Theory on Federer and Roland Garros

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Kim, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Kim

    Kim Semi-Pro

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    Many of us wonder how come Fed stubbornly sticks to his game which always results in him losing the FO to Nadal. I think he knows this, but the thing is his current game works perfectly on the other 3 grandslams...My idea is that he is just waiting to break into his 15th major...and if he still doesnt win the FO, my guess is that THAT is the point where we may begin to see Fed change his game entirely to perfectly suit clay and clay only because at this point he has no more worthy goals left but to win the FO..and that is the time he can may concentrate on that major, maybe even sacrificing his world ranking (and the other 3 slams) just to make his game perfect on clay. Maybe that is the time he will transform into a clay specialist out and out.

    Just something that occurred to me.
     
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  2. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    No, I think Federer uses the game plan he believes has the best chance of succeeding against Nadal on clay and he feels he can best execute. He's had his opportunities against Nadal, but just has'nt taken them. It's easy to sit back and say he should do this or that, but some game plans are easier to execute than others and Federer is the one who has to do it. Nadal is also very tough on clay, he does'nt always allow you to play the way you would like to. Clay is his domain, so it stands to reason he's going to make it hard for Federer, whatever game plan he decides to employ. It's not in Federer's hands alone, he can't just flick a switch and have the outcome he wants.

    Also, I don't think he wants it so bad he would sacrifice the other Slams or other goals in his career, especially not Wimbledon. He would take Wimbledon over the French any year.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2007
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  3. sondraj

    sondraj Semi-Pro

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    It's like what Ali said about boxing, everyone has a game plane until they get knocked in the jaw
     
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  4. robin7

    robin7 Hall of Fame

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    If not mistaken, I remember Fed saying this "Winning Wimbledon 10 times is more satisfying than winning 1 FO". So he won't sacrifice Wimbly for FO.
     
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Sounds like sour grapes
     
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  6. Kim

    Kim Semi-Pro

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    Sometimes we can say different from what we truly feel.... Its not a gameplan i'm talking about, its an entirely new style, a new training specifically fo the rigors of clay and Nadal.
     
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  7. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    haha,
    how the hell would he know ;)
     
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  8. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    With over a dozen break points as this year's FO , the game plan was fine. The execution wasn't fine when he had those breakpoints. Many times on those break points he worked the opening for a relatively easy shot but dumped the shot into the net or hit long.
     
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  9. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    If Federer changes his game just for the finals, he would've lost in 3 sets instead of 4. Nothing works against Nadal on clay. Face it. Nadal has an answer for any type of game plan on clay.
     
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  10. Kim

    Kim Semi-Pro

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    That's why he needs retraining for FO--- more patience and accuracy over long rallies, going with high percentage shots and just keeping the ball in play and not attempting outright winners, maybe more topspin? The point is to execute said gameplan he needs "retraining".
     
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  11. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Feds gameplan= hope his luck continues in tiebreakers. His tie breaker luck can't last forever. Davydenko will probably beat him next time.
     
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  12. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    Exactly...he has the game plan and the game...he just needs to execute it...the guy had 17 breakpoints....
     
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  13. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    He has the game to be the second best clay courter and possibly beat Nadal if he has a bad day.
     
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  14. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    I'd phrase it slightly differently but yeah I agree...he is the second best clay court player in the world...the margin of victory and loss at this level is very small...a couple of points go differently in each match and Feds our French Open Champion and Nadal is our Wimby champ...
     
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  15. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I don't think he'll ever win the French Open. Federer is a massively overrated player on clay - whatever formula one can think up that is condusive to preceding success in the history of the tournament Federer ignores in favour of stubbornly playing his style. And his style quite frankly does not work on clay.

    The reason why Roger has made two French Open titles has more to do with the lack of depth in the clay court game today. This year's tournament was even more of an eye-opener, Roger couldn't locate neither his forehand nor his first serve and still somehow made it into the final. He wouldn't smell the semi if the likes of Corretja, Moya, Bruguera, Medvedev and Costa were floating around. But they are not.

