Does Federer have weak mental strength in the slams?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Homeboy Hotel, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. Homeboy Hotel

    Homeboy Hotel Hall of Fame

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    It depends how you interpret it, whether the opponent just simply played better or whether it was on Federer's side why he has lost so many slam matches as of late.

    For instance, (earlier examples) Wimbledon 2008/Australian Open 2009/US Open 2009 -
    Was it simply Nadal/Del Potro played MUCH better in the final set?
    Or did weak mental strength in 5 set finals for Federer just cause more errors/poor serving etc...?
    Another blatant example would be the match points USO 2010 vs Djokovic.


    Every slam in 2011 for example highlights his fragility:
    Australian Open 2011 =
    - R2 Simon: Federer 2 sets up but pushed to five. Federer had 3 match points at 0-40 2-5 on Simon's serve but could only covert at deuce on his own serve at 5-3.
    -SF Djokovic: Federer was ahead in sets so many times but silly drop shots at the wrong time make him loose in straight.

    Roland Garros 2011 =
    - SF Djokovic: Federer 2 sets up but silly gifts gave Djokovic chance to serve for 4th set for 2 sets all. Could not convert any match points on Cvac serve in the TB at 6-3, only an ace got it at 6-5. If it pushed to five, his luck, he'd probably loose that too and Djokovic would've won every slam in 2011.

    Wimbledon 2011 =
    - QF Tsonga: No explanation necessary. Shock loss, complete loss of concentration from two sets up.

    US Open 2011 =
    - SF Djokovic: Again deja vu, no need to even say. Two sets up, and if thats not enough, two match points in fifth set.


    Will this underlying mentality problem continue? Will be be, eventually, the mental aspect that makes him give up the game more than the physical?
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
    #1
  2. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    16 slams equal weak mental strength for sure.
     
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  3. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Can't disagree with the OP. Just imagine if Roger had some mental strength, how many slams he would have !

    OTOH, someone else I know gets bageled by a 30+ yr old when he runs out of "mental strength". :D
     
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  4. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro Talk Tennis Guru

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    My eyes!!!!!
     
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  5. RyKnocks

    RyKnocks Semi-Pro

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    Where do people come up with this stuff? You're questioning whether the guy who's arguably the greatest tennis player of all time has weak mental strength.

    16 slams should be more than enough proof that he has the mental capacity and strength to get through them. If you compete in as many championship matches as he has, you're bound to get a few losses in every variety.
     
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  6. Homeboy Hotel

    Homeboy Hotel Hall of Fame

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    Does no one read?

    AS OF LATE
     
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  7. Homeboy Hotel

    Homeboy Hotel Hall of Fame

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    I know RF is the greatest player of all time.

    But maybe we'd be sitting here and instead of talking about the number 16, we could possibly be talking about 19, 20, 22 even.

    And to that, obviously you'll get a few losses, but it becomes more than 'just a loss' when it becomes obvious in 4-5 back to back slams in that specific fashion.
     
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  8. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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    I would say that;
    A) Fed has a lot more things on his mind other than tennis.
    B) He's lost a step or two due to age.
    C) Players are feeling more comfortable playing him.

    I'd say for his age, he's doing alright.
     
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  9. GOAT BAAH!!!

    GOAT BAAH!!! Professional

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    All trolling aside, I don't feel like he is physically prepared for the long haul and this affects his mentality down the stretch.

    He almost HAS TO finish it in straights or 4 sets at most these days.
     
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  10. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    I was beginning to think they spell "lose" as "loose" in America, just like "there" for "their", "of" for "have" etc.:)
     
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  11. cjj14u

    cjj14u New User

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    Have always felt that in tight matches he can tend to get mentally "down"....

    and I am a big RF supporter....
     
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  12. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Yes we call all see that.... but his mental strength is awesome. He got through some matches where he shouldn't have won....and some them when he could have won....he mentally flaked. His 16 slams had many mental tolls on his brain and body....so you can't trully say he is weak.

    However the matches you put out says he is mentally weak....maybe he is but who is mentally strong all the time. Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Federer, every great and good player has some days that they are pathetic.

    Though Federer sucess at slams and the numerous times he has come on top would deny him of being mentally weak.....even at his old age.

    There are times he is mentally weak.....but he goes through them....it would be stupid to call Federer, Djokovic and Nadal mentally weak. Since they all went through tought mental pressure to win a slam even if they are mentally weak maybe once in those two weeks.


    Murray is superbly mentally weak in the high end of the slams. No one would have dissagreed with you there.
     
