Roger Federer in week two of Wimbledon: takeaways and keys
Eight-time champion Roger Federer started week two at Wimbledon for the 17th time after sending out Cameron Norrie in four sets. Federer has played tight at times so far. But he also performed well in all three matches, which gave him confidence heading into the fourth round. He will face Lorenzo Sonego, who beat James Duckworth to reach the round of 16 for the first time.
Federer will need to step up his game as the tournament progresses, as he will face tougher opponents who might be able to break his game. There are still some critical points and concerns in his game. repairs, this can land him deep in week two of SW19. So what can Federer polish, improve or change?
Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2021
Service is unfortunately one of Federer’s weaknesses so far. It is clearly visible that Federer is not using his serve to its full potential in terms of pace and speed. He uses the serve to score points according to his preference, but does not aim to bypass the point with aces. He had a lot of depth, power and precision, which made his service one of his main weapons in the past. He’s still there, but Federer seems reluctant to fully unload, which could be due to his knees. He wants to avoid stretching too much or injuring himself by being careful.
One of Federer’s main problems with his serve is his inconsistency during points; in many of his games he was playing longer, closer serve matches because he wasn’t getting his serve stamp, which can cost him service matches against top players. If the 39-year-old can improve the accuracy and speed of his serve, he will be able to set the points to his preference and avoid having to play tighter serve games.
Roger Federer’s forehand has been his most powerful weapon throughout his career, allowing him to convert defense into offense and always maintain control of points. Federer doesn’t need to play as much on defense as the other top players due to his mastery of the forehand. On the grass, speed is one of the most important aspects of the forehand. Flatter, faster forehands are very rewarding when it comes to working with the surface.
One problem with Federer’s forehand right now is that he hits the ball too conservatively with a lot of topspin, resulting in short balls with little power and depth. Federer is constantly put on defense because of this flaw, which prevents him from completing points faster. Compared to 2017, when Federer won Wimbledon without losing a set, his forehand was much flatter and contained a lot more power and depth, robbing the opponent of time.
Since there is more topspin on Federer’s forehand, this means a higher ball trajectory over the net, landing in an ideal position for the opponent to attack on either stroke, forcing Federer to run or put the point in the net. This strategy works well on clay, where the balls bounce slower and higher, making it difficult to attack because the ball would land much higher. On grass the balls bounce lower, so with a higher topspin the ball would land very normally without too much depth.
Federer would have to solve this problem by hitting his forehand flatter and faster, which would give him an advantage in the rally and allow him to dictate the game, which he has done so well in the years he won the tournament. Initially hitting more flat may reduce his margin of safety and accuracy, but it will pay off at crucial points in the game.
Last but not least is Federer’s breakpoint conversion rate. In his first three matches it became clear that he needed to improve on this aspect. When Federer gets the chance to break up, his game changes. From offensive offensive tennis, it becomes defensive and passive. If Federer is to stand a chance against the top players, converting the first down is crucial. When Federer returns to the backhand side, he will usually use a slice return, neutralizing the rally allowing the opponent to reset and build the point. On the forehand side, Federer will return the ball to the center, which is effective at times but doesn’t give him control most of the time.
Federer will have to go get his shots and try to create variety on his returns to confuse his opponent and improve his breakpoint conversion rate. If the serve comes out wide, a backhand return to the line would be very effective, resulting in a winner or a short, weak ball. Using the same tactic, if the serve comes off the tee, it should aim for the lines, whether on the cross court or on the forehand or backhand line. Federer appeared to be aiming his shots on Norrie’s serve, producing a brilliant backhand return in the second set and some fierce forehand returns as well. Taking chances on the returns will give you the edge in the points in the next games.
Outlook for the second week
Federer should have a lot of confidence heading into Wimbledon’s second week after playing good tennis for three matches. Federer has all the tools and tactics in his game to take him far, it’s just a matter of executing them correctly. His progress in the tournament so far has been gradual, but it shows that he is still working to take his game to the highest level.
If he can capitalize on break points, use his forehand as a primary weapon, and have more power and precision on his serves, no doubt Roger Federer will live up to Wimbledon next week, challenging the best players. in the world.
Main photo by Getty.