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. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Still his slam record is pretty good.
     
  2. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    I don't want to speak for the poster you're making this post to, but if I may wager an explanation that I think he might agree with: Nadal has always been able to beat Federer; that was the norm. It's also true that, before last year, the norm was also that Nadal would beat Djokovic, as their H2H indicates. The difference, I think that the poster you're addressing (I apologize, Ive forgotten.. and I'm a little hungover :) ), is that Djokovic was able to overcome this mental block of sorts he had against Rafa, and win 7 straight times, not to mention actually getting into Rafa's head a bit here. Because Federer hasn't done that, nor did Nadal have to against Federer (because of always beating him when it counted anyway), the poster is saying that Djokovic's recent wins over Nadal showed something more special in a way than Nadal's wins over Federer.

    While I won't say if I agree or not, i think this is what he was saying.

    And I'll also agree with you about Nadal's win against Federer on clay in Federer's prime: they were extremely impressive, and unprecedented. Nadal's game in many ways is the perfect anti-Federer game, especially on clay. He was perfectly equipped to be able to consistently do what no one, until Djokovic somewhat recently, could do: outlast and fend of Federer's ridiculous shotmaking abilities.

    I don't think anyone here disagrees with the notion that Nadal is truly one of the best ever.. there's no debating that.

    We're lucky to see such incredible players in our time. I would've liked to see Borg and McEnroe, but am glad I can see Federer and Nadal, now Djokovic.
     
  3. Emet74

    Emet74 Professional

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    No, to me the circumstances weren't literally the same. Here's why I give the edge to Djoko:

    1) Nadal was in Fed's head literally from the first set of tennis they played. And if Fed dismissed the 2004 match as a fluke the 2005 Miami match shattered those illusions. Before Nadal even played his first GS match against Fed, he already had a winning H2H against him. The same is not true for Djoko/Nadal. So it was more of an effort for Djoko to change things around to "get" in Nadal's head in the first place.

    2) Nadal's first 4 GS wins over Fed were all at FO, a tournament Fed had never won, while Djoko's first 2 GS wins against Nadal came against the defending champion.

    3) Fed in '08 and '09 when Nadal got those big wins was somewhat past his highest peak for a variety of reasons. He was slowing down from a torrid few years and ripe for an upset by a top-quality opponant like Nadal. By contrast, Nadal in 2011 was at the absolute peak of his career, at full health and brimming with confidence.


    --

    I will concede that unlike Nadal who did manage to dethrone Fed at his "home court" in Wimby, Novak has not yet dethroned Nadal at RG.

    Still, everything considered, I'd tilt the balance towards Novak. But the complexity just shows how subjective these assessments are
     
  4. Emet74

    Emet74 Professional

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    Oh, Hi Cup!

    Yeah, you understood what I was saying :)
     
  5. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    As early as 2005 I had started to figure out that Nadal was going to be really tough for Roger to crack. I know people kept believing he was going to retire early but I never bought that. We've been hearing that story for years now. It's like the Sampras-Agassi match-up except that here Federer was the dominating factor of the era. I don't think Nadal's current victories over Federer are solely match-up issues but the rivalry clearly started off that way. I still find it amazing how Nadal can struggle against a number of people on hard-courts for example, and still find a way to beat Federer when Roger has been by far the most dominating player on HC in his era. He can get smacked by Del Potro, he can lose to Murray, he loses to Djokovic but he finds a way against Federer. I even remember last year when Toni Nadal was interviewed at the Wimb or USO (i can't remember which exactly) and he said that they would prefer to face Federer in the final than Djokovic. It was striking because Federer, apart from the most successful on hard-courts is still capable of giving Djokovic fits when he plays well. But against Nadal, no matter how well he plays, he'll either get tight under pressure because people always expect him to "prove himself" against Nadal given his poor record from the start or Nadal is simply too confident when facing him. It's like he can't miss when he plays Roger. This is a remarkable difference when you compare Nadal's stance against Djokovic. No matter how he's playing, whether or not he's winning, he always looks on the edge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  6. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Because its not true.

    First of all on grass Federer leads Nadal.

    On hard courts I THINK it's 5-5?? Or maybe fed is leading ? But it's damn close.

    Indoors I BELIEVE Federer is undefeated .

    Even on clay Fed ha a few wins beating Nadal 6-0. And at the FO fed came out winning the first set multiple times .

    But in a best of five which is usually outdoors in the heat the score is 10-3 ( 2 of which were on grass in the beginning of Nadals career).......nadal completely dominates Federer in a best of 5.

