Fed's "match nerves"???

#1
one thing over the past couple years (probably since Wimby 2014) that's puzzled me is when people talk about Fed choking or tilting under pressure when playing Djoko in slam finals

i've never heard anyone use the words choking and nerves so often to talk about Fed

now that's confusing to me for a few reasons

it's well established that Fed is now well past his prime and although he's playing vintage tennis he's not close to his golden years

so if he's now playing "for fun" and no longer the favorite to smash everyone in a GS draw why would he now suddenly have match nerves and start choking? shouldn't the choking/nerves be in your prime years when you're still the favorite to win everything and fulfill your potential?

he's playing for his 18th slam but at this point he's basically the number 1 choice player in every GOAT discussion and a living legend on tour it's not like he's got something left to prove or a record left to overtake....

is he really choking his finals away against Djoko???
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#2
Those players are out to win, so every Major final is a kind of a big deal, no matter in which part of their career they are.

Not that I subscribe under the "Federer gets too nervous" statement.

I don't see where this comes from (I mean, more than what is usual for anyone in such situation).

:cool:
 

BVSlam

Professional
#3
It doesn't matter. He has said himself that slam finals are not something you get used to, they're special every time. You work hard for two weeks to get that opportunity, so no matter how many you've won, you're not going to take it lightly. You know that any slam final could be the last, more so the older you get, so that creates extra pressure.
 
#4
Trying to win slam #18 has its own unique pressures. Also he can feel Djokovic breathing down his neck at the slam record, weeks at #1, YEC titles. I don't see Roger as "playing out the string" right now just enjoying his "living legend" status. He very much is in this to win and secure his legacy which seemed so assured 5 years ago.
 
#5
It doesn't matter. He has said himself that slam finals are not something you get used to, they're special every time. You work hard for two weeks to get that opportunity, so no matter how many you've won, you're not going to take it lightly. You know that any slam final could be the last, more so the older you get, so that creates extra pressure.
People tend to forget that he came out nervous in slam finals during his "pomp". 2004 Wimby, 2006 AO. Just rarely as his nervous system hadn't been "spent" yet. I believe 2009 FO/Wimby really depleted his nervous system to the point that it's been very difficult for him ever since to approach a GS final with ease.
 
#6
this kinda paints Fed in a bad light

how many GOAT candidates suffered from severe nerves in GS finals in their later years?

i'm pretty sure Petros wasn't this bad...
 
#9
The fundamental problem is Fed hits 3-4 great shots in a row but the point isn't over and he gets frustrated into making an "unforced error" and we call it nerves. Nerves to me would be making loads of double-faults or missing easy smashes. It isn't quite that clear-cut in the last 2 GS finals that it was "nerves".
 
#10
one thing over the past couple years (probably since Wimby 2014) that's puzzled me is when people talk about Fed choking or tilting under pressure when playing Djoko in slam finals

i've never heard anyone use the words choking and nerves so often to talk about Fed

now that's confusing to me for a few reasons

it's well established that Fed is now well past his prime and although he's playing vintage tennis he's not close to his golden years

so if he's now playing "for fun" and no longer the favorite to smash everyone in a GS draw why would he now suddenly have match nerves and start choking? shouldn't the choking/nerves be in your prime years when you're still the favorite to win everything and fulfill your potential?

he's playing for his 18th slam but at this point he's basically the number 1 choice player in every GOAT discussion and a living legend on tour it's not like he's got something left to prove or a record left to overtake....

is he really choking his finals away against Djoko???
Confidence is key. If you're on a hot winning streak and in your prime then you're way more confident in your game. Federer has no reason to be confident in GS matches against Djokovic and his body knows this. That's why his bodies tightens up and Djokovic's body doesn't.
 
#11
Cycle of life. When Fed was young and in his pomp(2004-2006) he only ever got nervous for that 2006 RG final. Even in the Wimby final he was so uber-confident in his abilities he schooled Rafa 6-0 in the opening set.

Now he gets to experience what it was like for 35yo Agassi in a slam final against the younger version of himself.

Cycle of life. Impossible to turn the wheel back.
 
#16
Yeah, at this point he should have definitely become the ice cold, emotionless terminator that some of those all time greats have become. Nerves at big important matches at this stage of his career? Absolutely laughable I agree. Or maybe conversely, that's why these guys retired so early.
 
#18
Yeah, at this point he should have definitely become the ice cold, emotionless terminator that some of those all time greats have become. Nerves at big important matches at this stage of his career? Absolutely laughable. Or maybe conversely, that's why these guys retired so early.
Fed did the "ice cold emotionless Terminator" thing from 2004-2007, didn't you see?
 
#19
I would say it was the 2008 FO/Wim double blow that brought on his "nerves" problems. First, it was only with Nadal. Then THE FH CC return against him on match-point in the 2010 USO SF brought on a similar problem against Djok.
 
