Can an argument be made that we are now in a weak era?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by wangs78, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    Now I know that most of us think that we are in a very strong era (especially with the top 4), but let's play devil's advocate and see what the counterargument is.

    My argument covers 2011 to the present (basically, the supposed Djokovic era, if you can call it that - even though I wouldn't). Why is this era weak?

    Because:

    1) Fed is clearly well past his prime now. Sure, sure we all like to think that he is still right there being competitive with the Big 4, but that is maybe only 25% of the time. In most cases, he only makes it to the semis where his talent, work ethic and experience make things competitive and interesting but let's face it, even when it comes down to 5 set matches against his Big 4 rivals, he can't pull out a win (see USO '10, USO '11 and AO '13). It is just that outside of the Big 4, everyone is either inconsistent (Berdych, Delpo and Tsonga) or lacks the talent/firepower (Ferrer, Tipsarovic, etc.) or too young. It's a given that if you are Djokovic, Murray or Nadal and can outrun Federer, then just play like a human backboard and eventually you'll wear down the old GOAT.

    2) Nadal clearly hit his prime in 2007 through mid-2009 and then has been plagued by injury ever since. First, he couldn't defend his Wimby title in 2009 and then last year he basically missed the entire 2nd half of the season. Sure, he's had some real gladiator battles with Djokovic in 2010 and early 2011 but this is not the Nadal we know from 2005-2009 who tracked down every damn ball and hit it back with a zillion rpms of topspin. This was a Nadal who was now making adjustments to his game precisely because he could no longer run like a rabbit anymore.

    3) Murray has indeed improved since hiring Lendl as his coach. But has it been major improvement, or just better attitude on the contact coupled with the fact that his arch-nemesis in Slam play (Nadal) has been sidelined by injury. Realize this: from Wimby '10 to AO '12 (total of 7 slams), Nadal knocked Murray out in the semifinals 5 times (!!!) 5 out of 7 times Nadal knocked Murray out of the tournament. If Nadal was still playing well AND Murray was now turning the tables on Nadal in semifinal play, then yes, Murray has cleared a major hurdle. But that simply isn't the case! Nadal has been gone for 7-8 months! Murray's recent success have all come while Nadal hasn't been in the draw AND they come have come against a 31 yo Federer. And remember, at both the Olympics and last week's AO, Murray's victory against Fed came after Fed already played a 5-setter in the previous match.

    4) Djokovic. I think he has been the biggest beneficiary of playing in an era where you have (a) Federer who is in his twilight and who is now AT LEAST 5 years removed from his prime, (b) Nadal who prematurely wore out his knees as we all knew he would beginning when we first witnessed his grinding play so many years ago and finally (c) Murray who continues to be spanked by Djokovic except his win at last year's USO does at least suggest he has gotten better.

    Bottomline is - Djokovic, and to a lesser extent, Murray have been huge beneficiaries of weaker competition. Furthermore, no one under 20 is challenging right now. The only one who seems to have some demonstrable potential is Tomic, who already beat Djokovic recently only to get schooled by Fed two weeks later.

    Ok, now go ahead and flame me if you will :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
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  2. axel89

    axel89 Banned

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    Honestly I think this era isn't too weak
    BUT i only started watching tennis in 2009 so I can't speak outside of slams it's more competitive
     
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  3. flyinghippos101

    flyinghippos101 Legend

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    The weak era debate relies on speculative correlations but suffers the bi-directionality problem. Is the era truly weak, hence the domination of a tiny group of players relative to previous eras? Or are the top players just so dominating and good at what they do, that no one beyond that core group of players can't touch any majors?

    You can make a case for either one, but to me, because there's that bi-directionality issue, I personally disqualify the argument.
     
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  4. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Djoko had to battle the most dominant players in open era to make his way to #1. Arguably the toughest circumstances ever to make it to the top spot. Challenging Federer on hard court is already a titan's job. There is no word strong enough for the task of challenging Rafa on clay. And Djoko had to do both to have a shot at the #1. No wonder it took him some time.
    Now, Nadal's 7 months absence certainly gave the other top 3 a breather (I actually think Murray is the one who benefited the most from it) but Djoko had made it to #1 long before that, so he definitely had to do it the hard way.
    There will be a lull in the near future IF Nadal doesn't come back strong, given Fed's age. But if Nadal and Murray play at their best, I don't think that qualifies as weak opposition.
     
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  5. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Rubbish. He hardly battled either one of them while they were in their prime. As a matter of fact, he lost more times than he won when he played them when they were still in in peak form. You, again, crap on Fed and overestimate the era Lance is playing in. Nothing new from you.

