Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Why doesn't Fed use his slice BH against Nadal?

LinkMage
02-02-2009, 03:52 AM
I was just watching the AO final and noticed Fed didn't use his slice BH at all. He slices the hell out of everyone else but against Nadull he doesn't use it. It was the same at the Wimbledon final last year and in 2007. Instead he decides to rely on his weak top spin BH. Why is this?

dylan24
02-02-2009, 03:52 AM
20

hannahk05
02-02-2009, 04:20 AM
Fed's BH slice sets up winners against everyone, EXCEPT Nadal, who either whacks a winner off it or neutralizes the shot. I think Fed tried it once in the first set, and he did not win the point. If Fed had kept trying it, he'd have gone down fast.

Igaarg
02-02-2009, 04:22 AM
I think the slice BH gives more time to Nadal to get the ball and make a winner. Ok, my explanation it´s awful as my english.

hannahk05
02-02-2009, 04:26 AM
I think the slice BH gives more time to Nadal to get the ball and make a winner. Ok, my explanation itīs awful as my english.

I think Fed's BH slice is one of the best shots in the game, but Nadal just knows what to do with it.

LBrock44
02-02-2009, 05:32 AM
He did slice it a few times to Rafa's backhand, but Rafa's speed and ability to handle Roger's slice basically makes it a liability rather than an asset for Fed.

leng jai
02-02-2009, 05:38 AM
Err no, the few times he actually used the slice properly it was working. He's just too stubborn and would rather hit mid court topspin backhands instead.

Dougie
02-02-2009, 05:52 AM
Err no, the few times he actually used the slice properly it was working. He's just too stubborn and would rather hit mid court topspin backhands instead.

Exactly, it worked quite well a few times, and he should have done it a bit more. Iīm sure he doesnīt want to use it too much so Nadal doesnīt get to dictate all the rallies, but he should still use it more, especially against Nadalīs backhand.

Henry Chinaski
02-02-2009, 05:56 AM
The slice to Nadal's backhand was very effective whenever he used it. It produced an error or a midcourt ball to attack with the fh every time.

I guess the slice down the line just isn't an easy shot to play and as leng says, he's a stubborn fucker as well who seems to want to beat Nadal using his top spin bh all the time. This is most obvious on the bh return where he refuses to just block or slice deep like he does against everyone else.

ys
02-02-2009, 06:06 AM
Slice as a regular shot on hardcourts? You gotta be kidding.. It might work against a high risk players like Blake or Berdych, who'd produce tons of errors from low balls.. But for spinner like Nadal? It does not really stay low enough on hardcourt to bother them. Some odd slice shot could surprise them, but not regular use, which would only give away the initiative and nothing else..

martinatreue
02-02-2009, 06:07 AM
the slice backhand down the line to Nadal's backhand produced NUMEROUS points won!!! Did you not watch the match? in the fifth set, Federer went back to floating mid court topspin backhands with only moderate pace on them or he just went for low percentage forehands which he overhit.

crude oil
02-02-2009, 08:18 AM
federer did use the slice dtl but the slice to nadal's fh will not work with regularity.

the dtl slice is not easy to execute and has to be used only when the ball is in the right spot in the court.

fast_clay
02-02-2009, 01:30 PM
yep... the backhand slice just goes missing vs nadal... when he knifes it and get penetration on it then it does produce resluts... but, maybe fed thinks he can beat him without using it...

azinna
02-02-2009, 02:02 PM
federer did use the slice dtl but the slice to nadal's fh will not work with regularity.

the dtl slice is not easy to execute and has to be used only when the ball is in the right spot in the court.

Yeah, Roger should really be honing the DTL slice: in practice and match play. He obviously feels better going CC with it.

Also: I'd have to rewatch the match, but Rafa could've adapted and made the DTL slice an even lower percentage shot. Or a shot Federer felt less and less comfortable hitting.

Anyway, there are a lot of folks who describe Federer as being "stubborn" when not executing the obvious game plan against Nadal. It's just very difficult to execute a plan you've come up with just for one player, a great one at that, and on the biggest stages of the sport, in front of folks and while feeling serious pressure. Perfect conditions for a series of brain cramps. Especially when you have too many different shots at your disposal.

