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BorisBeckerFan
02-25-2009, 08:41 PM
I decided to re-watch some of Fed's AO 2009 matches before deleting them
from my DVR and his forehand while still the best on tour just doesn't cause
the same carnage it use to. In my opinion Fed's forehand from about 3 or 4 years ago was among the single best shots in tennis history! Right up there with the Sampras or Ivanisevic serve. I know Nadal does a great job of keeping it away from Fed's forehand but I think if Fed was doing enough damage with the forehand like he use to, he would have a better chance. I don't want discuss Fed's backhand or mental game vs Nadal since that has been discussed at length on countless threads. Is Federer doing something different technique wise and if so what can he do to regain his forehand form from 3 or 4 years ago?

Daized
02-25-2009, 08:47 PM
The largest reason that he is no longer as dominant of a player as he used to be is the fact that his forehand is no longer the same monster it used to be. While still being a great shot, he hardly ever hits it like the old days. Why? Because Federer has lost a step, he's slower, gets less preparation on his shots. Since this is true, he is also losing confidence in his game since he can't play it like he used to, hence why I think his game is going in the toilet these last two years (Though I noticed signs in 2007 of his sluggishness).

saram
02-25-2009, 08:50 PM
^^Haha..."game in the toilet" and still wins slams...that is hilarious.

BorisBeckerFan
02-25-2009, 08:55 PM
I can see you your point about him losing a step but I wouldn't go as far as
saying his game has gone down the toilet. He is still the second best player in the world. Do you think with the proper training he can regain his foot speed so that he can rip his forehand more consistently or is the speed gone
for good as cause of natural decline form aging?

LanceStern
02-25-2009, 09:30 PM
Even when he does have time to prepare for the forehand as of old, he doesn't put it away like he used to.

I love to watch the shot, but it's gone down a little. I don't know why. I think he may have changed it a little as he got older or something. Just speculation

koalakoala
02-25-2009, 09:40 PM
In another thread, we discussed the same issue...

I hope he can regain it through training. But is it possible?

Ripster
02-25-2009, 10:53 PM
The largest reason that he is no longer as dominant of a player as he used to be is the fact that his forehand is no longer the same monster it used to be. While still being a great shot, he hardly ever hits it like the old days. Why? Because Federer has lost a step, he's slower, gets less preparation on his shots. Since this is true, he is also losing confidence in his game since he can't play it like he used to, hence why I think his game is going in the toilet these last two years (Though I noticed signs in 2007 of his sluggishness).

Federer still moves around the court as well as anyone and to say that age is a reason for his supposed decline is ridiculous. Andre Agassi was scurrying around the court in his mid-30s.

saram
02-25-2009, 11:13 PM
^^I like your sig!

edmondsm
02-25-2009, 11:18 PM
Yes, the forehand is not as lethal. His movement has become more sluggish too. I read these things and I think, what did people expect? Did they think he was going to win 3 slams a year until he was 40?

saram
02-25-2009, 11:21 PM
^^I predict he is in a little slump. Rafa will fade--and Roger will take over for at least a year once again.

jman
02-25-2009, 11:49 PM
I really agree!
His forehand is not explosive anymore!
It also looks like he's flattened it out abit more.
IMO it started to happen when he switched racquet or paintjob of k-factor.
His forehand was best in 2004!!

saram
02-25-2009, 11:52 PM
^^Yeah, its the racket...geesh...

rubberduckies
02-26-2009, 12:23 AM
^^Agreed. He his forehand was 'best' before Rafa arrived on tour.

jman
02-26-2009, 12:46 AM
^^Yeah, its the racket...geesh...

Hey it could've been. It's something you can't rule out... even if it's a paintjob. Just look at Novak Djokovic.

luckyboy1300
02-26-2009, 12:54 AM
^^Agreed. He his forehand was 'best' before Rafa arrived on tour.

yeah. rafa came into the scene blasting loopy topspin forehands to anyone's backhands

MizunoMX20
02-26-2009, 01:11 AM
I don't think he's really lost something on his forehand, maybe a little bit of consistency. The main problem with his FH in matches against Nadal is the fact that Rafa is constantly peppering the Fed backhand, and when it does come his forehand, he maybe feels he's gotta immedeately put it away, so he puts too much on it. This is also part of the reason his UE-ratio is so high in his confrontations with Rafa.

roddickfan90
02-26-2009, 02:45 AM
his forehand now is inconsistent, dunno why. but i get the feeling he goes for too much now.

tennis_hand
02-26-2009, 06:17 AM
I think he doesn't do enough on his forehand. It's usually shallow for some time, so he can't dictate the play. He used to hit more deep and flat 3 or 4 years ago.

it could be due to the change he made for clay.

