What is Federer’s second best Slam?

Federer's 2nd best Slam?


  • Total voters
    62

Kralingen

G.O.A.T.
Obviously the crown jewel is Wimbledon where he is the record holder with 8 titles and 6 out of 7 in his prime years.

However there's a real debate in Federer's second best Slam.

Is it the US Open? This used to be his undeniable best - he has incredible peak dominance: record-tying 5 titles (all won consecutively) and 2 other Finals. Competition was a little lacking here compared to AO but 5 consecutive titles, only being pushed to 5 once, speaks for itself.

or is it the Australian Open? He has the advantage of 6 titles here, but was less dominant at his peak, losing 3x from '04-09. He was remarkably consistent here and got unlucky to face some amazing opponents: you can argue '05 Safin, '08/11/16 Djokovic, '09/12 Nadal are all some of the best performances in the modern era, and that's only the tip of the iceberg competition wise.

So which is it? USO or AO?
 

aman92

Legend
Unarguably AO open...more titles and lost only 1 final and had that incredible 11 consecutive semi finals streak. Also shown a greater Peak level when you consider h3 won AO07 without dropping a set.
 

Herald

Hall of Fame
Australian Open. Some of his toughest losses, but some of his best wins. 2009 was historic in terms of cementing his inferiority and foreshadowing his loss of power to his rival. 2017 was an epic win over said rival that signified a renewal of confidence from an improved game.
 

Turing

Rookie
His game was always more suited for USO. AO record is a bit inflated since they sped up the courts in the last two he won. Consistency there is also overstated since it's early in the year and he's fresh. There's a reason he dropped off harder at the USO after 30. Simply didn't have the stamina/energy/fitness that late into the year anymore. But during his prime/peak years he played better at USO.
 

Turing

Rookie
His game was always more suited for USO. AO record is a bit inflated since they sped up the courts in the last two he won. Consistency there is also overstated since it's early in the year and he's fresh. There's a reason he dropped off harder at the USO after 30. Simply didn't have the stamina/energy/fitness that late into the year anymore. But during his prime/peak years he played better at USO.
The simplest way to think about it: if the AO and USO switched positions in the calendar, would he have been more successful at the USO than he's actually been at the AO? And would he be less successful at the AO than he's actually been at the USO? IMO yes to both.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
peaked higher at USO
more consistent post prime at AO.

still had deep runs post prime at USO

10 USO semi (1R-QF was very good, only semi had significant dips)
11 USO semi (best form post prime)
12 USO QF (played well in 1st 3 rounds, walkover, an off day vs birdman and birdman played his best to take him out. )
14 USO semi (not that great, but still might win slams like USO 20/21 with that form)
15 USO final (2nd best form post prime)

I'd say unlucky at USO in 17 compared to AO. hampered thanks to injury.
not saying unlucky in 17 in general, just comparitively.

In general, USO being later in the season definitely a factor post-prime
 
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ChrisRF

Legend
Clearly the Australian Open.

1 more title
Many more SFs
Won in most dominant fashion (2007 without losing a set, including a demolition of Roddick that was equivalent to the 2004 US Open final against Hewitt in terms of "most dominant match against decent opponent")
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Australian Open.

Not only because 6 > 5, but also because Federer's inability to win the title after being merely 28 and his relatively short winning span (5 years) makes it clear he was overall a bit more comfortable playing in the Rod Laver Arena than in the Fleashing Meadows. Roger has a fantastic winning span at the AO, 14 years between his first (2004) and last (2018) titles.

Federer's nonexistent longevity at the US Open is shocking. To put things into perspective, he won his Roland-Garros title later than his last US Open title. Federer's best chances to win the US Open title post-2008 were probably in 2009 (vs. a hammering Del Potro) and 2014 (when Nishikori waited in the final after a semifinal vs. Cilic).
 
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abmk

Bionic Poster
Australian Open.

Not only because 6 > 5, but also because Federer's inability to win the title after being merely 28 and his relatively short winning span (5 years) makes it clear he was overall a bit more comfortable playing in the Rod Laver Arena than in the Fleashing Meadows. Roger has a fantastic winning span at the AO, 12 years between his first (2005) and last (2017) titles.

