Prime or not Prime??

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Buckethead, Jun 15, 2011.

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Definition of player's "Prime"

  1. When a player wins pretty much all matches and tournaments, no matter competition's level.

    17.6%
  2. When a player is playing his best, whether winning or not.

    66.2%
  3. Period from 22- 26 y.o of all tennis players

    16.2%
  1. Buckethead

    Buckethead Banned

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    So many people have said Fed's prime is far behind him, while He is still playing better than before, he is a better player now than He was ever before, as many have said including JMAC, Darren Cahill and Federer himself. So is Prime about winning or about playing really well??

    Ill let you guys take it from now.
     
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  2. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Federer is hitting his groundstrokes better right now than he has since his prime. I think he's lost half a step but nothing major. So just off his prime form.

    On this form, he will definitely win either Wimbledon or the US Open this year, if not both.
     
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  3. Messarger

    Messarger Hall of Fame

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    Not prime for me. His unforce errors have increased steadily since 05-06. Errors which i couldnt imagine him making if he was really in his prime.
     
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  4. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    I don't think he is in his prime, but Nadal still whoops in any state.
     
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  5. djokovicgonzalez2010

    djokovicgonzalez2010 G.O.A.T.

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    The 2nd option, but Fed is nowhere near his best (Though he returned there for RG til 5-2 in RG final)
     
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Sieve of Erastosthenes
     
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  7. Buckethead

    Buckethead Banned

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    Have you thought about the option of Federer making more mistakes because the competition is a way better now than before, they defend better, hit harder, move better, are more consistent therefore they make Federer go for more.

    His UEs only sky rocket when He plays the top players who make him uncomfortable and force him to go for more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
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  8. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    why would federer go for you?

    :p
     
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  9. Buckethead

    Buckethead Banned

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    If He is nowhere near his best, how could He play better than ever before, as many have said, to add another to the list, Borg said it as well and picked him to win in Wimbledon which i said a way before He did.
     
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  10. Buckethead

    Buckethead Banned

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    LOL, that was pretty bad wasn't it?

    Edited now.
     
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  11. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    I chose the first option, because that is the surest indicator that a player is performing at a very high level.

    The second option is somewhat subjective; I mean, it is harder to detect when a player is at his best level, irrespective of his results.
     
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  12. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    So then Safin had a couple of primes????:confused:
     
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  13. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Federer might be striking his backhand better than he was a few years ago, but his movement and consistency has fallen out. Watch Federer move in the first Rafa Wimbledon final, or against Hewitt in the epic double bagel final; there's simply no comparison to today.
     
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  14. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    Come on Buckethead you KNOW Federer's prime is over. You can have flashes of brilliance, the man is only 29, not 35. Nadal wasn't exactly at his 08 level at the French, and Federer has a great coach now. But his "prime" is over. I am greatly enjoying seeing him play well again though, it's only been for 1 tournament. We have to wait.
     
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  15. gold soundz

    gold soundz Professional

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    True, but not until the clay court season. In the Aus Open especially, it was shocking how many backhands he framed.
     
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  16. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    1 and 2 go together. I picked 2 because for every player other than the top player in the world, 1 never happens, and yet it still makes sense to talk about their "prime".
     
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  17. Messarger

    Messarger Hall of Fame

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    I dont buy that. Ask yourself. Would prime Federer need 5 sets to defeat Gilles Simon? The thing about these errors are that he's making them even in early rounds of tournaments. It's just that doesnt cost him the match.
     
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  18. tenniselbow1

    tenniselbow1 Rookie

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    For all who doubt Fed is not in his prime. Watch a full match of his from 2004-2005 at 22-23 years of age. He not only had more kick in his strokes, he kept the ball consistently deep on both sides, fewer UE, moved better (incredible footwork), could go on. Fed in slams can play at a high level but nowhere near as consistently. What we saw and Borg referenced recently when he picked him to win Wimbi was one of those rare moments. He's pushed himself physically to get in shape more so than he's ever done and the results are showing in that he's playing like he did 4 years ago.
     
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  19. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Federer's prime was 2003-2009 IMO. His peak years were obviously 04-07. The consistency within matches isn't what it once was, though RG was the first time since WTF he seemed to remain consistent throughout matches in a tournament, until the final at least. Past your prime you can still reach your peak level at times, as Agassi and Sampras among others have shown in the past. Fed of course can still do that also, but it's not as often and not as consistent as he was during his prime years.

    Nadal on the other hand loses a few matches to a guy that's always been a tough match for him, a man who BTW was playing the best tennis of his life himself, has only lost to that man and Ferrer/Davy (was hurt at AO and sick in Doha - I'll concede those for the Nadal excuse machine).

