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View Full Version : Why doesn't FEDERER direct EVERYTHING and NADAL'S BACKHAND??


wow246
03-10-2009, 10:24 PM
Given nadal's backhand is better than federer's still it's not as good as his forehand. Federer should use nadal's tactic against hit EVERYTHING towards his backhand.

ANy thoughts????

FlamEnemY
03-10-2009, 11:34 PM
Because he can't.

Yan Man
03-10-2009, 11:45 PM
actually on faster surfaces it seems like Nadal's backhand catches fire everytime he plays Federer
i don't know if it would be the best play when Nadal can hit ridiculous cross-court backhand winners against fed on hard/grass. On clay Fed would be hard pressed to get the upper hand in the rally and be able to direct balls to Nadal's BH.
If you watch the Wimby '08 and AO '09 finals you'll probably see why it isn't necessarily the best idea (which sucks because as a Fed fan, seeing that makes me realize that there goes one tactic that might help him win the match)

edmondsm
03-10-2009, 11:48 PM
Since the ball is always headed to Fed's bh, that would mean taking the bh down the line. It's a low percentage shot, and he would make alot of errors. If he was going to attack Nadal's bh then he would have to start running around his forehand alot. He SHOULD do this, but he never does for some reason.

counter_puncher
03-10-2009, 11:51 PM
Nadal's backhand is almost if not as good as his forehand.
Watch AO 09 Final for proof.

Blinkism
03-11-2009, 12:19 AM
In your opinion, people, what is Nadal's biggest weakness that Federer can exploit? I mean, Nadal's already unlocked Federer's secret, which is high-rising topspin shots to his backhand.

Is Nadal's weakness his serve, maybe? It seems that whenever Fed gets an upperhand in one of Nadal's service games, one of two things happen; he doesn't capitalize on the break point, or nadal steps up his first serve and even hits aces at critical times.

Maybe Fed should take Nadal to the net, try some drop shots? Anyone have any ideas or figured out a simple answer to what is Nadal's biggest weakness?

carlos djackal
03-11-2009, 01:18 AM
Nadal's backhand is almost if not as good as his forehand.
Watch AO 09 Final for proof.

it is but it has been overlooked or underrated.....

MrBen
03-11-2009, 01:27 AM
He can't because Nadal is often so in control of a point that Federer doesn't have time to. Also, Nadal's backhand is not a weak, inconsistent shot.

TheNatural
03-11-2009, 02:12 AM
because Nadal dictates the matches between them and Fed is forced to play reactive tennis.


Feds problem is he thinks his backhand is better than what it actually is. His other problem is he hasn't evolved his net game.

tahiti
03-11-2009, 02:28 AM
Although Nadal doesn't always produce sharp down the line shots, he still manages to keep his opponent on the run constantly when he's in charge of the rally. Fed runs around his bh if he has the time but he does not have the time to run around both his bh and fh.

Allthough Nadal s.t. errs on his bh side, he also produces amazing cross court winners. It's a solid shot. Fed has tried bringing Rafa to the net, but it's 50/50 there. Rafa catches on to the drops, he's quick, his volleying is improving and any short ball he's put away for a winner.

If Fed has the shots and he still can't win then it's his defensive game he has to work on. He never really had any severe competition before Nadal and so it was easy to dictate. Now when he is being directed his game falls apart just through UFE count. Nadal learnt to beat Federer by defending. Maybe Federer should use the same tactic.

origmarm
03-11-2009, 02:46 AM
Because Nadal's forehand is basically as good as his backhand. Remember that he's a righty that plays lefty.

I agree with Yan Man earlier also, it seems that when he plays Fed on hard surfaces or grass of late it may actually be BETTER than his forehand

stormholloway
03-11-2009, 04:04 AM
Why doesn't Federer just do this when he plays Nadal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpflSU_Yvps

The dude used to slap winners out of nowhere. He doesn't do that anymore and it's not really because of Nadal.

jmverdugo
03-11-2009, 04:06 AM
Fed did this in the first sets of the AO final. There were several dtl rallys FH to BH.

origmarm
03-11-2009, 04:25 AM
Why doesn't Federer just do this when he plays Nadal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpflSU_Yvps

The dude used to slap winners out of nowhere. He doesn't do that anymore and it's not really because of Nadal.

For sure true but then I do think Nadal would actually have got to about half of those. Old Agassi just doesn't retrieve like new Nadal :). Fed has no confidence at the moment and it shows, he has flashes but he can't sustain it like he used to

wow246
03-11-2009, 04:39 AM
Buuut the thing u have to remember is nadal started attacking fed's backhand from the time when it was still a goooooood shot. He slowly broke it down over the course of almost 2 years. SO feds gota start sometime doing something different may as well start now.

