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Post by Tenez on Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:46 am

Federer Service stats
YearDFs/AcesService game playedService game/1DFs
2005Aces5996310937.1907895
DFs1520.253756
2006Aces65663122910.415254
DFs1180.179878
2007Aces5976297111.290698
DFs860.144054
2008Aces69564103313.415584
DFs770.110791
2009Aces6576210097.5298507
DFs1340.203957
2010Aces658629808.9090909
DFs1100.167173
2011Aces504649049.2244898
DFs980.194444
2012Aces6656310428.6833333
DFs1200.180451
2013Aces621376.85
DFs200.322581

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:18 am

I am not entirely sure what some of the columns in the chart stand for, but that aside, I think that looking at and trying to analyse Federer's serve is the shortcut to understanding and observing his form these days.
His serve has definitely lost something it used to have.
Although that great fluid and efficient motion is still the same, the execution is beggining to show some strain in latter parts of his matches.
I have noticed he jerks the overhead part a bit and follows it with a quiet but audiable grunt of exertion, as if there is no energy left in him.
I don't know whether that's because of lower back discomfort or plain fatigue, but it's sad to see.
Gone seem to be the days when him serving for the match was a death toll for the opponent.
To me, his serve is unfortunately beginning to show signs of tennis ageing.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:26 am

As for double faults, how can one explain those 4 in a row he managed to serve out against Murray, was it ini Shanghai last autumn?

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Post by Tenez on Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:46 am

noleisthebest wrote:I am not entirely sure what some of the columns in the chart stand for, but that aside, I think that looking at and trying to analyse Federer's serve is the shortcut to understanding and observing his form these days.
His serve has definitely lost something it used to have.
Although that great fluid and efficient motion is still the same, the execution is beggining to show some strain in latter parts of his matches.
I have noticed he jerks the overhead part a bit and follows it with a quiet but audiable grunt of exertion, as if there is no energy left in him.
I don't know whether that's because of lower back discomfort or plain fatigue, but it's sad to see.
Gone seem to be the days when him serving for the match was a death toll for the opponent.
To me, his serve is unfortunately beginning to show signs of tennis ageing.

Yes and this is why I gathered them. I actually do not think age has anything to with this...well not directly as it;s a back problem first. It's interesting to note that his best serving year was 2008 when actually his form was not that great due to mono. Maybe it shows that as he was exhausted and tired he tried to get more free points from his serve.

It shows also that in 2009 his back was probablt already starting to hurt as suddenly his Aces/DFs ratio doubles from the previous year!

But 2013 is absurd as the ratio is 3 times worse than 2008. The 1st serve % is pretty steady over the years.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:47 am

noleisthebest wrote:As for double faults, how can one explain those 4 in a row he managed to serve out against Murray, was it ini Shanghai last autumn?

Did not see that but yes so unlike him.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:52 am

It's a good way to analyse form in a given match too. I thought his serving was poor in that USO 1/4 v Berdych. The ratio DF/Aces is 0.42 (worse even than the 2013 average).

Of course over a single match an ace there allows for big variations.....but it's still a good indicator.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:55 am

His Wimby 2010 loss to Berdych is even more interesting.

teh ratio is excellent 1/14 (0.07)....which shows there was nothing wrong with his serve despite teh groin injury. The groin injury was preventing him from running but not serving.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:00 am

And you right about Fed Murray in Shanghai: first time I see him serve more DFs than Ace (5/4)!!!

Not great in this year's AO either..where Murray served 21 aces and 5 only for Fed over a 5 set match!!! 2 DFs only though...I guess trying to limit the damages.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:12 am

I hope that somehow the serve does not become the complete undoing of him , well, at least not for another 2-3 years.
From memory, he now had to face Murray twice (and lost both times, OG and AO) after having to play physically tough matches against Delpo.
In his most recent interview in Buenos Aires Ferrer said he feels the age and cannot train and work as hard as when he was 25, that he needs a lot more recovery and rest.
So those should be the key with Federer, as well.
He's had a tough draw in Australia, which he should have not had as he is better ranked than Murray.
Dubai should give us a better idea about his form and whether his loss to Benneteau was jus rust or stg else/more.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:20 am

noleisthebest wrote:In his most recent interview in Buenos Aires Ferrer said he feels the age and cannot train and work as hard as when he was 25, that he needs a lot more recovery and rest.

