Tuesday, September 14

Roger Federer at 2010 US Open

You can hear John McEnroe doing color commentary actually call it too before it happens. I've done this shot in both tennis and table tennis for winners, but of course, not in front of a few thousand fans and on television, etc. I've also missed it quite a few times...



billybytedoc said...


Raelha said...

Dabul's face after the shot is a picture.

This is why I consider Federer as the best player ever, over Nadal (and others). It's the apparent effortlessness, the smoothness, the style, with which he plays that does it for me. Yes, Nadal is impressive, incredibly focused and strong mentally, but watching him play is never going to be the same as feasting on Federer's sublime tennis. Even on an off day there are always one or two shots to make you go "wow!".

Raelha said...

And a question: How on earth do you do this shot in table tennis?!

Metamatician said...

Pretty easily, actually. Say you're playing very close to the table for some reason, or have come in on a dink shot. The opponent now does a big looping smash (important it has lots of topspin on it to give is height and time in the air, if he smashes it flat, you'll never get to it). It jumps up over you and goes deep. Normally a winner but if you're particularly quick to read it and a bit lucky, you can sprint back and try to return it.

Now in real matches the ball will usually be falling to your left or right and you charge at it with your back to the table. In that case a wrist flick is the most appropriate shot, though even if it goes in, you're probably gonna lose the point unless your opponent has suddenly gone to sleep.

Occasionally you'll find yourself running directly AT the ball as it falls, and that gives you a chance to flick it between your legs from a spot below the level of the table. It's best not to put much spin of any sort on this shot; you want to drive it flat to one of the far corner, like you see Fed do in this video clip. Otherwise you'll either miss the table, or you'll send your opponent a floater than he'll just smash somewhere else.

Granted, it's a shot I've not used more than a few times in my whole life, even in practice, whereas the tennis version I've practiced quite a bit (though haven't used it in a real match more than a couple times). This shot is possible but not advised in badminton too. Actually the best use for the "tweener" might be in racquetball- I've probably used it a dozen or more times, most for winners. That's because in racquetball you have a back wall which the ball can legally come off of after a smash, which gives you plenty of opportunities to play it off the wall. Ideally, you'll move to one side or the other and play it off the wall into a corner for a kill, but every once in awhile you get turned around and find the ball dropping off the back wall directly in front of you. In this case, you can drop to your knees and flick it back over your head, or keep your feet and flick it between your pegs. It all depends on the trajectory of the ball. A ball with no pace falling off the wall is the best candidate for using a tweener.

Hope that answered your question! I'd be happy to show you the shot done successfully in almost any racquet sport if we ever meet up!

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