Weak Era or Strong Era?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Hitman, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    Strong era and weak era knowledgebale posters, please help solve my dilemma.

    If Nadal had won the fifth set at Wimbledon 07, and had Djokovic converted those set points in USO 07, resulting in Nadal ending year number one...would 07 have been the strong era?

    Conversely, if Federer somehow won the two points he needed to win Wimbledon 08, thus remaining number one through to the end of the year....would that have made 08 part of the weak era?

    Would Nadal dominating FO 08 the way he did, make that a very weak era on clay compared on 05-07 when he was challenged a bit more? If not, wouldn't the same rules apply to Roger on the other surfaces between 04-07?

    Also is 09 part of the strong era or weak era? This bit is always grey.

    Or did the real strong era begin in '11 when Fedal era was officially over?
     
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  2. TCG

    TCG Semi-Pro

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    Well It's really simple whenever Fed dominates its a weak era.
     
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  3. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    Pretty certain there are no strong/weak eras. There are good and great players of every era and there is no objective way to classify an era as weak or strong.

    The players at the top now are amazing, but I also thought that the players at the top of any previous generation have been amazing as well.

    If one player dominates all or if four players dominate all or if 10 players dominate all, what difference does it make? One could speculate that domination indicates strength at the top, but it could also indicate a lack of adequate competition. A lack of domination could indicate many players are equally great, but could also mean that there are no players strong enough to reign supreme.
     
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  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Middle to weak since last 5 yrs
    Extremely weak the former luster
     
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  5. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    This.

    /end thread.
     
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  6. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    False premise. These poster are not knowledgeable -- they are myopic or lack a true historical perspective. Got to agree with GoaLaSSo on this.
    .
     
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  7. bigserving

    bigserving Semi-Pro

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    Athletics never go backward. Today's players are always bigger, faster, stronger, and better than any era in the history of the game of tennis.
     
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  8. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    In my personal opinion, in terms of talent from years 2004 to 2007:

    1. 2004 (top 10 was loaded with great players)
    2. 2007 (Nadal was threathening Federer on his best surface)
    3. 2005 (Nadal's first slam, but it was very top 2 heavy, rest of the top 10 wasn't that competitive)
    4. 2006 (ancic and blake reached top 10)
     
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  9. IgnatusP

    IgnatusP Banned

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    I think rackets, strings, shoes, etc are a bigger factor. And, some of the most gifted players physically of any era have either retired (Borg) or have been dead for a while (Gonzalez).
     
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  10. Bryan Swartz

    Bryan Swartz Hall of Fame

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    I don't know what knowledgebale is, but aside from that you are asking for something that doesn't exist -- a creature every bit as mythical as the unicorn.
     
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  11. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    All I know is that beginning in 2005, Nadal was around #50 in the world. At the beginning of 2006, he was #2 in the world.

    Draw your own conclusions about strength of era.
     
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  12. SassyRamirez

    SassyRamirez Banned

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    Weak era is when a 31 year old player past his prime gets to No. 1 and then precedes to bagel an in prime 25 year old No. 2 in a Masters final. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
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  13. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    Glad to be posting in a Weak Era of threads...

    Rules are real simple.
    a) if one player is having great results, it is a weak era.
    b) if no one player is having great results, it is weak era.
     
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  14. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    The first 9 months of 2011 must've been the weakest of all eras, then.
     
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  15. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    Ofcourse. Djokovic was lucky to playing along with RM Federer/RP Nadal/AS Murray. Given his game and skill, If he was playing in a strong era, he would be lucky to make it out of qualies.

    Lets take last year. Djoker won AO, Nadal won FO, Roger won WO, Murray won USO.....Weak era!
     
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  16. Bryan Swartz

    Bryan Swartz Hall of Fame

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    Gold, tennis monk! :)
     
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  17. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

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    When a player you don't like is setting records, the clear reason is their garbage competition. Your favorite player could crawl out of bed with a 105 degree fever and beat them at least 7/10 times. This is as far as I can tell the best way to determine an era's strength.