MacTheKnife
02-02-2009, 02:11 PM
Fed appears to be really comfortable using his slice when "the ball is in his slice strike zone". Which seems to be right at about waist high. Nadals balls are more often than not, well above his waist. That completely changes the dynamics of the slice for Fed and takes him out of his comfort zone on hitting it. His only other option is to step in, take it early which would get it lower in flight. BUT, he does not seem to bewilling to do that. That only leaves him with two options, 1) work the point longer and get a more defensive shot from Nadal that would have less topspin, or 2) grow about 6 inches.

Bernard Black
02-02-2009, 03:46 PM
Somebody posted an Agassi interview a while back where he answers this question really well. He said something along the lines of Federer's slice lands right into the hitting zone of Nadal's groundstrokes, he enjoys the lower ball as it sits perfectly for his immense sweeping upstroke producing the topspin and letting him dominate the rallies with extreme angles.

This is where the bad matchup comes into play. Nadal plays much the same way against Federer as he has every match of his career whereas Federer feels the need to change his natural game to something completely uncomfortable to him, because he is scared of what Nadal might do.

You could understand this if Federer was having success with the drive backhand, dominating rallies or hitting winners with it, but he does neither. Instead it's an errorfest from that wing and puts a huge amount of pressure on the forehand to hit a winner every opportunity he gets on that side. In my opinion he just has to bite the bullet and hit slice more often, especially on the return of serve, sure he'll be giving up the advantage in the rally to a moonballer but this is no time to be macho about it, the Spaniard is killing him!

It's ironic he'll slice away against the fastest serve in the world and have a huge success with that tactic, but against the weak serving Nadal he'll struggle to make 50% returns in most games. Like I've said before, Federer makes Nadal look like Ivanisevic serving, it's pathetic, especially when he has the advantage of knowing the serve is going to his backhand every time.

Bernard Black
02-02-2009, 03:47 PM
Double post

kobulingam
02-02-2009, 03:52 PM
Nadal being
1) lefty
2) having a forehadn that can generate so much topspin

nullfies Fed's crosscourt slice.

Fed's DTL slice (which he doesn't use much because it goes to forehand of players) was working well against Nadal, but it's a tough shot to pull off agaisnt Nadal's reverse spin forehand.
But it worked well. Fed's brain was scrambled in that match and he sort of forgot about the shot eventually.

kobulingam
02-02-2009, 04:02 PM
Somebody posted an Agassi interview a while back where he answers this question really well. He said something along the lines of Federer's slice lands right into the hitting zone of Nadal's groundstrokes, he enjoys the lower ball as it sits perfectly for his immense sweeping upstroke producing the topspin and letting him dominate the rallies with extreme angles.

This is where the bad matchup comes into play. Nadal plays much the same way against Federer as he has every match of his career whereas Federer feels the need to change his natural game to something completely uncomfortable to him, because he is scared of what Nadal might do.

You could understand this if Federer was having success with the drive backhand, dominating rallies or hitting winners with it, but he does neither. Instead it's an errorfest from that wing and puts a huge amount of pressure on the forehand to hit a winner every opportunity he gets on that side. In my opinion he just has to bite the bullet and hit slice more often, especially on the return of serve, sure he'll be giving up the advantage in the rally to a moonballer but this is no time to be macho about it, the Spaniard is killing him!

It's ironic he'll slice away against the fastest serve in the world and have a huge success with that tactic, but against the weak serving Nadal he'll struggle to make 50% returns in most games. Like I've said before, Federer makes Nadal look like Ivanisevic serving, it's pathetic, especially when he has the advantage of knowing the serve is going to his backhand every time.

Hahaha. Especially at Wimbledon, where he can't seem to do anything with Nadal's serve.

Djokovic returns Nadal's serve way better than Fed does, and Murray even better. In fact, when Murray plays Nadal, Nadal seems to only get a handful of unreturnables/aces against Murray. Murray practically gets every one of Nadal's serve back deep. Federer only gets about 20% of Nadal's serve back deep, 40% back short with no pace and 40% unreturnable or totally crap returns (easy put away).

Bernard Black
02-02-2009, 04:05 PM
Nadal being
1) lefty
2) having a forehadn that can generate so much topspin

nullfies Fed's crosscourt slice.