It might not bring any results first few times like it didn't for nadal except during clay seasons but surely enough he broke it down to the level that it is at the moment where even murray us able to beat him by attacking it!!!!

stormholloway
03-11-2009, 04:39 AM
Agree about the no confidence thing, but I don't think Nadal would have gotten to too many of those. They come absolutely out of nowhere. I totally respect Nadal's speed and defense but those forehands (and probably the backhands) are just other-worldly. Federer just isn't in that zone anymore.

stormholloway
03-11-2009, 04:41 AM
Buuut the thing u have to remember is nadal started attacking fed's backhand from the time when it was still a goooooood shot. He slowly broke it down over the course of almost 2 years. SO feds gota start sometime doing something different may as well start now.

It might not bring any results first few times like it didn't for nadal except during clay seasons but surely enough he broke it down to the level that it is at the moment where even murray us able to beat him by attacking it!!!!

You talk about his backhand as if it's an old apartment building. Nadal didn't physically alter Fed's backhand. You are either confident in hitting the shot or you aren't. The heavy topspin doesn't help his cause though.

wow246
03-11-2009, 04:48 AM
All im trying to say is that the state that feds backhand is in now if largely due to nadal peppering it every time they met in like the last 3 years. He's slowly lost confidence in his backhand to a point where now murray hits everything at it and wins matches. That mental block comes back for federer when someone constantly hits at it. Making that shot more worse in matches than it actually is.

caulcano
03-11-2009, 05:19 AM
In your opinion, people, what is Nadal's biggest weakness that Federer can exploit? I mean, Nadal's already unlocked Federer's secret, which is high-rising topspin shots to his backhand.

Is Nadal's weakness his serve, maybe? It seems that whenever Fed gets an upperhand in one of Nadal's service games, one of two things happen; he doesn't capitalize on the break point, or nadal steps up his first serve and even hits aces at critical times.

Maybe Fed should take Nadal to the net, try some drop shots? Anyone have any ideas or figured out a simple answer to what is Nadal's biggest weakness?

I think one of Nadal's (and many other players) weaknesses is his reaction time. What I mean is hit shots down the middle at the opponent (includes rallies & serves).

mental midget
03-11-2009, 05:21 AM
nadal's backhand is unlikely to ever break down. it's a very controlled, powerful shot with his natural dominant hand.

his forehand, as ridiculously good as it is, has more moving parts, and requires just a little more time. hard shots to that side are more likely to yield an attackable ball, imo.

easier said than done, of course.

rubberduckies
03-11-2009, 05:31 AM
Why doesn't Federer just do this when he plays Nadal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpflSU_Yvps

The dude used to slap winners out of nowhere. He doesn't do that anymore and it's not really because of Nadal.

LOL. Why doesn't Federer just play like his own highlight reel?

If any top 50 player were actually able to play like his highlight reel, that guy would be #1 in the world with a calendar slam.

saram
03-11-2009, 05:32 AM
Why doesn't Federer just do this when he plays Nadal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpflSU_Yvps

The dude used to slap winners out of nowhere. He doesn't do that anymore and it's not really because of Nadal.

I'll agree with all of this--is it just confidence that he lacks, in your opinion?

breadstick
03-11-2009, 05:40 AM
Federer needs to S&V more. Sure Nadal makes crazy passing shots, but Federer just needs to take it to the next level.

The longer the rallies, the better for Nadal.

ESP#1
03-11-2009, 05:45 AM
Nadals heavy topspin gives Federer problems would be my guess not allowing him to dictate points as he would like. So what is Federer to do? Attack Nadals serve, run around the backhand and hit the big forehand. He's too defensive when he has break points, he needs to fire the return ie blake on break points. This would take some of the pressure off his service games and allowing him to relax and play his game

Andyk028
03-11-2009, 07:30 AM
Because all Federer can really do most of the timeis defend Nadal's groundstrokes (when they are hit to his backhand side). With most players, he can usually run around the other side and get back into attacking position, but Nadal's bite on the ball is too ballistic to get underneath quick enough.

Fedace
03-11-2009, 07:39 AM
Nadal has become very adapt at hitting his backhand down the line to Roger's backhand. and then Roger can't really hit his backhand crosscourt with authority. so then Nadal now has a easy mid court forehand that he can dictate with.

stormholloway
03-11-2009, 09:23 AM
LOL. Why doesn't Federer just play like his own highlight reel?

If any top 50 player were actually able to play like his highlight reel, that guy would be #1 in the world with a calendar slam.

Maybe you didn't watch a lot of Federer in 05-06. He seemed to always play like a highlight reel. That's my point. That is what he is capable of doing.

Plus, even if you look at his highlight reels from this year and last year, they pale in comparison to 2005, for example. Or look at his highlights from AO 2007, where he didn't drop a set. He was playing out of his mind. Sure, he's still making slam finals, but he isn't slapping winners as casually as he once did. There is a marked difference in confidence.

