Federer's longevity is due to his talent, and is seriously underrated

Defcon

Hall of Fame
Everyone knows about the hard work Fed puts in for fitness, the workouts in Dubai etc. But all the top pros work on their fitness. If anything, Murray and Djoker have probably put in even more effort.

What makes Fed special is he's by far the most talented. His strokes don't cause any undue stress. The footwork allows him to be in position. He never grinds. The other big 3, and most top players, routinely play long grinding matches to win. Fed only does that when he's having a bad day. He's far more aggressive and has many more options, so he'll change strategies, conserve energy and find a way to win with less wear and tear on the body.

This is why he's been able to play at the top for so long, apart from the mental aspect.
 

MasturB

Legend
It's why I don't agree with people saying he's better now than at his peak in 2005-2006.

He's surviving simply off his serve and taking it early. He's not as quick as he was obviously, especially with knee surgery. He's winning matches purely on talent + Tennis IQ accumulated all over the years.

Remember when he hated dropshots in his peak? He didn't start using them frequently until 2009ish.
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
It's why I don't agree with people saying he's better now than at his peak in 2005-2006.

He's surviving simply off his serve and taking it early. He's not as quick as he was obviously, especially with knee surgery. He's winning matches purely on talent + Tennis IQ accumulated all over the years.

Remember when he hated dropshots in his peak? He didn't start using them frequently until 2009ish.
His drop shots in the FO 2009







 

MasturB

Legend
His drop shots in the FO 2009








The reason he hated dropshots in his peak was because he was talented enough to just hit winners from any position on the court with forehand/backhand. His serve was also really good back then too, not godly like it is now, but still very effective and reliable. Good enough to set up his 1-2 tennis that won him all those slams.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Remember when he hated dropshots in his peak? He didn't start using them frequently until 2009ish.
It was Roche who encouraged Roger to use the drop shot, but Fed was resisting. It was during his brief coaching stint with Higueros when the drop shot was perfected.

And OP: Roger's talent has never been underrated. Anyone (aside from partisan opposite fan bases) clearly concedes he's by far the most talented tennis player that's ever lived. His limitations in the past were mental.
 

MasturB

Legend
It was Roche who encouraged Roger to use the drop shot, but Fed was resisting. It was during his brief coaching stint with Higueros when the drop shot was perfected.

And OP: Roger's talent has never been underrated. Anyone (aside from partisan opposite fan bases) clearly concedes he's by far the most talented tennis player that's ever lived. His limitations in the past were mental.
Easy to resists using it when you had the best forehand of all time in those peak years + best 1HBH of all time as well.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
In the coming decades, we'll almost certainly see a tennis robot amass better stats than Fed, be a better backboard than murray/djokovic, win more grand slams and whatever else. I can't imagine we'll ever see a more gifted all court player. He really is the last of his kind in that regard.
 

Defcon

Hall of Fame
It's why I don't agree with people saying he's better now than at his peak in 2005-2006.

He's surviving simply off his serve and taking it early. He's not as quick as he was obviously, especially with knee surgery. He's winning matches purely on talent + Tennis IQ accumulated all over the years.

Remember when he hated dropshots in his peak? He didn't start using them frequently until 2009ish.
His bh is a bit better. Tennis IQ is said to better but I don't think it was ever 'bad', he simply didn't need to use it as he was that much better.
His movement is noticeably worse. The fh, the most feared shot, is maybe 5x worse - its no longer a weapon.

Fed in rallies now looks like a normal player. His experience, serve and versatility keep him at the top.

To people saying his talent is not underrated, well my title is badly worded - his talent is underrated by some people, but what I meant is the fact that his talent contributes to his fitness and staying power.
 

MasturB

Legend
The first half of that is correct, I don't recall ever thinking Federer had the best one handed backhand ever.
I think 18 slams proves he does. If the Melbourne final didn't already cement that title, the previous 17 slam did.

Wawa may be someone that has a better 1HBH in the zone, but it's not consistent enough. Players have attacked Fed's backhand for years because he was always the "weaker" side. Weaker is relative since his forehand was the greatest shot ever. Raonic went to the Fed backhand so many times this match and got passed or rekt.
 

MasturB

Legend
His bh is a bit better. Tennis IQ is said to better but I don't think it was ever 'bad', he simply didn't need to use it as he was that much better.
His movement is noticeably worse. The fh, the most feared shot, is maybe 5x worse - its no longer a weapon.

Fed in rallies now looks like a normal player. His experience, serve and versatility keep him at the top.

