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View Full Version : What Has Gone Wrong with Fed's Forehand?


lordmanji
04-19-2009, 05:16 PM
i mean technically why is it breaking down now? it cant all be just mental.

soyizgood
04-19-2009, 05:23 PM
i mean technically why is it breaking down now? it cant all be just mental.

He's been running around the backhand so much that when opponents return his inside-out forehand he has more ground to cover while out of position. His running forehand has been spotty over the past year.

Federer did add some weight last year and actually strung his racquets at an even lower tension.

zacinnc78
04-19-2009, 05:28 PM
i personally think he should use the offensive slice backhand more instaed of giving up so much court with the IO forehand ...hes very accurate with it ...but his ego tells him to show the world he can hit topsin backhands all day (and we all know how that ends up,especially on clay),yea once in a while the IO is gonna be deadly but its gonna wear him out faster (hes old you know)

NamRanger
04-19-2009, 05:31 PM
His forehand allows almost no room for error, and his footwork is slightly slower. Bad combination.

EtePras
04-19-2009, 05:31 PM
He's lazy and doesn't use anything but his arm anymore.

NamRanger
04-19-2009, 05:32 PM
He's lazy and doesn't use anything but his arm anymore.


I hope you are kidding.

King of Aces
04-19-2009, 05:38 PM
i mean technically why is it breaking down now? it cant all be just mental.

no its just a prime Nadal. Up until now he only faced a teenybopper Nadal.

The kid is now all grown up.

coyfish
04-19-2009, 05:43 PM
Fed's footwork still seems spot on.

I think his backhand is the problem. Its a very weak shot now. Lots of errors and it never produces winners like it used to. His slice is still good but his topspin backhands always make me cringe.

Annoys him so he goes for more on his forehands which leads to more errors.

Other than that as I said his footwork and technique are still fine.

carlos djackal
04-19-2009, 05:52 PM
i think it's both mental and physical, in tennis he is old.....

icedevil0289
04-19-2009, 05:58 PM
no its just a prime Nadal. Up until now he only faced a teenybopper Nadal.

The kid is now all grown up.

ofcourse, because nadal hits to fed's forehand a lot.

T1000
04-19-2009, 06:06 PM
no its just a prime Nadal. Up until now he only faced a teenybopper Nadal.

The kid is now all grown up.

you know nothing about tennis

ronalditop
04-19-2009, 07:07 PM
he just needs to go back to his older, lighter racquet. He used to have very fast powerful groundstrokes, now he swings much slower, and im sure its because his racquet is heavier now.

tudwell
04-19-2009, 07:36 PM
Federer's forehand was always like this. However, his backhand used to get him out of trouble back in 06 and before. Now his backhand has declined and it's affected his entire game.

BreakPoint
04-19-2009, 07:46 PM
he just needs to go back to his older, lighter racquet. He used to have very fast powerful groundstrokes, now he swings much slower, and im sure its because his racquet is heavier now.
Federer hasn't switched racquets since he won his first Grand Slam in 2003.

roundiesee
04-19-2009, 07:46 PM
In his most recent matches against Djokovic and Wawrinka, it was quite obvious Roger was having more problems with his forehand than his backhand. It's likely to be a mental thing; Roger appears to have lost confidence in that stroke, and perhaps being a step slower, his timing on the forehand side has been affected.

lordmanji
04-19-2009, 07:56 PM
he just needs to go back to his older, lighter racquet. He used to have very fast powerful groundstrokes, now he swings much slower, and im sure its because his racquet is heavier now.

proof please.

Golden Retriever
04-19-2009, 08:47 PM
In his most recent matches against Djokovic and Wawrinka, it was quite obvious Roger was having more problems with his forehand than his backhand. It's likely to be a mental thing; Roger appears to have lost confidence in that stroke, and perhaps being a step slower, his timing on the forehand side has been affected.

He has more problems with his forehand because he is running around his backhand so much. The backhand is the culprit, the forehand just takes the fall for it.

BreakPoint
04-19-2009, 09:10 PM
He has more problems with his forehand because he is running around his backhand so much. The backhand is the culprit, the forehand just takes the fall for it.
He's done the same thing throughout his entire career and it's never affected his forehand before, until now.

rubberduckies
04-19-2009, 09:12 PM
His forehand was always like this: lots of winners and lots of errors.
There just wasn't anyone around to capitalize on those errors.

