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Infinite Tennis
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Is Roger Federer the Greatest Tennis Player Ever?

By Roger Haeske

*** What You Can Learn From His Game ***

What a performance at the US Open yesterday by Roger Federer. I thought Roger was in for a much tougher match considering how Lleyton Hewitt crushed Joachim Johansson in yesterday's semifinal.

But beating Roger these days is quite an achievement. I've been watching the pros play since Bjorn Borg, but I don't think I've ever seen a better player than Roger Federer. He hits shots no one else does. He does everything well. He's made me get really excited about watching tennis. I always want to see what kind of unbelievable shots he comes up with next.

Let's analyze Roger's game a bit and see if you can use any of his techniques for winning more matches and creating beautiful shots.

Roger can just about do it all. He is very deceptive in his game. He is always so calm and he doesn't seem like an overpowering hitter of ground strokes. There is a good reason why Roger is so deceptive. It's because he uses the whole tennis court and he dramatically varies his pace.

It isn't all power for Roger. He very often will slow down his shot or put extra topspin or slice to get better placement of his shots. Most of the pros out there seem to be about hitting with power and they don't do much else than that.

Roger is a master of the whole court. He uses all of the offensive target areas in tennis. He knows that placement is more important than power.

What are these target areas? The obvious one to most people is to hit the ball deep to either the forehand or backhand corners. This is what most players focus on but there are two other major target areas in a tennis court, the side T's at the service line and the drop shot target areas right in front and to the outsides of the net.

By aiming for the side T's you can drag your opponent way off court. Then you just have to follow up with a good shot down the line and then come to net to cut off the angle and quickly end the point.

If I had any criticism of Roger, it was that he could have gone to the net more often and ended points sooner. McEnroe mentioned this also, on a point where Roger hit a great lob over the head of Hewitt. Roger should have gone to the net.

At the net you can hit the absolute best angles. Going to the net is often the best and safest way to win a point. The idea is to come to the net when you have your opponent in a defensive position. Developing a solid volleying technique and knowing how and where to hit approach shots will help you win many more points and more quickly, I might add. Going to the net has the added benefit of conserving your energy.

Students who take tennis lessons with me learn how to use the whole court to outmaneuver their opponents. They learn my special strategy so that they can win a point on an easy shot instead of a difficult shot almost all of the time.

They quickly learn the 80/20 rule as applied to tennis. This rule says that 80% of your results come from only 20% of your efforts. This is very true in tennis as well. They work on mastering the most important shots and strategies to help them win. They don't waste time on things that are difficult to master and produce little in the way of results. Those shots come later after they have mastered consistency, placement and strategy.

They also learn rapidly via techniques such as Overcompensation and End Results Thinking. Thinking about mechanics while you are hitting shot virtually guarantees a missed shot. I teach students how to listen to their inner mechanics so that they can get out of their head and into the zone.

It was interesting to watch Roger deliberately draw Hewitt into the net. Roger has such tremendous passing shots that he wants his opponents to come to the net. He generates tremendous power from short swings by using his wrists in a precise manner. Roger is the wrist master in my opinion. Using the wrist properly with topspin is very important to developing powerful shots.

How did Roger create all of these shots? He often makes shots I've never seen being made at any level of tennis.

All shots and all skills in life start out as an idea in your imagination. When you are out on the court, you must imagine what you can achieve, not what you can't do. As long as you hold to the image you will eventually learn how to hit that shot. But what happens to most people is that they become discouraged and they stop imaging such a great shot.

The proper use of imagination and a technique I call Magic Questions can help you to develop amazing shots for yourself. The key again is to stick with your inner image. To continue until you have succeeded. Don't let thoughts of failure enter your mind for you will have no chance then of reaching your goal. You can learn about using the imagination and the Magic Questions technique with a free report from my Peak Performance website

What else makes Roger so great? Here are four other factors.

1. Serve 2. Return of Serve 3. Speed 4. Defense

Roger has a great serve. It isn't the best serve out there but it is formidable. He has power and accuracy. Had he served better in the second set I'm sure there would never have been a tie breaker.

His return of serve is one of the best in tennis. The serve and return of serve are the two most important shots in the game and he is great at both of them. Roger was barely phased by the serving power of Andy Roddick at Wimbledon. If Andy Roddick's serve doesn't scare him, then I can't see too many other serves ever giving him much of a problem. I think his return of serve is really one of his most important keys to greatness.

Roger is also very fast on the court. We always think of Lleyton Hewitt as the fastest players out there. But I think Roger Federer is just as fast. Lleyton made a bunch of unforced errors because Roger kept getting back all of his shots and then being aggressive when he needed to be. Trust me, most pros would have had problems getting back the shots that Lleyton was hitting not to mention hitting them offensively. But for Roger, it just looked like another walk in the park.

Finally we can talk about his defense. Roger hit amazing lobs and well placed defensive shots when he was in trouble. Many players only focus on offense, but if you want to be good you also have to know how to be good on defense. Roger is also a master on defense.

Roger Federer is the total package. Interestingly enough, I think he can get even better. He has room to improve. So he might be even tougher to beat in the future.

If you want to take your game to a higher level then you'll want to take tennis lessons from Peak Performance Tennis Pro Roger Haeske. For more information on how your game will dramatically improve with my lessons, click on or paste this link into your Internet Browser: or call me at 732-432-4839

Play in the Zone, Roger Haeske





Copyright 1999-2005 Roger Haeske 
Last modified: March 07, 2005
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