Fed-Nadal game analysis [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Fed-Nadal game analysis

rofe
03-07-2006, 06:28 PM
I know, I know - flogging a dead horse but I couldn't resist... :p

It is a fairly good analysis (and most of us have already described elements of it) of the matchup.



TECHNICAL/TACTICAL

The obvious technical/tactical analysis is that Rafa can counter most of Rodge's strenghts and pressure him -- firstly, by the simple fact that he's a left-hander; secondly because of the exaggerated spins he can provide, not only by his huge high-bouncing hooking topspin forehand but also his high-bouncing hooking kick serve, specially from the ad side. Those shots take away Federer's ability to control the point, but there's more: the swiss 'distributes' a lot of game with his underestimated sliced backhand, enticing his opponents to come to the net (to be passed) or making them hit awkward shots... but not Rafa, because the spaniard is so quick that he can turn around his backhand and hit forehands off Federer's slow slice down the line and bend his knees and attack those low bouncing slice crosscourt backhands with agressive crosscourt forehands of his own right back to Federer's backhand side.

Besides that, Rafa stays way back behind the baseline to hit agressive topspin returns with a crazy trajectory that makes it really difficult for Roger to volley ('Guga' Kuerten did exactly the same to beat Pete Sampras in the semifinals of the Masters Cup here in Lisbon in 2000). Rafa starts the point way back on Roger's serve, but he's an excelent mover and can move forward in a blink repositioning himself for the next shot, or getting to those low short enticing backhand slices or even to drop-shots. Other big plus in his game is the way he can hit highly agressive shots from awkward defensive situations -- shots that can only be hit with pure force, and it's obvious the kid has got some muscle to do that.

MENTAL AND PHYSICAL

The other aspect is a combination of mental and physical strength. Rafa's the supreme warrior that never gives up, but on top of that he's got a clear physical edge over fellow warriors Little Lleyton or David Nalbandian, for instance; his physical presence on the court truly is intimidating -- he's SuperBoy, he flies, he's everywhere on a court, he makes Roger hit that extra shot he doesn't want to hit.

And then there's that supreme gift: rafa's competitive genes are so good that he can get easily in the zone (specially against Federer, whom he admires so much that he's extra-motivated -- if that's possible -- to play him), stay intense for longer periods than anyone else and make the right choices at the right time. And that reverence towards Federer puts him in the right mood: he really thinks Roger is the best, so he puts himself in the position of the underdog that has nothing to lose while knowing at the same time that he has already beaten the swiss.

OH, THOSE SHANKS...

Now let's move on to Federer. The clear sign that his game loses his balance against Nadal is the unusual amount of missed and shanked forehands -- sometimes he looks like Cedric Pioline or Amélie Mauresmo on a bad day! Federer has got the best, most versatile forehand in the world (he can hit it crosscourt, insideout, down the line, controling the height of the rebound and the depth), but he's got to be in balance... and he loses that because against Nadal he walks a fine line between being agressive and consistent, plus the spaniard's exaggerated spins affect his timing and the fact that he's using a small 90 sq. in. frame (everybody else is using frames from 95 sq. in. on!) doesn't help him in that department! At Roland Garros, Rodge missed over FORTY forehands!

A DIFFERENT MINDSET

And then there's Roger mindset, which I truly believe is different than it was. I tried to confront him at the Australian; he came up with some answers that didn't really convince me -- it's natural, he's biased and not looking from the outside...

I thought his mindset at Flushing Meadows was already different; he was playing more not to lose and to keep his immaculate records than to win. It happened again at the Australian Open. Against ‘lesser’ opponents he was his flowing self, dominating and even experimenting some shots; but against better opponents he sticks to some sort of cruise gear while he should be more pro-active. He seems to be negotiating the points instead of showing that 'take no prisioners' attittude; sometimes he waits to pull that next gear but meanwhile he's lost confidence, specially against Nadal -- who's got his number... for now, because federer has got enough shots in his repertoire to turn that bad record around, much like he did against other foes.

A sign that Roger is now looking like 'a man that has everything to lose' is the fact that he frequently reacts instead of acting -- that is, instead of taking the initiative and going for the opponent’s jugular. That kind of mindset (the 'expectant' mode) gives him a lot of trouble against high intensity players like Rafael Nadal, who gets everything back and takes advantage of Federer’s unusual tightness and consequent loss of confidence that leads to those errors.

To sum it up, all that talk of 'the best ever' and 'record shedding' is getting to Roger's mind... and I hope he can solve that out, because I really think he is a better player than the guy that right now still has twice as much Majors as he does: Pete Sampras.

NYCtennisfan
03-07-2006, 07:57 PM
I thought his mindset at Flushing Meadows was already different; he was playing more not to lose and to keep his immaculate records than to win. It happened again at the Australian Open. Against ‘lesser’ opponents he was his flowing self, dominating and even experimenting some shots; but against better opponents he sticks to some sort of cruise gear while he should be more pro-active. He seems to be negotiating the points instead of showing that 'take no prisioners' attittude; sometimes he waits to pull that next gear but meanwhile he's lost confidence, specially against Nadal -- who's got his number... for now, because federer has got enough shots in his repertoire to turn that bad record around, much like he did against other foes.

