Poll: Could you win a game off of Federer if...

Could you win a game off of Federer if... (see conditions in post below)

  • Definitely yes

    Votes: 32 55.2%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 7 12.1%
  • Definitely no

    Votes: 19 32.8%

  • Total voters
    58

navigator

Hall of Fame
(1) Roger has to serve underhand;
(2) Roger's return of serve cannot bounce beyond the service line; and
(3) Other than your serve, the ball cannot bounce on Roger's side of the court (that is, he has to volley every shot but your serve).
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
I think you killed it with the "not bounce" proviso...
Actually, I dont think that's the big issue. All that's really happening here is Fed is forced to come to net on every point behind a very weak approach shot (underhand serve and return inside the service line). Once he's at net, even behind these weak approaches, anyone below 5.0 is going to have a hell of a time getting it by him. I think folks underestimate how quick these top guys are at net (and how quickly they can get to the net)- they move like cats. I think the hard part for Fed would not be taking all the balls in the air but rather consistently returning a decent server's ball inside the service line.
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
Actually, I dont think that's the big issue. All that's really happening here is Fed is forced to come to net on every point behind a very weak approach shot (underhand serve and return inside the service line). Once he's at net, even behind these weak approaches, anyone below 5.0 is going to have a hell of a time getting it by him. I think folks underestimate how quick these top guys are at net (and how quickly they can get to the net)- they move like cats. I think the hard part for Fed would not be taking all the balls in the air but rather consistently returning a decent server's ball inside the service line.
lol I'm gonna hit to his head every time he comes to the net.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
I thought yes, and voted definitely.. but then it occurred to me that I might not actually be able to pass him when he net rushes after the serve and return everytime.
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
If you can't beat Federer under these circumstances, you either suck at tennis or respect Federer too much to beat him. You can attack the underarm serve before Roger can even get to the net. You also get enough time to put so much backspin on the ball that it bounces back from Roger's side to your side of the court. Or just aim for the body when he comes to the net. Make him frightened to come to the net. It doesn't matter if it's Roger or a 3.0 level player. On a weak shot, you don't approach the net or you get embarrassed.
 
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Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
If you can't beat Federer under these circumstances, you either suck at tennis or respect Federer too much to beat him. You can hit attack the underarm serve before Roger can even get to the net. You also get enough time to put so much backspin on the ball that it bounces back from Roger's side to your side of the court. Or just aim for the body when he comes to the net. Make frightened to come to the net. It doesn't matter if it's Roger or a 3.0 level player. On a weak shot, you don't approach the net or you get embarrassed.
A backspin serve gives him significantly more time to come to the net, and while he's certainly no speed demon, can probably cover a large amount of net should you try to pass. and a backspin shot of your own would probably be easily read.
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
A backspin serve gives him significantly more time to come to the net, and while he's certainly no speed demon, can probably cover a large amount of net should you try to pass. and a backspin shot of your own would probably be easily read.
I meant a backspin return, not serve. If you're very good at it, you will win the majority of points even against RF under these rules. Roger is so good that I suppose he would win games even under these circumstances. But it would be so frustrating even for him to be forced to play like that lol
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
I meant a backspin return, not serve. If you're very good at it, you will win the majority of points even against RF under these rules. Roger is so good that I suppose he would win games even under these circumstances. But it would be so frustrating even for him to be forced to play like that lol
Oh no doubt, I hate those players. The funky spinners. I was good at it for a while because I decided that I was just going to annoy the **** out of everyone I played, but I was never so good at it that it really helped too much.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
I have a decent serve and I feel like Edberg at the net, so I am pretty confident I could actually beat him under these conditions

You guys must be pretty bad at tennis if you don't think you could take a game off him
 
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ZiggyStardust

Professional
I'd beat him without any handicap in a Wimbledon final. Weak era hoarder can't handle my inspired, Sureshsian awesomeness.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
You're not serious..

At the rate Federer is aging, it wouldn't surprise me if he could still beat everyone on this forum 6-0 every single time under your set of circumstances when he's 50.
 

Mac33

Hall of Fame
Fed or Djokovic would beat most 4.5 or 5.0 players 6-0 most sets.....but not all the time.

