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Gollum

Tennis: Construct the ideal player using skill set of members of Big 3

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To all tennis fans here, this is fairly self-explanatory. Choose the best among the Big 3 in various attributes like serve, ROS, FH etc. Pick the peak versions of the players. 

 

Ofc this might sound silly because grips and technique won't change so fluidly to accommodate the varying styles, just for fun. Aim is to construct the perfect player combining qualities of these 3 titans. 

 

I'll begin:

Serve- Federer in every aspect of it, variety, placement, precision, tactics, 1st/2nd serve etc

ROS- Djokovic

Standard FH- Federer

Inside Out, Down the Line FH- Nadal

Standard BH- Djokovic

BH DTL- Djokovic

BH CC- Nadal

BH Slice- Federer

Volley- Federer (Nadal's net game is underrated but doesn't make impossible volleys like the Swiss...less variety as well)

Half-Volley- Federer

One-two punch- Federer

Speed- Nadal

Stamina- Nadal

Defence- Djokovic, except on clay where Nadal reigns supreme because of his movement

Footwork- Federer

Touch- Federer

Smash- Federer

Dropshot- Federer

Lob- Djokovic

Tweener, SABR, trick shots etc- Federer

Pick up- Nadal

Change of direction- Djokovic

Flexibility/Stretchability- Djokovic

Tennis IQ- Nadal

Patience- Nadal

Defence to Offence transition- Djokovic

Depth and angles in groundstrokes- Djokovic

BP conversion- Djokovic, except on clay where Nadal is untouchable

Mental Toughness, nerves- Djokovic

Luck- Nadal (sorry couldn't resist :p:)

 

Feel free to add more features/attributes/shots I may have missed.

Edited by Gollum

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If you add Murray, Wawrinka as members of Big 5, would they make entry anywhere? 

Surely Murray's lob, a close second in ROS though against big servers like Isner and Kyrgios he is better than Nole.

Stan's CC BH? And a new attribute 'Power'. The Big 3 (+Murray) rely more on timing, redirection, spin, angles, placement....not brutish, flat, powerful groundstrokes like Stan. 

Edited by Gollum

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Djokovic's lob is overrated I feel. Murray's is one of the best. ROS Murray a close second to Djokovic but not by much. 

 

Stan's BH is certainly the most powerful and flashier and capable of producing more outright winners. But consistency wise Djokovic, Murray, Nadal on clay, Fed's slice and neo backhand post racquet change are better. But Stan's killer OHBH would be amazing to have and stylish to see plays. 

What about fitness? The Big 3 plus Murray and Wawrinka as well are some of the fittest players on tour. But they've all been plagued by injuries , but Fed's fitness and style would be preferred as it's least physical and more outlasting than all of them. There's a reason why he never retired from a match and rarely given walkovers and withdrawals. 

 

Everything else is spot on. Almost everything is either Fed or Nole. Shows how far Nadal is behind the two. On Clay he's better than both in almost every aspect. He becomes god-like, which is puzzling because earlier in his career (before 2004) he used to say in his interviews he preferred hard and grass courts to clay, he didn't like clay much.

 

Another fun topic would be making a player out of the big 3's(or big 4-5 if you include the other 2) weaknesses in their games and seeing how they would rank. Would they stil be top 20? Top 50 even?

Edited by I6MTW

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Yeah Fed's fitness should be another component in the 'ideal' player we seek to construct. And his longevity, maybe only Connors could match him there but high performance+longevity is Fed's territory. 

 

Nadal's success on clay can be attributed to his court coverage/movement (slides and stretches even better than Nole), speed, stamina, error-free (low risk, high net clearance, rarely the need to paint the lines) tennis and infinite patience which combine to form an impenetrable defensive wall.  On PC since the hoardings are so behind the baseline he can camp well back and play ping pong. Elsewhere where the gap is less and he is forced to remain closer to the baseline he isn't that unbeatable cos one can hit through him or force him to scamper thus drawing errors. PC is designed for Nadal, everything going his way. Plus that high bounce on clay which makes his topspin FH one of the deadliest weapons in tennis history, how long can an opponent play the BH from shoulder level without dropping it short (and weak) and/or losing energy reserves. As Roddick said..'Chinese water torture'. Almost an impossibility to counter with 1HBH unless you are a 7 foot giant, but then footwork/movement becomes an issue. Better for 2HBH but even there only Nole knew how to counter. 

