roger federer vs novak djokovic match up :: federer changes racket would be his main problem agianst djokovic

skypadq

Professional






Take a good look at these two rallying games

2009 us open semi final vs 2015 us open final
One of the reasons Federer lost power when he faced Djokovic in the Grand Slam is because he changed his racket from a small racket to a large racket
Of course, when you play against Nadal, the big racket will fit well
When I play with Djokovic, I really need the power of that forehand and backhand of a small racket.

And I think Federer might have won the 2015 us Open final if he played with a little racket more confidently.
That's why Federer kept losing to Djokovic in the majors, because he changed it from 2013 with a big racket.
 

SonnyT

Professional
Funny how you skipped over their '10 and '11 USO encounters, when Roger was still using the small racket!

It was a backhand-forehand tradeoff. Federer started losing big matches to Djokovic long before the racket switch! The switch did help Fed dominate Nadal, by turning his backhand from a liability to an asset!

Here's a thought: maybe he could've used different rackets depending upon the opponents and the match strategies. I mean, his small-racket backhand was never the liability against Novak that it was against Rafa!
 
If anything, his lack of clutch hurt him big time against nadal and djoker
Losses like 2010-11 uso, 2014 wim, 2015 uso, 2019 wim aren't age or racquet related.
Federer always had the matchup advantage over nole (even if not as big as nadal had over rog), but his lack of clutch has put him on the losing side of the most tight matches ever.
 
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blablavla

Hall of Fame
Bigger racket gives more power and less control.
it usually as well provides a bigger sweet spot, so less shanks.
which comes at the expense of the surgical precision attached to rackets with smaller head size.

but as Roger aged on one side, and his footwork wasn't good enough to keep hitting the sweet spot of the smaller racket
and on another side the game is all into heavy top spins, which in particular on clay make it more difficult to hit the sweet spot of the smaller racket
I think it was overall a good decision to change.
 

SonnyT

Professional

Federer against non-Djokovic opponents (same players he met in both periods):

2008-13 --> 120-52 (69.8%)
2014-20 --> 106-23 (82.2%)

The new racquet has been working perfectly against those who were not Djokovic.
That's a great stat, proving once and for all that Federer actually improved with age during the teens, contrary to the mantra coming from Fedfans.

Without Djokovic, he without a doubt would be the no. 1 player in the world the last 5 years. Remember he's 6-1 against Nadal since '15.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
That's a great stat, proving once and for all that Federer actually improved with age during the teens, contrary to the mantra coming from Fedfans.

Without Djokovic, he without a doubt would be the no. 1 player in the world the last 5 years. Remember he's 6-1 against Nadal since '15.
or alternatively it proves that the current competition level is at it weakest point in a long time, thus allowing 3 old dudes to dominate the tour.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
That's a great stat, proving once and for all that Federer actually improved with age during the teens, contrary to the mantra coming from Fedfans.

Without Djokovic, he without a doubt would be the no. 1 player in the world the last 5 years. Remember he's 6-1 against Nadal since '15.
it's not Djokovic who prevented Fed to dominate the tour since '15.
just count how often he lost in early rounds.
Novak defeated him in most important matches, but even without Novak, Stefanos at AO, Millman or Dimitrov at USO, Rublev in Cincinnati and many other occasions where at times Novak was eliminated, so the draw opened up, and yet Roger went home without title and with little points.
so, it is impossible to deny the aging factor.

AO'15 lost to Seppi in R3
Dubai'15 defeated Novak in F
IW'15 lost to Novak in F
MC'15 lost to Monfils in R3
Madrid'15 lost to NK in R2
Rome'15 lost to Novak in F
RG'15 lost to Wawrinka in QF
W'15 lost to Novak in F
Cincinnati'15 defeated Novak in F
USO'15 lost to Novak in F
Shanghai'15 lost to Ramos-Vinolas in R2
Paris'15 lost to Isner in R3
London '15 defeated Novak in group phase and lost in the final

