An analysis of the AO final

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by sureshs, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I heard (secondhand) that the head pro of our club, who was formerly on the tour, studied the AO final in slow motion and concluded that Federer was not recovering to the "center of the angle" many times while Nadal was.
     
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  2. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    what does it mean center of the angle?
    or is it center of the court?
     
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  3. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    I believe he means the centre of the two extremes a player can hit two from the angle he is at when receiving the ball. To make it clear: when you hit a good cross court angle, going beyond the sideline after the bounce, you should not be positioned at the centre of the court to wait for the reply, because if your opponent goes for a down the line shot it will curve inwards because he is hitting from outside the sideline; on the contrary, if he goes cross court on your cross court he can cross it really wide because you have given him the angle to do so.

    In the case I am describing you should not stand in the centre of the court, but slightly towards the side opposite the crosscourt shot you have hit, to wait for the reply of your opponent.
     
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  4. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    We all know Fed is stubborn. He doesn't play the way that gives him the best chance to win. He plays the way he wants to play. No surprise he is a little off in his positioning.
     
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes, center of the angle as described above.

    Apparently the coach thinks this is a fundamental problem of Fed's game - incomplete recovery.
     
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  6. rubberduckies

    rubberduckies Professional

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    Why would he need to watch it in slow motion to see this?

    If that's true, it really surprises me. I've always thought Fed's court positioning was top notch. He is very active in taking recovery steps after his shots, more active than Nadal (or so I thought).
     
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  7. Dilettante

    Dilettante Hall of Fame

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    Not exactly more active than Nadal: Rafa is more active, but Federer just do it better. His positioning is the best on the tour IMO. Nadal is fast and all but I think Federer's footwork is more smart and effective.
     
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  8. Leublu tennis

    Leublu tennis Legend

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    Interesting observation. I'll have to watch for it next time. Thanks.
     
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  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    My question too. I heard it secondhand - probably he watched some parts in slow motion. He oftern tapes matches and shows it on a small TV on court to his students to explain a point.
     
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  10. baseliner

    baseliner Professional

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    Here is my analysis. (Sorry, never played the ATP-but have played more than 5 players that did play the ATP-lost to all) Nadal has beaten Federer on clay, grass and hardcourts. Next question.
     
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  11. tahiti

    tahiti Professional

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    Nadal beat Federer plain and simple.
    Both played great.
    Federer failed dismally in 5th set. Next question.
     
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  12. JediMindTrick

    JediMindTrick Professional

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    Of course he wasn't recovering to the "center of the angle", because he always does that, he cheats on the backhand side. Sampras was doing the same thing. Most pros with big forehands do that.
     
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  13. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    nadal likes to pound the federer backhand so it would be logical for roger to try to cover his backhand a little, hence the so-called "failure to recover to the center of the angle." but recently, nadal has made his down the line forehand a big weapon as well, and this exposes roger's positioning even more. in the past, nadal would hit down the line but with a lot more net clearance and safety, and fed would be able to run it down, even if he was cheating a bit to the left side of the court. but today, nadal hits the dtl forehand flatter, with more speed and pace. so it has become much more difficult for federer to be successful if he is trying to protect his backhand by moving over to the left.
     
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  14. vtmike

    vtmike Banned

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    Yeah thats the way to respond to a rare intelligent question asked on these forums...

    We all know Nadal beat Fed and this is not an excuse in any way for Fed losing the final...It is just an analysis of what he did wrong...he must've done something wrong to lose the match right?
     
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  15. JediMindTrick

    JediMindTrick Professional

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    This is true only if you think that Federer is better than Nadal, which is not supported by the current ranking or their level of play over the last year or so. That being said, one could ask what part of Federer's game was worse than usual, in which case the answer is obviously the first serve. I mean why talk about court positioning or forehand or backhand (which IMO was at 120% that day) when his first serve was so weak.
     
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  16. mordecai

    mordecai Rookie

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    Fed's confidence failed in the fifth set and he choked. That's all there is to it.
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Nadal breaks down his opponents slowly. When one aspect of the game breaks down, something else also breaks down. These are not unrelated.
     
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  18. RalphNYC

    RalphNYC Semi-Pro

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    I think Federer not winning any of the break point opportunities he had in the 3rd set had something to do with his losing the match. And this had nothing to do with his positioning on the court.
     
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  19. RalphNYC

    RalphNYC Semi-Pro

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    And Federer serving 52% of his 1st serves in, that also has nothing to do with court positioning. If had served like normal, we wouldn't be analyzing this match.
     