A sign that Roger is now looking like 'a man that has everything to lose' is the fact that he frequently reacts instead of acting -- that is, instead of taking the initiative and going for the opponent’s jugular. That kind of mindset (the 'expectant' mode) gives him a lot of trouble against high intensity players like Rafael Nadal, who gets everything back and takes advantage of Federer’s unusual tightness and consequent loss of confidence that leads to those errors.

To sum it up, all that talk of 'the best ever' and 'record shedding' is getting to Roger's mind... and I hope he can solve that out, because I really think he is a better player than the guy that right now still has twice as much Majors as he does: Pete Sampras.


This is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH. The pressure has gotten to Federer and it is very difficult for him to play his free-flowing game. You don't see him playing matches from beginning to end with flawless or near flawless ease. He is indeed playing not to lose rather than to win and it was clearly evident at the AO trophy presentation. He was so relieved not to have lost to "nobodies". In the long run (meaning future Slam wins), it might be better for Federer not to be holding all these streaks and records and maybe even to relenquish the #1 ranking so he doesn't face this pressure week in and week out. Perhaps then we can see him play to win rather than avoid losing.

Skyward
03-07-2006, 08:06 PM
In the long run (meaning future Slam wins), it might be better for Federer not to be holding all these streaks and records and maybe even to relenquish the #1 ranking so he doesn't face this pressure week in and week out. Perhaps then we can see him play to win rather than avoid losing.

Agree.

Rofe, who is an author of this analysis?

rofe
03-07-2006, 08:50 PM
Agree.

Rofe, who is an author of this analysis?

Some guy commenting on Peter Bodo's blog entry...

http://www.tennis.com/Tennis_World_Blog/entry.asp?ENTRY_ID=818

You have to scroll quite a bit down though...

RonE
03-07-2006, 09:41 PM
This is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH. The pressure has gotten to Federer and it is very difficult for him to play his free-flowing game. You don't see him playing matches from beginning to end with flawless or near flawless ease. He is indeed playing not to lose rather than to win and it was clearly evident at the AO trophy presentation. He was so relieved not to have lost to "nobodies". In the long run (meaning future Slam wins), it might be better for Federer not to be holding all these streaks and records and maybe even to relenquish the #1 ranking so he doesn't face this pressure week in and week out. Perhaps then we can see him play to win rather than avoid losing.

:worship:

Very true! A case in point might be Sampras himself- when Andre first came up as a real challenge for Pete and threatened to take his #1 spot you also got the feeling that Sampras wasn't his free flowing self and played more not to lose than to win. And his matches against Andre around that time reflected a certain similarity to Roger's with Rafa. Pete would often have chances in matches against Andre and seem to be the better player but Agassi had more ferocious intensity and Pete would crumble (I am talking about their 1995 matches in the first half of that year).

Then Agassi reached #1 knocking Sampras off his perch. All the focus was on Andre, Pete was basically a has-been. And then comes the 1995 U.S. Open finals and Pete is the one who goes in as the underdog. Having nothing to lose he comes out playing his A game and manages to tear the title away from Andre's hands.

The point here being, once the limelight was off him to some degree, he really started playing freely laser sharp tennis and Andre actively pushed him to improve himself. Thanks to Agassi, Pete took his game up to even greater heights. Rafa could quite possibly make Roger take his game to even greater heights and so we as Roger's fans should appreciate it!

rofe
03-07-2006, 10:00 PM
Something that I hadn't thought of before:


And that reverence towards Federer puts him in the right mood: he really thinks Roger is the best, so he puts himself in the position of the underdog that has nothing to lose while knowing at the same time that he has already beaten the swiss.


It will be interesting to see how Nadal feels during the clay season when he is considered king. He still hasn't experienced the intense pressure that Roger has experienced day in and day out for the past year.

If he manages to win both IW and Miami then it will make it all the more interesting.

NYCtennisfan
03-07-2006, 10:06 PM
Good points RonE.

Here is the biggest difference between Pete and Fed: Pete was never annointed as the "greatest talent ever' when he was 22 or 23 so he never had the pressure of always winning in the little tournaments. Only later in his career when he wasn't winning regularly on tour were the words "greatest ever" thrown around so he never faced the pressure that Fed has. He didn't have any of the streaks that Fed has had (except for at Wimby), and he also benefitted from an off-season (the clay season). This ALLOWED Pete to lose without everyone questioning his greatness. He lost all the time to nobodies and in little tournaments and you KNEW that he probably wasn't trying as hard as he would at a slam. Look at his record in pre-Wimby tuneup tournies. He lost to all sorts of players you would never think he would lose to at Wimby. Losing matches here and there was not only expected of Pete, but also something that didn't bother him. He shut everyone up at the Slams and that's what mattered. He didn't have to prove he was the greatest by winning San Jose and Queen's, etc. It's not the same for Fed.

