Is Federer becoming a defensive player? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Is Federer becoming a defensive player?

Dini
11-11-2009, 09:33 PM
I'm seeing more of it this year. Less aggression and "going for it", and more passiveness on the important points (BPs and MPs). A LOT of backhand slicing and soft forehands when he has opportunities to hit the cover of the ball.

Thoughts?

Certinfy
11-11-2009, 09:35 PM
No, he's just becoming a mug.

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 09:36 PM
I noticed it from about the middle of 2007 onwards, in fact I can pinpoint a specific match against Hewitt in Cincinnati which he squeaked through 7-6 in the third after briefly being down a break earlier in that set. It was suddenly noticeable that he was relying so much on winning a lot of free points outright with the serve and then hustling and scrapping out points from the baseline, what I call the "serve and scramble" mode he's been operating on these last couple of years. The tendency has grown stronger since then.

scarecrows
11-11-2009, 09:36 PM
less offensive would be the better choice of words

l_mac
11-11-2009, 09:38 PM
I find him more and more offensive as the years pass by.

Johnny Groove
11-11-2009, 09:39 PM
I'd agree with this. Federer's confidence in his aggressive game this year has gone down the toilet, and as a result, he is playing more defense, hoping the opponent misses, which is usually what happens.

Not against Benneteau, though.

I agree with Sjengster's assessment as well. Roger seems to have taken a page from Roddick's book.

cocrcici
11-11-2009, 09:40 PM
he's no longer 25

batavlada
11-11-2009, 09:42 PM
defense comes with ages. he is older, cant have "bodily fluids" through whole season at maximum as he had 3 years ago.

madmax
11-11-2009, 09:44 PM
he simply doesn't give a crap outside slams, and it reflects in his game:unsure:

Har-Tru
11-11-2009, 09:47 PM
That happened in 2002.

Answer taking into account 2000s tennis:
Yes, but it's logical. As players age they tend to use their head more than their body, and as well they should.

freeandlonely
11-11-2009, 09:50 PM
I think the question is - is Roger becoming older? - I guess yes, which reflects at some aspects including style of play. So, he focus on GS. Even in AO and USO, I don't think he gave up in the 5th set. He still cares those. But other tours?, maybe he CAN't care that much anymore(no ability to dominate the whole year anymore). Sad to say this.:sad:

Dini
11-11-2009, 09:51 PM
That happened in 2002.

Huh? :confused:

Answer taking into account 2000s tennis:
Yes, but it's logical. As players age they tend to use their head more than their body, and as well they should.

But it's clearly not clever tennis. :scratch: It's just being over-tentative. He still has the power to hit winners left and right but he's not taking chances as much any more. :sad:

dj_mercury
11-11-2009, 09:54 PM
It's at least 3 years that it is like this. His results on clay have generally improved with this change in his game, at the expenses of his results on hardcourts where he was almost a lock to win before 2007. So it's not like he is becoming, he already is, just look at how he was playing in 2004-2005 compared to today.

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 09:55 PM
Huh? :confused:



But it's clearly not clever tennis. :scratch: It's just being over-tentative. He still has the power to hit winners left and right but he's not taking chances as much any more. :sad:

I think that's just lack of confidence in stroke production, last year I lost count of how many times I saw him ballooning his forehand wide or long when he tried to pull the trigger. He doesn't want to lose matches by erroring himself to death, which to a certain extent happened again tonight; most of his rallying was passive, but when he fell behind in the final set there was his usual patch of play where he hits a flurry of wide forehands, shanked backhands, the full repertoire of sprayed strokes.

Being so cautious in matches is clearly a double-edged sword, he gets more free points on serve but the defensiveness only prolongs matches that he would have won a lot more easily in his prime. Take the last three Wimbledon finals for example, where he's managed 5 breaks of serve in 15 sets and went something like 63 return games in a row between last year's final and this year's without breaking serve. It's not energy conserving to need more than 4 hours just to get a break. The sets that he's won in those finals: 7-6, 7-6, 6-2; 7-6, 7-6; 7-6, 7-6, 16-14.

Har-Tru
11-11-2009, 09:57 PM
Huh? :confused:



But it's clearly not clever tennis. :scratch: It's just being over-tentative. He still has the power to hit winners left and right but he's not taking chances as much any more. :sad:

Attacking tennis = S&V, net play.

Understand now? ;)

Hitting winners ain't easy... not even for Federer.

Dini
11-11-2009, 09:58 PM
It's at least 3 years that it is like this. His results on clay have generally improved with this change in his game, at the expenses of his results on hardcourts where he was almost a lock to win before 2007. So it's not like he is becoming, he already is, just look at how he was playing in 2004-2005 compared to today.

You've got a point. I remember the USO 07 final against Djokovic, I thought he was playing really defensively for his standards. His GS matches against Del Potro too this year: at RG in the end he was litereally pushing but got away with it. He was defensive on the big points (and most of the time) in the USO final too - but that time he didn't get away with it.

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 10:03 PM
Attacking tennis = S&V, net play.

Understand now? ;)

Hitting winners ain't easy... not even for Federer.

I disagree with that definition, that's the kind of thing you hear from every commentator and pundit who covers the game. They all grew up with serve-volley tennis and apparently believe that baseline tennis is one style of play, as if Gonzalez and Simon have identical games.

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 10:06 PM
You've got a point. I remember the USO 07 final against Djokovic, I thought he was playing really defensively for his standards. His GS matches against Del Potro too this year: at RG in the end he was litereally pushing but got away with it. He was defensive on the big points (and most of the time) in the USO final too - but that time he didn't get away with it.

Thing about the RG match was, his game plan of extending Del Potro in rallies and making him play awkward short and low balls eventually paid off. Granted, much of the final result was down to the difference in experience and Del Potro tiring out, but I recall that the second set tiebreak was the only time in the first three sets that Federer's tactics actually worked, and it bought him some time. Compare that to the US Open final where for the last three sets he tried to play him like he was any other opponent rather than one of the biggest hitters in the game, and paid the price.

dj_mercury
11-11-2009, 10:06 PM
Yes, but it's logical. As players age they tend to use their head more than their body, and as well they should.
Defensive tennis is more demanding than offensive one, especially for a player like Federer whose shots movements do not require such an huge effort in being pulled off.

This change did also have a really big impact on Federer break point conversion rate. In the past he was always trying to put immediate pressure on the opponent in a break point situation, nowadays he makes just a slice return and then hopes that the opponent makes a mistake in the following rally. Just check his break point conversion rate in the matches he has lost in the last few years and you will see that often he had the chances to win the matches but this passive attitude cost him the match.

Har-Tru
11-11-2009, 10:08 PM
I disagree with that definition, that's the kind of thing you hear from every commentator and pundit who covers the game. They all grew up with serve-volley tennis and apparently believe that baseline tennis is one style of play, as if Gonzalez and Simon have identical games.

I didn't say that.

But tennis has got a lot more defensive in the past years. Federer is now considered an attacking player, but just 15 years ago he would have been considered, at best, an aggressive baseliner.

Sunset of Age
11-11-2009, 10:08 PM
I find him more and more offensive as the years pass by.

Oh, what a surprise. :worship:

Har-Tru
11-11-2009, 10:10 PM
You're all talking as if he had the same ability to hit winners he had in 2006. He doesn't. So his options are two: come in more or be more defensive.

l_mac
11-11-2009, 10:12 PM
Oh, what a surprise. :worship:

I thought I was on your ignore list. :p

I was J/K - I love Fed.

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 10:13 PM
I didn't say that.