Brisbane'16 lost to Raonic in F
AO'16 lost to Novak in F
MC'16 lost to Tsonga in QF
Rome'16 lost to Thiem in R3
Stuttgart'16 lost to Thiem in SF
Halle'16 lost to Zverev in SF
W'16 lost to Raonic in SF

Dubai'17 lost to Donskoy in R2
Stuttgart'17 lost to Haas in R2
Montreal'17 lost to Zverev in F
USO'17 lost to Del Potro in QF
London'17 lost to Goffin in SF

IW'18 lost to Del Potro in F
Miami'18 lost to Kokkinakkis in R2
Halle'18 lost to Coric in F
W'18 lost to Anderson in QF
Cincinnati'18 lost to Novak in F
USO'18 lost to Millman in R16
Shanghai'18 lost to Coric in SF
Paris'18 lost to Novak in SF
London'18 lost to Nishikori in groups and then to Zverev in SF

AO'19 lost to Stefanos in R16
IW'19 lost to Thiem in F
Madrid'19 lost to Thiem in QF
Rome'19 lost to Stefanos in QF
RG'19 lost to Nadal in SF
W'19 lost to Novak in F
Cincinnati'19 lost to Rublev in R16
USO'19 lost to Dimitrov in QF
Shanghai'19 lost to Zverev in QF
London'19 lost to Thiem in groups, defeated Novak in groups, lost to Stefanos in SF
 

SonnyT

Professional
For some reason the new racquet doesn't work against Djokovic. :(
It's easy to see why the more potent dependable backhand worked against Nadal, but not against Djokovic. Going after Federer's backhand was THE cornerstone of Nadal's strategy against Federer. When Federer took that away, and even could hurt Nadal with the backhand, Nadal didn't have any backup strategy to go to.

What has been Djokovic's strategy against Federer. I'd say to move the ball around, and make Federer run. But that's his strategy against just about any player Djokovic has ever played. And it still works against Federer, and anyone else!

My questions: what are Federer and Nadal's strategies against Djokovic? Surprisingly, it's not evident, is it?

blablabvia, short pithy answers are best, just like powerful returns to the corners in tennis!
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
It's easy to see why the more potent dependable backhand worked against Nadal, but not against Djokovic. Going after Federer's backhand was THE cornerstone of Nadal's strategy against Federer. When Federer took that away, and even could hurt Nadal with the backhand, Nadal didn't have any backup strategy to go to.

What has been Djokovic's strategy against Federer. I'd say to move the ball around, and make Federer run. But that's his strategy against just about any player Djokovic has ever played. And it still works against Federer, and anyone else!

My question: what are Federer and Nadal's strategies against Djokovic?

blablabvia, short pithy answers are best, just like powerful returns to the corners in tennis!
want a short answer?
it's not Djokovic who prevented Fed to dominate the tour since '15.
just count how often he lost in early rounds when the draw opened up, and Novak wasn't his threat, yet Roger went home without title and with little points.
Dimitrov at USO, Rublev in Cincinnati and many other occasions.

so, it is impossible to deny the aging factor.
 

SonnyT

Professional
Asides from Djokovic, the 2 dominant players in the last half decade were Federer and Nadal. And one dominated the other, to the tune of 6-1 h2h. So my earlier statement is eminently accurate. No one disputed that Federer, and the other Big 3 for that matter, have lost repeatedly to lesser players!

Djokovic hurt Federer much more than Nadal. You don't have to look any further than Federer's favorite tournament Wimbledon, where Djokovic took 3 trophies off Federer's palms!
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
Asides from Djokovic, the 2 dominant players in the last half decade were Federer and Nadal. And one dominated the other, to the tune of 6-1 h2h. So my earlier statement is eminently accurate. No one disputed that Federer, and the other Big 3 for that matter, have lost repeatedly to lesser players!

Djokovic hurt Federer much more than Nadal. You don't have to look any further than Federer's favorite tournament Wimbledon, where Djokovic took 3 trophies off Federer's palms!
With all the hurt from Novak, I would say Novak is his second biggest "enemy", with the first one being the age.
As many players who retired mentioned, it's not a matter of bringing your best form in 1 match, it is the difficulty to keep it day in day out, week in week out and stay out of injuries when you need to train and play at the ATP intensity level.
I'm sure you can do the math and see how many points Fed lost.
You might remember as well that in some of these matches he was leading and yet managed to lose. This is not to talk about his "epic" matches vs Sandgren and Millman for example.

