andy’s normal self.

Nadal is obviously Andy’s No. 1 dangerous and consistent nemesis. This is due the fact that, Nadal robs Andy emotionally whereas both Federer and Berdych tend to beat Andy based on their game. Against Nole, it comes to down to mostly physical. We have to take everything into account especially the mental aspect of things when we compare these players against each other. Andy can’t only be at his best. I am assuming the other players are also at their best.

Federer’s No. 1 enemy is without a shred of a doubt Nadal and Nadal’s, Djokovic. Neither are better players than Federer but they are difficult match-ups for their opponents. Andy just might become Djokovic's No. 1 nemesis, as it has the massive potential for it but until he realizes it or experiences it, it actually is a moot point, but you can see why I believe Federer is a bigger threat than Djokovic – because against Federer, it has already happened.    
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TheMadHatter
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #94 on: October 25, 2012, 05:16 PM »
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You don't need to lecture me on match-ups EJ. I just don't think Berdych would or ever has beaten Andy when the latter has been at his best. A couple of his wins were on the clay, and another was in Paris last year when Andy had a clear wrist injury. What was the other?

Fact is the top 4 are better players and when they are playing at their best, no-one else is going to beat them.

Sure, there will be players who are capable of troubling them, but then they're not at their best are they..
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janetx
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #95 on: October 25, 2012, 05:35 PM »
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I think Fed was mainly a threat to Andy due to a mental glitch Andy had in the past. But Andy has ALWAYS matched up well against Fed, and could beat him in his prime back in 2006. Andy would just cave in during the big matches, i.e., slams. But now that he's got that behind him I don't think it's an issue, and I think Andy can beat Fed anywhere.

On the contrary, with Andy and Nole it's always been almost 50-50, as they match up very evenly. I think theirs will be an exciting rivalry specifically because of this. And I think, due to the physical nature of play, AND due to their excellent returns, they could push each other to learn to finish points sooner and serve better as they'll need that to conquer each other, so interesting developments could be afoot!

Andy's most seriously rivalry is with Rafa, because I think Rafa has him in his pocket with the buddy/respect thing. Andy needs to get over it because personally I think he has the game to beat Rafa consistently on hard, and probably on grass too.

I think while Andy and Nole are friendly, given that they've grown up playing each other, when they get on the court, they really want to prove something - i.e., I got you this time! They are same generation and so each will want to assert themselves.

With Rafa, while he's in their age group, it's almost like he is more of a contemporary of Fed's, and with Fed's decline, we might see Rafa's shortly thereafter, though I think a lot depends, with him, on injuries and how he manages his schedule going forward. Because he took off almost half a year this year, he has a good chance to get back to the top next year because all of his points from Wimbledon on will be gravy...
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Emma Jean
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #96 on: October 25, 2012, 05:42 PM »
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You don't need to lecture me on match-ups EJ. I just don't think Berdych would or ever has beaten Andy when the latter has been at his best. A couple of his wins were on the clay, and another was in Paris last year when Andy had a clear wrist injury. What was the other?

Fact is the top 4 are better players and when they are playing at their best, no-one else is going to beat them.

I wasn't "lecturing" you but was just showing you what my criteria was based on. This is simply my take not the ultimate truth. You either agree or disagree but you can do it without being condescending. And once you do that, you will be able to see that it wasn’t a personal attack but was just a general post.

Anyway, the truth of the matter is, even if Berdych does go on to beat Andy at his best, there will always be a set of excuses for Andy losing to him. Again, as I said, it’s not like Berdych will beat Andy each time but one time or another, he’ll get one or two too and it’s simply because, Berdych has what it takes to trouble both Andy and Federer, but he isn't as clear-cut a nemesis as Nadal is to Andy. But in this case, like Berdych, one time or another Andy will get some wins over Nadal as well. In other words, if I were to line up Nadal's rivals, Andy too would belong to that list but obviously not before Nole.

As to your highlighted line, that's not true. Both Soderling and Berdych have done it and quite a few have done it in the past. No one is utterly invincible. I honestly don't know where people get this sort of conviction. This feels more like a tardy comment and making top four holier than thou or something. Ferreira wasn't at all Sampras' caliber but hey, that doesn't mean he can't do it on a match-up basis as he had done so quite a few times. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves.
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Emma Jean
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #97 on: October 25, 2012, 05:51 PM »
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I think Fed was mainly a threat to Andy due to a mental glitch Andy had in the past. But Andy has ALWAYS matched up well against Fed, and could beat him in his prime back in 2006. Andy would just cave in during the big matches, i.e., slams. But now that he's got that behind him I don't think it's an issue, and I think Andy can beat Fed anywhere.

