Federer's serve-faulty?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by dirkgnuf, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. dirkgnuf

    dirkgnuf Rookie

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    #1
  2. chiru

    chiru Professional

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    FINALLY someone who agrees with me. i've always said that federer's form was much less than perfect. there was a thread a while back asking who had the best service motion and i said pete, but some ppl were like fed. i disagreed and thy all jumped sayin its so smooth blah blah, finally i have someone who agrees with me
     
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  3. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    No ****,Fed's serve is still very hard to break, especially on Grass.It excels on fast hardcourts as well.Its very good on fast surfaces.
     
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  4. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    If Pat Cash noticed this, why doesn't he tell Federer? He's someone who Federer would certainly talk to if he said he had some advice for him.

    However, hasn't Federer been serving pretty well at the FO?
     
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  5. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

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    I read ESPN magazine and one of his weaknesss on clay is his 2nd serve. Its good enough on grass and hardcourts but on clay it definitely isn't that effective.

    I was watching the last game of the Fed-Youzhny match and for the majority of his 1st serves, he could smack the return as a winner and get to net. On his 2nd serve though, he really had to grind it out and lost a lot of his points on it.

    So either that 2nd serve gets in more or he gets more 1st serves in.
     
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  6. 357sig

    357sig New User

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    Tell Pat Cash to kiss Feds 10 grand slam trophies
     
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  7. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    I believe Cash is referring to the angle of the racquet wielding arm during service, when the racquet is pointing to the sky waiting to strike the ball at its apogee, as in the illustration below. In the example, the guys arm looks to be at about 90 degrees, maybe a little less. Cash is saying Federer used to have his at about 90 degrees, but now has it less bent or more open, exceeding 90 degrees. Kind of like a javelin thrower preparing to throw a javelin. Personally, I don't see it. I think Cash has got it wrong. Below is what Federer had to say on the matter when asked at the French. Also, Federer's serve has been excellent at the French, as someone already said.

    [​IMG]

    Q. I've read an article of Pat Cash in an English newspaper. Your serve has changed, basically, that you produced a kind of loop from the back. What about your move in the serve, has it changed?

    ROGER FEDERER: No, I don't think that my move has changed, I mean, or I've worked on that, or maybe I've changed something slightly. No, I would say that my service game is quite good. I'm quite relaxed and basically can prevent some injuries.

    So I changed my serve at the start of my career, between the junior category and the senior category, but the loop at the serve is the same. From time to time, I can toss up the ball a little bit higher or a little bit lower, but it's a matter of feeling.

    As far as I know, I would say that my serve hasn't changed, and the loop hasn't changed.

    http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/interviews/2007-06-01/200706011180713638234.html
     
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  8. psamp14

    psamp14 Hall of Fame

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    i wouldnt say federer's serve is "faulty" but i agree with you chiru that sampras' serve is the smoothest and best service motion in the history of the sport

    i was watching the coverage today on NBC and carillo and mcenroe brought this up, with carillo citing that sampras never had a superb first serve percentage either, but his serve was deadly and he served and volleyed almost all the time later on in his career

    they went on talking about why a higher serve percentage is necessary for staying back...

    i've noticed federer's serve isnt the best, but right now, its very very effective....although he doesnt close the door right away like sampras did, his mentality is there

    its a good article by pat cash but federer is smart and he doesnt need to employ a coach although if he will pursue one later on i'd go with cahill

    if it comes to it federer can also go for 100-105 mph serves at a high percentage...
     
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  9. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    They were right to jump on you. Federer's service motion is actually smoother than Pete's. Pete got away with his motion and his extreme wrist snapping action because he was supremely well conditioned.

    It is common knowledge that Pete's serve, and especially his second serve were more effective than Roger's. But that does not mean that his action is smoother than Roger's.

    Federer's action is simpler, more minimalist and smoother. Pete's was a freak of nature.
     
