What is happening to Fed is normal for any past great.

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by GameSampras, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    All the tennis greats , IMO, have stages.

    1. The rise. Here is when the player makes his mark one day (as Fed did in 03 Wimbledon). He began to put it all together and reaches his prime.

    2. Domination. This is when a player is in the 'middle' of their primes and making a name for themselves and obliterating everything and challenge put in front of them.

    3. Step off the gas. This is when the player is still in his prime but priorities have changed and the day in day out grind has taken second place to the record books, slams etc...

    4. Decline. This is when the player has lost physical abilities and/or is burnt out and is unable to produce his best.


    When a great player is in stages 1 and 2, they go 'all out' on every tournament, they give it 100% everyday. They are trying to make a name for themselves.

    In stage 3, a player is STILL in his prime but has already accomplished a lot and is now pacing himself, concentrating on the recordbooks. Federer is here!

    Stage 4 is where the player is done, a 'shell' of himself. This would be Pete Sampras around 01-02 where he went around 1.5 years without winning a single title and was pushing 30 or 31. Or Andre from 05 on.. Federer HASN'T GOTTEN HERE YET..


    So had Nadal or Murray or DJoker not have have emerged, Roger would've STILL started to lose more and more but, at slams, he'd be the same old Federer. He would've won 08 AO, Wimbledon and US Open and 09 AO. He would've also won a few masters in 08 and probably IW 09. . Again you saw this with others.

    He is in stage 3 AND facing better rivals so you see what you see. Those losses to Nadal in slam finals could've EASILY happened between 04-06. Fed has upped his play in slams, same as in past, but Rafael has taken his level to a level no other player in the past was able to attain. Novak Djokovic's play at AO 08 was also a higher level of tennis than anything Fed's old rivals were able to produce. Federer had his chances to beat Novak, had he serve dout the first set and he has been close to Nadal..


    the biggest difference.. Nadal has primed and tweaked his game to the point where Fed just could not stop the inevitable really and with Djoker and Murray into the mix, they present a more formidable challenge than those at the top 04-06
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
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  2. Lotto

    Lotto Professional

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    I totally agree to be honest. I wouldn't be surprised if he breakd Sampras' record this year. The only person that can really challenge Roger at the slams is Rafa. I dont care what people say about Murray, he doesn't have it yet at the slams and I dont see him winning one this year. He does have his number in the masters and smaller tourneys though. Djokovic has troubled him once, at AO 08 and he beat him but he's been in terrible form recently.

    We still have a lot to see from Roger imo.
     
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  3. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Nice post, and this is why I think Jimmy Connors is such a great player, even when he's reached stage 4, he's still in there fighting and never giving up.
     
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  4. Andyk028

    Andyk028 Semi-Pro

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    I agree with your "stage" theory..but to say Nadal has primed is a falicy. Look at his hardcourt game so far and compare it to last year. Im waiting to see what Nadal will bring to the table after Wimbledon.
     
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  5. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    Nadal has primed to the point where he will either remain at this level, even INCREASE this level or drop off either significantly or slowly. He did win the AO lets not forget. Before this year or last, that never would have been possible. Even if he can never manage the USO he still has HC titles and a HC slam to his name. You cant erase that
     
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  6. kungfusmkim

    kungfusmkim Professional

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    TOTALLY AGREE. great post!
     
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  7. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    Yes. Good post. The "Federer is done" people are not students of tennis history. No way was Fed going to win 95% of his matches until he was 30. He will continue at a top 5 level for quite a while I think, but the only thing he is done doing is winning 2-3 slams a year.
     
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  8. cucio

    cucio Legend

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    You forgot step 5: making public predictions about current slam finals and failing. Borg, Becker et al. are in that stage.
     
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  9. All-rounder

    All-rounder Legend

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    its nice to see people with sense of the game and not talk out their behind GREAT POST!!!
     
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  10. Andyk028

    Andyk028 Semi-Pro

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    what?

