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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    New England
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    707

    A Tale of Two Rogers

    I just can't believe my eyes when I watch Roger Federer play Tennis. If Federer is playing anyone other than Rafael Nadal, he is every bit the King of Tennis we've come to expect of him. His shot making & confidence defy believability. As a beginning Tennis Enthusiast, Roger Federer has risen the Bar to levels even my favorite Andre Agassi couldn't comprehend and yet when Rafael Nadal is standing on the opposite side of the Court, who is this guy?

    He transforms into a player that even I feel at times could mount a formidable challenge against. Now many would state, Nadal's shots are so extremely heavy with top spin which shoot away from you instead of at you which is what we normally contend with, that anyone will look like an Amateur against Nadal.

    Problem isn't what Roger has to deal with, what I question are his tactics when playing Nadal. Roger's aggressive play level drops significantly. His Net play appears without technique and commitment. Roger Federer, approaches his matches against Nadal with seemingly total lost of confidence in execution and executing shots is absolutely what you must do. From point number one, you must play with determination to win every point possible.

    You must work to keep yourself in Offense at all times and yet time after time, I see Roger Federer putting himself in a position that immediately sets forth a Defensive position and once you're on defense with Nadal, you've just lost the point.

    Rafael Nadal does not beat himself at any moment of a Match. Rafael Nadal plays each & every point as if the Match depended on the outcome. Roger Federer impressed me the absolute most when he played Andre Agassi in the Men's Finals at the US Open. He played an incredible match against Agassi who played better than I'd ever seen him play in the past. Not even the great Pete Sampras could have beaten Andre on that day and I doubt Nadal would have either but there was Roger Federer who took the pounding that Agassi gave him and added more of his own.

    Well that Federer is not the guy who plays Rafael Nadal. From the French Open lost in 2008, he has been a very different Roger Federer and I'm starting to wonder if that beating permanently altered what history will write about Roger Federer from this juncture on.

    The guy that's been playing Nadal in the Finals is not the guy who's going to break records. This guy is going to render himself as 2nd Best in the World on all surfaces as it would seem.

    Conclusion: Roger Federer may break Pete Sampras' record of total Grand Slam wins but until he learns to dominate Rafael Nadal on the Courts of Public Opinion, Rafa not FedEx will go down in History as the GOAT

    Coach
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  2. #2

    Absolutely.........

    I could not agree with you more. Feds game and talent are more than enough to dominate Rafa on any surface, but it has to be properly applied and that will not happen without good plans and confidence.

    Fed is so afraid of Rafa that he often plays into Rafa's hands, which Rafa is completely aware of and comfortable with. This adds further stress to Fed and his game stops flowing and he starts thinking too much. At points in the AO final Rafa was leading Rog's shots and Rog accomodated by hitting right to Rafa; passed! Where were the touch drop shots or the short angle slices or the precision penetrating forehands, where was the magic???

    I think that Fed should add Gil Reyes and Darren Cahill to his team or at least train with them to help work on this problem; he cannot do it alone. Otherwise, he will go down as 2nd best.

    Cheers, TennezSport
    USRSA-MRT; USPTA; USTA
    Yonex RDS002 Tour w/ Tecnifibre X1 Biphase 17 @ 60/57

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    New England
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    You mentioned Drop Shots and I was thinking about that just today.
    I don't recall him attempting any drop shots in the whole match unless I missed one or two.

    I wonder if Federer watched any of Nadal's match against Fernando Verdasco, although he eventually lost the match, he actually had Nadal on the ropes and had he won a few more of the bigger points in the match, he would have no doubt placed himself in the Finals.
    One thing Verdasco did throughout the match that Roger failed to execute was the One - Two punch, serving out wide and hitting the opposite corner.

    Another problem Federer had in the match was his first serve percentage. Was he going for too much on his 1st Serve?
    Answer: NO the only problem Federer had was not being committed to the serve.
    He was flat footed on many occasions as if he, not Rafa just completed a 5 Set marathon the day before.

    Another mistake Federer made against Rafa which is something he seems to always do against him as of late, is allow Rafa back into the point by hitting straight down the center of the Court which receives an angle reply from Rafa making Federer once again scramble, producing his infamous slice to keep him in the point.

    Only a few times was Federer truly aggressive during the match, whereas Rafa lives to be aggressive.

    Ok here's my problem, even the Finalist gets more than I make in 10 years of work, so with that it's hard to believe just a little over a year ago, people were questioning if Roger Federer was the greatest player in Tennis History. Now people are thinking he's not even going to break Sampras' record let alone win on Clay.

    If Rafael Nadal gets injured and can not enter the French there upon leaving Federer to take the Crown without Nadal on the other side, it will be a lack luster accomplishment in my book.

    You are 100% Correct, Roger Federer needs new people around him because the ones he has now are doing him more harm than good. My vote would be Brad Gilbert like him or not, I know Brad and he's got a unique ability to find the missing element that rebuilds confidence, which Roger Federer is lacking.

    Coach
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Couldn't agree more...........

    You are correct; not one drop shot (unless I missed it also).

    I completely agree with you. I also thought that Rog would take a page out of Nando's book. However, Rog just played not to lose instead of playing to win. Rafa is the only one to have this effect on Fed, so he definately needs big help on this one.

    Cheers, TennezSport
    USRSA-MRT; USPTA; USTA
    Yonex RDS002 Tour w/ Tecnifibre X1 Biphase 17 @ 60/57

  5. #5

    Arrow Well................

    Coach,

    I went back and looked at the match again and Fed did hit a few drop shots in the 4th set. I missed them the first time I viewed it. That is also the set where Nadal clearly showed signs of fatigue.

    Cheers, TennezSport
    USRSA-MRT; USPTA; USTA
    Yonex RDS002 Tour w/ Tecnifibre X1 Biphase 17 @ 60/57

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    707
    Quote Originally Posted by TennezSport View Post
    However, Rog just played not to lose instead of playing to win. Rafa is the only one to have this effect on Fed, so he definately needs big help on this one.

    Cheers, TennezSport

    Since the Finals, I've been assessing Federer's loss as I did in both the 08 French Open & Wimbledon Finals to Nadal. As you can see I've written about it and have spoken about it to other colleagues. Well guess what my friend, you have just nailed it !

    You have accurately defined what Roger Federer's problem is. You have clearly understood what is in the man's head and I'd say if there were a way you could get that information to Roger Federer or one within his close associates, you should not hesitate one moment !!!

    TennezSport - As I think about that statement, I find myself reflecting on some of his matches of late against Nadal and I'm thoroughly convinced you are absolutely right. I believe the loss at Roland Garros 08', which was a thumping in any body's book might have been the beginning of this dilemma he faces now.

    Roger Federer is giving everything he has on Clay and can't chink Nadal's Armor. This is why the loss at Wimbledon was Federer's undoing. To lose to Nadal at Wimbledon might have been the nail in the coffin for FedEx unless of course somebody like you maybe just gets those words to him. As long as he hears it, his mind can do the rest.
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    240
    I agree with you too much!
    I guess he is sort of worried of Rafa beating him (not that he can be beaten by Rafa anymore, can he?).
    I actually hope he can redeem his number one title again.

  8. #8
    Me too. I absolutely love Federer and am gutted he hasn't yet reached his 14th Grand Slam title to match Sampras. You could tell when he felt defeated, the game turned at that point. A real shame. Next time Roger!!!

    Helen
    Visit www.playmoderntennis.com for more of Oscar Wegner's methodology!

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