His backhand hasn't regressed at all. Playing Nadal has improved his backhand greatly since his 2004-2006 days. Federer has said this himself.

LanceStern
04-19-2009, 09:39 PM
His footwork has been affected. He moves slower horizontal, and is off balance on his shots.

NLBwell
04-19-2009, 09:56 PM
After his mono, Federer did not move as well and hit his backhand farther away from his body (psychologically tough to move that extra few inches for a slightly better shot when tired). The little bit of reaching made him lose power off the stroke. Also, he started slicing more, which works very well against most opponents. He improved his movement this year and at the Aussie was hitting his backhand with more authority than last year but still not back to his previous level. He is pressing on his forehand because he is still worried about ending the point too quickly and has lost confidence in his ability to fight it out.

Ljubicic for number1
04-19-2009, 10:57 PM
After his mono, Federer did not move as well and hit his backhand farther away from his body (psychologically tough to move that extra few inches for a slightly better shot when tired). The little bit of reaching made him lose power off the stroke. Also, he started slicing more, which works very well against most opponents. He improved his movement this year and at the Aussie was hitting his backhand with more authority than last year but still not back to his previous level. He is pressing on his forehand because he is still worried about ending the point too quickly and has lost confidence in his ability to fight it out.


Plus it was dark, windy, balls were heavy, the other guy had a injury time out, hawkeye is killing him, he has imaginary mono, his wife has a bun in the oven etc etc.:):):)

sh@de
04-20-2009, 01:38 AM
His forehand was always like this: lots of winners and lots of errors.

No wayy man... his forehand used to be so accurate. In fact, he used to make so much fewer errors off both wings.

I think his forehand has disappeared due to a lack of confidence mostly. Maybe it's the fact that his footwork isn't as tip top as it used to be and so he gets a bit rushed.

mandy01
04-20-2009, 02:05 AM
I dont see his footwork in place,thats for sure..its as if the net virtually attracts Roger's shots..sad...

Povl Carstensen
04-20-2009, 02:22 AM
he just needs to go back to his older, lighter racquet. He used to have very fast powerful groundstrokes, now he swings much slower, and im sure its because his racquet is heavier now.
I am also in the camp of lower tension and bigger, perhaps heavier racket plays into it. I feel that the quicker swing actually gave fewer mistakes because he could decide the shot later + less chance of hitting out. But its all to a degree guesswork. Does anyone have information about Federers string tension through the years?

nikdom
04-20-2009, 02:36 AM
Fitness affects footwork affects timing leading to sprayed shots. Roger went from zero to hero based on his movement. Looks like he wants to go back to zero.

swong09
04-20-2009, 09:05 AM
Currently, guys like nadal/murray are hitting shots with more topspin which forces federer to contact the ball at his shoulders or above. During 04-06, guys like roddick,hewitt, hit a much flatter ball which meant most of the time, his forehand contact was between waist and shoulders.

drakulie
04-20-2009, 09:56 AM
Plus it was dark, windy, balls were heavy, the other guy had a injury time out, hawkeye is killing him, he has imaginary mono, his wife has a bun in the oven etc etc.:):):)


You forgot, he has Nadal_Freak to contend with as well. :)

vtmike
04-20-2009, 10:14 AM
You forgot, he has Nadal_Freak to contend with as well. :)

You think Nadal_Freak has a Voodoo Federer doll that he pokes with needles everytime Fed plays?

drakulie
04-20-2009, 10:22 AM
^^^he probably has that voo-doo doll's right arm stuck in a vice grip.

nikdom
04-20-2009, 10:28 AM
Don't forget he stuffs some extra straw in the belly of the doll

King of Aces
04-20-2009, 12:38 PM
His forehand starts to tremble at the mere sight of Rafa.

BreakPoint
04-20-2009, 12:44 PM
His forehand starts to tremble at the mere sight of Rafa.
Then how do you explain the 10 million forehand unforced errors when he played Djokovic in the Miami semis?

marc45
04-20-2009, 12:45 PM
Currently, guys like nadal/murray are hitting shots with more topspin which forces federer to contact the ball at his shoulders or above. During 04-06, guys like roddick,hewitt, hit a much flatter ball which meant most of the time, his forehand contact was between waist and shoulders.interesting point....sampras has said he liked his match-up with agassi because agassi's (mostly flat) shots came right into his strike zone

lordmanji
04-20-2009, 12:52 PM
the only guys that match up well against nadal are flat ball strikers with good backhands - nalbandian, blake (fh), berdych

RalphNYC
04-20-2009, 01:08 PM
For Federer to hit his FH properly he needs to be correctly far enough away from the ball. He has a massive arm extension when he makes proper (for him) contact on the FH. It's way out in front and as far over to the side as his arm length will allow. He doesn't get into his correct hitting position as often as he used to. Call it footwork, speed, mental, whatever - I'm sure it's a combination of these things. You still see him crack a beautiful inside out FH (mainly on short balls) every so often, but this is the exception now.

fastdunn
04-20-2009, 01:10 PM
His forehand allows almost no room for error, and his footwork is slightly slower. Bad combination.

