Is Federer the fittest athlete ever?

theroguedog

New User
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!
check out: mic'd up Dec 2016 warm-up and practice set 125 degree heat in Dubai
 

theroguedog

New User
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!
 
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Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
do u plebers even plays the tennis?

fed isn't outgrinding anyone, he's blitzing them, playing at a lower work rate than he ever did. best hand-eye-coordination in sports right now, however — possible.
But every time I see stats for meters run, Fed is not much lower than his opponents. I never see him breathing hard, he seems to sweat less than just about everyone else, and he never takes extra time to recover. No matter how long the points, he's up to the line ready to serve.

If that's not super fit, I don't know what is.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
It's posts like this that make me root against Federerer. Er. Er. Er. Ferererererer. Er. Erererererererer.

At every future slam.

Forever Er Er Erererereerererererererer.
Why? It's a post meant to paint him with suspicion, if you didn't notice.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
He certainly plays with less effort. Especially when he is tanking sets to get his wind back. 'Ah I'll just get him next set. He can have this one.'
Where in heaven's name are you getting that idea from???

If you are looking for guys who tank sets, look for 0/6 and 1/6 scores in the 2nd set of a three set match. Agassi had a lot of them. But Federer doesn't.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
But every time I see stats for meters run, Fed is not much lower than his opponents. I never see him breathing hard, he seems to sweat less than just about everyone else, and he never takes extra time to recover. No matter how long the points, he's up to the line ready to serve.

If that's not super fit, I don't know what is.
Well, yes, but no one is arguing at all that he isn't very fit — it's perfectly self-evident that he is. But it's also evident that he isn't the fittest guy in his own sport let alone in all of sports ever. That's just a ridiculous claim that salty people are making here to paint him with suspicion.

And of course the difference in meters run won't always be that different for Fed and his opponent: when Fed insists on playing hyper-aggressive and ending rallies quickly, then his opponents total movement goes down as a consequence as well. The meaningful thing to look at is quite naturally to compare Fed's matches with typical matches on tour. And indeed, the pattern has been perfectly clear since his comeback this season: Fed's forcing an unprecedentedly low work-rate on the matches he has been playing, and is always forcing the opponent to outwork him as well.

If you look at the numbers from the AO I posted in #58, the eight performances that weren't Fed have a mean of 11.6 meters/point, which is fairly typical. Fed's two performances in that data set were by comparison 7.9 and 8.8 meters/point, the lowest two data points in the set. It may not sound like that much on the face of it, but that amounts to differences of 38% and 27% compared to the mean respectively. And it generalizes fairly well beyond that admittedly small sample. In the context of pro sports this isn't just a meaningful difference, it's a humongous one, and over the course of a whole match or tournament it adds up to a completely different work load — Fed is basically playing a different sport than most guys in the field, even other top players. And it even happens within his matches: in the first set of the final yesterday, Rafa covered close to 30% more ground than Fed. Again, that's extreme, they are playing two different ballgames.

And so we can flip the question of this thread around on its head: if a player wanted to pick the perfect game plan to stay as competitive as possible as he ages, and to overcome slight disadvantages in physicality compared to the fittest among his younger competitors, what game plan would he be wise to choose? Pretty much the precise one Fed is now utilizing to perfection.
 

uliks

Banned
I kind of feel sorry for Murray, Nadal and Djokovic. Dealing with the fitthest athlete ever. :( What a rotten luck!!!;)
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
But every time I see stats for meters run, Fed is not much lower than his opponents....
There are two kinds of metres run though: ones where you're doing the leading and ones where you're being led. Federer is great at doing the leading and not letting himself being led around. That later, more reactionary type of running is much more taxing than when you're in control. Hence why metres alone isn't the greatest measure.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Well then these mugs need to get it together then if 35 year olds have better fintess than them. The thought of Kyrgios being the future of tennis is absolutely laughable for the same reason.
Fitness is a major part of Roger's success at 35, but game style, reflexes, anticipation and movement are also very important. Like Federer, Rosewall hardly looked like a fit or exceptional athlete but at 35 he reached the Wimbledon final, losing in 5 sets. In that same year, just 2 months short of turning 36, he won the USO. Though they won no slams after turning 31, Laver and Gonzalez were top players into their mid to late thirties. Andres Gimeno, at nearly 35, won the FO.
 

theroguedog

New User
High temperature in Dubai, Dec. 22, 2016: 79 deg. F.
OK, I thought I heard him say 125 during the workout. Maybe (with humidity?) he was thinking "feels like", but it's a known fact that over the years he has worked out there for conditioning purposes. I really don't care one way or the other, but thanks for clarifying...and if you want to dispute this reply, save your time and energy - not interested.
 