But tennis has got a lot more defensive in the past years. Federer is now considered an attacking player, but just 15 years ago he would have been considered, at best, an aggressive baseliner.

Agreed, but by the standards of this era it would be fair to call him an attacking player; in comparison to Nadal and Murray certainly, although right now he looks like the ultimate grinder when you consider Del Potro and Davydenko's styles.

The days when Federer managed to beat Sampras at Wimbledon serve-volleying on all but half a dozen points are long gone, alas.

FedFan_2007
11-11-2009, 10:13 PM
What's not a surprise is Linda is an asshole :o

Har-Tru
11-11-2009, 10:15 PM
Agreed, but by the standards of this era it would be fair to call him an attacking player; in comparison to Nadal and Murray certainly, although right now he looks like the ultimate grinder when you consider Del Potro and Davydenko's styles.

The days when Federer managed to beat Sampras at Wimbledon serve-volleying on all but half a dozen points are long gone, alas.

Precisely my point. ;)

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 10:19 PM
It could also be that the slowing down of surfaces has hurt Federer, as Nidhogg suggested in t'other thread, pointing out that he had a lot to with getting this carpet surface in Bercy replaced and now it's too slow for him to win on. I remember that extraordinary match he had with Verkerk here back in 2003, a three tiebreak-lottery where Federer squeaked through a 14-12 second set breaker with both players constantly hitting service winners or routine putaway volleys. Last year we saw Monaco bagelling the three time champion Safin on that self-same court, quite a contrast.

Har-Tru
11-11-2009, 10:23 PM
It could also be that the slowing down of surfaces has hurt Federer, as Nidhogg suggested in t'other thread, pointing out that he had a lot to with getting this carpet surface in Bercy replaced and now it's too slow for him to win on. I remember that extraordinary match he had with Verkerk here back in 2003, a three tiebreak-lottery where Federer squeaked through a 14-12 second set breaker with both players constantly hitting service winners or routine putaway volleys. Last year we saw Monaco bagelling the three time champion Safin on that self-same court, quite a contrast.

The thing about carpet isn't that it was much faster (this hard is pretty fast for today's standards, Federer shouldn't have problems with that) but that it doesn't allow any kind of sliding. That affects some players more than others.

Dini
11-11-2009, 10:27 PM
It could also be that the slowing down of surfaces has hurt Federer, as Nidhogg suggested in t'other thread, pointing out that he had a lot to with getting this carpet surface in Bercy replaced and now it's too slow for him to win on. I remember that extraordinary match he had with Verkerk here back in 2003, a three tiebreak-lottery where Federer squeaked through a 14-12 second set breaker with both players constantly hitting service winners or routine putaway volleys. Last year we saw Monaco bagelling the three time champion Safin on that self-same court, quite a contrast.

Change in surfaces may have something to do with it, but I think Federer has lost alot of confidence to go for his shots when it really matters (with the exception of the Haas BP that he saved with an inside out forehand this year in RG) because he's missing a lot when he is going for it. It's a dilemma in a way. When he is aggressive, he has patches where he sprays the ball and shanks his way to deep holes, and when he is being tentative and defensive other players take charge (Djokovic, Del Potro this year for example).

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 10:27 PM
The thing about carpet isn't that it was much faster (this hard is pretty fast for today's standards, Federer shouldn't have problems with that) but that it doesn't allow any kind of sliding. That affects some players more than others.

Good point, I recall in that match and others from that period that it was almost impossible for players to track down decent volleys into the corners as the ball stayed low and skidded away from them. Heck, when Safin won the last of his three titles in 2004 he managed to volley past Canas in the semis with great success, and Henman's slice approaches and chip-charges were lethal when he won it the previous year. I recall that Federer actually complained about the footing on the old carpet surface, and Nadal said the court wasn't beneficial for his topspin, so they basically changed it because two players said they couldn't win on it.

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 10:30 PM
Change in surfaces may have something to do with it, but I think Federer has lost alot of confidence to go for his shots when it really matters (with the exception of the Haas BP that he saved with an inside out forehand this year in RG) because he's missing a lot when he is going for it. It's a dilemma in a way. When he is aggressive, he has patches where he sprays the ball and shanks his way to deep holes, and when he is being tentative and defensive other players take charge (Djokovic, Del Potro this year for example).

It's at times like these that I realise I would have settled for eleven months' worth of mishits and errors just to have that one forehand. Come to think of it, after the year and the achievements he's had it feels strange in some ways to be prophesying his doom in such forthright terms, two Slams and two Masters Series weren't bad for a guy with no aggressive ground game.

Dini
11-11-2009, 10:37 PM
It's at times like these that I realise I would have settled for eleven months' worth of mishits and errors just to have that one forehand. Come to think of it, after the year and the achievements he's had it feels strange in some ways to be prophesying his doom in such forthright terms, two Slams and two Masters Series weren't bad for a guy with no aggressive ground game.

You do make a good point. :p Maybe he has exceeded expectations this year in a way by reaching all Slam finals and winning two MSs when he hadn't won any last year. But it's something I wanted to discuss because it's a reoccurring pattern. :unsure: He's deviating away more and more from the game that made him famous - hugging the baseline, moving forwards all the time and putting away easy shots with authority.

Sunset of Age
11-11-2009, 10:39 PM
:DI thought I was on your ignore list. :p

I was J/K - I love Fed.

No-one is on my ignore list, Linda. Not even you. :D

This is just as much a joke as you claiming you love Fed, btw. :p

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 10:45 PM
You do make a good point. :p Maybe he has exceeded expectations this year in a way by reaching all Slam finals and winning two MSs when he hadn't won any last year. But it's something I wanted to discuss because it's a reoccurring pattern. :unsure: He's deviating away more and more from the game that made him famous - hugging the baseline, moving forwards all the time and putting away easy shots with authority.

In the long term I agree it's a definite problem, seeing as how he's still a fairly recent 28, not 32 or 33. I don't think it was any coincidence that he won the Slams on the natural surfaces where both his reliance on serving and his scrapping defensive qualities were rewarded, but lost at the two hardcourt Slams where he needed to play aggressive tennis.

BTW, did you notice how the Sky commentators tonight sang Benneteau's praises constantly and said Federer had done nothing wrong to lose the match? I know Benneteau played a brilliant match in all departments, but it shows how the pundits have gotten so used to this version of Federer that tonight qualified as a good, regular performance from him. Just think, he lasted 54 shots against Hewitt in that IW final back in 2005 and right now 5 is too much for him.

l_mac
11-11-2009, 10:50 PM
BTW, did you notice how the Sky commentators tonight sang Benneteau's praises constantly and said Federer had done nothing wrong to lose the match?

I thought that was hilarious, and I think the first time I've heard that sort of comment from the Sky commies (unless Fed is playing Murray, or Rafa on clay). Benneteau played a really good match, but I thought Fed was pretty horrible - even by 2009 standards. Ridiculous post match analysis. They should stick to laughing at Rafa's shorts.

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 10:53 PM
Dan Lobb has absolutely nothing going for him as a presenter besides a particularly apposite surname, his total inability to even complete a sentence in less than twenty seconds is astounding. Flembo looks pained at times, realising that he's in a parlous state indeed when he finds himself missing Marcus Buckland.

Dini
11-11-2009, 10:57 PM
In the long term I agree it's a definite problem, seeing as how he's still a fairly recent 28, not 32 or 33. I don't think it was any coincidence that he won the Slams on the natural surfaces where both his reliance on serving and his scrapping defensive qualities were rewarded, but lost at the two hardcourt Slams where he needed to play aggressive tennis.