#21
Even Djokovic seems to start getting nervy these days, although he was always prone to nerves. He's never seem to have an extended period of ice-cold dominance.
 
#22
one thing over the past couple years (probably since Wimby 2014) that's puzzled me is when people talk about Fed choking or tilting under pressure when playing Djoko in slam finals

i've never heard anyone use the words choking and nerves so often to talk about Fed

now that's confusing to me for a few reasons

it's well established that Fed is now well past his prime and although he's playing vintage tennis he's not close to his golden years

so if he's now playing "for fun" and no longer the favorite to smash everyone in a GS draw why would he now suddenly have match nerves and start choking? shouldn't the choking/nerves be in your prime years when you're still the favorite to win everything and fulfill your potential?

he's playing for his 18th slam but at this point he's basically the number 1 choice player in every GOAT discussion and a living legend on tour it's not like he's got something left to prove or a record left to overtake....

is he really choking his finals away against Djoko???
It's not really choking, just an added pressure to win what he knows will be his last slam...
 
#24
I would say it was the 2008 FO/Wim double blow that brought on his "nerves" problems. First, it was only with Nadal. Then THE FH CC return against him on match-point in the 2010 USO SF brought on a similar problem against Djok.
I think he got over the FH CC return of the 2011 USO SF. He said of his Wimbledon 2012 SF that he served on purpose to Novak's forehand on match point "to see what he'd do". Good thing Novak didn't crank another ourtrageus winner or Federer would go slamless in 2012 as well, or possibly mentally mangled for life.
 
#25
I think when someone goes 4/23 on bp's.. Nerves are definitely an issue. I also believe that different champions have differing mental makeups. In other words, a guy like Fed who has won so much on his innate talent and skill has a different mental makeup than someone like Nadal who had a completely different past training.
 
#26
Fed was so used to getting his way with ease from 2004-2007 that when the first real roadblock appeared(Nadal) he mentally crumbled. Then Nadal got injured('09) allowed Fed to get the slam record and that relaxed him for a while. But taking all these beatings from Djokovic has caused new mental anguish.
 
#27
Fed was so used to getting his way with ease from 2004-2007 that when the first real roadblock appeared(Nadal) he mentally crumbled. Then Nadal got injured('09) allowed Fed to get the slam record and that relaxed him for a while. But taking all these beatings from Djokovic has caused new mental anguish.
A bit of misfortune that Federer has met and outlasted one mental giant (Nadal) only to meet another (Djokovic).
 
#28
A bit of misfortune that Federer has met and outlasted one mental giant (Nadal) only to meet another (Djokovic).
The thing is in so many of Fed's slam losses to Nadal & Djokovic there were periods in the match where he was playing his flashy game, hitting winners and dominating. Then one thing would happen and he'd crumble and lose the match. The 4 that stick out most in my mind:

2009 AO final - Fed up *4-2, 30-0. Nadal hits 2 amazing passing winners and Fed crumbles from that point on. Loses the match, 6-2 in the 5th.
2011 FO final - Federer was up 5-2* and set point and flubbed an easy volley wide. He proceeds to lose that set, the next and 6-1 in the 4th.
2011 US semis - we know what happened there. Fed crumbled after Djokovic hit his famous return.
2012 AO semis - Fed up a set & break. Then Nadal hits some amazing passing shots again, and Fed crumbles!

I'd attribute Fed's earlier losses to Nadal in slams to just being physically outmatched or feeling bad on the day(2006 FO, 2008 FO).

I think 2008 Wimby was Nadal GOAT-ing the first 2 sets and then lucking out that there was no roof yet and so he could see the ball better in darkness.

I think the losses to Djokovic in the last 2 slams are due to the nerves from that accumulated psychic damage. I know Federer's mind better than he knows it.
 
#29
one thing over the past couple years (probably since Wimby 2014) that's puzzled me is when people talk about Fed choking or tilting under pressure when playing Djoko in slam finals

i've never heard anyone use the words choking and nerves so often to talk about Fed

now that's confusing to me for a few reasons

it's well established that Fed is now well past his prime and although he's playing vintage tennis he's not close to his golden years

so if he's now playing "for fun" and no longer the favorite to smash everyone in a GS draw why would he now suddenly have match nerves and start choking? shouldn't the choking/nerves be in your prime years when you're still the favorite to win everything and fulfill your potential?

he's playing for his 18th slam but at this point he's basically the number 1 choice player in every GOAT discussion and a living legend on tour it's not like he's got something left to prove or a record left to overtake....

is he really choking his finals away against Djoko???
He is the best against the field, superb against the good not great. But record against nadal and in big matches against djokovic points to a slight weakness there. There isnt much between these guys but in some situations he has seemed ill at ease. It is a harsh criticism against two all time greats but there it is. Also they are more likely to seize the opportunity.
 
