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. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    What you’re saying makes little sense and is just another way of devolving to the default that eras are just too different to compare and therefore are all the same -- which is ridiculous and oxymoronic.

    In your mind it seems that the only way to think fairly is too assume that Federer faced competition that was just as strong in 2004-07 as it is now or ever; which again is ridiculous.

    Also, you bringing up the 90's is a stretch. It is certainly easier to compare 2004-07 with 2008 to present, than either of these time periods with the 90's. With the former we have constants or relative constants: mainly Federer himself, the homogenization of surfaces, and the introduction of the new poly strings. With the latter comparison (the 90's vs Federer's time) we have none of these constants which makes the comparison much more difficult, yet not impossible.
     
  2. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Nadal was not an open era great in 2004-2007; he was a great clay courter only with good grass court potential. Agassi was far post prime in 2005, and Nole was certainly great in 2008.

    Its true that no player maintains peak form every year; however prime form consists of a player's aggregate average playing level that is high enough to contend for multiple slams and other big titles on multiple surfaces (at least when it concerns an open era great candidate).

    If Federer was meeting the same one or two players in slam finals from 2004-07 on multiple surfaces then you might have a point; but he was not until post 2008...( the closest was Nadal on clay and grass from 2004-07)
     
  3. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    We'll talk when Nadal hits 30. I guess you will be surprised when he doesn't reach major finals on hard courts, LOLZ.
     
  4. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    As much as Federer benefitted in 2004-2007 for avoiding Nadal and Djokovic at their career best, so did Nadal and ESPECIALLY Djokovic these days when they're facing a 30 year old Federer while they are in their prime. Of course you fail to notice that, only taking the first part into consideration while insolently omitting that Djokovic and Nadal have the priviledge of facing an older Federer these days.

    When Federer owned Djokovic at the 2007 AO and US Opens in straight sets Novak was too young but when Novak is beating a 30-year old Fed at the US it's a huge win. LISTEN TO YOURSELF.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  5. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Federer had it easy in 2004-2006 where he won almost half of his majors. From 2007 onwards, I wouldn't call it a weak field. However, the fact that Nadal and Djokovic had troubled Federer over the years is a sign that he really took advantage of the weak field, and would not have won 16 majors had he played against Nadal and Djoko from the start.
     
  6. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    Djokovic "troubled" Roger only once up until USO '10, and that was in the AO '08 SF. Groundbreaking stuff again. NOT. On the other hand, at 30, Roger has still given Djokovic fits at two of the three majors they played in 2011 despite being nearly 6 years older and having played twice as many matches.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  7. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    How you're so sure if Djokovic and Nadal troubled Federer since 2004 (by saying troubled I mean actually beating him in big matches) they would still be at the top these days? We'll talk when Nadal and Djokovic hit 30 and the new "tough opposition" will be too hard for them to handle.
     
  8. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    You can't have it both ways.

    Federer is still contending for multiple slams on multiple surfaces. He is still in prime form, although not peak. His decline has not been that substantial, he's even said so himself -- one of the main reasons he's in for GOAT contention is his amazing consistency...

    Also, Nadal was beating Federer in 04-07 in big matches, just not in slams other than the French.
     
  9. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Even if we take your position that 30 year old Federer is substantially off his best (which I strongly disagree)...

    At least Nadal and Nole have each other to worry about (and a Murray that can contend for multiple majors).

    Federer had no one that was consistently contesting him on multiple surfaces in all the majors from 2004-07.
     
  10. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    2005-2007, Nadal had already 3 slams, two finals, 9 masters, 3 of them being on hard court, and two hard-court final in Paris and Shanghaï. However, I agree that he wasn't the best hard-court player.

    In 2008, Nole was already a top player, but he wasn't either at his "open era great" level of 2011. And Federer had a very bad year.

    What I mean is that the strenght of the opposition since 2008 is not as clear as you say. Federer is not the player he was, Djoker is not the player he will be.

