Let's disspel the myth that Federer thrived against a "weak field"

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Jamin2112, May 31, 2012.

  1. Jamin2112

    Jamin2112 Banned

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    I see it all the time on here:

    What a ludicrous argument!

    First of all, in tennis, as in any sport, the level of play is always improving (I guess "level of play" would have to be measured by average speed of groundstrokes and serves, physical fitness of players, and a few other metrics). The game gets more competitive at every level, every year.

    Second of all, the fact that there was a greater variety of finalists to face Federer in 2003-2007 does not mean he had it easy. The guys who made it to the final in a given tournament were on fire during that tournament. Just because they weren't on fire as consistently (á la Nadal or Djokovic) does not mean they were any less difficult to defeat when they were on fire. (Say it were true that the same 2 or 3 Rookie players always showed up in the final match, while the Champs tournaments, on the other hand, always seemed to have a different set of players in the final. Would that mean that Champs is less competitive?)

    Third of all, Roddick, Safin, and the other supposed "light weights" of yesteryear were not in fact lightweights. Roddick was hitting 25 aces per game and successfully charging the net off his forehand. Against a prime 2003-2005 Roddick on a 2003-2005 hard court, Nadal got whooped, and I bet Djokovic would've too.

    Fourth of all, the fact that Nadal and Djokovic, both of whom originally had trouble against Federer, were eventually able to crack him (when he reached age 28+), does not mean they are better players. But suppose it does mean that. Then we can apply the same argument for any player, since they all reach a state of permanent decline at some point (Not to say that Federer has reached permanent decline). "Player X used to beat player Y, but eventually player Y started to beat player X. Therefore player X was never better than player Y; he only was able to beat player X before player X had reached his full potential."


    Discuss.
     
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  2. 10is

    10is Professional

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    Golly gee whiz...how novel... its not like this "myth of a myth" hasn't been discussed ad nauseum 52657967897365346^9868768697709 times before or anything.
     
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  3. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    This is a non-issue and only brought up by loser Rafa fans. Not worth discussing.
     
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  4. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Well said. +10federers
     
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  5. BeHappy

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    1)Safin hurt his knee in 2005, never the same again = GONE

    2)Roddick started pushing in 2005= GONE

    3) Hewitt has not had 6 months injury free tennis in 7 years (2005) = GONE

    4) Guillermo Coria had a mental breakdown after 2005 = GONE

    5) Gaston Gaudio (42-8 on clay 2005) had a mental breakdown in 2005 = GONE

    6) Gustavo Kuerten retired with an injured hip shortly after beating Federer in the French Open in 2004 = GONE

    7) Nalbandian got fat and his nephew was crushed in an elevator shaft = GONE (except for a few months towards the end of 2007)

    8 ) Ferrero got the chicken pox and somehow (no one really understands this) couldn't hit his forehand hard anymore when he came back = GONE

    9 ) Philipoussis hurt his knee and had to retire = GONE

    10) Tommy Haas has been constantly injured for the last ten years, whenever he gets close to reaching Federer's level he gets injured (AO 2006, FO 2009) = GONE

    So in 2005, basically, overnight, players like Tommy Robredo were in the top 10.

    The SECOND Murray and Djokovic arrived on the scene (real competition) they started beating him, even though they weren't fully developed yet. Murray beat Federer in 2006, and Djokovic beat him in 2007.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Only flaw with the argument is that Fed admitted in an interview a couple of days back that his shoulders are stronger and his backhand is better than ever before, so we are actually seeing a prime Federer now. This argument is offset to some extent because he is older and so his eyesight and quickness could have degraded to some extent.
     
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  7. mcenroefan

    mcenroefan Hall of Fame

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    I think the field is a bit weak as to all of the top three.
     
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  8. 10is

    10is Professional

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    Yeeeeeaaaah.... nice "sound byte", except he only meant "better" that in the context of how his backhand holds up on clay with returning over the shoulder moon balls more efficiently.
     
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  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes, that was a huge problem for him before (and one of the reasons the 1 hander is dying).
     
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  10. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    They won't listen....so what ever. The competition in 04-06 was much more entertaining than the grinds fests for the last two years.
     
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  11. dudeski

    dudeski Hall of Fame

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    I agree. Loser Sampras fans already know very well that their hero had much weaker field to deal with.
     
