Federer always won the match when his life is dependent on it

NGM

Hall of Fame
He gave me major heart attack last week and I didn't believe him could make the job done but once again he proved why he is immortal and I am not.

Looks back at Federer's career and we can see he always won the match he must won. It's truly the sign of GOATness.

1. He beat Pete Sampras at 2001 Wimbledon when he was still a developing teenager and Pete was the reigning champion. The important point is it is the only time those two champions played each other in an official match. If Sampras had won, his defenders could go on forever about how great Sampras was and he would give Federer beat downs at his peak. Now we know it's not the case. So the 2001 match is crucial for Federer's career. It gave him advantage everytime the debate between two men revived.

2. The 2009 French Open. Now we can safely say that that tournament was the only real chance for Federer to win the exclusive French Open. If he failed to capture that title he could not have a say on GOAT debate considering Nadal and Djokovic and Laver won all 4 majors. He would be another Rossewall, so great but not greatest. 2009 French Open witnessed both favorites was out in early rounds but the job was not easy for Federer either. He almost got eliminated too, twice, at Haas and Del Poltro matches respectively but somehow he managed to overcome the hurdles and won the tournament. He was unbelievably clutch at entire tournament, never let the pressure get in his head. The inside out forehand in Haas match is still widely considered the bravest and most important shot of his entire career.

3. Federer - Djokovic 2011 French Open semifinal. Djokovic was on a great run that year and Federer was already an old man. But Federer played an absolutely wonderful match from start to finish to send the Serb packing. The match is important in two points. First it is the proof that Federer can deal with Djokovic at his absolute peak. Two is he stopped Djokovic won CYGS. One of more important matches of Federer's life and one of worst memories for Djokovic for sure.

4. Federer - Nadal 2017 Autralian Open final. Too many great posts written about the match so I don't need to say much more. I just want to emphasize that if Nadal took the match, the GOAT debate would turn around into an ugly direction to Federer and his fans could never say he is the GOAT with a straight face anymore. The match alone is the most important match of his career and he won. He gave the lopsided rivalry with Nadal a fairytale end and made all the losses before somehow less relevant.

Federer has a long career and he suffered many bad losses. But the best thing is he always won the most important matches. Ironically we can not say the same about Nadal, the great warrior who is widely considered have best mentality. Many say they will count on Nadal if they have to play a match to save their life. But Nadal lost some of most important matches of his career. He has won none of WTF titles although reached finals twice and semifinal 4 times. He lost to 35 years old injuries suffering Federer in a GOAT deciding match. Yes, if you want to ask Nadal to play the match of your life, think twice.
 
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wangs78

Legend
I generally agree but one can easily argue that Wimby 2008 was also a life or death match. Had Fed won, my guess is he would have also won Wimby '09 and also had his 6th straight Wimby. Beating Djokovic at any of their recent Wimby and USO meetings also would have been HUGE, but he didn't do it. That said, his win this week was awesome!
 

NGM

Hall of Fame
I generally agree but one can easily argue that Wimby 2008 was also a life or death match. Had Fed won, my guess is he would have also won Wimby '09 and also had his 6th straight Wimby. Beating Djokovic at any of their recent Wimby and USO meetings also would have been HUGE, but he didn't do it. That said, his win this week was awesome!

Yes the 2008 Wimbledon was huge and so were all the losses in recent year by the hand of Djokovic but when you think about Federer's career as a whole, 2001 Wimbledon, 2009 French Open, 2017 Australian Open and by a lesser degree 2011 French Open semifinal should stand out. You can not win it all. You have to lose at some point. Those losses - although it hurts - did not put his greatness in great danger. Federer beat Nadal twice in Wimbledon finals before and 2008 was one of worst years in his career. From 2011 he has passed his peak already. No one used those losses to dispute his GOATness. But if he lost any of those victory which I point out, he GOATness would be disputed for good reasons.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Federer has a long career and he suffered many bad losses. But the best thing is he always won the most important matches.

Disagree. Arguably his worst loss legacy-wise was in the 2009 USO final against Del Po. Had he won that, it would have meant 6 straight USO titles, 4 years on tour with 3 wins in majors in one year... it would have substantially raised his legacy status earlier in his career.
 

wangs78

Legend
Disagree. Arguably his worst loss legacy-wise was in the 2009 USO final against Del Po. Had he won that, it would have meant 6 straight USO titles, 4 years on tour with 3 wins in majors in one year... it would have substantially raised his legacy status earlier in his career.
Agree. Which goes back to my earlier post where I said Wimby '08 was huge. Because had he won, I think he would have won AO '09 (typo in my earlier post) and with FO '09, Wimby '09 and, to your point, USO '09 (the 5-setter vs Delpo), which would have given him a CYGS and he could have retired there with the GOAT trophy in hand. Of course he wouldn't have and he'd be up to 20+ slams by age 35.

But, back to the OP, I do agree that this week's AO final was a must have. Had he lost here I think the Rafa H2H record would have gone from being a smudge on Roger's resume to being big black stain impossible to ignore. Instead, the smudge seems to have faded a little and Roger now has his 18th!
 

NGM

Hall of Fame
Disagree. Arguably his worst loss legacy-wise was in the 2009 USO final against Del Po. Had he won that, it would have meant 6 straight USO titles, 4 years on tour with 3 wins in majors in one year... it would have substantially raised his legacy status earlier in his career.

Had he won all the matches he lost we would not stay here to wordship how awesome the match last week was because you know, it was all over long time before. But nobody could win everything. And Del Poltro US OPen won actually makes 2009 French Open more special.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
04 and 07 Wimbledon too. #1 ranking essentially hung in the balance in those matches and he was playing the contenders playing their best.
 
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