JediMindTrick
02-26-2009, 06:38 AM
I don't know what you guys are seeing, at Wimbledon 2008 Fed's forehand was better than ever. At AO 2009 he made a few mistakes but the forehand was still very powerfull. His first serve on the other hand was weak and that's one possible reason why he lost.

Golden Retriever
02-26-2009, 06:43 AM
His forehand is inconsistent because he is always running around his backhand to hit a forehand especially against Nadal. Meaning that he has less time to set up and always on the run while hitting his forehand.

P_Agony
02-26-2009, 07:10 AM
His forehand seems to be more spinny and has a lot less depth on it. I think his forehand is still the best in the tour though, and surely it's still the most beautiful stroke in the tour.

P_Agony
02-26-2009, 07:13 AM
I don't know what you guys are seeing, at Wimbledon 2008 Fed's forehand was better than ever. At AO 2009 he made a few mistakes but the forehand was still very powerfull. His first serve on the other hand was weak and that's one possible reason why he lost.

At Wimbeldon it was far from his best. He made many unforced errors with it and at some points it looked even worse than his backhand. He also missed fairly easy short balls with his FH and he seems to have lost the ability to make passing shots with his forehand (as opposed to his great BH passing shots).

edmondsm
02-26-2009, 08:13 AM
^^Agreed. He his forehand was 'best' before Rafa arrived on tour.

Federer's forehand was the best for many years that Nadal was on tour.

champy511
02-26-2009, 07:39 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIqd2SbU1OEGuys, check this video...you can really see the adjustments he made to his forehand. For sure, he seemed to shortened up the backswing, starting 2004 or 5.

devila
02-26-2009, 08:47 PM
Always excuses for Federer. He was never greatest ever, because his opponents could serve and reach the ball faster than in 2005.
Don't be a pitiful fool like John McEnroe. Geez, Federer moans
as much as him.

LanceStern
02-26-2009, 09:19 PM
At Wimbeldon it was far from his best. He made many unforced errors with it and at some points it looked even worse than his backhand. He also missed fairly easy short balls with his FH and he seems to have lost the ability to make passing shots with his forehand (as opposed to his great BH passing shots).

Are you kidding me? Federer's forehand was ridiculously ON in that match. The pace, the depth, the angles. It was beautiful

Wimbledon 08 looked like Fed of old. Besides him choking away the 2nd set.

RoddickAce
02-26-2009, 09:30 PM
Are you kidding me? Federer's forehand was ridiculously ON in that match. The pace, the depth, the angles. It was beautiful

Wimbledon 08 looked like Fed of old. Besides him choking away the 2nd set.

The small difference being him not hitting as close to the lines for winners compared to before.

sh@de
02-27-2009, 04:48 AM
For sure, he seemed to shortened up the backswing, starting 2004 or 5.

He's right. Btw first post =) I'm from Hong Kong.

Actually, if you take a look at these, you'll see the huge differences:

Old large backswing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7EDb-tPpSw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HooRDUlX_SY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17DowHrTm5s&feature=related

The newer style with a much shorter (or smaller) backswing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qxz2Vc0g2I

Another thing i seem to have noticed is that during 04 and before, his follow through seems to be different. It's difficult to explain; the racquet head appears to be parallel with the net more instead of perpendicular... (does anyone know what i mean? =P)

I suspect this accounts for what P Agony said: His forehand seems to be more spinny and has a lot less depth on it..

Povl Carstensen
02-27-2009, 07:32 AM
I think it is evident from the videos that until maybe 3 years ago he threw he racket more uncomprising through the ball. There also was a video of him playing Henman 7 years ago or something where it was amazing (does someone have the link?). Uncompromised hitting on almost every shot. Ofcourse it takes more, physically. But I have postet this before, I also think the racket and stringing is part of it. With an 85" racket at 26kg you can, and need to hit more uncompromising than with a 90" at maybe 23kgs. My 2c.

tennis_hand
02-27-2009, 07:56 AM
he shortened his swing, so that he can react faster. This is probably why he can get back so many balls. but it needs more explosive power, which as he gets older he no longer has.

