Will Roger Federer recover mentally when he lost in the Wimbledon final 2019 against Novak Djokovic?

dellealpi10

New User
(Opinion of Mr Lon Shapiro, professional tennis coach)

-------------quote-------------

Federer’s abiility to recover mentally

Here’s a list of Federer’s most devastating losses and how Federer responded:

2008 Wimbledon (Nadal I): after some health issues and the first real slump of his career, Federer got destroyed at the French Open and then converted only 1 of 13 break points against Nadal to lose one of the greatest matches of all time. Federer continued to struggle that summer, but came back to win the US Open.

2009 Australian (Nadal II):
this was the famous final where Nadal consoled a teary-eyed Federer after another epic 5-set match. After struggling at the winter hard court events, Federer won Madrid (beating Nadal on clay), the French Open (after Nadal lost to Soderling), Wimbledon, and Cincinnati, before losing in the finals of the US Open, ending the year as #1.

2010 US Open (Djokovic I):
Federer blew two match points in the US Open semi-finals against Djokovic. Federer came back to win Basel and the ATP Finals.

2011 Australian Open (Djokovic II):
Federer lost in straight sets to Djokovic in the semi-finals. Federer beat Djokovic at Roland Garros in the semi-finals.

2011 US Open (Djokovic III):
Federer again blew two match points in the US Open semi-finals against Djokovic. Federer came back to win his last three tournaments of the year (Basel, Paris, ATP Finals).

2012 Australian Open (Nadal III):
Federer lost to his nemesis again in a Slam, this time in four sets. Federer won 6 titles (Rotterdam, Dubai, beat Nadal en route to winning the Indian Wells Masters, Madrid Masters, Wimbledon, Cincinnati Masters) and regained the #1 ranking.

2014–2015:
A combination of age, injuries and superior play by Djokovic and Nadal made these “forgettable” years: no Grand Slams, but 5 titles and winning the Davis Cup in 2014 and 6 titles in 2015.

Federer lost in the 2015 US Open finals to Djokovic and only won 4 of 23 break points, a pattern that has continued since Wimbledon 2008.

2016 (injuries): Federer started the season sick losing to Raonic in the Finals at Brisbane. He lost to Djokovic in four sets at the Australian Open, then hurt his knee the next day. When Federer Knew His Knee Might Not Be The Same | ATP Tour | Tennis

I think it’s safe to say that the only scarring Federer felt this year was from his injuries. He came back two months after surgery and tried to play, but suffered a back injury in practice at Madrid, forcing him to withdraw from that tournament, Rome, and the French Open (breaking a record run of 65 consecutive Slams). He tried to come back for the grass court tournaments, but lost to guys he has dominated (Cilic and Raonic), then quite the tour for the rest of the year. In 2017, Federer came back to win 7 titles (Australian Open, Wimbledon, 3 Masters 1000 titles (Indian Wells, Miami, Shanghai) moved back up to #2 in the world, and BEAT NADAL 4 STRAIGHT TIMES.

Through incredible resolve, hard work, mutliple coaches and a racket change, Federer finally figured out how to beat Nadal, his #1 nemesis.

You have to realize that prior to 2015, Federer was 10–23 vs Nadal, and 19–17 vs Djokovic. Nadal has always been Federer’s bete noire. Federer has always gone into matches thinking he could beat Djokovic, even during the Serb’s incredible run in 2011.

The idea that Federer is scared to play Djokovic is laughable and an example of recency bias. Since Federer turned 33, he is only 3–10 against Djokovic (almost 6 years his junior). Even for an all-time great like Federer, Djokovic has an edge in physical conditioning that continue to grow with time.

That’s what made the Wimbledon final so unexpected and exciting - Federer hadn’t pushed Djokovic to a fifth set in 5 years (2014 Wimbledon).

At almost 38, Federer outplayed Djokovic for most of their 4 hour, 55-minute final (the longest in Wimbledon history).

