Is Federer the fittest athlete ever?

Have you seen how long his games last compared to djokovic or Nadal? He usually wants to end the points quickly . Nadal and djokovic are more counter-punchers!
Wait a second... When Fed plays with Nadal, don't their games last exactly the same? I knew you were trying to trick me somehow. :D
 

uliks

Banned
You might be right. He does love tennis tho. Federer has always been about tennis. He does not think about much else.
Whatever it is, is eerily unnatural and fishy. 36 y/o destroying the tour after 8 months break because of imageinjury... Yeah right!!!
 

killerboi2

Hall of Fame
That's poor extrapolation -- one instance of a young guy not being in tip-top shape. I doubt you'd say the same for someone like Thiem.
Kyrgios is 21, soon to be 22. It's not like he's 16 or something. To have worse fitness than Federer is disgraceful.
 

goatstomin

New User
Fed was always on of the fittest players on the tour, and is undoubtedly the best aggressive mover in the history of the game.

His ball anticipation, attack oriented positioning, approach tactics, feel of the court... serious next level Alien stuff. You can't teach these things. The guy was just born to do this. The guy barely ever wastes a split step, for Christ's sake!!

I mean just look at today's match for example. How many times did you find him out of position? Compare that to Nadal.

Defensive grinders just can't.
 

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
I think it comes down to one of two things:
- First point: he's had a 6-month layoff, so perhaps he went all out on improving his fitness in this time and has managed to take it to another level to compensate for the slight loss in speed (quarter-step or half-step) relative to 11-12 years ago. Compared to the rest of the tour he's entered 2017 fresher and has given it everything so far.

- Second point: his fitness has always been underrated. In the past, seeing him "wilt" in deciding sets could have been linked directly to mental walkabouts rather than physical fitness (excluding 2013). The man trains during the day in Dubai in the off-season (temperatures can get close to 35C) and actually prefers day matches to night matches - lot of work has gone into keeping him in decent enough shape. In which case it's all about the mental aspect - he's finally shown no fear at all and has been determined to play through a match whilst maintaining focus and the will to win. There were episodes in the past where he would just check out of matches for brief periods (and that's costly against the very best).
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
Fun fact: in the third set of his AO semi against Stan Wawrinka, Roger Federer ran a colossal, breathtaking 107 metres. Dang, what cardiovascular insanity, Tour de France next no doubt.

Here's another fun quiz for TTW. Here are the metres run per point stats for all the quarterfinals at the AO, and also the first semi. This means that two of the values are Fed's, the rest not. Your job: guess which two are Fed's.

7.9 metres/point
9.8 metres/point
10.9 metres/point
11.5 metres/point
11.3 metres/point
11.9 metres/point
11.9 metres/point
16.0 metres/point
8.8 metres/point
9.3 metres/point
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Fun fact: in the third set of his AO semi against Stan Wawrinka, Roger Federer ran a colossal, breathtaking 107 metres. Dang, what cardiovascular insanity, Tour de France next no doubt.

Here's another fun quiz for TTW. Here are the metres run per point stats for all the quarterfinals at the AO, and also the first semi. This means that two of the values are Fed's, the rest not. Your job: guess which two are Fed's.

7.9 metres/point
9.8 metres/point
10.9 metres/point
11.5 metres/point
11.3 metres/point
11.9 metres/point
11.9 metres/point
16.0 metres/point
8.8 metres/point
9.3 metres/point
Who ran 16?
 
Federer obviously has great fitness, especially for his age, but it's the relentless pressure he's putting on the opponent right now, particularly on return, which is most important. His serve for the most part has been excellent, which puts the pressure right back on the other guy. He's taking the ball early, showing great anticipation and hurrying them, making them scramble all over the place. Perhaps we should turn to Nick K's press conference for insight:

'He's just such a good -- his serve and first shot is I think by far the best on tour. I've played all the Top 4, a lot of the top guys, and his first two shots, it's so hard to do anything against. You feel like you're making a return, and then he's right on it and hits a winner. You don't get that much rhythm'
 
I am dumbfounded by what I have seen this year. Does this guy ever get tired? People used to talk about Nadal and Djokovic's stamina. Federer at 35 seems to have more stamina than Nadal and Djokovic at 30 and 29. Hats off!
I don't think it's predominantly an issue of physical stamina. Yes, I think Fed's body has held up better than Nadal's, and Fed may even be fitter than Nadal, though it's hard to gauge that right now.

