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View Full Version : Is Federer stubborn or incapable ?


fastdunn
06-10-2007, 12:47 PM
To me, it was a display of stubborness. Fed's trying to win in the same
dynamics of match that he lost repeatedly against Nadal.

Many champions are stubborn. I can certainly understand Federer because
he has been winning in all kinds of match dynamics he engaged in with
just about everybody.

He still seems to believe he can beat Nadal in baseline battle on clay
using same dynamics involving his backhand. At imes, he almost looked like
he wants win the match with his backhands. He looked like it's his strategy.

Then there is his questionable net play. It's on clay and it's much hard to
have crisp footwork for net plays but as McEnroe pointed out Federer tends to drop
his wrist on volley resulting the volley pops up or rather weak.

Letting alone net play, even in just baseline dynamics of a match.
Federer still wants to win with the same scenario. He wants to have
better backhand that can over power Nadals spinny shots.

He even doesn't run-around his backhand as much as he does against
other players. He wants to win the backhand battle. Then again he runs
around and commits unforced errors with forehnad. As always in his previous
battle against Nadal, he accumulated large number of UE's with his forehand.

This is puzzling. I know Nadal is unbeatable(literally in French Open) but
this is disappointing. I thought Federer would try all of his his other tricks.
Instead he choose to win the same battle he's been losing.
This guy is freaking stubborn unless he is actually incapable of certain things...

Marius_Hancu
06-10-2007, 01:42 PM
I agree he's very stubborn.

Like that stretch when serving into the ad corner (in the set 3, I guess).

He missed 10 firsts in the corner, into Nadal's FH, but never had a try at the down the T, which is the lower height of the net and comes to Nadal's BH and to the center, where Nadal is less effective than taken out. Only towards the end did he make the correction. And he has the shot. Like trying to beat Nadal on Nadal's FH.

Or when hitting with the FH into the net for 5 times on decisive shots, never once trying to put more topspin in them.

Or simply: not doing enough S-V, even as an element of surprise. And that was his most effective shot/tactics (75% at a time, then it dropped). He's paying for not playing it enough in other matches.

All in all, not a very clever match and not better than with Roche last year. Perhaps this was one of the main reasons for the divorce, his stubbornness.

But of course, the main factor is Nadal. He's very good on his surface, you realize they had a plan when designing those shots for him.

armand
06-10-2007, 01:48 PM
It seems he's too afraid to "let it all hang out" and use his best tennis, best tactics and his best effort because he's afraid that if he does, he will still lose. And maybe really destroy his confidence.

If Federer holds on to that mentality that he got somewhere in the middle of that match, I wouldn't be surprised if he started skipping the French.

foetz
06-10-2007, 01:57 PM
absolutely. his strategy was crap. seemed like he wanted to beat him with his own weapons.
he should look at the guys who beat nadal every time like blake, berdych, johansson etc.
they do NOT play like nadal. far from it. the more you play like him the better chance you have to loose cause he's THE 'spinner' but not much more.
don't understand why he didn't play like in hamburg.

but look around - how many players dig this? :confused:

TENNIS_99
06-10-2007, 01:57 PM
Ha, I was going to write a thread "Is Federer stubborn or Nadal is too good"

I was thinking about this after I heard Mac saying his view of Fed's stubborness. I in part I agree with it. But Also Nadal is very very good. In the pre-game interview Fed said he's going to do more attacking games,more SV, which he did not even try it in the first set. I will give the credits to Nadal (and his camp) that did not allow Fed to immediately jump in and execute his pre-game plan.

And I do think Fed did a lot run around, but his forhand is very disappointing. It was the backhand that open up the court from time to time but I think Fed gets confused by Nadal's tactics.

Nadal has a successful strategy - do what he is doing good. This year he changed his serving style back to what it was - more spin less pace. He can serves up mid 120 with a lot aces but it's not his games. His services games is now so rock solid combined with his heavy top spins on clay. what else can you say?

Fedfan4life
06-10-2007, 01:58 PM
I agree. I just turn off the game I was frustrated. Even McEnroe couldn't understand what he's doing.

ACE of Hearts
06-10-2007, 02:00 PM
Sometimes he puzzles me.I was surprised that he hit some shots back to Nadal where he could have goned the other way and won the point.His body language ticks me off at times.He should have come to net more times then what he did.

rommil
06-10-2007, 02:20 PM
[QUOTE=TENNIS_99;1508747]Ha, I was going to write a thread "Is Federer stubborn or Nadal is too good"

I was thinking about this after I heard Mac saying his view of Fed's stubborness. I in part I agree with it. But Also Nadal is very very good. In the pre-game interview Fed said he's going to do more attacking games,more SV, which he did not even try it in the first set. I will give the credits to Nadal (and his camp) that did not allow Fed to immediately jump in and execute his pre-game plan.