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SLD76

G.O.A.T.
Fitness is a major part of Roger's success at 35, but game style, reflexes, anticipation and movement are also very important. Like Federer, Rosewall hardly looked like a fit or exceptional athlete but at 35 he reached the Wimbledon final, losing in 5 sets. In that same year, just 2 months short of turning 36, he won the USO. Though they won no slams after turning 31, Laver and Gonzalez were top players into their mid to late thirties. Andres Gimeno, at nearly 35, won the FO.

People forget that Agassi extended his career by employing the same strategy as Fed


Yes their games and weapons and a abilities were different, but the game plan was the same


Attack, take the ball early, keep your opponent on the string and on the run and minimize the running you do.

If Agassi had a better serve he may have eeked out a slam in his early 30s
 

projectone7

Rookie
I wouldn't say he's the fittest athlete of all time. Guys like Cristiano Ronaldo come to mind when you say that. However, I would say Federer is the most complete tennis player of all time. His fitness is amazing, but the ease and solidness of his technique is the real winner here.
 

I am the Greatest!

Professional
I don't know. There's this guy named Michael Jordan who played 82 games in 1998 at 35 years old, plus around 20 games in the Playoffs, with the brutality of being ganged in the paint and bumped every play. Jumping up and down, and moving side to side.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
There are two kinds of metres run though: ones where you're doing the leading and ones where you're being led. Federer is great at doing the leading and not letting himself being led around. That later, more reactionary type of running is much more taxing than when you're in control. Hence why metres alone isn't the greatest measure.
Of course just looking at the meters is not everything, but I think you are exaggerating the differences. The way people here talk you would figure that Federer does one of two things:

1. He just stands in place and makes other players run back and forth.
2. He only runs to get to balls that he is 200% expecting and is in total control of.

Number two is actually somewhat correct on his serve. ;)

I would immediately say one thing though: I think the last time I saw him seriously stumble was when he had bad knee problems last year. He fell at Wimbledon. But you really don't see the guy lose his balance very often.
 
S

Sirius Black

Guest
But every time I see stats for meters run, Fed is not much lower than his opponents. I never see him breathing hard, he seems to sweat less than just about everyone else, and he never takes extra time to recover. No matter how long the points, he's up to the line ready to serve.

If that's not super fit, I don't know what is.
He also doesn't make a show out of it, like Djokovic and Murray who keel over and grab their legs after long points. Federer and Nadal for that matter rarely give that away
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
He also doesn't make a show out of it, like Djokovic and Murray who keel over and grab their legs after long points. Federer and Nadal for that matter rarely give that away
THAT is true!

Fed is 100% old school in that way and in many others. With guys like Laver and Borg you simply never knew when they were tired. JMac was always a Drama Queen. I remember Lendl as never giving anything away that way either.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, I couldn't see your reply there because of that. My alert from you was also erased.

Can you tell me again what you said?
I said the that the main thing with Fed this year has been his mentality. He didn't distance himself much from Nishikori, Wawrinka (well that was a more strange match) or Nadal but he still won all three encounters. He came through his tough tests in Miami and won the event despite never quite playing his best tennis. Tremendous toughness from Federer to start the year. He won 6 of 7 tie-breaks in Miami.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
I said the that the main thing with Fed this year has been his mentality. He didn't distance himself much from Nishikori, Wawrinka (well that was a more strange match) or Nadal but he still won all three encounters. He came through his tough tests in Miami and won the event despite never quite playing his best tennis. Tremendous toughness from Federer to start the year. He won 6 of 7 tie-breaks in Miami.
And he should have won the 7th too.

He is in a better place mentally now compared to 2013-2016. His best mental state since 2012. Even better since he has actually won a slam this year so far.
 
I said the that the main thing with Fed this year has been his mentality. He didn't distance himself much from Nishikori, Wawrinka (well that was a more strange match) or Nadal but he still won all three encounters. He came through his tough tests in Miami and won the event despite never quite playing his best tennis. Tremendous toughness from Federer to start the year. He won 6 of 7 tie-breaks in Miami.
I've been thinking the past couple of days that Fed's AO Final wasn't just a 1 slam win. That might actually be a windfall of titles, including more slams. Nadal up a break in the 5th. Frickin Nadal. And Fed still won in good style. I think that might end up being one of Federer's defining career moments.
 

