Federer: The reason I passed Sampras was surface homogenization

#1
One of the big myths perpetuated by Fed fanatics is that surface homogenization hindered, rather than helped Federer. The great man himself now dispels this idea:

----

Q. Do you think your record of 20, numbers of weeks at the top, are threatened by Djokovic or Nadal?

ROGER FEDERER: Since a long time, yes. This is not new. Maybe there's more talk about it now. I think, like before, as the surfaces get more equal, everybody can pile up more Grand Slam wins, like I did. It was the reason for me probably to pass Sampras by having the surfaces be more equal.

That nobody can take away from me. My records will be broken anyway. You guys and other people will remind the players to try to go shatter every record anyway. Back in the '70s, I don't think players were playing for records. Maybe now players are playing for records. Naturally it's going to depend also on how much they care about that record. If they care about it, they'll play for longer, other than just retiring. You don't want to beat up your body too much.

No, I mean, they've been doing amazing things for many years now. That's why they're in the position that they are. I wish them the best to achieve all they want to do. I'm still playing, so I hope I still also have something left in the tank.

Source: Fed's 2019 Dubai press conference
----

Discuss.
 
#4
Very honest and sensible comments from Federer. That was also a nice touch at the end there even if he doesn't quite want that to happen, because I know I wouldn't if I were in his shoes, but still was a really nice touch anyway. I have no idea why one of the main themes on this site is that surface homogenization only helped Nadal and Djokovic and not the man himself who did it first and basically showed it can be done. Federer probably wouldn't have rolled off that number of Slams that fast in the polarized era of the 90s.
 
#5
It helped Federer but helped Nadal and Djokovic even more.

The main difference being Fed won when courts speeds were fast and when they are slow. Cannot say the same for Djokodal. Perhaps they could have adapted but the fact that on faster courts, Fed stopped them even at advanced ages show that the slam gap would have been wider.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#8
One of the big myths perpetuated by Fed fanatics is that surface homogenization hindered, rather than helped Federer. The great man himself now dispels this idea:

----

Q. Do you think your record of 20, numbers of weeks at the top, are threatened by Djokovic or Nadal?

ROGER FEDERER: Since a long time, yes. This is not new. Maybe there's more talk about it now. I think, like before, as the surfaces get more equal, everybody can pile up more Grand Slam wins, like I did. It was the reason for me probably to pass Sampras by having the surfaces be more equal.

That nobody can take away from me. My records will be broken anyway. You guys and other people will remind the players to try to go shatter every record anyway. Back in the '70s, I don't think players were playing for records. Maybe now players are playing for records. Naturally it's going to depend also on how much they care about that record. If they care about it, they'll play for longer, other than just retiring. You don't want to beat up your body too much.

No, I mean, they've been doing amazing things for many years now. That's why they're in the position that they are. I wish them the best to achieve all they want to do. I'm still playing, so I hope I still also have something left in the tank.

Source: Fed's 2019 Dubai press conference
----

Discuss.
You ought to make a difference between "the homogenisation helped him as well", and "the homogenisation helped him the least (of the big three)", but I am not holding my breath, seeing how you didn't even register that the fact that the homogenisation (along with the change of the seeding system) influencing the sport, and helping everyone to win more, has been recognised by the knowledgeable Federer fans a long, long time ago.

:cool:
 
#13
You ought to make a difference between "the homogenisation helped him as well", and "the homogenisation helped him the least (of the big three)", but I am not holding my breath, seeing how you didn't even register that the fact that the homogenisation (along with the change of the seeding system) influencing the sport, and helping everyone to win more, has been recognised by the knowledgeable Federer fans a long, long time ago.

:cool:
Where are these mythical "knowledgeable Federer fans"? :unsure:

All I hear from most Fed fans about homogenization is incessant whining about how it helped Djokodal and hurt Fed
 
#14
HoMugGenEzayshun helped them all but joedal moreso since faster surfaces slowing down had a bigger effect than slower stuff speeding up. Blame Fedr for not using sped up clay to full advantage against The Nadal.
clay was only sped up around 09. He used it as best he could in 11 but by then his movement was too bad.