Fed's been very smart about the way he plays. He's keeping points short and not expending unnecessary energy on his return. He's serving very well, as well as ever really, and that is making things easy everywhere else. Nadal has to work harder in general since he wins fewer cheap points on serve.

As for Djokovic, yes, he looks "tired," but I think that he is mentally shot for a reason still unknown to most of us. Let's give the guy a break and wish him the best.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
You guessed it, Roger Federer!




No, David Goffin, getting whipped around by Greg in the quarters (who ran an insane amount himself throughout the tournament).

Another fun (but maybe not unexpected) fact: in all the matches above, the player who moved less won.
That's super interesting. Do you have stats for other Slams and a link for your earlier set of data? I'm guessing the player who moves less does tend to win more often than not but I'm surprised it was true for all the matches in that sample at the 2017 AO.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
That's super interesting. Do you have stats for other Slams and a link for your earlier set of data? I'm guessing the player who moves less does tend to win more often than not but I'm surprised it was true for all the matches in that sample at the 2017 AO.
Don't have stats for other slams (other than when guys like Craig O'Shannessy sporadically poasts them during slams, but I don't tend to save it). But the AO webpage was very solid this year in terms of posting lots of analyses throughout. Those particular numbers were from here.
 

swordtennis

Legend
Whatever it is, is eerily unnatural and fishy. 36 y/o destroying the tour after 8 months break because of imageinjury... Yeah right!!!
I'm not disagreeing with you. The doping claims stuff really picked up when a young bull that we shall not named scalped the number 1 back in 2004 Miami. You are talking to the choir brother.
 

Pyrolysis

Rookie
This is a bunch of crap. Federer has to run to get to the ball too, and hit the ball, and so on. Sure, Nadal's and Djokovic's game is more effortful. Yet, I've seen both Nadal and Djokovic spent a few times, yet I don't remember Fed ever being too tired.

Kind of makes you wonder...

:D
That's a gross oversimplification of things. Having a type of game that is focused on lower percentage play and ending the point quickly dramatically decreases the effort required compared to a player who makes their living three metres behind the baseline.

The recent rise of doping accusations against Federer on here is funny. These matches he's been playing lately are three set matches. In a slam, the three set Kyrgios and Berdych matches would be straight set wins - and IW and Miami are played with slam-type scheduling where he gets a day off in between matches as well.
But we can always rely on Federer's detractors and fans of his rivals to be salty when Fed comes back from injury to win a slam and the IW-Miami double, creaming Nadal and the rest of the tour in the process.

Nadal and Djokovic themselves, on the other hand, despite being all about endurance and stamina, are of course above suspicion to these same posters. Lol.
 

Pyrolysis

Rookie
Whatever it is, is eerily unnatural and fishy. 36 y/o destroying the tour after 8 months break because of imageinjury... Yeah right!!!
The surgery was imagined too, right? The imaginary doctors and surgeon just pretended?
I too like to have knee surgery and walk away from doing what I love and what makes me tons of money for the better part of a year. You know, just for the lulz.

While we're on the subject of imaginary injuries, how is Djokovic's elbow? :D
 
That's a gross oversimplification of things. Having a type of game that is focused on lower percentage play and ending the point quickly dramatically decreases the effort required compared to a player who makes their living three metres behind the baseline.

The recent rise of doping accusations against Federer on here is funny. These matches he's been playing lately are three set matches. In a slam, the three set Kyrgios and Berdych matches would be straight set wins - and IW and Miami are played with slam-type scheduling where he gets a day off in between matches as well.
But we can always rely on Federer's detractors and fans of his rivals to be salty when Fed comes back from injury to win a slam and the IW-Miami double, creaming Nadal and the rest of the tour in the process.

Nadal and Djokovic themselves, on the other hand, despite being all about endurance and stamina, are of course above suspicion to these same posters. Lol.
If I'm making a funny post or two about this, it is strictly directed to the very few *******s that spent their existence casting accusations on Nadal when the shoe was in the other foot.

Remember in 2013 when many people used Nadal's "incredible" comeback to complain about how suspicious that was. The difference is that Nadal was 27 then. ;)

Take things with a grain of salt. After all, we all know that it's perfectly normal for a professional tennis player to become one of his best versions at 35 years old. Nothing suspicious about that, no?

:D
 

AceSalvo

Legend
Djoker's special Egg Chamber stopped functioning and couldnt find a replacement yet, apparently.

Fed has the new stuff in town.
 

