Federer's backhand down the line improved?

Since the losses to Nadal at the French Open and other clay court matches...it seems to me that Federer is hitting more winners or forced errors with his backhand....I have never seen him strike the ball that well...also, he is using the backhand down the line more often now...is that so he can use it as a weapon against Nadal in preperation for 2007?
 
I do agree that his backhand has become more consistent (I used to half-expect an error everytime the ball went to that wing), but when the balls are bouncing to shoulder height or above (Nadal on clay), a one-handed backhand is going to produce a lot of errors.
 
I do agree that his backhand has become more consistent (I used to half-expect an error everytime the ball went to that wing), but when the balls are bouncing to shoulder height or above (Nadal on clay), a one-handed backhand is going to produce a lot of errors.
That is very true, so i guess one area to work on would be to take that shot earlier or on the rise more....again, it might lead to more mishits to begin with...but if you can imagine Federer taking the ball on the rise on the backhand...is there any hope for anyone ;) but the backhand down the line which he used to good effect against Nadal in Shanghai will do serve him well next year..unless Nadal can find a way to put extra top spin on his shots :p
 

CanadianChic

Hall of Fame
I think since Fed is working on improving his backhand, Nadal is going to start really alternating corners. Federer is getting better from his position but if Nadal wants to break him, it'll have to be by running him on the backhand. :)
 

crazylevity

Hall of Fame
I still remember the days when posters on this forum, myself included, observed that Federer almost never hit 3 drive topspin backhands in a row. He would revert to a slice, or he would make an error. I believe this tournament has been a revelation for Federer's backhand. He hit as many as 7 topspin backhands in a row from what I've seen...and the number of backhand winners, esp in the final, you can see for yourself.

However as one poster mentioned above, how it stands up to topspin on clay remains to be seen, but I believe it can; not as consistently as on a fast court, but good enough to trouble most people.
 

Fedexeon

Hall of Fame
The commentators said that the backhand looks more impressive than his forehand in this week.... I could see alot of passing shots and agree that it has improved alot.
 

ken1d

Banned
It is safe to say that both of these guys are imporving in a way we never thought they would, But, what worries me that.. what about rest of the field? IF these guys pushing each other and improving tjis way, the gap between rafa,fed and the rest of the field is gonna be even more. Which is quite scarey if you think the kind of year roger or rafa had.
 

Fedexeon

Hall of Fame
What if one day when Federer's backhand is even stronger than his forehand?
What will happen =)
Imagine the opponents try to attack the forehand because its the weaker side of Federer...
 

Bottle Rocket

Hall of Fame
Federer said after the match yesterday that his backhand has improved over the last 6 months to a year. He said it has to because everyone keeps hitting to it.

If he says his backhand got better, I would most likely agree with him.

It was looing SHARP against Nadal. If he doesn't have the best one hander in the game, I don't think people are watching the game right. Although, Blake can sure hold it own with his...

I think beuty of the shot is one issue, but effectiveness and results are what really counts... Federer has that down.
 

crazylevity

Hall of Fame
Another ridiculous statement, RBF. If he "does go down the line", how can his "crosscourt backhand" worry Rafa???

Do u even play tennis?? Do u not know that those are 2 different shots??
 
Another ridiculous statement, RBF. If he "does go down the line", how can his "crosscourt backhand" worry Rafa???

Do u even play tennis?? Do u not know that those are 2 different shots??
Your understanding of tennis not good, You have to have good crosscourt backhand to pull your opponent out to that side, if your crosscourt backhand falls near the center most of the time then what good is it to go down the line, opponent will be right there to hit it crosscourt for a winner....Duhhhhhhhh
 

crazylevity

Hall of Fame
if your crosscourt backhand falls near the centre it's just a backhand down the middle; that is NOT a crosscourt backhand.

My understanding of tennis not good?? More like the phrasing of your ideas is very poor. No way your previous post implies any of what you have just posted.
 
if your crosscourt backhand falls near the centre it's just a backhand down the middle; that is NOT a crosscourt backhand.

My understanding of tennis not good?? More like the phrasing of your ideas is very poor. No way your previous post implies any of what you have just posted.
I only say this when Fed plays RAFA though, his crosscourt backhand excellent and in a sharp angle when he plays other guys but when he rallieing against RAFA's forehand, FEd does not seem to be able to make that sharp angle crosscourt backhand. so this makes his backhand down the line not as effective as well.
 

crazylevity

Hall of Fame
Suffice to say I think it is ridiculous then one would play the same way against a left-hander. I see no reason Federer would persist with such a tactic knowing it's going to Nadal's forehand. The assumption that Federer would do so is erroneous.
 

