Cahill: Federer is a better player now than he was 6-7 years ago

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Federer20042006, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    LOL!

    So why can't Federer play until he's 80, then? He just keeps getting better and better, after all. He's a better player now, at 31, than he was at 24-25, when he was winning 3 slams per year and the number of matches he lost per year was something you could count on one hand. Imagine how good he'll be in another 6-7 years! Or another 55?

    Every single analyst on ESPN claims Federer is better now than ever. It's hilarious. This is the same guy they were gushing about nonstop 6-7 years ago. Now, as it turns out, he's even better than he was back then, but Djokovic and Murray and Nadal and Del Potro and Berdych are just too good.
     
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  2. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    even fed himself said that he is now better then ever. but I don't really believe that. he aged better than anyone in the history of Tennis in his Age and he has declined very Little but I do think he lost half a step compared to his best years
     
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  3. augustobt

    augustobt Hall of Fame

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    Do you really expect him to say "well, I'm past my prime"?
     
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  4. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    You have to understand this from their POV. What would they gain if they said the truth, that Fed is worse than years ago? On TV things(and people) always get bigger,better and so on. Nothing gets worse. No commentator wants to say "now we bring you the Fed-player x match, Fed, a great champion,not what he used to be, but we hope that you stay with us throughout the broadcast".

    They do the same thing when they hype players that have barely proven a thing.
     
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  5. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Media heads, what else do you expect them to say? Especially now that Fed recently reclaimed #1 and won Wimbledon, saying otherwise would go against their "game always improves" BS they sell to their shee- I mean audience , I guess Kimiko Date also must be playing amazing given that in her 40s she isn't exactly getting blown away by all these amazing evolved players of today.

    You don't need to watch Fed matches against the other big 3 to see how much he declined as a player (those guys would be a match for him even at his best), just watch his match against Tomic that is going on right now, his movement, transition from defense to offense just plain sucks compared to his best days.
     
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  6. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Agreed. Hes Talking out of his ass of course.
     
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  7. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    So did Agassi and Sampras at similar ages, they're champs, they're not going to say I'm past my best.

    Laver won a Calendar Grand Slam at the age of 31, Agassi won 5 slams at the age of 29+ and reached a USO final at the age of 35, Rosewall and Pancho also by all accounts had an amazing longevity etc.

    It's not a knock on Fed, he's playing in what is probably the most grueling era ever but he didn't age as well as those guys did.
     
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  8. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Ridiculous claim. The only thing that is arguably better is the serve (although I feel it is more prone to breaking down under pressure now).
     
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  9. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    Yep. This one right here.
     
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  10. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    Those guys didn't play in the most physical era ever.
     
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  11. loci

    loci Rookie

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    federer does some things differently from 2007. his strokes have gone through some tweaks and he's exploiting different angles especially on the backhand side. he's obviously not in his prime, but still it doesn't mean that he hasn't made some adjustments tactically (mentally, intellectually) to compensate for a slight erosion in physical ability and how that might manifest itself on the tennis court. i've often wondered that if he had made the choice to inject some of that wisdom earlier from 2005-2008, the contests on clay between him and nadal might have been different. in his prime, he relied too often on trying to match nadal physically as if he were a brute instead of playing smarter tennis. anyway, all great athletes go through this stage. i think of michael jordan in the last few years with the bulls. he became smarter and held off on the physical antics, managing his energy more efficiently, but make no mistake, he could still show off the repertoire (sky, dunk and dazzle) when he wanted to.
     
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  12. ShoeShiner

    ShoeShiner Rookie

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    His skill, technique, mind control, experience are better.
    But as his age now, he is a little bit slower and weaker.

    The court surfaces are high bounce and slow too.
     
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  13. Apun94

    Apun94 Semi-Pro

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    I dont know if Fed is overall a better player or not but he has certainly improved in some areas and has declined in others.
    His BH, Serve(more consistent first serve and a better second serve), tactics and mental strength have certainly improved since his prime.
    His FH(consistency wise), movement and consistency have declined, no doubt.
     
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  14. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    Depends what they mean as better. He'll have more skills, knowledge, experience & tactics now than he had back then, it's just that his body lets him down more often than it would have in the past.
    Fed in 2006 for instance played 97 matches, back in the days of 5 set masters finals, and still managed to win 12 tournaments throughout the year. Last year Fed played 83 matches, his highest since 2006, and looked completely gassed post-Cincinnati.
     
