Fed tactics vs Delpo

Polvorin

Professional
I've seen a lot of people making comments about Fed having poor tactics in the match but I haven't seen any specific remarks.

To me this match felt a lot like the 2009 final... Roger attempting to out-slug the big man rather than out-maneuver him, with similar results. Seemingly unable or unwilling to try to get the ball out of Delpo's strike zone or make him play uncomfortable shots, and instead giving him exactly what he wants.

Two things in particular baffle me:
1) Why does he abandon the slice and drop shot against a tall player who isn't comfortable against low balls? Shorter slices that draw him into the court and slices down the line that force Delpo to get under the ball and hit up on his forehand are effective patterns.

2) Why not try to hit backhands down the line period? Perhaps he just wasn't feeling confident in the shot but I thought he was way too predictable and allowed Delp to camp the backhand corner too comfortably.

Still, I give credit to the master. Not playing his A-game and not playing a tactically brilliant match (and possibly hurting) he still made a good contest of it. He had no business losing set 3.
 

Julian Houston

Semi-Pro
I think Rog want to replay the 2009 final by hitting to Delpo forehand. Its foolish thing to do but it entertained the fans and he knows he has no chance making the title anyway. Anderson can even win him possibly.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
I don't think Federer had the capacity to execute a good game plan today. With the poor preparation he had leading up to USO, he just didn't have enough belief in his shots. He was just in survival mode in a lot of times, probably, hoping to win somehow and just advance as many stages as possible.
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
I don't think Federer had the capacity to execute a good game plan today. With the poor preparation he had leading up to USO, he just didn't have enough belief in his shots. He was just in survival mode in a lot of times, probably, hoping to win somehow and just advance as many stages as possible.
very true he was on thin ice throughout the tourny as he stated after the match and last night the better player won. Fed couldn`t make the shots he needed in this match, which is rare but it happens. No one goes undefeated in their tennis careers
 

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't think Federer had the capacity to execute a good game plan today. With the poor preparation he had leading up to USO, he just didn't have enough belief in his shots. He was just in survival mode in a lot of times, probably, hoping to win somehow and just advance as many stages as possible.
This.
It's not like he was just like "I guess I'll keep hitting to his FH even though that's the bad play".

I mean for god's sake he's not totally stupid.
The reality is that his level, for whatever reason, was quite poor and it was the best he could do today.
I am grateful to him for doing his best and he owes us nothing.

The same is true for Nadal.
People are just like "oh he should just stand in more"
The simple fact is that he probably doesn't have enough belief in his current level to do that.

Mental problems aren't fake. They can't just be wished or brushed away. If he's lacking confidence that's something he needs to work on carefully - there's no flipping a switch and suddenly GOATing like it's nothing.

God people are being so unfair.
 

NEW_BORN

Hall of Fame
From the moment Federer walked out on court, he had the demeanour of someone who did not believe he could win the tournament, which translated to him playing a strange match with no clear gameplan. Apart from his serve Del potro was good, but by no means was he playing great, Federer otoh was poor in his movement especially running out to his forehand, made a ton of errors off that wing, but the biggest issue was his shots had no weight of power, they were literally cream puffs. Had he won this match i have no doubt Nadal would have absolutely trounced him.
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
Federer strategy was flawed. Don't know why he did not use the successful tactics from the majority of the matches in which he beat him.
 

Julian Houston

Semi-Pro
Because Fedr wanted to tank. He has to do discreetly. By missing shots or serving under average speed is too blatant. ATP will find out and question it with fines. He play real in unimportant points and gift all the important points. It looked very obvious. By tail end of the match i sensed Fedr will throw away the volley at 30-30.

Against Robredo in USO 2013 and Djokovic 2010,2011 was the same.
 

Gazelle

G.O.A.T.
Even if he couldn't play the correct tactics due to lack of form as some are saying...he started off his first service game by serving to the Delpo forehand exclusively. Got me baffled. And he kept serving there a lot. Regardless of form, one can serve to the backhand if one wants, no?
 

jwjh

Legend
It was bizarre to say the least. Kept going for the inside-in FH when delpo wasn't even stretched on the BH and made so many UEs going for the inside-in FH. Kept going to Delpo's FH on short balls and approach shots and getting burnt more often then not. Topspin BH/FHs that were too central allowing Delpo to round around and use the FH. Trying to generally beat delpo from the baseline. I don't get it.
 

RVAtennisaddict

Professional
I don't know what he was thinking or not thinking. The announcers suggested that he is too stubborn to change his game/tactics to win, because he knows he should/can beat people straight up. Except for when he can't.

