The apocalypse is upon us: Fed learns to go to Nadal's BH

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by mcenroefan, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. mcenroefan

    mcenroefan Hall of Fame

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    OMG....I can't believe that I've seen it! Fed finally learns to beat on Nadal's BH!....at least more than customarily does such as in the AO semi.

    Couple of Questions:

    1. How much did Fed pay Nole for the tip?
    2. How much did Fed pay Thor to use his hammer to beat the new strategy into Fed's thick skull?

    Here's hoping that Fed continues and increases on the trend.
     
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  2. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Nah, he did the same at AO too.

    What he did wrong at AO was approaching on Nadal's FH. He didnt make the same mistake here, he actually didnt approach much,

    The impressive part was that he beat him off the baseline, just like he did at WTF.
     
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  3. Steve_Fox

    Steve_Fox New User

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    Nadal really has no other way to beat Roger than hittin lifted balls to Rogers backhand and hope that he makes lot of unforced errors , seriously thats all he was doing the entire match , he has no variety
     
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  4. FlashFlare11

    FlashFlare11 Hall of Fame

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    Yep, that was key. He only approached when he was absolutely sure that he would win the point. He also didn't get passed much (once or twice for the match). Serving was excellent, and that really helped. But, as you said, the Federer forehand to Nadal's backhand was key tonight, as it will be in their future matches.
     
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  5. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    Actually, when he did best in the match, at the end of the second set, he was doing that much less.
     
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  6. ChanceEncounter

    ChanceEncounter Professional

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    Federer must serve well if he wants to beat Nadal. He did it here, which took the pressure off him and put it on Nadal to keep pace. If Federer doesn't get the majority of his first serves in and doesn't dictate points with his serve, he's probably going to lose against Rafa.
     
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  7. seattle_1hander

    seattle_1hander Rookie

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    Do you think earlier in Federer's career it was sort of a pride thing that he didn't want to defeat Nadal the "ugly" way aka the way Nadal had been defeating him?
     
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  8. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Wtf 2011........
     
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  9. forthegame

    forthegame Hall of Fame

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    Nadal's BH is no pushover. You have to hit it deep and consistently to have an effect. To date only Djoker has been able to do it masterfully.

    Clay would be the ultimate test.

    Today, Federer didn't make too many mistakes while targetting it like he usually does. Is this a breakthrough? WSS.
     
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  10. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    He's still somewhat stuck in it.Even during today's match he started going to the Nadal forehand for a while.. I was afraid he was going to allow Nadal to settle and start playing more forehands. Fortunately he stopped doing this.

    It's interesting seeing Fed take Nadal's tactic and use it against him, though I would be wary of overdoing it and allowing Nadal to get comfortable with it.
     
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  11. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...


    You make it sound so simple, but it isn't. Federer actually went to the BH too predictably during a lot of the AO match and didn't choose the right times to attack to the forehand and also approached too often on the FH sides - this has been stated already.

    The key is: making sure Nadal is second guessing as often as possible. This is a tightrope act and the balance and timings of when to go to the fh and the bh will of course not be identical for each match or each surface.

    He does this perfectly with Murray when it counts the most and showed again how confused he can make top opponents when he beat Murray in Dubai and Nadal at WTF. If Fed is on it tactically and mentally and always understanding the fluid dynamics of the match as it occurs, he should know and feel when to go where.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
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  12. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    Nadal looked absolutely terrible today. A set and a half of tennis and 1 forehand winner.
     
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  13. Fate Archer

    Fate Archer Hall of Fame

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    This is perfectly well put.

    There needs to be a certain balance or proportion to go to the Nadal BH and the FH as well, to make the strategy work in its fullest.

    As already stated, Novak is one who managed to find and master this balance of attacks to the Nadal BH and FH side.

    What makes this strategy extra difficult to execute for Federer compared to Djokovic is that when you eventually go to Nadal's forehand, he has his effective crosscourt FH to find Federer's backhand and that shot OFTEN changes the dynamic of the rallies vs Fed, as opposed to Djokovic who has a more effective DTL BH to keep the ball on Nadal's backhand.

    In the end, it's all about EXECUTION, and of course, mental discipline and commitment to the strategy tried to be implemented (which influences the execution of the strategy itself).

    I think Federer more often lacks in the later as opposed to the former against Nadal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
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  14. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Exactly. Nadal's hooked and impressively consistent cc forehand - even on the run and while fully stretched - is the safe haven that allows Nadal to neutralise rallies in the most uncanny way. Federer's backhand does need to be *on* to deal with that appropriately and correctly, by not yielding ground from the baseline and being willing to half-volley some balls.

    Getting the balance right does two things (among others):

    1. When Federer does attack the Nadal forehand the response will be weaker as it will be less predictable, so he'll be forced less often to have to offer a sound rebuttal to Nadal's incessant strong negations with the backhand.

    2. This in turn self perpetuates an increasing confidence in Federer, further allowing him to apply the necessary mental discipline and commitment to the winning strategy.