    Rather Federers problem is the same as everyone else's problem with Nadal: he is a beast .......at the end of five sets Nadal is still fresh as a daisy and Federer and most of the ATP is out of gas.
     
  7. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Q. You talked about your disease and the problems you had at the beginning of this season, and all the hard work you had to put in to come back to your best level. Many times during this tournament you said that you felt you were at 100% of your physical abilities. Now tell us the truth. Weren't you lying a bit to us about that? And do you genuinely feel at the top level, the level you were at before your disease?

    ROGER FEDERER: Honestly, yes. I felt good today from a physical standpoint, but things turned out a bit more difficult for me than usual. He no longer plays short balls as he did in the past. You can no longer attack him on his forehand, as I could in the past. He is getting much more aggressive, and it's becoming much more difficult.

    I tried to fight him physically speaking and points were not difficult for me, but he was just much stronger than me . I didn't want to give him any free points, but it's got nothing to do with mental state. He is just stronger......" Roger Federer
     
  8. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Federer has won the first set only once against Nadal at the French. And, for me, the reason Nadal beats Federer isn't a stamina thing (Wimbledon 2008, AO 2009 good examples of Federer being fresh enough to play his game throughout the match, but Nadal toughing it out mentally in the end).

    For me, Nadal beats Federer because Federer can't keep his mind clear in their biggest matches at the majors. This was very obvious this year at the AO.. where Federer was up a break in the first, got broken back, and toughed out a good 1st set TB. Against anyone else, that's a strong position to be in, but then he promptly lost the second in less than a dogfight, and choked the 3rd set away as well. It's all mental for Federer at this point; Nadal was fast enough and defended well enough on clay early on that Federer got a mental block, and has never totally shaken it off. In the best of 3 matches, Federer can run through it fast enough that he doesn't have time to let his head get in the way.. as evidenced by his wins in IW and London.

    Of the top 3, I personally think Federer's the best player, but weakest mentally.
     
  9. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Federer no match for Nadal's athleticism, says McEnroe

    By Regan E. Doherty

    DOHA (Reuters) - There are few more impressive sights in sport than Roger Federer in full flow on a tennis court but the Swiss great cannot compare with Rafael Nadal as an athlete, says former world No.1 John McEnroe.

    Debate rages on over who is the better player but McEnroe said Nadal's only rival in terms of athleticism is his old sparring partner Bjorn Borg.

    "The two greatest athletes of all time are Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal," the American, still playing on the seniors tour as well as commentating, said at a sports conference in Qatar where he was joined by Borg and Romanian Ilie Nastase.

    "Federer is one of the greatest players ever, but I don't think he's as good an athlete as those two."

    Federer, who has a record 16 grand slam titles to Nadal's nine, will get the chance to continue his rivalry with the Spaniard in London's O2 Arena at the ATP World Tour finals which start Sunday.

    Nadal, who is fit for the season finale after missing the Paris Masters with a shoulder injury, is already confirmed as the year-end world number one after winning three of the year's four grand slams to leave Federer in the shade.

    Five-times Wimbledon champion Borg believes the Spaniard could maintain his dominance next season.

    "He's still up there. If he stays healthy and motivated, he can sustain it for a long time," the Swede said.

    World number two Federer won his 65th ATP tournament earlier this month win to move ahead of Pete Sampras, although he still trails Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and McEnroe in overall career titles.
     
  10. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I totally respect Nadal and his playing abillities, but tennis is about other things than athleticism, endurance and stamina, which is probably what McEnroe is inferring here.
     
  11. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Then why is the head to head so different in five sets versus best of three?

    I don't think it can be debated that Feds problem is losing in five sets to Nadal. That is just numbers .....it's a fact.

    So why does Fed lose in 5 sets to Nadal? I've seen him come out and crush nadal in the first set only to crumble in 5.

    Why? If its not simply physical is it mental as well? A combination of both ?

    Whatever you choose it's not a bad matchup because the fact is that fed beats nadal in best of three.....the problem is best of 5.

    So what makes a best of five so different for Federer?
     
  12. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Federer has to maintain an extremely high level of offense over a few hours in best of 5. In best of 3, he's routed Nadal in under an hour before.. it's much easier to redline for an hour than for 3, and because Federer knows that, the pressure tends to get to him in majors more than in non-majors.. I think I already said this a few posts back, though.
     
  13. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Plus they met the most times on clay (of any surface) in best of five (I believe, damn, now it is me not checking my facts...).
     
