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View Full Version : Federer's racquet head speed - no comparison to his previous years


RalphNYC
04-06-2009, 07:02 PM
Between 2004 and 2009 he has slowed it down a huge amount

Look at Fed's racquet head speed on his shots in 2004

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C78bsuvVP3s&NR=1

It's AMAZINGLY FAST and he zips the ball around for a lot of unreachable winners.

And look at him today. Some great shots for sure.. but a MUCH SLOWER racquet head speed, and much less penetration on his ground strokes as a result. Looks like he's playing in molasses compared to 5 years ago. Great player still, but much much slower - especially on the backhand.

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

GameSampras
04-06-2009, 07:11 PM
Ohh jeesh.. He was playing Hewitt on faster grass back in 04 there . Now he is playing Murray on HC's. Hewitt- like but more weapons in his arsenal that can hurt Fed.

Even though Murray is slamless at this point, hes a better overrall player and weapons in his game that can hurt Fed, that what Hewitt had in his game. I think Murray would have picked up a slam or two as well during that brief 01-02 period where Hewitt picked up his. Even later as well.

RCizzle65
04-06-2009, 07:17 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C78bsuvVP3s&NR=1


Did Hewitt say what I think he said at 3:26?

Blank
04-06-2009, 07:18 PM
Between 2004 and 2009 he has slowed it down a huge amount

Look at Fed's racquet head speed on his shots in 2004

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C78bsuvVP3s&NR=1

It's AMAZINGLY FAST and he zips the ball around for a lot of unreachable winners.

And look at him today. Some great shots for sure.. but a MUCH SLOWER racquet head speed, and much less penetration on his ground strokes as a result. Looks like he's playing in molasses compared to 5 years ago. Great player still, but much much slower - especially on the backhand.

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

I agree, during those 2003-2006 year Fed also had a much faster footwork. I guess it has something to do with Mirka's pregnancy. Fed at the moment is not able to find such an attentive replacement manager.

ty slothrop
04-06-2009, 07:24 PM
look at Fed's footwork/court positioning in 2004 vs. today. Once -- and if -- he gets that figured out, the racket head speed may return

Lsmkenpo
04-06-2009, 07:26 PM
I don't see the slower racquet head speed you suggest, if you are talking about his forehand.

On his backhand he varies the depth and spin, when he wants depth he slows his speed down and hits through the ball more, when he is trying to create an angle he hits it very fast with a lot of spin.

ty slothrop
04-06-2009, 07:29 PM
Did Hewitt say what I think he said at 3:26?

no, he clearly said "why couldn't I be playing fat dave again..."

egn
04-06-2009, 07:56 PM
wow is it more or does 2004 grass even seem fast compared to now lol oh and on fed's racquet head its called age face it he won't have the relfexes as he did in his early twenites.

ronalditop
04-06-2009, 07:59 PM
federer's slower racquet head speed is a sample that hes made changes in his racquet throughout this years, and this has had a bad effect on his performance. he's definitely using a heavier racquet now than what he has used years ago, thats why he cant swing it as fast.

VictorS.
04-06-2009, 09:15 PM
I think it's a testament to what a great athlete Federer was in his prime. When watching the two videos, one thing jumps out at me: movement. His legs are definitely springier & his body looks more slender & lithe in '04. The consensus on this board appears that Federer is "over the hill" & cannot recapture his youth, so to speak. I personally disagree with this position. I think he's gained a little bit of weight. I'm almost certain his body fat composition is more. In fact, I bet his muscle mass has even decreased. I don't claim to be an expert on training/sports medicine. But at age 27, I don't think it's too late to change these things. Will he ever run around like in this video? Who knows? But I think he can do better than he's doing now.

RalphNYC
04-06-2009, 09:26 PM
And with the racquet head speed he was also hitting the ball considerably higher over the net, so we didn't see all the errors into the net we see today. He's swinging his backhand so fast that he almost pulls his body off the ground.. today he blocks that shot back with a slow hit.

Grizvok
04-06-2009, 09:47 PM
I absolutely agree and have noticed it for the past year. His racquet head speed used to be incredible especially when he was playing with the nCode for a while there. His racquet would be a ****ing blur of white and red and the ball would leave his racquet like a cannon.

