A few weeks ago, Roger Federer, announced that he was splitting with Paul Annacone. His coach since 2010.
When they first joined forces. Federer, outlined a plan with Annacone, to get back the number one ranking and win another slam. Having achieved both of these goals. It was mutually decided, that they were ready to move on.
Personally, I think it’s for the best. It sounds like things may have stagnated between them.
Besides, Federer is going to need to make changes to his game. I don’t believe he’ll have to reinvent himself to get back into the top group but he needs to improve in a few areas. The return of serve (especially off the backhand side) and his running forehand.
His slice backhand is great. We all know that. It’s a consistent shot, which he uses offensively.
A good choice for opponents, who feed off pace.
Unfortunately, he has the tendency to float the ball back to the middle of the court. He does so, daring his opponent to go to his forehand. But this let’s them start off their service rally in the attacking position. Forcing Federer, to play defense.
Also, his opponents know that he’s going to float the ball back. They know the likelihood of getting hurt off his backhand is significantly less.
So it only makes sense for them to starve his forehand as much as possible.
That’s why I think he needs to come over the ball more often and hit deep with some pace. At least, force them to run to get the ball back.
He doesn’t need to get away from slicing the backhand completely. He just needs more variety. Make his opponents, respect that side more.
As for his running forehand. I feel this is more of a weapon that he’s going to need to use. He hits the inside out forehand beautifully. Better than almost any other player that I’ve seen. That’s his bread and butter.
His running forehand is good too. But he needs to improve this shot to keep up with the younger players. Fed, doesn’t hit with as much spin as Djokovic, Nadal, or Murray. He’s older and it’s unrealistic to expect him to have the same defensive skills that he had in his mid-20s.
But without a great defensive to offensive shot, it’s just about impossible to win. Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, and others cover the court far too well to be hit off routinely. With a great running forehand in his arsenal, Federer, would be that much more dangerous. Especially in the extended rallies, where he gets dragged wide and needs to finish the point.
Lastly. Roger, should hit more short angled returns. He’s great on this shot and it works well against the incredibly defensive Murray, Djokovic, Ferrer, and Nadal. Dragging them off the court and leaving an opening for a Federer winner.
Well, that wraps up my assessment for now. Please leave me a comment, if you agree or think I’m crazy.
Til next time.