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By Chris Oddo | Tuesday September 1, 2015



Roger Federer has created quite a buzz with his new ambush-style of returning second serves, and while the play doesn’t always pay immediate dividends in the form of points won, Federer has proven that he can win big points with it and, perhaps more importantly, get inside the head of his opponents.

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After his 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Leonardo Mayer on Tuesday however, Federer said that the tactic is actually helping him mentally. How, you ask? The Swiss maestro says it helps him to be committed, because there’s no way to take a second-serve return from the service line without being all-in.

“Sometimes, you know, I stand there and I'm like, Should I or shouldn't I?” he said. “And then it's like, Okay, whatever, I'm going. The good thing is when you do it, you have to play committed. There's no way around it. So when you do it, you're fully committed; whereas if you stand back and chip and charge sometimes you can hit it and you can still check it and decide to stay back. I kind of really like it, because whatever is committed in tennis is a good thing."

Federer actually told Swiss reporter Rene Stauffer that he and his team have a name for the new return. 


Federer said he had some difficulty ambushing Mayer’s second serve today because the Argentine serves up around 105. But he added that he plans to continue adding the wrinkle in New York to see where it takes him. “Today was tougher just because he was averaging maybe 105 second serves, which is big in our game,” Federer said. “So against guys that serve around 80, 85, 90, it's much easier. You feel like they drop it shorter in the box so you can even step it up a bit closer and you can even generate some pace sometimes. But so far I have really been enjoying it, and I hope I can keep it up against all these players.”

Here’s a lo-fi look at one of Federer’s attempt from today’s win:

 

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