Fed has been given these unrealistic expectations and he has internalized them. It's ridiculous to think you are going to win every single damn time you go out there. What he has done over the last 2.5 years may never be equaled again. But the problem is that now it is too late. Fed is already caught up in this game of being "the greatest ever", never losing, streaks to protect, pressure, pressure, pressure. It's caught up with his game when we see his FH break down and not be so devastingly beautiful as we have seen it before. The results really haven't changed because he is so much better than everyone else.

I really hope Fed can find some middle ground where he doesn't feel that he has to win every single time out to prove he is the greatest. Nobody has ever done that and it will break him down if he continues trying to do so.

TennisGrandSlam
03-08-2006, 12:58 AM
Something that I hadn't thought of before:



It will be interesting to see how Nadal feels during the clay season when he is considered king. He still hasn't experienced the intense pressure that Roger has experienced day in and day out for the past year.

If he manages to win both IW and Miami then it will make it all the more interesting.


Nadal winning Federer is independent of surface (except in grass)

However, if Roger can overcome his psychological problem against Rafa and his demerit on backhand, he can beat Nadal in clay!

yanchr
03-08-2006, 11:46 AM
Good stuff rofe :worship:

In the long run (meaning future Slam wins), it might be better for Federer not to be holding all these streaks and records and maybe even to relenquish the #1 ranking so he doesn't face this pressure week in and week out. Perhaps then we can see him play to win rather than avoid losing.
That's why I actually think maybe it does him good just to lose a match here and there, which would put off huge pressure on him. It's not necessary to expect to win about everything.

That said, I didn't mean losing to Nadal in a final :o

Peoples
03-08-2006, 12:30 PM
So in conclusion, he's got no solutions against Nadal ever since Miami 2004.

SUKTUEN
03-08-2006, 03:34 PM
very prof reply

asotgod
03-10-2006, 03:25 PM
Having watched the match, Roger lost because of fitness which definitely played on him mentally. He doesn't need to change his backhand or anything. His backhand held up quite well and he dominated the match. This match must really hurt since he played better than Nadal IMO. Nadal said he upped his topspin and started hitting deeper, but even that did not hurt Roger. What was disgusting though interesting to me was the fact that Nadal's voice seemed louder when he hit harder as if to let Roger know that a harder shot was coming when actually it did not make much of a difference. Even with the upped topspin, Roger should have just flattened the shots and made them shorter to get Nadal to move closer to the baseline. Instead, Roger tried to make them deeper and committed some errors. Some of Nadal's supposedly upped topspin shots were more or less moonballs and they dont have to be hit harder or necessarily deeper but well-positioned and lower than their normal trajectory. Nadal had some good fortune and definitely just hung in there with Roger until Roger self-destroyed in those two games. Nadal kept a positive attitude despite the barrage from Roger as if to say he was fine when actually you could tell from his face that he knew the match lay in Roger's hand, either to win or lose.

Roger was heaving and sweating more than he normally does, and that IMO does not have anything to do with playing Nadal. He just looked very tired from 3-3 in the second set. Even the game Nadal broke to get up to 5-4, Roger just hit a bunch of errors. Like has been said a lot of times, Roger does not have to beat Nadal by being too overly aggressive. He is giving the boy too much respect like he used to give Hewitt and Nalby, although Nalby could hit a winner whenever he felt like. Nadal cannot.

My conclusions on Roger beating Nadal finally is this:

- He has now lost to Nadal. So, he should not be viewed as favorite. Just play your game. He doesn't have to change anything, I think, maybe hit a little flatter on his forehand sometimes. That's all.

- BEAT NADAL physically. This obviously requires Roger to be fit, which he did not look like. Like Ljubicic said, you can only return what you see or something of the form that you cannot be faster than the ball. I cant remember but what I am trying to say here is that Roger should be patient and beat Nadal physically by making him work/run for a lot of shots especially at the start of a match before going for winners. Nadal tries to run for too many balls and will get tired if you make him work. Use the same strategy as you used against Hewitt. Roger should not try to hit too many winners at all. Make it a game of PLACEMENT for many rallies before going for it.

- Having watched the match, Nadal is not a threat against the big guns on hardcourts IMO. I was expecting to see Nadal outplay Roger but saw that Roger self-destroyed. He should also reduce some of those net forays or flatten balls before coming in.

- Hit a lot of body serves and slice serves outwide. I know he hit a lot of slice serves but could have hit a number of body serves when Nadal stepped closer to the court.

Roger should just play his game and get down and dirty to it. I mean, he should be mentally ready for the guy. There was nothing outstandingly special about the way Nadal played, unless you wanna overstate his mentality. Roger was too nonchalant on a lot of balls he could reach. Get into Nadal's head by making him know that he will also have to work for every ball, whether he likes it or not. DONT GO FOR WINNERS ALL THE TIME. Make the boy work.

- On the ad-side, Nadal serves outwide a lot which is typical for a leftie. On some of those serves, go for the return and immediately put the boy on defensive. Don't slice all the time. I know Roger likes going for the lines. He doesn't have to against Nadal. He needs to give himself more margin. Nadal doesn't hit many winners, except when passing opponents at the net. Nadal makes sure he keeps as many ball in play. Beat him at that and take him away from the baseline by using more angles.

