What makes Federer so good?

Alexandros

Professional
Federer when he's "on" has:

- No true weak shots
- A very powerful, accurate forehand
- Massive variety off the backhand
- Superb defense
- Brilliant transition game
- Above average volleying ability
- Safe, unerring returns
- Excellent placement on first serve
- Solid second serve delivery, can mix things up
- Unparalleled footwork
- Deceptively quick footspeed
- Nearly flawless shot selection
- Ironclad mental toughness; can lift his game in clutch situations
 

mj01

New User
Have you ever been in a bar/restaurant that's showing the same thing on two different televisions, but one of them is a few seconds ahead of the other? Well, when Federer is playing well, its like he's watching the TV that's ahead, while his opponents are watching the one that's behind.

How he does that? No real clue. Footwork and balance would be the main aspects of it, I think.
 

Defcon

Hall of Fame
Pure talent. Yes, he has those other qualities like mental toughness, strokes, footwork etc, but his racket control and improvisation are in different league.

Thats why he can hit those magical winners seemingly at will even when he's playing bad. That gives him immense confidence. No other player would dream of coming up with them, let alone make them.

Ironically, thats also his biggest weakness, because he can get complacent and rely on his skill to save him. That gets dangerous against players like Nadal who give little margin for error.
 

ask1ed

Semi-Pro
Alexandros said:
Federer when he's "on" has:

- No true weak shots
- A very powerful, accurate forehand
- Massive variety off the backhand
- Superb defense
- Brilliant transition game
- Above average volleying ability
- Safe, unerring returns
- Excellent placement on first serve
- Solid second serve delivery, can mix things up
- Unparalleled footwork
- Deceptively quick footspeed
- Nearly flawless shot selection
- Ironclad mental toughness; can lift his game in clutch situations
Ability to crank it up when broken or losing, and pour speed into the gap.
 

fastdunn

Legend
Double K said:
I'll saymy say aftr you guys talk about it since I'm so tired
gosh, I thought he could lose in early rounds at indian wells.

anyway, expect more challenges to fed this year as rest of the field
are getting stronger...

anyway, my prediction is still that neither federer nor nadal will win
pacific life open this year.
 

arosen

Hall of Fame
I watched him play Massu, and this one point, Massu did everything right, he worked his way in by pulling Fed wide on both sides, so Massu hits this awesome approach shot to Fed's backhand, pulling Fed really wide again, comes in to finish it off with a volley. His approach was so good, it was like, the point is over, Massu wins it. Somehow Fed gets to the ball, and he is so stretched he cant hit a regular BH shot, so he hits an underspin slice that goes exactly around Massu, down the line and lands perfectly in the corner. Now, anyone who plays tennis knows how hard it is to control the ball's direction if you slice it high to fly loopy but straight forward. He made it look easy. Massu was incredulous. So was I. Fed does something like this every damn match.
 

superman1

Legend
Have you never seen him play? 90% of the time he loses a point it seems to be because he just missed on a winner. He can smack that ball in any direction from any position. And he has unbelievable movement and anticipation. And he plays his best under pressure.
 

devila

Banned
Since I saw these players' moves on TV: Borg, Laver, McEnroe and Rosewall had superior volleys and more variety.
They didn't have the advantages of having a lot of strength, a long wingspan, a lot of agility in the wrists and a muscular, tall body.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Warriorroger said:
His very big feet, makes him faster than any one.
Isn't it the opposite? :confused: I've always thought big feet slow people down since there's more mass to get up and off the ground.
 

wisnerff

New User
pound cat said:
Mirka. The power behind the throne.

Seriously.

I agree with you... let's say:
His ability
Her ability=

Federer winning everthing, because he plays happy... just imagine after he wins a Grand Slam what Mirka do...

;)

Same for BAGHDATHIS
 

LowProfile

Professional
wisnerff said:
I agree with you... let's say:
His ability
Her ability=

Federer winning everthing, because he plays happy... just imagine after he wins a Grand Slam what Mirka do...

