Federer’s Backhand In Australia

Prior to his injury, Federer had dropped his number one ranking but today he has won the Australian Open.  Tennis pundits in recent years have bestowed the best one handed backhand drive in the game to Stan Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet.  Wawrinka most likely today generates the most power from the back hand wing and Gasquet utilizes more torque from a smaller physique.  However; Roger Federer today demonstrated the importance of a compact back swing and set up to deal with the immense power generated by today’s tour players.  While enjoying the highlights this morning, I noticed that Roger was always delivering the drive on the backhand side during service return when in years past he would often deliver the more defensive blocking style of return.  It’s evident that in the run up to his tour return that his team put a focus on absolute conviction of the backhand drive from every backhand position on the court.  This would have lead to more repetition in practice and mastery of set up.  Today he delivered fluid cross court backhand winners at will with acute angles while managing points with sustained depth from the base line all in the context of that human back board on the other side, Rafael Nadal.  Not only now a legend of the game, in Roger Federer tennis has never had a better ambassador of the sport.