chip returns—western grips
not exactly the same but probably relevant to Djokovic "blocking" returns: TA MCP career return leaderboard says he slices 19.5% of returns - 25.7% on first serves, 9.5% on second serves. Wawrinka is 20; 28.6; 10.4. Federer is 16.8, 24.6, 7.0.
fwiw, last 52 stats suggest that Djokovic is returning more aggressively than he has for most of his career. only 2.1% slices on 2nd returns!
Hi Hugh, as always a great analysis covering a pretty new topic to this sub
Few observations/questions :
1) It has been hinted already but I guess Djokovic being less effective against Wawrinka compared to Rafa and Roger may come down to his more western grip? His difficulties to generate pure pace off slow balls have been documented but I guess this could be the reason
2) Apart from that grip chink (which has it’s upsides), I think Fils FH hits great technical boxes actually very close so Ruud : the grip, flexed-wrist (I think), but very upright racket head that allows for a gravity assisted smoothpath. Not the shot that I would blame if he didn’t win a grand slam. Do you agree.
3) As a knowledgeable reddit user (Zero_Dimension98) pointed out when I asked him what he thought of Fils, his racket opens up early on the serve, which coupled with his high toss can cause problems especially on second serve. Could be bettered.
4) Also, while his BH again ticks a lot of technical boxes, Zero questioned his hip/arm coordination and I can’t help but fear he may be right because his BH doesn’t have elite consistency yet. What do you think?
All this being said, and I agree with your analysis. I think Fils will one day win at least one Major. Bublik, I don't see it.
Just when I thought I learned everything about technique, Hugh drops this analysis of the disadvantage of the Western grip on full display. Amazing piece Hugh!
I always noticed watching highlights that Djokovic particularly struggled with no pace (US Open 2016 vs Monfils). I guess the Western grip could explain that.