Hewitt vs Federer Highlights | ATP Finals 2002 Semi-Final | TennisTV Highlights

Mivic

Semi-Pro
News flash, he's played him a bunch of times...metal toe Hewitt even took at a set at the slowest AO of all time in 2012.
We're seriously factoring early round grand slam matches into peak for peak debates now? I remember that match well. Djokovic had a two set lead and was 3-0 up in the third in the match you're referencing. A sharper Djokovic would have closed that one out in an extremely comfortable three sets. Honestly if a guy like Dodig was capable of taking sets off an absolute peak AO Djokovic in 2011 I'm pretty sure someone like a metal hip Murray could have taken advantage of some early round sloppiness to steal a set if he was lucky and we'd all be theorising about the potential issues that a peak Murray would have caused Djokovic in Australia when, having seen that match-up play out in real time, the reality is a lot more straightforward. I really find it absurd that in a sport like tennis, where the margins are so fine and some of the most dominant seasons in the history of the sport have been posted by players who have won less than 55% of total points over the course of a calendar year, and as a result even small mental lapses and moderate displays of complacency can translate into substantial differentials in match outcomes, we're making inferences about the abilities of players based on isolated sets, particularly in the early rounds of major tournaments (where the perceived threat of the opposition is relatively low and sloppiness and complacency are more likely to manifest) at the beginning of the season (keep in mind that Djokovic hadn't played any competitive tennis since the YEC coming into AO12). Arguments like this are why I really struggle to take the hypothetical debates on TTW seriously at all.
 
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ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
News flash, he's played him a bunch of times...metal toe Hewitt even took at a set at the slowest AO of all time in 2012.
You know what I meant; back in those days when Hewitt was at his peak there were no baseliners like Djokovic.I dunno how much of a relevance has that AO match, I mean Djokovic lost to Karlovic in 2015 or struggled vs Simon in AO 2016, Federer lost to Hrbaty in Cincy 2004 etc :D
 

ElisRF

Hall of Fame
You know what I meant; back in those days when Hewitt was at his peak there were no baseliners like Djokovic.I dunno how much of a relevance has that AO match, I mean Djokovic lost to Karlovic in 2015, Federer lost to Hrbaty in Cincy 2004 :D
Hewitt played Nadal 11 times btw.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Hewitt played Nadal 11 times btw.
True and no wonder given that Nadal was already in business when Federer had only 4 slams.Nadal even played Agassi, to put it in perspective.Do you want to tell me now that Nadal was as good from the baseline back in those times as peak Djokovic was on hardcourts ? My original argument was about 2015 Djokovic.
 
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metsman

G.O.A.T.
I might just be overrating that because of the breadstick he delivered to GOATing Marat in the first set. He was incredibly on point there. Like 1 UE I believe. A shame it only counted as one set.

I do think he got tight in the later stages of the AO final due to the home pressure of it. Missed a lot of first serves iirc, while Marat was dinging them in at like a 70% rate. That more than anything else made the difference in the match, Safin had more winners but a lot of them were serve+1 putaways. He hung with both peak Safin and Federer from the baseline admirably.
SafGOAT schooled him from baseline in the latter stages of that match, but no shame in that really.
 

Kralingen

Legend
SafGOAT schooled him from baseline in the latter stages of that match, but no shame in that really.
I remember Hewitt had a chance to consolidate the break in the 3rd set, and then Safin just decided to put 20% more power into his FHs and BHs and that was basically all she wrote lol

I do think the serve part punctuated it though, I need to check the stats again but I distinctly remember feeling like Safin smacked down a first serve to deny Hewitt getting a look at a 15-30 or BP. Hewitt’s serve was basically cannon fodder for Safin by comparison.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Fed was never as good of a baseliner as Djokovic. He just had more options, baselining being one of them, but was always elite there anyway.
The difference between baselining (if we take baselining to be prowess in neutral rallies, which is an oversimplification, but most people's definition) between Federer and Djokovic on fast&low and bigger than the gap between them on slow and high (and such a gap might not even really exist).

