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Ambivalent
04-05-2010, 01:45 PM
With Nadal's knees apparently at "100%" and his tooth ache clearing up, there is a great possibility should the defending champion return to the final at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal will be his opponent.

I don't think Federer will be using his usual approach against Nadal. It's failed him five times at the French alone.

I've seen more and more of Federer's drop shot, and I think this will be one of his aces should there be a rematch. Nadal likes to play 5+ feet behind the baseline, and I think proper use of this shot will force Nadal to either come to the net on weak retrievals, or play closer to the baseline where he does not have the time to take that extra step and retrieve the shot.

forzamilan90
04-05-2010, 02:13 PM
drop shot could be effective, but nadal is crazy fast, so unless it's delivered perfectly (could hit the net) it's too risky. then again, fed's the god of the drop shot

BigServer1
04-05-2010, 02:16 PM
It worked in Madrid against Nadal, as well as hitting his forehand inside out and stretching Nadal wide to his forehand. Those two shots opened up the court for Federer and gave him more margin.

I dunno how I feel about Fed's chances at the French this year. Rolland Garros 09 was his scrappiest Slam win ever, and while he's been amazing in the last 11 months, his last month has been disappointing.

If conditions are heavy in Paris, Federer could beat Nadal on clay, but I have to say Rafa is the favorite going away at the French if he's healthy.

Augustus
04-05-2010, 02:17 PM
The drop shot doesn't win you matches. It can be used to surprise your opponent sometimes, but Federer really isn't going to drop-shot his way to a victory over Nadal at the French. The key is his serve, and the inside-in forehand to Nadal's backhand. And of course his backhand (especially down the line) has to be on.

Legend of Borg
04-05-2010, 02:20 PM
I don't think Fed has found the solution to that high bouncing topspin forehand to his one handed backhand. Major weakness to exploit.

swordtennis
04-05-2010, 02:26 PM
Fed has to play alot like Andy did at Miami. Mix up the pace. topspin and flat. deep flat approach shots. S&V. First serve has to be above 70%.
The margin of error is so small to beat Nadal.
The only thing in Feds favor is that most pressure is off him now. He can just swing free and hit hard. Thats the only way to beat Nadal.

Cyan
04-05-2010, 02:36 PM
Fed won't reach the RG final.

Lsmkenpo
04-05-2010, 02:44 PM
He changed his strategy their last meeting on clay in Madrid, he hit more down the middle and sometimes short to Nadal's backhand.

Nadal doesn't try to hit aggressive backhands very often unless he has an angle to work with, he generally hits a safe shot back to the center of the court, in Madrid, Roger waited for him to hit one short than he took control of the point in the rally.

On hardcourt the strategy is to attack Nadal's forehand because he needs more time to setup for that shot.

On clay the strategy is to attack the backhand because he does not use it as an offensive weapon on clay in baseline rallies unless he has an angle to use.

Nadal has been hitting more open stance backhands and slice, he is clearly not looking to dictate play very often from that side. To pressure Nadal on clay you have to pressure him to hit deep off the backhand wing, attacking anything short and immediately going on the offensive when he hits that short ball down the middle.

Soderling used the same strategy last year, attacking anything short down the middle.

BigServer1
04-05-2010, 02:46 PM
Fed won't reach the RG final.

We've heard this since 2007...So far he's three for three.

Now...If Nadal is still #3 and he's in Fed's half at RG, then you're probably right.

Semi-Pro
04-05-2010, 02:49 PM
We've heard this since 2007...So far he's three for three.

Now...If Nadal is still #3 and he's in Fed's half at RG, then you're probably right.

Doubt it, they will almost always put Nadal on the other side of the draw, hoping for that elusive Fed Nadal final. If you look back at the 2009 US OPEN draw you will see seeds 2(murray) and 3(nadal) were in the same half, while seed 4(djokovic) was in Federers half.

valiant
04-05-2010, 02:52 PM
I don't think Fed has found the solution to that high bouncing topspin forehand to his one handed backhand. Major weakness to exploit.

I would like to see Fed beat Rafa again on clay to see if that madrid strategy will work again.

Cyan
04-05-2010, 02:55 PM
We've heard this since 2007...So far he's three for three.

