Could the Federer drop shot be the difference?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by richied, May 26, 2010.

  1. richied

    richied Rookie

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    Fed is clearly practicing his drop shot for trickier matches to come. His disguise when playing the shot is simply class. It could be a shot he plays a lot against Nadal if he they make the final. I like the 'play' as Nadal is very deep and yes he's fast but a quality drop doesn't leave much room for error if you do get to the ball in time (your always hitting up). Generally, if Fed comes to net he can cut off most responses. But, I said it has to be quality. From what i've seen with the amount disguise and cut (spin) it's could be a smart play. Very few players are attempting the shot at the moment.
     
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  2. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    ultimately for federer it will be all about converting his chances (break points, etc.). madrid was an indication, that they are evenly matched, but federer couldn't convert his chances and nadal got him in the end.
     
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  3. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Nadal, like many players up their quality of play when faced with break points. It's no coincidence that Federer has trouble breaking Nadal... and he even stated so himself.

    The drop shot will not be the magic bullet for Federer beating Nadal.
     
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  4. statto

    statto Professional

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    Don't read too much into Madrid. The clay there is faster than RG, which is more like Monte Carlo. Federer's positive is that he's got progressively better at each clay tournament and Nadal has tapered off as the clay season has progressed. Drop shot or no, Federer can't beat Nadal at top form, so he has to hope Nadal's play stays so-so.
     
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  5. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    Fed needs to learn how to deal with Nadal's serve. IIRC, in Madrid, Nadal had a higher winning % on his 2nd serve, which only shows how much trouble Fed has with that lefty hook to his BH. He needs to step in on those and take them early, it might be the only look he has all rally.

    Other players seem to have no trouble with Nadal's serves, it's just that they can't do anything in the rallies and/or get worn down physically. The key will be Fed's return of serve.
     
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  6. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg Legend

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    We wait and see, no? :)
     
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  7. rocket

    rocket Hall of Fame

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    yeah, Fed dumps a routine serve-return into the net on breakpoint, or he puts the ball right in the middle of the court for Nadal to hit a winner.

    Nadal doesn't need to "up" his quality of play, he just has to wait for Fed to give the point back to him.
     
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  8. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Dropshot can no doubt be a valid tool against Nadal given how far he stands behind the baseline and it's always good to have the ability to mix it up a bit against him instead of engaging in an all out baseline war

    However If Fed doesn't improve his play against Nadal on big points he ain't making any difference,dropshot or not.

    Dumping 2nd serves in the net on BP and making a string of UFE after being up in a tiebreak like he did in Madrid ain't gonna cut it,especially not in a best of five clay match.

    Honestly Fed's chances against Nadal in RG if they both reach the final are very,very small.
     
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  9. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    The key is Federer handling the backhand. To make it an offensive shot. Hit it on the rise maybe. Nadal will keep milking that cow as long as Federer keeps hitting those weak backhands. He needs to run around more serves to make them forehands. Nadal serves 90% of his serves to the backhand.
     
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  10. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    I have to agree. It's also not like this is the first year Federer has used dropshots. Novak did them all the time. You need a complete game that clicks from start to finish to beat Nadal on clay, not dropshots.
     
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  11. Halba

    Halba Professional

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    na he cant rely on dropshots. his main rally shots off the backhand are too weak. he also gives away too much court imo against rafa. you need to max out like soda to beat rafa
     
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  12. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    That was 1 point of how many BP's?

    IIRC... both Nadal and Federer faced 11 BP's in their last match. Nadal converted 4 of 11 while Federer converted 3 of 11. So, it appears they were equally lousy converting BP chances.

    Very few players convert BP's against Nadal. It's not just Federer.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
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  13. flyinghippos101

    flyinghippos101 Legend

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    It'll only be effective for so long. Players are eventually gonna catch on and it'll only work so many times against a player like Nadal, who we know will effortlessly adapt his style of play to neutralize Fed's drop shots.
     
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  14. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    Nadal always plays high-percentage shots on BPs, never risks anything. He does not push - he adds some more topspin and directs his groundstrokes to safe locations.

    Federer, on the other hand, does the opposite. He has a huge number of shots in his arsenal and believes he should use them all, so his game is naturally about low percentage magic. On BPs he tries to take control, "do something", give Nadal a different look - he runs around his backhand on serve returns, rushes net approaches, goes for winners, etc.

