2015 Federer > 2017 Federer

Fabresque

Professional
#1
Let’s think about it.

Late 2014 Fed - Early 2016 Fed played at a very high level, and the only thing stopping him from winning 4 slams was peak Djokovic, twice at Wimbledon, once at the USO, and once at the Aussie.

He played high level tennis, and pretty much made peak Murray his pet.

2017 Federer is very good, sure, but he got a free ride, considering Djokovic and Murray were out of sorts and he only had to deal with Nadal, which is still hard to do, but if we replace Djokovic with Nadal as Federer’s 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon final, 2015 US Open final, and 2016 AO Semi-final opponent, he would win at least 2 of those matches. And this is 2017 Nadal, not useless 2015 Nadal who had a losing record to Fognini.

Disgust.
 
#4
Totally agree. The only part of his game that was arguably better in 2017 was his mentality/confidence imo. He played more freely in big matches. But who knows if that would have even been the case had Ultron still been there in 2017. It's clear to me that Ultron has really gotten into Fed's head since 2014ish.
 

Sabratha

Talk Tennis Guru
#6
Let’s think about it.

Late 2014 Fed - Early 2016 Fed played at a very high level, and the only thing stopping him from winning 4 slams was peak Djokovic, twice at Wimbledon, once at the USO, and once at the Aussie.

He played high level tennis, and pretty much made peak Murray his pet.

2017 Federer is very good, sure, but he got a free ride, considering Djokovic and Murray were out of sorts and he only had to deal with Nadal, which is still hard to do, but if we replace Djokovic with Nadal as Federer’s 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon final, 2015 US Open final, and 2016 AO Semi-final opponent, he would win at least 2 of those matches. And this is 2017 Nadal, not useless 2015 Nadal who had a losing record to Fognini.

Disgust.
 
#8
When was "Peak" Murray? I think Murray at his best was between 2009-2013 because he actually beat Federer and Djokovic plenty of times during that period after that Federer has never lost to him since, that isn't indicative of peaking, becoming a pigeon is it? Murray worked very hard in 2016 but he didn't have to face in form Federer or Nadal, both either had confidence and injury issues

Federer in 2015 was only put away by Ultron mark 2 version Djokovic, if Djokovic had his slump in 2015 then Federer would have won Wimbledon and the US Open as nobody was stopping him, that isn't hypothetical, then Murray wouldn't have beat Federer in the AO final of 2016 if Djokovic was in a rut earlier. In 2015, Murray's high ranking because he was more consistent over best of 3 sets, Federer was superior in the slams. I'd rather peak when it mattered than over some tournament you'll only remember for statistics thought to his credit Murray is very consistent during a season. I don't mention Nadal as he was going through his slump which included a wrist injury during the Clay swing of 2016.
 
#9
I think his level between 2015 Halle until 2015 USO was extremely high and better than at any point in 2017. I also thought he played very well in 2017 and probably overall with more confidence but his peak level in 2015 was a bit higher.

2015
Total points won -- 6005/10940 -- 54.9%
Total games won -- 1093/1820 - 60.1%

2017
Total points won -- 5154/9385 -- 54.9%
Total games won -- 882/1490 -- 59.2%
 
#11
I think his level between 2015 Halle until 2015 USO was extremely high and better than at any point in 2017. I also thought he played very well in 2017 and probably overall with more confidence but his peak level in 2015 was a bit higher.

2015
Total points won -- 6005/10940 -- 54.9%
Total games won -- 1093/1820 - 60.1%

2017
Total points won -- 5154/9385 -- 54.9%
Total games won -- 882/1490 -- 59.2%
The Murray SF was better than anything he did in 2017 (as much as I think it's overrated), but I think he was slightly better in 2017 otherwise.
 
#12
The real crime is that we never got to see 2015 Djokovic and 2017 Federer play each other.

As amazing as Novak played back then, Roger's game still gave him plenty of trouble (as shown in Bo3) but he just shrunk mentally in the slams. I'd kill to see post-injury Roger with his "I've got nothing to lose" attitude get a crack at Ultron.

I'd still put my money on Novak, but it would make for incredible tennis.
 
#13
The Murray SF was better than anything he did in 2017 (as much as I think it's overrated), but I think he was slightly better in 2017 otherwise.
The Murray match and I thought his overall level at Wimbledon was higher in 2015. He also played incredibly well in his Cincy/USO run and I believe that was higher than anything in 2017.
 
