Who among the Top 4 will leave a bigger legacy on the way the sport is played?

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nikdom

Guest
Ivan Lendl never features in the GOAT discussions, but one cool thing about him is that he impacted the way the sport is played. You could say there was tennis pre-Lendl and then there is tennis post-Lendl. He really brought killer fitness and a power baseline game to the forefront.

Chris Evert was the first woman who made the double-handed backhand a weapon the women's game never was the same again.

Measured this way, who among the current or recent luminaries of the sport has had an impact in the way the sport is played?
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
Djokovic. His are the template for modern groundstrokes. You can't copy, or even try to copy Federer, it's pointless. Same with Nadal.

Every tennis coach will tell you, if you're going to teach, Djokovic is the textbook FH/BH; double bend, windshield, open stance, baseline proficiency.
 
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Deleted member 756486

Guest
Tomic the Tank Engine has taken the art of tanking to new heights so definitely him.
 
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nikdom

Guest
^ How so?

Other than Dimitrov, I don't see any young players having any aspect of say Federer's game.

Roddick for example influenced how many younger players started serving; Platform stance, abbreviated motion. Tsonga and Monfils were the first, but I see a lot of it in other player's motions too.

What aspect of Federer/Nadal/Djokovic/Murray/Stan etc's game has been adopted by younger players? Something that can become the norm.
 

smoledman

G.O.A.T.
Federer - for his all court game and trick shots
Nadal - for showing how uber-dominant you can be on a single surface
Djokovic - for sliding on hardcourts as if it were clay
Murray - showing it's possible to become a legend with limited talent
 

Rafa's OCD

Semi-Pro
You can't copy, or even try to copy Federer, it's pointless.
this is false. most of the forehands on both tours are some variation of Federer's. and I say that as someone who loathes the guy. but there's no denying his impact on the way the game is played.
 

Rafa's OCD

Semi-Pro
Unfortunately the mindless bashing of the ball and borefest baseline grind is what the rage is all about.

For this reason Djoker reigns supreme as the answer.

Also the reason Grandpa Fed is running all over the tour
all four members of the big 4 deserve a lot of "credit" for the way in which tennis has changed in the past decade. I wouldn't call any of them "mindless" ball bashers, but it makes a ton of sense how you could come away from watching those 4 guys, lack their talent, and decide that jumping out of your shoes to hit every baseline shot is the way to play tennis. Federer is basically doing that now, too, but he has such a talent edge of over virtually everyone else on tour that it would almost be foolish for him not to try to beat them at their own game. both Nadal and Djokovic have a fair amount of nuance to their games (more so in the case of the latter), but the irony is that the way the game has changed has made it that much harder for them to keep playing they way they had been for the past decade.
 

smoledman

G.O.A.T.
Unfortunately the mindless bashing of the ball and borefest baseline grind is what the rage is all about.

For this reason Djoker reigns supreme as the answer.

Also the reason Grandpa Fed is running all over the tour
LOL@grandpa Fred destroying the tour. It's ridiculous!
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
this is false. most of the forehands on both tours are some variation of Federer's. and I say that as someone who loathes the guy. but there's no denying his impact on the way the game is played.
Patently not true for the FH:

Rafa & Fed both hit with straight arms, 90% of tour is double bend.

Rafa and Fed both hit well in front of the body, most of tour (because of double bend) would apply windshield wiper which is closer to body.

Fed in particular has more variation on the FH for all kinds of reasons, one of which is the extreme wrist flip.

Playing style wise, particularly FH, nobody would think to copy either Rafa or Fed.


Really? The only 2 guys on tour that I see with even close to similar forehands to Federer are Berdych & Shaps. It's not easy to replicate.
I hear you. Nobody has a FH like Fed, particularly when it comes to variation. Some have the spin but not drive, others have drive (Delpo, Cilic) but not spin. The combination of drive + spin on the FH is unique to him alone. While the combination of spin + drive is unique to Rafa.
 

smoledman

G.O.A.T.
Really? I think Shaps is a hybrid of Federer & Nadal! He's only 18, almost 19 now and I think his ceiling is unknown.
 