;)

Same for BAGHDATHIS
Hahaha that made me laugh :mrgreen:
 

fastdunn

Legend
arosen said:
I watched him play Massu, and this one point, Massu did everything right, he worked his way in by pulling Fed wide on both sides, so Massu hits this awesome approach shot to Fed's backhand, pulling Fed really wide again, comes in to finish it off with a volley. His approach was so good, it was like, the point is over, Massu wins it. Somehow Fed gets to the ball, and he is so stretched he cant hit a regular BH shot, so he hits an underspin slice that goes exactly around Massu, down the line and lands perfectly in the corner. Now, anyone who plays tennis knows how hard it is to control the ball's direction if you slice it high to fly loopy but straight forward. He made it look easy. Massu was incredulous. So was I. Fed does something like this every damn match.
I know what you're saying. He does magical shots time and time again.

His defense is so good. However, IMHO, his net game is sub-par compared to
top players of past and his offense game does not have explosiveness
like some of past greats. His game is perefct for current ATP condition
since courts are slow and it's mostly baseline tennis. But I'm not
so sure if he can dominate like this if tour condition changes...
 

mralexchang

New User
I also like his mental ability. He my just hold his emotions well but he never seems to get irrated or at least not as often as other players. How many times has federer broke a racket, or cussed someone out?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
His fitness level is overlooked!

Federer is in the best shape of anyone in the history of the game. The reason he tends to turn it on and raise his game to another level mid-match is because once he senses his opponent starting to tire, he starts to run him around until he drops.

Go back and watch a tape of his 5-set win over Nadal in Miami last year... Nadal was outplaying him (up 2 sets to 0 and 4-1 in the 3rd), but Federer won because once he sensed Nadal start to wilt, Fed intentionally kept the points going longer because he knew he was in better shape.

Go back and watch a tape of this year's Aussie final againt Bags... same thing as the Nadal match... Bags was matching Fed shot for shot until he ran out of gas.

Go back and watch a tape of last year's US open final against Andre... same old story.

Cardiovascular fitness is the most underrated part of Fed's game, but in my opinion it is the MAIN reason he has separated himself so much from the field. Everyone else can only play at his intensity for a set or two.
 

Cigo

Rookie
travlerajm said:
Federer is in the best shape of anyone in the history of the game. The reason he tends to turn it on and raise his game to another level mid-match is because once he senses his opponent starting to tire, he starts to run him around until he drops.

Go back and watch a tape of his 5-set win over Nadal in Miami last year... Nadal was outplaying him (up 2 sets to 0 and 4-1 in the 3rd), but Federer won because once he sensed Nadal start to wilt, Fed intentionally kept the points going longer because he knew he was in better shape.

Go back and watch a tape of this year's Aussie final againt Bags... same thing as the Nadal match... Bags was matching Fed shot for shot until he ran out of gas.

Go back and watch a tape of last year's US open final against Andre... same old story.

Cardiovascular fitness is the most underrated part of Fed's game, but in my opinion it is the MAIN reason he has separated himself so much from the field. Everyone else can only play at his intensity for a set or two.
Also, he conserves energy for later parts of matches/tournaments by playing with ease, more ease then most, or all.
 

TGV

Rookie
Sampras has had the best offensive game so far. Nadal, arguably, has the best defensive game ever. But Fed has the best combo offensive/defenisve game, which makes him potent on any surface against any opponent on any continent.

fastdunn said:
I know what you're saying. He does magical shots time and time again.

His defense is so good. However, IMHO, his net game is sub-par compared to
top players of past and his offense game does not have explosiveness
like some of past greats. His game is perefct for current ATP condition
since courts are slow and it's mostly baseline tennis. But I'm not
so sure if he can dominate like this if tour condition changes...
fastdunn, you keep saying this but the record doesn't bear this out. Look at Fed's record at Wimbledon compared to other slams. He is much more dominant there - lost only 4 sets in 21 matches (Sampras lost many more in his first 3 W's) whereas he's already lost 6 and 7 sets respectively in 8 fewer matches at USO & AO. He gets broken far less on grass than on other surfaces.