Homogenization hurt Fed relative to Nadal and Djokovic since faster surfaces would have helped him against them, but if courts had stayed polarized there would have been many more surface specialists making all those consecutive X streaks much more difficult. I don't know how much homogenization helped Fed's slam count though, I think he'd still definitely have about 16-18 in most other eras. The extra ones (basically the last 3) are due to the mug gen more than they are homogenization. It's not like Fed won a bunch of AOs/RGs he shouldn't have before that which you could pin on homogenization.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#15
Where are these mythical "knowledgeable Federer fans"? :unsure:

All I hear from most Fed fans about homogenization is incessant whining about how it helped Djokodal and hurt Fed
If it helps Djokovic and Nadal a lot more than it helps Federer it naturally means that it hurts Federer in comparison with the other two.

I thought that you can figure that out?

As for your other question, you must have missed all the discussions about how would Federer fare on the "new" grass compared to the "old" grass and Sampras, the discussions about the seeding system and how it influenced the homogenisation at the top etc etc.

If you don't know, don't speculate.

:cool:
 
#17
clay was only sped up around 09. He used it as best he could in 11 but by then his movement was too bad.

Homogenization hurt Fed relative to Nadal and Djokovic since faster surfaces would have helped him against them, but if courts had stayed polarized there would have been many more surface specialists making all those consecutive X streaks much more difficult. I don't know how much homogenization helped Fed's slam count though, I think he'd still definitely have about 16-18 in most other eras. The extra ones (basically the last 3) are due to the mug gen more than they are homogenization. It's not like Fed won a bunch of AOs/RGs he shouldn't have before that which you could pin on homogenization.
Of course, you are comparing him to PETE and then the AO difference in prime is consistency, if Pete replicated any of his 94-97 levels he'd have cleaned 98-99 as well, mug slams there. (Not talking 96 as young Poussis peaked, very impressive win and Pete wasn't even bad.)

But shall we say those dastardly lucky Djokodal grabbed extra Wim and USO with slow-ass play they could have never won in the real variety era? Isn't that rather dismissive?
 
#18
7 years ago, after AO 2012 SF:

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...r-every-surface-is-very-similar-today.410982/

"Like I said, I think he just plays good, you know, and he's obviously improved a lot on all surfaces over the years. Anyway, every surface is very similar today, otherwise we couldn't have achieved all these things on all these different surfaces so quickly, like him and myself."

He should have another quote somewhere where he says dominating in this era is also easier because the whole calendar plays similar.

In the end it certainly helps him, he has acknowledged it many times in the past (possibly even before the above quote) - however if you turn the question around and ask who out of the top guys would struggle the least if there was more variation in the tour, it's tough to look past Fed.

Edit: I think the rest of his response is also important. It's the media-hype era where a "great player" is expected and reminded to conquer every possible milestone, and be great 24/7.
 
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#19
This is awesome that Fed says this. About time that someone dispels the "everything is better and tougher than it used to be" stuff.
I've always found Federer to be very honest about this kind of stuff.

In the past he's admitted that the 32 seed system has helped them. He also says the points (and prize) distribution is way too top heavy and makes it too difficult for players to break through these days. He thinks it was better with tougher Bo5 finals at the Masters.

Lots of other logistical things too. Like tournament scheduling, traveling, etc.
 

uscwang

Hall of Fame
#20
One of the big myths perpetuated by Fed fanatics is that surface homogenization hindered, rather than helped Federer. The great man himself now dispels this idea:

----

Q. Do you think your record of 20, numbers of weeks at the top, are threatened by Djokovic or Nadal?

ROGER FEDERER: Since a long time, yes. This is not new. Maybe there's more talk about it now. I think, like before, as the surfaces get more equal, everybody can pile up more Grand Slam wins, like I did. It was the reason for me probably to pass Sampras by having the surfaces be more equal.

That nobody can take away from me. My records will be broken anyway. You guys and other people will remind the players to try to go shatter every record anyway. Back in the '70s, I don't think players were playing for records. Maybe now players are playing for records. Naturally it's going to depend also on how much they care about that record. If they care about it, they'll play for longer, other than just retiring. You don't want to beat up your body too much.

No, I mean, they've been doing amazing things for many years now. That's why they're in the position that they are. I wish them the best to achieve all they want to do. I'm still playing, so I hope I still also have something left in the tank.

Source: Fed's 2019 Dubai press conference
----

Discuss.
My question is, most top players, past and present, do well in AO, USO, and WB anyway. Those were even all played on grass for many years. How heterogenous can that be? Plus, it is not as if Federer and Djokovic each won a ton of FO. Put Federer into a previous era, would he have won much fewer titles in any of the GS? Nadal and Djokovic? Maybe fewer WB for each? But they are only 2 and 4.