He means since the ATP decided to have a stronger anti-doping policy? Winking

But yes he is right and that has been noticeable with Fed since 2009 even (4 years ago). The number of TMS final he lost due to no day between Semi and final is quite important......including that USO final v Delpo.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:41 pm

2013 hasn't been very good for Fed till now. And its shows on his serve stats. Fed's serve is absolutely vital for his game. When he is serving good, he himself feels confident about his overall game. I don't think I've even seen him win lots of matches where is serve is under constant pressure.

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Post by paulcz on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:20 pm

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:2013 hasn't been very good for Fed till now. And its shows on his serve stats. Fed's serve is absolutely vital for his game. When he is serving good, he himself feels confident about his overall game. I don't think I've even seen him win lots of matches where is serve is under constant pressure.
Absolutely agree. Fed without his serve can not get a strong opponent under pressure, that is the point.

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Post by Tenez on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:28 pm

His serve helps but I don't think he is toothless without it. Didn't he take Murray 5 sets to beat him at the AO despite very poor serving? He won Wimbledon without serving too well this year either. Even Djoko had problem against him at the FO12 despite extremely poor serving.


I'd say without his serve he is certainly beatable by the top player...with it..he isn;t.

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Post by noleisthebest on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:31 pm

How did Sampras's serve hold towards the end of his career?

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Post by Tenez on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:35 pm

Very well. Returners were getting better though. Federer's serve can be as good as ever if his back holds. Well I presume it;s the back but certainly something is annoying him as his black t-shirt seemed to confirm.

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Post by noleisthebest on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:39 pm

It would be interesting to see a comparison of how much more time Federer spent on he baseline compared to Sampras, esp after the conditions slowed down and his game changed.
That surely has to add to the extra wear and tear.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:46 pm

Tenez wrote:His serve helps but I don't think he is toothless without it. Didn't he take Murray 5 sets to beat him at the AO despite very poor serving? He won Wimbledon without serving too well this year either. Even Djoko had problem against him at the FO12 despite extremely poor serving.


I'd say without his serve he is certainly beatable by the top player...with it..he isn;t.

Not saying he is toothless without his serve. But when his serve is not clicking he can get vulnerable, even against inspired opponents who may not be ranked very high. E.g. Against Falla at wimbledon 2010. He might beat them still but he can lose as well. Bennetau beating him on fast courts of Rotterdam is an example.

I remember him once say given a choice he might like to have a serve like Isner. He himself said a good serve is a good start to a point and then he can play it on his terms. So his game revolves around serving good. Yes, its not to the extent like it's for Isners and Karlovics or even Pete. But his good serving days are always the days his overall game looks good and he almost all the time will win.

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Post by Tenez on Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:21 pm

Yes serve is one of the most important weapon for an attacking player....and the thing is Fed has by far the best serve for someone of his size and again, that's talent.

Sampras serve was not of much help in RG or on Wimbledon 02 when they slowed the conds there.

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Post by gallery play on Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:40 pm

noleisthebest wrote:How did Sampras's serve hold towards the end of his career?
In General Sampras was a kinda server like Federer is. Not the biggest serve but hit with deadly precision. But Sampras could hit it much bigger if he had to. Yesterday i saw the highlights of Federer- Sampras on a classic tennis match program. In the second tiebreak Sampras hit 3 consectutive serves in the 134-136 m/ph range. He also hit 120+ m/ph second serves. Federer on the other hand seems to lose a few miles every year on his average serve speed.
Imo if Federer now had Pete's end-of-career serve, he would still be winning HC slams.

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Post by Tenez on Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:56 pm

Yes but you have to accomodate for the bigger balls nowadays. I think Fed's serve would be faster if he served them with 90s balls. Look at the stats....even Roddick's serve's pace went down as the balls got bigger. Nowadays you have guys like Rao and Isner who are huge, more powerful than Goran and Kraji ever were but the pace is more or less the same. Everything was done to actually kill the pace of the servers in the last 10 years. Again, when Pete served v Basl at Wimby 02, I am not sure his serve was anywhere close to 135mph.