So, yes, with age it is more difficult to maintain the level required to edge the tour.

AO'15 lost to Seppi in R3
MC'15 lost to Monfils in R3
Madrid'15 lost to NK in R2
Shanghai'15 lost to Ramos-Vinolas in R2
Paris'15 lost to Isner in R3
MC'16 lost to Tsonga in QF
Rome'16 lost to Thiem in R3
Dubai'17 lost to Donskoy in R2
Stuttgart'17 lost to Haas in R2
Miami'18 lost to Kokkinakkis in R2
W'18 lost to Anderson in QF
USO'18 lost to Millman in R16
AO'19 lost to Stefanos in R16
Cincinnati'19 lost to Rublev in R16
USO'19 lost to Dimitrov in QF
Shanghai'19 lost to Zverev in QF
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster

ADuck

Hall of Fame
It's easy to see why the more potent dependable backhand worked against Nadal, but not against Djokovic. Going after Federer's backhand was THE cornerstone of Nadal's strategy against Federer. When Federer took that away, and even could hurt Nadal with the backhand, Nadal didn't have any backup strategy to go to.

What has been Djokovic's strategy against Federer. I'd say to move the ball around, and make Federer run. But that's his strategy against just about any player Djokovic has ever played. And it still works against Federer, and anyone else!

My questions: what are Federer and Nadal's strategies against Djokovic? Surprisingly, it's not evident, is it?

blablabvia, short pithy answers are best, just like powerful returns to the corners in tennis!
You're joking right? Djokovic is the second biggest abuser of Fed's backhand.
 

SonnyT

Professional
You're joking right? Djokovic is the second biggest abuser of Fed's backhand.
That's not what I said, because anyone could see Djokovic has for a long time picked on Federer's BH. I said going after the backhand was almost the whole of Nadal's strategy. When it was no longer an option, he had no Plan B.

I never said Djokovic didn't go after Federer's backhand. But his main strategy was and is still to move the ball around and make Federer run. That's why Federer wasn't able to turn that rivalry around, unlike with Nadal. BTW, even with the new racquet, Djokovic still goes after Fed's backhand, as made clear by the 5th set tiebreak of '19 Wim F.

In other words, with Federer's improved BH, Nadal's strategy became obsolete, but Djokovic's is still viable!
 
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SonnyT

Professional
Actually, I think the BH was only one of 3 components why Federer was able to turn around his rivalry with Nadal, since '15. Another is Nadal's loss of some foot speed.

The third is Nadal's loss of the clutchness gene. Like losing 5 straight games to Federer when leading 3-1 in the 5th set of '17 AO F. Like losing 3 tiebreaks to Thiem in '20 AO QF. Now Federer is actually more clutch than Nadal.
 
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Sudacafan

G.O.A.T.
it's not Djokovic who prevented Fed to dominate the tour since '15.
just count how often he lost in early rounds.
Novak defeated him in most important matches, but even without Novak, Stefanos at AO, Millman or Dimitrov at USO, Rublev in Cincinnati and many other occasions where at times Novak was eliminated, so the draw opened up, and yet Roger went home without title and with little points.
so, it is impossible to deny the aging factor.

AO'15 lost to Seppi in R3
Dubai'15 defeated Novak in F
IW'15 lost to Novak in F
MC'15 lost to Monfils in R3
Madrid'15 lost to NK in R2
Rome'15 lost to Novak in F
RG'15 lost to Wawrinka in QF
W'15 lost to Novak in F
Cincinnati'15 defeated Novak in F
USO'15 lost to Novak in F
Shanghai'15 lost to Ramos-Vinolas in R2
Paris'15 lost to Isner in R3
London '15 defeated Novak in group phase and lost in the final

