Whats up with Federer's backhand [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Whats up with Federer's backhand

Fedexex
09-23-2007, 08:19 AM
it has been so bad this year:o he is using the slice for almost 90 % of the time..also very less winners from it..

any specific reason?:confused:

GlennMirnyi
09-23-2007, 08:25 AM
He's trying to make his opponents get used to that so he can school them afterwards. Yes, he's that good.

Adler
09-23-2007, 08:27 AM
Come on, Steffi Graf used slice backhand all the time and that didn't prevent her from winning 21 GS titles on all surfaces

GlennMirnyi
09-23-2007, 08:30 AM
Come on, Steffi Graf used slice backhand all the time and that didn't prevent her from winning 21 GS titles on all surfaces

Women don't play tennis.

leng jai
09-23-2007, 08:30 AM
Federer's backhand has always been mediocre and a liability in matches where he has gotten in trouble. People automatically think that his backhand must be awesome because hes the best player in the world, but the truth is his topspin backhand has never been anything special. He does have the best slice backhand in the game which if I'd rather see him use than his standard topspin backhand which has too much spin and drops short often.

However, he did hit his backhand extremely well in the 2006 Masters Cup especially in the final where he gave Blake the caining of a lifetime.

rosamunda
09-23-2007, 08:32 AM
it has been so bad this year:o he is using the slice for almost 90 % of the time..also very less winners from it..

any specific reason?:confused:

I disagree. He's been doing plenty of topspin backhands this year and has had some spectacular winners with them. In any case, that slice is something else - it's lethal.

Adler
09-23-2007, 08:33 AM
Women don't play tennis.
Right, I forgot about it

GlennMirnyi
09-23-2007, 08:36 AM
Right, I forgot about it

No problem, just don't forget it again. ;) :p

dragons112
09-23-2007, 08:38 AM
THe slice is not used enough its his bets shot when he uses it as an offesnive shot

FedFan_2007
09-23-2007, 08:38 AM
Federer's backhand has always been mediocre and a liability in matches where he has gotten in trouble. People automatically think that his backhand must be awesome because hes the best player in the world, but the truth is his topspin backhand has never been anything special. He does have the best slice backhand in the game which if I'd rather see him use than his standard topspin backhand which has too much spin and drops short often.

However, he did hit his backhand extremely well in the 2006 Masters Cup especially in the final where he gave Blake the caining of a lifetime.

Pffft. His topspin backhand was absolutely incredible at the 2007 AO. I have the video proof.

FedFan_2007
09-23-2007, 08:38 AM
I hate threads like this. So he isn't in FedGod mode 100% of the time. Get real.

Allure
09-23-2007, 08:43 AM
Yeah he has been making more errors off his bh wing. But he has been making more errors in general. I think he has been erratic this year but if he keeps winning 3 slams a year, then who are we to complain? :shrug:

rwn
09-23-2007, 11:01 AM
Nothing.

Bad Religion
09-23-2007, 11:08 AM
It's crap

Not in the same league of Guga , Gaudio or Haas

Horatio Caine
09-23-2007, 11:15 AM
Women don't play tennis.



OMG! *tries to breath!* :haha: :haha: :haha:

dragons112
09-23-2007, 11:16 AM
he needs a coach for motivation and discipline the funny thing is roger can improve

Julio
09-23-2007, 11:34 AM
I disagree. He's been doing plenty of topspin backhands this year and has had some spectacular winners with them. In any case, that slice is something else - it's lethal.

Agree with rosamunda. A good backhand is not essentially a "backhand winner". Slice is one of the most useful tennis strokes for me.
The same thing can be said about serve : for me Roger has the best serve in the world cause he finds incredible angles even if it's not at 130 mi/h.

stebs
09-23-2007, 11:48 AM
It's crap

Not in the same league of Guga , Gaudio or Haas

These two statements don't correspond.

It's true that it's not as good as Guga, Gaudio or Haas but not true that it's crap.

leng jai
09-23-2007, 12:03 PM
If you count the slice backhand as well then Federer is close. The beauty about Haas is that he has both the slice and the topspin backhand which are equally as good. His slice isn't as good as Federer's though, but not far behind. Guga's slice was rubbish and from what I know Gaudio's wasn't all that good.

