I was just watching their match in IW this year. As you know, this is a high bouncing surface and a lot of people were expecting Fed to lose because of his known issue of struggling to hit a backhand against Rafa's topspin FH.
Like most one-handers, it's hard for Roger to hit the ball on shoulder height with his BH, but he is forced to do so because he usually insists on hitting the ball from the baseline. I was wondering, do you think that Federer should take a step or two back before hitting this backhand? The point of hitting the ball would then be much lower. Of course this is only relevant when Nadal's shots are deep.
Check out THIS
Notice the difference between this BH:
And those BHs:
The first one is kinda 'useless', but the other ones are very low and hit with a lot of pace.
If Federer can hit those backhands regulary, I think it would make his life easier. Note that against Djokovic those kinds of tactics are bound to hurt you because he takes the ball early and uses the opponent's pace, so standing outside the baseline is not recommended. But Nadal created pace himself, and after making this type of aggressive shot, he will usually return a high/short ball.
Anyway, your opinions?
The reason why he can really rip into the ones at 9:25 and 9:33 are because the balls are much shorter in the court.
The entire way Fed plays is based on him staying close to the baseline, taking time away from the opponent, and taking balls on the rise (or half-volleying) when necessary. He'll occasionally hit a weaker shot when the opponent hits very deep, but the backhand at 1:56 is not bad at all. In fact it's pretty damn good, considering how early he's taking it, and how much spin is on Nadal's shot.