Federer played poor strategy yesterday

SublimeTennis

Professional
This is no excuse for Federer, so let me pre-empt those who will say that I am favoring Federer no matter what, but listen to this, then watch the match and tell me if you don't agree.

Also, yes, the best of the best can still play with poor strategy.

When Fed would go mid-court or to the net, he almost always did it all wrong. To go forward these days, you MUST hit a shot where your opponent is in a bad position to return, AND THEN move forward. So in rallies Fed would move Nole to a awkward position, but not come forward. Watch what happens when he moves Nole to an awkward position then moves forward, he wins the point every time and easy. On the other hand, Fed would just feed a ball to Novak's forehand or backhand then come forward, this is suicide, of course he would get passed. It was SO FRUSTRATING, I'm through with Federer and I'm a huge fan.

Secondly, you don't baseline with a baseliner! Novak, if left alone at the baseline, is unbeatable, no man can take him, period. But Federer tried. They gave the stats, it was like 66-33 Fed in over 4 shot baseline rallies, of course! Yet there was Fed, standing 5 feet behind the baseline to Novak being AT the baseline, of course Novak was going to get him.

That being said, strategy is part of the game, and NOVAK WON, no excuses here, but yea I'm tired of the frustration, I believe Fed had his chance but didn't execute it, it's just too frustrating. Very fun match though, on the edge of my seat the whole time, can't believe Fed came back from 2-5.

Last point/question; Did it seem to you that Fed was asleep the last set? What was that? Was it just regular play compared to the 4th set? Just seemed the tempo went way down on both sides, were they tired?

One thing no Fed fan can complain about was Feds serve! Whoa! What did he end with, 30 aces! Over 71% first serves in? But yea, can't watch Fed anymore, it's just too frustrating, I mean I felt sick yesterday.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
I feel sick reading this post. It wasn't a perfect match, but look he is playing. And, hey, he only lost 4-6 in the 5th...
 

10sGrinder

New User
Yes, it seemed Fed went to sleep! It was kind of wierd and anti-climatical the way it ended. And I agree with your strategy assessment. But it seems Sampras used that same strategy to much more effect - the little chip and then come to the net and put the pressure on the opponent. Maybe in Sampras's day, the players weren't as accurate as Novak?? Or maybe Fed's chips were way too short?
Good observation though. I wonder what Edberg thought about those approach shots!
 

courtking

Semi-Pro
I think Fed hit too many balls to Nole backhand.. he should attack Nole forehand 8 out of 10 times rather attack his backhand... That was a costly mistake IMHO..
 
Federer managed to stretch Nole on a lot of points, Nole was forced to dump back a midcoart floater, but Federer was hesitant to come in on those. Instead, he hit a (weak) approach shot on the floater and then got passed, numerous times. :mad:
 

Magnus

Legend
Fed played a decent match, nothing close to his glory days, but still decent. He's got much to improve, but I doubt he can at this stage of his career.
 

Murrayfan31

Hall of Fame
What can you do when you have a weak backhand? Makes the gameplan a little more complicated. I liked that Djokovic hit topspin forehands to Fed's backhand similar to what Nadal does.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
Federer managed to stretch Nole on a lot of points, Nole was forced to dump back a midcoart floater, but Federer was hesitant to come in on those. Instead, he hit a (weak) approach shot on the floater and then got passed, numerous times. :mad:
Yea I think that's what I was saying.

To the guy above, I understand, seems like I'm nit-picking, but really I'm not. Read what I wrote, watch the match again, you'll see if Fed went forward when Nole was out of position it would have been much more profitable, also as this person says just hitting to a backhand or forehand when Nole is IN position, going forward is suicide.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
Fed played a decent match, nothing close to his glory days, but still decent. He's got much to improve, but I doubt he can at this stage of his career.
Actually I thought he was a monster, yet not like the old days for sure, but even without the benefit of youth he could still implement good strategy.

I thought that fourth set was insane, did you see Feds face? Looked like he was yelling at Nole, he was super pumped up.

Also, GREAT to see that serve!
 
Actually I thought he was a monster, yet not like the old days for sure, but even without the benefit of youth he could still implement good strategy.

I thought that fourth set was insane, did you see Feds face? Looked like he was yelling at Nole, he was super pumped up.

Also, GREAT to see that serve!
Yup, that 4th set was HUGE! It's been a long while since I was this pumped up watching his matches! Too bad the hesitations took over in 5th.
 

