Former Roland Garros doubles champion Murphy Jensen recently made an appearance on Tennis Channel, where he analyzed Novak Djokovic's two-handed backhand. Jensen explained that Djokovic has flawless technique on his backhand and pointed out that the Serb, like Roger Federer, always looks down while striking the ball.
Djokovic's backhand is widely regarded as one of the greatest shots in the history of the sport. While his two-handed backhand might not have the flair that one-handers like Stan Wawrinka, Roger Federer, and Dominic Thiem possess, its accuracy is second to none.
The World No. 1 can place the ball in any corner of the court at will with his backhand, making it a dangerous wing for his opponents to attack.
Murphy Jensen, an accomplished doubles player back in the day, believes Djokovic's backhand has "redefined the rules of engagement."
"Someone I like a lot, Novak Djokovic, just that shot (backhand) alone, has redefined the rules of engagement," Jensen said in a video posted by Tennis Channel.
Jensen then began to analyze a video clip of Djokovic preparing to strike a backhand. Just as the ball approaches the Serb's racket, the American points out how the 34-year-old expertly shifts his entire weight to his back leg.
"Where is he right in this moment? He's on his backfoot," Jensen said. "You gotta get planted, do the weight transfer and the transition."
Then, just as Djokovic makes contact with the ball, Jensen observes that the Serb's eyes are focused downwards -- something Roger Federer is also known to do. Federer and Djokovic both tend to keep their eyes down and their heads perfectly still while striking their backhands.
However, Jensen explained that Djokovic is not looking at the ball but at the space in front of it. According to Jensen, looking straight at the ball while hitting a shot increases the chances of mistiming it.
"Here we go (as Djokovic makes contact with the ball) and we are now on the strings," continued the American. "One key thing to look at is where are his eyes - they are down, very Roger Federer-like. Down on - do you think he's looking at the ball? He is probably 12 to 18 inches in front of the ball at all times. Because if you are just watching the ball, you're gonna be late on every shot."
Will we see Novak Djokovic at the Indian Wells Masters?
Novak Djokovic's last match on tour came at the US Open, where he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the summit clash, thereby failing to complete the Calendar Slam.
After the defeat, the 20-time Major champion made it clear that he had not given much thought to the rest of the calendar and that he was keen to spend time with his family.
The official Twitter handle of the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells Masters) recently posted that Djokovic will be in action at their event beginning on 4 October. However, there has been no confirmation from the Serb himself. With time running out, it remains to be seen if he will make the trip to the States.