It would be interesting to see if he tweaks his game for the WTFs. He'd need to hit aggressively constantly against top players, certainly. He's now got a week and a half to change up a few things and I hope he gets in a practice week like the one he had before Rome this year where he hit with Koubek for hours a day and it paid dividends seeing as he got to the SFs, won Madrid, won RG, Wimbledon, Cinci. He contributed that run of rich form to that practice week.

Having said that I don't know what to expect for WTF. Going by current form I think he'll struggle to get past the RR stage. :o

BTW, did you notice how the Sky commentators tonight sang Benneteau's praises constantly and said Federer had done nothing wrong to lose the match? I know Benneteau played a brilliant match in all departments, but it shows how the pundits have gotten so used to this version of Federer that tonight qualified as a good, regular performance from him. Just think, he lasted 54 shots against Hewitt in that IW final back in 2005 and right now 5 is too much for him.

It's natural to expect less at these events nowadays. He's won four ATP 1000s over the last 3 years. And six slams, when there are four times less events on the slam level. :shrug: He's vulnerable as you say in best of threes; when things go wrong and a player catches fire he's got less time to sort it out, less time to think about what he should change and before he knows it, it's over. Don't think a lot of that will change in the future unless he imposes his game right from the start and doesn't let down in the second set - like he is doing a lot recently. All this cruise control is actually hurting him a lot these days.

l_mac
11-11-2009, 10:58 PM
Dan Lobb has absolutely nothing going for him as a presenter besides a particularly apposite surname, his total inability to even complete a sentence in less than twenty seconds is astounding. Flembo looks pained at times, realising that he's in a parlous state indeed when he finds himself missing Marcus Buckland.

Ha! I spent 3 years complaining about Marcus Blandy and how he was no sustitute for Chris :hearts: Bailey. Now I yearn for Blandy. :awww:

On topic, at least Fed still has his serve.

Dini
11-11-2009, 11:18 PM
On topic, at least Fed still has his serve.

That'll just make him lose with a better scoreline at this rate. :o

I'm kinda happy though that he's realised he's playing shite when the opportunities arise:


"I can definitely play much better, but I can also play much worse," said Federer. "It wasn't a bad performance. I think Julien, he went out and got the victory. You know, I definitely had chances. I missed them. Seems to happen a bit to me now, you know, looking back at the Basel final or the US Open final. I just have to make sure I don't let chances go by like this all the time."

Sjengster
11-11-2009, 11:20 PM
It would be interesting to see if he tweaks his game for the WTFs. He'd need to hit aggressively constantly against top players, certainly. He's now got a week and a half to change up a few things and I hope he gets in a practice week like the one he had before Rome this year where he hit with Koubek for hours a day and it paid dividends seeing as he got to the SFs, won Madrid, won RG, Wimbledon, Cinci. He contributed that run of rich form to that practice week.

Having said that I don't know what to expect for WTF. Going by current form I think he'll struggle to get past the RR stage. :o

I always knew my love for Mr. Fashionista would pay dividends in the long run, the legend of the orange shirts and neon yellow shorts will never die. He'll need a practice session with Koubek and Muster combined, I fear, to get enough groundstroke rhythm to be a contender at the WTF. Fantastic timing, I've got tickets to go to one of the afternoon sessions so there's a slim chance of me seeing him live at last (he'll probably play in the evening anyway), and it's to see this kind of limp non-tennis. I knew I should have gone to Wimbledon when he was at his peak.

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-12-2009, 12:15 AM
Attacking tennis = S&V, net play.


:confused:

Agressive baseliners by definition attack, non?

i mean, i'd never consider Agassi a defensive player and he sure as heck didn't S&V too often ;)

IF Roger S&V on todays super slow courts he'd be losing in every match- you just can't S&V exclusively anymore

Byrd
11-12-2009, 12:51 AM
Yea he's picking his ass and shouting Vamos everytime he wins a point.

Arkulari
11-12-2009, 01:28 AM
Roger is too slow and too weak on his BH wing to become a downright defensive/grinding/pushing player, but he isn't the attacker he used to be at his prime ;)

Sometimes he attacks, other times he grinds, I hate seeing him play too passively but that's something that has been happening more and more and more :(

RafitoGoat
11-12-2009, 02:35 AM
This isn't a good era of tennis at the top 10 level compared to previous eras, so it is wise to play defensive as your opponents hand you victories.

Ichiban1920
11-12-2009, 06:07 AM
Who needs to be offensive when 99 percent of the players today are one-dimensional baseline grinders/pushers.

TennisLurker
11-12-2009, 07:02 AM
For me, the first sign of Federer's decline weres his losses to Cañas two weeks in a row back in 2007. Later that year, he got outplayed by Nadal in the rallies during the Wimbledon final and only won because of his serve.
Since 2007 he has been a little worse every year.

He totally deserved to win a French Open, Fed was probably the best clay courter ever who had not won the French Open, but he was lucky to do it this year playing at such a low level, 2008 Nadal would have crushed him.
Neverthhless, I think he is the best tennis player ever and that victory makes me glad because it killed the Sampras vs Fed debate.

For me Fed was always a baseliner and the ultimate serve and forehand player, I always saw him as a much better version of Carlos Moya, with no weaknesses.

bokehlicious
11-12-2009, 07:08 AM
Fed is nothing but a poor man's Boetsch, Jogi was spot on from the beginning :worship:

duong
11-12-2009, 09:28 AM
I'm seeing more of it this year. Less aggression and "going for it", and more passiveness on the important points (BPs and MPs). A LOT of backhand slicing and soft forehands when he has opportunities to hit the cover of the ball.

Thoughts?

If you want, you can say it about the whole year, but about yesterday's match you can't say anything like that :shrug:

As he said, he cannot play a first round like a final.

You cannot expect the "120% Federer" in first round.

Did you watch all the matches on centre court yesterday ?

No ? I did.

No player was more offensive yesterday, the surface is quite slow and no player made the ball quicker than Federer here ... except Benneteau.

He lost against an unreal player and the way Federer played yesterday, he would have beaten all of the other players who played on centre court yesterday (I don't know for players who played on court 1, notably Davydenko who was impressive from what I've heard).

You cannot expect the Federer from Cincinnati final in the first round of Bercy, and after a Basel tournament where he showed that he misses competition.

Yesterday, he showed an improvement ... but he fell against something unreal, a player moving and hitting like a mad man, serving the lines ... I don't know how Benneteau did that, but well it's like that, with another opponent people would speak today that Federer is improving, usual blablabla :lol:

Har-Tru
11-12-2009, 09:32 AM
:confused:

Agressive baseliners by definition attack, non?

i mean, i'd never consider Agassi a defensive player and he sure as heck didn't S&V too often ;)

IF Roger S&V on todays super slow courts he'd be losing in every match- you just can't S&V exclusively anymore

pfff you just have to make me expand always... :o :p of course Agassi wasn't defensive, but he was more defensive than Sampras.

zcess81
11-12-2009, 09:36 AM
I'm seeing more of it this year. Less aggression and "going for it", and more passiveness on the important points (BPs and MPs). A LOT of backhand slicing and soft forehands when he has opportunities to hit the cover of the ball.

Thoughts?

Federer did not play bad last night, he was playing quite well. Not his best level for sure but he was solid most of the time. The better player won. Simple as that. Also, his recent record in final sets isn't great and players know that, most top players will be confident going against Fed in final sets. He needs to correct this, make a few wins in really tight matches and get a bit of his old aura back. He needs to make a statement or else this will be ongoing problem for him.