    Im saying that Rafael Nadal has improved his Hardcourt game drastically. With that being said, I'm interested in seeing if he also increased his oncourt longevity for a single season. So I'm not exactly sure what I'm trying to erase.
     
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  11. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    He increased it pretty well last year. His peformance at the USO and AO improved. Far better than when he was losing to the likes of Ferrer and Youzhny. He won the olympics etc. Now he has already won the AO and Indian Wells. I would assume he will keep his streak going on HC's. Im not sure he can win the USO. It depends on the draw and what the seeds will be there.

    If Murray falls into Fed's bracket somehow. Nadal has a great chance of reaching the USO finals. I think Nadal can handle Djoker at the USO
     
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  12. rubberduckies

    rubberduckies Professional

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    Like when Borg predicted that Nadal would win Wimbledon in 2008 and said that he was unlucky not to win it the year before?

    Seems spot on to me.
     
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  13. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    I think Nadal needs to try and avoid the medium-slow hardcourts more and more. These are the courts where he can get engaged in long rallies that take a toll on his legs. He has plenty of game to beat anybody on a fast hardcourt, so I think he needs to avoid tournaments like Canada masters from now on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
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  14. cucio

    cucio Legend

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    Nope, when he said Federer would win RG.
     
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  15. clayman2000

    clayman2000 Hall of Fame

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    So becuase his prediction was off by one more match it means that old legends never pick right
     
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  16. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Wait, was it also normal for all the past greats to catch mono at the peak of their careers which side-tracked them for a year and they were never the same again since?

    Federer is CLEARLY not the same player that he was before getting mono. He is slower, his footwork is sloppier, he makes many more errors, his backhand is inconsistent, he misses easy volleys, he doesn't serve as well, he's not as aggressive, etc. This could be due to the lack of training and physical conditioning during his illness or the residual effects of his illness since the mono virus never leaves your body, who knows? But many athletes who have had mono report that they were never the same again since and it took a very, very long time to fully recover from mono and its after-effects, if ever. :(
     
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  17. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    Oh come on!!! LOL.. Fed's mono is long gone:) At least any major symptoms of it. Has mono caused his BH to deteriorate? How about his mental toughness on big points and blowing leads?
     
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  18. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, because of his poor footwork now.

    Yes, because if you no longer trust your body, you lose your mental desire to fight.
     
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  19. icedevil0289

    icedevil0289 Legend

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    oh god:roll:
     
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  20. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    How do u explain Fed never taking a break from tour or reaching slam after slam final? Does his mono only kick in when Nadal is on the other side of the net? I dont get it
     
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  21. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    He didn't have serious mono like Ancic stop making excuses for him.
     
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  22. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    I really want Federer to break Sampras' record, but I just don't see it happening. He needs one to tie and two to break.

    Maybe becoming a father will re-focus Roger, but two slams and nearing the age of 30, is a little too much IMO.

    Sure, Agassi did it--won slams after 30 and actually improved his game-- but Federer has been so good for so long that you cannot compare him to Agassi in that respect. Agassi was not that great for most of his career-- not focused-- not hungry-- for years. Federer, on the other hand, has almost a decade, of improving, striving, staying motivated, staying hungry-- the mental aspect of being willing to learn and re-learn and staying motivated-- will be the biggest hurdle for Federer to overcome-- not his opponent opposite court.
     
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  23. cucio

    cucio Legend

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    They are not particularly good at it, given that they know things we don't.
     
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  24. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    He did take a break from the tour. He hardly played at all between the AO and Indian Wells last year. He can still get to the Slam finals, but not win them. (The only reason he won the US Open last year was because Djokovic and Murray totally choked.) He only got to the AO final this year because Berdych totally choked.

    Federer went from cleaning Roddick's, Nadal's and Ferrer's clock at the '07 Master's Cup in Nov. '07 to never being the same player again after getting mono in Dec. '07.

    Look at who's beaten him since getting mono: Roddick, Fish, Blake, Simon, Stepanek, Karlovic, etc. These guys couldn't touch him before mono.
     
