How has Roger Federer changed since 2007??

For people who've seen his playing style from what people call his prime to modern day Federer, what do you think has changed about him? Is there less pace on his shots, or perhaps is there less confidence to make the shots that he once used to?

Looking at a video like this, there definitely seems to be something different (I know this is fast hard court, not like clay we saw this week). The form is the same, you see those crazy "Fed shots" occasionally, but what does anyone think is different today than there was when he was winning 3 slams a year? Perhaps nothing (and rather the other players have gotten better), perhaps he's gotten better, or he's purposely not putting as much on the ball with age?
 

OddJack

G.O.A.T.
I'd say managing his calendar in general and match management in particular. He doesnt try to get into every receive game he gets into. He doesn't go for bagels or breadsticks much anymore (unless it's Nadal, of course).

His style is the same in general. He added drop shots and improved his serve. I'd say his net clearance average was increased in recent years.
 

kittogi

Rookie
For people who've seen his playing style from what people call his prime to modern day Federer, what do you think has changed about him? Is there less pace on his shots, or perhaps is there less confidence to make the shots that he once used to?

Looking at a video like this, there definitely seems to be something different (I know this is fast hard court, not like clay we saw this week). The form is the same, you see those crazy "Fed shots" occasionally, but what does anyone think is different today than there was when he was winning 3 slams a year? Perhaps nothing (and rather the other players have gotten better), perhaps he's gotten better, or he's purposely not putting as much on the ball with age?
He's a lot smarter now in terms of how he manages his shots. He no longer goes for the big shots (only when there's an obvious opening), instead he sets the point well. More often, he uses the drop shot or wrong-foots his opponents. Also, he goes to the net more to end points or to force his opponents to commit errors instead of just blasting his opponent from the baseline.
 

StanW

Rookie
He's a lot smarter now in terms of how he manages his shots. He no longer goes for the big shots (only when there's an obvious opening), instead he sets the point well. More often, he uses the drop shot or wrong-foots his opponents. Also, he goes to the net more to end points or to force his opponents to commit errors instead of just blasting his opponent from the baseline.
But who doesn't like to see that? :)
 

fredshino

New User
I'd say he's not as quick on his feet as his once was. If you look at the 2006 masters cup finals vs Blake, which was a sublime performance, you can definitely see how he doesn't move as well anymore.

Still, I'd say the biggest differences now are the speed of the courts and string technology. Roger used to play an aggressive game, hitting hard, deep and when he didn't hit a winner, he would usually finish the point at the net.

Nowadays, the courts are a tad slower, making it a lot more difficult to hit through his opponents. Not only that, with the improved string technology people can put a lot of spin on the ball and hit passing shots with absurd angles, therefore making it difficult to finish points at the net.

Just my 2 cents.
 

kittogi

Rookie
But who doesn't like to see that? :)
Personally, I like the creative Fed. I just love to see his footwork and how he constructs points. I've been watching some of his matches lately on YouTube, and all I can say (particularly his win against Isner) is that he has evolved into a different kind of Fed. Compared to his dominant run 5 years ago, I'm enjoying his game more.
 

Lapdog

Banned
He hardly ever hits out right winners from behind or close to the baseline anymore. Seems like he used to do it a lot before.
 

above bored

Semi-Pro
For people who've seen his playing style from what people call his prime to modern day Federer, what do you think has changed about him? Is there less pace on his shots, or perhaps is there less confidence to make the shots that he once used to?

Looking at a video like this, there definitely seems to be something different (I know this is fast hard court, not like clay we saw this week). The form is the same, you see those crazy "Fed shots" occasionally, but what does anyone think is different today than there was when he was winning 3 slams a year? Perhaps nothing (and rather the other players have gotten better), perhaps he's gotten better, or he's purposely not putting as much on the ball with age?
There is not a huge difference. Up till recently I just felt that he doubted more than he used to. I felt when he was younger he was just a little more clinical in his execution and maybe made fewer errors.