And yes, it seems that lately he is more defensive, which I can only attribute to his slight loss of form. Defending is not his natural game. He's attacking player first. He was the best at turning defense into attack in his prime. However, most attacking players become more defensive when their A game isn't working or when they are out of form. I just hope he doesn't start playing defensive tennis all the time because a.) at his age that's not the smatrest choice and b.) it's his attacking tennis that brought him so many titles.

Granted he is one of the best defenders in the game, but at his age defending takes a lot of effort and fitness will become an issue sooner or later. Hope he does better in London.

tennis2tennis
11-12-2009, 09:48 AM
jeesh talk about paralysis by over analysis!

zcess81
11-12-2009, 09:52 AM
he simply doesn't give a crap outside slams, and it reflects in his game:unsure:

:bs: if that was the case he's play ONLY compulsary tournaments. Most of the time he skips Paris Masters for whatever reason...why did he decide to play/travel if he "doesn't give a crap"? I'm sure he's got better things to do in his life then lose in 2nd round of Paris masters. Granted Slams are priority and certanly there is A LOT more motivation to do well there but to say he "doesn't give a crap" in other tournaments is a complete BS. He was winning masters/smaller tournaments all the time when he had 8,9, 10 slams. Why didn't he focus only on slams then? After you win 9-10 slams most players would only be focused on winning slams cause in the end that's what really matters, but not Fed. He cared then and he cares now about winning EVERY tournament he is in. Yes, there are different degrees of motivation depending what tournament he playes, but HE DOES care. I don't doubt that for a second. Winning is a habbit. He's been winning all his life, it's his mindset...you don't decide "not to give a crap" overnight. The day Federer stops caring about winning (any tournament) will be the day that he retires.

RafitoGoat
11-12-2009, 09:56 AM
pfff you just have to make me expand always... :o :p of course Agassi wasn't defensive, but he was more defensive than Sampras.

Definitely, and even in 1999 US Open Final against Todd Martin (which Agassi won in 5 tough sets), Agassi was very defensive and retrieving constantly and using the slice even. There were certain players who kept Agassi off-balance and unable to take a clean hit for a winner. He didn't always just stand in the middle and play the other guy like a yo yo :)

duong
11-12-2009, 09:56 AM
And yes, it seems that lately he is more defensive, which I can only attribute to his slight loss of form. Defending is not his natural game. He's attacking player first. He was the best at turning defense into attack in his prime. However, most attacking players become more defensive when their A game isn't working or when they are out of form.

exactly :

1. the most important about Federer is always his movement : to attack very well, you need to be very quick. When he's quick, which happens less often because of age, it's true, he can attack. When he's not, he can't.

2. apart from his movement which is the most important, he still misses a little bit practice and competition, especially for indoors which needs a good and quick coordination because the rebound is quite low. When Federer has not his best coordination, he can be very prone to error, he has always been like that : in these conditions, he knows it's better to be more careful (it was especially clear against Djokovic last week ;) ... except in the 3rd set when he hoped he could go for the match ... and made errors :lol: ). The only worrying thing for me actually about yesterday's defeat is that I think he needs to play more. The last two matches were good for that, unfortunately his first matches last week were too easy to give him real practice.

But first of all the movement is the key of Federer's game and especially of his ability to attack without too many errors or not.

He's not so bad, but he's still short of practice and competition.

duong
11-12-2009, 10:01 AM
:bs: if that was the case he's play ONLY compulsary tournaments. Most of the time he skips Paris Masters for whatever reason...why did he decide to play/travel if he "doesn't give a crap"? I'm sure he's got better things to do in his life then lose in 2nd round of Paris masters. Granted Slams are priority and certanly there is A LOT more motivation to do well there but to say he "doesn't give a crap" in other tournaments is a complete BS. He was winning masters/smaller tournaments all the time when he had 8,9, 10 slams. Why didn't he focus only on slams then? After you win 9-10 slams most players would only be focused on winning slams cause in the end that's what really matters, but not Fed. He cared then and he cares now about winning EVERY tournament he is in. Yes, there are different degrees of motivation depending what tournament he playes, but HE DOES care. I don't doubt that for a second. Winning is a habbit. He's been winning all his life, it's his mindset...you don't decide "not to give a crap" overnight. The day Federer stops caring about winning (any tournament) will be the day that he retires.

:yeah: Totally agree with that as well ... and congratulations to Nole ;)

zcess81
11-12-2009, 10:10 AM
:yeah: Totally agree with that as well ... and congratulations to Nole ;)

Thanks, I have a feeling he'll have a tough time against Clement today.

duong
11-12-2009, 10:19 AM
Thanks, I have a feeling he'll have a tough time against Clement today.

maybe : anyway, from what I saw yesterday, all players are tired and don't play their best (except Benneteau for yesterday :lol: ).

I think anything can happen ;)

(but I would surely prefer Djoko to beat Clement :lol: ... and reach the final against DelPo it would be my favorite)

Goldenoldie
11-12-2009, 02:58 PM
Federer has been watching tapes of Andy Murray, and trying to work out how to emulate him!
(Joke!)

brent-o
11-12-2009, 03:09 PM
less offensive would be the better choice of words

I agree. His defensive skills aren't as great as they used to be, so I wouldn't say he's become a defensive player. Anyway, I caught the Benneteau match and I don't know if the court was just playing slow but even his forehand looked like it lacked pace. :scratch:

stebs
11-12-2009, 03:12 PM
Federer has regularly played mediocre early round matches since he started as a pro and all through his peak years. He's had close ones a lot with people playing out of their skin like Benneteua yesterday. Difference is previously he was so good and so confident that he would just find a way with some big shots, he can't be sure of that any longer but that's age and natural.

As for being more defensive, Federer is still an attacking player overall but yes he is a product of his time. Federer has such a technically sound all round game one feels he could probably excel in many different periods of play, in this one, you have to play defensive at times.

duong
11-12-2009, 04:14 PM
Federer has regularly played mediocre early round matches since he started as a pro and all through his peak years. He's had close ones a lot with people playing out of their skin like Benneteua yesterday.

yes the beginning is absolutely true : he had very very close matches against Suzuki and others Koweitis ... but they played out of theiur skin but not at all like Benenteau yesterday ; if they had playerd like Benneteau yesterday, he wouldn't have won those matches, where he didn't play better than yesterday.

Corey Feldman
11-12-2009, 04:20 PM
he's becoming shit

that is all

madmax
11-12-2009, 04:27 PM
he's becoming shit

that is all

you sir are a troll...that is all:wavey:

stebs
11-12-2009, 04:34 PM
yes the beginning is absolutely true : he had very very close matches against Suzuki and others Koweitis ... but they played out of theiur skin but not at all like Benenteau yesterday ; if they had playerd like Benneteau yesterday, he wouldn't have won those matches, where he didn't play better than yesterday.

I agree Federer could regularly throw in a performance of similar skill for the most part but I don't agree Benneteau did anything more than others have done and lost. In the past Federer was able to turn it on when necessary to get the job done in similar situations and it's not like he didn't have chances yesterday. The examples are actually scattered all throughout Federer's peak years with close matches early on going deep into a third and yet there are almost no examples in which Federer actually lost the match beyond 2004, he was just too good in the big moments for that period of two or three years.

Ljubicic, Minar, Ferrero, Ancic, Gonzalez, Soderling, Safin, Kiefer, Ginepri, Ljubicic, Rochus, Almagro, Nalbandian, Gasquet, Rochus, Suzuki, Scrichaphan

All of these players lost close three setters to Federer in a two year period 2005-2007 whilst the only guys to beat him in that way were Nadal and Gasquet.

