How To Play Like Novak Djokovic?

How To Play Like Novak Djokovic

Do you love tennis and wish you could be a pro player? Like any sport, to get better at playing tennis, you need to know how a pro like Novak Djokovic plays. The best way to do that is by analyzing the different aspects of expert players. A brief guide on the playing techniques of Novak Djokovic’s game is provided here. There are several great points that you can learn from the modern-day great Novak Djokovic. 

Does Djokovic use topspin? Yes

You have to master using topspin to play better. Djokovic is not different in this regard, he uses topspin very often. The ball will bounce as high as you can at the moment of impact. It is like a 3D effect coming from the court which makes very difficult to return it. The ball’s trajectory will be curved and at a very high speed.

What to do: if you don’t feel comfortable using it, then practice as much as you can until this technique becomes second nature to you.

Is Djokovic’s forehand his favorite shot?

I believe his favorite shot being his backhand. But he is also considered as a forehand specialist. His missile-like forehands are powerful and deadly. Djokovic hits the ball on its highest point during a volley, making it bounce very high. He uses this shot frequently to win points in some heated moments of the game.

Why Djokovic is underrated?

After winning 20 grand slams, and performing every single season as the most consistent and best player, considered unbeaten most of the times, and so on and so forth, he still is underrated, and it is a widely known fact.

What’s the reason behind it? Djokovic is involved in many scandals and in his not very popular decisions and expressions in the past, like the previous year’s tournament he held just at the start of the Corona outbreak, or not vaccinating at all and being denied to enter the 2021 Australian Open.

Being straightforward, charismatic and funny in his interviews doesn’t help either, but it’s all up to you who you like and support more.

Djokovic’s Strengths

Djokovic is a defensive player. His great defense makes him a hard player to beat. He can return any shot which you hit, and he will make the ball bounce as high as possible in your court before you could even sense what happened.

Novak Djokovic has by far the best defense of all times. No one could ever reach his level of defense. Djokovic is also very smart when choosing his shots. He knows they will hit the mark most of the time, and it’s hard to make him commit in any mistake.

His groundstrokes are also very solid. Djokovic doesn’t give you any room to attack, and all possibilities are closed for you. He can read your shots better than anyone else, so he knows how to move in order not to miss the ball.

Consistency is another area where Djokovic excels. He knows how to be fit enough for a 5-setter, or a long match. In any circumstance or condition that appears during his matches, he will just keep going and don’t get tired easily. His endurance is remarkable!

Flexibiltiy and movement are also 1 of the many reasons why Djokovic is unbeatable. He can hit hard, but he can also place very well the ball to your weaker side. His movements are smooth and precise, allowing him not to miss any shot which you would think as an easy one for him to reach.

Djokovic’s Weaknesses

I think it is very hard to find weaknesses in Djokovic’s game, this is not very suprising either. Being on the top of the rankings for so long and for most of his career he most have quite a perfect tennis player profile. However, there might be a few points that make his game suffer.

When the opponent puts pressure on him, Djokovic has troubles to read his game and find solutions. When he is not playing on top of his game or his rhythm isn’t good enough there are many chances that you will defeat him.

Playing close to the net is another tactic that takes away his steady groundstroke game. If you take the risk and attack him with your volleys, he will have trouble to return them because it is his weaker side.

When facing another consistent player as much as he is, Djokovic’s long tournaments and physical demands don’t allow him to perform equally intense during all of them. This fact can lead him to his downfall in some very important matches that would usually be an easy win for him.  

His Main Strategy

Djokovic’s main strategy is to control the game, and take it under his own terms. He doesn’t let you do what you are supposed to do. Djokovic breaks your rhythm using his defense and then makes the ball reach high in your court so that he never gives you a chance to hit an offensive return.

If you can’t read his game well enough, Djokovic will win the match without you even noticing it. He’s like a chameleon, he can adapt to any surface and condition. His movements are so smooth and precise that he always finds solutions for everything happening in his matches.

If we take a look at how Djokovic plays in each surface, we will notice that he prefers hard surfaces so much. His favorite one is the hard court because it favors his defense skills more than the others by making easier to bounce high in your court when hitting a shot.

His Excellent Return Of Serve

One of Djokovic’s best weapons is his return of serve. It has been one of the reasons why he has won so many matches against top-10 players, because even if they manage to serve a good first ball he always manages to read their second serve and break their momentum

His Solid Backhand (Like his forehand)

I think this is one of the most underestimated parts of his game. He has a very solid and powerful backhand, so he can hit winners from all over the court when you give him an opening. Even if it’s not considered as his best shot, I believe that Djokovic could make profit out of this part of his game to defeat other top10 players.

His Incredible Movement Around The Court

Djokovic’s whole game is based on his movement. He knows how to manage himself in order not to miss a shot that might seem easy for him. His flexibility and quickness allow him to cover the court very well, making it nearly impossible for you to get a ball past him.

