How to play the top 4 [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

How to play the top 4

federer express
01-30-2005, 08:15 PM
Federer: obviously the toughest to beat as he has the most complete game. But the obvious answer is hammer and hammer and hammer away at the backhand and wait for the error. Nobody on the tour can consistently outmanoeuvre him and playing to the forehand is suicide. Gotta simply keep on at the backhand and hope he has a bad day

Roddick: return the serve! LOL

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

Hewitt: overpower him!

Domino
01-30-2005, 08:37 PM
Hewitt: overpower him!

Actually, hit moonballs that go over his shoulder until you push him back enough to hit a shot behind him after maneuvering him out of the margins.

federer express
01-30-2005, 08:45 PM
Actually, hit moonballs that go over his shoulder until you push him back enough to hit a shot behind him after maneuvering him out of the margins.

Joke or serious?

aceit
01-30-2005, 08:51 PM
Joke or serious?
I'm pretty sure the person is serious because I totally agree. Hewitt can handle pace. He actually likes that because he can't generate a great amount of his own.

In_Disguise
01-30-2005, 08:58 PM
Whatever you do against Hewitt, just don't serve and volley, or play the net rushing game like Henman. The guy totally crushes even the best of serve volleyers, hence the 8-0 records against Henman...and against players like Rafter, Ivanesivic...

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

federer express
01-30-2005, 08:59 PM
I'm pretty sure the person is serious because I totally agree. Hewitt can handle pace. He actually likes that because he can't generate a great amount of his own.

I thought safin overwhelmed him with superior and bigger hitting from the back. Obviously u cant just hammer it back to him, but u outhit him patiently. Hit bigger than him and get him on the run til u get an open court. I didn't see many moonballs from safin

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:01 PM
Whatever you do against Hewitt, just don't serve and volley, or play the net rushing game like Henman.

True true...unless u wanna get your butt kicked by him :)

aceit
01-30-2005, 09:02 PM
I thought safin overwhelmed him with superior and bigger hitting from the back. Obviously u cant just hammer it back to him, but u outhit him patiently. Hit bigger than him and get him on the run til u get an open court. I didn't see many moonballs from safin
A bit of both I should have said. I mean, you can't hit it flat to Hewitt and expect to win. Sure, he'll get a bunch of points that way, but I think Safin mixed it up a lot which helped him win.

heya
01-30-2005, 09:04 PM
Safin didn't have a good day and he still beat Smirkin' Fed. LOL

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:06 PM
A bit of both I should have said. I mean, you can't hit it flat to Hewitt and expect to win. Sure, he'll get a bunch of points that way, but I think Safin mixed it up a lot which helped him win.

True Safin didn't do what roddick did and just hit aimlessly....u gotta use the bigger hitting to get him on the run until u get him far enough out of position to hit the winner. Its because safin is so powerful that he could hit within himself and move the ball around whilst still hitting bigger than hewitt and therefore get the upperhand. Thought hewitt didn't slice the backhand enough...he didn't seem to have much of a plan besides hoping for safin mistakes

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:07 PM
Safin didn't have a good day and he still beat Smirkin' Fed. LOL

Thought safin played well...and federer was piss poor..and still got to match point and really probably should have won

Domino
01-30-2005, 09:07 PM
Safin did what I said, he took pace of his shots and hit heavier balls with a lot more spin, taking Hewitt out of his comfort zone. It cut down on errors, and Hewitt had now way of imposing his game on Safin anymore. What you said he should do, he did in the first set, and look what happened.

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:09 PM
Safin did what I said, he took pace of his shots and hit heavier balls with a lot more spin, taking Hewitt out of his comfort zone. It cut down on errors, and Hewitt had now way of imposing his game on Safin anymore. What you said he should do, he did in the first set, and look what happened.

No in the first set he was just incredibly nervous thats why he lost it...he could hardly make a ball. I still didn't see any moonballs. And he looked to be hitting pretty big to me when hewitt was scrambling after those backhands down the line

Domino
01-30-2005, 09:14 PM
No in the first set he was just incredibly nervous thats why he lost it...he could hardly make a ball. I still didn't see any moonballs. And he looked to be hitting pretty big to me when hewitt was scrambling after those backhands down the line

You obviously did not see him smacking the ball so hard he hit an error very quickly, which was in part due to nerves. By moonballs, you must be thinking of balls travelling over the net by five feet. What I mean, is balls with so much spin, that once they hit the court, they check up high, which is what Safin did, though he does it a bit more naturally because of his height.

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

Cervantes
01-30-2005, 09:14 PM
Federer: you have to play really aggressive and take the initiative in the baseline rallies or otherwise he'll push you around. Most important: don't let him take the ball early, you have to keep him behind the baseline at all cost. Of course only a handful of players can do this consistently without making too many unforced errors, Safin and Agassi come to mind. You also need to get some free points off your serve otherwise you'll struggle to hold serve yourself, meaning Safin is the only player who can potentially keep up with Federer.