    I personally don't subscribe to that mindset, and I think it's fairly infantile to attempt to degrade the accomplishments of professionals who have more than earned them.
     
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  18. reaper

    reaper Professional

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    A single year is not an era. The last decade can be broken into two eras: 2004-2007 when Federer was dominant and 2008-2012 when the same 4 players finished the year in the top 4 rankings. 2004 - 2007 will be remembered for the brilliance and grace of Federer at his top. 2008 to now will be regarded as an era where the top 4 were the best of all time, 5-8 or so were strong, but the quality outside the top 10 was moderate with young talent non existent in the latter part of the era.
     
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  19. Magnetite

    Magnetite Professional

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    Eras do not equal years.

    The post makes no sense.
     
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  20. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Insightful post. I agree completely.

    I used to be a big baseball stats geek. And one of the things that frustrates me about tennis is how subjective things like this are. In baseball, there are very well accepted mathematical models that define things like weak/strong eras... and how players in one era compare to players in another era.

    I haven't seen such mathematical or statistical models in tennis. It doesn't mean they don't exist, but I certainly don't see them in the media or on forums.

    It's very unfortunate. Because if people knew about how such models work for other sports, they'd realize that the GOAT is not necessarily most slams. Just like in baseball, the GOAT pitcher is not the most Cy Youngs. Or the GOAT batter is not the one with the most home runs.

    There are many more factors involved.
     
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  21. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    It's a streak era. Or maybe it's a wrong era?

    I think we should be told.
     
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  22. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Exactly. If many players share majors it could be because it is a weak, less competitive era making it possible, OR it could be because it is filled with competitive players. And if one player dominates it could be because the player is really strong, OR it could be because it is a weak era. The basic flaw of the weak era concept/idea/notion...
    And yes, Federer going to nr 1 last year even further deflates that concept in his specific case.
     
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  23. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Not a very good comparison for two reasons:

    1- MLB specifically outlaws improvements in technology, whereas tennis encourages it to the point that the game itself (stroke mechanics-wise) has to change to accomidate it.

    2- The pool of amateurs that MLB draws from is shrinking, leading to less statistical likelihood of GOATs. The fact that it is a team sport and that the total number of teams is increasing at the same time compounds this effect. Tennis OTOH is growing worldwide, so the pool of potential talent is the greatest ever right now and will be greater next year.
     
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  24. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    This weak/strong era stuff is just so lame and pointless. No, stats don't tell you in any sport whether the era is weak or strong because strengths in a sport cancel each other out; hitters in baseball may be getting better and better but perhaps not as fast as pitchers are, so offensive stats can go down even as skills improve. Likewise in football, where offensive players and defensive players may both be improving but at different rates, so stats can't tell a story. The OP inexplicably makes a few comments about the top 3 players in the game and wonders if this means the era is weak or strong. Huh?? Why stop there? Examine the top 50 players, or the top 500 players. Truth be told, you don't need stats at all. You just need a pair of eyes. Anyone who watches tennis knows the players have been getting faster, stronger, generally more skilled continually for as many years as we've been watching the game. The game leapfrogs itself every five years or so with an overall higher level of athleticism. The notion that whether one or two players are winning slams or six or eight of them are tells you something about the overall level of play is absurd.
     
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  25. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Not at all!

    Even if one accepts your grossly oversimplified notion of increased athleticism; that still does not mean that the tennis is better! and you may think that the players are generally more skilled each generation but I completely disagree. Talent or more skilled is not a generational thing! Its a very haphazard and random thing!

    We've been through all this before, where Federer fans try and rationalize his weaker era exploits. As I've previously said: there are no weak eras in a global (or close to it) sport where fantastic wealth and fame are the potential rewards for great success. However, there are clearly weaker and stronger eras. Federer happened to amass many of his accolades during a weaker or relatively weak era. That was not his fault; and anyway he proved (at least to me and he is not my idol) that he is the greatest or close to it by recapturing world number 1 in a stronger era i.e. post 2007 where he was competing against other open era greats who were threats on all surfaces.