GS may not have been the goal for past generation and AO was not an equal to the other three.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#21
Maybe it is debatable: to someone who has no idea.

Djokovic literally couldn't get his foot in the door in Cincy, when it was fast and Fed was halfway decent, same for Paris and USO, same for every frickin grass tourney that he ever played on a semi decent fast grass .

Yes, it is not debatable.

Federer OWNED the fast court tourneys for the majority of his career.

:cool:
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#22
7 years ago, after AO 2012 SF:

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...r-every-surface-is-very-similar-today.410982/

"Like I said, I think he just plays good, you know, and he's obviously improved a lot on all surfaces over the years. Anyway, every surface is very similar today, otherwise we couldn't have achieved all these things on all these different surfaces so quickly, like him and myself."

He should have another quote somewhere where he says dominating in this era is also easier because the whole calendar plays similar.

In the end it certainly helps him, he has acknowledged it many times in the past (possibly even before the above quote) - however if you turn the question around and ask who out of the top guys would struggle the least if there was more variation in the tour, it's tough to look past Fed.
^^^^ This, but I don't expect the OP to back off and admit his mistake.

:cool:
 
#23
Of course, you are comparing him to PETE and then the AO difference in prime is consistency, if Pete replicated any of his 94-97 levels he'd have cleaned 98-99 as well, mug slams there. (Not talking 96 as young Poussis peaked, very impressive win and Pete wasn't even bad.)

But shall we say those dastardly lucky Djokodal grabbed extra Wim and USO with slow-ass play they could have never won in the real variety era? Isn't that rather dismissive?
Of course. But again considering the 17-18 USO wins and 18 Wimby win the mug era is probably more responsible for all the slam padding by the big 3 the last few years.

But it's also possible that Fed's 6 of 7 at Wimby at 5 straight USO were helped by him not having to play a more risky style. Then again Pete won 7 of 8 at Wimby and would have had a similar streak at USO from 93-99 if not for the 94, 98, and 99 injuries (not projecting him to win all those, but you know what i mean). But would Fed be as good at playing that high risk style as Pete, who was made for it? Would Fed even have to play that high risk a style even if the courts were faster? He definitely wouldn't at USO(he'd probably be some combo of Lendl and pete stylistically at USO), but harder to say for Wimby. The fact that the Wimbledon in which he came in most was probably his most impressive and how well his game matches up against S&V helps quell some of the concerns, but these are the questions that make it impossible to compare numbers between eras.

I do believe that Fed and Borg are the most versatile players of all time.
 
#25
Where are these mythical "knowledgeable Federer fans"? :unsure:

All I hear from most Fed fans about homogenization is incessant whining about how it helped Djokodal and hurt Fed
You cant see how slower surfaces helps their play style? I thought you were at least a 3.5??
 
#26
Maybe it is debatable: to someone who has no idea.

Djokovic literally couldn't get his foot in the door in Cincy, when it was fast and Fed was halfway decent, same for Paris and USO, same for every frickin grass tourney that he ever played on a semi decent fast grass .

Yes, it is not debatable.

Federer OWNED the fast court tourneys for the majority of his career.

:cool:
Right, it's not like Djokovic made the final in Cincy 5 times or anything

And of course any tournaments Nadal or Djokovic win automatically become "slow" according to Fed fans
 

bjsnider

Hall of Fame
#28
I said this just after the end of the AO, and Bodo wrote an article recently saying the same thing. The disappearance of the specialists, which was caused by conditions being homogenized, has caused the few great players from each of the past couple of generations to capture a disproportionate number of majors compared the the conditions of past generations. The similarities in the surfaces, all on grass except RG, may also be partly responsible for Laver's two CYGS accomplishments.

The guys from the past 15 years don't have to face outliers who play a style designed for success on one particular surface. Everyone trains the same way, plays the same style, uses similar tactics, and uses the same equipment. All of the players are known commodities, there are no surprises. Sampras once said he should have switched to a larger frame just for the clay season. No player would ever say that now. McEnroe used to have a bag full of rackets with different string tensions, so he could switch to whatever felt right on the fly during the match. Nobody would do that either. All of the rackets in the bag are the same, like everything else.
 
#32
We were comparing the big three; are you still on the same page, or you forgot what we were discussing?

