Copy This. Roger That.
Roger defeated Rafa for the FOURTH straight time yesterday.
There is so much to learn from this match, and how Roger has once again taken the tennis world by storm. Let’s focus on just ONE thing that contributed heavily to the victory – one thing you can copy and paste into your own game.
Deuce Court 1st Serve Wide = Won 12/13
It’s simply money in the Swiss bank. The slice serve out wide in the deuce court pulls the opponent way off the court, opening up a hole in the Ad court to immediately attack – and that’s if the return even comes back! Here’s the breakdown of all the first serves out wide in the Deuce court to “Position 1”.
Serve Location – Position 1
|#||Rally Length||Serve Speed||What Happened|
|1||1||107mph||Missed Backhand Return (serve & volley)|
|2||1||105mph||Missed Backhand Return (serve & volley)|
|3||1||106mph||Missed Backhand Return (serve & volley)|
|4||1||105mph||Missed Backhand Return|
|5||1||108mph||Missed Backhand Return|
|7||3||106mph||1/2 Volley FH Winner (serve & volley)|
|8||3||110mph||Serve +1 Forehand Winner|
|9||3||98mph||Missed Return +1 Forehand From Nadal|
|10||3||105mph||Missed Return +1 Forehand From Nadal|
|11||3||103mph||Serve +1 Backhand Winner|
|12||4||104mph||Federer Overhead Winner (serve & volley)|
Average Serve Speed Points Won = 105mph.
The beauty of these points for Federer is that they are all done and dusted so quickly. He starts on total offense (even with a comparatively slower 1st serve) and Nadal never gets a change to even get back to neutral.
One Point Lost
- Rally Length 4 – Federer backhand error (114mph)
This is very, very interesting. The fastest first serve Federer served out wide to Position 1 was the only point he lost. Nadal actually fed off that power and ripped a backhand return cross court that instantly had Federer on defense. The Swiss missed his next shot – a rushed backhand.
Nadal Return Position
The picture below is from the first point of the match. Nadal is so far back, and so wide. He has got to hit one of the best returns of his life just to get back to even. I think it’s a tactical error. In fact, I know it is from charting this exact sequence for several years, and also coaching against Nadal at Wimbledon in 2015, helping Dustin Brown defeat Nadal. Rafa gets eaten up out there. Nadal needs to be around the baseline cutting that angle off, using the rebounding power to rush Federer with his Serve +1 groundstroke. Standing up to return also makes it tougher for Federer to serve and volley as well. The numbers simply prove that this court position is not the antidote for one of Federer’s favorite and most successful tactics.
So here’s how to digest this info.
Serve & Volley
Roger served and volleyed nine times in the match. He won every single one of them. He served and volleyed five times out wide in the Deuce court. He loved it. You should to. The key here is not to focus if you are serving to a forehand or a backhand. The key is pulling the opponent so far off the court with a slice serve that they are on massive defense with their return. It’s so tough for the returner to get behind the ball. They end up reaching sideways and floating the return. Perfect to serve and volley against.
Right around six out of 10 points in the match ended in the 0-4 rally length. Not a single point made it past four shots from a 1st serve out wide in the deuce court. The average rally length was a serve IN, and a return IN… and ballgame. It was just 2.1 shots. This is First Strike Nirvana!
Rafa missed five returns from the wide slider. Five. Surely he knows Federer is going there. Surely he is positioning himself to get the ball back in play, and make Federer have to hit an extra shot. Remember there was also one ace, so of the 12 returns overall Rafa got a racket on, he missed 42% (5/12) of them. That’s from one of the best returners to ever play our game…
Here’s the match breakdown for Federer.
- Average 1st Serve Speed = 114mph
- Fastest 1st Serve = 124mph
- Average 2nd Serve Speed = 92mph
- Average 1st Serve Speed to Position 1 = 105mph
So it’s kind of a tweener. Federer’s average first serve speed to Position 1 was not really like a first serve at all. His average was 105mph – seven mph less than the average for the whole match. This is great news for you, because you are trying to employ a tactic that you know does not require you to really rip it. Placement and spin are more important than power.
ATP Brain Game Analysis
Click on the following link to reach my full match review on the ATP World Tour website.
BRAIN GAME ANALYSIS: MIAMI FINAL
All the best,