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View Full Version : So, where is this era now?


Danny_G13
09-11-2012, 05:01 AM
Want to sum up, if I can, where I think mens' tennis current is right now.

If you go back 2 or 3 years it was pure Nadal, Federer and Djokovic dominance with only Murray knocking at the door but not quite being able to open it.

This year, things have changed significantly.

Roger Federer Whether you consider him the GOAT or not he is definitely one of them, and his career has been quite staggering. The slams he's amassed are unlikely to be equaled, never minded surpassed, and his legacy is assured. However he's aging now, significantly, and went 2 years without a slam, only managing to secure one again at SW19. His unforced error count has risen sharply in the past few years, and while he hit a great deal of winners in the final at Wimbledon, his unforced errors were through the roof. Murray finally got the better of him at the Olympics, and then Berdych beat him with relative ease at Flushing Meadows. He will still be there or there abouts at the business end of slams for the next year, but I would be very surprised if Federer makes another slam final again. He simply isn't the player he was.

Novak Djokovic He was on his way to achieving a Rod Laver till Nadal just about got the better of him at Roland Garos, and the procession of 3 slams in a row in this era was sensational. Given they were against a Nadal at his peak. But for me he mentally broke when he double faulted to give Rafa the French Open, and since then has been to one slam final and didn't have the strength either physically or mentally to take it as far as he had against Nadal in last year's. For me, Djokovic, while still a remarkable player, isn't the robot he was during that 3 slam run, and is mortal now.

Rafael Nadal It's hard to know how to judge Nadal at the moment. Perennially injured and unable to compete in anything, his continued absence from the sport is worrying. 3 slam defeats in a row to Djokovic also showed he could no longer be judged the world's best, and while his record at RG is insane, whether he will return from injury to defend it is another matter. We all know how intense, how brilliant, and how much of a warrior he is, but it's difficult to see where the future lies for Nadal.

Andy Murray Finally stepping out of the shadows and at long last the bridesmaid becomes the bride. Murray has been to 5 slam finals and well beaten in 3 of them. Wimbledon he put up a better fight at, then OG beckoned. Now he's outfought and outmuscled Djokovic to claim his maiden slam, there is a distinct opening there. I can't see him dominating the sport in the way the other 3 did, but he's as hard a worker as any of them, if not more so, and there will be further opportunities to win more slams - now the lad knows what it takes to win one, he is capable of doing so.

The rest:

DP: Talented player and with Murray achieving what he did in 2009, if the Argentine can resurrect that form and stay injury free, he could challenge. At a fine age and has potential.

Tsonga: Perennial underachiever, he's a good player, talented with it, but doesn't seem very polished. He is capable of matching the best, but consistency with him is a huge problem and lacks mental strength too. Unlikely to make the step up.

Ferrer: Wrong age. He's hit his peak in his late 20s with several semi final slots, but doesn't have the quality to go further. A good reliable and robust terrier like player, but not one who has another gear to move to.

Berdych: Erratic - Murray was correct about him. Can be sensational, but can be utterly dire too. Also suffers from angst on the court and lets it get the better of him. Very big-hitting and a threat to anyone, as Federer knows, but I'm unsure if he has what it takes to win a slam.

Thoughts?

Wangtang1
09-11-2012, 05:11 AM
Djokovic with a good chance to win everywhere, Murray the same except at the FO.

Nadal: favourite at FO and ok chance everywhere else if he's fit.

Federer: no chance of beating Nadal anywhere but will probably win one or two more slams as long as Djokovic doesn't go back to his 2011 level.

Nobody else with any chance.

I've no idea which young players will step up, since none of them look like doing it.

Bobby Jr
09-11-2012, 05:26 AM
This year, things have changed significantly.

Roger Federer ... However he's aging now, significantly, and went 2 years without a slam, only managing to secure one again at SW19. His unforced error count has risen sharply in the past few years, and while he hit a great deal of winners in the final at Wimbledon, his unforced errors were through the roof.
Dubious call bolded. His winner to unforced error ratio was 1.6 to 1 which is very good by most match standards for an attacking player. Anything better than 1.5:1 should be considered good. By comparison it is three times as good as Andy Murray's ratio in the US Open final earlier (which was a pitiful 0.55 to 1 ratio... he made close to twice as many errors as he hit winners!)

Likewise, you say he has aged significantly and it's affected his tennis. Fair enough. How does that reconcile with him having the best year in the last three? Does ageing only apply when the results don't stack up?

Federer may have gone two years without a slam but as of now he's only gone one slam without winning a slam. He also won the last Masters 1000 series tournament he played - beating the world #2 and handing him a bagel set in the process - and has won three of the last five M1000 tournaments he entered.

If this is him "ageing significantly" then he's going to be in contention for the major titles for a little while yet.

Danny_G13
09-11-2012, 05:31 AM
Dubious call bolded. His winner to unforced error ratio was 1.6 to 1 which is very good by most match standards for an attacking player. Anything better than 1.5:1 should be considered good. By comparison it is three times as good as Andy Murray's ratio in the US Open final earlier (which was a pitiful 0.55 to 1 ratio... he made close to twice as many errors as he hit winners!)

