Federer now vs Federer of 2-3 years ago?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by firstblud, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. firstblud

    firstblud Professional

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    What's the fundamental difference between federer now and then (when he was dominating)?

    do you guys think it's more mental or physical (or both)?

    when i was watching his last match against murray, he seemed very uncomfortable at maintaining long rallies. I remember Fed as someone who excelled at those and took over the points.
     
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  2. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    I dont know about others but I do believe Fed is half a step slower.Roger has always had an excellent transition game and a game that thrives on timing.When you're slow that timing gets affected.Plus,I also believe players have tried very hard to match Roger's standards and some of them have been very successful.So to me its a case of both Roger's level going down and some other players raising their level.Roger's errors,double faults have significantly increased throughout the course of a tounament and his backhand is more a liability now than it was a couple of years back to players like Nadal and Murray.
     
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  3. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    The difference is the competition is better.The improved Nadal of the last year of 2 is Fed's biggest challenge ever. That level of Nadal wasnt around in 2004 or 2005 and in 2007 Nadal busted his knee tendon when he was about to win Wimbledon and carried that knee tendon injury into the US open playing on 1 leg.The 08 US open was a gift from Nadal due to sacrificing the US Open by Winning the Olympics. Fed hasn't improved much relative to the fast improving competition in the last few years.

    Sony Ericsson Open: Is Roger Federer's reign over for good?


    When Roger Federer couldn't get through his postmatch speech at the Australian Open without crying, it was as if he realized he would never wrest his crown from nemesis Rafael Nadal.

    While Federer would never admit it, history shows that once a player falls from the top of the tennis mountain, he rarely climbs back to the pinnacle.

    Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl is the only player in men's tennis since the Open era began in 1967 to have two separate reigns as a year-ending No. 1, from 1985-87 and then again in '89 after Mats Wilander passed him by in '88.

    Can Federer, who ruled the roost from 2004-07, get back to No. 1, or would he rather save his energy for Grand Slams so he can catch and pass Pete Sampras' record of 14 majors?

    "I beat Mats in the U.S. Open final, and then he won three majors the next year," Lendl said. "My situation was better than Roger's because once Mats reached number one he sort of achieved his goal and had trouble getting motivated. I got my body back in order and had one more good year after that.

    "Roger may be facing the best player in tennis history. He's an incredible athlete, and we'll see if he can keep it up.

    "Everyone has different goals. Mats' was to be No. 1 and mine was to win majors, and if you do that the No. 1 rank takes care of itself. I would've gladly given up those weeks at the top in '89 to win nine majors instead of eight, and I wouldn't have cared which one."

    During Federer's 237 weeks on top his only real challenge came from a blossoming Nadal, but that was usually on the red clay of Roland Garros, where the Spaniard has won the past four French Opens, including the last three over Federer in the final.

    At least Federer could always depend on his dominance on the grass of Wimbledon - until last July when Nadal ended his five-year run in an epic final.

    Earlier this year, Nadal won major No. 6 after outlasting Federer in another five-set final on the hard courts at the Australian Open.

    Federer is 6-13 against Nadal, including five straight losses on three surfaces. At the Sony Ericsson Open, which begins today, they have split two meetings, with Federer winning the 2005 final.

    "He's the greatest challenger I've ever had," Federer told the Los Angeles Times. "I am really motivated because I don't know how much better he can play. I don't know how much better I can play, but I am right there.

    "I'm going to hang onto No. 2 and hope to find a way to get back to No. 1."

    That doesn't sound like a concession speech, but tennis coach Brad Gilbert believes Federer's window of dominance has closed, while the 22-year-old Nadal has just begun to roar.

    "I'll never count the guy out. He's an amazing talent, but I don't think he could do the same things in 2009 that he did in 2004 and '05," said Gilbert, who directed both Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi to their only year-ending No. 1 perches in 2003 and 1999, respectively. "You can't be as dominant. It's too difficult with the top 15 way better now than it was in 2004.

    "He'd much rather win two majors and finish No. 3 than win zero majors and be No. 1."

    Federer's task of re-staking his top-dog status is made tougher with the depth of men's tennis that now includes several young challengers to the throne such as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, who has beaten Federer four straight times since losing their U.S. Open final last September.