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  25. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You mean because you are both Federer's and Ancic's personal physician and have thoroughly examined both of them? :-?
     
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  26. icedevil0289

    icedevil0289 Legend

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    seriously? It had nothing to do with the fact that roger actually played well? Stop with the mono crap. Its annoying.
     
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  27. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    He's 27! He's got three years left before he's thirty.

    And he's made the last four slam finals, and 14 of the last 15 slam finals. But somehow his level of play is suddenly going to drop and he wont' squeak out two more slams?
     
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  28. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    good post. Feds stages could have come a year of 2 earlier if Nadal didn't bust his knee at Wimbledon 07/carry that injury into US open 07, and sacrifice US open 08 by Winning the Olympics.

    All those other losses for Fed in 08 during non slams may well have been viewed as normal by fans had Nadal not busted his knee in 07.
     
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  29. icedevil0289

    icedevil0289 Legend

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    wow. :roll:
     
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  30. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it really is a shame Nadal hasn't learned how to run around on a tennis court without his knees falling off every other match.
     
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  31. ChanceEncounter

    ChanceEncounter Professional

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    27 is already in the latter stages of "middle age" for a tennis player. He's going to turn 28, and the players that are at the top now are 4, 5 or more years younger than him.

    This is natural progression. Tennis is always going to be a sport for young men.
     
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  32. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I know he's getting older, but people saying "He's almost thirty!!!!!1!!!omg!!!" just seem a tad ridiculous. Even if he doesn't win a slam after thirty, he's got 10 more opportunities to prove himself.
     
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  33. ChanceEncounter

    ChanceEncounter Professional

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    He's still getting to the semifinals or better at every slam. The fact that he has some difficulty with some elite players who are substantially younger than him doesn't mean that he's not getting older and declining.

    For what it's worth, Sampras was showing a similar train of decline.
     
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  34. Zaragoza

    Zaragoza Banned

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    How many years are there usually between steps 1 and 3? I think more than 4-5 years.
     
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  35. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    ROFL X 125! When Federer retires in say 2012, I won't be surprised if Breakpoint attributes it to the mono that affected Federer 4 years ago!

     
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  36. Nuke

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    So let me get this straight: Nadal will either stay at this level, or maybe get better, or maybe get worse? Brilliant! You seem to have hit the nail right on the head. :)
     
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  37. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    When did Ancic get mono? Like 3 years ago? Has he fully recovered? Has he ever been the same since? He was ranked #7 in the world before he got mono.
     
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  38. JoshDragon

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    I agree, although if it hadn't been for Nadal, Federer would have been the undisputed GOAT.
     
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  39. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Brilliant post game only disagreement Is Fed 08 does not win 3 slams. 2 max..not 3 though. He loses that AO to Tsonga. but the stages are right on and amazing excellent post =]
     
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  40. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    I so agree with you, I'd really love to see a Federer thread not turned into a mono thread after 3 posts. That is so annoying and everything has already been said on the subject!
     
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  41. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    There are only 4 players in recent tennis history who won several slams after the age of 27:
    - Agassi won 3 slams at 29 (RG, USO and AO), 1 AO at 30 and another AO at 32.
    - Lendl won RG and USO at 27, 1 AO at 28 and 1 AO at 29.
    - Connors won 1 W at 29, 1 USO at 30 and his last USO at 31.
    - Sampras won W at 27, another W at 28 and a USO at 31.
    Let's see if Federer can enter this (short) list of "old" slam winners!
     
    #41
  42. danb

    danb Professional

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    I am a Rafa fan but I still think Fed has at least 1 more slam left in him. Maybe two.
     
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  43. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    This just in: Federer has been diagnosed with an especially virulent form of mono...it's called "Rafamurrayitis" and it's affected Federer in the standard way-he has become the PRISON PUNK of two certain rivals...

    Federer will ALWAYS be considered one of the all-time greats after what he's achieved in the past five years, but...his stock has "dropped" a bit after being made Rafa's and Andy's prison bride. Really, the "other" all time greats, like Sampras and Laver, would have NEVER let that happen. Never. Of course they played guys who gave them fits, but in the end, they usually found a way to overcome them, like the champions they were.
     