    I totally agree with the OP. The fact that David Ferrer is ranked 4th in the world should prove how weak the competition is right now.
     
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  6. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    So you think Nadal was past it in 2010... despite him winning 3 slams? How is that not the start of the wear era then? Nadal had no rivals in 2010 at all. Federer was worse that year than he was last year, Murray has definitely improved no matter whether Nadalis here or not (and Murray beat him in slams anyway) and Djokovic was a mess in 2010.

    The weak era will start very soon though, if Nadal comes back strong it will be strong for a while longer but if it'sDjokovic and Murray, then year the next few years will be poor.
     
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  7. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Ive mentioned this already but the fact is its WEAK:

    1. Absolutely NOTHING talent wise and threat wise outside the top 4 in the world. When a 30 year old no talent Ferrer is your top threat to the top guys in the world, thats PROOF. You need no further proof. Hes a brokeback version of Chang.

    2. Nadal's career probably over. Not for sure.. But its looking that way. Dude has been out almost a year yet still a top 5 player? ROFLMAO

    3. 31 year old Federer still at #2? Hes still a good player but he shouldn't be #2 in the world at that age. At this point in time, there should have been a half a dozen guys who should have surpassed him by now.

    4. Murray- Who outside ONE slam final last year has been an utter disappointment.. Bottom line.. At least as far as slams are concerned. Dude SUCKS in slams finals.. Thats the bottom line

    5. A ton of these "new era" guys should have broken through already.. Most are 22-23 years old. Yet they have won jack diddly. They fail to even make it past the first week of a slam.. Inexcusable. 30 some year olds should NOT be more successful week in week out then guys in their early 20s.

    Its absolutely weak.. Only to be take an even further turn for the worse in 3-4 years when the last of the old guard (Fed and Nadal) are gone

    If Nole doesn't rack up a buttload of slams for the next 3-4 years I will be utterly amazed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
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  8. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    Good point - I should have said his prime was 2008-2010 not 2007-2009.
     
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  9. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    Ferrer is 4 because Nadal hasn't played for 8 months and lost a load of points.

    You do realise though, Ferrer was number 4 in 2008 as well? Wasn't that the strong era? (I believe it must be, because whenever Nadal is the top player it's a strong era, and whenever he is not, it's a weak era)
     
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  10. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

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    arguments can me made about any era looking particularly strong or weak. as you said in your post, you're playing the devils advocate, which is a great tool to see things objectively, but with something like the weak era/ strong era argument, the devil's advocate can be played on any example, curving the argument either way.
     
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  11. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Exactly. Any eras can be seen as either weak or strong very easily.
     
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  12. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Ahoy, there! Just because Sampras was retired at 31 doesn't mean Federer should suck at the same age. He isn't the GOAT for nothing, you know.
     
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  13. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    Just like 2009, Fed's ranking is higher because Nadal has been out with injury. When he returns watch Fed's ranking drop and with Muzza seemingly playing better now than ever, if Fed doesn't defend Wimbledon he'll most likely drop to 4th later in the season.
     
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  14. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yeah, no , tsonga, berdych, delpo are the biggest threat to the top guys, not ferrer


    half a dozen ? LOL ! at max 3- djok, murray, nadal ... even now fed is crafty, experienced and good enough to be higher ranked than anyone else

    eh, what ? murray played very well in AO 2012 SF vs novak pushing him to the limit and played very well in the wimbledon 2012 F ....... also won the USO obviously ...also won the Olympics beating fed/novak ... so how the hell was he a disappointment in 2012 ? clueless ! bah !

    the only point of yours among all these that may have some sense ... if you are referring to ferrer at 30+, that is ...

    still would like to give this one more year to raonic, tomic, jancowicz, dolgo , nishikori etc if they can put it together ..
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
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  15. mariecon

    mariecon Hall of Fame

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    Federer did beat Djokovic (#1) and Murray (#4) to win Wimbledon. How can you say someone doesn't deserve to be #2 when they are still winning slams at 31?
     
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  16. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Federer had been fighting Nadal for the #2 spot for the first half of the year. Federer got to number #1 by winning Wimbledon, Nadal had nothing to do with it.
     
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  17. mariecon

    mariecon Hall of Fame

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    oh yeah just like 2008 when Nadal squeezed out a Wimbledon win in the dark against a player who had just recovered from mono and then became #1 soon after. If you think a player can have mono, miss a ton of training and then come back 100% you're sorely mistaken (unless of course that player is doing PEDs). Let's see how Nadal comes back after his 8 month lay off.
     
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