Bad Religion
09-23-2007, 12:13 PM
Well , I'm sure I'm wrong but the abuse of the slice backhand to me is because your top spin backhand in not that good or you don't have the the confidence in that stroke (top spin)

I mean , you can insist all the day in the top spin backhand of Guga , Gaudio and Haas and they won't make as mistakes as Federer ---> at the third or fourth stroke with his top spin backhand he hits a Home Run

leng jai
09-23-2007, 12:24 PM
I actually wish there was more abuse of the slice backhand these days. Its such a beautiful shot when hit properly. The slice backhand is rarely used offensively these days, Haas and Federer are the only baseliners that use it for that purpose at all anymore. A backhand with a good slice is just so much more versatile. So much better for approach shots, so much better for defense and so much better against tall opponents. Slice backhand approaches do 2 things: keeps the ball low which means less margin for error on the passing shots, and gives the volleyer more time to get into a good net position. Since no one even comes to the net anymore this has become slightly irrelevant which is a real shame IMO.

The slice backhand is part of the reason why Federer is so good. It gives him so many more options, and frustrates the hell out of players whose favourite shot is the off forehand. The fact of that matter is is that the slice backhand can setup points by forcing the opponent to hit a shorter ball. I don't know if you've played tennis, but its much riskier to hit a hard shot off a low skidding slice because of the reduced margin of error and the skid off the court surface. Against a player like Roddick, all you need to do is hit once low skidding slice to his backhand and 9/10 times you'll receive a mid court reply which instantly puts you on the offense.

Well theres my rant about the slice backhand.

adee-gee
09-23-2007, 12:26 PM
Jesus, what will it take to satisfy you Fedtards? :help:

stebs
09-23-2007, 01:09 PM
The fact of that matter is is that the slice backhand can setup points by forcing the opponent to hit a shorter ball. I don't know if you've played tennis, but its much riskier to hit a hard shot off a low skidding slice because of the reduced margin of error and the skid off the court surface. Against a player like Roddick, all you need to do is hit once low skidding slice to his backhand and 9/10 times you'll receive a mid court reply which instantly puts you on the offense.

Well theres my rant about the slice backhand.

:yeah:

Against opponents who struggle with it there are several ways in which it can setup the point for you.

1. It can get the opponent confused, they don't know what to do with the spinning ball and, as you stated, push it back allowing the slicer to take control.

2. They can attack it and approach. It is very difficult to get the ball quick and deep off the slice and for as accomplished a passer as Federer he can eat up players all day long in this way.

3. If the player realises that coming to net is a bad idea they step back but they will still be inside the court and it will be far easier to force an error with a quick groundstroke than it would be if your shot had been deep.

4. The player can attempt to be too aggressive too often. After a player like Federer hits a short slice on a low bouncing surface often times a big hitting opponent will step up and crack a winner. This sometimes makes it look a bad tactic but if Federer hits that ball with that spin 10 times, the opponent cracks it for a winner 3 times out of ten and misses it 7 times out of ten.

stebs
09-23-2007, 01:10 PM
Jesus, what will it take to satisfy you Fedtards? :help:

All we ask is the golden slam next year and 100 slams by the end of his career. I'd say that's pretty reasonable.

Oh, and throw in a 100-0 unbeaten record and the Davis Cup. ;)

adee-gee
09-23-2007, 01:12 PM
All we ask is the golden slam next year and 100 slams by the end of his career. I'd say that's pretty reasonable.

Oh, and throw in a 100-0 unbeaten record and the Davis Cup. ;)
Don't forget a decent backhand ;)

stebs
09-23-2007, 01:15 PM
Don't forget a decent backhand ;)

No, us Fedtards would rather have a classical backhand that breaks down at big moments than that contra-tennis BH of Nadal. :p ;)

I almost forgot, I don't expect Federer to drop a set in next year's Grand Slams or Olympics. He can throw the rest of the tour the odd set in MM tournies but when it comes to the big time he's not letting any match last more than an hour.

leng jai
09-23-2007, 01:17 PM
I've lost count how many times Federer has hit a short slice against clowns with poor netplay forcing them to come to the net and passing them with incredible ease. Roddick is the biggest sucker on tour for this. Vs Haas in Memphis, Vs Federer at the Aus Open...

stebs
09-23-2007, 01:21 PM
I've lost count how many times Federer has hit a short slice against clowns with poor netplay forcing them to come to the net and passing them with incredible ease. Roddick is the biggest sucker on tour for this. Vs Haas in Memphis, Vs Federer at the Aus Open...

