Gilles Simon on "The Federer Myth" and why he wants Djokodal to overtake him

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
Gilles Simon Reveals Why He Wants Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to Break Roger Federer’s Records

BY KSHITIJ TAYAL
OCTOBER 21, 2020


Former World No.6 Gilles Simon is about to release his first book later this month. Titled “This Sport That Makes You Crazy”, Simon has given an interesting outlook towards the “Greatest of All Time” debate surrounding Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. The Frenchman has an entire chapter titled “The Federer Myth”, where he writes about trainers having an obsession to train a new Federer in France.


Recently, during an interview, Simon talked about people’s fixation with Federer resulted from his conventional playing style and his colossal achievements over the last two decades. He felt that people don’t want any player to break Federer’s records. It would open up the GOAT debate, and make people incline towards Djokovic or Nadal.

“If Federer keeps his records, that will allow us to say that, of course, Djoko and Nadal are good players too, but above all that, they are less strong. That’s why this GOAT story has been gaining such proportions for years, because there are many who believe that Federer’s records will never fall. But if Djokovic overtakes him when he hardly makes any volleys, it will break the thought patterns of a lot of people.” said Simon.


Simon on people’s obsession with Roger Federer
The 14-time career titlist believes that if Djokovic overtakes Federer in the Grand Slam race, people may not take it too kindly. World No.2 Nadal has already equaled the Swiss maestro’s record of winning 20 major championships after lifting the French Open 2020 for a record 13th time.


Simon revealed that if Federer keeps his records, kids will be forced to emulate him. Hence, he wants Nadal or Djokovic to overcome Federer so that fans don’t limit tennis to one player and young players can approach the game through various playing styles.

“Federer, who keeps his records, means that for generations to come, they will put him in all the sauce. And I don’t want that. I would like a kid who is forced to play like Federer can answer: “Yes, but Novak and Rafa have won twenty-one titles by playing differently,” remarked Simon.


Notably, both Nadal and Djokovic lead their head-to-head against Federer by 24-16 and 27-23, respectively. With Roger having turned 39 this year, the 2021 season might be the last time we witness his magical stroke play.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
this is a strange one

his main point of contention here is that Fed's style will predominate the juniors because all the coaches want to make mini-Feds

however, wouldn't we run into the very same problem if/when Djokodal become GOATS?

every kid is gonna be forced into a two hander and taught to camp the baseline

you can argue this already is a problem considering the new gens are allergic to net play and have a seizure every time they attempt a volley
 

USO

Professional
Gilles Simon Reveals Why He Wants Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to Break Roger Federer’s Records

BY KSHITIJ TAYAL
OCTOBER 21, 2020


Former World No.6 Gilles Simon is about to release his first book later this month. Titled “This Sport That Makes You Crazy”, Simon has given an interesting outlook towards the “Greatest of All Time” debate surrounding Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. The Frenchman has an entire chapter titled “The Federer Myth”, where he writes about trainers having an obsession to train a new Federer in France.


Recently, during an interview, Simon talked about people’s fixation with Federer resulted from his conventional playing style and his colossal achievements over the last two decades. He felt that people don’t want any player to break Federer’s records. It would open up the GOAT debate, and make people incline towards Djokovic or Nadal.

“If Federer keeps his records, that will allow us to say that, of course, Djoko and Nadal are good players too, but above all that, they are less strong. That’s why this GOAT story has been gaining such proportions for years, because there are many who believe that Federer’s records will never fall. But if Djokovic overtakes him when he hardly makes any volleys, it will break the thought patterns of a lot of people.” said Simon.


Simon on people’s obsession with Roger Federer
The 14-time career titlist believes that if Djokovic overtakes Federer in the Grand Slam race, people may not take it too kindly. World No.2 Nadal has already equaled the Swiss maestro’s record of winning 20 major championships after lifting the French Open 2020 for a record 13th time.


Simon revealed that if Federer keeps his records, kids will be forced to emulate him. Hence, he wants Nadal or Djokovic to overcome Federer so that fans don’t limit tennis to one player and young players can approach the game through various playing styles.