Federer is the best baseliner on fast and/or low anyone has ever seen, there are approximately 540 examples of this. Federer won the majority of long rallies against Nadal and Djokovic routinely in such conditions, often by huge margins (60-70%), until 2011, even in otherwise mug tier matches as 06 Dubai or 09 Basel. There was only one match in the entire time period where there were quite a few extended rallies and Fed lost them by a decisive margin, 3 guesses which. Ok there's also 2010 USO disaster (USO is not quite fast and low, but we have to include it due to lack of such courts). Also Hamburg not quite fast and low obviously, but it is relative low for clay, just an interesting tidbit that Fed won 17 of 26 10+ points in 2007 and then 8 of 28 in 2008 lmao, what a difference a year can make.

Anyways, the gap was larger, clearly so really, than the gap between Ned/Joe and Fed in 11-12. Unless you want to posit that Lendl, Agassi, or Borg was a better baseliner than Fed in such conditions, there's really no argument. This eras comparison is quite conclusive.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
I remember Hewitt had a chance to consolidate the break in the 3rd set, and then Safin just decided to put 20% more power into his FHs and BHs and that was basically all she wrote lol

I do think the serve part punctuated it though, I need to check the stats again but I distinctly remember feeling like Safin smacked down a first serve to deny Hewitt getting a look at a 15-30 or BP. Hewitt’s serve was basically cannon fodder for Safin by comparison.
yeah Safin was serving mid 70s with 13 aces, 27 winners, 9 UFE in about a set and a half after he got broken in the third. Maybe the most overwhelming all around level I've seen on a tennis court.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
yeah Safin was serving mid 70s with 13 aces, 27 winners, 9 UFE in about a set and a half after he got broken in the third. Maybe the most overwhelming all around level I've seen on a tennis court.
This is what I got:

Safin was just ruthless/GOATing in the last set and half, serve, groundstrokes, return, passing shots, even excellently executed dropshots

from 2-4 down in the 3rd set till the end, he had 47 winners+forced errors to just 7 UEs.

 

abmk

Bionic Poster
@metsman @Kralingen :

For a comparision:

1. fed in USO 04 final vs hewitt in 1st and 3rd sets combined:

38 winners+errors forced to 6 UEs

2. fed in AO 04 4R vs hewitt in 3rd and 4th sets combined:

51 winners+errors forced to 16 UEs
 
We're seriously factoring early round grand slam matches into peak for peak debates now? I remember that match well. Djokovic had a two set lead and was 3-0 up in the third in the match you're referencing. A sharper Djokovic would have closed that one out in an extremely comfortable three sets. Honestly if a guy like Dodig was capable of taking sets off an absolute peak AO Djokovic in 2011 I'm pretty sure someone like a metal hip Murray could have taken advantage of some early round sloppiness to steal a set if he was lucky and we'd all be theorising about the potential issues that a peak Murray would have caused Djokovic in Australia when, having seen that match-up play out in real time, the reality is a lot more straightforward. I really find it absurd that in a sport like tennis, where the margins are so fine and some of the most dominant seasons in the history of the sport have been posted by players who have won less than 55% of total points over the course of a calendar year, and as a result even small mental lapses and moderate displays of complacency can translate into substantial differentials in match outcomes, we're making inferences about the abilities of players based on isolated sets, particularly in the early rounds of major tournaments (where the perceived threat of the opposition is relatively low and sloppiness and complacency are more likely to manifest) at the beginning of the season (keep in mind that Djokovic hadn't played any competitive tennis since the YEC coming into AO12). Arguments like this are why I really struggle to take the hypothetical debates on TTW seriously at all.
You thought he was genuinely serious? lol come on.

peak intensity mury has actually proven to be even with prime joe at AO but couldn't sustain it. At least Hewitt was a better fighter, if he got hit teeth into a match he wasn't going down meekly.
 