RalphNYC
03-11-2009, 09:27 AM
Pros at my club think that the best play against Nadal is to hit deep down the middle to cut off Nadal's insane angles. But as usual, easier said than done...

jackson vile
03-11-2009, 10:09 AM
In your opinion, people, what is Nadal's biggest weakness that Federer can exploit? I mean, Nadal's already unlocked Federer's secret, which is high-rising topspin shots to his backhand.

Is Nadal's weakness his serve, maybe? It seems that whenever Fed gets an upperhand in one of Nadal's service games, one of two things happen; he doesn't capitalize on the break point, or nadal steps up his first serve and even hits aces at critical times.

Maybe Fed should take Nadal to the net, try some drop shots? Anyone have any ideas or figured out a simple answer to what is Nadal's biggest weakness?

You make some good points here.

#1 Better returns, but that will mean either A)better back hand or B)running around back hand.
-The problem that ends up happening here is that Roger is simply not fit enough to work that hard on the court.

#2 Drop shots, I would love to see this could help a lot
-biggest reason people like Nadal and Murray match up so well with Roger is that they are content to keep the point going and will simply keep pushing the ball back makeing Roger do all the work

#3 Utilizing serve better, now better can mean many many things, but for Roger we would be talking about overal speed/force. Nadal is not fooled by Rogers serve very often like other players and reads it quite well further more is able to handle the different spins Roger gives on the balls.
-Problem here is that Roger does attempt to do this and his serve percentage goes right down the drain and he also ends up working to hard again.

#4 Going to Nadal's back hand, what makes it difficult here is that Nadal's bachand lives on power, the more power you hit to Nadal's back hand the stronger the back hand you have to deal with.
-So if Roger can do what Murray can do ie push some shots and then power other shots this would through Nadal off a lot and the backhand would not be such a weapon.

jackson vile
03-11-2009, 10:19 AM
Maybe you didn't watch a lot of Federer in 05-06. He seemed to always play like a highlight reel. That's my point. That is what he is capable of doing.

Plus, even if you look at his highlight reels from this year and last year, they pale in comparison to 2005, for example. Or look at his highlights from AO 2007, where he didn't drop a set. He was playing out of his mind. Sure, he's still making slam finals, but he isn't slapping winners as casually as he once did. There is a marked difference in confidence.


And the reason is that the new top palyers are not allowing him to do that.

The only reason that Roger was ever able to paly that way was because those palyers were lesser players and still are and IMO always were.

We saw at the AO 09 Roger vs Roddick, same thing Roger was reeling it up.

bolo
03-11-2009, 10:33 AM
You make some good points here.

#1 Better returns, but that will mean either A)better back hand or B)running around back hand.
-The problem that ends up happening here is that Roger is simply not fit enough to work that hard on the court.

#2 Drop shots, I would love to see this could help a lot
-biggest reason people like Nadal and Murray match up so well with Roger is that they are content to keep the point going and will simply keep pushing the ball back makeing Roger do all the work

#3 Utilizing serve better, now better can mean many many things, but for Roger we would be talking about overal speed/force. Nadal is not fooled by Rogers serve very often like other players and reads it quite well further more is able to handle the different spins Roger gives on the balls.
-Problem here is that Roger does attempt to do this and his serve percentage goes right down the drain and he also ends up working to hard again.

#4 Going to Nadal's back hand, what makes it difficult here is that Nadal's bachand lives on power, the more power you hit to Nadal's back hand the stronger the back hand you have to deal with.
-So if Roger can do what Murray can do ie push some shots and then power other shots this would through Nadal off a lot and the backhand would not be such a weapon.

good post.

regarding point 4: I will say that nadal will have no trouble dealing with federer pushing to nadal's backhand. Nadal has excellent control of the ball and will have no trouble directing another ball back down the line to federer's backhand. Nadal is mentally stable and not silly enough to take an unnecessary risk and go cross court to federer's forehand off a slow deep ball imo.

regarding pont 1: federer has a lot of difficulty running around the backhand. Federer not only has to jump to his left, but he also has to fend off a ball that keeps moving into his body; his preferred forehand also uses the longest part of the court (the diagonal) which gives one of the fastest guys on the tour, who also has very good hands (unlike mofils for example), more time to track down the ball.

Unfortunately there is no one easy solution to nadal. Federer will likely have to get better on many dimensions. The most important thing to remember is that nadal will still improve (the serve, the return of serve, the backhand on faster surfaces). This is a dynamic rivalry and federer has been losing ground for a while.

devila
03-11-2009, 10:53 AM
Nadal didn't need to improve his backhand because he has great center
of gravity, and side to side arm stretch and flexibility.
Federer's mediocrity is exposed before he realizes that he's overrated.
That's why he humiliatingly cried on John McEnroe and Nadal's shoulder.
That wasn't his sign of big humanity; it was the end of comfort to his self-grandiose world. Add to that, his politically correct trainwreck pal Roddick's self-destruction and worship for him created Fed's sense of entitlement.