Many of those examples can be picked out where Federer just stepped it up when necessary to win and no Benneteau's performance wasn't partiularly special in contrast.

duong
11-12-2009, 04:48 PM
Ljubicic, Minar, Ferrero, Ancic, Gonzalez, Soderling, Safin, Kiefer, Ginepri, Ljubicic, Rochus, Almagro, Nalbandian, Gasquet, Rochus, Suzuki, Scrichaphan


Most of them were not in first round.

As for first round opponents, I say it again : they didn't play at all as well as Benneteau yesterday in last two sets.

Dini
11-13-2009, 01:38 PM
I wish he believed what he was saying:

"I definitely have some work to do," he admitted. "It's a matter of how I played last week in Basel. I played very conservative. It got me through to the final and then I couldn't change my game against Djokovic. So I just have to make sure I play more aggressive and don't let the other guy dictate play too much."


No point saying these things Rog, if you're not going to change. :o

RafitoGoat
11-13-2009, 01:42 PM
Federer should start doing ruthless training drills to increase courtspeed so he can make up for his lack of groundstroke consistency by becoming a better retriever :shug:

Bernard Black
11-13-2009, 05:25 PM
It's pretty obvious that as Federer gets older he's going to struggle more and more with the timing of that forehand.

He corrected it somewhat this year after the racquet smashing incident, and brought to the table a new, more patient topspin forehand and for the most part, it's paid dividends. I think the only problem is determined players can reach the shot now, as we saw with Del Potro at the U.S. Open - he was able to overpower the Federer forehand which we rarely ever see.

I think the backhand for the most part is solid, can't really say Federer is defensive with this shot, but he certainly doesn't use it as offensively as he could either. Would love to see him use more slice and come into the net, but seems to stubborn to use this play for the most part.

Jaz
11-13-2009, 05:40 PM
It's pretty obvious that as Federer gets older he's going to struggle more and more with the timing of that forehand.

He corrected it somewhat this year after the racquet smashing incident, and brought to the table a new, more patient topspin forehand and for the most part, it's paid dividends. I think the only problem is determined players can reach the shot now, as we saw with Del Potro at the U.S. Open - he was able to overpower the Federer forehand which we rarely ever see.

I think the backhand for the most part is solid, can't really say Federer is defensive with this shot, but he certainly doesn't use it as offensively as he could either. Would love to see him use more slice and come into the net, but seems to stubborn to use this play for the most part.

I agree with most of this, it's the reason why his hardcourt play is suffering badly against aggressive players. He struggles to compete in the rally against consistent and powerful forehands as he can't get the error, but also seems unable to win the point purely on the power of his forehand because most of the time his timing is off.

In some ways it helps his clay and grass performances.

As for the backhand, I think it's as solid if not more solid than ever before. He doesn't use it offensively, true.. This is because when he does, he's likely to have an error and people target it more. Anyone noticed that the people who win against him are not those who target the forehand than the backhand on tight points.

I'd still put money down on Federer to solve his Forehand aggressiveness issues.

habibko
11-13-2009, 05:55 PM
on break points and TBs lately, yes.

turkjey5
11-13-2009, 07:30 PM
yes...since about 2007.

Satanic Pasteur
11-13-2009, 09:09 PM
At his peak, Federer forehand was most of time unreadable and a kind of penalty shot for the opponent, it was the best shot in the game ever to witness and the one that made his stellar career.
As other posters said, his first signs of confidence decline in this shot appeared in 2007 as he spent almost all US summer swing with a shanked forehand.
He just lost confidence in it because you know if you play at a decent level yourself that you have to go to the ball and accelerate the racket head before impact to be very precise (with heavy rackets like his it's even more important) or else you will shank wide & long all day long... You see he often doesn't really penetrate the ball know on the forehand side whereas he was previously the uber king to DRIVE the ball just where he wanted with perfect shot execution.

That's the only thing that makes me really sad when watching him nowadays, because his backhand will always be the same, his serve too maybe but the forehand is the shot that declines and cost him all his defeats except most Nadal ones. Sometimes it comes back for a short patch but it never last so long.

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-13-2009, 11:20 PM
why does anyone play defensive

the best defense is offense

i understand that even agressive players have to defend but i cant understand the logic of standing 10 miles behind the baseline like a dog and hitting soft shots back in hopes that the other guy will make a mistake

i know you cant play like gonzo and just crush everything but dictating the T has to be the best middle ground IMO

Agassi maintained a long career because he controlled the T- which meant less running- which meant less wear and tear- in fact if his back didnt break down he could have played into his 40s because his game just isn't demanding

on the flip side- Borg is the perfect example of someone who; without his legendary movement and foot speed couldn't compete- Nadal is going to be the same

but Roger has a chance to be like Agassi- to slow adjust his game and prolong his career
of course it will mean less slams in the short run

but in the long run he could possibly beat Courts 24 slams

defense doesn't last

players like Nadal dont age well

FedFan_2007
11-13-2009, 11:53 PM
Not only is he becoming too defensive(ie pushing), but he just care about ANY events other then the 4 slams. He can't even be arsed to win Halle or Basel anymore. It's truly sad but in 2010 you can only look forward to 100% Federer caring about tennis 8 weeks only. The other 39 weeks of "i can't be arsed". :shrug:

RafitoGoat
11-14-2009, 01:00 AM
why does anyone play defensive

the best defense is offense

i understand that even agressive players have to defend but i cant understand the logic of standing 10 miles behind the baseline like a dog and hitting soft shots back in hopes that the other guy will make a mistake

i know you cant play like gonzo and just crush everything but dictating the T has to be the best middle ground IMO

Agassi maintained a long career because he controlled the T- which meant less running- which meant less wear and tear- in fact if his back didnt break down he could have played into his 40s because his game just isn't demanding

on the flip side- Borg is the perfect example of someone who; without his legendary movement and foot speed couldn't compete- Nadal is going to be the same

but Roger has a chance to be like Agassi- to slow adjust his game and prolong his career
of course it will mean less slams in the short run

but in the long run he could possibly beat Courts 24 slams

defense doesn't last

players like Nadal dont age well

If you control the T you have to hit more than half your shots with the ball still rising off the court, half-volleying constantly. Agassi only managed to do that because his dad used very fast ball machine, put a black box around its perimeter to hide the oscillation direction and aimed it at toddler Agassi's feet. I'm not saying its hard to play half-volleys, but it is hard to play half-volleys with maximum control and actually attack them like you attack a ball thats dropping. It requires special toddler training and also extremely good inborn reflexes :yeah:

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-14-2009, 01:07 AM
If you control the T you have to hit more than half your shots with the ball still rising off the court, half-volleying constantly. Agassi only managed to do that because his dad used very fast ball machine, put a black box around its perimeter to hide the oscillation direction and aimed it at toddler Agassi's feet. I'm not saying its hard to play half-volleys, but it is hard to play half-volleys with maximum control and actually attack them like you attack a ball thats dropping. It requires special toddler training and also extremely good inborn reflexes :yeah:

oh yeah, i knew i forgot something obvious

most player can't hit the ball on the rise

Fed and Agassi being 2 exceptions

well that just makes Federer's recent defensive phase even more baffling

-

i guess in that case if you lack talent the best scenario is to play defensive tennis- stay back and wait it out for the other guy to make mistakes

RafitoGoat
11-14-2009, 01:23 AM
For sure if I had a son and trained him I'd use Mike Agassi's training drills, its like the impossible becomes possible if you keep practicing it. For a while you'd have no control over the ball at your feet but in a few years it would feel normal :yeah:

leng jai
11-14-2009, 03:39 AM
oh yeah, i knew i forgot something obvious

most player can't hit the ball on the rise

Fed and Agassi being 2 exceptions

well that just makes Federer's recent defensive phase even more baffling

-

i guess in that case if you lack talent the best scenario is to play defensive tennis- stay back and wait it out for the other guy to make mistakes

There are countless players who can hit the ball on the rise...

out_here_grindin
11-14-2009, 03:42 AM
oh yeah, i knew i forgot something obvious

most player can't hit the ball on the rise
Fed and Agassi being 2 exceptions

well that just makes Federer's recent defensive phase even more baffling

-

i guess in that case if you lack talent the best scenario is to play defensive tennis- stay back and wait it out for the other guy to make mistakes

Isn't that like a requirement if you want to be a pro?

