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View Full Version : Why do they say Federer is old school?


Golden Retriever
07-15-2006, 11:16 AM
I don't think there is anything old school about Federer except maybe his serve and the fact that he still comes in sometimes. His jumping forehand, which is his bread and butter shot, is as modern as it gets. His one-handed backhand is as wristy as it gets, nothing old-school about that neither except, well, it is still a one-handed backhand. So why are they keep saying Federer is old school?

nalbandian_fan
07-15-2006, 11:25 AM
well u described him pretty good, his full-motion serve and his one-handed backhand are what make him old school- while his slingshot tornado forehand is quite modern. Hes a clear example that it takes a mix of old and modern technique to become a great player.

Shabazza
07-15-2006, 11:28 AM
I don't think there is anything old school about Federer except maybe his serve and the fact that he still comes in sometimes. His jumping forehand, which is his bread and butter shot, is as modern as it gets. His one-handed backhand is as wristy as it gets, nothing old-school about that neither except, well, it is still a one-handed backhand. So why are they keep saying Federer is old school?
I think it has more to do with the way he behaves on and off the court, than his actual playstyle, but I might be wrong. Anyway of the top modern players he's the one who uses the most "old-school"-style....

helloworld
07-15-2006, 12:06 PM
Federer is an improved version of an old school(text book) tennis, period

federrero
07-15-2006, 12:39 PM
The racket he plays with makes him old school a great deal. In addition, compared to other active players playing with similar old school (heavy and head light) rackets, his swings are longer and more fluid.

sureshs
07-15-2006, 12:46 PM
The racket he plays with makes him old school a great deal. In addition, compared to other active players playing with similar old school (heavy and head light) rackets, his swings are longer and more fluid.

According to others on the board, Federer's racquet is very modern. High SW compared to static weight and almost even balance. And strung low.

His FH follow thru is not upto the forehead but more sideways. He goes over the ball more often than under it on the BH. He stays away from the net and is basically a power baseliner, like Nadal.

Warriorroger
07-15-2006, 01:05 PM
The racket he plays with makes him old school a great deal. In addition, compared to other active players playing with similar old school (heavy and head light) rackets, his swings are longer and more fluid.

You're right.

Also the one handed slice, the (power) finesse against the raw power.

edberg505
07-15-2006, 01:35 PM
According to others on the board, Federer's racquet is very modern. High SW compared to static weight and almost even balance. And strung low.

His FH follow thru is not upto the forehead but more sideways. He goes over the ball more often than under it on the BH. He stays away from the net and is basically a power baseliner, like Nadal.

Federer is an all court player my friend. It just seems more recently that he can hit and win from the baseline. But when he first came on the scene he was more of a serve and volleyer.

araghava
07-15-2006, 01:57 PM
He also plays with classical grips on both sides. His FH is a strong eastern and his backhand is continental to eastern depending on whether he slices or comes over it. Most modern players use SW -> full W grips.

FiveO
07-15-2006, 02:04 PM
...grips all the way around are less extreme, more conventional, more toward old school.

...his serve motion is long and conventional.

...his fh "marries" old and newer school technique. He hits alot of fh's from a neutral stance.

...uses slice as a weapon off his 1hbh

...not fearful of changing speeds and using varieties of slice and topspin and doesn't fall into the modern school of mostly two varieties of topspin "hard and harder".

...he can and does hit flatTER than most of the other top guys on demand.

...his return game IS noticeably very old school, mostly content with blocking, chipping his returns back, getting into the point and then relying on his well rounded game to turn the tide from defense to offense as opposed to the newer school of unleashing and immediately going to offense off the return.

...his volleys are conventional/simple and rarely if ever does he swing at any

...he will transition using slice even though he crushes and rushes more often

...that he plays serve and volley at all, and well, if more rarely than he did earlier in his career.

...the mere fact that he is comfortable playing from anywhere in the court and doesn't treat the net as if it were electrified.

...his calmer, less demonstrative court demeanor, absent the fist pumps on opponent's UE's, and reserving his audible "c'mon's" for what are actually big points.

...he speaks respectfully of opponents and from what is written and said about him by his competitors, is genuinely liked by them just like the old school Aussies were.

arosen
07-15-2006, 02:12 PM
He is old school because he's been with the same girl for a loooong while, even despite the divorcee glasses she wore to the championship match. F15 pilot helmet, she would've looked better in that.

sandiegotennisboy
07-15-2006, 02:17 PM
...grips all the way around are less extreme, more conventional, more toward old school.