I'm not disagreeing with this point, but I just don't think it's a great mindset to go into a match so afraid of the other player's game. I mean for example: Player A has a big backhand, should Player B therefore go into that match thinking never to hit to that backhand when they themselves have a great inside-out forehand which goes to that side? I think this is a big reason why Federer looks so uncomfortable out there against Nadal, he has to change his normal game through fear of what might happen if he doesn't.

I still stand by the notion that if Federer played his natural game he'd come out on top. At the very least hitting a slice backhand would cut down on a good 30 or so unforced errors, which has to be worth it. We also base this on the assumption that Nadal will win the point every time Federer hits a slice, when this simply wouldn't happen - he is human and will screw up a few shots giving Federer a chance.

GlennMirnyi
02-02-2009, 04:53 PM
The slice to Nadal's backhand was very effective whenever he used it. It produced an error or a midcourt ball to attack with the fh every time.

I guess the slice down the line just isn't an easy shot to play and as leng says, he's a stubborn fucker as well who seems to want to beat Nadal using his top spin bh all the time. This is most obvious on the bh return where he refuses to just block or slice deep like he does against everyone else.

Exactly. I remember that most people watching the match and posting at the gamblers' lounge was registering this fact.

Somebody posted an Agassi interview a while back where he answers this question really well. He said something along the lines of Federer's slice lands right into the hitting zone of Nadal's groundstrokes, he enjoys the lower ball as it sits perfectly for his immense sweeping upstroke producing the topspin and letting him dominate the rallies with extreme angles.

This is where the bad matchup comes into play. Nadal plays much the same way against Federer as he has every match of his career whereas Federer feels the need to change his natural game to something completely uncomfortable to him, because he is scared of what Nadal might do.

You could understand this if Federer was having success with the drive backhand, dominating rallies or hitting winners with it, but he does neither. Instead it's an errorfest from that wing and puts a huge amount of pressure on the forehand to hit a winner every opportunity he gets on that side. In my opinion he just has to bite the bullet and hit slice more often, especially on the return of serve, sure he'll be giving up the advantage in the rally to a moonballer but this is no time to be macho about it, the Spaniard is killing him!

It's ironic he'll slice away against the fastest serve in the world and have a huge success with that tactic, but against the weak serving Nadal he'll struggle to make 50% returns in most games. Like I've said before, Federer makes Nadal look like Ivanisevic serving, it's pathetic, especially when he has the advantage of knowing the serve is going to his backhand every time.

Nadull hasn't hit a single winner off Frauderer's slices to his backhand. Actually he shanked most backhands long. It's NOT in his comfort zone.

Thing is Frauderer is a stubborn mug. That's why Sampras should never be passed by him. Sampras, when he realised he wasn't gonna win with his old style, changed his game to keep being competitive. Frauderer doesn't wanna change anything. What the hell are those backhand returns on second serve? Run around the backhand! It's obvious. And unleash a shot for a winner. It may miss once in a while, but at least you're going for it. You gotta keep the server guessing. Nadull knows that he can hit a shit serve with no bite to the backhand all the time that nothing's gonna happen.

habibko
02-02-2009, 05:13 PM
I talked about using his slice DTL before in another thread to nullify Nadal's topspin forehand assault, but maybe it's a shot that is hard to execute, but I didn't see him attempting it with error, when he did it (so few times!!) he won the point everytime!!!! and about the normal slice no it doesn't work against Nadal because it gives him time to take command of the point with his forehand immediately, not that Nadal finds much trouble with the topspin backhand from Federer in the first place >_> yeah I guess it's stubborness, but Federer DID win matches with this strategy against Nadal, he has 6 wins already.


What the hell are those backhand returns on second serve? Run around the backhand! It's obvious. And unleash a shot for a winner. It may miss once in a while, but at least you're going for it. You gotta keep the server guessing. Nadull knows that he can hit a shit serve with no bite to the backhand all the time that nothing's gonna happen.

I agree with this 100%, he only did about one time in the match in a breakpoint in the first set and won the point immediately, why the hell wouldn't he do it more often is a cosmic mystery for me :shrug:

GlennMirnyi
02-02-2009, 05:17 PM
Another of the many holes in the strategy (or lack of) Frauderer employs is that he actually accepts the physical match. When he shouldn't. He ends up running as much as the moonballer for the whole match. This isn't his game. He should play much more offensively. One-two shots and go for a freaking winner. And go to the net, with a good approach shot, and no with a shit crosscourt short backhand. Run around the backhand, hit some inside-out forehands for winners, slice more.