Haas topspin BH is better than Federer's but he isn't as good a passer off either wing in my opinion. Andy Murray also implements this tactic against Roddick with good success.

Problem for Roddick is unless he is hitting an inside out high FH he struggles to get a lot of pace and keep the ball low. Instead it is like he is hitting a slow loopy ball and coming to the net against the worlds most accurate passers :help:

Even Nadal used this tactis and his slice isn't the worlds best. In IW Nadal passed him over and over and over off both wings so easily.

leng jai
09-23-2007, 01:26 PM
Federer's backhand pass is awesome, especially the cross court one. I'd argue that Haas has a better backhand down the line pass but Federer absolutely lovees just blocking the ball and rolling it cross court. Theres very little backswing and the ball dips so viciously its extremely tough to volley effectively. Of course this type of backhand isn't all the useful in a standard baseline rally.

Roddick's approach shots are so bad these days more and more players are catching onto this tactic and using it effectively against him.

Allez
09-23-2007, 01:26 PM
His topspin backhand is still better than a lot of other players' out there. I'm not too crazy about his technique. I'd say Gasquet has a better technique which allows him to play the ball much deeper and flatter than Fed...most of the time. I quite like Haas' as well. Rogi can hit some mean backhands too, but the consistency is not there, hence the over reliance on the slice. His slice backhand is the best in the business imo.

barbadosan
09-23-2007, 01:48 PM
Fed defeats Berdych in the Davis Cup:

Forehand winners: 13
Backhand winners: 11

QED? :D

groundstroke
09-23-2007, 01:54 PM
His backhand looks great this year. He's trying to improve his slice, that's why he uses it?

groundstroke
09-23-2007, 01:59 PM
It's crap

Not in the same league of Guga , Gaudio or Haas
Doesn't stop him from trashing players like them 6-0 6-0. He has a great backhand.

leng jai
09-23-2007, 02:01 PM
Yep he really double bagels Guga, Gaudio and Haas :retard:

stebs
09-23-2007, 02:06 PM
Yep he really double bagels Guga, Gaudio and Haas :retard:

He did it to Gaudio. :shrug:

leng jai
09-23-2007, 02:07 PM
Oh really. What the idiot Gaudio.

valexie03
09-23-2007, 02:09 PM
All we ask is the golden slam next year and 100 slams by the end of his career. I'd say that's pretty reasonable.

Oh, and throw in a 100-0 unbeaten record and the Davis Cup. ;)

No, us Fedtards would rather have a classical backhand that breaks down at big moments than that contra-tennis BH of Nadal. :p ;)

I almost forgot, I don't expect Federer to drop a set in next year's Grand Slams or Olympics. He can throw the rest of the tour the odd set in MM tournies but when it comes to the big time he's not letting any match last more than an hour.

And a baby with Mirka http://smileys.sur-la-toile.com/repository/B%E9b%E9s/D_02BA%7E1.GIF

stebs
09-23-2007, 02:10 PM
Oh really. What the idiot Gaudio.

Semi's of the TMC in '05.

Roger Federer def. Gaston Gaudio 6-0 6-0

I thought then that Gato couldn't stoop lower but I was more wrong than I could ever have imagined. Since then he has got beat:

1 and 0 by Soderling

1 and 1 by RRH

2 and 2 by Berlocq

0 and 2 to Greul

:help:

leng jai
09-23-2007, 02:12 PM
2 and 2 to Berlocq? ROFL. Sigh, what a waste of a glorious single handed backhand.

Havok
09-23-2007, 02:21 PM
I personally think he's afraid of hitting out on the backhand side all the time because he would hit too many unforced errors. Lokk at how many times he shanks backhands during matches :tape:. His slice backhand is pretty good though, but annoying and a completely defensive shot. Sometimes he can use it as an offensive slice backhand.