I agree with this.

Recent quality of his footwork is obvious but most people do not realizes how extreme Federer's forehand swing is. Generally speaking, he hits both forehand and backhand with lots of liquid whips and they actually have much narrower margin of errors than people think, especially his forehand. His serve is much simpler, less extreme swing and has much larger margin of errors.

egn
04-20-2009, 01:16 PM
His forehand was always like this: lots of winners and lots of errors.
There just wasn't anyone around to capitalize on those errors.

His backhand hasn't regressed at all. Playing Nadal has improved his backhand greatly since his 2004-2006 days. Federer has said this himself.

Have to agree..its not the forehand it is him. Federer played risky tennis. His problem is more defensive players are rising up and he will pay the punishment for an error. I also second the backhand thing. His backhand has always been weak and Nadal in parts helped it get better..I never thought oh man Fed has a great backhand. When you play defensive tennis players you run into issues.

madmanfool
04-20-2009, 01:16 PM
Multiple reasons, in descending order:

1. Footwork not as good anymore
2. Less confident
3. Loss of speed
4. Poor shot selection, hitting the DTL too often and at the wrong time

P_Agony
04-20-2009, 01:17 PM
no its just a prime Nadal. Up until now he only faced a teenybopper Nadal.

The kid is now all grown up.

What does Nadal have to do with Fed's forehand? What a stupid post...

King of Aces
04-20-2009, 02:30 PM
What does Nadal have to do with Fed's forehand? What a stupid post...

His Forehand simply breaksdown at the mere mention of Nadal. Federer trembles to the bone.

BreakPoint
04-20-2009, 02:39 PM
Have to agree..its not the forehand it is him. Federer played risky tennis. His problem is more defensive players are rising up and he will pay the punishment for an error. I also second the backhand thing. His backhand has always been weak and Nadal in parts helped it get better..I never thought oh man Fed has a great backhand. When you play defensive tennis players you run into issues.
I've always disagreed with this opinion. I think Federer has always had an excellent backhand. If you go back and watch his match against Sampras at Wimbledon 2001, even at the age of 19, Federer was ripping backhand winners left and right against one of the best net players ever.

Gugafan
04-20-2009, 03:31 PM
It's definitely a combination of footwork and lack of confidence....He seems to be struggling with lateral movement of late. I see far too many lunging steps leaving him off-balance and unable to recover. Where is the Federer of old, who would glide around the court turning defense into attack in one stroke???

I still believe he will be back...all great champions manage to find a second wind.

Lsmkenpo
04-20-2009, 03:32 PM
Currently, guys like nadal/murray are hitting shots with more topspin which forces federer to contact the ball at his shoulders or above. During 04-06, guys like roddick,hewitt, hit a much flatter ball which meant most of the time, his forehand contact was between waist and shoulders.


LOL, you think pro players wait for the ball to peak to hit it? Elite players can take the ball at any level they desire on the rise. We aren't talking about the rec players at the local club here.

csr_88
04-20-2009, 03:40 PM
i personally think he should use the offensive slice backhand more instaed of giving up so much court with the IO forehand ...hes very accurate with it ...but his ego tells him to show the world he can hit topsin backhands all day (and we all know how that ends up,especially on clay),yea once in a while the IO is gonna be deadly but its gonna wear him out faster (hes old you know)

anyone want proof, look at the past 2 tournys in the US.

he tries to go IO forehand so much that people expect it so they just puch it down the line then come to the net on him(just to be safe)

Lsmkenpo
04-20-2009, 03:56 PM
His forehand is the most violent groundstroke in the game today and maybe in history, the combination of racquet head speed and the plane of his stroke doesn't leave a lot of margin for error, whether mental or physical if his footwork and timing are impaired the ratio of UE to winners starts to climb towards the negative.There is a fine line between excellence and misery with such a violent stroke.

