Roger Federer has been playing some very good Tennis these past 2 weeks and it was great to see him show some of his old form!

Last week he lost in a tough 3-set match to Juan Martin Del Potro in the finals of Basel.
Del Potro played exceptional Tennis and Federer was close to winning the title.

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This week Roger once agained showed some strong form and lost in 3 sets to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Paris masters series event.

I watched both of these matches and it was a pleasure to see some of Roger’s magic again!

Roger’s forehand was unbelievable for the most part and he also came in to the net frequently with good success!

After watching these matches though, it also became obvious to me that Roger is not anywhere close to the form that he would need to beat Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam tournament.

In fact I am certain Roger is facing a dilemma that a lot of you can relate to! 

Against Djokovic in the semifinals Roger started out the first set hitting a lot of slice backhands and he won the set.

The slice backhand is currently what Roger feels comfortable with. His topspin backhand hasn’t been great this year and it is very obvious that the stroke is not 100% clean from a technical perspective.

The problem is that Djokovic really wasn’t playing well in the first set so this result was a bit deceptive in my opinion.
Roger is currently in a situation where most likely he will win the maximum amount of matches by slicing a lot of backhands and making great use of the rest of his game, which is currently exceptional again.

Nevertheless with this strategy he has close to zero chances in my opinion of beating Djokovic or Nadal when they are at their best, which they usually are late in Grand Slam tournaments.

In order to win a Grand Slam these days you need to hit huge off of both sides and Rafa and Novak are doing just that.
The only real chance for Roger to beat Rafa and Novak in a Grand Slam is to improve his backhand and hit aggressive topspin backhands without committing too many unforced errors! 

There is simply no other way out of this.

Tactical adjustments can be great but in this case all of the tactics that Roger has been trying, like slicing short, coming in etc. are not going to get the job done! 

Tactical adjustments oftentimes make the difference when 2 players are relatively equal in skills and playing level.

In this case however Roger is not even in the ballpark of Rafa and Novak because of his relative weakness on the backhand side.

So the real dilemma that Roger faces is this: If he stops hitting slice backhands and starts hitting almost exclusively topspin backhands he may lose more matches in the short term and that could hurt his confidence even more.

If he stays with the slice he will be reasonably competitive and does not risk the chance of getting blown out as much as he would if he were to go with the other strategy of hitting almost exclusively topspin backhands.

If however he wants to have a real chance of winning another Grand Slam title he needs to work on his topspin backhand and hit it as much as possible until he regains confidence in the shot!

And this is the same dilemma that so many of you face. Deep down you know that you have a technical weakness that needs to be worked on.

You know for example that you need to develop a better serve or start hitting your topspin backhand more aggressively to get to the next level.

However this can take some time and you may lose some matches in the short term that you may not have lost otherwise.
If however you decide to go for the change and you commit to it you have the chance of transforming your tennis game and getting so much more joy out of it.

One of the keys to go through with something like this is to have a process-oriented mindset rather than an outcome oriented mindset! 

Rafael Nadal is the absolute role model for this. His focus is on continuous improvement and not winning.

Roger has stated in the past that he is more of a results-oriented guy and that he does not care as much about playing well.

As of now Roger is the greatest player of all-time and I am certainly a big fan.

Unfortunately though I think that this results-oriented mindset is currently holding him back!

If you want to maximize your tennis improvement and enjoyment, then most of you need to jump into the cold water so to speak, and work on the big technical problem areas that are holding you back!

Helping tennis players do just that and succeed at it is what I founded for!

To your tennis success,

Florian Meier

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