#17
2017 Fed looks good simply because Nole collapsed. Without that Fed would be stuck at 17.
Well tell us how you really feel Gabe. :D I think a lot of people think his ground game was so much better because he wasn't playing 2015 peak Djokovic from the baseline. It's easier to look better when you're not dealing with that in 6 big title finals.
 
#18
2017 > 2015 by a bit.
2017 by a TON. Those claiming 2015 are not Fed fans and didn't watch his matches unless he was playing their favorite player.

In 2017 he won 2 majors, three Masters 1000's and beat Nadal four times. He did nothing of note (by Fed's lofty standards) in 2015 aside from being beaten in two major finals and winning Cincy. He played well in Dubai and Cincy especially and the SABR was fantastic, but ended the year at 6. How can anyone think 2015 was a better level than 2017 when 2017 yielded two slams and he came close to being YE #1?
 
#19
Do you people even have an ounce of tennis understanding ?

All this generalisation just because you people can't be bothered to seriously think what you are saying.

2017 had

Much much more safer much stronger strategic baseline play compared to substanceless risky flashy net rush and laughable attempts of impossibly finishing the points early

A reliable and strong baseline weapon in the form of his Backhand which was a much safer and productive option than relying on net skills in the goddamned mid 2010s

He could actually rally in 2017 and actually opted to construct points rather than be a paranoid net rusher.


FH 2017> FH 2015
BH 2017 >>> BH 2015
MOVEMENT 2017 >= 2015
MENTALITY 2017 >>> 2015
STRATEGY 2017>>>> 2015
SERVE 2017<<<2015


Don't get me wrong only a top level player could beat 2015 Federer like Djokovic did, but 2017 version is by substance and gameplay much better and yet he would lose to the monster that Djokovic was. So no need to get insecure .
 
#21
Well tell us how you really feel Gabe. :D I think a lot of people think his ground game was so much better because he wasn't playing 2015 peak Djokovic from the baseline. It's easier to look better when you're not dealing with that in 6 big title finals.
Fed fans are nice but too many are simply delusional. Fed hasn't been able to beat Nole in anything more important than a Masters 1000 since before he turned 31. Wimbledon 2012 was the last time, to be exact. (and no, the 2015 RR win in WTF is of no relevance. What matters is who wins the tournament, and Nole beat Fed in the final).

We've seen this story over and over in the last 5 years. Fed plays well, sometimes incredibly well, with almost no breaks to his serve. Fed fans predict a victory over Djokovic. And then Fed loses. Just look at the polling in all the match threads.

I'm surprised this is even a debate. If Nole hadn't collapsed he would have beaten Fed at AO17, W17, and AO18 if they had met. Just like he's been beating Fed at every slam they have met since Wimbledon 2012.
 
#23
Fed fans are nice but too many are simply delusional. Fed hasn't been able to beat Nole in anything more important than a Masters 1000 since before he turned 31. Wimbledon 2012 was the last time, to be exact. (and no, the 2015 RR win in WTF is of no relevance. What matters is who wins the tournament, and Nole beat Fed in the final).

We've seen this story over and over in the last 5 years. Fed plays well, sometimes incredibly well, with almost no breaks to his serve. Fed fans predict a victory over Djokovic. And then Fed loses. Just look at the polling in all the match threads.

I'm surprised this is even a debate. If Nole hadn't collapsed he would have beaten Fed at AO17, W17, and AO18 if they had met. Just like he's been beating Fed at every slam they have met since Wimbledon 2012.
Basically yea and so true. He played well in 2017 but nothing 2015 peak Djokovic would not have snuffed out in my opinion. It's quite different to play Nadal in AO, IW and Miami finals instead of peak Djokovic who can completely take the match out of your hands and did so often against Federer in big matches and BO5 in the last 6 years. I even felt like his draw at Wimbledon was perfect for him and Berdych was his only real test, which was a huge contrast from 2015.
 
#25
2015 : The transition to complete aggression:

Federer had brought in extra aggression and serve reliance in 2014,Which had led to substantial improvement in results.It was only logical to follow that path.Fred,being,a purist and a fan of 90s playstyle,employed even more net play in his matches.He began to take more risks on return and started trying to rush his opponents even more.This basically included trying to take the initiative at any possible instant and rushing the net or trying to hit a winner.This style was extremely difficult to pull of and the execution had to be perfect.But Federer is crazy talented.He not only executed his style of play perfectly,he exposed the current players unease against constant and intelligent aggression.He was a delight to watch,bringing back the nostalgic memories of the 80s and 90s.


