Why Nadal is a bad match-up for Fed

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Quite Please, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Quite Please

    Quite Please Rookie

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    #1
  2. TheRealTruth

    TheRealTruth Rookie

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    #2
  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Weak one handed backhand is the main problem
     
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  4. TheRealTruth

    TheRealTruth Rookie

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  5. TheRealTruth

    TheRealTruth Rookie

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    If that's what you really think then you have a very weak knowledge and understanding of tennis.
     
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  6. Nadalfan89

    Nadalfan89 Hall of Fame

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    Federer's backhand is terrible. Calling that a bad matchup is just an excuse.
     
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  7. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    Again..Just plain WRONG.Roger's bh is a very good shot.Its the way the balls come to him that makes it hard for him, against Nadal.And there's not much he can do about it either due to to his grip.
     
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  8. That was the dumbest thing i have ever read.
     
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  9. CountryHillbilly

    CountryHillbilly Banned

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    It's not terrible. It's one of the best. Only against Nadal it looks weak. Nadal is the only one that can make it look bad.
     
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  10. Correct

    10 char
     
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  11. Sartorius

    Sartorius Professional

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    Very well said.
     
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  12. Toxicmilk

    Toxicmilk Professional

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  14. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    This is funny, especially as it comes from the fellow who recently started a thread lamenting the loss of logical arguments and proliferation of stupid Federer/Nadal arguments on TT - the ludicrous yin to FedFan_2009's equally ludicrous yang. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
    #14
  15. VivalaVida

    VivalaVida Banned

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  16. Toxicmilk

    Toxicmilk Professional

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    It is, but I couldn't help it :oops:
     
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  17. CountryHillbilly

    CountryHillbilly Banned

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  18. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Exactly.People fail to realise that Nadal hits the backhand of most of his opponents,not just Federer.Most tennis player favor their FH over their BH.It's no wonder Nadal uses this to his advantage as a lefty.And that's why he has problems with good BH like Nalbandian's and Murray's.

    It's like saying why does Fed slice on grass to setup his forehand.It's the same freaking thing,they are picking apart their opponents weaknesses.Why do you think Fed slices to righty's backhand? So he will get a weak backhand reply and then he can turn to crank the forehand.Nadal does the exact same thing except the topspins the crap out of the ball into your BH until he get a weak reply and finishes you off.

    Although the lefty FH to righty BH is definitely a strategy I also think it came out of the natural game of a lefty.Most of us are right handed players.I am at most a mediocre player but when I hit forehands I mostly hit cross-court and if my opponents is also a righty we usually enter a FH to FH duel.A down the line shot makes more sense but is also harder to hit so pro's only use it when they are very confident or have no other way out of the point.
    When a lefty hits a "safe" cross-court shot it goes to your BH so the perspective on the game is changed a bit.I was watching the best 2 leftys in the game in AO 09' and it almost felt like reverse tennis because I am so used to seeing righty versus righty.
     
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  19. backhand winner

    backhand winner Banned

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    Fed's backhand is very good when handling pace. It is the high looping shots that bother him. Especially if you make him hit them over and over again.
     
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  20. allcourter2008

    allcourter2008 Semi-Pro

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    It's normal to play to the opponents weaker side, but Nadal does it more than anyone else.

    I once saw a statistic from 2007 where Nadal hit 85% of his shots to Federer's backhand side.
    There's also a youtube video with Nadal's serve summary, 95% of his shots went to Federer's backhand.

    And yet some of those matches were close, this tells you a lot about the match-up.
     
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  21. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Rookie

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    I remember at the FO 2008 final where Federer got killed they showed a stat where all of Nadal's serves were to the same spot. Perhaps Federer has a problem with the simplicity of Nadal's game?
     
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  22. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    It's more Federer being stubborn and refusing to adjust his game more than anything. In every French Open final Federer stubbornly tried to hit Nadal off the court like he can do to 99.9% of the tour, rather than using his different array of dropshots, net play, and high spinning and looping shots like he did in Madrid.
     
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  23. rocket

    rocket Hall of Fame

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    Watch Hamburg '08 Final again. 1st set 5-1 up, 40-30, to lose 5-7. Fed does get very tentative against Nadal.

    Watch Madrid '09 again. Fed started tentative, but then went on the roll & moved Nadal around.

    It's all mental.
     
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  24. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Again,how is this wrong? He spotted the weakness and played there most of the time.And as I said in my original post for a lefty targeting the backhand side of righties is a must,it gives you an advantage.