Pyrolysis

Rookie
If I'm making a funny post or two about this is strictly directed to the very few *******s that spent their existence casting accusations on Nadal when the shoe was in the other foot.
Fair enough I guess. My criticism wasn't really directed at you anyway - it was just your post that I replied to.
Those making accusations against Nadal need to get a life just as much.
 

swordtennis

Legend
Well I keep my hidden fed **** ness in check because it just feeds the fury around here but I'm letting it out now. I'm liking what feds doing out there and I'm not going to bee little him say what you will. Djokovic fans will hate me. I would love to see djokovic challenge him bit Noleeee bolero has a lot of work to do. Fed will wipe him out right now.
 

#Stanimal

Rookie
Whatever it is, is eerily unnatural and fishy. 36 y/o destroying the tour after 8 months break because of imageinjury... Yeah right!!!
How many titles would 2015 Federer have won if Peak Djokovic wasn't in the way? Fast foward to 2017 and what's the missing link? Yeah, no Peak Djokovic around folks, that's the key factor.
 

Candide

Hall of Fame
It doesn't. I'm pretty Robredo, Stepanek and Lopez also have love for the sport, but they aren't winning tournament, after tournament, after tournament, even on lesser level than Masters or 500...
Great point. When I think how all those guys used to dominate the tour in their early 20s and hoover up all the big titles and how only the implacable cruel efforts of father time could slacken their iron grip on their opponents I am saddened. The obvious comparison is of course with Federer who's always been so so and now suddenly wins a few tournaments when his strongest possible rivals are at the absolute peak of their powers. I am wracked with suspicion now that you have pointed out this obvious comparison. Thank you Sherlock Holmes.

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
 
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Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
Federer is one of the most gifted athletes even imo in terms of having a physiology/body makeup suited to tennis. His ability to run hard and not look as gassed as most of his opponents across his whole career has been one of the most underrated aspects of his success.
 

Charlemagne

Hall of Fame
Federer is one of the most gifted athletes even imo in terms of having a physiology/body makeup suited to tennis. His ability to run hard and not look as gassed as most of his opponents across his whole career has been one of the most underrated aspects of his success.
But but but it must be dem steroids ;)
 

augustobt

Legend
No, definitely not.

The thing is he has a style and an arsenal of weapons that allow him to play whenever he's tired. He was clearly fatigued in the last two matches of Miami.
 

swordtennis

Legend
I do think Djokovic will have to retool to beat Federer 2017. He is not just going to switch on the level up and take fed out. Fed's serve is better in 2017 than 2015. His speed of movement is down a bit tho. He is making up for that. I really hope djokovic ups it soon. I want to see some tactical battles again dam it. Fed is running nadal through right now for the love of pete it's horrifying to observe lol
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
I do think Djokovic will have to retool to beat Federer 2017. He is not just going to switch on the level up and take fed out. Fed's serve is better in 2017 than 2015. His speed of movement is down a bit tho. He is making up for that. I really hope djokovic ups it soon. I want to see some tactical battles again dam it. Fed is running nadal through right now for the love of pete it's horrifying to observe lol
Federer might make Djokovic sweat more when returning, but Fed seems awful eager to take the ball very early and when Djokovic is on maximum controlled aggression mode Federer would be finding himself in no man's land at the baseline quite often. Still, with the extra belief Federer currently has, I have to imagine it would be an equaliser. One can't just stand still in sport, as you know. One must always try to evolve and adapt.

Perhaps Djokovic wouldn't get a chance to expose Federer's court positioning so much given how quickly Federer is putting the pedal to the metal in both his service and return games with that hyper-aggression.
 

swordtennis

Legend
Federer might make Djokovic sweat more when returning, but Fed seems awful eager to take the ball very early and when Djokovic is on maximum controlled aggression mode, Federer would be finding himself in no man's land at the baseline quite often. Still, with the extra belief Federer currently has, I have to imagine it would be an equaliser. One can't just stand still in sport, as you know. One must always try to evolve and adapt.
Bingo. Only way Noleeee can just rock Federer out is if he hits those clean deep precision groundies. Then he can get away with a half baked ros and service game. That has been the major aspect that drives fed and nadal absolute mad. Litterally. It takes so much mental focus to do that so he has to come back mentally 100%. He can not fade out fade in like he has. Has to be the entire match.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Bingo. Only way Noleeee can just rock Federer out is if he hits those clean deep precision groundies. Then he can get away with a half baked ros and service game. That has been the major aspect that drives fed and nadal absolute mad. Litterally. It takes do much mental focus to do that so he has to come back mentally 100%. He can not fade out fade in like he has. Has to be the entire match.
Problem is that it will be harder for him to play that way and maintain that focus heading into his 30s. He tends to come to net more often than Nadal or Murray and he's handy up there. I think he could and should come in as much as Federer given that he wins about 70% of the points up there. It might go down to 65% if he came in as much as Federer but that's still a much higher percentage than the points won% that he'll usually have in winning a match. Definitely, when his pinpoint accurate game of controlled aggression is on, he'd be able to make Federer think twice about his court positioning. I still think the whole Nadal-Djokovic match-up is seriously problematic for Nadal - hopefully we see them clash during the clay season. The way Federer is returning right now would cause serious troubles for Djokovic, I think. He's got to get that serve in proper working order. Federer couldn't read it that well for long stretches during their Slam encounters 2015-16.
 