BGod

Legend
In all sports that probably goes to Darrell Green who played Cornerback in the NFL for 20 years and retired after playing a full season at 42 years of age.

John Tavares played professional Lacrosse for 24 season until 47.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
I've been thinking the past couple of days that Fed's AO Final wasn't just a 1 slam win. That might actually be a windfall of titles, including more slams. Nadal up a break in the 5th. Frickin Nadal. And Fed still won in good style. I think that might end up being one of Federer's defining career moments.
Maybe, though it must be noted that without the newly configured backhand the win against Nadal at the AO probably doesn't happen and the year would look very different. After seeing how the backhand has operated in slower conditions we now know for sure that it wasn't just down to the faster AO conditions. That nullifies a big part of the old match-up and gave Federer a much stronger basis to sort of pool mental strength from. Perhaps Federer goes from strength to strength this year and Nadal keeps just falling short even on clay. Nadal has to keep the faith and persist with the process through the clay season. Obviously, I'm hoping Federer carries through what he's doing to the rest of the season and bags another Slam to make up for all the recent Slam finals losses. Who will you support after Nadal packs it in?
 

uliks

Banned
Federer for sure will win 2 more slams this year, heck he is big favorite even for the FO this year, so CYGS is on the card for sure, but then out of nowhere he will have some really strange injury again next year, competing only in 1 max 2 slams in 2018...
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Federer for sure will win 2 more slams this year, heck he is big favorite even for the FO this year, so CYGS is on the card for sure, but then out of nowhere he will have some really strange injury again next year, competing only in 1 max 2 slams in 2018...
Actually, he should win the CYGS this year because Brad Gilbert have proved Federer is playing his best in his career. Anyone disagree is in denial.
 

sarmpas

Hall of Fame
Nadal fans have truly lost it. Since Nads no can no longer physically outlast Federer, they are shouting from top of roof - "Look, he is doper, he is doper!"
A tough pill for them to swallow, the realisation that in the match up it was Nadal's fitness + tenacity + " 'Mental toughness' " + youth dependent FH that was greater than Federer's talent. Now that Nadal can't rely on his fitness anymore to make amazing defensive shots there's disbelieve and some salty reactions.

I'm still waiting for some one to post news about the libel case Nadal was apparently bringing to court against the former French minister who accused him for doping.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
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.
Right now looking at their levels Federer would have the upper hand for sure. I don't see what Djokovic could do with his current level, federer would up his game aswell when it's Djokovic on the other side of the net.

I'd love to see them clash one more time, both being at in-form level in a slam final. Would be epic.
 

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
Right now looking at their levels Federer would have the upper hand for sure. I don't see what Djokovic could do with his current level, federer would up his game aswell when it's Djokovic on the other side of the net.

I'd love to see them clash one more time, both being at in-form level in a slam final. Would be epic.
Seeing as the NextGen is still flailing around waiting to break through, this is probably what tennis needs - Djokovic (and Murray) back in decent form. No-one else has found the solution to beat Federer and he could start seriously threatening their #1 and #2 ranking spots by Wimbledon
 

swordtennis

Legend
Right now looking at their levels Federer would have the upper hand for sure. I don't see what Djokovic could do with his current level, federer would up his game aswell when it's Djokovic on the other side of the net.

I'd love to see them clash one more time, both being at in-form level in a slam final. Would be epic.
Agreed. Fed always freaking raises his game against him.
How many times did Djokovic try to get ahead in the h2h and Fed never let him.
It finally took Goatervic 2015-2016 to finally pull ahead.
Sheesh.
 
Maybe, though it must be noted that without the newly configured backhand the win against Nadal at the AO probably doesn't happen and the year would look very different. After seeing how the backhand has operated in slower conditions we now know for sure that it wasn't just down to the faster AO conditions. That nullifies a big part of the old match-up and gave Federer a much stronger basis to sort of pool mental strength from. Perhaps Federer goes from strength to strength this year and Nadal keeps just falling short even on clay. Nadal has to keep the faith and persist with the process through the clay season. Obviously, I'm hoping Federer carries through what he's doing to the rest of the season and bags another Slam to make up for all the recent Slam finals losses. Who will you support after Nadal packs it in?
Yes, the BH and his overall less tentative and more carefree approach is definitely a necessary condition for what happened. I'm just saying that for Fed to take the AO it has probably validated all that process and taken a huge mental load of him, which will make the whole process more productive even.