    Federer doesn't lose because Nadal hits his backhand just like Nadal doesn't win because of that.In TMC Nadal hit the BH again and got soundly beat.It depends on how well Fed can hide his weakness,just like most players.
    Typical Nadal-Federer point goes something like this.Either one serves and when Nadal hits the ball he hits in cross-court to fed's bh.At this point 2-3 things usually happen:

    1)fed shanks and gives an unforced error away
    2)fed trades BH with Nadal until he can hit a FH in which case two scenarios occur:he hits a perfect shot in the corners which Rafa can't reach or goes to Nadal's forehand but Nadal can go down the line with it or cross-court it again to begin the torture of the BH.
    3)Fed actually hits an outright winner with the backhand.

    Guess which scenario happens most of the time in backhand exchanges? The first 2,because fed's backhand cannot handle extreme topspin well unlike his compatriot wawrinka who has a terrific backhand.
    Picking on your opponent's weaknesses apart makes the difference in tennis and Nadal is a smart guy for doing it.With Fed he serves and plays most of the time on the backhand because he knows how good his FH can be.With Nalbandian in IW he served a lot body serves to Nalbandian and on his FH side because he knew how good Nalbandian BH could be.At this level,if your opponent has a weakness,you expose it.Sure,for us amateurs,it's cool to play more varied and for fun cause we're not professionals but those guys play for prizes and for glory so they take every advantage they can get.

    As I have said before Federer,does it too,but because he mixes it up a bit more against lesser oponnents it doesn't seem as repetitive.
    The FYB said it perfectly.On grass,for example,Federer leads the point with the forehand.He usually trades a few blows and if he sees he can't get through he will pull the slice out of the bag.He will slice,usually in the corners and on the backhand side,the other guy pulls the ball up and Fed positions himself to hit anywhere on court with the FH.Nadal does almost the same thing but with topspin all the time,not slice.Hit a shot repeatedly until you get a weak reply and the Rafa can hit it anywhere with his lefty FH.

    If you are a smart player,you take any advantage you get.As someone said in tennis you are trying to kill the other guy,to always keep him down,and that includes picking on his weaknesses.
     
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  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Really? Losing to Nadal is what got Fed to improve his BH in the first place
     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LOL my backhand is world class, but what makes it crappy is how the balls come to me and my grip LOL
     
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  27. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Not really, Nadal is simply a much better clay courter and when he plays his best on clay theres nothing Federer can do.
     
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  28. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Actually, indeed Federer is absolutely stubborn every time he plays Nadal specifically at the FO.



    Nadal is not such a superior clay court player to a prime Federer that he cannot possibly lose. Federer nearly took him out in Rome in a match he should have won.



    However during their FO encounters, Federer rarely ventures to the net, does not hit dropshots, and generally does not play with enough margin for error. He is essentially all but glued onto the baseline, and attempts to beat Nadal from there.




    That is not going to happen in a million years. Federer knows it, but stubbornly attempted to do it at every FO encounter. If you don't believe me, just watch all their FO matches. Federer ALAWYS attempts to blow Nadal off the court, yet everyone knows you simply cannot do that to him on clay.
     
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  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Fed did attack Nadal's BH in Madrid this year and won. He is on the right track. But then Nadal was tired and injured, so we can't be sure.
     
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  30. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    I don't think Fed has been stubborn for 5 freaking years.He knows what he has to do in order to beat Nadal,it's just that it is difficult to execute.Also,it's hard to adjust your game for one guy when that game beats the other ATP players.
    In Madrid,Federer barely pulled off a win against a guy who had played 4 hrs the previous day.It was 6-4,6-4.In that match Nadal didn't look good on the break points,he didn't have a good day and played mediocre like in that whole tournament.Nadal had chances to be 2-0 in the first set and was 15-40 at 5-4 for Fed.In the past,he took those chances,now he didn't.
    Yeah,played more relaxed and more varied but did you stop to think why? The answer is 0 pressure on his shoulders.He had lost to Nadal in RG,WB and AO,had become an emotional wreck,crying in AO,breaking rackets in Miami.Who has gonna blame him for losing to Nadal on clay in Spain? He played like he had nothing to lose,which he did,and won.

