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View Full Version : Interesting article on Tennis.com - Federer and his racquet


rs1996
07-30-2008, 02:07 PM
I saw this article on Tennis.com today.

The author makes a case for Federer switching to a larger headsize.

I am not agreeing or disagreeing with the author and I suspect this has been a discussion topic some time in the past. I just thought the article was interesting.

http://www.tennis.com/features/general/features.aspx?id=140804

bchamaki
07-30-2008, 02:15 PM
I agree very much. This was a great article. Good find.

Fedace
07-30-2008, 02:27 PM
^^^ You mean all those Posts in this forum about Federer should switch to larger head size was right afterall ?? Maybe author of the article stole the idea from this forum ???

MomentumGT
07-30-2008, 02:42 PM
I don't get it. :-? How does anyone on this forum or anywhere in the world tell Roger, arguably the GOAT and one of the cleanest ball strikers in the game, that he NEEDS to switch to a larger head size? I just don't understand the reasoning and basis. Do you guys think that if Sampras used a 95 instead of his 85 pro staff he would have grabbed a few more majors? maybe a French? Edumacate me please.

-Jon

rs1996
07-30-2008, 02:55 PM
Since by his own standards, Federer seems to be in a slump, there will be those that have to speculate as to why?

Personally, I can literally only dream of playing like Fed - in a slump.

I wouldn't so much as suggest he change his shoelaces. I just thought the article was an interesting read.

MomentumGT
07-30-2008, 03:11 PM
Since by his own standards, Federer seems to be in a slump, there will be those that have to speculate as to why?

Personally, I can literally only dream of playing like Fed - in a slump.

I wouldn't so much as suggest he change his shoelaces. I just thought the article was an interesting read.

Wasn't pointing at you directly. When I first came on here I read many posts by people here, who will remain nameless, of certain pros would of won this match, that match, that Open if he had a larger head size. I just needed to know those so called peoples justification for saying that statement. I played D1 tennis back in the day and Fed on a slump with a wood racket and a sprained ankle and Mirka holding a leather whip will beat me 0-0 on my best day.

-Jon

FreshStew
07-30-2008, 03:29 PM
I thought about switching from a 95 to a 98 but the 98 isn't as precise.

I just think Fed's confidence is shaken.

MomentumGT
07-30-2008, 03:43 PM
^^Agree 100%. Hopefully he can get it together before the Open. :(

-Jon

Pro_Tour_630
07-30-2008, 04:10 PM
Federer can call me up and I can hook him up with some serious gear, a few dozen Austrian PT630 and he will win the French for sure.:):):):)

interesting take on spin 4800 RPM vs 4400, 400 RPM difference? I thought spin kick is not measured by RPM?

Cup8489
07-30-2008, 04:24 PM
Federer can call me up and I can hook him up with some serious gear, a few dozen Austrian PT630 and he will win the French for sure.:):):):)

interesting take on spin 4800 RPM vs 4400, 400 RPM difference? I thought spin kick is not measured by RPM?

the trajectories of the two are different. nadal puts more vertical momentum behind his swings, and so the ball hits the court at a slightly steeper angle, resulting in more kick.

fed's shot is more horizantally directed, to hit through the court, and thus it skids more, rather than kicks.

Hatari!
07-30-2008, 06:03 PM
I don't get it. :-? How does anyone on this forum or anywhere in the world tell Roger, arguably the GOAT and one of the cleanest ball strikers in the game, that he NEEDS to switch to a larger head size? I just don't understand the reasoning and basis. Do you guys think that if Sampras used a 95 instead of his 85 pro staff he would have grabbed a few more majors? maybe a French? Edumacate me please.

-Jon

This article isn't saying that Federer MUST switch to a larger headsize, but that he should at least TRY a bigger racquet.

rs1996
07-30-2008, 07:38 PM
the trajectories of the two are different. nadal puts more vertical momentum behind his swings, and so the ball hits the court at a slightly steeper angle, resulting in more kick.

fed's shot is more horizantally directed, to hit through the court, and thus it skids more, rather than kicks.