  14. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Their record in best of 5 is 10-3.....2 of which were on grass. Of you take that away its 10-1.

    I don't know what their record is in best of 3 but I know it's a whole lot better.

    Therefore feds problem is best of five .

    I say it's simply physical.....for example indoors I believe Fed is undefeated against Nadal.....why? No bad matchup problem there.

    There's air condition , no sun or beating down, and it's usually best of three. Why is fed undefeated indoors but is 3-10 outdoors in a best of five? It's not a bad matchup otherwise fed would lose indoors as well......it's simply physical. Nadal is stronger.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  15. Emet74

    Emet74 Professional

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    As for the quality of Rafa's wins v. Fed's wins, Rafa has had to face one major challenge so far: Fed, and yes he's done very well there.

    Djokovic was his next big challenge and he continually lost to "Djoker 2.0" until the French by which time it was clear Djoker 2.0 was either temporarily or permanantly missing.

    If Djoker 2.0 returns and Rafa starts beating him then I say hats off. We'll need to wait a few months at least to find out though.

    Fed won 16 slams and dealt with a variety of different challenges, from establishing superiority over a lively and competative generation of contemporaries to taking down an old legend on a now-or-never sentimental quest before his home fans at USO '05 to holding off a nightmare opponant for two years at wimby (remember his H2H going into the 2006 wimby final against Rafa was 1-6, and should have really been 0-7) to tie that Borg record which had been a longtime dream.

    I started off recounting the stories of Fed's various slams but there are just too many and it got too long.

    Of course as a fan I'm biased as you always see all the pitfalls and potential dangers.

    It's a different career but a much more varied one, so I still say lets wait for Rafa's to end before comparing.
     
  16. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    Indoors are typically low-bouncing surfaces. A low bounce caters to offensive tennis. Outdoors today has majority of the surfaces bouncing high which makes it very easy for Nadal to incorporate his regular pattern of play while Roger is the one who has to keep finding answers. Indoors bring out best, the versatility of Federer's strokes. On most other surfaces, it becomes more a battle of athleticism and defense and that's not the sort of tennis Federer plays (and thank god he doesn't) or prefers to play.
    I know people like to bring out Paris indoors to slight Federer but Paris was never consistently fast anyway. It was sped up in 2010 big time and while Roger lost there he held about 5(?) MPs in that match. Plus, that was a sudden change from slow to very fast. In his prime, Federer also missed Paris a few times.
     
  17. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    The matchup problems of course differ from surface to surface that is not really so hard to understand.
    However, I would say that as good an explanation to the disagreements here as any is, that people like The Dark Knight and The Order prefer the greatest athlete, the strongest, the beast (as candidate for goat?) while others, the majority I would say, prefer the best overall tennisplayer, with the best overall record. Sometimes athleticism, power and will overcomes technique and ability, nobodys perfect. That is how I see it, the best overall player ran into the best clay court player, who gave him trouble on other surfaces as well. Nobodys perfect thank God.
    However, much good can be said of Federers atleticism, which has allowed him to play over 1000 ATP matches, never retirering from one of them. And his movement which is second to very few. This, is also great athleticism. But it is a bad matchup, especially on clay, in best of 5, against arguably the best player of the surface ever....
    Can we leave it somewhere in that neighbourhood?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  18. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Except that in a best of three Federer beats Nadal even on clay.

    Its not a "bad match up"....nadal beats just about everyone in a best of 5 because as McEnroe said Nadal is one of the greatest athletes in tennis history . Or as Sampras has said : "The beast".

    The truth is Fed like everyone else cannot hang with Nadal for five sets.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  19. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    You my friend are a true man of science . :)
     
  20. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    You say all this with a straight face when Djokovic is holding three of the four slams and beat Nadal to win each of those? :lol:
     
  21. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Holy crap!!!!!!

    Juan Carlos Ferrero former #1 of the weak era never retired!!!!

    I didn't realize this guy kept playing ! What the hell ever happened to him
    He has drawn none other than Joker in te first round....LOL.

    This should be a blood bath !

    Come on guys ......how the hell can you say that era was stronger than today. I mean Ferrero ????? I know Feds your idol.....but it's so much stronger today than before . Please give it up.
     
  22. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    Why is today's era stronger, Dark Knight? Because no one is capable of penetrating the duopoly that sits at the top, whereas in 2003 it was far more competitive and players weren't afraid to win slams and push for the number one ranking? Is it because Djokovic and Nadal have no one their age pushing them whereas Federer had tons of great players his age that he had to contend with and overcome to dominate the way he did? I'm really missing something here, if you could please explain.
     