Now...If Nadal is still #3 and he's in Fed's half at RG, then you're probably right.

Just like Rafa was due to not reach a RG final. Happens to everybody.

borg number one
04-05-2010, 03:07 PM
I agree with what has already been mentioned. Federer's ability to consistently hit that one-handed backhand well will determine how well he does at the French Open.

If his backhand shows weakness, Nadal and others will attack it mercilessly. He'll need to be able to slice and hit it consistently, over and over. Yet, he'll also be required to drive topspin winners off his backhand side periodically, but consistently. If he can't do those things on the backhand, he will not be able to beat Nadal. Otherwise, Nadal will continually make him hit about 10-15 backhands per rally and once in a while, he'll hammer a shot to the federer forehand.

CCNM
04-05-2010, 03:17 PM
I don't expect Fed to repeat as French Open champion. I am anxious to see how Nadal does this year.

P_Agony
04-05-2010, 03:28 PM
drop shot could be effective, but nadal is crazy fast, so unless it's delivered perfectly (could hit the net) it's too risky. then again, fed's the god of the drop shot

Well, Fed really used that shot well against him in the Madrid final, and it worked like a charm. However, it's not nearly enough.

For Fed to beat Nadal he needs to serve well, he needs to play aggressive and keep the points as short as possible. As Fed saw in FO 08, getting into long rallies with Nadal on clay is suicide. I don't know if he can beat him, but I'm 100% sure he can make it FAR more competitive than in 2008.

Both also have a road to the final, and Federer can lose in the early rounds, he almost did last year (faced a virtual MP against Haas).

P_Agony
04-05-2010, 03:31 PM
Fed won't reach the RG final.

While I agree Fed has a tougher time reaching the RG final than the other slams, not betting on him to get to the final is rather idiotic, considering he's reached every slam final since AO 2008 and every semi final since...well even I don't remember that far.

borg number one
04-05-2010, 03:31 PM
Well, Fed really used that shot well against him in the Madrid final, and it worked like a charm. However, it's not nearly enough.

For Fed to beat Nadal he needs to serve well, he needs to play aggressive and keep the points as short as possible. As Fed saw in FO 08, getting into long rallies with Nadal on clay is suicide. I don't know if he can beat him, but I'm 100% sure he can make it FAR more competitive than in 2008.

Both also have a road to the final, and Federer can lose in the early rounds, he almost did last year (faced a virtual MP against Haas).

I think you're right. He will need to rely on short points and offensive tennis, consistently played. Plus, yes, both Nadal and Federer will likely be tested on the road to the their anticipated match in the final.

Ambivalent
04-05-2010, 08:18 PM
I don't think Federer will go for many angled shots that aren't winners or draw easy put aways. He knows Nadal's neutralizing ability on offensive shots with that loopy shot to the bakhand.
While the dropshot can't change a match, I certainly believe Federer is capable of hitting it well to win a break point. One of Federer's biggest disappointments against Nadal is his break point conversion - probably due to the slice serve into the backhand. If Federer can pop 1 or 2 dropshots on BP, then I believe he stands a chance to break and steal a set or two.

sh@de
04-05-2010, 08:24 PM
Fed beating Nadal depends on how well his backhand holds up. Because if his backhand doesn't do well, he'll try and use the forehand to do too much, resulting in a mass of forehand errors.

If his backhand does well, he'll be confident, and even when he takes huge cuts at the ball with the forehand, he'll more than likely succeed.

OrangeOne
04-05-2010, 08:25 PM
Doubt it, they will almost always put Nadal on the other side of the draw, hoping for that elusive Fed Nadal final. If you look back at the 2009 US OPEN draw you will see seeds 2(murray) and 3(nadal) were in the same half, while seed 4(djokovic) was in Federers half.

Whether 1 plays 3 or 4 is random according to the best of my knowledge - it's drawn. It's not something they 'put'. 1 & 2 are placed, then there's a random draw for where 3 & 4 go. Was the same for open tournaments I was running that had rules copied by tennis aus from the slams, right down to the complex seed-replacement rules.

petetheileet
04-05-2010, 08:45 PM
imagine they face off in the final, nadal struggling through the rounds while fed is playing amazing....

could be an epic!!!