Recently he seems to be getting back to that mental state, but in some sense as you get older you can never quite emulate the cocksure attitude you have in your youth, if you happened to be confident in your youth. Part of the reason for that is because that confidence is based on ignorance and lack of awareness. As you get older you will become more sensitive to what is at stake, which will make you more nervous and doubt more.

Federer, to me, seems to be coming to terms with how to manage his emotions during this part of his career. I think Annacone would have helped in this also. He seems to be doubting a little less than he has in the past few years, although he still gets nervous, as we all do.

As for his ability to hit all the shots he could previously, I don't think this has diminished, but that's only part of the equation. You may have the shots, but to execute them well in pressure situations the mind has to be sound. Federer appears to be getting back to the correct mindset.

The only thing I maybe would point to physically is that Federer might be a little less agile and quick than he was. I'm not even sure about this because he is still incredibly agile and quick. He just seems more solid physically than he was. Maybe he's just stronger, who knows.
 
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Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
He isn't as quick with his footwork as he was in 2007, look at how quick he is to setup a shot in the video compared to now.
 

Love all

Semi-Pro
I think he has lost the speed and reflexes. He is no more a front runner like he used to be in his prime. Difficulty in Serving for sets/matches and losing sizeable leads was not part of his game.
 

Netspirit

Hall of Fame
He tried hard to adapt his game to clay (and solve the RG puzzle).

He is hitting with more topspin now. His shots are loopier than they used to be when he would knife them flat.

He has added the dropshot.

He seems to have more variety in his slices. However, he hits topspin BH more frequently now than in those early times when the courts were faster and slices weren't punished as much.

He hits more topspin serve returns.

He chases fewer balls than he used to. He can no longer sustain very long rallies (like the 50 shot one against Hewitt).
 
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his serve has become even more important to him than before, as his foot speed has slowed just that little bit. still a marvelous mover on the court of course, although i do think the younger folks like nadal, djokovic and murray are probably better movers than him currently.

i also feel his backhand has become better, especially his ability to find the down the line shot. he also does not run around his backhand as much as before as he has become more confident in his backhand.

overall while he is no longer as explosive as before, federer in my books, still remain the most complete player in the world.
 

purge

Hall of Fame
hes lost
half a step in his footwork
some punch in his HF, which in turn makes him have to go for more and make more errors on the FH side as well
and obviously cant play 16/17 finals per year anymore since he needs more time to recover
 

rofl_copter3

Professional
He out maneuvers his opponents more so now than actually out hitting them... Also his serve is so effective now... He isn't as good against the serve but usually can still manage a break per set
 

Smasher08

Legend
I think he has lost the speed and reflexes. He is no more a front runner like he used to be in his prime. Difficulty in Serving for sets/matches and losing sizeable leads was not part of his game.
He also had this aura of utter invincibility about him. That's mostly gone now, as well as the footspeed and reflexes (notwithstanding his continuing to win).

But strategically and technically he's much better. His backhand in particular has more penetration and bite to it. And I also think he's both mentally tougher and hungrier right now. Mentally tougher in that everything came so easily to him back in 2003-2007, and now he's learned to battle and grind more through adversity (remember the Fed who showed up in body only for the RG final in 2008?)

I also think he's become much hungrier since USO 2011 when he decided to rededicate himself to becoming the world #1 day in and day out on the tour. He's entered a some events he probably didn't have to and came not only to play, but to win. To do that at his age is pretty remarkable.

If Berdych had today faced the Fed from 1 or 2 years ago, I think he probably would have ended up with a straight sets win. Until the last 6-8 months, whenever Fed had a hiccup while trying to close out a set, he'd seem to get passive/tentative (possibly for him a form or panic?) and more often than not blow the set -- if not the match.

That sure hasn't been happening lately, right?

That hunger probably also showed itself in his reaction to the blue clay. Younger guys like Rafa and Djoker let their frustration with the surface manifest itself in threats not to come back next year. But Fed seemed to accept the challenge and, comparatively speaking, appear to thrive on it. That's something I don't think we've seen much of from him before, with the exception perhaps of windy conditions.

