Monday, June 25, 2018

Roger Federer vs David Nalbandian 2004 Australian Open Quarterfinal / How to beat a counter puncher

 Serve as a Weapon
Federer utilizes a full shoulder tilt on his serve to get the maximum pace and direction. He isn't content to hit an easy serve with a low toss and zero power. To beat the counter puncher you need a powerful serve. Spend time developing your serve into a true weapon. Around 35 minutes Federer is down 5-5 15-40  and he hits two aces. So while the counter puncher is jogging, the champion practices their serve for these crucial moments.

Physical Conditioning
To beat the counter puncher you must be in great shape. You may have to be in better shape than the counter puncher because you have to move your feet more to play superior offensive tennis. Federer stays the course with this strategy, keeping his play consistent knowing his superior offense will win the match. He is not intimidated by Nalbandian's physical play because Federer is in great shape. Federer knows he can take the ball early and make Nalbandian run more than he has to. When two players are equal whoever does the most running usually loses. He will win this physical war. Federer pumps his fist after each successful play.  You need at least equal defense to the counter puncher to succeed. Your own slices and defense pay off against counter punchers. You should be happy drawing errors from them. The more consistent your offense the more errors they will make.

Down 4-3 in the second set;  Federer is brilliant by playing great defense forcing a counter puncher to play offense in a tight spot of the match Nalbandian can't do it. 15-30. Take them out of their comfort zone. They would prefer to counter punch. Take them out of that.  Federer then crushes the ball up the middle. Again forcing the counter puncher to create offense. Plays a great point where he takes offense and wins the point. Bewildering Nalbandian who launches a ball high in the sky.

Dealing with Bad Line Calls
When you encounter the problem of your opponent jipping you on calls you must counteract this by continuing to play your game and let the calls fall where they may. If the call is egregious Ask if they are sure? Stay focused and convert close to 100% of your game point chances. As you are at a disadvantage with the counter puncher cheating you on line calls. A perfect example of this is when Federer hits the ball on the line at 28:39. Nalbandian wants to call it out, but lucky for Federer the umpires are there to call it good. Another awful display of cheating is that of the Wake Forest players in their recent NCAA championship. Absolutely disgraceful that they call clearly in balls on the right sideline and baseline out. If a player like Nalbandian played for Wake Forest he would win all his matches. But you can't cheat with line calls at the pro level.

Develop a Complete Game
The other thing you must have to beat a counter puncher is to have a complete game. Offense, defense, variation and knowing when to play what. And of course being able to execute this. Federer has taken the time developing his game in this way. He therefore can expect to make a withdrawal during the match. Federer stays ahead in the score and plays defense with an eye towards finishing the point at net with a simple angled volley. This takes time and there are no short cuts. Keep your eye towards long term success in tennis.

 World Class Offense
       On another point Federer's defense forces Nalbandian to play some offense himself. And of course this counter puncher is not entirely built for it. Federer wins the set 7-5 after a long cross court backhand rally ended on an error by Nalbandian. Federer utilized his variety with a short slice up the line. Federer hits some great drop volleys. Expect to make some great shots at net if you want to beat a counter puncher. You simply have to finish off the points by making overheads and volleys to beat them. Rise to the challenge!  And Nalbandian sets the point up beautifully finishing with a volley.

       Lots of deep cross court shots forcing Nalbandian to cover the whole court. No one can. Then Federer is firing backhands down the line. He is very confident and very deliberate with these big shots. As you must against a pusher. Still its not just ripping every shot it is patiently waiting for your openings to then pull the trigger. If your game relies too much on the other playing missing you will never be number one in the world, that's for sure. You must have offense and defense to reign supreme. All things equal the man with superior offense will win.

Personal Experience
I once lost a match 0-6, 3-6 to Miles Holman when I was controlling the offense but he got everything back.I played another guy Max Epley who had beat Miles and lost 0-6, 0-6. This guy blew me off the court with offense. He told me Miles went for too much and the way to beat him was to play good defense. He seemed unaware he was a much better player than me and my matchup with Miles was different. 