“Federer, who keeps his records, means that for generations to come, they will put him in all the sauce. And I don’t want that. I would like a kid who is forced to play like Federer can answer: “Yes, but Novak and Rafa have won twenty-one titles by playing differently,” remarked Simon.


Notably, both Nadal and Djokovic lead their head-to-head against Federer by 24-16 and 27-23, respectively. With Roger having turned 39 this year, the 2021 season might be the last time we witness his magical stroke play.

Novak winning twenty-one. :-D
 

USO

Professional
it does look a bit funny atm for sure, but with Fedalovic you just never know

it's hard to write off any of the big 3 at this point
Let's see if he will win Vienna first. Djokovic has had the most problems with the younger players. I predict that next year will be very difficult for him.
 

Thriller

Semi-Pro
Should be an interesting read.
I think this is more of a bash at the rigid French Federation who seem to have a very fixed (and perhaps dated) view of how tennis should be played that they force on the young. I.E. play like Roger.
This fits with another section from the book:
Basically if Nadal was a french kid they would have ruined him by trying to change every aspect of his game. Fortunately for the world, Nadal was given the freedom to develop independently.

Simon himself has an idiosyncratic style so probably was hassled by low-achieving, know-nothing coaches trying to change his style throughout his entire career.
 
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RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
Makes little sense as no one would want to emulate Djokobic anyway, no matter how many slams he ends up with.

Also, young players seem to have copied Nadal for the last decade anyway, Federer and his style of play is old and outdated to youngsters now anyways.

As long as Simon’s style never catches on we’re good.
What are you talking about, Djokovic’s style is the most common amongst young players
 
You have to understand this in context of French tennis. Not in context of "whass he sayin bout my fave player???"

In France they finance predominantly "pretty-playing" kids who are often lazy or lazier than their grinding peers.

Speaking of peers... Benoit Paire. Typical gifted but hopeless case. Schonwetterspieler as Germans would say.

This is partly why France has no slam champs since almost 40 years despite huge money being invested and potential and why Simon and many other Frenchmen are frustrated with French tennis.

He is basically saying he wants variety, and most importantly GRIT and DETERMINATION to be just as important in selecting and training kids as is natural talent and BALLERINA POETRY. Without GRIT natural talent is useless, as many failed talents prove. Federer does have grit, of course, but nowhere close to Rafa or even Djokovic.

In Spain they let results speak more, less pretty ballerina tennis. And this lead to a bunch of slam champs since the early 90s.

France? Zero.

I can certainly understand why Fedfans will go ballistic, get triggered at Simon's opinions, but they aren't trying to understand the essence of what he's saying. All they read into this is "HE HATES OUR IDOL!!!"
 
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Thriller

Semi-Pro
please Rafa and Nole, reach 21 majors ASAP, or these poor kids will be FORCED against their will to play like Federer

the horror
That is horror. Wasting talent like that.
Only Federer should play like Federer. Talented youngsters should be learning how to express themselves on court and bring something unique and original not learning how to be a 2nd rate copy of some rose-tinted idea of what good tennis looked like in 2004.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
That is horror. Wasting talent like that.
Only Federer should play like Federer. Talented youngsters should be learning how to express themselves on court and bring something unique and original not learning how to be a 2nd rate copy of some rose-tinted idea of what good tennis looked like in 2004.
i think the genre Gilles is operating in here is more like fantasy or absurdism

kids aren't being 'forced' into playing like federer, by and large, and coaching practices won't radically change if one of the other guys gets to 21 slams instead of 20.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
perhaps he feels a bit bitter of having ended up in the shadow of more flair-possessing compatriots such as Tsonga, Monfils and Gasquet or something like that.

who knows.

he does at least sound salty about players with other playing styles than him. I remember he sad some stuff about Feli Lopez also.
 
You have to understand this in context of French tennis. Not in context of "whass he sayin bout my fave player???"

In France they finance predominantly "pretty-playing" kids who are often lazy or lazier than their grinding peers.

Speaking of peers... Benoit Paire. Typical gifted but hopeless case. Schonwetterspieler as Germans would say.

