Federer's dreadful 2004 backhand

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by BackhandExpert101, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. BackhandExpert101

    BackhandExpert101 Banned

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    For anyone who doesn't think Federer has improved as a player, watch this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQwe2WPK6qk

    The 2004 Federer top spin backhand is, quite frankly, the worst top spin backhand I've ever seen out of a Top 100 ATP player. Look at that thing...absolutely embarrassing. Luckily for Federer, his foot speed and forehand were at their most lethal to make up for it.

    Federer's backhand is still a very lousy shot, but he has improved it by leaps and bounds from back then. This thing makes Feliciano Lopez blush.
     
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  2. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    Nah it's not dreadful. Showing highlight reels of Safin hitting hard and deep to Federer's backhand doesn't reveal the true picture. Federer's topspin backhand wasn't a big weapon but it was reliable and redirects pace pretty well (that is, of course if he has more TIME than in the situations in the highlight reel). He could also crank a sitter with little problem.

    Well, his footwork was so good that he barely hit backhands anyway. Nadal was really the first one who was able to hit to Federer's backhand so consistently and the talks about his backhand started then. It's still not a bad shot, especially reliable on fast surfaces.

    Whenever I look at Safin I feel sad. So much talent, so much power, so big a disappointment.
     
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  3. Cormorant

    Cormorant Professional

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    OP, perhaps you'd like to explain why you're depriving all the good folks in the Tennis Tips/Instruction forum of your all-encompassing knowledge? It's all very well entertaining us with your analysis whilst sporting a beer hat at the same time, but there are legions of members here whose games aren't going to improve by themselves. I haven't hit over a backhand all year long, perhaps you could give me some pointers?

    If you're especially generous with your time, you might also consider a nationwide coaching tour around all the clubs in your country. By the time your work is done, thousands of retirees will be able to close out from the ad-court with all the panache of Bolelli.
     
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  4. BackhandExpert101

    BackhandExpert101 Banned

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    So he redirects pace well so long as he has a lot of time? That doesn't make any sense.

    Federer just has no racket speed on his backhand, and his technique is terrible. He seems to just be knifing the ball.
     
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  5. lambros

    lambros Rookie

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    To OP,

    Can you specify exactly what is so dreadful about Federer's top spin backhand?
     
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  6. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    Not a LOT of time, I meant more time than in the highlight.
     
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  7. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    His backhand looks bad because he's always quick enough to hit a forehand and the few occasions he can't he's obviously in a very defensive position.
     
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  8. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    He doesnt get enough credit for his BH because he hits it so early it looks like a half volley most of the time. Its interesting to see how his game has changed...not in terms of his BH but he plays further back now. Even against the biggest hitters, he never budged far back from the baseline but he stands further back now as he has lost a step. It makes his BH look better since he actually can swing at it but it takes away from his FH.

    One thing I notice about Fed now is that he becomes vulnerable on serve midway through a match. I think he is going for direction a bit too much and players are able to start reading and timing their returns. Even if it lowers his percentage, he needs to blast some in once in a while to keep players honest. Hes become something of a wily junk ball pitcher instead of the power pitcher to use baseball terms.
     
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  9. corners

    corners Legend

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    Watch his match from 2001 against Sampras at Wimbledon. Clearly the superior backhand even then. Sampras couldn't get his returns of Federer's second serve to his backhand in play, which one could argue cost him the match.

    Sampras was definitely in the top 100, if you recall.

    Federer whistled some incredible cross-courts passes off that wing too. One of them the commentator called "as good a backhand pass as you'll see." He was also hitting his little cross-court short-angle flicks when Sampras was at net to good effect.

    Federer's backhand is one of the most underrated shots in tennis, IMHO. In previous eras, when thunderous groundstrokes with heavy spin were rare, that backhand would have been one of the best strokes in the game.
     
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  10. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    His backhand was brilliant against Murray in the AO final.
     
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  11. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    Agreed. look at the shangai masters, 2006 and 2007. Feds bh was SCREAMING!
     
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  12. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    IMO Federer's current backhand has improved compared to 2004. Federer has more raw power nowadays. But that doesn't mean his entire game is better compared to back then. His forehand is streaky these days, his movement is less explosive, his volleys are not as consistent.

    Also, his backhand was at its peak in 2006. Since then, it has become more and more inconsistent. So in comparison to 2006, it is my opinion that Federer's current game has decreased in level.
     
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  13. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Yes it was. I remember to start the third set, Murray came out firing to the FH...THE FOREHAND! He wanted no more of that BH.
     
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  14. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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  15. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    Yup, also his matches with nadal during that tourney, his bh was not being attacked due to the fast surface.
     
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  16. 2slik

    2slik Semi-Pro

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  17. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    2002 it was God-like against Keurten on clay.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDNDZ0Gsq3M

    It's a streaky shot, even match to match it varies.

    When it's good, it's the best backhand in the world. Better than Davydenko, Nalbandian etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
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  18. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    No one dare say a word against fed..:twisted:
     
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  19. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    There's no way he's that quick anymore, and neither is Keurten of course.



     
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  20. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    I love fed's bh dtl and those sharp angle flips are gold. If he needed a heavy top spin bh he would have learnt it back in 94-96.
     
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  21. IvanisevicServe

    IvanisevicServe Banned

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    Uh...Most of the short balls in that video are off returns of serve...and Safin was a big server, so that's going to happen when you try to come over the ball a lot. The rest were mostly the result of him trying to half-volley off the baseline.

    You want to see Federer's 2004 BH when it was on, watch Wimbledon that year. Or his US Open QF vs. Agassi. He hit one winner at over 101 MPH (think it was in the second set). When you can go toe-to-toe with and even, at times, overpower AGASSI off the ground with your backhand, that's some serious power. Agassi had probably the greatest all-around power off the ground in tennis history...although Safin can argue. And young Federer was capable of hitting with both of them, not just defusing their power.

    I don't know what you expect to see...15+ winners a match from Federer's backhand? Even backhand-oriented players like Gasquet and Wawrinka don't do that.

    Federer doesn't have the big guns off either wing now. He tries to hit with more margin now because he doesn't have the same racket head speed. That's why the rallies are consistently putting Federer on the defensive against the big hitters these days, when you used to NEVER see Federer pushed around.
     
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  22. MrFlip

    MrFlip Semi-Pro

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    OP you walked yourself straight into fail
     
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  23. fps

    fps Legend

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    Embarrassing? Worst of any top 100 ATP player?

    Are you not getting enough attention at home?
     
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