Can we now all agree that Federer overuses the cc forehand?

Discussion in 'Pro Tennis (Mens)' started by calitennis127, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    When I pointed out that Federer often gave away or failed to fully utilize his advantage in rallies by refusing to hit forehands up the line or inside-out against Nadal, I was of course dismissed by delusional Nadal fans who thought Nadal was somehow winning with superior tennis ability. After some of the astonishing give-aways Federer handed to Djokovic in the third and fourth sets with overusing the crosscourt forehand when he had clear advantages in the rallies, are we all ready to agree that this has indeed been a fatal mistake on Federer's part? It has hurt him against Nadal more than anyone else but in large part it also cost him this latest US Open.

     

     
     
  2. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    Fed ain't going win from the back of the court against either of them... you can dissect individual points but...

    The DTL backhand kept Novak honest in the USO... I thought Fed played all right, but I still think the Achilles Heel against Novak tends to be the ROS on second serve... and in the USO, Novak played those big points pretty well. Break Point Opportunities don't take into account how well the other guy played those points.
     
  3. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    I think the cross court forehand is a comfort shot for Roger. Back in his younger days he would often win points by surprising the opposition with dtl forehands, not so much now. Whether that's because of tactical naivete as Cali suggests or it's more a function of a loss of speed of movement is an interesting debate. But I do agree with Cali that he doesn't win a lot of baseline rallies now because he isn't doing what would make more sense. For my part I think he struggles to get to the ball so the decision to go cross court is expedient. He'll get away with it against lesser folk, but not Novak
     
  4. teddytennisfan

    teddytennisfan Multiple Major Winner

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    maybe you are correct in this.

     

    even as a long-time , but non-playing -except for one day to understand something of what ''this thing is about" -- fan -- i always remind myself i can't ever know the game the way someone who plays it -- although i'm confident by now to know what i recognize...

     

    STILL -- i think you are probably making very strong points about roger's ''over-dependence" on CC...but also -- i think that it's in perspective because it just can't work against novak of TODAY. NOVAK is just too good an athlete that has amazing control from BOTH wings and reaches them with his speed and court position.

    but against others -- maybe roger won't necessarily look as if he is over-using it since it works for most - after all he DID reach the finals.

     

    it's just that he met the champion at his best that day.

    but -- on roger's credit -- i mean - it's just amazing what he does at his age - even with all these current ''older champs" trends.

     

    to be playing like THAT at all - for anyone -- that's amazing, imo. he deserves his position - at the very least.
     
  5. Denis

    Denis Masters Champion

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    the fed-Novak cc forehand exchanges used to be awesome. Absolutely fearless swinging, especially in the 2011 us open semi.
     
  6. brokenshoelace

    brokenshoelace Masters Champion

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    Majority of tennis exchanges take place cross court. Yes, you can look at particular instances where perhaps Federer was reluctant to pull the trigger down the line, but I don't think this means he "overuses" a bread-and-butter rally shot on which the foundation of his game is based.
     
  7. MikeOne

    MikeOne Club Member

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    this has nothing to do with his woes vs Nadal, it's his backhand, period. When will you ever admit that Nadal simply had the game to beat Federer, no matter what tactics Fed employed? Federer couldn't hit enough forehands, aces and other things you mentioned to cover up his backhand enough to avoid losing. Sorry, Nadal simply broke his bh down with frightening consistency and there is little Federer could do unless the court aided Federer, like a very fast or indoor court. When the court didn't favor him, he was at Nadal's mercy, on grass, clay and outdoor medium fast surfaces.
     
  8. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    While I agree with you that Federer's backhand has always been a weakness, it is utterly absurd to argue that it was so weak that it was impossible for him to overcome against Nadal. There is a reason most of their matches were close, including on clay.

    When Federer lost in 3 sets in Madrid or Hamburg to Nadal, was his backhand so bad that he didn't have a chance to win? That is just completely stupid to argue. If Federer's backhand was so bad, how did he even win sets against Nadal on clay?