Oh and please stop bringing Steffi's slice ackhand into conversations like this. NOBODY has yet come close to the biting low curving slice of Steffi Graf! Now that was an incredible, more often than not, offensice slice shot. Though she couldn't hit through her backhand like shit though :lol:.

marcRD
09-23-2007, 02:22 PM
When Federers topspin backhand was on between USOPEN 2007 and AO 2007 it was almost as good as Gasquet, Gaudio and company. But this year it just dropped a little and Fedrer has been depending on his slice too much. Still, there are things he can do on a half volley with his backhand which no one can do, his backhand passing shots are incomparable to any other player in the tour. So there is more to a backhand than how you hit the topspin drive. Ofcourse, his slices are not from this planet. So, add all these stuff up and you will have arguably the best backhand in the tour. I would only prefer Gasquets one hand backhand to Federers, other than that I would rank his one handed backhand as the 2nd best on the tour.

stebs
09-23-2007, 02:24 PM
His slice backhand is pretty good though, but annoying and a completely defensive shot. Sometimes he can use it as an offensive slice backhand.

How can it be completely defensive and yet he uses it offensivley sometimes?

I disagree entirely. It is offensive often and just because it allows the opponent to come forward doesn't mean Federer isn't controlling the match.

stebs
09-23-2007, 02:26 PM
When Federers topspin backhand was on between USOPEN 2007 and AO 2007 it was almost as good as Gasquet, Gaudio and company. But this year it just dropped a little and Fedrer has been depending on his slice too much. Still, there are things he can do on a half volley with his backhand which no one can do, his backhand passing shots are incomparable to any other player in the tour. So there is more to a backhand than how you hit the topspin drive. Ofcourse, his slices are not from this planet. So, add all these stuff up and you will have arguably the best backhand in the tour. I would only prefer Gasquets one hand backhand to Federers, other than that I would rank his one handed backhand as the 2nd best on the tour.

It's all about the match up's and I think Federer's BH is the best by a very long way at controlling big hitters and big serves but against defensive players there are a dozen better backhands.

marcRD
09-23-2007, 02:33 PM
It's all about the match up's and I think Federer's BH is the best by a very long way at controlling big hitters and big serves but against defensive players there are a dozen better backhands.

Yeah, he can block better than anyone with his backhand which maybe I should add. He is really good in stretching out to return big serves with his backhand and if someone like Blake tries to bombard his backhand with flat power strokes Federer uses the speed to his advantage like no one else can do. So there is much more to the backhand than the backhand topspin drive.

rwn
09-23-2007, 02:39 PM
Fed defeats Berdych in the Davis Cup:

Forehand winners: 13
Backhand winners: 11

QED? :D

Don't confuse MTF members with facts.:D

rod99
09-23-2007, 03:29 PM
federer's backhand is good but it's not one of the top 10-15 in the world. i'd take backhands like gasquet, ljubicic, djokovic, haas, nalbandian, safin, stepanek, davydenko, youzhny etc over federer's without a second thought. i disagree with the original poster and believe federer has actually tried to hit more topspin backhands and has gone away from the slice, particularly on clay. the problem with federer (if you call it a problem) is that he's so good that he becomes stubborn and thinks he can beat guys at their own game. against nadal on clay he continues to try to come over the high backhand and this constantly leaves the ball short or results in mishits. he needs to take that high backhand with more slices which will at least keep the ball low (often when he tries to hit over it, it results in a flat ball in the middle of the court which is almost always eaten up).

federer hits more highlight backhands than about anyone in the world, but he also makes a lot of errors off that wing. if he's in cross court rallies with a very good stroke of an opponent's (djokovic's backhand, nadal's forehand) than more often than not, federer will be in a losing position.

Gulliver
09-23-2007, 03:35 PM
I think it's hysterically funny that amid all the DC ties and results going on all over the world, this thread and the Switzerland Doubles result are the only ones with over 40 posts!!!! and this one has the most. What is it with you people? You are obsessed with Federer.

NYCtennisfan
09-23-2007, 03:41 PM
He has hit a higher % of topspin BH's as a total % of all Bh's hit this year than any year on tour. He hits a lot of slice against players like Davy and Berdych because they don't like that chance of pace.

