To Fed fans who talk about weak opponents for Djokovic

ABCD

Hall of Fame
I think I’m a better player now than when I was at 24 because I’ve practiced for another 10 years and I’ve got 10 years more experience,” Federer said. “Maybe I don’t have the confidence level that I had at 24 when I was winning 40 matches in a row, but I feel like I hit a bigger serve, my backhand is better, my forehand is still as good as it’s ever been, I volley better than I have in the past. I think I’ve had to adapt to a new generation of players again.” (August, 2015)


Question:

In 2003 you won your first title in Dubai. How much chances would the Federer of 2003 have against the Federer of today?

Answer from Federer:

Not many chances I believe. The game has extremely changed. It is more dynamic, faster and has become somewhat ruthless. The players are more athletic and the material makes the game faster. I myself have become better. In fact, I had to become better because I had new opponents and new challenges. Tennis on this level doesn’t allow you stagnancy. (March, 2019)
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
He has to end points quicker now since he doesn't have much choice. Lol. You being his fan should have seen the change. He comes into the net much more now than he did when he was 25. His nets skills are also sharper. How exactly is me saying he has evolved equate to me saying he's playing his best tennis? I think you're getting a little defensive.

So you don't think Federer has a better tennis IQ today than he did years ago? I disagree.

Also disagree with him being able to be overpowered. Thiem hits harder than anyone on tour and Djokovic outwinnered him on the baseline/approach shots/at the net in the AO final. What he has done is become too defensive minded, especially last year, but based on this year so far he is being more aggressive which is a good sign for him.
Debatable about coming in much more IMO. He's still mostly a baseliner. I think when he first worked with Edberg he did make a more concentrated effort to come to net, that's mostly worn off now though sadly.

Also I'm not being defensive, if anything it's you Novak fans (look at the OP) who are being defensive by talking up the evolution of the Big 3 as if recent achievements need validation...Evolution means a positive improvement, they've not improved overall - only in certain isolated area's.

And regarding tennis IQ what I'm saying is that I don't think better tennis IQ matters when compared to the physical gifts Federer has lost, especially when he can still be stubborn as mule these days lol.

Agree to disagree about Djokovic then. The way he's played the last couple of slam wins has left a lot to be desired IMO. The fact he won with mental strength is good but he was played a tired Thiem and a rather old Federer - neither of whom were secure enough in their own games to take advantage of his substantial lulls.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Debatable about coming in much more IMO. He's still mostly a baseliner. I think when he first worked with Edberg he did make a more concentrated effort to come to net, that's mostly worn off now though sadly.

Also I'm not being defensive, if anything it's you Novak fans (look at the OP) who are being defensive by talking up the evolution of the Big 3 as if recent achievements need validation...Evolution means a positive improvement, they've not improved overall - only in certain isolated area's.

And regarding tennis IQ what I'm saying is that I don't think better tennis IQ matters when compared to the physical gifts Federer has lost, especially when he can still be stubborn as mule these days lol.

Agree to disagree about Djokovic then. The way he's played the last couple of slam wins has left a lot to be desired IMO. The fact he won with mental strength is good but he was played a tired Thiem and a rather old Federer - neither of whom were secure enough in their own games to take advantage of his substantial lulls.
He still comes in more today than he did when he was in his mid 20s because he cannot grind in the back court anymore like when he was younger.

Don't pull that "it's you Novak fans" card with me. :whistle: I wasn't even following most of the thread and only agreed with a point swordtennis made and then got swarmed by the reinforcements. Lol. But if evolution means positive improvements and if they have improved in isolated areas, isn't that still a positive improvement?

Whether it matters or not is not the point. Do you think Federer has a higher tennis IQ today, yes or no?

Being old had nothing to do with why Federer lost that match so why even bring it up? Federer had two match points so clearly the result that happened was not based on the physical. Even proclaiming Thiem lost because he was tired is a stretch. He couldn't have been the fresher of the two but fought to the bitter end.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
He still comes in more today than he did when he was in his mid 20s because he cannot grind in the back court anymore like when he was younger.

Don't pull that "it's you Novak fans" card with me. :whistle: I wasn't even following most of the thread and only agreed with a point swordtennis made and then got swarmed by the reinforcements. Lol. But if evolution means positive improvements and if they have improved in isolated areas, isn't that still a positive improvement?

Whether it matters or not is not the point. Do you think Federer has a higher tennis IQ today, yes or no?