Fed's movement backwards and forward is mediocre. His net play is bad, if he has to rush and stretch overhead. You can serve with a high toss, and
he's totally hapless. It's like his ******* worshipper Blake, but Fed's taking his own bad medicine.

Clydey2times
03-11-2009, 11:18 AM
I don't think Federer is particularly tactically astute. He is so good that he figures that if he plays well, he'll win regardless of what his opponent does. That's clearly not the case now. I've always questioned the logic in playing crosscourt to Nadal's forehand every time or Murray's backhand. Why on earth would you keep playing to someone's strength when they are killing you with it by pounding your weakness? It's almost an issue of pride. He doesn't want to be seen compromising and admitting that his backhand isn't good enough. If he plays down the line, he not only forces his opponent to go for a riskier play up the line, but he increases his chances of getting a cross court reply onto his forehand. I find it insane that he hasn't adopted this tactic.

stormholloway
03-11-2009, 11:38 AM
And the reason is that the new top palyers are not allowing him to do that.

How can you possibly prove that? We're talking about hitting unretrievable winners from anywhere on the court. When he was able to do that, it really didn't matter whom he was playing. If you watch the clip of him vs Agassi at the USO in 2005 for example, he's hitting winners even when he's at a disadvantage.

The only reason that Roger was ever able to paly that way was because those palyers were lesser players and still are and IMO always were.

I just disagree with this outlook. Isn't it possible that Federer was better in those days AND the competition was weaker? You do realize both are possible? Are you really saying that Federer is playing as well now as he did in 2005-2006 and that the only difference is the competition? Anyone who has watched the guy play knows he isn't in top form.

We saw at the AO 09 Roger vs Roddick, same thing Roger was reeling it up.

Except it wasn't nearly as impressive a display as it was in 2007 against Roddick.

devila
03-11-2009, 11:40 AM
He has long takeback swings, so even with down the line backhands, he has to recover fast to his forehand side, and bludgeon harder to Nadal's forehand (or Murray's forehand).
Federer cannot change to that because he's incapable of moving fast when he faces a variety of sidespin and both really slow/very fast returns to his forehand.

The reasons Roddick and Nalbandian collapsed against him were:
They were too heavy and that weakened their arm-stretches.
They were too tired and sweaty (unfit) to chase down each ball.
They had no energy left to serve with different toss height.
They kept hitting to his backhand with 3-foot high slow balls,
and they became lazy
with footwork; lost their balanced footwork at the net.

Djokovic doesn't have enough serve variety, and can't do enough to hurt
the top players and fast servers who can improve a lot (Roddick and Tsonga).
Federer can take advantage of him (Djokovic was a little distracted by Roddick and the booing crowd. He didn't put much energy into breaking serve, Federer got free rides to the final, after Andreev also choked away his break chances in the 5th set against Fed in the USO).






f

edberg505
03-11-2009, 12:01 PM
Nadal has become very adapt at hitting his backhand down the line to Roger's backhand. and then Roger can't really hit his backhand crosscourt with authority. so then Nadal now has a easy mid court forehand that he can dictate with.

What the hell?

Nadal_Freak
03-11-2009, 12:07 PM
What the hell?
He has. Nadal is very good looping his backhand to Fed's backhand when in the middle of the court.

SoBad
03-11-2009, 12:08 PM
Well, if he is already directing everything (or so he thinks), then how can you expect him to direct everything AND Nadal's backhand?

edberg505
03-11-2009, 12:11 PM
He has. Nadal is very good looping his backhand to Fed's backhand when in the middle of the court.

I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've seen Nadal go after Federer's backhand with his own backhand. 90 percent of Nadal's backhands go crosscourt. Especially his forceful ones.

Nadal_Freak
03-11-2009, 12:12 PM
No one is better at directing a ball then Nadal. Thus he dictates where the matchups are. The players that bother Nadal the most are solid on both sides. Djokovic and Murray come to mind.

Nadal_Freak
03-11-2009, 12:15 PM
I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've seen Nadal go after Federer's backhand with his own backhand. 90 percent of Nadal's backhands go crosscourt. Especially his forceful ones.
Watch the French Open final. Nadal went for his shots when he went crosscourt and looped them when he went down the line. It depends where Fed hits the ball. If Nadal is hit way out wide, he hits flat and crosscourt. When in a neutral rally he loops it to Fed's backhand. Get it now?

edberg505
03-11-2009, 12:17 PM
Watch the French Open final. Nadal went for his shots when he went crosscourt and looped them when he went down the line. It depends where Fed hits the ball. If Nadal is hit way out wide, he hits flat and crosscourt. When in a neutral rally he loops it to Fed's backhand. Get it now?