Be Opportunistic
1:05:00 You want to keep the ball out of the middle but you can try for the middle to get your timing refined. If you try to hit it down the line sometimes you will hit it well wide. 4 consecutive unforced errors from Federer means 0-40 for Nalbandian.  But Nalbandian shows his true colors and chokes. He is just trying to tap the return instead of hitting it. Now Federer plays one of the most versatile points you will ever see. Defense then splendid offense to claw back to 30-40. But Federer makes the error 4-3 Nalbandian second set. You must hang in the match at all times. But the winner of the match is the person that rises up and steals the game points. The loser is the one who does not. Do you want to lose closely or not so closely? Or do you want to win closely or not so closely? How you play those key points will determine this plain and simple.

       Nalbandian has his nerve back. A run around inside out forehand from Federer is counter punched up the line by Nalbandian for the winner. This is what Nalbandian does best, feels comfortable doing.  4-4 all second set. This ninth game is the most crucial in the set. The loser will feel like every point down 4-5 is a set point. Do all you can to win the 4-4 all game.Federer does that in style. He is completely refreshed and reset his serving approach. He forgot all about the last game when he got broken, he is focusing on something new. Fed hits 4 straight huge serves to save energy and move on to the next game. Something a counter puncher can't do. Federer dancing like a ballet artist with quick strike tennis 0-15. Federer playing some good defense. Anticipates a drop volley from Nalbandian and doesn't panic. Calms his adrenaline and hits a finesse angled shot for a winner. Nalbandian proves me wrong with a big serve.
Federer wins the second set. Nalbandian launches another ball into the seats as the umpire talks to him. Federer leads 7-5, 6-4. Surely Nalbandian will not go gently into this good night.

With those principles in mind. Here is the conclusion of the match: Here is the play by play with commentary: 

1:19:00  Federer leads 7-5, 6-4
 Federer looks so composed on the change over just going over his game plan and mentality.

In the 2nd set statistics there is not one stat where Nalbandian is superior to Federer. Impressively, Federer has more winners and less errors. He goes for a lot with his game and makes it.

They are showing the 2nd set highlights, these two produce an exciting brand of tennis, I'll give them that.

I cannot over emphasize how important the first point and first game are to start the crucial third set. In Federer's position he can put the match away by winning this set. He avoids rallies by slaying some monster serves. Federer is in a relaxed frame of mind and is just feeling the ball. It seems like a basketball to him.  But Nalbandian  is hitting some of the most spectacular shots I've seen. I think Federer expects to run through this set but with Nalbandian's shot making that might not happen. And now Federer feels the pressure and is just off on his put away forehand. Keep the ball going over the net, stay aggressive no matter how well the counter puncher plays. You have a shot with your offense, defense combo. Note the order. Come out and try to play offense each point. Play defense to stay in a point gone wrong. Then retake control.

That is the main difference between Federer and Murray. They have similar games but whereas Murray comes out each point playing defensively and maybe hitting an aggressive shot here and there. Federer comes out aggressive each point, and only plays defense if he has to steal a point. Slam totals Federer 20 Murray 3. And those 3 titles was when Murray played much more aggressively under the tutelage of Ivan Lendl. You want to go out and win your next match? Or participate in a boring push fest?

Nalbandian's counter punching is like a snake striking. Look out! Nalbandian earns several break points. But he is inefficient on conversion. Despite several Federer errors, a bad call in his favor that stopped Federer's momentum.Nalbandian cannot convert and throws his racquet. Forcing Federer to attempt to hit 3 straight aces to get out of ad out  and win the game.

1:38:00  Federer leads 7-5, 6-4, 2-1
Hitting on the run is a must against counter punchers. You need your racquet back and feet prepared to step into position to hit offensive shots on the run. Get into the groove Federer is in. I think rain is affecting the players. They may close the roof which would favor Federer. He needs more precision with his offensive shots. Nalbandian is slightly less precise on his shots. But more precise than a retriever who simply gets the ball back.

Federer not going for fast winners but playing Nalbandians game hitting the angles getting him moving all over the place. Wearing him down even if he doesn't win the points. this makes winners easier to hit. Although Nalbandian is superbly fit. Nalbandian losing his mind lol. Federer is staying on the baseline and just hitting them on the bounce making Nalbandian hit on the run.

Never hit a drop shot in the center of the court like Nalbandian did. Hit your approach shot to one side. Follow the ball to that side. Then hit the drop shot when they are on their heels. Give them the opportunity to hit the down the line shot wide. My explanation on approaching the net is below:

If Nalbandian could have consistently played like the 2:05:00 point he could win many majors.
Nalbandian earned that break. He defended all of Federer's shots and punished the short ball! 