And I do think Fed did a lot run around, but his forhand is very disappointing. It was the backhand that open up the court from time to time but I think Fed gets confused by Nadal's tactics.

Nadal has a successful strategy - do what he is doing good. This year he changed his serving style back to what it was - more spin less pace. He can serves up mid 120 with a lot aces but it's not his games. His services games is now so rock solid combined with his heavy top spins on clay. what else can you say?[/QUOTE
Good points and I agree on Roger's stubborness during the game add to that that Nadal was just himself, not really giving anything away. Even though Roger is a greater overall champion than Nadal, on clay he is the underdog and it should be him that's trying to figure out different ways to exploit Nadal's game. His(Roger) serve was not the best today and never really showed confidence with his body language and expression. Oh well, the good thing about having Nadal around is that Federer will be pushed.

tlm
06-10-2007, 02:29 PM
How many times do we have to hear about feds stubborness, he tried everything.He cant beat nadal at the fo, he is not good enough.After 3 times i would think it would be obvious.Fed was attacking+it worked some, he also came in + it worked some.But it also leads to ue+getting passed which it did.

Do you guys think that you know more of what it takes to win than fed does?I thought he was using some new tactics+had some success but it still is not enough to beat the best claycourt player of all time!

rod99
06-10-2007, 02:49 PM
he should use the slice backhand more, particularly when it is up high. when he did use it, he had success. he was getting no pace/depth trying to come over those high backhands.

Ultra2HolyGrail
06-10-2007, 02:51 PM
Does anyone think maybe nadal is just to good for roger on clay?

goforgold99
06-10-2007, 02:55 PM
I think he had great tactics!

He had many chances and in terms of points the match was pretty close. He was just too shanky in the important points.

But the way he played is DEFINITELY the way he can beat Nadal, as he showed in Hamburg. Fed can totally dominate him from the baseline. Going to the net too often is just CRAP against Nadal cause he'll pass Fed over and over again.

I was actually very positive suprised how well Fed managed to stay in the rallys, be patient as you have to be on clay, and then finally finish the point off.

Alex132
06-10-2007, 02:56 PM
Does anyone think maybe nadal is just to good for roger on clay?

why would that be ?

Ultra2HolyGrail
06-10-2007, 03:00 PM
why would that be ?

Nadals obvious success on clay? Especially at the french?

WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis
06-10-2007, 03:04 PM
I think there is no problem with being stubborn if you can also be flexible when necessary. However, if you do see a game plan that is not working yet continue to play it, then maybe it's not stubbornness which is the problem, but a lack of humility in admitting a different tactic might be better. I've not read the articles or interviews about why Roger split from Roche at this point in time before the French.

Rafael has been too good for Roger on the times they have played so far on clay by majority, yet not to say Federer in the future might not come up with a winning answer to this particular conundrum. Was going to quote some Mr. Miyagi stuff and say, the one that does not bend to the wind breaks....but I don't know the exact quote.

woodman
06-10-2007, 03:17 PM
It is odvious that Roger did not use the stratigy that he used to good effect in Rome, and that other players who have beaten Nadal or come close . Instead he chose to play the same stratigy that has lost him on clay almpst every time. I think he choked, pure and simple.

AngeloDS
06-10-2007, 03:27 PM
Actually, Federer's strategy was working very well. He did get a lot of break chances, however, he was unable to convert them =).

Many people thought he was just bashing his backhand, but he was really hitting it with a lot of different spins to bounce high/medium/low and changing it a lot.

alan-n
06-10-2007, 03:28 PM
Look at the amount of errors Federer had on his forehand when he went for his shots. His 1st serve % didn't allow him to play an aggressive game and his 2nd serve isn't Sampras Quality to try it either. It just seemed his bread and butter winning shots let him down every time he fought his way back into the match. No one is good enough to beat Nadal at the French, the only way Federer can do it is if everything in his game is going like it was in the 2nd and 3rd set in Hamburg otherwise it just plays right into the strengths of Nadal.... very disappointing to watch.

Nadal_Freak
06-10-2007, 03:29 PM
absolutely. his strategy was crap. seemed like he wanted to beat him with his own weapons.
he should look at the guys who beat nadal every time like blake, berdych, johansson etc.
they do NOT play like nadal. far from it. the more you play like him the better chance you have to loose cause he's THE 'spinner' but not much more.
don't understand why he didn't play like in hamburg.

but look around - how many players dig this? :confused:
Those type of players don't beat Nadal on clay. Berdych got bageled. :D Hamburg was a low bouncing clay which allowed Federer to be more aggressive off the ground.

Ultra2HolyGrail
06-10-2007, 03:31 PM
I actually thought his backhand was the best i have ever seen it.

Ultra2HolyGrail
06-10-2007, 03:40 PM
Those type of players don't beat Nadal on clay. Berdych got bageled. :D Hamburg was a low bouncing clay which allowed Federer to be more aggressive off the ground.