Grizvok
04-06-2009, 09:57 PM
I also think that Federer will never dance around the ball quite like how he used to.

luckyguy
04-06-2009, 10:02 PM
his racquet head speed and footwork are much better during the 2004-2006 seasons compared to his game today. just watch the 2004 US open final against hewitt and you'll be amazed at how solidly and cleanly he hits the balls and how he moves so much better..

dextor
04-06-2009, 10:31 PM
Samson needs his hair back.

tennis_hand
04-07-2009, 08:24 AM
The most visible difference is, he SHORTENED his back swing on his forehand.

Maybe the racket also got heavier, but no one can see.

ronalditop
04-07-2009, 08:38 AM
The most visible difference is, he SHORTENED his back swing on his forehand.

Maybe the racket also got heavier, but no one can see.

i also think his racquet got heavier, thats why he cant swing it as fast. I wish he go back to his old n90 PJ racquet.

ShcMad
04-07-2009, 08:41 AM
The most visible difference is, he SHORTENED his back swing on his forehand.

Maybe the racket also got heavier, but no one can see.

What a coincidence. I've said in other threads the same thing.

As you said, it doesn't look like he's taking his racquet as far back as he used to. Back in 2004-2006, his racquet face would face the back fence and the side fence during the takeback. Now, it just faces the side fence. In my opinion, this shortened takeback allows Fed to drive through the ball more albeit sacrificing spin and heaviness of the ball.

In my honest opinion, his forehand used to look aesthetically so much better back in the days. Also, it was more devastating.

Stchamps
04-07-2009, 08:41 AM
Did Hewitt say what I think he said at 3:26?

I heard the same thing.

defrule
04-07-2009, 08:49 AM
Shorter backswing is clear. Look back at 2004 US Open against Hewitt, it's the only video I have left, you can see the take back and the huge acceleration from that point.

Maybe the longer backswing allowed a more gradual and smooth racquet head speed increase so you get a more steady stroke. With the shorter backswing you need to higher acceleration to get the equivalent racquet head speed at contact. I'm guessing the later can cause a jerk in the stroke and result in shanks.

In USO 04 vs Hewitt, his forehand looked flat but seemed like it really stings Hewitt and so he can't get a good shot of it. Federer could then hit a chain of forehands, effectively pounding the opponent with it.

Now however his forehand shots seem more loopy, while still good, it's no longer the devastating forehand he can "pound" his opponents with. Seems now players can keep up with Federer's forehand, whereas in the past you may have been asking to lose the point if you tried to play to his forehand.

Federer's forehand being looked at as a "liquid whip", it certainly doesn't look whip-like now with the shortened backswing.

080825
04-07-2009, 08:57 AM
I was surprised that Roger refused to shake hand with the umpire after loss to Andy.
Between 2004 and 2009 he has slowed it down a huge amount

Look at Fed's racquet head speed on his shots in 2004

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C78bsuvVP3s&NR=1

It's AMAZINGLY FAST and he zips the ball around for a lot of unreachable winners.

And look at him today. Some great shots for sure.. but a MUCH SLOWER racquet head speed, and much less penetration on his ground strokes as a result. Looks like he's playing in molasses compared to 5 years ago. Great player still, but much much slower - especially on the backhand.

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

JediMindTrick
04-07-2009, 08:57 AM
Take a look at this Federer at Wimbledon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCQc3IPxP1c

Federer looks the same except that Nadal is much better than Hewitt.

drakulie
04-07-2009, 08:58 AM
Looks the same to me.

080825
04-07-2009, 09:15 AM
I felt Roger's forehand became loopier since Tony Roche came into his box. It was not a bad tactical change at all because it allowed Roger to open up more angle with his shot-making abilities and play high-percentage and high-intelligence tennis. It worked greatly against his main rivalries (Roddick, Nadal and Nalbandian, etc) on fast courts. However, players start to realize how it worked and improve their shot-making abilities and movement to handle it, then the leading margin in rally becomes thiner for Roger.
Shorter backswing is clear. Look back at 2004 US Open against Hewitt, it's the only video I have left, you can see the take back and the huge acceleration from that point.

Maybe the longer backswing allowed a more gradual and smooth racquet head speed increase so you get a more steady stroke. With the shorter backswing you need to higher acceleration to get the equivalent racquet head speed at contact. I'm guessing the later can cause a jerk in the stroke and result in shanks.

