Last night, I was watching Roger Federer take on John Millman in the second round of the Brisbane International. It was an amazing match and worthy of a final in my opinion. The quality of the ball striking was not the only thing that was exceptional about the match, but rather the way in which the momentum swung from Millman to Federer upon a change of tactics.
Federer was on the ropes, down 6/4, 3/1 40-15 and clearly in danger of an early exit at Brisbane. Then, there is a change in tactics, where Federer opts to move in off his aggressive groundstrokes and look for the volley. Millman was moving and striking the ball so well, however this change in tactic took the time away from Millman, forcing him to come up with the magic as opposed to waiting for the right opportunity. Federer also follows this up with the ‘chip and charge’ off the return and the ‘serve and volley’ on serve, which again places pressure on Millman to hit a target and come up with the goods.
Federer was being outplayed from the back of the court however, using his all court game was the perfect response to the situation he faced last night. He closes out the match in three sets, 4/6, 6/4, 6/3. It was a wonderful display of tennis, proving that it pays off to develop an all court game!