Federer's new serve

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Wilander Fan, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    Federer seems to be taking alot of pace off his first serve in favor of direction and angle. The upside is a higher first serve percentage and greater disguise with the ability to pull people wide off the court for an easy put away. The downside is no aces. Davydenko seemed to catch on a bit in the second set of the Doha final but Fed switched gears and started hitting flat ones again for a game to keep him honest.

    Oddly enough, although Federer hardly hits aces anymore, his serve has been pretty much unbreakable. Its been very effective against good reflex returners like Denko who can get anything back in and force a neutral rally even off good serves since the wide serve opens up the court for an easy put away even if they can get the ball back well. It will be interesting to see how this plays out when and if he meets Nadal who, like Davydenko, can take a 13 mph serve and send it back deep for a neutral rally.
     
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  2. luckyboy1300

    luckyboy1300 Hall of Fame

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    federer hit only 7 aces in his last 3 matches but never faced a breakpoint in all 3. plus his serve now is hovering around 70-80% 1st serves. clear indication that he changed something in his serve.
     
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  3. above bored

    above bored Semi-Pro

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    Since when?
     
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  4. nikdom

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    Excellent observation. Been wondering the same since I saw the troicki match. It may very well be a deliberate tactical change. Some commentators have called for Roger to increase the mph on his first serve a little bit, but what Rpgercone have done is the opposite!

    I think it makes sense. His serve has always been more effective because of placement and disguise, not sheer pace, so why risk a lower first serve pct in favor of an elusive 3-5 mph?

    Probably also beneficial for his back in the long run.
     
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  5. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    No one's gonna beat Nadal if his 1st serve % is abysmal. This change helps him agaisnt counterpunchers who have troubled him in the past especially Nadal, methinks. Taking a little off but still being able to start the point with a slight advantage is better than hitting your second serve and hoping that Nadal misses.
     
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  6. 15_ounce

    15_ounce Guest

    Perhaps his serves do not have a lot of mph in it, but his serving motion right from the ball contact all happens sooo quickly. His racquet head speed is remarkable and combined with the disguise, it is hard to break and read his serve.
     
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  7. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    If he can keep that up, even Nadal and Murray will have a very tough time breaking his serve.

    Fed's serve has been broken once this year (including the Abu Dhabi tournament i think), and at the WTF, I remember an important game at 3-1 serving in the third set against Rafa. he lost every ad-point but Rafa couldn't get a serve back in in the deuce court to save his life. Fed kept hitting it out wide to the Rafa backhand.

    He should change it up a lot imo, but higher 1st serve percentage is always good if you can keep winning free points obv.
     
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  8. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    Davy is one of the best returners in the business so it was a good test. However, I think Federer really wants to pull Nadal wide to set up the easy putaway. The slide out wide on the deuce court is nasty and the kicker out wide on the ad was pretty effective as well. I think Davy started to read the wide serve and started sitting on it so Federer will need to change it up with the heat now and then. I had noticed that Federer's flat wide serve is his most inconsistant so might as well go for the angles.
     
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  9. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    I can't back this up with numbers but Roger wins the most cheap points on serve among the top 5. The others may do well against lower ranked players, but Roger consistently has 40-0 games against top 10 players with an average of 1 min per service game.

    That's a trmendous amount of pressure on an opponent. No one else since sampras has done that. (if u discount karlovic).
     
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  10. Kaz00

    Kaz00 Semi-Pro

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    It takes Nadal 1 minute to hit 1 serve. And Federer 1 minute to finish a service game :shock:
     
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  11. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    For Federer it isn't even about the cheap points only. If his forehand is working well the only thing he needs is a ball on which he can start attacking. Once he can apply the pressure with his forehand, you're doomed as well.

    Thought Federer's variety couldn't get any better tbh, but apparently, he added a new serve..:)
     
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  12. Manus Domini

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    methinks he realizes he needs to change a few things to beat Nadal and stay at the top, so, like Rafa, changed his serve. Impressive that Nadal's been working on the new serve for a few years and finally mastered it but Fed took just a few months :eek:

    Go Fed!
     
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  13. Semi-Pro

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    Well Murray has done it lots of times and pretty sure Djokovic too...but I get what your saying.
     
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  14. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    He is moving the opponent out of the court, leaving it more or less open. Especially serving out wide to a leftys backhand.
    Giving him an opportunity to A: Hit the open court, B: Wrong foot the opponent rushing to cover the open court.
     
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  15. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    This is exactly my thoughts. At the WTF I saw this change in serving from him, and it caught Nadal out many times, he was quite frustrated by it. And yesterday Davy was sure feeling it too.

    It's like giving Nadal a taste of his own medicine with the wide serve out to the backhand.

    I think it has allowed him to be even more solid in his games.
     
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  16. shaysrebelII

    shaysrebelII Semi-Pro

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    good observations, you all. Only thing I'd like to add: if Fed goes for angles and placement at the expense of pace, it gives him more time to get to the net on a serve-and-volley attempt. This should set up easier volleys, and create a more Annacone-friendly gameplan.
     
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  17. Speranza

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    Watson: As is yours.
     
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  18. shaysrebelII

    shaysrebelII Semi-Pro

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    :) Thank you, Speranza.
     
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  19. dandelion_smiley

    dandelion_smiley Banned

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    It's only half of it. Nadal used to (and still does) serve to the backhand on both sides
     
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  20. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    After watching Doha, it's clear that Fed increases his 1st serve % and placement by taking off some pace. Most of his serve are out wide and high. He even had less aces than Davy. Commentators even said his kick serve is givng players trouble.