Bottle Rocket

Hall of Fame
I think Blake and some of the other guys have proved going strong to Nadals forehand is extremely effective.

Federer after a couple games was heavily attacking Nadals backhand. It worked as well.

Blake seems to rush Nadal's forehand causing errors.

Federer seems to avoid having to hit Nadals forehands back by going strong to his backhand. I don't think Nadals backhand is a weaker shot, but it is much easier for Fed to deal with.

(Rafa's best friend's millions of posts everywhere on this board are driving me crazy!)
 

alienhamster

Hall of Fame
I'd be a bit cautious here since the surface really affected the types of shots Fed had to hit with his backhand. He's never had much trouble off that side when the ball stays low or mid-range. (For sure, one of his numberous outstanding qualities is how darn well he plays low balls. Best I've ever seen.)

If you put him on a medium-to-slow hardcourt or clay, you're going to start seeing a lot more errors off that side whenever he plays against someone with decent topspin. The Aussie will be interesting to watch to see if that backhand really is getting stronger.

But, YES, that backhand DTL was on fire during his last two matches this year.
 

TnTBigman

Professional
definetly. not lethal like the forehand but it is getting there. what else will there be left to pick at.
 

Zets147

Banned
I wonder how many forehand winners Fed had.. It appeared as if his FH was overshadowed by his BH this match.
 

Robbie_1988

Semi-Pro
I sure hope his backhand become rock solid. It'll give Nads one less option to rely on when it comes to tactics against Fed.
 

dpfrazier

Rookie
I do agree that his backhand has become more consistent (I used to half-expect an error everytime the ball went to that wing), but when the balls are bouncing to shoulder height or above (Nadal on clay), a one-handed backhand is going to produce a lot of errors.
Yup, it's certainly harder to hit a high one-handed backhand topspin than one below shoulder height. But there have been a few guys that have done pretty well with a one-hander on high-bouncing shots. Vilas, Muster, and Kuerten come to mind. Maybe Fed will join them...
 

sypl

Rookie
Gasquet does an amazing leaping backhand thingy on high ones to that wing. I've never seen anything like it before.
 

crazylevity

Hall of Fame
Yup, it's certainly harder to hit a high one-handed backhand topspin than one below shoulder height. But there have been a few guys that have done pretty well with a one-hander on high-bouncing shots. Vilas, Muster, and Kuerten come to mind. Maybe Fed will join them...
It may prove difficult for Federer to do so; his grip is an Eastern backhand grip which is good for low and fast shots, not a more Western grip that Kuerten and Gaudio use. This is why his backhand can stand up to the best in the business on faster surfaces, for eg against Gasquet at Wimbledon, against Gaudio in Shanghai last yr (remember that delicious double bagel?).
 

dysonlu

Professional
Federer's "half-volley" BH down the line from the *baseline* is just out of this world! I've never seen anyone else pulling off that kind of shot! Two examples from the Shanghai 06 final:

at 4:10 (don't miss the slowmo!)
at 6:35

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKf4h_Chb_s

And last but not least, the "oooh, stop it" BH winner from way behind the baseline: at 8:15.

Tennis magic!
 

illkhiboy

Hall of Fame
While his backhand has improved, in the last 3 years or so its never been a bad shot. Rather it's been one of the best backhands in the game. And his down-the-liner has been amazing for a while. I think people are noticing it more now because in the last couple matches more winners came off that side.
That said, I wont be surprised if Nadal breaks his backhand down again on clay or perhaps also on Rebound Ace. And I wont be surprised if just the match before Federer slays someone like Haas or Gasquet with his backhands.
 
While his backhand has improved, in the last 3 years or so its never been a bad shot. Rather it's been one of the best backhands in the game. And his down-the-liner has been amazing for a while. I think people are noticing it more now because in the last couple matches more winners came off that side.
That said, I wont be surprised if Nadal breaks his backhand down again on clay or perhaps also on Rebound Ace. And I wont be surprised if just the match before Federer slays someone like Haas or Gasquet with his backhands.
RAFA is the only Greatness that can break down that side consistantly time after time. RAFA will RULE in 07!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111:p
 

illkhiboy

Hall of Fame
I wanna see a Federer-Nadal final in the Australian. That will be the ultimate contest between the two since the surface favors both. I just hope Nadal can make it, cause Federer's pretty much a lock to be waiting for him.
 