    First, nobody never play the aggregate average playing level of an opponent. In 2008, Nadal played Tsonga at his best, not at his average form, just like Federer did in 2006 and 2007.

    Second, I don't see why being a treat on multiple surfaces is related to the peak form af any given player? Maybe all the clay-courters of the past never peaked?
     
  11. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    When we're talking about open era greats (such as Federer, Nadal, and Nole), being in contention to win slams on all surfaces is a prerequisite in my book... Hence 2004-07 there was one open era great (Federer), and in 2008 to present (or 2011 to make it equal number of years) there were 3 open era greats (Nadal, Federer, Nole)...
     
  12. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I have made some counting of the number of different opponent some open era great have met in slams finals:

    Borg played 16 finals and met 8 different opponents.
    Connors, 15 finals, 9 different opponents.
    McEnroe, 11 finales, 5 different opponents.
    Lendl, 19 finals, 9 opponents.
    Agassi, 15 finals, 11 opponents.
    Sampra, 18 finals, 12 opponents.
    Federer, 23 finals, 12 opponents.
    Nadal, 15 finals, 5 opponents.

    So, except Rafa, each player met a different opponents each two slam final (ratio 2:1). It shows that the difference you point is not only between "2008-..." and "2004-2007", but between "2008-..." and all era.

    I guess you would conclude that it means that the current era is the thoughest of all, and it could, but it could also mean that the current era is weak:

    For years, nobody in the field was able to beat Federer before the finals in RG, and nobody in the field was able to beat a touched Nadal during 2010. --> competition is not tough enough to prevent out of form top players to reach the final/semi-final of each tornament they enter.
     
  13. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    So, would you say that there were *no* open-era greats during the majority of the 90's, and are you taking Sampras totally out of the "open-era greats" discussion?
     
  14. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    This is dumb. Go on and critisize Federer that in 2004-2007 he didn't have to face himself, that's why he had no competition. He had no competition cause he was flat out the best player out there, he had no weaknesses but of course such a wise guy like yourself knows better.

    And to start with, if there was no Federer, both Djokovic and Nadal wouldn't be half as good as they are these days. Federer's sky high level forced them to go beyond their limits. Look what Nadal had to do to overcome Federer at the top of the rankings (and a declining, mono-ridden low on confidence 2008 Fed) in 2008, win the Channel slam, 32 consecutive matches in a row, the guy was dead tired mid season cause he had nothing left in the tank.
    Then look what Djokovic had to do to reach no 1. The guy didn't lose a match in the first 6 months of 2011 and still wasn't ranked first. All of them are pushing each other these days but Nadal, Djokovic CAN keep it up at least for now when they're in their mid 20's while Federer can sustain that level only partially as he's 30 years old+ Also you have to be completely ret**** to think that Federer is in his prime in 2012 but I'll leave it to your lack of basic knowledge.
     
  15. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe Federer is still so good in reaching slam semis because there's actually no competition other than Nadal and Djokovic? Ever thought about it? If it's so tough, why Old man Fed keeps going deep in every big tournament he plays hardly losing any sets. I thought that the fierce opposition was good enough to take him out earlier:)
     
  16. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Not at all, the fewer the amount of real contenders to win slams the less competitive the time period is...

    I only raised the idea of slam finalists to refute your contention that there may have been other open era greats between 2004-07 except for Federer. If Federer was meeting the same player over and over again in slam finals between 2004-07 at every slam, then that hypothetical finalists perhaps could be considered a open era great. However, that was not the case...
     
  17. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Sampras was in contention to win the French. He made it to at least one French semi, so Sampras certainly qualifies...
     
  18. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Again, all of your conjecturing is based on your premise that Federer has substantially declined since turning 30. That is just plain false IMO. Federer is a half step slower and slightly less explosive in his movement than at his absolute peak; however is also a smarter and less stubborn player now and more aggressive in his returning.
     
