A comparative look at styles of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal.
The ATP's biggest names—Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal—have all seen success on the court. But how do they compare? Djokovic and Murray are two of a kind. They have similar physical builds and similar styles—solid, consistent ground games, dominating returns and great court coverage. The big difference between them and their rankings is performance on second serve. Djokovic has the most effective second serve in tennis, winning 60% of those points on the year, while Murray has a relatively weak second serve (ranked 21st on tour).
The two Swiss players are different as well. Federer and Wawrinka both play with more aggression than Djokovic or Murray, but they do it in different ways. Federer is the consummate all-court player and is extremely effective and efficient at the net. He will use his serve to setup this attacking game and uses court position as much as power to take control of the points. Wawrinka is all about brute force. He has a bigger serve, bigger groundstrokes and will take bigger risks from positions where other players would rarely take chances. The "Stanimal" has the strength to overpower just about anyone, but it's his consistency and focus that are always his biggest challenge.
That leaves Rafael Nadal. His game is about relentless effort and maximum spin. He excels on return of serve and in baseline rallies where he can use his excessive spin to control the rallies. His biggest challenge comes on his own serve—his first serve effectiveness is ranked 43rd on Tour this year (just 71% points won) and that puts extra pressure on the rest of his game. Nadal's biggest challenge is improving his first serve performance while making sure his body can withstand the rigors of his pounding running style.
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