I know there's many folks around these parts who view him as a spent force except indoors or on fast courts, but he's been showing a remarkable resilience. Regardless of how he does at Rome this week (notwithstanding the fact that in all likelihood he'll make at least the quarters) I expect him to go very deep in Paris.

He's in great form, and a deserving contender in any tournament he enters.
 

wilkinru

Professional
Scary to say, but he has lost racquet speed from watching that video.

This is why fed is the GOAT. He was simply a beast back around this time. May never be seen again with 2H BH showing up.
 

DeShaun

Banned
His defensive skills (turn of foot and leg drive) are not what they used to be. His footwork is choreographed and seems to be of roughly the same quality as it was in 207, but his movement is clearly less explosive.
 

joeri888

G.O.A.T.
His serve has improved to me.
Other than that, he's not as powerful, but needs to really construct points, outmanouver his opponent, by playing a bh down the line not for a winner for instance. He didn't ever do that a few years back. He's trying to be more consistent and seems to let go of some returngames in a Sampras-like manner.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
His serve has improved to me.
Other than that, he's not as powerful, but needs to really construct points, outmanouver his opponent, by playing a bh down the line not for a winner for instance. He didn't ever do that a few years back. He's trying to be more consistent and seems to let go of some returngames in a Sampras-like manner.
I agree. It is definitely better overall.

He's also a smarter player now than he was in his prime even. You can see many of the better matches he's played in the last 8 months he's really worked a gameplan out for most opponents (the troublesome ones especially) and has made it work amazingly well especially against Del Potro and Tsonga, and against Nadal in the three set matches they've played.

Many people will disagree but I still think current Federer would beat 2007 Federer. The opposition back then was much weaker and, against guys like Blake etc, he had it much easier than nowdays. The level of his peers has risen significantly since the era when Blake/Hewitt/Roddick etc made up the top tier.

People point to that match against Blake linked earlier in the thread to show how awesome he was. He was hitting winners left right and centre for sure - but I also see Federer returning Blake's serve from 1m inside the baseline and Black feeding Federer ball after ball in the middle of the court. Most of Fed's returns in that video look like cakewalks compared to what he's facing these days. 2012 Federer would beat Blake just as comfortably - but probably just not bother to go for the bagels as much.
 
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10is

Professional
I agree. It is definitely better overall.

Many people will disagree but I still think current Federer would beat 2007 Federer.
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight... Federer is like fine wine just keeps getting better with age... yadda yadda yadda... expect a couple of "Grand Slam" years from him when he turns 50... and by the time he's 80... he will transcend his mere mortal shell and well and truly ascend to Godhood... whereupon all future players will pray for his divine grace and offer sacrificial GOATs at his altar.

I hope some of the posters here realize that FedExpress117 is a closet Nadal Fan whose threads are mostly geared to enhance Nadals stature and diminish Federer's by posting rhetorical and inane questions, the "expected" answers to which play right into the ****s hand.
 
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stringertom

Bionic Poster
A lot of things have happened since '07, both to Rogi and the level of competition he regularly faces at the back end of the biggies.

First, there was the mono...thank goodness it wasn't a strain so strong to derail or end his career. I also think the split with Roche also gets somewhat overlooked. Fatherhood split his concentration initially but he has adapted a better balance as the girls have grown.

IMO, the most important development in his evolution is firmly gelling now...the Annacone touch. This guy is pure genius in shaping strengths to overshadow more vulnerable aspects of a player's game. He couldn't quite overcome Petros' shaky CC footwork but jumped in very late to a project hampered by the lack of CC experience Pete had early in his development. Hence, the one real hole in Sampras' resume. Rogi grew up on the stuff so there's a much better base to work from. If there is one area they haven't addressed fully, it's ROS...particularly on BP's.

Now to the competition he faces...Nadal's leftiness and extreme TS will always be hard to fully conquer but he has made strides when most would have fallen backwards. To also face the '11-style Djok at the same time is quite a full plate. The losses to other players since '09 are pretty much one-offs...no pattern of repeat stumbles vs Berd, Sod, Tsonga, Baggie, Delpo.