    Federer clearly has had the game to defeat Nadal more often. He just wasn't smart enough tactically. The perfect match for illustrating this was their quarterfinal in Cincinnati when Federer made Nadal look like a ragdoll at the end of the third set when he let loose and went up the line with his forehand. I think he won 5 straight points before Nadal did his characteristic petty BS to close the set out.
     
  9. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    What I mean is that he over-uses it in rallies where he has established an advantage and has a clear angle for a very make-able put-away shot up the line with the forehand. Going behind Novak or Nadal usually does not work. They have great reflexes and just smack it back over the net at your feet if you are moving in. It is better to make them sprint after it. At least then you have the angle for a definite put-away volley unless Djokovic hits a difficult lob or Nadal does won of his banana shots to give him one of the eight winners he will hit for the day with his supposedly Top 5 forehand of all time.
     
  10. MikeOne

    MikeOne Club Member

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    you are a master at turning arguments into retarded, over simplistic points where you generalize and twist other's views. I feel i have to lower my IQ about 80 points to stay at your level, whether you do it because you yourself lack IQ or just are so biased that it gets in the way of sound logic, i'm not sure.

    Your fist retarded statement is when you claim i somehow stated 'it's impossible for federer to overcome Nadal'. When did i say this? I simply stated he has been dominated by Nadal but that doesn't mean it has been impossible for federer to overcome him. I mean, Federer has beaten Nadal over 10 times hasn't he? He has given Nadal tough battles on clay as-well. He still has an underwhelming record vs Nadal and he has being dominated by him. It doesn't mean Federer hasn't at times been able to beat him. Also, i have argued Fed's bh has been a weakness but difficult to exploit by most NOT that it's such a weakness that he never had a chance, stop twisting other's arguments.

    Then you claim Federer hasn't been smart enough, lol. Federer has been one of the most intelligent players of all time, a master tactician who has always been able to figure out different types of players, from defensive wizards like Hewitt to big servers like Roddick. He has been a genius at creativity and finding ways to win by adjusting to opponents. To argue he has been dumb vs Nadal is just wishful thinking. Once again, Nadal is unique, a lefty with amazing spin, accuracy, speed and mental fortitude. It never mattered what Federer did, Nadal was always able to find his bh. I hear people claim 'He should've hit more down the line FHs, more down the line bhp's, run around his bh when returning more, come to net more' lol, guess what, he always tried different things. To argue that Federer never tried different things against Nadal is utterly disgustingly and grotesquely caveman retarded. He HAS but no matter what he did, Nadal's patterns were difficult to overcome. When Federer tried running around his bh to return Nadal's serve, Nadal served to his forehand, surprising him. It's also difficult to run around Nadal's slice serve, BTW. When Federer tried covering up his bh from the baseline, Nadal hit his down the line and inside out fh extremely well, into the open court. When Federer hit down the line backhands and forehands, Nadal ran them down and was able to find Federer's bh. When Federer tried coming to net, Nadal would hit those difficult topspin passing shots that would dip fast. Name the tactic, Nadal just could always find Fed's bh.

    Of course Federer was able tot trouble Nadal and beat him many times, who the f is arguing against this? Federer is greatest of all time and always had a chance against Nadal, on any surface. What i argue is that the H2H was always going to be a problem for Federer, outside of indoors and very fast surfaces. On grass, clay and slow-medium paced courts, no Federer tactic would've ever worked effectively when Nadal's game simply matched up so well against him.

     
     
  11. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    Mike, do you know what an inference is? Let me explain it to you with an example based on your first quote in this thread:

    "Federer couldn’t hit enough forehands, aces and other things you mentioned to cover up his backhand enough to avoid losing."

    When you say that Federer couldn't hit enough of any shot to avoid losing, you are saying that it was impossible for Federer to overcome Nadal.

    "Sorry, Nadal simply broke his bh down with frightening consistency and there is little Federer could do unless the court aided Federer, like a very fast or indoor court. When the court didn’t favor him, he was at Nadal’s mercy, on grass, clay and outdoor medium fast surfaces."