Federer's nonexistent longevity at the US Open is shocking. To put things into perspective, he won his Roland-Garros title later than his last US Open title. Federer's best chances to win the US Open title post-2008 were probably in 2009 (vs. a hammering Del Potro) and 2014 (when Nishikori waited in the final after a semifinal vs. Cilic).
multiple things wrong here:

1. Fed won 1st AO in 2004, not 2005. His 6th AO in 2018, not 2017.
2. Fed was also making USO final in 2015, having lost no set before the final incl vs Stan in the semi.
3. Was the 2nd best player in USO 11 as well, having pushed Djokovic much harder than Nadal did in the final.
4. His longevity at USO is from 2004-15.
For AO it is 2004-18.
 

Russeljones

Talk Tennis Guru
I am having a hard time making my case [for the USO] but it looks something like this:

Underachieved at the USO in 2009-2011;
Overachieved at the AO in 2017-2018;
 

ForehandDTL

Professional
Probably French Open.

The way he crushed peak Djokovic there like a rag doll in his late prime was super impressive.

All those wins against post 04 pushdick, Baby Glutenovic, Poowitt, Grandadassi mean nothing to me.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Not sure tbh, comparing his prime at both:

2003: AO
2004: USO
2005: AO
2006: USO
2007: AO
2008: USO
2009: AO (due to a better final)
2010: AO
2011: USO
2012: AO

It's close, have a 6-4 edge to the AO but comparing peak runs I might have 2004/2006 USO slightly above 2005/2007 at the AO. Past 2012 many of Federer's USO campaigns were affected by injury so the AO pulls ahead there.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
USO.

AO for a few years was so ridiculously slow there's no way it was Fed's 2nd best slam. Once they sped it up, it suited Fed more.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
really? but Fed still won more AO, tell me your reasoning, I would like to read it
I'd rather not look at the slam itself in a superficial manner, as in only look at the slam and ignoring surfaces.

Yes, he does have more AO titles than USO's, but that's because they sped up the courts in 2017. He only won 1 title on slow plexicushion in 2010 and that's it. It wasn't a surface that suited his game against the best defenders.
 

Fedeonic

Hall of Fame
The fact that Roger was still easily making SF at the Aus Open when the courts were slow-as-molasses says it all about where Federer felt more comfortable.
 

Daniel Andrade

Hall of Fame
I'd rather not look at the slam itself in a superficial manner, as in only look at the slam and ignoring surfaces.

Yes, he does have more AO titles than USO's, but that's because they sped up the courts in 2017. He only won 1 title on slow plexicushion in 2010 and that's it. It wasn't a surface that suited his game against the best defenders.
So he has 5 fast AO's and 1 slow AO?

And in the US open what's the division of the slam by surface?
 

aman92

Legend
multiple things wrong here:

1. Fed won 1st AO in 2004, not 2005. His 6th AO in 2018, not 2017.
2. Fed was also making USO final in 2015, having lost no set before the final incl vs Stan in the semi.
3. Was the 2nd best player in USO 11 as well, having pushed Djokovic much harder than Nadal did in the final.
4. His longevity at USO is from 2004-15.
For AO it is 2004-18.
3rd point is utter BS..second best in the USO 2011 despite losing in the semifinal? Nadal absolutely destroyed Roddick in the QF and was pretty comfortable against Murray in the semifinal. And his first 3 sets against Novak in the final were all very competitive. If Federer reached the final, am pretty sure he wasn't winning against Nadal
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
3rd point is utter BS..second best in the USO 2011 despite losing in the semifinal? Nadal absolutely destroyed Roddick in the QF and was pretty comfortable against Murray in the semifinal. And his first 3 sets against Novak in the final were all very competitive. If Federer reached the final, am pretty sure he wasn't winning against Nadal
Roddick wasn't even top 10. spent after 4R with ferrer. making kamikaze approaches. nadal played well in QF, but had it pretty easy.
while nadal played well in the semi, murray played meh.

nadal didn't serve that well even before the final, but final was WTA serving from him.

In the final, Nadal lost 1st set 2-6. 6 games in a row. in which land is that competitive?

2nd set was a little more competitive, but Djoko was in control.

