The Trick Shot: Using the Whole Court
Federer makes full use of the court — including the service-box areas — better than anyone else on the tour.
Most players (like Lleyton Hewitt) spend their time hoping to keep the ball deep. Federer seems to spend his time thinking about how to use the full space.
He has one forehand shot that I’ve never seen another player use. He takes it off a short, low ball (1) when he’s up around the center service line and moving forward and toward the backhand side. He’ll really wrap his wrist around this shot, getting such exaggerated topspin that the ball leaps over the net and immediately lands inside the opposite side (deuce court) service box (2).
His opponent, back at the base line, is taken by surprise and forced to rush up as if he were chasing down a drop shot.
Often, Federer’s shot is a clear winner. If not, he is at the net, ready to take the rising return — it’s almost always going cross-court (3) — with a volley (4) to end the point.