    "It's not getting any easier because there's more guys putting their hands up now," said Aussie Lleyton Hewitt, who was No. 1 after the 2001 and '02 seasons before dropping to 17 in '03.

    Hewitt said when he was on top for 75 straight weeks, he felt like he had a target on his back.

    "It's an amazing achievement that takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice, and difficult to stay there because at every tournament, no matter how small or big, everybody wants to try to knock you off," Hewitt said. "Once Roger won his first Grand Slam he took the game to another level. I dropped back to [17] but did get back to [No. 3] but never No. 1. There was one guy stopping a lot of us."

    Now, it's Nadal doing the stopping. Sampras, who enjoyed a record six-year reign on top from 1993-98 but never got closer than No. 3 after that, believes that Nadal is in Federer's head.

    "If I was Roger, I'd try to come in a little bit more," Sampras told ESPN.com.
    "Particularly when guys stay so far back. If you don't win these points, at least put something in his head. It's rough to see Nadal taking charge of these rallies and hitting ball after ball to Roger's backhand.

    "[Nadal] plays every point like it's his last point. ... And now he's got the fear factor."

    Jimmy Arias, who was ranked sixth in 1983, thinks that Federer can still overtake Nadal but agrees that he must tweak his game plan.

    "One of the reasons it's so hard to keep that No. 1 ranking is it takes such a toll," Arias said. "When finally it isn't yours any longer it's hard to get the fire back. ... But the fact that Roger is still No. 2 it's more feasible to get back because he just has to figure out how to beat just one guy."

    Easier said than done.
     
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  4. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    I think he has to beat more than one guy. Murray, Simon, and Djoker will be back. Not to mention the up and comers.
     
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  5. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    I know, as Gilbert says the top 15 is way better than in 2004/5 when Fed was dominating v Roddick and Hewitt. Hewitt says the same thing. Nadal is just the best example to use for the improved competition.

    If the Top 15 was at the same level now as in 2004/5 Fed would still be winning as much now.

     
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  6. Tempest344

    Tempest344 Professional

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    Federer of 2-3 years ago has the edge probably..bit younger I think
     
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  7. punchdrunker

    punchdrunker Banned

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    haaha yeah I agree Federer was younger 2-3 years ago but most of his demise is because instead of winning Wimbledon and the Australian Open he has to lose them because Rafa has developed his grass and hardcourt game. So Rafa is the reason more than Federer being older, plus you can see how much Rafa broke Federer's spirit when you see Federer in the trophy ceremonies and that leads to a loss of confidence and sudden self-doubt which leads to Federer losing to guys who aren't even in the top 5.
     
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  8. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    Federer now is older then Federer of 2-3 years ago.

    He's not as fast as the younger guys anymore.
     
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  9. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    People always assume the current players are better. What justification have they got? None. The competition looked weak when Federer dominated was because Federer made them look weak. Who knows what the likes of Hewitt, Safin and Roddick would have achieved if Fed wasn't around? Is Murray now better than Safin when he was at his peak??

    I don't Fed has physically deteriorated at all, why would he be slower? Because he is 27? Most sprinters don't peak until they are late twenties or even early thirties. However he would find it harder to keep focus for an entire match.

    I think he has definately lost a lot of the hunger and intensity. Whereas he would've played his socks off to win a Master Series event a few years back I don't think he would do the same anymore unless it is a Slam. He has only RG and Pete's record in his mind now IMO. He is not even playing in Monte Carlo.
     
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  10. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    Federer was lucky to recieve the US Open as a gift from Nadal? Huh? you *******s are unbelievable.
     
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  11. KerryJ

    KerryJ Semi-Pro

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    Watch some video on youtube with the title

    "2005 USO Highlights Federer Agassi"

    You'll see him at his best. He's just swinging full force at everything. It seems he's trying to set points up more out of fear for missing instead of just ending them
     
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  12. fantom

    fantom Hall of Fame

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    Current Fed would get smoked by the younger Fed. Back then, he was a few steps faster and MUCH more consistent. Not to mention he was hitting winners at will. He was a totally different player back then.
     
