Why did Federer slow down so much since 2008?

clout

Hall of Fame
To answer OP there were a variety of reasons.

Competition: As a Fed fan I won't deny it, the field got a lot stronger during Fed's late 20s/early 30s than it was during his early/mid 20s. Nadal was beginning to become an all-court player which made things 10x worse for Fed, Djokovic also became an imminent threat very quickly, Murray was a headache match-up for Fed for a while, Del Potro never makes things easy for the Maestro, and guys like Berdych/Tsonga/Soderling/Cilic are all incredibly tough match-ups for anyone whenever they're zoning, which they were able to do against Fed various times.

Math/statistics: The numbers Fed was putting up during the mid 2000s was practically unsustainable. No one can go 80-4 every year and the fact that he was able to do so for like 3-4 years straight is incredible - I don't think we'll ever see anything like that ever again.

Age: This had more to do with the later years as he was still in his prime between 2008-2012, but from 2014/15 onward, when you're in your mid/late 30s going up against ATGs like Djokovic who are 6 years your junior, you should have no business winning any of those matches.

I'd say competition was the biggest factor during 2008-2014. Nearly every player Fed lost to at slams/BO5 during these 6 years were born between 1984-1988, which is one of the greatest birth year stretches in men's tennis history (he lost 6x to Nadal, 6x to Djokovic, 2x to Murray (including OLY), 1x to Del Potro, 2x to Berdych, 2x to Tsonga, 1x to Soderling, 1x to Cilic, 1x to Lord Gulbis)

Since around 2014/15 though, it's been his age, I mean c'mon the dude's out here chugging around in his mid/late 30s lol the fact that he won any major or spent any # of seconds as number 1 is unheard of
 
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Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
If feel sorry that your misery will last so long, that means if Fed, the weakest of the big 3, vultured a number 1 spot for one week at age 36 (and only because Nole wasn't spanking Fed at the time) when Nole gets to that age he will do a lot better.
It appears that you didn't read what I wrote: it is you and the likes, who will have to wait a long time before they see whether Djokovic is indeed the dominant force at an old age like Federer was. Right now he is so far off the mark, it is not worth discussing it: three years past thirty something is a lot.

Federer raised to capture the #1 spot after having won three of the last 5 Majors, so your salty comment about vulturing didn't go unnoticed.

We wil see about your prediction. Like I said, there is a lot of shaking in the boots form the Djoke fans: will the weakest era in the OE continue, so that Novak has a chance?

 

NoleIsBoat

Rookie
It appears that you didn't read what I wrote: it is you and the likes, who will have to wait a long time before they see whether Djokovic is indeed the dominant force at an old age like Federer was. Right now he is so far off the mark, it is not worth discussing it: three years past thirty something is a lot.

Federer raised to capture the #1 spot after having won three of the last 5 Majors, so your salty comment about vulturing didn't go unnoticed.

We wil see about your prediction. Like I said, there is a lot of shaking in the boots form the Djoke fans: will the weakest era in the OE continue, so that Novak has a chance?

Federer did vulture a bit in 2017 let's be real. If 2014/2015 Djokovic was there it would be same story for Fed, just more runner up plates :whistle: I won't begrudge the old man his slams though, he beat whoever was in his way and played some fantastic tennis. His form deserved slams in 2015 and 2017.

Djokovic and Nadal have already aged far better than Federer did at same age.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
Federer did vulture a bit in 2017 let's be real. If 2014/2015 Djokovic was there it would be same story for Fed, just more runner up plates :whistle:

Djokovic and Nadal have already aged far better than Federer did at same age.
Let's be real, Federer took advantage of the same weakest era in the OE like Djokovic and Nadal are doing at the moment, but that doesn't warranty the "vulture" comment, otherwise the poster in question might as well state that Djokovic is vulturing his last 10 Majors, plus half of his time at #1 and several YE finishes. It is a slippery slope, so, if he is tempted to go down that road, he has to be prepared for what is coming his way.

No, they didn't. They are not meeting the competition Federer met at their current age, so there is no similar measuring stick to tell, if that is really the case.

