Can Federer beat Djokovic at the French Open?

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
Oh so 18-19 year old Federer was struggling to win Wimbledon's because the court was too fast, and then on the slow court he lost in the first round the first year and then what had to change for him to win it in 2003? You're a funny funny guy.

Were they really identical? It's very clear from the video that the trajectories of both serves before they hit the ground were not the same. Different spins result in different trajectories in the air and different speeds after the bounce.


Also, were the humidity and temperature the same in both finals? Those also have a huge effect on the speed of the balls and are outside the control of tournament organizers.
 

SQA333

Hall of Fame
He can't beat Djokovic in a best of 5 ever again.

Maybe if Federer starts every game with a 30-0 advantage, he might take it to a fifth set every once in a while.
 

GabeT

Legend
Oh so 18-19 year old Federer was struggling to win Wimbledon's because the court was too fast, and then on the slow court he lost in the first round the first year and then what had to change for him to win it in 2003? You're a funny funny guy.

The grass has clearly slowed over the years, watch matches from 03-04 and compare now. 03-04 wasn't 90's fast but still quite fast. It's not even debateable that the grass slowed further from 2001. Grass was fairly fast 03-04, slowed further in 05, then again around 08. Sped back up a little for 12-13 maybe to help Murray and maybe the roof helped too, I don't know, and has gotten back to 09-11 levels ever since. Two identical Federer 123 mph first serves


Court 1 today is still fairly quick but center court for some reason is super slow. It has nothing to do with Djokovic. When Federer played his 4R match against Agut on center and QF match against Simon on Court 1 the difference was striking. There are many ways to make a court play slower without them publicly acknowledging that they changed the composition
According to the head groundskeeper at Wimbledon it's not slower but the ground is harder, so that it will last in better conditions throughout the two weeks. And that makes the ball bounce higher.

Also, I saw some analysis of the video this image is from and although the speed of the serve was identical the top spin and angle was not. So they are not really comparable.
 
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djokerer

Banned
Isn't this really his best chance at beating Djokovic in a Slam? I know he had had success against him at Wimbledon but he has since developed some scars facing him on that surface. The French however is where he has lasting memories of beating triumphing over Djokovic and the only surface in the match-up where Djokovic seems to be the one with the mental block. Federer is still also the 2nd best clay courter in the field. Could he manage to dictate the rallies and finish points down the line like Stan did and pull out the upset on that surface or is his game just not made for the high bouncing slow surface of clay?
Yes. In his dreams.
 

Diehard

Semi-Pro
Isn't this really his best chance at beating Djokovic in a Slam? I know he had had success against him at Wimbledon but he has since developed some scars facing him on that surface. The French however is where he has lasting memories of beating triumphing over Djokovic and the only surface in the match-up where Djokovic seems to be the one with the mental block. Federer is still also the 2nd best clay courter in the field. Could he manage to dictate the rallies and finish points down the line like Stan did and pull out the upset on that surface or is his game just not made for the high bouncing slow surface of clay?
LOL!
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Were they really identical? It's very clear from the video that the trajectories of both serves before they hit the ground were not the same. Different spins result in different trajectories in the air and different speeds after the bounce.


Also, were the humidity and temperature the same in both finals? Those also have a huge effect on the speed of the balls and are outside the control of tournament organizers.
sure that's a factor, but it's a 126 mph first serve...if it was like 118 then sure, there are tons of variations for Federer to hit it...126? That's about his top speed, he can't hit a slice out wide at 126 or kick it at that speed. And for that to account for a 9 mph difference after it hits the ground is pretty unlikely. Also the head groundskeeper has already said that the ball bounces higher.
 

RF20Lennon

Legend
Well he CAN but serve and ground game have to be pretty solid. He simply has to put strong balls back in to play. His backhand was quite amazing in RG 2011 and Wimby 2012. Didn't let him down. Serve is key as well. I honestly think he has a better shot there than he has in Australia where Djokovic can firmly place his feet on the ground and not worry about slipping and movement and other factors.
 

Midaso240

Hall of Fame
No,I see RG as the slam in which Federer will find it difficult to get far enough for a meeting with Djokovic. There are a number of players who can beat him there,but should it happen Federer would lose anyway...
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
Two identical Federer 123 mph first serves

If they're identical, can you confirm that:

i) Both balls landed in the exact spot in the service box?
ii) Both balls have the same RPM?

And I want proof, not your assumption. Otherwise, look up the definition of identical.
 
Hell no. That is the last place Federer would beat Djokovic today. It is very unlikely he would even get far enough to play Djokovic. Clay at this stage of his career is by far his weakest surface (moreso than in his prime).
 
Federer is still also the 2nd best clay courter in the field.
I have no idea what you base that statement upon. Wawrinka, Nadal (yes even current Nadal), Murray, are all probably above him on clay at this point. Along with the obvious- Djokovic. He has no result in the last 3 years that indicates 2nd best clay courter. Ferrer could be as well, even if Federer would likely win if they play.
 
Highly highly doubt it.
And he's no longer the 2nd best on clay - too old for that, others can grind him down on the surface.

