Pete Sampras: Djokovic is the "complete package" mentally/physically, could reach 16, 17 slams..

Fiero425

Hall of Fame
Exactly my thoughts. Almost = not.
Making consecutive Wimbledon finals and this past USO! I guess players just bowed over his greatness and didn't even try to contest their matches just so he could make the final! Winning Cincy over Murray means nothing either I guess; even after his upset of Nole in the semi! :rolleyes: o_O :oops: :p
 

Odvala

Rookie
Wouldn't bother me either! So far he hasn't offended me on or off court as much as the other "Big4!" More power to him; for now anyway! :rolleyes:
There is just one tiny thing i would change and that is "BIG3". "BIG4" is just and only the product of Great Britain media. Murray is nowhere near Fedalovic in any department to be consider as BIG as they are.
 

Fiero425

Hall of Fame
There is just one tiny thing i would change and that is "BIG 3". "BIG 4" is just and only the product of Great Britain media. Murray is nowhere near Fedalovic in any department to be consider as BIG as they are.
But he is ahead of Nadal on court and in the ranking! It remains to be seen if he can deal with old man FED! He had trouble even taking a set; really being embarrassed on home soil at SW19 just last season! That was an arse-kickin' for the ages and people keep undermining both! It was a great match for loyal Fed fans!
 
There is no way a 34 year old can play better than a 24 year old. He has changed his game solely because of his decline. We'll see if Djokovic will do that successfully as he reaches Fed's age.
lol the narrative before trying to diminish Novak was that everyone declined by 29, because Fed was 29 when Novak knocked him out of 3 slams in a span of 5 majors and had his epic run in 2011.

Yet now Novak at 29 does what no one at any age has ever done - win all 4 in a row on 3 surfaces.
Oh and the last time someone won all 4, Laver was 31...

Fed's been out of sorts in 2016 (so far) as he was in 2013, but don't fool yourself into thinking the 2015 Fed that reached the wimb final setting a record for fewest bp faced in tournament history and then immediately followed it up with reaching the uso final without dropping a set for the only time in his career, was some declined individual simply because it was Novak waiting to boss him in finals, rather than Hewitt and Roddick ready to hand him titles like 10 years ago.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
lol the narrative before trying to diminish Novak was that everyone declined by 29, because Fed was 29 when Novak knocked him out of 3 slams in a span of 5 majors and had his epic run in 2011.

Yet now Novak at 29 does what no one at any age has ever done - win all 4 in a row on 3 surfaces.
Oh and the last time someone won all 4, Laver was 31...

Fed's been out of sorts in 2016 (so far) as he was in 2013, but don't fool yourself into thinking the 2015 Fed that reached the wimb final setting a record for fewest bp faced in tournament history and then immediately followed it up with reaching the uso final without dropping a set for the only time in his career, was some declined individual simply because it was Novak waiting to boss him in finals, rather than Hewitt and Roddick ready to hand him titles like 10 years ago.
We'll talk in 2021.

Just because Fed played well at those doesn't mean he is better than 10 years ago. That's a huge overreaction.

Fed in his prime dominated Wimb and USO. I doubt any version of Djokovic would boss around that Federer.
 
I dont think Federer plays better at 34 than 24, but I dont think at all it is impossible to play better at 34 than 24. Serena is playing better at 34 than 24. Granted her best ever tennis is not today at 34, but it is much better than she was playing in 2006 at age 24. Na Li almost certainly would have still been playing better age 34 than she was at 24 had she continued. Wawrinka quite possibly/likely will be too assuming he plays until the 2020 Olympics.

Usually people who are playing better at 34 than 24 were noticeably late bloomers or not fulfilling their potential at age 24 for whatever reason though, which obviously wasnt the case with Federer.