:cool:
Djokovic has had plenty of success on "fast" surfaces... Or at least surfaces that were once called "fast" but immediately downgraded to "slower than molasses" as soon as Novak won a title

Yes, he'd probably prefer a medium or slower HC if given the choice, but to act like he's incompetent on fast HC is a Fed fan/Djokovic hater thing
 

Azure

Hall of Fame
#34
One of the big myths perpetuated by Fed fanatics is that surface homogenization hindered, rather than helped Federer. The great man himself now dispels this idea:

----

Q. Do you think your record of 20, numbers of weeks at the top, are threatened by Djokovic or Nadal?

ROGER FEDERER: Since a long time, yes. This is not new. Maybe there's more talk about it now. I think, like before, as the surfaces get more equal, everybody can pile up more Grand Slam wins, like I did. It was the reason for me probably to pass Sampras by having the surfaces be more equal.

That nobody can take away from me. My records will be broken anyway. You guys and other people will remind the players to try to go shatter every record anyway. Back in the '70s, I don't think players were playing for records. Maybe now players are playing for records. Naturally it's going to depend also on how much they care about that record. If they care about it, they'll play for longer, other than just retiring. You don't want to beat up your body too much.

No, I mean, they've been doing amazing things for many years now. That's why they're in the position that they are. I wish them the best to achieve all they want to do. I'm still playing, so I hope I still also have something left in the tank.

Source: Fed's 2019 Dubai press conference
----

Discuss.
Such a genuine answer here. Classy guy (y)
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#35
Djokovic has had plenty of success on "fast" surfaces... Or at least surfaces that were once called "fast" but immediately downgraded to "slower than molasses" as soon as Novak won a title

Yes, he'd probably prefer a medium or slower HC if given the choice, but to act like he's incompetent on fast HC is a Fed fan/Djokovic hater thing
If you understand that the faster surfaces are the bigger advantage Federer has (and exactly the opposite for slower surfaces and Djokovic) and then the ever slowing surfaces have harmed Federer a lot more than the other two in comparison with them, then the only reason to continue with this sort of wording is if you insist on trolling.

It has been shown to you that what you posted is not anything new, you have been given topics that prove the position of the people you seemed to challenge, and now you have all but directly admitted who profited most from the changes. I simply provided the scale to which you didn't offer anything but biting empty statements.

Anything else?

:cool:
 
#36
If you understand that the faster surfaces are the bigger advantage Federer has (and exactly the opposite for slower surfaces and Djokovic) and then the ever slowing surfaces have harmed Federer a lot more than the other two in comparison with them, then the only reason to continue with this sort of wording is if you insist on trolling.

It has been shown to you that what you posted is not anything new, you have been given topics that prove the position of the people you seemed to challenge, and now you have all but directly admitted who profited most from the changes. I simply provided the scale to which you didn't offer anything but biting empty statements.

Anything else?

:cool:
Actually i can pull several times where Fed has admitted homogenization has resulted in slam accumulation and thus not fair to compare to older players.

But OP is an established Fed hater, so wouldn't waste time in pulling old threads.

But it is shame and dishonest on the part of OP to project it as though Fed is saying this for the first time. OP knows well this is not the case. The hatred triumphs everything here,
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
#37
its true homogenization has helped him in some of the streaks/less upsets in Bo3. But really don't see how its helped him in the slam count since it helped Nadal/Djoko considerably more and they countered him.
 
#38
Actually i can pull several times where Fed has admitted homogenization has resulted in slam accumulation and thus not fair to compare to older players.

But OP is an established Fed hater, so wouldn't waste time in pulling old threads.

But it is shame and dishonest on the part of OP to project it as though Fed is saying this for the first time. OP knows well this is not the case. The hatred triumphs everything here,
The problem here is not Fed, but his fans who insist homogenisation hurt him
 
#39
If you understand that the faster surfaces are the bigger advantage Federer has (and exactly the opposite for slower surfaces and Djokovic) and then the ever slowing surfaces have harmed Federer a lot more than the other two in comparison with them, then the only reason to continue with this sort of wording is if you insist on trolling.

It has been shown to you that what you posted is not anything new, you have been given topics that prove the position of the people you seemed to challenge, and now you have all but directly admitted who profited most from the changes. I simply provided the scale to which you didn't offer anything but biting empty statements.

Anything else?

:cool:
The only takeaway here is that surface slowdown (which is not the same thing as homogenisation) would have hurt Fed in head-to-head matchups against Djokodal. But the Tour isn't composed of three players, no?
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#41
Actually i can pull several times where Fed has admitted homogenization has resulted in slam accumulation and thus not fair to compare to older players.

