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post #1 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

I believe there is still a chance he can salvage 2008. He simply has to find a way to win the U.S. Open. He will have to change a few things. He desperatly needs a new paradigm and he must engage in this new thinking at once. A quick and fast overhaul of the mental appratus, if you will.

You will note that he actually looks like a beaten man now. His interviews suggest nothing if they dont suggest that he constantly finds himself in denial these days. Further, he continues to talk as if he really is still the best in the world. The element of presssure is keeping him down. He has to find a way to snap out of this.

here is my advice and input:

1. First and foremost, get rid of Higueras at once and enlist Killer Cahill and Sampras for the next 3 months. They do not have to be present at his matches as they are busy but they can help.

2. Hit the gym and get stronger. There has never been a better time to take his fitness higher than it is now. It wont allow him to regain a little step he has lost but at least he can go all out in his matches and it is quite intimidating for the opposition.

3. Skip the Olympics and focus on the last slam of 2008.

4. Become more of an attacking player than he has ever been before. This is where better fitness and additional physical strength will come in handy. He has the best serve on the planet and he is the best there is at the net. Why not apply constant heat and pressure.

Having lost a little step, he cant really deal with the likes of Nadal and Djokovic off the ground. Even Simon beat him off the ground the other day. Newer approach is needed at once so the serve has to get bigger and better than it already is.

I dont mean play like Sampras but certainly start mixing it up like 40% or so. That means follow the serve to the net around 40% of the time but disaguise it well. This applies to quiker courts. Clay is lost forever so he can forget about clay.

3. New paradigm. Learn to deal with being no longer the best player in the world. It takes the pressure off instantly. He can then quietly work to try to win another slam or 2.

This means he must kill this constant obsession with being #1 instantly. It is just weighing him down now. Play without pressure and play with reckless abandon. He should know by now-- deep inside-- that he still has a fairly formidable game.

Thoughts? Comments? Smart remarks? Insults? Can you help add to this list? What would you do?


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post #2 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 04:45 PM
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

skipping the olympics might be a good call , he's not winning em anyway , but i doubt he'll do it.

as for winning the USO , i think federer's last chance to save the year was at wimbledon; namely i think its all in the djoker's hands now.

if djokovic doesnt win the USO, it would look very stupid.

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post #3 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

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skipping the olympics might be a good call , he's not winning em anyway , but i doubt he'll do it.

as for winning the USO , i think federer's last chance to save the year was at wimbledon; namely i think its all in the djoker's hands now.

if djokovic doesnt win the USO, it would look very stupid.

it depends on the draw. If Nadal can find peak form and Fed can rebound, it will be hard to beat then both.

It was Djokovic all the way until Nadal showed the world that he can beat them all on quicker surfaces by winning at Queens and Wimby.

Nadal will have to skip the olympics to stay fresh.

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post #4 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:11 PM
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

I don't think he need help...

The guy is still the best player in the world, and I see him(with Djokovic) as the biggest favourite to win tournaments like the Olympics, US OPEN and TMC.
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post #5 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

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Originally Posted by Vamos Rafa 01 View Post
I don't think he need help...

The guy is still the best player in the world, and I see him(with Djokovic) as the biggest favourite to win tournaments like the Olympics, US OPEN and TMC.

right. just as he was the heavy favorite to tear everybody up in Toronto.

that is exactly one of the problems: he has placed too much pressure on himself. and then the public expectations.

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post #6 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:17 PM
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

i think his main problem in the coming months will be the fact that his aura is pretty much gone. whenever he stepped on court in the past there was this special something that set him apart from the rest; it felt like he was already up a break as they walked on court together. his opponents feared him and apart from a few players like nadal and djokovic, everyone was basically shitting their pants.

now that has changed. dramatically. players know by now that he's more than vulnerable if you hang in there and make him uncomfortable. still he's able to beat most of them easily, that's true, but the roger-effect is gone. he's human again which is something hardly any coach can repair.

and actually, we may call that the nole-effect.
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post #7 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:18 PM
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

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Originally Posted by Clay Death View Post
right. just as he was the heavy favorite to tear everybody up in Toronto.

that is exactly one of the problems: he has placed too much pressure on himself. and then the public expectations.
I'm afraid you are perfectly right here CD.
More than anything else I think that Roger needs a mental coach/sports psychologist to get him out of the pit he's been falling into.
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post #8 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:20 PM
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

Federer himself once said a lot of tennis is mental. That is, the battle is won or lost before you step on the court sometimes. The top players all have strengths enough to beat anyone on any given day. The realy close matchups comes down to keeping it together during the match.

Federer's mental focus is fed by his success. More success = more confidence = better mental strength. I think his all out effort to win Roland Garros the last two years, and his constant beat downs by Nadal and occasionally a few others that he doesn't probably respect too much on any surface other than clay, has goten him down. The Wimbledon loss is the straw that broke the camel's back.