The constant hitting to Delpo forehand was definitely a mistake. It reminded me of when I play lefties. I will hit a great shot down the line to put them underpressure.. and right after I hit it, I remember they are lefties and I am sending it to their wheel house. I have to believe that Fed wasn't feeling confident in his backhand, otherwise why would you hit anywhere else against DelPo.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
I've seen a lot of people making comments about Fed having poor tactics in the match but I haven't seen any specific remarks.
Delpo has the best FH on the tour, except for Nadal at clay only (his topspins are pretty effective there).

Federer simply played too much on Delpo's FH. He should have exploited his BH side because in comparison Delpo's BH is much weaker, especially because and since injury, no matter that Delpo now hits much more topspins. You have to be patient against the big man.

But for some reason Federer's BH is nowhere near the AO and Masters he won level, he's stepping around his FH instead of showing what he's got. Perhaps this is the reason why he didn't stick more to hitting to his BH side.

Roger attempting to out-slug the big man rather than out-maneuver him
That. You can't outslug Delpo on his FH side, and no one should even try to think of this. To do what Federer did is, mildly put, underestimating (and harshly, moronic).
 
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I am the Greatest!

Professional
To me this match felt a lot like the 2009 final... Roger attempting to out-slug the big man rather than out-maneuver him, with similar results. Seemingly unable or unwilling to try to get the ball out of Delpo's strike zone or make him play uncomfortable shots, and instead giving him exactly what he wants.
Federer's movement is not as it was in Wimbledon or Australia. He's unable to manouver that quickly against Del Potro and his shots.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
If Fed makes that backhand on set point in the breaker and wins the point, I think the whole match dynamic changes.
It probably does, I agree. Nadal still would've exposed the smokescreen however.

As far as his tactics in this match, well how do you say stupid and/or stubborn in Swiss German?
 

NEW_BORN

Hall of Fame
in 2009 he clearly went too much on the (lethal) running FH of delpo... never got that (unless he became a fan of this shot !).
did he also do that yesterday ?
Federer approached to the Del potro forehand repeatedly today, basically daring him to pass him which Del potro obliged more often than not.
One forehand pass almost decapitated Federer on the spot.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
Ok, so this is the tactics against Delpo, it's easy.

1. Play deep on the Delpo's FH side. The key word is deep. Balls have to have enough depth and some pace on them, though you can play occasional slice too.
2. Keep him deep at the BH side with more than one shot.
3. Delpo will try to step around and hit his FH, however whenever the ball is deep he has a hard job to make a winner from there. It's likely he'll make a returnable shots.
4. Take the opportunity when he does step around for a CC FH to slam the DTL shot, as he has opened a lot of court and he cannot quite cover it.
5. If he doesn't step around, the breaking of rythm is still playing DTL, but the ball to his BH side must be kept short and low so he has to run the long distance and face the low height ball without reaching the ideal hitting position; so it's deep balls to the BH, short (angled if possible) balls to his BH side. And banging DTL when he opens the court space by stepping around.

That's it! Player of Fed's quality should not have trouble to execute this.
 

icedevil0289

G.O.A.T.
It was bizarre to say the least. Kept going for the inside-in FH when delpo wasn't even stretched on the BH and made so many UEs going for the inside-in FH. Kept going to Delpo's FH on short balls and approach shots and getting burnt more often then not. Topspin BH/FHs that were too central allowing Delpo to round around and use the FH. Trying to generally beat delpo from the baseline. I don't get it.
Wouldn't be the first time he tried to beat someone from the baseline and fail when he no longer has the ability to do so. Idk maybe all theses wins this year had him thinking it was 2006 again
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
Serving up 6-4 in 3rd set TieBreak Fed decides to hit to his strength that has been blistering him all match, Delpo's FH.
And then how many DTL backhand passes did Delp hit, yet Fed covers cross-court.
J-Mac and Cahill were right - Fed was stubborn and outplayed.
 

ibbi

Legend
He started off with the drop shots, didn't he? Not sure why he abandoned the tactic of getting Del Potro to move so quickly. I think part of it was that he was not serving very well, so had to do everything else so much more conservatively after that.
 

icedevil0289

G.O.A.T.
Look up stubborn in the dictionary and you will see a picture of fed. This is the same guy who for years thought he could win against rafa by trying to out rafa him even on clay and could hang with 2015 djokovic from the baseline. For all his talent and success some of his decisions and thoughts baffle me. In any case the best person won and this gives del potro another chance for a slam, something imo that is long over due and would be well deserved should he get it. He deserves this chance more than Roger and it gives Roger a chance to rest and recuperate and come up with a game plan for the rest of the year and maybe schedule an appointment with an optometrist
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I've seen a lot of people making comments about Fed having poor tactics in the match but I haven't seen any specific remarks.