    So quit with the insecurity!

    and to you and other unnecessarily insecure Federer fans who like to peddle the notion that tennis eras/time-spans always increase in quality...

    please explain the women's tour. Almost everyone is in agreement that the women's tour from about 2009-2011 was incredibly weak; certainly weaker than the heyday of women's tennis (late 90's till about 2002 or so with greats like Venus, Serena, Davenport, Hingis, Pierce, the Belgians, Capriati, even some sprinkles of Graf and Seles, all competing at high levels atleast some of the time) :confused: Or are you going to say that somehow this universal ever increasing era rule does not extend to women for some reason???
     
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  26. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    There was pretty drastic changes on tour between 2001-2004,
    including:

    1. Surfaces. mainly Wimbledon and US Open.
    2. Strings and Balls: heavier and subtly bigger.
    3. Ranking and seeding system.

    This was huge career changing events, especially for top pros at the time.
    For world class atheletes, this makes differences like night and day.

    All pros needed to make huge changes in their game. Federer adjusted best (or
    perhaps great condition for him), some gradually dropped out early, failing to adjust,
    it was perfect condition for Nadal when he debuted.

    I don't know if it created a weak era but
    I think this was the biggest coordinated event of pro tour in open era.
    This created Federer-Nadal era, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
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  27. monfed

    monfed Guest

    The weak era crap is propagated by mostly bitter Peteclowns and a select few Nards who are jealous of Fed's success.

    The logic used is because Fed didn't beat Ralph in most of his slam victories,he played in a weak era. Well I guess all the former greats like Sampras also played in a weak era since they didn't face Ralph in any of their finals.

    A little note about Pete: Most of his final opponents(Wimby for example) were petrified of playing him in the biggest stage as they didnt have a significant matchup advantage that Ralph enjoys against Fed and as a consequence turned out to be major headcases and choked away winning positions. Look no further than Goran and Rafter.

    As far as Ralph goes,he's probably played in the weakest clay era of all time. He didn't have a single claycourter worth mentioning(someone like a Kuerten) who would actually challenge him in all those RG finals, instead he preyed upon a weak era-clown's weak 1HBH to ramp up all those RG crowns. The guy is so lucky, in 2011 where Djokovic would've utterly destroyed Ralph in the final(the same way he destroyed him in Madrid and Rome the same year) got taken out by an inspired Federer. Another undeserving victory for the Nadal when Djokovic was clearly the best claycourter of that year.

    The weak-era apologists don't realise(or maybe they're just plain dumb who knows) that what they propose as a weak era to put down Fed backfires on their own favourite player, big time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2013
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  28. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    "Ring a Ring o' Roses" or "Ring Around the Rosie" is a nursery rhyme or folksong and playground singing game. It first appeared in print in 1881, but it is reported that a version was already being sung to the current tune in the 1790s and similar rhymes are known from across Europe. Urban legend says the song originally described the plague, but folklorists reject this idea.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_a_Ring_o'_Roses
     
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  29. moonballs

    moonballs Hall of Fame

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    So where is your proof the Fed era was a weak era other than your saying it is? Oh, the analogy to the women's weak era. Just because a weak era is possible doesn't mean fed era is weak. Let alone the most plausible explanatipn of the WTA era was the aging of the Williams sisters.
     
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  30. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    It was weak in superstars, which is pretty much all your post addresses. But tennis prowess is not measured in trophies, streaks, weeks at #1 etc.

    The reason for lack of WTA superstars was a perfect storm of parity and a lack of players with charisma. This does not reflect on quality of play. Tennis, unlike other sports had a major tech revolution that elevated players of different quality (otherwise) to similar heights, thus parity. The ATP has broken out of that for 2 reasons: First Roger Federer, who as the GOAT by definition was better than everyone else, second the men stopped working on strokes and started working on fitness and recently the mental game. Proof? Rafa's then Nola's rise above the GOAT.
     
