Is Federer Still The Best?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Fischer76, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. Fischer76

    Fischer76 New User

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    Read this from an interesting article...

    A part of it....


    It's debatable right now if Federer is actually even the best player in the world — he's not even the best player on the court when he stares across the net at the clay-court conquistador who has had his number so often it's the tennis equivalent of speed dial.



    Read the full article here....

    http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=15537&bannerregion=


    Please post your thoughts..
     
    #1
  2. kooyah

    kooyah Rookie

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    Yes.
     
    #2
  3. tnig469

    tnig469 Semi-Pro

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    Best right now?.....i would say yes......best of all time?.....we have to see
     
    #3
  4. xtremerunnerars

    xtremerunnerars Hall of Fame

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    until nadal wins on every surface, then yes, he's still the best.
     
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  5. Virtuous

    Virtuous Rookie

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    Bull sh%&
     
    #5
  6. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    anyone who debates whether Fed's the best is a moron...

    there are 3 surfaces, and 4 grand slams. Federer owns 2 of the 3 surfaces, and 3 of the 4 grand slams. Ranked #1 for past 2 years. #1 in ATP Race Points. Owns 3/4 last grand slams. He's the best player in the world. Period. End of discussion. Anyone who says elsewise is a moron.

    Nadal's the best player on clay -- with Federer second best -- but being best in the world is about more than being best on clay. Nadal isn't even in the top 20 on grass. And he hasn't won a slam on any surface other than clay.
     
    #6
  7. Fischer76

    Fischer76 New User

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    I think Federer is still the best on tour right now. I'm not A Fed fan but watching the FO I noticed that after the ist set that the fight in him just seem to get out of him suddenly. He started shanking shots and didn't seem to care at all. I kinda felt for him. Must be so frustrating to play Nadal. You know, the way he "steals" the winners out of Fed. I mean the guy just doesn't seem to go away!!! Contrary to a lot of criticism of Feds play during that match, I admired him for keeping his head. A lot of players would've broken a lot of rackets when things are not only going their way but when their most reliable shots are simply not there. I wonder what Safin would've been like if it was him in Feds shoes in that match.
     
    #7
  8. knasty131

    knasty131 Professional

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    in nadals defense he is still a teenager...but i agree, federer is the best...and time will tell if you can put him as the GOAT...he just has to keep up the level he is playing right now and maybe get a french under his belt
     
    #8
  9. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Guys, read the article until the end. The article does not exactly
    suggest Federer is not the best. Very interesting and insightful article.

    I think it explains well about what's going on between Federer and Nadal.
    I liked the article.

    The king of the jungle is being intimidated by a young lion.
    And this is not insignificant challenge at all.
    He may have to give up all of his multiple wives and leave the town
    if he can not defeat this challenge.


    Nadal is a chillingly smart young fellow. He knows it's not time
    yet because he can't challenge Wimbledon yet.
    He is martly keeping a low profile and quietly pressuring Federer.
    However, he is in the process waiting for right moment to
    take over the top spot..
     
    #9
  10. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Easily the best in the world right now. By FAR. If you think differently you are deluding yourself.

    But certainly not the best of all time, not yet. Even McEnroe has pushed Federer back a few spots in his top 10 list. I thought he said #7 after the FO Final but maybe he was joking.
     
    #10
  11. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Federer certainly has the potential to be labeled as G.O.A.T.
    That's part of what people have been excited about although
    I think he has been benefited by slowed court surfaces at least
    partly.

    But I think people are also excited by the potential of Nadal
    becoming serious challenge to Federer's regin. As everybody
    knows, Nadal is not a serious challenge yet.

    But Nadal is in the process, I think, very smartly and diligently.
    And if it ever happens, Federer does not strike me as a guy
    who would hang around the rounge as a #2 for a long while.

    McEnroe hung around without winning a slam for 10 years
    from 1985. I don't think Federer will do that.
     
    #11
  12. Of his era, Federer is the best in the game. Even if half of the season was on clay, Federer would still be ahead in points. He's been seemingly sprinting through each of the last few seasons. Except Federer makes it look like he's on cruise control.

    Now, for some perspective . . .

