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View Full Version : What can Federer improve to fend off Nadal?


avoker
07-08-2007, 08:23 PM
It's getting more and more obvious to me that Fed's improvement on his back hand is still way too minor when facing Nadal forehand, and the high-percentage-slow-slice serve!

IMHO there's not too much he can do with it -- try to swing a single-handed back hand over your shoulder and you know your limitations.

So I feel Fed really needs to add new shots and tactics to his repertoire, urgently! What I can think of now are:
- short slice -- really short
- forehand drop shot
- heavy loopy top spin cross court -- just try to mimic Nadal's
- heavy slice server at deuce court
- sharp angle back hand cross court -- shots beyond service line should be considered as failure

Yes some of them are borrowed from Nadal, but why not?

And regarding to the tactics, just remember the guy named as "Santoro" and an old saying "never play the same two shots in a row!" -- Those cross court backhand to forehand rallies are really the thing that's killing Fed-- not the Hawk Eye!

What do you think?

ACE of Hearts
07-08-2007, 08:41 PM
Nothing if they keep slowing down the surfaces and putting up high bounces.I thought his strokes where negated today, including his forehand.The balls looked heavy.

Grimjack
07-08-2007, 08:46 PM
Federer has now won 11 slams, including one that just finished this freaking afternoon. 4 out of the last 5. 8 out of the last 10. He has beaten Nadal 4 of the last 6 times they've played, including once on clay.

Fed doesn't need to do a damn thing other than stay the course. Nadal is the one who clearly has to alter his gameplan in a major way if he wants to truly challenge Fed.

Alafter
07-08-2007, 08:56 PM
I swear Fed and Nadal switched places in my mind during that Final. Usually, I imagine Fed to be the one to be the shot maker, and the other side of the net is the person struggling to get the ball in and win by "I can keep that ball in, I GOTTA get that ball back in, just in is enough...".

I swear during the final Nadal was the shot maker and Fed was scrambling to get them back in play.

ACE of Hearts
07-08-2007, 08:59 PM
Hey alafter, when u see that,u know something is wrong with the damn surface!!!!!

Keifers
07-08-2007, 09:16 PM
It's getting more and more obvious to me that Fed's improvement on his back hand is still way too minor when facing Nadal forehand, and the high-percentage-slow-slice serve!

IMHO there's not too much he can do with it -- try to swing a single-handed back hand over your shoulder and you know your limitations.

So I feel Fed really needs to add new shots and tactics to his repertoire, urgently! What I can think of now are:
- short slice -- really short
- forehand drop shot
- heavy loopy top spin cross court -- just try to mimic Nadal's
- heavy slice server at deuce court
- sharp angle back hand cross court -- shots beyond service line should be considered as failure

Yes some of them are borrowed from Nadal, but why not?

And regarding to the tactics, just remember the guy named as "Santoro" and an old saying "never play the same two shots in a row!" -- Those cross court backhand to forehand rallies are really the thing that's killing Fed-- not the Hawk Eye!

What do you think?
Appreciate this topic. Interesting to think about.

Yes, Fed has beaten Nadal 4 of 6 recently, and yes, the grass is now most un-Wimby-like, but Roger has some work to do, and given how seriously he takes his tennis, I'm sure he's thinking about this topic too.

To my eye, he's definitely worked on hitting better bhs down the line to Rafa's bh, but the gain from doing this has been limited.

It's an interesting problem set. Some of the commentators have said that Roger's a bit stubborn about changing strokes and tactics. Yes, stubbornness is an important facet of being a champion, but I hope he'll continue to come up with shots and tactics to counter Rafa's game and improve his own. That's what rivalries are all about, right? :)

tricky
07-08-2007, 09:25 PM
Fed needs to work on his tactics (i.e. work with a new coach.) He made it a lot harder for himself out there. Right now, he's beating everybody by experience and sheer shotmaking ability. He was hitting lines again and again in the 5th set like he hasn't since the Australian.

Hopefully his service game still holds strong. It was spectacular against Nadal, but he needs that percentage through all surfaces.

I'd like Fed to get stronger and more fit overall. I still think it's slipped a bit this year, but in any case, he's 26 and he needs to up the fitness ante.

With that all said, grass has got to get faster. Part of the joy of Federer and Wimbledon is watching the sheer sickness of his speed and spin. That was mostly missing this tourney and with a number of the other guys too.

superman1
07-08-2007, 09:29 PM
The backhand return of serve needs to improve. Otherwise, Nadal is just outshining him from the baseline. If Federer hadn't hit that many aces, he wouldn't have won. He's too old and too successful to change much. Nadal is his successor and that's just how it is.

psamp14
07-08-2007, 09:31 PM
I swear Fed and Nadal switched places in my mind during that Final. Usually, I imagine Fed to be the one to be the shot maker, and the other side of the net is the person struggling to get the ball in and win by "I can keep that ball in, I GOTTA get that ball back in, just in is enough...".

I swear during the final Nadal was the shot maker and Fed was scrambling to get them back in play.

Hey alafter, when u see that,u know something is wrong with the damn surface!!!!!

exactly what i had going through my mind....and ACE, i know you're real critical of the speed of the surface, but you've got good reason to be...

i'm seeing nadal dictate with his forehand on grass like he does on clay, and federer cant do that on grass? you gotta be kidding me....federer's forehand, unquestionably the best in the game, looked negated out there today like sampras' serve was on clay

tricky
07-08-2007, 09:32 PM
Again, what I didn't like was that Nadal consistently shortened the distance between him and the baseline. Whereas Federer just stood back there and fired away. So, yes, that opened up angles for Nadal that Federer wasn't getting.

It's true that the surface played a huge part in that. But I would assume Federer would have taken the same advantage.

ACE of Hearts
07-08-2007, 09:32 PM
Hey superman, how can his backhand be effective when Nadal is getting heavy spin at wimbledon off all places?I agree that his serve won him the match.He couldnt do anything on the baseline since the balls where sitting up high for Nadal.

Wimbledon should be ashame.With such tradition, they have disgraced themselves with changing the surface to make a different style of play.

LafayetteHitter
07-08-2007, 09:34 PM
If anyone here could REALLY help Federer they would probably be coaching an ATP player.

ACE of Hearts
07-08-2007, 09:35 PM
Call me crazy but even Pete would have struggled with how the court was playing today.

Alex132
07-08-2007, 09:36 PM
Feds backhands needs to improve...Nadal knows his backhand is weak and works it a lot, as a result wins the points.

tricky
07-08-2007, 09:37 PM
Call me crazy but even Pete would have struggled with how the court was playing today.

Probably, but Pete would have demonstrated better tactics than Federer today. At least he would have tried to cut off Nadal's passing shots from the net.

Feds backhands needs to improve...Nadal knows his backhand is weak and works it a lot, as a result wins the points.

It was really the surface. Federer did a good job taking the ball early (though Nadal did a nice job varying the height of his shots into Fed's BH), but this grass was taking off so much pace. His BH is already heavy, it doesn't need more spin. He demonstrated most of his classic BH shots, but the ball wasn't flying.