Again, it's all about being stubborn and having the ego of Napoleon.

Johnny Groove
02-02-2009, 05:23 PM
Federer also served like shit in the match. In the last 2 years or so, he's been relying on it more and more to bail him out of jams.

Federer can't beat Nadal serving at 52% on any surface

Commander Data
02-02-2009, 06:41 PM
On a more general basis: i think Federer is just too scared of Nadals shots. It seems to me he thinks too much instead of playing his game. going for the winners also to Nadals Forehand for example. He seems sacred of Nadal. i think if he would just stop thinking and throw everything he had at Nadal he would win more. On returns it is especially painful. one would wish he would just try to hit the winner instead of playing passively and losing one BP after an other like a Swiss watch...

martinatreue
02-02-2009, 06:49 PM
On a more general basis: i think Federer is just too scared of Nadals shots. It seems to me he thinks too much instead of playing his game. going for the winners also to Nadals Forehand for example. He seems sacred of Nadal. i think if he would just stop thinking and throw everything he had at Nadal he would win more. On returns it is especially painful. one would wish he would just try to hit the winner instead of playing passively and losing one BP after an other like a Swiss watch...


Nadal shrinks the court... Federer does get like a brain cramp. It seems no matter where he hits his forehand that Nadal either passes federer or neutralizes the rally and eventually get Fed on the defensive. If Federer runs around his backhand out of the court to his left and pulls the inside out or dtl forehand then he has opened up the court too much. He has to hit those shots CONSISTENTLY at 100% of his top pace... Basically, knowing you have almost nowhere to hit without it being a relatively high percentage is very tough to a guy who relies on rhythm. When Roger starts playing lower percentage shots and they miss then that won't work either. Not easy conundrum to solve IMO.

Commander Data
02-02-2009, 07:23 PM
Nadal shrinks the court... Federer does get like a brain cramp. It seems no matter where he hits his forehand that Nadal either passes federer or neutralizes the rally and eventually get Fed on the defensive. If Federer runs around his backhand out of the court to his left and pulls the inside out or dtl forehand then he has opened up the court too much. He has to hit those shots CONSISTENTLY at 100% of his top pace... Basically, knowing you have almost nowhere to hit without it being a relatively high percentage is very tough to a guy who relies on rhythm. When Roger starts playing lower percentage shots and they miss then that won't work either. Not easy conundrum to solve IMO.

I agree. But I still think Federers main problem is his mindframe. He is scared. He serves shitty (compared to his A game), his Volleys have been shitty, his returns are shitty and he plays shitty on the important points. If Federer would have more a "well, i might lose but I put everything in I have" mindframe, he would easily beat Nadal on hardcourt. I mean, it can not be, that verdasco brings a fresh Nadal to the brink of defeat, while Federer can't beat a tired Nadal. If Federer would have a "on" day and go fearlessly for his shots, he could give Nadal spanking like Tsonga did last year. But Federer always is tight against Nadal....

TheBoiledEgg
02-02-2009, 09:12 PM
Roger's slice isnt good enough for a start :o
a properly sliced shot is a killer, not the mid-court slice that sits up and says "whack me" which Roger produces 9 times out of 10.

maybe he should get Henman to teach him :tape:

manuel84
02-07-2009, 11:27 AM
The deep CC slice doesn't do much to make Nadal uncomfortable. Aside from the DTL, Fed should try heavy, short slices to trap Nadal in no man's land or force him to hit volleys.

Dougie
02-07-2009, 12:39 PM
Roger's slice isnt good enough for a start :o
a properly sliced shot is a killer, not the mid-court slice that sits up and says "whack me" which Roger produces 9 times out of 10.

maybe he should get Henman to teach him :tape:

I think the problem with Roger is more the fact he desperately tries to hit his backhand with topspin even when heīs on the run or pushed to a corner. Thatīs when his backhand lands mid-court and Nadal gets a chance to hit a winner. IMO those are exactly the times he should use the slice. If it hits midcourt, too bad, but at least he would have more time to get back in to the point, which is one of the benefits of slice.
By refusing to hit the slice, Federer is trying to beat Nadal in his own game, and thatīs not going to happen, because Nadal will always hit those heavy topspin shots better.