Ah yes, you are right. How could I be so stupid? That is exactly what he does. Please forgive me.

edmondsm
03-11-2009, 12:20 PM
In your opinion, people, what is Nadal's biggest weakness that Federer can exploit? I mean, Nadal's already unlocked Federer's secret, which is high-rising topspin shots to his backhand.

Is Nadal's weakness his serve, maybe? It seems that whenever Fed gets an upperhand in one of Nadal's service games, one of two things happen; he doesn't capitalize on the break point, or nadal steps up his first serve and even hits aces at critical times.

Maybe Fed should take Nadal to the net, try some drop shots? Anyone have any ideas or figured out a simple answer to what is Nadal's biggest weakness?

His knees. Honestly, Nadal was obviously ailing in the AO final. Might have been fatigue, might have been his knees, or a combination of the two. Either way Federer should have been playing bh drop shots like crazy to force Nadal into the net. This would do three things:

1) Force Nadal to do some running.

2) Bring Nadal to the net where he is much weaker then at the baseline.

3) Set the idea in Nadal's head that a bh dropper might be coming anytime, and thus throw off his game.

I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've seen Nadal go after Federer's backhand with his own backhand. 90 percent of Nadal's backhands go crosscourt. Especially his forceful ones.


I know. Where does this idea of Nadal hitting backhands down the line come from? I have only ever seen him do it when his opponent is at net.

fastdunn
03-11-2009, 12:23 PM
It's one of the most difficult shots for righty 1 hander to direct lefty's side spinned forehand shot to the lefty's backhand side.

Plus, Nadal is natural righty playing lefty. So Federer is not so motivated to do so. Federer vented his frustration by saying "Nadal has two forehands".

In summary, Nadal's strengths just fit right into Federer's weaker parts.

Mungo73
03-11-2009, 12:34 PM
he needs a coach to tell him that!!!

bolo
03-11-2009, 01:22 PM
I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've seen Nadal go after Federer's backhand with his own backhand. 90 percent of Nadal's backhands go crosscourt. Especially his forceful ones.

no nadal freak is correct. Nadal hits down the line with his own backhand quite often. Now he rarely ever crunches but it's a very effective, low risk way for him to keep it away from federer's forehand. It's very obvious in their clay court encounters and is also noticeable at wimbledon and recently at the AO. Nadal is actually very selective when he chooses to go cross court with his backhand (for example when federer leaves it hanging, federer is out of position because he has run around his backhand, when he decides to go behind federer as federer is recovering to the center of the court).

Now in their two early hard court matches nadal actually went quite a bit to federer's forehand in neutral rallies but imo he quickly learned that he would lose a lot of those rallies.

matchmaker
03-11-2009, 01:43 PM
Nadal's backhand is just better in dealing with the Federer crosscourt FH than the other way round. Lefties rarely have a weak backhand because they are used to righties pounding it. Nadal's backhand may not be his strength, but it is good enough to deal with anything that is thrown at him.

henryshli
03-11-2009, 01:54 PM
Perhaps Federer is a little too proud sometimes to just target Nadal's backhand relentlessly.

People have always said that if you are good you shouldn't have to adjust your own game to win.

SaintClaires
03-11-2009, 02:08 PM
Perhaps Federer is a little too proud sometimes to just target Nadal's backhand relentlessly.

People have always said that if you are good you shouldn't have to adjust your own game to win.

Federer sometimes plays stupidly against Nadal

bolo
03-11-2009, 02:14 PM
Watch the French Open final. Nadal went for his shots when he went crosscourt and looped them when he went down the line. It depends where Fed hits the ball. If Nadal is hit way out wide, he hits flat and crosscourt. When in a neutral rally he loops it to Fed's backhand. Get it now?

that's true too, sometimes when nadal is pushed way out he does decide to take a rip at the cc backhand. But this is an all or nothing shot, either a winner or an error usually.

bolo
03-11-2009, 02:21 PM
Nadal's backhand is just better in dealing with the Federer crosscourt FH than the other way round. Lefties rarely have a weak backhand because they are used to righties pounding it. Nadal's backhand may not be his strength, but it is good enough to deal with anything that is thrown at him.

not true in this rivalry matchmaker. nadal's ability to hit mid-paced down the line loopers to federer's backhand with a very low error rate is one of the reasons why he is able to beat federer. If he tried to engage federer in more neutral cross-court backhand to forehand rallies nadal would be a lot worse off.

After watching a nadal/federer match, I sometimes wonder why more righthanders don't also hit more midpaced down the line loopers with their forehands to federer's backhand.

It's actually going to be very interesting to see how the new, more patient, verdasco plays federer. Hopefully they meet at IW.

bolo
03-11-2009, 03:00 PM
so just for fun, I looked at the first 2 games of this past AO. my fast count is that nadal hit 19 backhands in those two games. 11 of those 19 backhands were directed towards federer's backhand side (down the line).