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

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

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

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:18 PM
You obviously did not see him smacking the ball so hard he hit an error very quickly, which was in part due to nerves. By moonballs, you must be thinking of balls travelling over the net by five feet. What I mean, is balls with so much spin, that once they hit the court, they check up high, which is what Safin did, though he does it a bit more naturally because of his height.

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

I think he bossed the points because he hits bigger or heavier on both wings. By overpower i dont mean u have to hit him off the court in 2 shots, u can do it gradually and with control which is what i think happened

Cervantes
01-30-2005, 09:21 PM
I think he bossed the points because he hits bigger or heavier on both wings. By overpower i dont mean u have to hit him off the court in 2 shots, u can do it gradually and with control which is what i think happened

Very true, that's why Roddick can't beat Hewitt, his backhand isn't good enough. You have to be able to push Hewitt around with both sides.

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:25 PM
Federer: you have to play really aggressive and take the initiative in the baseline rallies or otherwise he'll push you around. Most important: don't let him take the ball early, you have to keep him behind the baseline at all cost. Of course only a handful of players can do this consistently without making too many unforced errors, Safin and Agassi come to mind.

Agree with everything but the agassi thing. Agassi can hang with him in the points but cant beat him now because he doesn't serve quite well enough...which u did actually mention

Domino
01-30-2005, 09:25 PM
Control yes, but this was not overpowering as much as patient agression, maneuvering Hewitt around with shots he couldn't hit back deep, until Hewitt was both out of the margins, and you have a short ball.

For Federer, cut off the angle on his serve. Safin's wingspan is perfect for that, so it's a natural way for him to take Federer's serve away. The only serving advantage Federer has is the disguise and angles, and cutting those off allows the returner to attack Federer early. That's why he's vulerable on clay, where the ball sits up more and the angles are less of an advantage.

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:28 PM
Control yes, but this was not overpowering as much as patient agression, maneuvering Hewitt around with shots he couldn't hit back deep, until Hewitt was both out of the margins, and you have a short ball.

For Federer, cut off the angle on his serve. Safin's wingspan is perfect for that, so it's a natural way for him to take Federer's serve away. The only serving advantage Federer has is the disguise and angles, and cutting those off allows the returner to attack Federer early. That's why he's vulerable on clay, where the ball sits up more and the angles are less of an advantage.

Think we are saying the same thing essentially just in a different way. I wouldn't get carried away with safin beating federer though. Thats just one win in their last 4 meetings. And safin did well against the federer serve i think because federer had a bad day on serve. I actually think federer was pretty ordinary in everything in that match. Forehand and backhand were as bad as I have seen from him in a long time

Domino
01-30-2005, 09:32 PM
Think we are saying the same thing essentially just in a different way. I wouldn't get carried away with safin beating federer though. Thats just one win in their last 4 meetings. And safin did well against the federer serve i think because federer had a bad day on serve. I actually think federer was pretty ordinary in everything in that match. Forehand and backhand were as bad as I have seen from him in a long time

I am speaking in all past meetings, the MC especially. Federer's serve is vulnerable to a returner who can cut off the angles he goes for. Safin showed that weakness in the MC, but didn't take advantage of it. The lower level of play Federer had in the semis allowed for a different result this time, true, but I stand by what I say is the way to attack him. Costa did the same in Rome.

Cervantes
01-30-2005, 09:37 PM
For Federer, cut off the angle on his serve. Safin's wingspan is perfect for that, so it's a natural way for him to take Federer's serve away. The only serving advantage Federer has is the disguise and angles, and cutting those off allows the returner to attack Federer early. That's why he's vulerable on clay, where the ball sits up more and the angles are less of an advantage.

Agassi tried to cut off the angle of Federer's serve and look what happened. Ace after ace after ace. Safin handled the Federer way better by taking it a about a yard behind the baseline, but he compensated that loss of tempo by hitting the returns really hard and deep.

For the clay part, I think angles work really well on clay, more than pace that is. That's why Roddick sucks at clay, hitting the ball really hard isn't good enough, you have to open the court with angles. The problem for Federer on clay is that more players can keep up with his tempo, making his matches more difficult.

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:37 PM
I am speaking in all past meetings, the MC especially. Federer's serve is vulnerable to a returner who can cut off the angles he goes for. Safin showed that weakness in the MC, but didn't take advantage of it. The lower level of play Federer had in the semis allowed for a different result this time, true, but I stand by what I say is the way to attack him. Costa did the same in Rome.