Fabresque

Professional
Djokovic, by far to me. He reached a level of tennis nobody has come close to reaching, twice. Fedr fans can say "But but but 2006" lol no. Djokovic in 2011 and 2015-16 is the most efficient player in history. Forehand and Backhand, literally textbook and the best at it. Serve, quite strong under Becker. Court coverage like no other. The level of fitness and determination/mental strength was something that we've never seen before.
 

Rafa's OCD

Semi-Pro
Patently not true for the FH:

Rafa & Fed both hit with straight arms, 90% of tour is double bend.

Rafa and Fed both hit well in front of the body, most of tour (because of double bend) would apply windshield wiper which is closer to body.

Fed in particular has more variation on the FH for all kinds of reasons, one of which is the extreme wrist flip.

Playing style wise, particularly FH, nobody would think to copy either Rafa or Fed.
I said "variation of," not "carbon copy." Federer redefined how the forehand is it in professional tennis and most players have emulated that. take off your fan glasses for a moment and realize that you can incorporate aspects of the forehand without attempting a blind imitation a la Dimitrov.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Patently not true for the FH:

Rafa & Fed both hit with straight arms, 90% of tour is double bend.

Rafa and Fed both hit well in front of the body, most of tour (because of double bend) would apply windshield wiper which is closer to body.

Fed in particular has more variation on the FH for all kinds of reasons, one of which is the extreme wrist flip.

Playing style wise, particularly FH, nobody would think to copy either Rafa or Fed.




I hear you. Nobody has a FH like Fed, particularly when it comes to variation. Some have the spin but not drive, others have drive (Delpo, Cilic) but not spin. The combination of drive + spin on the FH is unique to him alone. While the combination of spin + drive is unique to Rafa.
Federer has great technique to copy in theory but 99.9% of humans don't have the requisite physical ability to pull it off. I feel that Fed's wrist must just be stronger/more flexible than most.
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
I said "variation of," not "carbon copy." Federer redefined how the forehand is it in professional tennis and most players have emulated that. take off your fan glasses for a moment and realize that you can incorporate aspects of the forehand without attempting a blind imitation a la Dimitrov.
Right. “Variation”. That murky, vague, hazy, undefinable and indescribable plane of yours.

No technical element to your post.

Prove it or move on.
 
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wangs78

Hall of Fame
There should be no debate. It’s Federer. His influence is not as one dimensional as Lendl - who brought heavy baseline play driven by superb fitness to the fore. Federer simply but undeniably raised the bar. And he did so without anyone to pull him up to that level. Everyone who came after him... Rafa, Djokovic, Murray were simply playing catch-up. Fed excelled at everything - serving, baseline, netplay, overhead, touch shots, trick shots, etc. If there is a way to consistently beat Fed, it is to get into his head, which is exactly what Nadal and Djokovic did. And while they have positive H2Hs against him, he is still having the last laugh by setting the bar too high for anyone to reach (at least for now).
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
Federer has great technique to copy in theory but 99.9% of humans don't have the requisite physical ability to pull it off. I feel that Fed's wrist must just be stronger/more flexible than most.
You said it best. The secret is that amazing wrist of Fed. Nobody on tour has anything close to his extreme wrist lag. We all try it at rec level and it’s impossible to control. Opening the racket face down as opposed to the side fence needs an amazing/steely - yet flexible - wrist.
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
Off topic, but hope Wawrinka gets credit for showing that the 1hbh can be an absolute weapon, and it can stand up to and beat the best two handers in the modern game, including Djokovic's baseline barrage.
I use a 1H myself, I like your post because Wawarinka is the first player that comes to mind showing it can be possible opening up the chest with the 1H.

