Does federer have the worst return of serve in the top 10 atleast. He just seems to block the serve and get it back into play. Is there some heavy spin to the return i am missing?
Djokovic and Murray really attack on their return.
He is one of the weaker returns when considering the general scope of things, however, his specialty has been returning big servers. He does block many of these serves back, however, he places them normally pretty deep or even purposely short to draw opponents into the net against their own terms. At the very least, he makes many of the servers start their points off in a neutral position which is frustrating for them because normally if they hit a big serve, they are expecting a routine winner very early, yet they get something they really can't work with so once the rally starts, Federer obviously becomes very tough to beat.
However, the downside with such returning is that he struggles against servers who don't serve that big and much of their game plan revolves around working the point, so starting the point off neutral doesn't help Federer in those cases at all. In terms of actual poor returning, really the only player he has an issue with when returning serve is Rafa. Nadal doesn't have a huge serve, however, since he slices nearly everything to Federer's backhand, it starts Federer in a disadvantageous position, especially on the ad court since he normally gets pulled off wide to his backhand side, so if he plays a block return, the ball just flies off the racket due to the spin allowing Rafa to take control of most of these rallies.
If you serve a shitty second serve though, he will punish you for it by oftentimes running around and crushing the ball with his forehand.