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  10. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    totally agree
     
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  11. psamp14

    psamp14 Hall of Fame

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    polaris not to get in an argument with you but i agree and disagree with you

    i will correct myself and say that federer has a very smooth service motion and it is very effective

    however sampras' service motion was also very smooth, and it was not a freak of nature...it was essentially a good knee bend and moving weight forward into the court....i can leave it open on the wrist snapping motion of sampras' but his serve is clearly better than federer's

    however in federer's quest of becoming the GOAT....his service motion is not "faulty" and will serve him well...i actually think his serve will improve as he gets older since he may adapt to more of a serve and volley style of play
     
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  12. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    I'm quite relaxed and basically can prevent some injuries.

    Actually, this is exactly what I'm going for with all my strokes. They don't have to be the most powerful, but I'd like to hit shots with enough on them so that they aren't easily returned while not hurting myself while doing it. I've heard too many stories of guys having to quit playing because of injury due to technical strain.
     
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  13. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    David L, actually what Pat Cash wrote was not that Federer wasn't bending his elbow enough, but rather, he was bending it too much. Here's the quote:
    "Looking at his service action, it’s clear to me that he is bending his elbow much more than he needs to do at the beginning of his action when he prepares to throw his racket at the ball."
    I think the confusing part is that he then went on to write that instead of a 90 degree bend, Fed is now using a 110 degree bend. I would have worded it more like this: Whereas Fed used to open his elbow up to 90 degrees, he now only opens it to about 70 degrees.
    At least, that's the way I understand what he wrote...
     
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  14. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    hahahaah yea exactly. if he thinks he knows, why doesnt he have the trophies huh
     
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  15. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    having the best of everything doesn't make the perfect player.

    Sampras serve is the best, so far, but what about his groundstrokes? his backhand? still average. but it is not part of his game. and who bothers? he is a net rusher. If his ground strokes were also world-class, he might not even have been so successful by staying back and relying on his baseline skills.

    Fed's serve is not as lethal as Sampras', but this is part of his game. He is not a pure serve and volleyer, so he can take some power off that serve and work on the overall point constructing.
    If Fed had such a good serve as Sampras', he might just reach only the semi-final just as Sampras did.

    criticizing one part of the game is what these people such as Pat Cash can do. Then what about Nadal? Nadal's is even worse than Fed's, but he is the king of clay. And before Pat talks about a better serve for Fed, he should have said Nadal needs a better serve. lol..
     
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  16. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    Yes, this is what I originally thought, but then it did'nt make sense with the degrees he mentioned. I gave the benefit of the doubt to the degrees he mentioned, you to the description. Thanks for pointing it out. Maybe geometry is not Cash's strong point. In any case, Federer does bend his elbow more than 90 degrees as Cash describes and like the guy in the illustration, but I think this is good. Just imitating it now with my arm, I can feel you get better leverage and therefore more power. It also seems to put less strain on the shoulder, sharing the responsibility for momentum more evenly throughout the arm and shoulder.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
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  17. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    Fed was 3rd in aces on tour last year. He's always in the high 120's low 130's on his first serve. He doesn't get injured. What more do you want? Roddick has the strangest service mechanics anyone has ever seen, nobody's telling him he's wrong. It's all about results.

    Not effective on clay? Since when do you have to have a good serve on clay anyway? The only clayer that I can remember having a service weapon is Kuerten.
     
    #17
  18. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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    I always wonder why those great players, McEnore, Samprass, Agassi, Becker have nothing but praise and appreciation for Federer but some good but not great players like Wilander and Cash manage to find issues with Federer's games?:confused:
     
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  19. psamp14

    psamp14 Hall of Fame

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    a lot of the posts so far have made very good points, federer's serve is obviously no sampras serve, but its very effective and gets the job done

    sampras, agassi, becker, mcenroe....all are the some of the best players ever, and they all have nothing but appreciation and good things to say about federer and his game

    mcenroe was first in this, already talking best ever in 2003/2004, and sampras was the most recent to make it public, that federer really is the good guy and humorous person everyone says he is, let alone how good he is

    bottom line is that federer's serve is efficient and effective, and cash needs to write an article about someone else's serve....thats actually faulty...maybe coria...lol...just kidding :)
     