His Serving Skills

Being the best returner of serve in the world, it seems quite easy for Djokovic to win a point but this is not the only thing he can do with his serve. He knows how to place it very well and avoid you to get too many free points on his service game. Even if you are forced to rally against his serve you won’t get many chances to hit an offensive shot and win the point.

His Fitness level

This might be the most important reason why Djokovic is so hard to beat. He manages to cover his court all around with no problems at all while maintaining a high intensity game. Being the best defensive player in the tour, he can read your game and find solutions for everything that will happen on the court.

Djokovic keeps a very well balance between defense and offense. He knows how to manage this equilibrium in order to win matches even when he isn’t playing at his best level. His endurance lets him do a tough schedule without problems, allowing Djokovic to be the winner of most tournaments he participates.

His Diet

If we take a look at his diet, Djokovic follows all the rules of healthy nutrition in order to maintain himself at top shape. Being gluten sensitive, restricting his gluten intake is a very important part of his diet. He knows that this will prevent him from having stomach problems and it also allows him to regain more energy from his meals.  

His One And Only Mentality

Djokovic is a very competitive player, but he doesn’t take part in any competition if he isn’t 100% ready. This aspect of his personality makes him the most focused and hardworking tennis player in the tour. You can never see Djokovic complaining or blaming a loss on external factors. He always manages to keep himself composed and find solutions for everything that might happen during a match.

So, If you want to play like Djokovic…

You just need to be competitive and very focused on your game. You can’t afford to relax during a match if you want to beat him. He will find solutions for everything that would seem easy for him in order to win the point. If you are able to keep up with that, you just need to work a lot on your movement around the court and serve if you want to have a chance of beating Djokovic.

He Thinks

He knows he doesn’t serve the fastest, and doesn’t have the most powerful forehand, so he thinks better than the others. This is what makes him better than most of the players on tour. Djokovic knows his strengths and weaknesses, so he focuses on improving them instead of trying to cover everything at the same time.

Djokovic thinks differently from other tennis players. He likes taking risks that might result in a double fault or an unforced error, but he knows how to manage these situations. He is used to making mistakes and accepting them without getting mad at himself or feeling bad about it.

Djokovic is only worried with one thing: winning a match as soon as possible.

The Ability To Shift A Match Back To His Favor

Djokovic is, without any doubt, one of the most mentally strong players on tour. Being able to manage your mental state during a match will either make or break you as a tennis player. You can’t relax for even a moment if you want to beat Djokovic because he gets back into the game very easily after losing a set or having a bad start.

These mental skills that Djokovic possesses are the most important key to his achievements. He knows how to play aggressive when he needs to, and change to a more defensive style of game without getting mad about it. He knows exactly what each opponent is expecting from him during a match, so he plays accordingly in order to win.

Forcing Errors On Opponents

Djokovic is very good at reading the game of his opponents, which makes it a lot easier for him to predict their next shot. He uses this knowledge to force them into making mistakes by taking advantage of every opportunity that crosses his way.

He has a very effective serve and knows how to use it in order to get a point by controlling the rhythm of a match. If you want to win against Djokovic, you need to be able to counter an aggressive play style and avoid unnecessary mistakes. Otherwise, he will get back into the game very easily.

Changing Tactics Freuqently

Djokovic changes his tactics often during a match in order to get the best out of each situation. This helps him give his opponent trouble while also gaining more points for himself. He is aware that not having a clear game plan will only bring him problems, so he always has a backup plan and knows how to change it when necessary.

In the same way, Djokovic knows how to beat his opponents. He carefully analyzes data from previous matches they have played against each other in order to find a strategy that works. This makes him one of the most unpredictable players on tour since he can easily counter any plan an opponent has prepared for him.

Djokovic does not only know how to win his matches, but he also knows when an opponent is feeling more confident or comfortable on the court. That’s why he always tries to get into their head by provoking them in order to create a mental breakdown before it even happens.

He Converts Most Break Points

Djokovic doesn’t have the most powerful serve, but he still gets many aces. The reason for this is that he knows how to serve in order to get a crucial advantage during a game. He won’t just aimlessly hit the ball into the court, rather he knows exactly which serves are going to be effective against specific opponents.

An important statistic is Djokovic’s conversion rate on first serve and break points. He often creates a chance for himself, so he should be able to turn it into an advantage more frequently than most players do. However, this doesn’t mean that he wins every point on his own serve because even though he can create chances, he still needs to finish them in order to win points.

Not Being The Favorite

Djokovic is not the most popular player on the court usually, especially when playing against Rafa or Roger. This doesn’t affect his attitude towards the game, but it adds to the pressure that he puts on himself in order to improve even more.

