Is Federer stubborn or incapable ?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by fastdunn, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    To me, it was a display of stubborness. Fed's trying to win in the same
    dynamics of match that he lost repeatedly against Nadal.

    Many champions are stubborn. I can certainly understand Federer because
    he has been winning in all kinds of match dynamics he engaged in with
    just about everybody.

    He still seems to believe he can beat Nadal in baseline battle on clay
    using same dynamics involving his backhand. At imes, he almost looked like
    he wants win the match with his backhands. He looked like it's his strategy.

    Then there is his questionable net play. It's on clay and it's much hard to
    have crisp footwork for net plays but as McEnroe pointed out Federer tends to drop
    his wrist on volley resulting the volley pops up or rather weak.

    Letting alone net play, even in just baseline dynamics of a match.
    Federer still wants to win with the same scenario. He wants to have
    better backhand that can over power Nadals spinny shots.

    He even doesn't run-around his backhand as much as he does against
    other players. He wants to win the backhand battle. Then again he runs
    around and commits unforced errors with forehnad. As always in his previous
    battle against Nadal, he accumulated large number of UE's with his forehand.

    This is puzzling. I know Nadal is unbeatable(literally in French Open) but
    this is disappointing. I thought Federer would try all of his his other tricks.
    Instead he choose to win the same battle he's been losing.
    This guy is freaking stubborn unless he is actually incapable of certain things...
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
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  2. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    I agree he's very stubborn.

    Like that stretch when serving into the ad corner (in the set 3, I guess).

    He missed 10 firsts in the corner, into Nadal's FH, but never had a try at the down the T, which is the lower height of the net and comes to Nadal's BH and to the center, where Nadal is less effective than taken out. Only towards the end did he make the correction. And he has the shot. Like trying to beat Nadal on Nadal's FH.

    Or when hitting with the FH into the net for 5 times on decisive shots, never once trying to put more topspin in them.

    Or simply: not doing enough S-V, even as an element of surprise. And that was his most effective shot/tactics (75% at a time, then it dropped). He's paying for not playing it enough in other matches.

    All in all, not a very clever match and not better than with Roche last year. Perhaps this was one of the main reasons for the divorce, his stubbornness.

    But of course, the main factor is Nadal. He's very good on his surface, you realize they had a plan when designing those shots for him.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
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  3. armand

    armand Banned

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    It seems he's too afraid to "let it all hang out" and use his best tennis, best tactics and his best effort because he's afraid that if he does, he will still lose. And maybe really destroy his confidence.

    If Federer holds on to that mentality that he got somewhere in the middle of that match, I wouldn't be surprised if he started skipping the French.
     
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  4. foetz

    foetz Rookie

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    absolutely. his strategy was crap. seemed like he wanted to beat him with his own weapons.
    he should look at the guys who beat nadal every time like blake, berdych, johansson etc.
    they do NOT play like nadal. far from it. the more you play like him the better chance you have to loose cause he's THE 'spinner' but not much more.
    don't understand why he didn't play like in hamburg.

    but look around - how many players dig this? :confused:
     
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  5. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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    Ha, I was going to write a thread "Is Federer stubborn or Nadal is too good"

    I was thinking about this after I heard Mac saying his view of Fed's stubborness. I in part I agree with it. But Also Nadal is very very good. In the pre-game interview Fed said he's going to do more attacking games,more SV, which he did not even try it in the first set. I will give the credits to Nadal (and his camp) that did not allow Fed to immediately jump in and execute his pre-game plan.

    And I do think Fed did a lot run around, but his forhand is very disappointing. It was the backhand that open up the court from time to time but I think Fed gets confused by Nadal's tactics.

    Nadal has a successful strategy - do what he is doing good. This year he changed his serving style back to what it was - more spin less pace. He can serves up mid 120 with a lot aces but it's not his games. His services games is now so rock solid combined with his heavy top spins on clay. what else can you say?
     
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  6. Fedfan4life

    Fedfan4life Semi-Pro

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    I agree. I just turn off the game I was frustrated. Even McEnroe couldn't understand what he's doing.
     
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  7. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    Sometimes he puzzles me.I was surprised that he hit some shots back to Nadal where he could have goned the other way and won the point.His body language ticks me off at times.He should have come to net more times then what he did.
     
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  8. rommil

    rommil Legend

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  9. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    How many times do we have to hear about feds stubborness, he tried everything.He cant beat nadal at the fo, he is not good enough.After 3 times i would think it would be obvious.Fed was attacking+it worked some, he also came in + it worked some.But it also leads to ue+getting passed which it did.