  19. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    How does making one semi-final make Sampras a contender? You're grasping at straws.
     
  20. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    One semi-final appearance and a number of early round losses doesn't qualify as a contender at the French Open.

    By that logic, Gael Monfils is a contender at the French, since he made the semis in 2008.
     
  21. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Considering the vast disparity in surfaces in the 90's, not to mention the clay court specialists... I do consider Sampras' semi appearance as proof he was a contender.

    As a matter of fact any semifinalists is a contender to win that partciualr slam for that year...
     
  22. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    This is a joke, right? He got to the semis once, and promptly got straight-setted (and bagelled in the process) by a player who had never played a grand slam semi before. Can you see how desperate you're getting?

    Either your theories work for everyone (or every era), or they don't hold water. You can't change them to suit your fancy. If playing a semi in a slam automatically turns you into a contender and playing one of each turns you into an all-time great, then Rafter is one, too. And even Krajicek may qualify (he didn't get to the semis of the US Open, but played three quarters--is that enough?). Same for Chang. It just never ends.
     
  23. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    Of course not. He started declining *before* 30.
     
  24. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    How do you assess a real contender? Because you think someone is?

    At RG 2010, who was the real contender? Fed, Nole? Was Söderling a real contender to Nadal?
    At Wimby 2010, was Berdych, a one time finalist just like Gonzo, a real contender (he ousted both Fed and Nole)

    Every slam finalist is a real contender at the moment.
     
  25. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    To disqualify Sampras as an open era great just because he only made the semis at the French is what i would call desperate... Before Federer came along, most considered him GOAT :confused:

    Like i said before; it is easier to compare 2004-07 vs 2008 to present, than with either time period with the 90's or earlier eras due to obvious similarities and constants from 2004 to now -- so your every era criteria is lacking.
     
  26. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    I said substantially declining...

    Nadal has declined from his peak and so has Nole; so whats your point?
     
  27. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    I agree, I also would include semi-finalists...
     
  28. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    K, I'll play along...

    Sampras in his career at the French Open:

    Three losses in the first round
    Five losses in the second round
    One loss in the third round
    Three losses in the Quarterfinals (winning a total of two sets)
    One loss in the Semifinals (Straight set loss, including a bagel)

    Keep in mind, a majority of those early round losses came when he was in the top 5 in the world. 1997 and 1998, losses in the second and third round respectively, he was #1 in the world.

    Tell me again how Sampras was a contender at the French Open.
     
  29. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you, it would be totally desperate. Now, who did disqualify him?

    Oh. Guess it was you... :oops:
     
  30. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    I think a semi-finalist is a contender...

    How about you quote that.
     
  31. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    The same way I can make a case for 34-year old Agassi being better than his 25-year old self. His endurance was better, his groundies where more penetrating and barely broke down, he volleyed better, was also mentally tougher and more determined to win. From the "negatives" he was only slower but Andre never relied on pure speed so it didn't affect his game much.

    Yet nobody with a little common would pick 2004 Agassi over 1995 Agassi. Get it now, cowboy?
     
  32. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Because he was a semi-finalist.

    Next...
     
  33. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    Okay, then, Rafter is an all-time great, and so is Murray. Agreed?
     
  34. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Disagree. A player reach just one semifinal in his entire career is NOT a slam contention. That would mean Davydenko is a contention at the FO and USO because he made the semi twice at the FO and one time at the USO.

    Silly you. You're beginning to reach Nadal Slam King level, who I've put him on my ignor list.
     
  35. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    A semi-finalist may be a contender that year, but it hardly makes someone a contender overall. There's a difference between regularly going deep in a specific event, or being an incredible player on one specific surface, and making one deep run at an event and forever being labeled a contender.

    If we say "a semi-finalist" is a contender, then Monfils is a contender at the French (2008 SF), Ljubicic was a contender at the French (2006 SF), Baghdatis is a contender at the AO (2006 RU), Haas was a contender at Wimbledon (2009 SF)...The list could go on forever.