 

NoleIsBoat

Rookie
Let's be real, Federer took advantage of the same weakest era in the OE like Djokovic and Nadal are doing at the moment, but that doesn't warranty the "vulture" comment, otherwise the poster in question might as well state that Djokovic is vulturing his last 10 Majors, plus half of his time at #1 and several YE finishes. It is a slippery slope, so, if he is tempted to go down that road, he has to be prepared for what is coming his way.

No, they didn't. They are not meeting the competition Federer met at their current age, so there is no similar measuring stick to tell, if that is really the case.

The difference is, Djokovic defeated Murray, Federer and Nadal to win more of his slams since 2014.

Who did Federer beat in 17-18? Nadal was a great win but then crying Cilic in two finals :whistle:
 
D

Deleted member 777746

Guest
The difference is, Djokovic defeated Murray, Federer and Nadal to win more of his slams since 2014.

Who did Federer beat in 17-18? Nadal was a great win but then crying Cilic in two finals :whistle:
Fed also had extra rest before the final with Nadal. Still a great win though
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
The difference is, Djokovic defeated Murray, Federer and Nadal to win more of his slams since 2014.

Who did Federer beat in 17-18? Nadal was a great win but then crying Cilic in two finals :whistle:
Both Federer and Djokovic defeated the competition. The only sure thing is that the competition is unequivocally weak, and has been for the longest time (it is basically unprecedented in the OE).

BTW, "crying Cilic" sent Nadal packing, so he must have been a tough guy at some point. Also, you must have not watched the AO 2018 final, if you think that that went smoothly for Federer.

 

NoleIsBoat

Rookie
Both Federer and Djokovic defeated the competition. The only sure thing is that the competition is unequivocally weak, and has been for the longest time (it is basically unprecedented in the OE).

BTW, "crying Cilic" sent Nadal packing, so he must have been a tough guy at some point. Also, you must have not watched the AO 2018 final, if you think that that went smoothly for Federer.

Yes the same Nadal who retired with an injury...

Djokovic defeated Federer, Nadal, Murray to win most of his slams, those are weak players ??? :whistle:
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
Yes the same Nadal who retired with an injury...

Djokovic defeated Federer, Nadal, Murray to win most of his slams, those are weak players ??? :whistle:
Ah, I see, he battled through 4 sets of tennis with an injury, just to forfeit upon being broken in the 5th.

I didn't say that, but maybe you want to expand on the strong suit of Nadal on HC and Grass vs his biggest rivals in recent times (well, basically for the whole period in question). Please, do that.

 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
try to use your brain, perhaps you'll get the meaning :unsure:
It's because Nadal and Djokovic are so exceptional that the younger generation have been unable to emerge as all time great players so the answer is in the question. You can't just create ATGs, they have to beat the best to be the best and younger players have failed to do so. When Nadal, Djokovic and Murray emerged as the Big 4 along with Federer, Federer's peers that he dominated were still playing.
 

blablavla

Legend
In no way am I remotely close to a pro athlete but at 30, I am thriving in physical activities way more than I did in my 20s (especially during my early 20s). The human body is still in development until around 25/26.
yes and no
if you are far from exploring your body ceiling, then of course you can improve after 25/26

at the same time, if you reached your limits, then good luck in improving
point is, after some age, which is not fixed for every person as 25 or 26 or 27 years, your body will require more and more time to recover, and there will be other declines as well
this is the tricky part for a tennis player
many of the retired players can bring top form for 1 set, or 2 sets, or even a match
but try to keep that top form for 60-70 matches per season. Good Luck!
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
It's because Nadal and Djokovic are so exceptional that the younger generation have been unable to emerge as all time great players so the answer is in the question. You can't just create ATGs, they have to beat the best to be the best and younger players have failed to do so. When Nadal, Djokovic and Murray emerged as the Big 4 along with Federer, Federer's peers that he dominated were still playing.
Yes, because Nadal and Djokovic are so exceptional Thiem has more R1-R4 exits in Majors in the last 5 years (when he is supposed to be in his prime/peak whatever), than he has matches against them in the regular season. Combined. A rare feat for the best player from any younger generation.

