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View Full Version : Has Federer regressed?


ZhuangCorp
02-15-2006, 05:42 PM
I know this might sound crazy, but I almost feel like he has regressed a little since the 2003-2004 seasons, and I have two reasons.

A) I remember he used to come up with the most amazing shots. It may just be i've seen so much of it, that I expect it to come now, so it's not as amazing as when i first saw it. But for any reason, he doens't seem to come up with the incredible shots as consitently anymore.

B) he seems to struggle so much more through his matches, even against the lower ranked players. He dismantled roddick and Phillipousis at wimbledon 2003. He destroyed Safin at the australian open 2004, and he double-bagled hewitt later that year at the US open. In 2005, even though he had his best record, he seemed to drop a lot more sets and struggle against lower ranked players.

What do you guys think?

FREDDY
02-15-2006, 06:29 PM
they pay him more if he plays more!!! more air time. any publicity is good publicity. he's a crowd pleaser

RogerY
02-16-2006, 04:46 AM
It's true that Federer struggled a lot more in his recent matches. I hope that it was just due to his recent ankle injury. It's more important to see his wonderful magical shots more, than witnessing his records vs. retired players... hope he fully recover from his injury and can show us his best form seen in 2004-5.

Grimjack
02-16-2006, 04:59 AM
You're taking a pretty myopic view. Fed has won 92 of his last 96, is current holder of 3 out of 4 grand slam trophies, and has the most ATP entry points ever accumulated.

He's no longer dominating opponents with frequent 6-0 sets, but he's no longer losing. He's found a comfort zone. He understands how hard he needs to train and to play in order to beat pretty much anybody, pretty much any time. This means less danger of physical and mental burnout, higher probability of success, time-in/time-out. He's still capable of every physical thing he ever was, but now he's at his all-time mental game peak as well.

Regressed? Pfah. Tell it to the trophies.

fjgarciap
02-16-2006, 05:37 AM
You're taking a pretty myopic view. Fed has won 92 of his last 96, is current holder of 3 out of 4 grand slam trophies, and has the most ATP entry points ever accumulated.

He's no longer dominating opponents with frequent 6-0 sets, but he's no longer losing. He's found a comfort zone. He understands how hard he needs to train and to play in order to beat pretty much anybody, pretty much any time. This means less danger of physical and mental burnout, higher probability of success, time-in/time-out. He's still capable of every physical thing he ever was, but now he's at his all-time mental game peak as well.

Regressed? Pfah. Tell it to the trophies.

I agree with most of your ideas here, but I do also think he looks kind of tightly bound on the court, not moving well and not flowing naturally with his shots. But hey, he is coming from injury, so he may come back to Indian Wells and Miami with his usual level of play.

ZhuangCorp
02-16-2006, 05:41 AM
Also, one thing i remember very well, is that his serve used to be so much better. I remember he used to be Sampras like, out-acing roddick and keeping up with phillipousis at wimbledon..

Swingman
02-16-2006, 05:56 AM
I know this might sound crazy, but I almost feel like he has regressed a little since the 2003-2004 seasons, and I have two reasons.

A) I remember he used to come up with the most amazing shots. It may just be i've seen so much of it, that I expect it to come now, so it's not as amazing as when i first saw it. But for any reason, he doens't seem to come up with the incredible shots as consitently anymore.

B) he seems to struggle so much more through his matches, even against the lower ranked players. He dismantled roddick and Phillipousis at wimbledon 2003. He destroyed Safin at the australian open 2004, and he double-bagled hewitt later that year at the US open. In 2005, even though he had his best record, he seemed to drop a lot more sets and struggle against lower ranked players.

What do you guys think?

I don't think he has regressed. I think the rate of his progress has decelerated. I also think everyone else has stepped it up. He doesn't seem as confident to me after losing to Safin at the 05 AO. But still, I don't see anyone else that has a better overall package than Fed.