To people saying his talent is not underrated, well my title is badly worded - his talent is underrated by some people, but what I meant is the fact that his talent contributes to his fitness and staying power.
He looks like a normal player in about 70% of rallies. In the other 30% you see flashes of his old self hitting.

His forehand and backhan can still produce winners, just not at the rate he did in his prime when it was called the Federer Funhouse of Forehands. He's smarter, and Becker mentioned that 10 years ago, Fed would go for outright winners on passing shots off his backhand. Now he realizes if he just places the passing shot low by the shoes, Raonic will hit a poor volley into the net or a volley not good enough to where Fed sets up the next shot for himself easily.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Correct. He will play like this until 55. Enough time for both sets of Twins to be settled into the Tours.
Or they can spend their entire lives comfortably enveloped in luxury. Such a tease. Imagine next gen Feds battling it out against Agassi/Graf offspring. At least Serena's baby daddy is a mega nerd so we won't have to wonder what if.
 

mavsman149

Hall of Fame
I think 18 slams proves he does. If the Melbourne final didn't already cement that title, the previous 17 slam did.

Wawa may be someone that has a better 1HBH in the zone, but it's not consistent enough. Players have attacked Fed's backhand for years because he was always the "weaker" side. Weaker is relative since his forehand was the greatest shot ever. Raonic went to the Fed backhand so many times this match and got passed or rekt.
I am in no way saying it was a bad shot, on the contrary, it is quite good. Federer won 18 slams and became the best player of all time, in my humble opinion at least, because of his forehand and to a lesser extent, his serve.
 

Roddick85

Hall of Fame
His bh is a bit better. Tennis IQ is said to better but I don't think it was ever 'bad', he simply didn't need to use it as he was that much better.
His movement is noticeably worse. The fh, the most feared shot, is maybe 5x worse - its no longer a weapon.

Fed in rallies now looks like a normal player. His experience, serve and versatility keep him at the top.

To people saying his talent is not underrated, well my title is badly worded - his talent is underrated by some people, but what I meant is the fact that his talent contributes to his fitness and staying power.
His forehand is nowhere near what it once was, definitely agree with you on that one. However compared to the rest of the tour, I think it's still one of the very best and definitely a weapon at the moment. His movement isn't what it used to be either, but he was such a great mover in his prime that even if it declined, it's still better than average. I've never agreed that Fed's backhand was weak in his prime. When you have the greatest shot in history of the men's game (forehand), it's pretty evident that the rest of your game will look weaker in comparison, however that doesn't mean his backhand was bad, because it really wasn't. He hit some amazing shots off his backhand wing in 04-06.

What "Old" Federer lacks in comparison to his "prime" version, he makes up for it with more intelligent play and an improved serve. The decline in some areas doesn't hurt him as much, because they were so far above average a decade ago that even if they are weaker now, they are still better than average today.
 

BorisRogerFan

Semi-Pro
Roger is quite possibly the greatest athlete of all time in any sport. Stop talking about who is the GOAT, please, no question anymore. Let's discuss who is the GAOAT.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
There's no question that Fed is far more talented than his peers. We can only imagine his results had he used a bigger racquet earlier in his career. Seriously, the bigger racquet could have given him Wimby '09 and AO '10. Perhaps even an RG against Nadal. Certainly those two tragic SF losses to Djokovic at the USO. Also the USO loss to Delpo. The fact that the started with a small midsized racquet really helped make all the finesse shots become second nature. To this day, I still don't think that Djokovic, winner of 12 Slams, knows how to volley.
 

Defcon

Hall of Fame
We can only imagine his results had he used a bigger racquet earlier in his career. Seriously, the bigger racquet could have given him Wimby '09 and AO '10. Perhaps even an RG against Nadal. Certainly those two tragic SF losses to Djokovic at the USO. Also the USO loss to Delpo. The fact that the started with a small midsized racquet really helped make all the finesse shots become second nature.
Its interesting that Sampras has the exact same path - stuck with a small racket, reluctantly changed to a bigger one much too late.

To this day, I still don't think that Djokovic, winner of 12 Slams, knows how to volley.
or how to hit an overhead.

The other big 3 are all baseliners with various degrees of pushing/counterpunching as main strategy. You can never in a million years even imagine one of them SV'ing on 1st and 2nd serves, the way Fed did in 2001 when he beat Sampras !! Of course most of the haters have no clue that happened.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Its interesting that Sampras has the exact same path - stuck with a small racket, reluctantly changed to a bigger one much too late.



or how to hit an overhead.

