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Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

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Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by Tenez on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:05 am

Luvsport sent me a PM challenging me to explain how come Murray and Djoko were so highly ranked in their early career, before bulking up, despite being “averagely”talented as I suggest? For LV, Murray and Djoko were talented and this is why they succeeded early on before they became today’s gladiators.
As it is a pretty good question I did my research to explain indeed why so and thought it was worth a read for all.
First, I would like to say that Murray and Djoko are very strongly driven and mature players and that could certainly be seen since I started watching them. I do remember one of the first times I heard about Djokovic. It was when facing Monfils at the USO in the main draw in a very long and tough battle over 5 sets. It was a very important match for them and both were friends since childhood. Monfils was the prodigious kid then as he had won 3 of the 4 junior slams in 2004 if I remember correctly, was ranked 42 while Djoko was 97 in that USO05. Djoko lost the 4th set 60 and was completely exhausted, cramping and vomiting. However friends as they were Djoko took multiple MTOs, delayed play, and rattled a talented but mentally fragile Monfils. From that day their destiny went opposite directions and their friendship ended…but it showed very much their mindset. For Djoko, losing was not an option; he was ready to use tactics in order to win another match. It was the first time they met on the real stage and that was simply too important for the kid who “wanted to be number 1”. I will not dwell onto Djoko now as I consider him different than Murray in terms of talent and natural athletism.
Murray at the time was 122 in the world. His early success is also very strongly linked with his mindset. He hated to lose and was ready to push and slice the ball, imposing a very frustrating rhythm into the game in order to disrupt the timing of his opponent. Nadal could do that by sending a very hard spinny ball, but murray simply pushed a ball and sliced it until his opponent would lose any rhythm and confidence. Throwing many drop shots in the process gave him the accolade of “talented”! That tactic was indeed working for the lower ranked players. It even drove Tommy Haas nut if anyone remembers! But to really see how he managed to climb the ranking before bulking up we have to understand how ranking points are really earned when you are below 50. For that I had to compare Murray with players of his age. Chardy and Haase were 2 easy pick. The former had won Wimbledon Junior in 2005 versus the latter and both had promising careers like Murray.
The key is that when young, having money to play on the main tour and collecting points is absolutely essential. It gives you exposure, experience and real ranking points, priceless experience over players of the same age who cannot afford to.
Just to give you an idea, Murray started 2005 ranked 415 – Ended it #64 and played 24 matches on the main ATP tour. 14W/10L and 20 or more on the satellite circuit. Chardy and Haase played 0 matches on the main ATP tour. They did not even try to qualify for those and only played satellite where there is hardly any point to be earnt. They had the talent like Murray to win Junior slams but they did not have the means to play in the main ATP circuit where the real points, the precious experience are. It is also important to note that the ranking below 50 is very volatile. 300 points separates the number 50 from #100. A good performance at a tournament - could be the luck of having to play 2 injured players in a row - can give you 200 points….so over a year accumulating enough points to be 64 is not that tough. Murray in his 2005 year did ok but his losses were versus: Di Mauro (#138), Genaro Martinez (#327), Gimeno-Traver (#227). Lammer (#355). Johansson (#20), Nalby (#19), Dupuis (#111), Fish (#68), Carraz (#152), Bacanello (#184), also understandable losses to Clement, Malisse, Federer and Safin. Chardy and Haase were fighting in the satellite tour and had no opportunity to play the real one. Why? Not sure but I presume money (to pay for travel) and WCs are essentials at the beginning.
In 2006 Murray became 44 when he hired Gilbert in July 06 and then started to develop a real physique, running with Michael Johnson, putting on kilos of muscles etc.. and started win real points against better player. He ended 2006 at 17th and 2007 at 11th. Chardy and Haase where still lost in the maze that is the satellite tour and could certainly not afford a Gilbert next to them. Yet when Haase played a pump up Murray in 2008 he had enough talent to beat him in straight sets.
So in summary I think what essentially make the success of a player is his drive to get to the top. Giving himself all available means to get there and nowadays realising that talent is not something we can rely on for success, but work and science can guarantee you fame and glory. Those people driven to succeed will surround themselves with the best possible people, those with money and in the know and may have no qualm playing bad tricks to friends to achieve their goals. In fact there are generally the same people at the top of big companies and states.