In USO 04 vs Hewitt, his forehand looked flat but seemed like it really stings Hewitt and so he can't get a good shot of it. Federer could then hit a chain of forehands, effectively pounding the opponent with it.

Now however his forehand shots seem more loopy, while still good, it's no longer the devastating forehand he can "pound" his opponents with. Seems now players can keep up with Federer's forehand, whereas in the past you may have been asking to lose the point if you tried to play to his forehand.

Federer's forehand being looked at as a "liquid whip", it certainly doesn't look whip-like now with the shortened backswing.

fps
04-07-2009, 09:36 AM
it would be interesting to find out if federer really has shortened his backswing, based on more than a few random points.

it would also be interesting to find out whether he is putting the same RPM on the ball as he used to. It was reported on this forum that after Nadal, Federer put the most RPM on the ball on tour. This would mean that his forehand would be more likely to go in when he was hitting the ball in his most attacking frame of mind, no? which would mean that the more defensive style he has been employing recently, and the reduced backswing, are actually counterproductive to him playing high % tennis, as well as going against his legend-creating brilliant attacking game.

RalphNYC
04-07-2009, 09:44 AM
There's no doubt in my mind that his 2004 backhand was swung with much higher velocity. Taking the velocity off this shot seems to have made him very vulnerable on this wing. Not sure about the fh shortening, but that's important. No matter how you slice it, he does not whip the ball consistently like he used to.

anantak2k
04-07-2009, 09:46 AM
This I think was Federer at his absolute peak.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7EDb-tPpSw&feature=related

Is it just me or does the court seem so much faster than it does these days?

dextor
04-07-2009, 09:48 AM
I was surprised that Roger refused to shake hand with the umpire after loss to Andy.

That's what I thought too, but maybe he shook hands already with the ump and THEN the camera cut to him, let's not judge too quick.

defrule
04-07-2009, 09:56 AM
I can get a few clips of his forehand from USO 04 and 08.

I do see a difference when I watch the videos but we'll see. I'll try do some snipping.

Clydey2times
04-07-2009, 10:00 AM
Between 2004 and 2009 he has slowed it down a huge amount

Look at Fed's racquet head speed on his shots in 2004

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C78bsuvVP3s&NR=1

It's AMAZINGLY FAST and he zips the ball around for a lot of unreachable winners.

And look at him today. Some great shots for sure.. but a MUCH SLOWER racquet head speed, and much less penetration on his ground strokes as a result. Looks like he's playing in molasses compared to 5 years ago. Great player still, but much much slower - especially on the backhand.

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

It's impossible to tell anything meaningful when you're watching Federer's best bits from one match and then him losing in another match.

fps
04-07-2009, 10:04 AM
oooooooooooooooooooooooops double post

BlahDow
04-07-2009, 10:10 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_oenWftWCc&feature=channel_page

i like this forehand..dunno what year its from..but woah =O

drakulie
04-07-2009, 10:11 AM
I saw him play 3 days in a row at the Sony Miami, and took hundreds of photos, and high speed video of all his strokes.

I don't see anything about him shortening his swing, nor do I see a decline in his swing speed.

Only thing I note, is his court movment since early last year has not been the same, although it has gotten better over the last few tournaments.

ShcMad
04-07-2009, 10:17 AM
It's my personal opinion that Fed's forehand has changed.

Pause at 0:07
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCm6OIjbPr4

Pause at 0:10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_oenWftWCc

Does anybody beside me see that he is not taking his racquet back as high or as much as he used to?

In the old video of him playing Safin, I noticed that the stringbed is facing the rear fence (when he's done taking it back). In the recent one (filmed in Indian Wells) the stringbed points at the side fence at the end of the forehand takeback. It's not so hard to see the difference.

Some of you might argue this point by saying that in the old video, Federer was going for a winner, subsequently, he was taking his racquet back more than usual. But that's not true. That is an accurate depiction of how much the old Federer used to take his racquet back on the forehand.

anantak2k
04-07-2009, 10:18 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_oenWftWCc&feature=channel_page

i like this forehand..dunno what year its from..but woah =O

hmm maybe 2005? he is still using the ncode and not the kfactor.

RalphNYC
04-07-2009, 10:21 AM
This I think was Federer at his absolute peak.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7EDb-tPpSw&feature=related

Is it just me or does the court seem so much faster than it does these days?
In that video look at 1:05, you never see him hit a bh like that anymore -- unless he's desperate and about to lose a match, like one of those return of serves against Rafa in the set 4 (?) tiebreak of Wimbledon 2008, or if he feels like really going for it like he felt in the last two backhands against Roddick in Miami last week to win that match. Otherwise, that BH is basically a thing of the past - though he can still do it physically.

