Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by checkmilu, May 20, 2009.
Thanks for posting. Very interesting analysis. Brings up very good points.
I hope he's right in his prediction, 100% with him in everything he says here.
Players are figuring the guy out. Under his pirate looks he's just a vulnerable puppet.
Another desperate *******.
Interesting, great to here some of the stats. I agree the slice doesn't work against nadal, but he is incorrect in that federer has tried to go dtl with his backhand to nadal's backhand many times before at RG. This is not something new.
The big difference was the serve and some weak returns from nadal. Imo this high risk, high reward strategy is not replicable by fed. In the past when federer used to win sets it was mostly when he zoned or when nadal played very poorly, both rare occurences. What fed. is doing in 08 Rg and 09 madrid is mostly trying to force the zoning sets, but that will not work and if he gets to the final he will most likely lose in 3 or 4 sets.
Also I would be interested to know if fed. has ever had the Madrid first serve % (62) and win rate on first serve % (69) at any of his roland garros matches versus nadal. Certainly at wimbledon and in some of the hard court matches I would guess yes, but at RG I doubt it.
What a fabulous analysis. I loved it! Thanks very much for posting.
Wow... excellent analysis. Fed should watch it . I think the most important thing was that Fed mixed things up. I suppose, against Nadal, you've got to keep him guessing. And you've got to adjust before he adapts, that way, you'll really confuse him.
However, I don't think Federer will win the French. I think he'll put up a better fight than before, but I have a feeling Uncle Toni will come up with strats for Nadal and he'll overcome Fed.
But, being a Fed supporter, I still hope he wins it. It'll be an interesting tournament, like you said. Great job analysing the match.
What was common in both Djokovic and Federer's strategy against Nadal that I noticed was both changed direction of the rallies quite often to Nadal's backhand and they did not give him a lot of pace to the backhand side,when they did.
Seemed as if they wanted Nadal to take the bait and step into the court and try to hit winners from the backcourt with his backhand, Nadal did not do it he played a safe backhand which allowed both of them to take control of the point against him.
I didn't say it was a new strategy. I said that Federer did a better job than usual handling Nadal's topspin and changing direction / hitting DTL to Nadal's backhand.
Thanks to everyone for the props. Looking forward to the FO!
Interesting point about the pace. If it's true (which I have no reason to doubt) great / astute observation. +1.
Thanks for posting. The one point that escaped me when watching was that Federer did indeed scrape the backhand slice.
The 69/68 1st/2nd serve percentage is quite a stat.
I did not notice the reduction in pace to Nadal's backhand. I'll have to keep an eye out for that at the French.
I think he went DTL backhand to backhand to nadal quite well in the 2007 RG final. Imo it took considerable effort for nadal to fight that off in that match. That is the only real change I have seen from fed. against nadal on clay until the 2008 final.
Both Djokovic and Federer went down the line on their backhands more, I felt. Obviously, if you're rallying with your backhand against Nadal's forehand, that's a mismatch every single time. Nadal will win 70+% of those points, so Djokovic and Federer both saw a need to change it up.
I think the strategy is a good one. Even if you don't get a winner on the DTL backhand, you force Nadal to retrieve it, and Nadal is much less likely to hit an outright winner while retrieving a backhand than he is while setting up his forehand. It gives them a chance to get back into the point and start dictating instead of slugging it out on Nadal's terms.
Obviously, they still need to play very well in order to beat Nadal, because he's far and away the best clay court player right now, but it's something that they should be doing more often.
The dtl backhand is shot Fed needs against Nadal but he will miss it more than he makes it.
Which is exactly why both Djokovic and Federer took heat off their DTL backhands. They just need to mix it up a little and try to get out of a backhand vs Nadal forehand trap.
I'm a huge Fed fan and I'm glad he took Madrid, but honestly, analyzing the Madrid final is a waste of time.
Nadal was tired, I actually think he was more emotionally tired than physically fatigued. His intensity was nowhere near a high as it was vs. Djokovic. It's normal though, he reached such emotional highs during the semis that it just seemed like he was drained on Sunday, or that he didn't really care.