Tenez

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:19 am

Thanks, T.
As always, good to see the world through your eyes.

Murray and Nole have always been part of some forced story simply because they were born within a week of each other.
And that's where all their similarities end.

Their backgrounds could not be more different and that's the beginning of understanding the heart of their attitude and the way they play .

Young or old, Nole has not changed much, he has just matured but stayed pretty much the same: same team, (almost the) same coach, same game .

Murray on the other hand kept changing all the time. The pressure from the outside was just compounding the pressure and frustration from within.


Nole: the "nobody" street kid, Andy: the posh, spoilt brat.

I've said before, and I'll repeat it here: had Murray been born in Belgrade, noone would've heard about him.


Last edited by noleisthebest on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:25 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by legendkillar on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:23 am

Andy posh?

Bahahahaha

Least the backing wasn't from crime unlike Nole Winking

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:26 am

legendkillar wrote:Andy posh?

Bahahahaha

Least the backing wasn't from crime unlike Nole

Am I supposed to bite this?

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by legendkillar on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:32 am

noleisthebest wrote:
legendkillar wrote:Andy posh?

Bahahahaha

Least the backing wasn't from crime unlike Nole

Am I supposed to bite this?

Nothing to bite.

I found it amusing how Andy is dubbed posh given his upbringing was anything but.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by luvsports! on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:33 am

great research, thanks bud! Very interesting to see this from ya as usually your riposte is instantaneous so that was well worth it!

One thing i wanted to ask was, if you thought you had found article worthy material would you be satisfied with it and the answer that you put forward?




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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:37 am

legendkillar wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:
legendkillar wrote:Andy posh?

Bahahahaha

Least the backing wasn't from crime unlike Nole

Am I supposed to bite this?

Nothing to bite.

I found it amusing how Andy is dubbed posh given his upbringing was anything but.
Novak's family suffered enormously in order to fund his tennis lessons,
often struggled to put bread on the table for the other two boys, you
simply have no idea what life was like in Serbia in the 90s, and count
it as your blessing, LK.

A young coach in my club was one of the two most talented British girls that was not able to continue her career simply because there was no money to send her to tournaments. The other one was Heather Watson.

As for the boy from Dublane and his funding.....

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by legendkillar on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:47 am

I am not disputing who's upbringing is tougher here.

Given you have never been in a school where some nut comes in shooting classmates and kids, count that as a blessing on top of the divorce of your parents.

Funding? Well Djokovics parents were able to afford funding of $3,000 per month for 4 years for him to have the best coaching.

Very tough indeed...

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:49 am

Tenez wrote: I do remember one of the first times I heard about Djokovic. It was when facing Monfils at the USO in the main draw in a very long and tough battle over 5 sets. It was a very important match for them and both were friends since childhood. Monfils was the prodigious kid then as he had won 3 of the 4 junior slams in 2004 if I remember correctly, was ranked 42 while Djoko was 97 in that USO05. Djoko lost the 4th set 60 and was completely exhausted, cramping and vomiting. However friends as they were Djoko took multiple MTOs, delayed play, and rattled a talented but mentally fragile Monfils. From that day their destiny went opposite directions and their friendship ended…but it showed very much their mindset. For Djoko, losing was not an option; he was ready to use tactics in order to win another match. It was the first time they met on the real stage and that was simply too important for the kid who “wanted to be number 1”[/size]

Why was using MTOs if he was sick "tactics"?
Yes, he couldn't afford to lose and tried everything he could. If he was cramping and sick didn't he need help? All his life he played and still plays with an abyss behind his back he is scared to fall into. People don't get it because they have never really been in that position. Which is fine, but should be not so quick to judge.
Gone are the days when tennis players were all lovely and white and came from the right families.
It is still pretty much a rich man's sport but a strong element of blue collar is thankfully there as well.