RafitoGoat
11-14-2009, 03:45 AM
There are countless players who can hit the ball on the rise...

To an extent, but a fast ball on the rise at your ankle level and you hit it back with authority (taking a full cut at the ball, not blocking it) and paint the line with power? Rare skill.

leng jai
11-14-2009, 04:00 AM
To an extent, but a fast ball on the rise at your ankle level and you hit it back with authority (taking a full cut at the ball, not blocking it) and paint the line with power? Rare skill.

If it was at your ankle level it would be a half volley.

RafitoGoat
11-14-2009, 04:37 AM
If it was at your ankle level it would be a half volley.

Exactly, watch some of the balls Agassi faced on the baseline, they were the kind of balls that most players would be forced way back with but Agassi took them just after the bounce and he took a full cut at it. Nobody today can do that, make a living hitting half volleys on the baseline, freakish. Thats what happens sometimes when you insist on standing on or inside the baseline, you end up playing balls off your toes.

Sunset of Age
11-14-2009, 04:41 AM
Defensive player? That would be a compliment, if he'd be able to carry out that kind of a game plan well. He's becoming a passive pusher nowadays, nowhere even capable to win any a best-of-three-sets match. Thinks he's there as soon as he's won the first set. Mistake there, Mr. Rogelio. As soon as his serve breaks down, he's TOAST. :rolleyes:

Yes it hurts, to see a former fantastic player going down like that. And spare me the 'he's getting older'-talk - I wish it were just that. He just doesn't seem to care anymore. To be honest, I wouldn't even bother to care less, if he would just be *honest* about that himself. :o

"...Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it..."

leng jai
11-14-2009, 04:57 AM
Exactly, watch some of the balls Agassi faced on the baseline, they were the kind of balls that most players would be forced way back with but Agassi took them just after the bounce and he took a full cut at it. Nobody today can do that, make a living hitting half volleys on the baseline, freakish. Thats what happens sometimes when you insist on standing on or inside the baseline, you end up playing balls off your toes.

Way to exaggerate, you make it sound like Agassi just demolished half volleys at will for winners. Sure he was probably the best player at baseline half volleys ever, but that doesn't mean he was half volleying every shot from inside the baseline. For that to happen you're suggesting that all his opponents were consistently hitting ground strokes landing a few feet inside the baseline on a consistent basis - fat chance. The reason nobody does that is because its just not feasible or high percentage play. Even Fedclown at his peak only hit half volleys when he was forced due to his opponents deep shot or getting caught between coming in or staying back.

RafitoGoat
11-14-2009, 05:17 AM
Agassi is a long way ahead of Federer when it comes to taking the ball on the rise, it is not a fair comparison. We may never see a player like Agassi again. It is also known that Agassi goes to the baseball batting cages, puts the speed at maximum and actually runs forward at the ball and hits it out of the park, his hand-eye coordination is that freakish.

On the subject of Agassi, lets not forget he skipped the Australian Open until 1995, skipped 5 Wimbledons, and he also tanked 2 matches at the Australian Open (according to his autobiography) and lost a French Open Final because he put the wrong conditioner on his hair which made his hairpiece move around, he actually refused to make sudden movements in the French Open Final! So all things considered, his ranking in history could have been a lot lot higher if he were a bit more traditional.

Also his head to head with Sampras, he is 2-0 against Sampras at Aust Open, so if he played 7 more Australian Opens he likely would have won some more against Sampras.

MrChopin
11-14-2009, 05:21 AM
Agassi is a long way ahead of Federer when it comes to taking the ball on the rise, it is not a fair comparison.

bullshit. Watch how many pop-floaters Drugassi hits in the following clip compared to how many Fed puts away, while on the rise. Yes, Fed gets more consistent depth so Agassi on average has less time, but it's hardly a "long way ahead."

See the following for comparison:

LJHmsTPMXJg


***

His game is based on timing, moreso than Hulk Hogull and more aggressive in choice than grinders like Kasparaov and Mugfils. As he loses the speed and reflexes, his game will crumble. Only natural.

Plus, he went 74-6 in '04, 81-4 in '05, and 92-5 in '06. Kind of hard to find motivation again and again after you've repeatedly kicked the collective ass of the world's best. He still made all four slam finals this year (two sets away from the Grand Slam) despite picking up a wife, two daughters, and being at an age that nobody has won a slam at since Drugassi almost 7 years ago.

Time to cut the guy a little slack, maybe.

Jōris
11-14-2009, 08:26 AM
lol Hulk Hogull

paseo
11-14-2009, 09:57 AM
LJHmsTPMXJg


I wonder if this version of Fed will show up at the WTF09. Fed is too lazy to move like that, nowadays. The only time this year, IMO, Fed moved like that is in the Madrid final.

RafitoGoat
11-14-2009, 10:05 AM
I remember that 2005 US Open Final, Agassi won the 2nd set 6-2 and then got up an early break in the 3rd set, and apart from that he looked a shell of himself. He was 35 and had played THREE five-setters before the final, not a good recipe for success...

dl05
11-14-2009, 11:09 AM
He's become extremely serve-orienated. On big points, he's either living or dying by the ability to get a good first serve in. I've felt for a long time now, that Federer can be matched off the ground. The way Berdych was man-handling him at the AO for two and a half sets was telling to me.

His forehand is a shadow of the precision, power and creativity it was back in 05/06.

Jaz
11-14-2009, 12:53 PM
I wonder if this version of Fed will show up at the WTF09. Fed is too lazy to move like that, nowadays. The only time this year, IMO, Fed moved like that is in the Madrid final.

His movement isn't too different. If look at USO finals and AO opens it's practically the same. Though it is true his footwork is usually appalling early in the tournaments.

The only difference between now and then is that he would go and attack on the 2nd or 3rd shot. These days he just sits on it for ages.

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-15-2009, 12:45 AM
LJHmsTPMXJg



http://www.msnpro.com/Shocked/36_19_2%5B1%5D.gif

OMG- Roger, whats happened to you- i knew it was bad but i didn't know it had become this bad- his forehand is not even a shadow of its former self

i still cant understand how Rafa could beat the 04-06 Federer


http://www.msnpro.com/bo.gif
Nadal has no talent
he's a bum
he's got no skill
he's a nike created fictional character with zero charisma and all fake humility

how Roger? how? how could you lose to the moonballer (mainly on clay of course)

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-15-2009, 12:49 AM
There are countless players who can hit the ball on the rise...

you know what i meant

anyone can hit a ball but not everyone can "hit" a ball, ya know

Agassi and Fed stand out as players who could hit a ball on the rise- really nail it too

i guess even Nadal can hit a ball on the rise- but i wouldn't compare him to Agassi

Haelfix
11-15-2009, 09:11 PM
At the AO this year, he was playing very well, but very defensive. Not surprisingly, he lost to Nadal playing like that (Nadal eats defensive players up), but otherwise looked very solid albeit passive.

