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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Federer's return game

Fed's return game is probably the only aspect that has not improved over the last months. All those cheap misses, especially off second serves, are really painful to watch. I actually believe the return game has been gradually poorer since 2007. It has really cost him at Wimbledon, where reliable returns are extremely important, both in 2010 and in 2011. That is also why I think Roland Garros was his best slam in 2011. The return is not that fundamental on regular clay.

Any opinions about this?
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 10:58 PM
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Re: Federer's return game

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 11:02 PM
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Re: Federer's return game

Federer has never been a great 2nd serve returner, his 1st serve returns are still among the best in the business. Maybe just behind Djokovic.

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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 11:21 PM
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Re: Federer's return game

His return and movement are the things that have deteriorated the most since his prime years.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 11:26 PM
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Re: Federer's return game

Are you kidding me?

The first serve return is the shot that has won him the matches against Raonic and Berdych. He just has the natural ability to just put that ball into play and in a unattackable position. That is an amazing asset that others would kill for.

What I'm noticing lately is that he has stopped being stubborn and actually just chips the ball back into play in tight situations, putting pressure on the opponent. Don't take it for granted, there have been days in the past where he just shot himself in the foot with not doing just that.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 11:26 PM
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Re: Federer's return game

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Originally Posted by sexybeast View Post
Federer has never been a great 2nd serve returner, his 1st serve returns are still among the best in the business. Maybe just behind Djokovic.
He did hit 5 return winners and some other couple of returns that Berdych couldn't control but I agree his 2nd serve returns were poor, very passive.
For example out of the 4 match points, 2 of them were on 2nd serves. The first time Fed hit a flat BH that landed in Berdych service box. The 2nd one Fed hit the chip return that won him the match in the end but it was a chicken shot. Insted of being agressive and taking faith in his own hands he was just asking Berdych the questions: "can you hit a winner while being so close to the net at mp down?"

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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 11:26 PM
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Re: Federer's return game

His return when standing on the baseline, even against big servers, is the best one he has. Allows him to return the ball using slice/block and make it considerably deep and low. From behind he often places the return somewhere inside the service box :/


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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Federer's return game

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Originally Posted by Li Ching Yuen View Post
Are you kidding me?

The first serve return is the shot that has won him the matches against Raonic and Berdych. He just has the natural ability to just put that ball into play and in a unattackable position. That is an amazing asset that others would kill for.
Yes, traditionally this has been a very imporant asset of Federer's game. And his first serve returns are much better than his second serve returns, compared to the other guys. And in some matches it proves to be vital that he is just quick to react, like against Isner in IW. But against many opponents it is not enough to just return first serves over the net. Against big hitters like Berdych and Tsonga you also need to manage returning good serves with interest. He was slightly better at this a few years ago. At least that is my impression.
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 11:39 PM
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Re: Federer's return game

He can return big serves obviously, but his ROS generally isn´t top 5 i think, his returns on 2nd serves are pathetic sometimes. I think it has a lot to do with 1handed BH, simply with 2hands you have more control and power- that´s why guys like Nole, Murray, Ferrer orNalbandian-Davydenko in recent years are/were top returners. Because of his great serve i think ROS is not so seen, but for example today, without those unreturnables on his serve, he would loose in straight sets, because his ROS and baseline game were not world-class for sure, in baseline rallies he was overpowered and at return some of 2nd serve returns were really pathetic. Howewer 1st serve returns are always great, because Roger can anticipate and just use - redirect pace, but on slower 2nd serves simply he is not world-class returners, he can´t kill those 2nd serves like for example even Berdych can or Nole.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 02:51 AM
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Re: Federer's return game

His level of return serve has dropped compared to his prime years due to his aging footwork but it's still pretty damn good

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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 02:53 AM
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Re: Federer's return game

Olderer was always all serve, his return is quite mediocre, especially against heavy topspin serve.

His return is only decent against hard flat FS, which he can block into play.

That's why he's so good against Rodmug. The hard FS doesn't bother him. In fact I think Olderer wants Rodmug to serve more first serves so he can kill the pace and return them into play.
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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 02:54 AM
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Re: Federer's return game

Quite good achievments for an all-serve.

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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 03:04 AM
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Re: Federer's return game

Yes, as others have mentioned, first serve return has always been absolutely key for him. The problem he has had over the years, is mainly against Nadal where he can't just block the serves back because Rafa rarely hits big flat serves. Plus, when Federer chips the ball back, he can't get in a neutral position with Rafa as he does with virtually everyone else. His second serve return has never been his best asset, in my opinion because he has variety. I think his biggest mistake is being unable to choose the right return at the right moment. Although, he is so good at killing really poor second serves by running around to hit a forehand.

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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 03:14 AM
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Re: Federer's return game

Roger has a great flat serve ROS, but with big spin serves he has issues, specially in the BH side.

To say that he's won tournaments just because of his serve is a bit silly considering he's usually breaking people, yes, he plays many TB but he also breaks a lot.

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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 03:29 AM
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Re: Federer's return game

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Originally Posted by Arkulari View Post
To say that he's won tournaments just because of his serve is a bit silly considering he's usually breaking people, yes, he plays many TB but he also breaks a lot.
In Madrid, Berdych was broken only once through the semi-finals. In the final against Federer, he was broken four times.
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