Fed needs a true rival

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by newnuse, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. newnuse

    newnuse Professional

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    I've always believe that you judge an athlete's greatness based on his rivals. The great ones always had a great rival/rivals that brought the best out of them.

    Martina had Chris. Borg had Connors/Mac. Mac had a bunch (Borg, Connors, Lendl, etc..). Sampras had Agassi, though this was rather lopsided. He spanked Agassi on fast courts and got spanked in the 1st/2nd round on a slower surface before reaching Agassi.

    I don't see any great rivals for Fed.

    Nadal is great on clay but can he push Fed on any other surface? Time will tell, but I have my doubts.

    Hewitt gets beaten badly on a regular basis. His game does not match up well.

    Roddick, I've never seen a top player lose so badly, so consistently to fellow top players. He just doesn't have the brains or fight to push Fed.

    Safin has as much game as any but does not have the desire to dominate on a regular basis.

    I don't think we will ever see his best or can truly guage his greatness without a great rival.
     
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  2. splink779

    splink779 Guest

    Nadal and Safin are his rivals. Nadal beat federer on hard once and nearly beat him in straights again on hard. Safin since the TMC last year has been able to goe toe to toe with Federer. a 20-18 tie break, a victory in Australia, and a close match (ON GRASS) in Halle. You will see once the harcourt season rolls around.
     
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  3. splink779

    splink779 Guest

    By the way Roddick loses consistently to Agassi and Hewitt to name a couple top 10
     
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  4. newnuse

    newnuse Professional

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    We will see about Nadal.

    Safin is not consistent enough. I would not consider Safin great by any standard right now. Fed needs a great rival, in the class of Borg, Mac, Connors, Edberg, Wilander, Becker... etc. Safin is not there.
     
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  5. eqc6

    eqc6 New User

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    Well, Nadal almost beat Fed on straight sets, until Fed kept his composure and came back to make it a 5 set win :) and this was on hardcourt! Well even though Fed was 'supposedly' not 100 percent that time, even so.

    I believe their head to head score is 1:1. So we still have to see ;)
     
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  6. newnuse

    newnuse Professional

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    Judging froms Roddick's result against top players, I don't understand how he can be #3 in the world. The guys goes up against a top player and does not compete.
     
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  7. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    I couldn't agree with you more.

    If he even had a Rafter/Ivanisevic/Becker/Krajciek/Korda like Sampras did, it would be wonderful, let alone a true rival like Agassi or Borg/Mcenroe.

    Just think of how many great players truly gunned for Sampras for so many years- Agassi, Rafter, Becker, Ivanisevic, Courier, Chang, Korda, Rios, Moya, and I know I'm forgetting others. They may have taken a match here or there but over the years they all went down.

    Right now, Federer only has Nadal. Safin has to reach the semis in consecutive majors before he can count. Nadal is the only one who wants to beat him....and has. We'll see how Nadal does at the USO.

    Roddick doesn't count because after his first serve comes back it's anyone's point. Hewitt's game hasn't evolved for three years, neither has Nadal's, just to mention the men who appeared to have his number early on.

    Hopefully Safin will feel some shame and anger and motivate himself to win majors and specifically to beat Federer. It would be beautiful to see.


    Cavaleer
     
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  8. Grinder

    Grinder Semi-Pro

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    Roddick matches up well against guys like Moya, Safin and Coria. Roddick can usually beat everyone that he's supposed to beat and posts up pretty consistent results (apart from clay) so his ranking remains high.
     
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  9. newnuse

    newnuse Professional

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    I guess that's true. He does consistently advance far in tourneys. But dang, how does a #3 player get spanked so often. :confused: He needs to win one once in awhile.
     
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  10. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    I saw the first two sets of that match and Nadal was simply bullying Federer around the court. It reminded me of the second set of the USO last year when Agassi muscled Federer around the court.

    Unfortunately, Nadal ran out of gas. Federer was fine. He was simply pushed around and made very uncomfortable. Nadal gave him no rhythm.

    It seems like none of the other players watched that match, or maybe they, esp. Safin/Hewitt/Agassi, rely too much on that baseline rhythm game, which plays directly into Federer's hands.