But OP is an established Fed hater, so wouldn't waste time in pulling old threads.

But it is shame and dishonest on the part of OP to project it as though Fed is saying this for the first time. OP knows well this is not the case. The hatred triumphs everything here,
One has to have the perspective of the historical context: he says it to cut off the constant disrespect shown towards the previous generations and with that probably to stop the journos from pestering him with the same inconsequential boring questions.

You are right though, the Federer hate has skyrocketed. If now even his refusal to say something controversial is attacked, we are at a pretty low point.

Hopefully that will go away in a couple of months (or years). We will have to wait just a little more for the trolls to lose steam.

:cool:
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
#44
The only takeaway here is that surface slowdown (which is not the same thing as homogenisation) would have hurt Fed in head-to-head matchups against Djokodal. But the Tour isn't composed of three players, no?
no of slams lost to djokodal as a result of homogenization > probable # of upsets to the other players in the tour due to surface variety.

Like I said : its true homogenization has helped him in some of the streaks/less upsets in Bo3. But really don't see how its helped him in the slam count since it helped Nadal/Djoko considerably more and they countered him.
 
#45
Is it really? Look at the # of fast-surfaced Cincinatti titles of Fedr v. Nadl v. Djokr.

Djokovic has had plenty of success on "fast" surfaces... Or at least surfaces that were once called "fast" but immediately downgraded to "slower than molasses" as soon as Novak won a title

Yes, he'd probably prefer a medium or slower HC if given the choice, but to act like he's incompetent on fast HC is a Fed fan/Djokovic hater thing
Djokr is not incompetent on fast surfaces (he's won Shanghai before), but he's just not 'as good' on fast surfaces. Big difference. Heck, current fastest surface is rated at the lower end of 'Medium-fast'. 'Medium fast' is NOT fast, no?

Djokr making 5 Cinci finals and not winning one until he played a Fedr who can't hit FHs nor returns, tells a glaring tale. Heck, old-Fedr even 'bageled' a peak-Djokr at Cinci, on HC! So is it so hard to fathom that Djokr would still have won many titles and slams, but likely a lot less had there been true court speed variety like the past? Fedr would likely win less too, but not to the same extent as Djokodal. This can be seen at how successful Fedr's always been on the fast surfaces of Dubai and Cinci over the years compared to Djokodal. Fedr still won on slower surfaces like IW/MIA/Bercy. We can't say the same, but the reversed, for Djokodal.
 
#47
Look how many escapes Nadal has had during the first week of Wimbledon. If it was a consistent surface for the entire tournament like the other 3 slams he would never have won it (imagine Fed v Nadal on fresh grass...). Throw in the old fast grass, he'd be lucky to make a final.
 
#48
One of the big myths perpetuated by Fed fanatics is that surface homogenization hindered, rather than helped Federer. The great man himself now dispels this idea:

----

Q. Do you think your record of 20, numbers of weeks at the top, are threatened by Djokovic or Nadal?

ROGER FEDERER: Since a long time, yes. This is not new. Maybe there's more talk about it now. I think, like before, as the surfaces get more equal, everybody can pile up more Grand Slam wins, like I did. It was the reason for me probably to pass Sampras by having the surfaces be more equal.

That nobody can take away from me. My records will be broken anyway. You guys and other people will remind the players to try to go shatter every record anyway. Back in the '70s, I don't think players were playing for records. Maybe now players are playing for records. Naturally it's going to depend also on how much they care about that record. If they care about it, they'll play for longer, other than just retiring. You don't want to beat up your body too much.

No, I mean, they've been doing amazing things for many years now. That's why they're in the position that they are. I wish them the best to achieve all they want to do. I'm still playing, so I hope I still also have something left in the tank.

Source: Fed's 2019 Dubai press conference
----

Discuss.
Surface homogenization one part, the other is polyester - Federer was the first generation modern baseliner, from baseline is where he got most of his big titles (y)(y)
 
#49
Props to Fed for this. Hes not wrong.

Surface homogenization helps dominant players stay dominant. He knows this. Homogenization is kind of what the NBA did with catering/babying wing players over the last decade. They are trying to create new SuperStars and another Jordan. Water it down to achieve it


Imagine if Sampras got homogenize slick, fast courts all year? 30 slams easy.

When 3 guys win 15 slams or more (and counting) thats watered down
 
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