Lisa, I never saw this article before, but it’s awesome and hilarious. I’ve never hated a tennis player, unless he cheated me on the court.

But the one thing that used to bug me about Novak was his habit of bouncing the ball something like seven to twenty-two times before he served, depending on which serve, the score, and the pressure he felt. Most players have a ritual they follow every time, so the returner can get prepared to match the moment when the server tosses the ball.

Federer has this habit of bending over at the waist for a second or so before the server tosses the ball. Then he straightens up and does his split step. When Djokovic used to bounce the ball differently, I would see Federer bent over for sometimes three or four seconds and think that his body would stiffen up and affect his movement on the return.

Djokovic is a force of nature and will dominate the men’s game for the next couple of years (maybe more, given the improvement of training science). Get ready for more aggravation.

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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