But the problem was this was not 90s.Even an outrageous volley winner after exceptional net coverage won you just one point and the question was no matter how talented you were,the difficulty level meant you were not going to keep doing it.
The major flaw in his game was that even though he was applying several tactics,his overall game plan was limited and lacked substance, it was too focused on shortening the points.His aggressive play meant that many times he was going for meaningless net exploits,ignoring percentage play and on the whole having a very low margin for error.His style was superficial and suicidal ,this spelt disaster in best of 5 sets where it was hard to blitz a good opponent.Avoiding baseline in the era of baseliners was a huge mistake.An aggressive player without a stable baseline weapon was not going to win a Grand Slam in 2010s.Somebody with enough balance in his game and patience with ability to make Federer play on his own terms, was going to figure this out.
Admittedly such a player had to be an all time great himself.Unfortunately there was a certain ATG around then: Novak Djokovic.





The solution to the problem,Giving 2015 aggressive mindset the correct expression:Sustained baseline aggression with a stable weapon.

Now that he knew that as great his 2015 approach was he was not winning slams with it.

This is where Ivan and the backhand idea steps in.His coaching team learned from the mistakes and successes of the past 2 years and chose to make his now more stable backhand a weapon.He cut down his unnecessary net rush in favour of more meaningful baseline point construction,being aggressive and taking the ball early from the baseline meant the same effect (rushing his opponents and taking the their time away)as his previous style but now it was safer without the previous risks of being passed and taking the wrong initiative from the get go.
Now he had a weapon a rely on,a stable baseline game and moreover the alternative of taking the same approach as 2015.This new depth in his game has made him successful at this age.

Most importantly,the failed and sometimes idiotic attempts at aggressive returning in 2014-15 which lost him many B.Ps,had a positive effect as he learned from his mistakes and improved his return to lethal level.



 

NBP

Hall of Fame
#26
Fed fans are nice but too many are simply delusional. Fed hasn't been able to beat Nole in anything more important than a Masters 1000 since before he turned 31. Wimbledon 2012 was the last time, to be exact. (and no, the 2015 RR win in WTF is of no relevance. What matters is who wins the tournament, and Nole beat Fed in the final).

We've seen this story over and over in the last 5 years. Fed plays well, sometimes incredibly well, with almost no breaks to his serve. Fed fans predict a victory over Djokovic. And then Fed loses. Just look at the polling in all the match threads.

I'm surprised this is even a debate. If Nole hadn't collapsed he would have beaten Fed at AO17, W17, and AO18 if they had met. Just like he's been beating Fed at every slam they have met since Wimbledon 2012.
That's an incredibly simplistic view. You are #1 assuming that Djokovic's form in these imaginary matches would have matched his peak. You are #2 disgregarding the change in circumstances each match would have bought. If they had played at the AO in 2017, well, the court was faster than anything on tour barring Shanghai, Dubai, and Cincinnati. Anyway, let's say they didn't play, Federer played Nadal and won (which is the ACTUAL reality). They then meet in the Wimbledon SF. Now, Djokovic is nowhere near the form of 2014-15, and the huge thing that many Djokovic fans seem to forget is Federer at that moment in time is quite clearly got the shackles off after finally, FINALLY winning #18. You think that Fed in July 2017 would be as tense as 2014-16, even less so playing a much worse Djokovic than in those years? Don't just assume that Djokovic was going to keep that level up forever, becasue it's naive.

It's like me saying 'Oh, imagine Fed didn't get mono, didn't turn 30, didn't have back issues etc'. It's Djokovic fault for whatever he went through, and it's also quite stupid to play the 'didn't play Djokovic' card after that draw from HELL in 2017. Give credit where it is due.
 
#27
Err no. Peak Djokovic is beating 2017 Federer everywhere but in no God forsaken manner 2018 Cincy Federer is anywhere close to early 2017 one. Be logical c'mon.
who said 2018 Cincy fed was peak? It was just another example of Fed advancing to the finals, his fans expecting him to win, and then he meets Nole and all changes. Fed wasn't broken once in the four matches on the way to the final and then Nole broke him three times.
 