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  15. Bad_Knee

    Bad_Knee Professional

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    Experience, more mental game etc.... etc....

    Whatever.

    Ask yourself this, Fed 05 vs Fed 13, who wins? Even if Fed 13 knows what's coming, there's nothing he can do about it, once he has got that ball back, another one is fired cross court with ridiculousness pace, and all Fed 13 can do is a little chip back, if anything at all.

    No one will ever play tennis as good as that ever ever again, the problem is a lot of people posting on these boards now never even saw it, so they think it's some sort of exaggerated myth. I assure you, it's not.
     
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  16. Onehandedbackhand

    Onehandedbackhand Professional

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    I agree with Roger because it's common sense.

    When you are young and insanely good, you have an invincibility about you that makes you feel unstoppable. It allows you to hit one of Roddick's nuclear serves back at his feet, but it also allows him to lose to really stupid people from time to time(a few have been mentioned).

    Roger's not going to lose to those stupid people anymore. At an older, more mature age, he understands everyone's dangerous, and he's going to prepare for everyone.

    That's what makes him better.
     
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  17. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Oh but I do, he's much more sloppy, subpeak, uninspired and flat these days compared to his best years when he was reaching 7+ finals in a row.

    Actually, his BH was at his best in 2007 which was 6 years ago so no.

    Serve, probably, that's his biggest weapon nowadays.

    Tactics? Yes.

    Mental strength? Hell no.

    His FH declined in power, not just consistency.
     
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  18. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yeah, it's common sense which is why the vast majority of slam winners in the Open Era are 30+ year old players, right?
     
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  19. President

    President Legend

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    The big difference is in Federer's movement. That is the root of all the problems. He is a lot less fluid, explosive, and athletic now than he was in his prime, and that results in a significantly worse baseline game. His forehand's backswing has been abbreviated to compensate for the decline in movement (so he can take it even earlier to compensate for the lack of movement) but this results in a shot with less spin, power, and consistency. Serve has definitely improved, backhand I think has improved technically but may be worse overall due to the reduced movement.
     
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  20. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Depends on the surface, on slow HC and grass Fed 05 would beat Fed 13 like a red headed stepchild, on clay and indoors for example it could be closer.
     
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  21. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I'd say movement (especially to the right) and return of serve, Fed used to be able to frustrate any big server by getting crazy amount of balls back.
     
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  22. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    well. there is some truth to this. he is mentally very strong now and seems to dismantle his opponents with strategy as much as with his brilliant shotmaking and seemingly effortless movement.

    can anyone here be so kind to pull up the win-loss statistics for the past few year so we can do a comparison by year? the empirical evidence might surprise us.
     
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  23. President

    President Legend

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    I think that is a function of his loss of explosiveness(IMO due to mono) though, he isn't as quick to get the racquet on the ball.
     
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  24. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    I thought Federer's movement was great today.
     
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  25. Sartorius

    Sartorius Professional

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    This pretty much. Federer's "tennis bag" (what he can do, how well he does it) is bigger and better: I think this is what Cahill and Federer himself is referring to. But his consistency has naturally suffered.

    A lot of people talk about Federer's superior game in his heyday and with good reason; but they overlook the fact that what made him successful was ultimately his ability to play well (use his tennis bag to its fullest so to speak) almost all the time, during a match and during an entire year.
     
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  26. Onehandedbackhand

    Onehandedbackhand Professional

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    If they are named Federer, they are.

    He's got more in him. How many? We don't know.
     
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  27. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Not really, since Fed turned 30 he won one slam, all of the other slam winners in that period were players in their early or mid 20s, in fact Fed was the oldest Wimbledon winner in the last 40+ years so more of an anomaly than anything else.

    Has nothing to do with my (indirect) question, if it's common sense for player to play their best tennis in their 30s then why are the vast majority of slam winners in the Open Era players in their early to mid 20s?
     
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  28. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    If we solely go by win-loss statistics and/or # of titles won one might conclude that Nadal's best year is 2005 so obviously a flawed method.