I think this is because grass covers up his (relative) weaknesses. It helps his serve enormously; his backhand - which can be timid & short on hard courts - actually is a huge weapon on grass because the ball never gets up high. His slice has more bite. Grass also helps his incredible variety of shotmaking and footwork. This is why he has delivered three of his finest performances - SF & F in 2003 & 2005 final - on grass. Furthermore, even the opponents on grass ususally have big serves and a big game and can end points quickly (Roddick, Flipper, Karlovic etc) - so what I think his biggest weakness - lack of fitness - never comes into play even if the match goes 4 or 5 sets. He is also better returner of big serves than medium paced, spinny serves.

Historically, he has dealt with players with big, aggressive games very well. He has a lopsided H-H record against basically all the big hitters - Roddick, Philippussis, Karlovic, Safin, Ljubicic, Mirnyi, Blake, Fernando Gonzalez and even old-timers like Sampras, Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Rusedski etc. And since these are the guys he would likely meet on faster surfaces, I don't think he would do as poorly as you make it out to be.
 

Warriorroger

Hall of Fame
BreakPoint said:
Isn't it the opposite? :confused: I've always thought big feet slow people down since there's more mass to get up and off the ground.
No way. Have you seen Roger's feet, they're big for his size, he has got big feet, and they make him fast.

I love his feet!!
 

killer

Semi-Pro
An interesting note about Roger's fitness: for the last year or so I've noticed that Fed doesn't have the 'washboard abs' thing going for him; it almost appears that he has a bit of a paunch. I read an article about the type of fitness and flexibility required of tennis players, and it was mentioned that having very tight, very defined abdominal muscles can actually be a bit of a hindrance to tennis players because it decreases felxibility. I'm not suggesting that Fed's muscles are weak; far from it! But he's got a body perfectly designed to play tennis- tall, lean, incredible endurance, strong forearm, and very flexible through the torso.
 
An interesting note about Roger's fitness: for the last year or so I've noticed that Fed doesn't have the 'washboard abs' thing going for him; it almost appears that he has a bit of a paunch. I read an article about the type of fitness and flexibility required of tennis players, and it was mentioned that having very tight, very defined abdominal muscles can actually be a bit of a hindrance to tennis players because it decreases felxibility.
Having washboard abs certainly didn't hurt Edberg or Borg. Edberg used to do 1,000 sit-ups a day when he was a junior.
I keep hearing how much fitter today's pros are, but Borg & Vilas' ripped physique doesn't seem common among top players today. Fed, Nalbandian, Roddick all seem a little flabby. These racquets make it easier to play the game at a high level without great fitness or strength.
 

frida

New User
Fed the Great

1. Pure, natural talent. How else can one explain those incredible shots he manages to squeeze to within a centrmetre of the base/side lines? Those kind of shots aren't practised.

2. Immense concentration. Hardly would you see him hit a shot that's terribly wide or long (unless he's having a really bad day). Most of his misses are so close that it makes one wince.

3. Footwork. I think Fed's ability to go for every shot is highly underrated because of the likes of fast players such as Nadal & Coria. Federer actually moves very well and fast on the court.

4. Powerful shots. No need to explain. Those forehands down the line leave his opponents more than a little stunned. His serves are fast & accurate and his backhand is just... too much.

5. Consistency. When was the last time he was in a tournament without reaching at least the quarter finals? It boggles the mind.

6. Ability to mix it up. His variety of shots are highly impressive. Unlike Roddick who only relies on his serves & forehand, and Hewitt who relies on... whatever he relies on, Fed has the ability to mix up his shots so his opponent never knows what he's about to receive. And when he does... well it's too late. Fed has won the point.

Just my little contribution ;)
 
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