A high kick from Nadal or a quick skid from Fed. I couldn't handle either one from either one. :shock:

Fed does seem to be shaken a bit. However, I doubt it is the racquet he is using.

consistency wins
07-30-2008, 11:04 PM
^^^ You mean all those Posts in this forum about Federer should switch to larger head size was right afterall ?? Maybe author of the article stole the idea from this forum ???

Well it's a stupid idea, isn't it?

bluetrain4
07-30-2008, 11:18 PM
I really didn't think the author took a "know it all" attitude towards the article. The tone was respectful.

He didn't insist Fed switch, just that he should try it. I can't say what is best for Fed, obviously.

But, it's not that out of this world to think that a slightly bigger frame might help at this stage in his career.

Noveson
07-30-2008, 11:32 PM
the trajectories of the two are different. nadal puts more vertical momentum behind his swings, and so the ball hits the court at a slightly steeper angle, resulting in more kick.

fed's shot is more horizantally directed, to hit through the court, and thus it skids more, rather than kicks.

Skids my ass:) Have you ever watched Federer play live? He hits an insane amount of topspin. Just because it doesn't have a looping trajectory like Nadal's doesn't mean it doesn't kick. There is no skidding involved in his shots hah. Except obviously his ridiculous slices.

jmverdugo
07-31-2008, 04:50 AM
Skids my ass:) Have you ever watched Federer play live? He hits an insane amount of topspin. Just because it doesn't have a looping trajectory like Nadal's doesn't mean it doesn't kick. There is no skidding involved in his shots hah. Except obviously his ridiculous slices.

I agree with Noveson, skid his a** :) - seriously, Federer does put a lot of topspin on his shots, they just kick more forward than upward.

VGP
07-31-2008, 08:48 AM
The author makes a good argument.

Federer could try a different frame.....even go back to the drawing board with Wilson to design more prototypes.

Perhaps he'll avoid the "fate" of Sampras where he had to focus on faster surfaces to win slams. It might propel him to breaking the 14 slam record and even beat Nadal on clay.

Remember, we're splitting hairs and talking about Federer, the best of his generation. It's a tough call. It could work in his favor, or totally throw him off. The author even mentioned Muster (I remember this time) where his racket change helped him on faster surfaces, but took its toll on the slower (his best) surfaces.

Remember when Agassi used the widebody at Roland Garros? He when he was on he could clock the ball, but he immediately found out that he couldn't control the ball and he got ****ed and busted his frames on court.

Even if Federer tried a new design, he could just immediately bag the idea if it doesn't work. Problem is, it seems it would be geared to beating just one guy (Nadal) and not boost his overall game.....but given his recent results, it could be time to experiment.

A dangerous gamble, but one that could pay off.

Making reference to Sampras using the bigger frame and gut/poly hybrids.....seems like it did work for him, but he must not have been too satisfied since it seems the prototype frame that he's been sporting is a mix of what Federer is using and his old frame.

Question is now, does Roger want to tweak his gear again?

Jimmyt
07-31-2008, 12:44 PM
Maybe they are starting to set it up for the fed switch to the new Sampras Racquet :)

edberger
07-31-2008, 12:57 PM
I think that the author greatly over-estimates the effect of 5 sq in. By his logic if 90 sq is better than 85, then 95 should be better than 90. Heck, a 110 sq in racket would make Fed unstoppable, right? It's an over-simplification to say that Federer's breakthrough in 2002 was completely due to switching rackets. There are plenty of other factors that can attribute to success, like better fitness, tweaks in technique, more confidence, etc., which the author does not give credit to. If it is true that Federer's problems with Nadal were completely due to shanking, that means he is missing the sweetspot not by a little bit, but by inches, which a 5% increase in area will not help with. That said, I definitely agree there is a difference in feel with a few inches. I just disagree with the author's implication that head size equals success and what kind of misguided message that is for amateurs like us. Just my 2 cents.

