Interesting article, Why is Roger Federer Not as Dominant

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by dh003i, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    I don't think he's quite right. Federer isn't as consistent as he was, his first serve has been wildly off in two slam finals (AO, USO), although dead on in the other two (FO, Wimbledon). I'm not sure how much the game has "evolved", that seems silly to me. In just a few years? Come on. There were enormous hitters, like Safin, several years ago. Federer had a positive H2H with Safin. There were other guys too.

    I think Federer is still in his prime, but definitely has declined from his peak. A few things are better. When he is on, his serve is better. His drop-shots are maybe better, although it is difficult to tell because he used them so rarely before. However, for the most part, most shots in his game are more inconsistent. Maybe his best tennis is as good as it has ever been, or even better (due to serve & drop-shot). But his ability to attain his best or near-best levels of tennis seemingly almost at will -- which he had for almost 4 years -- seems to have vanished. It used to seem like he could just summon his best tennis upon command.

     
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  2. GinoGinelli

    GinoGinelli Rookie

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    f.) Needs a 95" racket


    Just kidding!
     
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  3. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting article. I agree with the last two sentences of the article - "The golden rule of tennis: He who takes time away from his opponents, will beat them in the end, continues to be true. For years no one was better at this than Roger Federer. Now, Federer is coping with the fact that guys are starting to be able to do it to him."

    Roger himself has said that the best player at any given time is the one who's moving the best. Which means its all about those tens of milliseconds lost or gained in movement and the ability to take time away from an opponent.
     
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  4. President

    President Legend

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    I agree with you. Federer's best right now is probably close to or equal to his best in 2005/2006 (Cincinnati vs Murray and Djokovic was amazing, first two sets USO vs Soderling), but he can't come up with it as consistently. His forehand is really an error machine right now. It's not the best forehand in the game anymore. Overall he's still very good, but just inconsistent: both with his gamestyle and the level he brings to matches.
     
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  5. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    The one thing that I agree with this article is that Federer is easily the most stubborn player on the planet. He refuses to change tactics despite the fact that he is losing.
     
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  6. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    Yet, despite not being as consistent as he was, he's still maybe the most consistent player on the tour? 4 GS finals and some good results elsewhere too. It is quite amazing.
     
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  7. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover Legend

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    An interesting read, but I don't agree on most points. Just to name one: Still at his prime physically at past 28 years of age? Then why is there just one other player in the top-10 at age 28?
    As for the other stuff, I agree with OP.

    This part is spot-on, though. Hope he'll realize it in time.
     
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  8. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    Can't blame him to feel that way though with all that he has achieved.
     
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  9. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    this is some atrocious writing.
     
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  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    "When you combine that with the fact that Roger uses one of the smallest racquet heads on tour (about 90 sq. inches), and takes the ball right off the bounce, mistimed ball are bound to happen. There is so little margin for error in Roger's game that if he is even a plit second off in his timing, the result will usually be a missed shot."

    Finally, what I have been saying for a long time. This dependence on exquisite timing cannot continue as he grows older. He has to stand back more, take the ball a little later, reduce the swing speed a little, and compensate by using a bigger head frame. It is common sense, but some posters here keep arguing against it. The article also shows that the writer understands that arguing that the K90 has a larger sweetspot than some 100 sq in frames is not the point - that only applies to a stationary racquet hit by a moving ball, not when the racquet and the frame are both in motion at high speeds.
     
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  11. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    How so?

    Just curious.
     
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  12. samster

    samster Legend

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    I disagree. He needs a 98".
     
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  13. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    Federer’s trademark footwork seemed to be as nimble as ever, and by mid 2009 his “weaker wing” seemed to be better than it ever had been. In fact the only noticeable difference in the Federer game was a noted unpredictability with his trademark forehand, quite possibly the most lethal ground stroke ever.



    someone get this man a pair of glasses
     
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  14. austro

    austro Professional

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    Racquet size barely makes any difference at all. Can you even see, let alone feel, the difference between a 96 or a 98 in racket? Try it and I doubt you will.
     
