Is Federer becoming a defensive player? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

I'm seeing more of it this year. Less aggression and "going for it", and more passiveness on the important points (BPs and MPs). A LOT of backhand slicing and soft forehands when he has opportunities to hit the cover of the ball.

Thoughts?

"If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won."
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post #2 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:35 PM
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post #3 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:36 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

I noticed it from about the middle of 2007 onwards, in fact I can pinpoint a specific match against Hewitt in Cincinnati which he squeaked through 7-6 in the third after briefly being down a break earlier in that set. It was suddenly noticeable that he was relying so much on winning a lot of free points outright with the serve and then hustling and scrapping out points from the baseline, what I call the "serve and scramble" mode he's been operating on these last couple of years. The tendency has grown stronger since then.

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post #4 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:36 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

less offensive would be the better choice of words

http://www.menstennisforums.com/show...&postcount=378

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That will be the last victory of Rafa for quite some time.. With his joke mentality and pathetic game, I hope the disgusting player loses every single match next season. He's disgraceful. He should just retire. He's a joke.
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post #5 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:38 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

I find him more and more offensive as the years pass by.
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post #6 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:39 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

I'd agree with this. Federer's confidence in his aggressive game this year has gone down the toilet, and as a result, he is playing more defense, hoping the opponent misses, which is usually what happens.

Not against Benneteau, though.

I agree with Sjengster's assessment as well. Roger seems to have taken a page from Roddick's book.

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post #7 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:40 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

he's no longer 25

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post #8 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:42 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

defense comes with ages. he is older, cant have "bodily fluids" through whole season at maximum as he had 3 years ago.
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post #9 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:44 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

he simply doesn't give a crap outside slams, and it reflects in his game

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post #10 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:47 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

That happened in 2002.

Answer taking into account 2000s tennis:
Yes, but it's logical. As players age they tend to use their head more than their body, and as well they should.

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Originally Posted by philosophicalarf View Post
Armstrong says in-competition testing will never catch anyone, only out-of-competition testing and the blood passport can.

Tennis has no blood passport system, and does basically no out of competition testing.

The methods and drugs used by Armstrong in 1999 would work in tennis right now, with zero chance of being caught (not slightly surprising to anyone familiar with the topic, btw).
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post #11 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:50 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

I think the question is - is Roger becoming older? - I guess yes, which reflects at some aspects including style of play. So, he focus on GS. Even in AO and USO, I don't think he gave up in the 5th set. He still cares those. But other tours?, maybe he CAN't care that much anymore(no ability to dominate the whole year anymore). Sad to say this.
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post #12 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Har-Tru View Post
That happened in 2002.
Huh?

Quote:
Answer taking into account 2000s tennis:
Yes, but it's logical. As players age they tend to use their head more than their body, and as well they should.
But it's clearly not clever tennis. It's just being over-tentative. He still has the power to hit winners left and right but he's not taking chances as much any more.

"If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won."
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post #13 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:54 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

It's at least 3 years that it is like this. His results on clay have generally improved with this change in his game, at the expenses of his results on hardcourts where he was almost a lock to win before 2007. So it's not like he is becoming, he already is, just look at how he was playing in 2004-2005 compared to today.
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post #14 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:55 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infini. View Post
Huh?



But it's clearly not clever tennis. It's just being over-tentative. He still has the power to hit winners left and right but he's not taking chances as much any more.
I think that's just lack of confidence in stroke production, last year I lost count of how many times I saw him ballooning his forehand wide or long when he tried to pull the trigger. He doesn't want to lose matches by erroring himself to death, which to a certain extent happened again tonight; most of his rallying was passive, but when he fell behind in the final set there was his usual patch of play where he hits a flurry of wide forehands, shanked backhands, the full repertoire of sprayed strokes.

Being so cautious in matches is clearly a double-edged sword, he gets more free points on serve but the defensiveness only prolongs matches that he would have won a lot more easily in his prime. Take the last three Wimbledon finals for example, where he's managed 5 breaks of serve in 15 sets and went something like 63 return games in a row between last year's final and this year's without breaking serve. It's not energy conserving to need more than 4 hours just to get a break. The sets that he's won in those finals: 7-6, 7-6, 6-2; 7-6, 7-6; 7-6, 7-6, 16-14.

The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.

Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?

ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.
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post #15 of 108 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:57 PM
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Re: Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infini. View Post
Huh?



But it's clearly not clever tennis. It's just being over-tentative. He still has the power to hit winners left and right but he's not taking chances as much any more.
Attacking tennis = S&V, net play.

Understand now?

Hitting winners ain't easy... not even for Federer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philosophicalarf View Post
Armstrong says in-competition testing will never catch anyone, only out-of-competition testing and the blood passport can.

Tennis has no blood passport system, and does basically no out of competition testing.

The methods and drugs used by Armstrong in 1999 would work in tennis right now, with zero chance of being caught (not slightly surprising to anyone familiar with the topic, btw).
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