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FRENCH OPEN: MADRID WIN “BODES WELL” FOR ROGER FEDERER


*INTERVIEW BY FREAKYFRITES WITH PATRICK MCENROE + MARY CARILLO

via GOTOTENNIS

Mary Carillo and Patrick McEnroe, who will be anchoring ESPN’s French Open commentary team at Roland Garros next week, took time to chat with reporters (and me) about the upcoming action on the terre battue. Here’s some of what they had to say about Nadal, Federer and the rest of the field:
Nadal will be “raring to go”

McEnroe says Rafael Nadal is the obvious and overwhelming favorite, despite a grueling hard court season and his recent loss to Federer in Madrid.

“He’s more devastating on clay than he’s ever been” McEnroe said of the four time champion. “And this is what separates Nadal from the other clay court players – as he’s gotten better on the other surfaces he’s gotten better on clay. He’s more aggressive, he hits his backhand better, his serve is better. . .He’ll be raring to go in Paris. It will take the most Herculean effort for someone to beat him.”
“If Federer couldn’t win in Madrid, he might as well not even show up in Paris.”

Though McEnroe was doubtful about Federer’s chances in the Paris final, he said Roger’s victory over Rafael Nadal in the Madrid final could help him in the long run.

“It helps Roger a heck of a lot more than it hurts Rafa,” McEnroe said of the outcome. “Before Madrid, I was wondering if Roger could keep that record of (19) consecutive semi-finals going. . .I don’t think (the loss) will effect Rafa at all, but it bodes well for Roger at the French and even more so at Wimbledon.”

“If Federer couldn’t win that final in Madrid, he might as well not even show up in Paris, in terms of his chances at Roland Garros.” McEnroe said, adding that “everything was lined up for him” in terms of the conditions and the draw.
“Nadal has changed the paradigm”

Mary Carillo thinks Nadal is the man to beat, not only at Roland Garros but on any surface: “As much as you can hand every artistic and aesthetic accolade to Federer, Rafa Nadal has changed the way the game is played. . .not just on clay but anywhere. If you want to be the greatest tennis player you can be, you watch Nadal. I think he’s changed the sport in terms of how demanding and punishing the game is. Nadal has changed the paradigm.”
What about Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray?

More than Federer, McEnroe likes Djokovic’s chances against the paradigm-changing Spaniard: “I put Djokovic slightly ahead as the favorite over Roger and I think the draw will be crucial. Roger would much rather see Andy Murray on his side of the draw and I think Rafa will feel the same way.”

I asked if Andy Murray, as the new World No. 3, was completely out of the Roland Garros conversation, especially if he landed on Federer’s side of the draw.

“What he lacks is being physically offensive.” said McEnroe of Murray. “On the other surfaces he’s able to nick you here, dink you there and he gets help from the surface. But on clay he needs to go after the ball with his whole body. I don’t expect him to live up to his seeding. . .I don’t like his chances against Federer on clay.”
Do the American men stand a chance?

The Davis Cup Captain has lowered expectations for the American men at Roland Garros: “I’ve said it the last couple of years and I’ll say it again: a good result for the American men will be to have one of them around at the end of week one.”

The plot thickens on Friday, when the Roland Garros draw will be released. Who do you think is the biggest threat to Rafa’s reign?

via GOTOTENNIS

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Tags: ATP, Djokovic, Federer, French, Garros, Murray, Nadal, Open, Roland, tennis

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Comment by CoachV - William Vazquez on May 22, 2009 at 10:48pm
What Nadal and Federer are Really thinking" if we kiss right now would it be gay?"
Comment by Hugh Ching on May 21, 2009 at 5:33pm
Please visit:
Please visit tennis.com below for the discussion of the French:

http://www.tennis.com/messageboard/forums/forum-view.asp?fid=3

For your convenience, the three most pertinent posts are enclosed below:

Subject: How NOT To Play Nadal

The main winning strategy of Nadal is to feed very safe (two or more feet above the net) and high strong topspin to his opponents and induce them to smash the ball and make unforced errors. Nadal with his fast feet can easily get most of the smashes back from way back in the court, except when the smash is a very angled (return of a short ball), a very prompt (block taken on the rise) or a very strong (the Jumpulse Stroke) shot.

