"Poor tactics"

Jaitock1991

Hall of Fame
I'm among the ones of his fans who actually disagrees with this strongly(his stubbornness being an issue). To me, his stubbornness(i.e. his belief in himself and his own ability/strategy) is exactly what has made him one of the greatest players of all time. Without it he wouldn't have won nearly as much as he has, simply because he would have never become as good as his stubbornness has allowed him to become. And certainly he would not still be going strong well into his 38th year after more than 20 years on tour.

Sure. Sometimes when he loses one could argue(without ever knowing) that he would have done better using a different strategy, but what about all the tough matches when he wins BECAUSE of his unwillingness to let a few bad points/games affect his courage to still commit to his game?
 
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skip1969

Legend
I'm among the ones of his fans who actually disagrees with this strongly(his stubbornness being an issue). To me, his stubbornness(i.e. his belief in himself and his own ability) is exactly what has made him one of the greatest players of all time. Without it he wouldn't have won nearly as much as he would, simply because he would never become as good as his stubbornness allowed him to become. And certainly he would not still be going strong well into his 38th year after more than 20 years on tour.
When he was winning everything in sight, sure. But inability to change a losing strategy is not a strength, it's a weakness. You teach juniors to change strategies mid-match if the one they started the match with isn't working. But Fed doesn't. It's why I never cared for the storied Fedal finals (especially at RG) where Fed loses the same way every year doing the same thing. It's groundhog day.
 

Jaitock1991

Hall of Fame
When he was winning everything in sight, sure. But inability to change a losing strategy is not a strength, it's a weakness. You teach juniors to change strategies mid-match if the one they started the match with isn't working. But Fed doesn't. It's why I never cared for the storied Fedal finals (especially at RG) where Fed loses the same way every year doing the same thing. It's groundhog day.
I see your point, and definitely agree with it. But I also kind of feel like you talk as if Fed is the most one-dimensional player out there. If you look closer, you will actually see that there are a lot of tactical nuances to Fed's game, even versus Rafa. There's a reason Rafa(and later Novak) was pretty much the only one who could consistently challenge him during his peak years. It's not because all the other guys were stupid; it's because Fed would adjust easily to whichever tactics/strategies they would throw at him. Watch the matches closely and it becomes quite obvious. Fed also tried a lot of different stuff vs Nadal, but he was up against an insanely formidable opponent who also happened to have a natural match-up advantage over him; ideally equiped to deal with his strengths, and perfectly equiped to expose his(very relative) weaknesses. Very difficult to adjust to that.
 

skip1969

Legend
I see your point, and definitely agree with it. But I also kind of feel like you talk as if Fed is the most one-dimensional player out there. If you look closer, you will actually see that there are a lot of tactical nuances to Fed's game, even versus Rafa. There's a reason Rafa(and later Novak) was pretty much the only one who could consistently challenge him during his peak years. It's not because all the other guys were stupid; it's because Fed would adjust easily to whichever tactics/strategies they would throw at him. Watch the matches closely and it becomes quite obvious. Fed also tried a lot of different stuff vs Nadal, but he was up against an insanely formidable opponent who also happened to have a natural match-up advantage over him; ideally equiped to deal with his strengths, and perfectly equiped to expose his(very relative) weaknesses. Very difficult to adjust to that.
Hey, I recognize the guy is otherworldly. And he had a great run when he was on top. But I think there is something to people complaining about him being stubborn. And I think he's stubborn because he is so good. So he feels, even if say, he's shanking all over the place . . . he'll stick to baselining cos, ya know, his strokes will come back. Or if he's squandering break points, no biggie, he'll get the next one. If the break doesn't come, he'll win it in the tiebreak. If he's getting pushed around on the baseline, it's okay, he'll find a way back into the match. Just keep the faith.

Thing is, sometimes nuance doesn't work. Sometimes you have to start from square one out there . . . because you're having an off day . . . or your opponent is on fire, or your plan isn't working . . . or the conditions are against you. For Fed, this only happens mostly when he plays the big boys. But when he is exposed out there, he just seems to shrug it off and assume that he'll end up winning because, whatever, he's Fed. That, Well, "I'm Fed" don't work against Nadal and Novak.
 

rushhr

Rookie
I was one of the people that called him stubborn. I would have recommended that fed throw in more down the line slices to stan's forehand, short angles and drop shots; even moony junkballs. Anything to throw Stan out of his monstrous groove which seemed to be on for the 45min of the match that I watched. Just a my layman's analysis.
 

Jaitock1991

Hall of Fame
Hey, I recognize the guy is otherworldly. And he had a great run when he was on top. But I think there is something to people complaining about him being stubborn. And I think he's stubborn because he is so good. So he feels, even if say, he's shanking all over the place . . . he'll stick to baselining cos, ya know, his strokes will come back. Or if he's squandering break points, no biggie, he'll get the next one. If the break doesn't come, he'll win it in the tiebreak. If he's getting pushed around on the baseline, it's okay, he'll find a way back into the match. Just keep the faith.