I had no chance and opportunity to play tennis for years and years although I loved it with all my heart. So now that I have the opportunity, I'll do it come rain or shine, against people or ball machine. You can laugh - I don't care, that's the mindset. You stand your ground because it's rock solid. There is no going back option, no safety net to fall into, no LTA, no "structure".

Talent, you bet he is talented.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:00 am

BTW,
hasn't it crossed your mind why Nole, unlike Murray and Monfils wasn't a (multiple) junior slam "champion" ?
Yes, it's because he was robbed of the luxury of traveling around with his peers.
France, Switzerland, UK all have structure that finance tennis talent, some better than the others, but the money and opportunities are there.

Young Nole had to start working early in order to pay his family's huge debts. And stand in the humiliating queues of various embassies for hours and hours hoping to get a visa and go to tournaments hoping to win a match or two if and when he eventually gets there.

Not to mention the black sheep treatment of coming from a pariah country the whole world bombed to pieces while he was training in the swimming pool.

JJ's story reminds me a little bit of Nole's. That's why he is so passionate about the game. He has invested so much in it emotionally, the true sweat blood and tears that are unfortunately there to stay for life for both.
That is why Nole rips his shirt after wins, to release that pain just for one little moment.

Yes, it's easy to love Federer and everything about him. It's great to have the luxury and all pieces fall in the right place from the start. I am happy for him.

I'm sure Novak would not have minded swapping.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:21 am

And having said all the above, I would never condone any cheating as an excuse or route to win.
I just don't think that Novak's early MTOs were cheating. He matured physically, got fitter and stronger and cut them out.
You can't ask more than that.

He carries himself very well these days unlike another player who even managed to score a Stefan Edberg award.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:28 am

and yes....if they weren't successful in the early days this is what they'd end up doing:

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/video/index.html#ooid=J0MTdqODoMt8R7OHYBpwLXvaPDiAPFKU

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by paulcz on Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:24 am

noleisthebest wrote:
Yes, it's easy to love Federer and everything about him. It's great to have the luxury and all pieces fall in the right place from the start. I am happy for him.

I'm sure Novak would not have minded swapping.

Big truth.

Just one thing I am convinced that now Nole would not swap anything. He can be glad that his way made him tougher and he can enjoy tennis on court much more.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by Tenez on Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:08 am

luvsports! wrote:great research, thanks bud! Very interesting to see this from ya as usually your riposte is instantaneous so that was well worth it!
Your welcome. I knew that talent was not main reason why they shoot up the ranking. I however knew that their determination was one factor and maybe luck of the draw. But obviously there is no luck involved, being put to play on the main tour earlier than others based on being able to be invited to the main events and having the money to go for it. We can see that there is hardly any difference in level between players ranked 70 and 300, essentially cause many of those ranked 300-100 cannot afford the hotel bills. Murray in 2005 gets to struggle and lose to players ranked 300 but collects a few wins of top 50 even top 20 players.


One thing i wanted to ask was, if you thought you had found article worthy material would you be satisfied with it and the answer that you put forward?
I am not sure what you mean here.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:18 am

paulcz wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:
Yes, it's easy to love Federer and everything about him. It's great to have the luxury and all pieces fall in the right place from the start. I am happy for him.

I'm sure Novak would not have minded swapping.

Big truth.

Just one thing I am convinced that now Nole would not swap anything. He can be glad that his way made him tougher and he can enjoy tennis on court much more.

I know. He would not swap anything now, but would have done when he was starting. That I am 100% sure of.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by luvsports! on Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:41 am

well i think you had an idea of what was the answer but wasn't entirely sure, so had to do some research.
Like doing an experiment and getting your findings and then reviewing those findings, if that makes sense?

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by paulcz on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:13 am

noleisthebest wrote:
paulcz wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:
Yes, it's easy to love Federer and everything about him. It's great to have the luxury and all pieces fall in the right place from the start. I am happy for him.

I'm sure Novak would not have minded swapping.

Big truth.

Just one thing I am convinced that now Nole would not swap anything. He can be glad that his way made him tougher and he can enjoy tennis on court much more.