    I don't think he'll ever win the French. I used to believe he could, but he won't. Even if Nadal has a hiccup, another solid cay court talent will emerge and beat Roger.
     
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  16. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    The guy is the second best clay court player right now...losing tight matches to a guy that might go down as the greatest clay court player of all time...what are you talking about? The guy is a beast on clay, he just didn't execute in Paris
     
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  17. Eviscerator

    Eviscerator Banned

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    If he is smart he will come to this forum to get advice on how to change his game to win the FO. Such gems like switching to a two handed backhand are suggestions he can benefit from. :mrgreen:
    In reality, subtle changes can make a difference, but Nadal will still be the man to beat for a few more years barring injury.
     
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  18. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    There are only two red clay surfaces that matter: Roland Garros and Monte Carlo.

    Rome plays like a hardcourt. Hamburg is also not comparable to RG (especially in terms of weather conditions).

    Federer has never given Nadal trouble at Roland Garros nor Monte Carlo. One's the ultimate accomplishment for clay court specialists - the other is the best prognosticator.

    As for Federer being the #2 to Nadal on clay - this means a lot to you but significantly less to me, because we're playing in a very poor era of clay court tennis, maximized by the downfall of JC Ferrero and the injuries of Guillermo Coria. This is a pretty big black hole occupied by the likes of Tommy Robredo and David Ferrer - mediocre players at best.

    And that's why Federer is #2 on clay.
     
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  19. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    I disagree with your assesment of the French this year. In the same way that Nadal had Wimbledon on his racket with 4 breakpoints in the swing games of the fifth, Fed had 17 breakpoints against Nadal only converting 1. In my estimation that is giving someone trouble...that is being close...that is being within striking distance of victory. No one is going to say that Fed is better then Nadal on clay, but 1) I cant see an intelligent argument made that Fed isn't the second best clay courter, and 2) The guy is close on clay...it comes down to a few points...
     
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  20. inquisitive

    inquisitive New User

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    But he should if he won that many Wimbys. Heck, he should trade in 2 Wimbys for 2 FO. 8 Wimbys is pretty good my friend. ;)
     
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  21. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    1) Converting one of 17 break points is not an indication of a good clay courter

    2) I didn't argue that Federer isn't the second best clay courter .. he is one in a very poor era of clay court tennis

    3) He's not close to Nadal on clay
     
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  22. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    Obviously the 17 break points dont show that he's a good clay court player...what they do show though is how close Fed really was...
     
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  23. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Close to what? Breaking Nadal and then getting broken back thanks to his atrocious first serve percentage?

    Nadal wins all of the tight points on clay - every time, all the time. And not just against Federer. Converting a break point against him is like catching a mosquito with your middle and index finger.
     
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  24. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Has anyone on the ATP tried out topspinning nadal? Cuz i wanna see what happens when nadal faces his own weapon...
     
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  25. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    When you go 1-17 in a 4 set match...that match is really really close. Fed played the right game plan and had his chances...he just didn't convert them. Put Nadal in that position enough times and he wont convert 94% of his break points...not gonna happen.
     
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  26. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    It wasn't close. It wasn't lopsided, but it wasn't close.
     
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  27. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Hall of Fame

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    In that case I could beat Nadal. Now how am I gonna get through the 1st 6 matches though? Hmmmm
     
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  28. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I meant blindfolded.;)
     
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  29. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    I disagree. In my estimation it was a really really close match, that came down to a few points. Federer is right there...though it also seems like Nadal is right there on grass...
     
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  30. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Federer was 2 sets away from beating Nadal. Not a few points.
     
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  31. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    Those 2 sets were decided by a few points...you obbviousaly aren't the most objective of people to enter into this debate so I wont take it any further with you, but realistically it was a mere couple of points...
     
