The birth of the great Federer

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by smoledman, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    #1
  2. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Such different player from today. That Federer hit winners from 5 feet behind the baseline without painting the lines. Strokes were so much harder. He compensates with mental strength, tactic skills and a beter serve, but still.. Wow
     
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  3. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    His trunk rotation was insane back then.
     
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  4. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    His game was too sick. Everything was there. But you can still count on some people to claim the Federer of now is better than peak Federer.
     
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  5. Candide

    Candide Professional

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    Poetry in motion. He uses much more variation now as well in order to draw errors whereas at that point he was a man in a hurry it seemed. Ruthless and unrelenting and powerful. What we have now is a guy who was so far ahead of the field that he can still dominate with what is essentially his B game.
     
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  6. kOaMaster

    kOaMaster Hall of Fame

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    wow, the pace on his backhand, amazing. hardly ever saw federer hitting so many backhand winners and hitting the backhand so hard.

    although I saw all those matches live back in 2003, I couldn't remember how it looked. great video quality too.
     
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  7. sbengte

    sbengte Legend

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    Those people weren't born in 2003 , so you can't blame them, can you ?
     
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  8. Crisp

    Crisp Semi-Pro

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    Don't forget that the courts were much faster then also. Has to come into it.
     
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  9. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    and people say that Fed is better TODAY... yea, right.
     
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  10. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Ha ha... completely. 75% of the winners in that video wouldn't be close to winners nowdays.

    The very first point is a perfect example - that forehand winner Federer hit wouldn't be a winner against any top player now - for many it wouldn't even be a struggle to get to - it isn't even beyond the doubles line when it crosses the baseline. The speed of that court flatters both of them massively in terms of the amount of winners hit.

    That said, Federer was a winner hitting machine in his prime (2003 was pre-prime really in terms of hit playing ability). You just can't play like that anymore on the vast majority of courts.
     
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  11. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Beautiful ball striking from Federer.
     
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  12. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Agassi's movement in this match at 33 was not pretty.He was moving like a 60 year old, the round robin 3 setter that Fed won in the 3rd set breaker must have taken everything out of the old man.
     
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  13. Razoredge

    Razoredge Banned

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    LOL

    Put prime Federer on a fast hard court with prime Djokovic and watch as Djokovic gets his ass kicked.
     
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  14. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    question is, if we put bloomer Fed on today's slowest court, how would he manage.
     
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  15. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    Nalbandian was giving Federer major fits at this time.
     
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  16. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    When I read the thread title, I thought at first we were going to be treated to some hospital video footage taken by Roger's dad just over 31 years ago! :lol:

    2003 was Roger's break-out year. First Slam (Wimbledon) rounded off at year end with his first Masters Cup title and he had yet to hit his prime!

    IMO he looks remarkably similar to the way he is today except for his more youthful, fresh-faced appearance and the greasy hair pulled back into a pony-tail. Even his post-match comments sound remarkably familiar!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
    #16
  17. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    great video, never actually saw this match when it happened.
     
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  18. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    He might get a little frustrated, but his strokes still were a lot harder and more consistent then they are today.
     
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  19. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    Man I miss Agassi crushing the ball
     
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  20. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

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    You are a true expert.
     
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  21. Huanita99

    Huanita99 Rookie

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    Rubish. 20 yo Novak played the final of USO in 2007. Fed did win, but a young Djokovic completely chocked that match. probably the biggest choke of his career. Novak beat him in Montreal that year btw.

    nice video btw. Prime Fed was a much better player than this 2012 Fed, period.
     
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  22. kalyan4fedever

    kalyan4fedever Hall of Fame

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    nly question where did that backhand go, now it is 80% slices.
     
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  23. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Uhm. No. It should be way more slices. Especially versus guys like Berdych and Del Potro, who he constantly tries to outhit. He sliced a lot more in 2008-2011 than he does now imo.

    However, imo his slice also declined. He used to be able to even on the full stretch really KNIFE that slice.
     
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  24. Razoredge

    Razoredge Banned

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    Joke post? He knifed a slice past Berdych on the stretch at the USO this year:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrEa_hOvk-4
     
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  25. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    Even though I'd been following Roger since around 2002, to me his GOAT arrival was on a big stage. I watched this match live and today it might seem like a foregone conclusion, but back then, going into the final, nothing was a foregone conclusion. Hewitt strode into the 2004 USO final not losing a single set to anyone, and then RF did this to a GS champion, in a GS final -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKETvVqxTmk

    To me, this was the GOAT performance at that point. I'd never seen someone destroy a fellow GS champion in the finals of a slam like this. My jaw remained dropped all through set 1. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find another example of a more dominant first set displaying such aggressive, first-strike tennis.
     
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  26. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Just listen to the commentators in this Sky broadcast from Europe

    "It may not be much of a contest right now, but it's an exhibition in greatness.."

    "The last time someone lost the first set 6-0 in a slam final must have happened in the early 1900s, this kind of thing just doesn't happen..."
     
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  27. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    Federer in 2004 is like Apple Inc now. A totally dominating force achieving things never before thought possible.
     
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  28. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    To be fair, even Nadal when he really arrived on the big stage was a spectacle to watch. In a different way of course.

    Where Roger is an example of a classic game that can be brutally effective, Nadal's was just pure explosive athleticism. I haven't watched Borg much and a lot of people say he was the greater clay courter, but Nadal's rpm's were a sight to behold.
     
