At their best, who would win?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Graphiteking, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Probably Gonzales, Laver, Sedgman, Budge, and Vines. They could all get hot, and had the physical ability to raise their games an extra gear.
    Not someone like Kramer, who was incredibly consistent every day, but didn't have the "hot" end, and was, in Gonzales' words, "not a natural athlete, and not too fast or quick." Others, like Perry, Newcombe, Smith, among others, simply didn't have the range of great shots to lift their games above the normal.
    Some lacked great footspeed, like Trabert, Sampras (who didn't usually need it, except on clay), Becker (slower than Sampras).
     
  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I like your logic here. Good mention of Sedgman.
     
  3. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    And you know this how?
     
  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    The most common argument against Federer is that at his peak, he faced lesser champions (Roddick, Hewitt) and great champions who had yet to mature (Nadal, Djokovic).

    But the first problem I have with this argument is that Nadal and Djokovic never handled old Roddick as well as Federer handled (really demolished) peak Roddick. The same is more or less true in the case of Hewitt.

    Federer, has, first of all, winner/error ratios against Roddick and Hewitt that are higher than anything I have seen from Nadal and Djokovic against Roddick or Hewitt or any other opponent. When Federer beat Roddick at Wimbledon in 2003, he had 61 winners and 12 unforced errors. The differential there is +49, just mind-boggling.

    When Federer beat Roddick in the 2006 USO final his differential was +50, which may be even more impressive given that the highest differentials typically occur on grass (winners are easiest to hit on grass).

    But you don't even have to look at the match stats; you can see it just in the scores. Federer's worst defeats of Roddick, just going by the scorelines, were worse than anything that Nadal inflicted on a declining Roddick -- excluding claycourt matches, and excluding the final match of their rivalry at the 2011 USO; Roddick was crushed in that meeting but was obviously a shadow of his former self.

    Djokovic actually has a losing H2H record against Roddick (4-5), even though all their matches took place against a declining Roddick in 2007-12. And nearly all of those matches took place after Novak won his first GS, ie, during Novak's prime.

    Federer's record against Hewitt is 18-8 (with a 15-match win streak). Probably his most emphatic win over Hewitt was in the 2004 USO final: 6-0, 7-6, 6-0. That was a year when arguably Hewitt was playing his best tennis and had won two hardcourt events in the summer coming into the USO.

    But Nadal, apart from clay, never beat Hewitt until the Beijing Olympics in '08. By then Hewitt had long left behind his best tennis, having won a grand total of 3 tournaments since that USO loss to Federer.

    Novak at least has a 6-1 record against Hewitt: all matches on fast surfaces (Hewitt's best surfaces). But that rivalry began in '06, by which time Hewitt was well past his best years.

    Of course some of this (not all of it, by any stretch) could be explained by matchup issues. Maybe Rafa and Novak do not match up well against Roddick and Hewitt -- or not as well as Federer did. But if there are matchup issues that could explain some of this, then there are certainly matchup issues that could explain some of Federer's losing H2H against Nadal.

    I'll try to post a not excessively long summary of match stats I've gathered over the years, for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic -- to compare their peak levels.

    Hewitt/Djokovic: http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=D643&oId=H432

    Hewitt/Federer: http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=F324&oId=H432

    Hewitt/Nadal: http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=N409&oId=H432

    Roddick/Djokovic: http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=D643&oId=R485

    Roddick/Federer: http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=F324&oId=R485

    Roddick/Nadal: http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=N409&oId=R485
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  5. TomT

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    Agree, but I don't think Kodes figures into the consideration of the theme of this thread. That is, I don't believe that Kodes' best on hard court was as good as a dozen other players who've been mentioned.

    By the way, in my posts in this thread I think I forgot to mention Nadal and Murray and Lendl, et al., and imo they have to be mentioned as contenders who, at their very best, might well beat anybody else on hardcourt.