 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
It's because Nadal and Djokovic are so exceptional that the younger generation have been unable to emerge as all time great players so the answer is in the question. You can't just create ATGs, they have to beat the best to be the best and younger players have failed to do so. When Nadal, Djokovic and Murray emerged as the Big 4 along with Federer, Federer's peers that he dominated were still playing.
Nonsense - the youngsters mainly fail to even get to Nadal or Novak Djokovic to have a chance of beating them.
 

blablavla

Legend
Yeah Federer had stronger nextgen players i dont doubt that

However Djokovic and Nadal had much stronger past gen and current gen, not even close.
and they failed in sending that past ATG into retirement
while Fed, together with some "weak era mugs" sent Sampras and Agassi to retirement
feel the difference?
 

blablavla

Legend
Yes the same Nadal who retired with an injury...

Djokovic defeated Federer, Nadal, Murray to win most of his slams, those are weak players ??? :whistle:
pushing a 38 years old Fed to the tiebreak of the 6th set? seriously?
and then losing to him at the WTF when the #1 rank and YE#1 was on the table?
 

blablavla

Legend
It's because Nadal and Djokovic are so exceptional that the younger generation have been unable to emerge as all time great players so the answer is in the question. You can't just create ATGs, they have to beat the best to be the best and younger players have failed to do so. When Nadal, Djokovic and Murray emerged as the Big 4 along with Federer, Federer's peers that he dominated were still playing.
I'll post a list of players.
Try to match it with a list of players that are younger than Djokodal. They are now 33? that means you can choose players from 3 entire generations after Djokodal (4 year span * 3)

Djokovic
Nadal
Federer
JC Ferrero
Safin
Hewitt
Roddick
Kuerten
Sampras
Becker
Edberg
 

blablavla

Legend
Yes, because Nadal and Djokovic are so exceptional Thiem has more R1-R4 exits in Majors in the last 5 years (when he is supposed to be in his prime/peak whatever), than he has matches against them in the regular season. Combined. A rare feat for the best player from any younger generation.

Please don't forget Tsitsipas. How many times he faced Big 3 in GS?
And Zverev
And Rublev
And Medvedev
And who else is the list of the woulda coulda shoulda ATGs?
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
Please don't forget Tsitsipas. How many times he faced Big 3 in GS?
And Zverev
And Rublev
And Medvedev
And who else is the list of the woulda coulda shoulda ATGs?
Thiem is heading into the sunset soon, and he is nowhere near even Murray's career, and that is the strongest "next gen" player as far as accomplishments are concerned. Even if all those players start winning massively and immediately, it will change nothing: we endured the most unprecedented drought in competition in the OE (and beyond).

The time elapsed between Federer winning his first Major and the appearance of the next younger generation ATG resume: 5 years.

The time elapsed between Nadal winning his first Major and the next younger generation ATG resume: 15 years (and counting)

The time elapsed between Djokovic winning his first Major and the next younger generation ATG resume: 12 years (and counting).

Those numbers will only grow bigger, even if the mentioned from you players start winning massively, as I said. Realistically, Nadal might end up with something like 17-18 years, and Djokovic 14-15. That is an eternity in sport.

 

clout

Hall of Fame
yes and no
if you are far from exploring your body ceiling, then of course you can improve after 25/26

at the same time, if you reached your limits, then good luck in improving
point is, after some age, which is not fixed for every person as 25 or 26 or 27 years, your body will require more and more time to recover, and there will be other declines as well
this is the tricky part for a tennis player
many of the retired players can bring top form for 1 set, or 2 sets, or even a match
but try to keep that top form for 60-70 matches per season. Good Luck!
Well tennis is an energy driven sport so you're going to have the fearlessness at 20-25 years old that you likely won't have later on but if I'm not mistaken, 25-35 y/o is typically when men are at their overall peaks physically.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
Thiem, Tsisipas, Medvedev, Zverev can go on to surpass Roddick, Hewitt and potentially have Becker and Edberg level career when they are finished. Too early to judge them.
When Djokovic and Nadal was as old as Thiem is, they had 20 slams between them.
Thiem's generation + the next generation have 1 slam combined.
Becker won his first slam at 17. Edberg at 19.
 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
I'll post a list of players.
Try to match it with a list of players that are younger than Djokodal. They are now 33? that means you can choose players from 3 entire generations after Djokodal (4 year span * 3)

Djokovic
Nadal
Federer
JC Ferrero
Safin
Hewitt
Roddick
Kuerten
Sampras
Becker
Edberg
I’m really not too bothered about it. It is what it is.
 