Hmmm...maybe...i just think that when federer is on he is almost unbeateable. Safin can do it but I think it has more to do with Safin's baseline ability and strength on both wings than it does necessarily with his return of serve. Everyone loses sometimes and if safin can beat him consistently then maybe he has a way of doing it. Until then, for me, it was a bad day for federer and he could still have very easily won

Domino
01-30-2005, 09:41 PM
Agassi tried to cut off the angle of Federer's serve and look what happened. Ace after ace after ace. Safin handled the Federer way better by taking it a about a yard behind the baseline, but he compensated that loss of tempo by hitting the returns really hard and deep.

Agassi has a small wingspan, and can't keep up with the angles Federer hits. Agassi always aceable, but anyone with a good serve.


For the clay part, I think angles work really well on clay, more than pace that is. That's why Roddick sucks at clay, hitting the ball really hard isn't good enough, you have to open the court with angles. The problem for Federer on clay is that more players can keep up with his tempo, making his matches more difficult.

The ball bounces higher on clay, negating the speed generated on the serve, and his serve just sits up when it's only a smidge off. It's not a weapon to get him out of trouble on clay.

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:43 PM
Agassi has a small wingspan, and can't keep up with the angles Federer hits. Agassi always aceable, but anyone with a good serve.



The ball bounces higher on clay, negating the speed generated on the serve, and his serve just sits up when it's only a smidge off. It's not a weapon to get him out of trouble on clay.

Agassi is very easily aced....not a coincidence the world record number of aces came against him!

Domino
01-30-2005, 09:45 PM
Hmmm...maybe...i just think that when federer is on he is almost unbeateable. Safin can do it but I think it has more to do with Safin's baseline ability and strength on both wings than it does necessarily with his return of serve. Everyone loses sometimes and if safin can beat him consistently then maybe he has a way of doing it. Until then, for me, it was a bad day for federer and he could still have very easily won

Again, this is a bit narrow when describing what Safin does. Safin loves playing hard-hitting baseline rallies, which when Federer does so, he can absorb the pace and act like a wall with more power behind it. The Davis Cup Final against Grosjean is a big indicator of that. And because of his good returns, he does well against the serve-volley play of Federer as well. True, Federe is almost unbeatable when he is on, but so is Safin. I happen to believe both are the two most talented players on the tour, with discernable differences in preferred style.

Domino
01-30-2005, 09:46 PM
Agassi is very easily aced....not a coincidence the world record number of aces came against him!

true dat, pardon my grammer there, that is what I was trying to say.

In_Disguise
01-30-2005, 09:47 PM
Agassi is very easily aced....not a coincidence the world record number of aces came against him!

Definitely, i noticed that about him in the last 2 or 3 years too, Fed managed to get around 30 aces past in 3 sets, and i mean, when's the last time Fed served so many...He either guesses a lot more nowadays or is just slower off his feet, especially b/c he stands so close to the baseline, probably a bit of both

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:47 PM
Again, this is a bit narrow when describing what Safin does. Safin loves playing hard-hitting baseline rallies, which when Federer does so, he can absorb the pace and act like a wall with more power behind it. The Davis Cup Final against Grosjean is a big indicator of that. And because of his good returns, he does well against the serve-volley play of Federer as well. True, Federe is almost unbeatable when he is on, but so is Safin. I happen to believe both are the two most talented players on the tour, with discernable differences in preferred style.

Yes but i think ppl are getting carried away with one defeat for federer. Let him get close to federer in their head to heads and like i said, maybe then he has a way of beating him. Even roddick has beaten federer. I think this result was more the exception than the rule. Only time will tell

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:50 PM
Definitely, i noticed that about him in the last 2 or 3 years too, Fed managed to get around 30 aces past in 3 sets, and i mean, when's the last time Fed served so many...He either guesses a lot more nowadays or is just slower off his feet, especially b/c he stands so close to the baseline, probably a bit of both

Yeah bit of both...and he's a short arse compared to others. :) As great a returner as he is, good servers have always hit lots of aces against him. Sampras used to kill him with the serve.Agassi himself said he hates playing big/great servers

mitalidas
01-30-2005, 09:53 PM
Agassi himself said he hates playing big/great servers
and which player doesn't?

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:54 PM
and which player doesn't?

Very true!! But if u serve well enough u take arguably agassi's biggest strength out of the game...so is a bigger problem for agassi than others

Domino
01-30-2005, 09:56 PM
Yes but i think ppl are getting carried away with one defeat for federer. Let him get close to federer in their head to heads and like i said, maybe then he has a way of beating him. Even roddick has beaten federer. I think this result was more the exception than the rule. Only time will tell

I am one who believes this could be a start to a good rivalry. This loss is a good sign of it, though I believe Federer's new approach to the game with Roche actually was detrimental to his efforts against Safin, since Safin loves a slugfest. This preparation of Federer's seemed more geared toward Hewitt.

On clay, despite the Hamburg final where Safin played horribly, Safin will always have the edge because Federer's serve will kick up more, and Safin will cut off all the angles on it, but on grass and American Hardcourt, it will be a bit too hard to pull that off.