    It's a neverending debate, but nice to see all the deeply felt and well researched opinions. And the mild flaming is fun too. :)
     
  6. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Probably hard court is more taxing the legs, but i reckon that wood rackets are more taxing to the arm, because they are more unforgiving and give you enormous pain, if you don't hit the sweet spot. Never heard of the infamous 'tennis arm' in recent time, with which many top players in the wood era had to deal. In the 60s and 70s, that pros played much more on hard courts or carpet, which is even taxing given the hard underground, than on natural surfaces. I remember quite a lot players of the 70s who had knee operations or problems with knees, as Laver, Newcombe, BJK, Ashe, Vilas, Orantes.
    I don't know about the more running thing. Fact is, in recent times pros have more time to recuperate, they have more time in between points and games, and have longer rest periods than players in the 60s and 70s. The netto playing time of matches is much lower than than brutto time with all the intervalls. Fact is also, that the pros nowadays run almost exclusively sideways on the baseline, they have evolved a specific technique of turning and stepping around. The last step before the hit is the first to get to the middle of the baseline again. In older days players were running more through on the baseline, on the way to the net they had the split step to get into volley position on the t- line.
     
  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    urban, I agree with your analysis.

    Have a good "Neues Jahr"!
     
  8. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Krosero, while I definitely agree overall with your post (and other ones in this topic) and do think that Roddick at his best would be tough on faster surfaces for any version of Novak (and Nadal) I do have some disagreement regarding Novak-Roddick H2H and you saying that all of their matches were between declining Roddick and prime Novak.

    The reason being that Novak's career trajectory has been a bit different compared to players like Nadal and Fed after they won their first slam in that he didn't really improve as a player in the years following his first slam win and even regressed in some regards, for example I'd say his 2007 level is higher than both his 2009 and 2010 levels even though it was before he became a slam winner (he had serving and confidence issues in both 2009 and 2010).

    Also remember, Roddick had a sort of a resurgence in 2009 (when he hired Stefanki as a coach), he played excellent in 2009 AO and his serving performance throghout Wimbledon was the best I've seen since Goran's 2001 run (Roddick almost matched his ace count) and 3 of his wins over Novak came in that period, now I don't discount them of course but I wouldn't exactly say those 3 matches atleast happened between post prime Roddick and prime Novak considering their level of play in that year.

    Of course, Roddick also beat Novak at the beginning of 2008 when Novak was in great form, as a matter of fact in 2008 Dubai Roddick beat both Novak and Nadal in straights back-to-back and also beat Nadal in 2010 Miami SF, considering that 2008 and 2010 were definitely subpar years for Roddick and that 2008 and 2010 are widely considered to be Nadal's best years to date those results are very telling.

    I would also like to add that one player from Fed's era who had success against Nadal is Davydenko, he's 6-1 against Nadal on HC, two of those victories coming in masters finals (Miami and Shanghai) yet he didn't manage to beat Fed until 2009 YEC, he was 12-0 against him up until that point.
     
  9. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    Year-end ranking position of Roddick and Djokovic in 2009?
     
  10. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    #7 compared to #3 but that is atleast partly due to Novak being a younger guy who played a brutal schedule in 2009 (he played 97 matches compared to Roddick's 63) and Roddick having an understandable letdown after missing the chance of a lifetime to win Wimbledon and injury issues (though he did play well in Canada, he had a series of very poor results after that as a combination of the above 2 factors IMO), I was more talking about the highest level of play both reached that year.
     
  11. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    As often, Urban, you've made a series of good points in a short number of words (something I'd like to do actually).

    There's a list here of arm problems among modern pros, a few elbow problems are mentioned: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=419586.

    But I agree that tennis elbow was a more prominent issue for past greats, due to those heavy racquets.

    Again for me this is not about which era is tougher or something like that, but simply a specific issue about how well the legs hold up. This ties into the question of when and why Federer declined. My basic argument is that the runner's game we have today is tailor-made for 18-25 year old legs. Thirty year old legs may be still competitive but I don't think there's any question that younger men are not only faster on the court, but also that they recover quicker in the time between matches. Federer's court coverage is not what it was: and this is not due to any personal deficiency in his game, because if anything he has a smooth efficient style made to last. He has certainly fared better physically, as far as injuries go, than Nadal, who has a far more taxing style.

    The correlation between speed and age is very close; it's somewhat different with tennis elbow. A young player can develop tennis elbow (as Tony Roche did, in his mid-20s, I believe), while an older player can be free of it. Or, an older player can recover from it, particularly with sabbaticals (such as those taken by Pancho Gonzalez).

    Probably you would expect tennis elbow, like any injury, generally to be more prominent the longer you play. And tennis elbow is a nasty problem that is not easy to recover from; it's probably not an exaggeration to say that it has ruined careers (thinking of Roche). But the correlation between tennis elbow and aging is not like the correlation between speed and aging. With every passing year you can expect to get slower: and you're not going to get that speed back. It's not like an injury you can recover from.