Bhagi Katbamna
07-31-2008, 02:34 PM
It is a great article. If he tries it in practice and doesn't like it, no big loss. But if it makes a difference in his game, then great.

RanchDressing
07-31-2008, 05:07 PM
federer is a far better player than nadal. but nadal is better with a solid gameplan and extreem physical strength.
At their level its 90% mental.
Federer thinks he cant find a way to win, so he won't.
btw nadal is a very good counterpuncher... far more than most people think and this is where federer needs to work out a way....
If i were roger i would probably add more wheight in the edges of the stick... (not the edges but the sides) in an attempt to open up the sweet spot a bit. Then take wheight out of the very "tip" of the head. next add some in the handle, and finally go to the gym and work out a bit (fed needs improvement for long matches).

naturallight
08-02-2008, 01:51 PM
This article reads like something from the early-90s when oversize was all the rage. I thought we had learned something from that time, no...

The biggest problem with the article is that he childly assumes bigger is better (does he even play tennis?). Sure, a bigger racquet has some advantages, but it also has some drawbacks--mainly less stable, less mobile, and not as good on serves.

Noveson
08-02-2008, 03:07 PM
This article reads like something from the early-90s when oversize was all the rage. I thought we had learned something from that time, no...

The biggest problem with the article is that he childly assumes bigger is better (does he even play tennis?). Sure, a bigger racquet has some advantages, but it also has some drawbacks--mainly less stable, less mobile, and not as good on serves.

Federer is insanely talented, you underestimate his ability to adapt. Anyway all of his rivals use a bigger racquet, they seem to do fine with them. What makes you think Federer couldn't?

tom_asdelonge182
08-05-2008, 02:40 AM
Federer is insanely talented, you underestimate his ability to adapt. Anyway all of his rivals use a bigger racquet, they seem to do fine with them. What makes you think Federer couldn't?

Yeah that is true but he is also too proud, arrogant even to admit that he needs to change. Also Most of the players' racquet are like an extension of their arm and they have moulded their game around it

naturallight
08-07-2008, 01:14 PM
Federer is insanely talented, you underestimate his ability to adapt. Anyway all of his rivals use a bigger racquet, they seem to do fine with them. What makes you think Federer couldn't?

How you get to this conclusion from my post is beyond me…perhaps you overestimate your ability to comprehend ;)

All I'm saying is that contrary to the article, most people who play tennis understand that bigger racquets are not necessarily better…there are certain trade-offs. When the technology really improved in the early 90's you saw a lot of good rec players switch to oversize heads…everyone wanted to be like Agassi. Now who uses an oversize? If anything you see a lot more players switching to mids rather than to oversizes.

Noveson
08-07-2008, 03:17 PM
This article reads like something from the early-90s when oversize was all the rage. I thought we had learned something from that time, no...

The biggest problem with the article is that he childly assumes bigger is better (does he even play tennis?). Sure, a bigger racquet has some advantages, but it also has some drawbacks--mainly less stable, less mobile, and not as good on serves.

I made a little bit of a jump:) But you mention the drawbacks, which nobody has actually seen the effects of. When does Nadal have problems with stability? On the other hand we she the repeated shanks from Federer in every match.

How you get to this conclusion from my post is beyond me…perhaps you overestimate your ability to comprehend ;)

All I'm saying is that contrary to the article, most people who play tennis understand that bigger racquets are not necessarily better…there are certain trade-offs. When the technology really improved in the early 90's you saw a lot of good rec players switch to oversize heads…everyone wanted to be like Agassi. Now who uses an oversize? If anything you see a lot more players switching to mids rather than to oversizes.