ShcMad
04-07-2009, 10:28 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_oenWftWCc&feature=channel_page

i like this forehand..dunno what year its from..but woah =O

That video is from the 2005 Australian Open semi-final against Safin.

LanceStern
04-07-2009, 10:36 AM
Between 2004 and 2009 he has slowed it down a huge amount

Look at Fed's racquet head speed on his shots in 2004

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C78bsuvVP3s&NR=1

It's AMAZINGLY FAST and he zips the ball around for a lot of unreachable winners.

And look at him today. Some great shots for sure.. but a MUCH SLOWER racquet head speed, and much less penetration on his ground strokes as a result. Looks like he's playing in molasses compared to 5 years ago. Great player still, but much much slower - especially on the backhand.

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


AMEN TO THIS!

I am not joking, I was just going to make a topic on this last night when I was watching his US Open 2004 Final with Hewitt. He does not have the same racquet head speed. Back then it was scary, almost inhuman like!

LanceStern
04-07-2009, 10:42 AM
Go check the US Open 2004 Video and that footwork is AMAZING.

Really check it out

drakulie
04-07-2009, 11:04 AM
It's my personal opinion that Fed's forehand has changed.

Pause at 0:07
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCm6OIjbPr4

Pause at 0:10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_oenWftWCc

Does anybody beside me see that he is not taking his racquet back as high or as much as he used to?



You are comparing someone having a casual hit (first video), with a FH hit in match play. Very different.

ChiefAce
04-07-2009, 11:06 AM
His footwork in these last few events has been terrible, he still had grade A footwork last year through the US Open. Hopefully he gets those quick feet back because it allows him to do so much with the ball, if he continues to not move they way he once did his results will continue the way they have been lately. And obviously if you're not in a good position to strike the ball you won't be able to hit the same types of shots you previously did.

080825
04-07-2009, 11:45 AM
His footwork in these last few events has been terrible, he still had grade A footwork last year through the US Open. Hopefully he gets those quick feet back because it allows him to do so much with the ball, if he continues to not move they way he once did his results will continue the way they have been lately. And obviously if you're not in a good position to strike the ball you won't be able to hit the same types of shots you previously did.
Why always blame Roger's foot speed and not give the credit to the shot-making ability of his opponent? Age of 27 should be one of the best years for most track athletes. So why should Roger lose his speed and agility? In tennis, when you are out of position to prepare your shot, it is usually caused by either a bad shot you made previously or an excellent shot pulled out by your opponent.

RalphNYC
04-07-2009, 12:03 PM
I saw him play 3 days in a row at the Sony Miami, and took hundreds of photos, and high speed video of all his strokes.

I don't see anything about him shortening his swing, nor do I see a decline in his swing speed.

Do you agree that when he's swinging his backhand at full speed (like in the above 2004 footage) that his follow-through finish naturally pulls his right shoulder back and sometimes causes him to open up his chest quite a bit more - just due to the extreme power in the swing? How often did you see that happening in Miami?

drakulie
04-07-2009, 12:11 PM
^^^^when he does what you are referring to it is caused more-so by a higher incoming shot, which he still does. He also does it on lower shots like in this video, and he is hitting the absolute pi$$ out of the ball here with tons of spin.

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

080825
04-07-2009, 12:29 PM
I think when we compare those footages we have to consider another factor that would affect Roger's swing path and speed: the height of contact point. For example, on forehand side, the optimal height to generate maximum racket speed is around the waist level, where angular and linear momentum converge. And this height is slightly higher than the net, which gives a psychological advantage to the hitter as well, because it allows the hitter to swing freely without worrying netting the ball or hitting it long.

Do you agree that when he's swinging his backhand at full speed (like in the above 2004 footage) that his follow-through finish naturally pulls his right shoulder back and sometimes causes him to open up his chest quite a bit more - just due to the extreme power in the swing? How often did you see that happening in Miami?

080825
04-07-2009, 12:31 PM
Man, you were one step ahead of me to point out the same thing:)^^^^when he does what you are referring to it is caused more-so by a higher incoming shot, which he still does. He also does it on lower shots like in this video, and he is hitting the absolute pi$$ out of the ball here with tons of spin.