    Of course there are cases like Martina Navratilova, who was slow in her youth because she was overweight, and actually got faster in her later years, because she got fit. That case is completely unlike Federer's.

    I think what's happening is that in the sport now, for better or worse, it's about being able to run the best in the long and punishing baseline rallies that are so prominent. Nadal and Djokovic are so successful at this because their legs are young, they are super-fast, and they have absolutely maximized the potential of the human body to stretch to the limit on the tennis court and retrieve shots that shouldn't be coming back. I think the slightest loss in the legs, due to age, in this game, is going to have a large effect on results.

    Yes Roddick's resurgence under Stefanki was an important one, good points.
     
  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    True enough and your points are excellent but I still whether the impact protection of the tennis shoes we wear today are just a part of the many advantages we have today to protect the body. Now I know perhaps I don't run on the court as much as I used to but I still often play for many hours in singles without any blisters on my feet. And I play on hard courts often at the National Tennis Center. In the past my feet would often have blisters and I could barely walk. My legs would be sore from the pounding that they took on the hard courts. The pros have beverages to keep their bodies in shape during the match. They have medical time outs for massage for cramps or any other medical problems.

    Just wonder if perhaps the greater mileage is equivalent in pounding to the perhaps lesser mileage ran in the past. We have so many advantages today over the past. Even the tennis clothes is cooler so we don't feel the extra sweat. They sit down now and take breaks every odd game.

    In thinking about quick players in the past, a player like Nastase clearly declined in his thirties, so did Okker, so did Gerulaitis, McEnroe, Edberg, Sampras, Laver, Gonzalez and even Rosewall declined. Rosewall just confounded us by still winning majors into his mid thirties.

    I think in the case of Laver, although his net reflexes were still very good I thought his reflexes at the net declined as he got older. He had back problems and wrist problems which affected his serve, overhead and groundies. There was huge wear on Laver's body. There is less margin for error for losing a fraction at the net I believe. Today if a player's reflexes are slightly slower he can still hit groundies. I think that's why Connors lasted so long. It was clear he lost something into his thirties but his game was based on always getting to the net. He had the great groundstrokes to stay back and wait for his opportunity. I guess Rosewall was the same in this manner.

    Still I think most of us agree that it wasn't exactly a piece of cake playing in the 1920's to 1980's with wood racquets and different types of equipment. Wood racquets are much more wearing on the arm. Tennis shoes in the past were to be nice, just awful compared to today. We all got bad blisters on a regular basis if you played a lot. Players often driving to tournaments on their own. Living in cheap motels etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  13. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I just finished reading The Education of a Tennis Player by Laver. In it he refers to wrist problems and elbow problems in, I believe, 1968.
     
  14. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I see what you're saying, but again I have to reiterate that I'm not comparing eras as if to say that the players today have it tougher than the players of yesterday. If I were saying that, then a list of the hardships endured on past tours would counter the argument.

    What I'm trying to do is much more limited: I'm trying to explore the question of how a champion might, or might not, last longer than his own peers. The question we've been debating was why Federer does not seem to be dominating his peers when he is relatively young compared to past greats who still won multiple Slams at his age or older. So the question is how and when a champion in today's game can be expected to fall behind his own peers; and how and when did the champions of the 1960s fall behind their own peers.

    My answer to that has been that in today's running game, young legs are going to thrive and the first loss in speed due to aging will have immediate and significant results.

    In that sense, the differences between eras take on a different meaning. Certainly, we have much better shoes today. But for the narrow question I'm trying to answer, the fact that we have better shoes today supports my argument. That's because today's shoes make the game more about running that it ever was in the past. Today's shoes make it possible for everyone on tour to run faster than ever and to keep running all day long, and to come back and do it again the next day without blisters, etc. If we still had inferior shoes today, the game would be less about running and more about other things.

    Same with better nutrition: it helps players today to run more than ever.

    Same with the rest periods on the changeovers, and the time taken between points: they also make it into more of a running game. That's because when you get these rest periods, you're expected to come back out for the next point and run like an animal for another 20 or 30 shots.

    In the past it was different. Obviously, tennis players have always lost speed with age, and that has always had an impact on their results. But the game was less narrowly about running in past eras. Players also volleyed; and the game, as most of us older fans know, had more room for touch. In other words, there were more options for an older player to rely upon, to stay competitive in the game. Nobody had better touch than Rosewall (or very few did), and that was one reason he lasted so long.