    Cavaleer
     
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  11. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Many followers of tennis & the media would love to see a Safin/Federer rivallry, however Safin has no interest in being his rival. Safin plays for himself, and if he ever decided to devote his life to tennis for a full year he could leap to the top of the game. However he would likely have a nervous breakdown from lack of social life and vacations, and would play lousy tennis. Rock and a hard place.
     
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  12. Phil Daddario

    Phil Daddario Rookie

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    Federer has certainly improved.

    Nadal could be a rival...on clay. He's never coming close to Fed on grass, and I believe Federer is now beyond Nadal on hardcourts.

    Yes, Nadal almost had that straight sets win. But I do not believe that he can repeat that performance consistently.

    I wouldn't call Nadal a rival on anything but clay. He's definitely shown the ability to possible beat Federer numerous times there, though.

    Safin isn't a rival. He's got the huge, aggressive, sometimes high-risk game that's been shown to be the only way to beat Federer. But as said, it's aggressive and high-risk. That's not going to help you unless you're playing at the absolute top of your game. Safin is not nearly consistent enough.

    He really, really needs a rival. Hopefully Gasquet might take the place, although I don't believe he'll go all the way. Hopefully Nadal will improve on other surfaces to take the clay rivalry further. But I don't think he'll go all the way either.

    I'm hoping somebody will prove me wrong and take Federer down...consistently.
     
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  13. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    He plays well against players who play a predictable, baseline style. He struggles against unconventional players like T. Johanssen, and anyone at the French Open because he just runs out of shots when his serve is neutralized. And forget volleying, at least for a few years.

    Wimbledon is his best shot to win another major, but only if someone else beats Federer.

    Like someone else on this board mentioned, I think he needs to dump that Babolat and pick up a Wilson or a Head in order to diversify his game. But then he might lose some pace on that serve. I think it would be a fair trade, however. Just look at Federer's and Hewitt's serves, to name two. They're nowhere near Roddick's but he can't seem to beat either of them. At OZ this year he just ran out of shots and heart against Hewitt, just like he did at the French to who???? I don't even remember the guy's name and I saw the match.


    Cavaleer
     
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  14. Boy Wonder

    Boy Wonder Banned

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    I think the safest bet would be Nadal. He does own the best record against Federer out of Hewitt, Roddick, and Safin. Hewitt's and Safin's records are the other closest, but Hewitt has lost to Federer numerous times consecutively recently and I'm just wondering if Hewitt will ever take a win from Federer again; just to beat Federer now I think he'll have to abandon more of his game plan and attack more and volley, which is easier said than done. Safin has all the tools to dismantle Federer, but his attitude and head is questionable, so let's see if he can pull off something like the AO. On to Nadal ---> I think he is Federer's kryptonite. His topspin makes it difficult for Federer to get into a groove especially when his big forehand goes to Federer's backhand. Nadal also has the right attitude that is similar to Hewitt but better like Sharapova's. All surfaces except grass and other similar fast surfaces, which I admit Nadal needs more practice on.
     
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  15. Phil Daddario

    Phil Daddario Rookie

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    I think the racquet is the least of his problems.

    He needs a forehand, a backhand, and stronger volleys.

    Roddick's forehand is big. But it often lands short, and there's no variation. Roddick's backhand is ok, but I've heard plenty of things from experienced people that his grip and arm position at contact limit his backhand a lot.

    And he's not going to succeed at net until he makes the approaches more natural. When he wants to S&V, he often hesitates before moving in. Other times, as I said somewhere else, he approaches just to approach. In other words, he sends a normal forehand down the line and hopes it'll work. He needs to make those approaches deeper.

    But if he really wanted more pace on his serve, he could just lower the tension a bit. :D It's seventy-something right now, like Sampras. It'd help the depth a little, since his balls consistently land short.
     
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  16. iscottius

    iscottius Professional

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    I also think that Yevgeny had a winning record versus Sampras early in his career when he cared. Unfortunately Yevgeny has paved the way for Safin, win a couple of slams and then become a "money" player. Many believe that YK had the game to win many more majors, but approached the majors as any other tournament, no special prep, no time off--just another opportunity to play for a check. The same is also true for a lot of NHL players, + the whole russian mob deal...too bad, we'll probably never know how good YK & Safin could have truly been
     
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  17. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    Is Safin really that sybaritic?


