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-   -   2 Choices that Cost Roger 5 Slams (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442201)

lendl1986 10-05-2012 09:45 PM

2 Choices that Cost Roger 5 Slams
 
We marvel at the elegance of Roger’s one hander and the classic simplicity of his Pro Staff racquet, but both have cost him at least 5 Slams. Let me explain.

1. Roger’s one hand backhand is a liability against increasing pace and spin.

When Roger won his first major in 2003, 20 of the top 50 players had 1HBs:

Federer, Philippoussis, Srichaphan, Henman, Kuerten, Schalken, Verkerk, Mantilla, Mirnyi, Calleri, Costa, Lopez, Dent, Gaudio, Gonzalez, Blake, Ljubicic, Youzhny, Volandri, Rochus.

In 2012, just 7 of the top 50 use 1 hand:

Federer, Almagro, Gasguet, Wawrinka, Youzhny, and Lopez.

The emergence of more powerful racquets and polyester strings have created 3 challenges for “one handers” like Federer:
  1. Diminished return of service performance. Roger is seldom in the top 10 for service return statistics. In fact, no player with a one hander appears in the top 10 for % of return games won and % of break points won.
  2. Difficulty with high bouncing balls. The lower contact point of the one hand backhand can be exploited by players with polyester strings that generate 10-15% more spin than a decade ago. Balls are bouncing higher in Wimbledon, in particular, where a one-hander’s advantage is now nulled.
  3. Fewer “at net” winners. The one-hander was a distinct advantage for aggressive net players like Sampras and Becker, but the decline of net play due to higher ball speed and RPM nulls this advantage for Federer and other one handers.

The one hander has always had strengths (reach, power, disguise), but its weaknesses are increasingly exposed by trends in the modern game, as described in this controversial article from the ITF’s Coaching website.

Rafael Nadal exploits Roger’s one-hander with the most success.

Because he’s left-handed and hits with significantly more spin, he–more than any other–makes Federer hit one of tennis’ most difficult shots: a high-bouncing one-hand backhand.

He also has the luxury of serving wide to that backhand at 30-40, the most common break point arrangement:



2. Roger’s small-headed racquet robs him of needed margin for error.

His Pro Staff Six.One 90 racquet has the smallest stringbed of racquet used by a top 20 player. It’s also quite heavy. And as ball speeds and spin increase, Roger increasingly shanks more shots off its frame.



Roger’s racquet affords him extra precision at the cost of surface area and extra unforced errors per match. Even Sampras has abondoned his Pro Staff.

5 majors Roger MAY have won…with a 2 hand backhand.

First, there’s the 7 Slam finals he’s lost to Nadal:

2006 French Open
2007 French Open
2008 French Open
2008 Wimbledon*
2009 Australian Open*
2011 French Open*

A 2 hand backhand would help him handle Nadal’s high-bouncing spin: he could play from a more commanding, central court position and not have to run around backhands to hit forehands. But Roger’s opponent is still Nadal, and most of these losses were on clay, so realistically Federer may have won 3 of these matches with a 2 hander.

Then there are his 4 losses at the past 4 US Opens:

2009 Finals: Loss to Del Potro*
2010 Semis: Loss to Djokovic
2011 Semis: Loss to Djokovic*
2012 Quarters: Loss to Berdych

I would certainly score the 2009 US Open to a 2 handed Federer. Del Potro repeatedly pounded 1st serves into Roger’s backhand, which were returned with weak block or a chip. He’d likely have 2 additional US Open wins if he had the service return that a two handed backhand affords (ie, Djokovic and Murray). You could sprinkle in an extra Australian Open as well.

But with a 2 hand backhand and a modern racquet, is Roger Federer still…Roger Federer?

He’s the GOAT with 17 Slams and counting, but I wonder (am I the only one): Is his success because of his unconventional game, or despite it? If a one handed backhand and a small-headed racquet are truly the choice of champions, why is Roger the only one left playing with them?

Though I believe Roger’s “classic game” has cost him Slams, it makes him more compelling and his accomplishments more significant.

I’ve harshly criticized Roger’s backhand on my blog, but let me be clear that I enjoy watching him employ it: only he can hit a slice, drive, or drop shot…with clever disguise. It is his most diverse shot.

A “modernized” Roger may have achieved more, but the journey would not have been as fun to witness.