Brettolius
02-16-2006, 06:01 AM
Also, one thing i remember very well, is that his serve used to be so much better. I remember he used to be Sampras like, out-acing roddick and keeping up with phillipousis at wimbledon..

I think that was due more to him not allowing them aces, rather than him really serving huge.

The tennis guy
02-16-2006, 07:34 AM
Also, one thing i remember very well, is that his serve used to be so much better. I remember he used to be Sampras like, out-acing roddick and keeping up with phillipousis at wimbledon..

Aussie Open court is very slow, and with slower ball too this year. He was trying to hit a lot of more kick server rather than going for ace there. You can't compare with Wimbledon grass.

Nyl
02-16-2006, 07:45 AM
if you are referring to the marginal improvement, yes, federer has improved less than he did in 03-04 and 04-05 but i think he's doing fine this season
it seemed like he had struggle a little bit in the AO but those players were on top of their game..... Hass, Baghdatis.... federe was still able to pulled it out. I think federer's point structure is better than ever. He gained a lot more understanding on the game... i'm sure he did / will be doing a lot of training on clay and against lefty for FO. I put federer up there next to nadal on clay. They are leveled.

Hal
02-16-2006, 07:58 AM
I don't think Federer's regressed. I think he is intentionally playing a more conservative game. Although his great shot making can win him points, it's also cost him a few. A good example is the match point that he had against Safin in last years AO. Part of this conservative approach could be due to his injury, or it could be just that he realized that he can get the job done with a more conservative shot selection.

Sometime last year P-Mac said something about Federer wanting to win Wimbledon by Serving and Volleying. Personally, I'd love to see it. I think he has the talent to do it, but I'm not sure it'll be this year, though (I still think he'll win Wimbly, just not S&Ving). IMO, he still needs to work on his first volley after the serve. I'd also like to see him mix in a chip and charge off the return more often, as he did towards the end of the 3rd set against Baghdatis. Although at this point, we're just picking nits.

pham4313
02-16-2006, 08:02 AM
i would love to see him win French Open. Once he got it in his collections, the on-ward is just rock and roll Fedex. Consecutive grandslam wins are just doable for this guy.

arnz
02-16-2006, 09:00 AM
He has set a standard too high to live up to...now winning everything isn't enough, people question him if he doesnt crush his opponents

Moose Malloy
02-16-2006, 09:02 AM
He's still winning, that's the bottom line. But he isn't doing it as easily. He lost 5 sets in Australia this year. He only lost 2 sets at Australia '04, 2 at Wimbledon '04, 3 at US Open '04, 1 at Wimbledon '05, 3 at US Open '05.

Grimjack
02-16-2006, 10:34 AM
Looking closer, he's winning the TEEEEEENSIEST bit less easily, but doing it more often.

2004 - Sets lost per match = 0.39, Winning percentage = .925
2005 - Sets lost per match = 0.37, Winning percentage = .954
2006 - Sets lost per match = 0.42, Winning percentage = 1.000

If he's winning less easily, it's not in any statistically significant way, and is more than made up for by the fact that his winning percentage continues to ratchet skyward.

opiate
02-16-2006, 10:39 AM
Looking closer, he's winning the TEEEEEENSIEST bit less easily, but doing it more often.

2004 - Sets lost per match = 0.39, Winning percentage = .925
2005 - Sets lost per match = 0.37, Winning percentage = .954
2006 - Sets lost per match = 0.42, Winning percentage = 1.000

If he's winning less easily, it's not in any statistically significant way, and is more than made up for by the fact that his winning percentage continues to ratchet skyward.


of course, 2006 could either go wonderfully great or horribly wrong.

fastdunn
02-16-2006, 10:41 AM
He is depending less on flashy impromptu shots: normal
course of maturing process. What he has now is pretty
close what he is truely made of, IMO. Having said that,
I still think he hits amazing shots we all became used to...