On to Roddick, bring him to the net and pass him, and/or bludgen the ball right to him.

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:57 PM
On clay, despite the Hamburg final where Safin played horribly, Safin will always have the edge because Federer's serve will kick up more, and Safin will cut off all the angles on it,

Its 3-0 to federer on clay

federer express
01-30-2005, 09:58 PM
On clay, despite the Hamburg final where Safin played horribly, Safin will always have the edge because Federer's serve will kick up more,

And nothing kicks up more than the safin 2nd serve

Domino
01-30-2005, 10:06 PM
Its 3-0 to federer on clay

2001 was not a good year for Safin, but a great one for Federer. The fact remains, that the kicking up of Federer's serve is meant for his flat and sliced angles, which are the serves that lose their strength on clay. The topsin serve is the major weapon on clay, always, which includes Safin's second serve.

I think results for Safin on clay this year will be different when facing Fed.

federer express
01-30-2005, 10:09 PM
2001 was not a good year for Safin, but a great one for Federer. The fact remains, that the kicking up of Federer's serve is meant for his flat and sliced angles, which are the serves that lose their strength on clay. The topsin serve is the major weapon on clay, always, which includes Safin's second serve.

I think results for Safin on clay this year will be different when facing Fed.

Maybe, but he is yet to beat him on clay. And i personally think federer will continue to beat him more often than he loses to him. Federer's movement is superior to safin's and will continue to give him the edge on clay!

Domino
01-30-2005, 10:15 PM
Grosjean's movement is superior as well yet Safin beat him, and Safin has better RG results, and more consistent results as well, as 2002 will show. However, throw in the mix how inconsistent he was overall when compared to now, he can only look up.

federer express
01-30-2005, 10:17 PM
Grosjean's movement is superior as well yet Safin beat him, and Safin has better RG results, and more consistent results as well, as 2002 will show. However, throw in the mix how inconsistent he was overall when compared to now, he can only look up.

U cant compare grosjean and federer. And until safin beats federer on clay instead of losing to him every time, u cant say he has the edge on clay either. Since federer found this form he has played at only one french where he lost to kuerten....nothing to be ashamed of

Domino
01-30-2005, 10:22 PM
U cant compare grosjean and federer. And until safin beats federer on clay instead of losing to him every time, u cant say he has the edge on clay either. Since federer found this form he has played at only one french where he lost to kuerten....nothing to be ashamed of

Where he foolishly tried to go backhand to backhand with the best backhand. This same good form didn't help him when he tried to outslug Safin. With this form, came a dangerous level of confidence where Federer is convinced he can play into his opponents game better than they can, when sometimes he cant. This year, Safin showed him that. The best way to beat Safin is to learn from Santoro and Vinciguera (slice! and out-of-rhythm changes of pace.)

federer express
01-30-2005, 10:28 PM
Where he foolishly tried to go backhand to backhand with the best backhand. This same good form didn't help him when he tried to outslug Safin. With this form, came a dangerous level of confidence where Federer is convinced he can play into his opponents game better than they can, when sometimes he cant. This year, Safin showed him that. The best way to beat Safin is to learn from Santoro and Vinciguera (slice! and out-of-rhythm changes of pace.)

Federer has lost 1 match! 1match!! Their head-to-head is now 6-2 to federer. Maybe federer was over-confident...i just think he had a bad day. And to say he needs to learn from santoro? He has a 6-2 winning record and has won 3 of their last 4 matches...I think he is doing ok his way. Would u be saying safin knew how to beat him if federer had hit an ace on the match point in the tie-break? Safin is capable of beating federer of course he is...but federer has shown in their 8 meetings that he has the edge. Even safin says that federer is in a different league from everyone else. Safin is improving but has a long way to go before being compared to federer. This is a knee-jerk reaction to one slam win! With safin it could easily be another 5 years before he wins another.

4 slams for federer, 2 for safin

Domino
01-30-2005, 10:40 PM
Federer has lost 1 match! 1match!! Their head-to-head is now 6-2 to federer. Maybe federer was over-confident...i just think he had a bad day. And to say he needs to learn from santoro? He has a 6-2 winning record and has won 3 of their last 4 matches...I think he is doing ok his way. Would u be saying safin knew how to beat him if federer had hit an ace on the match point in the tie-break? Safin is capable of beating federer of course he is...but federer has shown in their 8 meetings that he has the edge. Even safin says that federer is in a different league from everyone else. Safin is improving but has a long way to go before being compared to federer. This is a knee-jerk reaction to one slam win! With safin it could easily be another 5 years before he wins another.

