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Second Serve

 



There are reasons that Roger Federer leads all active ATP players in grass court wins (126), titles (14) and Wimbledon titles (7), and all one needs to do is see this fifteen second clip of Federer on the move against Italian Paolo Lorenzi to understand why he is able to win so many matches on the slick grass surface.

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First, the quick block return that redirects the energy of a hard serve and also hugs the grass surface making it more difficult for a server to execute a one-two punch.

Second, Federer’s slice is at its most effective on the grass, both as a defensive play and a varietal play, but also it can be used for offense because of its grass-hugging tendencies. Watch how Federer uses it here to get a ball he can lash with his topspin backhand on the next point. Federer is at his best when he is hitting his one-handed topspin with authority, because on grass an opponent has to prepare for the slice and the drive, and if the maestro is hitting both well he can keep a player on the proverbial leash until he gets his chance to close in on the net and finish (note: Federer is exceptionally fast at getting in, like SPRINTER fast, and, dare we say, Edberg fast?).

Finally, the volley: Federer has such soft hands and improvises so well (he does both on the forehand volley that wrong foots Lorenzi), and he is one of the best in history at carving the ball so that it dies in the grass like a leaf that has blown off a nearby tree.

Last but not least: Even though Lorenzi makes an above average passing attempt, Federer’s agility allows him to make the stab and hit the perfect volley to get the point.

Posted: 6/24/2014 9:56:48 PM