#28
Fed fans are nice but too many are simply delusional. Fed hasn't been able to beat Nole in anything more important than a Masters 1000 since before he turned 31. Wimbledon 2012 was the last time, to be exact. (and no, the 2015 RR win in WTF is of no relevance. What matters is who wins the tournament, and Nole beat Fed in the final).

We've seen this story over and over in the last 5 years. Fed plays well, sometimes incredibly well, with almost no breaks to his serve. Fed fans predict a victory over Djokovic. And then Fed loses. Just look at the polling in all the match threads.

I'm surprised this is even a debate. If Nole hadn't collapsed he would have beaten Fed at AO17, W17, and AO18 if they had met. Just like he's been beating Fed at every slam they have met since Wimbledon 2012.
Nole ain’t beating 2017 Fed at Wimbledon unless he brings 2015 level. 2014 level won’t cut it vs Fed’s improved 2017 baseline game (IE he could hit with consistent depth rather than those powderpuff 14-15 shots).
 
#29
That's an incredibly simplistic view. You are #1 assuming that Djokovic's form in these imaginary matches would have matched his peak. You are #2 disgregarding the change in circumstances each match would have bought. If they had played at the AO in 2017, well, the court was faster than anything on tour barring Shanghai, Dubai, and Cincinnati. Anyway, let's say they didn't play, Federer played Nadal and won (which is the ACTUAL reality). They then meet in the Wimbledon SF. Now, Djokovic is nowhere near the form of 2014-15, and the huge thing that many Djokovic fans seem to forget is Federer at that moment in time is quite clearly got the shackles off after finally, FINALLY winning #18. You think that Fed in July 2017 would be as tense as 2014-16, even less so playing a much worse Djokovic than in those years? Don't just assume that Djokovic was going to keep that level up forever, becasue it's naive.

It's like me saying 'Oh, imagine Fed didn't get mono, didn't turn 30, didn't have back issues etc'. It's Djokovic fault for whatever he went through, and it's also quite stupid to play the 'didn't play Djokovic' card after that draw from HELL in 2017. Give credit where it is due.
I'm not diminishing anything. Fed beat the guys in front of him and won fair and square. But Fed hasn't beaten Nole at anything above a masters in more than 6 years. Fed was lucky Nole's level collapsed, just like Nole may be lucky in the next year or so that he no longer has to face any peak Big 4. You play with the cards you are dealt.
 
#30
Nole ain’t beating 2017 Fed at Wimbledon unless he brings 2015 level. 2014 level won’t cut it vs Fed’s improved 2017 baseline game (IE he could hit with consistent depth rather than those powderpuff 14-15 shots).
Fed last beat Nole at Wimby in 2012. Nole simply knows how to beat Fed at the slams, and has known how to for many years now.
 
#31
Fed last beat Nole at Wimby in 2012. Nole simply knows how to beat Fed at the slams, and has known how to for many years now.
Yeah because he actually had a FH back then and could control points from the baseline. 2017 improved on 14/15 in that respect so he’d have a better shot at beating Djokovic at Wimbledon. I’d fancy his chances at faster AO vs certain versions too (not 2016)
 

Zetty

Professional
#33
Totally agree. The only part of his game that was arguably better in 2017 was his mentality/confidence imo. He played more freely in big matches. But who knows if that would have even been the case had Ultron still been there in 2017. It's clear to me that Ultron has really gotten into Fed's head since 2014ish.
This is basically it, if he had to play those matches against Djokovic for the big titles he won in 2017 it might be a totally different story. Sadly, I don't think he can hang with Djokovic for 5 sets anymore, he just doesn't have the focus and consistency to hit the requisite number of shots to end the point against him.
 
#34
The Murray match and I thought his overall level at Wimbledon was higher in 2015. He also played incredibly well in his Cincy/USO run and I believe that was higher than anything in 2017.
USO 2015? Higher than anything in 2017??? No. IW 2017 and Wimbledon 2017 were better than USO 2015. Cincy is debatable though.

Wimbledon 2017 and 2015 were around the same overall. 2017 Federer still loses to 2015 Djokovic at Wimbledon anyway. I think Federer in his 2017 Wimbledon form could beat 2015 Djokovic at the USO though, considering how he was better on the big points. Remember, Federer had 23!!! break points against him in 2015.
 