    Do you guys think that you know more of what it takes to win than fed does?I thought he was using some new tactics+had some success but it still is not enough to beat the best claycourt player of all time!
     
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  10. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    he should use the slice backhand more, particularly when it is up high. when he did use it, he had success. he was getting no pace/depth trying to come over those high backhands.
     
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  11. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    Does anyone think maybe nadal is just to good for roger on clay?
     
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  12. goforgold99

    goforgold99 Semi-Pro

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    I think he had great tactics!

    He had many chances and in terms of points the match was pretty close. He was just too shanky in the important points.

    But the way he played is DEFINITELY the way he can beat Nadal, as he showed in Hamburg. Fed can totally dominate him from the baseline. Going to the net too often is just CRAP against Nadal cause he'll pass Fed over and over again.

    I was actually very positive suprised how well Fed managed to stay in the rallys, be patient as you have to be on clay, and then finally finish the point off.
     
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  13. Alex132

    Alex132 Guest

    why would that be ?
     
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  14. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    Nadals obvious success on clay? Especially at the french?
     
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  15. WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis

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    I think there is no problem with being stubborn if you can also be flexible when necessary. However, if you do see a game plan that is not working yet continue to play it, then maybe it's not stubbornness which is the problem, but a lack of humility in admitting a different tactic might be better. I've not read the articles or interviews about why Roger split from Roche at this point in time before the French.

    Rafael has been too good for Roger on the times they have played so far on clay by majority, yet not to say Federer in the future might not come up with a winning answer to this particular conundrum. Was going to quote some Mr. Miyagi stuff and say, the one that does not bend to the wind breaks....but I don't know the exact quote.
     
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  16. woodman

    woodman New User

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    stubborn

    It is odvious that Roger did not use the stratigy that he used to good effect in Rome, and that other players who have beaten Nadal or come close . Instead he chose to play the same stratigy that has lost him on clay almpst every time. I think he choked, pure and simple.
     
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  17. AngeloDS

    AngeloDS Hall of Fame

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    Actually, Federer's strategy was working very well. He did get a lot of break chances, however, he was unable to convert them =).

    Many people thought he was just bashing his backhand, but he was really hitting it with a lot of different spins to bounce high/medium/low and changing it a lot.
     
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  18. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    Look at the amount of errors Federer had on his forehand when he went for his shots. His 1st serve % didn't allow him to play an aggressive game and his 2nd serve isn't Sampras Quality to try it either. It just seemed his bread and butter winning shots let him down every time he fought his way back into the match. No one is good enough to beat Nadal at the French, the only way Federer can do it is if everything in his game is going like it was in the 2nd and 3rd set in Hamburg otherwise it just plays right into the strengths of Nadal.... very disappointing to watch.
     
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  19. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Those type of players don't beat Nadal on clay. Berdych got bageled. :D Hamburg was a low bouncing clay which allowed Federer to be more aggressive off the ground.
     
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  20. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    I actually thought his backhand was the best i have ever seen it.
     
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  21. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    True, thats why it is a nightmare for a all courter. People saying fed choked or should of did this and that dont know what they're talking about. The superior baseliner wins at the french. Fed is damn good, incredible, nadal is just a notch above on the slowest surface, the real clay at the french.. It's funny how fed dont choke at wimbledon> usopen-australian?
     
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  22. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    It was, you can only do such much with it against Nadal and it wasn't the liability that cost him the match. Federer didn't hold serve and was hitting way to many 2nd serves against Nadal.
     
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  23. woodman

    woodman New User

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    let the chokmg begin

    The moment was just to great, even for the GOAT. With a first service percentage and break point conversion numbers like Federers, what else could you call it? I am a huge Federer fan, and this loss was almost physically painful, but call as pade a spade as the saying goes.......
     
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  24. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    For me the bottom line is, Nadal more consistent from the baseline, less errors than federer. Once the point gets going, advantage nadal to be more consistent, hit less errors.

    Fed serve is severly compromised on the slow red clay. As was petes, the greatest server ever.
     
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  25. johnny ballgame

    johnny ballgame Professional

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    Never mind strategy. Fed's problem today was execution, plain and simple.

    1 for 17 on break points and a bad first serve %. The very fact that he HAD 17 break points means his strategy was effective.
     
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  26. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    I wasn't able to watch the match and was stupid enough to forget to record it. So what did Mac say during the match?
     
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  27. foetz

    foetz Rookie

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    maybe, but his tactic wasn't good anyway
     
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  28. emcee

    emcee Semi-Pro

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    Word. While I think he could've came to net more (or kept going to net even after Nadal passed him a few times....), his strategy seemed to work. He just choked OR Nadal's such a great champion that he could elevate him game when it counted. Nadal seemed to play mostly the same on those points and didn't give Federer any freebies. Fed just failed to convert.