ElisRF

Hall of Fame
True and no wonder given that Nadal was already in business when Federer had only 4 slams.Nadal even played Agassi, to put it in perspective.Do you want to tell me now that Nadal was as good from the baseline back in those times as peak Djokovic was on hardcourts ? My original argument was about 2015 Djokovic.
If you are just talking about HC then I got the context wrong. Anyway that Federer was just as dangerous as 2015 Djokovic IMHO.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
We're seriously factoring early round grand slam matches into peak for peak debates now? I remember that match well. Djokovic had a two set lead and was 3-0 up in the third in the match you're referencing. A sharper Djokovic would have closed that one out in an extremely comfortable three sets. Honestly if a guy like Dodig was capable of taking sets off an absolute peak AO Djokovic in 2011 I'm pretty sure someone like a metal hip Murray could have taken advantage of some early round sloppiness to steal a set if he was lucky and we'd all be theorising about the potential issues that a peak Murray would have caused Djokovic in Australia when, having seen that match-up play out in real time, the reality is a lot more straightforward. I really find it absurd that in a sport like tennis, where the margins are so fine and some of the most dominant seasons in the history of the sport have been posted by players who have won less than 55% of total points over the course of a calendar year, and as a result even small mental lapses and moderate displays of complacency can translate into substantial differentials in match outcomes, we're making inferences about the abilities of players based on isolated sets, particularly in the early rounds of major tournaments (where the perceived threat of the opposition is relatively low and sloppiness and complacency are more likely to manifest) at the beginning of the season (keep in mind that Djokovic hadn't played any competitive tennis since the YEC coming into AO12). Arguments like this are why I really struggle to take the hypothetical debates on TTW seriously at all.
The metal toe Hewitt comment didn't clue you in that I was *partly* joking? That whole run from Djokovic was pretty unsharp, I don't think he was less sharp there than he was in some of the later rounds, if he anything he started that match stronger than the SF/F. The point isn't that Hewitt would beat Djokovic, it's mostly that I don't think Djokovic is as bad a match-up for him as Fed was. Dropping a set in a 4R doesn't mean much in a lot of cases because these guys vary their intensity and efficiency =/= peak level, which is why Fed in 2015 looks great by the numbers but in practice was a clear step below his best years. Having said that Hewitt was also far from his best and I just don't think Djokovic's type of ball would give him the same trouble as Federer's e.g. forcing him into defensive positions and off the baseline.
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
The metal toe Hewitt comment didn't clue you in that I was *partly* joking? That whole run from Djokovic was pretty unsharp, I don't think he was less sharp there than he was in some of the later rounds, if he anything he started that match stronger than the SF/F. The point isn't that Hewitt would beat Djokovic, it's mostly that I don't think Djokovic is as bad a match-up for him as Fed was. Dropping a set in a 4R doesn't mean much in a lot of cases because these guys vary their intensity and efficiency =/= peak level, which is why Fed in 2015 looks great by the numbers but in practice was a clear step below his best years. Having said that Hewitt was also far from his best and I just don't think Djokovic's type of ball would give him the same trouble as Federer's e.g. forcing him into defensive positions and off the baseline.
Really? So what does that make 2012 Nadal in the final then :confused:
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
That is a different compasion but if Djokovic was just decent then Nadal was bang average in the AO 12 F.
When did I say he was just decent? I said unsharp, which it was - tons of errors and weaker play in the first few sets of the SF, below par first set of the F. He was still great on the whole, as was Nadal who proved his mettle against Berd/Fed.
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
When did I say he was just decent? I said unsharp, which it was - tons of errors and weaker play in the first few sets of the SF, below par first set of the F. He was still great on the whole, as was Nadal who proved his mettle against Berd/Fed.
Unsharp sounded like medicore to me but i may have got the wrong impression from the post.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
@metsman @Kralingen :

For a comparision:

1. fed in USO 04 final vs hewitt in 1st and 3rd sets combined:

38 winners+errors forced to 6 UEs

2. fed in AO 04 4R vs hewitt in 3rd and 4th sets combined:

51 winners+errors forced to 16 UEs
04 TMC F looks like 50-12, of course due to court really only 04 AO is a fair comparison.
 