Djokovic was 24 in the period post U.S Open 2011 until Madrid 2012 and I do think it is possible he plays better tennis at age 34 than that period, but too soon to say for sure.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
I dont think Federer plays better at 34 than 24, but I dont think at all it is impossible to play better at 34 than 24. Serena is playing better at 34 than 24. Granted her best ever tennis is not today at 34, but it is much better than she was playing in 2006 at age 24. Na Li almost certainly would have still been playing better age 34 than she was at 24 had she continued. Wawrinka quite possibly/likely will be too assuming he plays until the 2020 Olympics.

Usually people who are playing better at 34 than 24 were noticeably late bloomers or not fulfilling their potential at age 24 for whatever reason though, which obviously wasnt the case with Federer.

Djokovic was 24 in the period post U.S Open 2011 until Madrid 2012 and I do think it is possible he plays better tennis at age 34 than that period, but too soon to say for sure.
Even Serena is losing to players she should beat in slam finals. Why is Federer supposed to beat Djokovic at 34 in a slam final, when Nole is 10 times the players those players Serena lost to are?
 
Even Serena is losing to players she should beat in slam finals. Why is Federer supposed to beat Djokovic at 34 in a slam final, when Nole is 10 times the players those players Serena lost to are?
You obviously dont remember Serena's 2005-2006. She won Australia 2005 then her slam results were DNP, 3rd round, 4th round, 3rd round, DNP, DNP, 4th round, and she only played about 15 tournaments total the two years combined, and ranked outside the top 20 alot of it. Yes obviously current Serena is better than that Serena.

I didnt say Federer should beat Djokovic, and I specifically said Fed is better at 24 than 34. I was just stating no it isnt impossible to be better at 34 than 24 as some are (even if Fed isnt one of them).
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
You obviously dont remember Serena's 2005-2006. She won Australia 2005 then her slam results were DNP, 3rd round, 4th round, 3rd round, DNP, DNP, 4th round, and she only played about 15 tournaments total the two years combined, and ranked outside the top 20 alot of it. Yes obviously current Serena is better than that Serena.

I didnt say Federer should beat Djokovic, and I specifically said Fed is better at 24 than 34. I was just stating no it isnt impossible to be better at 34 than 24 as some are (even if Fed isnt one of them).
For that to happen, you need to have not played as much in some of your prime years, in order to avoid mileage at an advanced age.

That's probably what you were going for.
 
For that to happen, you need to have not played as much in some of your prime years, in order to avoid mileage at an advanced age.

That's probably what you were going for.
Well maybe, but I am not sure Na and Wawrinka ever played a light schedule, and I have no doubt Na still would have been a stronger player at 34 than 24 (although a lesser player than she was at 29-31 probably). Wawrinka we will see but given that he wasnt even that good player at 24, I could easily see it happening. Basically either what you said, or players being seriously late bloomers (Na, Wawrinka) which probably means they didnt "figure it out" sooner.
 
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dr325i

Legend
I personally never considered him a "God" (Sampras and Agassi's domination were fresh in my memory) but felt that he raised the game to a new level and that only the greats (Nadal and Djokovic) could stop him on the big stages.

I don't feel Djokovic has brought the game to a new level - I feel the game has declined and given him the chance to amass all of the records he holds today.

A lot of Djokovic fans are insecure about this era being called weak when it is, so you guys come up with theories like Fed is at his best today, everything is rapidly improving, ect.

I mean even if Djokovic gets to 17, the strength of the era won't matter so why not admit it?
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/nole-fans-what-now.565069/page-4#post-10380520

There is NOTHING weaker about Novak's path to 12 than Federer's. In fact, take Nadal out and the rest was a joke...
 
We'll talk in 2021.

Just because Fed played well at those doesn't mean he is better than 10 years ago. That's a huge overreaction.

Fed in his prime dominated Wimb and USO. I doubt any version of Djokovic would boss around that Federer.
There are certainly elements of his game better in 2014-15 than 10 years ago:
His serve is much better across the board - placement, variety, disguise, accuracy
His backhand is more consistent and more versatile (but less powerful)
His net play is more fluid and aggressive
He tactically is at his best now in terms of knowledge and experience and using those tools to problem solve

His overall ground stroke weapons and kill shot quality are not as good and his mobility to sustain longer grindy rallys is diminished as well. These deficiencies are highlighted on slow hard courts and clay, but are more than compensated for on fast hards and especially grass by what he has improved.