No - not at all in fact. Why would you use rec players as an example for the success of Mids? A good 99%(apporximately:)) of pro players use Midplus racquets. Obviously there are pros and cons of both, but all of the cons you mentioned involving midplus racquets can easily be fixed with lead tape. Mainly stability, and serve issues.

baek57
08-07-2008, 04:59 PM
I made a little bit of a jump:) But you mention the drawbacks, which nobody has actually seen the effects of. When does Nadal have problems with stability? On the other hand we she the repeated shanks from Federer in every match.

No - not at all in fact. Why would you use rec players as an example for the success of Mids? A good 99%(apporximately:)) of pro players use Midplus racquets. Obviously there are pros and cons of both, but all of the cons you mentioned involving midplus racquets can easily be fixed with lead tape. Mainly stability, and serve issues.


nadal shanks more than federer (documented by tw member). besides, head size is not the cause of shanking.

if 99% of the pros use midplus, and fed accounts for the 1% that doesnt, then he stands out from the mediocrity of the rest of the field and has 12 slams to prove it. why conform to what the rest of the field uses when he is the one setting the bar?

naturallight
08-07-2008, 10:20 PM
I made a little bit of a jump:) But you mention the drawbacks, which nobody has actually seen the effects of. When does Nadal have problems with stability? On the other hand we she the repeated shanks from Federer in every match.

Did you watch Nadal play Haas and Novak in Cincy last week?


No - not at all in fact. Why would you use rec players as an example for the success of Mids? A good 99%(apporximately:)) of pro players use Midplus racquets. Obviously there are pros and cons of both, but all of the cons you mentioned involving midplus racquets can easily be fixed with lead tape. Mainly stability, and serve issues.


1) Adding lead tape is not going to help with the mobility issue. More importantly, adding lead tape has trade-offs, no?

2) Since you seem to be saying that "bigger is better", why should Federer only switch to a MP--why not get a step ahead of his competition and go up to the OS? What possible drawbacks could there be to this plan?

Noveson
08-07-2008, 11:50 PM
Did you watch Nadal play Haas and Novak in Cincy last week?





1) Adding lead tape is not going to help with the mobility issue. More importantly, adding lead tape has trade-offs, no?

2) Since you seem to be saying that "bigger is better", why should Federer only switch to a MP--why not get a step ahead of his competition and go up to the OS? What possible drawbacks could there be to this plan?

You try to generalize what I say too much. I never said bigger is better, I said Federer should at least consider a Mid-Plus racquet. Do you not think there is something to the fact that almost all pros use Mid-Plus racquets, and a tiny amount(of male players) use an oversize or midsize racquet?

naturallight
08-08-2008, 07:36 AM
You try to generalize what I say too much.

But you mention the drawbacks (of the MP's), which nobody has actually seen the effects of.

There's no way I'm overgeneralizing your position when you're the one saying that MP's are unequivocally better than mids.

My whole point is that there are certain trade-offs with any racquet setup. Mids, MP's, and OS's each have their benefits and drawbacks. Now, can the net result of a particular setup be better than the net result of another setup? Absolutely.

Federer does two things extremely well that I think can be partially attributed to the mid. 1. He plays great defense (which is attributable to the mid's mobility and stability) and 2. he's extraordinarily accurate on his serves (mobility, again).

If Federer switched to a MP, would his backhand be better? Probably, but we don't really know. But it is likely his defensive shots and serve would suffer a little. What would the net result be? I don't know.

But to say that Federer should switch to a MP while ignoring the effects the MP would have on other parts of his game is wrong, in my opinion.

Noveson
08-08-2008, 11:30 AM
There's no way I'm overgeneralizing your position when you're the one saying that MP's are unequivocally better than mids.

My whole point is that there are certain trade-offs with any racquet setup. Mids, MP's, and OS's each have their benefits and drawbacks. Now, can the net result of a particular setup be better than the net result of another setup? Absolutely.