A few good accurate serves,a unforced error from Fed and just one high quality or lucky baseline shot and the game is all over.

The differences at the top,from players ranked 1 to 1500 players are actually quite small.

Between a 4.5 and a player ranked 1500 in the world---- the difference is greater.

Have a friend who is a decent 5.0 level,he played a player ranked around 350 and he lost 3-6.3-6.

They are the best players but you would be surprised,they are not head and shoulders above a good 5.0
 

KineticChain

Hall of Fame
Fed or Djokovic would beat most 4.5 or 5.0 players 6-0 most sets.....but not all the time.

A few good accurate serves,a unforced error from Fed and just one high quality or lucky baseline shot and the game is all over.

The differences at the top,from players ranked 1 to 1500 players are actually quite small.

Between a 4.5 and a player ranked 1500 in the world---- the difference is greater.

Have a friend who is a decent 5.0 level,he played a player ranked around 350 and he lost 3-6.3-6.

They are the best players but you would be surprised,they are not head and shoulders above a good 5.0
same here, man. i have a firend who is 5.0 beat a player ranked ATP 160. good times
 

Numero Uno

Semi-Pro
If you can't beat Federer under these circumstances, you either suck at tennis or respect Federer too much to beat him. You can attack the underarm serve before Roger can even get to the net. You also get enough time to put so much backspin on the ball that it bounces back from Roger's side to your side of the court. Or just aim for the body when he comes to the net. Make him frightened to come to the net. It doesn't matter if it's Roger or a 3.0 level player. On a weak shot, you don't approach the net or you get embarrassed.
this is true.. im surprised that a lot of people say that they wouldnt even get one game,come on,i would beat him definitely
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
(1) Roger has to serve underhand;
(2) Roger's return of serve cannot bounce beyond the service line; and
(3) Other than your serve, the ball cannot bounce on Roger's side of the court (that is, he has to volley every shot but your serve).
I think 3 is what makes it possible to win games of him, perhaps even the match for some of the best ones here. Me, at 4.0 or so, doubt I could win more than games even under these circumstances.
But I def. could win a game, not while serving though.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
Federer would win most all points, even playing with those rules and with a frying pan, against most all NTRP 4.5 and lesser players.
I don't think you play tennis or know what a 4.5 is to make this kind of assessment. A 4.5 with decent speed and volleying skills would have a good shot at winning the match even if Fed played with his usual racquet under these circumstances. Fed is no longer playing tennis with this set of rules.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
You'd have a much easier time breaking serve than holding. If Roger could only hit underhanded serves, then I'd just belt forehands the entire match. I mean, you're basically asking if Federer could win all of his service games when required to volley short sitters. I don't even think Pat Rafter could pull that off against a club player with a big forehand.
 

Algo

Hall of Fame
I might have stood a chance before you threw he has to volley everything thing... bummer.
 

Gazelle

G.O.A.T.
You'd have a much easier time breaking serve than holding. If Roger could only hit underhanded serves, then I'd just belt forehands the entire match. I mean, you're basically asking if Federer could win all of his service games when required to volley short sitters. I don't even think Pat Rafter could pull that off against a club player with a big forehand.
Unless Fed could hit underhand serves with tons of slice that skid very low. I think he's talented enough to do so. Those balls wouldn't be your regular sitters you get when you play the local pusher.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
Unless Fed could hit underhand serves with tons of slice that skid very low. I think he's talented enough to do so. Those balls wouldn't be your regular sitters you get when you play the local pusher.
How do you consistently hit an underhanded serve that skids very low? Even if you're hitting a slice underhanded serve, it's not like hitting a regular slice shot that has more of a downward trajectory.

This is sort of like asking if you could beat Michael Jordan in a game of one on one if he's never allowed to cross the 3 point line. In that situation, a lot of players could beat MJ. And under the conditions in the OP, a lot of regular players could beat Federer.
 

swordtennis

G.O.A.T.
Ok maybe when I played like a madman and was playing in Nike camps I would win some games. Not sure people realize the level and ball handling and hands these top pros have tho. Seems some are not aware of the level these freaks of nature are at.
 