 

Interesting idea about combining their weaknesses, a far tougher task to construct and rank the ensuing model.

Edited by Gollum

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34 minutes ago, Gollum said:

Yeah Fed's fitness should be another component in the 'ideal' player we seek to construct. And his longevity, maybe only Connors could match him there but high performance+longevity is Fed's territory. 

 

Nadal's success on clay can be attributed to his court coverage/movement (slides and stretches even better than Nole), speed, stamina, error-free (low risk, high net clearance, rarely the need to paint the lines) tennis and infinite patience which combine to form an impenetrable defensive wall.  On PC since the hoardings are so behind the baseline he can camp well back and play ping pong. Elsewhere where the gap is less and he is forced to remain closer to the baseline he isn't that unbeatable cos one can hit through him or force him to scamper thus drawing errors. PC is designed for Nadal, everything going his way. Plus that high bounce on clay which makes his topspin FH one of the deadliest weapons in tennis history, how long can an opponent play the BH from shoulder level without dropping it short (and weak) and/or losing energy reserves. As Roddick said..'Chinese water torture'. Almost an impossibility to counter with 1HBH unless you are a 7 foot giant, but then footwork/movement becomes an issue. Better for 2HBH but even there only Nole knew how to counter. 

 

Interesting idea about combining their weaknesses, a far tougher task to construct and rank the ensuing model.

Weaknesses:

2nd Serve: Murray

ROS: Wawrinka

Backhand: Nadal(off clay), maybe pre racquet Federer

Mental Strength: Federer

Fitness: Nadal I guess? Maybe Murray, he seems to have carrer threatening injuries after a great season. 

These are the only weaknesses on the top of my mind. 

What about 1st serve, forehand, movement ,footwork, stamina etc. 

 

Tough to say

 

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45 minutes ago, I6MTW said:

Weaknesses:

2nd Serve: Murray

ROS: Wawrinka

Backhand: Nadal(off clay), maybe pre racquet Federer

Mental Strength: Federer

Fitness: Nadal I guess? Maybe Murray, he seems to have carrer threatening injuries after a great season. 

These are the only weaknesses on the top of my mind. 

What about 1st serve, forehand, movement ,footwork, stamina etc. 

 

Tough to say

Easier if we include Stan and Murray in the conversation. Agree with your choices.....

1st serve: Maybe Nadal before 2010 (outside clay), or Murray

FH: Murray or present version of shanking Federer, Nole doesn't have a killer FH but sometimes I feel Murray counter punches it like Wozniacki..zero firepower

Movement (speed, change in direction): Stan

Footwork: Stan

Stamina: maybe Stan...cos Fed's energy efficiency and tactics/variety compensate for his (relative) lack of stamina, doesn't need to grind that much

Smash: Nole

Net game: I think Stan again, but Nole isn't that good either...I'll stick with Stan

Slice: Nole

BP conversion: Federer

Defence to Offence transition: Murray

Touch: Nole

Tennis IQ: may seem harsh but Fed? His shot selection baffles me sometimes, or is he too smart for his own good like Ashwin?

Patience: Federer

Power: Murray

Defence: Stan

Pick up: Stan

Luck: Federer

 

Can't make up my mind about lob, dropshot, trick shots, depth/angle of groundies etc.  

Edited by Gollum

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8 hours ago, I6MTW said:

Everything else is spot on. Almost everything is either Fed or Nole. Shows how far Nadal is behind the two. 

I think Nadal also has the least weaknesses. Fed and Nole dominate the 'best qualities' list but Nadal makes least number of appearances in 'weaknesses' list.....Nole and Fed the opposite. This is interesting and I hadn't given this much thought earlier. Nadal seems to be someone who minimizes his weaknesses as opposed to further solidifying his strengths. For instance being primarily a clay courter his net game (almost non-existent when he burst on the scene) is supposed to be his weakest suit but he is solid and probably (distant) 2nd only to Fed. Someone like Fed has tremendous firepower but more chinks in his armour than he would like. 