Most will tell you to stay closed [Fed, Gasquet, Kohli]. The only ones I see out there where the chest is opened up are Wawinka and young Shap. It’s not usual.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
Federer, for a reason that hasn't been mentioned yet.

Fed refined the idea of power tennis without being in a power-tennis body. He is skinny compared to other big hitters and eschewed extra muscle mass. Witness his comparatively noodly left arm, no one else has that big of a difference from one arm to another. And the biggest part of him is his legs.

He took power tennis and mixed it with ballet. And that 1HBH is, I'm convinced, the reason he has been able to play this well for so long. It's been his greatest weakness and his greatest strength.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
You said it best. The secret is that amazing wrist of Fed. Nobody on tour has anything close to his extreme wrist lag. We all try it at rec level and it’s impossible to control. Opening the racket face down as opposed to the side fence needs an amazing/steely - yet flexible - wrist.
yup. Shows the strength with the BH flicks and the amount of pace he can get on half volleys from the baseline. Flexibility on the FH. It's a genetic thing, most people's wrists simply can't bend this far imo.

 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
I use a 1H myself, I like your post because Wawarinka is the first player that comes to mind showing it can be possible opening up the chest with the 1H.

Most will tell you to stay closed [Fed, Gasquet, Kohli]. The only ones I see out there where the chest is opened up are Wawinka and young Shap. It’s not usual.
It's tough to get right timing wise. In most cases your arm will be ahead of your body, you have no left arm to control it, and it's shank city. Stan's CC BH is amazing. Hits it at the perfect moment while opening up to really get pace cross court that most one handers cannot.
 

Smasher08

Legend
Ivan Lendl never features in the GOAT discussions, but one cool thing about him is that he impacted the way the sport is played. You could say there was tennis pre-Lendl and then there is tennis post-Lendl. He really brought killer fitness and a power baseline game to the forefront.

Chris Evert was the first woman who made the double-handed backhand a weapon the women's game never was the same again.

Measured this way, who among the current or recent luminaries of the sport has had an impact in the way the sport is played?
While I respect what you're getting at, Lendl only impacted the sport because racquet manufacturers put a graphite racquet in his hand and he was the first to realize he could now blow a finesse player off the court.

A 17 year old Boris Becker affirmed the point the very next year.

In fact, before RG 1984, Lendl was viewed as something of a nearly man and a choker. And if not for the advent of graphite racquets, he could very well have remained that!
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
yup. Shows the strength with the BH flicks and the amount of pace he can get on half volleys from the baseline. Flexibility on the FH. It's a genetic thing, most people's wrists simply can't bend this far imo.

You captured it perfectly. For years I’ve thought it’s the wrist action that truly makes the Fed FH unique. He has flexibility and control! Nobody can flick those half/stab volleys (with interest) the way he can.

There’s a lot of salad dressing on a FH which confuses the casual viewer - takeback, finish notably. But the wrist flip for Fed happens well ahead of actual contact point so unless you play it, and have thought about it, and watch out for it, and even try it, it’s not an easy thing to see.

Most FH’s [ATP] I’d describe as having a lag. With Fed I’d describe it as a flip as he initiates the forward part of the swing.
 
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nikdom

Guest
While I respect what you're getting at, Lendl only impacted the sport because racquet manufacturers put a graphite racquet in his hand and he was the first to realize he could now blow a finesse player off the court.

A 17 year old Boris Becker affirmed the point the very next year.

In fact, before RG 1984, Lendl was viewed as something of a nearly man and a choker. And if not for the advent of graphite racquets, he could very well have remained that!
Be that as it may, *someone* had to make graphite racquets and the possibilities it opened up a reality and if Ivan was the guy then he gets the credit for it. Thus the legacy is his.

After all racquets don’t play themselves. Equipment is just that, equipment.

Nadal for example popularised the buggy whip or lasso forehand going over his head with the racquet head pointing down, elbow pointing up at the end of the stoke. This may not be his invention and luxilon surely had a lot to do with it as well, but today we see Federer using it in his repertoire as well. That’s credit to Nadal if you ask me.
 