    When Federer is on and the surface is fast, his low percentage art matches up well with Nadal's talents.

    There are problems on clay. The net game, serve, all-court tactics are all less efficient, so the 2 players compete using a limited arsenal of weapons (subtract that from Federer). Clay slows balls down, cancelling many would-be-winners (subtract that from Federer, too). Topspin, 2HBH, extreme grips are more efficient on clay (subtract that from Federer again) .

    So on clay Federer essentially loses the part of tennis that occurs after the ball bounces. Does he get anything back?

    Nope. His low-percentage shots remain low percentage, because they mostly come from shot selection, occur in the "air" before the ball touches the ground. If the ball is out - it is out, no matter the bounce.

    I believe that clay, being an interesting surface by itself, limits players and tennis variety much like ultra-fast surfaces that hyper-emphasize the serve. I believe that Federer, being a better and more complete player, is unable to realize his strengths on that surface, and will never dominate Nadal no matter what he does, dropshots included.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
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  15. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    i still think ultimately there is the mental block for federer against nadal, it's the only explanation. if he believes that he can defeat nadal at the French and takes his chances he can do it; drop shots and what not, it's not the big picture. it's the mental hurdle that's gonna be the decisive factor. Fed has beaten Nadal on clay before, but the French will be the cathartic moment of the Nadal-Federer rivalry.
     
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  16. ChanceEncounter

    ChanceEncounter Professional

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    Fed had the drop shot in 2008.
     
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  17. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

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    Very good post.
     
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  18. vortex1

    vortex1 Banned

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    Drop shot is useless against Nadal. He is too fast. Just because it worked against 31 year old mug, doesn't mean that Nadal won't punish every drop shot with his superior speed. Gulbis tried to drop shot against Nadal and as soon as Nadal started expecting them, it cost Gulbis the match.
     
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  19. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    It is his backhand return of serve what counts the most.
    He could stand further back and hit a neutral high topspin bh to start the rallies in a neutral position, Monsieur Nadal always commands points from the start because Fed's return comes where he wants it, but he wouldnt like to do that, that is not pretty and he would have to run, the poor thing.
     
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  20. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    Nadal is a bad match up for federer no matter how he slices it.
    It isnt like Federer needs another weapon. for gods sake, he won more slams than anyone in the history and has just about every shot in the game.

    This isnt about a recreation player adding a new trick to his game.

    Federer has the shots, he always did. However when playing against Nadal, Nadal mostly controls the pace/rallies and just about everything. It isnt like Nadal is some slouch. He has enough tricks in his bag and it so happens that those tricks go almost always against federer's "relative" weakness.

    Federer is capable of beating Nadal with the game he has today. it just wont be at the regularity he would like (ie winning once in 10 matches isnt gonna cut it for federer)
     
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  21. clayman2000

    clayman2000 Hall of Fame

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    The drop shot wont be as effective on the Chatrier as it is in Madrid (Santana arena). Chatrier is a fair bit slower, and im really noticing wide angles skidding of the court.

    Where Federer may have an advantage is on the run around forhand. The ball is not going as high up as it normally does, but is rather sitting in the strike zone, if it isnt hit deep. If Fed can force Nadal to hit some short BH's, then its be easier for him to attack.
     
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  22. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Sure, Federer at his best can beat Nadal, and the dropshot could be valuable to achieve that.
     
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  23. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    The dropshot is a welcomed addition to Fed's arsenal, but it is not the be all and end all.

    The one good thing about being able to play that shot is it will prevent Rafa from becoming too comfortable patrolling a dozen feet behind the baseline. Yes Rafa is fast, but he would not want to continously leave himself exposed to that shot over and over again. Roger must keep Rafa honest and not overplay it, however make sure Rafa knows it could come at any time.

    That being said, it is not some magical formula that will garantee victory. He needs to convert BPs, its as simple as that.

    Yes Rafa normally steps it up on BPs and plays more aggressively, but Roger also goes very passive, almost not knowing exactly what he needs to do on those points. You can see him second guessing himself, and that moment of hesitation costs him against Rafa.

    Can Roger beat Rafa? Yes, of course he can. He has the game to do it. However his mental hurdle with Rafa is his greatest undoing.
     
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