The Decline of Federer's Backhand

wilsoneads

New User
I don't think it's any question that the reason Federer has fallen is because of his backhand. He chips it way more these days, and just isn't nearly as confident hitting it. What do you think happened? What caused its fall?

Also, for someone who hates the replay system, why does he use it so much?
 

m1stuhxsp4rk5

Professional
I just saw his match against that Brazilian Andreves I think and his backhand seemed fine to me...
not really he was missing some shots he usually wouldnt miss. he also hit some really bad slices that werent really effective or went into the net. his forehand doesnt seem as good as usual he did miss some easy shots
 

pow

Hall of Fame
I think his footwork declined therefore all of his shots aside from his serve are suffering.
 

Satch

Hall of Fame
slow footed and sloppy footwork affects all.
Roger's approach shots sucks... also his groundstrokes are not as fast as before, before he had the pace of James Blake and Agassi, now he play his shots with more spin but he frames the ball and miss very often...
 

David L

Hall of Fame
I don't think it's any question that the reason Federer has fallen is because of his backhand. He chips it way more these days, and just isn't nearly as confident hitting it. What do you think happened? What caused its fall?

Also, for someone who hates the replay system, why does he use it so much?
This all comes down to practice. It's not due to magic that players play well. You have to practice very well to do things very well, and quite simply Federer has not been able to get in the practice he would have been able to, had he not got sick. This has casually come up in some of his interviews and came up again after the match against Alves.

Q. You said during the off‑season you missed 20 days of practice because of your illness. Can you put into perspective what that 20 days means? Is that something that you can make up, or does that affect your preparation for the entire year?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it will definitely affect me throughout the year, you know, because I've got to work during the year, you know, to catch up, which makes you a little bit more tired at times.

This year was difficult because I couldn't really take tournaments off, because I always had to, you know, chase the rhythm of playing on that particular surface that I was wanting to play on.

That's the reason why maybe it was an important 20 days in the beginning of the year this year.

Q. Since having mono, has there been a residual effect where the normal fatigue that before you would have considered just a normal part of your season you pay more attention to, or, you know, how do you differentiate between just normal fatigue and maybe fatigue that could be signaling a recurrence?

ROGER FEDERER: Mmm, I mean, the fatigue, honestly, I've had it many times through my career, so I never look at it as, Is it back, you know, something like this.

I never really looked at it in this way. I mean, I was so tired after Beijing coming here, and then of course I'm a bit worried. But then I look back, maybe two years back, prior to Wimbledon I couldn't move for a week. I still was able to win Wimbledon after that.

Once the tournament gets underway you find energy somewhere, you know. So this is not the first time it happened, and so I don't put it down as my sickness, you know.

Maybe I put it down as sickness when I still feel a little bit slow sometimes. These are the moments when I might think, you know, this is maybe lack of practice still a little bit.

But with recuperation I never really feel like I have a problem to recover, which is a good thing.
 
I think it's his forehand that looks off. It used to be if you hit to his forehand and it wasn't a great shot, he put you on your heels in one shot.
 

samster

Legend
Whoever said his footwork is not as good as before is right on. Footwork will affect all the shots.

Compare his Wimbledon 2008 vs. 2007 finals against Nadal, you can see that his footwork this year is not as good as that of 2007.
 

quest01

Hall of Fame
From reading the replies in here it looks like its a mixture of everything that Federer is dealing with which is leading to his eventual demise. His forehand isn't as hard and consistent as it used to be which leads to a higher percentage of shanks and mishits. His backhand is inconsistent and unpredicable and his volleys are mediocre at best. You know what he needs to do to "correct" these problems as I shouldn't have to repeat it again.
 

joke-a-vich

Rookie
i just think fed needs to pull his pants up and start beleiving in himself again. he said so him self he wasn't as confident as he was last year.
 

fastdunn

Legend
IMHO, Federer's on-day performance did not decline.

He just seems to have off-days more often in 2008.

Plus, he could still beat just about everyone even on off-days until 2007. In 2008, however, top 20 players seem to beat Federer on his off-days. Maybe mono and lack of practices because of that. And maybe some aging (frequency of off-day).
 

rosewall4ever

Semi-Pro
IHe chips it way more these days, and just isn't nearly as confident hitting it.
Are you kidding, before he was slicing it more but now he's just topping the ball this way and that - leading to predicatable play and errors on his side. Need not i remind you of the key matches this past year...
 

ear_lobe

New User
AGREED! Soon to be worst in decline forehand. In wimbie he dumped A LOT of sitters into the net, including the last point...
I don't think i've ever seen nadal dump a sitter into the net. He's too consistant.
 

roundiesee

Hall of Fame
Coming back to the Alves match, Roger did hit 2 superb backhands in succession at deuce and 5-5 in the second set to break the Brazilian. Otherwise that set might have gone on to a breaker and Fed might have been in real trouble. So looks like he can still pull off some great shots when he needs to. His consistency however has to improve if he wants to match the likes of Nadal and Nole....
 