I know I may make it sound simple, but Roger should not be losing to this guy at all. Having watched their last two matches, Roger's forehand deserted him. I think when Roger is tight, he should actually put more spin on his forehand instead of trying to hit too deep and making errors. The spins will at least guarantee that most stay in the court until he can finally hit out.

IMO, Roger has all it takes to beat the boy, and he needs to tell himself that mentally. At least, Roger should watch the match and see it for himself. He troubled Nadal with his deep slices, his sharp crosscourt backhands, sometimes flat forehands, even made good volleys. Roger should not beat himself. Here is hoping Nadal can make it that far this time in IW to put paid to all of this. Personally, I think Nadal's draw is very easy. Many guys would have to beat themselves up before playing him and may not get to play him since many are not fit.

avocadoe
03-10-2006, 04:04 PM
NYCTennis wrote:Fed has been given these unrealistic expectations and he has internalized them. It's ridiculous to think you are going to win every single damn time you go out there. What he has done over the last 2.5 years may never be equaled again. But the problem is that now it is too late. Fed is already caught up in this game of being "the greatest ever", never losing, streaks to protect, pressure, pressure, pressure. It's caught up with his game when we see his FH break down and not be so devastingly beautiful as we have seen it before. The results really haven't changed because he is so much better than everyone else.

I really hope Fed can find some middle ground where he doesn't feel that he has to win every single time out to prove he is the greatest. Nobody has ever done that and it will break him down if he continues trying to do so.

I agree with that, and much of what is written in this thread, though perhaps I have a slightly different angle on the pressure theme..Roger is off balance right now, has been for a while, and it shows at pressure moments. In 2004 he would not have dropped those service games to Nadal. He would have gotten tougher and more precise. But now at pressure moments he feels from the inside and outside the burden of fulfilling his dream, to be the best ever, break records etc. This I believe is his dream and he feels it has been invaded, co-opted, sung at the wrong time (their right to do so, of course) by media and the public, hanging on every result for signs they did or didn't rush to judgement....Roger's character is complex, and he had to learn to deal with his rage as a youngster and young man. Initially when he turned it off, he became too quiet, and he carried it heavily, part of the burden. Then in 2003 with the first W win, and 2004 throughout, his burden was laid down, he was as good as he'd thought he might be, and the anger vanished into an incredible lightness of being, killer attitude at tough moments...but then, at first charmed by the idea that others thought he might break records and be the best ever, it became a burden (return of the repressed conflicts about what it means to dream like that, would for anyone) but Roger's way of dealing with it isn't working for him. He's become anxious about losing, crucial moments, started with the god damn between the legs goofy shot in the AO semi with Safin, a match point for Roger!!! Why did he do that? Grandiosity, "I'm so great I can win in this goofy way." That's a neurotic anxiety ridden response, that led to eventually losing the match, and making his fear real, ie I am/was injured and won't have time to do what I want and what now everyone expects of me. He's enraged about that, speaks of having no privacy in the street etc but deep down I think its the invasion of his dreams he feels enraged he can't control, and the anger makes him anxious at key moments, and causes him to tighten. Anything that would help take the pressure off, less expectations from himself, would help. I'm sure he will find his way to deal with this.

asotgod
03-10-2006, 04:12 PM
I agree with that, and much of what is written in this thread, though perhaps I have a slightly different angle on the pressure theme..Roger is off balance right now, has been for a while, and it shows at pressure moments. In 2004 he would not have dropped those service games to Nadal. He would have gotten tougher and more precise. But now at pressure moments he feels from the inside and outside the burden of fulfilling his dream, to be the best ever, break records etc. This I believe is his dream and he feels it has been invaded, co-opted, sung at the wrong time (their right to do so, of course) by media and the public, hanging on every result for signs they did or didn't rush to judgement....Roger's character is complex, and he had to learn to deal with his rage as a youngster and young man. Initially when he turned it off, he became too quiet, and he carried it heavily, part of the burden. Then in 2003 with the first W win, and 2004 throughout, his burden was laid down, he was as good as he'd thought he might be, and the anger vanished into an incredible lightness of being, killer attitude at tough moments...but then, at first charmed by the idea that others thought he might break records and be the best ever, it became a burden (return of the repressed conflicts about what it means to dream like that, would for anyone) but Roger's way of dealing with it isn't working for him. He's become anxious about losing, crucial moments, started with the god damn between the legs goofy shot in the AO semi with Safin, a match point for Roger!!! Why did he do that? Grandiosity, "I'm so great I can win in this goofy way." That's a neurotic anxiety ridden response, that led to eventually losing the match, and making his fear real, ie I am/was injured and won't have time to do what I want and what now everyone expects of me. He's enraged about that, speaks of having no privacy in the street etc but deep down I think its the invasion of his dreams he feels enraged he can't control, and the anger makes him anxious at key moments, and causes him to tighten. Anything that would help take the pressure off, less expectations from himself, would help. I'm sure he will find his way to deal with this.