As for his BH being mediocre, he was dictating points with it all throughout the indoor season in 2006, at the AO this year, in Dubai, and through many parts of the clay season, his Bh was more reliable than his FH.

ezekiel
09-23-2007, 03:44 PM
test

NYCtennisfan
09-23-2007, 03:47 PM
federer's backhand is good but it's not one of the top 10-15 in the world. i'd take backhands like gasquet, ljubicic, djokovic, haas, nalbandian, safin, stepanek, davydenko, youzhny etc over federer's without a second thought. i disagree with the original poster and believe federer has actually tried to hit more topspin backhands and has gone away from the slice, particularly on clay. the problem with federer (if you call it a problem) is that he's so good that he becomes stubborn and thinks he can beat guys at their own game. against nadal on clay he continues to try to come over the high backhand and this constantly leaves the ball short or results in mishits. he needs to take that high backhand with more slices which will at least keep the ball low (often when he tries to hit over it, it results in a flat ball in the middle of the court which is almost always eaten up).

federer hits more highlight backhands than about anyone in the world, but he also makes a lot of errors off that wing. if he's in cross court rallies with a very good stroke of an opponent's (djokovic's backhand, nadal's forehand) than more often than not, federer will be in a losing position.

This used to be the case. He couldn't win a BH CC exchange with Agassi or Nalbandin to save his life but that has now changed. Take a look at his matches against Ivan or Gasquet or Safin or Davyd or Misha or Haas or Stepanek or Djoko over the last 2 years and look at the CC BH exchanges and tell me how many he simply gets owned in. He more than holds his own in these exchanges against BH's you deem far superior to his.

Havok
09-23-2007, 03:57 PM
How can it be completely defensive and yet he uses it offensivley sometimes?

I disagree entirely. It is offensive often and just because it allows the opponent to come forward doesn't mean Federer isn't controlling the match.

Maybe I used the wrong choice of words :o.

I'd classify it as a neutral shot. An offensive slice one handed backhand is one hat Steffi hit time and time again. It was low, it was hard to handle, it drove her opponents crazy and she used it to set up probably the best forehand ever seen. Federer's slice doesn't have anything more on it than the actual slice itself. Sometimes he can come up with some good carved slices and such, but other than that, it's just a regular sliced backhand :shrug:.

Fed knows that if he hits out on his backhand more than he slices it, he'll be shooting himself in the foot because the number of shanked backhands will be numerous (though nothing crazy) and he'll hit short and get punished for it. Hence hitting slices deep in the court to prevent punishment for a meh backhand. He can hit good one handers though, but he's just content on slicing his opponents to death until they just hit something ridiculosuly stupid for him to smack a forehand.

rod99
09-23-2007, 04:46 PM
This used to be the case. He couldn't win a BH CC exchange with Agassi or Nalbandin to save his life but that has now changed. Take a look at his matches against Ivan or Gasquet or Safin or Davyd or Misha or Haas or Stepanek or Djoko over the last 2 years and look at the CC BH exchanges and tell me how many he simply gets owned in. He more than holds his own in these exchanges against BH's you deem far superior to his.

that's not correct. look at the match in canada against djokovic and on clay against nadal. he'll win his share but more often than not, his backhand will break down or give up the short ball. if he's able to run around his backhand and hit a forehand then that's a completely different story.

World Beater
09-23-2007, 05:04 PM
When Federers topspin backhand was on between USOPEN 2007 and AO 2007 it was almost as good as Gasquet, Gaudio and company. But this year it just dropped a little and Fedrer has been depending on his slice too much. Still, there are things he can do on a half volley with his backhand which no one can do, his backhand passing shots are incomparable to any other player in the tour. So there is more to a backhand than how you hit the topspin drive. Ofcourse, his slices are not from this planet. So, add all these stuff up and you will have arguably the best backhand in the tour. I would only prefer Gasquets one hand backhand to Federers, other than that I would rank his one handed backhand as the 2nd best on the tour.

federer has a better backhand on faster surfaces than gaudio, kuerten and gasquet.

on clay, it obvious gaudio and kuerten have the better backhands.

haas' backhand is his best shot, which is why so many people think its great. To me its not that spectacular a shot. Its very steady but it breaks down against nadal's just like federer's on slow surfaces.

2007, federer's bh has been very good on slow surfaces. His been more defensive on the fh side imo.

Federer's bh wasn't the reason he lost RG this year.

federer's bh is a monster indoors. Last year's indoor season, he pretty much cut everyone with it. we will find out if something is wrong with during the indoor season.