I was amazed just to see him able to hang with Djokovic in the fifth set, let alone get to match point. Instead of mouthing excuses that Djokovic didn’t play well, we need to appreciate how much Federer’s attacking game forced Djokovic into making errors.

Maybe the fans don’t get it, but Djokovic seems to be say just that.

I hope readers will understand that Federer, like Nadal and Djokovic, has a supernatural amount of mental toughness. The idea of “mental scarring” when it comes to the Big 3 is better explained as our personal projection of how these guys feel.

When I played on the circuit, I lost a few matches where I choked on match point. I was devastated, and it took me weeks to recover from losses in insignificant tournaments.

Federer blew match points in a US Open semi-final and came back to win his last three events of the year, just one more example of how we have no idea what kind of fortitude these champions have.

I think it’s safe to say that Federer will bounce back and play to the best of his ability.

Notice, I didn’t say he will bounce back to win another Grand Slam.

Federer’s almost 38, and what he is doing is unprecedented in the history of tennis. Rosewall may be the oldest player to win a Slam (Federer is second), but the Australian Open in those days had a 64 draw (Rosewall got a bye to the second round) and only 1 top 10 player entered the tournament. Federer beating Nadal in the semis and then getting to match points against Djokovic in the finals is the second greatest feat by an old player in history. (Fun fact: Rosewall’s run to the 1974 Wimbledon finals was amazing, as he beat the huge server Roscoe Tanner, #1 Newcombe, and #4 Smith before losing to #3 Connors.)

One last thought. When Federer announced he was going to play the clay court circuit this year, I thought it was going to be like his retirement tour, giving his fans in those countries the chance to see him again one last time. Instead, he had match points in Madrid against the best clay court player in the world not named Rafael Nadal, beat the upcoming NextGen player Coric 7–6 in the third, and then reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros.

Federer is simply on a level that only Nadal and Djokovic can fully comprehend. While he may be aware of his tennis mortality, I don’t think we can guess at Federer’s mental state in the heat of the match. Saying things like “Federer has never faced a situation like this now before,” or that “he thinks about his tennis legacy in comparison to Nadal or Djokovic” is simply water cooler talk.

Here’s Federer talking about his mental state, facing the end of his career:

couldn’t believe it. was actually quite emotional, especially after the surgery, looking down at my foot and understanding that maybe this leg or this knee will never be the same.”

He said that in 2016.

What makes the Big 3 such all time champions is the fact that they remain focused on each ball in a way we simply can’t comprehend. Tennis announcers breathily whisper “she’s two points away from the match,” but the reality is, the player may never even get to match point. It is a dumb announcement meant to add drama to the event, or perhaps inform non-tennis players what the score means. There’s no way on earth that ATP ranked players are thinking “oh, if I can win this point, I’ll be at match point!” Sure, it’s possible they’ll get tight on an actual match point - even Federer is human and apparently far more like the average player in these situations than we realize.

Federer has lost 22 matches in his career where he has held at least one match point, and they were in the semi-finals and finals of Grand Slams.

And yet, he keeps bouncing back.

-------------unquote-------------
 

ForehandRF

Professional
He generally responds to losses extremely well, so I think the most difficult challenge is the battle with time (compared to previous heartbreaks) rather than the battle with demons of the loss.
I think that father time will straight set him this time unfortunately.It's unfortunate that the 2019 Wimbledon final might be his last grand slam final. For sure he deserved a better one to end his career.
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
Does he have to? As long as he avoids his master Nadal and big bully Novak he's got a clear shot against this generation of mugs, prima donas and clowns.
 
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terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
What were we really expect to read ?

That Fed's finished ?

And a point conveniently omitted about longevity is the technology factor: Rosewall didn't have stem cell treatment and god knows what else at his disposal to keep playing at an advanced age. You know for sure Federer used every bit of performing surgical technique to rebuild his knee, and then to keep his stamina (wink-wink) during 5 setters. (Which in my opinion makes it futile to compare longevity records.)

