If you were Federer's coach what advice would you give him?

If I was Feds coach this is what I would advise him to do to improve overall and have a better chance against Nadal.

1) Hit the weight room and get stronger like Sampras and Agassi did and Nadal does-he looks too thin and unmuscular to me-get stronger to make your weapons even more potent and prevent injuries as you age.
2) work on and drill your approach shots and volleys-transition game needs work-too many crosscourt approaches and weak volleys due to poor approaches.
3) refine drop shot and know when to hit-not from baseline! Drop shot will be more effective as he improves and becomes more of a threat with his transition game. Its obvious that Fed is not really comfortable as to when to hit the drop shot, but if used correctly can be very effective against Nadal. In earlier Wimby matches Nadal did have problems handling drop shots which is why Fed tried to use them , but was ineffective because he never really uses them in other matches.
4) Get more variety of bounce on your fh-hit heavy topsins like Nadal instead of always ripping the ball with flatter strokes and lower margin of error-Nadal feeds off these balls in his strike zone, but may have problems with high, heavy topspins form time to time.
5) Hit more short angle slice bh's around the service line to get Nadal to hit up and give you possibly a short ball to rip with the fh. You can't outslug Nadal from the baseline with the same type of ball speed and bounce. Mix it up Roger with more variety to set up your fh.
6) Serve is fine, but hitting the weights to make your legs stronger will give you even more velocity and better 1st serve percentage in the fifth set. Did you notice how much Rogers 1st serve deserted him against Nadal in the fifth set.

Just a few thoughts-what do you think he should do? Overall, he needs to work on his transition game against easy opponents that he knows he can beat so its sharper against Nadal when he needs it most and add more variety of spin and bounce on his fh and bh. Hitting the same type of ball too often which is fine against everyone except Nadal-mix it up more with greater margin of error which Nadal does so well. Because Fed never uses his transition game and volleys against anyone else, when he needs it against Nadal he isn't sharp and makes poor decisions.
 
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crosscourt

Professional
One of his problems against Nadal is that Nadal has a place to attack him -- Nadal knows that and Federer knows that. It gives one confidence and saps the other's confidence. Crucially, that weakness -- the high ball to Federer's backhand -- is in play on every breakpoint that Federer has against Nadal. Henman made the point well during the commentary yesterday -- the match in the deuce court was at times totally different to the match in the ad court.

Increasingly Federer's carrer is defined by his travails against Nadal. I would like to see Federer hire Gilbert or Cahill, accept that his game needs to change if he is going to win the two remaining slams (or however many it is) that he needs and strenghten his backhand. Agassi did it and came back superbly. Federer can do it.

cc
 

burosky

Professional
Don't make mistakes and only hit winners!

Just in case, that was my feeble attempt at sarcasm. :)
 
I think Cahill would be an excellent coach for Federer-very bright and knowledgeable about the attacking game. Anybody that commands Agassi's respect must be very good. Fed should relish the opportunity to improve and get better and not be so arrogant to not believe he doesn't need a coach.
 

fastdunn

Legend
1) He must take a bit more chance in his 2nd serve against Nadal (or increase 1st serve %).
2) Increase winning % in his net approaches.

These are the two main areas he didn't do well, relatively speaking. He sucked at converting break points but Roger's return game is as gooas it can get. I think he'll does it a bit better next time.
 
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If I was to coach Roger...

1. Get stronger - you are supremely fit but now you have to become even stronger to be able to compete with a big hitter and stave off injury.
2. Become more aggressive - easier said then done but early on you made a mark coming to the net. You need to work that back into the game plan.
3. Get the edge back - being cordial got you to this point but you no longer command awe when you walk into the locker room. Time to remind people you're still Roger Federer.
4. Get a gameplan. Your lack of a coach has been exploited (albeit by one of the best tennis talents on the planet) and it seems to be difficult for you to make adjustments against him. This also goes to the quote from Roger after Wimbledon that he,"Didn't learn anything this time around." He has to learn something from this loss. To say otherwise is more a testament to stubborness.

I'm a huge Roger fan but if he doesn't make any changes he's going to suffer the same fate going forward if he and Nadal keep meeting in finals.
 