True, thats why it is a nightmare for a all courter. People saying fed choked or should of did this and that dont know what they're talking about. The superior baseliner wins at the french. Fed is damn good, incredible, nadal is just a notch above on the slowest surface, the real clay at the french.. It's funny how fed dont choke at wimbledon> usopen-australian?

alan-n
06-10-2007, 03:44 PM
I actually thought his backhand was the best i have ever seen it.
It was, you can only do such much with it against Nadal and it wasn't the liability that cost him the match. Federer didn't hold serve and was hitting way to many 2nd serves against Nadal.

woodman
06-10-2007, 03:50 PM
The moment was just to great, even for the GOAT. With a first service percentage and break point conversion numbers like Federers, what else could you call it? I am a huge Federer fan, and this loss was almost physically painful, but call as pade a spade as the saying goes.......

Ultra2HolyGrail
06-10-2007, 03:57 PM
It was, you can only do such much with it against Nadal and it wasn't the liability that cost him the match. Federer didn't hold serve and was hitting way to many 2nd serves against Nadal.

For me the bottom line is, Nadal more consistent from the baseline, less errors than federer. Once the point gets going, advantage nadal to be more consistent, hit less errors.

Fed serve is severly compromised on the slow red clay. As was petes, the greatest server ever.

johnny ballgame
06-10-2007, 04:03 PM
Never mind strategy. Fed's problem today was execution, plain and simple.

1 for 17 on break points and a bad first serve %. The very fact that he HAD 17 break points means his strategy was effective.

Zimbo
06-10-2007, 04:03 PM
Ha, I was going to write a thread "Is Federer stubborn or Nadal is too good"

I was thinking about this after I heard Mac saying his view of Fed's stubborness. I in part I agree with it.

I wasn't able to watch the match and was stupid enough to forget to record it. So what did Mac say during the match?

foetz
06-10-2007, 04:15 PM
Those type of players don't beat Nadal on clay. Berdych got bageled. :D Hamburg was a low bouncing clay which allowed Federer to be more aggressive off the ground.

maybe, but his tactic wasn't good anyway

emcee
06-10-2007, 04:17 PM
Never mind strategy. Fed's problem today was execution, plain and simple.

1 for 17 on break points and a bad first serve %. The very fact that he HAD 17 break points means his strategy was effective.

Word. While I think he could've came to net more (or kept going to net even after Nadal passed him a few times....), his strategy seemed to work. He just choked OR Nadal's such a great champion that he could elevate him game when it counted. Nadal seemed to play mostly the same on those points and didn't give Federer any freebies. Fed just failed to convert.

What was with those volleys that he kept hitting right back to Nadal? I think he got a little too obsessed with hitting it behind Rafa that he ignored the complete open court he had on a few occasions.

Fedace
06-10-2007, 04:19 PM
I don't know what this post is talking about, When federer tried to attack, he got passed, unless federer comes in on virtual winner type of approach shots, he was getting passed clean. so actually fed was doing what he could do from the baseline.

hyperwarrior
06-10-2007, 04:26 PM
To me, it was a display of stubborness. Fed's trying to win in the same
dynamics of match that he lost repeatedly against Nadal.

Many champions are stubborn. I can certainly understand Federer because
he has been winning in all kinds of match dynamics he engaged in with
just about everybody.

He still seems to believe he can beat Nadal in baseline battle on clay
using same dynamics involving his backhand. At imes, he almost looked like
he wants win the match with his backhands. He looked like it's his strategy.

Then there is his questionable net play. It's on clay and it's much hard to
have crisp footwork for net plays but as McEnroe pointed out Federer tends to drop
his wrist on volley resulting the volley pops up or rather weak.

Letting alone net play, even in just baseline dynamics of a match.
Federer still wants to win with the same scenario. He wants to have
better backhand that can over power Nadals spinny shots.

He even doesn't run-around his backhand as much as he does against
other players. He wants to win the backhand battle. Then again he runs
around and commits unforced errors with forehnad. As always in his previous
battle against Nadal, he accumulated large number of UE's with his forehand.

This is puzzling. I know Nadal is unbeatable(literally in French Open) but
this is disappointing. I thought Federer would try all of his his other tricks.
Instead he choose to win the same battle he's been losing.
This guy is freaking stubborn unless he is actually incapable of certain things...

I agree with you, I was thinking the same and I'm glad someone is aware of it. I was wondering the same if he's stubborn and believes he can win with this old gameplan that doesn't works at all.

Maybe Roger's backhand had improved over the last few months but still, it wasn't enough to win, he can hit some winners here and there but not steady enough to attack regularly with it. He hit so much BH that when it comes to hit a forehand, Fed doesn't seem to be comfortable with it.