Kralingen

Legend
When did I say he was just decent? I said unsharp, which it was - tons of errors and weaker play in the first few sets of the SF, below par first set of the F. He was still great on the whole, as was Nadal who proved his mettle against Berd/Fed.
Unsharp sounded like medicore to me but i may have got the wrong impression from the post.
Much easier to look sharp, both in eye test and statistics, when you’re playing on mid-2000s RA than the molasses/glue/clay abomination that was the 2012 AO, imo. I feel like penalizing them for error counts is a little unfair. But they certainly were not on their ‘09/11 level, respectively.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Unsharp sounded like medicore to me but i may have got the wrong impression from the post.
You did.

Much easier to look sharp, both in eye test and statistics, when you’re playing on mid-2000s RA than the molasses/glue/clay abomination that was the 2012 AO, imo. I feel like penalizing them for error counts is a little unfair. But they certainly were not on their ‘09/11 level, respectively.
Alot of errors came in short points iirc. Watch it back you'll see what I mean lol. I'm talking mostly about the SF, I think the intensity of hitting was better in the final.

Hewitt gave him the "too good mate" compliment even after the USO final.
Hewitt was correct there.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
You did.



Alot of errors came in short points iirc. Watch it back you'll see what I mean lol. I'm talking mostly about the SF, I think the intensity of hitting was better in the final.



Hewitt was correct there.
Also raw serving quality was rather tragic in the SF, quite a bit better in the F. Murray's second serve in the SF - oh boy

In the final Nadal went into a bit of a shell in the middle, and in the 5th set I think both guys wore down and the baseline play was no longer as good, but the first/4th sets were definitely a generally better level of baseline play than the SF. The SF also featured some great baseline prowess(far better than what we've seen in many years as you'd expect from two prime players), but it was kind of interspersed and mixed in with lots of errors and poor serving.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Also raw serving quality was rather tragic in the SF, quite a bit better in the F. Murray's second serve in the SF - oh boy

In the final Nadal went into a bit of a shell in the middle, and in the 5th set I think both guys wore down and the baseline play was no longer as good, but the first/4th sets were definitely a generally better level of baseline play than the SF. The SF also featured some great baseline prowess(far better than what we've seen in many years as you'd expect from two prime players), but it was kind of interspersed and mixed in with lots of errors and poor serving.
Yeah Murray served poorly and Djokovic still struggled, says quite a lot about how good he was there for stretches.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
AO 2012 would have been one of the greatest slams of all time easily if the surface hadn't been so painfully slow.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
04 TMC F looks like 50-12, of course due to court really only 04 AO is a fair comparison.
yeah, but AO 05 was a little faster than AO 04 as well.

Gonzo's stats in AO 07 semi vs Haas:

42 winners, 19 errors forced to 3 UEs , i.e 61 winners+errors forced to 3 UEs. Yeah, Haas&Hewitt aren't apple to apple, but that is ridiculous. (I got 5 UEs for gonzo by my count btw, not 3, not a big difference though)

Fed in sets 2 and 3 combined in AO 07 final vs Gonzo:

55 winners+errors forced to 9 UEs

Fed in sets 2 and 3 combined in AO 07 semi vs Roddick:

39 winners+errors forced to 5 UEs
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
yeah, but AO 05 was a little faster than AO 04 as well.