RF20Lennon 10-05-2012 09:47 PM

Thanks for stating the same thing we've been discussing for years now. Also his backhand got him 17 GS plus about the racket?? Both Annacone and Mcenroe have said with the racket head speed federer creates it doesnt really matter. If he shanks on a 90 it will shank on a 100

dangalak 10-05-2012 09:49 PM

:lol: Not this crap again.

Federer's backhand is one of the main reasons why he won 17 majors in the first place. Good chance that he would win much less with a 2 hander.

You basically broadcasted how shallow your knowledge in tennis is. He has one of the best backhands in the game. The notion that the OHBH is the devils work and above all useless and that you can only win with 100 sq inch snowshoes is just that: senseless drivel.

kaku 10-05-2012 09:57 PM

Roger would have won zero GS's with a 2HBH. He has said that he sucks at it

drakulie 10-05-2012 10:06 PM


WhiskeyEE 10-05-2012 10:11 PM

Fed wouldn't be the icon and idol he is without his aesthetic game. I think it was a good career move, even if it means a few less slams.

lendl1986 10-05-2012 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaku (Post 6938496)
Roger would have won zero GS's with a 2HBH. He has said that he sucks at it

He's got immortal talent in his right arm and both legs. His left arm could surely produce a Slam winning 2 hander.

dangalak 10-05-2012 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prisoner of Birth (Post 6938543)
A guy makes an attempt to make an interesting, if not intelligent, post instead of the usual fantard drivel we're accustomed to and he's called names. Ridiculous. Wy isn't he allowed to even offer a hypothetical without him being labelled "stupid"? Good stuff, OP. I may not agree with you but nice form.

Because that would be style over substance.

He repeats the overdone drivel, that somehow OHBH are inherently inferior and that his 90 sq in racket is to blame for some of his rackets when these 2 choices are integral to be able to play his style in the first place.

Prisoner of Birth 10-05-2012 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dangalak (Post 6938599)
Because that would be style over substance.

He repeats the overdone drivel, that somehow OHBH are inherently inferior and that his 90 sq in racket is to blame for some of his rackets when these 2 choices are integral to be able to play his style in the first place.

Then say that. Not everyone is as smart or knowledgable as you think you are.

dangalak 10-05-2012 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prisoner of Birth (Post 6938605)
Then say that. Not everyone is as smart or knowledgable as you think you are.

OOOOOOOOH BURN!! :lol:

DolgoSantoro 10-05-2012 11:11 PM

If he tried a 2HBH it might have been worse. His one hander is a fine shot, and if he couldn't figure out the 2hbh like he says he couldn't he might have won nothing at all. We don't know. Just because he's Fed we can't say he'd have had a Safin/Agassi/Nalby level 2-hander (although if he did he might have won at least 1 CYGS by now)

Russeljones 10-05-2012 11:12 PM

I appreciate the time you put into this. I apologize in advance if my reply doesn't appear to do justice to the body of work in the OP. I have always held the view that it isn't shameful for Roger to lose to the best clay court player of all time. I don't believe a change in technique or racquet size would have helped him much in those FO finals. Nadal was a beast in his physical prime and certainly much much more attuned to the surface. Interesting take nevertheless.

dangalak 10-05-2012 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Russeljones (Post 6938616)
I appreciate the time you put into this. I apologize in advance if my reply doesn't appear to do justice to the body of work in the OP. I have always held the view that it isn't shameful for Roger to lose to the best clay court player of all time. I don't believe a change in technique or racquet size would have helped him much in those FO finals. Nadal was a beast in his physical prime and certainly much much more attuned to the surface. Interesting take nevertheless.

Back then, he wasn't as good as he turned out to be.

But I severely doubt that Federer would be FEDERER if he had a 2 handed backhand. And it's not just for asthetic reasons.

Prisoner of Birth 10-05-2012 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dangalak (Post 6938618)
Back then, he wasn't as good as he turned out to be.

But I severely doubt that Federer would be FEDERER if he had a 2 handed backhand. And it's not just for asthetic reasons.

Federer with a 2-handed backhand might've won a few of the Slams he lost but he'd lost more than a few of the Slams he won as well, IMO. So he didn't lose much. So, in essence, I agree with you.

Zarfot Z 10-06-2012 03:19 AM

1HBH suits his playing style, so no.


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