This Federer guy is a stunningly talented tennis player. Of course, it helps that tennis “technology” has produced racquets that are both large and light. In fact, the limit seems to be that, soon, the heaviest single component in a tennis racquet will be the strings.
These racquets let the players play the ball so high that the effect is amazing. Really, the game resembles table tennis more than ever, in the sense that players can hit the ball down into their opponent’s side, with a lateral arm motion (rather than an over-the-top, serve-like motion) like never before. In other words, a player in table tennis often hits the ball very hard when it’s significantly higher than the net, down into his opponent’s side and away; now tennis players are able to do so as well, and the ball does not have to be so high as to require an overhead, serve-style strike. In fact, this lateral strike is very similar in technique to that used in table tennis to gain the same effect: an outright winner at top velocity, a slam.
The result is that tennis players are able to find angles of attack that are acuter than ever, and struck at top velocity as well. I’ve never seen so many good shots, not serves, that are both on/near the line and inside the service area. Who needs to risk a serve and volley attack when you can get a higher guarantee, a guarantee of an outright winner, whenever your opponent merely leaves too much air below his ball?
And Federer takes advantage of it better than anybody. As I write this, he’s 2-1 up on Roddick having just won the third-set tiebreaker. I wish my compatriot, Roddick, didn’t use a 2-handed backhand. Federer doesn’t, but then nobody, and I mean nobody, moves their feet as well as he. Really, that’s why he can strike a one-handed backhand so well (light and large racquet helps a lot, obviously). It’s the key to his talent, imo.
Federer is probably a great dancer. Great, great feet on that guy.