Likewise, you say he has aged significantly and it's affected his tennis. Fair enough. How does that reconcile with him having the best year in the last three? Does ageing only apply when the results don't stack up?

Federer may have gone two years without a slam but as of now he's only gone one slam without winning a slam. He also won the last Masters 1000 series tournament he played - beating the world #2 and handing him a bagel set in the process - and has won three of the last five M1000 tournaments he entered.

If this is him "ageing significantly" then he's going to be in contention for the major titles for a little while yet.

It just seems like simple genetics and the life cycle that a player cannot keep up the standard of his mid 20s into his 30s.

That's not me smiting Federer, just stating a fact of life.

a10best
09-11-2012, 05:45 AM
It is a great era now.

Although, 3 years ago Djokovic was a Murray and could not beat the top 2. 2011 was a miracle year for him or anyone else with that record. He will NOT repeat that. He had some lucky wins 3rd set breakers, the miracl eshot in USO SF against Fed, 2 5-set wins at AO 2012, and everything falling into place including his hot GF. He dated that gorgeous Olympian South American too. Yes, Djoker is a great player no doubt.

But just as you say age catches up with you , shots you get in your mid 20s, you may not fetch in your 30s. So, the legs of a grinder / backboard player have a limited peak.

The example is Nadal. It could happen to Djokovic although he developed a better serve while Nadal's serve has been on the decline. Once the best part of your game incurs nagging injuries you will not be at your best, and lose those close long rally points you used to win.

Since Federer has not really lacked in footspeed in his 30s it bodes well for Murray and Djokovic. Nadal's may just be hereditary.

Bobby Jr
09-11-2012, 05:52 AM
It just seems like simple genetics and the life cycle that a player cannot keep up the standard of his mid 20s into his 30s.

That's not me smiting Federer, just stating a fact of life.
Fair enough. Don't suggest statistics, such as his "through the roof" unforced error rate in the Wimbledon final, when they aren't reflected in his matches. Likewise, using him having not won a major for two years in reference to his ageing when he just won Wimbledon (thumping his closest two peers also) is sort of odd.

Danny_G13
09-11-2012, 06:22 AM
Fair enough. Don't suggest statistics, such as his "through the roof" unforced error rate in the Wimbledon final, when they aren't reflected in his matches.

Kindly don't lecture me as to what I can and cannot say.
The simple fact is he makes more unforced errors now than he used to. To suggest it doesn't affect the outcome is simply misguided (his record since they increased has deteriorated), and pointless - because it remains a fact. Regardless of outcome. They've gone up. Are you going to actually dispute that?

Likewise, using him having not won a major for two years in reference to his ageing when he just won Wimbledon (thumping his closest two peers also) is sort of odd.

Why? It's true! He's older, and incapable of the same domination he used to enjoy. Just because he managed to win Wimbledon (on his best surface btw) doesn't mean he's back to the pre 24 month barren spell form. He's not. His performances since then in the Olympics then US suggest he isn't at the same level.

He can still do it now and again, I didn't say he couldn't, but it's bizarre to suggest that his victory at Wimbledon means it's invalid to point out 24 months of no slams.

Danny_G13
09-11-2012, 06:23 AM
everything falling into place including his hot GF. He dated that gorgeous Olympian South American too. .

Please elaborate on all this. I'm curious as to what you're referring to on both counts.

Bobby Jr
09-11-2012, 04:39 PM
Kindly don't lecture me as to what I can and cannot say.
I was suggesting not making erroneous claims which aren't backed up by the statistics in the specific example you referred to.

If you would like to make arguments based on false data please, by all means, see how well it is received on the forum.
The simple fact is he makes more unforced errors now than he used to. To suggest it doesn't affect the outcome is simply misguided (his record since they increased has deteriorated)
Only when he's not playing well. His matches against his top peers this year have been better in that regards than 2010 or 2011.

If you want to make the point that he has more oddball matches such as the loss to Berdych (or Roddick at Miami) then do. You don't need to link them to his form when he's playing as well as he usually does. Form which has seen him beat Djokovic the last two times (including a bagel set) and Murray the past few also... and Nadal 2 of the last 3 times off clay courts (also including a bagel set).

Or, is the argument he can only win when the others aren't playing well?


Regardless of outcome. They've gone up. Are you going to actually dispute that?
Nope. Just in the example you used.

You do realise that the unforced error rate is completely irrelevant when considered by itself? Someone could hit twice as many as they used to but if they're also hitting twice as many winners they're not actually doing any worse.

Sure, he's not rolling people as he did in 2007-ish... but it's not all him. His opponents have improved considerably also - especially the upper echelon.

He can still do it now and again, I didn't say he couldn't, but it's bizarre to suggest that his victory at Wimbledon means it's invalid to point out 24 months of no slams.
I never said you said he couldn't and I never said his Wimbledon victory makes two years without a major irrelevant. It is simply facetious use of the available statistics to suggest one thing based on a two year blank which has now been broken. History shows us that many players have two year blanks and then come back with a string of great results. Agassi is the perfect example...