On the contrary, with Andy and Nole it's always been almost 50-50, as they match up very evenly. I think theirs will be an exciting rivalry specifically because of this. And I think, due to the physical nature of play, AND due to their excellent returns, they could push each other to learn to finish points sooner and serve better as they'll need that to conquer each other, so interesting developments could be afoot!

Andy's most seriously rivalry is with Rafa, because I think Rafa has him in his pocket with the buddy/respect thing. Andy needs to get over it because personally I think he has the game to beat Rafa consistently on hard, and probably on grass too.

I think while Andy and Nole are friendly, given that they've grown up playing each other, when they get on the court, they really want to prove something - i.e., I got you this time! They are same generation and so each will want to assert themselves.

With Rafa, while he's in their age group, it's almost like he is more of a contemporary of Fed's, and with Fed's decline, we might see Rafa's shortly thereafter, though I think a lot depends, with him, on injuries and how he manages his schedule going forward. Because he took off almost half a year this year, he has a good chance to get back to the top next year because all of his points from Wimbledon on will be gravy...

Andy was mental in general, true, but Andy hasn’t matched up well against Federer at Slam level and at the end of day, Federer is still comfortably sitting with a 3-0 lead over Andy in Slams. Besides, mental pressure is just part of the deal. There are bunch of players who have fantastic game but can’t take it to the big guys due to their mental game which is very weak. It's simply a part of the game.
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #98 on: October 25, 2012, 06:03 PM »
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The main reason that Nadal is the biggest threat to Andy might not be
due only to the psychological edge Nadal has over him, it might be because he just isn't aggressive enough for long enough when they play together. Particularly on the FH side. Although i can see how that will still partially be a psychological issue.
When he played Nadal last year at Wimbledon, very aggressively for the first set & a half, Rafa was clearly on the ropes.
It was only when Andy blinked that Nadal managed to reassert himself & pull through.
At least a lack of aggression may have been the problem in the past. The way I see it Andy and Lendl's training block should be focused around developing his game to neutralise Rafa's.
And with the way his game has been developing this year I would say that is exactly what they are doing.
Clearly its been good for Andy to have a breather from Nadal as he could have been a threat to Andy's maiden slam status.
I will be interested to see if he can now push on at least on the hardcourts against Rafa as he really should be able to now.
And with a little encouragement, he could also do so at Wimbledon.
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #99 on: October 25, 2012, 06:32 PM »
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Andy was mental in general, true, but Andy hasn’t matched up well against Federer at Slam level and at the end of day, Federer is still comfortably sitting with a 3-0 lead over Andy in Slams. Besides, mental pressure is just part of the deal. There are bunch of players who have fantastic game but can’t take it to the big guys due to their mental game which is very weak. It's simply a part of the game.

I would add physical ability to that also... part of a player sustaining a challenge against the 'top' players requires the same or greater physical ability...as well as mental and tennis ability. Defficiency in any of those areas means they are unlikley to be challenging for winning major tournos.
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TheMadHatter
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #100 on: October 25, 2012, 06:43 PM »
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I wasn't "lecturing" you but was just showing you what my criteria was based on. This is simply my take not the ultimate truth. You either agree or disagree but you can do it without being condescending. And once you do that, you will be able to see that it wasn’t a personal attack but was just a general post.

Anyway, the truth of the matter is, even if Berdych does go on to beat Andy at his best, there will always be a set of excuses for Andy losing to him. Again, as I said, it’s not like Berdych will beat Andy each time but one time or another, he’ll get one or two too and it’s simply because, Berdych has what it takes to trouble both Andy and Federer, but he isn't as clear-cut a nemesis as Nadal is to Andy. But in this case, like Berdych, one time or another Andy will get some wins over Nadal as well. In other words, if I were to line up Nadal's rivals, Andy too would belong to that list but obviously not before Nole.

As to your highlighted line, that's not true. Both Soderling and Berdych have done it and quite a few have done it in the past. No one is utterly invincible. I honestly don't know where people get this sort of conviction. This feels more like a tardy comment and making top four holier than thou or something. Ferreira wasn't at all Sampras' caliber but hey, that doesn't mean he can't do it on a match-up basis as he had done so quite a few times. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves.

When? When have Soderling or Berdych ever beaten one of the top 4 when the top 4 player has been at their best?
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #101 on: October 25, 2012, 06:45 PM »
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EJ I don't understand your reasoning at all - this 3-0 lead by Fed in slams is very much a thing of the past. I can't see this happening in the future and the Commentators at Basel were asked who would they put as the seeded players, 2 put Nole as #1 and Andy 2# Fed as 3# and 1  put Andy as #1 Nole 2# and Fed 3#, those who put Nole as 1# said it could equally be Andy as #1, no one put Fed as #1. So watching how he has struggled through lesser players in Basel they can see the writing on the wall. The last 2 meetings between Fed and Andy have shown that the latter has beaten the former easily, and that Andy is in Feds head.
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #102 on: October 26, 2012, 03:42 AM »
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^ I agree michelle, in that I think the 3-0 lead Fed has over Murray in slams is over and it is not a good reflection of how their games match up.