Federer won both sets 1 and 2 vs djoko while nadal was getting his a** kicked winning 6 games combined in 2 sets, lol.
nadal got his a** kicked in the 4th set as well.

nadal got broken 11 fricking times in the match. even with djoko's exceptional returning and ground game, that's way too high.

Nadal struggled to win one frickin set (Djokovic was serving for that set/match), while fed was up 2 sets to love and had MPs on serve.
it'd be a joke to equate. how can you not get the massive difference in their respecitve performaces vs djoko?

form wise, clearly fed was better. the potential final b/w them would come only close because of the mental factor.

nadal was playing significantly better in AO 12 than in USO 11 (thanks to serving clearly better and was a little sharper off the ground) and that was a tight 4-setter on a significantly slower surface vs fed.

Edit: In USO 11, Fed had absolutely mauled Monaco in 4R (granted Monaco is an easy opponent) and got tsonga in straights in the QF. So not talking just about the semi vs Djoko.
 
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BauerAlmeida

Hall of Fame
It's close. But it's crazy that at one point the USO had a case for being his best slam even ahead of Wimbledon and now it might be his 3rd.
 

jl809

Hall of Fame
USO level > AO level: 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015, (+ 2019 pre injury I guess)
AO level > USO level: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018
Debatable: 2003, 2005 (I have these as both going to the AO) - will defer to abmk and mike for these

I have a slight edge to the AO overall
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
USO level > AO level: 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015, (+ 2019 pre injury I guess)
AO level > USO level: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018
Debatable: 2003, 2005 (I have these as both going to the AO) - will defer to abmk and mike for these

I have a slight edge to the AO overall
2005 goes to AO I'd say.
2003, from what I remember fed played a better match at AO, but Nalby played a better match at USO&fed was a slam winner then. I'd say similar.
2009 AO vs USO is similar IMO. 2009 AO final was better, but he had that scare vs Birdman in 4R when he went down 2 sets to love. He had more confidence in USO 09 I think. probably got a little over-confident/sloppy vs delpo though.
 

aman92

Legend
Roddick wasn't even top 10. spent after 4R with ferrer. making kamikaze approaches. nadal played well in QF, but had it pretty easy.
while nadal played well in the semi, murray played meh.

nadal didn't serve that well even before the final, but final was WTA serving from him.

In the final, Nadal lost 1st set 2-6. 6 games in a row. in which land is that competitive?

2nd set was a little more competitive, but Djoko was in control.

Federer won both sets 1 and 2 vs djoko while nadal was getting his a** kicked winning 6 games combined in 2 sets, lol.
nadal got his a** kicked in the 4th set as well.

nadal got broken 11 fricking times in the match. even with djoko's exceptional returning and ground game, that's way too high.

Nadal struggled to win one frickin set (Djokovic was serving for that set/match), while fed was up 2 sets to love and had MPs on serve.
it'd be a joke to equate. how can you not get the massive difference in their respecitve performaces vs djoko?

form wise, clearly fed was better. the potential final b/w them would come only close because of the mental factor.

nadal was playing significantly better in AO 12 than in USO 11 (thanks to serving clearly better and was a little sharper off the ground) and that was a tight 4-setter on a significantly slower surface vs fed.

Edit: In USO 11, Fed had absolutely mauled Monaco in 4R (granted Monaco is an easy opponent) and got tsonga in straights in the QF. So not talking just about the semi vs Djoko.
1. Firstly Nadal's issue against Djokovic in 2011 was purely mental. He was far and away the best player from the rest of the pack but the mental baggage of the 5 consecutive slam finals was too much for him to overcome, which affected his overall game in the final. But as I maintain, the final was competitive and at 4 sets was almost as long as the semi final which went for 5 (sets 3 and 4 were quite comfortable for Djoko there).

2. Federer enjoyed the matchup advantage against Djokovic in hard courts during the earlier part of their career but was far away from figuring out Nadal in slams. Nadal was losing to Djoko in straight sets during the clay season and yet Federer defeated Djokovic in the RG semis and then lost to Nadal in the final. So his performance against Djoko, bears nothing on how he would have fared in a final against Nadal.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
1. Firstly Nadal's issue against Djokovic in 2011 was purely mental. He was far and away the best player from the rest of the pack but the mental baggage of the 5 consecutive slam finals was too much for him to overcome, which affected his overall game in the final. But as I maintain, the final was competitive and at 4 sets was almost as long as the semi final which went for 5 (sets 3 and 4 were quite comfortable for Djoko there).