#30
one thing over the past couple years (probably since Wimby 2014) that's puzzled me is when people talk about Fed choking or tilting under pressure when playing Djoko in slam finals

i've never heard anyone use the words choking and nerves so often to talk about Fed

now that's confusing to me for a few reasons

it's well established that Fed is now well past his prime and although he's playing vintage tennis he's not close to his golden years

so if he's now playing "for fun" and no longer the favorite to smash everyone in a GS draw why would he now suddenly have match nerves and start choking? shouldn't the choking/nerves be in your prime years when you're still the favorite to win everything and fulfill your potential?

he's playing for his 18th slam but at this point he's basically the number 1 choice player in every GOAT discussion and a living legend on tour it's not like he's got something left to prove or a record left to overtake....

is he really choking his finals away against Djoko???
Fed is doing good, it is not easy to face Novak (who has a great stamina) in BO5 and defeat him specially for a 34 + aged person.
Fed has to take 2-0 set lead to win the match(2012 Wimbledon, 11 RG).
 
#34
Petros had one Major final in his "later years" and it was against Agassi.

That is all we need to know about the matter at hand and him.

:cool:
Add to that the 2001 USO final against Hewitt. Pete lost 6-7, 1-6, 1-6 so he didn't do well against the new top players either. The year before he lost 4,3, and 3 to Safin in the final again not bringing it to the new stars on the game. Kinda paints Pete in a bad light.
 
#35
one thing over the past couple years (probably since Wimby 2014) that's puzzled me is when people talk about Fed choking or tilting under pressure when playing Djoko in slam finals

i've never heard anyone use the words choking and nerves so often to talk about Fed

now that's confusing to me for a few reasons

it's well established that Fed is now well past his prime and although he's playing vintage tennis he's not close to his golden years

so if he's now playing "for fun" and no longer the favorite to smash everyone in a GS draw why would he now suddenly have match nerves and start choking? shouldn't the choking/nerves be in your prime years when you're still the favorite to win everything and fulfill your potential?

he's playing for his 18th slam but at this point he's basically the number 1 choice player in every GOAT discussion and a living legend on tour it's not like he's got something left to prove or a record left to overtake....

is he really choking his finals away against Djoko???
We all do it I think, you want to win so you get nervous, I wouldn't say he chokes to much as gets tight and makes some weak errors letting his opponent off the hook please she US Open third set as an example.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
#37
...so if Fed's now playing "for fun" and no longer the favorite to smash everyone in a GS draw why would he now suddenly have match nerves and start choking?
Fed is hardly playing for fun, he's playing for ONE reason and that's to give himself the chance to win #18. That's his sole motivation at this point, to pad his legacy. He also just loves playing, loves the life and loves that's still a great player.

In addition, Fed choked countless matches in his prime to Nadal. Watch Rome 2006, their greatest-ever match- he choked that. He has choked countless matches against other players when he had MP's as well.

Fed choking big matches is not something new.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
#38
this kinda paints Fed in a bad light

how many GOAT candidates suffered from severe nerves in GS finals in their later years?

i'm pretty sure Petros wasn't this bad...
That's because he never made as many in his later years, and when he did he got demolished by guys like Hewitt and Safin. So much so that people knew he just got flat out outplayed. In case I'm being too vague, that means he didn't have a chance to choke. Unlike Federer who still has taken at least 1 set in every GS match against Djokovic since Wimbledon 2014. And the one slam Sampras did win (Wimbledon 2012 was Federer's equivalent anyway) he played his old buddy Agassi (after Agassi had defeated Hewitt).
 
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Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
#39
Fed is hardly playing for fun, he's playing for ONE reason and that's to give himself the chance to win #18. That's his sole motivation at this point, to pad his legacy. He also just loves playing, loves the life and loves that's still a great player.

In addition, Fed choked countless matches in his prime to Nadal. Watch Rome 2006, their greatest-ever match- he choked that. He has choked countless matches against other players when he had MP's as well.

Fed choking big matches is not something new.
This is part of the effect of losing in 5 sets as opposed to losing in 3 or 4 sometimes though. I grant you that Federer has choked away some matches, but look at it in comparison to someone like Nadal or even Djokovic.

Nadal has a laundry list of matches where he was absolutely smoked off the court in his career, and we all know about Djokovic's 2012-14 struggles (relative to his standard of course). Not to mention his 2009 and 2010 years. The problem (for lack of a better word) is that those guys never get the "choker" label as much as Federer does because nobody knows what to call it when you get creamed. There's no easy one word answer for that. And their 5 set records are great (when they get there). I'm not really disagreeing with your point, but looking at it from a different angle because "choke" is an overused word around here, and that's not an opinion. It's a fact.

Calling someone a choker in tennis is much easier than saying "Well he just got outplayed." The latter is perceived to be acceptable with the caveat that the opponent was too good and that you'll get them another day. The former has a clear inference that's very derogatory towards whichever player gets the label, but perception is not always reality, and most people take the easy way out.
 
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