Also omitted was the fact Rafa is quite vulnerable on grass, and could easily have lost to Kyrgios as he couldn't secure a single break point for the last 2.5 sets, and needed for Nick to implode during the tie-breaks. Then Novak admitted after the final he wasn't at 100 % and we saw afterwards it wasn't just empty talk.

So, Fed's run at W 2019 was impressive, but he was fortunate all along, and still choked it all away.

As for his future, he will probably not reach a Slam final next year, and then his body will finally break down for good.
 

Blitzball

Professional
Also omitted was the fact Rafa is quite vulnerable on grass, and could easily have lost to Kyrgios as he couldn't secure a single break point for the last 2.5 sets, and needed for Nick to implode during the tie-breaks.
I guess two Wimbledon titles and handfuls of semis and finals are considered vulnerable qualities.
 
I think that father time will straight set him this time unfortunately.It's unfortunate that the 2019 Wimbledon final might be his last grand slam final. For sure he deserved a better one to end his career.
Feels like this isn't the first time people think he might have played his last Slam final. :D After how he played this year's Wimbledon, I wouldn't rule him out yet.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Feels like this isn't the first time people think he might have played his last Slam final. :D After how he played this year's Wimbledon, I wouldn't rule him out yet.
Absolutely. He will reach at least one more and win it...

Especially when ITF starts rigging draws again to have Novak play Stan before semis and Bearerer at semis...
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
How about Federer and Djokovic meeting for 4 consecutive years in the USO SF ?
That is back when RF had much less trouble with Novak.

He beat him 3 in a row at USO 2007-2009. Fact.

Early and mid-round draws are where the most rigging happens, coz top 5 are most vulnerable here. Fact.

The corporate world and western media favour RF. Fact.

ITF riggs draws to favour RF's shaky GOAT status. Fact.

The world is a corrupt place and whoever believes the ITF is morally chaste is naive. Fact.
 
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ForehandRF

Professional
That is back when RF had much less trouble with Novak.

He beat him 3 in a row at USO 2007-2009. Fact.

The corporate world and western media favour RF. Fact.

ITF riggs draws to favour RF's shaky GOAT status. Fact.

The world is a corrupt place and whoever believes the ITF is morally chaste is naive. Fact.
That's why Federer had Nadal in the SF and Djokovic in the F at Wimbledon ?

The ITF favored Nadal in 2010, 2011 & 2013 at the USO giving Novak the tougher draws ?

What I mean is that if some draws are rigged for Fed, there are also rigged draws to favor the other 2.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
That's why Federer had Nadal in the SF and Djokovic in the F at Wimbledon ?

The ITF favored Nadal in 2010, 2011 & 2013 at the USO giving Novak the tougher draws ?

What I mean is that if some draws are rigged for Fed, there are also rigged draws to favor the other 2.
As I mentioned, early and mid rounds are especially rigged... Go back to my post, I added it after you already started replying.

RF rigging has been in full swing much more in recent years, back in 2010-12 they didn't feel he was as vulnerable to Rafa and Novak.

Why would ANY slam rig for Novak? What have they got to gain?
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
Which you took out of context and, therefore, distorted.:giggle:

Since Federer turned 33, he is only 3–10 against Djokovic (almost 6 years his junior). Even for an all-time great like Federer, Djokovic has an edge in physical conditioning that continue to grow with time.”
Qualifying a 3-10 record with the word "only" is laughable nonetheless.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
(Opinion of Mr Lon Shapiro, professional tennis coach)

-------------quote-------------

Federer’s abiility to recover mentally

Here’s a list of Federer’s most devastating losses and how Federer responded:

2008 Wimbledon (Nadal I): after some health issues and the first real slump of his career, Federer got destroyed at the French Open and then converted only 1 of 13 break points against Nadal to lose one of the greatest matches of all time. Federer continued to struggle that summer, but came back to win the US Open.