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  32. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    I actually agree with CyBorg. Going 1 for 17 on break points vs anyone, even Nadal, is a sign of not being that good a clay court, not being a really formidable one.

    Also the present clay court field is pretty weak like CyBorg said. That is not the fault of Federer, or even the fault of Nadal. You play who is across the net. However there is a lack of true quality clay courters in the game today, making it easier for those who are truly great on clay (Nadal) or fairly good on it (Federer).
     
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  33. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    Going 1-17 on break points is a combination of bad luck, nerves and a tough opponent. I'm not using the 1-17 stat as a barometer of Federer being a good clay court player, I'm using it as an example of how close the match really was. A few of those go a different direction and we have a different FO champion (in much the same way that one of those breakpoints in the fifth at Wimbledon go Nadal's way and we have a different Wimbledon champ).
     
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  34. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I really wanted to believe this after the 2006 French Open, because I wanted Federer to win it. But this year's RG really changed my mind about him in terms of his chances on clay.

    Roger's style is just not a good fit - just watch how his backhand struggles against the topspin and the high bounces and the way his forehand becomes affected. He can't beat Nadal's groundies on clay, because he loves the ball to come in on him quickly - the clay bounces throw off his timing completely and this is despite the fact that the man clearly works his butt off in the spring to adjust to the surface.

    You're in the denial stage. I was there a year ago.

    P.S. I wouldn't bring up Nadal and grass and the counterpoint on Federer .. Nadal is a better grass courter than Federer is a clay courter .. where Nadal will have his great challenge is on fast hardcourts and carpet .. if he dominates those in two-three years he's the God almighty.
     
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  35. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    You know, the thing is, the BH held up pretty well for about 2-3 sets there. (Until he started standing straight up and kinda hip-arming all his BHs. I have to think he started doing that as a concession to conditioning.) His FH never escaped wonkville, and his 1st serve was almost atrocious.

    I'm halfway in agreement with Cyborg on this. I don't say this often, but I don't think Federer was fit and strong enough to play he wants to against Nadal on clay. He looked exhausted out there by the 3rd set. Sure he cruised through the FO , but the way his service percentage was all tournament, I was surprised he even took one set off Nadal.
     
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  36. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I think Roger was fit enough. What was affected to a great extent was his mind, his confidence. By that virtue, his body was affected as well - you can see it in his face, the way he gets down on himself. Eventually he stops moving his feet, doesn't attack the second serve and you can see a certain fatigue there.

    Confidence is what gives players a second wind. Roger never gets a second wind against Nadal on clay, because he doesn't believe in himself. And I don't blame him - he has no reason whatsoever to believe in himself when Nadal is hitting precise groundstrokes with immense topspin to his backhand and then pesters him continuously when Roger is serving (badly).

    Halfway through the match Federer knew it was over and the entire tennis playing population did as well. Whatever break points came from there were simply a distraction from the inevitable.
     
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  37. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    I still disagree, and I'm not even a Federer fan (though I do prefer to see him win over Nadal). Fed's serve let him down and his forehand was finding the net on everything...I think he lost his confidence in the semi's and it never came back (thus the atrocious serving and break point conversion totals). I aslo dont think Nadal is a better grass courter then Fed is a clay courter. Nadal was down 2-0 twice and got bounced in the warm-up tourney. Fed has multiple clay titles to go along with his tight losses to Nadal. I think people are too critical of individual losses that are really tight, not understanding that a few points and shots decided that match. Fed played the right match against Nadal, he just didnt execute in any capacity when it mattered.
     
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  38. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Nah, the thing with Roger is that he used to be really bad about using his legs consistently. And you can still pick it up, when he's fatigued, he like most players starts to stand up real straight and arm shots. His BH pretty much died after his legs tired out there. No depth, no pace. Granted, Nadal does this to the majority of players out there.