Sampragassi

New User
If I were Fed's coach the advice I would give him would be to hire a coach. As great a player as Fed is, he is tactically very naive. He just gets by on pure skill. It works against everyone else, but not against a player of Nadal's calibre unfortunately.
 

Cenc

Hall of Fame
interesting topic

honestly i think that for federer maybe best thing now would be to work a lot on his net game because on fast courts then he would have real weapon playing serve and volley on 1st serve what would give his opponents many troubles as theyre not used to play against people who come to the net a lot

and he needs someone who would improve his confidence in big matches
and of course work on his backhand
i remember his match with sampras in wimby when he really had all the shots and even though sampras was injured, coming from 5set win against some 230 and something player but still federer played a great match then imo best in his career
whats wrong now, i dont understand (last 2 years)
 

LPShanet

Banned
If I was Feds coach this is what I would advise him to do to improve overall and have a better chance against Nadal.

1) Hit the weight room and get stronger like Sampras did and Nadal does-he looks too thin and unmuscular to me-get stronger to make your weapons even more potent and prevent injuries as you age.
2) work on and drill your approach shots and volleys-transition game needs work-too many crosscourt approaches and weak volleys due to poor approaches.
3) refine drop shot and know when to hit-not from baseline! Drop shot will be more effective as he improves and becomes more of a threat with his transition game. Its obvious that Fed is not really comfortable as to when to hit the drop shot, but if used correctly can be very effective against Nadal.
4) Get more variety of bounce on your fh-hit heavy topsins like Nadal instead of always ripping the ball with flatter strokes and lower margin of error-Nadal feeds off these balls in his strike zone, but may have problems with high, heavy topspins form time to time.
5) Hit more short angle slice bh's around the service line to get Nadal to hit up and give you possibly a short ball to rip with the fh. You can't outslug Nadal from the baseline with the same type of ball speed and bounce. Mix it up Roger with more variety to set up your fh.
6) Serve is fine, but hitting the weights to make your legs stronger will give you even more velocity and better 1st serve percentage in the fifth set. Did you notice how much Rogers 1st serve deserted him against Nadal in the fifth set.

Just a few thoughts-what do you think he should do? Overall, he needs to work on his transition game against easy opponents that he knows he can beat so its sharper against Nadal when he needs it most and add more variety of spin and bounce on his fh and bh. Hitting the same type of ball too often which is fine against everyone except Nadal-mix it up more with greater margin of error which Nadal does so well. Because Fed never uses his transition game and volleys against anyone else, when he needs it against Nadal he isn't sharp and makes poor decisions.
If we're talking specifically about yesterday's match, here's a little nugget of advice. And the best thing is that it wouldn't require any practice or mechanical improvements on Fed's part...it's a thing that many tennis players are taught as they learn the game:

Each time Fed hit a drop shot, he just stood there near the baseline and waited for Nadal to get to it. Nadal won most of those points, as he's crazy fast. It's VERY hard to hit an outright dropshot winner and against Nadal, so he managed to dig up those balls and stay in the point. Still, the shots Nadal hit weren't forcing shots at all, they just kept him alive. If Fed had come in behind the drops, almost all of them would have resulted in easy putaway volleys. Instead, Nadal was able to essentially get back to neutral position in just one shot. Now to the stats. Nadal won 209 points to Fed's 204. Say Fed did the above just three of the times that he just sat there, and this time he ended up winning those points. That would have made the point total 207 - 206 in Fed's favor. Hmmmm. It's a start.
 

PROTENNIS63

Hall of Fame
If I was Fed's coach, I wouldn't even talk about tactics right now. I would tell him to put his head up, forget about what happened, and do whatever you got to do.

There are far more worse things that can happen than losing in the wimbledon final 9-7 in the 5th set.

Of course that is a tough loss, but I think Fed feels he gave his absolute best out there.
 
hire a better coach, work harder even if you're the most talented, talk about ego/vanity with a shrink, don't read internet forums, cry when you need to ;-) be yourself (the best, not the best on baseline when nadal is on the same court)
 
or play the ournaments with nadal's name on the other side of the bracket but stop saying how nice he is and try to be so humble. drop the cardigans and show us the dark side!
 