Brisbane'16 lost to Raonic in F
AO'16 lost to Novak in F
MC'16 lost to Tsonga in QF
Rome'16 lost to Thiem in R3
Stuttgart'16 lost to Thiem in SF
Halle'16 lost to Zverev in SF
W'16 lost to Raonic in SF

Dubai'17 lost to Donskoy in R2
Stuttgart'17 lost to Haas in R2
Montreal'17 lost to Zverev in F
USO'17 lost to Del Potro in QF
London'17 lost to Goffin in SF

IW'18 lost to Del Potro in F
Miami'18 lost to Kokkinakkis in R2
Halle'18 lost to Coric in F
W'18 lost to Anderson in QF
Cincinnati'18 lost to Novak in F
USO'18 lost to Millman in R16
Shanghai'18 lost to Coric in SF
Paris'18 lost to Novak in SF
London'18 lost to Nishikori in groups and then to Zverev in SF

AO'19 lost to Stefanos in R16
IW'19 lost to Thiem in F
Madrid'19 lost to Thiem in QF
Rome'19 lost to Stefanos in QF
RG'19 lost to Nadal in SF
W'19 lost to Novak in F
Cincinnati'19 lost to Rublev in R16
USO'19 lost to Dimitrov in QF
Shanghai'19 lost to Zverev in QF
London'19 lost to Thiem in groups, defeated Novak in groups, lost to Stefanos in SF
Federer loses too much. He may return to #1 if he stops losing for one year (non pandemic year, of course).
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
That's not what I said, because anyone could see Djokovic has for a long time picked on Federer's BH. I said going after the backhand was almost the whole of Nadal's strategy. When it was no longer an option, he had no Plan B.

I never said Djokovic didn't go after Federer's backhand. But his main strategy was and is still to move the ball around and make Federer run. That's why Federer wasn't able to turn that rivalry around, unlike with Nadal. BTW, even with the new racquet, Djokovic still goes after Fed's backhand, as made clear by the 5th set tiebreak of '19 Wim F.

In other words, with Federer's improved BH, Nadal's strategy became obsolete, but Djokovic's is still viable!
I don't agree exactly the way you described it. Djokovic's main game plan from what I see is still to attack Fed's BH relentlessly. Not the same degree as Nadal did, but still enough for me to call it his main game plan. The reason why I think has become less succesful for Nadal and not Djokovic is because Nadal's FH and Djokovic's BH are different shots. Fed is confident to hit early hard topspin straight back at Nadal's FH because it's prone to being rushed. Federer knows he can't do the same thing to Djokovic because Djokovic isn't going to overspin his BH and hit short. That's why he slicing so bloody much.
 

SonnyT

Professional
You've good point, Duck! I meant to say that pounding Federer's BH is the cornerstone of Nadal's strategy, but is only part of Djokovic's.

Were these the only two who kept pounding Fed' BH? Probably Murray (among many others) also tried, but when the two met, it was Federer who dictated the play (and the ground rules and the results)!
 

MeatTornado

Legend
Actually, I think the BH was only one of 3 components why Federer was able to turn around his rivalry with Nadal, since '15. Another is Nadal's loss of some foot speed.

The third is Nadal's loss of the clutchness gene. Like losing 5 straight games to Federer when leading 3-1 in the 5th set of '17 AO F. Like losing 3 tiebreaks to Thiem in '20 AO QF. Now Federer is actually more clutch than Nadal.
Well let's pump the brakes there. Yes, Nadal is not the same mental titan he once was and Federer absolutely out-clutched Nadal in that one match in January 2017. It was a clutch display of historic levels, I'm not arguing that. However...

Since that day he's blown six matches where he had match points, including a major final. And Federer's 2019 AO where he went 0-12 on BP and lost 3 sets in a row 6-7, 5-7, 6-7 at least equals how Nadal lost to Thiem down under. Nadal has lost clutch from his insane mental peak years ago, but that doesn't mean Federer is actually above him in that department now imo.
 

