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"The Federer Mistake"…Federer BH vs. Wawrinka BH

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  • "The Federer Mistake"…Federer BH vs. Wawrinka BH

    Originally posted by GeoffWilliams View Post
    He does not make the federer mistake: lifting the hitting heel off the ground too soon which degrounds his weight, and lifts his head. Stan stays grounded/planted with a deep knee bend and solid weight and hip turn into his bh, and hits hit better than Fed does for that one reason.
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post
    http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Ten...t-Federer.aspx

    You've been making this criticism of the Federer backhand for quite some time now. It's an interesting observation…but I am not certain this is just more than a difference in "style" although I think that I follow your drift.

    But when Roger is cranking it up as he does in this backhand against Novak Djokovic in Dubai all of his weight is squarely on his front foot…just where you would like to see it. It doesn't seem to have adversely affected his balance either. It looks to me that the weight comes off of the back foot as part of the process of his swing.

    But Stan Wawrinka does seem to be more deeply "coiled" into the ground and when he uncoils it certainly is a different ball than the Federer backhand. I attribute this more to style and the Federer style overall is definitely more appealing to my eye. He is more versatile overall whereas Wawrinka finds himself planted squarely on the baseline or actually some couple of meters behind it a lot of the times. He actually plays a bit farther back as a rule which is another factor that gives him this split second edge to get such great preparation on that backhand.

    Roger's slice backhand is much more effective than the Stanislas slice also…another huge factor that all things being equal…I'll take the Federer backhand any day. We haven't even begun to discuss the backhand volley either…which is of course another variation of the backhand. Overall the nod has to go to the Federer backhand. What Roger is doing with his rear foot is not a mistake at all nor does it appear to be contributing to any weakness on that side either…it is fundamentally correct (FC). It is an artistic flourish or idiosyncrasy that he has evolved into.

    I think that historically speaking too…Roger's perceived weaknesses on the backhand side have had a lot to do with his racquet. By going to a bigger racquet his backhand has definitely been beefed up. It is really a shame he didn't do this three or four years ago. It's hard to fathom why his "team" failed to convince him of the necessity of doing so.
    Originally posted by stroke View Post
    To me, it is hard to choose between Roger's and Stan's backhand. I agree with what DB said. Stan can certainly hit a bigger shot with his backhand but I do prefer Roger's slice and how he tends to take the ball earlier. I think much of the perception of Roger's backhand being somewhat of a weakness comes from watching Nadal break it down with his hook forehands. I do not recall anyone else really breaking it down. Stan's backhand, with his stronger grip, does seem to stand up better to the Nadal barrage on that side.
    The Federer Mistake...

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Ten...t-Federer.aspx

    I just love this comment by GeoffWilliams. He reminds me of Jiminy Glick…I can just see Jiminy saying it. This business of lifting the back heel of the Roger Federer backhand. I love it because it provoked a response from me and when coupled with stroke's comments relative to the Rafael Nadal exploitation of the Federer backhand it gives the dilemma possibility of interesting and illuminating discussion.

    stroke really brings up a wonderful point regarding the Nadal dominance of Federer and you cannot forget that he also dominates the other Swiss bookend even more thoroughly.

    Nadal vs. Federer (23-10)

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/...=N409&oId=F324

    Nadal vs. Wawrinka (12-1)

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/...=N409&oId=W367

    I wonder if stroke realizes what a thought provoking comment he has made. I suspect that he does. Let's just see where this little nugget takes us. We are adding fuel to the fire regarding the discussion of the one-hand backhand. Stan Wawrinka's backhand has brought a lot of attention to the discussion recently and John certainly gave us a load of food for thought with his article last month on the same. Gunther Bresnik tossed some gasoline on the inferno as well with his thoughts on the Dominic Thiem backhand…as he muddled through the transition from two-handed to one-handed. klacr also made the startling revelation that at one point in February that of nine ATP tournaments, six had been claimed as champions by players using one hand on the backhand side.

    Now I must organize my thoughts…try to make some sense of the whirlwind going on inside the Gold Mine. This is deep stuff…deep doo-doo. If you know what I mean.
    Last edited by don_budge; 03-10-2015, 03:49 AM. Reason: for clarity's sake...

  • #2
    Griping on Grips

    All starts with grips. The big knuckle designation comes FIRST. The heel of hand designation comes SECOND.

    Thus Justine and Guga are 8/8 . Roger is 1/1 and Stanislas 1.5/8 . Did I know that? Did anybody? Hell no.