    What was with those volleys that he kept hitting right back to Nadal? I think he got a little too obsessed with hitting it behind Rafa that he ignored the complete open court he had on a few occasions.
     
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  29. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I don't know what this post is talking about, When federer tried to attack, he got passed, unless federer comes in on virtual winner type of approach shots, he was getting passed clean. so actually fed was doing what he could do from the baseline.
     
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  30. hyperwarrior

    hyperwarrior Professional

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    Of course I'm sad...

    I agree with you, I was thinking the same and I'm glad someone is aware of it. I was wondering the same if he's stubborn and believes he can win with this old gameplan that doesn't works at all.

    Maybe Roger's backhand had improved over the last few months but still, it wasn't enough to win, he can hit some winners here and there but not steady enough to attack regularly with it. He hit so much BH that when it comes to hit a forehand, Fed doesn't seem to be comfortable with it.

    Why didn't he hit more slices? Maybe it's hard to slice when the ball kicked above your shoulders but I'm surprise to see so few of it today.

    Well, Nadal did play smart and credit to him.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
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  31. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    Agreed

    That was one of the worst matches I have ever seen from both players. More UE's than winners and really sloppy play. Fed's execution was the worst I have seen since he was a teenager; AND it was NOT Rafa's play that did it.

    Out of the 17 break points Fed had, he converted on 1 Nadal saved 3, that leaves 13 break points that Fed screwed up. The sad part is that Fed had clear openings on most of his opportunities, so the strategy worked but the execution SUC***. He either hit the ball into the net or hit it 6 ft out, which wasn't necessary. Nadal was nowhere in sight. Had Fed connected on just half of his opportunities, it could have been straight sets for Fed.

    I guess Nadal deserves the win for playing safe ball and letting Fed self destruct.

    Sad, very sad.

    TennezSport :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
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  32. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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  33. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    I can't understand why Fed always serve wide to the ad side, and always hit to Nadal's backhand in rallies. It is so predictable that Fed hits to Nadal's backhand every time and Nadal just stays on that side. He doesn't move Nadal as he does with other players.
     
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  34. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    There's something about the Hamburg win that keeps getting overlooked.

    Federer tried to play the exact same way at the French Open as he played against Nadal in the Hamburg final. Whatever his tactics are, they are fine. The problems are his errors.

    He played the same in the first set at Hamburg as he did in the last two, but he made a bunch of errors, just as he did at the FO. He lost the set because of it. He had two great sets after that of mostly error-free tennis so he won the match. He tried to do the same thing at the FO and just can't maintain the level needed for that game plan to work. Too many unforced errors.

    At the same time, I am angry he wasn't more patient. He missed way too many put-away's. At this point, I don't even care to see him play Nadal on clay again. The matches don't get me nearly as excited as they used to.
     
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  35. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    It is so nice to see some 3.0-6.0 players advising world #1 on how to play against World #2.I am sure we know a lot better than he does regarding Tennis given that most of our interaction with federer is from what we see in the Media.
     
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  36. woody88

    woody88 Rookie

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    Knowing how Johnny Mac would approach this, he would at least try to hit some short slice shots, draw Nadal in somewhat, then drill a few at him. If anything, it puts some doubts, and scare them a little. Nadal like to wear sleeveless shirts, and do the jump around. Fed should do that more often, we can all agree that he is stubborn, but at the same time, also his strategy for this is just somewhat wrong. Given the nature of his game, Federer would have more errors, that is to be expected. But certainly can't hurt to at least mix some stuff up, just to try it out. Which is why I am still puzzled as to why he didn't really try anything all that different in the 10 tries that he did have. It's unfortunate. Maybe if Fed's lucky enough, he may make it in the final again. But as of now, it will continue to be "would've/could've/should've". This match really will haunt him for years to come, like it did for McEnroe in the '84 final. Unless Federer can ever win one in Paris, this match will hanut him forever I think.
     
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  37. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    if i was coaching federer to beat nadal on clay:

    - use the slice backhand more on high backhands. also use the slice to draw nadal into the net and the occassional drop shot when nadal is way out of position.
    - on groundstroke rallies, federer should either hit hard/penetrating into the nadal forehand or hit crosscourt angle shots to the nadal backhand (davydenko had success with this in hamburg).

    the key is to not allow nadal to control the point with his forehand. if you hit deep/hard to his forehand then it doesn't allow him to hit an offensive shot (relatively) and it also allows federer to hit deep into the backhand on the next shot. also, if you hit short angles to the backhand then it opens up the court for the 2nd shot as well as it allows you to hit behind nadal when he is running to his forehand.
     
