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Is Roger Federer an underrated Returner?


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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The GOAT has to be the most underrated return of server on tour and that there's ever been? Surely?

Not many people talk about hit ability to absorb pace and get back big serves, but he has such a sick knack for it.

Federer's head to head against big serving machines:

Karlovic
11-1 Federer

Roddick
23-2 Federer

Isner
4-1 Federer

Anderson
2-0 Federer

Birdshit
12-6 Federer

Del Potro
15-5 Federer

Jo Wilfred Tsonga
14-4 Federer

Feliciano Lopez
10-0 Federer

Rosol
2-0 Federer

Raonic
5-0 Federer

Sure there's many more. None of these head to head's are even remotely close.

So other than Djokovic, Agassi, Murray and with the possible additions of Ferrer, Hewitt and Nishikori, I can't honestly say I'd take anyone elses ROS other than this mans.

Very underrated returner and it begs the question; why doesn't it get talked about enough? Cause he's an aggressive player, or cause his serve and forehand stand out far much more, people neglect his return and even defensive attributes?

If anyone can find me a losing head to head against a big server for this bloke, I'd love to see it.


Check the return against Karlovic with his backhand. ;)Check the return against Karlovic with his backhand. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mats Wilander before Raonic-Federer match : "Federer is the best big serve returner i have ever seen"
Great minds think-alike. :yeah:

Agreed Mats.
 

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He is 5/10 on second serve return and 8.5/10 on first serve return that's about it
 

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Federer is great returner,but people underrate it because his terrible returning vs Nadal.
I don't think there's much difference in the quality of return tbh, it's just those big servers are for the most part tall and ungainly, so a chipped return will be awkward for them no matter where it lands as long as it lands in. Whereas for Nadal it's much easier to chase it down and put something extra on it with his whipping forehand motion.
 

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No he isn't underrated. He's sublime in reading and blocking all kinds of big serves, but that's pretty much it. He's from average to dire in every other aspect of return.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No he isn't. He's sublime in reading and blocking all kinds of big serves, but that's pretty much it. He's from average to dire in every other aspect of return.
What proof or aspect makes you say that?

He has not one losing head to head against a player that relies heavily upon their serve.

Only Djokovic, Murray and Nadal can match him in head to heads.

He constantly batters the crap out of Isner, Raonic and co. Whilst Djokovic struggles against them, Nadal struggles against them, Murray LOSES and struggles against the.
 

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I don't think there's much difference in the quality of return tbh, it's just those big servers are for the most part tall and ungainly, so a chipped return will be awkward for them no matter where it lands as long as it lands in. Whereas for Nadal it's much easier to chase it down and put something extra on it with his whipping forehand motion.
This. He's good at getting the ball back into play, which usually enough to beat the big servers, but he rarely hits aggressive returns to put himself ahead in the point against the weaker servers.
 

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What proof or aspect makes you say that?

He has not one losing head to head against a player that relies heavily upon their serve.

Only Djokovic, Murray and Nadal can match him in head to heads.

He constantly batters the crap out of Isner, Raonic and co. Whilst Djokovic struggles against them, Nadal struggles against them, Murray LOSES and struggles against the.
How does this not compute with my point? He's top notch in blocking big first serves. Doing something more, especially off the BH side, and he's pretty much useless, which comes to limelight returning second serves. Does he ever do anything but chip the BH return? His return of average and poor first serves is severly lacking too.
 

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Somewhat, he has that great dive return with his BH (you know when it seems that he's going to aced down the T but dive's into the ball and blocks it). He has a great chip return. The problem is that nowadays most courts are high boucing and his slice 2nd serve isn't that good.
 

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Definitely underrented against big servers. Takes it early and cuts off the angles.

As I said in the match thread: if I had to choose a player to defend humanity against the alien servebot invaders, I would choose Federer every time.
 

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Obviously he isn't Djoker or Murray's level or Daveeds, but he is nowhere near as bad as haters like to pretend. He is great at returning big serves, so people ranking him with Nadal on ROS are just lying.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
How does this not compute with my point? He's top notch in blocking big first serves. Doing something more, especially off the BH side, and he's pretty much useless, which comes to limelight returning second serves. Does he ever do anything but chip the BH return? His return of average and poor first serves is severly lacking too.
At the end of the day you have to ask yourself this very important question. Does it actually matter? If he's neutralising the big servers' serve and keeping them from gaining any advantage from it, he is winning points. At the end of the day, it's that return that is enabling him to win points on their serve.

We've got to remember returning is the most critical shot other than the serve and if his return is the pinnacle factor in why he's able to easily dispose the likes of Anderson, Isner, Raonic, Lopez, Roddick, Karlovic in easy and swift fashion then that should be commended and seen as a very valuable skill that most players actually don't have.

You make it seem as if anybody can do it. 'He's top-notch at block big first serves, but unable to do something more' fact is he doesn't need to do something more, because the return stays so low, that the big men fall over themselves. If it was that easy many guys would be able to do it. I disagree about the backhand return, he chips and slices back some nice low balls, that are very hard to deal with.

Against the big serving, tall fellas, that possess LOOOONG arms and that can generate pace, power and angle.... he is arguably in the top 7 or 8 of all time. Djokovic has a tougher time than dealing with Isner than Federer does, same for Raonic. Look at the full blown 5 courser he made of him in Rome?

If it was a mediocre or somewhat above mediocre return for a top 10 player, then he wouldn't be completely coasting against these big guys, rather when Djokovic, Murray and co play them, they are REALLY made to sweat. Djokovic having lost twice to Isner and Murray once to Raonic.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think we can call this a little more than just a 'block'. This is hand is all hand eye-cordination and feel... to absorb that power and have it skid up off Roddick's baseline. :lol: Shocking.

 

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Discussion Starter #19

Check the return against Karlovic with his backhand. ;)
 

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Against servebots, yes.

He eats servebots of all kind for breakfast.
 
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