Nickzor

Semi-Pro
He's just very well beyond his prime, which is upsetting for all of us older Federer fans who have followed him since 2004- (I'm not exactly old, I'm 22 but you get what i mean when i say US OLDER fans), He used to be such a beast from the baseline, hitting winners left, right and center like it was nothing for him, on his forehand and and also his backhand, his backhand used to be much much better, people used to say he had one of the best one handers of all time, but since about 2008-2009 he just can't seem to hit winners of that end anymore, and in yesterdays final against Djokovic, Federer just couldn't hit any good shots from the baseline it seemed, I remember the match pretty clearly and i could swear he has about TWO winners from the baseline and that was because Novak fell over both times lol, and he kept running into the net with a training drill like backhand slice and Djokovic passed him about 90% of the time, I'm guessing Edberg told him to do this to pressure Novak to go for the error, maybe that tactic worked back in the 80's and 90's but these days its different and against Djokovic or Nadal for example.. its suicide

I understand that these days Federer can't dominate everyone from the baseline like he used to be able to, his shots seem weaker, his backhand has become soo unreliable (it really did used to be a hell of a shot, tennis fans here who started watching him back in 2004-2007 wouldn't disagree with me on this one), so know he needs to do things differently, the new style of play he now has to employ to play against Novak (as seen in yesterdays final) just didn't seem to work, I mean hell he got a bit lucky to win the 4th set, Djokovic took a nap on the court toward the end of the 4th set
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
What can you do when you have a weak backhand?
Didn't Novak hit almost as many UEs on the BH side as Roger? Don't have a final count on that but for total UEs, Novak hit 27 compared to 29 for Federer. OTOH, it appears that Roger hit a total of 75 winners compared to 68 for Novak.
 

droliver

Professional
He was actually fairly effective % wise on approaches to the net. Nole is just that good that he still can be effective despite good approaches on grass. Federer's strategy was fine. He lost to the current best player in the world by a whisker in 5 close sets.
 
For a man whose former level ability has long left his body, he played exceptionally well. Do not mistake this remark as a knock on Novak's competition. Federer made his way to the finally soundly beating his opponents with what little of his game he can control these days. That's the mark of a strong competitor. Novak simply had the better game yesterday and outplayed Federer on crucial points.

It's quite tiring reading excuses people come up with when someone loses. Their knees we'd bad, they were injured, they're old, etc. If you have an issue playing, DON'T STEP ON THE COURT THAT DAY. The minute a player agrees to a match, they are eligible for any win or defeat that comes their way.

Apologists are the many on here who wish to take away from the victories of the countless victories accomplished by Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and all others. It's even more disgusting on the rare occasions when the players themselves must discount their defeats with excuses of injuries. If you're to hurt to play, don't ****ing play. Quit being a sore loser. All the listed above have been guilty of this in the past.
 

Murrayfan31

Hall of Fame
Didn't Novak hit almost as many UEs on the BH side as Roger? Don't have a final count on that but for total UEs, Novak hit 27 compared to 29 for Federer. OTOH, it appears that Roger hit a total of 75 winners compared to 68 for Novak.
Djokovic hits his backhand flatter and harder. I'm pretty sure most of Fed's winners came from aces and forehand winner.
 

Murrayfan31

Hall of Fame
It's getting tiring hearing people whine about other people. Just accept that you aren't going to like everything you hear on this forum.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic hits his backhand flatter and harder. I'm pretty sure most of Fed's winners came from aces and forehand winner.
I believe that only a couple of Novak's rally BHs were hit for winners. However, he did hit quite a few passing shots with his BH. Roger hit quite a number of BH volley winners (at least a half dozen compared to about 3 for Novak). He hit a couple of really nice passing shot winners on his BH side as well. But yes, most of Roger's winners came from the FH side -- g'strokes, approach shots, overheads, and some FH volleys. I believe that aces are normally counted separately from "winners" in the stats.
 

kishnabe

Talk Tennis Guru
I think the only bad strategy was the amount of chip and charge. He can play with Djokovic on the baseline....as long as he is aggressive and catching Novak off guard.
 

Supertegwyn

Hall of Fame
I believe that only a couple of Novak's rally BHs were hit for winners. However, he did hit quite a few passing shots with his BH. Roger hit quite a number of BH volley winners (at least a half dozen compared to about 3 for Novak). He hit a couple of really nice passing shot winners on his BH side as well. But yes, most of Roger's winners came from the FH side -- g'strokes, approach shots, overheads, and some FH volleys. I believe that aces are normally counted separately from "winners" in the stats.
No, an ace counts as a winner in the stats. That's why even though Federer had more winners that stat was boosted by his 27(?) Aces in the match. Djokovic had more winners on the ground than Federer.
 