Gazelle

G.O.A.T.
The laws of physics don't apply to Roger Federer. Apparently, he can hit a underhand serve with a supercharged slice that bounces one millimeter off the ground.
I once did that the only time I hit an underhand serve in a match. If I can do it, Fed can certainly.
 

encylopedia

Professional
Actually, I dont think that's the big issue. All that's really happening here is Fed is forced to come to net on every point behind a very weak approach shot (underhand serve and return inside the service line). Once he's at net, even behind these weak approaches, anyone below 5.0 is going to have a hell of a time getting it by him. I think folks underestimate how quick these top guys are at net (and how quickly they can get to the net)- they move like cats. I think the hard part for Fed would not be taking all the balls in the air but rather consistently returning a decent server's ball inside the service line.
If he got "serious", which of course he wouldn't, he could do all kinds of strange things....try to chip, push your serve 5 feet up the sideline from the service line going sideways off the court etc.

It's a ridiculous scenario of course....but any pro will probably still win if they take it seriously. The fact that the OP makes it Federer - like that makes a big difference- further suggest how out of touch the OP really is.

On a fun side note, I knew a world-class junior who came back to his hometown and won a "state" high school championship - beating the #1, playing the entire match with his non-dominant hand. Agassi once told a journalist - who claimed to be a decent club player "without having seen you play, I still beat you 2 ways - left handed and catch-and-throw". By catch and throw, Agassi meant he'd have no racquet, he'd just catch the journalists shots in his bare hands and throw them back. The journalist said that seemed ridiculous and there was no way, so Agassi played a game with Gilbert that way - at the end (though of course Gilbert wasn't trying), the journalist as convinced that Agassi probably could beat him that way.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
Actually, I dont think that's the big issue. All that's really happening here is Fed is forced to come to net on every point behind a very weak approach shot (underhand serve and return inside the service line). Once he's at net, even behind these weak approaches, anyone below 5.0 is going to have a hell of a time getting it by him. I think folks underestimate how quick these top guys are at net (and how quickly they can get to the net)- they move like cats. I think the hard part for Fed would not be taking all the balls in the air but rather consistently returning a decent server's ball inside the service line.
"All that's really happening" is he's trotting to net on suicide missions. Good net players come in on their own terms, not yours. While John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and Pat Rafter are some of the finest net players in the last 40 years, I doubt any of them could consistently hold serve against any good 4.0/4.5 player doing what the OP has described.
 
I don't think you play tennis or know what a 4.5 is to make this kind of assessment. A 4.5 with decent speed and volleying skills would have a good shot at winning the match even if Fed played with his usual racquet under these circumstances. Fed is no longer playing tennis with this set of rules.
I play tennis and I've watched local challenger level tournament from the first row. People have really NO CLUE how freakish athletes these pro players are. The foot speed around the court is out of this world. A NTRP 4.5 is just your average joe guy who can even be overweight. Sure, they are relatively good in hitting the tennis ball, but they're SO SLOW in comparison to pros!
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
same here, man. i have a firend who is 5.0 beat a player ranked ATP 160. good times
I'm reluctant to say this is "impossible," but it seems so highly unlikely as to be "practically" impossible. In what tournament would a then-ranked ATP top-200 player be facing a 5.0 player? This makes no sense whatsoever. And with a full 1.5 NTRP points separating them... again, without evidence this is very difficult to believe. Now, if you're saying the opponent was ranked 160 ten or fifteen years prior then it's much more plausible. Hell, last year I beat a guy that was ranked around 500 twenty years ago. I routinely take sets off of 5.0+ players, but if I played a guy in the top-200 I'd be double-bageled so quickly it would make my head spin.
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
"All that's really happening" is he's trotting to net on suicide missions.
I'd argue he's going to be sprinting, not trotting, to the net on suicide missions - that's a big difference. I'd also argue that against players below 5.0 it ain't gonna seem like a suicide mission to him - it's just another day at the office.