2008 USO - it was Murray's first final AND he'd played a longer semi over 2 days versus Rafa. So nerves and fatigue could've been a factor.
2010 USO - Murray began so slowly!!! He blew those first 2 sets, being passive, but when he started to loosen up and play well he had Fed on the ropes in the third set.
2012 Wimbledon - We all know how close this was, and I think the roof could definitely have helped Fed.

The point is that it's NOT a match up thing to my mind. It was mainly tension and other circumstances. Their H2H shows that Andy has typically been able to master Fed's game.

theycanbillme, Fair enough; I can see that the Murray/Nadal rivalry may not be just a psychological issue but there may be other factors, such as aggression, to consider as well. I think you're probably right that Lendl would be zoning in on these.

I still maintain that the Nole/Muzz rivalry is the least easy to predict as their games match up and they mentally match up and they physically match up well! It could evolve nicely, with both pushing each other to evolve and try new tactics.

That's what I think and hope!  Fingers crossed  thumb up

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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #103 on: October 26, 2012, 01:15 PM »
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When? When have Soderling or Berdych ever beaten one of the top 4 when the top 4 player has been at their best?

Good question.
I don't think that has actually happened. Berdych had beaten Fed in that awesome 4-set match in Wimby QF but I don't think Fed was really at his best.
Cant remember that match...maybe I was too excited  Think
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Emma Jean
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Re: The Murray and Djokovic Era? « Reply #104 on: October 26, 2012, 03:59 PM »
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When I say “Andy at his best”, which Andy do you see? The Olympic Andy who basically ran everyone down including Federer, or the one at the USO where he struggled in every other round and the final was no different? After all he squandered 6 set points to win the 2nd set and then went on to lose the 3rd and 4th set and won the 5th after Nole finally gave up? So which one are you talking about or thinking of? Because the Andy in Olympics doesn’t always show up – doesn’t even show up half the times.  

When I put both Berdych and Federer before Djokovic, I also kept that in mind (along with match-up factor) because our Andy is not an aggressive player by any means and that’s why he has more chances against Nole than Berdych or Federer as they have both similar style and this gives Andy a fair chance to hold Nole off for a while. This is isn’t the case with either Berdych or Federer.

And you guys talk about Federer being a problem in the past mostly due to Andy’s mental problem you say, but Wimbledon happened just this year? Andy was almost 2 sets to love up against Federer – what happened then? Was it really the roof or was it the fact that, Andy became a bit passive after again squandering a few break points and remained that way until he lost? So it won’t be a fair game if you say that’s Andy with still his mental problems, when clearly Federer took the wind away from him by being really aggressive towards the end of 2nd set. Sure, NOW Federer isn’t a problem but you will also have take into account that, NOW Federer isn’t a young person either. He has too many years and too many titles behind him and he just might not be as motivated as he used to be.

And you may beg to differ, but I am very convinced that Berdych is a bigger threat for Andy than Nole simply because Berdych at his best is no joke and is very problematic for Andy’s game.  And there’s no reason to take one particular surface into account to make a stronger case for Andy. It has to be all surfaces and all H2Hs related or at least that’s how I meant originally anyway.

And Andy’s mental problem is part of his deal. We have no way of knowing how Nadal or Sampras or Federer would have done if they were from the same country as well. Maybe they would have been just as much unaffected by it all or maybe they too would have felt the same pressure, but somehow I doubt it. I strictly believe that some people are just born that way - with that sort of mindset - and no matter where you put them; they still overcome all those obstacles fairly easily because they are so single minded and they can envision their future and how they want to see themselves. Andy’s case wasn’t the same. He wasn’t even sure what he wanted to achieve at first. He simply wanted to go with the flow and see where he fit in all that. So one can actually deduct that maybe he is simply not that mentally strong enough. In fact, when people talk about mental strength of a player, they tend to side with both Sampras and Nadal with Sampras being at the top. This isn’t a theory. His results especially in the Major finals speak for it. So what I am hinting is that, it’s quite possible that Andy at his best is probably not as mentally strong as Nadal or Federer or even Nole.

The truth of the matter is, we haven’t seen Andy at this best yet. I am talking about Andy who plays the same consistent game always - be it passive or aggressive. If we can’t pinpoint that, it’s hard to rate his game altogether and mark it as “Andy at his best”; therefore, any argument will have a major hole in it.
[ Last edit by Emma Jean October 26, 2012, 04:05 PM ] IP Logged
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