Why didn't he hit more slices? Maybe it's hard to slice when the ball kicked above your shoulders but I'm surprise to see so few of it today.

Well, Nadal did play smart and credit to him.

TennezSport
06-10-2007, 04:28 PM
Never mind strategy. Fed's problem today was execution, plain and simple.

1 for 17 on break points and a bad first serve %. The very fact that he HAD 17 break points means his strategy was effective.

That was one of the worst matches I have ever seen from both players. More UE's than winners and really sloppy play. Fed's execution was the worst I have seen since he was a teenager; AND it was NOT Rafa's play that did it.

Out of the 17 break points Fed had, he converted on 1 Nadal saved 3, that leaves 13 break points that Fed screwed up. The sad part is that Fed had clear openings on most of his opportunities, so the strategy worked but the execution SUC***. He either hit the ball into the net or hit it 6 ft out, which wasn't necessary. Nadal was nowhere in sight. Had Fed connected on just half of his opportunities, it could have been straight sets for Fed.

I guess Nadal deserves the win for playing safe ball and letting Fed self destruct.

Sad, very sad.

TennezSport :cool:

zapvor
06-10-2007, 04:56 PM
It seems he's too afraid to "let it all hang out" and use his best tennis, best tactics and his best effort because he's afraid that if he does, he will still lose. And maybe really destroy his confidence.

If Federer holds on to that mentality that he got somewhere in the middle of that match, I wouldn't be surprised if he started skipping the French.

what???????????skip the French?uh

tennis_hand
06-10-2007, 05:22 PM
I can't understand why Fed always serve wide to the ad side, and always hit to Nadal's backhand in rallies. It is so predictable that Fed hits to Nadal's backhand every time and Nadal just stays on that side. He doesn't move Nadal as he does with other players.

Bottle Rocket
06-10-2007, 05:27 PM
It is odvious that Roger did not use the stratigy that he used to good effect in Rome, and that other players who have beaten Nadal or come close . Instead he chose to play the same stratigy that has lost him on clay almpst every time. I think he choked, pure and simple.

There's something about the Hamburg win that keeps getting overlooked.

Federer tried to play the exact same way at the French Open as he played against Nadal in the Hamburg final. Whatever his tactics are, they are fine. The problems are his errors.

He played the same in the first set at Hamburg as he did in the last two, but he made a bunch of errors, just as he did at the FO. He lost the set because of it. He had two great sets after that of mostly error-free tennis so he won the match. He tried to do the same thing at the FO and just can't maintain the level needed for that game plan to work. Too many unforced errors.

At the same time, I am angry he wasn't more patient. He missed way too many put-away's. At this point, I don't even care to see him play Nadal on clay again. The matches don't get me nearly as excited as they used to.

Tennis_Monk
06-10-2007, 05:39 PM
It is so nice to see some 3.0-6.0 players advising world #1 on how to play against World #2.I am sure we know a lot better than he does regarding Tennis given that most of our interaction with federer is from what we see in the Media.

woody88
06-10-2007, 06:02 PM
Knowing how Johnny Mac would approach this, he would at least try to hit some short slice shots, draw Nadal in somewhat, then drill a few at him. If anything, it puts some doubts, and scare them a little. Nadal like to wear sleeveless shirts, and do the jump around. Fed should do that more often, we can all agree that he is stubborn, but at the same time, also his strategy for this is just somewhat wrong. Given the nature of his game, Federer would have more errors, that is to be expected. But certainly can't hurt to at least mix some stuff up, just to try it out. Which is why I am still puzzled as to why he didn't really try anything all that different in the 10 tries that he did have. It's unfortunate. Maybe if Fed's lucky enough, he may make it in the final again. But as of now, it will continue to be "would've/could've/should've". This match really will haunt him for years to come, like it did for McEnroe in the '84 final. Unless Federer can ever win one in Paris, this match will hanut him forever I think.

rod99
06-10-2007, 06:13 PM
if i was coaching federer to beat nadal on clay:

- use the slice backhand more on high backhands. also use the slice to draw nadal into the net and the occassional drop shot when nadal is way out of position.
- on groundstroke rallies, federer should either hit hard/penetrating into the nadal forehand or hit crosscourt angle shots to the nadal backhand (davydenko had success with this in hamburg).

the key is to not allow nadal to control the point with his forehand. if you hit deep/hard to his forehand then it doesn't allow him to hit an offensive shot (relatively) and it also allows federer to hit deep into the backhand on the next shot. also, if you hit short angles to the backhand then it opens up the court for the 2nd shot as well as it allows you to hit behind nadal when he is running to his forehand.

foetz
06-10-2007, 06:13 PM
It is so nice to see some 3.0-6.0 players advising world #1 on how to play against World #2.I am sure we know a lot better than he does regarding Tennis given that most of our interaction with federer is from what we see in the Media.

well seems like he could need some advice cause he lost ;)

alan-n
06-10-2007, 06:16 PM
Its not a good idea to slice against Nadal. Players who slice more than once during a rally against Nadal will have the second one hit for a winner. Nadal's game is about as perfect for clay as it gets. Nothing Federer can do unless he's playing Hamburg level execution.

tennis_hand
06-10-2007, 06:21 PM
He did slice it. but Nadal then hit a winner. Slice doesn't work very well against Nadal unless u can always slice very deep. and Nadal's shot is high jumping so it is not easy for Fed to hit a passing winner as he did in AO.