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  44. WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis

    WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis Hall of Fame

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    I think the supposed step 5 takes places not necessarily because these past players or champions thrust in from their current lives to voice their opinions about tennis nowadays, but because media pursuits and confronts them regarding predilections. Plainly out and out in all aspects of tennis, whatever and whoever is current covering tennis events wants to seek out past players to get their opinions on what is going on now and how they think will do the best, etc. The ones who chose to answer to these medias and say, then fall into the pattern of being "consultants" or whatever title you want to call it, will continue to voice more and more predilections.

    These former players opinions, in actuality, are no greater or lesser than anyone elses in the outcome. Only the current players now will win or lose dependent on the event, their health and various factors. Its just part of the aura to ask past players to remark on whats going on today and give their perspectives. Some formers are more in media, or in coaching, for example, so we can name them, but many of the past greats remain fairly frugal with their comments. Or conversely, at certain points in time, media goes really bonkers trying to get a certain former players point of view on an international level, say a Michael Stich, and then you have a lot of people really attempt to crufix him for giving his opinions. Its a lose/lose situation in some ways unless this former player always chooses the right one who eventually wins.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
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  45. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, and Federer did figure out a way to overcome Hewitt, Agassi, Henman, Nalbandian, etc., and it's not like Federer has never beaten Nadal nor Hewitt.

    BTW, Sampras and Laver also never got mono at the peak of their careers. :shock:
     
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  46. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Who said anything about Hewitt? The two players I mentioned are MURRAY and Nadal, and yes, he's beaten Nadal, but not in a while. You wouldn't expect him to be oh and whatever against him...that doesn't mean he isn't Rafa's prison bride...he is.

    Why use "mono" as an excuse? Even Federer isn't using it as an excuse, so how do you even KNOW this is the root of his problem? Are you privvy to his medical records? No, I didn't think so.

    The fact is, Federer is good enough to beat pretty much anyone else on the tour, but not Rafa. Not at all. Is THAT due to "mono"? Sounds like a pretty lame excuse to me. What I SEE, is that Federer doesn't have an answer (the correct one, at least) to Nadal's game. This is not due to the after effects of "mono". To say so is an insult to the two players who have figured out how to beat Fed consistently.
     
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  47. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Well, how can anyone start a thread about the decline of Federer without mentioning the effect of getting mono at the peak of his career had on starting his said decline?

    He went from being virtually guaranteed to break Sampras' Grand Slam record by a wide margin to being questionable if he ever will virtually overnight. That doesn't just happen all on its own without some catastrophic event occurring.
     
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  48. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You stated that Federer didn't have the ability to figure out opponents that gave him fits unlike Sampras and Laver did. That's just not true. Federer has figured out how to beat many opponents that used to beat him all the time. After he figured them out, he never lost to them again ever. He just hasn't figured out Nadal and Murray yet. Although he has given both quite a beating at times.
    If he never got mono, then of course that could never be used as an excuse. But the fact is that he did.
     
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  49. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Laver played in a time where the physicality of the game was not as intense as it is today. He also played a style that gave itself to longevity. Federer plays a more movement based style. Sampras was in between, but more towards Federer. Even then, Sampras had a nearly unbreakable serve.
     
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  50. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    No, I said that Federer doesn't have the ability to figure out two SPECIFIC opponents, Murray and Nadal. I even mentioned them by name, so anything else is just you making something up.

    At this point in his career, it doesn't look like he'll figure out Nadal. I don't see it happening. In fact, where Nadal once only dominated Federer on clay, now he's beating him on grass and hard courts. Sounds like Fed's just on the verge of figuring him out!

    So this is a ready-made excuse for *******s like yourself? Okay, I see that. Again, you overlook the fact that Nadal is a great player who has passed passed the Fed in the fast lane. And this is coming from someone who doesn't enjoy watching Nadal play at all...but that's beside the point. The results speak for themselves.
     
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