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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Not a coincidence. As I said, once someone has taken apart your game, everything is up for grabs.
     
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  21. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    So why do you think he didnt serve well?. Do you think it has something to do with the guy on other side?
     
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  22. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    But that has everything to do with Nadal's ability to save those BPs. I remember in 2007's RG final, Fed didn't convert a huge number of BPs and a lot of people saw that as Fed's problem. What they failed to see is that Nadal had saved a lot of BPs vs other opponents too.
     
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  23. JediMindTrick

    JediMindTrick Professional

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    Not only the percentage was low, but he didn't get as many free points on his first serve as he usually does. I don't know why people keep complaining about his movement, positioning, mental game, whatever, but they don't see the big elephant, his first serve was weak.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Could be he wasn't hitting it harder in fear of having to hit a second serve which might be pounded by Nadal.
     
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  25. RalphNYC

    RalphNYC Semi-Pro

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    VERY much so. Yes of course. Point is that it's not a question of proper recovery after hitting.
     
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  26. svijk

    svijk Semi-Pro

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    Let me understand this , so is the pro saying that Fed lost mainly because of this whole 'center of angle' thing. For what its worth the theory may have some weight but overall its just mere opinion. Well, Fed got outplayed and one of the key reasons was his serve and serice return. He even mentioned that returning Nadal's lefty serve from the Ad-court is a problem so there went the break points in a heap.

    'Center of angle' ho-hum....the mystery continues
     
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  27. RalphNYC

    RalphNYC Semi-Pro

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    I am just watching the final again now. It really comes down to Roger's backhand.

    He swung it insanely well to break Nadal back in game 2 of the match. But he then kind of started relying it and not running around it like all the pros (and he) will normally do - and it just wasn't strong enough to consistently put the ball away or set up the forehand winner for the rest of the match.

    It comes down to the reality that although Fed's backhand can break anyone down when he's confident and hitting it all out 100%, if he has even the slightest hint of hesitation/lack of belief, his backhand becomes slightly vulnerable and guys like Nadal (and Djokovic last year against Fed at AO, and Berdych in this year's 4th round, and Murray) can beat him on it - assuming Fed's not playing his A game in all other departments, which is becoming the norm because if he's tentative on the BH, his whole game goes into tentative mode.
     
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  28. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    agree. having watched many matches of Fed over the years, Fed always has been standing slightly to his backhand side. actually this is what u should do in racket sports like tennis and badminton, because u are weaker on that side and u try to cover it up.

    if u have watched carefully fed matches, he usually stand a step to the left of the center marker after he hits to the opponent's backhand or on the center marker after he hits a cross court forehand , but he rarely stands to the right of the center mark, because his forehand has more reach and is his strength.

    so i don't buy into this analysis by this pro. but i do agree that nadal knows this and exploits this. what can Fed do? he has to run faster and more when playing against Nadal and dare to hit big forehands, not those rally slow forehands.
     
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  29. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    he wants to be perfect with his serve, but he should just think the other side is another Roddick. He always served great against big servers such as Roddick and ended up having more aces. So I believe he still thinks too much of Nadal and is not relaxed and is not as confident.
     
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  30. devila

    devila Banned

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    Nadal beat him in doubles too, so it's no surprise. You can't give Federer thought power. He just has brute force, stretches and runs hard.
     
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  31. devila

    devila Banned

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    Roddick beat himself and makes Federer look like a serving genius.
    Because Roddick stubbornly serves lazily, and is big-boned and can't care less about strategy.
     
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  32. Mkie7

    Mkie7 Rookie

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    Its possible that Fed's anticipation of the next choice of shot by Nadal might be off a little here. Fed may guess right but nadal often times get to the ball early enough to fake Fed. off ... especially on net approach.

    Nadal's margin of error is so thin that it barely gets the lines. A few of those would frustrate any players. When this happens... players usually go back to their basic strength... in this case its his serve wide and approach the net with a volley.. ( a few volleys to earn a point from Nadal). BUT WHEN THE FIRST SERVE DON"T WORK WHEN YOU NEED IT.... you can't help it but to cry I guess. :)

    Its easy to analyze a game after the fact on positioning... but I think these two guys are beyond covering angles. its a lot to do with reading your oponent's next shots and to create and opening or to fake your opponents off.
     
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  33. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    indeed. many of us would probably be trying to humiliate the *******s for ever thinking Nadal was a match for federer on hard courts at the slam level.

    lol.
     
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