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

ShcMad
04-07-2009, 12:52 PM
You are comparing someone having a casual hit (first video), with a FH hit in match play. Very different.

Drakulie, with all due respect, I don't think you read my post completely.

I said in my previous post that there is a slight possibility that some people might think that in the 2nd video Federer is taking it easy because it's a only a practice rally. By saying that, I implied that COULD well be a valid point. But, sadly that's not the case. You may be asking "Why is that not the case?" Because he has been using that shortened-takeback forehand shown in the practice video all throughout last year and this year in PRACTICE and REAL MATCH situations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm not going to argue with anybody anymore here in this thread whether Fed changed his forehand or what not. I thought that the fact that Federer's forehand changed slightly was well-apparent to everyone with an eye for details. But I guess it's not so obvious. We're not discussing something subjective here. It's actually NOT that hard to see from a freeze frame that his forehand looks different, yet people still argue about it. If any of you have any doubt, just analyze his forehand of 2005 and 2009 frame-by-frame. Just look how much more closed his racquet face is all throughout the takeback motion compared to now (his racquet face is noticeably more open) and compare the stringbed position to the back fence for reference. I'm not gonna try to convince anybody anymore here. Believe whatever you wanna believe.

stormholloway
04-07-2009, 01:03 PM
Even though Murray is slamless at this point, hes a better overrall player and weapons in his game that can hurt Fed, that what Hewitt had in his game. I think Murray would have picked up a slam or two as well during that brief 01-02 period where Hewitt picked up his. Even later as well.

Why do people say things like this? Hewitt was a fantastic player in 2001 and 2002. He was a lesser player in 2004 and 2005 and still made slam finals. "A slam or two"? Come on. Senseless speculation and just attempts to take away from Hewitt's achievements. Hewitt wasn't a fluke slam winner. He was the number one player in the world.

drakulie
04-07-2009, 01:05 PM
Drakulie, with all due respect, I don't think you read my post completely.

I said in my previous post that there is a slight possibility that some people might think that in the 2nd video Federer is taking it easy because it's a only a practice rally. By saying that, I implied that COULD well be a valid point. But, sadly that's not the case. He has been using that forehand (short takeback) shown in the practice video all throughout last year and this year in practice and REAL MATCH situations.


Not that I have seen, nor witnessed. As I said before, I saw him 3 times this past weekend, from a few feet away, and took hundreds of photos (high speed), and video (high speed). He is using the same take back as he always has.

Lastly, as I said before you are comparing a "soft practice hit", to a match play FH he rips for a winner.

The most telling sign in comparing the two vids you compared are his legs/feet. Notice in the practice video you provide, his feet don't leave the ground, and he has very little knee bend. Whereas, in the match play footage he has extreme knee bend and explodes completely into the ball, launching his feet off the ground.

It's my personal opinion that Fed's forehand has changed.

Pause at 0:07
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCm6OIjbPr4

Pause at 0:10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_oenWftWCc

stormholloway
04-07-2009, 01:06 PM
This thread is funny. People looking at snippets of his forehand and looking for differences. Why not look for a difference between his forehand now and the one he just used to win the US Open just a few months ago? There's no difference in mechanics.

Tennis is a mental game. When are people going to realize this?

ShcMad
04-07-2009, 01:22 PM
Not that I have seen, nor witnessed. As I said before, I saw him 3 times this past weekend, from a few feet away, and took hundreds of photos (high speed), and video (high speed). He is using the same take back as he always has.

Lastly, as I said before you are comparing a "soft practice hit", to a match play FH he rips for a winner.

The most telling sign in comparing the two vids you compared are his legs/feet. Notice in the practice video you provide, his feet don't leave the ground, and he has very little knee bend. Whereas, in the match play footage he has extreme knee bend and explodes completely into the ball, launching his feet off the ground.

Drakulie, I am more than aware that I'm comparing a "soft practice hit" with a match play forehand. However, like I said countless times before, he is using that same "soft practice hit" forehand takeback during his real matches.

I'm here to discuss the aspects of his forehand takeback, not his footwork. I don't wanna discuss his footwork right now. Besides, the fact that he was going for a blazing winner (with extreme knee bend and all -- like you mention) in that 2005 video doesn't change the fact that his forehand takeback used to look different back then. Nowadays, even when he goes for winners, he still uses the same darn "shortened" takeback that you can witness in the practice video.

