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Novak Djokovic: Breaking Down What Makes Nole a Lethal Hard Court Player

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand in his fourth round match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day seven of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2013

Four of Novak Djokovic's five Grand Slam championships have come on the hard court, and that's not by chance.

The 25-year-old Serbian is the most lethal hard-court tennis player in today's game, thanks to a number of factors. Djokovic has developed his game over the years, going from just a contender in the men's game to a Slam champion and ultimately one of the best to ever play.

With Nole looking to win an Open era record third straight Australian Open title this January, here we'll break down what makes him such a star on the hard stuff.

 

Explosion

Forget about tennis, Djokovic is one of the best athletes on the planet. He's in near-flawless shape and very machine-like in his preparation.

The attention to detail that Nole pays when it comes to his body makes him one of the most explosive players on the tennis court. He's especially adept on the hard courts, where he cuts on a dime, changes direction and extends. The ball plays faster on hard courts, and that's where Djokovic's explosion comes into play.

He can get to serves others can't, and he can fight off points better than most. It all adds up to making him one of the most athletic players out there.

 

Precision

Djokovic's game has become much cleaner over the years. From his serve to his forehand and his backhand as well, he's become more precise with his shots and has much more control over where he plays them.

The backhand, which often times is use for a defensive shot unless in a passing situation, has become a major asset for Djokovic, who can claim winners from the backhand on ground strokes from time to time. He recorded seven backhand winners on ground strokes in his Round of 16 win over Stanislas Wawrinka at the 2013 Australian Open.

He doesn't have the pin-point accuracy of Roger Federer, but Djokovic has become a surgeon with his forehand and backhand shots over the years.

 

Speed

As already mentioned, hard courts play much different than quick grass courts and faster than clay. That's why Djokovic has such an advantage on them.

Djokovic has quick reaction time, and can change directions in an instant. There's no slipping and sliding like on clay, so his speed can be put to use on nearly every point. Other players are fast and athletic as well, but the combination of Djokovic's speed and length make it nearly impossible to get a winner past him.

When you put all of the factors together, the explosion, precision and speed of Novak Djokovic, it's no surprise why he continues to thrive at hard-court tournaments. 

Nole is the complete package when it comes to excelling and winning on the hard court.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.

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