Fed would have probably won number 18 by now had he stuck with the 90.

Service Ace

Hall of Fame
I'll never understand all the people who were clamoring for Federer to make the switch to the 97. For all the added "power" people were saying it would add to his game where has that gotten him? Lets focus on the 3 biggest difference between the 97 and the 90.

97 more power
90 heavier ball
90 more touch

People say Federer is serving better now than ever (probably the same blowhards that claim he is playing at or near his peak). Rewatching clips from Fed 2006 or 2007, I'd contend he hit more aces with the 90 then I've seen him hit in any match with the 97 (save maybe the Wimbledon semi against Murray). The 90 allowed for heavier balls and thus better angles on the serve allowing fed to hit crisper angles on his serve that opponents were unable to get their racquets on.

The added power hasn't really made a difference to the end result as an ace is an ace and it's not as if his ground strokes weren't already powerful enough. His returns are the same as they always been as he doesn't go for power on them and the fact is the game of tennis just is not suited to the power game any more so where exactly does the 97 grant him any advantage in this category?

The second biggest thing is that the 90 allowed for him to hit those trademark KNIFING slices that troubled opponents and forced them to the net. Couple that his ability to hit those crazy passing shots and you have a recipe for success we haven't seen employed since making the switch to the 97. And in terms of touch, his volleys were a little bit finer with the 90 and since we know how important that is to his game these days, you think it would have helped him especially at Wimbledon to stick with the racquet that gave him the best chance to win it.

The only advantage I see with the 97 is that he shanks less on his backhand side and doesn't make as many unforced errors. Now when he makes errors on his backhand it's because he is going for too much and the 97 doesn't allow for him to dip the ball back into the court as well as he used too, leading to him either hitting it long or into the net.

Had he stuck with the 90, he likely would have beat Djokovic at Wimby 14 as he did take the match to five sets and had he been able to hit the knifing slices that trouble Djokovic so much couple, come in behind them or force Djokovic to come in and make his volleys, coupled with some clean aces when he was in the lead/in trouble (as he's not hitting thru Djokovic with that 97), he likely would have been able to eek that match out and grab number 18.

The grander point is that the racquet change has not really helped him in any measurable way compared to his results with the 90 even only 4 years ago at Wimbeldon. He has had to retool his game to fit the racquet and his new game has proven incapable of being enough to get it done without being able to rely on his old weapons that worked against everyone but Nadal. Obviously its too late to go back to what worked now but the 97 might end up being a choice he admits to regretting someday well after he has retired.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Lots of good points. I think Fed got taken aback from his 2013 results ( Novak, Gulbis and Stak ), when it was mainly due to his back pain starting Indian Wells.

He went with coaching change which was ok.

Hindsight, racket change was not needed. Just Edberg tactics with the old racket may have given the 18th, even though he may not have reached 3 more finals.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
it's possible. He would be ranked lower because his consistency would be less (although the field is so bad he would still likely be top 4-5). But his peak would be higher and when it all clicked he might have been able to beat Djoker with the 90 forehand and slice...who knows.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
and I agree that the 97 was maybe a gut reaction to the awful 2013 although most of that was probably caused by the back injury.
 

moonballs

Hall of Fame
I don't think the shanks in 2013 was the real problem. It was cause by his back. But the extra power of the bigger head size might have helped him physically from the base line.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
You make some good points but your comparison is invalid, because you have essentially compared younger Federer with old racquet and older Federer with new racquet. There are too many variables to satisfactorily say that the compromises in his game that you speak of--touch, heaviness, and slice (in favour of raw ball speed, which in a way contradicts your heaviness claim)--are attributable to his racquet rather than to his age.

The best time to have made this comparison was when he first switched his racquet, but then you have as a variable the fact that it takes time for a player to get accustomed to a racquet. Ideally, you would have him switch between the 97 and the 90 and play enough matches with each against the same opponents over a few months to know for sure, but even then you still have to consider the fact that you can't switch like that regularly and still maintain a respectable level of play. So really, all of this is just conjecture.
 

beltsman

Legend
I agree in the conclusion but not the entire premise.