I've noticed he gets more aggressive in slams when he starts feeling his game. Thats where you see the dtl backhand, and the laser forehands. When he beat Murray and Djoker back to back, he was really going for his shots.

He reverts to defense mode when his energy levels are down or when he starts getting mentally tight or complacent. I think he's mentally trying to avoid a breakdown like what happened with DP at the USO, where he started slugging balls and missing thereby giving the match away. I think he lost a bunch of matches like that in 08 (where the forehand deserted him) and its now stuck in his head. Which is ashame, b/c he's only at his best when he's fluidly translating between offense and defense, and not simply picking one or the other.

Swiss Mountain
11-16-2009, 10:23 PM
Defensive player? That would be a compliment, if he'd be able to carry out that kind of a game plan well. He's becoming a passive pusher nowadays, nowhere even capable to win any a best-of-three-sets match. Thinks he's there as soon as he's won the first set. Mistake there, Mr. Rogelio. As soon as his serve breaks down, he's TOAST. :rolleyes:

Yes it hurts, to see a former fantastic player going down like that. And spare me the 'he's getting older'-talk - I wish it were just that. He just doesn't seem to care anymore. To be honest, I wouldn't even bother to care less, if he would just be *honest* about that himself. :o

"...Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it..."

Hey baby, don't forget: To live and let live.



Let him be.

Sunset of Age
11-16-2009, 11:45 PM
Hey baby, don't forget: To live and let live.

Let him be.

:lol:, I obviously posted that out of pure DISGUST with how passively he seems to be playing at times (or rather, quite often :o) lately. And I'm afraid I will continue to do so, once in a while... bear with me. ;)

Bashing my favs to me is a way to express my love for them, however strange it may sound - as otherwise I wouldn't care less. ;)

Swiss Mountain
11-16-2009, 11:49 PM
Agassi is a long way ahead of Federer when it comes to taking the ball on the rise, it is not a fair comparison. We may never see a player like Agassi again. It is also known that Agassi goes to the baseball batting cages, puts the speed at maximum and actually runs forward at the ball and hits it out of the park, his hand-eye coordination is that freakish.

On the subject of Agassi, lets not forget he skipped the Australian Open until 1995, skipped 5 Wimbledons, and he also tanked 2 matches at the Australian Open (according to his autobiography) and lost a French Open Final because he put the wrong conditioner on his hair which made his hairpiece move around, he actually refused to make sudden movements in the French Open Final! So all things considered, his ranking in history could have been a lot lot higher if he were a bit more traditional.

Also his head to head with Sampras, he is 2-0 against Sampras at Aust Open, so if he played 7 more Australian Opens he likely would have won some more against Sampras.

You have to be drunk; aren't you?

Dini
11-16-2009, 11:57 PM
:lol:, I obviously posted that out of pure DISGUST with how passively he seems to be playing at times (or rather, quite often :o) lately. And I'm afraid I will continue to do so, once in a while... bear with me. ;)

So you do admit that you exaggerated a tad because you were disgusted? It's one thing to bash constructively and quite another to bash out of frustration. :shrug: He's not a Simon yet, I assure you. Defensive when he should be attacking? Yes. Moon balling, receiving serves from miles behind the baseline and spinning the serve in? No.


Bashing my favs to me is a way to express my love for them, however strange it may sound - as otherwise I wouldn't care less. ;)

It doesn't sound strange at all. If you can't see flaws and point them out then there's something wrong. ;) What sounded strange though was your frustration at his defensiveness, if I'm honest. Don't you like the way Nadal plays? He isn't exactly the most attacking player tennis has seen.

Sunset of Age
11-17-2009, 12:07 AM
So you do admit that you exaggerated a tad because you were disgusted? It's one thing to bash constructively and quite another to bash out of frustration. :shrug: He's not a Simon yet, I assure you. Defensive when he should be attacking? Yes. Moon balling, receiving serves from miles behind the baseline and spinning the serve in? No.

Yes, and what's wrong with that? I'm only human... :shrug:
And I stand my ground and say that it was fully justified. If I see him play passively and apparently not even interested, like he did at a few recent matches, yes, it's rather natural for a fan to get frustrated with it - even the more when you know he could do so much better. Oh well.
And where did I state that he's a 'Simon' nowadays?

It doesn't sound strange at all. If you can't see flaws and point them out then there's something wrong. ;) What sounded strange though was your frustration at his defensiveness, if I'm honest. Don't you like the way Nadal plays? He isn't exactly the most attacking player tennis has seen.

I get frustrated with his defensiveness as it should be very, very obvious by now that that style of playing is NOT going to work for him against the younger players who happen to be much better than him at that particular style of playing. At least, that's the case nowadays.
As for Nadal - I know he's not the most attacking player at all (to say it mildly), but at least he's SMART and choses the game style that in most cases works very well for him. Of course, not on fast HC, but that's nothing new, is it? The difference is that I doubt whether Nadal, especially in his current form, is at all capable of playing a different style of tennis (defense is his comfort zone and allways will be imho), whereas Federer should have known better.

Just my opinion on it.

Dini
11-17-2009, 12:25 AM
Yes, and what's wrong with that? I'm only human... :shrug:
And I stand my ground and say that it was fully justified. If I see him play passively and apparently not even interested, like he did at a few recent matches, yes, it's rather natural for a fan to get frustrated with it - even the more when you know he could do so much better. Oh well.
And where did I state that he's a 'Simon' nowadays?

Nothing wrong with that. I just got the impression that you actually believed what you said . The bit where I disagree with you is where you say it was "fully justified". It was fully justified to vent frustration of course, but that doesn't make what you said technically correct. That's the point I'm making.


I get frustrated with his defensiveness as it should be very, very obvious by now that that style of playing is NOT going to work for him against the younger players who happen to be much better than him at that particular style of playing. At least, that's the case nowadays.

The thing is Federer has been defensive against big-hitters, too. Like Del Potro - he's not the best retriever out there. I think he feels he can't overpower them so resorts to the so called "smart" tennis - slicing the backhands, not going for the lines etc. The problem is that he's overdoing it, especially during the crucial moments, and he's lost confidence in his strokes. I do think there's a major problem with his forehand when he is going for it: too snappy and that's why a lot of them land in the net. :o Things are easier said than done.

As for Nadal - I know he's not the most attacking player at all (to say it mildly), but at least he's SMART and choses the game style that in most cases works very well for him. Of course, not on fast HC, but that's nothing new, is it? The difference is that I doubt whether Nadal, especially in his current form, is at all [I]capable of playing a different style of tennis (defense is his comfort zone and allways will be imho), whereas Federer should have known better.

Karin, remember his match against Gonzalez in RR Shanghai 2007? Federer said after that match that he was playing conservatively on the big points and that after similar losses to Nalbandian he wanted to change that. And he did so beautifully. His matches against Davydenko, Roddick, Nadal and Ferrer were quite something. The loss to Gonzalez was probably the best thing that could have happened to him that tournament.

Based on this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8356450.stm) interview I think he wants to change his approach - "I don't want chances to go by". His consecutive losses to Djokovic and Benny have served as some wake up call based on what he said in the presser. :shrug: I don't expect to see passive Roger in London and maybe that's just me being optimistic but it's hit him that he's not winning like that. Something has to change.