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nikdom

Guest
yup. Shows the strength with the BH flicks and the amount of pace he can get on half volleys from the baseline. Flexibility on the FH. It's a genetic thing, most people's wrists simply can't bend this far imo.


Not even with practice and stretching?

Most people can’t do splits either. Doesn’t make them the result of genetic freakishness.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
Most up and coming players will definitely be modelling themselves after Djokovic. As others have said, modelling yourself after Nadal or Fed is just unrealistic. Djokovic on the other hand has a more accessible game.
Djokovic has an accessible game but his superiority at it is still based on outrageous talent.

It's not that hard to model your game. Technically solid strokes that don't limit your pace and also don't take years to set up.

I think people get a bit carried away that Djokovic is the go-to player to imitiate just cause no first strike players have come through that are good enough.
 

Boom-Boom

Hall of Fame
Ivan Lendl never features in the GOAT discussions, but one cool thing about him is that he impacted the way the sport is played. You could say there was tennis pre-Lendl and then there is tennis post-Lendl. He really brought killer fitness and a power baseline game to the forefront.

Chris Evert was the first woman who made the double-handed backhand a weapon the women's game never was the same again.

Measured this way, who among the current or recent luminaries of the sport has had an impact in the way the sport is played?
Becker as well, brought monster serve and physicality into the game
 

Sudacafan

G.O.A.T.
Federer - for his all court game and trick shots
Nadal - for showing how uber-dominant you can be on a single surface
Djokovic - for sliding on hardcourts as if it were clay
Murray - showing it's possible to become a legend with limited talent
I am not a fan of him very much, but I would not say that Murray has limited talent.
 

Aitkers

Rookie
Djokovic. His are the template for modern groundstrokes. You can't copy, or even try to copy Federer, it's pointless. Same with Nadal.

Every tennis coach will tell you, if you're going to teach, Djokovic is the textbook FH/BH; double bend, windshield, open stance, baseline proficiency.
Djokovic sums up modern tennis players these days in terms of style of play baseline 2hb etc can still come in etc on occasion but doesnt need to

Cant copy fed? His strokes? Absolutely not, he is the model tennis player. Like a tennis mannual. His serve for example is most biomechanically correct serve. Hence endless slow motion videos and analysis of his strokes on the net. Every single shot and movement is technically perfect. If you want to copy someones strokes copy him.

Or do you mean his tactics and gameplay? That 100 percent i agree. People simply do not play like him. I would love to play that aggressive, stepping in, changing direction, sabrs etc. I just cant do it (against higher level players) i love doing it against solid players though
 

sportsfan1

Hall of Fame
Federer, for a reason that hasn't been mentioned yet.

Fed refined the idea of power tennis without being in a power-tennis body. He is skinny compared to other big hitters and eschewed extra muscle mass. Witness his comparatively noodly left arm, no one else has that big of a difference from one arm to another. And the biggest part of him is his legs.
Djokovic too in this case.
 

Candide

Hall of Fame
Surely Nadal, every kid I play now has a Babolat racquet and a crazy western grip. They may not be able to rip it like Nadal but that's what they're all aspiring to. I model my game on Fed but I end up looking like a hippo in a tutu. In my mind I'm a picture of grace and efficiency though. It's only middle aged guys like me who hit a one-hander and mix in the slice.
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
Surely Nadal, every kid I play now has a Babolat racquet and a crazy western grip. They may not be able to rip it like Nadal but that's what they're all aspiring to. I model my game on Fed but I end up looking like a hippo in a tutu. In my mind I'm a picture of grace and efficiency though. It's only middle aged guys like me who hit a one-hander and mix in the slice.
Haha. True. If I see one more neon yellow cortex-double woofer Aero Pro drive on court I’m going to crunch it.

It feels unfair sometimes just how easy that racket is to use. I’m always tempted to make a switch but return to my trusty Pro Staff 90 - basically I’m a bit of a tennis snob, with my old ideas of how the game ought to be played.
 

