I had the opportunity to see Roger the other day playing in his semi finals match at Indian Wells against Borna Ćorić. His match was entertaining with a lot of great points by both players. It looked like Ćorić was going to win the match with a set and a break up before Roger started to change his game plan a bit. Let’s take a look at what he did to see if you can learn something from his strategy.
What Federer Is Good At Didn’t Work
Roger realized that his aggressive tactics that he normally does worked well for Ćorić’s style of play. Every time Roger pushed his opponent into the corner, Ćorić would find a way to play at a higher level and win the point. This was the routine for a set and a half until Roger started to realize that he put his opponent into a comfortable position to perform at his best. This means that Ćorić didn’t really have to think in his retriever mode, allowing him to play at a high level. This was not a good situation for Roger and he knew it, so he switched things up.
Good To Have a Plan B
When you’re best isn’t working, it’s easy to grind out the tactic even harder, thinking that the problem is your effort. Sometimes it’s the understanding that what you’re good at allows your opponent to play their best. The more you can switch your tactics so that your opponent has to think, the better you will have an opportunity to win the match. This is what Roger did. He started hitting balls to the middle of the court and making Ćorić be the aggressor. This is not a comfortable position as he eventually made a lot of mistakes that Roger was able to take advantage of and win the match.
Learning Lesson: Think Out There!
Roger said at the post match interview that his match was a “cat and mouse game.” Meaning he had to think out his strategy a bit more so that he could continue to keep his opponent uncomfortable and give himself the best chance at winning. Being the retriever wasn’t what Roger wanted to do but it was what was needed. Consider switching your tactics up to give yourself a better chance of winning. The only way to understand when to do this is to focus on the patterns of the match and see switches are needed to win.
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