    In today's game, if you can't stay in the marathon high-speed baseline rallies with the young guys, forget about being competitive.

    Well, there is another way: you could be a powerhouse server, or you could belt your groundstrokes at 100 mph. Isner can't move very well but he gets away with it because of his massive power.

    Anyway I hope my arguments are clear; I am NOT trying to paint broad strokes about eras in an attempt to say which was tougher. I'm trying to answer why and when an individual champion might fall behind his own peers today, and why and when the same would happen in past eras.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  15. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Krosero,

    I understand and I did originally also. It's always good discussion on this subject. We'll getting too much off topic I guess.

    To get back on topic. Outside of some top tier greats guys like Frank Kovacs and Arthur Ashe were known for being incredible at times. Jimmy Connors (who can be ranked in the first tier by some) has also had some great matches against Tanner in 1975 and the matches against Rosewall in 1974 in the Wimbledon and US Open finals. John McEnroe was incredible in the 1984 Wimbledon final against Connors. Didn't he only make three unforced errors in that match? Vijay Amritraj was known for being super when on his game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  16. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    You consider Olympics a major? Lemme consider Basel, a Swiss tournament a major since Roger wants to win that also. And using that logic he has won lot of majors. In an OBJECTIVE discussion nobody gives a f*** about what you think. They only care about FACTS

    You claim that you never said Nadal and Djokovic are ahead of Federer regarding lonegivity?

    So I assume that this post of yours in another thread was posted by your ghost :)

    I typed this line to you. "I think in this thread ONLY TMF is pushing that case." Why did you ignore the word this thread? Do you think that those two words have no meaning? I was talking about this thread not the entire universe. Once again while debating read what is actually written not what you "want" you to read
     
  17. qindarka

    qindarka Rookie

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    In that list, he obviously meant that Djokovic and Nadal's peak play were so much higher than Federer's even to counteract their lack of longevity thus far. Federer only dominated a weak era and stopped once faced with real competition. Also, there is no telling how they will perform in the future but it is fairly certain they will continue racking up slams at Federer's current age, it is still pretty youthful after all.
     
  18. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    It's NOT like that.

    Everyone would like an objective poster. We all have our favorites and we all can be biased to an extent, that's quite acceptable. I also don't claim that am an angel. I have made extreme comments against Nadal while debating with some trolls but I try to be as objective as possible while discussing with a reasonable poster.

    I have learned a lot from this forum. Limpinhitter, pc1, Hoodjem, krosero all I like. These posters are far from being Federer fans and I have never called them biased. I have found priceless words of knowledge from them. To be fair, I also respect your knowledge. However you seem to have a bias towards Roger as far as I know. If an old player wins slams in 30s you would say that the field was so competitive. If a present player (Agassi) wins slams after 30, you would say that the field is weak. If Kodes win a slam without facing a top player you would say it was not Kodes fault that the others failed to reach him. If Federer wins RG without facing Nadal you would say that Federer was lucky. This is hypocrisy. Your arguments lack consistency.

    Maybe, however I went to school the day my teacher taught me the meaning of the word "hypocrite". I wish some posters in this thread didn't skip school the day their teachers taught that word
     
  19. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Krosero thank you for your very interesting statistical analysis. Where did you find the slam's statistics? I would be interested to do some exploring by my self. In particular, I would like to do some research on the relative importance of winners in different players's game: you demonstrated very convincingly that Federer's level dropped in his 2010 encounter with Djokovic by showing that is differential dropped, while Djokovic's remained the same. Thus, the different outcome(Nole winning) is caused more by a change in Federer's form than in Nole's form. I wonder if this explanation would work as well for a Federer-Nadal match, as Nadal's game is much less based on winners than Federer's.

    My idea is, when Federer's level rises or decreases, so do his errors/winners differential. On the other hands, I don't think the same indicator could work with Nadal. When Nadal's level rises or decreases, it is mostly the errors/winners differential from his opponents which are affected, as his game is much more based on "provoking" unforced errors than on hitting winners. So, when he utterly dominate his opponent, Nadal's differential will be positive (few winners, but extremely few errors too) but by a smaller margin than Federer's, as the points are made on the errors of his opponents. So, I guess that we need the differentials of both players, and the absolute value as well (to be weighted by the number of set) to assess the peak level of players that have different playing style (more or less aggressive).

    I'm sorry for the long post (can't write in few words like urban), and look forward your analysis of peak level of Roddick, Hewitt, etc.
     