snowpuppy
02-16-2006, 11:05 AM
I would have thought the same but I think Federer's game has changed more than it has regressed. I remember the 2003 yr end Federer pulling out his smoking forehand and out of this world down the line backhands. That is a point during that time when my friend and I believed his backhand was better than his forehand (of course we just started watching tennis). But as 2004 gone by, I notice his return chips a lot more returns and choose to rally more crosscourt on the backhand using slices. Even if Roger turned in his flashiness for conservative play we still hear from players that he is getting better (And his year end results shows)

So I believe it is more of a change in style and not him getting worst. Keep in mind that:

1) Players are adapting to his play. It is not secret that almost all the players are gunning after his backhand now and Federer may have become more conservative of this reason.
2) Flashy comes with risk. I think Federer has goals not so result is not more important and he needed to find a "winning system" instead of relying on big time winners.
3) He might be adjusting himself to win on all surface including clay. And in clay, the usual winners are the consistent ones.
4) He has added a new coach. He might be just playing out Tony's teachings.
5) He was playing on 1.75 legs for the aussie open so I wouldn't be surprise if he struggle a bit.

ATXtennisaddict
02-16-2006, 12:23 PM
I know this might sound crazy, but I almost feel like he has regressed a little since the 2003-2004 seasons, and I have two reasons.

A) I remember he used to come up with the most amazing shots. It may just be i've seen so much of it, that I expect it to come now, so it's not as amazing as when i first saw it. But for any reason, he doens't seem to come up with the incredible shots as consitently anymore.

B) he seems to struggle so much more through his matches, even against the lower ranked players. He dismantled roddick and Phillipousis at wimbledon 2003. He destroyed Safin at the australian open 2004, and he double-bagled hewitt later that year at the US open. In 2005, even though he had his best record, he seemed to drop a lot more sets and struggle against lower ranked players.

What do you guys think?

Do you expect him to make amazing shots every single game he plays? Anyway, I found it cool that ESPN had "Federer's Funhouse", it was hilarious!

Grimjack
02-16-2006, 12:40 PM
of course, 2006 could either go wonderfully great or horribly wrong.

The game doesn't really have an off-season, and isn't really separated into meaningful time units based on calendar years.

But that's irrelevant. What's relevant is, if you slice it up in terms of what he's done each calendar year, the idea that he's regressing is absurd. If you slice it up in three month segments ending with his most recent match and going backwards into late 2005, the idea is absurd. If you slice it up in six month segments, ditto.

Pretty much no matter how you define the ideas of "recent" or "regression," the two don't really do very well in describing the play of Roger Federer.

If one wants to argue that he's likely to regress in the near future, that's another matter, and one that can't be picked apart (nor backed up) by the numbers.

araghava
02-16-2006, 12:55 PM
I don't think Federer's regressed. I think he is intentionally playing a more conservative game. Although his great shot making can win him points, it's also cost him a few. A good example is the match point that he had against Safin in last years AO. Part of this conservative approach could be due to his injury, or it could be just that he realized that he can get the job done with a more conservative shot selection.



I completely agree. He has found a more conversative style that allows him to win consistently. I have never seen better shotmaking from him than during the semis and finals of wimbledon 2003 when he beat roddick and phillipousis. He was playing out of his mind (even by his standards). However the rest of the year was patchy except for the Masters. Now he has dialed down the shotmaking. He himself has stated that winning matters more that shotmaking whereas previously he would endup admiring his own shots and endup losing the match.

fastdunn
02-16-2006, 01:43 PM
I don't think Federer's regressed. I think he is intentionally playing a more conservative game. Although his great shot making can win him points, it's also cost him a few. A good example is the match point that he had against Safin in last years AO. Part of this conservative approach could be due to his injury, or it could be just that he realized that he can get the job done with a more conservative shot selection.


I agree. It costed him a few big matches. Without those in last
2 years or so, it's scary to think about how great rcords Roger
would have made. Already great records but someting like truely
great records no one ever achived in history.

