Studying the pros and how they play is always good advice to young players. Watching videos of your favourite players will show many good examples of techniques and tactics as well as players temperament.
Sometimes it is good to involve your tennis coach in your viewing if you are working on something particular together.
In this blog we look at one of tennis’s best exponents of the game: Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic plays with an extreme grip on his forehand, his Index Knuckle is around bevel 4.5. This sometimes causes problems when returning a serve and at times flattens out the shot.
Novak’s forehand is solid although not as compact as his backhand, on occasion this leads to wayward shots. But like all the top pro’s, Djokovic swings his racket from high to low and finally high again.
This is in combination with an important inside-out swing pattern in order to use his arm as a lever. His extreme grip results in a lot of upper body rotation.
Novak’s backhand is probably the best in the business at present, it is one of the all time greatest backhands in the men’s game.He is able to hit down the line, cross-court, or hit an angle from pretty much anywhere on the court. In addition to all this he hardly makes any unforced errors.
Studying his motion, it is short and compact and does not have any extras in it that should not be there. This is economy of both motion and effort, he starts with great grips with both hands and his fluid body movement comes from keeping the racket close to the body. Everything is how it should be.
Novak has a good slice shot, he can use it defensively and also on balls that stay low. Like most players he has a grip that tends to open up the racket face a little too much. Because of this he tends to hit downwards slightly instead of going through the court more.
Not comfortable at the net, but Djokovic worked at his game. Now his volleys are extremely good either forehand or backhand, Novak keeps the racket head fairly flat and stable through the point of contact and after.
His grip is quite stable and the Index Knuckle is on bevel 2.5 for both shots. This enables him to get the racket in a great position for the forehand but opens it up a little too much for the backhand volley.
This is a shot Novak has had some difficulty with during his career, some say his biggest problem has been the fluidity of his movement.
Novak’s game plan is built around his strengths, his powerful groundstrokes and his agility on the court.