Gonzo's stats in AO 07 semi vs Haas:

42 winners, 19 errors forced to 3 UEs , i.e 61 winners+errors forced to 3 UEs. Yeah, Haas&Hewitt aren't apple to apple, but that is ridiculous. (I got 5 UEs for gonzo by my count btw, not 3, not a big difference though)

Fed in sets 2 and 3 combined in AO 07 final vs Gonzo:

55 winners+errors forced to 9 UEs

Fed in sets 2 and 3 combined in AO 07 semi vs Roddick:

39 winners+errors forced to 5 UEs
those guys are obviously not nearly the overall player of Hewitt and much easier to keep the UFE counts down due to the playstyle (fewer neutral style baseline rallies, weaker returns making it easier to dominate right off serve, more net approaches). Federer in 3rd/4th sets in 2006 USO F had cartoonish stats too I'm sure. I don't think there's any chance those players produce a 47/7 ratio against 2005 AO Hewitt, even 2007 Federer (just because it's probably impossible that he hits that many aces/unreturnables).

Really, Safin's stretch is probably impossible to beat besides matches where it is very serve/volley heavy where most of the play is recorded as forced or winners. Definitely one of the most impressive things ever seen on a tennis court. We are talking 95 Wimby 2nd/4th set Goran level serving, i.e. best ever produced COMBINED with GOAT level in all other areas as well. This is why all comparisons to Safin and dismissal of his ability are a silly joke by people who don't know any better. In a span of 4 days he did 2 things that were purely unfathomable, 4 years after already doing the unfathomable and making a Pete who was not extraordinary but still definitely had a pulse look like a club level hack. You don't fluke your way into doing things literally no one else in tennis history could do.
 
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Nice to see some HQ highlights of this one. Hewitt won the SF and F of this event with sheer force of will.

Thoroughly engrossing stuff. Some great examples of just how good Hewitt's forecourt game was, too, even when brought to net in a vulnerable position by a master like Fed.

Gutsing out that service game at 4-5 after breaking Fed in the first set is classic Hewitt!
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Nice to see some HQ highlights of this one. Hewitt won the SF and F of this event with sheer force of will.

Basically Hewitt's career in a nutshell. Not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
 

InsideOut900

Hall of Fame
AO 2012 would have been one of the greatest slams of all time easily if the surface hadn't been so painfully slow.
It was slow, but I don't think it was painfully slow. I rewatch footage of that tournament regularly and I have no problem with the court speed, it's slow, but still a bit reactive.

2011 AO on the other hand, I find really really hard to watch. The ball had 0 acceleration no matter how well you hit it. Similar to Miami courts on a "good" day.
 

aldeayeah

Legend
Do you want to tell me now that Nadal was as good from the baseline back in those times as peak Djokovic was on hardcourts ? My original argument was about 2015 Djokovic.
2005 Nadal? Eh, I'd say they would be comparable from the baseline. Different strengths and weaknesses.

2015 Djoko serves and returns considerably better though and has a better game plan.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Thoroughly engrossing stuff. Some great examples of just how good Hewitt's forecourt game was, too, even when brought to net in a vulnerable position by a master like Fed.

Gutsing out that service game at 4-5 after breaking Fed in the first set is classic Hewitt!
Indeed, Hewitt was a pretty complete player - could hit every shot well, including some good feel up at the net. Won the USO 2000 Mens doubles tournament as well.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
You gave far more stick than credit to it still.
It's called being accurate and not giving into hyperbole. You watch the first set of the SF, the commies were talking at length how neither guy had settled or was playing well - and that was a set Djokovic won. It was a slow court and even when Djokovic is on his C game he's hard af to hit through, so it doesn't mean Murray and especially Nadal weren't playing very well when they took those sets off him. It just means, like I said Djokovic wasn't sharp that tournament - I don't think he was necessarily worse in the set he lost to Hewitt than some of the others he lost to Murray/Nadal.
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
It's called being accurate and not giving into hyperbole. You watch the first set of the SF, the commies were talking at length how neither guy had settled or was playing well - and that was a set Djokovic won. It was a slow court and even when Djokovic is on his C game he's hard af to hit through, so it doesn't mean Murray and especially Nadal weren't playing very well when they took those sets off him. It just means, like I said Djokovic wasn't sharp that tournament - I don't think he was necessarily worse in the set he lost to Hewitt than some of the others he lost to Murray/Nadal.
I didn’t know people on TTW listened to commies talking about level. People on here disagree with them majority and often slate them most of the time other than Djokovic fans.