  20. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I would add to Krosero's argumentation that the difficulties you mention affect equally all players: age don't make a man "softer". Both a 35 years old man and a 25 years old man will suffer from blister during a match, and the one who will be less affected by them is either the tougher one (which is not related to age), or the one whose game is less based on running (which is not related to age, or it could be negatively related to age: an older player will adapt his game to run less e.g. Agassi). I think it is true for the other problems you mentioned.

    As for today's amenities, they affect equally all players as well (at least the successful and rich enough ones). Older players don't benefit more from doctor, break, shoes, special drinks or five star hotel than younger ones.

    As for the sentence that I "bolded", it is very situational: a decline at the net in a net based game will have more effect than in a baseline based game, and the reverse is true as well. It remains to knows the relative importance of reflex in net game (can you still be a great player if your reflex are bad but you have a great touch) and the relative importance of speed in a baseline game (can you still etc.)
     
  21. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    I think in short, the point is this:

    Regardless of whether or not players run more or less today than they did 20, 30 or 774 years ago, the axis of tennis is different - the hierarchy of tennis attributes has changed in terms of position and weight. Rather than implications of weaker or stronger eras, the point is merely to try to ascertain change in tennis. Asserting that tennis today is more of a legtasmic affair has no relevance regarding whether or not tennis has evolved, or whether players today actually run more in quantity, but does serve to try and qualify what particular aspects may or may not be more needed today in order to survive specifically in this current era.

    Krosero is talking from the viewpoint of forming an overarching philosophy on the changes of tennis - a holistic view with great breadth but comparatively vague in comparison to...

    pc1, who instead of attacking this interesting topic from a global standpoint, is addressing different issues that arise when honing in on finer individual pieces of this jigsaw puzzle.

    Both strategies will prove to be useful and enlightening (and have their pros and cons), even without welcoming warnings of the tangential intents of the resulting discussion.

    ***

    tl;dr - It isn't about less or more in the absolute sense, but in the comparative/relative sense in the context of one's surroundings.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  22. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Feather, I'm embarrassed how friendly you answer my posts.

    My top ten list included ALSO longevity but longevity is only a part of the criteria I used. I rank Djokovic and Nadal ahead of Federer because I think they are stronger at their peak. Maybe I have ranked Federer too low if we include longevity. I concede that Roger is ahead of Nadal and Djokovic regarding longevity (but of course we don't know how N. and D. will fare in future years.

    I'm convinced that the majority of the FormerPPT posters are Federer men and women.
     
  23. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    qindarka, you got me right.
     
  24. qindarka

    qindarka Rookie

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    Say, what do you think about krosero's points on this issue? He isn't a 'Federer man or woman'.
     
  25. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    qindarka,

    Yes, krosero is more objective than many other posters here. Nevertheless I don't always agree with him. For instance I still believe that Federer in his prime was lucky to sometimes have relative weak fields. When Nadal and Djokovic reached their peaks they were not anymore dominated by Federer and partly even dominated him. Hewitt, Safin and Roddick were by far not as strong as Nadal, Djokovic and Murray now are.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  26. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Bobby, you are aware of Fed's slam record against Murray? Also Novak wasn't nearly as strong in 2009 and 2010 for example as he was in 2011, as a matter of fact I'd go as far as to say that Novak in 2007 played better than in 2009 and 2010.

    In 2009, Novak didn't reach a slam final, had a shock early exit at FO etc. his highlights of the year are winning Paris masters and reaching USO SF, even at AO which is his best slam by far he lost in QF.

    In 2010, for most of the year he was winless agains top 10 players (until 2010 USO SF) and had more double faults than aces, other than reaching 2010 USO final his year was very lackluster, he only had 2 tourney wins and no masters finals.

    Many were thinking he was gonna remain a one slam winner at that time.
     
  27. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    zagor, Murray reached his peak only in 2012. Maybe he even can improve this year.
     
  28. qindarka

    qindarka Rookie

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    How convenient.
     
  29. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you regarding Novak's level. I remembered 2010 as an awful year for him, and 2009 as mitigated one (good year overall but with some surprising loss). I made a quick comparison between Djokovic's 2007-2010 seasons.

    First of all, the winning percentage are very similar. 78% in 2007, 79% in 2008, 80% in 2009, 77% in 2010. This suggest a steady level, with only a little drop in 2010. A more detailed analysis show that 2009 and 2010 were lesser years.

