Why do people think it wasn't prime Federer at Wimbledon 2008?

Federr

New User

Looking at this match (and others during these Championships), how can anyone claim this isn't prime Federer? Reading some comments here makes it sound like Federer was some old slow retired player during 2008 Wimbledon.

I, for one, was amazed how he played - its when I truly got into tennis.

His speed around the court, passing shots but especially how he was hitting the lines back then - jaw dropping. When was the last time you saw a player play this good at Wimbledon? The 2011 final was quite high quality but not as good as how Fed was playing here, and I don't think he looked as sharp as this in 2009.

I don't see where in the video he was utterly dismal as a lot of people say here, he looks sublime to me. And it's a pleasure to watch, perfect grass court play.

We may never a player of this quality on this surface again.
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
prime peak whatever.

Forever ignore day by day and weak by weak fluctuations.

2008 wasn't one of Fed's 5 best performances in a Wimbledon final. That final battles the 2005 AO semi for most overrated match of all time
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
Federer was in his prime in 2008. The only people who claim otherwise are some of the most hardcore Fed fans who want to asterix his loss to Nadal, but I think even the majority of sane Fed fans admit he was still in his prime.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Federer was in his prime in 2008. The only people who claim otherwise are some of the most hardcore Fed fans who want to asterix his loss to Nadal, but I think even the majority of sane Fed fans admit he was still in his prime.
Yep, the same way Nadal was very much in his prime in the second half of 2009 and the spring HC season of 2010.
 

6august

Hall of Fame
He's 27 at the time, he must be in his prime.

Mono is the popular excuse here, not post prime. The majority of Fred fans claim that mono is the only reason he lost to Djokovic at the AO.

Darkness is another excuse.

I feel bad for Nadal and Djokovic. Nadal never beats prime Feder off clay and Djokovic never beats prime Feder anywhere (at Slams).
 

Lew II

G.O.A.T.
Federer's peak: 4 years (2004-07) in a 23 years career (1998-2020) --> was peak 17.3% of his career

Djokovic's peak: 10 years (2011-20) in a 17 years career (2004-2020) --> was peak 58.8% of his careers career

Nadal's peak: 12 years (2008-19) in a 19 years career (2002-2020) --> was peak 63.2% of his career

8-B
 
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Because Federer played his best tennis only 4 years in a career of 23 years.
It's a reasonable thought experiment to consider you only actually play your best tennis for one match (or even set, etc.) The standard would merely sit atop a closely contested bell curve peak of sorts. That one might consider truncating the results at a point spanning a 4 year range based on an interpretation of general performance isn't exactly an unprecedented or preposterous concept.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Federer's peak: 4 years (2004-07) in a 23 years career (1998-2020) --> was peak 17.3% of his career

Djokovic's peak: 10 years (2011-20) in a 17 years career (2004-2020) --> was peak 58.8% of his careers career

Nadal's peak: 12 years (2008-19) in a 19 year (2002-2020) --> was peak 63.2% of his career

8-B
Nice strawman from the guy that claims Djokovic peaked in 2015(y)
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
Federer's peak: 4 years (2004-07) in a 23 years career (1998-2020) --> was peak 17.3% of his career

Djokovic's peak: 10 years (2011-20) in a 17 years career (2004-2020) --> was peak 58.8% of his careers career

Nadal's peak: 12 years (2008-19) in a 19 year (2002-2020) --> was peak 63.2% of his career

8-B
Nice work, Lew. You rally nailed it.
 
Nice strawman from the guy that claims Djokovic peaked in 2015(y)
Even if this were to be granted, a 4 year peak is a far more realistic interpretation based on the general understanding of historical athletic performance. It's fun to consider mid 2016 to mid 2018 as part of Djoker's peak, though. I guess Cecchinato, Chung and Istomin were too much for him. I suppose this is some lame attempt to say 'look, I include poor years in my peak unlike you cowardly Fedt@rds'. Of course, him winning slams while not peak helps him out.
 

Federr

New User
I'm just going by the matches he played during Wimbledon 2008, he looks sublime. He hasn't moved that quickly since - I'm sure we'll agree.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I'm just going by the matches he played during Wimbledon 2008, he looks sublime. He hasn't moved that quickly since - I'm sure we'll agree.
He was definitely prime in 2008.

At Wimb he simply had mental issues against Nadal because of the FO. But his level of play was good, if you ask me.