So in fact I think a prime federer would be performing much better at AO/FO, but not really much better at USO or esp Wimb, the stats and results attest to that as does Fed himself, many pundits, current players, and former players.

His game has adapted as you state and that adaption comes about BECAUSE of what he improved. Fed fans seem to have this falicious logic that Fed of 04-06 had Fed of 14-15's serve, net play, tactical understanding, and more reliable backhand to go with his superior movement and ground game, when that is not the case. His over-all level of play on the fast surface in 14-15 is not much far off from 04-05 (if at all), its just reached in a different way.

Moreover the initial decline in his real ground game and mobility came in 2013 (which is when he was forced to learn to adapt and reinvent himself), not conveniently at the age where Wawrinka peaked, Djokovic is peaking and Murray is peaking as a way to try to diminish what Novak did to him from USO 2010-WTF 2012.

And yes you can believe if Novak break's Feds record for fewest BP faced in Wimb history and makes the USO final without dropping a set and is consistently the #2 player in the world all year posting better stats vs the entire field than he did in 2015 and only losing those 2 finals to the same #1 player in 2021 "decline" is not what I will default to.
 
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xFedal

Legend
It's more beneficial to not have a younger rival when you are approaching the end of your prime.
Fed has no rivals back when he was 22-27 Roddick or hewitt or bagdadihs or philopooosis/ Nadal was only clay Clay thats all. He was far too inconsistent to be rival on anything apart from Clay..,
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
Only it's less absurd when Sampras says it because Nadal has a) 14 slams, b) was coming off the run of his life in 2013, c) easily beats Federer in every single big match they play nowadays. Literally the only thing that stopped Rafa was the rise of Djokovic, but now Djokovic is looking pretty threatening to Federer too. So basically when Sampras says something, he has 14 grand slams, is top 3 of all time, and people take his opinion seriously. When you say something inane like the above statement on the other hand...
So, Sampras was as short-sighted as any other fan out there, because that is what has happened throughout the tennis history almost every time, when there was a change at the top.

:cool:
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
I dont think Federer plays better at 34 than 24, but I dont think at all it is impossible to play better at 34 than 24. Serena is playing better at 34 than 24. Granted her best ever tennis is not today at 34, but it is much better than she was playing in 2006 at age 24. Na Li almost certainly would have still been playing better age 34 than she was at 24 had she continued. Wawrinka quite possibly/likely will be too assuming he plays until the 2020 Olympics.

Usually people who are playing better at 34 than 24 were noticeably late bloomers or not fulfilling their potential at age 24 for whatever reason though, which obviously wasnt the case with Federer.

Djokovic was 24 in the period post U.S Open 2011 until Madrid 2012 and I do think it is possible he plays better tennis at age 34 than that period, but too soon to say for sure.
Right NOW in this exact moment, no, Federer does not play better than he was at 24 and Sampras probably didn't mean he is playing better NOW (cause of his latest injuries), but last year there were many moments of Federer at his absolute best. Particularly in Wimbledon, Cincinnati and USO. Never seen Federer more attacking and how well he executed everything. It was insane stuff. The way he moved was just unbelieveabe, he was flying around the court.

We have to remember this isn't at all how Federer played 10 years ago, he was a pure baseliner who liked to engage in baseline rallies and use his slice to mix up the tempo. So it is different Federers we are seeing. He was a defensive player if you compare him to his version of how Edberg wanted him to play. It will be tough to reach the form he did last year, but there is still time left for him to prepare himself for Wimbledon.
 
Good luck to him chasing 17. It's not going to be easy.

I should have known his comments about Federer's current game and competition strength would draw a lot of attention here. :D
 

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
Feel free to convince me or anyone else that Federer's path was any more challenging than Novak's in the first 12.
Why would I want to try and do that? It would be like trying to convince someone to stop hating chicken sandwiches.