Federer will always have matches where something may not be working, and far too many people use this as justification that sth is wrong with one of his shots.

mmcdonald
09-23-2007, 06:00 PM
whats funny is that Fed really hasn't played all that well this year, but still wins 3 slams! Its just that he comes up with the goods when he needs to - signs of a true champion

VolandriFan
09-24-2007, 12:40 AM
Maybe he's not fit enough to get into position as often as in by-gone years?

MrChopin
09-24-2007, 05:46 AM
I actually wish there was more abuse of the slice backhand these days. Its such a beautiful shot when hit properly. The slice backhand is rarely used offensively these days, Haas and Federer are the only baseliners that use it for that purpose at all anymore. A backhand with a good slice is just so much more versatile. So much better for approach shots, so much better for defense and so much better against tall opponents. Slice backhand approaches do 2 things: keeps the ball low which means less margin for error on the passing shots, and gives the volleyer more time to get into a good net position. Since no one even comes to the net anymore this has become slightly irrelevant which is a real shame IMO.

The slice backhand is part of the reason why Federer is so good. It gives him so many more options, and frustrates the hell out of players whose favourite shot is the off forehand. The fact of that matter is is that the slice backhand can setup points by forcing the opponent to hit a shorter ball. I don't know if you've played tennis, but its much riskier to hit a hard shot off a low skidding slice because of the reduced margin of error and the skid off the court surface. Against a player like Roddick, all you need to do is hit once low skidding slice to his backhand and 9/10 times you'll receive a mid court reply which instantly puts you on the offense.

Well theres my rant about the slice backhand.

It's a good rant. Federer makes incredible use of the slice backhand, and it needs to be noted how effective it is, especially in the hands of the master. Not only does it set up short balls that people have difficulty with (Djokovic weakness exposed by Fed at USO '07 F), but it's a great tool for both giving yourself more time and for hurting serve-volleyers. He employed the sharply angled slice backhand return against Roddick at Aus '07, and then he pulled it out again against Stepanek in Montreal. When he hits that shot, it comes so low over the net and guys are trying to volley up wicked slice from their ankles, all on the stretch. It's an amazing shot that net-chargers can't handle. He's the only guy I can recall employing it today.

---

In general, this topic is ridiculous. As World Beater and NYCTennisfan have already noted, Federer's backhand of 06/07 far outweighs his older backhand. Go back to the esteemed US '04 F against Hewitt and check out his backhand then... it was non-existent and he ran around or defensively sliced it the entire match. People complain about the errors from that wing, but he has as much variety in it as any player I can think of. It's funny because he keeps adding more and more to his repertoire, and people keep complaining about how weak his game is these days. How many backhand flicks did we see at USO '07 that were passing opponents by dropping only feet from the net? Nobody else even tries to hit that shot, yet he pulled it off several times during the tournament. Once it becomes standard (like his cc while pass on the run), it will probably be forgotten.

His dtl pass while on the run is by far more consistent than anyone else. His cc pass is just as good, especially because he plays such a sharp angle. His backhand return is arguably the best in the game, perhaps not as offensive as Blakes: how many times does he block back serves for winners; how many times does he get a ball back in play that would be a service winner against most others; how many times does he hit angled or deep slice returns that set up points for him?

EDIT: I forgot about his backhand volleys and his overhead backhand smashes, the latter of which is one mark that really sets him apart from the field.

Anyway, as some have already mentioned, his backhand at TMC '06 was stunning, blowing Nadal and Blake off of the court. That's less than a year ago, as was AO '07, another consistent bh display. So before writing him off as gone, beyond repair, over the hill, on the decline... remember that it's now been 3.5 years that Federer has been dominating tennis. The fact that the field hasn't been able to break him down and catch up is one more sign of how much he has improved and developed since whenever these glory days (that he is now compared to) existed. His improved backhand has a lot to do with this, especially when opponents started hitting to it regularly as a means for avoiding the other wing.

World Beater
09-24-2007, 06:02 AM
It's a good rant. Federer makes incredible use of the slice backhand, and it needs to be noted how effective it is, especially in the hands of the master. Not only does it set up short balls that people have difficulty with (Djokovic weakness exposed by Fed at USO '07 F), but it's a great tool for both giving yourself more time and for hurting serve-volleyers. He employed the sharply angled slice backhand return against Roddick at Aus '07, and then he pulled it out again against Stepanek in Montreal. When he hits that shot, it comes so low over the net and guys are trying to volley up wicked slice from their ankles, all on the stretch. It's an amazing shot that net-chargers can't handle. He's the only guy I can recall employing it today.