Anyway, all the reasons that I think Fed can't beat Nadal is still on the footwork. The footwork on clay is why he lost every time against Nadal. Forehand, backhand, volleys are not problems. But because of his footwork, his other techniques are limited. The way Nadal runs on the court is perfect on clay court.

Fed still has a lot of chances. He is only 25. 5 years before 30 is still very possible.

rod99
06-10-2007, 06:26 PM
He did slice it. but Nadal then hit a winner. Slice doesn't work very well against Nadal unless u can always slice very deep. and Nadal's shot is high jumping so it is not easy for Fed to hit a passing winner as he did in AO.

Anyway, all the reasons that I think Fed can't beat Nadal is still on the footwork. The footwork on clay is why he lost every time against Nadal. Forehand, backhand, volleys are not problems. But because of his footwork, his other techniques are limited. The way Nadal runs on the court is perfect on clay court.

Fed still has a lot of chances. He is only 25. 5 years before 30 is still very possible.


no, actually he sliced it and drew several errors from nadal. the fact of the matter is that federer can't get enough pace/depth using a topspin backhand when the ball is above his shoulders. he just doesn't consistently have enough on that shot. that allows nadal to run around his backhand and start controlling the point with his forehand. at that point then it's over for federer.

krosero
06-10-2007, 07:22 PM
I don't know what this post is talking about, When federer tried to attack, he got passed, unless federer comes in on virtual winner type of approach shots, he was getting passed clean. I failed to write it down, but NBC's stats on Fed's approaches showed him winning a very high percentage. I think they put a graphic up in the third set; it was well above 50%.

Anyone have the stat?

tennis_hand
06-10-2007, 07:24 PM
I failed to write it down, but NBC's stats on Fed's approaches showed him winning a very high percentage. I think they put a graphic up in the third set; it was well above 50%.

Anyone have the stat?

the percentage is high because he doesn't rush on every point.
if he did that, it would be much lower.

krosero
06-10-2007, 07:27 PM
the percentage is high because he doesn't rush on every point.
if he did that, it would be much lower.I agree, but it only needs to stay above 50% for it to be a worthwhile strategy. That's why the exact number and percentage would be interesting to look at.

tennis_hand
06-10-2007, 07:31 PM
I agree, but it only needs to stay above 50% for it to be a worthwhile strategy. That's why the exact number and percentage would be interesting to look at.

hmm. didn't Sampras prove S&V too much didn't work? and that was almost a decade ago. So I presume it works less nowadays.

krosero
06-10-2007, 07:42 PM
hmm. didn't Sampras prove S&V too much didn't work? and that was almost a decade ago. So I presume it works less nowadays.right, but I don't think anyone wants Federer to serve and volley on every point; obviously no one wants him to serve-and-volley too much. The question is, were there points today where Federer could have approached, without rushing himself, but did not take the chance? Also, are there are other things that Federer can do to give himself more chances to approach effectively?

A short list of things that people are suggesting: slice the backhand more often; come in more; bring Rafa in; serve out wide to Rafa's backhand and come in; stand in closer on second serves.

Serve-and-volley, or even approaching the net generally, is just a part of what he might try to do. Serve-and-volley as much as Sampras is not something I would suggest against Rafa on clay.

jetlee2k
06-10-2007, 07:43 PM
I said the same thing when I saw the first match. Where is the drop shot, slice shots.. he just fed the ball back to Nadal back hand then after a few rally, he made error. He was reacting to Nadal shot rather have any game plan or strategy. He should watched Andy Murray when he played with Nadal. Nadal was scrambling for all his shots.. Just a very poor strategic match for Fed.

tennis_hand
06-10-2007, 07:47 PM
I said the same thing when I saw the first match. Where is the drop shot, slice shots.. he just fed the ball back to Nadal back hand then after a few rally, he made error. He was reacting to Nadal shot rather have any game plan or strategy. He should watched Andy Murray when he played with Nadal. Nadal was scrambling for all his shots.. Just a very poor strategic match for Fed.

exactly. no drop shots as Djokovic did, no slices, but only endless baseline rallies. he can't beat Nadal this way.