4 slams for federer, 2 for safin

Bro, take a chill pill. I am speaking figuratively, in that the style of play to use against safin is to change the type of ball he sees. And yes, I would be saying Safin knows how to beat Federer, even if that serve had been an ace, I have been saying it a long time because I have watched so many matches of each player, and when they play each other. I am a fan of both.

I can also say, what if Safin had converted a matchpoint in the tiebreak in MC, to which he could have continued and won? Not the exact same situation, but nobody can tell what would have happened. Everyone says Federer was impecable at MC, yet that match could have easily swung the other way with a few points.

This is not my knee-jerk response, this is my concerted response after watching and playing a lot of tennis in my life. I think Federer started his most recent match with the previous match at MC in mind, where Safin showed what he could do to him when he played well, and that resulted in the less-than usual level of play for Federer in that match, which allowed Safin to take advantage of an opportunity. Safin can say what he wants, but the fact remains that he has the tools that are best suited to beat Roger. The flip also works, in that Roger has the best tools to beat Safin. It all comes down to who executes better in their matchups. I know this does not mean Safin will now start to beat Federer all the time, but it proves, at least in my mind, that Safin is the one who is best suited to beat Federer on a more consistant basis than everyone else.

You want another what-if? What if they had played the match in the day and closed the roof?

mitalidas
01-30-2005, 10:42 PM
i agree federer express (hey, where's your old avatar? and who is the new one?)
this match was as close as matches can be. 5 sets, 7-5's, 6-4's, 9-7,
and the loser had more points, more first serve pct, lower UE count. this was so close, that i dont think i view it as a setback for Rogi. all i think it really showed is that when safin is on, it is possible for him to go toe-to-toe with Rog

Domino
01-30-2005, 10:47 PM
i agree federer express (hey, where's your old avatar? and who is the new one?)
this match was as close as matches can be. 5 sets, 7-5's, 6-4's, 9-7,
and the loser had more points, more first serve pct, lower UE count. this was so close, that i dont think i view it as a setback for Rogi. all i think it really showed is that when safin is on, it is possible for him to go toe-to-toe with Rog

I agree, and I thought this is what I have tried to say. Hell, look at a lot of their matches, and they were freakishly close, where Safin could have turned it around (Like Dubai and Rome). I don't want to seem like I am nitpicking here, but to automatically throw this match off as a fluke occurance is also rude considering Safin played very well.

My point is, given what I believe to be the best way to beat Federer, that Safin is the best foil.

Cervantes
01-30-2005, 10:50 PM
2001 was not a good year for Safin, but a great one for Federer. The fact remains, that the kicking up of Federer's serve is meant for his flat and sliced angles, which are the serves that lose their strength on clay. The topsin serve is the major weapon on clay, always, which includes Safin's second serve.

I think results for Safin on clay this year will be different when facing Fed.

I'm sure Safin was higher in the rankings at that time, didn't he just win the US Open the year before. I remember the match in Hamburg and Federer just demolished Safin in every department.

As for 2005, if they meet on clay Federer will be a huge favorite. Safin won't get that many free points from his serve (which he needs against Federer), he won't be able to put pressure on Federer in the rally so easily (which he also really needs to do) and movement is gonna be a bigger factor than it was at the AO (and we all know who shines in the footwork department).

federer express
01-30-2005, 10:55 PM
i agree federer express (hey, where's your old avatar? and who is the new one?)


I think safin federer will be a great rivalry and love both players...my avatar has always been this

Domino
01-30-2005, 10:57 PM
Thus my overall list:

Federer: Take away the angle of the serve by cutting it off early. It then puts pressure on Federer to try to go for bigger serves, and thus results in less than par serving, and brings the rest of his game back down to earth. Also, very the second serve position, or else he gets a rhythm for the return of serve and starts picking off return winners (Yeah, I am speaking to you Fish!)

Hewitt: Hit deep heavy balls that bounce out of his hitting zone, so you can maneuver him around the court until a short ball comes when he is retreating, and then attack that shot with a good angle or go right behind him. It's always best to cover the T on his serve too, since his serve is naturally sliced, and is prone to curving right onto the T on both sides.

Roddick: Bring him into the net, and pass him. Always hold the passing shot for a second to force him to guess where it is going, cause he always jumpes too early. Throw in a bludgeoned shot right to him a lot, because well, he sucks at volleys. Also, never try to hit high arching shots, because his grip is so comfortable attacking high balls.

Safin: Mix a up every ball in every point, and avoid at all cost a slugfest. Use the slice often to force him to bend down a lot, so as to compromise his balance as he runs. Give him more serves to his forehand, as his backhand return is deadly. Sometimes, Hitting the ball right at him jams him up as he can't maneuver around the ball.

federer express
01-30-2005, 10:59 PM
and yeah domino...am just saying dont be too quick to think anyone has federer's number. federer has a winning record against every top player...that is not a coincidence. he finds a way to beat everyone. of course safin is great too and i hope they have lots of amazing matches for years to come

federer express
01-30-2005, 11:02 PM
Thus my overall list:

Hewitt: It's always best to cover the T on his serve too, since his serve is naturally sliced, and is prone to curving right onto the T on both sides.