He made it more spinny for clay courts, i think. but it has hurt him on the grass and hard court. If u watched the first video above in the USO against Hewitt, his forehand is flat fast and penetrating. U rarely see him hit like this these days. He goes for more consistency these days. One example is when he hits a wide forehand. He used to run and hit a DTL shot, which usually becomes a winner. Now from 2007 till today, he hits a whipping cross court instead, something he probably learnt from Nadal, because Nadal always does that.

Also, if u have noticed, his forehand is so much slower than before.

ESP#1
02-27-2009, 08:16 AM
I thought he looked great at the AO except for against the first 2 sets with Berdych and that third set against Rafa, I think he doesn't maintain his level of movement throughout a whole match and his forehand is compromised. I also think certain players are raising their level of tennis

adiwadi
02-27-2009, 11:28 AM
He will still have the one or The best FH on the tour until he retires purely because of Technique. Sure his FH has changed, but because the game and new players hit bigger and faster; which is why many surfaces have purposely slowed down. I think he plays with very "controlled" aggression, which actually limits his game at bigger stages. When his footwork and first-step is on, his shots can be incredible. I think we saw that in several matches in Australia 2009. Instead of the replies that say Federer needs to practice his form on the FH and BH, if he were to practice on keep his fluid movement sharp, he should be able to hit the way he wants to get the results people believe his capable of.

P_Agony
02-27-2009, 11:32 AM
Are you kidding me? Federer's forehand was ridiculously ON in that match. The pace, the depth, the angles. It was beautiful

Wimbledon 08 looked like Fed of old. Besides him choking away the 2nd set.

It was beautiful when it was ON, but it was very incosistnet. Yes, he used the inside out forehand very well in that match, but how many times did he misshit approach shots or dumped into the net fairly easy shots. The break point Nadal converted in the 5th was a Federer forehand error. The match point Nadal converted was also a forehand error. It worked great for parts of the match, but it was too inconsistent, far less consistent than the Federer of old.

yellowoctopus
02-27-2009, 11:46 AM
I can see you your point about him losing a step but I wouldn't go as far as saying his game has gone down the toilet....

I agree with this. Agassi's forehand was not as big as it was when he started becoming popular, but his game matured and didn't rely exclusively on the forehand. Great champions, Agassi and Federer included, developed games that are more sophisticated than just one gigantic forehand.

I might be alone in this, but I think Federer's forehand, while one might argue that it is not as penetrating as it once was, has more variety now. The lost at 2009 AO championship match by federer was primarily due to one reason--Nadal has improved his game.

adiwadi
02-27-2009, 12:00 PM
I agree with this. Agassi's forehand was not as big as it was when he started becoming popular, but his game matured and didn't rely exclusively on the forehand. Great champions, Agassi and Federer included, developed games that are more sophisticated than just one gigantic forehand.

I might be alone in this, but I think Federer's forehand, while one might argue that it is not as penetrating as it once was, has more variety now. The lost at 2009 AO championship match by federer was primarily due to one reason--Nadal has improved his game.

yellowoctopus- I agree with you that great players develop a more sophisticated game to give them more variety. As with Agassi, practicing his movement was the biggest focus in his latter stages and which helped his consistency and keep the unforced errors low. Will Federer steal a page out Agassi's career playbook?

OddJack
02-27-2009, 12:18 PM
His forehand is inconsistent because he is always running around his backhand to hit a forehand especially against Nadal. Meaning that he has less time to set up and always on the run while hitting his forehand.

Nadal does the same thing. You havnt been watching.

Yeah OP, armchair pundit pints out new discovery. The man had best w/L ratio except for Nadal, reaches every slam final, and this is your evaluation of his game. If true then you must consider all other players bunch of low rated dummies who cant beat a man with an inconsistent forehand and lost half a step.
Very smart isnt it.

sixone90
02-27-2009, 12:20 PM
Hey it could've been. It's something you can't rule out... even if it's a paintjob. Just look at Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic is not using a PJ

sh@de
02-27-2009, 04:47 PM
Actually I think it is true that his forehand has more variety now, but given that it has come at the price of less penetration, I'd say the penetration would be the better choice simply because it's got so much more pace and is more effective (results speak for themselves).

And here's a better way of explaining the follow through. When he finished in 03-04, maybe even 05, when his racquet was around his shoulder in the follow through, the stringbed would be more parallel to the ground. Nowadays, the stringbed is more perpendicular, indicating more wrist movement and hence more spin.