At 30, he has adapted well to use weapons and hide vulnerabilities...I'm guessing Fed and P-Cone reread Tilden's Match Play & Spin of the Ball. That classic reflects on an aging champion's need for selective crescendos within a match. If you haven't read it, please pick up a copy...still very relevant 80 years after initial publishing.
 

TennisLovaLova

Hall of Fame
People seem to forger that Federer used to be in the "ZONE" very frequently. It was something he could come up without any kind of special effort.
He even said in an interview that he could rely on it cause it made him almost invincible.

Now he gets into that zone now and then, but not as often and not as intensly as he used to do. To me, that's the main difference, at least the one that has the most impact on his game, mental and confidence.

The 2004-2007 federer was a war machine.
now he's not as fast as you guys say and he doesnt not provide "zone" tennis as consistently as he used to...
 

10is

Professional
People seem to forger that Federer used to be in the "ZONE" very frequently. It was something he could come up without any kind of special effort.
He even said in an interview that he could rely on it cause it made him almost invincible.

Now he gets into that zone now and then, but not as often and not as intensly as he used to do. To me, that's the main difference, at least the one that has the most impact on his game, mental and confidence.

The 2004-2007 federer was a war machine.
now he's not as fast as you guys say and he doesnt not provide "zone" tennis as consistently as he used to...
The most sensible post in this thread.
 

Satch

Hall of Fame
His serve has improved to me.
Other than that, he's not as powerful, but needs to really construct points, outmanouver his opponent, by playing a bh down the line not for a winner for instance. He didn't ever do that a few years back. He's trying to be more consistent and seems to let go of some returngames in a Sampras-like manner.
He never managed to get his serve back to level of <2007, because he had that back injury in 2008.. Still he is trying, i like the fact that he is using now S&V more than before, but also i think that the main reason of Fed raising again is really really poor Nadals season, and Djokovic not playing 60% of his 2011.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight... Federer is like fine wine just keeps getting better with age... yadda yadda yadda... expect a couple of "Grand Slam" years from him when he turns 50... and by the time he's 80... he will transcend his mere mortal shell and well and truly ascend to Godhood... whereupon all future players will pray for his divine grace and offer sacrificial GOATs at his altar.

I hope some of the posters here realize that FedExpress117 is a closet Nadal Fan whose threads are mostly geared to enhance Nadals stature and diminish Federer's by posting rhetorical and inane questions, the "expected" answers to which play right into the ****s hand.
I'm not sure he's like a fine wine. I didn't say that nor imply it.

As someone who's followed tennis closely for 30+ years as well as Federer's career and how he plays it's clear he significantly improved his serve during his career. Whatever he may have lost from his 2007 peak era he has made ground in some areas and his serve - the second serve in particular - has been a good example of this. It has much more pop and he serves with so much more intent - probably a necessity of the improving competition and on the advice of Annacone.

Likewise, I don't expect him to win a couple of slams either, nor did I say it anywhere. Learn to read what people write instead of what you think they meant. I was clear in saying the competition has improved also - significantly so. That alone could negate any improvement he may have made and be the reason for lack of more slam titles.

The fact that he was so dominant on a couple of occasions against Nadal in the last six months, as well as Del Potro 3 times when Del Potro was looking great, and Tsonga three weeks in a row late last year says he's hardly over the hill in terms of ability to hand out beatings. He just can't do it day after day like he could in 2007. But, to be straight, he was handing out many of those beatings to players who utterly pail in comparison to guys like the way Del Potro and Berdych etc have played in recent times.

Delpo/Berdych/Ferrer/Tsonga etc would wipe the floor with James Blake the way he was playing in the video someone posted above. The gap in quality of tennis is significant. That's why when people here point to those matches it's all fair to say Federer was in GOAT mode - he was on fire no doubt, but he was also playing a Blake who, if he played like that today, would be a pigeon for the whole top 20 or most of them at least. Federer has found ways to further hone some parts of his game more than 2007 without doubt, and on some days they manage to trump the areas he's declined in.
 
