Is there a 'Hail Mary' option in Roger's career now?

D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
To add another slam or perhaps (gasp) two?

I know this sounds crazy on the face of it, and no doubt many here will post to tell me exactly that, but I don't think he's playing half bad. Strangely, even though Tsitsipas overpowered him, Nadal trampled Tsits, and Novak obliterated Nadal, I would say if Roger played Novak in the finals, he'd still offer him the most resistance of all 3.

Surely there is age, and whatever lack of confidence or nerves he has that have made Roger lose sets and matches after holding key break points for the set or match. Not denying that aspect at all..

But, is there anything he can do to his game/equipment/training/schedule at this point that will help him win one more slam?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm going to offer my own crazy, out-of-left-field idea: I think he should change his racquet again!

So my train of thought goes like this: The major cause of his nerves is that he's lost some racquet head acceleration on his forehand and doesn't have the confidence in that stroke anymore in tight moments. The serve is still good and backhand has been no worse than in the past (although he hasn't been 2017-level aggressive with it).

This time, instead of head size, what needs to change is the swingweight. He needs it to be a bit lesser than whatever it is right now and more flexible than the base specs for his pro-staff show (I know his sticks are customized). For example see Dimitrov's base stick which is the same 97 sq from Wilson but less stiffer, 2 pts less HL but 320 swingweight compared to 335.

What this should help with is increasing his racquet head speed just that few extra mph. Now he'll have to adjust with more tension in his strings and the adjustment will involve hitting long (my coach always used to say - if you have to make a forced mistake, hit long rather than into the net) at first, but it should give him more confidence in the depth and control of his most important shot - the forehand.

There will be a downside with losing bite on slices, but then again I think his slices are less and less effective against the top guys everyday. Even at Wimbledon the ball sits up more these days and it'll also force him to come over the ball more instead of passively slicing it against opponents who eat up that stuff like Tsitsipas did. There is enough downtime in his schedule these days that he can spend time getting used to it. Use the clay season to adjust to it in match conditions and really be ready with it for Wimbledon. What do you think?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

swordtennis

Legend
The nCode was his best stick. But then again he's no longer in his 20s. He needs the extra square inches to not shank balls.

Lighter/less stiffer so he can swing a bit faster is the way to go. His PS has to be the heaviest on tour still (I'm talking base specs)
Very cool. That wilson pro staff 6.0 85 was the greatest stick ever imo. I learned to play with that. I am sure you know Pete sampras used factory made 85s. What a man! Connors t3000 more manly tho!
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
Very cool. That wilson pro staff 6.0 85 was the greatest stick ever imo. I learned to play with that. I am sure you know Pete sampras used factory made 85s. What a man! Connors t3000 more manly tho!
The PS85 was my favorite stick too. I still use it occasionally.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
Take advise from the Tennis-Warehouse forums, in particular the GPPD section.

Hire Red Rick as coach.

Feast on Salty Tears

Win CYGS in 2020.

Quid Erat Demonstrandum
Lol

Sureshs has earned that though. He's first in line from GPPD. Move over Ljube :)
 

uscwang

Hall of Fame
The early loss in AO will likely mess up his season. To get back to Top 4, he has to play clay, which hurts his chance in WB.
Without injury, he can still win majors, probably not over Novak or Nadal, certainly not over both.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
The early loss in AO will likely mess up his season. To get back to Top 4, he has to play clay, which hurts his chance in WB.
Without injury, he can still win majors, probably not over Novak or Nadal, certainly not over both.
Luthi and others seem to think he needs to be in competition and playing less has hurt him. Who knows... I can't speak about the clay season, but he needs more match confidence going into Wimbledon.
 

DSH

Hall of Fame
the time came to federer, a little later it will come to nadal and finally to djokovic.
the racket, the training regime, the motivation and others can only make up a little the results, but the body calls for rest and no matter what you do to delay the inevitable.
time passes bill to all.
what is said in this forum is plainly demagoguery.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
I did go to agassis head ti radical. Had the 95 and 110. Solid rackets imo.
It's funny you say that because I remember demoing it as I'd great things about it. If I'm not incorrect Murray played with a Ti radical too didn't he?