RFRF
02-27-2009, 08:56 PM
I really agree!
His forehand is not explosive anymore!
It also looks like he's flattened it out abit more.
IMO it started to happen when he switched racquet or paintjob of k-factor.
His forehand was best in 2004!!
he has to flatten it out against the hack (rafa) too much top spin fall right in to hacks hitting zone!

Ocean Drive
02-28-2009, 06:29 AM
Federer still moves around the court as well as anyone and to say that age is a reason for his supposed decline is ridiculous. Andre Agassi was scurrying around the court in his mid-30s.

Just cause Andre was means Federer should be? Stop talking rubbish.

Ocean Drive
02-28-2009, 06:40 AM
He's right. Btw first post =) I'm from Hong Kong.

Actually, if you take a look at these, you'll see the huge differences:

Old large backswing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7EDb-tPpSw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HooRDUlX_SY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17DowHrTm5s&feature=related

The newer style with a much shorter (or smaller) backswing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qxz2Vc0g2I

Another thing i seem to have noticed is that during 04 and before, his follow through seems to be different. It's difficult to explain; the racquet head appears to be parallel with the net more instead of perpendicular... (does anyone know what i mean? =P)

I suspect this accounts for what P Agony said: .

If anybody thinks he is still as good as then, they need there eyes checked.

jetlee2k
03-01-2009, 06:33 AM
The largest reason that he is no longer as dominant of a player as he used to be is the fact that his forehand is no longer the same monster it used to be. While still being a great shot, he hardly ever hits it like the old days. Why? Because Federer has lost a step, he's slower, gets less preparation on his shots. Since this is true, he is also losing confidence in his game since he can't play it like he used to, hence why I think his game is going in the toilet these last two years (Though I noticed signs in 2007 of his sluggishness).

I agree with some of it.. BUT his forehand now mostly looping forehand.. Forget about the steps, he missed many many easy, sit up forehand that he put those away with his eyes close a few years ago.. His forehands also lack the power and consistency when he used to dominate.. CONSISTENCY is the key that will bring his game back.. !!

defrule
03-01-2009, 06:30 PM
I remember his old forehand used to look as if it really stings the opponent.

To me it looks like he lost some upper body rotation.

RalphNYC
03-02-2009, 09:59 AM
I just watched again the 2001 match against Sampras at Wimbledon when Fed was 19. His movement was so so much better. He bounced around the court like a rabbit. He still moves great compared to most mortals, but nothing like his early 20's. This will have a big impact on his confidence and all his shots. He's always questioning himself now.

saram
03-02-2009, 10:03 AM
I just watched again the 2001 match against Sampras at Wimbledon when Fed was 19. His movement was so so much better. He bounced around the court like a rabbit. He still moves great compared to most mortals, but nothing like his early 20's. This will have a big impact on his confidence and all his shots. He's always questioning himself now.

I think that part of it was that he had nothing to lose in 2001 and was living out his dream.

Now, there is so much on the line and he really has so much to lose every time he plays Rafa in a final.

I watched some of the 2009 AO last night again and during the second set--Roger as on fire and thumping everything--backhand and forehand wherever he wanted. He was stroking the ball very freely and dictating play. He still has the physical ability to dominate tennis--but I think something between the ears is missing right now and needs to be re-located.

New coach, new camp...etc.

Bjorn99
03-03-2009, 02:03 AM
Your arms and the small minute muscles around them, well, they age over time, and they just don't pack the snap that they used to. It is showing up in Fed. I think he played very well at the Australian, but he has a huge mental thing going with Nadal, and it ain't going his way.

AznHylite
03-03-2009, 12:11 PM
Federer still moves around the court as well as anyone and to say that age is a reason for his supposed decline is ridiculous. Andre Agassi was scurrying around the court in his mid-30s.

Can you say the same for most other players? :-?

Jimmyk459
03-03-2009, 04:16 PM
I heard that it might be his strings. He used to string his racquet a little lower than all of the other players which would cause the ball to be explosive off the bed and off the ground. Supposedly, when he lost his 1/2 step and started to be less consistent, he started stringing his racquets a little tighter to add some control. He doesn't have to be as precise with his timing and footwork as he did in lets say 2004-2006.

Skywalker91
03-03-2009, 05:26 PM
Maybe Federer has just peaked. When you're moving at Federer's speed and dropping huge forehands like that, it'll wear on your body.