It simply does not matter either way.
 

dr325i

Legend
Why would I want to do that? It would be like trying to convince someone to stop hating chicken sandwiches.

It simply does not matter either way.
Interesting saying...must be the Australian thing.
Anyway, with the amount of your posts here, I am sure you can convince anyone that Djokovic is playing in weak era and Federer is a true GOAT winning all of those challenging finals (from two bagels against Hewitt, fearless Baggy and Gonzo, the punch-bag Roddick to beating the peak form 35-year old Agassi)...
 

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
Interesting saying...must be the Australian thing.
Anyway, with the amount of your posts here, I am sure you can convince anyone that Djokovic is playing in weak era and Federer is a true GOAT winning all of those challenging finals (from two bagels against Hewitt, fearless Baggy and Gonzo, the punch-bag Roddick to beating the peak form 35-year old Agassi)...
God this all sounds really bitter/chip-on-shoulder-ish.

Nobody important actually cares who anyone faced or faces dude. Just deal.

I won't be attacking Novak because I don't care.
All such arguments are rubbish anyway, just like they are with Federer.

But keep pretending it matters if that helps you sleep at night. The world will keep spinning, I'll keep eating chicken sandwiches, and Federer will still have the slam record.
 
Right NOW in this exact moment, no, Federer does not play better than he was at 24 and Sampras probably didn't mean he is playing better NOW (cause of his latest injuries), but last year there were many moments of Federer at his absolute best. Particularly in Wimbledon, Cincinnati and USO. Never seen Federer more attacking and how well he executed everything. It was insane stuff. The way he moved was just unbelieveabe, he was flying around the court.

We have to remember this isn't at all how Federer played 10 years ago, he was a pure baseliner who liked to engage in baseline rallies and use his slice to mix up the tempo. So it is different Federers we are seeing. He was a defensive player if you compare him to his version of how Edberg wanted him to play. It will be tough to reach the form he did last year, but there is still time left for him to prepare himself for Wimbledon.
While I understand what you are saying and respect your viewpoint, I cant entirely agree. IMO Fed's baseline game and movement, and even returning of serve, declined too much for him to be at his all time best. He was serving great and attacking great last year, which he had to do in order to compensate for his decline in other areas, particularly his groundstrokes and mobility.
 
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maticftw

Rookie
This confirms what i've been thinking for a long time; Pete's on TTW(maybe 90's Clay?;)) and has decided to represent us in the media thereby trolling both us and them.
 

AceSalvo

Legend
just curious.. where was this "complete package" in 2012, 2013, 2014?? how come since 2015 its all of a sudden "complete package"??

we know in 2015, Rafa was non-existent and 34 Fed was his only threat.
 

dr325i

Legend
God this all sounds really bitter/chip-on-shoulder-ish.

Nobody important actually cares who anyone faced or faces dude. Just deal.

I won't be attacking Novak because I don't care.
All such arguments are rubbish anyway, just like they are with Federer.

But keep pretending it matters if that helps you sleep at night. The world will keep spinning, I'll keep eating chicken sandwiches, and Federer will still have the slam record.
Wow, awesome reply!
So intelligent.
Must be that Australian chicken.
 

Arya Stark

Professional
but at that time there were more quality players. In top 20 there were big names: Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Sampras, Agassi, Kuerten, Norman, Kafelnikov. The level was higher than today. Now there are only four or five players who dominate. The rest is far away.'