You might be shocked to know that I actually support Federer. It's very difficult not to do that if you have a set of eyes and like tennis. I find Nadal style more engaging (in an epic way), and admire the way he has dealt with all the adversities he has faced. But I can acknowledge Federer's style is more pleasant in a classical sense. I also like the guy. He's a master class. Out of the new crop of players? HAHA. I guess Zverev. Can't stand Kyrgios because he's a doushe.
 
Federer for sure will win 2 more slams this year, heck he is big favorite even for the FO this year, so CYGS is on the card for sure, but then out of nowhere he will have some really strange injury again next year, competing only in 1 max 2 slams in 2018...
Relax, mate. I don't think Djoker or Nadal are catching the old coot anymore. It's time to enjoy and grab whatever titles they can. :D
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Yes, the BH and his overall less tentative and more carefree approach is definitely a necessary condition for what happened. I'm just saying that for Fed to take the AO it has probably validated all that process and taken a huge mental load of him, which will make the whole process more productive even.

You might be shocked to know that I actually support Federer. It's very difficult not to do that if you have a set of eyes and like tennis. I find Nadal style more engaging (in an epic way), and admire the way he has dealt with all the adversities he has faced. But I can acknowledge Federer's style is more pleasant in a classical sense. I also like the guy. He's a master class. Out of the new crop of players? HAHA. I guess Zverev. Can't stand Kyrgios because he's a doushe.
Excellent; more jousting in the future. Big Kyrgios fan here.

I knew you supported Federer but I'm assuming he'll retire at a similar time to Nadal. If you say "I guess Zverev" then I guess no new guy has truly struck you as of yet.. nobody else has really caught your imagination.
 
Excellent; more jousting in the future. Big Kyrgios fan here.

I knew you supported Federer but I'm assuming he'll retire at a similar time to Nadal. If you say "I guess Zverev" then I guess no new guy has truly struck you as of yet.. nobody else has really caught your imagination.
You can dissociate the athlete from the guy? Good for you. I just find it hard to do that and back someone who antagonizes opponents using dirty tactics. Or maybe you don't find Kyrgios to be particularly unlikable?

Yeah, I have only watched the youngsters when they play with one of the "Big 4". Zverev the young and Kyrgios seem to be the more promising prospects. I think this generation has failed to deliver yet, but maybe we have been spoiled by the ones that are exiting stage now. I don't think Dimitrov qualifies as a youngster anymore, and sadly I don't think he will achieve much. Now, there's a guy that has underperformed like crazy.

Do you have anybody in your radar?
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
You can dissociate the athlete from the guy? Good for you. I just find it hard to do that and back someone who antagonizes opponents using dirty tactics. Or maybe you don't find Kyrgios to be particularly unlikable?

Yeah, I have only watched the youngsters when they play with one of the "Big 4". Zverev the young and Kyrgios seem to be the more promising prospects. I think this generation has failed to deliver yet, but maybe we have been spoiled by the ones that are exiting stage now. I don't think Dimitrov qualifies as a youngster anymore, and sadly I don't think he will achieve much. Now, there's a guy that has underperformed like crazy.

Do you have anybody in your radar?
Well, not exactly. But I don't think he's such a bad guy. Most important for me though is the brand of tennis, and I greatly enjoy Nick's game. I at least think Nick is very real. I didn't live through Connor's time but I love watching him back and love looking into him in retrospect because he was about as real as they come. I forgive a lot if the person is real. Maybe Dimitrov has underperformed a bit but I think he was overrated for a long time by many because of the type of game he plays.
 

Fate Archer

Hall of Fame
Yes, the BH and his overall less tentative and more carefree approach is definitely a necessary condition for what happened. I'm just saying that for Fed to take the AO it has probably validated all that process and taken a huge mental load of him, which will make the whole process more productive even.