    Sampras' rival was Agassi. On all surfaces, Agassi did a lot better than Nadal ever has so far; yet, who is saying that Agassi was better than Sampras? The only surface on which Agassi had a winning record against his rival was clay. So far, Nadal is 2-1 on Federer in non-clay matches. Pretty good. It's doesn't make him the best in the era.

    Furthermore, Sampras, the man who is regarded as the best in his era, maybe ever, never got as far in his worst major, the French Open, as Federer already has in his worst major, the French Open.

    If anything, all that Nadal has shown is that a clay court specialist can still beat a very good player, the best player in the game, but mostly on clay, the muggier conditions the better. And sometimes just barely. As in, facing multiple match points.
     
    #12
  13. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Hmm, it seems that way in, say, quantitively.

    But there's still something different about the way Nadal beats
    Federer, IMHO: his game seems to fit right into Fed's weakness.
    (Fed fans, don't get mad. He doesn't have weakness, I mean relative
    relative weakness).

    And exactly same mechanics seems to happen on hard courts.
    Federer does a little better on hard courts but basically same
    dynamics again and again on hard courts and then clay courts....
     
    #13
  14. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Bud Collins wrote similar thoughts on his webside, that Nadal is the real Nr. 1, although the numbers speak against it. Mac was 0-3 vs Landl in 81, when he was dominating Borg. Fact is, it is a problem for a Nr. 1, to get beaten constantly by the Nr.2, no question, and it is a real test for Fed. He should stop talking about 'figuring out' the 'one dimensional player' and improve his weaknesses.
     
    #14
  15. Ivanišević

    Ivanišević Rookie

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    and who is 1st and 2nd on his list? i'm just curious...
     
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  16. Actually, when the 2006 Australian Open rolled by, Nadal was on the ATP Tour. Why wasn't he ready for the tournament? Federer sure was ready. He was ready in 2005, too.

    When you state both Federer's and Nadal's 2006 slam records together, you try to make it seem like Nadal has the better record. Federer reached the French Open final. I guess you can say that that's 2-for-2 for Federer in 2006 slam finals. What about Nadal?

    What was Nadal doing while the Australian Open was going on? Could he have been practicing on clay? Could the extra clay court practice have helped him in clay matches?

    "The Australian Open is too important a tournament for me to go to without having an option to win it." Now, who could have said this?

    An asterisk? That's what ranking points are for. With 0 from the Australian Open, Nadal has a problem...until the next year. That is, if he will be ready yet. Not exactly befitting an asterisk. If a player loses because he's not ready and gets sick, does that get an asterisk, too? 6-3, 5-7, 0-3, ret. *but only because player got sick.
     
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  17. Hops

    Hops Rookie

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    not anymore.
     
    #17
  18. Fischer76

    Fischer76 New User

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    Fed has not said anything about him closer to figuring out Nadal's game lately. In the FO finals, commentators during the match said that Fed should rethink about his comments on Nadal being one dimensional. Now he has added the word "grinder" to his description of his nemesis (not that there's anything wrong with that except of the connotation that Nadal is just muscle)There's no doubt that getting beaten by the #2 when being #1 is hard to accept. I think this "rivalry" goes beyond just mere forehands, backhands, and etc.. Fed surely has the game to beat Nadal. But I don't think it's just about that. In fact I believe Fed's problem is more psychological than anything. I think Fed is also getting annoyed by Nadal saying that Fed is the greatest player he has ever seen and etc.. while beating him practically every time they meet.
     
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  19. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    I agree with urban on this. Federer comments have been
    edgy and cranky and that is sign of certain weakness against
    #2. Especially as #1, he should be careful about talking.
    It does not help him in terms of mental part of the war.
    Nadal is winning even in the public relation department, so to speak.
    I can not believe Nadal was a teenager a few weeks ago...
     
    #19
  20. crazylevity

    crazylevity Hall of Fame

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    I have to agree with the article, that it is up to Federer to answer to Nadal's challenge. While he hasn't done so, I do not discount him never being able to do it. Until then the question of Nadal will be a black mark against Fed in his career.