2009 Australian (Nadal II):
this was the famous final where Nadal consoled a teary-eyed Federer after another epic 5-set match. After struggling at the winter hard court events, Federer won Madrid (beating Nadal on clay), the French Open (after Nadal lost to Soderling), Wimbledon, and Cincinnati, before losing in the finals of the US Open, ending the year as #1.

2010 US Open (Djokovic I):
Federer blew two match points in the US Open semi-finals against Djokovic. Federer came back to win Basel and the ATP Finals.

2011 Australian Open (Djokovic II):
Federer lost in straight sets to Djokovic in the semi-finals. Federer beat Djokovic at Roland Garros in the semi-finals.

2011 US Open (Djokovic III):
Federer again blew two match points in the US Open semi-finals against Djokovic. Federer came back to win his last three tournaments of the year (Basel, Paris, ATP Finals).

2012 Australian Open (Nadal III):
Federer lost to his nemesis again in a Slam, this time in four sets. Federer won 6 titles (Rotterdam, Dubai, beat Nadal en route to winning the Indian Wells Masters, Madrid Masters, Wimbledon, Cincinnati Masters) and regained the #1 ranking.

2014–2015:
A combination of age, injuries and superior play by Djokovic and Nadal made these “forgettable” years: no Grand Slams, but 5 titles and winning the Davis Cup in 2014 and 6 titles in 2015.

Federer lost in the 2015 US Open finals to Djokovic and only won 4 of 23 break points, a pattern that has continued since Wimbledon 2008.

2016 (injuries): Federer started the season sick losing to Raonic in the Finals at Brisbane. He lost to Djokovic in four sets at the Australian Open, then hurt his knee the next day. When Federer Knew His Knee Might Not Be The Same | ATP Tour | Tennis

I think it’s safe to say that the only scarring Federer felt this year was from his injuries. He came back two months after surgery and tried to play, but suffered a back injury in practice at Madrid, forcing him to withdraw from that tournament, Rome, and the French Open (breaking a record run of 65 consecutive Slams). He tried to come back for the grass court tournaments, but lost to guys he has dominated (Cilic and Raonic), then quite the tour for the rest of the year. In 2017, Federer came back to win 7 titles (Australian Open, Wimbledon, 3 Masters 1000 titles (Indian Wells, Miami, Shanghai) moved back up to #2 in the world, and BEAT NADAL 4 STRAIGHT TIMES.

Through incredible resolve, hard work, mutliple coaches and a racket change, Federer finally figured out how to beat Nadal, his #1 nemesis.

You have to realize that prior to 2015, Federer was 10–23 vs Nadal, and 19–17 vs Djokovic. Nadal has always been Federer’s bete noire. Federer has always gone into matches thinking he could beat Djokovic, even during the Serb’s incredible run in 2011.

The idea that Federer is scared to play Djokovic is laughable and an example of recency bias. Since Federer turned 33, he is only 3–10 against Djokovic (almost 6 years his junior). Even for an all-time great like Federer, Djokovic has an edge in physical conditioning that continue to grow with time.

That’s what made the Wimbledon final so unexpected and exciting - Federer hadn’t pushed Djokovic to a fifth set in 5 years (2014 Wimbledon).

At almost 38, Federer outplayed Djokovic for most of their 4 hour, 55-minute final (the longest in Wimbledon history).

I was amazed just to see him able to hang with Djokovic in the fifth set, let alone get to match point. Instead of mouthing excuses that Djokovic didn’t play well, we need to appreciate how much Federer’s attacking game forced Djokovic into making errors.

Maybe the fans don’t get it, but Djokovic seems to be say just that.

I hope readers will understand that Federer, like Nadal and Djokovic, has a supernatural amount of mental toughness. The idea of “mental scarring” when it comes to the Big 3 is better explained as our personal projection of how these guys feel.

When I played on the circuit, I lost a few matches where I choked on match point. I was devastated, and it took me weeks to recover from losses in insignificant tournaments.

Federer blew match points in a US Open semi-final and came back to win his last three events of the year, just one more example of how we have no idea what kind of fortitude these champions have.

I think it’s safe to say that Federer will bounce back and play to the best of his ability.