Wawrinka has the best shot to blow Djokovic off the court.
Murray and Nadal also have outside chances
The last time he was the 2nd best (or better) on clay was probably 2009, a whole 7 years ago now. 2011 overall you would have to give it to Djokovic with his clay Masters wins and wins over Nadal, despite the RG upset (particularly when Federer still didn't win the title). Some would even give Djokovic top clay courter over Nadal that year, so if there is a legit case of Djokovic > Nadal that year then Djokovic > Federer pretty much has to be when Nadal > Federer on clay that year is undisputed. 2010 nobody but Nadal was good on clay overall. Djokovic and Nadal were by far the top 2 in 2012, 2013, 2014. So the comment of still being 2nd best on clay is just strange.
 

zvelf

Semi-Pro
I do wonder whether Nadal, in his current state, would still beat Federer at the French. Draw, make it happen and answer my question!
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
Were they really identical? It's very clear from the video that the trajectories of both serves before they hit the ground were not the same. Different spins result in different trajectories in the air and different speeds after the bounce.


Also, were the humidity and temperature the same in both finals? Those also have a huge effect on the speed of the balls and are outside the control of tournament organizers.
If we take very basic physics into mind, it's clear that the 2003 serve's trajectory ought to produce a more acute angle of bounce--yet it does not. Difference in spin will be negligible on Fed first serves near the top of Fed's speed range. Plus, the arc of the trajectories are similar as well, even though the angles from launch are slightly different--very similar type serves, not like one is flat and one a kicker, and if any of them should be kicked more, it's the 2003 one.

Varience in temperature is fair enough, but the 2008 match wasn't a very dry day at all. No need to think the surface should be particularly bouncy. Besides, they've admitted to changing the structure of the soil/underlying surface even after changing the type of grass, indeed in a way that creates higher bounce.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
The last time they changed the composition of the grass at Wimbledon was in 2001... It was only after this slowdown that Federer was able to win his titles

That hasn't changed since. But with every Wimbledon title Djoker wins, the grass becomes slower and slower in the minds of Fedfans :rolleyes:
Thats not true my friend, PLEASE don't make me source it, everyone else here knows that:)
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
The head WImbledon groundskeeper said they used a firmer surface or something which got rid of bad bounces and made balls bounce higher. And many players/former players (including Djokovic) said the grass was slowed in 2010-2011 compared to even 2005-2006 much less earlier than that.
GUYS PLEASE WIMBLEDON IS EXTREMELLY SLOW EVERYONE KNOWS IT JUST GOOGLE IT I'M TOO LAZY TODAY JUST HAD SURGERY!
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
I seriously doubt fed is ever beating Novak in a slam again :D
I agree, I do think he can get everyone else, Djokovic is in his prime, not just physically but he's got his head together, that's tough to beat. Also some with age lose reflexes or speed, Fed seems to have lost his nerve, my best friend and I agree that last year, and all you have to do is watch, Fed at Wimby was uber aggressive and was playing incredible, then in the final look at his face, you athletes out there know what I'm talking about, tightened muscles mean anxiety, and what does he do in both Wimby and US Open, HE STAYS BACK, HE PLAYS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THAN THE REST OF THE TOURNAMENTS, he'll NEVER beat Djoker staying back, ever, I still say that Semi against Murray at Wimby was IMO the highest level BOTH guys played, I've never seen Murray play at that kind of level, they were both 100% and Feds just a bit better player, he goes into final and stays back, what? Watch the Semi and then the Final so you don't think I'm ONLY biased, I'm biased in that I'm a Fed fan but what I'm saying is true, and doesn't mean Fed would win coming forward but that's the only way to beat Djoker, take him out of his comfort zone
 

TearTheRoofOff

Hall of Fame
I think @metsman and @Sysyphus are quite right. 126mph is only ever going to be a pretty flat serve for Fed, and judging by the trajectories, 2003's should bounce higher in identical conditions and I'm not sure conditions in 2008 would have realistically produced the result shown without a core change to the court.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
citation needed
Ugg I knew someone would ask, instead of simply searching online I have to do it, ok, hold on;

Since it's so difficult for you, first here is a site that uses mathematical formulas to determine exact court speeds, and their results;
https://www.perfect-tennis.com/tennis-court-surfaces-and-court-speeds/

Grand Slam Surface Court Pace Rating
Australian Open Plexicushion Prestige Category 4 – Medium-Fast
French Open Clay Category 1 – Slow
Wimbledon Grass Category 3 – Medium
US Open Pro Decoturf II Category 4 – Medium-Fast

As you can see Wimbledon is SLOWER than Australian Open and US Open. It even has a demonstration of why Federer lost to Nadal is 2008 at Wimby, they show how the grass is much slower than 2003, spend some time on that site.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
Ugg I knew someone would ask, instead of simply searching online I have to do it, ok, hold on;

Since it's so difficult for you, first here is a site that uses mathematical formulas to determine exact court speeds, and their results;
https://www.perfect-tennis.com/tennis-court-surfaces-and-court-speeds/

Grand Slam Surface Court Pace Rating
Australian Open Plexicushion Prestige Category 4 – Medium-Fast
French Open Clay Category 1 – Slow
Wimbledon Grass Category 3 – Medium
US Open Pro Decoturf II Category 4 – Medium-Fast