It is important NOT to play Nadal in the above fashion. Opponents of Nadal should play a percentage game figuring out what strategy has a better percentage against Nadal. For Roger Federer, his forehand Jumpulse Stroke should have a favorable percentage against the topspin moon ball of Nadal, and his backhand smash has a very unfavorable percentage and is explored heavily by Nadal and many other players in the past. Topspin is not a precise shot, while the Jumpulse Stroke can be a very precise shot. Thus, the Jumpulse Stroke should have a better percentage of winning on the average.

In Madrid, Djokovic could have won if he did not keep smashing topspin moon balls of Nadal, especially, during important points, when Nadal tricked him to smash. Nadal fed him high topspin moon balls to hit, especially, to the inflexible two-handed backhand, while Nadal could get everything back on the slow clay with his fast feet.

Nadal feeds high topspin balls (1) to give himself more time to recover, (2) to create the high jump on clay, which changes most of the topspin energy into forward energy, (3) to make the balls jump high because the balls experiencing a larger downward pull before the bounce due to the high topspin than after the bounce, when the topspin is reduced by the non-slipping condition on clay, (4) to make the topspin balls hard to smash, especially, with the backhand, which is not as flexible and cannot reach as high as the forehand, and (5) most importantly, to trick his opponent to hit hard with a high ball.

Djorkovic still needs to improve his timing before he can have a Jumpulse Stroke like the jumpulse forehand of Federer. In fact, he can have two Jumpulse Strokes, a one-handed forehand and a two-handed backhand. Our coaches recommends that he practices double hitting, which is demonstrated in a video for table tennis in the following site:

http://www.jumpulse.com

He also should practice catching a ball, as in the above video, but at a very high speed, say, 120 mph, especially, just before a game.

A tennis double hit forehand is shown in the web site:

http://www.jumpulsetennis.com

which is probably done by accident and shows some Lift.

For precise timing, the player has to be very calm. Both Federer and Djokovic have very calm temperament.

After he has precise timing, as demonstrated by his double hitting, he will need more acceleration power or jumpulse. Gradually, he can change his swing speed into acceleration power. He will gradually develop jumpulse muscles. Djokovic is progressing through the evolution of tennis, from the Acceleration Tennis of Doug King to "push tennis" (with no back swing) of Oscar Wegner, and finally moving toward the Jumpulse Stroke of Ta-You Wu and Hugh Ching, adding a powerful jumpulse to the "push tennis."

Currently, he already has the habit to Lift the ball using the prolonged time provided him by his acceleration stroke.

After he has switched from the acceleration stroke to the Jumpulse Stroke, he can then improve his steadiness by hitting as hard as he wishes, which is what he needs in order to play Nadal.

For Federer, he should center his game around his extraordinary jumpulse forehand. In particular, he should hit harder with his forehand stroke, not softer, to improve his steadiness and should not smash the topspin of Nadal, just placing the ball, with his backhand. Nadal can practically run down all backhand balls, especially, on slow clay, but not angle shots and jumpulse smashes. Federer needs to practice running sideways to hit with his forehand.

The drop shot of Federer is effective against Nadal, when Nadal tries to feed high topspin moon balls from way back in the court. One handed players have an advantage over two-handed players in net game, due to the flexibility and the reach.

Nadal goes into a defensive style when he tries to win important points, such as during a tie break. When Nadal goes into a defensive style, Djokovic and Federer should also go into the defensive mood, except the use of the Jumpulse Stroke. The main point of a defensive style is NEVER TO MAKE UNFORCED ERRORS, such as by not smashing the ball, if Nadal can still reach the ball.

They should practice the jumpulse block or the counter punch stroke, such as those of Agassi, Nalbandian and Verdesco, so that it become more steady than the topspin stroke of Nadal. Practicing the block is less tiring than practicing hard hitting or topspin. It can be best done by blocking topspin balls with, say, 5000 rpm, from a (modified, if necessary) topspin ball machine, which never gets tired.