Edited by Gollum

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40 minutes ago, Gollum said:

I think Nadal also has the least weaknesses. Fed and Nole dominate the 'best qualities' list but Nadal makes least number of appearances in 'weaknesses' list.....Nole and Fed the opposite. This is interesting and I hadn't given this much thought earlier. Nadal seems to be someone who minimizes his weaknesses as opposed to further solidifying his strengths. For instance being primarily a clay courter his net game (almost non-existent when he burst on the scene) is supposed to be his weakest suit but he is solid and probably (distant) 2nd only to Fed. Someone like Fed has tremendous firepower but more chinks in his armour than he would like. 

Most of the weaknesses from Fed are because of his OHBH, which is why his ROS, shot making, shanking, pretty much all of his major weaknesses are because of his OHBH indirectly. Nadal and Nole have 2HBH. So they have lesser weaknesses. Same with Stan, OHBH, so more weaknesses. Only Murray with a 2HBH has more weakness than a strong IHBHer.

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3 hours ago, Muloghonto said:

The perfect tennis player is one who has the ROS of Novak/Agassi, bulldog determination and stamina of Rafa , second serve of Pete Sampras and everything else of Federer 

Even Fed's BH, movement (speed, pick up, change of direction...), tennis IQ, defence, patience, flexibility etc?

I think even in 1st serve Sampras was superior, but maybe stats a bit inflated owing to higher average court speed back then.

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9 hours ago, Muloghonto said:

The perfect tennis player is one who has the ROS of Novak/Agassi, bulldog determination and stamina of Rafa , second serve of Pete Sampras and everything else of Federer 

Replace mental strength, determination and stamina of Rafa with Nole. 

Rafa's mental strength is overrated, sure he had the unusual never give up atitude and endless stamina when he first came onto the scene , but in the past decade it has been Novak who has shown resilience and determination to overcome his biggest rivals. Plus Novak has better stamina than Rafa at both of their physical peaks. He played 3 back to back 5 hours matches and won a GS, I forgot which tournament it was. 

 

Mental strength of Rafa has been overrated over the years. Initially he deserved the praise, but he has choked and shown fear against certain opponents over the past years. Rafa fears Novak. Since 2017, he feared Federer. He has a mental block against Kyrgios, he totally disrupts his rhythm. Then there is Fognini their rivalry is similar to the Djokovic wawrinka rivalry. Fognini knows how to play him in and out. Even in Montreal when he was injured on one leg, he took a set and trobled Nadal the most. Nadal fears these opponents. When he has fear he tends to show it on the court. He has choked in matches before, almost did so yesterday, did once in 2015 against Fognini. He choked in crucial moments in Madrid 2019 against Tsitsipas. He was missing basic volleys and smashes. His net game suddenly became laughable because of the pressure of not having won a single tournament till that point. 

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6 hours ago, Gollum said:

Even Fed's BH, movement (speed, pick up, change of direction...), tennis IQ, defence, patience, flexibility etc?

I think even in 1st serve Sampras was superior, but maybe stats a bit inflated owing to higher average court speed back then.

Difficult to compare Fed's and Sampras serve. Sampras obviously had one of the best serves of all time. But the court speed and conditions were different back then. How effective would Sampras's serve and volley technique be in today's time? His serve would be handled quite well by the big 3 and other certain top players. 

 

Same could be argued for vice versa. Big 3 in 90s conditions also would have been different.

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40 minutes ago, I6MTW said:

Replace mental strength, determination and stamina of Rafa with Nole. 

Rafa's mental strength is overrated, sure he had the unusual never give up atitude and endless stamina when he first came onto the scene , but in the past decade it has been Novak who has shown resilience and determination to overcome his biggest rivals. Plus Novak has better stamina than Rafa at both of their physical peaks. He played 3 back to back 5 hours matches and won a GS, I forgot which tournament it was. 