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  20. flyboy1

    flyboy1 New User

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    Excellent point. As if Wilander and Cash have enviable serves anyway. Wilander was a baseline counter-puncher who just spun the ball in to get the point started, and Pat Cash changed his serve motion more times than any other pro I've ever seen. Roger wins many cheap points due to his serve. And why aren't these self-proclaimed tennis geniuses critiquing Nadal's serve, or Nalbandian; it isn't even remotely as effective as Federer's delivery. There are a bunch of guys in the top 25 that don't have Sampras-like serves. Sure, Federer's serve is no Sampras serve, but he has been dominant on grass, and hard court, and has a better clay court record than Sampras. Federer gets a bunch of cheap points on his serve. Why does Fed have to have the greatest serve in history to make people happy?
     
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  21. BkK_b0y14

    BkK_b0y14 Semi-Pro

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    ya his first serve percentage was around 50 in the youzhny match...
     
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  22. rwn

    rwn Semi-Pro

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    Federer lost his serve 3 times in 4 best of 5 matches on clay. No problem at all. Cash is simply a complete idiot.
     
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  23. finky

    finky Rookie

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    Basically everything Cash writes is about him. The guy ia an ego-maniac .Each article contains a needless reference to his Wimbledon title , including this one. A sad man whose sometimes 'controversial' opinions about players and techniques are always wrong. Shut up Pat.
     
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  24. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I just watched the Hamburg final on dvd (thanks to a guy from my tennis club). And what I noticed was that as the match progressed Federer got more and more relaxed in his strokes, also his serve, and they got more and more powerfull. I also noticed two key points. One when he was double break point down in the second set, and pulled it off. And then the incredible ball in the third where they exchanged volleys, lobs, everything, untill Nadal hit the ball in the net. Maybe not so related to this thread. But it reminds me of the most interesting or usefull thing I have heard him say about his game, that it is about "getting yourself syncronized to the ball".
     
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  25. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Syncronized with the ball, I guess it is
     
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  26. dirkgnuf

    dirkgnuf Rookie

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    Have some of you even read this article carefully? Pat Cash acknowledges Federer's service potential, the only thing he is pointing out is that the bend is a bit much and that can cause possible problems.
    Some of you seem to act like Cash is totally discrediting Federer's serve and HE IS NOT DOING THAT. He's making an observation, one that seems to fit the statistics that he is pulling out, 2006 vs 2007.
    AND for those who probably won't, here's a quick summary:

    "So Roger Federer’s service stats make alarming reading."

    "The number of first serves he gets into play is also vastly inferior to this time last year."

    "he managed to put only fractionally more than half of his first serves into play — very different from the 69% he logged against the Spaniard in the 2006 Wimbledon final."

    "in that horrendous third-round match against Filippo Volandri in Rome a couple of weeks ago, his first-serve percentage dropped to a lamentable 44% and he was broken four times in two sets."

    "When his serve was supremely consistent, the bend was never any more than 90 degrees; now it’s nudging up to the 110-degree mark.

    That is not a good sign. It would result in a drop in accuracy, which would affect his consistency and ultimately his confidence. Not wishing to be a harbinger of doom, but it could also result in injury, because an unwitting change in an action introduces an element of physical risk. "

    "There have been players who use a lot of elbow bend in their service action. Goran Ivanisevic, for instance, seemed to get an extra six inches of height and more velocity on the ball.

    But he was plagued by shoulder problems during his later years on the Tour. "
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
    #26
  27. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    I would agree with "simpler" and "minimalist" part but not smoother part.

    There is nothing Sampras got away with in his service motion.
    Yes, Pete was freak of nature.
    His extremely flexible body and superb atheleticism allowed him to
    include very extreme elements that most people can't implement.