Tennis sprew

Hall of Fame






Take a good look at these two rallying games

2009 us open semi final vs 2015 us open final
One of the reasons Federer lost power when he faced Djokovic in the Grand Slam is because he changed his racket from a small racket to a large racket
Of course, when you play against Nadal, the big racket will fit well
When I play with Djokovic, I really need the power of that forehand and backhand of a small racket.

And I think Federer might have won the 2015 us Open final if he played with a little racket more confidently.
That's why Federer kept losing to Djokovic in the majors, because he changed it from 2013 with a big racket.
I say give Fed a pure drive and let it be done with!
 

Start da Game

Hall of Fame
Funny how you skipped over their '10 and '11 USO encounters, when Roger was still using the small racket!

It was a backhand-forehand tradeoff. Federer started losing big matches to Djokovic long before the racket switch! The switch did help Fed dominate Nadal, by turning his backhand from a liability to an asset!

Here's a thought: maybe he could've used different rackets depending upon the opponents and the match strategies. I mean, his small-racket backhand was never the liability against Novak that it was against Rafa!
i think he is spot on with his analysis.........uso 2010 and 2011 are not good examples to counter his point, as in both matches he had match points and lost........the bigger frame definitely allowed for some safety against rafa's vicious topspin forehand and kind of brought him back into the rivalry, rafa turning into a chicken has only made it even easier for him.........

everything is gained at a price, and the losses to djokovic is the price he is paying to deal with rafa successfully........still these are all no excuses for any losses to anybody........everything and every change in career is all part of the sport, it would be like claiming sampras would have won a roland garros or two at the expense of a wimbledon or two, had he switched to a 95 frame.........only injuries can be excuses.........
 

SonnyT

Professional
Nadal's most potent weapon against Federer: his FH to Fed's BH. Fed's answer: bigger racquet with bigger sweet spot. Problem solved!

Djokovic's most potent weapon against Federer: his return of Fed's serve. Fed actually solved it for the '19 Wimbledon F; excepting of course the double MP's and 3 tiebreaks!

Fed's BH didn't turn around his match-up with Djokovic, because it doesn't address Djokovic's two best weapons, which are his service return and BH!
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
I don't agree exactly the way you described it. Djokovic's main game plan from what I see is still to attack Fed's BH relentlessly. Not the same degree as Nadal did, but still enough for me to call it his main game plan. The reason why I think has become less succesful for Nadal and not Djokovic is because Nadal's FH and Djokovic's BH are different shots. Fed is confident to hit early hard topspin straight back at Nadal's FH because it's prone to being rushed. Federer knows he can't do the same thing to Djokovic because Djokovic isn't going to overspin his BH and hit short. That's why he slicing so bloody much.
This.Hitting deep shots to Fed's backhand has proved to be a very successful strategy.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Nadal's most potent weapon against Federer: his FH to Fed's BH. Fed's answer: bigger racquet with bigger sweet spot. Problem solved!

Djokovic's most potent weapon against Federer: his return of Fed's serve. Fed actually solved it for the '19 Wimbledon F; excepting of course the double MP's and 3 tiebreaks!

Fed's BH didn't turn around his match-up with Djokovic, because it doesn't address Djokovic's two best weapons, which are his service return and BH!
You have to take into account that Fed's forehand back in the day was more problematic to Djokovic compared to recent years.Fed's forehand pre 2013 simply penetrated the court better and that helped him against Novak on the biggest stages.
 

ericarnett88

New User
It is clear the old racket helped Federer at the slams with Djokovic. Even in his declined state, he was able to beat Djokovic at the FO 2011 and W 2012. If Federer had started out with a big racket, of course he would have developed outstanding shots and consistency. He would have hit Indian Wells 2017 level during his peak. The new racket in 2014 gave Fed the easy power and consistency but he was already declined and couldn’t develop what he did with the old racket. It’s not just the forehand penetration issue with Djokovic. His old slice used to trouble djokovic. His slice is still one of the best on tour but nothing like it was. At the same time, the new racket allowed a Fed to eliminate the H2H issue Nadal. Federer’s backhand with the old racket was very productive but it fell off at the end of 2007. His forehand was still good for a while longer. The new racket returned his backhand to 2006-2007 only against Nadal. For some reason the neo backhand only shows up against nadal. Fed is able to put himself in a special mental space where he concentrates on his backhand against Nadal. The backhand was never an issue against anyone else so that may be why.
 