    However if we go that way Fed's winning % was 84%, 83% and 84% last 3 years (2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively) while in his "glory" days (say 2004-2006 as a 3 year period) his winning % was 93%, 95% and 95%.

    So 83,66 % average in last 3 years and 94,33 % in those years he was supposedly a worse player.

    It's possible, whatever the reason it's one of the biggest differences IMO compared to his best days.

    That coupled with his worse movement (which in turn also makes his transition from defense to offense worse than what it once was) made him much more vulnerable to big hitters these days even though he was considered to be a nightmare match-up for that style of play in his best years.
     
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  29. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Further proof that Djokovic has upraised tennis to a new higher level and is the actual ultimate GOAT.

    :)
     
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  30. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    only two things he's improved is getting free points off his serve ( he was slightly more clutch back then ) and tactics at times ( not always )

    anyone who thinks he's improved his bag of "tricks" is sorely mistaken ...

    for example, there is this wide misconception amongst many that he developed his dropshot in 2009

    look @ the 2 drop shots vs safin in 2005 after 3:10 for example :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEeyM3KFovk

    somewhere in the match , there's also a BH lob hit on the rise with the flick of the wrist ...

    also these 2 drop shots ( one of them in an exo in 2007 )


    Federer's virtuoso drop shots against Sampras and Agassi

    all the shots were jaffas ...
     
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  31. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Age related areas have affected him: explosiveness, outright power and range. The thing is, he's so dedicated to the sport that he's tried to up his skills in other areas to offset this. So, he now has a brutal slice, he now uses the drop shot like a master, his serve is actually feared and he constructs points based on how he wants them to go rather than just being able to win them. On that basis, he is a better player now than he was in his prime.
     
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  32. kalyan4fedever

    kalyan4fedever Hall of Fame

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    Cahill or whoever said that is simply stupid, if he wins they praise and say he is the best now than he was when in his actual prime, if he loses the same ones say he should retire, media is bs.
     
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  33. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    This is exactly what I was getting at. He's got more tools at his disposal, but he's no longer has the stamina be it mental or whatever to have them all up and running day after day and against anyone.
     
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  34. above bored

    above bored Semi-Pro

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    These comparisons are always a bit redundant because there are no constants to measure against. The tour is always improving, so logically Federer will have had to improve to remain competitive. At the same time he will not have improved as much as he would have if he were 5 or 10 years younger. So comparing an improved older version of himself to a younger version not privy to later developments in the game is silly. It's not a scientific comparison that can take account of all the variables or keep the environment controlled.

    Clearly, the younger version of Federer, as he hit his prime, would be better than the current version if he had the same opportunity to develop during this period, but that does not mean that the younger version was better than the older version isolated from their respective times. The same applies to all other players capable of achieving similar results later in their career that they were able to achieve at their prime age.
     
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  35. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    it's almost a religious belief for some people...
     
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  36. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Hes overall worse then he was from 2005-2006. But this younger field of players on the rise is making Fed much BETTER and effective then he truly is


    When a Mug like Tomic is getting all this hype, thats when you know the sport is DEAD and they are just trying to latch on to the first little bit of hype they can from a player that has a little charisma

    They are trying to do everything they can to hype the younger generation of guys up at all costs even with their LACK of talent. Tomic or Raonic or Dimitrov couldn't even lace prime Hewitt's or Roddick's or Safin's, Nalbandians, shoes. Hell they couldn't even lace Davydenkos
     
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  37. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    That is why I lol when people talk about how awesome Cahill is. Fck that guy. He sucks.
     
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  38. President

    President Legend

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    Overall I think he's a very good commentator, who do you think is better on American TV? Other than Goodall and Koening.
     
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  39. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    LOL so true. I have never seen such a pitiful group of up and comers, both men and women, in all my years following tennis. Donald freaking Young was the youngest player in the top 100 a couple years ago, and he was already 21 (and not very good at all to put it mildly).
     
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  40. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    I am not saying they should fire him. He is a decent commentator (I was being to harsh,perhaps) , but he is not awesome or some sort of tennis guru. He has his annoying moments. I've seen him commentate some of Nadal's matches and he sounded like his pants were around his ankles. It reminded me of PMac acting like a fed fanboy in the booth.

