Fed's unspoken strategy????

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by knasty131, May 18, 2009.

  1. knasty131

    knasty131 Professional

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    In the Madrid final against Rafael Nadal, it seemed that Federer attatcked the backhand side of Nadal. Typically, when us lower level players think of attacking a certain wing of an opponent it is either because we feel more comfortable hitting there, or mainly because it is their weaker shot.

    I believe Federer did not necessarily attack the backhand but instead attacked that side of the court. In doing so, he made it very difficult for Nadal to find his backhand. For so long Nadal has had Federer's number and it was because he was able to find Federer's backhand (most effectively with a high bouncing shot). I've never seen Federer take a strategy so simple and use it throughout the whole match. That is exactly what Nadal does to Federer and on Sunday, Federer did it better.

    I guess a very simple way to put it is that Federer hit balls that made it very difficult for Nadal to execute his proven winning strategy against Fed.
     
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  2. Young Pete

    Young Pete Professional

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    good analysis.
     
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  3. knasty131

    knasty131 Professional

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    Did anybody else notice this?
     
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  4. AznHylite

    AznHylite Semi-Pro

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    After your explanation, yes, I realize I did see it quite a bit. I also saw that he was deceiving Nadal quite a bit by repeatedly hitting to the backhand, and then hitting an inside-out forehand to Nadal's forehand. That, in turn, opened up the backhand side.
     
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  5. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    What was interesting was how persistent he was. Just like Nadal, he kept going to the backhand side even if it meant hitting down the line high risk b/h.

    In the past i have noticed him do these dtl b/h vs nadal's inside in f/h rallies. But he usually went back to his comfort zone when he shanked a few b/h.

    This time around it was different. For one he put some doubt inside Nadal with a few errors early on.
     
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  6. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    I think you got it half right. The strategy was actually a preventive one. We all know Nadal's 100% BH side shots when he plays Roger. Since sending shots to his opponent Bh is tougher from his own BH side, By sending solid Fh shots to Nadal's Bh he prevented Nadal to fire high top spin balls to his own BH, and it payed off beautifully.
     
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  7. bizarre_opinion

    bizarre_opinion Rookie

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    the good thing to see was he had a plan and stuck to it. Previous encounters with nadal, he would go to pot mentally because he didn't seem to have a plan. Plus i liked how he was being aggressive on serve, both 1st and 2nd.
     
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  8. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    The plan has always been there. It is the execution. In order to make this plan effective , he needed to serve well and also execute well. That is not simple to do.

    There are a few other factors that helped Federer. Fed has won against Nadal in the past on clay.I fully expect Nadal to bounce back with a counter strategy of his own.
     
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  9. ckthegreek

    ckthegreek Rookie

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    Here's a coach's analysis (mine).

    Federer is stubborn. He admitted many weeks ago that he willl not work on his weaknesses but will rely on his strengths. This is what he did yesterday. He relied on the two shots that won him 13 GSs - the serve and the forehand. Yesterday's match was a coach's dream. There were one-two punches over and over and over. I'm sure he spent many many hours on the court sharpening up his server. 1st serve was very fast and 2nd very spinny and deep this week. He must also have spent hours and hours hitting all kinds of forehands down the line, cross court, inside out inside in, etc.

    His bachkand was flatter than usual too (reminded me a bit of Sampras's)

    His strategy was simple:

    1) Keep the rallies very short
    2) Take a risk on both first and second serve - may serve a few doubles
    3) Take a risk on the forehand but always whack it
    4) Whack the backhand too - no top spin bakhands
    5) Occassionaly and selectively come into the net.

    He knew that by making no more than 2 UE in any given game should be enough to win him the match.

    No doubt Nadal is already working on a new strategy himself... RG will be huge fun to watch.
     
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  10. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

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    Wow that is an excellent analysis. I see why you're a coach :p. Except, on number 4, I don't get it, what do you mean by no top spin backhands? I thought Fed hit some topspin backhands didn't he..? I noticed that he kind of mixed up with the slice more than at AO final, but still, there were still loads of topspin BH shots were there not...?
     
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  11. jaykay

    jaykay Professional

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    great thread.

    some excellent analysis here.

    i do think that roger hit more frequently to rafa's BH - he hit a number of DTL shots from his own BH (i tivo-ed the match and saw it twice). i also think that roger played a high-risk game, went for his shots and kept the points short. it obviously helped that roger was serving *real* well and rafa was visibly slow.

    great match.

    i do believe however, that the best match of the tournament was the rafa-djoker contest in the SF... that was a cracker of a match!

    quick comment on the jmdp vs fed SF, i do believe that the outcome of this was a foregone conclusion. it is really difficult to rebound from the ugly beatdown that jmdp rcvd at melbourne. also, jmdp seemed very happy and content reaching the semis.

    i'm totally looking forward to the FO.

    cheers, all.
     