To me this match felt a lot like the 2009 final... Roger attempting to out-slug the big man rather than out-maneuver him, with similar results. Seemingly unable or unwilling to try to get the ball out of Delpo's strike zone or make him play uncomfortable shots, and instead giving him exactly what he wants.

Two things in particular baffle me:
1) Why does he abandon the slice and drop shot against a tall player who isn't comfortable against low balls? Shorter slices that draw him into the court and slices down the line that force Delpo to get under the ball and hit up on his forehand are effective patterns.

2) Why not try to hit backhands down the line period? Perhaps he just wasn't feeling confident in the shot but I thought he was way too predictable and allowed Delp to camp the backhand corner too comfortably.

Still, I give credit to the master. Not playing his A-game and not playing a tactically brilliant match (and possibly hurting) he still made a good contest of it. He had no business losing set 3.
highly recommend fed's post match interview...

my takeaway after seeing the match, and hearing the interview:
* fed didn't feel prepared... ie. not enough practice time, to rest his body,... therefore didn't feel confident that he was going to be able to execute like he's executed i the past
* he still does do the slice/short ball, and came in or drew delpo in.. but at times just didn't execute (ie. missed easy/makeable volleys)
* fed mentions that delpo was crushing his fh, and because fed didn't feel confident putting the ball where he wanted (on either fh/bh)... it becomes a double whammy when he's lacking confidence in execution (ie to delpo fh) AND delpo's crushing rockets on the fh side
* fed mentioned there were times that his strat/tactics were not clear, possibly due to lack of prep and confidence in his own ability to execute
* fed said because he wasn't executing, he was relying on delpo to donate some points, but delpo wasn't.... and delpo played clutch on the big points (and fed didn't)

regarding "backhands down the line"... Delpo was *CRUSHING* punishing fh's in the match against Thiem and Fed anytime they didn't hit a perfect bh dtl...
 
D

Deleted member 754093

Guest
So stubborn.

He should at least have taken a strategic MTO when Delpo served for it
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
Look up stubborn in the dictionary and you will see a picture of fed. This is the same guy who for years thought he could win against rafa by trying to out rafa him even on clay and could hang with 2015 djokovic from the baseline. For all his talent and success some of his decisions and thoughts baffle me. In any case the best person won and this gives del potro another chance for a slam, something imo that is long over due and would be well deserved should he get it. He deserves this chance more than Roger and it gives Roger a chance to rest and recuperate and come up with a game plan for the rest of the year and maybe schedule an appointment with an optometrist
Rest? The guy said post-match he will play Basel, Paris, Shanghai and another tournament, not to mention exhibitions. Then again, he did forego the clay court season. I think 11 months of matches is too much for any pro athlete, especially tennis. They complain about it but change nothing. The issue needs to be forced and resolved with the ATP or it will be more of the same. I think Basel & Paris should be cancelled.
Each players should be allowed to play a maximum number of events per year to total 10 months.
 
S

SafinSucks

Guest
Roger did play more on El Potro's backhand than he did in 2009, anyone saying otherwise has not watched both matches properly (for instance S&V to the backhand three times at least in the tie breaker).
 
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Meles

Bionic Poster
I've seen a lot of people making comments about Fed having poor tactics in the match but I haven't seen any specific remarks.

To me this match felt a lot like the 2009 final... Roger attempting to out-slug the big man rather than out-maneuver him, with similar results. Seemingly unable or unwilling to try to get the ball out of Delpo's strike zone or make him play uncomfortable shots, and instead giving him exactly what he wants.

Two things in particular baffle me:
1) Why does he abandon the slice and drop shot against a tall player who isn't comfortable against low balls? Shorter slices that draw him into the court and slices down the line that force Delpo to get under the ball and hit up on his forehand are effective patterns.

2) Why not try to hit backhands down the line period? Perhaps he just wasn't feeling confident in the shot but I thought he was way too predictable and allowed Delp to camp the backhand corner too comfortably.