Somehow never took to it. Trying to think, was it the grip or racquet feel. I went through several after that - Dunlop 300G, Yonex RDX 90, Volkl Tour 98 and finally settled on a Yonex RDS 002 and a Wilson Pro Staff 97S
 

swordtennis

Legend
It's funny you say that because I remember demoing it as I'd great things about it. If I'm not incorrect Murray played with a Ti radical too didn't he?

Somehow never took to it. Trying to think, was it the grip or racquet feel. I went through several after that - Dunlop 300G, Yonex RDX 90, Volkl Tour 98 and finally settled on a Yonex RDS 002 and a Wilson Pro Staff 97S
I used the volkl too. Too much power for me. The stiffer frames tight strings were better for me. It was a blast serving with that thing tho.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
A more flexible racket hmmm interesting. Never thought about that. It could help.
Racquets used to be a lot less stiffer than they are today. I think it's one big reason touch play has reduced so much in tennis - one just doesn't have that feel anymore from the stick - they're made for power and counteracting huge spin with more spin.

Take for example the PS85. It's rated at 62 RA which is low compared to Roger's now at 69 RA.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
A good Hail Mary would be to ditch the clay season again and start practicing hard on grass every day the second IW or Miami ends for him.

Months of grass practice while all the other schmucks are slogging it out in the dirt.

I'm actually pretty annoyed to hear that he will play clay events this year :(
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
I used the volkl too. Too much power for me. The stiffer frames tight strings were better for me. It was a blast serving with that thing tho.
Depends on game style. I have a full, long swing and I find it better for control to have lower stiffness. Those with shorter, more compact swings and a 2HBH probably benefit more from a stiffer, powerful racquet.
 

Benben245

Professional
Cocaine, EPO, tren, and a bio-feedback therapist to ingrain his 2017 mentality into his current strategy.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
A good Hail Mary would be to ditch the clay season again and start practicing hard on grass every day the second IW or Miami ends for him.

Months of grass practice while all the other schmucks are slogging it out in the dirt.

I'm actually pretty annoyed to hear that he will play clay events this year :(
I would imagine the same, but I was surprised to hear Luthi talk about how Roger needs the match play to stay sharp. I guess I can see how rallying on clay building up points might help him develop some much needed confidence in his ground game when he needs it at Wimbledon. What I don't understand is how that could be good for his body.!?

Seems like there are no easy options here. Either risk injury and wear himself out or risk being rusty match-play wise come Wimbledon.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
A good Hail Mary would be to ditch the clay season again and start practicing hard on grass every day the second IW or Miami ends for him.

Months of grass practice while all the other schmucks are slogging it out in the dirt.

I'm actually pretty annoyed to hear that he will play clay events this year :(

Another view on clay is simply that he doesn't have a choice given his ranking. The team probably still doesn't prefer he play on clay but he'll need to recover points somehow to get a good seeding at Wimbledon and the only option is to win a few rounds on clay.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
I don't think he needs a "Hail Mary Option," he just needs a favorable draw to go his way.

Maybe another extended break would help.
Well things that he can control that is. Can't control factors like draws (other than maintaining a good seeding)

I don't think he needs a "Hail Mary Option," he just needs a favorable draw to go his way.

Maybe another extended break would help.
Possible. It worked in 2017, not so much in 2018. His team seems to think clay will help keep him in match form, but it might just be the price for making up lost ranking points.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Another view on clay is simply that he doesn't have a choice given his ranking. The team probably still doesn't prefer he play on clay but he'll need to recover points somehow to get a good seeding at Wimbledon and the only option is to win a few rounds on clay.
Yeah true. I tend to not even think of Fed having to keep his ranking points up. Just feels like a given that he is top 3 at all times :giggle:
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
Yeah true. I tend to not even think of Fed having to keep his ranking points up. Just feels like a given that he is top 3 at all times :giggle:
Yeah we've been spoiled rotten. I remember the days when I didn't even know if my favorite player would be participating at a given slam or not.
 

papertank

Hall of Fame
I think all he can do is continue to try and peak at the right times. Last year he stumbled after playing so much in the beginning of the year to take the number 1 ranking, as well as at Wimbledon after playing two full warmup tournaments back to back. The US open though was his most baffling loss- I guess we have to accept that those kinds of losses will be more frequent as well.