His serve has largely remained the same.

His FH has lost its bite and attacking power.

His BH is more stable.

His volleys are about the same.

The biggest problem is his FH losing its killing power. Also, you talk about power vs weight of ball...but weight = speed (power) + spin. I agree that theoretically the 97 gives more power, but in reality for his game it doesn't. The biggest problem with Federer's game is the lack of weight/power on the FH side. Although perhaps the 97 helped him to keep his back healthy by putting less stress on his shots...we don't know.

Agree re: slice.
 

I am the Greatest!

Professional
He'll be like a Sampras in his latter years. Less consistent but a better player when 'On'. But staying with the 90s is really a risk - he might have only reached one final instead of three, and even then, we don't know if he could have won against Novak. The only thing that I'm positive is that if the courts of Wimbledon was very fast and Roger had the 90s, then he could have won. Considering that the surface would favor a serve and volley game, which Federer is fond of nowadays, and having the 90s is beneficial due to a finer touch.
 

Fedinkum

Legend
The 97 has a butt cap compartment for tequilas. Racket switching has nothin to do with ball striking performance.

Unless that is Wilson's copy cat of Puma's Power Control System...racket balance shifts as the match progress.
 

user

Professional
Random Internet poster knows what's better for Federer than Federer himself, news at 11.
Yup.

Even IF it was true, there would be lots of talk instead about Federer being too stubborn and unable to win #19. :rolleyes:

What people fail to understand is the game is often not on Federer's racquet, whether it is 90 or 97.
 
First of all I'm pleasantly surprised to find positive comments from some who still believe in the 90.

If I can summarize my thoughts, I think if Fed continues to use the 90, his rankings might possibly drop dramatically, hence hurting his confidence. But as some mentioned, when he finds that occasional GOAT mode, we might have possibly witnessed an 18th GS victory.

On the hindsight, regardless 97 is an upgrade/downgrade from the 90 or just plain placebo effect, it actually did help Fed's game by It allowing him to reinvent his game by trying new things, which enabling him to consistently reach deep in tournaments. I do agree believe it's all what makes you feel good, what makes you feel confident, what makes you see the bright side of things.

To me, it's a 50/50, but my point is, Fed is a true artist in which he creates his brand of tennis (music) regardless of what equipment (instrument) he uses. True artistry will never be confined.

If GS #18 is what people are only interested in, 90 is a good but dangerous bet. staying relevant in the game, 97 is a shining example of that.
 

cockneyDjoker

Hall of Fame
He meant the racquet, not the time period. Although I struggle to imagine how Novak would win 18 with the likes of Sampras, Agassi, Becker and Courier on his case.
Yeah this is just Fed fans making every excuse they can. Also Djokovic v Sampras would've been my dream match.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
I'll never understand all the people who were clamoring for Federer to make the switch to the 97. For all the added "power" people were saying it would add to his game where has that gotten him? Lets focus on the 3 biggest difference between the 97 and the 90.

97 more power
90 heavier ball
90 more touch

People say Federer is serving better now than ever (probably the same blowhards that claim he is playing at or near his peak). Rewatching clips from Fed 2006 or 2007, I'd contend he hit more aces with the 90 then I've seen him hit in any match with the 97 (save maybe the Wimbledon semi against Murray). The 90 allowed for heavier balls and thus better angles on the serve allowing fed to hit crisper angles on his serve that opponents were unable to get their racquets on.

The added power hasn't really made a difference to the end result as an ace is an ace and it's not as if his ground strokes weren't already powerful enough. His returns are the same as they always been as he doesn't go for power on them and the fact is the game of tennis just is not suited to the power game any more so where exactly does the 97 grant him any advantage in this category?