Great post. Good psychological insight. It's funny what goes on in a human's mind. Hope Roger sets IW on fire.

rofe
03-10-2006, 05:17 PM
Having watched the match, Roger lost because of fitness which definitely played on him mentally. He doesn't need to change his backhand or anything. His backhand held up quite well and he dominated the match. This match must really hurt since he played better than Nadal IMO. Nadal said he upped his topspin and started hitting deeper, but even that did not hurt Roger. What was disgusting though interesting to me was the fact that Nadal's voice seemed louder when he hit harder as if to let Roger know that a harder shot was coming when actually it did not make much of a difference. Even with the upped topspin, Roger should have just flattened the shots and made them shorter to get Nadal to move closer to the baseline. Instead, Roger tried to make them deeper and committed some errors. Some of Nadal's supposedly upped topspin shots were more or less moonballs and they dont have to be hit harder or necessarily deeper but well-positioned and lower than their normal trajectory. Nadal had some good fortune and definitely just hung in there with Roger until Roger self-destroyed in those two games. Nadal kept a positive attitude despite the barrage from Roger as if to say he was fine when actually you could tell from his face that he knew the match lay in Roger's hand, either to win or lose.

Roger was heaving and sweating more than he normally does, and that IMO does not have anything to do with playing Nadal. He just looked very tired from 3-3 in the second set. Even the game Nadal broke to get up to 5-4, Roger just hit a bunch of errors. Like has been said a lot of times, Roger does not have to beat Nadal by being too overly aggressive. He is giving the boy too much respect like he used to give Hewitt and Nalby, although Nalby could hit a winner whenever he felt like. Nadal cannot.

My conclusions on Roger beating Nadal finally is this:

- He has now lost to Nadal. So, he should not be viewed as favorite. Just play your game. He doesn't have to change anything, I think, maybe hit a little flatter on his forehand sometimes. That's all.

- BEAT NADAL physically. This obviously requires Roger to be fit, which he did not look like. Like Ljubicic said, you can only return what you see or something of the form that you cannot be faster than the ball. I cant remember but what I am trying to say here is that Roger should be patient and beat Nadal physically by making him work/run for a lot of shots especially at the start of a match before going for winners. Nadal tries to run for too many balls and will get tired if you make him work. Use the same strategy as you used against Hewitt. Roger should not try to hit too many winners at all. Make it a game of PLACEMENT for many rallies before going for it.

- Having watched the match, Nadal is not a threat against the big guns on hardcourts IMO. I was expecting to see Nadal outplay Roger but saw that Roger self-destroyed. He should also reduce some of those net forays or flatten balls before coming in.

- Hit a lot of body serves and slice serves outwide. I know he hit a lot of slice serves but could have hit a number of body serves when Nadal stepped closer to the court.

Roger should just play his game and get down and dirty to it. I mean, he should be mentally ready for the guy. There was nothing outstandingly special about the way Nadal played, unless you wanna overstate his mentality. Roger was too nonchalant on a lot of balls he could reach. Get into Nadal's head by making him know that he will also have to work for every ball, whether he likes it or not. DONT GO FOR WINNERS ALL THE TIME. Make the boy work.

- On the ad-side, Nadal serves outwide a lot which is typical for a leftie. On some of those serves, go for the return and immediately put the boy on defensive. Don't slice all the time. I know Roger likes going for the lines. He doesn't have to against Nadal. He needs to give himself more margin. Nadal doesn't hit many winners, except when passing opponents at the net. Nadal makes sure he keeps as many ball in play. Beat him at that and take him away from the baseline by using more angles.

I know I may make it sound simple, but Roger should not be losing to this guy at all. Having watched their last two matches, Roger's forehand deserted him. I think when Roger is tight, he should actually put more spin on his forehand instead of trying to hit too deep and making errors. The spins will at least guarantee that most stay in the court until he can finally hit out.

IMO, Roger has all it takes to beat the boy, and he needs to tell himself that mentally. At least, Roger should watch the match and see it for himself. He troubled Nadal with his deep slices, his sharp crosscourt backhands, sometimes flat forehands, even made good volleys. Roger should not beat himself. Here is hoping Nadal can make it that far this time in IW to put paid to all of this. Personally, I think Nadal's draw is very easy. Many guys would have to beat themselves up before playing him and may not get to play him since many are not fit.


Very good analysis. :hatoff:

One thing that stuck out is that he needs to beat Nadal at his own game and keep the ball in play rather than try to hit the lines all the time. Roger has resorted to percentage play lately (albeit on a smaller scale) and that can be a double edged sword. He should use percentage play depending on who he is playing against. Against Haas or Blake, he will get punished but against Nadal it could actually work out.

I don't think percentage play comes naturally to him but I think he is slowly realizing its potential against a certain class of players especially when the chips are down.

I would still like him to show off his incredible strokes ( I think subconsiously he does too) because I enjoy watching them but I do realize that he has to become a partial grinder especially since he has set his sights on the FO.

NYCtennisfan
03-10-2006, 05:33 PM
Great post astogod. Yes, his BH did hold up really well as it has now for a year and a half--it rarely breaks down these days.

