How to play the top 4 - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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How to play the top 4

Federer: obviously the toughest to beat as he has the most complete game. But the obvious answer is hammer and hammer and hammer away at the backhand and wait for the error. Nobody on the tour can consistently outmanoeuvre him and playing to the forehand is suicide. Gotta simply keep on at the backhand and hope he has a bad day

Roddick: return the serve! LOL

Safin: tough tough tough to beat. Great serve and no weakness at the back. Unlike with federer, u have to try and outmanoeuvre him which is not easy as his movement is getting better all the time. But i think his weaknesses are the short/mid-court forehand and his movement as he comes into the net. So keep it low and short to the forehand and try to bring him in. The best chance of beating him is with short angles and bringing him to the net

Hewitt: overpower him!
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post #2 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 07:37 PM
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Re: How to play the top 4

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Originally Posted by federer express
Hewitt: overpower him!
Actually, hit moonballs that go over his shoulder until you push him back enough to hit a shot behind him after maneuvering him out of the margins.

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post #3 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to play the top 4

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Actually, hit moonballs that go over his shoulder until you push him back enough to hit a shot behind him after maneuvering him out of the margins.
Joke or serious?
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post #4 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 07:51 PM
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Re: How to play the top 4

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Originally Posted by federer express
Joke or serious?
I'm pretty sure the person is serious because I totally agree. Hewitt can handle pace. He actually likes that because he can't generate a great amount of his own.

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post #5 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 07:58 PM
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Re: How to play the top 4

Whatever you do against Hewitt, just don't serve and volley, or play the net rushing game like Henman. The guy totally crushes even the best of serve volleyers, hence the 8-0 records against Henman...and against players like Rafter, Ivanesivic...

A better way might be to try and beat him at his own game, he really has trouble against the heavy hitting claycourters like Canas, Moya,...simply because they don't miss very much and Hewitt is unable to generate the pace needed off the ground to topple them...Having said that, if you haven't got the backcourt game, you're pretty much screwed!

Last edited by In_Disguise; 01-30-2005 at 08:02 PM.
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post #6 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to play the top 4

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Originally Posted by aceit
I'm pretty sure the person is serious because I totally agree. Hewitt can handle pace. He actually likes that because he can't generate a great amount of his own.
I thought safin overwhelmed him with superior and bigger hitting from the back. Obviously u cant just hammer it back to him, but u outhit him patiently. Hit bigger than him and get him on the run til u get an open court. I didn't see many moonballs from safin
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post #7 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to play the top 4

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Originally Posted by In_Disguise
Whatever you do against Hewitt, just don't serve and volley, or play the net rushing game like Henman.
True true...unless u wanna get your butt kicked by him
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post #8 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 08:02 PM
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Re: How to play the top 4

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Originally Posted by federer express
I thought safin overwhelmed him with superior and bigger hitting from the back. Obviously u cant just hammer it back to him, but u outhit him patiently. Hit bigger than him and get him on the run til u get an open court. I didn't see many moonballs from safin
A bit of both I should have said. I mean, you can't hit it flat to Hewitt and expect to win. Sure, he'll get a bunch of points that way, but I think Safin mixed it up a lot which helped him win.

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post #9 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 08:04 PM
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Re: How to play the top 4

Safin didn't have a good day and he still beat Smirkin' Fed. LOL
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post #10 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to play the top 4

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Originally Posted by aceit
A bit of both I should have said. I mean, you can't hit it flat to Hewitt and expect to win. Sure, he'll get a bunch of points that way, but I think Safin mixed it up a lot which helped him win.
True Safin didn't do what roddick did and just hit aimlessly....u gotta use the bigger hitting to get him on the run until u get him far enough out of position to hit the winner. Its because safin is so powerful that he could hit within himself and move the ball around whilst still hitting bigger than hewitt and therefore get the upperhand. Thought hewitt didn't slice the backhand enough...he didn't seem to have much of a plan besides hoping for safin mistakes
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post #11 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to play the top 4

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Safin didn't have a good day and he still beat Smirkin' Fed. LOL
Thought safin played well...and federer was piss poor..and still got to match point and really probably should have won
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post #12 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 08:07 PM
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Re: How to play the top 4

Safin did what I said, he took pace of his shots and hit heavier balls with a lot more spin, taking Hewitt out of his comfort zone. It cut down on errors, and Hewitt had now way of imposing his game on Safin anymore. What you said he should do, he did in the first set, and look what happened.

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post #13 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to play the top 4

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Originally Posted by Domino
Safin did what I said, he took pace of his shots and hit heavier balls with a lot more spin, taking Hewitt out of his comfort zone. It cut down on errors, and Hewitt had now way of imposing his game on Safin anymore. What you said he should do, he did in the first set, and look what happened.
No in the first set he was just incredibly nervous thats why he lost it...he could hardly make a ball. I still didn't see any moonballs. And he looked to be hitting pretty big to me when hewitt was scrambling after those backhands down the line
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post #14 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 08:14 PM
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Re: How to play the top 4

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Originally Posted by federer express
No in the first set he was just incredibly nervous thats why he lost it...he could hardly make a ball. I still didn't see any moonballs. And he looked to be hitting pretty big to me when hewitt was scrambling after those backhands down the line
You obviously did not see him smacking the ball so hard he hit an error very quickly, which was in part due to nerves. By moonballs, you must be thinking of balls travelling over the net by five feet. What I mean, is balls with so much spin, that once they hit the court, they check up high, which is what Safin did, though he does it a bit more naturally because of his height.

Those backhand down the lines were set up by the heavy spin shots he used to push Hewitt around. The finishing shot is always needed, but that is in no way overpowering. He did more of that game against Sampras, which he could never repeat again, and had to figure out that he couldn't just use power shots to win everything. Today, he showed his head, and used heavy balls instead of power balls.

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post #15 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 08:14 PM
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Re: How to play the top 4

Federer: you have to play really aggressive and take the initiative in the baseline rallies or otherwise he'll push you around. Most important: don't let him take the ball early, you have to keep him behind the baseline at all cost. Of course only a handful of players can do this consistently without making too many unforced errors, Safin and Agassi come to mind. You also need to get some free points off your serve otherwise you'll struggle to hold serve yourself, meaning Safin is the only player who can potentially keep up with Federer.

Hewitt: keep your cool in the rallies and keep building the pressure. Only come in after a really good shot or otherwise he'll hit the passing shot. Don't try to place him on the wrong foot, that almost never works, just keep hitting corner to corner. It's also a good idea to go forehand to forehand instead of going for the backhand rally. He can make forehand errors when being on the dominant side of a rally, so occasionally you can play a shorter (slice) ball to his forehand. Furthermore if you can keep up with him early on, his serve will collapse at some point, either the first serve percentage will drop or he'll start hitting double faults (or better still, both will happen at the same time).

Roddick: float his serve back with a slice return and from there just keep battling in the rally. Be careful for his inside-out forehand, it's better to hit to his forehand occasionally as he won't be able to hit winner from that side as easily. As soon as you can get a backhand rally started your set. It's also a good tactic to lure him to the net from time to time cause he's not that great at the net.

Safin: keep moving him, preferably back to front instead of right to left. Safin seems to have problems with shorter balls, especially on the forehand side. Problem is you can't be too passive against Safin like Federer was in the semis, cause then he can adjust, so you have to be aggressive from time to time. Stay away from the backhand rally, he'll destroy you with his backhand down the line. Instead play to the forehand more often, he's more likely to make errors there, especially if you can change the pace of the rally every now and then.

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