The second biggest thing is that the 90 allowed for him to hit those trademark KNIFING slices that troubled opponents and forced them to the net. Couple that his ability to hit those crazy passing shots and you have a recipe for success we haven't seen employed since making the switch to the 97. And in terms of touch, his volleys were a little bit finer with the 90 and since we know how important that is to his game these days, you think it would have helped him especially at Wimbledon to stick with the racquet that gave him the best chance to win it.

The only advantage I see with the 97 is that he shanks less on his backhand side and doesn't make as many unforced errors. Now when he makes errors on his backhand it's because he is going for too much and the 97 doesn't allow for him to dip the ball back into the court as well as he used too, leading to him either hitting it long or into the net.

Had he stuck with the 90, he likely would have beat Djokovic at Wimby 14 as he did take the match to five sets and had he been able to hit the knifing slices that trouble Djokovic so much couple, come in behind them or force Djokovic to come in and make his volleys, coupled with some clean aces when he was in the lead/in trouble (as he's not hitting thru Djokovic with that 97), he likely would have been able to eek that match out and grab number 18.

The grander point is that the racquet change has not really helped him in any measurable way compared to his results with the 90 even only 4 years ago at Wimbeldon. He has had to retool his game to fit the racquet and his new game has proven incapable of being enough to get it done without being able to rely on his old weapons that worked against everyone but Nadal. Obviously its too late to go back to what worked now but the 97 might end up being a choice he admits to regretting someday well after he has retired.
Sorry brother you are off, first at this level every MPH MATTERS BIG, trust me. Second he doesn't shank nearly as much as he did before, he can also take more chances with BH. If Fed stayed with his 90 he wouldn't, I'm very sure have been so successful as he's been, stop and think, aside from Chocking two Djoko in GS finals, he's largely been number 2, and watch those matches again at Wimby and US Open, up until the final he played off the charts, his Semi with Murray was one of the greatest matches I've ever seen, IMO both guys giving literally 100%, Murray would have beat Djoko IMO or had a great chance you know what I mean, I've always wondered what it would be like for two greats to both be in the Zone at the same time, Murray/Fed semi was that, watch it tell me what mistakes they made, they didn't, Fed's just a bit better even at this age.

I grew up with 85, 90, love them, but with modern strings their really is no control advantage over a 97, not much slack some Lux powers in there and I have all the control I need, but I admit I miss my 90
 

cockneyDjoker

Hall of Fame
Djokovic would've beaten Sampras on slow courts, Sampras would have beaten Djokovic on fast courts. That's all there is to it, really..
Yeah this is mostly true. I think the H2H would be close but Sampras would never reach no1 due to Novak's consistency on all surfaces and Sampras not doing well on clay.

That's my take on it anyway.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
Yeah this is mostly true. I think the H2H would be close but Sampras would never reach no1 due to Novak's consistency on all surfaces and Sampras not doing well on clay.

That's my take on it anyway.
I tend to think Sampras would hold No. 1 because back in the 90s consistency wasn't as important as it is today; it was also harder to maintain consistency due to the vast difference in surfaces.

In my mind Novak would have a slightly better career than Agassi if they went up against each other but their H2H record would be closer.
 

cockneyDjoker

Hall of Fame
I tend to think Sampras would hold No. 1 because back in the 90s consistency wasn't as important as it is today; it was also harder to maintain consistency due to the vast difference in surfaces.

In my mind Novak would have a slightly better career than Agassi if they went up against each other but their H2H record would be closer.
One of the reasons it's important now is because of Novak. To become no1 now you need to win at least 2 slams and make the final of the other 2 and reach the final of every other tournament. That's how high Novak has set the bar. The rest of the tour right now maybe barring Murray are quite inconsistent. Look at the gap between Novak and Murray points wise. no reason why he wouldn't adapt in the 90s with the different court speeds.

As far as Agassi goes yes that would be a good match with similar styles.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
One of the reasons it's important now is because of Novak. To become no1 now you need to win at least 2 slams and make the final of the other 2 and reach the final of every other tournament. That's how high Novak has set the bar. The rest of the tour right now maybe barring Murray are quite inconsistent. Look at the gap between Novak and Murray points wise. no reason why he wouldn't adapt in the 90s with the different court speeds.