    I mentioned this in the "former pro player talk" forum and one of the poster didn't take it seriously. Fed is unappreciated in that forum.
     
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  21. Semi-Pro

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    I would not. Watson gets annoyed when someone calls him Speranza, as Watson is just using Speranzas account!:)
     
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  22. Fate Archer

    Fate Archer Hall of Fame

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    I noticed that too for the first time when he played Nadal at WTF. Was surprised by the lack of pace of most of his 1st serves though the placement and spin was creating a very effective setup.

    I thought it was just a little adjustment to play against Nadal, but seems like it's been effective against many other players as well.
     
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  23. Manus Domini

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    well, we know who'll win Oz now.

    Maybe he'll retire after getting the Grand Slam :D
     
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  24. shaysrebelII

    shaysrebelII Semi-Pro

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    Say it ain't so! Haha, well in that case, my sincerest apologies, Watson. :)
     
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  25. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    Actually, in Doha, he never even got taken to deuce while serving...that's pretty insane...
     
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  26. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    Not even a single deuce?! :shock:

    Is that a first for him?
     
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  27. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    No idea...totally crazy, i know...I really think Federer is unbeatable on hard courts at the moment...
     
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  28. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    Lets hope he brings these stats to the AO, and delivers!!!! :)
     
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  29. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    So Hafa ups his serve by 15 mph, and at the same time Rogi slows down by 10 mph.
    Both coming up with new serves should make for an exciting season, Holmes ???
     
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  30. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Dunno about the no deuce thing but Fed has won two previous tournaments without being broken at all.

    Berdych is the only other player to have achieved it.

    Ironically, arguably the best server of all time: Sampras, never even managed it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
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  31. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Did Soderling get broken last week I wondered?

    Also, Fed got broken against Chuidinelli. Didn't go to deuce in last 3 matches only.
     
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  32. Colin

    Colin Professional

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    Stepanek broke him once, but Sod broke Stepanek three times.

    I'm quite surprised Berdych would hold a record alongside Fed. What tournament was that, and whom did he play? :shock:
     
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  33. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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    Interesting point.

    Perhaps he is changing the 'purpose' of his first serve to compliment the more aggressive style of play, making it more difficult to break.

    [​IMG]

    Wonder if the players will catch up to this or never.
     
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  34. doodlyd

    doodlyd Rookie

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    lol he is looking in another direction
     
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  35. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Federer's tournaments:
    2005 Qatar ExxonMobil Open
    2008 Gerry Weber Open
    2011 Qatar ExxonMobil Open*

    (*WOW - didn't realise till now he'd done a service clean-sweep of the same tournament twice!)

    Berdych's tournament - I think it was the 2007 Gerry Weber Open. Could be wrong - can't seem to find the article I read on it now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
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  36. the green god

    the green god Semi-Pro

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    that is what he should have been doing for years against Nadal. do not let someone stand 10-12 feet behind the baseline to return serve. take something off, serve out wide and make them stand closer to the baseline. it's not rocket science.
     
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  37. Li Ching Yuen

    Li Ching Yuen Legend

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    It's actually quite feasible. That's why he made that Wimbledon final and generally plays great on grass. His first serve slides away flat like a pancake upon contact with the grass, and with some very decent pace. It's a great weapon. I remember that they showed some stats on BBC last year, and also a slow-mo from a different angle. The trajectory was pretty damn sick.

    Of course, the percentage of it is the more aching problem for him but when it gets in, he's hard to break.
     
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  38. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Paris November 2010

    Didn't Federer break a personal record in the number of aces in a 2 set match in one of the matches in Paris. If so, it kind of speaks against the premise of this thread.

    However, it could be that because Paris is the fastest surface tournament of the year, he felt that he could get a lot of free points on serve.
     
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  39. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    Not really. Fed did not noticably start changing up his serve until WTA. My theory is that he saw how effective Llodra was with those wide serves against Davy, Djoker and Soderling...three of the games best returners. Those guys were litererally sitting on that wide serve and could do nothing with it but float one back to the center for a put away. If Llodra had a more consistant serve up the middle and a good kicker to pull players wide to the other side (Fed has a great kicker) he would have been invincible on serve 9as Fed is now). The only thing I would like Federer to do more of is follow those wide serves into the net.

    Anyway, I think Federer got the idea from Llodra in Paris.
     
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  40. Netspirit

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    Very soon the majority of posters from this forum will migrate into "Former Pro Player Talk", and the balance will change there.

    It will be quiet until in a few years from now another major group from this forum will migrate to "Former Pro Player Talk", and the hell will let loose. Those "Former Pro Player Talk" grannies do not realize what's coming.
     
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  41. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Federer did great at the net this week also.

    1st round- 10/11
    2nd round- 13/17
    3rd round- 15/19
    SF- 11/18
    F-15/18

    64/83=77% of net points won. Good stuff, rog.
     
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  42. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    In a few years this forum will dominated by Donald Young talk.
     
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  43. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    so true i love how federer non chalantly walks across the baseline and sets up for next serve
     
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  44. Speranza

    Speranza Hall of Fame

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    Watson: :evil: yes, I'm very annoy- just kidding :) Well remembered Semi-Pro!

    No need, for all messages get passed onto him regardless. ;)
     
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  45. Speranza

    Speranza Hall of Fame

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    Holmes: Spot on, good summation. I happened to see Berdych last year play at Wimbledon. I had quite a good seat, and remember thinking at the time that it did skid off the surface pronto.
     
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