Mansewerz

Legend
This all comes down to practice. It's not due to magic that players play well. You have to practice very well to do things very well, and quite simply Federer has not been able to get in the practice he would have been able to, had he not got sick. This has casually come up in some of his interviews and came up again after the match against Alves.
Careful about the mono talk, it's supposedly bs!


I think Fed should just let the BH fly. But honestly, it's some coaching and practice. I'm no expert and I really shouldn't be giving advice.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
AGREED! Soon to be worst in decline forehand. In wimbie he dumped A LOT of sitters into the net, including the last point...
I don't think i've ever seen nadal dump a sitter into the net. He's too consistant.
watch more matches. he does this at least once a match, more often more than this. you're just apparently not paying attention when it happens.

everyone does it, bud.
 

samster

Legend
From reading the replies in here it looks like its a mixture of everything that Federer is dealing with which is leading to his eventual demise. His forehand isn't as hard and consistent as it used to be which leads to a higher percentage of shanks and mishits. His backhand is inconsistent and unpredicable and his volleys are mediocre at best. You know what he needs to do to "correct" these problems as I shouldn't have to repeat it again.
You mean he needs to use the racket that you are using? By the way, what racket are you using, Mr. Quest?
 

35ft6

Legend
He seems like he's thinking more out there. At his best, he was just free flowing, always looking natural and loose. These days there's a plodding feel to his play sometimes, like there's a war going on in his head between the stuff is coaches have told him and the way he's naturally inclined to play. I thought he had overcome that for good when he became Fed the Dominator, but it's almost like he's a less exuberant version of the "I have too many shots in my arsenal" player he was 7 years ago.
 
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urban

Legend
Federer's backhand was always a step behind the very top class. It looked good, when he could hit the ball in his comfort zone, a step inside court, half-high bounce. But under pressure, it could crack. Not only Nadal, also Safin and Nalbandian could expose it on occasion. I think, he is lacking wrist power, to hit sharp backhands low to the ground, or to really orchestrate a rally with the backhand. Real great onehanders could do this.
 
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David L

Hall of Fame
Federer's backhand was always a step behind the very top class. It looked good, when he could hit the ball in his comfort zone, a step inside court, half-high bounce. But under pressure, it could crack. Not only Nadal, also Safin and Nalbandian could expose it on occasion. I think, he is lacking wrist power, to hit sharp backhands low to the ground, or to really orchestrated a rally with the backhand. Real great onehanders could do this.
I think Federer's backhand is outstanding. I don't accept at all that it is not top drawer. Ancic believes it is the best on tour. I don't know if I would entirely agree with that, given the number of great backhands out there, but it is certainly amongst the best. It has everything, power, spin, consistency, variety. I think Federer has the best offensive and defensive slice on tour. I think there are others who can drive the ball slightly better, but Federer is no slouch here either. He also has his variety of flicks, bunts and dips he can pull out of the hat. Each player has their own unique set of abilities with their backhand. No player can do everything the next player can do, but I would say Federer has the most well rounded backhand on tour, if not definitively the best. People always go on about Haas' one-handed backhand, but I think Federer's is much better. I really like Nalbandian's double-hander as well.

Also, every player's backhand is worse than Nadal's forehand, so the fact that Federer's backhand may struggle at times in cross court rallies with Nadal, is not unique to him.
 

urban

Legend
Just a few days ago, i read a comment by John Newcombe about Federer's backhand shortcomings. He said, that Federer should go to the 73 years old Ken Rosewall, to learn a thing or two about a really knifing slice, especially down the line. And it didn't read like a joke. There are not too many good onehanders today, so its no suprise that Federer's is among the best today. But the shot lacks consistency (Federer had and has many shanks, when out of his comfort zone) and penetration on the slice, when under pressure.
Gasquet's, when on song, is imo superior. Kuertens was certainly better. In puncto versatility and penetration i would also prefer the backhands of Stich, Korda, even Lendl, who learnt and drilled himself into a good backhand. Also Puerta (the black sheep) und Gaudio had backhands with more consistency or penetration.
 