Being old had nothing to do with why Federer lost that match so why even bring it up? Federer had two match points so clearly the result that happened was not based on the physical. Even proclaiming Thiem lost because he was tired is a stretch. He couldn't have been the fresher of the two but fought to the bitter end.
Actually it does have to do with why he lost. If Fed was closer to his best he would have had the game to wipe Djokovic off the court the way he was playing. He nearly won in spite of that because Djokovic himself was no where near his best either. An evolved Fed with much better tennis IQ should have put it away :p

I think his tennis IQ is better but if he doesn't have the physical attributes to make the most of it what's the point? And even still I don't think we can say the difference is particularly appreciable in the big matches.

You've got more than enough reinforcements in this thread yourself mate, don't be scared :whistle:

And I wouldn't say a player has evolved if they're a worse player overall lol.
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
Lawl, being a fan of xy player simply means I like their game. I don't have to agree with a single thing they say or see them as an inspiration or whatever other nonsense.

Also, not sure I heard/read Novak ever say that Fed is a mental midget choker who owes all of his success to weak era and similar so it goes the other way as well.
 
Last edited:

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
But they still declined in certain areas.

No changes in the world can bring back Federer's 2006 FH. That's what he needs to beat Djokovic more than strong serving.
How does a FH get so worse when he is playing and training every day at elite level. I'd understand if Fed took a break in 2006 and didn't touch a racket for 10 years. But the guy kept playing and training and grinding his game on the practice courts for a decade more.
 

Doctor/Lawyer Red Devil

Talk Tennis Guru
Little confused by this hypothetical stuff.

Djokovic has been blasted plenty for most of his 2012-14 performances in Slam finals, both by his frustrated fans and others who also used that as a counter argument for all the praise he recently got regarding his mental toughness.

More importantly, a lot of times people bring out stats and try to rate level of play, set by set even, almost assuming a player will replicate identical tennis in a new hypothetical match against a different opponent. This kind of thinking is exactly the reason why Hewitt and Roddick are handed a hypothetical career just as great as the one Murray has in the real world. They are actually equally good, the only difference between them is that Federer wasn't as charitable as Djokovic was and yada yada, you know that story...

Now, apparently that's out the window and we say with confidence that a 26 year old Novak would have a walk in the park today simply because he is younger, ignoring all the highs and lows he went through in big matches back then. The same lows that have been taken into account whenever he is playing someone hypothetically. Reminder that he already had a dominant period before the struggle between 2011 and 2015, so it's not like he was simply struggling to figure out the great Nadal. He regressed for a while.

Or maybe that reasoning of hypotheticals is still there, but it's just that guys like Gramps and Thiem are so much worse than the opponents from over half a decade ago that a young but shaky Djokovic from six or seven years back would be guaranteed to have success today? It's becoming hard to keep track of it all, it's talked about so much that reality and the matches that actually happened have become secondary now.

I can't and won't try to measure how much of a role mentality and experience play in a match and sport in general, and I won't be guessing how younger Novak does today or how do past opponents do against current Novak. But you don't go from 6-7/1-5 to 11-2/5-0 in Slam finals because good field disappeared over night.

For what it's worth, even though parts of his game have declined, I think Novak is still playing some really good tennis today, and he has been clutch when he was threatened in big matches. Nadal and Federer at Wimbledon, Thiem in Melbourne... Some lesser examples in earlier rounds as well - Edmund, Fucsovics, Medvedev, Hurkacz, RBA... Also, 32-6 in tiebreaks since 2018 Wimbledon, 16-1 since the 2019 Wimbledon final. Seems to me he is still being forced to earn those Slams the hard way more often than not. I guess I am just not one of the miserable gits who think it's just the case of opponents usually sucking a little bit more than Pushovic does.
 
Last edited:

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Actually it does have to do with why he lost. If Fed was closer to his best he would have had the game to wipe Djokovic off the court the way he was playing. He nearly won in spite of that because Djokovic himself was no where near his best either. An evolved Fed with much better tennis IQ should have put it away :p

I think his tennis IQ is better but if he doesn't have the physical attributes to make the most of it what's the point? And even still I don't think we can say the difference is particularly appreciable in the big matches.

You've got more than enough reinforcements in this thread yourself mate, don't be scared :whistle:

And I wouldn't say a player has evolved if they're a worse player overall lol.
This doesn't make any sense. Lol. He had 2 match points on his serve. It was mental not physical.

You are spending too much time trying to argue how far away from his best he is, which I've never once said he's close to his best level now, that you are going in circles trying to deny the actual things that are better in his game.

Scared? :laughing:

Well I guess we have different interpretations of what that word means.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
Guy little has zero knowledge about bio mechanics :laughing:
Your guy himself emphasises about training aswell. It's near impossible to get worse unless you stop playing or have a career threatining injury.