 

Mental strength of Rafa has been overrated over the years. Initially he deserved the praise, but he has choked and shown fear against certain opponents over the past years. Rafa fears Novak. Since 2017, he feared Federer. He has a mental block against Kyrgios, he totally disrupts his rhythm. Then there is Fognini their rivalry is similar to the Djokovic wawrinka rivalry. Fognini knows how to play him in and out. Even in Montreal when he was injured on one leg, he took a set and trobled Nadal the most. Nadal fears these opponents. When he has fear he tends to show it on the court. He has choked in matches before, almost did so yesterday, did once in 2015 against Fognini. He choked in crucial moments in Madrid 2019 against Tsitsipas. He was missing basic volleys and smashes. His net game suddenly became laughable because of the pressure of not having won a single tournament till that point. 

No. Career wise Nole is not mentally strong. Throws in the towel way too often like he did with Stan, his retirements etc. Even down MP in USO 2011 SF or Wimbledon 19 he just wailed at the return and it went in. That’s not mental strength, that’s ‘f-it’ attitude. 

 

Rafa is the king of mental strength because he is relentless. Always.

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6 hours ago, Gollum said:

Even Fed's BH, movement (speed, pick up, change of direction...), tennis IQ, defence, patience, flexibility etc?

I think even in 1st serve Sampras was superior, but maybe stats a bit inflated owing to higher average court speed back then.

Yes. Feds backhand is fine. On the slower courts he is no longer fast enough to use it as a weapon but it was a weapon when he was younger. Remember the guy made 5 consecutive FO finals and has one of the best singlehanded backhands ever. Except for Stan and Sampras, nobody else goes through with the top spin backhand as often as he does. It’s not like a regular SHB that most people had, like Edberg Rafter or Henman where 80% of the time it was a slice. Plus I am looking at the ultimate tennis player and in fast courts of the 80s and 90s, there’s a reason why players with SHB dominated: the courts are too fast for DHB guys to consistently make it to the ball. SHB advantage is reach and wingspan, which becomes critical when courts are fast. 

 

His tennis IQ is unquestionable , his speed was unparalleled when he was in his 20s. As for defence, till the rise of Rafa he was the best defender on court and even Roddick and Haas said that how do you beat a guy who had the best offense and best defense. 

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48 minutes ago, I6MTW said:

Difficult to compare Fed's and Sampras serve. Sampras obviously had one of the best serves of all time. But the court speed and conditions were different back then. How effective would Sampras's serve and volley technique be in today's time? His serve would be handled quite well by the big 3 and other certain top players. 

 

Same could be argued for vice versa. Big 3 in 90s conditions also would have been different.

Sampras’s serve had better disguise on serving out vs in, federers serve has better variety. This is for first serve. But when it comes to second serve it’s unquestionable that Sampras had the best ever second serve by a light year. In tennis the saying is you are only as good as your second serve and Sampras had a second serve that was better than the first serve of all but the top 10-15 servers. That’s incredible and almost having an unfair advantage. 

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2 minutes ago, Muloghonto said:

Sampras’s serve had better disguise on serving out vs in, federers serve has better variety. This is for first serve. But when it comes to second serve it’s unquestionable that Sampras had the best ever second serve by a light year. In tennis the saying is you are only as good as your second serve and Sampras had a second serve that was better than the first serve of all but the top 10-15 servers. That’s incredible and almost having an unfair advantage. 

Yea, Sampras had the best second serve. If Federer had a second serve as good as Sampras he would've converted the several MPs which he had missed while serving out.

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25 minutes ago, Muloghonto said:

No. Career wise Nole is not mentally strong. Throws in the towel way too often like he did with Stan, his retirements etc. Even down MP in USO 2011 SF or Wimbledon 19 he just wailed at the return and it went in. That’s not mental strength, that’s ‘f-it’ attitude. 

 

Rafa is the king of mental strength because he is relentless. Always.