Federer leads 2 sets to 1            7-5, 6-4, 5-7

Its not lost on me how talented Nalbandian is. He needs to be more offensive from the beginning. Nalbandian often doesn't set his alarm to mid match when he picks up his level of play. Federer can play great defense with the slice. All Nalbandian can is try to fake Federer out to miss the pass.

This 4th set is not as routine as Federer is making it look. He has to keep up this quality play. He needs to keep his foot on the gas with good offense. Federer closes out the match with two big serves. Nalbandian wanted to call the 30-30 serve out. But the umpires don't allow it. Gotta keep those rec players honest. When they call the lines bad, call the next shot they hit in the middle of the court out. Set the tone.

Federer wins the match 7-5, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in two hours 41 minutes

Biggest difference in the statistics. Federer 20 aces to Nalbandians 5
Federer 50 winners to Nalbandians 26.
Federer net points 23/29 to Nalbandian 13/23

Federer controlled the match as you must against a counter puncher. To get this match email me at If you comment with a question and I don't answer email me at to remind me to comment on your question or statement.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Chang vs Rios 1997 Australian Open Part 2

Never forget point at 1:20. That is how you construct a point. And Rios is so far ahead of the ball with his anticipation that he is never sprinting to the ball even when being run side to side. Instead he is just jogging. Chang responds showing he can control the net in the same way although he doesn't hit a volley. Same angles though. A great era of tennis this was. Although Goffin can do some of these tricks.

These two are vastly underrated. Rios is playing quality points from every aspect of the game. He can play up the middle keeping consistent shots with rhythm. He can hit aces. He can volley. He can hit winners on the run. He is an exciting player to watch. Very similar to Nick Kyrgios today. Even a similar name.

Both players can relax physically between the points prevented them from being tired. They never relax mentally until the match is over. The angles, the control, the speed, the winners. That controversial call when the lines person called the Rios serve out before it curved in for an ace. Instead it was a double fault that contributed to the crucial break in the 3rd set.

To get a copy of this part of the match; email me at

Friday, September 8, 2017

Tennis Betting -2017 US Open Nadal vs Del Potro Predicition

Both Nadal and Del Potro are capable of winning this match. Both players have the intangibles. Del Potro plays the big hitting style of tennis that troubles Nadal. He is tall and can easily withstand Nadal's high topspin.

I would say Del Potro all the way based on their previous 2009 US Open meeting that Del Potro won 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. However, his average backhand speed was hit 13 mph faster back then. Del Potro has shown the ability to amp up his backhand in critical moments against Federer. Well guess what Del Potro? Every rally is going to be critical against Nadal. Del Potro doesn't have a physical limitation on his backhand side due to wrist surgeries. He is fine to move it either direction, it is largely mental reasons that withhold him from snapping his wrist before contact like he used to.

Fatigue is also not a factor for Del Potro, who has shown astonishing heart in his biggest matches. Remember too, the crowd is going to be pro Del Potro. He can truly take down any one with the right atmosphere. Nadal has shown vulnerability this 2017 US Open. Nadal certainly could win. But I think Del Potro is going to hit his backhand consistently well enough to give himself more forehands. And when he can hit enough forehands he will control the match.

Nadal has also struggled to be aggressive on his return. So Del Potro should at least hold comfortably on his service games.  Now its not a sure thing the outcome of this match. In fact, I can't guess how many sets victory will require or the score line.  But in betting terms Del Potro money line is around +250 depending on the sports book. With those kind of odds you don't have to be right more than 50 percent of the time to make money in the long term. I am saying to forget the totals and the spread as that is too unpredictable. And to take Del Potro +250 Moneyline. 

My disclaimer is to know the risks of rewards of sports betting. And to do so at a legalized sports book in Las Vegas.

So again. Take Del Potro +250 Moneyline .  On the basis of its an affordable gamble, and that the sports books may have made a mistake here.

Feel free to comment here before, during or after  the match. Even if its just general tennis talk. Also check out the rest of my blog. I have classic tennis matches I am willing to sell. I give analysis on matches. And I teach tennis lessons in person.