FarFed
06-10-2007, 07:52 PM
Yes, he was stubborn. With his backhand usage in the final, he was basically trying to send out a message - "You thought you could get to me by playing to my backhand like you've done so in the past? Try it today, I'll whack you."

The backhand was good, but I agree that he should have mixed it up, added variety. I am thoroughly convinced that Nadal is incapable of handling a good, tactical player who manages to execute a variety of shots consistently.

Remember Federer against Davydenko in the semis, the drop volleys, the chip-and-charge S/V play, though it all came out in the ending games of the match, it was still great stuff to see.

Nadal's in trouble if he thinks he can rule on clay with his current game against players who can S/V, come into the net, slice consistently etc. He needs to lose to a "classic" Federer to understand that, and then I assure you Toni and his camp will be sweating.

Eviscerator
06-10-2007, 10:10 PM
Everyone assumes it was Federer who ended his relationship with Tony Roach, but maybe it was the other way around.
As a coach it would drive me crazy to have a player capable of executing a game play to win a slam, but his utter disregard of it during the match would cost him the chance. Federer consistently allows Nadal to stay in his comfort zone rather than draw him in. Even though Nadal is fast enough to get to short and mid range balls, he is much more error prone. The bottom line is that Nadal won, but unless Federer wants him to continue to win he needs to mix up his game more and not play into Nadals strength on clay.

alwaysatnet
06-10-2007, 10:15 PM
Agreed. It's isn't good enough for Fed to just win,apparently. He has to win by beating Nadal at his own game. That will not happen.
He has to draw Nadal off the baseline and into the court where is uncomfortable and vulnerable. Fed also has to pick up his serve game and make his break point chances stick.
Easier said than done? Yes. But it nevertheless must be done. He is not a better Nadal than Nadal himself is.

Breaker
06-10-2007, 10:54 PM
I agree, but it only needs to stay above 50% for it to be a worthwhile strategy. That's why the exact number and percentage would be interesting to look at.

Federer attacking the net a lot always seems to work against Nadal, 62/80 at Rome last year in the only best of five he has been in a winning position in when he has played Rafa. Also, let's not forget Rome this year when Davydenko won 20 out of 22 points at net in the second set. Nikolay has improved but it no Federer at the net or even with approach shots, I'm surprised Roger didn't see this and use it more often.

tennis_hand
06-10-2007, 11:11 PM
Fed said himself before: he tends to fall into the habit of playing opponent's game and beating him.

tricky
06-10-2007, 11:17 PM
In regards to his BH, part of the reason why his FH broke down so often was that he was forcing himself to hit inside-out FHs around his BH when his feet weren't set properly.

Fed's BH broke down at times, but I don't think there's much he can do about that. When the ball bounces up to your ear and you're using an Eastern one-hander and you're hitting well back, what can you do? Can you consistently try stepping in and hope for the best? If you try slicing your 1-hander BH to Nadal's BH, then the Nadal defaults to a wide-angled crosscourt BH. It's a dangerous aspect of Nadal's baseline game; if you hadn't made yourself back to the center yet, Nadal's got you. If you try to go net to Nadal's BH, he's surprisingly good at hitting low, angled passing shots with it. Given the circumstances, had Fed's FH held up, the problems with the BH would have subsided.

I would say this though. By the 3rd set, Fed was standing a lot during his BH side, as if he was forgetting to use his legs. At the same time, his BH shots lost depth and Nadal was eating up his short balls. And his legs were fading by the 3rd set, so that he was getting lazy setting up position for volleying.

I think the problem with any argument about beating Nadal is that nobody has beaten Nadal in a 5-set clay match in years. Really, what strategy has worked? Could we now chalk up Hamburg to Nadal's legs being tired, and so that even Fed's emphasis on hitting back to Nadal's BH doesn't qualify as a leverage strategy? Besides his service game, Nadal didn't play that well for his standards today. And he still beat the world's #1 pretty convincingly.

Really, how the hell do you beat Nadal on clay?

rwn
06-10-2007, 11:52 PM
Federer's problem isn't tactics. He had twice as many breakpoints as Nadal. The problem lies in his mind on breakpoints. He plays very negative, without agression on them hoping for the other player to make an error. Nadal's just not going to do that. If he can't change that, he will lose against Nadal every time. Nadal's too tough in the mental department to beat himself.

sarpmas
06-11-2007, 12:14 AM
When Federer first rose to prominent, it was his variety of weapons that caught everybody scrambling. Yet, for some unknown reasons, when playing against Nadal, he chose to play more from the baseline and did not use his variety more often. Trying to beat Nadal on clay from the baseline is strategically wrong. I'm inclined to believe it is indeed Federer's stubbornness and ego that is preventing Federer from solving the Nadal puzzle on clay, trying desperately (and unsuccessfully) to prove a point that he can beat Nadal from the back.