    Cavaleer
     
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  18. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    I knew I forgot someone. ;)

    I wondered what happened to Kafelnikov. Yes, he almost had Sampras' number there for a few years. Didn't he beat him at OZ one year?

    Don't they realize that you make more money when you win? There's a direct relationship. ;)


    Cavaleer
     
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  19. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    Do you think his inability to make these changes is just mental stubborness of lack of awareness? Or does he just think, "Well, that's all I can do?"

    Cavaleer
     
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  20. Phil Daddario

    Phil Daddario Rookie

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    I'm not sure about Kafelnikov, as I never was really into him too much, but I think Safin's not really just for the money.

    He just wants to have fun rather than play. When he's winning and it's fun, he doesn't mind the tennis. When he isn't immediately winning, it's not fun, and he loses interest. In his free time he goes to clubs and does whatever gives him the most enjoyment.

    Big lack of focus.
     
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  21. Phil Daddario

    Phil Daddario Rookie

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    Oops, missed your last post, Cavaleer. I think he's aware of it. But honestly, when people stay away from they're naturally good at and try to just work on other things, they don't do as great. They get caught up in doing and using in matches what they're trying to work on, and end up losing focus AND results.

    So I don't think he should change entirely. But he CAN change when to move to the net, as he's tentative and approaches on the wrong shots. Same thing for the tension, at least a little.

    I think it's the "well, that's all that I can do" and the fact in practice and matches he isn't achieving any big success with the new changes, since he's not used to it. Everyone's more comfortable with what they've been using.
     
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  22. Fedubai

    Fedubai Semi-Pro

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    Good discussion.

    I see Nadal, Safin, Roddick, and possibly Gasquet. You never want to count Hewitt out because the guy is such a fighter. But I can't help thinking that he has a real matchup problem with Federer and I think he would have to do something pretty radical in his gameplan, just really be aggressive, way more aggressive than he is now against Federer.

    But Nadal, from what I've seen, just gives Federer trouble. His forehand, as everybody has already said, is a big reason. Lots of heavy, powerful spin, and where Federer is used to hitting a powerful dtl or inside-out to his opponents backhand to get either a winner or a defensive reply, I've seen Nadal with his incredible speed hit forehand winners right past Federer. That makes you really sit up and watch! Not to mention his unbelievable fight and his great speed.

    That matchup is pretty open right now, and I can not wait until they meet again.

    Safin, is a wretched soul. That's the best I can do when describing this guy. He helped make that AO semifinal the best contest I've ever seen, but then fails to make it past the 4th round in a few consecutive tournaments after taking the title Down Under. What can you say about him? He's a mystery to me. His matches with Federer are always action packed and fun, because those two guys have game. Can Safin become dedicated? Will someone wake him up to reality? I think that if anyone can do it, Peter Lundgren can. We'll see.

    Roddick, in my opinion, MUST get that confidence back somehow and get that old Roddick attitude back. That's him; he's about power and fire. I can't see him developing some wonder-talent all court game...he's about power, and he's about attitude in my opinion. Yes, make imrovements like the back hand and the net game and the return...but he used to intimidate. He needs that back. When he can get that back, pay attention to him.

    Gasquet I've seen, and he's definitely got work to do. Nadal is ahead of him in a number of areas, but Gasquet has big potential to be an all-courter I think. He needs some fitness work and he needs to get more mature but he's only, what, 19? It'll come if he can keep his head on straight.

    So those are the guys in my opinion. This isn't to say that Federer can't lose to anybody else, of course. But on the topic of a real rivalry, I think these guys are the most likely. Obviously, anything can happen. Someone else might come out of the woodwork, or what have you. But right now, this is what I can see.
     
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  23. Phil Daddario

    Phil Daddario Rookie

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    Another good post. :D

    When watching Nadal beat Federer at RG this year, Federer had huge problems with Nadal's forehand, especially when Nadal was attacking his backhand. It just kicked up too much, and it wasn't exactly slow, either. Nadal can maximize his movement and tenacity there, and his topspin groundstrokes dominate as well.