    At the same time though, he is still a more complete player at the moment, and until Nadal can take his other slams away, he is still a clear no.1
     
    #20
  21. Tennis_Goodness

    Tennis_Goodness Semi-Pro

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    This has happend many times in history and alot of the new and young tennis fans think that the number 2 player winning against the number 1 player is some huge event, it's not.

    Many times the best players and even the greats had a player they were better then but for one reason or anohter they would often lose to them. It's the same case here.

    Besides clay Nadal has not proven to be a serious threat to any other Slams. There was a lot of talk of Nadal becoming number 1 last year but of course he did not become number 1 and it was silly to think that. The same thing is going to happend this year. People are just excited becasue someone can challenge Federer on a certain surface. The expectations of him are greater then any other player I have ever seen. Some people were starting to expected him to become the greatest ever when he was only 23, incredible!
     
    #21
  22. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    As long as Federer can play well on all surfaces, he's still the best. Rafa needs a lot of work on hard courts and even more work on grass so until he masters surfaces other than clay, he'll have to take a backseat to Federer.
     
    #22
  23. BabolatFan

    BabolatFan Semi-Pro

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    Whatever everyone else thinks, he's the best.
     
    #23
  24. 8PAQ

    8PAQ Banned

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    If Nadal is the best then he will win Wimbledon, USO and maybe even TMC this year. No excuses! Why? Because that's what the best do. Fed did it several times so why not the supposedly best Nadal?
     
    #24
  25. Shabazza

    Shabazza Legend

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    This discussion is based on what??? Their h2h?!
    Give me a break. :rolleyes:
     
    #25
  26. nViATi

    nViATi Hall of Fame

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    What do you think?
     
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  27. Docalex007

    Docalex007 Hall of Fame

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    Federer is still the best tennis player right now. He's had the best year so far so why would you not say he's the best still?
     
    #27
  28. textbook strokes

    textbook strokes Semi-Pro

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    Those who talks about records are missing the point. It‘s about how Roger will react in the future, considering he is clearly intimidated by Nadal rigth now.
    I really hope Fed changes his mental attitude towards Nadal, or the matches are going to be even worse than the FO final.
     
    #28
  29. 127mph

    127mph Semi-Pro

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    this is totaly accurate and should end this whole nadal is the best player right now fuzz
     
    #29
  30. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I think there is a bit of a downward spiral in Fed's game right now. If you look at his results on what is clearly his best surface, grass, he's been challenged of late. He's been challenged uncharacteristically by some players who really aren't of his caliber. He faced match points in more than one match at the Halle tournament.

    Does this mean that he's not the best out there right now? Certainly not. What it does indicate is that he's beginning to see the rest of the field make inroads into his game. Whether it's because he can't maintain the level that he had throughout last year (not suprising) or if it's because the rest of the pack doesn't see him as intimidating is the real question. Of course, it could all be that Federer is human after all and this is just something that happens. :)

    Federer faced half the competition at Halle that he's going to see at Wimbledon. Right now he's the heavy favorite, but it wouldn't suprise me in the least if he faltered in an early round. If his opponent can play through the obvious tendency to choke away the upset, then Federer could lose before the final 8 at Wimbledon.

    Historically, it's near impossible to win Wimbledon 4 times in a row. Borg's streak at Wimbledon may be something that we never see repeated.
     
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  31. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Rabbit,
    Federer only struggled at Halle because he was exhausted from the French. Hardly any FO finalists(or winners) from the last 25 years have even played prior to W because they need the rest. McEnroe was the last FO finalist to win a grass event prior to W.
    Fed would still be a huge favorite had he lost early at Halle(Sampras rarely won any grass events prior to W, but still won W 7 times)

    Fed is not declining, he seems to getting better. He just reached his 15th straight tour final(last time he failed to reach a final was the French last year, amazing consistency) He lost only 4 times last year(3 times before W), has already lost 4 times this year. If you look at how well he plays the 2nd half of the year the last 2 years, its possible for him to go undefeated the rest of the year. Since he always makes the final & fast courts are the rest of the season, odds are good for him to do that.

    If Fed starts losing before finals, & to players he normally owns(Ljubicic, Roddick, Hewitt, Safin) then I'll consider he's declining.

    Fed is a 1-2 favorite to win W this year. Roddick is the 2nd favorite & is only 12-1! There is still a huge gap between Fed & the rest of the field. And their really aren't that many quality grasscourt players these days, so I don't like the "field's" chances vs him.