Very true...except for the final where he didn't make a first serve....so then just wait for his weak ass second serve

Domino
01-30-2005, 11:06 PM
I'm sure Safin was higher in the rankings at that time, didn't he just win the US Open the year before. I remember the match in Hamburg and Federer just demolished Safin in every department.

As for 2005, if they meet on clay Federer will be a huge favorite. Safin won't get that many free points from his serve (which he needs against Federer), he won't be able to put pressure on Federer in the rally so easily (which he also really needs to do) and movement is gonna be a bigger factor than it was at the AO (and we all know who shines in the footwork department).

Safin fell two places, and was having a miserably inconsistant year to follow-up what was his breakthrough year. They were only two places apart (11, 13), with Federer playing two less tournaments than Safin that year. That Hamburg Final was also a very bad performance by Safin, though credit to Federer for playing well.

Btw, Look at Safin's loss to Coria last year in Monte Carlo. Tell me who is the better returner, and has better footwork, yet throughout that match Safin showed how attacking claycourt tennis is played, and almost came through. Safin plays some of the finest attacking clay tennis when his head is in it, and reminds me a lot of Stich when he was good.

federer express
01-30-2005, 11:10 PM
. Safin plays some of the finest attacking clay tennis when his head is in it, and reminds me a lot of Stich when he was good.

Stich? He reached finals once at RG didn't he? Apart from that i wouldn't call him a great clay courter though

Domino
01-30-2005, 11:19 PM
Stich? He reached finals once at RG didn't he? Apart from that i wouldn't call him a great clay courter though

He also won Hamburg, and was a consistent performer on the dirt. I so wished he could have picked up an RG, but oh well.

I am not saying Safin has Roger's number, only that I think he can be the rival that Federer needs to keep himself motivated to continue his run for slams. It makes for great matchups. Sampras also beat Agassi a lot more times Agassi beat him, but the rivalry was still one to remember.

Oh, and btw, he still doesn't have a winning record on Nalbandian, who, for the life of me, can't seem to win the big matches when it counts! :mad: Lol

federer express
01-30-2005, 11:23 PM
He also won Hamburg, and was a consistent performer on the dirt. I so wished he could have picked up an RG, but oh well.

I am not saying Safin has Roger's number, only that I think he can be the rival that Federer needs to keep himself motivated to continue his run for slams. It makes for great matchups. Sampras also beat Agassi a lot more times Agassi beat him, but the rivalry was still one to remember.

Oh, and btw, he still doesn't have a winning record on Nalbandian, who, for the life of me, can't seem to win the big matches when it counts! :mad: Lol

yep yep yep....agree about the rivalry. but dont worry about the nalbandian thing. he has won the last few matches and will turn the head-to-head around. henman and hewitt used to have good winningrecords against federer too. now they dont look like getting close to him. the same will happen with nalbandian

Domino
01-30-2005, 11:30 PM
Don't know though, the most recent meeting at AO last year was pretty close, one which I was not positive Roger would win it. That would actually be my dream, to have Federer, Safin, Nalbandian, and Hewitt as the top four competetors for slams. Enough of the Roddick shit.

federer express
01-30-2005, 11:31 PM
Don't know though, the most recent meeting at AO last year was pretty close, one which I was not positive Roger would win it. That would actually be my dream, to have Federer, Safin, Nalbandian, and Hewitt as the top four competetors for slams. Enough of the Roddick shit.

LOL! Nalbandian cant even win a masters event yet can he? (i might be wrong there) He has a lot of improving to do

Domino
01-30-2005, 11:34 PM
I wimbly final, semis of RG and US, and quarters at AO. Three MS finals, on three different surfaces. All he needs is a breakthrough win, and he's gold I tell you, gold!. That, and maybe ten less pounds ;) .

federer express
01-30-2005, 11:36 PM
I wimbly final, semis of RG and US, and quarters at AO. Three MS finals, on three different surfaces. All he needs is a breakthrough win, and he's gold I tell you, gold!. That, and maybe ten less pounds ;) .

lol...he is too negative at the moment in his whole approach. his serve is ridiculously slow at times...i can serve at that speed. look at his shoulders...hit the serve!!!

Domino
01-30-2005, 11:38 PM
-> How to play the number 9, Nalbandian?

Attack his serve, and pepper his forehand.

federer express
01-30-2005, 11:40 PM
-> How to play the number 9, Nalbandian?

Attack his serve, and pepper his forehand.