SaintClaires
03-11-2009, 04:54 PM
so just for fun, I looked at the first 2 games of this past AO. my fast count is that nadal hit 19 backhands in those two games. 11 of those 19 backhands were directed towards federer's backhand side (down the line).

Interesting...

edmondsm
03-11-2009, 05:37 PM
so just for fun, I looked at the first 2 games of this past AO. my fast count is that nadal hit 19 backhands in those two games. 11 of those 19 backhands were directed towards federer's backhand side (down the line).

His backhand has improved greatly. 4 years ago it was quite weak.

lawrence
03-11-2009, 05:45 PM
Feds problem is he thinks his backhand is better than what it actually is. His other problem is he hasn't evolved his net game.

i agree on the backhand part, but i dont know about him improving his net game, especially vs one of the most tenacious forehands in the game - which also happens to be a huge spinner with big net clearance

what i think fed should try doing is pulling off some drop shots towards nadals backhand, which would MAYBE stop nadal from producing some crazy spinshot

crazylevity
03-11-2009, 07:01 PM
During this year's Australian Open, I believe one of the commentators said something that was very true. If you were to attack Nadal on a fast court (attacking Nadal on clay is...well...impossible), your best bet would actually be to go hard and flat at his forehand. Now this may seem rather counter-intuitive, but think about it. Because Nadal is a natural righty, his forehand is actually a LEARNED shot. Meaning that, as good as it is, it is predictable. Given his extreme western grip, he will have trouble with a hard and flat shot.

Contrast that with his backhand, where because he is a natural righty, he can IMPROVISE and pull off stunning passing shots both down the line and cross court. If you were to attack his backhand, the reply is less predictable, and you would be left guessing at the net.

bolo
03-11-2009, 08:13 PM
His backhand has improved greatly. 4 years ago it was quite weak.

it was not necessarily weak on clay 4 years ago. Nadal's ability to find federer's backhand by hitting midpaced loopers down the line was already there in their 2005 FO SF.

VivalaVida
03-11-2009, 08:26 PM
its not about the backhand. Its about nadal being number 1 in the world and taking his game to the next level while roger is slowly on his way down.

THERAFA
03-11-2009, 08:27 PM
Rafa's backhand is better than most backhands on tour, so it would not serve Federer to focus on it, plus you know Rafa will continue to pepper Federer's backhand:
Either
Way

edmondsm
03-11-2009, 09:42 PM
it was not necessarily weak on clay 4 years ago. Nadal's ability to find federer's backhand by hitting midpaced loopers down the line was already there in their 2005 FO SF.

Nothing Nadal has ever done on clay was weak. His approach to the game is tailor made for the red stuff. But back then his hardcourt game was all about, "I'm gonna scramble and retrieve relentlessly until the other guy makes a error". His backhand is very effective on hardcourts these days but back then even his forehand wasn't offensive at all on the surface. All his hardcourt achievements back then were done with his legs.

LanceStern
03-11-2009, 10:52 PM
You know the first point in that Agassi/Federer highlight video is ridiculous.

Agassi hit a return that was high and deep to the baseline, and Federer hit a winner off of that?!

bolo
03-11-2009, 11:24 PM
Nothing Nadal has ever done on clay was weak. His approach to the game is tailor made for the red stuff. But back then his hardcourt game was all about, "I'm gonna scramble and retrieve relentlessly until the other guy makes a error". His backhand is very effective on hardcourts these days but back then even his forehand wasn't offensive at all on the surface. All his hardcourt achievements back then were done with his legs.

that's all fine. But even in 2005, 2006 nadal had the ability to find federer's backhand on all courts by hitting his own down the line backhands. That was one of the reasons he was able to beat federer at dubai in 06. Notice that edberg505's comment (the one you responded to) was particularly about nadal hitting backhands to federer's backhand. This is not some new skill that he has only started using against federer in the last year.

rubberduckies
03-11-2009, 11:47 PM
Maybe you didn't watch a lot of Federer in 05-06. He seemed to always play like a highlight reel. That's my point. That is what he is capable of doing.

Plus, even if you look at his highlight reels from this year and last year, they pale in comparison to 2005, for example. Or look at his highlights from AO 2007, where he didn't drop a set. He was playing out of his mind. Sure, he's still making slam finals, but he isn't slapping winners as casually as he once did. There is a marked difference in confidence.

Right......... he played like a highlight reel in which he only hits winners and loses zero points?
Is that why 35-year-old Agassi pushed him to 4 sets?
This was an Agassi who played 3 consecutive 5-set matches to get to the final.

