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Novak Djokovic tennis weakness exposed but he’s still fierce

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novak djokovic tennis weakness
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic. Photo/Sportico.com
  • Djokovic is solid at the net as anyone with superior volleys
  • Djokovic has consistently struggled to execute powerful and effective smashes
  • He frequently hits the ball with a bent elbow

What would Novak Djokovic tennis weakness be with 24 Grand Slams under his belt?

Djokovic is solid at the net as anyone with superior volleys but his biggest weakness still has trouble with overhead shots at the net.

Even with this, the art of countering Djokovic’s smash, which has been a vulnerability throughout his career, remains a tactic to be grasped.

What is Novak Djokovic Tennis Weakness?

The biggest weakness that Djokovic has remains his overhead shots at the net. Despite his prowess in other aspects of the game, Djokovic has consistently struggled to execute powerful and effective smashes. This issue manifests in his tendency to push the ball back into play rather than decisively putting it away.

The root of Djokovic’s smash woes lies in his positioning and timing. He often misjudges the ball’s trajectory, allowing it to drop too close to his body, hindering his ability to generate the necessary force for a powerful smash.

novak djokovic tennis weakness

Novak Djokovic. Photo/Eurosport

Additionally, he frequently hits the ball with a bent elbow, further compromising the power and accuracy of his overhead shots. This is the shot he finds it difficult to commit to when under duress.

When Djokovic does attempt to extend his arm fully, he occasionally mistimes his racket swing, resulting in awkward and ineffective contact with the ball. This inconsistency further underscores his difficulties in mastering the smash.

Is Overhead Tennis Hit Hard?

Throughout his illustrious career, Djokovic has established himself as a master of the tennis court, showcasing remarkable precision and control in his strokes. However, one area where Djokovic has occasionally faltered is in executing overhead smashes. This vulnerability has surfaced in crucial moments, particularly during tight matches.

A notable instance occurred in the 2013 Wimbledon final against Andy Murray. Djokovic failed to capitalize on an overhead opportunity at the net, allowing Murray to seize the momentum and secure victory.

A similar situation unfolded in last year’s Wimbledon final against Carlos Alcaraz. At a pivotal moment, Djokovic opted for a volley instead of a smash, resulting in a missed break point and ultimately defeat.

Djokovic’s tendency to approach the net with increased aggression under pressure contributes to his struggles with overheads.

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Novak Djokovic. Photo/Eurosport

While his desire to end points quickly is understandable, the tension often leads to a loss of control. Djokovic’s exceptional footwork and anticipation, which serve as cornerstones of his success, seem to diminish when faced with overheads.

“I don’t think it’s a weakness. It’s just something that happens in a bad moment—you lose your balance and you miss the overhead. Sometimes it’s not possible to be as efficient as possible, but most of the overheads that I make are in the court and are winners,” he defended himself.

Despite his reluctance to acknowledge it openly, Djokovic’s struggles with overhead smashes are evident on the court. His discomfort and lack of balance when executing these shots suggest a deeper issue that requires attention.

Even legendary coach Boris Becker has acknowledged Djokovic’s overhead weakness, stating that it is the worst among the top 100 players. While Djokovic may not readily admit to this vulnerability, the evidence on the court speaks for itself.

Boris becker novak djokovic

Boris Becker with Novak Djokovic. Photo/The New York Times

Despite Djokovic’s well-documented weakness in overhead smashes, his overall dominance and prowess in other aspects of the game make it extremely difficult for opponents to consistently exploit this vulnerability.

His exceptional serve, consistent shot placement, and ability to manage service games effectively create a formidable barrier that opponents must overcome before even reaching the point where they can attempt to test Djokovic’s overhead.

Cameron Norrie’s observations from his Davis Cup match against Djokovic underscore this challenge. Despite returning well, Norrie could only manage to reach 30 points on Djokovic’s service games, highlighting the Serb’s ability to control the game and prevent opponents from gaining momentum.

Norrie’s suggestion of drawing Djokovic into the net to test his overhead smash, while potentially effective for a few points, is unlikely to be a sustainable strategy due to Djokovic’s overall dominance and ability to adapt to different tactics.

Overcoming these challenges will require Djokovic to refine his positioning, timing, and technique when executing overhead shots. By addressing these fundamental issues, he can develop a more powerful and reliable smash, adding another weapon to his already formidable arsenal.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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