JackGates

Hall of Fame
Djokovic. His are the template for modern groundstrokes. You can't copy, or even try to copy Federer, it's pointless. Same with Nadal.

Every tennis coach will tell you, if you're going to teach, Djokovic is the textbook FH/BH; double bend, windshield, open stance, baseline proficiency.
Ok, I think you can copy Federer. In the end it's just bio-mechanics and if it's the most economical, I'm sure people will study it and use it. Dimitrov uses similar technique, right?

But, you are right that you can't copy Fed's style, technique is useless without tennis IQ, tactics, creativity.

Look people can copy Whitney singing technique too, but they will never be as great as her, because why she was great was because she was the first, she invented it.

Why can't you copy both? You can combine Fed's technique with Djokovic style. This is how evolution works, players create some hybrids. Fed is a hybrid of Agassi and Pete, so I'm sure guys in the future will be some hybrids of Fed and Djokovic.

But we can't know for sure which style would be popular. Maybe some genius will come and reinvent serve an volley again. Imagine a Nadal type guy who just practices serve and volley fanatically since age 6 for thousands of hours, maybe he could beat the baseliners.
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
Ok, I think you can copy Federer. In the end it's just bio-mechanics and if it's the most economical, I'm sure people will study it and use it. Dimitrov uses similar technique, right?

But, you are right that you can't copy Fed's style, technique is useless without tennis IQ, tactics, creativity.

Look people can copy Whitney singing technique too, but they will never be as great as her, because why she was great was because she was the first, she invented it.

Why can't you copy both? You can combine Fed's technique with Djokovic style. This is how evolution works, players create some hybrids. Fed is a hybrid of Agassi and Pete, so I'm sure guys in the future will be some hybrids of Fed and Djokovic.

But we can't know for sure which style would be popular. Maybe some genius will come and reinvent serve an volley again. Imagine a Nadal type guy who just practices serve and volley fanatically since age 6 for thousands of hours, maybe he could beat the baseliners.
I'm just going by what the 6-8 different coaches have intimated. When you begin tennis very young you play with 2H's on both sides, the modern style of topspin involves a lot of mini-tennis, where the flexibility of young kids taking those balls routinely above their shoulders is honed. As you fill out open stance/semi to western grips become more natural.

I'm not saying this is right or correct, its what they push out in the academies and schools for kids that need to very quickly be able to rally to live out the dreams of their parents. Not one coach or academy [I've been to] uses Federer or Nadal as a model to emulate, the prototype is always Djokovic when it comes to groundstrokes and footwork. In fact, most coaches I've been across specifically dissuade using Federer as a model, that needs a lot of time and yes, even a racquet which by today's standards is out of place.

9.99 people out of 10 will use a sub 320g racquet, for Federer kind of strokes you first need to be committed to heavier frames.

EDIT
Though Federer is by far the most analyzed player on YouTube etc, lets be honest, for people that are very invested in coaching and learning the game though years of development, its a different type of journey. Everyone could use a thing or two from Federer, and I'm completely confident no aspiring tennis player - whatever their level - hasn't looked at some video of his and thought "I can do that", but really, its not at all a simple thing. You need to have exceptional tennis skill to think of going there.

Much simpler to opt for Djokovic if the idea is to quickly get results, which most people that are investing hours and $$$ are looking for from their effort on court.
 
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Vrad

Professional
Djokovic. His are the template for modern groundstrokes. You can't copy, or even try to copy Federer, it's pointless. Same with Nadal.

Every tennis coach will tell you, if you're going to teach, Djokovic is the textbook FH/BH; double bend, windshield, open stance, baseline proficiency.
Except the guys imitating his style are all sitting out injured.

