Djokovic-Federer take I heard at the US Open

Kralingen

Legend
Was sitting at a table outside of Ashe yesterday with a group of people including a veteran who's been attending the USO since 1985.

He gave his take on Federer/Djokovic and it caused a fair amount of debate. It sounded exactly like something I'd read in a TTW thread as bait, which means it needs to be posted here.

The quote: "Federer is better at playing tennis. Djokovic is better at winning tennis matches"

Discuss.
 

wang07

Semi-Pro
Federer always had the matchup advantage, while Djokovic turned the H2H around by being more clutch and winning almost every single one of the closest matches.

I don't see anything controversial about that statement, it may not cover the whole story, but it's not entirely false either.
 
I've always felt that if tennis were scored like basketball where you just have to win more points, Federer might have ended up the most successful of the big 3. Off the top of my head, you have big matches like 2009 AO, 2006 Rome and 2019 Wimbledon where Federer won more points but lost the match.

Judging a player by his ability to win an average tennis point, there is an argument to be made that Federer is better at playing tennis. The problem is mentally, he is inferior to Djokovic and Nadal. I'm too lazy to check the stats, but I think his points winning % decreases compared to his average when he has bps, sps or mps against his biggest rivals.
 

The Fedfather

Hall of Fame
In very general terms, it is true. In their best form, Federer's pure tennis skills, stroke for stroke, and reflexes, movement and anticipation going into that, are overall better than Djokovic's. Novak is better tactically and has tougher mentality in matches.

The differences are not big or consistent for every match the two played, but it is outlined pretty clearly over the course of their careers, IMO.
 
I've heard something like that from one of my peers before. The veteran is basically saying Federer is an entertainer while Djokovic is a winner. Most people would pay more to watch Federer but since tennis is a sport, winning is worth way more than entertaining thus Djokovic is regarded as the greater player. Djokovic is lucky tennis isn't performed in a circus or a Disneyland.
 
D

Deleted member 743561

Guest
Only 279 more wins in the weakest tennis era of all time, and Djokovic draws level with Federer in that statistic.

Ho hum. :)
 

The Fedfather

Hall of Fame
I guess you take away Federer's serve and then talk. That guy bullied the competition based on his impeccable serve. Of the ground Novak will beat him.
First of all, serve is a part of playing tennis. It makes no sense to randomly excluding it from the comparison.

Second, Federer gets far too many BPs, against Djokovic as well, to doubt his game beyond serve.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Was sitting at a table outside of Ashe yesterday with a group of people including a veteran who's been attending the USO since 1985.

He gave his take on Federer/Djokovic and it caused a fair amount of debate. It sounded exactly like something I'd read in a TTW thread as bait, which means it needs to be posted here.

The quote: "Federer is better at playing tennis. Djokovic is better at winning tennis matches"

Discuss.
Mmmmkayyyy.........but doesn't better tennis often lead to more winning matches?
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
I guess you take away Federer's serve and then talk. That guy bullied the competition based on his impeccable serve. Of the ground Novak will beat him.
TIL serving isn't a skill

It's not like he's 6'9" and you can write it off as only being good because he's tall. To have a serve that great at 6'1" is the definition of skill and worth every bit as much as Novak's backhand off the ground.
 

Strale

Semi-Pro
That argument can be reasonable only in collective sports were individual is held back by his team while other wins a lot because of his team...

In 1vs1 scenario everything is clear...If you are better you will win.The end...

I know a lot of people who run more beatifuly than Bolt but that does not mean that they are better or faster runners...
 

Strale

Semi-Pro
In very general terms, it is true. In their best form, Federer's pure tennis skills, stroke for stroke, and reflexes, movement and anticipation going into that, are overall better than Djokovic's. Novak is better tactically and has tougher mentality in matches.

The differences are not big or consistent for every match the two played, but it is outlined pretty clearly over the course of their careers, IMO.
Facts say Djokovic peak > Federer's peak...Everything else is a personal opinion...

Based on what we witnessed and what we can measure there is no doubt that Djokovic has more skill and ability than Federer.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Nonsense, whoever wins is better at tennis. That is the sport. The rest is something invented for the losers to feel better.
I agree. I would change it into "Federer is better in what makes me enjoy watching tennis".

Or let's say it in other words: I subjectively find him better where being subjective is allowed. Who is the better player is an objective thing though, expressed by results and statistics.
 

FatHead250

Professional
Djokovic has better movement return and better backhand. Federer has better forehand serve and net game.

Djokovic is a better player.
 

Arak

Hall of Fame
I agree. I would change it into "Federer is better in what makes me enjoy watching tennis".

Or let's say it in other words: I subjectively find him better where being subjective is allowed. Who is the better player is an objective thing though, expressed by results and statistics.
Let’s face it, tennis is a very fun game to play, but quite boring to watch. I would watch Federer any day, but will only watch Djokovic to root for his opponent.
 
Unfortunately the entertainment value a sport provides is essentially tied to what wins, because of the faculties winning puts to the test and requires. As a microcosm, if Mansour Bahrami's trick shots ALL went out, he wouldn't be seen as entertaining, he'd be seen as useless. It's the fact that he can pull them off and win points that make his plays entertaining. Players like PETE and then Roger provided the illusion that the ultimate path to (cumulative) glory in this sport is by bringing down the hammer in all its thunderous glory with spectacular, unpredictable, proactive shotmaking brilliance. New intel suggests a more reactive but unerring pattern of play is the new blueprint, and so those that value the former faculties with any kind of exclusivity may begin to question the relationship between success and entertainment in this sport, and therefore the entertainment value of the sport itself, at least as a spectator to the pro tour.
 