    In 2007, he won 5 titles overall, including 2 masters 1000. In slams, he lost only against Nadal (SF of Wimby and RG), and Federer (4rd AO, F of USOpen). In masters 1000, he lost only to Nadal, Ferrer, Moya, Nalbandian and Santoro in Paris. Only bad loss were Moya at Cincinnati and Santoro at Paris.

    In 2008, he won 4 titles: Australia Open, Indian Wells, Rome, and the World Tour Final. In slams he lost against Nadal, Federer, and Marat Safin (Wimbledon 2rd - Safin would reach the SF). In Masters 100, he lost against Nadal, Federer, Murray, Tsonga, Karlovic and Anderson. His only bad loss are Karlovic and Anderson.

    In 2009, he won 5 titles, but only 1 master 1000 (Paris). His masters 1000 results were excellent, as he lost often to the eventual winner: Nadal, Murray, Davydenko, Federer, Roddick. However he retired at the AO against Roddick (QF), and lost to Kohlschreiber at the 3rd of RF, and to Haas at the QF of Wimbledon. Overall he was very good in 2009, but his grand slam result were lacking.

    In 2010, he won 2 titles, ans was vulnerable to nearly anyone: he lost to Tsonga in Australia (QF), Melzer in RG (QG), Berdych in Wimbledon (SF), Nadal in USOpen (when I said anyone :roll: - Final). In masters 1000 he didn't reach a single final, and made only 3 SF. He lost Ljubicic, Rochus, Verdasco, Federer (when I said anyone, I got to be consistent here :evil:) or Roddick. His win to Federer in the USOpen SF is his first top 10 win of the year. Later, he heated to other top 10, Berdych and Roddick, at the WTF. He booked a total of 3 top 10 win. He beated 12 top-20, 6 in Davis Cup.

    Other interesting numbers: In 2007, he was 1-3 against Fed, 2-5 against Nadal, 2-0 against Murray. In 2008, he was 1-2 against Fed, 2-4 against Nadal, 1-2 against Murray. In 2009, he was 3-2 against Fed, 3-3 against Nadal, 0-1 against Murray. In 2010, 1-4 against Fed, 0-2 against Nadal. He didn't play Murray. This shows that, while his H2H against Fed and Nadal was still bad in 2008, it was a little better than in 2007. In 2009, it was even a positive one, while the 2010's H2H is very bad: 1-6 combined.

    With these data it seems to me that his 2009 season is a bit underestimated, because he often fall short of winning, especially in the masters 1000. On the other hand, it is very clear that in 2010 he was a poor top-4, who didn't live up to his reputation at all.
     
  30. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Do you doubt that Murray had his first great year in 2012?
     
  31. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Guys, subjectively from my point of view while Murray had the super talent over the years I do think Lendl seems to have a great influence on him and improved his play. I think Lendl has somehow changed his mentality from the defensive player he loves to be to being more of an attacking player, especially with the forehand. I thought if Murray defeated Federer in the Olympics that he would be the favorite (in my mind) for the US Open. I was very happy he won his first major over Djokovic. It would have been horrible if a player of his gifts never won a major.

    I love the top four nowadays. From my own point of view the top few is very exciting because you know that anyone can beat the others and it's not a mismatch. Forgetting about strength of the competition, what makes it exciting to me is whenever they play there is uncertainty in the outcome of the match. You expect it to be at least close. When Federer towered over the competition it frankly bored me to see him play some of the others in a major because I thought they had no shot to win. Some may be competitive for a while but you knew eventually Federer would find a way to win except against Rafa at the French of course.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  32. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    that's not true ...

    even assuming for a 'moment' that it was true, how did the super-duper peak djokovic whose peak level is much higher than federer's according to you, lose in 5 sets to him @ the USO ? why did he need 5 sets to defeat him @ the AO (murray had BPs towards the tail end of the final set ) ?

    whereas past his prime federer defeated him in 4 sets @ wimbledon ?
     
  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Did Bobby write Djokovic's level was MUCH higher than Federer? I don't recall that.

    Federer is still superb now and even if he is past his best (and who knows if he is) he can still beat anyone. Djokovic's level of play to me in 2012 I believe seemed to be lower than 2011. He seemed more defensive on his shots where I felt in 2011 he attacked far me. Even in 2011 Federer defeated Djokovic at the French in a superb match.

    Let's put it this way neither Federer or Djokovic will defeat each other all the time. They are both too good. Federer may have lost a bit but no one is going to beat him every match. He will win a decent amount against anyone.