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  29. tennisfreak73

    tennisfreak73 New User

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    In defense of Novak and i'm no Djokovic fan, but we really don't know when his peak will be. In my opinion he's still getting better and has the potential to be one of the greatest, but only time will tell. Perhaps we saw his peak in 2011, but we really need a few more years to see how he pans out. I will agree that Fed, back in the day, was a true bad ass!
     
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  30. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Interesting thing is that Federer's FH had slightly different form back then (changed around mid-2006, I think.) As smoeldman mentioned, he had bigger trunk rotation and he had more of a loop. The pace he was generating was close to Safin's.
     
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  31. Bobby Jr

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    I'll correct that for you: put current Federer on a fast hard court and watch Djokovic get his ass kicked also.
     
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  32. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Yep. And he also hit it a little later than he came to - a little more alongside his body and, as you say, with a bigger loop.

    His serve has changed significantly since then also - the stand isn't even quite the same and the potency of his second serve nowdays is miles, miles higher than back then. No doubt it's a result of the changing conditions - courts and opponents.
     
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  33. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Prime Federer (and this is pre-prime technically) was the most fluid, accurate, free swinging and beautiful player to watch, I mean he was ridiculous. Nothing compares to that.
     
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  34. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Gotta love that B game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
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  35. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Please, please, we need these faster courts/balls on Tour again. Seriously, I can not understand why some people would prefer to see the ultra slow conditions of today better than this so much beautiful type of tennis like this one of Federer-Agassi 2003 Masters Cup.

    For me it is like night and day. Almost with every shot they're trying to finish the point.

    The very sad thing is that (like someone said before) 80% or 90% of these amazing winners (of this match) would not be winners on today ultra slow courts (with todays slow balls). Djokovic, Nadal and Murray would be getting them back easily MOSTLY because of the ultra slow conditions of today.

    It is true that Agassi at that stage of his career was extremely slow and that Djokovic, Murray and Nadal are faster and better movers than almost anyone ever, but on faster courts (and with faster balls) they would NOT get to all those shots they DO GET to on todays slow conditions.

    I don't get why some people don't like this type of tennis (short points, faster tennis, A LOT of winners of all kinds, rewarding the attacker)
     
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  36. Razoredge

    Razoredge Banned

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    People don't mind that type of tennis, what they mind is the big serving tennis that was all over the place in the 90s and what Raonic/Isner/etc are doing.

    Crowds were complaining about the serve battles and the ATP took note.
     
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  37. monfed

    monfed Guest

    For me, Fed of 2005 was playing tennis from another planet. I mean his movement was out of this world. The guy's blessed by the gods to just play tennis, what else can be said about this wonderful genius that we're all so blessed to watch?
     
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  38. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    It'd be really interesting to see how Federer today would compare to that if they were given the same fast courts.
     
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  39. JamieSafe

    JamieSafe Rookie

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    Agassi was ****ting his pants the whole time
     
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  40. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Exactly, we need fast court now. It's really sad that almost all courts are pathetically slow.
     
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  41. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Very well said!

    Cincinati 2012

    Pete was lucky that he had a faster US open to reach finals in his late career but sadly Roger has to work hard on those slow courts against awesome defenders. It's highly unfair when you take all weapons of a player and pit them against the best. The should be a balance somewhere :(
     
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  42. Netspirit

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    It must have been easy to be Federer's fan in 2003.
     
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  43. kOaMaster

    kOaMaster Hall of Fame

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    true (not only in 2003). perhaps a reason there are still so many.
     
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  44. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Federer has been long touted as a talented player, even back as far as 2000/1999.
     
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  45. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes. That's a beauty. But I don't see him do that as often as in 2006-2007.
     
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  46. VPhuc tennis fan

    VPhuc tennis fan Professional

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    Something worth reading at Bleacher Report

    Here's the link of what I read on Bleacher Report this morning:
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/...2-season-makes-weak-era-argument-a-moot-point
    Many of us laughed at the quality of articles printed on Bleacher Report, but I guess once in a while something pops up that's worth reading. The OP states the birth of the great Fed, and many of us, fans or even haters of Fed will very likely miss Fed once he decides to retire. The current crop of players offers no one with such beautiful, effortless (so it seems) style of tennis.
    Cheers.
     
    #46
  47. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    Good article. I couldn't find anything to disagree with!
     
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  48. Huanita99

    Huanita99 Rookie

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    whatever, Dubai has the fastest HC courts on the ATP tour. Djokovic spanked Fed there.
     
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  49. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    Federer on the fast Dubai court still lost badly to Djokovic last year.

    He's clearly not what he used to be.

    I think Australian Open 2007 was when something first changed to my eyes, despite his dominance in that tournament. He didn't have the same big, point-ending blast from the forehand that he had in 2006, and his movement wasn't quite as explosive/he wasn't as flexible.

    Look at the back-to-back losses to Canas and the loss to Volandri, and I think there's ample evidence he was legitimately starting to slip a little in early 2007, and it's not just slowed courts/tougher competition.
     
    #49
  50. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Fed definitely has more experience now, but back then he was much stronger physically. I think the major difference back then was that he was much broader in the back and shoulders. That's where all that power came from. The winners he could hit back then almost every other point, he hits maybe 33-45% now. I think after winning so much stuff he's dialed back his physical strength training to go from brute to paladin. That's the best I can explain it. Back then his physical looks were more brawler and now he's more James Bondish. He can still get it done, but it's no longer a complete knockout. Now he has to play smarter... back then it was just whack the ball and watch it become a winner.
     
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