I know. He would not swap anything now, but would have done when he was starting. That I am 100% sure of.

But would Nole be as good as he is now then? Who knows.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:16 am

paulcz wrote:

But would Nole be as good as he is now then? Who knows.

I do. He would not have been the same player.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by paulcz on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:22 am

noleisthebest wrote:
paulcz wrote:

But would Nole be as good as he is now then? Who knows.

I do. He would not have been the same player.

Let us be happy with Nole as Serbian

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:25 am

paulcz wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:
paulcz wrote:

But would Nole be as good as he is now then? Who knows.

I do. He would not have been the same player.

Let us be happy with Nole as Serbian

Yes, TO the one and only NOLE THE BEST

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by Tenez on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:28 am

luvsports! wrote:well i think you had an idea of what was the answer but wasn't entirely sure, so had to do some research.
Like doing an experiment and getting your findings and then reviewing those findings, if that makes sense?

Yes. It's honestly very much how I work. I see things and then try try to explain them. A bit like seeing an apple falling from a tree woudl give a feeling that the apple is "attracted" by the earth....but then it needs to be demonstrated. Winking

Here I can simply see that many players have as good if not better shots than Murray. Berankis today just showed that again....yet the result was a straight set win for Murray. Experience again and an amazing physique is what made teh difference. Very few points there and then made it a 3 setter. As good as the shots can be, if you can retrieve them, you are in with a good chance.

I remember when people said Murray was weak mentally. I always disagreed. I thought he was not a gutsy player...but very tenacious and willing one.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by paulcz on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:47 am

Tenez wrote:
I remember when people said Murray was weak mentally. I always disagreed. I thought he was not a gutsy player...but very tenacious and willing one.

I still think if Murray can change his mindset and starts to play as an active player even against such outsiders. Absolutely similar case is Wozniacki. I saw her one set this morning. They both are absolutely hopeless cases of rooted passivity in their heads. Sore eyes to watch them.

Only thing to help them is brainwashing or hit their heads by something

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:49 am

paulcz wrote:. They both are absolutely hopeless cases of rooted passivity in their heads. Sore eyes to watch them.

Only thing to help them is brainwashing or hit their heads by something

I think they are both past any help. Indeed, an agony to watch them both esp when they are managing to suffocate, wear out and frustrate better players.
But that's tennis, too.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by paulcz on Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:05 am

noleisthebest wrote:
paulcz wrote:. They both are absolutely hopeless cases of rooted passivity in their heads. Sore eyes to watch them.

Only thing to help them is brainwashing or hit their heads by something

I think they are both past any help. Indeed, an agony to watch them both esp when they are managing to suffocate, wear out and frustrate better players.
But that's tennis, too.

maybe electrical shock therapy could help Nobody at the top can play a such crap long time to stay there.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by ... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:07 am

I don't know, it's one of life's great mysteries.....

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:08 pm

Uncanningly, I was discussing this with our coach who comes from the same club as Chardy (our coach was near national player - before Chardy time though) and confirmed exactly that. He says there are lot of good players in the satellite circuit tournaments but essentially you need lots of money to succeed in the main tour. Knowing where to go and surround yourself with peopl ein teh know is key....especially at a young age.

If you look at Chardy early career he was as promising as Murray. France is actually very good at forming youngsters up to international level but then after they let them down cause too many of them and get lost in teh satellite circuit. Murray's chance is that teh whole of UK wanted him to do well. They gave an international coach, who knows what it takes to get to higher levels. Brad certainly did not bother improving Murray's FH or BH...he however gave him all the tricks to get better mentally and physically. Murray also got lots of entry into the smaller tournaments and even bigger ones through qualifying and WCs.

But the funny thing is that tomorrow Chardy and Murray are playing and we will have a better look at who is physically stronger...who is more talented.


Last edited by Tenez on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:11 pm

Excellent article Tenez. Very well explained.

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Re: Attempt to Explain Murray's and Djokovi's Early success

Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:24 pm

Thanks Rotla.

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