Regardless, Rog is still a serious title contender at any fast court tournament he enters. Outside of Nadal and Djokovic, the field is still pretty weak. He just has to stay focused and not get discouraged by losses.

The biggest concern is his ranking. Top 4 would be ideal, but he has quite a bit to do in order to stay in the top 8 in the next few months. And I don’t expect much out of him on clay, given that it’s the slowest surface and he hasn’t played a competitive match on it for almost 3 years.
 

swordtennis

Legend
Yeah we've been spoiled rotten. I remember the days when I didn't even know if my favorite player would be participating at a given slam or not.
Lol by chance Agassi? It was tough being an agassi fan. He had one foot on the court and his head between Babs and Brooks boobs. His late career was much needed.
 

NBP

Hall of Fame
A good Hail Mary would be to ditch the clay season again and start practicing hard on grass every day the second IW or Miami ends for him.

Months of grass practice while all the other schmucks are slogging it out in the dirt.

I'm actually pretty annoyed to hear that he will play clay events this year :(
It is entirely his fault that he must play clay now. He has been absoloutely woeful, and that's putting it nicely, in pressure situations in the past year. MP vs. del Potro. Final set tie-break vs. Kokkinakis. Set point vs. Coric in Halle. 2 sets to love and a match point:-D vs. Anderson. A set and set points against both Millman AND Tsitsipas, I mean, what are the chances.

He is so unclutch right now it's scary, so taking a break from Miami to Halle or Stuttgart right now will do him no favours.

As for the OP, I say just return to a full Fedberg style. His forehand has fallen off a cliff, so why not beat up on mugs with this gamestyle like he did in 14-15, and then approach a possible match with Nadal and Djokovic maybe a bit differently, becasue net-play rarely works against them.
 

swordtennis

Legend
If it was up to me i do not want fed or djokovic to play the french open. Too many slogs there. But i guess djokovic has to go in there and try to "dislodge" Nadal.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
Still a threat at Wimbledon.
Of course. Never presumed otherwise. But still gotta keep improving... there is no standing still in this sport as you know better than the rest of us as a pro coach.

This thread is about any wrinkle that he can add which improves his shot at adding the titles he most covets now.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
Don't think it's RHS, it's lateral movement, which makes him a fraction late on balls which breaks down his FH.
You may be right. But I've also seen him take wild swings this AO while being in position to hit the FH well. Just seemed like his body isn't able to execute what his mind imagines.

In that regard, whatever extra help he gets from his racket will be welcome.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
As for the OP, I say just return to a full Fedberg style. His forehand has fallen off a cliff, so why not beat up on mugs with this gamestyle like he did in 14-15, and then approach a possible match with Nadal and Djokovic maybe a bit differently, becasue net-play rarely works against them.
It's not easy to play one way 95% of the time and then completely change things up for one opponent, although there is always adjustment involved based on the opponent.

Net play can work against them only when mixed up with an aggressive ground game. Which is how he should play all the time. No point in practicing or playing extended rallies.

As to the earlier point about throwing away match points, perhaps the Hail Mary option now is working with a psychologist on those nerves so he can playing more freely? I donno.
 

Roddick85

Hall of Fame
Besides focusing all of his efforts on Wimbledon, which is still his best chance at another slam, I don't see what else he could do. I think changing equipment at this point of the season and this late in his career would be a terrible idea. I was never a big believer in the larger frame in the 1st place because backhand shanks or not, so much of Fed's identity and strength were tied to the 90, but that's a different debate. I don't think Fed getting a shot at another slam is that far fetched if he can find his form. The biggest obstacle for Federer on any surfaces is still Djokovic and as invincible as he appears to be right now, Djokovic isn't 25 anymore so who knows if he will be able to keep this kind of level for a long time.
 
Top