According to you guys Fed suddenly stopped improving in 2006 and he stagnated. It's laughable.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
This doesn't make any sense. Lol. He had 2 match points on his serve. It was mental not physical.

You are spending too much time trying to argue how far away from his best he is, which I've never once said he's close to his best level now, that you are going in circles trying to deny the actual things that are better in his game.

Scared? :laughing:

Well I guess we have different interpretations of what that word means.
What I'm saying if he was such an evolved player mental wouldn't have come into it because he would have out the hammer down lol.

You're coming across as quite disingenuous here. It's like you want to have your cake and eat it. Either Fed is a significantly worse player or he's not. You're trying to sugar coat it by saying he's worse overall but he's still evolved. End of the day whatever he's improved in some aspects it's not enough. Obviously he's still a great player, even more so in say 2015 but it wouldn't hurt some Novak fans to say it how it is - that Federer has declined from his best days without throwing in tired platitudes about how evolved his game is.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Your guy himself emphasises about training aswell. It's near impossible to get worse unless you stop playing or have a career threatining injury.

According to you guys Fed suddenly stopped improving in 2006 and he stagnated. It's laughable.
Whatever you say guy (y) No such thing as wear and tear. Practice heals all. Body gets slower, loses flexibity, doesn't matter just practice.

Its a wonder why anyone retires ever. Everyone just gets better and better like a fine wine. Shame the benefits of practice were lost until now, so many great players retiring before their time - slipping down the rankings because they weren't practicing anymore. Decades of great players wasting their potential.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
What I'm saying if he was such an evolved player mental wouldn't have come into it because he would have out the hammer down lol.

You're coming across as quite disingenuous here. It's like you want to have your cake and eat it. Either Fed is a significantly worse player or he's not. You're trying to sugar coat it by saying he's worse overall but he's still evolved. End of the day whatever he's improved in some aspects it's not enough. Obviously he's still a great player, even more so in say 2015 but it wouldn't hurt some Novak fans to say it how it is - that Federer has declined from his best days without throwing in tired platitudes about how evolved his game is.
Tennis has always been more mental than physical though. I've heard about every former pro say this.

I've already said Federer has declined multiple times. I mean I don't think I have to scream it from the rooftops everytime this topic comes up. I even was saying this in 2017 when he and Nadal were dominating. I mean what more do you want? You want me to deny Federer has a better backhand, serve, net play and overall tennis IQ just because it blunts the poignant point that he has declined physically, drastically? Sorry, no can do. :whistle:
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.

Your own favourite was offended to be called a weak opponent. So you're basically offending him every day.
First of all, Lew, the title of the video is clickbait. It says he lost it. His response was quiet and thoughtful, polite and fair. The reporter, of course, was a fool.

This whole thing about weak opponents is a sword that cuts both ways. You can use it in any era to try to minimize the results of a top player. Djokovic for sure has had some majors in which he had it easier, but he also had to face a fiercely determined Nadal for a few years, Fed not yet declined and some really tough opponents from 2012-2014. It balances out for all of them.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Tennis has always been more mental than physical though. I've heard about every former pro say this.

I've already said Federer has declined multiple times. I mean I don't think I have to scream it from the rooftops everytime this topic comes up. I even was saying this in 2017 when he and Nadal were dominating. I mean what more do you want? You want me to deny Federer has a better backhand, serve, net play and overall tennis IQ just because it blunts the poignant point that he has declined physically, drastically? Sorry, no can do. :whistle:
OK fine let's not go round in circles lol.

And yeah mental aspect is massive as not all points are equal in value.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
Federer laughs and shakes his head that someone can make such claims of no good players or great players like it's easy to win.
 

Lew II

Legend
Whatever you say guy (y) No such thing as wear and tear. Practice heals all. Body gets slower, loses flexibity, doesn't matter just practice.

Its a wonder why anyone retires ever. Everyone just gets better and better like a fine wine. Shame the benefits of practice were lost until now, so many great players retiring before their time - slipping down the rankings because they weren't practicing anymore. Decades of great players wasting their potential.
Competition gets better. I think this is historically the main reason for decline of players.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
Whatever you say guy (y) No such thing as wear and tear. Practice heals all. Body gets slower, loses flexibity, doesn't matter just practice.

Its a wonder why anyone retires ever. Everyone just gets better and better like a fine wine. Shame the benefits of practice were lost until now, so many great players retiring before their time - slipping down the rankings because they weren't practicing anymore. Decades of great players wasting their potential.
I disagree. I don't believe when you are in your mid 20s suddenly your game gets worse when you keep training at this level and playing elite opponents week in week out. Unless you are dealing with injuries (wich is common as you age, that can be applied to wear and tear) aswell as loss of motivation/hunger to keep going.