The other big 3 are all baseliners with various degrees of pushing/counterpunching as main strategy. You can never in a million years even imagine one of them SV'ing on 1st and 2nd serves, the way Fed did in 2001 when he beat Sampras !! Of course most of the haters have no clue that happened.
Totally agreed. But as a fan, and even for Fed himself, those painful (and close) losses to Nadal and Djokovic must make his current run even sweeter. I do think that all those dramatic losses were a great gift to the sport of tennis and its fans. So we should just be happy with the way things are - since we can't change history anyway :)
 

smoledman

G.O.A.T.
Correct. He will play like this until 55. Enough time for both sets of Twins to be settled into the Tours. He wont' be winning slams, but he'll still be ranked in the Top 30-40. A ranking just good enough to draw the Top 10 seeds early and knock them out early for his kids to advance deep into the tournament.
Can you imagine Grandpa Feds playing Wimbledon final vs Lenny Federer in 2034? Feds will be working on his 27th grand slam title by then...
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
Everyone knows about the hard work Fed puts in for fitness, the workouts in Dubai etc. But all the top pros work on their fitness. If anything, Murray and Djoker have probably put in even more effort.

What makes Fed special is he's by far the most talented. His strokes don't cause any undue stress. The footwork allows him to be in position. He never grinds. The other big 3, and most top players, routinely play long grinding matches to win. Fed only does that when he's having a bad day. He's far more aggressive and has many more options, so he'll change strategies, conserve energy and find a way to win with less wear and tear on the body.

This is why he's been able to play at the top for so long, apart from the mental aspect.
Indeed. Who else changes rackets in his 30s and changes his BH? He has more paths to victory than anyone ever. He csn win with defense, baseline offense, net offense, etc. He can win a high % of serve points and return points. There's a reason why this guy is in just about every match he plays and has lost the fewest times in straight sets after he became #1. There's a reason that even when he loses, he wins more points than his opponents (30+ times now). And he's been doing this for 14 years against multiple generations of players.
 

Zebrev

Hall of Fame
Fed was a journeyman until age almost 23. He would routinely get bashed out of slams in the 1st round, I dare say that has contributed to his body still being in such good shape.

This Fed could dominate the rest of the year and 2018. He could end on 20 slams, and more match wins than Connors. He's seriously in the zone right now, reaching potential even himself didn't know he had. We are witnessing something truly special in 2017, when the GOAT exceeds expectations yet again.
 

smoledman

G.O.A.T.
Fed was a journeyman until age almost 23. He would routinely get bashed out of slams in the 1st round, I dare say that has contributed to his body still being in such good shape.

This Fed could dominate the rest of the year and 2018. He could end on 20 slams, and more match wins than Connors. He's seriously in the zone right now, reaching potential even himself didn't know he had. We are witnessing something truly special in 2017, when the GOAT exceeds expectations yet again.
I'm going to question your 'journeyman' narrative.

YE ranking

2001 - 13
2002 - 6
2003 - 2

all at 20-22 years old.

Also in 2002 he wins Hamburg Masters.

Overall by end of 2003 he has 1 slam, 1 MS-1000, 1 YEC, and 11 overall titles.

That is not 'journeyman' by any standard! He was a young great, just not as great as Nadal/Djokovic. In fact I bet he's in the top 10 of highest achieving 22yo in tennis history, just at the bottom of the list.

Then of course 2004-2007 happened...
 

ibbi

Legend
It's not talent so much as being an attacking player. That's why Muller is able to have the year of his life at 34, why Karlovic, why Haas and Stepanek until recently can all still have such effective seasons/get such big wins. Why Mischa Zverev, about to turn 30, can after injuries that could easily end a career become a top 30 player. How many defensive players you see like that? Robredo and Ferrer are the closest I can think of.
 
Fed was a journeyman until age almost 23. He would routinely get bashed out of slams in the 1st round, I dare say that has contributed to his body still being in such good shape.
Actually, not particularly true. Sure, he was fairly inconsistent at the time, but still played a huge lot of matches due to entering many smaller tournaments, as did young Hewitt, young Nadal and many youngsters before and after. What Thiem has been doing is nothing new.

Federer played 70 matches in 2001, 80 in 2002 and 95 in 2003 (almost as many as his personal record of 97 in 2006), so he played 245 total matches in 3 years - that's a great deal. Federer gave himself a top player workload since 2001, in terms of amount of tennis played.
 

OKUSA

Hall of Fame
It's why I don't agree with people saying he's better now than at his peak in 2005-2006.

He's surviving simply off his serve and taking it early. He's not as quick as he was obviously, especially with knee surgery. He's winning matches purely on talent + Tennis IQ accumulated all over the years.