    Anyway it should be an exciting 2013.

    Here's a question of all of you---At their best who would win among Federer, Murray, Djokovic and Nadal, assuming all are healthy which is something you can't assume with Nadal right now?
     
  34. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree but even then Fed beat him in Wimbledon final, regardless if we discount their previous slam meetings on the basis that Murray wasn't at his peak then we could do the same for any potential slam wins he might have over Fed in 2013 and beyond, Fed will turn 32 next year, he's still formidable but his peak is long gone.
     
  35. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sure, Lendl was a positive influence on Murray, Andy started going DTL with his FH much more and held up much better mentally in his slam finals in 2012 compared to previous years.

    Eh, I'd say your description only fits for 2012 season, 2008-2010 was still a Fed and Nadal show (with their roles somewhat reversed compared to 2005-2007 period) with Novak winning 2008 AO (which was akin to Safin winning 2005 AO) and 2011 was a two man show between Novak and Nadal.

    Right, but that's a different topic altogether, I find Nadal's utter domination on clay to be quite boring (it's news if he wins a set) but that is completely unrelated to his greatness on that surface.

    Well he kinda did, see posts below:

     
  36. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Seriously? I'd say that's pretty obvious.

    I do find it strange that you have no problem recognizing Nadal's supposedly gigantin improvement as a player in 2008 or Murray's in 2012) and dismissing Fed's win over Sampras in Wimbledon because of Pete's decline but apparently it's debatable whether Fed is past his best?

    Staying healthy is part of the game as is maintaining a high level of play over a longer period.

    But to answer the question, I'd favour Fed for Wimbledon and USO, Nadal for FO (would be a bigger favourite of course than the other two for their respective tourneys) and Novak for AO, Murray is a very gifted player but if those 3 are at their utmost best I don't see him grabbing a piece of the cake in a given year.
     
  37. President

    President Legend

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    Prime Federer is not losing to Djokovic at the AO.
     
  38. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    see post 573

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7094425&postcount=573

    yeah, either he is downright ignorant in this regard or he probably thinks the likes of kramer, laver, borg, connors,lendl,sampras,agassi, nadal etc. ( from all living generations of tennis players ) are dumb to praise federer's high level of play @ his peak so much :)

    yeah, novak was better in 2011 than he was in 2012 ; but then even in 2011, like you said federer defeated him @ RG and was very close to doing so @ the USO .....

    and who knows if federer is past his best ? seriously ?

    I'd say nadal on clay
    on grass, indoors, fast HC, slow HC federer ( though novak is close on slow HC )
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  39. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I don't know about rebound ace (Novak only played on it as a teenager) but on plexicushion that was introduced in 2008 AO? Yes, at his best I'd definitely favour him over anyone else in this era, including peak Fed so yeah, agree to disagree.
     
  40. President

    President Legend

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    Federer lost to Djokovic at the AO on Plexi in 2008 when he had mono and in 2011 when he wasn't in great form, old, and Djokovic was in the best form of his life (hell 2011 AO is probably Djokovic's career tournament). Both of those matches, to me, don't say much about Djokovic's ability to beat Federer at his best. I think Djokovic has little to hurt prime Federer with on a hard court (in a major), his movement decline has made him vulnerable to Djokovic's grinding style but in his prime I think he would win almost every time.
     
  41. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I don't draw my conclusion from Fed losing those matches but from him losing in straights, even not at his best against the best version of Novak he still should have made it more competitive.

    Take Agassi for example, he wasn't at his best in his 2004 and 2005 USO matches with Fed but he was still able to push him relatively hard (yes, windy conditions in 2004 USO QF did have something to do with it but my points still stands).

    First of all, in 2011 Novak reached the level comparable to other tennis legends (he had one of the most dominant season of all time) which makes him a potentially tough customer for even a GOAT candidates like Fed to deal with (regardless if Novak's overall career achievements won't be comparable) and this topic is about players at their best.

    Secondly I'd say Novak at his best can trouble Fed with:

    -His court coverage, Fed never liked played against great defenders and we're talking about slow HC here.

    -His ROS, one of the best in this era.

    -His BH, Fed's money shot all these years was his inside out FH to opponent's BH and Novak's BH is rock solid.

    -His FH, while his FH isn't consistently on the same level as Fed of course, at his best he's one of the few players who can stay competitive with Fed in FH-FH exchanges.