The Fedfather

Hall of Fame
Facts say Djokovic peak > Federer's peak...Everything else is a personal opinion...

Based on what we witnessed and what we can measure there is no doubt that Djokovic has more skill and ability than Federer.
Ironic. Djokovic's peak > Federer's peak sounds much like a personal opinion.

Idk what you witnessed, to my impression Federer at his best has better serve, FH, volleys, slice. Reflexes, footwork and anticipation go to Roger as well - not catching Roger going into splits to hit a shot. Including smash feels like a meme, we can let that go.

For measurements, what do you have in mind? I really hope not the H2H vs Nadal because I'm not touching this topic again.
 

ibbi

Legend
TIL serving isn't a skill

It's not like he's 6'9" and you can write it off as only being good because he's tall. To have a serve that great at 6'1" is the definition of skill and worth every bit as much as Novak's backhand off the ground.
Not to mention their 4-4 record on the surface that is all about 'off the ground' play.
 

TopspintheTerrible

Professional
Well i suggest you to check some achievements and rewatch their clashes...I am sure Djokovic will come on top when everything is summed up.
Federer has a better forehand, serve, slice, volleys/overhead. Joker has a superior backhand, better movement & a far better mental game.

You said Joker has more skills & abilities than Fed. I don't agree.
 

daggerman

Hall of Fame
The quote: "Federer is better at playing tennis. Djokovic is better at winning tennis matches"
This is the right idea, really, but I would shift the distinction a little bit. I'd say Federer is a (slightly) more skilled tennis player, but Djokovic is (slightly) better at playing tennis (and therefore (slightly) better at winning tennis matches).
 

TennisManiac

Hall of Fame
Was sitting at a table outside of Ashe yesterday with a group of people including a veteran who's been attending the USO since 1985.

He gave his take on Federer/Djokovic and it caused a fair amount of debate. It sounded exactly like something I'd read in a TTW thread as bait, which means it needs to be posted here.

The quote: "Federer is better at playing tennis. Djokovic is better at winning tennis matches"

Discuss.
Makes sense to me.
 

Strale

Semi-Pro
Ironic. Djokovic's peak > Federer's peak sounds much like a personal opinion.

Idk what you witnessed, to my impression Federer at his best has better serve, FH, volleys, slice. Reflexes, footwork and anticipation go to Roger as well - not catching Roger going into splits to hit a shot. Including smash feels like a meme, we can let that go.

For measurements, what do you have in mind? I really hope not the H2H vs Nadal because I'm not touching this topic again.
Peak elo h2h vs federer and other notable achievements...

As i said "personal opinion"...If Federer was better he would had achieved more...the end...
 

Strale

Semi-Pro
Federer has a better forehand, serve, slice, volleys/overhead. Joker has a superior backhand, better movement & a far better mental game.

You said Joker has more skills & abilities than Fed. I don't agree.
Of course you can do whatever you want...But fact remains sorry...

Djokovic better until proven otherwise,rest is just personal opinions...
 

10S-Junkie

Rookie
I've heard something like that from one of my peers before. The veteran is basically saying Federer is an entertainer while Djokovic is a winner. Most people would pay more to watch Federer but since tennis is a sport, winning is worth way more than entertaining thus Djokovic is regarded as the greater player. Djokovic is lucky tennis isn't performed in a circus or a Disneyland.
... Djokovic's sliding double backhand in the splits at full speed is a circus act that most male players cannot duplicate without serious injury or loss of future fertility! :D
 

The Fedfather

Hall of Fame
Peak elo h2h vs federer and other notable achievements...

As i said "personal opinion"...If Federer was better he would had achieved more...the end...
That's one way to look at it. I stand by what I wrote, that's how I see what the veteran from the OP meant, but accept that others will have a different view on this topic.
 

Arak

Hall of Fame
Unfortunately the entertainment value a sport provides is essentially tied to what wins, because of the faculties winning puts to the test and requires. As a microcosm, if Mansour Bahrami's trick shots ALL went out, he wouldn't be seen as entertaining, he'd be seen as useless. It's the fact that he can pull them off and win points that make his plays entertaining. Players like PETE and then Roger provided the illusion that the ultimate path to (cumulative) glory in this sport is by bringing down the hammer in all its thunderous glory with spectacular, unpredictable, proactive shotmaking brilliance. New intel suggests a more reactive but unerring pattern of play is the new blueprint, and so those that value the former faculties with any kind of exclusivity may begin to question the relationship between success and entertainment in this sport, and therefore the entertainment value of the sport itself, at least as a spectator to the pro tour.
Good analysis. Winning in style vs winning no matter what.
 

ScottleeSV

Professional
Someone said something similar years ago about Federer and Nadal. They said Federer's a better player but if they had to put their life on one of them winning any one tournament, they would go for Nadal etc.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
Oversimplification.
But true.

Federer has the most beautiful game in tennis history - and this is coming from someone who is not a fan of his.
Djokovic gets the job done. Some folks like that, too. But even fans rarely call his game beautiful.
 

T007

Professional
Of course you can do whatever you want...But fact remains sorry...

Djokovic better until proven otherwise,rest is just personal opinions...
He was chasing Federer...and Fed set the standards. Djokovics USO results will decide wether he can be the trend setter or not
 
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