Nadal and his most intelligent and devoted coaches have already figured out the strategy of Murray and Simon, who stay back to wait for the topspin ball to come to them. When Murray or Simon plays from way back, Nadal plays close and uses angles shots to gain an advantage.

Nadal is an expert on Federer. Federer should also become an expert on Nadal. Nadal is basically a defensive player. It is his defensive tactics Federer should be worrying. The greatest asset of Nadal is his coaches, led by Uncle Toni. On the other hand, Federer knows more about tennis than any coach with a tennis background, so it is inconvenient for him to hire a coach, who will be less knowledgeable than himself. Our scientific jumpulse coaches are trying to balance the tremendous advantage of Nadal in coaching. Federer still has about three peak years to win the French, and our jumpulse coaches recommend that he concentrates on practicing his jumpulse block (counter punch) against left-handed strong topspin balls from a ball mahine, until his block is more steady than the topspin of Nadal.

Madrid is an important win for Federer to gain confidence, just before the French. With long matches, as in the French, it is more important to know what not to do against Nadal as what to do. Good luck, Roger! ### Chien Yi Lee, Spokesperson for Post-Science Institute, 5-16-2009


Subject: Jumpulse Versus Topspin: Federer Versus Nadal

Post-Science Institute deals with knowledge. When it studies Roger Federer, it discloses the strengths and, unfortunately, also the weaknesses of Federer. To be fair, it will start to study Rafael Nadal and his defensive topspin style designed by Uncle Toni and the new offensive style developed by Nadal recently.

The comparison of Nadal vs. Federer would be a classic case of comparing Topspin vs. Jumpulse. Our jumpulse coaches are really only interested in jumpulse and its relationship to touch, collision without bounce, but since jumpulse is losing to topspin, they are challenged by topspin and Nadal or Uncle Toni.

Topspin had dominated table tennis for a couple of decades, until the world champion Ito was beaten by a not-top-ranked Chinese block player with the scores around 6-21. The topspin style almost vanished overnight and gradually taken over by the current strong spin game, which uses jumpulse to produce strong spins. Before topspin, the Jumpulse style had dominated for a decade before the introduction of strong spins with thick rubber and sponge. Due to closeness of the players in table tennis, the world class players today play a combination style of jumpulse block and very strong spin. The art of the Jumpulse Stroke is lost in table tennis and the Jumpulse Stroke is probably not understood by table tennis coaches, except that official Chinese coaching manuals mention that a player should "explode upon contact." I believe, as told to me by my jumpulse coaches, that the combination of the Jumpulse Stroke and the jumpulse block (counter punch) will be the dominant style of the future and will put post-Newtonian physics to work.

Roger Federer has demonstrated up to now the most scientifically designed smash stroke, according to our jumpulse coaches. It is the Jumpulse Stroke. In fact, they believe that it is the only real smash stroke because one can hit as hard as one wants and still be very consistent, due to the control. A topspin smash lacks the forward momentum. Experimentally, his forehand jumpulse stroke establishes Federer to be possibly the greatest player in history. But, now until Federer can overcome Nadal, the topspin style might appear to be superior than the Jumpulse style.

Winning is everything; talking is only useful if it leads to winning. Federer won in Madrid because Nadal did not or was not allowed by Federer to play his defensive topspin game, which Uncle Toni designed for Nadal to win on clay. Madrid could be a fluke. The French will be the real test, depending on whether Nadal wins or loses, not necessarily beaten by Federer.

Here I shall explain some of the characteristics of the topspin game. As I mentioned before, a very strong topspin moon ball is not only nearly perfectly safe for Nadal, it is very difficult for his opponents, especially, on clay, where most of the rotational energy will translate into forward speed after the bounce and the ball will bounce up higher than normal because it experiences a stronger downward pull before than after the bounce. Attacking style is common, but a left-handed hard topspin player with fast feet is rare.

Nadal has to hit his topspins from way back in the court because topspin is best hit and is strongest when the ball trajectory is moving downward, almost parallel to the hitting surface. Only block/counter punch players like Nalbandian and Verdasco can pull Nadal in with their fast, low, and angled blocks. Federer can do it with the pinpoint precision of his jumpulse forehand stroke.