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Enigma_87

Professional
Delpo/Berdych/Ferrer/Tsonga etc would wipe the floor with James Blake the way he was playing in the video someone posted above. The gap in quality of tennis is significant. That's why when people here point to those matches it's all fair to say Federer was in GOAT mode - he was on fire no doubt, but he was also playing a Blake who, if he played like that today, would be a pigeon for the whole top 20 or most of them at least. Federer has found ways to further hone some parts of his game more than 2007 without doubt, and on some days they manage to trump the areas he's declined in.
Blake defeated Berdych at the USO that year. He also straight setted Nadal twice during that year - once in IW and once in TMC.

Your point here, you are trying to make, holds zero credibility whatsoever...
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
Blake defeated Berdych at the USO that year. He also straight setted Nadal twice during that year - once in IW and once in TMC.

Your point here, you are trying to make, holds zero credibility whatsoever...
lol... So an experienced Blake defeated a player who was a late bloomer

Mmmm... I wonder if Berdych has improved since then owing to his maturing and the competition around him??? :lol:

My point holds plenty of cred, just not to myopic romantics who think the level of tennis now hasn't changed over the years. Current Berdych would wipe the floor with 2007 Berdych - without any doubt.
 
I'm not sure he's like a fine wine. I didn't say that nor imply it.

As someone who's followed tennis closely for 30+ years as well as Federer's career and how he plays it's clear he significantly improved his serve during his career. Whatever he may have lost from his 2007 peak era he has made ground in some areas and his serve - the second serve in particular - has been a good example of this. It has much more pop and he serves with so much more intent - probably a necessity of the improving competition and on the advice of Annacone.

Likewise, I don't expect him to win a couple of slams either, nor did I say it anywhere. Learn to read what people write instead of what you think they meant. I was clear in saying the competition has improved also - significantly so. That alone could negate any improvement he may have made and be the reason for lack of more slam titles.

The fact that he was so dominant on a couple of occasions against Nadal in the last six months, as well as Del Potro 3 times when Del Potro was looking great, and Tsonga three weeks in a row late last year says he's hardly over the hill in terms of ability to hand out beatings. He just can't do it day after day like he could in 2007. But, to be straight, he was handing out many of those beatings to players who utterly pail in comparison to guys like the way Del Potro and Berdych etc have played in recent times.

Delpo/Berdych/Ferrer/Tsonga etc would wipe the floor with James Blake the way he was playing in the video someone posted above. The gap in quality of tennis is significant. That's why when people here point to those matches it's all fair to say Federer was in GOAT mode - he was on fire no doubt, but he was also playing a Blake who, if he played like that today, would be a pigeon for the whole top 20 or most of them at least. Federer has found ways to further hone some parts of his game more than 2007 without doubt, and on some days they manage to trump the areas he's declined in.
There's absolutely no evidence Delpo/Berdych/Ferrer/Tsonga would "wipe the floor" with healthy, prime Blake. And you group the overachieving, "this is why the field is so weak after the Top 4 these days" Ferrer in with that group, which I find funny. Ferrer has nothing that could ever hurt Federer. Blake actually did, though he couldn't sustain that level for long enough to actually beat him.

Federer made Blake look bad in that match; Blake didn't make Federer look good. This was a Masters Cup final.

Next you're going to tell me Lleyton Hewitt is the reason 2004 Federer looked like God in the 2004 US Open final. I mean, what could that Federer have done against....David Ferrer? :)

Delpo/Berdych/Tsonga can beat post-prime Federer on their day because post-prime Federer is susceptible to power players. He doesn't defend like he used to and he doesn't generate as much pace himself as he used to. A peak Safin had to go to 9-7 in the 5th just to take out Federer at the AO in 2005. That's how hard it was for power players to beat Federer in his prime.

Generally speaking, there was no way to hit prime-Federer off the court back then. If you weren't a clay court specialist, you were pretty much guaranteed to be packing your bags.
 