    I know many people,especially fed fans,point to madrid as a sort of turning point in tactics but the only new tactic for fed was the dropshot.It's not like the guy hasn't tried inside outs against Nadal before.But it's hard to position yourself when 2/3 of the balls coming go deep to your BH side and ride up on you.When Nadal hits a bit short,like he did in the whole Madrid tournament,Fed,like other players have a shot at the inside out which can be lethal.Or coming to the net.Did you watch FO 08'? Fed did the dummest thing I have ever seen and he did it for 3 sets straight.He would hit corners and rush to the net once in everywhile only to get passed or lobbed by Nadal time and time again.Perhaps that would work on faster courts but not on clay.
    The only true plus is the drop-shot,which works well against a Nadal who,with aging knees,will probably run less and less as his career will go on.

    From what I have seen these past years,in order for Fed to beat Nadal everything has to click into place.His serve must be off the charts,his FH must'n shank,his BH has to hold out against Nadal's FH and his head mustn't go astray.It kind of explains why Fed has had so many problems with Nadal.I mean,Fed can have an off day with a particular shot against other opponents but with Nadal,that's not gonna fly and that' why I think Fed collapses mentally sometimes.Also,Nadal doesn't give up easily and that weighs heavily on Roger who is used to adversaries collapsing mentally after the first or second set.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
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  31. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, but he attacked it differently. What Nadal does when the ball gets up high is that he generally loops it back, which gives Federer time. Before, Federer tried to hit right through Nadal's backhand, which would result in a hard counter shot by Nadal.



    That was the biggest key that match.
     
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  32. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    No, simply wrong. Federer is possibly the most stubborn player you will ever see to play the game. He in fact rarely adapts to his opponent; he simply walks onto the court and blows them out of the water with his talent most of the time. For years Federer has attempted to go CROSSCOURT into the Nadal forehand. For YEARS. How is that NOT stubborn again?



    Against Nadal, that does not work. Federer attempts to do it, and that results in unforced errors.



    When you can prevent yourself from being hit off the court against Federer, you already have won half the battle. However, there are very few players that are able to do that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
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  33. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Well I remember a quote from Federer who said that he takes just a few seconds to analyze his opponents after watching them in practice so there is that.But I don't see it as stubordness.It doesn't make sense to change your game just for one guy when you are killing the rest of the ATP.

    The drop-shot is the only plus because Fed wouldn't hit it before.He felt it was undignified or something.Fed has hit inside out a lot against Nadal.He hit some incredible I/O FH in AO,even in WB.The problem with this strategy is that it can't be sustained in a 3 out of 5 game and Federer is not the kind of guy to go just with one strategy.This is where he loses a lot of games with Nadal.Nadal sticks with a plan and makes some small changes during the game.

    Federer always tries to do more than he has to against Nadal and when he shanks or when he sees his game breaking down,it affect his morale,like all players.It affected him against Nadal more because he is used to kicking everyone's ass on court and he has in front of him a guy that won't go away.That is,in so many few words,Fed's problem with Nadal.He will not go away.

    Look,the way Federer was playing in WB 08' and AO 09' tournaments he would have blown most players of the court,except Nadal.The way verdasco was playing he would have beat most players,but not Nadal.Why? It's not that hard to beat Nadal,in theory.Hit flat,hit deep in the corners,move him around a lot,perhaps with a dropshot to move him forward.The problem is doing these things for a long time.Few players can mantain such a cool calm state when they get topspin in the face most of the time and see their usual winners turned back into the court by Nadal.It gets to you.A Nadal in mediocre form was beaten in 4 sets by Soderling out of which 3 were very close.Now imagine a Nadal in tip-top shape and imagine you have to outplay him for a few hours.Obviously it's easier on HC but it is very hard to do on grass and clay.That's a scary thought for most players who just can't hang with Nadal for long enough,even though they have moments when they are outplaying Rafa.

    This happens to Federer,but on a smaller level.These guys,Nadal and Federer,rarely give beatdowns to eachother,they have usually pretty balanced matches.I have seen this scenario so many times.Federer plays great,Nadal hangs on and won't let go.Fed gets shaky,Nadal pushes on,takes the initiative and Fed's game collapses in the end,and you can see the frustration on the guys face at the end of the match.To quote Gilbert,"when does this guy give up?"
    As NamRanger said hitting through Nadal rarely works,unless you are on HC.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
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  34. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, that is the thing. That is most likely what Federer thinks. However this year at Madrid, obviously Federer did alot of things better. For one, he served way better than he normally does against Nadal on clay. Two, he actually dominated the majority of the rallies. This is VERY rare.