As far as Agassi goes yes that would be a good match with similar styles.
Well I'd say it's been important since Federer got to No. 1. Don't forget he had a huge point lead at one point too and I think he set the bar for Novak in 2015.

You also have to remember that the difference in surfaces supported upsets more back in the 90s. For example I could see Novak winning Wimbledon one year and going out in the quarters the next to a huge server like Krajicek or Philippoussis simply because of how the surfaces were oriented.
 

Urkezi

Semi-Pro
And one could say with fair certainty that Nole in the 90's wouldn't make it past Sampras at US Open or Wimbledon, he'd be outed by any of the Kuerten, Moya, Kafelnikov, Agassi, Bruguera, Muster or Courier at the Roland Garros, and while he'd probably have the easiest route to victory there, he'd still have a very hard time in the 90's at Australian Open with Edberg while the surface was still fast, and then with Courier and Agassi when it slowed down.

But yes, if you started watching tennis in 2015 and saw Nole take advantage of the old age and body failure of his closest rivals, develop his "great all-surface play" (when in fact he plays the same on all surfaces) and destroy the Andy "new generation's Roddick" Murray, then it is understandable you think he is the only guy to ever play tennis well...
 

Roddick85

Hall of Fame
I think the OP makes a lot of good points. The 90 was tailor made for Roger's game that relies on touch/finesse as opposed to raw power. The overbeaten argument about shanking is a pretty weak one. It's as if people think a shanked shot with the 90 turned into a straight winner with the 97 because the racquet face is bigger? Ridiculous. For all the shanks he had with the 90, you get about as many overpowered/uncontrolled shot with the 97, so in the end, it evens out. I do believe the serve was better with the 90 as well. The only thing I don't agree with the OP is on the volleys. I find he punches the volley better with the 97 than he did with the 90, but that could also be the Edberg effect.

The 97 + Edberg allowed Federer to do a mental reset after a disastrous 2013. While some of the blame was put on the 90, I think the back injury and everything else that followed after that (lack of match play, playing injured, loss of confidence) are a lot more to blame for the lackluster season. Federer was fortunate enough to re-invent himself in 2014 and be a factor again, but I think he could of done so without changing frame and results would of probably been as good if not better than what they are.
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
You have two factors that combine for a startling effect and this might have contributed to the opening post. Federer's ageing and the racquet's lower racquet head speed have made it looks like a 'not-so-stellar' choice.

The point is, as @phnx90 put it above, there is a danger of convoluting matters. Federer is doing those thigns because he's aged, not necessarily because his new racquet forces him to.
 

snr

Semi-Pro
I'm curious on what OP means by heavier ball. Why would the 90 produce a "heavier" ball? Heck, how does one define that?
While I agree with much of the post, I can't agree with this. If the 97 was lighter sure, but its just as (if not more) hefty. Assuming that Fed can adjust his RHS to match what it was before despite the thicker beam and aero dynamics etc. (I know we're getting technical), why would the 97 produce a ball that's any less heavy?
 

Service Ace

Hall of Fame
You make some good points but your comparison is invalid, because you have essentially compared younger Federer with old racquet and older Federer with new racquet. There are too many variables to satisfactorily say that the compromises in his game that you speak of--touch, heaviness, and slice (in favour of raw ball speed, which in a way contradicts your heaviness claim)--are attributable to his racquet rather than to his age.

The best time to have made this comparison was when he first switched his racquet, but then you have as a variable the fact that it takes time for a player to get accustomed to a racquet. Ideally, you would have him switch between the 97 and the 90 and play enough matches with each against the same opponents over a few months to know for sure, but even then you still have to consider the fact that you can't switch like that regularly and still maintain a respectable level of play. So really, all of this is just conjecture.
I knew this point would come up and yes, his footwork and speed have all declined and his errors can't all be blamed on his racquet. But the larger point is that the racquet switch has NOTICEABLY made him have to change his style of play. I'd contend his old style of play is better suited to winning at the highest levels (a serving, touch and angle game) then the game he is using now (power) which is neither suited to the times nor his proclivities.