What's changed, as I see it:

1. Less spring in his legs. Might just be his body feeling the wear and tear of all the matches he played.

This not only includes a loss of quickness/agility/explosion, but if you've noticed, Federer doesn't leave his feet to whip forehands the way he so often did in his prime. He doesn't seem to be flying off the court anymore.

2. The forehand drop shot has affected his shot selection. So often you'll see him with open court to work with as he has the ball on his forehand wing...only for him to pull out the drop shot. Sometimes he dumps it into the net, sometimes he hits it well, sometimes he doesn't hit it well...but what used to be a 95-99% winning situation for him has declined to a 70-80% or so. That's a microcosm of his game as a whole. He makes questionable choices in his shot selection, and in close matches, this really comes back to bite him. Prime-Federer could always rely on the bread-and-butter forehand attack...when in doubt, look to go on the attack with the forehand. He didn't have that, "wait, maybe I should use a dropshot here" hangup.

I swear, sometimes I think he changes his mind mid-shot...where he truly is about to drive the forehand, and changes his mind mid-stroke. Or the reverse - he is about to hit the drop shot, and then thinks, "wait, I want to fire a topspin shot" about halfway through, and he actually freezes up hitting it and dumps it into the net.

So those two are the main things for me - a lot less spring in his legs, and questionable shot selection during certain points in the match.
 
I am not buying the competition argument. People use Federer as the measuring stick against the field. If he wins it must be weak, but if he struggles it is the deepest most epic field to ever grace a court. Just not buying into it.

What happened to Federer happens to all of us. It is known as aging. He is older and while there are benefits to that(wisdom and honing of skills), the drawbacks(slower, not as quick to rebound, explosiveness) far outweigh the gains. He lacks the sheer power that his forehand once had. His backhand while more aggressive than 2008-2011 isn't as good as 04-07. His serve has improved though. It might not be booming as it was in the past, but he is much smarter in terms of placement and spin he applies.
 

LanceStern

Professional
I honestly think he's serving better than < 2007.

In 2007 he didn't just ace everybody, but he could put away returns like nobodies business.

Nowadays he gets a lot more service winners and aces. At least that's what it looks like
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
He's a little older, but still young, only 30.

He's lost a little bit of speed, but not THAT much, he's only 30.

He gets mildly injured occasionally, he used to never ever get injured at all.

He's up against WAY better competition. The SECOND Djokovic and Murray emerged they were getting wins against Federer, Murray in 2006, Djokovic in 2007. Players like Robredo simply weren't competition for Federer.

With Hewitt and Safin dropping off the map on hard court, and Gaudio and Coria dropping off the map on clay he had zero competition when he was at his best
 

10is

Professional
I am not buying the competition argument. People use Federer as the measuring stick against the field. If he wins it must be weak, but if he struggles it is the deepest most epic field to ever grace a court. Just not buying into it.
Exactly! That sort of reasoning is a classic example of circular logic with a pathetically flawed premise guised as fact. The level of competition is 100% perception and 0% substance. You can only judge a player on what they have actually won, and not what they apparently faced to get their wins. There are only 4 slams that can be won each year, so if one player wins 3 of them, all it says is that only 1 was won by the remainder of the field. It says ZERO about the competition.

Federer dominated the game not necessarily because his peers were not fantastic, powerful players, themselves, but because he was/is just that good. A person's merit need not always be judged relatively to legitimize their mark in a field. Rarely, one's skill or ability or what have you is so superior that it must be acknowledged in absolute terms.
 
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SStrikerR

Hall of Fame
Blake defeated Berdych at the USO that year. He also straight setted Nadal twice during that year - once in IW and once in TMC.

Your point here, you are trying to make, holds zero credibility whatsoever...
Berdych wasn't even close to the player then he is now, and Nadal wasn't a very successful HC player at the time anyway.
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
Berdych wasn't even close to the player then he is now, and Nadal wasn't a very successful HC player at the time anyway.
I remember Berdych being in the top ten 5+ years ago, I'll have to look it up though (edit: ranked 10 in 2006, ranked 9 in 2007 etc). He really hasn't improved at all.