I could make you a highlight reel of him at the 2008 RG Final. It might be a short reel, but I could make you think he was playing out of his mind and dominating Nadal.

jazar
03-11-2009, 11:58 PM
dont know if this has already been mentioned, but its a long thread and i cant be bothered to read all the way through. when federer played nadal in the FO semis in 2005 he played everything to nadal's backhand and it failed to work

aldeayeah
03-12-2009, 01:10 AM
After seeing Nadal vs Djokovic last week, I think Nadal's offensive backhand has improved again since AO.

On the other hand, his offensive forehand looked a bit rusty (most times he tried to go for a crosscourt winner it went out).

If he can ever get them both to work at the same time, well, that's bad news for everyone else.

aldeayeah
03-12-2009, 01:12 AM
(Bad news, because he would become a really devastating offensive baseliner)

Tempest344
03-12-2009, 01:52 AM
I disagree....Nadal I think defends better off his backhand than Forehand..
and can absolutely rip flat backhands out of nowhere

VictorS.
03-12-2009, 10:18 PM
Pros at my club think that the best play against Nadal is to hit deep down the middle to cut off Nadal's insane angles. But as usual, easier said than done...

That might work against some high level players, possibly even some pros. But I don't like that tactic against Rafa.

Tempest344
03-12-2009, 10:30 PM
That might work against some high level players, possibly even some pros. But I don't like that tactic against Rafa.

It may Work...Malisse used that tactic to beat Nadal a couple years ago at Chennai I think

Gen
03-13-2009, 05:21 AM
1) Hitting everything to Nadal's backhand would be a very bad idea because nowadays Nadal has an amazing short cross-court flat backhand and a very reliable down-the-line backhand.

2) Federer can't run around his backhand because he is getting down in terms of speed.

3) Dropshots will not help, because Nadal's court coverage is great, he will chase them successfully and hits winners from the net.

4) Charging to the net will not help because Nadal's passing shots are the best on the tour. Federer tried it in RG-08, and got bagelled. A similar attempt in WImbledon wasn't successful either: during the first 2 sets he went to the net 15 times and hit only 1 winner.

He is no competition to healthy and unexhausted Nadal nowadays. I do hope that Djok will do something about his current freefall, overtake No.2, and this will place Federer in the semifinals vs Nadal at least half of the time.

jackson vile
03-13-2009, 12:10 PM
How can you possibly prove that? We're talking about hitting unretrievable winners from anywhere on the court. When he was able to do that, it really didn't matter whom he was playing. If you watch the clip of him vs Agassi at the USO in 2005 for example, he's hitting winners even when he's at a disadvantage.



I just disagree with this outlook. Isn't it possible that Federer was better in those days AND the competition was weaker? You do realize both are possible? Are you really saying that Federer is playing as well now as he did in 2005-2006 and that the only difference is the competition? Anyone who has watched the guy play knows he isn't in top form.



Except it wasn't nearly as impressive a display as it was in 2007 against Roddick.

Physically Roger is not at his top level and that is his fault and could easily be over come, I am a big advocate for Roger to get a higher level ie Olympic level Physical trainer and nutritionist, to add to his team.

As for mentally, this is a result of Roger not being able to steamroll his new opponents.



My point is that Roger still God Smacks the same old players he always did.


SO IF ROGER IS LESSER (THAN PREVIOUS) HE SHOULD BE PLAYING SAME LESSOR PLAYERSAND LOSING TO SAID PLAYERS THAT HE PREVIOUSLY "GOD SMACKED".

However this is not happening.

Further more a Roger has gone on he has achieved amazing experience that make matches even easier for him, which if anything gives him even more of an advantage with age.

bhupaes
03-13-2009, 12:56 PM
After watching these guys play, it seems to me that whenever Federer took the inside-out forehand position and hit wide to Nadal's forehand, he came out ahead. This what I would recommend for his strategy - maneuver himself into the inside-out forehand position, and slam away at Nadal's forehand, looking for an opportunity to pull him wide. At the right time, Fed should pull the trigger - that is, go to the open court on Nadal's backhand side. This seemed to work every time he tried it - but maybe getting to the inside out position is not easy against Nadal, even for Federer.

For sure, Federer needs a coach for his strategy. He certainly has the tools to beat Nadal, IMO (not that I care that much about who wins because I think Nadal is a truly good human being, like Federer, and a great player at that).

Hitting to Nadal's backhand doesn't seem to work for Fed, I think because Nadal immediately goes down the line and changes it back to a forehand rally, and also because Nadal doesn't have any weaknesses on that side. Come to think of it, someone who's won five French Opens has got to have a decent backhand! :)

veroniquem
03-13-2009, 01:06 PM
1) Hitting everything to Nadal's backhand would be a very bad idea because nowadays Nadal has an amazing short cross-court flat backhand and a very reliable down-the-line backhand.

2) Federer can't run around his backhand because he is getting down in terms of speed.