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  13. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    Exactly. He has more gs titles than anyone, but he is weak mentally. Just because Fed doesnt grind every point like Nadal doesnt mean he is mentally week. It takes a lot of mental strength and confidence to go for your shot. Fed is very tough mentally. And "as of late" he is 30 years old and near the end of his carreer. It is amazing that he is still able to sustain his level of play and motivation to win after all these years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
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  14. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Federer losing while being 2 sets up twice this year really made people question his mental strength. It is extremely rare to lose a match when up 2-0 sets, but Federer did it twice in a row. I don't recall any past great champion losing a match when up 2 sets. This incident really put a question mark on Federer's mental strength in big matches.
     
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  15. Logan71

    Logan71 Rookie

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    I would only generally say Wim08 & Ao09 because of their significance to the rivalry with Nadal and he was still at his best then more or less.

    They got close and he got tight.Wimbledon because he came out totally tight he could have won that match in 4 still IMO.

    Aussie the 5 th set meltdown with his serving and the total emotional breakdown.The latest stream of losses are more to do with miles on the clock.

    Mental chinks yes , but lack of strength no way.

    Here is a question is Nadal mentally weak after losing 6 times to Novak?

    Is Novak now mentally stronger than anyone after being Federer & Nadal's pony?
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
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  16. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Lendl beat Mac in 1984 FO final. Mac mental strength must be very low that year. (roll eyes)

    Since you don't watch tennis, it's best for you not to post but read/learn from the rest of us.
     
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  17. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    McEnroe losing to Lendl on clay is not a surprise. Losing to nobodies like Tsonga or Berdych on your favourite surface though, IS an embarrassment. :oops:
     
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  18. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Only Federer can be up 2 sets to love, and still managed to lose twice in a row in a MAJOR. That's quite an accomplishment... :lol:
     
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  19. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I think, in the last year ,it was more a stamina than mental question. One could notice, that he weakened in the later rounds of major tournaments over best of five sets. Federer has to close out his matches fast, otherwise it can get tough. Even against Tsonga in London, he looked pretty tired at the end of the 3rd set. That said, his five set record and crunch ability to bite on his teeth is certainly below other greats like Borg, Sampras, Gonzalez, Laver or Nadal.
     
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  20. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    OP, good points and facts in the details, I will submit though that 'as of late' should have been worked into the title - most folks around here are in too much of a hurry, perhaps justifiably :neutral:. I really wish they would let us edit titles (even if only just to add text, but not remove).
    Yeah, Fed's funks in slams of late have been mind boggling. Whether it's age/tiredness lack of focus/disinterest, an argument in the morning with the missus Mirka :), or whatever, he's been unable to close out games as well as in the past when at 4-4 you knew a break followed by a solid hold was coming up.
    Since the reasons are not entirely clear, IMPO, from watching the recent USO SF, it's just that his BH was good to start a 5 set match, but lacked pace and depth at the other end, allowing the Djoker to really tee off on it. Perhaps serve has had similar woes, but I don't have the stats.
     
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  21. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro Talk Tennis Guru

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    A 30-year old Federer who has declined a lot (mostly on grass) in the last 5 years losing to a top 10 player at Wimbledon in 5 sets ISN'T an "embarrassment"
     
    #21
  22. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro Talk Tennis Guru

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    So you critisize Federer for squandering 2 match points against Djokovic but at the same time you praise Nadal for "toughing out" a set against the very same player

    which pretty much means winning 1 set > winning 2 sets
     
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  23. Rattler

    Rattler Rookie

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    Yeah, the all-time slam holder is mentally weak at the majors. (comment dripping with sarcasim)
     
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  24. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Tsonga is a nobody...lol...you are a nobody. I would consider Mayer a nobody....and Nadal losing to him....is an embaressment. Though it was indoor courts so Nadal can get away with that,.

    Tsonga was coming in to great form by reaching the Queens final and almost beating Murray up. He also played real well in RG....just choked against Wawa.

    Tsonga serving well...is problem for everyone....like Nadal in AO08, and Djokovic AO10, and likewise Federer WB11. Tsonga played his second best match of his life to take it away from Federer. Still Tsonga is a top tenner, and has been in 08 too. He also has Paris Indoors title....he is a great player and he can trouble all of the top 4 but not consitently. It just so happened he was in the mood to toppled Federer. Even Federer said he couldn't do anthing set 3,4,5....just all the vicious power and placement of the serve was impossible to return.

    Berdych is a great player too....twice in a row top tenner....Berdych playing the tournament of his life....and Federer almost made him go to a 5th.


    It not like Federer lost to some chumps....at least it wasn't Falla in the first round. The top players...the difference is marginal! Federer losing to top quality players like Tsonga, Berdych, Soderling, Monfils, Nadal, DJokovic and etc isn't suprising.