Well most of his retirements and clowning came before 2010 etc. Since 2011 he had only retired when he was injured. Though I find it disrespectful that he doesn't finish the matches but that's a different story. Nole hasn't thrown in the towel in those matches with Stan. He was simply outplayed in most of them bar 2016 and 2019 USO where he was either injured or out of form. Those returns were because of his great ROS, all he had to do was get the return back in play and then play it point by point. Not saying Nole has the best mental strength of all time, thay belongs to Borg, Sampras etc. Even Nole has choked a few matches, but no one has shown 100% determination, mental strength and resilience, that's not possible.

 

Nadal gets afraid too often when he becomes dominated by an opponent. Like against Nole , Federer , Fognini etc. He starts making silly mistakes like in Madrid 19, USO 15 etc. Nole hasn't shown fear on the court like Rafa does. Nadal becomes nervous when things become dire for him.

 

Federer is up and down in the mental strength department,  in the sense he is always known to have choked many matches, MPs, CPs etc but he's also fought back from being down and saving matches. Two sets down, most MPs saved etc. So he's bipolar in that department.

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1 hour ago, I6MTW said:

Well most of his retirements and clowning came before 2010 etc. Since 2011 he had only retired when he was injured. Though I find it disrespectful that he doesn't finish the matches but that's a different story. Nole hasn't thrown in the towel in those matches with Stan. He was simply outplayed in most of them bar 2016 and 2019 USO where he was either injured or out of form. Those returns were because of his great ROS, all he had to do was get the return back in play and then play it point by point. Not saying Nole has the best mental strength of all time, thay belongs to Borg, Sampras etc. Even Nole has choked a few matches, but no one has shown 100% determination, mental strength and resilience, that's not possible.

 

Nadal gets afraid too often when he becomes dominated by an opponent. Like against Nole , Federer , Fognini etc. He starts making silly mistakes like in Madrid 19, USO 15 etc. Nole hasn't shown fear on the court like Rafa does. Nadal becomes nervous when things become dire for him.

 

Federer is up and down in the mental strength department,  in the sense he is always known to have choked many matches, MPs, CPs etc but he's also fought back from being down and saving matches. Two sets down, most MPs saved etc. So he's bipolar in that department.

We’ve seen federer hobble to the finish line, same with Rafa. Nole retires when broken in third set and 2-0 sets down. If that’s not the example of mental weakness and throwing in the towel , I dunno what is.

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On 9/5/2019 at 10:32 PM, Gollum said:

To all tennis fans here, this is fairly self-explanatory. Choose the best among the Big 3 in various attributes like serve, ROS, FH etc. Pick the peak versions of the players. 

 

Ofc this might sound silly because grips and technique won't change so fluidly to accommodate the varying styles, just for fun. Aim is to construct the perfect player combining qualities of these 3 titans. 

 

I'll begin:

Serve- Federer in every aspect of it, variety, placement, precision, tactics, 1st/2nd serve etc

ROS- Djokovic

Standard FH- Federer

Inside Out, Down the Line FH- Nadal

Standard BH- Djokovic

BH DTL- Djokovic

BH CC- Nadal

BH Slice- Federer

Volley- Federer (Nadal's net game is underrated but doesn't make impossible volleys like the Swiss...less variety as well)

Half-Volley- Federer

One-two punch- Federer

Speed- Nadal

Stamina- Nadal

Defence- Djokovic, except on clay where Nadal reigns supreme because of his movement

Footwork- Federer

Touch- Federer

Smash- Federer

Dropshot- Federer

Lob- Djokovic

Tweener, SABR, trick shots etc- Federer

Pick up- Nadal

Change of direction- Djokovic

Flexibility/Stretchability- Djokovic

Tennis IQ- Nadal

Patience- Nadal

Defence to Offence transition- Djokovic

Depth and angles in groundstrokes- Djokovic

BP conversion- Djokovic, except on clay where Nadal is untouchable

Mental Toughness, nerves- Djokovic

Luck- Nadal (sorry couldn't resist :p:)

 

Feel free to add more features/attributes/shots I may have missed.

:nice: 

 

will post mine soon :popcorn: 

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