Mick

Legend
Federer played one bad game in the 5th set and it was all over for him. Had it been Djokovic who had done that, Federer would have been the victor.
 

90's Clay

Banned
I think Fed would have been better off just staying aggressive from the baseline and going for broke from there and come in on the Nole lunges and put the balls away instead of some of those senseless chip and charges he did. He was out of position on many of those at the net
 

RF_fan

Semi-Pro
On many points Fed played high percentage, and was too careful. Especially on Novak's serve. And then he wonders he couldn't get a break for 3 sets. When he got aggressive, he came back from 2:5 in the 4th. He made a lot of stupid net approaches. His 1st. serve went off in the 5th set, when he really needed it.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Whatever went wrong with Federer, one thing is certain and that is from the very beginning of the match Djokovic played infinitely better than previously in the tournament.

His return neutralised Federer's serve, but it was not vice-versa as Federer struggled to hold serve. It alway looked like Djokovic's match for the first three sets.

Alas, I fell asleep at that point.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
No, an ace counts as a winner in the stats. That's why even though Federer had more winners that stat was boosted by his 27(?) Aces in the match. Djokovic had more winners on the ground than Federer.
It's not that straightforward since tennis statisticians appear to use different standards and different definitions. Usually, service winners and aces are 2 different numbers. An ace is a serve that is hit so well that the returner cannot get their racket on the ball. A service winner is a serve that is hit well enough to elicit a hit from the returner that is a forced error.

When talking about winners, we need to specify what type of winner we are talking about. We can have rally winners, service winners, return winners, etc. It is common to refer to total winners when taking aces into account. For the Wimbledon site match stats:

Total Winners = Rally Winners + Aces + Service Winners + Return Winners
Novak's total winners = 44 + 13 + 5 + 6 = 68
Roger's total winners = 41 + 29 + 4 + 1 = 75


Total Points Won = Serve Pts Won + Return Pts Won
Novak's total pts won = 122 + 64 = 186
Roger's total pts won = 128 + 52 = 180


As expected, these stats reveal that Roger earned a higher % of his pts from serves while Novak earned more return pts than Roger. These numbers also reveal that the match was very close in the number of points won by each. But, of course, it doesn't tell the whole story. It is possible for a player to earn more total points and still lose a match.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
He was actually fairly effective % wise on approaches to the net. Nole is just that good that he still can be effective despite good approaches on grass. Federer's strategy was fine. He lost to the current best player in the world by a whisker in 5 close sets.
I was trying to make a specific point, and if you re-watch the match, look for exactly what I said. Whenever Fed just hit it to Djokovich then came forward, he was passed, however, and this is basic serve and volley technique, when he got Novak out of position THEN came in, he got the point, you can't miss it.

I mean it was suicide, amazing that someone of Feds experience would do what he did. He hits right to Novaks forehand or backhand, Novak has plenty of time and is in position, then Fed comes forward??? Of course he gets passed.

I don't want to take anything away from Djokovich, let's say it wouldn't make any difference in the outcome to stave off those who will claim this is sour grapes, but yea watch it, it's amazing really.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
Whatever went wrong with Federer, one thing is certain and that is from the very beginning of the match Djokovic played infinitely better than previously in the tournament.

His return neutralised Federer's serve, but it was not vice-versa as Federer struggled to hold serve. It alway looked like Djokovic's match for the first three sets.

Alas, I fell asleep at that point.
I agree. I was waiting for him to fall apart, but he was always there, consistent.
 
It's not that straightforward since tennis statisticians appear to use different standards and different definitions. Usually, service winners and aces are 2 different numbers. An ace is a serve that is hit so well that the returner cannot get their racket on the ball. A service winner is a serve that is hit well enough to elicit a hit from the returner that is a forced error.