Cheers to a great match!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fulfilling your request for any and all ATP and WTA tennis matches

Hello all,

If you have a request for any tennis match. Simply email me at You must have a gmail account. I will give a value on the match based on market value. A longer and rarer match will cost more. Based on that I will assign a price. Simply scroll down the drop down menu on the buy now button click the correct price and buy now. Once I verify the payment, I will send the match in mp4 form via google drive in your email. Simply download the movie directly to your computer.  The match should play instantly on Windows media player or the TV and Movies player on Windows 10. I can walk anyone through this simple process. If the match stays in .flv form I can tell you how to download VLC player.

The reason for this service and the benefits for you are no buffering. You now own this video offline. Never again will you need to depend on the hotel or airport's wifi when traveling. Never again will you need a fast internet to watch this. Even perfect wifi will have buffering. Which in my mind is unacceptable. You work your ass off or even if you don't work you are valuable. You deserve simple entertainment without interruption. And you don't have to worry about your match disappearing on Youtube. I am here to tell you any television show you enjoy, any tennis match, any music will be deleted on youtube. I am a victim of being given a copyright strike so I know that none of that stuff is allowed. You may be lucky and someone may re-upload content you like. But don't count on it.

You can try finding and downloading these matches yourself by you are apt to get major viruses if you don't know what you are doing. Good things aren't free. Free things aren't always good. You can't get something for  nothing. You could end up getting a virus that steals your personal identification. And you might not be successful in downloading having wasted your valuable time that could have been spent with family or friends or making additional money for whatever your heart desires. I will do the work of securing these matches for you in their best quality and in your preferred language. Simply email me at Pay the price requested. Download the match. Enjoy the tremendous value these matches give us tennis fans. The triumphs that you might have missed due to work. The matches not shown on television. The classics long forgotten by some. The artistry of the players. The slow motion and ability to learn. All this for a price guaranteed under $5. If you are able to play the files from you computer to your big tv all the better!

If you are a repeat customer you may get a discount or fifth match free or something. So let's build a business relationship. Who knows maybe we will meet in the physical world as friends. Maybe you can trade shots with me or take a private lesson. I will give you more value than you expect. Who knows what circumstances life will bring tomorrow. This service might not last so act Now, this day to have a match in your possession forever!

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

James Blake Mention of Marcelo Rios

At the 2017 Acapulco match of Rafael Nadal vs Nishioka, James Blake and Leif Shiras have explained how Nishioka idolized Marcelo Rios.

James Blake mentions the following similarities between Nishioka and Rios:

  • The short backswing on the backhand.
  • the power from the corners
  •  exceptional hand and eye coordination

And I would add

  • the foot speed
  • the disguise of his shots and explosive racquet head speed 

The last point I am referring to is how on the same preparation a player can hit the ball 10 to 15 mph faster than another shot with the same backswing. Juan Martin Del Potro also has this unexpected pace that blows by his opponents.

James Blake talked about the problem solving of Marcelo Rios on his way to world number one. He overcome his short height (one of the shortest number ones) by taking the ball early. And James adds that Marcelo was a pioneer of the jumping two-handed backhand.

James Blake then talked about his own experience playing against Nadal and the importance of taking his forehand on the rise. Blake had a decent record against Nadal.

It's exciting to see how similar a style to Marcelo Rios can be effective in today's game. I have seen Kerber have success with a similar style on the women's tour. But Nishioka is upsetting Nadal with his style of play. He is in these long rallies with a chance. Lefties have a special spin. Best of all, Nishioka is forcing Nadal to play more of an opening up the court style of play. This style could be of tremendous value for club players.

Kohlschreiber is another player who likes to open up the court. He did so beautifully when he beat Andy Roddick in the 2008 Australian Open. Yet he can't seem to cross the finish line in big matches. Today he squandered 8 match points losing  a 20 -18 tiebreaker to Andy Murray. I just want to see a modern player open up the court with the angles as much as Marcelo Rios. I feel if this player has stamina and a positive attitude there is no limit to their success on tour. This makes me want to take advantage of the opportunity I have to reach my tennis potential. I must get in great shape. This will allow me to turn defense into offense during important matches.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Robert Hurley Jr Tennis Teaching Professional

This is just a small sampling of my skills. I can also hit drop shots on the backhand side. I have variety in my game like Dimitrov and Federer. I won 17 matches at the Division 2 level. My preferred style is an all-courter that opens up the court with angles. I can hit the ball hard but would rather run my opponent mercilessly outside each doubles alley. I enjoy punishing short balls from my opponent and attacking the net behind these approach shots. To accomplish this amount of control and precision I have stuck with the same racquet for over 10 years. My racquet of choice is the Wilson N code open Pro. This racquet was the choice of the Bryan Brothers.  My friend Tim is feeding the ball with one of my N code pro open racquets. Tim is available for video projects. Just email him at You can test out the N code pro open for as little as 35 dollars on Ebay. Click the link below.