    Other than that Nadal's beating everyone in his path except for one guy, and Nadaltards said he was 'out of his prime' to excuse his losses to Djoker heading into RG. Then of course he wins RG again and has won 4 of 5 slams...pretty good for someone not in their prime, eh? Foolish Nadal fan logic. :)

    Nadal's still in his prime but not at the peak level he was in 2008-early 2009 and 2010.
     
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  20. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    You really need to stop being so blatanly anti Nadal and anti Nadal fans when there's only 4 or 5 making excuses, a lot of us are sane.
     
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  21. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry, didn't mean to paint all of yall with one brush, since I think we all know which ones I'm referring to in particular. Anyways, it was always ridiculous to pull the 'Nadal's out of his prime' card when he started losing to Djokovic, who like I said has always been a tough matchup for him and was playing out of this world tennis.
     
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  22. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Thank you for conceeding these. LMAO.

    Doesn't matter that Nadal was moving more slowly after his injury and that Ferrer said this after the match. Or that he confirmed his injury afterwards and was talking during the match with his uncle about his physical problems.

    Nor does it matter that Davydenko said after that Rafa looked worse than the year before(Doha 2010), not game wise but PHYSICALLY(cause of the flu).

    These are not excuses. They are facts, because they are not made up by Nadal fans, they are recognized by Nadal,the media and most of all, Nadal's opponents.
     
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  23. TennisFan3

    TennisFan3 Legend

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    LOL at Nadal playing at his best. He's neither in his peak nor in his prime. 2010 was when you could call him at his prime - his peak was 2008. Basically, Nadal is at the same stage as Fed. He is out of his prime, and on the downward slope. There might be matches where he plays his best, but consistently he's shown NOTHING ( I repeat nothing) this yr which tells me that he can produce his level of the past.

    And keep in mind I'm talking about FORM not results. Had Novak been sleeping, Nadal would still have won IW/Miami/Rome/Madrid -- still any sane observer would have said the same thing: that Nadal is playing crappy tennis by his standards.

    In 2011, Nadal has declined massively. And this is BEFORE he got those beatdowns from Djoker (so it's not all because of Djoker, as many imply on this board). Last time Nadal even served remotely well was in WTF 2010. His serve and ground game was shaky in AO 2011, IW and Miami. First he got bageled by Lacko and beaten by Davy in Doha. Then he got embarassed by Tomic in AO and beaten by Ferrer. He almost lost to Karlovic and Berdych in IW/Miami - coz he couldn't hold serve consistently if his life depended on it. To put this in perspective, Berdych hadn't even taken a set off Nadal in the last 6 meetings.

    In IW/Miami , Novak wasn't even playing as well as he did in AO. Still he exposed Nadal's game and beat him anyway. This further destroyed Nadal's confidence. Then Nadal had a crappy clay court pre-FO season - which included almost losing to a qualifier Lorenzi, losing a set to an injured Murray, and to ******** in Madrid.

    He then struggled through the 1st week in RG. Taken to 5 sets by Isner of all people, Anjudar made him look ordinary and even Veic (ranked outside 200) broke him. Nadal played CRAP in the RG final. He got a reprieve at facing Fed, coz he probably would have lost to Djoker, but didn't have to face him.

    Nadal talks every day of being under pressure, and this is reflecting in his game, because it's been a long time since I've seen him play this kind of tennis and choke so much. As your serve goes, so does your game. It's not a cliche. It's true for every player.

    Forget about Wimbledon/UsOpen, from what I've seen in the clay season, Nadal won't win much this year, unless he improves his level massively from what he displayed in the F.O and the rest of the clay season..
     
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  24. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^It's not THAT serious TF3. It really isn't.
     
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  25. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Wimbledon!?! Where his main competition is old man Roger? LOL! Nadal has Wimbledon in the bag if he plays even remotely well.

    Hard to say for USO,Novak,Murray and Delpo(if he returns to his 2009 form)can take him out there so atleast it's not 100% sure Nadal's gonna defend his USO title which makes it somewhat unpredictable.
     
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  26. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    No,Nadal's at his peak now,in 2011.In no other year did he reach 7 finals in a row which is almost 2006 Fed like,Nadal is currently playing his best tennis ever.
     
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  27. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    No he isn't,Fed is in the twilight years of his career while Nadal is barely 25.
     
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  28. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    That is biggest punch of BS I have ever heard. Nadal is not the one who is getting asked for his retirement date everywhere he goes. I swear the stuff you hear on this board.... (look at my sig for a good example)
     
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  29. TennisFan3

    TennisFan3 Legend

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    LOL! Nadal started winning slams as early as 2005 when he was 18/19. He has about 9 yrs of top level tennis on tour. So yeah, he's on the same stage as Fed w.r.t mileage on tour. Not to mention he has a physical grinding style.