I think I witnessed he intentionally switching to this conservative
mode sometime around quarter-final of AO this year.
He started out with this "toying with your opponent" mode,
demolishing his opponents. Then he had some flat patches here and
there. And then he switched to this conservative mode.
I think it was totally intentional whether it was due to injury
or educated by veterans like Roche or self-realization.....

devila
02-16-2006, 01:49 PM
I didn't see anyone stepping it up. Davydenko and Haas were so scared that they dumped easy shots off court after earning break point chances. Davydenko had 6 set points and wasted them with embarrassing volleys and desperately rushed forehands.

The tennis guy
02-16-2006, 02:00 PM
I didn't see anyone stepping it up. Davydenko and Haas were so scared that they dumped easy shots off court after earning break point chances. Davydenko had 6 set points and wasted them with embarrassing volleys and desperately rushed forehands.

Take your crap somewhere else. Yeah, right, Federer has been winning so much because the rest of them are just waste! Davydenko and Haas are so scared that they played better against Federer than many others. What kind of crap you are smoking?

sexmachine
02-16-2006, 02:06 PM
I think players do step it up when playing federer, but they are also very apprehensive that when they have opportunities that they get very nervous and tighten up.... Devila do ever not ***** or mock players?

jings
02-16-2006, 02:48 PM
If I read this correctly, people hereabouts think Federer has a choice of how he beats opponents, which if you stop and think about it is nonsense. He doesn't go out and expect to beat say Hewitt 0,5,0 in a US Open final. There's no question he, like all sportsmen, can get to a zone when everything flows and at that point I think Federer's best is better than anyone elses. The Tiger Woods analogy is pertinent. If he brings his A game, the rest of the tour can pack up and go home - same with Federer. However Tiger has come back to the field somewhat as players have raised their games and Woods has struggled off the tee of late. The field has begun to catch up with Federer, who has his own style and they are working out more and more how to trouble him, not as yet how to beat him. 2006 will be an interesting year. He's been working to improve areas of his game, principally volleys and his b/h. If Laver can spot that "if his backhand flows then everything falls into place", then you can be sure the ATP and Fed have worked that out. You could see Davydenko and Bagdhatis working that side very hard, but he found his way out, and once he found his way out the match was over very quickly in both cases. Federer's court positioning means that he trusts himself more and more and doesn't feel he needs to pull the trigger so often or so early. Finally I think the post on winning percentages is the most relevant - every pro player would rather walk off a winner, that's all that really matters, however many CNN Play of the Day's we'd like to see.

superman1
02-16-2006, 04:29 PM
Just a few months ago he played an unbelievable final at Wimbledon, so he certainly hasn't regressed. He's a little more aware of the records he's setting and what it would mean if he lost a match (literally sports headlines), so maybe he'll get more nerves these days. But he just won a Grand Slam last month so I'm sure he's dealing with it fine.

okdude1992
02-16-2006, 05:20 PM
they pay him more if he plays more!!! more air time. any publicity is good publicity. he's a crowd pleaser
bull s*** the players who tested him and beat him all played amazing to do so... it was not at all that federer let them win those sets....they had to work...that is the stupidest thing ive ever heard...giving away sets and matches...WOW think Freddy, if fed. did that he would sure not be a champ

BounceHitBounceHit
02-16-2006, 05:23 PM
Amen.

He still is dominating.

Craig

You're taking a pretty myopic view. Fed has won 92 of his last 96, is current holder of 3 out of 4 grand slam trophies, and has the most ATP entry points ever accumulated.

He's no longer dominating opponents with frequent 6-0 sets, but he's no longer losing. He's found a comfort zone. He understands how hard he needs to train and to play in order to beat pretty much anybody, pretty much any time. This means less danger of physical and mental burnout, higher probability of success, time-in/time-out. He's still capable of every physical thing he ever was, but now he's at his all-time mental game peak as well.