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  12. dudeski

    dudeski Hall of Fame

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    Fed's physical recovery is total crap compared to lets say 2006 (same age Novak is now) when Federer could play several tournaments back and without any rest and still either win them or at least lose in epic finals. These days he can't play two tournaments back to back or even get deep in a slam without being half injured.
     
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  13. dudeski

    dudeski Hall of Fame

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    Fed can claim all he wants that he is as good as ever but all you need to see that he is wrong is to look at his 2006 results and imagine him repeating the same thing today. He is simply unable to do it physically:

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Roger-Federer.aspx?t=pa&y=2006&m=s&e=0#

    Just take a look at how many long matches he played back to back in 2006. For example at Rome Q,S,F. Or being able to play 5 long matches including 4 back to back 3 setters at Halle only days after exhausting FO final. If he tried that today he would be out for the rest of the season with an injury. 2006 Federer would still own anyone expect maybe for Nadal on clay today.
     
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  14. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    2006 federer would own current Nadal on clay.
     
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  15. 813wilson

    813wilson Rookie

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    OP - Great Post!

    I'll add....

    Fifth of all - how does "Roddick hit 25 aces per game"?

    Sixth of all - be sure to weigh in on any number of the other "weak v strong era" threads.....

    Seventh of all - oh, why bother. Palms to face.....
     
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  16. BeHappy

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    I listed every single rival that Federer had and they all became non factors after 2005.
     
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  17. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    Your insight serves you well. Bury your feelings deep down, Jamin2112. They do you credit, but they could be made to serve the Emperor.
     
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  18. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

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    So the fact that after 05, when Nadal already was No.2, Federer has won 10 slams doesn't mean anything to you?
     
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  19. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    I do agree that Fed didn't really have any big competition. Forget about Roddick, Hewitt, Safin... However, it's not his fault. He was winning matches, sometimes because everyone was sh!tting their pants when they saw Roger.

    Then a little buttpicker "showed up". again, the worst match up in tennis history. One thing I hate about Fed is that he simply refused to adapt, he was too stubborn.
     
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  20. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

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    Now he is trying a bit, winning two of their last three matches and giving a hell of a fight in the other one, but it is too late. Had he done it as a 25-26 year old, there would be no GOAT discussion.
     
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  21. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    I've done a bit of snooping and Federer stated in some interviews in 2011 that hes as good as he's ever been. So basically Federer is beyond his peakest peak form, and if he grew up in the era of Murray and Berdych he would be ranked #7-#8. All the tournie wins in the weak era gap gave him a mental boost while derailing confidence and momentum in his opponents. If he was Murrays age he'd be a 1 slam wonder with a losing record against older more veteran 6 time slam winner Roddick.
     
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  22. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    he is much more humble nowadays then 5 years ago. I guess, it has something to do with his family, kids etc. As much as I've always loved his game, I didn't like a young arrogant Fed. but everyone matures ... gosh, I was the biggest idiot when I was 25 yo thinking I knew everything. lol.
     
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  23. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

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    Him saying he plays better now is just like you saying "I can win this match", being set and break down. It is a mental boost.

    Besides, nobody is likely to say he's worse than before.
     
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  24. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    I disagree you were probably smarter at 25. The brain only shrinks in size as you get older. Your brain volume and neuron count was at a higher peak at 25 (though not the peakiest of peaks), and your neuronal adenosine-5'-triphosphate output was higher too.
     
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  25. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    BeHappy lost his perspective/objectivity = GONE


    And yet Roger remained #1 til late 2008 and maintained the #1 or #2 slot until mid 2010. Sure Murray had done pretty well against Federer in the past. However, in their last 7 meetings, Roger leads 5-2.

    Novak turned pro in 2003 but did not post a win against Federer until 2007. Prior to 2011 Roger lead Novak 13-6 h2h. Despite Novak's dominance and Roger's mini-decline since 2011, Roger still leads 14-11.
     
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  26. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    ok bud ... I was talking about "THE Emotional intelligence" :), it's just as important as 'the other one' :)

    now, seriously, I've always seen Fed as a super smart guy. same with Djoko. great intelligent guys. sure Rog is a maestro ... and Djoko is moving like a puma but I think we'll have to wait for a long time to see a player like Roger again.

    on the other hand, when I hear Nudall talking, I'm like, wtf, where the hell you little monkey came from? I truly love Spanish/Latin culture, their passion for everything ... have some great Latin friends ... but when it comes to Nadal, it's like meh
     
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  27. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Nadal couldn't play on anything but clay till 2008 (and not really well on hard till 2010), and was injured for the slam season in 2009. So no, to answer your question.
     