    The disappointing thing for Nadal is that he lost a year worth of slams because of injury in 2009. If he had the foresight to adjust his schedule and play a little more opportunistically, his peak could have been from 2008-2011.

    Nadal's career in the near future will depend on his scheduling and injury management. That will be the key, as also will be his willingness to develop a more offensive style of tennis which involves less wear and tear on his body. Otherwise his post-prime years, won't look anywhere as good as Fed's 2008-2011 did.
     
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  30. TennisFan3

    TennisFan3 Legend

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    [​IMG]
     
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  31. tenniselbow1

    tenniselbow1 Rookie

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    Your Rafa tards must be smoking something. No legitimate person speaking about tennis is saying Rafa is not in his prime or is on any type of decline yet. The guy has just won 4 of the last 5 slams! What drug are you smoking? What is happening at the moment is Novak who is 24 right now, is in his prime as well. Fact is : since Novak was 22 years of age , since he hit his prime in 09, he has beaten Rafa 7/10 times. I do agree Rafa's slam winning days are numbered, but it has nothing to do with his form. He just matches up horribly with Novak and Delpo . I do not see him getting a win over Novak over the rest of this year actually. He could lose 8 or more straight times to the guy this year alone, that's how bad I see it. Has this ever happened with Roger ? If Novak pulls off this epic beat down over the year, not sure anyone will talk about Nadal as the GOAT.
     
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  32. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    Here we go again. Are all Anti-Nadal fans this simple minded? You're responding to ONE PERSON, not every single person here that just happens to enjoy Nadal.
     
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  33. ViscaB

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    Prime is winning for me.
     
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  34. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Fed could have started winning slams early too if he wasn't such a headcase at the time,Nadal matured mentally earlier than Fed,simple as that.

    As for their playing styles,they're both baseliners,sure Fed goes for a bit more with his FH and has a slightly better serve but other than that they both win from the baseline so not much difference.

    Glad you agree.
     
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  35. Comet Buster

    Comet Buster Banned

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    Holy ****. You're serious? Damn.



    You've contradicted yourself so badly in that post too; Federer relies on his footwork for his stroke production not just to move around on the baseline. That's the sole reason his strokes haven't been working since 2008 - because his footwork took a big decline. Federer losing half a step = shanking more balls/hitting shots from awkward positions. He rarely shanked balls in 2002-07 because his footwork/coordination was that good.
     
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  36. sunnyIce

    sunnyIce Semi-Pro

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    Fed has taken the first sharp decline (circa 2008) steadied ship slightly (2009) another sharp dink (2010) and steadied slightly (2011). Suspect will be more of this pattern in the coming years. His prime was 2004-2006, with 2005 being in zen mode. His 2007 was more like I can't believe I still won 3 majors.

    To me, Rafa's 2010 is comparable to Fed's 2006, and 2008 to F's 2004.

    More importantly, to me, Rafa's 2011 is like Fed's 2007. I can't believe I am still winning mode.

    Wonder what 2012 will bring for him.
     
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  37. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    His form isn't THAT bad.I agree with you,that on clay especially Nadal seemed weaker than the previous years (infact I didn't even think his '10 form was as great as made out to be by his fans) but overall it isn't bad at all.Not even for his standards.To say he's not even in his prime is a bit of an overstatement.He made like 7 straight finals this season winning three of them.He's won against anyone not named Djokovic since the AO.If he continues even that sort of a trend we can't rule him out of his prime.I suggest you atleast wait till the season is over to judge.
     
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  38. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    Good question, Buckethead. Raises some interesting points.

    Physically/physiologically I think there is such a thing as one's prime, and that it's definitely age-related. It's one of if not the main reason why retirement tends to happen around 30 -- like when Rusedski described Sampras as a step and a half slow. It affects things like stamina, reflexes, recovery time, etc. All of those seem to drop off after 26/27. And I'd also say that things like a decade or two of wear and tear and repetitive strain seem to really assert themselves post 26/27 as well.

    So if Fed had his present playing form combined with his physiological state between 22-26, that would truly be scary.
     
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  39. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    No way.If you want to give some extra credit for winning three straight slams,then perhaps but Fed in '06 went 92-5 for the season,made all the four slam finals and won God knows how many tournaments.When he did lose,it was mostly to Nadal in the finals.
    That said,he did seem under pressure during AO '06.
     