Thing is, sometimes nuance doesn't work. Sometimes you have to start from square one out there . . . because you're having an off day . . . or your opponent is on fire, or your plan isn't working . . . or the conditions are against you. For Fed, this only happens mostly when he plays the big boys. But when he is exposed out there, he just seems to shrug it off and assume that he'll end up winning because, whatever, he's Fed. That, Well, "I'm Fed" don't work against Nadal and Novak.
Fair enough :)
 

Gazelle

Legend
When he was winning everything in sight, sure. But inability to change a losing strategy is not a strength, it's a weakness. You teach juniors to change strategies mid-match if the one they started the match with isn't working. But Fed doesn't. It's why I never cared for the storied Fedal finals (especially at RG) where Fed loses the same way every year doing the same thing. It's groundhog day.
There was never a RG Fedal final where any strategy would have worked out till the end for Fed. Actually there's no strategy for any player against Claydal, except maybe Djokovic. It was basically mission impossible.

If had found the Neo-backhand during his prime, he could have rivalled Nadal more. But not with the backhand he had back then.
 

skip1969

Legend
There was never a RG Fedal final where any strategy would have worked out till the end for Fed. Actually there's no strategy for any player against Claydal, except maybe Djokovic. It was basically mission impossible.

If had found the Neo-backhand during his prime, he could have rivalled Nadal more. But not with the backhand he had back then.
And yet two people have managed to figure out a way to beat him at RG. Which means, it's not impossible. Because, well . . . impossible doesn't exist in sport. That's why we call them "upsets."
 

Gazelle

Legend
And yet two people have managed to figure out a way to beat him at RG. Which means, it's not impossible. Because, well . . . impossible doesn't exist in sport. That's why we call them "upsets."
They had different games than Federer.
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
And yet two people have managed to figure out a way to beat him at RG. Which means, it's not impossible. Because, well . . . impossible doesn't exist in sport. That's why we call them "upsets."
Fed doesn't have Soderling's height and firepower from the baseline or Novak's impeccable 2-hander.

I mean I get your overall point (Fed being stubborn) but you could basically make it about almost every ATG that ever existed. Save for a few exceptions like Wilander or Borg, ATGs have always mostly been about overwhelming the field with their A game, not adapting like a chameleon based on the opponent. Fed switching to a bigger racquet and staying closer to the baseline to stay relevant when he's few years short of 40 is already more adapting than most great players ever did.

Fed playing all-court tennis agains a top guy in a slow as molasses era where all-court tennis doesn't work anywhere except some dinky grass tourneys and first few rounds at Wimbledon is a bit too much to expect. Those skills have to be honed and practiced, he can't just pull them out of a hat deep into a slam. For a very long time now he has basically been a baseliner (a verastile baseliner for sure but still a hardcore baseliner) with some all-court flavour, in this era you win big titles from the baseline or you don't win them at all.
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
Every single time Federer is losing, Federer fanboys accuse him of being "stubborn," without ever saying what he should do instead (because they don't have the faintest idea...they're just frustrated that Federer is struggling).
Given the username you're probably trolling but no, It's quite the opposite. People here nearly always say what tactics they wish Fed would have used, in great detail too.

For example I've been reading about Fed coming over his BH on the return more often and switching to a bigger racquet for years on TTW.

Now you could say Fed fans oftentimes ignore the opponent and what he brings to the table, acting like the match solely depends on Fed. With that I would somewhat agree.
 

skip1969

Legend
Fed doesn't have Soderling's height and firepower from the baseline or Novak's impeccable 2-hander.

I mean I get your overall point (Fed being stubborn) but you could basically make it about almost every ATG that ever existed. Save for a few exceptions like Wilander or Borg, ATGs have always mostly been about overwhelming the field with their A game, not adapting like a chameleon based on the opponent. Fed switching to a bigger racquet and staying closer to the baseline to stay relevant when he's few years short of 40 is already more adapting than most great players ever did.

Fed playing all-court tennis agains a top guy in a slow as molasses era where all-court tennis doesn't work anywhere except some dinky grass tourneys and first few rounds at Wimbledon is a bit too much to expect. Those skills have to be honed and practiced, he can't just pull them out of a hat deep into a slam. For a very long time now he has basically been a baseliner (a verastile baseliner for sure but still a hardcore baseliner) with some all-court flavour, in this era you win big titles from the baseline or you don't win them at all.
Your first sentence basically highlights my whole point. If (by your win/loss record), you've proven that your natural A game isn't conducive to beating player A, then feel free to adopt any strategy that's out there and lose that way instead. Either way, you're going into the match at a disadvantage, but at least you get to go out differently each time, and not playing the way you've already proven something you already knew: That playing your A game doesn't work.