The Jumpulse Stroke has one big advantage over topspin in that the former is precise and the later is not in placing a ball. Federer must take the risk of putting this precision to work and of hitting the ball to very hard to reach places against Nadal. But, it might be difficult for Federer to hit a strong high topspin on clay. It will be a struggle, but it is the only chance for Federer. Thus, Federer should revolve his game around his forehand jumpulse stroke.

The topspin stroke is slow when compared to the Jumpulse Stroke. It also needs room for its large "back swing" or upward swing and thus dislike low balls, which do not allow it to produce strong topspin. In tennis, the racket cannot move below the playing surface, as in table tennis. A block player can keep the ball always low (someday Verdasco will beat Nadal, if they continue to practice together). Roger Federer can also keep the ball low with the precision of his jumpulse forehand.

Keeping the ball low is difficult against Nadal, who keeps the ball high with his strong topspin moon balls. Thus, against Nadal, it would be a competition in keeping the ball high or low.

In the old days, many female players, when trying to win an important point, exchange moon balls. The moon ball is naturally an excellent shot, but it is not "macho." Nadal or Uncle Toni legitimized it by adding left-handed topspin to it.

There will be plenty of topspin moon balls at the French, especially, when Nadal is trailing. There is no reason to believe that Nadal can dominate tennis with an attacking style. He will go back from his newly developed attacking style to Uncle Toni designed defensive style as soon as he is losing. Federer must attack successfully the moon balls with his jumpulse forehand and use the drop shot to disallow Nadal from standing too far from the baseline, where he can execute the strong topspin moon balls. Federer one-handed grip has an advantage over two-handed grip close to the net.

To hit a high ball, Federer must remember to grab the ball first before applying the jumpulse; he should not make flat shots, no matter how high. In baseball, a thrower must first have a good grab on the ball before making a strong throw. In tennis the principle is the same, but it is difficult to grab the ball with a flat surface. Yet, it must be done to keep the ball under control at all times. A flat surface grabs the ball by a shear force (topspin, back spin or side spin). The steadiness of the second serve of Federer is due to the grab and the jumpulse. Hitting a high ball should follow the same principle.

If hit back with a flat shot, the strong topspin of Nadal will return as a back spin shot, which will just sit there for Nadal to attack. Thus the block or the Jumpulse stroke should be low and fast, which can be done by taking the ball on the rise and by standing close to the baseline. Thank you for your consideration. ### Edited by Chien Yi Lee, Post-Science Institute, 5-20-2009


Subject: How NOT To Play Nadal

The main winning strategy of Nadal is to feed very safe (two or more feet above the net) and high strong topspin to his opponents and induce them to smash the ball and make unforced errors. Nadal with his fast feet can easily get most of the smashes back from way back in the court, except when the smash is a very angled (return of a short ball), a very prompt (block taken on the rise) or a very strong (the Jumpulse Stroke) shot.

It is important NOT to play Nadal in the above fashion. Opponents of Nadal should play a percentage game figuring out what strategy has a better percentage against Nadal. For Roger Federer, his forehand Jumpulse Stroke should have a favorable percentage against the topspin moon ball of Nadal, and his backhand smash has a very unfavorable percentage and is explored heavily by Nadal and many other players in the past. Topspin is not a precise shot, while the Jumpulse Stroke can be a very precise shot. Thus, the Jumpulse Stroke should have a better percentage of winning on the average.

In Madrid, Djokovic could have won if he did not keep smashing topspin moon balls of Nadal, especially, during important points, when Nadal tricked him to smash. Nadal fed him high topspin moon balls to hit, especially, to the inflexible two-handed backhand, while Nadal could get everything back on the slow clay with his fast feet.