#35
We've seen this story over and over in the last 5 years. Fed plays well, sometimes incredibly well, with almost no breaks to his serve. Fed fans predict a victory over Djokovic. And then Fed loses. Just look at the polling in all the match threads.
Don't judge Fed fans as those posting here, since that represents .001% of all Fed fans.

I personally haven't predicted Fed to beat Djokovic in any match (except Cincy 2015), since 2011 and why should I? Fed was then 30 and Novak was 24. You're mistaken that most Fed fans predict Roger victories over Djokovic and using match threads here as any type of statistical "analysis" is ludicrous since they're separated by 6 years. Djokovic should be beating Fed like a drum since 2011, and essentially he has done so. Not a big surprise. And if by some miracle Djokovic is still playing when he's 37, he won't be beating ATG's 6 years his junior either.
 
#36
I'm not diminishing anything. Fed beat the guys in front of him and won fair and square. But Fed hasn't beaten Nole at anything above a masters in more than 6 years. Fed was lucky Nole's level collapsed, just like Nole may be lucky in the next year or so that he no longer has to face any peak Big 4. You play with the cards you are dealt.
May be lucky? Nole hasn't faced any peak ATG in half a decade.

It's not a huge deal and not his fault because peak for peak ATG meetings are rare anyways, just more of a reflection of the current era and how we've had this big of a gap because no young players have stepped up.
 
#37
Qe will never know how a 2017 Fed would fare against 2015 Novak

Everything is subjective in this context.

Unless I could see my stats proving one against the other, I have no opinion
 
D

Deleted member 757377

Guest
#40
A good indicator of level of play is the number of wins over top10s.

2004: 18
2005: 15
2006: 19
2007: 17
2008: 7
2009: 15
2010: 16
2011: 10
2012: 16
2013: 4
2014: 17
2015: 15
2016: 1
2017: 14
 
#42
A good indicator of level of play is the number of wins over top10s.

2004: 18
2005: 15
2006: 19
2007: 17
2008: 7
2009: 15
2010: 16
2011: 10
2012: 16
2013: 4
2014: 17
2015: 15
2016: 1
2017: 14
I agree it shows just how good he was in 2017 getting 14 top 10 wins while skipping clay. Amazing.
 
#44
USO 2015? Higher than anything in 2017??? No. IW 2017 and Wimbledon 2017 were better than USO 2015. Cincy is debatable though.

Wimbledon 2017 and 2015 were around the same overall. 2017 Federer still loses to 2015 Djokovic at Wimbledon anyway. I think Federer in his 2017 Wimbledon form could beat 2015 Djokovic at the USO though, considering how he was better on the big points. Remember, Federer had 23!!! break points against him in 2015.
Federer was better in Wimby 2015 and that is obvious. They were not the same. Federer was only broken 1 time and faced only 4 break points leading up to the final in 2015 and that includes playing a great returner on grass like Murray. He was broken 4 times and faced 21 break points in 2017. Leading up to the final in 2015 he was hitting winners 23.85% of the time and making an unforced error 7.33% of the time. In 2017, he hit winners 21.6% of the time and made an unforced error 6.5% of the time. He made slightly more unforced errors in 2015, less than 1%, but he hit more winners at over 2%. He had a better conversion rate on break points in 2015 than 2017 (42.6% vs. 41.0%), even when taking into account the match he played against Djokovic. We also saw nothing in 2017 like the performance he gave in the SF against Murray.

In the USO in 2015, he was only broken 2 times and faced 15 break points leading up to the final. That is still better than 2017 Wimby which favors serving and aggression even more. In Cincinnati he only faced 3 break points and was never broken. He didn't even face a beak point against Murray or Djokovic, two great returners which shows how much of a high level he was playing. So being that Federer played worse in 2017 Wimby than he did in 2015 Wimby, I don't understand why you think that version would beat 2015 USO Djokovic when the 2015 version couldn't.
 
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#45
Let’s think about it.

Late 2014 Fed - Early 2016 Fed played at a very high level, and the only thing stopping him from winning 4 slams was peak Djokovic, twice at Wimbledon, once at the USO, and once at the Aussie.

He played high level tennis, and pretty much made peak Murray his pet.

2017 Federer is very good, sure, but he got a free ride, considering Djokovic and Murray were out of sorts and he only had to deal with Nadal, which is still hard to do, but if we replace Djokovic with Nadal as Federer’s 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon final, 2015 US Open final, and 2016 AO Semi-final opponent, he would win at least 2 of those matches. And this is 2017 Nadal, not useless 2015 Nadal who had a losing record to Fognini.