    Comment


    • #3
      Big Money Billiard Backhands

      For four guys from a medium-sized City Desk newsroom Vinnie Marino once put a lot of money on me and my cracked pool cue against John Pekkanen and Richard Woodley.

      Or maybe it was me against Vinnie. In any case somebody put money on me and I therefore lost.

      To finally master an elusive one-hander, I am convinced, one cannot put any money on oneself.

      The model: Justine Henin. The reason I have a chance: I just play doubles where backhand slice and occasional quick flat backhands are much more important. Way of hitting the ball: As loose and unhurried as Arthur Ashe.

      I have no doubt that a flowing one-hander is the worthiest goal in tennis.
      Last edited by bottle; 03-10-2015, 01:45 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Not many back hands are hit in these matches. They all run around any back hand possible. Fed has a better record due to his other shots, not his weaker high bh.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by GeoffWilliams View Post
          Not many back hands are hit in these matches. They all run around any back hand possible. Fed has a better record due to his other shots, not his weaker high bh.
          Def some truth to this, but still just a bad match up for right handed one handers.http://youtu.be/WXA7eDroVxM

          Please look at this. Not withstanding the second shot, are there any where the back ankle doesn't' roll up to the toe before or at the beginning of the forward swing?

          Can you guys please explain the mechanical advantage to keeping the backfoot "planted"?

          Comment


          • #6
            It's the hitting foot, the front foot, that raises up too soon. The heel rises, degrounding him and lifting his head off the shot.

            Comment


            • #7
              Federer BH vs. Wawrinka BH…(comparison in slow motion)

              Originally posted by 10splayer View Post
              Def some truth to this, but still just a bad match up for right handed one handers.

              http://youtu.be/WXA7eDroVxM

              Please look at this. Not withstanding the second shot, are there any where the back ankle doesn't' roll up to the toe before or at the beginning of the forward swing?

              Can you guys please explain the mechanical advantage to keeping the backfoot "planted"?

              Originally posted by GeoffWilliams View Post
              It's the hitting foot, the front foot, that raises up too soon. The heel rises, degrounding him and lifting his head off the shot.
              Yeah…I don't know about this foot stuff. It seems to me that Wawrinka "lifts" his front heel off of the ground too. I don't think that this is much of a factor in their respective backhands.

              Stan Wawrinka in a slow motion compilation…

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXA7...ature=youtu.be

              Roger Federer in a slow motion compilation...

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9--3hMJ36E

              It's like asking…which would you care for? A Mercedes…or a Mercedes?

              Comment


              • #8
                Federer BH vs. Wawrinka BH…(Grips)

                I want to make clear here that this is not a thread to make an argument against the comment by GeoffWilliams. It is only that I find this to be an intriguing topic…it was stroke's comment that really piqued my interest.

                Originally posted by bottle View Post
                All starts with grips. The big knuckle designation comes FIRST. The heel of hand designation comes SECOND.

                Thus Justine and Guga are 8/8 . Roger is 1/1 and Stanislas 1.5/8 . Did I know that? Did anybody? Hell no.
                It does start with the grip too. When comparing the Roger Federer backhand to the Stan Wawrinka backhand. It's all about grips…it's how the hand fits to the racquet and how the body fits to the hand. In Stan's case it is a very strong backhand grip…I don't think you could dare to call it a western grip…perhaps a very strong eastern backhand grip will suffice to say.

                Roger's grip is not so overtly strong as Stan's but it is plenty sturdy as well. It seems that it is a strong eastern grip. Is that right? The slight weakening enables Roger to pursue other tactics other than pounding from a couple of meter from behind the baseline. As we see Federer remaking himself (back to where his roots are) he is playing more at the net and in the forecourt. His grip being less extreme makes him more comfortable in these areas of the court than Wawrinka. He is a bit more "flexible" as bottle was opining in a recent "New Year's Serve" post.

                I have to admit that I don't know what the hell those grip configurations mean…and I don't care either. When explaining a grip to somebody you cannot talk in terms of these numbers unless whoever it is you are talking to is on the same page…or a member of the same website.

                But anyways…there was this thread once upon a time. Jack Kramer explains the various grips or something like that. It's all about the grips…and a number of other factors.

                http://www.tennisplayer.net/bulletin...k+kramer+grips

                Comment


                • #9
                  Go into "stroke archive", 2009 roger Fed, "center", and show me one example...just one.