NikeWilson

Semi-Pro
i'd pull him aside and say "hey, you're done".
"you can't beat Nadal. and you can't beat Djokovic."
"there's nothing left for you to win. you can't do it."
"retire, while you're still #1"
 

araghava

Rookie
I noticed that Fed didn't chip and charge on even 1 second serve. As a coach that's the first thing i would incorporate into his game plan against Nadal. You have to keep the points short and keep Nadal off balance. I also think Fed should have served and volleyed much more. Maybe on 30 -> 40% of his 1st serves. It clear that if the match is all about Nadals forehand to Feds backhand, Fed is going to lost. So he needed to change the game. Make it more about forcing Nadal to make 100 passing shots.
 

!Tym

Hall of Fame
Fire me, and hire Muster and Bruguera at any cost to be my full-time hitting partners. Federer doesn't need a coach, he needs a dirty, grimy, gritty, and just plain GRUNGY (I sound like Mia Michaels talking about hip-hop...somebody shoot me, please) LEFTY topspin forehand to simulate Nadal's lefty topspin to his fragile ballerina backhand. He needs Bruguera to simulate two-handers randomly oscillating between heavy topspin and very flat. He needs Ronnie Leitgeb to sit on his back so he can do push-ups the way macho men do, the way Muster used to do. Well, maybe not that extreme, but he definitely needs to pay more attention to his upper-body strength for his one-handed backahnd. Maybe give GSP a call and start grappling with him on the side, you know to learn that it IS possible to be both strong and lean at the same time.
 

pmata814

Professional
I liked the suggestion somebody made earlier in this thread about hiring Cahill. I also think he is very knowledgeable and could help Fed beat Nadal. (so I hope he doesn't do it because I like Nadal better :))
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
A. Work on his poor volleys. When he is in a neutral position, he is caught dead.

B. Work on more aggressive returns that don't involve running around his backhand. His backhand return MUST improve for him to stand a chance against Nadal.

C. Hit more slice, and hit his backhand flatter. Go for winners on the backhand. He is too tentative with that shot against Nadal.
 

NikeWilson

Semi-Pro
but seriously, he's gotta work on his serve n' volley, and chip n' charge.(for Wimbledon)
just like the old school champs. unfortunately it's a lost artform in today's baseliner game. if you bring back players(in their primes) such as: Sampras, Edberg, Ivanisevic, Becker, and even Rafter..., today's baseliners would get smoked. including Federer and Nadal.
the reason why... Serving n' volleying and chip n' charging is designed to give the opponent constant low bouncing balls, and due to the placement of these approach shots it cuts off reaction time/puts more pressure on the opponent to come up with something special. and when that type of pressure is backed up with sufficient volleying skills, the baseliner is usually at the disadvantage.
 
Federer needs to get "geeked up" on about 4 Red Bulls and come out with the eye of the tiger. This cool, nonchalant attitude isn't going to work with Nadal. I'd tell Roger to go out and punch him in the nose.

My services come cheap. $250,000/year and I'm your motivational coach, Roger.
 

Atherton2003

Hall of Fame
Maybe not to play any tournaments Nadal is in...he obviously has found out Federer's number now and can beat him on almost any surface.
 

LPShanet

Banned
Federer needs to get "geeked up" on about 4 Red Bulls and come out with the eye of the tiger. This cool, nonchalant attitude isn't going to work with Nadal. I'd tell Roger to go out and punch him in the nose.

My services come cheap. $250,000/year and I'm your motivational coach, Roger.
Four Red Bulls would put him over the allowable limit for caffeine if they pre-match tested him.
 

anirut

Legend
I'd tell him ..

"Dude, get off the fashion business. You don't earn extra points for looking good on court.

Now, hit the gym, hit the court. And work your butt out just like Nadal did ... and have beaten you."
 

Holdfast44ID

Semi-Pro
Have a good game plan?