    The mental discipline for me then comes in being able to accurately analyse the dynamic of the match mid-flow and always be *on the freaking ball*. In the end, if Federer is thinking clearly then I think he has no excuse and should win 50% of matches against Nadal - there or thereabouts. That's how I see it. One needs to find clarity in tactics.
     
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  15. Raz11

    Raz11 Semi-Pro

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    Federer did pretty well to avoid too many BH-FH exchanges this time. Whenever he did get himself in one, great half volleying and drawing Nadal out wide with his backhand was really effective and made the difference.
     
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  16. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    [​IMG]

    Nice.
     
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  17. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Only worked today because of the wind. Otherwise rafa always handles that backhand just fine.
     
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  18. ChanceEncounter

    ChanceEncounter Professional

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    So, you aren't one of those people that claim that Djokovic has a matchup advantage against Nadal because he attacks his backhand?
     
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  19. sunny_cali

    sunny_cali Semi-Pro

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    Isn't Rafa supposed to be the best "wind-player" of our times ? The commentators seemed to suggest that the wind would favor Rafa more than it would Fed. Is it perhaps likely that Rafa was injured :|:confused:
     
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  20. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    People overrate Nadal's ability to play in the wind because he was playing against Murray in windy conditions.


    Murray can't play in windy conditions because he can't hit through it. Federer has the ability to do so. Federer didn't take out Agassi at NY in extreme windy conditions for no reason; he's a good wind player despite what everyone says.
     
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  21. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    I think Fed did take a page out of Novak's book but it wasnt the backhand thing. In the past Fed tried drive Nadal's predictable serves into his BH into a corner for a winner. I cant remember how many second serves Rafa won due to low percentage high risk BH returns by Fed. You can see from the AO and past matches Nadal actually wins more points off his second serve against Fed much of the time than his first serve. What Novak did so well was to simply block the ROS deep right back to Nadal. Although not a winner, Nadal doesnt have time to do anything with the ball and ends up giving you a neutral or weak response. Nadal said it earlier this week the reason he stopped going for more pace on his serve was that they were coming back too fast. The points won on Nadal's second serve this match is pretty telling compared with the AO and RG meetings.
     
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  22. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    No doubt he was injured or ill with the IW virus, this is the only explanation, The Nadal usually plays very aggressive tennis hitting winner after winner this is how the warrior plays , No fear, go for the winner, right?
     
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  23. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Rodge sure got his money's worth with Anacone.
     
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  24. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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    Nadal is done folks. Nothing to see here.
     
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  25. januslow

    januslow New User

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    I don't think I have ever seen Federer hit as few backhand slices as this match since I started watching him in 2001.
     
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  26. tata

    tata Professional

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    Nadal was just playing it too safe. Betting on an error and waiting for a weak reply. Perhaps the wind had something to play on his spinny shots. It wasn't until it was 5-2 2nd set where Nadal started to rip some forehands inside out to Fed's forehand in the corner. That was the kind of style of tennis i was expecting from Nadal. He really upped his level of aggression to stay alive in that game. In the final game at 5-4 30-30, once again going after the Fed backhand and also the backhand, getting Fed on the move. He got a weak squash shot from Fed but sent it into the next and got aced the next point and lost the match.

    Nadal should have done this earlier. Though both players executed a similar plan as Nadal by going to the backhand of the other play, Fed knew when to go to the Nadal forehand to open up the court and get him to move. With Fed leaning backhand on most rallies, the forehand side was open. It is only a tactical error to go forehand on Fed if it was a neutral rally. Going out wide and hard in that corner works.
     
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  27. ChiefAce

    ChiefAce Semi-Pro

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    Because that slice does about nothing against Nadal except give him time to run around and pummel that heavy forehand. Federer is playing the strategy pretty well now, heavy, heavy, and heavier to the Nadal backhand until the forehand is wide open or until the backhand breaks down. Nadal can't hit that backhand anywhere near heavy enough to hurt Federer with it, especially off of heavier high balls. I'm shocked more players haven't tried this against Nadal.
     
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  28. Polvorin

    Polvorin Professional

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    Holy hell! You're right! I want to know the actual number! Might Nadal have possibly hit more slices than Fed in this one? I seriously can't remember more than 5...
     
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  29. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Nalbandian, Davydenko, Roddick, and now Djokovic are the only players who would do this consistently. As I stated before, Nadal struggles handling heavy balls to his backhand. I said this actually multiple times over a year ago that to beat Nadal, you just pummel his backhand with heavy balls because he is utterly predictable off that side.


    Of course Nadal fans like Namelessone immediately said I was wrong ,etc. etc. etc. Lookie lookie I have a cookie though.
     
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  30. Polvorin

    Polvorin Professional

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    Tata the legendary hero.

    It seems that Nadal agrees with you as he said that he only figured out what to do at the end of the match and it was too late. I'm surprised he didn't figure it out sooner than down a set and 5-2...I guess he was just too used to his predictable game plan working every time to think of changing it.
     
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  31. Polvorin

    Polvorin Professional

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    It was especially interesting to see his serve placement in the first set. Almost all to the backhand, just like what Rafa does to him. Such irony!
     