    When you say that Federer on most courts was at Nadal's mercy, you are reinforcing your prior statement that there was really nothing Federer could do to avoid losing to Nadal. My re-phrasing of your words to say that you believe it was impossible for Federer to overcome Nadal was 100% accurate, even if when I say it you feel like an idiot because in your heart of hearts you know are you so biased against Federer and in favor of Nadal that you are just trying to make Nadal look better than he is.

    As for Federer's head-to-head against Nadal. On clay Federer was 2-13 against him. His only two victories (Hamburg 2007 and Madrid 2009) mostly happened due to Nadal's fatigue in those matches. The only loss Federer had to Nadal on clay where he was, statistically speaking, very close to winning was the 2006 Rome final, which came down to the end of the 5th set. So, for all intents and purposes, Federer was basically an 0-15 player against Nadal; I am willing to concede that Fed's two wins mostly came because of Nadal's physical condition.

    So the position of people such as yourself, broken_shoelace, and Kieran is basically this: Federer was an 0-15 player against Nadal on clay and there was nothing he could do about it. That, my internet interlocutor friend, is simply moronic. I can point to numerous stretches of their clay-court matches to objectively demonstrate that Federer possessed, in terms of tennis skill, more than enough to have a .500 record or even a plus-.500 record against Nadal on clay. The weapons and the tools were there.

    And yes, I do stand by my position that Federer has been very far from the most shrewd tactician the game has ever seen. You are being a complete dolt for asserting that he beat the likes of Hewitt and Roddick because of his superior tactics. Are you freaking kidding me? He was so superior athletically and talent-wise to each of those guys that to act like he was tested and had to figure something out against them is a joke. Aside from Roddick's serve at Wimbledon, there was absolutely nothing challenging for Federer in playing those two. Did you watch the 2004 US Open final? Lol. Federer double-bageled Hewitt in a final. He was taller, longer, faster, stronger, and a smoother player. There was no competition between Hewitt and Federer once Federer hit age 22/23. Tactics, lmao.

    It is necessary for you to make the argument that Federer was an excellent tactician so that you can make Nadal's shotmaking-challenged game sound better than it is. Unfortunately, you can't change the reality of what Del Potro or Fognini have done to Nadal at the US Open.

    Also, regarding Federer's tactics, I will say this: when it comes to the main challenges of his career, he is at best a .500 player. He is slightly above .500 against Murray, he is .500 against Djokovic, and he is well below .500 against Nadal. The main strategic/tactical challenge of his career was solving the Nadal match-up challenges and he never even got close to doing it. In fact, he hardly made any progress. Moreover, Murray got the better of most of their MS matches and Djokovic has won pretty much all of their slow HC matches in recent years. Some people might say this owes to the age difference (which is only partially true), but if we are going to say this, then we also have to point out that Federer picked on young Djokovic and young Murray before they hit their primes. So it evens out.

    Federer is very talented and a smart instinctual player. But as far as a creative and radical strategizer, he has never been one. He has never done anything akin to what Uncle Toni and Nadal did in radically adjusting Nadal's hardcourt game after Tsonga pancaked him in the 2008 Australian Open final. In Federer's defense, he is naturally more talented a shotmaker than Nadal, so he never had to make these kinds of adjustments, but in the small handful of match-ups where some radical adjustments have been needed, he has never made them.

    Also, I would like to bring up the 2011 French Open final. Federer showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that in terms of shots and rallying ability, he had more than enough to beat Nadal on clay. It was plain as day. What was also clear is that he was not coming close to maximizing his advantages in rallies, and that leads to my final point.

    Nadal is much better at absorbing pace and flat offensive shots off of his backhand wing than his forehand wing. If you look at the 2012 Australian Open semifinal, for instance, Nadal was gobbling up Fed's crosscourt forehands and returning them with interest. But players have repeatedly had success hitting flat and wide to Nadal's forehand wing. When players do this, he more often than not does his scoop-shovel moonball forehand to try to keep the ball in play. He is generally very vulnerable in those situations. You saw this in both the Nishikori and Fognini matches. Nadal does not like players pounding flat offensive shots to his forehand wing. Federer has never fully exploited this weakness, and that is why he has a peachy 10-23 record against Nadal.