...his serve motion is long and conventional.

...his fh "marries" old and newer school technique. He hits alot of fh's from a neutral stance.

...uses slice as a weapon off his 1hbh

...not fearful of changing speeds and using varieties of slice and topspin and doesn't fall into the modern school of mostly two varieties of topspin "hard and harder".

...he can and does hit flatTER than most of the other top guys on demand.

...his return game IS noticeably very old school, mostly content with blocking, chipping his returns back, getting into the point and then relying on his well rounded game to turn the tide from defense to offense as opposed to the newer school of unleashing and immediately going to offense off the return.

...his volleys are conventional/simple and rarely if ever does he swing at any

...he will transition using slice even though he crushes and rushes more often

...that he plays serve and volley at all, and well, if more rarely than he did earlier in his career.

...the mere fact that he is comfortable playing from anywhere in the court and doesn't treat the net as if it were electrified.

...his calmer, less demonstrative court demeanor, absent the fist pumps on opponent's UE's, and reserving his audible "c'mon's" for what are actually big points.

...he speaks respectfully of opponents and from what is written and said about him by his competitors, is genuinely liked by them just like the old school Aussies were.

please. you swear every old tennis player played like this. you give them too much credit.

psamp14
07-15-2006, 02:31 PM
basically all the above comments are right, and i think because sampras' game was very "old school" and federer's game and overall character resembles much of sampras

FiveO
07-15-2006, 02:36 PM
please. you swear every old tennis player played like this. you give them too much credit.

Every is a strong word. No not every but depending on how far back you go "many" to "most" to "almost all" elite players had most of those tools in their bags as opposed to almost none today.

Yes everyone returned that way until Connors and Agassi influenced later generations. It was actually drilled into junior's heads to block, chip and slice returns, make every one and get into the point.

Yes almost everyone employed slice in varying degrees and because, believe it or not 1handers far outnumbered 2handers at one time it was far more prevalent than you might think.

The whole tour hit relatively flatter in past years.

Believe it or not at one time it was nearly impossible for one player to cleanly pass another baseline to baseline, and hitting to and playing from all parts of the court was necessary.

At one time, back when 3 majors were played on grass the vast majority of players in those draws played serve and volley and transitioned comfortably to net.

As always, in any generation, while most or almost all played that way in prior eras, some did it better than others and a few did it better than anyone else.

fastdunn
07-15-2006, 02:43 PM
Federer is an all court player my friend. It just seems more recently that he can hit and win from the baseline. But when he first came on the scene he was more of a serve and volleyer.

I don't think so. He serve and volleyed at Wimbledon when pretty
much everybody did. I agree with suresh (and Gilbert) on this.
When he first came on the scene, he out-rallied (and sometimes
over-powered) Chang from baseline.

As Gilbert says, he is a superb baseliner. He has the right game
for current condition and he is very good at that. Federer and
Nadal is same kind in macro scale. He is getting the tastes of
his own medicine, basically...

fastdunn
07-15-2006, 02:52 PM
I don't think there is anything old school about Federer except maybe his serve and the fact that he still comes in sometimes. His jumping forehand, which is his bread and butter shot, is as modern as it gets. His one-handed backhand is as wristy as it gets, nothing old-school about that neither except, well, it is still a one-handed backhand. So why are they keep saying Federer is old school?

It depends how old school people are talking about, IMHO.

His forehand is very versatile. He seems to be able to hit both
old school and new school forehand. He varies his grip from
eastern to semi-western.

His backhand is whippy. But he uses very close stance and
give full weight transfer. Henin's 1 handed backhand is very modern.
Rather than using weight transfer, she often uses pace of inciming ball
on the rise with extrem grip.

NoBadMojo
07-15-2006, 05:12 PM
...grips all the way around are less extreme, more conventional, more toward old school.

...his serve motion is long and conventional.

...his fh "marries" old and newer school technique. He hits alot of fh's from a neutral stance.

...uses slice as a weapon off his 1hbh

...not fearful of changing speeds and using varieties of slice and topspin and doesn't fall into the modern school of mostly two varieties of topspin "hard and harder".

...he can and does hit flatTER than most of the other top guys on demand.