Perhaps what Brad Gilbert said after the match is actually true. Yes, really. Federer might need to sit down and develop a good game plan vs someone he struggles with like Nadal. Fed is so great that he probably doesn't need to have a game plan with most players. He can just walk on the court and beat them. What might that game plan be? I have no clue.
 

baek57

Professional
i like when he does that short angle slice to bring players up to the net and then rips a passing shot right by them. he does this a lot vs roddick, but i dont see it against nadal.
 

roundiesee

Hall of Fame
I noticed that Fed didn't chip and charge on even 1 second serve. As a coach that's the first thing i would incorporate into his game plan against Nadal. You have to keep the points short and keep Nadal off balance. I also think Fed should have served and volleyed much more. Maybe on 30 -> 40% of his 1st serves. It clear that if the match is all about Nadals forehand to Feds backhand, Fed is going to lost. So he needed to change the game. Make it more about forcing Nadal to make 100 passing shots.
Great post! Exactly what I thought.
Roger had around 13 break points and only converted one! Just like the French open last year, he was not aggressive enough on Nadal's second serve, esp when he had breakpoints. This is something which is quite incomprehensible considering that Fed is such an intelligent person/tennis player and that they were playing on grass.
Why does he cramp up, or become "lethargic", and plays such "soft" shots when he should be aggressive? Who knows? Something in his psyche? Why does he "choke" when push comes to shove? No one really knows (but Roger) I suppose........
 

Blue Drop

Rookie
I think he needs a new approach from the sports psychology end.

He converted one break out of 12 or 13? Part of the reason is that he played differently on those points. He felt the weight of those points and gave Nadal and his tenacity a little too much deference. He needs someone to help him find the mindset of playing every point with the exact same intensity ... kinda like Nadal does.
 
Four Red Bulls would put him over the allowable limit for caffeine if they pre-match tested him.
I was thinking 4 8.3 oz cans of Red Bull at 88 mg (352 mg total) of caffeine would be ok. I'd have him drink it 2 - 3 hours before the match, and drink a mystery potion at each changeover. His eyes would be wide open and ultra alert the whole match.

I believe the max allowable caffeine limit is 12 mg/liter, which is about 8 cups of coffee. Or 800 mg caffeine or 9 cans of Red Bull!

As a disclaimer: Please don't try this at home. Heavy caffeine use can have side effects not limited to nausea, cramping, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, and dehydration.
 
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anirut

Legend
^^
No, he shouldn't. That's a big lap for him to find consolation.

C'mon ... let's leave his personal life alone ...
 

matchmaker

Hall of Fame
I'd convince him to use a 95 s.i. racquet only for RG and hit with a semi-western FH. Basically RG is the only thing missing on his list. Even if he only wins one and ends with 13 GS victories and 1 short of Sampras, by completing the carreer GS he would be considered the GOAT.
 

LPShanet

Banned
I was thinking 4 8.3 oz cans of Red Bull at 88 mg (352 mg total) of caffeine would be ok. I'd have him drink it 2 - 3 hours before the match, and drink a mystery potion at each changeover. His eyes would be wide open and ultra alert the whole match.

I believe the max allowable caffeine limit is 12 mg/liter, which is about 8 cups of coffee. Or 800 mg caffeine or 9 cans of Red Bull!

As a disclaimer: Please don't try this at home. Heavy caffeine use can have side effects not limited to nausea, cramping, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, and dehydration.
Awesome post!
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
First, I'd buy him Winning Ugly

then i'd take him to the local gym and tell him to work on strength training. then i'd make him practice serve returns, and then practice 200 serves each day: 100 first serves, 100 second serves.

then i'd rip off pistol pete's right arm and shoulder, and surgically attach the muscles to federer's arm. so then when he's facing double break point at 7-7 in the final set at wimbledon against nadal, he can simply smash two unreturnables and then break nadal. UNlike this year. :)

but serious, Gilbert and Cahill together might just be the boost he needs.
 

algaray

New User
Take at least a week or two off with no tennis. No parties. Play the Rocky 2 DVD and find "the eye of the tiger". You need to find new inspiration to elevate your game physically and tactically. Then, you should know who works best as an advisor or coach to get you there. It might not even be a tennis coach.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
Take at least a week or two off with no tennis. No parties. Play the Rocky 2 DVD and find "the eye of the tiger". You need to find new inspiration to elevate your game physically and tactically. Then, you should know who works best as an advisor or coach to get you there. It might not even be a tennis coach.
actually, rocky 3 would be more fitting. the champ beaten by the muscle bound toughman. that's where eye of the tiger came from :)
 

FedForGOAT

Professional
I was going to start a thread about this, but I'll just post it here: get Paul Annacone. Sampras hired Higueras and lost Wimbledon. Then he got Annacone, which streed him more towards his natural game, and won the USO that same year. Federer should do that. But I hope he doesn't retire after winning the USO like Sampras did.
 
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