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  32. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    Good point. Along the same lines, I have wondered why he doesn't knife the slice DTL to Nadal's BH - maybe its a low percentage shot?
     
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  33. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Allows Nadal time to setup his forehand. Nadal's fast enough to get around unless it is an absolutely insane slice.
     
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  34. celoft

    celoft Guest

    Federer cracked the Nadal code.

    Nadal is in deep sheet.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2012
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  35. monfed

    monfed Guest

    HAHAHAHAHA, I guess Fed wasn't the GOAT/Maestro today huh? :twisted:

    When a Nadal fan doesn't call Fed the GOAT/Maestro etc, it means Fed's beaten Ralph. Go figure! :lol:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2012
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  36. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    Agreed. It was nice to see Federer trying to push the ball to Nadal's backhand with his backhand instead of getting locked into the FH-BH rallies. This seems to benefit Federer in more ways than one. A few times in the match Nadal would hit a short ball to Federer's backhand and he'd start running to his(Nadal) backhand corner only to have Federer rip the backhand to his forehand corner instead. Keeping Nadal off balance and out of his comfort zone will probably be Federer's best chance to beat him again. However, I'm more inclined to feel this is a one off rather than Federer having figured Nadal out.
     
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  37. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    I was really shocked by Federer's win especially given the wind. But yes when Federer plays well it's because Nadal was lackluster. Nadal just wasn't able to hit with his normal 12000 RPM forehand to Federer's backhand due to the cold weather and the inability to fully rotate the torso due to the overflowing bladder.
     
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  38. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    What's the conclusion from this match- is this a sustainable strategy for Fed because he won the match? Or was Rafa catching on towards the end of the 2nd Set because he was letting that BH rip CC to a wide open court and pushing Fed on his FH, and who knows how it would have ended had Fed gotten broken again? He said in the post match interview himself that he caught on on what to do only when it was too late..
     
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  39. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Another key to the match was Fed stepping in to rip the BH serve return on Nadal's terribly weak 2nd serve instead of his usual chip that Nadal can run around. It's about time he did that.
     
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  40. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Nadal got nothing out of his BH in that wind. With a very low margin for error already his flat BH requires compliant conditions. He struggled to get anything on it. On the slow courts, with the ball sitting up a bit more, it looked like Nadal also didn't get his BH ball to penetrate - he didn't get it away, he merely set it up for Roger to bang another FH into his defence (for it is mainly just a defensive BH).

    Great gameplan, great execution, winning serve on MP into the Nadal FH struck the right note of keeping-him-guessing overall.

    Lots to learn from this one.

    Will it translate to the other surfaces in other conditions? (You see I think those two elements were helpful to the result on the day.)
     
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  41. AM95

    AM95 Hall of Fame

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    now imagine if he used this strategy five years ago..
     
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  42. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    No, he is the GOAT, and the Maestro, and he played well. Nadal looked like complete hell though and there's no way you can deny that. I like Fed. I don't like Djokovic however, and had no problem admitting he beat Rafa while he was playing pretty damn well in the AO final.
     
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  43. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    I thought Djokovic was your second favorite player next to Rafa?
     
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  44. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    He was, do we really need to go over this for the 50th time? Lets do it then. I hated Djokovic bc of his attitude, cockyness, and way he acted on court up until 2009 clay season. Seeing him close his mouth, stop with the antics, and just challenge Rafa man to man really made me like him. You can find posts during the 2010 USO when I said I would be happy whoever won the final and I meant that. I stopped liking him again when he started acting like a cocky ***** on court again in 2011, which is why I didn't like him to start with. Nothing to do with him beating Rafa, everything to do with acting like a drunken gorilla at times last year or the primal screaming, or ear cupping, or getting mad at the crowd. This year he's been more tolerable though.
     
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  45. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    You just described why I have never liked Djesus. Never have and never will. I hate arrogance and cockyness and he has both in spades.

    Plus he stutters when he talks and it drives me mad. Lol.
     
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  46. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Rodge was possessed,

    He kept going to that side today too, even though it was Isner's forehand.
     
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  47. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I'm going to disagree here. Fed has never had a problem directing his shots to the nadal BH,,,,,, rather, his problem has always been NOT hitting enough shots to the Nadal FH and thus allowing Rafa to camp out and not keep him moving and "honest". This is what Joker does so well...... keeps Rafa moving and doesn't allow him to dictate.
     
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  48. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    It looked like didn't mind winning ugly. When he was out of position, he didn't mind looping to Nadal's backhand or hitting plain ugly shots (for his standards obviously lol).

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOpmGwT-sdY&t=3m47s

    Might be the wind, but still, it looked like Federer was out there only caring about winning and not trying to make a highlight reel.
     
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  49. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    Absolutely agree with this statement. I think Federer learned a lot from Joker's play against Nadal.
     
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  50. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    I thought it was illegal to hit to a players backhand if it is their weaker shot? Especially if it's a one hander. At least it is according to Fed fans. Lol.
     
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