'I played with Djokovic at the Australian Open when he was younger. It was clear that he had talent and that could become strong but I didn’t expect him to win 10 Grand Slams. But now winning a Grand Slam it's easier than the past. Novak is complete, focused and works hard. He surprises us for the way he wins'.
Just like king Marat Safin said. Winning grand slams right now is way easier than before.
I don't know how people are still debating whether Djokovic will reach 17 slams... Have you seen the depth of the field?
Come on people
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Why does Sampras say he's getting better then? Or that he's playing comparably, if not better to how he was 10 years ago?
Sampras likes serving and Federer's serve game is better now overall, particularly the first serve game with his new game and racket. Strong first serve game is big time in slams because if said player starts getting most of their firsts in, they become almost unbreakable. Such a player can get very hot. Its hard to win a slam without a great first serve as Murray has proven over and over again in his career as the player just does not have this gear. Fed's game may not be as pretty overall and fast, but with his improved serve game, Federer would have won the last three slams he played if Djokovic had not been in the way. Fed still moves awfully well by any other standards. By the way this is precisely what is holding back Rafa's resurgence; his first serve game has actually been deteriorating late in his career.
 

Sabratha

Talk Tennis Guru
Fed has no rivals back when he was 22-27 Roddick or hewitt or bagdadihs or philopooosis/ Nadal was only clay Clay thats all. He was far too inconsistent to be rival on anything apart from Clay..,
Stretch has Murray (who isn't even that much better than Hewitt and Roddick) and a 35 year old Fed, whereas Federer had Hewitt, Roddick, Safin and Nadal at his peak. You're going to tell me Stretch has/had it harder?

 
Stretch has Murray (who isn't even that much better than Hewitt and Roddick) and a 35 year old Fed, whereas Federer had Hewitt, Roddick, Safin and Nadal at his peak. You're going to tell me Stretch has/had it harder?

I mostly agree but I generally think of Nadal's best as 2008-2013. So I would say Djokovic had a bit more of Nadal's overall best if anything considering the best years of Fed are 2004-2007 and 2009, and the best years of Djokovic are 2011-2016 (so far).

Of course Nadal is peculiar and varies around by surface, circumstances, health, etc..
 

Sabratha

Talk Tennis Guru
I mostly agree but I generally think of Nadal's best as 2008-2013. So I would say Djokovic had a bit more of Nadal's overall best if anything considering the best years of Fed are 2004-2007 and 2009, and the best years of Djokovic are 2011-2016 (so far).

Of course Nadal is peculiar and varies around by surface, circumstances, health, etc..
Djokovic had the chance to face a weakened Nadal during his best years though - Federer never got that chance; and in fact, Federer had to deal with the brunt of his improvement during 2008 and early 2009.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Just like king Marat Safin said. Winning grand slams right now is way easier than before.
I don't know how people are still debating whether Djokovic will reach 17 slams... Have you seen the depth of the field?
Come on people
Yep. Just saw great French Open with historic depth of field and new players on the rise (sorry that Nadal crapped out mid-tournament.) Wimbledon is looking insanely strong:
1. Nadal is out - big deal though he might have done something if the injury hadn't taken him out
2. Federer has time to get his game together and play into fine form. He's been out a bit, but he's right where he wants to be. Originally, Fed was not playing any clay except the French. He adjusted his schedule and he will have been on the court enough to get back to his excellent form on display at the 2016 Auz Open in time for Wimbledon. Excuserer devotees will end up happy.
3. Djokovic - sublime
4. Murray - gassed at in French final, but his improved serving will make him perhaps the toughest he's ever been at Wimby and he's got a two seed. Djokovic has never taken a set from Murray at Wimbledon. And now Lendl on board.:rolleyes:
5. Raonic - SF at Auz doing amazing approach and volley game. Do the math with Mac as coach and a great attacking game at Wimbledon.
6. Kyrgios - has a return game and is a huge threat with that on grass and his ability to get hotter on serve than any player that has ever stepped on court.
7. Wawa and Ninja - fine years last year on grass and in respectable to near peak form this year (Ninja)
8. Thiem - unbelievably improved on grass and improving as the days tick down to Wimbledon. The beast was 86% first serve points won against Fed, with 86 and 89 in the previous rounds, and after one set in the final 100%! These are beyond Sampras numbers and Thiem now has a more than servicable return game on grass.