When talking about winners, we need to specify what type of winner we are talking about. We can have rally winners, service winners, return winners, etc. It is common to refer to total winners when taking aces into account. For the Wimbledon site match stats:

Total Winners = Rally Winners + Aces + Service Winners + Return Winners
Novak's total winners = 44 + 13 + 5 + 6 = 68
Roger's total winners = 41 + 29 + 4 + 1 = 75


Total Points Won = Serve Pts Won + Return Pts Won
Novak's total pts won = 122 + 64 = 186
Roger's total pts won = 128 + 52 = 180


As expected, these stats reveal that Roger earned a higher % of his pts from serves while Novak earned more return pts than Roger. These numbers also reveal that the match was very close in the number of points won by each. But, of course, it doesn't tell the whole story. It is possible for a player to earn more total points and still lose a match.
Check the Wimbledon site stats, click "rally stats", and you get on ground strokes tab:

Federer FH: winners (10), forced errors (26), unforced errors (6)
Federer BH: winners (0), forced errors (10), unforced errors (10)

Djokovic FH: winners (17), forced errors (18 ), unforced errors (13)
Djokovic BH: winners (2), forced errors (11), unforced errors (9)

So Federer only managed to get 10 FH winners! AND Djokovic was able to force 26 forced errors on the Federer FH. Those errors were IMO due to Federer's slowed down movement to his right. The match was IMO decided on this, his weakened FH and bad movement to cover the CC balls to his FH side. That was the go-to pattern for Djokovic, pressuring that weak movement to FH. In Federer's prime nobody could've been able to destroy Federer's FH the way Djokovic now did.
 

scotus

G.O.A.T.
Roger has not regained the volleyer's instinct, something that he had in ample amount when he was young.

Great volleyers such as Edberg, Rafter, etc., would instinctively know (or at least guess) where the next ball is going and react quickly to cover the passing shot.

Fed often looked like a sitting duck with no lateral movement at the net. Of course, he did hit some good volleys, and yes, his volleys have improved a lot since Edberg took over. Nonetheless, he has yet to regain the volleyer's instinct at the net and I wonder if he ever will.
 

pjonesy

Professional
I think Fed hit too many balls to Nole backhand.. he should attack Nole forehand 8 out of 10 times rather attack his backhand... That was a costly mistake IMHO..
I think you are correct. With time to hit it, Djoker's forehand is better. But it's a longer stroke, more room to mishit it when he is rushed and/or the ball is low.
 

pjonesy

Professional
Roger has not regained the volleyer's instinct, something that he had in ample amount when he was young.

Great volleyers such as Edberg, Rafter, etc., would instinctively know (or at least guess) where the next ball is going and react quickly to cover the passing shot.

Fed often looked like a sitting duck with no lateral movement at the net. Of course, he did hit some good volleys, and yes, his volleys have improved a lot since Edberg took over. Nonetheless, he has yet to regain the volleyer's instinct at the net and I wonder if he ever will.
Yeah, this is something I noticed as well. Do you think it's the pressure to hit an effective 1st volley? Sure, Djoker has some of the greatest passing shots in history. But should any player be able to dig out 3 or 4 volleys and have the balance to hit a passing shot on grass? Many times it seemed like Roger was hoping the 1st volley would be enough and I think that is the wrong attitude for an aggressive player at Wimbledon. Federer did seem to be on his heels at the net at times during the match. Sampras was coming in and not stopping until he won the point, got passed or missed. He was always ready for the next shot. I'm not saying he was going to make the next volley, but he was always ready.
 
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Bartelby

Bionic Poster
You can't approach on a topspin forehand in contemporary tennis and not expect to be passed even if your lateral movement is first class.


Roger has not regained the volleyer's instinct, something that he had in ample amount when he was young.

Great volleyers such as Edberg, Rafter, etc., would instinctively know (or at least guess) where the next ball is going and react quickly to cover the passing shot.

Fed often looked like a sitting duck with no lateral movement at the net. Of course, he did hit some good volleys, and yes, his volleys have improved a lot since Edberg took over. Nonetheless, he has yet to regain the volleyer's instinct at the net and I wonder if he ever will.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
OK, I just watched a replay of the match.

I want you to watch the entire match again. It's just like I said (Screaming at the TV during the match), EVERYTIME Fed hit when Novak was in position he got passed, EVERYTIME he drew Novak out or into a bad position and came in he got the shot, it's so clear, especially watching it a second time and looking for it.

Either Edberg is a TERRIBLE coach or Fed didn't listen to him, to me this is so obvious. Even I, who like to come forward never do it unless I think my opponent is going to struggle to get the ball, how could Fed make such a terrible tactical error?

One other thing I noticed, and yea you can say I'm nitpicking, but these little things make all the difference in a match like this. Fed's slices, for the most part were high and deep, all that does is give a soft ball for Novak to crush. If you watch, look for the few times Fed gives his old slice, very low and shallow, Novak is forced forward and has to pop it up, right into Feds hands.

Lastly, I agree with Novak, he played his best tennis, very difficult to beat no matter what Fed did, he played near flawless.
 
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