    Nadal is a great mover. So are Blake and Hewitt. But Blake has no tenacity, and Hewitt often can't do enough with the ball. So Nadal has everything there.

    I still don't think he'll consistently play so well against Federer on hardcourts, although that certainly could change. I DO see him keeping Federer from an RG title, though.

    I'd agree on Safin, but I don't think Roddick's ever going to charge past Federer now. He does need the confidence, and could potentially produce some great matches. But his power isn't so intimidating anymore. He's not going to get that back. People are used to his game.

    As for Gasquet, allcourters almost always develop late. Federer included. He gets used to the pro tour, gets used to everything in his game, I predict a huge contender when he's 22, 23 or so. But right now, I completely agree. He can work on so many things.
     
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  24. eqc6

    eqc6 New User

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    I think that if Roddick needs to improve any part of his game, then he should prioritize with his serve placements. Like someone said, Roddick used to intimidate, and this was mainly because of his serves. But whenever it gets returned, Roddick gets neutralized (like someone elses pointed out) and becomes vulnerable. The reason for this is his lack of service placement variety. If he can somehow improve an already powerful serve by being able to place it anywhere at his will, then I think he'll be a threat again.
     
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  25. Phil Daddario

    Phil Daddario Rookie

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    Definitely.

    When he was playing Federer at Wimbledon, Federer actually had a lot more aces. He can't compare to Roddick in power. But at a certain point, placement is much more important.

    When the 145 mph serve is coming close to you, it's actually not that hard to hit back for the pros. When any fast ball is coming to you, it's so much easier when you don't have to run. But when that same serve makes you move a little, it's almost impossible to get, especially on grass.

    There was a study somewhere that recorded how long it took for top returners (Agassi, for example) to return the ball when coming to them and when on the run. I don't remember exact numbers, but if it was coming to them it was always possible to at least get the ball back. However, when the ball was over 120 mph (forgive me, I don't remember the surface these statistics were on, wasn't clay, though), when the player had to run for the serve it was literally impossible to really get it back.

    He NEEDS that placement. Then he'd be so much harder to break. Lot more free points for him, too. He'd get back some intimidation.
     
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  26. splink779

    splink779 Guest

    Actually, Nadal leads 2:1 He is the only player in the top 10 with a winning record against Federer I beleive
     
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  27. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    The argument sounds good but falls on a dud. Except Agassi and Becker (Becker's prime was even before Sampras came to power), why the rest of them are greater than the likes of Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, Nadal?
     
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  28. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    Head to head record can be mis-leading. All three matches they played on were on slower surface. As of now, Nadal hasn't been able to get far enough on fast court to play against Federer.

    The only player actually has a comprehensive winning record against Federer is Nalbandian. However, due to injury the last year or so, they haven't had chance play against each other much lately.
     
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  29. Phil Daddario

    Phil Daddario Rookie

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    Nalbandian? I haven't heard of any of those matches, I'll have to look up some DVDs.

    The tennis guy, Nadal got extremely far in the NASDAQ-100 hardcourt match against Federer. I don't know (although I live in SoCal, I'm just ignorant), but are the courts there slower than most? Similar to the Aussie Open courts?
     
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  30. randommacuser

    randommacuser New User

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    The courts at the NASDAQ-100 are some of the slowest hardcourts around, I believe.
     
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  31. Phil Daddario

    Phil Daddario Rookie

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    Whoa. Ouch, thanks for telling me.

    Another reason Nadal won't repeat that success (or just short of success, if you want to call it that) against Fed on hard courts very much.
     
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  32. Haka Boy

    Haka Boy Guest

    When any tennis player needs forum members to come up with their summarizations of a tennis player needed to be a rival to them, I'd sure hate to be in the position of a tennis player in today’s competition up against him. It soon becomes apparent judging from everyone’s answers that not one player is consistently close. Good discussions have been put forth but not one answer stands out apart from a question of surfaces played, not tennis skills.

    Is it an indication that we have a true tennis legend/genius on our hands that will go down in the history books as the greatest player ever in our era?

    Is it just a matter now of how much or how far he can go from now on in?
     