  23. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Yes, you are going around in circles Dark Knight. Ferrero was a great player, my favourite spaniard before Nadal. He had more variety and speed in his game (was his nickname The Mosquito?). He did a mistake with changing racket and fell out of form (was there some injury involved too?). Now leads a tennis academy. A great player at his time/best.
    If you dont know he is still playing it says more about you really.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  24. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    No it says that he is not factor anymore because his era was weaker. What the hell is Ferrero even ranked?

    Come on all the guys like Roddick Blake Ferrero baghdatis gonzo hewitt all gone . Why are none of the greats in the weak era even in the top 10 anymore ? I mean is there even one of them around?

    True greats last....Sampras Agassi McEnroe Lendl Connors ......but not one from the weak era except Federer......because he was the only great in the weak era.

    Come on .....Ferrero #1 in the world?? Jesus.....he is a mosquito because that's about how much of a factor he is today.

    Ferrero also seemed better than he was because he was playing in an era when Gaston Gaudio was the champ.

    All these guys disappeared .......

    I know you idolize Fed but Federer himself says this is a golden era.....everyone does ......this is just sad already
     
  25. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Ferrero was awesome to watch. Had a great 2001-2003 (winning 10 titles and making 8 finals in that span, including winning RG, and 2 other Major finals), and some solid results later on, reaching the AO Semis in 2004, the Cincy final in 2006 and the Wimby QF in 2009.

    At his peak though, he was really fun to watch. Great overall game.
     
  26. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Ferrero is ranked 38 in the world. He'll be 33 years old later this year. His prime was 8-10 years ago.

    You can't prop up a guy like Ferrero, Roddick or Hewitt, and say "if these guys were that good, they'll still be around". They're all nearly retired, and it's a completely unfair comparison to guys that are currently in their primes.
     
  27. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    You should stop using your own ignorance as an argument for your case Dark Night. And stop saying the same over and over and over. You are not really going anywhere.
     
  28. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    Federer has only beaten Nadal twice on clay and they've had, by far, the most number of encounters on that surface. Try harder.
     
  29. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Sure you can .....vilas, McEnroe, Lendl, Sampras , Connors , Federer , Agassi ,
    Chang , wilander and the list just goes in and on played until 30 or more and were factors....

    But guys from the weak era Vekerk , Ferrero , gonzo , Gaudio , coria , Blake .....can't compete ....and they haven't been a factor for a long time.

    Come on .....and what do you have to say about Federer himself saying this is a golden era?? Why does Federer say that?? You guys just keep ignoring it.

    In fact is there any authority outside of TW rhy agrees with you? Show me anyone that says the prior era was stronger than this era....you won't find it .....because this is *******mania talking.
     
  30. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    Tsonga, Murray, Berdych, Del Potro? These guys are all around their age and capable of beating them. In fact, all 4 of them have beaten either Rafa or Novak in a major before.

    With Fed he had Hewitt, Ferrero, Roddick, old Agassi, Safin, Davydenko, Blake, Gonzalez, out of those Safin was the only one who proved he could get the job done in a major...

    So its quite obvious Fed's competition wasn't as strong it's just the Fed fan in you that cannot admit it.
     
  31. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I bet they were best of three.

    Which is my point!!

    Best if three Fed wins....but in a best of five he can't hang with nadal....it's not a bad matchup ....it's just that Nadal is stronger physically.
     
  32. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Even Safin was to temperamental to be a constant. When he was great he could beat ANYONE but when he was nuts he could lose to ANYONE.....

    Safin is the modern day nastase.....unbelievable talent but too crazy to be a factor for an extended period of time .
     
  33. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Perhaps it was because Federer was so much better. You have no case, give it a rest. Loosing is not an argument in Nadals and Djoks favour.
    Perhaps Djok and Nadal are exploiting the vacuum era of Federer stepping down from peak form, hm...
     
  34. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    And..? Has anyone said Federer is stronger than Nadal?
     
  35. 90's Clay

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    I wouldn't call Roddick a "great player". Certainly not on the level of this Nadal and Djokovic.. Who else was pushing Fed at the time? Andre with a bad back needing cortizone shots? Shows how questionable that time was in tennis where Andre with Sciatica was one of the few only challenging Roger.. Safin was totally erratic.. etc. Hewitt after 2005 was pretty much finished.