James Blake, against EVERYONE other than Federer, was a very very good player. He was beating everyone. Give him his due.
 

joeri888

G.O.A.T.
He never managed to get his serve back to level of <2007, because he had that back injury in 2008.. Still he is trying, i like the fact that he is using now S&V more than before, but also i think that the main reason of Fed raising again is really really poor Nadals season, and Djokovic not playing 60% of his 2011.
Fed is not just rising against them, he had way more trouble against guys like Berdych, Baghdatis, Monfils, Melzer, Gasquet a year ago, and lost to all five of them between oct. 10 and may 11. After that came Tsonga (twice) and Berdych again.
 
Exactly! That sort of reasoning is a classic example of circular logic with a pathetically flawed premise guised as fact. The level of competition is 100% perception and 0% substance. You can only judge a player on what they have actually won, and not what they apparently faced to get their wins. There are only 4 slams that can be won each year, so if one player wins 3 of them, all it says is that only 1 was won by the remainder of the field. It says ZERO about the competition.

Federer dominated the game not necessarily because his peers were not fantastic, powerful players, themselves, but because he was/is just that good. A person's merit need not always be judged relatively to legitimize their mark in a field. Rarely, one's skill or ability or what have you is so superior that it must be acknowledged in absolute terms.
Be careful what you write. People who think logically as you just did tend to be ostracized by the likes of LOLville and NaDULLAgassi. :)
 
People seem to forger that Federer used to be in the "ZONE" very frequently. It was something he could come up without any kind of special effort.
He even said in an interview that he could rely on it cause it made him almost invincible.

Now he gets into that zone now and then, but not as often and not as intensly as he used to do. To me, that's the main difference, at least the one that has the most impact on his game, mental and confidence.

The 2004-2007 federer was a war machine.
now he's not as fast as you guys say and he doesnt not provide "zone" tennis as consistently as he used to...
Agreed. From 2004-07, Federer's base level was what many would call "zone." Occasionally he would really step it up though like the 2004 USO final and put the pedal down. The day to day consistency he had back then was surreal. If you didn't go for it against him there was virtually no chance of beating him.

I'd say it's a lack of flexibility as well as wear and tear that has knocked his game down. When you look at how he use to rip his forehand within inches of the lines, many would overlook the most important part of that. His footwork and trunk rotation were much more explosive back then. While he had sublime footwork back then and still does to this day, it isn't as quick and precise as 04-07. His ability to read the court/point and seemingly be in position for where the ball will land prior to his opponent hitting the ball has allowed him to mask the decline of his footwork. Sadly it can't give him back the precise nature, speed, and overall explosive rotation he had in 04-07.
 

Enigma_87

Professional
lol... So an experienced Blake defeated a player who was a late bloomer

Mmmm... I wonder if Berdych has improved since then owing to his maturing and the competition around him??? :lol:

My point holds plenty of cred, just not to myopic romantics who think the level of tennis now hasn't changed over the years. Current Berdych would wipe the floor with 2007 Berdych - without any doubt.
Berdych won his first and only MS when he was young.

Blake beat twice Nadal when Nadal was #2. He beat Roddick, Hewitt that year as well.

Berdych maybe is a better player now but I can't see he achieved a lot more. By 2006 he won 2 titles and played 3 finals.

From 07-12 he won 5 titles and made it to 4 finals. I wouldn't say thats a big improvement..
 
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Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight... Federer is like fine wine just keeps getting better with age... yadda yadda yadda... expect a couple of "Grand Slam" years from him when he turns 50... and by the time he's 80... he will transcend his mere mortal shell and well and truly ascend to Godhood... whereupon all future players will pray for his divine grace and offer sacrificial GOATs at his altar.