To come back, Federer needs to fire Higueras. I agree. He cannot take Higueras' mentality that you win tennis by forcing the opponent's errors. That is not his strength. Then he needs to enlist a sports psychologist to help with the mental thing. And yes, he needs to get more fit. He has a gut. And as he hits the crossroads in his tennis career, he needs to make decision to let go of Roland Garros and concentrate on getting the grand slam title record, or focus on Roland Garros and forget any records. He has to let go of his stubbornness and unwillingness to change his game. The game is changing and as he gets older and slower, if he doesn't make an adjustment, he may never reach Pete's slam record.
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post #9 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:25 PM
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

lurker, i think its safe to say that his only hope of winning roland garros is if nadal gets injured...

if thats the only thing preventing him from retiring , he might as well go now...

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post #10 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

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Originally Posted by Papagena View Post
I'm afraid you are perfectly right here CD.
More than anything else I think that Roger needs a mental coach/sports psychologist to get him out of the pit he's been falling into.
Peter Carter (RIP ) is sorely been missed, more now than ever before.
the best thing that can happen for him now is drop to around #2 or even #3.

he can then let go of all pressures and play freely.

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post #11 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

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Federer himself once said a lot of tennis is mental. That is, the battle is won or lost before you step on the court sometimes. The top players all have strengths enough to beat anyone on any given day. The realy close matchups comes down to keeping it together during the match.

Federer's mental focus is fed by his success. More success = more confidence = better mental strength. I think his all out effort to win Roland Garros the last two years, and his constant beat downs by Nadal and occasionally a few others that he doesn't probably respect too much on any surface other than clay, has goten him down. The Wimbledon loss is the straw that broke the camel's back.

To come back, Federer needs to fire Higueras. I agree. He cannot take Higueras' mentality that you win tennis by forcing the opponent's errors. That is not his strength. Then he needs to enlist a sports psychologist to help with the mental thing. And yes, he needs to get more fit. He has a gut. And as he hits the crossroads in his tennis career, he needs to make decision to let go of Roland Garros and concentrate on getting the grand slam title record, or focus on Roland Garros and forget any records. He has to let go of his stubbornness and unwillingness to change his game. The game is changing and as he gets older and slower, if he doesn't make an adjustment, he may never reach Pete's slam record.
great post.

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post #12 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:30 PM
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

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the best thing that can happen for him now is drop to around #2 or even #3.

he can then let go of all pressures and play freely.
It's merely a matter of a few weeks till he will inevitably lose his #1 spot. I hope you are right and that that indeed will take off some pressure. I doubt it though, he's quite a stubborn character and he might even put himself under MORE pressure because he'll surely try to do everything to get it back.
We will have to wait and see what happens... as long as he doesn't pull a Henin/Borg, I'm fine with it.

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post #13 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:31 PM
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

Federer's bad year in summary:

Australian Open - Semis
French Open - Finalist
Wimbledon - Finalist

Indian Wells - Semis
Miami - Quarters
Monte Carlo - Finalist
Rome - Quarters
Hamburg - Finalist
Canada - R32

Ranking at the start of the year: 1
Current Ranking: 1

Fact is, this is a bad year by Federer's impossible standards.

But, you can also think about it this way: Federer is playing right now in about 3rd gear while Nadal is "red lining" his playing engine.

It will be interesting to see however if Nadal can at least defend (or add to) his Semis points in Canada this week. He could add 125 if he is a Finalist or 275 if he wins it. Fed is going to drop from 6600 to 6255. Rafa could reach 6105 points if he wins. Then of course in Cincy, Rafa only has R32 points (5) to defend, but Fed has Champion (500) points to defend.

Rafa's got his big chance right now. Let's see if he can deliver. I for one hope he does.
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post #14 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

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Originally Posted by Papagena View Post
It's merely a matter of a few weeks till he will inevitably lose his #1 spot. I hope you are right and that that indeed will take off some pressure. I doubt it though, he's quite a stubborn character and he might even put himself under MORE pressure because he'll surely try to do everything to get it back.
We will have to wait and see what happens... as long as he doesn't pull a Henin/Borg, I'm fine with it.
#1 ranking, at this point in time, is nothing but a false sense of security for him and a massive source of pressure.

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post #15 of 296 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 05:43 PM
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Re: Roger Federer : Who Can Help Him

Federer said once that he's playing against history. Breaking every record in the book was his real and true aim. The following would have kept his goal on-track towards 'history':

– a 6th consecutive Wimbledon title: it didn't happen
– winning at least once at Roland Garros: it didn't happen
– surpassing (comprehensively) Sampras' record of 14 slams: after this year it looks difficult

I don't think there's anybody out there who can hep him (to tell him not to feel like this). The 'situation' is highly personal reflecting a goal that HE wanted and aimed for, all his life. To 'recover' he needs to change his own goalposts; but for a man who wants to be the greatest of the greatest (and maybe felt he could do it) and maybe came so close to achieving it (but not quite getting there) must be uber tough and demoralising...
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