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  28. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    yup, it's the fact, but many guys posting here started watching tennis like yesterday ...
     
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  29. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Yesterday was the the early 1970s for me.

    BTW, Novak has been in the top 3 or 4 since 2007. There has been plenty of good competition in the past decade. This weak era talk is nonsense.
     
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  30. jm1980

    jm1980 Legend

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    You're kidding me, right?

    Fed in his absolute prime got straight setted on clay by Kuerten just getting back from hip surgery. Current Nadal would own any version of Federer on clay.
     
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  31. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    cool, 1980 JMac vs. Borg at W. first match I've ever seen and I went crazy about tennis :)

    now, we can discuss this 'weak era' thing all night long. I still think that Fed was lucky in a way that he was not really challenged by anybody. Rafa was doing his clay ****, Djoko was not matured enough. Tell me one name, one person who was Fed's big rival, NOBODY (except Nadal on clay). now don't get me wrong, don't want to take anything away from Fed. I love the guy.

    yes, Djoko was it the top 3 since 2007, but he wasn't really able to compete with Rog and Rafa till 2011. sure he won the AO 2008, some masters but it took time for him to mature and spank everyone left and right in 2011.
     
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  32. FlashFlare11

    FlashFlare11 Hall of Fame

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    Don't get me wrong, Evan, you're one of my favorite posters here. And I sincerely mean that. :)

    But why did he need a consistent rival? If he had one player who met him everywhere and still lost to him, could we still say Roger ruled a weak era? He had someone meeting him consistently, but they weren't good enough. See, it makes no sense. Roger is being punished for not losing so often to other players. If Roger lost more often, then would his wins be more legitimate?

    Again, not taking a dig at you, just asking a general question.
     
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  33. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    as much as I hate federer, I do believe his 2006 clay version would own any Nadal from 2009-2012.

    2006 federer was lot faster and had a much better footwork although he himself doesn't want to admit it, plus infinitely more penetrating and accurate forehand. Current Nadal on clay doesn't stand a chance.

    Unfortunately, when federer peaked on clay, Nadal too was at his peak on clay. But, peak federer on clay would absolutely destroy current Nadal.
     
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  34. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    Flash, I get your point. Roger earned everything. I'm not saying he should be punished by all means. you see what I ask myself very often, was Roger that great or everybody else sucked? to be honest not sure ... well, sure Rog is great

    now, I truly believe that Fed is the best tennis player ever ... it's just that I tend to maybe over-analyze things sometimes. both you and I are speculating ... was the field so weak or was Fed so good ... :)

    I also, really don't worship any players (well, I'm weak when it comes to Borg)
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
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  35. FlashFlare11

    FlashFlare11 Hall of Fame

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    I get what you mean, and I'm kind of the same way. Then I watch Federer's matches from the time of his domination and then it's all too clear. Even watching Sampras I never got the same feeling of domination, and I love Pete. I firmly believe that the players in Federer's era would have been highly competitive in any era, but Roger was just too good. :)
     
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  36. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    Roger IS still good. as being a tennis freak I am, yeah, I loved Sampras, never really enjoyed that young flashy Agassi (I appreciate Agassi as a player, don't get me wrong)...

    I actually didn't like any of that fashion **** of Agassi or (whoever sponsored him atm) came up with ... just not my thing ... the hair colour, then no hair and being embarrassed about it, wearing a wig, all those silly jeans outfits (God help me)

    sorry, didn't want to turn this thread about Agassi and Pete

    Fed is special, the most beautiful game ever. if anybody wants to argue, I will post, like a thousands of videos of his matches
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
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  37. sbengte

    sbengte Legend

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    Why do I get a sneaky feeling that you are essentially trying to prove that Nadal won his slams in a weak era ? Because 2005 is when Nadal started winning slams. Besides all the great points you have listed above, if you consider Federer as an additional factor (though insignifcant, as he beat Nadal in a slam only a couple of times some 5 years ago), he became a non-factor after 2008.
     
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  38. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    This discussion is so boring, so I'm entering it. There is two thinks I wonder:

    1. Peolpe often thinks that exept in case of injuries, a player improve steadily. Thus if a top 5 players in 2006 has fallen back in 2012, it mean that he was not good at all and profited from a very weak era. It seems to me that this is not true. All athlete have trouble to sustain their best level and sometimes decline (i can think of a lot of soccer players). Was Ivan Ljubicic of 2006 (N°5 at the year end, N°3 during the year) less good than David Ferrer or Tsonga of today? Same as Roddick. The guy obviously lost his game. So, if he is weak now, it doesn't mean he was always weak, no?