Notice, I didn’t say he will bounce back to win another Grand Slam.

Federer’s almost 38, and what he is doing is unprecedented in the history of tennis. Rosewall may be the oldest player to win a Slam (Federer is second), but the Australian Open in those days had a 64 draw (Rosewall got a bye to the second round) and only 1 top 10 player entered the tournament. Federer beating Nadal in the semis and then getting to match points against Djokovic in the finals is the second greatest feat by an old player in history. (Fun fact: Rosewall’s run to the 1974 Wimbledon finals was amazing, as he beat the huge server Roscoe Tanner, #1 Newcombe, and #4 Smith before losing to #3 Connors.)

One last thought. When Federer announced he was going to play the clay court circuit this year, I thought it was going to be like his retirement tour, giving his fans in those countries the chance to see him again one last time. Instead, he had match points in Madrid against the best clay court player in the world not named Rafael Nadal, beat the upcoming NextGen player Coric 7–6 in the third, and then reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros.

Federer is simply on a level that only Nadal and Djokovic can fully comprehend. While he may be aware of his tennis mortality, I don’t think we can guess at Federer’s mental state in the heat of the match. Saying things like “Federer has never faced a situation like this now before,” or that “he thinks about his tennis legacy in comparison to Nadal or Djokovic” is simply water cooler talk.

Here’s Federer talking about his mental state, facing the end of his career:

couldn’t believe it. was actually quite emotional, especially after the surgery, looking down at my foot and understanding that maybe this leg or this knee will never be the same.”

He said that in 2016.

What makes the Big 3 such all time champions is the fact that they remain focused on each ball in a way we simply can’t comprehend. Tennis announcers breathily whisper “she’s two points away from the match,” but the reality is, the player may never even get to match point. It is a dumb announcement meant to add drama to the event, or perhaps inform non-tennis players what the score means. There’s no way on earth that ATP ranked players are thinking “oh, if I can win this point, I’ll be at match point!” Sure, it’s possible they’ll get tight on an actual match point - even Federer is human and apparently far more like the average player in these situations than we realize.

Federer has lost 22 matches in his career where he has held at least one match point, and they were in the semi-finals and finals of Grand Slams.

And yet, he keeps bouncing back.

-------------unquote-------------
Only gets 9 lives, so Fed finish
 

Tshooter

Legend
Qualifying a 3-10 record with the word "only" is laughable nonetheless.
I don’t follow. Because you think 3-10 is a good record ?

“Only” wasn’t used as a qualifier. It was used as an intensifier, 3–10 being a poor record but in the author’s view explained by the post-33 age gap and related conditioning gap.
 
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maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
Difference between 2017 and 2019 is , Djokovic showing up in 2019 .

If djoker goes out early or gets injured - Federer is heavy favourite at both AO and Wimbledon in 2020 .
I won't be surprised if Fedal win all 4 slams in 2020 if djoker gets injured or smthing .
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Difference between 2017 and 2019 is , Djokovic showing up in 2019 .

If djoker goes out early or gets injured - Federer is heavy favourite at both AO and Wimbledon in 2020 .
I won't be surprised if Fedal win all 4 slams in 2020 if djoker gets injured or smthing .
Rafa vulturing slams at USO and RF at AO and Wimby... It's happened before.

Makes Novak seem very GOATish.

When the cat's away... When the GOAT's away...
 

beard

Professional
Fed "bounced back" as soon Novak sinked to his tennis bottom... Hope that doesn't repeat... There are few youngsters that emerged so he wont "bounce back" so easily...
 

maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
Rafa vulturing slams at USO and RF at AO and Wimby... It's happened before.

Makes Novak seem very GOATish.

When the cat's away... When the GOAT's away...
Fedal are not vulturing Slams , but it seems both of them have a mental hurdle against Djoker .
Djoker is on a 8 match Slam winning streak against them ..
If Fedal gets to avoid Djoker , their chances to win slams multiplies .
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Fedal are not vulturing Slams , but it seems both of them have a mental hurdle against Djoker .
Djoker is on a 8 match Slam winning streak against them ..
If Fedal gets to avoid Djoker , their chances to win slams multiplies .
Nadal does not vulture FOs. He did vulture last two USO titles.