                  If there was something to what you are alluding to, it has more to do with contact height then some preconceived flaw.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm not sure about the back foot thing either. I cannot see it has any significant relevance. Looks entire normal. He tends to play the ball earlier than Wawrinka and has to elevate himself a little more as a result. That's probably the only difference...heel-wise.

                    A lot is made of the Nadal's forehand into Federer's backhand when they play. Rightly so...it's significant. I think what goes unnoticed is the pressure it puts on Federer's forehand as a result. Federer has to make the most any forehands when they come around to break that headlock. He makes more errors on his forehand wing when he plays Nadal because he feels he has to do so much. This is significant, I feel.
                    Last edited by stotty; 03-10-2015, 03:01 PM.
                    Stotty

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Federer BH vs. Wawrinka BH…Court Surfaces

                      "The Living Proof" aka Roger Federer

                      Originally posted by don_budge View Post
                      Something for your Sunday afternoon leisure time. An excellent match to view if you want to discuss the history of the game. For students of the game. A pivotal match…for two great players. One of them on their way up…one of them on their way down.

                      It's a pivotal match for the game of tennis itself. Brace yourself for another don_budge special. You know how this works. Feel free to comment. There is so much here…it is truly unbelievable.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E4Qlrll0GE

                      Roger Federer versus Pete Sampras. Nineteen year old up and comer versus the twenty-nine year old veteran. The woe of the champion is to have the next great player breathing down your neck and nipping at your heels. There is no respect in the end…just lust for life. Roger ends up winning…76, 57, 64, 67, 75. Pete nearing the end of his path as the reigning champion and Roger in the early stages of his quest. So evenly matched. A struggle so titanic that you can almost hear the voices in the competitor's heads.

                      This is Roger's maiden voyage on the center court at Wimbledon and Pete has seven titles under his belt. Roger had not won a match at Wimbledon until 2001 losing in the first round the two previous championships…but he had won the junior championship in 1998.

                      Here is Roger making a huge statement for his future career and here is Pete Sampras showing all of the class and elegance that served him well when he was the reigning King of the Court. What a story this match tells. Stay tuned…if not just watch the match. You'll like it.
                      In this 2001 Wimbledon quarterfinal match we can see how Federer's game has evolved to what it is today. We can observe the conditions that are his roots. There is much to be gleaned from this five set epic if you know the history. You will notice that both players are playing with the very same racquet…a Wilson Pro Staff at 85 square inches of real estate.

                      http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Wils...SON-W6085.html

                      There are pictures circulating around that show Pete Sampras as a youngster playing with a wooden racquet…perhaps a Wilson Pro Staff as well. This is how the dots are connected as Federer is the last surviving great champion with only one degree of separation from the real thing. When he is done…it is done. What is it…you might ask.

                      But in this video of the match between Sampras and Federer you can see that the games were built around the serve and volley tactic. Even though Roger is from Europe and the land of the red clay his grips and his service are clearly built to have the function necessary to win on slick grass. His game was built around an all court model…much as my teaching model or paradigm suggests. He was built to adapt.

                      Adapt he did. After this match or shortly thereafter, the powers that be ever so "wisely" decided to correct the "shock and awe" nature of the play with some more engineering. You notice that the points are almost totally void of any rallies. The points are basically all powerful serving with futile attempts for the receiver to get into the game. Look at the scores and see for yourself…any doubts about the difficulty in breaking serve.

                      This is the roots of Roger's game and thus his backhand. It was originally designed for this type of play. When the courts were all reengineered to one style of play suit all the players and coaches adapted. Then you see the gross over abundance of two hand backhands as it was no longer necessary to get to the net to win at Wimbledon. In a few short years the engineering changed the complextion of the game. The one weakness that may be perceived in the Federer backhand is the ball that gets shoulder high or higher.

                      Ironically we see Roger resorting to his former self trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Trying to lengthen his career. The new "old tactics" have succeeded in bamboozling even the most cagey of current veterans including the likes of Stan Wawrinka and even the reigning number one player in the world…Novak Djokovic.

                      The four years age difference in Wawrinka and Federer are rather telling. It was the difference of these four years that determined that Wawrinka would miss out on the last remaining link to classic training and influenced his backhand and its development.

                      Stan's game was designed for the uni-tennis that is played on all of the ATP tournaments these days. In the classic days…the surface were all played at different speeds and equally importantly…different bounce heights. The Federer backhand takes all of these subtleties into account whereas the Wawrinka backhand is most effectively played on slower and higher bouncing surfaces. In the old days he may have been more of a clay court specialist. In fact the comparison of the two players brings to mind an old rivalry…although you have to look into the mirror to see it. Any idea who I am talking about?
                      Last edited by don_budge; 03-11-2015, 02:53 AM. Reason: for clarity's sake...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's the front heel...