David L

Hall of Fame
Just a few days ago, i read a comment by John Newcombe about Federer's backhand shortcomings. He said, that Federer should go to the 73 years old Ken Rosewall, to learn a thing or two about a really knifing slice, especially down the line. And it didn't read like a joke. There are not too many good onehanders today, so its no suprise that Federer's is among the best today. But the shot lacks consistency (Federer had and has many shanks, when out of his comfort zone) and penetration on the slice, when under pressure.
Gasquet's, when on song, is imo superior. Kuertens was certainly better. In puncto versatility and penetration i would also prefer the backhands of Stich, Korda, even Lendl, who learnt and drilled himself into a good backhand. Also Puerta (the black sheep) und Gaudio had backhands with more consistency or penetration.
Sometimes I wonder if people pay attention when Federer plays. I've noticed that it's only some tennis fans on here who believe Federer does not have a good backhand. I have to believe they have some sort of problem with Federer or are not very discerning, because the evidence is overwhelming to the contrary. Federer's backhand looks great to me and all the players seem to think it's a great shot. Ancic even thinks it's the best backhand on tour. As for Newcombe, he also thinks Federer has a great backhand, but thinks he should hit through the slice more to disrupt Nadal. This could well be a tactical suggestion, as opposed to criticism of a technical shortcoming, especially given the fact I have seen Federer knife his slice often. Newcombe seems to think Federer would have no problem doing it, after only hitting for an hour with Rosewall. Also bear in mind that the receiving ball has a lot of say in what you can do with it. As great as his backhand was, Rosewall never had to contend with the height, topspin and pace on Nadal's ball, despite having played Borg.

I disagree that there are not plenty of good one-handers today. These are the best tennis players in the world we are talking about. Are you aware of how many excellent players out there are now not even good enough to make a decent living playing tennis, despite all the money in the sport? Standards have gone through the roof. Whatever the activity, when you are talking about the best in the world, standards are going to be incredibly high. This is especially true later in the history of any well established and respected enterprise. Standards are now higher than ever. Good one-handers include, Federer, Wawrinka, Gasquet, Robredo, Almagro, Youzhny, Kohlschreiber, Llodra, Haas, Ljubicic, Bolleli, Acasuso, Montanes, Rochus etc etc. The double-hander has grown in popularity since Borg and is now the most popular, but there are still plenty of great one-handers.

Gasquet has a great one-hander, but the only area where I could agree it is slightly better than Federer's, is in the almost metronomic regularity and consistency of his backhand drive. Everywhere else, it is worse. Kuerten, Gaudio and Puerta used the extreme backhand semi-western grip, so naturally would be able to deal slightly better with the high backhands on clay, but their backhands were no way near as effective on quicker and lower bouncing surfaces like grass and hardcourt. The same phenomenon occurs between semi-western and western grips on the forehand. Stich and Korda had nice backhands, but I would still put them behind Federer's. They just did not do all the amazing things I have seen Federer do with his nor where they as consistent. I would say Lendl had a more stable drive than Federer's, but not as much pace, variety or the great slice. Wawrinka's backhand reminds me of Lendl's a lot. All these backhands have their strengths and weaknesses, but nobody does it all perfectly. With Federer, because of his reputation as possibly the best player ever, I think some people tend to focus more on his mistakes, than on all the shots he makes. In a match, he is not shanking every other ball. He'll shank 1, 2, 3 or 4 balls on the backhand in the entire match and, for some reason, people will remember all the shanks and not all the shots he made. It's not like he does not shank on his forehand as well, but no one says he does not have a great forehand. All players will make their fair share of unforced errors, off both wings, so what difference does it make whether you hit it in the net, outside the lines or shank it?

Federer's backhand was short listed as amongst the best today by Tennis magazine.

http://www.tennis.com/features/greatestshots/greatestshots.aspx?id=108756

Also, in 2008 Ancic selected Federer's backhand as the best today, which, whatever you think of the selection, would be unlikely to occur if it were not a great shot.

Which of your fellow tennis players do you think has the best of each of the following shots?

Mario:

Serve - Karlovic
Forehand - Gonzalez
Backhand - Federer

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7449105.stm
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't think it's any question that the reason Federer has fallen is because of his backhand. He chips it way more these days, and just isn't nearly as confident hitting it. What do you think happened? What caused its fall?

Also, for someone who hates the replay system, why does he use it so much?
There are two reason's for Fed's "decline" this year.