Played a better final in 2008 than in any year after 2012.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
I haven't seen many that claim Federer wasn't prime at W 08. In fact most feel his prime ended at AO 10.
No. Here I strongly disagree. The grass season is too short to get a good read on defense, but in general players peak offensively and defensively at different times. They start to lose more games on return, so they have to take up the slack serving. Novak has been declining defensively, but in his decline he's still at the top or close to it. You only fully understand what he's lost by going back to 2011. If his serve had been as good that year as it became later, I think he might have had a good chance at not only a CYGS but a nearly undefeated year.

Now check this out:


HC gives you a better read on defense because of more data.

He's second only to Hewitt that year. Higher in 2005, which is 6 years before 2011. Coincidence? ;)

Call that 30.5%

31.69% the next year.

28.67% in 2007.

25.41% in 2008.

That's down 5 points from his peak, and that's all Rafa needed to establish dominance. A 5% drop in defense is going to drop % of games down around 2.5%, and a 2.5% loss for an ATG is the difference between prime and not prime. You can't suddenly turn that around in the summer at Wimbledon.

Fed hit a near low that year in defense, dropping below his career average. That's bad.

These years were below career average for return on HC, in this order:

2014
2017
2019
2012
2009
2008
2018
2013
2016

These are the years above, in order, 2006 being his best year. He was actually very close to prime in 2015, though Fed fans are in serious denial about that. He had the bad fortune to reinvent himself during Novak's peak:

2006
2005
2015
2011
2004
2007
2010
2003

So Fed had fallen a long way in 2008, and it started in 2007, but players like Rafa, Novak and Andy were not yet strong enough to take advantage. Meanwhile, to show just how good Hewitt was defensively, think where he would have been when healthy if he had had Fed's serve!
 
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He was definitely prime in 2008.

At Wimb he simply had mental issues against Nadal because of the FO. But his level of play was good, if you ask me.

Played a better final in 2008 than in any year after 2012.
He was prime but not his peak. He reserved the wrath of his mythical peak only for grass legends like Peak Roddick and Peak Hewitt.
 
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Federr

New User
He was definitely prime in 2008.

At Wimb he simply had mental issues against Nadal because of the FO. But his level of play was good, if you ask me.

Played a better final in 2008 than in any year after 2012.
I'm talking about the entire Championships, there are other matches outside of the final. I really enjoyed all those matches too, as I said, I just can't see where he's slow or past peak etc that people talk about? If we exclude the final for a minute.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I'm talking about the entire Championships, there are other matches outside of the final. I really enjoyed all those matches too, as I said, I just can't see where he's slow or past peak etc that people talk about? If we exclude the final for a minute.
Maybe at Wimb he played really well throughout the entire event. But throughout the rest of the season? He definitely played poorly.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
No. Here I strongly disagree. The grass season is too short to get a good read on defense, but in general players peak offensively and defensively at different times. They start to lose more games on return, so they have to take up the slack serving. Novak has been declining defensively, but in his decline he's still at the top or close to it. You only fully understand what he's lost by going back to 2011. If his serve had been as good that year as it became later, I think he might have had a good chance at not only a CYGS but a nearly undefeated year.

Now check this out:


HC gives you a better read on defense because of more data.

He's second only to Hewitt that year. Higher in 2005, which is 6 years before 2011. Coincidence? ;)

Call that 30.5%

31.69% the next year.

28.67% in 2007.

25.41% in 2008.

That's down 5 points from his peak, and that's all Rafa needed to establish dominance. A 5% drop in defense is going to drop % of games down around 2.5%, and a 2.5% loss for an ATG is the difference between prime and not prime. You can't suddenly turn that around in the summer at Wimbledon.

Fed hit a near low that year in defense, dropping below his career average. That's bad.

These years were below career average for return on HC, in this order:

2014
2017
2019
2012
2009
2008
2018
2013
2016

These are the years above, in order, 2006 being his best year. He was actually very close to prime in 2015, though Fed fans are in serious denial about that. He had the bad fortune to reinvent himself during Novak's peak:

2006
2005
2015
2011
2004
2007
2010
2003

So Fed had fallen a long way in 2008, and it started in 2007, but players like Rafa, Novak and Andy were not yet strong enough to take advantage. Meanwhile, to show just how good Hewitt was defensively, think where he would have been when health if he had had Fed's serve!
I don't really disagree with anything you are saying here, but I think my terminology of prime looks to be different from yours.

I consider 2004-2007 peak Federer. With his W 2003 to AO 2010 being is overall prime period. Peak period he got his greatest results, and level of play was best, prime encompasses his overall consistency. Peak sits within prime period for me.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
No. Here I strongly disagree. The grass season is too short to get a good read on defense, but in general players peak offensively and defensively at different times. They start to lose more games on return, so they have to take up the slack serving. Novak has been declining defensively, but in his decline he's still at the top or close to it. You only fully understand what he's lost by going back to 2011. If his serve had been as good that year as it became later, I think he might have had a good chance at not only a CYGS but a nearly undefeated year.