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  31. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    Currently it's a boring era with defensive players dominating and Fed/Rafa playing a reduced schedule. Players like JMDP and others that that play attacking tennis will have to turn it around to make it more interesting.
     
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  32. doobiedoodoo

    doobiedoodoo Rookie

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    Federer was so much quicker back then and his forehand was weapon.

    Have to wait till Nadal, Djokovic, Murrary get to 28 and beyond.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
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  33. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    The weak era argument is because of the following reasons and I'll split it into 2 parts first discussing 04-07, then 08-12:

    2004 top 10 (December):
    1 - Federer
    2 - Roddick
    3 - Hewitt
    4 - Safin
    5 - Moya
    6 - Henman
    7 - Coria
    8 - Agassi
    9 - Nalbandian
    10 - Gaudio

    2005 top 10 (December):
    1 - Federer
    2 - Nadal (19 year old)
    3 - Roddick
    4 - Hewitt
    5 - Davydenko
    6 - Nalbandian
    7 - Agassi
    8 - Coria
    9 - Ljubicic
    10 - Gaudio

    2006 top 10 (December):
    1 - Federer
    2 - Nadal (20 year old)
    3 - Davydenko
    4 - Blake
    5 - Ljubicic
    6 - Roddick
    7 - Robredo
    8 - Nalbandian
    9 - Ancic
    10 - Gonzalez

    2007 top 10 (December):
    1 - Federer
    2 - Nadal
    3 - Djokovic
    4 - Davydenko
    5 - Ferrer
    6 - Roddick
    7 - Gonzalez
    8 - Gasquet
    9 - Nalbandian
    10 - Robredo

    (side note re 2007: Murray was ranked 11th and only 20 points behind 9th ranked Nalbandian and 10 points behind 10th ranked Robredo)

    So let's start with analysing 2007. In 2007, Djokovic at 20 years established himself as #3, Murray was on the brink of top 10, newly turned 21 year olds Nadal and Gasquet were ranked 2nd and 8th respectively.

    At the same time, the top 3 from 2004 (behind Federer) were Roddick, Hewitt and Safin. Roddick was 25, Hewitt 26 and Safin 27. Ages where most players are at their best. Yet 26 year old Hewitt lost to 20 year old Novak at Wimbledon (grass arguably being Hewitt's best surface and Novak's worst). Safin was a non issue, and Roddick at age 25 went 1W and 7L against Murray (who was 19 when he beat him), Nadal, Djokovic (20) and Federer.

    Fair to say 2007 was the beginning of the dominance that would make up the top 4 from 2008 onwards Murray, Nadal, Djokovic and Federer. Sod did get to 4th as well but he was no slouch in majors.

    Now let's analyse 2006.

    Roddick 24, Hewitt 25 and Safin (coming back from injury).

    Nadal was #2, obviously ahead of all 3 of them despite only just turning 20 half way through the year and having a worse 2006 than 2005. In 2005 Rafa had a strong showing in all Masters events he entered apart from Cincy making the final and winning 4. In 2006 he only made it to clay masters finals and his performances in the other ones were average. Blake and Ljubicic reached #3 and #4. Roddick fell right off with a 49W and 20L season, Hewitt only managed 33W and 15L. Safin went to #104 because of injury. Who was there to challenge Fed seriously? No wonder he only lost to Nadal and Murray in 2006, Roddick and Hewitt were nowhere near it and guys like Blake and Ljubicic were horrible slam performers yet were still ranked #3 and #4 throughout the year. Nadal or Novak in their peak would've hardly lost a match either if they were to swap ages with Federer.