I wasn’t really talking about the Hewitt lost sets or comparing to the Nadal/Murray lost sets but just the fact when you talk about AO 2012 it makes the level sound quite average in the tournament (not just some Djokovic dips but in general) even if that is not what you intended like you explained.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I didn’t know people on TTW listened to commies talking about level. People on here disagree with them majority and often slate them most of the time other than Djokovic fans.

I wasn’t really talking about the Hewitt lost sets or comparing to the Nadal/Murray lost sets but just the fact when you talk about AO 2012 it makes the level sound quite average in the tournament (not just some Djokovic dips but in general) even if that is not what you intended like you explained.
When a commie is saying live that the level isn't very high, it's quite telling no? They're normally hype machines. There's also a difference between saying "X" is playing the best tennis of their life and saying "X" is playing great tennis.

Not my fault if you can't understand what I was saying...
 
When a commie is saying live that the level isn't very high, it's quite telling no? They're normally hype machines. There's also a difference between saying "X" is playing the best tennis of their life and saying "X" is playing great tennis.

Not my fault if you can't understand what I was saying...
Cue 2006 AO.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Cue 2006 AO.
Don't think anyone would argue that was near Fed's best except for a few sets scattered about.

I rewatched parts of 2005 USO SF/F BTW, think you were probably right. Hewitt played well but he was very much constructing points in order to create openings, where as Agassi was blasting his own openings by turning in one of the very best pure FH/BH displays I've ever seen. I had good recollection of the Agassi match but Hewitt wasn't quite as aggressive as remembered. Hewitt hit a lot more what I would consider neutral balls, particularly off the backhand - because he knew Fed wouldn't punish him and he had the movement to stay in rallies if Fed changed direction. In the SF Hewitt used some good changes of direction, depth and placement to draw short balls he could putaway at net (not that the balls lacked pace too) - a very smart match in the middle portion. However he turned in a pretty damp TB. Where as Agassi was outright forcing Federer into errors with sheer pace.

In terms of scoreline pressure Agassi being ahead at one point is obviously a big point in his favour, I do think Hewitt would have beaten Agassi had they played but the height of Agassi's purple patch would have seen him slightly better placed to win sets 2 & 3 against a great opponent compared to Hewitt's still very good but not so dominating play in those sets.
 
Don't think anyone would argue that was near Fed's best except for a few sets scattered about.
We still hear it was clearly better than 2009 etc.

I rewatched parts of 2005 USO SF/F BTW, think you were probably right. Hewitt played well but he was very much constructing points in order to create openings, where as Agassi was blasting his own openings by turning in one of the very best pure FH/BH displays I've ever seen. I had good recollection of the Agassi match but Hewitt wasn't quite as aggressive as remembered. Hewitt hit a lot more what I would consider neutral balls, particularly off the backhand - because he knew Fed wouldn't punish him and he had the movement to stay in rallies if Fed changed direction. In the SF Hewitt used some good changes of direction, depth and placement to draw short balls he could putaway at net (not that the balls lacked pace too) - a very smart match in the middle portion. However he turned in a pretty damp TB. Where as Agassi was outright forcing Federer into errors with sheer pace.