As you can see Wimbledon is SLOWER than Australian Open and US Open. It even has a demonstration of why Federer lost to Nadal is 2008 at Wimby, they show how the grass is much slower than 2003, spend some time on that site.
And then more slowing, again this is silly anyone whose looked at it, which you clearly have not is fully aware of it. I've heard some say Wimbledon today is as slow as the French Open in the 90's. It's not just the slowing down, but because they changed the surface under the grass the ball bounces much higher;

Martina Navratilova on Wimbledon court changes (2011):
It bounces higher and bounces slower. Higher bounce always slows the court down because you have more time to get to it. It’s not skidding through as much.
The slice now, because you can put so much more spin on the ball, the slice stays low. It’s easy to hit a really good slice because of the strings. The ball stays pretty low on the slice. But the serve is not coming through nearly as much.
Yeah, I think they need to speed it up. I think they need to speed up the courts, generally speaking, or lighten up the balls. How good was the French Open with those light balls? It’s fantastic tennis. Then the talent comes really through. You can be touchy-feely with a light ball. Good touch pays off. When you have a heavy ball, I can’t volley a heavy ball. If you punch it, it doesn’t go anywhere.
This light ball, poom, now you can come to the net. Number one thing I would put a lighter ball. Hitting the ball so hard, the heavy ball, it’s going to take a toll on the arms. Speeding up the court, you can come to the net and be aggressive.
Nowadays, I couldn’t serve and volley. I would have to pick my spots. For me, if I can’t serve and volley, something’s wrong with it, something is wrong with the game. You’re not going to get any variety. If I can’t do that now playing the way I played then, you need to even it up somewhere.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
And then more slowing, again this is silly anyone whose looked at it, which you clearly have not is fully aware of it. I've heard some say Wimbledon today is as slow as the French Open in the 90's. It's not just the slowing down, but because they changed the surface under the grass the ball bounces much higher;

Martina Navratilova on Wimbledon court changes (2011):
It bounces higher and bounces slower. Higher bounce always slows the court down because you have more time to get to it. It’s not skidding through as much.
The slice now, because you can put so much more spin on the ball, the slice stays low. It’s easy to hit a really good slice because of the strings. The ball stays pretty low on the slice. But the serve is not coming through nearly as much.
Yeah, I think they need to speed it up. I think they need to speed up the courts, generally speaking, or lighten up the balls. How good was the French Open with those light balls? It’s fantastic tennis. Then the talent comes really through. You can be touchy-feely with a light ball. Good touch pays off. When you have a heavy ball, I can’t volley a heavy ball. If you punch it, it doesn’t go anywhere.
This light ball, poom, now you can come to the net. Number one thing I would put a lighter ball. Hitting the ball so hard, the heavy ball, it’s going to take a toll on the arms. Speeding up the court, you can come to the net and be aggressive.
Nowadays, I couldn’t serve and volley. I would have to pick my spots. For me, if I can’t serve and volley, something’s wrong with it, something is wrong with the game. You’re not going to get any variety. If I can’t do that now playing the way I played then, you need to even it up somewhere.
Finally, if you don't understand what this means, a slow, high bouncing court favors baseliners and penalizes flat hitters who are agile, there used to be a place in Tennis for flat hitting agile all court players, now it's just the boring stay back and whoever is in better shape and doesn't make the most errors wins, which is fine for some by most that I've seen on this board want to see fast court playing as it's part of tennis.
 

90's Clay

Banned
He can't even beat him on grass and hards now at the slams. . Forget clay.. Maybe a non-slam event where Nole may just phone it in.
 

xFedal

Legend
I do wonder whether Nadal, in his current state, would still beat Federer at the French. Draw, make it happen and answer my question!
It's easy for the clay king to beat Federer at RG, regardless of Rafas form, Federer has never shown us he can take 2 sets of Rafa in Paris let alone 3.
 
V

VexlanderPrime

Guest
Isn't this really his best chance at beating Djokovic in a Slam? I know he had had success against him at Wimbledon but he has since developed some scars facing him on that surface. The French however is where he has lasting memories of beating triumphing over Djokovic and the only surface in the match-up where Djokovic seems to be the one with the mental block. Federer is still also the 2nd best clay courter in the field. Could he manage to dictate the rallies and finish points down the line like Stan did and pull out the upset on that surface or is his game just not made for the high bouncing slow surface of clay?
You're not serious with this are you?
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
He beat Murray at Wimbledon last year by serving exceptionally, but what happened 2 days later ? He couldn't beat a certain someone.
And he served/played a lot better in the semi than the final. Again I'm not saying Federer should be favoured over Novak anywhere at this point. But to deny the possibility that he could take him out is foolish. It's just a case of people being upset by Djokovic's current domination, complaining to the moon and back so as to not get their hopes up about the run being halted. Federer still has a halfway decent chance of winning an 18th slam. Sorry, but a player that's lost to the eventual champ in the later rounds the last 3 majors, taking a set each time, isn't ready to be buried just yet.
 
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