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  33. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    Right now that seems to be the case but that has as much to do with his ability as it does with his contemporaries, dare I say, predictability....or worse.

    Just think about the variety of players, talents, temperaments and styles that Sampras faced during his run, everything from Mcenroe to Becker to Agassi to Korda to Ivanisevic to Courier to Rafter, and even Safin, and all the clay-court specialists in between.

    Now consider who Federer has faced so far. Other than Safin, I wouldn't put a single opponent of his in the same league as those above, and if you count mental dedication and hunger Safin falls out. The only opponent of Federer's who you could put in the same class as the above players is Nadal, who btw, can beat Federer on anything but grass. But he's only 18.

    Time will tell whether Federer is a true great, as measured by the skill of his opponents, like Ali or Sugar Ray Robinson or Marciano, or if he's simply come along with enormous talent and a thin field of competition, like Roy Jones Jr.

    Obviously, you can't blame Federer just like you can't blame Roy Jones Jr. But the lack of great opponents does dull the shine.


    Correct me if I'm wrong.


    Cavaleer
     
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  34. Haka Boy

    Haka Boy Guest

    You have a valid point, but I also believe each generation or eras of players have their own niche in the tennis world.
    People can only compare in their minds but who knows really what the outcome would be if players from different eras would meet today. Federer is lucky in one way that no one in todays standard of tennis comes close to him.
     
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  35. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    Well, it's just your biased opinion. Let's look. Why the hell Korda, Ivanisevic, Rafter are in a league above Roddick, Safin, Hewitt? The former 3 got 4 grand slam titles, the later 3 got 5 already, and they are still young.

    By the way, don't put McEnroe in there. He was in twilight of his career when Sampras came along. It's like you would put Sampras in there while talking about who Federer faced. Just be objective for a moment, using the same argument you used with Sampras, you can say Federer faced the likes from Sampras to Agassi to Safin to Hewitt to Roddick to Nadal, and even more clay court specialists today than in 90s.

    Talking about players who they faced is nonsense. How do you know how Federer would fare against the likes of the players you mentioned? You don't know, and no one knows.
     
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  36. jukka1970

    jukka1970 Professional

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    So far, I don't see a big rival for Federer. That's not to say that he won't be pushed, but I don't see a true rival that's playing now.

    Of the close ones, my pick is Nadal, as he's still young and "new" to the professional scene. "New" only in the sense of being at it for a lesser amount of time. The big question is whether Nadal will be able to push his grass game to another level.

    Roddick can play but as others have said, he seems to have difficulty in the final stages against the higher ranking players.

    Hewitt, I'm still not sure of, his return game will give anyone trouble, but on grass Federer still has him beat.

    Safin, You know this guy reminds me so much of Goran. They both have this monsterous powerful game, yet Safin is so dang inconsistant, and this was Gorans trouble especially at Wimbledon.

    Beyond that I don't see anyone coming close to taking him out on grass, or giving him a lot of trouble on the hard courts. Clay court is still a different story, and we'll have to wait til next year to see what improvements Federer has made on clay.
     
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  37. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think sybaritic is quite the right word unless the Sybarites also liked to read like Safin does. "Leading a balanced life" better describes his lifestyle.
     
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  38. Fedubai

    Fedubai Semi-Pro

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    Comparing gerenations is always difficult. It's basically impossible to know how Federer would do against players from a different era unless he played them.

    There are more than a few people that are bowled over by his game as much as the statistics.

    You could go on and on in this discussion. And none of it can be proven because those players are simply not playing any more. We can give our opinions on how Federer's current rivals are fatally flawed because of limitations and style of the day etc. But someone else may have opinions that previous generations had more GS titles but it was easier back then because there wasn't as much depth and because the game was easier so there was an established top group with many slam titles..see where this is going?

    You can't really compare generations IMO.
     
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  39. drexeler

    drexeler Rookie

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    Fed's rivals - Hewitt, Nadal, Roddick, Safin - all are young and all in their primes. Whereas Pete's rivals were either past their peak when Pete's reign started (Becker, Courier), or up-and-down (Agassi who only was peak from summer 94-95 & later after 99) or whose peak was later (Rafter). Ivanisevic was only good at Wimbledon. Chang was no 2 for a while, but he is a lighter version of Hewitt. That's why 2-3-4-5 ranks were constantly changing throughout Sampras's dominating years. On looking closely, Agassi was the only top-tier rival that Sampras faced, and even he won only 2 slams during Sampras's #1 years (93-98). I have a feeling Sampras would choose to play his batch of rivals over the current batch, most of whom seemed to matchup well against him.