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  12. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Feds strategy in the 2nd set at 5-4 was to go down 15-40 then get run around all over the place and then wait for Nadal to miss an easy down the line backhand winner. Genius. :shock:
     
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  13. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah I did. He wasn't necesarily trying to break down the Nadal backhand, but get involved in a N-bh/R-fh rally rather than R-bh/N-fh rally time and again. Roger did that very well by using a lot of high backhands down the line and stuff like that. I don't think it'll be enough for him to stand a chance at Roland Garros.. but it's sure a good thing to remember in case they meet at wimbledon.
     
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  14. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    The only thing of consequence I noted is that Roger kept the ball deep. Give Nadal anything short and he takes control of the point.
     
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  15. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    I completely agree with you. Fed had a clear plan, stuck to it, executed well, and didnt mentally fall apart.

    I was especially glad to see Fed keep his head in it and not fold under pressure when he went down 15-40 when he was serving for the match and the crowd was chanting "Rafa, Rafa, Rafa" (often while he was trying to serve).
     
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  16. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    The backhand I saw Nadal miss on match point in that game was crosscourt and by no means an easy shot. What match were you watching?
     
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  17. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    1 point earlier.. That one was 30-40, but at 15-40 Nadal had a bh dtl after a long rally
     
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  18. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    Yes - It's Nadal's forehand shot to Fed's bkhnd that kills Federer - the ball jumps more with Nadals forehand & causes errors and short balls from Roger, that Nadal just puts away.
     
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  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I don't think this is a strategy at all. All 5 points are obvious and every pro wants to do them, but cannot. Who would not like to finish points off quickly, hit 2 huge serves every point, incorporate all-court play and rip their forehands or backhands?

    It is a simple matter of Fed's game clicking and Nadal being tired, nothing else.
     
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  20. thejoe

    thejoe Hall of Fame

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    That's all Nadal does to everyone, and you seem to present that as genius.
     
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  21. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    Yes it is kind of funny to read all these new "strategies" in thread after thread, all forgetting the simple fact that really decided the match.
     
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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    ^^^ Right on. If Nadal had won that game, as he should have, we would be discussing Fed's losing strategies now:

    1. Hit safe second serves, don't go for all out
    2. Hit with spin, don't put half the balls into the net straight away.
    3. Don't come in when you keep getting passed every time
     
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  23. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    That 15-40 was break point not match point dummy.
     
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  24. rfprse

    rfprse Professional

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    It's nothing new. It's a bad habit/tactic in fact what causes Federer to struggle so much against Nadal.
    Federer used to waste so many chances with his forehand because of this "tactic" (or rather his fear of Nadal's forehand).
    Especially, when Nadal executes his flatter cross court backhand well. With this shot Nadal usually puts Federer on the run and (re)gains the dominance of the rally, then he either exploits Federer's backhand or put him on the run side to side (if Federer tries to change the direction with a down the line backhand...the same thing over and over).

    Then what was different yesterday? Federer kept Nadal honest by using inside out forehand frequently enough to prevent Nadal from
    staying home at his backhand corner all the time. And Nadal didn't use his cross court backhand neither as well nor as often as he used to do against Federer.
     
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  25. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    I think this strategy is not new, he tried it on Wimbledon last year, same thing, really sharp shots to Nadal BH and it worked, is just that at that day Nadal was mentally tougher and his BH was actually working really good. Yesterday Nadal BH was a liability, as it was Sat against Djokovic, he had too many UE on that wing and Federer came to the court beleiving he could win, usually Nadal sending back everything takes this beleive away and makes him uncomfortably, this wasnt the case yesterday, some people say it was because Nadal was tired, others say is because Federer played superb, I think it is a little bit of both.
     
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  26. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Even if Federer had lost, it was a good strategy, because it was a strategy, unlike the 6-1 6-3 6-0 of last year's french.
     
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  27. Blade0324

    Blade0324 Hall of Fame

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    Agree Fed had a bit of a new strategy in hitting dtl to Nadals BH and even FH with Nadal in his BH cornere where he likes to stay. Most people, Roger included like to hit to the more open court that Rafa leaves. By going back dtl it was a pattern that is different than normal. However I think Roger blew his seceret too early to get this win and now if he actually makes the final at the FO, which will not be a given at all, Rafa will be ready for this and it won't be effective. Nadal is one of the very best at adapting to his oponents new tactics. So unless Roger has some more tricks in his bag he won the Madrid title at the expense of a shot at RG as he really has no shot now IMO.
     