    2005's turn. Well we had a 19 year old clay specialist winning HC Masters titles and even pushing peak Fed to 5 sets in Miami, a match where he was up 2 sets to 0 and a break in the third. We had an injured 35 year old make the final of the US Open and despite coming off a multitude of 5 setters at his age still give peak Fed quite a battle until the fourth set. There is no chance in hell an injured 35 year old Agassi would make the US Open final from 2008-2012. 24 year old Hewitt performed well at the majors but kept losing to the eventual champion and 23 year old Roddick was not playing well in the majors either (apart from the AO). In Wimbledon he struggled through to the final and didn't beat anybody special to get there. He beat Grosjean in 5 sets on grass and he beat Thomas Johansson in the semis in a battle that had 3 TB sets. You would normally expect Roddick at his best to straight set those guys at Wimbledon. In USO he went out in the first round. Safin couldn't keep his AO05 form up either and then got injured. So again I ask, who was really there to challenge Federer in the majors? Safin turned god mode, if he didn't AO05 was Fed's no doubt. RG was Nadal's but that became normal. In WIM05 Roddick was in bad form and Hewitt has never beat Fed in a major. In USO again Hewitt was no threat to Fed, Roddick went out in the first round and a 35 year old cripple pushed him. If 19 year old clay specialist Nadal was winning 11 tournaments including HC Masters in 2005, then a peak Nadal dealing with a 19 year old Fed would've cleaned up at least 3 majors that year, RG, WIM and USO. Hard to say whether god mode Safin would've beat peak Rafa at AO, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt, that AO title was his. Peak Novak, same he'd take RG, WIM and USO as well. Peak Murray would even have a very good chance to take WIM and USO.

    2004 analysis. No Nadal yet. Hewitt was a pushover in the 04USO final copping 2 bagels. Roddick in the WIM final was playing probably his best WIM match, Fed did very well to beat him although I think the rain delay helped him a bit. AO and Fed faced a #17 ranked Hewitt, Nalbandian and Safin ranked 80 something. Now, let's look at Federer's losses in 2004; one to Berdych, one to Nadal, one to Costa on clay, one to washed up Guga at RG, one to Hrbaty and one to Henman as well. Again, Roddick, Hewitt, Agassi, Safin, Nalbandian all couldn't beat him. Yet 2 teenagers who make up today's top 10 were able to do so. Again peak Nadal or Novak would've cleaned up the field quite easily.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
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  34. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    Now for 2008 to 2012:

    2008 top 10 (December):
    1 - Nadal
    2 - Federer
    3 - Djokovic
    4 - Murray
    5 - Davydenko
    6 - Tsonga
    7 - Simon
    8 - Roddick
    9 - Del Potro
    10 - Blake

    Quite possibly the toughest year to win majors. Novak broke through and won his first major at the AO playing VERY high level tennis. Tsonga also announced himself. At RG Nadal had to go through Novak who was playing very well on clay at the time and Federer to win it. Wimbledon had (imo) the greatest match of all time and Fed was playing better in WIM08 compared to 07. At the US Open Murray broke through but couldn't keep his form up in his first major final. Not to mention Del Potro was climbing up the rankings and beat Roddick in tournament finals. We also had the highly contested Olympic games.

    Definitely tougher than any year from 04-07. Don't see Hewitt or Roddick breaking the top 4 here even if they were at their best. And DEFINITELY not Blake, Safin, Nalbandian or Ljubicic.

    2009 top 10 (December):
    1 - Federer
    2 - Nadal
    3 - Djokovic
    4 - Murray
    5 - Del Potro
    6 - Davydenko
    7 - Roddick
    8 - Soderling
    9 - Verdasco
    10 - Tsonga

    This year was a bit of a downer, Novak's form while still good enough to make top 3 was not as good as the previous year and Nadal was injured for the second half and when he came back was quite clearly not anywhere near his best. Del Potro did have a break through year though performing well at RG and obviously the USO. Soderling also announced himself as a big time player. Fed didn't have to beat much opposition though at the majors. His RG run wasn't anything special in terms of who he had to beat and at WIM he had a cakewalk draw to the final where he played his turkey. Roddick put up quite a battle but the struggle Fed had against him was more due to Fed not being in great form himself. If he was in 2004-08 WIM form he would've won in 4 sets.