                        Originally posted by GeoffWilliams View Post
                        It's the hitting foot, the front foot, that raises up too soon. The heel rises, degrounding him and lifting his head off the shot.
                        Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
                        I'm not sure about the back foot thing either. I cannot see it has any significant relevance. Looks entire normal. He tends to play the ball earlier than Wawrinka and has to elevate himself a little more as a result. That's probably the only difference...heel-wise.
                        It's the front foot that GeoffWilliams comments on. But I don't see Federer's head coming off of the shot at all. In fact…of any player that I have ever seen during all of my years watching tennis there is no one player that comes to mind that keeps his head on the shot at all times.

                        If anything I think that improper footwork encourages improper weight transfer which I don't see either. Wawrinka looks to be significantly bigger than Federer which is perhaps a better explanation that he hits bigger backhands…along with the other host of explanations that I am investigating.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Back foot, front foot...whatever foot. I would be tough to question such a minor detail on shot so established with a player who is one of the greatest of them all. If that foot was causing any real problems, he would probably be a hatful of grand slams worse off right now.

                          Yes the only other player who looked like he was looking at the ball from behind the strings as Federer does was Borg...Rosewall too I believe
                          Last edited by stotty; 03-11-2015, 04:36 PM.
                          Stotty

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Grips-- Think of the Grips Article in This Issue

                            Originally posted by don_budge View Post
                            I want to make clear here that this is not a thread to make an argument against the comment by GeoffWilliams. It is only that I find this to be an intriguing topic…it was stroke's comment that really piqued my interest.

                            It does start with the grip too. When comparing the Roger Federer backhand to the Stan Wawrinka backhand. It's all about grips…it's how the hand fits to the racquet and how the body fits to the hand. In Stan's case it is a very strong backhand grip…I don't think you could dare to call it a western grip…perhaps a very strong eastern backhand grip will suffice to say.

                            Roger's grip is not so overtly strong as Stan's but it is plenty sturdy as well. It seems that it is a strong eastern grip. Is that right? The slight weakening enables Roger to pursue other tactics other than pounding from a couple of meter from behind the baseline. As we see Federer remaking himself (back to where his roots are) he is playing more at the net and in the forecourt. His grip being less extreme makes him more comfortable in these areas of the court than Wawrinka. He is a bit more "flexible" as bottle was opining in a recent "New Year's Serve" post.

                            I have to admit that I don't know what the hell those grip configurations mean…and I don't care either. When explaining a grip to somebody you cannot talk in terms of these numbers unless whoever it is you are talking to is on the same page…or a member of the same website.

                            But anyways…there was this thread once upon a time. Jack Kramer explains the various grips or something like that. It's all about the grips…and a number of other factors.

                            http://www.tennisplayer.net/bulletin...k+kramer+grips

                            Couple of different conversations here. The one about grips should have occurred directly in response to the current grips article and I apologize for that.

                            On the other hand a good conversation should often go its own way like a good horse.

                            We are in the same website and forum, where big knuckle does come first and heel of hand second even if that might suggest reading in Chinese.

                            If nothing else, from same contact point, with same perceived roll mechanics, the 1.5/8 of Stanislas sends the ball in a different direction than the 1/1 of Roger. (Wait a minute. I'll get my racket and check whether my assertion is true. I'll assign as arbiter the edge of a bed. And check on what I'm about to say about Justine's wrist, too.)

                            First idea is true: Roger is set up to hit farther to the right. But the video 10splayer provided earlier in this thread has an arrow in the middle pointing at Stanislas's wrist just having gone flat. Now there is a joker factor if I ever heard of one.

                            I don't like joker factors today.

                            So I go with Justine. No mid-stroke change of wrist cavity there. Simple. Better for Bottle (http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...neBackhand.mov).

                            Next thing to check against the bed again: Justine vs. Roger and Stan as to where the ball will go assuming same contact point and mechanics. (For purposes of argument we sometimes should enter fantasyland.)

                            The way to do the comparison is to make certain that hand is same distance, say 2.5 inches from bed when racket head touches it.

                            Results: Less conclusiveness in the case of Justine. Her contact is going to be a more egged affair, which makes aim about the same as Roger's.

                            All bets are off of course when the different players apply their individualized swings.