Also, as someone else mentioned, raw ball speed and heaviness are separate attributes generated by different factors.

And yes, it's all just conjecture. Welcome to the internet :)

Random Internet poster knows what's better for Federer than Federer himself, news at 11.
Learn what it means to have an opinion kid and maybe one day you'll become smart enough to have one of your own

I agree in the conclusion but not the entire premise.

His serve has largely remained the same.

His FH has lost its bite and attacking power.

His BH is more stable.

His volleys are about the same.

The biggest problem is his FH losing its killing power. Also, you talk about power vs weight of ball...but weight = speed (power) + spin. I agree that theoretically the 97 gives more power, but in reality for his game it doesn't. The biggest problem with Federer's game is the lack of weight/power on the FH side. Although perhaps the 97 helped him to keep his back healthy by putting less stress on his shots...we don't know.

Agree re: slice.
Agree about FH, BH, Volleys (lost some touch though, where did his half volleys go?)

Also agree that in reality the 97 hasn't given him more power. He was already one of the hardest hitters on the tour!

Yes to weight = spin + power. He has gained a bit more power at the expense of spin (and ultimately placement), not worth it imo.

He'll be like a Sampras in his latter years. Less consistent but a better player when 'On'. But staying with the 90s is really a risk - he might have only reached one final instead of three, and even then, we don't know if he could have won against Novak. The only thing that I'm positive is that if the courts of Wimbledon was very fast and Roger had the 90s, then he could have won. Considering that the surface would favor a serve and volley game, which Federer is fond of nowadays, and having the 90s is beneficial due to a finer touch.
This is really what it comes down to. Even on the slowed down surface, his peak level would be enough to get it done on grass as his serve AND volleys would be crisper when on. You aren't beating Djokovic by hitting through him but he is susceptible to slice (how Nadal beat him in 2013) and junk (Murray 2013) and hitting for clean winners (Wawrinka) and these are all thing's the 90 allowed Fed to do at the highest level. What exactly has the 97 added except more stability on the backhand side? Nothing he can damage Djokovic with, that's for sure.

Yeah this is just Fed fans making every excuse they can. Also Djokovic v Sampras would've been my dream match.
The fact that you couldn't even understand the context of the topic because you didn't know what a 90 is should preclude you from having an opinion, much less act a smug as you do. Glad you finally started watching tennis in 2011 though. Welcome to the grown ups club.

Sorry brother you are off, first at this level every MPH MATTERS BIG, trust me. Second he doesn't shank nearly as much as he did before, he can also take more chances with BH. If Fed stayed with his 90 he wouldn't, I'm very sure have been so successful as he's been, stop and think, aside from Chocking two Djoko in GS finals, he's largely been number 2, and watch those matches again at Wimby and US Open, up until the final he played off the charts, his Semi with Murray was one of the greatest matches I've ever seen, IMO both guys giving literally 100%, Murray would have beat Djoko IMO or had a great chance you know what I mean, I've always wondered what it would be like for two greats to both be in the Zone at the same time, Murray/Fed semi was that, watch it tell me what mistakes they made, they didn't, Fed's just a bit better even at this age.

I grew up with 85, 90, love them, but with modern strings their really is no control advantage over a 97, not much slack some Lux powers in there and I have all the control I need, but I admit I miss my 90
I've played people that play at that level so I'm going to disagree. After a certain level, everyone can hit the ball big. Extra MPHs does not make a difference unless you can keep the ball in the court which the 97 is not helping him do. Also, the power game today is less important than it's been since the 80s so why exactly the need to add more power? Also, Fed was already one of the most powerful guys on the tour with the 90 so again, why the need for more power? Murray is a bad example to measure Fed's game against because frankly Murray is his pigeon and Fed looks good playing him whenever the two meet up. And if you think you don't lose any control switching to a bigger frame, you must not understand the mechanics of a racket as well as you think you do. The more strings the ball contacts on impact, the more control. Plain and simple.