Yup...the serve is pitiful at times

Fedex
02-01-2005, 03:45 AM
Federer: you have to play really aggressive and take the initiative in the baseline rallies or otherwise he'll push you around. Most important: don't let him take the ball early, you have to keep him behind the baseline at all cost. Of course only a handful of players can do this consistently without making too many unforced errors, Safin and Agassi come to mind. You also need to get some free points off your serve otherwise you'll struggle to hold serve yourself, meaning Safin is the only player who can potentially keep up with Federer.

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

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

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

Fedex
02-01-2005, 03:51 AM
and which player doesn't?
Federer

Fedex
02-01-2005, 03:52 AM
I am one who believes this could be a start to a good rivalry. This loss is a good sign of it, though I believe Federer's new approach to the game with Roche actually was detrimental to his efforts against Safin, since Safin loves a slugfest. This preparation of Federer's seemed more geared toward Hewitt.

On clay, despite the Hamburg final where Safin played horribly, Safin will always have the edge because Federer's serve will kick up more, and Safin will cut off all the angles on it, but on grass and American Hardcourt, it will be a bit too hard to pull that off.

On to Roddick, bring him to the net and pass him, and/or bludgen the ball right to him.
I believe Federer has the clear edge over Safin on grass and clay. I give Safin the edge on indoor courts, and its a toss up on Rebound ace and hardcourts.

Action Jackson
02-01-2005, 03:52 AM
It's easy to have the plans to beat these players, the thing is are they good enough to take advantage of it.

Fedex
02-01-2005, 04:02 AM
-> How to play the number 9, Nalbandian?

Attack his serve, and pepper his forehand.
Nalbandian knows how to hit out on the forehand, and when its on it is dangerous, but it is less reliable than the backhand for sure.

Fedex
02-01-2005, 04:02 AM
It's easy to have the plans to beat these players, the thing is are they good enough to take advantage of it.
Its all about the execution.

Action Jackson
02-01-2005, 04:06 AM
Its all about the execution.

Example Robredo could have the greatest tactical plan of all time and he still wouldn't beat Roddick on clay given a headstart in each set.

robinhood
02-01-2005, 04:49 AM
Should Roddick even be in the top four right now?
TOO limited. The AO semi was a huge disappointment.
It's like once you take away his shiny and wrinkle-free shirt and shorts,
he's not wearing any underwear to make up for the absence of outer garments whereas the top 3 have multiple layers on just in case.
I hope he improves quickly, or he could fall out of top 5 pretty soon, in my opinion.

My top tier would be Fed, Safin, Hewitt, and maybe Nalbandian if he can win some big matches consistantly.

Cervantes
02-01-2005, 11:58 AM
Safin fell two places, and was having a miserably inconsistant year to follow-up what was his breakthrough year. They were only two places apart (11, 13), with Federer playing two less tournaments than Safin that year. That Hamburg Final was also a very bad performance by Safin, though credit to Federer for playing well.

Btw, Look at Safin's loss to Coria last year in Monte Carlo. Tell me who is the better returner, and has better footwork, yet throughout that match Safin showed how attacking claycourt tennis is played, and almost came through. Safin plays some of the finest attacking clay tennis when his head is in it, and reminds me a lot of Stich when he was good.

Actually the played the final of Hamburg in 2002, not 2001 and Safin was number five in the world and Federer number fourteen (after the tournament 2 and 8). And also please don't compare Federer with Coria, that's a totally different match-up.

Hagar
02-01-2005, 12:00 PM
Federer: obviously the toughest to beat as he has the most complete game. But the obvious answer is hammer and hammer and hammer away at the backhand and wait for the error. Nobody on the tour can consistently outmanoeuvre him and playing to the forehand is suicide. Gotta simply keep on at the backhand and hope he has a bad day

Roddick: return the serve! LOL

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

Hewitt: overpower him!

To beat Safin? Play like Olli Rochus and be at least 10cms taller than him.

Cervantes
02-01-2005, 12:07 PM
It's easy to have the plans to beat these players, the thing is are they good enough to take advantage of it.

True, but it's better to have these plans than no plan at all. Sjeng Schalken is a good example of your point, he usually analyzes a match pretty well and he knows what he'd have to do to beat these guys, but he just doesn't have the weapons to execute his gameplan.

Riley Finn
02-01-2005, 02:06 PM
To beat Safin? Play like Olli Rochus and be at least 10cms taller than him.

10cm taller=few kilos heavier=slower on court

Jimena
02-01-2005, 02:13 PM
I think Domino that you are assuming certain things about Safin's game on clay that have not ben true when he plays Federer. I think Safin/Fed is going to be the rivalry to watch this year and it's a great match up, but you're giving Safin a bit too much credit, me thinks. As it stands right now, Fed is 3-0 against Safin on clay, and all of those wins came when Roger was still going up the ranks, and not a top player yet. The same cannot be said for Safin.