Still, I give credit to the master. Not playing his A-game and not playing a tactically brilliant match (and possibly hurting) he still made a good contest of it. He had no business losing set 3.
Nothing was really working for Fed against Delpo; what we saw was Fraud grasping at straws as his razzle dazzle take away time magic wasn't getting the job done particularly at the net. Fraud can't hang with the best anymore in a pure baseline duel.:oops:
 

icedevil0289

G.O.A.T.
Rest? The guy said post-match he will play Basel, Paris, Shanghai and another tournament, not to mention exhibitions. Then again, he did forego the clay court season. I think 11 months of matches is too much for any pro athlete, especially tennis. They complain about it but change nothing. The issue needs to be forced and resolved with the ATP or it will be more of the same. I think Basel & Paris should be cancelled.
Each players should be allowed to play a maximum number of events per year to total 10 months.
um yes rest, he now has a month until shanghai and hes not doing much for laver cup iirc just doubles also rest can also be mental as well jsyk. he can take a bit more time to just unwind and analyze what he needs to do. why would basel, his home tournament be canceled? minus the blip in montreal, which i still think is a schedule fail, fed has always been a great scheduler and part of the reason he has lasted this long. he even said that once he walked off court he had this sense of finally i can rest. fed has hardly complained about the schedule iirc
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
The tactical aspect of the match isn't the story. Fed's back prevented him from playing freely or playing well and that's the story. When he himself said, "I wasn't in a safe place against Del Potro," that says it all. But even a healthy Fed might have lost to the giant. Let's also add that Nadal won't be hitting more than 5% of balls to JMDP's backhand.
 
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waarp

Rookie
All I rememeber is about 3 flubbed shots by Fed in one set, and a easy blown overhead on a Delpo break point elsewhere..that's why he lost.
 

icedevil0289

G.O.A.T.
highly recommend fed's post match interview...

my takeaway after seeing the match, and hearing the interview:
* fed didn't feel prepared... ie. not enough practice time, to rest his body,... therefore didn't feel confident that he was going to be able to execute like he's executed i the past
* he still does do the slice/short ball, and came in or drew delpo in.. but at times just didn't execute (ie. missed easy/makeable volleys)
* fed mentions that delpo was crushing his fh, and because fed didn't feel confident putting the ball where he wanted (on either fh/bh)... it becomes a double whammy when he's lacking confidence in execution (ie to delpo fh) AND delpo's crushing rockets on the fh side
* fed mentioned there were times that his strat/tactics were not clear, possibly due to lack of prep and confidence in his own ability to execute
* fed said because he wasn't executing, he was relying on delpo to donate some points, but delpo wasn't.... and delpo played clutch on the big points (and fed didn't)

regarding "backhands down the line"... Delpo was *CRUSHING* punishing fh's in the match against Thiem and Fed anytime they didn't hit a perfect bh dtl...
it was a really good interview tbh and unless you are a blind fed hater, i think few will find fault with how he analyzed his performance last night. i think the press conference actually made me feel better. combination of different factors but on his end i think it came down to never settling into the match and unsure of game plan as a result of lack of prep and confidence and also ofc important del potro being on when he needed to and serving extremely well. unfortunately fed did not have his serve to bail him out when he needed it the most.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
Fed has two slams + master titles this season. This loss doesn't mean that much but if he went through and met Nadal and lost, that would have meant way more.

Federer should be more than happy for this season.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
I don't think Fed tried to tank, but I do think he tried to play in a way where, if he won, he would have confidence that his level would be competitive against Rafa. If he had to go to Delpo's BH all day in order to win and could do nothing against the FH, then chances are he would be in big trouble against Rafa who does not have one wing that is a clear weakness. So that is why I think he did not relentlessly go to Delpo's BH.

There is also a possibility that because Fed was having trouble throughout the tournament in moving aggressively to his FH side (due to the back), he preferred the crosscourt FH exchanges where he could camp in the deuce court a little. If he was regularly attacking the BH (typically from the ad court) he would be very vulnerable to a DTL shot into the deuce corner that Delpo could hit with a runaround FH, or occasionally, his weaker BH.

At the end of the day, Fed still could have won even with his apparently flawed strategy had he not made some many horrid errors.
 

CivicLx

Hall of Fame
Because Fedr wanted to tank. He has to do discreetly. By missing shots or serving under average speed is too blatant. ATP will find out and question it with fines. He play real in unimportant points and gift all the important points. It looked very obvious. By tail end of the match i sensed Fedr will throw away the volley at 30-30.

