View Full Version : Why Hewitt & Nalbandian give Federer trouble.

Count Grishnackh
03-08-2004, 11:59 PM
I went over my tapes of the Australian Open and watched Federer's matches with Hewitt and Nalbandian. Looking back they were his touchest obstables on his way to the title. These two have winning records against him and I was observing why that is.

It seems that Federer has to hit more than a couple of excellent shots to even get himself in a comfortable position to put these players away in rallies on a consistent basis. Against most people he doesn't have to work as hard to get himself in a offensive position and put them away quickly. Hewitt & Nalbandian make Federer work harder to win points over the course of a match and they test his mental fortitude which has been a question mark in his game. Sometimes he just gets fed up and tries too hard to end the point against them.

Another thing is that Hewitt & Nalbandian are excellent tacticians on the tennis court (if anything they're probably underrated in this category), they also absorb power better than anyone else and they feed off of pace. These guys make the court very small even for a guy who uses the court probably better than anyone in Roger Federer (can't forget Agassi). Another thing is that they fight to the death and Federer doesn't come off as a "grinder" on a court, it seems as if it's not coming easy to him he won't battle you to the end. Players who test his patience and make him work too hard get him frustrated and he can lose focus which explains why he lost to Nalbandian at the US Open. He won the first set in a blowout, then he drops off the earth and loses the match without much of a fight.

If there's anything that will hurt him at the French Open, it will be that on clay almost everyone he'll face will be similar to that of Hewitt or Nalbandian with the constantly long rallies, players getting back what would be sure winners on grass/hard courts and grinders. The only difference being that these guys will hit a much heavier ball than Lleyton or David. Federer is a shot maker and he wants points to end on certain shots, if those shots come back on a regular basis he may start to press even harder and go for too much. If he can still pull this off, well then Nike sponsored God. :twisted:

03-09-2004, 03:35 AM
good point count, i don't think fed will win a french. although he's arguably the best-balanced allrounder the game has seen in many years, there's still something lacking in him when it comes to winning such a grueling, extremely unbalanced trench war as the french. i'd say he's an 80% man in all areas (serve, volley, groundies, tactics, mind, etc...) but the french certainly requires a 90+% hard-willed groundies expert as a winner.

btw it seems tide has been turned in favor of fed against agassi, hewitt and nalby, although they are still more dangerous than others. i'm curious when the same will occur against the only remaining nemesis, henman.

03-09-2004, 06:46 PM
Fed will win the French in his carrear. He made the quarters, has won a clay masters, and finalled in another. He just has to be hot, blast through some guys, and he can rally many off the court, regardless of how many balls they get back. Even on the clay he can come to net and end points there when the balls keep coming.

03-09-2004, 07:17 PM
Federer is one of the few guys whose game really translates well on all surfaces. I was just watching a tape of the Rios/Agassi '98 Lipton final and Carillo commented how Rios had to be looking forward to Roland Garros because his game would work on any surface. I feel the same way about Federer, he can win points so many different ways, I think his game is very ambiguous, which is a good thing.

03-09-2004, 11:50 PM
Too many great claycourters to challenge him. My money is on Guillermo Coria this year. :wink:

03-10-2004, 06:49 AM
your asessment sounds spot on, Count. But what about Henman? His game isn`t remotely close to either nalbandian`s or Hewitt yet he give federer fits. WHy do you think that is?

03-10-2004, 07:03 AM
Henman has to volley like a brick wall to beat Federer.

Count Grishnackh
03-10-2004, 12:48 PM
I'll give it go. The reason why guys like Rafter and Henman give Federer probably the most trouble is because they suffocate him. They put instant pressure on him and Federer likes to be relaxed on a court and have time to set up his wonderful shots. With the likes of Rafter and Henman they force him to come up with good returns which is quite "possibly" a weakness in his game. He's no Agassi when returning against S&V'ers.

Another thing is when he returns the ball against S&V'ers who kick the ball high to his one handed backhand its most likely going to be a lame return and an easy volley for the likes of Rafter & Henman. Another thing is that he's not as good playing pure defense like Hewitt, he moves great when he's on the offensive and is a very good mover in a neutral rally but when he's pushed deep and scrambling around to keep the point alive he's not that good, S&V'ers make him do just that. Rafter was 3-0 against Federer and Henman is 5-1. So if my reasons aren't correct, well then I hope Roger himself tells me why this is. :D

02-06-2012, 12:12 PM
THIS is what it was like when Federer was rising.

02-06-2012, 12:15 PM
what a dig oO

02-06-2012, 12:50 PM
THIS is what it was like when Federer was rising.

genious move right there pal :)

02-06-2012, 12:51 PM
Wow, almost 7 years ago.

02-06-2012, 12:54 PM
I'm glad the poll is still open. I just voted no. :-) These polls are much easier after the fact.