Men's Tennis

World Tour Finals: Match Against Ferrer Shows Federer Has Work to Do on Backhand

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26:  Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball during the men's semi-final singles match against David Ferrer of Spain  during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena on November 26, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Savita HiremathContributor IIINovember 26, 2011

In my previous article, I wrote that Roger Federer had tweaked three things post-US open: Improved first-serve returns, clear posturing to attack the second serve and, most importantly, a more powerful backhand.

In the first semifinal against David Ferrer in Barclays ATP World Tour Finals semis, a real and stern test of the improved Federer SHB was the most discernible aspect of his game.

It is fairly safe to say that Federer has more work to do on this front. One could witness a litany of errors late in the first set which allowed Ferrer to come within two points of claiming the first set.

Ferrer came in with a definite and clear strategy to keep the ball hard and fast to the Federer backhand. Federer started out with the now more powerful backhand strokes only to commit a whole slew of basic errors.

Quickly, as is the hallmark of the top three (no, Murray not included), Federer made some adjustments to fall back on his older SHB—the slow chips, the more frequent slices and the more conservative, high-flight backhand top-spins.

Federer managed to pull himself through the first set, but had to rely on the rest of his game to come through. Barely.

Although I couldn't get my hands on the stats, a majority of the 29 (approx.) total unforced errors that Federer committed were on the backhand. And among the 24 winners, none were from his backhand.

Once the first set was in the bag, Federer had the luxury to give his improved SHB another go. He managed to get it back on track only in the last couple of games of the match. It's really the rest of his game that wrapped up this encounter without much additional drama.

Federer has to continue to bolster his SHB and make it more reliable if he wants to pull off a remarkable 2012.

Related article: Roger Federer Tweaks a Bit, Conquers Basel & Paris

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices