The batch of next generation may present a wave of disruption to the incumbents holders of the topmost rankings of the ATP men's table. This however does not make them completely unique. In fact, we at Rovo pick out quite a number of (very uncanny) resemblances between the new kids on the block and the old/present ones, when their playing styles are concerned. Read on to find out!
Khachanov = Agassi
They seemingly don't play alike, and they certainly don't look alike at all, so what makes both of them similar to our keen eyes. It all boils down to their playing styles. Even though both of them hold very different grips - Agassi holds a full semi-western forehand grip whereas Khachanov (as clearly seen in the photo above) holds a forehand grip that lies between the semi-western and western grips - both of them rely basically on the same gameplay. The black-and-white offensive baseliner in its most purest form. Even though many players could be categorized under this category, no one we have seen depends so much on hitting the ball so hard consistently as these two(even Tsonga does not figure!). There is a major slight but significant difference though, which could possibly make him a greater player (if such difference is not merely a matter of an adaption to the way the game is currently played wherein the balls are slower and have more spin). Khachanov does not take the balls as early as Agassi does, which has given him an ability to have more variety to his spin.
Coric = Djokovic
I practised with him a lot in the last two, three months. I try to help him because I see, in a way, myself through him. I’ve never felt that way when I practise with somebody as I felt with him. It’s like playing myself - Novak Djokovic
'What's the similarity between Djokovic and Coric which comes to mind straight off the top of your head?' was what we asked around in this mini-survey we conducted amongst some of our tennis friends. The typical boring and disappointing answer was this 'they are both from Serbia?' No, that is not a main similarity that is worthy enough for us to put down here, and for your information Coric is from Croatia. (Okay to be fair they are pretty similar but the point is they are not the same!) Like the previous pair of new-old resemblance, Djokovic and Coric share a similar playing style. Both of them are excellent counter-punchers (in fact we believe he is the best counter-puncher amongst the nextgen players, and have the backhand as their strongest shots.
Take the point in the video above for instance, the person on the court across from Murray could easily have been Djokovic. The excellent lateral movement, deep penetrating backahands which at the same time are Djokovic-like reactive, and the drop shot at the very end of the point.
Dimitrov - Federer
Okay this will be skipped over for obvious reasons.
Zverev - Murray
Zverev and Murray are two heavyweights in the men's tennis world. They have stable excellent lateral movement, balanced stable groundstrokes with a proclivity for long drawn-out rallies and the occasional fast drive-through baseline shots to catch the opponent off-guard. In fact this pair parallels the mentioned Coric-Djokovic pair in the way that Murray's game and style parallels that of Djokovic. The main difference between either is the backhand and flatness of their shots. Whereas Djokovic and Coric hits with less lateral drive on the backhand, and more spin in general, Murray and Zverev hits with a rather flat backhand and has ground shots which in general produce much less spin. The two have also been associated with the quality of grit - as opposed to talent - in a way that neither Djokovic or Coric were.
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