A Federer Hypothetical

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by zam88, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    Let's say Federer would've been less successful on clay. He'd get consistently to semifinals, but had no clay masters and zero French Open Finals.

    He would have 16 majors instead of 17, but all other records in tact.

    However now his head to head over Rafa was in his favor by a couple matches because they will shockingly have never played a match on clay.. but he has no career grand slam, less masters shields, less finals, never more than 3 consecutive finals

    Soderling would've won the 2009 French Open.


    Had this hypothetical been true would Federer be:

    1) Same GOAT candidate in the eyes of the people on this board.. no difference.

    2) Greater GOAT candidate since he'd have a positive H2H with Rafa (although would still have the 2009 AO loss and 2008 Wimbledon loss on his resume)

    3) Lesser GOAT candidate due to being basically a Sampras+ More majors, better clay resume, but still no real success on the surface.
     
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  2. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    He wouldn't be as great. Making it to a final is better than making it to a semi.
     
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  3. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    You can't make hypotheticals because you will be attacked for your suggestion. See: My thread.
     
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  4. Sim

    Sim Semi-Pro

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    Number 3 would be the option. Not winning a French Open, more specifically not even making a final, would really put a dent in your résumé for being GOAT.

    He'd still be a candidate, but not as many people would call him the greatest as they do now.
     
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  5. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    This. Federer is one of the best on clay as well, and it took the clay GOAT to beat him consistently on this surface. the Rafa H2H is nothing. He's still one of the best ever despite it.
     
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  6. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    I haven't been around this board very long.

    Before Roger was Sampras considered the GOAT around here? or was it more Laver or Borg?


    Maybe this message board wasn't very active or even around pre 2005 (and probably 95% of the posters wouldn't have been on here anyway).




    To me it almost seems like that Roger being a damn good clay court player has caused him more harm than good because he was in the clay GOAT's presence.


    What argument would anyone have for Roger not being the GOAT if he had 16 majors and a positive H2H against Nadal. There'd be none right?

    So it seems like that's been a real negative overall.


    Taking it one step further.. if he would've never met Nadal at the French, but had still managed to step it up and win the 2009 French and thus at least had the career slam.... then that would have to be better, right?
     
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  7. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    Being a FO champion and one of the greats of all time on clay is one of the many reasons why he is the GOAT, only in this forum will you ever hear otherwise.
     
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  8. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    True, in a worldwide poll of people who are at least aware tennis is a sport and are aware enough to know that there are tennis majors, Federer is the GOAT/King.

    Only on here is it even a remote argument.
     
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  9. Sartorius

    Sartorius Professional

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    Depends on how you look at it I guess. On the most simplest terms this means that Federer winning more matches on clay has been a negative for him. That doesn't make any sense.

    For me Federer is all the better because he put himself against Nadal on clay time after time and had to endure those defeats. This made his RG win very special, he proved a point in being persistent. As a fan, I think Nadal has made Federer's career a better story to be a fan of. But that might be just me, I enjoy watching Nadal as well.

    People exaggarate the h2h between them, in fact this is exactly what you are doing here just to put a universal GOAT banner on Federer; he doesn't need that, but that's another topic.
     
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  10. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    Exactly.

    When someone reaches that many finals and loses them to the same guy (a guy considered by many to be the clay GOAT), it's a very obvious indication of how good they are. Imagine Borg vs Nadal, if they played each other and split everything would that make them half as good? Or if one of them won everything would the other disappear into obscurity?

    People are cherry picking when they consider titles to be the only results worth mentioning.

    Personally I'm much happier that Fed has his French Open than I care about his H2H with Nadal. Obviously I wish the latter wasn't so heavily lopsided, but that's mostly due to it being shoved down my and many other Federer fans throats by a very small but very loud group of stroppy, petulant children.

    If anything the poor clay H2H made his eventual FO win all the sweeter, and every subsequent win afterwards too. Federer's win over Nadal in Indian Wells this year is a sporting highlight for me. This wouldn't be the case if it was Djokovic or Murray.

    To properly answer your question zam88 (sorry, I went off on a tangent there :)), I think it would be option 3) and lessen his achievements.

    Nadal and Federer have played each other 10 times in majors, but without the RG finals the H2H becomes 4-2 to Nadal.