Disgust.
Agree with others. 2017 better backhand so better from back of court. But his pre injury 2015 form gave cause for optimism for his 2017 injury comeback, no doubt. It was clear that he had a more aggressive mindset.
 
#47
I remember before the 2015 Wimbledon final was played, the poll was lopsided in Federe's favor. His level against Murray was so high that people on tennis forums and journalists alike favored Federer to win the final.

And this here is just another example of how hypotheticals would have favored Federer. Had that encounter never happened for Djokovic to prove that he could beat that Federer, people on these boards would have been claiming that Nole would have lost to him in an hypothetical match up. The poll showed that. But reality was different.

Wimbledon 2015 Federer was easily on a higher level than the 2017 version and I'm sure most people know that despite disengeniously pretending that it's not the case.

From 2015 to early 2016 Federer could have easily picked up 3 slams with the form he showed against the field. His level was so high that he made Murray look like a challenger level player in a Wimbledon semi final. He cleaned his competition at both Wimbledon and US open on his way to both finals to just be stopped by Nole. In my mind I have not doubt that Federer would have picked 3 slams in a row from Wimbledon to AO had it not been for Djokovic. While Nole was indisputably the best player in 2015, Federer was likewise by far the best player above everyone else beside Djokovic as proven by the way he was cleaning up the competition at slams.
 

ABCD

Hall of Fame
#48
I remember before the 2015 Wimbledon final was played, the poll was lopsided in Federe's favor. His level against Murray was so high that people on tennis forums and journalists alike favored Federer to win the final.

And this here is just another example of how hypotheticals would have favored Federer. Had that encounter never happened for Djokovic to prove that he could beat that Federer, people on these boards would have been claiming that Nole would have lost to him in an hypothetical match up. The poll showed that. But reality was different.

Wimbledon 2015 Federer was easily on a higher level than the 2017 version and I'm sure most people know that despite disengeniously pretending that it's not the case.

From 2015 to early 2016 Federer could have easily picked up 3 slams with the form he showed against the field. His level was so high that he made Murray look like a challenger level player in a Wimbledon semi final. He cleaned his competition at both Wimbledon and US open on his way to both finals to just be stopped by Nole. In my mind I have not doubt that Federer would have picked 3 slams in a row from Wimbledon to AO had it not been for Djokovic. While Nole was indisputably the best player in 2015, Federer was likewise by far the best player above everyone else beside Djokovic as proven by the way he was cleaning up the competition at slams.
You nailed it. Just to add that I made a poll on TTW after the match who would win on W encounter between Federer2015 and Djokovic2015 and Federer won with 2/3 of votes.
 
#49
I remember before the 2015 Wimbledon final was played, the poll was lopsided in Federe's favor. His level against Murray was so high that people on tennis forums and journalists alike favored Federer to win the final.

And this here is just another example of how hypotheticals would have favored Federer. Had that encounter never happened for Djokovic to prove that he could beat that Federer, people on these boards would have been claiming that Nole would have lost to him in an hypothetical match up. The poll showed that. But reality was different.

Wimbledon 2015 Federer was easily on a higher level than the 2017 version and I'm sure most people know that despite disengeniously pretending that it's not the case.

From 2015 to early 2016 Federer could have easily picked up 3 slams with the form he showed against the field. His level was so high that he made Murray look like a challenger level player in a Wimbledon semi final. He cleaned his competition at both Wimbledon and US open on his way to both finals to just be stopped by Nole. In my mind I have not doubt that Federer would have picked 3 slams in a row from Wimbledon to AO had it not been for Djokovic. While Nole was indisputably the best player in 2015, Federer was likewise by far the best player above everyone else beside Djokovic as proven by the way he was cleaning up the competition at slams.
Federer was definitely playing better in Wimbledon 2015 than he was in Wimbledon 2017 and his level at USO 2015 was way higher than it was in Australian Open 2017. Wawrinka and Nishikori can only dream they take that Federer to a fifth set as they did in AO 2017.

Djokovic was the only one denying Fed from big titles in 2014-2016 so it was clear as crystal he only needed Djokovic out of his way so he can win those big titles again and that's exactly what happened in 2017-18. Djokovic went AWOL and Federer dominated. Not a surprise at all and makes perfect sense.
 
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