Nadal feeds high topspin balls (1) to give himself more time to recover, (2) to create the high jump on clay, which changes most of the topspin energy into forward energy, (3) to make the balls jump high because the balls experiencing a larger downward pull before the bounce due to the high topspin than after the bounce, when the topspin is reduced by the non-slipping condition on clay, (4) to make the topspin balls hard to smash, especially, with the backhand, which is not as flexible and cannot reach as high as the forehand, and (5) most importantly, to trick his opponent to hit hard with a high ball.

Djorkovic still needs to improve his timing before he can have a Jumpulse Stroke like the jumpulse forehand of Federer. In fact, he can have two Jumpulse Strokes, a one-handed forehand and a two-handed backhand. Our coaches recommends that he practices double hitting, which is demonstrated in a video for table tennis in the following site:

http://www.jumpulse.com

He also should practice catching a ball, as in the above video, but at a very high speed, say, 120 mph, especially, just before a game.

A tennis double hit forehand is shown in the web site:

http://www.jumpulsetennis.com

which is probably done by accident and shows some Lift.

For precise timing, the player has to be very calm. Both Federer and Djokovic have very calm temperament.

After he has precise timing, as demonstrated by his double hitting, he will need more acceleration power or jumpulse. Gradually, he can change his swing speed into acceleration power. He will gradually develop jumpulse muscles. Djokovic is progressing through the evolution of tennis, from the Acceleration Tennis of Doug King to "push tennis" (with no back swing) of Oscar Wegner, and finally moving toward the Jumpulse Stroke of Ta-You Wu and Hugh Ching, adding a powerful jumpulse to the "push tennis."

Currently, he already has the habit to Lift the ball using the prolonged time provided him by his acceleration stroke.

After he has switched from the acceleration stroke to the Jumpulse Stroke, he can then improve his steadiness by hitting as hard as he wishes, which is what he needs in order to play Nadal.

For Federer, he should center his game around his extraordinary jumpulse forehand. In particular, he should hit harder with his forehand stroke, not softer, to improve his steadiness and should not smash the topspin of Nadal, just placing the ball, with his backhand. Nadal can practically run down all backhand balls, especially, on slow clay, but not angle shots and jumpulse smashes. Federer needs to practice running sideways to hit with his forehand.

The drop shot of Federer is effective against Nadal, when Nadal tries to feed high topspin moon balls from way back in the court. One handed players have an advantage over two-handed players in net game, due to the flexibility and the reach.

Nadal goes into a defensive style when he tries to win important points, such as during a tie break. When Nadal goes into a defensive style, Djokovic and Federer should also go into the defensive mood, except the use of the Jumpulse Stroke. The main point of a defensive style is NEVER TO MAKE UNFORCED ERRORS, such as by not smashing the ball, if Nadal can still reach the ball.

They should practice the jumpulse block or the counter punch stroke, such as those of Agassi, Nalbandian and Verdesco, so that it become more steady than the topspin stroke of Nadal. Practicing the block is less tiring than practicing hard hitting or topspin. It can be best done by blocking topspin balls with, say, 5000 rpm, from a (modified, if necessary) topspin ball machine, which never gets tired.

Nadal and his most intelligent and devoted coaches have already figured out the strategy of Murray and Simon, who stay back to wait for the topspin ball to come to them. When Murray or Simon plays from way back, Nadal plays close and uses angles shots to gain an advantage.

Nadal is an expert on Federer. Federer should also become an expert on Nadal. Nadal is basically a defensive player. It is his defensive tactics Federer should be worrying. The greatest asset of Nadal is his coaches, led by Uncle Toni. On the other hand, Federer knows more about tennis than any coach with a tennis background, so it is inconvenient for him to hire a coach, who will be less knowledgeable than himself. Our scientific jumpulse coaches are trying to balance the tremendous advantage of Nadal in coaching. Federer still has about three peak years to win the French, and our jumpulse coaches recommend that he concentrates on practicing his jumpulse block (counter punch) against left-handed strong topspin balls from a ball mahine, until his block is more steady than the topspin of Nadal.

Madrid is an important win for Federer to gain confidence, just before the French. With long matches, as in the French, it is more important to know what not to do against Nadal as what to do. Good luck, Roger! ### Chien Yi Lee, Spokesperson for Post-Science Institute, 5-16-2009

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