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  28. LeftySpin

    LeftySpin Rookie

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    Agreed, it wasn't just that too, he did everything else very well too
     
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  29. mzzmuaa

    mzzmuaa Semi-Pro

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    Nadal also tried using his flatter, harder forehand on Federer's backhand a few times. This resulted in Nadal getting about the same pace returned to him but with better placement(flick).
    minor point
     
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  30. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    I didnt know where to post this,so I'm posting it here-The thing I really loved was how Roger made Nadal wait for him at the toss this time.Everytime its Nadal who goes through his own ritual and takes his own sweet time to come to net and there's Roger waiting for him.This time he made Nadal wait.I'm glad he did it for this one time atleast.It was hilarious to see Nadal on the waiting end :lol: :mrgreen:

    edit-this is not to bash Nadal..just that I am not fond of his on court rituals at all.
     
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  31. icedevil0289

    icedevil0289 Legend

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    I found it funny how roger made nadal wait and then he chose to receive instead of serve.
     
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  32. vtmike

    vtmike Banned

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    I also found it funny when Fed made Nadal wait for the coin toss like Nadal does in EVERY single match. :)
     
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  33. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Is this not what the old strategy was?
     
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  34. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    LOL yeah..Nadal hates to serve first and Roger prefers to serve first.This was quite a changer :lol:
     
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  35. RalphNYC

    RalphNYC Semi-Pro

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    Also, the commentators were saying during Nadal's semifinal match that his backhand was vulnerable to the knee pain he was having. That may have influenced Fed's strategy on Sunday.
     
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  36. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    He didnt have any knee pain on Sunday.
     
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  37. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Yeh he's going to text you to inform of his knee pain so everyone can find out about it before Roland Garros.:roll:
     
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  38. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Its more hilarious to see how long Nadal is making Fed wait to beat him in a slam final. :p
     
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  39. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    He didnt mention it and I didnt think there was anything wrong..
    Sheesh..everytime Nadal loses he Tired&Injured.Whatever :roll:
    And people call out Fed fans , saying they gave exuses after Roger's AO 08 loss and others..
    Ahh..the irony :roll:
     
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  40. IvanAndreevich

    IvanAndreevich Legend

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    If you've ever seen Nadal play, he does NOT have an ATTACKING down the line backhand. He went for it and missed because that's not a shot he has ever executed well. It's not a normal part of his game.

    Wow. And I thought Nadal was tired and that decided the match, according to you? Also he didn't want to play that day because he's already played the real final yesterday, right?
     
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  41. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Nadal wasnt having any knee pain in his semi until he lost the first set.:???:
    Then he had his leg wrapped and everything was ok?:???:

    Then on Sunday the wrap on his leg was gone like the pain was no longer there so I call bs on the knee pain. There was never any visible difference in his movement with or without the wrap.

    The entire wrap thing is just a crutch for Nadal fans to use. They should take a hint from Nadal himself and not bring up the knee because it wasnt a factor.
     
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  42. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    It wasn't the knee BTW. It was a muscle above the knee.
     
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  43. Tennis_Bum

    Tennis_Bum Professional

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    You may call yourself a coach but you are not too bright. Just because Fed says that he doesn't work on his weaknesses, you believe him? All pro athletes BS. They never tell you the truth. Why would they? If you believe everything you read or heard, then you are a sad individual. Tennis pros aren't going to tell everything about their game. Are you nuts?
     
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  44. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    It was a regulation down the line shot with Fed way out of court. Nadal was just tired and missed the easy shot like many others. Fed's not going to get those gifts in the Roland Garros semi or final- there's 2 days between matches, everyone will be fresh.
     
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  45. Tennis_Bum

    Tennis_Bum Professional

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    Clearly Fed played with a game plan and executed it well. But let's see if he can keep doing that during the French. In the past, Fed didn't really have a plan, and he just relied on his talents but that failed miserably.

    I like the caption at the bottom. You forgot Veroniquem.
     
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  46. IvanAndreevich

    IvanAndreevich Legend

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    No. Nadal was in great position to hit the shot. His legs brought him there. He went for too much on a shot that he's not comfortable with and missed.
    Not if Nadal somehow loses. He will either be tired on injured in that case.
     
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  47. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

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    excellent analysis. I agree 100%.
     
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  48. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

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    Yes like if he won that game he already won the match.
    If you didn't have slices of mortadella on your eyes, you should have seen that the match was totally owned by Federer. Rafa yesterday had no chance of winning. Period.
     
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  49. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    I agree.. also I thought (apart from being told by the commentator) the other main reason for the success in this match is his improvement of technique on the inside-out forehand to both wide and down the line -- this shot was producing so many errors lately! -- not sure if he consciously worked on it!
     
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  50. mzzmuaa

    mzzmuaa Semi-Pro

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    the british commentators said that federer dropped pace and added topspin to improve its margin of error
     
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