    However, if we're going to compare this with other slam rivalries then suddenly it's a lesser rivalry compared to Federer vs Hewitt (8 ), Federer vs Nalbandian (6), Federer vs Roddick (8 ) etc.

    In fact the Nalbandian rivalry would be just as compelling since he won in the 2003 AO and USO meetings, and if Federer cannot make the 2006 final in this scenario, we'd have to conclude that Nalbandian would win their 2006 RG semi final too.

    In fact, considering their H2H is 11-8 in Federer's favour, if we were to look at their clay meetings we'd have to reverse their Rome 2006 semi meeting as well as their RG semi, leaving the H2H at 9-10 and now in Nalbandian's favour.

    Without the clay finals, Nadal would lose 10 of his victories, and Federer would lose 2, leaving their H2H dead even at 8 each.*

    My point being that, in those circumstances, the Fedal rivalry would no longer be put on such a high pedastal, as Fed would also have other equally difficult rivalries.

    Therefore, the significance of this new H2H scenario would be diminished.


    *Interestingly, without the clay finals, Nadal would never (so far) beat Federer more than twice in a row, whereas Federer would have enjoyed a 4 match winning streak stretching from Wimbledon 2006 to the 2007 TMC.
     
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  11. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    Thinking about it, if Federer never made any FO finals we should probably assume Djokovic would have reached the final last year, and therefore he would have been the first person to reach all 4 finals in the same year since Rod Laver, instead of Federer.

    If Djokovic had carried on his form from Madrid and Rome into that final and won, and then carried on the rest of the season as he did, Federer would still have the most majors but also be competing at the same time as the guy who did something he now never came close to achieving, the CYGS.

    That would have sparked some serious debate :)
     
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  12. Tony48

    Tony48 Legend

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    I'd go with No. 3: he'd still be the GOAT, but the "margin of victory" wouldn't be as large as it is now.
     
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  13. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    The only thing Federer would get out of being less successful on clay is less ammunition for the Nadal fan brigade to troll on how they think Nadal is better than him or why h2h keeps Federer from being GOAT or how h2h against Fed makes Nadal more of a GOAT.

    Regardless of his record against Nadal, Federer has done just fine on clay and has proven just how good he is on all surfaces. It took the best clay-courter in history to keep Federer from most likely taking several more FO crowns and masters series titles.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
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  14. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    3, obviously. He'd be a minutely better version of Sampras, not the nearly-undisputed GOAT that he is today.
     
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  15. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    Another interesting question is: What if Nadal had never existed or hadn't been born at basically the same time? Then Federer would've won everything under the sun which would only give the "weak-era" argument more credence. There are lots of ways to look at this. He would be lesser of a GOAT candidate for sure though. That's what always baffles me in a sense. Basically Federer's legacy is lesser to some people because he lost to Nadal in the final as opposed to losing in a SF or even a QF most of the time. The best case scenario of course, would be that he had still won the French in 2009, while never meeting Nadal at another clay masters or RG. I'm not worried about his H2H with guys like Nalbandian because Nalbandian has no slams.
     
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  16. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    No way, 1 FO win without making the finals any other time is nowhere near as impressive as what Federer's accomplished. One of my most respected stat of Federer's is that he's made atleast 5 finals at all Grand Slams. That is insanely impressive. The head-to-head is really irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, I'm not gonna let Nadal fanboys dictate my opinion on which is the more important achievement (Grand Slams finals or a skewed head-to-head).
     
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  17. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    Or even if Federer had been able to beat Nadal a fair majority of the time. Then there would still be people claiming Federer had no competition, simply because Nadal, and Djokovic, and Murray wouldn't be beating him either.
     
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  18. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    I know that one of Federer's most respected stats is that one, I was just pointing out scenarios. I agree with you. At the end of the day, I'll take Federer's consistency over a losing H2H any day.
     
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  19. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    Sampras and Sergi Bruguera rivalry could theoretically be Sergi dominated if Sampras was good enough to make it deep enough in clay tournies to meet him 14 times on clay. Instead its 3-2 in favor of Sergi.

    Nadal is the clay court GOAT, but I dont see that lopsided +50% clay based h2h effecting Federer's status as one of the GOATs at all.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
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