    What is suprising is that Federer survived some bouts in his prime that he most likely could have lost.
     
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  25. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Maybe even what,22 semi's in Majors and 24 or so quarters. Yeah,real weak.
     
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  26. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Like for example when Sampras lost to Corretja when he was two sets up on grass, yes?
     
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  27. TennisLovaLova

    TennisLovaLova Hall of Fame

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    Federer is still writing his legend.
    I'm conviced last year's losses will help him regain mental freshness and toughness for next season, especially in slams.
    We've all witnessed what happened this year at ao, uso and wimbledon. Maybe it was almost the same thing that happened in rg final against rafa: federer had all those matches in his racquet, but he threw them away because he choked or made bad tactical choices at the wrong moment.
    He learned his lesson as we saw how he crushed his opponents in wtf.
    This has also to be linked with anacone's input into federer's game plans: shorten the exchanges, be more agressive, low risk fh shot selection, consistant topspin bh, etc.
    The whole mental/tactical package for the 2012 federer is gonna make the difference and he WILL win all slams and the olympics next year.
     
    #27
  28. stringertom

    stringertom Talk Tennis Guru

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    Don't blame five-set losses solely on age/stamina...'03DC vs Hewitt, '05AO SF, '05YEC vs Nalby. I love Fed's game as much as any but he just doesn't close as well as he could. His BP conversion %age is often mediocre. I'm hoping the more he gels with P'Cone, the more this Achilles' heel will be addressed. There's no denying he is an awesome frontrunner...in his 9 HC major final wins he is a ridiculous 27-3 victor in sets. '09's two finals losses in five were a bit counter-balanced by the Wimby win vs Roddick and his FO SF five-setter vs JMDP. So, he can win the close ones but needs it to happen more often and more consistently. That's if he can be pushed that far.
     
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  29. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    When I began watching tennis again in 2005, I noticed that this guy Federer, whom everybody was touting, possessed a very special game technically, but he also harbored a type of mental quirk, it seemed. Again, the technical side of his game, then, was clearly much further developed than anyone else's, but (or, "and so," however you look at it) he seemed to play some (if indeed "not many") of his matches by stepping on the accelerator until he was fairly pummeling his opponent, and then easing up to see if/how the opponent would respond.

    Only in the past year have I noticed Federer no longer playing cat and mouse with anyone any longer, since guys like Berdych and Tsonga for example have enough game to withstand long stretches of being on the receiving end of Roger's very best; but they are able to pick themselves up off of the canvas, dust themselves off, and start hurting Roger right back with match-ending consequences.
     
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  30. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Federer has lost two matches in his entire career when being up 2 sets to love...

    Before his loss to Tsonga he was 178 - 0 when up two sets to love in a best of five match.

    If you think these losses put a question mark on his mental strength then you obviously haven't watched (or remembered watching) much tennis.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
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  31. stringertom

    stringertom Talk Tennis Guru

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    Your statement is correct concerning major 5-set matches but he did lose two-set leads to both Hewitt in DC'03 and Nalby in YEC'05.
     
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  32. pame

    pame Professional

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    This of course, following a lame streak of over 100 matches I believe, where he had gone without ever losing when he was 2 sets up.
     
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  33. adamX012

    adamX012 Rookie

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    NO, OP. Federer is aging.. That's the answer. Nothing to do with his mental strength. The fact is his mental strength is pretty strong. He is my hero, oh yes.
     
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  34. pame

    pame Professional

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    Fed has openly admitted that in 03 he simply didn't have the physical strength to stay with Hewitt, that he ran out of gas Though I still think he should have won the 05 YEC, bad ankle notwithstanding
     
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  35. SoBad

    SoBad G.O.A.T.

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    I can see the weak mental strength as one of the potential problematic issues of concern, but the talentless lacking absence of talent probably plays a greater overall role when it comes to the big picture in the greater scheme of things.
     
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  36. dudeski

    dudeski Hall of Fame

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    The thread is about Federer and not about Nadal. You seemed to be confused.
     
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  37. merlinpinpin

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    Delete, double post
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
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  38. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    Zagor, please. helloworld was talking about past *greats*, why do you have to bring Sampras into the discussion? :roll:

    And it's not like Sampras was worth anything on grass to begin with, anyway, so him losing to Corretja on this surface and in front of an American crowd isn't an embarrassment, obviously. Or is it? :lol:
     
    #38
  39. sbengte

    sbengte G.O.A.T.