    The current batch is very consistent and is in a way reminscent of the late 80's when Lendl, Wilander, Becker, Edberg were all peak at the same time. It's only Federer's brilliance that is making his rivals look a little diminished. If he were more even with the others, and his 5 slams (and others' slams) would be more distributed evenly among the 5, and then this batch would look more like half-of-fame group of the late 80's. And in 2007 and beyond, Gasquet, Monfils and Berdych could develop into top class rivals like Rafter did after 1997.
     
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  40. newnuse

    newnuse Professional

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    Sampras did not have the greatest rivals during his reign. That is one of the reason I do not consider him the GOAT. He had Agassi, but Agassi never pushed him during that streak. Agassi is however much stonger than any of Fed's so call rivals.

    With that said, Pete's rivals were stronger than Fed. Hewitt won those slams after Pete's dominant years and before Fed arrived. He is the equivalent of the Houston Rockets winning 2 NBA championship during Michael Jordan's retirement. Fed kills Hewitt head to head. The rest of the guys are also have huge flaws as mentioned numerous times above.

    The 80's was the best period. You had many great players duking it out. Connors/Mac(though on the downside), Lendl, Edber, Wilander, Becker. The current crop has not done nearly enough to be mentioned with those greats. Unless Nadal shows he can be great on a non-clay surface, I wouldn't put him in that group either.

    This is also why I don't consider Graf the GOAT. She had no real rival. She had Seles for a short period. Seles dominated that 1 year, but you all what happened to her. Martina had Chris, which is the greatest rivalry I've will ever see. Imagine how many more slams Chris or Martina would have won if the other was not around.
     
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  41. arosen

    arosen Hall of Fame

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    Hedonistic might be a better way of descibing Safin's philosophy. He is into pleasures of life, small and big, and as much as I hate to see him "waste" his tennis talent, I find it hard to blame the guy for living large.
     
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  42. MoyaNadalMaxLopezO3Prince

    MoyaNadalMaxLopezO3Prince New User

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    Nadal is Federer's true rival. If you think about it, he's the only guy who's beat Federer since AO. Not only that, it's that he can beat him on TWO surfaces. CLAY AND HARD. Examples are Miami and Paris.
     
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  43. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    Don't be silly. Of course no one knows how Federer would do. The entire topic of this thread is hypothetical and based on opinions. So what's your point?
    Besides, I'm not talking about how Federer would do against them. Looking at their games, however, I would guess he would probably do well.

    My point, if you had read more carefully, is that the variety and skill level of the players Federer has faced so far doesn't compare to the variety and skill level of players Sampras faced during his run.

    Federer has faced nothing but predictable baseliners, with the possible and rare all-court Safin. To truly see how great he is, and to compare him to all-time greats, I think you must see him perform well against a variety of players, not just one hit wonders like Safin.

    Federer's skills are undeniable. That's not the point. The point is that if we are to compare him as a champion to Sampras, Borg etc. he needs a broader competitive field. Hopefully we will, because it makes tennis compelling.

    I personally think Borg's string of 5 straight Wimbledon's and 5 straight French Open's is the single most incredible feat in the history of tennis. I think we'll see someone break Sampras streak of six straight years at no. 1 before we see someone repeat Borg's feat.


    Cavaleer
     
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  44. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    Sounds good. I don't know much about Safin off-court except for what I've read here and what I hear commentators say during tournaments.

    To my knowledge the Sybarites did enjoy prose and poetry and drama but they enjoyed little else, especially not warlike pursuits, e.g intense athletic training, like the Spartans and Athenians did.

    Would you care to expound on "leading a balanced life" and what that means to Safin? Again, I know only sound-bites about the man, which means next to nothing.


    Cavaleer
     
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  45. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    Does he really need a rival? Look at golf, when Tiger was dominating the ratings and the sport grew in number. He didn't have a rival.