Regressed? Pfah. Tell it to the trophies.

okdude1992
02-16-2006, 05:25 PM
the reason players have been playing him closer is because they have watched his matches they know what to do...(not that he really has a weakness) he is so good that they think what the h*** im playing federer. if i loose nobody will care because he is so good. if i win im instantly famous (or more famous). ive got nothing to loose. I dont care how good federer is. If youve got a player going for his shots because he has nothing to loose, and feels no pressure than he can beat (or at least push) any single player on the face of the earth including federer.

okdude1992
02-16-2006, 05:25 PM
the reason players have been playing him closer is because they have watched his matches they know what to do...(not that he really has a weakness) he is so good that they think what the h*** im playing federer. if i loose nobody will care because he is so good. if i win im instantly famous (or more famous). ive got nothing to loose. I dont care how good federer is. If youve got a player going for his shots because he has nothing to loose, and feels no pressure than he can beat (or at least push) any single player on the face of the earth including federer.

okdude1992
02-16-2006, 05:29 PM
sorry for the quadropal (if thats how you spell it) post...my computor froze for a while and i tapped the 'post' button 4 times... sorry again... but 4 times must be a record lol!!!!!!!!!!!!

okdude1992
02-16-2006, 05:30 PM
correction: apparently i tapped it 6 times... my bad... but 6? bet nobodys done that before....i shall go down in history!!!!!! so eat that and like it all you double posters... I beat u by 4!!!

Coria
02-16-2006, 05:34 PM
Federer has regressed so badly that he only won 20 of the last 24 games against Bhagdatis in the Aussie Final.

Why couldn't he have have bageled him in both the third and fourth? He lost two games. God, he's really slowing down. I'll be surprised if he's even seeded by Wimbledon.

yo_3133
02-17-2006, 03:50 PM
he's just doing what he needs to win, nothing else nothing less

whistleway
02-18-2006, 10:48 AM
If I read this correctly, people hereabouts think Federer has a choice of how he beats opponents, which if you stop and think about it is nonsense. He doesn't go out and expect to beat say Hewitt 0,5,0 in a US Open final. There's no question he, like all sportsmen, can get to a zone when everything flows and at that point I think Federer's best is better than anyone elses. The Tiger Woods analogy is pertinent. If he brings his A game, the rest of the tour can pack up and go home - same with Federer. However Tiger has come back to the field somewhat as players have raised their games and Woods has struggled off the tee of late. The field has begun to catch up with Federer, who has his own style and they are working out more and more how to trouble him, not as yet how to beat him. 2006 will be an interesting year. He's been working to improve areas of his game, principally volleys and his b/h. If Laver can spot that "if his backhand flows then everything falls into place", then you can be sure the ATP and Fed have worked that out. You could see Davydenko and Bagdhatis working that side very hard, but he found his way out, and once he found his way out the match was over very quickly in both cases. Federer's court positioning means that he trusts himself more and more and doesn't feel he needs to pull the trigger so often or so early. Finally I think the post on winning percentages is the most relevant - every pro player would rather walk off a winner, that's all that really matters, however many CNN Play of the Day's we'd like to see.

Bravo !!

Gilgamesh
02-18-2006, 02:00 PM
just due to his recent ankle injury. .

Aeropro joe
02-18-2006, 02:06 PM
usually if someone is still spanking players off the court and retaining their number 1 ranking on the world i wouldnt say that that player has regressed even with his ankle injusry he is whooping tail

Tennis_Goodness
02-19-2006, 05:30 PM
Federer has found a middle ground where he can conserve energy and win matches. He plays percentage tennis and is tougher mentally as well. This version of Federer is almost impossble to knock off the number 1 slot. I think it's going to be years until anybody comes close.

jings
02-19-2006, 05:38 PM
...well illustrated in this years AO. Fed was severly pushed in his Haas and Davydenko matches but overall got to the final in reasonable shape. He was able to raise his game at the key moments to avoid some really drawn out encounters. Davydeko must still wake up and wonder how he didn't go 2 sets up. Baggy had had to play well above himself to get there. From the middle of the second set you could tell it was catching up with him.