Remember when he hated dropshots in his peak? He didn't start using them frequently until 2009ish.
i don't know how anyone can say this federer is betterer than the one from mid 00's. just watch one match from that era and you will see fed running around backhands from behind the baseline and blowing it past the likes of nadal/hewitt/agassi like it was nothing
 
It's why I don't agree with people saying he's better now than at his peak in 2005-2006.

He's surviving simply off his serve and taking it early. He's not as quick as he was obviously, especially with knee surgery. He's winning matches purely on talent + Tennis IQ accumulated all over the years.

Remember when he hated dropshots in his peak? He didn't start using them frequently until 2009ish.
When he was able to blast anyone off the court back in the day, those were good times. The phrase full flight Federer was so applicable, the dude was moving on the court like the wind and blasting winners from all kinds of all angles. ALL KINDS!
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
Easy to resists using it when you had the best forehand of all time in those peak years + best 1HBH of all time as well.
MasturB, Have you ever heard the names of Rosewall and Laver? If Federer would also had the best 1hbh of all time he would not have lost so many Grand Slam tournaments after 2010.
 

MasturB

Legend
MasturB, Have you ever heard the names of Rosewall and Laver? If Federer would also had the best 1hbh of all time he would not have lost so many Grand Slam tournaments after 2010.
Sure have.

Rosewall and Laver never faced anyone comparable to the physical destruction that is Rafa Nadal.


The Melbourne Final this year should have cemented that title of best 1HBH of all time, since his backhand won him the match. Well that entire tournament rather.
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
Sure have.

Rosewall and Laver never faced anyone comparable to the physical destruction that is Rafa Nadal.


The Melbourne Final this year should have cemented that title of best 1HBH of all time, since his backhand won him the match. Well that entire tournament rather.
Most experts say that Rosewall had the best one-handed backhand. Laver and Rosewall had to deal with Lew Hoad, a big destroyer, and with Björn Borg, a true "fighting machine". Hoad had a playing arm at least as voluminous as Nadal's right arm...

Federer's backhand has brought him so many bitter defeats even in his peak years. Rosewall's backhand has brought him 25 majors of several categories.

Roger won most of his titles because of his serve and his forehand, not because of his backhand.
 

Defcon

Hall of Fame
Fed's bh is compared against his fh, the greatest single shot the game has ever seen, bar none, and there is no way it compares. It is in no way a weakness as it was good enough to beat 99% of players, but Nadal is a unique player whose entire strategy vs Fed is hit 99% to bh and it worked.

For a regular rally game with both players hitting topspin bh's from the baseline, there are many great options - Gasquet, Stan, even Dimitrov.
If you asked someone they needed a bh to induce errors, play with variety, hit vicious slices, hit passing shots, pick up half volleys - almost any player would pick Fed.
 

amorys90

Professional
It's not talent so much as being an attacking player. That's why Muller is able to have the year of his life at 34, why Karlovic, why Haas and Stepanek until recently can all still have such effective seasons/get such big wins. Why Mischa Zverev, about to turn 30, can after injuries that could easily end a career become a top 30 player. How many defensive players you see like that? Robredo and Ferrer are the closest I can think of.
Feliciano too... attacking players age well ;)
 
I think what is really interesting about him is that he is willing to make changes (despite the initial resistance re: drop shots mentioned above); and somehow those changes now define his playing style/ approach in some ways.

It was brought up yesterday by the commentators during his match against Raonic yesterday, that with each coach, he adopted something new/ new approach to his arsenal of weapons, for eg., he started to serve and volley more during his period with Edberg when he was up in games.
 
Most experts say that Rosewall had the best one-handed backhand. Laver and Rosewall had to deal with Lew Hoad, a big destroyer, and with Björn Borg, a true "fighting machine". Hoad had a playing arm at least as voluminous as Nadal's right arm...

Federer's backhand has brought him so many bitter defeats even in his peak years. Rosewall's backhand has brought him 25 majors of several categories.

Roger won most of his titles because of his serve and his forehand, not because of his backhand.
Bobby, where do you get 25 majors from? 8 slams and 15 pro majors = 23
 

MasturB

Legend
I think what is really interesting about him is that he is willing to make changes (despite the initial resistance re: drop shots mentioned above); and somehow those changes now define his playing style/ approach in some ways.

It was brought up yesterday by the commentators during his match against Raonic yesterday, that with each coach, he adopted something new/ new approach to his arsenal of weapons, for eg., he started to serve and volley more during his period with Edberg when he was up in games.
He doesn't serve and volley as much as he did under Edberg but Ljube has gotten him to serve and volley at the right times and mix it in with baseline play. It's crazy efficient.

I felt under Edberg Fed served and volleyed too much. Wore himself out too early and his groundies sometimes took a hit.
 
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