    Now, obviously I'm talking about a slow HC here, on fast HC and grass Fed's better offense, serve, slice and overall variety play a much bigger role, Novak wouldn't be able to get him into prolonged baseline rallies and would be taken out of his comfort zone by peak Fed.
     
  42. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    but all the sets where competitive , none of them anywhere close to a blow-out ....just that novak edged them out ....

    funny thing is while federer doesn't necessarily like playing great defenders, he has long winning streaks vs hewitt (15 ! ) and ferrer (14)

    while novak does well in CC FH exchanges vs federer ; even with his solid BH, he still has quite a bit of trouble with federer's I/O FH when fed is hitting it well ...

    don't agree with president that novak wouldn't trouble him on slow HC at all, but I do think fed at his best was better ....(2004,2005,2007,2010 semis/finals @ the AO)
     
  43. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, but most sets between top pros are close regardless of the surface, Nadal is 11-2 (or something like that, I'd have to check) against Fed on clay yet how many blow-out or even routine sets he had against Fed?

    Well I shouldn't have just said court coverage, Hewitt and Ferrer are fast and fit but do not hit on the run as well as Novak, his transition from defense to offense in 2011 was amazing.

    Obviously but he's still one of the best in this era at defending against it, of course there's Nadal against whom Fed's inside out FH goes to Nadal's FH (which means he's screwed if he doesn't hit it perfectly well)

    Well I disagree regarding current's AO surface atleast, can't say about rebound ace but keep in mind that Novak also beat Fed in Canada in 2007 on slow HC and that was still peak Fed, Novak's level of play in that tourney was far above anything he showed in 2009 and 2010.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  44. amir salari

    amir salari New User

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    full time programm tennis academy

    hello everyone. my name is amir 23 years old. i am planning to play tennis as a pro. so i check some tennis academy and i found novak djokovic tennis academy in serbia. i wanted to know if any one know about thid academ and if serbia is a good place to practice and improve your game. it is very important for me that they care about your carrier and they really work hard with you.


    any one know pls share wd me his or her information.

    thanks
     
  45. President

    President Legend

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    That match from 2008 is totally irrelevant due to Federer's illness and as for 2011 AO Roger's movement had declined so dramatically that it totally changes the dynamics of his match up with Cvac. You see Federer overhitting so much these days against Djokovic because he can't hang with him in movement, that would never happen to a prime Federer.

    And in 2007 I tihnk Federer had already started to decline, especially outside the majors. Check his losses to CANAS in the first two hard court masters of the year. I don't take that Canada match very seriously as a result.
     
  46. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It's my opinion because I felt Nadal from simple observation improved his serve tremendously, improved his backhand and I thought his forehand was even a bit better. And obviously the results showed how much he improved in 2008. To that point it was his best year.

    With Sampras he was just plain awful in those day losing to a lot of players. In fact earlier in the tournament he was taken to five sets by a WC named Cowan. Federer was pretty inconsistent in those days too in losing later to Tim Henman later in that tournament. I put no stock into that loss to Henman. That was Henman around his best and Federer was not Federer yet. Now if both Sampras and Federer was both in their primes playing and Sampras lost I would rate it higher. Sampras was 35-16 for the entire year. The next year despite winning the US Open Sampras was an awful (for him) 27-17 which meant he was barely over 50% at 20-17 going into the 2002 US Open.

    Thanks for answering my question. I appreciate it.
     
  47. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    The most likely results in my eyes would be:

    Roger at Wimbledon and the US Open and probably AO rebound ace due to the liveliness and volatility of the surface, Nole on AO Plexi and Nadal at RG, and Murray wins none.

    I expect Nole to win the AO again this year.
     
  48. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    The fact of the matter is, Sampras and Federer both played better than just OK in their one match, so it is what it is - two talented players not in the prime of their careers putting on a good show and one prevailing by the skin of their teeth in an entertaining and varied match. It was an indication of the supreme talent of Roger Federer.

    It's sad for me to see that Federer can't consistently play as well as he used to and to see that his absolute peak level in this day and age isn't quite where it used to be. Conversely, the conditions of the tour today also suit him slightly less than they used to.
     
  49. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    NSK's real name?
     
  50. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I agree. I think Djokovic is the best Australian Open player of the Open Era, though Agassi would be if he played more in his early career I believe. Prime to prime I would favor Djokovic over Federer there, not as sure about Agassi as it is hard to guage just how they would match up.
     

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