2. Federer enjoyed the matchup advantage against Djokovic in hard courts during the earlier part of their career but was far away from figuring out Nadal in slams. Nadal was losing to Djoko in straight sets during the clay season and yet Federer defeated Djokovic in the RG semis and then lost to Nadal in the final. So his performance against Djoko, bears nothing on how he would have fared in a final against Nadal.
1. ghanta final was competitive. only the 3rd set. 1st and 4th were routs for djoko. 2nd was a little competitive, but djoko was in control. even 3rd set, djoko was serving for it. it could've ended 6-2,6-4,7-5. the time doesn't matter sh*t. both were serving below par. Hence many rallies and time taken.

2. I pointed out nadal's serving as not that good in USO 11 even before the final. check it out. Also vs the same opponent djoko, he served and played better in AO 12. served clearly better and played a little better in WIm 11 as well.

3. the mental factor is why I said final would be close. else fed's form was clearly better. fed had beaten nadal in Wim 06, Wim 07 in slams. Wim 08, AO 09 were epic 5-setters unlike nadal's Wim 11/USO 11 vs djoko. Oh and RG 11 was on clay, not medium-fast HC of USO 11.

4. regardless of how you think a fed nadal final would've gone due to matchup/mental -> as far as actual play in USO 11 goes, fed played better than nadal even if he didn't reach the final.
 
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aman92

Legend
1. ghanta final was competitive. only the 3rd set. 1st and 4th were routs for djoko. 2nd was a little competitive, but djoko was in control. even 3rd set, djoko was serving for it. it could've ended 6-2,6-4,7-5. the time doesn't matter sh*t. both were serving below par. Hence many rallies and time taken.

2. I pointed out nadal's serving as not that good in USO 11 even before the final. check it out. Also vs the same opponent djoko, he served and played better in AO 12. served clearly better and played a little better in WIm 11 as well.

3. the mental factor is why I said final would be close. else fed's form was clearly better. fed had beaten nadal in Wim 06, Wim 07 in slams. Wim 08, AO 09 were epic 5-setters unlike nadal's Wim 11/USO 11 vs djoko. Oh and RG 11 was on clay, not medium-fast HC of USO 11.

4. regardless of how you think a fed nadal final would've gone due to matchup/mental -> as far as actual play in USO 11 goes, fed played better than nadal even if he didn't reach the final.
Again too many judgmental errors to even count in that post, but I'll end it with just this:
1. Federer's path to the semi-final: Giraldo, Sela, Cilic, Monaco and Tsonga. Cilic was still very raw but still managed to win a set off Federer and while yes his performance against Tsonga was good, Tsonga was also coming off a 5 setter against Fish in the 4th round. The other 3 opponents are really not worth talking about.

2. Nadal's path to the semi-final: Golubev, Mahut, Nalbandian, Muller, Roddick - all won comfortably in straight sets. Nalbandian certainly a tougher opponent than any of Federer's first 4 round opponents and while Roddick was seeded 21, he was coming off a victory against No 5 Ferrer in the 4th round and was still a decent opponent in his home slam. In the semi-final too, Nadal was destroying No 4 seed Murray (coming off winning Cincinnati) in the first 2 sets until a slight lapse in the 3rd but regrouped to take the 4th comfortably.

So yes, while Federer did play better against Djokovic for the reasons I already stated above, there is no frickin way he had a tougher path or displayed a higher level than Nadal in the rest of the tournament.
 

Krish0608

Legend
USO and AO. Really hard to put one above the other. This is what is so impressive about Federer. He has a clear favorite and has 2 more slams which are equally impressive. The other two had 2 favorites and 2 slams with relatively underwhelming results: Rafa has RG and USO while not doing so well at AO and W. Djokovic has AO and W while not doing so well at USO and RG. Fed has done so well in W, AO, USO. 5+ titles in 3 different slams. While RG is the only slam where he is clearly behind even though he made 5 finals. Fed still has the most well rounded Slam Resume even though he doesn't have the most # anymore.
 
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