The negativity by the old bitter fans on this site is getting out of hand.;)
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Stretch has Murray (who isn't even that much better than Hewitt and Roddick) and a 35 year old Fed, whereas Federer had Hewitt, Roddick, Safin and Nadal at his peak. You're going to tell me Stretch has/had it harder?

bahahahaha. Safin is at best equivalent to Wawrinka. Roddick is a joke (servebot pusher). Hewitt was declined pretty quickly. Murray has an extremely consistent record and just made a French Open final, please don't compare him to Roddick and peak Hewitt was basically preFed and quickly became a nonentity with injury. Djokovic has been lucky at Wimbledon in that he's not had to face Murray on his best surface and venue. Kyrgios, Thiem, and Zverev are coming so slams as far as the eyes can see for the aspiring GOAT will start drying up in about a year, if not sooner.
 

Arya Stark

Professional
My point completely flew over your head methinks.
I'm not even that old, is under 25 old?
Also i'm not a pessimistic, i'm realistic. Sorry, i can't just delude myself to think some stuff to make myself happy.
I'll be on my way. Adios Amigo.
 

Sabratha

Talk Tennis Guru
bahahahaha. Safin is at best equivalent to Wawrinka. Roddick is a joke (servebot pusher). Hewitt was declined pretty quickly. Murray has an extremely consistent record and just made a French Open final, please don't compare him to Roddick and peak Hewitt was basically preFed and quickly became a nonentity with injury. Djokovic has been lucky at Wimbledon in that he's not had to face Murray on his best surface and venue. Kyrgios, Thiem, and Zverev are coming so slams as far as the eyes can see for the aspiring GOAT will start drying up in about a year, if not sooner.
- Safin was better than Wawrinka.
- Hewitt declined due to multiple surgeries at his peak (2 in 2005 alone) that hampered his movement.
- Murray made the FO final due to the horrible field.
- Djokovic would beat Murray at Wimbledon.
- Kyrgios, Thiem and Zverev? Are you kidding me?! The same Thiem who was 0-3 down in a set against Djokovic, this guy is going to make the 'era' stronger?
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
My point completely flew over your head methinks.
I'm not even that old, is under 25 old?
Also i'm not a pessimistic, i'm realistic. Sorry, i can't just delude myself to think some stuff to make myself happy.
I'll be on my way. Adios Amigo.
I know you're not old and my post was also addressed to the thread participants at large. Frankly, you sound very pessimistic and a victim of TTW indoctrination. Depth of field is quite high right now. These old farts on this site just can't/don't want to see it coming.;)
 

Arya Stark

Professional
I know you're not old and my post was also addressed to the thread participants at large. Frankly, you sound very pessimistic and a victim of TTW indoctrination. Depth of field is quite high right now. These old farts on this site just can't/don't want to see it coming.;)
I'm not a victim of TTW's anything. I've barely been on here for a week.
It's okay if you think the depth is great right now. But i know it isn't. If the youngins start stepping up in the next year or two, that would already be nice enough.
It's very hard though lol considering how their current level is galaxies away from Djok/Murray
Stay positive tho. #positivevibes
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
- Safin was better than Wawrinka.
- Hewitt declined due to multiple surgeries at his peak (2 in 2005 alone) that hampered his movement.
- Murray made the FO final due to the horrible field.
- Djokovic would beat Murray at Wimbledon.
- Kyrgios, Thiem and Zverev? Are you kidding me?! The same Thiem who was 0-3 down in a set against Djokovic, this guy is going to make the 'era' stronger?
Safin won one slam in 2005 and a final in 2004. That's it during the Federer era. Wawrinka has had two lights out slam wins. I'd take Safin's career over Wawa, but Wawa has been greater competition in the Djokovic era than Safin was in the Fed era. Peak Hewitt was greater than Murray it just didn't happen when Fed was a contender and as you say by 2005 the injuries took Hewitt down from anywhere near peak.