    The reason being is that Federer did the same thing that Nadal normally does to him. Federer plays on the fact that Nadal at heart is a percentage tennis player, so he gets the ball up high and with alot of topspin to Nadal's backhand. Nadal then responds by looping the ball back with alot of topspin, and usually towards the backhand, which gets too predictable, and Federer punishes him for doing so.




    And yes, his tactics in Madrid were far different than those at the FO. He played with the intent to end points quickly. At the FO, he gets into far too many rallies (which he shouldn't at all).
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
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  35. Conquistador

    Conquistador Banned

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    Nadal is like a bee that is constantly buzzing around Federer's head. Federer knows how good he is, but Nadal is always creating problems for Federer because he always sticks around. Federer knows and respects this--thats why its hard for him to swat at it.
     
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  36. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Which is why it's part mental. Nadal is SO good at what he does, and Federer knows it's coming, but he can't do anything about it. That does eventually get to you.
     
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  37. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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    #37
  38. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    He did try to go to the net in 2008, and that was the main reason he was totally destroyed. His approach shots sucked, and Nadal passed him easily.
     
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  39. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    He also came in on flat approach shots which indeed got him killed.
     
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  40. backhand winner

    backhand winner Banned

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    Anyone could see that Nadal was struggling moving to his right on that match. Therefore, he had to hit many more backhands than usual and could not get in enough forehand-to-backhand rallys. Federer was much sharper that day and was able to run around his backhand and take over. Nadal's return of serves was pretty weak as well. But there are 19 other matches they played against each other. Nadal has to play close to 100% to beat Fed. If he is not, Fed wins.
     
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  41. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    It has nothing to do with Federer actully playing smart this time around? Finally he changed his tactics, and did to Nadal what Nadal usually does to him - he killed his backhand with controlled forehands that were aggressive enough yet with enough spin to make them safe.
     
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  42. backhand winner

    backhand winner Banned

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    You also gotta consider the speed of the court. Dry conditions and altitude will make the ball go through the air much quicker. Fed's serve and forehand are much more dangerous to Nadal in these type of conditions. RG 2008 was humid, cool, and at sea level. Much more time for Nadal to prepare what Fed was going to do. Nadal usually is the reactor. Thus the court and conditions are important to him. Nadal not being on top of his game and the conditions is what made it more possible for Fed to beat Nadal. It also gave Djokovic his best chance to beat Nadal.
     
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  43. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    I do agree that the circumstances and conditions did favor Federer that day, but I think what Federer learned that day is if he can get the ball up high and to the Nadal backhand, he can force defensive replies, which open up the court for him.


    RG this year though seemed awfully fast, even faster than Madrid.
     
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  44. FedFan_2009

    FedFan_2009 Banned

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    Yes if Roger is smart he'll continue pounding Nadal's backhand!
     
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  45. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

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    Nah, nadal is weak competition, in a weak era
    right cesc?
     
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  46. hankash

    hankash Rookie

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    Because Nadal can generate heavy spin to Federer's backhand like no other play can and on a consistent basis. Anyone hitting those balls, their arm is going to eventually get tired, even if you are Federer.
     
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  47. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    LOL. He can't impose his game Nadal like he can everyone else. Nadal's wicked forehand has to much precision and he always blasts it away at Fed backhand
     
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  48. wihamilton

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    It will be interesting to see how Nadal does in the next month. He's going to be a bit rusty. Also, at this point it's pretty clear what you have to do to beat him -- stay on the baseline / change direction frequently / go for a big shot at your first (reasonable) opportunity. And obviously you have to serve well. Easier said than done. But it's the same basic approach Djokovic, Del Potro, Murray, and Soderling used w/varying degrees of success against Nadal. Federer's strategy is a little bit different.
     
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  49. Aabye

    Aabye Professional

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    You know, a lot of people said something similar after Nadal lost at the AO in '08. There was quite a bit of talk about how "everyone is starting to figure out his game" and "this guy will never be #1, because Djokovic will get there before him", etc. While history might not repeat itself here, let me just remind you what happened.

    Nadal goes on to win the French, Wimbledon, gets as far as he ever has gone (so far) at the USO, and takes the gold medal in Beijing. I think even Federer might have traded places with the Rafa last year.
     
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  50. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    Outside the topspin and exploitation of Fed's BH..

    Its Nadal mental toughness and never williing to give up on a point or just toss the match away if things do not goes his way.

    Its the fight of Nadal.. Something the majority of players lack today.. Not getting down on himself. And not walking onto the court, seeing Fed and admitting defeat at just the sight of Fed as so many others have done over the years.
     
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