Now check this out:


HC gives you a better read on defense because of more data.

He's second only to Hewitt that year. Higher in 2005, which is 6 years before 2011. Coincidence? ;)

Call that 30.5%

31.69% the next year.

28.67% in 2007.

25.41% in 2008.

That's down 5 points from his peak, and that's all Rafa needed to establish dominance. A 5% drop in defense is going to drop % of games down around 2.5%, and a 2.5% loss for an ATG is the difference between prime and not prime. You can't suddenly turn that around in the summer at Wimbledon.

Fed hit a near low that year in defense, dropping below his career average. That's bad.

These years were below career average for return on HC, in this order:

2014
2017
2019
2012
2009
2008
2018
2013
2016

These are the years above, in order, 2006 being his best year. He was actually very close to prime in 2015, though Fed fans are in serious denial about that. He had the bad fortune to reinvent himself during Novak's peak:

2006
2005
2015
2011
2004
2007
2010
2003

So Fed had fallen a long way in 2008, and it started in 2007, but players like Rafa, Novak and Andy were not yet strong enough to take advantage. Meanwhile, to show just how good Hewitt was defensively, think where he would have been when health if he had had Fed's serve!
And despite those return numbers on HC in 2015, he still lost to Seppi at the AO. What does that tell you?
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
No. Here I strongly disagree. The grass season is too short to get a good read on defense, but in general players peak offensively and defensively at different times. They start to lose more games on return, so they have to take up the slack serving. Novak has been declining defensively, but in his decline he's still at the top or close to it. You only fully understand what he's lost by going back to 2011. If his serve had been as good that year as it became later, I think he might have had a good chance at not only a CYGS but a nearly undefeated year.

Now check this out:


HC gives you a better read on defense because of more data.

He's second only to Hewitt that year. Higher in 2005, which is 6 years before 2011. Coincidence? ;)

Call that 30.5%

31.69% the next year.

28.67% in 2007.

25.41% in 2008.

That's down 5 points from his peak, and that's all Rafa needed to establish dominance. A 5% drop in defense is going to drop % of games down around 2.5%, and a 2.5% loss for an ATG is the difference between prime and not prime. You can't suddenly turn that around in the summer at Wimbledon.

Fed hit a near low that year in defense, dropping below his career average. That's bad.

These years were below career average for return on HC, in this order:

2014
2017
2019
2012
2009
2008
2018
2013
2016

These are the years above, in order, 2006 being his best year. He was actually very close to prime in 2015, though Fed fans are in serious denial about that. He had the bad fortune to reinvent himself during Novak's peak:

2006
2005
2015
2011
2004
2007
2010
2003

So Fed had fallen a long way in 2008, and it started in 2007, but players like Rafa, Novak and Andy were not yet strong enough to take advantage. Meanwhile, to show just how good Hewitt was defensively, think where he would have been when health if he had had Fed's serve!
Federer played high level tennis in 2014/ 15.

2016 and 2018-2020 was not near that level, at least how I see it.
 
And despite those return numbers on HC in 2015, he still lost to Seppi at the AO. What does that tell you?
He had a bad day at the office!? Opponent played inspired tennis that day!? Maybe something else that don't include "Peak Nostalgia Fed will smoke Grandpa 0lderer 6:0 6:1 6:0" mantra. ;)
 
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NatF

Bionic Poster
No. Here I strongly disagree. The grass season is too short to get a good read on defense, but in general players peak offensively and defensively at different times. They start to lose more games on return, so they have to take up the slack serving. Novak has been declining defensively, but in his decline he's still at the top or close to it. You only fully understand what he's lost by going back to 2011. If his serve had been as good that year as it became later, I think he might have had a good chance at not only a CYGS but a nearly undefeated year.

Now check this out:


HC gives you a better read on defense because of more data.

He's second only to Hewitt that year. Higher in 2005, which is 6 years before 2011. Coincidence? ;)

Call that 30.5%

31.69% the next year.

28.67% in 2007.

25.41% in 2008.

That's down 5 points from his peak, and that's all Rafa needed to establish dominance. A 5% drop in defense is going to drop % of games down around 2.5%, and a 2.5% loss for an ATG is the difference between prime and not prime. You can't suddenly turn that around in the summer at Wimbledon.

Fed hit a near low that year in defense, dropping below his career average. That's bad.