SonnyT

Professional
Federer's biggest weapon is his serve; Djokovic's biggest weapon is his return. More often than not, in the battle of biggest weapons in tennis, Djokovic has the slightest of edge. In retrospect, it's clear the new backhand couldn't change that dynamic!

Fed's other rivalry? Nadal's biggest weapon is his forehand. For most of the rivalry, he kept pounding it CC to Federer's relative weakness. So the new backhand could and did change completely the dynamic!

If somehow Federer could find a racquet that makes his 1st serve more impenetrable to the Djokovic return, that'd overturn that rivalry completely around.
 
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ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Federer's biggest weapon is his serve; Djokovic's biggest weapon is his return. More often than not, in the battle of biggest weapons in tennis, Djokovic has the slightest of edge. In retrospect, it's clear the new backhand couldn't change that dynamic!

Fed's other rivalry? Nadal's biggest weapon is his forehand. For most of the rivalry, he kept pounding it CC to Federer's relative weakness. So the new backhand could and did change completely the dynamic!

If somehow Federer could find a racquet that makes his 1st serve more impenetrable to the Djokovic return, that'd overturn that rivalry completely around.
In order to have a chance, Fed needs to do 2 things :
1.No choking
2.Hit the forehand like he did pre 2013
None of this will gonna happen though, so it is how it is.It's not that much about the serve because Fed even improved his placement with the new racket, but that is not enough and he can't serve like Pete or Andy Roddick.
 
That's a great stat, proving once and for all that Federer actually improved with age during the teens, contrary to the mantra coming from Fedfans.

Without Djokovic, he without a doubt would be the no. 1 player in the world the last 5 years. Remember he's 6-1 against Nadal since '15.
Which speaks wonders about the field of the last 5 years.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
Federer knows he can't do the same thing to Djokovic because Djokovic isn't going to overspin his BH and hit short. That's why he slicing so bloody much.
Federer has used the slice tactic against Novak because in earlier days, Djokovic didn't respond well to the slice. He almost always replies with slice of his own (a far weaker shot than Fed's slice) and it takes away his biggest weapon: the topspin BH. And Fed used the slice strategy big time at the 2018 Paris Masters and came within a few points of beating him there.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
If somehow Federer could find a racquet that makes his 1st serve more impenetrable to the Djokovic return, that'd overturn that rivalry completely around.
At 39 years of age, there is absolutely nothing Fed can do to change the dynamic unless Djokovic experiences a mental walkabout like in 2017 or a sudden and dramatic physical decline. Fed could suddenly be gifted Pete's peak serve and it won't compensate for his decline in speed/movement and the marked decline in his FH. Djokovic owns him mentally in B05 and nothing is going to change that considering Fed's advanced age.
 

SonnyT

Professional
For some reason the neo backhand only shows up against nadal. Fed is able to put himself in a special mental space where he concentrates on his backhand against Nadal. The backhand was never an issue against anyone else so that may be why.
Federer used the new BH against everybody, but its effect was most noticeable against Nadal. Why? Because the universe of Fed's opponents fall into 3 categories:

Cat 1: players Fed beats with the old or new BH's - essentially everyone not named Nadal and Djokovic.
Cat 2: players Fed beats with the new, but not the old, BH - Nadal
Cat 3: players not included in 1 or 2.
 

The Guru

Professional
If anything, his lack of clutch hurt him big time against nadal and djoker
Losses like 2010-11 uso, 2014 wim, 2015 uso, 2019 wim aren't age or racquet related.
Federer always had the matchup advantage over nole (even if not as big as nadal had over rog), but his lack of clutch has put him on the losing side of the most tight matches ever.
I think this is extremely overstated. I don't think mental was the differentiator in those matches except W 2019 and maybe 2015. 2010/2014 were good mental performance from Fed and 2011 was good outside of the 5-3 game post crazy return.
 
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