This is why Djokovic won’t take any risks before a match like some players do. He prepares for each match properly and shows up on time ready to play against whoever stands on his way of winning a Grand Slam. This also makes it harder for his opponents since they have to face a calm and confident attitude from the Serbian player, which leaves no room for mistakes if they don’t want to lose.

His iconic finger pointing towards his head after every match point won is a classic example to how he is able to rise to the moment, each and every time, unlike almost any player in tennis history.

What Grip does Djokovic Use?

Novak Djokovic’s forehand using a semi-western grip allows him to execute the four basic shots very well – drives, topspin balls and angling volleys. His swing is compact now which means he can pack more power into each hit than before with plenty of accuracy too.

What Is The Basis Gameplay Of Novak Djokovic?

Djokovic has been compared to tennis greats of all time. Djokovic’s shots are very similar to the legend Rod Laver played. While playing, he focuses on making as few mistakes as possible and always looks forward to hitting a winner. Novak Djokovic plays with a very defensive mindset. His defensive playstyle helps him dictate points and break his opponents’ serve, rather than his service getting broken.

Guide To Novak Djokovic’s Gameplay

Djokovic comes from an offensive background, and therefore his backhand is somewhat weaker than that of Nadal’s or Federer. Nevertheless, his backhand drives land softly near the sidelines allowing him to push forward in the court without hesitation. The complete guide covering all aspects of Novak’s gameplay is shared here.

  • Serve Like Djokovic

Djokovic is a power player, but he also serves huge and flat. He uses his massive serve to attack the second and third shots by moving forward in the court without losing speed. The serve sets up the second shot where Djokovic can control the point by placing a big spin on his groundstrokes. Djokovic serves fast and flat, making it hard to read. In addition, Djokovic keeps coming forward in the rally, which helps him move up into the court with more pace after each successful hit from a first shot volley.

  • Short To Long Gameplay

The first thing to note about Djokovic is his movement up and down the court. Therefore, he plays with a flat ball and can move up in the court with pace, making him more dangerous than other players. In addition, the short to long gameplay enables him to move up into the court with speed after each volley. This strategy helps Djokovic apply pressure on his opponents by keeping them running all over the court for long durations.

  • Heavy Topspin

The secret behind Djokovic’s style of play is his ability to hit heavy topspin on almost every shot he plays. This topspin style of play is also known as chip-and-charge. This style allows him to place heavy topspin on the ball, which results in more pace and control over the court. After each hit, he moves up into the court with speed, placing heavy topspin on every ball. Using heavy topspin keeps control of the game by keeping his opponent running all over the court.

  • High Forehand

Another interesting aspect of Djokovic’s game is his high-flying forehand. He can get that much power in the shot by his excellent footwork and speed of movement. In addition, Djokovic’s ability to move up and down the court allows him to hit powerful shots on demand. For example, his backhand drives land softly at the baseline, which allows him to move up into the court without hesitation. This makes it very difficult for the opponent to hit winners and get into an attacking position.

  • Variety In Shots

Another interesting aspect of Djokovic’s game is his variety of shots and depth behind them. This shot variety creates several options for him to win the point. Even his errors are effective in getting the desired results. He uses them as decoy tactics to make his opponent commit errors by giving them options that they may not predict. Djokovic’s versatility of shots helps him play better defensive and offensive games. His repertoire of shots is similar to Federer’s, where every single shot is heavy on topspin. 

  • Change Direction

Novak is one of those players who can change direction with full power and without losing any pace with his shots. He is a great example of a player who can hit any shot with full power on demand. He uses his heavy spin to change direction and place heavy topspin on the ball; this helps him control the game by keeping his opponent running all over the court. His ability to change direction allows him to attack his opponent from different directions based on how the opponent plays against him. 

  • Ground Strokes – Power, Accuracy, And Speed

His groundstrokes are very powerful, accurate, and fast. Combining those three factors makes almost every shot he plays powerful and threatening for his opponents. His speed, power and swift movements make him more dangerous than other players. His powerful groundstrokes enable him to set up the second shot by forcing his opponent to run all over the court. His heavy spin on every shot also helps him dictate points and break his opponents’ serve, rather than his service getting broken.

  • Running Shots Behind Volleys

Novak majorly hits his running shots extremely well behind every first and second stroke on the net. He does this because he can move up into the court without losing pace. In addition, he can make a running shot behind every second shot on the volley, making it extremely difficult for his opponent to read the direction of his shots. This adds pressure on the opponent and makes them run all over the court trying to play defense. 

What Makes Djokovic Special?

Djokovic has a great ability to hurt his opponents with his shots. His backhand gives him a nice and clean target to hit. When he can cleanly hit his target, he hits them hard, making his opponents run all over the court and allowing Novak to dictate play.

Djokovic’s shots’ angles and positioning are incredibly difficult to read because of their speed and heavy spin, which come from his high-flying forehand. Djokovic’s shots as first strokes on the return are deceptive in terms of direction, depth, pace, and spin.

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