In the Final, on how many occasions did you see Federer attempts to blast winners to the open court after getting Nadal out of position, only to see Nadal tracked down the ball and pass a dazed Federer at the net, or commit an error going for too much? He could have played a drop volley, or a drop shot, or a short angled slice, just mixed things up and keep Nadal guessing. But no, he chose to blast winners where Nadal already anticipated. Make no mistake, it is not wrong to go for winners when the opponent is out of position, but against an exceptionally fast Nadal with exceptionally great footwork on clay, you are just playing into Nadal's strength.

Nonetheless, I'm sure there are many more 'what went wrong' for Federer in this Final. I just thought for Federer to be more successful against Nadal, on clay, he has to use his variety, which is what makes Federer so dominant in the first place.

tricky
06-11-2007, 01:08 AM
He could have played a drop volley, or a drop shot, or a short angled slice, just mixed things up and keep Nadal guessing

Fed tried it a few times, but Nadal moves incredibly well on clay. On clay, Nadal can punish the short ball with abnormal angles just like Federer does.

A number of times, Federer tried wide-angled CC shots with his BH. And he was successful as long as he could take the ball early and short.

I'm inclined to believe it is indeed Federer's stubbornness and ego that is preventing Federer from solving the Nadal puzzle on clay, trying desperately (and unsuccessfully) to prove a point that he can beat Nadal from the back.


A lot of this was brought about by his 1st serve percentage. Nadal regularly returned Fed's 2nd serve with depth, and sometimes came in to attack. On both wings, he tried varying the height of the ball, but one key to Nadal's FH is that unlike almost every other clay courter, he can smack knee-high balls as well as above-the-head balls with enormous authority and topspin. Therefore, everything is coming back penetrating and with enormous kick.

One key thing was how poor Fed's BH return was against Nadal's 1st serve. Nadal would just kick serve into Fed's BH and wait for the short ball to control center of court. One thing that was baffling was Fed's refusal to really pounce on Nadal's 2nd serve. That showed how much the surface bounce was bothering him.

Linda
06-11-2007, 01:25 AM
Does anyone think maybe nadal is just to good for roger on clay?

i've begun to think so. and i think federer may have begun to think so too. watching him out there on court, i didn't get the feeling he ever believed he could do it. i saw djokovic fighting nadal harder than federer did. he had belief in the beginning, not all the way through, but he came out and i think djokovic honestly thought he could beat nadal. federer came out and didn't show me anything of the sort.

roysid
06-11-2007, 03:18 AM
The match went like
1st set : Both played like Crap. Federer more. About 25% 1st serve. Didn't hit any winners on breakpoints. Backhand was working very good though. And Nadal was losing in the rallies.

2nd set : Both played better (now they're out of their shackles). Fed's 1st serve, forehand worked fine.

3rd set: With 1 set all, this is the key. Nadal's play improved while Fed became stubborn. With Nadal serving better, he should have stepped back on 1st serve and make a deep return. On 2nd serve, he should go for the forehand return winner. On rallies, surprisingly he didn't go for forehand when he could take it. Worse his forehand suffered. The only reason he could keep his service games easily because Nadal didn't bother to spend enegy on return games. Smart move.

4th set: Basically a mirror of the 3rd one.


Positive points for Fed:
- His backhand was very good. Though he didn't go for down the line winners when nadal was away on his forehand side.
- He didn't play so bad as last year.
- Atleast he stopped Nadal from having a straight set sweep :)

caulcano
06-11-2007, 03:30 AM
Nadal > Federer on clay. The stats don't lie.

I agree with a few posters that Federer wants to beat Nadal at his own game but it won't happen.

I was watching the match yesterday, and I felt Federer had a lot of opportunities to draw Nadal to the net. Either by way of a drop-volley or a short-sliced BH cross-court, which never materilized.

I'm pretty sure that would have tired Nadal out more. But then again Nadal may have taken even more time between points.

Eviscerator
06-11-2007, 07:59 AM
Fed tried it a few times, but Nadal moves incredibly well on clay. On clay, Nadal can punish the short ball with abnormal angles just like Federer does.

.

Your comment in reference to drop shots, short angled slices and drop volleys is accurate on one hand but not the other. While Nadal is capable of getting to most of those shots, he many times is off balance and is more error prone. Sure I saw Nadal hit a few winners of shot balls, but I also saw him make a decent amount of errors as well. The point is that by mixing up the shots right from the beginning of the match and sticking with it throughout would take Nadal out of his comfort zone. Nadal in the mid-court to the net is where you want him as an opponent as much as possible. It is not easy to do but Federer is one of the few players capable of those shots off of Nadals heavy spin. In my opinion that is the only way Federer can beat him on clay, by keeping Nadal out of his comfort zone.