    I prefer BG. He spends a lot of timing ranting about useless stuff, but at least he does not deliver huge monologues about how classy, amazing, sexy, and talented Federer/Nadal/Djokovic are.
     
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  41. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    He was also saying few years back when Fed beat Nadal at WTF how that match shouldn't count because conditions completely neutralize Nadal's game or something to that effect.

    Not saying that tennis commentator can't have her/his biases but it is inexcusable for them to act like love stricken fanboys.
     
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  42. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yeah, to be honest it's prevalent in this forum as well, I couldn't believe to what degree people were underrating Sampras recently in some hypothetical thread about how young Pete would do in this era.

    The game has evolved to another level, Sampras would be another Raonic, top 15 player (while Almagro and Janko reached top 10) etc. and this is the guy that won his last slam merely 10 years ago, it was hilarious to read.

    Seriously, people need to stop buying into media hype how everything they're watching right now is the bestest ever.
     
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  43. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    This is an interesting thought exercise. Remember, a great deal of Fed 05 looking so spectacular quietly relied on the fact that flattish ball strikers were more prevalent on tour in 04-05.
    And today's surfaces reward great defense but encourage higher bouncing shots--not a ball striker's delight by comparison.
    We see, e.g., how well Roger usually does on low bouncing surfaces like O2...maybe that is because the O2 most closely resembles the surfaces from 04-05.
     
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  44. Homeboy Hotel

    Homeboy Hotel Hall of Fame

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    I think he's improved, here's why....


    Being older, he knows people are less 'afraid' to challenge and hence as a result has worked harder because of it since he's still hungry to win.

    Back in his prime, Federer was cocky about his backhand. He knew players target it day in and day out and the errors would eventually come from that wing, but back in the day he could shrug it off because he always found a way to win (most times).

    Now, IMO, he's hitting his backhand with far more confidence than he did during 2008-2010. He knew he had to improve it, and it shows.

    Additionally, Annacone has stressed the importance of a strong serve. Hitting your spots, having variation with spins/speeds and the importance of a strong second serve is (in my honest opinion) the fundamental reason why Federer's been able to have a significant presence in all the slams.

    Federer's serve started to drop off late-2009/early 2010, the second serve was a huge liability with poor placement, even his first serve didn't particularly hit the spots and his toss was quite lapse. If you watch any videos from 2008/09 and compare the motion of his serve to now - it is more consistent.

    Federer's able to race through service games in 60 seconds is probably a reason why he's been so injury free for so long lately, he's not struggling to hold service games and hence not punishing his legs by slugging out service games in the process in the process a la Rafael Nadal.
     
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  45. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Does Fed's expanded "tennis bag" include netting or hitting long (what were before)routine running FHs? Or struggling with journeymen in early Wimbledon rounds? How about losing matches when he's 2-0 love up? He could have certainly done without those new additions.
     
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  46. President

    President Legend

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    I think Cahill was probably saying more that he wouldn't place much stock in the WTF match as an indicator of how Fed and Nadal will match up in the majors (since the WTF is a totally slow, dead court that doesn't take spin at all, unlike the surfaces the majors are played on). And he was actually right, Fed gave Nadal the beatdown of his life at 2011 WTF and a few months later was beaten at AO (albeit via choke).
     
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  47. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    If he meant it that way then he should have said it that way, every match counts regardless of conditions. I could say Nadal beating Fed on high bouncing outdoor surface has no bearing on how he'll do against Fed indoors (or even pre-2002 fast grass) but it would still be ridiculous of me to say that their matches in say Miami or Monte Carlo shouldn't count.
     
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  48. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    What?

    Maybe in that it is a bit more low bouncing but the speed is medium at best and frankly quite slow. Nadal made a final here for goodness sake, how can it possibly be fast? :?
     
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  49. Day Tripper

    Day Tripper Semi-Pro

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    Anyone notice how good/consistent Federer's backhand was last night. He hit some great backhand winners. I was seriously impressed.
     
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  50. President

    President Legend

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    Well I'd have to watch his commentary of that match again to remember the context in which he said it, its been a while. I don't think he meant it as you are taking it though, maybe you are overly defensive when it comes to Federer vs Nadal. :) I watch Cahill every day during the majors and his commentary is usually fair to every player, he compliments all the top players profusely and speaks with admiration of their strengths.
     
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