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  15. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    There is a difference between 90 and 98 though. Also, do realize that pros are so sensitive to change that they can sense if there's a slightly different paint decal on their racquet.
     
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  16. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    Fed's loss to Davy (with no disrespect to Davy) proves Fed's non-dminant results are more because of his own decline than the competition getting better. I mean, Davy was his competition for years now, and has lost to him every single time.

    This article is dumb.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
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  17. akv89

    akv89 Hall of Fame

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    The idea that tennis players reach their prime in their late 20's is outdated and in general not always applicable. I don't agree that Federer only looks worse because the competition improved. He's losing more often to the same guys that he would regularly beat a couple years ago. His serve has been more lethal than before. However, it has more to do with how much he is now relying on his serve because his ground game has weakened. His 1st serve % isn't particularly impressive either. His footwork is definitely not as good as it used to be.

    I think the area of his game that worsened the most in the last couple years is the return of serve and his return game in general. Federer used to win 30-33% of return games in 04-06. This year he won only 25% of the return games he played. I believe that in 08 it was 28%.
     
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  18. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    Agreed. His return of serve has been quite awful (For his own standards) this year.
     
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  19. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover Legend

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    Oh, I'm not blaming him at all. It's all too understandable. And he's always been a rather stubborn fellow so it's of no surprise.

    Fully agree. He just seems to be slicing the ball back into play nowadays some 90% of the time, with no 'bite' at all.
     
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  20. araghava

    araghava Rookie

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    While athletes in other sports reach their prime at 27 or 28, it has traditionally not been the case in tennis. Most of the tennis greats hit their peak at 24 or 25. Going back to the mid 70's the following players all hit their peak at around 25.

    Connors, Borg (even earlier), McEnroe, Becker, Wilander, Edberg, Courier, Sampras.

    The only 2 players who hit their peak later are Lendl and Agassi.
     
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  21. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    "While Federer’s legions of unswerving, and unyieldingly loyal fans have been increasingly citing a decline in his level of play since 2008, primarily due to his relinquishing the top ranking to the younger Spanish upstart Rafael Nadal, recent losses to players such as Juan Martin Del Potro, Novak Djokovic, and most recently Nikolay Davydenko have increasing raised eyebrows."

    seriously? reading this is like watching ASIMO lumber down a flight of stairs at a honda research facility.
     
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  22. IvanisevicServe

    IvanisevicServe Banned

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    Anyone who thinks Federer's backhand is better than it has ever been has absolutely no idea what he/she is talking about.

    Federer's backhand isn't even 50% of what it used to be. He can't hit a backhand down the line for the life of him anymore...that used to be a key part of his game.

    If you go back to 2001-2006 videos of him, you'll see him unloading on the backhand side with supreme confidence. He took a much bigger cut at the ball (same goes for his forehand)...hit it much bigger. And his margin for error was fine...he seemingly hit everything.

    Granted, there were rare occasions when his backhand would go awry in a match, but that usually only lasted for one set and then he found his range and demolished his opponent.
     
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  23. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe it is true but his physical peak is gone! There is the mental peak still to reavh.
     
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  24. MuseFan

    MuseFan Banned

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    It's more mental then physical now how he wins slams.
     
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  25. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

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    I disagree with the entire article save for the point about Fed's own pride. I think it's really quite obvious that Fed has declined. Anybody who says that his movement is 'as nimble as ever' seriously needs a mental check...
     
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  26. bjk

    bjk Hall of Fame

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    Djokovic hits harder than Federer? Djokovic hits some of the loopiest groundstrokes on tour . . . He's more of a grinder than a shotmaker.
     
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  27. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    Federer needs to really think about adding an extra hand to his backhand shot, getting a bigger racquet, and getting some sleeveless shirts and capri pants.

    Just sayin'.
     
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  28. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

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    WTF his backhand better than ever LOL!!!!
     
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  29. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    to give credit to del Potro he adjusts his fh to his opponent on the fly, which i am amazed. federer doesnt seem to do it as much as he used to. i am curious what the real cause is. combination of various factors.
     
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  30. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    yea i agree. unless hes going for the winner
     
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