Stinkdyr
06-11-2007, 10:47 AM
The goal for the goat should be to yank Nada out of his comfort zone. Get him off the baseline. Get him scrambling in to deal with a low crosscourt slice and then topspin lob Nada so he has to go scrambling back to the baseline just to get back into the point. It is like training a puppy, Roger. Either you are training him, or he is training you. Looks like Nada has trained you pretty well how to lose at the baseline on clay against him. How does it feel?
(here is a clue for next year. drop a dime, call Pete Sampras and BEG him to coach you on improving your volleys and appreciating the need to shorten the points by closing in on the net and volleying when you have Nada picking his butt by the first row of chairs).

fastdunn
06-11-2007, 12:10 PM
I would say this though. By the 3rd set, Fed was standing a lot during his BH side, as if he was forgetting to use his legs. ?

This was my observation too.
His footwork looked like those from his early days when his was young
up and coming players. He didn't exactly bend his leg much when he was
teeanger or 20...

icazares
06-11-2007, 12:32 PM
Federer lost when he missed his +10 break points in the first. He should have won the first 2 sets, and that's exactly what bothered him the whole match. I actually think he played very well until the moment when he started to miss forehand after forehand. But ladies and gentlemen, let's just be fair. I think Roger is the best ever, but Nadal... I didn't see Borg, I admit, but no one I have ever seen comes even close to Nadal on clay. It's like playing against a wall. In order for Roger to win points he had to take many risks and play perfect points. I think he just got tired of 2 hours of that. One more thing: Federer is still my favorite player but I have learned to like Nadal a lot. This guy is exceptional. I love his work ethics and original approach to tennis. Some say he is one-dimensional. Nothing could be farther from reality. For those who bash today's tennis I say this: you are living a great time, the time when the best ever in non-clay and the best ever in clay are in their prime. Just enjoy, indulge in that.

alan-n
06-11-2007, 01:36 PM
I'd agree with the Nadal isn't one dimensional assessment. Yes he plays the percentages a lot and uses his lefty spin to cause errors, thats whats he's supposed to do. When pressed to hit the winner from his forehand or backhand from any position, he can do it as well as anyone can and better.

r2473
06-11-2007, 03:04 PM
To me, it was a display of stubborness. Fed's trying to win in the same
dynamics of match that he lost repeatedly against Nadal.

Many champions are stubborn. I can certainly understand Federer because
he has been winning in all kinds of match dynamics he engaged in with
just about everybody.

He still seems to believe he can beat Nadal in baseline battle on clay
using same dynamics involving his backhand. At imes, he almost looked like
he wants win the match with his backhands. He looked like it's his strategy.

Then there is his questionable net play. It's on clay and it's much hard to
have crisp footwork for net plays but as McEnroe pointed out Federer tends to drop
his wrist on volley resulting the volley pops up or rather weak.

Letting alone net play, even in just baseline dynamics of a match.
Federer still wants to win with the same scenario. He wants to have
better backhand that can over power Nadals spinny shots.

He even doesn't run-around his backhand as much as he does against
other players. He wants to win the backhand battle. Then again he runs
around and commits unforced errors with forehnad. As always in his previous
battle against Nadal, he accumulated large number of UE's with his forehand.

This is puzzling. I know Nadal is unbeatable(literally in French Open) but
this is disappointing. I thought Federer would try all of his his other tricks.
Instead he choose to win the same battle he's been losing.
This guy is freaking stubborn unless he is actually incapable of certain things...

I think you got it.

Now you have a tough decision to make......should you go out yourself and beat Nadal on clay or just coach Fed?

I can't wait to see which you choose.

araghava
06-11-2007, 04:03 PM
The thing i didn't get was why Federer didn't take more chances on Nadals 1st serve. It was obvious that Nadal was spinnng his 1st serve in. So Fed should have atleast occasionally treated the 1st serve like a 2nd serve and attacked. Instead he allowed Nadal to put a high percentage of 1st serves to start the point after which Nadal took control.

Hot Sauce
06-11-2007, 04:14 PM
I saw too many unforced errors from Federer, and I thought he should've attacked Nadal's serve. It didn't look too far out of reach, and I think Fed can beat him on clay.

fastdunn
06-11-2007, 04:23 PM
I would say this though. By the 3rd set, Fed was standing a lot during his BH side, as if he was forgetting to use his legs?

I just noticed Federer cited a thigh trouble as one of the reasons why
he skips Halle.

And he also mentioned he had similar problem in Rome in a match
with Volandri.

As I recall, some (including you) noticed problem in Fed's footwork with the match with Volandri
and some (including me) suspected an injury.

Tennis_Monk
06-11-2007, 04:27 PM
I think you got it.

Now you have a tough decision to make......should you go out yourself and beat Nadal on clay or just coach Fed?

I can't wait to see which you choose.

While I love to play FO, its a lot simpler. Coaching Fed is tough on the other hand. He can get to finals somehow . so all we need to do is help him win one FInal match. ;)