In terms of scoreline pressure Agassi being ahead at one point is obviously a big point in his favour, I do think Hewitt would have beaten Agassi had they played but the height of Agassi's purple patch would have seen him slightly better placed to win sets 2 & 3 against a great opponent compared to Hewitt's still very good but not so dominating play in those sets.
Huh thanks... didn't expect you'd come around to see it that way. Sorry for having been dismissive then...
Hewitt was a very solid baseliner and a good fighter out there but clearly he didn't take the racquet out of Fed's hands like Agassi did for a while. Ultimately, both losing was NID and Hewitt would've outlasted Agassi in a hypothetical match but I still say Agassi must've created more doubt in Federer's mind, even if not that much given how majestically Federer restored superiority once he went down a break in the third set. With Hewitt, the play was on always on Federer's racquet and Hewitt had to fight hard to keep up, which he admirably did but you can't beat prime Fed like that. The serving difference is important too, for some reason it's been overlooked here. Federer made a whoppin' 15% more 1st serves in the final, jumping from a decent 60% to a rocking 75%. If he were serving like that in the semi he might just have won in straights. Hewitt did well getting returns back and he attacked 2nd serves but he couldn't attack Fed's 1st serves like Agassi did in that stretch, again not a slight - few ever could. Hewitt himself was surprisingly efficient on his 1st serve but serving at only 50% meant that wouldn't stop Federer from breaking.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
We still hear it was clearly better than 2009 etc.



Huh thanks... didn't expect you'd come around to see it that way. Sorry for having been dismissive then...
Hewitt was a very solid baseliner and a good fighter out there but clearly he didn't take the racquet out of Fed's hands like Agassi did for a while. Ultimately, both losing was NID and Hewitt would've outlasted Agassi in a hypothetical match but I still say Agassi must've created more doubt in Federer's mind, even if not that much given how majestically Federer restored superiority once he went down a break in the third set. With Hewitt, the play was on always on Federer's racquet and Hewitt had to fight hard to keep up, which he admirably did but you can't beat prime Fed like that. The serving difference is important too, for some reason it's been overlooked here. Federer made a whoppin' 15% more 1st serves in the final, jumping from a decent 60% to a rocking 75%. If he were serving like that in the semi he might just have won in straights. Hewitt did well getting returns back and he attacked 2nd serves but he couldn't attack Fed's 1st serves like Agassi did in that stretch, again not a slight - few ever could. Hewitt himself was surprisingly efficient on his 1st serve but serving at only 50% meant that wouldn't stop Federer from breaking.
Hewitt with a more consistent first serve probably takes Federer to five in a couple of slam matches. Not sure why he struggled with so often in big matches, must have been technical? I know he went for aces and had solid numbers in that respect but I wonder if playing it safer and sliding out to the back at 3/4 pace might have helped him at times.
 
Hewitt with a more consistent first serve probably takes Federer to five in a couple of slam matches. Not sure why he struggled with so often in big matches, must have been technical? I know he went for aces and had solid numbers in that respect but I wonder if playing it safer and sliding out to the back at 3/4 pace might have helped him at times.
No way optimal serving for anyone yields 50% FS, moreso in the poly era. Could've done better for sure.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Hewitt with a more consistent first serve probably takes Federer to five in a couple of slam matches. Not sure why he struggled with so often in big matches, must have been technical? I know he went for aces and had solid numbers in that respect but I wonder if playing it safer and sliding out to the back at 3/4 pace might have helped him at times.
Those foot faults didn't help either.

Hewitt did well to erase them from his mind and continue to push through.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
We still hear it was clearly better than 2009 etc.
Definitely not better than 2009 level wise. Maybe in terms of athleticism you could argue but if it doesn't result in a better level I don't think it's overly important.

Davydenko was probably the only one who had the right to push 2006 AO Federer, but certainly not the others.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Definitely not better than 2009 level wise. Maybe in terms of athleticism you could argue but if it doesn't result in a better level I don't think it's overly important.
Not sure if you can even argue athleticism considering Fed was still recovering from his ankle injury from late-2005 lol
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
When a commie is saying live that the level isn't very high, it's quite telling no? They're normally hype machines. There's also a difference between saying "X" is playing the best tennis of their life and saying "X" is playing great tennis.

Not my fault if you can't understand what I was saying...
A pundit or commentator opinion against the norm can be telling but still it is also telling to bring it up suddenly when a opinion is the same as your opinion.

IMO underrate those AO 12 matches but anyway agree to disagree not going to carry this much further.
 
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