                            NOTE I. Justine and Stan use the same method of grip-change-flowing-into-elbow-rise but establish different grips. Going into fantasyland again by saying that both players employ identical mechanics (that never will happen), Justine's ball will go farther to the right.

                            NOTE II. Justine maintains the depression in her wrist right through contact. Hey, the less some tennis player can do the better for her or him.
                            Last edited by bottle; 03-12-2015, 01:28 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The Backhand Grip…a comparison in the mirror of history

                              John McEnroe defeats Guillermo Vilas 6-7, 6-4, 6-0

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1GlpxQ7tk4

                              Davis Cup 1980 USA vs. Argentina (Vilas defeats McEnroe 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4) (Clerc defeated McEnroe 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 13-11) the fourth set lasted over 3 hours...the match over 6 hours.

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6CIttvDOA8

                              Interestingly enough…this historical comparison of backhands is not so dissimilar than that of the Federer BH vs. Wawrinka BH discussion. When we consider the McEnroe BH vs. Vilas BH we take a deep look into the looking glass or into one of my favorite tools when teaching tennis…the mirror.

                              The two left handers play a splendid example of classic tennis here and it is a classic battle of their backhands where the John McEnroe continental or strong side of continental sort of surprisingly wins out over the stronger eastern gripped Vilas backhand on a HarTru or American clay court surface. Such an interesting match as both players on a windy day try to keep the ball on their opponents backhand side. It is a test of patience and of wills.

                              Notice also the equipment. John McEnroe has switched to the Dunlop Maxply Fort which by todays standards looks like a tiny toothpick and Vilas is participating in the nouveau racquet engineering of the day by playing an open throat wooden racquet, which is marginally larger and has graphite laminations layered within the wooden head of the racquet.

                              It's a different story though in the previous year down in Buenos Aires on the red Argentinian clay with throngs of boisterous supporters. The red clay back then was a little higher bouncing and slower than the more slippery green HarTru.

                              http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/...=M047&oId=V028

                              Even looking at the head to head of McEnroe and Vilas you can see the tale of the grips in their backhands play out. Given also that Vilas is a full seven years older and therefore much stronger than the more adolescent McEnroe. Vilas beats McEnroe in five of their first six meetings and four of those wins were on clay. McEnroe's only win on the slick and quicker carpet where you would expect him to win. Of their final five meetings McEnroe took four victories and two of those were on clay. McEnroe had caught up physically and his style of play prevailed even on two clay court meetings. The one in the video being one of them. Vilas' final victory over McEnroe once again was down in Argentina on red clay and in Davis Cup play.


                              I saw 21 year old Guillermo Vilas in 1973 when he burst onto the tennis map with his showing at the Washington Star tennis tournament. He beat Manuel Orantes in the first round who was one of the leading clay court specialists in the world at the time. I was at the tournament with Don Budge and the rest of the tennis camp. Mr. Budge was so impressed with Vilas' ability to come over the ball to produce topspin on the backhand side…I remember discussing his grip with Don over breakfast the next day as he showed me his grip in comparison with Vilas'.

                              Guillermo Vilas' backhand grip evolved as he was basically raised as an Argentinean clay court specialist and his grip fit his hand to shots on his backhand side most efficiently to handle high ball on that side. Much as Stanislas Wawrinka's grip may have evolved being raised on the European red clay and the artificially slowed down surfaces of the ATP tour.

                              John McEnroe's grip evolved under the tutelage of Harry Hopman (Harry is the trainer in my paradigm of tennis coaching) and it was fitted to his hand to be able to play the ball any which way he desired on any given shot…but with an emphasis on the quicker surfaces as were the pavements of those days and of course grass courts. Even though the grass courts were going the way of the Dodo bird. Few remember that three of the four Grand Slam tournaments were once played on grass courts. McEnroe's tennis roots were deeply classic tennis as the switch to other surfaces occurred in the middle of his development.

                              Much as Roger Federer's roots were deeply based in the transition zone. The transition from slick grass and faster hard courts as the game was plunged into a unisurface like era. The play of the grass oddly resembles even the play on the clay courts. Backcourt exchanges on high balls. Uni everything. Diversity? Not really…no such thing. Do you see the conundrum…the irony?

                              The grips of the two backhands of both sets of players represent one thing…how the hand fits to the racquet where the player anticipates playing the ball most aggressively in the play of Wawrinka and Vilas whereas the grips of Federer and McEnroe are representative of a playing style that seeks to adapt to their opponents play as well having more options to disrupt their play.
                              Last edited by don_budge; 03-14-2015, 04:04 AM. Reason: for clarity's sake...

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