1. His movement has been slowed.

2. A guy named Nadal.
 

falcon12

New User
Federer does has a very good backhand,of course not the best on the tour but is top 10.What federer is lacking is not because of his backhand but because of his overall game.
What I do realize lately is that he doesn't use his slice backhand so often anymore,he used to hit it much more.
 

urban

Legend
I forgot Edberg. On grass, his biting slice, especially on the down-the-line-approach, could fit problems for the doublehander of Nadal. By the way: A good backhand is not automatically a great backhand. And apodictic opinion is not automatically reasoning.
 
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lordmanji

Guest
imo, these are the reasons fed is losing:

1. pressure of chasing pete's number of slams
2. pressure causes you to lose which snowballs
3. demise of his forehand. its now inconsistent even when not on the move.
4. movement. his movement was very crisp actually in the first few rounds of the french but overall he's a half step slower.
5. volley. he's missing many more than he used to. what makes his volleys more difficult is that his fh approach isnt what it used to be.
6. the improvement of other players.
a. they all can backhand slice and pass now, which is a play that fed made practical. guys like gulbis, nadal, djokovic and many others now use this play that can turn the tide by causing the opponent to be unsure of whats coming and taking their wheels out.
b. they come into net more now thanks to fed.
c. theyre more careful of their serve and hitting their spots like fed.
d. guys are more willing to play defense so they can play offense. also, guys are more adept now at hitting those amazing passing shots on the run or that little flick pass that fed burst onto the scene with.

So in conclusion,fed has become the progenitor of the new style of tennis that includes a strong ground game that sets up putaways at the net and easy points on serve. But other guys have looked at his game, taken what they could implement and some arguably have even surpassed fed in some parts. Moreover, fed has lost a step due to the pressure of pete's slam chase, perhaps mono, and at any rate isnt the player he used to be. But to lose a step when other guys are now doing what he did best has caused him to lose.

Perhaps these losses this year is a good thing. It should take the burden off his shoulders. Fed said in the interview after alves I think that he's in a good position right now since he has nothing to lose. The caveat to this positive is that Fed is also still putting alot of pressure on himself by expressing how he wants to win the us open since its the last slam and maybe this will save his year. That's not the pressure he needs right now and its unnecessary since others are now not expecting him to win.

Above all, fed needs to play as he did without a care for his place in history. even last year he showed some of the kinks in his game but he was good enough and his opponents werent to remain atop the tennis world. now with the roles reversed, he must fix the above listed problems if he wants to dominate as he used to.
 

David L

Hall of Fame
I forgot Edberg. On grass, his biting slice, especially on the down-the-line-approach, could fit problems for the doublehander of Nadal. By the way: A good backhand is not automatically a great backhand. And apodictic opinion is not automatically reasoning.
I agree a good backhand is not a great backhand and I think Federer has a great backhand. To me, it's outstanding and I think it is much better than Edberg's. That does not mean I believe he plays perfectly with it in every match, as is not the case with any other facet of his or anyone else's game, but in any reasonable sample it is outstanding.

It's impossible to know exactly what a match on grass between Edberg and Nadal would look like, but Edberg lost to Courier at Wimbledon when he was still a top player, so nothing can categorically be said about how he would handle a double-hander with a western forehand on the lawns of Wimbledon. I happen to think Nadal is a better player than Courier, so I think he would stand a good chance of doing well.
 

David L

Hall of Fame
lordmanji

Your post is too speculative. I mean, we could think up anything, but without evidence to support it, what's the point? For me, it's quite simple what has happened. He got sick, could not train or practice during a critical and designated period and has been playing catch up ever since, despite some good results.
 
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lordmanji

Guest
lordmanji

Your post is too speculative. I mean, we could think up anything, but without evidence to support it, what's the point? For me, it's quite simple what has happened. He got sick, could not train or practice during a critical and designated period and has been playing catch up ever since, despite some good results.
not really. just watch his matches. ive seen at least three of his matches in every tournament he's played in the past three years. if you havent been watching then theres no common language for us to communicate.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Sometimes I wonder if people pay attention when Federer plays. I've noticed that it's only some tennis fans on here who believe Federer does not have a good backhand. I have to believe they have some sort of problem with Federer or are not very discerning, because the evidence is overwhelming to the contrary. Federer's backhand looks great to me and all the players seem to think it's a great shot. Ancic even thinks it's the best backhand on tour. As for Newcombe, he also thinks Federer has a great backhand, but thinks he should hit through the slice more to disrupt Nadal. This could well be a tactical suggestion, as opposed to criticism of a technical shortcoming, especially given the fact I have seen Federer knife his slice often. Newcombe seems to think Federer would have no problem doing it, after only hitting for an hour with Rosewall. Also bear in mind that the receiving ball has a lot of say in what you can do with it. As great as his backhand was, Rosewall never had to contend with the height, topspin and pace on Nadal's ball, despite having played Borg.