And I'm sorry, but Fed's DTL BH against a fresh Nadal isn't nearly as effective as Djokovic's. Nole has the superior bh and his ability to defend off that wing is what almost won him the match.
IMO, Fed's only chance to recapture a Slam is to beef up his serve. The Djoker's serve is now a bigger weapon than Feds and Nadal had a hard time dealing with it. Fed needs to beef up a bit and add 5+k's on his first delivery. He then needs to sure up his net game. As good as it is, he's going to have to become clinical up there.
Fed's lost a step, and he's not winning from the baseline anymore. He needs to become an aggressive player. I'm not suggesting SV necessarily, but a bigger serve will allow him to attack the net more easily.
Oh, and STOP MISSING ROUTINE FOREHANDS
Very nice, I was waiting for this one when I saw that he would make one on Facebook
"I'll do to you what you do to me." Playing your strong wing against your opponent's weaker side is always a strategy that will yield better results.
I think Federer has gotten more comfortable with not being number 1 anymore, and with his recent losses he has focused on working on certain things, like figuring out how handle Nadal more effectively. Also, I think players are figuring out Nadal's game a lot more, as they do to all number ones. Nadal will loose some games, no doubt, but he has been holding the top spot extremely well; he's a terrific athelete and great competitor.
Federer abused the fact that Nadal gets very tentative with his BH when under pressure. Anytime he was able to get an inside in forehand to Nadal, he would hit that forehand with alot of topspin and depth, forcing Nadal to roll the ball back either crosscourt, or down the line. This gave Federer plenty of time to setup another forehand to take command of the point.
He also was able to stay on top of points because Federer returned exceptionally well, and Nadal was serving fairly predictably.
1. Federer was able to take control of points, something he was unable to do the past few times he has played Nadal. Usually Nadal has control of the point on his serve because Federer in the past did not attack the return of serve.
2. Federer was able to maintain control by avoiding Nadal's FH (in a plethora of ways). Nadal in the past has been able to take control of the point with one crosscourt FH.
3. Federer was able to end points (through aggressive FH play, his netgame, dropshot, etc.). Nadal in the past used to hit good defensive shots, and made Federer tentative about trying to end points quickly. This time around, Federer did not back off the pedal, and continued to press forward.
Those were the keys IMO.
I also noticed that Federer finally backed up while receiving serve on quite a number of Nadal's serves, something he rarely did in AO 09, where he just stood there and took it.
I'm not sure I'd have said scrapped; rather he seemed to limit it, and it was in that limiting that it almost became more effective because it wasn't expected. There were a couple of times he used it to good effect to take control, or at least change the momentum of a rally. One that particularly sticks in the mind was how he used it to deftly drop a shorter angle out wide to Rafas bh after having been stuck crosscourt for a bit.
Actually I think that was pretty much the big thing about Rogers performance; he used almost all the shots in his arsenal, but he mixed them up enough that it did keep Rafa guessing. I think Will underlined that with his point regarding the S&V fake, Roger really did seem to make a concentrated effort towards variety.
Anyway, great analysis Will, does this mean we might see some more FYB match analysis in the future? That'd be much appreciated!
Good point shadows.
I think adding match analysis of critical matches to FYB's vid repository will be very much appreciated. It'll further separate FYB from other tennis websites.
Nice anaylsis, totally missed the fake serve-and-volley tactic. Now I'm gonna steal that tactic and use it against opponents myself xD.
Great analysis, Will. The fake S&V is a tactic I employ quite often. Problem is, it only works about 1% of the time (maybe because I only S&V 1% of the time!)
Along with everything Will said, what really impressed me was how Federer was able to capitalize on his breakpoints (2 for 2 I believe). His first serve percentage, aggressive error-free FH's and winning breakpoints all looked liked the old great Federer.
Great stuff.......... I enjoyed it.
If you watch Fed much, he does fake the S/V from time to time...
I personally think Nadal was a tad flat for this match. I think this played a huge role in the stat of Fed winning a high percentage of second serves. Also, Fed was really spinning that second serve out wide in the ad court. Of course it came back but the court was wide open. Man! Late in the second Fed hit one second serve WAAAAY wide!