    See how stupid that sounds?
     
  36. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    You're saying, because he reached the final four once out of 13 tries, where he was soundly beaten in that match, he's a contender.

    OK. Clearly you and I have different ideas of what constitutes a contender.
     
  37. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    You forgot Bjorkman, who obviously was a huge contender at Wimbledon, as he also won it several times in doubles, in addition to reaching the semis in 2006...
     
  38. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Not only that, DRII once said Fed's 23 straight semifinals doesn't mean much, but now all the sudden a player only managed to reach the semi one time is a contender. Haha!
     
  39. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    But wait, there's also Schuttler who reached the 2008 Wimbledon semis.
     
  40. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    You could make a case that the ocean is green and the grass is blue; doesn't make it valid!

    Federer not substantially declining since 2007 is demonstrated by him consistently being in contention to win slams, including now...

    Do you get it now, compadre???
     
  41. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    DRII we get the picture - you hate Fed. Is there anything else you wanna tell us?
     
  42. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    Schuttler is actually a semi-all-time great, as he also was a contender at the AO. Pretty impressive resume.
     
  43. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    And the fact that Sampras was soundly beaten left and right in 2001-2002 on all surfaces (including a 2nd round loss to a lucky loser at Wimbledon) doesn't mean that he was in decline, the competition just got fiercer.:)

    It all depends how tall you stood in your peak years. Federer went from dominating the tour to simply being a regular slam semi-finalist, that's HIS decline, it means that Fed at 30+ despite playing visibly worse than in his mid 20's is still good enough to beat pretty much everyone bar the top 2.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  44. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Now you decide to join the discussion :confused:

    Lying should disqualify you from participation.

    I have constantly praised Federer for his consistency!

    Go back into your hole!
     
  45. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Yes, we clearly do...

    Sampras was a contender to win the French the year he made it to the semis; period point blank.

    I think any semifinalist is a contender to win that slam, that year.
     
  46. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    No. Because your basic premise is totally wrong, or at least heavily skewed by your perception of the situation (aka what you want the "truth" to be).

    Here's another take at this situation:

    1) Federer was so much better than the field in 2004-2006 that he made everyone (except Nadal on clay) look like journeymen.

    2) He was so much better than the field then that, despite declining substantially since 2007, he is still in contention to win slams at 31.

    Do 1 and 2 fit the facts? They sure do. So who's to say that this theory doesn't have at least as much merit as yours?
     
  47. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Of course. I forgot about Bjorkman. I also forgot about Youhzny, who made the Semis at the US Open in 2006, and of course Schuttler and Ferriera who both made the AO Semis in 2003.

    Using this critera to discern "contenders", there is no weak era. Even the highly criticized 2003, look at all the AO contenders...Such a strong year.
     
  48. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Agreed. Sampras was in contention for one French Open, once. He lost his semifinal match in straight sets, getting bageled in the process.

    He never reached another Semi at the French, so I'd say only being in contention 1/13 years means, more often than not (AKA 92% of the time), Sampras wasn't contending for the French Open. In my book, that isn't being looked at, year in, year out as a contender to do something big at an event.
     
  49. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    To much posters are taking you to the woodshed so it doesn't hurt to include me to join, capiche?

    No, you don't praise Fed. Every Fed's streaks you always said he had "NO COMPETITION".
     
  50. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    It's even worse in this case, of course. The strongest possible era would obviously be one with four different semi-finalist at each slam, ie, 16 slam contenders. Of course, you'd get a #1 who would be struggling to reach the 5,000-point mark, but hey, wouldn't that be huge?

    Of course, that would mean that *this* era, with the same four players reaching the semis in most slams, is the absolute weakest you can imagine, as you only have four contenders in slams instead of 16. Oh-hum, nice demonstration...
     

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