#Stanimal

Rookie
Bingo. Only way Noleeee can just rock Federer out is if he hits those clean deep precision groundies. Then he can get away with a half baked ros and service game. That has been the major aspect that drives fed and nadal absolute mad. Litterally. It takes so much mental focus to do that so he has to come back mentally 100%. He can not fade out fade in like he has. Has to be the entire match.
How do you see Nole matching up with this year's Nadal on clay?
 

swordtennis

Legend
Problem is that it will be harder for him to play that way and maintain that focus heading into his 30s. He tends to come to net more often than Nadal or Murray and he's handy up there. I think he could and should come in as much as Federer given that he wins about 70% of the points up there. It might go down to 65% if he came in as much as Federer but that's still a much higher percentage than the points won% that he'll usually have in winning a match. Definitely, when his pinpoint accurate game of controlled aggression is on, he'd be able to make Federer think twice about his court positioning. I still think the whole Nadal-Djokovic match-up is seriously problematic for Nadal - hopefully we see them clash during the clay season. The way Federer is returning right now would cause serious troubles for Djokovic, I think. He's got to get that serve in proper working order.
I've always thought that Djokovic nadal matchup was brutal for nadal. If djokovic did not have those gauntlet stan matches in the sf I still think he wins that 2013 us open. Slumped in his chair after the match spoke volumes. And at the french he always got tense and on edge as soon as he got into the qfs and blow his load in the semis.
 

swordtennis

Legend
Agreed he djokovic needs to shorten points and start coming to the net more if he wants to win a few more majors. He has to step up into the court alot like fed does and take the ball early. He has got to retool. That whole passive crap from the baseline has to end.
 

swordtennis

Legend
I think nadal is going to give him a run for his money.
How do you see Nole matching up with this year's Nadal on clay?
Right now I think nadal has a good chance of beating him. Going on recent results. Have to see djokovic play a few clay matches. You know nadal is going to love getting on the clay. He has the edge right now. But djokovic loves competing against Nadal and i think they both judge each others level against each other. If djokovic and nadal each win a clay Master's I will give the edge to djokovic. Even at the french. Just one masters title could ignite djokovic. And he does see red when nadal is on the other side of the court.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic is often passive against players he doesn't respect so much and then turns it on against his key rivals. He needs to make that level of urgency his STANDARD modus operandi like Federer does. If he plans to have a long and extended prime well into his 30s it will be important for him to become more efficient, even though he generally does a good job of making his opponent do a lot of the running. Still needs to run less full stop.
 

swordtennis

Legend
Fully agree. It will not be as hard for him to retool after 30 like nadal and not as easy as federer. He is in between. Not sure what his mindset is right now. Hope not stubborn like nadal.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Federer does break a sweat at times; never saw the great Pete Weber sweat when he was dominating the alleys.
 

guanzishou

Hall of Fame
Federer saves his energy to hit winners. He doesn't waste it on grunting and ball bouncings.

His hefty powerful racquet setup also helps him to produce so much power and depth with less effort.. hence he can flick half volley winners all day long.
 

smoledman

G.O.A.T.
Federer saves his energy to hit winners. He doesn't waste it on grunting and ball bouncings.

His hefty powerful racquet setup also helps him to produce power with less effort.. hence he can flick winners all day long.
Also hardly any 'cmons' or 'chum jetz' today. Def in energy-saving mode!
 

Raging Buddha

Semi-Pro
Federer had good stamina years ago too. In 2006 for example he played 97 matches, winning 92 of them and that was when Masters finals were BO5 as well. It makes sense that he can maintain it to lower standards with the appropriate procedures, even into what is old age by tennis terms.
 
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