Against Robredo in USO 2013 and Djokovic 2010,2011 was the same.
lol I know you're just messing around but that was funny:D
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
um yes rest, he now has a month until shanghai and hes not doing much for laver cup iirc just doubles also rest can also be mental as well jsyk. he can take a bit more time to just unwind and analyze what he needs to do. why would basel, his home tournament be canceled? minus the blip in montreal, which i still think is a schedule fail, fed has always been a great scheduler and part of the reason he has lasted this long. he even said that once he walked off court he had this sense of finally i can rest. fed has hardly complained about the schedule iirc
I don't think Montreal was a schedule fail. It's not like he overplayed and then injured himself in Cincinnati. Who's to say that had he skipped Montreal, he wouldn't have injured his back in Cincy with even less time to recover before the USO? The Montreal thing was just bad luck. With that said, I expect Fed to skip Canada for the rest of his career.
 

mistik

Hall of Fame
I never felt Fed is great tactician to be honest. This total belief of his game my way or high way or everything is up to me mood cost him big at times.
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
I never felt Fed is great tactician to be honest. This total belief of his game my way or high way or everything is up to me mood cost him big at times.
that is what led to Djokovic's rise in that USO semi back in 2010 or 11?. Fed's arrogance created more confidence for Novak. Each opponent is different and especially those who've won a slam. Delpo's BH dtl and cross-court FH may haunt him for a while.
Fed knew his form was bad the whole tournament (his words) and even said he'd rather lose now than face Rafa with sub-par form. That is protecting his legacy because if he lost to Rafa in semis, the GOAT issue comes up again. especially if Rafa wins the USO.
 
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VoodooChild24

Semi-Pro
The way I see it his tactic was pretty much flawed and stubborn.

1. Fed's tactic was to go to the net at every chance possible and this put him in an awkward position half of the time
and created a lot of unforced errors for him. He got caught with passing shots esp on the backhand side.

2. He was going after Delpo's forehand which is unwise. He is not going to win that battle and it caused a lot of shanked forehand for him.

Was it foreshadowing of what he was preaching after his Wimbledon win that nobody goes to the next anymore or serve and volley? Well I think he just got beaten by a baseliner with no backhand.

Still a good year for him with 2 GS.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
Even if he couldn't play the correct tactics due to lack of form as some are saying...he started off his first service game by serving to the Delpo forehand exclusively. Got me baffled. And he kept serving there a lot. Regardless of form, one can serve to the backhand if one wants, no?
Yep. I don't get how difficult it can be to just try and go for Delpo's BH. He had one job.

We're not even talking of coming up with new tactics on court for a new unknown player. This was someone he's played and beaten so many times and taken a tough loss from on the same court when he tried to go FH to FH. How could he have not known not to repeat it ? What did his coaches tell him before the match ?

How difficult can it be to go for the BH instead of FH ? Even a robot could do that, like Nadal will show us tomorrow.
 

noobforehand20

Professional
he gambled too much on trying to break down delpo forehand, could not fully execute it on time and did not play drop shots so those are the two main tactics that would have made a big difference
 

thor's hammer

Semi-Pro
Fed had his chances last night, and with his A game would've won. Unfortunately Fed only had his B game - movement, groundies and serve were not as they might have been. Plus you got Delpo on the other side, bludgeoning things every opportunity and taking away time if not hitting outright winners. Under the circumstances Fed did pretty well- hung tough, made a fight out of it.

I agree there were a lot of points where Fed was on the offensive and chose to go to the DP forehand, and paid for it. And he muffed some volleys, particularly on the penultimate point. That said I don't know if the numbers would support it, but I got the impression watching the match that when he served and volleyed he did well - he definitely won a bunch of points that way. I wish he'd employed that tactic more. I have a feeling Edberg felt the same way. ;-)

I used to think of Fed as being stubborn, maybe delusional, in his insistence on playing a certain way against certain players, e.g., Rafa at The French, maybe DP last night. But over time I've come to see things differently. I think Fed is a "flow rider" - he looks to reach that magic place with his tennis that we all so love to watch, where everything just flows - all the shots and the movement come together, and feed his confidence, which feeds his play - and on and on in an upward spiral till God Mode is achieved.

For most players, even top pros, that approach might indeed be delusional - they need to have a calculated plan, stick to the script. But Fed is a creature of the extemporaneous - we've seen him pull it off often enough to believe the magic is lurking down in there, even on a bad day, if he can just tap in and find it. Hell, if he'd just made that last volley (1:27 in vid below) who knows what we'd be talking about today?


Heal well and fast, Roger, and stick around a while longer. Please.
 
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