Federer does two things extremely well that I think can be partially attributed to the mid. 1. He plays great defense (which is attributable to the mid's mobility and stability) and 2. he's extraordinarily accurate on his serves (mobility, again).

If Federer switched to a MP, would his backhand be better? Probably, but we don't really know. But it is likely his defensive shots and serve would suffer a little. What would the net result be? I don't know.

But to say that Federer should switch to a MP while ignoring the effects the MP would have on other parts of his game is wrong, in my opinion.

Federer does these two things because of his amazing footwork(most likely the best in the game), and years of practice. All the great defenders, all the other great accurate servers in the game use MP racquets. So there is no reason Federer can't.

stormholloway
08-08-2008, 12:13 PM
If bigger is simply better then where do you draw the line? Will 5 inches really make the difference? If 5 inches more will benefit him then certainly 20 inches more will benefit him, but if there is a drawback to having such a large frame then certainly that drawback is equally proportionate on a 95 inch frame.

Noveson
08-08-2008, 12:18 PM
If bigger is simply better then where do you draw the line? Will 5 inches really make the difference? If 5 inches more will benefit him then certainly 20 inches more will benefit him, but if there is a drawback to having such a large frame then certainly that drawback is equally proportionate on a 95 inch frame.

Did you not read the article?

Anyway you can stretch whatever I say as much as you want(even though I clearly stated I didn't think bigger was always better), but Federer is the only top player on tour to use a racquet that small, and this coupled with his fast swing speed make him mishit a lot of balls. Why couldn't a larger surface help?

naturallight
08-08-2008, 01:00 PM
Federer does these two things because of his amazing footwork(most likely the best in the game), and years of practice. All the great defenders, all the other great accurate servers in the game use MP racquets. So there is no reason Federer can't.


Come on, this is getting laughable. You just said that Federer's accuracy on his serves is due to his "amazing footwork". Great analysis.

Noveson
08-08-2008, 05:35 PM
Come on, this is getting laughable. You just said that Federer's accuracy on his serves is due to his "amazing footwork". Great analysis.

Great reading comprehension idiot. Sentence might not have been the greatest but it does not take a genius to figure out what I meant. Care to attempt to continue arguing my point? Or is this going to devolve into worthless insults from you?

I was attributing his great service accuracy to years of practice in case you didn't understand. Accuracy is not reserved for people wielding midsized racquets. Take Roddick for example.

baseline08thrasher
08-08-2008, 07:27 PM
Federer should try it because half of his errors are shanks.
If he just adds another five or maybe even another three like djokovic's racquet, I think it would help him.

FedererISBetter
08-08-2008, 10:04 PM
Let me try to clear this out:
Smaller headsize does not increase the shanks.. what increase the shanks is lack of focus and concentration. I am obviously not as good as Federer, but I do know that with the modern game... the n90 tour I use is like a double edged sword... sure.. you get the insane control... but your concentration and focus pretty much have to be ontop, its very tough to maintain throughout the whole match. So it's really ALL mental.
If I were Federer, I wouldnt switch because there is no need to switch. He was/ still able to fend off really tough matches and the last thing he needs to change is his racquet. And yes, there is more than one factor that is causing his slump... but its not his racquet. Despite all these factors, he IS a tennis player after all, AKA human... and we all have these bad times.

drakulie
08-08-2008, 11:05 PM
If 5 inches would really make a difference, then the following would apply:

EVERY PLAYER ON TOUR BEHIND HIM WOULD HAVE SWITCHED TO SOMETHING BIGGER BY NOW.

Fact of the matter is, 5 inches doesn't make a difference at all. If one places a 90 on top of an 85>> you could barely, and I mean barely see any more string bed in the 90.

One other note:

The author mentions Agassi. Fact is, Agassi, later in his career began using a smaller head size>> not bigger, and he was hitting way cleaner, and harder at the end of his career, than at the beginning when he was using a 110 inch frame.