You might be shocked to know that I actually support Federer. It's very difficult not to do that if you have a set of eyes and like tennis. I find Nadal style more engaging (in an epic way), and admire the way he has dealt with all the adversities he has faced. But I can acknowledge Federer's style is more pleasant in a classical sense. I also like the guy. He's a master class. Out of the new crop of players? HAHA. I guess Zverev. Can't stand Kyrgios because he's a doushe.
I feel the same about Kyrgios, even though he's pretty good right now. Starting to warm on Zverev as well, the more I watch him and look into his background. The kid so far seems to show a number of signs that he's destined for big things on a tennis court. His game is aesthetically quite nice looking. He serves with great ease (reminds me a bit of Safin how naturally the serve comes with him), has an actually pleasant 2HBH backhand (these are also somewhat hard to find). His forehand needs to develop more into a weapon though, and I expect that to happen.

And he is still very much in development yet. He's also literally a pure breed, father, mother and brother, all tennis players. The only annoying thing is that he's also still "young and stupid", though in his case at least that shows on harmless little things, antics (finger wagging, lifting his shirt all the time before first serves to show his undeveloped 4 pack). He'll certainly mature at some point and should grow out of it soon enough.

Outside of that he seems well spoken and with very good attitude on court.
 
I feel the same about Kyrgios, even though he's pretty good right now. Starting to warm on Zverev as well, the more I watch him and look into his background. The kid so far seems to show a number of signs that he's destined for big things on a tennis court. His game is aesthetically quite nice looking. He serves with great ease (reminds me a bit of Safin how naturally the serve comes with him), has an actually pleasant 2HBH backhand (these are also somewhat hard to find). His forehand needs to develop more into a weapon though, and I expect that to happen.

And he is still very much in development yet. He's also literally a pure breed, father, mother and brother, all tennis players. The only annoying thing is that he's also still "young and stupid", though in his case at least that shows on harmless little things, antics (finger wagging, lifting his shirt all the time before first serves to show his undeveloped 4 pack). He'll certainly mature at some point and should grow out of it soon enough.

Outside of that he seems well spoken and with very good attitude on court.
Definitely not a doushe like Kyrgios, and he'll mature. When I was his age I was skipping school and getting drunk, so I shouldn't judge. :D

Yes, quite pleasing game, but still green in some areas like you said. His serve has the potential to be one of the best on tour.
 
Well, not exactly. But I don't think he's such a bad guy. Most important for me though is the brand of tennis, and I greatly enjoy Nick's game. I at least think Nick is very real. I didn't live through Connor's time but I love watching him back and love looking into him in retrospect because he was about as real as they come. I forgive a lot if the person is real. Maybe Dimitrov has underperformed a bit but I think he was overrated for a long time by many because of the type of game he plays.
Yeah, but Adolf was also real. A real SOB that is ;)

But no, I understand what you mean. I'm a bit concerned about the familiar influence though, as some of the comments I've heard from them left much to be desired.

Connors was a showman and liked to rile up crowds and opponents. I figure he was the most hated man on tour back then and probably didn't have any friends. Then again, he was real as they come. :D

Funny, I remember thinking Nadal was going to be a bad boy when I first saw him play because of his look and his style, but he turned out to be very mellow when outside the heat of the battle. I think it's just a question of personalities. Perhaps Nick was pushed when he was a fat bi-racial kid growing up in Australia and he developed a tough punk exterior for protection. Just speculating, of course.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, but Adolf was also real. A real SOB that is ;)

But no, I understand what you mean. I'm a bit concerned about the familiar influence though, as some of the comments I've heard from them left much to be desired.

Connors was a showman and liked to rile up crowds and opponents. I figure he was the most hated man on tour back then and probably didn't have any friends. Then again, he was real as they come. :D

Funny, I remember thinking Nadal was going to be a bad boy when I first saw him play because of his look and his style, but he turned out to be very mellow when outside the heat of the battle. I think it's just a question of personalities. Perhaps Nick was pushed when he was a fat bi-racial kid growing up in Australia and he developed a tough punk exterior for protection. Just speculating, of course.
I've thought the same. Maybe we should ask him - LOL. That would yield a majorly pissed off response.
 
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
Nadal doesn't tire out when he has to play Fed though. Because then the two of them wrap up five sets in the time it normally takes for nadal to finish a 3 setter. Not only is the effort level not the same, it's drastically different. Er nobody asked Nadal or Djokovic not to hone a lethal serve.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
Hard to compare fitness across different sports. It would be like comparing intelligence across scholarly disciplines. We tend to think the great physicists must be the smartest, but it is very tough to compare physicists with mathematicians with chemists with epidemiologists.
 
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