IMO Federer in his late 20s and thirties has massively underachieved. With the game he has and how he has been able to stay so fit its a mystery to me that he couldn't win more and solve his great rivals. But I think much of it is mental.

But I say the same for Djokovic and Nadal, IMO they haven't gotten worse tennis wise either. They have improved and evolved their games and I stand firmly with that
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Must be a diagnose for those who can’t accept that age is making a sportsperson decline.
It’s so evident. I get almost sad watching Rafa 2008 or 2010, as he was such much better back then, his movement. Same can be said about Novak and Fed too.
That Thiem, mostly a clay courter, reaching a slam final on his utter least favourable surface and manage to almost beat Novak there says something about the level.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
Must be a diagnose for those who can’t accept that age is making a sportsperson decline.
It’s so evident. I get almost sad watching Rafa 2008 or 2010, as he was such much better back then, his movement. Same can be said about Novak and Fed too.
That Thiem, mostly a clay courter, reaching a slam final on his utter least favourable surface and manage to almost beat Novak there says something about the level.
Nadal in 2010 lost matches to Baghdatis, Ljubicic, Garcia Lopez, Feliciano Lopez, Melzer, Roddick, Davydenko.

He was certainly flawless.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal in 2010 lost matches to Baghdatis, Ljubicic, Garcia Lopez, Feliciano Lopez, Melzer, Roddick, Davydenko.

He was certainly flawless.
Well many years ago he had to play like a hundred tournaments each year.
Now they don’t have to do that anymore. They can just pick and chose what they play.
It’s nuts to compare like you and others do in here. It’s so much harder to have to play and travel like they did as younger. Another reason why they can have a high level at old age. If it wasn’t for those fairly new rules none of the big 3 would stand a chance now, lots of tanking if so.
 
Lol these guys already have stated over and over again how they have pushed each other and we are wimpering about the evolution of the game. If fed was a few years younger he prob would find a way to solve djokovic and beat him in a major again. Time has run out for fed at this stage. But you never know.
Just like how peak Fed “solved” Nadal on clay?
 

RelentlessAttack

Professional
Djokovic throws away two subpar sets in slam finals yet wins both in five, if this is what's called strong these days the standards have unbulleebelly fallen.
Reading these forums is an amazing study in cognitive dissonance. People will generate endless rationalizations to avoid admitting they’re wrong. Case in point @swordtennis engaging in so many mental gymnastics that he must still be struggling to untangle himself
 
Reading these forums is an amazing study in cognitive dissonance. People will generate endless rationalizations to avoid admitting they’re wrong. Case in point @swordtennis engaging in so many mental gymnastics that he must still be struggling to untangle himself
Lots of drivel not worth dwelling on. All comes crashing boiling down to those opponents needing to take just one extra set in 3 tries over a decent Djokovic but unable to do it. Shame on Fred but he's actually old so that excuses him. Thiem was understably tired but he was getting tight already.
 

swordtennis

G.O.A.T.
Just like how peak Fed “solved” Nadal on clay?
Well he never did but he was trying to beat nadal i am sure of that. But sometimes things just do not work out. You get as far as you can go and then you got to upgrade or just fade away. Going around just playing the same old patterns gets you only so far.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
“Would” lol.

this same crowd would tell you that the supposed GOAT had a brief tiny peak of 3-4 years before hitting a brutal decline in his mid 20s... just lol
sounds ridiculous until you realise the opposite side claim a 34 year old lacking his best weapon is his best version.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Your guy himself emphasises about training aswell. It's near impossible to get worse unless you stop playing or have a career threatining injury.

According to you guys Fed suddenly stopped improving in 2006 and he stagnated. It's laughable.
If he evolved, why did he change racket in 2014 then his FH sucked?
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
I disagree. I don't believe when you are in your mid 20s suddenly your game gets worse when you keep training at this level and playing elite opponents week in week out. Unless you are dealing with injuries (wich is common as you age, that can be applied to wear and tear) aswell as loss of motivation/hunger to keep going.

IMO Federer in his late 20s and thirties has massively underachieved. With the game he has and how he has been able to stay so fit its a mystery to me that he couldn't win more and solve his great rivals. But I think much of it is mental.

But I say the same for Djokovic and Nadal, IMO they haven't gotten worse tennis wise either. They have improved and evolved their games and I stand firmly with that
Utter drivel.

fed up until age 30-31 still had that elite game and could hang with the top 2. Yeah he was declined from his zenith but still had that top level.

it was 2013/2014 where he noticeably declined massively and lost his main weapon (FH) and changed rackets.