    2010 top 10 (December):
    1 - Nadal
    2 - Federer
    3 - Djokovic
    4 - Murray
    5 - Soderling
    6 - Berdych
    7 - Ferrer
    8 - Roddick
    9 - Verdasco
    10 - Youzhny

    I'd rate it tougher than 2009 but not by much. Here's why, Rafa had to beat Sod at RG who by then had made it to his second consecutive RG final (in other words he wasn't a slam final virgin like in 2009 RG) and WIM, Murray at WIM and Djokovic at USO. Berdych had a break through making his first major final by defeating #1 and #3 seed at WIM, to expect him to back up and beat Rafa as well is ridiculous, so obviously he wasn't going to be as in form in the final.

    2011 top 10 (December):
    1 - Djokovic
    2 - Nadal
    3 - Federer
    4 - Murray
    5 - Ferrer
    6 - Tsonga
    7 - Berdych
    8 - Fish
    9 - Tipsarevic
    10 - Almagro

    Novak's unbelievable year. He constantly beat Rafa and Fed, won a record 5 masters titles and also got 3 majors. That's what makes it more remarkable than any of Fed's peak years. Novak had to beat players who had double digit slams. Fed never had to do that. Fed was mostly dealing with Hewitt and Roddick from 04-05 and those 2 do not compare to Rafa and Fed. Blake, Davydenko and Ljubicic (the guys making top 3 in 2006) do not compare to Rafa, Fed and Murray. Nadal and Fed were playing well too, it's not like they were in terrible form, Fed was better at the majors than in 2010, Rafa's BH let him down a bit in 2011 but apart from that was still playing well. Murray also had his most consistent performance at the majors as well.

    Another year that's definitely tougher competition than anything from 04-07. Don't see Hewitt or Roddick breaking the top 4 here either even if they were at their best. And DEFINITELY not Blake, Safin, Nalbandian or Ljubicic.

    2012 top 10 (December):
    1 - Djokovic
    2 - Federer
    3 - Murray
    4 - Nadal
    5 - Ferrer
    6 - Berdych
    7 - Del Potro
    8 - Tsonga
    9 - Tipsarevic
    10 - Gasquet

    This was a tough year as well despite Nadal being missing for the second half. In the first half we had all of hte big 4 playing well at the AO, we had Rafa & Novak (well at least in the sf and f) in good form at RG, Fed & Murray in good form at WIM and both Novak and Murray in good form at USO. We had a highly contested Olympic games as well.

    Novak wasn't as good as 2011 but still played at a very high level, Fed was playing at his best level in years and Murray had his best season as well. Before Nadal got injured he was playing at a very high level too.

    And we have another year that's definitely tougher competition than anything from 04-07. Don't see Hewitt or Roddick breaking the top 4 here either even if they were at their best. And DEFINITELY not Blake, Safin, Nalbandian or Ljubicic.

    2009 and 2010 are the 2 years where the competition wasn't as tough as 2008, 2011 and 2012.

    I'd put 2009 on par with 2005, tougher than 2004 & 2006 but less tougher than 2007. 2009 we had Novak drop off at majors, Nadal getting injured and Del Potro break through in USO. I can see Hewitt or Roddick breaking the top 4 here but they'd need to be in close to their best form. Still don't see it happening with Blake, Safin, Nalbandian or Ljubicic.

    2010 tougher than 04-06 but probably on par with 2007. Novak wasn't great at majors but better than 09, Murray was better at majors in 2010 than 09 as well, plus Sod was an established top 4-5 player. Plus although Fed's season wasn't great, at least he was still there and tough to beat not missing like Nadal was in 09. Don't see Hewitt or Roddick breaking the top 4 here. Maybe at their best one of them would push through but not both of them. And again no Blake, Safin, Nalbandian or Ljubicic. Safin only turned up to one major a year which is effectively what Berdych did and it wasn't enough to get him into top 4.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
    #34
  35. NEW_BORN

    NEW_BORN Professional

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    ^^^The_Order

    You make some very valid points and i agree that prior to 2007, the elite players in the field were weaker than who we have today.