I'm curious on what OP means by heavier ball. Why would the 90 produce a "heavier" ball? Heck, how does one define that?
While I agree with much of the post, I can't agree with this. If the 97 was lighter sure, but its just as (if not more) hefty. Assuming that Fed can adjust his RHS to match what it was before despite the thicker beam and aero dynamics etc. (I know we're getting technical), why would the 97 produce a ball that's any less heavy?
The ball contacts less strings on impact with the 97 than it does the 90 so it doesn't generate as many RPMs. With the smaller head of the 90, the strings are more densely near together, hence a denser shot. The 97 has more power because more energy is transferred into the ball when it rebounds off the larger surface of the string bed.
 
I knew this point would come up and yes, his footwork and speed have all declined and his errors can't all be blamed on his racquet. But the larger point is that the racquet switch has NOTICEABLY made him have to change his style of play. I'd contend his old style of play is better suited to winning at the highest levels (a serving, touch and angle game) then the game he is using now (power) which is neither suited to the times nor his proclivities.

Also, as someone else mentioned, raw ball speed and heaviness are separate attributes generated by different factors.

And yes, it's all just conjecture. Welcome to the internet :)



Learn what it means to have an opinion kid and maybe one day you'll become smart enough to have one of your own



Agree about FH, BH, Volleys (lost some touch though, where did his half volleys go?)

Also agree that in reality the 97 hasn't given him more power. He was already one of the hardest hitters on the tour!

Yes to weight = spin + power. He has gained a bit more power at the expense of spin (and ultimately placement), not worth it imo.



This is really what it comes down to. Even on the slowed down surface, his peak level would be enough to get it done on grass as his serve AND volleys would be crisper when on. You aren't beating Djokovic by hitting through him but he is susceptible to slice (how Nadal beat him in 2013) and junk (Murray 2013) and hitting for clean winners (Wawrinka) and these are all thing's the 90 allowed Fed to do at the highest level. What exactly has the 97 added except more stability on the backhand side? Nothing he can damage Djokovic with, that's for sure.



The fact that you couldn't even understand the context of the topic because you didn't know what a 90 is should preclude you from having an opinion, much less act a smug as you do. Glad you finally started watching tennis in 2011 though. Welcome to the grown ups club.



I've played people that play at that level so I'm going to disagree. After a certain level, everyone can hit the ball big. Extra MPHs does not make a difference unless you can keep the ball in the court which the 97 is not helping him do. Also, the power game today is less important than it's been since the 80s so why exactly the need to add more power? Also, Fed was already one of the most powerful guys on the tour with the 90 so again, why the need for more power? Murray is a bad example to measure Fed's game against because frankly Murray is his pigeon and Fed looks good playing him whenever the two meet up. And if you think you don't lose any control switching to a bigger frame, you must not understand the mechanics of a racket as well as you think you do. The more strings the ball contacts on impact, the more control. Plain and simple.



The ball contacts less strings on impact with the 97 than it does the 90 so it doesn't generate as many RPMs. With the smaller head of the 90, the strings are more densely near together, hence a denser shot. The 97 has more power because more energy is transferred into the ball when it rebounds off the larger surface of the string bed.
+1, those who owns a 90 will agree on the pinpoint accuracy it produces with just the right amount of raw, unadulterated and natural power translated from a well prepared stroke and timed with proper technique. Somehow boxed beamed frames will contribute to that feeling. How consistent can one reproduce over and over again is another story.

The 97 feels good compared to other racquets but just had that restricted feeling when compared to the 90. How Fed can still preserve his serve quality with that racquet is already an achievement on its own. If you were to watch back his PS 85 and 90 days you'd noticed how much his forehand has changed, especially when using the 97.

I know this might sound controversial: but check out Fed's 2002 Davis cup match video in YouTube against Safin. His backhand with a ps85 is more potent and is doing more damage than his forehand on a yep, clay court.
 

I am the Greatest!

