anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

(Roger Rambling) The Backhand Debate.

I mean, really. Do we need to get so desperate about his losing record against Nadal? Just look at his attempted double-handed backhand. It's made of utter fail. Look at that last picture, the grip of his right hand. Nobody can hope to hit a proper two-handed backhand without switching the grip of the right hand. The most basic thing a tennis coach would teach you when you're learning the basics of tennis (and if you're a true beginner, the coach wouldn't force the one-handed backhand on you; it's fucking difficult to do properly) is that, when switching from the forehand to the backhand, you have to change the grip of your right hand by slightly turning your right hand anti-clockwise (unless your forehand grip is already the two-handed backhand grip. But then again, I changed my forehand grip to make it easier to hit a forehand properly and my current grip is supposed to lessen the transition from the forehand to the backhand, but I still have to change my grip when I go to the backhand). In the last picture, Roger's still holding the racquet as if he's playing a forehand. It looks decently okay in the first picture, but the subsequent two, which show him actually hitting the ball, also show how awkward he is with a two-hander.

Roger has said before that he can't hit a two-handed backhand. Apparently it took Pete Sampras four years to change from a two-handed backhand to a one-handed one. Roger is now supposed to learn how to use two hands to hit a backhand all of a sudden just to beat Nadal? Is everything about beating Nadal now? What about logic, how it's virtually impossible to change your playing habits after you've been playing a certain way for over ten years? Much as Nadal has apparently tried to modify his forehand, I honestly don't see any changes and I still see the whip follow-through that he's famous for when I catch bits and pieces of his non-Roger matches. You can hone your existing skills, but you probably can't pick up a new one.

Even more ludicrous was someone's suggestion that Roger uses both. I mean...what?! Sure, a two-handed backhand player can use one hand to hit a ball, but it doesn't mean it's effective, and it sure as hell doesn't mean he can generate topspin when he's forced to use one hand. And two-handed backhanders only drop their non-dominant hand when the ball paints the corners and he needs a full stretch to attempt to get it back. That's also why some players prefer the one-handed - it gives them more room to manouvre. But the point is, as much as it's nice to fantasise about Roger suddenly switching to a two-handed backhand in a gruelling baseline rally with Nadal, it's never going to happen because it's impossible. You're either a single-hander or you're a double-hander; the two techniques are vastly different, and therefore, you cannot be both. The hitting distance between a two-handed and a one-handed is different: the two-handed is shorter because there's less stretch than a one-handed, and so if you're not used to a two-hander, then you're always going to be too late to hit the ball. And we all know what happens when you're late - you miss completely, you mis-hit, you hit the frame, the shot goes awry, you lose the point.

I want Roger to beat Nadal too, but I'm not stupid. He's never going to pick up the two-handed backhand. And it's really not as if the two-handed is the cure; Roger is like the only single-handed backhander in the entire top 10, but he's not the only person consistently losing to Nadal. The solution isn't to change his playing style; it's to perfect his playing style.

Still, I hope Roger keeps mucking around with the two-hander in his practice sessions because these pictures crack me up. He's just too cute.
Tags: pictures, roger federer

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