Swiss Mountain
11-17-2009, 12:28 AM
http://www.msnpro.com/Shocked/36_19_2%5B1%5D.gif

OMG- Roger, whats happened to you- i knew it was bad but i didn't know it had become this bad- his forehand is not even a shadow of its former self

i still cant understand how Rafa could beat the 04-06 Federer


http://www.msnpro.com/bo.gif
Nadal has no talent
he's a bum
he's got no skill
he's a nike created fictional character with zero charisma and all fake humility

how Roger? how? how could you lose to the moonballer (mainly on clay of course)

He could not, only one time when Fed was exhausted by his matches (finals and finals unlike rafa who was fresh at the time, not doing so much matches)

roger own rafa on hard court and grass, so he got better H2H by surfaces!
Good news, always :)

Swiss Mountain
11-17-2009, 12:33 AM
quote Infiniti:
The thing is Federer has been defensive against big-hitters, too. Like Del Potro - he's not the best retriever out there. I think he feels he can't overpower them so resorts to the so called "smart" tennis - slicing the backhands, not going for the lines etc. The problem is that he's overdoing it, especially during the crucial moments, and he's lost confidence in his strokes. I do think there's a major problem with his forehand when he is going for it: too snappy and that's why a lot of them land in the net. Things are easier said than done.


I think you forgot the match at the australian open this year: Fed can kick Delpo'ass whenever and wherver he wants, even nowadays.
delpo should thank his mom he wasn't born 6 years earlier. Ask Roddick.

Sunset of Age
11-17-2009, 12:33 AM
Nothing wrong with that. I just got the impression that you actually believed what you said . The bit where I disagree with you is where you say it was "fully justified". It was fully justified to vent frustration of course, but that doesn't make what you said technically correct. That's the point I'm making.

That comment was a bit over the top, I agree with you on that. I should have elaborated on that a bit more I guess - perhaps I should have said, "being a defensive player isn't wrong, but starting to play as if you are about to get run over by a bus as soon as you've blown a lead in the second set, IS". :p

The thing is Federer has been defensive against big-hitters, too. Like Del Potro - he's not the best retriever out there. I think he feels he can't overpower them so resorts to the so called "smart" tennis - slicing the backhands, not going for the lines etc. The problem is that he's overdoing it, especially during the crucial moments, and he's lost confidence in his strokes. I do think there's a major problem with his forehand when [i]he is going for it: too snappy and that's why a lot of them land in the net. :o Things are easier said than done.

Fully agree with you.

Karin, remember his match against Gonzalez in RR Shanghai 2007? Federer said after that match that he was playing conservatively on the big points and that after similar losses to Nalbandian he wanted to change that. And he did so beautifully. His matches against Davydenko, Roddick, Nadal and Ferrer were quite something. The loss to Gonzalez was probably the best thing that could have happened to him that tournament.

The BIG difference being that that was in 2007, when he was still at - or near to - his prime. I doubt he's still capable of doing so nowadays. Hope I'm wrong of course.

Based on this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8356450.stm) interview I think he wants to change his approach - "I don't want chances to go by". His consecutive losses to Djokovic and Benny has served as some wake up call based on what he said in the presser.

:yeah: - I read that interview and it pleased me to read that he at least was annoyed with these losses this time. No more of that 'I think I played well' -rubbish after a bad loss please. Hope he'll manage to make amends. ;)

Dini
11-17-2009, 12:42 AM
That comment was a bit over the top, I agree with you on that. I should have elaborated on that a bit more I guess - perhaps I should have said, "being a defensive player isn't wrong, but starting to play as if you are about to get run over by a bus as soon as you've blown a lead in the second set, IS". :p

:lol:


The BIG difference being that that was in 2007, when he was still at - or near to - his prime. I doubt he's still capable of doing so nowadays. Hope I'm wrong of course.

I hope you're wrong too. :p Not many people expected him to reach all four finals this year and be close to a calendar slam, either. Federer and Nadal are two people you should never write off until they call it quits based on their abilities to bounce back and move on from defeats.

:yeah: - I read that interview and it pleased me to read that he at least was annoyed with these losses this time. No more of that 'I think I played well' -rubbish after a bad loss please. Hope he'll manage to make amends. ;)

:yeah:

Filo V.
11-17-2009, 01:05 AM
All of this extreme concern for Roger will actually be validated the second he loses early in a grand slam or actually loses when someone is not playing one of their best ever matches ever in a grand slam. Until then, whatever he is doing now really holds no weight, because we all know Roger in a grand slam is different than the Roger playing Paris last week.

Anyway, to answer the question. Is he getting to defensive? Thing is, he was never really a "let me hit the crap out of the first ball I see" type player to begin with. He has always had a tactical mind when it comes to his playing style. He has gotten more defensive overall for sure, his footwork isn't close to what it was before, he isn't in great position to hit forehands consistently as a result, and he may be falling to much in love with the slice. I do think he has lost/losing confidence but once Australia comes around, he will be fine because he is Roger and knows how to prepare himself for a major and will want to recapture the AO title, and quite frankly, that is all that matters for him right now. Anything else is icing on the cake for him, but not a priority.

Bernard Black
11-17-2009, 09:22 AM
The thing is Federer has been defensive against big-hitters, too. Like Del Potro - he's not the best retriever out there. I think he feels he can't overpower them so resorts to the so called "smart" tennis - slicing the backhands, not going for the lines etc. The problem is that he's overdoing it, especially during the crucial moments, and he's lost confidence in his strokes. I do think there's a major problem with his forehand when he is going for it: too snappy and that's why a lot of them land in the net. :o Things are easier said than done.


Federer leaves his slice in the racquet bag when the pressure is on these days - rewatch the U.S. Open Final and you'll see what I mean; he stopped using the slice after the first set and a half and it cost him a comfortable win.

Agreed that he is prone to snatching at the forehand at crucial moments, it's no longer the reliable point finisher it once was.

Sunset of Age
11-17-2009, 01:27 PM
Federer leaves his slice in the racquet bag when the pressure is on these days - rewatch the U.S. Open Final and you'll see what I mean; he stopped using the slice after the first set and a half and it cost him a comfortable win.

Well this is exactly what puzzles me about his approach in a lot of his matches nowadays - winning the first set comfortably, being ahead in the second, and then suddenly 'deciding' to think it's been enough and chosing to Go Away altogether (NB: I'm NOT referring to the Basel final, as there Djokovic was the obvious better player and Feds should have lost that one in straights).
As for not playing the slice when under pressure, I don't fully get your reasoning here - he was comfortably ahead in the first 1 1/2 set at the USO final as well, I don't think he was necessarily 'under pressure' at that part of the match at all - so, why the urge to suddenly stop playing the shots that got him the best of the match so far?
Maybe it's a matter of him thinking he's already got it in the bag, which makes his concentration go out of the window? That's what I think...

Whatever, I hope the Benneteau Fiasco will serve as a good Wake Up-call. :)

duong
11-17-2009, 03:02 PM
Well this is exactly what puzzles me about his approach in a lot of his matches nowadays - winning the first set comfortably, being ahead in the second, and then suddenly 'deciding' to think it's been enough and chosing to Go Away altogether

he has always had a tendency to be like that in the past, losing sometimes his concentration, especially at moments like these.

Anyway, it's true that he's lost his concentration more often in recent years (at various moments, not especially when the match is not important or oppositely too important),

but it's not what happened against Benneteau :

whether you like it or not, it's Benneteau who raised his level in the second set and not Federer who lowered it.