Listen, I mean, ultimately, I don't care. I've never cared for their matchups, and I've been consistent about that for over 10 years here. I'm ecstatic when they don't meet up, and if they do, I almost always take the day off from watching tennis. Because I've seen that show already. But I won't spoil the fun for those who like watching them play. ;)
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
Your first sentence basically highlights my whole point. If (by your win/loss record), you've proven that your natural A game isn't conducive to beating player A, then feel free to adopt any strategy that's out there and lose that way instead. Either way, you're going into the match at a disadvantage, but at least you get to go out differently each time, and not playing the way you've already proven something you already knew: That playing your A game doesn't work.

Listen, I mean, ultimately, I don't care. I've never cared for their matchups, and I've been consistent about that for over 10 years here. I'm ecstatic when they don't meet up, and if they do, I almost always take the day off from watching tennis. Because I've seen that show already. But I won't spoil the fun for those who like watching them play. ;)
Oh don't get me wrong, it's by far the most overrated rivalry in the history of the game if you ask me, I never cared for the hype either. I'm just saying that it's hard to go against your instincts in a big match and Fed's instincts are that of a baseliner (regardless of how he may have started out).

I get your point though, I'd also like to see Fed try something different on Friday just to make it a bit more interesting if nothing else but we both know very well that he won't.
 

skip1969

Legend
Oh don't get me wrong, it's by far the most overrated rivalry in the history of the game if you ask me, I never cared for the hype either. I'm just saying that it's hard to go against your instincts in a big match and Fed's instincts are that of a baseliner (regardless of how he may have started out).

I get your point though, I'd also like to see Fed try something different on Friday just to make it a bit more interesting if nothing else but we both know very well that he won't.
I guess what it shows (to me) is that he was a far more interesting player then than he is now. Again, in terms of what I view as interesting tennis. I liked to see him all over the court years ago, when it was still possible for guys with skill to do that and win. I get it. He's older now, the tour has changed . . . a lot. And now it's a grinder's tour and everything is a grind. Again, not my cup of tea and why I tend to invest less time in the sport than I used to.

I accept all of that and still gleen what I can from selective watching of the tour. I'll be paying more attention once RG ends cos we're finally off the clay, though having said that, I'm surprised how much clay I've watched this year. And somehow, I still enjoy watching RG (maybe not the final) because I still love tennis and love the Slams . . . despite the fact that, overall, I find the tour a lot less appealing.
 

Vrad

Professional
When he was winning everything in sight, sure. But inability to change a losing strategy is not a strength, it's a weakness. You teach juniors to change strategies mid-match if the one they started the match with isn't working. But Fed doesn't. It's why I never cared for the storied Fedal finals (especially at RG) where Fed loses the same way every year doing the same thing. It's groundhog day.
It used to actually be a little worse with Federer. Several games against Rafa/Novak when he was losing to them, you'd see him start with a new strategy, and win the first set, or start off strong, at the very least, and then see him revert to his standard strategy by the time the second set rolled around.

I think he has improved a lot in this area over the last couple of years, and has been taking far more risks (he's kind of been forced to do so) and trying different things.

The best way to see his stubbornness is not in his in game strategy, where it's hard to find objective facts, since any claim can be countered. For example, my claim above could be countered with someone saying his opponent adapted to his new strategy and it stopped working. The most objective example of his stubbornness during his winning years, and slightly after, was how late he switched to a larger racket.

Moving to a larger racket would have benefited him many years ago, and he went several years doing nothing but losing, before he finally bit the bullet after an injury. And it paid huge dividends, even if it came a bit too late.
 

Vrad

Professional
There was never a RG Fedal final where any strategy would have worked out till the end for Fed. Actually there's no strategy for any player against Claydal, except maybe Djokovic. It was basically mission impossible.

If had found the Neo-backhand during his prime, he could have rivalled Nadal more. But not with the backhand he had back then.
If Federer had switched to a larger racket earlier in his career he would have stood a better chance.

He still wouldnt have won.
 
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Big_Dangerous

Talk Tennis Guru
Fed doesn't have Soderling's height and firepower from the baseline or Novak's impeccable 2-hander.

I mean I get your overall point (Fed being stubborn) but you could basically make it about almost every ATG that ever existed. Save for a few exceptions like Wilander or Borg, ATGs have always mostly been about overwhelming the field with their A game, not adapting like a chameleon based on the opponent. Fed switching to a bigger racquet and staying closer to the baseline to stay relevant when he's few years short of 40 is already more adapting than most great players ever did.

Fed playing all-court tennis agains a top guy in a slow as molasses era where all-court tennis doesn't work anywhere except some dinky grass tourneys and first few rounds at Wimbledon is a bit too much to expect. Those skills have to be honed and practiced, he can't just pull them out of a hat deep into a slam. For a very long time now he has basically been a baseliner (a verastile baseliner for sure but still a hardcore baseliner) with some all-court flavour, in this era you win big titles from the baseline or you don't win them at all.
He didn't have either in 2017 when he beat Rafa 4 times that year, including 3 times in a final. ;)
 
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