Professional
One of the reasons it's important now is because of Novak. To become no1 now you need to win at least 2 slams and make the final of the other 2 and reach the final of every other tournament. That's how high Novak has set the bar. The rest of the tour right now maybe barring Murray are quite inconsistent. Look at the gap between Novak and Murray points wise. no reason why he wouldn't adapt in the 90s with the different court speeds.

As far as Agassi goes yes that would be a good match with similar styles.
Novak 'could' and 'might' have adapted but the question is, 'would' he? And then another question is that would he be that successful? It's like saying, I'll get a high grade on the exam tomorrow. The question is, can I? Big difference. The only thing we know is that he haven't served and volleyed himself to a slam victory. I also do believe that Novak could have adapted, but he never really showed us that he would. So if we transport him back in time, I'm more inclined to still put his playstyle as it is. No change.

And no, one of the reasons that it is important now is not because of Novak. Novak is not the one who set the trend of consistency. You might have forced yourself to forget that it is Federer who set the highest standards in modern tennis. It is Federer whose everyone is chasing right now. ;)
 
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The Fedfather

Hall of Fame
Go to 3:45, Federer talks a bit about how the 97 change helped with some aspects of his game.
He says that because the 97 gives him easier power on the serve he's been serving more consistently which I agree with. Federer in 2006 could hit a lot of aces but he also often hit pretty average serves into the middle of the service box and overall his serve wasn't as consistently good as it's been in the last one and a half years (bar some off days). Granted, the serve wasn't nearly as important for Federer in 2006 as it is now and he's obviously been working on it a lot in recent years so you could argue the racquet change wasn't a factor in the improvement. However, Federer feels that it helped and I'm inclined to believe him.

The FH though is truly the one that got away.:(
 
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Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
No sorry, disagree. When Djokovic around in top form, Federer no chance to win slam. Djokovic playing highest level of tennis which Rafa confirm. When Nole playing like that high level, no chance for Federer as saw by Wimbledon and US open final. Nole now beat Federer 4 continusouly, including 3 finals.

No player history played at level as Nole.
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
I knew this point would come up and yes, his footwork and speed have all declined and his errors can't all be blamed on his racquet. But the larger point is that the racquet switch has NOTICEABLY made him have to change his style of play. I'd contend his old style of play is better suited to winning at the highest levels (a serving, touch and angle game) then the game he is using now (power) which is neither suited to the times nor his proclivities.

Also, as someone else mentioned, raw ball speed and heaviness are separate attributes generated by different factors.

And yes, it's all just conjecture. Welcome to the internet :)



Learn what it means to have an opinion kid and maybe one day you'll become smart enough to have one of your own



Agree about FH, BH, Volleys (lost some touch though, where did his half volleys go?)

Also agree that in reality the 97 hasn't given him more power. He was already one of the hardest hitters on the tour!

Yes to weight = spin + power. He has gained a bit more power at the expense of spin (and ultimately placement), not worth it imo.



This is really what it comes down to. Even on the slowed down surface, his peak level would be enough to get it done on grass as his serve AND volleys would be crisper when on. You aren't beating Djokovic by hitting through him but he is susceptible to slice (how Nadal beat him in 2013) and junk (Murray 2013) and hitting for clean winners (Wawrinka) and these are all thing's the 90 allowed Fed to do at the highest level. What exactly has the 97 added except more stability on the backhand side? Nothing he can damage Djokovic with, that's for sure.



The fact that you couldn't even understand the context of the topic because you didn't know what a 90 is should preclude you from having an opinion, much less act a smug as you do. Glad you finally started watching tennis in 2011 though. Welcome to the grown ups club.



I've played people that play at that level so I'm going to disagree. After a certain level, everyone can hit the ball big. Extra MPHs does not make a difference unless you can keep the ball in the court which the 97 is not helping him do. Also, the power game today is less important than it's been since the 80s so why exactly the need to add more power? Also, Fed was already one of the most powerful guys on the tour with the 90 so again, why the need for more power? Murray is a bad example to measure Fed's game against because frankly Murray is his pigeon and Fed looks good playing him whenever the two meet up. And if you think you don't lose any control switching to a bigger frame, you must not understand the mechanics of a racket as well as you think you do. The more strings the ball contacts on impact, the more control. Plain and simple.