NYCtennisfan
03-10-2006, 05:35 PM
his burden was laid down, he was as good as he'd thought he might be, and the anger vanished into an incredible lightness of being, killer attitude at tough moments...but then, at first charmed by the idea that others thought he might break records and be the best ever, it became a burden (return of the repressed conflicts about what it means to dream like that, would for anyone) but Roger's way of dealing with it isn't working for him. He's become anxious about losing, crucial moments, started with the god damn between the legs goofy shot in the AO semi with Safin, a match point for Roger!!! Why did he do that? Grandiosity, "I'm so great I can win in this goofy way." That's a neurotic anxiety ridden response, that led to eventually losing the match, and making his fear real, ie I am/was injured and won't have time to do what I want and what now everyone expects of me. He's enraged about that, speaks of having no privacy in the street etc but deep down I think its the invasion of his dreams he feels enraged he can't control, and the anger makes him anxious at key moments, and causes him to tighten. Anything that would help take the pressure off, less expectations from himself, would help. I'm sure he will find his way to deal with this.

Incredible insight and great post.

ExpectedWinner
03-10-2006, 06:20 PM
Having watched the match, Roger lost because of fitness which definitely played on him mentally.

This is interesting because you are the first person who mentioned the lack of fitness as the main reason for losing this match. Then how is he going to get through two upcomng TMSes?


Editted to add: deleted the last question because I found the answer in your post.

asotgod
03-10-2006, 09:48 PM
This is interesting because you are the first person who mentioned the lack of fitness as the main reason for losing this match. Then how is he going to get through two upcomng TMSes?


Editted to add: deleted the last question because I found the answer in your post.

I expect him to have spent the week with his trainer to try to up his fitness. If he has done some of that, he should be fine for the next two weeks. Actually, I wont mind him pounding Nadal and skipping the other. He needs to pound that boy. The lefty spin has been way too exaggerated. Roger handled all of that fine but decided to beat himself. You could see he was close to tears when sitting besides Nadal. In fact, enough of this Mr. nice guy with a guy who really wants to take your spot. Get aggressive Roger and show you wanna win. He can do that. He doesn't have to be nice to Nadal. Can be nice after giving the boy a beatdown not before, especially not on the court. When the boy yells, grunts, shouts Vamos, Roger should use that to fire himself up and give him a hiding to keep him quiet like he was all the first set.

asotgod
03-10-2006, 09:51 PM
Great post astogod. Yes, his BH did hold up really well as it has now for a year and a half--it rarely breaks down these days.

Thanks NYCtennisfan. i had a wrong impression before watching the match as if Roger was struggling on the backhand, whereas he dominated on every side actually.

Skyward
03-10-2006, 10:50 PM
He doesn't have to be nice to Nadal. Can be nice after giving the boy a beatdown not before, especially not on the court.

Agree. Friendly pictures at last year's FO before the SF made me puke.

RonE
03-10-2006, 11:29 PM
Great analysis by Asotgod and Avocadoe! You managed to articulate just about all the problems with Nadal that Roger is having and in general too. As long as he himself realizes the cause of those problems he should be fine- being able to isolate a problem and acknowledge it is 50% on the way to solving it.

And Roger is a great problem solver- perhaps the best the game has ever seen.

NYCtennisfan
03-11-2006, 12:35 AM
And Roger is a great problem solver- perhaps the best the game has ever seen.


So very, very true. I really do expect Federer to get over this bump in the road just like he has with every other bump in the road.

avocadoe
03-11-2006, 12:56 AM
this has been a terifi thread...lots of smart people. Fun to chime in. Hope we can cheer at the end of the week in a different sort of way :) as to fitness, I noticed it was Nadal who was out of breath late in the match on long difficult points. So I'm not sure about that aspect being missing. Roger was sweating more than usual, so maybe something there. I don't know if anyone else felt how solemn his freinds were, Mirka, MJF, and her IMG huibby and I'm talking before the match and during and after teh first set. That got me wondering too, if there was something going on we didn't know about. Has anyone seen Roger yet at IW, I don't mean that litereally, but no press yet?

rofe
03-11-2006, 02:02 AM
this has been a terifi thread...lots of smart people.

His complex game requires complex fans. ;)


Has anyone seen Roger yet at IW, I don't mean that litereally, but no press yet?

No idea - except for Silvy's photos, there has been very little press. Even RF.com did not have any pictures last time I checked.

bethbrasil
03-11-2006, 02:22 AM
My ROGI's Dear Fans, :clap2: :clap2: :clap2:

ROGI IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN NADAL OR ANY ANOTHER :worship: :worship: (thing of fanatic fan) :D :D :D :D , but happens he cannot and to will never win all the matches that he play. I prefer to wait a little to improve my analysis. I am going to be in Miami and will see personally ROGI, Nadal and another. After I come back will give my opinion, more adequate. :angel: :angel:
Million kisses, much fondness and love. Beth :smooch: :smooch: :smooch: :smooch: :smooch: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey:

World Beater
03-11-2006, 03:27 AM
holy crap...what a thread...how did i miss this. Very good insight. I didnt not see the match and from everyone in gm, I thought nadal was just tougher in the rallies.

I really do think federer takes the nice guy thing really too far with nadal. I mean I want to see the same attitude he takes into nalbandian matches.

I dont get it. i hope someone is telling this to federer because he doesnt seem to be improving in this regard. He still hits ridiculous fh topspin approaches and crappy slice returns that are so predictable. His net play in my opinion has fallen from the days of wimby 2003 when he was glorious.