These years were below career average for return on HC, in this order:

2014
2017
2019
2012
2009
2008
2018
2013
2016

These are the years above, in order, 2006 being his best year. He was actually very close to prime in 2015, though Fed fans are in serious denial about that. He had the bad fortune to reinvent himself during Novak's peak:

2006
2005
2015
2011
2004
2007
2010
2003

So Fed had fallen a long way in 2008, and it started in 2007, but players like Rafa, Novak and Andy were not yet strong enough to take advantage. Meanwhile, to show just how good Hewitt was defensively, think where he would have been when health if he had had Fed's serve!
Hewitt actually won slightly more baseline points than Federer in 3/5 of their slam meetings in 04-05. Though I imagine this has a lot to do with Federer getting more free points on his serve and thus having less rallies start in an advantageous position for him. Still not bad from Hewitt ;) The biggest issue for Hewitt's serve was percentage, scored quite a lot of aces and did well behind the first serve. I think his service games won was generally pretty good as well - peaking in 2004 on HC.

Disagree about 2015 though, not all points/games etc...are equal. The fact that Federer was very efficient in the early rounds in 2015 doesn't mean he was at his prime level. ATG's can often raise their level when appropriate, Sampras was king at this and this is why his stats on paper don't look great.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
Federer's peak: 4 years (2004-07) in a 23 years career (1998-2020) --> was peak 17.3% of his career

Djokovic's peak: 10 years (2011-20) in a 17 years career (2004-2020) --> was peak 58.8% of his careers career

Nadal's peak: 12 years (2008-19) in a 19 years career (2002-2020) --> was peak 63.2% of his career

8-B
The Big 3's best 6 year peak period:

1) Federer 2004-09 (14 slams)
2) Djokovic 2011-16 (11 slams)
3) Nadal 2008-13 (10 slams).
 

Federr

New User
Is someone saying he was prime in 2015? I think it was pretty obvious around 2009 or shortly after he lost the speed he had in the years before?
 

Lew II

G.O.A.T.
The Big 3's best 6 year peak period:

1) Federer 2004-09 (14 slams)
2) Djokovic 2011-16 (11 slams)
3) Nadal 2008-13 (10 slams).
Djokovic won 5/7 slams from 2018 WI to 2020 AO.
Nadal won 5/11 slams from 2017 RG to 2019 UO.
 

blablavla

G.O.A.T.
Federer's peak: 15 years (2004-18) in a 23 years career (1998-2020)
Nadal's peak: 12 years (2008-19) in a 19 years career (2002-2020)
Djokovic's peak: 10 years (2011-20) in a 17 years career (2004-2020)
dude, if you count the difference between time span for #1 position, then Roger held it in 2018.
no need thank me for fixing it.
just another stat where Novak is #3 among the Big 3.
 

PerilousPear

Semi-Pro
Lol, 2014 Nadal is close to 2008 Federer? What kind of joke is that? 2014 Nadal is comparable to 2018 Federer, not to 2008.
Fed managed to win the AO, and luckily for him his Finals opponent happened to be one of the GOAT chokers. If Nadal was even close to that, he would've lost the FO final in straights to Djokovic.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Fed managed to win the AO, and luckily for him his Finals opponent happened to be one of the GOAT chokers. If Nadal was even close to that, he would've lost the FO final in straights to Djokovic.
Nadal during the clay season was losing to Ferrer, Almagro, should have lost to Andujar and Nishikori as well. And even though he somehow won RG, it was his worst performance in a year when he won there. Hardly a better win than Federer's AO 2018.
 

tennistiger

Semi-Pro
Prime yes, prime no. Does not matter. Fact is that he has given away the final due to his old problem of not converting his chances. Chances to come back at 4:5 in the first. By converting he would have won the first set 7:5 with the 2:0 lead in the second. And we would have a total different final. Also the chances at 3:0 and the 4:1 in the second Set. Unbelievable at that time that he was 2:0 down although he had it in his hand...
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster

Looking at this match (and others during these Championships), how can anyone claim this isn't prime Federer? Reading some comments here makes it sound like Federer was some old slow retired player during 2008 Wimbledon.

I, for one, was amazed how he played - its when I truly got into tennis.

His speed around the court, passing shots but especially how he was hitting the lines back then - jaw dropping. When was the last time you saw a player play this good at Wimbledon? The 2011 final was quite high quality but not as good as how Fed was playing here, and I don't think he looked as sharp as this in 2009.

I don't see where in the video he was utterly dismal as a lot of people say here, he looks sublime to me. And it's a pleasure to watch, perfect grass court play.

We may never a player of this quality on this surface again.
Wasn't 2008 supposed to be Fed's mono year? Ironically, the guy he played in that video retired from tennis early because of that same illness.
 
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