And this:

On clay, despite the Hamburg final where Safin played horribly, Safin will always have the edge because Federer's serve will kick up more, and Safin will cut off all the angles on it, but on grass and American Hardcourt, it will be a bit too hard to pull that off.[I]

...is a pretty big assumption to make, specially when taking into consideration their H2H on the surface. You're assuming that the only way Fed could beat Safin on clay is if Safin doesn't play his best (which is the opposite of what you're saying federer express is saying about Roger's Aus Open loss- just an ironic contradiction to ponder). Fed is better on clay than you're willing to give him credit for. He just doesn't have a great record at RG.

Right now, I agree with Cervantes' analysis.

[I]I wimbly final, semis of RG and US, and quarters at AO. Three MS finals, on three different surfaces. All he needs is a breakthrough win, and he's gold I tell you, gold!. That, and maybe ten less pounds

I think Nalbandian is a great all court player. But mentally, he's not all there. He's barely won any titles in the past couple of years, and he's been more than capable of doing so. Yes, his consistency pays off. But he seems to not play as well when he should be raising his game.

I want him healthy and challenging for big titles again. He has top 5 ability for sure.

Cervantes
02-01-2005, 03:06 PM
Nalbandian needs to work on his serve. If he could get a one or two free points each service game he would win his matches more easily and could in fact challenge Hewitt, Roddick and Safin for the #2 spot.

federer express
02-01-2005, 03:09 PM
Nalbandian needs to work on his serve. If he could get a one or two free points each service game he would win his matches more easily and could in fact challenge Hewitt, Roddick and Safin for the #2 spot.

Thats like saying if agassi had a better serve he would have got the better of sampras in their rivalry. The chances are nalbandian will never have a great match winning serve

WyveN
02-01-2005, 03:22 PM
Nalbandian needs to work on his serve. If he could get a one or two free points each service game he would win his matches more easily and could in fact challenge Hewitt, Roddick and Safin for the #2 spot.

Serve is just like any other stroke, some people can hit it well and others cant, you can only improve it so much with practice.

Cervantes
02-01-2005, 03:24 PM
Agassi worked on his serve and now gets those couple of free points per game. If you watch Agassi's matches from 10-15 years ago you'll notice he didn't have as a good a service as he has now, it was just a means to get the ball in play instead of winning a point.

I'm not saying Nalbandian can become a Roddick or Johansson, but he can improve that part of his game to become a better overall player.

federer express
02-01-2005, 03:50 PM
Agassi worked on his serve and now gets those couple of free points per game. If you watch Agassi's matches from 10-15 years ago you'll notice he didn't have as a good a service as he has now, it was just a means to get the ball in play instead of winning a point.

I'm not saying Nalbandian can become a Roddick or Johansson, but he can improve that part of his game to become a better overall player.

True...but agassi's serve was never NEVER as piss poor as nalbandian's. Agassi's has improved but it was never easy to attack and was underrated in his younger days

Action Jackson
02-02-2005, 02:12 AM
True, but it's better to have these plans than no plan at all. Sjeng Schalken is a good example of your point, he usually analyzes a match pretty well and he knows what he'd have to do to beat these guys, but he just doesn't have the weapons to execute his gameplan.

When did I say otherwise that it wasn't good to have a plan? Find out where I said that. As I said even in the shit level I played tennis at I can work out an opponent very quickly, but the facts are if I am not good enough on the day or they are just plain better than myself, then the plan won't work to get the right result.

RogiFan88
02-02-2005, 02:28 AM
Should Roddick even be in the top four right now?
TOO limited. The AO semi was a huge disappointment.
It's like once you take away his shiny and wrinkle-free shirt and shorts,
he's not wearing any underwear to make up for the absence of outer garments whereas the top 3 have multiple layers on just in case.
I hope he improves quickly, or he could fall out of top 5 pretty soon, in my opinion.

My top tier would be Fed, Safin, Hewitt, and maybe Nalbandian if he can win some big matches consistantly.


:p I've been wondering if Pandy has reached his peak now... he really improved under Brat but since the USO [or Toronto] 2004, his form has been going down; he is regressing... strange... he seems to lack that fighting spirit, that in-your-face brashness... I still wonder what exactly happened in the locker room during the SF... :p

Action Jackson
02-02-2005, 02:30 AM
:p I've been wondering if Pandy has reached his peak now... he really improved under Brat but since the USO [or Toronto] 2004, his form has been going down; he is regressing... strange... he seems to lack that fighting spirit, that in-your-face brashness... I still wonder what exactly happened in the locker room during the SF... :p

One of my friends reckons basically Roddick is like Courier who had 3 very good years, but once the players got used to his speed of shot, then were able to expose the weakness then he was never the same afterwards.

Roddick still fights hard, but moreso when he has the crowd behind him, whereas Hewitt loves it when it's against him.

Well the SF he wanted to check out of the match, but they wouldn't allow him.