I know that you saw Federer practice in Miami. Maybe in your eyes, it looked like the same forehand as always. That's fine. I mean, you're more than free to think what you want. It's a free country. I'm just here to make an observation of what I personally noticed and I don't think it's a minuscule thing that nobody else but I can notice it.

gooberwho
04-07-2009, 01:24 PM
if there's one thing that's really changed in Federer's strokes, it's his serve. he doesn't bend his knees and arch his back anywhere near how he did it circa 2004.

JediMindTrick
04-07-2009, 01:30 PM
if there's one thing that's really changed in Federer's strokes, it's his serve. he doesn't bend his knees and arch his back anywhere near how he did it circa 2004.

He has a bad back now but his serve in 2007-2008 was at its best, better than in 2004-2006.

JediMindTrick
04-07-2009, 01:36 PM
Why always blame Roger's foot speed and not give the credit to the shot-making ability of his opponent? Age of 27 should be one of the best years for most track athletes. So why should Roger lose his speed and agility? In tennis, when you are out of position to prepare your shot, it is usually caused by either a bad shot you made previously or an excellent shot pulled out by your opponent.

Agree, in the AO final, at the begining of the match he was moving as if he was stepping on fire, but in the final set he slowed down quite a bit, but then a few sets of running corner to corner chasing Nadal's forehands will do that to you, no?

tudwell
04-07-2009, 01:58 PM
Why always blame Roger's foot speed and not give the credit to the shot-making ability of his opponent? Age of 27 should be one of the best years for most track athletes. So why should Roger lose his speed and agility? In tennis, when you are out of position to prepare your shot, it is usually caused by either a bad shot you made previously or an excellent shot pulled out by your opponent.

Not foot speed, footwork. Sure he still has the ability to get into place to hit a good shot, but with his poor footwork of late he's not using that ability very wisely.

gooberwho
04-07-2009, 03:23 PM
I agree with most of the other posters here that Fed looks noticeably slower now than just 2 years ago. he looked sluggish at last year's Aus Open (mono?), but his footwork was certainly horrendous in the Djokovic match last week.

gooberwho
04-07-2009, 03:26 PM
...and I just realized I've gotten off-topic.. racquet head speed may be a little slower, but that's not the biggest difference I see in his game.

VictorS.
04-07-2009, 08:21 PM
This I think was Federer at his absolute peak.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7EDb-tPpSw&feature=related

Is it just me or does the court seem so much faster than it does these days?

Perhaps his greatest performance ever on the big stage. Too bad we have the blimp view to watch it from.

LanceStern
04-07-2009, 09:35 PM
I don't think it's opponents hitting better shots, it's definitely footwork.

Looking back at his matches of previous years, opponents were still crushing the ball to the corners and whatnot, but Fed was gliding to them and hitting great shots.

This year he has barely been moving for shots hit to the corners. He has been noticeably slow moving side to side and is stretched out of position a lot to where he is hitting struggle shots rather than getting in place. These are slow shots to the corner too.

It's the footwork, not the opponent. imo

anantak2k
04-08-2009, 05:32 AM
I don't think it's opponents hitting better shots, it's definitely footwork.

Looking back at his matches of previous years, opponents were still crushing the ball to the corners and whatnot, but Fed was gliding to them and hitting great shots.

This year he has barely been moving for shots hit to the corners. He has been noticeably slow moving side to side and is stretched out of position a lot to where he is hitting struggle shots rather than getting in place. These are slow shots to the corner too.

It's the footwork, not the opponent. imo

Do you also notice that he actually sweats now? I don't remember seeing him break a sweat when he was dominating.

JediMindTrick
04-08-2009, 08:57 AM
Looking back at his matches of previous years, opponents were still crushing the ball to the corners and whatnot, but Fed was gliding to them and hitting great shots.

What opponents were crushing the ball in the corners? All his oponents were scared sh*tless of him and were making tons of mistakes simply because they didn't believe they can beat him. Federer was the only one doing the crushing.