SAFINATORZ
04-20-2009, 04:45 PM
does he need to add more weight on his racquet or perhaps go back to the NCode tour?

SAFINATORZ
04-20-2009, 04:48 PM
sorta reminds me of courier, He had a huge consistent forehand in the early 90's, hitting with more depth and a heavy spoin however in the mid 90's, he changed it a bit and started hitting a bit for flat, causing him to hit more unforced errors. Anyone agree or disagree.

NamRanger
04-20-2009, 04:50 PM
I've always disagreed with this opinion. I think Federer has always had an excellent backhand. If you go back and watch his match against Sampras at Wimbledon 2001, even at the age of 19, Federer was ripping backhand winners left and right against one of the best net players ever.


His backhand was never excellent; it was good, but it never reached the level of excellent. Excellent would be Safin or Nalbandian's BH when they are playing well.

VivalaVida
04-20-2009, 04:52 PM
His backhand was never excellent; it was good, but it never reached the level of excellent. Excellent would be Safin or Nalbandian's BH when they are playing well.
agreed. Even at his best, federers backhand wasnt exactly a weapon. It was more dependable though.

EtePras
04-20-2009, 04:54 PM
I've always disagreed with this opinion. I think Federer has always had an excellent backhand. If you go back and watch his match against Sampras at Wimbledon 2001, even at the age of 19, Federer was ripping backhand winners left and right against one of the best net players ever.

He was only able to hit good backhands because he was playing such a weak opponent. Against Nadal, only people who actually have good backhands can hit good backhands.

BreakPoint
04-20-2009, 05:00 PM
He was only able to hit good backhands because he was playing such a weak opponent. Against Nadal, only people who actually have good backhands can hit good backhands.
Wow, if having 14 Grand Slams makes someone a "weak opponent", then what does that make Nadal or anyone else who has ever played tennis? :-?

lordmanji
04-20-2009, 05:11 PM
i think his backhand had actually improved alot -- until this year. thats not saying much since he's shanking everything now -- even hitting a bunch of double faults. but back to his backhand, he grew more consistent from 05 to 07.

i think the observation by one poster here that fed's opponents now expect an IO FH is very insightful. it means that fed has now become predictable and i see that now in his serve - always down the T on crucial points - and his go-to play - backhand slice it DTL. players are much more used to this strategy now and he can not win as much off of it, in fact they have started employing it against him to great effect and irony.

but although that's made it more difficult for him to win, it is his execution on the forehand side that has been his reason for downfall. imagine if pete sampras no longer could serve like a monster, or agassi could no longer hit balls of the rise -- fed's FH and footwork to his FH is equivalent of those things.

2ndserveace
04-20-2009, 05:36 PM
My opinion is that he has changed his swing technically. To me it looks different from the old Federer forehand, where he would run people around the court with shot selection, accuracy, spin, and power. Now it looks like he is whipping the ball more, which makes it great when he hits the sweet spot with the exact right swing, but otherwise it's not so good. As was already mentioned by another poster, I also think that he has become a touch slower which causes him to not get to balls as fast as he used to and leaves him out of position more often. Whether this is due to lack of fitness, age, or both I do not know. He also lacks confidence as many of us have said on here. I can even feel it when I'm watching him that something is missing. He no longer beleives he can make any shot in the book like he used to. As I'm sure many of us on here have experienced, it is very tough to make shots when you have no confidence.

deltox
04-20-2009, 06:28 PM
My opinion is that he has changed his swing technically. To me it looks different from the old Federer forehand, where he would run people around the court with shot selection, accuracy, spin, and power. Now it looks like he is whipping the ball more, which makes it great when he hits the sweet spot with the exact right swing, but otherwise it's not so good. As was already mentioned by another poster, I also think that he has become a touch slower which causes him to not get to balls as fast as he used to and leaves him out of position more often. Whether this is due to lack of fitness, age, or both I do not know. He also lacks confidence as many of us have said on here. I can even feel it when I'm watching him that something is missing. He no longer beleives he can make any shot in the book like he used to. As I'm sure many of us on here have experienced, it is very tough to make shots when you have no confidence.

feds forehand has changed, because his mind has willed it to change.

how many of you guys and gals have kids or have lived with a pregnant woman, while having the added pressure of being the worlds #1 and a defending champion of 3 majors at a time. when my wife was pregnant after the first 3 months i could hardly tie my shoes without flinching, true story