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Post by paulcz on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:00 pm

gallery play wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:How did Sampras's serve hold towards the end of his career?
In General Sampras was a kinda server like Federer is. Not the biggest serve but hit with deadly precision. But Sampras could hit it much bigger if he had to. Yesterday i saw the highlights of Federer- Sampras on a classic tennis match program. In the second tiebreak Sampras hit 3 consectutive serves in the 134-136 m/ph range. He also hit 120+ m/ph second serves. Federer on the other hand seems to lose a few miles every year on his average serve speed.
Imo if Federer now had Pete's end-of-career serve, he would still be winning HC slams.
Actually the situation for Fed is very similar to Sampras, both with great serve and SHBH and have the strongest opponents with great BL game against them. The difference is that Fed must face against 2/3 great baseliners, Sampras had to go only through Agassi on hc at his later period. Despite the surfaces were faster, that was quite ridiculous how Sampras could deliver his 2nd serve close to the lines and how many aces he did from his 2nd serve.

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Post by gallery play on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:13 pm

paulcz wrote:
gallery play wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:How did Sampras's serve hold towards the end of his career?
In General Sampras was a kinda server like Federer is. Not the biggest serve but hit with deadly precision. But Sampras could hit it much bigger if he had to. Yesterday i saw the highlights of Federer- Sampras on a classic tennis match program. In the second tiebreak Sampras hit 3 consectutive serves in the 134-136 m/ph range. He also hit 120+ m/ph second serves. Federer on the other hand seems to lose a few miles every year on his average serve speed.
Imo if Federer now had Pete's end-of-career serve, he would still be winning HC slams.
Actually the situation for Fed is very similar to Sampras, both with great serve and SHBH and have the strongest opponents with great BL game against them. The difference is that Fed must face against 2/3 great baseliners, Sampras had to go only through Agassi on hc at his later period. Despite the surfaces were faster, that was quite ridiculous how Sampras could deliver his 2nd serve close to the lines and how many aces he did from his 2nd serve.

But that does not change the importance of the serve: big servers can be dangerous returners too, especially back then. So whether Pete was against Goran or Andre, he needed his serve against both.

Bottomline is: Pete's serve was winning him matches throughout his career, (In his last match he hit 33 aces won over 80% of the breakpoints against him) it seems Federer's serve cost him matches these days

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Post by Tenez on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:18 pm

I think Pete would have won nearly 0 slams had he faced current conds with today's returners. Hewitt and his luxilon strings showed the way when he was only 20. Pete won 14 slams but none on clay (not even a final) and today we have clay on all grand slams.

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Post by paulcz on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:26 pm

gallery play wrote:
paulcz wrote:
gallery play wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:How did Sampras's serve hold towards the end of his career?
In General Sampras was a kinda server like Federer is. Not the biggest serve but hit with deadly precision. But Sampras could hit it much bigger if he had to. Yesterday i saw the highlights of Federer- Sampras on a classic tennis match program. In the second tiebreak Sampras hit 3 consectutive serves in the 134-136 m/ph range. He also hit 120+ m/ph second serves. Federer on the other hand seems to lose a few miles every year on his average serve speed.
Imo if Federer now had Pete's end-of-career serve, he would still be winning HC slams.
Actually the situation for Fed is very similar to Sampras, both with great serve and SHBH and have the strongest opponents with great BL game against them. The difference is that Fed must face against 2/3 great baseliners, Sampras had to go only through Agassi on hc at his later period. Despite the surfaces were faster, that was quite ridiculous how Sampras could deliver his 2nd serve close to the lines and how many aces he did from his 2nd serve.

But that does not change the importance of the serve: big servers can be dangerous returners too, especially back then. So whether Pete was against Goran or Andre, he needed his serve against both.

Bottomline is: Pete's serve was winning him matches throughout his career, (In his last match he hit 33 aces won over 80% of the breakpoints against him) it seems Federer's serve cost him matches these days

Fed is better player
than Sampras was, but the slower conditions make it much harder for
Fed. It would be interesting to compare the avg length of rallies
between the last won US by Sampras and AO when Fed played with
Murray. That would show how the effort is different for Fed against
Sampras. I will look at it.
Serve wise, I have not seen such a 2nd serve as Sampras had from then on.