He didn’t need to solve anything :-D His level got worse hence he started losing every slam match to Djokovic who is an ATG...
 

Third Serve

Hall of Fame
Your guy himself emphasises about training aswell. It's near impossible to get worse unless you stop playing or have a career threatining injury.

According to you guys Fed suddenly stopped improving in 2006 and he stagnated. It's laughable.
I mean, it's hard to improve when you're at (or near) your peak. Best you can do is maintain that kind of level for as long as you can.
 

swordtennis

G.O.A.T.
I will listen to Rod laver, brad gilbert, willander, etc, etc. Not this utter drivel from fans of all players. Thanks. Just read this new york times article just after fed turned 36 "federer upgraded his game". Pizz off with your tudes. Do not respond you will get no response back.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
I wouldn't call 2018/19 Fed weak....but what I can say for certain is, 2007 Djoker would clobber this Federer.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic was peak in 06 when he was in control of the match against peak Nadal at RG.

On the other hand, Lewis has had several threads lately proving definitively that the weak era began in 2011. Roger’s narcissistic analysis BTFO’d by TTW’s stats legend.

Therefore we should only look at achievements from the period where the big 3 were all peak/prime for 5 years, before the weak era began.

Strong era stats:

Roddick:
1 slam
13 weeks at #1
5-3 H2H lead
1 model wife
0 cases of bird flu
0 real gluten allergies

Djokovic
1 slam
0 weeks at #1
3-5 H2H chasm
0 model wives
1 case of bird flu
0 real gluten allergies
This is incorrect, Djokovic would have 0 slams in the strong era as the stronk era ended in 2007.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Who said they didn't decline? I mean that much is obvious, obviously, but still better physical tools does not always equal a sure win since a large part of tennis is mental, which you seem to be forgetting.
It is mental because of those physical declines.

In Djokodal's case it matters less because their younger opposition is just not up to par.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Thiem played exeptionally well this past AO. He would have had his chances against a lackluster and mentally weak Djokovic. We'll see how much "better" Wawrinka is than him after their careers are over.

If you think so. Lol.
After their careers are over, Thiem would have had it easier than Wawrinka. I don't believe for a second Thiem would beat 2014 AO Djokovic.

Yes, my point has been made. Even counting 2019 Federer, 25-26 ywar old Novak would still be a solid 4-1 in slam finals.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
2008 Nadal on hardcourt got ripped apart by Tsonga and Murray. Lol. What exactly are you arguing? You think 2008 Nadal would magically be beating 2018 and 2019 Djokovic?
On HC, maybe not 2008 Nadal, but 2009-2010 Nadal would.

On grass though? Heck yeah 2008 Nadal would beat 2018-2019 Djokovic.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
Ask any Djokovic fan whether they want 25 or 26 years old Djokovic playing all these Slam finals, when he went 2-5, or Djokovic from 2018-2020 who has gone 5-0 so far, and see what their answers will be. Give me the improved mind and improved tactics any day over a younger age in this case. What you're talking about is not absolute since younger legs and lower mental toughness isn't always better than older legs, more guile and better mental toughness.
I hear you. It would have been a totally different situation if Djokovic met young future goat-candidates in finals 18-20.
 

Lew II

Legend
A 34yo cannot be peak while a player who was the same age of Zverev/Tsitsipas (like 2006-08 Nadal) was peak? :unsure:

I hope Zverev/Tsitsipas have already reached their peak then. It would mean that they will not be a trouble for Djokovic.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Whatever you say guy (y) No such thing as wear and tear. Practice heals all. Body gets slower, loses flexibity, doesn't matter just practice.

Its a wonder why anyone retires ever. Everyone just gets better and better like a fine wine. Shame the benefits of practice were lost until now, so many great players retiring before their time - slipping down the rankings because they weren't practicing anymore. Decades of great players wasting their potential.
Well, if quoting Fed has become such a tradition on this forum, here is something interesting that the man himself said in 2017 :
“I’m not 24 anymore so things have changed in a big way and I probably won’t play any clay court event except the French. That is what it is going to look like, I need rest, my body needs healing, I need time as well to prepare, you will probably see me at the French again,” he told ESPN in an on-court interview after his win over Nadal.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Your guy himself emphasises about training aswell. It's near impossible to get worse unless you stop playing or have a career threatining injury.

According to you guys Fed suddenly stopped improving in 2006 and he stagnated. It's laughable.
2006 Federer couldn't have improved much since that was his absolute peak. Same for 2011 or 2015 Djokovic. It will never get better than that.

Fed in 2017 said something along the lines of "a 36 year old winning 3 slams in a year is ridiculous". Why would he say that if he improved and practiced so much?
 
Top