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  13. AprilFool

    AprilFool Guest

    One could ask whether or not Roger would be winning Master events again if they went back to being best of five.
    The fact remains that when playing in a best of five tourney, Roger wins 99.99999 per cent of the games.
     
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  14. dincuss

    dincuss Hall of Fame

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    That kinda made me laugh. I thinks its kinda funny how Sampras is "coaching" Federer based on his game. Well then again his game won so many titles....

    But anyways this is a very good article
     
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  15. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    I think it is purely mental.

    I don't have time to go into a long post, but I want to mention something specific about his current play. If you watch some of his most recent matches, he misses an unbelievable amount of routine shots. I am not just talking about routine shots for Federer, but routine shots for someone of significantly less skill and talent. He is missing routine forehands from the middle of the court, often by more than a few feet. He is just as often in control of the points, but he just doesn't win them like he is "supposed" to anymore.

    What amazes me most about all this is that he's given Nadal more of a match than most other guys are capable of currently (other than Nalbandian?) and continues to reach the semi or final of nearly every event he plays. For the standard he set for himself, he is playing like complete crap. His continued "success" is testament to just how good he was and how good I think he can still be. For anyone that doesn't think he is playing like crap, even against the lower ranked guys, just look at his match stats.

    Finally, I don't think he has lost a step. I think this perception that he's lost speed is all about his confidence and his mental "issues". I've seen players at all levels look slower when they lose some confidence. The footwork goes, the speed goes, and you just tend to see them "quit" when it comes to running down more balls. I think it is all related. The players potential for movement, speed, etc..., doesn't decrease. They just can't play their best anymore. Just as Federer misses shots now that he used to routinely hit under pressure, I think his movement is a similar story, they both come and go together. It is all related and all caused by the same thing.

    As far as the guys that want to believe he is focusing purely on the Slams now, that worries me. His showing in that 5th set at the Australian Open worries me. For any player in the final of the slam, especially one of the greatest of all time, I would call that a huge mental collapse. Pretty scary if that's all he's got for the slams.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
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  16. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    Federer created such a standard for himself that will very difficult for him to match at this stage. Has he lost a step? He certainly doesn't look much slower on the court however he does seem to make more errors than in the past. That could be quickness or it could just be timing & practice.

    Sampras in the later part of his career had to answer to such criticism. However he'd always win Wimbledon & shut everybody up. I think this year's Wimbledon will be crucial. If he somehow wins it, I think he goes & wins 4 or more grand slams. If he loses, it'll only get tougher for him.
     
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  17. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    Great post. I agree with you completely. I think people forget how good Federer looked at times at the Wimbledon final. He definitely needs a more aggressive mindset vs. Nadal.
     
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  18. fantom

    fantom Hall of Fame

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    Excellent post! Last year's US Open final was the first time in a long time where he looked close to his old self.
     
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  19. Puma

    Puma Rookie

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    I agree 100%.

    Also, I think his intensity level goes up and down more often than it used to . He has had the opportunity lately to beat someone 2&1, but somehow he mananges a 2&6 with a scratchy tie break to squeek through. I blame this on intensity. Once the intensity goes down so does his "routine" shots. And I agree totally about the routine shot misses as well as routine backhand volley misses. He chops down on those backhand volleys.

    I also think Fed has always been a flashy player. He likes the flashy shots, the crowd pleasers etc. He tends to take a lot of chances with them from time to time. And, he makes many as well. Once he gets under pressure thought his percentage of success with this goes way down too. This is another reason why I think he needs a coach. I think Fed beleives he can make those shots. But, Fed needs to know he doesn't have to make those shots to win. He needs to make the routine shots to win, at least against someone like Nadal who is stingy with points and aint scared. Fed just cannot afford giving up those points.
     
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  20. vtmike

    vtmike Banned

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    Very nice post!
     
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  21. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    For Roger its age, mental, and lack of wanting to adapt.

    For those saying top 15 is so much more competitive than before......very shortsighted.
    Lets see how long has Nadal been in top 15?
    Roddicks been there since what 01 or 02?
    Tsonga - injury prone and streaky
    Davydenko - no diamond among the rough
    Del Potro - only strong on hc and totally folds against top 10 opponents.
    Djoker - good competition but not leagues above anyone from 04-05, really he cant even beat Roddick consistently
    Murray - just now coming into his own but still has yet to prove he can win the big matches
    Simon - hmmm reminds me of Hewitt so no go there
    Nalbandian - streaky and hes been there for a while

    Really saying that Nadals competition today is harder than Feds from 04-06 is just a blind stupid shortsighted comment that a fairweather fan type of person would make. It was only 3-4 for year ago for crying out loud!