RF has been in the business of vulturing since 2009...
 

Third Serve

Hall of Fame
Lmao pair of trolls still going at it, thank god for ignore.

Like Djokovic vulturing majority of slams post Federer decline after 2012
Agreed with first sentence, but hard disagree with the second. Djokovic only really began to vulture Slams starting from his 2018 comeback (and maybe AO 2015 and RG 2016) but I think his Slam opposition from 2013-2015 was still somewhat respectable...
 

terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
How's that? With Wimbledon, he was a point away twice from winning it this year. And looked in pretty good form until he got injured at USO.
He probably let slip away his last chance at a major, and i say that because not only wear and tear accumulates each passing year, but players are going to try harder now against him because they won't accept easily anymore to lose against a 39 year old.

It's one thing to lose against peak Fed at 28 and another to lose to his grandpa version.

That factor alone will make things awfully difficult for him.
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
During Fed's career he has gererally either shown up as Vulturer or Chokerer, rarely has he actually been this GOAT figure that is so revered by his fan base.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Lmao pair of trolls still going at it, thank god for ignore.

Like Djokovic vulturing majority of slams post Federer decline after 2012
Thank God for ignore... yet you still DON'T ignore... Because your will to learn is stronger than the bias?

Vulturing is a term that means something else. Winning slams when your biggest rivals are injured. Was RF injured when Novak became a GOAT in 2011?

No.

Was Rafa injured in 2011?

No.

Was Novak injured and struggling when RF FINALLY started winning slams after 5 years in 2017?

Yes.

Did RF stop winning slams once Novak came back in 2018?

Yes.

It's very simple. Vulturing is a simple concept, no need to complicate it.
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
Agreed with first sentence, but hard disagree with the second. Djokovic only really began to vulture Slams starting from his 2018 comeback (and maybe AO 2015 and RG 2016) but I think his Slam opposition from 2013-2015 was still somewhat respectable...
2013 was insane difficulty wise.
Peak Stan at AO. Decent Murray/Berdych
Prime Nadal at RG
Prime Del Potro and Murray back to back
Prime Wawrinka and a Prime Nadal.
You cannot expect tougher than that lol.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
2013 was insane difficulty wise.
Peak Stan at AO. Decent Murray/Berdych
Prime Nadal at RG
Prime Del Potro and Murray back to back
Prime Wawrinka and a Prime Nadal.
You cannot expect tougher than that lol.
Feffans since 2011 were put into a difficult situation: they had to continue worshiping RF as GOAT yet they had to start putting down the quality of his play throughout the years just to make excuse after excuse. It became a large book of excuses, all of them making out RF to be a bad player since 2011.

Can you imagine Bieber fans having to say that Bieber's music sucks? Yes, it's that crazy.
 

ForehandRF

Professional
Feffans since 2011 were put into a difficult situation: they had to continue worshiping RF as GOAT yet they had to start putting down the quality of his play throughout the year just to make excuse after excuse.

Can you imagine Bieber fans having to say that Bieber's music sucks? Yes, it's that crazy.
Why so obsessed with Fed fans ? There is no room for balanced tennis analysis from your part it seems.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Tennis is clearly not your sport.Absolutely ridiculous anti Fed agenda.
Don't take this the wrong way, because I don't disagree with you necessarily regarding your target here, but if anyone has an anti-Fed agenda it's ironically his own fans.

RF fans have been saying for almost a decade how badly RF plays, criticizing his game at every opportunity just to make excuses for his expected losses. No matter what RF does it's not good enough for many of his fans. This is why RF sounds somewhat bitter when talking about his fans...

If anything, I am more of a Fedfan than most Fedfans. Because I acknowledge how terrific he has been since 2015.
 
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