This is partly why France has no slam champs since almost 40 years despite huge money being invested and potential and why Simon and many other Frenchmen are frustrated with French tennis.

He is basically saying he wants variety, and most importantly GRIT and DETERMINATION to be just as important in selecting and training kids as is natural talent and BALLERINA POETRY. Without GRIT natural talent is useless, as many failed talents prove. Federer does have grit, of course, but nowhere close to Rafa or even Djokovic.

I can certainly understand why Fedfans will go ballistic, get triggered at Simon's opinions, but they aren't trying to understand the essence of what he's saying. All they read into this is "HE HATES OUR IDOL!!!"
And yet the hard-working unflashy simon isn't even top 3 among the modern French tennisbois. Tsonga, Gasquet and Monfils all rank above him. Either simug isn't that gritty or flashiness isn't that bad, at least better than gritty simuggery.
 

ND-13

Professional
I have seen some say 'Simon is the most intelligent player'. Definitely if that is true, it is limited to on court.

I think he is envious that Fed is so talented and he is not and in his mind, Djokovic and Nadal are less flamboyant and less talented, which is also not true.
 
What Frenchman plays anything like fedr anyway? Not pushfils and not backhandsquet. Tsonga would be the (slightly) closest and, surprise, he is the most accomplished of them.
 
I have seen some say 'Simon is the most intelligent player'. Definitely if that is true, it is limited to on court.

I think he is envious that Fed is so talented and he is not and in his mind, Djokovic and Nadal are less flamboyant and less talented, which is also not true.
If Simon feels Djokodal play anything like him, he's deeply delusional lol. Probably reveling in the memories of taking "peak" Noel to five "forcing" 100 UEs on him lol. Didn't think he would be so hurtbutt.
 

Thriller

Semi-Pro
kids aren't being 'forced' into playing .....
I don't know the French Federation system well enough to comment. Gilles probably does:

“To the time of this writing, Rafael Nadal won 12 Roland Garros by returning eight meters behind the baseline and with rounded trajectories,” Simon wrote. “If he had gone through the French federal structure, we would probably have changed him everywhere.”

and coaching practices won't radically change if one of the other guys gets to 21 slams instead of 20.
I agree. But successful players do have influence. Do you reckon more coaches are teaching girls to play like Serena or Justine?

But I do think that Gilles' point is more a general one about fixed mentalities in tennis coaching being a limiting factor. When I think of French tennis, I think of a lot of identikit successful players with 'flair' in the top 100 (probably more than any other nation) but no remarkable weapon or any form of end product when it comes to slams.

I remember back in 2005 having an 'intense' debate with a French coach who was certain that Gasquet was a better player than Nadal and the heir apparent to Federer. To this day I have no idea what he was looking at! It takes a lot more than a 'pretty' backhand to get anywhere. It was pretty obvious to me that with movement like that he would never get anywhere near a slam final let alone win one.
 

ibbi

Legend
This is hilarious stuff. I would expect nothing less than something beyond the ordinary realm of sense from Gilles Simon, but as interesting as his outlook on this is it cannot help but feel to me like such small thinking.

As if you could just train generations of people to play tennis like Roger Federer :laughing: Like, if you could... He's been the man for 16 god damn years, why are there so few breaking out who bear even the most fleeting resemblance to the way he plays the game?:-D Of COURSE there should be variety in the game and the way players are taught to play, but Djokovic and to a lesser extent Nadal are far more akin to the norm, and given that style is comparatively easier to teach and learn obviously that is the way that is going to be prevalent regardless of other influences. Federer's is the style that needs to be championed because quite frankly it is a way of playing the game that both aspires to more, and is and has been dying out for 20 years.

"Forced to play like Federer" :-D:-D Yeah, what a burden that sounds like.
 
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Musterrific

Semi-Pro
What's this dummy talking about? If anyone, it's Federer who's playing "differently" in the modern game because he has actual variety and isn't just a mindless baseline basher. Stop wincing from all those sour grapes you're chewing on, Gilles.

The sport would benefit massively if a generation of kids were to have their technique modelled after Roger's.
 
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