---

In general, this topic is ridiculous. As World Beater and NYCTennisfan have already noted, Federer's backhand of 06/07 far outweighs his older backhand. Go back to the esteemed US '04 F against Hewitt and check out his backhand then... it was non-existent and he ran around or defensively sliced it the entire match. People complain about the errors from that wing, but he has as much variety in it as any player I can think of. It's funny because he keeps adding more and more to his repertoire, and people keep complaining about how weak his game is these days. How many backhand flicks did we see at USO '07 that were passing opponents by dropping only feet from the net? Nobody else even tries to hit that shot, yet he pulled it off several times during the tournament. Once it becomes standard (like his cc while pass on the run), it will probably be forgotten.

His dtl pass while on the run is by far more consistent than anyone else. His cc pass is just as good, especially because he plays such a sharp angle. His backhand return is arguably the best in the game, perhaps not as offensive as Blakes: how many times does he block back serves for winners; how many times does he get a ball back in play that would be a service winner against most others; how many times does he hit angled or deep slice returns that set up points for him?

EDIT: I forgot about his backhand volleys and his overhead backhand smashes, the latter of which is one mark that really sets him apart from the field.

Anyway, as some have already mentioned, his backhand at TMC '06 was stunning, blowing Nadal and Blake off of the court. That's less than a year ago, as was AO '07, another consistent bh display. So before writing him off as gone, beyond repair, over the hill, on the decline... remember that it's now been 3.5 years that Federer has been dominating tennis. The fact that the field hasn't been able to break him down and catch up is one more sign of how much he has improved and developed since whenever these glory days (that he is now compared to) existed. His improved backhand has a lot to do with this, especially when opponents started hitting to it regularly as a means for avoiding the other wing.

i think part of the reason that some here think that federer's form is declining is because his matches these days are "less clean" than in the past.

The federer-hewitt usofinal you pointed is a great example of this. This was an incredibly clean match from federer as he struck the ball with great confidence and did not make many errors. He used the slice judiciously against hewitt and played an opponent who doesn't handle the slice well and cannot expose his bh consequently. However, as you rightly pointed out, federer's bh has improved dramatically since then. He is going for more and becoming more aggressive but this also results in more errors when he cannot find his rhythm.

The slice is just such a natural shot for federer and I have only seen really three other players who are able to employ both an aggressive slice and defensive slice - rafter, edberg and henman. Federer's defensive slice is the best i have ever seen.

One of the biggest reasons for federer struggling against nadal on slower surfaces is because nadal can really take advantage of the defensive slice from federer because it goes straight to his fh which he can whip for winners. Most players cannot take advantage of federer's slice - this goes for safin, nalbandian and even agassi on occasions. All players with esteemed bhs. That goes to show you how great federer's slice is and how vital it is to his game.

spencercarlos
09-24-2007, 06:31 AM
i think part of the reason that some here think that federer's form is declining is because his matches these days are "less clean" than in the past.

The federer-hewitt usofinal you pointed is a great example of this. This was an incredibly clean match from federer as he struck the ball with great confidence and did not make many errors. He used the slice judiciously against hewitt and played an opponent who doesn't handle the slice well and cannot expose his bh consequently. However, as you rightly pointed out, federer's bh has improved dramatically since then. He is going for more and becoming more aggressive but this also results in more errors when he cannot find his rhythm.

The slice is just such a natural shot for federer and I have only seen really three other players who are able to employ both an aggressive slice and defensive slice - rafter, edberg and henman. Federer's defensive slice is the best i have ever seen.

One of the biggest reasons for federer struggling against nadal on slower surfaces is because nadal can really take advantage of the defensive slice from federer because it goes straight to his fh which he can whip for winners. Most players cannot take advantage of federer's slice - this goes for safin, nalbandian and even agassi on occasions. All players with esteemed bhs. That goes to show you how great federer's slice is and how vital it is to his game.
I actually think that Federer tries to go over his backhand too much against Nadal, and normally when the shot is not deep enough it gives Nadal a perfect shot to dominate the rallies.
In some instances at this year´s French Open final, he won a lot of points after setting them up off a backhand slice (agressive ones of course). Even ESPN LA commentators keep saying he should have done more of that.
Take for instance comparissons of this year´s Wimbledon, to last year, Federer used his topspin backhand way too much this year, while last year that shot kept Nadal off balance.
In fact he won a crucial point, the break point he won off a forehand winner which has setted up by his slice backhand on the previous shot.