I hope some of the posters here realize that FedExpress117 is a closet Nadal Fan whose threads are mostly geared to enhance Nadals stature and diminish Federer's by posting rhetorical and inane questions, the "expected" answers to which play right into the ****s hand.
I lol'd when I saw this. The real reason I posted this was b/c I myself can't explain exactly what has happened to Federer. One person mentioned how he's not in the zone as often, I think that's pretty applicable. To summarize, I'm curious. There are many opinions here, some right and some that are myopic, but I learn something from them. I only picked up tennis recently so I've never been able to keep up with something like how the racket head speed has decreased since a certain year, etc, or overall trends that some people here are WAY better at keeping up with. It's your choice to believe me, but I primarily support Federer and have tons of respect for other players. I always prefer first time winners though (e.g. Murray beating Fed at Wimbledon final), even if it's someone going up against Fed in a GS final
 

Smasher08

Legend
I am not buying the competition argument. People use Federer as the measuring stick against the field. If he wins it must be weak, but if he struggles it is the deepest most epic field to ever grace a court. Just not buying into it.
The way I see it, there's nothing wrong with their reasoning. Their only mistake is how selectively they apply it.

Nadal's wins at Monte Carlo are clearly due to a Weak Monte Carlo Era lurking within a generally Weak Clay Era. Laver's second CYGS was due to a Weak Nascent Professional Era. Borg was the sole benefactor of a Weak Clay-to-Grass Transition Era, and Sampras the Weakest Grass Era Since The 1800s. In fact, January - September 2011 shall henceforth be known as the Weakest Calendar Year Ever Era.

Individual accomplishments are irrelevant, dontcha know? ;)
 
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pmerk34

Legend
There is not a huge difference. Up till recently I just felt that he doubted more than he used to. I felt when he was younger he was just a little more clinical in his execution and maybe made fewer errors.

Recently he seems to be getting back to that mental state, but in some sense as you get older you can never quite emulate the cocksure attitude you have in your youth, if you happened to be confident in your youth. Part of the reason for that is because that confidence is based on ignorance and lack of awareness. As you get older you will become more sensitive to what is at stake, which will make you more nervous and doubt more.

Federer, to me, seems to be coming to terms with how to manage his emotions during this part of his career. I think Annacone would have helped in this also. He seems to be doubting a little less than he has in the past few years, although he still gets nervous, as we all do.

As for his ability to hit all the shots he could previously, I don't think this has diminished, but that's only part of the equation. You may have the shots, but to execute them well in pressure situations the mind has to be sound. Federer appears to be getting back to the correct mindset.

The only thing I maybe would point to physically is that Federer might be a little less agile and quick than he was. I'm not even sure about this because he is still incredibly agile and quick. He just seems more solid physically than he was. Maybe he's just stronger, who knows.
I would agree with that. He's slightly below what he used to be and that's reflected in the fact that he still: A) beats Nadal/Dojokovic on occasion B) when he loses to them many times the margin is very small and C) he still beats everyone else pretty regularly.
 

pmerk34

Legend
Fed is not just rising against them, he had way more trouble against guys like Berdych, Baghdatis, Monfils, Melzer, Gasquet a year ago, and lost to all five of them between oct. 10 and may 11. After that came Tsonga (twice) and Berdych again.
Berdych has usually been a tough customer vs Federer. he was bound to start winning some of those matches
 

LanceStern

Professional
I'd say it's a lack of flexibility as well as wear and tear that has knocked his game down. When you look at how he use to rip his forehand within inches of the lines, many would overlook the most important part of that. His footwork and trunk rotation were much more explosive back then. While he had sublime footwork back then and still does to this day, it isn't as quick and precise as 04-07. His ability to read the court/point and seemingly be in position for where the ball will land prior to his opponent hitting the ball has allowed him to mask the decline of his footwork. Sadly it can't give him back the precise nature, speed, and overall explosive rotation he had in 04-07.
Not just trunk rotation, but his overall racquet speed is down on explosive forehands. You used to couldn't be able to track the head on youtube replays it whipped so fast.
 

wilkinru

Professional
Not just trunk rotation, but his overall racquet speed is down on explosive forehands. You used to couldn't be able to track the head on youtube replays it whipped so fast.
Exactly.

Quite honestly his serve has hidden quite a few shortcomings in his game that is there now.
 
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