I disagree that there are not plenty of good one-handers today. These are the best tennis players in the world we are talking about. Are you aware of how many excellent players out there are now not even good enough to make a decent living playing tennis, despite all the money in the sport? Standards have gone through the roof. Whatever the activity, when you are talking about the best in the world, standards are going to be incredibly high. This is especially true later in the history of any well established and respected enterprise. Standards are now higher than ever. Good one-handers include, Federer, Wawrinka, Gasquet, Robredo, Almagro, Youzhny, Kohlschreiber, Llodra, Haas, Ljubicic, Bolleli, Acasuso, Montanes, Rochus etc etc. The double-hander has grown in popularity since Borg and is now the most popular, but there are still plenty of great one-handers.

Gasquet has a great one-hander, but the only area where I could agree it is slightly better than Federer's, is in the almost metronomic regularity and consistency of his backhand drive. Everywhere else, it is worse. Kuerten, Gaudio and Puerta used the extreme backhand semi-western grip, so naturally would be able to deal slightly better with the high backhands on clay, but their backhands were no way near as effective on quicker and lower bouncing surfaces like grass and hardcourt. The same phenomenon occurs between semi-western and western grips on the forehand. Stich and Korda had nice backhands, but I would still put them behind Federer's. They just did not do all the amazing things I have seen Federer do with his nor where they as consistent. I would say Lendl had a more stable drive than Federer's, but not as much pace, variety or the great slice. Wawrinka's backhand reminds me of Lendl's a lot. All these backhands have their strengths and weaknesses, but nobody does it all perfectly. With Federer, because of his reputation as possibly the best player ever, I think some people tend to focus more on his mistakes, than on all the shots he makes. In a match, he is not shanking every other ball. He'll shank 1, 2, 3 or 4 balls on the backhand in the entire match and, for some reason, people will remember all the shanks and not all the shots he made. It's not like he does not shank on his forehand as well, but no one says he does not have a great forehand. All players will make their fair share of unforced errors, off both wings, so what difference does it make whether you hit it in the net, outside the lines or shank it?

Federer's backhand was short listed as amongst the best today by Tennis magazine.

http://www.tennis.com/features/greatestshots/greatestshots.aspx?id=108756

Also, in 2008 Ancic selected Federer's backhand as the best today, which, whatever you think of the selection, would be unlikely to occur if it were not a great shot.

Which of your fellow tennis players do you think has the best of each of the following shots?

Mario:

Serve - Karlovic
Forehand - Gonzalez
Backhand - Federer

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7449105.stm


His backhand WAS the best on the tour from 2005-2006 when he used his slice and flat driving backhands more often. Now adays, Federer has become so obsessed with beating Nadal at his own game on clay, his backhand has actually "declined" so to speak. It doesn't help that his footwork is slowing down now.


You cannot argue though, that his backhand has become more of a reliability this year than a weapon that it once was. There's a huge difference from when he double bageled a prime Hewitt to losing to Gilles Simon.
 

Gaudio2004

Semi-Pro
The only reason Federer's backhand isn't as good as it used to be is not because of Federer's confidence or his mind or him hating the BH dtl or whatever, it's because Federer's footwork speed has decreased. If you play tennis and you're footwork isn't very good one day (happened to me once when I didn't eat enough food before a practice session) you notice that a lot of your shots aren't as accurate/powerful and more shanks.
 

Gaudio2004

Semi-Pro
His backhand WAS the best on the tour from 2005-2006 when he used his slice and flat driving backhands more often. Now adays, Federer has become so obsessed with beating Nadal at his own game on clay, his backhand has actually "declined" so to speak. It doesn't help that his footwork is slowing down now.


You cannot argue though, that his backhand has become more of a reliability this year than a weapon that it once was. There's a huge difference from when he double bageled a prime Hewitt to losing to Gilles Simon.
I don't think he's obsessed with beating Nadal on clay so his game changes, I think he's not as confident as playing Nadal as he is other people, while Nadal is a great player, he is no super human, Federer has the ability to hit BH winners against him but he's afraid that Nadal will just return the shot back, as on clay.. the ball is a lot slower.
 