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  40. Comet Buster

    Comet Buster Banned

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    Nadal's 2010 is simliar to Federer's 2007. Didn't play their best but won 3 slams and completely made the game boring by their dominance. In terms of actual level then Nadal's best level was 2008 and Federer's was in 2005. Similarly both won 2 slams. But I believe this is because a certain Safin and Djokovic played great tournaments also. Nadal's 2009 was a bit like Federer's 2008. Both strggled physically and mentally and won 1 slam each.
     
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  41. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    I conceded that he was sick and injured - what's your problem?:-?

    And BTW thanks for proving my point, your observations about 'prime' and peak are still absurd, no need to rehash in this thread.

    If it doesn't apply to you, just ignore it and move on. You're the exception, but there is a large contingency of Rafa fans who think like that. It's the majority from what I see.

    If you have a problem, you should also have a problem w/ jacksonville for his '****s this, ****s that' crap.
     
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  42. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    ^
    This . Roger strikes the ball amazingly well....for brief periods until his footwork leaves him. This happens much much more often then it did say 04-07. Roger just simply does not move as well as he used to.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
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  43. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Whether Roger is playing better now than before is beside the point. Two things have changed since he won everything in sight. First, his reputation is way, way lower than it was. Back then, he would have already won the match before the first ball was struck. Everyone not named Nadal had 99% given up when they read the drawsheet. He won way too many matches when he was playing poorly because his opponents could not deal with the fact that they were ahead in the match and then folded.

    The second thing is that Rog made everyone else play better to elevate their games, that is what eventually closed the gap.
     
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  44. Buckethead

    Buckethead Banned

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    I agree with you, but He plays at a higher level now, because the field demands him to play better, since Roger made them work hard to be competitive against him, therefore He created the monsters, like He said once.

    In this past year, since Wimbledon last year, Roger has only missed a semi final of a tournament in 2 occasions, in Monaco and in Rome.

    Great results despite not winning anything besides 1 ATP 250.
     
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  45. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    If you were familiar with Safin's career, you would know that he won most of his tournaments in the period from 2000 through 2004, and nothing of consequence after the 2005 AO win. So, he had only one prime period, or a number of isolated prime periods. I don't care to decide which: I leave that to namelessone, Bud, TheTruth, TheNatural, NadalAgassi and company. :)

    But yeah, a player can have a couple of primes, or three for that matter. There isn't a rule saying that he/she can't.
     
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  46. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    I think Federer is having another prime period now since around the middle of 2010 and also coinciding with hiring Annacone. He gained more confidence and started playing more agressively. 2009 was difficult to judge because Nadal was out of the FO and WImbeldon and so Fed won those versus lesser players.

    Here is what Ivanisavic said about Freds 2011 FO:

    Ivanisevic added: "I think Roger played better than when he won the French Open (in 2009]. Against Djokovic he played unbelievable tennis. Against Nadal it was not good enough; he was 5-2 up in the first set. He made some mistakes he wouldn't make against anyone else, but he doesn't like playing Nadal."
     
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  47. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    No, I disagree. Goran's words do not imply that he is in his prime, just that he played well at the FO.

    Federer is still capable of moments, or individual sets of brilliance, but he is no longer capable of sustaining that unreal level over the length of a tournament (or over the length of a best-of-5 when facing Nadal). In that sense, Federer is definitely in decline, IMO. Annacone is trying to lengthen his career and introduce some more variety and strategy, but he cannot magically construct a second prime for Roger. I don't care what other people think about this. I see what I see.

    To Roger's credit, no one else currently playing is capable of that kind of brilliance. Nadal's sustained excellence does not come from attacking tennis, but from an equally amazing meld of strategy, stamina, and willpower, but for pure attacking tennis, there has seldom been a better sight than the Federer of 2004-05-06-07.
     
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  48. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    mcenroe says Fed hasn't declined at all:


    As McEnroe observes: "I don't see any signs [of decline] other than that his life has become more complete and complicated with kids."
     
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  49. Buckethead

    Buckethead Banned

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    Therefore I'm right, because I think Fed has been on his prime since last summer working hard on his backhand, game and playing better. The results show it, even against a much better improved field.

    The poll is also a good example that there is no age for somebody to be in their prime.

    Whoever thought that fed was better in the period of 2004-2007 is deadly wrong.
     
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  50. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Interesting,so now we should observe and take for granted what Mcenroe says yet he was the old loon when he was claiming Fed is better than Pete,Laver and Borg back in 2009 with Wilander being the truth at the time.Interesting developement but atleast this article proves OP's statement is incorrect which I suspected all along given Mcenroe's bandwagoning tendencies.

    Just a small reminder,this year Fed is the exact same age your personal God was when he lost to a green Swiss teenager in Wimbledon and got fed 2 breadsticks by Rusty in front of his home crowd(USO final).
     
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