...his return game IS noticeably very old school, mostly content with blocking, chipping his returns back, getting into the point and then relying on his well rounded game to turn the tide from defense to offense as opposed to the newer school of unleashing and immediately going to offense off the return.

...his volleys are conventional/simple and rarely if ever does he swing at any

...he will transition using slice even though he crushes and rushes more often

...that he plays serve and volley at all, and well, if more rarely than he did earlier in his career.

...the mere fact that he is comfortable playing from anywhere in the court and doesn't treat the net as if it were electrified.

...his calmer, less demonstrative court demeanor, absent the fist pumps on opponent's UE's, and reserving his audible "c'mon's" for what are actually big points.

...he speaks respectfully of opponents and from what is written and said about him by his competitors, is genuinely liked by them just like the old school Aussies were.

Great post Fiver..I agree with all of this and would like to add that I think he is more classic than many of the others because he still uses weight transfer coupled with a big shoulder turn to generate pace even on the forehand. Big contrast to Nadal who generates power with a much shorter stroke and a shoulder turn against an open hip with not much weight transfer (it's more of an arm swing instead of the classic transfer of energy from the feet up)..in fact he can generate power with his weight going backwards at times <a function of a powerful light frame and the ablity to easily generate huge racquethead speed with pretty much an arm swing>. Huge difference in modern vs classic technique between those two..federer can play his style for years effectively and without too much worry of injury as he is using the big muscles more effectively..cant say that for Nadal..

jonolau
07-16-2006, 03:35 AM
Great post Fiver..I agree with all of this and would like to add that I think he is more classic than many of the others because he still uses weight transfer coupled with a big shoulder turn to generate pace even on the forehand. Big contrast to Nadal who generates power with a much shorter stroke and a shoulder turn against an open hip with not much weight transfer (it's more of an arm swing instead of the classic transfer of energy from the feet up)..in fact he can generate power with his weight going backwards at times <a function of a powerful light frame and the ablity to easily generate huge racquethead speed with pretty much an arm swing>. Huge difference in modern vs classic technique between those two..federer can play his style for years effectively and without too much worry of injury as he is using the big muscles more effectively..cant say that for Nadal..
Thanks, Ed, a very enlightening analysis of Fed's strokes. I've learnt a lot from this! I'm going to mull over this and try to incorporate parts of it into my game.
Jon

AJK1
07-26-2006, 08:31 PM
I think Federer has made "Old school" New School. Which is great in my opinion. Variety in your game is awesome.

joe sch
07-26-2006, 09:00 PM
...grips all the way around are less extreme, more conventional, more toward old school.

...his serve motion is long and conventional.

...his fh "marries" old and newer school technique. He hits alot of fh's from a neutral stance.

...uses slice as a weapon off his 1hbh

...not fearful of changing speeds and using varieties of slice and topspin and doesn't fall into the modern school of mostly two varieties of topspin "hard and harder".

...he can and does hit flatTER than most of the other top guys on demand.

...his return game IS noticeably very old school, mostly content with blocking, chipping his returns back, getting into the point and then relying on his well rounded game to turn the tide from defense to offense as opposed to the newer school of unleashing and immediately going to offense off the return.

...his volleys are conventional/simple and rarely if ever does he swing at any

...he will transition using slice even though he crushes and rushes more often

...that he plays serve and volley at all, and well, if more rarely than he did earlier in his career.

...the mere fact that he is comfortable playing from anywhere in the court and doesn't treat the net as if it were electrified.

...his calmer, less demonstrative court demeanor, absent the fist pumps on opponent's UE's, and reserving his audible "c'mon's" for what are actually big points.

...he speaks respectfully of opponents and from what is written and said about him by his competitors, is genuinely liked by them just like the old school Aussies were.

Very good evidence !
I would emphasize his ability to hit with an eastern grip and flatten out blasts from closed stances. Also, he has excellent body independance from the racket which means he lets the racket & arm do most of the work, you dont see Fed's body flailing around the court like many modern players. Roger has the court movement and style of many of the great old champions. When he sported that beige blazer for Wimbledon, I think he was really making the "old school" statement !

stan smith
07-27-2006, 12:40 AM
Federer's backhand is not wristy.

He was truly old school in his earlier playing days, serve-and-volleying on the majority of his points.

His entire demeaner on the court and his respect for the game makes him a throw back player. He appreciates the sport and acts accordingly on and off the court which I think makes him seem like a player from when tennis was truly a gentleman's game.