    However, i don't agree with your prior assertion that had Fed being born into the Nadal, Djokovic, Murray era, he would have vastly under-performed in the slams or otherwise.

    Who's to say that Fed would not have adapted his game to combat these changing variables
     
    #35
  36. sbengte

    sbengte Legend

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    You should try reading your own posts. They are so full of WIN.
     
    #36
  37. sbengte

    sbengte Legend

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    I just read the part about 2010 in your essay and it appears that you left out some relevant details :

    - In 2010, weak era mugs like Roddick and Ljubicic won a Masters 1000

    - Djokovic was in clown mode except for his USO final appearance. Didn't make a single Masters 1000 final in the year.

    - Murray went into a slump after losing the AO final. Recovered a bit to win a couple of masters post Wimbledon but crashed out early to Wawa at the USO.

    - Federer after winning the AO, went into a slump too and was plagued by health issues. (lung infection/injuries). Lost to the likes of Gulbis, Montanes, Baggy and recovered only around Cincy and the indoor HC season.

    - Essentially 3 out of the top 4 were irrelevant for several months after the AO until about USO.

    - Melzer and Youzhny made semifinals of FO and USO (losing to the eventual champion Rafa, of course) and Rafa only had to beat a 'slam final virgin' at Wimbledon.

    What were you saying about 2010 being tough, again ?
     
    #37
  38. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    I said 2008, 2011 and 2012 were all tougher than 2010. I just rated 2010 tougher than 2009 for reasons I have already explained. Roddick won a Masters in 2010, but in 2009 he made the Wimbledon final. Novak was worse in 09 than 2010 in terms of performance at the majors and Murray was also better at the majors than 2009. Soderling was also more dangerous at the majors, in particular Wimbledon. I also did say that Berdych's form wasn't the same against Nadal in the final as it was against Fed and Novak.
     
    #38
  39. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    Thanks for taking the time to read it.

    I don't expect everyone to agree with me, especially when talking about hypothetical scenarios like what if Fed was 5 years younger and stuff like that. You could be right and Fed could have adapted his game, but imo I don't see him changing much because he made it quite clear his goal was to win RG since he had already been dominating at the other majors. In order to do that he needed to adapt his game instead of trying to beat Rafa with his CC SHBH into the Nadal FH, but he never managed to do that, he persisted. Now the argument can be made that he persisted because it worked against everyone else so he got stubborn, but after 3 losses at RG to Rafa, he hired a coach for the clay season and still nothing really changed, in fact he copped an even worse beating.
     
    #39
  40. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    It is very interesting that we are in a strong era where a player can come back back from a seven month absence to win 3 titles, including a master 1000. The WTA and the ATP have interchanged their place...
     
    #40
  41. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    But you do know that Novak didn't beat a single top 10 player until the USOpen in 2010, do you? If he still was able to perform better in major, it doesn't show that he was better. It shows that 2010 was the weakest year in the history of the sport since 1462.
     
    #41
  42. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    But you do know that Murray, Soderling and Berdych did don't you? And you do know that Rafa didn't play Novak until he was in the form that got him the win against a top 10 opponent.

    So it was the weakest year since 2009 which was the year before and that one was weaker.
     
    #42
  43. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    2009
    Nadal wins a HC slam against Federer in five sets
    Verdasco and Nadal play in one of the greatest matches ever, and imo the match of the year for sheer brilliance and style and contrast of styles.
    Murray wins Miami
    Del Potro finally emerges winning three straight times against Nadal, gives Federer a WAR at the FO semi, and beats him for the title US Open in five sets, having destroyed Nadal the round before.
    Nadal and Djokovic put on a trio of intense clay court battles from Monte Carlo all the way to what was probably the greatest three set clay court match ever in Madrid.
    Soderling picks his game up at RG, beating Nadal, Davydenko and Gonzalez before losing to Federer in an emotional match.
    Wimbledon final goes 16 - 14 in the fifth set, with Roddick playing some of the best grass court tennis of his life, beating an inspired Hewitt and Murray back to back before pushing Federer all the way.
    Davydenko finds immense form, winning a Masters, and beating Federer and Del Potro on route to the WTF title.


