Originally Posted by nikdom
Do you think Nadal hits with the same abandon that he had when he was a 18 yr old pirate-in-waiting?
If you watch those very videos, notice how slow his opponents are moving and reacting to his shotmaking. Players are better today having had yo improve to meet the bar that Roger set.
All that matters is how he is doing with respect to the competition today. Point me to any other player from Rogers generation who is doing better.
I'm not seeing Roger attempt and make the same types of shots he made in 03-06, though. It's Roger who's not reacting as well. The Federer we've seen since the 2007 Australian Open is mostly a "game plan" guy. He only rarely hits the "inventive" shot, or goes up a gear and starts blasting the ball from mid-air. He doesn't have as much variety as before. I mean, he still has some variety, but it seems much more contrived now.
The wrist flicks and carved backhand drop shots out of nowhere from before have been replaced with predictable forehand drop shots and "squash" shots, when he's on the full stretch.
Stylistically, he's just different. He still gets strong results with this new style, but for whatever reason, he has been a different player from 2007 on. That doesn't necessarily mean if he were playing his old style that he'd be dominating like before...but he'd be more fun to watch IMO.