Coach Evan Gaudreau is back with a match analysis. This time he deals with Djokovic vs Kwon Wimbledon R1.
I’m not saying Djokovic plays mini-combos, but let’s say he does, and look at how he hides his combos.
He hits a mini-corner combo in the first game and on the first point. One to the center of the Ad side, the next shot to the singles sideline and then the third shot (which he hits into the net) was heading towards the center of the court.
With the three other points played, sandwiched between the two aces to finish the game and ace and the missed return, Djokovic opens his +1’s to the Ad side. For two of those points, the second ball went to the opposite shot that was hit….say Kwon hit a backhand, then Djokovic hit him a forehand.
I remember writing about Kwon earlier in the year and said the strategy against him was to grip-change him. Use tight windows, but make sure he switches grips.
I like to watch Djokovic because he hides what he’s up to.
Someone reached out to me after the first podcast Jonas and I did and said I needed to change the name of the grip change strategy.
How about Flip-Flopper?
Moving on to the return game, the two points that were played out, Djokovic hit four balls to the center of the court at 15-all and won the point. At 15-30, he loaded up 6 out of 7 balls to the backhand corner but lost the point.
Kwon holds serve.
But in the first two games, we get a sense of the style of play Djokovic is entertaining.
Djokovic gets broken in game 3.
At 15-all, he plays a stretch pattern. One shot to the center of the court, one to the Deuce and a third to the Ad corner, he hits long.
In the following two points, he catches a “hanger.” I use this term as in hangman. He ties the noose around his neck with a couple of meatballs down the center of the court, and Kwon, the Hanger, tees off down the line to win both points and the break.
I remember Clint Eastwood catching a hanger in the movie “Hang Em High,” but the weight snapped the branch.
And he got his revenge.
The one-shot that pops up during the next few games is the dropper.
Droppers are like 6 in one, half a dozen in the other. As a coach, I stress hiding the dropper as long as possible…but when they come out early in the match, I smell desperation. I say that because Kwon uses one on the first point of game 5 and then loses the game. Those I see as wasteful.
I just got a pop in the brain.
“All the world’s a stage, and all men and women are merely players.”
Is Djokovic pulling the strings, or is someone else?
I’m not saying he plays specific patterns to a “T,” but he targets specific spots on the court and manipulates those areas throughout the match.
For instance, we know by watching he hit two specific areas of the court during the first return game…with 4 and 5 shots, yet as the set went on, he mixed the pattern up…the first five shots were mixed up. instead of deliberate…
….or were they?
At 5-3, Djokovic is serving for the set; I’m getting into the flow of the match until the cameraman shows a set of melons in cheetah print sitting in the front row.
In the famous words of Jim Carrey….” I want to box those Juggs like Sugar Ray Leonard.”
Back to the match.
Is there such a thing as Melon-itis?
Say that 5 times in a row as fast as you can.
Just the last word!
On that note, let’s move to the second set.
In the first game, at 30-0, Kwon pulls out the dropper again. Number 3. I like that one. If you’re at home reading this, use the droppers while you are up in the game and up in the set….at first, when you first start using drop shots.
Once you can control that, you can do that when you are up in points; you can play with them on even points….when you use them on down points….
“Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care
Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care
Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care
My master’s gone away”
I wish there were a computer programmer that could cut the section of the court between the service line and the baseline and make different sounds like a keyboard. There would be some interesting sounds….but there’d also be some players that would make the same sound over and over.
Those patterns tho will have one sound.
Now wave your hand or a pencil or whatever.
DUH! DUH! DUH!
This happens when I go camping in the woods for a few weeks and return to the real world.
My brain is bananas.
This is also what happens when I don’t go camping.
I think I’m just bananas.
At 1-1, we get a dumper game….a lot of first ball mistakes.
They are showing where Djokovic’s serve placement is going. Don’t read too much into that. Instead, focus on the returner’s position after the return and what is done with the first ball.
You’ll get more out of that.
At 2-1, we get another dumper by Djokovic.
The set is now 1-3.
I hate to say this, but while I’m taking notes and the point is about to be played, I’m writing something down…and Kwon is serving…. I’m not in a rush.
He misses the first serve so many times, giving me an extra second to jot stuff down.
“60% of the time, it works every time.”
I’ve been bullshitting a little, but I have something for you guys.
At 1-3, Kwon serving 0-40, Djokovic plays a simple point. Four shots to the backhand side in a row and two over to the forehand.
He does this because the points have been so bad during the second set that he is looking for a bit of rhythm.
This is an important concept I wish I had learned in my playing days. I teach my students to play a point where they hit a decent number of shots, pick one location, and think of spin and ball flight (when your timing is off).
Pick a side you like to hit to or pick a side of your opponent that they are more consistent on.
Let me tell you.
If there is one shot Djokovic is not hitting well… it’s the drop shot…All YEAR.
I’m so bored during this set that my mind drifted to the cheetah lady again. The dude sitting next to her has a rainbow sashay cutting across his chest.
What an odd pair.
Make me wonder what kind of people they are.
Grass courts have a way of taking your timing away.
Not too much to write about. The only thing I can say is that Djokovic seems preoccupied mentally. Something is off.
His left eye is a little sleepy.
Unless I’ve never noticed that before.
Have you ever noticed that the malls in America have two pretzel makers on both ends of the mall and a Mrs. Fields and a Cinnabon in the center?
The point is I’m being a dumper this set.
The only thing worth noting is that Djokovic is picking up the pace this set…, especially during the break of the serve game.
The cheetah lady is gone. Their whole box vanished.
If the cheetah is gone… it’s time to move on to Round 2.
Do you think Djokovic is hiding stuff for the later rounds?
I mean…I was optimistic to see how the match progressed but was left wondering.
The main takeaways for you homeys are to find a few different patterns or combos you like to use and develop those. For instance, I tell my daughter to play one long point in the first two points of every game (I still haven’t seen her do it yet)…to set a tone for the match. At the club and junior levels, you can mix a long point with a quick point in practice sets and see if you can transition it to matches.
Another takeaway is when you are playing like poo. Find a spot on the court and bludgeon it with spins and watch how your timing will come back…(but not if you are so focused on winning…it won’t work).