We'll see at Wimbledon. Your weak clay field in 2016 had 4 of the top 5 players as eventual French Open champs. Murray's improved clay stats are undeniable the last two years (please wake up on this.) Thiem was a bit gassed for the SF with Djokovic after 4 hard sets with Goffin just the day before. Sorry if French SF is all you've seen of Thiem. Thiem is already surprising post clay season with unbelievable first serving numbers on grass (better than Sampras and way better than Fed) and fine returning. The first serve points won numbers are actually with an off serve to boot. Thiem is a moving target and Kyrgios is exceptionally dangerous too with already great hard court stats in 2016 that include a 2nd serve return. Zverev made a nice move on clay and I'm not sure if his game will take off on grass like it did on clay (hard courts he's not there.) Zverev just turned 19, so he looks like he's going to easily be a strong top ten player who might get the occaisional major. If the kid gets a bit stronger he's going to be the "stretch" on tour.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
I'm not a victim of TTW's anything. I've barely been on here for a week.
It's okay if you think the depth is great right now. But i know it isn't. If the youngins start stepping up in the next year or two, that would already be nice enough.
It's very hard though lol considering how their current level is galaxies away from Djok/Murray
Stay positive tho. #positivevibes
I just look at the stats and numbers rather than delude myself with pessimism and unreasonable expectations. Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer are the three greatest players of the modern pro era (Borg and Sampras fans welcome to take exception) and their careers significantly overlapped. Poor Murray has been caught in the crossfire and has a superlative slam record and career. You are deluded if you think you'll ever see anything like this again, possibly ever. The youngins have to be beasts before they can compete at this level. Rest assured some fresh youngins are about ready to make statements. Don't worry about the coming reality that can be easily forecast and seen in the progress of Kyrgios, Thiem and Zverev.
 

Sabratha

Talk Tennis Guru
Safin won one slam in 2005 and a final in 2004. That's it during the Federer era. Wawrinka has had two lights out slam wins. I'd take Safin's career over Wawa, but Wawa has been greater competition in the Djokovic era than Safin was in the Fed era. Peak Hewitt was greater than Murray it just didn't happen when Fed was a contender and as you say by 2005 the injuries took Hewitt down from anywhere near peak.
I feel Safin was a better player than Wawrinka though (not the 2004 final but the 2005 SF and F). Wawrinka's best playing period coincided with Djokovic more than Safin with Federer, but it's undeniable IMO.

I also feel Murray is slightly better than Hewitt, but not enough to say he's great competition. They are roughly the same in terms of level of play - and that is not enough to take out Djokovic or any 1st tier ATG at their peak.

Meles said:
We'll see at Wimbledon. Your weak clay field in 2016 had 4 of the top 5 players as eventual French Open champs. Murray's improved clay stats are undeniable the last two years (please wake up on this.) Thiem was a bit gassed for the SF with Djokovic after 4 hard sets with Goffin just the day before. Sorry if French SF is all you've seen of Thiem. Thiem is already surprising post clay season with unbelievable first serving numbers on grass (better than Sampras and way better than Fed) and fine returning. The first serve points won numbers are actually with an off serve to boot. Thiem is a moving target and Kyrgios is exceptionally dangerous too with already great hard court stats in 2016 that include a 2nd serve return. Zverev made a nice move on clay and I'm not sure if his game will take off on grass like it did on clay (hard courts he's not there.) Zverev just turned 19, so he looks like he's going to easily be a strong top ten player who might get the occaisional major. If the kid gets a bit stronger he's going to be the "stretch" on tour.
I've seen a lot of Thiem and I think he is a good player, but I don't think he is good enough to be challenging Djokovic. I also don't see the hype around Zverev, his brother posted similar results to him a few years ago (and was touted as a big player) so we'll need to wait and see.

Kyrgios is talented but he doesn't have it all there in the head to challenge the big guys either.

And I do acknowledge Murray has improved on clay, but this "Clayray" talk is very premature. I like Murray but I can still see clay is his least favorite surface and against the likes of Djokovic (who had an easier draw) makes his path (Djokovic's) very weak/easy.
 
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