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  38. foetz

    foetz Rookie

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    well seems like he could need some advice cause he lost ;)
     
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  39. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    Its not a good idea to slice against Nadal. Players who slice more than once during a rally against Nadal will have the second one hit for a winner. Nadal's game is about as perfect for clay as it gets. Nothing Federer can do unless he's playing Hamburg level execution.
     
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  40. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    He did slice it. but Nadal then hit a winner. Slice doesn't work very well against Nadal unless u can always slice very deep. and Nadal's shot is high jumping so it is not easy for Fed to hit a passing winner as he did in AO.

    Anyway, all the reasons that I think Fed can't beat Nadal is still on the footwork. The footwork on clay is why he lost every time against Nadal. Forehand, backhand, volleys are not problems. But because of his footwork, his other techniques are limited. The way Nadal runs on the court is perfect on clay court.

    Fed still has a lot of chances. He is only 25. 5 years before 30 is still very possible.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
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  41. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    no, actually he sliced it and drew several errors from nadal. the fact of the matter is that federer can't get enough pace/depth using a topspin backhand when the ball is above his shoulders. he just doesn't consistently have enough on that shot. that allows nadal to run around his backhand and start controlling the point with his forehand. at that point then it's over for federer.
     
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  42. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I failed to write it down, but NBC's stats on Fed's approaches showed him winning a very high percentage. I think they put a graphic up in the third set; it was well above 50%.

    Anyone have the stat?
     
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  43. tennis_hand

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    the percentage is high because he doesn't rush on every point.
    if he did that, it would be much lower.
     
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  44. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I agree, but it only needs to stay above 50% for it to be a worthwhile strategy. That's why the exact number and percentage would be interesting to look at.
     
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  45. tennis_hand

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    hmm. didn't Sampras prove S&V too much didn't work? and that was almost a decade ago. So I presume it works less nowadays.
     
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  46. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    right, but I don't think anyone wants Federer to serve and volley on every point; obviously no one wants him to serve-and-volley too much. The question is, were there points today where Federer could have approached, without rushing himself, but did not take the chance? Also, are there are other things that Federer can do to give himself more chances to approach effectively?

    A short list of things that people are suggesting: slice the backhand more often; come in more; bring Rafa in; serve out wide to Rafa's backhand and come in; stand in closer on second serves.

    Serve-and-volley, or even approaching the net generally, is just a part of what he might try to do. Serve-and-volley as much as Sampras is not something I would suggest against Rafa on clay.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
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  47. jetlee2k

    jetlee2k Banned

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    I said the same thing when I saw the first match. Where is the drop shot, slice shots.. he just fed the ball back to Nadal back hand then after a few rally, he made error. He was reacting to Nadal shot rather have any game plan or strategy. He should watched Andy Murray when he played with Nadal. Nadal was scrambling for all his shots.. Just a very poor strategic match for Fed.
     
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  48. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    exactly. no drop shots as Djokovic did, no slices, but only endless baseline rallies. he can't beat Nadal this way.
     
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  49. FarFed

    FarFed Rookie

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    Yes, he was stubborn. With his backhand usage in the final, he was basically trying to send out a message - "You thought you could get to me by playing to my backhand like you've done so in the past? Try it today, I'll whack you."

    The backhand was good, but I agree that he should have mixed it up, added variety. I am thoroughly convinced that Nadal is incapable of handling a good, tactical player who manages to execute a variety of shots consistently.

    Remember Federer against Davydenko in the semis, the drop volleys, the chip-and-charge S/V play, though it all came out in the ending games of the match, it was still great stuff to see.

    Nadal's in trouble if he thinks he can rule on clay with his current game against players who can S/V, come into the net, slice consistently etc. He needs to lose to a "classic" Federer to understand that, and then I assure you Toni and his camp will be sweating.
     
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  50. Eviscerator

    Eviscerator Banned

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    Everyone assumes it was Federer who ended his relationship with Tony Roach, but maybe it was the other way around.
    As a coach it would drive me crazy to have a player capable of executing a game play to win a slam, but his utter disregard of it during the match would cost him the chance. Federer consistently allows Nadal to stay in his comfort zone rather than draw him in. Even though Nadal is fast enough to get to short and mid range balls, he is much more error prone. The bottom line is that Nadal won, but unless Federer wants him to continue to win he needs to mix up his game more and not play into Nadals strength on clay.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
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