The ball contacts less strings on impact with the 97 than it does the 90 so it doesn't generate as many RPMs. With the smaller head of the 90, the strings are more densely near together, hence a denser shot. The 97 has more power because more energy is transferred into the ball when it rebounds off the larger surface of the string bed.
Learn what it means to have a molecule of credibility before you think your opinion is better than professionals who earn tons of money doing it.
 

Service Ace

Hall of Fame
Learn what it means to have a molecule of credibility before you think your opinion is better than professionals who earn tons of money doing it.
Lol at you attacking my opinion while having none of your own. You're the definition of mindless.

And I guarantee I have a greater tennis acumen and IQ than you so why don't you run along back to your sandbox and stick your head in it where belongs.
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
Lol at you attacking my opinion while having none of your own. You're the definition of mindless.

And I guarantee I have a greater tennis acumen and IQ than you so why don't you run along back to your sandbox and stick your head in it where belongs.
Facts > opinion
Fact: You're a nobody in the tennis world and it's a joke that you think you know what's best for Roger Federer more than he and all his well compensated advisors, fellow pros etc.
 
Seems to me like a move that had to be made (and should have been made before he was already like 32). I guess I see your point about how it may have yielded another major because of greater control with the smaller head, but I think the gains vastly outweigh the losses. I think the larger frame has helped him to get the job done more quickly, by and large. Without it, he may not have progressed to the finals at those majors in the first place. It's beyond remarkable that he got back to a sustained position near the top. I thought it was 50-50 that his career might have been in free fall a couple of years ago. 97 helped, IMO.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
The ball contacts less strings on impact with the 97 than it does the 90 so it doesn't generate as many RPMs. With the smaller head of the 90, the strings are more densely near together, hence a denser shot. The 97 has more power because more energy is transferred into the ball when it rebounds off the larger surface of the string bed.
You have this backwards.

I kinda guessed what we were dealing with when I read the first post of the thread.
 

WarrenMP

Professional
Seems to me like a move that had to be made (and should have been made before he was already like 32). I guess I see your point about how it may have yielded another major because of greater control with the smaller head, but I think the gains vastly outweigh the losses. I think the larger frame has helped him to get the job done more quickly, by and large. Without it, he may not have progressed to the finals at those majors in the first place. It's beyond remarkable that he got back to a sustained position near the top. I thought it was 50-50 that his career might have been in free fall a couple of years ago. 97 helped, IMO.
In addition, Federer is now playing with the same style of racquet as his competitors. I believe he was one of the few with a small head size. I know his game is tailored to the 90 PS, but that is why they blended a powerful racquet with how his 90 PS performed.
 
In addition, Federer is now playing with the same style of racquet as his competitors. I believe he was one of the few with a small head size. I know his game is tailored to the 90 PS, but that is why they blended a powerful racquet with how his 90 PS performed.
What is the average frame size on the tour? Because I have a sense that he's still middle of the pack there. It was a huge concession to leave the 90 behind (that obstinacy was key to his success), and I think they tinkered for like six months to arrive at something acceptable. Seems to have given him confidence that was starting to wane. In that video that someone posted above, he acknowledges that it may have helped him on clay against Nadal in all those losses. The thing about it is, part of what endears him to his fans is the fact that there are elements of his game that are carry-overs from another time. So, it's definitely a stylistic trade-off. But I think it's extended the success a little. Sampras regretted not going to a larger frame late in his career.
 
Sigh. So a thread about Federer's success in the last two years again became a goat thread, this time about Sampras and Djokovic. General Pro Player Discussion is becoming unreadable these days. Better to stick to Pro Match Results. The specificity of the discussion encourages greater nuance, more variety, and less groundless speculation about eternity.
 
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