080825
04-08-2009, 09:53 AM
Right, Roger's movement in AO really surprised me a lot, he must have had done tons of footwork drills everyday during the off-season. As for the 5th set, I didn't feel he slowed down a lot. He might. It was like long distance running, there would be a period of time the runner felt extremely exhausted and had to fight it off. Roger might experience the low point. However, I think there were many other factors. IMHO, the most important one is psychological. Roger knew it was "do it or die", after he lost the first or the third set. He became extremely focused. However, when he got two sets all, he felt kind of released and the uncertainity of what to do kicked in his head. On the contrary Rafa had been struggling to manage his stamina through the first four sets, he stepped on the gas as hard as he could at the beginning of the last set. That was a lesson learned from Wimbledon 2007: the urgency to finish the deal before it is gone. When I saw Rafa got the break and started to focus only on holding his serve to save energy, I knew it was over.
Anyway, I don't feel Roger declines in any physical perspective from 2006.
Agree, in the AO final, at the begining of the match he was moving as if he was stepping on fire, but in the final set he slowed down quite a bit, but then a few sets of running corner to corner chasing Nadal's forehands will do that to you, no?

drakulie
04-08-2009, 10:03 AM
^^From watching the AO, one thing I noticed was when Roger was on the move, and made to run/react quickly (no time to think), he played much better, than when he had time to think about it. He seemed to be a like a deer caught in headlights. :shock:

Povl Carstensen
04-08-2009, 10:04 AM
Well I think changes in the racket can be a part of it. One of the things I noticed about Federer when I first saw him, was that he seemed to be able to hit an approach shot from around the service line and low, and really smack through it, and it would still come down inside the baseline. Another thing I noticed one of the very first times I saw him, was that he seemed ro be struggling a little bit with getting enough depth on his slice. This was with the PS 85. It would be very interesting if somebody could give some information about changes in his string tension from say, 2004 to now. It might confirm my (conspiracy) theory.
Offcourse I realize there are other factors at play also.

080825
04-08-2009, 10:19 AM
Even you take physical aspects out of foowork, I still can't agree with you. Because "foowork" you called is permanently integrated into a player's DNA and becomes a second nature after years and years training. It interlaces with a player's ball-striking mechanism and routine tactics. If you don't have a physical problem but feel hard to set your foot right for the shot you want, it has a lot to do with your opponent:
1. Your opponent's shot put you out of comfort hitting zone.
2. The uncertainty of how to construct the successive shots accordingly cause you to hesitate in footwork setup.



Not foot speed, footwork. Sure he still has the ability to get into place to hit a good shot, but with his poor footwork of late he's not using that ability very wisely.

Povl Carstensen
04-08-2009, 10:20 AM
One way to tell is the sound of the balls off his racket. And after seeing some of all the clips that are linked in this forum, I do believe it has a lower pitch now than say 2006 and earlier.

080825
04-08-2009, 10:29 AM
That's why Roger has so many fans. He is a player playing with instinct. He developed a perfect package with his supreme shot-making ability and intelligence. But he has been relying on it for too long. Other players start to figure out how to bring it down. Now he is asked to change his tactics, it will be hard for him.

^^From watching the AO, one thing I noticed was when Roger was on the move, and made to run/react quickly (no time to think), he played much better, than when he had time to think about it. He seemed to be a like a deer caught in headlights. :shock:

drakulie
04-08-2009, 10:30 AM
One way to tell is the sound of the balls off his racket. And after seeing some of all the clips that are linked in this forum, I do believe it has a lower pitch now than say 2006 and earlier.


^^^Good observation. I have also noticed his hair doesn't have the same bounce it use to have two years ago.

080825
04-08-2009, 10:33 AM
He may lower the tension to counter hard-hitting youngsters. But I don't you can trust your hearing because they record matches differently.
One way to tell is the sound of the balls off his racket. And after seeing some of all the clips that are linked in this forum, I do believe it has a lower pitch now than say 2006 and earlier.

Topaz
04-08-2009, 10:33 AM
^^^Good observation. I have also noticed his hair doesn't have the same bounce it use to have two years ago.

:shock: What came first, the FH or the hair?!? Maybe he should have never cut it...like Samson.

FEDERER>buttpicker.
04-08-2009, 09:17 PM
his racquet head speed is IMMENSE!

Povl Carstensen
04-09-2009, 08:47 AM
Well different ways of recording might change the sound but not the pitch.

RFtennis
04-09-2009, 10:22 PM
wow is it more or does 2004 grass even seem fast compared to now

It was faster is 2004 because they have slowed the grass at wimbledon..Why i am not sure.