He needs to hit flat forehands to nadal's fh and keep hitting with heavy top to nadal's backhand. His flat fh doesnt need to be a big shot, but it needs to skid across the court. This will cause some shanks from nadal. Make sure he hits the bh up the line or even the slice up the line to change the tempo of the rally if nadal is pinning fed in the bh corner.

RogiFan88
03-11-2006, 03:59 AM
I think when Rogi sweats more than usual, he is feeling the pressure, literally -- like AA. Rogi keeps talking about how important his health is and he did say that for 2006 he wants to improve his fitness.

Yeah, no more Mr. Nice Guy, Rogi! Get mean and even ruthless, even tho that is alien to your good nature but it's a war out there on the courts! Pretend it's Nalby across the net!! ;)

Rogi fans aren't just his fans cos they think he's hot or they like his hair or wonder if he has a GF... we follow him for his tennis and his persona.

If Rafa was out of breath, was it because he was fighting hard to beat Rogi so he could win his first title of the year or because he was just getting back to his top level after so many months off?

He said this week that he s be back to his usual 100% level for IW and Miami.

lunahielo
03-11-2006, 04:29 AM
Originally posted by asotgod
enough of this Mr. nice guy with a guy who really wants to take your spot. Get aggressive

Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!
I think most, if not all, agree on this point.

Nadal's obsequious little ways of talking about Roger have never fooled me one bit.
He wants his spot.
And that's that!

I think Roger will work this one out as he has worked out his other *problems*.
Get mean, Rogi!
luna

RogiFan88
03-11-2006, 04:39 AM
Just been thinking about how the Rogi generation have failed lately to consistently challenge him. So the fact that all of a sudden a teenager is 3-1 over Rogi is making headlines all over the world as if nobody ever beat Rogi before. Sure, Hewitt, Safin, Roddick and Ferrero all have their slam[s] and were No 1 but have been disappointing, esp last year. As for Coria and Nalby, well they haven't achieved the slam nor the top ranking... and Rafa is making them all look a little inadequate, old and past their sell-by date... He also is THE BIG NEWS because he is such a contrast to ROGI on the court in every way. I do not need to point out the details as they speak for themselves quite pointedly.

asotgod
03-11-2006, 07:46 AM
Just been thinking about how the Rogi generation have failed lately to consistently challenge him. So the fact that all of a sudden a teenager is 3-1 over Rogi is making headlines all over the world as if nobody ever beat Rogi before. Sure, Hewitt, Safin, Roddick and Ferrero all have their slam[s] and were No 1 but have been disappointing, esp last year. As for Coria and Nalby, well they haven't achieved the slam nor the top ranking... and Rafa is making them all look a little inadequate, old and past their sell-by date... He also is THE BIG NEWS because he is such a contrast to ROGI on the court in every way. I do not need to point out the details as they speak for themselves quite pointedly.


Great posts so far by everyone. Thanks for reiterating the need for Roger to stop being nice to Nadal and forget about those pleasantries. Put that in the toilet and give the boy a big spanking. Let the rude awakening begin.

Rogifan088, having watched the match, I can say that Nadal is not a favorite against all those top guns from Federer's era who are his age mates. Safin and Nalby will definitely beat him. So will Hewitt, even Roddick should if he can get at least some confidence back. Roger's colleagues are not washed up. They have just received too much beatdowns from Roger. A second thing I note is the issue of going with topspin to the Nadal backhand with his forehand. I personally feel Roger should vary it but more flat say at least 70% of the time. Picking a flatter ball will slow Nadal down in trying to get to the next ball compared to a ball with topspin which just sits there for him to loop even with his backhand with greater height to Roger's forehand which Roger sometimes mistimes and hits an error. The forehand drives to Nadal especially on the backhand dont have to be deep but flat and reangled most of the time to make him unsure of what is coming. Make the boy crouch to lift them up and then redirect. That will take away some time from Nadal. Roger needs to go to the 'patience' store and buy enough to sustain him through the year. He gets impatient and tries to finish things up. He doesn't have to. When Nadal retrieves what should be a winner, hit to the other side and keep moving the boy around. Wear him out. Even though it may not yield dividends immediately, it will as the match goes on. Nadal can only return what he is allowed to (what he can reach) and cannot do more than his body allows. Lastly, if Roger commits to attack a serve, he should. He should not second guess once he commits. He should hit flat on forehand and with some slight topspin on the backhand (although somewhat flat) even if they are errors. He should go for it, not trying to hit with lot of topspin on a ball already with a lot of kick on it. That leads to the errors or short replies which Nadal then capitalizes on. Roger, if you wanna kill a ball, then GO FOR IT.

