Sunday, 12 October 2014


Sorry mate this chapter isn't about you. This is about the man from Switzerland, a man who Ernest Gulbis reckons gives too many 'perfect' press conferences ( another chapter ) . This is about the man who's game defies most modern day tennis coaches as they teach their students that staying at the back of the court all day is the way to go.
Mr Roger Federer had made the net game cool again, something that the great Jonny Mac did with just as much genius, perhaps even more, but Fed now does it with a gentleman's touch. Only going to the net to shake hands as many players do now days is no longer deemed as the only way to win. The recent Shanghai Masters is proof that getting to the net to finish the point is not only a gutsy way of playing tennis but also an effective one.
If you aren't sure of what I mean then take a look at the highlights of the match Federer vs Djokovic, this is an absolute clinic on how you go about dismantling a baseline player. In this match Federer came to the net a total of 48 times, that's a lot of passing shots he is asking of the Djoker to hit.
The net attack was a mixture of serve and volley plus approaching during a rally, even chip and charge, a perfect mix it seems.
If you look at these highlights you will also see that many of Federer's approaches are directed down the middle of the court and that's a sign of a very smart player. Not giving angle to a player who thrives off it is something that is almost unheard of in some player's thought process but simply natural for a man of Fed's ability.
What is also so educating to watch is the way Roger creeps into the net to finish a point when his opponent is expecting him to still be back at the baseline. At times his opponents are putting a rally ball back into play only to see Federer at the net to put away a simple volley. The element of surprise in Federer's game at the moment is nothing short of genius.
I am hoping the man from Switzerland will remain fit to play for several years yet as he may just change the way this game is taught especially if he continues his current form. Beating Novak who rarely misses during baseline exchanges will no doubt get the cogs cranking in the minds of all of those tennis 'guru's' who think they know the game.
 What a win like this does is defy the current robotic style of player who just keeps hitting from the back and relies on wearing his opponent out . It also gives credibility to the fact that coming to the net actually can maintain a player's body by finishing the points earlier.
The Fed is a genius, no doubt about it. Forget the Nadal way of playing , at least try something different, change it up , hit that big forehand then get in behind it . Keep the backhand slice low down the middle and give your angle loving opponent nothing to drive his ego with.
A thinking man's game is tennis, just keep thinking, and watching Mr Federer........

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