Novak Djokovic needed forehands. He settled for backhands. The rest is history.
Daniil Medvedev defeated Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the US Open final Sunday evening in New York, stopping the Serb from being the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four majors in a season. Making Djokovic’s forehand a non-factor in the final was the strategic engine room of the stunning victory.
Medvedev’s cunning plan was to overload the Ad court with a plethora of backhand-to-backhand exchanges, where he could neutralise and torment Djokovic with his ultra-flat backhand that proved extremely difficult to attack. It worked in spades. Djokovic ended up hitting more backhand groundstrokes than forehand groundstrokes for the match.
Total Groundstrokes (excluding returns, volleys & overheads)
- Novak Djokovic
- Total Forehands = 43% (122)
- Total Backhands = 57% (161)
Surprisingly, Djokovic ended up hitting 39 more backhands than forehands for the match. As a comparison,…