    Anyone who says Andy Murray today is tougher than Marat Safin 04-05 is smoking some good dope. Sure Safin didnt stay on top but it goes hand in hand with Lendls comments on Wilander and his motivations. Safin reached his goals and lost motivation after that.

    Personally I dont see Fed getting back to no 1 but I see him hanging around the top 4 for a few more years maybe pulling in 2 or 3 more grand slams total.
     
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  22. plain jane

    plain jane Semi-Pro

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    I think he does seem slower in getting into the right position to hit his shots. Federer of 2-3 years ago was just unbelievable. He really did amaze me with what he could do with a racket. Today when i watch him play i dont get that same feeling. The only thing boring about watchin federer matches back then was that the outcome was VERY predictable (especially in the early rounds of tournaments). I think his level has dropped a bit and he is not mentally as strong as he was when he was No 1.
     
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  23. Tennis_Maestro

    Tennis_Maestro Banned

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    - He is a tiny bit slower.

    - His reading of the game has slightly diminished, for whatever purposes i don't know, but he is now a bit to rash with knowing when to attack.

    - Admittedly 2/3 opponents are a stronger now a days. (Nadal's improved and there's the additions of Murray and Djokovic.

    - His backhand has become as inconsistent as player's ranked outside the top 40.

    - He has a few psycological scares after not beating Bjorg's 5 Wimbledon's in a row record.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
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  24. carlos djackal

    carlos djackal Professional

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    It is both actually, physically he looked a step slower and mentally he gets impatient during long rallies.....he will probably be owned by the fed 3 yrs ago..
     
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  25. Jimmyk459

    Jimmyk459 Rookie

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    Confidence... the difference is confidence... simple as that.

    I truly believe that when fed lost his fear factor against opponents (somewhere around the time of the australian open with tipsarevic) his downward spiral of confidence vs their belief that they can beat him really messed with his game plan.

    Federer should just go for crazy winners during an early round and try to get some confidence back... screw coming in... it only works against people outside of the top ten... that is a DEAD tactic... it really does not work anymore... try to prove me wrong... i dare you

    with love,

    -Jimmy
     
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  26. Jchurch

    Jchurch Guest

    I do think that he has lost a little agility on the court. The other thing is that his serves don't seem to be as damaging anymore. Especially his second serve. I also don't think his volleys are quite as crisp and accurate as they use to be.
     
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  27. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    Nadal almost beat Federer at wimbledon 2 years ago.


    Rafa was not ready at the time.....He now has come into his own.
     
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  28. thejoe

    thejoe Hall of Fame

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    ^If you think Rafa "should" have won that match, then you need to watch it again. Federer dealt with an rampant 4th set Rafa with incredible serving under pressure, and great mental strength. Two things he hasn't had since.
     
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  29. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    There's only one thing for Roger to do: that's hit the gym hard. And I'll tell you why...

    First of all, I'm sure Federer works his butt off. I'm sure he puts in hours upon hours on the practice court. And I'm sure he even gets in his off-court training work as well. But I think Federer would be well-served to undertake a hardcore weight training program, a la Andre Agassi. Everyone on this board is speculating what is causing Federer's struggles: confidence, decreased athleticism, stamina, etc. Weight training cures all these ills. Anyone remember how confident Agassi was in his late 20s? The guy would look for any excuse to take his shirt off on a changeover. You could see it in his eyes when he was on the practice courts shirtless. He knew he was more fit than anybody out there. And Agassi admits that he played his best tennis when he was 29. You look at all the top players that played better in their late 20s (Lendl, Agassi, & even the rejuvenated Sampras)...there's one common theme: hard work off-court.

    If I were Federer I'm looking for the best: Gil Reyes, Etcheberry....someone along those lines.
     
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  30. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Fundamental differences: Harder, better placed serve; hits slightly harder on the forehand; less consistent on both wings; more tentative on the backhand; slower.
     