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Post by Tenez on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:49 pm

Here is what bigger/softer balls do (introduced in 2002).

In 2001 Pete serves twice 26 aces over his 5 sets...even 21 aces in a 3 setter v Sargsian

In 2002 (bigger balls) he only serves 8 aces in his 5 setter v G Bastl.

Unfortunately I have no pace record in those matches but the number of aces shoudl be a good indication.

Anyway the point is Fed's serve for sure is getting worse according to the original table and that is despite the balls being roughly a constant bar from USO10 where they significantly got bigger that year.

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Post by gallery play on Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:52 am

Tenez wrote:Here is what bigger/softer balls do (introduced in 2002).

In 2001 Pete serves twice 26 aces over his 5 sets...even 21 aces in a 3 setter v Sargsian

In 2002 (bigger balls) he only serves 8 aces in his 5 setter v G Bastl.

Unfortunately I have no pace record in those matches but the number of aces shoudl be a good indication.

Anyway the point is Fed's serve for sure is getting worse according to the original table and that is despite the balls being roughly a constant bar from USO10 where they significantly got bigger that year.

Yes, that is the point (as if i'm the one who would claim Sampras is better player.... Federer Service stats...to discuss....(tomorrow) 563610107 ) but Sampras' serve did not went down in the latter part of his career. His last slam ace count proves that:

1. 3 sets: 10 aces
2. 3 sets 21 aces
3. 5 sets 18 aces
4. 4 sets 27 aces
5. 3 sets 13 aces
6. 3 sets 22 aces
7. 4 sets 33 aces
Thats a total of 144 aces

Federer last win at the US open (and this is 2008, his best serving year according your stat)
1. 3 sets 14 aces
2. 3 sets 19 aces
3. 3 sets 12 aces
4. 5 sets 10 aces
5. 3 sets 8 aces
6. 4 sets 20 aces
7. 3 sets 3 aces
A total of 86 aces.

Federer last US open:
1. 3 sets 7 aces
2. 3 sets 15 aces
3. 3 sets 7 aces
4. 4 sets 7 aces
ace count-wise it's as mediocre as it gets and nowhere near Sampras last performance.

So it's actually a no brainer, if Federer was able to produce the amount of aces Sampras did during his last USO, he would still be winning slams. Even his 2008 serve would make a big difference. But the reality is that Fed's serve is under pressure against most top players, hence no more slams.

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Post by Tenez on Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:26 pm

Indeed. I am not sure who brought Pete into this as the new returning techniques/strings and the bigger balls make the comparaison nearly impossible with Fed's serving stats. (As shown, even Pete serves only 10 aces in a 5 setter at Wimby 02).

Conds do not help Federer but recently his physique is the real reason for his drop in serve quality...and his unexpected losses.

When was the last time he had a great serving display? I don;t think it was that long ago as he certainly has days where he seems unaffected.

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Post by gallery play on Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:11 pm

Nitb asked how Sampras serve hold towards the end of his career. It's clear i'm more impressed than you with how Sampras served later on (forget about the Bastle match, the us open 2002 stats speak for itself) but i don't want sound like Lydian so let's drop Sampras Federer Service stats...to discuss....(tomorrow) 1071211947

His last great serving display? What i can recall: AO 2010, that was some really great serving. Ok, he's been doing well at cincy.

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Post by Tenez on Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:45 pm

Don't worry you won't sound like Lydian and likewise I am not trying to say that Fed is a better server than Pete. Just that conds makes it impossible to compare...and if we compare apple to apple...then it does not bode that well for Pete. I am not that impressed by the way Pete served late in his career cause the serve really should not be affected before 35 and I woudl not be surprised if there was little difference from 35 to 40....no more different than golfers if anything. When you are 25 and get another 10 years experience of serving timing and spinning, it should make your serve better if anything.

Yes I was going to say AO10 like you. ...But then he served very well at Dubai 12 and Cincy 12 (in the final).

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