MrChopin
09-24-2007, 05:37 PM
i think part of the reason that some here think that federer's form is declining is because his matches these days are "less clean" than in the past.

I'd agree with that. I also think that players have gone more and more after Federer's backhand. Djokovic and Davydenko were pounding it relentlessly at USO this year. Hewitt of '04 was naively trying to rally with Fed's fh.

The federer-hewitt usofinal you pointed is a great example of this. This was an incredibly clean match from federer as he struck the ball with great confidence and did not make many errors. He used the slice judiciously against hewitt and played an opponent who doesn't handle the slice well and cannot expose his bh consequently. However, as you rightly pointed out, federer's bh has improved dramatically since then. He is going for more and becoming more aggressive but this also results in more errors when he cannot find his rhythm.

Not only was Hewitt making a lot of UEs and generally having difficulty, he was playing evenly to Fed's fh. Fed was just ripping him apart with it, so Hewitt eventually changed tactics, going more at the backhand. Fed then came down some during the second.

One of the biggest reasons for federer struggling against nadal on slower surfaces is because nadal can really take advantage of the defensive slice from federer because it goes straight to his fh which he can whip for winners. Most players cannot take advantage of federer's slice - this goes for safin, nalbandian and even agassi on occasions. All players with esteemed bhs. That goes to show you how great federer's slice is and how vital it is to his game.

That's definitely part of it. I think some of the guys you mentioned also have movement problems, and Nadal can probably get to the ball faster and get lower than they can/could, especially on clay where the ball is going to stick more and stay higher, rather than sliding through the court. Nadal also generates a ton of spin by brushing the ball way up. Hitting through Federer slice with flatter power, like Safin and Agassi, doesn't work nearly as well against slice around your ankles. Nadal's swing is more natural for dealing with Fed's slice.

It also doesn't help that Nadal generates ridiculous spin up at Fed's shoulder and that it's spinning so far away from him at the same time. I would imagine that the higher the slice backhand, the less it's going to slide straight through the court--it will bounce up more. On clay, it's probably accentuated even further.

Mike Kim
09-27-2007, 12:35 PM
Federer's backhand has always been mediocre and a liability in matches where he has gotten in trouble. People automatically think that his backhand must be awesome because hes the best player in the world, but the truth is his topspin backhand has never been anything special. He does have the best slice backhand in the game which if I'd rather see him use than his standard topspin backhand which has too much spin and drops short often.

However, he did hit his backhand extremely well in the 2006 Masters Cup especially in the final where he gave Blake the caining of a lifetime.

This is about as right as you can get. His backhand is working well when slicing, or hitting angles and passing shots. But when he is rallying or trying to hit winners with the topper, his backhand is not a great shot, it lacks the power of a top backhand and also struggles hitting shots from shoulder height.

Apemant
09-27-2007, 03:22 PM
Jesus, what will it take to satisfy you Fedtards? :help:

20 slams


edit: :devil:

NYCtennisfan
09-27-2007, 11:21 PM
that's not correct. look at the match in canada against djokovic and on clay against nadal. he'll win his share but more often than not, his backhand will break down or give up the short ball. if he's able to run around his backhand and hit a forehand then that's a completely different story.

Now you're only saying Nadal and Djoko? Nadal, yes, but that's not Nadal's BH. Djoko, no, not at all. You mentioned Haas and Gasquet and Ivan and so many others in your previous post and NONE of them have owned him in CC BH exchanges over the past few years.

leng jai
09-28-2007, 07:06 AM
Now you're only saying Nadal and Djoko? Nadal, yes, but that's not Nadal's BH. Djoko, no, not at all. You mentioned Haas and Gasquet and Ivan and so many others in your previous post and NONE of them have owned him in CC BH exchanges over the past few years.

Aus Open 4th round 2006. Federer's backhand was a liability in that match.

elessar
09-28-2007, 09:50 AM
Aus Open 4th round 2006. Federer's backhand was a liability in that match.

Yeah maybe but quite honestly AO 06 was the non-clay slam where he played the worst since 04, I don't think the way he played there means much