    2010
    Federer wins AO, but starts losing matches to everyone in the events after that.
    Djokovic fails to beat anyone in the top ten until he faces Federer in the US Open semi, and saves two match points to finally do it.
    Davydenko form slips post AO.
    Luby and Andy win IW and Miami, both beat Nadal on the way.
    Nadal wins MC hardly losing games, and completes the clay court swing losing hardly any sets.
    Federer finally fails to keep the semi streak going, and also gets rolled over by Berdych at W, after almost losing in the first round.
    Nadal wins W, and USO.
    Federer comes alive in the indoor season, and the WTF is one of the best ever.
    No Del Potro to defend to USO title.


    I certainly prefer the compeition in 2009 to 2010.
     
    #43
  44. NEW_BORN

    NEW_BORN Professional

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    I think 2006 Fed was certainly capable of beating Nadal at RG, but once he lost that year, he just got so discouraged to the point that he didn't believe he could win in subsequent meetings at the FO.

    To me the biggest reason Nadal's game is so tough for all right-handers (not just Fed), is how incredibly difficult it is to run around their backhand to hit a forehand once Nadal hits a cross-court forehand. That shot has so much angle and bite off the ground that it makes it almost impossible to attack, especially with one-handed backhands.

    Fed's stubbornness / unwillingness to develop a gameplan to combat this strategy is what has cost him the few times that he actually had a slim chance of taking it to Nadal at the FO.
     
    #44
  45. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Agree with this but you forgot to add Murray's slump after 2010 AO and his upset loss to Stan at USO.

    Overall I personally think 2009 is better than 2010 by a noticeable margin, IMO 2009 along with 2011 and 2012 was one of the toughest years competition wise in the modern era while 2010 was one of the weakest (I'm glad Ljubo finally won a masters title when he was way past his prime though), even at AO while I think that Murray played some of his career best HC tennis on the way to the final he was once again overly passive once he got there (Fed did play great but Murray just tried to breakdown his BH and didn't eveb try to adapt his tactic until he was already 2-0 down).

    What somewhat salvages 2010 were Nadal's standout performance in 2010 USO and Fed's at WTF, other than the level of play was pretty lackluster.
     
    #45
  46. IgnatusP

    IgnatusP Banned

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    This is true. I remember that match very clearly. Verdasco has never been better. And Nadal was serving great if I remember correctly. It was the best GS semifinal of recent years.
     
    #46
  47. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    To me it was one of the best tennis matches I've ever seen, period.

    IMO any tennis fan who hasn't watched it owes himself to do so.

    People can say what they want about Dasco (and he does warrant a lot of criticism) but his level of play that day was off the charts.
     
    #47
  48. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    You're right. Murray was a no show for quite a while, failing badly at IW and Miami that year, after having made the finals of both the year before.

    2009 level of competition throughout the year was incredibly high, the following year just couldn't follow that high level sadly.
     
    #48
  49. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    I have seen that match numerous times. Two players playing at the highest possible level, with contrasting styles, for five hours non stop. If you ever wanted to be an offense player or a defense player and needed something to inspire you, the Verdasco offense and Nadal defense in this match will do just that. For me, this still remains Nadal's greatest HC match, nothing else comes close. For sure, the highlight for Verdasco too.
     
    #49
  50. IgnatusP

    IgnatusP Banned

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    I fully agree, zagor. The stars had alligned for Verdasco that day. Or, to be more accurate and less poetic, his hard work was paying off and his confidence was at an all time high. His trajectory after that has been such a letdown.

    Really aggressive tennis from Dasco that day, with Nadal being his worst nightmare on the other side of the net.
     
    #50

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