The birth of the great Federer

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by smoledman, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Probably would struggle more with the big hitters like DelPo and Berdych. Prime Federer didn't have problems with the big hitters, because he was unbelievably fast on the court. He could ran out there all day like a gazelle. If his defense wasn't as good as Nadal, it really wasn't that far behind. His speed was never really the same after he contracted mono.

    Fast vs. slow court aside, Federer just hit the ball harder in his prime. His pace wasn't that far off from a Safin or 2003 Roddick, and you still had that ridiculous spin. Whenever he hit inside-out, he would easily run people off the court.
     
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  2. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    Bad memory because Coria had won the 1st set of a grand slam final 6-0 only a few months earlier.

    Of course it went out different for him after the first set.
     
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  3. corners

    corners Legend

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    One thing about the vid in the OP, though, is that it is an original 4:3 squashed into 16:9. So the court (and players) look shorter and wider. As a result, shots look faster. I think you're right that he generally hit harder then than now, but his big forehand winners in those days clocked around 95-100 mph and he still hits winners at those speeds now. In his match vs. Delpo at the WTF this year both guys had the same average groundstroke speed, according to Hawkeye. Not sure, but I think loss of first-step explosion is the biggest difference in his game now to then. He used to bounce out of his split, how he glides out of it, probably a half step slower.

    Regarding his backswing, that seemed to happen around 2007-2008. I wonder if he shortened it before he lost some speed or in response to having lost some speed and finding himself a bit late getting to his spots. I wonder if we'll see something similar with Nadal.
     
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  4. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Don't use that video as your evidence - or others similar - it is simply too misleading. He was being fed much easier balls to hit in his prime (he was comparatively better than more opponents so more easy balls came back) and the courts made winner-hitting miles easier.

    Ignoring those key factors adds a significant amount of winners into his matches which make it appear he used to hit more in the same conditions when, in reality, you're not comparing them on an even footing with how conditions are today. They're not. He was able to hit through the court much easier than he can in most situations nowdays and even most courts which are considered fast are slower than that video (Cinci etc.. Bercy is about the closest you get in notable tournaments today).
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
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  5. jman

    jman Semi-Pro

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    Does anyone have a link to the Federer vs. Agassi RR match highlights for TMC 2003? That match was a tight 3-setter, out of this world.
     
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  6. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
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  7. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Backswing for a Western grip will always be relatively large, but I feel Nadal slightly shortened his stroke a few years back. And in doing so, it enabled him to take the ball earlier on hard court surfaces.

    This is a nice overview of Federer's FH. It looks like between 2006 and 2007, he cut out the loop and possibly developed more "wristy" wiping action.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIqd2SbU1OE
     
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  8. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Isn't Cincy the fastest hard court in tour now? I read somewhere that they haven't slowed down courts all these years.

    Are you sure that court in the video is faster than Cincy? By watching the matches in videos, I always felt Cincy is the fastest hard court in this decade
     
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  9. TennisLovaLova

    TennisLovaLova Hall of Fame

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    people said the same thing when MJ came back from retirement in 95.
    His 88-93 period was his best but everyone was saying that during his 96-98 period he was a better player.
    Which was of course wrong.
     
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  10. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Go and watch some videos of Bercy from this year. It makes Cincy look like clay.

    That aside, the answer to your second question - Cincy is a fast court by today's standards. Back in 2000 it would have been average at best.
     
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  11. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    Man, I remember watching this match live. Federer was just on fire the whole event, as soon as he got that win over Agassi in the opening match, the flood gates opened.

    Roger had a poor record against everyone in his group, Agassi, Nalbandian lead him 8 - 0 overall, and even Ferrero was leading him. But here, he just turned it around, and it happened so dramatically. I was stunned with Roger's fluidity during this match.
     
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  12. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    The irony that Federer ended up having the career people expected from Safin, and vice versa. He was known as a creative shotmaker, but erratic and temperamental. A player's player and a frustrating player. Before he won his first title, people constantly wondered about him living to his potential, but even then he was not projected to become his generation's best player.

    The ironies go deeper. In the 90s, Federer was not known for his FH, having exceptional footwork, or his cool demeanour. People loved his 1H BH, his creative service game, and net play. The former three aspects came later.
     
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  13. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Looks like 2005 was the last year where he was turning his trunk a whole lot. He did start playing tennis like Pete did because Pete had that elbow out and turn and push through the stroke. After 05/06 it looks like it changed a bit to a more pull stroke where he just lays the racket back and pull it forward and lets it come around and through the ball. It's possible also that after he had his bout with Mono that he lost a lot of muscle and that "younger" kid power that he had when he started the march into being a champion.
     
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  14. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I allways had the feeling that there was a point were he went to lower tension, and accordingly started to hit at bit less all out.
     
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  15. jman

    jman Semi-Pro

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  16. Tony48

    Tony48 Legend

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    Oh please. Djokovic can hold his own against Federer on a fast court.

    Dubai 2011, anyone?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
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  17. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    The recent example we have is Federer handing Djokovic his most one-sided loss of the year.
     
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  18. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Djokovic really pushed Federer at the 2007 US Open, too.
     
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  19. JeMar

    JeMar Legend

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    I always felt that Federer's "arrival" happened in Davis Cup when he took out the US by himself. He played some awesome tennis for an extended period, which he hadn't done before then.
     
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