So, FYB, I agree with your analysis, thanks for putting it up. But, I'm not quite ready to get onboard with your prediction for RG. It would be great to see a great match for sure. I dunno, we'll see soon enough....
Thanks for sharing that review. Fair and impartial analysis of the match with some relly good key points. The second serve stat for Rafa really stood out as a major weakness that can be exploited against Raf. I am sure he will be working on this for the FO.
I also like the way that Fed kept Raf confused with the change of pace, spin and depth. Stats don't lie and I think a lot of players will give Raf a run this FO, they may not beat him but they will wear him down for the next challenger. This may be a very interesting FO indeed, only time will tell.
Are you going to make an analysis of the FO final as well?
I thought it was interesting that federer was hitting high looping backhands to Nadal's forehand, I don't remember him ever doing that before. As far as hitting backhands DTL to Nadal'sx BH, that's nothing new, it's just that Fed's execution was better on this shot than usual. Will Fed win the French? Possibly, but I still think he will lose to Nadal if they meet, I think someone else will have to beat Nadal, or he gets injured. Why? I don't think Federer will serve as well against Nadal at the French. I don't think the serve will win him many cheap points, this will have a psycological affect on Federer's optimism for the outcome of the match. Nadal will have more time on his shots and Fed's shots won't be so penetrating. Fed' will get involved in too many long raliles and resort to going for too much too early. Really looking forward to it, and really enjoyed your analysis, thanks.
Yes. We'll probably do some post match / preview videos during the tourney.
I wish I had included this in the video but, alas, I realized it after I filmed it -- When Federer hit crosscourt to Nadal's forehand, he made a point not to give him any angles. In other words, Federer's BH crosscourts were "middle of the court crosscourts" -- they were relatively close to the T. This made it difficult for Nadal to use his heavy forehand topspin to pull Federer off the court and, thus, Fed's court positioning was generally better than it has been in the past. While the middle-of-the-court balls gave Nadal an opportunity to hit his forehand DTL to Fed's forehand, he was very reticent to do so. I suspect Federer anticipated this fact. Very interesting adjustment... I suspect Fed will do something similar should they meet in the FO final.
Even if Nadal works on his tactics/strategies to deal with Fed's strategies as all his fans would like to believe. I doubt that it will be ready for Fed, again I am in minority here. Simply because everything Nadal does is so programmed and it will take him something to adapt to new things. For example, I suspect that it took Nadal more than 1 week to flatten his forehand as he did in AO09. Just look at how Nadal places his two bottles of water after he finishes drinking them; and he does that everything time.
We'll see what will happen. I do believe Fed can win the French if he serves well and really hit his forehand the way that we all know he can. But those two things are keys for Fed to win. Of course, other things like strategies, fake S&V, drop shots, but if the serve and forehand aren't working that day, man Fed will be in BIG trouble.
Excellent analysis! +++
These are all good points but Fed has a huge mental block against Nadal at RG and retreats to his predictable patterns which NAdal knows only too well.
I've been very dissapointed with all his RG losses at Fed's inability/unwillingness to try and change tactics or adapt.
I think with the win at Madrid. Fed will stick to his new found tactic and improve on it. I believe the mental block will be gone in RG due to the win on clay at Madrid. I have a feeling Federer's been reading our posts here.
Federer has been typically too stubborn to change tactics at all; he simply has tried to outhit Nadal in the past.
There is a common factor in all of Fed's 'big' losses - his horrendous BP conversion. He plays very passively, usually content to just chip the ball back. When he decides to go after the ball and attack, good things happen.
Another extremely frustrating habit Fed has (esp against Nadal) is giving the break back tamely after he works hard to earn it. In his glory years he was much more consistent mentally, the last 2 years he keeps going on walkabouts and that has cost him dearly.
Cool. What did you do?
Did Will Hamilton, a grown man, just say pwned????
Great analysis, but the fact that nadal was tired does play a role.
However, I fully hope that Federer wins RG this year, hopefully taking Nadal down while he's at it.
By the way Will, you just indirectly coached Rafa against Federer
I may be a grown man but I take every opportunity to act like a child. Just ask my parents.
Heh. I doubt Rafa is watching our videos but if he is my advice to him is to not get pwned.
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