    Sampras won 4 in a row('97-'00) And he lost early at Queens in '97 & '98.
     
    #31
  32. Virtuous

    Virtuous Rookie

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    2006? he only faced mps in his match against rochus. He saved mps against soderling at halle in 2005, so was his game declining then? Having tough matches on grass having not played on it for a year and transitioning immediately from clay is hardly indicative of a 'downward spiral.'
     
    #32
  33. lucky leprechaun

    lucky leprechaun Semi-Pro

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    I swear roger is such a victim of his own success.
     
    #33
  34. HollerOne5

    HollerOne5 Semi-Pro

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    You make it sound like Nadal was playing tournaments around the time of the Australian Open and opted not to go, although he was 100% healthy. This is not the case, so you should get your facts straight please. And, you would also have to agree that the Rebound Ace surface would make Nadal just as much as a favorite as Federer. I'm suprirsed no one mentioned the interview in which Federer stated that the people who only say Nadal can play on clay don't know anything about tennis. I have to agree with him there.
     
    #34
  35. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't call it decline, but what i noticed in Fed' game since the USO last year, is the lack of a certain freshness, crispness or explosiveness. He is playing it safe, a bit on routine, not adventurous, as in 2003 or 2004, often going through the motions, until coming to the tiebreakers. OK, he wins most of the time, he has all the shots, but the real sparkle is a bit gone. Maybe it is his defensive approach, which disturbes me a bit.
     
    #35
  36. Thunderbrat

    Thunderbrat New User

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    #36
  37. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Hmm, Is he really more complete ? He surely plays net plays occasionally
    but does it matter for the outcome of a match ?
    I think the crux of the problem is that Federer plays baseline against
    Nadal and he doesn't have answer in both baseline and net game.

    So far he did try net game at Dubai and failed badly.
    He did it at Rome but couldn't close out (he tried to finish it
    from baseline, going for forehand too much....)
     
    #37
  38. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    HollerOne,

    The fact that Nadal was injured doesn't matter. Staying healthy is a part of the sport. Tough ****. Federer's game makes it very likely that he can stay healthy and fresh long enough to win many many grand slams -- possibly 14.

    If Nadal can't stay healthy enough to win another few grand slams, no-one is going to be talking about him as one of the greats. He chose his playing style -- he has the responsibility for whatever results. And if he can't stay healthy enough to win 14 grand slams -- and diversify to win on other surfaces -- no-one's ever ever ever going to mention his name as a candidate for the greatest ever: You either need 14+ GS, or a calendar year Grand Slam.
     
    #38
  39. The Pusher Terminator

    The Pusher Terminator Banned

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    You better watch it. The moderators are all Fed fans,
     
    #39
  40. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    It's certainly possible that Federer's getting better since competition(Nadal)
    usually forces one to improve.

    Some tangible changes I notice is that Federer plays more conservatively
    cutting down some flash shots.

    I also notice his serving perfomance went down a little compared to
    2003 - 2004 (maybe in the same context of becoming more conservative).

    And I think he is a bit slower than 2003-2004. He had that foot injury
    from later part of 2005. As I know, that injury he had is not serious
    but not easy to be completely cured...

    These do not necessarily translate to a decline but just some of tangible
    changes I'm seeing lately..
     
    #40
  41. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    Right now? Clearly. As the holder of every major except for RG there is nobody even close.

    Anything in the future is conjecture. Can Nadal significantly improve his performances at Wimbledon and US Open? Can Fed repeat? IMO the odds for both are not good. Repeating is an extremely hard endeavor. Many here assume Roger will win Wimbledon but like Rabbit pointed out it's been almost impossible to four-peat there. If the committee there further slows conditions it will make it even less likely. The grass hasn't played like the grass that even Sampras won his titles on in several years.

    Can Nadal take advantage of that? We don't know yet. IMO it is unlikely. IMO it is unlikely he will at the US Open. However give him a quarter of the draw with the other slow courters and he can go far. He has proven he is the better on faster courts than any of the other clay courters. So he could go farther than expected simply due to luck of the draw. I think that reality will set in against the first quality fast courter he faces in either event. I don't think he can win either, but no one thought Borg could win Wimbledon BEFORE he won five in a row.