     
     
  12. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    Here is an excellent video sample to illustrate my point to MikeOne and Broken. These are highlights from the 2011 French Open final. Look at the point from 8:16 to 8:46. On both the 9th and 11th shots of the rally, Federer has a wide-open path for a forehand winner up the line. The 11th shot is especially a gimme opportunity, as if Nadal just dared Federer to hit that shot. Federer, of course, declined the offer, and hit the useless crosscourt forehand. He then went on to a botch an overhead and Nadal responded with a crosscourt backhand pass. That point pretty much sums up their series. I could compile dozens and dozens of these points when Federer played it safe with crosscourt forehands and ended up losing a long drawn-out rally because of it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmQIitm3ssE
     
  13. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    Let me reference a couple other points from the video above, another one that shows Federer leaving an opportunity on the table because he went to the crosscourt forehand and then three others that show how hitting flat to Nadal's forehand overwhelmingly works.

    Missed opportunity:

    13:06 to 13:30: This one is perfect for illustrating the type of point that Federer has left on the table. On the 10th shot of the rally, Federer has all day to set up an inside-out forehand and attack Nadal's forehand. Instead he goes crosscourt and it results in Nadal hitting an aggressive crosscourt backhand that sets up an approach winner for Nadal on the 15th shot of the rally. That was Federer's rally to take on the 10th and 12th shots (especially the 10th considering how much time he had) and he gave it up.

    Evidence of how attacking Nadal's forehand works. Federer went with this approach way too infrequently:
    1. 10:16 to 10:30: Federer's first rally shot is a flat inside-out to Nadal's forehand, and then he hits another flat forehand down the line. This keeps way him ahead in the rally and sets up an easy crosscourt forehand winner after Nadal drops it short.
    2. 12:38 to 12:46: Federer begins the rally by going down the line with a forehand and it sets up a backhand drop volley for a winner.
    3. 14:24 to 14:50: Federer hits a total of 5 aggressive offensive shots (3 forehands and 2 backhands) to Nadal's forehand in a long rally. He is ahead in the rally the entire time and finishes the point with a straightforward drop shot.
     
  14. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    Hey Cali,

    OK - a couple of poor choices in shot selection maybe... but on the whole if I recall the match in general, Federer had some decent success going back behind Nadal on the CC forehand regularly through that match.  I'll have to watch it again in it's entireity, but I vaguely remember he drew quite a few unforced (really forced) errors from Nadal employing that tactic - in fact I seem to recall yelling at him not the keep changing things up to keep Nadal honest, because he was enjoying some success from it.

    Like I say, I'll watch it again in full one day, but highlight reels are usually not the best way to state a claim to the argument.

    Thinking back to that match, I actually felt Nadal wasn't at his best by his standards on the red dirt and Federer could have taken him with a bit more belief.  I thought that and maybe the 2006 final were about the closest Federer had to winnable matches.

    Cheers, BB
     
  15. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    Britbox, the significance of the two points that I referred to where I argue that Federer left opportunity on the table is much greater than just that two points in a long match went to Nadal. In both cases, we are talking about long rallies of at least 15 shots in which Federer and Nadal put their best foot forward on that day. As you know, there are some points that are more important than others, and long rallies at key moments in a tight game usually swing a match between the top players. The fact is, Federer more often than not has lost those rallies to Nadal over the years, especially on clay.

    What I show really beyond a shadow of a doubt with the points at 8:16 and 13:06 is that Federer had the point, in both cases, in the palm of his hand. It was his to take if he went down the line or inside-out with the forehand. Instead, he pounded the ball crosscourt and Nadal ate him alive with his backhand.

    People always credit Nadal's forehand (way too much as I have argued), but his backhand has often been the shot to do serious damage to opponents when they pound it crosscourt with pace. If you are going to go after Nadal with aggressive shots, it is better to hit out wide to his forehand than to hit flat into his backhand. In the latter case, he tends to counter-punch quite well and turn the point to his favor.
     
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