Good net players come in on their own terms, not yours. While John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and Pat Rafter are some of the finest net players in the last 40 years, I doubt any of them could consistently hold serve against any good 4.0/4.5 player doing what the OP has described.
I agree with you here. But mainly because these guys no longer have the speed and agility that Fed has. Interestingly - to me at least - folks seem to be focused on the difficulty regarding Fed's serve. Personally, I don't think this is the issue. I think he's into the net so quickly that even though the receiver has a fairly easy shot, it makes no difference. I think the harder part is consistently returning a serve in front of the service line in a manner that doesn't make that shot too easy for the server to put away. But, that's just me... reasonable people can disagree.
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
Typical 4.5 is a middle-aged overweight non-athlete with okayish strokes.
If you're defining "non-athlete" as someone not in the top quintile of athleticism (for one's age, let's say), I'll agree with you here. But relative to the entire population (including the huge number of folks who don't play any sports at all because they are truly not athletic), I'd say the typical 4.5 is a middle-aged, average-to-better-than-average athlete with okayish strokes. The shocking thing is that 4.5 is at the 95th percentile of ability among active tennis players (according to the USTA)... of course that may say less about folks who are 4.5+, and more about the folks below them.
 

Joseph L. Barrow

Professional
If Federer's serve were coming underhand and all I had to do was hit a return or rally ball that touched the ground in order to win a point, I imagine I could win games, but I have little to no frame of reference, since I've never set foot on court with anyone remotely close to his level.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
I'd argue he's going to be sprinting, not trotting, to the net on suicide missions - that's a big difference. I'd also argue that against players below 5.0 it ain't gonna seem like a suicide mission to him - it's just another day at the office.
That's not a big difference. And it's not another day at the office.

But then again, I can't really speak to your or anyone else's skill level. All of the people I know would win pretty easily in this situation. If you think you'd have a difficult time with this girl, for example, then you're probably right that Federer would hold against you every time hitting underhand serves.

 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
I play tennis and I've watched local challenger level tournament from the first row. People have really NO CLUE how freakish athletes these pro players are. The foot speed around the court is out of this world. A NTRP 4.5 is just your average joe guy who can even be overweight. Sure, they are relatively good in hitting the tennis ball, but they're SO SLOW in comparison to pros!
I don't care how freakish of an athlete you are; you can't cover the entire court to get to a well-hit volley or a fast groundstroke before it bounces.
 
I don't care how freakish of an athlete you are; you can't cover the entire court to get to a well-hit volley or a fast groundstroke before it bounces.
So how do you think an average 4.5 would handle Federer's chip return, or angled FH return? Not well, with the lacking foot speed! Federer would own your serve.

Toughest part for Federer would be volleying your return off that underhand serve. As 4.5 knows that an underhand serve is coming, it should be relatively easy to at least pound a passing shot return into the feet of Federer, so that the ball gets to the court before Fed gets to it. That part of the rules is "unfair". There should be a limitation that the return of the underhand serve should go beyond the service line.

But the point is that pros would completely own ANY 4.5, just by playing with a frying pan. That's how superior athletes they are! The game is not about hitting, it's about court coverage, the weakness of most all 4.5s.
 
If you're defining "non-athlete" as someone not in the top quintile of athleticism (for one's age, let's say), I'll agree with you here. But relative to the entire population (including the huge number of folks who don't play any sports at all because they are truly not athletic), I'd say the typical 4.5 is a middle-aged, average-to-better-than-average athlete with okayish strokes. The shocking thing is that 4.5 is at the 95th percentile of ability among active tennis players (according to the USTA)... of course that may say less about folks who are 4.5+, and more about the folks below them.
The thing is that typical 4.5 is VERY GOOD in hitting the ball, but very average as an athlete, nothing more special than your average regular running or gym trainer.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
The thing is that typical 4.5 is VERY GOOD in hitting the ball, but very average as an athlete, nothing more special than your average regular running or gym trainer.
That's not necessarily true. NTRP ratings have nothing to do with athleticism and everything to do with SKILL. As far as athleticism goes, Roger Federer can't do that many things better than me. He can't beat me at long jump, high jump, 100 meter sprint, basketball. He can't bench more than I can. He couldn't cover the average HS wide receiver that Div. 1 programs had even a lukewarm interest in. But he clearly has more skill than I do with a racquet in his hand and that's all that matters.

There's no question Federer is a good athlete, but he's not freakishly athletic like a Russell Westbrook or Allen Iverson.
 
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