    I feel Nadal's second best chance at a major will be the AO which was good for several players having there best results at the RG.

    What will be interesting is if Nadal can improve his performances enough at the two remaining majors and Masters to amass enough points to challenge Fed even if Fed defends. I don't know if it is mathematically possible, but could you imagine the guy winning 3 majors being supplanted by Nadal on points?

    5
     
    #41
  42. RiosTheGenius

    RiosTheGenius Hall of Fame

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    I just have one word for this - Sensationalism - people and the press have this compulsive thing about making extreme statements depending on who is the player of the week.
    people are saying this things about Federer only based on his head-to-head record against Nadal and Nadal's great season.
    but players match up differently depending on surfaces and other factors.. there's players who can't beat Federer but can beat Nadal. go figure
    I think people need to relax a little, Federer #1 7260pts , Nadal #2 4545pts, until the ranking says otherwise Roger Federer is still the best player right at the moment.
     
    #42
  43. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    That's a gamblers fallacy. What has happened with other players in the past has no correlation with events happening now. And just an FYI, since Fred Perry'34-'36 only Borg, Sampras, & Federer have 3-peated. And we know Borg & Sampras did 4 peat as well, so why not Fed? He already did the near impossible with a 3 peat.

    I think the slow grass makes Federer even more of a lock, he can't be served off the court like so many were in the 90s. W now plays a lot like a hardcourt. And Fed is the best hardcourt(slow, fast, whatever) player out there.

    FiveO, what happened to that borg thread? I liked those stats you posted there.
     
    #43
  44. Simon Cowell

    Simon Cowell Rookie

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    Nadal is the best tennis player in the world. Fact. Federer is the 2nd best right now.
     
    #44
  45. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    Some real good posts in that thread, but probably deleted due to the confrontational nature of certain posters in that thread. Too bad it isn't possible to just delete various posts instead of the whole thread.
     
    #45
  46. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Nadal's chances at Wimbledon are not that slim,IMHO.
    He certainly do not have chances as fat as at FO or AO but
    recent trend is that power players are declining on fast
    courts. Roddick and Safin, for example.
    Importance of defense game increased at Wimbledon lately.
    Federer weathered Roddick and Fliper. Hewitt in similar way
    and still winning a warm-up tournament...
     
    #46
  47. Simon Cowell

    Simon Cowell Rookie

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    It's only a matter of time before Nadal conquers Wimbledon. Aus/French are locks for him, The U.S. will be a tough one for him though.
     
    #47
  48. GugaGuga

    GugaGuga Rookie

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    In a word... yes.
     
    #48
  49. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    Valid point regarding odds. Fed enters as the odds on favorite and deservedly so. However there are no guarantees. It's sport. This is by no means a prediction, I just feel that in almost anything, sports in particular, streaks are meant to end. Recent example being the Masters final last year, where despite being dinged Fed entered that final heavily favored. Everything pointed toward a Fed win. The streak of finals, a chance to match Mc, even the career h2h with Nalby, having drubbed an opponent 0 and 0 in the round robin, everything pointed to a Fed win. Then they played it. Streaks almost invariably end. (I'm also slightly superstitious and reluctant to make grand predictions for a player or team I like or support.)

    Slow grass may help against some but hurts against more I think.

    I don't know but thanks. That thread seemed to be on simmer though one of the contributors seems to be starting to spiral downward. I didn't see a flashpoint if there was any.

    We'll all see how it plays out in a couple of weeks.
     
    #49
  50. No, I never wrote that Nadal was playing other tournaments, just practicing. It's not like there's anything else decent for him to play during a Slam anyway? Never wrote that he was injured. Just that he wasn't ready. That's his problem. And yes, not being ready for the Australian Open makes some players sick.

    Yes, I agree that Rebound Ace would tip the table toward Nadal. But Nadal himself said he felt like he wouldn't have been a contender. It sounds like he took a break in the off-season, like many do. If anything, that's nothing to be defensive about.

    Yeah, Nadal is also great on hard. Is he as good on hard/grass as Federer is on clay?
     
    #50

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