    Compared to motions of great servers in 90's,
    Federer's motion is simple and somewhat stiff looking.
    If he had more flexible body and smoother,
    he would have been serving like great servers of 90's.
     
    #27
  28. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, that's an interesting aspect of Fed's game. Back in 2001-03, he had more of a traditional power serve (a la Sampras), with deeper shoulder bend and more upper body action. It actually seems like his serve may have had more average pace than it does now. I actually don't know what led him to alter his mechanics, since it looks quite a bit different than majority of tour.

    That said, Federer's current serve has coil action a la McEnroe, and that's appealing to me. He doesn't rely on an explosive bend around the hips, like Sampras and most other power servers; in that sense it looks more "stiff." There's less explosiveness, but there's also less issues with timing. He kinda just aims the serve with his feet and gets his power from coiling. FWIW, I've always been surprised that he could get 130+ with his simple/smooth serve style.

    I could see the issue with the elbow bend, though -- it happens to a lot of pros. I don't know whether it's this though that causes his service percentage to drop.
     
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  29. dirkgnuf

    dirkgnuf Rookie

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    Here's a picture for reference:

    2004

    [​IMG]


    2007

    [​IMG]
     
    #29
  30. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    The first picture is on a hard/indoor court while the second pic is on clay.

    So it's not decisive evidence because it could be the case Federer is hitting a different type of serve on clay than he'd normally hit on hard court.
     
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  31. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    Tricky, I asked you a question about Federer's inverted racquet face in the tennis tips forum in that thread we were talking about it in, I don't want to hijack this thread so could you check that out?
     
    #31
  32. dirkgnuf

    dirkgnuf Rookie

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    AAA,
    How are these serves, taken at Monte Carlo, in 2005 on clay. IMO I think his serve here has that 90 degree angle bend that is no longer there in the pic of his serve postion this year at RG. Compare and give me your opinion folks, as to whether his serve is different or not.
    2005 Clay:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2007
    #32
  33. dirkgnuf

    dirkgnuf Rookie

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    After watching his match with Davydenko, I'll have to agree with Cash that something is definitely messing up his first serve. Those numbers were quite low.
     
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  34. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    dunno, when were they taken?
     
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  35. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Yup. His service percentage was 51% for the match. Prior to the tiebreak, his percentage for the 2nd set was 31%.
     
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  36. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    IMHO, that's the key. Unless he had some kind of injury before, my guess
    is that he consciously adjusted to more recent game.

    In today's game,IMHO, the accuracy is a key when it comes to serves.
    Today's surfaces neutralizes serve's power a lot. We have less motivation for pace.
    So I think he, like other players, adjusted for more accuracy.
     
    #36
  37. djsiva

    djsiva Banned

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    Does Cash want him to serve like Roddick?!?

    Personally I don't think with respect to injuries that the angle he cocks back with matters. Its more about point of contact because that's when stress is actually transmitted to the elbow, rotator cuff, and body.

    I think Pat Cash was injury prone because he used a lot of weights in the wrong way. He always thought he was some kind of tough guy. I remember when Becker tumbled over the net playfully after Cash tumbled over. Cash turned into an a-- hole.

    Anyways as long as Federer keeps relaxed and smooth I think he'll easily retire without injury in 10 years.

    Cash does have a point though about accuracy, the more extraneous movements before contact, the more prone you are to miss. But Federer is a pro, this is a tip you dole out at the public park to try to impress a girl.
     
    #37
  38. dirkgnuf

    dirkgnuf Rookie

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    Does anyone think something is wrong with Federer's first serve and agree with Pat Cash? His second seems reliable, but he won't be able to rely on it against Nadal, who can probably eat up that kicker. With Numbers that low, one has to be worried, as Roger definitely served much better last year at RG.
     
    #38
  39. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    In the Hamburg Final I think Fed got about 45-50% first serves IN in the first set and about 70% or almost 70% in in sets 2 and 3.
     
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