Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal? - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

I was just watching the AO final and noticed Fed didn't use his slice BH at all. He slices the hell out of everyone else but against Nadull he doesn't use it. It was the same at the Wimbledon final last year and in 2007. Instead he decides to rely on his weak top spin BH. Why is this?

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 02:52 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 03:20 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

Fed's BH slice sets up winners against everyone, EXCEPT Nadal, who either whacks a winner off it or neutralizes the shot. I think Fed tried it once in the first set, and he did not win the point. If Fed had kept trying it, he'd have gone down fast.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 03:22 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

I think the slice BH gives more time to Nadal to get the ball and make a winner. Ok, my explanation it´s awful as my english.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 03:26 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

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I think the slice BH gives more time to Nadal to get the ball and make a winner. Ok, my explanation it´s awful as my english.
I think Fed's BH slice is one of the best shots in the game, but Nadal just knows what to do with it.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 04:32 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

He did slice it a few times to Rafa's backhand, but Rafa's speed and ability to handle Roger's slice basically makes it a liability rather than an asset for Fed.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 04:38 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

Err no, the few times he actually used the slice properly it was working. He's just too stubborn and would rather hit mid court topspin backhands instead.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 04:52 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

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Originally Posted by leng jai View Post
Err no, the few times he actually used the slice properly it was working. He's just too stubborn and would rather hit mid court topspin backhands instead.
Exactly, it worked quite well a few times, and he should have done it a bit more. I´m sure he doesn´t want to use it too much so Nadal doesn´t get to dictate all the rallies, but he should still use it more, especially against Nadal´s backhand.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 04:56 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

The slice to Nadal's backhand was very effective whenever he used it. It produced an error or a midcourt ball to attack with the fh every time.

I guess the slice down the line just isn't an easy shot to play and as leng says, he's a stubborn fucker as well who seems to want to beat Nadal using his top spin bh all the time. This is most obvious on the bh return where he refuses to just block or slice deep like he does against everyone else.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 05:06 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

Slice as a regular shot on hardcourts? You gotta be kidding.. It might work against a high risk players like Blake or Berdych, who'd produce tons of errors from low balls.. But for spinner like Nadal? It does not really stay low enough on hardcourt to bother them. Some odd slice shot could surprise them, but not regular use, which would only give away the initiative and nothing else..
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 05:07 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

the slice backhand down the line to Nadal's backhand produced NUMEROUS points won!!! Did you not watch the match? in the fifth set, Federer went back to floating mid court topspin backhands with only moderate pace on them or he just went for low percentage forehands which he overhit.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 07:18 AM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

federer did use the slice dtl but the slice to nadal's fh will not work with regularity.

the dtl slice is not easy to execute and has to be used only when the ball is in the right spot in the court.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 12:30 PM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

yep... the backhand slice just goes missing vs nadal... when he knifes it and get penetration on it then it does produce resluts... but, maybe fed thinks he can beat him without using it...

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 01:02 PM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

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federer did use the slice dtl but the slice to nadal's fh will not work with regularity.

the dtl slice is not easy to execute and has to be used only when the ball is in the right spot in the court.
Yeah, Roger should really be honing the DTL slice: in practice and match play. He obviously feels better going CC with it.

Also: I'd have to rewatch the match, but Rafa could've adapted and made the DTL slice an even lower percentage shot. Or a shot Federer felt less and less comfortable hitting.

Anyway, there are a lot of folks who describe Federer as being "stubborn" when not executing the obvious game plan against Nadal. It's just very difficult to execute a plan you've come up with just for one player, a great one at that, and on the biggest stages of the sport, in front of folks and while feeling serious pressure. Perfect conditions for a series of brain cramps. Especially when you have too many different shots at your disposal.

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 01:11 PM
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Re: Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

Fed appears to be really comfortable using his slice when "the ball is in his slice strike zone". Which seems to be right at about waist high. Nadals balls are more often than not, well above his waist. That completely changes the dynamics of the slice for Fed and takes him out of his comfort zone on hitting it. His only other option is to step in, take it early which would get it lower in flight. BUT, he does not seem to bewilling to do that. That only leaves him with two options, 1) work the point longer and get a more defensive shot from Nadal that would have less topspin, or 2) grow about 6 inches.

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Last edited by MacTheKnife; 02-02-2009 at 03:09 PM.
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