N code Pro open tennis racquet

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tennis Tutorial: Approach shots and volley drills and strategy

This is a strategy and drill based on percentage play for covering the net. This will work in most situations.

Slide One
Excuse the less than perfect artwork. But I will present
a drill and strategy to increase your tennis effectiveness. The idea of approach
shots is influenced by Bill Tilden's How to Play Better Tennis. You need depth, pace, and direction on every approach shot. The first idea is to hit your approach shot within 6 feet of the baseline. If your court has the blue lines that are the baseline of the orange ball court, then aim past that with your approach shot. The blue lines are 9 feet from the baseline. That is the depth part of depth, pace, and direction.What you can also see in the diagram is that You are making your foe run all the way across the court, and hit his shot on the move. So that is the direction part of the equation. You could also approach at a sharp angle instead of the deep shot as long as your opponent is running across the court. Hitting the angle to the same corner where Foe already is won't get the job done.The pace part is to hit the ball as hard and flat as you can.

Slide two
So your faceless foe has run down your approach shot and oh shit!! He's a lefty. You have hit into his strength. The most universally played passing shot is the down the line shot. This is easier to set up for as you can prepare earlier with your footwork. you can set up for the shot before you get to it. Whereas to hit the cross court shot you have to run past where the ball bounces to have a more open stance. Most players, even pros leave the line wide open when approaching the net. You are not yet in a position to go for the kill volley. You must try to get in before the service line and volley deep back behind your foe where the original approach shot was.This is not so much for making the opponent move or to put them in a difficult spot but so that you can continue towards correct positioning at the net. And to set you up to win the largest percentage of your net approaches.

Slide three
As you can see your faceless foe is now a righty! He must be ambidextrous. This deep volley will certainly not be a winner but they are unlikely to stay home and attack it unless they know your game in which case put the burden of the passing shot on him each time. So they will probably either hit a floater that you can spike  into oblivion. But they are more than likely will try to go up the line again. In which case you will be ready to hit the winning cross court drop volley. However, you must be ready to cover a cross court passing shot. But not the sharply angled cross court shot. You can conceded those points for the greater amount of errors they will make attempting it.  Be ready to cover the down the line shot!! And move forward slightly towards the center.

Slide four
I have hidden you to avoid confusion. You're invisible. Your faceless foe is a lefty again. But he is going down you are ready to finish him off with the winning shot. I recommend hitting a cross court drop shot. As short as possible, but don't net it since you have margin if your previous volley pushed him back.

Slide five
Your faceless foe has given up in despair. He has thrown his racquet in futile disgust. Unless you are playing Nadal the point is over. You can always carve the drop shot better and keep this strategy going because it will certainly be more effective in the final set.

For teaching pros looking to turn this into a drill. Simply stand to the side of the court where you want the approach shots and volleys. Be behind the service line. And feed them an approach shot, volley, and closing volley.

You can do this on the other side. So backhand and forehand sides. You can have them chip and charge (slice) or topspin. Although the pace part of depth pace, and direction would indicate a generally flat shot hit hard.

Keep in mind that this is percentage tennis with the aim to win the majority of your points of net.
If you hit the first volley cross court you are not able to cover the net. they can hit cross court behind you. And they can burn you down the line. Also in a best of five set match your opponent may run these volleys down in the first and second sets but start to burn out in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th sets. If you are still getting burned you are putting pressure on this above average opponent who would normally destroy you. And there is a successful strategy against any player.

But keep in mind you can't hit all these shots without the control that comes from years of practicing under good supervision.For anyone who would want such practice email me at to see if we can arrange something.

Also the ideas of this drill are influenced by Bill Tilden's book How To Play Better Tennis. I highly recommend reading this book it will make anyone a better tennis player. How to Play Better Tennis