35ft6

Legend
I don't think he slices as much as he used to. He used to use his backhand more like a jab to disrupt his opponent's rhythm and to set up his forehand. His forehand was like Randy Johnson, and his backhand was Greg Maddux. Now he's playing a more conventional backhand style.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
I don't think he's obsessed with beating Nadal on clay so his game changes, I think he's not as confident as playing Nadal as he is other people, while Nadal is a great player, he is no super human, Federer has the ability to hit BH winners against him but he's afraid that Nadal will just return the shot back, as on clay.. the ball is a lot slower.

He added more topspin to his backhand. This allowed more consistency when his footwork was on, but look at him now. He's shanking and spraying, making tons of errors, and leaving alot of short balls for his opponent to attack. He DID change his backhand, as the change came in early 2007, because he lost to Nadal at the FO 2006 with his flat backhand.
 

Gaudio2004

Semi-Pro
He added more topspin to his backhand. This allowed more consistency when his footwork was on, but look at him now. He's shanking and spraying, making tons of errors, and leaving alot of short balls for his opponent to attack. He DID change his backhand, as the change came in early 2007, because he lost to Nadal at the FO 2006 with his flat backhand.
Federer hasn't changed his backhand that much, in FO 2006 he would step in and absolutely rip the ball sometimes (check against Davydenko), and his backhand is still the best 1 handed backhand on clay by far, IMO, but, you're right, more topspin, his BH is actually looking decent in the USO, at Aussie Open and French Open and the Clay masters (Rome, Hamburg, Monte Carlo) I thought his BH was awesome, especially in Monte Carlo and Hamburg, he was ripping that shot with some awesome winners, then Nadal.... and on grass he used the slice very well IMO, maybe he shuold have used it more against Nadal, but hey that's gone.. now his BH is looking fine, he does shank more but his backhand is still very good.
 

David L

Hall of Fame
lordmanji

Your post is too speculative. I mean, we could think up anything, but without evidence to support it, what's the point? For me, it's quite simple what has happened. He got sick, could not train or practice during a critical and designated period and has been playing catch up ever since, despite some good results.
Well, what could you possibly know about the pressure Federer is feeling or anything he is feeling? Are you telepathic? Now you're just guessing. No need to guess when Federer's situation this year is more easily explained.
 
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David L

Hall of Fame
His backhand WAS the best on the tour from 2005-2006 when he used his slice and flat driving backhands more often. Now adays, Federer has become so obsessed with beating Nadal at his own game on clay, his backhand has actually "declined" so to speak. It doesn't help that his footwork is slowing down now.


You cannot argue though, that his backhand has become more of a reliability this year than a weapon that it once was. There's a huge difference from when he double bageled a prime Hewitt to losing to Gilles Simon.
Federer's backhand still looks good to me. He's not losing more because of his backhand.

I don't think he's obsessed with Nadal either. He lost a little something when he got ill and now he's just trying to get back to playing well again.
 
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MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Federer's backhand still looks good to me. He's not losing more because of his backhand.

I don't think he's obsessed with Nadal either. He lost a little something when he got ill and now he's just trying to get back to playing well again.
See Fed in any match in 2005 and I think you will change your mind.
 

Inner Game

Semi-Pro
The current game is all about court speed and quickness....Fed has lost a step and hits to much top on the forehand....he's lost the penetrating forehand....hence is backhand looks weaker. But he is spraying the ball more....Its all about being older and slower....nothing he can do. Unless Nadal gets injured (which he will surely do with the balls to the wall play) Fed may never catch Pete
 
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lordmanji

Guest
Well, what could you possibly know about the pressure Federer is feeling or anything he is feeling? Are you telepathic? Now you're just guessing. No need to guess when Federer's situation this year is more easily explained.
is it a coincidence that federer's decline comes the year he starts nearing pete's record? or that fed talks about the "monster (of expectations) he's created" when losing in australia? and that confidence is a direct factor in how consistent your shots are and fed has been making unforced errors like crazy compared to before? and that nadal has applied pressure on him by chasing after him all these years then finally losing to nadal at french so badly and at his home turf of wimbledon isnt adding pressure on fed?

what do you want, an anvil to fall out of the sky and drop on your head? of course you can say you never know a 100 percent anything but id say youd have to be blind to say that you cannot deduce that fed is feeling pressure from all corners - nadal, pete's 6 year no. 1 ranking record, his 14 slam record, other players like blake, roddick, heck even simon, karlovic and stepanek - and how he's losing - errors on forehands and volleys - shows to me he's playing more tentative due to the added pressure.
 
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