I wanna see a Federer-Nadal final in the Australian. That will be the ultimate contest between the two since the surface favors both. I just hope Nadal can make it, cause Federer's pretty much a lock to be waiting for him.
Nadal will make it as long as he doesn't come across any of the big hitters in his half of the draw
 

Grimjack

Banned
That said, I wont be surprised if Nadal breaks his backhand down again on clay or perhaps also on Rebound Ace.

...

I wanna see a Federer-Nadal final in the Australian. That will be the ultimate contest between the two since the surface favors both.
The ball... said:
Nadal will make it as long as he doesn't come across any of the big hitters in his half of the draw.
Can we please stop it with this nonsense?

Nadal has never done ****-all on this surface, or at this slam. And if anything, his game on these so-called "neutral surfaces" is less effective than it used to be. He's coming back to the pack as more and more players figure out how to disarm his one-dimensional game, and his results off the dirt are more and more mediocre with every passing month.

Nothing in Nadal's history, and even less in his recent past, suggest he'll be anything but an easy out for some true contender at the AO.
 

illkhiboy

Hall of Fame
Can we please stop it with this nonsense?

Nadal has never done ****-all on this surface, or at this slam. And if anything, his game on these so-called "neutral surfaces" is less effective than it used to be. He's coming back to the pack as more and more players figure out how to disarm his one-dimensional game, and his results off the dirt are more and more mediocre with every passing month.

Nothing in Nadal's history, and even less in his recent past, suggest he'll be anything but an easy out for some true contender at the AO.
Absolut nonsense.
 

arosen

Hall of Fame
Federer's "half-volley" BH down the line from the *baseline* is just out of this world! I've never seen anyone else pulling off that kind of shot! Two examples from the Shanghai 06 final:

at 4:10 (don't miss the slowmo!)
at 6:35

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKf4h_Chb_s

And last but not least, the "oooh, stop it" BH winner from way behind the baseline: at 8:15.

Tennis magic!
That backhand winner that he half volleyed off the baseline was the craziest half-volley ever. Blake couldn't even touch it. Anyone who plays tennis knows how hard it is to hit a winner like that after you just hit a serve.
 

35ft6

Legend
I agree that I've never seen him rip so many backhands down the line as I did this past week. That's awesome, since it seems like what distinguishes a good backhand from a great one on the pro tour is the ability to change direction and hit consistently up the line.
I think since Fed is working on improving his backhand, Nadal is going to start really alternating corners. Federer is getting better from his position but if Nadal wants to break him, it'll have to be by running him on the backhand. :)
On a fast indoor court, the ball's going to go right into Federer's wheelhouse, but it remains to be seen if Roger's improved backhand means anything on clay against Nadal. It's hitting high bouncing shoulder height backhands that gives Roger problems, the same way it gives everybody with one handers problems.
 

Chang

Rookie
I think Blake and some of the other guys have proved going strong to Nadals forehand is extremely effective.

Federer after a couple games was heavily attacking Nadals backhand. It worked as well.

Blake seems to rush Nadal's forehand causing errors.

Federer seems to avoid having to hit Nadals forehands back by going strong to his backhand. I don't think Nadals backhand is a weaker shot, but it is much easier for Fed to deal with.

(Rafa's best friend's millions of posts everywhere on this board are driving me crazy!)
He has a lot of spare time doesn't he. Or he's just posting crap.
 

Chang

Rookie
I liked his backhands in that match but then, that could be because it is a fast surface. We'll just have to see how his backhand performs on slower surfaces like clay where he wants more titles in.
 

tennisfreak

Semi-Pro
That backhand winner that he half volleyed off the baseline was the craziest half-volley ever. Blake couldn't even touch it. Anyone who plays tennis knows how hard it is to hit a winner like that after you just hit a serve.
That was an insane shot. But that was a little lucky... even for Federer.

There was one amazing backhand where Blake pulled Fed wide to his forehand side and then went the other way to Fed's backhand. Fed, clearly on the defensive, tracks it down and on the full run nails a backhand winner while Blake stands there, stunned. It was impressive because it hit like lighting.
 

Zuras

Banned
Eh, not sure it has. I used to think so as well, until I watched a couple matches in Brussels. His backhand has improved a little at the very least, but now it seems to be streaky. I guess that's an improvement to go from good none of the time to good some of the time.
 
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