RS

Legend
Obviously when you climb Everest and fall off the mountain top people really care about it and ask why it happened. Then you only climb McKinley the next go and people say you've been exposed. When you climb the little pile of leaves in the backyard and fall off that, people don't care so much. Then you climb up a little bunny hill your next go and people are falling over themselves with praise.
:D
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Well tennis is an energy driven sport so you're going to have the fearlessness at 20-25 years old that you likely won't have later on but if I'm not mistaken, 25-35 y/o is typically when men are at their overall peaks physically.
Past age 32, no way.
 

blablavla

Legend
At 32 your body is fully developed and you haven't hit the "aging" stage of your life physically either, so as a result, you'd definitely at your athletic prime in your early 30s.
at 32 your body needs much more recovery time

that is without mentioning the impact of all the injuries that a typical pro athlete has by the age of 32
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Professional athletes accumulate a lot of mileage till that age, they are not like ordinary people.
at 32 your body needs much more recovery time

that is without mentioning the impact of all the injuries that a typical pro athlete has by the age of 32
Oh yeah for pro athletes their bodies are usually quite beat up by this age since they’ve been training vigorously for as far back as they can remember, which is why nearly all athletes peak in their 20s.

Non-pro athletes (like us) don’t typically reach our physical primes until 25 though since our bodies are still developing up until that age.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
At 32 your body is fully developed and you haven't hit the "aging" stage of your life physically either, so as a result, you'd definitely at your athletic prime in your early 30s.
Fed had lots of mileage by age 32, there was no way at 33 he was in his athletic prime like Djokovic at 27.
 

Krish0608

Hall of Fame
Federer did not slow down much in 2008. He just had confidence issues following his bout of Mono. He was out of form that year that's all. And his issue was predominantly Nadal, in 2008. His big decline happened first somewhere during mid 2010. And then the ultimate slow down happened from 2013 onwards. I consider Federer's prime years to be 2003-10 and 11, 12 where he could still hit prime levels but more erratic and inconsistent.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Fed had lots of mileage by age 32, there was no way at 33 he was in his athletic prime like Djokovic at 27.
Yeah I mentioned how athletes are probably not at their physical primes anymore at 32 due to how much strain they've put on their bodies for the first 30 years of their lives already but for non-pro athletes like ourselves, 32 would be a great age to be at athletically since we aren't aging yet but our bodies are fully developed unlike your early 20s when it's still in development.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Yeah I mentioned how athletes are probably not at their physical primes anymore at 32 due to how much strain they've put on their bodies for the first 30 years of their lives already but for non-pro athletes like ourselves, 32 would be a great age to be at athletically since we aren't aging yet but our bodies are fully developed unlike your early 20s when it's still in development.
Yeah, that's fair.
 

Garro

New User
Federer slam wins 2004 - 2007 -> 11 / 16 -> 68%
Federer slam wins 2008 - 2015-> 5 / 32 -> 15%

Federer number 1 ranking 2004 - 2007 -> 204 weeks
Federer number 1 ranking 2008 - 2015 -> 65 weeks



Such a huge drop off in results.


Fed got old at 26? o_O or faced prime Djokovic/Nadal instead of Bagdhatis, Philippousis, Roddick, Gonzalez, Hewitt?
Fed has slam wins over prime Djokovic. He beat him at the French in 2011, Wimbledon the year after, and had MPs at the US Open too. Remember, it's only been since 2014 that Djokovic has had the decisive edge on him in slams.

Did Djokovic actually peak in 2014, or did Roger decline?

With regard to the competition, I don't doubt Fed would have even more slams if the competition had never improved after 2006. But a couple things need to pointed out.

First, Fed has actually done better against some of the same competition they faced.
Neither Wawrinka nor Murray beat him in a slam final. Stan has only been able to beat him on clay and Murray only beat him once at a slam - on his worst year on the tour, 2013. And he still needed five sets to do it.

Second, the competition on the tour has declined again in the past few years. When all is said and done, I think the total slam count between Fed and Djokovic will be a pretty good indicator of whoever should be the "GOAT", if such a thing does exist.
 
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