    Federer can do the same threw his complete domination of his sport...People will turn in to watch that are not die hard fans just to see him play.
     
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  46. newnuse

    newnuse Professional

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    Golf is a different sport. With the exception of match play, you don't go head to head. It's Tiger vs the course. However, it's much more thrilling to see Tiger being challenged during the final round of a major. Those 8 shot victories are fun but does not hold the same thrills.

    Yes Fed does need a rival. Watching him beat down a bunch of 2nd rate players is not much fun. You are judge by the competition you beat.

    Roy Jones Junior gets ripped for beating a bunch of 2nd tier fighters. It's not his fault, the division was very weak. I think he was the pound for pound king during his reign, but people will always talked about the lack of competition.
     
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  47. callitout

    callitout Professional

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    People on this board follow tennis closely, but a bit too impatiently. Reminds me of the frenzy about the stock market going way up or down on any particular week, when it ends the year not far from where it started. Fed's had a truly great 2 year run, but at best he wins 2 slams this year. Nadal finished last year with an ATP rank in the mid 40's and now he's come so far that he's better than Fed on clay and a challenge on hardcourts. Who wouldve thought that a guy who finished at 94 (Gasquet) last year could beat Fed this year. There is quite a bit of time before Fed has 14 slams under his belt. Injury or competition may catch up to Fed before he rewrites all of the record books. He's great no doubt, but its premature to say there wont be any competition for Fed. But I agree that mens pro tennis would be more exciting if one of todays youngsters could emerge as a rival to Fed the way some of the other great rivalries brought out the best in legends of the game. If Nadal continues to improve his game at current pace, hell be at least even with Fed on hardcourts by Next years hardcourt season. Then it will be genuinely exciting to watch Fed challenged in a Final.
     
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  48. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    I'm not so sure about that comparison to Tiger in golf because in golf you're competing more against the course than you are against other players. The viewer can appreciate his skill because they've all tried to do what he's doing so well. Thus, they can relate, and even a non-golfing viewer can appreciate the difficulty of what the pros do.

    But, Federer is such a joy to watch, perhaps more than any other player ever, that some people may tune in simply for his show.

    Personally, I can say that TV does no justice to tennis. The difficulty of what they're doing just does not translate through the tube. I didn't understand this until I saw my first pro tournament. There's simply no comparison between TV tennis and live tennis, none whatsoever. Other sports, like football and golf, are much more TV friendly. I think this plays a part as well.

    Moreover, tennis fans and sports fans in general, esp. Americans, love rivalries, the more heated and intense the better. Every American sport suffers when there's no marquee rivalry- football, basketball, baseball, and tennis. Just look at the NBA Finals this year. The basketball was superb but because there were no marquee players and definitely no rivalries no one watched. And of course boxing is by far the best example of the highs that come from great rivalries and the lows that come when there's no one worth watching. I don't need to list the matches and re-matches.

    College athletics have figured out an easy way to manufacture rivalries through the one game do or die tournaments, in basketball, and the one loss and you're almost out BCS Series.

    Blowouts aren't fun, at least not to most viewers. But Joe-blow who's never picked up a racquet would watch Borg-Mcenroe, Sampras-Agassi, Narvatilova-Evert, because he knew it would be great match, he knew both players would leave everything on the court, and the contrast in styles heightened everything.

    But Federer- ?????? Right now Nadal looks like the only one with the game and the mentality to go head to head for years to come, every tournament and every time they play.

    Again, I'm not blaming Federer for his brilliance. It's not his fault. ;)


    Cavaleer
     
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  49. AngeloDS

    AngeloDS Hall of Fame

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    You don't need rivals if you're doing something completely amazing. Look at Takeru Kobayashi -- Hot dog eating champing. Completing a feat above his competitotrs by eating 53 1/2 hot dogs in 12 minutes while 99% of the rest are like 20-30 and even 40 hot dogs under him.

    That'd be like Roger Federer going 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 in every game til' the finals and then winning as such.
     
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  50. Cavaleer

    Cavaleer Semi-Pro

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    ROTFLMAO !!!!!!!! YOU'RE THE FUNNIEST MAN IN THE WORLD!


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