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  31. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    He's older (a tad slower, less accurate= more UES), less confident (less clutch, particularly on the serve- maybe also due to back issues- and less consistent during a match) and refuses to evolve and tinker with his game when needed (backhand issue for instance).
     
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  32. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    "Nadal was a bit unlucky not to win wimbledon the wimbledon final and he will win in 2008" BJORN BORG .

    Watch it for yourself:

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1481202/bjorn_borg_rafa_nadal_is_gonna_win_wimbledon_2008/
     
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  33. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    lool..did you know that Borg also stated last year after Roger won the USO that he would get back the no 1 ranking?That Rafa had played great the last few months but for him Roger was the best ?
     
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  34. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    ummmm....are you really trying to discredit Bjorn Borg?



    .
     
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  35. ShcMad

    ShcMad Hall of Fame

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    Did anyone notice that the current Federer doesn't take his forehand nearly as back or as high as the Federer of 2004-2005?

    I'm sure players' techniques change a bit as time goes by, but I can't help but notice that Federer's forehand has been looking differently ever since ~2007.
     
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  36. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Let's not get to excited about what Borg has to say. I don't have a bad thing to say about his tennis, but I can suggest to you from first hand experience, he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Like many greats, he is an incredible athlete, and tends to be quite obsessive, which can help with winning. Winning doesn't make you smart, but I guess it make you look smart. Remember his great idea to come back with the small racket head??
     
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  37. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    So you think that posters here know more than Bjorn Borg about whether Wimbledon 2007 was a close match?

    didnt Wimbledon 2007 go five sets? Was Bjorn Borg wrong about that?

    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
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  38. vtmike

    vtmike Banned

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    Just because he is a player doesn't mean he is always right...He has also predicted Fed to win the 2008 FO but we all know what happened there!
     
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  39. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    But all he said was that he thought that the 2007 wimbledon final was close and it could have gone either way. Isnt he qualified to analyze the strokes and the points ?

    This was not about a prediction....besides I do not believe Borg ever predicted Fed to win the 2008 FO....and even if he did......that very different than merely saying he thought that the five set wimbledon 2007 final was close. Dont you agree?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
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  40. fednad

    fednad Hall of Fame

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    King of trolls, this thread is about Fed (today) and Fed (3 years back).
    Stop wetting your pants by dragging your hero and his heroics in discussion
     
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  41. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    I believe the title of the thread is :

    "Federer now vs Federer of 2-3 years ago? "

    Please note the #2.
     
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  42. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    not really..just because you slapped one quote of his to discredit Roger's wimbledon victory in 2007 I slapped some different words of his...simple.
     
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  43. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    How did Borg try and discredit Federer? All Borg said was that the Wimbledon final was a close match. What is wrong with that?
     
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  44. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    No you are trying to do that by finding a quote ....and again trying to tell us what hero your boy is..its about Federer 'game' overall in these two years not how many sets he went to in 1 match
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
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  45. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    I think Federer's best tennis was from 2004-2006. 2007 was a visible decline despite that he still dominated with 3 slams. Last year was a further decline. This year it is hard to say as he is playing better than he was early in 2008 thus far, but no as well as he had been later 2008. All in all though he has gotten progressively worse since 2006. This really looks bad on him to some extent as a truly great player such as him shouldnt have just a 3 or 4 year prime.
     
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  46. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    Good post. I think this is spot on. At the time Tipsarevic talked about being in the locker room when Fed played Canas or Volandri, I think it was, he said he expected the opponent to wilt after a certain point. But the guy didn't. He said the guy kept competing and it threw Fed off. After that he decided when he was going to face Federer he would do the same thing. He almost pulled it off too.

    That match was pivotal.
     
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  47. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    do you think the 2007 wimbledon match between federer and Nadal was close match?
     
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  48. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    yes, but not the final set...Roger had the clutch.He held nerve when he needed to.
     
    #48
  49. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    11,518
    Yes,I would agree to that.Tipsarevic did not win but he was as good or even better in that match.
     
    #49
  50. thejoe

    thejoe Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
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    3,712
    Location:
    England
    Bingo. That is where this troll goes wrong. He probably didn't watch the match...
     
    #50

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