    I'm sure I'll get flack for questioning Roger's movement or his conditioning. But he didn't play a lot of match-play tennis leading up to the French Open. In my mind, even after winning in Hamburg, he was in no position to seriously challenge a well rested Nadal at the FO this year.

    In terms of mental makeup, I just feel Roger's been stubborn with his play this year. Like with Canas, he wanted to shoot him off the court. Against Nadal on grass, he played too much of the match from far back, whereas Nadal was forcing Federer into a north-south game.

    Yeah, one thing that people missed was how much out of his comfort space Federer was, in trying to force inside-out shots again and again. It worked for him at Hamburg, but here he was often trying to slide his way into inside-out FHs, which led to a high UE count.

    I agree with Drak's assessment of Federer's current game against Nadal. He's reasonably improved his BH vs. FH matchup against Nadal. It's really the FH vs. FH match up which causes Federer to not sustain any momentum or generate breaks.
     
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  39. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I'll put it this way: if Roger works his ass off on his conditioning in time for next year's French Open he will still lose. The conditioning will help him, but it won't solve his mental aspect with Nadal nor will it fix his backhand.

    I think that Roger worked so much on his backhand he simply neglected his forehand. His forehand is still by far the better shot of the two.
     
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  40. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    The game and game plan is there...I will concede that Nadal has the obvious mental edge at this point, it will be interesting to see how Federer responds next year as he is right there physically...Nadal just has the huge mental edge...
     
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  41. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    If Roger doesn't lose to Nadal he will lose to someone else.
     
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  42. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    What is that based on? His finaling last year? His breaking nadal's streak at Hamburg? What could possibly give any indication that Fed is anything less then the 2nd best clay court player in the world...anything?
     
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  43. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Who says this?
     
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  44. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    Not sure where your going with this one. Nadal's got him mentally on clay, but I don't see Fed losing in the FO finals to anyone else...
     
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  45. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    That may be true, but it's progress nonetheless. Again Roger's legs were not there for his BH -- by the 3rd set, he wasn't really driving the high balls with his legs.

    Perhaps against a true grinder like Canas.

    It's an interesting matchup partially because their FH mechanics mirror each other. So, in a way, it's like Roger is facing a clay court version of his own FH, and it drives me crazy. But, it also drives Rafa crazy because the balls zip back lower he'd like them to be.
     
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  46. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I can see it happening with certain young guns establishing themselves. I think it's only a matter of time before we'll be seeing a greater depth of clay court talent on the scene.

    All it may take is a persistent, strong moonballing baseliner who can frustrate Roger just enough. Of course, it will all depend on how prepared Roger will be next year and whether his game regresses at all. If he doesn't have a coach by that time and goes at it alone he'll be too stubborn to make appropriate adjustments.

    Of course, I won't be betting on him not making the final.
     
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  47. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    What does having a coach have anything to do with it...most of the coaches out there really dont bring much to the table. I agree that its going to get tougher and tougher as the young guys progress but If I were a betting man (and I certainly am), if Fed finds himself at even odds in the finals with anyone not named Nadal im betting big on Fed...
     
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  48. MasturB

    MasturB Hall of Fame

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    If Serve and Volley didn't work for Sampras at Roland Garros, then not sure how it's going to assure Roger wins a French.
     
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  49. Dolphina

    Dolphina New User

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    And I would like to see someone try and overpower him on clay, coz getting in topspin rallies with him, happens to almost any player he plays on clay, and that´s why they have no chance. Rafa is the king of topspin, and no one can top him on that department, besides getting into this physical battle with him, is also not a good option.
    Overpowering works on hard fine (not so much on the slow Wimbly anymore), if it´s really consistent, Nadal has huge problems. But on clay, it´s much more difficult, to play that game against him, and nobody is able to do it. Fed has the weapons, but his backhand is too harmless.
     
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  50. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    And he's now learned to use that topspin to create angles and then finish near the net. Basically, what Roddick does but with more lateral choices. Nadal may have the best inside-out shot in the game now.
     
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