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    OP, you also need to consider the fact that some of Fed's inexplicable losses at slams in the past 2 years or so may have had to do with a physical injury or fitness issue of some form. The popular myth goes that Federer does not get injured ever, but in reality I am sure he does get injuries and fitness issues like any other player on tour. Just that he does not disclose his injuries to the media with the regularity that some of the other players do. Or even if he does mention it once in a while, the media does not play it up like it does all the time for some of his rivals. So everyone tries to find alternate reasons for his losses like age , natural decline , lack of mental strength etc.

    Federer has a chronic back problem and some of his losses like AO 2009 and USO 2009 where he served very poorly, it is said he had some back issues that affected his serve. Similarly, at Wimbledon 2010 against Berdych, he clearly had a thigh injury which he carried from the Halle final against Hewitt.
    He played with a bandage in some of his earlier matches and was almost knocked out by Falla in the first round. He spoke about the injury in his post match presser too after the loss to Berdych.

    He withdrew from Halle this year citing a groin injury he sustained at the French open (during the semifinal against Nole or before, I don't remember). While there is no denying that Tsonga was too good at Wimbledon this year, it is quite possible that Federer was still carrying that groin injury which might have resulted in his defensive play and letting Tsonga completely dictate play while he did nothing about it.

    As Federer has spent over a decade now on tour and is past 30, all that mileage must be showing on his body in some form. I think he does have more physical issues now (for the past 2-3 years) and takes longer to recover from them than when he was younger and in his prime.

    While I am not saying that Fed lost all of these matches because of the various injuries, I think it is a fair possibility that when you are playing with an injury and not 100%, it affects your confidence and mindset going into the match knowing that you are going in with a disadvantage. This can put extra pressure and make you tight at crucial moments. And because Fed is not very open and even has a tendency to downplay his health and fitness issues while talking to the media, fans never really know what is really going on.

    Prime Fed was good enough to win with amazing consistency at slams, irrespective of anything. But obviously things are not so anymore. After losing some close matches and having a relatively poor slam showing in 2010 losing to Soderling and Berdych breaking his semifinal streak, I think his confidence did get hit and he now doubts himself more at big moments. For eg . I would agree that his losses to Nole at the AO and USO had to do with his confidence (as also with Nole outplaying him).
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
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  40. msc886

    msc886 Professional

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    It looks more like physical fitness. He just simply looks flat in the latter stages in recent years and it's getting worse. Maybe taking a leaf out of Agassi's book would benefit him as Agassi in his early 30's had great emphasis on his fitness.
     
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  41. Wangtang1

    Wangtang1 Rookie

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    I think for AO, even with the second set, you just have to say Djokovic was a lot better. I wasn't annoyed by Federer choking, he was just outplayed.

    Also, I think FO2011 against Djokovic was a sign of mental strength since he broke back when Djokovic was serving for the 4th. IMO, winning the match in 3 or 4 sets makes him immune to any mental criticisms to do with that match.
     
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  42. vernonbc

    vernonbc Hall of Fame

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    It's a good thing Fed fans don't make excuses for his losses like they always accuse others of doing. :roll:

    C'mon, he's playing against some very very good tennis players. The matches aren't always on his racquet. Give his opponents some credit for playing winning tennis against him.
     
    #42
  43. pame

    pame Professional

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    We've had fine exemplars from which to learn, esp since around 2005 :roll:
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
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  44. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Complete credit to Nole for straight setting him at AO. However, when Fred has matchpoints, it's hard to say it was on the other chaps racquet. Still, credit to Nole for hanging in there and snatching victory.

    Don't think any reasonable fan has discredited Nole. It's the Nadal fans who seem to hate Nole -- at least that's the impression i get.

    Here's a current example:
    Link. (post 226). I know that's hardly a Rafa fan :), but there are plenty of others.
     
    #44
  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Federer has forgotten what it is like beating a real champion in a gran slam final.He hasn´t done that since 2007
     
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  46. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    Really? How embarrassing:oops::oops::oops:
     
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  47. TennisLovaLova

    TennisLovaLova Hall of Fame

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    What is a real champion then?
    Unleash your troll flow please! :)
     
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  48. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Yes, nobodies like Tsonga and Berdych, he he... Federer has an ongoing streak of is it 30 consecutive GS quarterfinals, that is quite good mental strength in my book...
    (btw does anyone have the stats on the second longest quarter final or better streak?)
     
    #48
  49. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You should know by now.Tell me the results of his finals against Nadal and Djokovic.I will recognize my mistake if you can prove that, from 2008 on, he has beaten any of those 2 in a major final (Slam final)
     
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  50. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    He hasn't played Djokovic in a major final since 2007 of course he couldn't have beaten him there. Go get a clue.
     
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