    2. What exactly is the opposition today to see this era as a stronger one? Headcase Murray, Berdych in the top 10. Still good and threatening but one notch below Federer. Consistent but armless Ferrer? Or is John Isner who make the era so though?
    So, doesn't Djokovic and Nadal benefit of a quiet weak era to split the titles between the two, one year the flow going to one, the over to the over?
     
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  39. IvanisevicServe

    IvanisevicServe Banned

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    What is with BeHappy's obsession with Tommy Robredo? He rarely factored into anything prime-Federer did...they didn't play once at a slam between 2004 and 2006.

    And what's the difference between Robredo and...Almagro? Almagro has more talent, but they're both essentially clay court specialists who briefly reached the Top 10.
     
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  40. IvanisevicServe

    IvanisevicServe Banned

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    The funny thing is, Ferrer was there in 2006, finishing 14th in the world, and he was no baby (24). He had limited upside. Now he's 6th in the world and he's been in the Top 10 for a long time.
     
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  41. 1HBH Rocks

    1HBH Rocks Semi-Pro

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    That's why Murray lost two slam finals to Federer and why Djokovic is being led by Federer 14 to 10 -- and, beware, Djokovic has 3 victories which occurred in a row during his best season (2011) --, it's because they arrive and beat him.

    Like Sampras or Laver never left a match to a rising star! We're talking about statistics and you cherry pick two matches. Talk about an idiot.
     
    #41
  42. fps

    fps Legend

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    Whatever other *evidence* (and I use that term VERY loosely) can be pointed to, you cannot trust what a professional sportsman thinks of their conditioning and their body. Look at comebacks from people like Ian Thorpe, who has just resoundingly failed to qualify for the Olympics despite being one of the greatest swimmers ever, they feel the same, the brain is telling them they're as good as ever, the body has deteriorated, unavoidable.
     
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  43. 1HBH Rocks

    1HBH Rocks Semi-Pro

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    #43
  44. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Ok so do we have an agreement when the strong era started?

    Is it 2007 when both Nadal and Djokovic finished in the top 3? No, cause Federer won 3 majors that year. Let's go on.

    Is it 2008 when Djokovic won AO and Nadal the Channel Slam? No, cause Federer still managed to win 3 out of the next 4 majors, 4 out of the next 6 and as many of them as Djokovic and Nadal put together as well as making every GS final possible. It had to be later than that.

    Surely it's after the 2010 AO, Federer's last major so far. But how on earth does he keep making at least the quarters/semis in every major? How on earth did he make another major final in 2011 beating the then unbeatable Djokovic?

    If anything, Nadal and Djokovic are taking full advantage of a weak field these days, apart from almost 31-year old way past his prime Fed who can spoil the party when he's on from time to time, there's nobody who can stop them from reaching finals. Would Tipsarevic, Almagro, Berdych, Fish or whoever is there in the top 10 would make it that far in, say, 2004?
     
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  45. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    After a second thought, I think I figured it out!

    So when Federer and Nadal dominated in 2005-2007 the field was weak.
    When Nadal and Djokovic dominate since 2010 the field is strong.

    I get the picture.
     
    #45
  46. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    tennis was not "weak" back then. it was weaker than now but those were still good players.

    of course of novak and nadal played in 03 he would not have won 16 slams and they would have devided the titles more but I do think that roger would have won more than those two.

    I think it would have been like roger 12-13 titles and novak and rafa 10 each.
     
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  47. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Federer would've won less majors if they were all the same age but at 27+ he would beat the crap out of them so either way Fed gets to 16 majors (if not more looking at the current field). Let's see what happens when these kiddos get older.
     
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  48. ace_pace

    ace_pace Rookie

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    LOLOLOLOL...

    Maybe, just maybe, Federer was just that good :) why cant you people accept that.

    I have a feeling that they changed all the surfaces to different variations of clay in order for the rest of world to be able to beat Federer. See, we now have blue hard clay (AO), red clay (FO), green clay (W) and for the lulz 'fast' clay (USO).
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
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  49. augustobt

    augustobt Hall of Fame

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    The Miami Masters is a hard clay court. I'm sure of that.
     
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  50. jm1980

    jm1980 Legend

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    14-11. It will probably be even by the end of the year.

    And Murray leads Fed 8-7
     
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