SUKTUEN
03-11-2006, 09:56 AM
very very professional~~

Rogiman
03-11-2006, 11:16 AM
In fact, enough of this Mr. nice guy with a guy who really wants to take your spot. Get aggressive Roger and show you wanna win. He can do that. He doesn't have to be nice to Nadal. Can be nice after giving the boy a beatdown not before, especially not on the court. When the boy yells, grunts, shouts Vamos, Roger should use that to fire himself up and give him a hiding to keep him quiet like he was all the first set.
Exactly! :mad:
Grunting Pork should know he will not get off the court as the winner - either lose or die! :mad: :mad:

avocadoe
03-11-2006, 01:40 PM
Roger is interviewd on the preview to IW video clip at
www.atpmastersseries.tv
and almost the first words out of his mouth and repeated are about the "pressure" he is feeling...There are also three audio clips at IW site/interviews but my medai player balks on them?

rofe
03-11-2006, 03:02 PM
Roger is interviewd on the preview to IW video clip at
www.atpmastersseries.tv
and almost the first words out of his mouth and repeated are about the "pressure" he is feeling...There are also three audio clips at IW site/interviews but my medai player balks on them?

If "pressure" is one of the first things out of his mouth, I think we will see some more shoddy play from him in the first few rounds. I was hoping that he would clean up his game during the earlier rounds and concentrate on practising his percentage play a little more.

ExpectedWinner
03-11-2006, 04:42 PM
Roger is interviewd on the preview to IW video clip at
www.atpmastersseries.tv
and almost the first words out of his mouth and repeated are about the "pressure" he is feeling...

I was hoping that winning AO will help him to relax and hit more freely for the rest of the year. But what do I know, I'm fairly simple guy.

Dirk
03-11-2006, 11:34 PM
:worship:

Very true! A case in point might be Sampras himself- when Andre first came up as a real challenge for Pete and threatened to take his #1 spot you also got the feeling that Sampras wasn't his free flowing self and played more not to lose than to win. And his matches against Andre around that time reflected a certain similarity to Roger's with Rafa. Pete would often have chances in matches against Andre and seem to be the better player but Agassi had more ferocious intensity and Pete would crumble (I am talking about their 1995 matches in the first half of that year).

Then Agassi reached #1 knocking Sampras off his perch. All the focus was on Andre, Pete was basically a has-been. And then comes the 1995 U.S. Open finals and Pete is the one who goes in as the underdog. Having nothing to lose he comes out playing his A game and manages to tear the title away from Andre's hands.

The point here being, once the limelight was off him to some degree, he really started playing freely laser sharp tennis and Andre actively pushed him to improve himself. Thanks to Agassi, Pete took his game up to even greater heights. Rafa could quite possibly make Roger take his game to even greater heights and so we as Roger's fans should appreciate it!

Roger needs to be the Ninja that he is and play to win not to lose like he has been doing. He doesn't need to lose number one to do that. He will amp it up mentally now.

NYCtennisfan
03-11-2006, 11:47 PM
I was hoping that winning AO will help him to relax and hit more freely for the rest of the year. But what do I know, I'm fairly simple guy.

I thought the exact same thing. I hope it happens at IW.

World Beater
03-12-2006, 12:13 AM
Roger is interviewd on the preview to IW video clip at
www.atpmastersseries.tv
and almost the first words out of his mouth and repeated are about the "pressure" he is feeling...There are also three audio clips at IW site/interviews but my medai player balks on them?

:rolleyes: yes roger keep telling yourself how much pressure you are under.

Its not gonna get any less heavy against nadal next time...in fact the more he loses to nadal, the pressure will only start to build.

eleven11
03-12-2006, 02:00 AM
Roger's game has 'changed a bit', maybe, I should say 'improved a lot', since Roche became his part-time coach. I don't think there is no one in Roger's camp to tell him what you guys has said in this thread. Everything is easy to said than done, especially, the 'mentally' things. The tennis court is a battle field of your 'body' and your 'mind'. It's a tough game.... Something that can't be controlled at that 'second' when it happened....

Roger, you don't need to put too much pressure on your shoulder because you have tried and done your best with your heart!!!

Well done, Roger!!!

eleven

Dirk
03-12-2006, 10:22 AM
Roger's game has 'changed a bit', maybe, I should say 'improved a lot', since Roche became his part-time coach. I don't think there is no one in Roger's camp to tell him what you guys has said in this thread. Everything is easy to said than done, especially, the 'mentally' things. The tennis court is a battle field of your 'body' and your 'mind'. It's a tough game.... Something that can't be controlled at that 'second' when it happened....

Roger, you don't need to put too much pressure on your shoulder because you have tried and done your best with your heart!!!

Well done, Roger!!!

eleven

Caving into the pressure and not just focus on playing your A game and playing as cleanly as possible will not make it any easier. Faltering due to pressure is no excuse. Roger has many goals still left and if he wants to accomplish them then he will have to learn to deal with pressure better.

eleven11
03-12-2006, 11:25 AM
Dirl, I think you misunderstood what I meant.

What I meant is 'please give Roger some air to breathe'. Roger is mentally too tight at the moment because of those records, streaks and the 'history'.... He needs to 'relax his mind' first if he wants to accomplish those goals and I didn't mean that Roger doesn't need to improve the 'mental' side and the 'technical' side of his game any more.

P.S. I definitely don't have anything to against anyone here and I know all of you are Roger's true fans so....

SUKTUEN
03-12-2006, 03:56 PM
Roger seems Also very condience ~~