    This era "at the top" makes it more difficult to break through that impenetrable wall we call Nadal and Djokovic.. To win a slam you have to go through these guys. Back then in the vacuum era you had to go through Agassi on literally his LAST LEG
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  36. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    If they've played so many matches on clay, Roger's bound to win a couple here and there. They've played way too many on that surface. That doesn't prove anything.
     
  37. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    No because he is not. Don't tell me you think Federer is stronger than Nadal as well?
     
  38. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    LOL, you're cherry picking all time greats (except Chang) and comparing them to Verkerk, Ferrero and Gaudio. Are you kidding me? No one is arguing those guys are all time greats, we're simply arguing that they're better than you give them credit for (which is no credit at all).

    BTW, a couple of notes about your list of players above:

    Chang retired in 2003, at age 31. He won his last title and made his last tour final in 2000 at 28. To me, that's not "being a factor in his 30s"

    Wilander retired in 1996 at age 32. However, he won his last title in 1990, at age 26. He won his last Major at 25. He made one final in 1996 (Pinehurst), which was his only final between 1990 and 1996. He essentially went 6 years from 26-31 without making a final or winning a title. Again...Not much of a "factor in his 30s".

    McEnroe won his last title at 32 (Chicago), and made a final at 32 as well (Basel), but won his last Major in 1984 at 25, and made his last Major final in 1985 at 26. Again, not really competing at the biggest events in his 30s.

    No argument about Sampras, Agassi, Connors, Lendl and Vilas, but I find it hilarious that that is the group you choose to compare to Gaudio and Ferrero.

    To the bolded, I've said it before, I disagree with Fed. I think he consistently overstates his own current worth to the tour and every media person loves Fed, so they prop him up as a big Champ, even though he's clearly past his prime.

    Top 3 = Strong right now, Everyone else = weak right now. For the 1,000th time, THAT'S why I disagree that we're in a golden age.
     
  39. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    But the only ones that Fed has won out of all their matches on clay is a best of three!!!! You think thats a coincidence?

    Fed can and does beat Nadal on every surface in a best of three....in fact I believe at least in one FO fed was leading 2 sets to 1.

    If the FO was best of three he would have won .
     
  40. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Why does Federer himself call this the golden age?!


    .
     
  41. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    No, this is wrong. Fed won the first set in 2006, and was 1 set all in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

    Also, Rafa leads the best of three h2h 8-7. Even in shorter matches, Rafa has the advantage.
     
  42. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Except you not only disagree with Federer ( who has said te competition is getting tougher since 2008. )....

    but you also disagree with Borg ,McEnroe , Agassi ,Sampras, Navratilova , Pat Cash, Wilander, Graf and just about the entire free world (TW is not a free world....a warped world maybe but not free).
     
  43. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Yes. I disagree with the entire free world.
     
  44. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I'm not sure of the stats....but 8-7 is a virtual tie.....10-3 with 2 wins on grass is domination.
     
  45. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Ok ..... As long as we are clear on that.

    I'm going to side with Federer and the rest of the Goats over you . No offense.
     
  46. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    LOL You're not sure of the stats...Then why post?

    Rafa leads the h2h on clay, Fed leads on HC and Grass.

    Getting more specific, Rafa leads the outdoor HC h2h, Fed is undefeated indoors.

    Rafa leads Fed overall 18-10. He dominates that rivalry. What's there to even argue about?
     
  47. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,037
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    That's fine with me. I'd prefer to be on the opposite side of a debate from you, since your main strategy is reposting, rehashing, quoting the same interviews and articles and USING BIG SIZES TO COMPENSATE
     
  48. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,757
    Can't you read?
     
  49. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,370
    Because according to the Dark Knight and NSK(all on my ignore list):

    * 11 slams > 16 slams
    * 3 goats > 1 goat
    * old Fed is playing his best tennis, but Nadal 2004-07 doesn't count b/c he's still a baby
    * level competition only includes the top 3 players, not the entire field
    * GS final match is the be-all and end-all, the previous 6 matches is pointless
     
  50. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,341
    You don't need to know the exact year Lenin won to know that the communist part won the revolution.

    I'm not sure of the exact numbers but Fed does much better in a best of three than a best of five against nadal. It's a fact.

    You say it's 8-7 nadal leads in best of three. I don't know but ok .....isn't that a heck of a lot better than 10-3 in best of five ??

    Feds problem therefore is clearly a best of five.

    The difference is gigantic.
     

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