I suspect Federer will have a greater impact than we could have predicted even a few years ago. People will start noticing Federer is winning titles at 37 while Novak and the likes of Nishikori and Chung are out injured. No one is winning any titles if they are out injured half the season, and I imagine that people are gonna start opting for a less demanding play style.
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
Except the guys imitating his style are all sitting out injured.

I suspect Federer will have a greater impact than we could have predicted even a few years ago. People will start noticing Federer is winning titles at 37 while Novak and the likes of Nishikori and Chung are out injured. No one is winning any titles if they are out injured half the season, and I imagine that people are gonna start opting for a less demanding play style.
I don't even know if it is possible anymore to imitate/learn how to play like Federer. For one, he's the last link to classic tennis form. His whole youth came up against guys serving and volleying, and using 350g+ frames. His first Wimbledon if I recall 50% of his points were S&V, by 2007 it had dropped below 4%.

Managing schedules, a long career, yes certainly. But really, if you want the quickest results for aspiring kids learning there's nothing simpler or quicker than Djokovic, that's assuming if learning Fed court craft is even possible.

I don't think we'll be seeing another Federer - or anything like it - again for a variety of reasons. Maybe the simplest one is its arduous enough developing a pro level player, let alone one that is going to go on and win 10+ slams. There might be a kid/parent combo out there with the temperament for that kind of pressure but its seriously unbelievable.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic sums up modern tennis players these days in terms of style of play baseline 2hb etc can still come in etc on occasion but doesnt need to

Cant copy fed? His strokes? Absolutely not, he is the model tennis player. Like a tennis mannual. His serve for example is most biomechanically correct serve. Hence endless slow motion videos and analysis of his strokes on the net. Every single shot and movement is technically perfect. If you want to copy someones strokes copy him.

Or do you mean his tactics and gameplay? That 100 percent i agree. People simply do not play like him. I would love to play that aggressive, stepping in, changing direction, sabrs etc. I just cant do it (against higher level players) i love doing it against solid players though
There's no such thing as a biomechanically correct shot. There are trade offs in pace and accuracy to some degree, and there are a few things that inefficient regardless, but many players have a technically sound serve.
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
yup. Shows the strength with the BH flicks and the amount of pace he can get on half volleys from the baseline. Flexibility on the FH. It's a genetic thing, most people's wrists simply can't bend this far imo.

Slow motion tennis is a great channel to see all these guys do their stuff:


 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
Nadal has already changed the way the game is played by showing how vulnerable S&V players are to great passing shots from the baseline. Nadal plays the best all-court game when he's on and playing at 100% that's why players go for broke when they play him.
 

Mugu

Rookie
Off topic, but hope Wawrinka gets credit for showing that the 1hbh can be an absolute weapon, and it can stand up to and beat the best two handers in the modern game, including Djokovic's baseline barrage.
yes, i would second that. for a while there i thought the 1HBH was in danger of disappearing from the top ranks of the game after
Fed called it quits, but now i'm hopeful that will never happen.
 
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Deleted member 742196

Guest
Nadal has already changed the way the game is played by showing how vulnerable S&V players are to great passing shots from the baseline. Nadal plays the best all-court game when he's on and playing at 100% that's why players go for broke when they play him.
Actually I’ve always thought Nadal should play more of an all court game. He has an excellent slice and looks quite intuitive around the net.

Prior to 2017 I’d even say his approaches were better then Federer’s but this might also be because he so rarely approached they could all have been only on the obvious ones.

But he likes to keep well back - while it’s almost infuriating to look at him on the tele and not scream “come in for crying out loud!” - no doubt he’s had all his success and knows what he’s doing.

Maybe this is going to change. He’s going to have to find a plan B now that Fed seems to have found a counter to plan A.

Nadal’s tactical response is going to be interesting. I felt in 2017 he was probing Fed to explore around for the soft spots.
 

ibbi

Hall of Fame
Probably Djokovic. If there is anybody at all who plays the sport like Federer in the decades ahead that will be a major win for tennis. As for Nadal... Can't imagine anyone would try and replicate that forehand.
 
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