3) Dropshots will not help, because Nadal's court coverage is great, he will chase them successfully and hits winners from the net.

4) Charging to the net will not help because Nadal's passing shots are the best on the tour. Federer tried it in RG-08, and got bagelled. A similar attempt in WImbledon wasn't successful either: during the first 2 sets he went to the net 15 times and hit only 1 winner.

He is no competition to healthy and unexhausted Nadal nowadays. I do hope that Djok will do something about his current freefall, overtake No.2, and this will place Federer in the semifinals vs Nadal at least half of the time.
I agree with your 4 points, it's an excellent analysis.

LurkingGod
03-13-2009, 11:41 PM
Hitting to Nadal's backhand doesn't seem to work for Fed, I think because Nadal immediately goes down the line and changes it back to a forehand rally, and also because Nadal doesn't have any weaknesses on that side. Come to think of it, someone who's won five French Opens has got to have a decent backhand! :)

He's only won four so far.

Thanks for the prediction though.. Don't edit your post, it could be a premonition.:)

Melissa
03-14-2009, 10:32 AM
no nadal freak is correct. Nadal hits down the line with his own backhand quite often. Now he rarely ever crunches but it's a very effective, low risk way for him to keep it away from federer's forehand. It's very obvious in their clay court encounters and is also noticeable at wimbledon and recently at the AO. Nadal is actually very selective when he chooses to go cross court with his backhand (for example when federer leaves it hanging, federer is out of position because he has run around his backhand, when he decides to go behind federer as federer is recovering to the center of the court).

Now in their two early hard court matches nadal actually went quite a bit to federer's forehand in neutral rallies but imo he (Nadal) quickly learned that he would lose a lot of those rallies.

Here, I think, is the single most telling aspect of the games of these two champions. Nadal not only has the physical skills to make 'in game' adjustments in strategy, but the confidence and willingness to actually do so.
For what ever reason Rog seems unwilling to make the strategic changes that might enhance his chances against Nadal.

tahiti
03-14-2009, 11:08 AM
20 ways that Roger can beat Rafa.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/136331-top-20-ways-roger-federer-can-beat-rafael-nadal

Please be advised, not for Fed fans who a good sense of humour. Recommended though for Fed fans with an excellent sense of humour.

I particularly like no. 8

SaintClaires
03-14-2009, 11:14 AM
20 ways that Roger can beat Rafa.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/136331-top-20-ways-roger-federer-can-beat-rafael-nadal

Please be advised, not for Fed fans who a good sense of humour. Recommended though for Fed fans with an excellent sense of humour.

I particularly like no. 8

Thanks for the article! :)

kungfusmkim
03-14-2009, 12:50 PM
Why doesn't Federer just do this when he plays Nadal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpflSU_Yvps

The dude used to slap winners out of nowhere. He doesn't do that anymore and it's not really because of Nadal.

Andre hit way flatter than nadal did even on returns. Its easier for federer and his grip to hit winner if the balls was low than if it was high. Same thing with his backhand.

Andres
03-14-2009, 03:33 PM
I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've seen Nadal go after Federer's backhand with his own backhand. 90 percent of Nadal's backhands go crosscourt. Especially his forceful ones.
I have to agree with them, Edberg. At least, AO 09, each time Fed tried to break the mold by hitting DTL backhands, Nadal also looped his backhand high to Fed's backhand in order to get a middle-of-court putaway.

He must have done it at least 20 times in that particular match,

SaintClaires
03-14-2009, 03:54 PM
I have to agree with them, Edberg. At least, AO 09, each time Fed tried to break the mold by hitting DTL backhands, Nadal also looped his backhand high to Fed's backhand in order to get a middle-of-court putaway.

He must have done it at least 20 times in that particular match,

I often see Nadal looping the ball to Federer's backhand with his own backhand.

It's not uncommon :cry:

The-Champ
03-14-2009, 05:00 PM
I often see Nadal looping the ball to Federer's backhand with his own backhand.

It's not uncommon :cry:


and that makes you cry?

SaintClaires
03-14-2009, 05:02 PM
and that makes you cry?

Yes :):):):)

miniRafa386
03-14-2009, 05:08 PM
im not sure if this has already been mentioned, but when nadal is one (which is basically everytime he plays fed), the ball that nadal is hitting is by far the heaviest in the business. nadal's spin makes a shot of his that lands on the service line the same as if any other tour player's ball landed a few feet from the baseline. something that significant to fed's inferior stroke will cause it to break down, as we have seen in just about ever nadal/federer match. fed can take rafa, i believe he can, but he needs to step in and take the ball early and put nadal on the defensive, coming to net and sticking volleys.

bhupaes
03-14-2009, 07:16 PM
He's only won four so far.

Thanks for the prediction though.. Don't edit your post, it could be a premonition.:)

Oops! I meant to say four - just read my post again around mid June this year. :)